Latest Current Affairs Daily Update

16th May 2021 Current Affairs in English

Important Days

International Day of Families: 15 May

The International Day of Families is observed every year on 15 May to reflect the importance that the international community attaches to families.

This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families. The theme of 2021 is “Families and New Technologies”.

In 1993, the UN General Assembly decided in a resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families.


National

PM Kisan Samman Nidhi: Eighth Instalment released

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently released the eighth installment of Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi.

The Government of India transfers Rs 6,000 to the account of small and marginal farmers. These funds are transferred in three instalments.

The first installment of Rs 2,000 is made between April and June. The second Instalment is made between August and November. The third installment is made between December and March.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Declares Malerkotla as 23rd District

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has declared Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the state on May 14, 2021, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Malerkotla is a Muslim-dominated area and has been carved out of the Sangrur district of the state.

The government had promised that Malerkotla will be declared a district soon in 2017.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab CM: Captain Amarinder Singh.
  • Punjab Governor: V.P.Singh Badnore.

Uttarakhand Police Launches ‘Mission Hausla’

The Uttarakhand Police has launched a drive called “Mission Hausla” to help people get oxygen, beds, ventilators, and plasma for Covid-19 patients.

Besides these, police will also help the public to get medicines meant for Covid-19 management as part of the mission and rations.

Delivering medicines, oxygen and ration at the doorsteps of families battling the coronavirus and coordinating between plasma donors and those in need of it will also be some of the activities to be taken up by the police as part of the mission.

Police stations will serve as nodal centers for managing crowds in market areas and ensuring COVID- appropriate behavior by people like wearing masks and social distancing in public places, he said. Stern action will be taken against those who violate the norms.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Uttarakhand: Tirath Singh Rawat;
  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya.

International

KP Sharma Oli Re-appointed as Prime Minister of Nepal

In Nepal, KP Sharma Oli was re-appointed as the Prime Minister of the country by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

Oli was administered the oath of office by the President on May 14, 2021. Now, he must prove that he has majority support in the House within 30 days.

This will be his third stint as Prime Minister. He was first appointed as PM from 12 October 2015 to 4 August 2016, and then again from 15 February 2018 to 13 May 2021.

The decision to re-appoint Oli was taken after none of the opposition party could secure majority seats in the House to form a new government or apply for it in the provided time frame (by 9 pm on 13 May 2021).

It must be noted that, on 10 May 2021, Oli failed to obtain a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, gaining only 93 of the total 232 votes cast,  which was 43 votes short of reaching the 136-vote majority required to win the confidence vote.

WHO classified Indian coronavirus variant as a “global variant of concern”

The World Health Organization has classified a coronavirus variant found in India as a global “variant of concern”.

This variant has been named B.1.617. According to World Health Organization, this variant is already spread to more than 30 countries.

It is more transmissible than other variants. This variant is also called the “double mutant variant”. It was 1st identified by the United Kingdom health authorities.

The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant of coronavirus classified by the WHO. It has two mutations referred to as E484Q and L452R.

Viruses create one or more variants by mutating themselves. Viruses mutate themselves so that they can cohabitate with humans.

Scientists across the world are still studying the Vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.617 variant.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • WHO was established on 7 April 1948.
  • WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • WHO current President is Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

China becomes the world’s first country to ban synthetic cannabinoids

China will become the world’s first country to ban all synthetic cannabinoid substances. The ban is likely to come into effect on July 1.

The move comes as China tries to curb the manufacturing & trafficking of the drug.

The synthetic cannabinoids are highly camouflaged, as some are found in e-cigarette oil, and some are found in cut tobacco made from various flower petals, or plant stems and leaves. In Xinjiang, it has a commonly known nickname of “Natasha.”

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • China Capital: Beijing.
  • China Currency: Renminbi.
  • China President: Xi Jinping.

Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate

Sir David Attenborough, world-renowned broadcaster & natural historian, has been named COP26 People’s Advocate for the U.K.’s Presidency of UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November.

Attenborough has already inspired millions of people in the U.K. & around the world with his passion & knowledge to act on climate change and protect the planet for future generations.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • COP26:- 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

Appointments

Ramesh Powar appointed Head Coach of Indian Women’s Cricket team

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the appointment of Ramesh Powar as the Head Coach of Team India (Senior Women).

The three-member Cricket Advisory Committee comprising Sulakshana Naik, Madan Lal, and Rudra Pratap Singh interviewed the applicants and unanimously agreed on Powar’s candidature. A former international, Powar played 2 Tests and 31 ODIs for India.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary of BCCI: Jay Shah.
  • President of BCCI: Sourav Ganguly.
  • Headquarters of BCCI: Mumbai, Maharashtra; Founded: December 1928.

Banking

RBI cancels licence of United Co-operative Bank

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the licence of United Co-operative Bank Ltd over inadequate capital, regulatory non-compliance, based in Bagnan, West Bengal.

Through an order dated May 10, 2021, the central bank has prohibited the co-operative lender from carrying on banking business, with effect from the close of business on May 13, 2021.

RBI said it cancelled the licence as United Co-operative Bank did not have adequate capital and earning prospects.

“As such, it does not comply with the provisions of section 11(1) and section 22(3)(d) read with section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Airtel Payments Bank launches Digigold

Airtel Payments Bank has launched “DigiGold”, a digital platform for customers to make investments in gold. This has been rolled out in partnership with SafeGold, a provider of digital gold.

With DigiGold, Airtel Payments Bank’s saving account customers can invest in 24K gold using the Airtel Thanks app. Customers can also gift DigiGold to their family and friends, who have a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank.

The gold purchased by customers is stored securely by SafeGold at no additional cost and can be sold through the Airtel Thanks app at any time in a matter of few clicks.

There is no minimum investment value requirement and customers can start with as low as one rupee.

Airtel Payments Bank recently increased its savings deposit limit to ₹2 lakh in line with RBI guidelines. It now offers an increased interest rate of 6% on deposits between ₹1-2 lakh.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Airtel Payments Bank’s MD and CEO: Nubrata Biswas.
  • Airtel Payments Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Airtel Payments Bank Founded: January 2017.

Ranks and Reports

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Tops Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders 2021

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has topped the ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list for 2021, released by Fortune Magazine.

The ‘World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’ list for 2021 is the eighth edition of the annual list which celebrates leaders, some well-known and others who aren’t so familiar, who made a difference amid the “truly unprecedented times” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

From India, Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India (SII) is the only Indian among the top 10 names. He is placed in the 10th spot.


Obituary

Former CBI officer K Ragothaman passes away

Former CBI officer K Ragothaman has passed away. He was the chief investigation officer of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. He was awarded the Police Medal in 1988 and President Medal in 1994.

Ragothaman has authored many books including Conspiracy to Kill Rajiv Gandhi, Third Degree Crime Investigation Management and Crime and the Criminal. He joined the CBI in 1968 as a sub-inspector of police.

Times Group Chairperson Indu Jain Passes Away

Pioneering philanthropist and Times Group Chairperson, Indu Jain has passed away due to Covid-related complications.

The prominent Indian media personality, Indu Jain was the chairperson of India’s largest media group, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., which is popularly known as the Times Group, which owns the Times of India and other large newspapers.

Being a spiritualist, Jain had a deep knowledge of ancient scriptures and was the follower of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. Besides this, Jain was also passionate about women’s rights and was the founder president of Ficci Ladies Organisation (FLO).


Miscellaneous

Airline Company GoAir Rebrands itself as ‘Go First’

Wadia Group-owned, GoAir has rebranded itself as ‘Go First’, with the new motto “You Come First”.

The decision to rebrand after 15 years is part of the company’s attempt to operate the carrier in a ULCC (ultra-low-cost carrier) airline model, to tide over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go First will operate narrow-body aircraft across its fleet, comprising Airbus A320 and A320 Neos (new engine option) planes under ULCC plans.

This will not only ensure the safety, comfort, and time-saving for the passengers but also help them to experience the benefits of the next-gen fleet, at ultra-low-cost fares, so that their travel plans are never hampered.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • GoAir Founder: Jehangir Wadia;
  • GoAir Founded: 2005;
  • GoAir Headquarters: Mumbai.

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