Current Affairs Update – 16-17 May, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the important Current Affairs update of 16-17 May, 2017. These are important for the upcoming SBI PO Mains, NIACL Assistant Mains, BOB Manipal, NICL AO Mains and other exams in 2017 July and August.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 16-17 May, 2017

  1. At the Union Cabinet meeting held
    on Wednesday, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government decided to
    set up the Indian Agricultural Research
    Institute (IARI) in Assam of worth Rs. 155 crore
    to promote agri-education
    and realize second green revolution in the northeastern region.
  2. The Indian Institute of
    Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has successfully created the country’s first smart grid project that
    will generate power from renewable sources of energy
    .
  3. Union Finance Minister Arun
    Jaitley on 16 May 2017 launched
    Operation Clean Money Portal
    with an aim to keep a tab on dishonest
    citizens hiding their income from the authorities and government.
  4. India has imposed anti-dumping
    duty on certain types of glasses from Iran
    and aluminium radiators from China
    in order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports.
  5. India and Palestine on
    16 May 2017 signed 5 agreements for cooperation in different areas including
    agriculture, health and Information Technology.
  6. The National Green Tribunal
    announced on 17 May 2017 that any vehicle found over-speeding inside the Kaziranga National Park would have to
    pay an environment compensation of Rs 5000 besides challan under the Motor
    Vehicles (MV) Act.
  7. Minister for Information &
    Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu on 16 May 2017 announced a separate 24×7 DD channel for the state of Jharkhand. The plan was
    announced at the review meeting of the programmes and initiatives of Ministry
    of I&B held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
  8. Indian Navy and
    Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre
    on 15 May 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Data Sharing and
    Scientific cooperation in the field of Meteorology and Oceanology.
  9. Indian cricketer Suresh Raina launched Gracia Raina
    Foundation (GRF)
    on 15 May 2017, which is dedicated to creating awareness
    and work closely with mothers and children who require help ranging from
    physical and mental issues.
  10. Indian Railways on 15 May 2017
    announced to install CCTV surveillance
    system at more than 900 stations under the Nirbhaya Fund at an approved cost of
    Rs 500
    crore with an aim to
    strengthen security at railway premises.
  11. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani leads a Forbes list of
    ‘Global Game Changers’
    who are transforming their industries and changing
    the lives of billions of people around the globe.
  12. The Visakhapatnam railway station is the cleanest, followed by
    Secunderabad, among the 75 most busy stations in the country. The Darbhanga
    railway station in Bihar was the dirtiest among the busiest stations.
  13. PFRDA-CRISIL report titled ‘Financial security for India’s elderly –
    The imperatives’
      released on 15 May
    2017 said that India will transform gradually from young to a ‘greying’ country
    and by 2050 every 5th Indian will be in the 60s as against every 12th at
    present.
  14. The Public Affairs Centre (PAC),
    India on 12 May 2017 released the Public
    Affairs Index (PAI) 2017
    . Kerala
    and Tamil Nadu secured first and second rankings for the second consecutive
    year in the index. Gujarat ranked third by gaining two positions from last
    years’ index.
  15. David Letterman, who was
    the longest-running host of late-night TV shows in the United States, was on 17
    May 2017 awarded with the Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour.
  16. Renowned wildlife biologist, Dr Purnima Devi Barman, in May 2017
    was nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards.
  17. Indian mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa became the first Indian to climb the Mount Everest for the
    fourth time in six years.
  18. Indian squash player Ramit Tandon won his first professional title on 14 May 2017 after
    beating his Indian counterpart, Kush Kumar in the Sys Open 2017.
  19. French President Emmanuel Macron on 15 May 2017 named Edouard Philippe as the Prime Minister
    of the country.
  20. Ovais Sarmad, a senior
    Indian official, in the second week of May 2017 was appointed as the Deputy
    Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
    Change (UNFCCC).
  21. The 2017 World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD)
    was observed on 17 May 2017. The
    theme for WTISD-17 is Big Data for Big Impact.

Financial and Banking News
Union Cabinet approves proposal to set-up Indian Agricultural Research
Institute in Assam

  • At the Union Cabinet meeting held
    on Wednesday, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government decided to
    set up the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Assam of worth Rs.
    155 crore to promote agri-education and realize second green revolution in the
    northeastern region.
  • “The work to set up an IARI
    in Ranchi (Jharkhand) has started. The IARI-Assam was delayed as the previous
    government did not give land. The current (Sarbananda) Sonowal government has
    given 587 acres of land and work will start,” Union Minister Piyush Goyal
    told reporters after the meeting.
  • The Cabinet has approved the
    agriculture ministry’s proposal to set up an IARI in Dhemaji district in Assam.
    It has also approved 98 positions, an official statement said.
  • The IARI-Assam would focus more
    on research activities and will teach 67 MSc students and 106 Ph.D. students,
    Goyal said, adding that it will promote research in agriculture and benefit
    eight north eastern states.
  • Development of north eastern
    region is a priority for the government and has the potential to bring second
    green revolution, he added.
Sri Lanka backs India’s Stand on China-Pak Economic Corridor
  • Sri Lanka, which was a
    participant of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) conference in Beijing, on 16
    May 2017, backed India’s concern about Kashmir. The two-day conference in
    Beijing brought together leaders from 29 countries.
  • Speaking to PTI, Sarath
    Amanugama, Sri Lanka’s Minister on Special Assignment said, it is difficult for
    New Delhi to accept the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it goes
    through the heart of Indian interests. He also said, if it would have been some
    uncontested region, India would have negotiated its way out.
  • Earlier, India skipped the
    meeting due to its sovereignty concerns over the $ 50 billion CPEC project.
    India’s concern is that the project passed through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
    (PoK).  India skipped the meeting due to
    its sovereignty concerns over the 50 billion dollars CPEC, which goes through
    Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
India’s first smart grid to generate power from renewable energy
sources
  • The Indian Institute of
    Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has successfully created the
    country’s first smart grid project that will generate power from renewable
    sources of energy.
  • Speaking on the same, Ajoy Kumar
    Roy, the Director of IIEST stated that the grid will be synchronised to
    generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the
    weather conditions and availability of waste products.
  • The project, the first of its
    kind in the country, will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • The power to be generated from
    solar energy sources would depend on the availability of sunlight.
  • Wind energy will be produced
    during nor’wester and tropical storm.
  • The power from biogas will be
    generated from vegetable waste collected from the campus kitchen and outside
    markets.
Union Government launches EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter 2017
  • Union Minister of Labour &
    Employment Bandaru Dattatreya on 16 May 2017 launched EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter
    2017 and E-Court Management System along with it.
Highlights of EPFO’s Citizens’ Charter 2017

  • Citizens’ Charter 2017 of EPFO is
    an attempt to bring transparency and accountability on the part of EPFO.
  • It will also offer social
    security coverage to all employees as well as implementation of policies for
    benefit of all stakeholders with adequate support level of social security.
  • The charter will make service
    delivery system and grievance redressal mechanism more efficient so that it
    delivers goods and services to its all stakeholders in a time bound manner with
    a reduced timeline from earlier timeline of 30 days.
  • The timeline in case of claim
    settlements is 10 days and 15 days in case of grievance redressal management.
Highlights of EPFO E-Court Management System

  • It is a transparent and
    electronic case management system which will cater to aspirations of all
    stakeholders – the employers, the employees, litigants and CBT.
  • It is a step towards paperless
    court system wherein court procedure of EPF & MP Act, 1952 and EPFAT will
    take place in a digital environment.
  • Moreover, in order to facilitate
    easy access to the tribunal, automated messages will be sent to the litigants
    on their registered mobile numbers on the status of their cases.
  • The stakeholders can also track
    the individual cases online.
  • The parties can file all their
    paper / evidence / documents online and all the details along with status can
    be accessed online.
Union Government launches Operation Clean Money portal
  • Union Finance Minister Arun
    Jaitley on 16 May 2017 launched Operation Clean Money Portal with an aim to
    keep a tab on dishonest citizens hiding their income from the authorities and
    government.
  • It will provide comprehensive
    information at one place consisting of step by step guides, frequently asked
    questions, user guides, quick reference guides and training toolkits related to
    verification process.
  • It will enable citizen engagement
    for creating a tax compliant society and citizens would be able to support the
    Operation Clean Money by taking pledge, contribute by engaging and educating
    fellow citizens, and share their experiences and provide feedback.
  • It will enable Transparent Tax
    Administration by sharing status reports and thematic analysis reports.
India imposes anti-dumping duty on glasses and Chinese radiators
  • India has imposed anti-dumping
    duty on certain types of glasses from Iran and aluminium radiators from China
    in order to protect the domestic industry from cheap imports.
  • While an anti-dumping duty of
    about USD 55.59 per tonne has been imposed on clear float glass, duty of about
    USD 22.89 has been slammed on imports of aluminium radiators.
  • The imposed fine on both products
    would be effective for a period of five years.
  • Clear float glass is a superior
    quality glass that is used in construction, refrigeration, mirror and solar
    energy industries.
  • In a separate probe, the
    Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had concluded that
    these products were dumped into India and have caused material injury to the
    domestic industry.
  • Three companies including
    Saint-Gobain India had filed the application for dumping probe of this product.
India, Palestine sign five agreements for cooperation in different
sectors

  • India and Palestine on 16 May
    2017 signed 5 agreements for cooperation in different areas including
    agriculture, health and Information Technology.
  • The Agreements were exchanged
    after delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestine
    President Mahmoud Abbas in New Delhi. The two leaders reviewed the entire gamut
    of bilateral relations, regional and international issues.
List of MoUs inked during the visit of President Abbas include
  1. MoU on Visa Exemption on
    Diplomatic and Official Passports
  2. MoU on Cooperation in Youth
    Affairs and Sports
  3. MoU on Agricultural Cooperation
  4. MoU on Cooperation in Health
    Sector
  5. MoU on Information-Technology and
    Electronics
Later in a joint press statement,
Prime Minister Modi said, challenges in West Asia must be addressed through
political dialogue. He also said that India and Palestine will work together
for capacity building and Ramallah will be made an IT hub.
VO Chidambaranar Port Trust and TANGEDCO sign MoU to upgrade Coal
Jetties
  • The VO Chidambaranar Port (VOCP)
    on 15 May 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tamil Nadu
    Generation and Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) for the upgradation
    of Coal Jetty I and II.
  • As per the MoU, VOCP intends to
    increase the capacity of two of its Coal Jetties I and II from 6.25 MTPA to 24
    MTPA.
  • The MoU was signed by S Anantha
    Chandra Bose, Chairman of VO Chidambaranar Port Trust and M Sai Kumar, Chairman
    cum Managing Director of TANGEDCO.
  • Highlights of the MoU
  • The estimated cost for upgrading
    Coal Jetties I & II is about Rs 800 crore.
  • Initially, Coal Jetty-I will be
    upgraded in about 24 months by constructing a new Coal Jetty-I of 300m x25m
    along with repair of the existing CJ-I.
  • The project will make coal
    handling by the jetties much more voluminous and efficient and consequently
    bring down logistics costs. It will also allow for cheaper production of
    electricity which will be beneficial for industrial growth.
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News related to India and states
NGT orders Rs 5000 fine on over-speeding vehicles in Kaziranga

  • The National Green Tribunal
    announced on 17 May 2017 that any vehicle found over-speeding inside the
    Kaziranga National Park would have to pay an environment compensation of Rs
    5000 besides challan under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
  • The order was passed by a bench
    headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. The decision was taken after
    the park’s director informed the tribunal about four animal deaths since
    January 2017 despite the installation of sensor-operated automated traffic
    barriers to prevent such fatalities. 
  • Further, the bench advised the
    park authorities to take effective measures to stop these animal casualties.
Venkaiah Naidu announces separate 24×7 DD Channel for Jharkhand

  • Minister for Information &
    Broadcasting Venkaiah Naidu on 16 May 2017 announced a separate 24×7 DD channel
    for the state of Jharkhand. The plan was announced at the review meeting of the
    programmes and initiatives of Ministry of I&B held at Ranchi, Jharkhand.
  • The announcement was a part of a
    three-year action plan of Doordarshan put forward by the state government. The
    meeting was attended by Chief Minister Raghubar Das.
  • A statement released by I&B
    ministry said that the DD Ranchi programmes would be telecast on DD Bihar till
    the channel is launched. It said, till official launch of the channel in
    Jharkhand, the programmes would be provided with a special window in available
    24×7 satellite channel – DD Bihar.
Indian Navy and Space Application Centre signs MoU for cooperation
  • Indian Navy and Ahmedabad-based Space
    Application Centre on 15 May 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on
    Data Sharing and Scientific cooperation in the field of Meteorology and
    Oceanology.
  • The MoU was signed at SAC,
    Ahmedabad by Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, AVSM, NM, Director General Naval
    Operations and Tapan Misra, Director, Space Application Centre (SAC).
  • The signed pact provides for the
    creation of a common platform of mutual cooperation where SAC will be sharing
    its expertise in a number of areas including satellite data acquisition technology
    with the Indian Navy.
Suresh Raina launches foundation dedicated to wellness of Mother and
Child

  • Indian cricketer Suresh Raina
    launched Gracia Raina Foundation (GRF) on 15 May 2017, which is dedicated to
    creating awareness and work closely with mothers and children who require help
    ranging from physical and mental issues.
  • The announcement was made by the
    cricketer along with his wife Priyanka on the occasion of his daughter, Gracia
    Raina’s first birthday.
  • Speaking on the occasion, Raina
    stated that the organisation is something that is very personal to him and his
    wife and it has been very special for them to announce its launch on their
    daughter’s birthday. He further said that his wife has been working hard
    towards this and he fully supports her endeavours.
  • Raina also added that with this
    foundation they hope to shed light and help women and babies across the
    country.
Indian Railways to install CCTV cameras at over 900 stations under
Nirbhaya fund
  • Indian Railways on 15 May 2017
    announced to install CCTV surveillance system at more than 900 stations under
    the Nirbhaya Fund at an approved cost of Rs 500 crore with an aim to strengthen
    security at railway premises.
  • For this purpose, Indian Railways
    will shortly send out tenders to install about 19000 high definition CCTV
    cameras at 983 stations across the country to ensure round-the-clock security
    to passengers including women.
  • The cameras will be installed at
    platforms and waiting areas while there will be control rooms at stations to
    monitor CCTV footages by trained RPF personnel constantly.
  • The station master will also be
    given access to monitor CCTV camera footage as part of the project being
    undertaken by the public transporter.
  • Besides keeping a constant watch,
    the CCTV surveillance system will help in post-incident crime investigation.
Indexes & Reports
Mukesh Ambani leads Forbes list of Global Game Changers

  • Reliance Industries Chairman
    Mukesh Ambani leads a Forbes list of ‘Global Game Changers’ who are
    transforming their industries and changing the lives of billions of people
    around the globe.
  • Forbes’ second annual Global Game
    Changers’ list includes 25 “intrepid business leaders” who are “unsatisfied
    with the status quo” and “transforming their industries and changing the lives
    of billions of people around the globe.”
  • Ambani, 60 comes at the top of
    the list for his game changing efforts to bring the Internet to India’s masses.
  • “Oil and gas tycoon entered the
    country’s telecom market with a bang, offering fast Internet at dirt-cheap
    prices.
  • Gained 100 million customers in
    six months and set off a wave of consolidation in the market,” Forbes said,
    referring to his company’s mobile network operator Reliance Jio.
  • It quoted Ambani as saying that
    “anything and everything that can go digital is going digital. India cannot
    afford to be left behind.”
  • Forbes said the 25 trailblazers
    on the list are re-imagining countless facets of everyday life, from health to
    sending money to relatives abroad.
Vizag cleanest of 75 most busy railway stations; Darbhanga dirtiest

  • The Visakhapatnam railway station
    is the cleanest, followed by Secunderabad, among the 75 most busy stations in
    the country.
  • According to a survey, the report
    of which was released by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi on
    Wednesday, the Jammu railway station occupied the third spot, while the New
    Delhi station was ranked at 39 among the busiest stations.
  • The survey was carried out by the
    Quality Council of India.
  • The Darbhanga railway station in
    Bihar was the dirtiest among the busiest stations.
  • Clean toilets at platforms, clean
    tracks, and dustbins at stations were some of the criteria for judging railway
    stations for cleanliness.
  • This was the third survey on
    cleanliness done by the railways to keep a tab on rail premises as part of its
    ‘Swachh Rail’ campaign.
India ageing gradually; every 5th person to be 60+ by 2050
  • PFRDA-CRISIL report titled
    ‘Financial security for India’s elderly – The imperatives’  released on 15 May 2017 said that India will
    transform gradually from young to a ‘greying’ country and by 2050 every 5th
    Indian will be in the 60s as against every 12th at present.
  • Flagging the demographic
    transition, the report said it is important that the development of the
    under-penetrated pension market in India be initiated now when the situation is
    ripe.
  • Facts of the ‘Financial security
    for India’s elderly – The imperatives’ report
  • The PFRDA-CRISIL repost says that
    demographically, India will transition slowly from a ‘young’ to a ‘greying’
    country, where persons above the age of 60 would increase from 8.9 per cent of
    the population now to 19.4 per cent by 2050.
  • The report also suggests that the
    population of people above 80 is likely to increase from 0.9 per cent to 2.8
    per cent by 2050.
  • Almost 90 per cent of the
    population was below the age of 60 years and the working age population
    proportion stood at 44 per cent in 2015.
Public Affairs Index 2017 released: Kerala secures 1st position

  • The Public Affairs Centre (PAC),
    India on 12 May 2017 released the Public Affairs Index (PAI) 2017. Kerala and
    Tamil Nadu secured first and second rankings for the second consecutive year in
    the index.
  • Gujarat ranked third by gaining
    two positions from last years’ index.
  • The PAI Rankings are based on the
    survey that was carried out based on 10 themes, 26 focus subjects and 82
    indicators.
  • These 10 themes were Essential
    infrastructure; Support to human development; Social protection; Women and
    children; Crime, law and order; Delivery of justice; Environment; Transparency
    and accountability; Fiscal management and Economic freedom.
  • The top three positions of index
    were fetched by Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat respectively in the Large States
    category.
  • Karnataka and Maharashtra stood
    at the fourth and fifth position respectively in governance indicators.
Awards & Honors
David Letterman wins Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour

  • David Letterman, who was the
    longest-running host of late-night TV shows in the United States, was on 17 May
    2017 awarded with the Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour.
  • With this, Letterman became the 20th
    humorist to receive the prize. He is also a past recipient of Kennedy Centre
    Honours for his influence on American culture.
  • Letterman hosted over 6000
    late-night shows in 33 years on the air. He won 10 Emmy Awards while hosting
    NBC’s “Late Night” and then “The Late Show” on CBS. His
    final show in May 2015 drew an audience of 13.8 million people.
Renowned biologist Purnima Devi Barman nominated for Whitley Awards
  • Renowned wildlife biologist, Dr
    Purnima Devi Barman, in May 2017 was nominated for the prestigious Whitley
    Awards.
  • Barman has been nominated for her
    relentless efforts and campaigns for the conservation of the Greater Adjutant
    Stork locally known as Haargila in Assam.
  • The wildlife biologist has been
    working with the Dadara, Pachariya and Hingimari villages of Kamrup district to
    save the Greater Adjutant Stork. She is associated with Aaranyak, a Guwahati
    based NGO, which works for wildlife conservation.
Sports News
Anshu Jamsenpa becomes first Indian woman to climb Mt. Everest four
times

  • Indian mountaineer Anshu Jamsenpa
    has climbed the Mount Everest yet again, the fourth time in six years.
  • Hailing from Bomdila town in
    Arunachal Pradesh, the 32-year-old woman reached the world’s highest peak for
    the fourth time yesterday, a state government release said here.
  • Jamsenpa earlier scaled Mount
    Everest thrice. She conquered the peak twice within 10 days between May 12 and
    21, 2011, and made her third successful attempt on May 18, 2013.
Lewis Hamilton wins 2017 Spanish Grand Prix
  • Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on 14
    May 2017 stole a stunning victory in the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix from Ferrari’s
    Sebastian Vettel.
  • It was Hamilton’s second win of
    the season.
US-based Indian Ramit Tandon won his maiden PSA title
  • Indian squash player Ramit Tandon
    won his first professional title on 14 May 2017 after beating his Indian
    counterpart, Kush Kumar in the Sys Open 2017.
  • The US-based player beat the
    third-seeded Kumar in straight sets of 11-3, 11-2 and 11-3 in the final. This
    was Tandon’s third appearance in a Professional Squash Association final.
Appointments
Edouard Philippe named as Prime Minister of France
  • French President Emmanuel Macron
    on 15 May 2017 named Edouard Philippe as the Prime Minister of the country.
  • Philippe comes from the ranks of
    a center-right party outside Macron’s own movement.
  • Philippe is a member of the Les
    Républicains party and is close to Alain Juppé, the former Prime Minister who
    endorsed Macron after he won the first round of the presidential election.
Ovais Sarmad appointed as Deputy Executive Secretary of UNFCCC
  • Ovais Sarmad, a senior Indian
    official, in the second week of May 2017 was appointed as the Deputy Executive
    Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    (UNFCCC).
  • The appointment was made after
    consultation with the Conference of Parties through its Bureau.
  • Sarmad was appointed to the post
    at the assistant secretary-general level by UN Secretary-General Antonio
    Guterres.
  • Sarmad will succeed Canada’s
    Richard Kinley.
Days & Observances
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017 observed on 17
May
  • The 2017 World Telecommunication
    and Information Society Day (WTISD) was observed on 17 May 2017.
  • The theme for WTISD-17 is Big
    Data for Big Impact. The theme focuses on the power of Big Data for development
    and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data
    into actionable information in a development context.
  • The theme for WTISD-17 is in line
    with ITU’s work highlighting the technological developments that have
    facilitated the emergence of Big Data, developing standards related to Big Data
    and identifying sources and uses of Big Data, including use of Big Data
    technologies for developing and monitoring improvements in information societies.
World Meteorological Organisation launches Year of Polar Prediction
  • The World Meteorological
    Organization (WMO) and the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
    ON 15 May 2017 officially announced the start of the Year of Polar Prediction
    (YOPP).
  • The Year of Polar Prediction
    (YOPP) is one of the key elements of the Polar Prediction Project.
  • The YOPP’s mission is to enable a
    significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar
    regions and beyond. It will be done by coordinating a period of intensive
    observing, modelling, verification, user-engagement and education activities.

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