Daily Current Affairs: February 7&8, 2020

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National News


India – Central Asia Business Council held in New Delhi

  • The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in partnership with 5 of the epic industry bodies of Central Asian countries launched the India-Central Asia Business council, as an outcome of the dialogue held in Samarkand on 2019.
  • Nations-India, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Cabinet approves setting up a new Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra

  • Cabinet has given its in-principle approval for setting up a Major Port at Vadhavan in Maharashtra. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with JNPT as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50% to implement the project.
  • Vadhavan port will be developed on ‘landlord model’.

Maharashtra

  • Capital: Mumbai
  • Chief Minister: Uddhav Thackeray
  • Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sets target of USD 5 billion for defence exports in next 5 years

  • During the Def Expo 2020, PM said that government has set a defence export target of USD 5 billion in the next 5 years. 
  • The eleventh edition of the mega defence event is being held in Lucknow with the theme-India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub.

Cabinet approves to give status of Institution of National Importance to 5 IIITs

  • Union Cabinet approved to confer the status of Institution of National Importance to 5 IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Tecnology). All the 5 IIITs are to operate in PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode. 
  • There are 5 IIITs in India that were set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The 5 IIITs in PPP mode includes IIITs in Bhopal, Raichur, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Surat.

Intivadhakey Pension scheme covered 94% of beneficiaries

  • The ‘Intivadhakey Pension’ programme-started as a door-delivery pension-was launched in 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • The scheme has covered 94% of about 60 lakh pensioners within a few days, said the Govt.
  • This is the 1st of its kind in India.

Andhra Pradesh

  • Capital: Amaravati
  • Chief Minister: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
  • Governor: Biswa Bhushan Harichandan

Vietnam’s Vice President to visit India 

  • Vice President of Vietnam Dang Thai Ngoc Thinh would be on an official visit to India from 11th to 13th of this month. 

International News


India becomes second-largest steel producer of Crude Steel

  • As per World Steel Association data, India became the second largest steel producer of crude steel after China in 2018 and 2019, by replacing Japan.
  • USA & South Korea ranked 4th and 5th positions, respectively.

Prince Charles launches children’s protection fund for India

  • The Prince of Britain, Prince Charles has recently unveiled a new children’s protection fund for India. The trust was founded to fight poverty in South Asia. 
  • Noted American singer Katy Perry was named as the ambassador of the new fund.

Virat Kohli retains top spot as the most valuable celebrity in 2019: Duff & Phelps

  • Virat Kohli retained the top spot in the celebrity brand valuation rankings released by Duff & Phelps, for the third year in a row. His brand value grew by nearly 39 per cent to $237.5 million in 2019. 
  • Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar bagged the second spot. Deepika Padukone & Ranveer Singh held the third spot.

Train route between Dhaka & Siliguri expected to open by June 2020

  • Bangladesh Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan has said that the train route between Dhaka and Siliguri is expected to be open by June this year.
  • Construction of the seven-kilometer long train route at Chilahati-Haldibari border will be completed by June this year to connect Dhaka to Siliguri.

Bangladesh

  • Capital: Dhaka
  • Currency: Taka
  • Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
  • President: Abdul Hamid 

HAL signs MoU with Israel Aerospace Elbit Systems for digital head-up displays for fighter planes

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the 1st time, will sign a partnership pact with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) at the Def Expo 2020 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • This pact is signed for manufacture advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) in India.

Appointments and Resignation


Jeff Weiner becomes Executive Chairman of LinkedIn

  • Jeff Weiner became the Executive Chairman (EC) of Linkedin.
  • He was the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Linkedin for the past 11 years.
  • Linkedin is a professional networking company owned by Microsoft.
  • Ryan Roslansky, senior Vice President (VP) of Linkedin will become the CEO of the company.

Rishabh Pant appointed as brand ambassador of JSW Steel 

  • JSW steel has appointed Indian cricketer Rishabh Rajendra Pant as its brand ambassador.
  • His contract term will be for a period of 3 years and will promote JSW steel products such as SW Colouron+ color coated sheets & JSW Neosteel TMT bars etc.

World Bank chief economist Pinelopi announced resignation

  • American Greek economist and Chief Economist of the World Bank (WB) Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg (57-years) announced her resignation.
  • World Bank research director Aart Kraay will be the interim WB chief economist until the appointment of a new permanent chief economist.

Banking and Economics


RBI extends debt recast window for small borrowers by 9 months

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) extended the deadline for a one-time restructuring scheme of small business loans by another nine months to 31 December.
  • It also mandated banks to use an external benchmark to price loans to medium-sized enterprises from 1 April.
  • RBI was set up in 1935 under the Reserve Bank of India Act,1934.

Unemployment rate in India was 6.1% in 2017-18 as per new PLFS

As per the new Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) being conducted by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MosPI), the labour force participation is 36.9 % and the rate of unemployment for 2017-18 is 6.1%.


RBI Announces the roll out of a New Digital Payment Index

  • Reserve Bank of India has announced the creation of a digital payments index (DPI) by July 2020. The index will assess and capture the extent of digitalization of payments effectively.
  • DPI has been conceptualised as a composite scoring system
  • Fiscal deficit is budgeted to decline to 3.5% of GDP for 2020-21

Science and Technology


IIT Hyderabad research team identified ‘AIM4’ molecule to treat ALS

  • A drug molecule that help in the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a rare disease of the nervous system, has been identified by researchers at the IIT Hyderabad.
  • With no known drugs to treat ALS the molecule code named ‘AIM4’ raises expectations.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after record-setting stay in space

  • NASA’s astronaut Christina Koch returned from space to Earth safely yesterday. Koch returned after an 11-month mission, breaking the world record for the most time spent by a woman in space.
  • Koch has spent 328 days on International Space Station ISS, surpassing the previous record of 289 days held by fellow American Peggy Whitson.

Obituary News


Hollywood veteran actor Kirk Douglas passes away in US

  • Hollywood legend and veteran actor Kirk Douglas passed away today at Beverly Hills, California in US. He was 103.

Former Karnataka Minister D. Manjunath passed away at 92

  • Former Karnataka Minister D. Manjunath, 92 years old passed away in Karnataka, Bengaluru due to age-related ailments.

Sports News


Mizoram win Junior National Football Championship for Dr BC Roy Trophy

  • Mizoram won the final of the Junior National Football Championship for Dr BC Roy Trophy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Shillong.
  • They beat Punjab 5-4 on penalties as both teams finished 1-1 in regulation and extra time.Punjab won the trophy in 2015-2016.
  • Bidhan Chandra (BC) Roy, Former Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Sports Authority of India & Hockey India launch High Performance Centres

  • Sports Authority of India & Hockey India announced the launch of the High-Performance Centres in 7 places to provide state-of-the-art facilities to Junior & Sub-Junior players and is aimed at grooming young talent in view of 2024 & 2028 Olympic Games.
  • Sports Authority of India Headquarters- New Delhi, 
  • Hockey India Headquarters – New Delhi.

National News


President Ram Nath Kovind presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy

  • President Ram Nath Kovind Presenting the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu and the Leprosy Mission Trust in New Delhi.

New Delhi

  • CM: Arvind Kejriwal
  • Governor: Anil Baijal

Jammu and Kashmir admin renames PHE&IFC dept as ‘Jal Shakti Dept’

  • Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday accorded sanction to renaming of the Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Department as the ‘Jal Shakti Department’.
  • Lt Governor G C Murmu, also accorded sanction to the implementation of the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) and roadmap to achieve 100 per cent coverage of piped water supply by December 2021 across the Union Territory.

Jammu and Kashmir

  • Capital: Srinagar (summer), Jammu (winter)
  • Governor: Girish Chandra Murmu

Sharang artillery Gun inducted into Indian Army

  • The Sharang artillery guns have been upgraded from 130 mm to 155 mm. Also, the hitting range of the gun system has been increased from 12 kilo metres to 39 kilo metres. 
  • The artillery guns are currently produced at the Kanpur ordnance factory.

22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS) 2020 commenced in Kochi, Kerala

  • A 3-day long 22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS), 2020 based on the theme “Blue Revolution- Beyond Production to Value Addition” has commenced at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Kochi, Kerala.
  • The show is being organized jointly by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry & the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).
  • MPEDA proposes Rs 2500 crore project to Modenise Fishing Harbours.

 

Kerala

  • Capital: Thiruvananthapuram
  • Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan
  • Governor: Arif Mohammed Khan

Sanatkada festival celebrated in Lucknow

  • A well-curated four-day festival of arts, crafts, food and performances, focusing on a different theme each year.
  • Most events take place in the Safed Baradari building in Kaiserbagh, Lucknow.

Uttar Pradesh

  • Capital: Lucknow
  • Chief Minister: Yogi Adityanath
  • Governor: Anandiben Patel

International News


AIIB Sanctioned $3 billion Loan to Andhra Pradesh for development projects

  • The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) offered to extend a $3 billion loan to Andhra Pradesh for development projects. 
  • The loan would be utilised for the construction of ports, airports, roads, water grid projects and irrigation projects.

Andhra Pradesh

  • Capital: Amaravati
  • Chief Minister: Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy
  • Governor: Biswa Bhushan Harichandan

Philip Barton appointed Britain’s new High Commissioner to India

  • Britain appointed career diplomat Philip Barton as its High Commissioner to India to succeed Dominic Asquith. Barton will take up his appointment during Spring 2020. He joined the FCO in 1986 and is a career diplomat.

Airbus signs aircraft services MoU with Adani Defence and Aerospace

  • Airbus India and Adani Defence signed an agreement on to leverage synergies in aerospace and aircraft services, a fast-growing sector that is estimated to generate annual business worth USD 6.3 billion in the country by 2025.
  • Anand Stanley, president and MD of Airbus India.

IIM-Bengaluru ranks third in MOOC performance among B-Schools globally

  • Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) secured the third rank in the global list of Top Business Schools of 2020.
  • This was the maiden ranking for business schools globally who are offering MOOCs (massive online open courses) courses. HEC Paris (France) and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (USA) have secured the first and second rank respectively.

Banking and Technology


RBI will conduct its first-ever long-term repo operations (LTROs)

  • RBI will conduct first repo operations on February 17 of Rs 25,000 crore for three years, followed by a one-year LTROs of an equivalent amount on February 24.
  • In the monetary policy on Thursday, the RBI said it will conduct LTRO of up to Rs 1 trillion in various sizes.

PhonePe to create world’s biggest ATM network of 2 million in India

  • PhonePe says it will by the end of this year create an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) network of 2 million, helping the Walmart-owned service to fight rivals Alibaba-backed Paytm, Google Pay and Amazon Pay as they compete in India’s crowded digital payments market. 
  • PhonePe will not charge for the service and it has set a withdrawal limit of Rs 1,000 for now

Government to Reintroduce FRDI Bill

  • The government is in the process of reintroducing the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, but the timeline has not been decided by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
  • FRDI was withdrawn in August 2018 after a backlash on a clause that put the onus on depositors to ‘bail in’, in case of bank failure. 
  • Deposit insurance cover was only Rs 1 lakh at the time, In the recent Budget, the government increased deposit insurance cover to Rs 5 lakh.

RBI to conduct “Financial Literacy Week 2020”

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will conduct the “Financial Literacy Week 2020″ from February 10 to February 14, 2020. 
  • The theme of the Financial Literacy Week 2020 is “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)”

Appointment and Resignation


Thomas Gottstein appointed as the new CEO of Credit Suisse 

  • The Board of directors (BOD) of the bank appoints Thomas Gottstein as the new CEO.
  • Tidjane Thiam (57), a French-Ivorian banker has resigned chief executive officer (CEO) of Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG following a spying scandal.

Cognizant’s VC Francisco D’Souza steps down from the board; Vinita Bali joins

  • Cognizant co-founder Francisco D’Souza is set to step down from the board of the company.
  • He co-founded Cognizant in 1994 and served as the company’s CEO from January 2007 through March 2019. 
  • Vinita Bali will join the board as an independent director.
  • Brian Humphries, Cognizant CEO.

Awards and Honours


Manoj Das to receive Mystic Kalinga Literary Award 2020

  • The prestigious Mystic Kalinga Literary Award (Indian and Global Languages) is to be presented to the noted Odia and English writer Manoj Das.
  • He was recently received Padma Bhushan, for his contribution in the field of literature and education. He had also been conferred with the Saraswati Samman award.

Obituary


Famous cricket journalist & film historian Raju Bharatan passed away at 86

  • Famous cricket journalist and film historian Raju Bharatan, 86 years old, passed away at Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • He is also the writer for the Hindu and Sportstar and a popular radio commentator for India’s cricket matches.

Sports News


Ayushi Podder wins women’s 50 metres Rifle 3 Positions

  • Ayushi Podder won the women’s 50 metres Rifle 3 Positions (3P), while T.S. Divya and Adarsh Singh claimed the titles in the women’s 10 metres Air Pistol and men’s 25 metres Centre Fire Pistol T1 events in Thiruvananthapuram.

Rohit Rajpal to continue as India’s Davis Cup captain

  • Rohit Rajpal will continue as India’s non-playing Davis Cup captain while veteran Leander Paes, too, has retained his place in the six-member squad picked for the tie against Croatia.
  • Zeeshan Ali will be the coach. India are scheduled to travel to Croatia for their next tie from 6th to 7th of March.

Chandrakant Mali creates 3-records in his men’s 109kg title victory

  • In Weightlifting, Chandrakant Mali created three records in his men’s 109kg title victory on the concluding day of the National Championships at Kolkata.
  • Mirabai Chanu (women’s 49kg) and Jeremy Lalrinnunga (men’s 67kg) emerged as ‘Best Lifters’.
  • Railways retained team championships in men and women sections.

Can you score 15/ 15 in Today’s Current Affairs Quiz? Attempt the Current Affairs Quiz of February 6, 2020 now from the link given below. (It took topper to score 15/15 in 7 & 8 minutes 18 seconds, beat that if you can). 


Daily Current Affairs Quiz – February 7 & 8, 2020


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