Current Affairs

May 30, 2019
  1. The British-Sri Lankan human rights documentary maker- turned debut novelist, Guy Gunaratne has won the 2019 £30,000 Swansea University International Dylan Thomas prize for his debut novel ‘In Our Mad and Furious City’. It is the fictional account of 48 hours in a North London housing estate after the murder of a British soldier. Gunaratne is a human rights documentary maker-turned-debut novelist. The £30,000 Prize is awarded to the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged 39 or under.
  2. India and China Industry Cooperation Forum was held in Guizhou, China. The objective was to create a new chapter in India-China cooperation in the new era of the digital transition. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has also opened an Information Technology (IT) corridor for the purpose of better exchanges between two countries in the IT sector. The idea is also to help Indian companies especially small and medium enterprises to connect with China businesses looking for partners in IT sector.
  3. Scott Morrison has been sworn in as the Australia’s Prime Minister, 11 days after retaining the position in the country’s general election. He was sworn in by Queen Elizabeth’s official representative in Australia, Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, at a ceremony in Canberra.
  4. The theme for UN-Habitat Assembly is “Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities”. The event was inaugurated by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta. ii. This is the first session of UN-Habitat Assembly held at Nairobi, Kenya, its headquarters. It began on May 27 and will conclude on May 31, 2019.
  5. Sri Lanka, Japan, and India signed an agreement to jointly develop the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port on 28th May. The joint initiative is estimated to cost between $500 million and $700 million. The signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) is significant, given that the countries had been negotiating the deal since last year with little success. As per the agreement, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) retains 100% ownership of the East Container Terminal (ECT), while the Terminal Operations Company is jointly owned. Sri Lanka will hold a 51% stake in the project and the joint venture partners will retain 49%.
  6. Srei Equipment Finance tied up with Oriental Bank of Commerce to offer loans for the purchase of equipment under a co-lending arrangement.Srei Equipment Finance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Srei Infrastructure Finance. The funds for the project will be sourced through a platform named iQuippo, a unique digital market place of Kanoria Foundation. It will help in loan origination, loan dues collection, auction of equipment, valuation of equipment and other facilities.The co-lending arrangement will include the financing of construction, mining and allied equipment, medical equipment, commercial vehicles and farm equipment.
  7. Muhammadu Buhari sworn in for a second term as Nigeria’s president. He is a former military ruler, won 56 percent of the votes to defeat his main challenger, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the February election. According to Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, Nigeria failed to improve its ranking of 144th out of 180 countries from the previous year, despite a number of positive steps. Buhari is the twenty-third child of his father.
  8. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) in its World Health Assembly held in Geneva, had for the first time recognised ‘burn out’ as a medical condition in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which was extensively used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers. WHO in its catalogue of diseases and injuries defined burn-out as “a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The updated list of International Classification of Diseases (ICD) dubbed as ICD-11 was drafted last year after the recommendations from health experts around the world.The ICD-11which will take effect in January 2022, contains several other additions, including classification of “compulsive sexual behaviour as a mental disorder.
  9. Standard Chartered in partnership with IBM has launched the Trade AI Engine which will automate the high-risk process of trade documentation. It will enhance client experience through increased operational efficiency and strengthened operational control. This newly launched Trade AI Engine will replace the Traditional documentary trade consisting of millions of data elements in paper-based that are reviewed through a largely manual process. Conversion of non-digital shipping documents into machine-readable format enabled by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Identification and classification of document types from an initial pre-defined database. Continuous Machine learning (ML) based on user re-classification/re-defining of data elements to further improve accuracy.
  10. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) constituted a committee to review the existing state of mortgage securitisation in India and suggest measures to deepen it. The six-member committee on Development of Housing Finance Securitisation Market is headed by Harsh Vardhan, Senior Advisor, Bain & Co. The panel will review the regulations relating to mortgage-backed securitisation (MBS) currently in place, and make specific recommendations on suitably aligning the same with international norms. It will assess the role of various counterparties, including servicers, trustees, rating agencies, in the securitisation process and suggest the steps required.
  11. Indian shooter Rahi Sarnobat won the gold in 25m Pistol event at the ISSF World Cup 2019 in Munich. She also sealed a quota place for India in the event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Rahi scored a total of 37, beating Ukraine’s Olena Kostevych, who was champion at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
  12. The ICC World Cup 2019 will begin on May 30 with the opening match between England and South Africa.
  13. Gurugram based no-frills airline SpiceJet became the fourth Indian Airline to have 100 aircraft fleet after the induction of Boeing 737. The other 3 airlines are Air India, IndiGo and now inoperative Jet Airways. At present, SpiceJet has 68 Boeing 737s, 30 Bombardier Q-400s and 2 B737 freighters. It operates 575 average daily flights to 62 destinations- 53 domestic and 9 international flights. SpiceJet plays an important role in regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) of the Central government. It operates 42 flights per day to and from different domestic destinations.
  14. Indian filmmaker, Achyutanand Dwivedi’s “Seed Mother”, won the third prize in the international section of Nespresso Talents 2019 in 72nd annual Cannes Film Festival was held in Cannes, France.
  15. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has decided to restore the Elo ratings of dozens of Indian players, whose ratings were banned by the All-India Chess Federation (AICF) nearly a decade ago. The country’s national chess body (AICF) had banned several players for taking part in tournaments conducted by rival chess association and in unrecognised events.
  16. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma launched a new project to boost medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation named “Aroma Mission”. “Aroma Mission” a project of Rs.18 crore launched to give importance for agriculture and allied sectors so that farmers earn the benefits from it. CM inaugurated a processing unit of essential oils and insisted institutions like CSIR-CIMAP to undertake more researches in this field. Broomsticks and bay leaves were categorized as ‘Agro Forestry’ items. Cultivation of lemon grass and citronella plant will be undertaken on 50-acre plots in every district of the state.
  17. Suresh Kumar’s appointment comes as Walmart is undertaking major investments in its e-commerce business. Suresh Kumar was associated with Google where he was serving as vice president and general manager of display, video, app ads and analytics. He holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a PhD in engineering from Princeton University.
  18. The cabinet of Karnataka has approved the Rs 93 crore cloud-seeding programme that would begin in June 2019 in order to tackle deficit rainfall in the state. To promulgate an ordinance to protect gazetted officers, who will face demotion or lose their jobs, as their recruitment process in 1998 by the Karnataka Public Service Commission was found to be irregular. To include NOTA in Nagar sabha (Corporation) elections, a provision which was not there till now.
  19. The United States recently removed India from its currency monitoring watchlist. The US placed India, China, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and South Korea in the bi-annual currency watch list in October 2018.
  20. India secured 43rd rank in the most competitive economy across the world and Singapore topped the chart by toppling the US from the first position and Hong Kong SAR ranked 2nd place as same as last year. The US ranked 3rd in the ranking. Switzerland ranked 4th in the ranking. UAE first time entered into the top 5 rankings. Last year in 2018 UAE ranked 7th. Venezuela ranked last in the rankings due to high inflation, poor access to credit and a weak economy. The improvement of India’s rank resulted of its robust economic growth, large labour force and its huge market size.