Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 11 July 2015

Indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash Missile inducted in IAF:

  • Indigenously developed supersonic surface-to-air Akash Missile has been inducted in Indian Air Force (IAF).
  • It should be noted that Akash missile already has been included in Indian Army. It was inducted in Army in May 2015.
  • About Akash Missile:
  • Indigenously developed by the DRDO and Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) as part of Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) of 1980’s.
  • It is manufactured using 92 per cent of indigenous machinery and can be transported anywhere via road, water or air transport.
  • It is a potent supersonic mobile multi-target point, multi-directional missile, capable to engage multiple air targets simultaneously using sophisticated multi-function phased array radars.
  • It has the capability to neutralise aerial targets like cruise missiles, fighter jets and air-to-surface missiles with strike range of 25km.
  • It has supersonic speed i.e. it is three times faster than that of sound and capable to carry conventional warhead of 60 kg.
  • It can destroy aerial target upto 30 km away at altitudes upto 18,000 m.

Egyptian film’s Legend Omar Sharif died:

  • Legendary Egyptian actor Omar Sharif passed away due to a heart attack in Cairo at the age of  83.
  • He got international fame for his roles in classic films Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965).
  • He had won three Golden Globe Awards (1962, 1963, 1965), César Award (French equivalent of the Oscar) in 2004 and was nominated for an Academy Award.
  • He also won UNESCO’s Sergei Eisenstein Medal (2005) for his significant contributions to world film and cultural diversity

Prince Saud al-Faisal, the ex-foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, died:

  • Prince Saud al-Faisal  was the world’s longest-serving foreign minister.
  • He was the Saudi kingdom’s foreign minister for 4 decades (from 1975 to 2015).
  • He had retired in April 2015 and was succeeded by Adel al-Jubeir.
  • He had served under four Saudi kings and had advanced the kingdom’s foreign policy, especially after the 9/11 attacks in US.


India accorded full membership of SCO at Ufa summit 2015:

  • India has been accorded full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) at its Ufa summit held in Russia.
  • This membership will help India to work with the 6 members grouping to enhance connectivity, combat terror and create an environment for boosting trade by easing barriers.
  • What is Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)?:
  • SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and military organisation.
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • It was established in 2001 in Shanghai by the Shanghai Five grouping( i.e Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan), established in 1996, and Uzbekistan.
  • Benefits of membership to India:
  • It will  open up trade, energy sector and strategic transit routes for India between Russia, Central Asia and China.
  • As Iran has observer status in the SCO, it will serve as a platform for India to boost trade through the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar.
  • These ports are considered as India’s gateway to Central Asia through International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
  • SCO will provide platform for the security grouping for India and Pakistan especially on issue to counter terrorism. Provide a valuable interface to engage with security concern of Afghanistan especially its members including India due to pullout international troops. SCO may also serve as guarantor for projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipelines, which are held by India due to security concerns.
  •  SCO can also play an important role in counter-balancing India’s perceived tilt on security issues towards US and its allies. Thus, it can help to maintain full balance of India’s relations with the world powers globally.

ISRO successfully launches PSLV-C28 carrying 5 UK satellites:

  • ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-28 has successfully put five satellites of United Kingdom into designated orbits.
  • They were successfully put designated into orbit after its lift off from first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikotta, Andhra Pradesh.
  • For this mission, ISRO had used high-end XL version of PSLV as it was its biggest and heaviest commercial launch with overall lift-off mass of all 5 satellites was 1,440 kg .
  • Five satellites are:
  • Constellation of 3 identical DMC3 Satellites: Three satellites consisted of DMC3-1, DMC3-2 and DMC3-3, all weighing around 447-kg. They are designed for simultaneous high temporal and high spatial resolution optical Earth observation. Application: Surveying the resources on earth, urban infrastructure management and monitoring of disasters.
  • CBNT-1: It is an optical Earth Observation technology demonstration micro satellite, weighing around 91 kg.
  • De-OrbitSail: It is an experimental nano satellite. It will be used for the demonstration of large thin membrane sail and drag deorbiting using this sail.
  • All of the five satellites belonged to UK’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL).
  •  For this mission four-stage PSLV-C28 was used as launch vehicle, which is high-end ‘XL’ version of PSLV. It consisted of new designs consisting of circular launcher adaptor i.e. L-adaptor and a triangular deck called Multiple Satellite Adapter-Version 2 (MSA-V2). It was specially designed by ISRO to overcome the tough task of mounting the three DMC3 satellites in launch vehicle as each was having height of about 3m.
  • It was PSLV’s overall 30th flight and 29th consecutive successful launch and 9th flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.


Typhoon Linfa hits Southern Chinese province of Guangdong:

  • The powerful Typhoon Linfa has hit the southern China after it made landfall on southern province of Guangdong.
  • Typhoon Linfa has hit the southern province by bringing winds of up to 126 km/hr along with heavy rain. However after it had made landfall, the typhoon has lost strength rapidly after it passed near Hong Kong due to weakened low pressure area.


Banded Tit, a new Butterfly species, discovered in Arunachal Pradesh:

  • Adult butterflies of the species live only for approximately two weeks in March every year.
  • It spends a large part of the year in a dormant state in larval or pupal stages, which is still unknown.
  • The species primarily feeds on bird-droppings along cool streams in the forests.
  • Bright-eyed Argus (Callerebia Dibangensis) was the last species of butterfly that was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh.


11 July – ‘World Population Day’ :

  • Theme: Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies.
  • The theme focuses on the record number of people displaced by crises.
  • At present, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working around the globe to respond to the rights and needs of women and girls, and help them to maintain their dignity by securing their safety, and restoring their access to sexual and reproductive health care.

Indian Boxing Council launched to promote professional boxing :

  • IBC is  launched with an aim to promote professional boxing and tap the unexplored potential of professional boxing in India.
  • Former Indian Amateur Boxing Federation Secretary General Brig. PK Muralidharan Raja launched the Indian Boxing Council (IBC).



7th BRICS Summit held in Ufa, Russia:

  • BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit was held from 8 to 9 July 2015 in the Russian city of Ufa in Bashkortostan.
  •  Theme :BRICS Partnership – a Powerful Factor of Global Development.
  • 6th BRICS summit was held at Fortaleza in Brazil in 2014, New Delhi will be hosting the 8th summit in 2016.
  • Main points of UFA Decalaration:
    • Ufa declaration saw the resolve of the BRICS nations to step coordinated efforts in responding to emerging challenges, ensuring peace and security, promoting development in a sustainable way.
    • Highlighting the need to reform UN Security Council (UNSC), China and Russia supported Brazil, India and South Africa aspiration to play a greater role in the UN
    • Expressing the disappointment over United States failure to ratify IMF 2010 reform package, the BRICS nations called the US to ratify it by mid-September 2015. The IMF 2010 reform package called for increase in the institution’s quota resources and the revision of quotas and voting power in favour of developing countries and emerging markets.
    • Welcoming Kenya’s hosting of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference  in Nairobi on 15-18 December 2015, the member nations for working together to strengthen an open, transparent, non-discriminatory, and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO.
    • In the economic sphere, BRICS nations expressed support for the development of action-oriented economic cooperation and systematic strengthening of economic partnership for the recovery of global economy and resisting protectionism.
    • BRICS financial institutions, viz., Contingent Reserve Arrangement , New Development Bank (NDB) that was established during 6th BRICS Summit at Fortaleza was ratified
    • BRICS Inter-Central Bank Agreement that sets technical parameters of operations within the BRICS CRA was signed
    • Adoption of Strategy for the BRICS Economic Partnership to foster trade, economic and investment cooperation between BRICS nations. In this regard, the ministers/sherpas were asked to develop a roadmap for the period until 2020.
    • Looking forward to the sixth session of the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to be held in St. Petersburg in November 2015, the BRICS members decided to create a BRICS Working Group on Anti-Corruption Cooperation.
    • Recognising the urgent need to further strengthen cooperation in the areas of Information, Communication and Technology (ICTs), BRICS nations decided to constitute a BRICS working group on ICT cooperation.
    • First meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Labour and Employment will be held in February 2016, which will focus on the creation of decent jobs and information sharing on labour and employment issues.

Dus Kadam- 10 Steps for the Future proposed by PM Narendra Modi for BRICS countries:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of BRICS summit proposed a 10 point initiative named as ‘Dus Kadam: 10 Steps for the Future’ to boost cooperation within the members of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
    The 10 steps of the proposed Dus Kadam are:
    • BRICS Trade Fair (to be held during India’s chairmanship in 2016)
    • BRICS Railway Research Centre
    • Cooperation among Supreme Audit Institutions
    • BRICS Digital Initiative
    • BRICS Agricultural Research Centre
    • BRICS state/Local Government’s Forum
    • Cooperation among cities in field of Urbanisation
    • BRICS Sports Council and Annual BRICS Sports Meet
    • First Major Project of NDB to be in field of Clean Energy
    •BRICS Film Festival
  • India will be hosting the Eighth BRICS Summit in 2016.

India, USA signed MoU on cooperation to establish PACESetter Fund:

  • India and the USA  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation to establish the PACESetter Fund in New Delhi.
  • The PACESetter Fund is meant to support the Promoting Energy Access Through Clean Energy (PEACE) track of the USA-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE).
  • It is a flagship initiative on clean energy that combines the resources of several U.S. agencies and GOI Ministries.
  • It is aimed accelerating the commercialization of off-grid clean energy through early-stage grant funding grants to develop and test innovative products, systems and business models

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