Current Affairs Daily Digest: February 18, 2017

The Current Affairs Daily Digest for February 18, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs

National Current Affairs

Aadhaar mandatory for University students availing scholarship: Government

Union Human Resource Development Ministry has made Aadhaar mandatory for students to avail benefit under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme for College and University. This moves aims to bring transparency and enable beneficiaries get entitlements directly to them in a convenient and seamless manner. Besides, single Aadhaar proof will also obviate the need for producing multiple documents to prove identity. Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique number linked with an individual’s demographic and biometric information, which serves as an authentication tool throughout India.

Science Express train flagged off to create climate change awareness

Science Express Climate Action Special train was flagged off to spread awareness about climate change across the country. It is collaborative efforts of ministries of Railways, Environment and Science and Technology. The 16-coach train will be on a seven-month journey that will cover 68 stations across the country. The eight coaches of train are devoted to information, caste studies and materials related to various aspects of climate change. It will also showcase the underlying science, impacts, mitigation solutions, adaption activities and policy approaches.

NRAI gets highest WHO ratings for vaccine regulations

India’s vaccine regulatory body NRAI (National Regulatory Authority of India) was given the maximum ratings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for vaccine regulations. The ratings were given by WHO after completing the assessment of the status of the NRAI system against WHO NRA Global Benchmarking Tool and measured the maturity of the system in India. Read more

Banking, Business & Economy Current Affairs

SIB wins award for tech security practices

South Indian Bank (SIB) was awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS). The certification process involved an extensive audit, conducted by British Standards Institution (BSI) against the criteria set out by the ISO 27001:2013 standards on various domains of IT functions. The award demonstrates SIB’s total commitment to benchmarking technology framework and processes with international standards and commitment to long term vision for security best practices. SIB already has received ISO 9001 Quality Management certification for its Credit Department, Personnel Department and Data Centre. ISMS is set of policies and procedures for systematically managing an organization’s sensitive data. Its goal is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively by limiting the impact of a security breach.

Canara Bank inks MoU with HRD Ministry to start HEFA

Canara Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to operationalise the Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA). It will allow MHRD and Canara Bank to jointly promote HEFA with an authorised capital of Rs. 2,000 crore. HEFA is a special purpose vehicle that aims to give a major push for the creation of high quality infrastructure and capital assets in premier educational institutions. It will leverage equity to raise up to Rs. 20,000 crore for funding infrastructure and development projects for setting up world class Labs in IITs/IIMs/NITs and such other institutions. It will also mobilise CSR funds from corporates/PSUs which will in turn be released for promoting research and innovation in these institutions on a grant basis. Read more: HEFA

Airtel Payments Bank and Mastercard launches India’s first online debit card

Airtel Payments Bank and Mastercard, a leading global payments and technology firm have launched India’s first online debit card along with a prepaid card, both accessible via the Myairtel App. The online debit card will enable customers of Airtel Payments Bank to make digital payments at over 100,000 online merchants. Mastercard also has agreed to provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank. The platform will enable Airtel Payment Bank to provide various payment services like switching, card management along with support for reconciliation and dispute management processes. Airtel was first to launch payment bank operations in November 2016 by launching pilot programme in Rajasthan.

States Current Affairs

Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami wins trust vote

New chief minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswamy has won the trust vote, after 122 MLAs voted in his favour in the Assembly. The required number to win the vote was 117. Eleven MLAs had voted against Palaniswamy and one seat was vacant in the Assembly. Earlier, after a prolonged political crisis due to power struggle within the ruling AIADMK, state Governor Vidyasagar Rao had invited Palaniswamy, a VK Sasikala loyalist to form the Government. Earlier he was sworn in and was given 15 days by the Governor to prove his majority.

209 MoUs sign between different companies in Momentum Jharkhand

Around 209 MoUs were signed between different companies at the Momentum Jharkhand, a two-day global investors summit held in Ranchi, state capital. Due to these MoUs, investment worth 3 lakhs, 39 thousands and 87 crores rupees will come in the state. These investments will create direct job for two lakhs nine thousands and 176 people while indirectly create about four lakhs employment opportunities. Out of total 209, the maximum numbers of MoUs were signed in mining sector which is 121. It was followed by IT and e-governance, with 30 MoUs while Urban development and housing with 17 MoUs.

Mil Banche programme held in all Government schools in Madhya Pradesh

Mil Banche (Let read together) programme was held in all the primary and middle government schools in Madhya Pradesh. Under this programme, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his minister colleagues, public representatives and other dignitaries took classes in these schools to motivate children. Besides them, district administrators, government officials, college students, businessmen, media persons, doctors, engineers, sports persons also took part. They read out portion of Hindi book of their choice. They also motivated children to read other interested books along with textbooks.

Environment, Science & Technology Current Affairs

Maharashtra Government approves cloud seeding project for 2017 monsoon

Maharashtra Government has approved Rs. 250 crore Cloud Seeding Programme during 2017 monsoon season to produce sufficient rain. Under this programme, weather scientists using aircrafts will spray chemicals (silver iodide) over clouds clouds hovering above Solapur district, a rain shadow region of Western Ghats in the state. Read more

Scientists develop high-quality graphene from soybean

Scientists from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have made world’s strongest material graphene commercially more viable by using soybean. They have developed a novel “GraphAir technology” which transforms soybean oil, a renewable, natural material into graphene films in a single step. Read more

ISRO successfully tests largest cryogenic engine for GSLV Mark III rocket

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully ground tested India’s largest indigenously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage engine for GSLV Mark III. It was tested for full 10 minutes at ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Complex (ILPC) at Mahendragiri in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. Read more

International Current Affairs

Pakistan’s Senate passes bill to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in country

Pakistan’s Senate (upper house) has unanimously passed landmark The Hindu Marriage Bill 2017 to regulate marriages of minority Hindus in the country. It is first personal law for Pakistani Hindus, applicable in Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The bill is deals with marriage, registration of marriage, separation and remarriage, sets minimum legal age of marriage at 18 years for both boys and girls in the minority Hindu community. The bill will help Hindu women get documentary proof of their marriage.

Defence Current Affairs

Indian Navy’s INSV Tarini inducted

Indian Navy’s second ocean-going sailboat INSV Tarini was inducted at the INS Mandovi Boat Pool on Saturday in Goa. INSV Tarini is a sloop built by Divar-based Aquarius Shipyard.  It is slated to be the platform for the Indian Navy’s first Indian all-women circumnavigation of the globe expedition. Read more

Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH commissioned

Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS AYUSH was commissioned at Kochi, Kerala by Vice Admiral AR Karwe, Flag Officer Commanding-in- Chief, Southern Naval Command. ICGS AYUSH is the 20th and the last in the series of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) built by Cochin Shipyard Ltd. Read more

Raytheon, TASL to make Stinger missile parts in India

US based defence technology and research firm Raytheon Company has signed MoU with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons to co-produce Stinger air defence missile components in India. Stinger missile has both air-to-air and surface-to-air applications against a variety of airborne targets. In 2016, India was one of three international customers of Raytheon to order Stinger missiles.  These missiles will be equipped in India’s AH-64 Apache helicopters fleet.

Persons in News

Former MP Jambuvantrao Dhote passes away

Former MP Jambuvantrao Dhote passed away in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra due to heart attack. He was 83. He was known for his demands of a separate state for Vidarbha. He was famously known as the lion of Vidarbha, due to his active participation in various movements for separate Vidarbha and farmers and aggressive speeches. He had won his first election to Lok Sabha in 1971 from Nagpur as a Forward Bloc nominee. Later in 1980, he joined Congress and won the Nagpur. After leaving Congress he had founded Vidarbha Janta Congress party in 2002. He was elected to Maharashtra Assembly five times.

Lata Mangeshkar honoured with 2017 Legendary Award

Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar was honoured with the ‘Legendary Award’ 2017 by Brand Laureate. She was bestowed with this award for her immense contribution to Hindi film music. The Brand Laureate Awards (including Legendary Award) recognise world-class achievement in branding amongst individuals and companies. In 2012, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was honoured with the Legendary Award for his unmatched contribution to Indian Cinema. Some of the famous personalities given this award include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus, Indian businessman Ratan Tata, Facebook CEO Marck Zuckerburg, late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and F1 racer Michael Schumacher.

Events and Observances

South Asian Speakers Summit held in Indore

The two-day South Asian Speakers Summit was held at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. It was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan. It was attended by President of Inter-Parliamentary Union Saber Chowdhury, Speakers of National Assemblies of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lankan, and Nepal.  The speakers discussed ways for achieving sustainable goals, including poverty, development, environment and gender concerns in South Asia, the home to over 25% of the world population.

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