Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 23 2018

Latest Current Affairs – February 23 2018

  1. India to achieve 175 GW renewable energy ahead of 2022 deadline

India would achieve the target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacities well before 2022  for which bidding process would be completed on time and International Solar Alliance (ISA) shall help mobilise sufficient funds for solar energy projects stated by  New & Renewable Energy Secretary Anand Kumar at a PHDCCI event.

The statement issued by industry body that over the years the renewable energy has become cheaper and is set to replace conventional energy, which is a healthy development, and added that India has one of the fastest growing renewable energy programmes in the world. 

  1. Assocham, EPCES ink pact for info sharing on SEZs

Assocham and Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs (EPCES) have signed an agreement for sharing information relating to special economic zones and export oriented units and jointly organising events in India and abroad.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Assocham and EPCES would collaborate to actualise a shared agenda consisting of wide ranging activities of mutual benefits.

It also covers jointly sending trade delegations to various countries for wider reach and awareness about the EOUs & SEZs in India and making efforts to rope in international investors into Indian SEZs and EOUs.

  1. Paytm launches two insurance companies

Started as a digital payments startup, Paytm in the last two years has forayed into multiple segments integrating multiple platforms in the process. Backed by two major global conglomerates SoftBank and Alibaba, Paytm has now incorporated two Insurance companies: Paytm Life Insurance Corporation Ltd and Paytm General Insurance Corporation Ltd.

With an initial paid-up capital / authorised capital of $15,390 (INR 1 Mn), both the companies have been classified as public companies, limited by shares.

  1. RBI introduces Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs

India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has launched the Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).

The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs.

It has been introduced with the object of enabling resolution of complaints free of cost, relating to certain aspects of services rendered by certain categories of NBFCs registered with the RBI, to facilitate the satisfaction or settlement of such complaints, and matters connected therewith.

  1. ADB to give USD 84 mn for improving Bihar water supply

The Finance Ministry will get a loan of USD 84 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve water supply in the Bhagalpur and Gaya districts of Bihar.

The Tranche 2 loan is part of the USD 200 million Multi-Tranche Financing Facility (MFF) for Bihar Urban Development Investment Program that was approved by ADB in 2012, to provide sustainable urban infrastructure and services in four towns – Bhagalpur, Gaya, Darbhanga, and Muzaffarpur.

  1. SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket carrying internet satellites

SpaceX has successfully launched a Falcon 9 from SLC-4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, its first launch since its successful Falcon Heavy test earlier this month.

This launch had a secondary purpose, however, and one that might ultimately be more important to SpaceX’s long-term goals.

SpaceX packed two demonstration micro satellites for its planned internet broadband service (which Elon Musk confided via tweet it will call ‘Starlink’).

  1. ‘Dhanush’ ballistic missile successfully test-fired

India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable ‘Dhanush’ ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 kms from a naval ship off Odisha coast

The surface-to-surface missile, a naval variant of the indigenously-developed ‘Prithvi’ missile, was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal.

‘Dhanush’ missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.

  1. India, Canada ink six pacts

India and Canada have signed six agreements, including in the area of nuclear science, energy cooperation and information communication technology.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India’s Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada for co-operation in the fields of science, technology and innovation.

India and Canada have already signed an agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy. To step up cooperation in the field of energy, terms of reference for the India-Canada Ministerial Energy Dialogue were exchanged between the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada.

  1. India, Sri Lanka to exchange information to check smuggling

India and Sri lanka have decided to regularly exchange information to check smuggling between the two countries.

They have resolved to strengthen cooperation in preventing the smuggling of gold, drugs, fake Indian currency notes (FICN), wildlife, and other contraband across the India-Sri Lanka route, and to address trade-related issues such as country of origin frauds that impact the revenue of both the countries

  1. India, Uzbek region ink pharma pact

The Andijan Region of Uzbekistan and India have inked an agreement for cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry.

Both sides have agreed to work together in principle on the issue of creating an Uzbek-Indian free pharmaceutical zone in the Andijan region and start joint development of a business plan for this project.

  1. 15-year-old beats 2-time world champion to win Olympic gold

Russian teenager Alina Zagitova edged compatriot Evgenia Medvedeva with a stunning free skate that earned the Olympic Athletes from Russia a first gold at the Pyeongchang Games.

Medvedeva, who trains with Zagitova under the same coaches, won silver with a spectacular skate that put her 1.31 points behind Zagitova overall.

  1. Kunwar Bai, the 106-year-old icon for Swachh Bharat campaign, dies

Kunwar Bai, a 106-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh who was chosen as a mascot for the `Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, died.

Kunwar Bai shot to fame in 2016 when the story of how she sold her goats to build a toilet at home got nationwide publicity.