Current Affairs Daily Digest: February 11, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for February 11, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs.

National Current Affairs

2nd edition of Hunar Haat inaugurated in New Delhi

The second edition of the Hunar Haat was inaugurated in New Delhi to encourage, promote and provide national and international market to master artisans and craftsmen belonging to minority communities. The theme of the event is ‘Crafts Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam’. It will showcase crafts and traditional cuisines brought from different parts of the country. Around 100 artisans and 30 culinary experts from about 24 states/UTs are participating in it. Read more: First edition

SC extends ban on firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR

The Supreme Court has extended its November 2016 ban on the sale and stockpiling of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR despite pleas made by traders to modify the order. The SC Bench refused a suggestion by traders to allow them to sell their existing stock outside Delhi-NCR. It has further directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare an inventory of existing firecrackers with traders and suggest measures for their disposal. In its November 2016 order, SC had had sent a clear message that religious and wedding celebrations took second place to the basic fundamental right to breathe clean air (enshrined in Article 21). The ban was imposed on the basis of a petition filed in 2015 by three Delhi children immediately after Diwali. The petition had mentioned that 40% children in Delhi suffered from respiratory diseases due to air pollution. Read more

Government constitutes inter-departmental task force to crack down on benami firms

The Union Government has constituted inter-departmental task force comprising members of various regulatory Ministries and enforcement agencies to crack down on benami firms. It is first major post-demonetisation move undertaken by Government for unearthing black money from shell companies used for large-scale money laundering and tax evasion. Read more

International Current Affairs

US, Japan vow to strengthen defence, strategic ties

United States and Japan have vowed to work together to strengthen their relationship in defence, strategic ties and agreed to make their bilateral trade more fair. Decision in this regard was taken after talks between US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington. Both leaders also announced a three-pronged approach of mutually-reinforcing monetary, fiscal, and structural policies to strengthen domestic and global economic demand. They also discussed opportunities and challenges faced by their economies. They also agreed need to promote inclusive growth and prosperity in their countries, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. They also affirmed the commitment of the US and Japan to the realignment of US forces in Japan, in order to ensure the long-term, sustainable presence of US forces. The US army maintains a significant presence on the island of Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, a key security lynchpin in the vast region.

Turkey’s President approves referendum on constitution reforms

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved bill on holding a national referendum on April 16, 2017 on constitutional reforms on replacing its parliamentary system with the stronger presidency. The reform envisions granting the President’s office (currently a largely ceremonial position) the power to appoint government ministers and senior officials, declare states of emergency, dissolve parliament, issue decrees and appoint half of the members in highest judicial body of the country. The proposed constitutional reform will mark one of the biggest changes in Turkey’s country’s system of governance since the modern republic was founded after fall of Ottoman Empire in 1920.

Banking, Business & Economy

Industrial production contracts 0.4% in December 2016

IIP NovIndia’s factory output, measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted to 0.4% in December 2016 due to a sharp decline in production of consumer goods. It confirms demonetisation of high value currency notes led contraction in demand. The decline is largely due to consumer goods driven 2% contraction in manufacturing, the largest component (constitutes around three-fourth) of the IIP. Electricity generation was up 6.3% while mining output rose 5.2%. Besides, lack of cash has dented demand for consumer goods, which spilled over to 6.8% decline in production. In November 2016, the index of industrial production (IIP) had grown to record 5.7%. The cumulative growth of the country’s factory output for the April-December period was 0.3%, much lower as compared to the cumulative growth of 3.2% during the corresponding period in 2015. Read more: November 2016 IIP

Hindustan Motors sells Ambassador car brand to Peugeot

The C K Birla Group-owned Hindustan Motors (HM) has sold Ambassador, the iconic Indian car brand to French carmaker Peugeot. It has formalised the deal for Rs 80 crore. The Ambassador brand was introduced in 1958 when HM launched the Morris Oxford series II (Landmaster) in a new avatar with minor changes. The Once the Ambassador cars were go-to vehicle of ministers and bureaucrats. The production of these cars was stopped around in 2014 due to weak demand and lack of funds.

India ranks 43rd out of 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index

India ranked low 43rd among the surveyed 45 nations in 2017 International Intellectual Property Index (IIPI). In this edition, India is just above Pakistan (44th) and Venezuela (45th). The fifth annual index was released by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre (GIPC) in its report titled ‘The Roots of Innovation’. Read more

Defence Current Affairs

AAD interceptor missile successfully test-fired

Advanced Air Defence (AAD) interceptor missile dubbed as Ashwin was successfully test-fired from launching complex-IV of Dhamara Abdul Kalam defence base off Odisha coast. The test assed missile’s killing capability by intercepting a target, mimicking an incoming enemy missile in mid-air. The success of test has boosted India’s position in the exclusive club of AAD countries United States, Russia and Israel. Read more

Pakistan’s naval exercise Aman 2017 begins in Karachi

The Pakistan Navy has kicked of its biannually-held multinational AMAN 2017 naval exercise in Karachi, Pakistan. 37 countries are participating in the international event. Aman-17 is the fifth edition such exercise which Pakistan has been holding biannually since 2007. Previous exercises were held in 2007, 2009, 20011, and 2013, and 2016 respectively. Read more

Government to set up Defence Procurement Organisation

The Union Government is planning to set up a Defence Procurement Organisation (DPO), new procurement body to integrate and streamline the long and arduous process of defence acquisitions. The DPO will be a vertical under the Union Defence Ministry. It will simplify the defence purchase procedure by integrating procurement processes. Read more

Sports Current Affairs

Kheleao: official mascot of FIFA U-17 World Cup unveiled

The official mascot ‘Kheleao’ of FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament to be hosted in India was unveiled at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. It was unveiled by Minister Vijay Goel and All India Football Federation President Praful Patel. FIFA Under-17 World Cup will be hosted by India from October 6 to 28, 2017. Kheleao, a clouded leopard is an endangered wild cat whose habitat extends from the Himalayan foothills to mainland Southeast Asia.

Days and Events

February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was observed on February 11 to recognize the achievements of women in science and inspire and engage women and girls in science. This year, the theme of the day was “Gender, Science and Sustainable Development: The Impact of Media”. It seeks to highlight role played by media in empowering women and achieving gender equality. This day was instituted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2016. The main aim of the day is to achieve full and equal access and participation of women and girls in science to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

February 10: National Deworming Day

The National Deworming Day is observed every year on February 10 with main objective to combat parasitic worm infections among preschool and school-age children across India. This year it is third edition of the observance of this day after it was launched in 2015 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). Read more

Persons in News

Sudarsan Pattnaik creates Guinness World Record by creating 48.8 feet tall sand castle

The Guinness World Record has recognised sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik’s 48.8 feet (14.84 metre) tall sand castle at Puri beach in Odisha as the tallest sand castle in the world. The record-breaking sculpture was built in four days with a message of world peace. It featured sculptures of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautama Buddha and Nelson Mandela. It broke previous record held by American artist Ted Siebert who had completed his art of 45.10 feet (13.97 metre) in seven days.

Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed as SEBI Chairman

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior bureaucrat Ajay Tyagi (58) as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Mr. Tyagi will have tenure of 5 years or till the age of 65 years or until further orders. He will succeed UK Sinha whose term ends on March 1, 2017. Read more

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