Current Affairs February 27 2019

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Current Affairs February 27 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

National War Memorial to the nation dedicated to the nation by PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the National War Memorial(NWM) near India Gate in New Delhi which commemorates the soldiers who participated and made the supreme sacrifice in Peacekeeping Missions and Counter Insurgency Operations.

i. The complex includes a central obelisk, an eternal flame and six bronze murals depicting famous battles fought by Indian ArmyIndian Air Force and Indian Navy. Busts of the 21 awardees of Param Veer Chakra have been installed at Param Yoddha Sthal.
ii. PM Modi lighted the eternal flame at the central obelisk in the war memorial complex.
iii. Spread over 40 acres, the outlay of the memorial is Rs 176 crore and its design was selected through a global competition.
iv. It has been constructed by NCC (Nagarjuna Construction Company) Limited.
v. It comprises of four concentric circles, namely- the Amar Chakra, the Veerta Chakra, the Tyag Chakra and the Rakshak Chakra, with names of 25,942 soldiers inscribed in gold leafing on the granite tablets.

4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit was hosted by India
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Shri J P Nadda, inaugurated the ‘4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit ’, the global intergovernmental meeting on digital health, hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).The summit held in New Delhi.

i. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology, spoke about the use of technology innovations in transforming healthcare.
ii. He said that India is committed to reaching the last man in the line through digital health interventions and digital inclusion.
iii. Shri J. P. Nadda announced that after the roll-out of ‘Modicare’, in 155 days, nearly 1.3 million people have availed the benefits of more than Rs.16 Billion under this scheme.

EVM is ‘information’ under Right to Information Act, rule Central Information Commission
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has announced that an electronic voting machine (EVM) is “information” under the Right to Information Act and it can be demanded by a citizen from the Election Commission (EC) by paying Rs. 10.
i. The decision has been taken by Sudhir Bhargava- Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) on the lines of appeal filed by Razaak K Haidar, who had sought an EVM from the Election Commission but his application was rejected stating that, EVMs held by it does not come under the definition of “information” thus, these are not saleable to general public.
ii. After the rejection, Razaak approached CIC with the argument that as per Section 2(f) and 2(i) of the RTI Act, the definition of “information” and “record” also includes “any model or any sample held by a public authority”.
iii. After the CIC qualified EVM as “information” and instructed the EC that it could not have been denied under Section 6(1) of the RTI Act.
iv. From now onwards, the Election Commission has to respond to an RTI application seeking the EVM either by providing it or refusing it under exemption clauses in the RTI Act.

Rising India Summit 2019 held in New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed News18 Rising India Summit held in New Delhi and laid out his vision for a ‘New India‘. He was the Chief Guest of the event.The summit was hosted by Network 18 group in collaboration with Ebix Inc. as a presenting partner. It was powered by Yono SBI.

i. The theme  of the summit was, “Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities”.
ii. The Prime Minister discussed on various topics including income tax and GDP numbers, India’s global standingJan Dhan accounts and unemployment.
iii. Rising India Summit is presented by Ebix and is one of most anticipated thought leadership forums in India.
iv. It showcased India’s unbounded potential as well as a celebration of its significant achievements and hosted a  number of notables – top policy makers, Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers, entertainment icons, global visionaries, economists, writers and corporate leaders.

3-day fest on Gandhian philosophy held in New Delhi
The 3rd edition of the 3-day festival “Words in the Garden” based on the life and ideology of Mahatma Gandhi was held at India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi.The festival was organized by the Sanatan Sangeet Sanskriti and curated by renowned Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi.
i. This year’s title of the event was “Bapu Ki Dilli” as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary and celebrated the life and ideology of Bapu the father of our nation through plays, recitals, readings, discussions and more.
ii. It began with the screening of 1996 film “The Making of the Mahatma” directed by Shyam Benegal which explores Gandhi’s participation in South Africa’s freedom struggle.
iii. The festival explored themes with contemporary relevance inspired by Bapu’s ideologies – ‘Significance of non-violence today‘ and ‘Sustainable Living‘.



Afghanistan opens new export route to India through Iran’s Chabahar port
On 24th February 2019, Afghanistan began exporting to India through the Chabahar port in Iran, for the first time by bypassing the Pakistan route.

i. The first consignment was inaugurated by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. It comprised of 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products. They were dispatched from Zaranj, Afghanistan to Chabahar in Iran. They will then be shipped from Chabahar to Mumbai.
About Afghanistan
♦ Capital- Kabul
♦ President-Ashraf Ghani


BoB joined hands with German KfW for USD 130m to refinance solar units
State-run Bank of Baroda has tied up with Germany’s KfW Development Bank to refinance solar projects at a cost of 113 million USD. The tie-up is part of an Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership signed in 2015.
i. The KfW was formerly known as KfW Bankengruppe (banking group) and it is a German government-owned development bank with headquarters in Frankfurt.

RBI extends KYC deadline for digital wallets by six months
On 25th February 2019, the Reserve Bank of India extended the deadline for prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuers to complete their Know Your Customer (KYC) norms by six months.
i. Earlier, they had been asked to complete their KYC process by the end of February, 2019.
ii. However, an additional time of 6 months has been provided because of difficulties in undertaking Aadhaar e-KYC and time necessary to put in place other systems for completing the KYC process.


Iran buys Indian raw sugar for the first time in five years
For the first time in 5 years, Indian traders will export raw sugar to Iran. It’ll be exported in March and April. The delivery is happening after so many years owing to Iran’s struggles to secure food supplies due to sanctions imposed by the United States.
i. The sanctions state that Iran isn’t permitted to be a part of the global financial system and can’t use US dollars for payments involving its oil sales.
ii. Trading houses have contracted to export 1,50,000 tonnes of raw sugar for shipments arriving in March and April at $305 to $310 per tonne on a free-on-board basis.

FAGMIL inked MoU with Himachal Pradesh to launch Rs 605 cr White cement Plant Project
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Smt. Alka Tiwari, Chairperson & Managing Director, FAGMIL and Shri Manoj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh in Shimla, for ensuring completion of the project to establish a white cement plant near village NohraDhar in Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh in a time bound manner

i. FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Limited (FAGMIL) has taken up a project, at a cost of approximately Rs. 605 crores.
ii. It will be the 4th white cement plant in India with an installed capacity of  0.3 million tonnes per annum and will generate the direct employment of approximately 150 persons.
iii. The plant is expected to be commenced by the year 2022 and will prove to be a milestone for the development of the Sirmour District.


Playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar chosen for the META lifetime achievement award
Mahesh Elkunchwar, an eminent Indian Playwright, has been chosen for 2019’s META Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be conferred upon him at the 14th Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) festival to be held in New Delhi on 12th March 2019.

i. He is critically-acclaimed and famous for having experimented with a wide range of drama and is considered a powerful force in both Indian and Marathi theatre scene. His 1985 play ‘Wada Chirebandi‘ (Old Stone Mansion) has been staged in Marathi,Hindi and Bengali and also adapted for television.
ii. He has written more than 30 plays and essays, like ‘Sultan’‘Holi’‘Garbo’‘Yatanaghar’, and ‘Atmakatha’ and is also a receiver of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.
iii. Previous recipients of the META Lifetime Achievement Award include Vijaya MehtaZohra SehgalBadal Sarkar,Khaled ChowdharyEbrahim AlkaziGirish Karnard, Heisnam KanhailalRatan Thiyam and Arun Kakade.

President presented Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
i. President Ram Nath Kovind presented the “Gandhi Peace Prize” for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
ii. Gandhi Peace Prize for Social, Economic and Political transformation through Non-violence was instituted in the year 1995 and comprises of an amount of Rs 1 crore along with a citation.
iii. The following are the awardees:

  • 2015 – Vivekanand Kendra, Kanyakumari
  • 2016 – Akshaya Patra Foundation and Sulabh International (jointly)
  • 2017 – Ekal Abhiyan Trust
  • 2018 – Yohei Sasakawa

G.R. Karthikeyan received the Lifetime Achievement Award
On 25th February 2019, G.R. Karthikeyan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the FMSCI(Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India) annual awards function held in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He is the father of Narain Karthikeyan– India’s first Formula One racer.
i. Also, Raghul Rangasamy was honoured with the Upcoming Motorsport Person of the Year award for the Raymond Gautam Singhania Trophy.
ii. The awards were presented by the chief guest of the event, FIA president Jean Todt.


Dr. KJ Srinivasa designated as Indian High Commissioner to Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Dr. K. J. Srinivasa, Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 2002 batch has been named as next High Commissioner of India to the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.He will succeed V. Mahalingam.
He is currently serving as the Consul General at the Consulate General of India, Johannesburg, South Africa.

PepsiCo’s former CEO Indra Nooyi appointed to Amazon’s Board of Directors
Former CEO of Pepsico Indra Nooyi has joined Amazon‘s Board of Directors.

i. With her appointment, Amazon’s 11-member board now has five women, including Nooyi, Brewer, Jamie Gorelick, Judith McGrath and Patricia Stonesifer.She has been granted 549 shares of common company stock.
About Indira Nooyi
i. She was Pepsico CEO from October 2006 to October 2018 and was also the Chairman of its board of directors from May 2007 to February 2019.
ii. She also served as a director of Schlumberger Limited since April 2015.


Thomas Cook India Group announces acquisition of Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI)
Thomas Cook India Group-a travel services group has acquired 51 percent share in Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI) based in Dubai.The deal is valued at $40.6 million(Rs 289 crore).

i. Digiphoto Entertainment was started in 2004 and provides imaging solutions for the tourism industry.It is spread in around 250 venues spanning over 14 countries and has done 3.6 million transactions in 2018.


Piyush Goyal initiated Rail Drishti Dashboard for passengers to promote transparency
Union Minister Piyush Goyal launched Rail Drishti Dashboard, an online portal containing information related to passenger and freight trains and links to live feeds of IRCTC kitchens.It has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS).

i. The URL of the dashboard is and it is very well optimized and user friendly so that those in remote villages can also access and know everything about railways.
ii. It can be accessed using desktop/laptop or a mobile device such as phone or tablet.
iii. It encompasses all the efforts taken by the Indian railways to digitize and brings information from various sources to one platform and also gives access to key statistics and parameters to every citizen of India.

India successfully test fired surface-to-air missile “QRSAM” from Odisha
India successfully test fired the short range Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air Missile (QRSAM), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army, from a test range along the coast at Chandipur in Balasore district, Odisha.
i. It is a sleek and highly mobile air defence system with a strike range of 25 km to 30 km and has a capability of engaging multiple targets.
ii. It is different from normal air defence system, as this is an all-weatherall-terrain missile with electronic counter measures against jamming by aircraft radars.
iii. It was first tested in June 2017 and followed by the second successful test in July 2017.
iv. It will replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system which is on its way out due to technological obsolescence.

Tejas Networks Launches World’s First Ultra-Converged Broadband Product At Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
Tejas Networks today launched its broadband access product which provides both wireline as well as wireless broadband services from a single integrated platform.
i. It was launched by Mr. Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary, Department of Telecom, Government of India at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Barcelona.
ii. The TJ1400 integrates multiple broadband access technologies: gigabit fiber broadband (GPON/NG-PON), fixed wireless broadband (4G/LTE eNodeB upgradable to 5G) and GE/10GE/100GE Business Ethernet services (CE2.0 certified) in highly compact, modular and energy-efficient platforms.


Afghanistan broke Australia’s record for the highest Twenty20 cricket total
Afghanistan created history against Ireland in their second Twenty20 International at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in DehradunUttarakhand, by scoring 278 runs for the loss of 3 wickets from their allotted 20 overs, to register the highest-ever total in T20s.
i. They broke Australia’s record score of 263/3 which they achieved back in 2016 against Sri Lanka.
ii. Hazratullah Zazai became the first player from Afghanistan to score 162 not out from 62 ball, and his 236-run opening stand with Usman Ghani, who made 73 runs from 48 balls – including 7 fours and 3 sixes, became the highest partnership in T20Is. They broke the 223-run partnership record between Australia’s Aaron Finch and Darcy Short.

Abhijeet Gupta won the Cannes International Open trophy
Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta won the Cannes International Open held in Cannes,France.After taking an easy draw with Pier Luigi Basso of Italy in the ninth and final round.
i. He won the tournament with 7.5 points, a clear point lead over nearest rivals Nikita Maiorov of BelarusNasuta Grzegorz of Poland and Yuri Solodovnichecko of Ukraine.
ii. He registered 6 wins and 3 draws at the chess tournament

Suresh Raina became first Indian to score 8000 runs in T20s
Indian batsman Suresh Raina became the first Indian to score 8000 runs in T20 cricket after scoring just 12 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy match in New Delhi against Puducherry. He was playing for Uttar Pradesh.
i. He has scored 8001 runs in 300 Twenty20s at an average of 33.47 and notched 4 centuries and 48 fifties in the shortest format. MS Dhoni is the only other Indian to have played 300 T20s so far.
ii. He has scored the 6th most runs in T20s after Chris Gayle (12298 runs), Brendon McCullum (9922), Kieron Pollard (8838 runs), Shoaib Malik (8603 runs) and David Warner (8111 runs).


Venkaiah Naidu Launched the book ‘Quality, Accreditation & Ranking’ by Dr. H Chaturvedi
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu publicized the book titled ‘Quality, Accreditation and Ranking – A Silent Revolution in the Offing in Indian Higher Education‘ edited by EPSI’s Alternate President, Dr. H Chaturvedi at the book launch function organized by the Education Promotion Society for India (EPSI)BIMTECH and Bloomsbury Pvt Ltd.

i. The book contains articles, essays and research papers authored by some of the prominent educationists, policy makers, researchers and a media person.
ii. It presents an analysis of the past and present scenario in the Indian Higher Education and also focuses on how to raise the quality of colleges and universities to enable them compete globally.


Delhi govt presented Rs 60,000 cr budget for financial year 2019-20
Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia presented a Rs. 60,000 crore budget for 2019-20 laying emphasis on the education, health and transport sectors. The 26% of the total expenditure of budget is allocated towards higher education.
i. Two new universities have been proposed in NCR.
1.University of Applied Sciences which will offer courses ranging from 3-month modular courses to the Ph.D. and M.Phil level.
2.University for teachers’ training.
ii. Also, tablet computers will be distributed to all Class 11 and 12 students of Pratibha Schools and Schools of Excellence and with score above 80% in class 10.
iii. Entrepreneurship Curriculum to provide seed money to students will be launched from the upcoming session.
iv.Rs 100 crore is allocated for providing Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.Delhi is the first state to implement Swaminathan Commission report on farming sector.
v.Under the doorstep delivery programmes,100 services would be brought under it,Rs 500 crore has been allocated in the budget for the CCTV project.
vi.Rs 100 crore has been allocated for a state electric vehicle fund. An amount of Rs 7,485 has been allocated for the health sector,a new scheme will also be launched to provide financial help to differently abled parents for marriage of their daughters.
vii.Rs 600 crore has been allocated for development work in unauthorised colonies while the total outlay for the transport sector has been kept at Rs 1,807 crore.There has been an increase of 73 per cent in the budget for infrastructure projects and in transport sector.
viii. A new policy would be started to ensure that 80 per cent of trees that has to be cut to set up a business has to be replanted.
ix. Delhi government to increase water production by 246 MGD (Millions of Gallons per Day) by using excess water in the Yamuna in monsoons, groundwater replenishment and controlled extraction.
x. Rs 2,370 crore has been allocated for the Delhi Jal Board and Rs 476 crore for lifeline water scheme where 20 kilolitres of water are given for free.
xi. An allocation of Rs 9 crore for distributing computer tablets to students scoring above 80 per cent in class X in government schools. Those in class XI and XII in RPVVs and schools of excellence will also receive the tabs.
About Delhi
♦ Chief Minister- Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Lieutenant Governor- Anil Baijal

Haryana Finance Minister Capt. Abhimanyu presented Rs 1,32,165.99 crore for financial year 2019-20
On 25th February 2019, Finance Minister of Haryana Capt Abhimanyu presented Rs 1,32,165.99-crore Haryana Budget for fiscal year 2019-20. No changes have been proposed in the existing tax system-no fresh taxes have been imposed and the already existing rates of taxes have not been changed.Theme of Budget – “Haryana Ek Haryanavi Ek”.
Key Points:
i. Two schemes have been introduced to provide financial and social security cover to families of farmers who own land of up to 5 hectares, and of workers involved in the unorganized sectors who have a family income of less than Rs. 15,000 per month.
ii. A deal has been signed with four public sector banks to provide facilities like natural death cover of Rs. 2 lakhs, a medical facility of Rs. 50,000 and accidental insurance amounting to Rs. 30 lakhs, to state government employees.
iii. Haryana Accountability of Public Finance Act and output has been introduced to manage finances of the state in an effective manner.
iv. Revenue receipt would amount to Rs 82,219.41 crore in 2019-20 through better realisation of tax and non-tax receipts comprising state’s own tax receipt of Rs 51,105 crore and non-tax revenue of Rs 10,024.95 crore.
v.The Budget outlines a capital expenditure of Rs 37,924.09 crore and revenue expenditure of Rs 94,241.90 crore.
vi. Rs 46,562.37 crore out of Rs 1.32 lakh crore has been allotted to the schemes related to 15 SDGs of the state.
vii. 26.12 per cent of the total budget has been allocated to Economic Services (agriculture & allied, irrigation and rural electrification, subsidy –10.31%, power – 4.63%; transport, civil aviation, road and bridges – 4.12%; rural development and panchayats – 3.83 %; and others 3.23%).
viii. 30.69% has been allocated to social services (comprising education – 11.61%, social welfare – 7.05%, health and family welfare – 3.80%, public health engineering – 2.71% and others – 5.52%). General Services get 15.28 per cent share (administrative services – 4.49%, pension – 8.07% and others 2.72%) and 27.91 per cent has been allocated for repayment of debt (principal –15.33% and interest – 12.58%).
About Haryana
♦ Capital- Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister- Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Governor- Satyadev Narayan Arya

Nagaland CM Rio presented Rs 1,661.68 crore deficit budget for 2019-20
On 25th February 2019, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio presented a budget with deficit of Rs 1,661.68 crore, for the year 2019-2020. He also holds the finance portfolio of the state.There was no imposition of any new taxes.
i. The transaction of the current year will lead to a positive balance of Rs 49.70 crore.
ii. A sum of Rs 112.74 crore has been allocated to the social sector which amounts to 18.51 per cent of the total developmental outlay under State Resources (untied).
iii. Introduction of new policies were announced such as-Nagaland Innovation Fund, Nagaland Investor Network, Entrepreneurship Incubators and Entrepreneurship Development Centres in schools.
About Nagaland
♦ Capital- Kohima
♦ Chief Minister- Neiphiu Rio
♦ Governor- Padmanabha Acharya

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