Current Affairs Update – 19th May, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 19th May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming UIIC AO 2016, SBI PO and SBI Clerk Mains 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 19th May, 2016

  1. The
    Income Tax (IT) department on 17 May 2016 launched an electronic grievance redressal system e-nivaran to
    fast track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.
  2. Amazon
    India today forged a
    partnership with Development Commissioner Handloom of the Union Ministry of Textiles
    under which it will educate, train and enable cooperatives and weavers to
    directly sell their products on the online portal.
  3. British lender HSBC
    on Thursday announced a consolidation exercise under which it will almost halve
    its branches in the country to 26 as customers shift to digital alternatives for
    their banking transactions.
  4. App-based cab service provider Ola
    has launched a unique initiative for travellers arriving at the Kempegowda
    International Airport (KIA)
    . Through this first-of- its-kind
    agreement.
  5. Japanese firm Nomura has
    exited from its JV with LIC Mutual Fund
    . LIC Nomura Mutual Fund is
    again being positioned as LIC Mutual Fund — the original name it had before
    Nomura came in with 35 per cent stake in the joint venture.
  6. State-owned BHEL today said it
    has commissioned a 250 mw thermal unit in Maharashtra. The unit has been
    commissioned at Parli
    Thermal Power Station (TPS)
    , located in Beed district in the
    Marathwada region of Maharashtra, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) said
    in a BSE filing.
  7. Apple Inc. on 19 May 2016 opened
    a new Development Office in Hyderabad
    , Telangana. The office was
    formally opened by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
  8. Apple Inc. on 18 May 2016
    announced establishment of a new iOS App
    Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru
    .
  9. Heavy rainfall coupled with gusty
    surface wind is likely to pound some parts of Odisha as the deep depression
    over west-central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘ROANU’
    on Thursday.
  10. Uttar Pradesh government Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) with Kingdom
    Company
    of veteran actor Sanjay Khan to establish a 1,000-acre theme
    park along the Agra Ring Road
    , which connects the Yamuna Expressway and
    the under-construction Lucknow-Agra Expressway.
  11. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on 18 May 2016 conducted the
    trial run of India’s first ever Metro train equipped to run in the driverless
    mode
    . The train was ceremonially flagged off by Union Minister for
    Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
  12. The Odisha Government on 17 May 2016 decided to launch Green Passage
    Scheme for orphan students
    . The scheme will ensure that the orphan
    students get free of cost higher education in the state.
  13. India on 18 May 2016 successfully test fired indigenously developed
    Prithvi-II
    missile
    from the Chandipur, off
    Odisha coast.
  14. United Nations Secretary-General
    Ban Ki-moon on 18 May 2016 appointed Patricia Espinosa Cantellano of Mexico as
    Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention
    on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

Finance/Economy/Industry –
IT department launches e-nivaran platform to fast track taxpayer
grievances

  • The Income Tax (IT) department on
    17 May 2016 launched an electronic grievance redressal system e-nivaran to fast
    track taxpayer grievances and ensure early resolution of their complaints.
  • In this regard, a separate and
    dedicated window for grievance redressal was also launched in the Income Tax
    Business Application (ITBA).

Highlights of the e-nivaran system
  • The e-nivaran system, also named
    as Unified Grievance Management System, seeks to integrate all online and
    physical complaints gathered by the department.
  • The complaints at this platform
    will be monitored by the Assessing Officer up to the supervisory officers in a
    paperless environment.
  • The system not only records the
    origin of the grievance on the electronic platform it works on, but it also
    keeps tracking it till it reaches its logical conclusion for final resolution.
  • It will also ensure that
    grievances related to any section or domain of the IT department is transferred
    quickly to the concerned department.

Amazon India teams up with govt to boost handloom sales

  • Amazon India today forged a
    partnership with Development Commissioner Handloom of the Union Ministry of
    Textiles under which it will educate, train and enable cooperatives and weavers
    to directly sell their products on the online portal.
  • The partnership allows Amazon
    India to engage with weavers in Kota in Rajasthan, Nadia in West Bengal,
    Bargarh in Odisha and Bijoynagar in Assam.
  • The products will carry
    government certifications ‘India Handloom Brand’ and ‘Handloom Mark’, ensuring
    availability of quality products to shoppers across the globe, Amazon India
    said in a release here.
  • The company has already deployed
    teams in the four states and conducted workshops in Kota and Bargarh,
    introducing weavers to online selling and Amazon.In’s seller services that will
    help them kickstart their online business, it said.

HSBC to halve branches in India as customers go digital

  • British lender HSBC on Thursday
    announced a consolidation exercise under which it will almost halve its
    branches in the country to 26 as customers shift to digital alternatives for
    their banking transactions.
  • The total number of branches will
    be coming down to 26 in 14 cities from 50 in 29 cities earlier, with a bulk of
    the impact in smaller centres.
  • It added that the impacted
    branches account for only 10 per cent of the customer base in the country.
  • The reduction in branches is due
    to customers’ adoption of digital solutions, it said.
  • The consolidation exercise is the
    result of a strategic review of retail and wealth management vertical and will
    be carried out in the coming months in a phased manner, said HSBC, which has been
    present in India since 1853.

Ola signs MoU with Kempegowda International Airport

  • App-based cab service provider
    Ola has launched a unique initiative for travellers arriving at the Kempegowda
    International Airport (KIA). Through this first-of- its-kind agreement.
  • Ola will have a designated ‘Ola
    Zone’ at the airport where its driver-partners will be able to park their
    vehicles and offer uninterrupted service to travellers.
  • The move will help users to get
    an Ola cab within less than three minutes.
  • Ola has also deputed queue
    representatives to guide customers towards their cab if need be.
  • The company aims to replicate
    this model at other key public utility spaces such as railways stations and bus
    stations in Bengaluru and other cities.

LIC Nomura Mutual Fund is LIC MF again after Nomura quits

  • Japanese firm Nomura has exited
    from its JV with LIC Mutual Fund. LIC Nomura Mutual Fund is again being
    positioned as LIC Mutual Fund — the original name it had before Nomura came in
    with 35 per cent stake in the joint venture.
  • There are now two new partners in
    LIC Mutual fund – GIC Housing Finance and Corporation Bank with 11.7 per cent
    and 4 per cent stake, respectively.
  • Meanwhile, the existing partner
    LIC Housing Finance has picked up another 19.3 per cent stake to reach 39.3 per
    cent in the company.
  • The rest 45 per cent is owned by
    the parent firm Life Corporation of India.

BHEL commissions 250 mw thermal unit in Maharashtra

  • State-owned BHEL today said it
    has commissioned a 250 mw thermal unit in Maharashtra.
  • The unit has been commissioned at
    Parli Thermal Power Station (TPS), located in Beed district in the Marathwada
    region of Maharashtra, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) said in a BSE
    filing.
  • The project is owned by
    Maharashtra State Power Generation Company (Mahagenco). This is the eighth
    coal-based unit commissioned by BHEL at Parli TPS.
  • BHEL has been a major partner in
    the power development programme of the state and has commissioned 16,000 mw of
    power generation capacity in Maharashtra, its highest in any single state.

Rehabilitation of Bonded Labourer Scheme – 2016 to be Made Central
Sector Scheme
  • Union Government on 17 May 2016
    announced that it is working to revise the rehabilitation of bonded labour
    scheme and make it a Central Sector Scheme.
  • The revised scheme was announced
    by Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (IC) labour and Employment.
  • Implementation of the new rules
    will replace Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976.

Highlights of the revision
  • Quantum of Assistance: It
    increases the quantum of financial assistance from 20 thousand rupees to one
    lakh rupees.
  • Cash Assistance may extend to two
    lakh rupees in Special Cases and to three lakh rupees in cases of extreme
    deprivation.

Apple opens Development Office in Hyderabad

  • Apple Inc. on 19 May 2016 opened
    a new Development Office in Hyderabad, Telangana. The office was formally
    opened by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook.
  • The facility will focus on
    development of Maps for Apple products, including iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple
    Watch. This investment will accelerate Maps development and create up to 4000
    jobs.
  • Apple has been continually
    updating and adding new features to Maps, including 3D views, the Flyover
    feature and tools to help customers find convenient places to shop, eat and
    explore nearby areas.
  • With iOS 9 Apple added Transit,
    offering a combination of trains, subways, buses and walking, which is already
    available for more than 300 cities around the world.

Apple announces iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru
  • Apple Inc. on 18 May 2016
    announced establishment of a new iOS App Design and Development Accelerator in
    Bengaluru.
  • The new initiative is aimed at
    supporting engineering talent and accelerating growth in India’s iOS developer
    community.
  • This facility is in addition to
    the Development Office that was formally opened by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook in
    Hyderabad on 19 May 2016.

Features of the new facility
  • Apple’s team will work to inspire
    and instruct developers on best practices, help them hone their skills and
    transform the design, quality and performance of their apps on the iOS platform.
  • The developers will be given
    access to tools which will help them create innovative apps for customers
    around the world.
  • The facility will also provide
    support and guidance on Swift, Apple’s powerful and intuitive programming
    language created to build apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV and Apple Watch.
  • Swift enables developers to write
    safer, more reliable code, save time and create richer app experiences.
  • The facility is expected to open
    in early 2017.

Sponsored


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

India –
Cyclone ‘ROANU’: Heavy rainfall predicted across Odisha

  • Heavy rainfall coupled with gusty
    surface wind is likely to pound some parts of Odisha as the deep depression
    over west-central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘ROANU’ on
    Thursday.
  • The deep depression over
    west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal moved nearly
    north-northeastwards before intensifying into the cyclonic storm ‘ROANU’ and
    lay centred about 590 km southeast of Gopalpur, the Meteorological Centre here
    said.
  • The system is likely to move
    north-northeastwards along and off the Andhra Pradesh coast in the next 24
    hours and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm.
  • Subsequently, the system is
    likely to move northeastwards along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in
    48 hours, it said.

Uttar Pradesh govt signs MoU to build theme park in Agra

  • Uttar Pradesh government
    Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Kingdom Company of
    veteran actor Sanjay Khan to establish a 1,000-acre theme park along the Agra
    Ring Road, which connects the Yamuna Expressway and the under-construction
    Lucknow-Agra Expressway.
  • The MoU was signed between Uttar
    Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation and Kingdom Company in
    presence of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Sanjay Khan.
  • Targetting international as well
    as domestic tourists, the theme park would showcase seven cities in different
    time periods — ancient, medieval and modern — such as Mohenjo Daro,
    Pataliputra, Gupta age, Mahabharata age and Ramayana age. Statues of freedom
    fighters would also be put up.
  • Similar to Disneyland, the park
    would have a five star accommodation, shops and a place called “Swayamvar”,
    which would be used for organising marriage ceremonies.
  • To be constructed with an
    investment of about Rs 10,000 crore in next 10 years, the project would be
    developed in four phases.

DMRC conducts trial run of India’s first ever Driverless Metro train

  • The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
    (DMRC) on 18 May 2016 conducted the trial run of India’s first ever Metro train
    equipped to run in the driverless mode. The train was ceremonially flagged off
    by Union Minister for Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief
    Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
  • The six-coach train was ferried
    to India from South Korea by sea and was brought by road to Delhi on special
    trailers. DMRC has already assembled 14 such trains and will add 3-4 trains
    every month to take the total count to 86.

Odisha to launch Green Passage Scheme for orphan students

  • The Odisha Government on 17 May
    2016 decided to launch Green Passage Scheme for orphan students.
  • The scheme will ensure that the
    orphan students get free of cost higher education in the state.
  • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik
    also gave his green signal for the scheme, which would function under the
    department of higher education.

Key highlights of the scheme
  • Orphan students pursuing higher
    education from Plus-II level to post-graduation level will no longer have to
    bear the education expenses.
  • As many as 16382 orphan students
    lodged in 272 institutions across the state, will be exempted of admission fee,
    tuition fees and laboratory fees for higher studies.
  • They will be provided free hostel
    facilities and food.

India successfully test fires
indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile

  • India on 18 May 2016 successfully
    test fired indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile from the Chandipur, off
    Odisha coast.
  • As part of a user trial, the
    surface-to-surface missile was fired from a mobile launcher from launch
    complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range.
  • The launch activities were
    carried out by the Strategic Force Command and monitored by the DRDO
    scientists.

Features of Prithvi-II Missile
  • It weighs 4600 kilogram and has a
    strike range of 350 kilometer.
  • It is capable of carrying 500 kg
    to 1000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines.
  • It is the first missile to be
    developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under India’s
    Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP).

Appointments –
UN Secretary-General appoints Patricia Espinosa Cantellano Executive
Secretary of UNFCCC

  • United Nations Secretary-General
    Ban Ki-moon on 18 May 2016 appointed Patricia Espinosa Cantellano of Mexico as
    Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
    Change (UNFCCC). 
  • The appointment was made after
    consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.
  • Espinosa Cantellano will succeed
    Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica.

Rakesh Kumar Mishra appointed as CCMB director
  • Rakesh Kumar Mishra, a noted
    expert in the study of function of genes, has been appointed as the new
    Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) by the Council
    for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
  • Mishra had joined CCMB in 2001 as
    a senior scientist after stints at the IISc, Bangalore, the University of
    Bordeaux, France, Saint Louise University, USA and the University of Geneva,
    Switzerland for post-doctoral experience.
  • An MSc from Allahabad University,
    Mishra’s research interests include investigating evolutionarily conserved
    features of genome organisation, chromatin structure and epigenetic regulation
    of genes during embryonic development stages.

World –
UN-Habitat releases World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and
Development: Emerging Futures

  • The UN-Habitat on 18 May 2016
    released the new global flagship report on sustainable urban development titled
    World Cities Report 2016, Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures.
  • The report states that a New
    Urban Agenda is needed to unlock the transformative power of cities.

Highlights of the World Cities Report 2016
  • The top 600 cities, with 1/5th of
    the world’s population, produce 60 percent of global GDP.
  • Since the last UN conference on
    cities Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996, the center of gravity for megacities has
    shifted to developing regions.
  • In 1995, there were 22 large
    cities, and 14 megacities globally; by 2015, both categories of cities had
    doubled with 79 percent of the megacities, that are located in Latin America,
    Asia and Africa.

India in World Cities Report 2016
  • India is projected to add 300
    million new urban residents by 2050 and it will need to build climate-friendly
    cities to address the challenge of accommodating the needs of the growing
    population.
  • India should plan to build 100
    smart cities in response to the country’s growing population and pressure on
    urban infrastructure.

Nokia, HMD signs 10-year licensing deal to market Nokia-branded phones
and tablets
  • Finland-based companies Nokia
    Technologies and HMD global Oy (HMD) on 18 May 2016 signed a 10-year licensing
    agreement to market Nokia-branded phones and tablets.
  • As part of this brand-licensing
    deal, Nokia will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of Nokia-branded
    mobile products, covering both brand and intellectual property rights.
  • In 2014, Nokia sold its entire
    handset business to Microsoft under a 7.2 billion US dollars deal. While the
    deal majorly covered manufacturing, sales and distribution, Nokia held on to
    its phone patents.

Sports –
Indian Women’s 4 x 100m Relay Team breaks national record at IAAF World
Challenge

  • The Indian 4x100m women’s relay
    team on 18 May 2016 broke the 18-year-old national record to finish in 4th
    position at the IAAF World Challenge held in Beijing, China.
  • The 4x100m women relay team,
    which included Dutee Chand, Srabani Nanda, HM Jyoti and Merlin Joseph, clocked
    44.03 seconds to finish the race.
  • The clocked time broke the
    18-year-old record of 44.43s created by the quartet of Saraswati Dey, Rachita
    Mistry, EB Shyla and PT Usha on 22 July 1998 in Fukuoka, Japan.

Regards

Team ExamPundit