Current Affairs Updates - 20th February 2018
Today once again Achieversrule team have come up with a new set of Daily Current Affairs Updates for 20th February 2018. We request our readers to go through the headlines and the bullet points regularly and also to practice quizzes as these will not only be helpful for exams like SSC CHSL, SSC CGL, Railway Group D and SBI Clerk but will also help you boost your knowledge in the General Knowledge section. You may also read the Daily Current Affairs Quiz and the GK One Liner Note Down Points.
New Appointments: National
Archaeologist and historian Arvind P. Jamkhedkar will be the next Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
- He will replace Prof. K. Sudershan Rao. The post fell vacant after Prof. Rao’s retirement. Prof. Jamkhedkar is at present Chancellor of Deccan College, Pune, known in academic circles for its archaeology department.
Paytm board appoints Pallavi Shroff as independent director
- Pallavi Shroff, managing partner at law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, joins board of directors at One97 Communications, the holding company of Paytm and Paytm Mall
Banking, Economic & Financial Affairs
- Axis Bank has hiked its benchmark marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 10 basis points in the three month to three year buckets by 10 basis points effective from February 17.
- Consequently, the bank’s three month MCLR is now 8.15% and six months at 8.30% while the one year rate is 8.40%
Rankings & Indexes
According to a new report by a London-based global think-tank, India's defence budget broke into the world's top five beating the UK for the first time.
- India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defence spender in the world in 2017 at USD 52.5 billion, up from USD 51.1 billion in 2016, according to the 'Military Balance 2018' report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Digital payments entity PhonePe, has partnered with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for adoption of its indigenously-designed Point of Sale (POS) device at IOCL retail outlets.
- As part of this partnership, customers can pay using UPI, credit and debit cards, PhonePe wallet and other external wallets like Jio Money & Freecharge for their fuel purchases, through the PoS device at 30 IOCL retail outlets in Bengaluru.
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) today announced area development plans worth Rs 1,918 crore for Punjab to supplement farmers' income.
- "Under this plan, the activities like dairy, vegetable cultivation, bee keeping, mushroom growing will be promoted in order to provide income to farmers at sustainable basis," he said.
Mumbai to have India’s first artificial intelligence centre
- In a first in the country, the State government will be setting up an institute for artificial intelligence (AI) in Mumbai. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will unveil the plan for the institute during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit, and at the Global Economic Conference in Canada next month.
Amazon has rolled out its own food retailing business in India with a pilot in Pune, becoming the first foreign ecommerce firm to stock and sell food items directly to consumers.
- "Amazon is now a vendor on Amazon.in and is currently operating in Pune,” said a person familiar with the development. The products are sold by Amazon Retail India Pvt. Ltd.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BJP's new headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.
- While Modi lauded Shah and his team for building the multi-storeyed, three-tower HQ in 18 months, the party chief said the building was bigger than the office of any political party in the world.
Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative, as the kingdom pushes to expand a fast-growing private sector.
- Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, women are required to present proof of permission from a male “guardian” - normally the husband, father or brother - to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes.
Singapore said it would impose a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect.
- Finance minister Heng Swee Keat said the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
Science & Technology
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is planning to launch Chandrayan-2 Mission around April this year. Chandrayaan-2 is the country's second mission to the moon.
- It is a matter of pride that Isro is launching Chandrayaan-2, which will place India at a new height in space technology.
Defence & Railway News
The Indian and Indonesian armies on Monday began the sixth edition of their annual military exercises in the West Java province of the archipelago country.
- The opening ceremony of the two-week Garuda Shakti military drill between the Special Forces of the Indian Army and the Indonesian Army was held at Bandung.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi has appointed the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhtar as his advisor on cricket and brand ambassador of the PCB
- Talking to Dawn on Saturday, the PCB chairman said Shoaib has been appointed because he earned a big name in world of cricket as a fast bowler and also has sound knowledge of the game.
Schemes / Programme
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had organized "Watan Ko Jano programme" to give exposure to youth and children of J&K about the cultural and socio-economic development taking place in other parts of country
- Around 200 youth from state visited different places of country as part of the programme
- Youth and children hit by militancy and from weaker sections from J&K are selected for the programme
The Union Government has formulated ambitious water conservation scheme” Atal Bhujal Yojana “(ABY) to tackle ever-deepening crisis of depleting groundwater level.
- The scheme after Cabinet’s clearance will soon be launched in water-stressed states: Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
- The objective of scheme “Atal Bhujal Yojana” is to recharge ground water and create sufficient water storage for agricultural purposes.
Agreements/ MoUs Signed
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and UK’s Natural History Museum (NHM) have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in field of genetic and taxonomic studies, research and training
- BSI is the apex research organization under Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEFCC) for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of country.
India and Iran sign several MoUs and agreements to boost bilateral ties.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Rouhani pledge to further strengthen bilateral relations.
- The two countries inked pacts to enhance cooperation in the areas of taxation, maritime cooperation, health and medicine, trade, agriculture and postal cooperation.
The Virgin Group on Sunday signed an "intent agreement" with Maharashtra to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune, which aims to reduce the travel time between the two mega cities to 20 minutes from the three hours at present.
- The first hyperloop route will link central Pune with the megapolis as well as the Navi Mumbai international airport, the foundation stone for which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday evening.
Summit /Conference / Events
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Karnataka today take part in the 88th Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav of Bhagawan Bahubali in Shravanabelagola.
- Prime Minister Modi will also inaugurate the newly carved 630 steps on the Vindhyagiri hill that takes the disciples to the top for a darshan of the 58.8 feet tall monolithic statue of Bahubali.
LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inauguartes 6th India Region CPA conference at Patna in Bihar
- The conference will hold discussions mainly on two topics -- 'Parliament's role in the development agenda' and 'Legislature and Judiciary - Two important Pillars of Democracy'.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Information Technology Congress (WITC) 2018 in Hyderabad, Telangana. Theme: 'Future Enterprises'
- It was hosted by Telangana Government, in association with country’s top IT body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and global IT organization World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)
The 8th edition of the Theatre Olympics was inaugurated by Vice president Venkaih Naidu in New Delhi. Theme: "Flag of Friendship"
- Speaking on this occasion, Vice president said that Art is a mirror of the society and is reflection of the lives of people. He added that all arts, all thoughts must move in one direction to bring in Universal brotherhood.
Awards & Honours: Miscellaneous
Sanjiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Finserv, won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 award for solutions in lending, life and general insurance and wealth advisory
- The consulting firm also named nine other category winners for the Entrepreneur of the Year Program. E Sreedharan, widely acknowledged for his invaluable contributions transforming public transport in India, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee will be conferred an honorary D.Litt by the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST)
- Mukherjee will be conferred the honour during IIEST convocation on March 4 for his role as a public figure for many decades, IIEST Director Prof Ajoy Ray said.IIEST is in Howrah district's Shibpur.
Telugu comedian Gundu Hanumantha Rao, known for his iconic chef character in the TV serial Amrutham, died on Monday morning at the age of 61.
- The actor was suffering from heart and kidney ailments and was undergoing treatment.
- He acted in films like Pellaniki, Premalekha, Priyuraliki, Subhalekha.