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Daily Current Affairs for May 14-15,2018 ( English)

1.       The skill development centre for clients of Bharosa, an integrated support centre for distressed women and children is going to set up by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Hyderabad, Telangana. This centre will be set up in line with agreement signed between Hyderabad Police and UNDP under Disha project. This initiative is aimed at empowering vulnerable and marginalised women by imparting skills training. Bharosa is an initiative of Hyderabad City Police launched in 2016. It is state-of-the-art centre to support women and children who are victims of violence.
2.     As per the Lancet Global Health journal that was released on May 14, 2018, around 239000 girls under the age of five die each year in India due to gender discrimination. According to the study, 29 out of Indian 35 States and UTs contributed to the death of these girls. Four largest states in northern India, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, accounted for two thirds of the total excess deaths of females under five.
3.     The annual flagship report titled ‘World Employment and Social Outlook 2018: Greening with Jobs’ was released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on May 14, 2018. As per the report of ILO, 300000 workers will be employed directly in the solar and wind energy sectors by 2022 to meet India's goal of generating 175 gigawatts of electricity from renewable sources. 
4.       A full-fledged Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) which aims to train over 5.5 lakh workers in environment and forest sectors in the country through 30 courses by 2021 for sustainable conservation and management of natural resources is going has been launched by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). GSDP was launched as pilot project in 2017 by MoEFCC in partnership with National Skill Development Agency (NSDA). GSDP-ENVIS mobile application was also launched to provide more information and applying to courses under GSDP programme.
5.       National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy with an aim to boost renewable power generation by promoting new projects as well as hybridisation of existing ones has been issued by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. A new scheme for new hybrid projects is also  going to launch by the government under this policy.  The main objective of this policy is to provide comprehensive framework for promotion of large grid connected wind-solar Photo Voltaic (PV) hybrid system for efficient utilization of transmission infrastructure and land. Encourage new technologies, methods and way-outs involving combined operation of wind and solar PV plants. Reduce variability in renewable power generation and achieving better grid stability.
6.       Under Skill India Mission, a meeting of stakeholders on Samarth Scheme (Scheme for Capacity Building in Textile Sector) was held in New Delhi. The scheme is intended to provide demand driven, placement oriented National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) compliant skilling programmes to incentivize and supplement efforts of industry in creating jobs in textiles sectors. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of Textiles Smriti Zubin Irani.  It was attended by the senior officials of Textiles Ministry, institutions and organizations under it, representatives of textile industry, State Governments, training institutions among others.
7.       South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency’s fourth meeting  was in Kolkata, West Bengal from May 8-10, 2018. It was first meeting of SAWEN to be held in India since its inception in 2011. Six proposals, including tracking of wildlife smuggling route, review of existing laws and structure for the organisation were tabled during the meeting.
8.       For the implementation of Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM), an MoU was signed between 4 States and 1 Union Territory with the National Health Mission, Government of India. These states/UTs are Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Chandigarh (UT). The scheme will target over 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC) database. Beneficiaries can avail of services anywhere in India. It will provide Rs. 5 lakh insurance cover per family per year, taking care of almost all secondary care and tertiary care procedures. There will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme.
9.       The 4th edition of Global Exhibition on services in Mumbai was inaugurated by President of India on May 15, 2018. The exhibition is expected to witness participation from around 25 Indian states and about 100 countries with 625 exhibitors and 500 overseas delegates. The President also released the logo for Services and launched the portal. The event will also feature roundtables and seminars, state investment summits, B2B meetings, exhibition of key services sectors, cultural activities, country and international pavilions, among others.
10.   Telangana to provide 2% quota for sportspersons in government jobs. This announcement was made by CM Chandrashekar Rao. The two per cent would be horizontal reservation and not vertical reservation.It would be applicable to 29 recognised sports disciplines. The move however, will not affect the overall percentage of reservation in the state.
11.   The Indian government plans to install special automated kiosks (e-Gates) for speedy document and identity verification. From January 2019, low-risk foreign travelers will not have to wait in long queues at airport immigration counters. By this foreigners would be able to present their machine-readable passports, place their fingerprints on the scanner and complete a customs declaration at the e-Gates.
12.   Union Minister Vijay Sampla in the local head Post Office of Phagwara inaugurated the Post Office Passport Seva Kendra (POPSK) run by an all-woman team began its operations Phagwara, Punjab. This kendra was 192nd POPSK in the country and first one to be operated by an all-woman team. It was launched as part of Central Government’s initiative for women empowerment. It will  cater needs of people from Kapurthala, Nawandhar and Jalandhar rural districts.

1.     The United States of America officially relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, upholding the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 on May 14, 2018.
2.       Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kathmandu (capital city) announced that Nepal is going to host 2018 Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. BIMSTEC countries are India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka from South Asia and Myanmar, Thailand from South East Asia. Its prime objectives include technological and economic cooperation among south Asian and south East Asian countries along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
3.     The World Bank (WB) is going to provide Bangladesh with a grant to meet the basic needs of around one million Rohingyas who fled from Myanmar in August 2017. A team of World Bank would be visiting Bangladesh to discuss the issue with the government.
4.     An emergency meeting was hold by the United Nations Security Council on May 15 to discuss the violence along the Gaza-Israeli border.  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement through his spokesperson on May 14, expressing deep concern about the developments in Gaza. He urged both sides to show restraint to avoid further loss of life. More than 50 Palestinians died after Israeli forces fired on people who were protesting the US embassy move to Jerusalem on Monday.
5.       China’s first India-dedicated publicly offered investment fund named as Industrial and Commercial Bank Credit Suisse India Market Fund has launched by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), a top state-run Chinese bank. ICBC is the largest in the world with over $3.6 trillion in assets. The ICBC Credit Suisse Indian Market Fund (LOF) will invest in exchange-traded funds listed on more than 20 exchanges in Europe and US that are based on the Indian market.
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Science and Technology/Defence: 
1.       “Type 001A”- China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier’s sea trials was carried out from Dalian port in Liaoning province. China’s first aircraft carrier constructed from incomplete Kuznetsov-class vessel. It was constructed by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in Dalian. Its design is based on the Soviet Union’s Kuznetsov class and refined and advanced version of Liaoning. The ship’s engine, propulsion and navigation systems will be tested at sea for first time, a year after it was officially launched. The name of the carrier was not revealed at the launch ceremony, but it is speculated that it will be named Shandong after province of same name. It measures about 315 metres long, with displacement capacity of about 55,000 tonnes (70,000 loaded). It is capable of carrying 38 to 40 aircrafts.
2.       30 more doppler radars has been planned to add by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in the next two-three years across the country. There are currently 27 Doppler radars in the country. 14 will be located in the northeast, four in Jammu and Kashmir and three each will be Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The first Doppler radar in India was installed in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in 2002. Doppler radar is an observational tool used for precisely monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados. IMD is the principal agency of Government of India responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
3.       Indian Army is claimed to be biggest ever initiative for indigenisation of ammunition by finalizing  Rs. 15,000-crore indigenous ammunition project under which range of ammunition for its critical weapons and tanks will be produced indigenously. The immediate aim of this project is to create an inventory for all major weapons to enable forces to fight 30-day war while long-term objective is to overcome long delays in imports and address problem of dwindling stockpile. Indian Army has set specific target for next 10 years in terms of volume of ammunition to be produced.
4.       A more no. of tests has demanded for genetically modified mustard- Dhara Mustard Hybrid (DMH -11) for “commercial cultivation” by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). The demand for renewed field demonstrations comes year after GEAC had given final clearance for GM mustard (in May 2017). This clearance was mired in confusion after government held it as inadvertent error. There has been strong opposition from various organisations and also from within government to the approval given to GM mustard. It has called for ‘field demonstrations’ of GM mustard in an area of 5 acres at two or three different locations across the country to study possible impact transgenic crop could have on honey bees and seeks additional data on these and other pollinators and also on soil microbial diversity.
5.       Women Officers’ Mountaineering Expedition to Mt. Bhagirathi-II has flagged off by Indian Army to explore maximum potential of women officers in the field of adventure sports. The expedition aims at encouraging women in the field of adventure where dauntless courage, will-power and determination of women officers is put to test. The expedition team comprises of nine women officers. They are planning to set new world record of practicing Yoga at 21000 ft (6512 metres) on the occasion of Yoga Day 2018. Mt. Bhagirathi-II (6512 metres) is located in the Garhwal Himalayas in Gangotri National Park. The peak rises right above the Gangotri glacier.
1.       India was largest remittance receiving country in the world with US $69 billion in 2017, according to recently released report ‘RemitSCOPE – Remittance markets and opportunities – Asia and the Pacific’. Top five remittance receiving countries in 2017 in the world were India ($69 billion), China ($64 billion) and Philippines ($33 billion), Pakistan ($20 billion), and Vietnam ($14 billion).
2.       Bharti Airtel’s acquisition of Telenor India was approved by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The department has transferred all licenses belonging to the Indian unit of Norway-based Telenor to Bharti Airtel. 
3.       Under online trading platform eNAM (electronic National Agriculture Market), Union Government is going to link additional 200 wholesale mandis in this fiscal (2018-19) and also encourage inter-mandi transactions. At present, 585 regulated mandis in 14 states are linked with the eNAM. eNAM is pan-India electronic trading portal for farm produce which aims creates unified national market for agricultural commodities by integrating ex isting Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) markets.
4.     An automatic recurring payment, a new feature that would let users configure the payments app to pay for periodic recurring expenses automatically has introduced by Paytm. The company expects the feature to significantly boost bank-to-bank transactions on the Paytm app.
1.     Dr Bindeshwar Pathak was honoured with the Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan for his contribution to Asia’s development. He is the founder of Sulabh International in 1970. Dr Pathak was described as Indian social reformer tackling two of his country’s biggest challenges — poor hygiene and discrimination. Nikkei Inc. is one of the largest media corporations in Japan. It has been presenting Nikkei Asia Prize since 1996 to honour people in Asia who have made significant contributions in one of the three areas: Economic and Business Innovation, Science, Technology and Environment and Culture and Community.
Books & Authors:
1. “ Hidden India “ – abook to promote the protection of Indian elephants was unveiled by wildlife photographer Latika Nath.

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