February, 2017

Azad’s 86th Martyrdom Day observed

Chandra Shekhar Azad’s 86th Martyrdom Day observed on 27th February. Chandra Shekhar Azad, the mere name that could make a British policeman during the British Raj era break into cold sweat. He was born on 23 July 1906, in Bhavra, Alirajpur. He died on 27 February 1931 at Allahabad. He lived for mere 24 years, but made a world of difference to India’s freedom struggle.

SoftBank, Foxconn form joint venture

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and Taiwan’s Foxconn have agreed to form a joint venture, as the two large Asian technology companies expand their ties. The arrangement involves Foxconn buying a 54.5% stake in SoftBank Group Capital Apac Pte Ltd, a wholly owned SoftBank unit, for $600 million.

TCS Ranked Among Top Three IT Brands

India’s largest software services firm Tata Consultancy Services has been rated as one of the top three ‘most-valuable brands’ in the Information Technology service sector by Brand Finance, the leading global brand valuation firm. As IBM and Accenture are on the top two positions. However, the overall global position of the company dropped down by one spot to 25th from 2016 when it was 24th.

Rajasthan Inaugurates RAHAT project

Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje inaugurated a medical project Rajasthan Heart Attack Treatment programme in Jaipur. She also flagged off an ambulance fitted with equipment and trained paramedical staff required for treatment of heart disease. RAHAT aims to provide people in remote and rural areas with timely treatment during heart attacks.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won 2017 Open 13

Second-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsongao defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille to win the 2017 Open 13. The ‘2017 Open 13’ is a men’s tennis tournament played on indoor hard courts. It was the 24th edition of the Open 13, and part of the ATP World Tour 250 series of the 2017 ATP World Tour. It took place at the Palais des Sports in Marseille, France, from 20 February to 26 February 2017.

Gopi, Athare win men’s and women’s races

Rio Olympian Thanackal Gopi won the men’s title in the second edition of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon held on 26 February 2017. Monika Athare claimed the honours in the women’s section. In Men’s full marathon, Gopi clocked 2 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds to win the race in his first appearance in the event.

Saina to represent Olympic Committee

Saina Nehwal was appointed as a member of the Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission in 2016, will represent the panel in the Badminton World Federation. Saina would join the Badminton World Federation Athletes’ Commission as a representative of the IOC AC. Currently, ranked world number 10 in BWF rankings, Saina is now aiming to win the prestigious All England Championship in March 2017.

Robot table tennis tutor sets record

World’s first robot table tennis tutor in Japan has set a new Guinness World Record for its uncanny ability of being able to play the game better than most humans. FORPHEUS (Future Omron Robotics Technology for Exploring Possibility of Harmonized Automation with Sinic Theoretics) has officially been given the Guinness title for its unique technological intelligence & educational capabilities.

Pests eat away India’s 35% of yield

According to Indian Council of Agricultural Research scientist, pests eat away about 30-35% of the annual crop yield in India. Such large-scale crop-loss is having an adverse effect on the agricultural biosafety which is paramount to food security of the country. Key Facts Among such pests, nematodes have emerged as a major threat to crops in the country.

Haryana to set up sex ratio dashboard

The Haryana government has set up an online system called sex ratio monitoring dashboard as part of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ Scheme to monitor the sex ratio in the Panipat district. The system will have the data of child sex ratio collected from all villages every month in the district by the state Health and Women and Child Welfare Departments.

Gopal Baglay becomes MEA spokesperson

Indian Foreign Service officer Gopal Baglay will replace Vikas Swarup as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. Swarup was on February 16 appointed as the Indian high commissioner to Canada. Baglay, a 1992 batch IFS officer, has earlier served as deputy high commissioner to Pakistan. He was also a press counsellor at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.

TN rolls out ` 800-crore plan for farmers

A comprehensive scheme of over ` 800 crore, benefitting at least 12 lakh farmers engaged in dry land agriculture and targeting coverage of around 18 lakh hectares, has been launched in 25 districts. The scheme envisages mobilisation of agriculturists through farmers’ clubs, formation of 1,000 clusters. Crop insurance will also be covered.

A digital archive for Rashtrapati Bhavan

The architectural history and the heritage of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the 340-room official residence of the President of India, has been documented in a series of books. Concise web-based modules are set to bring to life the architectural and cultural grandeur of the iconic building, designed and constructed by legendary British architect Edwin Lutyens.

Rare butterfly varieties spotted

Ayyanarkoil Falls, which is situated within the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Srivilliputhur, is also a habitat for very rare butterfly species. The Rajapalayam Butterfly Club, a wing of Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam has identified 220 species of butterflies here including the highly uncommon Silver Royal and Fluffy Tit. The Silver Royal is a rare species that we have spotted

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) began in Mobile World Capital Barcelona on February 27, 2017 and will conclude on March 2, 2017. MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA. The global tech industry gathers to get participate in new smartphone launches, VR and AR developments, chipsets and wearables.

United Nations

It replaced ineffective League of Nations on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; there are now 193. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City. The 6 official languages of the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.

National Science Day

Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, a world renowned Physicist, made a path-breaking discovery which later was named as the Raman effect. In order to push science as an important subject and to develop the passion towards it among the Indian youth, India celebrates the National Science day on February 28 every year. He was awarded the knighthood in the year 1929 & won the Nobel Prize in 1930.

Kohli named captain of the year at ESPN

Indian international cricketer Virat Kohli has named as the ‘Captain of the Year‘ at the 10th annual ESPNcricinfo Awards. Kohli led India to nine wins out of 12 Tests in the year 2016. Englishman Ben Stokes won the Test Batting Performance of the Year. Stokes team-mate Stuart Broad got the Test Bowling Performance of the Year award for the second year running

Birender Singh to be Ambassador of Togo

Birender Singh Yadav has been concurrently accredited as the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Togo, with residence in Accra (Ghana). Yadav is presently working as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Ghana Togo. He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

Kabir Bedi appointed brand ambassador

28 : India’s most famous international actors Kabir Bedi was appointed as the honourary brand ambassador of Sightsavers India to prevent avoidable blindness by RN Mohanty, CEO of Sightsavers on February 17, 2017. Kabirs’s association would help the organisation towards a focused journey with amplified impact in the coming days.

RBI not to share govt response on Sharia

The central bank has said the response given by the Fin Min on the RBI report about the introduction of Sharia banking in India cannot be disclosed. The RBI was asked to give response sent to it by the ministry on the recommendation regarding Islamic banking. Sharia banking is a finance system based on the principles of not charging interest, which is prohibited under Islam.

Alibaba launches Paytm mall in India

Alibaba-backed Paytm has launched Paytm Mall, a consumer shopping app, to take on local rival Flipkart and global rival Amazon in the country. The Paytm Mall, an Android app for smartphones is modelled on TMall, China’s dominant e-commerce platform. In 2016, India’s e-commerce industry saw businesses such as Askme collapse; firms such as Flipkart and Snapdeal shed jobs and cut expenses.

Tribute to Om Puri at Oscars

Indian actor Om Puri was honoured at the 89th Academy Awards ceremony here in the “In Memoriam” montage. He was included in the annual montage along with Carrie Fisher, Prince, Gene Wilder, Michael Cimino, Patty Duke, Garry Marshall, Anton Yelchin, Mary Tyler Moore, Curtis Hanson and John Hurt. Om Puri was known for his deep baritone and different acting style.

Mumbai richest city with $820 billion

Mumbai is the richest Indian city with a total wealth of $820 billion. Delhi is home to 23,000 millionaires and 18 billionaires with total wealth of $450 billion, while Bengaluru has 7,700 millionaires and 8 billionaires and an aggregate wealth of $320 billion. The total wealth held in India in 2016 was $6.2 trillion, while the country is home to 264,000 millionaires and 95 billionaires

Trump for new immigration order

Donald Trump is expected to sign a new travel ban 29th Feb. The fresh travel ban was expected to be signed last week but it was delayed “to make sure that we execute this, it’s done in a manner that’s flawless”. President’s first executive order suspended the US’s refugee programme for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

La La Land announced Best Picture

Although La La Land was earlier announced as the best picture, it turned out to be a mistake and Moonlight wins the Best Picture this year at Oscars. The best actress award goes to Emma Stone for La La Land. The film La La Land has won six Oscars this year. These are 89th Academy Awards which are popularly known as the Oscars.

9 bank unions to strike Feb. 28th

The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions in the sector, has called a one-day strike on February 28 to protest the government’s “anti-people banking reforms”. Employess in all public sector banks, including SBI, RRBs will be a part of this strike. Compensation for employees for extra work done on account of demonetisation is also on the demand list

Oscar Awards for 2016 announced

The Oscar for best actor goes to Casey Affleck for Manchester By The Sea. The Best Original Song goes to City Of Stars, La La Land. The Best Animated Feature Film Oscar goes to Zootopia. Bollywood beauty Priyanka Chopra made her second Oscars appearance. She was a presenter last year.

ONGC May Acquire Hindustan Petroleum

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) may acquire India’s third-biggest fuel retailer HPCL in an about ` 44,000 crore ($6.6 billion) deal. The merger is seen as a part of the government’s plan to create an integrated oil giant. There are only 6 major companies in the sector – ONGC, Oil India Ltd, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), HPCL, BPCL and GAIL.

Total liquor ban possible in Chandigarh

Come April 1, Chandigarh could face a complete liquor ban, including the ones in hotels, restaurants and shops. The reason behind this lies in the December 2016 Supreme Court judgment which ordered for closure of liquor shops on state highways and national highways. Chandigarh falls within the ambit of the judgement since all the major roads in the city are labelled state highways.

India seeks action in Kansas shooting

India demanded the “strongest action” from the US government after Hyderabad’s engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in an hate crime in Kansas City. The shooter who has been arrested, yelled “get out of my country” before opening fire on 32-year-old Kuchibhotla and his Indian colleague. Kuchibhotla’s body will arrive at his home 27th Feb. evening.

Rashtrapati Bhavan to be documented soon

The architectural history and the heritage of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the 340-room official residence of the President of India, has been documented in a series of books. Concise web-based modules are set to bring to life the architectural and cultural grandeur of the iconic building. Sahapedia, an online resource on heritage of India has compiled the volumes which began as a project in 2014.

Trump’s approval rating at record low

President Donald Trump’s approval ratings stands at 44 per cent, a record low for a President who has just assumed office. In the poll, conducted in February, 48% of Americans said they disapprove of Trump’s performance as President. The new rating comes 2 days before Trump is set to address a joint session of Congress, in which new presidents typically lay out their vision for the country.

Hospital asked to report stents shortage

Drug price regulator NPPA today asked hospitals and doctors to report shortage of stents as part of its measures to ensure availability of the medical device. The regulator has been taking several steps to ensure stents are available under its prescribed price list. NPPA also asked stents manufacturers and their distributors to align their system according to the new price list.

Trumps navy secretary nominee withdraws

Philip Bilden, US President Donald Trumps nominee for navy secretary, withdrew his name from consideration citing privacy concerns. Bildens withdrawal comes after similar decisions by other nominees who have their names removed from consideration to serve under Trump. Previous withdrawals include that of Vincent Viola, nominated as Army secretary, and labour secretary nominee Andrew Puzder

SC grants bail to Bastar journalist

The Supreme Court has granted bail to Santosh Yadav, a journalist based in Maoist- insurgency-hit Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. He was charged under the draconian Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. A journalist with a Hindi daily ‘Chhattisgarh’, Mr.Yadav was held by the police in October 2015 on the suspicion of links with Maoists.

HC for a about law Seemai Karuvelam

Madras HC has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pass a legislation, within 2 months, for weeding out Seemai Karuvelam (Prosopis juliflora) trees. Seemai Karuvelam an invasive species considered harmful to the environment, from public as well as private lands across the State. Court also ordered that the State allot adequate funds periodically for uprooting the trees.

Human rights lawyer Essa Moosa dies

27 : Essa Moosa Indian-origin South African human rights lawyer,has died aged 81. Moosa had challenged the country’s notorious detention laws of the apartheid era. Moosa had defended several anti-apartheid protesters detained under the notorious detention without trial laws. He was often targeted for opposing the draconian laws of the time.

Seoul to speed up THAAD deployment

South Korea will speed up the process of deploying the US missile shield after the Lotte Group agreed to a land swap contract with the Defence Ministry. Lotte approved the deal to exchange its golf course in southeast South Korea for military land. The South Korean military is hurriedly pushing it as domestic political uncertainty can delay the installation of the US anti-missile system.

RIL market cap crosses ` 4 trillion

India’s biggest company by revenue, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Today crossed ` 4 trillion in market capitalisation. RIL is the second company after Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) to cross ` 4 trillion in market cap. Currently, TCS has a total market cap of ` 4.88 trillion. Last time, the company was seen achieving this milestone on 18 January 2008.

UBI ties up with IRCTC

Kolkata-based United Bank of India (UBI) has launched a railway ticket booking facility by having a direct tie-up IRCTC. Post the introduction of this facility, UBI customers can now book railway tickets seamlessly through IRCTC website using the bank’s debit card. The facility was launched on February 21.

CM T R Zeliang appointed Finance Advisor

Former Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang was appointed as Finance Advisor to the state government in the rank of a cabinet minister. Zeliang was appointed by the Governor of Nagaland P B Acharya and he will receive the pay, allowances and all other facilities admissible to a cabinet minister. He wanted 33% reservation for women in urban bodies and subsequent incidents.

Rajasthan 2nd largest crude oil producer

Rajasthan has become the second largest crude oil producer in the country after the offshore field Bombay High, Governor Kalyan Singh said in the Assembly by highlighting the achievements of the state government. Mr. Singh stated that oilfields in the state were producing nearly 90 lakh tons oil annually, which is 24% of the total domestic crude oil production.

India, Bangladesh ink MoU

India & Bangladesh signed a MoU for the sustainable development of Sylhet city. Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla and Sylhet City Corporation CEO Enamul Habib signed the tripartite agreement. Under the MoU, 3 projects are considered i.e construction of a 5-storeyed Kindergarten & High School Building, a 6-storeyed Cleaner Colony Building & Development of Dhupa Dighipar area.

India, ADB ink $375 mn loan pact

India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed USD 375 million pact for loans and grants to develop 800 km Visakhapatnam,—Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is the first phase of a planned 2,500-km East Coast Economic Corridor. ADB had last September, 2016 approved USD 631 million in loans and grants for the industrial corridor.

Shilpa to be Swachh Bharat ambassador

The government has roped in actress Shilpa Shetty as a brand ambassador for the Indian government cleanliness initiative ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’. She will feature in TV and radio campaigns aimed at discouraging people from littering on roads. Soon, campaign posters featuring her will be displayed at various places across the country.

Sehgal bags ‘‘entrepreneur of the year”

Vivek Chaand Sehgal of Motherson Sumi Systems Ltd has been awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 award by assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services firm Ernst & Young (EY). Sehgal will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Monte Carlo from June 7 to 11, 2017. Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Asian Para-Road Cycling C’ship

India made a rousing start at the 6th Asian Para-Road Cycling Championship, bagging all three medals in the 12.8 Km Individual Time Trial on the opening day of the tournament at Bahrain. Abhishek from Chandigarh won the gold medal, Divij Shah from West Bengal won silver and Harinder Singh from BSF bagged the bronze medal. They were trained and sponsored by Aditya Mehta Foundation, Hyderabad.

APEDA -GULFOOD 2017, Dubai

64 exporters from the agriculture and processed food sector are participating in the ‘Gulf Food 2017’ event in Dubai. This is significant as UAE is a potential market for Indian food products such as basmati rice, fresh fruits & vegetables, buffalo meat, processed fruits, dairy products, wheat etc. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Develop-ment Authority would be inaugurated

Conclave under “Hamari Dharohar” Scheme

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that India is enriched with talent in art-culture, music & literature and this rich cultural heritage can become an effective mission of “social & cultural harmony”. The first meeting under “Hamari Dharohar” scheme of Minority Affairs Ministry was held. It is the need of the hour to provide a platform and an opportunity to these talents.

Darjeeling’s new Himalayan cycle trail

India’s first hill station bicycle path was inaugurated in Darjeeling, WB at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. The 20 km long cycle route runs through thick pine forest and Senchal wildlife sanctuary, one of India’s oldest nature reserves. The route starts from near Jorebunglow, south of Darjeeling and ends at a small local First Hill Station Bicycle Patheco-village resort in Chatakpur.

1st International Zip Line Created

In a first of its kind development of a cross-border zip line in the world, an international zip line named as Limite Zero has been created to connect Spain and Portugal. The 2,362-foot-long zipline will connect Sanlucar de Guadiana, in Andalucia, Spain, to Alcoutim, in Algarve, Portugal whose time zone is an hour behind than that of Spain.

Pakistan Army launches ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’

A nationwide military operation ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ was launched by Pakistan Army to eliminate terrorists and ensure security of Pakistan’s borders. As per the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations the operation aims to eliminate threat of terrorism, consolidate gains of operations made so far and ensure strengthened security of Pakistan’s borders

Indian-Origin British MP receives award

Virendra Sharma, an Indian-origin British MP was conferred with the first Dr Stya Paul Memorial Award for his outstanding contribution to India-UK ties. The Labour party MP from Ealing Southall received the award at the third annual Indo-UK Thought Leadership Awards in London from NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, the younger brother of Indian educationist Dr Stya Paul.

Government to bailout IDBI Bank

The government has announced to bailout IDBI Bank with ` 3,000-crore capital infusion to enable the bank to have better capital-adequacy ratio and further enhance credit growth. In December 2016, IDBI had a net loss of
` 2255 cr against ` 2184 cr in December 2015. Similarly, the Gross Non-Performing Assets rose to ` 35245 cr at December 2016 from ` 30134 crore in the previous quarter.

Pakistan and Turkey Signs 10 Agreements

Pakistan and Turkey have signed 10 agreements to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields, including exchange of financial intelligence relating to money laundering, hydrocarbon and defence cooperation. A joint declaration on Turkey-Pakistan Strategic Relationship for Peace and Prosperity was also issued at the end of the meeting resolved to fight against terrorism

AAI, IATA launch e-billing solution

Airports Authority of India, along with International Air Transport Association launched its e-billing solution for airport operators and air navigation services providers across the world. The e-billing solution, “SKYREV360” will help airport operators and air navigation services providers worldwide to overcome the issues of revenue leakages, besides reducing redundancies

India and Germany ratify 2011 Agreement

India and Germany ratified a comprehensive Social Security Agreement to improve investment flows between the two countries. The agreement was signed in October 2011. The agreement is expected to reduce the operational costs of Indian and German companies operating in either of the countries. The agreement comes into effect from May 2017.

Mahindra Agri launches digital platform

Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd, a part of Mahindra & Mahindra has launched a mobile app ‘MyAgriGuru‘ for farmers. It is launched as a part of Government’s target to double the farmer income by the year 2022. This app will provide information about crop, agri-buzz, market price and weather in English and Hindi

Liker & Leh Dosmochey festival begins

26 : The centuries old two-day long Liker and Leh Dosmochey festival started in Ladakh Region of Jammu and Kashmir. Dosmochey is the major monastic festival held annually in the Ladakh region during the winter season to mark the destruction of evil spirit. The Liker Dosmochey is celebrated by the Liker Monastery in western Ladakh.

Oriental Bank Ties Up With Chola MS

Haryana based Oriental Bank of Commerce has signed an corporate agency agreement with Chennai based general insurance provider Cholamandalam General Insurance Company for distribution of insurance products. The insurance products includes motor, health, home and travel. Chola MS will offer a wide range of non-life insurance products to customers of Oriental Bank through its branches.

Nobel-Winning Kenneth J. Arrow Dies

Nobel-winning economist, mathematician Kenneth J Arrow has died in USA. He was 95. Kenneth received the Nobel memorial prize in economic science for their pioneering mathematical work on general equilibrium theory in 1972.

Vizag – India’s first ‘less cash’ city

Global payments network Visa has signed a MoU with the Andhra Pradesh government to help transform Vishakhapatnam into India’s first ‘less cash’ city. This initiative is designed to provide the foundation for the city to emerge as India’s ‘Fintech Valley’. Another focus area of Visa will be to provide support to FinTech start-ups by providing access to Visa’s APIs.

India and Japan ink pact on rail safety

India signed an agreement with Japan on enhancing railway safety in the Indian Railways. The areas of cooperation include rail inspection, rail wielding and providing automatic railway track safety inspection, maintenance of rolling stock and any other relevant railway safety matters jointly determined by both sides with the aim to prevent major rail accidents.

Maneka announces compensation fund

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi announced the setting up of a compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes. The money for this fund will be drawn from Nirbhaya Scheme. A Central Victim Compensation Fund was set up with an initial corpus of ` 200 crore in 2015.

India, Israel to develop MR-SAM missile

The government has approved a deal to jointly develop a medium range surface-to-air missile system for Army with help of Israel.It will be developed by DRDO and IAI. The approved deal is for 5 regiments of the MR-SAM system,which consists of 40 units and 200 missiles.It has a range of 50-70 km. The total cost of the deal is ` 17000 crore.

PM unveils 112 feet statue of “Adiyogi”

Extolling the ancient Indian discipline of Yoga, Prime Minister Narendra Modi 24th Feb. called for efforts to protect nature and mould human activities to bring them in sync with ecological surroundings. He also termed unity in diversity as the speciality and strength of the Indian culture. He unveiled a mammoth 112 feet bust of ‘Adiyogi” Lord Shiva at Isha Yoga Foundation in Coimbatore.

61 Cavalry bags Army Polo Championship

The famous Army Polo Championship saw a thrilling final match between 61 Cavalry and Army Service Corps with the former bagging the championship. The championship saw participation from Corps of Artillery, Remount and Veterinary Corps and Armored Corps as well. The army has dominated Equestrian Sports for a long time, producing a large number of winners.

INS Betwa back on even keel

The Indian Navy’s guided missile frigate INS Betwa, which had tipped over while being undocked at the Naval Dockyard in Mumbai two-and-a-half months ago, has been returned to its normal position and will be operational by April 2018. The accident involving the 4,000-tonne, 126-metre frontline warship on December 5 last year had claimed the lives of two personnel and left 15 injured.

Series IV sovereign gold bond scheme

The government is set to issue series IV sovereign gold bond scheme on 17 March. The tenure of the bond will be for a period of eight years with an exit option from the fifth year to be exercised on the interest payment dates. An individual can minimum invest one gram in the scheme per fiscal year while maximum limit according to the scheme is set at 500 grams for the same period.

Indian Railways unveils Antyodaya Exp.

Indian Railways has unveiled Antyodaya Express, a new train for the unreserved passengers. It was unveiled by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi’s Safdarjang station. The first Antyodaya Express is slated to start between Mumbai and Tatanagar (Jharkhand) and second between Ernakulam and Howrah. The facilities provided in Antyodaya coaches are similar in first class coaches.

International Hockey Federation awards

Belgium skipper John-John Dohmen and Netherlands’ Naomi van As were adjudged the international hockey federation male & female Player of the Year. There were 2 Indians in the fray with Sreejesh among nominees for the best goalkeeper while 20-year-old Harmanpreet Singh, who was part of the junior World Cup-winning squad, a nominee of ‘Rising Star of the Year’ category.

400 m year old monster worm discovered

Scientists have discovered a new species of an extinct primordial giant worm with terrifying snapping jaws that lived about 400 million years ago. Researchers studied a fossil untouched for more than two decades at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada and discovered the remains of the giant extinct bristle worm. The new species is unique among fossil worms and possesses the largest jaws ever.

5 crore Indians suffer from depression

Over 5 crore Indians suffered from depression, a major contributor to global suicides which occurred mainly in low and middle-income countries like India in 2015. WHO said while over five crore Indians suffered from depression, over three crore others suffered from anxiety disorders. The report was titled Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders – Global Health Estimates.

Olive Ridley turtles lay 3.55 lakh eggs

The endangered Olive Ridley turtles have laid a record 3.55 lakh eggs in the coast of Odisha within a span of one week, an official said Monday, adding the figure could touch four lakh mark this year. Over 3,55,000 eggs have been laid by Olive Ridley sea turtles within a week of mass nesting in Rushikulya river mouth of Ganjam coast, which is an all-time record.

India fastest growing economy in G-20

India will be the fastest growing economy among G-20 countries clocking a 7.1% growth in 2017, Moody’s Investors Service said. The Indian economy had slowed in the fourth quarter of 2016 due to the withdrawal of 86%. Regarding Asia, Moody’s said China’s economy stabilised around the official growth target of 6.7% in 2016, but will likely continue to decelerate to 6.3% & 6% in 2017 & 2018.

Entrepreneurship Edu. to get a big boost

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Wadhwani Operating Foundation signed 2 agreements for effectuating an earlier understanding of jointly developing and implementing Entrepreneurship and Skill Development. Pradhan Mantri YUVA Scheme being the first joint effort in this regard. It aims at providing on line Entrepreneurship Education to about 15 lakh students.

Dena Bank rolls out RFID-enabled cards

Dena Bank has introduced RFID-enabled banking cards whereby a branch/relationship manager can identify a valued client entering a branch with the card. Once the client enters the branch, complete information about him/her will pop up on the manager’s desktop. This will help the branch staff to take care of the customer’s needs and offer services quickly without any delay, the bank said.

Karnataka Bank bags 2 awards

The bank was the winner in ‘Best financial inclusion initiatives (small bank)’ category, and was runner-up in ‘Best use of digital and channels technology (small bank)’ category. IBA-Banking Technology award recognises and rewards individuals, professionals and banks who have recorded noteworthy technology and business benefits in the previous year.

Pooja Ghatkar clinches bronze

25 : In International Shooting Sport Federation, Indian shooter Pooja Ghatkar secured India’s first medal in New Delhi. She finished third in the 10m Air Rifle event. Ghatkar clinched bronze medal with a score of 228.8 in the final round. China’s Mengyao Shi secured gold with a score of 252.1 – setting a new world record in the event. The silver went to China’s Lijie Dong for a score of 248.9.

International conference on ‘Bharat Bodh

The President of India inaugurated an international conference on ‘Bharat Bodh’ (Idea of Bharat) organized by the IGNOU and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal on Feb 23, 2017 in New Delhi. He added that Bharat has always been recognised “as the storehouse of knowledge and discovery – knowledge which liberates, and discovery which fathoms the deepest thoughts of humanity and co-existence.

Mobile Application for GST

Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) launches a Mobile Application for GST to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST among others. The Mobile Application enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST. Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24×7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the touch of a button.

Sikkim becomes 22nd State to join UDAY

The GOI and the State of Sikkim signed a MOU under the Scheme Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for operational improvement of the State’s Power Distribution Department. With the signing of MoU, the total number of States covered under UDAY has reached 22. UDAY is the financial turnaround and revival package for electricity distribution companies of India initiated by the GOI.

Dwarka Darshan Circuit

Ministry of Urban Development today approved development of 6 km long Bet Dwarka Darshan Circuit in Gujarat at a cost of ` 16.27 cr under the Central Scheme ‘Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)’. Under HRIDAY launched on January 21, 2015, heritage related infrastructure develop-ment is being taken up in 12 identified cities including Dwarka-Bet Dwarka.

Tribal Youth Exchange Programme

Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports on Feb 23 inaugurated the 9th Tribal Youth Exchange Programme in Delhi. In Programme youth from tribal belts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh will get to visit various places in the capital and know more about the culture and life style. Youth will explore the walled city and get to know more about the rich history and heritage of Delhi.

Pink Shirt Day

Fighting against the racism, bullying, hate crimes and discrimination, Sikhs across the UK and Canada observed ‘Pink Shirt Day’ on Feb 22, coming out in pink shirts and turbans to give message of kindness and tolerance. The campaign has also found support from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and National Defence Minister of Canada Harjit Sajjan, a Sikh who too sporting a pink shirt day.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

Five more states– Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Mizoram and Uttrakhand– are likely to be declared defection free (ODF) in next 6 months. As of now, three states, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, had declared themselves ODF under the clean India mission — Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was officially launched on 2 October 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Bill banning hookah bars

The Gujarat Assembly on Feb 23 passed an amendment bill which proposes a total ban on hookah bars and imposes max. jail term of 3 years on those operating such joints despite absolute restriction. The Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution)(Gujarat Amend.), Bill, 2017 was passed by majority

Sujata Mehta appointed UPSC member

Former diplomat Sujata Mehta and Air Marshal Ajit Shankarrao Bhonsle have been appointed as members in UPSC in New Delhi. President has appointed Mehta and Bhonsle to the posts for a period of 6 years or until they attain the age of 65 years, an order issued by Personnel Ministry said. With these appointments, the strength of the Commission has gone upto seven.

‘Namami Brahmapurta’ program

Taking a cue from ‘Namami Devi Narmade’ programme of Madhya Pradesh government, Assam will now launch ‘Namami Brahmapurta’ campaign in the north-eastern state from March 31 to April 4. The campaign will be launched across 21 districts along the Brahmaputra in its entire stretch from Sadiya to Dhubri.

Science City in Sonepat

Haryana, known as the food bowl of the country along with Punjab, will have a Science City. The state finance department has cleared the project to be set up in Sonepat at a tentative cost of ` 200 crore. The Haryana government has also requested the ministry to consider this as a project of the National Capital Region (NCR) as there is no Science City in NCR and the vicinity.

` 5,637.56 crore for Narmada Yojana

Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh- three of the four partner States in Sardar Sarovar Narmada Yojana- owe total ` 5,637.56 crore to Gujarat government for joint implementation of the scheme. Gujarat govt. has initiated procedure to approach the Attorney General of India to resolve the dispute of payment of money for Resettlement & Rehabilitation of affected families.

Tool to filter out ‘toxic’ comments

Google and Jigsaw have launched a new tool, that uses artificial intelligence to filter ‘toxic’ comments online. The tool has been designed to crack down on online harassment by letting creators and readers identify abusive comments. The Perspective tool reviews comments and scores them based on how similar they are to comments people said were ‘toxic’.

Amnesty faults sedition law

Amnesty International’s State of the World’s Human Rights Report 2016-17 has expressed concern over a range of human rights violations in India. The report slammed the use of legislation such as the Foreign Currency Regulation Act and the sedition law to silence government critics and crack down on civil society organisations.

Cauvery Tribunal gets new head

The govt. has appointed Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre of the Supreme Court as chairman of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. He was nominated for the post by CJI J.S. Khehar. The post fell vacant following the resignation of Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan. Last Dec, the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a single, permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state river water disputes.

Coastal surveillance network project

The government has given its nod to the Phase II of coastal surveillance project to expand the coastal radar surveillance network which will strengthen the 7500 km coastline.
Phase II of coastal surveillance project involves setting up 38 additional radars aimed to give gap less electronic surveillance of Indian coastline. The total cost is ` 800 crore.

India gets 2019 Combined WC for shooting

India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019, a qualifying event for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The National Rifle Association of India’s (NRAI) bid was approved by the International Shooting Sport Federation’s Executive Board in its meeting held in New Delhi. Combined World Cup comprises all the three categories -shotgun, rifle and pistol.

National Biodiversity Congress 2017

The National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 was held in Thiruvanantha-puram, capital of Kerala. NBC is one of the significant biodiversity mega events of the country. It aims to identify practical, evidence-based case studies at the regional level to support the plan of action. The focal theme of 2017 NBC was “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.

Kerala to launch sex offenders registry

24 : The Kerala government will launch a registry of sex offenders, the first of its kind in the country. The registry will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in public domain. The announcements come days after an actress was abducted and sexually assaulted in a moving car while returning from a shooting site in Kochi.

9th BRICS Summit

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC”, before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The 9th BRICS Summit will be held in China’s Xiamen city from September 3-5. The theme of this year’s event is ‘BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future.