Daily Current Affairs - 17th Feb 2019

5th India-Bangladesh joint consultative committee meeting held in New Delhi

  • The 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Abdul Momen was held in New Delhi.
  • The last Joint Consultative Committee Meeting between the two countries was held in October 2017 at Dhaka. Earlier, Mrs. Swaraj held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Momen.

Early Ed Asia 2019 held in Jaipur

  • Early Ed Asia 2019, the two-day event which is Asia’s largest conference on Early Childhood, was held at the City Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The motto of the event was ‘Our Children. Our Future’.
  • It was the first time such a conference was held in India with over 6000 eminent early childhood educators, policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders from India and foreign countries. The latest trends in teaching and research were discussed to provide a stronger foundation to the children.

First District Cooling System of India to come up in Amaravati:

  • India’s First District cooling system will come up in Amravati, capital of the Andhra Pradesh. The government of Andhra Pradesh has entered into a 30-year concession with UAE-based international cooling provider, The agreement between the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) for the District Cooling System at Amaravati.
  • District cooling systems produce chilled water, steam or hot water at a central plant and then pipe that energy out (either underground or over rooftops) to buildings for air conditioning, space heating and water heating. As a result, these buildings don’t require their own chillers, air conditioners, boilers or furnaces.

Govt gets Rs 10,000 cr from additional offering of Bharat-22 ETF

  • With the additional offering of the diversified Bharat-22 ETF receiving an overwhelming response, the Centre has increased the ETF offer size by 2.8 times to retain Rs 10,000 crore, helping it to inch closer to the FY19 disinvestment target of Rs 80,000 crore.
  • Investors had put in bids worth `40,000 crore or 11.4 times of the Bharat 22 ETF’s base offer size of Rs 3,500 crore in the one-day offering.
  • Bharat-22 is an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) which will closely track the performance of Bharat-22 index. It was launched by Government of India in November 2017. ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund AMC will manage the fund.

Hina Jaiswal becomes India's first woman flight engineer inducted by IAF

  • Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal on Friday became the first Indian Woman Flight Engineer of the Indian Air Force. Hina completed the six-month flight engineer course from the 112 Helicopter Unit attached to the Air Force Station in Yelahanka in Bengaluru.
  • A flight engineer is the member of an aircraft’s flight crew who monitors and operates its complex aircraft systems requiring a specialised skill set. Earlier restricted to men, the flight engineer branch was opened to women officers in 2018.
  • Hina will now be posted to a helicopter squadron where she will monitor and operate IAF’s complex aircraft in various conditions, including the Siachen Glacier and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a press release by the Defence Ministry states.

India’s First Agromet Forecast Centre inaugurated in Karnataka

  • Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated the North Karnataka Agromet Forecasting and Research Centre (NKAFC), India’s first agromet forecast centre, at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Dharwad, Karnataka.
  • The main objective of the centre is to give accurate reports on the weather which would enable the farmers to protect the crops and get a good yield. About 25 lakh farmers in the region would be kept updated with information via various platforms like WhatsApp, SMS, social networking sites and community radio stations.

IWAI launched portal ‘LADIS’ for real time information

  • Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal Least Available Depth Information System (LADIS) for real-time data on available depth on stretches of National Waterways.
  • It will ensure real-time data on ship and cargo owners on which they can undertake transportation on National Waterways (NW) in a more planned way. It is a step towards ensuring optimum use of National Waterways.

JP Morgan creates first US bank-backed crypto-currency

  • US investment bank JP Morgan has created a crypto-currency to help settle payments between clients in its wholesale payments business.
  • JPM Coin is the first digital currency to be backed by a major US bank.
  • The crypto-currency, which runs on blockchain technology, has been used successfully to move money between the bank and a client account.

P C Mody appointed as Chairman of CBDT

  • Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IRS officer Pramod Chandra Mody as chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). He will succeed Sushil Chandra, who was recently appointed Election Commissioner.
  • He is 1982 batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre). Prior to this appointment, he was a member in CBDT.

RBI lifts cap on FPI investments in corporate bonds

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) withdrew the 20 per cent limit on investments by FPIs in corporate bonds of an entity with a view to encourage more foreign investments.
  • As part of the review of the FPI investment in corporate debt undertaken in April 2018, it was stipulated that no FPI should have an exposure of more than 20 per cent of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate (including exposure to entities related to the corporate).
  • The RBI said the directions in this regard have been issued the Foreign Exchange Management Act.

Sudanese refugee wins major human rights award

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese refugee who has been held in Australia’s notorious offshore Manus Island processing centre for over five years, has won the prestigious Martin Ennals human rights prize, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has said.
  • It is the first time that the major prize has been awarded to an individual focused on refugee issues and who has been a victim of human rights violations by a Western democracy.

Sunil Chhetri given first ever Football Ratna Award

  • Talismanic Indian striker Sunil Chhetri was awarded the first-ever ‘Football Ratna’ by Football Delhi, the State Association governing the sport in Delhi.
  • Chhetri, who was recently named as the 6th Indian Footballer in the elite Padma Shri list, said: “I am honoured by the kind gesture of Football Delhi for recognizing me with the Football Ratna award.”

Vidarbha beat Rest of India to retain Irani Cup

  • In cricket, Ranji champions Vidarbha beat Rest of India in Nagpur to retain the Irani Cup. Vidarbha has now become the third team after Mumbai and Karnataka to clinch two Irani Cup titles in a row.
  • Set to chase a target of 280, Vidarbha were well on course at 269 for five, needing only 11 runs for an outright victory. However, the two teams decided to shake hands and settle for a draw.
  • Vidarbha captain Faiz Fazal announced that the entire prize money will be donated to the families of the CRPF personnel martyred in Pulwama terror attack.

World Sustainable Development summit 2019 held at New Delhi

  • World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2019, the flagship event of ‘The Energy and Resources Institute’ (TERI), was inaugurated by Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • The theme of WSDS 2019 was ‘Attaining the 2030 Agenda: delivering on our promise’. Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji was honoured with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2019 for his outstanding contributions towards sustainable development in Fiji.

‘Simplicity & Wisdom’ authored by Mr. Dinesh Shahra launched

  • A book ‘Simplicity & Wisdom’ written by Dinesh Shahra was launched at Parmarth Ashram in Kumbh Mela. Launched by the Governor of West Bengal– Keshari Nath Tripathi and Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Head of Parmarth Ashram, this book is dedicated to Late Vedanti Swami Pragananandji. The book aims at guiding towards saintly wisdom and leading a content and happy life.

‘World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019’ Report released by ILO

  • The International Labour Organization released World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019 report. As per the report, unemployment rates will fall to 4.9% in 2019 and remains steady in 2020.
  • Among the age group 15-24 the global unemployment stood at 11.8% which is much higher than it is among other age groups. In the global labor market, 2 billion out of 3.3 billion people worked keeping their economic security at risk in informal employment.