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Daily Current Affairs 12th Feb 2018

PM Narendra Modi 3 Nations Visits and MoUs/Agreements Signed

Center approves 1.86 lakh more houses under PMAY Urban

  • The central government has approved the construction of over 1.86 lakh more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme, taking the total number of affordable houses sanctioned to over 39.25 lakhs.
  • The latest approvals under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, PMAY (Urban), entailed an investment of Rs 11,169 crores, with central assistance of Rs 2,797 crores.
  • Haryana has been sanctioned the maximum number of 53,290 houses in this round of approval, followed by Tamil Nadu 40,623 houses, Karnataka 32,656 houses and Gujarat 15,584 houses.
  • Maharashtra got 12,123 houses, Kerala 9,461, Uthrakhand 6,226 and Orissa 5,133 houses.

Centre drafts 10-city plan to clean Ganga, check sewage flow

  • The Centre has drafted a plan to check the flow of sewer water into the river Ganga by installing sewage treatment plants (STP) in 10 major cities.
  • These cities reportedly contribute about 65% of the total polluted water flowing into the river. As per an official of National Mission for Clean Ganga, these STPs would ensure 100% sewage treatment.

PM visits 125-year-old Shiva Temple in Muscat

  • Modi visited a 125-year-old Shiva Temple and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which is made of 3 lakh tonnes of Indian sandstone, in Oman’s capital Muscat.
  • PM Modi, who is on a three-nation tour to the Middle East, reached Oman on Sunday and addressed a gathering of nearly 20,000 Indians at the Sultan Qaboos Stadium.
  • Temple was constructed 125 years ago by the merchant community from Gujarat.

Tribal areas to soon get bike ambulances

  • The bike ambulance service, which was started in Mumbai in August last year to provide swift medical assistance to patients, has so far received around 1,500 calls from different parts of the metropolis. State Health Minister Deepak Sawant said, “Keeping in mind the exceptional response this bike ambulance service has received in Mumbai, the government is planning to launch 30 additional ambulance bikes, out of which 10 will be used in Mumbai.”

World Government Summit 2018 in Dubai

  • The 6th edition of World Government Summit 2018 will be held in Dubai, UAE from February 11 to 13.
  • The Indian delegation will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The summit acts as a knowledge exchange hub between government officials, thought leaders, policy makers and private sector leaders, and as an analysis platform for the future trends, issues and opportunities facing humanity.

Asia’s largest Christian meet sends out a green message

  • The 123rd Maramon Convention which is billed as Asia’s largest week-long annual Christian meet, began with a call to conserve river Pampa and the environment at its traditional venue on the riverbed of Pampa at Maramon near Kozhencherry on Sunday afternoon.
  • The convention venue was shifted to Maramon a few years later and now the Naranath Manappuram is a thing of the past owing to over-exploitation of the river sand.

India, UAE to hold first naval drill in Gulf

  • Modi completed his 3 nations visit and made various developements.
  • Before he flew on to Muscat, the PM, reiterated strong cooperation on combating terrorism and a defence partnership that will see the Indian Navy conducting an exercise in the Gulf waters.
  • This is the first time Indian Navy will be exercising in the Gulf, going beyond the Arabian Sea.

Dubai Opens World’s Tallest Hotel

  • Gulf metropolis Dubai, on its never-ending quest to break records, announced the opening of the “world’s new tallest hotel” Sunday, pipping another towering landmark in the city for the title.
  • The gleaming gold 75-storey Gevora Hotel stands 356 metres, or nearly a quarter of a mile, tall.
  • The new record-holder is within view of its predecessor, Dubai’s JW Mariott Marquis — just one metre shorter.

World’s first driverless transport pods unveiled in Dubai

  • Dubai has started testing the world’s first self-driving pods that can travel individually and can also couple together to behave like a bus.
  • The pods, designed to travel short and medium distances at 20 kmph, can be coupled in 15 seconds and detached in 5 seconds. Each pod can carry 10 riders and last for 3 hours on single charge.

Rio Kicks Off Carnival Parade With Anti-Establishment Tone

  • There are some Brazilians who probably aren’t finding much to enjoy in Rio de Janeiro’s colorful Carnival parades — the mayor, the governor and the president.
  • An anti-establishment tone is echoing through this year’s celebrations in Brazil. And Sunday night’s parade at Rio’s Sambadrome featured entries that blasted the country’s political leadership at a moment of economic slump and political scandal.

NTPC may borrow Rs 16,000 crore to add 6,900 MW by March 2019

  • State-run power giant NTPC may borrow about Rs 16,000 crore next financial year for adding 6,900 MW of fresh electricity generation capacity by March 2019.
  • “NTPC is currently working on adding 21,000 MW capacities and projects are at different stage of execution… by March 2019 it plans to add about 6,900 MW.
  • NTPC has planned capital expenditure of Rs 23,000 crore for 2018-19, which includes both debt and equity, essentially for capacity addition through the greenfield route.
  • This fiscal, NTPC’s capital expenditure is Rs 28,000 crore. Last fiscal, the capex was Rs 30,000 crore.

Govt saved ₹56k cr through Aadhaar-enabled DBT: PM Modi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Union government has saved ₹56,000 crore through Aadhaar-enabled Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of about 400 government schemes.
  • Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, he further said that India is going through a revolution in digital payment space and moving towards a less cash economy at a fast pace.

After ₹200cr buyout, Ola to invest ₹400cr in Foodpanda India

  • Ola’s parent ANI Technologies is reportedly planning to invest ₹400 crore ($62.2 million) in Foodpanda India after acquiring the food delivery platform for over ₹200 crore ($31.7 million) in December.
  • The investment is part of ₹1,285 crore ($200 million) ANI Technologies committed to the company during the acquisition. The funds aim to bolster Foodpanda India’s logistics and delivery capabilities.

Fintech startup Lendingkart gets over $87 mn equity funding

  • Gujarat-based fintech startup Lendingkart has raised over $87 million in an equity funding round as part of its Series C round.
  • The round was led by Singapore’s Fullerton Financial Holdings, along with participation from existing investors. Founded in 2014, Lendingkart provides small and medium enterprises (SMEs) easy access to credit and uses machine learning to evaluate the clients.

Three new eel species found in Bay of Bengal

  • Scientists have discovered three new species of eel along the northern Bay of Bengal coast in the past few months.
  • Dark brown with white dots on the dorsal side, Gymnothorax pseudotile was discovered at the Digha coast of the Bay of Bengal. The other two species, Gymnothorax visakhaensis (uniformly brown) and Enchelycore propinqua (reddish brown body mottled with irregular creamy white spots), were discovered from the Visakhapatnam coast of the Bay of Bengal.
  • While Gymnothorax pseudotile is about 1 feet to 1.5 feet long, Gymnothorax visakhaensis is about a foot long. Enchelycore propinqua is the smallest of them measuring less than a foot.

Indian engineer part of team awarded sci-tech Oscar

  • An engineer raised in Mumbai, Vikas Sathaye, was part of the team that bagged the scientific and engineering award at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards on Saturday.
  • The four-member team was honoured at the Beverly Hills ceremony “for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System”, which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences describes as a “six-axis stabilised aerial camera mount” that has an “enhanced ability to frame shots while looking straight down”.

Kishan Gangolli wins 13th edition of National Chess Championship for blind

  • Defending champion Karnataka’s Kishan Gangolli won the 13th edition of the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for the blind in Mumbai on 11th February. The championship was organised by All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB).
  • At the end of the 13th round, Asian Championship winner, Gangolli became the champion for the fifth consecutive time with 10.5 points. Gujarat’s Ashvin Makwana stood second with 9.5 points, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Orissa with 9 points came third.

RSPB women win senior hockey nationals

  • Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) on Sunday lifted the 8th Senior National Women’s Hockey Championship title, thrashing Madhya Pradesh 4-0 in the final to finish the tournament without losing a game.
  • Vandana scored two goals while Priyanka Wankhede and Anupa Barla one each.

Golden Globe-winning composer Johann Johannsson passes away

  • Johann Johannsson, an award-winning composer and producer who combined classical sounds and modern electronics on the acclaimed soundtracks to “The Theory of Everything” and “Sicario,” has died at age 48.

Pakistani Activist Asma Jahangir Passes Away

  • Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s renowned human rights lawyer, social activist and an outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment, passed away of cardiac arrest.
  • She was the first woman to serve as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
  • Born in January 1952 in Lahore, Asma co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
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