Current Affairs: 4 May 2017

Important Days

May 4: International Firefighters' Day

  • International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4. 
  • It was instituted after proposal emailed out across the world on January 4, 1999 due to the deaths of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. 
  • May 4 used to be a traditional Firefighters' Day in many European countries, because it is the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters.

UN marks first World Tuna Day on May 2

  • The United Nations is marking the first World Tuna Day with calls to conserve one of the globe's most popular fish to be caught and eaten.
  • tuna plays a critical role "in sustainable development, food security, economic opportunity, and livelihoods of people around the world
  • The General Assembly established World Tuna Day in December to reinforce its importance to nations around the globe. 

National Events

Odisha’s Sualgiri, Swalgiri communities notified as scheduled castes

  • Odisha’s Sualgiri and Swalgiri communities have been notified as Scheduled Castes following President Pranab Mukherjee’s assent to a new law.
  • The Rajya Sabha had last month passed the bill on it after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha in March.
  • The President gave the nod to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order (Amendment) Act, 2017
  • The SC category status will entitle these communities to reservation in government jobs and admission in educational institutions, besides some other financial benefits.
  • Some of the major schemes for the scheduled castes include post-matric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, Rajiv Gandhi national fellowship, concessional loans from National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation, hostel facilities for the SC boys and girls etc.

World’s highest railway bridge is coming up over the Chenab in J&K

  • In around two years from now, the Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir will be spanned by the world’s highest railway bridge that is expected to be 35 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower.
  • The massive arch-shaped structure, being constructed at a cost of around Rs1,100 crore in hostile terrain, will use over 24,000 tonnes of steel and will rise 359 m above the river bed.
  • Designed to withstand wind speeds of up to 260 km per hour, the 1.315 km long “engineering marvel” will connect Bakkal (Katra) and Kauri (Srinagar).
  • The bridge forms a crucial link in the 111-km stretch between Katra and Banihal, which is part of the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla rail link project.
  • Slated to be completed by 2019, it is expected to become a tourist attraction in the region. There will also be a ropeway in the bridge for inspection purposes.
  • Once completed, it will surpass the record of the Beipan river Shuibai railway bridge (275 m) in China.

UberEATS Food Delivery Service Launched in India, Starting With Mumbai

  • Uber's standalone food delivery service - UberEATS - has arrived in Mumbai. At launch, it'll be available in Powai, Bandra East, Bandra Kurla Complex, and the west-lying regions from Lower Parel uptown to Andheri. 
  • Though there is no minimum order size, a delivery fee of Rs. 15 will be levied on each order.
  • UberEATS will deliver seven days a week, at all times of the day, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner or the times in between. 
  • The service will be live in six Indian cities by the end of the year, and Uber says it's looking at Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, and Kolkata. 
  • The ride-sharing giant has partnered with over 200 restaurants in Mumbai. 
  • Some of the featured places are The Good Wife, Fresh Menu, Coffee by Di Bella, The Bohri Kitchen, Le15 Patisserie, Nom Nom, and The Bombay Canteen.

The new Humsafar Express revolutionises the AC 3-tier coach

  • The Indian Railways have sought a 'major makeover' for the AC 3-tier coach in a bid to make it more passenger-friendly.
  • The all new Western Railways' first AC 3-tier Humsafar Express between Ahmedabad and Chennai was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at a function held in Udvada town in Valsad district
  • The Indian Railways have sought a 'major makeover' for the AC 3-tier coach in a bid to make it more passenger-friendly.
  • The all new Western Railways' first AC 3-tier Humsafar Express between Ahmedabad and Chennai was flagged off by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu at a function held in Udvada town in Valsad district

Chhattisgarh auctions India’s most expensive limestone block

  • Chhattisgarh successfully auctioned its third limestone block, Kesla-II to Dalmia Cement in a bidding that went on for a record 23 hours with the highest bid received 96.15% of IBM prices which is 20times more than the reserve price.
  • Kesla-II block is situated in the Tilda Tehsil of Raipur district and covers over 357 hectare in area with an average grade of 43% CaO. The block is located at a distance of 40 km from Raipur.
  • The reserve price of Kesla-II was fixed at 5% of IBM prices and the floor price was 21% of IBM prices.

Sports

Paddler Soumyajit Ghosh Bags Singles, Doubles at Chile Open

  • Soumyajit Ghosh has bagged both the singles and doubles gold at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Challenge Chile Open in Santiago.
  • This is the first time India had won a men's doubles title on either the ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour.
  • Ghosh, meanwhile, became the third Indian to win a men's singles title at an ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour tournament, while Amalraj became the fourth Indian to reach a final of such a competition.

India drop to No. 4 in ICC T20 rankings

  • India have dropped two places to slip to fourth position in the ICC Twenty20 International team rankings following the annual update on May 1.
  • Having dropped six points, India are now on 118 points, three behind second placed England and third placed Pakistan -- both of whom are on 121 points each.
  • Pakistan joined England on 121 after earning five points. However, they are a rank behind England by a fraction of a point.
Top 5
1. New Zealand
2. England
3. Pakistan
4. India
5. South Africa

Mark Selby beats John Higgins to retain his World Championship title

  • Mark Selby defended his World Championship title with a stunning comeback to beat John Higgins 18-15 and secure his third crown in four years.
  • Selby, 33, had trailed 10-4 but claimed nine out of 10 frames to lead 13-11.
  • Higgins had a mini revival helped by a contentious refereeing decision, but Selby kept his composure to win.
  • The world number one is only the fourth player after Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan to claim back-to-back titles in the modern era.

Awards & Appointments

I-League 2016-17: Sunil Chhetri wins 'Hero of the League' Award


  • The individual awards of the Hero I-League 2016-17 are finally confirmed following the votes cast by coaches and captains of the respective ten team.
  • List of Awardees
  • Debjit Majumder (MB)→ Best goalkeeper award 
  • Anas Edathodika (MB)→ Jarnail Singh Best Defender’ of Hero I-League 2016-17 award
  • Alfred Kemah Jaryan (AFC)→  Best Midfielder of Hero I-League 2016-17. 
  • Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka→ Best Striker award 
  • Jerry Lalrinzuala→ 'Best Emerging Player of Hero I-League' award
  • Khalid Jamil→ ‘Syed Abdul Rahim Best Coach Award’. 
  • Sunil Chhetri→ Hero of the League

Shabana Azmi starrer The Black Prince awarded at film fest in Houston

  • Hollywood film The Black Prince, featuring singer-poet Satinder Sartaaj and veteran actress Shabana Azmi, was awarded the Special Jury Remi Award at the 50th annual Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival.
  • The film is a historic biopic on the poignant life story of the last king of Punjab - Maharajah Duleep Singh and is set for international release on July 21. Sartaaj, who marks his acting debut with the film, essays the role of Maharajah Duleep Singh while Shabana portrays Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother.
  • The film also features Jason Flemyng, Amanda Root, Keith Duffy, David Essex OBE, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens.

Lion actor Sunny Pawar chosen for Rising Star Award in the UK

  • Child actor Sunny Pawar, best known for his performance in the Oscar-nominated film Lion, has been chosen for the Rising Star Award here. The award will be presented to Sunny at the 7th Annual Asian Awards
  • Sunny, grew up in the Mumbai slums, shot to global fame with his role in the Australian drama where he worked alongside award-winning actors Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. 
  • Founded in 2010, the Asian Awards acknowledge pan-Asian success across all walks of life.
  • Previous award winners include Shah Rukh Khan, Bruce Lee, Zayn Malik, Jack Ma, Dr Amar Bose, David Tang, Freddie Mercury, Kunal Nayyar and Ahmed Kathrada.

Mallikarjun Kharge appointed as new chairman of PAC

  • Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge is the new chairman of the 21-member Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. Kharge replaces Congress leader K V Thomas whose term ended on April 30. 
  • The Parliamentary panel, which is headed by an opposition leader, has a majority of its members from the ruling NDA. The new committee has only two new faces while the remaining members have been renominated. 
  • Subhash Chandra Baheria and Ram Shankar, both of the BJP, have replaced their party members Richard Hay and Janardan Singh Sigriwal.
  • The Committee on Public Accounts is the oldest Parliamentary committee that examines the accounts showing the appropriation of sums granted by Parliament for expenditure of Government of India and such other accounts of autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies.

Science & Technology

Chinese scientists build world's first quantum computing machine

  • China has beaten the world at building the first ever quantum computing machine that is 24,000 times faster than its international counterparts.
  • Making the announcement at a press conference in the Shanghai Institute for Advanced Studies of University of Science and Technology, the scientists said that this quantum computing machine may dwarf the processing power of existing supercomputers.
  • Researchers also said that quantum computing could in some ways dwarf the processing power of today's supercomputers.
  • Quantum computers could, in principle, solve certain problems faster than classical computers.
  • Despite substantial progress in the past two decades, building quantum machines that can actually outperform classical computers in some specific tasks - an important milestone termed "quantum supremacy" - remains challenging.
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