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May 27, 2016

27th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Barack Obama became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima memorial, site of the world’s first atomic bombing dropped on August 6, 1945.
    • He paid tribute to the 140,000 people killed by the world’s first atomic bomb attack and laid wreath at Hiroshima nuclear memorial.
  • A new French law has made it illegal for companies with over 50 employees to send emails to employees after their work hours.
    • The 'right to disconnect' amendment also mandates companies to form policies which limit the spillover of work into their employees' private lives.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo today approved a maximum penalty of death and chemical castration for child sex offenders, after a 14-year-old girl was gangraped and murdered. 
  • Under previous laws, the maximum sentence for rape, including of a minor, was 14 years in jail.
MOUs & Agreements in News
  • China has signed two agreements with Sudan, its close ally in Africa to build 600-megawatt (MW) atomic reactor. 
    • These agreements include nuclear power development and building a 600 MW atomic reactor.  
    • It was the first of its kind project to be built by China in African country. 
    • The two framework agreements in this regard have been signed by state-owned China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) with Sudan
National Affairs
  • A government-appointed committee headed by T S R Subramanian (former Cabinet Secretary) has submitted its report for the evolution of a New Education Policy.
    • The Committee examined a large body of outcome documents, recommendations and suggestions received and also had several meetings with various stakeholders and undertook field visits to educational institutions.
    • Apart from Subramanian, former Chief Secretary of Delhi government Shailaja Chandra, former Home Secretary, Delhi government Sevaram Sharma, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat Sudhir Mankad and former Director, NCERT J S Rajput, were members of the panel. 
  • The Centre has approved an investment of ₹5,534 crore for 111 Atal Mission (AMRUT) cities in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand and Meghalaya
    • The funds will be used for providing household water taps, improving water supply, sewerage networks/septage management, storm water drains, urban transport and provision of open and green spaces in these cities.
  • The Maharashtra government is set to plant over two crore saplings across the state on July 1st.
    • Note : Only 20% land in Maharashtra is covered by forests, which is causing an adverse impact on the environment.
  • Air India and IRCTC have entered into a pact that will allow wait-listed passengers of Rajdhani trains to fly via Air India by paying an extra amount. 
    • Further, passengers of AC First Class will not have to pay any additional money for the upgradation. 
  • The first bullet train will run in India in 2023, and its work is on track, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announced today. 
    • The train will connect Mumbai and Ahmedabad and is expected to cover 508 km in about two hours, running at a maximum speed of 350 kmph. 
    • The high-speed​ rail corridor will have a 21 kilometre-long under-sea tunnel.
  • The Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has framed policy guidelines for central government advertisements on websites. 
    • All online ads from the Centre would now be routed via the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), which would empanel eligible websites. 
    • Further, DAVP will fix the rates of advertisements and would also be responsible for their strategic placement.
  • The Union Ministry of Railways has launched Rail Humsafar Saptaah, a week-long initiative to highlight significant achievements made by Indian Railways in all spheres. 
    • The Rail Humsafar Saptaah starting on 26th May 2016 will conclude on 1st June 2016. 
    • Each day of the Rail Humsafar Saptaah will focus on a particular theme and the days have been named as,
      • 26th May - Swachchta Diwas
      • 27th May - Satkar Diwas
      • 28th May - Sewa Diwas
      • 29th May - Satarkata Diwas
      • 30th May - Saamanjasya Diwas
      • 31st May - Sanyojan Diwas
      • 1st June - Sanchaar Diwas
Science & Technology
  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) successfully test-fired an advanced version of BrahMos land-attack supersonic cruise missile system today. 
    • Test-fired at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, the missile hit and annihilated the designated target, said officials. 
    • BrahMos, the first supersonic cruise missile known to be in service, is a joint venture between India and Russia.
  • India and Russia have agreed in principle to export BrahMos, the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile, to the UAE, Vietnam, South Africa and Chile. 
    • Discussions with other countries including Philippines, South Korea and Greece are also underway. 
    • The short-range supersonic missile can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land, and can fly as low as 10 metres above ground.
Awards & Honors
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, has received the Alumni Achievement Award of Harvard Business School from Dean Nitin Nohria. 
    • The award, presented annually since 1968, is the highest honour given to any alumnus of the institute
    • Note : Mittal had also been felicitated with a Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian honour, in 2007.
  • As many as 56 Indian companies have been named in Forbes’ recently released ‘Global 2000list of the world's largest public companies
    • Reliance Industries, ranked 121, emerged as the most valuable Indian company, followed by SBI (149) and ONGC (220)
    • Note : Globally, the top three spots were held by Chinese banks, with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China leading the list.
People in News
  • Two Indian-Americans, Nihar Janga (11) and Jairam Hathwar (13), were today declared co-winners of the US Scripps National Spelling Bee 2016 competition. 
    • Both the winners have won a trophy and $40,000 in cash and prizes. 
    • Note : This is the third consecutive tie at the bee, which is a US institution since 1925.
  • Noted Marathi critic and litterateur R G Jadhav (83) passed away.
New Appointments
  • Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee (61) today took oath as the Chief Minister of West Bengal for the second consecutive term. 
    • Important Points to Note : 
    • Winning 211 seats out of the total 294, TMC became the first single party to win the seats without alliance in West Bengal's history
    • In 2011, Banerjee had become the first ever female CM of the state.
  • Coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab Sanjay Bangar has been appointed India's head coach for the team's tour to Zimbabwe
    • Bangar had previously worked as India's assistant coach till the World T20 under team director Ravi Shastri. 
    • India will play three T20s and three ODIs in Zimbabwe, starting on June 11.
  • West African country Guinea Bissau's President Jose Mario Vaz named Baciro Dja as the country's new prime minister.
  • Indian para-athlete, discus and club thrower, Amit Kumar Saroha has clinched the gold medal in the men’s club throw F-51 event at the 2016 French Open Athletics Championship.
  • India's Sonia Lather defeated Kazakhstan's Aizhan Khojabekova in their semi-final bout to reach the final of the 57 kg category of the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships
    • Lather will now face Italy’s Alessia Mesiano in the final as the winner will be crowned World Champion.
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