Daily Current Affairs – May 15, Sunday

1. Singaporean, Hong Kong terms added to Oxford dictionary

a) Nineteen Singaporean and 13 Hong kong terms for English formation have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

b) Words like wah, shiok and yum cha, are now officially recognised as acceptable English. “Wah” is an expression of delight or surprise while “shiok” means cool, and “yum cha” is a type of Chinese brunch. Additions also include “blur”, which means confused or ignorant, and “sabo”, which means to harm or play a prank on.

c) OED adds words based on several independent examples of its use and if there is evidence that it has been in use for a reasonable amount of time.

d) Few more added words (from both Singaporean and Hong Kong origin) are:

Wet market: It is a market selling fresh meat and produce.

Blur: It means confused or ignorant.

Sabo: It means to harm or play a prank on.

Sandwich class: It is an informal term used to refer to the middle class

Milk tea: It is a drink made from black tea and milk, usually evaporated or condensed.

Shroff: It is a cashier, especially at a car park.

2. Italian Parliament approves same-sex civil unions

a) Italian Parliament has approved a law that recognises civil unions of same-sex couples. Italy has now become the last western European country to take this decision.

b) With 372 voting in favour, 51 against and 99 abstaining, the new law grants same-sex couples many of the same rights granted to a married heterosexual couple. Eg. same-sex couples can apply for public housing and inherit partner’s pensions like a heterosexual couple.

c) This was also a victory for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who supported the bill.

3. Haryana Backward Classes Act 2016 notified

a) The State Assembly has passed the Haryana Backward Classes (Reservation in Services and Admission in Educational Institutions) Bill, 2016 which stipulates reservation for Jats along with four other communities in government jobs and education.

b) This Act will provide 10% reservation in service for Class III and IV posts and six per cent reservation in Class I and II posts to the Jat, Jat Sikhs, Ror, Bishnoi, Tyagi, Mulla Jat or Muslim Jat in Schedule III. It will also ensure 10% reservation for admissions to educational institutions to people that belong to these castes.

c) In total, 71 castes constitute the OBC – A category list in schedule I, while 6 castes make up the OBC – B category list of Schedule II.

d) The judgement stipulates that reservations should not exceed 50% in a grade, cadre or service in any particular year. However, if exceeded for extraordinary reasons, it should be justified.

4. Nirankari spiritual leader Baba Hardev Singh dies in Canada accident

a) Baba Hardev Singh (62), spiritual head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, passed away in a car accident in Montreal, Canada.

5. Cabinet approves inter-governmental agreement between India, Mauritius

a) The Union Cabinet has approved the inter-governmental agreement between India and Mauritius for collaboration in cooperatives and related fields.

b) This agreement is for a duration of five years and will automatically be extended for another five years.

c) The Mauritius government is interested in developing institutional mechanism between Cooperative Development Fund (CDF) along with National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI).

d) A joint action plan will soon be formulated comprising exchange of legislation governing cooperatives, exchange of information and technicalities pertaining to the cooperative sector, the establishment of institutional linkages and deputation of experts under ITEC programme.

6. Modi, Maithripala Sirisena release ‘Simhastha Declaration’

a. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena have released the ‘Simhastha Declaration’ at Niroga village in Ujjain during the 3rd day of international Vichar Mahakumbh.

b) The declaration includes 51 points for the advancement of mankind. It emphasises on the present relevance of the duty-centered system that had been the origin of Indian philosophy of life.

7. SC upholds validity of Criminal Defamation Law

a) The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of Criminal Defamation provisions in the Indian Penal Code. SC has also directed politicians like Rahul Gandhi, Subramanian Swamy, Arvind Kejriwal and others to face trial for alleged statements harming others’ reputation.

b) As per the observations of the two-judge bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C Pant, ‘Right to Reputation’ is also a part of Right to Life (Article 21). They argued that criminal defamation travels beyond the Constitution’s article 19(2) that imposes reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression.

c) The bench considered that the criminal defamation law is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right of free speech and expression. Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC make defamation a criminal offence. They are necessary to protect the individual dignity of life and reputation.

8. Parkash Singh Panel submits report on Jat quota agitation

a) A three-membered panel headed by Parkash Singh recently submitted its two-volumed report on Jat quota agitation in Haryana.

b) The panel was constituted to inquire into the omission and commission on the part of all officials of police and civil administration during the Jat quota agitation.

c) The report has found 90 police officers guilty. These officers have either been delinquent while performing their duty or shown a soft corner for agitators. The report also mentions names of those officers who acted responsibly during these agitations.

d) This panel was headed by former DGP of UP & Assam & Director General of Border Security force Parkash Singh. IPS officer KP Singh & IAS Officer Vijai Vardhan were also part of this panel.

9. India inks pact with WHO to promote traditional medicine

a) Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) has been signed between the Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organisation in order to promote the quality, safety, and effectiveness of services provided in traditional medicine.

b) The PCA for the first time aims to deliver the WHO benchmark document for training in Yoga, Ayurveda, Unani, and Panchakarma.

c) Valid from 2016 till 2020, the agreement aims to support WHO in its global programme called ‘The WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023’, which was developed and launched in response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine. The strategy aims to support WHO’s member states in developing proactive policies and action plans.

10. 2016 Red Flag Aerial combat exercise concludes in US

a) The Indian Air Force along with its US counterpart recently concluded the 2016 Red Flag Aerial exercise at Eielson Air force base, Alaska, US. After 2008, this was the 2nd time when IAF participated in this exercise.

b) The Red Flag exercise is a successor to the Cope Thunder exercise series. In this, IAF flew 10 aircraft: four Su-30MKIs, four Jaguars and two IL-78 aerial refuelling tankers.

c) IAF also flew as a part of the Red Force (simulated as the Defensive force component fighting to protect own airspace and assets) alongside the first-of-its-kind Aggressors.

d) During this exercise, IAF’s Jaguars DARIN II undertook integrated strike missions dropping practice bombs over the world-renowned JPARC Air to Ground Range.

11. Justice Naveen Sinha sworn-in as Chief Justice of Rajasthan HC

a) Justice Naveen Sinha has taken oath as the 31st Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court by Governor Kalyan Singh.

b) Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court. Former Tripura High Court Chief Justice Deepak Gupta has taken up his post as new Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court.

12. World conference on tourism-for-development to be held in Beijing

a) From 18th-21st May 2016, the first world conference on tourism for development will be held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

b) The theme of this conference is ‘Tourism for Peace & Development’.

c) The conference aims to advance contributions of tourism to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

d) This event will be jointly organised by China’s Government and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). China will also host the 7th T20 Ministers’ Meeting under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development”.

13. India’s first solar-powered train set for trial in Jodhpur

a) To maximise usage of solar energy, Indian railways will soon conduct its first trial run of a solar panel-powered train in Jodhpur.

b) While solar energy will be used for internal electrical gadgets, the itself will be pulled by conventional diesel run engines.

c) The work on one rake of Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU), which has six coaches, has already been completed by Noida-based firm Jakson Engineers Limited (JEL).

14. Indian artist wins award at UN poster contest on N-disarmament

a) A 22-year-old Indian artist Anjali Chandrashekar has won the 3rd prize in UN’s poster competition which aimed to raise awareness on nuclear disarmament.

b) Chandrashekar, a New York-based designer, made a poster titling Titled ‘Cutting Barriers through Peace’, the poster features a peace dove slicing through a nuclear weapon.

c) Peruvian artist Ivan Ciro Palomino has won the first prize for his poster ‘Spinning Peace’, which features a nuclear weapon being unraveled into a string which is then used to fly kites and balloons, and to jump rope.

d) The second prize was bagged by 15-year-old Michelle Li, who named her poster ‘Peace in our Hands’, which features a shadow puppet of a peace dove above a broken nuclear weapon.