Daily Current Affairs Updates – 18th May 2017

 Daily Current Affairs Update
Daily Current Affairs Updates –  18th May 2017:
Daily Current affairs News Updates about the National and International events were listed here. Candidates those who are preparing for IBPS/SBI/PO/Clerk exam and all other competitive exams can use this.

NITI Aayog Conducts First Samavesh Meeting
NITI Aayog has conducted the first Samavesh meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners under the co-chairmanship of Amitabh Kant, CEO and Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog. The meeting was also attended by representatives of four States- Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Cabinet Minister Inaugurated 15th National Meeting for Persons with Disabilities
Thawar Chand Gehlot, the Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment inaugurated the 15th National meeting of the State Commissioners for Persons with Disabilities (PwD) on 17 May 2017.The two-days meet aims to review the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of rights and Full Participation) Act-1995 and formulate a strategy for its more effective implementation.

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.
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.

State : Andhra Pradesh
Capital : Amaravati
Chief minister : N Chandrababu Naidu
Governor : E. S. L. Narasimhan.
Indian Army gets its First Artillery Gun in 30 Years
Nearly after 30 years after the induction of Bofors howitzers, Indian Army will get its first artillery guns called M777 from BAE Systems. Swedish Bofors guns were inducted in late 1980s after which Army has not inducted any modern artillery guns. The two M777s has arrived in New Delhi and will be tested at the Pokhran field firing range in Rajasthan. The two M777 guns will be used for compilation of firing tables. Indian Army has plans to equip 169 regiments with 3,503 guns by 2020.

Cabinet has approved Amendment of the Ancient Monuments and Remains Act,1958
The Union Cabinet on 17 May 2017 approved the introduction of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Remains (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament.The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following amendments to make way for certain constructions limited strictly to public works and projects essential to the public within the prohibited area:
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.
Organisation : Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
Headquarters: Bengaluru
Director: A. S. Kiran Kumar
CCEA gives Approval to New Coal Linkage Policy
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction. The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.
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.

Union Cabinet approves pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program
The Union Cabinet, presided by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 17 May 2017 gave ex-post facto approval to Pan-India implementation of Maternity Benefit Program.The Program has been extended to all districts of the country with effect from 1 January 2017.The Maternity Benefit Program will grant compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentives so that the women can take adequate rest before and after delivery and not be deprived of proper nutrition.
IIEST creates India’s first smart grid project
IIEST has successfully created the country’s first 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.
Shipping Ministry signs MoU on ‘Sagarmala project’ in collaboration with DDU- GKY
The Ministries of Shipping and Rural Development has signed an MoU on ‘Sagarmala project’ in collaboration with Deen Dayal Upadhyay- Gramin Kaushalya Yojna (DDU- GKY) in New Delhi. DDU-GKY is under implementation in 28 states and has over 654 training centres in 522 projects in partnership with training partners. So far, 54 lakh persons have been given skill training and of them 2.31 lakh got employed.
BSNL Signs MoU with Facebook and MobiKwik
BSNL has inked agreements with Facebook and MobiKwik in order to popularize the internet and its value added services among its customers. Further, BSNL has also signed a third MoU with Disney Land India to offer premium online gaming services to its mobile customers. The series of MoUs signed by BSNL comes at the backdrop of a stiff competition faced by BSNL from private telecom companies like Airtel and Reliance Jio.
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.
Cabinet approves pharma mission to develop bio pharmaceuticals
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for Industry-Academia Collaborative Mission for accelerating discovery and research to early development for biopharmaceuticals. The Mission will be implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, a Public Sector Undertaking of Department of Biotechnology.
Amnesty International launches new global campaign ‘Brave’

Amnesty International (AI) has launched a new global campaign ‘Brave’ to fight against what it said was a growing wave of attacks against those defending human rights. The new Brave campaign calls on states to recognise the legitimate work of those working to stand up for the inherent dignity and equal rights of all people, and to ensure their freedom and safety under the United Nations declaration adopted in 1998.
Australian state considers assisted suicide for terminally ill patients
Victoria, a state of Australia, is considering a legislation that will legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill patients. Patients suffering from ailments like Motor Neurone Disease (MND), Parkinson’s disease or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) could be eligible for the assisted death. However, Patients suffering from dementia would not be able to request an assisted death due as they don’t have the ability to make decisions.
Headquarters of IPHRC of OIC inaugurated in Saudi Arabia
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir and Secretary General of OIC Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen jointly inaugurated the headquarters of Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.The headquarters will help promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Muslim world through provision of objective and neutral views on many human rights issues.
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.

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% from $13.7 billion in 2016. As per the report, the total brand value of India’s top 100 brands have surged 15% in 2017 compared to the global average of 11%. Overall 68 of India’s 100 most valuable brands have registered growth in value this year.
2 Indian activists wins Green Oscars
Two Indian activists have won the annual Whitley Awards, popularly known as the ‘Green Oscars’, for their works in the field of animal and bird conservation in India. Sanjay Gubbi, won the award for his work to protect Karnataka’s tiger corridors, and Purnima Barman for creating an all-female network to save the Greater Adjutant stork, known in India as Hargila, and its wetland habitat in Assam. The two Indians are among six global winners of the award shortlisted from 166 entries. Each of the winners will receive 35,000 pounds prize money in project funding over one year.
David Letterman wins Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour
David Letterman, who was the longest-running host of late-night TV shows in the United States, was on 17 May 2017 awarded with the Mark Twain Prize 2017 for American humour.With this, Letterman became the 20th humorist to receive the prize. He is also a past recipient of Kennedy Centre Honours for his influence on American culture.
Shrinivas Kulkarni wins Dan David prize in field of astronomy
Indian scientist Shrinivas Kulkarni has won the prestigious Dan David prize for his contribution in the field of astronomy. The honour will be conferred at a festive awards ceremony in Tel Avis, Isreal on Sunday. Dan David prizes of one-million dollar each are given every year in the categories of “Past”, “Present” and “Future” to people around the world who have made outstanding contributions to humanity in the sciences, humanities, or through their work in civil society.

Japanese tennis player Mitsuhashi gets life ban for match-fixing
According to The Tennis Integrity Unit, Japanese Junn Mitsuhashi (27-year) has been banned for life following an investigation into match-fixing. He has also been fined USD 50,000 after being found to have made corrupt approaches to other players and to have placed bets on matches. Mitsuhashi asked Joshua Chetty to make a corrupt approach to a fellow player during an ITF Futures tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Chetty received a lifetime ban last September.

ICC hikes prize money for Champions Trophy 2017
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has hiked the prize money of upcoming Champions Trophy 2017 (8th edition) carries a total prize money of USD 4.5 million. The winner of the tournament will get a cheque of USD 2.2 million. The runner-up of the tournament will get a cheque of USD 1.1 million, while the other two semi-finalists will get USD 450000 each. Teams finishing third in each group will take home USD 90000 each, while the teams finishing last in each group will get USD 60000 each.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave Passes Away
Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave has passed away. He was 60. Anil Madhav Dave was born in Badnagar of Madhya Pradesh on July 6, 1956. He is a Member of Parliament representing Madhya Pradesh. Dave was first elected to Rajya Sabha in 2009. Last year, he was sworn in as a minister with independent charge of environment, forest and climate change. He was very passionate on implementing environmental projects including conservation of the Narmada river. He had also founded an organisation called ‘Narmada Samagra’ for conservation of Narmada.

Veteran actress Reema Lagoo passes away

Veteran actress Reema Lagoo died on 18 May 2017 at Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai. She reportedly suffered a massive cardiac arrest. She was 59. Lagoo who appeared in several Hindi and Marathi films also acted in numerous television shows like Tu Tu Main Main and Shrimaan Shrimati.

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