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Current Affairs Today – May 22 2017

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Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flags off high-speed Tejas Express between Mumbai-Goa
The luxurious train, Tejas Express set to be running between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Karmali in North Goa on May 22.
i. Tejas Express has ultra-modern facilities like LED TV, wi-fi, CCTV etc.The Tejas Express would operate between Mumbai and Karmali (Goa) five days a week during non-monsoon period and during monsoon, just three days a week.
ii. It has 20 coaches – one executive AC chair car with 56 seating capacity and 12 AC chair cars with 78 seat capacity of each coach.It is a super-fast train, which will run at a speed of 130 kmph.

Madhya Pradesh govt announces indefinite ban on sand mining in Narmada river
The Madhya Pradesh government has announced a total ban on sand mining in Narmada River.Madhya Pradesh govt announces indefinite ban on sand mining in Narmada river
Key Points:
i. The river flows through 18 districts in Madhya Pradesh and the ban will be effective in all 18 districts.
ii. The state government has also imposed a complete ban on use of all kinds of machines for mining from the remaining rivers in the state.
iii. The committee will decide on the issue on recommendations from IIT Kharagpur with whom we have signed an MOU.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated WiFi facility at 28 Railway Stations
Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu inaugurated free Wi-Fi facility at 28 Railway Stations on 21st of May.
Key Points:
i. It has inaugurated in Konkan Railway from Kudal Railway Station in Maharashtra.
ii. Indian Railways has tied by with SYSCON/JOISTER for providing 2 Mbps peer-to-peer.
iii. Free Wi-Fi bandwidth is available for 24 hrs at 28 railway stations of Konkan Railway.
iv. The free Wi-Fi facility would help the travelers, commuters and tourists access essential information while waiting for trains on railway stations.
v. The company has now undertaken as a part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activity of providing free Wi-Fi to rural area on the Konkan Route.


Jordan’s Azraq becomes world first clean energy refugee camp
Azraq has become the world’s first refugee camp powered by renewable energy.
Key Points:

i. To serve 20,000 Syrian refugees in the remote Azraq camp in Jordan’s desert the United Nations refugee agency switched on a newly built solar power plant.
ii. The $9.7 million plant was funded by the Ikea the global home furnishings retailer.
iii. To brighten up the lives for Refugees campaign.
iv. With the solar plant, the refugee agency is going to save $1.5 million a year in electricity costs.
Jordan's Azraq becomes world first clean energy refugee campv. The agency also mentioned that refugees can now light their shelters, connect a fridge and a TV, and charge phones using the energy source.
About Jordon
♦ Capital: Amman
♦ Currency: Dinar
♦ Official Language: Arabic
♦ Prime Minister: Hani Al-Mulki


Karnataka Bank and LIC ink pact
Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India for selling life insurance products of LIC.
Key Notes:
i. With this MoU the bank will provide the abundance choices of life insurance products to its customers across all its 769 branches.
ii. The bank signed the corporate agency agreement with LIC in Mangaluru, Karnataka.
Some More Points:
♦ Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka Bank is Mahabaleshwara M.S
♦ LIC Chairman V. K. Sharma
♦ LIC HQ: Mumbai.

HDFC Life launches AI-based insurance email bot ‘SPOK’
HDFC Life has announced the launch of an artificial intelligence-based application named SPOK.
Key Points:
i. It can automatically read, understand, categorise, prioritise and respond to customer emails sent to the private insurer.
iiSPOK is an insurance email bot that can read customer queries within milliseconds and respond to them.HDFC Life
iii. SPOK will help organization in increasing operational efficiency.
iv. The email Bot is built on cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing technologies
v. It will enable the company to respond to user queries faster, more efficiently and effectively.
vi. HDFC Life has collaborated with Senseforth. It is a startup that offers a wide range of enterprise bots built on its artificial intelligence (AI) platform


Jacqueline Fernandez wins humanitarian award for her philanthropic work in India
Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has received the International Humanitarian Award at the second annual Asian Voice Charity Awards. These awards have been instituted by Asian Voice, a leading British Asian news weekly.
i. Jacqueline has been given this award for her humanitarian work in India and abroad. Since past five years, she has been closely working with a non-profit organisation called ‘Habitat for Humanity’ which builds affordable houses for poor.
ii. She received the award from C B Patel, Publisher-Editor of ‘Asian Voice’ newspaper and Chairman of the Asian Voice Charity Awards.

Cochin Port Trust bags two awards
Cochin Port Trust has bagged two Best Performance Awards from the Ministry of Shipping.
Key Points:
i. Cochin Port has received the award for the highest growth in operating surplus.
ii. It also achieved the third highest growth in cargo traffic among the major ports in the year 2016-17.
iii. The awards were received from Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari by P Raveendran, Chairman and A V Ramana, Deputy Chairman, Cochin Port Trust at a function held at Goa Port Trust.
About Kerala:
♦ Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Kerala Governor: P.Sathasivam


First Indian-born woman Rehana Ameer elected to City of London Corporation
AUK entrepreneur Rehana Ameer has become the first India-born woman to be elected as a councillor to a ward in the UK.
Key Points:
i. Rehana Ameer was born in Chennai and she contested from Vintry ward in the City of First Indian-born woman Rehana Ameer elected to City of London CorporationLondon country as an independent candidate.
ii. She was elected as a councilor to the Court of Common Council.
iii. She said in her speech her key focus areas are road safety, improved air quality, mental health and better representation of all types of businesses as part of the Brexit negotiations
iv. She has become the first India-born woman to be elected to the City of London Corporation.


Italian Open 2017 – Overview
74th edition of the Italian Open tennis tournament took place at Rome’s Foro Italico from 10-21 May, 2017.
Italian Open 2017 – Winners:

Men’s SinglesAlexander Zverev (Germany)Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
Women’s SinglesElina Svitolina (Ukraine)Simona Halep (Romania)
Men’s Doubles Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France)
Nicolas Mahut (France)
Ivan Dodig (Croatia)
Marcel Granollers (Spain)
Women’s DoublesMartina Hingis (Switzerland)
Y Chan (Taiwan)
E Makarva (Russia)
E Vesnina (Russia)

India win all 10 gold medals in South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships
In the South Asian Junior Table Tennis championship India has won 10 gold medals. A proud moment for India.India win all 10 gold medals in South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships
Key Points:
i. The South Asian Junior Table Tennis championship was held in Mount Lavinia, near Colombia in Sri Lanka.
ii. Apart from 10 gold medals, the Indian participants have also won 14 medals that total makes to 14.
iii. In this championship Manav Thakkar won Junior Boys final.
iv. Archana Girish Kamath won Junior Girls final.
v. In Cadet Boys final H. Jeho won the Gold Medal.
vi. India led the championship with eight points, followed by Sri Lanka (six points).

Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan to lift Federation Cup
On May 21, 2017, Bengaluru FC beat Mohun Bagan 2-0 to be crowned the Federation Cup champions at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha.
♦ This victory will bring solace for Bengaluru, who finished at fourth position in the I-League.
♦ This was Mohun Bagan’s 20th Final in the Federation Cup. Earlier, Mohun Bagan had finished second to Aizawl in the I-League.
About Federation Cup:
i. The Federation Cup, is an annual knockout style club football tournament in India that started in 1977.
ii. It also known as Hero Federation Cup for sponsorship reasons.
iii. Currently it is considered as the most important club football tournament in India after the I-League.

Mumbai Indians win IPL title for third time
On May 21, 2017, Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the Grand Finale by a margin of 1 run to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 title.
i. This final match of IPL 20217 was played at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
ii. Batting first, the top and middle order of Mumbai Indians struggled to smash big hits. Mumbai Indians win IPL title for third timeHowever with Krunal Pandya’s timely knock of 47 runs, Mumbai Indians managed to reach a total of 129 runs.
iii. Mumbai Indians successfully defended this score by restricting Rising Pune Supergiant at 128/6.
iv. Krunal Pandya was named Man of the Match.
v. With this win Mumbai Indians became the only IPL team to have won three titles. Moreover, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma became the only player to be on the winning side for four times.

India’s Vaishali wins gold in Asian Blitz Chess Championship
India’s R Vaishali won the women’s title in the Asian Continental Blitz Chess Championship in Chengdu, China, on May 21, 2017.
i. Vaishali won seven games and posted two draws in the nine-round event. She scored 8 points from 9 rounds.
ii. She drew her final round game against Uurtsaikh Uuriintuya of Mongolia to finish half-a-point ahead of Iran’s Sarasdat Khademalsharieh and clinch the gold medal.
iii. On May 19, 2017, Vaishali secured the third spot (bronze medal) in the women’s event of Asian Chess Championship.
iv. Another Indian chess player, Padmini Rout finished third with seven points after a last round win over Yuxin Song of China.


Real-life hero Matthunny Mathews who inspired ‘Airlift’ dies in Kuwait
Prominent Indian businessman Matthunny Mathews has passed away in Kuwait.
Key Notes:
Real-life hero Matthunny Mathews who inspired 'Airlift' dies in Kuwaiti. He is 81 years old and hailed from Kumbanad in Pathnamthitta district.
ii. Mathews had done yeoman service to bring his countrymen, who had lost everything in the war.
iii. He is popularly known as ‘Toyota Sunny’.
iv. Mathews left for Kuwait in 1956 at the age of 20 in search of job.
v. He joined as a typist in the Toyota company and become its Managing Director when he retired in 1989.


World Biodiversity Day – May 22 2017
The World Biodiversity Day also known as International Day for Biological Diversity. It is observed on 22nd May every year.
Key Notes:
i. World Biodiversity Day was created in 1993 by the United Nations as an international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.
ii. Each year, a theme is selected by the Secretariat of the CBD to highlight a specific focus area relating to biodiversity.
iii. The theme for 2017 for World Biodiversity Day is “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”.
iv. On May 22, events will take place throughout the world to highlight the vital linkages between biodiversity and agriculture.World Biodiversity Day
v. It is used to address several problems in conservation of environment including loss of species, destruction of habitats, over exploitation, genetic pollution, invasive species, and effects of climate change on biodiversity.
vi. On the earth, highest biodiversity is found in tropics.
vii. It is estimated that there are 8.7 million species on earth of which 2.1 million live in Oceans while rest are terrestrial.

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