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Weekly Current Affairs Feb 1st Week
1. Donald Trump Bans 7 nations from Entering US on Security Issues
The new US President has imposed a controversial 90-day ban on travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The decision aims at protecting United States from the entry of foreign terrorists to keep the nation safe.
2. SAARC Programme Committee meeting underway
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Programme Committee’s 53rd meeting is underway in the capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu.
The meeting is being led by Nepal Foreign Ministry’s Regional Organisation Division Chief Mani Prasad Bhattarai.
Nepal is hosting the meeting in capacity as the SAARC Chair.
3. ISB, IIMA And IIMB Among The Top 50 In FT Global MBA Ranking 2017
Indian School of Business (ISB), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) and Indian Institute of Management Bangalore(IIMB) have been ranked among the top 50 in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2017.
Management schools in the top 50 include INSEAD (France and Singapore), Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton Business School, Harvard Business School, University Cambridge Judge Business School and London Business School.
ISB is the highest ranked B school from India which has been ranked in the 27th position which jumped two slots than last year’s while IIMB is placed in the 29th position jumping five slots than last year’s.
4. Kuwaiti visa ban on 5 Muslim-majority countries
Kuwait has suspended the issuance of visas for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.
The Kuwaiti government has told would-be migrants from the five banned nations to not apply for visas, as it is worried about the possible migration of radical Islamic terrorists.
The order came at a time after refugees from all over the world will be denied US entry for 120 days by US Prsident Trump while all immigration from so-called “countries with terrorism concerns” will be suspended for 90 days. The countries included in the US ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
5. The world’s most valuable brands revealed
Google has snatched Apple’s title as the world’s most valuable brand, ending the iPhone maker’s five-year reign.
The monetary value of Google’s brand rose by 24 per cent last year to $109.5bn, propelling it to the top spot for the first time since 2011.
Apple’s value fell from $145.9bn in the previous year to $107.1bn.
The study of 500 brands deemed Amazon the third most valuable.
6. Qatar Airways launches world’s longest flight
Qatar Airways launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland.
Flight QR920 left the Qatari capital at 05:02 (local time) and is set to land in New Zealand at 07:30 (local time).
The Boeing 777 flight will take 16 hours and 20 minutes, pass over 10 time zones, five countries and travel 14,535 kilometres before reaching Auckland.
7. 4 February: The World Cancer Day
The World Cancer Day is observed every year on 4 February. World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer.
It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.
The theme of 2017 World Cancer Day is ‘We Can, I Can’.
8. Mobile app to monitor tiger reserves launched
Monitoring of tiger reserves in the country will become much easier, quicker and transparent with the official launch of M-STrIPES (Monitoring System For Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status) software-enabled mobile app at Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Foresters of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are participating in three-day training workshop to learn about data collection and software entry under the guidance of scientists of Wildlife Institute of India at Corbett.
After the successful trial at Panna Tiger Reserve, the app has now been launched in these five states in one go.
9. Vasundhara pips Kejriwal as most ‘liked’ CM
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has become the “most liked Chief Minister” on social media platforms, leaving behind Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and U.P. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Her official Facebook page has notched up more than 71 lakh ‘likes’ so far.
Mr. Kejriwal’s Facebook page has 70.87 lakh ‘likes’, while Mr. Yadav has 54.85 lakh ‘likes’.
Ms. Raje’s team closely monitors the opinions coming on social channels and takes follow-up action to ensure help for those who ask for it.
10. Government to build 2 crude oil storages in Odisha, Rajasthan
In a bid to insulate the country from volatility in global oil market, the government will build two more underground crude oil storages at Chandikhol in Odisha and Bikaner in Rajasthan.
India has already built underground storages in rock caverns at Visakhapatnam (1.33 million tonnes), Mangalore (1.5 MT) and Padur (2.5 MT).
“For strengthening our energy sector, Government has decided to set up Strategic Crude Oil Reserves.
11. Madhya Pradesh: Rs 1500 crore defence unit to be set up in Morena district
The Defence Ministry would be setting up its unit of national importance in Madhya Pradesh at Morena district’s Kailaras and Sabalgarh tehsil areas, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar said.
The Defence Ministry would spend Rs 1500 crore on the proposed unit, the Minister said in a statement welcoming MP government’s decision to allot land for the same.
12. National Testing Agency To Be Set Up
Asserting that quality of education will energise the youth, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley unleashed measures to revamp the country’s education system, including setting up of a National Testing Agency to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
Unveiling the budgetary proposals for 2017-18 in Parliament, Jaitley said the government proposes to establish a National Testing Agency as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organisation to conduct all entrance examinations for higher education institutions.
This would free CBSE, AICTE and other premier institutions from these administrative responsibilities so that they can focus more on academics.
13. Surajkund International Crafts Mela Kicked off in Faridabad
The 31st edition of the annual Surajkund international crafts fair begun with artists from over 20 countries participating in the cultural extravaganza.
The mela is being hosted jointly by the Haryana Tourism Corporation and Surajkund Mela Authority, in collaboration with the Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs.
For the 31st edition of the much anticipated fair, Jharkhand has been chosen to be the Theme State.
14. 19th Bharat Rang Mahotsav begins
Offering a potpourri of plays from India as well as other countries, the 19th edition of National School of Drama’s Bharat Rang Mahotsav began In New Delhi.
The annual theatre extravaganza, slated to run through February 1-21, will see 14 foreign productions and participation of 12 countries.
Renowned Bhartnatyam and Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh, who was present at the event as the chief guest said she is excited for having been invited to perform in the festival.
15. Rail Museum celebrates 40th anniversary
The National Rail Museum just entered into its 40th year.
It houses the largest collection of life-size rail exhibits.
It was recently renovated and reopened for public.
The museum also has interactive screens, miniature working models to inform the visitors of its main attractions.
16. UIDAI clamps down on 50 fraud sites offering Aadhaar services
In a massive crackdown on unauthorised agencies offering Aadhaar-related services illegally and charging excessive money from the public, UIDAI has got shut down 12 such websites and 12 mobile apps available on the Google Playstore.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has further directed authorities for closure of another 26 such fraudulent and illegal websites and mobile applications.
17. Bihar introduces third gender category in school exams
For the first time since the Supreme Court recognised transgender people as a third gender in 2014, as many as 18 students in Bihar have been allowed to appear for the Board exams conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) under the third-gender category.
The exams for Class 12 begin on February 14 and for Class 10 from March 1.
According to board officials, 10 third-gender students will be taking the Class 12 exams and eight would be writing the Class 10 exams.
18. Penalty of 100% amount for receiving cash over Rs 3 lakh
In a bid to check generation of black money, a steep penalty awaits those accepting cash in excess of Rs 3 lakh, beginning April 1, to settle any transaction.
A ban on cash transaction of more than Rs 3 lakh has been proposed in the Budget for 2017-18.
Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the penalty for doing cash transaction will be steep and the receiver will have to pay an amount equivalent to the cash received.
“Supposing you do a transaction of Rs 4 lakh in cash, then the penalty would be Rs 4 lakh. If you do a transaction of Rs 50 lakh, penalty would be Rs 50 lakh,” he said, adding that the penalty will be levied on the receiver.
19. Telangana government launches India’s first social innovation centre
Telangana government launched the Kakatiya Hub for Social Innovation in Nizamabad, which is expected to be up and running by September.
Funded by the Telangana government, Kakatiya Hub, which will function like a rural incubator to encourage entrepreneurship at grassroots level, is claimed to be India’s first social innovation centre.
The incubator will be run through Kakatiya Sandbox.
20. IndiGo Security Training Centre Licence Suspended
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has suspended the licence of IndiGo’s aviation security training facility for alleged lapses in the examination system conducted by the airline.
The orders issued by BCAS, the apex aviation security agency, last week bar the Gurgaon-based airline from conducting security training programme for its employees any further, sources said.
The training academy is run by IndiGo’s parent company, InterGlobe Aviation.
21. India’s solar power capacity crosses 9 GW
Country’s solar power generation capacity was 9,012 MW as on December 31, 2016.
Tamil Nadu led the chart followed by Rajasthan and Gujarat, Power Minister Piyush Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha.
The minister said solar power development varies from state to state depending on solar irradiance, availability of conducive state policy for the sector, availability of land, cost of financing and business environment such as willingness of DISCOMS to purchase the solar power, power evacuation infrastructure, etc.
22. IIT Bombay helps Rajasthan tribal communities set up solar manufacturing plant
A solar module manufacturing plant fully owned and operated by local tribal communities is being set up in Dungarpur, Rajasthan with the help of IIT Bombay.
The Institute has helped implement this first-of- its-kind solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing plant, which will be completely owned and operated by tribal women in Dungarpur, Rajasthan.
23. Assam launches Rs 30,000 cr village development scheme
In a move to bring about paradigm shift towards holistic development of villages in Assam, Chief Minsiter Sarbananda Sonowal launched Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana (CMSGUY).
Chief Minister Samagra Gramya Unnayan Yojana, a mega mission with a financial outlay of Rs. 30,000 crore will be implemented in all the villages in Assam in the next five years culminating in 2021-22.
24. Reliance Defence bags Rs916-cr order from MoD
Industrialist Anil Ambani-led Reliance Defence said it had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for the design and construction of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard valued at Rs 916 crore.
These ships are medium-range, high-speed vessels, and primarily used for patrol within the exclusive economic zone, costal surveillance, and anti-smuggling, anti-piracy, search and rescue operations.
They also support front-line warships in the hour of need.
25. The economic survey 2016-17
The economic survey 2016-17 was presented in the parliament on January 31, 2017.
The survey was prepared by the finance ministry’s chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.
The Economic Survey 2016-17 advocates the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.
Here are the highlights of the report:
2017/18 GDP growth seen between 6.75 and 7.5 percent year on year.
GDP growth rate at constant market prices for the current year 2016/17 is placed at 7.1 percent.
The federal statistics office’s estimate of 7.1 percent growth for 2016/17 likely to be revised downwards.
Service sector is estimated to grow at 8.9 percent in 2016/17.
Industrial growth rate expected to moderate to 5.2 percent in 2016/17 from 7.4 percent in 2015/16.
The agriculture sector is estimated to grow at 4.1 percent in 2016/17 as opposed to 1.2 percent in 2015/16.
Implementation of wage hike, muted tax receipts to put pressure on fiscal deficit in 2017/18.
Need for fiscal prudence for both centre and states for fiscal health of the economy.
Fiscal windfall from low oil prices to disappear in 2017/18.
The average consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate declined to 4.9 percent in 2015/16 from 5.9 percent in 2014/15.
CPI-based core inflation has remained sticky in the current fiscal year averaging around 5 percent.
Oil prices, seen rising by one-sixth in 2017/18 over 2016/17 prices, could dampen India’s economic growth.
Remonetisation will ensure that the cash squeeze is eliminated by April 2017.
Supply of currency should follow actual demand and not be dictated by official estimate of desirable demand.
Sharp rise in prices in 2017/18 may cap monetary easing headroom Market interest rates seen lower in 2017/18 due to demonetisation.
Government debt to GDP ratio in 2016 seen at 68.5 percent down from 69.1 percent in 2015.
Suggests setting up public sector asset rehabilitation agency to take charge of large bad loans in banks.
Central agency with government backing could overcome coordination and political issues on bad loans.
Income tax rates and real estate stamp duties could be reduced.
Timetable for reducing corporate tax rate could be accelerated.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposal a powerful idea, but not ready for implementation.
UBI is an alternative to plethora of state subsidies for poverty alleviation; UBI would cost between 4 and 5 percent of GDP.
26. SBI to hike stake in two credit card joint ventures
The Mumbai-based lender, which is also India’s biggest government-owned bank by market capitalisation, wants to increase its stake to at least 51% from 40% in the back office and technology arm GE Capital Business Process Management Services, and to 74% from 60% in SBI Cards and Payments, which markets and distribute credit cards.
The move is in line due to demonetisation as it increasingly drives consumers to spend online or through cards,
According to a study by global consulting firm BCG, digital payments in India is expected to multiply 10 times as Internet banking and cards replace cash in transactions.
27. IT Department launches Operation Clean Money
Income Tax Department (ITD) has initiated Operation Clean Money.
Initial phase of the operation involves e-verification of large cash deposits made during 9th November to 30th December 2016.
Data analytics has been used for comparing the demonetisation data with information in ITD databases.
In the first batch, around 18 lakh persons have been identified in whose case, cash transactions do not appear to be in line with the tax payer’s profile.
28. Future Generali India Insurance ties up with Bank of Maharashtra
Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd (FGIL) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up for its products with Bank of Maharashtra (BOM), a public sector bank.
With this tie-up, BOM’s customers will be able to avail of motor, home, shopkeeper and rural insurance products at any of the 1,896 branches of the bank.
K.G. Krishnamoorthy Rao, MD & CEO, Future Generali India Insurance Company, said bancassurance is one of the key avenues to distribute insurance products across a wider audience.
29. Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Fisdom tie-up to launch robo-advisory platform
Lakshmi Vilas Bank has tied up with Fisdom, a Bangalore-based fin-tech startup, to launch financial planning and wealth management services based on robo-advisory platform.
The platform called Mission FINFIT will also include services like getting the KYC done, investing money in various platforms, viewing the account summary, withdrawing the invested money, etc.
30. Banks credit growth to remain subdued at 5-6 per cent in FY17: Icra
Bank credit growth is likely to remain subdued at 5-6 per cent in the current financial year on weak loan demand and as debt market continues to offer better priced, according to a report.
Deposit growth is likely to ease further to 12 per cent by end-March 2017, with banks cutting deposit rates and easing cash availability in the system, from 14.7 per cent as on January 6, said the report by rating agency ICRA.
31. Union Budget 2017: Important Takeaways
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2017. This was the first time that the budget was presented in February. Also, Railway budget was merged with the Union budget.
Here are the highlights of the budget
36 per cent increase in FDI flow; forex reserves at USD 361 billion in January enough to cover 12 months needs.
World Bank expects GDP growth rate at 7.6 per cent in FY18 and 7.8 per cent in FY19
Mini labs by qualified local entrepreneurs to be set up for soil testing in all 648 krishi vigyan kendras in the country
Agricultural sector is expected to grow at 4.1 per cent this fiscal
Target of agriculture credit fixed at Rs 10 lakh crore in 2017-18
Rs 9,000 cr higher allocation for payment of sugarcane arrears
Allocation under MNREGA increased to 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore. This is highest ever allocation.
Space technology to be used for monitoring MNREGA implementation
Market reforms will be undertaken, states will be asked to denotify perishables from Essential Commodities Act
Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be created with a corpus of Rs 5000 crore.
National Testing agency to conduct all examinations in higher education, freeing CBSE and other agencies
Participation of women in MNREGA increased to 55 per cent from 45 per cent in past
1 crore households to be brought out of poverty under Antodya Scheme
Govt to set up dairy processing fund of Rs 8,000 crore over three years with initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore.
27,000 crore on to be spend on PMGSY; 1 crore houses to be completed by 2017-18 for houseless
100 per cent electrification of villages to be completed by May 2018
PM Awas Yojana allocation raised from Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 23,000 crore.
provide safe drinking water to 28,000 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations.
In higher education, will undertake reforms in UGC, give autonomy to colleges and institutions
The allocation for rural agri and allied sector in 2017-18 is record Rs 1,81,223 crore
PM Kaushal Kendras will be extended to 600 districts; 100 international skill centres to be opened to help people get jobs abroad.
Rs 500 cr allocated to set up Mahila Shakti Kendras; Allocation raised from Rs 1.56 lakh cr to Rs 1.84 lakh cr for women & child welfare.
National Housing Bank will refinance individual loans worth Rs 20,000 crore in 2017-18.
1.5 lakh health sub centres to be converted to Health Wellness Centres.
New rules regarding medical devices will be devised to reduce their cost
Two new AIIMS to be set up Jharkhand and Gujarat
Model Shops and Establishment Bill to open up additional opportunities for employment of women
For senior citizens, Aadhaar based health cards will be issued.
35 per cent increase in allocation for SC to Rs 52,393 crore
Allocation for SCs increased from Rs 38,833 cr to Rs 52,393 crore, a rise of 35 per cent
Capital and development expenditure pegged at Rs 1.31 lakh crore for railways in 2017-18 from Budget
Total allocation for rural, agri and allied sectors for 2017-18 is a record Rs 1,87,223 crore, up 24 per cent from last year
Railway line of 3,500 km will be commissioned in 2017-18 as against 2,800 km in 2016-17
A scheme for senior citizens to ensure 8 per cent guaranteed returns
Rs 1 lakh cr corpus for railway safety fund over five years
Unmanned railway level crossings to be eliminated by 2020
500 stations will be differently abled by providing lifts and escalators
Government proposes Coach Mitra facility to redress grievances related to rail coaches
Select airports in tier-II cities to be taken up for operations, development on PPP mode
Delhi and Jaipur to have solid waste management plants and five more to be set up later
Service charge on e-tickets booked through IRCTC will be withdrawn
Railway tariffs to be fixed on the basis of cost, social obligation and competition.
New metro rail policy to be unveiled
Crude oil strategic reserves to be set up in Odisha and Rajasthan apart from 3 already constructed
For transport sector, including railways, road and shipping, government provides Rs 2.41 lakh crore.
Budget allocation for highways stepped up to Rs 64,000 crore in FY18 from Rs 57,676 crore.
Allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for Bharat Net project for providing high-speed broadband in FY18
Coverage of Fasal Bima Yojana to go up from 30 per cent of cropped area to 40 per cent in 2017-18 and 50 per cent next year
Digi Gaon will be launched to promote tele-medicine and education
Dedicated micro-irrigation fund to be set up by NABARD to achieve mission of Per Drop, More Crop.
Second phase of solar power development to be taken up with an aim of generating 20,000 MW
Trade Infrastructure Export Scheme to be launched in 2017-18; total allocation for infra at record Rs 3.96 lakh crore.
Foreign Investment Promotion Board will be abolished.
Over 90 per cent of FDI proposls are now processed through automatic route
Rs 2,74,114 crore allocated for defence expenditure, excluding pension; This includes Rs 86,000 crore for defence capital.
Govt to further liberalise FDI policy
Dispute resolution in infrastructure projects in PPP mode will be institutionalised
Computer emergency response team to be set for cyber security of financial sector.
Govt will amend the Multi-state Cooperative Act to protect the poor and gullible investors
Integrated public sector oil major to be created to match global giants
More funds beyond Rs 10,000 crore for recapitalisation of banks will be provided if needed
Of 76 lakh individuals who reported income of over Rs 5 lakh, 56 lakh are salaried
New ETF with diverse stocks will be launched in 2017-18
The shares of railway CPSCs like IRCTC and IRFC to be listed on various stock exchanges
Govt to double lending target under PM Mudra Yojana to Rs 2,44,000 crore for 2017-18
Govt to introduce two new schemes to promote BHIM App -referal bonus for users and cash back for traders.
A proposal to receive all government receipts beyond a certain threshold through e-modes under consideration
3 yr period for long-term capital gains tax on immovalble property reduced to 2 years; base year indexation shifted from 1.4.1981 to 1.4.2001
Payment regulatory board to be set up in RBI to regulate electronic payments, replacing Board for Regulation and Supervision in Payments and Settlements System.
FRBM review committee has recommended 60 per cent debt to GDP ratio; 0.5 per cent of GDP deviation from stipulated fiscal deficit targets
Govt considering option to amend Negotiable Instruments Act to ensure that holders of dishonoured cheques get payment.
Govt to set up a web-based interactive platform for defence pensioners
Head post offices to issue passports
Capital expenditure stepped up by 25.4 per cent in FY18 over previous year.
Maximum amount of cash donation a political party can receive will be Rs 2000 from any one source as part of effort to clean political funding.
Political parties can receive donations in cheque, electronic mode; electoral bonds to be issued by RBI
FPI to be exempt from indirect transfer provisions
Customs duty on LNG halved to 2.5 per cent
With abolition of plan and non-plan expenditure, the govt’s focus is on revenue and capital expenditure
Govt pegs fiscal deficit target at 3.2 per cent for 2017-18 and 3 per cent for next year.
Revenue deficit reduced to 2.1 per cent from 2.3 per cent for 2016-17
Direct tax collection not commensurate with income and expenditure pattern
Of 3.7 cr individuals who filed tax returns in 2015-16, 99 lakh showed income below exemption limit.
Income Tax rate cut to 5 per cent for individuals having income between Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, Earlier it was 10 percent
10 per cent surcharge on individual income above Rs 50 lakh and upto Rs 1 crore to make up for Rs 15,000 crore loss of due to cut in personal I-T rate.
5 per cent surcharge on income above Rs 1 crore to continue
32. Government earmarks another Rs 10,000 crore for recapitalisation into PSBs
Hit by mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) and losses, the government will pump in Rs 10,000 crore into public sector banks (PSBs) in the next financial year to meet their capital requirements and bail them out from a financial mess.
This amount is being given under mission Indradhanush, launched in 2015.
Under this, Government will invest Rs. 70,000 in PSBs in next four years.
33. Govt proposes setting up of Payments Regulatory Board under RBI
The government, keen on promoting digital payments, will form a separate regulator for the payments industry to resolve disputes, ensure customer protection.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley has called for an overhaul of the Payment and Settlements Act 2007 to create the Payments Regulatory Board. He said the board would be under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
34. India’s GDP growth likely at 7.1% in 2017-18: HSBC
India is expected to clock a GDP growth of 7.1 per cent in 2017-18 as the country gets sufficiently remonetised and the schemes in the Budget play a supportive role, says an HSBC report.
The uptick in the growth numbers would be largely driven by the remonetisation process which is expected by April end as this in turn would boost the consumption levels in the country.
Growth numbers will be largely consumption driven as investment is expected to be a drag.
35. RBI to soon put new Rs 100 banknotes in circulation
The Reserve Bank will soon put into circulation new Rs 100 banknotes which will be similar to the design of the ones in Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005.
The Reserve Bank will shortly issue Rs 100 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series-2005, bearing the signature of Dr Urjit R Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India,” RBI said in a notification.
The year of printing ‘2017’ will be on the reverse of the banknote.
All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs 100 issued by the Bank in the past will continue to be legal tender, RBI added.
36. Rs 10,000 penalty for late filing of income tax returns
The budget has however proposed a fee for delayed filing of income tax return.
If the income tax return is furnished after the due date but on or before the December 31 of the assessment year, there will be a fine of Rs 5,000 imposed. In other cases, there will be an imposition of a fine of Rs 10,000.
However, in a case where the total income does not exceed Rs 5 lakh, the Budget proposed that the fee amount shall not exceed Rs 1,000.
37. RBI gives freedom to Banks to fix Bank Service Charges for Transactions
In a major move to promote cashless transactions in the country, the Reserve Bank of India has given banks the freedom to fix bank service charges for transactions.
The RBI has deregulated interest rates on credit card dues.
Interest rates are determined by banks with the approval of their respective Board of Directors subject to regulatory guidelines on the interest rate on advances issued by RBI from time to time.
National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has approved a scheme for giving 0.5 percent incentive on payments made through the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) to merchants.
With regards to debit card transactions on PoS devices, between January 1 and March 31, 2017, Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) has been capped at 0.25 percent for transaction value between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 2,000, MDR has been capped at 0.5 percent.
38. Chinese banks outpace US banks
There has been a major change in global banking, says the 2017 Brand Finance Banking 500 report. For the first time, a non-western brand tops the ranking.
Chinese banks’ brand value growth has been rapidly outpacing that of European and North American competitors.
Already the world’s biggest bank by assets, ICBC’s brand value has grown 32% year on year to a total of $47.8 billion.
Three Indian banks are in hundred most valuable banks. SBI, HDFC Bank and ICICI ranked 51st,74th and 86th respectively.
39. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank to commenced banking
The UK’s CDC Group-backed Ujjivan Small Finance Bank is going to open its first set of branches for public transaction on Monday and start rolling out branch network across India from next fiscal.
The bank is operationally ready since February 1 but customer transaction will commence only on February 6.
40. Corporation Bank inks pact with Religare Health Insurance
Corporation Bank has entered into agreement with Religare Health Insurance Co to market its products and services through the distribution network of the Bank across India.
The Bank holds around 5% stake in Religare Health Insurance.
Corporation Bank is a Mangalore-based mid-sized public sector bank which was established in 1906.
41. Dushyant Chautala is new TTFI chief
Dushyant Chautala was elected as president of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI)for the next four years at the annual general body meeting held at Gurugram.
M.P. Singh and Arun Kumar Banerjee will be the new secretary general and treasurer respectively, according to a release from TTFI.
42. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan: Anushka Sharma becomes female face of campaign
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ has now reportedly roped in Bollywood beauty Anushka Sharma as its female face.
The 28-year-old actress has taken the responsibility of spreading awareness about the same among women.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan is already doing his best to make India a cleaner place by joining forces with PM’s mission.
PM Modi had launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Campaign on October 2, 2014, and set a 5-year deadline to usher in complete cleanliness in the country.
43. Chad foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat to head African Union
Chad’s foreign minister Moussa Faki Mahamat has been elected as the new chair of the African Union Commission, pledging to place development and security at the top of his agenda and streamline the organisation’s bureaucracy.
Moussa was chosen by the 54-member body at a summit that has exposed splits over Africa’s relationship with the international criminal court and Morocco’s readmission to the union.
He edged out his closest rival, the Kenyan foreign minister Amina Mohamed, who had been regarded in some quarters as the frontrunner.
44. Sanjeev Sanyal appointed India’s Principal Economic Advisor
Sanjeev Sanyal, economist, author and former global strategist and Managing Director of Deutshe Bank, has been appointed as the principal economic adviser in the finance ministry.
A notification by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) said Sanyal has been appointed on contract for a three-year period from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders.
Sanyal, an alum of Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce and the University of Oxford, has worked extensively in global financial markets.
The World Economic Forum named him the Young Global Leader 2010.
45. Vikram Limaye named new MD & CEO of NSE
The National Stock Exchange (NSE), India’s largest stock exchange by turnover, named Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of IDFC, as the new Managing Director.
The board of directors of NSE, chaired by former finance secretary Ashok Chawla, cleared the decision.
He will fill the post vacant after the resignation of Chitra Ramachandra.
NSE is in the process of going public. It has already filed for its IPO and it likely to hit the market by March.
46. Government forms panel to improve Haj policy,look into subsidy issue
The Centre has formed a six-member committee to give a report on ways to improve India’s Haj policy and also look into issue of subsidy to the pilgrimage in light of 2012 Supreme Court order on gradually reducing and abolishing it by 2022.
Former Consulate General of India (CGI), Jeddah, Afzal Amanullah has been appointed as convener of the high-level panel, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told.
47. Anand Kumar Gupta takes over as director commercial at NTPC
Anand Kumar Gupta has taken over the charge as director commercial at NTPC, the company said in a statement.
As director commercial, he will be responsible for the activities relating to commercial, international and domestic business development and consultancy business of NTPC.
48. A 16 member expert panel constituted by M/o AYUSH to prepare a Yoga Protocol for diabetes control
A 16 member committee of experts has been constituted by Ministry of AYUSH to prepare a Yoga Protocol for Diabetes Control.
The Committee is headed by Dr. H.R. Nagendra, Chancellor, S-Vyasa University.
Yoga is a part of adjuvant therapy.
49. Arun Kumar succeeds Richard Rekhy as KPMG India chairman
KPMG India board has elected Arun M Kumar as chairman and CEO to lead the India operations of the consulting and accounting major.
He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who stepped down in November last year following a large-scale exodus of key people from the advisory team.
Earlier in January 2016, Rekhy had been re-elected for a four-year term.
50. Sasikala to be next Tamil Nadu chief minister
AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala was elected as legislature party leader by MLAs during a party meeting, paving way for her to become next Tamil Nadu chief minister.
“Chinnamma all set to become the Next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” AIADMK said in a tweet.
O. Panneerselvam proposed her name at the meeting of AIADMK legislators, party leaders said “I resigned and we elected Sasikala unanimously as leader of the party in assembly. All MLAs are in support,” said Panneerselvam.
51. N Chandrasekaran elected as Chairman of Tata Steel Board
N Chandrasekaran, chairman-designate of Tata Sons and currently the CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, was elected as Chairman of Tata Steel Board.
On January 17, Tata Motors had appointed Tata group chief to designate Chandrasekaran as its Chairman with immediate effect.
52. Ustad Imrat Khan declines Padma Shri
Noted Sitar and Surbahar player Ustad Imrat Khan has turned down the Padma Shri award as he believes it comes “too late” and is not “parallel” to his “worldwide reputation and contributions”.
Imrat, 82, said he has mixed feelings about getting a Padma Shri when his “juniors” have already received the Padma Bhushan.
53. SpiceJet bags 3 Asian awards
Budget carrier SpiceJet has bagged three awards at the Asia One Awards held recently in Singapore.
Besides, winning the ‘Asia’s Greatest Brands – 2016’ award, the Gurugram-based airline’s chairman and managing director Ajay Singh and chief financial officer Kiran Koteshwar were also honoured with the title of the ‘Global Asian of the year’ and ‘Asia’s Greatest CFO 2016’ awards.
54. Cricketer Andre Russell was banned for one year
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was banned for one year for a doping whereabouts rule violation.
He was revealed to have committed the violation 11 months ago after registering three filing failures in 2015.
That constitutes a failed drugs test under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules.
The 28-year-old Jamaican, who helped the West Indies win their second World T20 title in 2016, will be banned for a year from Jan. 31.
55. Lakshya Sen takes top spot in junior rankings
Lakshya Sen, 15, became the latest junior World No 1 of badminton’s rankings, following in the footsteps of Siril Verma and Aditya Joshi.
The Almora, Uttarakhand boy has been training at Bangalore’s Prakash Padukone Academy.
He is the winner of u-19 tournaments in Switzerland and Denmark, as well as international series in Pune and Hyderabad.
56. Pankaj Advani pockets the National Snooker Championship title
Champion cueist Pankaj Advani won the Indian National Snooker Championship with a 6-0 win over Pandurangaiah of Railways in a one-sided final.
He became the only Indian men’s cueist to be the holder of all national billiards and snooker titles at the same time .
57. India to host women’s Asia Cup basketball
India will host two international events in 2017, the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and FIBA Under-16 Women’s Asian Championship, the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) announced.
The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will be held from July 23 to 29 in Bengaluru while the FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship will be held from October 22 to 28 in Hyderabad, a BFI statement said.
58. Sports Minister lays the Foundation Stone for the first ever Para training center
Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Vijay Goel took the initiative and approved a Center of Excellence for Differently Abled Sportspersons at SAI Gandhinagar,the first ever training centre dedicated for Para athletes in the country.
Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of Boundary wall for the Center of Excellence Para Center at Sector – 25 Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Para athletes have won 4 medals in Rio Paralympics last year.
59. Wisden Almanack 2017 features Virat Kohli on cover
Virat Kohli will feature on the cover of the 2017 edition of the ‘Bible of cricket’, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack after the Indian captain’s exceptional performances over the course of 2016.
Kohli had an exceptional 2016 where he finished as the highest run-scorer with 2595 runs from 41 innings at an average of 86.50 including 7 centuries and 13 half-centuries.
Apart from Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar is the only Indian to be featured on the cover of Wisden in 2014.
The Almanack, which was founded in 1864 by John Wisden, is considered the world’s most well-known sports reference book.
60. E. Ahamed passes away
IUML national president and former minister of state for External Affairs Minister E. Ahamed passed away at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in New Delhi. He was 78.
He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009.
May 2004 – May 2009 he served as the Minister of State for External Affairs.
May 2009 – January 2011, he was Minister of State for Railways.
61. Cricketer R. Raghavan passes away
Former Tamil Nadu left-handed batsman R. Raghavan passed away after prolonged illness. He was 82.
Representing the State side in the 50s, Raghavan played 15 matches making 384 runs with a highest score of 79.
He played against visiting overseas sides such as a team from Commonwealth and represented Mambalam Mosquitos in the first division league with distinction.
62. Former CBI director Joginder Singh passes away
Former Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director Joginder Singh passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 77.
Singh, who was the CBI director for between 1996-97 was an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.
He has been serving as an Independent Non- Executive Director of Sunil Healthcare Ltd. since January, 2000.
63. Renowned fiction writer Bano Qudsia passes away
Renowned Pakistani novelist, short-writer and TV playwright Bano Qudsia has passed away at the age of 88 years after a prolonged illness.
She was widow of a great fiction writer and playwright Ashfaq Ahmed.
After being married with Ashfaq Ahmed, she launched a literary magazine “Dastango” with the help of his husband.
Bano Qudsia’s most popular novels include “Raja Gidh”, “Amarbail” and “Mome Ki Kalian”
64. Salman Rushdie’s new book, ‘The Golden House’, to release in September
After Arundhati Roy, it is now author Salman Rushdie’s turn to return to the literary world this year with his new book “The Golden House”, slated to be released in September.
The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House which acquired the subcontinent rights from the Wylie Agency.
Salman Rushdie had earlier won the Booker Prize in 1981 and Best of the Booker Prize in 2008 for his book “Midnight’s Children”.
Weekly Current Affairs Feb 2nd Week
1. China Becomes World’s Largest Solar Energy Producer
China has become the world’s largest producer of solar energy, according to a new report from the country’s energy administration.
China’s National Energy Administration announced over that their photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached an impressive 77.42 gigawatts.
Germany, the former global solar-power leader, produced 40.78 gigawatts in November 2016.
2. BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meet concludes
The 17th Session of BIMSTEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) has concluded in Kathmandu, with an understanding to host the summit meeting by the end of 2017.
The SOM meeting represented by senior foreign ministry officials from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand gave concurrence to Nepal’s proposal to host the fourth BIMSTEC Summit in October/November in Kathmandu.
As the current chair of BIMSTEC, Nepal is hosting the fourth BIMSTEC Summit.
3. Pakistan bans Basant festival
Pakistan’s Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif imposed a “complete ban” on Basant, a festival celebrated to mark the start of the spring season.
Sharif has made it clear that the Punjab government won’t allow such festivals which endanger people’s lives.
4. Israeli firm to contribute in clean Yamuna
The Delhi government has decided to employ Israeli technology to clean the Yamuna river for a cleaner environment and water, the Israeli Embassy said.
Ayala Water and Ecology Ltd. will focus on a stretch of eight km of sewage which drains into Yamuna River as an initial step towards cleaner water and environment.
Ayala is also partnering with other Indian cities, including Hyderabad and Chennai, offering Israeli technology to help address water and ecological challenges.
Israel, in addition to being one of the major exporter of weapons to India, is also contributing in the areas of agriculture and horticulture, among others.
Israeli drip irrigation technologies are now widely used in India.
5. Shawna Pandya to be 3rd Indian-origin woman to go to space
An Indian-origin neurosurgeon currently based in Canada has been shortlisted by NASA for its 2018 space mission under the Citizen Science Astronaut (CSA) programme.
If everything goes according to plan, Dr Shawna Pandya (32) may join the league of Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
Dr Pandya, who was born in Canada, is a general physician with the Alberta University Hospital.
6. China releases theme for year’s BRICS Summit
China has released the theme and the cooperation priorities of the 2017 BRICS Summit which is scheduled to begin in September in Xiamen which is located in east China’s Fujian Province.
The summit will be held under the theme “BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future,” China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
It will also feature five key priorities such as deepening cooperation, strengthening global governance, carrying out people-to-people exchanges, making institutional improvements and building broader partnerships.
The BRICS comprises of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The inaugural summit was held in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in 2009. South Africa did not take part in it as the nation was admitted to the group in 2010.
So far a total of eight summits have taken place.
The last year’s summit was hosted by India at Goa.
- Capital: Beijing
- Currency: Yuan (Renminbi)
- President: Xi Jinping
- Prime Minister: Lee Keqiang
7. Naval drill Aman-17 with 37 nations begins in Karachi
The multinational Aman-17 naval exercise kicked off in Karachi with 37 countries taking part in the event.
Aman-17 is the fifth such exercise which Pakistan has been holding every alternate year since 2007.
Commander of the Pakistani naval fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini inaugurated the exercise, which includes Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Britain, the US, Japan and Russia at the Karachi dockyard.
The Vice Admiral said the exercise would help work against human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, and terrorism in the region.
- Capital: Islamabad
- Currency: Rupee
- President: Mamnoon Hussain
- Prime Minister: Nawaj Sharif
8. World Radio Day: 13 February
World Radio Day is an observance day held annually on 13 February.
World Radio Day is about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it today more than ever.
The theme for the 2017 edition of World Radio Day is “Radio is You!”
Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi is considered as the inventor of the Radio.
9. Delhi airport 12th busiest in the world
Delhi International Airport was the 12th busiest airport worldwide for the month of November 2016, according to a latest report published by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
This is the first time an Indian airport has entered the big league of top 15 airports in the world, which comprises of major airports like Atlanta, Dubai, Los Angeles and Changi airports.
In November, Delhi airport also recorded the highest growth rate of 19.1 per cent in the world.
10. Arunachal Becomes First NE State to Implement e-Cabinet Solution
Arunachal Pradesh became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution for the state cabinet members.
Using this system, the cabinet members can access the cabinet notes before the meeting.
The entire business of the Cabinet can be conducted using the e-Cabinet solution.
The e-Cabinet solution will give remote access to the Ministers to view Cabinet notes and the same will be circulated well in advance for proper analysis and feedback.
11. First Smart Police Station inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh
Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the first model police station at Nagarampalem in the capital region Amaravati.
Later in the day, he also inaugurated the second model police station in old Guntur town.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, for the first time in the country, Andhra Pradesh has brought forth the smart policing system.
12. Global conference on Nuclear Terrorism begins in New Delhi
Nearly 150 delegates from various partner countries and international organisations will take take part in the three-day event.
13. Cabinet approves ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ (PMGDISHA) to make 6 crore rural households digitally literate.
The outlay for this project is Rs.2,351.38 crore to usher in digital literacy in rural India by March,2019.
This is in line with the announcement made by Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2016-17.
PMGDISHA is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world.
Under the scheme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the FY 2016-17; 275 lakh in the FY 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the FY 2018-19.
To ensure equitable geographical reach, each of the 250,000 Gram Panchayats would be expected to register an average of 200-300 candidates.
14. 17th International Counter Terrorism Seminar held
The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore inaugurated the 17th International Seminar on Counter Terrorism.
It was organised by National Security Guard, in Manesar, Haryana.
Speaking on the occasion, Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said that terrorism is a global threat and the footprint of terrorism does not restrict to any border.
15. Portal and Mobile Application launched for Mining Operations
With an objective to enhance transparency and accountability as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal will launch TAMRA (Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation) portal and Mobile Application here on 10th February, 2017.
Ministers of Mining and senior officers from 12 mineral rich States would also be connected through videoconferencing.
TAMRA will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timelines for statutory and other clearances as it would help minimize the gestation period for commencing production.
16. Gujarat Becomes First State To Establish Cashless System
Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution congratulated the State Government of Gujarat on becoming the first State in the country for establishing Cashless System for distribution of foodgrains.
Paswan lauded the efforts of the State Government for installing Aadhaar Enabled Payment System in 17250 FPSs, much before the targeted date of 31st March, 2017.
The beneficiaries under NFSA will need to carry only Aadhaar cards for getting their foodgrains in Gujarat.
This will help in establishing the identity of beneficiaries, help in stopping the leakages of grains at shop level and above all eradicate corruption in the Public Distribution System.
17. Dalhousie Road becomes Dara Shikoh Road
The New Delhi Municipal Council passed a proposal to change the name of Dalhousie Road to Dara Shikoh Road, after the eldest son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
New Delhi MP and NDMC member Meenakshi Lekhi said that the Council decided to honour Dara Shikoh Road for “bringing Hindus and Muslims together”.
18. Centre makes Aadhaar card mandatory for availing foodgrain under PDS
The central government said an Aadhaar (unique citizen identification) number would be mandatory for taking foodgrain through the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and also for cash transfers in lieu of the food subsidy under it.
According to the Aadhaar Act, producing the document for identification is compulsory for any transfers made from the Consolidated Fund of India, stated the food ministry.
Those who don’t have an Aadhaar numbers will continue to get their monthly ration quota if they provide proof of having applied for it. Such persons have to necessarily apply for Aadhaar enrolment by June 30.
19. HRD ministry forms sub-panel of CABE to boost girls’ education
The Union HRD Ministry has constituted a sub-committee of Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) under Chairmanship of Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister to look into issues of girl’s education.
The terms of reference of the sub-committee would be to examine the reasons for low participation of girls in education, including the socio-economic factors with resultant gender bias, and suggest ways to reduce gender disparity so as to achieve better gender parity index, an official release said.
The sub-committee, to be chaired by Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari, would also assess the current status of girls’ enrolment across the country at primary, upper primary, secondary education and senior secondary levels.
20. National Productivity Week Celebrations from Feb 12-18, 2017
12th-18th February is celebrated as the ‘National Productivity Week’ every year.
The theme chosen for this year’s observance is “From Waste to Profits-through Reduce, Recycle and Reuse”.
National Productivity Council, an autonomous body under Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India was established on 12th February, 1958, with the objective of stimulating and promoting productivity and quality consciousness across all sectors in the country.
21. World’s Oldest Working Steam Engine ‘Fairy Queen’ Ready to Haul Heritage Train Once Again
The ‘Fairy Queen’, the oldest surviving functional steam engine in the world is once again ready in this season to haul a heritage train from National Capital Delhi to Rewari, Haryana after a gap of 5 years.
This train, which is a great attraction among steam engine lovers across the globe, will run between Delhi Cantt. Station and Rewari from 11th February 2017 for a single day trip.
The locomotive was constructed by Kitson, Thompson and Hewitson at Leeds, in England, in 1855, and reached Kolkata, then known as Calcutta, in the same year.
On arrival, it was given fleet number “22” by its owner, the East Indian Railway Company, not receiving a name until 1895.
Initially, the 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) gauge locomotive was used to haul light mail trains in West Bengal, operating between Howrah and Raniganj, and during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 hauled troop trains.
It was later consigned to line construction duty in Bihar, where it served until 1909.
22. Govt to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra
Enthused by success of two pilot projects on utilising the head post offices as Passport Seva Kendra, the government has now decided to scale up this programme by opening 56 such facilities across the country.
The ministry of external affairs and the department of posts had earlier decided to join hands to deliver passport- related services to the citizens.
The pilot project between the MEA and Department of Posts had started in Mysuru and Dahod (Gujarat), on January 25.
23.‘India Pharma 2017’ & ‘India Medical Device 2017’ International Conference inaugurated
Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar inaugurated the 2nd edition of India Pharma & India Medical Device International Conference in Bengaluru.
The three day event, with the Vision – ‘For Responsible Healthcare’, is being organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) from 11th-13th February, 2017.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Kumar called the International Conference as a ‘Pharma and Medical Devices Kumbh’.
24. India Successfully Test Fires Exo-Atmospheric Interceptor Missile
India successfully conducted a test wherein an incoming ballistic missile target was intercepted by an exo-atmospheric interceptor missile off the Bay of Bengal.
With this commendable scientific achievement, India has crossed an important milestone in building its overall capability towards enhanced security against incoming ballistic missile threats. It has entered an exclusive club of four nations with developing capabilities to secure its skies and cities against hostile threats.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar lauded the efforts of the DRDO and all the scientists involved for their dedicated efforts in this significant achievement.
25. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurates “Hunar Haat”
Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi inaugurated the second edition of “Hunar Haat”.
It is being organized by the Minority Affairs Ministry to encourage, promote and provide national and international market to master artisans/craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities from across the country.
With the theme “Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam”, the second “Hunar Haat” is being organized from 11th to 26th February, 2017 at State Emporia Complex, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place.
26. In a first for Indian warships, solar power lights up INS Sarvekshak
For the first time in the country, solar panels have been installed on an Indian warship. The survey class vessel INS Sarvekshak, attached with the Southern Naval command, has been fitted with 18 sheets of solar panels atop its hangar.
“It took about six months to put the entire system in place and we are now using solar energy for lights and a couple of air conditioners,” said Captain Rajesh Bargoti, commanding officer of the ship.
The 300-Watt panels generate about 5.4 KW power.
27. National Women’s Parliament held in Andhra Pradesh
The three-day National Women’s Parliament, organised by Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly with the theme of ‘Empowering Women — Strengthening Democracy’, held in the state capital region Amaravati.
Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu and P Ashok Gajapati Raju, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and many other dignitaries attended the inaugural event at Pavitra Sangamam here.
The vision of NWP was to enable and encourage social, political and economic empowerment of women in all strata of the society.
28. International Spice Conference from Feb 12-14
The three-day International Spice Conference begin in Thiruvananthapuram on Feb 12.
More than 700 delegates representing various states, Industry leaders from 40 countries, International Spice Associations representatives, Policy makers and End-Users are among those participating.
The second edition of the conference would also address food safety concerns, demand supply disparity and ways to foster sustainable growth.
The central theme of the conference would be ‘21st Century Spice Industry – Disrupt or be Disrupted’ .
First International Spice Conference (ISC) was held in Goa.
29. New FSSAI panel to finalise food fortification rules
India’s food safety authority has created an expert panel to finalise food fortification rules that would facilitate inclusion of crucial micro-nutrients to essential food items like rice, wheat, oil and milk.
The panel with doctors and medical researchers would finalise the rules on the basis of inputs that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) received since October 2016.
The FSSAI also issued guidelines on fortification for five food items — salt, milk, wheat flour, rice and edible oil.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India
Aim: FSSAI is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of food safety.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Founded: August 2011
- Chairman: Ashish Bahuguna
30. Radha Mohan Singh inaugurates Indian Seed Congress – 2017 in Kolkata
The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare,Radha Mohan Singh has inaugurated Indian Seed Congress – 2017, in Kolkata.
The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy” which is very much in line with vision of this government to bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of farmers by doubling their farm income by 2022.
31. GNFC township becomes 100% cashless
Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers (GNFC) township, the state owned company’s township at Bharuch, which has a population of around 5,000 and floating population of around 10,000 every day, has become 100% cashless and probably the first such township in India.
It has facilities like a big shopping centre, restaurants, eateries, schools and colleges, hospital, stadium, guest house, etc.
The GNFC is the first integrated industrial township in the country to go 100% digital in all financial transactions.
32. India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake
Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country, has now become home to first of its kind loktak floating elementary school.
Situated about 50 km from Imphal, the school has been inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur.
The Loktak Lake is referred as the “lifeline of Manipur” as it is highly productive and many lives depend on the lake for endurance.
The lake is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds.
- Capital: Imphal
- Chief Minister: Okram Ibobi Singh
- Governor: Najma Heptulla
- Founded: 21 January 1972
33. Bank of Maharashtra ties up with Cigna TTK
Public sector lender Bank of Maharashtra has partnered with insurance company Cigna TTK Health to market the insurer’s products in the bank’s branches across the entire country.
Under the agreement, the bank will offer the all of Cigna TTK’s superior health insurance products to its 2 crore customers through its network of over 1,896 branches.
34. Axis Bank ties up with Earthport
India’s third largest private bank, Axis Bank has tied up with Earthport Plc, a cross-border payment network, to enable faster outbound cross-border payments for its customers through Earthport’s state-of-the-art global payments network.
Axis Bank has become the first bank in India to connect with Earthport’s global payments network, which spans over 60 countries.
This agreement also marks Earthport’s entry into India, the world’s fastest growing major economy.
35. Highlights of sixth bimonthly RBI monetary policy
Following are the highlights of the sixth bi-monthly monetary policy announced by RBI:
Policy repo rate unchanged at 6.25%.
Reverse Repo rate at 5.75%
Cash Reserve ratio at 4%
Statutory Liquidity ratio at 20.50%
Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate at 6.75%.
Bank Rate at 6.75%.
Economic growth for FY17 lowered to 6.9%
Growth is expected to recover sharply in 2017—18.
Retail inflation in Q4 likely to be below 5%.
Inflation projected in the range of 4—4.5% in the first half of 2017—18 and 4.5—5% in the second half.
RBI changes policy stance from ‘accommodative’ to ’neutral’
Excluding food and fuel, inflation has been unyielding at 4.9% since September.
The next meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee on April 5-6.
36. Bank of America opens branches without employees
Bank of America Corp has opened three completely automated branches over the past month, where customers can use ATMs and have video conferences with employees at other branches, according to spokeswoman Anne Pace.
Bank of America has been reducing its overall branch count to cut costs even as it opens new branches in select markets.
37. Federal Bank, Commodity Online in pact for agri loans
Federal Bank Limited has partnered with leading online data and information portal Commodity Online for the distribution of loans against warehouse receipts and collateral management services across the country.
Commodity Online will roll out an agri-commodity financing platform through its flagship portal www.commodityonline.com where farmers and traders can track commodity markets and warehouses online and get financing for their commodities quickly.
38. IFFCO partners Bank of Baroda to issue co-branded debit card
Fertiliser major IFFCO has tied up with Bank of Baroda to launch co-branded debit cards for farmers as part of strategy to promote cashless transactions in the rural area.
IFFCO and Bank of Baroda signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
The pact was signed by Yogendra Kumar, General Manager (Marketing), IFFCO and GB Panda, General Manager (government relationships), Bank of Baroda.
IFFCO and Bank of Baroda would pool in their resources to promote market and make accessible organised finance facility at competitive interest rates for the farmers who wish to buy the products of IFFCO and its subsidiaries.
39. ICICI Securities inks partnership with Denmark’s Saxo Bank
Largest retail brokerage ICICI Securities announced a strategic partnership with Denmark-based Saxo Bank to enable domestic investors enter overseas markets, including equities and debt segments.
The partnership will enable ICICI Securities’ 4 million clients to diversify their investments outside of the domestic market and access multi-asset investment opportunities on 36 stock exchanges across 24 countries.
40. RBI to set up panel to strengthen security
In a bid to strengthen cyber security system, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to set up an inter-disciplinary panel on cybersecurity to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.
The panel will review the threats inherent in the existing or emerging technology on an ongoing basis.
It will also study adoption of various security standards/protocols and also act as the interface with stakeholders.
The committee will suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cybersecurity and resilience.
41. PNB Housing Finance limited & CREDAI-West Bengal inks pact
Addressing the need of pacing up constructions with skilled labour that would result in quicker delivery and hand overs, PNB Housing Finance Limited (PNBHFL) has signed an MOU with CREDAI West Bengal to train 1000 construction workers in Kolkata and nearby villages.
CREDAI-Bengal would also be setting up permanent (off-site) skill development centres in Medinipur and Murshidabad – places with huge concentration of construction labour.
50% of the training cost is to be borne by the West Bengal State Government and PNBHFL, while the remaining 50% while would be borne by the developer at the construction site from where workers would be trained.
42. IDFC Bank, IndiaLends tie-up for loan services to 1st timers
Private sector lender IDFC Bank has collaborated with fintech startup IndiaLends to enable first time borrowers who do not have a credit history to take loans.
IDFC Bank said it is a differentiated personal loan solution which will offer instant loans approvals through a completely digitised process to first time borrowers.
43. Govt sells 2% in ITC held through SUUTI, raises Rs 6,700 cr
The government raised Rs 6,700 crore through sale of 2 per cent stake in tobacco-to-FMCG firm ITC, held through Specified Undertaking of the Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).
The transaction took place through block deals with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) picking up the entire chunk on offer at a price of Rs 275.85 a piece.
SUUTI, which was created to take over part of the assets and liabilities of the now-defunct Unit Trust of India, held 11.17 per cent stake in ITC.
44. BoB to finance small units in diamond sector at concessional rates
To give a leg up to micro, small and medium enterprises in the diamond industry, Bank of Baroda is planning to launch a supply chain financing product for the industry on a pilot basis in Surat.
Cutting and polishing units, which procure roughs from large companies and supply finished products back, will be provided finance at a competitive rate of interest.
This move is expected to give a boost to MSMEs as well as the corporate segment within the diamond industry.
The product will be launched in the next 10-20 days.
- Founded: 20 July 1908
- CEO and MD: PS Jayakumar
- Chairman: Ravi Venkatesan
45. Hindustan Motors sells iconic Ambassador car brand to Peugeot
Ambassador, the iconic Indian car brand that till less than a decade ago carried both the Prime Minister and the common man, is being sold to French carmaker Peugeot.
The C K Birla Group-owned Hindustan Motors formalised the deal for Rs 80 crore.
Production of Ambassador cars had stopped around three years ago.
The Ambassador brand was introduced seven decades ago when Hindustan Motors launched the Morris Oxford series II (Landmaster) in a new avatar with minor changes.
It quickly became a national icon and continued to dominate Indian roads till the 1980s, when the Maruti 800 exposed its inadequacies.
46. HDFC Bank goes live on Bharat Bill Payment System
Private sector lender HDFC Bank said that it has gone live on Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) for HDFC Bank’s Net Banking for customers. It is the first bank to do so.
BBPS is a centralized system created by National Payments Corporation of India involving banks and non-banks, which allows agents to access bill payments services in an interoperable manner.
Customers can now pay their utility bills like electricity, gas and water bills instantly without registering the biller.
HDFC Bank customers can avail of BBPS after logging onto the Net Banking page.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1994
- Chairman: Aditya Puri
- Tagline: We Understand Your World
47. Government allocates Rs 500 crore to IPPB for financial-year 2017-18
Government has allocated Rs 500 crore to India Post Payments Bank for financial year 2017-18 as it gears up to set up 650 branches across country by September 2017.
Government has allocated Rs 125 crore as “capital infusion into corporate entity for India Post Payments Bank” and Rs 375 crore as “grant in aid to India Post Payments Bank (IPPB)”.
The total paid up equity of the new bank IPPB is Rs 800 crore, of which the government has already infused Rs 275 crore.
Payments banks can accept deposits up to Rs 1 lakh per account from individuals and small businesses.
48. Farmajo wins Somalia’s presidential vote
A former prime minister who holds dual Somali-U.S. citizenship has been declared Somalia’s new president.
Incumbent President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud conceded defeat after two rounds of voting, and former prime minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo was declared the new leader and quickly took the oath of office.
49. Centre appoints 3 directors to RBI central board
The Centre appointed three part-time non-official directors on the Reserve Bank of India’s Central Board for a four-year term.
The Central Government has nominated Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Dr. Ashok Gulati and Shri Manish Sabharwal as directors on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India for a period of four years with effect from February 9, 2017 or until further orders, whichever is earlier,” according to an RBI notification.
In addition to this, the Cabinet also approved the proposal by the Department of Financial Services for appointment of three members on the local board of the RBI.
These include Prasanna Kumar Mohanty (Southern Local Board), Vallabh Roopchand Bhanshali (Western Local Board) and Sunil Mitra (Eastern Local Board), each of whom have been appointed for a period of four years.
50. Government appoints IAS officer Ajay Tyagi as Sebi chief
The government appointed Ajay Tyagi, a low-profile, senior bureaucrat in the finance ministry to head the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the country’s capital markets watchdog.
Mr Tyagi will replace UK Sinha who will finish his term on March 1, 2017.
He has been in charge of the capital markets division in the economic affairs department since October 2014 and headed the committee that crafted the draft code on resolution of financial firms.
He has considerable experience in senior governmental positions having served as joint secretary in the ministry of environment.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 12 April 1992
- The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India.
51. Hemant Bhargava appointed as LIC managing director
Hemant Bhargava has been appointed as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Presently Bhargava is the zonal manager (I/C) in Delhi.
He has been appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet as managing director from the date of notification of his appointment up to the date of his superannuation (July 31, 2019) or until further orders.
The top LIC management consists of the Chairman and three Managing Directors.
Life Insurance Corporation of India
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1 September 1956
52. Satinder Sartaaj chosen for UN project against human trafficking
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has chosen Punjabi folk singer Satinder Sartaaj for the Blue Heart Campaign, an awareness project against human trafficking.
More than 30 artists from around the world — including music director AR Rahman and singer Sonu Nigam.
Around 168 Million people are the victims of Human Trafficking comprising 73 million children below the age of 10 years.
53. Subir Dutta appointed as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Madagascar
Subir Dutta has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Madagascar.
He is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
He was presently appointed in the Embassy of India, Vientiane.
- Capital: Antananarivo
- Currency: Malagasy Ariary
- President: Hery Rajaonarimampianina
- Prime Minister: Olivier Solonandrasana
54. Task force set up to check tax evasion by deviant shell firms
In the latest move to curb tax evasion, the government has set up a task force to monitor actions of deviant shell companies.
The setting up of the task force, under the co-chairmanship of revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia and corporate affairs secretary Tapan Ray, followed a meeting held in Prime Minister’s Office to review the functioning of shell companies to prevent their misuse for money laundering and tax-evasion, especially post-demonetisation.
Harsh punitive actions will be taken against the deviant shell companies including freezing of bank accounts, striking off the names of dormant companies, invocation of Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016, a finance ministry release said.
The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) has filed cases against 49 shell companies after it was found that Rs 3,900 crore was laundered by 559 persons with the help of 54 professionals.
Also, Rs 1,238 crore cash has been deposited in shell or dormant firms, post demonetisation, the release said.
55. Diego Maradona to get ambassador role with FIFA
Argentina’s Diego Maradona is getting an ambassador’s role with FIFA.
It wants to ensure the Argentina great “has a major role in FIFA’s activities to promote the game across the globe,”.
The 56-year-old Maradona will be involved in “relevant development projects,” FIFA said.
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
Aim: FIFA is responsible for the organisation of football’s major international tournaments.
- Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
- Founded: 21 May 1904
- President: Gianni Infantino (Italy)
- Secretary General: Fatma Samoura (Senegal)
- Members: 204
- Motto: For the game, For the world
56. Narinder Chauhan appointed as Ambassador of India to Philippines
Ms. Narinder Chauhan (lFS: 1985), has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of the Philippines.
She is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
She was presently Ambassador of India to the Republic of Serbia.
- Capital: Manila
- Currency: Peso
- President: Rodrigo Duterte
57. Neelu Rohmetra: First IIM woman director
Dr. Neelu Rohmetra of Jammu University has been appointed as the director of Indian Institute of Management Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh and she has become the first woman to helm an IIM in that capacity.
Professor Neelu Rohmetra is currently the Rector of Kathua and Billawar Campuses of Jammu University Business School and is also the founder director of International Centre for Cross-Cultural Research and Human Resource Management (ICccR and HRM), University of Jammu.
The tenure of a new director will be for five years or until they turn 65 years of age.
Newly Appointed Directors are:
IIM Bangalore: G Raghuram
IIM Ranchi: Shailendra Singh
IIM Rohtak: Dheeraj Sharma
IIM Raipur Bharat Bhaskar
IIM Sambalpur: Mahadeo Prasad Jaiswal
IIM Nagpur: LS Murthi
IIM Bodhgaya: Professor Ganesan Kannabiran
IIM Sirmaur Professor Neelu Rohmetra
IIM-Visakhapatnam: Chandrasekhar Milawarapu
IIM Tiruchirappalli: Bhimaraya Maitri
58. Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey appointed as ICAI president
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has elected Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey as president and Naveen N D Gupta as vice-president. They have been elected for the year 2017-18, ICAI said in a release.
Vikamsey, who served as vice-president, has been a member of the ICAI since 1985.
Gupta has been a chartered accountant for more than 20 years.
The council has 32 elected members and eight are nominated by the Central government.
59. Tehmina Janjua becomes Pakistan’s first woman foreign secretary
Career diplomat Tehmina Janjua was appointed as Pakistan’s foreign secretary.
The first woman in the country’s history to hold the foreign office, Janjua will replace outgoing foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
Janjua, who holds masters degrees from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and Columbia University, New York, is serving as ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, since October 2015.
60. Sandeep Jajodia is new Assocham President
Sandeep Jajodia has been elected President of the industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
The industry body, in a statement, said Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman of Welspun Group, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Vice-Chairman of GMR Infrastructure, have taken over as senior vice-president and vice-president, respectively.
Jajodia is the chairman and managing director of Monnet Ispat and Energy, the statement added.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Founded: 1920
61. Indian-origin sculptor Anish Kapoor wins Genesis Prize
Renowned Indian-origin British sculptor Anish Kapoor has won Israel’s prestigious one million dollar Genesis Prize for his commitment to Jewish values.
He said he would use the money to help alleviate the refugee crisis and try to expand the Jewish community’s engagement in a global effort to aid Syrian refugees.
The prize committee, headed by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, acknowledged Kapoor as “one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation”.
62. Hyderabad surgeon Raghu Ram wins B C Roy award
Dr P Raghu Ram, president of Association of Breast Surgeons of India, has won the prestigious Dr B C Roy national award for ‘outstanding service in the field of socio medical relief’ for 2016.
The announcement was made by Dr Jayshree Mehta, president, Medical Council of India, in a letter addressed to Ram, who is also director, KIMS-USHALAKSHMI Centre for Breast Diseases, and CEO, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation.
The award, the highest recognition for medical practitioners in India, would be conferred on Ram by President Pranab Mukherjee on July 1, observed as Doctors day, according to a KIMS-USHALAKSHMI Centre perss release.
63. GMR Hyderabad Airport bags CAPA award
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd, which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, has won the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Chairman’s Order of Merit for its focus on environmental sustainability and becoming the first airport in Asia Pacific to become carbon neutral.
GHIAL received the award during the CAPA 12 Annual India Aviation Summit in Mumbai.
CAPA India is a specialist aviation consulting and research practice in South Asia, with the region’s largest team of analysts and a portfolio of more than 125 advisory and research projects.
64. Sudarsan’s tallest sand castle storms into Guinness World Records
Glob-trotting sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik added yet another feature in his cap by storming into Guinness World Records for having created the world’s tallest sand castle on Puri beach.
The official announcement was made by Guinness authorities in the presence of state chief secretary Aditya Padhi and other senior officers.
Sudarsan broke the previous record of Ted Siebert (45 ft) by building a 14.84 metre high (48.8 ft) castle in the backdrop of the Bay of Bengal in Puri.
65. 59th Grammy Awards 2017
Album of the year: 25 – Adele
Record of the year: Hello – Adele
Song of the year: Hello – Adele
Best rap album: Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
Best urban contemporary album: Beyonce – Lemonade
Best country solo performance: My Church – Maren Morris
Best rock song: Blackstar – David Bowie
Best pop duo/group performance: Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
Best new artist: Chance the Rapper
Best pop vocal album: Adele – 25
Best pop solo performance: Hello – Adele
Best R&B performance: Solange – Cranes In the Sky
Best R&B song: Maxwell – Lake By the Ocean
Best rap performance: Chance The Rapper featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz – No Problem
Best rap/sung performance: Drake – Hotline Bling
Best R&B album: Lalah Hathaway – Lalah Hathaway Live
Best rap song: Drake – Hotline Bling
Best metal performance: Megadeth – Dystopia
Best rock performance: David Bowie – Blackstar
Best dance recording: The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down
Best dance/electronic album: Skin – Flume
Best music video: Beyonce – Formation
Best country song: Humble and Kind – Tim McGraw
Best country duo/group performance: Pentatonix Featuring Dolly Parton – Jolene
66. British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards 2017
Best film: La La Land
Best Actress: Emma Stone – La La Land
Best Director: La La Land – Damien Chazelle
Best Actor:Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Best Cinematography:La La Land
Best Original Screenplay:Manchester By The Sea
Best Supporting Actor: Dev Patel – Lion
Oustanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: Babak Anvari (writer/director), Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh (producers)
Special visual effects:The Jungle Book –
Best Animated Film:Kubo And The Two Strings – Travis Knight
Best Supporting Actress:Viola Davis – Fences
Best Adapted Screenplay:Lion – Luke Davies
Best Film non-English language:Son Of Saul
Best Production Design:Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Best Editing:Hacksaw Ridge
Best British short film:Home
Best British short animation:A Love
67. England test captain Cook resigns
Alastair Cook has resigned as England Test captain after a record 59 matches in charge.
The 32-year-old Essex batsman took the role in August 2012 and led his country to Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015.
However, during last year’s 4-0 Test series defeat in India he admitted to having “questions” over his role.
68. National Badminton Championship: Sourabh, Rituparna clinches titles
81st Senior Badminton National Championship was held recently in Patna. Here are the results:
Men’s Singles title: Sourabh Verma registered a 21-13 21-12 win over Lakshya Sen.
The women’s singles title: Rituparna Das registered a 21-21 21-14 win over Reshma Karthik.
Men’s doubles title: Satwik Sai Raj R and Chirag Shetty registered a 21-17 16-21 21-14 win over Nanda Gopal K and Sanyam Shukla.
Women’s doubles title: Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant registered a 21-9 21-11 win over Shikha Gautam and Sanyogita Ghorpade.
Mixed doubles title: Satwik Sai Raj R and Maneesha K registered a 21-14 21-18 win over Venket Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan.
69. Russia banned from London World Athletics Championships: IAAF
Russia will miss August’s World Athletics Championships in London after their doping ban was extended.
Coe said Russia, whose 15-month ban from athletics was prolonged at the IAAF’s Council meeting in Cap d’Ail near Monaco, could not be reintegrated into the sport before November.
Russia has been barred from international competition since November 2015 following a damaging report alleging that state-sponsored doping was rife in the country.
70. Mission XI Million launched in New Delhi
Driven by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi´s vision of making football the sport of choice in India, Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme was launched here today by the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel in the presence of President of AIFF Shri Praful Patel.
A first of its kind, the programme will encourage children to play the beautiful game of football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit.
The approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivize them to make children play football games on regular basis.
71. FIFA Under-17 World Cup: Official mascot ‘Kheleao’ unveiled
With just 238 days remaining for th start of the tournament, the official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, ‘Kheleao’ was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
In a glittering ceremony attended by Sports Minister Vijay Goel, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee nd AIFF presidnt Praful Patel, the young and charismatic face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, a clouded leopard called Kheleo, was introduced to hundreds of football fans.
The clouded leopard is an endangered wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.
Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
- Headquarters: Zurich, Switzerland
- Founded: 21 May 1904
- President: Gianni Infantino (Italy)
- Secretary General: Fatma Samoura (Senegal)
- Members: 204
- Motto: For the game, For the world
72. India Thrash Pakistan To Win 2017 Blind World T20
Defending champions India thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan by 9 wickets in Bengaluru to lift the Blind T20 World Cup title.
Chasing Pakistan’s 197/9, India lost just one wicket and romped home with nine wickets in hand to lift the coveted title.
Prakash Jayaramaiah stood out with a splendid unbeaten 99-run knock, while Ajay Kumar Reddy was the only man to be dismissed for 43.
The two teams had clashed in the 2012 edition final as well with India emerging triumphant.
Blind World Cup 2017
- Man of the Final: Prakash Jayaramaiah
- Man of the series: Badar Munir
- Host Country: India
- Brand Ambassador: Rahul Dravid
73. Ashwin – the fastest to 250 Test wickets
Indian spinner R Ashwin has become the fastest to reach 250 test wickets in the game’s history with the dismissal of Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
He bettered Dennis Lillee’s record of 48 Tests by three matches.
Among India bowlers, the fastest was Anil Kumble – 55 Tests.
74. Subhash Chandra Bose’s confidant colonel Nizamuddin passes away
Colonel Nizamuddin, a close confidant of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, breathed his last at his residence in Dhakwa area of Mubarakpur, Azamgarh.
He was 116. He served as Bose’s driver.
Nizamuddin had been with Netaji between 1943 and 1945.
He reportedly last saw the leader on August 20, 1947 in Burma. He could never meet Netaji thereafter.
75. Freedom fighter Racharla Samrajyam Passes away
Racharla Samrajyam, freedom fighter, died at her residence at Vishakhapatnam. She was 98.
Samrajyam was inspired by the Quit India Movement, when she was undergoing Hindi Pracharak training at Anantapur in 1942. She quit the training programme and joined the Quit India Movement.
She received the ‘Tamra Patra’ from the Government of India in 1972.
76. Sir Peter Mansfield, Nobel prize winner who developed MRI, passes away
The Nobel prize winning physicist and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) pioneer Sir Peter Mansfield has died aged 83.
Sir Peter received the award for Physiology or Medicine in 2003 for advances in using MRI for medical science.
77. Pandit Dharmsheel Chaturvedi passes away
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of eminent thinker, writer and journalist Pandit Dharmsheel Chaturvedi.
The sharp writings, wit and humour of Pandit Dharmsheel Chaturvedi endeared him to a wide spectrum of readers. He will be missed.”, the Prime Minister said.
78. Rajnath Singh releases the book titled ‘Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand’
The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh released the book titled ‘Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand’, written by K. Vijay Kumar, Senior Security Adviser, Ministry of Home Affairs.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajnath Singh said that Vijay Kumar, who was the Chief of the Special Task Force (STF) that was behind the killing of Veerappan during “Operation Cocoon” in 2004, is a role model for the new IPS Officers.
Weekly Current Affairs Feb 3rd Week
1. Longest elevated cycle path in the world opens in China
The longest elevated bike path in the world has been opened in a city in south-east China.
The five-mile long, 16-feet wide bicycle-only pathway –“the winding viaduct” – has been built in the city of Xiamen.
- Capital: Beijing
- Currency: Yuan (Renminbi)
- President: Xi Jinping
- Prime Minister: Lee Keqiang
2. UNESCOs Nature Fest held in Himachal Pradesh
The 2017 UNESCO Natural Heritage Festival was held at Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) in Sairopa, Himachal Pradesh from February 11th to 12th.
The fest was held in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
The festival feature a media workshop on environmental journalism, discussions on natural and cultural heritage of the Himalayan region and a heritage walk.
Notably, Great Himalayan National Park was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2014.
- Headquarters: Paris
- Director General: Irina Bokova (Bulgaria)
- Founded: 16 November 1945
- Memners: 195
3. US, Thailand to Launch 2017 Cobra Gold Military Exercises
The United States and Thailand have kicked off the 2017 iteration of the annual Cobra Gold military exercises, Asia’s largest multinational drill.
In over 30 years, Cobra Gold, which began as a bilateral drill between the United States and Thailand, has now grown into one of the world’s largest multinational exercises, involving some 30 countries.
Cobra Gold 2017, the 36th iteration of the military exercise, took place from February 14 to 24.
The opening ceremony was held in Sattahip Royal Thai Marine Corps Base in Chonburi Province, while the closing ceremony will be held in Phu Lamyai Training area in Nakhon Ratchasima Province.
- Capital: Bangkok
- Currency: Baht
- Prime Minister: Prayut Chan–o-cha
4. India ranks 143rd in economic freedom index
India ranked a dismal 143rd in an annual index of economic freedom by a top American think tank, behind its several South Asian neighbours including Pakistan, as progress on market-oriented reforms has been “uneven”.
The Heritage Foundation in its Index of Economic Freedom report said despite India sustaining an average annual growth of about 7 per cent over the past five years, growth is not deeply rooted in policies that preserve economic freedom.
Also, India’s overall score of 52.6 points is 3.6 points less than that of last year, when India was ranked 123rd.
Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand topped the index respectively.
Among South Asian countries, only Afghanistan (163) and Maldives (157) were ranked below India. Nepal (125), Sri Lanka (112), Pakistan (141), Bhutan (107), and Bangladesh (128) surpassed India in economic freedom.
5. World Day of Social Justice observed
The World Day of Social Justice was observed globally on 20 February 2017
The theme for 2017 is “preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work”.
The day is observed with an aim to recognise the need to promote efforts to tackle several issues like exclusion, unemployment and poverty.
6. India world’s largest importer of major arms in the last four years
India was the world’s largest importer of major arms between 2012–16, accounting for 13 per cent of the global total sales, according to a new data released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India increased its arms imports by 43 per cent, between 2007–11 and 2012–16. In the last four years India’s imports were far greater than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer in 2012-16.
The United States of America is the leading arms exporter in the world with almost half of its arms exports going to to the Middle East.
Russia comes close second that increased its exports by 23 percent, selling its arms to four countries of India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.
7. International coin fair held in Thiruvananthapuram
More than 2,500 coins from around 500 regions, including those from the time of empires and princely states, were on display at an international coin fair which was organised in Thiruvananthapuram from February 13 to 15.
The District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) organised the event.
Minister for Tourism, Cooperation Kadakampally Surendran inaugurated the exhibition.
The three-day event featured the collections of Justin Gilbert Lopez, who holds a Guinness world record for the largest coin collection.
8. ISRO sends record 104 satellites in one go
Indian Space Research Organisation or ISRO has created a world record in the space arena by sending 104 satellites in a single rocket.
The space agency’s trusted workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C37, on its 39th mission, took off from Sriharikota space centre with the 104 satellites belonging to international customers.
What is significant about the launch is the number of satellites carried by a rocket. Compared to successful launch by the Russian Space Agency launching 37 satellites in one go, India become the first country to script history launching 104 satellites in a single rocket.
It was ISRO’s second successful attempt after launching 23 satellites in one go in June 2015.
PSLV first launched the 714 kg CARTOSAT-2 Series satellite for earth observation, followed by 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg at lift-off into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit, about 520 km from Earth.
Of 104 satellites, 96 belong to USA, three from India and five from International customers of ISRO — Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, respectively.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Founded: 15 August 1969
- Chairman: AS Kiran Kumar
9. Mamata Banerjee declares Kalimpong as separate district
A new district of Kalimpong was carved out of Darjeeling, which has seen separate statehood demands since 1980s, with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee making the formal announcement.
Announcing a slew of development projects for the newly created district at a colourful ceremony, Banerjee said “a Rs 220 crore road link project will be taken up to connect Kalimpong with Sikkim via the old Silk Route.
She said a Rs 50 crore water supply project by the public health engineering department will be taken up soon to address Kalimpong’s water scarcity problem.
- Capital: Kolkata
- Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
- Founded: 26 January 1950
10. 11th International Aero India 2017 begins
Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar inaugurated the 11th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru.
This edition of Aero India, for the first time, combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries in the event.
During his inaugural address Shri Parrikar said that this edition of Aero India would witness the emerging dynamism of defence manufacturing in India, especially the rising role of Indian defence industry.
This edition of Aero India sees the participation of 549 companies with 53 Aircraft gracing the event.
11. IAF inducts indigenous early warning system
The IAF has formally inducted the first indigenously built Airborne Early Warning and Control System Netra developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation at the Aero India exhibition.
It was handed over by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, is in the Initial Operational Configuration.
It is expected to achieve Final Operational Configuration (FOC) by June.
12. International Conference on NexGen Technologies inaugurated
Inaugurating the International Conference on “NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries” [NxGnMiFu-2017] in New Delhi, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that this conference must look at the working conditions of the poorest of the poor/ the have-nots/ downtrodden and see how much scientific research can change and improve their lives.
Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Science Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that clean energy initiatives being taken by Government should be perceptible and bring measurable change in the lives of the common man.
13. J&K govt launches e-Prison project
The Jammu and Kashmir government has launched the e-Prison project to enumerate jail inmates in the State, where numbers of detainees keep swelling during unrest.
The information about jail inmates is currently being maintained manually.
To avoid delays in processing the information and manage all the jails efficiently, the automation of prison department has been started.”
The government has already digitised records of 500 inmates.
The project will digitise 25 district jails, two Central jails and one sub-jail in the State.
14. KVIC to make khadi Gaon in each state
Aiming to scale up employment at rural locations and push up the khadi and village industries products from the villages, the khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has initiated a project named khadi Gaon.
Under the scheme, Five Khadi Gaon will be established in each state.
It will help them to be self dependent and would stop their retrea towards the cities.
15. Mahesh Sharma launches pre-loaded Sim Card for Tourists arriving in India on E-visa
Dr. Mahesh Sharma,Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Culture, launched the initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for providing pre-loaded Sim Card to foreign tourists arriving in India on e-Visa.
Addressing on the occasion, he said that this unique initiative will facilitate the foreign tourists in communicating with their acquaintances immediately after their arrival in India.
Earlier, the Ministry of Tourism had also launched a 24 x 7 Tourist Helpline 1800111363 in Twelve foreign languages so that the foreign tourists can get the required information in their own language.
This initiative has been launched in association with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., (BSNL), wherein BSNL would distribute pre-loaded SIM Cards to foreign tourists arriving in India on e-Visa.
This facility will be initially available in the Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3 Terminal), New Delhi and later cover remaining 15 international airports, where e-Visa facility is currently available.
16. Indian panorama festival 2017 begins in port blair
Govt of India, is organizing Indian Panorama Film Festival (Public Screening of films) in Port Blair from February 15 to 19, 2017.
About 15 films of different languages and different genre will be screened at two different venues viz. PBMC Auditorium and ITF Ground during the festival.
The Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Anindo Majumdar inaugurated the Film Festival.
17. Two-day Global Investor Summit ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ begins in Ranchi
A two-day mega event of Global Investor Summit, branded as “Momentum Jharkhand” was started at Khelgaon of Ranchi.
More than one thousands delegates, including many leading industrialists, both Indian and from other countries, will take part in this.
The Jharkhand Government is hoping for an investment of around three lakhs seventy five thousands crores rupees from 219 companies.
- Capital: Ranchi
- Chief Minister: Raghubar Das
- Governor: Draupadi Murmu
- Formation: 15 November 2000
18. MP govt to set up Tourism Board
Madhya Pradesh government has decided to constitute MP Tourism Board for expansion of facilities at tourist spots and draw investment in the sector.
The main functions of the board will be to perform all responsibilities mentioned under Tourism Policy-2016, like to draw private investment in tourism sector, investors’ facilitation and avail grant and facilities for investors as per the policy, the official said.
The board will also develop a work plan for all tourism-related archaeological sites, wildlife places, caves with natural beauty, amusement and other parks, water reservoirs and also take measures for their supervision.
- Capital: Bhopal
- Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
- Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
- Formation: 1 November 1956
19. Tarini to be Inducted into Indian Navy on 18 February 2017
The Indian Navy’s second ocean going sailboat Tarini will be inducted at a ceremony scheduled to be held at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool on 18 February 2017.
- Admiral Sunil Lanba, Chief of Naval Staff will also be present on the occasion.
- INSV Tarini is a sloop built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd at Divar, Goa.
- The sail boat Tarini is being inducted into the Navy and is slated to be the platform for First Indian All Women Circumnavigation of the Globe expedition of the Indian Navy.
20. BEL launches communication radio
PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled a new communication radio for the Indian armed forces, called STARS-V Mk III, at the Aero India 2017 show.
- MV Gowtama, CMD of BEL, said: “The radio is completely designed, developed and made in BEL.”
- It is a multi brand, high data rate, software intensive IP radio with mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) functions supporting up to 64 notes.
Bharat Electronics Ltd
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Founded: 1954
- Chairman: MV Gowtama
21. Govt cuts tenure of Sebi’s Chairman-designate Ajay Tyagi by two years
The government said that the tenure of the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Ajay Tyagi, will “initially” be for three years.
- A government official said the latest order was issued to clear up ambiguity on the length of the tenure.
- The new order said the term will be for an initial three-year period, leaving open the possibility that it could be extended later.
- The rules allow for a term of five years or up to the age of 65 for the Sebi chairman.
- Some Sebi members appointed recently have been given five-year terms.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 12 April 1992
- Chairman: Ajay Tyagi
22. UDAN scheme to increase number of airports by 50
The implementation of the regional air-connectivity scheme, UDAN, will see the number of operational airports in the country shoot up by over 50, while the cost of travelling will come down to as low as Rs 2,500 for up to an hour of air journey, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
According Sinha, there are 75 small operational airports in the country, and this number will increase to over 125 with the successful implementation of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik).
Drawing reference to Jharkhand, the Minister said the Centre will be able to connect all major cities of the State in 1-2 years.
23. India’s Western Regional Agriculture Fair – 2017 inaugurated in Bikaner
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated India’s Western Regional Agriculture Fair – 2017 in Bikaner.
The Minister of Agriculture further said that Government of India has fixed an ambitious target for making the farmers income double in the next five years.
To achieve this target, the out of box initiative has been taken instead of traditional system.
Towards this, the establishment of National Agriculture Mandi E-NAM portal is an revolutionary initiative for the farmers with which farmers can sale their agricultural products on better prices in any of the mandis.
24. South Asian Speakers’ Summit held in Indore
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated a two-day South Asian Speakers Summit in Indore on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The Summit had a Plenary Session on Identifying Resources for SDGs Implementation in South Asia: Opportunities for Parliamentary Cooperation.
25. India’s only volcano active again
India’s only live volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has started spewing smoke and lava again.
After lying dormant for 150 years, Barren Island volcano erupted in 1991 and has been showing sporadic activity since then, scientists of Goa based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) said.
A team of scientists led by Abhay Mudholkar, from CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR-NIO) in Goa reported that the volcano is active and spewing smoke and lava once again.
26. India sanctions soft loan USD 340 million to Nepal
India has sanctioned a soft loan of 340 million US dollar to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae handed over the approval papers to Physical Infrastructure and Transport Minister of Nepal Ramesh Lekhak in the presence of Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.
Under this programme Mahalaki bridge and 15 roads will be constructed in various parts of Nepal.
27. Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang resigns
Embattled Nagaland chief minister TR Zeliang announced his resignation from the top post, days after party legislators withdrew their support to break the deadlock between agitating tribal groups and the government.
Nagaland has been in a state of turmoil ever since the Nagaland Tribal Action Committee began their agitation demanding the resignation of Zeliang over his decision to conduct civic bodies’ elections with 33 per cent reservation for women.
28. Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH commissioned in Kochi
Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH was commissioned in Kochi, Kerala.
The ship was commissioned by Vice Admiral AR Karwe, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command.
The fast patrol vessel (FPV) is fitted with state-of- the-art navigational and communication equipment including Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Machinery Control System (MCS).
Post commissioning, the ship will be based at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
29. India’s first dedicated heliport to open in Delhi
The capital will soon get India’s first dedicated “heliport” for flying in and out of Delhi to nearby areas in choppers.
Aviation secretary R N Choubey said the Rs 100-crore project will be inaugurated on February 28 and will be an integrated one with a chopper maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) unit part of the complex at Rohini.
It will be Owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL).
30. Health Secretary launches ‘SAATHIYA’ Resource Kit and ‘SAATHIYA SALAH’ Mobile App
C K Mishra, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare launched the SAATHIYA Resource Kit including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App for adolescents, as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program.
One of the key interventions under the programme is introduction of the Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who act as a catalyst for generating demand for the adolescent health services and imparting age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.
In order to equip the Saathiyas in doing so, the Health Ministry has launched the Saathiya Resource Kit (including ‘Saathiya Salah’ Mobile App).
This Resource Kit comprises Activity Book, Bhranti-Kranti Game, Question-Answer Book and Peer Educator Diary.
The mobile app is also linked to another important piece of cost-effective information platform of a toll-free Saathiya Helpline (1800-233-1250) which will act as an e-counselor.
31. Catholic Syrian Bank’s ‘name and shame’ campaign starts paying dividends
The ‘name and shame campaign’ initiated by Catholic Syrian Bank Employees and Retirees against wilful defaulters in Kerala seems to have started paying dividends.
Of the 30 defaulters identified by the bank with dues of more than Rs 50 lakh each, 10 borrowers have already approached the bank with settlement proposals, following dharnas organised at 20 locations in the State.
According to EJ Kurien, DGM in charge of Asset Recovery, the bank has already received firm assurance for payments worth Rs 25 crore from defaulters.
32. IDBI Bank ties up with Consumerfed
Kerala State Cooperatives Consumers’ Federation (Consumerfed) has tied up with IDBI Bank to facilitate cashless purchases for its consumers.
Consumerfed runs a network of hundreds of Thriveni fair price shops, Neethi fair price medical shops and some beverage outlets throughout the state.
Consumers can now swipe their cards at these outlets.
More than 300 machines have already been installed.
A special IDBI Bank team was deputed to plan and execute the scheme under the guidance of M Ramanunni, Managing Director, Consumerfed, and M Mehaboob, Chairman.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1964
- CEO: Kishor Kharat
33. India Ratings cuts India’s GDP growth forecast for 2016-17
India Ratings & Research, a Fitch Group company, has cut its growth forecast for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) for FY17 to 6.8 per cent, lower than its initial estimate of 7.9 per cent.
For the next financial year 2017-18, the agency expects the country’s GDP to grow higher at 7.4 per cent, backed by consumption demand and government spending.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) in its advance estimate for 2016-17 had projected growth rate of 7.1 per cent.
34. HDFC life launches ‘Pragati’ plan for low income group
HDFC life has launched Pragati, a traditional life insurance plan that has been specifically designed to empower low income families.
Pragati makes life insurance easily accessible to every person who wishes to financially secure his family.
With Pragati, HDFC Life wants to offer the dual benefit of systematic savings (with guaranteed premium returns) and wholesome life protection.
35. Government gives green signal to merger of SBI and its five associate banks
The Cabinet approved a proposal to merge the five subsidiaries of State Bank of India with the parent, kick-starting consolidation among public sector lenders.
Two of the five associate banks —State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad — are unlisted. Among the other three, Mumbai-based SBI holds a 75 per cent stake in State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, 90 per cent in State Bank of Mysore and 79 per cent in State Bank of Travancore.
A decision on Bharatiya Mahila Bank will be taken later.
36. RBI to reimburse MDR to banks on government payments
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it will reimburse banks the merchant discount rate (MDR) on debit cards used for payment of tax and non-tax dues to the government of India.
In a notification on its website, the central bank said the reimbursement will be applicable from 1 January, 2017.
MDR is the commission paid by the merchant to the acquiring bank for every digital transaction allowed by the bank.
37. RRBs can now lend up to 2 lakh against gold
The Reserve Bank of India has doubled the quantum of loan that Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) can give against security of gold/ gold ornaments to Rs2 lakh.
Earlier limit was Rs 1 Lakh.
Such loans will be subject to the conditions that the period of the loan cannot exceed 12 months from the date of sanction; interest will be charged on the amount at monthly rests but will become due for payment along with principal only at the end of 12 months from the date of sanction.
Further, RRBs are required to maintain a Loan to Value (LTV) ratio of 75 per cent, that is, if the value of gold ornaments pledged with a bank is Rs1 lakh, then it will give a loan of Rs75,000, on the outstanding amount of loan, including the interest on ongoing basis, failing which the loan will be treated as a non-performing asset.
The RBI said crop loans sanctioned against the collateral security of gold/ gold ornaments will continue to be governed by the currents norms relating to income recognition, asset classification and provisioning for such loans.
Regional Rural Banks
Regional Rural Banks are local level banking organizations operating in different States of India.
They have been created with a view to serve primarily the rural areas of India with basic banking and financial services.
However, RRBs may have branches set up for urban operations and their area of operation may include urban areas too.
Central Government held 50% shares of RRBs, State Government- 15% and Sponsor Banks- 35.
These were set up on the recommendations of The M. Narasimham Working Group.
Prathama Bank was the first bank established in 1975, sponsored by Syndicate bank.
38. Citi Bank launches instant chat service for customers
Citi bank has launched instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India.
The real-time chat facility focuses on resolving queries instantly, in a safe environment, across cards, domestic and non-resident accounts, and loans, for clients as they transact online.
India is the first country in Asia Pacific within the Citi network, which spans 12 countries in the region, to launch the generic chat capabilities.
Citi Bank India
- India Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded in India: 1902
- India Head: Pramit Jhaveri
39. IMF Launches South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Center in New Delhi
The IMF’s South Asia Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) was officially inaugurated by Secretary Shaktikanta Das of India’s Ministry of Finance in New Delhi on February 13, 2017.
Deputy Managing Director Carla Grasso and senior officials from the center’s six South Asian member countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka) and development partners attended the event.
SARTTAC is a collaborative venture between the IMF, the member countries, and development partners.
The center’s strategic goal is to help its member countries strengthen their institutional and human capacity.
International Monetary Fund
- Headquarters: Washington D.C.
- Managing Director: Christine Lagarde (France)
- Founded: 27 December 1945
- Members: 189
- Parent Organization: United Nation Organization
40. Railway general tickets to be available in banks
In a major step towards easing availability of train tickets, the Indian Railways will soon start disbursing tickets of the general class from banks.
The railway board had started working on this in August 2016 and the initiative is said to be in its final stages now.
The Indian Railways and the State Bank of India are in constant touch to work out the modalities for this.
The project will reach its final satges by April 2017 after which a trial run will begin soon.
The Indian Railways is considering two options for this new initiative. One is to make tickets available to the travelers by installing an automated vending machine in the bank premises. And the other is to make changes in the ATM and link them with railway’s ticket distribution system.
41. Corporation Bank bags ‘National MSME Excellence Award 2017’
Corporation Bank has been awarded once again ‘National MSME Excellence Award 2017’ organized by the Federation of Industry, Trade and Services (FITS).
- D V Subramanya Varma, General Manager, Corporation Bank received the award from Haribhai P Choudhary, Honourable Union Minister of State, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in New Delhi.
- Headquarters: Mangalore
- Founded: 12 March 1906
- CEO and MD: Jai Kumar Garg
- Tagline: A Premier Public Sector Bank
42. Canara Bank signs MoU with HRD Ministry
Canara Bank on Thursday said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA).
- In September 2016, the Union Cabinet had approved the establishment of HEFA to give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure/capital assets in premier educational institutions.
- HEFA has been jointly promoted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) and Canara Bank with an authorised capital of Rs. 2,000 crore.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Founded: 1906
- Chairman: T.N. Manoharan
- Tagline: Together We Can
43. Oriental Bank launches mobile wallet ‘Batuaa’
On the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has come up with several digital offerings including launch of mobile wallet ‘Oriental Batuaa’.
Besides introducing a new version of mobile banking, OBC has also launched two new cards.
The two MSME schemes that have been launched are ‘Oriental Sanjeevani’ and ‘Oriental Budget Hotels and Restaurants’.
44. Karnataka Bank inks pact with Daimler India
Karnataka Bank Ltd has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd (DICV) for extending finance to customers for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.
A press release said that DICV has nominated Karnataka Bank as a preferred financier for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.
- Headquarters: Mangaluru
- Founded: 1924
- Chairman: P Jayarama Bhat
- Tagline: Your family bank across India
45. Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected president of Germany
Germany’s parliamentary assembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as the country’s 12th president.
The position of president in Germany is largely ceremonial, because the chancellor is the official head of government and has a higher profile on the world stage.
Steinmeier previously served as vice chancellor and foreign minister under current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
- Capital: Berlin
- Currency: Euro
- Chancellor: Angela Merkel
46. Ravi Shankar appointed as High Commissioner of India to Rwanda
Shri Ravi Shankar (IFS: 1995) has been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda, with residence in Kampala (Uganda).
He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
Presently he was High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda.
- Capital: Kigali
- Currency: Franc
- President: Paul Kagame
- Prime Minister: Anastase Murekezi
47. Norman Isaac becomes first Indian to be FIBA’s Technical Delegate
Norman Isaac has become the first Indian ever to be promoted by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) as Technical Delegate (TD).
The sport’s worldwide governing body recently confirmed the appointment after Isaac, along with a select few aspirants from across the globe, successfully cleared a series of tests in Doha, Qatar.
As a TD, he will be assigned to any country except his own and will be responsible for conduct of an entire event, ranging from actual competition management to every related aspect, from media arrangements to logistics.
48. France’s Jean-Pierre Lacroix named new UN peacekeeping chief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced the appointment of Jean-Pierre Lacroix of France to head UN peacekeeping for a year.
The UN’s political affairs chief, Jeffrey Feltman of the United States, will remain at this post, also for a year.
The two positions of under-secretary-general are among the most high-profile at the United Nations.
- Capital: Paris
- Currency: Euro, Franc
- Prime Minister: Bernard Cazeneuve
- President: Francois Hollande
49. Vikas Swarup appointed High Commisioner to Canada
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup has been appointed the new High Commissioner to Canada.
Mr. Swarup, a well-known author, became the MEA spokesperson in April 2015.
He is expected to join his new post in Ottawa by mid-March.
He will replace Vishnu Prakash in Canada.
Gopal Baglay, the present joint secretary in charge of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran desk, will be the next spokesperson.
- Capital: Ottawa
- Currency: Dollar
- Prime Minister: Justin Trudeau
50. Tamil Nadu Governor appoints Edappadi K Palaniswami as Tamilnadu CM
Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao has appointed Edappadi K Palaniswami as chief minister.
The Governor invited him to form the ministry at the earliest.
The governor requested the chief minister-designate to seek the vote confidence of the assembly within 15 days.
Palaniswami has claimed that he has the support of 124 legislators, while the O Pannerselvam camp had that of only 10.
- Capital: Chennai
- Governor: C Vidyasagar Rao
- Formation: 26 January 1950
51. Ranganathan, Mehta appointed Non-Official Director in IOB, PNB
T C A Ranganathan and Sunil Mehta were appointed as Non-Official Directors in Indian Overseas Bank and Punjab National Bank respectively.
- The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has cleared their appointment as Non-Official Director/Non-Executive Chairman in the respective banks for a period of three years, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said.
- Mehta’s appointment is subject to a condition that he needs to resign from the board of State Bank of India before joining the new post.
Punjab National Bank
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Founded: 1894
- CEO and MD: Usha Ananthasubramanian
- Tagline: The Name you can Bank Upon
Indian Overseas Bank
- Headquarters: Chennai
- Founded: 10 February 1937
- Executive Director: K Swaminathan
- Tagline: Good People to Grow With
52. Eight Executive Directors appointed in various banks
Eight Executive Directors (EDs) have been appointed in various public sector banks on the recommendations of Banks Board Bureau. The appointments have been made for three years.
- Neelam Damodharan and Atanu Kumar Das: Bank of India.
- K Swaminathan: Indian Overseas Bank
- Ashok Kumar Pradhan: United Bank of India.
- P Ramana Murthy: Central Bank of India
- Fareed Ahmed Khan: Punjab and Sind Bank.
- M K Bhattacharya: Indian Bank
- S Harishankar: Allahabad Bank
53. Renu Pall appointed Ambassador of India to Montenegro
Ms. Renu Pall has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to Montenegro, with residence in Vienna (Austria).
She is expected to take up her assignment shortly.
She is presently Ambassador of India to Austria.
- Capital: Podgorica
- Currency: Euro
- President: Filip Vujanovic
- Prime Minister: Dusko Markovic
54. Shurozelie Liezitsu elected Nagaland Chief Minister
Naga People’s Front (NPF) President Shurozelie Liezitsu was selected as a consensus candidate by the Democratic Alliance of Nagaland for the post of Chief Minister.
Liezitsu will be sworn as the Chief Minister of Nagaland on February 22.
Earlier Nagaland’s Chief Minister TR Zeliang stepped down from his post.
- Capital: Kohima
- Formed: 1 December 1963
- Governor: Padmanabha Acharya
55. Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
President Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security adviser.
McMaster will take on the role after having served several tours of duty in Germany, Southwest Asia and Iraq.
McMaster has a PhD in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
56. Usain Bolt wins Laureus ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award
World’s “greatest” sprinter Usain Bolt pipped the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and LeBron James to win the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ trophy for a fourth time.
Simone Biles clinched the ‘Sportswoman of the Year’.
Michael Phelps bagged the ‘Comeback of the Year’ award.
Formula One champion Nico Roseberg claimed the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ award.
In other categories, Italy’s Beatrice Vio clinched the disability award.
Olympic refugee team won the Laureus Sport for Good award.
57. Hindi Scholar and writer Surendra Verma selected for Vyas Samman award 2016
Well known Hindi Scholar and writer Surendra Verma has been selected for Vyas Samman-2016.
- Mr Verma has been chosen for this prestigious award for his novel Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha : Padma Pankhuri Ki Dhar Se, published in 2010.
- The award instituted by K K Birla Foundation in 1991 carries a cash award of 3.50 lakh rupees.
- Sunita Jain was awarded last year.
58. Lata Mangeshkar honoured with ‘Legendary Award ‘ 2017
Indian melody queen Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with the ‘Legendary Award’ by The Brand Laureate.
She says she is thankful for her gratifying career and well-wishers.
The Brand Laureate recognises world-class achievement in branding amongst individuals and companies.
59. India’s ‘Newton’ & ‘Aaba’ Win Big at Berlinale 2017
Two Indian films at the world renowned Berlin Film festival bagged awards – Amit Masurkar’s Newton and Amar Kaushik’s Aaba.
While Rajkummar Rao-starrer Newton brought home the CICAE Art Cinema Award in the Forum section of the fest, Aaba won the Special Prize of Generation KPlus International Jury for Best Short Film.
60. Jamshed suspended from all forms of cricket
Left-handed opener Nasir Jamshed has been provisionally suspended from all forms of cricket by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for violating its anti-corruption code.
PSL chairman Najam Sethi had earlier stated that strict action will be taken against those who are found guilty of corruption charges in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
PSL has already been rocked by corruption scandal with Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif being suspended from the tournament with Mohammad Irfan currently under investigation.
61. Adam Voges retires from international cricket
Adam Voges, Australian batsman, announced his retirement from international cricket.
The Western Australia batsman has played 20 Tests, scoring 1485 runs at an average of 61.87 – second highest average in Tests after Don Bradman (Among batsmen who have played at least 20 Tests).
He has also figured in 31 One-Day Internationals and scored 870 runs with an average of 45.78 while 139 runs in seven Twenty20 Internationals with an average of 46.33.
62. East Zone clinches Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2017
East Zone clinched the Syed Mushtaq Ali Inter Zonal Trophy wit their fourth consecutive win as they trounced West Zone by eight wickets on the final day of the tournament at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Set a target of 150, they polished off the chase in 13.4 overs after Virat Singh’s 34-ball 58 and Ishank Jaggi’s stroke-filled 56.
63. Afridi announces retirement from international cricket
Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from international cricket, ending an illustrious 21-year career.
The 36-year-old star had already quit Tests in 2010 and ODI cricket after the 2015 World Cup but still skippered the Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India.
Nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’, Afridi had been a fan favourite since he burst onto the scene in 1996, striking a 37-ball one-day century against Sri Lanka in only his second match to set a world record that was unbeaten for 18 years.
Afridi finishes his international career having played just 27 Test matches which yielded 1,176 runs with a highest score of 156 and 48 wickets.
He played 398 one-day internationals with 8,064 runs, a highest score of 124 while taking 395 wickets with his leg spin.
His Twenty20 international CV saw him play 98 matches with 1,405 runs and a career-leading 97 wickets.
64. India win silver at Asian Women’s Rugby Sevens Trophy
India won the silver medal at the women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy having won five matches and lost one at Vientiane, Laos.
In the seven-nation round-robin competition, India defeated Laos 22-7, Philippines 12-5, Nepal 43-0 and Malaysia by 26-12.
On the second day, India defeated Pakistan by 5-0 and in the last match were beaten by South Korea by 0-29.
65. Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma passes away at 62
Celebrated Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma, who has 176 novels to his credit, died in Meerut. He was 62.
Sharma had also written scripts for about half-a-dozen Hindi movies.
Mr. Sharma started his writing career at the age of 14 and initially ghost written novels for others.
66. Former MP Jambuvantrao Dhote passes away
Former Nagpur MP Jambuwantrao Dhote, who always stood for the cause of separate Vidarbha, passed away following a massive heart attack. He was 78.
Popularly known as “Lion of Vidarbha”, Dhote was also a legislator for two terms from Yavatmal district.
An ardent disciple of Subhash Chandra Bose, he started his political career with the Forward Bloc and later moved to the Congress in the late 70s before joining the Shiv Sena.
67. Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir passes away in Kolkata
Hailed as one of the brilliant judges of the Supreme Court, former Chief Justice of India, Justice (Retired) Altamas Kabir passed away after prolonged illness. He was 68.
Justice Altamas Kabir enrolled as an Advocate in 1973 at Kolkata Bar Association.
He was appointed as a judge in the Calcutta High Court in 1990.
In March 2005, Justice Altamas Kabir was apponted as the Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court before being elevated as a judge in the Supreme Court in September the same year.
Justice Altamas Kabir appointed as the 39th Chief Justice of India on Septemebr 29 in 2012. He held the office till July 18, 2013.
68. Norway Nobel Committee chairwoman dies aged 65
Kaci Kullmann, the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee which selects the Peace Prize laureates, has died aged 65.
Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee in 2003, and was elected chair in 2015.
She was among the decision makers who honoured former US vice president Al Gore (2007), former US president Barack Obama (2009), Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (2010), and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi (2003).
- Currency: Krone
- Capital: Oslo
- Prime Minister: Ema Solberg
69. Book to chronicle Dream Girl Hema Malini’s journey
Dream Girl Hema Malini’s incredible journey from an actor, a danseuse and filmmaker to a politician is being chronicled in a new book which will hit stores on her 69th birthday this October.
Billed as an authorised biography, ‘Hema Malini: Beyond the Dream Girl’ is penned by author-columnist Ram Kamal Mukherjee.
Weekly Current Affairs Feb 4th Week
1. Netanyahu is first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia
Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Sydney on the first visit to Australia by a serving Israeli prime minister.
Netanyahu will start his four-day visit with talks with his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull at his official Sydney address.
Netanyahu and Turnbull will sign agreements on technology and air services.
- Capital: Canberra
- Currency: Dollar
- Prime Minister: Malcolm Turnbull
- Capital: Jerusalem
- Currency: Shekel
- President: Reuven Rivlin
2. Mexico City ranked world’s most congested city
Mexico City has the worst daily traffic condition in the world for the second consecutive year, according to a new research.
TomTom, a Dutch company manufacturing traffic and mapping products, said in the research that the Mexican capital once again took the top spot with drivers expecting to spend an average of 66 percent extra time stuck in traffic everyday, Xinhua news agency reported.
By analysing the traffic congestion situation in 390 cities in 48 countries, the research has listed other cities, including Bangkok, Jakarta and Bucharest as the most congested cities in the world.
- Capital: Mexico City
- Currency: Peso
- President: Enrique Pena Nieto
3. India, Israel to develop missile for Army
Ahead of the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to Israel later this year, India has approved a deal to develop jointly a medium range surface-to-air missile (MR-SAM) system for the Army in a Rs17,000-crore deal.
The deal will be executed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).
The systems will be manufactured in India and would have an 80% indigenous content.
4. China steams past U.S., France to be Germany’s biggest trading partner
China for the first time became Germany’s most important trading partner in 2016, overtaking the United States, which fell back to third place behind France.
German imports from and exports to China rose to 170 billion euros ($180 billion) last year, Federal Statistics Office figures showed.
- Capital: Paris
- Currency: Euro, Franc
- Prime Minister: Bernard Cazeneuve
- President: François Hollande
- Capital: Berlin
- Currency: Euro
- Chancellor: Angela Merkel
- President: Joachim Gauck
5. Pakistan army launches nationwide military operations ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’
Pakistan army has launched nationwide military operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ to eliminate terrorists and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations, days after a wave of suicide attacks that killed more than 88 at a Sufi shrine in Sindh.
‘Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad’ — an Arabic word which translates roughly to ‘elimination of discord’ – has been launched across the country, the army’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations said in a statement.
According to the statement, the operation aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders.
“The Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Navy, Civil Armed Forces as well as other security and law enforcement agencies will continue to actively participate and support the efforts of the Pakistan Army to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country,” the statement said.
- Capital: Islamabad
- Currency: Rupee
- Prime Minister: Nawaj Sharif
- President: Mamnoon Hussain
6. Venezuela, Libya again lose UN vote rights over dues debts
Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the UN General Assembly for the second time in two years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body.
The Assembly decided this week that six countries i.e. Sudan, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Cape Verde, Libya and Vanuatu would lose their votes in the 2016-2017 session because they’re over two years in arrears.
- Capital: Caracas
- Currency: Bolivar
- President: Nicolas Maduro
- Capital: Tripoli
- Currency: Dinar
- Prime Minister: Fayez al-Sarraj
7. India, Bangladesh ink MoU for development of Sylhet
India has agreed to provide financial assistance to Bangladesh for the sustainable development of Sylhet, a north-eastern Bangladeshi city.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed, three development projects would be taken up in Sylhet.
The MoU was signed by Additional Secretary of the Economic Relations Division Shah Md. Aminul Haque, Sylhet City Corporation CEO Enamul Habib and Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla in Sylhet.
- Capital: Dhaka
- Currency: Taka
- Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina
8. Cyber Swachhta Kendra launched to prevent cyber attacks
The government, through its Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-in), launched “Cyber Swachhta Kendra”, a new desktop and mobile security solution for secure cyber space in the country.
The new solution will notify, enable cleaning and secure systems of end-users to prevent further infections.
“Launched USB Pratirodh, which will control the unauthorised usage of removable USB storage media devices like pen drives, external hard drives. Launched App Samvid, to protect Desktops from suspicious applications from running,” tweeted Union IT and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
9. Bharat QR code launched to push less-cash economy
In its bid to promote digital economy in the country, Government of India has launched a new payment method using QR codes.
The solution comes as a first of its kind throughoout the globe.
After the introduction of Bharat QR code, a consumer can simply open his or her banking app or BHIM app, scan the merchant’s QR code, enter the payable amount and enter the four digit code to authenticate the transaction. The amount will be directly transferred to the merchant’s bank account once the transaction is complete.
The method would eliminate the need of PoS machines on a merchant outlet.
The National Payments Corporation has jointly developed it with MasterCard and Visa.
10. Kashmir to observe 2017 as the ‘Year of Apple’
J & K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has declared 2017 as ‘Year of Apple’ in a major bid to promote the famed Kashmiri apples in domestic and foreign markets.
The Chief Minister launched the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme in Srinagar.
These high-density plants will be routed through J&K Bank along with the subsidy.
Jammu and Kashmir is the largest apple producing State in India at 11.2 metric tonnes, which accounts for 71% of national production.
11. India aims to bring broadband to every village by 2018
India aims to bring high-speed digital connectivity to every village by 2018 and is keen to share expertise in the area with other nations, the government said.
In his Union Budget presented on February 1, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government would allocate Rs 10,000 crore to expand the Bharat Net project in 2017-18 for high-speed broadband.
12. National Biodiversity Congress held in Kerala
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the five-day-long National Biodiversity Congress and Expo at Tagore theatre in Thiruvananthapuram.
This is one of the biggest biodiversity congresses in the country and its focal theme is ‘Mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development’.
- Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
- Governor: P Sathasivam
- Formation: 1 November 1956
13. J-K govt limits guests, dishes at weddings
The Jammu and Kashmir government has announced restrictions on the number of guests to be invited and specified the number of dishes that can be served at both public and private gatherings, mostly weddings, in a bid to limit wastage of food and essential commodities in such ceremonies.
The order will come into effect from April this year.
While families will be allowed to invite only 500 people for their daughter’s wedding, the number has been restricted to 400 if one’s son is getting married. And only 100 people can be invited for smaller ceremonies like engagements.
The wedding menu is also likely to be restricted and non-vegetarian dishes cannot accede more than seven with only two servings of fruits and sweets.
Loudspeakers and firecrackers can not be used in any government or private program.
Also, giving sweets and dry fruits with invitation cards has been restricted.
14. Minister for Railways Dedicates Coaches of Antyodaya Express to the nation
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inspected the newly turned rake of Antyodaya Express consisting 22 Coaches.
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri A. K. Mital and senior officials were also present on the occasion.
The Minister appreciated the new Antyodaya Rake and dedicated it to the common people of the nation.
15. CCEA approves 40,000-mw solar park scheme
In a major push for solar power development in the country, a cabinet panel approved increasing the capacity of solar parks and projects from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW.
“The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks — each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country,” Power and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal told.
“The capacity of the solar park scheme has been enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the states,” he said.
“The solar Parks and ultra mega solar power projects will be set up by 2019-20 with central government financial support of Rs 8,100 crore,” he added.
16. India, China hold strategic dialogue
China and India today held their upgraded strategic dialogue to shore up bilateral ties amid hectic parleys to resolve differences over Beijing’s reluctance to support India’s NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
Just before the dialogue, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Later, Jaishankar along with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui held the strategic dialogue.
17. International Ayurvedic research Institute planned at Kannur
Kerala government has decided to set up a Rs 300 crore international Ayurvedic research institute at Kannur during the 13th five year plan.
The project will be implemented with central assistance.
Cabinet also decided to set up Kerala Blood Bank society of International standards.
It will be set up jointly by Thiruvananthapuram Citizens India Charitable Trust, Health Department with technical assistance of WHO.
The government also decided to strengthen the Public Works Department’s design, investigation and quality control wings.
18. President of India inaugurates international conference on ‘Bharat Bodh’
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an international conference on ‘Bharat Bodh’ organized by the Indira Gandhi National Open University and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal in New Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the President complimented the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal for organizing this conference bringing together intellectuals, academicians and researchers to unravel various aspects of the “Bharat Bodh”.
19. DoNER Ministry along with Tezpur University to encourage entrepreneurship in Northeast
Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), jointly with the Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University and North Eastern Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), is coming up with a Business Idea Challenge to encourage entrepreneurship in the North-East Region (NER).
The annual industry-academia interface event “Sampark”, which will see the DoNER Ministry’s involvement for the first time, brings the spirit of entrepreneurship in the region.
The event will take place on March 3, 2017 and will be the 17th edition in the series.
To encourage the students towards entrepreneurship, a Pioneering Business Idea Challenge 2017 is being organized as a part of the event.
20. 24 February: Central Excise Day
Central Excise Day is commemorated every year all across the India on 24th of February.
It aims to encourage the employees of excise department to carry out the central excise duty all over the India in better way in order to prevent the corruption.
It is also celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the Central Excise and Salt Act on 24th of February in the year 1944.
21. Rajasthan 2nd largest crude oil producer in country
Rajasthan has become the second largest crude oil producer in the country after the offshore field Bombay High, Governor Kalyan Singh said in the Assembly, highlighting the achievements of the state government.
Delivering his speech on the first day of the Budget Session, Singh said oilfields in the state were producing nearly 90 lakh tones oil annually, which is 24 per cent of the total domestic crude oil production.
22. Maneka Gandhi announces compensation fund for child abuse victims
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has announced the setting up of a compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes.
A Central Victim Compensation Fund was set up with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore in 2015 but has not not been operating, the official said.
POCSO Act or Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act was formulated in 2012 to address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
23. PM unveils 112-foot tall Shiva statue ‘Adiyogi’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the 112-foot tall statue dedicated to ‘Adiyogi’ at Coimbatore.
The statue has been funded by Isha Foundation, founded by the popular yoga guru Jaggi Vasudev.
The foundation has been mired in controversies since 2012. Tribal associations in the Coimbatore region allege that the statue lack approvals.
24. Rajasthan inaugurates medical project RAHAT
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje inaugurated a medical project Rajasthan Heart Attack Treatment programme (RAHAT), launched by a private hospital.
The programme is a telemedicines platform that captures and transmits patient’s EKG along with clinical history from remote geographical locations to heart command center hub.
25. Mumbai is the richest Indian city
India’s financial capital Mumbai, which is home to 46,000 millionaires and 28 billionaires, is the richest Indian city with a total wealth of $ 820 billion, says a report.
According to New World Wealth, Mumbai is the richest city in the country followed by Delhi and Bengaluru in the second and third place, respectively.
Delhi is home to 23,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires with a total wealth of $ 450 billion, while Bengaluru with a total wealth of $ 320 billion houses 7,700 millionaires and 8 billionaires.
The list also includes Hyderabad with a total wealth of $ 310 billion. Hyderabad is home to 9,000 millionaires and 6 billionaires.
26. Goa Ranks first in having lesser infant mortality rate
While infant mortality rate in the country has been registered at 42 deaths of kids per 1000 births the Union Territory of Puducherry has established a record of having lesser rate of infant mortality.
Director of Health and Family Welfare Services K V Raman told that Union Territory was having 11 deaths of children per 1000 babies born.
Puducherry ranked third in the achievement next to Goa and Kerala.
- Capital: Panaji
- Chief Minister: Laxmikant Parsekar
- Governor: Mridula Sinha
- Formation: 30 May 1987
27. Minister of Railways Flags off Country’s first Antyodaya Express
Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu flagged off the fourth Humsafar clan of trains and first Antyodaya clan of trains through video conferencing from Rail Bhawan.
Speaking on the occasion Ministry of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu said that “This is the fourth Humsafar Express to be launched and it will cross the entire country from North to South.
Humsafar train is a fully Air Conditioned 3 AC service having facilities like GPS based Passenger Information System, Passenger announcement System, fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points, integrated Braille display, LCD display above compartment doors in the aisle, Fire retardant curtains, etc.”
He also said that “we are launching the country’s first Antyodaya Express to be launched.
Tejas and UDAY Express will be launched soon.
Antyodaya Express is a long-distance, fully unreserved, superfast train service, for the common man to be operated on dense routes.
28. Dish TV partners with ICICI Bank for digital payments
Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has tied-up with private lender ICICI Bank for digital payments.
This alliance with ICICI Bank through UPI will drive higher customer adoption and allow them to be a part of the digital economy.
- Established: 1994
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Chairman: MK Sharma
- MD and CEO: Chanda Kochar
- Tagline: Hum Hai Na, Khyal Aapka
29. Jewellery Purchase In Cash Above Rs. 2 Lakh To Attract Tax From April 1
Cash purchases of jewellery will attract a 1 per cent TCS (tax collected at source) from April 1, 2017 if the amount exceeds Rs. 2 lakh, as against the current threshold of Rs. 5 lakh.
Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods which attract 1 per cent TCS on cash purchase of above Rs. 2 lakh.
The amendments will take effect from April 1, 2017.
30. Vijaya Bank, SIDBI ink pact to provide concessional loans to MSEs
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vijaya Bank for providing concessional finance to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
The MoU aims at promoting and strengthening units in the MSE segment through concessional funding.
The MoU also envisages joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for meeting capital expenditure under the ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’ scheme at concessional rate of 9.60 per cent, along with working capital from Vijaya Bank.
- Headquarters: Bengaluru
- Founded: 1931
- MD and CEO: Kishore Kumar Sansi
- Tagline: A friend you can bank on
- Headquarters: Lucknow
- Founded: 2 April 1990
- Chairman: Dr. Kshatrapati Shivaji
31. Bharti Airtel to buy Telenor India
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecoms network operator, said it would buy Telenor (India) Communications Pvt Ltd, in a deal that will bolster Airtel’s footprint with additional spectrum of 43.4 MHzin the 1800 MHz band.
Airtel will buy Telenor’s India operations in seven circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West) and Assam, the company said in a statement.
Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal, until the transaction is completed, the company said.
32. Centre clears Rs 5,700-crore hydro project to be set up in Nepal
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved Rs 5723.72 crore by state-owned SJVN Limited in the 900-mw Arun-III hydropower project in Nepal, power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal said.
Financial closure for the project is expected to be achieved by September this year and it is scheduled to be completed after five years.
The project will offer 21.9% free power to Nepal for 25 years and generate employment of around 3000 persons in India and Nepal.
The project will be carried out by a subsidiary owned by public sector company SJVN.
Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) is a joint venture of centre and Himachal government. Centre holds 64.46 percent shares while Himachal Pradesh holds 25.51 percent shares.
- Capital: Kathmandu
- Currency: Rupee
- Prime Minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal
- President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari
33. Five associate banks to merge with SBI from April 1
The merger of State Bank of India’s five associate banks with the SBI will become effective in the new fiscal year, the government said.
In gazette notifications the government said the entire undertakings of these five banks shall stand transferred to and vested in State Bank of India from April 1, 2017.
The combined entity will have a network of nearly 23,000 branches, further increasing the dominance of the country’s largest bank.
34. ADB, India ink $500 million loan pact to expand power connectivity
India and the ADB has signed a $500 million loan pact to expand inter-regional power connectivity in the country, and strengthen transmission system to accommodate renewable energy-generation capacity.
The project, which is expected to be completed by December 2020, will help build 800 kilovolt (kV) and 320 kV High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) converter stations and 765 kV power transmission systems in India, the multilateral lending agency said in a statement.
The loan has a 20-year term, including a five-year grace period with an annual interest rate determined in accordance with ADB’s LIBOR-based lending facility, it said.
35. Karnataka Bank bags two awards at IBA Banking Technology Awards
City based private sector bank – Karnataka Bank Ltd has bagged two IBA – banking technology awards 2017.
The awards are, winner- best financial inclusion initiatives [small bank] category; and runner up – best use of digital and channels technology [small bank] category.
36. Oriental Bank ties up with Chola MS to sell insurance products
The Public Sector Oriental Bank of Commerce has signed a corporate agency agreement with general insurance provider Cholamandalam General Insurance Company, for distribution of insurance products.
Chola MS will offer a wide range of non-life insurance products to customers of Oriental Bank of Commerce through its branches.
The insurance products include motor, health, home and travel, a company statement said.
37. Andhra Pradesh to develop Vizag as fintech hub, signs MoU with Visa
Andhra Pradesh government has unveiled its plans to develop Visakhapatnam as Fintech hub of the country and signed MoUs with Visa and Thomson Reuters.
Visa, the leading global payments network, will help transform Vishakhapatnam into India’s first “less cash” city.
This initiative is designed to provide the foundation for the city to emerge as India’s Fintech Valley.
The state government also signed a MoU with Thomson Reuters for cooperation in Fintech initiatives in the state.
38. IDBI Bank set to get Rs 3000 crore bailout package from govt
The government is all set to bail out IDBI Bank with a Rs. 3,000-crore capital infusion to help it maintain a healthy capital-adequacy ratio and pursue credit growth.
The government has already said it is still open to bring down its stake in the bank to below 50 per cent.
Other state-run banks will also require immediate capital support, the finance ministry reckons.
“About seven state-run banks have reported net profit over the past three quarters. There has also been substantial improvement in recoveries done by some lenders, including Indian Overseas Bank,” he said.
On the other hand, IDBI Bank’s lending portfolio is mostly in corporate segment and that is one of the major reasons for surge in its bad loans.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1964
- MD and CEO: Kishor Kharat
- Tagline: Banking for All, Aao Sochein Bada
39. Dena Bank introduces Radio Frequency Identification Card
Public lender Dena Bank has launched an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) card for its customers to provide prompt and personalized services without any delay.
The card was unveiled at the hands of Bank chairman and managing director, Ashwani Kumar.
RFID-enabled banking cards will help Branch/Relationship Manager in identifying a card-holder the moment they enter the branch and complete information of that particular client will pop up on their desktop.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 26 May 1938
- Tagline: Trusted Family Bank
40. NCAER lowers GDP growth forecast to 6.9 pc for FY17
After RBI and IMF, economic think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) has lowered the country’s growth forecast to 6.9 per cent for the current fiscal on account of demonetisation.
A few days before demonetisation was announced, NCAER had projected a growth rate of 7.6 per cent for 2016-17.
Earlier this week, International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered GDP growth forecast to 6.6 per cent.
41. TCS among top three IT services brands globally
India’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services has broken into the list of Top 3 most valuable brands in the IT services industry by Brand Finance, the leading global brand valuation firm.
According to a release by TCS, the company was also rated as the industry’s highest brand strength rating of AA+ and contributes to 69 percent of the value of the larger Tata Brand.
Over the past year, TCS has also been recognised for running one of the most innovative marketing programmes in Europe and featured as a top 100 brand in the United States.
42. Apollo Munich enters into bancassurance tie-up with Dena Bank
Standalone health insurer Apollo Munich Health Insurance said it is expanding its footprint across the country with bancassurance tie-up with state-owned Dena Bank .
Under the tie-up the bank will distribute customised Apollo Munich Health insurance and personal accident policies to the bank’s 20 million customers nationwide.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 26 May 1938
- CMD: Ashwani Kumar
- Tagline: Trusted Family Bank
43. IDBI Bank receives the MSME Excellence Award 2017
IDBI Bank receives the MSME Excellence Award 2017 for outstanding contribution in funding to MSME sector instituted by Federation of Industry Trade and Services.
The award was received by Smt. Lalita Sharma, Chief General Manager at the hands of Shri Haribhai P. Chaudhary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State, Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India.
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1964
- MD and CEO: Kishor Kharat
- Tagline: Banking for All, Aao Sochein Bada
44. Lakshmi Vilas Bank ties with Centrum for its wealthy clients
South-based Lakshmi Vilas has roped in Centrum group, a leading financial services company, which will now mange the bank’s wealthy clients.
Centrum Wealth Management currently has assets under advise (AUA) in excess of Rs 10,000 crore.
It offers a bouquet of professional Wealth Management Services which include investment advisory across asset classes, portfolio management services and family office services including estate and tax planning.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank
- Headquarters: Chennai
- Founded: 1926
- CEO and MD: Parthasarathi Mukherjee
- Tagline: The Changing Face of Prosperity
45. FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan resigns
Govind Rajan, the chief executive of Jasper Infotech-owned digital payments platform FreeCharge, has resigned from the company.
Former Housing.com CEO, Jason Kothari, who joined Snapdeal last month as its chief strategy and investment officer, will oversee the business operations of FreeCharge.
Rajan, who had joined Jasper Infotech in July 2015, initially held the role of chief strategy officer at Snapdeal. However, he took over the top job at Freecharge in May last year.
46. Suman Saxena takes charge as the Whole Time Member of the IBBI
Ms. Suman Saxena took charge as the Whole Time Member, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI).
Ms Saxena will look after Research and Regulation Wing comprising Corporate Insolvency, Corporate Liquidation, Individual Insolvency, Individual Bankruptcy, Research and Publications, Data Management and Dissemination and Advocacy.
She will also look after National Insolvency Programme, Continuing Professional Programme, and Knowledge Management and Partnership.
Ms. Saxena served as a member of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service for over 35 years.
Her last assignment was Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General, where she oversaw three important sectors, namely, defence, communications and railways.
She has also been the Director of National Academy of Audit and Accounts.
47. Abhijit Sarkar appointed Vice President of Asian Hockey Federation
Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) has appointed Abhijit Sarkar as it’s new Vice Chairman and also the chief of AHF Commercial and TV Committee.
Sarkar, who has been associated with the Sahara India Pariwar since 2004, was appointed on the basis of an Executive Board Meeting held on February 7.
48. Justice Sapre to head Cauvery Tribunal
Supreme Court sitting judge Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre will head the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).
According to Ministry of Water Resources, Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Khehar has nominated Justice Sapre as the tribunal chairman on 16 February.
The post was vacant after the resignation of Justice B S Chauhan following his appointment as Law Commission chairman, in March 2016.
Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, Sapre served as chief justice of Guwahati High Court and the High Court of Manipur.
He also served as judge at Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan High Courts.
He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court and assumed charge on August 13, 2014. He is due to retire on August 27, 2019.
The appointment of Sapre assumes significance since the Supreme Court is set to hear the Cauvery case on a regular basis from March 21.
CWDT was established by centre to resolve Cauvery water dispute.
49. The president of Azerbaijan picked his wife to be vice president
The president of oil-rich Azerbaijan picked his wife to be the nation’s first-ever vice-president.
President Ilham Aliyev, 55, named his wife Mehriban Aliyeva, 52, as vice president after he ordered a referendum last year to create the role and extend his own term from 5 to 7 years.
The resolutions passed in September with more than 90 percent of the votes.
- Capital: Baku
- Currency: Manat
- Prime Minister: Artur Rasizade
- President: Ilham Aliyev
50. Somali president names Hassan Ali Khaire prime minister
Somalia’s new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has chosen political newcomer Hassan Ali Khaire, a former oil company executive, as the country’s prime minister.
The appointment was announced shortly before Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, departed to Saudi Arabia for his first foreign trip since his election.
The president has requested Somali citizens to work with the prime minister.
- Capital: Mogadishu
- Currency: Shilling
51. Government ropes in Shilpa Shetty as Swachh Bharat brand ambassador
The government has roped in actress Shilpa Shetty as a brand ambassador for the Modi government’s cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission.
The 41-year-old actress will feature in TV and radio campaigns aimed at discouraging people from littering on roads.
Soon, campaign posters featuring her will be displayed at various places across the country.
Shetty is the latest entrant in the list of the mission’s ambassadors like Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan, Shankar Mahadevan and Sachin Tendulkar.
52. PV Sindhu set to be Deputy Collector
Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu, who is the first Indian woman athlete to win a silver medal at the Olympics, has accepted a government job which was offered by the Andhra Pradesh Government following her Rio de Janeiro triumph.
The 21-year-old shuttler has been working with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) since 2013 and is currently an assistant manager (sports) at its Hyderabad office.
53. Zeliang appointed Finance Advisor to Nagaland govt.
Former Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang was appointed as Finance Advisor to the state government in the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
Mr. Zeliang, appointed by the Governor P.B.Acharya, will receive the pay and allowances and all other facilities admissible to a cabinet minister, an official release said.
Mr. Zeliang resigned from the chief ministership on February 19 for his decision to hold elections to urban bodies with 33 per cent reservation for women and subsequent incidents.
54. Birender Singh Yadav appointed as the Ambassador of India to Togo
Shri Birender Singh Yadav has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Togo, with residence in Accra (Ghana).
He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.
Presently he is the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Ghana.
- Capital: Lome
- Currency: Franc
- President: Faure Gnassingbe
55. EDII wins International Mercury Award 2016-17
The Ahmedabad-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) has received the prestigious International Mercury Awards for the year 2016-17.
Instituted by MerComm, Inc, International Mercury Awards, honor outstanding achievement in professional communications in around 80 countries.
56. Katamati Mine wins Best Green Award
Tata Steel’s Katamati iron mine has been honoured with the the Best Green Organisation of the Year Award.
The award was presented at a function organised by World CSR Day on February 18 in Mumbai.
Katamati iron mine has been engaged in environmental protection efforts for years and has successfully implemented Environmental Management System as per the requirements of ISO 14001:2004.
57. Haryana: 42 sportspersons conferred Bhim Awards
42 Haryana sportspersons as the players were given the Bhim Awards for their performances in the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-2016 in an award function presided over by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Haryana Raj Bhawan.
Khattar and Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki conferred the award to sportspersons.
The players were given a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, an idol of Bhim, a scroll of honour, a blazer and tie/scarf.
2016 Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik was also given the award for the year 2013-14.
58. Dohmen, Naomi win International Hockey Federation’s Player of the Year Awards
Male Player of the Year 2016- John-John Dohmen (Belgium)
Female Player of the Year 2016- Naomi van As (Netherland)
Male Goalkeeper of the Year 2016- David Harte (Ireland)
Female Goalkeeper of the Year 2016 – Maddie Hinch (Britain)
Male Rising Star of the Year 2016 – Arthur Van Doren (Belgium)
Female Rising Star of the Year 2016- Maria Granatto (Argentina)
Male Coach of Year 2016- Danny Kerry (Britain)
Female Coach of Year 2016- Karen Brown (Britain)
Male Umpire of the Year award 2016- Christian Blasch (Germany)
Female Umpire of the Year award 2016- Laurine Delforge (Belgium)
59. Vivek Chaand Sehgal named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016
Vivek Chaand Sehgal, the 60-year-old chairman of auto parts maker Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd, has been named Indian entrepreneur of the year 2016 by EY.
Infosys Ltd co-founder Nandan Nilekani was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for spearheading India’s Aadhaar project as head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
Sehgal will get a shot at winning the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year (WEOY) award in June in Monte Carlo where he will compete with business leaders from around the world.
60. 89th Academy Awards (Oscar Awards)
Best picture: Moonlight
Best director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Best actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best supporting actress: Viola Davis (Fences)
Best original screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
Best adapted screenplay: Moonlight
Best documentary short: The White Helmets
Best live-action short: Sing
Best cinematography: La La Land
Best score: La La Land
Best song: City of Stars (La La Land)
Best foreign language film: The Salesman
Best animated short: Piper
Best animated feature: Zootopia
Best production design: La La Land
Best visual effects: The Jungle Book
Best film editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Best makeup and hairstyling: Suicide Squad
Best costume design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Best documentary: OJ: Made in America
Best sound editing: Arrival
Best sound mixing: Hacksaw Ridge
61. 10th ESPNcricinfo Awards
Test Batting Performance of the Year: Ben Stokes (England)
Test Bowling Performance of the Year award: Stuart Broad (England)
ODI Batting Performance of the Year: Quinton De Kock (South Africa)
ODI Bowling Performance of the Year: Sunil Narine (West Indies)
T20 Batting Performance of the Year award: Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies)
T20 Bowling Performance of the Year: Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
Debutant of the Year: Mehedi Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh)
Captain of the Year: Virat Kohli (India)
Batting Performance of the Year (Female): Hayley Williams (West Indies)
Bowling Performance of the Year (Female): Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand)
62. India to host Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019
India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019, a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will further boost the country’s profile as a global shooting destination.
The National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) bid was approved by the International Shooting Sport Federation’s Executive Board in its meeting held in New Delhi.
Combined World Cup comprises all the three categories — shotgun, rifle and pistol, and at stake in the 2019 edition will be a number of quota places for the Tokyo Games.
63. Adidas Ties Up With FIFA U-17 World Cup For Mission XI Million
Sportswear giant Adidas has announced its association with FIFA U-17 World Cup Local Organising Committee, coming onboard as the exclusive performance partner for the Mission XI Million programme.
The programme was recently flagged off by the Sports Ministry and All India Football Federation in the capital.
The Mission XI Million is an initiative that aims at reaching out to millions of youth across India to increase participation in football and create a platform for them to develop their skills.
64. ISSF World Cup: Pooja Ghatkar Clinches Bronze in 10m Air Rifle Event
Pooja Ghatkar has clinched the women’s 10m air rifle bronze medal with a score of 228.8 in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup.
China’s Mengyao Shi won the gold medal with a score of 252.1, setting a new world record in the event.
Mengyao’s compatriot Dong Lijie bagged the silver with a score of 248.9 on day one of competitions.
65. Kalinga Lancers Clinch Maiden Hockey India League Title
Kalinga Lancers came out with a stupendous performance to defeat Dabang Mumbai 4-1 and clinch their maiden Hockey India League (HIL) title in Chandigarh.
The Lancers, who finished runners-up last season, went one better to clinch the 2017 crown.
Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Wizards register a 5-4 win over Delhi Waveriders to claim the bronze medal.
66. Nobel-winning economist, mathematician Kenneth J Arrow dies
Kenneth J. Arrow, the youngest-ever winner of a Nobel prize for economics, whose theories on risk, innovation and the basic mathematics of markets have influenced thinking on everything from voting to health insurance to high finance, has died. He was 95.
Arrow and British economist Sir John R Hicks shared the 1972 Nobel memorial prize in economic science for their pioneering mathematical work on general equilibrium theory, which says that there is an overall balance between supply and demand in an economy as a whole.
Their mathematical models dealt with the factors involved, such as when and where a product is sold.
He also was known as a mentor. Five of his former students went on to become Nobel winners.
67. ‘Apollo 13’ star Bill Paxton dies at 61
Hollywood actor Bill Paxton, best known for his roles in such blockbusters as “Apollo 13” and “Titanic,” has died at the age of 61, a family representative said.
The versatile Texas-born actor was a familiar face on US movie screens, with a string of memorable credits to his name from a career spanning several decades.
68. Former Union Minister P. Shiv Shankar passes away
Former Union Minister P. Shiv Shankar passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 89.
He became Law Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet in 1980.
From 1985 till 1993, he represented the Congress as Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
Shiv Shankar served as External Affairs and Human Resource Development Minister.
He first became Governor of Sikkim in 1994 and later was shifted to Kerala in 1995.
69. ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Neil Fingleton passes away at 36
Neil Fingleton, a 7-foot 7-inch actor who played the giant, Mag the Mighty, in “Game of Thrones” has died at 36.
The Tall Persons Club says Mr. Fingleton, who was Britain’s tallest man, died due to heart failure.
Mr. Fingleton was recognized by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the U.K.’s tallest man.
70. Amarinder Singh’s biography ‘The People’s Maharaja’ released
Punjab congress chief Amarinder Singh’s biography, ‘The People’s Maharaja’, was released on 21st February.
The authorised biography, authored by Chandigarh-based writer Khushwant Singh, sheds a new light on the sequence of events that led to the 1984 army action at Golden temple in amritsar.
Speaking during a discussion after the launch of the book, Amarinder explained the circumstances under which he had resigned from the Congress over Operation Bluestar in 1984.
He had, however, rejoined the party in 1998.
71. PM releases the book “Judicial Reforms – Recent Global Trends”
The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, released the book “Judicial Reforms – Recent Global Trends” and presented the first copy to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that India has to keep pace with changing technology, and the new, interdependent global order.