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GS-II (Governance)

Sea phase of ‘Varuna’ exercise begins

  • The sea phase of the Indo-French naval exercise ‘Varuna’ began on 8 May 2019.
  • This year’s edition of the Indo-French naval exercise currently underway off the Goa coast is the largest ever undertaken by the two navies.
  • The exercise, began on May 1, will culminate on May 10 after sea phase operations.
  • The first bilateral naval exercise between India and France was held in 1983.


India & Turkey to strengthen economic relation

  • India and Turkey vowed to strengthen economic relations with the aim of reaching 10 billion US dollars bilateral trade by 2020.
  • Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal held talks with Gitesh A Sarma, Secretary under the institutional mechanism of foreign office consultations.
  • Other aspects such as enhanced cultural interaction, tourism, people-to-people contacts were also discussed.

US imposes sanctions on Iran

  • The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper industries.
  • This comes a year after Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal.
  • Trump said his announcement “puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.”

Singapore passes new law to police fake news

  • Singapore’s parliament has passed a sweeping “anti-fake news” bill.
  • It includes ability to demand corrections, order the removal of content, or block websites deemed to be propagating falsehoods contrary to the public interest.
  • Penalties for not complying with orders include steep fines and jail time.

 Vice-President Naidu on Vietnam visit

  • Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu will undertake a three-day official trip to Vietnam from 9 May 2019.
  • He will hold meetings with Vice-President of Vietnam Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
  • He will also meet beneficiaries of the Jaipur Foot Artificial Limb Fitment Camp organized in Vietnam under the ‘India for Humanity’ initiative

Rakesh Sharma elected as IMMA Vice-President

  • Bajaj Auto Executive Director Rakesh Sharma has been elected as Vice-President of Geneva-based International Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (IMMA).
  • He is a representative of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
  • Geneva-based IMMA has membership from various manufacturers associations from across the world.


CBIC to organise meeting of Regional Heads

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is organizing a meeting of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) 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.

RBI withdraws mandate on IL&FS NPAs

  • Following the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal’s decision to allow banks to declare NPAs of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited and its group entities, the RBI has now withdrawn its circular.
  • The circular mandated to disclose bad loans of the IL&FS group in its notes of accounts.
  • Previously, RBI had asked banks and financial institutions to disclose the NPA.


India CEO forum organised on climate change

  • India CEO Forum on Climate Change was organized by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)on 8 May 2019.
  • The Forum consisted of high-level discussions across several sessions covering topics from India’s Nationally Determined Contributions.
  • The sessions voiced deliberations from the government on India’s international commitments to fighting climate change.

Greenfield IT park to come up in Guindy

  • Olympia Cyberspace, a unit of the Chennai-based Olympia Group, is coming up with a million square feet greenfield IT park jointly with US Private equity fund Apollo Global, in Guindy.
  • The project will entail investments upto 750 crore.
  • Apollo Global, an alternate investment platform with $270 billion in assets under management, is the joint venture partner of Olympia for this project.


Pt. Swapan Chowdhury conferred with D. Litt

  • Noted writer Sanjib Chattopadhyay, Classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and Tabla Maestro Pt. Swapan Chowdhury were conferred with D.Litt degrees by the Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) in Kolkata on 8 May 2019.
  • The Chancellor of the University and West Bengal Governor Mr. Keshari Nath Tripathi presented the degrees.
  • Noted educationists Professor V. N. Jha delivered the convocation address.

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