Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 2 July 2015


30 June 2015 clocked one second longer with a leap second added to clocks worldwide [ALL]:

  • With the addition of 61st second to the 59th minute of the 23rd hour, clocks across the world registered 23:59:60 before turning on to 00:00:00 on 1 July 2015.
  • In India, the leap second was added by scientists at the Time and Frequency Standards Laboratory (TFSL) to atomic clocks after 05:29:59 as the Indian Standard Time (IST) is ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) by 5 and half hours.
  • TFSL is the India’s official time-keeper and located at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in New Delhi.
  • The decision to add a leap second was taken by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), the global official time-keeper, in December 2014 in order to synchronise the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) with the Universal Time (UT).
  • Difference between UTC and UT:While the UTC, the basis for civil time across the world, relies on atomic clocks for its sustenance as overseen by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UT is based on time taken by the Earth to complete rotations around itself with respect to the Sun as observed by worldwide network of stations by employing Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) technique.

    What causes the difference?:

    Usually, any lag between the two time systems occurs due to regular fluctuations in the earth’s rotation speeds as atomic clocks are foolproof and can only go wrong once in 30 million years that too for nano seconds.

    The Earth is a floating object in the space and its pace is disturbed bygeological events such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and interplay of gravitational forces among the Sun, the Earth and the Moon.

    All these internal and external forces have an impact on the mass of the Earth and ultimately the time taken by it to complete the rotation.

  World Bank approves $650 million loan for Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor[All]:

  • The loan amount will be used to build 401 km Ludhiana-Khurja section that falls in three North Western states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. T
  • Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project DFC Project aims at the faster delivery of goods between the northern and eastern parts of the country.
  • This is the third round of Funding that the World Bank has approved for this project.

Cuba becomes first nation to eliminate mother-to-child HIV and syphilis[ALL]:

  • As per WHO, Cuba  is the first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
  • It is estimated that around 1.4 million women infected HIV every year globally. The chances of mother-to-child transmission of virus to their children during pregnancy are 15-45% if  untreated.
  • The risk of transmission of virus in the new-born can reduced with the use of antiretroviral medicines.


Compliance window opened for black money disclosure[UPSC]:

  • Union Government has notified the compliance window for black money disclosure under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Asset) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
  • The notified compliance window makes it mandatory for people to disclose their foreign income and assets till 30th September 2015.
  • Those who make the disclosure during this notified period will have further 3 months’ time i.e. till 31st December 2015 to pay the taxes and the penalty on their foreign income and assets.
  • People availing this one-time compliance window will be required to pay a tax of 30 per cent and a penalty of a similar amount.
  • What is Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Asset) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015:
  • The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Asset) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015 was passed by the parliament in May 2015. This act  has provision of stringent penalty which includes much higher at 90 per cent in addition to the 30 per cent tax on undisclosed foreign assets.
  • The Act also provides provisions for separate taxation of undisclosed foreign income and assets along with stringent penalties and prosecution, including rigorous imprisonment up to 10 years and penalty.


Prof. Sanjeev Galande awarded G D Birla Award for Scientific Research 2014[non-UPSC]:

  • He is a professor in IISER, PUNE and has been selected for his significant contribution and his pioneering research in the field of Epigenetics (a field of science that deals with study of changes that influence gene function.) and Molecular Cell Biology.
  • About G.D. Birla Award:
  • This award, which carries a cash prize of 50 lakh rupees and a citation, was established in 1991 by the K. K. Birla Foundation in the honour of philanthropist Ghanshyam Das Birla.
  • The award is given Indian scientist below the age of 50, living and working in India for his outstanding scientific research, mostly during the past 5 years.

Iran, P5+1 extend interim nuclear deal for more talks[All]:

  • Iran and P5+1 nations i.e. six major powers have agreed to extend an interim nuclear agreement until July 7, 2015 in order to allow more time for negotiations on a final deal.
  • This decision was taken during the talks between these nations held in the Vienna, Austria after the deadline expired on 30 June 2015.
  • What are the talks about?
  • The P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and United States) and Iran are negotiating to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
  • They are working towards a deal that would halt Iran’s sensitive nuclear work for at least a decade in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
  • Western countries especially US is alleging that IRAN’s Nuclear Programme may be used by them to produce enriched uranium to develop nuclear warheads.
  • P5+1 countries want Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment programme to make sure that it cannot produce nuclear warheads.


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