Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 07 & 08 2020
1. India and China Trade Deficit
India’s trade in China decreased from USD 89.71 billion in 2017-18 to USD 87.07 billion in 2018-19. India’s imports from China declined from USD 76.38 billion in 2017-18 to USD 70.32 billion in 2018-19, and our exports grew from USD 13.33 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.75 billion in 2018-19. India’s trade deficit with China reduced from USD 63.05 billion to USD 53.57 billion.
2. DRDO signed Technology Development Contract with Rosoboronexport Russia
DRDO’s High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) signed a Technology Development Contract with Rosoboronexport Russia. It was signed during the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow. The contract aims for the development of a spectrum of high energy materials required for missiles, rockets, and guns.
3. CM inaugurated the first Commercial flight operations at Bidar Airport
Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) flagged off the first direct flight from Bidar airport to Bengaluru in Karnataka on 7 February 2020. The flight operation was inaugurated by Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri B.S. Yediyurappa, and Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bidar MP Shri Bhagwanth Khuba. Bidar airport has been remodeled under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) of the Government.
4. India, UK to partner on developing jet engine technology
India and the United Kingdom are expected to sign a government-to-government agreement on jet engine technology development. The announcement was made by the UK Minister for Defence Procurement James Heappey on 6 February.
5. HAL signed MoU with Elbit Systems for Digital HUD for fighter planes
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an MOU with Israel-based defense electronics company Elbit Systems on 6 February 2020 during the DefExpo 2020. The MoU aims to promote and market the Digital Head-Up Displays (HUD) units.
6. HAL received approval to produce light utility helicopter
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) received initial clearance from DRDO’s department of defence research and development for its light utility helicopter (LUH). The clearance will pave way for its production. LUH will replace the aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters.
7. SBI announces rate cut in FDs
State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a cut in retail fixed deposits (FD) rates. The rate cut will be effective from 10 February. The move by SBI is due to the surplus liquidity in the system. SBI realigned its interest rate on Retail Term Deposits which is less than Rs.2 crores and Bulk Term Deposits of Rs.2 crores and above.
8. Manoj Das received the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award
Odia and English writer Manoj Das received the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award (Indian and Global Languages) at the Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF). He received the award at the literary-cultural festival in Bhubneswar on 8 February. The award carried a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh along with a khadi shawl and certificate for the laureate.
9. TRIFED conducted a fashion show in Suraj Kund Mela
Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED) conducted a fashion show entitled “Naturally North-East: The Naga Narrative” held at Suraj Kund Mela on 7 February. It was curated by Mrs. Ritu Beri noted fashion designer and Chief designer of Tribes India.
10. Britain appoints Philip Barton as the High Commissioner to India
Career diplomat Philip Barton has been appointed as the High Commissioner to India by the British government. He will succeed Dominic Asquith. The appointment will be effective from Spring 2020.
Philip Barton: Philip Barton is a career diplomat. He studied economics and politics at Warwick University. He holds a Masters degree in economics from the London School of Economics. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1986.
11. Repo rate remains unchanged as per the 6th bi-monthly monetary policy statement
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the 6th bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2019-20 on 6 February. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which was led by Governor Shaktikanta Das from 4-6 February. The Central Bank has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5.15%.
12. RBI to release Digital Payment Index by July 2020
The Reserve Bank of India announced that it will create a Digital Payment Index by July 2020. The main aim of the index creation is to capture the extent of digitization of monetary payments in the country.
13. I-T dept launches e-calculator to compare due tax under new, old regime
The Income-Tax Department has launched an e-calculator for individuals to estimate their tax liability if they opt for the new tax slabs, without claiming deductions and exemptions, for ITR filing as announced in the recent Budget, officials said.
The calculator, with a comparative table to compare taxes in the old and the new tax regime, for resident individuals (financial year 2020-21) has been hosted on the official e-filing website of the department.
14. President confers International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy on February 6, 2020. The awards were presented to Dr NS Dharmashaktu in the individual category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category.
The awards aim to recognize the outstanding work by individuals and organisations to fight leprosy and eliminate the prejudices associated with it.
15. Narendra Modi in Assam: PM hails Bodo accord, announces Rs 1,500 crore developmental package for BTAD
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is visiting Assam to celebrate the signing of the Bodo agreement, attributed the signing of the Bodo peace accord to people’s support, heralding a new dawn of peace in Assam.
16. Record-setting Nasa astronaut returns home after spending 328 days in space
Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) returned home to Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, US. After setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman, Nasa astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth.
17. FICCI & Central asian countries jointly launches India-Central Asia business council in New Delhi
In order to boost business & economy, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) together with 5 of the biggest industry bodies of Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) launched the India-Central Asia Business council in New Delhi.
18. Kirk Douglas, a Star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dies at 103
Kirk Douglas, one of the last surviving movie stars from Hollywood’s golden age, whose rugged good looks and muscular intensity made him a commanding presence in celebrated films like “Lust for Life,” “Spartacus” and “Paths of Glory,” died at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 103.
19. Vinita Bali to join Cognizant board as independent director
Cognizant Technology Solutions, a US-based IT company with a large presence in India, appointed Vinita Bali as an independent director effective February 24. It further said Vice-Chairman Francisco D’Souza will leave the board effective March 31.
20. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is stepping down and will be replaced by the exec in charge of product
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is stepping down after 11 years at the helm of the popular professional social networking company owned by Microsoft. He will be replaced in June by Ryan Roslansky, a senior vice president in charge of product who has been at LinkedIn since before the Microsoft acquisition.