Daily Current Affairs February 6 2018

1) Govt body sets up mechanism for tech transfer to small-scale industries

  • Union Science and Technology Minister, Harsh Vardhan has stated that Government has set up a mechanism in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for regular interface with small-scale industry (SSI) for transfer of technologies from CSIR laboratories to industries.
  • A nodal officer has been appointed in CSIR, tasked with the responsibility to coordinate with the small-scale industry and the CSIR labs for appropriate technology required by them.
  • This decision has been taken in response to concerns raised by leaders of Laghu Udyog Bharati that there was a “disconnect between CSIR and the small-scale industries and it should be addressed”.

2) First-ever Pelican Bird Festival held at Atapaka Bird Sanctuary

  • On 4th February 2018, ‘Pelican Bird Festival-2018’ was held at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary on Kolleru Lake, in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Pelican Bird Festival-2018 was jointly organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority (APTA) and Krishna district administration.
  • Andhra Pradesh Tourism minister Bhuma Akhila Priya and Krishna District collector B Lakshmikantham inaugurated the Pelican Bird Festival-2018.
  • A rally was organized from Kaikaluru town to Atapaka bird sanctuary during the festival.  Thousands of artists, students and officials of the tourism department participated in the rally.

3) President Ram Nath Kovind Inaugurates Mahamastakabhisheka Utsav

  • The President of India Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 88th Mahamastakabhisheka Utsav of Lord Gomateshwara in Hassan district of Karnataka.
  • Mahamastakabhisheka of Gommateshwara, who is also known as Bahubali takes place once in 12 years. It is an important Jain pilgrimage centre and lakhs of tourists visit Shravanbelagola to see 57 feet tall monolithic stone statue that is anointed from head to feet during the Utsav.

4) Commerce Minister Kicks Off Consultations On The New Industrial Policy

  • Commerce and Industries Minister Mr Suresh Prabhu set off a series of nation-wide consultations with the industry on the proposed new Industrial Policy. The first consultation was held at Guwahati in February 2018.
  • The event, organized by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in partnership with Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), was attended by more than 120 industrialists from the North East in addition to government officials from the North Eastern States.

5) Ministry of Railways signs MoU with Ministry of Ayush to augment Ayush services in Railway hospitals

  • On February 6, 2018, Ministry of Railways signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Ayush in New Delhi to scale up Ayush services in Railway’s Zonal hospitals.
  • As per the MoU, Ayush Services will be augmented at  B. R. Singh Hospital (Kolkata) in Eastern Railway, Perambur Railway Hospital (Chennai) in Southern Railway, Central Hospital (New Delhi) of Northern Railway, JR Hospital (Mumbai) in Western Railway and the Central Hospital of Northeast Frontier Railway (Guwahati).
  • The MoU was signed in presence of  Minister of State of Railways – Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH – Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State of Railways – Rajen Gohain and Chairman of Railway Board – Ashwani Lohani.

6) India FY2019 fiscal deficit to come in at 3.5% of GDP: Report

  • According to the report by BMI Research, India’s fiscal deficit in financial year 2018-19 is expected to come in at 3.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • Situation wherein, a government’s total expenditures exceeds the revenue that it generates is referred to as fiscal deficit.
  • BMI’s projection is higher than Government’s fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP, announced in Union Budget 2018.
  • BMI has justified its projection by highlighting that as per overall expenditure quantum announced in Union Budget 2018, Indian Government looks keen to promote economic growth during 2018-19, which may reduce its pace of fiscal consolidation.

7) Sweden Commits Record $370m Of Aid To UN World Food Programme

  • Sweden and the United Nations World Food Programme signed a Strategic Partnership Agreementcommitting an unprecedented $370 million dollars to WFP over the next four years. The contribution for the period 2018-2021 is the biggest ever made by a donor within a WFP Strategic Partnership Agreement.
  • For almost a decade, the Swedish government has been the largest donor of flexible funds to WFP whereas 90% of government funding to WFP is earmarked for specific operations or activities.

8) Google launches #SecurityCheckKiya campaign to protect data, devices

  • On February 5, 2018,  Google launched a public initiative “#SecurityCheckKiya” to create awareness around Internet safety and to protect young and first-time web users from account hijacking, safeguard Android devices from malicious mobile applications and secure their personal data.
  • On account of easy access to internet, large number of first time Internet users have now come online.
  • These users typically lack technical alertness to safeguard themselves in online environment and are thus vulnerable to bad actors and abuse on the web.
  • Google has made related information available on its homepage and is encouraging users to take the first step of Security Check on Safer Internet Day (February 6).

9) NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant gets extension till June 30, 2019

  • On 5th February 2018, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant was given an extension till 30th June 2019.
  •  Amitabh Kant was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog on 17th February 2016 for a two-year term.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved extension of Amitabh Kant as CEO of NITI Aayog till 30th June 2019.
  • Amitabh Kant is a 1980 batch IAS officer of Kerala cadre. Earlier, he was Secretary in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

10) Capgemini to buy LiquidHub for about 400 million euros

  • On 5th February 2018, Capgemini said that, it will acquire LiquidHub to enhance its digital-consulting capabilities in North America.
  • The cost of acquisition is estimated to be nearly 400 million euros. This amount is said to be twice that of LiquidHub’s 2017 revenue.
  • Capgemini said that, the transaction would be closed in the next 2 months. LiquidHub is a digital technology services company.

11) Mumbai Airport Becomes World’s Busiest Single-Runway Airport

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport of Mumbai sets record with 980 flights in 24 hours or almost one flight every minute.
  • With this, the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport bettered its own feat of 974 flights in 24 hours, recorded in December 2017. While Gatwick, the U.K.’s second-largest airport, remains the most efficient single-runway airport in the world.

12) Jerome H Powell Sworn In As 16th Chairman Of Federal Reserve

  • Jerome H Powell was sworn in as the 16th Chairman of the Federal Reserve for a four-year term. Mr Powell has succeeded Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the US central bank in its 100-year history.
  • Powell was nominated for the post in November 2017 by President Donald Trump. The oath was administered by Vice Chairman Randal K. Quarles in the Board Room.

13) International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation – 6 February

  • On 6th February 2018, International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation was observed all over the world.
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) means removing or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. This practice is considered as a violation of girls’ and women’s rights all over the world.
  • UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) are organizing a world-level programme to eliminate FGM. Its main focus is on 17 African countries.

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