Daily Current Affairs | 07th & 8th February 2020
FICCI & Central asian countries jointly launches India-Central Asia business council in New Delhi
In order to boost business & economy, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) together with 5 of the biggest industry bodies of Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan ) launched the India-Central Asia Business council in New Delhi.
External Affairs minister (EAM)Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs,Vikas Swarup were also present at the launch.
Financial closure of Arun-III hydropower project inked b/w India and Nepal
The Arun-3 hydropower project, the largest Indian-backed project in Nepal, secured NPR(Nepaleses rupee) 100 Billion for the 900 MW (mega watt) hydropower project being built on the Arun River in Nepal’s Sankhuwasabha District.
India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Arun-III Power Development Company, the developer of the Arun-III hydropower project has signed the financial closure of the project with 7 banks in Kathmandu, Nepal.
About Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN):
Headquarters– Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Chairman and Managing Director– Nand Lal Sharma
Currency– Nepalese rupee.
President– Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Prime Minister– Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli.
Railway Line between India and Bangladesh project to End by 2021
The 15.6km long railway line between Agartala, India(Tripura)-Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by September 2021, these railway routes will improve connectivity between Indian Railways and Bangladesh Railways and will boost trade between the two countries. The project started in January 2010 during the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheik Hasina’s visits to India.
About Indian Railway Construction Company Limited (IRCON International Limited):
Headquarters- New Delhi, India
Managing Director (M.D) & Chairman- S.K. Chaudhary
Parent Organization- Ministry of Railways.
Capital- Dhaka (Largest city in Bangladesh)
Currency- Bangladeshi Taka
Prime Minister- Sheikh Hasina Wazed.
Founder- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Uttarakhand’s iconic Lakshman Jhula to be replaced by India’s first Glass floor bridge
Uttarakhand government has cleared the design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country, to be built across Ganga River in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand as a replacement to iconic Lakshman Jhula which was closed in 2019 due to safety reasons. It has been in place for 94 years. The glass floor suspension bridge design is prepared by Public Works Department (PWD).
Chief Minister– Trivendra Singh Rawat
State animal– Alpine musk deer
State flower– Saussurea obvallata
State tree– Rhododendron arboreum
State bird– Himalayan monal
22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS) 2020 commenced in Kochi, Kerala
A 3-day long 22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS), 2020 based on the theme “Blue Revolution- Beyond Production to Value Addition” has commenced at Hotel Grand Hyatt in Kochi, Kerala.
The show is being organized jointly by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry & the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI).
Partakers:More than 200 exhibitors, 350 stalls and over 5000 delegates, including foreign delegates, are expected to attend the event at Kochi.
For the first time in MP, drones are used for mapping villages
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) government, for the first time, will use drones for mapping villages. This will replace the land survey work, done either manually or with the help of satellite images. In this regard, state revenue department inked an agreement with Survey of India, the country’s national mapping agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
About Madhya Pradesh
Chief Minister– Kamal Nath
State animal– Barasingha
State flower– Sacred Tree
State tree– Banyan
State bird– Indian paradise flycatcher
Maharashtra registers maximum number of missing women in 2018, MP tops in missing children: NCRB report
According to the report on report on ‘missing women and children in India’ released by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB),an Indian government agency responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data, The highest number (33,964) of women who go missing in India are from Maharashtra & and the number of missing children are maximum (10, 038)in the State of Madhya Pradesh(MP) in the year 2018.
Overview of UNESCO DG Audrey Azoulay three day visit to India from Feb 4-6, 2020
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay arrived in New Delhi, India on a three-day visit till Feb 6, 2020 to boost strategic partnership in the areas of heritage, education and artificial intelligence. India is one of UNESCO’s founding members. This was her first official visit to India after appointed as the DG of UNESCO. She began her trip with a visit to the Raj Ghat to pay her respects to Mahatma Gandhi who has had a profound influence on UNESCO. She met Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Union MoS Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel, in New Delhi during her visit.
U.S. announces launch of International Religious Freedom Alliance
The United States (US) launched the 27-nation International Religious Freedom Alliance, which will try to adopt a collective approach in protecting and preserving religious freedom across the world. It was announced by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
Reason behind this launch:
More than eight in ten people in the world today live in a place where they cannot practice their faith freely. So in order to provide them religious freedom, this alliance has been launched.
Among the prominent countries to join the alliance are Austria, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Israel, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Greece.
Point to be noted:
Poland will host the next ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Warsaw in July 2020.
Capital– Washington, D.C.
Currency– United States Dollar
President– Donald Trump
BANKING & FINANCE
Govt data: $118.3 billion received in remittances since 2018-19
The Indian govt. has released data of remittances received in the country since April 2018- September 2019. As per the report around 13.62 million Indian nationals are staying abroad & around $118.3 billion has been received as remittance.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra.
Formation– 1 April 1935.
Act- Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
Deputy Governors– 4 (BP Kanungo, N S Vishwanathan, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra).
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Padma Shri awardee Manoj Das to receive Mystic Kalinga Literary Award
Famous Odia and English writer Manoj Das, 85 years old, will receive Mystic Kalinga Literary award– Indian and Global languages, during the 4th edition of the 2 day Mystic Kalinga Festival (MSF) which commences in Swosti Premium, Odisha, Bhubaneswar on February 8 & 9, 2020.
Mystic Literary award has been instituted to recognize and celebrate inspiring writers, poets and performers.
Cash Prize:The Mystic Kalinga Literary Award will carry a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, khadi shawl and a certificate.
President of India Presents International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy
President of India Shri. Ram Nath Kovind presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr. N.S. Dharmashaktu under the Indian nomination individual category and the Leprosy Mission Trust under the institutional category at New Delhi, India.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
Diplomat Philip Barton Appointed as Britain’s New High Commissioner to India
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of Great Britain announced that it has appointed Philip Robert Barton KCMG OBE (Knight Commander order of British Empire) as its new high commissioner of Great Britain to India, He will Replace Sir Dominic Anthony Gerard Asquith KCMG and will take charge on Spring Season.
About Kingdom of Great Britain:
Queen- Queen Elizabeth-II
Currency- Pound Sterling
Countries- England, Wales, Scotland.
Tidjane Thiam resigns as Credit Suisse CEO after spying scandal
Tidjane Thiam (57), a French-Ivorian banker has resigned chief executive officer (CEO) of Swiss bank Credit Suisse Group AG following a spying scandal.
The board of directors (BOD) of the bank unanimously accepted Thiam’s resignation & also appoints Thomas Gottstein as the new CEO.
About Credit Suisse:
Founder– Alfred Escher & Allgemeine Deutsche Credit-Anstalt
Headquarters– Zürich, Switzerland
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
Energy major Total to acquire 50% in Adani’s solar portfolio for $510 mn
French energy major Total Gas & Power Business Services SAS (TOTAL) will acquire 50% stake in all operational renewable energy projects of Adani Green Energy Ltd. (AGEL) for $510 million (Rs 3633 crore) along with other tools in a solar energy joint venture (JV) that will house 2,148 mw now possessed by the Adani group firm.The remaining 50 % in the JV will be held by AGEL.
About Adani Green Energy Ltd. (AGEL):
CEO– Jayant Parimal
Chairman & Founder of the Adani Group– Gautam Adani
About Total S.A:
Founded– 28 March 1924
Headquarters– Courbevoie, France
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- Patrick Pouyanné
DoT okays merger of Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) , a department of the Ministry of Communications has approved the merger of consumer mobile operations of the Tata group –Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) with Bharti Airtel Limited (also known as Airtel).
About Bharti Airtel Ltd:
Founded– 7 July 1995
Headquarters– New Delhi
Chairman– Sunil Bharti Mittal
About Tata Teleservices Limited:
Founder– Ratan Tata
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director (MD)– Srinath Narasimhan
Emami Group Signs Binding Pact with Nuvoco Vistas for selling of its 100% stake in Emami Cement
Emami Group announced the selling of its 100% equity stake in Emami Cement Limited, an Integrated Cement Manufacturing plant for an amount of RS. 5500 crores to Nuvoco Vistas corporation limited, part of Nirma Group. The main objective of the deal is to become Debt-Free, Emami Cement has a debt of RS. 2,000-2,200 crores and loan against shares of RS. 1,000 crores.
About Emami Group:
Headquarters- Kolkata, West Bengal
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Shri Vivek Chawla
About Novoco Group:
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman- Hiren Patel
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Headquarters- New Delhi
Chairman- Ashok Kumar Gupta
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
IIT-H finds molecule to cure rare ALS neurodegenerative disease
Researchers from IIT-H, Telangana (Indian Institute of Technology- Hyderabad) had found a molecule called “AIM-4” that can help in the treatment of rare neurodegenerative disease called “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (ALS) known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”.
About IIT-H (Indian Institute of Technology- Hyderabad):
Motto- Inventions and Innovations.
Director- Budaraju Srinivasa Murthy.
Chairman- B.V.R Mohan Reddy.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch returns to Earth after record longest stay in ISS
NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) astronaut Christina Koch(41 years) from United States(US)who made the 1st all female space walk in 2019 landed in Kazakh desert steppe of Kazakhstan in a Soyuz MS-13 capsule. She has landed after making a record of longest stay on the International Space Station(ISS). She made her landing after ending a 328 days mission in space.
About National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA):
Founded- 29 July 1958.
Founder- Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Headquarters- Washington, D.C., United States(US).
Administrator- Jim Bridenstine (born as James Frederick Bridenstine).
IT department introduced e-calculator to compare due tax under new and old regime
Income Tax (IT) Department launched an e-calculator for individuals to estimate their tax liability for new tax slabs without claiming deductions & exemptions for ITR (Income Tax Return) filing.
The calculator, with a comparative table comparing the taxes of the old and new tax for the financial year (2020-21) has been hosted on the official e-filing website of the department.
Rohit Rajpal to continue as India’s Davis Cup captain 2020
All India Tennis Association (AITA) announced Rohit Rajpal will continue as India’s non-playing Davis Cup captain 2020, in the selection committee meeting held at New Delhi, India.
About Davis Cup:
i.The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) & Kosmos Holding, contested between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format.
ii.The present champions are Spain, who defeated Canada and won the Davis cup for the 6th time in 2019.
Founder- Dwight Filley Davis