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.

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