29th May 2015 Daily Current Affairs:-India tops in World Hunger List with 194 Million People: UN Report
- India is home to the highest number of hungry people in the world, at 194 million, surpassing China, according to United Nations annual hunger report.
- At the global level, the corresponding figure dropped to 795 million in 2014-15, from 1 billion in 1990-92, with East Asia led by China accounting for most of the reductions, UN body Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said in its report titled 'The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015'.
- India too saw a reduction between 1990 and 2015, it added. In 1990-92, those who were starved of food in India numbered 210.1 million, which came down to 194.6 million in 2014-15.
- The overall analysis suggested that inclusive economic growth, agricultural investments and social protection, along with political stability, can eradicate hunger.
PK Sinha appointed cabinet secretary by Narendra Modi
- Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha was appointed as the next Cabinet Secretary of the government. He will succeed Ajit Seth who has been holding the position for the last four years.
- Sinha, a 1977-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, has been asked to take over as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in Cabinet Secretariat, an official release said. He will formally take over the new charge on June 13, it said.
- The Prime Minister has approved the appointment of Sinha as the next Cabinet Secretary with effect from June 13. Sinha has been serving as Power Secretary since July 2013.
- He has earlier served as the Shipping Secretary and has also held several other important positions in the Union Government and in his cadre state--Uttar Pradesh.
Renowned scientist Selvin Christopher appointed as DG of DRDO
- Eminent scientist Dr. Selvin Christopher has been appointed as the Director General (DG) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) along with the rank of a secretary.
- As a DG of DRDO, he will also severe as Secretary at Department of Defence Research and Development (DDR&D) for a period of 2 years from the date of taking over the charge.
- Prior to this appointment, S Christopher was Director of DRDO’s Centre for Air-Borne Systems (CABS), Bengaluru.
- Presently, he is also Programme Director of Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system. He was first pioneer first Indian scientist who had directed the manufacturing of India’s first indigenous AEW&C system.
Researchers Create First Single-Molecule Diode
- Led by Indian American scientist Latha Venkataraman, a team of researchers at Columbia Engineering have created an electronic diode the size of a single molecule that performs 50 times better than all prior diode designs.
- Their findings — which could have real-world applications in regards to nanotechnology — were published on May 25 in the paper, “Single-Molecule Diodes with High On-Off Ratios through Environmental Control,” via the Nature Nanotechnology journal.
- The idea of creating a single-molecule diode was suggested by Arieh Aviram and Mark Ratner who theorised in 1974 that a molecule could act as a rectifier, a one-way conductor of electric current.
- She and her team are now working on understanding the fundamental physics behind their discovery and trying to increase the rectification ratios they observed, using new molecular systems.
90 Percent Of Global Chemical Weapons Stockpile 'Destroyed'
- Nobel peace prize winning organisation OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has achieved major milestone of destroying 90 per cent of the global chemical weapons stockpile.
- OPCW has mentioned that around 65,000 metric tonnes of declared chemical weapons, mostly from US and Russian arsenals of cold war era have been destroyed in a safe manner.
- It also includes total of 1,300 metric tonnes of chemical weapons removed from Syria in 2014. The remaining stockpile is underway in phase of destruction and is scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020 and 2023. The weapons stockpiles included caches containing chemicals needed to make deadly nerve agents like Sarin.
- OPCW is an intergovernmental organisation, headquatered in Hague, Netherlands. The organisation promotes, administers and verifies the adherence to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (CWC).
23-year-old US-educated Yaduveer crowned ‘Maharaja of Mysuru’
- In a traditional ceremony, US-educated Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar, the adopted son of Pramoda Devi Wodeyar, is crowned as the titular head of the erstwhile Mysuru royal family.
- The coronation took place at Kalyana Mantap in Amba Vilas Palace in Mysuru at an auspicious hour this morning amid Vedic chants and slogans hailing the Mysuru royalty and the 23-year-old “King” as he ascended the silver throne ‘Bhadrasana’.
- Yaduveer, the 27th King of Wodeyar dynasty, will have to wait until Dasara to ascend the golden throne, when he will preside over the ‘khasa (private) durbar’, which is reminiscent of the bygone era.
- Pramoda Devi Wodeyar, widow of Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wodeyar, the last descendant of the Wodeyar dynasty, formally adopted Yaduveer Gopal Raj Urs in February, after which he was rechristened as Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wodeyar.
Bharti Airtel surges 6% after Vodafone stake sale
- UK telecom major Vodafone has sold its 4.2% stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd to Bharti Enterprises (Holding) Pvt Ltd for $200 million.
- In 2005, Vodafone had picked 10% stake in Bharti Airtel. Following its entry into the Indian market with its buyout of Huntchinson stake in Hutch Essar, Vodafone brought its stake in Bharati Airtel down to 5%.
- Vodafone's decision to offload its stake in largest telecom operator in India, in terms of subscribers base, follows the new unified licence (UL) regime in Department of Telecommunication.
- Vodafone's Indian unit, the country's No. 2 carrier, is Bharti Airtel's closest competitor in the market.
30th May 2015 Daily Current Affairs:-7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes off Japan
- A powerful undersea earthquake south of Japan has shaken buildings in Tokyo.
- The US Geological Survey said the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was centred 874km (543 miles) from the Japanese capital, at a depth of almost 700m.
- It struck at 18:30 local time (11:30 GMT). Buildings in the capital swayed for almost a minute as the quake built in intensity.
29th and 30th May 2015 Daily Current Affairs Updates for Bank,SSC and Rly. Exams
- Tokyo Electric Power Company said there were no abnormalities at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant following the quake. The runways at Tokyo's Narita airport were operating normally but the high-speed bullet train service between Tokyo and Osaka was halted due to a power outage.
Finance Minister inaugurated New Bank Note Paper Line unit in Hoshangabad, MP
- As part of Make in India, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely inaugurates Indigenous New Bank Note printing lines at Security Paper Mill in Hoshangabad.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the New Bank Note Paper Line of 6,000 metric tonnes capacity at Security Paper Mill, Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh.
- The Bank Note Paper Line in Mysore with 12,000 Metric Tonnes capacity is expected to be commissioned by the year end.
- The government is expected to save foreign exchange worth 1,500 crore rupees by commissioning two new bank paper lines in Hoshangabad and Mysore for indigenously printing Indian currency.
- The production of the Bank Note paper from these two units will reduce the import considerably. This will also reduce possibility of diversion of the paper supplied by the foreign suppliers to the other destinations for the purpose of generating the fake currency.
India Outpaces China as GDP Rises by 7.5% in Q4
- The Indian economy expanded 7.3% in the year ended March, in line with the initial forecast and marginally higher than 6.9% recorded in the previous year, pointing to a soft recovery and strengthening the case for a rate cut on June 2 when Reserve Bank reviews monetary policy.
- The data released by India's statistics office on Friday showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 7.5% in January-March 2015 compared with 6.7% —after a downward revision from 7.5% — in the October quarter, signalling a slight pickup.
- This comes as the US said that its GDP contracted 0.7% owing to shipping delays, dollar dominance and a harsh cold season.
- The January-March growth is ahead of 7% recorded by China, in line with independent forecasts that India is set to take on the man tle of fastest-growing large economy in the current fiscal. China's economy expanded 7.4% in the 2014 calendar year.
RBI issues draft norms for mass transport pre-paid cards
- RBI has issued draft guidelines on mobility cards that will allow you to travel without cash in metros, buses and taxis carrying prepaid cards with value up to Rs. 2,000.
- In a bid to boost prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) for commuting, RBI has introduced a new category of prepaid payment instruments that will be issued by the mass transit operators (such as metro or road transport).
- The PPI- MTS (mass transit systems) will necessarily contain the Automated Fare Collection application related to the transit service and can be used at other merchants whose activities are allied to or are carried on within the premises of the transit system only,” RBI said in the draft circular, which will be open to comments and feedback.
- With a minimum validity of six months from the issue date, the PPI- MTS will be reloadable with a balance limit of Rs. 2,000. No cash-out or refund will be permitted from these PPI, the central bank said.
Niti Aayog gets two new advisers; 10 new JS appointed
- Alok Kumar and Jitendra Kumar have been appointed as advisers in Niti Aayog for five years as part of a minor bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the government.
- Alok is a 1993 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre while Jitendra (1987 batch) is Indian Forest Service officer of Uttarakhand cadre.
- Anna Roy has been appointed as Joint Secretary (JS) in the Department of Financial Services, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said. Roy, a 1992 batch officer of Indian Economic Service, will have tenure till October 31, 2017. She is working as a Director in the same department.
Service Tax Rate @ 14% applicable from 1st June
- Finance Minister while presenting the Budget 2015 has increased the Service Tax Rate from 12.36% to flat 14%.
- However, the date from which the new Service tax rate is applicable was not announced in the Budget. On 19th May, the Finance Ministry announced that the new Service Tax Rate @ 14% would be applicable from 1st June.
- The rate of Service Tax for services provided before 1st June is 12.36% and for services provided after 1st June is 14%.
Sepp Blatter Withstands Scandal and Criticism to Secure a Fifth Term
- Sepp Blatter began his fifth term as Fifa president in defiant mood, suggesting that he had survived a US-sponsored campaign to oust him, but admitted that world football’s governing body would have to work hard to repair relations with its sponsors.
- Mr Blatter said he would have to repair relations with football’s biggest sponsors, including Visa and Coca-Cola, admitting that the storm of the past week had tarnished Fifa.
- Fifa earned $1.6bn from sponsorship over the four-year cycle leading to the 2014 Brazil World Cup, 29 per cent of its total revenue.
- He noted that the US had lost out to Qatar in the bidding to host the 2022 World Cup and said the US was the “number one sponsor” of Jordan, home of Prince Ali.