Current Affairs Daily Digest – March 09 & 10 2018


1. Passenger plane lands in Sikkim for the first time ever

A 78-seater SpiceJet plane became the first-ever commercial flight to land on Sikkim’s soil. The SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 plane took off from Kolkata at 10.30 am and successfully landed at Pakyong Airport, 32 km away from Sikkim’s capital Gangtok, at 11.45 am. Officials from DGCA and Airports Authority of India (AAI) Board were onboard the flight.

2. India and France sign deals worth over ₹1 lakh crore

Companies from India and France signed contracts worth over ₹1 lakh crore on the first day of French President Emmanuel Macron‘s visit. The deals include a contract for France’s Safran to supply airline SpiceJet with engines and a contract between gas company Air Liquide and Sterlite. Moreover, the countries signed 14 agreements in strategic areas like security and nuclear energy.

3. Suresh Prabhu gets additional charge of Civil Aviation

Commerce and Industries minister Suresh Prabhu has been given additional charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry, a day after the resignation of TDP’s Ashok Gajapathi Raju was accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind.

Raju and another Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Y S Chowdary had resigned from the council of ministers after party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu decided to pull out his ministers. Naidu took the decision after facing relentless attacks from the opposition for “failing” to secure special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

4. Archer from Jharkhand’s tribal belt wins gold at Asia Cup

Gora Ho, a teenager from the tribal belt of Jharkhand, won the team recurve event gold at Asia Cup Archery Stage 1. The 17-year-old, hailing from a village in Rajnagar, has won over 100 medals in age-group state and national level tournaments. Ho, part of the senior national side, is the youngest of four siblings in a family of farmers.

5. India, B’desh declare part of border crime free for 1st time

India and Bangladesh have for the first time declared a part of their common border as a ‘crime-free zone’. This comes after they worked on a joint initiative to crack down on human trafficking, drugs and firearms smuggling, and terrorist activities in the area. The countries installed border surveillance devices to make the 8.3-km long area crime free.

6. RBI slaps ₹5 cr fine on Airtel Payments Bank over KYC norms

The RBI has imposed a penalty of ₹5 crore on Airtel Payments Bank for breaching Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. The fine was imposed after the RBI found it guilty of opening payments bank accounts of subscribers without their consent. More than 23 lakh customers reportedly received over ₹47 crore in their payments accounts, which they didn’t know were opened.

7. Virat Kohli named first Brand Ambassador for Uber India

Popular ridesharing app Uber has announced the appointment of Indian skipper Virat Kohli as its first brand ambassador in India, thus embarking on a first-of-its-kind initiative across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Sharing a common vision of empowering people and communities, this partnership will see Uber and Virat Kohli joining hands to underscore the company’s commitment to serve billions in the country, in the years to come.

8. Telangana launches India’s 1st state-led incubator for women

Three months after announcing an incubation center exclusively for women, Government of Telangana launched Women Entrepreneurship Hub (WE- Hub) in Hyderabad. WE-Hub is India’s first state-led incubator exclusively for women entrepreneurs. Unlike T-Hub, which is meant for technology startups, WE Hub will be open for all kinds of startups led by women.

9. Pyarelal Wadali of Wadali Brothers fame passes away at 75

Ustad Pyarelal Wadali, younger brother of Ustad Puran Chand Wadali has passed away. The singer who was 75, breathed his last at Fortis Escorts Hospital in Amritsar where he was admitted. The Sufi singer, who, with his brother, was known for his famous compositions, including the song Rangrez for Tanu Weds Manu, suffered a heart attack .

10. BJP’s Biplab Deb sworn-in as Tripura Chief Minister

Biplab Kumar Deb was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tripura’s first BJP government in Agartala. The BJP’s ally, the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) gets two berths in the 12-member new Ministry It bargained for four seats after sweeping the tribal areas and winning eight of nine seats it contested. Its Ministers are Sudip Roy Barman and Ratan Lal Nath. They were earlier with the Congress.

Among the nine Ministers sworn in, BJP’s Santana Chakmas is the lone woman.

11. World’s 1st rechargeable proton battery made, has no lithium

In a move towards environment-friendly energy storage, Australia-based researchers have created the world’s first rechargeable proton battery, which uses carbon and water instead of lithium. Researchers hope the small-scale prototype with zero carbon emissions could be made commercially available within 5-10 years to compete with existing lithium-ion batteries including those of Tesla.

12. Alzheimer’s researchers win ₹8 crore Brain Prize

European researchers Bart De Strooper, Michel Goedert, Christian Haass, and John Hardy have been jointly awarded the Brain Prize “for their groundbreaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease”. The €1-million (over ₹8 crore) prize, awarded annually by The Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark, is considered the world’s most prestigious award in the field of neuroscience.

13. SC passes order allowing passive euthanasia with guidelines

The Supreme Court today passed an order allowing passive euthanasia with guidelines. “Human beings have the right to die with dignity,” the five-judge bench observed after passing the order. The move allows a person to draft a living will stating that he should not be given life support treatment if he slips into incurable coma.

14. Diu becomes 1st Indian UT to run completely on solar power

Leading the way for the entire country, Diu becomes the first destination to be fully run by solar power. The Union Territory has made such significant progress in the last three years that now Diu produces more than 100 per cent solar power. Diu, which has a geographical area of 42 sq km, has installed solar power plants across 50 acres of its land. As mentioned in a report by Times of India, the UT generates total 13 MW of electricity from its solar power facilities, out of which 3 MW is generated from rooftop plants, while 10 MW is generated from the rest of the facilities.

15. Catherine De Bolle appointed 1st woman Europol chief

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) has appointed Catherine De Bolle as its first woman Executive Director. De Bolle, who will take over the role on May 1, said, “I have always been the first (woman) in most of the jobs I have done.” In 2012, she became Belgium’s first female Federal Police commissioner.

16. NITI Aayog launches Women Entrepreneurship Platform

NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The initiative is aimed at building an ecosystem for women across India to realise their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses.

WEP was envisaged by the CEO NITI Aayog during Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) last year in Hyderabad. It aims to power a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem through an enabling network of industry collaborations, partnerships, mentors and peer-to-peer connect.

17. SUVIDHA: Government launches 100% Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin under Janaushadhi Pariyojana

The government of India has launched biodegradable sanitary napkins, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad, on the eve of International Women’s Day, which will be available at Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana Kendras.
The sanitary napkins will be available in a pack of four pads for Rs 10 across over 3,200 Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) Kendras by May 28, 2018

18. Government launches Udyam Sakhi Portal for Women Entrepreneurs

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8,the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched a portal for women entrepreneurs of India: The portal was unveiled by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of MSME, Giriraj Singh. The portal is a network for nurturing entrepreneurship and creating business models for low cost products and services in order to empower women and make them self-reliant and self-sufficient.

19. Nari Shakti Puraskar 2017

President Ram Nath Kovind has presented the “Nari Shakti Puraskar” here to 39 individual and institutional awardees from fields as diverse as sport, art, social work, science, conservation, agriculture, education, security, handicrafts and defence. Many of the awardees have themselves faced severe discrimination and tragedies in their lives, but have risen above these hardships to empower themselves and help others along their journeys of empowerment. They received certificates and cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each.