20th May 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Narmada Seva Mission in Madhya Pradesh

  • ‘Narmada Seva Mission’, which enlists steps to be taken for the conservation of the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh.

West Bengal makes Bengali Mandatory in all Schools

  • The Bengali language is compulsory for all schools including English
  • The students who select any of the other languages as their first language would need to pick up two other languages, among which one would have to be Bengali.

NITI Aayog holds the first Samavesh meeting

  • This meeting is the first ever initiative to bring the large number of institutions from diverse domain to deliberate together on the road map for inclusive development in India.
  • Knowledge partners comprised 32 premier educational and policy research institutions. Representatives of four State Governments viz. Assam, Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh also attended the meeting.

Railway station survey – Andhra’s Visakhapatnam cleanest, Bihar’s Darbhanga dirtiest

  • Vishakapatnam railway station in Andhra Pradesh has been adjudged as the cleanest, whereas Darbhanga railway station in Bihar is the dirtiest among busiest stations in India.
  • This was the 3rd such survey aimed at ascertaining cleanliness at rail premises. The survey is a part of ‘Swachh Rail’ campaign

10 atomic power plants to generate 33,400 jobs, Rs 70,000-crore opportunity

  • India will set up 7000 mw of indigenous nuclear power plants, power, coal, renewable and mines
  • Once completed, the 10 reactors of 700 MW each will give much needed fillip to the domestic nuclear industry.
  • The decision will lead to Rs 70,000 crore domestic orders for pressurized heat water reactors and create 33,400 direct and indirect jobs.

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad to go 100 per cent LED-lit

  • The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad has become South India’s first airport to go 100% LED-lit.
  • Out of the 26,000 conventional lamps, more than 19,500 have been converted into LED, saving 2.2 Million Units of electricity per annum.
  • LED lights are close to seven times more energy efficient than the conventional incandescent lights and can even cut energy use by more than 80 per cent.

CCEA approves mission for development of bio-pharmaceuticals

  • It aimed at accelerating research for early development of bio-pharmaceuticals.
  • The mission will concentrate on development of specific products such as vaccines, bio therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics etc.
  • The mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public-sector undertaking working under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).
  • Its objective is to attract an investment of Rs 1,500 crore from the central government over a period of five years.

International Current Affairs

India skips One Belt One Road Summit in Beijing

  • The boycott by India is a diplomatic retaliation to China’s action of blocking India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and blocking UN sanctions on Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar.
  • It is strategic developmental project proposed by China in 2013. The project aims to connect China with Eurasia through land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB)and ocean going “Maritime Silk Road”

Indian-American student wins National Geographic Bee contest

  • 14-year-old Indian-American student, Pranay Varada has won the prestigious National Geographic Bee competition.
  • He gets $50,000 in scholarship and other prizes.
  • This year, six of the 10 finalists were Indian-Americans.

Business & Economy

Economy to grow at 7.4% in FY18, says FICCI survey

  • As per latest Economic Outlook Survey by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Indian Economy is expected to grow at 4% for the fiscal year 2017-18
  • The survey has also mentioned minimum level of 7.0% and maximum level of 7.6%.

Tata Group is India’s most valuable brand – Brand Finance

  • Tata Group is India’s most valuable brand, carrying an estimated brand value of $13.1 billion.
  • Tata retained top position as India’s most valuable brand despite 4% reduction in its brand value as compared to 2016.
  • The total brand value of India’s top 100 brands grew by 15% in 2017. This growth is higher than the global average of 11%.

BSNL Signs MoU with Facebook, MobiKwik, and Disney Land India

  • BSNL has inked agreements with Facebook, MobiKwik and Disney Land in order to popularize the internet and its value-added services among its customers.
  • BSNL has signed a MoU with Disney Land India to offer premium online gaming services to its mobile customers.
  • According to the agreement Facebook, BSNL will facilitate connectivity for Facebook’s `Express Wi-Fi Program’.
  • The service of Express Wi-Fi is now available via 700 hotspots across four states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.

Anti-dumping duty imposed on Chinese chemical, aluminium foil

  • Finance Ministry has imposed definitive anti-dumping duty on ‘clear float glass’ imports from Iran.
  • Clear float glass is a superior quality of glass which is used in the construction, refrigeration, mirror and solar energy industries.
  • The definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by the Revenue Department will be valid for five year.

People in News

Ovais Sarmad, an Indian appointed to high-level UN climate change post

  • Ovais Sarmad, a senior Indian official was appointed as the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • He currently serves as Chief of Staff to the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Harsh Vardhan Gets Additional Charge Of Environment Ministry

  • Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences,  Harsh Vardhan has been given additional charge of the Environment Ministry.
  • For a brief period in 2014, Harsh Vardhan was the Health Minister in the Modi cabinet.

Science & Technology

Indian Army gets its first modern artillery gun almost 30 years after Bofors

  • Indian army has received two M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns from BAE Systems, US.
  • The deal for M777 guns was initiated US Govt. in 2010.Indian Govt. announced the deal to buy 145 M777 guns in June 2016.
  • This government-to-government deal under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route was completed in November 2016.

Environment & Ecology

Proxima B likely to have Water and Support Alien Life

  • An Earth-Like Planet called Proxima B orbiting the closest neighbouring Star, Proxima Centauri.
  • It is about 2 light years (25 trillion miles) away from Earth likely to have liquid water and also support alien life.

WMO initiates” Year of Polar Prediction” project

  • The project concerns a two-year international effort, aiming to close gaps in polar forecasting capacity.
  • It aims to lead to better forecasts of weather and sea-ice conditions to improve future environmental safety at both poles.
  • From mid-2017 to mid-2019, scientists and operational forecasting centers from various different countries will work together to observe, model, and improve forecasts of the Arctic and Antarctic weather and climate systems.
  • All of the data collected will be gathered at the WMO’s Information System, making it available for operational forecasting centres to feed into their forecasting systems in real-time.
  • A growing number of international projects, networks, and organisations are involved in the Year of Polar Prediction’s activities.
  • It will include the EU Horizon 2020 projects Blue-Action and APPLICATE, as well as the EU-funded project SALIENSEAS.

Sports Current Affairs

Amul to sponsor New Zealand cricket team for Champions trophy

  • Amul will be prime sponsor of the New Zealand cricket team in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy.

Lewis Hamilton wins Spanish Grand Prix

  • It is Hamilton’s 55th career win and second wins of the season.
  • Runner-up of Spanish Grand Prix is Sebastian Vettel.
  • It is held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Ramit Tandon wins maiden PSA title

  • It was Tandon’s third appearance in a Professional Squash Association final.
  • He has won 6 junior national titles and was ranked No.1 in India when he ended his junior career.
  • He led the Indian Junior team to win its first ever Asian Junior title after defeating Pakistan in the final.
  • He received the Skillman award from the College Squash Association
  • He also received the Connie S Maniatty award the highest honor given to an athlete at Columbia University.

Deepti Sharma, Poonam Raut create cricket history with record 320-run stand

  • India women’s cricket team openers Deepti Sharma and Poonam Raut became the first-ever pair to share a record 320-run partnership in One-Day International.
  • This feat was accomplished in a match against Ireland at Potchefstroom during the quadrangular series in South Africa.
  • At 188, Deepti Sharma is now the second highest individual scorer in women’s cricket ODIsBelinda Clark of Australia is the highest scorer – 229 runs against Denmark in 1997.

Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna registered his first win at the Moscow FIDE Grand Prix.

  • With this win, the World No. 16 Indian has now maintained his unbeaten run against Adams this year.
  • Harikrishna has accumulated a total of 2.5 points and is placed 13th on the leaderboard.