Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 15th May 2019
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Current Affairs (National)
♦ MoU signed between NMCG, HCL Foundation and INTACH for Rudraksh Plantation in Uttarakhand
- As an initiative towards a greener ecosystem in Ganga Basin, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), HCL Foundation and INTACH for taking up a project of ‘Plantation of Rudraksh Trees in Uttarakhand’ under the ‘Namami Gange’ Programme.
- While the project aims at planting 10,000 Rudraksh trees in the catchment area of river Ganga in Uttarakhand in association with the local community and other stakeholders, it will also help in generating income for people residing in those areas.
- While signing the MoU on Tuesday, NMCG Director General Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said, “The Namami Gange Mission aims at providing comprehensive and sustainable solutions for a cleaner ecosystem along the stretch of 97 towns and 4,465 villages on the Ganga stem. The afforestation drive and the Clean Ganga Mission will go hand in hand.”
Current Affairs (International)
♦ Sherpa breaks his own record for number of Mt. Everest ascents
- Nepali mountaineer Sherpa climber Kami Rita scaled Mount Everest on Wednesday for a 23rd time, breaking his own record for the most successful ascents of the world’s highest peak. Rita reached the summit with other climbers Wednesday morning and all of them were reported to be safe, said Gyanendra Shrestha, a Nepalese government official at the mountain’s base camp.
- Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 29,035-foot peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.
Banking and Finance
♦ India’s April trade deficit widens to $15.33 bn, exports grow marginally
- India’s export growth slid to a four-month low of 0.64 per cent in April as shipments of engineering goods, gems and jewellery, leather and other products declined, widening the trade deficit to a five-month high, official data released Wednesday showed.
- Imports increased by 4.5 per cent, the highest growth in the last six months as crude oil and gold shipments shot up in the month.
- Merchandise exports stood at $26 billion in April while imports at $41.4 billion, leading to a trade gap of $15.33 billion, the widest deficit since November 2018, the trade data showed.
♦ HDFC partners with IMGC to provide mortgage-guarantee-backed home loan
- Housing finance major HDFC Limited has partnered with India Mortgage Guarantee Corporation (IMGC) to offer a mortgage-guaranteed home loan product. The partnership aims to make it possible for HDFC to further penetrate home loan market and access an enlarged customer base, helping them to own a home of their choice.
- This product will help HDFC to offer more loan to a home loan customer on an enhanced eligibility. It also helps customers to avail loans beyond their retirement period. The finer details of the product are being worked out and will be known to market soon.
♦ Airtel, HDFC Life Insurance to offer free cover for prepaid customers
- Bharti Airtel and HDFC Life Insurance have tied up to offer life cover for customers who get a prepaid recharge done.
- Airtel’s new ₹249-prepaid bundle — which will include 2 GB data, unlimited calls across networks, and 100 SMSes per day — will also offer a cover worth ₹4 lakh from HDFC Life.
- “The recharge is valid for 28 days and and the policy cover till recharge is active. A customer needs to enrol for insurance after the first recharge through either an SMS, the My Airtel App, or the retailer,” HDFC Life Insurance said in a statement on Monday.
♦ BharatPe ropes in Salman Khan as brand ambassador
- Merchant service and UPI payments app BharatPe Monday said it has roped in Bollywood actor Salman Khan as its brand ambassador.
- The company is on an aggressive growth spree and will be launching a brand advertising campaign with Khan shortly, it said in a release.
- The new brand campaign with Khan will be focused towards educating merchants and users about UPI payments along with driving adoption of BharatPe app for all their business needs, it added.
♦ IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan’s squadron gets ‘Falcon Slayer’ patches to mark F-16 kill
- The 51 Squadron patch depicts a MIG-21 BISON in the foreground and a red coloured F-16 in the background under crosshairs. The other squadron’s patch shows a SU-30MKI with a AMRAAM missile going past it after missing to hit it.
♦ Jaisalmer gets Ready to Host International Army Scout Masters Competition 2019
- International Army Scout Masters Competition as a part of International Army Games will be organised under the aegis of Konark Corps at Jaisalmer from 24 July to 17 August 2019. The event will witness participation of the Mechanised Infantry Scout Teams of eight countries including Russia who is the founding member of this format of International Army Games.
- The Russian Delegation, Senior Military and Diplomatic dignitaries from participating countries visited Jaisalmer Military Station on 14 and 15 May 2019. The delegates were shown and briefed on the special training facilities created at Jaisalmer and Pokhran.
♦ Indian Navy’s Service Selection Board Inaugurated At Kolkata
- Admiral Sunil Lanba, the Chief of Naval Staff inaugurated Indian Navy’s first full-fledged Service Selection Board (SSB) today at Diamond Harbour, near Kolkata. The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, Vice Admiral Karambir Singh, was also present at the venue.
- SSB (Kolkata) is located approximately 55 km away from central Kolkata, on land that was previously occupied by a Naval Coastal Battery. This is the fifth Service Selection Board of the Indian Navy and caters for selection of both Permanent and Short Service Commission officers. The other Boards are located in Bhopal, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam and Coimbatore. Spread over an area of 27 acres on the banks of the river Hooghly, SSB (Kolkata) has the capacity to screen approximately 5000 officer-candidates annually.
♦ International Day of Families: 15 May
- International Day Of Families falls on 15 May every year and highlights the importance of families as basic units of society.
- The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed that 15 May of every year shall be observed as theInternational Day of Families.
- In 1993, the General Assembly decided in a resolution that 15 May of every year should be observed as The International Day of Families.
- The Theme for 2019- International Day of Families is “Families and Climate Action: Focus on SDG 13″.
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