Daily Current Affairs May 2015

Daily Current Affairs GK Update – 9, 10 July 2015

NDDB launched mobile app Pashu Poshan to boost dairy farmer’s income:

  • The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)  launched a mobile application named Pashu Poshan that will boost dairy farmers’ income by raising milk yield and cutting feed cost.
  • The app will recommend a balanced diet for cows and buffaloes.
  • The application will be available on both web and android platforms.

Goa to host the Youth Delphic Games in February 2016:

  • Goa will host the fifth Youth Delphic Games in February 2016. The announcement was made in June 2015. The motto of the 2016 Games is Celebrating Arts and Cultures.
  • The Delphic Games will be hosted in India for the first time from 1 February to 14 February 2016 in Goa.
  • The Delphic Games, also called  as the twin sister of Olympics, came into being over 1000 years ago in Delphi, Greece to praise the gods and honour peace. However, the games were banned in 394 AD due to wars and conflicts.
  • But later, the International Delphic Council (IDC) founded in 1994, revived the Games.
  • The Youth Delphic Games started  are held at every four years and invites participants of the age group of 15 to 25 years.


Climate Change to be the theme of Science Express in 2015:

  • Climate Change was announced as the theme of 2015 Science Express.
  • About Science Express:It is a unique science exhibition mounted on a 16-coach AC train.
    • Its focus is on spreading awareness about science and technology among students from schools and colleges and general public at large.
    • It has been travelling across India successfully since 2007.
    • It is a joint initiative of three Ministries and Departments – Ministry of Railways, the Department of Science & Technology and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.


Indian Army dedicates Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation:

  • Indian Army  dedicated the monument named Prerna Sthal at Hussainiwala to the nation.
  • The commemorative monument was built to honour the sacrifice of soldiers of India.
  • The newly constructed Prerna Sthal is located at the gateway of the memorial to Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Hussainiwala, a village in Firozpur district of Punjab, India, where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were cremated on 23 March 1931.
  • Prerna Sthal encompasses seven pillars made of sand stone with copper finish metallic inscription plaques.
  • The central pillar that is large in size carries a portrait of Bhagat Singh.
  • The first of the six smaller ancillary pillars has been scripted with motivational verses and remaining five pillars narrate briefs of various battles fought in this specific place as well as the names of martyrs and details of gallantry awards.

Union Home Ministry extended the ‘disturbed area’ status of Nagaland for one more year:

  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in first week of July 2015 extended the ‘disturbed area’ status of Nagaland for one more year.
  • The ‘disturbed status’ area became effective from 30 June 2015 and will be in effect until 30 June 2016.
  • Complete Nagaland was declared as a disturbed area for a period of one year in exercise of the powers conferred to Union Government by Section 3 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958.
  • The decision came almost a month after NSCN-(Khaplang), the dominant Naga rebel group, attacked an army convoy in Manipur’s Chandel district and killed 18 soldiers.


BRICS central banks signs Agreement to operationalise Contingent Reserve Arrangement:

  • The central banks of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) signed Mutual Assistance Agreement (MAA) aimed at operationalising the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA) of 100 billion US dollars. It will come into force on 30 July 2015.
  • The document was signed after a meeting of BRICS finance ministers and central bank governors in  Moscow.
  • What is  Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA)?
  • Its purpose is to provide mutual support i.e monetary funds in US dollars in the event that national financial systems of any BRICS country encounter dollar liquidity problems.
  • The CRA along with the New Development Bank are part of the BRICS framework that is aimed at maintaining financial stability in the BRICS countries.
  • Total committed resources of the CRA are 100 billion US dollars, with individual commitments- China (41 billion), Brazil (18 billion), Russia (18 billion), India (18 billion) and South Africa (5 billion).


Inderjeet Singh became first Indian to win a Gold Medal at World University Games in Gwangju:

  • Indian shot-putter Inderjit Singh won the Gold medal of men’s shot put event at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea.
  • With this, he created history to become the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World University Games. In the last edition of the games in 2013 in Russia he had won silver medal in the shot put event.


Union Government to develop all villages within 10 km of International Borders:

  • These villages will be developed under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) with special emphasis on promotion of sports activities and rural tourism.
  •  It was decided by the Union Home Ministry in consultation with Ministries of Rural Development, Sports, Health and Human Resources Development.
  • The funds under BADP for this initiative will be provided to the states as a 100 per cent non-lapsable special central assistance.
  • It will be supplemented from the budgetary allocation of Rs. 990 crore for the financial year 2015-16.
  • The development of villages under BADP will include schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Promotion of sports activities in border areas. Skill Development Programmes along with promotion of rural tourism (i.e. border tourism) and protection of heritage sites.
  • It will also cover construction of helipads in remote and inaccessible hilly areas, which do not have road connectivity, skill development training to farmers for use of modern or scientific technique in farming, organic farming etc.Border area development- gosarkari

About Border Area Development Programme:

  • The Border Area Development Programme (BADP) was initiated in western region, which at that point of time was the most volatile border, during the Seventh Five Year Plan period.
  • The programme has been expanded since to cover the border blocks of the 17 States (including 8 North Eastern States), which have international land borders with Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
  • The funds under BADP are provided to the States as a 100% non-lapsable Special Central Assistance for execution of projects relating to infrastructure, livelihood, education, health, agriculture, and allied sectors to meet the special developmental needs of the people living in remote and inaccessible areas situated near the international border.
  • The BADP is being implemented by the Department of Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs through the State Governments.

Vadodara and China’s Xinjinag province ink deal to develop twin cities:

  • It was signed between Vadodara Municipal Corporation and Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjinag Uygur Autonomous Region in Mumbai.
  • The MoU aims to enhance Infrastructure growth and development between the two regions.
  • Also, it aims to achieve mutual cooperation in economic, technological, scientific and cultural strengths between both cities and increase people-to-people exchanges to build greater mutual understanding.



Sriram Kalyanaraman appointed as MD and CEO of NHB:

  • He became the first person from private sector to be appointed as head of a public sector financial institution. Presently, Kalyanaraman works as the director-business development  in Equifax Credit Information Services.
  • National Housing Bank (NHB):  NHB is apex regulator for housing finance sector and  it is a  wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • It was established 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987.
  • It is a nodal agency to promote housing finance institutions at local and regional levels. It also provides financial and other support to institutions related to this sector.
  • It is entrusted with the function to register, regulate and supervise Housing Finance Company (HFCs) and keep surveillance on them through On-site & Off-site Mechanisms.

Lord Kamlesh Patel becomes first British-Asian to be appointed as ECB Director:

  • Lord Kamlesh Patel has become the first British-Asian to be appointed as Director of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
  • He succeeds Lord Morris of Handsworth, who stepped down as an ECB Director after 11 years stint.
  • Presently, he is Labour Peer in the House of Lords and professor at the University of East London.

eSign Services and eMlocker launched by eMudhra Limited:

  • eMudhra Limited, a leading certifying firm in the country for digital signatures launched first of its kind eSign services in the country as part of the Digital India Vision.
  • eSign is an online electronic signature service legally valid and secure under the Information Technology Act, 2000.
  • It will facilitate an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document within seconds.
  • It seeks to pave the way for a digital transformation into a paperless environment by revolutionising the way of business and governance conducted in the country.
  • eMudhra Limited  also launched eMlocker which facilitates a person to store important documents such as Aadhaar cards, PAN cards, electricity bills or any other documents electronically.
  • Facts about eMudhra: eMudhra Limited is a statutory licensed Certifying Authority of India to issue digital signature certificates.It was setup in 2008 under the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
  • eMudhra offers variety of other services including Tax filing Services, Digital Signing Solutions, PAN Card Online applications. Digital Certificate Authentication System and Trusted Time Stamping etc.
  • What is Digital Signature? : It is an electronic signature used to authenticate the identity of the sender of  a message or document. It ensures that original content of the message or document remains unchanged or undistorted when received by the receiver.

UNESCO grants world heritage status to 24 new sites:

  • The decision was taken at the 39th session of  World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO, held in Bonn, Germany.
  • With this the total number of world heritage sites has increased to 1,031.
  • 24 new sites are as follows:
    • Blue and John Crow Mountains (Jamaica).
    • Tusi sites (China),
    • Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement (Denmark).
    • Par Force Hunting Landscape in North Zealand (Denmark).
    • Climats, terroirs of Burgundy (France).
    • Champagne Hillsides, Houses and Cellars (France).
    • Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus (Germany).
    • Susa (Iran).
    • Cultural Landscape of Maymand (Iran).
    • Necropolis of Beth She’arim—a Landmark of Jewish Revival (Israel).
    • Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale (Italy).
    • Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining (Japan).
    • Baptism Site “Bethany Beyond the Jordan” (Al-Maghtas) (Jordan).
    • Baekje Historic Areas (South Korea).
    • Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System (Mexico).
    • Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape (Mongolia).
    • Rjukan-Notodden Industrial Heritage Site (Norway).
    • Rock Art in the Hail Region (Saudi Arabia).
    • Singapore Botanical Gardens (Singapore).
      Ephesus (Turkey).
    • Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape (Turkey).
    • Fray Bentos Cultural-Industrial Landscape (Uruguay).
    • The Forth Bridge (United Kingdom).
    • San Antonio Missions (United States).

India and  US sign agreement to implement FATCA:

  • FATCA : Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
  • The agreement will promote transparency on tax matters and curb offshore tax evasion by exchange of information between the two countries.
  • This agreement makes it  obligatory on signatories to exchange a wide range of financial information among themselves automatically and periodically.

Eminent Urdu poet Bashar Navaaz died:

  • Notable Urdu poet, critic and orator Bashar Navaaz passed away in Aurangabad, Maharashtra at the age of 80.
  • He was known as an Indo Pak shayar as his gazals were popular in India as well as Pakistan.
  • His books Rayagan, Ajanabee samandar were very popular among gazal lovers.


Uttarakhand installs India’s first earthquake early warning system:

  • Uttarakhand became first Indian state to install a system to detect earthquakes and disseminate warnings.
  • The first system has been installed in its capital Dehradun which will issue warnings 1-40 seconds before earthquakes of magnitude 5 or more occur.
  • The system is designed and manufactured by Italian firm, Space Dynamics which already has installed it in Japan, Italy and US.
  • The system is incorporated with sensors which are capable to detect P (Primary) and S (Secondary) waves generated during an earthquake.
  • It is capable to detect the harmless P wave, which travels faster than the S wave for advance warning.
  • The second system will be established at Pithoragarh in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
  • Uttarakhand falls under seismic zone V i.e. High-Risk Seismic Zone. Apart from it, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Rann of Kutch (Gujarat), Northern Bihar and Andaman & Nicobar Islands also fall under this seismic zone.


Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka sets record for spending longest time in space:

  • Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka has set a Guinness World Record for spending longest time in space with a total of 804 days as on July 2015.
  • He broke the previous record of 803 days, nine hours and 41 minutes set by Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev (now retired) across six missions from 1998 to 2005.
  • Currently, he is the commander of the International Space Station (ISS) which is orbiting the Earth.
  • He also has participated in record nine space walks till date.
  • Extra Facts: Indian-American astronaut Sunita William holds the world records for most spacewalk time for a woman astronaut (50 hours, 40 minutes) and most spacewalks by a woman astronaut (seven times).

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