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Daily Current Affairs 21st Feb 2018

Google Launches Google Pay
  • Google has combined its two payment services, Google Wallet and Android Pay, into a new app called Google Pay.
  • Google Pay combines features from both, including the ability to pay at checkout counters with a smartphone, and even the option to scan into transit systems.
  • With Google Pay, one can digitally store their credit and debit cards, as well as gift cards and rewards cards.
Vaccination compulsory for school admissions
  • Kerala government has made vaccination compulsory for school admissions from next academic year onwards.
  • Parents will have to show details of shots given to children at the time of enrolment in schools.
  • The move comes in the wake of stiff opposition from certain communities against the vaccination drive.
Country’s first all-women railway station
  • Jaipur’s Gandhinagar railway station has become the country’s only non-suburban railway station to be entirely run by women.
  • The station is fully operated by 28 women employees, including ticket checkers, RPF, operations staff and reservation and booking supervisors.
  • The station has a footfall of nearly 7000 passengers per day and of the 50 trains which pass by, 25 trains halt here.
Noted cardiologist BK Goyal passes away
  • Renowned cardiologist & Padma Vibhushan awardee Dr BK Goyal passed away after he suffered a cardiac arrest.
  • In recognition of his public service & pioneering work, he was appointed as Sheriff of Bombay in 1980.
  • He was also awarded Padma Shri in 1984, Padma Bhushan in 1989 & Padma Vibhushan in 2005.
  • He was one of the youngest to be selected as the president of Cardiological Society of India
Committee to study Brahmaputra
  • Centre has constituted a committee headed by Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog to study the Brahmaputra & flood control measures in Assam & neighbouring states .
  • Assam govt has submitted required report on flood control measures to the committee.
  • PM Modi during his visit to Guwahati last year, announced to provide 100 crore rupees to find out a permanent solution of flood.
International Mother Language Day
  • International Mother Language Day is a world-wide annual observance held on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism.
  • The theme of this year is ‘linguistic diversity and multilingualism for sustainable development’.
  • There are more than 7,000 languages in the world; India alone has about 22 officially recognised languages.
India-Morocco Cooperation agreement approved
  • Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Cooperation Agreement b/w India & Moroccan National Railways Office.
  • The agreement aims to develop long-term cooperation & partnership in different areas of railway sector.
  • The Agreement will enable technical cooperation in Training and staff development & Mutual technical assistance, including exchanging of experts among others.
1st Indian to cross 900 points in ICC ranking
  • Virat Kohli has become only the second batsman in the history of the game to cross 900-point mark concurrently in Tests & ODIs.
  • Kohli is only the 2nd batsman after AB de Villiers to attain the 900-point mark concurrently in both formats.
  • Kohli thus moved ahead of Brian Lara in the all-timers’ list & ranks 7th in ODI list of all-time rankings that is led by Vivian Richards with 935 points.
India’s medium-term potential growth above 7%
  • According to a UBS report, India’s medium-term growth is likely to be above 7% backed by policy reforms & stable global growth environment.
  • India ranks higher in medium-term growth potential compared to other markets like Russia & China
  • The report said, India needs to adopt reforms like stepping up infra investment, education & health reforms & others to improve it’s potential growth outlook
20,000 crore defence corridor for Bundelkhand
  • PM Modi has announced a defence industrial corridor in Bundelkhand region, one of the most backward regions of UP.
  • In this year’s budget, govt. had announced that it will establish 2 defence industrial production corridors.
  • The corridor will link Agra, Aligarh, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jhansi & Chitrakoot.
  • The decision was taken keeping in mind the developmental requirements of Bundelkhand region.
Maldives extends State of Emergency
  • Maldives Parliament has approved extension of State of Emergency by 30 days, a day after President Yameen sought extension citing threat to national security.
  • Opposition leaders boycotted, calling the extension illegal & unconstitutional
  • Maldives is facing political unrest since President Yameen imposed emergency after refusing to implement a SC order of freeing imprisoned opposition leaders
Pakistan gets 3 months reprieve
  • Pakistan has been granted a 3 month reprieve by the Financial Action Task Force to be placed on a terror-financing watch-list.
  • The reprieve comes a week after Pak amended its anti-terror laws to ban groups listed as terrorists by the United Nations.
  • Pakistan had been on the FATF watchlist for years but was removed in 2015 following “significant progress” in meeting the demands of the group.
PM Flags Off Palace Queen Hamsafar Express
  • PM Modi flagged off the Palace Queen Humsafar Express between Mysuru and Udaipur in the Mysuru Railway Station.
  • The train between Mysuru and Udaipur will act as a backbone of tourism, an employment generating industry.
  • Both the Mysuru Palace and Udaipur palace are iconic tourist attractions and this special train will create a new tourist circuit connecting North India and the South.
India, Russia to deepen cooperation in ICTs
  • India & Russia have decided to strengthen practical cooperation to prevent misuse of info & communication technologies to fight against its use in criminal & terrorist activities
  • To prevent possibilities of conflict appropriate mechanism for ensuring security in use of ICT should be put in place
  • Both sides reiterated the intention to strengthen cooperation in info sharing & capacity building
Cultural festival in Varanasi on cleanliness
  • Varanasi will host a 2-day festival Swachhagrah Bapu ko Kaaryaanjali on Feb 21 & 22 to bring focus to cleanliness by using different forms of culture.
  • It will be held at Man Mandir Ghat & Assi Ghat in Varanasi.
  • It will see the engagement of academia, artists, artisans on use of cultural expressions for conservation & protection of the river and the city.
BSNL signs pact with Japan’s NTT AT
  • BSNL & Japan’s NTT AT along with their Indian partner Virgo Corps, have signed an agreement to collaborate in developing futuristic technologies.
  • The companies would collaborate in futuristic technologies such as artificial intelligence / IoT & jointly create a 5G test bed
  • Agreement is in line with the vision of PM Modi & Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to collaborate on next generation technologies.
60,000-crore fund for urban housing scheme
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the creation of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) with Rs 60,000 crore in its kitty.
  • The fund will be situated in Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The Ministry has so far sanctioned 39.4 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
PM Modi inaugurates UP Investors’ Summit 2018
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the two-day Uttar Pradesh Investors Summit 2018 along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.
  • The Investors’ Summit has been organised to further the cause of economic development in the state and attract investments.
  • The Summit is being attended by at least 5,000 people including industry heads from India and abroad.
UN observes World Day of Social Justice 2018
  • World Social Justice Day is observed annually on 20th Feb for promoting efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, unemployment, gender equality & to create an equitable society for all.
  • The theme of World Day of Social Justice 2018 is ‘Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice’.
  • This year the theme is focused on hurdles of migrant workers who are suffering for good work opportunities
Panel to look into factors leading to frauds
  • RBI has set up a panel under board member Y.H. Malegam, a former president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, to look into factors leading to increasing incidents of bank frauds.
  • The Maelgam panel will also look into reasons for high divergence in NPA classification and provisioning by banks.
  • The move comes a week after PNB said it has fallen victim to a Rs11,400 crore fraud.
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