Daily Current Affairs - 29th May 2017

A gene that staves off heart disease

  • Scientists have identified a unique gene variant in people living in isolated Greek villages that protects them from heart diseases despite enjoying a high-fat diet.
  • The variant, rs145556679*, is associated with lower levels of both bad natural fats and bad cholesterol, the factors that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • The cardioprotective variant was found in Mylopotamos in northern Crete, where the population is isolated and live a long life despite having a diet rich in animal fat. The cardioprotective variant may be almost unique to the Mylopotamos population.

A Man of Integrity,’ ‘Wind River,’ ‘Barbara’ Take Un Certain Regard Awards at Cannes

  • Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof’s “A Man of Integrity” won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, beating a diverse international selection of 17 other titles to the honor.
  • French actor-filmmaker Mathieu Amarlic, meanwhile, was presented a special award for poetry of cinema for “Barbara,”.
  • The prize for the best director was given to Taylor Sheridan for Wind River.
  • The prize for the best actress went to Jasmine Trinca for Fortunata .
  • Un Certain Regard, part of Cannes Film Festival is traditionally dominated by lesser-known filmmakers on the rise, two awards were presented to directors who have previously been in Competition.

Anahad Jawanda bags gold

  • Anahad Jawanda clinched the 25m sports pistol gold with a score of 584 in the 27th Meeting of Shooting Hopes international junior competition.
  • Jawanda had 289 in the precision stage and 295 in the rapid fire section, as he beat Oskar Miliwek of Poland by two points. It was the first individual gold medal for India in the four-day competition.
  • Yashaswini Singh Deswal bagged the bronze in junior women air pistol.

Ben Stokes century sets up dramatic two-run victory for England to seal series win

  • Ben Stokes struck a superb century before pacemen Jake Ball and Mark Wood helped England seal a dramatic and series-clinching two run-win over South Africa in the second ODI.
  • Victory put England 2-0 up in 3-match series.
  • England 330 for 5 (Stokes 101, Buttler 65*, Morgan 45) beat South Africa 328 for 5 (de Kock 98, Miller 71*, de Villiers 52) by two runs.

BJP ahead in presidential race

  • The entire electoral college for the presidential polls is around 10,98,882 votes, out of which NDA and its current constituents account for 5,32,019 votes, which is short of the magic number 5,49,442 votes. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs.
  • The value of each MP’s vote is 708, the value of each MLA’s vote differ according to the size of the respective state assemblies and population.
  • The NDA government needs the support of only one party — or two smaller ones from this unattached group(AIADMK (Tamil Nadu), BJD (Odisha), TRS (Telangana), YSRCP (Andhra Pradesh), AAP (Delhi & Punjab) and INLD (Haryana) to cross the majority mark.
  • As these parties constitute 13% in the presidential electoral college.
  • The Presidential election will be held in India before 25 July 2017, the day when the current President Pranab Mukeerji term expires.
  • The present president is eligible for re-election, as no term limits exist in India.
  • The president in India is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry.

Centre looking for new chief for State Bank of India

  • The Finance Ministry has initiated the process of finding a new chief for the country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) as Arundhati Bhattacharya’s extended term comes to an end on October 6.
  • Department of Financial Services has communicated to Banks Board Bureau the emerging vacancies at the top level of PSU banks which will have to be filled during course of the year.
  • The post assumes significance as the bank has recently merged five associates and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) pushing SBI into the league of top 50 banks globally in terms of assets.

Centre’s spending improves after budget date advanced

  • According to Finance Ministry sources, the advancement of the Budget date to February 1 had a positive effect on the pattern of government expenditure, which increased substantially in April and May compared to previous years.
  • The Budget for the financial year 2017-18 was presented on February 1 instead of at the end of the month in order to facilitate a timely disbursal of funds for various sectors.
  • The advancement has already seen the disbursement of planned expenditure increasing in the months of April and May, instead of having to wait till the monsoon got over, as was happening earlier.

Country’s first underwater metro tunnel nears completion

  • The tunnelling work under the Hooghly river, the first such under-river project in the country, to provide metro connectivity between Howrah and Kolkata is slated to be completed next week
  • The tunnel will be a crucial link for the Railway’s 16.6-km-long East-West Metro project in Kolkata.The 520-metre twin tunnel, one east-bound and the other west-bound, is built 30 metre below the riverbed.
  • Commuters between Howrah and Mahakaran metro stations will be under the river for only about a minute when the metro train will pass through the tunnel at a speed of 80 km per hour.
  • The East-West Metro is scheduled to be operational by August, 2019.

DGCA to get powers to impose penalties

  • The Union government plans to provide the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with powers to impose penalties for violations by airlines, pilots, crew members and other entities.
  • The proposal, which has been in the works for some time, will give more leeway for the regulator in taking action against erring entities.
  • At present, the DGCA has the penal power to cancel the licence of an airline in case of a very harsh violation. It can also debar or suspend pilots and engineers. However, it cannot impose any monetary penalty.
  • According to the official, new amendments are being worked out and after getting the Cabinet approval, the same is likely to be taken up during the monsoon session of Parliament.

Donald Trump looking to overhaul White House team

  • U.S. President Donald Trump is considering overhauling his White House staff and bringing back top campaign strategists, frustrated by what he views as his team’s inability to contain the increasing crisis involving alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
  • Expanding teams of lawyers and experienced public relations hands are being recruited to deal with the problem of new revelations about Russia's interference and possible improper dealings with the Trump campaign and associates.

Dortmund regains German Cup

  • Borussia Dortmund won German Cup when it edged past Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to win the trophy after losing the three previous finals, and end its season on a high.
  • Goals from Ousmane Dembele and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, gave Dortmund, which finished third in the Bundesliga, its first Cup win since the 2012 domestic double.

Farah runs year’s fastest 5,000m

  • British double Olympic champion Mo Farah made his last U.S. track race a special one, running the year’s fastest 5,000 metres in 13 minutes, 00.70 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting.
  • Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha finished second in 13:01.21 and Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworwor claimed third in 13:01.35.

IOC pips ONGC to become most profitable PSU

  • Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) has overtaken Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) to become India’s most profitable state-owned company.
  • IOC, for decades has been India’s biggest company by turnover, posted a 70% jump in net profit to Rs. 19,106.4 crore in the financial year ended March 31, 2017.
  • This was more than the Rs. 17,900 crore net profit ONGC posted in the 2016-17 fiscal.
  • IOC: Indian Oil Corporation (IndianOil) is India's largest commercial enterprise, with a sales turnover of Rs. 3,99,601 crore (US$ 61 billion). It is India's flagship national oil company, with business interests include the entire hydrocarbon value-chain – from refining, pipeline transportation and marketing of petroleum products to exploration & production of crude oil & gas, marketing of natural gas and petrochemicals
  • IOC Chairman: B.Ashok

ISRO set to launch heaviest rocket

  • ISRO is planning to launch Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk- III) — the heaviest rocket ever made by India that is capable of carrying the heaviest satellites.
  • The heavy lift rocket is capable of placing up to 8 tonne in a low Earth orbit, enough to carry India’s crew module.
  • ISRO has already prepared plans of hoisting a two to three human crew into space as soon as the government gives it a sanction of about $4 billion.
  • ISRO Chairman: A.S. Kiran Kumar

New French president promises tough talk at first Putin meeting

  • New French President Emmanuel Macron is promising tough talk at his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, following an election campaign when his team accused Russian media of trying to interfere in the democratic process.
  • Relations between the two countries have been troubled by mistrust, with Paris and Moscow backing opposing sides in the Syrian civil war and at odds over the Ukraine conflict.

North Korea fires ballistic missile

  • North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile, the latest in a series of launches that have spiralled up tensions over its quest to develop weapons capable of hitting the United States. The short-range missile flew for six minutes before landing in the Sea of Japan.
  • The unidentified missile was fired from near the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan.
  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea's latest missile launch and vowed action along with other nations to deter its repeated provocations.

Sebastian Vettel wins Monaco Grand Prix

  • Sebastian Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second to extend his World Championship lead to a luxurious 25 points over Lewis Hamilton.
  • It is Vettel's second Monaco triumph, his third win this year and the 45th of his career.

South Korea lift Sudirman Cup with shock win

  • South Korea shocked China to lift their fourth Sudirman Cup title. South Korea rode on the strength of their women shuttlers to beat 10-time champions China with a 3-2 win in a thrilling final at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre in Australia.

Strategic ties with foreign OEMs

  • The Union government will select five or six private sector majors to execute mega defence deals in four key areas — submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured vehicles.
  • Private sector majors will be selected as the strategic partner for each segment and they will tie up with the foreign OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).
  • The deals in the four segments are six submarines under Project-75I expected to cost around Rs. 50,000 crore, deal for 100-plus single-engine fighter aircraft estimated at Rs. 60,000 crore, the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle programme estimated at around Rs. 50,000 crore and utility helicopters for the Navy estimated at Rs. 12,000 crore.