Daily Current Affairs 17th May, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 17th May, 2017


Indian bags key post in UNFCCC

  • Ovais Sarmad, a senior Indian official, has been appointed as the deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), under which the landmark Paris agreement was negotiated and adopted..
  • He was appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

India’s ‘Ujala’ to light up homes in the United Kingdom

  • India has taken a new initiative to supply cheap LED bulbs for the citizens of London in the United Kingdom. Taking this process to the final stages India will launch ‘UJALA’ scheme in the United Kingdom.
  • UJALA is globally one of the largest efficiency programs and being run by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, an energy services company promoted by Indian state-run power majors.

Outcomes of OBOR Summit

  • Belt and Road Forum (BRF) is a gathering of world leaders from across the globe, organized by China to showcase its plans to build a network of trade routes under the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative.
  • As of now, 68 countries and international organisations have signed belt and road agreements with China. China has stated that the Belt and Road initiative is an open and inclusive platform to explore and co-develop the China-led blueprint of reviving the Silk Road.
  • India, however, has boycotted the summit owing to sovereignty concerns related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Unlike India, none of the other countries have sovereignty related issues with OBOR initiative.


  • The two-day Belt and Road Forum identified and agreed on 270 deliverable goals of Belt and Road Initiative.
  • The Forum resulted in signing of a joint communique by 30 heads of state that promised to implement plans for cooperation in trade and infrastructure programs across Asia, Europe and Africa.
  • However, the forum ended with only promises of joint action by participating countries and did not result in establishment of an institutional framework for implementing the planned construction program.
  • The Signatories to the joint communique also pledged their support for promoting a rules-based, open and multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core. China has assured the participating countries that it would not attempt to push a country’s political ideologies and systems onto another country during the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • China has taken the first step to institutionalise the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) by announcing that the next edition of the BRF would be held in Beijing in 2019 indicating that China will continue to control the Belt and Road Initiative.


Andhra Pradesh ropes in Singapore firms to develop start-up area in Amaravati

  • Singapore-based Ascendas-Singbridge Pvt Ltd and Sembcorp Development Ltd were awarded a contract by the Andhra Pradesh government to act as the master developer for a start-up area in the capital city of Amaravati.
  • For the speedy implementation of the project, a high-level joint implementation steering committee (JISC) will also be formed.
  • The JISC will be co-chaired by the AP CM chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Minister of trade and industry of Singapore govt S.Iswaran.

IIEST creates India’s first smart grid project

  • has successfully created the country’s firIIEST st smart grid project, which will generate power from renewable sources of energy.
  • The project will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee.
  • The smart grid will be synchronized to generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products. It is the first of its kind in the country

India ranked second in renewable energy attractiveness index

  • India has moved up to the second spot from third position in this year’s (2017) ‘Renewable energy country attractiveness index‘ released by EY (Earnest and Young). ii. China, which has been ranked first in the index and India have surpassed the US, which fell for the first time since 2015 to third place in the ranking of top 40 countries.

Union Cabinet Approves Proposal to Build 10 Atomic Reactors

  • The Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal allowing for the construction of 10 indigenous Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
  • The reactors will have a capacity of 700 MW. These reactors will add 7000 MW capacity and will ramp up nuclear power generation in the country.


India working with World Gold Council to create a spot exchange

  • The World Gold Council is working with the Indian government on plans to create a local physical spot-gold exchange that may start up as soon as next year. this is expected to bring more order and structure to the market.
  • The plans still face many hurdles including that the state-level rather than central government has responsibility for gold-related matters in India. Increased infrastructure such as gold vaults and reliable receipts for metal are also needed.

About World Gold Council:

  • The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. It works across all parts of the industry, from gold mining to investment, and their aim is to stimulate and sustain demand for gold.
  • The World Gold Council is an association whose members comprise the world’s leading gold mining companies. It helps to support its members to mine in a responsible way and developed the Conflict Free Gold Standard.
  • Headquartered in the UK, they have offices in India, China, Singapore, Japan and the United States.

India’s GDP Growth Forecast for 2017 Revised Downward by UN May

  • In the report titled, World Economic Situation and Prospects, the UN has projected a 7.3
  • growth for India in 2017.
  • Earlier in the report’s January edition, UN had forecasted a growth of 7.7{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} for the year.
  • The revised report also has predicted an impressive 7.9{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} GDP growth for the year 2018 which is an increase from its January estimate of 7.6{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}.

IT Department Launches Operation Clean Money

  • Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money to investigate tax evaders. As a part of the operation, the government has launched a website on ‘Operation Clean Money’ operation.
  • The Operation Clean Money’ portal has been designed by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). Initial phase of the operation involves identification of around 18 lakh persons who have made large deposits or purchases between 9th November to 30th December 2016, which do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.

Tata Group Named Country’s Most Valuable Brand in Brand Finance List

  • Brand finance in its 2017 report that lists India’s 100 most valuable brands has named Tata Group as the most valuable brand in India at an estimated brand value of $13.1 billion.
  • Brand Finance is a global brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm.
  • Tata Group has managed to top the list despite its brand value declining 4{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} from $13.7 billion in 2016. As per the report, the total brand value of India’s top 100 brands have surged 15{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} in 2017 compared to the global average of 11{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769}.
  • Overall 68 of India’s 100 most valuable brands have registered growth in value this year.
  • Telecom operator Airtel at an estimated valuation of $7.7 billion has been ranked second in the list followed by Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) with $6.8 billion.
  • IT firm Infosys and State Bank of India have been ranked fourth and fifth in the list with an estimated value of $6.2 billion and $5.5 billion respectively
  • Backed by the addition of 35 new routes and increase in operations in the existing route, Indigo Airlines  jumped from No. 95 in 2016 to No. 62 in 2017 in the Brand Finance list.


Admiral Sunil Lanba attends international maritime review in Singapore

  • Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba attended Singapore’s first International Maritime Review (IMR) held at the country’s prime Changi Naval Base.
  • Lanba attended the review along with navy ships INS Sahyadri and INS Kamorta.
  • The INS Sahyadri was part of the land review INS Kamorta was part of the sea review.


State Butterfly:Karnataka

  • The Southern Bird Wing has been designated as the ‘State butterfly’ of Karnataka. It is the largest butterfly in India and is endemic to south India, particularly Karnataka.
  • Karnataka is second state in the country to adopt a state butterfly. Maharashtra had chosen the Blue Moron in 2015.
  • The state butterfly tag does not come with additional protection.

Henderson island

  • Henderson island, located in south Pacific Ocean, has been classified as the most polluted place on the earth by Tasmania’s Institute for Marine and Aquatic Studies. The island contained 37.7 million pieces of debris.
  • The island is a world heritage site. It lies between Chile and New Zealand.
  • It is one of the world’s last two raised coral atolls.

India’s first technological park for ornamental fishery at Chennai

  • India’s first Aquatic Rainbow Technology Park (ARTP) in Chennai, an ultra modern exclusive facility for ornamental fish equipped with multi-species hatchery and live feed culture units, will become operational in the next three months, fulfilling a major requirement of the industry for mass production of high-value aquarium fish.
  • The facility is being developed by Fisheries College and Research Institute (FCRI), Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, the second largest exporter of ornamental fish after West Bengal.
  • After the completion, it will be handed over to ornamental fish breeders and farmers on lease for three years.

SpaceX launches Inmarsat communications satellite

  • The USA based SpaceX has launched a communications satellite for Inmarsat, marking its first launch for the London-based mobile broadband company.
  • The Inmarsat-5 F4 satellite, built by Boeing, blasted off atop Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Proxima B likely to have Water and Support Alien Life

  • An Earth Like Planet called Proxima B orbiting the closest neighboring Star, Proxima Centauri, which is about 4.2 light years away is expected to have liquid water and the potential to support alien life.
  • The planet Proxima B  was discovered in the last year.


Forbes Global Game Changers List: Mukesh Ambani Tops the List

  • Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has topped the Forbes list of ‘Global Game Changers’. Mukesh Ambani has been ranked at the top for his efforts to bring the internet to India’s masses.
  • This is Forbes’ second annual Global Game Changers list and includes 25 “intrepid business leaders” who are known to transform their industries and effect changes to the lives of billions of people around the globe.
  • The top 10 spots in the list has been occupied by: Mukesh Ambani of India (1st) , Ziv Aviram, Amnon Shashua of Israel (2nd),  Stewart Butterfield of United States (3rd), John and Patrick Collison of United States (4th), James Dyson of United Kingdom (5th), Scott Farquhar, Mike Cannon-Brookes of Australia (6th), Larry Fink of United States (7th), Ken Frazier of United States (8th), Taavet Hinrikus, Kristo Käärmann of United Kingdom (9th), Robert Katz of United States (10th).
  • The list overall has business leaders listed from eight different countries as well as six immigrants to the U.S. The Youngest person to be featured in the list is Stripe co-founders John and Patrick Collison, 26 and 28, as well as the Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel, 26.
  • The oldest person to feature on the list is Christo Wiese, 75, who is credited for creating Africa’s largest retail empire.

Anshu Jamsenpa: First Indian Women to scale Mount Everest Four

  • Anshu Jamsenpa, a native of Bomdila in Arunachal Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest for the fourth time.
  • Anshu Jamsenpa who is a mother of two children had already had scaled Mount Everest twice in a season that too taking only a gap of 10 days between the two climbs.
  • She scaled the highest peak twice in May 2011. She again conquered the peak on May 18, 2013.


ISRO, NASA to jointly inspect ‘oldest civilization’ site in Haryana

  • Teams of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) would inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana’s Fatehabad district to verify claims of it being the oldest civilization in the world.
  • Archaeologists have recovered artifacts pre-dating the Harappan Civilisation from the site, located in village Kunal in Fatehabad district.







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