Current Affairs Daily Updates: 22nd and 24th May 2017

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Current Affairs Daily Updates: 22nd and 24th May 2017
NASA honours APJ Abdul Kalam
  • A team of scientists at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has named a new organism discovered by them after A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, a Former President of India.
  • The name of the bacterium is Solibacillus kalamii. The species name is named after Abdul Kalam and genus name is Solibacillus.
Deveshwar, Soumitra Chatterjee conferred Bengal's Highest Civilian Award
  • Thespian Soumitra Chatterjee and Y.C. Deveshwar conferred the Banga Samman Awards, West Bengal's Highest Civilian Award, by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
  • Two categories of awards are presented as part of Banga Samman - Banga Bhushan and Banga Bibhushan.
  • Industrialist Deveshwar, pulmonologist Dhiman Ganguly, former Mizoram Governor Arun Prasad Mukherjee, actor Chatterjee, and poet Nirendranath Chakraborty conferred the highest category of awards, the Banga Bibhushan.
  • Recipients of Banga Bhushan are Bangladeshi singer Rezwana Chowdhury Banya, folk singer Hidmat Fakir, Chapal Bhaduri.
  • The Banga Samman awards were instituted in 2011, celebrated artistes, singers, sportspersons, filmmakers, intellectuals have been honored with these awards.
Indian wins top intel science award in US
  • An Indian boy Prashant Ranganathan won the world’s largest pre-college science competition The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in the US in the environmental engineering category for his project on bio degradation of pesticides.
  • Prashant Ranganathan is a student of Carmel Junior College in Jamshedpur. His project titled ‘Biodegradation of Chlorpyrifos using native bacteria’ is aimed at helping farmers to biodegrade the harmful pesticides.
  • Indian American Pratik Naidu has won an award in the category of computational biology and bioinformatics.
  • Adam Nayak who has won in earth and environmental sciences,
  • Karthik Yegnesh in Mathematics and Rahul Subramaniam in the microbiology category.
Jacqueline Fernandez won humanitarian Award in India
  • Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has been awarded the Editor's choice award, category is International Humanitarian Award for her work in India and worldwide at the second annual Asian Voice Charity Awards.
  • She has been working for the charity Habitat for Humanity last five years.
  • The other winners of Asian Voice Charity Awards are
    • Start-up of the year - One Kind Act;
    • Most Enterprising - Akademi;
    • Social Impact Award - Graham Layton Trust;
    • Most inspiring individual - Meenal Sachdev;
    • Charity of the Year - Anxiety UK;
    • Excellence in CSR - Nationwide Building Society;
    • Editor's choice awards - Jeffrey Archer (Lifetime Achievement Award).
Reliance Jio gets 'Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award'
  • Reliance Jio has received TM Forum's 'Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award' 2017.
  • TM Forum is the industry association driving digital business transformation of the communications industry.
  • Reliance Jio got this award by acquiring 90 million customers in four months.
Indian cartoonist Rohan Chakravarty wins WWF International President's Award
  • Rohan Chakravarty an Indian Wildlife and environment cartoonist won World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International President’s Award.
  • The award ceremony was held recently in Manado, Indonesia.
  • Chakravarty cartoons under the banner of Green Humour mainly emphasis on environmental issues honored with the award.
  • The award is the top award given by WWF to recognize leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world.
Cochin Port Trust bags Best Performance Awards from Ministry of Shipping
  • Cochin Port Trust has received two Best Performance Awards from Ministry of Shipping, one for achieving the highest growth in operating surplus and the other for achieving third highest growth in cargo traffic among the Major Ports in the year 2016-17.
  • The Awards were received from Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping by P Raveendran, Chairman and Shri A.V. Ramana, Dy. Chairman, Cochin Port Trust.
  • Cochin Port Trust has registered the operating profit of Rs. 127.72 crores during 2016-17 as against Rs. 70.89 crores during 2015-16 recording a growth of 80%.
  • Operating profit during 2014-15 was only Rs. 19.55 crores.
Karnataka Bank inks MoU with LIC of India
  • Karnataka Bank Limited entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India for selling life insurance products.
  • The bank signed the corporate agency agreement with LIC in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
  • With this MoU.The bank provides the vast choice of life insurance products to its customers across all its 769 branches.
HDFC Life launches AI-based insurance email bot 'SPOK'
  • The Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) announced the launch of an artificial intelligence-based application 'SPOK'.
  • SPOK can read, understand, categorize, prioritize and respond to customer emails sent to the private insurer.
  • It is an insurance email bot, can read customer queries within milliseconds and respond to them.
  • This automation initiative will enable the company to respond to user queries faster, more efficiently and consistently.
RBI to reconstruct Oversight Committee to Tackle Bad Loans
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to reconstruct oversight Committee to operationalise the banking ordinance which was recently cleared by the Union Cabinet to amend the Banking Regulation Act powers to Reserve Bank of India for effectively dealing with non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector.
  • The existing Oversight Committee was constituted by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).
  • The main aim is to clear the bad loans reached over Rs 8 lakh crores.
Federal Bank launches new trading platform ‘Selfie’
  • Federal Bank, in association with Geojit, has launched a new trading platform called “Selfie” for customers.
  • The features of the Selfie Trading Platform are a uniform experience across multiple platforms and devices and an advanced charting platform that enables users to trade directly from charts, among others.
  • It will give its users absolute control over their investments with timely research inputs to make sound investment decisions.
SoftBank received $93 billion fund for investments in tech start-ups company
  • Japan’s SoftBank Group received $93 billion in cash for its new $100 billion fund for technology firms and start-ups in the US, Europe and Asia, including India.
  • The SoftBank Vision Fund, include SoftBank, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mubadala Investment Co. of the United Arab Emirates, Apple Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, Qualcomm Inc. and Sharp Corp are the major investors for start ups.
  • The billions invested will be directed towards the tech industry, ranging from companies in artificial intelligence to robotics and cloud technology.
Union Home Minister releases the book ‘India 2017 Yearbook’
  • The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh has released the book ‘India 2017 Yearbook’ authored by the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi.
  • The CEO, NITI Aayog, Shri Amitabh Kant was also present on the occasion.
  • The book was published by the Mc Graw Hill Education India.
Mathunny Mathews aka ‘Toyota’ Sunny passes away
  • Mathunny Mathews popularly known as ‘Toyota’ Sunny, who was a pillar of the Indian expatriate community in Kuwait for over half-a-century, passed away at his residence in Qadisiya in Kuwait. He was 81.
  • Mathews had played a key role in the safe evacuation of 1.7 lakh Indian nationals from the Emirate after Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990.
  • He came to be known as ‘Toyota’ Sunny following his life-long association with the leading automobile dealer Al-Sayer Group.
  • Mathunny Mathews was the inspiration for ‘Airlift’, a Bollywood movie in which Akshay Kumar depicted Ranjit Katyal. 
National Anti Terrorism Day observed on May 21
  • National Anti-Terrorism Day was observed on May 21 across the country to raise the awareness of the danger of terrorism and violence.
  • The day is celebrated to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
  • Chamba Deputy Commissioner Sudesh Mokhta administered the anti - terrorism pledges to the officers and employees of various departments.
May 22nd: International Day for Biological Diversity
  • The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) is celebrated annually on May 22 around the globe by United Nations.
  • The theme for IDB 2017 is - Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism.
  • It aims on the opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity.
May 22nd: World Metrology Day
  • World Metrology Day has become an annual celebration since the Meter Convention was signed by representatives of seventeen countries on May 20, 1875.
  • The convention set the framework for international collaboration in the science of measurement including its industrial, commercial and societal applications.
  • The theme for World Metrology Day 2017 is “Measurements for transport”.
USA and six Gulf countries sign MoU to control terror organisations
  • Six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States of America have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Riyadh to curb financing of terror organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network, the Taliban.
  • The MoU was signed between US and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • According to the MoU, the signatory countries intend to identify, track and share information regarding terrorist financial networks and related activity of mutual concern, including related threats emanating from countries and terrorist organizations.
  • The MoU signed to establish the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC).
UN releases the first draft of nuclear ban tready
  • The United Nations released a first draft nuclear ban treaty banning the possession and use of nuclear weapons.
  • This treaty can get opposition from the countries the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.
  • The draft was released in Geneva.
  • The treaty confirms that use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.
India Ranks Third Highest Globally In Internal Displacement Numbers: Report
  • Nearly 2.4 million people in India were internally displaced due to conflict, violence and disasters in 2016, the third highest number globally, a new report by a UN monitoring centre said.
  • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council released a new report which ranked India third among countries most affected by displacement related to disasters followed by China and the Philippines.
  • It said that conflict, violence and disasters caused 31.1 million new internal displacements in 2016.
  • The highest displacements were recorded in China with 7.4 million people getting impacted, followed by the Philippines (5.9 million), India (2.4 million) and Indonesia (1.2 million).
Free Wi-Fi facility inaugurated at 28 Railway Stations in India
  • Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi Internet facility at 28 Railway Stations of Konkan Railwayfrom Kudal Railway Station in Maharashtra.
  • Indian Railways has tied by with SYSCON/JOISTER for providing 2 Mbps peer-to-peer 24 hrs Free Wi-Fi bandwidth.
  • The free Wi-Fi facility would help the travelers, commuters, and tourists access essential information while waiting for trains on railway stations.
Tejas Express to make its first appearance on Mumbai-Goa route
  • Tejas Express country's first ultra-modern train will begin its first journey flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu from Mumbai to Goa.
  • The train designed at the Rail Coach Factory in Kapurthala, the bright yellow-coloured coach promises better safety features and breaking system.
  • The train will have one executive AC chair car with seating capacity for 56 persons and 12 AC chair cars with 78 seats in each coach.
  • Indian Railways has introduced Braille assistance system in Tejas Express. It will have bio-toilets.
  • Railways plan to introduce similar trains on Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Lucknow routes soon.
Bengaluru Airport to Go green
  • The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) inaugurated solar farms at the Kempegowda International Airport premises.
  • The first project of 440kW has been installed in the car park area in front of the BIAL corporate office, and the second project of 2.5MW solar panels at the airside.
  • Both projects - jointly - will reduce carbon emission by 3125 tonnes per annum (3075 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission per annum at the airside and 550 tonnes at the car park area).
Madhya Pradesh bans Sand Excavation in Narmada River
  • The State Government of Madhya Pradesh put an indefinite ban on the sand excavation in the Narmada River.
  • This announcement has been made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal.
  • “Save Narmada” a people’s movement through “Namami Narmada Yatra” to save Narmada river started by the government.
  • Illegal sand mining is one of the serious law & order and environmental issues in several states of India.
India becomes the largest steel producer in the world
  • According to data released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), India has become the second largest stainless steel producer in the world after China.
  • The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) is a non-profit research and development organization which was founded in 1996 and which serves as the focal point for the international stainless steel industry.
  • India overtook Japan which was the second largest producer last year.
  • National Steel Policy released by the Ministry of Steel boon to the industry which made an increase in exports of stainless steel from India to the world market especially Europe and Americas has established Indian producers capable of producing quality material.
PM Narendra Modi Inaugurates Projects Worth Rs. 993 Crore In Gujarat
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for half a dozen projects worth Rs. 993 crore related to the development of Kandla Port in the Kutch district, Gujarat.
  • The projects include Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar convention center, 14th and16 cargo berths, Railway bridge at Sal junction.
  • Deployment of two Mobile Harbour Cranes and Mechanization for the handling of fertilizers at Kandla Port.
Union minister launches SEVA App for quick tracking of coal dispatch
  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application (SEVA) mobile app, developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers.
  • SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect as well as the Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch.
  • The consumer friendly mobile app helps in tracking of coal dispatch to 118 Power Plants through Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) of around 500 Million Tonnes besides, dispatch through Special Forward E-Auction and Bridge Linkage from more than 200 dispatch points spread over eight states of the country.
Woman from Arunachal becomes first to scale Mt Everest twice within 5 days
  • A climber from Arunchal Pradesh, Anshu Jamsenpa, scripted history by scaling Mt Everest twice within five days.
  • Jamsenpa, a mother of two, had conquered the world's highest peak for the fourth time on May 16.
  • Jamsenpa set the world record for becoming the first woman climber to reach the top of Mt Everest twice within five days.
  • She is also the first Indian woman to reach the top of Mt Everest for the fifth time on May 21.
Israel Aerospace Industries signs $630 million deal with India
  • Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed a $ 630 million deal with the Indian State-owned aerospace and defense company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
  • This deal was a part of the Make in India initiative, BEL will be used as the main contractor for the project.
  • Israel's Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air missile system was successfully tested aboard an Indian Navy ship.
ISRO and NASA Collaborate to Build NISAR, the World’s Most Expensive Earth Monitoring Satellite
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will jointly develop and launch the world's biggest and most expensive earth imaging satellite costing around $ 1.5 billion.
  • The satellite has been named as Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).
  • This is two frequency Radio Detection And Ranging (RADAR) it is an L-band 24 centimeter RADAR and S-band 13 centimeter.
  • S - band is being built by ISRO and L-Band by NASA.
Mumbai Indians win IPL title for third time
  • Mumbai Indians won the 10th Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy for the third time at Hyderabad.
  • They defeated Rising Pune Supergiant team in the finals.
  • Krunal Pandya from Mumbai Indians named the man of the match.
  • Hyderabad team was the winner of 9th IPL tournament in 2016.
India wins all 10 Gold Medals at South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships
  • The South Asian Junior Table Tennis championship was held in Mount Lavinia, near Colombia in Sri Lanka.
  • India got 10 gold medals and four silver medals for a total of 14 medals from the regional championships.
  • India won the championship with eight points, followed by Sri Lanka (six points).
  • Manav Thakkar won Junior Boys final. Archana Girish Kamath won Junior Girls final.
Alexander Zverev Beats Djokovic to win Italian Open Title
  • German Alexander Zverev beat Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in the final of Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Masters 1000 Italian Open Title in Rome.
  • Zverev became the youngest winner of a Masters 1000 tournament at the age of 19.
  • The tournament is also known as Rome Masters and the Italian Championship.
  • Rafael Nadal won this title with a record of seven times.
  • The Italian Open women's Singles Title 2017 was won by Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.
N'Golo Kante named Premier League Player of the Year
  • N'Golo Kante named Player of the Year by the English Premier League.
  • The premier league player of the season is an annual association football award presented to the players in England.
  • The 2015 - 2016 Premier League player was given to Jamie Vardy.
India's Vaishali wins gold in Asian Blitz Chess Championship
  • India's R Vaishali won the women's title with eight points from nine rounds in the Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship in Chengdu, China.
  • She defeated Padmini Rout, Odisha.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her for winning gold in Twitter.
  • The Asian Continental Blitz chess championship is hosted by China.
Sweden beat Canada to win Ice Hockey World Championship Title
  • Sweden won the Ice Hockey World Championship title for the 10th Time.
  • They won the Canada team with a 2-1 goal.
  • The win is Sweden's first in four tries against Canada.