15th May 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

Kerala tops, Bihar last in Public Affairs Index

  • Kerala has secured first rank and Bihar has ranked last on this year’s Public Affairs Index (PAI), compiled on basis of a survey by Bengaluru-based think-tank Public Affairs Centre (PAC).
  • The survey was based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82 indicators.
  • In the overall rankings of large states, Kerala was followed by Tamil Nadu at second position and Gujarat at third position.

Goa Government To Sign MoU Under PMBJP For Subsidized Medicines

  • Goa government has decided to sign memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) to provide subsidised medicines in the state.
  • Under the MoU, all pharmacy stores run by Goa State Govt. would be converted into ‘Jan Aushadi Kendra’ in a phased manner.
  • ‘Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana’ has been launched by Department of Pharmaceuticals, under Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special points.

IIT Kharagpur collaborates with British Geological Survey to turn Varanasi into smart city

  • Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Kharagpur has collaborated with the British Geological Survey to turn Varanasi into a smart city.
  • Three dimensional geological modelling of the geology under Varanasi will be prepared, that will help in building new transport and service infrastructure.
  • The project includes application of geo-scientific methods such as drilling and remote sensing.
  • A multi-scale 3D conceptual model to allow visualization of the ground beneath the city will be constructed from retrieved information on rock and sediment lithology, physical and chemical characteristics, geotechnical properties, hazard potential and groundwater distribution and flow.

7.4 km long stretch of Chennai Metro Train service inaugurated

  • With this inauguration, 28 km stretch of the total of 54 km stretch under first phase has been made operational.
  • Pending work under first phase is expected to be completed by end of 2017.
  • Expansion of the network as per the plan will involve an estimated cost of Rs. 85000 crore.

First Videsh Sampark held in Telangana

  • First outreach program of the Ministry of External Affairs, ‘Videsh Sampark’ was hosted in Telangana. The conference was held on May 13, 2017 in Hyderabad.
  • The objective of ‘Videsh Sampark’ conference is to involve State Governments in creating awareness on the schemes and initiatives launched by Ministry of External Affairs pertaining to consular and passport services, engagement with overseas Indians, and welfare and protection of overseas Indians.
  • Telangana also became first state in India where Ministry of External Affairs’ pilot  ‘e-Sanad’ project for online attestation of documents was rolled out.
  • ‘e-Sanad’ project aims to provide faceless, cashless, contactless and paperless document attestation services.

International Current Affairs

India jumps up 73 places in ease of getting electricity

  • India has ranked 26th in World Bank’s electricity accessibility ranking for the current year. This marks a remarkable jump of 73 places from 99th rank in 2014.
  • This has been due to:
    • Amendment of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) regulations for installing transformers (up to 500KVA) on double-pole structures.
    • Waiver of approval from electrical inspector for 11kV installations by Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) and allowing self-certification by DISCOM engineers.
    • Changing tariff regulations and Rationalizing low tension tariff.
    • Setting up online portals enabling customers to apply for connections without the need for physical documents.
    • Reducing the procedural steps for the issuing new connection.

Business & Economy

UCO Bank faces business restrictions from RBI

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has initiated “prompt corrective action” (PCA) on Kolkata-based public sector lender UCO Bank on account of high bad loans and negative return on assets.
  • After the recent revision of the “prompt corrective action” framework, UCO bank is the second Bank after IDBI Bank against which PCA has been invoked by RBI.
  • Exact details about PCA have not been revealed by UCO Bank, but it may include business restrictions such as restrictions on big-ticket lending and branch expansion.

11 PIOs in Forbes’s list of best venture capitalists

  • The list has been topped by Jim Goetz, Partner in Sequoia Capital whose $60 million investment in Whatsapp fetched him $3 billion when Facebook acquired Whatsapp for $22 billion in year 2014.
  • Naresh Agrawal who ranked highest among Indian venture capitalists, has featured in Midas List for the 7th consecutive time.

Awards

ISKCON’s Govardhan Eco Village wins Smart Village Award

  • Maharashtra’s Govardhan Eco Village has won the “Smart Village” award for being a sustainable project in rural Maharashtra.
  • Eco Village was set up by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in adjoining Thane district.
  • It has made steady progress in organic farming, cow protection, rural education & development, alternative energy, ecofriendly constructions and sustainable living.

Science & Technology

‘WannaCry’ ransomware cyber-attack causing havoc worldwide

  • On May 12, 2017, a massive ransomware cyber-attack dubbed ‘WannaCry‘ hit hospitals, major companies and government offices in 99 countries.
  • Majority of the attacks targeted entities in Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan. Several hospitals in UK, universities in China and reputed global firms have also come under this cyber attack.
  • As per initial calculations, around 5% of all computers affected in the attack were located in India.
  • WannaCry’ is a ransomware which locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer’s administrator to pay ransom in order to regain control of them.
  • Affected machines have six hours to pay ransom and every few hours the ransom goes up.
  • This ransomware exploits a specific vulnerability of Microsoft Windows operating system.

Sports Current Affairs

 India Claim 2 Medals At World Para Athletics Grand Prix

  • India claimed a gold medal and a bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix being held in Beijing, China.
  • Ramudri Someshwara Rao, who became the fastest Indian blade runner in the recently-concluded 17th National Para Athletics Championships at Jaipur, won a gold medal in the 200m race at World Para Athletics Grand Prix, Beijing.
  • Shot putter Hokato Sema who also won gold at 17th National Para Athletics Championships at Jaipur, won bronze at World Para Athletics Grand Prix, Beijing.
  • With these accomplishments, both Para athletes have qualified to represent India in the IPC Para Athletics World Championships which will be held in London later this year.
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