Current Affairs Update – 22nd-23rd May, 2016

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 22nd and 23rd May, 2016. These are important for the upcoming UIIC AO 2016, SBI Clerk and SBI PO Mains 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 22nd-23rd May, 2016

  1. India
    and Iran inked a dozen agreements ranging
    from a contract to develop the strategic Chahabar port to an initial pact to
    set up an aluminium plant
    and one on laying a railway line to give
    India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  2. India, Iran and Afghanistan on Monday inked an agreement on the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman that
    will make it a transport and transit hub to boost trade.
  3. Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on
    20 May 2016 tightened the norms for investing in Participatory Notes (P-Notes). The norms have been tightened with a view to
    check money laundering.
  4. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 23 May 2016
    successfully launched its maiden indigenous winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh.
  5. In a landmark judgement, the
    National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench in Kerala on Monday banned light and heavy
    diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old
    , in six major
    cities, including state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial capital
    Kochi, in Kerala.
  6. India and Oman on 22 May 2016 signed 4 Memorandums of
    Understanding (MoUs)/agreements in Muscat
    . They were signed during the
    visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.
  7. BJP leader and former IPS officer
    Kiran
    Bedi
    was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor
    (LG) of Puducherry
    on 22 May 2016. Puducherry will now have a full time Lt.
    Governor after a gap of two year.
  8. The International Day to End Obstetric
    Fistula
    was observed across the world on 23 May 2016 with the theme
    End fistula within a generation.
  9. The United Nations (UN) observed
    the International
    Day for Biological Diversity (IBD)
    on
    22 May 2016.
  10. Denmark on 22 May 2016 won the 2016 Thomas Cup
    badminton tournament
    . Ending a 67-year wait, this was Denmark’s
    first ever win in the international tournament. Earlier, it had finished
    runner-up at the men’s international team tournament. Denmark is also the first
    European nation to win the Thomas Cup.
  11. Chinese women badminton team
    showing its supremacy on 21 May 2016 won the Uber Cup title.
  12. The world’s oldest Olympic
    champion, Sandor
    Tarics
    , died on 21 May 2016 in San Francisco. 

Finance/Economy –
India, Iran signs 12 MoUs and Agreements

  • India and Iran inked a dozen
    agreements ranging from a contract to develop the strategic Chahabar port to an
    initial pact to set up an aluminium plant and one on laying a railway line to
    give India connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia.
  • The agreements and MoUs signed
    during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran will further deepen the
    bilateral ties in diverse fields.

List of MoUs/Agreements
  1. India-Iran Cultural Exchange
    Programme – The objective is to extend the CEP for the period 2016-2019
    covering the areas of culture and art; radio, TV, mass media and cinema; and
    relevant general and financial terms.
  2. MoU between the Ministry of
    External Affairs (MEA) of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of
    Iran on Policy Dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks
    – The MoU seeks to create a Joint Secretary/Director General policy dialogue as
    well as encouraging new institutional mechanisms between think tanks on both
    sides. There is also a provision for a conference on contemporary issues of
    regional and global significance.
  3. MoU between Foreign Service
    Institute, MEA and the School of International Relations, Iran’s MoFA – This
    MoU is intended to enhance cooperation between the two parties for training of
    diplomats and exchange of eminent speakers.
  4. Implementation Protocol
    between Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of S&T and Iran’s
    Ministry of Science, Research and Technology on Cooperation in the Fields of
    Science and Technology – The IP fleshes out the specific cooperation between
    the two sides pursuant to the 2003 MoU and covers areas like exchange of
    experiences, seminars, conferences etc.
  5. MoU between Indian Council
    for Cultural Relations and Islamic Culture and Relations Organizations of the
    IR Iran – The MoU provides for institutional mechanisms for cooperation between
    ICCR and ICRO and lays down the modalities for the cooperation.
  6. Bilateral contract on
    Chabahar Port for port development and operations between IPGPL [India Ports
    Global Private Limited] and Arya Banader of Iran – The contract envisages
    development and operation for 10 years of two terminals and 5 berths with cargo
    handling [multipurpose and general] capacities.
  7. MoU between EXIM Bank and
    Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization [PMO] oncurrent specific terms for the
    Chabahar Port project – This MoU is intended for the purpose of credit of USD
    150 million for Chabahar port.
  8. Confirmation Statement
    between EXIM Bank and Central Bank of Iran – This confirms the availability of
    credit up to INR 3000 crore for the import of steel rails and implementation of
    Chabahar port.
  9. MoU between ECGC [Export
    Credit Guarantee Corporation] Limited of India and the Export Guarantee Fund of
    Iran (EGFI) – The MoU seeks to establish a framework of cooperation between
    ECGC and EGFI in supporting and encouraging foreign trade and foreign
    investment between India and Iran and, where appropriate, the supply of goods
    and services from their respective countries as part of a project to a third
    country.
  10. MoU between National
    Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries
    Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) – The objective is for the two
    parties to jointly explore the possibility of manufacturing aluminium metal by
    setting up of a smelter on joint venture basis in Iran and/or entering into
    tolling arrangements with smelters in Iran or any other form of business
    collaboration including sale of alumina etc.
  11. MoU between IRCON and
    Construction, Development of Transport and Infrastructure Company (CDTIC) of
    Iran – MoU will enable IRCON to provide requisite services for the construction
    of Chabahar-Zahedan railway line which forms part of transit and transportation
    corridor in trilateral agreement between India, Iran and Afghanistan. Services
    to be provided by IRCON include all superstructure work and financing the
    project (around USD 1.6 billion).
  12. MoU for cooperation between
    the National Archives of India and the National Library and Archives
    Organisation of the Islamic Republic of Iran – The aim to for facilitation of
    exchange of information and knowledge in the field of archival matters through
    exchange of manuals, guidelines, rules, publications and other special
    literature on archival topics.

India, Iran, Afghanistan sign Chabahar port agreement

  • India, Iran and Afghanistan on
    Monday inked an agreement on the Chabahar port on the Gulf of Oman that will
    make it a transport and transit hub to boost trade.
  • “A corridor of connectivity.
    The leaders witness the signing of the Chabahar agreement,” external
    affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
  • The agreement was signed
    following a trilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Iranian
    President Hassan Rouhani and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport
    and Shipping Nitin Gadkari signed the agreement on India’s behalf.
  • Earlier on Monday, India and Iran
    signed three bilateral agreements for the development of Chabahar port.
  • The agreement to develop Phase I
    of Chabahar port is seen as India’s counter to the development of the deep-sea
    port of Gwadar, in Balochistan in Pakistan, located just 72 km away.
  • The development of Chabahar port
    will allow India to circumvent Pakistan and open up an alternative land-sea
    route for its trade with Afghanistan and beyond to Central Asia.
  • India has already spent $100
    million in building the 220-km Zaranj-Delaram highway in Afghanistan, also
    known as Route 606, which connects to Chabahar.
  • India committed around $500
    million for the important port in Iran’s southern coast, which will serve as a
    “point of connectivity” between India, Afghanistan, Commonwealth of
    Independent States (CIS) countries and East Europe.

SEBI tightens P-Notes norms to check money laundering
  • Market regulator Securities and
    Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 20 May 2016 tightened the norms for investing
    in Participatory Notes (P-Notes). The norms have been tightened with a view to
    check money laundering.

As per the norms
  • It has been mandatory for P-Notes
    users to follow the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
  • They have also been mandated to
    report any suspicious transactions immediately.
  • Sebi also tightened the
    due-diligence requirements for issuance and transfer of these instruments
  • It also put the onus on the
    original issuer for compliance to Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.

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India –
India’s first reusable space shuttle, RLV-TD launched from Sriharikota

  • Indian Space Research
    Organisation (ISRO) on 23 May 2016 successfully launched its maiden indigenous
    winged Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) from Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra
    Pradesh.
  • It was carried up on a solid
    rocket motor (SRM). The nine-ton SRM was designed to burn slowly to accommodate
    the vertical lifting of winged body.
  • After launch from the Sriharikota
    spaceport, it glided back onto a virtual runway in the Bay of Bengal. The
    vehicle re-entered the atmosphere after reaching a height of over 70 km.
  • The mission, known as the
    hypersonic flight experiment, lasted about 10 minutes.

About Reusable Launch Vehicle
  • The Re-Usable Launch Vehicle –
    Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) is considered as a first step towards
    realising a Two Stage To Orbit (TSTO) fully reusable vehicle. That is, it can
    put satellites into orbit around earth and then re-enter atmosphere.
  • The 6.5 meter long RLV-TD has
    aeroplane like structure which weighs about 1.75 tons.
  • The cost of this project is 95
    crore rupees.
  • It is very similar to the US
    space shuttle.
  • The double delta-winged RLV-TD
    being experimented is a scale model which is almost 6 times smaller than the
    final version.

Diesel vehicles over 10 years banned in Kerala

  • In a landmark judgement, the
    National Green Tribunal Circuit Bench here on Monday banned light and heavy
    diesel vehicles, which are more than 10 years old, in six major cities,
    including state capital Thiruvananthapuram and commercial capital Kochi, in
    Kerala.
  • In its first sitting, the Bench,
    comprising NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar and expert member Bikram
    Singh Sajwan, also directed the state government not to register any diesel
    vehicle in the capacity of 2000 CC and more, except public transport and local
    authority vehicles.
  • “All the diesel vehicles whether
    light or heavy which are more than 10 years shall not be permitted to ply on
    the roads in the major cities like Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kochi, Thrissur,
    Kozhikode and Kannur,” the Bench said in its order.
  • Upon expiry of 30 days from Monday,
    if any vehicle is found to be violating this direction, it shall pay Rs. 5000
    as environmental compensation and this will be collected by traffic police or
    pollution control board, the Bench said.
  • It said both State police and
    pollution control board shall maintain separate account in this regard and
    directed that the funds shall be utilized for betterment of environment in
    these cities.

Railways offer alternate train accommodation to passengers

  • To help passengers using reserved
    accommodation, railways today extended alternative train accommodation system
    for five major routes connecting Howrah, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and
    Secunderabad from New Delhi.
  • The facility named as Vikalp
    offers passengers booked under the scheme will be given an option for getting
    alternate accommodation in another train if they do not get confirmed berths in
    the trains of their choice.
  • Under the scheme, waitlisted
    passengers can give choice to opt for Vikalp facility to get confirmed berths
    in alternate trains if they are getting waitlisted ticket in the train of their
    choice.
  • Vikalp scheme was announced in
    the budget and so we are implementing it, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said
    at Mumbai.
  • The scheme is implemented only on
    Mail/Express & Superfast trains and not applicable in Rajdhani, Shatabdi
    and Duronto trains.
  • Once a vikalp passenger has been
    allotted alternate accommodation, journey modification will not be permitted.
    No extra charges are taken from passenger or any refund is provided for
    difference of fare.

India, Oman signed 4 MoUs/Agreements on defence cooperation

  • India and Oman on 22 May 2016
    signed 4 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs)/agreements in Muscat. They were
    signed during the visit of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman.

Details related to MoUs/Agreements
  • MOU on Defence Cooperation
    between the Ministry of Defense of Sultanate of Oman and Ministry of Defence of
    India
  • MOU between the Royal Oman Police
    (Coast Guard) and the Indian Coast Guard in the field of Marine Crime
    Prevention at Sea
  • MOU between the Government of the
    Sultanate of Oman and India on Maritime Issues
  • Protocol between the Government
    of the Sultanate of Oman represented by Royal Air Force of Oman and the
    Government of India represented by the Indian Air Force on Flight Safety
    information Exchange

Himachal Pradesh begins artificial propagation programme of Golden
Mahseer fish for conservation

  • Himachal Pradesh fisheries
    department in the third week of May 2016 launched an artificial propagation
    programme for rehabilitation and conservation of Golden Mahseer fish.
  • A hatchery with an outlay of 6
    crore rupees has been set up at Machhial near Joginder Nagar town in Mandi district
    to rear the mahseer. The hatchery-reared juveniles would be released into the
    rivers and reservoirs.
  • The brooder fish reared in the
    hatchery was collected from the local rivers and streams.

Qora, indigenous faecal incontinence management device, launched
  • The Union Minister of State for
    Science and Technology YS Chowdary on 20 May 2016 launched Qora. It is an
    indigenously developed faecal incontinence (FI) management system.
  • The affordable device is
    primarily aimed at patients outside the intensive care unit.
  • Qora was developed by the
    Department of Biotechnology in partnership with AIIMS and IIT Delhi.
  • The international partners of the
    programme include Stanford University, US, Queensland University of Technology,
    Australia, and Tottori University, Japan.

Appointments –
Kiran Bedi appointed Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry

  • BJP leader and former IPS officer
    Kiran Bedi was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Puducherry on 22
    May 2016. Puducherry will now have a full time Lt. Governor after a gap of two
    year.
  • She will succeed Ajay Kumar
    Singh, the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, who was holding
    the additional charge of Puducherry since July 2014. The LG post of Puducherry
    was vacant after the union government in July 2014 sacked Virendra Kataria from
    the post.
  • The appointment comes into effect
    three days after the Congress-DMK alliance won 17 seats in the 30-member
    Assembly.

Days –
International Day to End Obstetric Fistula observed
  • The International Day to End
    Obstetric Fistula was observed across the world on 23 May 2016 with the theme
    End fistula within a generation. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about
    obstetric fistula.
  • The day was created through the
    resolution A/RES/67/147 of United Nations General Assembly calling on the
    international community to use this International Day to significantly raise
    awareness and intensify actions towards ending obstetric fistula.

International Day for Biological Diversity 2016 observed across the
world

  • The United Nations (UN) observed
    the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) on 22 May 2016. The theme
    for the year 2016 is Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their
    Livelihoods.
  • This year theme highlights the
    role of biodiversity in underpinning development. The UN also highlighted that
    biodiversity is an important cross-cutting issue in the message marking the
    2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sports –
Denmark wins first Thomas Cup badminton tournament

  • Denmark on 22 May 2016 won the
    2016 Thomas Cup badminton tournament. In the final match played at Kunshan,
    China, the Danish team defeated Indonesia 3-2.
  • In the fifth and final set,
    Danish Hans-Kristian Vittinghus defeated Indonesian Ihsan Maulana Mustofa in
    two straight games 21-16 and 21-7.
  • Ending a 67-year wait, this was
    Denmark’s first ever win in the international tournament. Earlier, it had
    finished runner-up at the men’s international team tournament.
  • Denmark is also the first European
    nation to win the Thomas Cup.

China wins Uber Cup Badminton tournament for 14th time
  • Chinese women badminton team
    showing its supremacy on 21 May 2016 won the Uber Cup title. In the final
    played at the Kunshan Sports Centre Gymnasium in Beijing, the host country
    defeated South Korea 3-1.
  • It was the host country’s third
    triumph in a row since 2012 and overall it won the title for 14th time since it
    first started competing in the Uber Cup in 1984.
  • However, South Korean team was
    unable to end their six-year drought at the Uber Cup.

Obituaries –
Oldest Olympic champion Sandor Tarics dies

  • The world’s oldest Olympic
    champion, Sandor Tarics, died on 21 May 2016 in San Francisco. He was 102. His
    death was confirmed by Hungarian Olympic Committee MOB.
  • Tarics was member of the
    Hungarian Waterpolo team which won in the Berlin Olympics staged by the Nazi
    government in 1936, pushing Germany into second place.

Regards

Team ExamPundit