CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Cabinet doubles guarantee to banks for market intervention in purchase of pulses, oilseeds
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved extension of Government Guarantee provided to lender Banks for providing credit limit to the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) to Rs 19,000 crore from Rs 9,500 crore for undertaking procurement operation of pulses and oilseeds under Price Support Scheme (PSS).
- It has also cleared extension of Rs 45 crore credit limits to Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC) for meeting their existing liability and settlement of claims.
- The Government Guarantees will be provided for a period of five years.
Cabinet approves continuation of PMEGP beyond 12th Plan for 3 years:
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) beyond 12th Plan for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20 with a total outlay of Rs 5,500 crore.
- Scheme will create sustainable estimated employment opportunities for 15 lakh persons in three financial years.
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is the nodal implementation agency at the national level.
Cabinet approves Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018:
- The Union Cabinet has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament.
- Human Trafficking is third largest organized crime violating basic human rights. At present there is no specific law to deal with this crime.
- The bill addresses the issue of human trafficking from point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE
Chilika Lake Is The Largest Habitat Of Irrawaddy Dolphins Globally:
- The Chilika Lake in Odisha has emerged as the single largest habitat of Irrawaddy dolphins in the world with the spotting of 155 such animals, according to the Chilika Development Authority (CDA).
- The first ever ‘Annual Monitoring’ was conducted by the CDA to count the number of the marine mammals and to study the hydrological impacts of removal of pen culture (locally known as gherries).
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1st Mega Food Park Inaugurated In Maharashtra:
- The first Mega Food Park in the state of Maharashtra Satara Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. at Village Degaon, District Satara was inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries.
- This is the 10th Mega Food Park being operationalized in the country and the 8th operationalized during the tenure of the present government. Satara Mega Food Park has been set up in 64 acres of land at a cost of Rs. 139.30 crore.
India’s first Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre launched in Chandigarh
- India’s first Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre (MSDC) was launched at Chandigarh Airport’s old terminal.
- The Centre is a CSR initiative of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and will initially train 2,360 students free of cost in three years.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd and Celebrus Capital Ltd signs For Online Trading Services:
- Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd and Celebrus Capital Ltd have announced a new partnership to offer CSB’s customers online trading and Demat services.
- With this partnership, CSB’s customers can open a Celebrus trading account free of cost and also enjoy preferred rates on brokerage charges/ AMC fees on the Demat account.
- The partnership will enable all CSB clients to open free Demat accounts through the Celebrus platform with in-depth research, allowing them to take wise investment decisions.
RBI Increases Currency Derivative Trade Limit To USD 100 Million:
- The Reserve Bank of India raised the exposure limit under Exchange Traded Currency Derivatives (ETCD) trading for residents and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to USD 100 million across all currency pairs involving the Indian rupee.
- The RBI’s decision to raise the limit will help entities engaged in Forex transactions to maintain their currency risks in a better manner.
- Earlier, the RBI had imposed a limit of USD 15 million for USD-INR and USD 5 million for other currency pairs of Indian rupee with Euro, Japanese Yen and British Pound.
9.9% Growth In Last year Foreign Exchange Earnings:
- Ministry of Tourism estimates monthly Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) through Tourism in India, both in Rupee and Dollar terms based on the credit data of Travel Head from Balance of Payments of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- FEEs during the month of January 2018 were Rs. 17,725 crore as compared to Rs. 16,135 crore in January 2017.
- The growth rate in FEEs in rupee terms in January 2018 over January 2017 was 9.9%, compared to the growth of 18.0% in January 2017 over January 2016.
India To Grow 7.6% In 2018: Moody’s
- Moody’s Investors Service estimated that India will grow 7.6% in the calendar year 2018 and 7.5% in 2019, amid signs of economic recovery from the impact of demonetisation and GST.
- In its global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, Moody’s stated the Budget for fiscal year beginning April 1 (2018-19) includes some measures to stabilise rural economy that was disproportionately hit by the scrapping of high denomination 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
IndusInd Bank And Ripple Tie-Up For Cross-Border Remittances:
- IndusInd Bank announced its partnership with Ripple (the enterprise blockchain solution for Global Payments) to facilitate payments into and out of India.
- With this affiliation, Ripple Net can now provide instant access in emerging markets such as India, Brazil and China.
- In 2017, India saw a total of $65 billion move into the country and IndusInd Bank which has significant interests in cross-border remittances, plans to harness the power of Blockchain technology for facilitating global payments.
RBI raises ETCD trading limit to $100 million:
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised exposure limit under exchange traded currency derivatives (ETCD) trading for residents and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to $100 million across all currency pairs involving Indian rupee.
- This decision aims to help entities engaged in Forex transactions to maintain their currency risks in better manner.
- Earlier, the limit was of $15 million for US Dollar-Rupee and $5 million for other currency pairs of Indian rupee with Japanese Yen, Euro and British Pound.
AIIB approves $1.5 billion in loans to India for infrastructure projects:
- China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved $1.5 billion in loans to India for infrastructure-related projects in 2018.
- The funds will be used for investment in India’s energy, roads and urban development projects.
- It also includes $200 million commitment to India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to spend on roads, housing and urban development. AIIB will let the Indian government decide how to use that money.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SCHEMES AND PROGRAMS
27th Technological Conference of Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) Started in Kolkata:
- Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani attended the 27th Technological Conference of Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association (IJIRA) on Shaping the Future of Jute in Kolkata.
- The function was focused on the promotion of geotextiles in the northeast region. Geotextiles are absorbent fabrics which, when used in association with soil, have the ability to separate, filter, reinforce, protect or drain.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU
MoU between India and Fiji on co-operation in renewable energy:
- Narendra Modi has been apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in renewable energy between India and Fiji.
- The MoU aimed to establish a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.
Three MoU’s Signed between India and Jordan:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting King of Jordan Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein held bilateral talks and signed 3 MOU’s in the field of Cooperation in the Field of Manpower, Health Sector and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Vietnam on economic and trade co-operation
- The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Vietnam on Economic and Trade Cooperation.
- The MoU would expand more bilateral trade and economic cooperation between India and Vietnam.
NIFT to conduct National Sizing Survey:
- The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi will conduct a National Sizing Survey to develop a comprehensive size chart for ready-to-wear industry based on the body measurements of the Indian population.
- Under the survey, anthropometric data will be collected from a sample population in the age group 15 to 65 years to create a database of measurements that will result in a standardized size chart which is representative of the Indian population and can be adopted by the apparel industry, a Ministry of Textiles statement said.
- A large percentage of shoppers face difficulty in finding clothes that fit perfectly according to their body measurements.
- The reason is differences in anthropometric built of people in different geographical regions across the country.
- Till date 14 countries have successfully completed national sizing surveys.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Anti-Tank Guided Missile Nag tested successfully:
- The Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) Nag was successfully flight-tested in desert conditions against two tank targets at different ranges and timings, Defence Ministry officials said.
- As the developmental trials of the missile have been completed, it is now ready for induction in the Army, the officials added. It is the third-generation fire-and-forget ATGM developed by the DRDO.
India, Seychelles conduct Lamitye 2018 military exercise:
- The eighth edition Lamitye 2018, bilateral military exercise between Indian Army and Seychelles People’s Defence Force was held at Mahe Island in Seychelles archipelago.
- The Seychelles archipelago falls on one of most significant and busiest sea transport routes of the world in Indian Ocean.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
IPL 2018 to feature DRS for 1st time in tournament’s history:
- The Decision Review System (DRS) will be used in the Indian Premier League for the first time in the tournament’s 2018 edition following BCCI’s approval.
- The Indian Premier League will become the second major T20 league to adopt the system after Pakistan Super League.
- Ten Indian umpires were called up for a session on DRS last year.
Tokyo Unveils Mascots For 2020 Olympics And Paralympics:
- Tokyo unveiled its long-awaited mascot for the 2020 Olympic Games: a futuristic blue-checked, doe-eyed character with pointy ears and “special powers” that was picked by schoolchildren across mascot-mad Japan.
- One has an athletic figure and a strong sense of justice. The other is a cherry blossom-inspired superhero.
IOC lifts doping ban on Russia:
- The International Olympic Committee has lifted a ban against Russia, Moscow officials said Wednesday, after the country was barred from the Pyeongchang games over state-sponsored doping.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARIES
Kanakalata Mohanty Passes Away:
- Eminent Odia writer Kanakalata Mohanty passed away. She was 82.
- Mohanty is the author of 12 novels and more than a 100 short stories. Her novels Ete Andhra, Kete Jwala and Anuradha shot her into the limelight in the 1960s.