Daily Current Affairs – 25th May, Wednesday

1. Lt. Gen. SK Saini takes over as the New Commandant of Indian Military Academy

a) Lieutenant General SK Saini has taken charge as the 46th Commandant of the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun.

b) An alumnus of National Defence Academy (NDA) and IMA, he was commissioned into the “7th Battalion the JAT Regiment” in June 1981.In a career spanning over 36 years, he has served in various instructional and command positions.

c) During his service period, he has been honoured with many service medals including chief of army staff commendation, Yudh Seva Medal and the Vishisht Seva Medal.

d) The Commandant has a passion for writing and has penned papers on “Changing Face of Terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir” and “Regional Security Cooperation and Confidence Building”.

2. Actor Burt Kwouk passes away at 85

a) Veteran actor Burt Kwouk, best known for playing Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato in the Pink Panther films, has passed away at the age of 85.

b) He appeared in seven Pink Panther films opposite Peter Seller. He also appeared in three James Bond movies including Goldfinger and You Live Only Twice and was a part of an eight-year stint in the sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.

c) He was awarded an OBE for services to drama in the 2011 New Year Honours list.

3. India, World Bank sign $100 mn loan agreement for Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernization project

a) The Government of India, the Government of Karnataka and the World Bank have signed a $100 million loan agreement for the Karnataka Urban Water Supply Modernization Project (KUWSMP) in order to support efforts of Hubballi-Dharwad, the second-largest urban center in Karnataka.

b) The project aims to make the cities the first in India to provide citywide, continuous, piped and clean water supply to its one million residents including the slum dwellers, people dependant on public standposts or private vendors.

c) The project will be implemented over a period of six years, initially in the two cities and will include other eligible cities later on.

4. India, Iran and Afghanistan sign trilateral transit accord

a) India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed the Trilateral Transport and Transit Corridor Agreement. This as finalised during PM Modi’s recent visit to Iran,

b) India and Iran also signed a number of agreements in the field of technology, petrochemicals, culture and railways as Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held consultations on defence partnership and combating threats of terrorism, radicalism, drug trafficking and cyber crime.

c) Besides, a Trilateral Agreement on Transport and Transit Corridor was also signed by India, Afghanistan and Iran.

5. Sarbananda Sonowal sworn-in as Assam Chief Minister

a) Former Union Minister and a BJP member Sarbananda Sonowal has taken oath as the Chief Minister of Assam. It was administered by Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya.

b) With this, he becomes Assam’s second tribal CM after Jogen Hazarika in the 1970s. He is also first Chief Minister from BJP.

6. Centre declares 2nd batch of 13 listed smart cities

a) The Union government has declared the list of 13 cities to be included in the smart cities plan. With this, a total of 23 States/ union territories are a part of Smart Cities plan.

b) Lucknow topped the list of winners of the Fast Track competition conducted for 23 cities from as many states and union territories.

c) The 13 cities were selected based on the marks scored by them in the Fast Track competition and the benchmarks set by the top performers in the first round of Smart City Challenge competition

d) The Smart City mission aims to transform 100 cities by 2019-20, with the Union government providing financial support of Rs. 48,000 crore over five years. Assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management systems, efficient urban mobility and public transportation, IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation are some of the highlights of the smart city project.

7. ‘Smart Village’ programme to improve public facilities launched in Gujarat

a) Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel launched ‘Smart Village’ programme with an aim to improve public facilities on the occasion of two year completion of her government.

b) Based on the lines of Smart City plan, this project would cover 300 villages chosen by the state-level committee consisting of experts on the basis of Gram Panchayat’s performance.

c) Apart from improvements in cleanliness and hygiene, the plan will focus on health sector and increasing the job opportunities for women.

8. Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling conferred with Nepal’s Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Prize

a) Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling was conferred with the ‘Yug Kavi Siddhicharan Award’ by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli for his honourable contributions in promoting Nepali literature in India.

b) He has authored many books in English, Hindi and Nepali. His works in Nepali include Prarambhik Kavita (1978), Antaheen Sapana: Mero Bipana (1985), Ma Ko Hoon! (1992) and Sikkim ra Nariko Maryada. He is also a publisher.

c) He was conferred with the Sikkim Sahitya Parishad award twice, Chintan Puraskar for best poem and in 1987 and Bhanu Puraskar in 2010.

d) The award comprises of a certificate of appreciation and a sum of NRs 100,000.

9. 40 million Indians at risk from rising sea levels: UNEP

a) In a recent report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) titled as Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6): Regional assessment for Asia and the Pacific, 40 million indians will be at risk due to rising sea levels by 2050.

b) Also, the worst impacts of climate change are projected to occur in the Pacific and South and South-East Asia.

c) According to the report, seven of the ten most vulnerable countries will be from Asia Pacific region. India tops the chart followed by Bangladesh and China on second and third positions respectively. More than 40 million people in the country projected to be at risk from rising sea levels, with Mumbai and Kolkata having the maximum exposure to coastal flooding in future.

10. US lifts embargo on sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam

a) The US has recently announced that it has lifted embargo on the sale of lethal weapons to Vietnam.

b) This move is in line with US’ efforts to bolster relations with its Pacific allies. Also, as President Obama put it “to remove “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.”

c) This decision means that Vietnam has access to the equipment needed to defend its territories. However, the US has stipulated that sales should meet strict requirements related to human rights.

d) The arms ban had been in force since 1984. It was partially lifted in 2014.

11. Pankaj Advani wins 2016 Asian 6-Red snooker title

a) Pankaj Advani has won the Asian 6-Red Snooker title to become the first cueist to hold both continental and world titles in 6-red snooker.

b) The double IBSF World Six-Red Snooker champion has etched his name again in the short format of the game, defeating top seeded Malaysian Keen Hoh Moh 7-5.

c) Advani will now spearhead the Indian challenge in the team event with Aditya Mehta, Manan Chandra and Kamal Chawla.

12. Director Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake wins 2016 Palme d’Or

a) British director Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake has won the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival.

b) This is the 79-year-old director’s second award for best picture at Cannes. He won the award in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes the Barley.

c) Another English Director, Andrea Arnold won the competition’s Jury Prize for her road movie American Honey.