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Ajay Mehta: New Maharashtra Chief Secretary
- Mumbai municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has been appointed as Maharashtra’s new Chief Secretary.
- Ajoy Mehta succeeds UPS Madan who has been named as the special advisor to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
India, Vietnam reiterated commitment
- India and Vietnam reiterated the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law.
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and his Vietnamese counterpart Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh discussed a whole range of areas of cooperation in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
1st Apache helicopter handed over to the IAF
- First AH-64E (I) – Apache Guardian helicopter was formally handed over to the Indian Air Force at Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, USA on 10 May, 2019.
- Air Marshal AS Butola, represented the Indian Air Force and accepted the first Apache.
- IAF had signed a contract with US Government and M/s Boeing Ltd in Sep 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters.
Konkan Railways signs agreement with Nepal
- Konkan Railways Corporation Ltd has signed a contract agreement with Nepal’s Department of Railways to supply two 1600 HP DEMU train sets.
- These trains will be used to operationalise railway link between Jayanagar in India and Kurtha in Nepal.
- The train sets will be manufactured by the Integrated Coach Factory, Chennai.
Ministerial Meeting of Developing Countries
- A WTO Ministerial meeting of developing countries is being hosted by India in New Delhi on 13-14 May 2019.
- Sixteen developing countries, Six Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Director General of World Trade Organisation (WTO) are participating in the meeting.
- The Twelfth Ministerial Conference of the WTO to be held in Kazakhstan in June 2020.
Trump raised tariffs on imports from China
- US President Donald Trump has ordered his top officials to begin the process to raise tariffs on almost all the imports from China.
- This amounts to about $ 300 billion.
- This is in addition to the Chinese imports worth $200 billion on which Trump increased the import duty from 10% to 25%.
Ireland declares climate emergency
- Ireland has become only the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency.
- It happened after the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) report on Climate Action was accepted by the government and opposition parties without a vote.
- The United Kingdom became the first country to declare the emergency on 1 May 2019. Korean cargo ship seized by US arrives in American Samoa
- A North Korean cargo ship seized by the U.S. because of suspicion it was used to violate international sanctions arrived Saturday at the capital of this American territory.
- The Wise Honest was slowly towed to the port of Pago Pago during a cloudy Saturday morning and docked at the main docking section of Pago Pago Harbor that afternoon.
- The trip from Indonesia took about three weeks and American Samoa, in the South Pacific, was chosen because of “its central strategic location”.
- The ship was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia.
- Justice Department officials announced Thursday that the U.S. had seized the ship.
- “leading the investigation so they will be conducting that. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the ship will be moved.” But the next destination is unknown.
- “The inspection of the ship before entering the harbor is to make sure the structure integrity of the boat is still intact. In that way, once get the thumps up, and the green light, and the inspectors deem it safe, then it will enter the port”.
- S. officials made the announcement of the ship’s seizure hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble.
20th Conference of RHCA concludes
- The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) had organised a Conference of the Regional Heads of Customs Administration of Asia Pacific Region of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Kochi from 08 to 10 May 2019.
- India hosted this Conference in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the Asia Pacific Region of WCO which it assumed on 1st July, 2018 for a two-year period.
Extinct bird species came back from the dead
- A previously extinct species of bird returned from the dead, reclaiming the island it previously lived on and re-evolving itself back into existence.
- The white-throated rail colonized the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean and evolved to become flightless.
- It was completely wiped out when the island disappeared below the sea around 136,000 years ago.
DAYS AND EVENTS
National Technology Day: 11 May
- National Technology Day is observed every year on 11th May in India.
- It acts as a reminder of the anniversary of Shakti, the Pokhran nuclear test which was held on 11 May 1998.
- The aim of the celebration is to highlight the achievements of the scientists and engineers of India in the field of science and technology.
SCIENCE AND TECH
Bezos unveiled lunar lander
- Jeff Bezos unveiled a mockup of a lunar lander being built by his Blue Origin rocket company.
- The lander will be able to deliver payloads to the lunar surface, deploy up to four smaller rovers and shoot out satellites to orbit the moon.
- Bezos unveiled a model of roughly the size of a golf cart, and presented a new rocket engine called BE-7, which can blast 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg) of thrust.
ISRO to launch RISAT-2B from Sriharikota on May 22
- Indian Space Research Organization ISRO is scheduled to launch the nation’s latest radar imaging satellite RISAT-2B on 22nd of this month.
- A release from the national space agency says, it will be lifted off by the workhorse rocket PSLV-C46 in its 48th flight.
- It will zoom into space from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, 90 km north of Chennai. The launch is tentatively scheduled at 0527 hrs on the day.
- RISAT-2B is a modern radar imaging earth observation satellite. It will be placed in an orbit of 555 km from the earth.
- PSLV will fly in ‘core-alone’ configuration carrying the satellite, without the use of solid strap-on motors. This will be the 72nd launch vehicle mission for ISRO from its spaceport at Sriharikota.
- ISRO has made provisions for the general public to view the launch from its recently opened Viewer’s Gallery in the spaceport. They can make online registration for viewing the launch from 5 days before the launch.