Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 8 July 2015

Famous Ecologist Kamal Bawa elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society:

  • Kamal Bawa is known for his pioneering contributions in the field of conservation science.
  • With his induction to the Royal Society, he joins former and current eminent fellows of Royal Society such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking etc.
  • Dr. Kamal Bawa is India’s most prominent biologist and an evolutionary ecologist.
  • He is the founder and President of Bengaluru based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE).
  • Facts about Royal Society:
  • It was established in 1660 in London. It is one of oldest science society that still exists.
  • It recognises and promotes excellence in science for the benefit of humanity. It is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.

Floyd Mayweather stripped of Welterweight World title 2015:

  • World Boxing Organisation (WBO) decided this after Mayweather failed to pay the 200,000 dollar sanctioning fee to WBO prior to the deadline of 3 July 2015.
  • As per WBO rules, boxers are required to pay 3 per cent of their purse to fight for a world title which at maximum accounts for 200,000 dollars.
  • The rules also prohibit WBO champions to hold titles in different weight categories at the same time.At present, Mayweather is also the WBC and WBA champion at junior middleweight (154 lbs), as well as at welterweight (147 lbs).
  • Mayweather had won the Welterweight World title 2015 on May 2, 2015 by defeating Manny Pacquiao of Philippines in Las Vegas. This fight was the richest of all time as it had earned around record 220 million dollars.



India and Uzbekistan signs pacts to boost cooperation:

  • The agreements were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan President had talks on key bilateral and regional issues.
  • This visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was part of his first leg of strategic tour to 5 Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and Russia.
  • Details of the Joint Statement:
    • The two sides agreed to maintain regular bilateral consultations and political dialogue to promote mutual understanding on bilateral as well as regional and international issues.
    • The two sides expressed their intention to strengthen coordination between the law enforcement agencies and special services of the two countries under the framework of the Uzbekistan-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.
    • The two sides agreed to take joint measures to expand and diversify the bilateral trade through facilitating participation in exhibitions, trade fairs, business forums and other joint business activities in Uzbekistan and India.
    • They called for partnership in creating favorable conditions for investment by Indian companies in Uzbekistan, including in the framework of the Special Economic Zones “Navoi”, “Angren” and “Jizzakh“.
    • They agreed to further develop mutually beneficial cooperation in transport & communication and agreed to explore various options to enhance surface connectivity between them.
    • They agreed on the proposal to set up telemedicine links connecting medical institutions in Uzbekistan and India for medical consultations, exchange of experiences and teleconferences.
    • A new Programme of Cultural Cooperation for the period 2015-2017 was inked and the two sides called for its full and timely implementation to expand cultural exchanges.
    • The two sides agreed to implement practical measures under the framework of the bilateral Agreement on cooperation in tourism was signed during the visit.
    • Both the sides called for comprehensive reforms of the UN structures, first of all, its Security Council, including expansion in both categories of membership.
  • Uzbekistan reaffirmed its support to India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.
    • They agreed to further strengthen mutual cooperation under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
  • During the visit, Prime Minister Modi also presented a specially commissioned reproduction of Khamsa-i-Khusrau by the great 13th century sufi poet Amir Khusrau to President Islam Karimov. Khusrau’s father hailed from Uzbekistan and invited the President of Uzbekistan to pay a visit to India at his convenience.
  • International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC): India asked Uzbekistan to be part of INSTC similar to Ashgabat Agreement which is s a transit pact between Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Oman established in 2011.
  • It should be noted that INSTC is a ship, road and rail route for moving freight between India, Iran, Russia, Europe and Central Asia.
  • The INSTC was expanded to include eleven new members, namely: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Republic of Ukraine, Republic of Belarus, Oman, Syria, Bulgaria (Observer)

MGNREGA is the world’s largest public works programme: World Bank Report:

  • Important points of the Report:
  • The world’s largest social safety net programmes are being run by India, China, South Africa and Ethiopia.
  • MGNREGA (under Ministry of Rural Development): It provides social security net to 182 million beneficiaries i.e. almost 15 per cent of the India’s population.
  • Mid-day meal scheme (under Ministry of Human Resource Development) has been classified as biggest school feeding programme. It benefits around 105 million beneficiaries.
  • Janani Suraksha Yojna (Under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) is top-most social security programme with conditional cash transfers. It has 78 million beneficiaries.
  • Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (under Ministry of Rural Development) is the second-largest unconditional cash transfer social security programme in the world.

India, Kazakhstan starts drilling at Satpayev oil block of OVL :

  • It was jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kazakhstan premier Karim Massimov in Astana, Kazakh capital during PM modi’s visit to Khazakhstan.
  • India and Kazakhstan launched the first exploratory drilling at Satpayev oil block owned by India’s ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and Kazakhstan company KazMunaiGaz.
  •  Satpayev oil block is an offshore field located in the Northern Caspian Sea.
  • In 2011, OVL had acquired 25 per cent stake in this block.
  • With this launch, India has made a significant step to achieve energy security especially in hydrocarbon needs in line with Make in India programme.

MoEFCC  reviews ESA demarcation progress in Western Ghats:

  • Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) recently held a meeting with 6 Western Ghats states  to review the progress of demarcation of Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESA) along the Western Ghats region.
  • The meeting was held in order to decide the further course of action in the ambit of recommendations made by Kasturirangan Committee report (2013).
  • Extra facts: Kasturirangan committee had recommended that about 37 per cent areas in the Western Ghats to be declared as an ESA, whereas Madhav Gadgil report had recommended declaration of entire Western Ghats region as an ESA.

UGC accorded Heritage Status on 19 Colleges across India:

  • The Heritage status was granted to institutions across the country with an aim of conserving college campuses which are more than 100 years old.
  • The UGC also approved financial assistance for the improvement and upgradation of these 19 colleges.
  • These colleges are:
    • St Xavier’s College, Mumbai (Maharashtra)
    • Ferguson College, Pune (Maharashtra)
    • Hislop College, Nagpur(Maharashtra)
    • Midnapore College (West Bengal)
    • St Xavier’s College, Kolkata (West Bengal)
    • Khalsa College, Amritsar (Punjab)
    • Kanya Mahavidyalya, Jalandhar (Punjab)
    • CMS College, Kottayam (Kerala)
    • Government Brennan College, Thalassery (Kerala)
    • Old Agra College, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
    • Meerut College, Meerut (Uttar Pradesh)
    • St Joseph College, Tiruchirappalli (Tamil Nadu)
    • St Bede’s College, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh)
    • Langat Singh College, Muzaffarpur (Bihar)
    • University College, Mangalore (Karnataka)
    • Cotton College, Guwahati (Assam)
    • Government Medical Science College, Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh)
    • Gandhi Memorial Science College, Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir)
    • DAV College, Ambala (Haryana)


ICC began hearing on the Nine-dash line of South China Sea:

  • What is Nine-dash line: Demarcation line initially used by China to claim major parts of South China Sea
  • International Criminal Court (ICC) on 7 July 2015 began hearing a case brought by the Philippines against China on territorial claims in the South China Sea.
  • The nine-dash line also known as U-shaped line refers to the demarcation line which was initially used by China for their claims of the major part of the South China Sea (SCS). Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim that they have been bisected by China’s nine-dash line.
  • This is the first time that the disputed South China Sea came under international legal scrutiny, despite Beijing has refused to take part in the case.
  • The ICC will check that who has property rights over a 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • The claim inckudes the area of Chinese land reclamation known as the “Great wall of sand”.


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