Today Current Affairs 23rd May 2017

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Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application (SEVA) mobile app, developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers. SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect as well as the Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch. The consumer friendly mobile app helps in tracking of coal dispatch to 118 Power Plants through Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) of around 500 Million Tonnes besides, dispatch through Special Forward E-Auction and Bridge Linkage from more than 200 dispatch points spread over eight states of the country.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will jointly develop and launch the world's biggest and most expensive earth imaging satellite costing around $ 1.5 billion. The satellite has been named as Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). This is two frequency Radio Detection And Ranging (RADAR) it is an L-band 24 centimeter RADAR and S-band 13 centimeter. S - band is being built by ISRO and L-Band by NASA.

Federal Bank, in association with Geojit, has launched a new trading platform called “Selfie” for customers. The features of the Selfie Trading Platform are a uniform experience across multiple platforms and devices and an advanced charting platform that enables users to trade directly from charts, among others. It will give its users absolute control over their investments with timely research inputs to make sound investment decisions. 

The United Nations released a first draft nuclear ban treaty banning the possession and use of nuclear weapons. This treaty can get opposition from the countries the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel.  The draft was released in Geneva. The treaty confirms that use of nuclear weapons is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law.

Six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United States of America have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Riyadh to curb financing of terror organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Haqqani network, the Taliban. The MoU was signed between US and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the MoU, the signatory countries intend to identify, track and share information regarding terrorist financial networks and related activity of mutual concern, including related threats emanating from countries and terrorist organizations. The MoU signed to establish the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for half a dozen projects worth Rs. 993 crore related to the development of Kandla Port in the Kutch district, Gujarat. The projects include Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar convention center, 14th and16 cargo berths, Railway bridge at Sal junction. Deployment of two Mobile Harbour Cranes and Mechanization for the handling of fertilizers at Kandla Port.

According to data released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), India has become the second largest stainless steel producer in the world after China. The International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) is a non-profit research and development organization which was founded in 1996 and which serves as the focal point for the international stainless steel industry. India overtook Japan which was the second largest producer last year. National Steel Policy released by the Ministry of Steel boon to the industry which made an increase in exports of stainless steel from India to the world market especially Europe and Americas has established Indian producers capable of producing quality material.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to reconstruct oversight Committee to operationalise the banking ordinance which was recently cleared by the Union Cabinet to amend the Banking Regulation Act powers to Reserve Bank of India for effectively dealing with non-performing assets (NPAs) in the banking sector. The existing Oversight Committee was constituted by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA). The main aim is to clear the bad loans reached over Rs 8 lakh crores.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) signed a $ 630 million deal with the Indian State-owned aerospace and defense company Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). This deal was a part of the Make in India initiative, BEL will be used as the main contractor for the project. Israel's Barak 8 long-range surface-to-air missile system was successfully tested aboard an Indian Navy ship.

The Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) announced the launch of an artificial intelligence-based application 'SPOK'. SPOK can read, understand, categorize, prioritize and respond to customer emails sent to the private insurer. It is an insurance email bot, can read customer queries within milliseconds and respond to them. This automation initiative will enable the company to respond to user queries faster, more efficiently and consistently. 

Rohan Chakravarty an Indian Wildlife and environment cartoonist won World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) International President’s Award. The award ceremony was held recently in Manado, Indonesia. Chakravarty cartoons under the banner of Green Humour mainly emphasis on environmental issues honored with the award. The award is the top award given by WWF to recognize leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world.

Sweden won the Ice Hockey World Championship title for the 10th Time. They won the Canada team with a 2-1 goal. The win is Sweden's first in four tries against Canada.

Karnataka Bank Limited entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India for selling life insurance products. The bank signed the corporate agency agreement with LIC in Mangaluru, Karnataka. With this MoU.The bank provides the vast choice of life insurance products to its customers across all its 769 branches.

The State Government of Madhya Pradesh put an indefinite ban on the sand excavation in the Narmada River. This announcement has been made by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal.  “Save Narmada” a people’s movement through “Namami Narmada Yatra” to save Narmada river started by the government. Illegal sand mining is one of the serious law & order and environmental issues in several states of India.

India's R Vaishali won the women's title with eight points from nine rounds in the Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship in Chengdu, China. She defeated Padmini Rout, Odisha. Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her for winning gold in Twitter. The Asian Continental Blitz chess championship is hosted by China.