Current Affairs : All
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  • The Reserve Bank of India has appointed its former Deputy Governor, R Gandhi, on the board of private sector lender YES Bank as an additional director.
  • "This is to inform you that the RBI. in exercise of powers conferred under sub-section (1) of Section 36AB of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, appointed R Gandhi, Ex Deputy Governor, RBI as Additional Director on the board of the bank for a period of two years with effect from May 14, 2019 to May 13, 2021 or till further orders, whichever is earlier," YES Bank said in a regulatory filing.
  • Welcoming the appointment, it said this will significantly strengthen YES Bank's board composition and the bank will immensely benefit from Gandhi's experience and wisdom.
  • The RBI has the power to appoint additional directors on the board of a bank if it feels it is in the interest of the banking company or its depositors.
  • The move comes after the bank reported a Rs 1,507 crore loss in the fourth quarter of 2018-19. The YES Bank scrip on 15th May fell over 4 per cent on BSE.
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  • GS Lakshmi has become the first female match referee after the International Cricket Council (ICC) named the 51-year-old in its list of elite match officials on 14th May.
  • Earlier this month Australian, Claire Polosak became the first woman to officiate a men's One-Day International (ODI) in the World Cricket League Division 2 finals in Windhoek
  • “We are committed to ensuring greater gender parity among our officials, but all appointments are made purely on merit,” said Adrian Griffith, ICC Senior Manager - Umpires and Referees.
  • Eloise Sheridan of Australia, who was the reserve umpire for two matches in the men's Big Bash League 2018-19, has joined Polosak on the ICC Development Panel of Umpires as its eighth member, the world governing body said.
  • “Elevation is as a result of a thorough evaluation process that identifies the most talented match officials breaking through to an international level,” Griffth added.
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  • India captain Virat Kohli bagged the International Cricketer and Batsman of the Year award during the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2019.
  • The ceremony held in Mumbai on 13th May in presence of a galaxy of past and present cricketers. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who made a mark for India and IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, was adjudged as International Bowler of the Year.
  • Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was awarded for outstanding bowling and Australian batsman Aaron Finch for his exceptional performance in T20.
  • Young prodigy Yashasvi Jaiswal, who performed exceptionally over the year was awarded Junior Cricketer of the Year, while chinaman Kuldeep Yadav took the home outstanding performance of the year award.
  • Ashutosh Aman was awarded Domestic Cricketer of the Year. Legendary Mohinder Amarnath, who played a key role in India's 1983 World Cup triumph, was bestowed with the 'CCR International Lifetime Achievement Award'.
  • Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar, former Australian batsman Dean Jones, former India stumper Saba Karim were present on the occasion among others.
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  • Top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-3, 6-4 on 13th May to win his third Madrid Open title.
  • The world number one was able to improve on his epic 7-6, 7-6 semifinal win over Dominic Thiem of Austria for a more straightforward victory over Tsitsipas, who is still searching for his first Masters 1000 title.
  • Djokovic lifted the title in Madrid after progressing through the week without losing a set and has now won 33 Masters 1000 titles - the same number as Rafael Nadal and five more than Roger Federer.
  • Djokovic got the decisive break in the ninth game of the set to move 5-4 up and then held his serve to add the 2019 Madrid Open title to those he won in 2011 and 2016.
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  • London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom will make her competitive debut at home in 51kg in the second edition of the India Open boxing tournament, to be held in Guwahati from 20th to 24th of this month.
  • With Olympic qualification round the corner, India Open will witness 35 men and 37 women boxers from India vying for glory, even as close to 200 pugilists from 16 boxing powerhouses will participate in the tournament.
  • Keeping in mind the approved weight categories for Olympic qualification, some of the Indian pugilists have changed their weight divisions.
  • After her stunning performance at the Asian Championships, where she became the first Indian to win a gold in 81kg, Pooja Rani has gone back to her original weight category of 75kg.
  • Assam's Bhagyabati Kachari too has made a similar change while Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun will be fighting it out in 57kg for the very first time.
  • Simranjit Kaur, a silver medallist at the continental tournament in 64kg, has switched to 60kg and will be competing with former world champion Sarita Devi, who added her eighth Asian medal this year.
  • While the six-time world champion will be India's biggest medal hope yet again, Amit Panghal (52kg) will be looking to continue his dominance after conquering the Asian Championships gold.
  • Assam's Shiva Thapa (60kg), who created a record by winning medals in four consecutive Asian Championships, will be aiming to impress the home crowd, and so will Ankushita Boro (64kg), a gold medallist at the 2017 World Youth Championship.
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  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted successful flight test of ABHYAS - High-speed Expendable Aerial Target (HEAT) drone, from Interim Test Range (ITR) in Odisha’s Chandipur on 14th May.
  • “The flight test was tracked by various RADARS and Electro Optic Systems and proved its performance in fully autonomous way point navigation mode,” the DRDO said in a statement.
  • ABHYAS is drone involving designed for autonomous flight with the help of an autopilot. “The configuration of ABHYAS is designed on an in-line small gas turbine engine and uses indigenously developed MEMS based navigation system for its navigation and guidance.
  • The performance of the system was as per simulations carried out and demonstrated the capability of ABHYAS to meet the mission requirement for a cost effective HEAT,” DRDO said. The concept of ABHYAS was proved and pre-project details were completed on January 2013.
  • The first experimental launch (minus the engine) was conducted in 2012
  • The project was sanctioned with an initial funding of Rs 15 crore. The project picked up pace after three services floated a global tender for procurement of 225 HEAT drones.
  • The design of the fuselage is based is based on Lakshya, a high speed target drone system developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of DRDO.
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  • The latest dive reached 10,927m (35,849ft) beneath the waves making a new record.
  • An American explorer has found plastic waste on the seafloor while breaking the record for the deepest ever dive. Victor Vescovo descended nearly 11km to the deepest place in the ocean the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
  • He spent four hours exploring the bottom of the trench in his submersible, built to withstand the immense pressure of the deep.
  • He found sea creatures, but also found a plastic bag and sweet wrappers. It is the third time humans have reached the ocean's extreme depths.
  • The first dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench took place in 1960 by US Navy lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard in a vessel called the bathyscaphe Trieste.
  • Movie director James Cameron then made a solo plunge half a century later in 2012 in his bright green sub.
  • The latest descent, which reached 10,927m (35,849ft) beneath the waves, is now the deepest by 11m - making Victor Vescovo the new record holder.
  • In total, Mr Vescovo and his team made five dives to the bottom of the trench during the expedition. Robotic landers were also deployed to explore the remote terrain.
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  • In March, US President Donald Trump's administration moved the date for the next American lunar mission up by four years from its original goal of 2028 while pledging to get a female astronaut to the Moon's surface for the first time.
  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters on 13th may the agency would need an additional USD 1.6 billion to pay for the new ground and space vehicles needed to meet the deadline.
  • "This additional investment, I want to be clear, is a downpayment on NASA's efforts to land humans on the Moon by 2024," he said.
  • Bridenstine said the mission was named Artemis after the Greek mythological goddess of the Moon and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the program that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.
  • NASA's total annual budget is approximately USD 21.5 billion, and in the 2019 fiscal year, the agency spent about USD 4.5 billion on developing the Orion spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy rocket and a new lunar orbital mini-station, three elements essential to the Artemis mission.
  • But many experts and lawmakers are concerned that NASA cannot meet the accelerated deadline, especially given the major delays in development of the SLS, which is being built by aerospace giant Boeing.
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  • Doordarshan began India's television journey. Even today, hearing Doordarshan's name brings back memories of several epic moments.
  • The attachment of viewers to the public broadcaster has prompted the Doordarshan management to launch an online souvenir store in partnership with Amazon India.
  • Though there has been a flood of programming content on TV channels in the present times, DD's reach as well as relation is with everyone.
  • Doordarshan has launched online souvenir store for its viewers on Amazon India so that one can easily access it.
  • Chairman, Prasar Bharati while launching DD souvenir store on Amazon India, said that this store is a boon for Doordarshan viewers.
  • DD Souvenir gallery was started on 21 June, 2018 and in view of its success and demand, India's public service broadcaster Doordarshan has started an online store through on Amazon India platform, for selling branded articles like cup, T-shirt and Water bottles.
  • On this occasion, Amazon India's Marketing Officer said that Amazon's connect with Doordarshan brand is a matter of immense pride for Amazon.
  • Doordarshan is India's first broadcaster which has started Souvenir store. Online souvenir store will not only strengthen the relation with viewers but also help in establishing Doordarshan brand value.
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  • Foldable phones have finally become a reality. Samsung, Huawei and Google are some of the top players who have embraced the foldable form factor.
  • Lenovo is now looking to bring the popular ‘foldable’ design to PC. The company on 13th May previewed what it calls the ‘world’s first foldable PC’.
  • Scheduled to launch in 2020, Lenovo’s foldable laptop will join the company’s premium ThinkPad X1 lineup.
  • The device features a 13.3-inch 4:3 OLED 2K display made by LG Display. It can be folded in half like a book and looks like a big tablet when opened up.
  • “Made for highly mobile, tech-savvy professionals who demand the best tools, the new foldable PC joins the premium ThinkPad X1 family, promising that the unprecedented portability will in no way compromise productivity and reliability.
  • This is not a phone, tablet, or familiar hybrid; this is a full-fledged laptop with a foldable screen,” said the company in a blog post.
  • The PC is powered by Intel processor and runs on Windows operating system. Lenovo hasn’t officially announced full specifications of its foldable PC yet.
  • The demo video, however, reveals the foldable device comes with side-mounted speaker grilles, USB port, front-facing camera, and usual storage slots. The PC has thicker bezels on the sides and rubber-like material at the hinge reminiscent to the company’s Yoga series.
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  • ITC Group announced on 13th May managing director Sanjiv Puri will be the company's new chairman and managing director.
  • Puri, 56, was promoted after the death of Y C Deveshwar, ITC's legendary leader, on 11th May.
  • Puri, an alumnus of IIT-Kanpur and Wharton School of Business, has spent his career with ITC, reported the Economic Times on 13th May. He joined the company in 1986 and rose through the ranks like Deveshwar, his mentor
  • Puri, in 2014, was made president of the FMCG businesses, a new position that was created to take overall charge of the entire segment comprising cigarettes, packaged food, personal care, education and stationery products, safety matches and agarbattis, reported Economic Times.
  • "The Board of Directors of the company at the meeting held today appointed Sanjiv Puri, Managing Director, also as the Chairman of the Company with effect from May 13, 2019. Consequently, Puri's new designation is Chairman and Managing Director of the company," ITC said in a regulatory filing.
  • In 2017, ITC had split the role of the Executive Chairman between Chairman and Chief Executive Officer as part of succession planning in the company.
  • Deveshwar, 72, had stepped down from executive role in 2017 but remained as a chairman in non-executive capacity.
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  • The Sri Lankan government 13th May blocked social media following rising tensions between the minority Muslims and majority Sinhalese in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings which killed nearly 260 people.
  • The blockade comes a day after Sri Lankan police imposed curfew in the country's western coastal town of Chilaw where a mob attacked a mosque and some shops owned by Muslims in a dispute that started on a Facebook post by a Muslim shop owner.
  • The blockade of Facebook and WhatsApp has been imposed form mid night following violent incidents between the minority Muslim and majority Sinhalese communities, officials said.
  • Late in the evening on Sunday, the unrest spread to Kuliyapitiya where a mosque and a few Muslim owned shops came under attack, prompting the authorities to impose curfew in the northwest town.
  • "The curfew imposed in Kuliyapitya and Chilaw has been lifted," police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
  • The majority nationalist groups have been active on Facebook, reviving calls for boycotts of Muslim-owned businesses and spreading hate.The voilence is a direct fallout from the Easter Sunday's suicide bombings.
  • Nine suicide bombers, including a woman, carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels, killing 258 people and injuring over 500 others on April 21.
  • The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group, the National Thawheed Jama'ath (NTJ), for the bombings
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  • The world's largest contract manufacturer Foxconn is poised to nominate the head of its chip business as chairman to succeed Terry Gou, who plans to run in Taiwan's presidential election, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
  • Liu Young is also a board member of Foxconn's Japanese electronics unit Sharp Corp.
  • The nomination would come after Gou told Reuters in April he planned to step down as chairman of the Apple Inc supplier so younger talent could move up the Taiwanese firm's ranks.
  • Gou is set to retain a seat on the proposed board at Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.
  • However, he told reporters last week he would resign as chairman of the board to demonstrate his determination to run for election.
  • A company filing last week showed proposed candidates for Foxconn's new board included Gou and Liu, as well as Sharp Chairman Tai Jeng-wu and Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd Chairman Lu Sung-Ching.
  • The proposed board is subject to shareholder approval at a meeting in June before a chairman can be elected.
  • The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday. The two people with knowledge of the matter declined to be identified, saying the matter was still private.
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  • China, which is developing its navy at a feverish pace, has commissioned two more guided missile destroyers taking the total of such warships to 20 with more in the pipeline, state-media reported on 13th may.
  • Two Type 052D guided missile destroyers were launched last 10th May in Dalian, a coastal city, state-run Global Times reported.
  • Their commissioning marked the 19th and 20th of launches of their kind, the report said and quoted Chinese analysts as saying that plans are afoot to build more guided missile destroyers.
  • China now has 20 Type 052Ds either in active service or being fitted out for service soon, the report said.
  • Destroyers are fast, highly manoeuvrable long distance warships which are also used to accompany the aircraft carriers.
  • The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) last month celebrated its 70th anniversary in which Indian naval ships, including the indigenously developed missile destroyer, INS Kolkata along with tanker INS Shakti took part in the fleet review held at Qingdao.
  • The PLAN is currently regarded as the world’s fastest growing navy with new vessels being added to the fleet on a monthly basis.
  • While it has one aircraft carrier, the Liaoning which was commissioned in 2012, its second indigenously built aircraft carrier is currently undergoing trials and a third one is being built at a feverish pace. China plans to acquire about five to six aircraft carriers in the coming years, according to reports in the official media.
  • As part of the new military doctrine advocated by President Xi Jinping, the 2.3 million-strong Chinese military, the largest in the world, has cut down the size of its army by three lakhs in the last few years and expanded its navy and air force manifold to enhance its global influence.
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  • The billionaire Hinduja brothers have been named as the wealthiest people in the UK for a third time, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
  • Sri and Gopi Hinduja saw their fortune increase by 1.356 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in the last year to 22 billion pounds, the BBC quoted the list as saying.
  • The Hinduja Group, a family business, was founded in Mumbai in 1914, and now it has interests around the world including in oil and gas, banking, IT and property.
  • British citizens Sri, 83, and Gopi, 79, who are based in London, are two of the four brothers controlling the empire. The two moved to London in 1979 to develop the export business.
  • The third brother Prakash manages the group's finances in Geneva, Switzerland while the youngest, Ashok, oversees the Indian interests.
  • Among the properties they own is the Old War Office in Whitehall, which they plan to reopen as a luxury hotel.The two brothers topped the newspaper list in 2014 and in 2017.
  • The list, which estimates the 1,000 richest people in the UK, is based on identifiable wealth including land, property, other assets such as art, and shares in companies, according to the Sunday Times.It does not include the amount contained in people's bank accounts.
  • Meanwhile, chemicals firm founder Jim Ratcliffe, who topped last year's list, has slipped to third place. His net worth dropped by 2.9 billion pounds since last year, the paper says.
  • For the sixth year in a row, Scotland's richest person was named as Glenn Gordon and his family, the Jersey-based tycoon behind distillers William Grant & Sons. The group produces whiskey including Grant's, Glenfiddich and The Balvenie, as well as Hendrick's gin.
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  • Adding more power to its wings, Indian Air Force formally receives first Apache Guardian helicopter at Boeing production facility in Arizona, USA; India has signed a contract for 22 Apache helicopters.
  • The Indian Air Force has received its first Apache Guardian attack helicopter.
  • The Apache Guardian attack helicopter was formally handed over to India on May 10 at the chopper production facility in Arizona, US. Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache in a ceremony at Boeing production facility, representatives from US Government were also present.
  • India signed a contract for 22 of the Apache Guardian choppers with the US in September 2015. The first batch of these helicopters is scheduled to be shipped to India by July.
  • Aircrew and ground crew have already undergone training at the training facilities at US Army base Fort Rucker, Alabama. These trained personnel will lead operationalisation of the Apache fleet in the IAF.
  • These attack helicopters will provide significant edge in any future joint operations in support of land forces.
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  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's ruling ANC won re-election on 10th May with an absolute majority in Parliament, as results showed, but with diminished support, complicating economic revival and anti-corruption efforts.
  • The results, published by the electoral commission, are the party's worst national showing since Nelson Mandela led it to victory in the first multi-racial polls after apartheid ended in 1994.
  • The African National Congress held a comfortable lead with 57.73 percent after 95 percent of voting districts were officially tallied following 8th May vote.
  • Seats in parliament are allocated based on vote share and the party with the most representatives selects the president, who will be sworn in on May 25.
  • President Ramaphosa, took over last year when the ANC forced then-president Jacob Zuma to resign after 9 years dominated by corruption allegations and economic decline.
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  • US President Donald Trump ordered a tariff hike on almost all remaining imports from China on 10th May.
  • This comes less than 24 hours after Washington raised tariffs on approximately 200 billion US dollars of Chinese goods.
  • he US President ordered the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, valued at approximately 300 billion dollars, to begin.
  • President Trump had said on 10th May that US and Chinese negotiators held two days of "candid and constructive" trade talks and discussions will continue.
  • Meanwhile, China's top trade negotiator Liu He said in Washington that trade talks with the US will continue in Beijing.He, however, warned that there will be no concessions on important principles.
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  • Dhruv Patel, who has interests in insurance, pharmacy and property, has become the first Indian-origin chairman of London’s largest independent grant giver after his election to the City of London Corporation’s key committee.
  • The corporation is the governing body of the City of London, the historic financial district spread over a square mile that is home to the Bank of England, stock exchange and a large number of global banks and insurance companies.
  • Patel, an elected member of the corporation since 2013, was elected chairman of the City Bridge Trust Committee, replacing Alison Gowman.
  • The committee is the funding arm of the corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantaged communities across the capital.
  • Patel, 35, who founded the City Hindus Network, will lead the delivery of ‘Bridging Divides’, the committee’s five-year funding programme, which will see £100 million distributed to the capital’s charity organisations to help Londoners most in need.
  • Awarded an OBE in 2018 for voluntary service to the British Hindu community and to social cohesion, Patel said: “It is a great privilege to be in the leadership role of one of the UK’s most important supporters of civil society”.
  • “Together we will continue to help give all London’s communities the opportunityto thrive, and give young people, in particular, the best possible start in life.”
  • The City Bridge Trust has awarded nearly 8,000 grants totalling over £400 million since 1995
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  • Indian actress Dia Mirza and Alibaba chief Jack Ma are among the 17 global public figures appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the new advocates to drive action and solidify global political will for the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The new class of SDG Advocates' are 17 influential public figures "committed to raising awareness, inspiring greater ambition and pushing for faster action on the SDGs, which were adopted by world leaders on September 25, 2015, according to a statement issued by the UN Spokesperson's office.
  • We have the tools to answer the questions posed by climate change, environmental pressure, poverty and inequality.
  • They lie in the great agreements of 2015 - the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change," Guterres said."But tools are no use if you don't use them. So, today, and every day, my appeal is clear and simple.
  • We need action, ambition and political will. More action, more ambition and more political will, said the Secretary-General.
  • Co-Chairs of the Secretary-General's SDG Advocates are President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg.
  • Founder and Executive Chairman of Chinese multinational conglomerate Alibaba Group Jack Ma has been an SDG Advocate since 2016.
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  • Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court here on 10th May.
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R Vala administered the oath of office to Justice Oka at the Raj Bhavan.
  • "Oka took the oath in English as the new Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court at the Glass House in Raj Bhavan," an official told reporters here.
  • Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, judges of the high court and other dignitaries, including state government officials, were present on the occasion.
  • Justice Oka, 58, of the Bombay High Court, succeeded Justice Dinesh Maheshwari who was elevated as a Supreme Court judge in January.
  • The central government on April 30 notified Oka's appointment by President Ram Nath Kovind on the recommendation of the Supreme Court collegium on April 8.
  • Oka was appointed additional judge of the Bombay High Court in August, 2003 and was made a permanent judge of the same court in November, 2005.
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  • Saaivu Naarkkaali (The Reclining Chair), released in 1995, bagged him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997.
  • Noted novelist and Sahitya Akademi awardee Thoppil Mohamed Meeran, 74, died at his residence at Veerabahu Nagar in Pettai near here at around 1.30 a.m. on 10th May.
  • He is survived by his wife Jaleela and two sons Shameem Ahmed and Mirzad Ahmed.
  • Born in the coastal hamlet of Thaengaaipattinam in Kanniyakumari district on September 26, 1944, Mohamed Meeran authored the novels Oru Kadalora Graamaththin Kathai, Thuraimugam, Koonan Thoppu, Saaivu Naarkkaali and Anju Vannam Theru between 1988 and 2011. Of these, Saaivu Naarkkaali (The Reclining Chair), released in 1995, bagged him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997.
  • His short story collections Anbukku Muthumai Illai, Thangarasu, Ananthasayanam Colony, Oru Kutti Theevin Varippadam, Thoppil Mohamed Meeran Kathaigal and Oru Maamaramum Konjam Paravaigalum and translations gave him a prominent place in the literary world.
  • In recognition, he received 8 awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award and Tamil Nadu Kalai Ilakkiya Perumantram Award in 1992.
  • “His mastery over both Tamil and Malayalam was amazing as he could use both the languages in his novels effortlessly.
  • The speciality of all his literary works is that his novels lucidly narrated the fisherfolk’s life with finer and intricate details in Tamil laced with Malayalam, the slang found only in Kanniyakumari district,” Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko said in his condolence message.
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  • China on 9th may allowed India to export Chilli meals to its market, providing the crop with a much-needed export outlet. A protocol to this extent has been signed with Chinese customs officials.
  • Chilli meal is the residue left after the oil is extracted from chillies. It is widely used as an industry input in the manufacturing of chilli sauce and other products.
  • Chilli is the largest exported spice from India and China has emerged as a major buyer in the last few years.
  • India is the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter of chilli. Official statistics show that red chillies are grown across India on 792,000 hectares of land in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • The crop is planted in August and September, and harvested in March and April. India produced nearly 3 million tonnes of dried chilli and peppers, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
  • “Of the more than 1.3 mt of red chilli produced in India every year, 70 per cent are consumed domestically, with the rest being exported. Dried chilli exports make up 22 per cent of all the spices exported from India,” according to Mumbai-based Agro Crops.
  • India has persistently pushed for market access for agricultural and processed food products to China. India’s firm stance on the issue has led China to commit to providing market access after a gap of 13 years. Last year, Beijing had allowed market access to three Indian food products mangoes, grapes and rice.
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  • Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd (KRCL) on 10th May signed an agreement with Nepal's Department of Railways under which the former will supply two 1600 HP DEMU train sets
  • The agreement was signed in Kathmandu in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Manjeev Singh Puri, and Nepalese Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Secretary, Madhusudan Adhikari.
  • The said trains will run on the 34 km long stretch between Jayanagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal.
  • Manufactured by the Integrated Coach Factory located in Chennai, each train will consist of three coaches, including an air-conditioned coach.
  • The Jayanagar-Kurtha Railway Link has been built by IRCON with a financial grant from the Government of India (GoI) under the India-Nepal Development Partnership program
  • KRCL is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) of GoI, under the Ministry of Railways.
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  • Snakehead fishes of the family Channidae are predatory freshwater fishes comprising 50 valid species, many of which are important food fishes
  • Researchers at Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) have discovered a new species of “snakehead fish” lurking in the subterranean waters of Kerala.
  • The bizarre fish has been scientifically named Aenigmachanna Gollum (Gollum Snakehead- common name) after ‘Gollum’, a character from the ‘The Lord of the Rings’, a creature that went underground and during its subterranean life changed its morphological features.
  • The fish is not only a new species, but also a remarkable new genus of the snakehead family channidae (which is currently represented by two other genera, Channa in Asia, and Parachanna in Africa), said Rajeev Raghavan, Asst Professor at the Dept of Fisheries Resource Management, Kufos.
  • Snakehead fishes (Varaal – in Malayalam) of the family Channidae are predatory freshwater fishes comprising 50 valid species, many of which are important food fishes.
  • Some are also popular in the aquarium fish trade, and others have been introduced around the world with several species becoming highly invasive.
  • Normally subterranean fishes show many unique characters which are interestingly absent in Aenigmachanna.
  • This suggests two possibilities either it represents a lineage that only recently began a subterranean lifestyle and still has maintained its surface-life features, or that it lives in a habitat in which regular excursions to the surface-water still occur.
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