Aadhaar to be must for online booking of railway tickets:
The railways will soon move towards Aadhaar-based online ticketing system to prevent touts from blocking bulk tickets, end fraudulent bookings and curb cases of impersonation. Aadhaar number has been made mandatory for senior citizens to avail concessions in train tickets from April 1. An integrated ticketing app will also be launched by May to promote cashless transaction.
Yatra.com signs pact with MP govt to promote home stays:
Online travel company Yatra.com has announced that it signed an agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government to jointly promote homestays in the state. Under the agreement, Yatra will promote state tourism-approved homestays, where travellers can book a room with a local family or the entire house. Yatra had recently signed agreements with the Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat governments.
Kashmir gets first cashless hospital:
The Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK) started its first cashless transaction services at District Hospital Pulwama. District Development Commissioner Pulwama Muneer Ul Islam launched the service by inaugurating this facility, adding that these services would pave way for complete cashless transactions as desired by the Government post demonetisation.
Assam govt makes Sanskrit compulsory in schools:
The Assam Cabinet’s decision to introduce Sanskrit as a compulsory subject till Class VIII has evoked sharp criticism from students organisations.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has criticised the decision to make Sanskrit compulsory instead of promoting Assamese in schools.
VSoft to set up centre in Amaravati VIJAYAWADA:
Hyderabad and the U.S.- based VSoft Technologies, which is in an expansion mode, is planning to set up a software development centre at Mangalagiri in Amaravati. The company signed an agreement and registered with the APIIC, which allotted a 1,882- square feet area of land in the IT Park.
India to participate in Permanent Indus Commission meet in Lahore:
Pakistan forwarded the invitation to India to resolve the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), India is set to participate in the meeting of Permanent Indus Commission, scheduled to be held in Lahore in March.
The treaty which was signed in 1960 by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan gives India control over the three eastern rivers of the Indus basin, the Beas, the Ravi and the Sutlej while Pakistan has the three western rivers, the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum.
Pakistan returns to SAARC, gets Secretary General post:
Pakistan succeeded in getting its official elected to the post of the Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
The new chief of SAARC, Amjad Hussein B Sial, is a veteran Pakistani diplomat.
The incumbent secretary general, Nepal’s Arjun Bahadur Thapa, will complete his tenure at the end of February.
Half of India-Bangladesh border surrounded:
Half of the 4,096-km border India shares with Bangladesh has been fenced. Land acquisition is a major challenge to completing the work by the 2019 deadline. The border runs along West Bengal for 2,216.7 km, Assam 263 km, Meghalaya 443 km, Tripura 856 km and Mizoram 318 km.
The aim of the project is to curb infiltration and smuggling of cattle and fake Indian currency notes.
Sweden to reintroduce compulsory military service after 6 years:
Sweden announced that it will reintroduce compulsory military service starting this summer to respond to global security challenges, including from Russia. “The government wants a more stable staff supply system and to boost its military capability because the security situation has changed.
Sweden is not a NATO member but has signed the body’s Partnership for Peace programme launched in 1994 to develop military cooperation between NATO and non-member countries.
Swedish Defence Minister: Peter Hultqvist
BANKING AND BUSINESS
India to get ‘fair share’ of BASF’s €3 bn. Asia outlay:
Germany-based global chemicals major BASF will invest €3 billion (₹21,000 crore) between 2017-2021 in the Asia Pacific Region to build new capacities. “India will get a fair share of it investment”.
Sanjeev Gandhi, member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF.
ICICI Bank’s bond sale to raise $500 million:
Private sector lender ICICI Bank hit the overseas debt market with a $500-million dollar-denominated bond issue and is expected to close the 5.5-year issue tonight.
“The benchmark issue will be sold through the Dubai International Finance Centre branch of the bank, and the lead-managers have given a price guidance of 1.55% over the U.S. treasury,” merchant bankers said. The issue is part of ICICI Bank’s $7.5 billion global medium-term notes programme will have a maturity of 5.5 years and will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Essar Steel enters defence sector:
Essar Steel has forayed into high-growth defence manufacturing sector by developing steel grades which find application in land and naval defence. The estimated expenditure in defence sector is more than the $200 billion over the next five years.
Essar Steel aims to participate in the indigenisation of products used in naval defence, including destroyers, offshore patrol vessels used by both the Navy and Coast Guard, rocket launchers, floating docks and submarines.
Essar Steel MD and CEO: Dilip Oommen
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
‘Swati’ extensively tested along LoC:
The DRDO formally handed over an indigenously developed Weapon Locating Radar (WLR) system called ‘Swati’ to the Army. It has been extensively tested along the Line of Control (LoC). The organisation also handed over a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Reconnaissance vehicle and NBC treatment drugs to the Army.
The WLR has been a critical requirement of the Army, and in the aftermath of the Kargil conflict, it had to be imported from the U.S. in 2002 to fill critical needs.
‘Kalvari’ test-fires anti-ship missile:
Kalvari, the first of the Scorpion submarines being built in India, successfully conducted its maiden test-firing of an anti-ship missile in the Arabian Sea.
Kalvari is scheduled to be commissioned into the Navy very soon. However, the submarines are still without a heavy weight torpedo, their primary weapon. Navy sources said the missile fired was a French SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missile. “This launch is a significant milestone.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Visitor’s Award for Best University of 2017 was bagged by Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru University has bagged Visitor’s Award for Best University of 2017.The award was introduced with the aim to promote healthy competition amongst Central Universities and motivating them to adopt best practices around the world.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS
Book written by Former Indian Cricketer Aakash Chopra launched:
‘Numbers Do Lie’ is a book written by former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopras based on ‘Impact Index Analytics’ of three personalities Jaideep Verma, Soham Sarkhel and Nikhil Narayan. The launch was attended by Indian spinner R. Ashwin.
Roger Federer defeated by world number 116 at Dubai C’ships: