Daily Current Affairs – 24 May, 2017

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS AND RELATIONS:-

1) India becomes second largest steel producer:-

  • India overtook Japan to become the second-largest steel producer in the world after China in 2016, according to data released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF).
  • India’s stainless steel production rose to 3.32 million tons for 2016 showing an impressive growth of about 9% over 3.0 million tons achieved in 2015.

2) Petroleum Minister co chairs India OPEC Institutional Dialogue at Vienna:-

  • The Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan visited Vienna, Austria to co-chair the 2nd India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue at the OPEC headquarters.
  1. The meeting took place two days prior to the OPEC Ministerial meeting that is scheduled from 25th May.
  2. Pradhan held a one-to-one meeting with the Secretary General of OPEC Mr Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo.
  3. It was agreed that India will host the next meeting during 2018.

Important notes:-

  • Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an intergovernmental organization of 13 nations as of 2017, founded in 1960 in Baghdad by the first five members (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela), and headquartered since 1965 in Vienna.
  • As of 2015, the 13 countries accounted for an estimated 42 percent of global oil production and 73 percent of the world’s “proven” oil reserves.
  • As of January 2017, OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (the de facto leader), United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela, while Indonesia is a former member.
  • Mohammed Barkindo is the Secretary General of OPEC.

3) 3rd RCEP Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting:-

  • Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman led the Indian delegation to the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Inter-sessional Ministerial Meeting on 21-22 May 2017 in Hanoi in which Trade Ministers of 15 other RCEP countries participated.
  • Trade Minister and Industry Minister of Philippines Mr Ramon Lopez, was the Chair of the Meeting as Philippines is currently holding the Presidency of ASEAN this year and Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Mr Tran Tuan Anh, as the host extended a warm welcome to the delegates.
  • So far 4 Ministerial Meetings, 3 Inter-sessional Ministerial Meetings and 18 Rounds of the Trade Negotiating Committee at the technical level have been held.

Important Notes:-

  • Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).
  • RCEP negotiations were formally launched in November 2012 at the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia.

4) Israel signs $630 million arms deal with India:-

  • Israel and India penned a deal worth $630 million, to provide India’s navy with missile defence systems following a record weapons sale between the two countries last month.
  • The new contract will see state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) supply LRSAM air and missile defence systems for four Indian naval ships.
  • IAI said the contract will be carried out with India’s Bharat Electronics Limited, which will be the project’s main contractor.
  • LRSAM is an advanced air and missile defence system, jointly developed by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation.

PROJECT, SCHEMES AND ECONOMY:-

1) Exhibition on ‘Return of the three stone Sculptures from Australia to India’:-

  • Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism inaugurated an exhibition “Return of the Three Stone Sculptures from Australia to India” in National Museum, Janpath New Delhi.

  1. The exhibition is organised to mark the safe return of three stone sculptures (Seated Buddha, Worshippers of Buddha, Goddess Pratyangira) from Australia to India.
  2. These sculptures were purchased by National Gallery of Australia from the Nancy Wiener, New York in 2007 and Art of the Past, New York, 2005.
  3. The Minister released a book entitled ‘War Paintings of The Irresistible Jat King Surajmal’ by Dr Satya Vrata Tripathi and also launched an ‘App on Swachchta Abhiyan’.

2) Piyush Goyal launches ‘SEVA’ App:-

  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal launched the Saral Eindhan Vitaran Application (SEVA), developed in-house by Coal India Limited (CIL) for power sector consumers.
  • SEVA is a part of ‘Digital India’ initiative, which is aimed at increasing the Consumer Connect as well as the Transparency and Accountability in Coal dispatch.

APPOINTMENTS:-

1) World Health Assembly elects new WHO Director-General:-

  • The Member States of WHO elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of WHO.
  1. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.
  2. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s
  3. Director-General since 1 January 2007.
  4. He will be the first health official from Africa to serve as director-general.
  5. Tedros is a former health and foreign affairs minister from Ethiopia.

Important Notes:-

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It was established on 7 April 1948, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The WHO is a member of the United Nations Development Group. Its predecessor, the Health Organization, was an agency of the League of Nations.

AWARDS:-

1) Young Indian cartoonist wins top conservation award:-

  • Rohan Chakravarty, a wildlife and environment cartoonist from India, has won this year’s International President’s Award for his efforts to change attitudes towards nature.
  • The award is the top accolade given by World Wildlife Fund to recognise leadership in young conservationists who are under the age of 30 from around the world.