Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 21,22 May 2015
Andaman & Nicobar Police proposed to reserve 33% seats for women[Non-UPSC]:
- Lasy year, Gujarat Government also announced 33 percent quota for women in police force.
Nelong Valley in Uttarakhand opened first time for tourists after closure in 1962[All]:
- Nelong Valley is a picturesque valley located 45 km away from the Indo-China border.
- Authorities of the Gangotri National Park in Uttarakhand on 21 May 2015 opened the Nelong Valley for tourists for the first time since its closure in 1962.
- Nelong valley in the Uttarkashi district was closed for civilians after the 1962 war between both the countries citing Security reasons.
- It is a cold desert offering a view of the Tibetan Plateau in China and home to snow leopard and the Himalayan blue sheep.
UN observed International Day for Biological Diversity[All]:
- May 22 was proclaimed as the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) in December 2000 to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues and also to commemorate the adoption of Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) on 22 May 1992 by the Nairobi Final Act.
- The theme for the year 2015 isBiodiversity for Sustainable Development.
India registered 3 billion sq ft green building footprint[All]:
- The achievement has put India at the second position, after US, in the world green building footprint.
- A green building is one which uses less water, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building.
British magazine SportsPro releases World’s 50 Most Marketable 2015 report[Non-UPSC]:
- Eugenie Bouchard, Tennis player from Canada, topped the list.
- FC Barcelona soccer Neymar stood at second place.
- Golfer Jordan Spieth was at the third place.
- Only Indian in the Top 10 was Virat Kohli, who was at 6th place.
- Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was placed at the 44th position.
IAF Mirage successfully lands on Yamuna Expressway making it India’s first road runway [ALL]:
- Uttar Pradesh’s Yamuna Expressway has become India’s first road runway after Indian Air Force (IAF) Mirage 2000 fighter jet successfully landed on it.
- This exercise was a part of trial to use national highways for emergency landing.
- Yamuna Expressway is the longest Greenfield expressway of India.
- IAF is considering the option of using national highways for emergency landing of aircrafts under special circumstances.
Ancient City of Palmyra taken under control by ISIS[ALL]:
- The ancient Syrian city of Palmyra is taken under control by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
- The city is home to some of the world’s most magnificent ancient ruins.
- It is feared that the militants will destroy the ancient ruins of Palmyra as earlier in March 2015, the militants had demolished several ancient sites including UNESCO World Heritage Sites Hatra and Nimrud.
- Facts about Palmyra:
- Palmyra is a World Heritage Site.
- Ancient ruins of Palmyra belongs to the first and second Century when it was under Roman rule.
- Also, it has some of the most beautiful temples. Temple of Bel is one such example.
India ranks at number 24 in the First Environmental Democracy Index [ALL]:
- The first Environmental Democracy Index (EDI) index was recently released by Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI) and Access Initiative.
- Top 3 countries in this report are: Lithuania, Latvia and Russia.
- India stands at no. 24 out of total 70 countries.
- What is Environmental Democracy Index? : EDI evaluates the efforts of the countries in enacting laws in order to promote citizen engagement and accountability, transparency in environmental decision-making.
- The World Resource Institute ( a non-governmental global research institute)which published this report is located in Washington.
PSLV programme gets the extension for another fifteen operational flights [ALL]:
- Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme gets continuation for another fifteen operational flights of PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50.
- All these 15 operational flights will be completed during the period 2017-2020.
- This will enable Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to launch satellites required for earth observation & navigation and Space Sciences.
- PSLV has emerged as a multi-purpose launch vehicle to carry out Sun-Synchronous Polor Orbit (SSPO), Geo-synchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) and low inclination Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions.
- What is PSLV programme?:
- PSLV programme was sanctioned by Union Government in 2008 to use PSLV to meet the country’s satellite launch requirements.
- PSLV programme made India self-reliant in the launching capability of satellites for the purpose of earth observation, disaster management, space sciences and navigation.
- The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV is an expendable launch system developed and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It was developed to allow India to launch its Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellites. into Sun synchronous orbits. Before this, India used the services of Russia to launch the IRS satellites. PSLV can also launch small size satellites into geostationary transfer orbit (GTO).
- Till 2014, the PSLV has launched 71 spacecraft (31 Indian and 40 foreign satellites) into a variety of orbits.Some notable payloads launched by PSLV include India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe and the Mars Orbiter Mission.
- PSLV is one of world’s most reliable launch vehicle.
A new species of Fish, named as Pethia striata, discovered in Western Ghats [ALL]:
- The new fish,Pethia striata, was discovered in Tunga River in the Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka.
- The fish is native to Western Ghats which is a biodiversity hotspot.
- The male of the Pethia striata species is red in colour while the female is grey with a striking pattern of scales.
Akhil Amar appointed to key administration post by US government [Non-UPSC]:
- He is appointed as the member of member of the prestigious National Council on Humanities of US by President Barack Obama.
SBI inks MoU with Amazon for payment and e-commerce solutions [Non-UPSC]:
- The MoU seeks to identify and tap the potential areas of collaboration for payments and commerce solutions between both signatory parties.
- Through this MOU, SBI is seeking to enrich customers’ payment experience and opening up the windows of e-commerce to its small and medium enterprise (SME) customer’s base which is the largest in the country.
Famous Economist Mrinal Datta Chaudhuri passes away [Non-UPSC]:
- He had served as Director of Delhi School of Economics (DSE) and was a visiting professor of economics at the Universities of Harvard and Minnesota.
- He was popularly and affectionately called as ‘MDC’ among his circles.
- Mrinal Dutta Chaudhuri was a policy advisor in the former Congress-led UPA governments.
- He also had served on many committees and advisory bodies of Union Government.
- He was part of the unofficial think tank that had helped usher in the policy of economic reforms of 1991.
- He got Padma Bhushan in 2005 in the field of Trade and Industry.
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates 50th anniversary of India’s first historic climb of Mt. Everest in 1965 [UPSC]:
- This function was organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to celebrate the historic climb of Mt. Everest in 1965 by an Indian team led by Captain Mohan Singh Kohli.
- On this day in 1965, Indian team of 21 mountaineers led by Captain M S Kohli of Indian Navy had successfully climbed world’s highest peak Mt. Everest after a series of three unsuccessful attempts in five years.
- Trivia: Nawang Gombu, the Sherpa who accompanied the team at that time had created record by climbing to the summit twice. For first time he had climbed to the peak in 1963 with an American expedition team.
- Height of Mt. Everest is 8848m
- Mt. Everest is earth’s Highest Mountain.
- Mt. Everest is known as Sagarmatha in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet.
- Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first succesful official ascent of Everest in 1953.
- Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- Bachendri Pal was the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Laszlo Krasznahorkai wins Man Booker International Prize 2015 [Non-UPSC]:
- Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai has won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 2015.
- He was chosen from a list of 10 contenders from around the world, Amitav Ghosh was one of them.
- Facts About Man Booker International Prize:
- This award recognizes an authors’s achievement in fiction writing.
- It is a biennial award (once in 2 years) , bestowed upon a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is available in translation in the English language.
- The prize is sponsored by Man Group, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
- The Prize is significantly different in that it highlights one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage. The judges, who solely decide the winner, consider a writer’s body of work rather than a single novel.
V Shanmuganathan becomes the 15th Governor of Meghalaya [Non-UPSC]:
- He succeeds Keshari Nath Tripathi, governor of West Bengal who was given additional charge of Meghalaya since January 2015.
Meghalaya achieves 100% financial inclusion under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna [ALL]:
- The state was able to open at least one bank account of every household under the ambitious scheme.
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY): It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the goal of eradicating financial untouchability of the poor by opening at least one bank account for every family in the country in less than six months.
- It seeks to financially empower the poor by providing them access to formal banking system. It also seeks to provide platform for Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) which will curb leakages in government subsidies and thus saving government exchequer.
Tathagata Roy appointed as the new Governor of Tripura[Non-UPSC]:
- He suceeded Padmanabh Balkrishna Acharya, Governor of Nagaland, who was holding the additional charge of Tripura.
Blue whales spotted for the 1st time in 100 years off Sindhudurg coast in Maharashtra[All]:
- For the first time after 100 years that the Blue Whales were sighted off the coast of Maharashtra.
- Last time, a blue whale was sighted in waters of Maharashtra was in 1914.
- Blue whale is the largest existing animal on Earth.
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