Daily Current Affairs - 24th May 2017

World's largest aircraft Airlander 10 completes test flight

  • The world's largest aircraft billed Airlander 10 has successfully completed a test flight, bringing the massive helium-filled airship one step closer to commercial use.
  • The hybrid aircraft combines technology from airplanes, helicopters and airships. It is designed to fly at altitudes of 6,100 meters for up to five days, with a length of 92 metres, it is the largest aircraft currently flying.

22 die in Manchester attack, IS claims responsibility

  • At least 22 people, including children were killed and 59 injured in a suicide attack in the northern English city of Manchester. One person has been arrested in connection with the attack. A 22-year-old British man whose parents had emigrated from Libya was identified as the bomber.
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack via social media.
  • The bombing at the close of a pop concert at the popular Manchester Arena is the country’s deadliest terror attack since 2005, when 52 people were killed and several hundreds injured in a series of bomb blasts in central London.

Air India to auction its properties as part of asset monetisation plan

  • Air India has decided to auction seven of its properties, as a part of its asset monetisation plan. According to the auction notice, Air India proposes to sell its exclusive properties in the form of land parcels/built-up flats located at prime location in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Trivandrum. This sale is likely to raise around 80 crore rupees.
  • As per the financial restructuring plan approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs back in 2012, Air India is required to monetise its assets and generate 5,000 crore rupees by way of sale, leasing or developing an asset as a joint venture.

An exclusive clinic for transgenders

  • An exclusive medical clinic for the transgender community, reportedly the first of its kind in public sector hospitals in India, was opened at the Kottayam Government Medical College Hospital, Kerala.
  • It is an initiative of the Kerala Legal Services Authority, the outpatient clinic will function once every month in the beginning.
  • The clinic will provide the services of specialists in psychiatry, endocrinology, dermatology, plastic surgery, gynaecology and urology to the patients.

Australian indigenous leaders meet for historic summit

  • In Australia, hundreds of indigenous leaders have gathered for a historic summit on formally recognising the country's first inhabitants. The three-day summit at Uluru coincides with the 50th anniversary of a vote that allowed indigenous Australians to be included on a national census.
  • Australia does not mention Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in its constitution.
  • The summit aims to reach consensus on the best method of recognition. The recommendations may result in a referendum to be voted on by all Australians.

Centre keen on upgrading ship-repairing facilities

  • The Union government is planning to embark on a programme to refurbish the ship-repairing facilities in various ports across the country.
  • As ship-repairing facilities were inadequate in India,seven ports had agreed on this project which was likely to be implemented in collaboration with public sector Cochin Shipyard, which would be the nodal agency.
  • The locations include Mumbai, Goa, Pandu (Assam) , Kandla (Gujarat), Farakka (West Bengal), Kolkata and Dorigunj (Bihar).

Home market dents Tata Motors profit

  • Tata Motors’ consolidated net profit fell 17% to Rs. 4,336 crore in the fourth quarter ended March, from Rs. 5,211 crore in the year-earlier period, as domestic business comprising commercial and passenger vehicles divisions dragged down profit due to degrowth in sales of medium & heavy commercial vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
  • For the financial year ended March 31, 2017, the company reported net profit of Rs. 7,557 crore as compared to Rs. 11,678 crore in the previous year, a 35% slide.
  • Total income for the year was lower at Rs. 2,75,247 crore as against Rs. 2,78,546 crore.
  • The Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) business, the company’s cash cow, reported a 13% increase in unit sales and a 10% increase in revenue.
  • Chief Eexecutive Officer & MD, Tata Motors: Guenter Butschek

India eyes $1 trillion digital opportunity

  • According to the Union Electronics and IT Minister, the central government aims to grow India’s digital economy to $1 trillion by 2022. The Central government had roped in consulting firm McKinsey to help draw a roadmap to achieve this target.
  • Currently the digital economy in India, which includes sectors such as finance technology, communications, e-commerce, cybersecurity and electronics, is estimated at about $270 billion.
  • Union Electronics and IT Minister: Ravi Shankar Prasad

India in talks with Latin American nations to boost trade, investment

  • India has intensified dialogue with Latin American countries to boost trade and investment. In meetings held last week, India and Ecuador considered initiating the process of negotiations for a preferential trade agreement. Separately, India and Colombia agreed to strengthen cooperation in various sectors, including telecom, infrastructure, IT and pharmaceuticals.

India registers 4-1 win aganist Indoneshia in Sudirman cup 2017

  • India registered a stunning 4-1 win over former champions Indonesia in the Sudirman Cup mixed team badminton championship at Gold Coast in Australia.
  • India rode on stupendous performances by K Srikanth, P V Sindhu and the the experienced Ashwini Ponnappa to outwit Indonesia for the first time in team events.
  • India, ranked ninth, have managed to reach the knockout stage of the tournament only once during the 2011 edition, while in the last two editions they couldn't even cross the group stage.

James Bond Actor Roger Moore Passes Away

  • British actor Roger Moore, who played the much famed secret agent James Bond, has passed away at the age of 89. Roger Moore has acted as James Bond in seven films for 12 years between 1973 and 1985.
  • His famous films include Live and Let Die and A View to a Kill. Moore was also known for playing Simon Templar in TV series The Saint between 1962 and 1969.
  • Roger was appointed as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1991 and is well known for his humanitarian work.

Madhya Pradesh Signs MoU with IIT-Kharagpur for Developing Happiness Index

  • IIT Kharagpur's Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness has signed an MoU with Madhya Pradesh government to collaborate on the development of a Happiness Index for measuring the well-being of the people of the state.
  • IIT-KGP will develop the index and analyse data collected by the state government to assess the level of happiness and chalk out recommendations that can be used to enhance happiness.
  • The institute will also develop online courses on happiness through the evaluation system available at the Centre for Educational Technology of IIT-KGP.
  • India has been ranked at 122 out of 155 countries in the 2017 United Nations’s World Happiness Index (WHI). The list is topped by Norway, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.
  • The rankings are based on factors such as inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support.

Medley relay gold for India

  • The Indian boys medley relay team, comprising Gurindervir Singh, Palender Kumar, Manish and Akshay Nain, won the gold as the team finished third in the medals table in the second Asian youth athletics championship.
  • India also won two other medals -a silver and bronze in the boys’ javelin throw through Uttar Pradesh’s Rohit Yadav (74.30m) and Avinash Yadav (70.09) on the final day.
  • India had a final tally of five golds, five silvers and four bronzes for a total of 14 medals in the four-day meet and finished behind China (16 golds, 30 medals)

NASA Names New Species After Abdul Kalam

  • NASA has named a new bacteria discovered on the filters of the International Space Station, ISS, as Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late president Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. The genus is Solibacillus and the species name is kalamii.
  • Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has found that the bacteria remained on board the International Space Station for 40 months. The new organism is found only on the ISS and has not been found anywhere on the earth.

Paes-Lipsky pair moves to second round of Geneva Open

  • Leander Paes and Scott Lipsky progressed to the second round of the ATP Geneva Open Tennis after battling past Tommy Robredo and David Marrero today.
  • The Indo-American pair won against the Spaniards 6-7, 7-6, 10-4 in the first round of the clay court event

Philippine President declares martial rule across south Philippines

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial rule for 60 days in the country’s south after Muslim extremists allied with the Islamic State laid siege.
  • Duterte's martial law declaration will help government forces carry out searches and arrests and detain rebel suspects more quickly.
  • The President had repeatedly threatened to place the south, the scene of decades long Muslim uprisings, under martial law if terrorism spiraled out of control.
  • Capital: Manila
  • Currency: Philippine peso

PM Inaugurates African Development Bank’s 52nd Annual General Meeting

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the African Development Bank in Gandhinagar. The AGM will be held in from May 22-26.
  • The event will see the participation of 4500 delegates including finance ministers and central bank governors belonging to AfDB’s 54 member countries and 26 non-member countries.
  • This is the first time that India is hosting the annual meetings of the AfDB and its sister institutions.
  • India had joined the African Development Bank (AfDB) in 1983.
  • India is the fifth largest investor in Africa. Indo-African trade had doubled to reach USD 72 billion in the five year time period that ended in 2014-15.

RBI to reconstitute oversight committee to deal with bad loans

  • The RBI has decided to reconstitute the oversight committee, OC, with more members after the government armed it with additional powers to resolve bad loans with banks that have crossed Rs 8 lakh crore. While the current members will continue in the reconstituted OC, names of a few more will be announced soon.
  • The RBI would also be constituting a Committee comprised majority of its independent Board Members to advise it in the Non-Performing Asset matter.
  • It also expecting an important role for the credit rating agencies in resolving the issue.
  • According to sources, the RBI has identified about 50 major cases for NPA resolution.

Trump admin proposes to reduce 190 million Dollar in financial grant to Pakistan

  • The Trump administration has proposed to reduce 190 million US Dollar in financial grant to Pakistan in foreign military funding as compared to the 2016 fiscal.
  • This Year, the US administration has proposed 344 million US Dollar in financial assistance to Pakistan including 100 million US Dollar in foreign military funding. Last year, the US assistance to Pakistan was 534 million US Dollar, which included 225 million US Dollar towards foreign military funding.
  • The proposals are a part of a larger effort to slash spending on diplomacy, aid and programmes abroad by more than 29 per cent.
  • The foreign military grants could affect Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Colombia, the Philippines and Vietnam.