Current Affairs : May,2015


  • DD Kisan, India’s first television channel dedicated to farmers launched by PM Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May 2015 launched India’s first television channel DD Kisan dedicated to farmers in New Delhi. The 24X7 channel is owned by public service broadcaster Doordarshan (DD) and is dedicated to agriculture and allied sectors.
Features of DD Kisan
  1. DD Kisan will disseminate real-time inputs to farmers on new farming techniques, water conservation and organic farming.
  2. It will also share best farm practices in different parts of the country, quiz shows for farmers, a bottoms-up approach involving agriculturists.
  3. The channel show will also invite programme suggestions from general public and real-time interaction with experts and farm scientists.
  • India-Singapore bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 commences in Singapore
Bilateral naval exercise SIMBEX-15 between India and Singapore commenced on 23 May 2015 in Singapore. It is 3 days exercise which will conclude on May 26, 2015.
This edition of naval exercise will give traditional emphasis on anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and more complex maritime exercises. It will involve various facets of naval operations such as air and surface practice firing, air defence, maritime security and search & rescue operations.
For this edition of exercise, Indian navy is represented by
INS Satpura- an indigenously built guided missile stealth frigate with integral helicopter.
INS Kamorta- an indigenous anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette.
P 8I aircraft- It is a long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti- Submarine (LRMRASW) aircraft.

  • Union Government launches USTAAD Scheme for Traditional Artisans in Varanasi
Union Government formally launched Upgrading the Skills and Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development (USTAAD) Scheme.
It was launched by Union Minister of Minority Affairs Dr. Najma Heptullah in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in order to improve degrading conditions of world famous Banaras Saree weavers who belong to minority communities.
Facts about USTAAD Scheme :
  1. The Scheme aims at upgrading Skills and Training of minority communities by preservation of traditional ancestral Arts and Crafts. It also envisages boosting the skill of craftsmen, weavers and artisans who are already engaged in the traditional ancestral work.
  2. Under the scheme, assistance will be provided to traditional artisans to sell their products in order to make them more compatible with modern markets.
  3. It is fully funded by Union Government and Union Ministry of Minority Affairs is nodal agency in implementing it.

  • India and Vietnam Sign a Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation
India and Vietnam signed a Joint Vision Statement on Defence Cooperation for the period 2015-2020. It was signed by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart Minister for National Defence General Phung Quang Thanh in New Delhi. Apart from this statement, a MoU on cooperation between the Coast Guards of the two countries was also signed.
  • China sets up largest gold sector fund for nations along ancient Silk Road
China has set up a gold sector fund involving 65 countries along the ancient Silk Road.  It has been set up in China’s northwest Xi’an city during ongoing forum on investment and trade.
The fund will be led by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) and is expected to raise 16.1 billion dollars in three phases. It should be noted that it is the largest fund set up by China in the gold sector.
Around 60 countries which fall along the routes of 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and Silk Road Economic Belt have invested in the fund. This fund will facilitate gold purchase for the central banks of member states to increase their holdings of the precious metal.
It will be also invested in gold mining in countries along the Silk Road and also to increase exploration in countries such as Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

  • Ireland becomes first country to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage
Republic of Ireland on 23 May 2015 became first country in the world to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage. The referendum on this issue to amend country’s written constitution was passed with a resounding 62.1 per cent ‘Yes’. Off the total voter turnout of 60.5 per cent, 1,201,607 people voted in favour of same-sex marriage, while 734,300 voted against it.

·         Maharashtra government launches Swachhata Saptapadi scheme
Maharashtra Government has launched Swachhata Saptapadi scheme on the lines of Union Government’s flagship Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with actor Aamir Khan who is brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in Mumbai.
Key facts :
1. The term saptapadi means vows taken during marriage by bride and groom in Maharashtra.
2. Under this scheme, state government will introduce the concept of a pledge to create awareness and seriousness about the Swachh Maharashtra Abhiyan.
3. The objective of the scheme is to expedite the process of cleanliness drive complete with toilet every household by October 2, 2015 and 2016.
4. For successful implementation of the scheme by municipal councils and corporations, grants received from the 14th Finance Commission will be linked with it.
5. Dumping of debris or waste will not be allowed at dumping grounds and processing of waste will be made mandatory.

  • Himachal Pradesh government sets up satellite tracking system to check forest fire
Himachal Pradesh forest department has set up the satellite tracking system to check and find the forest fire incidents during summer season. The main aim of this tracking system is to protect the precious forest in the state from forest fires. The system is designed in such a way that, occurrence of any fire in the vicinity of forests, will immediately send SMS alerts to forest officials.

  • Sepp Blatter has been re-elected as the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President for a fifth term.          
  • Mumbai Indians defeat Chennai Super Kings to win IPL 2015 for second time
Mumbai Indians (MI) on 24 May 2015 won the eight edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 by defeating Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
This is the second IPL title triumph for MI after their maiden win in the season six in 2013. It should be noted that Chennai has now lost four finals of 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 in six appearances and had won in 2011 and 2012 IPL seasons.
Other highlights of IPL 2015 :
Player of the Tournament: Andre Russell (KKR).
Orange Cap awarded to: David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad).
Purple Cap awarded to: Dwayne Bravo (CSK).
Emerging Player of the Season: Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Daredevils).
Most Valuable Player: Andre Russell (KKR).

·         Indian boxers clinch 4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze medals in Doha Boxing Tournament
Indian boxers have rounded off a brilliant run at the Doha International Tournament by winning four gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
Gold medal winners are
L Devendro Singh in 49 kg category by defeating Aldren Moreno of Philippines by 3:0.
Shiva Thapa in 56kg category by defeating HYM Abdelaal of Egypt by 2:1.
Manish Kaushik in 60 kg category by defeating Rabi Hamza of Morocco by 3:0.
Manoj Kumar in 64 kg category by defeating Magliquian Nicole of Philippines by 3:0

Person/Place in News:
  • Renowned American mathematician and Nobel Laureate John Nash passes away
Renowned American mathematician and Nobel laureate John Nash passed away on 24 May 2015. He was 86 and died in a car crash along with his wife Alicia Nash.
John Forbes Nash, Jr. was born on June 13, 1928 in West Virginia State of United States.
Work: He was renowned for works in game theory (mathematical study of decision-making), differential geometry and partial differential equations. His theories (especially Nash Equilibrium in game theory) are used in modern computing, economics, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory.
  • Veteran actor and film producer Shashi Kapoor has been conferred with prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2014.

·         Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurates New Bank Note Paper Line unit in Hoshangabad
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the New Bank Note Paper Line unit of 6000 metric ton capacity at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. He also flagged off the first consignment of one thousand rupee bank notes made indigenously from this paper mill to the Currency Note Press Nasik.
Key Facts about New Bank Note Paper Line unit
1.      State-of-the- art continuous pulp manufacturing plant integrated with paper machine.
2.      The bank note paper manufactured here is incorporated with advanced security features.
3.      Capable of manufacturing all denominations of bank note paper, including in the higher denomination of 1000 rupees with 3-dimentional toned water mark.
4.      Plant project has been completed at a cost of 495 crore rupees. Incorporated with latest technology that uses less power and minimum water consumption.
5.      The plant is environment friendly with zero liquid discharge. It will generate both direct and indirect employment.

·         NASSCOM launches Cyber Security Task Force
National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Data Security Council of India (DSCI) have launched NASSCOM Cyber Security Task Force.
The aim of task force is to build India as a global hub for providing cyber security solutions, developing cyber security Research & Development (R&D) plan and develop a skilled workforce of cyber security experts.
Rajendra Pawar, Chairman of NIIT will chair this task force and its members will include industry leaders from across various sectors like Information Technology (IT), BPM and internet.

·         2 Indians posthumously chosen for UN’s prestigious Dag Hammarskjold Medal Share
Two Indian peacekeepers have been chosen posthumously for United Nation’s Dag Hammarskjold Medal. They are Lance Naik Nand Ram andRaju Joseph. Both of them are among the 126 police, military and civilian personnel who have been posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal.

·         A new species of fish called Pethia striata was discovered by ecologists in Tunga River in the Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka.

·         Yamuna Expressway becomes India’s first road runway after IAF Mirage 2000 jet successfully lands
Yamuna Expressway in Uttar Pradesh had become India’s first road runway after Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 fighter jet successfully landed as part of trials to use national highways for emergency landing.
The first of its kind initiative in India’s aviation history took place on Yamuna Expressway near Mathura with active support from Uttar Pradesh government, Yamuna Expressway Authority. It should be noted that Yamuna Expressway is the longest Greenfield expressway in the country.

·         Astra missile successfully test-fired from Sukhoi-30 MKI in Odisha
Indigenously-developed beyond visual range air-to-air Astra missile was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, Odisha.
In the test, the missile was fired from Sukhoi -30 MKI fighter jet in two developmental trials to prove its long range capability.
It can engage targets in head-on up to 80 km and tail-chase up to 20 km modes and can reach up to 110 km when fired from an altitude of 15 km and 44 km when launched from an altitude of 8 km and 21 km when fired from sea level.

Science & Technology:
  • World’s first artificial molecular pump developed
Scientists have developed the first man-made molecular pump which is capable to transport key proteins to cells for its functioning and can be used to power artificial muscles.
This system on carrier proteins was modeled by J. Fraser Stoddart and coworkers at Northwestern University. This system basically can pump ions, electrons, protons or molecules across membranes of cells to produce energy.

  • Union Government constitutes Committee headed by Vijay Kelkar to revisit PPP infra model
Union government has constituted a 10-member committee to review and revitalise public private partnership (PPP) mode of infrastructure development. The committee will be chaired by former finance secretary Vijay Kelkar and submit its report within a period of 3 months from the date of its Constitution.
Members of Committee: C.S. Rajan, Dr. Shekhar Shah, S.B. Nayar, Pradeep Kumar, Vikram Limaye, Sudipto Sarkar, P.S. Behuria, Sharmila Chavaly, Representative of Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
Terms of Reference of the Committee :
  1. Review of the experience of PPP Policy. It will also include the variations in contents of contracts and difficulties experienced with particular conditions.
  2. Suggest optimal risk sharing mechanism by analyzing risks involved in PPP projects in different sectors. It will also look into existing framework of sharing of such risks between the Government and project developer.
  3. Propose design modifications to the contractual arrangements of the PPP based on best international practices and in correspondence with our institutional context.
  4. Suggest measure to Government in order to improve capacity building for effective implementation of the PPP projects.
  5. For firming-up its recommendations, the Committee may consult various stake holders in the different sectors including private, government sector, legal experts, banking and financial institutions and academia.

  • Meghalaya has achieved 100 percent success in implementing Union Government’s flagship scheme for financial inclusion-Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY).

Important Dates this Month:

May 01 : International Labour Day, Maharashtra Day
May 03 : International Energy Day
May 08 : International Red Cross Day (It is celebraed to commemorate the birth anniversary of the founder of the Red Cross Organization Jean Henry Dunant)
May 11 : National Technology Day
May 15 : International Family Day
May 17 : World Telecom Day
May 24 : Commonwealth Day
May 31 : World No Tobacco Day

Show your appreciation by liking or sharing the post:
Next Post »