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Weekly Current Affairs: 22 May- 29 May

Published on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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Important Days

Anti-Terrorism Day: May 21
➡ May 21 was chosen as Anti-Terrorism Day since it's the day when Rajiv Gandhi, the seventh Prime Minister of India, was killed.
➡ Anti-Terrorism Day has an objective to urge Indians to struggle for peace, unity and harmony and remind about the precaution measures that can help prevent terrorist attacks.

International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB): May 22
➡ The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
Theme: 2017- Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism
International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers: May 29
➡ The day was established to honour the memory of the UN peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace;
➡ It pays tribute to all the men and women who have served and continue to serve in UN peacekeeping operations for their high level of professionalism, dedication and courage.
➡ The theme for the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World.”

National Events

e-textbook portal  
➡ Students of Haryana can now download school books instantly from the e-textbook portal of the Haryana School Education Board which was launched
➡ The portal also provides a facility to highlight certain portions of the e—textbooks making it easier for students to study

HADR Exercise
➡ The Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise involving multiple agencies and being conducted by Indian Navy’s Western Nava Command commenced at Naval Station Karwar
KARAVALI KARUNYA", the exercise, which involves both professional exchange and actual disaster response mechanisms is set on a Tsunami disaster scenario

Chitale Committee
➡ The Chitale Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has recommended creation of sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga
➡ The committee has recomended "a slew of measures" which includes study to guide de-silting activities, sand registry for de-silting and a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget, flood routing studies and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of section of the river.
➡ The committee, headed by expert member of National Ganga River Basin Authority Madhav Chitale, was constituted in July 2016

Annual meeting of African Development Bank
➡ India hosted the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group at Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre, Ahmedabad from 22 to 26 May 2017.
India became a member of the African Development Bank in 1983.

Bengaluru airport gets green certificate
➡ The Airports Council International has accredited Kempegowda International Airport with the `Level 3 Plus Neutrality' certification under Airport Carbon Accreditation.
➡ The Level 3+ certification was received in recognition of a series of green initiatives adopted by BIAL
Ban on sand mining in Narmada river
➡ Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a blanket ban on sand mining in river Narmada – considered the lifeline of the central Indian state.
RBI to reconstitute oversight committee
➡ The Reserve Bank will reconstitute the oversight committee (OC) under its aegis to operationalise the banking ordinance for resolving the issue of bad loans that have soared to over Rs 8 lakh crore.
➡ The existing OC, which has two members, was constituted by the Indian Banks' Association (IBA).

World's first philosophical novel on God
➡ Indian IAS officer, Haulianlal Guite, who hails from country's most remote areas of Manipur state has recently published a book titled "Confessions of a dying mind: the blind faith of atheism"
➡ The book billed as "the world's first philosophical novel for God", whose author is arguably the first Indian civil servant to write on philosophy since John Stuart Mill published On Liberty way back in 1858.

IIT-Kharagpur signs MoU with Madhya Pradesh for measuring happiness index
➡ IIT Kharagpur's Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness has signed an MoU with Madhya Pradesh government to collaborate on the development of a Happiness Index for measuring the well-being of the people of the state.

Abolition Foreign Investment Promotion Board➡ The Union Cabinet approved winding up of the 25-year-old Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), which has been vetting FDI proposals requiring government approval.
➡ FIPB was constituted under the Prime Minister's Office following economic liberalisation in the early 1990s.

‘Return of the three stone Sculptures from Australia to India’ exhibition
➡ “Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to India” was held in National Museum, Janpath New Delhi.
➡ The exhibition was organised to mark the safe return of three stone sculptures (Seated Buddha, Worshippers of Buddha, Goddess Pratyangira) from Australia to India. 
➡ These sculptures were purchased by National Gallery of Australia from the Nancy Wiener, New York in 2007 and Art of the Past, New York, 2005.
'Good Morning' Squad
➡ The Maharashtra government has decided to form 'good morning' squads to monitor and prevent open defecation in villages and districts across the state.
➡ These squads will comprise representatives of local bodies, self-help groups, NGOs, students and social workers working in the area of sanitation and cleanliness.

Swachh Bharat App
➡ Swachh Bharat App" has been launched. 
➡ The main focus of this Swachh Bharat App" is to basically involve people actively to become part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Clean India Movement).

SEVA App Launched➡ Coal Minister Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application( SEVA)
➡ The application helps track coal dispatch to 118 power plants through Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA), dispatch through special forward E-Auction and Bridge Linkage from over 200 dispatch points.

‘India 2017 Yearbook’ Released
➡ Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has released the book ‘India 2017 Yearbook’ authored by the Union Home Secretary, Shri Rajiv Mehrishi
➡ The book was published by the Mc Graw Hill Education India.
➡ The chapters of the Book are divided into four broad groups covering Indian geography, history, polity, demography, economy, development schemes, environment, disaster management, media and communication, foreign policy, J&K and newsmakers in India.

Rachna: India’s first underwater rail tunnel
➡ Engineers have completed boring the country’s first tunnel under the Hooghly river for establishing metro link between Howrah and Kolkata.
➡ Rachna, a giant tunnel-boring machine (TBM), was deployed to dig the underwater tunnel that runs a length of 502 metres under the river.

Integration of eSanad
➡ External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj inaugurated the integration of eSanad with Parinam Manjusha
➡ eSanad is aimed at online verification of the documents with an objective to extend contactless, cashless and paperless document attestation/ apostille service to applicants in India as well as abroad.
➡ The integration OF e-Sanad with Parinam Manjusha will help the applicants avoid long travels and precious resources of time and money for getting their documents attested by the concerned authorities in States.

India becomes second largest steel producer
➡ India has emerged as the second largest stainless steel producer in the world after China. India overtook Japan as the second-biggest producer in 2016, according to International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)
Tax-free Puducherry budget
➡ Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy presented a tax-free budget of Rs.  6,945 crore for 2017-18.
➡ The contribution from own resources was estimated to be Rs. 4,022 crore.
➡ With key focus on agriculture, animal husbandry and infrastructure development, the Chief Minister announced the government decision to provide free electricity to motor pump sets used by farmers.

AIIMS to be set up at Changsari, Assam
➡ Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of All India Institute of Medical  Sciences (AIIMS), Guwahati to be set up at Changsari in Assam's Kamrup district.
➡ Guwahati AIIMS will be constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana at an estimated cost of Rs 1,123 crore.

India’s First Electric Mass Mobility System
➡ Nagpur earned the distinction of becoming the country’s first city with an electric fleet of 200 electric vehicles, including taxis, buses, e-rickshaw and autos.

Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka
➡ Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated a first-of-its-kind Aeronautical Test Range (ATR), which will be used to test the country's first unmanned aircraft, in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka
➡ The facility, which will spread across an area of 4,200 acres, will be the leading test centre for the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) that has been using the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd airport in Bengaluru to test fly the Tejas combat aircraft so far.

Dailong village declared Biodiversity Heritage Site
The Manipur government has declared Dailong village of Tamenglong district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site of the state,

Pension scheme for journalists
➡ Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a slew of incentives for journalists, including a Rs 10,000 monthly pension scheme, for those who are above 60 years and have completed 20 years in the profession.

Zika virus hits India
➡ India has reported its first three cases of the Zika virus, including two pregnant women who delivered healthy babies.
➡ Zika is transmitted by the daytime-active Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

DIPP to grant industrial licences to defence manufacturers
➡ Department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) will now process the applications for grant of licence for manufacture of defence items. Earlier, the home ministry was carrying out this exercise.

International Events

Jaipur Literature Festival kicked off in London
➡ The Jaipur Literature Festival was inaugurated in London to present a sumptuous showcase of South Asia's literary heritage, oral and performing arts, books and ideas, dialogue and debate.

Three Indian brands among world's top 50 luxury goods companies
➡ Three Indian companies — Gitanjali Gems, Titan and PC Jeweller — have been named in the list of top 50 luxury goods firms globally that was topped by Louis Vuitton.
➡ Gitanjali Gems Ltd was placed in the 30th rank, followed by Titan Company(31st) and PC Jeweller (44th) in the fourth annual Global Powers of Luxury Goods report.

Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp becomes first to run entirely on solar energy
➡ A refugee camp in Jordan has become the first in the world to be powered by renewable energy.
➡ About 20,000 Syrian refugees living in the desert camp of Azraq will be able to use electricity generated by a solar plant.

Saudi King presents Trump with top civilian honour
➡ Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presented Donald Trump with the kingdom’s top civilian honour.

Nauru ratifies Solar Alliance Pact
➡ The world’s smallest republic, the tiny island nation of Nauru — has become the sixth country to ratify the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Framework pact initiated by the Indian and French governments at the climate change summit held at Paris in 2015.
➡ Five more African nations — Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Somalia, Ghana and Djibouti — have committed to sign the Solar Alliance Pact during the ongoing meeting of the African Development bank in India.
World Economic Forum (WEF): UN Habitat Data
➡ According to World Economic Forum's UN Habitat Data of 10 most densly populated cities, Dhaka, with 44500 people per square metre, is placed at first position.
➡ Mumbai, with 31700 people/sq.meter secured the second place while Kota is at number seven
➡ Dhaka tops the list with 44500 people per sq km while Mumbai with 31700 ranks second in the list of 10 most densely populated cities in the world.
➡ The 5 most densely populated cities are 1. Dhaka 2. Mumbai 3. Medellin  4. Manila 5. Casablanca

3rd RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting
➡ Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman led the Indian delegation to the 3rd RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting on 21-22 May 2017 in Hanoi in which Trade Ministers of 15 other RCEP countries participated. 
➡ Trade Minister and Industry Minister of Philippines Mr Ramon Lopez, was the Chair of the Meeting as Philippines is currently holding the Presidency of ASEAN this year.

Japan to build war museum in Manipur
➡ Japan is going to build a war museum at the hillock at Maiba Lokpa in Bishnupur district, Manipur, where a Japanese camp was located during World War II.
➡ The Japanese ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu, said about 70,000 Japanese soldiers had died in battles from March to June 1944 in Imphal and Kohima.

Taiwan legalises same-sex marriage
➡ Taiwan island’s highest court had just struck down Taiwan’s anti–gay marriage laws as unconstitutional, paving the way for the first system of legalised same-sex marriage anywhere in Asia.
➡ The court, known as the Judicial Yuan, said current marriage laws were "in violation of both the people’s freedom of marriage .and the people’s right to equality",

ISRO & NASA Collaborate to Build NISAR
➡ In a meeting in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K.Radhakrishnan, Chairman ISRO, signed two documents to launch the NASA-ISRO satellite mission.

Amul Thapar becomes second Indian-American judge of US Court of Appeals
➡ Amul Thapar became the second Indian-American judge of an appeals court with the United States senate confirming his appointment to the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
➡ Shri Srnivasan, who was appointed to the DC circuit court of appeals by President Barak Obama and confirmed in 2013, is the first Indian American ever to be named as judge to the American counterpart of India’s high courts.

India inks 4 pacts with Mauritius
➡ The Line of Credit has been signed between SBM Mauritius Infrastructure Development Co. Ltd and Export-Import Bank of India.
Four Agreements: 1. Oceanography Institute in marine sciences and technology.  2. Agreement on Maritime Security, 3. Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up of a civil services college in Mauritius, 4. Submission of instrument of ratification of International Solar Alliance (ISA) by Mauritius.

Mission XI Million picks Chandigarh girl
➡ Ananya Kamboj, from Vivek High School, Mohali, has been selected to represent India as a young journalist at the Global Football For Friendship (F4F) social programme in Russia.
➡ The F4F programme, supported by Gazprom and FIFA, focuses on the development of children's football, fostering tolerance and respect for different cultures and nationalities among children from different countries. India joins the programme for the first time and will participate alongside 60 other countries.
World’s largest telescope in Chile
➡ Construction of the world's largest telescope has commenced in Chile on the European Extremely Large Telescope, which when completed will be some five times larger than the top observing instruments in use today.

Apple opens first official store in SE Asia
➡ Apple opened its first Southeast Asia store in Singapore, drawing hundreds of excited fans to the swanky two-storey site in the city's upmarket shopping district.
G7 Summit
➡ Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) nations were assembled in Italy to start a two-day summit in which U.S. President Donald Trump was likely to face peer pressure on his contrarian stances on trade and the environment.
➡ The G7 is an informal forum on global governance comprising the United States, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Indo-Thailand Siam Bharat 17: HADR
➡ Indo-Thailand Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Table Top Exercise 2017 was held at Chiang Mai, Thailand from 22 May to 26 May 17 between the Indian Air Force and Royal Thailand Air Force (RTAF).
➡ The eleven member IAF contingent was led by Group Captain Sucharu Rai VM. This was second such exercise to be conducted between the two Air Forces.


Bhavani Devi strikes gold in fencing championship
➡ Bhavani Devi has also become the first Indian to win a gold medal in an international fencing event. She had previously won a silver medal.

Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 to win FA Cup for 13th tim
➡ Arsenal held out to beat Chelsea 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley with an Aaron Ramsey winner in the second half.
South Korea Defeat China to Win 2017 Sudirman Cup
➡ South Korea shocked badminton giants China on Sunday in the final of the 2017 Sudirman Cup, ending the team's run of six straight titles with a 3-2 win.

India win 10 gold in South Asian Junior TT
➡ India added six more gold on the concluding day to win all 10 gold medals on offer in the South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships at Mount Lavinia
➡ In addition, they also claimed four silver medals for a total of 14 medals from the regional championships.

Zverev Beats Djokovic to Clinch Italian Open Title
➡ German youngster Alexander Zverev pulled off the biggest win of his career when he beat world number two Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 to win the Italian Open
➡ Zverev broke again in the third game of the second set and clinched the match with another break in the ninth game.
Bengaluru FC wins Federation Cup
➡ AFC Cup finalist Bengaluru FC redeemed some pride by edging out Mohun Bagan 2-0 in the summit clash and claiming its second Federation Cup crown at the Barabati Stadium

India clinch women’s quadrangular series
➡ India capped their brilliant run to clinch the women’s quadrangular cricket series by defeating hosts South Africa by eight wickets in the final played at Potchefstroom.

Sweden beat Canada to win ice hockey world title
➡ Sweden has won the ice hockey world championship, beating favourites Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout.

Jinder Mahal win WWE Championship at Backlash
➡ Indian-origin wrestler Jinder Mahal clinched the WWE Championship after beating Randy Orton at pay-per-view event Backlash.

Real Madrid wins its first Spanish title since 2012
➡ Real Madrid won the Spanish league for the first time in five years and kept rival Barcelona from its third straight championship.
➡ Zinedine Zidane's team secured its 33rd league title with a 2-0 win at Malaga with goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

Mumbai Indians become 3-time champions of IPL 2017
➡ Mumbai Indians snatch an incredible one-run victory from the jaws of defeat against Rising Pune Supergiant in a thrilling grand finale of the Indian Premier League (IPL)
➡ This was Mumbai Indians' third IPL trophy in 10 editions and more special for their skipper Rohit Sharma, who is the only captain to win a hat-trick of titles. Rohit has in fact ow won four IPL titles (one for Deccan Chargers in 2009)

13-year-old Indian girl wins Asia yoga championship
➡ Thirteen-year-old Vaishnavi of India beat hundreds of competitors to win the first Asia Level Yoga Competition.
➡ The competition, featuring teams from five nations, was held in Thailand
➡ Winning gold is nothing new for Vaishnavi—She has reportedly won more than 200 contests of the more than 1,000 she has entered.

Laxman wins All India Open Rapid FIDE Rating chess meet
➡ Grand Master R.R. Laxman of Integral Coach Factory finished on top with 9.5 points to win the All India Open Rapid FIDE Rating Chess Tournament at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra
➡ Fide Master Mitrabha Guha racked up 8.5 points to finish second in the 10-round tournament while untitled Srijit Paul (8) finished third ahead of Grand Master Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury with a better tie-break score.

Banking & Finance

HDFC Life brings SPOK
➡ HDFC Life, one of India's top private life insurance companies today announced the launch its first life insurance email bot.
➡ The AI based email bot, named SPOK is claimed to be first in India that automatically read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails that are sent to HDFC Life, within milliseconds.
Paytm launches payments bank; offers 4% interest
➡ Digital payments firm Paytm launched its payments bank with 4 percent interest rate and cashbacks on deposits, zero fees on online transactions and no minimum balance requirement.
➡ Paytm Payments Bank has roped in two new independent directors - former executive director of the Reserve Bank of India PV Bhaskar and former Shriram Group director GS Sundarajan -who have joined the five member board.
➡ Apart from Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma and Renu Satti, CEO of Paytm Payments Bank, the board also includes Paytm cofounder Ash Lilani.

Federal Bank launched ‘Selfie’
➡ Federal Bank introduces Selfie, the first of its kind in India. "Selfie", is a mobile based SB account opening facility through Fedbook. This app facilitates customers to open accounts on their own by using their Aadhaar and PAN Card. 
➡ Designed and managed by Geojit, the trading platform will give its users absolute control over their investments with timely research inputs to make sound investment decisions.

Code For Bank by SBI
➡ State Bank of India(SBI) has launched a national hackathon for developers, start-ups and students to come up with innovative ideas and solutions for the banking sector.
➡ The hackathon, named 'Code For Bank', will focus on the business value driven by technologies like predictive analytics, fin-tech/blockchain, digital payments, IOT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, BOTS and robotic process automation

Ranks & Index

Forbes magazine's 'Global 2000'
➡ Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) is the highest ranked Indian firm
➡ Four other Indian banks, which are all privately owned -- HDFC Bank (258), ICICI Bank (310), Axis Bank (463) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (744) -- are among the top 20 Indian companies in the overall list.
➡ Tata Motors has retained its sixth position among Indian companies, but fell in terms of overall ranking to 290 (278 last year).

Travellers’ choice
➡ Taj Mahal has made it to the top 10 landmarks in the world by securing fifth position in the list with 5th rank
➡ Angkor Wat in Siem Reap (Cambodia) topped the list followed by Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center in Abu Dhabi (UAE), Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba in Cordoba (Spain) and St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City (Italy).

Books & Authors

‘Mann Ki Baat – A Social Revolution on Radio’
➡ The book ‘Mann Ki Baat: A Social Revolution on Radio’ by Shri Rajesh Jain is a compilation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s addresses to the nation on radio every month under the programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

Marching with a Billion- Analysing Narendra Modi’s Government at Midterm’
➡ The book ‘Marching with a Billion- Analysing Narendra Modi’s Government at Midterm’ written by eminent journalist Shri Uday Mahurkar analyses the monumental changes that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has brought on multiple fronts as Prime Minister on India’s governance landscape by ushering in an unprecedented culture of transparency to create a level playing field so necessary in a developing country.

"Winning like Virat: Think & Succeed like Kohli"
➡  A new book "Winning like Virat: Think & Succeed like Kohli" by Abhirup Bhattacharya, unravels the secrets of the cricketer's consistent form, while attempting to decode his philosophy towards life

Science & Technology

Solibacillus kalamii
➡ Scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after the much-loved APJ Abdul Kalam.
➡ The new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president

Cobra Lily rediscovered
➡ The incredibly rare Arisaematranslucens, more commonly known as the cobra lily, was recently rediscovered in the western Nilgiris after 84 years by nature enthusiasts K.M. Prabhu Kumar and Tarun Chhabra.

Chemical memory unit—the 'chit'

The first one-bit chemical memory unit—the 'chit'
In classical computer science, information is stored in bits; in quantum computer science, information is stored in quantum bits, or qubits. Experiments at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw prove that chemistry is also a suitable basis for storing information. The chemical bit, or 'chit,' is a simple arrangement of three droplets in contact with each other, in which oscillatory reactions occur.
The chemical foundation of this form of memory is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction. 
The course of the reaction is oscillatory.


Person Appointed
Tapan Ray
Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs
Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi
Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities
Jaideep Mazumdar
Ambassador of India to the Philippines.
Rajan Anandan
Chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).
Dr Tedros Adhanom
Director-General of WHO
N Chandrasekaran
Chief financial officer Tata Sons

Awards & Achievements

Award/ Achievements
Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award’
Reliance Jio
United Nations medal
Brijesh Thapa, Ravi Kumar
Aisha Mughal
lecturer from transgender community
(Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad)
Jacqueline Fernandez
International Humanitarian Award
two Best Performance Awards from Ministry of Shipping for the highest growth in operating surplus and also for achieving third highest growth in cargo traffic among the major ports
Cochin Port Trust
Rehana Ameer
First India-born woman to be elected as a councillor to a ward in the UK.
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI)
Global EASA Best Practice Awards 2016
M C Misra
Fellowship of the prestigious Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh,
Ravichandran Ashwin
International Cricketer of the Year award at the CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2017.
Shubhman Gill
Young player of the year CEAT Cricket Rating (CCR) International awards 2017.
Omar Hegazy
first amputee to swim from Egypt to Jordan
International President’s Award
'The Square'
Palme d'Or, the top prize at Cannes Film Festival.
Pune City
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) Smart Police Award for the year 2017.

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