Saturday, May 7, 2016

1. Enda Kenny re-elected as Ireland's prime minister
i. Enda Kenny has been re-elected as Ireland's Taoiseach, leading his Fine Gael party into a minority government. 
ii. Mr Kenny is the first Fine Gael leader in history to secure two terms in power back to back. He secured the support of a diverse group of independents and managed to strike a deal with opposition party Fianna Fail.
iii. He will now lead a minority government after traditional adversaries in Fianna Fail - enemies since the civil war 90 years ago - agreed to prop up his administration by abstaining in the crucial vote and supporting a selection of policies including on water bills and housing.

2. President presents Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations to Defence personnel
i. President Pranab Mukherjee has presented Gallantry Awards and Distinguished Service Decorations to Defence personnel at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi. 
ii. Constable Gautam Koch of Assam Armed Branch who made supreme sacrifice fighting UPLA insurgents in Assam's Difu was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. Naib Subedar Rajesh Kumar Singh who made supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. 
iii. President also conferred the Param Vishisht Seva Medal,Kirti Chakra, Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal, Atti vishisht Sewa Medal and Shaurya Chakra. Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Three services Chiefs were present in the ceremony.

3. 4th SAIEVAC Ministerial Meeting to be held in New Delhi
i. The eight nations composing the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children, SAIEVAC, are assembling in New Delhi next week for their 4th Ministerial Meeting. 
ii. The meeting will set strategies and agree on commitments to ensure the protection and security of the children of the region. It is being hosted by the Ministry of Child and Women Development. The Ministerial meeting on 11th of this month will be preceded by a two day technical consultation focusing on critical issues of child protection and violence in the region. 
iii. Delegates from the governments and civil society organizations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will assess progress and developments of the past decade of regional effort and identify priorities for SAIEVAC for the next five years. The Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, will chair the meeting.

4. Union government approves proposal of Infosys to set up IT SEZ
i. The Union government has approved the of Infosys to set up an IT/ITeS special economic zone (SEZ) in Bengaluru in an area spread over 4 hectares. 
ii. The decision has been taken by the Union inter-ministerial Board of Approval (BoA), headed by Commerce Secretary Rita Teatia.
iii. The Board also granted more time to 20 developers to complete their projects. Those that got additional time include Mayar Infrastructure Development for a biotechnology SEZ in Haryana, Wipro for IT SEZ in Karnataka and Vedanta for its sector-specific SEZ for manufacturing and exports of aluminium in Odisha. The board has also approved application of Unitech Realty Project. 

5. Offshore patrol vessel IGCS Shourya launched
i. Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has launched Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Shaurya at Panaji. 
ii. It was launched by the Governor of Goa, Mridula Sinha, in the presence of GSl and ICG officials. 
iii. ICGS Shaurya is fifth of a series of six Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) designed in-house and built by GSL. The vessel is 105-metre long and is capable of cruising at a speed of 23 knots. It has a range of 6000 nautical miles. ICGS Shaurya will be commissioned into service in 2017. It will be deployed for search and rescue operations, pollution control and external firefighting. It will also be deployed for monitoring sea lanes of communication and ocean surveillance.

6. Nepal recalls its Ambassador to India over charges of non-cooperation
i. Nepal has recalled its Ambassador to India over charges of non-cooperation and indulging in anti-government activities. 
ii. Nepalese Foreign Ministry sources said in Kathmandu last night that Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyaya had "confronted" with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli regarding the cancellation of President Bidya Devi Bhandari's scheduled visit to India. 
iii. The conversation between Oli and Upadhyaya reportedly took place after the cancellation of the President's trip. Bhandari was scheduled to visit India from May 9 as the state guest at the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee.

7. Australian university signed two MoU With India to provide medical technology
i. Australian state of Victoria, Swinburne University has announced two agreements with India in the area of medical technology to address major health challenges in India. 
ii. The decision has been taken during the meeting of government-led Neuroscience Victoria trade mission to India.
iii. The one agreement has signed to improve the diagnosis of epilepsy across India with Medanta, one of India's largest private hospitals. The second agreement has signed with the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to develop a cutting edge 'smart helmet' to reduce the incidence of head injuries for motorcyclists.

8. Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines to conduct joint water patrols to curb kidnappings
i. Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines has agreed to conduct coordinated sea patrols and establish a hotline to combat piracy and kidnappings in waters bordering the three nations. 
ii. The agreement will be signed by the foreign ministers of the countries in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. 
iii. The decision has been taken after the recent kidnapping of 10 Indonesian sailors in the southwestern Philippines by Abu Sayyaf. However, the sailors were released on 1 May 2016. The group Abu Sayyaf is considered very violent and was responsible for the Philippines' worst terrorist attack, the bombing of Super ferry 14 in 2004, which killed 116 people.

9. India and Japan to sign MOU for Cooperation in Sports
i. India and Japan has decided to exchange sports persons, coaches, experts and administrators to improve the standard of the game between both nations. 
ii. Both the nations has also agreed to play some friendly matches before the Under 17 World Cup tournament, as India is going to host the Under 17 World Cup tournament. 
iii. The decision has been taken during a meeting between both the countries delegates. Indian minister for Youth Affairs & Sports, Mr. Sarbananda Sonowal has also got the invitation for attending World Forum on Sport and Culture" to be held in October 2016 in Tokyo. 

10. YES Bank gets SEBI nod to provide custodian services
i. India's fifth largest Private sector lender Yes Bank has received a ‘Custodian of Securities’ licence from the markets regulator SEBI to allows the entity to offer custodial services to financial market participants, including FIIs and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs).
ii. The bank has given a year to establish the business by developing the operational, tech and human capital capabilities. The bank had earlier received the RBI’s approval to enter the CoS business. 
iii. Once it receives the final nod, it can offer custodial services to financial market participants, including foreign portfolio investors which would help its fee-based income.

11. Facebook and NASSCOM sign MoU to Support Start-Ups
i. Facebook and the trade body of Indian IT firms 'National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM)' has signed an agreement to build a product design initiative to engage the country's young entrepreneurs into becoming problem solvers and solution builders.
ii. This MoU is likely to propel innovative thinking and approaches to build solutions in key sectors where technology can play a transformational role. 
iii. The idea is to ensure that at least 500 plus product start-ups get enabled tools programs, more than 5,000 design thinking professionals to get paid and at least 50 or more award winning product should come out of this whole initiative.

12. Flipkart to launch its own map services
i. The e-commerce giant Flipkart has partnered with a Bangaluru based social technology company 'MapUnity' to launch its map services. ii. The network will cover the 126 cities including those chosen in the 'Smart Cities' mission. The company service will help Flipkart in handling logistics, supply chain and promotes public engagement in solving the key problems of metropolitan areas.
iii. Flipkart confirms that the project will be driven by the MapUnity as well as by a Delhi based digital mapping company MapMyIndia. The acquisition of MapMy India has taken place in December, 2015. As per Flipkart, this will be a platform that cross-uses drives innovation, features, value.  

13. Ghosh named as next ambassador to Tajikistan
i. Somnath Ghosh has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Tajikistan. He has so far served in Russia, Tajikistan, Belgium (European Union Headquarters) and Bangladesh.
ii. He also handled various desks in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. 
iii. Before joining Ulaanbaatar, he was Assistant High Commissioner of India in Chittagong, Bangladesh.


14. Mickey Arthur appointed as Pakistan cricket team's head coach
i. In Pakistan, former South African cricketer and coach for PSL's Karachi Kings, Mickey Arthur, has been appointed as cricket team's head coach. Confirmed the Pakistan Cricket Board. 
ii. The post was left vacant after Waqar Younis resigned following Pakistan’s disastrous World Twenty20 performance in India, where they triumphed in only one of four matches before crashing out. 
iii. Pakistan’s search for a new national coach hit a fresh roadblock on Thursday as officials said their top pick, Australia’s Stuart Law, turned down the offer to coach the team.

15. Pakistan beat India at Asian Kabaddi championships
i. Pakistan beat India at the Asian Kabaddi championships in Islamabad yesterday, retaining the title. 
ii. In the final match of the tournament, in which Iran, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal also participated, Pakistan defeated arch rivals India by 50-31.
iii. Pakistan has won the third edition of the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2016 (Circle Style) by defeating India. This is Pakistan’s second successive win in the Asian Kabaddi title as they had won it in 2012. The championship was organised by the Pakistan Kabaddi Federation (PKF) in collaboration with POF Sports Control Board under the banner of the Asian Kabaddi Federation.

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