Current Affairs 17th May 2017 - Banking, SSC, UPSC Affairs

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure an adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through a reverse auction. The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner. Coal linkage policy is designated by the Union Government for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants.

Arunachal Pradesh's Anshu Jamsenpa became the first Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest for the fourth time. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal were the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest. She also plans to scale Mount Everest again in this season to create a new record for becoming the first woman to do twice.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani topped the Forbes list of Global Game Changers. Ambani has been ranked at the top for his efforts to bring the internet to India’s masses. These business leaders who are known to transform their industries and effect changes to the lives of billions of people around the globe.

Dr. Purnima Devi Barman, wildlife biologist and conservationist of Assam, nominated for the prestigious Whitley Awards also known as the Green Oscars. The Whitley Awards are made annually by the Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) to recognise and celebrate effective national and regional conservation leaders across the globe. Barman has been nominated from among 166 researchers from 66 countries for this award.

An Earth-Like Planet called Proxima B orbiting the closest neighbouring Star, Proxima Centauri. It is about 4.2 light years (25 trillion miles) away from Earth likely to have liquid water and also support alien life. Scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK have undertaken new research to explore the potential climate of the planet. The study has been published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is celebrated annually on 17 May. The theme for WTISD-2017 is "Big Data for Big Impact".  The Big Data for development aims to explore to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context. The purpose of WTISD is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other Information and Communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

India is placed in the second spot in the renewable energy country attractiveness index by EY (formerly Ernst & Young). In an annual ranking of the top 40 renewable energy markets worldwide China was ranked at the top, followed by India. The country has added more than 10GigaWatt (GW) of solar capacity in the last three years – starting from a low base of 2.6 GW in 2014. This growth is possible only by the ambitious targets of Central Government to build 175 GW in renewable energy generation by 2022 and renewable energy account for 40 per cent of installed capacity by 2040.

Teams of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) planned to inspect the excavation being carried out at an archaeological site in Haryana's Fatehabad district. Archaeologists recovered important facts pre-dating the Harappan Civilisation from the site, located in village Kunal in Fatehabad district.  NASA and ISRO inspection are likely to be done around October this year.

The Union Minister of Finance, Shri Arun Jaitley, officially launched the Portal of Operation Clean Money in New Delhi. Aim:- To tab dishonest citizens hiding their income to the authorities and Government" The salient features of the Operation Clean Money Portal are Providing comprehensive information at one place consisting of Step by Step Guides for creating a tax compliant society and Enabling Transparent Tax Administration by sharing status reports. There has been 18 lakh people who have been identified by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) after demonetisation with respect to irregularities in tax payment and income band.

Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu built a satellite that fits into a 4-centimetre cube and weighs 64 grams. The satellite ‘KalamSat’, named after India's nuclear scientist and former President, APJ Abdul Kalam. It was made using reinforced carbon fibre polymer and weighs lesser than a smartphone's weight. It is the first one to be manufactured via 3D printing and got selected through a competition named 'Cubes in Space', which was sponsored jointly by NASA and 'I Doodle Learning'. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) planned to launch the rocket on June 21.

Mt Lhotse recorded its first summit in 3 years. Indian climber Debasish Biswas and a woman climber from New Zealand were the first to successfully climb Mt Lhotse. After the destruction caused by an avalanche above the icefall section in 2014 and the devastating earthquakes in 2015, the climbers could not summit Mt Lhotse in the past 3 years. Mt Lhotse is the fourth highest mountain in the world. The first three highest mountain ranges are Mt Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga.

Ovais Sarmad is an Indian national appointed by the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the post of Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He is currently the Chief of Staff to the Director-General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). His appointment is mainly aimed to stabilise greenhouse emission and slow down climate change.

Aravind Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering at IIT Hyderabad awarded the prestigious Indian National Science Academy (INSA) medal in the Young Scientist category for 2017. His research work was published in the journal of NANOSCALE (Impact factor 7.76) and ACS NANO LETTERS (Impact Factor: 13.78) which made him achieve the award. The INSA Young Scientist Medal award carries a bronze medal and a cash prize of Rs.25,000.

The Uttar Pradesh legislature passed the UP Goods and Service Tax (GST) Bill 2017. Four key GST legislations - the Central GST Act, the Integrated GST Act, the GST (Compensation to States) Act and the Union Territory GST Act - were passed by Parliament in its last session. The four legislations have since got the president's approval. The GST bill is the result of the Narendra Modi Government's push towards wider economic reforms.

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