Current Affairs May 05-06, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of May 05-06, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. The World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is observed every year on 3rd May as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom throughout the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence, and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty. The 2019 theme “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”, discusses current challenges faced by media in elections and its potential in supporting peace and reconciliation processes. The 26th celebration of World Press Freedom Day (WPED-2019) is jointly organized by UNESCO, African Union Commission and the Government of Ethiopia. The main event is being held at the African Union Headquarters at Addis Ababa.

2. The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries. Recently, it is in news because a group of 25 influential American lawmakers has urged the US Trade Representative - Robert Lighthizer - not to terminate the GSP programme after the expiry of the 60-day notice on 3rd May 2019. They argued that terminating GSP for India would hurt American companies seeking to expand their exports to India. They also urged to continue negotiating a deal that protects and promotes jobs that rely on trade - both imports and exports - with India. President Donald Trump announced on March 4, the US intends to terminate India's designations as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme.

3. On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day (WPFD-2019), Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) said in its latest report that as many as 55 journalists have been killed since May 2018. Press freedom globally is under intense and growing pressure, as illiberal-minded governments seek to shut down critical voices and, in many cases, deliberately erode the credibility of independent media. According to a global network of journalists, Governments across the world are increasingly clamping down on press freedom as new laws are being enacted to curtail media independence. around the world. While on the one hand governments are attempting to curtail press freedom, on the other journalists around the world are being killed with impunity.

4. World No. 1 Bajrang Punia won the gold at the 2019 Ali Aliyev wrestling tournament. In the final of men's 65kg freestyle, he defeated Viktor Rassadin inin Kaspiisk, Russia on May 2. Bajrang got the better of the local favourite 13-8 in his final bout after being down 0-5 at one stage. The 25-year-old Indian grappler had won a gold medal last week at the Asian Championships in Xi'an, China.

5. M Jayshree Vyas, a professionally-qualified chartered accountant, has been appointed as the first independent woman director of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Though still late by at least a few weeks from the deadline of April 1 given to all top 500 listed companies based on their market capitalisation for appointing an independent woman director on their board. The delay happened as BSE was awaiting market regulator SEBI’s approval on the appointment. As of April 6, 51 of the top 500 NSE-listed companies by market capitalisation (including BSE) did not have independent woman director, according to nseinfobase.com run by Prime Database. In March alone, about 50 companies made a beeline to appoint an independent woman director. BSE already has two non-executive women directors namely Usha Sangwan and Rajeshree Sabnavis on its Board. The Companies Act of 2013 mandates a certain class of companies to have at least one woman director on board. SEBIs, in compliance with the Companies Act 2013, made it compulsory to have at least one woman on a board from October 2014.

6. The World Tuna Day (WTD) is observed every year on May 2 to highlight the importance of sustainably managed fish stocks in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Tuna and tuna-like species are very important economically — to both developed and developing countries — and a significant source of food. They include approximately 40 species occurring in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans and in the Mediterranean Sea. They are remarkable fish. Tuna can jump high out of the water; they travel in huge schools; they are warm-blooded. They have been known to team up with dolphins for protection from sharks. As a result of the amazing qualities of tuna, the fish are threatened by an overwhelming demand. Hence, WTD highlights the importance of reversing the decline in the health of the Ocean to ensure sustainable management of marine life, such as tuna, which we are so dependent on. It is an important step in recognizing the critical role of tuna to sustainable development, food security, economic opportunity, and livelihoods of people around the world.

7. State-owned telecom firm BSNL has become the first operator to start optical fibre-based high-speed broadband service in Pulwama with launch of 'Bharat Fibre'. This is the first such FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) service deployment in the (Kashmir) Valley under this unique revenue share model. The Bharat Fibre services are provided on the optical fibre right up to the customer premises. This service has been launched in a business partnership model with the local channel partner of Pulwama area, on a revenue sharing basis. BSNL provides FTTH service with a monthly charge in the range of Rs 777-16,999 in over 160 telecom districts with a minimum speed of 2 megabit per second (mbps).

8. In a major diplomatic victory for India, Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar was listed as a designated terrorist by the UN Security Council 1267 Committee on 1st May 2019 after China lifted its block on the move. The move will lead to sanctions on Azhar’s travel and his ability to secure finance for his group. Significantly, the reasons for listing did not mention the Pulwama attack of February 14, for which the JeM had claimed responsibility. The reasons for designating Azhar as a terrorist as per latest listing included his support for the JeM since its founding, being associated with the Al-Qaeda by recruiting for them and “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities or supplying, selling or transferring arms and related material”. It also pointed to his role in recruiting fighters in Afghanistan. The JeM itself was sanctioned by the 1267 Committee in 2001. A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the sanctions committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

9. To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and IIT Delhi have signed an MoU to set up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies for implementation of sustainable, scientific and technological solutions for waste management, through validation and deployment of available technologies for transformation of waste to wealth. The waste to wealth mission project has been approved under the recently constituted Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC). The partnership will provide an effective platform for stakeholders to bring together integrated approaches for effective recycle, reuse and resource recovery of waste.

10. The United Kingdom Parliament has become the first national legislative body in the world to pass national declaration (or motion) of an Environment and climate emergency. The move comes a week after 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg addressed UK lawmakers to demand more climate action, and in the wake of protests by climate action group Extinction Rebellion, who blocked major landmarks in London. Thus, the symbolic move recognizes the urgency needed to combat the climate crisis. The move will increase pressure on the government and is demanding that the country takes action to help avoid more than 1.5 degrees centigrade of warming, requiring global emissions to be cut by almost half of 2010 levels by 2030. It also calls for the government to work towards carbon neutrality before 2050 and for ministers to draft proposals within the next six months to restore the country's environment and create a "zero waste economy”.

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