Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 19 2018

Latest Current Affairs – February 19 2018

  1. 2 Indian-Americans selected for Virginia scientist award

Two Indian-American researchers have been selected for Virginia’s top science award for their contribution and deep commitment towards the betterment of human health globally.

Arun J Sanyal and Parthik Naidu are among six people selected by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam for the 2018 Outstanding STEM Awards. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  1. Indian-American selected for top emerging technologies award

Rajiv Joshi, an Indian-American scientist from IBM, has been selected for a top emerging technologies award in recognition of his work in memory chips and integrated circuits.

A research scientist and key technical lead at IBM, Joshi was felicitated with the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Daniel E Noble award at the 2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference early this month.

He won the award “for contributions to predictive failure analytics, Very-large-scale integration memory design, and chip interconnect technology”.

  1. Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra takes over as Director (HR), IOC

Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra has taken over as Director (Human Resources) of state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

A mechanical engineer joined IOC in 1987, and has since worked on varied assignments, including terminal operations, supply chain management and logistics.

  1. Rajesh Kakkar takes over as ONGC’s offshore director

Rajesh Kakkar has taken over as the Director (Offshore) of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

As Director (Offshore), he will look after oil and gas production from ONGC’s offshore fields that contribute 70 per cent and 78 per cent of ONGC’s domestic crude oil and gas production, respectively.

  1. Govt appoints two new EDs in banks

Debashish Mukherjee and Murali Ramaswami were appointed executive directors of Canara Bank and Vijaya Bank respectively.

Mukherjee is at present the general manager of United Bank of India and Ramaswami is the GM of Vijaya Bank.

Mukherjee’s appointment is initially for three years but it is extendable by two years after review of his performance.

  1. Telangana govt appoints task force on urban mobility

The Telangana government has issued orders to constitute a task force on urban mobility to study the monorail model in the IT corridor of the city.

Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao underlined the need to integrate and synergise various modes of mass transportation systems such as metro rail, buses, monorail, MMTS, tram, e-vehicles and other models, keeping in view the present traffic density and emerging traffic requirement for the next five decades,

  1. UN names India as Global Host for the World Environment Day 2018

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced that his ministry’s headquarters at Indira Paryavaran Bhavan will now be plastic-free.

The decision was announced during a function, where India and United Nations signed a document declaring India as the Global Host of World Environment Day, 2018.

Indira Paryavaran Bhavan is the first government building in the national capital, with net zero energy green.

The state of the art building has emphasis on conservation of natural areas and trees to reduce adverse environmental impact, providing adequate natural light, shaded landscaped areas to reduce ambient temperature and maximise energy saving system.

  1. Amazon launches its first food retail service in India

Amazon has rolled out its own food retailing business in India with a pilot in Pune, becoming the first foreign ecommerce firm to stock and sell food items directly to consumers.

Amazon is now a vendor on and is currently operating in Pune. It is the only global entity to have applied for the food-only retailing business, an area where the government allowed 100% overseas investment in 2016 to help producers and generate employment.

  1. Singapore to impose carbon tax from 2019

Singapore would impose a carbon tax from next year to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect.

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat said the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023, after which the levy will be reviewed and possibly raised to between Sg$10 and Sg$15 per tonne by 2030.

  1. India win 5 medals in Czech shooting tourney, cadet girls bag silver

India’s cadet girls grabbed a silver medal while the junior boys and junior girls settled for a bronze each in the team events of the Czech Junior and Cadet Open that concluded in Hodonin, Czech Republic.

Indias Payas Jain picked up two bronze too to make it a grand six-medal haul for the country, following the silver that Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah won in the junior doubles’ competition.

  1. Telugu film comedian Gunda Hanumantha Rao dead

Noted Telugu film comedian Gundu Hanumantha Rao died. He was 61. Gundu Hanumantha Rao, born in Vijayawada, started his film career with “Aha Na Pellanta” in 1987 and acted in around 400 films such as “Rajendrudu Gajendrudu” and “Yamaleela”.

  1. Nawab Fazal Jah, son of Hyderabad’s last Nizam dies

Nawab Fazal Jah Bahadur, the son of the seventh and last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan died after a brief illness, according to a member of the erstwhile royal family of Hyderabad. He was the the last surviving son of the seventh Nizam.