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.

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