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.

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