Today Current Affairs 4th May 2017

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) scientists designed a inflatable Green House that could be used one day by astronauts to grow fresh food and produce oxygen on Mars or Moon. The main aspect is 'bioregenerative life support system' that duplicates Earth's environment to be able to grow plants outside our planet. Currently, the scientists are conducting test on prototype lunar test to determine what type of plants and seeds should be taken along to make the system work.

Federation International Football Association (FIFA) world football rankings, the Indian national football has managed to secure a 100th spot and entered into the top 100 of FIFA rankings. This is the first time in 21 years . First time in 21 years that India has been ranked into top 100. Brazil ranks top in the FIFA's list.

The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the signing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Japan on Railway Safety. The MoC would provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest development and knowledge in the railway sector. Keyfacts of MoC Track safety  Latest technology related to railway track safety  Rolling stock safety.

India has successfully carried out a fresh user trial of Agni-II ballistic missile from a defence test facility in the Abdul Kalam Island off the coast of Odisha. The objective of the test was to re-establish the operational effectiveness of the weapon system. Agni-II missile is a nuclear-capable, surface-to-surface missile which forms a part of India’s strategic forces arsenal for nuclear deterrence with a range of over 2000 km. It can carry a payload of 1000kg. Agni-II weighs 17 tonnes and the range of the missile can be increased to 3000 km by reducing the payload. It can be fired from both rail and road mobile launchers.

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved important proposals relating to modifications in the 7th CPC (Central Pay Commission) recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits in the course of their implementation. Earlier, in June, 2016, the Cabinet approved implementation of the recommendations with an additional financial outgo of Rs 84,933 crore for 2016-17(including arrears for 2 months of 2015-16). The benefit of the proposed modifications will be calculated with the effect from 1 January 2016, the date of implementations of 7th CPC recommedations.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the restructuring of schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) under new central Scheme “SAMPADA” SAMPADA full form - Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters This scheme was approved for the period of 2016-20  with the 14th Finance Commission cycle. The objective of SAMPADA is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease agri-waste. SAMPADA with an allocation of Rs. 6,000 crore is expected to leverage investment of Rs. 31,400 crore, handling of 334 lakh MT agro-produce valuing Rs. 1,04,125 crore, benefit 20 lakh farmers and generate 5,30,500 direct/ indirect employment in the country by the year 2019-20. Inclusions under SAMPADA Intergrated cold chain and Value Addition Infrastructure. Infrastructure for Agro processing clustures. Creation of Backward and Forward linkages Food Safety and Quality Assurance Infrastructure Expansion of Food processing & Preservation capacities.

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced the Cleanest Cities in the Country under Swachh Survekshan Survey 2017 as a part of the scheme - Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Indore has been adjudged as the cleanest city in India while Gonda in Uttar Pradesh has been ranked as the dirtiest city among surveyed. In total, 434 cities and towns with a population of one lakh and above were surveyed. Gujarat is cleanest state with 12 cities of top 50 cities.

China-sponsored Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has recently approved USD 160 million loan for a power project in Andhra Pradesh.  The objective of the project to strengthen the power transmission and distribution system in Andhra Pradesh. It is the first credit from the bank for an Indian project. The ‘24x7 Power for All’ project is part of Government of India’s ‘Power for All programme’ launched in 2014. Andhra Pradesh is one of the first states selected for the roll out of the programme.

Chhattisgarh auctions India’s most expensive limestone block .The bid received 96.15% of IBM (Indian Bureau of Mines) prices. Kesla-II block is situated in the Tilda Tehsil of Raipur district of Chhattisgarh and covers over 357 hectares of area with an average grade of 43% CaO.  The previous national record was held by Rajasthan at 67.94 percent of IBM prices for its limestone block of Nagaur District.

The Union cabinet cleared ordinance to amend Banking Regulation Act for the issue of Non Performing Assets(NPA) in the banking system. The Act will add more powers to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to monitor other bank bad loans to solve NPA crisis. Currently Public sector banks are burden with bad loans around 6 crores.

The Union Cabinet approved for National Steel Policy (NSP) 2017 to encourage the steel sector. The policy aims to enhance domestic steel consumption and transform Indian steel industry into a technologically advanced and globally competitive steel industry. This new policy aspires to achieve 300 million tonnes of steel making capacity by 2030. India ranks third largest producer of steel globally.

Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated two exhibitions namely 'The Highway Saga: Past Present and Future' and 'Safe Road and Inter-State Highways Transforming India (SRISHTI) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. The exhibitions are part of the three-day India Integrated Transport and Logistics Summit (IITLS) being organized by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways from 3rd to 5th of May, 2017. The Highway Saga is an exhibition depicting the evolution of road transport in India.

The Union Cabinet has granted international airport status for the Vijayawada Airport.The approval was given as per provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The airport is currently undergoing infrastructural upgradations and improvement in facilities for international operations. The upgradation works are being carried out by the Airports Authority of India.

The HRD Ministry appointed Braj Bihari Kumar as the new chairman of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR).  He has been appointed for a term of three years. Kumar replaces S.K Thorat  Braj Bihari Kumar is an editor of quarterly journals Dialogue and Chintan Srijan.

China plans to launch its own online encyclopaedia next year rivalling Wikipedia and Britain’s Encyclopaedia Britannica. The main objective of this project is to guide public thought.

President Pranab Mukherjee presented away the 64th National Film Awards on 104th anniversary of Indian cinema .It is held in New Delhi. Here is the list of Awards winners Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment - Sathamanam Bhavathi ; Best Actor - Akhay Kumar (Rustom); Best Actress - Surabhi Lakshmi (Minnaminungu); Best Direction - Rajesh (Ventilator); Best stunt choreography - Peter Hein (Pulimurugan) ; Best Children’s Film - Dhanak (Hindi); Best Film on social issue - Pink; Best Supporting Actress - Zaira Wasim (Dangal) Best Child Artist - Adhish Praveen (Kunju Daivam), Saj (Noor Islam), Manohara (Railway Children); Best Male Playback Singer - Sundara Iyer (Joker); Best Female Playback Singer - Thume jaake; Best Screenplay (original) - Syam Pushkaran (Maheshinte Prathikaram); Best Screenplay (adapted) - Sanjay Krishnaji patel (Dashakriya); Best Editing - Rameshwar Ventilator; Sound designer - Jayadevan (Kaadu Pookunna Neram); Best production design - 24; Best Costume Designer - Sachin (Marathi film); Best Environmental film including agriculture - The Tiger who crossed the line; Best Make-up Artist - MK Ramakrishna; Best Music Direction - Babu Padmanabha (Kannada Lama); Special Mention - Kadvi Hawa Mukthi bhava (Hindi); Special Jury award for Mohanlal for Pulimurugan, Janatha Garage and Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol;