Current Affairs Daily Updates: 11th and 12th May 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 11th and 12th May 2017
Union Government appoints 7 new Secretaries
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of secretaries in different sectors.
  • Sanjay Mitra as the next defence secretary with a fixed tenure of two years. He was the secretary in the ministry of road transport and highways.
  • Anant Kumar Singh, appointed as the secretary in the textiles ministry.
  • Rashmi Verma, appointed as the secretary in the ministry of tourism.She was the secretary in the textiles ministry.
  • Rajiv Srivastava, appointed as the next secretary in the ministry of woman and child development.
  • Jagdish Prasad Meena appointed as the secretary in the department of consumer affairs.
  • Leena Nair, appointed as the secretary in the ministry of tribal affairs.
  • BR Sharma, appointed as the additional secretary in the home ministry.
Vinay Mohan Kwatra appointed as Indian Ambassador to France
  • Vinay Mohan Kwatra appointed as India’s next ambassador to France.
  •  He is currently serving as joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
  • Kwatra succeeds Mohan Kumar.
  • Kwatra’s appointment comes after Presidential elections in France, in which Emmanuel Macron was elected the President.
Justice Mukul Mudgal elected head of FIFA Governance Committee
  • Justice Mukul Mudgal, Retired judge of Delhi High Court elected as the Chairman of "International Federation of Association Football" (FIFA) Governance committee at the world football governing body’s 67th Congress meet in Manama, Bahrain.
  • Mudgal, who until now served as the Deputy Chairman of the committee after being appointed in May last year during the FIFA Congress in Mexico.
  • He will take the office for four years effective immediately.
Aruna Sundararajan appointed as Secretary of Department of Telecommunications
  • Aruna Sundararajan is appointed as the secretary of Department of Telecommunications (DOT).
  • At present, she is secretary of IT and electronics department.
  • She replaces PK Pujari.
  • Her previous important posts include IT secretary for Kerala state government and CEO of National Common Service Centre.
Amitabh Bachchan appointed as WHO’s goodwill ambassador for hepatitis
  • The World Health Organisation on 12 May 2017 appointed Amitabh Bachchan as its goodwill ambassador for hepatitis in South-East Asia region to boost awareness and intensify action to arrest the epidemic.
  • The decision was made public by WHO's Regional Director for South-East Asia, Poonam Khetrapal Singh. She termed the association as historic and said that it is expected to strengthen the international body’s efforts in reducing the high numbers of premature deaths and illnesses caused by viral hepatitis. The virus kills over 410000 people annually in the region, which also includes India.
  • According to the data released by WHO in 2017, nearly 90 million people suffer from chronic liver diseases, which are driving rates of liver cancer and cirrhosis in the region.
  • As the new WHO goodwill ambassador, Amitabh Bachchan would be expected to lend his voice and support to the organisation’s public awareness programmes that aim to scale up preventive measures and advocate for early diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.
Chanda Kochhar receives Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship
  • ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar become the first Indian woman to get the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship.
  • The former Indian recipients of this award are APJ Abdul Kalam and Infosys director Narayana Murthy.
  • This award was instituted in the year 1998 by the prestigious Wilson Center to honour individuals in both the public sphere and business.
  • Senator Mitch McConnell was the recipient of 2017 Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
VVS Laxman awarded honorary life membership of Marylebone Cricket Club
  • Former India batsman V V S Laxman on 11 May 2017 was awarded an honorary life membership to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
  • Laxman is the fifth Indian to receive the honour, after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan.
  • Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club in London.
Home Ministry asks NGOs to open Bank Accounts in Core Banking format
  • The Home Ministry has instructed around 5,845  Non - Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities.
  • Registration of more than 10,000 NGOs have been cancelled and more than 1,300 have been denied a renewal over the last three years for various violations.
  • The Home Ministry mandated the NGOs registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to have their accounts in either nationalised banks or in a few private banks that have core banking facilities.
India to invest Rs 10,000 crore in Deep Sea Mission
  • India planned to invest Rs 10,000-crore Deep Sea Mission, likely to commence by the year end to explore mineral wealth beneath the ocean floor.
  • Seawater desalination project of Rs 2,000 crore at the Chennai coast will also be taken up under the mission.
  • The oceans that surround the Indian peninsula have over 1,300 islands. They give seven and a half thousand kilometres of coastline and 2.4 million square km of Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • China is also working on deep sea mission for mining mineral deposits in the Indian and Pacific oceans. ties up with YES Bank to launch card-linked offers
  • YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private sector bank, announced a partnership with CASHKARO.COM to launch Card Linked Offers (CLO) cashback proposition.
  • This card transaction offers as part of its loyalty programme for both offline and online shoppers.
  • This is a fully automated program removing the need for additional coupon codes and merchant integrations, thereby offering the users a hassle-free experience with offers being personalised to their unique needs.
SEBI allows investors to buy mutual funds via digital wallet
  • Stock Exchange board of India (SEBI) allowed investors to buy mutual fund schemes for up to Rs 50,000 through digital wallets, making it easier for them especially the young generation to purchase these instruments.
  • Mutual Funds(MF) houses or asset management companies (AMCs) have been allowed to provide instant online access facility to resident individual investors in liquid schemes.
  • The move is part of the efforts to promote digital payments in the MFindustry and channelise household savings into the capital market.
Himachal Pradesh cabinet minister Karan Singh passes away
  • Karan Singh, Himachal Pradesh Cabinet Minister passed away on 12 May 2017 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. He was 59.
  • Singh was suffering from cancer since some time and took his last breath around 1.45 am. He is survived by his wife and a son. His elder son had passed away in an accident in 2012.
  • The state government is arranging for his funeral at Kullu with full state honours. His body would be flown there from Delhi on 12th itself.
11th May - National Technology Day
  • National Technology Day is observed across India on May 11 to mark India’s technological advancements.
  • The theme of 2017 National Technology Day is "Technology for inclusive and sustainable growth".
  • The day is being commemorated to celebrate the anniversary of first of the five tests of Operation Shakti (Pokhran-II) nuclear test, held on 11 May 1998 in Pokhran, Rajasthan.
  • India had also tested its first indigenous aircraft 'Hansa-3' on this day.
  • India did a successful test firing of the Trishul missile.
12th May - International Nurses Day
  • International Nurses Day (IND) is celebrated every year all around the world on 12th of May.
  • The theme of 2017 International Nurses Day (IND)  is “Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”.
  • This day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the Florence Nightingale and to mark the nurse's contributions towards people’s health.
India, Russia agree to work closely in various sectors
  • Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin arrived in New Delhi recently on a one-day visit to attend India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IRIGC-TEC) meeting.
  • India and Russia agreed to work closely in various sectors, including security, nuclear energy, and disaster management.
  • External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated that the progress made in the implementation of agreements signed between the two countries in Goa last year during the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit.
  • India planned to celebrate the 70th year of Indo-Russian diplomatic relations.
IFSC at GIFT agrees with GNLU to start course on IFSC regulations
  • India's first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat International Finance-Tec City (GIFT) entered into an agreement with Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) to collaborate on efforts for Skill Development in the field of International Financial Services & Regulations.
  • Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), GNLU will introduce a new course on International Financial Services Centre from its June 2017 Semester. It will also organise a program for Lawyers covering IFSC, International Arbitration and related fields.
  • GIFT, IFSC and GNLU would work jointly towards courses, training and certificate programmes in the field of International Financial Services law and promote the deeper acceptance of financial laws in the global financial markets.
Kochi Metro Rail offer job to members from transgender community
  • Kochi Metro decided to employ 23 members of the transgender community.
  • This is the first time a government-owned company has formally appointed members of the transgender community.
  • These 23 workers will be a part of the 530 Kudumbasree workers to be employed at 11 stations in the Kochi Metro Station.
I-T department launches new facility to link Aadhaar with PAN
  • The Income Tax department launched a new e-facility to link a person’s Aadhaar with the Permanent Account Number (PAN).
  • The department urged people to ensure that the date of birth and gender in PAN and Aadhaar are exactly the same, to ensure linkage without failure.
  • Under the Finance Act 2017, it is mandatory for taxpayers to quote Aadhaar or enrolment ID of the Aadhaar application form for filing income tax returns (ITR).
Ahmedabad to host International Yoga Day
  • Ahmedabad to host ever ‘the biggest 3rd Edition of International Yoga Day event’ on the 21st of June.
  • The event will be held on Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited Ground (GMDC) with over 5 lakh people attending the event.
  • Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani will inaugurate the event on the first day while BJP president Amit Shah will remain present at the concluding ceremony.
  • An International day for yoga was declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014.
Rajnath Singh launches mobile app for paramilitary forces to lodge grievances
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh launches important mobile applications namely Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Grievances Redressal Mobile Application and "BSFMyApp" (For Border Security Force) in New Delhi.
  • All the Para Military Jawans will also be able to register their complaints and get the details about their pay, provident funds, and reputation among others.
Nitin Gadkari launches NHAI's Masala Bond in UK
  • Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari launched the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Masala Bond at the London Stock Exchange.
  • The rupee-denominated offshore bonds are popularly known as Masala Bonds.
  • According to the London Stock Exchange, there are 38 Masala Bonds currently in the market, raising around 5 billion dollars.
  • The initially benchmarked issue of Rs. 1,500 crore increased to Rs. 3,000 crore at a price yielding 7.30 percent annually from the investor market.
Election Commission of India Launches National Contact Centre
  • The Election Commission of India launched National Contact Centre.
  • The National Contact Centre is operated on a National Grievance Redressal System Software.
  • This software is a single window platform to manage complaints and feedback received through calls, emails, SMS and website access in an integrated and time-bound manner.
  • Each state and UnionTerritory will also soon setup and operationalize dedicated State Contact Centre (SCC) and District Contact Centre (DCC) to ensure seamless flow of information across the contact centres for handling issues/ query from citizens.
Bengaluru ranked 20th in world's most affordable tech city Index
  • Bengaluru named the world’s most affordable tech city in the new Savills Tech Cities Index 2017.
  • Bengaluru ranks 20th among tech cities in the world while Austin topped the list, followed by San Francisco and New York.
  • Bengaluru also named as the Information Technology (IT) capital of India.
  • New York ranked as the best in business environment.
29th CORPAT between India and Indonesia at Port Blair
  • The 29th series of India- Indonesia Co-Ordinated Patrol (CORPAT) scheduled from 09 – 25 May 17 with the opening ceremony conducted from 09 -12 May 17 at Port Blair under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command.
  • The Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sutedi Senoputra has arrived to take part in this series.
  • Both countries have been carrying out CORPAT maritime exercise twice a year since 2002.
  • The closing ceremony of the CORPAT is scheduled at Belawan, Indonesia from 22 – 25 May 17.
INDIGO to buy 50 ATR 72 AIRCRAFT to enter regional Avitation
  • India’s largest airline IndiGo has signed a non-binding term sheet for the purchase of 50 ATR-72 aircraft.
  • The government plans to improve air connectivity in smaller towns by enticing airlines to operate at Rs 2,500 per seat for up to an hour’s journey.
  • The rival company Spicejet has a fleet of 18Q400 Bombardier aircraft.
  • Air India and Jet Airways also have smaller planes in their fleets.
NASA detects Signs of Water in a distant Neptune Sized Planet
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration( NASA) scientists detected a strong water signature in the atmosphere of a distant Neptune-sized planet called HAT-P-26b.
  • HAT-P-26b has a primitive atmosphere composed entirely of hydrogen and helium.
  • The  HAT-P-26b has located about 437 light years away.
  • The planet’s metallicity was found to be about 4.8 times that of the Sun.
India test-fires Spyder missile
  • The Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby(Spyder) missile system was test fired from the mobile launching complex-III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur-on-sea at Odisha.
  • The defence system comprises two missiles - Python and Derby - with an active onboard radar which makes the Spyder system more lethal. Both the missiles are smokeless which makes it harder to detect them visually and the launch position.
  • It is an acquired missile system from Israel which is a short-range, quick reaction surface-to-air missile to neutralise enemy targets up to a distance of 15 km and at heights between 20-and-9,000 metres.
China tests a Lunar Palace on earth
  • China has set up a 160-square-meter (1,720-square-foot) laboratory called as “Yuegong-1”, or “Lunar Palace” for simulating a lunar-like environment.
  • Four Postgraduate students from the Beijing’s astronautics research university will live in the laboratory for up to 200 days to prepare for China’s long-term goal of putting humans on the moon.
  • The Lunar Palace is hailed as the world’s third bio-regenerative life-support base and the first to be developed in China.
India’s Harpreet Singh wins bronze in Asian Wrestling Championship
  • Harpreet Singh won a bronze medal in Greco-Roman weight divisions in the Asian Wrestling Championship held at the K.D. Jadhav arena in the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex in New Delhi.
  • Harpreet won the bronze medal after beating his rival Jun Ji Na of China in 80 kg category.
  • Asian Wrestling Championships are organised every year by the Asian Associated Wrestling Committee (AAWC).