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CURRENT AFFAIRS 21 MAY 2017

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Chitale Committee recommends measures for desiltation of river Ganga
Chitale Committee on desiltation of River Ganga has come up with several recommendations such as establishing annual sediment budgets to guide de-silting activities, morphological and flood routing studies and study of reach wise sediment transport processes.
i. Committee has mentioned that though de-siltation works can improve hydraulic performance of the river, it has no direct role in improving environment flow in the river.
ii. Committee has recommended undertaking Catchment Area Treatment and Watershed Development works in a comprehensive way to reduce silt inflow into the river system.

ICMR to implement UN agency’s standards on clinical trials
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), along with other leading research funders and international NGOs will adopt UN health agency’s recommendations to register and publicly disclose results of all clinical trials they fund, co-fund, sponsor or support.
i. Policies for the same will be developed and implemented within next 12 months.
ii. Besides agreeing to disclose results within specified timeframes, these entities have also agreed to monitor compliance with registration requirements and to endorse the development of systems to monitor results
iii. Currently about 50% of clinical trials go unreported owing to negative results.
Quick Facts about ICMR:
♦ Formation year: 1911 (as Indian Research Fund Association), renamed as Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in 1949.
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi
♦ Current Director General: Dr Soumya Swaminathan

Joint Hadr Exercise commences at Naval Station Karwar
Joint HADR Exercise commences at Naval Station Karwar.The Annual Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Exercise began on 18 May 2017.
Key Points:
i. The exercise is being conducted by Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command.
ii. It is named as ‘Karavali Karunya’.
iii. It involves both professional exchange and actual disaster response mechanisms which is set on a Tsunami disaster scenario.
iv. It will help in providing relief in a post-tsunami scenario and work together with armed forces, central government agencies and state government departments.
v. During the exercise, there will also be a demonstration using aircraft, a pollution control ship and survey ships.
vi. It will also include setting up of Internally Displaced People camp and static display.





INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

G20 Labour & Employment Ministers’ meet held in Germany
G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meet was held in Bad Neuenahr, Germanyfrom 18-19 May 2017.Germany chaired the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meet, as it currently holds the G20 presidency.
i. The meeting focused on the theme “Towards an Inclusive Future – Shaping the World of Work”.
ii. The Indian delegation to G20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ Meet in Germany was led by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya. He was accompanied by Labour Secretary M Sathiyavathy and other senior officials.

India betters ranking in international tourist arrivals
India has ranked 24th in terms of International Tourist Arrivals (ITA) for 2014 and 2015 as pre revised rankings of World Tourism Barometer by World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
i. It is to be noted that earlier, India ranked 41st and 40th in 2014 and 2015, respectively. However, on inclusion of non- resident Indians among international tourists, India leaped up 16 places to rank at 24th.
ii. Including arrivals of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs),India’s share in international tourist arrivals (ITA) for 2015 has increased to 1.12% from 0.68% before inclusion.

China, ASEAN Countries Agree on Framework for South China Sea Code of Conduct
China and the member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to a framework on code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea.
i. The objective of this agreement is to reduce the risk of clashes in the South China Sea, which is one of the busiest waterways in the world.
ii. Chinese and ASEAN officials arrived at the agreement during the meeting held in the Chinese city of Guiyang.
South China Sea – Strategic Perspective:
♦  China claims almost the entire South China Sea, through which about US$5 trillion in goods pass every year. Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have also laid their claims on South China Sea.






AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Indian Prashant Ranganathan wins top intel science award in US
An Indian boy Prashant Ranganathan has won the top Intel Science Award in US. It is the world’s largest pre-college science competition in the US.
i. Prashant  has won in the category of environmental engineering for his project on bio-degradation of pesticides.
ii. Prashant Ranganathan along with 1700 students from across the worldhas participated in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Reliance Jio gets TM Forum’s ‘Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award’
Reliance Jio, the wholly owned subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries has received TM Forum’s ‘Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award’ 2017.
i. RelianceJio got this award for acquiring 90 million customers in a short span of 4 months.
ii. Digital Service Innovator of the Year Award is given to the company or organisation which has made the most significant and innovative contribution to advancing the digital revolution in society.
About TM Forum:
♦ The TM Forum is a non-profit industry association for service providers and their suppliers in the telecommunications and entertainment industries.
♦ TM Forum represents over 850 member companies generating US$2 trillion in revenue and serving five billion customers across 180 countries.


APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

First ever transgender appointed as lecturer in Quaid-i-Azam University
A lecturer from transgender community Aisha Mughal has appointed lecturer in Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad.
Key Points:
i. The government of Pakistan has officially appointed a transgender as a teacher for the very first time.
ii. Aisha has been appointed as the lecturer of the Department of Gender in Quaid-i-Azam University.

Rouhani Wins Re-election in Iran by a Wide Margin
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani won re-election by a wide margin.
♦ Accordning to reports, Rouhani won the re-election by a wide margin and secured a commanding lead of 57 percent.
About Iran
♦ Iran Capital: Tehran
♦ Iran Currency: Iranian Rial
♦ Official Language: Persian

Anurag Mehrotra takes over as the new MD of Ford India
American carmaker Ford has appointed Anurag Mehrotra as Managing Director for its Indian subsidiary.
♦ Mehrotra will be the youngest MD of Ford India. He is 44 years only.

Air Marshal PN Pradhan Appointed as Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff
Air Marshal PN Pradhan appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) (Operations).
Key Points:
i. He was closely associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer-135 and C-130 fleets in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
ii. He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014.
iii. The IDS comprises of Service Officers, Civilian Officers and Scientists who perform roles and functions allocated to them based on responsibilities of Integrated Defence Staff.
iv. PN Pradhan was commissioned as a pilot in Indian Air Force in 1981.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

First flight of HTT-40 prototype-2 successful
As per the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited the first flight of prototype-two of India’s indigenous basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40) was successful.
Key Points:
i.It is aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services.The flight took place at the HAL.
ii. HTT-40programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018.
iii.The company will manufacture three prototypes and two static test specimens.
iv. HTT-40 will replace Hindustan Piston Trainer (HPT) – 32.
v. The aircraft would be used for basic aerobatics, flight training, instrument flying and close-formation flights.
vi. It’s another major work will include navigation and night flying.

Haryana launches e-textbook portal for school students
Haryana government has launched e-textbook portal for school students.
Key Points:
i. Students can now download school books instantly from the e-textbook portal of the Haryana School Education Boar.
ii. As of now, 26 textbooks of classes IX to XII have been uploaded on the portal and these can be easily converted into audio files.
About Haryana                                                   Symbols of Haryana
♦ Capital: Chandigarh                                            ♦  Animal: Black buck
♦ CM: ManoharLalKhattar                                      ♦  Flower: Lotus
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki                          ♦ Tree: Peepal
♦ Largest City: Faridabad                                       ♦ Bird: Black Francolin






ENVIRONMENT

Climate change is turning Antarctica green
According to a new study it is found that there is a sharp increase in biological activity on the continent in the last 50 years.
Key Points:
i. Due to climate change the plant life on Antarctica is growing rapidly.
ii. Scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK tested five cores from three sites and found major biological changes had occurred over the past 50 years right across the Antarctic Peninsula.
iii. Temperature has been increasing from past half century and it has a severe effect on moss banks growing in the Antarctic Peninsula.
iv. If this continues the Antarctic Peninsula will be a much greener place in the future.
v. Temperature rises suggests that ecosystems will alter rapidly under future warming and leads to major changes in the biology and landscape of this iconic region.
vi. Plant life only exists on about 0.3 per cent of Antarctica, but the findings provide one way of measuring the extent and effects of warming on the continent.


SPORTS

Laxman wins All India Open Rapid FIDE Rating chess meet
R.R. Laxman of Integral Coach Factory won the All India Open Rapid World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rating Chess Tournament.
Key Points:
i. The All India Open Rapid World Chess Federation (FIDE) Rating Chess Tournament held at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra, Kolkata.
ii. He got 9.5 points defeating Mitrabha Guha who bagged 8.5 points.
iii. SomakPalit scored 7.5 points to secure the fifth place.
iv. Prantik Roy placed eighth in the tournament.


NECROLOGY

Chris Cornel, the renowned singer passed away
Chris Cornel the renowned American musician, singer and songwriter, has recently passed away at Michigan, United States. He was 52.
Key Point:
i. He was best known as the lead vocalist, primary songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Seattle rock band “Soundgarden”.
ii. He was also lead vocalist and songwriter for the group “Audioslave”.
Indian men’s team wins Compound gold in World Cup archery
The Indian Men’s team won Compound gold in the World Cup Archery. Indian Men’s team has defeated Columbia 226-221 in the archery World Cup stage 1 championships.
Key Points:
i. The World Cup Archery was held in Shanghai, China.
ii. India beat USA in the semifinal and Iran in the quarterfinals.
iii. Indian archery teams were comprised Abhishek Verma, Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh. 
iv. The Colombian team comprised Camilo Andres Cardona, Jose Carlos Ospina and Daniel Munoz





BOOKS & AUTHORS

Prime Minister Releases Book Series written by MS Swaminathan
The Prime Minister NarendraModi has released a book series written by the Agricultural Scientist Dr. M.S. Swaminathan.
Key Notes:
i. The series is titled – M.S. Swaminathan: The Quest for a world without hunger.
ii. Dr. M S Swaminathan is known as the Father of the Green Revolution in India.
About MS Swaminathan:
i. Swaminathan had achieved success in introducing and developing high-yielding varieties of wheat in India.
ii. He is the founder and Chairman of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai.
iii. In 1987, he was the first recipient of the World Food Prize, considered equal to a Nobel in the field of agriculture.
iv. He was honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhusan.
v. He has been named Commandeur of the Order of the Golden Ark of the Netherlands.
vi. He has received the Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership, the Ordre du Merite Agricole of France, and the Golden Heart Presidential Award of the Philippines.

President of India receives books ‘Jnan, a-Janan and Bijnan: Popper-erJnantatta’ and ‘Samudra Banijjer Prekshite Sthala Banijjya
The President of India Pranab Mukherjee receives books ‘Jnan, a-Janan and Bijnan: Popper-erJnantatta’ and ‘Samudra Banijjer Prekshite Sthala Banijjya, Bharat Mahasagar Anchal, 1500-1800’.
Key Notes:
i. The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee received the books Jnan, A-Janan and Bijnan: Popper-erJnantatta and Samudra Banijjer Prekshite SthalaBanijjya, Bharat Mahasagar Anchal, 1500-1800.
ii. He has received the books from Dr. Sushil Chaudhury and Dr. (Smt.) Mahasweta Chaudhury in Kolkata, West Bengal on 19th May 2017.
iii. These are researched monographs on the subjects that they have been written on.


IMPORTANT DAYS

World Metrology Day – May 20 2017
Metrology is the scientific study of measurement. World Metrology Day is an annual celebration to mark the signing of the Metre Convention on May 20, 1875, by representatives of 17 nations.
i. This Convention set the framework for global collaboration in the science of measurement and in its industrial, commercial and societal applications.
ii. Theme for World Metrology Day 2017 is“Measurements for transport”
iii. This theme was chosen because transport plays an instrumental role in the modern world. We rely on transport not only to commute, but also to procure food we eat, the clothes we wear, the goods we use and the raw materials from which goods are made.
iv. Doing so safely, efficiently and with minimal environmental impact requires an astonishing range of measurements.