Current Affairs Daily Digest: February 23-24 2017
The Current Affairs Daily Digest for February 23-24, 2017 with important tid-bits on current affairs
National Current Affairs
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Australia for cooperation in civil aviation
The Union Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security. The MoU will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise with their Australian counterparts and enhance in India’s overall aviation security environment. It will also provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries.
India-UK Dialogue on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance held in New Delhi
India and UK had held detailed deliberations on the legal processes and procedures on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance held in New Delhi. Both sides have agreed to further strengthen their legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests. They also agreed to review further progress in these cases every six month through video conference. The meeting was held pursuant to the decision taken during the official visit of British Prime Minister in November 2016 to India. The decision was taken to expedite pending requests so that fugitives and criminals are not able to escape the law.
AAI, IATA launch SKYREV360 e-billing solution for airport operators
The state-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) along with International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched SKYREV360, an e-billing solution for airport operators across the world. SKYREV360 will help airport operators and air navigation services providers worldwide to overcome the issues of revenue leakages, besides reducing redundancies. It will also help in the reduction in disputes, easy integration with all external systems and curtailing the debt collection period to the minimum. It has been developed for the electronic billing solution for data, e-invoicing and collection of tariff from the airlines and is being used by the AAI for several years now.
Government to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV
The Union Finance Ministry has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV. The applications for the bonds will be accepted from 27th February to t 3rd of March, 2017. These will be sold through banks, designated post offices, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited and recognised stock exchanges. The bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, Trusts, Hindu Undivided Families, Universities and Charitable Institutions. The investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50% per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value. Sovereign Gold Bond scheme was launched in September 2015 with an aim to reduce the demand for physical gold by shifting it to gold bonds.
Government to bring broadband to every village by 2018
Government has announced to bring high-speed broadband connectivity to every village by 2018. Department of Telecom is working to achieve this target under the Universal Services Obligation fund (USOF). In 2017-18 Union Budget speech, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that Government will allocate Rs. 10,000 crore to expand the Bharat Net project in 2017-18 for high-speed broadband. Bharat Net aims to cover a total of 2.5 lakh village panchayats and is funded under the USOF. It was rebranded from the earlier National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) project in April 2015. USOF was set up in 2012 to execute various digital infrastructure projects for providing telecom services in rural areas at subsidised rates. The money for this fund comes through a Universal Access Levy charged from the telecom operators as a percentage of various licenses fees paid by them.
Government announces compensation fund for victim children of sexual crimes
Union Women and Child Development Ministry has announced setting up of a compensation fund to provide financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes under POCSO Act. The money for this fund will be drawn from Nirbhaya Fund. Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act was formulated in 2012 to address sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children. At present different states have different victim compensation schemes, many cover rape but not sexual offences against children. States like Maharashtra, Odisha and Delhi have amended their scheme to include POCSO cases. Nirbhaya Fund with corpus of Rs. 1000 crores was announced by governmnent for empowerment, safety and security of women and girl children.
States Current Affairs
Microsoft for first time to deploy Azure Stack in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh Government has signed a MoU with technology giant Microsoft to utilise Microsoft Azure Stack for its state data centre. Under the MoU, Microsoft Azure Stack will be used to migrate live applications currently hosted in Hyderabad State Data Centre (SDC) to Vishakhapatnam (Vizag) data centre. The Microsoft has tested its Azure Stack in its lab but it has not yet been physically delivered or commercially used anywhere in the world. This will be for the first time in the world, Microsoft doing proof of concept (POC) with Government of Andhra Pradesh to prove capability of Azure Stack.
Andhra Pradesh, Visa sign MoU to make Vishakhapatnam India’s first less cash city
Global payments network Visa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Government to transform Vishakhapatnam into India’s first ‘less cash’ city. Under this agreement, an initiative has been designed to provide foundation for the city to emerge as India’s ‘Fintech Valley’. To achieve the goal, Visa will focus on driving payments digitisation and help to build the talent pool required in city organisations and in academia on emerging technologies like blockchain. It will also provide support to FinTech start-ups by providing access to Visa’s APIs by providing subject matter expertise and participating in boot camps and hackathons.
Kerala to become first state to launch first sex offenders registry
The Kerala government will launch a registry of sex offenders. It will be the first of its kind registry in the country. It will contain all identification details of sex offenders and will be kept in public domain. Besides, Government will also set up a comprehensive victim relief fund to provide interim relief for victims of sex crimes, both children and adults.
International Current Affairs
BRICS summit’s 1st Sherpas Meeting held in China
The 9th BRICS Summit’s first Sherpas Meeting was held in Nanjing, the capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province. The theme of meeting was ‘BRICS: Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future’. The two-day meeting saw participation of more than 100 participants, including coordinators from all sides, foreign diplomats, and representatives from the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). It discussed priority areas of political affairs, economy and culture for BRICS cooperation, especially in the areas. The Sherpas Meeting is considered as a major channel to push forward BRICS cooperation and aimed at political preparation for the leaders’ meeting for the 9th BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, China.
Pakistan launches nationwide military operation Radd-ul-Fasaad to eliminate terrorists
Pakistan army has launched nationwide military operation named ‘Radd-ul-Fasaad’ to eliminate menace of terrorism and consolidate gains of its counter-terrorism operations. The operation aims include the elimination of the residual and latent threat of terrorism, consolidating gains of operations made so far and ensuring the security of Pakistan’s borders. Pakistan Air Force, Civil Armed Forces, Pakistan Navy as well as other security and law enforcement agencies will actively participate and support the efforts of the Pakistan Army. It will also conduct broad spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in continuation of ongoing operations across the country and focus on more effective border security management.
Persons in News
Nobel-winning economist Kenneth J. Arrow passes away
Nobel-winning economist and mathematician Kenneth J. Arrow passed away in Palo Alto, in the San Francisco Bay Area in US. He was 95. He was best known laying down foundation of modern social choice theory. He had written Social Choice and Individual Values also known Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem (General Possibility Theorem). At the age of 51, he was the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize in economic science for his mathematical work on general equilibrium theory. He won it jointly with John Hicks.
Cressida Dick appointed as Scotland Yard’s first female top cop
Cressida Dick (56) was named police commissioner London’s Metropolitan Police Service, better known as Scotland Yard. With this, she became the first female police commissioner in organization’s 188-year history. Dick is a former assistant commissioner of the Scotland Yard and succeeds Bernard Hogan-Howe. Scotland Yard is Britain’s oldest and biggest police force.
Sports Current Affais
1st Gramin Khel Mahotsav to be held in Delhi
India’s first Gramin Khel Mahotsav will be held in New Delhi from 25th to 31st March 2017. The games will be held in five sports disciplines Athletics, Volley Ball, Wrestling, Kabaddi and Kho-Kho. This festival will help participation of rural youth in large numbers in popular sports and encourage them to achieve excellence and adopt healthy life style. These games are intended to act as a catalyst to promote sports in rural areas across the country and will be replicated in other States/UTs as well.