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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 17th May 2022

Today Current Affairs: 17th May 2022 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc


India International Cruise Conference 2022:

The first Incredible India International Cruise Conference 2022 was held.

  • India is working on a national tourism policy to give an impetus to the Tourism industry.
  • The conference has been jointly organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
  • Some of the key issues being deliberated at the two day event:
    • Strategies for developing India as a cruise hub, policy initiatives and port infrastructure, potential of river cruise tourism, role of technology in the post-pandemic world.
  • The Indian cruise market has the potential to grow 10 folds over the next decade, driven by rising demand and disposable incomes.
  • India is a magnificent cruise destination, several attractions of India along its 7,500 km long coastline and vast river systems are yet to be unveiled to the world.
  • The government of India realizes the potential and is determined to position India as a global cruise hub with state-of-art infrastructure for both ocean and river cruises.
  • In India, global players have shown a keen interest in promoting cruise tourism, and with the right infrastructure, this could happen with the adoption of modern technology, India will certainly become one of the top tourism destinations in the world.
  • India aims to increase cruise passenger traffic from 0.4 million at present to 4 million.
  • Economic potential of Cruise tourism is expected to go up from USD 110 mn to USD 5.5 bn in the years to come.

HS200 Solid Rocket Booster For Gaganyaan Mission:

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has completed the static test of the human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) for Gaganyaan programme.

HS200 Solid Rocket Booster:

  • The booster engine is part of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle MkIII (GSLV Mk III) rocket that will carry Indian astronauts to space.
  • The GSLV Mk-III rocket which will be used for the Gaganyaan mission will have two HS200 boosters which will supply the thrust for lift-off.
  • The HS200 is a 20-metre-long booster with a diameter of 3.2 metres and is the world’s second largest operational booster using solid propellants.
  • The HS200 is the human-rated version of the S200 rocket booster of satellite launch vehicle GSLV Mk III, popularly known as LVM3.
  • Since Gaganyaan is a crewed mission, the GSLV Mk-III will have improvements to increase reliability and safety to meet the requirements of ‘human rating.’
  • The S200 motor – the first stage of the LVM3 launch vehicle designed to deliver 4,000 kg satellites to geosynchronous transfer orbit – was configured as a strap-on rocket booster.
  • This full-duration test of the first stage of the launch vehicle marks a major milestone for the Gaganyaan programme.
  • Design and development of the HS200 booster was completed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, and propellant casting was completed at Sriharikota.
  • Out of the three propulsion stages of LVM3, the human-rated versions of the second-stage known as L110-G loaded with liquid propellant and the third stage C25-G with cryogenic propellant are in the final phase of qualification, including tests with static firing.

Remittance Expected To Increase By 4.2 Percent In 2022:

Officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are expected to increase by 4.2 percent in 2022 to reach $630 billion.

  • This follows an almost record recovery of 8.6 percent in 2021, according to the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief released today.
  • Remittances to Ukraine, which is the largest recipient in Europe and Central Asia, are expected to rise by over 20 percent in 2022.
  • The top five recipient countries for remittances in 2021 were India, Mexico (replacing China), China, the Philippines, and Egypt.
  • India topped the list in the world receiving USD 89 billion in remittance followed by Mexico at USD 54 billion, and China at USD 53 billion last year.
  • Among economies where remittance inflows stand at very high shares of GDP are Lebanon (54 percent), Tonga (44 percent), Tajikistan (34 percent), Kyrgyz Republic (33 percent), and Samoa (32 percent).

Madtsoiidae Snake:

The fossil of a Madtsoiidae snake was recently discovered in the mountains of Ladakh.

  • The recent discovery throws light on the existence of the Madtsoiidae snake, a rare species of snake, in the subcontinent.
  • Researchers reported for the first time a Madtsoiidae snake from the late Oligocene period in India.
  • Thus, it shows that this species continued to exist in the sub-continent for a much longer time than previously believed.
  • The global climatic shifts during the Eocene-Oligocene boundary did not cause the extinction of this species in India.
  • Researchers from the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Panjab University, IIT Ropar, and Comenius University, Slovakia conducted the study.
  • The recently discovered specimen of the Madtsoiidae snake is kept in the repository of the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (Dehradun), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology.
  • The research is published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
  • Madtsoiidae snake is an extinct group of snakes, which grows up to 30 feet in length. They first appeared during the later part of the Cretaceous period.
  • They were mainly found in the Gondwanan landmasses (Africa, South America, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent, and the Arabian Peninsula).

Global Nursing Award 2022:

Anna Qabale Duba from Marsabit County, Kenya was conferred the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award 2022 in an award ceremony that was held at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.

  • From 24,000 nurses 10 were selected as the top 10 finalists from which 1 won this award.

Anna Qabale Duba:

  • She was her village’s first graduate and her family’s only educated child. She had understood early that illiteracy was holding people back from knowing about new things and thus she chose education.
  • She had also won the Miss Tourism Kenya 2013 while studying nursing. She has advocated for education and gender equality in her community.
  • A school has been built by her in her village under the Qabale Duba Foundation.
  • This school was built so that in the morning children could study and in the afternoon the adults can study.
  • Over 100 adults and 150 children are participating in this community literacy program.
  • The Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award was launched by Aster DM Healthcare with the aim of recognizing the phenomenal contribution that nurses have to humanity.
  • This award was launched on International Nurses Day 2021 or 12th May 2021.
  • The winner gets USD 250,000 prize money.

Char Dham Yatra:

Char Dham Yatra has come to be known as a risky pilgrimage because at least 23 pilgrims have died en route since the Char Dham Yatra began on May 3 in Uttarakhand.

  • This was primarily owing to cardiac-related illnesses like heart attack, hypertension, or other comorbidities
  • Tough terrains, high altitudes and changing weather conditions make the pilgrimage a tough one, especially for senior citizens.
  • Those visiting are affected by sudden low temperature, low humidity, increased ultraviolet radiation, low air pressure, and low oxygen levels.
  • Due to low humidity, within the first few hours of altitude exposure, water loss also increases, resulting in dehydration.

Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U):

The Centre has committed Rs 2.01 lakh crore for the PMAY-U, of which Rs 1.18 lakh crore has been released and Rs 1.10 lakh crore has been spent.

  • 21 crore houses have been sanctioned under the scheme so far.
  • PMAY- Urban Launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA) in Mission mode in 2015.
  • It envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
  • The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
    • Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource.
    • Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker sections through credit linked subsidy.
    • Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors.
    • Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.
    • Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS).

What Is Chang Zheng 3B Serial Y86?

Space Debris from the re-entry of the Chang Zheng 3B serial Y86 — China’s orbital launch vehicle, us suspected to have fallen at various places in Gujarat.

  • Chang Zheng 3B, commonly known as CZ 3B, is China’s orbital launch vehicle, similar to India’s GSLV or PSLV.
  • The third stage, which releases the satellite at the required orbit following which it remains in sub-orbital flight, remains outside the purview of being controlled by human intervention and ultimately re-enters earth.
  • It is this third stage of the Long March 3B Y 86 rocket launch that is now suspected to have re-entered earth, leading to debris falling in Gujarat.
  • Space debris can include natural space debris such as meteoroids, or man-made ones which can include defunct spacecrafts and satellites, stages of rockets which have launched payloads, dead satellites, satellite explosions and collisions.
  • The real amount of space debris is said to be between 500,000 and one million pieces as current sensor technology cannot detect smaller objects.
  • They all travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph (28,162 kmph) fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

Devasahayam Pillai Becomes First Indian Layman To Be Declared Saint By Pope Francis:

Devasahayam was recommended for the process of Beatification by the Vatican in 2004.

  • Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a deceased person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in their name.
  • With the completion of the process, Devasahayam pillai, who took the name “Lazarus” after embracing Christianity in 1745, on may 15th became first Indian layman to be declared a saint by Pope Francis during an impressive canonisation ceremony at the Vatican.
  • Devasahayam was born on April 23, 1712, as Neelakanta Pillai into a Hindu Nair family, at Nattalam in Kanyakumari district, which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.
  • Devasahayam Pillai was an Indian layman of the Catholic Church.
  • He is considered a martyr and was canonized as a saint with nine others by Pope Francis on 15 May 2022.
  • He was an official in the court of Travancore’s Maharaja Marthanda Varma when he was instructed into the Catholic faith by a Dutch naval commander.
  • “Lazarus” or “Devasahayam” in Malayalam, translates to “God is my help”.

Second Global Covid Virtual Summit Of The WHO:

The Prime Minister addressed the Second Global Covid Virtual Summit of the World Health Organisation (WHO), where he emphasized WHO Reforms.

  • The Indian government has repeatedly raised the need to reform WHO at multilateral forums such as the G20 and BRICS this year (2021-22).
  • India’s calls for WHO reforms, especially after the body’s initial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been backed by countries around the world.

Reforms Suggested by India:

Strengthening the Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) declaration process:

  • It is important to devise objective criteria with clear parameters for declaring PHEIC.
  • The emphasis must be on transparency and promptness in the declaration process.

A PHEIC implies a situation that is:

  • Serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected;
  • Carries implications for public health beyond the affected State’s national border; and
  • May require immediate international action.


  • Most of the financing for Programmatic Activities of the WHO comes from extra budgetary contributions, which though voluntary in nature, are normally earmarked. The WHO enjoys very little flexibility in the use of these funds.

GatiShakti Sanchar Portal:

The Ministry of Communications has launched the “GatiShakti Sanchar” portal for Centralised Right of Way (RoW) approvals.

GatiShakti Sanchar portal:

  • The portal has been developed keeping in view the vision areas of the National Broadband Mission at the core, which are providing broadband infrastructure as a core utility to every citizen, Governance and services on demand, and in particular, digital empowerment of the citizens of the country.
  • The portal shall act as an enabler to the objective of “Ease of doing business” for telecommunications infrastructure works.

PM Gati Shakti Scheme:

  • In 2021 the government launched the ambitious Gati Shakti scheme or National Master Plan for multi-modal connectivity, with the aim of coordinated planning and execution of infrastructure projects to bring down logistics costs.
  • Aim: To ensure integrated planning and implementation of infrastructure projects in the next four years, with a focus on expediting works on the ground, saving costs, and creating jobs.
  • The Gati Shakti scheme will subsume the Rs 110 lakh crore National Infrastructure Pipeline that was launched in 2019.
  • Besides cutting logistics costs, the scheme is also aimed at increasing cargo handling capacity and reducing the turnaround time at ports to boost trade.
  • It also aims to have 11 industrial corridors and two new defence corridors – one in Tamil Nadu and the other in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Extending 4G connectivity to all villages is another aim. Adding 17,000 kms to the gas pipeline network is being planned.
  • It will help in fulfilling the ambitious targets set by the government for 2024-25, including expanding the length of the national highway network to 2 lakh kms, creation of more than 200 new airports, heliports, and water aerodromes.