28th February 2017 – Current Affairs Today

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National Current Affairs

New Catering Policy 2017 for Railways

  • The new policy will replace the seven year old policy and has separated food production and food distribution.
  • The onboard catering responsibility has been given to the IRCTC for majority of trains, including all the new ones, while the food will be prepared at state-of-the-art base kitchens.
  • Railway catering policy-2017 also empowers the IRCTC to fix menu and tariff in consultation with Railway Board.
  • Stringent guidelines have been incorporated in the policy to set up base kitchens at major junctions and also to restrict IRCTC from outsourcing private licensees outright.
  • The new policy envisages that tenure of stalls shall be of five years only. The new policy also encourages e-catering system.

Goa ranks first in having lesser infant mortality rate

  • Infant mortality rate in the country has been registered at 42 deaths of kids per 1000 births while Puducherry was having 11 deaths of children per 1000 babies
  • Top 3 states : Goa ranked first, followed by Kerala and Puducherry
  • The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country.

Haryana Launches Online Sex Ratio Monitoring System For Panipat

  • The system will have the data of child sex-ratio collected from all villages by the Health and Women and Child Welfare Departments every month.
  • It will also include the data about the critical villages where more attention was required regarding child sex-ratio and important steps needed to be taken to tackle the problem.

International Current Affairs

Iran and Russia Agrees Roadmap to Jointly Produce Nuclear Fuel

  • A preliminary agreement with Russia on the joint production of nuclear fuel was reached during the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the major world powers in 2015.
  • Iran also plans to buy 950 tonnes of uranium ore(yellow cake) from Kazakhstan over the next three years which is part of Iran’s international nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • Nearly 650 tons of the yellow cake shipment will arrive in Tehran directly in two batches of shipment during two years. The remaining 300 tons of this shipment will arrive in Tehran over the third year.
  • The JCPOA is an international agreement between Iran with the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: China, France, Russia, Britain, the US plus Germany and the European Union.
  • Under the agreement Iran agreed to scale back its nuclear activities to a considerable degree in return for the lift of international sanctions.

2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC) Begins in Barcelona

  • MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, organised by the GSMA.  The global tech industry gathers to get participate in new smartphone launches, VR and AR developments, chipsets and wearables.
  • The GSMA Mobile World Congress is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.
  • During the event, Nokia re-introduced the iconic Nokia 3310 handset in a new design along with the Snake game at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). Besides, it also re-launched Nokia 5 and 3.

Australia and Indonesia Restore Full Military Ties

  • The two nations agreed for full restoration of defense cooperation, training exchanges and activities. Both were also committed to concluding a free trade deal in 2017.
  • Earlier in January 2017, Indonesia’s military suspended cooperation with Australia after insulting training material was found at a special force’s base in the west Australian city of Perth.
  • The two leaders also witnessed the signing of an agreement on maritime cooperation that includes strengthening maritime security and border protection as well as combating crimeand improving efficiency of shipping.

Business & Economy

Government Issues Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV

  • Applications for the bond will be accepted from February 27, 2017 to March 03, 2017 and the Bonds will be issued on March 17, 2017.
  • The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange.
  • The bonds will be issued in denominations of one gram of gold and multiples thereof and be available in both demat and paper form.
  • Minimum investment in the bonds shall be 1 gram per person while maximum limit of 500 grams per person per fiscal year.
  • The issue price shall be Rs 50 per gram less than the nominal value.
  • The bonds shall bear a fixed interest rate of 2.50 percent per annum on the amount of initial investment.
  • The holding period of the bond has been fixed for a period of 8 yearsPre-mature redemption of the bond is also permitted from 5th year of the date of issue on the interest payment dates.

SIDBI sanctions Rs.1,112 crore this Fiscal to Startups 

  • An expert committee set up by SIDBI, Venture Capital Investment Committee (VCIC) has sanctioned Rs 300 crore to fund managers who would invest in startups, thus taking the total sanctions in 2016-17 to over Rs 1,100 crore.
  • SIDBI’s VCIC comprises of former Infosys CFO Mohandas Pai, former Nasscom chief Kiran Karnik, Indian Angel Network Founder Saurabh Srivastava, Founder ofInfo Edge’s Sanjeev Bikhchandani, among others.
  • Small Industries Development Bank of India is an independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises in India.

Apollo Munich and Dena Bank Enters Into Bancassurance Tie-Up 

  • In order to expand its business across the country, Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company has tied up with Mumbai-based Dena Bank to provide its insurance product to the large customer base of the bank.
  • Under the tie-up the bank will distribute customised Apollo Munich Health insurance and personal accident policies to the bank’s 20 million customers across India.
  • Apollo Munich Health has also developed specialised health insurance solutions with distinctive benefits exclusively for Dena Bank customers.
  • The health insurance policies will be available in the form of individual, as well as family floater plans beginning with  2 lakh up to a limit of Rs. 10 lakhs.

Paytm Unveils Online Shopping App Paytm Mall

  • The Paytm Mall app aims to offer a combination of the Mall and Bazaar concepts to Indian consumers for online shopping.
  • Paytm Mall will focus on structured categories and brand authorised stores. It will also be focusing on electronics, top fashion brands and FMCG categories.
  • Paytm Mall would also have a section called Paytm ‘Bazaar’that will focus on fashion, home furnishing and goods from small sellers.
  • Paytm Mall is an One97 Communications entity in which Alibaba will own more than 40 percent stake and making way for direct entry into the local online retail market.

HPE Ties with Tata Communications to Roll-Out its LoRa Network

  • Under the partnership, Tata Communications will support Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to roll-out its Internet of Things platform, “the LoRa network”.
  • Tata Communications will also provide HPE with a range of domestic and cross-borderIoT connectivity and management services particularly for applications requiring elements of mobility, such as connected cars, fleet management and transportation services.
  • LoRa is a wireless communication technology dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT) / Machine to Machine (M2M) communications network. The network under LoRa technology would require low-power, be secure, bi-directional which organisations can use to connect objects.

Awards

List of the 89th Academy Awards

  • La La Land won the most number of awards at the ceremony totaling to six after being nominated into 14 categories.
  • It was followed by Arrival and Moonlight with each being nominated in eight categories.
  • Mahershala Ali won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of a drug dealer in Moonlight. With this he became the first Muslim to be nominated and awarded a golden statuette for acting.

Kohli named captain of the year at ESPNcricinfo Awards

Category Winner
‘Captain of the Year Virat Kohli
Test Batting Performance of the Year Ben Stokes
Test Bowling Performance of the Year award Stuart Broad
ODI Batting Performance of the Year Quinton de Kock
ODI Bowling Performance of the Year award Sunil Narine
T20 Batting Performance of the Year award Carlos Brathwaite
T20 Bowling Performance of the Year award Mustafizur Rahman
Batting Performance of the Year award Hayley Williams
Bowling Performance of the Year award Leigh Kasperek

 


People in News

Kabir Bedi appointed honourary brand ambassador of Sightsavers

  • India’s most famous international actors Kabir Bediwas appointed as the honourary brand ambassador of Sightsavers India to prevent avoidable blindness
  • Kabirs’s association would help the organisation towards a focused journey with amplified impact in the coming days.

Former Union Minister P Shivshankar Passes Away

  • Former Union Minister  Shiv Shankar passed away. He was 89
  • He became Law Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet in 1980.
  • He represented the Congress as Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat from 1985 to 1993
  • He has served as External Affairs and Human Resource Development Minister. He first became Governor of Sikkim in 1994 and later was shifted to Kerala in 1995.
  • In 1998, he won on the Congress ticket from the Tenali Parliamentary constituency, defeating Telugu actor Sharada of the Telugu Desam Party.

Science & Technology

ZTE launches world’s first 5G IT baseband unit (BBU) in partnership with Intel

  • Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment company ZTE made an announcement that it has launched a next generation 5G IT baseband unit (BBU).
  • ZTE has partnered with Intel Corporation for this technology. The architecture of this technology has been provided by Intel. This is the world’s first software-defined network (SDN) or network function virtualisation (NFV) 5G radio access network (RAN) solution.
  • The Chinese smartphone giant ZTE also unveiled first Gigabit phone at MWC which is capable of achieving download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Environment and Ecology

Pests Destroys 35% of India’s Total Crop Yield

  • As per the data by Indian Council of Agricultural Research scientists, over 30-35 percent of the annual crop yield in India is destroyed because of
  • The huge crop loss is having an adverse effect on the agricultural bio-safety as it forms a vital portion of Indian food security.
  • Potato Cyst Nematode, a particular kind of nematode had affected plants such as potatoes and tomatoes. It was first discovered in the Nilgiris and had now spread to various parts of the country.

Sports Current Affairs

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Outclasses Frenchman Lucas Pouille to win 2017 Open 13

  • Second-seeded French tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated his fellow mate Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 to win the finals of Open 13 Marseille in France
  • This was his 14th career titleat the indoor event and 2nd title of the year 2017.
  • With this win, the 11th-ranked Tsonga has climbed 4 spots in the ranking to be placed in the top 10 at number 7.
  • Besides, for Tsonga it was his ninth victory in a row and his 3rd Open 13 Marseille title. He claimed the Open 13 Marseille title in 2009 and 2013 as well.

Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai to Clinch Maiden Hockey India League

  • Bhubaneswar-based team Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai 4-1 to win their maiden Hockey India League title
  • Kalinga Lancers captain Moritz Fuerste from Germany converted two penalty corners in the 30th minute and 58th minute while Australian forward Glenn Turner struck a field goal in 18th minute.
  • Kalinga Lancers were rewarded prize money worth Rs 2.5 crore and the runners-up received Rs 1.25 crore.
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