Elephanta Island gets permanent power supply
- The Elephanta Island near Mumbai received permanent electricity connection for the first time since 70 years of Independence.
- The project will benefit around 1,200 residents on the island, which houses UNESCO World Heritage site Elephanta Caves.
- Prior to this, the villagers resorted to solar energy and power generators for their requirements.
Neanderthals were first artists on Earth
- The world’s first cave art was made by human ancestors called Neanderthals and not Homo sapiens, an international study has claimed.
- Researchers studied three caves in Spain dating back at least 64,000 years, with walls paintings depicting animals and geometric signs.
- Neanderthals were settled in Europe before modern humans left Africa to reach Europe about 40,000 years ago.
CBI arrests Rotomac owner Vikram Kothari
- The CBI arrested Rotomac Pens’ owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul for allegedly defrauding banks of ₹3,700 crore.
- Kothari’s company had submitted forged documents to get loans and created shell firms to carry out illegal activities.
- Earlier, authorities had notified all land, sea, and air ports to prevent Kothari and his family members from leaving India.
ICC approves T20 league in Canada
- The International Cricket Council (ICC) has given the green light to Cricket Canada’s maiden venture ‘Global T20 Canada’, expected to be held in July this year.
- Four Canadian local players will be playing in every squad of the league.
- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a bat wishing the Global T20 Canada league good luck.
January 2018 was the fifth warmest January
- January 2018 was the fifth warmest January in 138 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by NASA.
- The only months of January warmer than that occurred in 2016 (+1.16°C), 2017 (+0.97°C), 2007 (+0.95°C), and in 2015 (+0.81°C).
- Last month was 0.78°C warmer than the average January of the 1951-1980 period, said NASA.
Indian billionaires’ wealth equals 15% of GDP
- The total wealth of Indian billionaires is 15% of the country’s GDP, a report by charity group Oxfam has revealed.
- The report said India ranks among the world’s most unequal countries because of “lopsided” policies of successive governments.
- It added the wealthiest in India have cornered a huge part of wealth created in the country through crony capitalism and inheritance.
PNB adopts stricter SWIFT control after fraud
- PNB has reportedly stepped up its controls on use of messaging network SWIFT following a $1.77-billion fraud.
- Any SWIFT message will now have to be created, verified and authorised by three different officers, while previously only two officers were needed.
- PNB officials had issued unauthorised LoUs via SWIFT for firms linked to jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.
ED freezes ₹94cr worth shares, of Nirav
- The Enforcement Directorate (ED) froze shares and mutual funds worth ₹94.52 crore belonging to Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi’s firms.
- Further, the Income Tax Department has attached 141 bank accounts and fixed deposits worth ₹145 crore of the Nirav Modi group.
- Nirav and his uncle Choksi are accused of defrauding PNB of $1.77 billion.
Telangana, Taiwan Sign MoU
- The Telangana Government signed an MOU with Taoyuan City of Taiwan for better technology partnership in the state.
- The agreement was signed after the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018 in Hyderabad.
- IT Minister K T Rama Rao and principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan signed the agreement with Robert Huang, Director of the Board of Taiwan company at World IT Congress 2018.
India Signs MoU With IDRC
- An MoU between the Government of India and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was signed in New Delhi.
- The agreement was signed to usher the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges.
- IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs.
Parrikar Presents Rs 17,123-Crore Goa Budget
- Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar presented in the state assembly Rs. 17,123-crore budget for 2018-19, an increase of 6.84% over the ongoing fiscal.
- The Budget focuses on education and job creation.
- The total estimated expenditure on revenue account is Rs 11,795.40 crore, while that on capital account is Rs 4,218.25 crore.
SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket
- Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket, which carried two test satellites for its planned global internet broadband service.
- The rocket also carried Spanish company Hisdesat’s PAZ satellite to low Earth orbit as payload.
- The launch was carried out from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, United States.
First sale of electoral bonds from March 1
- The first sale of electoral bonds will start from March 1 for a period of 10 days at 4 main branches of SBI in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.
- These bonds will have a life of 15 days, and a citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in the country can purchase them.
- Bonds can be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 cr.
‘Perceived corruption’ list ranks India at 81
- India has been ranked at 81st place out of 180 countries on a ‘Corruption Perception Index’, in a list released by Transparency International.
- India’s ranking is worse than those of China and Bhutan but better than Pakistan & Bangladesh.
- India’s score is 40. New Zealand & Denmark topped the list, while Syria, South Sudan & Somalia are at the bottom with scores of 14, 12 & 9 respectively.
Modi to inaugurate first ever TB India summit
- India is all set to organise a mega India TB summit from March 13-16.
- All chief ministers will be invited and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first of its kind event which is aimed at generating sufficient momentum for his vision of a TB free India by 2025.
- It is five years ahead of the global TB elimination target of 2030.
Fliers to Bengaluru can soon use ‘heli taxi’
- Thumby Aviation, a heli taxi operator, will start flights next week to ferry air passengers from Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) to Electronics City, where companies such as Infosys and Wipro are based.
- Currently, it takes more than an hour-and-half to reach Electronics City.
- The heli taxi service will take just 15 minutes.
DoT’s plan to spur synergy among 7 PSUs
- Government unveiled a strategic plan to enable 7 state-owned companies under the DoT to work closely with an aim of promoting greater operational synergy among them.
- Plan covers MTNL, BSNL, Indian Telephone Industries, Centre for Development of Telematics, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd., Testing & Certification of Telecom Equipments and BharatNet.
- Manoj Sinha is Telecom Minster.
S. Arabia to invest in entertainment sector
- The head of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority has said that the kingdom will invest $64 billion ( over ₹4 lakh crore) in developing its entertainment sector over the next decade.
- The investment is part of the Vision 2030 plan, which was unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2016.
- Last year, Saudi lifted a ban on commercial cinemas.
‘Installation’ work at KIA Motors inaugurated
- CM Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated the ‘framework installation’ work at the KIA Motors site near Penukonda town of the Anantapur district.
- It will produce the first KIA test car in a year.
- It’s total cost will be more than Rs. 13,000 crore, would produce 3 lakh cars initially and will eventually be scaled up to 4 lakh cars.
- Han-Woo Park is the CEO & President of the KIA motors.
CRPF to guard Indian embassy in Baghdad
- In a first, the government is planning to send Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) commandos to provide security to the Indian embassy in Baghdad.
- A Ministry of Home Affairs official said the deployment was being made on the request of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
- The Iraqi government is locked in an armed conflict with the terrorist outfit Islamic State.