19 May 2017 - Current Affairs

Harsh Vardhan gets additional charge of Environment Ministry

  • The union minister ‘Harsh Vardhan’ has given the additional charge of the ‘Environment Ministry’ due to death of the union environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave.
  • Now, Mr. Harsh Vardhan (MP of Chandni Chowk) is in the charge of the environment ministry along with the two ministries of Science & Technology as well as that of Earth Sciences.
  • The Environment ministry is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes in the country.
Note: Harsh Vardhan has been an ENT surgeon before the commencement of his public life in 1993.

Ferry service opens between North Korea and Russia

  • North Korea and Russia have started first ever ‘passenger ferry service’ to develop links and boost economic cooperation despite United Nations sanctions.
  • Ferry service linking the two countries has been launched with North Korean passenger ferry docking in Russia's port city of Vladivostok.
  • The vessel will sail once a week to the port city and will carry tourists and cargo.
Note: A ferry is a merchant vessel used to carry passengers (sometimes vehicles and cargo) across a body of water.

Scientists discover human antibodies to fight Ebola virus

  • Scientists of US have discovered a possible cure for all five known Ebola viruses, one of which ravaged West Africa in recent years.
  • The so-called broadly neutralizing antibodies were discovered in the blood of a survivor of the West African epidemic.
  • The antibodies can be used as a single therapy to treat all Ebola viruses.
Note: The Ebola virus killed more than 11,000 people of the nearly 29,000 who became infected in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

Indian Army gets M-777 howitzers 

  • The ‘Indian Army’ has received the first two ultralight howitzers (ULH) from the US, as part of an order for 145 long-range guns (Rs. 5,000 crore).
  • The M-777 A-2 ultra-light howitzers (ULH) having a maximum range of 30-kms were being taken to Pokhran firing range in Rajasthan for test firing.
  • 25 guns will come in a fly-away condition and rest will be assembled in India by the BAE Systems in partnership with Mahindra Defence.

IIEST creates India's first smart grid project

  • The Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) has successfully created the India’s first smart grid project to generate power from renewable sources of energy.
  • The smart grid will be synchronised to generate power from solar, wind and vegetable waste resources, depending on the weather conditions and availability of waste products
  • The project will be inaugurated by the President Pranab Mukherjee.

Bus stand in Delhi equipped with AC facility

  • The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus stand is located on the Ring Road at Lajpat Nagar has been equipped with air-conditioning facility.
  • The AC has been installed by a Japanese multinational air conditioner manufacturing company in cooperation with a private agency which has the advertisement right on DTC's bus stands.

Govt. approves construction of 10 units of indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the PM Narendra Modi has given its approval for construction of 10 units of India’s indigenous Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR).
  • These 10 PHWR project will result in a significant augmentation of nuclear power generation capacity.
  • Now, the total installed capacity of the Plants will be 7000 MW.
  • India has current installed nuclear power capacity of 6780 MW from 22 operational plants.
  • Another 6700 MWs of nuclear power is expected to come onstream by 2021-22 through projects presently under construction.

NGT bans open defecation, waste dumping on Yamuna floodplains

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna.
  • An environment compensation of Rs. 5,000 should be paid by those who violated the order.
  • NGT also constituted a committee headed by Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to cleaning of the river.
Note: The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.

Govt. to provide every citizen affordable electricity by 2022

  • According to the Power minister Piyush Goyal, the government has expedited process of rural electrification and provide every citizen affordable, adequate electricity by 2022.
  • Smart power meters will be installed soon in the houses to enable 100% smart metering.
  • The Ministry of Power started functioning independently with effect from 2ndJuly, 1992.
  • Earlier ‘Power minister’ was known as the Ministry of Energy sources.

Paytm Payments Bank names Renu Satti as the new CEO

  • The Paytm bank has appointed ‘Renu Satti’ as the CEO of 'Paytm Payments Bank'.
  • Currently, Satti is the executive and vice-president of business at Paytm.
  • Paytm received the final licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its payments bank entity.
  • Now, Paytm will launch Paytm Payments Bank on 23rd May 2017.
  • Paytm Payments Bank was registered in August 2016 as a subsidiary of One97 Communications.
  • Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the CEO of Paytm.

R R Laxman wins All India Open Rapid FIDE Rating Chess Meet

  • Grand Master ‘R R Laxman’ has won the All India Open Rapid FIDE Rating Chess Tournament at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • Laxman finished on top in the tournament with 9.5 points and Mitrabha Guha (8.5 points) to finish second.

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