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Current Affairs Today March 1 2018

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Cabinet Approvals on February 28 2018
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a proposal to double the guarantee for availing credit by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) from Rs 9500 crore to Rs 19000 crore for procuring pulses and oilseeds at the Minimum Support Price (MSP).
i. Union Cabinet has approved amendments to Housing and Telephone Facilities Rules, Constituency allowance rules and office expense allowance rules for Members of Parliament (MPs).
ii. Cabinet approves bill to tackle human trafficking, improve rehabilitation of victims
iii. Cabinet approves continuation of PMEGP beyond 12th Plan for 3 years………………………………….Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approvals with Foreign Countries on February 28 2018
Union Cabinet has been apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Fiji.
i. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Macedonia on cooperation in the field of Health
ii. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Jordan on Cooperation in Field of Manpower
iii. Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam on Economic and Trade Cooperation……………………………………………Click here to Read more

Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s visit to India – Overview
King Abdullah II of Jordan was on a three-day official visit to India from February 27, 2018 to March 1, 2018.Jordan's King Abdullah II's visit to India - Overviewi. On March 1, 2018, India and Jordan signed 12 agreements in New Delhi in presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and King Abdullah II of Jordan…………………………….Click here to Read more

DAC approves procurement of weapons costing over Rs. 9000 crore
On February 28, 2018, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman gave approval to Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Services and Coast Guard valued at approximately Rs. 9435 crore.
Procurement of weapons costing over Rs. 9000 crore:
i. Capital Acquisition Proposals that have been approved includes procurement of 41000 Light Machine Guns and over 3.5 Lakh Close Quarter Battle Carbines.
ii. 75 percent of the above mentioned quantities will be procured through Indian Industry under ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ category and balance 25 percent through Ordinance Factory Board.
iii. Approval has also been granted for procurement of essential quantity of High Capacity Radio Relay for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
iv. Two Pollution Control Vessels will also be acquired, which will be used by Indian Coast Guard to undertake pollution control measures off the East Coast and Island Territories.

Delhi government to set up State Sanskrit Education Council
Delhi government has decided to establish State Sanskrit Education Council to improve formal education of Sanskrit in Delhi.
State Sanskrit Education Council:
i. Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia has ordered the education department to go through representations received by Delhi government regarding Sanskrit education in schools and colleges.
ii. He said that, the education department will study the representations and take necessary steps to form a Delhi State Sanskrit Education Council.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Delhi:
♦ Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Najafgarh drain bird sanctuary

Lakshadweep joins UDAY scheme
On 28th February 2018, the Union territory of Lakshadweep joined UDAY (Scheme Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana) Scheme.UDAYLakshadweep joins UDAY scheme:
i. On 28th February 2018, the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and the Government of India signed a MoU under the UDAY Scheme. This will ensure operational turnaround of Lakshadweep’s Electricity Department.
ii. Lakshadweep will receive an overall net benefit of around Rs. 8 crore through the UDAY Scheme. This will be achieved by cheaper funds, reduction in AT&C (Aggregate Technical and Commercial) losses, interventions in energy efficiency, etc.
iii. The Central Government will help Lakshadweep in improving Power infrastructure which will result in further reduction of the cost of power.
About Lakshadweep:
♦ Capital – Kavaratti
♦ Administrator – Farooq Khan


Finance Ministry to consolidate overseas operations of public sector banks
On March 1, 2018, Union Finance Ministry released a roadmap for consolidation of overseas operations of public sector banks.
Consolidation of overseas operations of public sector banks:
i. This decision seems like a tightening measure in wake of Rs. 12636 crore scam unearthed at Punjab Bank National (PNB).
ii. However, Finance Ministry officials have called it a move to attain cost efficiencies and synergies in the overseas market.
iii. As of now, the plan is to consolidate at least 35 overseas operations of the PSBs while another 69 overseas operations have been identified for further examination.
iv. It is to be noted that currently, there are 216 PSB operations including 165 overseas branches. Besides, there are subsidiaries, joint ventures and representative offices.
v. State Bank of India (SBI) has the highest number of overseas branches (52), followed by Bank of Baroda (50) and Bank of India (29).
vi. In terms of Country-wise presence, PSBs have largest number of branches in United Kingdom (32) followed by Hong Kong and UAE (13 each) and Singapore (12).


Avaada Power inks pact to develop 500 MW solar capacities in Andhra Pradesh
On 28th February 2018, Avaada Power Pvt Ltd, stated that, it will invest Rs 3,500 crore to establish 500 MW solar projects in Andhra Pradesh.
Avaada Power to develop 500 MW solar capacities in Andhra Pradesh:
i. An agreement regarding this was signed at the ‘CII Partnership Summit 2018’ in Vishakhapatnam.
ii. Avaada Power said that, the utility-scale solar projects will produce clean energy sufficient to sustainably power more than 2.4 million houses in Andhra Pradesh.
iii. This investment by Avaada Power would create over 1,200 job opportunities.  Andhra Pradesh has a planned to achieve a goal of 18 GW of renewable energy capacities by 2021-22.
About Avaada Group:
♦ Chairman – Vineet Mittal
♦ Vice Chairperson – Sindoor Mittal

Tata-Boeing joint venture established aerospace facility in Hyderabad
On 1st March 2018, Tata Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) inaugurated facility to manufacture fuselages for the AH-64 Apache helicopter in Hyderabad.Tata-Boeing joint venture established aerospace facility in HyderabadTata-Boeing joint venture established aerospace facility in Hyderabad:
i. Tata Boeing Aerospace Ltd (TBAL) is a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL).
ii. The facility has been established on an area of 14,000 square metres. 350 workers have been employed at the facility.
iii. This facility will be the only global producer of fuselages for AH-64 Apache helicopter delivered by Boeing.
iv. Secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for AH-64 Apache helicopter will also be produced in this facility. The first fuselage would be delivered in 2018.
v. The facility was inaugurated by Union Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Telangana minister for Industries and IT, KT Rama Rao.
About Boeing:
♦ Chairman, President and CEO of the Boeing Company – Dennis A. Muilenburg
♦ President of Boeing India – Pratyush Kumar


R Subrahmanyam appointed as Higher Education Secretary
R Subramanyam has been appointed the new Secretary, Higher Education, in the Ministry of Human Resource Development.R Subrahmanyam appointed as Higher Education SecretaryR Subrahmanyam – Higher Education Secretary:
i. A major bureaucratic reshuffle was done on 28th February 2018. R Subrahmanyam is a 1985-batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh cadre.
ii. He was Special Secretary in the Higher Education department. He succeeds K K Sharma.
iii. C Chandramouli has been appointed the new Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training in the Personnel ministry.
iv. Chandramouli is a 1985-batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre. Earlier, he was Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner.
v. Tarun Sridhar has been appointed the new Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries. He is a 1984-batch IAS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre.
vi. Surendra Nath Tripathi has been made the Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. He is a 1984-batch IAS officer. He was serving as the Special Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry.
vii. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra was appointed the new Director General of National Mission for Clean Ganga. He is a 1987-batch IAS officer. He was the Additional Secretary in the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry,
viii. Bipin Bihari Mullick was made the additional secretary and financial advisor at Ministry of Culture. He was Additional secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs.
ix. Anil Gopishankar Mukim has been appointed the Secretaty, Mines Department. He replaces Arun Kumar.
x. Inder Jit Singh has been made secretary (coordination) in Cabinet Secretariat. He was additional secretary (coordination).
xi. P Raghvendra Rao has been appointed the Chemicals and Petrochemicals secretary.
About Ministry of Human Resource Development:
♦ Minister of Human Resource Development – Prakash Javadekar
♦ Minister of State (School Education & Literacy) – Upendra Kushwaha
♦ Minister of State (Higher Education) – Satyapal Singh

Vinay Kumar appointed as Ambassador of India to Afghanistan
Vinay Kumar has been named the next Ambassador of India to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Vinay Kumar – Ambassador of India to Afghanistan:
i. Vinay Kumar is an Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer of the 1992 batch.  He is at present Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
ii. He has been appointed the next Ambassador of India to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He will soon take charge as Ambassador of India to Afghanistan.
About Afghanistan:
♦ President – Ashraf Ghani
♦ Chief Executive Officer – Abdullah Abdullah

Luminous Power Technologies signs Virat Kohli as Brand Ambassador for Amaze
On 28th February 2018, Luminous Power Technologies announced Virat Kohli as the brand ambassador for its new independent brand Amaze.Virat Kohli – Brand Ambassador of Amaze:
i. Luminous Power Technologies also said that, it would invest Rs 150 crore in the upcoming 3 to 5 years in Amaze to develop it.
ii. Amaze will produce totally different products compared to that of Luminous. Amaze will focus on the unstructured battery market.
About Luminous Power Technologies:
♦ MD – Vipul Sabharwal
♦ Corporate Office – Haryana


Moon to get first mobile phone network
The moon is about to get its first mobile phone network in 2019.
Moon to get first mobile phone network:
i. On 27th February 2018, Vodafone Germany, Nokia and Audi said that, they were jointly working to support this project.
ii. Vodafone has appointed Nokia as its technology partner. Nokia would develop a space-grade network.
iii. PTScientists, a Berlin-based company, is also working on this project. A launch has been scheduled in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
iv. It has been decided to build a 4G network, as work on the advanced 5G network is still in testing and trial stage.
About Vodafone:
♦ Chairman – Gerard Kleisterlee
♦ CEO – Vittorio Colao

India successfully test-fires ATGM Nag in desert conditions
On 28th February 2018, India successfully test-fired Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) Nag in desert conditions, at Pokhran’s field firing range in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.India successfully test-fires ATGM Nag in desert conditionsIndia successfully test-fires ATGM Nag in desert conditions:
i. The ATGM Nag was developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It was tested against two tank targets at different ranges and timings.
ii. Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems) G Satheesh Reddy said that, the technologies of ATGM responsible for engaging targets in different conditions have been verified with the successful tests.
iii. The developmental trials of ATGM Nag are over and now it is ready for induction. ATGM NAG possesses advanced technologies like the Imaging infrared (IIR) Seeker with integrated avionics.
About Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO):
♦ DRDO Chairman and Secretary, Department of Defence Research & Development – S Christopher
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi

Telangana launches “T App Folio” app for all government services
On 28th February 2018, Telangana government launched “T App Folio”, a mobile governance application, for delivery of government to citizen (G2C) and business to citizen (B2C) services anytime and anywhere.
T App Folio:
i. Telangana IT Minister K T Rama Rao said that, Telangana has become the second state in India to launch a mobile governance application in place for provision of G2C services.
ii. T App Folio provides more than 150 services like MeeSeva services, RTA services, fee payments and bill payments, in the first phase.
iii. Informational services like MeeSeva centers, Ration shops, Hy-Fi hotspots are also available in the first phase of T App Folio.
iv. T App Folio will act as a platform to bring together all government departments. It has been launched in Telugu and English languages.
Some stadiums in Telangana:
♦ Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium – Hyderabad
♦ Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium – Hyderabad

Huawei unveils world’s first 5G commercial chip
On 25th February 2018, Huawei launched Huawei Balong 5G01, claimed to be world’s first 5G commercial chip.Huawei unveils world's first 5G commercial chipHuawei unveils world’s first 5G commercial chip:
i. Huawei Balong 5G01 is said to be world’s first 3GPP 5G commercial chipset having peak rate of 2.3 GBPS (gigabit per second).
ii. Huawei is collaborating with 30 operators all over the world to deploy products based on Huawei Balong 5G01. Vodafone is also collaborating with Huawei for this.
iii. Huawei launched world’s first 5G CPE (consumer premise equipment or router) which will deliver broadband speed up to 2 Gbps on 5G network. It will also support 4G network.
About Huawei:
♦ CEO – Ren Zhengfei
♦ Headquarters – Shenzhen, China


Russia’s Olympic membership restored by International Olympic Committee
Russia’s Olympic membership has been restored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Russia’s Olympic membership restored by IOC:
i. Russia has got back its Olympic membership, following its suspension from 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
ii. Russia was banned by IOC due to state-sponsored doping during the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi.
iii. Still, 168 Russians participated in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics as neutral participants. They participated as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR). It was the third largest team and bagged 17 medals.
iv. Except two participants from Russia, all others proved clean in the dope test conducted during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. IOC has restored Russia’s Olympic membership.
About International Olympic Committee (IOC):
♦ President – Thomas Bach
♦ Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland

Japan unveils Tokyo 2020 Olympics superhero mascots
On 28th February 2018, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, launched the superhero mascots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, at the Kakezuka school in Tokyo.Japan unveils Tokyo 2020 Olympics superhero mascotsTokyo 2020 Olympics superhero mascots:
i. The winning Olympic and Paralympic mascots have not yet been named. The Olympic mascot has a futuristic blue and white chequered pattern.
ii. It is said to have a special power that enables it to move anywhere instantly.
iii. The Paralympic mascot has a pink and white design inspired by cherry blossoms. It is said to have special power to move things just by looking at them.
iv. Name for the mascots will be decided by the selection panel and a formal launch will be performed in July or August 2018. The mascots were selected through voting after designs were submitted.
About 2020 Summer Olympics:
♦ Host city – Tokyo, Japan
♦ Motto – Discover Tomorrow
♦ Dates – 24 July – 9 August 2020

Para-Swimmer Prasanta Karmakar suspended for three years
On 1st March 2018, para-swimmer Prasanta Karmakar was suspended for 3 years by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) due to allegations of recording videos of female para-swimmers at the National Championships 2017 in Jaipur.
Suspension of Prasanta Karmakar:
i. Prasanta Karmakar was the first Indian para-swimmer to participate and win a medal at the 2003 World Swimming Championships in Argentina.
ii. He had won bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He was India’s swimming coach for the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
iii. After receiving complaints from parents of female para-swimmers over video recording by Prasanta Karmakar, he was investigated and now has been suspended for 3 years by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
About Paralympic Committee of India (PCI):
♦ President – Mr. Rao Inderjit Sing
♦ Head Office – New Delhi


Noted Odia Bhajan Singer Arabinda Muduli passes away
On 1st March 2018, Arabinda Muduli, Odia Bhajan singer, died following a cardiac arrest in Bhubaneswar.
Death of Arabinda Muduli:
i. Arabinda Muduli was 56 years old. He was a musician, singer and lyricist. He sang devotional songs.
ii. He was born on 1 September 1961 at Khanati in Khordha district. He has delivered more than 3,000 songs. His popular bhajans are Kala Saante Acha Kemante and Jaga Pain Niti Mali Phula.
Some stadiums in Odisha:
♦ Ispat Stadium – Rourkela
♦ Barabati Stadium – Cuttack
♦ Angul Stadium – Angul


World Rare Disease Day Conference 2018 organised in New Delhi
On 28th February 2018, JP Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the World Rare Disease Day Conference 2018 in New Delhi.World Rare Disease Day Conference 2018:
i. World Rare Disease Day is celebrated on the last day of February every year. World Rare Disease Day was first introduced by EURORDIS and its council of National Alliances in 2008.
ii. The theme for World Rare Disease Day 2018 is Research. World Rare Disease Day 2018 was observed on 28th February 2018.
iii. This day is observed to create awareness among public about rare diseases and their impact.
iv. At the World Rare Disease Day Conference 2018, a newsletter published by the “Indian Organisation of Rare diseases” was released.
v. J P Nadda said that, the Indian government has developed a national policy for “rare diseases”.
About European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS):
♦ Non-profit alliance of over 700 rare disease patient organisations
♦ President – Terkel Andersen