Today Current Affairs 20th May 2017

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Hassan Rouhani re-elected as the President of Iran. He was elected as President for his first term in 2013. He won his second term by presenting himself as the candidate of change and social freedoms that ended many sanctions and a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme. He had spent 16 years as secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, which is Iran’s top security post.

World Metrology Day is celebrated on May 20 globally every year. The theme for World Metrology Day 2017 is Measurements for transport. World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 by representatives of seventeen nations.

India along with countries like Argentina, Burkina-Faso, Chad, France, Ivory Coast, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda and Yemen has jointly commissioned a study to define and structure a Common Risk Mitigation Mechanism (CRMM) for solar power generation projects in solar-rich countries. The study is aimed at a reduction in the cost of finance for renewable energy and the overall price of electricity.  The study investment monitored by Terrawatt Initiative (TWI), the World Bank Group, the Currency Exchange Fund (TCX), the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and also the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

Japan's cabinet approved a bill that would allow Emperor Akihito to resign paving the way for the first resignation by a Japanese emperor in nearly two centuries. Resignation must take place within three years of the bill becoming law. In August 2016, due to health issues, he handed over his crown to his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito. But current Japanese law has no provision for resignation, thus requiring politicians to craft legislation to make it possible.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh awarded the 2014 Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman A. S. Kiran Kumar. The award, announced by a jury headed by Vice-President Hamid Ansari in 2014, consists of a trophy, a cash prize of Rs 1 crore and a citation. The Prize was awarded to ISRO in recognition of its path-breaking achievements culminating in the Mars orbiter mission and its significant contributions in strengthening international cooperation in peaceful use of outer space.

The Indian Men’s compound archery team Abhishek Verma, Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh won compound gold at World Cup stage 1 championships held in Shanghai, China. They defeated Colombia team to achieve the gold. India beat the United States of America (USA) in the semifinal and Iran in the quarterfinals.

Air Marshal PN Pradhan appointed as the Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) (Operations). He was closely associated with the induction and operationalisation of Embraer-135 and C-130 fleets in the Indian Air Force (IAF). He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2014.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had constituted a committee to prepare guidelines for de-siltation of Ganga River last year. The four-member committee is headed by Madhav Chitale includes Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, Director Mukesh Sinha. The committee recommended a series of measures that includes the creation of a sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga and establishment of a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget.  The committee suggested good agricultural practices, river bank anti-erosion works and reclamation of adjoining lakes along the river. The committee also favours de-silting of adjoining lakes to increase their storage capacities.

Union Power minister Piyush Goyal announced that the rural electrification will provide every citizen affordable adequate electricity by 2022. Smart Power meters will be installed soon in 100% smart metering. The Minister of Power started functioning independently with the effect from 2 July 1992. Earlier 'Power Minister' was known as the Minister of Energy sources.

North Korea and Russia have started first ever 'passenger ferry service' to develop links and boost economic co-operation without being affected by United Nations sanctions. A ferry is a merchant vessel used to carry passengers (sometimes vehicles and cargo) across a body of water. Ferry service is launched by a north Korean passenger Ferry Docking in Russia's port city of Vladivostok.  The vessel, called the Man Gyong Bong, will sail once a week to the port city and will also carry cargo.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a two-part book series written by the eminent agricultural scientist Dr M.S. Swaminathan. The book series is titled as M.S. Swaminathan: The Quest for a world without hunger. Dr. M S Swaminathan is known as the Father of the Green Revolution in India.