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Iran President’s India Visit
President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani was on a three-day visit to India from 15th – 17th February, 2018.
i. On February 17, 2018, Mr. Rouhani held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
ii. After delegation-level talks on February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed following 9 pacts:
iii. On February 17, 2018, India and Iran signed a leasing agreement for giving operational control of Shahid Beheshti port to India for a period of 18 months. Shahid Beheshti port is the phase one of the Chabahar port, located on Iran’s east coast………………………………..Click here to Read more
PM lays foundation stone of Navi Mumbai International Airport
On February 18, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Details about Navi Mumbai International Airport:
i. On completion, Navi Mumbai International Airport is expected to ease flight operations in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.
ii. Estimated cost for constructing this airport is Rs 16700 crore. It will have two parallel runways unlike Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, which has only one runway.
iii. On February 18, 2018, Prime Minister Modi also dedicated to the nation the fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Mumbai.
Kerala government to geotag 10 lakh livestock farmer houses
Kerala State Government has decided to geotag the houses and farms of over 10 lakh livestock and poultry farmers in the state.
Geotagging of livestock farmer houses in Kerala:
i. Objective behind this activity is to compile a comprehensive digital repository of the information of animal husbandry and dairying in Kerala and integrate the data using the Geographical Information System (GIS).
ii. This repository will not only help State Government at the time of financial planning but will also be useful during the time of the outbreak of any diseases among domestic animals and birds.
iii. Data collection and uploading will be done by veterinarians and livestock inspectors with the help of digital gadgets.
Quick Facts about Kerala:
♦ Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Current Chief Minister – Pinari Vijayan
♦ Current Governor – P. Sathasivam
♦ Important National Park – Silent Valley National Park
Assam govt to set up 3 Terminal Mart for agricultural products
Assam State Government will be setting up 3 Terminal Mart for agricultural products in the state in order to give a boost to agricultural market in the state.
Terminal Mart for agricultural products – Assam:
i. Assam State Agricultural Marketing Board is working towards setting up such marts at Silchar, Jorhat and Guwahati.
ii. Chairman of State Agricultural Marketing Board, Palit Kumar Bora has stated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed to develop Asia’s largest banana market at Darangiri in Goalpara district of Assam.
iii. Besides, 6 new Krishi Vigyan Kendras are being set up in Assam to help the farmers in various agro-based sectors
Quick Facts about Assam:
♦ Capital – Dispur
♦ Current Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
♦ Current Chief Minister – Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Important National Park – Kaziranga National Park
Fiji partners TERI for help in tackling climate change
On February 17, 2018, Fiji (an island nation in South Pacific Ocean) signed a declaration of partnership with India’s The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) for assistance in tackling climate change effects and achieving environmental sustainability.
Details about partnership between Fiji and TERI:
i. The declaration of partnership was signed on sidelines of the World Sustainable Development Conference (WSDS 2018) in New Delhi.
ii. As per the terms of this declaration, TERI will provide technical assistance to Fiji in a variety of areas including waste and pollution management, remote monitoring and reporting of environmental impact assessments, developing ‘green’ energy efficient buildings and aligning Fiji’s national policies with environmental aims.
iii. In context of this news, it is important to note that South Pacific region is prone to extreme weather conditions like cyclones and floods. Besides, these conditions likely to worsen due to climate change.
Quick Facts about Fiji:
♦ Capital – Suva
♦ Currency – Fijian dollar
♦ Current Prime Minister – Frank Bainimarama
National Banana Festival 2018, held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
On 17th to 21st February 2018, National Banana Festival 2018, is held at the Vellayani Devi Temple grounds at Kalliyoor, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
National Banana Festival 2018:
i. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the National Banana Festival.
ii. This festival is organised by the Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA) jointly with Kalliyoor panchayat, National Centre for Banana, Trichy, and several other government institutions associated with banana research and promotion. Chairman of the organising committee is Suresh Gopi, MP.
iii. Nearly 150 varieties of banana from the north-eastern States, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are displayed at the exhibition. Also, value-added products and processed goods made from banana are displayed.
iv. A farmers’ meet, buyer-seller interactions, and entrepreneurs’ meet are held as a part of the exhibition. Painting and cookery competitions are also conducted.
v. A national seminar is conducted for scientists, researchers, and students. Problems faced by banana farmers in production, marketing, and export will be discussed in the seminar.
vi. Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Nirmal Kumar Singh will inaugurate a cultural meet at the festival.
About Centre for Innovation in Science and Social Action (CISSA):
♦ President – Prof. Dr. G. G. Gangadharan
♦ Location – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Amazon becomes world’s 3rd most valuable company, overtakes Microsoft
On February 14, 2018, Amazon’s market capitalisation touched $702.5 billion. On account of this surge, Amazon became the third most valuable company in the world.
i. Market value of a company’s outstanding shares is referred to as market capitalisation (m-cap). It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of company’s share with total number of outstanding shares.
ii. En route to grabbing third spot, Amazon surpassed Microsoft’s market cap of $699.2 billion.
iii. In terms of market capitalisation, Apple is the most valuable company with $849.2 billion market cap, followed by Google’s parent company Alphabet at $745.1 billion.
iv. Surge in Amazon’s stock prices has made its CEO, Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world. Bezos holds 78.9 million shares of Amazon.
v. Bloomberg has estimated Bezos’ net worth at $106 billion while Forbes has put it at $105 billion.
vi. Bezos is not just the richest man in world at present, but he has become the world’s richest man ever. This record was held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $100 billion in 1999.
Quick Facts about Amazon:
♦ Founded in – 1994
♦ Headquarters – Washington, US
♦ Current Chairman, President and CEO – Jeff Bezos
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
Shoaib Akhtar appointed Pakistan Cricket Board’s brand ambassador
Shoaib Akhtar has been named the advisor to the chairman on cricket affairs and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) brand ambassador.
Shoaib Akhtar – Pakistan Cricket Board’s brand ambassador:
i. Shoaib Akhtar is 42 years old. He is a former Pakistan fast bowler. He made his cricket debut in 1997.
ii. He has played 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 T20 Internationals. He has taken 444 wickets throughout his career.
iii. He was the first bowler to cross the 100 mph mark. He retired from international cricket after the 2011 World Cup.
About Pakistan Cricket Board:
♦ Chairman – Najam Sethi
♦ Purpose – governing body for cricket in Pakistan
Former JNU Prof Vinod Kumar Jain appointed Tezpur University Vice Chancellor
Vinod Kumar Jain has been appointed as the new Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University.
Vinod Kumar Jain – Vice Chancellor of Tezpur University:
i. President of India has appointed Vinod Kumar Jain as the Visitor of the Tezpur University.
ii. Vinod Kumar Jain will work as vice-chancellor of Tezpur University for 5 years from the date on which he assumes office or till he reaches 70 years, whichever is earlier.
iii. He worked as a Scientist, Class I, in the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.
iv. He is a former Professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He joined JNU’s School of Environmental Sciences as an Associate Professor in 1985.
v. He has been part of the panel of experts of University Grants Commission (UGC), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), Public Service Commission of Himachal Pradesh and Public Service Commission of Uttar Pradesh etc.
About Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR):
♦ President – Prime Minister Narendra Modi
♦ Director General – Girish Sahni
TCS recognized as a global Top Employer for the third consecutive year
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been recognized as one of world’s best employers by the Top Employer Institute for the third consecutive year.
TCS – one of world’s best employers:
i. TCS has been selected among 1,300 companies in 113 countries all over the world. It has been recognized by Top Employer Institute for its excellent employee offerings.
ii. TCS has received the Top Employers Global certification. It has received the latest Top Employer endorsement for 27 of its individual country teams in Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.
iii. The Top Employer rankings are done based on nine factors: talent strategy, workforce planning, on-boarding, learning & development, performance management, leadership development, career & succession management, compensation & benefits and company culture.
About Tata Consultancy Services (TCS):
♦ & MD – Rajesh Gopinathan
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai
Australia’s Jordan Thompson clinches Chennai Open ATP Challenger
On February 17, 2018, Australian tennis player Jordan Thompson won Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis championship.
Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis championship – Finals:
i. In the finals, Jordan Thompson beat India’s Yuki Bhambri by 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
iii.In men’s singles ATP world rankings, Jordan Thompson currently ranks 101st.
iii.Victory at Chennai Open was Jordan Thompson’s fifth Challenger title.
iv.Jordan Thompson got Rs. 4.6 lakhs prize money, while Bhambri got Rs. 2.7 lakhs.
Tropical cyclone Kelvin hits West Australia
On 18th February 2018, Tropical Cyclone Kelvin hit the north coast of Western Australia.
Tropical cyclone Kelvin:
i. Cyclone Kelvin caused strong winds and floods. Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said that, the storm crossed the north coast with winds up to a speed of 150 km per hour.
ii. Cyclone Kelvin has been classified as a category two system. Some regions were warned with red alert and others with yellow alert.
ii. The winds are expected to get weaker as it moves inland. The Great Northern Highway, which connects Port Hedland and Kimberley region and Perth, has been cut. It would be closed for up to two weeks.
About India Meteorological Department (IMD):
♦ Director General – Dr. K.J. Ramesh
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
Former MLA and Padma Shri awardee Ram Swarup Sharma passes away
On 17th February 2018, Ram Swarup Sharma, former MLA and Padma Shri awardee died following a short term illness, in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
Death of Ram Swarup Sharma:
i. Ram Swarup Sharma was 92 years old. He is survived by two sons and a daughter.
ii. He was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly two times from the Mathura-Vrindavan constituency.
iii. He was skilled in ‘Rasa Lila’, a form of folk theatre. He received the Padma Shri award for this. He was also given the title of ‘Raasacharya’.
About Rasa Lila:
♦ ‘Rasa’ means – aesthetics & ‘lila’ means – act, play or dance
♦ It is a part of the traditional story of Lord Krishna described in Hindu scriptures where he dances with Radha and her sakhis