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NITI Aayog launches ‘Healthy States, Progressive India Report’
On February 9, 2018, NITI Aayog launched the ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ Report. The report was jointly released by NITI Aayog CEO – Amitabh Kant, Ministry of Health, Secretary – Preeti Sudan and World Bank India Country Director – Junaid Ahmad.
i. In terms of overall performance, Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have emerged as best performers among larger states.
ii. Highest annual incremental performance (among larger states) has been exhibited by Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.
iii. In terms of overall performance among smaller states, Mizoram has ranked first. Mizoram is followed by Manipur……………………...Click here to Read more
PlastIndia 2018: International plastics exhibition held in Gandhinagar
On 7th February 2018, PlastIndia, 10th edition of international plastics exhibition, started in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
i. PlastIndia 2018 is held for 6 days from 7th February 2018 to 12th February 2018. It was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. It is organized by Plastindia Foundation.
ii. It has participation from buyers and sellers from nearly 28 countries. New products and technologies are displayed by national and international sellers.
iii. Plastindia 2018 hosts 3 special exhibitions:
1.Proplast – for processed plastics products
2.Plasticulture – display of plasticulture
3.Recycling Pavillion – for recycling products
iv. Also a conference will be conducted that will have participation from national and international speakers.
About Plastindia Foundation:
♦ Established – 1987
♦ President – Mr. K. K. Seksaria
♦ Location – Mumbai
National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018 held in New Delhi
National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018 is being held from 8th – 10th February 2018 in New Delhi.Highlights of National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018:
i. It has been organised by National Informatics Centre (NIC).
ii. The event was inaugurated by Union Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
iii. VIVID 2018 would serve as an extensive platform for knowledge sharing among 240 NIC District officials from across India.
iv. During the course of this event, NIC District officials would give presentations on their portals, will showcase their applications and contribution towards implementation of the Digital India initiative of Central Government.
v. Besides, discussion will also be held on contemporary topics including emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, & Big Data Analytics. Cyber Threats & Counter Measures and Critical Information Infrastructure protection will also be discussed.
vi. Theme for VIVID 2018 is “Cyber Security and Innovation”.
Quick facts about National Informatics Centre (NIC):
♦ Established in – 1976
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Parent Organisation – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
Pon. Radhakrishnan inaugurates Third Global Procurement Summit in New Delhi
On February 8, 2018, Union Minister of State for Finance & Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan inaugurated the two-day Third Global Procurement Summit in New Delhi.
Highlights of Third Global Procurement Summit, New Delhi:
i. This Summit was organized by Government of India, All India Management Association (AIMA) and World Bank.
ii. Theme of Third Global Procurement Summit was ‘New Frontiers faced in the Transformation process of Procurement Today’.
iii. During the course of this two-day Summit, various sessions focusing on key facets of strategic sourcing, application of digital technologies in procurement, prevention of contractual disputes and project delays and the latest global innovations in public procurement were conducted.
iv. The Summit was attended by more than 200 procurement officials from all over the world.
Government constitutes Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle menace of trafficking
Central Government has constituted an Inter- ministerial Committee (IMC) under the Chairpersonship of Secretary, Women and Child Development to tackle the menace of trafficking.
Details about Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle menace of trafficking:
i. The committee comprises representatives of concerned stake holders, Ministries/ departments of Central Government and State/UT Governments.
ii. As per National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report 2015, 6877 cases of Human trafficking were reported in 2015, which marks an alarming rise by 25.8% as compared to 5466 cases in 2014.
iii. Human trafficking (primarily done for sexual exploitation and forced labour) is one of the largest organized crime violating basic human rights.
President inaugurates 88th Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola
On 7th February 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the 88th Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav of Lord Gomateshwara at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district, Karnataka.Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav 2018:
i. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav by unveiling an idol of Bahubali. He also lit a lamp to kick start the event.
ii. The Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav is held once in 12 years. It has been celebrated for nearly 1,000 years.
iii. Karnataka Governor Vajubha Vala, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami, Jain saint Acharya Vardhamana Sagar, and Veerendra Heggade of Dharmastala, were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
About temples of Karnataka:
♦ International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Temple – Bangalore
♦ Sri Chennakesava Temple – Hassan
♦ Gokarnanatheshwara Temple – Dakshina Kannada
Swaraj meets Saudi King, inaugurates Janadriyah festival
On February 7, 2018, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and inaugurated ‘Janadriyah’, the national heritage and cultural festival of Saudi Arabia at Riyadh.Details about ‘Janadriyah’:
i. India was accorded the ‘Guest of Honour’ status at the Janadriyah Festival.
ii. The Indian Pavilion at the Janadriyah Festival was based on the theme “Saudi ka Dost Bharat”.
iii. It showcased the core values and traditions of India and presented a kaleidoscope of India’s vibrant culture through a colourful dance and music extravaganza.
iv. Ms. Sushma Swaraj was on a three-day official visit to Saudi Arabia, which concluded on February 8, 2018.
Quick Facts about Saudi Arabia:
♦ Capital – Riyadh
♦ Currency – Saudi riyal
♦ King – Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
♦ Neighbouring Countries – Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen
BANKING & FINANCE
Forbes releases first cryptocurrency rich list; Chris Larsen at the top
Forbes has released its first ever list of richest people in terms of cryptocurrency ownership. During 2017, cryptocurrency garnered lot of attention owing to meteoric price appreciation witnessed in popular cryptocurrencies viz. Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.
Forbes Cryptocurrency Rich List:
i. With an estimated crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion, Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen has topped this inaugural list.
ii. Forbes report has outlined that currently there are nearly 1500 cryptoassets in existence. Combined valuation of all the cryptoassets stands at $550 billion.
iii. Among others who featured on the list include Joseph Lubin with crypto net worth of $1-5 billion, Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion), Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss ($900 million-1.1 billion) and Matthew Mellon ($900 million-1.1 billion).
iv. Owing to opaqueness surrounding cryptocurrencies and extreme price volatility in 2017, the net-worth estimates of individuals featuring in the list have been presented as ranges.
v. Average age of individuals in Forbes cryptocurrency rich list is 42 years, while the threshold for featuring in the list is crypto net worth equivalent to USD 350 million.
India retains top spot as source market for Dubai in 2017
India has become the top source market for Dubai, with 2.1 million visitors in 2017, as per data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).India retains top spot as source market for Dubai in 2017:
i. The data regarding this was published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).
ii. In 2017, Dubai had experienced 15 % growth in tourist arrivals from India. India has also become the first country to exceed 2 million visitors in a single year.
iii. This increase has been credited to Dubai Tourism’s collaboration with actor Shah Rukh Khan in the ‘BeMyGuest’ campaign.
iii. On the whole, in 2017 Dubai faced 6.2 % year-on-year increase in international overnight visitation. Total tourists Dubai received in 2017 is 15.79 million.
iv .Saudi Arabia (KSA) secured the second place with 1.53 million tourists in 2017. UK secured third position with 1.27 million tourists.
v. China reached fifth position with 7,64,000 tourists and Russia is at eight spot with 530,000 visitors in 2017.
Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM):
♦ Purpose – principal authority for planning, supervision, development and marketing of tourism in Dubai
♦ Dubai Tourism director general – Helal Saeed Almarri
Saudi Arabia temporarily bans import of birds, eggs, chickens from India after report of avian flu
On February 8, 2018, Saudi Arabia’s Agriculture Ministry announced that it has temporarily banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicken from India after a form of bird flu (that is highly lethal for poultry) was found.
i. This ban has been imposed on basis of World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) report, which stated that an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus near Bengaluru in Karnataka was reported in December 2017.
ii. As per OIE report, H5N8 virus was detected in December 2017 among birds in the village of Dasarahalli, Bengaluru killing nine out of 951 birds.
Quick Facts about World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE):
♦ Founded in – 1924
♦ Headquarters – Paris, France
CCI slaps Rs 136 crore fine on Google for ‘infringing anti-trust conduct’
Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of Rs 136 crore on Google for indulging in unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search.i. The fine has been imposed after a detailed probe following complaints filed by Matrimony.com and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) against Google LLC, Google India and Google Ireland in 2012.
ii. CCI’s probe found Google to be guilty of “infringing anti-trust conduct”.
iii .Rs 135.86 crore fine amount is 5 per cent of Google’s average total revenue generated from Indian operations for the financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Quick Facts about Competition Commission of India (CCI):
♦ Formed in – 2003
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Chairman – Devendra Kumar Sikri
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
NPCI appoints Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has appointed Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman for two years.
Biswamohan Mahapatra – non-executive chairman of NPCI:
i. Biswamohan Mahapatra replaces B Sambamurthy. B Sambamurthy was the interim chairman of NPCI.
ii. Recently Dilip Asbe was appointed as Managing Director of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
About Indian Banks’ Association (IBA):
♦ Formed – 1946
♦ Chairman – Usha Ananthasubramanian
Smriti Mandhana to be new brand ambassador of Bata’s sport wear brand ‘Power’
On 7th February 2018, Smriti Mandhana, Indian cricketer, was appointed the new brand ambassador of ‘Power’, Bata’s sport wear brand.Smriti Mandhana – Brand ambassador of ‘Power’:
i. Smriti Mandhana is 21 years old. She is an Indian women’s cricket team opener. From February 2018, she will start with the promotion works for Power’s latest range of products.
ii .Her performance at the ICC (International Cricket Council) Women’s World Cup 2017 earned her fame and reputation.
About Bata India:
♦ Headquarters – Gurgaon
♦ Country manager, Bata India – Sandeep Kataria
Abhilasha Kumari sworn-in as Chief Justice of Manipur High Court
On 9th February 2018, Justice Abhilasha Kumari took charge as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court.
Abhilasha Kumari – Chief Justice of Manipur High Court:
i. Justice Abhilasha Kumari’s oath ceremony was administered by Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla.
ii. She was transferred from the Gujarat High Court. She hails from Himachal Pradesh. Her father is former Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
iii. She started her practice in the Himachal Pradesh High Court. She was appointed the additional advocate general for Himachal Pradesh. In December 2005, she was made the Gujarat High Court judge.
Some wildlife sanctuaries of Himachal Pradesh:
♦ Kanwar Sanctuary – Kullu district
♦ Nargu Wildlife Sanctuary – Mandi district
♦ Renuka Sanctuary – Sirmour district
Justice Antony Dominic sworn in as Chief Justice of Kerala
On 9th February 2018, Antony Dominic, Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court, took charge as the Chief Justice of Kerala.
Justice Antony Dominic – Chief Justice of Kerala:
i. Justice Antony Dominic’s oath as Chief Justice of Kerala was administered by Kerala Governor P. Sadasivam.
ii. Justice Dominic hails from Kottayam district of Kerala. He obtained his law degree from SDM Law College, Mangalore. In 1981, He started his law practice in the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kanjirapally.
iii. In 2007, he became additional judge of the Kerala High Court. Later he was made the permanent judge of the Kerala High Court.
Some national parks in Kerala:
♦ Silent Valley National Park
♦ Periyar National Park
♦ Pampadum Shola National Park
ICC appoints Indra Nooyi as first independent female director
PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi has been appointed as the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board’s first independent female director.Indra Nooyi – ICC Board’s first independent female director:
i. Indra Nooyi Nooyi will join ICC Board as Independent Director in June 2018. Appointment of a female Independent Director was approved by ICC Full Council in June 2017.
ii. Generally an Independent Director is appointed for a two-year term. But she can be re-appointed for two more terms not exceeding a consecutive period of 6 years.
iii .Indra Nooyi has made to the World’s Most Powerful Women list of Fortune Magazine several times.
♦ Chairman and CEO – Indra Nooyi
♦ President – Ramon Laguarta
Pradeep Kumar Rawat appointed as Ambassador of India to Timor-Leste
On 8th February 2018, Pradeep Kumar Rawat was appointed the next Ambassador of India to Timor-Leste.
Pradeep Kumar Rawat – Ambassador of India to Timor-Leste:
i. Pradeep Kumar Rawat is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1990 batch. He is currently the Ambassador of India to Jakarta.
ii. He has been concurrently appointed the next Ambassador of India to Timor-Leste. His residence is in Jakarta. He will soon take up this new assignment.
Ambassadors and High Commissioners to various countries:
♦ Venezuela – Rahul Shrivastava
♦ United Kingdom – Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha
♦ United States – Navtej Sarna
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
RK Singh launches ASH TRACK Mobile App for better management of fly ash
On 9th February 2018, R.K Singh, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, launched a Web based monitoring System and a Fly Ash mobile application called ASH TRACK.ASH TRACK:
i. ASH TRACK has been introduced to improve ash management. It creates an interface between fly ash producers (Thermal Power Plants) and ash users (road contractors, cement plants etc).
ii. The ASH TRACK is available in Google Play Store and App Store. The ASH TRACK app has various features for consumers, power stations and also provides ash utilization data.
iii. It provides plant-wise, utility-wise and State-wise ash utilization data in India. It can manage 200 million tonnes of fly ash. It tracks coal based power plants located within 100 km and 300 km of the given location and provides ash availability details.
About Coal India Limited (CIL):
♦ Chairman & MD – Gopal Singh
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata
Australia’s champion javelin thrower Jarrod Bannister passes away
On 9th February 2018, Athletics Australia announced that, Jarrod Bannister, champion javelin thrower of Australia died in the Netherlands.Death of Jarrod Bannister:
i. Jarrod Bannister was 33 years old. He had a sudden death. He had won gold medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
ii. He had participated in the final of the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, and the Beijing Olympics. The record of 89.02m he created in Brisbane in 2008, is the current Australian record in javelin throw.
About Indian Olympic Association:
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ President – Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra