Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 20 2018

Latest Current Affairs – February 20 2018

  1. Centre to appoint tribunal to settle Mahanadi water dispute

The union cabinet has approved setting up of a tribunal to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi river waters.

The tribunal has been constituted under the Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956 on the request of Odisha which has repeatedly sought its formation stating that negotiations have failed to resolve the matter.

The tribunal will consist of a chairman and two other members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from among judges of the Supreme Court or high courts.

  1. Govt to set up 600-crore metro coach factory in Maharashtra

The Indian Railways has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maharashtra government to set up a coach factory in Latur with an investment of Rs600 crore.

The railways will be manufacturing Metro coaches with a potential of exporting them to the other countries and generation of 15,000 direct jobs in backward region of Marathwada.

  1. Mizoram celebrates 31st state day

Mizoram celebrated its 31st state day with all the government offices and educational institutions remaining closed on the occasion.

Mizoram was elevated to a full-fledged state and was inaugurated at Aizawl by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on February 20, 1987.

Mizoram became a state after the erstwhile underground Mizo National Front (MNF) and the centre signed the historic Mizo peace accord on June 30, 1986.

  1. Cabinet approves agreement between railways and Morocco rail

The Union Cabinet has approved an agreement between India and the Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF) for developing long-term cooperation and partnership in the rail sector.  The Cooperation Agreement was signed on December 14, 2017.

The agreement will enable technical cooperation in training and staff development, expert missions, exchange of experience, experts and personnel and mutual technical assistance.

  1. Cabinet approves creation of Rs 60,000 cr fund for urban housing scheme

The Union Cabinet has approved creation of a fund of Rs 60,000 crore to finance the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban), a move Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said would “add momentum to the pace of the implementation” of the government’s flagship scheme.

The National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) will have provisioning of funds to the tune of Rs 60,000 crore over the next four years.

  1. Cabinet approves six rail projects in 4 states

The government has approved six projects at a cost of Rs 11,661 crore for new lines as well as doubling and electrification of tracks, which would generate more than 200 lakh person days of employment in Uttar Pradesh and three other states.

The projects would cover 881 km of lines in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha.

  1. Nasscom inks pact with Telangana to set up CoE

The Telangana government has signed an agreement with Nasscom to establish a Centre of Excellence for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

To be established on a public-private partnership model, the CoE is the most recent addition to Nasscom’s ‘hub-and-spoke’ network of CoEs across major locations in the country, aimed at evangelising new and emerging technologies.

  1. India, Canada sign bilateral agreement to support startups

Amid Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s India visit, India and Canada have signed a bilateral agreement to provide market access for startups from both countries.

The programme has been sanctioned by both the governments and will be launched in India in partnership with Zone Startups India (ZSI), a private accelerator.

In a related development, during the India-Canada Business Meet earlier, Ottawa’s Carleton University and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) announced an international acceleration program to support 100 women led student tech startups.

  1. Indian, UK scientists discover origami-like farming solutions

Scientists from the UK and India have discovered a disposable diagnostic technology that uses paper folding, akin to origami, to process complex biochemical tests that can help farmers develop very low-cost diagnostics to improve the health of livestock.

In a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors, biomedical engineers, veterinary scientists and bacteriologists from Britain and India describe how the procedure helped farmers in India identify three separate reproductive infections in cattle.

  1. Para-athlete Sakina Khatun awarded conditional slot for CWG 2018

Indian para-powerlifter Sakina Khatun, who was initially snubbed for the Commonwealth Games 2018 in the Gold Coast, Australia, has been awarded conditional slot in women’s lightweight Para Powerlifting event of the prestigious games.

Sakina, who is the only Indian para-athlete to clinch a medal at the Commonwealth Games – bronze in lightweight category in Glasgow – till date, was earlier ignored during the selection of the contingent for the CWG 2018.

  1. Renowned writer Panoor passes away

Renowned writer K Kunjiraman Panoor, whose pen name is K Panoor, passed away. Panoor, a recipient of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, is the author of the work Keralathile Africa , Keralathile America and ‘Ha, Naxalbari’.

  1. Noted cardiologist B K Goyal dies

Eminent cardiologist Dr B K Goyal died after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 82. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan, Dr Goyal also founded the Dhanvantari Medical Foundation (DMF) with an aim to bring all the branches of medicine together and create a difference to people’s lives.