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May 03, 2016

2nd May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The ADMM-Plus (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus) Exercise on Maritime Security and Counter Terrorism (Ex MS & CT) has started at Brunei yesterday (May 1, 2016). 
    • The aim of this nine day exercise (till May 9, 2016) is to strengthen the strong bilateral ties and extensive maritime interactions between India and ASEAN countries.
National Affairs
  • Parliament has passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016
    • The Bill amends the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. 
    • The amendment Bill was first passed in the Lok Sabha in March 2016 and later in the Rajya Sabha in May 2016.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government has launched Chandranna Bima Yojana, an insurance scheme for the working class people. 
    • The scheme was launched by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on the occasion of May Day in Vijayawada. 
    • According to this scheme, any insured worker who meets an accidental death and permanent disability will be paid 5 lakh rupees. 
    • Any insured worker who suffers partial disability will be paid 3 lakh rupees. 
    • Note : This scheme will cover about 1.5 crore workers of the state.
  • The government will monitor mines with the help of satellites starting this year, after a three-month long project found rampant illegal extraction of limestone in the state.
    • Reportedly, state-run Indian Bureau of Mines is digitising maps of all mines under the government's purview to check whether companies are mining outside their lease areas.
  • The Union Ministry of Railways and Forest Department of Haryana & Punjab have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for plantation of trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary. 
    • The MoU paves way for planting around 5 lakh trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary prior to Monsoon Season.
  • The Jammu and Kashmir government today signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi for setting up an IIT in Jammu. 
    • About 625 acres of land has been approved at Jagti in Nagrota for the IIT, while regular classes will commence from the current session at a temporary campus, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said.
New Appointments
  • An Indian American Sikh woman Harmeet Kaur Dhillon (47) from California was elected to an important position in the Republican Party at the United States national level. 
    • She was elected as the newest national committee member of the Republican National Committee, a key position of the Republican National Committee. 
    • Important Note : She was the first woman elected to this position of vice chair of the California Republican Party. 
Awards & Honors
  • An Indian-American journalist Neela Banerjee was felicitated with a prestigious Edgar A Poe award along with three of her colleagues from Inside Climate News, John Cushman Jr, David Hasemyer and Lisa Song and Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post.
  • Three Indian Scientists Sriram Ramaswamy (Physicis), Ramanujan Hegde (Biochemis) and Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan (Applied mathematician) have been elected as the as Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Business & Economy
  • China today replaced all business tax with the Value-Added Tax (VAT) after extending it to four new sectors of construction, real estate, finance and consumer services. 
    • With the inclusion, almost all goods and services will reportedly be brought under the VAT cover, a move expected to help businesses save money. 
    • Note : China had first implemented the VAT scheme in 2012.
  • IT services company Wipro has inaugurated Saudi Arabia's first all women business and technology park (WBP) at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh. 
    • The WBP is a joint venture between Wipro and the university, with oil firm Saudi Aramco acting as the strategic advisor. 
    • The initiative is expected to create nearly 21,000 jobs by 2025, Wipro said.
  • State owned SBI has lowered its lending rates based on marginal cost of funds by 5 basis points (0.05%) to 9.15%. 
    • The new minimum lending rates are effective from May 1, the bank said. 
    • With this, the home loan interest rate for women borrowers has come down to 9.35%, while for others it now stands lower at 9.40%.
People in News
  • Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has reportedly confirmed that he created digital payment system bitcoins and provided technical proof for his claims. 
    • The creator of bitcoin had earlier developed it under the pseudonym 'Satoshi Nakamoto'. 
    • About Bitcoin : Bitcoin is a virtual currency system in which users exchange bitcoins for transactions and 'mine' bitcoins by sharing their computing power.
Science & Technology
  • INS Kalvari, Indian Navy’s first indigenous Scorpene-class stealth submarine, has recently launched for the first sea trial in the Mumbai naval dockyard. 
    • It is a diesel-electric attack submarine which is built under the strategic Project 75 by Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL) in collaboration with French naval defence and energy company DCNS.
  • Carnival Corp’s 704-passenger cruise ship Adonia set sail from Miami today to become the first US cruise ship to sail to Cuba in around 50 years. 
    • Carnival​ Corp started the $1,800 cruise after the Cuban government lifted its ban on Cuban-born people arriving by sea. 
    • This comes after the US resumed diplomatic relations and normalised ties with Cuba.
  • US-based squash player, Vikram Malhotra, who originally hails from Mumbai, won the PSA $5000 2016 Charlotte Open today. 
  • Indian racer, Gaurav Gill started the 2016 Asia-Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) season on a winning note after finishing first in the Whangarei International Rally today. 
  • Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy has been voted the 2016 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. 
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