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- Current Affairs 2017 February
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu inaugurates Composite Regional Centre in Itanagar
i. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu in the presence of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the Composite Regional Centre at Itanagar Banquet Hall, Arunachal Pradesh on February 21, 2017
ii. Aim: To create resources and infrastructure required for developing services for persons with disabilities
Outlay : Rs.20 Crore
iii. The Composite Regional Centre at Itanagar along with a creation of 17 contractual posts for it.
iv. The centre is established under the National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities (NILD), Kolkata of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India
v. Pema Khandu announced that the amount in Chief Minister’s Disability Pension Scheme of Rs 1000 per month being currently paid to the disabled person will be increased.
Arunachal Pradesh :
Dibang Dam, Ranganadi Dam and Subansiri Lower Dam
Ravi Shankar Prasad launches Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi
i. Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad launched Cyber Swachhta Kendra in New Delhi on February 21, 2017 for Botnet cleaning and Malware analysis as a psrt of digital India initiative
ii. He also launched two mobile apps
1.Mkavach to protect smart phones and tablets from hackers
2.Samvid to protect Desktops from suspicious applications from running
Cyber Swachhta Kendra :
Aim : To create a secure cyber space by detecting botnet infections.
♦ Cyber Swachhta Kendra will operate in close coordination and collaboration with Internet Service Providers and Antivirus companies.
♦ The centre is being operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team.
♦ The planning of this centre was announced in 2015 with an outlay of Rs 100 crore.
Tamil Nadu govt announce Rs 2247 cr for drought affected farmers
i. Tamil Nadu government lead by Edappadi K Palaniswami has sanctioned Rs 2,247 crore to drought-hit farmers in Tamil Nadu after the report submitted to the government by senior officials.
ii. The report suggested that Rs 2,247 crore for 50,34,237 acres in which crops were cultivated during samba season.
iii. The relief amount will be redited to the bank accounts of the farmers.
iv. Farmers whose rain-fed lands will get Rs 3,000 per acre and Rs 5,465 per acre to farmers who have lands which are dependent on irrigating
Tamil Nadu :
♦ Governor: C. Vidyasagar Rao
♦ Chief Minister: Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Ministry of Road Transport’s New Format for Reporting Accidents
i. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) lead by Nitin Gadkari introduced the new format for recording accidents to find the cause of road accident.
ii. MoRTH has framed a uniform format for comprehensive data collection to assess the root-cause behind road fatalities based on the 17-point format designed by a high-level committee set up by the transport research wing of the ministry comprising senior officials and experts from IITs and World Health Organization (WHO).
iii. The new format will drawn on the lines of developed countries. It will require the police, transport department and other agencies concerned to certain environmental factors
Focus of the report :
i. The accident Recording Form has five sections
Section A contains accident identification details like location, vehicle type etc.
Section B captures road conditions and features like culvert, gradient, pothole etc.
Section C would capture details about vehicle – both motorized and non motorized, overloading etc.
Section D would capture traffic violations by drivers and
Section E would capture details about persons other than drivers involved in the accident.
ii. The committee has also developed a set of corresponding annual road accident data Reporting Format consisting of 17 forms in which the states/ UTs would be required to furnish the annual road accident data to TRW of the Ministry within one month of the completion of a calendar year.
Jammu & Kashmir to observe 2017 as Year of Apple
i. J & K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has declared 2017 as ‘Year of Apple’ to promote the famed Kashmiri apples in domestic and foreign markets.
ii. She also launched the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme in Srinagar to provide 50% subsidy
iii. The high density plants have a yield of 50-70 metric tonnes per hectare against 10-12 tonnes in case of conventional plants.
iv. The government is setting up mega mandies and high-tech cold storage at Jablipora in Anantnag and Aglar in Pulwama to promote apple industry.
♦ Around 20 Lakh tonnes of Apple is produced in India every year. The top apple producing states of India are Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand & Arunachal Pradesh
♦ The apple tree is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple.
♦ Malus domestica is scientific name of Apple
Gujarat Assembly passes Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017
i. The Gujarat Assembly passed Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017 to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.
ii. This bill will help the government create a credible system to authenticate the identity of actual beneficiaries.
iii. The assembly aslo passes two other bills which includes the Gujarat Panchayats (Amendment) Bill and the Gujarat Town Planning and Urban Development (Amendment) Bill.
♦ Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to an Indian resident based on their biometric and demographic data.
♦ The data is collected by “Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)”.
♦ Governor: Om Prakash Kohli
♦ Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani
BANKING & FINANCE
Govt launches its own QR code platform – BharatQR
i. As part of the less cash economy push BharatQR code Platform has been launched by the Centre. This move will be the first platform with interoperability with low cost.
ii. This Platform is jointly developed by – the National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI), the creator and issuer of RuPay cards, MasterCard, American Express, and Visa.
iii. In Bharat QR Platfrom Quck Response code will be used for storing Card Details and also let the users make Aadhaar-enabled payments and through UPI.
iv. This initiative by the government will not only a transformational step towards building a
less-cash economy and also make the process seamless and time efficient.
National Payments Corporation of India
♦ Founded: 2008
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ MD& CEO: Mr. A. P. Hota
Citi launches programme to boost tech innovators
i. Private sector Lender CitiBank has launched Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I) in India, a global programme that boosts technology innovators.
ii. The Digital move will to produce solutions to stimulate integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector space.
iii. This T4I is being supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in the country as well as other public sector companies.
City Bank India:
♦ CEO: Pramit Jhaveri
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1902
♦ Slogan: Let’s get it done
Dish TV joins hands with ICICI Bank for digital payments
i. Direct-to-home operator Dish TV joined hands with India’s largest public sector lender ICICI bank for digital payments.
ii. The Zee Entertainment groups arm’s initiative will enable customers to do recharge through unified payment interface (UPI) transactions.
iii. The move will further push the customer base towards digital economy and also aid customers with or without Internet access to recharge conveniently.
♦ Founded: June 1994, Vadodara
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ CEO: Chanda Kochhar
Telangana Govt Signs MoU With NABARD For Rs 874-Crore Loan
i. The Telangana Government lead by K. Chandrashekar Rao signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NABARD for a loan of Rs 874 crore .
ii. This loan will be used for Horticulture Development Corporation to cover 3.15 lakh acres under Micro Irrigation scheme for 2016-17 and 2017-18.
♦ Founded: 12 July 1982
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Chairperson: Harsh Kumar Bhanwala
CII signs MoU with Singapore trade and business agencies
i. For the first time, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has signed a Technology Partnership MoU with two Singapore agencies International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) to promote expertise in expanding businesses.
ii. It is a step in the right direction to building a stronger partnership for expanding businesses.
iii. It will help build platforms to forge partnerships that connect our small enterprises and startups
♦ Capital: Singapore
♦ Currency: Singapore dollar
♦ Prime minister: Lee Hsien Loong
MoU signed for welfare of Handicraft Artisans belonging to Scheduled Castes
i. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between different Ministry with an objective to improve the earnings of artisans across the country, belonging to Scheduled Castes categories.
ii. An MoU was signed between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a Central PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
Highlighta of MoUs
♦ Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have come together to step up interventions for the economic development of an estimated 12 lakh scheduled caste artisans.
♦ The MoU provides for continuous and extensive collaboration between Office of DC (Handicrafts) and NSFDC, aiming at the following:
i. Need assessment and gap identification through popularising various schemes by holding awareness camps
ii. Extensive need-based skill upgradation in the identified clusters having dominant presence of Scheduled Caste artisans, in the field of innovative and market-friendly designs, and adoption of modern tools and techniques
iii. Enhanced participation of Scheduled Caste artisans and their producer groups in domestic and international marketing events
iv. Working capital credit for Scheduled Caste artisans at concessional rates, by combining the benefits provided by Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
EDII wins International Mercury Award 2016-17
i. The Ahmedabad-based Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) has received the prestigious International Mercury Awards for the year 2016-17 for the best overall presentation of its 2015-2016 annual report.
ii. The EDII is an acknowledged national resource institute for entrepreneurship education, research, training and institution-building and was set up by MerComm, Inc.
iii. Mercomm INC is the world’s only independent awards organization, the International Mercury Awards, honor outstanding achievement in professional communications in around 80 countries.
Haryana CM, Guv confer Bhim Award to 42 sportspersons
i. The BJP led Haryana government gave away the Bhim awards to 42 sports persons of the state, spotting them for their outstanding performance at the national and international fronts between the years 2013 and 2017.
ii. The awards were given by the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki at a function held at Haryana Raj Bhawan on 19 February.
iii. A total prize money of Rs 2.10 crore was distributed among the 42 sports persons and the awardees would be presented Bhim award that would get in cash, a memento, citation, blazer, tie and a scarf.
♦ Capital: Chandigarh
♦ Chief Minister: Manohar Lal Khattar
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
N Chandrasekaran appointed as TCS Chairman
Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran has been appointed as the non-executive Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on February 21, 2017.
Other Appointment :
i. Rajesh Gopinathan is appointed as CEO and Managing Director, V. Ramakrishnan as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and N. Ganapathy Subramaniam as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TCS.
ii. BSR & Co LLP Chartered Accountants as its statutory auditors for five years till 2022, subject to the approval of shareholders.
iii. KPMG India Chartered Accountants to audit its financial statements under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) from fiscal 2017-18 to fiscal 2021-22.
Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser
Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster(54) was appointed as National Security Adviser of the USA by the President Donald Trump on February 21, 2017. McMaster will replace Michael Flynn.
About H.R. McMaster :
i. McMaster is know for his criticism of the US military’s handling of Vietnam War and his own service as a commander in northern Iraq in 2005.
ii. He authored book titled “Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam” in 1997.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Researchers develop first stretchable integrated circuit using an inkjet printer
i. Researchers from Michigan State University announced the creation of the first stretchable integrated circuit using an inkjet printer
ii. The circuit was developed in the laboratory of Chuan Wang, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
iii. This circuit will raising the possibility of the inexpensive production of “smart fabric.”
iv. The discovery of ink-fabricated stretchable circuitry was published recently in the journal, ACS Nano. Wang’s co-researchers include Le Cai, Suoming Zhang, and Jinshui Miao at MSU, and Zhibin Yu at Florida State University.
Inkjet Printer :
♦ Inkjet Printer is a printer in which the characters are formed by minute jets of ink.
♦ The concept of inkjet printing originated in the 20th century, and the technology was first extensively developed in the early 1950s.
Health Ministry launches ‘Saathiya Kits’ to improve adolescent health
i. Union Health Secretary C.K. Mishra has launched “Saathiya Resource Kits” that will provide information on adolescent related issues such as puberty and mental health, among others.
ii. The resource kit comprises of an Activity Book, Bhranti-Kranti Game, a Question-Answer Book and a Peer Educator Diary.
iii. Upon the scheme 1.6 lakh selected communicators have been identified and will be provided knowledge on adolescent health issues among teenagers across the country.
iv. Mishra also launched the mobile app ‘Saathiya Salah‘ for adolescents. It was developed in partnership with the Population Foundation of India and UN Populations Funds.
v. The initiative, launched as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program which was launched in January 2014, also aims to bring down the apprehensions and doubts among growing adolescents about the body related changes that they undergo during puberty.
Indian Coast Guard offshore patrol vessel commissioned in Goa
i. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu commissioned the fourth ship of Indian Coast Guard named ‘Shaunak’, in the series of six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) in Vasco, located in South Goa.
ii. Shaunak has been designed and built indigenously by Goa Shipyard Ltd that can carry one twin engine light helicopter and five high speed boats.
iii. The OPV measures 105-metre-long comes with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries.
iv. The Ship will be based in Vishakhapatnam will employ in surveillance and other duties in Exclusive Economic Zone under the administrative and operational command of the Coast Guard region (East).
Dustin Johnson dominates Genesis Open to overtake world No. 1
i. American professional golfer Dustin Hunter Johnson has claimed No 1 Position in Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career in the world.
ii. This feat comes after he ended up with a world-class performance by winning Genesis Open 2017 at Riviera.
iii. Earlier the Golfer bagged the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, and finished in a tie for second at 2015 U.S. Open.
iv. Johnson became the 20th player to reach the top position since the world ranking began in 1986, culminating Jason Day’s 47-week stay at the top.
International Mother Language Day – February 21, 2017
i. The United Nations’ (UN) International Mother Language Day annually celebrated on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
ii. International Mother Language Day is announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999 and it was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages
♦ Promotional activities of mother language and multilingual education should be undertaken at country level.
♦ UNESCO will celebrate IMLD 2017 on the theme”Towards Sustainable Futures through Multilingual Education.” in Paris, France