Current Affairs Today 8th February 2018
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Current Affairs Today: NATIONAL
India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Prithvi-II:
- India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from a test range in Odisha.
- The trial of the surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur.
- The perfect test launch came after successful trial of Agni-5 on January 18 and Agni-1 missile conducted from Abdul Kalam Island off Odisha coast.
- Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines.
- The state-of-the-art missile uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
Cabinet approves implementation of PMRF scheme:
- Union Cabinet has approved implementation of Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme at a total cost of 1,650 crore rupees for a period of seven years beginning 2018-19.
- The scheme was announced in the Union Budget for 2018-19. Under this scheme, the best students who have completed or are in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from IISc or IITs or NITs or IISERs or IIITs will be offered direct admission in PhD programme in the IITs or IISc.
- Such students, who fulfil the eligibility criteria, and are shortlisted through a selection process, as laid down in the PMRF Guidelines, will be offered a fellowship of 70 thousand rupees per month for the first two years, 75 thousand rupees per month for the 3rd year and 80 thousand rupees per month in the 4th and 5th years.
- Apart from this, a research grant of 2 lakh rupees will be provided to each of the Fellows for a period of 5 years to cover their foreign travel expenses for presenting research papers in international conferences and seminars.
- A maximum of 3000 Fellows will be selected in a three year period beginning 2018-19.
National Informatics Centre (NIC) to organize three-day National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018:
- National Informatics Centre (NIC) is organizing a three-day National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018 in New Delhi.
- The event will be inaugurated by Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad at India Habitat Centre. The theme for VIVID 2018 is – Cyber Security and Innovation.
- The Meet is aimed at showcasing the various initiatives of NIC in creating and enhancing the security of Digital Infrastructure in the country.
- VIVID would be an extensive platform for knowledge sharing which would empower 240 NIC district officials from across the country to interact and leverage on each other’s experience and best practices.
Current Affairs Today: INTERNATIONAL
Bermuda becomes 1st country to abolish same-sex marriage:
- Bermuda has become the world’s first country to abolish same-sex marriages, almost a year after it had allowed the same in May 2017.
- The country has now replaced the legislation with that of domestic partnerships, giving same-sex couples equivalent rights to those of heterosexual couples.
- It is intended to meet the demands of both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriages.
|Bermuda Currency||Bermudian Dollar|
|Bermuda Premier||Edward David Burt|
Sushma Swaraj meets Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh:
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh.
- King Salman inaugurated the prestigious National Heritage and Culture Festival ‘Janadriyah’ in the presence of Mrs Swaraj, at which India is the guest of honour country.
- It was for the first time that India was accorded the status of ‘Guest of Honour’ at the festival which exhibits Saudi Arabia’s rich tapestry of culture and heritage.
- The India Pavilion mounted on the occasion is based on the theme ‘Saudi ka Dost Bharat’, showcasing the core values and traditions of India.
|Saudi Arabia Capital||Riyadh|
|Saudi Arabia Currency||Saudi Riyal|
|Saudi Arabia King||Ali Salman Ahmed Salman|
Current Affairs Today: STATE
Delhi government schools to have ‘Happiness Curriculum’:
- The Delhi government has decided to introduce a ‘happiness curriculum’ in government schools for students from nursery to class 8.
- The government has commissioned a team of experts, including school teachers, to design the curriculum, which will be purely activity-based with no formal examinations on it.
- The children’s progress will be assessed periodically using a ‘happiness index’.
|Delhi Chief Minister||Arvind Kejriwal|
|Delhi Lieutenant Governor||Anil Baijal|
Current Affairs Today: BANKING and ECONOMY
Reserve Bank of India keeps repo rate unchanged at 6% for third time in a row:
- The Monetary Policy Committee chaired by RBI Governor Urijit Patel announced its repo rate decision on 7 February 2018.
- The Reserve Bank of India in its sixth bi-monthly policy kept the repo rate unchanged under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) at 6%.
- Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 5.75%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25%.
- The MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) of the Reserve Bank of India in its December review had kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged on concerns of a possible price rise.
|Reverse Repo Rate||5.75%|
|Marginal Standing Facility Rate||6.25%|
|Cash Reserve Ratio||4%|
|Statutory Liquidity Ratio||19.5%|
Reserve Bank of India projects inflation for Financial Year 2019 at around 4.5%:
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projected a higher inflation of 5.1-5.6 per cent in the first half of fiscal 2019 before moderating to 4.5-4.6 per cent in the second half with upside risks.
- Unveiling the bi-monthly monetary policy, the central bank also lowered economic growth projection to 6.6 per cent for 2017-18, from 6.7 per cent.
- However, the RBI expects a stronger growth of 7.2 per cent in FY19 (7.3-7.4 per cent in first half and 7.1-7.2 per cent in second half) with balanced risks.
|RBI Governor||Urjit Patel|
|RBI Deputy Governors||BP Kanungo,|
S S Mundra,
N S Vishwanathan and
Forbes releases its first-ever cryptocurrency rich list:
- Business magazine Forbes has released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.
- The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.
- He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) and Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).
Reserve Bank of India to link base rate with MCLR:
- The Reserve Bank of India has said that t will link the base rate with the MCLR from 1st of April this year to ensure expeditious transmission of its policy rate to borrowers.
- Introduced the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rates (MCLR) system with effect from 1st April 2016, the Central bank observed that a large proportion of bank loans continue to be linked to Base Rate.
- Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had introduced the MCLR to calculate the benchmark lending rate in another attempt to make banks pass on policy rate cut benefits to borrowers quickly and in a more transparent manner.
HDFC Bank hikes MCLR-based lending rate by 10 basis points:
- HDFC Bank has hiked its marginal cost of funds based lending rate (MCLR) by 10 basis points across the six month, one-, two and three-year buckets, in yet another sign that bank lending rates are on the way up.
- HDFC Bank follows its private sector peers Axis, Kotak Mahindra, IndusInd and Yes Bank which had all hiked their MCLR rates by 5 to 10 basis points effective from January.
- HDFC Bank’s six-month rate is now 8 per cent, one-year at 8.20 per cent, two- year at 8.20 per cent and three-year at 8.50 per cent after the hike, effective from February 7.
|HDFC Bank Headquarters||Mumbai|
|HDFC Bank Tagline||Aditya Puri|
|HDFC Bank MD and CEO||We understand your world|
Reserve Bank of India to set up ombudsman to further regulate NBFCs:
- The Reserve Bank of India wants to further tighten the regulations around the Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) by setting up an ombudsman for these entities.
- The ombudsman scheme, which will be operationalised by end of this month, will be addressing the customer grievances in the NBFC segment.
- Till now, for consumer complaints, the RBI had made it mandatory for all the NBFCs to have a grievance redressal officer, whose name and address has to be put up in the offices of the NBFCs.
- However, with an ombudsman in place, the customers can directly file a complaint, as per the RBI guidelines announced during the monetary policy.
- The scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs and those with customer interface having asset size of one million and above initially.
Yes Bank raises $600 million from London Stock Exchange:
- Yes Bank has raised $600 million through its first US dollar denominated bond offering and listed the bonds on London Stock Exchange’s International Securities Market (ISM).
- This private lender will use the proceeds to fund the bank’s IFSC Banking Unit (IBU) in GIFT City and expand IBU’s growing business opportunities.
- Yes Bank is the first lender based out of GIFT City to launch a Medium Term Note (MTN) programme.
- Yes Bank’s bond issuance comes on the heels of Export-Import Bank of India’s $1 billion bond on London Stock Exchange’s international securities market.
|Yes Bank Headquarters||Mumbai|
|Yes Bank Tagline||Experience our Expertise|
|Yes Bank MD and CEO||Rana Kapoor|
Karnataka Bank hikes deposit rates:
- Karnataka Bank Ltd has increased the interest rate on domestic term deposits on two slabs with effect from January 30.
- The interest rate on domestic term deposits for a period of one year to 449 days and for 451 days to two years has been increased to 7.10 per cent from 6.90 per cent (for deposits up to ₹10 crore).
- A new slab of 450 days has been introduced with a rate of interest of 7.25 per cent (for deposits up to ₹10 crore).
|Karnataka Bank Headquarters||Mangalore|
|Karnataka Bank Tagline||Your Family Bank, Across India|
|Karnataka Bank MD and CEO||Mahabaleshwara MS|
Digital transactions rise to record 1.11 billion in January:
- The volume of digital transactions reached a new peak of 1.11 billion in January after crossing the 1 billion mark in December 2017, according to provisional RBI data.
- Transactions worth about ₹131.95 trillion were carried out during the month via digital means.
- The overall value of these transactions was also the second highest in a month in the past year.
Current Affairs Today: COMMITTEE
Defence Ministry constitutes a 13-member advisory committee to expedite capital acquisition for Armed Forces modernisation:
- Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has constituted a 13-member advisory committee to monitor and expedite capital acquisition projects for the modernisation of the armed forces.
- The committee will undertake an independent review and check the status of ongoing critical projects worth more than 500 crore rupees. The panel will suggest measures to improve the capital acquisition process.
- The committee, headed by Vinay Sheel Oberoi, will have to present an initial status report on identified projects to the Defence Minister by March 31.
Current Affairs Today: RANKING
India ranks 44 out of 50 nations in global IP index:
- India has “increased substantially” its score in the latest international Intellectual Property (IP) index released by the US Chambers of Commerce, ranking 44th out of 50 countries.
- India’s overall score has increased substantially from 25 per cent (8.75 out of 35) in the 5th edition of the Index to 30 per cent (12.03 out of 40) in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce.
- India now ranks 44 out of 50 countries. Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the index, with an overall score if 8.4 points.
- The US tops the list with 37.98 points, followed by United Kingdom (37.97) and Sweden (37.03).
- The annual report notes that India in July 2017 issued ‘Guidelines on the Examination of Computer-Related Inventions’ which significantly improved the patentability environment for technological innovations
Current Affairs Today: SPORTS
Mandhana 1st Indian woman to hit ODI tons in 3 away nations:
- Opener Smriti Mandhana slammed a 129-ball 135 against South Africa at Kimberley to become the first Indian woman cricketer to smash ODI hundreds in three away countries.
- Mandhana had earlier slammed a ton each in Australia and England.
- The century was also the first by an Indian woman against South Africa in South Africa.
Jhulan Goswami becomes first woman cricketer to take 200 wickets in ODIs:
- Indian women’s cricket team pacer Jhulan Goswami has become the first woman in the world to take 200 wickets in ODI cricket.
- Goswami achieved the feat playing in her 166th ODI against South Africa.
- Goswami had become the leading wicket-taker in women’s ODIs in May last year, overtaking former Australian pacer Cathryn Fitzpatrick’s record of 180 wickets.
MS Dhoni first India wicketkeeper to reach 400 dismissals in ODIs:
- India wicketkeeper and former captain MS Dhoni achieved another milestone when he stumped out South Africa stand-in skipper Aiden Markram off Kuldeep Yadav as the right-hand batsman became Dhoni’s 400th victim in ODI cricket.
- Dhoni became the first Indian to effect 400 dismissals in ODIs. He took 315 matches to get to the mark and is behind Kumar Sangakkara, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Boucher to be at number four spot in international list.
- Sri Lanka’s Sangakkara who tops this list had 482 dismissals from 404 matches while Gilchrist (Australia) and Boucher (South Africa) were involved in 472 and 424 dismissals respectively.
- Interestingly, Dhoni has 105 stumpings to his name so far, most by any glovesman in ODI cricket.
JioTV to broadcast Winter Olympics:
- Popular TV App JioTV announced that it has been awarded India digital rights of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
- JioTV will work with the IOC to provide comprehensive coverage of the Games in India, thus enabling millions to access live and catch-up content on their mobile devices, on the move.
- The Olympic Winter Games are scheduled from February 9 to 25 at PyeongChang County, South Korea.
- Featuring 102 events in 15 sports, including skiing, skating, luge, ski jumping, ice hockey and snowboarding, the Games will see participation from more than 90 countries, including India.
- Luger Shiva Keshavan and cross country skier Jagdish Singh will represent India.
- In addition to working with JioTV, the IOC’s multi- platform media destination, the Olympic Channel, will also stream live coverage of the Games in India.
IPL’s highest wicket-taker Malinga named Mumbai Indian’s bowling mentor:
- Mumbai Indians have appointed IPL history’s leading wicket-taker and their former player Lasith Malinga as the bowling mentor ahead of the 2018 season.
- Malinga represented Mumbai Indians as a player in 110 matches and took 154 wickets.
- Malinga will join Mumbai Indians’ support staff, which is headed by Mahela Jayawardene and also includes Shane Bond and Robin Singh.