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Daily Current Affairs 19th Jan 2018

BioAsia To Open In Hyderabad

  • The 15th edition of BioAsia, the flagship lifesciences and pharmacueticals conference of Telangana, will be held on February 22-24 here.
  • About 1,500 delegates from 55 countries are expected. With the theme of ‘Right Time, Right Now’, BioAsia will focus on the strategies to take on the rapid pace of change, ways to develop new models for distribution and healthcare delivery, and the opportunities for the life sciences value chain.
  • Ireland, the Netherlands and South Africa will be the international partners while Gujarat, Assam and Rajasthan are State partners.

10th Global Forum for Food & Agriculture held Berlin

  • The 10th edition of Global Forum for Food & Agriculture was held in Berlin, Germany from 18th -20th January 2018. The theme of this year’s event is “Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”.
  • Indian delegation to the event is led by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Maharashtra becomes first state to unveil Public Cloud Policy

  • Maharashtra became the first state in the country to unveil Public Cloud Policy that virtually mandates state government departments to shift their data storage. The State Government had formed a four-member committee to draft policy framework on cloud usage.
  • The policy will result in additional private sector investments worth the US $2 billion for cloud industry as the government is one of biggest creators.

Union Government planning to set up of Cyber Warrior Police Force to tackle internet-related crimes

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided to set up Cyber Warrior Police Force (CWPF) and Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) to tackle internet-related crimes such as cyber threats, child pornography, and online stalking. The CWPF is likely to operate under National Information Security Policy and Guidelines wing of MHA’s CIS division. The State cybersecurity cells will form the foundation of centralized CWPF.

9 more cities selected for ‘Smart City’ mission, 3 from this one state

  • Housing Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has released the list of nine new cities to be funded under the Centre’s flagship ‘Smart City’ mission. The government has allocated Rs 12,824 crore to be invested in 409 projects to make these cities ‘Smart Cities. Of the nine cities, 3 are from Uttar Pradesh, 1 from Bihar, 1 from Tamil Nadu, 1 from Daman & Diu, 1 from Arunachal Pradesh and 1 from Lakshadweep.

Here’s are the nine cities announced on Friday:

  1. Silvassa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  2. Erode, Tamil Nadu
  3. Diu, Daman & Diu
  4. Biharsharif, Bihar
  5. Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
  6. Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh
  7. Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh
  8. Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh
  9. Kavaratti, Lakshadweep
  • The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has till now announced the names of 90 cities that the government aims to help under the scheme. Under the scheme, each city will get Rs 500 crore as central assistance for implementing various projects, PTI reported.

Central Railway to install 11,000 CCTVs in all Mumbai trains

  • The Central Railway has planned to install 11,000 CCTVs in all the compartments of its local trains by the end of 2018 at an estimated cost of ₹177 crore. The move is aimed at improving safety in suburban trains. Each coach will have six cameras in its compartments and talk-back systems will also be installed in women’s compartments, officials said.

Hundred accessible websites for Divyangs

  • In a path-breaking initiative to empower persons with disabilities, 100 Accessible websites of various State Governments/UTs were launched by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot.
  • The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan) initiated a “Website Accessibility Project” for State Government/Union Territories under Accessible India Campaign through ERNET India, an autonomous scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to make total 917 websites accessible and providing funds for the same.

Britain announces public register against money laundering

  • Britain has announced the world’s first public register that requires overseas companies that own or buy property in the country to provide details of their ultimate owners.
  • The government is set to publish relevant draft laws and the register will go live by early 2021.
  • “This world-first register will build on our reputation for corporate transparency as well as help create a hostile environment for economic crimes like money laundering,” said British Business Secretary Greg Clark.

India Enters Australia Group, Inches Closer to Joining Nuclear Suppliers Group

  • India on Friday joined the Australia Group which aims to stop the development and acquisition of chemical and biological weapons, a move that may take the country an inch closer to joining the Nuclear Suppliers’ group (NSG).
  • This is the third multilateral export control group – after the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and Wassenaar Arrangement – that India has become a member of.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs said that the series of multilateral export control groups that India has joined “helps in establishing our credentials” for joining the NSG. India joined the MTCR in June 2016, followed by the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2017.

Israel pushes for free trade

  • The Israeli government is pushing for a free trade agreement (FTA) with India to boost trade and investments. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was here to address the Israel-India Business Summit, said lower tax rates and removal of excessive regulations would help the private businesses to prosper.
  • “Free trade agreements is an important economic agreement in various areas and it helps in reducing tariffs, non-tariff barriers.
  • Israel has FTA with the U.S., E.U., Turkey, Brazil, Canada and Mexico and many with Asian countries.
  • The bilateral trade with Israel increased to $5 billion FY17 from $4.9 billion FY16.

Maharashtra gives nod to Rs 4,000-cr climate resilient agri project

  • The Maharashtra government has approved a Rs 4,000-crore project aimed at promoting climate-resilient agriculture, to be partially funded by the World Bank.
  • A government resolution (GR) issued yesterday said the project, named Nanaji Deshmukh Krishi Sanjivani Yojna, will be implemented in 5,142 villages across 15 districts.
  • It will roll out in 2018-19 and continue till 2023-24.
  • The total cost of the project is Rs 4,000 crore, 70 per cent of which will be borne by the World Bank while the state will contribute 30 per cent over six years, said the GR.

Yes Bank Ties up with Amplus Energy Solutions

  • Amplus Energy Solutions announced entering into a pact with private sector lender Yes Bank for a strategic tie-up to co-finance projects in the solar energy space in India.  The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed at International Solar Alliance pavilion at the World Future Energy Summit, Abu Dhabi.

Facebook appoints its 1st African-American Member to Board

  • Facebook appointed outgoing American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault to its board, making him the first African-American to be on the board. Chenault serves on the Boards of IBM and Procter & Gamble and is also a Harvard Law School graduate.

Paytm Payments Bank starts physical debit card delivery

  • Paytm Payments Bank Savings Account holders can now order physical debit cards from the Paytm app, Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma announced on Thursday. Earlier the bank provided only a Digital Rupay card which was linked to a user’s Paytm Payments Bank savings account. The users will be charged a one-time fee of ₹120 to get the card.

GST rates on 29 goods, 53 services cut

  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has reduced the rates on 29 goods and 53 categories of services.
  • Some of the services for which the rates have been cut include tailoring (18% to 5%), admission to theme parks (28% to 18%), and petroleum and natural gas mining and exploration (18% to 12%).
  • The goods on which the rates have been reduced include biodiesel buses used for public transport (28% to 18%), sugar boiled confectionery, biodiesel, drinking water packed in 20 litre containers (all from 18% to 12%), and LPG supplied to domestic consumers by private distributors (18% to 5%).
  • The new rates would come into effect on January 25.

Leading Kashmiri publishing house enters Limca Book of Records 2018

  • Gulshan Books, a Kashmiri publishing house located in Srinagar’s Nehru Park, has secured entry into the ‘Limca Book of Records 2018’ for offering a reading room, a cafe, and over 80,000 books. Gulshan Books, a division of Sheikh Muhammad Usman and Sons, is the only bookshop-library on Dal Lake.
  • The Limca Book Records writes, “Gulshan Books, a bookshop set up in May 2016, has a reading room, a cafe, and over 80,000 books. This bookshop-cum-library, on the Nehru Park Island of the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, can be reached by a Shikara ride.
  • The owner, Sheikh Ajaz Ahmad (46), willingly offers free Shikara rides to everyone keen to read books on Kashmir and its literature.” ‘Limca Book of Records’ is the Indian equivalent to the Guinness Book of World Records with emphasis on unique achievements of Indians within the country and abroad.

Axis Bank partners NGO Srijan to mentor IIM graduates

  • Axis bank is partnering with NGO Srijan through an initiative called Buddha Fellowship Programme to help nurture talent for the development sector. The bank is mentoring 15 graduates from the Indian Institutes of Management at Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Shillong, who have been taken on board by Srijan as campus hires.

Microsoft developing AI to draw text-based images

  • Microsoft is developing an artificial intelligence technology (AI) that can generate images based on text descriptions, the company has said. Called a ‘drawing bot’, it produces a nearly three-fold boost in image quality compared to previous state-of-the-art technique for text-to-image generation. It also adds details to images that weren’t in the text, indicating it has an artificial imagination.

Sindhu, Srikanth to lead India’s charge in Asian Team Championships

  • Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu and World No 3 Kidambi Srikanth will lead the Indian women’s and men’s team respectively at the Asian Team Championships to be held in Malaysia from February 6 to 11.

India rise 3 places to occupy 102nd spot in FIFA rankings

  • India jumped three rungs to be placed 102nd in the first FIFA rankings of the year released today.
  • India, who are just above 103rd placed Qatar, are ranked 14th among Asian countries.
  • India garnered 13 points in the last one month for a total of 333 points.
  • The Indians remained unbeaten in 2017, having won seven of their nine matches while two ended in draws.
  • India had also qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Legendary cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passes away

  • Well known cartoonist Chandi Lahiri passed away on Thursday afternoon.
  • Unwell for the last few days, Lahiri who had been admitted to the R G Kar Hospital on Tuesday was 88 at the time of his death.
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