Current Affairs Today February 11 2018

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CAT February 102018

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological Systems inaugurated at INS Garuda
On February 9, 2018, ‘Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS)’ was inaugurated at INS Garuda, a naval air station located in Kochi, Kerala.
Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological Systems inaugurated at INS GarudaAbout Integrated Automatic Aviation Meteorological System (IAAMS):
i. INS Garuda has become the fourth Naval Air Station to be the part of this integrated system.
ii. IAAMS is Indian Navy’s project aimed at modernising the Meteorological infrastructure of the nine Naval Air Stations.
iii. IAAMS comprises state of the art Meteorological Sensors viz., Transmissometer, Radar Vertical Wind Profiler, Ceilometer and Automatic Weather Observation System which automatically records relevant weather parameters (that are vital for accurate weather forecasting) on continuous basis.
iv. On detecting any abnormal change of weather parameters that may affect safe flying operations, the system raises an alarm to alert the duty staff about the same.

J P Nadda launches National Deworming initiative
On February 10, 2018, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda launched National Deworming Day.
More Details about National Deworming Day (NDD):
i. Since 2015, National Deworming Day is held on 10 February and 10 August to treat intestinal worm infections in all children aged 1- 19 years.
ii. This mass deworming programme is implemented by reaching out to children at schools and anganwadis  and administering Albendazole tablets.
iii. NDD mobilizes health personnel, state governments and other stakeholders to focus on controlling Soil Transmitted Helminth (STH) infections, which is one of the most common infections.
iv. For National Deworming Day launched on February 10, 2018, Government is aiming to reach more than ­­­­­­­­32.2 crore children.

Rajnath Singh inaugurates first of its kind spoken Sanskrit centre
On 10th February 2018, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched Gujarat University’s Centre for Spoken Sanskrit that will provide a spoken Sanskrit course.
Rajnath Singh inaugurates first of its kind spoken Sanskrit centreSpoken Sanskrit Course by Gujarat University:
i. The Gujarat University has introduced a spoken Sanskrit course for a six-month duration. This course will teach people how to speak Sanskrit.
ii. This course is said to be the first of its kind in India. This course has been introduced to familiarize Sanskrit in India.
iii. Co-ordinator of this course is Atul Unagar.  The spoken Sanskrit classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
iv. The course fees is Rs.500. This course doesn’t require any prior knowledge of Sanskrit.
v. Also an advanced course on sanskrit grammar will be launched for interested students helping them to read and understand ancient scriptures.
About Gujarat University:
♦ Established – 1949
♦ Vice Chancellor – Himanshu Pandya
♦ Location – Ahmedabad, Gujarat

India Health Fund to boost research on TB, malaria
India Health Fund (launched by Tata Trusts in association with The Global Fund) will financially support innovations and technologies aimed at combating tuberculosis and malaria.
Details about India Health Fund initiatives to boost research on TB, malaria:
i. Indian Health Fund (IHF) will be supporting individuals and organisation that are already involved in developing new products and strategies that impact the entire lifecycle (from prevention to post-cure recovery) of TB and Malaria.
ii. IHF’s role will be to make such solutions sustainable and scalable.
iii. It has invited project proposals in four areas of research viz. use of technology and data science to strengthen surveillance of TB and malaria, promotion of robust molecular diagnostic facilities, innovations on effective communication strategies to be adopted for preventing transmission of TB and malaria and research on innovative approaches to vector surveillance.
iv. In the context of this news, it is important to note that TB and Malaria, together account for over 4.23 lakh deaths and around 15 million cases every year.

Centre grants Rs.1269 crore for Andhra Pradesh projects
In last few days, Central Government has released a sum of Rs. 1269 crore to Andhra Pradesh for various projects.
i. Out of Rs. 1269 crore, Rs. 417.44 crore has been given as grant for the Polavaram multipurpose project across the Godavari River.
ii. Andhra Pradesh State Government has claimed that it has already spent over Rs. 7200 crore on the Polavaram multipurpose project. As this project has been accorded the status of National Project, it is eligible to receive grant from Central Government.
iii. However, Central Government has so far released grant of only Rs. 4329 crore. Amount of Rs. 417.44 crore which has been recently granted is a small portion towards filling up the gap.
iv. Out of Rs. 1269 crore released in last few days, Rs. 369.16 crore is post-devolution revenue deficit grant, as per the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission.
v. Another Rs. 253.74 crore has been provided as ‘basic grant’ to urban local bodies in Andhra Pradesh, Rs. 196.92 crore for the anganwadi services scheme and the supplementary nutrition programme and Rs. 31.76 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme
Quick facts about Andhra Pradesh:
♦ Capital – Amaravati (de facto)
♦ Current Chief Minister – N Chandrababu Naidu
♦ Current Governor – E S L Narasimhan
♦ Important National Park – Papikonda National Park

Government sanctions Rs 1487 crore to Army to boost perimeter security
Union Defence Ministry has sanctioned Rs 1487 crore to Indian Army to fortify its bases in Jammu and Kashmir, North East and several other sensitive places.
Government sanctions Rs 1487 crore to Army to boost perimeter securityFunds to fortify Indian Army bases:
i. The funds will be used to plug security gaps at the bases and thereby building protection against any terror attacks.
ii. This project for strengthening perimeter security at army bases was cleared by Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman.
iii. A deadline of 10 months has been set to carry out this project and Army headquarters has been directed to monitor the implementation.
iv. In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks targeting military installations. After the attack on the Pathankot air force base in 2016, committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose had recommended carrying out security audit of military bases.
v. Over 3000 sensitive bases, including 600 highly sensitive installations of the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force have been identified. In July last 2017, Central Government had delegated “substantial” financial powers to the all three defence forces to strengthen perimeter security at sensitive bases across India.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Mumbai 12th richest city globally, New York tops the list: Report by New World Wealth
According to a report by New World Wealth, Mumbai has ranked 12th out of 15 wealthiest cities globally.
i. With USD 950 billion total wealth, Mumbai is the only India city to feature in the list of 15 wealthiest cities.
ii. With USD 3 trillion total wealth, New York has topped the list of 15 wealthiest cities……………………………………………………….Click here to Read more

Top 15 wealthiest cities:

RankCitiesTotal Wealth(in USD)
1New York, US3 Trillion
2London, UK2.7 Trillion
3Tokyo, Japan2.5 Trillion
4San Francisco Bay Area, US2.3 Trillion
5Beijing, China2.2 Trillion
6Shanghai, China2 Trillion
7Los Angeles, US1.4 Trillion
8Hong Kong1.3 Trillion
9Sydney, Australia1 Trillion
10Singapore1 Trillion
11Chicago, US988 billion
12Mumbai, India950 billion
13Toronto, Canada944 billion
14Frankfurt, Germany912 billion
15Paris, France860 billion

BANKING & FINANCE

RBI to get another liquidity management tool in standing deposit scheme
In Union Budget 2018, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed to amend the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act to empower RBI for adopting an additional instrument for liquidity management.
Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) as an additional instrument for liquidity management:
i. The additional instrument that is being referred to is the ‘Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) Scheme’, which was first suggested by Urjit Patel Committee in January 2014 as an additional instrument to be used by RBI for absorption of surplus liquidity from the system, without the need for providing collateral in exchange.
ii. As per the current provision, RBI is required to provide a collateral while absorbing surplus liquidity from the system. This norm becomes a constraint during special situations such as post-demonetisation phase where RBI had ran out of securities owing to unprecedented flows entering the system.
iii. Under proposed SDF, wherein RBI would not be required to provide collateral, it will have greater flexibility in handling such situations.
iv. In November 2015, RBI formally proposed the introduction of the SDF by suitably amending the RBI Act. As per the announcement made in Union Budget 2018, this proposal is now a part of the Finance Bill 2018 which is scheduled to be approved by Parliament by March 31, 2018.

BUSINESS

India signs first concessional agreement with UAE in oil sector
On February 10, 2018, a consortium of the Indian oil companies and UAE-based Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a concessional agreement for the acquisition of 10% participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession.
India signs first concessional agreement with UAE in oil sector
India-UAE concessional agreement in oil sector:
i. This is the first time ever that an Indian Consortium has received concession in the Gulf.
ii. The concessional agreement between Indian oil companies and ADNOC is for 40 years from 2018 to 2057 and the participation fees are valued at $600 million.
iii. For this agreement, the Indian consortium is led by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), while Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd. are the other members.
iv. A negotiated contract between a business entity/ business consortium and a government that gives the business entity/ business consortium the right to operate a specific business within the government’s jurisdiction is referred to as concessional agreement.
Quick Facts about ADNOC:
♦ Founded in – 1971
♦ Headquarters – Abu Dhabi, UAE

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Scientists grow human eggs to maturity in lab for first time
Scientists have successfully accomplished growing of human eggs in a laboratory environment for the first time.
Scientists grow human eggs to maturity in lab for first time:
i. Scientists have achieved successful growth of human egg from the earliest stage in ovarian tissue till maturity for the first time in laboratory. Earlier, this process had been achieved in mice.
ii. The results of this process were published in the journal Molecular Human Reproduction. Scientists from two research hospitals in Edinburgh and the Center for Human Reproduction in New York were involved in this research.
iii. Earlier, human eggs were grown in laboratory only from later stage of development. This process will help in regenerative medicine therapies and developing new infertility treatments.
About Indian Medical Association (IMA):
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ National President – Dr. Ravi Wankhedkar

China puts J-20 stealth fighter into combat service
China’s new generation J-20 stealth fighters have been commissioned into air force combat service.
China puts J-20 stealth fighter into combat serviceChina puts J-20 stealth fighter into combat service:
i. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force has announced that the J-20 has been commissioned into combat units. J-20 is the fourth generation medium and long-range fighter jet of China.
ii. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force said that, the J-20 will help to increase the air force’s combat capabilities and to defend the country.
iii. J-20 entered service in 2017. It was displayed to the public for the first time in 2016 at the Zhuhai airshow.
About Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force:
♦ Formed – 1949
♦ Commander – Lt General Ding Laihang

Indian Railways launches ‘Voluntary Safety Reporting’ website for its 13 lakh employees
On 10th February 2018, Indian Railways launched the “Voluntary Safety Reporting” website for its employees to anonymously report internal safety issues and hazards.
Voluntary Safety Reporting:
i. The Voluntary Safety Reporting system has two features. Using the first one, employees can report issues anonymously.
ii. Through the second one, employees can mention their contact details for confidential feedback. In this case also, the identity of employees will not be disclosed.
About Indian Railways:
♦ Indian Railway Board Chairman – Ashwani Lohani
♦ Union Minister of Railways – Piyush Goyal

SPORTS

Sharmila Nicollet first Indian golfer to qualify for China LPGA Tour
Sharmila Nicollet has become the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour.
Sharmila Nicollet – first Indian golfer to qualify for China LPGA Tour:
i. Sharmila Nicollet is 26 years old. She hails from Bengaluru.
ii. In the CLPGA Tour Qualifying School, she played three rounds in 77-73-72 and completed in tied 21st. She has qualified for the China Ladies PGA Tour.
iii. The performance in the China LPGA Tour will earn players the Women’s World Golf Rankings points.
About Women’s Golf Association of India (WGAI):
President – Mrs. Kavita Singh
Secretary General – Ms. Champika N. Sayal

Pune swimmer Rohan More becomes world’s youngest and first Asian swimmer to complete Ocean 7 Challenge
Rohan More, a Pune-based swimmer, has become the world’s youngest and first Asian swimmer to complete the Ocean Seven Challenge.
Pune swimmer Rohan More becomes world's youngest and first Asian swimmer to complete Ocean 7 ChallengeRohan More – world’s youngest to complete Ocean 7 Challenge:
i. The Ocean Seven Challenge is to cross seven of the world’s toughest ocean channels comprising a distance of nearly 200 km.
ii. The Ocean Seven Challenge covers the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.
iii. Rohan More is 32 years old. He is the ninth swimmer on the whole to complete the Ocean 7 Challenge.
About Swimming Federation of India (SFI):
♦ Purpose – central governing body for promotion and administration of swimming sport in India
♦ Formed – 1948
♦ President – Digambar V. Kamat

OBITUARY

Pakistan’s iron lady Asma Jehangir passes away
On 11th February 2018, Asma Jehangir, Pakistan’s reputed lawyer and human rights activist, died following a cardiac arrest in Lahore, Pakistan.
Pakistan’s iron lady Asma Jehangir passes away
Death of Asma Jehangir:
i. Asma Jehangir was known as Pakistan’s Iron Lady. She was the head of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
ii. She was also the chairperson of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was a UN Rapporteur in the 1990s.
iii. In 1983, she was jailed for supporting the democrats during the rule of General Zia-ul Haq. She raised her voice against military dictators and law evaders.
About Asma Jehangir:
♦ Age – 66
♦ Profession – Lawyer, Human Rights Activist

Golden Globe Award-winning Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson dies
On 9th February 2018, Johann Johannsson, musician and producer from Iceland, passed away at his apartment, in Berlin, Germany.
Golden Globe Award-winning Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson diesDeath of Johann Johannsson:
i. Johann Johannsson was 48 years old. The cause of his death is unknown and is being investigated.
ii. He had won Golden Globe award for his work in “The Theory of Everything”. His work in the movie “Arrival,” which was screened in 2016, earned him Golden Globe, BAFTA and Grammy nominations.
About Johann Johannsson:
♦ Born – 19 September 1969
♦ Occupation – Composer and producer

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Day of Women and Girls in Science – February 11
On 11th February 2018, International Day of Women and Girls in Science was celebrated all over the world.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science - February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science:
i. United Nations General Assembly declared 11th February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in order to gain access and participation for women and girls in science.
ii. This day also aims to work towards gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
iii. On this day, celebrations are organized by UNESCO and UN-Women, jointly with institutions and organisations that promote women and girls’ participation in science.
About UN Women:
♦ Executive Director – Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
♦ Headquarters – New York City, New York, U.S.

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