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Daily Current Affairs 22nd Feb 2018

Ambani’s Reliance to buy 5% stake in Eros
  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries said it will buy a 5% stake in NYSE-listed Eros International for $48.75 million (over ₹316 crore).
  • Separately, the companies also announced a ₹1,000-crore fund to produce and acquire Indian films and digital content.
  • Last year, Reliance had purchased 25% stake in media company Balaji Telefilms for ₹413 crore.
New rules for Telco-run payments banks
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that KYC (Know Your Customer) verification of payments bank customers done by telecom companies is not permissible.
  • It has instructed payments banks to complete the KYC process independently through third parties.
  • This comes after Airtel was penalised by UIDAI for allegedly opening payments bank accounts without ‘informed consent’ of the users.
Capital First Gets NHB Nod For Merger
  • Capital First announced that the regulator National Housing Bank has approved the merger of the company along with Capital Home Finance and Capital First Securities Limited with IDFC Bank.
  • The share swap ratio for the merger is fixed at 139:10, meaning IDFC Bank will issue 139 shares for every 10 shares of Capital First.
  • The merger is likely to be completed in the next two-three quarters.
UP Government Signs Pact With Amazon India
  • Uttar Pradesh’s Khadi and Village Industries Board has signed a pact with Amazon India.
  • It is to facilitate online selling of Khadi products.
  • As part of an MoU, Amazon India will educate, train and enable rural khadi artisans to directly sell their products to customers across the country under the brand of UP Khadi.
Billy Graham died
  • Billy Graham died at the age of 99.
  • He preached millions in stadium events, called crusades, become a pastor to presidents and was best-known as Christian evangelist for more than 60 years.
  • Mr. Graham spread his influence across the country and around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of radio.
Centre reboots eNAM to draw more farmers
  • In a bid to engage more farmers on the eNAM platform, the government unveiled mobile payment facility BHIM, and other features in regional languages as well.
  • The eNAM website is now available in Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Odia besides Hindi and English, while the eNAM trading facility is available in six languages.
  • It is strengthened with features like MIS dashboard, BHIM.
Only M2M SIMs to have 13-digit numbers
  • Starting July 1, all SIM-based M2M communication devices will carry a 13-digit number, instead of the 10-digit number now.
  • This is applicable only to numbers used by machines to communicate with other machines and not normal retail mobile numbers.
  • The DoT had asked all telecom service providers to ensure that their network elements are aligned with the 13-digit numbering before July 1, 2018.
Niti Aayog making new list of sick PSUs
  • Government think-tank NITI Aayog is preparing another list of sick PSUs that can be privatised.
  • PMO had asked the think- tank to look into the viability of sick state-run companies.
  • The Aayog has already recommended strategic divestment of 40 sick public sector units.
Blockchain tech could help prevent frauds
  • The adoption of blockchain by India’s banks could help avert frauds such as the one at PNB.
  • It updates information across all users simultaneously, which would have ensured that various officials would have instantly been alerted to the creation of the LoUs.
  • Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology originally developed as an accounting system for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Trump pushes for ban on gun ‘bump stocks’
  • US President Trump has signed an order to ban bump-stock devices, which were used by a gunman who killed 58 Las Vegas concert-goers last year.
  • Such devices enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.
  • The gun control debate took on a new urgency after 17 people were killed at a school in Florida last week.
  • He also said arming teachers could ‘solve the problem’ of school shootings.
Transport plane Saras to be fast-tracked
  • The government will fast-track the revived light transport plane Saras towards production and begin the feasibility study for a 70-seater regional transport aircraft RTA-70.
  • The improved 19-seater would be first produced for the Indian Air Force by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
  • Saras would be a good fit for regional travel under the subsidised UDAN scheme.
CBFC clears S Durga without any cuts
  • Malayalam film S Durga, which was dropped from the IFFI last year, has been cleared by the censor board without any cuts.
  • Directed by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, the film is about the patriarchal society of Kerala.
  • It has won the Hivos Tiger Award in 2017, and Golden Apricot at Armenia’s Yerevan Film Festival in the category Int. Feature Competition. It is the only Indian film to win the title.
India Int. Textiles Expo Begins In Colombo
  • A three day India International Textiles Expo of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo.
  • It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council with the support of Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
  • At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India displayed variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc.
Parivartan scheme launched in Haryana
  • Haryana launched Parivartan scheme designed to address 10 issues.
  • The 10 issues include facilitation of financing, making agriculture profitable & sustainable, improving health services, implementing Swachh Bharat, decongesting market areas, engaging the youth, checking air pollution, ensuring availability of identity-related services, effective policing, and ensuring road order and conduct.
Kamal Haasan launches political party
  • Actor Kamal Haasan launched his political party ‘Makkal Needhi Maiam’ and hoisted a flag carrying the party’s symbol in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai.
  • Haasan, who has embarked on a statewide tour, visited former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s residence and addressed three public meetings earlier in the day.
  • He said that he was no longer a cinema star.
Successful Night Trial Of Prithvi-II Missile
  • India successfully conducted a night trial of its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile with a strike range of 350 km, from a test range in Odisha.
  • The surface-to-surface missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, Odisha.
  • The perfect test launch came after the successful trial of the Agni-5 missile.
NITI Aayog Budget Allocation Increased
  • Allocations to the NITI Aayog, has increased by more than 20% over last year i.e. to Rs 339.65 crore in 2018-19 from Rs 279.79 crore in 2017-18.
  • It includes a defined role for NITI Aayog in critical areas of artificial intelligence and agriculture policy.
  • NITI Aayog, as the premier ‘think-tank’ of the Government of India has been crucial in navigating and charting the course of the country.
EPFO fixes interest rate at 8.55 %
  • The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, EPFO has declared 8.55% interest rate for 2017-18 for its about 5 crore members, the lowest in five years.
  • The move will affect around 6 crore subscribers and leave EPFO with a surplus of Rs 586 crore against Rs 695 crore in the previous financial year.
  • Cut comes at a time when returns on debt funds have decreased to 6.75% from 7.5-8% last year.
Govt Sets Up The “NITI Forum For Northeast”
  • The Union Government has issued order setting up the ‘Niti Forum for North-East’.
  • The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER).
  • The Forum is tasked to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country.
1st Indian woman to fly fighter aircraft solo
  • Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi has scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.
  • She flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo sortie from IAF’s Jamnagar base in Gujarat.
  • She is one of the three in the first batch of female pilots, besides Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, who were inducted in Indian Air Force fighter squadron in 2016.
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