Current Affairs 2017 – May

Current Affairs 2017 (May) at with Latest Current Affairs 2017 for the month of May with news summary and current events on national and international affairs for Banking, SSC, CLAT, UPSC, State PCS, IBPS and other Competitive Examinations.

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US for the First Time Successfully Tests ICBM Defense System

United States for the first time has successfully tested its defence system against an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

During the test, a ground based interceptor launched from the California air base had shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile target which was fired from the Reagan Test Site in the Marshall Islands. A rocket from the Ground-based Midcourse Defence (GMD) entered into space and deployed its exo-atmospheric kill vehicle that smashed the target destroying it. Such an interception of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is hailed as an important milestone for the GMD system.

The GMD uses globally deployed sensors to detect and track ballistic missile threats.

Need

The test comes at the backdrop of US’s increased tensions with North Korea. Recently, North Korea test fired its ninth missile this year. North Korea’s quest is to develop weapons capable of hitting the United States.

The test was the first live-fire test against a simulated ICBM for the Ground-Based Missile (GBM) Defense. It has hleped in the establishment of effective though limited ground-based defence against ICBMs. The United States is also worried about Iran’s increasing missile capabilities that threaten its strategic interests in the Middle East.

 

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India and Spain Sign Seven Agreements

India and Spain have signed seven agreements following talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy at the Moncloa Palace in the Spanish capital.

The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Spain in nearly 30 years. The last Prime Minister to visit Spain was Rajiv Gandhi in 1988. Earlier, PM Modi and the Spanish prime minister had met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Turkey in November 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has welcomed Spain’s infrastructure, tourism, energy and defense companies to invest in priority sectors in India. Spain is India’s 7th largest trading partner in the European Union. Bilateral trade between both the nations have totalled USD 5.27 billion in 2016. 

Agreements

  • Agreement for Transfer of Sentence Persons
  • MoU on Cooperation in Organ Transplantation
  • MoU on Cooperation in Cyber Security
  • MoU on Cooperation in Renewable Energy
  • MoU on Technical Cooperation in Civil Aviation
  • Agreement on visa waiver for holders of diplomatic passports.
  • MoU between Foreign Service Institute and Diplomatic Academy of Spain.

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Scientists at IIT Kharagpur Develop New Technology to Manufacture Biofuel

Scientists at IIT Kharagpur has come up with a new technology known as ‘soil-to-soil’ manufacturing technology  for manufacturing cheaper, quicker and pollution-free. The technology is in the process of being patented.

Biofuels are fuels which are in some way derived from biomass. The term covers solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases and also denotes Biodiesel, Bio alcohol and bio-gasoline.

Salient Highlights

The new technology makes use of natural resources to extract gaseous and liquid biofuel and then converts the wastes into bio fertilizer. At present 2gm of bioethanol can be manufactured from various naturally available ligno-cellulosic components. However, this process requires chemical treatment that results in polluting the environment. Lignocellulose refers to biomass.

The new technology has replaced this chemical treatment with enzymes which degrade the lignin thereby making the manufacturing process totally pollution free. Lignins are complex organic polymer deposited in the cell walls of  plants. In this process, the residual biomass can be used as organic fertilizer.

The Project is funded  by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Department of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.  

The scientists used corn, sugarcane plants, the waste part of paddy straw, bamboo, banana plant, pineapple and cotton plants, kans grass (kassh phool), castor plant etc to produce biofuel.

Significance

The National Policy on Biofuels had set the target at 20% blending of biofuel with petrol by 2017. It is estimated that the biofuel business in India will touch Rs50,000 crore by 2022. At this backdrop, the new green technology can become a game changer.

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