Current Affairs – May 17, 2018

BS Yeddyurappa sworn-in as Karnataka’s 23rd CM

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s B.S. Yeddyurappa on 17th May was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Karnataka by Governor Vajubhai Vala. BS Yeddyurappa was the only lawmaker to be sworn-in and no cabinet post has been allotted yet. No ministers were sworn-in by the Governor. The Governor has asked Yeddyurappa to seek a vote of confidence in the House and prove a majority within 15 days from assuming office. This is the third time BS Yeddyurappa has become Karnataka’s chief minister. His first term was from November 12, 2007, to November 19, 2007, while the second was from May 30, 2008, to July 31, 2011.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day: 17 May

The purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide. 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
2018 Theme: Enabling the positive use of Artificial Intelligence for All.
ITU Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh cleanest cities in India: Swachh Survekshan 2018

Indore emerged as the cleanest city, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh in the government’s cleanliness survey. The results of Swachh Survekshan 2018, which aims to estimate levels of cleanliness across cities in the country, were announced on 16th May by Minister of State for Housing Hardeep Singh Puri. Jharkhand has adjudged the best-performing state in the survey followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. According to the survey report, Vijayawada is cleanest among big cities having more than 1 million population while Mysuru has emerged as the cleanest among cities with the population of 3 lakh to one million. The government said during Swachh Survekshan, 37.66 lakh citizens gave their feedback, which covered 4,203 municipal areas across the country. In 2017, only 434 municipal areas having 1 lakh or more population were ranked on sanitation parameters.

Cabinet approves Corpus for Micro Irrigation Fund with NABARD under PMKSY

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 16th May has approved an initial Corpus of Rs.5,000 crore for setting up of a dedicated “Micro Irrigation Fund” (MIF) with NABARD under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY). The allocation of Rs. 2,000 crore and Rs. 3,000 crore will be utilized during 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively. NABARD will extend the loan to State Governments during this period. Borrowings from NABARD shall be paid back in 7 years including the grace period of two years. The lending rate under MIF has been proposed at 3% lower than the cost of raising the fund by NABARD.

Cabinet approves the establishment of NIMHR in Bhopal

The Union Cabinet on 16th May approved the establishment of National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR) at Bhopal as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the aegis of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has announced the approvals.

Cabinet approves National Policy on Biofuels – 2018

The Policy categorizes biofuels as “Basic Biofuels” viz. First Generation (1G) bio-ethanol & biodiesel and “Advanced Biofuels” – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels, Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. to enable an extension of appropriate financial and fiscal incentives under each category. In order to promote biofuels in the country, a National Policy on Biofuels was made by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy during the year 2009.

BSE is first Indian exchange to get US SEC recognition

BSE, Asia’s oldest stock exchange, has become the first Indian exchange to be recognised as a designated offshore securities market (DOSM) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “The DOSM status allows sale of securities to U.S. investors through the trading venue of BSE without registration of such securities with the U.S. SEC and thus eases the trades by U.S. investors in India,” the BSE said in a statement while adding that it will primarily benefit securities issued in US private placements to institutional investors. According to the exchange, the recognition will also enhance the attractiveness of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) amongst US investors while providing additional benefits to companies whose securities are traded both in the US and on BSE.

P-note investments dip to a 9-year low of Rs 1 lakh crore

The total investment via participatory notes (P-notes) into Indian capital markets plunged to nearly 9-year low of Rs 1 lakh crore in April amid stringent norms put in place by the regulator Sebi to check misuse of these instruments. This is the lowest level since June 2009 when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs 97,885 crore. P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to overseas investors who wish to be part of Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly. They, however, need to go through a proper due diligence process.

Guwahati railway station is the first in North-East to run completely on solar power

The solar power station at Guwahati is one-of-a-kind. It was commissioned last year in April 2017. The solar-powered station will help in reducing the carbon footprint as well as cut down power costs. The 700 KWp grid interactive solar power plant has been set up over the roof of the Guwahati railway station. The project cost an estimated Rs 6.7 crore, as per Indian Railways. The agency which has provided the fund for the green project is CONCOR.

Gurgaon’s Bajajs become first father-daughter duo to scale the Mount Everest

Gurgaon-based Ajeet Bajaj and Deeya Bajaj became the first Indian father-daughter duo to climb Mount Everest. 24-year-old Deeya summitted at 4.30 am 16th May, and her father followed 15 minutes later. The two embarked on the journey to scale the highest peak in the world on April 16, accomplishing the feat in a month’s time. A Padma Shri awardee, 53-year-old Ajeet became the first Indian to ski to the North Pole and the South Pole within a year in 2006-2007.

India grants Rs 180.74 million to Nepal

India will provide Nepal with Rs 180.74 million as a grant for river training and construction of embankments. India’s Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri handed over a cheque to Ministry of Energy, Irrigation and Water Resources Secretary Sanjay Sharma recently, Kathmandu Post reports. Construction of embankments will take place along the Rivers Lalbakeya, Bagmati and Kamla an Indian Embassy statement said. India has given 13 installments since 2008 to Nepal for river training and embankment works. The total amount is over Rs 4.68 billion.

After the US, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem

Guatemala on 16th May opened its embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to do so. This comes two days after the United States (US) inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem. The inauguration was attended by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.
Guatemala Capital: Guatemala City
Guatemala Currency: Guatemalan Quetzal
Israel Currency: Israeli new shekel

Learn Two a Day:
Mohiniattam: A Classical Dance from Kerala (one of the 8 Classical Dances of India)
Bhangra: A traditional dance form of Punjab

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