DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS FEBRUARY 28 2018

1) Uma Bharti launches 2nd project of Swajal Yojana in Rajasthan

  • On February 27, 2018, Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, launched the Swajal pilot project at Village Bhikampura, in Rajasthan.
  • Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply. 90% of the project cost will be provided by Central Government while remaining 10% of the project cost will be contributed by the local community.
  • Budget of Rs. 54.17 lakh has been allocated for Swajal Project at Bhikampura.
  • Bhikhampura village faces scarcity of drinking water and villagers have to walk at least 3 km to collect it. Under the Swajal Project, four reservoirs will be constructed in the village and common tap connection will be given to all the households.

2) I&B Minister Smriti Irani Releases ‘India-2018’ Book

  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani released ‘India 2018′ (English Version) and ‘Bharat 2018′ (Hindi Version). The books are published by the Publications Division. The book available in both print and online versions.
  • It is an exhaustive publication dealing with all aspects of the country’s development. With its latest edition, the book has entered into its 62nd year of publication.

3) Nitin Gadkari lays foundation stone for National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC) at IIT Chennai

  • On 26th February 2018, Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, laid the foundation stone for National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), at IIT Chennai.
  • An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Shipping and IIT Chennai at the occasion.
  • NTCPWC is set up under the Sagarmala programme of Ministry of Shipping. It will function as a technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping.   NTCPWC will offer engineering and technological inputs and support for Ports, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and other institutions.

4) EPFO Introduces UAN- Aadhar Linking New Facility

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has introduced UAN-Aadhaar linking facility for the convenience of members using EPFO Link in UMANG Mobile App.
  • The facility on e-KYC Portal has further added a new feature to link UAN with Aadhaar online using biometric credentials.

5) King Of Jordan In India On 3-Day Visit’

  • The King of Jordan Abdullah-II bin Al-Hussein arrived in New Delhi on a 3-day visit to India. The King is accompanied by a business delegation. During his visit, he will also participate in a CEO Round-table followed by India-Jordan Business Forum.
  • AIR correspondent reports, the Jordanian King’s visit comes nearly three weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Jordan as part of his trip to West Asia, including Palestine. The two sides are expected to sign MoUs and agreements in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation.

6) RBI raises currency derivative trade limit to USD 100 mn

  • On February 26, 2018, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised the exposure limit under exchange traded currency derivatives (ETCD) for residents and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to USD 100 million across all currency pairs.
  • As of now, four currency pairs, viz. USD/INR, EUR/INR (Euro), GBP/INR (Great British Pound) and JPY/INR (Japanese Yen) are traded on Indian exchanges.
  • This instrument is primarily used by Indian exporters and importers and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to hedge their risk against currency price fluctuations.
  • Earlier exposure limit set by RBI was USD 15 million for USD-INR contracts and USD 5 million for other currency pairs. Increasing exposure limit will help the participants to better manage their risk and will also improve the liquidity in the instrument.

7) India Ranks 47th On Inclusive Internet Index: Facebook

  • India has been ranked 47th out of 86 countries on the Inclusive Internet Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which was commissioned by Facebook.

     

  • Sweden took the first place, followed by Singapore and the US. The scores on the index, which covered 91% of the world’s population, is based on the scores of Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness categories.

8) PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018- Important Highlights

  • PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games were held inPyeongchang, South Korea. The motto of  Winter Olympics 2018 was “Passion.Connected”. Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear were the official mascots for this event.
  • Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka became the first woman to claim gold medals in two sports at a Winter Olympics after claiming her second one in a snowboarding event at the PyeongChang Winter Games.
  • Fifteen-year-old Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova beat her teammate and two-time world champion Evgenia Medvedeva to win gold.
  • Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen became the most successful Winter Olympian in history after claiming her 14th medal. The 37-year-old, who has won seven gold, four silver and three bronze medals at Winter Olympics, overtook compatriot Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who earned 13 medals.
  • Norway’s Havard Lorentzen won the men’s 500-metre speed skating by a margin of just 0.01 seconds to set a Winter Olympics record.
  • Yuzuru Hanyu won Japan’s first gold medal at PyeongChang Winter Olympics and also became the first figure skater in 66 years to win back-to-back Winter Olympic gold medals in the men’s singles event.
  • Seventeen-year-old snowboarder Redmond Gerard won the first gold medal for the United States at Winter Olympics.
  • Top Tally- Top 3 Countries-
    1. Norway (Total 39, 14 Gold, 14 Silver, 11 Bronze).
    2. Germany (Total 31, 14 Gold, 10 Silver, 7 Bronze).
    3. Canada (Total 11, 8 Gold, 10 Silver, 29 Bronze).

9) Veteran CPI leader Prabodh Panda passes away

  • On 27th February 2018, Prabodh Panda, former MP and State Secretary of West Bengal for Communist Party of India (CPI), died due to heart attack, at his residence in Kolkata.
  •  Prabodh Panda was 72 years old. He served as national President of the All India Kisan Sabha. He was a three-time MP from Midnapore. He was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 2001. Then he was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS FEBRUARY 27 2018

1) Canada PM Justin Trudeau’s Visit To India – Overview

  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were on a week-long official trip to India starting from February 17, 2018.
  • On February 23, 2018, India and Canada signed following six pacts in New Delhi, in presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau:
    1. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India’s Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada for co-operation in the fields of science, technology and innovation.
    2. A joint declaration of intent between the India’s Ministry of Electronics And Information Technology and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada on cooperation in the field of Information Communications Technology and Electronics.
    3. MoU for cooperation in higher education.
    4. Agreement between India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada) for cooperation in sports.
    5. MoU between India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (under Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for cooperation on Intellectual Property Rights.
    6. India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada exchanged terms of reference for the India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue.
  • On February 22, 2018, Indian Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for research collaboration in various fields.
  • This MoU envisages ‘programme based research support’ in handling current and future global and local developmental challenges. It is to be noted that, since 1972, IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth 159 million Canadian Dollars in India.

2) Michael McCormack Named Australia’s New Deputy Prime Minister

  • Michael McCormack has been elected new Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He has replaced former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
  • The leader of the National Party automatically becomes deputy prime minister under the terms of the coalition agreement with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal party.

3) UIDAI introduces blue coloured ‘Baal Aadhaar’ for children below the age of 5

  • On February 26, 2018, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), introduced a ‘Baal Aadhaar’ card for children below the age of five years.
  • Baal Aadhaar’ Card will be of Blue Colour. No biometric details will be needed for ‘Baal Aadhaar’. However, when the child turns five, a mandatory biometric update will be required, which is to be done by taking the child to any nearby Aadhaar centre.

4) India-Korea Business Summit In New Delhi

  • PM Narendra Modi addressed the 2nd India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi. The theme of the Summit this year is “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade and Investments”.
  • The Summit aims to create the framework for an open and action-oriented dialogue between top business leaders and Government officials from both countries. India and Korea are the third and fourth largest economies in Asia. The two way trade between India and South Korea currently stands at nearly 17 billion dollar.

5) PM Modi flags off ‘Run for New India’ Marathon in Surat

  • On February 25, 2018, Prime Minister Narednra Modi flagged off the ‘Run for New India’ marathon in Surat, Gujarat. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani was also present on the occasion.
  • Objective behind this Marathon is to create awareness about social causes and call upon youth to resolve to build a New India. ‘Run for New India’ marathon was organized by the Surat Nagrik Samiti. It is divided into 4 categories which included 41 KM full marathon.

6) 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) held in Fiji

  • 20th Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) was held in Nadi, Fiji from 19th – 23rd February 2018.
  • The Conference was held for Education Ministers of Commonwealth nations to meet and discuss solutions to contemporary issues and challenges in education sector viz. low enrolment rates in preschool, primary and secondary schools, gender disparities in education and low adult literacy. Theme of 20CCEM was “Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?”.

7) MC Mary Kom And Seema Poonia Bag Silver Medals In Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament

  • Indian stars Seema Poonia and MC Mary Kom have settled for Silver medals after losing in the final of 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing tournament at Sofia in Bulgaria.
  • While Mary Kom lost to Bulgarian Sevda Asenova in the 48-kilogram title bout, Seema went down to Russian Anna Ivanova in the 81 kg final. Overall Indian women ended up with two silver and four bronze medals in one of the oldest boxing tournaments in Europe.

8) IOA enters partnership with Edelweiss Group for 2018 CWG, Asian Games, 2020 Olympic Games

  • On 26th February 2018, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced that it has partnered with Edelweiss Financial Services Limited as sponsor of the Indian team for 2018 Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Olympic Games and National Games 2018 and 2019.
  • IOA has also declared Raymond as its official styling partner and Shiv Naresh Sports as its official sports apparel partner for the Commonwealth Games that is to be conducted in Gold Coast, Australia, from 4-15 April 2018.
  • Minster of Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, President IOA Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra and Secretary General IOA Mr. Rajeev Mehta launched the official ceremonial outfit and sports apparel of athletes.

9) Former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian Passes Away

  • Former Cabinet Secretary T.S.R. Subramanian passed away. He was 79. Mr Subramanian was a 1961 batch officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He served as Cabinet Secretary from August 1996 to March 1998.
  • Mr Subramaninan was part of a group of bureaucrats and diplomats on whose petition the Supreme Court in 2013, rolled out key civil services reforms.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS FEBRUARY 24 & 25 2018

1) International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels, 2018 to be held in New Delhi

  • International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels, ICSB 2018 will be held in New Delhi on 26thand 27th February, 2018.
  • his conference is being jointly organised by Mission Innovation – India Unit and Biofuture Platform and will be hosted by Department of Biotechnology under Union Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Mission Innovation (MI) is a global initiative of 22 countries and the European Union to accelerate global clean energy innovation, while Biofuture Platform is a multi-stakeholder mechanism for policy dialogue and collaboration among leading countries to increase the use of low carbon sources  as the feedstock for the production of energy, chemicals and materials.

2) PM addresses Economic Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi

  • On February 23, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the 4th Global Business Summit in New Delhi.
  • During the address, PM Modi outlined that Indian government is taking stringent action against financial irregularities and will not accept unlawful acquisition of public money.
  • Global Business Summit, is a flagship initiative of the Times Group. The first edition was held in January 2015.
  • It brings together, visionaries, heads of state, thought leaders, policy makers, academicians and corporate heads for discussing current macroeconomic issues and share their views on the same.

3) PM Modi Launches Amma 2 Wheeler Scheme in Tamil Nadu

  • On February 24, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Launched ‘Amma’, subsidised 2 Wheeler Scheme for working women in Tamil Nadu.
  • This scheme was launched to mark 70th birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa , the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
  • Under ‘Amma’ 2 Wheeler Scheme, every year, one lakh working women in Tamil Nadu will be given 50% of the cost of a two- wheeler or a grant of Rs. 25000.
  • PM Modi launched this scheme in presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami. On February 24, 2018, PM Modi also launched a drive to plant 70 lakh tree saplings in Tamil Nadu.

4) 7th edition of the Youth Festival held in New Delhi

  • On 22nd February 2018, the 7th edition of Youth Festival began at Central Park, New Delhi. The 7th edition of Youth Festival is themed: ‘Let Love Live’. This year’s Youth Festival celebrates the freedom to love. It will be conducted till 27th February 2018.
  • The Youth Festival is organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad and the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Delhi Government. The festival features dance, music and special acts conveying a message of love and harmony.

5) India’s 1st 5G Trial Successful, 3 GB/Sec Speed Achieved

  • Chinese technology giant Huawei and telecom services provider Bharti Airtel announced to have successfully conducted 5G network trial under a test set-up in India. The trial was conducted at Airtel’s Network Experience Centre in Manesar (Gurugram).
  • During the test trial, the speed of more than 3Gbps was achieved. This is the highest measured throughput for a mobile network in 3.5 GHz band with 100MHz bandwidth and end-to-end network latency of approximately 1 msec.

6) RBI asks banks to link SWIFT to core banking by April 30

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has instructed all banks to integrate SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System platform) with its core banking solutions (CBS) by April 30, 2018.’
  • This instruction by RBI is aimed at tightening internal controls in banks in wake of Rs 11400 crore fraud that has been unearthed at Punjab National Bank (PNB). The modus operandi of PNB fraud revolved around the misuse of SWIFT system by two officials of PNB in a Mumbai Branch.

7) Subbarayudu appointed the Ambassador of Bolivia

  • On 23rd February 2018, M. Subbarayudu was appointed the next Ambassador of India to Plurinational State of Bolivia.
  • M. Subbarayudu is an Indian Foreign Service Officer (IFS) of the 1994 batch. He is currently the Ambassador of India to Lima. His residence is in Lima.

8) State Bank of India set for UK restructuring

  • State Bank of India (SBI) will be undertaking a major restructuring of its business in the United Kingdom (UK) from April 2018.From April 1, 2018, SBI’s UK operations will operate as SBI’s subsidiary under the name of State Bank of India UK Limited.
  • This transformation has been planned in order to comply with specific capital requirement norms of Bank of England (the Central Bank of UK).
  • Post transformation, all retail branches of SBI in the UK will function under a new UK-incorporated banking entity. Currently, the status of SBI branches in UK is that of overseas branches of the Indian entity.

9) Parupalli Kashyap Wins Austrian Open

  • Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap overcame Malaysia’s June Wei Cheam in straight games in the men’s singles final to clinch the Austrian Open International Challenge, his first international title in over three years.
  • The Indian looked in good touch throughout the tournament as he didn’t drop a single game en route to his title win.

10) Legendary Bollywood Actress Sridevi Passes Away

  • Veteran Bollywood actress and Padma Shri awardee Sridevi, who had an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away. She was 54.
  • Sridevi was died due to cardiac arrest in Dubai. She went on a hiatus for 15 years after starring in home production — “Judaai” — co-starring her brother-in-law Anil Kapoor and Urmila Matondkar. It was director Gauri Shinde’s “English Vinglish” in 2012 that marked Sridevi’s comeback.

11) Award-winning actress Nanette Fabray dies at 97

  • On 22nd February 2018, Nanette Fabray, an award-winning actress, passed away due to natural causes, at her residence in Palos Verdes, California, US.
  •  Nanette Fabray was 97 years old. She started her acting career at the age of three. She has worked in several movies and TV shows. She had won three Emmy awards. She had also received the SAG Life Achievement Award in 1987.
  • She had overcome hearing loss and later became an advocate for the rights of the deaf. She was awarded with the President’s Distinguished Service Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award for this.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS FEBRUARY 23 2018

1) Guwahati organises tribal festival ‘Aadi Mahotsava’

  • On 23rd February 2018, ‘Aadi Mahotsava’, a tribal festival organized by Assam, began at Gandhi Mandir Indoor stadium, in Guwahati, Assam.
  • The ‘Aadi Mahotsava’ is held for 10 days. It was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
    ii. It is conducted by the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India jointly with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
    iii. ‘Aadi Mahotsava’ celebrates the art and culture of tribal communities. Local artisans from 20 cities like Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Manipur, Assam, etc. participate in this festival.

2) India-German MOU on Sustainable Urban Development programme & Smart Cities

  • On 23rd February 2018, an Indo-German MoU was signed for “Implementation Agreement in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in India”.
  • The MoU was signed between Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA), India and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, India on behalf of Germany Government.
  • The agreement was signed by Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and Ms. Annette Röckel, Deputy Country Director and Ms. Tanja Feldmann, Cluster Coordinator, Sustainable Urban and Industrial Development GIZ GmbH India.

3) India Successfully Test-Fires ‘Dhanush’ Missile

  • India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off Odisha coast. This naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal.
  • It was developed bt the Defence Research and Development Organisation. ‘Dhanush’ missile is is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.

4) Asian Development Bank And India Sign $84 Million Loan For Water Supply In Bihar

  • The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar. The tranche 2 loan is part of the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012.
  • The loan will have a 25-year term, including a grace period of 5 years, an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s lending facility based on the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR), and a commitment charge of 0.15% per year.

5) RBI Sets Up Committee Under YH Malegam To Monitor Bad Loans

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an expert committee under the chairmanship of YH Malegam to look into a range of issues relating to classification of bad loans, rising incidents of frauds and effectiveness of audits.
  • Y H Malegam is a former member of the Central Board of Directors of RBI. A K Misra – Executive Director of RBI will be the Member-Secretary of the committee.

6) First Sale Of Electoral Bonds Via SBI To Begin From March 1

  • On February 22, 2018, Union Finance Ministry announced that the first sale of electoral bonds will start from March 1, 2018 for a period of 10 days at select branches of State Bank of India (SBI).
  • The electoral bonds scheme was announced during the 2017-18 Union Budget speech of Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. Broad contours of this scheme were notified in January 2018. This scheme will serve as an alternative to cash donations and is thereby an attempt to make political funding more transparent.
  • The bonds will be available in multiples of Rs.1000, Rs. 10000, Rs. 10 lakh, Rs. 1 crore. These bonds would be valid for 15 days from the date of issue.
  • Any citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in India can purchase these bonds.
  • However, at the time of purchasing the bonds, the donor will have to fulfil Know Your Customer (KYC) norms at the bank and will have to make payment from a bank account. The bonds will not carry his/her/entity’s name. Thus it will be a bearer instrument. Besides, it will be an interest-free banking instrument.
  • Electoral Bonds can be purchased from four main branches of State Bank of India in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, starting from March 1, 2018 for a period of 10 days.

7) Paytm Launches Two Insurance Companies

  • Digital payments startup Paytm has launched two insurance companies, Paytm Life Insurance and Paytm General Insurance.
  • Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CFO Madhur Deora, and Shankar Prasad Nath are the three signatory stakeholders in both the companies.

8) Khajuraho dance festival organised in Madhya Pradesh

  • On 20th February 2018, the Khajuraho dance festival started off in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh.Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel lit the traditional lamp and inaugurated the 44th Khajuraho dance festival. This festival will be held till 26th February 2018.
  • This festival is organised by the culture department of the Madhya Pradesh government. It will fetaure classical dances like Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam.

9) Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank begins operations

  • Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Limited commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from February 22, 2018.
  • Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd. is a 51:49 joint venture (JV) between Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd. (ABNL) and telecom operator Idea Cellular. In April 2017, it had received a final licence from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for carrying out the business of payments bank in India.
  • In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank Ltd became the first entity to start operations as Payments Bank. Paytm and Fino Payments Bank are the other two entities that have already launched their operations. India Post Payments Bank is expected to start nationwide operations from April 2018.

10) Deputy Australian Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce resigns

  • On 23rd February 2018, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce announced that, he will resign as leader of the National party and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.
  • Barnaby Joyce  has announced his resignation after facing weeks of pressure due to an allegation of extra-marital affair with his former media secretary Vikki Campion.
  • On 26th February 2018, Barnaby Joyce will step down as leader of the National party and deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He will remain in the parliament, helping to maintain the one-seat majority of the ruling government.

11) 106-year-old Swachch Bharat brand ambassador Kunwar Bai passes away

  • On 23rd February 2018, Kunwar Bai, Chattisgarh’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan mascot, passed away after suffering from a long time illness, at Ambedkar Hospital, Raipur.
  • Kunwar Bai was 106 years old. She was felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for her work to make her village open defecation free in 2016.
  • Kunwarbai had sold her goats for Rs 22,000 and built a toilet at her home with that money, after she was inspired by Swachch Bharat mission.

12) Renowned Violinist MS Anantharaman Passes Away

  • Noted violinist M.S. Anantharaman, an exponent of Parur style of violin playing had passed away.
  • He was 94 and is survived by his sons M.S. Sundaresan and M.A. Krishnaswamy and daughter M.A. Bhagirati, all of whom are proficient in Carnatic music.

DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS FEBRUARY 22 2018

1) Uttar Pradesh becomes 1st Indian state to clear projects digitally

  • Uttar Pradesh (UP) has become the first state in India where business and investment projects can now be cleared digitally, without any human interface.
  • This has become possible with launch of ‘Nivesh Mitra’, a digital platform which will serve as a single-window clearance system. 
  • ’Nivesh Mitra’ was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration session of the UP Investors’ Summit in Lucknow. UP State Government has brought 20 departments under the ambit of ‘Nivesh Mitra’ and application for 70 clearances can be made through this platform.
  • Any interested investor, sitting anywhere in the world, would only require to submit details of the project, along with required documentation, on the Nivesh Mitra website. Post satisfactory assessment of documents, the respective departments would clear the project file digitally.

2) NER’s first regional Centre for Agriculture with Israeli collaboration to be inaugurated in Mizoram

  • Israeli Ambassador to India, Mr Daniel Carmon has stated that a Centre for Agriculture, with collaboration of Israeli expertise, is going to be inaugurated in Mizoram on March 7, 2018.
  • This will be the first such centre in the North East region (NER) of India that is being established with Israeli collaboration. It has been set up at a cost of Rs 8-10 crore.
  • This Centre has been set up with the tripartite collaboration of India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of Israel and State Government of Mizoram and is exclusively for processing of citrus fruits. 

3) Rajnath Singh announces special package for strengthening security in Arunachal Pradesh

  • On 20th February 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced that, the Central Government has sanctioned a special package to strengthen security in 3 eastern districts of Arunachal Pradesh: Tirap, Changlang and Longding.
  • The special package for strengthening security has been sanctioned to handle the prevailing insurgency problem in Andhra Pradesh.
  • This special package also includes creation of new posts, purchasing of vehicles and equipment for police. Rajnath Singh made this announcement at the 31st Arunachal Pradesh statehood day programme.

4) Gandhi Nagar station in Jaipur becomes India’s first all-women railway station

  • On 19th February 2018, Jaipur’s Gandhi Nagar railway station became India’s first major railway station to be completely managed by women personnel.
  • The all-women railway station was inaugurated by North Western Railway Zone general manager TP Singh.
  • Gandhi Nagar station is located on the Jaipur-Delhi rail route. It has over 50 trains passing through and 25 trains halting there. It handles 7,000 passengers on a daily basis.
  • Women staff have been appointed in various posts like point women (who change the tracks), station manager, chief reservation supervisor, assistant reservation supervisor, inquiry counter and reservation clerk, ticket checker etc.

5)PM announces Rs 20,000 crore Defence Industrial Corridor in Bundelkhand

  • On 21st February 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that a defence industrial production corridor worth Rs 200 billion will be established in Bundelkhand.
  • Bundelkhand is a region located between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Narendra Modi said that, out of the two defence industrial production corridors announced in the union budget, one will be built in Bundelkhand. He made this announcement in the ‘Investors Meet’ at the Indira Gandhi Pratishthan in Lucknow.
  • He said that, this project will bring an investment of Rs 200 billion. It will generate employment opportunities for 2,50,000 people. This corridor will connect Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi and Chitrakoot.

6) India Ranks 81st In Global Corruption Perception Index

  • India has been ranked 81st in the global corruption perception index for 2017, released by Transparency International, which named the country among the “worst offenders” in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. In the 2016 India was in the 79th place among 176 countries
  • The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. In the latest ranking New Zealand and Denmark were placed the highest, with scores of 89 and 88, respectively. On the other hand, Syria, Sudan and Somalia were ranked lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9, respectively.

7) Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank begins operations

  • Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank became the fourth such entity to begin operations since issuance of licenses to 11 firms by RBI in August 2015.
  • Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the first to begin the payments bank operations in November 2016. Other two such banks are Paytm Payments Bank and India Post Payments Bank.

8) Federal Bank acquires 26% stake in Equirus Capital

  • Private sector lender Federal Bank made its foray into investment banking by acquiring a minority 26 per cent stake in Equirus Capital, a boutique investment bank.
  • It would widen the product offerings to a spectrum of wholesale clients by offering comprehensive financial solutions.

9) India bag gold medal at 5th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship

  • Indian “A” team won gold at the 5th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship held in Gold Coast, Australia, between 14 and 18 February 2018.
  • The Indian “A” team was headed by Kiran Nadar. The team members were Keyzad Anklesari, B. Satyanarayana, Rajeshwar Tewari, Jaggy Shivdasani and Sunit Chokshi.
  • The Indian “A” team defeated the Australian team with a score of 103-65. Indian “A” team won gold in the 5th Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championship.

Daily Current Affairs February 21 2018

1) Cabinet approves six rail projects in 4 states

  • On February 20, 2018, Union Cabinet approved six rail projects in 4 states for new lines as well as doubling and electrification of tracks
  • Esitamted cost for executing all these projects is Rs 11661. As per Indian Railways, these projects would generate more than 200 lakh person days of employment in Uttar Pradesh and three other states.
  • Projects that have been approved include doubling and electrification projects of 425 km-long Jhansi-Manikpur and Bhimsen-Khairar lines covering districts of Jhansi, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakut Dham in Uttar Pradesh and Chhatarpur in Madhya Pradesh.
  •  Doubling with electrification of the 116.95 km-long Bhatni-Aurnihar line covering the districts of Deoria, Ballia, Mau and Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh has also been approved.

2) PM Modi inaugurates UP Investors’ Summit 2018

  • On February 20, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Uttar Pradesh Investors’ Summit 2018’ in Lucknow.
  • This is the first of its kind event in UP, aimed at showcasing business and investment potential across the state.
  • This two-day Summit will be attended by Union ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policymakers, academicians and heads of international institutions.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath has stated that 1045 agreements worth Rs. 4.28 lakh crore have been signed on the very first day of this summit.

3) EPFO Cuts Interest Rate To 8.55% For 2017-18

  • Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has reduced the interest rate on deposits to 8.55% for 2017-18 from 8.65% for 2016-17 following a general decline in interest rates.
  • The move will affect around 6 crore subscribers and leave EPFO with a surplus of Rs 586 crore against Rs 695 crore in the previous financial year. The decision is significant as the labour ministry estimates that it would add another 3 crore to its subscriber base.

4) India Successfully Conducts Night Trial Of Prithvi-II Missile

  • India successfully conducted a night trial of its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missilewith a strike range of 350 km, from a test range in Odisha.
  • The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha. The perfect test launch came after the successful trial of the Agni-5 missile.

5) India International Textiles Expo Begins In Colombo

  • A three –day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • The event was inaugurated by Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama. At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India displayed variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers.

6) UGC constitutes four-member Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) under N Gopalaswami

  • On 20th February 2018, the University Grants Commission (UGC) formed a 4 member Empowered Expert Committee (EEC) to perform appraisal of applications in order to shortlist 20 Institutions of Eminence (IoE).
  • Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, N Gopalaswami is the chairperson of the Empowered Expert Committee (EEC).
  • Members of EEC are:
    1.Tarun Khanna, a Jorge Paulo Lemman Professor at Harvard Business School
    2.Pritam Singh, former director of IIM, Lucknow
    3.Renu Khator, Chancellor of University of Houston System
  • The EEC has been formed by UGC after obtaining approval from the central government, according to the UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulation, 2017, and UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017.

7) Capital First Gets NHB Nod For Merger With IDFC Bank

  • Capital First announced that the regulator National Housing Bank (NHB) has approved the merger of the company along with Capital Home Finance and Capital First Securities Limited with IDFC Bank.
  • The amalgamation is subject to the receipt of approval from the Reserve Bank of India and other statutory and regulatory approvals. The share swap ratio for the merger is fixed at 139:10, meaning IDFC Bank will issue 139 shares for every 10 shares of Capital First. The merger is likely to be completed in the next two-three quarters.

8) India 7th Most Targeted Nation for Web Application Attacks: Report by Akamai

  • As per a report from content delivery network services Akamai Technologies, India has ranked 7th on the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA).
  • The report has been titled “Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017”.
  • It outlined that during 2017, nearly 40 per cent of over 53000 cyber attacks in India occurred in Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
  • The attacks were in the form of phishing attempts, website intrusions, defacements, virus and ransomware.
  • A sharp increase in the threat of credential abuse has also been found. Based on analysis of 7.3 trillion bot requests per month, it was found that more than 40 per cent of login attempts were malicious.

9) Avani Chaturvedi Becomes 1st Indian Woman To Fly Fighter Aircraft Solo

  • Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first  Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.
  • She flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight from Jamnagar base of Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gujarat.

10) Government appoints new EDs in Canara Bank and Vijaya Bank

  • On 19th February 2018, Debashish Mukherjee and Murali Ramaswami were appointed Executive Directors of Canara Bank and Vijaya Bank respectively.
  • Debashish Mukherjee is currently the general manager of United Bank of India and Murali Ramaswami is the general manager of Vijaya Bank.
  • As per personnel ministry’s order, Debashish Mukherjee’s appointment is for 3 years initially. It can be extended by 2 years after reviewing his performance.
  • Murali Ramaswami’s tenure is till 31st December 2020 i.e. the date of his superannuation.

11) Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launches 6 new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) platform

  • Union Minister of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, launched 6 new features of National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform, aimed to improve its user friendliness.
  • The six new features of e-NAM platform includes-
    1. MIS dashboard for better analysis,
    2. BHIM payment facility by traders,
    3. Mobile payment facility by traders,
    4. Enhanced features on mobile app such as gate entry and payment through mobile,
    5. Integration of farmer’s database, and
    6. e-Learning module.

12) Virat Kohli becomes first Indian to cross 900 points in ICC ODI player rankings

  • On 20th February 2018, ICC (International Cricket Council) announced that, Virat Kohli has become the first Indian to cross 900 points in the ICC ODI player rankings with 909 points.
  • Virat Kohli with a rating of 909 points has become the seventh player in the world to cross 900 points in the ICC ODI player rankings.
  • Virat Kohli is only behind Sir Vivian Richards – 935 points (1985), Zaheer Abbas – 931 points (1983), Greg Chappell – 921 points (1981), David Gower – 919 points (1983), Dean Jones – 918 points (1991) and Javed Miandad – 910 points (1987).
  • Virat Kohli is the second batsman after South Africa’s AB de Villiers to cross the 900 point mark in both Tests and ODIs.

13) International Mother Language Day- 21 February

  • UNESCO has celebrated International Mother Language Day on 21 February. The 2018 theme is- “Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development”.
  • It has been organised for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.

Daily Current Affairs February 19 and 20 2018

1) Newborn Mortality -India 12th Worst Among 52 Low-Income Nations

  • According to a report by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), India has ranked 12thamong 52 lower middle-income countries in terms of neonatal mortality rate.
  • Neonatal Mortality Rate in India is 25.4/1000 live births. With nearly 640000 newborn deaths each year, India accounts for a quarter of the global burden of neonatal deaths of 2.6 million babies.
  • With Neonatal Mortality Rate of less than 1, Japan is the safest nation for birth, while India’s neighbour Pakistan, with Neonatal Mortality Rate of 45.6 is the riskiest country to be born in.
  • Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF representative in India has stated that India is currently lagging in its commitment to lower neonatal mortality to 12/1000 live births by 2030.
  • 80% of newborn deaths are occurring due to premature birth, complications during labour and delivery and infections such as sepsis, pneumonia and meningitis.
  • Top 5 Safest Nations for newborns:
    Country Neonatal Mortality Rate
    Japan 0.9
    Iceland 1.0
    Singapore 1.1
    Finland 1.2
    Slovenia 1.3

     

2) Union Cabinet Approves Creation Of National Urban Housing Fund

  • The Union Cabinet has given approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) for Rs.60,000 crores. This fund will be situated in Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), an autonomous body under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • NUHF will facilitate raising requisite funds in next four years so that flow of Central Assistance under different verticals i.e. Beneficiary Linked Construction (BLC), Affordable Housing in Partnership(AHP), In-Situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR) and Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS).

3) Delhi govt launches ‘Mission Buniyaad’ to improve learning skills of students

  • In April 2018, Delhi government will implement ‘Mission Buniyaad’ to improve learning levels of students attending primary classes in the state government and municipal schools.
  •  Announcement in this regard was made by Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia.
  • ’Mission Buniyaad’, which is to be implemented from next academic session will focus on students of Class 3 to Class 8.
  • This programme has been planned in wake of results of National Achievement Survey (NAS) conducted by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), to find out the learning standards of schoolchildren.

4) Parliament House to have crèche facility for children of employees

  • The parliament house will launch a crèche facility soon for women employees who prefer to bring their kids to the day care facility.
  • In March 2017, Minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi had notified Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan about the absence of crèche facility in the parliament house premises. In response, Sumitra Mahajan has stated that a crèche facility will be soon launched in the parliament house premises.
  • As per ‘Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017’ a healthy workplace diversity needs to be maintained. This enforces the provision of crèche facility for women employees.

5) Cabinet Approves New Bill To Ban Unregulated Deposit Schemes And Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill

  • In a major policy initiative to protect the savings of the investors, the Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the following bills in the Parliament:-
  • 1. The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018
    The bill is aimed at tackling the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities in the country. Companies/ institutions running such schemes exploit existing regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.
  • 2. The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018
    The Union Cabinet has given its approval to introduce the Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in Parliament. In order to facilitate orderly growth of the Chit Funds sector and remove bottlenecks being faced by the Chit Funds industry, thereby enabling greater financial access of people to other financial products, the following amendments to the Chit Funds Act, 1982 have been proposed:
  • Use of the words “Fraternity Fund” for chit business under Sections 2(b) and 11(1) of the Chit Funds Act, 1982, to signify its inherent nature, and distinguish its working from “Prize Chits” which are banned under a separate legislation;
  • Increasing the ceiling of foreman’s commission from a maximum of 5% to 7%, as the rate has remained static since the commencement of the Act while overheads and other costs have increased manifold;
  • Allowing the foreman a right to lien for the dues from subscribers, so that set-off is allowed by the Chit company for subscribers who have already drawn funds, so as to discourage default by them; and
  • Amending Section 85 (b) of the Chit Funds Act, 1982 to remove the ceiling of one hundred rupees set in 1982 at the time of framing the Chit Funds Act, which has lost its relevance.

6) India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-II Missile

  • India successfully test-fired Agni II medium-range nuclear-capable missile from APJ Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired Agni-II from a mobile launcher at launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range.
  • Agni-II, which has a length of 20 metres, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1000 kgs over a distance of 2000 kms. It is a part of the Agni series of missiles developed by the DRDO.

7) Centre constitutes committee to study Brahmaputra and flood control measures in Assam

  • The Central Government has formed a committee lead by Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, to study the Brahmaputra and flood control measures in Assam and nearby states.
  • Announcement regarding this was made by Assam Water Resource Minister Keshab Mahanta.
  • He said that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced 100 crore rupees to figure out permanent solution for flood, during his visit to Guwahati in 2017.

8) India, Indonesia joint military drill “Garuda Shakti” begins in Bandung

  • On February 19, 2018, Indian and Indonesian armies began the sixth edition of ‘Garuda Shakti’ military drill in Bandung, the capital of West Java province of Indonesia.
  • This joint exercise between Indian and Indonesian Special Forces will continue till March 4, 2018. Objective of Garuda Shakti exercise is to strengthen relations between the two Armies of India and Indonesia and to enhance their ability to undertake joint tactical level operations.
  • During the course of this exercise, Indian and Indonesian Special Forces will engage in counter-terrorism operations, close quarter combat, experience sharing and other areas of special operations.

9) Aga Khan’s 11-Day Visit To India Begins

  • Spiritual leader Aga Khan is on the 11-day visit to India. Sunder Nursery, a 90-acre park near Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, will be inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of the Aga Khan.
  • In addition to these engagements, he will be visiting the cities of Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Mumbai, where Aga Khan Development Network is involved in various development projects. During his previous visit in 2015, the Aga Khan was conferred Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to social development in India.

10)  UK, India Launched Joint Research Projects On Clean Water & Energy

  • The UK- India Joint research projects on Water Quality Research and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment were launched in New Delhi.
  • The Water Quality Research programme has eight projects and Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment programme has four projects, with a total joint investment of up to 15 million British Pound.

11) Fitch Places PNB On ‘Rating Watch Negative’ With Downgrade Possibility

  • Fitch placed Punjab National Bank on Rating Watch Negative (RWN), reflecting a possibility of downgrade following the USD 1.77 billion fraud. The fraud is the biggest ever in the banking history.
  • The Viability Rating measures credit worthiness of a financial institution and reflects the likelihood of the entity to fail, as per Fitch. The RWN reflects the possibility of a downgrade of PNB’s Viability Rating.

12) Christian Coleman smashes 20-year-old 60m sprint indoor world record

  • On 18th February 2018, Christian Coleman of US broke the 20 year old world record in 60 metre sprint with 6.34 seconds timing, at the US Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque.
  • Christian Coleman has broken American Maurice Greene’s record of 6.39 seconds, made in Madrid in 1998. Christian Coleman is 21 years old.
  • Now, Christian Coleman will lead the American team to IAAF world indoor championships in Birmingham, England, that will be conducted next month.

13) India to host World Environment Day 2018 celebrations with ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ theme

  • On February 19, 2018, Union Minister of Environment, Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced that this year’s World Environment Day celebrations (on June 5, 2018) will be hosted by India
  • On February 19, 2018, Union Environment Secretary C K Mishra signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ to host the WED in India in presence of Erik Solheim, the head of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 
  • This year’s theme of WED will be ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ aimed at discouraging use of hazardous plastic.

14) World Day of Social Justice – February 20

  • On 20th February 2018, World Day of Social Justice was observed all over the world.
  • On 26th November 2007, the UN General Assembly declared 20 February as the World Day of Social Justice. The World Day of Social Justice is an annual observance.
  • This day is celebrated to improve efforts to manage issues like poverty, exclusion and unemployment.
  • The theme for World Day of Social Justice 2018 is: Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice.

Daily Current Affairs February 17 and 18 2018

1) Iran President’s India Visit

  • President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani was on a three-day visit to India from 15th – 17thFebruary, 2018.
  • On February 15, 2018, Mr. Rouhani arrived in Hyderabad. He chose to begin his India tour from Hyderabad as the city has a long history of cultural and religious ties with Iran. It is to be noted that, currently, around 40000 Iranians live in Hyderabad.
  • On February 15, 2018, Mr. Rouhani addressed Muslim intellectuals, religious scholars and students at a hotel in Hyderabad.
  • On February 17, 2018, Mr. Rouhani held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. During this meeting, both the leaders reviewed the progress of India-Iran bilateral relations and discussed issues of mutual interest.
  • Mr. Rouhani also gifted an animated version of Kalila Wa Demna (Farsi translation of the Panchatantra) and a copy of the Mahabharat in Farsi to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • India-Iran ink 9 pacts, special focus on Chabahar port
    After delegation-level talks on February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed following 9 pacts:

    1. Maritime Agreement on Chabahar Port and Document on Shahid Behesti port
    2. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Exemption of Visa requirements for diplomatic passport holders
    3. MoU on Establishment on Trade
    4. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement
    5. Ratification of Extradition Treaty
    6. Agreement for Co-operation in Medicine
    7. MoU on Cooperation in Health
    8. Co-operation on Cooperation on Agriculture
    9. MoU on Postal cooperation
  • On February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed a leasing agreement for giving operational control of Shahid Beheshti port to India for a period of 18 months. Shahid Beheshti port is the phase one of the Chabahar port, located on Iran’s east coast.
    • From Indian perspective, Chabahar port (easily accessible from India’s western coast) will serve as an alternative trade route to Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries, bypassing Pakistan.
    • Pakistan has been denying transit permission for trade between India and Afghanistan by citing the reason that India is using Afghanistan as a base to destabilise Pakistan.

2) China To Host 2018 SCO Summit At Qingdao In June

  • China will host 2018 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit at Qingdao, eastern Shandong Province in June 2018. China had taken over rotating chair of SCO after 17th SCO summit concluded in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan in June 2017.
  • SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and security organisation headquartered in Beijing, China. It was founded in 2001.

3) Unmanned Russian Cargo Ship Progress MS-08 Launched

  • Russian space agency Roskosmos has successfully launched Progress MS-08, an unmanned cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station (ISS).
  • It was launched onboard of Soyuz-2.1a rocket from Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. Soyuz-2.1a has four strap-on boosters and core engine, all fueled by a mix of kerosene and liquid oxygen.

4) Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurates CPA conference

  • Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Patna, Bihar.
  • The two-day conference will mainly deliberate on parliament’s role in the development agenda and legislature and judiciary – two important pillars of democracy.

5) Shilpa Shetty’s The Dairy of Domestic Diva Launched

  • After the success of her first book The Great Indian Diet, actress cum entrepreneur, and now an author, Shilpa Shetty has released her second book. It is called The Dairy Of Domestic Diva.
  • The Dairy of Domestic Diva is a cookbook that contains recipes of various dishes along with the calorie intake details.

Daily Current Affairs February 16 2018

1) Gopichand launches India’s largest ‘train the trainers’ programme

  • On February 15, 2018, former Indian Badminton player Pullela Gopichand initiated India’s largest ‘train the trainers’ programme by inducting 1500 Physical Education (PE) teachers from across Gujarat for advanced training.
  • This programme has been envisioned by the ELMS Sports Foundation. ELMS Sports Foundation is a not-for-profit initiative promoted by Vita and Jalaj Dani and mentored by Pullela Gopichand and Olympic gold medallist, shooter Abhinav Bindra.
  • Aim of this programme is to develop the skills of PE teachers so that they can impart the right techniques to children aspiring to make a career in sports.
  • Under this programme, Gopichand along with a team of experts will first select 150 PE teachers (out of 1500 inducted PE teachers) to become master trainers. The selected 150 PE teachers will attend a week-long workshop in which they will be familiarised with modern sports techniques. Thereafter, these teachers will impart the same to the other teachers across the state.

2) Prime Minister Inaugurates World Sustainable Development Summit 2018

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the World Sustainable Development Summit 2018 (WSDS 2018) at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
  • The summit is the flagship forum of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The summit’s theme this year was ‘Partnerships for a Resilient Planet’. The summit seeks to serve as a common platform for global leaders and thinkers from the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment.

3) DP World signs pact with J-K govt to develop trade infrastructure

  • Government of Dubai, global ports operator DP World and the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore opportunities to develop trade infrastructure in the state. Under this agreement, scope for setting up a multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu will be explored.
  • This park would have warehouses and specialised storage solutions that will encourage inter-modal transfer of containers and bulk cargo.
  • In 2016, 15 per cent of India’s total non-oil imports and exports took place through DP Worlds operations in India.

4) Mumbai to have India’s first artificial intelligence centre

  • Maharashtra State government will be setting up India’s first institute for artificial intelligence (AI) in Mumbai.
  • Plan for this institute of artificial intelligence (AI) will be unveiled by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit, beginning on February 18, 2018.
  • Setting up the AI institute will not only play a crucial role in ushering the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ but will also promote Mumbai as an investment destination in innovations and data analysis.
    Maharashtra State Government has already been experimenting with AI in the health sector. Besides, it has also set up a joint working group for AI cooperation with the government of Canada on February 13, 2018.

5) Indian Engineer Awarded Sci-Tech Oscar Award

  • Vikas Sathaye, a Pune-born person has been honoured with the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award at the Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards 2018 at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California.
  • Sathaye and his team received the award for his contribution towards conceptualisation, designing, engineering, and the implementation of the ‘Shotover K1 Camera System’ during his stint at Shotover Camera Systems in Queenstown, New Zealand.

6) Yes Bank Lists Country’s First $600m MTN Bond On IndiaINX

  • Private sector lender, Yes Bank has announced the listing of the Bank’s debut US $600 million bond issue under its maiden US $1 billion medium-term note (MTN) bond on country’s first international exchange BSE’s IndiaINX at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City in Gandhinagar.
  • The Yes Bank’s MTN programme— a debt note that matures or has a payback period of 5 years on Global Securities Market (GSM) became the country’s first capital raising platform for international investors in any currency.

7) Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Resigns To Smooth Path For Political Reform

  • Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn suddenly resigned in what he described as a bid to smooth reforms, following years of violent unrest that threatened the ruling party’s hold on Africa’s second most populous nation.
  • The resignation has unprecedented in Ethiopia’s history – followed a wave of strikes this week in towns near the capital and demonstrations successfully demanding the release of more opposition leaders.

8) Centre to change base year for GDP, IIP to 2017-18

  • Union Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Sadananda Gowda has stated that during 2018-19, his ministry is proposing to initiate steps to revise the base years of gross domestic product (GDP), Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • For the calculation of GDP and IIP numbers base year will be changed to 2017-18 while for CPI (retail inflation) it will be 2018. 
  • Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has proposed these changes to accommodate and factor the changes that take place in Indian economy.
  • Under Union Budget 2018 -19, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) has been allocated Rs 4859 crore.
  • Mr. Gowda added that, from April 2018, his Ministry will undertake various steps to improve the statistical system which will help in meeting the data requirements for emerging socio-economic scenario.

9) NABARD launches Rs 1918 cr area development plan for Punjab

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has announced that is has prepared area development plans worth Rs 1918 crore for farmers of Punjab.
  • Announcement in this regard was made by NABARD Chief General Manager (Punjab), Deepak Kumar at the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting in Chandigarh.
  • The plan envisages to promote activities like dairy, vegetable cultivation, mushroom growing and bee keeping to provide income to farmers on sustainable basis.
  • Mr. Kumar has raised concerns over the shortage of investment credit in Punjab, and has urged banks to focus on the area.

10) PhonePe partners with IOCL for deployment of PoS terminals

  • Payments platform PhonePe has entered into a partnership with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to deploy its Point of Sale (POS) device at IOCL retail outlets.
  • Under this partnership, Phone Pe has installed POS devices at 30 IOCL outlets in Bengaluru on pilot basis. It will be rolled out across India in a phased manner during 2018.
  • Phone Pe had launched its Point of Sale (POS) device in October 2017. Since then, over 10000 POS units have been installed in Bengaluru.
  • Phone Pe is following a twin strategy of deploying its own point-of-sales (PoS) payment terminals at small merchant locations as well as partnering with major merchant chains at the national level.

SET Law (SLAT)

SET Law (SLAT) 2018:

  • Name of the examination: Symbiosis Entrance Test for Law programmes
  • Abbreviation: SET Law
  • Type: Undergraduate
  • Level: University
  • Mode of Exam: Pen and Paper or Offline
  • Conducting authority: Symbiosis International University (SIU)
  • Participating Institutes: Three law colleges – SLS Pune, SLS Noida and SLS Hyderabad
  • Seats: 720 (300 for BA LLB and 420 for BBA LLB programmes)

 

SET Law Important Dates 2018

Events Dates
SET Law 2018 notification released January 23, 2018
SET law 2018 Application process begins January 29, 2018 (7:25 pm)
SET law 2018 Application process ends April 14, 2018
Last day for payment of SET Law 2018 application fee April 14, 2018
Release of SET Law 2018 Admit Card April 20, 2018
SET Law 2018 May 5, 2018 (9:30 am to 12 noon)
Result of SET Law 2018 May 14, 2018

SET Law (SLAT) 2018: Overview

  • Name of the examination: Symbiosis Entrance Test for Law programmes
  • Abbreviation: SET Law
  • Type: Undergraduate
  • Level: University
  • Mode of Exam: Pen and Paper or Offline
  • Conducting authority: Symbiosis International University (SIU)
  • Participating Institutes: Three law colleges – SLS Pune, SLS Noida and SLS Hyderabad
  • Seats: 720 (300 for BA LLB and 420 for BBA LLB programmes)

EXAM PATTERN – LAW (SLAT) 2018

Timing: 9.30 am to 12.00 noon

Sr. No Section Number of Questions Total Marks
1. Logical Reasoning 30 30
2. Legal Reasoning 30 30
3. Analytical Reasoning 30 30
4. Reading Comprehension 30 30
5. General Knowledge 30 30
Total 150 150

SET Law Important Dates 2018

Events Dates
SET Law 2018 notification released January 23, 2018
SET law 2018 Application process begins January 29, 2018 (7:25 pm)
SET law 2018 Application process ends April 14, 2018
Last day for payment of SET Law 2018 application fee April 14, 2018
Release of SET Law 2018 Admit Card April 20, 2018
SET Law 2018 May 5, 2018 (9:30 am to 12 noon)
Result of SET Law 2018 May 14, 2018

 

Daily Current Affairs February 15 2018

1) NITI Aayog, KPIT technologies tie-up to promote innovation in schools

  • KPIT technologies has made a two-year statement of intent with NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog to promote innovative skills of students.
  • This tie up between NITI Aayog and KPIT aims to improve the innovative skills of senior secondary students as part of the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).
  • Through AIM, the Central government would conduct open-ended workshops at Atal Tinkering Laboratories(ATL) to enable students learn through ‘do-it-yourself’ mode. Through this the students would acquire important skills.
  • This tie up will help students learn concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing.

2) PM Modi Launched Three Key Projects In Arunachal Pradesh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched several projects in Arunachal Pradesh. He inaugurated the Dorjee Khandu state convention centre at a function in Itanagar. The Centre has an auditorium, conference halls and an exhibition hall.
  • Prime Minister’s focus was also on the information revolution and now, the newly erected Secretariat building in the state capital is a big step in that direction.The building will have digital technology at its core and will have 2,500 officers and other employees.

3) India’s biggest global pharma conference ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 20180’: Affordable and Quality Healthcare, begins in Bengaluru

  • On 15th – 17th February 2018, ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 2018’: Affordable and Quality Healthcare is held in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 2018’ is organized by Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
  • The theme for ‘India Pharma & India Medical Device 2018’ is: ‘Driving NextGen Pharmaceuticals’.
  • Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Ananth kumar inaugurated the conference. This is the 3rd International exhibition and conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device sector.
  • World Health Organization is conducting a workshop on ‘Regulatory System Strengthening and Prequalification’. NASSCOM organizes a conference on ‘Digital Transformation through Innovation in Pharmaceutical, Medical Devices and Healthcare Industries’.

4) India’s first Radio Festival held in Delhi

  • On 15th February 2018, India’s first Radio Festival was held in New Delhi, commemorating the World Radio Day which was celebrated on 13thFebruary.
  • he Radio festival was organised by International Association of Women in Radio and Television along with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
  • Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Anju Nigam, Director General of AIR Fayaz Sheheryar, Director General of Door Darshan Supriya Sahu and UNESCO representative to India Shigeru Aoyagi spoke at the occasion.
  • Paralympian Deepa Malik spoke at the inaugural session of the event, on the role of radio in sports.

5) India To Host 8th Theatre Olympics

  • In an effort to put India firmly among the top nations in the world theatre map, the country will play host to the 8th Theatre Olympics, the greatest carnival of thespianism.
  • The 51-day theatre extravaganza which will be inaugurated at Red Fort, will see 450 shows including 65 shows by international artistes, 600 ambient performances and 250 youth forum shows.

6) President Kovind inaugurates international conference ‘Agricon 2018’ in Kanpur

  • On February 14, 2018, President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the international conference ‘Agricon 2018’ and ‘Agriexpo 2018’ at Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology (CSAUT), Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
  • The conference has been organised under the joint auspices of The Society of Agricultural Professionals, Kanpur and Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur.

7) India’s defence budget breaks into world’s top 5: UK report

  • According to the ‘Military Balance 2018’ report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defence spender in the world in 2017.
  • For the year 2017, India’s Defence Budget stood at $52.5 billion, up from $51.1 billion in 2016.
  • UK’s defence budget fell from $52.5 billion in 2016 to $50.7 billion in 2017. With $602.8 billion, US had the highest Defence budget during 2017.
  • India’s neighbour China occupied the second position with $150.5 billion Defence budget – almost three times as compared to India.

8) Cyril Ramaphosa Sworn In As New President Of South Africa

  • Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has been sworn in as South Africa’s new President. He was elected as the new president of South Africa by the ruling party politicians after the resignation of Jacob Zuma. 
  • The country’s 400-member parliament, dominated by the ruling African National Congress Party (ANC), elected Ramaphosa  to finish his predecessor’s term, which ends with elections in 2019. The ANC has finished first in every national vote since the end of white-minority rule in 1994.

9) KP Sharma Oli named as Nepal’s next Prime Minister

  • On 14th February 2018, KP Sharma Oli was named the next Prime Minister of Nepal.
  • Two months after the parliamentary elections, the CPN-UML party has named its head KP Sharma Oli as the next Prime Minister of Nepal.
  • In December 2017, the Left Alliance of CPN-UML party and CPN-Maoist Centre obtained 174 seats in the 275-member Parliament.

10) Cristiano Ronaldo becomes first player in Champions League history to score 100 goals for one club

  • On 14th February 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo become the first player in history to score 100 Champions League goals for the same club.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st Champions League goals for Real Madrid against PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Spain. It was his 116th goal in total.
  • He is followed by Lionel Messi who has scored 97 goals for Barcelona club and Raul who has scored 66 goals for Real Madrid club.

11) Longest-serving Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers dies at 78

  • On 14th February 2018, Ruud Lubbers, the longest-serving prime minister of Netherlands passed away in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Ruud Lubbers was 78 years old. He had been ill for some time. He was born on 7th May 1939 in Rotterdam.
  • He served as economics minister from 1973 to 1977. He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1982 to 1994. He also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2001 to 2005.

 

Daily Current Affairs February 14 2018

1) Government Of India Makes Amendments In Small Savings Act

  • In order to remove existing ambiguities due to multiple Acts and rules for Small Saving Schemes, the Government of India has proposed merger of Government Savings Certificates Act, 1959 and Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 with the Government Savings Banks Act, 1873. With a single act, relevant provisions of the Government Savings Certificates (NSC) Act, 1959 and the Public Provident Fund Act, 1968 would stand subsumed in the new amended Act without compromising on any of the functional provision of the existing Act.
  • All existing protections have been retained while consolidating PPF Act under the proposed Government Savings Promotion Act. No existing benefits to depositors are proposed to be taken away through this process. The main objective in proposing a common Act is to make implementation easier for the depositors as they need not go through different rules and Acts for understanding the provision of various small saving schemes, and also to introduce certain flexibilities for the investors.
    Apart from ensuring existing benefits, certain new benefits to the depositors have been proposed under the bill. These are:
    1. As per PPF Act, the PPF account can’t be closed prematurely before completion of five financial years. If the depositor wants to close PPF account before five years in exigencies, he can’t close the account.
    2. Investment in Small Savings Schemes can be made by Guardian on behalf of minor(s) under the provisions made in the proposed bill Guardian may also be given associated rights and responsibilities.
    3. There was no clear provision earlier regarding deposit by minors in the existing Acts. The provision has been made now to promote the culture of savings among children.
    4. There were no clear provisions in all the three Acts for the operation of accounts in the name of physically infirm and differently abled persons. Provisions in this regard have now been made.
    5. In the existing Acts, there is no provision for the nomination with regard to the account opened in the name of the minor. Further, existing Acts say that if account holder dies and there is no nomination and amount is more than prescribed limit, the amount shall be paid to legal heirs.
  • The above provisions which are proposed to be incorporated in the amended Act will add to the flexibility in the operation of the Account under Small Savings Schemes.

2) West Bengal Becomes First State To Opt Out Of ‘Modicare’

  • On 13th February 2018, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that, West Bengal has opted out of National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) also known as ‘Modicare’.
  • The National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) also known as ‘Modicare’ was announced in the Union Budget 2018-19.
  • The NHPS would cover 10 crore poor families. It provides insurance coverage of Rs 5 lakh per annum. It is said to be the world’s largest government healthcare scheme.
  • Mamata Banerjee said that, the NHPS is similar to West Bengal’s existing ‘Swasthya Sathi’ scheme. The ‘Swasthya Sathi’ scheme has already covered 45 lakh families amounting to 2.5 crore people of West Bengal.

3) RBI Rolls Out New Stressed Assets Framework To Tackle Bad Loan Problem

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) scrapped numerous loan restructuring programmes, asking banks to immediately identify defaults and make disclosures every Friday to the RBI credit registry, starting from February 23. The apex bank has also warned banks of monetary penalties and higher provisions if they are found to have violated the stringent new norms.
  • The central bank has withdrawn the existing resolution frameworks and the Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) with immediate effect. The extant instructions on resolution of stressed assets such as Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets, Corporate Debt Restructuring Scheme, Flexible Structuring of Existing Long Term Project Loans, Strategic Debt Restructuring Scheme (SDR), Change in Ownership outside SDR, and Scheme for Sustainable Structuring of Stressed Assets (S4A) stand withdrawn with immediate effect.
  • Further, lenders shall identify incipient stress in loan accounts, immediately on default, by classifying stressed assets as Special Mention Accounts (SMA). Lenders shall report credit information, including classification of an account as SMA to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) on all borrower entities having aggregate exposure of Rs 50 million (Rs 5 crore) and above with them. The CRILC-Main Report will be required to be submitted on a monthly basis, from April 1.

4) Indian, Chinese armies celebrate Chinese spring festival in Ladakh

  • On 13th February 2018, on the occasion of Chinese spring festival, Indian and Chinese armies held a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) in Chushul sector of Ladakh region.
  • The Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) was held at Chinese BPM hut in Moldo garrison of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Chushul sector of eastern Ladakh.
  • Indian delegation was led by Colonel Deependra Jasrotia and Chinese delegation was led by Senior Lieutenant Colonel Bu Hong Dong.
  • The national flag of China was saluted by both the delegations. The Indian and Chinese delegation leaders presented their ceremonial addresses.

5) Meghalaya Governor Inaugurates India, Bangladesh ‘Friendship Gate’

  • On February 13, 2018, Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad inaugurated the ‘Friendship Gate’ for Indian and Bangladesh border guards.
  • This “Friendship Gate” has been constructed with an aim to have a Wagah-like beating retreat ceremony for India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh.
  • At Wagah Border (Amritsar, Punjab on Indian side), India’s Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers, jointly conduct beating retreat ceremony (lowering of flags) on daily basis in a synchronised manner. This venue has become a popular tourist destination.
  • ‘Friendship Gate’ has been constructed near an Integrated Check post, 90 km South of Meghalaya’s capital Shillong on border with Bangladesh.

6) Radio Umang: India’s 1st Online Radio Station Launched

  • India’s 1st Online Radio Station ‘Radio Umang’ was launched recently in India. Listeners can tune in to this online radio station through web streaming or download the app.
  • With 24 hours programming, it has found listeners in Hindi speaking regions of India and in over 60 countries worldwide.

7) Assam becomes fourth state to issue RoW guidelines for telcos

  • Assam has become the fourth state in the country to issue the Right of Way (RoW) guidelines for telecom service providers.
    legal right, established by usage or grant is referred to as Right of Way (RoW).
  • Assam State Cabinet had approved these RoW guidelines on January 28, 2018, and State Chief Secretary V K Pipersenia held a meeting with telecom service providers and other stakeholders on February 12, 2018 to review the current mobile and internet connectivity status.
  • These guidelines will regulate the establishment of underground and overground telecom infrastructure in Assam.

8) Jacob Zuma Resigns As South Africa’s President

  • South Africa’s embattled President Jacob Zuma has resigned. He announced the decision in a televised address to the nation after the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party threatened to eject him from office via a parliamentary vote of no confidence today.
  • The 75-year-old, who was the country’s President for the last 9 years, has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC’s new leader. Mr Zuma’s resignation followed weeks of intense public pressure to step down amid long-standing corruption allegations.

9) Ashok Das appointed as Ambassador of India to Brazil 

  • On 13th February 2018, Ashok Das was named the next Ambassador of India to the Federative Republic of Brazil.
  • Ashok Das is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1987 batch. Currently he is Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • He has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Federative Republic of Brazil. He will soon take charge as the Ambassador of India to the Federative Republic of Brazil.

10) Krishna Kumari to become first Hindu minority woman lawmaker from Pakistan

  • Krishna Kumari is to become the first female Hindu lawmaker in Pakistan since 1947.
  • Krishna Kumari is a 38 year old woman from Pakistan’s Hindu minority community. She is a member of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
  • She has been nominated by the opposition Pakistan People’s Party for the upcoming Senate elections. The elections will be conducted on 3rdMarch 2018.
  • She hails from a very poor family and was married at the age of sixteen. She is to become the first Hindu woman lawmaker in Pakistan since 1947.

11) India ranked among top 10 in the World in Terms of Forest Area

  • At the time of releasing India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 on February 12, 2018,Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.  Harsh Vardhanstated that in terms of land area under forest and tree cover, India has ranked 10th in the world.
  • As per ISFR 2017, Forest and tree cover in India is 802088 sq km i.e. 24.39 per cent of the total geographical area.
  • In terms of land area under forest and tree cover, India is a stand out case as none of the other 9 countries in the Top 10 has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India.

Daily Current Affairs February 13 2018

1) India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit held in New Delhi

  • On 13th February 2018, India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit was held in New Delhi.
  • India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
  • Gajender Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Sergey Beletskiy, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Russia, spoke at the summit.
  • Heads of various business associations in agriculture sector of India and Russia attended the summit. This summit would strengthen business ties between India and Russia.

2) Uttar Pradesh launches DASTAK campaign to eradicate Japanese Encephalitis

  • On 5th February 2018, Uttar Pradesh government in collaboration with UNICEF launched “Dastak Campaign against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)”.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inauguratred the “Dastak Campaign against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)”. Also, he released a CD, sanitary kit and publicity material during the inauguration.
  • Yogi Adityanath said that, the encephalitis affects children up to 15 years old. He said that 38 districts of Uttar Pradesh are affected with AES and JE.
  • He said that, in order to control encephalitis, health department has been made the nodal agency.  Departments such as urban development, Panchayati Raj, Women and Child Welfare, Rural Development, Medical Education, Animal Husbandry and basic education departments will work under the health department.

3) R.K. Singh inaugurates International Conference on Operations and Maintenance held in New Delhi

  • Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh inaugurated the ‘Indian Power Stations 2018’ in New Delhi. It is the three-day International Conference on Operations and Maintenance.
  • The Minister exhorted the NTPC to become India’s power sector multinational by setting up power plants in other Nations and become world’s largest power producer. The Minister stated that neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh are viable markets for export of power, where per unit cost of electricity is very high.

4) 12th International Conference On CSR Held In Bengaluru

  • The Institute Of Directors organised it’s 12th International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • In the conference, the Prestigious Golden Peacock Award 2017 were presented. The leadership award for philanthropy and social change was presented to Mr. Vineet Nayar, Founder Chairman, Sampark Foundation.

5) Nitin Gadkari releases India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual

  • On February 12, 2018, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkarireleased India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) which will guide road engineers and policy makers about road expansion.
  • This manual is known as ‘Indo-HCM’ and has been developed by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).
  • CRRI was established in 1952 and is a constituent laboratory of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
  • The manual has been developed on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, inter- urban highways and expressways.

6) 6th World Government Summit (WGS-2018) held in Dubai

  • 6th edition of World Government Summit (WGS) 2018 was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 11th – 13th February, 2018.
  • World Government Summit is a platform through which,  prominent leaders from the public and private sectors, international thought leaders and pioneers engage in an inspirational, thought-provoking and future-focused dialogues, aimed to shape the future of governments and help improve the lives of citizens across the world.
  • This summit was attended by over 4000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of governments and representatives of 16 international organisations.

7) 8.4% Growth In Foreign Tourist Arrivals In One Year

  • Ministry of Tourism compiles monthly estimates of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) & FTAs on e- Tourist Visaon the basis of Nationality-wise, Port-wise data received from Bureau of Immigration (BOI).

  • The growth rate in FTAs in January 2018 over January 2017 was 8.4%. During the month of January 2018, a total of 2.40 lakh foreign tourists arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.52 lakh during the month of January 2017 registering a growth of 58.5%.
  • The percentage share of top 3 source countries availing e- Tourist Visa facilities-
    1. UK (18.6%),
    2. USA (10.6%),
    3. Russian Fed (6.5%)
  • The percentage share of top 3 ports in foreign tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa-
    1. New Delhi Airport (37.3%),
    2. Mumbai Airport (19.6%),
    3. Dabolim (Goa) Airport (12.4%)

8) Bank of Baroda to exit South Africa by March-end

  • On February 12, 2018, Bank of Baroda, an Indian public sector bank, announced that will shut down its operation in South Africa.
  • BoB has been operating in South Africa since past 21 years. As per the official announcement, BoB will stop taking new/incremental deposits and disbursing loans in South Africa with effect from March 1, 2018 and will cease to operate and conduct the business of a bank with effect from March 31, 2018.
  • Earlier, BoB had stated that South African Reserve Bank is investigating allegations regarding compliance lapses in Bank’s South African Operations.

9) World’s 1st Autonomous Pods Unveiled In Dubai

  • Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the first tests of the world’s first autonomous pods at the World Government Summit. The autonomous pods are launched in cooperation with Next Future Transportation (US-Based) and are designed to travel short and medium distances in dedicated lanes.
  • They can be coupled together in as little 15 seconds or detached depending on the riders’ destination in five seconds. Each pod is fitted with cameras and electromechanical technologies to carry out the coupling and detaching, which can be activated while the pod is in motion.

10) Chandrashekhar Kambar elected as President of Sahitya Akademi

  • On 9th February 2018, Chandrashekhara Kambar was elected as the president of Sahitya Akademi.
  • Chandrashekhar Kambar is a Kannada writer. He has also received the Jnanpith award. Madhav Koushik, a Hindi poet, has been elected as the vice-president of Sahitya Akademi.
  • Chandrashekhar Kambar has become the third Kannada writer to be the President of Sahitya Akademi.
  • He obtained 56 out of 89 votes and surpassed his competitors Odiya writer Prathibha Ray and Marathi writer Bhalachandra Nemade.
  • Chandrashekhar Kambar was the former vice president of Sahitya Akademi. He was also the first vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi.

11) World Radio Day- 13 February

  • World Radio Day is observed annually on 13 February. The theme for WRD 2018 is “Radio and Sports”. The Day is organised globally by the UNESCO.
  • The objectives of the Day is mainly to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio and to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio.

Daily Current Affairs February 12 2018

1) PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- PM Modi Meets CEOs At India-Oman Business Meet

  • On the last day of PM Modi’s 3 Nation visit, he addressed business leaders at the ‘India-Oman Business Meet’,organised by Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Oman, in association with Embassy of India in Muscat.
  • This forum aims at uplifting Omani and Indian entrepreneurs to conduct successful businesses with the other. PM Modi also met with Omani CEOs and share possibilities of greater investment in India.

2) 12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility held in Bengaluru

  • 12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility (CSR) was held on 9th and 10thFebruary, 2018 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • This conference was organised by Institute Of Directors (IOD), an association of company directors, committed to improving the competitiveness of businesses through development of its leadership.
  • The event was inaugurated by T. M. Vijay Bhaskar, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.
  • Several dignitaries comprising senior government officials and corporate heads addressed the conference.

3) Delhi government, MoEF jointly launch ‘Clean Air Campaign’

  • On 10th February 2018, Delhi government and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) together launched the ‘Clean Air Campaign’ for Delhi.
  • The ‘Clean Air Campaign’ campaign will be carried out for two weeks till 23rd February 2018. This campaign will focus on improvement of air quality in Delhi. 70 teams have been formed as a part of the campaign.
  • The teams consist of one senior officer from MoEF&CC and one official from Delhi government as co-leaders.
  • Also, one member from CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), one from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and one from concerned Municipal Corporation will also be present in the teams.

4) Gevora, the world’s tallest hotel, opens in Dubai

  • Gevora, world’s new tallest hotel opened on February 11, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Height of 75-storey Gevora Hotel is 356 metres. It has been built by Majid Al Attar.
  • Gevora Hotel has 528 guest rooms – 232 Deluxe Rooms, 265 one-bed room deluxe and 31 two-bedroom suites.
  • It also has a pool, Jacuzzi, health club, luxury spa and restaurants serving international and local cuisines.
  • It is to be noted that, the Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building (828 metres) is also located in Dubai.

5) India ranks second in global phosphorus pollution by human activity

  • As per a report published in Water Resources Research, Phosphorus levels in freshwater bodies across the world are escalating and this could pose a serious threat to the ecosystem.
  • The report outlined that globally, on account of human activities, about 1.5 teragrams of phosphorus (one teragram is equal to one billion kilograms) was dumped into the freshwater systems every year.
  • Breaking it down by country, China contributed the most with 30%, followed by India (8%), the USA (7%) and Spain and Brazil (6% each).
  • The researchers also assessed the phosphorus-related water pollution levels in 20 river basins across the world. In the assessment, Huang He river basin of China was found to be having highest phosphorus-related water pollution. Ganges basin (in India) ranked fourth in this list.

6) India’s forest, tree cover up by 1 % in 2 years: ISFR 2017

  • As per India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 released by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on February 12, 2018, tree and forest cover in India increased by 8021 sq km (by 1%) in two years since 2015.
  • As per ISFR 2017, total forest cover in India is 708273 sq km, which is 21.54 per cent of the total geographical area.
  • In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh (77414 sq km) has the largest forest cover among all Indian states and Union Territories.

7) Stevan Smith wins Australia’s Border Medal

  • On 12th February 2018, Steve Smith, Australia cricket captain, won his second Allan Border Medal in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Stevan Smith won 246 votes, surpassing David Warner who obtained 162 votes and Nathan Lyon who scored 156 votes.
  • He had already won the Australia Border Medal in 2015. Other Australian cricketers who had won Australia’s Border medal are: Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and David Warner.
  • Ellyse Perry won the Belinda Clark Award for the second time that makes her the best female cricketer of Australia in the past 12 months. She had earlier won the award in 2016.

8) Sharmila Nicollet, 1st Indian Golfer To Qualify For China LPGA Tour

  • Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour. The 26-year-old Bengaluru golfer fought her way back into the tournament in the last two rounds to earn a card for the Tour.
  • Sharmila, who played on the Ladies European Tour before losing her full card, played her three rounds in the CLPGA Tour Qualifying School to finish in tied 21st and pick one of the 30 cards available in the 88-player field.

9) Kishan Gangolli Wins 13th Edition Of National Chess Championship For Blind

  • Defending champion Karnataka’s Kishan Gangolli won the 13th edition of the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for the blind in Mumbai. The championship was organised by All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB).
  • At the end of the 13th round, Asian Championship winner, Gangolli became the champion for the fifth consecutive time with 10.5 points. Gujarat’s Ashvin Makwana stood second with 9.5 points, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Orissa with 9 points came third.

10) Golden Globe Award Winner Musician Johann Johannsson Passes Away

  • Acclaimed Icelandic musician and Oscar-nominated composer Johann Johannsson has passed away aged 48.
  • In 2014, he was nominated for BAFTA, Grammy and Oscar awards for his score for ‘Theory of Everything,’and won the Golden Globe award, making him one of the most well-known composers Iceland has produced.

Daily Current Affairs February 10 & 11 2018

1)  Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological Systems inaugurated at INS Garuda

  • On February 9, 2018, ‘Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS)’ was inaugurated at INS Garuda, a naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala.
  • INS Garuda has become the fourth Naval Air Station to be the part of this integrated system. IAAMS is Indian Navy’s project aimed at modernising the Meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations.
  • IAAMS comprises state of the art Meteorological Sensors viz., Transmissometer, Radar Vertical Wind Profiler, Ceilometer and Automatic Weather Observation System which automatically records relevant weather parameters (that are vital for accurate weather forecasting) on continuous basis.

2) J P Nadda launches National Deworming initiative

  • On February 10, 2018, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda launched National Deworming Day.
  • Since 2015, National Deworming Day is held on 10 February and 10 August to treat intestinal worm infections in all children aged 1- 19 years. 
  • This mass deworming programme is implemented by reaching out to children at schools and anganwadis  and administering Albendazole tablets.
  • NDD mobilizes health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to focus on controlling Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections, which is one of the most common infections.

3) PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- Modi Conferred ‘Grand Collar Of The State Of Palestine’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’ by President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas, recognising his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine.
  • President Abbas conferred the honour after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine. The Grand Collar is Highest order given to foreign dignitaries – Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank.

4) PM Modi 3 Nation Visit- India, Oman Sign 8 MoUs

  • India and Oman have signed eight MoUs in different areas during PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the Gulf nation. The fields in which the agreements were inked include defence, health and tourism.
  • An MoU on legal and judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters was also signed. The agreements were inked after Mr Modi held delegation-level talks with the Sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said in Muscat.

5) India Health Fund to boost research on TB, malaria

  • India Health Fund (launched by Tata Trusts in association with The Global Fund) will financially support innovations and technologies aimed at combating tuberculosis and malaria.
  • Indian Health Fund (IHF) will be supporting individuals and organisation that are already involved in developing new products and strategies that impact the entire lifecycle (from prevention to post-cure recovery) of TB and Malaria. IHF’s role will be to make such solutions sustainable and scalable. 
  • It has invited project proposals in four areas of research viz. use of technology and data science to strengthen surveillance of TB and malaria, promotion of robust molecular diagnostic facilities, innovations on effective communication strategies to be adopted for preventing transmission of TB and malaria and research on innovative approaches to vector surveillance.

6) Government sanctions Rs 1487 crore to Army to boost perimeter security

  • Union Defence Ministry has sanctioned Rs 1487 crore to Indian Army to fortify its bases in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and several other sensitive places.
  • The funds will be used to plug security gaps at the bases and thereby building protection against any terror attacks.
  • This project for strengthening perimeter security at army bases was cleared by Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • A deadline of 10 months has been set to carry out this project and Army headquarters has been directed to monitor the implementation.
  • In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks targeting military installations. After the attack on the Pathankot air force base in 2016, committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose had recommended carrying out security audit of military bases.

7) NPCI Appoints Biswamohan Mahapatra As Non-Executive Chairman

  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) appointed Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman for two years with immediate effect.
  • He succeeds B Sambamurthy who was the interim chairman.

8) India Retains Top Spot As Source Market For Dubai In 2017

  • Dubai witnessed 15% growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2017, hosting 2.1 million visitors, retaining top spot as the source market. It also became the first country to cross the 2 million mark in a single year, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
  • The growth is mainly due to the success of Dubai Tourism’s ongoing collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the ‘BeMyGuest’ campaign. 

9) Mumbai 12th Richest City Globally, New York Tops The List: Report By New World Wealth

  • New World Wealth is a global market research group, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It specializes in ratings, surveys, country reports and wealth statistics.
  • In context of this report, total wealth, refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. Government funds are not included in total wealth.
  • Private Wealth includes assets (property, equities, cash, and business stakes) less any liabilities.
  • Although Mumbai is ranked 12th in terms of total wealth, in terms of billionaire population it featured among the top 10 cities. Mumbai is home to 28 billionaires (individuals with USD 1 billion or more in net assets).
  • Mumbai is regarded as the economic hub of India. It is also home to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the 12th largest stock exchange in the world.
  • The report has outlined that Mumbai is expected to be the fastest growing city (in terms of wealth growth) over the next 10 years.

10) RBI to get another liquidity management tool in standing deposit scheme

  • In Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to amend the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act to empower RBI for adopting an additional instrument for liquidity management.
  • The additional instrument that is being referred to is the ‘Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) Scheme’, which was first suggested by Urjit Patel Committee in January 2014 as an additional instrument to be used by RBI for absorption of surplus liquidity from the system, without the need for providing collateral in exchange.
  • As per the current provision, RBI is required to provide a collateral while absorbing surplus liquidity from the system. This norm becomes a constraint during special situations such as post-demonetisation phase where RBI had ran out of securities owing to unprecedented flows entering the system.

11) China puts J-20 stealth fighter into combat service

  • China’s new generation J-20 stealth fighters have been commissioned into air force combat service.
  • Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has announced that the J-20 has been commissioned into combat units. J-20 is the fourth generation medium and long-range fighter jet of China.
  • Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said that, the J-20 will help to increase the air force’s combat capabilities and to defend the country.
  • J-20 entered service in 2017. It was displayed to the public for the first time in 2016 at the Zhuhai airshow.

12) Sharmila Nicollet first Indian golfer to qualify for China LPGA Tour

  • Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour.
  • Sharmila Nicollet is 26 years old. She hails from Bengaluru.
  • In the CLPGA Tour Qualifying School, she played three rounds in 77-73-72 and completed in tied 21st. She has qualified for the China Ladies PGA Tour.
  • The performance in the China LPGA Tour will earn players the Women’s World Golf Rankings points.

13) Pakistan’s iron lady Asma Jehangir passes away

  • On 11th February 2018, Asma Jehangir, Pakistan’s reputed lawyer and human rights activist, died following a cardiac arrest in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Asma Jehangir was known as Pakistan’s Iron Lady. She was the head of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
  • She was also the chairperson of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was a UN Rapporteur in the 1990s.