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Daily News Digest:19 May 2019

U.K. law secures rights of Sikhs to carry kirpans

The U.K. government has passed an amendment by which Sikhs in the country will be allowed to carry kirpans and use it during religious and cultural functions.

The ‘Offensive Weapons Bill’ received the royal assent this week.

New Merit based Immigration Regime in US

US President Donald Trump on 16 May rolled out a merit-based immigration system from which foreigners, including hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals and skilled workers, waiting to get Green Cards or permanent legal residency stand to benefit.

The immigration reform proposals significantly increase the quota for skilled workers from existing nearly 12 per cent to 57 per cent.

Besides, under the proposed reforms, immigrants will be required to learn English and pass a civics exam prior to admission.

Pramod Kumar Mishra was awarded the Sasakawa Award

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has awarded the Sasakawa Award 2019 for Disaster Risk Reduction to Pramod Kumar Mishra.

The award recognized his dedication to improving the resilience of communities most exposed to disasters. He is currently serving as Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi.

The theme of the 2019 Sasakawa award was Building Inclusive and Resilient Societies.

Virat Kohli becomes first cricketer with 100 million social media followers

Virat Kohli is the first cricketer in the world ever to break into the 100 million category for followers on social media.

Virat Kohli has Facebook (37.1 million), Twitter (29.4 million) and Instagram (33.5 million) to his name.

Taiwan: First Asian country to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

Taiwan's parliament has become the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage following a vote on 17 May.

Taiwan has been a leader for gay rights in Asia, hosting an annual gay pride parade in Taipei attended by LGBT groups from all over the continent.

MRSAM: successfully tested by Indian Navy

The Indian Navy has successfully test-fired a Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM), achieving a significant milestone to enhance its anti-air warfare capability.

The test-firing of the missile was undertaken on the western seaboard by Indian naval ships Kochi and Chennai.

The test-firing of the missile was carried out jointly by the Indian Navy, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aerospace Industries.

GK of the day: What are Masala Bonds?

Masala Bonds are rupee-denominated bonds i.e the funds would be raised from overseas market in Indian rupees. According to RBI, any corporate, body corporate and Indian bank is eligible to issue Rupee denominated bonds overseas.

While companies can raise funds through these bonds, there are limitations for the use of such proceeds.

RBI mandates that the money raised through such bonds cannot be used for real estate activities other than for development of integrated township or affordable housing projects.

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