Daily Current Affairs 8th May, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 8th May, 2017

INTERNATIONAL

India elected as President of UN-Habitat

  • India has been unanimously elected as the President of the UN-Habitat. UN-Habitat, an organ of the United Nations’ Organisation (UNO) reports to the United Nations General Assembly. UN-Habitat  promotes socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements across the world.
  • India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after a gap of 10 years.
  • This is only the third time that India has been elected as the President of UN-Habitat after 2007 and 1988. The UN-Habitat was established in 1978.
  • The Governing Council of UN-Habitat is an inter-governmental policy making and decision making body that aims to promote integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among countries over the issue of human settlement.
  • Subsequent to the election, Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation  M.Venkaiah Naidu will preside over the deliberations of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat for the next two years. Accordingly he will chair the 26th Meeting of 58 member Governing Council of UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The theme of the meeting  is “Opportunities for effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda” He will also chair the Bureau Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Ministers’ Conference on Housing and Urban Development in Nairobi.
  • The New Urban Agenda which was adopted by the world community at Quito, Ecuador would focus on inclusive, sustainable and adequate housing for a better future and sustainable urbanization and integrated human settlements.

French Election: Emmanuel Macron elected as President of France

  • Thirty-nine-year-old Emmanuel Macron has been elected as the president of France. He has become the youngest President and occupant of the Élysée Palace.
  • He is also the first President of France outside of that country’s two traditional main parties. Macron defeated Marine Le Pen, his far-right opponent by securing about 19.3 million votes, while Ms Le Pen secured about 10.4 million.
  • With the victory, Macron is poised to become one of Europe’s most powerful leaders. Macron has a highly promising agenda of political and economic reform for France and the European Union. Unlike his opponent Marine Le Pen, who threatened to pull out of the European Union, Macron holds a business-friendly vision of European integration.
  • This has brought huge relief to the European Union nations who feared that France may follow Britain’s steps in exiting the EU.

Japan pitches for Chabahar port

  • Japan has shown interest in collaborating with India on projects in Asia and Africa as a counter to China’s Belt and Road initiative (B&RI). Categorically, it has shown interest in Chabahar port development.

DEFENCE

CRPF Command Shifted from Kolkata to Chhattisgarh

  • The strategic anti-Naxal operations command headquarters of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been shifted back from Kolkata to Raipur.
  • In 2010, the central zone command headquarters was shifted from Raipur to Kolkata owing to logistics and connectivity issues.
  • The recent decision comes at the backdrop of ambush in Sukma district that killed 37 jawans of the paramilitary force.
  • The central zone command headquarters was raised on August 7, 2009, to carry out the deployment of troops to the States affected by Left Wing Extremism such as West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH

Facebook Launches ‘Express Wi-Fi’ in India

  • Facebook has launched its ‘Express Wi-Fi’ commercially in India and the service is now available via 700 hotspots across four states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.
  • For the expansion of service, Facebook has announced a partnership with Bharti Airtel for setting up an additional 20,000 hotspots covering millions of Indians over the next few months.

Scientists use satellites to count endangered birds from space

  • Scientists have started counting individual Northern Royal Albatrosses from space, the first time ever that the global population of a species has been assessed from orbit.
  • Using the highest-resolution satellite images available, scientists from Britain and New Zealand are calculating the number of the endangered albatrosses, which breed on New Zealand’s remote and virtually inaccessible Chatham Islands.
  • The study used the DigitalGlobe WorldView-3 satellite, which can observe objects as small as 30 cm across, to locate and count the birds.

India’s First Bio Refinery Plant inaugurated in Pune

  • Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated India’s First Integrated Bio‐refinery for Renewable Fuels & Chemicals for producing ethanol from a variety of biomass. The plant is situated at Rahu in Pune district of Maharashtra.
  • The demonstration plant has been built by Praj industries.
  • The inaugurated Bio‐refinery plant is capable of producing one million litres of ethanol per annum by processing a variety of biomass like rice and wheat straw, cotton stalk, bagasse, cane trash, corn cobs  & stover with superior product yields. In 2015, the Government has asked Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to target 10 {be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} blending of ethanol in as many States as possible.
  • The fuel doping programme that required blending of 5{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} ethanol had started in November 2012. It was notified under the Motor Spirits Act on January 2, 2013.
  • The Government has also allowed the OMCs to procure ethanol produced from other non-food feedstocks, like cellulosic and lignocellulosic materials including petrochemical route. Significance Biofuel is cost‐effective and pollution‐
  • Ethanol blending is the practice of blending petrol with ethanol. Globally many countries including India, have resorted to ethanol blending to reduce vehicle exhaust emissions
  • The inauguration of the refinery paves the way for stepping up 20{be19e8fcc7081f751eba9e03bd22e904e5cf3e86733381e655a03b1ab7839769} ethanol blending program and can reduce the import burden of crude petroleum.

EVENTS

India organized festival in Egypt to mark Tagore’s birth anniversary

  • India has organized a cultural festival in Egypt to mark the 156th birth anniversary of the famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
  • The Tagore festival is being organized by the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, the cultural wing of the Indian Embassy in Cairo which is conclude on May 12 with ‘Rituranga -Play of Seasons’ and will be performed by members of the Indian community at the Hanager Theatre.
  • Rabindranath Tagore received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. He was the first non-European to win this prestigious award, in recognition for his collection of poems, ‘Gitanjali’.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Red Cross Day: 8th May

  • World Red Cross Day is observed on May 8 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross as well as the founder of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  • The theme for this year (2017) is “Less Known Red Cross Stories”

About Red Cross

  • Founded -1863 (ICRC); 1919 (IFRC) (idea was in 1859)
  • Founder -Henry Dunant, Gustave Moynier
  • Type -Non-governmental organization, Non-profit organization
  • Focus -Humanitarian
  • Location -Geneva, Switzerland
  • Area served -Worldwide
  • Method -Aid

AWARDS AND HONOURS

Hollywood Actor Emma Watson bags first ever ‘genderless’ award

  • Hollywood actor Emma Watson has received the first-ever Genderless Acting Award for the Best Actor category at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.
  • This is the first ever genderless award that doesn’t separate nominees based on their sex. The 2017 edition of the MTV Movie & TV Awards were held on May 7, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. It was the 26th edition of the awards.
  • The MTV Movie & TV Awards is a film and television awards presented annually to winners decided online by the general public.

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