DAILY GK UPDATE – 31st May

1.   
Ajit Kumar Doval appointed as new National Security Advisor
i. Former Intelligence Bureau Chief Ajit
Kumar Doval, considered one of the finest operational brains, was on Friday
appointed as the National Security Advisor (NSA) to Prime Minister of India
Narendra Modi.

ii. According to sources in the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP), the decision to have Doval on board as the NSA was taken by
Narendra Modi even before the election results were announced and he became the
15th Prime Minister of India.
iii. Doval was the first police officer to
be awarded the second-highest peacetime gallantry award, the Kirti Chakra.
iv. In 1989, he had led a team of
Intelligence Bureau officials along with the Punjab Police and National
Security Guards in “Operation Black Thunder” to flush out terrorists
from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
2.    World observes No Tobacco Day today
i. World No Tobacco Day is
being observed today. This year, WHO and partners call on countries to raise
taxes on tobacco.
ii. The main goal of this day is to contribute to protect present and
future generations not only from the devastating health consequences due to
tobacco, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of
tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
iii. The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created
World No Tobacco Day in 1987.
iv. The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year,
of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand
smoke.
v. Research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing
tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from
starting to smoke.
3.    Kamal Nath appointed pro-tem Speaker of 16 Lok Sabha
i. Former Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior
Congress leader Kamal Nath has been appointed as the pro-tem Speaker in the new
Lok Sabha.
ii. A notification issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat said
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed him to perform the duties of the
Speaker.
iii. The Narendra Modi government had recently conveyed its
recommendation to Mr. Mukherjee to appoint Nath, who is the senior most member
of the Lower House, as pro-tem Speaker.
iv. The pro-tem Speaker performs the duties of the office of
the Speaker from the commencement of the sitting of the Lok Sabha till the
election of the Speaker.
4.   
Peter Mutharika is new Malawi
presidential
i. Malawi’s
opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Peter Mutharika has emerged winner of the May 20 presidential race
in the southern African country, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) said
Friday.
ii. Mutharika, the
74-year-old brother of the late former President Bingu wa Mutharika, was
elected president of the country after garnering 36.4 percent of the votes
cast, Xinhua quoted MEC as saying.
iii. The official announcement came after
Banda attempted to nullify the election and call fresh polls on the ground that
the vote was marred by irregularities.
iv. MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera said
“the rule of law compels us to release the results” although some
commissioners expressed reservations about the results.
v. “The democratic right of
Malawians to elect their leaders is sacrosanct and must be respected,” he
said
5.   
Economy
witnesses subdued 4.67% growth during last fiscal; 
i. India’s economic growth remained subdued at 4.7 per cent
in 2013-14 and at 4.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of the financial year,
mainly due to a decline in manufacturing and mining output.
ii. According to official data released
today by the Central Statistics Office in New Delhi, the country’s gross
domestic product in 2013-14 was less than its advance estimate of 4.9 per cent.
iii. The manufacturing sector declined 1.4
per cent in the fourth quarter whereas Mining and quarrying contracted 0.4 per
cent in the January-March quarter.
6.   
Uttar Pradesh chief secretary Javed
Usmani removed, Alok Ranjan to replace him
i. Amid huge uproar over a string of
heinous gang-rapes and crime against women in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi
Party government on Saturday ordered the removal of state Chief Secretary Javed
Usmani, reports said.
ii. Alok Ranjan (inset) is likely to
replace him, official sources said.
iii. Javed Usmani, a 1978 batch officer who has been transferred from
Uttar Pradesh is likely to get Central deputation. 
7.   
IPL7:
Kings XI to meet KKR in title clash tomorrow
i. Kings Eleven
Punjab will meet Kolkata Knight Riders in the final of IPL cricket at Bangalore
tomorrow.
ii. Kings Eleven Punjab defeated
Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs at Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai last night.
iii. Earlier, Kings Eleven Punjab
made 226 runs in their stipulated 20 overs.
Chasing a victory target of 227 runs, Chennai Super Kings could make only 202
runs with the loss of 7 wickets.
8.   
India
to take on Belgium in Men’s Hockey World Cup opener
i. The Men’s and Women’s Hockey World Cup begin in The
Hague, the Netherlands today.
ii. While the Indian eves had failed to
make it to the World Cup, the Indian Men’s team led by Sardar Singh has been
placed in Pool-A alongside defending champions Australia, England, Belgium,
Spain and Malaysia.
iii. In today’s other matches, Australia
will meet Malaysia, and England will play Spain.
iv. Pool-B comprises Germany, the
Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and South Africa. Pool-B matches
will be played tomorrow.
9.   
Pakistan
to grant MDMA status to India to facilitate bilateral trade
i. Pakistan has said it would grant India the status of
Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to facilitate enhanced bilateral trade.
ii. According to media reports, Pakistan
Commerce Minister Khurram Dastigir Khan clarified that it was not Most Favoured
Nation status but non-discriminatory and parallel market access that is being
granted to India. 
iii. Pakistan has said it would grant India the
status of Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to facilitate enhanced
bilateral trade. According to media reports, Pakistan Commerce Minister Khurram
Dastigir Khan clarified that it was not Most Favoured Nation status but
non-discriminatory and parallel market access that is being granted to India.