Current Affairs May 11-12, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of May 11-12, 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. On May 6, US President Donald Trump bestowed Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. He won his first major in nearly 11 years at last month’s Masters Tournament, a comeback that captivated the sporting world. Woods is only the fourth and the youngest golfer ever to have received the highest American civilian award. The other golfers were Arnold Palmer (74), in 2004; Jack Nicklaus (65), in 2005; and Charlie Sifford, (92), in 2014. Sifford was the first African American to play on the PGA tour. The Medal of Freedom is America’s highest honour for civilian accomplishment. President Truman first established the medal to honour extraordinary civilian accomplishments related to World War II. President Kennedy re-established the medal by executive order in 1963.

2. Lakshadweep is an archipelago of 36 islands and scattered over approximately 78,000 square km of the Arabian Sea with population of approximately 65,000. Recently, the team of scientists at CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) carried out first-ever genetic studies on the people of Lakshadweep Islands. The team was was led by Dr. K Thangaraj . The scientist have studied the major islands of Agatti, Andorth, Bitra, Chetlat, Kadmat, Kalpeni, Kiltan and Minicoy of Lakshadweep and demonstrated a close genetic link of Lakshadweep islanders with people from Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. They analyzed DNA samples of 557 individuals from these 8 major islands for mitochondrial DNA and 166 individuals for Y chromosome markers. The paternal and maternal ancestries of the majority of island populations suggest their arrival from distinct sources. They found that the maternal ancestry was closer to South Indian populations, whereas the paternal ancestry is more similar to the Maldives and North India. In conclusion, the first genetic data suggest that the majority of human ancestry in Lakshadweep is largely derived from South Asia with minor influences from East and West Eurasia.

3. The 5th edition of United Nations (UN) Global Road Safety Week has started from 6th May with theme “leadership for road safety”. The World Health Organization (WHO) promotes road safety as a means to reduce traffic-related injuries. Hence, UN Global Road Safety Weeks and its’ campaigns are chaired by WHO and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The 5th edition acknowledges that strong leadership is needed to advance road safety in countries and communities and achieve related Sustainable Development Goal and other global targets. Therefore, it launched action through the ongoing campaign: Save Lives - #SpeakUp. The #SpeakUp campaign provides an opportunity for civil society to generate demands for strong leadership for road safety, especially around concrete, evidence-based interventions which will save lives. It will also inspire leaders to take action by showcasing strong leadership for road safety within governments, international agencies, NGOs, foundations, schools and universities and private companies.

4. India and Bangladesh will jointly produce a film on the life & works of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and also a documentary on Bangladesh Liberation War. He was the founding father of Bangladesh. The movie will be directed by the acclaimed Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal and will be written by Atul Tiwari. The decision was taken after a Bangladeshi delegation led by Dr. Gowher Rizvi met Information and Broadcasting Secretary Amit Khare. The Bangladesh Delegation assured full cooperation in ensuring smooth logistics for shooting the movie in Bangladesh. It was mutually agreed that the director of the documentary would be from Bangladesh who would be assisted by a co-director from India. Prasar Bharati has decided to carry Bangladesh TV on DD Free Dish platform without charging carriage fees. As a reciprocal gesture, Bangladesh Delegation announced that a Doordarshan channel will be adopted on the soon-to-be launched DTH platform of Bangladesh.

5. Mrinal Mukherjee (74), the veteran film and TV actor, has passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal on May 8, 2019. Mukherjee had worked for over five decades in the Bengali film industry and acted in films like 'Dui Bon', 'Chhuti', 'Shriman Prithviraj' and more recently 'Byomkesh' and 'Chiriakhana'. He had also acted in several Bengali TV serials and was a known face in Bengali theatre as well. Apart from being a versatile actor, Mrinal Mukherjee was a great singer as well. Some of his major Bengali hits were Nayika Sangbad, Golpo Holeo Sotti, Shriman Prithviraj, Chuti and others. Mrinal Mukherjee also did some Bollywood movies too and was best known for his role in Gulzar’s Mausam. The movie is one of Gulzar’s best works.

6. Baidyanath Mishra (99), the renowned economist, has passed away in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on May 8, 2019. Mishra had started his career as a lecturer in Ravenshaw University in Cuttack in 1949. He later worked at Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT). He was vice-chancellor of OUAT from 1981 to 1985. Mishra was also the chairman of State Planning Board from 1985 to 1990.

7. The UN report titled “IPBES Global Assessment” has been released by IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services). It is compiled by 145 expert authors from 50 countries. The IPBES report found that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history. The threatened list includes more than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef-forming corals, and more than a third of all marine mammals. The study is a cornerstone of an emerging body of research that suggests the world may need to embrace a new post-growth form of economics if it is to avert the existential risks posed by the mutually-reinforcing consequences of pollution, habitat destruction and carbon emissions. The report tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global. The headquarters of IBPES is located in Bonn, Germany.

8. The meeting of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) is being organized by Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) in Kochi from 08th to 10th May, 2019. India is hosting this meeting in its capacity as Vice Chair of the Asia Pacific region that it assumed on 1st July, 2018 for a two-year period. The meeting will take stock of the progress being made in carrying forward the programmes and initiatives of WCO to promote, facilitate and secure the cross-border trade in the region and the capacity building and technical assistance required to achieve this goal. This meeting is being chaired by Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, CBIC Chairman.

9. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to discard its 'Black List' of Indian-origin people, who have taken asylum abroad under the plea of alleged persecution in India. As per officials, all such people will also be given regular visa as well as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). The list, which is maintained by Indian missions, is mostly consists of the names of people belonging to the Sikh Community. Earlier, the Indian-origin asylees were denied visa services by Indian missions and posts since they took asylum abroad under the plea of alleged persecution in India. Now, such asylees and their family members who are not in the main adverse list of the Government of India (GoI) will be granted visa and consular services at par with foreigners of the country in which they are living. Such Indian-origin people (mostly Sikhs) can also get OCI cards if they have held normal Indian visas for at least two years.

10. The 6-day Brahmakalashothsava festival is celebrated in the ancient Chandkuru Sri Durga Parameshwari Temple annually in Polali, Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka. The presiding deity of the temple, which has a history of nearly 1,700 years, is Shri Rajarajeshwari. The highlight of this temple is its mud idols and this is probably the only idol of this size (about 9ft height) in Karnataka. Other than the presiding deity Rajarajeshwari - two other idols Bhadrakali on the left (may be bigger than the presiding deity in height) and Lord Subrahmanya and Ganesha are on the right hand side. It is in news recently because several Dalits and OBCs from Chandkuru and surrounding villages in Belthangady taluk boycotted festival in a centuries-old temple due to separate seating arrangement had been made for people of the upper caste.

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