Current Affairs Updates - 12th February 2018
We, the AchieversRule team have once again brought to our readers the Current Affairs Updates for 11th and 12th February 2018. There are news in sections like National, International, Events, Appointments and banking. We hope our readers like our content and will keep following us for more such updates regularly. Kindly provide us with feedbacks so that we can provide you with better content each day. You may also like Current Affairs Note Down Point and Current Affairs Quiz.
New Appointments: National
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) appointed Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman for two years, effective.
- He succeeds B Sambamurthy who was the interim chairman.
- Last month NPCI had appointed Dilip Asbe as its managing director and CEO.
Abhilasha Kumari was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Manipur High Court.
- She was earlier the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court. She is the daughter of the former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Private sector lender HDFC Bank announced appointment of Rakesh Singh as private banking head.
- He will continue to head the bank's investment banking, capital markets and financial institutions businesses, the bank said in a statement.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has been appointed Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2G matter and related cases.
- Grover was appointed Special Public Prosecutor by the Supreme Court in 2014 to lead the prosecution in the 2G cases.
Banking, Economic & Financial Affairs
Punjab National Bank has signed an agreement for information utility with National e-Governance Services Limited.
- The objective of the agreement is to augment the information infrastructure in India.
- The agreement will enable storing of financial information that will help substantiate defaults and verify claims expeditiously.
The India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) Expansion Programme scheduled to begin in April this year, digital payments in post offices are expected to be enabled around the same time.
- IPPB is also expected to enable more than 17 crore active account-holders of post office savings bank to make interoperable digital payments, including the benefit of NEFT, RTGS, UPI and bill payment services.
Rankings & Indexes
According to a study by transportation analytics company INRIX, Thailand experienced the world's worst traffic congestion in the year 2017.
- Drivers in Los Angeles spent 102 hours in congestion on average during peak time periods, making the US city the world's most gridlocked cities for the sixth straight year.
India's financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of USD 950 billion, has been named among the top 15 wealthiest cities globally, while New York topped the list.
- According to a report by New World Wealth, the economic hub of India is the 12th wealthiest city, followed by Toronto with a total wealth of USD 944 billion, Frankfurt (14th, USD 912 billion) and Paris (15th, USD 860 billion).
A world record was created on the second day of Rajim Kumbh Mela after over 2,100 saints and locals played conch shells 'shankh' together in Chhattisgarh's Gariaband.
- The feat was certified by the Golden Book of World Records. 'Maha Aarti' was also performed after 'shankhnaad' by Chhattisgarh Ministers, MLAs and saints.
NHAI to start 'pay as you use' pilot project on Delhi-Mumbai National Highways to study and implement the ability of the system in the country.
- The project to be run for one year involves implementing a satellite-based electronic toll collection system running on GPS/GSM technology for around 500 commercial vehicles on the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway.
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) launched National Deworming Initiative on the occasion of National Deworming Day.
- It aims to reach more than 32.2 crore children aged between 1 to 19 years to combat parasitic worm infections.
- This year it is fourth edition of National Deworming Day after it was launched in 2015.
The Union Ministry of Women and Child Development is considering to establish National Women Entrepreneurship Council (NWEC).
- It will give advice to government on issues related to entrepreneurship in women as current business chambers are largely “male-dominated".
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched the university’s Centre for Spoken Sanskrit which will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language.
- Gujarat University today announced a course on spoken Sanskrit in order to popularise the ancient language, making it possibly the first course of its kind in the country.
PM Narendra Modi inaugurated Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple as part of his three-nation tour to Palestine, Oman and the UAE.
- Back in 2015, during Narendra Modi’s first visit to the UAE, the government had allocated land in Abu Dhabi for its first Hindu temple.
China Reopens Nathu La Route for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
- The yatra was stopped by China in the aftermath of the military face-off with India last year at Doklam. China demanded withdrawal of Indian forces from the site.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India after a form of bird flu that is highly lethal for poultry was found in the south Asian country.
- In January, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said, citing a report from the Indian agriculture ministry, that India had reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus near Bengaluru in the southern state of Karnataka.
Science & Technology
Scientists from Britain and United States for first time have succeeded in growing human eggs in laboratory from earliest stages in ovarian tissue all way to full maturity.
- Using this technique in previous studies, scientists had developed mouse eggs in laboratory to stage where they produced live offspring, and also matured human eggs from a relatively late stage of development.
Defence & Railway News
The Indian Navy has unveiled the Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS) at INS Garuda, naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala.
- IAAMS is ambitious project of Indian Navy to modernise Meteorological infrastructure of 9 Naval Air Stations (NAS).
- It is expected to bring accuracy in weather monitoring mechanism in the Indian Navy.
China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has commissioned its new generation J-20 fourth-generation stealth fighter into combat service.
- With this, China became second country in world to commissioned domestically developed stealth aircraft after United States.
The India Health Fund (IHF) launched by Tata Trusts in collaboration with Global Fund in August 2016 has come forward to financially support innovations and technologies designed to combat tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
- The initiative aims to support new products and strategies that impact entire lifecycle of malaria and TB, from prevention to post-cure recovery. It has recently invited project proposals.
The Muthoot Group, a leading business conglomerate has engaged Amitabh Bachchan as their Brand Ambassador.
- Bachchan, also widely known as the "Shahenshah of Bollywood" has appeared in over 190 Indian films in his Bollywood career spanning almost five decades. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema as well as World Cinema.
Agreements/ MoUs Signed
India and Palestine have signed six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in different areas including health and education.
- The MoUs were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Ramallah.
Britain’s Prince Charles has launched a new 10-million-dollar Development Impact Bond (DIB) to help improve education for over 200,000 children in India.
- The DIB was announced on occasion of celebration of 10th anniversary of BAT. It was launched by trust with support of UK government’s Department for International Development (DfID), Comic Relief, Mittal Foundation and UBS Optimus Foundation.
Online marketplace Paisabazaar.com on 10 February announced that they have entered into a partnership to develop "industry first" innovations on the tech giant's Cloud platform using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
- This partnership will enable Paisabaazar to utilise the power of Microsoft's cutting edge AI services to develop novel solutions and deliver greater value to their rapidly growing customer base.
India on Saturday signed the first concessional agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the oil sector.
- The single most important agreement that was signed and which reflects a change in our energy relationship with the UAE was the one signed between a consortium of the Indian oil companies and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) for the acquisition of 10% participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession.
India and the UAE signed five agreements, including in the areas of energy and transportation, following delegation-level talks headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
- An agreement was also signed between ONGC and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on offshore oil concessions.
- During the delegation-level talks, the issues of security, investment and people-to-people ties figured.
Summit /Conference / Events
The Delhi government and the MoEF jointly launched the Clean Air Campaign, which will continue for 2 weeks till February 23.
- There is need to analyse pollution in a scientific manner, as no solution can be found on a piecemeal basis. I hope that all concerned Ministries of Central government and Delhi government will join hands to form a blueprint for mitigation of pollution.
International Conference on Unani Medicine inaugurated when a MoU was signed between CCRUM and Hamdard University, Bangladesh to establish an “academic chair” in Unani System of medicine in Bangladesh.
- The aim of this MoU is to provide academic leadership to the institution, primarily through demonstrating and fostering excellence in teaching, research, and policy development related to Unani system of medicine at the varieties of levels within the discipline.
Awards & Honours: Sports
Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour.
- The 26-year-old Bengaluru golfer fought her way back into the tournament in the last two rounds to earn a card for the Tour, which had Women’s World rankings points.
Awards & Honours: Miscellaneous
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was conferred the ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine’, the highest Palestinian honour for foreign dignitaries, recognising his contributions to promoting relations between India and Palestine.
- President Mahmoud Abbas bestowed the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on Modi after the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in Ramallah. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine.