Current Affairs Update - 7 to 10 February, 2017



Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 7, 8, 9 and 10 February, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming Syndicate Bank PGDBF, SBI PO Mains and other insurance and bank exams.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 7 to 10 February, 2017
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to set up a separate Enforcement Department. An announcement in this regard was made by the Central Bank in the second week of February 2017
  2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the second week of February 2017 decided to set up a Standing Committee on Cyber Security.
  3. Gujarat in the first week of February 2017 became the first State in the country for establishing a cashless system for distribution of food grains.
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 February 2017 released the Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2016-17. It is the first policy statement post-Union Budget 2017-18. The key announcement under the policy was that the policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) was kept unchanged at 6.25 percent.
  5. The Union Ministry of Finance notified an amendment to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS), 2016.
  6. The technology giant Samsung is soon going to launch its mobile payment wallet ‘Samsung Pay’ in India. The launch is expected to happen in the first half of 2017.
  7. India’s first National Women’s Parliament (NWP) began on 10 February 2017 in Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  8. The Union Government in the second week of February 2017 decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK).
  9. The Union Cabinet on 8 February 2017 approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The programme aims at making 6 crore rural households digitally literate.
  10. Arunachal Pradesh on 7 February 2017 became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution for the state cabinet members.
  11. The Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) meeting of the GICNT partner countries is scheduled to be held from 8-10 February 2017 in New Delhi, the capital city of India.
  12. Andhra Pradesh’s first Smart Police Station started functioning on 6 February 2017 at Nagarampalem in Guntur city.
  13. Hemant Bhargava has been appointed as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India, an official statement said in New Delhi on Friday.
  14. Senior Finance Ministry official Ajay Tyagi was today appointed as chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
  15. Somalia's Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen as new President.
  16. ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term.
  17. The National Deworming Day was observed on 10 February 2017 in India with an aim to tackle worm infections in children.
  18. The Safer Internet Day was celebrated on 7 February 2017 with the theme - Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet.
  19. The Mission 11 million, a football initiative aimed towards taking the game to 12,000 schools in 37 cities across the country was set rolling by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
  20. The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) on 5 January 2017 announced that India will host the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball tournament in July 2017.
  21. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 8 February 2017 released the book titled - Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand.
  22. Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled 'The Golden House' is slated to release in September 2017. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House on 7 February 2017.
  23. India ranked at 43rd position out of 45 countries in the 5th Annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 2017 International IP Index, named as 'The Roots of Innovation', was released on 8 February 2017.
  24. Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum, one of the female members of Dubai’s ruling family, is claimed to have become the first woman commercial pilot, according to media reports.
  25. Britain-based Indian-origin artist, Anish Kapoor was honoured with Israel's 'Genesis prize', popularly known as the Jewish Nobel for his commitment to Jewish values on 6 February 2017.
  26. The US space agency NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory in February 2017 detected a very strange and distinctive X-ray signal from the Milky Way galaxy.
  27. Qatar Airways on 5 February 2017 launched the world's longest scheduled commercial airline route with the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.



Financial and Banking News:


Welspun India Ltd ties-up with Cotton Egypt Association

  • Welspun India Ltd (WIL) on 9 February 2017 entered into a co-operation agreement with Cotton Egypt Association (CEA) to promote and market Egyptian cotton products across the world.
  • Welspun will help the Cotton Egypt Association in creating marketing programmes and execute them using its extensive global network. The agreement will be aimed at boosting Welspun India's Egypt operations by setting up a manufacturing facility for Egyptian Cotton home textile products.
  • Under the agreement, Welspun India Ltd and Cotton Egypt Association will work together to create programmes for promotion of Egyptian Cotton logo in the retail markets across the globe.
  • Welspun India will invest around USD 3 million in a stage wise manner over next few years to support the joint initiatives of both the companies.
  • The Cotton Egypt Association also granted the right to use the Egyptian Cotton logo to Welspun India for five years until 2022.



RBI to set up separate Enforcement Department


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to set up a separate Enforcement Department. An announcement in this regard was made by the Central Bank in the second week of February 2017
  • The department will effectively monitor banks so that they will not indulge in any kind of regulatory violations. The proposed department will become operational on 1 April 2017.
  • It will primarily deal with the penalties imposed on banks for violation of norms. The penalties are determined by the banking and non-banking supervision departments.
  • It will deal with cases of non-compliance with regulations noticed either through the surveillance process or otherwise.


RBI decided to set up Committee on Cyber Security


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the second week of February 2017 decided to set up a Standing Committee on Cyber Security.
  • The primary responsibility of the committee is to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.
  • The committee will also be mandated to suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience in a bid to strengthen cyber security system.
  • The committee will the threats inherent in the existing or emerging technology on an ongoing basis.
  • It will study the ecosystem related to various security standards and protocols in the digital financial world.
  • It will also suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience.


33-members committee constituted for speedy completion of Andhra Pradesh’s Sagarmala Project

  • A committee comprising 33 members has been constituted for the speedy completion of the Sagarmala Project in Andhra Pradesh. The project aims to improve the state’s coastline and inland waterways.
  • The committee will be chaired by the state’s Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • The committee will be responsible for overseeing the entire project.
  • It will bring together all the concerned departments and review their work on a daily basis, in order to ensure timely completion of the project.
  • The committee’s first meeting took place on 8 February 2017 under the leadership of Naidu.
  • At the meeting, Naidu emphasised on the many opportunities that Andhra Pradesh has, as a state with the 2nd largest coastline, to develop a coast-led industrial economy.
  • Naidu further emphasised the importance of the development of inland waterways.
  • He also highlighted the importance of sourcing raw material at a reasonable rate, stating that it is the key for development.


Railways Ministry launches first phase of Station Redevelopment Program

  • Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 8 February 2017 launched the first phase of the Station Redevelopment Program comprising 23 major railway stations on Indian Railways network.
  • Some of these 23 stations will be Chennai Central, Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantonment, Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Kozhikode and Bhopal.
  • The Railways Ministry will collaborate with the Union Ministry of Urban Development to develop these smart stations. 
  • The re-development of 400 A1 and A Category Stations is a non-fare revenue generating programme which will be done on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model through a fair bidding system.
  • In the first phase, 23 stations will be selected and redeveloped for the fullest use where passengers can enjoy so many facilities at one place.
  • These stations will be selected after a detailed feasibility study by the strategic advisor The Boston Consulting Group.


Gujarat becomes first State for establishing cashless system for distribution of food grains


  • Gujarat in the first week of February 2017 became the first State in the country for establishing a cashless system for distribution of food grains.
  • An announcement in this regard was made by the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, who congratulated the Government of Gujarat for this achievement.
  • The Government of Gujarat installed Aadhaar Enabled Payment System in 17250 Fair Price Shops (FPSs), much before the targeted date of 31 March 2017.
  • Under this new system, the beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, 2013 will need to carry only Aadhaar cards for getting their food grains.
  • This will help in establishing the identity of beneficiaries, help in stopping the leakages of grains at shop level and eradicating corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • The Gujarat Government has partnered with common service centers (CSCs), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), by offering 30 odd digital services through the FPSs.
  • This partnership will enable consumers to get his/her rail, air and bus tickets reserved in fair price shops.
  • A beneficiary can also pay his mobile bill, a farmer can deposit crop insurance premium and LIC premium in these centers.


RBI releases Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2017-18


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 February 2017 released the Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2016-17. It is the first policy statement post-Union Budget 2017-18.
  • The key announcement under the policy was that the policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) was kept unchanged at 6.25 percent. This decision was taken on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation.
  • Consequently, all the key monetary policy rates remain the same.
  • Reverse Repo Rate: The Reverse Repo Rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75 percent.
  • Marginal standing facility (MSF) Rate: The MSF rate was also kept unchanged at 6.75 percent.
  • Bank Rate: The Bank Rate also stands at 6.75 percent.

Highlights of 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2017-18
  • The advance estimates of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released in January 2017 placed India’s real Gross Value Addition (GVA) growth at 7.0 per cent for 2017-18.
  • Agriculture and allied activities posted a strong pick-up, benefiting from the normal south-west monsoon, robust expansion in rabi acreage and favourable base effects.
  • In contrast, the industrial sector experienced a sharp deceleration, mainly due to a slowdown in manufacturing and in mining and quarrying.
  • High frequency indicators point to subdued activity in the services sector, particularly automobile sales across all segments, domestic air cargo, railway freight traffic and cement production.


Railway Ministry to approve an ambitious railway project in Andaman and Nicobar

  • The Indian Railway ministry is all set to approve a 240 km-long railway link, first-ever railway route of Andaman and Nicobar Islands that will connect two of its major islands.
  • The ambitious project aims to link Andaman’s capital city Port Blair, which is in the south, with Diglipur located in the north of the islands. It will involve building several bridges and stations along the sea coast.
  • According to Ministry’s internal survey report, the entire project is expected to cost around Rs 2413.68 Cr.
  • It is also estimated to receive a negative rate of return on investment of -9.64 per cent.
  • While the railways only consider a line commercially viable when the rate of return on investment is at least 12 per cent positive, this project is estimated to receive a negative rate of return on investment of -9.64 per cent.


Union Government notified amendment to Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme


  • The Union Ministry of Finance notified an amendment to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS), 2016.
  • The notification was issued by the Union Government on 7 February 2017 in conusltation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
  • The amendment allows declarants to make deposits on one or more occasions in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS), 2016. Before the amendment, the declarants were allowed to deposit in the scheme in only one installment.
  • For the first time, the scheme was proposed by the Union Government under the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Act, 2016.
  • Consequently, the scheme was notified on 16 December 2016 and became operational on the next day.
  • Under the scheme, taxpayers are required to declare their undisclosed income possessed in the form of cash or deposited in banks, post offices or RBI.


Tourism Ministry, J&K Government and NPCC sign MoU for implementation of tourism projects

  • The Union Ministry of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government and two PSUs NPCC & NBCC on 6 February 2017 signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of tourism projects In Jammu & Kashmir.
  • This tripartite MoU was signed by Suman Billa, Joint Secretary under Ministry of Tourism; Shamim Ahmad Wani, Managing Director of J&K Cable Car Corporation; K K Sharma, Executive Director of NPCC and Alok Rastogi, Chief General Manager (BD) of NBCC.
  • The MoU was signed under the Prime Minister's Development Package (Reconstruction Plan) for Jammu and Kashmir that was launched in November 2015.

Here are the details of all proposals included in the Development Package for Tourism:
  • Development of Tourism in the  J&K State (Rs 400 crore for 5 years) – New Projects ( New Initiative) - Rs 2000 crore Proposed Central Assistance
  • Construction of Tourist assets in lieu of damaged/ destroyed assets ( New Initiative) - Rs 100 crore Proposed Central Assistance
  • Conservation of Wular Lake (Existing Projects) - Rs 59.15 crore Proposed Central Assistance
  • 12 Development Authorities, 3 Circuits, Setting up of 50 Tourist villages proposed under PMRP 2004 - Rs 81.85 crore Proposed Central Assistance


Samsung Pay to Launch in India


  • The technology giant Samsung is soon going to launch its mobile payment wallet ‘Samsung Pay’ in India. The launch is expected to happen in the first half of 2017.
  • According to reports, Samsung will be partnering with American Express (Amex) to bring its mobile payment solution to India.
  • The company is also exploring the possibility of partnering with two global financial services companies, Visa and MasterCard.
  • Samsung has previously partnered with these companies for its e-payment solutions in other regions such as with Amex in countries including the United States, Australia and South Korea.
  • Samsung began testing of ‘Samsung Pay’ in India in December 2016.
  • In the first week of February, the company introduced an update in its Galaxy Note 5 smartphone in India that included the Samsung Pay app.


Uber launches UberHIRE in 9 Indian cities

  • Uber launched a new service called UberHire in 9 Indian cities on 6 February 2017. The new category will allow customers to hire a taxi for an entire day, make multiple stops and cover several destinations at one go.
  • With the introduction of the service, the American company has made its first foray into the hourly rental cab market.
  • The time-based taxi service aims to reach out to tourists, senior citizens who need to make trips punctuated with multiple stopovers and business travellers who have multiple meetings in one city.
  • Customers will be able to hold their cabs for up to 12 hours.



Non-financial news – India and states:

National Women's Parliament begins in Andhra Pradesh


  • India’s first National Women’s Parliament (NWP) began on 10 February 2017 in Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The three-day conference, which is the first of its kind, is being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.
  • The theme of the conference is 'Empowering Women - Strengthening Democracy'.
  • The inaugural session was attended by imminent personalities and leaders from across India and beyond including the spiritual Buddhist leader Dalai Lama and Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • According to Assembly Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, over 91 women parliamentarians, 401 legislators, 300 social and corporate sector women leaders from India and abroad are expected to attend the event.
  • Some of the notable leaders include actress Manisha Koirala and Gandhian Ela Bhatt.


Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Senegal in the field of health and medicine

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 February 2017 gave its approval for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of health and medicine.
  • Besides, the cabinet gave its approval for setting up of a  working group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of this MoU.

The main areas of cooperation facilitated by the MoU are -
  • Integrated disease surveillance
  • Medical research
  • Emergency relief
  • Hospital management
  • Drugs and pharmaceutical products/hospital equipments


Union Government to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra facilities


  • The Union Government in the second week of February 2017 decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK).
  • The centres will be opened at different locations of many states for delivering passport related services to public. The states include Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan.
  • In January 2017, the External Affairs Ministry and the Department of Posts announced their decision to utilize the Head Post Offices in the various States as Post Office Passport Seva Kendras. The partnership is aimed at extending passport services on a larger scale and to ensure wider area coverage.
  • Earlier, the project was started on a pilot basis at Mysuru in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat on 25 January 2017.


Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan


  • The Union Cabinet on 8 February 2017 approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The programme aims at making 6 crore rural households digitally literate.
  • The outlay for the project is Rs 2351.38 crore. It targets ushering in digital literacy in rural India by March 2019.
  • The project is in line with the announcement made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget 2016-17.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programmes in the world.
  • It is being initiated under Digital India Programme.
  • Under the programme, 25 lakh candidates will be trained in the Fiscal Year 2016-17; 275 lakh in the Fiscal Year 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the Fiscal Year 2018-19.


Arunachal Pradesh becomes first North-East state to implement e-Cabinet solution


  • Arunachal Pradesh on 7 February 2017 became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution for the state cabinet members.
  • With the e-Cabinet solution, the Arunachal Pradesh Government plans to streamline its decision-making process.
  • The e-Cabinet solution facilitates the cabinet members to access the cabinet notes before the meeting. Moreover, the entire business of the Cabinet can be conducted using the system.
  • Once the state adopts the e-Cabinet system completely, the average length of the cabinet meetings will go down from 4-5 hours to just 30-90 minutes. It will also help the government to eliminate the need to print and deliver thousands of pages of documents.


Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System launched in Mumbai


  • The Vice Admiral and Western Naval Command chief, Girish Luthra inaugurated an Integrated Under Water Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) for the Indian Navy in Mumbai, Maharashtra on 3 February 2017.
  • The IUHDSS is the third of its kind to be installed in India.
  • It has been designed and developed by one of Israel’s leading defence electronics companies, ELTA, a group and subsidiary of Israeli Aerospace Industries.
  • It has been developed for surface and sub-surface surveillance of the harbour.
  • It is a state of the art system that is equipped with advanced sensors, integrated radars and electro-optic cameras as well as sound navigation and ranging systems (SONARs).


3-day global conference on Nuclear Terrorism to begin in New Delhi today

  • The Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) meeting of the GICNT partner countries is scheduled to be held from 8-10 February 2017 in New Delhi, the capital city of India.
  • The 3-day meet will be hosted by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in coordination with the Department of Atomic Energy. It is expected to be attended by over 150 delegates, belonging to various partner countries and international organisations.
  • The conference will be inaugurated by the Foreign Secretary of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
  • The GICNT (Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism) is a voluntary international partnership of 86 nations and five international organisations.
  • The main agenda of the meeting is to strengthen the global capacity to detect, prevent and respond to nuclear terrorism. 


First Smart Police Station Inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh


  • Andhra Pradesh’s first Smart Police Station started functioning on 6 February 2017 at Nagarampalem in Guntur city.
  • The station, which has the look and feel of a corporate-style office, was inaugurated by the state’s Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • The station has plush interiors and exteriors, similar to that of a corporate office.
  • It does not have any boundary walls, instead, it has beautifully landscaped exteriors and glass facade.
  • Along with this, it is fully air-conditioned with all necessary requirements including a dormitory, staff room, mini control room and a reception chamber.


Union Government launches measles-rubella vaccination drive

  • The Union Health Ministry on 5 February 2017 launched the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in Bengaluru.
  • The crusade against the two diseases will start from five states/UTs Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore children.
  • Subsequently, the measles-rubella vaccine campaign will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the currently given two doses of measles vaccine, at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age.


Appointments:

Hemant Bhargava appointed as LIC managing director


  • Hemant Bhargava has been appointed as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India, an official statement said in New Delhi on Friday.
  • Bhargava, who was the zonal manager (I/C) Delhi, has been appointed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet as managing director from the date of notification of his appointment up to the date of his superannuation (July 31, 2019) or until further orders, the statement said.


Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed Sebi chief for five years


  • Senior Finance Ministry official Ajay Tyagi was today appointed as chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
  • He will succeed U K Sinha, whose extended tenure ends on March 1.
  • Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.
  • Tyagi has been appointed as chairman of the markets regulator, an official order said.


Somalia's Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen as new President

  • The Parliament of Somalia elected former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, as the country's new president on 8 February 2017.
  • Farmajo was chosen after two rounds of voting, after which he immediately took the oath of the office. The large consensus for Farmajo led current President Hassan Sheikh, who was elected to the office in 2012, to concede defeat and withdraw himself from the contest.


ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term

  • Karnal Singh, Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED), on 7 February 2017 was given a fixed two-year tenure to head the anti-money laundering investigation agency. The move came following a recent Supreme Court directive.
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) also approved a two-year fixed term for Singh effective from 27 October 2016.
  • In October 2016, the ACC had approved the name of Singh as ED chief until 31 August 2017.
  • Singh, a Union Territories cadre officer, had held the additional charge of the post of ED chief since August 19, 2015, until the time he was elevated as the Director.


Days:

National Deworming Day 2017 observed in India


  • The National Deworming Day was observed on 10 February 2017 in India with an aim to tackle worm infections in children.
  • This year, the National Deworming Day initiative was aimed at reaching approximately 34 crore children in the age group of 1-19 years in government-aided schools, anganwadis, and private schools in 34 states of the country.
  • The day is generally marked by events and awareness programmes that are conducted by Department of School Education and Literacy under Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
  • Moreover, a coordinated effort is also rolled out across the country with tablets and communication material. Reporting forms are also delivered to every school and anganwadi for the deworming program.


Safer Internet Day celebrated on 7 February 2017

  • The Safer Internet Day was celebrated on 7 February 2017 with the theme - Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet.
  • To mark the occasion, various activities were undertaken across the world by the stakeholders of the internet like internet service providers (ISPs), search engine service provider Google and policy makers.
  • In India, Google distributed awards to the winners of the 2nd edition of the Web Rangers initiative. The initiative was launched by the company to promote digital literacy and spread awareness about internet safety.





Sports News:

Mission 11 million initiative launched

  • The Mission 11 million, a football initiative aimed towards taking the game to 12,000 schools in 37 cities across the country was set rolling by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
  • In an event in which the official mascot of the Under-17 World Cup was also launched, the football drive was made to cater to the interest of football loving students with matches on smaller grounds between four or five a side teams.
  • Through the project, school children will be encouraged to play football regularly and help them gain healthy habits, fine tune motor skills, learn life lessons in team work and cultivate sportsman spirit. There will be seminars for teachers, school activities and football festivals till September, as a prelude to the Under-17 World Cup scheduled to be staged in October.


Aashay Verma and Priyanka Prabhakara selected for 2017 All-Star BWB Global Camp


  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on 9 February 2017 announced the names of the top 67 boys and girls for the third annual Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp.
  • The list also shows the names of India youngsters Aashay Verma and Priyanka Prabhakara. Verma is a 17-year old teenager, 7-foot, 1-inch tall and plays center. Prabhakara is a 5-foot, 10-inch tall player and hails from Kerala.
  • The BWB Global Camp will be held from 17 February to 19 February 2017 at the New Orleans Pelicans’ practice facility as part of NBA All-Star 2017.


Sourabh Verma & Rituparna Das won singles titles in National Badminton Championship

  • Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das on 7 February 2017 won the men’s singles and women’s singles titles respectively in the 81st Senior National Badminton Championships tournament in Patna, Bihar.
  • To win the title, the second seed Rituparna defeated the 9th seed Reshma Karthik in straight sets 21-12 21-14 in the final match.
  • In the men’s singles final, Sourabh Verma defeated Lakshya Sen in straight sets 21-13 21-12.
  • In the women's doubles event, the pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant clinched the title by defeating Shikha Gautam and Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-9 21-11.
  • In the men's doubles event, the duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Chirag Shetty clinched the title by defeating Nand Gopal K and Sanyam Shukla 21-17, 16-21 and 21-16.
  • In the mixed doubles category, the duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Maneesha K defeated Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan 21-14 21-18 to claim the title.


India to host 2017 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup

  • The Basketball Federation of India (BFI) on 5 January 2017 announced that India will host the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball tournament in July 2017.
  • The BFI has been allotted to host two international events in 2017, the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship. 
  • This will be the first time since 2009 that India will be hosting a major International Basketball Federation (FIBA) event. 
  • The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will be held from 23 July to 29 July 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship will be held from 22 to 28 October 2017 in Hyderabad, Telangana.


Books & Authors:

Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand authored by K Vijay Kumar


  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 8 February 2017 released the book titled - Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand.
  • The book was written by K Vijay Kumar, Senior Security Adviser in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The book is considered as an authoritative narrative as the author K Vijay Kumar spearheaded the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force (STF) that planned and executed the Veerappan’s encounter in 2004.
  • Highlights of Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand
  • The book is a lucid and incisive account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand.
  • The book narrates various incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life - whether it is his birth in Gopinatham in 1952 or his death in 2004 in a shootout in Padi.


Salman Rushdie's novel 'The Golden House' announced


  • Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled 'The Golden House' is slated to release in September 2017. The announcement was made by Penguin Random House on 7 February 2017.
  • The book will be published in India by Penguin Random House, which acquired the subcontinent rights from the Wylie Agency.
  • Rushdie’s forthcoming novel is a modern-day thriller, which tells a story of a mysteriously wealthy family from Bombay that is desperately seeking to forget the tragedy they left behind as they settled in New York City.


Indexes:

India ranks at 43rd position in 5th Annual International IP Index of USCC

  • India ranked at 43rd position out of 45 countries in the 5th Annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 2017 International IP Index, named as 'The Roots of Innovation', was released on 8 February 2017.
  • India was ranked just above Pakistan and Venezuela. The United States continued to be on the top of the index. The top four positions of the index were fetched by the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and the European Union.
  • According to the report, the 45 countries, analysed in the index, represent nearly 90 per cent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • In 2016, India was placed at 37th position out of 38 countries.


Awards & Honors:

Indian-origin UK sculptor awarded Israel’s Genesis Prize

  • Britain-based Indian-origin artist, Anish Kapoor was honoured with Israel's 'Genesis prize', popularly known as the Jewish Nobel for his commitment to Jewish values on 6 February 2017.
  • The award includes a prize money of $1 million. Kapoor has already announced his decision of using the amount to assist the Syrian refugees and alleviate the refugee crisis.


World:


Dubai gets first woman commercial pilot in royal family


  • Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum, one of the female members of Dubai’s ruling family, is claimed to have become the first woman commercial pilot, according to media reports.
  • A few members of the Al Maktoum family took to Instagram to congratulate the young achiever, expressing their pride and joy on her accomplishment.
  • Other members of the ruling family sent their congratulations on social media to the young royal pilot, with Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum saying: “So proud of you cousin.”
  • Although the veracity of the airline – that she flies for- can not be confirmed, but the uniform looks similar to the one worn by Emirates pilots. It is noteworthy that UAE’s aviation sector boasts of many women, from pilots to engineers. In 2016, Etihad Airways announced that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline are women, including nearly 50 pilots.



Nokia to acquire Comptel Corporation to advance its software strategy

  • Nokia Corporation 9 February 2017 announced to acquire Comptel Corporation to advance its software strategy. The acquisition will also provide service providers with a comprehensive solution to design, deliver, orchestrate and assure communications and digital services across all the networks.
  • Earlier on 8 February 2017, Nokia and Comptel entered into a Transaction Agreement under which Nokia, through its wholly owned subsidiary Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy, undertook voluntary public cash tender offer to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares of Comptel.
  • The price offered for each share in the Tender Offer was EUR 3.04 in cash.
  • The Tender Offer valued Comptel at approximately EUR 347 million on a fully diluted basis.
  • When Comptel will be combined with Nokia's OSS, BSS, analytics and cloud technology, customers will be provided with end-to-end orchestration of complex Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) deployments.


NASA’s Chandra satellite detects distinct X-ray signal

  • The US space agency NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory in February 2017 detected a very strange and distinctive X-ray signal from the Milky Way galaxy. This observation can help the scientists in proving the existence of dark matter in the universe.
  • A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics in the US observed the energy spectrum of X-rays coming out from the mysterious source.
  • Researchers observed extra photons with an energy of about 3500 electron volts in the spectra. While probing the spectrum, researchers concluded that the production of X-ray photons with particular energy level could have been the result of decay of dark matter.


Qatar Airways launches world's longest scheduled commercial airline route

  • Qatar Airways on 5 February 2017 launched the world's longest scheduled commercial airline route with the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The airliner, a 259-seat Boeing 777-200LR, crossed 10 time zones before landing in Auckland early on 6 February 2017 after taking off from Doha, covering a distance of 7848 nautical miles. That is the furthest distance between any two cities linked by direct flights.
  • Emirates previously held the record for its route between Dubai and Auckland.


Obituaries:

Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passes away

  • Renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passed away on 8 February 2017 in London, England. He was 83.
  • Mansfield, along with Paul Lauterbur, had won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Sir Peter Mansfield was an English physicist. He also served as a professor at the University of Nottingham.
  • Born on 9 October 1933 in London, he developed an interest in rocketry at the age of 18.
  • He took up a job with the Rocket Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply in Westcott, Buckinghamshire. Eighteen months later, he was called up for National Service.













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