Current Affairs 26, February 2018

Canada PM Justin Trudeau’s visit to India – Overview
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family were on a week-long official trip to India starting from February 17, 2018.
i. On February 23, 2018, India and Canada signed  six pacts in New Delhi
ii. Indian Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) for research collaboration in various fields

IITs to get 25 % of govt loans for higher education institutes under RISE scheme
23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will be getting the largest portion of loans on offer under Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) scheme.
Details about funding to higher education institutes under RISE scheme:
i. During Union Budget 2018 speech, Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley had announced RISE scheme with a corpus of Rs 100000 crore.
ii. Under this scheme, all centrally-funded institutes (CFIs), including central universities, IITs, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and IISERs, can borrow funds from the corpus over the next four years to expand and build new infrastructure.
iii. Rs 25000 crore, out of above stated Rs. 100000 crore corpus will be set aside exclusively for the 23 IITs.
iv. Central Universities will be getting second largest share of Rs 20000 crore. National Institutes of Technology (NITs) can borrow up to Rs 11300 crore, new IIMs will get Rs 4500 crore while five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) can borrow Rs 5000 crore.
v. Under RISE, all financing will be done through the Higher Education Funding Agency (HEFA).

UIDAI introduces blue coloured ‘Baal Aadhaar’ for children below the age of 5
On February 26, 2018, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), introduced a ‘Baal Aadhaar’ card for children below the age of five years.UIDAI introduces blue coloured ‘Baal Aadhaar’ for children below the age of 5About ‘Baal Aadhaar’:
i. ’Baal Aadhaar’ Card will be of Blue Colour.
ii. No biometric details will be needed for ‘Baal Aadhaar’. However, when the child turns five, a mandatory biometric update will be required, which is to be done by taking the child to any nearby Aadhaar centre.
iii. In context of this news, it is important to note that Aadhhar Card is not mandatory for children in this age group. However, it is required if the child is attending educational programmes overseas and if he/she wants to avail government scholarships.
Quick Facts about UIDAI:
♦ Became Statutory Authority in – 2016
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Functions under – Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology

Andaman & Nicobar Command to Host Milan 2018
Indian Navy’s Andaman & Nicobar Command will be hosting a multinational mega event ‘MILAN 2018’ from 6th – 13th March, 2018 at Port Blair.
Information about ‘MILAN 2018’:
i. Conducted biennially since 1995, MILAN is a congregation of navies of several countries, organised by Indian Navy at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command.
ii. Objective behind this event is to foster co-operation through naval exercises and professional interactions.
iii. Theme of ‘MILAN 2018’ will be ‘Friendship Across the Seas’.
iv. Inaugural address at this event will be delivered by Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy, Admiral Sunil Lanba.
v. Professional exercises, seminars, social events and sporting fixtures will be conducted during the course of this event.
vi. Countries that will participate in MILAN 2018: Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand.
vii. Countries that will participate for first time: Brunei, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Oman, South Africa, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

PM Modi flags off ‘Run for New India’ Marathon in Surat
On February 25, 2018, Prime Minister Narednra Modi flagged off the ‘Run for New India’ marathon in Surat, Gujarat. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani was also present on the occasion.PM Modi flags off 'Run for New India' Marathon in SuratMore Information about ‘Run for New India’ marathon:
i. Objective behind this Marathon is to create awareness about social causes and call upon youth to resolve to build a New India.
ii. ‘Run for New India’ marathon was organized by the Surat Nagrik Samiti. It is divided into 4 categories which included 41 KM full marathon.
iii. Around 1.50 lakh runners, across all age groups, participated in this marathon.

21st National Conference on e-Governance held in Hyderabad
On 26th and 27th February 2018, the 21st National Conference on e-Governance is held in Hyderabad, Telangana.
21st National Conference on e-Governance:
i. The 21st National Conference on e-Governance is organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), jointly with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology along with Telangana Government.
ii. Y.S. Chowdary, Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, presided over the inaugural session.
iii. The theme for this year’s Conference is: ‘Technology for accelerating Development’.
iv. The conference features plenary sessions based on the following themes: Building User Experience, Universalization and Replication and Governing e-Governance, e-Governance Good/ Best Practices, Emerging Technologies.
v. The last session of the conference will be on the theme: Synergising Role of National and State Government.
vi. Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North-Eastern Region, Minister of State for Prime Minister Office, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space will give away theNational e-Governance Awards 2018 under 8 categories.
vii. This conference acts as a platform for Secretaries of Administrative Reforms and Information Technology of State Governments, IT Managers of the Central Government, and software solution providers to discuss and analyse various issues and solution frameworks.
Some National Parks in Telangana:
♦ Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
♦ Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
♦ Mrugavani National Park

China becomes Vice President of FATF
China has been elected as the Vice President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
China – Vice President of FATF:
i. India has congratulated China over its election as the Vice President of Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
ii. On 23rd February 2018, the FATF plenary meeting was held in Paris, France. Measures to fight terror financing and money-laundering were discussed.
iii. Pakistan was not put on FATF’s international terror-financing watch list. Islamabad has been provided time till June 2018 to develop an action plan against terrorist groups operating from Pakistan. Pakistan was put on FATF’s ‘grey list’ from 2012 – 2015.
About Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
♦ Formed – 1989
♦ Purpose – setting standards to combat money laundering and countering terror financing

Work starts on Afghanistan section of TAPI gas pipeline to Pakistan, India
On February 23, 2018, Turkmenistan announced the start of construction work on the Afghan section of $8 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline that will link energy-rich Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India.
Status of TAPI Gas pipeline:
i. Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI), is a natural gas pipeline project to transport Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan into Pakistan and then to India.
ii. It was proposed in 1990s by Turkmenistan. However, starting work on the pipeline has been delayed because of the problem of crossing Afghanistan.
iii. With the work starting on Afghanistan section, India’s hopes for getting natural gas from Turkmenistan’s  Galkynysh Gas Field (world’s second-biggest gas field) have brightened.
iv. TAPI is supported by United States and Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) held in Fiji
20th Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) was held in Nadi, Fiji from 19th – 23rd February 2018.20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) held in FijiHighlights of 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM):
i. The Conference was held for Education Ministers of Commonwealth nations to meet and discuss solutions to contemporary issues and challenges in education sector viz. low enrolment rates in preschool, primary and secondary schools, gender disparities in education and low adult literacy.
ii. Theme of 20CCEM was “Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?”.
iii. Indian delegation to this conference was led by Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
iv. First Commonwealth education conference was held in Oxford, UK in 1959. It has been taking place every three years since then.

Sterlite Tech bags Rs 3500 crore communications network project from Indian Navy
On 26th February 2018, Sterlite Techologies announced that it has received a Rs 3500-crore advance purchase order to design, build and manage communications network of the Indian Navy.
Sterlite Tech bags Rs 3500-crore communications network project from Indian Navy:
i. This system integration project will provide an advanced digital communications network to the Indian Navy.
ii. Sterlite Technologies will design, build and manage the communications network for over 10 years.
iii. A high-capacity IP-MPLS (Internet Protocol – Multi Protocol Label Switching) network will be developed as part of the project.
iv. Once the project is completed, it will link multiple Indian naval sites and India-administered islands.
About Sterlite Techologies:
♦ CEO – Anand Agarwal
♦ Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra

Airtel joins global ‘Seamless Alliance’ for in-flight connectivity
On February 26, 2018, Bharti Airtel announced that it has joined ‘Seamless Alliance’, a new global collaboration to bring high-speed and uninterrupted in-flight data connectivity to mobile customers.Airtel joins global 'Seamless Alliance' for in-flight connectivityAbout ‘Seamless Alliance’:
i. Objective of this alliance is to work towards leveraging satellite technology to offer high-speed data connectivity to mobile users even when they are up in the air.
ii. Along with Bharti Airtel, OneWeb, Airbus, Delta and Sprint are the other founding members of this alliance. 
iii. The founding members will jointly work to minimise cost and eliminate hurdles associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification.
iv. Once the platform will go Live, Airtel’s 370 million mobile customers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high-speed data services even while they are in-flight.
Quick Facts about Airtel:
♦ Founded in – 1995
♦ Headquarters – New Delhi
♦ Current Chairman – Sunil Mittal

Rahul Mahajan appointed as Rajya Sabha TV Editor-in-Chief
Rahul Mahajan has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of Rajya Sabha Television.
Rahul Mahajan – Editor-in-Chief of Rajya Sabha Television:
i. The Rajya Sabha Television channel is run and operated by Rajya Sabha.
ii. Rahul Mahajan was selected as Editor-in-Chief of Rajya Sabha Television from 57 applicants. Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu approved his appointment.
iii. Rahul Mahajan is 46 years old. At present, he is Consultant Editor in Prasar Bharti. He has worked for Jansatta, Zee News, AjTak, Star News, News 24 and Bhaskar News.
iv. He has over 26 years of media experience and 12 years of experience covering the Parliament.
About Rajya Sabha:
♦ Chairman – Venkaiah Naidu
♦ Leader of the House – Arun Jaitley

Michael McCormack named as Australia’s new deputy prime minister
On 26th February 2018, Michael McCormack was elected as Australia’s deputy prime minister.Michael McCormack named as Australia's new deputy prime ministerMichael McCormack – Australia’s new deputy prime minister:
i. On 23rd February 2018, former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce resigned as leader of the National party and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, following an allegation of extra-marital affair.
ii. Now, Michael McCormack has been elected Australia’s new deputy prime minister and also the leader of the National Party.
iii. Michael McCormack defeated George Christensen in the voting. Michael McCormack has become deputy Prime Minister of Australia under a coalition agreement between the National Party and the Liberal Party.
About Liberal Party of Australia:
♦ President – Nick Greiner
♦ Founded – 1944

Board of Dhanlaxmi Bank appoints Sajeev Krishnan as Additional Director
On 8th February 2018, Sajeev Krishnan was appointed Additional Director on the Board of Dhanlaxmi Bank.
Sajeev Krishnan – Additional Director on the board of Dhanlaxmi Bank:
i. The Board of Dhanlaxmi Bank named Sajeev Krishnan as Additional Director, at a meeting held on 8th February 2018.
About Dhanlaxmi Bank:
♦ Founded – 1927
♦ Headquarters – Thrissur, Kerala

PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 held in South Korea
PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games was held in Pyeongchang, South Korea from 9th – 23rd February, 2018.Motto of PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 was “Passion.Connected”.Soohorang, a white tiger, and Bandabi, an Asiatic black bear were the official mascots for this event.
i. Norway topped the medal tally at PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 by winning 14 Gold, 14 Silver and 11 Bronze.
ii. First Gold Medal at PyeongChang Winter Olympics 2018 was won by Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla…

Vikas Krishan wins gold, adjudged best boxer at the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Bulgaria
India’s Vikas Krishan has won a gold medal the best boxer of the tournament honour at the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.Vikas Krishan wins gold, adjudged best boxer at the 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament in Bulgaria69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament:
i. Vikas Krishan defeated USA’s Troy Isley in the middle-weight (75kg) finals and won the gold medal. He was also named the best boxer of the tournament.
ii. Indian boxers won a total of 11 medals in the tournament. Amit Panghal (49kg) also won a gold medal in the tournament.
iii .M C Mary Kom (48kg), Seema Poonia (+81kg) and Gaurav Solanki (52kg) won silver medals.
iv. Meena Kumari Devi (54kg), L Sarita Devi (60kg), Saweety Boora (75kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg) are the women who won bronze medals.
v. Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) won bronze medals among men.
About 69th Strandja Memorial boxing tournament:
♦ Dates – 18 – 26 February 2018
♦ Location – Sofia, Bulgaria

IOA enters partnership with Edelweiss Group for 2018 CWG, Asian Games, 2020 Olympic Games
On 26th February 2018, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) announced that it has partnered with Edelweiss Financial Services Limited as sponsor of the Indian team for 2018 Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Asian Games and the 2020 Olympic Games and National Games 2018 and 2019.
IOA enters partnership with Edelweiss Group:
i. IOA has also declared Raymond as its official styling partner and Shiv Naresh Sports as its official sports apparel partner for the Commonwealth Games that is to be conducted in Gold Coast, Australia, from 4-15 April 2018.
ii. Minster of Youth Affairs and Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, President IOA Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra and Secretary General IOA Mr. Rajeev Mehta launched the official ceremonial outfit and sports apparel of athletes.
iii. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, provides a Rs 50 lakh life Insurance cover for Indian athletes participating in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
About Edelweiss Group:
♦ CEO – Rashesh Shah
♦ Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Uttarakhand BJP MLA Manganlal Shah passes away
On 25th February 2018, Manganlal Shah, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA, died after suffering from liver disease, at the Jolly Grant Medical College, in Dehradun.
Death of Manganlal Shah:
i .Manganlal Shah was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Tharali. He had been getting treatment for liver disease at the Jolly Grant Medical College.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Uttarakhand:
♦ Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary
♦ Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and Sanctuary

Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian passes away
On 26th February 2018, TRS Subramanian, former cabinet secretary, passed away.Death of TSR Subramanian:
i. TSR Subramanian was 79 years old. The cause of his death and other details are not yet known.
ii. He was an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1961 batch from the Uttar Pradesh cadre.
iii. He was the cabinet secretary from 1996 to 1998. He was also the founder member and former Chancellor of the Shiv Nadar University.
iv. He had written a few books: “India at Turning Point: The Road to Good Governance”, “GovernMint In India: An Inside View” and “Journeys Through Babudom and Netaland: Governance in India”.
Some wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh:
♦ Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary
♦ Bakhira Sanctuary

New book reveals how Sikh warrior Hari Singh Nalwa got his name
Dr Vanit Nalwa presented her book ‘Hari Singh Nalwa: Champion of the Khalsaji (1791-1837)’ at National Archives of India, in Delhi.
Hari Singh Nalwa: Champion of the Khalsaji (1791-1837):
i. During the presentation of her book, Dr Vanit Nalwa, said that, Hari Singh Nalwa, a Sikh warrior who lived in the 19th century, got his surname after Maharaja Ranjit Singh said “wah mere Raja Nal, wah”.
ii. Maharaja Ranjit Singh said those words, as he compared Hari Singh’s bravery as a child with that of King Nal of Mahabharat.
iii. Other information related to Hari Singh Nalwa were also shared at the presentation.  Dr Vanit Nalwa is a seventh generation descendant of Hari Singh.
iv. Hari Singh was born in 1791. He became a leader when he was 13 years. He led an army of 800 men. Dr Vanit Nalwa has written this book after 7 years of research.
Some stadiums in Delhi:
♦ Feroz Shah Kotla Ground
♦ Harbax Singh Stadium
♦ Jamia Millia Islamia University Ground

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