Current Affairs | Daily GK Updates : 18th May 2019
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Current Affairs (International)
♦ Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations Around the World
- Buddha Purnima marks the birth anniversary of Gautam Buddha, founder of Buddhism. Gautam Buddha who was born as Siddhartha Gautama is believed to be the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. This year, Buddha Purnima is being celebrated on May 18.
- The day, which usually falls during the Vaishakha month in the month of April or May, is celebrated across the world with much fanfare. On this day, people offer their prayer to Lord Buddha, who is believed to have been born in Lumbini in Nepal approximately around 563 BCE.
Banking and Finance
♦ BSNL Partners With Google to Expand WiFi Footprint
- On the occasion of World Telecom Day on Friday, state-run telecom major BSNL has partnered with Google to increase access to its WiFi footprint in the country. With the launch of this service, people across the country will be able to enjoy BSNL’s free WiFi services. This initiative will allow customers use BSNL’s high speed internet services on WiFi.
- BSNL is also taking steps to increase the rural WiFi footprint, promoting the government’s ‘Digital India’ initiative. “We have been partnering with various technology companies upgrading our platform and increasing our customer reach in this era of ever-increasing demand of high speed internet”, BSNL Director (CFA) Vivek Bansal said.
♦ IHCL and GIC create Rs 4000 crore platform to acquire hotel assets
- Indian Hotels Co. (IHCL) and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC will set up a three-year, Rs 4,000-crore investment platform to acquire hotels in the luxury, upper-upscale and upscale segments, the company said on Friday.
- The Tata group company that runs the Taj hotels said the partnership will enable it to pursue acquisitions in an “asset-light format,” favouring management contracts over complete property ownership. Under the deal, equity contribution from IHCL will be 30% with the rest to be contributed by GIC over three years.
- CEO Puneet Chhatwal told ET that potential acquisitions by the platform include external assets and IHCL properties that it wants to sell stakes in.
♦ Nilekani-led panel on digital payments submits report to RBI
- A Reserve Bank of India-appointed committee headed by Aadhaar architect Nandan Nilekani has submitted its suggestions on promoting digital payments to Governor Shaktikanta Das.
- In January, the RBI had set up the five-member panel on deepening digital payments with a view to encouraging digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation.
- In a statement, the Reserve Bank said the committee held its deliberations including consultations with various stakeholders and submitted its report yesterday to Mr Das.
- It said the RBI will examine the recommendations of the committee and will link the action points, wherever necessary, in its Payment Systems Vision 2021 for implementation.
♦ Prestigious Sasakawa Award 2019 to Dr P.K. Mishra
- United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) today conferred Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Dr. Pramod Kumar Mishra, Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India. The award was announced today at the Award Ceremony during the ongoing 6th Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) 2019 at Geneva.
- P. K. Mishra from India received the 2019 Sasakawa award in recognition of his long-term dedication to improve the resilience of communities most exposed to disasters and his personal commitment to social inclusion as a critical principle to reduce inequality and poverty, enhancing the safety net of the socially and economically marginalized.
♦ Comedy king Kapil Sharma gets honoured by World Book of Records London
- Comedy king Kapil Sharma is in the best phase of his life. With his comedy show The Kapil Sharma Show going strong and a loving wife, Ginni Chatrath by his side, Kapil is smiling more these days. Recently, World Book of Records London adjudged Kapil Sharma for being one of the most viewed stand-up comedians in India.
- Recently, a fan page of his wife Ginni shared a certificate of the honour on social media site Instagram. Also, Kapil posted the certificate on his Insta story and thanked fans and friends for all the love and best wishes.
♦ Indian warships take part in international maritime defence exhibition in Singapore
- Two warships of the Indian Navy–INS Kolkata and INS Shakti–are participating in a three-day Asia Pacific naval and maritime event being held here, according to an official statement.
- The International Maritime Defence Exhibition Asia (IMDEX Asia-2019) commenced on May 14 and will also witness the participation of some of India’s leading engineering and ship building firms, including Larsen & Toubro and BrahMos, which makes the state-of-the-art air, sea and ground launch cruise missiles.
- “Vice-Admiral M S Pawar, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff led the delegation to the Asia Pacific gathering of naval and maritime event,” the Indian High Commission here said in a statement .
♦ Indian Coast Guard Ship Vigraha Decommissioned
- Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Vigraha, a frontline offshore patrol vessel, sailed into history at the sunset on Wednesday. After 29 glorious years of service from 1990 to 2019, the ship was decommissioned at the coast guard jetty here.
- ICGS Vigraha was the seventh offshore patrol vessel built by the Mazagaon Dock Limited, Mumbai and it was commissioned on April 12, 1990. The ship was later based at Visakhapatnam and has been instrumental in protecting the east coast in general and Andhra Pradesh coast in particular since then.
♦ 18 May International Museum Day
- International Museum Day: From heritage packaging museums to those that give an insight into the ‘fire and rescue’ legacy of India-on International Museum Day, Sahapedia and MuseumsofIndia.org look at some offbeat museums in India that turn banal objects into artefacts.
- Theme- “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition”
♦ 18 May World AIDS Vaccine Day
- May 18 is celebrated as World AIDS Vaccine Day, also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. On this day, HIV vaccine advocates promote the continued urgent need for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection and AIDS.
- While thousands of volunteers, community members, health professionals, supporters and scientists are working together to find a safe and effective AIDS vaccine, there is an important need to recognize the importance of investing in AIDS and HIV vaccine.
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