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May 07, 2016

7th May 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The Australian government has added 49 species of flora and fauna to the 'threatened' and 'endangered' list, of which 9 are 'critically endangered'. 
    • This marks the largest addition to the fifteen-year-old list since 2009.
  • Algeria is building one of the world's largest mosques with a 265-meter tall minaret, which will be the world's tallest
    • The 20,000-square meter Djamaa El Djazair mosque will reportedly be able to accommodate 1,20,000 worshippers. 
  • India and Japan have decided to exchange sports persons, coaches, experts andadministrators to improve the standard of the game in both nations.
    • The two Asian countries will play some friendly matches ahead of the Under-17 World Cup tournament.
    • The decisions were taken during a meeting between Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and a 12-member delegation from Japan led by Hase Hiroshi, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
    • Important Note : Hiroshi also informed that the Shinzo Abe-led government has launched a programme named ‘Sport For Tomorrow‘ to promote sports among more than 10 million people in 100 nations between 2014 and 2020.
      • In 2020, Tokyo will host the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games.
  • Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines agreed to conduct coordinated sea patrols and establish a hotline to combat piracy and kidnappings in waters bordering the three nations.
National Affairs
  • Border Road Organisation's (BRO) foundation day today.
    • Formed on May 7, 1960, the BRO maintains road networks in the country, helps in meeting the strategic needs of the armed forces and plays an important role in socio economic development through its large scale contribution to infrastructure development.
    • Important Points to know about Border Road Organization (BRO)
      • Headquarters - New Delhi
      • Formed on - 7th May 1960
      • Motto - Shramena Sarvam Sadhyam ("Everything is Achievable through Hard Work")
      • Parent organisation - Ministry of Defence
      • Director General - Lt General Suresh Sharma
  • The Goa government is going to ban locals from entering casinos in the state as it is in the process of issuing rules to set up the Gaming Commission to regulate Goa's casino industry.
  • Odisha Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a proposal for amendment to the Gram Panchayat Act as this the ruling party’s promise in 2014 elections proclamation that there would be one panchayat for each 1,000 populace.
    • The move is to encourage making of more than 500 panchayats in Odisha. 
    • Note : As per the proposal the Panchayats in the state will increase by around 500 to 600.
  • Haryana government would enact State Sports Council Act to accord statutory status to the Sports Council and further promote sports activities in the state.
    • After the enactment of the Act, there would be a sports body at state, district and sub-division level which would coordinate and maintain all affairs of sports in the state.
Books & Authors
  • 'Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, the Star', a biography of veteran actor Shashi Kapoor authored by film journalist Aseem Chhabra was released today. 
    • The foreword to the biography has been penned by filmmaker Karan Johar. 
    • Undisclosed stories by Shashi's family and friends including Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Shabana Azmi, Sharmila Tagore and Shyam Benegal have been mentioned in the biography.

Science & Technology
  • US based private space transport service company, SpaceX has successfully launched Japanese JCSAT-14 communication satellite into the space. 
    • The satellite was place into its intended preliminary geostationary transfer orbit by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US. 
    • This is for the second time in row the reusable main stage booster of Falcon 9 rocket successfully landed on offshore floating platform after the April 8, 2016 landing.
Awards & Honors
  • Nagaland police has been awarded the National Award for Smart Policing instituted by FICCI for its SMS-based Vehicle Monitoring System. 
    • It bagged the award for the Best Practice in the category of Road Safety and Traffic Management.
    • It is a platform for policemen and citizens to report vehicle theft and alert various field formations of police by sending one SMS.
  • President Pranab Mukherjee today presented Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations to defence personnel in a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, where PM Narendra Modi was present. 
    • While 13 received the Param Vishist Seva Medal, four received the Kirti Chakra, two earned the Uttam Yuddh Seva Medal, 25 received the Ati Vishist Seva Medal and seven earned the Shaurya Chakras.
  • Mangalore based Corporation Bank has been awarded with Excellence Award on Empowering MSMEs 2016.
    • Bank MD and CEO Jai Kumar Garg received the award from Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister for MSMEs, in New Delhi.

Business & Economy
  • The Finance Ministry today gave its clearance for the creation of a 'Government e-Marketplace' for online purchase of commonly used goods and services by various central government ministries and departments. 
    • The marketplace will also reportedly facilitate bidding and online reverse auction.
  • Banks in India are expected to cut lending rates by up to 50 basis points (0.5%) by September as there is sufficient liquidity in the system, according to a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. 
    • Note : This comes after the RBI, in April, reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to a five-year low of 6.5%.
  • The government has announced the rollback of duties totalling to around 29.44% on imports of mobile phone batteries, chargers, wired headsets and speakers, imposed in the Budget 2016. 
    • Meanwhile, the government has also imposed a 4% duty on import of populated printed circuit boards (PCBs) for modems and set-top boxes, among others while removing the 2% levy for mobile phones.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows in India till December in 2015-16 stood at $40.82 billion, compared to $44.29 billion in the entire 2014-15 fiscal, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha announced today. 
  • Public Sector undertaking, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltdhas commissioned 500 MW thermal power unit at Bokaro Thermal Power-AStation of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) in Jharkhand.
    • With this the power major has added another coal-based power plant to the grid by successfully commissioning thermal unit on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.
  • Private sector lender Yes Bank has received in-principle nod from markets regulator SEBI to act as custodian of securities.
  • The Union Government has approved the proposal of Infosys to set up an IT/ITeS special economic zone (SEZ) in Bengaluru, Karnataka in an area spread over 4 hectares. 

New Appointments
  • Labour Party's Sadiq Khan was elected the Mayor of London, to become the first Muslim to head London or any major Western capital.

  • Defending champions and hosts Pakistan defeated India 50-31 in the 3rd Asian Kabaddi Championship's final today. 
  • Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh is set to face Poland’s Andrzej Soldra in his sixth professional bout on May 13 at UK's Macron Stadium. 
    • Soldra holds a 12(win)-3(loss) record alongside five knockouts from his 16 fights, while Vijender is undefeated after having registered five knockout victories. 
    • Note : Vijender will also contest for the WBO-Asia Title in Delhi on June 11.
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