Current Affairs – February 2017

February 28: National Science Day

The National Science Day (NSD) i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas (राष्ट्रीय विज्ञान दिवस) is celebrated every year on February 28 in India. The 2017 theme is “Science and Technology for Specially Abled Persons”.

This day marks the epoch-making discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman) on February 28, 1928. This discovery was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.

This day is celebrated as science festival in the entire nation by organising science exhibitions, seminars, workshops, symposiums and many other activities.

Background

The National Science Day was instituted by the Union Government in 1986 based on the demand of National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) forwarded. The first National Science Day was celebrated on 28 February 1987.

What is Raman Effect?

Some part of light beam after passing through a transparent medium gets scattered. This phenomenon of scattering of light is termed as Raman Scattering and the cause of scattering is called the Raman Effect. The wavelength of these scattered rays is different from that of the incident rays of light.

SEBI to tighten algorithm trading rules to minimise instances of flash crashes

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is planning to further tighten the regulations for algorithmic trading to minimise instances of misuse of such systems.

The tight regulations aim to curb the instances of flash crashes that have happened overseas and also in India few times. India is one of the few countries in the world to regulate algorithmic trading.

Flash crash results in extremely rapid decline in the price of one or more commodities or securities caused by algorithmic trading.  It can result in the loss and recovery of billions of dollars in a matter of minutes and seconds.

Many countries and regulators, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) are debating on this issue for many years, but only India had been able to come out with proper regulations.

What is Algorithmic trading?

Algorithmic trading in financial markets refers to transaction orders generated by using advanced mathematical models that involves automated execution of trade.  It uses mathematical models and software codes to make transaction decisions on exchanges and execute them at high speed. This technology-driven trading enables traders to take advantage of any profit making opportunities arising in the market much before a human trader can even spot them. At present, on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), algorithm trades accounts close to 16% of all trades. On the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), it was 8.56% in January 2017.

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