Current Affairs: 15 May 2017

National Events

Base year of WPI, IIP revised to 2011-12

  • The government has revised the base year of wholesale price index (WPI) and index of industrial production (IIP) to 2011-12 from 2004-05
  • WPI has been changed six times so far since 1942 and this happens to be the 7th revision.
  • The new series of WPI will provide a more accurate picture.
  • A significant change in WPI new series is that prices used for compilation do not include indirect taxes in order to remove the impact of fiscal policy
  • The IIP base year has also been changed to ensure that it remains more relevant in the years that it is operational, Chief Statistician of India TCA Ananth said at the joint briefing.
  • The objective is to converge more in line with the current consumption and production pattern of the country

Kerala tops, Bihar last in public affairs index

  • Two South Indian States - Kerala and Tamil Nadu - secured first and second rankings for the second year in a row while poll-bound Gujarat gained two positions rising from five in 2016 to three in 2017 in public affairs index (PAI) in governance in States.
  • Karnataka slipped from third position in 2016 to fourth in 2017 while Maharashtra stood fifth (4th in 2016) in governance indicators.
  • Punja was the best performer in essential infrastructure
  • In human development, Kerala, Maharshtra, and Punjab are top of the table 
  • Kerala, Assam and Madhya Pradesh secured top three ranks in implementation of social protection policies,
  • Tamil Nadu secured first rank in maintaining law and order
  • Telangana is the best performer in fiscal management 
  • In the category of economic freedom, BJP-ruled Gujarat secured top rank

Telangana hosted first Videsh Sampark

  • Telangana hosted the first outreach programme of the Ministry of External Affairs ‘Videsh Sampark’, to engage the State governments to create awareness about various programmes of the Ministry.
  • The conference was inaugurated by the Minister of State for External Affairs, Gen. V.K. Singh
  • Mr. Reddy said the conference will create awareness on the schemes and initiatives launched by the Ministry with regard to consular and passport services; engagement with overseas Indians; and welfare and protection of overseas Indians.
  • The conference featured interactive sessions on specific thematic priorities.

PM Modi to inaugurate India’s longest bridge near China border on May 26

  • India’s longest river bridge, capable of withstanding the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank, will be inaugurated in Assam close to the border with China on May 26 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • With the inauguration of the 9.15-km-long Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river, the prime minister will kick off the celebrations of the NDA government’s three years in office from this eastern-most part of Assam.
  • The construction of the bridge is seen as an attempt by India to shore up its defence infrastructure along the Sino- Indian border. 
  • It is also part of the Centre’s endeavour to improve connectivity in the region.
  • It is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra-Worli sea link in Mumbai, making it the longest bridge in India.

Mother’s Day gift: ‘Maa’ committee to check mid-day meal quality in UP schools

  • It’s a Mother’s Day gift for lakhs of children and their moms in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Maa’ will now keep an eye on mid-day meals served to students in state-run primary schools to ensure that they get nutritious food prepared in hygienic conditions.
  • In view of a number of complaints related to quality of mid-day meal being served in primary schools, there will be ‘Maa’ in every school. It will be a committee of six mothers, from all sections of society, whose students are studying in that school,
  • From cleanliness in kitchen to quality of food being served to children, they will keep an eye on minute details.

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 to help improve the building of new transport and service infrastructure. 
  • The project includes the application of geoscientific methods (e.g. drilling, geological, geophysical, tectonics, hydrogeological and remote sensing). 
  • It aims to delineate the evolution of Varanasi and other future of cities of India, from the hazard zonation/mitigation of the city. 
  • The retrieved information on rock and sediment lithologies, physical and chemical characteristics, geotechnical properties, hazard potential and groundwater distribution and flow will lead to construction of a multi-scale 3D conceptual model to allow visualisation of the ground beneath the city. 

Sports

MS Dhoni sets record for most catches by a keeper in T20s

  • Rising Pune Supergiant player MS Dhoni set the record for most catches by a wicketkeeper in T20s, taking his 124th catch against Delhi Daredevils. 
  • Dhoni, who effected three dismissals in the match, set the record by taking a one-handed leaping catch to dismiss Marlon Samuels. 
  • Dhoni went past former Sri Lankan keeper Kumar Sangakkara's record of 123 catches.

Wrestler Bajrang Punia wins gold at Asian Championships

  • Bajrang Punia gave India its first gold medal as he registered a come-from-behind victory over Seungchul Lee of Korea in men's 65kg freestyle on the penultimate day of the Asian Wrestling Championship
  • Sarita, meanwhile, bagged a silver medal in women's 58kg category.
  • The Indian women's team finished second in the championship after Japan, who clinched the top position.

Mumbai Indians become first team to register 100 wins in T20 cricket

  • Mumbai Indians, showing their bench strength, defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by nine runs in their last group stage match at the Eden Gardens to finish on top of the Indian Premier League table.
  • In the process, Mumbai Indians created history, becoming the first T20 team in the world to win 100 games in their entire history.
  • Mumbai Indians, in their ten-year history, have won the Champions League T20 twice (in 2011 and 2013) and the Indian Premier League also twice (2013 and 2015).

Arjun Maini becomes first Indian driver to win a GP3 race

  • Jenzer Motorsports' Indian driver Arjun Maini, who is supported by JK Racing and TVS, created history as he became the first Indian to win a race in the GP3 Series with a dominant victory. 
  • This is Arjun's first victory in the GP3 Series and this win moves him into third place in the driver's championship standings.
  • The GP3 series will resume in July at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

Force India claim 4th and 5th place in Spanish Grand Prix

  • Force India Formula One team drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished in the fourth and fifth spot respectively in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on Sunday. 
  • Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton won the race by beating Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who finished second and third respectively.

India claim two medals at World Para Athletics Grand Prix

  • India claimed a gold and a bronze at the China World Para Athletics Grand Prix being held in Beijing.
  • Ramudri Someshwara Rao won a gold medal in the 200m race and Hokato Sema bagged a bronze in shot put.
  • Both have qualified to represent the country in the IPC Para Athletics World Championships in London later this year.
  • Someswara Rao had become the fastest Indian blade runner in the recently-concluded 17th National Para Athletics Championships at Jaipur.
  • Sema had also won a gold in his event.

Banking & Finance

Uco Bank faces business restrictions from RBI

  • Public sector lender Uco Bank is facing business restrictions from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) following mounting losses, continuous erosion of net worth and huge NPAs.
  • Uco Bank, in a filing to the stock exchanges, said the action "will not have any material impact" on its performance, but did not give details of the corrective action.
  • Basically, the restrictions will be on lending and branch expansion plans as the statel run lender reported losses for two successive fiscals amid severe stress on asset quality
  • It has become the second ender to face business restrictions after IDBI Bankfollowing RBI's revision of its PCA framework last month.RBI has been on a mission to clean up the banking system which saw a surge in stressed assets.

Awards & Achievements

ISKCONs Govardhan Eco Village wins Smart Village Award

  • Govardhan Eco Village, set up by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in adjoining Thane district, has won an award for being a sustainable project in rural Maharashtra.
  • The village at Wada taluka is located 108km north of Mumbai at the foothills of the Sahyadri mountains.
  • The award, "Smart Village," has been instituted by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), which also gives awards in various other categories.
  • Govardhan Eco Village won the honour jointly with Ecosoft

Airtel Wins Aon Best Employer India Award For 2017

  • Telecom major Bharti Airtel has won the Aon Best Employer India 2017 Award for its innovative people practices. 
  • The operator was awarded for achieving high levels of employee engagement, establishing people practices and leadership intent. 
  • Airtel also scored high on employer brand and innovative HR practices.
  • The Aon Best Employer's India chapter jury for 2017 comprised of eminent business leaders and academicians including Leo Puri, Managing Director at UTI Asset Management Company; Omkar Goswami, founder and Chairman at CERG Advisory; Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO at ICICI Bank; Prof Vasanthi Srinivasan, IIM-Bangalore; and Sanjiv Mehta, CEO and MD at Hindustan Unilever Ltd," the statement added.
  • The study was first conducted in Asia in 2001 to gain insights into companies that are creating real competitive advantage through their people. 
  • A total of 119 organizations representing 14 key industries, cumulatively employing approximately 520,000 employees, participated in the 2017 Aon Best Employers India study.

Matrix awarded the prestigious India SME100 Award

  • Matrix is declared as one of India’s top 100 SMEs. Matrix underwent the stringent evaluation criteria laid down by the India SME Forum Jury Board and the winners were chosen from 41,832 companies nominated based on their financial and non-financial parameters.
  • With 250+ R&D engineers on our roll, Matrix invests heavily in R&D. This award is validation of the Matrix's innovation capabilities.

Odisha nurse gets Florence Nightingale award

  • Krishna Kumari, a health worker in Ganjam district, has bagged the prestigious Florence Nightingale award 2017.
  • The fifty-year-old woman received the award from President Pranab Mukherjee at a function at the Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on the occasion of International Nurses Day.
  • The award carries a citation, a medal and a cheque of Rs 50,000.
  • Working in the community health centre (CHC) at Kukudakhandi in the district, she was awarded for her 18-year-long service in the field of immunisation, women welfare programmes, management of labour room and operation theatre.
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