Current Affairs – 28th February 2017

Hello Readers, We bring you another issue of current affairs that covers the important news in Current Affairs Today Section.
Current Affairs help in your preparing yourself for the Competitive Exams in India. UPSCSuccess.com wishes all the readers best of luck. These Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exams.

Indian Affairs

National Science Day was celebrated on 28th February
National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928.
National Science Day is being celebrated every year to widely spread a message about the most Importance of science used in the daily life of the people. To display all the activities, efforts and achievements in the field of science for human welfare. It is the main science function of India
To discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for the development of the science. To give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country. To encourage the people as well as popularize the Science and Technology.
India’s First Integrated Heliport Inaugurated at Rohini in North Delhi 

  • The heliport has a terminal building having capacity of 150 passengers, four hangars with parking capacity of 16 helicopters and nine parking bays.
  • Built by Pawan Hans Limited, a Public Sector Undertaking of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, India’s first heliport has been inaugurated in north Delhi’s Rohini on 28 February2017. Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated the heliport.
  • The heliport has come up at an investment of Rs 100 crore.
  • The heliport has a terminal building having capacity of 150 passengers, four hangars with parking capacity of 16 helicopters and nine parking bays. It also has a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility.
  • The heliport will play an important role in providing various helicopter services ranging from offshore transport, connecting remote & inaccessible Islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep promoting heli-tourism in India.

MEITY to promote digital transactions in place of NITI
The government has shifted the responsibility of promoting digital transactions in the country to the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY) from NITI Aayog.
The central government has already changed the business transaction rules to enable MEITY to promote digital transactions, including digital payments
The source added that the decision has been taken in view of the core competence of MEITY to promote digital means for various transactions.
NITI Aayog focusing on monitoring and suggesting ways to improve various government schemes rather than getting involved with implementation.
Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY) :

  •  Headquarters: Sanchar Bhawan, New Delhi.
  •  Cabinet minister: Ravi Shankar Prasad
  •  Minister of state: P. P. Choudhary

NITI Aayog
The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog aims to build strong States that will come together to build a strong India. To build knowledge systems for the States and the Centre, NITI is pleased to announce the launch of NITI Lectures: Transforming India.
Chairperson: Shri Narendra Modi(link is external)
Vice Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya
Chief Executive Officer: Shri Amitabh Kant
Bihar State Government Presents Rs 1.60 lakh crore Budget for 2017-18
 

The Bihar State finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui presented the Rs 1.60 lakh crore budget for 2017-18
The Bihar State finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui presented the Rs 1.60 lakh crore budget for 2017-18The Bihar State finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui presented the Rs 1.60 lakh crore budget for 2017-18

  • The Bihar State finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui presented the Rs 1.60 lakh crore budget for 2017-18.’
  • A revenue surplus budget of Rs 14555.59 crore has been presented.
  • The state’s fiscal deficit has been estimated at Rs 18,112 crore, which is 2.87 per cent of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) estimated at Rs 632180.00 crore.
  • The estimated revenue receipts of state government have been put at Rs 1,37,158.41 crore in 2017-18 which is Rs 12,568.17 crore more than Rs 1,24,590.24 crore for 2016-17.
  • Education got the highest budgetary allocation of Rs Rs 25251.39 crore against the allocation of Rs 21,897.02 crore in 2016-17, followed by energy which was allocated Rs 10,905.03 crore for 2017-18.
  • Grants-in-aid from central government to the state was estimated at Rs 36,956.00 crore in 2017-18 against Rs 34,142.14 crore in 2016-17.
  • The outstanding public debt is estimated at Rs 1,23,104.09 crore in 2017-18 which is 19.47 per cent of GSDP of Rs 6,32,180 crore.

Allocations under Different Sectors
Education Sector (Highest Allocation): Rs 14,217 Crore
♦ Rural Development: Rs 9,725 Crore
♦ Rural Works: Rs 8,516 Crore
♦ Energy: Rs 6,795 Crore
♦ Social Welfare: Rs 5,949 Crore
♦ Road Construction: Rs 5,703 Crore
♦ Health: 3,567 Crore
♦ Urban Development: Rs 2,734 Crore
Orissa Legislative Assembly Presents State Budget 2017-18
Finance Minister Pradeep Kumar Amat on Monday presented the State Budget for 2017-18 fiscal in the session of Orissa Legislative Assembly to review several new features after changes made in line with the Union Budget such as merger of non-plan and plan expenditure.
This budget has abolished the planned and non-planned expenditures and allocations made as per the schemes and programmes.
Sectors such as agriculture, health, rural electrification, establishment of five new medical colleges, education and tribal development were the most prioritized in the Budget.
Government will present a special agriculture budget with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. Rs 1,06,911 crore out of which, funds will be allocated for completion of the ongoing projects and increase in social sector spending.
Important Allocations

  •  Of the total outlay, the largest outlay of Rs. 18,404 crore was allocated for education and skill developments while an outlay of Rs. 14,930 crore for agriculture.
  • Sectors such as agriculture, health, rural electrification, establishment of five new medical colleges, education and tribal development were the most prioritized in the Budget.
  • The government has allocated Rs. 5000 crore for the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commissionrecommendations.
  • Besides, another Rs. 4000 crore has been allocated for the implementation of the scheme to convertkutcha houses to pucca.
  • Allocations have also been made for the completion of the ongoing projects and increase in social sector spending.
  • The state announced revised pay structure for 4 lakh employees and nearly 3 lakh pensioners for which the State Government will have to depend on market borrowings to meet requirements in all the sectors.

India-Israel Celebrates 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations in New Delhi
India and Israel will hold a series of events in both countries on a variety of subjects to celebrate the silver jubilee of their diplomatic relations, an official release said on Monday.
The commencement of commemoration of 25 years of diplomatic ties External Affairs Ministry Secretary (Economic Relations) Amar Sinha said that it was a very important contemporary relationship. We are constantly trying to make it a more multi-dimensional relationship.
Israel is also a major contributor of defence technology to India. India imports Israeli defence equipment, including missiles, drones, radars and other critical military components.
Israel

  • Capital: Jerusalem
  • Currency: Israeli new shekel
  • President: Reuven Rivlin
  • Prime minister: Benjamin Netanyahu

International Affairs

Georgia Granted Visa-Free Travel to EU by Member State
European Union member states today approved visa-free travel for Georgia, after agreeing safeguards to prevent any upsurge in arrivals from the former Soviet satellite. Georgia, along with much larger Ukraine, has been urging the EU to grant visa-free travel so as to show its citizens that close ties with Europe can deliver concrete benefits. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the decision marked “a historic day for Georgia and its citizens.
The accord, which now requires formal signature by the 28 member states and the European Parliament, Georgian citizens will be able to travel visa-free for 90 days in the EU during any 180-day period.
The accord does not apply to the United Kingdom or Ireland.
European Union
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
Georgia

  • Capital: Tbilisi
  • Currency: Georgian lari

Banking and Finance

RBI Establishes Committee To Review Cyber Threats

The Reserve Bank of India has set up an Inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on Cyber Security to, inter alia, review the threats inherent in the existing/emerging technology; study adoption of various security standards/protocols; interface with stakeholders; and suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience.

The committee will be chaired by RBI Executive Director Meena Hemchandra.

SIDBI, CSFB pact to help MSMEs avail loans at cheaper rate

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and CSFB is aimed at promoting and strengthening the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through a multi-pronged strategy comprising of concessional funding at MCLR of CSFB (presently 9.6 per cent) under refinance from SIDBI.
The MoU also envisages joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for capital expenditure under ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’, popularly known as SMILE, at a concessional rate of 9.60 per cent by SIDBI along with working capital finance from CSFB at competitive rate, would be pursued proactively.
Lakshmi Vilas Bank Signs MoU with Centrum for its HNI Clients
Chennai-based private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) is in the process of a pact with Centrum Group, where the bank will refer its high net worth individuals (HNI) to Centrum for wealth management and family office services.
Centrum will offer its existing portfolio of wealth management services to the bank’s HNI clients.

This is the first time in the country that a private bank is engaging an independent professional wealth management firm for such services.
Centrum Wealth Management is a five-year-old  firm engaged in investment advisory across all asset classes. It also has a Rs 500-crore private equity fund, named ‘Kalpavriksh’.
The firm’s asset under advise (AUA) is more than Rs 10,000 crore and the plan is to scale it up above Rs 50,000 crore by 2021.
The bank has 471 branches and 941 ATMs across 16 states.
Centrum recently tied up with Qatar-based Doha Bank, where both organisations would leverage each other’s networks and scale up respective operations in India and the Gulf countries, in areas such as banking, wealth management and foreign exchange.
American Express Launches ‘Buyer Initiated Payments’ to Avoid Cheque, Draft Payments
  • American Express, a global leader in payment solutions has launched an electronic payment platform linked to corporate card, Buyer Initiated Payments (BIP) on February 27, 2017 to eliminate payment through cheques or drafts.
  • The BIP card will help organizations and their vendors by reducing the processing cost and offer extended payment terms compared to traditional invoice payments.
  • BIP enables companies to increase the Days Payable Outstanding (DPO) while still paying vendors on time.
  • Through the BIP process, vendors will receive the payment as a direct deposit into their bank account along with an electronic notification of the deposit.
  • BIP also ensures that vendors receive and track their payment as per the agreed terms. Traditionally, the exchange of goods and services between organizations and vendors, involved a tedious task of completing financial enquiries and a period of minimum 60 days to clear payments.

OECD Predicts India’s GDP Growth at 7% for 2016-17

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on February 28, 2017 cut its growth projection for India in 2016-17 to 7% from the 7.4% it had projected last year.
The OECD, in its Economic Survey of India 2017 report, forecast a growth rate of 7.3% for 2017-18 and 7.7% for 2018-19.
India has been a star performer in gloomy times for the world economy
The forum emphasized the need to increase the revenue from income taxes to provide quality public services for all, to reduce poverty and promote inclusive
Canara, HSBC and OBC Banks launched iSelect Term Plan
Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance expanded its online product suit with the launch of iSelect term plan meant for family protection.
iSelect term plan provides enhanced protection cover for the family at an affordable premium, the company said in a release.
Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance claims the product to be highly cost effective. It will cover insured person’s spouse as well as family’s future income with an option to automatically increase insurance coverage as per changing life stage needs.
iSelect Term Plan is a pure protection online term plan that provides life insurance cover along with the option to cover against accidental death/ disability.
India and ADB sign $375 million in loans and grants for first phase of 2,500–kilometer long East Coast Economic Corridor

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed here $375 million in loans and grants to develop 800-kilometer Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is the First Phase of a planned 2,500–kilometer long East Coast Economic Corridor (ECEC).
  • The Corridor is expected to spur development on India’s eastern coast in line with the Government of India’s Make in India policy to stimulate manufacturing, and Act East policy to integrate the Indian economy with Asia’s dynamic global production networks.
  • ADB approval of $631 million in loans and grants to develop the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor. ADB’s approved loans comprise a $500 million multi-tranche facility to build key infrastructure in the four main centers along the corridor – Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Amaravati, and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti in the State of Andhra Pradesh.
  • ADB is supporting an industrial corridor development approach that involves creation of efficient transport, and reliable water and power supplies in the industrial clusters along with a skilled workforce, to be backed by industry-friendly policies that improve ease of doing business for integration of local economy with global production networks.
  • The project is an important milestone in the process of developing the corridor and realizing the objectives of Make in India. The project will complement the ongoing efforts of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to enhance industrial growth and create high-quality jobs.
  • The project agreement was signed by Hema Munivenkatappa, Special Secretary to Government (Finance) on behalf of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Along with the ADB loans, agreement was also signed for a $5 million grant from the multi-donor Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund that is managed by ADB to build climate change resilient infrastructure. The Government of India will provide extra funding of $215 million to the $846 million project.

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
 
 

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966 which is headquartered in the Ortigas Center located in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.
ADB provides direct financial assistance, in the form of debt, equity and mezzanine finance to private sector companies, for projects that have clear social benefits beyond the financial rate of return. ADB’s participation is usually limited but it leverages a large amount of funds from commercial sources to finance these projects by holding no more than 25% of any given transaction.

Awards and Recognition

Rangaswamy Becomes First Woman to Be Honored BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award

Rangaswamy Becomes First Woman to Be Honored BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award
Rangaswamy Becomes First Woman to Be Honored BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award

  • As a part of delivering recognition to Women’s in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has for the first time introduced a separate category of Lifetime Achievement Awards for Women in the upcoming BCCI Annual Awards 2016-17.
  • For the award, BCCI has chosen former Indian skipper Shanta Rangaswamy on February 28, 2017 who has become the first receiver of the award under the category.
  • Besides, BCCI has nominated Mr. Rajinder Goel and Mr. Padmakar Shivalkar for the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 to be given at the BCCI Annual Awards.
  • he two non test cricketers were nominated by the Col. C.K. Nayudu Awards Committee of BCCI consisting of Mr. N. Ram, Mr. Ramachandra Guha and Ms. Diana Edulji.
  • All the three winners would be felicitated during the BCCI Annual Awards ceremony to be held inBengaluru on March 8, 2017 which also marks the International Women’s Day.

Radhanagar beach in Andaman Islands Features in Top 10 Beaches of the World
 

Radhanagar beach in Andaman Islands Features in Top 10 Beaches of the World
Radhanagar beach in Andaman Islands Features in Top 10 Beaches of the World

  • The Radhanagar beach on the Havelock Island in the Andamans and Nicobar Islands has featured among the top 10 in the ‘World’s Travellers’ Choice Award-Winning Beaches’ by TripAdvisor. 
  • The Radhanagar beach has secured 8th position in the world and 1st spot in Asia.
  • TripAdvisor honoured a total of 343 beaches. Winners were determined based on the quantity and quality of travelers reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor, gathered over a 12-month period.

 

Appointments & Resigns

Author Neil Gaiman Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador

Author Neil Gaiman Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador
Author Neil Gaiman Named U.N. Goodwill Ambassador

  • UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed author Neil Gaiman as a global Goodwill Ambassador.
  • Author Neil Gaiman has been named a United Nations global goodwill ambassador as he continues efforts to bring attention to the plight of Syrian refugees.
  • Gaiman had been working closely with UNHCR since 2013.  He has championed UNHCR’s work through media interviews and via his social media channels.  As well as travelling to Jordan to meet Syrian refugees, he has supported several fundraising initiatives and UNHCR campaigns and events, including #WithRefugees, the #IBelong campaign to end statelessness, World Refugee Day and the Nansen Refugee Award.

UNHCR :

  • The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a United Nations programme mandated to protect and support refugees .
  • Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland, and it is a member of the United Nations Development Group.
  • The UNHCR has won two Nobel Peace Prizes, once in 1954 and again in 1981.

Acquisitions & Mergers

Ms. D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

Ms. D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad
Ms. D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

 
Ms. D. R. Doley Barman, IPS (JK:86), presently working as Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya, has been appointed as Director, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad vice Ms. Aruna M. Bahuguna, IPS (AP:79) by temporary downgrading the post to ADG level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Ms D. R. Doley Barman would also hold additional charge of the post of Director, NEPA till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA.

Business

GIFT-City partners with Dubai International Financial Centre

GIFT-City partners with Dubai International Financial Centre
GIFT-City partners with Dubai International Financial Centre

 
GIFT City signed a pact with Dubai International Financial Centre for exchanging views and expertise in the fields of banking and financial services as well as regulatory practices.
The partnership will enable both organisations to “share exchange of information on banking, financial service and securities, legislation and regulation, cooperation in the area of training, assistance in organising seminars and conferences on selected issues enhancing mutual development of the centres”.
Features:
It will help in exchange of information on trends in relevant international financial services activities and products, in particular within the FinTech field.
To establish a programme of International Exchange for entities based in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and GIFT enabling them to set up entities in Gujarat/Dubai on mutually agreed terms.
GIFT-City
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT is an under-construction central business district between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in the Indian state of Gujarat.
Cisco, Reliance Jio to build largest all-IP services platform

  • Reliance Jio has announced a collaboration with networking giant Cisco to further expand Jios existing multi-terabit capacity with the first All-IP converged network in India.
  • With this network, Jio will offer a combination of high-speed data, mobile video, VoLTE, digital commerce, media, cloud and payment services, Cisco said in a statement.
  • A result of co-innovation around product and services between the two companies, the Jio All-IP digital platform is built on Cisco’s Open Network Architecture and Cloud Scale Networking technologies featuring IP/MPLS, spanning areas, including data centre, Wi-Fi, security and contact centre solutions.
  • Jio has more than 300,000 km of fibre and built India’s largest cloud data centre to build platforms for applications and vertical solutions.
  • Cisco is building the simplified, automated and virtualised network platform of the future on industry-leading software, systems, silicon and services.
  • This enables service providers, media and web companies worldwide to reduce costs, speed time-to-market, secure their networks and sustain profitable growth.

Environment

ICFRE Approval to Release 20 High-Yielding Varieties of Plant Species

  • Three institutes ofIndian Council of Forestry Research and Education(ICFRE), Dehradun, have developed 20 high-yielding varieties of plant species.The Variety Releasing Committee (VRC) of ICFRE, granted approval for the release of these varieties of plant species
  • Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, has worked, for more than a decade, on ten improved varieties of Melia dubia and three clones of Eucalyptus tereticornis, the timber of which is in high demand in the industry.
  • The released cultivars of Melia, popularly known as Dreake, or Malabar Neem, not only have a high productivity per unit area, with an average of 34.57 cubic metre per hectare per annum, but also have an excellent bole form, which is a desirable characteristic for plywood industry.
  • Similarly, the average productivity of the released varieties of Eucalyptus has been recorded as 19.44 cubic meter per hectare per annum, against the present productivity level of 5-7 cubic meter per hectare per annum. These clones have also been found to be resistant to pink disease and wall gasp.
  • The developed varieties have to go through stringent long field trials and testing before release.

Madras HC orders TN Govt to Enact Law to Eradicate Seemai Karuvelam Trees
The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Monday directed theTamil Nadu government to enact a law with prohibitory and penal clauses within two months to eradicate seemai karuvelam trees (prosopis juliflora).
The seemai karuvelam tree that sucks a lot of water has invaded into water bodies and dry lands of government and private people. Since such trees ultimately affect the agricultural activities, a batch of cases for their eradication was filed before the high court bench.
The court, which had ordered removal of those trees in the thirteen districts that come under its jurisdiction, on February 10 directed to remove those trees in the entire state. Accordingly, the authorities concerned in the districts are taking steps in that regard.
Prosopis Juliflora (Seemai Karuvelam)
♦ Seemai karuvelam trees are an invasive species considered harmful to the environment. They cause environment damage. Its roots are able to grow to a great depth in search of water and lead to depletion of ground water which ultimately affects agricultural activities.

Science and Technology

NASA Plans to Send Robotic Spacecraft to Sun in 2018

NASA Plans to Send Robotic Spacecraft to Sun in 2018
NASA Plans to Send Robotic Spacecraft to Sun in 2018

NASA plans to send its first robotic spacecraft to the Sun next year that is slated to get within six million kilometres of the blazing star to probe its atmosphere.

Humans have sent spacecraft to the Moon, Mars and even distant interstellar space. Now, NASA plans to launch the Solar Probe Plus mission to the Sun which is about 149 million kilometres from the Earth.

This is going to be  first mission to fly to the Sun.

First, the mission will hopefully unveil why the surface of the Sun, called the photosphere, is not as hot as its atmosphere, called the corona.

According to NASA, the surface temperature of the Sun is only about 5,500 degrees Celsius. However, the atmosphere above it is a sizzling two million degrees Celsius. “You would think the farther away you get from a heat source, you would get colder. Why the atmosphere is hotter than the surface is a big puzzle.

The Sun blows a stream of charged particles in all directions at a million miles an hour. But we do not understand how that gets accelerated.

The mission may also ascertain why the Sun occasionally emits high-energy particles that are a danger to unprotected astronauts and spacecraft.NASA has designed a 11.4 centimetres carbon-composite shield, which is designed to withstand temperatures outside the spacecraft of 1,370 degrees Celsius.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

  •  Formed: July 29, 1958
  •  Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
  •  Administrator: Robert M. Lightfoot

Sports

Indian Badminton Duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis Wins Uganda International Series Doubles Title

Indian Badminton Duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis Wins Uganda International Series Doubles Title
Indian Badminton Duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis Wins Uganda International Series Doubles Title

 

  • Top seeded Indian shuttler duo Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis won the Men’s Double title at the 2017 Uganda International Series by defeating Aatish Lubah and Georges Julien Paul of Mauritius, 21-8, 21-14 on February 26, 2017 at MTN Arena Lugogo, Kampala.
  • The Uganda International Badminton Tournament 2017, sanctioned by the Badminton World Federation, was held from 23rd to 26th of February 2017.
  • The duo teamed up at the end of 2015 and since then have won three International Series events in Guatemala, Peru and Botswana.

 

Obituary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.