Daily Current Affairs - 14th Feb 2018

4th meeting of Economic Advisory Council -Prime Minister held in New Delhi

  • The 4th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) was held in New Delhi today under the chairmanship of Dr Bibek Debroy. During the meeting, the Council discussed the possible modalities of implementing the National Health Scheme announced by the government in the Union Budget-2018-19. Besides, presentations were made on Health Reforms, World Bank Report on Indian Economy and on Indian Fiscal - Monetary Framework. (AIR).
  • PMEAC is a non-constitutional and non-statutory, non-permanent and independent body, constituted with the prime and sole aim to analyse all critical issues, economic or otherwise, referred to it by the prime minister.
  • The council give advice to prime minister on economic matters such as inflation, GDP changes, export-import changes, creating supporting environment for increased trade and commerce.

Coal mining capacity increased in last 3.5 years: Piyush Goyal

  • Coal Minister Piyush Goyal has said, coal mining capacity of the country has increased in the last three and a half years. It has increased from a mere 11 million tonnes to 31 million tonnes. As there has been an increase of nearly 20 million tonnes in mining capacity. The lignite mining capacity will double by 2025.

Eminent Kannada writer Chandrashekhara Kambara elected as Sahitya Akademi president

  • Kannada litterateur Chandrashekar Kambar has been elected as president of the Sahitya Akademi in the election held for the post. Hindi poet Madhav Koushik has been elected as vice-president. He became the third Kannada writer to be elected to the premier body of litterateurs.
  • This is the second time election was held in the history of Sahitya Akademi, after Ananthamurthy’s election to the post.
  • Prof. Kambar has served as member of the Akademi executive board for over 10 years and was vice-president for 2013-18.

Federation Cup Kabaddi: Services, Railways emerge champions

  • Services and Indian Railways registered hard-fought victories to bag the Men’s and Women’s titles in the third Federation Cup Kabaddi tournament in Mumbai. Services men quelled the late challenge from Karnakata to win 28-25 while the Railways women rode on Pinki Roy’s superb catch of the Himachal Pradesh raider in the final minute to win 26-25.

India clinch ODI series after defeating South Africa in 5th ODI

  • India clinched the six match ODI cricket series after defeating South Africa by 73 runs in the 5th One-Day International at Port Elizabeth. Chasing a victory target of 275 runs, South Africa were bundled out at 201.
  • Earlier, put in to bat, India made 274 for seven in their 50 overs. Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with a fine 115, which was his 17th ODI century.
  • It's India's first ODI series win in South Africa. India lead the six-match series 4-1.

India's first 'Highway Capacity Manual' released

  • Union minister of road transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari released country's first ever Highway Capacity Manual (HCM) which will guide road engineers and policy makers about road expansion. The manual known as 'Indo-HCM' has been developed by CSIR-CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, inter- urban highways and expressways and the associated intersections on these roads.
  • The manual lays down guidelines for when and how to expand or manage different types of roads and their intersections and the level of services to be put in place. It has been developed based on the unique nature and diversity of traffic on Indian roads.
  • This is the first time that the manual has been developed in India.

India's first online radio station launched

  • Radio Umang, India's first online radio station has been launched recently. Listeners can tune in to this online radio station through web streaming or download the app. With 24 hours programming, it has found listeners in Hindi speaking regions of India and in over 60 countries worldwide. Themed around love, peace and happiness, the station airs enriching talk shows and soothing soulful music
  • Radio Umang app is available in Google Play Store and coming soon on Appstore.

India-Russia Agriculture Business Summit held in New Delhi

  • India and Russia discussed trade relations in the agricultural sector in a business summit in New Delhi. Several business houses and leaders of business associations of both countries, working in agriculture sector attended the event. This event will strengthen exchange of expertise to further business ties between the two countries.
  • Apart from presentation by both countries that highlighted the agricultural trade opportunities, there was intense discussion in 4 theme sessions on potential areas of collaboration and trade in the fields of allied sectors.

NHAI to launch ranking system for toll plazas

  • In an effort to address issues at toll plazas, state-run National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to bring in a system of ranking the toll plazas on the basis of cleanliness, staff behaviour, availability of ambulance and cranes in case of any emergency on highways.
  • Every quarter, three best toll plazas will be identified and their names will be published on the NHAI website.
  • NHAI has launched a countrywide drive to address issues that affect highway users, such as ease of tolling, electronic tolling/FASTag lane, cleanliness at toll plazas, behavior of the toll plaza staff, deployment of marshals, cleanliness of toilets, functioning of Highway Nest (Mini), wayside amenities and availability of ambulance and cranes.
  • NHAI Chairman has directed all field Highway Operation Unit officers to visit at least two toll plazas each across the country and check the above facilities personally to improve the users convenience,
  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman Deepak Kumar

RBI issues revised guidelines for expeditious resolution of bad loans

  • Reserve Bank of India has issued a revised framework for expeditious resolution of bad loans, harmonising the existing guidelines with the norms specified in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). The new guidelines have specified framework for early identification and reporting of stressed assets.
  • The RBI has decided to do away with the Joint Lenders' Forum (JLF) as an institutional mechanism for resolution of stressed accounts also stands discontinued.
  • The notification further said, all accounts, including those where any of the schemes have been invoked but not yet implemented, will be governed by the revised framework.
  • The Joint Lender’s Forum is a dedicated body of lender banks that is formed to speed up decisions when an asset of more Rs 100 crore or more turns out to be a stressed asset. Joint Lenders’ Forum is a body comprised of banks who have given loan to the concerned borrower entity.

Retail inflation eases to 5.07% in Jan; Industrial Production expands 7.1%

  • Retail inflation fell to 5.07 per cent in January this year due to easing prices of vegetables, fruits and fuel components compared to last month. The inflation, based on Consumer Price Index (CPI), was at 5.21 per cent in December. It was at lower level at 3.17 per cent in January last year.
  • The base year for the calculation of CPI is 2012.
  • Industrial production expanded 7.1 per cent in December last year, compared to 2.4 per cent a year ago. The base for IIP calculation is 2011-12.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena decides to appoint committee to decide on future of national unity Govt

  • Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to appoint a committee to decide on the future of the national unity Government. The decision was reached last night following his meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and cabinet ministers.
  • The decision came following a crisis situation where President’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) demanded resignation of Prime minister who is also leader of United National Party (UNP).
  • In the 225 member Parliament, UNP has 104 members. However, SLFP having 95 members is divided between factions led by President and former President.

Tata Steel bags ‘most ethical company’ award

  • Tata Steel has been recognized as the World’s Most Ethical Company by Ethisphere Institute for the year 2018. It is receiving this award for the sixth time in the ‘Metals, Minerals and Mining’ category. The World’s Most Ethical Company assessment is based on the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient (EQ) framework.
  • Companies are assessed based on their scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%).
  • A total of 135 honorees from 23 countries are being recognized in 2018
  • CEO and MD, Tata Steel: T.V. Narendran

Trump vows to revise US trade deal with South Korea

  • President Donald Trump vowed to revise a US trade deal with South Korea to secure more favourable terms, while also threatening retaliatory trade sanctions against China. Mr Trump told that the Korea deal was a disaster and United States would negotiate a fair deal or scrap it altogether.
  • He was also thinking of trade sanctions against China, and was considering all options including tariffs.
  • He singled out South Korea and China, along with Japan, over their trade surpluses with the United States.

Venezuela, Libya suspended from voting in UN General Assembly for 3rd time in three years

  • Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the UN General Assembly for the third time in three years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed the General Assembly in late January that 14 countries including Venezuela and Libya were in arrears.
  • Venezuela must pay a minimum of 25,200,296 US dollar to restore its voting rights and Libya must pay at least 6,594,842 US dollar.
  • Venezuela is mired in an economic and political crisis and whileLibya has two rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.
  • Venezuela
  • President: Nicolás Maduro
  • Capital: Caracas
  • Currency: Venezuelan bolívar
  • Libya:
  • Prime Minister: Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj
  • Capital: Tripoli
  • Currency: Libyan dinar

Williamson stars in NZ’s win

  • Captain Kane Williamson scored a fine half-century as New Zealand defeated England by 12 runs in the fourth match of the T20 tri-series Williamson top-scored with 72 from 46 balls and opener Martin Guptill contributed 65 as the Black Caps battled to a tight victory over England.
  • New Zealand 196 for five in 20 overs (Guptill 65, Williamson 72; Wood two for 51, Rashid two for 36) bt England 184 for nine in 20 overs (Malan 59, Hales 47).

Women cricket: India beat South Africa by 7 wickets in first T-20

  • Indian Women have won the opening encounter of the five-match Twenty20 series against South Africa by seven wickets. India reached the victory target of 165 runs by scoring 168 for three in 18.5 overs. Opener Mithali Raj was the top scorer with an unbeaten 54. Veda Krishnamurthy was not out on 37 at the other end.
  • Earlier, sent in to bat, the South African Women made 164 for 4 in the stipulated twenty overs. Indian women now lead the five-game T20 series by 1-nil.

World first Ski Robot Challenge held in South Korea

  • The world first event, The Edge of Robot: Ski Robot Challenge, was held just outside of PyeongChang, South Korea. Eight humanoid robots, created by universities and organisations, tested their abilities down a beginner’s alpine slope.
  • The robots were built with camera sensors to detect the flag poles as they skied down the slope.To qualify in the competition the robots had to be at least 50cm tall, have joint movements like humans and be able to hold ski poles – some of the little robots were even kitted out in ski clothes.

World Radio Day 2018: February 13

  • World Radio Day is in its seventh edition and this year's theme is "Radio and Sports". February 13 was chosen to mark World Radio Day in 2011. This year, The UNESCO has called on all radio stations around the world to showcase the beauty of sports in all of its diversity.
  • Under the ambit of theme "Radio and Sports" are three sub-themes for World Radio Day 2018. They are: Diversity in Sports Coverage, Gender Equality in Sports Coverage and Peace and Development through Sports Coverage.
  • The idea of World Radio Day was first proposed by Spain's Radio Academy in 2010. The following year, in 2011, UNESCO declared the first World Radio Day.