Current Affairs May 2015 - Competitive Exams

1. AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa was sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for fifth time. She is the 18th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and succeeded O Panneerselvam who resigned on 21 May 2015 following her acquittal on 11 May 2015 in the disproportionate assets case by the Karnataka High Court. The court overruled the Bangalore’s special court judgment which found Jayalalithaa guilty.
2. David Cameron’s Conservative Party on 8 May 2015 won the UK General election 2015 by securing 331 seats in a Parliament of 650. With this win, the incumbent Prime Minister David Cameroon will continue to be in the office.
3. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet gave its nod for appointing G Mohan Kumar as the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.
4. Akhil Amar, an Indian-American professor from Yale University, was appointed as a member of the prestigious National Council on Humanities of United States.
5. Peter M Christian was elected as the eighth President of the Federated States of Micronesia.
6. SS Ahluwalia was appointed as the chairman of Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The committee has 20 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha.
7. President Pranab Mukherjee authorized Justice (retd) Cyriac Joseph to act as the interim chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He will replace K.G. Balakrishnan.
8. Eminent banker Kundapur Vaman Kamath was appointed as the first President of the New Development Bank (NDB) of BRICS nations. He will serve a five year term after the bank becomes operational within one year.
9. The Union Ministry of Finance appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Justice Ajit Prakash Shah to look into the issue of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) on Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs). As per the Finance Act, 2015 the 20 percent MAT on Capital Gains made by FIIs is waived off from the financial year 2015-16. However, the issue of imposing MAT for past years (till 2014-15) has become controversial. At present, Justice A P Shah is heading the 20th Law Commission of India.
10. Achal Kumar Jyoti was appointed as the Election Commissioner of India. At present, Nasim Zaidi, the
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), is the other member of election commission.
11. Senior IPS officer Surender Singh took over as Director General of central paramilitary force Central Industrial Security Force. This capsule has been prepared by the Career Power Institute Delhi (Formerly known as Bank Power). This document contains all the important news and events of the Month May 2015, which can be helpful in the upcoming exams and interviews.
12. Actor and producer Mukesh Khanna was appointed as the Chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India.
13. Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz appointed his nephew Mohammed bin Nayef as the new Crown Prince and as a Deputy Prime Minister.
14. Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for 2015.
15. Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor was honoured with the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke award.
16. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented the 2015
UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Syrian journalist and rights activist Mazen Darwish.
17. Ace tennis player Rafael Nadal received the Golden Medal for Merit in Work. Golden Medal is one of the top civilian honours of Spain which aims to highlight an exemplary performance in any job or profession.
18. Prannoy Roy, the Executive Co-chairman of NDTV, was conferred with the Redink Lifetime Achievement Award 2015 at a function in Mumbai.
19. Two Indians namely Dr Ananda Kumar and Dr Pramod Patil won the prestigious Whitley Awards (also known as Green Oscar) for their contribution to wildlife conservation.
20. Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for his work Umbrella Man.
21. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conferred the 50th Jnanpith Award on eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade.
22. President of the United States (US) Barack Obama entered Guinness Book of World Record for reaching a million followers in a span of mere 5 hours after going live. Barack Obama debuted on Social Media Platform Twitter with @POTUS account.
23. V Shanmuganathan was sworn in as 15th Governor of Meghalaya at the Raj Bhawan in Shillong.
24. Indian-Origin Harbhajan Kaur Dheer became the first Asian woman to be elected as mayor in the United Kingdom (UK).
25. Indian-origin Priti Patel was appointed as Minister of State for Employment in British Government.
26. Bollywood actor Salman Khan was in news as he was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Mumbai Sessions Court. He was sentenced for his 28 September 2002 hit and run case in which one pavement dweller was killed and four others were injured.
27. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam resigned.
28. Veteran jazz musician Bob Belden passed away.
29. Eminent economist and academics Mrinal Datta Chaudhuri passed away.
30. Popular Indian stage, film and television actress Sudha Shivpuri died.
31. Aruna Shanbaug, the nurse of Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital, died on 18 May 2015. She died after battling with coma for past 42-years following a sexual assault by a hospital ward boy.
32. Veteran Hollywood actress Elizabeth Wilson passed away.
33. Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants on 21 May 2015 seized full control of ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.
34. Highlights of the visit to China - Prime Minister raised the boundary question with China and asked for an early settlement of the issue and decided to maintain peace and tranquility at the border point for maturity of relations. India-China signed 24 inter-governmental agreements. 21 business agreements worth 22 billion US dollars signed between Indian and Chinese companies. PM Modi inaugurated ICICI’s first branch in China at Shanghai.
35. Highlights of the visit to Mongolia - Modi is the first ever Prime Minister of India to visit the country.
India announced to provide one billion US dollar Line of Credit to Mongolia. India-Mongolia signed 13 agreements including enhancement in cooperation in border defence, air services, cyber security, renewable energy and others. Modi addressed to the Mongolian Parliament. Modi gifted a rare history manuscript to Mongolian President.
36.  Highlights of the visit to South Korea – Narendra Modi announced to set up a special panel to clear
and fast-track South Korean investments into India. South Korea became the second country after Japan
for which a special panel will be constituted. South Korea announced to invest 10 billion dollar for Indian infrastructure development. India-South Korea signed seven agreements including revised avoidance of double taxation, cooperation in audiovisual co-production, Youth Matters as well as cooperation between the National Security Council of India and South Korea.
37. The United Nations released Mid-2015 World Economic Situation and Prospects. Growth of world GDP will accelerate slightly from 2.6 percent in 2014 to 2.8 percent in 2015.
38. The World Economic Forum released the Human Capital Report 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland. India
occupied the 100th position among the 124 countries surveyed in the Index. Finland topped the list.
39. The Union Cabinet approved Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Continuation Programme consisting of fifteen operational flights PSLV-C36 to PSLV-C50.
40. The Union Cabinet gave its nod for building and launching of GSAT-17 and GSAT-18 communication
41. President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 50th anniversary of India’s first historic climb of Mount Everest in 1965 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. On 20 May 1965, Indian team led by Captain Mohan Singh Kohli of Indian Navy made history by climbing 8848-metres high Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak.
42. Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary of Swami Chinmayananda in New Delhi.
43. Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong opened first museum Indian Heritage Centre in Little India.
44. India launched a relief and rescue Operation named Maitri in earthquake hit Nepal. The operation will involve two dozen military aircraft and choppers along with bus services through road route. India also pressed nearly 1000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) into service.
45. The President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Namaste Russia festival in Moscow, Russia.
46. Book titled Unbelievable – Delhi to Islamabad authored by senior Advocate Prof. Bhim Singh was released by Vice President M Hamid Ansari in New Delhi.
47. Air-to-air missile, Astra was successfully test fired at the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur in Odisha. It was test-fired aboard a Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft. Astra is India’s first beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) that is capable of engaging its target at ranges of 37 km or beyond. It has operational range of 60km.
48. Indian Army signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bank of India (BOI) on the Defence Salary Package.
49. India successfully conducted the 48th test firing of the BrahMos Supersonic Cruise Missile from the Car Nicobar Islands in Andaman and Nicobar. The advanced version of the land-to-land configuration of BrahMos Block-III version was test-fired from a Mobile Autonomous Launcher (MAL) for its fullrange of 290 km.
50. State-owned United Bank of India has become the first of the 17 lenders to publicly admit that it no longer expects to recover its dues from the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines. Interestingly, the Kolkata-based lender was the first bank to attempt to get Vijay Mallya, the chairman of Kingfisher Airlines, tagged as a wilful defaulter.
51. RBI will soon set up a Central Fraud Registry as part of an early warning system. The idea is to set up a structure for quick sharing of information about unscrupulous borrowers and help banks fight bad loans.
52. Puducherry will be the first Union territory/state to implement direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for disbursal of food subsidy to the beneficiaries.
53. Government approved a proposal allowing investment by non-resident Indians (NRI) to be deemed as domestic investment on a par with investment made by residents. This means NRI investment will not be included in the category of foreign investment.
54. The finance ministry notified the increased service tax rate of 14 per cent effective from 1st June. However, the Swachchha Bharat Cess is yet to be notified. In Budget 2015-16, the government had hiked the service tax to 14 per cent from the current 12.36 per cent. The education cess and secondary and higher education cess shall be subsumed in the new service tax rate.
55. India announced a USD one billion credit line to Mongolia for infrastructure development as they upgraded their ties to “Strategic Partnership” and agreed to deepen defence cooperation besides exploring potential for tie ups in areas like the civil nuclear sector.
56. The Narendra Modi led government launched the website of NITI Aayog with a blogs section that will
have articles, field reports, work in progress and opinions by the officials.
57. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved amending the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 aimed at curbing the generation and laundering of black money within the country.
58. Indian Railways will soon launch its ‘Tatkal Special’ train service, travelling on which will be dearer than on normal trains.
59. Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) will offer a renewable one year accidental death-cumdisability cover of Rs 2 lakh for partial/permanent disability to all savings bank account holders in the age group of 18-70 years for a premium of Rs 12 per annum per subscriber.
60. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) will focus on the unorganised sector and provide subscribers a fixed minimum pension of Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 or Rs 5,000 per month, starting at the age of 60 years, depending on the contribution option exercised on entering at an age between 18 and 40 years.
61.  Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s constituency Amethi is set to be developed as a Smart City by the Narendra Modi-led government.
62. Finance Ministry clarified that LPG subsidy received by individuals in their bank accounts will continue to be exempt from income tax.
63. The government said the birth rate in India is greater than that of China and said the country’s population will cross China’s by 2028.
64. A court in Pakistan sentenced 10 men to life imprisonment for attempting to kill Nobel-prize winning teenage activist Malala Yousafzai in 2012.
65. Raja Rajeswari, the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City, was sworn-in
by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
66. NASA’s Messenger spacecraft has crashed into the surface of Mercury.
67. The Centre has approved the long-standing demand of Indian scientists that the country be an associate member of CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).
68. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has rejected allegations of unfair business practices against five online retail majors — Flipkart,Snapdeal, Amazon, Jabong and Myntra — as it did not find any prima facie evidence of violations.
69. IT major Infosys has asked the West Bengal government to either give SEZ (Special Economic Zone) status to the company’s proposed software development centre at Rajarhat or repay the money it has given in advance for the land.
70. A sessions court in Mumbai held Bollywood actor Salman Khan guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to five-year rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25,000 in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
71. The Lok Sabha passed a bill that provides for trying juveniles aged between 16 and 18 years for heinous crimes under laws for adults.
72. The U.N. health agency declared Liberia Ebola-free.
73. RBI has advised all public sector banks and some private and foreign banks to appoint an internal ombudsman. The internal ombudsman would be designated Chief Customer Service Officer. The apex bank, however, has made it clear that the CCSO should not have worked in the bank in which he/she is appointed as CCSO.
74. The Centre decided to continue with the aptitude test (General Studies Paper-II) in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, fixing its minimum qualifying marks at 33 per cent.
75. RBI allowed Infrastructure Debt Fund-Non-Banking Financial Companies to invest in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and infrastructure projects which have completed at least one year of satisfactory commercial operation. The maximum exposure that an IDF-NBFC can take on individual projects will be at 50 per cent of its total capital funds.
76. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had decided to extend electronic tourist visas
to Chinese nationals.
77. India’s largest commercial bank the State Bank of India said that its tie up with Snapdeal for funding
MSMEs will boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India initiatives by putting more funds in the hands of the small entrepreneurs enabling them to boost their industries.
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