Daily GK Updates - 24th May 2015 - Important Current Affairs

1.  UNSC adopts resolution in stemming misuse of small arms
i. United Nation Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution calling for stronger cooperation among member nations in stemming the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and light weapons.
ii. UNSC resolution comes in wake of underlining suffering caused by small arms and light weapons to civilians.
iii. The resolution was passed nine votes favour of it and none against it, while six were abstentions.

Key facts of adopted resolution

 Preventing of illicit transfers and sales of weapons and ammunition, including small arms and light weapons, to armed groups and criminal networks that target civilians.
Identified areas: The resolution identifies a wide range of areas for international cooperation which can bolster the recognition it.
 It includes importance of well-targeted and monitored sanctions regimes, effective reintegration and demobilisation programmes, appropriate UN peacekeeping mandates and security sector reform.
The resolution also advocates establishment or strengthening of subregional and regional mechanisms to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit transfer and misuse of small arms and small arms.
The asks member nations to effectively control the production of small arms within their jurisdiction and their export, import, transit or retransfer by laws, rules and administrative procedures.

2.  Ireland becomes first country to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage
i. Republic of Ireland became first country in the world to constitutionally legalise same-sex marriage.
ii. The referendum on this issue to amend country’s written constitution was passed with a resounding 62.1 per cent ‘Yes’. Off the total voter turnout of 60.5 per cent, 1,201,607 people voted in favour of same-sex marriage, while 734,300 voted against it.
iii. Ireland has a written constitution which can only be amended by referendum. With this passage of same-sex marriage referendum, now Irish constitution gives equal status to marriage between two people of the same sex as compared to a marriage between a man and a woman.
iv. Now in Ireleand same sex married persons will be recognised as a family and will be entitled to the constitutional protection and their rights.

3.   Indians posthumously chosen for UN’s prestigious Dag Hammarskjold Medal
Two Indian peacekeepers have been chosen posthumously for United Nation’s Dag Hammarskjold Medal. They are Lance Naik Nand Ram and Raju Joseph.
ii. Both of them are among the 126 police, military and civilian personnel who have been posthumously awarded a prestigious UN medal. They have been chosen for this award for their courage and sacrifice while serving in UN peacekeeping operations in 2014 and lost their lives as a result of hostile acts, accidents and disease.
iii. They will be presented with this medal on May 29, 2015 i.e. on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. Lance Naik Nand Ram had served with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). While, Raju Joseph had served in a civilian capacity with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

4. Tanishq Abraham, 11-year-old Indian-American creates record by graduating from California College
i. Tanishq Abraham, 11-year-old Indian-American child prodigy created a record by graduating from California College with three associate degrees in science, maths and foreign language studies.
ii. He is native of Sacramento, California and youngest to graduate from the American River College (ARC), in Sacramento, California. In 2014, he also had created a record by becoming one of the youngest ever in the US to graduate high school.
iii.  Earlier in March 2014, he had passed a state exam which had certified him having appropriate academic standards to receive his high school diploma.
iv. Tanishq is home-schooled since the age of seven. At the age of four he had joined MENSA, the prominent and oldest high IQ society in the world.

5. Jayalalithaa takes charge as TN chief minister
i.  J Jayalalithaa arrived at the State secretariat at 3 pm ‎after taking over as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for the fifth time.
ii.  She was given a floral welcome at the entrance by over ‎100 employees of the secretariat.
iii. All the senior bureaucrats, including the Chief Secretary, and police officials welcomed her at the Secretariat.
iv. She will ‎also inaugurate through video-conferencing the uniform services building at Egmore costing Rs. 449 crore.

6.  UPSC notifies Civil Services exam
i. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Saturday notified 1,129 vacancies for civil services in 24 categories with major changes in the exam format. The notification was delayed by a few days to incorporate the changes meant to ensure a level playing field for aspirants from all streams of education.
ii. There are significant changes in the pattern of the examination. Under the new criteria, the preliminary stage would continue to have Civil Services Aptitude Test General Studies (CSATGS paper II) paper as well as the Preliminary (General Studies Paper). However, General Studies paper I of only those candidates who score a minimum of 33 per cent CSATGS paper II would be taken up for evaluation.
iii. Students from rural background had petitioned that CSAT, with English, Mathematics and reasoning, was working against their advantage. It became a major issue in Parliament with several MPs demanding that CSAT paper be scrapped.
iv. Besides, all aspirants who had appeared at the 2011 examination have been granted another attempt.
v. The CSAT pattern was introduced without adequate notice in 2011, and many aspirants felt unfairly disadvantaged due to this change. To pacify them, the government agreed to grant an extra attempt this year irrespective of their eligibility.

7. 15-year-old Mandeep Kaur wins two gold medals at World Junior Championship

i. Punjab pugilist Mandeep Kaur Sandhu has won two gold medals (52 kg category) on Saturday at the Women's World Junior Boxing Championship in Taipei, thus scripting a classic rags to rich storyline.
ii. Indian boxers had a terrific outing in the tournament as they won 7 medals in all, including three golds, a silver and two bronze.
iii. Fifteen year old Mandeep, who hais from Chakkar village, defeated Ireland's Niamh Earley in the final match by a 3-0 margin to win gold. Mandeep was dominant in her category throughout the tournament and registered some thrilling wins.

8.  Jayalalithaa back at helm as Tamil Nadu CM, signs projects worth Rs 1900 crores
i. AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa who took oath as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister for the fifth time on Saturday  took formal charge on Sunday.
ii. She has set the ball rolling by signing projects worth 1900 crores and announcing inaugaration of 201 Amma canteens.
iii. According to NDTV, Tamil Nadu CM signed a Rs. 1800 crore road development project and also green signalled Rs. 100 crore employment training scheme for families headed by women. In total she announced 5 new schemes.


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