Current Affairs Update – 7 to 10 February, 2017

Hello and welcome to exampundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs Update of 7, 8, 9 and 10 February, 2017. These are very important for the upcoming Syndicate Bank PGDBF, SBI PO Mains and other insurance and bank exams.
Current Affairs at a Glance – 7 to 10 February, 2017

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to
    set up a separate Enforcement Department
    . An announcement in this
    regard was made by the Central Bank in the second week of February 2017
  2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the second week of February 2017
    decided to set up a Standing Committee on Cyber Security
    .
  3. Gujarat in the first week of
    February 2017 became the first State in the country for establishing a cashless
    system for distribution of food grains
    .
  4. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 8 February 2017 released the Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2016-17.
    It is the first policy statement post-Union Budget 2017-18. The key announcement
    under the policy was that the policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) was kept unchanged at 6.25 percent.
  5. The Union Ministry of Finance
    notified an amendment to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS), 2016.
  6. The technology giant Samsung is
    soon going to launch its mobile payment wallet ‘Samsung Pay’ in India. The launch is expected to happen in the
    first half of 2017.
  7. India’s first National Women’s Parliament
    (NWP) began on 10 February 2017 in Amaravati
    , the new capital of
    Andhra Pradesh.
  8. The Union Government in the
    second week of February 2017 decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK).
  9. The Union Cabinet on 8 February
    2017 approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan
    (PMGDISHA)
    . The programme aims at making 6 crore rural households
    digitally literate.
  10. Arunachal Pradesh on 7 February 2017 became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution
    for the state cabinet members
    .
  11. The Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) meeting of the GICNT
    partner countries is scheduled to be held from 8-10 February 2017 in New Delhi,
    the capital city of India.
  12. Andhra Pradesh’s first Smart Police Station
    started functioning on 6 February 2017 at Nagarampalem in Guntur city
    .
  13. Hemant Bhargava has been appointed as the managing director of
    Life Insurance Corporation of India, an official statement said in New Delhi on
    Friday.
  14. Senior Finance Ministry official Ajay Tyagi was today appointed as chairman of Securities and
    Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
  15. Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen
    as new President.
  16. ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term.
  17. The National Deworming Day was observed on 10 February 2017 in India with an
    aim to tackle worm infections in children.
  18. The Safer Internet Day was celebrated on 7 February 2017 with the theme
    – Be the Change: Unite for a Better Internet.
  19. The Mission 11 million, a football
    initiative aimed towards taking the game to 12,000 schools in 37 cities across
    the country was set rolling by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel and the
    president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel at the Nehru
    Stadium here on Friday.
  20. The Basketball Federation of
    India (BFI) on 5 January 2017 announced that India will host the FIBA Women’s
    Asia Cup basketball tournament in July 2017
    .
  21. The Union Home Minister Rajnath
    Singh on 8 February 2017 released the book titled – Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand.
  22. Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel titled ‘The
    Golden House’ is slated to release in September 2017
    . The
    announcement was made by Penguin Random House on 7 February 2017.
  23. India ranked at 43rd position out of 45
    countries in the 5th Annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index
    of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 2017
    International IP Index, named as ‘The Roots of Innovation’, was released on 8
    February 2017.
  24. Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum, one of
    the female members of Dubai’s ruling family, is claimed to have become the first woman commercial pilot,
    according to media reports.
  25. Britain-based Indian-origin
    artist, Anish
    Kapoor was honoured with Israel’s ‘Genesis prize’
    , popularly known
    as the Jewish Nobel for his commitment to Jewish values on 6 February 2017.
  26. The US space agency NASA’s Chandra X-Ray
    Observatory
    in February 2017
    detected a very strange and distinctive X-ray signal from the Milky Way galaxy.
  27. Qatar Airways on 5 February 2017 launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial airline route with
    the arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland,
    New Zealand
    .

Financial and Banking News:
Welspun India Ltd ties-up with Cotton Egypt Association
  • Welspun India Ltd (WIL) on 9
    February 2017 entered into a co-operation agreement with Cotton Egypt
    Association (CEA) to promote and market Egyptian cotton products across the
    world.
  • Welspun will help the Cotton
    Egypt Association in creating marketing programmes and execute them using its
    extensive global network. The agreement will be aimed at boosting Welspun
    India’s Egypt operations by setting up a manufacturing facility for Egyptian
    Cotton home textile products.
  • Under the agreement, Welspun
    India Ltd and Cotton Egypt Association will work together to create programmes
    for promotion of Egyptian Cotton logo in the retail markets across the globe.
  • Welspun India will invest around
    USD 3 million in a stage wise manner over next few years to support the joint
    initiatives of both the companies.
  • The Cotton Egypt Association also
    granted the right to use the Egyptian Cotton logo to Welspun India for five
    years until 2022.

RBI to set up separate Enforcement Department

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    decided to set up a separate Enforcement Department. An announcement in this
    regard was made by the Central Bank in the second week of February 2017
  • The department will effectively
    monitor banks so that they will not indulge in any kind of regulatory
    violations. The proposed department will become operational on 1 April 2017.
  • It will primarily deal with the
    penalties imposed on banks for violation of norms. The penalties are determined
    by the banking and non-banking supervision departments.
  • It will deal with cases of
    non-compliance with regulations noticed either through the surveillance process
    or otherwise.

RBI decided to set up Committee on Cyber Security

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    in the second week of February 2017 decided to set up a Standing Committee on
    Cyber Security.
  • The primary responsibility of the
    committee is to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.
  • The committee will also be
    mandated to suggest appropriate policy interventions to strengthen cyber
    security and resilience in a bid to strengthen cyber security system.
  • The committee will the threats
    inherent in the existing or emerging technology on an ongoing basis.
  • It will study the ecosystem
    related to various security standards and protocols in the digital financial
    world.
  • It will also suggest appropriate
    policy interventions to strengthen cyber security and resilience.

33-members committee constituted for speedy completion of Andhra
Pradesh’s Sagarmala Project
  • A committee comprising 33 members
    has been constituted for the speedy completion of the Sagarmala Project in
    Andhra Pradesh. The project aims to improve the state’s coastline and inland
    waterways.
  • The committee will be chaired by
    the state’s Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • The committee will be responsible
    for overseeing the entire project.
  • It will bring together all the
    concerned departments and review their work on a daily basis, in order to
    ensure timely completion of the project.
  • The committee’s first meeting
    took place on 8 February 2017 under the leadership of Naidu.
  • At the meeting, Naidu emphasised
    on the many opportunities that Andhra Pradesh has, as a state with the 2nd
    largest coastline, to develop a coast-led industrial economy.
  • Naidu further emphasised the
    importance of the development of inland waterways.
  • He also highlighted the
    importance of sourcing raw material at a reasonable rate, stating that it is
    the key for development.

Railways Ministry launches first phase of Station Redevelopment Program
  • Railways Minister Suresh
    Prabhakar Prabhu on 8 February 2017 launched the first phase of the Station
    Redevelopment Program comprising 23 major railway stations on Indian Railways
    network.
  • Some of these 23 stations will be
    Chennai Central, Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Yesvantpur, Bangalore
    Cantonment, Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi,
    Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Kozhikode and Bhopal.
  • The Railways Ministry will
    collaborate with the Union Ministry of Urban Development to develop these smart
    stations. 
  • The re-development of 400 A1 and
    A Category Stations is a non-fare revenue generating programme which will be
    done on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model through a fair bidding system.
  • In the first phase, 23 stations
    will be selected and redeveloped for the fullest use where passengers can enjoy
    so many facilities at one place.
  • These stations will be selected
    after a detailed feasibility study by the strategic advisor The Boston Consulting
    Group.

Gujarat becomes first State for establishing cashless system for
distribution of food grains

  • Gujarat in the first week of
    February 2017 became the first State in the country for establishing a cashless
    system for distribution of food grains.
  • An announcement in this regard
    was made by the Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public
    Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan, who congratulated the Government of Gujarat for
    this achievement.
  • The Government of Gujarat
    installed Aadhaar Enabled Payment System in 17250 Fair Price Shops (FPSs), much
    before the targeted date of 31 March 2017.
  • Under this new system, the
    beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act, 2013 will need to carry only
    Aadhaar cards for getting their food grains.
  • This will help in establishing
    the identity of beneficiaries, help in stopping the leakages of grains at shop
    level and eradicating corruption in the Public Distribution System (PDS).
  • The Gujarat Government has
    partnered with common service centers (CSCs), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
    of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), by
    offering 30 odd digital services through the FPSs.
  • This partnership will enable
    consumers to get his/her rail, air and bus tickets reserved in fair price
    shops.
  • A beneficiary can also pay his
    mobile bill, a farmer can deposit crop insurance premium and LIC premium in
    these centers.

RBI releases Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2017-18

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 8 February 2017 released the Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement
    2016-17. It is the first policy statement post-Union Budget 2017-18.
  • The key announcement under the
    policy was that the policy Repo Rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility
    (LAF) was kept unchanged at 6.25 percent. This decision was taken on the basis
    of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation.
  • Consequently, all the key
    monetary policy rates remain the same.
  • Reverse Repo Rate: The Reverse
    Repo Rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75 percent.
  • Marginal standing facility (MSF)
    Rate: The MSF rate was also kept unchanged at 6.75 percent.
  • Bank Rate: The Bank Rate also
    stands at 6.75 percent.

Highlights of 6th Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2017-18
  • The advance estimates of the
    Central Statistics Office (CSO) released in January 2017 placed India’s real
    Gross Value Addition (GVA) growth at 7.0 per cent for 2017-18.
  • Agriculture and allied activities
    posted a strong pick-up, benefiting from the normal south-west monsoon, robust
    expansion in rabi acreage and favourable base effects.
  • In contrast, the industrial
    sector experienced a sharp deceleration, mainly due to a slowdown in
    manufacturing and in mining and quarrying.
  • High frequency indicators point
    to subdued activity in the services sector, particularly automobile sales
    across all segments, domestic air cargo, railway freight traffic and cement
    production.

Railway Ministry to approve an ambitious railway project in Andaman and
Nicobar
  • The Indian Railway ministry is
    all set to approve a 240 km-long railway link, first-ever railway route of
    Andaman and Nicobar Islands that will connect two of its major islands.
  • The ambitious project aims to
    link Andaman’s capital city Port Blair, which is in the south, with Diglipur
    located in the north of the islands. It will involve building several bridges
    and stations along the sea coast.
  • According to Ministry’s internal
    survey report, the entire project is expected to cost around Rs 2413.68 Cr.
  • It is also estimated to receive a
    negative rate of return on investment of -9.64 per cent.
  • While the railways only consider
    a line commercially viable when the rate of return on investment is at least 12
    per cent positive, this project is estimated to receive a negative rate of
    return on investment of -9.64 per cent.

Union Government notified amendment to Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan
Deposit Scheme

  • The Union Ministry of Finance
    notified an amendment to the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Deposit Scheme
    (PMGKDS), 2016.
  • The notification was issued by
    the Union Government on 7 February 2017 in conusltation with the Reserve Bank
    of India (RBI).
  • The amendment allows declarants
    to make deposits on one or more occasions in the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan
    Deposit Scheme (PMGKDS), 2016. Before the amendment, the declarants were
    allowed to deposit in the scheme in only one installment.
  • For the first time, the scheme
    was proposed by the Union Government under the Taxation Laws (Second Amendment)
    Act, 2016.
  • Consequently, the scheme was
    notified on 16 December 2016 and became operational on the next day.
  • Under the scheme, taxpayers are
    required to declare their undisclosed income possessed in the form of cash or
    deposited in banks, post offices or RBI.

Tourism Ministry, J&K Government and NPCC sign MoU for
implementation of tourism projects
  • The Union Ministry of Tourism,
    Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Government and two PSUs NPCC & NBCC on 6
    February 2017 signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for
    implementation of tourism projects In Jammu & Kashmir.
  • This tripartite MoU was signed by
    Suman Billa, Joint Secretary under Ministry of Tourism; Shamim Ahmad Wani,
    Managing Director of J&K Cable Car Corporation; K K Sharma, Executive
    Director of NPCC and Alok Rastogi, Chief General Manager (BD) of NBCC.
  • The MoU was signed under the
    Prime Minister’s Development Package (Reconstruction Plan) for Jammu and
    Kashmir that was launched in November 2015.

Here are the details of all proposals included in the Development
Package for Tourism:
  • Development of Tourism in
    the  J&K State (Rs 400 crore for 5
    years) – New Projects ( New Initiative) – Rs 2000 crore Proposed Central
    Assistance
  • Construction of Tourist assets in
    lieu of damaged/ destroyed assets ( New Initiative) – Rs 100 crore Proposed
    Central Assistance
  • Conservation of Wular Lake
    (Existing Projects) – Rs 59.15 crore Proposed Central Assistance
  • 12 Development Authorities, 3
    Circuits, Setting up of 50 Tourist villages proposed under PMRP 2004 – Rs 81.85
    crore Proposed Central Assistance

Samsung Pay to Launch in India

  • The technology giant Samsung is
    soon going to launch its mobile payment wallet ‘Samsung Pay’ in India. The
    launch is expected to happen in the first half of 2017.
  • According to reports, Samsung
    will be partnering with American Express (Amex) to bring its mobile payment
    solution to India.
  • The company is also exploring the
    possibility of partnering with two global financial services companies, Visa
    and MasterCard.
  • Samsung has previously partnered
    with these companies for its e-payment solutions in other regions such as with
    Amex in countries including the United States, Australia and South Korea.
  • Samsung began testing of ‘Samsung
    Pay’ in India in December 2016.
  • In the first week of February,
    the company introduced an update in its Galaxy Note 5 smartphone in India that
    included the Samsung Pay app.

Uber launches UberHIRE in 9 Indian cities
  • Uber launched a new service
    called UberHire in 9 Indian cities on 6 February 2017. The new category will
    allow customers to hire a taxi for an entire day, make multiple stops and cover
    several destinations at one go.
  • With the introduction of the
    service, the American company has made its first foray into the hourly rental
    cab market.
  • The time-based taxi service aims
    to reach out to tourists, senior citizens who need to make trips punctuated
    with multiple stopovers and business travellers who have multiple meetings in
    one city.
  • Customers will be able to hold
    their cabs for up to 12 hours.

Non-financial news – India and states:
National Women’s Parliament begins in Andhra Pradesh

  • India’s first National Women’s
    Parliament (NWP) began on 10 February 2017 in Amaravati, the new capital of
    Andhra Pradesh.
  • The three-day conference, which
    is the first of its kind, is being organised by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative
    Assembly.
  • The theme of the conference is
    ‘Empowering Women – Strengthening Democracy’.
  • The inaugural session was
    attended by imminent personalities and leaders from across India and beyond
    including the spiritual Buddhist leader Dalai Lama and Andhra Pradesh CM N
    Chandrababu Naidu.
  • According to Assembly Speaker
    Kodela Sivaprasada Rao, over 91 women parliamentarians, 401 legislators, 300
    social and corporate sector women leaders from India and abroad are expected to
    attend the event.
  • Some of the notable leaders
    include actress Manisha Koirala and Gandhian Ela Bhatt.

Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and Senegal in the field of
health and medicine
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 February 2017 gave its approval for signing a
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Senegal in the field of
    health and medicine.
  • Besides, the cabinet gave its
    approval for setting up of a  working
    group to further elaborate the details of cooperation and to oversee the
    implementation of this MoU.

The main areas of cooperation
facilitated by the MoU are –
  • Integrated
    disease surveillance
  • Medical
    research
  • Emergency
    relief
  • Hospital
    management
  • Drugs and
    pharmaceutical products/hospital equipments

Union Government to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva Kendra facilities

  • The Union Government in the
    second week of February 2017 decided to open 56 Post Office Passport Seva
    Kendras (POPSK).
  • The centres will be opened at
    different locations of many states for delivering passport related services to
    public. The states include Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Odisha,
    Telangana, West Bengal and Rajasthan.
  • In January 2017, the External
    Affairs Ministry and the Department of Posts announced their decision to
    utilize the Head Post Offices in the various States as Post Office Passport
    Seva Kendras. The partnership is aimed at extending passport services on a
    larger scale and to ensure wider area coverage.
  • Earlier, the project was started
    on a pilot basis at Mysuru in Karnataka and Dahod in Gujarat on 25 January
    2017.

Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan

  • The Union Cabinet on 8 February
    2017 approved the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA).
    The programme aims at making 6 crore rural households digitally literate.
  • The outlay for the project is Rs
    2351.38 crore. It targets ushering in digital literacy in rural India by March
    2019.
  • The project is in line with the
    announcement made by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget
    2016-17.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital
    Saksharta Abhiyan is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy
    programmes in the world.
  • It is being initiated under
    Digital India Programme.
  • Under the programme, 25 lakh
    candidates will be trained in the Fiscal Year 2016-17; 275 lakh in the Fiscal
    Year 2017-18; and 300 lakh in the Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Arunachal Pradesh becomes first North-East state to implement e-Cabinet
solution

  • Arunachal Pradesh on 7 February
    2017 became the first state in the northeast to implement e-Cabinet solution
    for the state cabinet members.
  • With the e-Cabinet solution, the
    Arunachal Pradesh Government plans to streamline its decision-making process.
  • The e-Cabinet solution
    facilitates the cabinet members to access the cabinet notes before the meeting.
    Moreover, the entire business of the Cabinet can be conducted using the system.
  • Once the state adopts the
    e-Cabinet system completely, the average length of the cabinet meetings will go
    down from 4-5 hours to just 30-90 minutes. It will also help the government to
    eliminate the need to print and deliver thousands of pages of documents.

Underwater Harbour Defence and Surveillance System launched in Mumbai

  • The Vice Admiral and Western
    Naval Command chief, Girish Luthra inaugurated an Integrated Under Water
    Harbour Defence and Surveillance System (IUHDSS) for the Indian Navy in Mumbai,
    Maharashtra on 3 February 2017.
  • The IUHDSS is the third of its
    kind to be installed in India.
  • It has been designed and
    developed by one of Israel’s leading defence electronics companies, ELTA, a group
    and subsidiary of Israeli Aerospace Industries.
  • It has been developed for surface
    and sub-surface surveillance of the harbour.
  • It is a state of the art system
    that is equipped with advanced sensors, integrated radars and electro-optic
    cameras as well as sound navigation and ranging systems (SONARs).

3-day global conference on Nuclear Terrorism to begin in New Delhi
today
  • The Implementation and Assessment
    Group (IAG) meeting of the GICNT partner countries is scheduled to be held from
    8-10 February 2017 in New Delhi, the capital city of India.
  • The 3-day meet will be hosted by
    the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in coordination with the
    Department of Atomic Energy. It is expected to be attended by over 150
    delegates, belonging to various partner countries and international
    organisations.
  • The conference will be
    inaugurated by the Foreign Secretary of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.
  • The GICNT (Global Initiative to
    Combat Nuclear Terrorism) is a voluntary international partnership of 86
    nations and five international organisations.
  • The main agenda of the meeting is
    to strengthen the global capacity to detect, prevent and respond to nuclear
    terrorism. 

First Smart Police Station Inaugurated in Andhra Pradesh

  • Andhra Pradesh’s first Smart
    Police Station started functioning on 6 February 2017 at Nagarampalem in Guntur
    city.
  • The station, which has the look
    and feel of a corporate-style office, was inaugurated by the state’s Chief
    Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
  • The station has plush interiors
    and exteriors, similar to that of a corporate office.
  • It does not have any boundary
    walls, instead, it has beautifully landscaped exteriors and glass facade.
  • Along with this, it is fully
    air-conditioned with all necessary requirements including a dormitory, staff
    room, mini control room and a reception chamber.

Union Government launches measles-rubella vaccination drive
  • The Union Health Ministry on 5
    February 2017 launched the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in
    Bengaluru.
  • The crusade against the two
    diseases will start from five states/UTs Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Goa
    and Lakshadweep covering nearly 3.6 crore children.
  • Subsequently, the measles-rubella
    vaccine campaign will be introduced in routine immunisation, replacing the
    currently given two doses of measles vaccine, at 9-12 months and 16-24 months
    of age.

Appointments:
Hemant Bhargava appointed as LIC managing director

  • Hemant Bhargava has been
    appointed as the managing director of Life Insurance Corporation of India, an
    official statement said in New Delhi on Friday.
  • Bhargava, who was the zonal
    manager (I/C) Delhi, has been appointed by the Appointments Committee of the
    Cabinet as managing director from the date of notification of his appointment up
    to the date of his superannuation (July 31, 2019) or until further orders, the
    statement said.

Senior IAS officer Ajay Tyagi appointed Sebi chief for five years

  • Senior Finance Ministry official
    Ajay Tyagi was today appointed as chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of
    India (Sebi).
  • He will succeed U K Sinha, whose
    extended tenure ends on March 1.
  • Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer
    of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in
    the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.
  • Tyagi has been appointed as
    chairman of the markets regulator, an official order said.

Somalia’s Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo chosen as new President
  • The Parliament of Somalia elected
    former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, as the country’s new president
    on 8 February 2017.
  • Farmajo was chosen after two
    rounds of voting, after which he immediately took the oath of the office. The
    large consensus for Farmajo led current President Hassan Sheikh, who was
    elected to the office in 2012, to concede defeat and withdraw himself from the
    contest.

ED Director Karnal Singh gets two-year fixed term
  • Karnal Singh, Director of
    Enforcement Directorate (ED), on 7 February 2017 was given a fixed two-year
    tenure to head the anti-money laundering investigation agency. The move came
    following a recent Supreme Court directive.
  • The Appointments Committee of
    Cabinet (ACC) also approved a two-year fixed term for Singh effective from 27
    October 2016.
  • In October 2016, the ACC had
    approved the name of Singh as ED chief until 31 August 2017.
  • Singh, a Union Territories cadre
    officer, had held the additional charge of the post of ED chief since August
    19, 2015, until the time he was elevated as the Director.

Days:
National Deworming Day 2017 observed in India

  • The National Deworming Day was
    observed on 10 February 2017 in India with an aim to tackle worm infections in
    children.
  • This year, the National Deworming
    Day initiative was aimed at reaching approximately 34 crore children in the age
    group of 1-19 years in government-aided schools, anganwadis, and private
    schools in 34 states of the country.
  • The day is generally marked by
    events and awareness programmes that are conducted by Department of School
    Education and Literacy under Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development,
    Union Ministry of Women and Child Development and Union Ministry of Drinking
    Water and Sanitation.
  • Moreover, a coordinated effort is
    also rolled out across the country with tablets and communication material.
    Reporting forms are also delivered to every school and anganwadi for the
    deworming program.

Safer Internet Day celebrated on 7 February 2017
  • The Safer Internet Day was
    celebrated on 7 February 2017 with the theme – Be the Change: Unite for a
    Better Internet.
  • To mark the occasion, various
    activities were undertaken across the world by the stakeholders of the internet
    like internet service providers (ISPs), search engine service provider Google
    and policy makers.
  • In India, Google distributed
    awards to the winners of the 2nd edition of the Web Rangers initiative. The
    initiative was launched by the company to promote digital literacy and spread awareness
    about internet safety.

Sports News:
Mission 11 million initiative launched
  • The Mission 11 million, a
    football initiative aimed towards taking the game to 12,000 schools in 37
    cities across the country was set rolling by the Union Sports Minister Vijay
    Goel and the president of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel
    at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
  • In an event in which the official
    mascot of the Under-17 World Cup was also launched, the football drive was made
    to cater to the interest of football loving students with matches on smaller
    grounds between four or five a side teams.
  • Through the project, school
    children will be encouraged to play football regularly and help them gain
    healthy habits, fine tune motor skills, learn life lessons in team work and
    cultivate sportsman spirit. There will be seminars for teachers, school activities
    and football festivals till September, as a prelude to the Under-17 World Cup
    scheduled to be staged in October.

Aashay Verma and Priyanka Prabhakara selected for 2017 All-Star BWB
Global Camp

  • The National Basketball
    Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on 9
    February 2017 announced the names of the top 67 boys and girls for the third annual
    Basketball without Borders (BWB) Global Camp.
  • The list also shows the names of
    India youngsters Aashay Verma and Priyanka Prabhakara. Verma is a 17-year old
    teenager, 7-foot, 1-inch tall and plays center. Prabhakara is a 5-foot, 10-inch
    tall player and hails from Kerala.
  • The BWB Global Camp will be held
    from 17 February to 19 February 2017 at the New Orleans Pelicans’ practice
    facility as part of NBA All-Star 2017.

Sourabh Verma & Rituparna Das won singles titles in National
Badminton Championship
  • Sourabh Verma and Rituparna Das
    on 7 February 2017 won the men’s singles and women’s singles titles
    respectively in the 81st Senior National Badminton Championships tournament in
    Patna, Bihar.
  • To win the title, the second seed
    Rituparna defeated the 9th seed Reshma Karthik in straight sets 21-12 21-14 in
    the final match.
  • In the men’s singles final,
    Sourabh Verma defeated Lakshya Sen in straight sets 21-13 21-12.
  • In the women’s doubles event, the
    pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant clinched the title by defeating Shikha
    Gautam and Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-9 21-11.
  • In the men’s doubles event, the
    duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Chirag Shetty clinched the title by defeating Nand
    Gopal K and Sanyam Shukla 21-17, 16-21 and 21-16.
  • In the mixed doubles category,
    the duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Maneesha K defeated Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi
    Dewangan 21-14 21-18 to claim the title.

India to host 2017 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup
  • The Basketball Federation of
    India (BFI) on 5 January 2017 announced that India will host the FIBA Women’s
    Asia Cup basketball tournament in July 2017.
  • The BFI has been allotted to host
    two international events in 2017, the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and FIBA U-16
    Women’s Asian Championship. 
  • This will be the first time since
    2009 that India will be hosting a major International Basketball Federation
    (FIBA) event. 
  • The FIBA Women’s Asia Cup will be
    held from 23 July to 29 July 2017 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian
    Championship will be held from 22 to 28 October 2017 in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Books & Authors:
Veerappan, Chasing the Brigand authored by K Vijay Kumar

  • The Union Home Minister Rajnath
    Singh on 8 February 2017 released the book titled – Veerappan, Chasing the
    Brigand.
  • The book was written by K Vijay
    Kumar, Senior Security Adviser in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The book is considered as an
    authoritative narrative as the author K Vijay Kumar spearheaded the Tamil Nadu
    Special Task Force (STF) that planned and executed the Veerappan’s encounter in
    2004.
  • Highlights of Veerappan, Chasing
    the Brigand
  • The book is a lucid and incisive
    account of the rise and fall of India’s most dreaded forest brigand.
  • The book narrates various
    incidents that shaped Veerappan’s life – whether it is his birth in Gopinatham in
    1952 or his death in 2004 in a shootout in Padi.

Salman Rushdie’s novel ‘The Golden House’ announced

  • Author Salman Rushdie’s new novel
    titled ‘The Golden House’ is slated to release in September 2017. The
    announcement was made by Penguin Random House on 7 February 2017.
  • The book will be published in
    India by Penguin Random House, which acquired the subcontinent rights from the
    Wylie Agency.
  • Rushdie’s forthcoming novel is a
    modern-day thriller, which tells a story of a mysteriously wealthy family from Bombay
    that is desperately seeking to forget the tragedy they left behind as they
    settled in New York City.

Indexes:
India ranks at 43rd position in 5th Annual International IP Index of
USCC
  • India ranked at 43rd position out
    of 45 countries in the 5th Annual International Intellectual Property (IP)
    Index of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC). The 2017 International IP Index,
    named as ‘The Roots of Innovation’, was released on 8 February 2017.
  • India was ranked just above
    Pakistan and Venezuela. The United States continued to be on the top of the
    index. The top four positions of the index were fetched by the United States,
    United Kingdom, Japan and the European Union.
  • According to the report, the 45
    countries, analysed in the index, represent nearly 90 per cent of the global
    Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • In 2016, India was placed at 37th
    position out of 38 countries.

Awards & Honors:
Indian-origin UK sculptor awarded Israel’s Genesis Prize
  • Britain-based Indian-origin
    artist, Anish Kapoor was honoured with Israel’s ‘Genesis prize’, popularly
    known as the Jewish Nobel for his commitment to Jewish values on 6 February
    2017.
  • The award includes a prize money
    of $1 million. Kapoor has already announced his decision of using the amount to
    assist the Syrian refugees and alleviate the refugee crisis.

World:
Dubai gets first woman commercial pilot in royal family

  • Shaikha Mozah Al Maktoum, one of
    the female members of Dubai’s ruling family, is claimed to have become the
    first woman commercial pilot, according to media reports.
  • A few members of the Al Maktoum
    family took to Instagram to congratulate the young achiever, expressing their
    pride and joy on her accomplishment.
  • Other members of the ruling
    family sent their congratulations on social media to the young royal pilot,
    with Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum saying: “So proud of
    you cousin.”
  • Although the veracity of the
    airline – that she flies for- can not be confirmed, but the uniform looks
    similar to the one worn by Emirates pilots. It is noteworthy that UAE’s
    aviation sector boasts of many women, from pilots to engineers. In 2016, Etihad
    Airways announced that more than half the UAE nationals employed by the airline
    are women, including nearly 50 pilots.

Nokia to acquire Comptel Corporation to advance its software strategy
  • Nokia Corporation 9 February 2017
    announced to acquire Comptel Corporation to advance its software strategy. The
    acquisition will also provide service providers with a comprehensive solution
    to design, deliver, orchestrate and assure communications and digital services
    across all the networks.
  • Earlier on 8 February 2017, Nokia
    and Comptel entered into a Transaction Agreement under which Nokia, through its
    wholly owned subsidiary Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy, undertook voluntary
    public cash tender offer to purchase all of the issued and outstanding shares
    of Comptel.
  • The price offered for each share
    in the Tender Offer was EUR 3.04 in cash.
  • The Tender Offer valued Comptel
    at approximately EUR 347 million on a fully diluted basis.
  • When Comptel will be combined
    with Nokia’s OSS, BSS, analytics and cloud technology, customers will be
    provided with end-to-end orchestration of complex Network Function
    Virtualisation (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) deployments.

NASA’s Chandra satellite detects distinct X-ray signal
  • The US space agency NASA’s
    Chandra X-Ray Observatory in February 2017 detected a very strange and
    distinctive X-ray signal from the Milky Way galaxy. This observation can help
    the scientists in proving the existence of dark matter in the universe.
  • A team of researchers from the
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale Centre for Astronomy and
    Astrophysics in the US observed the energy spectrum of X-rays coming out from
    the mysterious source.
  • Researchers observed extra
    photons with an energy of about 3500 electron volts in the spectra. While
    probing the spectrum, researchers concluded that the production of X-ray
    photons with particular energy level could have been the result of decay of
    dark matter.

Qatar Airways launches world’s longest scheduled commercial airline
route
  • Qatar Airways on 5 February 2017
    launched the world’s longest scheduled commercial airline route with the
    arrival of its flight from Doha to Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The airliner, a 259-seat Boeing
    777-200LR, crossed 10 time zones before landing in Auckland early on 6 February
    2017 after taking off from Doha, covering a distance of 7848 nautical miles.
    That is the furthest distance between any two cities linked by direct flights.
  • Emirates previously held the
    record for its route between Dubai and Auckland.

Obituaries:
Nobel laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passes away
  • Renowned physicist and Nobel
    laureate Sir Peter Mansfield passed away on 8 February 2017 in London, England.
    He was 83.
  • Mansfield, along with Paul
    Lauterbur, had won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for
    developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Sir Peter Mansfield was an
    English physicist. He also served as a professor at the University of
    Nottingham.
  • Born on 9 October 1933 in London,
    he developed an interest in rocketry at the age of 18.
  • He took up a job with the Rocket
    Propulsion Department of the Ministry of Supply in Westcott, Buckinghamshire.
    Eighteen months later, he was called up for National Service.

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