1. International Day for Biological Diversity: 22 May
The International Day for Biological Diversity (or World Biodiversity Day) is aUnited Nations-sanctioned international day to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. The day is observed on May 22 every year. The theme for 2019 is 2019 – Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health.
Biological Diversity falls within the scope of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. Agrobiodiversity and its potential to support human nutrition and good health is a critical component of the global sustainability agenda. The critical role of biodiversity in sustainable development was recognized in a Rio+20 outcome document, The World We Want A Future for All.
Theme 2019: Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health:
- This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for our food and health and as a key catalyst for transforming food systems and improving human well-being.
- The theme aims to leverage knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.
- The theme also celebrates the diversity provided by our natural systems for human existence and well-being on Earth, while contributing to other Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, ecosystems restoration, cleaner water, and zero hunger, among others.
To conserve and sustainably use biodiversity for the well-being, every individual need to:
- Reduce meat consumption
- Eat and purchase seasonal foods
- Buy local foods
- Reduce food waste
- Compost food scraps
- Reduce food packaging by using reusable bags or reusing glass jars or containers
- Avoid single-use plastics like plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic cutlery, take out containers or plastic water bottles
- Promote local and indigenous biodiversity for food and nutrition
2. ISRO successfully launched earth observation satellite RISAT-2B
Indian Space Research Organisation has successfully launched its earth observation satellite RISAT-2B from Sriharikota.
- ISRO’s trusted launcher PSLV-C46 carrying RISAT-2B blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
- RISAT-2B meant for application in fields such as surveillance, agriculture, forestry, and disaster management support.
It will replace the RISAT-2, which was launched in 2009.
- The RISAT-2B is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar that can take pictures of the earth during day and night, and also under cloudy conditions.
3. Sunny Pawar won ‘Best Child Actor’ at DFW South Asian Film Festival
After a big win at the New York Indian Film Festival, ‘Lion’ fame Sunny Pawar won the ‘Best Child Actor’ award for ‘Chippa’ at the 5th DFW South Asian Film Festival.
- The festival focuses on a wide range of films promoting the perspectives and voices of the South Asian community.
- The 11-year-old boy Sunny shot to fame with Australian director Garth Davis’ acclaimed 2016 film ‘Lion’ for which he won an AACTA award.
- Written and directed by Safdar Rahman, ‘Chippa’ is a coming of age film about a 10-year-old boy who on the eve of his tenth birthday receives a letter from his long-absent father. He then decides to leave his pavement abode to find his father.
Oman Author Jokha Al Harthi won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for “Celestial Bodies”, the story of three sisters of a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.
Jokha Alharthi, the first Arabic-language writer to take the prize, will split the 50,000 pounds or 64,000 US dollar purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.
About Man Booker International Prize
- Country: United Kingdom
- Awarded for: Best book in English translation
- Presented: by Man Group
- Reward (s): £50,000
- First awarded: 2005
5. Saray Khumalo became the first black African women to conquer Mt. Everest in her fourth attempt
Saray Khumalo became the first black African women to conquer Mt. Everest in her fourth attempt. She climbed the 8,848 meter mountain after three previous attempts.
- She was born in Zambia and now is a Johannesburg resident.
- She has also conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia.
- She is on a hunt to conquer the highest peaks on each continent.
- In 2003, South African park ranger Sibusiso Vilane became the first black person to reach the top of Mount Everest.
About South Africa
- Capital: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein
- Currency: South African Rand
- President: Cyril Ramaphosa
IT major, Tech Mahindra has signed a defense contract worth Rs.300 crore with Indian Navy. This contract is its biggest agreement to date.
- The IT major will implement RFID-based access control system across all naval bases and ships as part of ‘Armed Forces Secure Access Card (AFSAC)’ Project. AFSAC will replace the existing paper-based identity card for all Navy personnel, including dependents and ex-servicemen.
- As part of the AFSAC Project, Tech Mahindra will implement RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) based access control system across all naval bases and ships.
- The Mumbai-based company will develop a secure application to manage the access control devices, network devices, and the AFSAC card through a data center.
- The security of Indian Naval establishments against unauthorized access is a thrust area and the AFSAC Project will be an important step towards achieving this aim.
- Scheduled to be implemented over the next two years, the project will ensure smooth issuance, handling, administration, management and life-cycle support of AFSAC Cards on turnkey basis.
7. Ola launched Ola money SBI Card
Transport Company, Ola Cabs launched Ola Money SBI Credit Card in partnership With SBI Card to provide a flexible and convenient payment system to its customers.
- The credit card is powered by Visa.
- This partnership will enhance the co-brand card portfolio and also enable Sal Card to access Ola’s vast customer base to make new acquisitions.
- There is no joining fee as Ola users will be able to apply, view and manage their credit card directly on the Ola app.
- CEO – Ahavish Aggarwal
- Headquarters – Bengaluru SBI Card:
- MD and CEO – Hardayal Prasad
8. Nepal banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat
Nepal banned popular Chinese digital wallets Alipay and WeChat to prevent the loss of foreign currency earnings from tens of thousands of Chinese tourists. The reason cited is Nepal was losing out since the actual transactions took place in China.
Over 1,50,000 Chinese holidaymakers visited Nepal in 2018, many using digital wallets to pay in hotels, restaurants, and shops in tourist areas, especially in Chinese-run businesses.
- President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
- Prime Minister: KP Sharma Oli
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Currency: Nepalese rupee
9. Bangladesh stopped visas for Pakistani nationals
The Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad has stopped issuing visas to Pakistani nationals for one week over a fresh diplomatic row amid strained bilateral ties since 2013 when Dhaka decided to hang several of the 1971 war criminals.
- The Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis for the last one week as a mark of protest as a Bangladeshi diplomat’s visa-extension application has not been cleared by the Pakistan government for last four months.
- No official announcement yet made
- In 2018, Dhaka denied a visa to the Pakistan High Commissioner. The Foreign Office in Dhaka, however, is yet to make any formal confirmation and no official notification has been issued on the halting of visas to the Pakistani nationals.
Bangladesh refusal for Pak. new high commissioner:
- Bangladesh has reportedly refused to accept the ‘agreement’ from Islamabad for the appointment of a new high commissioner.
- Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs named Saqlain Syedah as its new High Commissioner to Bangladesh, but Dhaka refused to accept the “agreement”, a diplomatic requirement under which a host country has to confirm the appointment of an incoming envoy.
Bangladesh, which seceded from Pakistan in 1971, has accused Pakistan of financing terrorism on its soil. Bilateral ties have become so strained. Now it has halted granting visas to all Pakistanis
10. Helo becomes team sponsor of Indian Wheelchair Cricket Association for Asia Cup
Helo, India’s social media platform became team sponsor of Indian Wheelchair Cricket Association(WCA) for Team India for Asia Cup 2019.
- It was scheduled from May 15 to 18 in Nepal.
Through this partnership with team India:
- Helo became the first social media app to host and promote Indian Wheelchair Cricket.
- Helo broadcasts the cricket updates, information, behind-the-activity and upcoming matches on its platform
- The Wheelchair Cricket Association(WCA) is affiliated to the Disabled Sporting Society. It has 1 6 state teams playing under it.
- The players are 70-90% physically challenged and will do batting, bowling, fielding and running on wheelchairs only.