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Current Affairs Today February 12 2018

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Jharkhand to set up “Dada-Dadi Park” park in every city
On 12th February 2018, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das announced that “Dada-Dadi Park” for senior citizens will soon be set up in all cities of Jharkhand.
Dada-Dadi Park:
i. Raghubar Das said that, the Dada-Dadi park will be set up to relieve people from the summer heat.
ii. He made this announcement, while laying the foundation for three projects worth Rs 300 crore at Jaiprakash Udyan, Adityapur.
iii. The three projects are: Adityapur Sewerage Yojna for Rs 255.15 crore, Urban Water Project for Rs 49.30 crore in Chakradharpur, West Singhbhum district and Multi-purpose Convention Hall for Rs 9.81 crore in Jamshedpur.
Some wildlife sanctuaries of Jharkhand:
♦ Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility held in Bengaluru
12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility (CSR) was held on 9th and 10th February, 2018 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility held in BengaluruHighlights of 12th International Conference on corporate social responsibility:
i. This conference was organised by Institute Of Directors (IOD), an association of company directors, committed to improving the competitiveness of businesses through development of its leadership.
ii. The event was inaugurated by T. M. Vijay Bhaskar, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.
iii. Several dignitaries comprising senior government officials and corporate heads addressed the conference.
iv. During the course of the event, prestigious Golden Peacock Award 2017 were presented to several Indian and International companies for their work towards the society and Human Resource (HR) Excellence.
Quick Facts about Institute of Directors (IOD):
♦ Founded in – 1903
♦ Headquarters – London
♦ Institute of Directors (India), established in – 1990

Delhi government, MoEF jointly launch ‘Clean Air Campaign’
On 10th February 2018, Delhi government and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) together launched the ‘Clean Air Campaign’ for Delhi.
Clean Air Campaign:
i. The ‘Clean Air Campaign’ campaign will be carried out for two weeks till 23rd February 2018. This campaign will focus on improvement of air quality in Delhi. 70 teams have been formed as a part of the campaign.
ii. The teams consist of one senior officer from MoEF&CC and one official from Delhi government as co-leaders.
iii. Also, one member from CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), one from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and one from concerned Municipal Corporation will also be present in the teams.
iv. As a part of the campaign, interactions will be held with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), civil society citizens, academic and R&D institutions.
v. A workshop on vehicular pollution and traffic management will be conducted. Resident Welfare Associations will be encouraged to plant saplings in open areas.
vi. Shools and colleges will also be advised to increase planation of plants and trees in the campus.
vii. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and MoEF&CC minister Harsh Vardhan jointly launched a mobile app at the occasion.
About Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB):
♦ Established – 1974
♦ Chairman – S.P. Singh Parihar

First International Solar Alliance Summit to be held in New Delhi
India is to host the first International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit on 11th March 2018, in Delhi.Founding Ceremony of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held at BonnFirst International Solar Alliance Summit to be held in New Delhi:
i. French President Emanuel Macron will participate in the First International Solar Alliance Summit.
ii.Leaders of African countries, Presidents of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, leaders of South American co untries and Pacific Islands are expected to attend the summit.
iii. Heads of World Bank, ADB (Asian Development Bank), BRICS Bank and European Investment Bank are also expected to participate in the summit.
iv. The International Solar Alliance is a treaty based inter-governmental alliance. It comprises of 121 solar energy abundant nations located between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
v. The aim of ISA is to make solar energy affordable, develop solar grids and solar credit mechanism.
About International Solar Alliance (ISA):
♦ Interim Director General – Mr. Upendra Tripathy
♦ International Solar Alliance Secretariat – Gurugram, Haryana


PM Modi’s 3 Nation Visit to Palestine, UAE and Oman – Overview
On February 9, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled from New Delhi to Jordanian capital Amman and took a chopper ride to reach the Palestinian city of Ramallah.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’ by Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas.India, Palestine ink six agreements in different areas
i. PM Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Aran Emirates (UAE) on February 10, 2018 and was received by the UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.  Modi inaugurated a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.India, UAE sign five agreements.
ii. On February 11, 2018, PM Modi landed in Muscat, the capital Oman and begun the last leg of his three-nation tour. India, Oman sign 8 agreements as PM Modi meets Sultan Qaboos………………………………….Click here to Read more

Gevora, the world’s tallest hotel, opens in Dubai
Gevora, world’s new tallest hotel opened on February 11, 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).Gevora, the world’s tallest hotel, opens in DubaiMore Information about Gevora Hotel:
i. Height of 75-storey Gevora Hotel is 356 metres. It has been built by Majid Al Attar.
ii. Gevora Hotel has 528 guest rooms – 232 Deluxe Rooms, 265 one-bed room deluxe and 31 two-bedroom suites.
iii. It also has a pool, Jacuzzi, health club, luxury spa and restaurants serving international and local cuisines.
iv. It is to be noted that, the Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building (828 metres) is also located in Dubai.

India ranks second in global phosphorus pollution by human activity
As per a report published in Water Resources Research, Phosphorus levels in freshwater bodies across the world are escalating and this could pose a serious threat to the ecosystem.
Data about Phosphorus levels in freshwater bodies:
i. The report outlined that globally, on account of human activities, about 1.5 teragrams of phosphorus (one teragram is equal to one billion kilograms) was dumped into the freshwater systems every year.
ii. Breaking it down by country, China contributed the most with 30%, followed by India (8%), the USA (7%) and Spain and Brazil (6% each).
iii. The researchers also assessed the phosphorus-related water pollution levels in 20 river basins across the world. In the assessment, Huang He river basin of China was found to be having highest phosphorus-related water pollution. Ganges basin (in India) ranked fourth in this list.
iv. Water Resources Research is a scientific journal published by the American Geophysical Union, focusing on research in the social and natural sciences of water.

4th Nepal Buildcon and Wood International Expo 2018 held in Kathmandu
4th Nepal Buildcon and Wood International Expo 2018 was held in Kathmandu from 8th – 11th February, 2018.4th Nepal Buildcon and Wood International Expo 2018 held in KathmanduHighlights of 4th Nepal Buildcon and Wood International Expo 2018:
i. The expo was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal Kamal Thapa, while Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Sibgh Puri was the guest of honour for the event.
ii. This event served as a single platform for various stakeholders of construction industry viz. builders, architects, engineers, construction material suppliers, interior decorators, furniture suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
iii. More than 80 Indian companies participated in the expo through an Indian Pavilion.
iv .The Indian pavilion was jointly set up by Ministry of Commerce, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Commerce Wing of Indian Embassy.


Oscars 2018: Indian-born engineer ‘Vikas Sathaye’ wins sci-tech award for aerial camera mount
On 10th February 2018, Vikas Sathaye, an Indian-born engineer, along with three other people won the scientific and engineering award, at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards in Beverly Hills, United States.
Oscars 2018: Indian-born engineer ‘Vikas Sathaye’ wins sci-tech award:
i. The four-member team that included Vikas Sathaye was awarded for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera systemOther members of the team are Brad Hurndell, John Coyle and Shane Buckham.
ii. It is a 6 axis stabilised aerial camera mount. The camera mount can be attached to the base of a helicopter. It eliminates vibration to provide a steady footage.
iii. The mount can move the camera head in required direction by the operator who is inside the helicopter. A joystick is used to control the camera movement.
iv. Vikas Sathaye joined the Shotover Camera Systems in 2009. He was born in 1967 in Pune. He studied BE in electronics in VIT Pune. He finished MTech in instrumentation in IISc.
About Shotover:
♦ CEO – Brad Hurndell
♦ Based in – New Zealand


World’s first autonomous pods unveiled in Dubai
On February 11, 2018, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the first tests of the world’s first autonomous pods.
Details about World’s First Autonomous Pods:
i. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched these autonomous pods in collaboration with Next Future Transportation.
ii. Autonomous pods commute in dedicated lanes and are designed to travel short and medium distances.
iii. Depending on riders’ destination, the pods can be coupled together. Coupling takes about 15 seconds time while detaching the same takes five seconds.
iv. The pods can commute at an average speed of 20 kilometres per hour. It operates on a rechargeable battery that supports three hours of operation.
v. Each pod measures 2.87 metres in length, 2.24 metres in width and 2.82 metres in height. It weighs about 1,500 kilograms.
vi. Each pod can carry 10 riders at a time.


India’s forest, tree cover up by 1 % in 2 years: ISFR 2017
As per India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 released by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on February 12, 2018, tree and forest cover in India increased by 8021 sq km (by 1%) in two years since 2015.
i. As per ISFR 2017, total forest cover in India is 708273 sq km, which is 21.54 per cent of the total geographical area.
ii. In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh (77414 sq km) has the largest forest cover among all Indian states and Union Territories.
iii. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, Lakshadweep has topped with 90.33 per cent geographical areas under forest cover……………………………….Click here to Read more

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal: Gymnothorax pseudotile, Gymnothorax visakhaensis & Enchelycore propinqua
Scientists have discovered three new species of eel namely: Gymnothorax pseudotile, Gymnothorax visakhaensis and Enchelycore propinqua, in the northern Bay of Bengal coast recently.
Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal:
i. Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. It was dark brown in colour with white dots on it. It was 1 to 1.5 feet in length.
ii. Gymnothorax visakhaensis was discovered in the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. It had a uniformly brown coloured body. It was 1 foot in length.
iii. Enchelycore propinqua was also discovered in the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal. It had a reddish brown body with irregular white spots. It was less than 1 foot in length. It is relatively rare compared to the other two species.
iv. Description of these three new eel species was published in the Zootaxa journal. Anil Mohapatra, a scientist from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) contributed a major part to these discoveries.
v. David G. Smith, Subhrendu Sekhar Mishra, Swarup Ranjan Mohanty, Dipanjan Ray and Prasad C. Tudu were also part of these discoveries.
About Zoological Survey of India (ZSI):
♦ Director – Dr. Kailash Chandra
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata


Stevan Smith wins Australia’s Border Medal
On 12th February 2018, Steve Smith, Australia cricket captain, won his second Allan Border Medal in Melbourne, Australia.Stevan Smith wins Australia's Border MedalStevan Smith wins Australia’s Border Medal:
i. Stevan Smith won 246 votes, surpassing David Warner who obtained 162 votes and Nathan Lyon who scored 156 votes.
ii. He had already won the Australia Border Medal in 2015. Other Australian cricketers who had won Australia’s Border medal are: Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and David Warner.
iii. Ellyse Perry won the Belinda Clark Award for the second time that makes her the best female cricketer of Australia in the past 12 months. She had earlier won the award in 2016.
Some important stadiums in India:
♦ Buddh International Circuit – Greater Noida
♦ Salt Lake Stadium – Kolkata
♦ Eden Gardens – Kolkata

Kishan Gangolli wins 13th edition of National Chess ‘A’ Championship for Blind
On 11th February 2018, Kishan Gangolli of Karnataka won the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for Blind for the 5th consecutive time, at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Kishan Gangolli wins 13th edition of National Chess ‘A’ Championship for Blind:
i. The 13th edition of the National ‘A’ Chess Championship was organised by the All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB).
ii. In the 13th round, Kishan Gangolli finished in a draw against Odisha’s Prachurya Kumar Pradhan. Kishan Gangolli won the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for Blind.
iii. Ashvin Makwana of Gujarat finished second and Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Odisha finished third in the championship.
iv. After the 13 rounds, Kishan Gangolli (Rating 1996) secured 10.5 points. Ashvin Makwana (Rating 1744) scored 9.5 points. Soundarya Kumar Pradhan (Rating 1753) secured 9 points.
v. Maharashtra’s Aryan Joshi (Rating 1814) secured 8.5 points and finished in the fourth position. Odisha’s Subhendu Kumar Patra (Rating 1604) earned 7.5 points   and secured the fifth position.
vi. These top five players will constitute the Indian team for ‘World Team Championship’ for the blind in July 2018, in Bulgaria.
vii. Top 3 junior players (under 20 years) will represent India in ‘World Junior’ championship for the blind in August 2018, in Poland.
About All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB):
♦ Established – 1997
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai


Veteran Odia Cine Actress Parbati Ghosh dies
On 12th February 2018, Parbati Ghosh, Odia actress, producer and director, died following a long-term illness, in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.Veteran Odia Cine Actress Parbati Ghosh diesDeath of Parbati Ghosh:
i. Parbati Ghosh was 85 years old. She was born in Manasinghpatana in Cuttack, in 1933.
ii. She had received national film award for her performances in movies ‘Laxmi’, ‘Kaa’ and ‘Stree’.
Some national parks in Odisha:
♦ Simlipal National Park
♦ Bhitarkanika National Park


Rajnath launches “Mere Sapno Ka Bharat” book on best interviews of Atal Bihari Vajpayee
On 8th February 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh released “Mere Sapno Ka Bharat”, a book on best interviews of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the Parliament premises.
Mere Sapno Ka Bharat:
i. The book was compiled by Tarun Vijay, former BJP MP and Editor of journal Panchjanya. The book contains some of the best interviews of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
ii .BJD (Biju Janata Dal) leader Bhartruhari Mahtab, RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) Joint President of Delhi unit Alok Kumar, national vice-president of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) Shyam Jaju and Rajya Sabha MP from Telangana, Anand Bhaskar Rapolu were present during the release. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was fondly rememberes as ‘Ajaatshatru’ (who has no enemies) by them.
About Atal Bihari Vajpayee:
♦ Profession – Writer, Politician, Poet
♦ Political party – Bharatiya Janata Party
♦ Positions held – Minister of External Affairs, 10th Prime Minister of India


National Productivity Day – 12 February
On 12th February 2018, National Productivity Day was observed in India by National Productivity Council. National Productivity Week is observed from 12th to 18th February 2018.National Productivity Day – 12 FebruaryNational Productivity Day:
i. National Productivity Day 2018 marks the 60th Anniversary of the National Productivity Council. This year is celebrated as Diamond Jubilee Year.
ii. The theme for the National Productivity Week 2018 is: Industry 4.0 Leapfrog Opportunity for India.
iii .Industry 4.0 includes improving digitization and interconnection of products, value chains and business models.
iv. Industry 4.0 will combine the real and virtual worlds. This will lead to the formation of “Smart Factory”. Smart Factory will have increased versatility, resource efficiency, ergonomic design and direct integration with business partners.
About National Productivity Council:
♦ Purpose – national level organization to promote productivity culture in India
♦  Established – 1958