“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

This post covers relevant news from national dailies and government releases for aspirants of examinations like UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It is highly useful for both, revision and awareness purposes.

National Important Current Affairs – 12 May 2019

  • Researchers from CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI), Lucknow and the University of Lucknow have found method of arsenic bioremediation by showing that arsenic can be effectively removed from contaminated soil with the help of indigenous strains of microbes. Using two bacterium isolated from arsenic-contaminated fields (Bacillus flexus and Acinetobacter junii) these strains can also promote plant growth too.Several studies have also pointed out that using arsenic-contaminated water for agricultural purposes can increase the concentration of arsenic in fruits and grains, proving toxic to humans. These bacteria live symbiotically in the roots of plants in arsenic- contaminated soils and help them in uptake of the required nutrients without causing toxicity. The researchers studied the two bacteria under different concentrations of arsenate and arsenite, the toxic forms of heavy metal and noticed that arsenic treatment did not stunt or delay the growth of both the bacterial strains.

 

  • National Technology Day is observed in India every year on May 11, to mark India’s technological advancements. It aims to emphasize the importance of science in our day-to-day life. This day remembers of the successful launch of Shakti-I nuclear missile at Pokhran Test Range in Rajasthan  in 1998, which was headed by the then President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In order to commemorate the tremendous technological achievements made by India, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced May 11 as the National Technology Day.

This day also marks the launch of India’s first indigenous aircraft, Hansa-3 flown in Bengaluru when the nuclear tests were being conducted in Pokhran, Rajasthan. On the same day, the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) conducted the last test-fire of the Trishul Missile which was later inducted into service by the Indian Air Force and Indian Army.

Note that : The Technology Development Board (TDB) was set up by the Government of India. This board confers National Awards to individuals and institutions for their contribution in the field of science.

 

  • Scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad have sequenced the entire genome of Asiatic lion, an endangered species, for the first time. This information will help us to better understand the evolution of Asiatic lions and also make possible comparative analysis with the available genome of other big cats such as royal Bengal tiger, African Cheetah and Jaguar. The genome sequencing will help developing markers to study population genetics (the differences at the gene level within a population) and get insights into its population management.

Note that: The population of the endangered Asiatic lion is only 523 animals in the Gir forests.

  • According to a recent UN report, Climate change and rising sea levels may eventually wipe out ‘The Sundarbans’, which is one of world’s last and largest tiger strongholds.
    The studies of report rely on climate change scenarios developed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its simulation models.

 

International Current Affairs Capsule – 12 May 2019

  • The International Nurses Day is being celebrated on May 12th to acknowledge the contributions of nurses to the society and also observes the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale, who is also known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’, was famous as manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War.

The theme for the International Nurses Day 2019 is –‘Nurses – A Voice to Lead –Health for All’.

About Florence Nightingale: Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London in 1860. This is now part of King’s College London, and was the first secular nursing school in the world. In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday.

 

  • India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu held talks with Vietnamese Prime Minister Xuan Phuc in Hanoi. Naidu, who is a four-day visit to Vietnam, also attended the inaugural ceremony of the Jaipur Artificial Limb Fitment camp at the Indian Embassy in Hanoi. During a delegation level talks, the two sides also expressed hope that the concerned countries are able to reach consensus on a code of conduct in the South China Sea. Both nations reiterated the importance of building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law.  During his talks, the Vice President, reiterated that cordial and friendly relations between India and Vietnam have been strengthened by bonds of Buddhism and Hinduism.

 

  • According to the recent by the Lancet Oncology, the number of patients requiring chemotherapy annually is set to increase to 15 million. The study estimates that a steady growth curve of cancer patients will be seen in low and middle income countries going from 63% in 2018 to 67% in 2040. Between 2018 and 2040, the number of patients requiring first-course chemotherapy annually will increase from 9.8 million to 15 million.

A study published in The Lancet, Oncology states that the most common indications for chemotherapy worldwide in 2040 will be lung cancer 16.4%, breast cancer 12.7% and colorectal cancer 11.1%. This is first of its kind study aimed at helping the global community scale up chemotherapy provisions and cancer physicians.

 

Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 12 May 2019

  • Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% shares of centuries-old British toy retailer Hamleys, for £68 million. The worldwide acquisition of iconic Hamleys brand and business will place Reliance in the frontline of global retail. Hamleys was founded in 1760, and was acquired by China’s C Banner International for £100 million in 2015.

Note that: Hamleys is the oldest and largest toy shop in the world with 167 stores in 18 countries. Currently, RIL retail arm Reliance Retail has the licence to sell Hamleys’ products in India.

 

  • The national carrier Air India has decided to offer a heavy discount to passengers booking a domestic flight for last-minute travel. This decision was taken at a review meeting that for the domestic sector, the “very last moment inventory”, i.e., the seats available within three hours of departure, would be sold at a sizeable discount.
    • The airline is hoping to sell the seats that otherwise go empty and improve its seat occupancy rate or passenger load factor (PLF). Air India’s PLF is usually the lowest among all domestic carriers.
    • Travellers buying a ticket within three hours of departure could benefit from its offer.

     

Sports Current Affairs – 12 May 2019

  • In the Madrid Open tennis tournament, The Netherlands’ Kiki Bertens beat Simona Helep 6-4, 6-4 to win the 2019 women’s title. Bertens made history, becoming the highest-ranked Dutchwoman ever by climbing to world number four position in world rankings.

 

Obituaries

  • ITC’s longest-serving chairman, Yogesh Chander Deveshwar, has passed away at the age of 72 years. Mr. Deveshwar, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and Harvard Business School, joined ITC in 1968. Deveshwar acquired a high stature through years of hard work, when he worked relentlessly for changing the course of ITC, which was just known as a cigarette company. Now, ITC’s non-cigarette businesses constitute nearly 59% of total revenue. His stewardship over the last two decades has guided ITC to become India’s foremost FMCG marketer, the country’s largest paperboards and packaging company and a corporate enabler in farmer-empowerment, through its wide-ranging agri-business. It also has the second largest hotel chain in India.

 

  • Noted novelist and Sahitya Akademi awardee Thoppil Mohamed Meeran has passed away at the age of 74 years. He was born in the coastal hamlet of Thaengaaipattinam in Kanniyakumari district. Mohamed Meeran authored Saaivu Naarkkaali (The Reclining Chair), released in 1995, which bagged him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1997.

 

“Current Affairs Questions for UPSC IAS Prelims – 12 May 2019 “

Q1. Milk brand Amul will be the principal sponsor of the cricket team of which cricket team for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup?

  • A. Afghanistan
  • B. India
  • C. Pakistan
  • D. Sri Lanka

 

Q2. Which state government ordered all schools to ensure that the weight of a child’s schoolbag doesn’t exceed 10% of the weight of the child?

  • A. Kerala
  • B. Punjab
  • C. Tamil Nadu
  • D. Karnataka

 

Q3. Interstellar Technologies Inc. became the first private firm in ______ to launch an unmanned, 10-meter, one-ton Momo-3 rocket.

  • A. Russia
  • B. South Korea
  • C. Iceland
  • D. Japan

 

Q4. The U.S. military has deployed its most advanced air and missile defense system i.e. THAAD to which among the following nations?

  • A. India
  • B. Afghanistan
  • C. Romania
  • D. UK

 

Q5. Which country has recorded 695 cases of measles in 2019, the most of any year since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000?

  • A. France
  • B. US
  • C. Russia
  • D. Germany

 

Answer these questions in the comments below. We encourage you to discuss your thoughts on the news and issues mentioned in today’s current affairs post. The idea is to promote healthy discussions on interesting issues to make preparation fun. Have a good day!

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