Daily Current Affairs – 16th May, 2016, Monday

1. Indigenous AAD interceptor missile Ashwin successfully test fired

a) Indigenously developed Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile named Ashwin has been successfully test fired from the integrated test range on Abdul Kalam Island (formerly Wheeler Island) of Odisha coast.

b) Ashwin is an advanced version of a low altitude supersonic ballistic interceptor missile, which was test fired against another ballistic missile, a modified version of Prithvi.

c) This AAD interceptor is a single stage missile which is powered by solid propellants. It is 7.5 m tall & 1.2 tonnes in weight with one-metre diameter.

d) The first phase destroys an incoming enemy missile in an exo-atmospheric region (outside the atmosphere) and the 2nd phase seeks to intercept enemy missiles more than 2,000km range in an endo-atmospheric (inside the atmosphere) region.

e) Developed by DRDO, this high altitude & low altitude anti-ballistic missile ensure a two layered ballistic missile defence shield to protect important cities and installments in India.

2. Sania, Martina win 2016 Italian Open

a) Indo-Swiss pair Sania Mirza & Martina Hingis has retained the world number one position by clinching the women’s doubles title at the 2016 Italian Open.

b) The pair defeated Elena Vesnina & Ekaterina Makarova in the finals. This is their 14th women’s doubles title.

c) Serena Williams won the women’s singles title after defeating Madison Keys. Further, Andy Murray won his first-ever Italian Open men’s singles title after defeating top-seeded Novak Djokovic. Besides Murray, the only British man to win this tournament was George Patrick Hughes in 1931.

d) Bob & Mike Bryan won the men’s doubles title after defeating Vasek Pospisil & Jack Sock. This is their fourth doubles title after their previous victories in 2008, 2010 & 2013.

3. Indian short film ‘Beti’ to be screened at Seattle International Film Festival

a) The 42nd Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) has invited a 4 minute documentary film called ‘Beti’ to be screened during the festival in Washington DC.

b) The film is based on girl child’s education in India. It is directed by Shivani Arora. It narrates the real life story of three girls from a government school and their dream for the future.

c) This is the only short film from India amongst 421 films representing 85 countries across the world.

4. Mukul Mudgal appointed as Deputy Chairman of FIFA’s governing community

a) FIFA has appointed Justice (retd.) Mukul Mudgal as the Deputy Chairman of the governance committee of FIFA.

b) Advocate General of the European Court of Justice Luis Miguel Maduro has been appointed as the chairman of the governance committee. Justice Mudgal and Justice Maduro have both been appointed to FIFA’s first independent review committee.

c) Justice Mudgal has previously served as the former Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana HC. He was also the head of the IPL spot-fixing probe panel.

5. Niti Aayog to prepare 15-year vision documents

a) National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog will make long-term perspective plans from the financial year 2017-18.

b) The previous five-year plans will be replaced by new 15-year vision documents.

c) The previous 12 five-year plans from 1951 to 2017 dealt with India’s social and economic infrastructure only. However, these new vision documents will also include topics like defence & internal security to get rid of the plan and non-plan expenditure from 2017-18.

d) The initial vision document will be co-terminus with the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda (2016-2030) to which India is a signatory.

e) NITI Aayog will also prepare a 7-year strategy as a part of National Developmental Agenda.

f) To align the National Developmental Agenda with the 14th Finance Commission’s award period (2015-2020), NITI Aayog will also prepare a 3-year action plan for 2017-18 to 2019-2020.

6. The Indian Institute of Packaging unveils Vision 2024

a) An autonomous body under Ministry of commerce & Industry, Indian Institution of Packaging (IIP) has unveiled its Vision 2024 document.

b) IIP’s Vision 2014 document focuses on export promotion, upgradation of packaging education by introducing BTech & MTech, and enhanced focus on packaging research.

c) The IIP is the second institution in the world, besides one in the US to start a two-year post-graduate diploma in packaging.

7. A rare spider species found in Karnataka

a) A rare species of spider called the Scorpion-tailed spider (Arachnura angura) has been found on the campus of Karnataka University.

b) Arachnura is orb-weaving spiders of Australasia, with one found in Africa and Madagascar.

c) They always stay in the middle of their web. When they are disturbed, they curl up their tail which is harmless.

8. Singer-songwriter Jamala wins 2016 Eurovision song contest

a) Susana Jamaladynova aka Jamala was recently crowned the winner of the 2016 Eurovision song contest in Stockholm, Sweden.

b) She presented the ballad 1944, which evoked the deportation of Crimean Tatars by Josef Stalin. This song is interpreted as a criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

c) Ukraine’s win in this tournament with it’s politically charged lyrics has irked Russia

d) Guest nation Australia, represented by Dami Im’s Sound of Silence, came second, with favourites Russia in third, Bulgaria in fourth and Sweden fifth.

9. Max Verstappen wins Spanish Grand Prix

a) Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has become the youngest F1 winner with Spanish Grand Prix title. The 18-year-old emerged victorious in Spanish GP after Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg crashed into each other during the tournament.

b) Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was second and teammate Sebastian Vettel stood third. Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, finished fourth.

c) Verstappen is the first-ever Dutch driver to win a race ever. He debuted at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix for Torro Rosso when he was just 17 years old.

10. Indian women’s team bags silver at 18th Asian team Squash Championship 2016

a) Indian women’s squash team of Sachika Ingle and Joshna Chinappa bagged the silver medal at the 18th Asian team Squash Championship 2016 at Taipei.

b) The Malaysian team of Sivasangari Subramaniam and Delia Arnold won the gold medal.

c) Pakistan’s men’s team won the title by defeating Hong Kong’s squash team. Indian men’s team lost their chances to win the title after their defeat in the semi-finals.

11. Heena Sidhu wins silver at International Shooting Competition

a) India’s Heena Sidhu has won the silver medal in 10m air pistol category at the International Shooting Competition of Hannover, Germany. Germany’s Sandra Hornung wo the gold medal.

b) Former world and Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra missed the silver medal by 0.1 point in the men’s 10m air rifle. Switzerland’s Jan Lochbihler won the gold medal and German player Nicolas Schallenberger took home the silver.

12. Dr. Neeraj Sympathy elected AICF chief

a) Dr. Neeraj Sympathy, General Secretary of Andhra Carrom Association, has been unanimously elected as the president of the All India Carrom Federation (AICF).

b) Vijaya Kumar of Chhattisgarh Carrom Association has taken the position of the General Secretary, while S Madanraj is the new Treasurer.

13. India ranks 3rd in the 2016 Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index

a) Global professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) has released its Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness index 2016 based on the attractiveness of renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.

b) European markets have slipped from their previous positions in EY’s renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) rankings, whereas markets across Latin America, Africa, and Asia have continued to rise.

c) US has topped the index, while China takes the second position. India has been ranked 3rd.

d) Chile is at 4th position, Brazil (6th) and Mexico (7th). Argentina is the top-scoring country in this index at 18th position.

14. India’s oldest Test cricketer Deepak Shodhan passes away

a) India’s oldest Test cricketer Deepak Shodhan recently passed away aged 87.

b) Shodhan had a long domestic career, playing for Gujarat and Baroda in the Ranji Trophy and was a title-winner in 1957-58.

c) Shodhan played three Test matches, scored 181 runs, ave. 60.33 and 43 first-class matches and scored 1802 runs (HS 261, 4×100) and took 73 wickets bowling left-arm spin.