Current Affairs India - 19-20 May 2016

1. Assembly election result of recent elections held in 5 states has been announced on 19th May. TMC and AIADMK retained power in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu respectively. Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalitha will continue as CM for these two states.


BJP made its historical debut in Assam after winning 87 of 126 seats while CPI (M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) came back to power in Kerala. In Puduchery INC and DMK won majority to form the next government.


2. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has inaugurated the world's largest single rooftop solar power plant at Amritsar's Beas town this week. The plant has a capacity of 11.5 megawatt (MW) and stretches over 42 acres. The project also extends to another 40 acres and includes seven other rooftop solar plants of 8 MW capacities on multiple rooftops thus, taking the total power generation to 19.5 megawatt across a single campus.


3. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has appointed Dr. Rakesh Kumar as the new Director of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). He is an expert in the study of function of genes and his research interests include investigating evolutionarily conserved features of genome organisation, chromatin structure and epigenetic regulation of genes during embryonic development stages.


4. Indian-American biotechnologist Rupa Iyer was awarded with the Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Award by the University of Houston for her sustained and significant contributions in the field of education. She has been working as Associate Dean at Research and Graduate Studies at the University of the Houston College of Technology since 2014.


5. An Indian American teenager Syamantak Payra won the prestigious Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award for developing a low-cost, electronically-aided knee brace which will enable an individual with a weakened leg to walk more naturally. He shared the prize amount of USD 50000 with Kathy Liu, who contributed toward developing an alternative battery component that could considerably improve battery performance and safety of the device.


6. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani has been awarded with the prestigious Othmer Gold Medal for his entrepreneurial leadership. He led the expansion of India-s petroleum refining industry including creation of the world-s largest petroleum refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat.


The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) established the Othmer Gold Medal in 1997 to honour outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted contributions to the world's chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research, education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy.


7. Global credit rating agency Moody's has Projected India-s GDP growth rate at 7.5% for the current financial year 2016-17 due to increase in private consumption. India's economic growth is supported by high consumer spending which makes up 55% of aggregate demand. With the introduction of the Seventh Pay Commission, private spending will increase further which will boost overall GDP growth.


8. India-s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) may merge its five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) with itself, as announced by SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya this week. The other five associate banks of SBI are State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT).


9. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who is currently visiting India has announced to set up its technology development centre in Hyderabad that will focus on the development of maps for its mobile products like iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches.Apple will invest around USD 25 million to set up the centre which will employ up to 4,000 people.


10. Popular Gujarati folk singer Diwaliben Bhil has passed away in Junagadh this week. She was 80. She sung numerous folk songs and bhajans in Gujarati and also lent her voice to several film songs. She was awarded with the Padma Shri award by the Indian Government in 1990.