13 May

International News Affairs

  • Today (second Saturday of May) is World Fair Trade Day.
    • This day was created by the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) in 2004.
    • This is the annual day of celebration recognising those in the fair trade supply chain, run by The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO).
    • Theme of World Fair Trade Day 2017 : ‘Human Chains for Fair Trade and the Planet’
  • India is set to skip China’s two-day Belt and Road Forum starting from Sunday due to sovereignty concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a part of China’s One Belt One Road project.
    • Note: India-China relations have been strained recently over multiple issues including China’s blocking of India’s NSG membership attempt and its support to Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar.
  • India moved up to the 26thspot in the Global electricity accessibility rankings of the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index.
    • India was at the 99th position in 2014; it jumped 73 ranks in 2016.
  • Brazil has declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus, 18 months after the outbreak in 2015.
    • The number of cases dropped 95% between January and April, compared to the same period a year ago.
    • Note: The World Health Organisation had lifted its own international emergency in November last year.

MOUs & Agreements

  • Nepal and China today signed a framework agreementon Beijing’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, days ahead of a summit in Beijing to showcase President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to build a modern day Silk Road.

National News Affairs

  • Nagpur is set to become India’s first city to get a fleet of electric cabs.
    • The pilot project will see around 200 electric cabs in Nagpur and the local body will also provide charging stations across the city.
  • Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani launched Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Gramin Gujarat for 5 districts of the state.
    • PM Awas Yojana (PMAY) is an ambitious scheme of Narendra Modi Schemes under which the government provides affordable houses to the homeless people at affordable cost.
    • Under housing for all scheme, the central government will provide houses to the people who are living under Below Poverty Line and other categories also.
  • Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has announced that all future elections in the country will be held using Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines along with the electronic voting machines.
    • The move comes amid series of allegations by political parties, including Mayawati’s BSP and Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, that voting machines were tampered with during the elections.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government is going to make Saturdays as ‘no school bag day‘ in the state-run schools.
    • As per the proposal, the school kids would be allowed to come to school without school bags so that they can enjoy the creative activities.
  • Union Health Minister JP Nadda launched new Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) for pneumonia in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh.
    • There are over 90 different types of pneumococcal bacteria which cause a range of problems including ear infections and serious chest infections pneumonia.
    • This vaccine would help health department to control the pneumonia and child mortality rate.

Banking, Business & Economic Affairs

  • The US is close to completing a series of Arms deals with Saudi Arabia totalling more than $100 billion which could surpass over $300 billion over a decade.
    • Note : Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition in Yemen which has been accused by UN of carrying out attacks that “may amount to war crimes”.
  • The Centre today exempted NRIscitizens above 80 years, and residents of Jammu and KashmirAssam, and Meghalaya from having to mandatorily quote their Aadhaar numbers to file income tax returns.
    • Note : Earlier, the Centre had announced in this year’s Union Budget that Aadhaar card will be compulsory for filing income tax returns and obtaining PAN cards from July.
  • New Changes Introduced by SBI
    • SBI has revised service charges on various cash transactions effective June 1, including a ₹25 charge on withdrawing money from an ATM through SBI’s mobile wallet app.
    • Customers will be charged for exchanging more than 20 soiled notes and of value above ₹5,000.
    • Basic Savings Bank Deposit account customers will get four withdrawals, including ATM withdrawals, free in a month.

Awards & Honours

  • The 112-foot tall bust of ‘Adiyogi‘ Lord Shiva at the Isha Yoga Foundation in Tamil Nadu has been declared the world’s largest bust (sculpture) by the Guinness World Records.
    • The bust, unveiled by PM Narendra Modi earlier this year, refers to the source of Yoga and symbolises the 112 methods of self-transformation that the first Yogi offered.

New Appointments

  • Actor Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as World Health Organisation’s Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia Region.
    • He has been appointed to boost awareness and intensify action to stop the spread of hepatitis.

Science & Technology

  • India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas today successfully demonstrated an air-to-air Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile firing capability.
    • The Derby BVR missile destroyed a maneuverable aerial target with pinpoint precision at the Interim Test Range in Odisha’s Chandipur.
    • Note : The Derby firing is a major step towards clearing BVR capabilities on LCA aircraft.
  • A massive ransomware Cyber Attack dubbed WannaCry, targeted computers in 99 countries including India today, with more than 57,000 attacks detected so far, cyber security firms Kaspersky and Avast have confirmed.
    • Russia was the worst hit country, witnessing over 70% of the affected computers, while India was third on the list.
  • NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer successfully completed the 200th spacewalkfor the $100-billion International Space Station (ISS).
    • Note : ISS’ first spacewalk was conducted on December 7, 1998, by NASA astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman.
  • Pune-based doctors will conduct India’s first womb transplantation next week when they will transfer two uteri from healthy donors to two recipients, who are unable to bear children.
    • Note : Womb transplantation was first performed in Sweden in a 16-hour-surgery in 2012 and the first baby, born to the recipient in 2014, was delivered prematurely by caesarean section in a healthy condition.

Sports Current Affairs

Former cricketer VVS Laxman has been awarded honorary life membership of the Marylebone Cricket Club.