Gyaankosh – Current Affairs For May 2019 – Set 1

  • Iraq has become India’s top crude oil supplier for the second consecutive year, meeting more than one-fifth of the country’s oil needs in the 2018-19 fiscal year. According to data collected by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Iraq sold 46.61 million tonnes of crude oil to India during April 2018 and March 2019.
  • The Central government has asked the state transport departments to make it mandatory for all Electric Vehicles to use the green number plates, irrespective of the year in which they were bought.
  • The Netherlands has emerged as the third largest foreign direct investor in India during 2017-18, with investments pegged at about $2.67 billion across sectors.
  • The fourth of Indian Navy’s stealth Scorpene class Submarines of Project 75, INS Vela was launched at the Kanhoji Angre Wet Basin of Mazagon Dock Limited at Mumbai in Maharashtra.
  • India will be attending the Group of 7 industrialised nations meet organised by France in Biarritz in August along with Australia, Chile, and South Africa. The French ambassador to India Alexandre Zeigler stated that one of the issues on the agenda of the G-7 meet would be fighting terrorism in cyberspace.
  • In a huge diplomatic win for India, the United Nations Security Council designated Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist after China lifted its hold on a proposal to blacklist him under the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee. The announcement was made by India’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UN, Syed Akbaruddin. 
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) announced that Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, will be launched between July 9 and 16 and that it is expected to land on September 6. In August 2018, the organisation had said it will launch Chandrayaan 2 in January 2019 and described it as most complex mission undertaken by ISRO. The mission will be launched on a GSLV Mk-III rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.
  • Former ISRO chairman AS Kiran Kumar was conferred with France’s highest civilian award ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ for his contribution to India-France space cooperation. He served as the ISRO chief from 2015 to 2018 and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014. He has contributed to projects like India’s first experimental remote sensing satellite, Bhaskara-1, launched in 1979 and even Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan.
  • A day after the “rarest of rare” summer cyclone Fani ravaged parts of Odisha, killing at least 12 people, a massive restoration-and-relief work was launched on war-footing across 10,000 villages and urban areas. The extremely severe cyclonic storm, which made landfall at Puri on 3rd May, unleashed copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 200 kmph, blowing away thatched roofs of houses, swamping towns and villages, before weakening and entering West Bengal.
  • SpaceX successfully launched a Dragon spacecraft on a cargo mission for NASA to International Space Station (ISS). This is SpaceX’s fifth launch of the year. The launch was rescheduled earlier due to some electrical problem on ISS. It was launched on a ‘Falcon 9’ rocket, from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
  • World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is celebrated all over the world on the 3rd of May. The theme for WPFD 2019 is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”.  The day aims to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess its state around the world, defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have laid down their lives in the exercise of their profession.
  •  Huawei Technologies Co overtook Apple Inc to claim the No. 2 spot in smartphones making in the first quarter, moving a step closer to its avowed ambition of displacing Samsung at the top of the market. Huawei’s been steadily gaining on Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. with an increasingly high-end line-up of devices. Huawei saw year-over-year growth of 50.3% in the first quarter and claimed 19% of the worldwide market share. South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsungcontinues to topthe list with 20.9% market share and Apple holds 11.7% share of the worldwide market.
  • Vodafone Idea Ltd, India’s largest telecom operator, on 3rd May announced a five-year multi-million-dollar IT outsourcing deal with tech giant IBM. This engagement will also contribute to Vodafone Idea’s merger synergy objectives by reducing its IT-related costs. The company did not divulge the size of the deal but some reports pegged it at about $700 million. The collaboration will provide Vodafone Idea with a hybrid cloud-based digital platform to enable more intimate engagement with its over 387 million subscribers (as of 31 December 2018), enhancing business efficiency, agility, and scale plus simplification of its business processes.
  • Flipkart-owned fashion e-commerce platform Myntra announced that it had appointed celebrity couple Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma as its first brand ambassadors. Myntra has launched the integrated campaign called ‘Go Myntra-la-la’ which will be promoted across television, print, digital and outdoor. Advertising agency McCann Worldgroup from Bengaluru has created the television campaign.
  • Pakistan’s former captain and star all-rounder Shahid Afridi released his autobiography, titled ‘Game Changer’. The book is co-authored by Afridi and journalist Wajahat S Khan.
  • World number one Bajrang Punia has become the first Indian to win gold at the Ali Aliev wrestling tournament after defeating Viktor Rassadin of Russia in the 65 kg freestyle in Kapiisk. He had also won a gold at the Asian Championships in Xi’an, China. Bajrang, who is part of the JSW Sports Excellence Program, will fight at the historic Madison Square Garden arena. He will take on former cadet world champion and two-time US National champion Yianni Diakomihalis.
  • G Sathiyan becoming the first Indian to break into the top-25 of the latest world ranking list released by International Table Tennis Federation. Sathiyan rose four spots to be 24th in the ITTF rankings, following his impressive sixth place finish in the Asia Cup in Yokohama earlier this month to secure a place in the World Cup in Chengdu from October 25 to 27.
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