February, 2018

India got 11 Medals At Strandja Tournament

India has come up with best ever performance at the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Bulgaria.At Sofia, the country ended with a whopping 11 medals – five from men and six from women boxers. Overall, the contingent clinched two gold, three silver and six bronze medals. Vikas Krishan, who claimed a gold medal in 75 kg category, was also adjudged the best boxer of the event

National Science Day- 28th February

National Science Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on 28 February.The theme of NSD-2018 is “Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future”.NSD is celebrated to commemorate the discovery of the ‘Raman Effect’, which led to Sir C.V. Raman winning the Noble Prize. The theme has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation of the scientific issues involved.

EPFO Introduces UAN- Aadhar Linking Facility

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has introduced UAN-Aadhaar linking facility for the convenience of members using EPFO Link in UMANG Mobile App.The facility on e-KYC Portal has further added a new feature to link UAN with Aadhaar online using biometric credentials.For using this facility with UMANG APP, member will have to provide his/her UAN.

2nd Project Of Swajal Yojana launched

Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti launched the Swajal pilot project at Village Bhikampura in Rajasthan.Besides ensuring the availability of clean drinking water to every household round the year, the project would also generate employment. Swajal is a community-owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.

CSIR project to find pollution spots

To warn people of pollution hotspots, the National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies is rolling out a project to install pollution sensors at the Capital’s traffic junctions.The aim is to develop a messaging alert system that will warn people of spikes in pollution in certain localities. NISTADS is the policy arm of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.

CSIR inks MoU with IORA-RCSTT

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has signed a MoU with the Indian Ocean Rim Association’s Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer.The MoU is for designating Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Lucknow as the coordinating centre on medicinal plants. The IORA Centre will establish a database on the important medicinal plants.

SC seeks details of jails with 150% occupancy

The SC has asked the National Legal Services Authority to look into the issue of overcrowding of prisons.A three-judge bench was headed by Justice Madan B Lokur.The Bench also asked an advocate, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, to look into the issue of rehabilitation and welfare of women prisoners as well as their children, including the education of such kids

Moon to get its first mobile phone network

The moon will get its first 4G mobile network next year to allow lunar exploration vehicles to stream high-definition data back to a base station.Vodafone Germany, Nokia, and carmaker Audi said that they were working in collaboration with Berlin-based space exploration scientists. The project is a part of the first privately-funded mission to the Moon.

Gadkari Lays the foundation stone for NTCPWC

Shri Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stone for setting up of a National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts at IIT Chennai.NTCPWC, being set up under the Sagarmala programme will act as a technology arm of the Ministry of Shipping. It will provide engineering and technological inputs and support for Ports, Inland Waterways Authority of India and other institutions.

Noida gets free dispensary for stray animals

A free, 24×7 dispensary for stray animals has been set up in Noida by a non-profitable group called House of Stray Animals.The dispensary, which will be overseen by expert veterinary doctors, will also have a mobile OPD to treat suffering stray animals. An emergency OPD-on-wheels will also be available for animals who have suffered serious injuries in accidents.

Amazon buys video doorbell startup Ring

E-commerce giant Amazon has agreed to buy US-based video doorbell startup Ring, the companies confirmed.According to reports, the deal could be worth more than $1 billion, making it one of the most expensive acquisitions in Amazon’s history. Founded in 2012, the startup makes video doorbells and security cameras that connect to users’ phones or computers.

Federer won Most Decorated Laureus Award

Tennis legend Roger Federer became the most decorated winner in the history of Laureus World Sports Awards after he won twin honors at the 18th edition of the awards ceremony in Monaco.It was his sixth award.American tennis great Serena Williams won the Sportswoman of the Year Award. She is now the most decorated female Laureus Award winner with five Laureus statuettes.

Transport free in Brussels on high pollution

Belgium’s capital Brussels will provide free public transport on days of excessive air pollution under new emergency rules.Speed limits of cars would be reduced by a third and wood fires will be banned unless they are the only source of heating for households. Brussels has also launched an app for citizens to monitor air quality levels.

Jupiter’s icy moon may host life

Jupiter’s moon Europa may host life in an ocean of liquid water under its 10-km-thicker ice crust, suggested Brazilian researchers.The team based their claims on a bacterium that survives deep underwater without sunlight in environments similar to Europa. The bacterium in 2.8-km-deep South African mines was found to synthesise its energy from rock sulphates, formed via ionising radiation.

Govt. sanctions fund to clear pollution: Delhi

The central government has sanctioned ?1,200 crore for schemes to tackle air pollution in Delhi, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has said.He asserted that the city won’t face pollution on account of agriculture residue from neighbouring states this year. He further suggested that “those who are not able to live up to the environment control” will be penalised.

Davis Cup to convert into ‘WC of Tennis’

The Davis Cup, in existence since 1900, may be converted into a ‘World Cup of Tennis’ from next year.The new format will feature 18 teams playing a week-long event at one venue, instead of the existing 16 teams playing across four different months. A 25-year, $3 billion partnership with investment group Kosmos is in place for the new event.

Team India, Proteas donate ` 5.5L

Team India captain Virat Kohli and his Proteas counterpart Faf du Plessis have donated ` 5.5 lakh to the Cape Town Water Crisis on behalf of both the teams for drought relief efforts in Cape Town.This comes days after Cape Town pushed back ‘Day Zero’ to July 9, the day the city is expected to run out of water. The currency of Cape Town is South African Rand.

Karnataka won Vijay Hazare Trophy

Karnataka defeated Saurashtra by 41 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final on Tuesday to win the tournament for the third time.Batting first, Karnataka put up a total of 253/10 driven by Mayank Agarwal’s 90(79), before Saurashtra were bowled out for 212 in 46.3 overs. Agarwal hit 723 runs in eight matches in the tournament, including seven 80+ scores.

Railways to install sanitary pad dispensers

28 : The Railway Ministry said it aims to install sanitary pad dispensers and incinerators at about 200 stations by International Women’s Day on March 8.The move is aimed to benefit Railway employees and passengers from financially weaker sections. The dispensers have already been installed at railway stations in New Delhi and Bhopal.

New record for fastest distance measurements

Germany and France-based researchers have recorded 100 million distance values per second, demonstrating the fastest distance measurement so far.The team studied a bullet travelling at 540 kmph with micrometre accuracy using laser-based LIDAR (light detection and ranging). This technology could be used in autonomous navigation and 3D cameras.

Intermodal stations to come up in 15 cities

National Highways Authority of India has prioritized 15 cities across the country for the development of intermodal stations.Out of these 15 cities, Nagpur & Varanasi have been selected as pilot projects. Intermodal stations are terminal infrastructure which integrates transportation modes like rail, road, inland waterways, etc so that people can move from one mode to another seamlessly.

Nadda rolls out free viral load tests for HIV

Health minister JP Nadda has launched the free Viral Load Tests, which measure the quantity of virus in the body.The move is likely to benefit 12 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in the country. The test is of immense importance to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of patients taking lifelong anti-retroviral therapy.

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein arrives in India

King of Jordan Abdullah-II bin Al-Hussein has arrived in India on a 3 day visit.This will be his second visit to India after his visit along with Queen Rania in 2006. The two sides are expected to sign a number of memorandums of understanding and agreements in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation. India is Jordan’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $1.35 billion.

Former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian Dies

TSR Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary of the Union government passed away due to prolonged illness. Subramanian, a 1961 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service, was the cabinet secretary from August 1, 1996, to March 31, 1998. He also headed several government committees, including those on education and environment.

Modi to address India-Korea Business Summit

PM Modi addressed the 2nd India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi.The summit aims to create framework for an open & action-oriented dialogue b/w top business leaders & govt officials from India & Korea. This year, the theme of the summit is “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade & Investments”. India and Korea are the 3rd & 4th largest economies in Asia.

AIIB approves $1.5 billion of loans to India

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved $1.5 billion in loans to India for infrastructure-related projects in 2018.The funds would be used for investment in India’s energy, roads and urban development projects. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

Baichung Bhutia quits TMC

Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia has announced his resignation from Trinamool Congress.The former striker quit professional football in 2011 and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in 2013 to give politics a shot. In recent times, he went against the party stand on Gorkhaland and has expressed his support for a separate statehood for the region.

Shipping ministry and IIT Madras joins hand

Shipping ministry has set up a centre in a joint initiative with IIT Madras to accelerate indigenous development of technology & patents.It also aims to reduce reliance on costly foreign consultations. The centre, supported by ministry’s flagship Sagarmala Project, will be located at the satellite campus of IIT Madras. It is expected to serve as the technological arm of shipping ministry.

Bangladesh appoint Courtney Walsh as coach

Bangladesh has named former West Indies cricketer Courtney Walsh as the interim coach for upcoming tri-nation Twenty20 series.Walsh, who has been Bangladesh’s bowling coach since 2016, takes over as interim coach from former Zimbabwean cricketer Richard Halsall. Position of Bangladesh’s head coach had been vacant since Oct, when Chandika Hathurusingha quit after three years at the helm.

US to overtake Russia as top oil producer

According to International Energy Agency, U.S. will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2019 at the latest.U.S. crude oil output rose above 10 million barrels per day late last year for the first time since 1970s, overtaking top oil exporter Saudi Arabia. US oil is also increasingly being exported, including to the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets in Asia.

Govt announces reduction in airfare for Haj

The government has announced a significant reduction in airfare for those going on the Haj.The reduction will be applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India. This comes a month after the government abolished subsidies given to those on Haj pilgrimage.

India ranks 47th on Inclusive Internet Index

In a report ‘Inclusive Internet Index’ published by Facebook and EIU, India ranked 47th out of 86 countries when it comes to inclusive Internet and connectivity for all.Sweden stood at first place, followed by Singapore and the US. According to the index, the Internet is empowering, especially to citizens in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Saudi Arabia allows women to join military

Saudi Arabia has for the first time opened applications for women to join its military.The women, however, will not be given combat roles but will work in security. To apply, women will need to fulfil 12 requirements besides obtaining their guardian’s approval. Decision to recruit female soldiers is one of many reforms enhancing women’s rights introduced in recent months by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi military leaders replaced

Saudi King Salman has sacked his military chief and a number of other top commanders in a shakeup apparently aimed at overhauling its Defense Ministry.The changes were made on the recommendation of the minister of defense, who is the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The decisions come as the Saudi-led coalition, chiefly backed by UAE, remains mired in a stalemate in Yemen.

Tie up b/w Tamil Nadu Govt and Microsoft

Govt of Tamil Nadu has signed an agreement with Microsoft to improve integration of technology in teaching & learning in the state.The partnership aims to reform education sector, build tech capacity & enhance digital literacy across all levels. As a part of the agreement, Microsoft will adopt 7 schools identified by govt & train their teachers & students around building 21st century skills

Uttarakhand to host 13th Surya Kiran Exercise

India and Nepal will hold the 13th edition of Surya Kiran joint military exercise in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand in a couple of months.The military exercise will include training on jungle warfare, anti-terrorism combat as well as disaster response activities. The announcement came days after Army chief Bipin Rawat visited Nepal to attend a function to mark the Army Day.

Maldives declined India’s invitation

Maldives has declined India’s invitation to participate in the naval exercise ‘MILAN’.The development comes on the backdrop of an ongoing state of unrest in the country. MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by Indian Navy at Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The exercise assumes importance on the backdrop of an increasing Chinese presence in the IOR.

Centre names 9,491 ‘high risk’ NBFCs

The government has categorised 9,491 non-banking financial companies in the country as “high risk” prone.These NBFCs have been categorised as high risk prone as they had not complied with a stipulated provision of the anti-money laundering law. The list of 9,491 “high risk financial institutions” has been published by Financial Intelligence Unit that functions under Finance Ministry.

Youngest captain in International Cricket

27 : At 19 years of age, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is set to become the youngest captain in the history of international cricket.The World’s No.1 ODI and Twenty20 International bowler, Rashid will lead Afghanistan after regular skipper Asghar Stanikzai was diagnosed with appendicitis. Rashid is also the youngest player to be ranked No.1 in the ICC’s Player Rankings across formats.

Google brings Symptom Search feature to India

Google India has rolled out its feature called “Symptom Search” in India that lets users find quality health information on their smartphones.Google in collaboration with a team of doctors from Apollo Hospitals will add tailor-made information about commonly-searched symptoms in its Search. The project aims to provide quality healthcare information which can be accessed by a billion Indians

CPC clears the decks for third term for Xi

China cleared the decks for President Xi Jinping’s 3rd consecutive term in office, ahead of a crucial session of parliament next month.Communist Party of China proposed that the President and the Vice-President will not be constitutionally restricted to 2 consecutive terms in office.This, in effect, means that Mr. Xi, who is serving his 2nd consecutive 5-year term, can continue beyond 2023

CRPF starts bike ambulance in Bastar

The CRPF has launched a bike ambulance initiative in areas of anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, for providing basic healthcare facilities to those living in remote jungle areas of Bastar region.Medical teams, accompanied by well-armed security personnel ride their motorcycles to help the sick and injured in about 70 villages. The battalion is based in Bijapur.

Navy to host MILAN from March 6 to 13

Indian Navy will host the multi-national MILAN exercise at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands from March 6 to March 13, 2018.MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by the Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. It began in 1995. This year’s theme is ‘Friendship Across the Seas’. It will witness professional exercises and seminars.

States can decide on exempting liquor ban

The Supreme Court gave the State governments the discretion to decide, on facts, whether areas covered by local self-governing bodies or areas proximate to municipal pockets should be exempted from the court’s nationwide prohibition on sale of liquor within 500 metres along the highways.In July, 2017 the court exempted municipal areas from the prohibition.

Tintins may provide Net for all

SpaceX launched its Paz mission, using its workhorse Falcon-9 rocket.CEO Elon Musk had spoken of Starlink, a constellation of satellites that would provide a cheap, high speed, global Internet connection. If successful, (the) Starlink constellation will provide high-speed broadband services around the world. Tintin satellites are launched.

Ranil takes over Law Ministry in reshuffle

In the cabinet reshuffle of Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe took over the key Law and Order Ministry.He replaced his close aide and party colleague Sagala Ratnayaka. Pallewatte Gamaralalage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena is a Sri Lankan politician who is the 7th and current President of Sri Lanka, since 2015.

Lithium ion batteries charge up rural houses

The shift towards lithium ion batteries from the older lead acid batteries has allowed firms like Kaho India Private Ltd to help the Centre achieve its rural electrification target.Kaho India Private Ltd, started in 2012, seeks to provide last-mile energy access through compact solar modules to areas that are so far not connected to the grid. Subhang Jain is the CEO of the company.

Airtel joins global alliance for net in air

Bharti Airtel said it has joined a new global collaboration to bring high-speed and uninterrupted in-flight data connectivity to mobile customers.The global partnership Seamless Alliance, whose other founding members include OneWeb, Airbus, Delta and Sprint, will work towards leveraging satellite technology. It will offer high-speed data connectivity even in the sky.

China elected as FATF Vice President

India congratulated China for being elected Vice President of the Financial Action Task Force.China’s election to the FATF assumes significance as Pakistan is set to be put in the watchdog’s grey list. The FATF, also known as ‘Groupe d’action financière’ is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989 on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering.

Strandja Memorial Tournament

Amit Panghal claimed his second consecutive international gold but MC Mary Kom settled for silver in the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament for men and women in Sofia, Bulgaria.Amit (49kg), who fetched the top honours at last month’s India Open, defeated Morocco’s Said Mordaji. Seema Poonia (+81kg) also claimed silver by defeating Russia’s Anna Ivanova.

PyeongChang Winter Olympics concludes

26 : The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics concluded with a spectacular closing ceremony.In the closing ceremony, the Olympic flag was handed over to Chinese organisers for the next Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.With the 2022 Games, Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the summer and winter editions of the Olympic Games after hosting the Summer Games in 2008.

Modi launches Amma two-wheeler scheme

PM Modi kickstarted the subsidised Amma two-wheeler scheme meant for working women, on the occasion of former Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s 70th birth anniversary.As part of the scheme, every beneficiary in the state of Tamil Nadu will be given 50% of the cost of a two- wheeler or a grant of ?25,000. Each year, one lakh working women would be covered under this scheme.

7th meeting of EPG on Nepal-India relations

7th meeting of Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India relations has begun in Kathmandu. Representatives from Nepal & India will deliberate up on various bilateral issues including Peace & Friendship treaty, trade, transit & border. EPG is a joint mechanism consisting experts & intellectuals from India & Nepal to provide suggestions for updating existing bilateral treaties b/w the two countries

India’s first 4G LTE telecom system unveiled

Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has launched India’s first locally developed 4G/LTE telecom system.The system has been designed and developed by VNL Ltd., keeping in mind requirement for high speed connectivity, particularly in rural areas. These systems offer compact and versatile radio applications and can operate flawlessly even in harsh environment.

Veteran actress Sridevi passes away

Veteran Bollywood actress Sridevi, who had an illustrious career spanning over four decades, passed away in Dubai. She was 55.A versatile actor, Sridevi made her Bollywood debut in 1978 with Solva Sawan. She was known for her performance is some of the iconic films like Mr India, Nagina, Chaalbaaz, Chandni among many others. In 2013, the Government of India awarded Sridevi the Padma Shri.

India presented with ICC Test mace

The International Cricket Council presented the ICC Test Championship Mace to Virat Kohli after the end of the final T20 International against South Africa.Kohli received the ICC Test Championship mace on behalf of Team India for the second consecutive year for being the number one Test team. This is the fourth time that India has been presented with the prestigious mace.

US to shift its embassy to Jerusalem in May

US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May of this year in time to mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence.At first, the embassy will operate out of the US’s current consular premises in Arnona, south Jerusalem. Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December, despite fury from the Palestinians and warnings from Western allies.

UNSC approves Syria ceasefire resolution

United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed a 30-day ceasefire resolution in Syria to allow for humanitarian aid deliveries & medical evacuations.The vote comes in response to the 7 day airstrikes & bombings in the war-torn country that has claimed over 500 lives so far. Russia, an ally of Syria’s govt, wanted changes, while Western diplomats accused Moscow of stalling for time.

8th Indo- Seychelles Army exercise starts

The eighth joint military exercise between the Indian Army and Seychelles People’s Defence Forces started at Mahe Island, Seychelles.The focus of the ongoing exercise is to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in semi-urban environment under the United Nations Charter. The exercise is named “Lamitye” which in the local dialect ‘Creole’, means friendship.

Aruna Reddy makes history

Aruna Budda Reddy created history by becoming the 1st Indian gymnast to win an individual medal at Gymnastics World Cup as she clinched a bronze in women’s vault event.She scored 13.649 average points to finish 3rd & claim the bronze medal. This was Aruna’s first international medal, though she has taken part at World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, Commonwealth Games & Asian Games.

Parupalli Kashyap wins Austrian Open

India’s Parupalli Kashyap overcame Malaysia’s June Wei Cheam in straight games in the men’s singles final to clinch the Austrian Open International Challenge.This is Kashyap’s first international title in over 3 years. Kashyap is the only male player from India to reach the Quarterfinals of men’s singles at 2012 London Olympics. He was also awarded the Arjuna Award by Govt of India in 2012

Institutes to improve ease of doing business

Commerce & industry ministry has appointed 4 institutes to interact with stakeholders and suggest measures to push India’s ranking in ease of doing business index.NICMAR, IIFT, ICSI and ICAI are the four institutes that have been roped in for the exercise. As per the latest World bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, India’s position improved by 30 places to 100th.

DRDO successfully tests flight Rustom-2

25 : DRDO has successfully flew its Rustom 2 at its Aeronautical Test Range at Chalakere in Chitradurga district of Karnataka.A medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle, Rustom 2 or TAPAS-BH-201 has been developed by India on the lines of the American Predator drones. Rustom 2 can conduct sustained surveillance and can carry weapons along with surveillance equipment.

1000 cr development projects for Daman & Diu

Prime Minister Modi has launched the development schemes worth Rs 1,000 crore for Daman and Diu.Modi laid the foundation stones for a slew of projects, including a water treatment plant, a gas pipeline, an electric sub-station, a municipal market and a foot-bridge. He also inaugurated a flight connecting Ahmedabad to coastal town of Diu and a helicopter service connecting Daman and Diu.

India and Canada ink six pacts

India and Canada have signed six agreements, including in the area of nuclear science, energy cooperation and information communication technology.An agreement b/w India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and the Department of Canadian Heritage was also signed for cooperation in sports. An MoU between the two countries for cooperation in higher education was also signed.

RBI asks banks to link SWIFT to core banking

RBI has directed banks to link SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication System platform) with core banking solutions of banks by April 30, 2018.Failure of SWIFT-CBS link has led to Rs 11,400 cr fraud at PNB. SWIFT system promoted in 1973 by banks globally is used to transmit messages relating to cross border financial transactions.

State Bank of India set for UK restructuring

SBI is set for a major restructuring of its business in UK from April.SBI’s UK operations will transform into a subsidiary named State Bank of India UK Limited from April 1. It means that all retail branches of SBI in UK will fall under a new UK-incorporated banking entity instead of their previous status as overseas branches of the Indian entity. SBI operates 7 branches in London.

Nilekani to develop IT infra for ‘Modicare’

Nandan Nilekani will assist the government in developing IT infrastructure for the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which seeks to cover 10-crore families.The IT infrastructure for the healthcare scheme will be of a huge scale as was required for Aadhar. Former UIDAI chairman Nilekani, the brain behind the Aadhaar is also a member of the GST return simplification committee.

Airtel, Huawei conduct India’s first 5G trial

Airtel & Huawei have conducted India’s 1st 5G network trial which took place at Airtel’s Network Experience Centre.User throughput speed of 3Gbps was achieved during the trial, which companies claim is the highest for 3.5GHz band 5G services based on 3rd generation partnership project, are expected to offer enhanced mobile broadband. India plans to roll out 5G services for consumers by 2020

ITBP men to learn Chinese

Indo-Tibetan Border Police has geared up to break the language barrier with their Chinese counterparts by learning Chinese to boost security management skills.25 jawans & officials of ITBP will take up a 1 year certificate course in Chinese language at Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies. Learning Chinese will also help ITBP in their interactions with civilians in the border areas.

Int’l Conference on sustainable Biofuels

An International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels has been organized by Department of Biotechnology & Govt. of India. It will take place in New Delhi.It will bring together experts from Biofuels sector to take stock of current knowledge, share info & best practices & build consensus on the actions most needed to move forward. Sustainable Biofuel is 1 of the 7 Mission Innovation Challenges

Kids aged less than 5 yrs to get blue Aadhaar

24 : UIDAI tweeted that children below the age of five years will receive a blue-coloured ‘Baal Aadhaar’ card.While the Baal Aadhaar will not carry biometric details of the child, it will be updated with the information after the child crosses the age of five. Several schools across Delhi have reportedly made children’s Aadhaar numbers mandatory for admissions.

Paytm Launches Two Insurance Companies

Digital payments startup Paytm has launched two insurance companies, Paytm Life Insurance and Paytm General Insurance.Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CFO Madhur Deora, and Shankar Prasad Nath are the three signatory stakeholders in both the companies. In January this year, Paytm announced that it has set up Paytm Money Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of One97 Communications.

ADB and India Sign $84 Million Loan

The Government of India and Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an $84 million loan for improvement and expansion of water supply in Bhagalpur and Gaya towns in Bihar.The tranche 2 loan is part of the $200 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) for the Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012. The loan will have a 25-year term.

Guwahati organises festival ‘Aadi Mahotsava’

On 23rd February 2018, ‘Aadi Mahotsava’, a tribal festival organized by Assam, began at Gandhi Mandir Indoor stadium, in Guwahati, Assam.The ‘Aadi Mahotsava’ is held for 10 days. It was inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. ‘Aadi Mahotsava’ celebrates the art and culture of tribal communities.

India, Germany sign pact

India signed a MoU with Germany to develop modules for providing urban basic services and housing for smart cities.The MoU would develop and apply concepts for sustainable urban development providing urban basic services and housing in select cities as well as smart cities in India.GIZ would contribute up to 8 million for the project which would run for a period of three years.

Birla’s Idea Payments Bank begins operations

Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from February 22, 2018.In November 2016, Airtel Payments Bank Ltd became the first entity to start operations as Payments Bank. Paytm and Fino Payments Bank are the other two entities that have already launched their operations. India Post Payments Bank is expected to start operations from April 2018.

India, Uzbek region ink pharma pact

Andijan Region of Uzbekistan and Indian Government have inked an agreement.This pact envisages cooperation in the implementation of a program for the production of pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical products and medical equipment in the Andijan region of Uzbekistan.India and Uzbekistan will work together for attracting direct investments of Indian companies and Uzbek investors.

Former Indore mayor Suresh Seth passes away

Senior Congress leader and former Indore Mayor, Suresh Seth, breathed his last following an illness at a local hospital. He was 87.Seth, known for his charismatic and robust personality, was also called as a ‘Lion of Indore’. He aggressively took up people’s issues and cut across party lines to deliver benefit to the common man.

Kunwar Bai passes away

Kunwar Bai, Chattisgarh’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan mascot, passed away after suffering from a long time illness. She was 106 years old.She was felicitated by PM Modi for her work to make her village open defecation free in 2016. She sold her goats for Rs 22,000 and built a toilet at her home with that money. Kunwarbai was made Swachhta Doot by Chattisgarh state government.

44th Khajuraho Dance Festival Held In MP

The 44th edition of Khajuraho Dance Festival 2018 was held at Khajuraho temple, a UNESCO world heritage site in Madhya Pradesh.Khajuraho Dance Festival is an annual cultural festival that highlights the richness of various Indian classical dance styles. The 6-day festival showcased classical dances including Kathak, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam.

Successful Test-Fires ‘Dhanush’ Missile

India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km.This naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal. ‘Dhanush’ missile is is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.

Pakistan to be on terror watchlist

China has voted in favour of putting Pakistan on the global terrorist-financing watchlist of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), removing its earlier objections to the move, according to reports.Pakistan is expected to be placed on the ‘grey list’ from June. The listing could make it harder and more expensive for Pakistan to borrow money from the international debt markets.

US tightens H-1B visa rules

The Donald Trump has just made it more difficult for companies and individuals to get H-1B work visas.Indians and Indian IT companies will feel the impact the most because they are the biggest users of this visa. The H-1B is a visa in the US under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.

Assam To Celebrate ‘Rhino Day’ On Sept 22

In a bid to keep the world famous one-horned rhinoceros of Assam under the global spotlight, Assam Government has decided to celebrate September 22 as ‘Rhino Day’.CM Sarbananda Sonowal made this announcement at the 10th meeting of State Board for Wild Life. The day for approximately 2500 rhino population in the state would be a tribute to the rhinoceros which are the ‘pride of Assam’.

Sirisena to attend solar summit in New Delhi

The International Solar Alliance Founding Conference and Solar Summit is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on 11 March 2018.Around 500 delegates from all over the world are expected to participate in the Conference including around 30 Heads of State/ Government. The ISA aims to mobilize more than US $ 1 trillion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy.

RBI launches Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs

The RBI launched ‘Ombudsman Scheme’ for redressal of complaints against NBFCs.“The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme,” the central bank said. The offices of the NBFC ombudsmen will function at 4 metro centres – Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Mahindra arm, Viking Air ally for UDAN plan

Aerospace Private Limited has signed a MoU with Canada’s Viking Air Ltd. to form a strategic alliance to take advantage of India’s growing regional air connectivity opportunities.Under the MoU, both would support each other’s non-competing aircraft business to boost market expansion. In India, this portfolio can address the much-needed requirements of regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.

Chopra quits as ambassador for Nirav’s brand

Actress Priyanka Chopra’s spokesperson has confirmed that she has quit as the global ambassador of jewellery designer Nirav Modi’s brand following allegations of money laundering against him.The actress had earlier accused him of non-payment of dues for several advertisement campaigns. Nirav Modi is the prime accused in the $1.77 billion (?11,400 crore) scam involving Punjab National Bank.

‘Largest-ever’ sanctions against North Korea

The US announced the largest-ever sanctions on North Korea as claimed by President Donald Trump. The sanctions will target more than 50 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses assisting North Korea in evading sanctions. The US has been imposing sanctions to put pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

1st Indian to be banned by NADA for drug

Athlete Jithin Paul became the first Indian athlete to be banned by the National Anti-Doping Agency for possession of a prohibited substance.NADA has handed Paul a 4-year-ban for possession of a banned substance called ‘Meldonium’.The anti-doping authority also said that Paul had no justification for possession of the substance.

DoT’s plan to spur synergy among 7 PSUs

Government unveiled a strategic plan to enable 7 state-owned companies under the DoT to work closely with an aim of promoting greater operational synergy among them.Plan covers MTNL, BSNL, Indian Telephone Industries, Centre for Development of Telematics, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd., Testing & Certification of Telecom Equipments and BharatNet.

Fliers to Bengaluru can soon use ‘heli taxi’

Thumby Aviation, a heli taxi operator, will start flights next week to ferry air passengers from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) to Electronics City, where companies such as Infosys and Wipro are based.Currently, it takes more than an hour-and-half to reach Electronics City. The heli taxi service will take just 15 minutes.

Manoj Sinha is Telecom Minster.

S. Arabia to invest in entertainment sector. The head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority has said that the kingdom will invest $64 billion ( over ?4 lakh crore) in developing its entertainment sector over the next decade. The investment is part of the Vision 2030 plan, which was unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016. Last year, Saudi lifted a ban on commercial cinemas.

‘Installation’ work at KIA Motors inaugurated

CM Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the ‘framework installation’ work at the KIA Motors site near Penukonda town of the Anantapur district.It will produce the first KIA test car in a year. It’s total cost will be more than Rs. 13,000 crore, would produce 3 lakh cars initially and will eventually be scaled up to 4 lakh cars. Han-Woo Park is the CEO & President of the KIA motors.

Modi to inaugurate first ever TB India summit

India is all set to organise a mega India TB summit from March 13-16.All chief ministers will be invited and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first of its kind event which is aimed at generating sufficient momentum for his vision of a TB free India by 2025. It is five years ahead of the global TB elimination target of 2030.

‘Perceived corruption’ list ranks India at 81

India has been ranked at 81st place out of 180 countries on a ‘Corruption Perception Index’, in a list released by Transparency International.India’s ranking is worse than those of China and Bhutan but better than Pakistan & Bangladesh. India’s score is 40. New Zealand &Denmark topped the list, while Syria, South Sudan & Somalia are at the bottom with scores of 14, 12 & 9 respectively.

Parrikar Presents Rs 17,123-Crore Goa Budget

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar presented in the state assembly Rs. 17,123-crore budget for 2018-19, an increase of 6.84% over the ongoing fiscal.The Budget focuses on education and job creation. The total estimated expenditure on revenue account is Rs 11,795.40 crore, while that on capital account is Rs 4,218.25 crore.

SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket

Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket, which carried two test satellites for its planned global internet broadband service.The rocket also carried Spanish company Hisdesat’s PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit as payload. The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States.

Telangana, Taiwan Sign MoU

The Telangana Government signed an MOU with Taoyuan City of Taiwan for better technology partnership in the state.The agreement was signed after the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018 in Hyderabad. IT Minister K T Rama Rao and principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan signed the agreement with Robert Huang, Director of the Board of Taiwan company at World IT Congress 2018.