Youngest captain in International Cricket
- At 19 years of age, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is set to become the youngest captain in the history of international cricket.
- The World’s No.1 ODI and Twenty20 International bowler, Rashid will lead Afghanistan after regular skipper Asghar Stanikzai was diagnosed with appendicitis.
- Rashid is also the youngest player to be ranked No.1 in the ICC’s Player Rankings across formats.
Centre names 9,491 ‘high risk’ NBFCs
- The government has categorised 9,491 non-banking financial companies in the country as “high risk” prone.
- These NBFCs have been categorised as high risk prone as they had not complied with a stipulated provision of the anti-money laundering law.
- The list of 9,491 “high risk financial institutions” has been published by Financial Intelligence Unit that functions under Finance Ministry.
Saudi military leaders replaced
- Saudi King Salman has sacked his military chief and a number of other top commanders in a shakeup apparently aimed at overhauling its Defense Ministry.
- The changes were made on the recommendation of the minister of defense, who is the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
- The decisions come as the Saudi-led coalition, chiefly backed by UAE, remains mired in a stalemate in Yemen.
Maldives declined India’s invitation
- Maldives has declined India’s invitation to participate in the naval exercise ‘MILAN’.
- The development comes on the backdrop of an ongoing state of unrest in the country.
- MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by Indian Navy at Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
- The exercise assumes importance on the backdrop of an increasing Chinese presence in the IOR.
Uttarakhand to host 13th Surya Kiran Exercise
- India and Nepal will hold the 13th edition of Surya Kiran joint military exercise in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand in a couple of months.
- The military exercise will include training on jungle warfare, anti-terrorism combat as well as disaster response activities.
- The announcement came days after Army chief Bipin Rawat visited Nepal to attend a function to mark the Army Day.
Google brings Symptom Search feature to India
- Google India has rolled out its feature called “Symptom Search” in India that lets users find quality health information on their smartphones.
- Google in collaboration with a team of doctors from Apollo Hospitals will add tailor-made information about commonly-searched symptoms in its Search.
- The project aims to provide quality healthcare information which can be accessed by a billion Indians
Tie up b/w Tamil Nadu Govt and Microsoft
- Govt of Tamil Nadu has signed an agreement with Microsoft to improve integration of technology in teaching & learning in the state.
- The partnership aims to reform education sector, build tech capacity & enhance digital literacy across all levels.
- As a part of the agreement, Microsoft will adopt 7 schools identified by govt & train their teachers & students around building 21st century skills
Govt announces reduction in airfare for Haj
- The government has announced a significant reduction in airfare for those going on the Haj.
- The reduction will be applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India.
- This comes a month after the government abolished subsidies given to those on Haj pilgrimage.
US to overtake Russia as top oil producer
- According to International Energy Agency, U.S. will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2019 at the latest.
- S. crude oil output rose above 10 million barrels per day late last year for the first time since 1970s, overtaking top oil exporter Saudi Arabia.
- US oil is also increasingly being exported, including to the world’s biggest and fastest growing markets in Asia.
Bangladesh appoint Courtney Walsh as coach
- Bangladesh has named former West Indies cricketer Courtney Walsh as the interim coach for upcoming tri-nation Twenty20 series.
- Walsh, who has been Bangladesh’s bowling coach since 2016, takes over as interim coach from former Zimbabwean cricketer Richard Halsall.
- Position of Bangladesh’s head coach had been vacant since Oct, when Chandika Hathurusingha quit after three years at the helm.
Baichung Bhutia quits TMC
- Former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia has announced his resignation from Trinamool Congress.
- The former striker quit professional football in 2011 and joined the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC in 2013 to give politics a shot.
- In recent times, he went against the party stand on Gorkhaland and has expressed his support for a separate statehood for the region.
Saudi Arabia allows women to join military
- Saudi Arabia has for the first time opened applications for women to join its military.
- The women, however, will not be given combat roles but will work in security.
- To apply, women will need to fulfil 12 requirements besides obtaining their guardian’s approval.
- Decision to recruit female soldiers is one of many reforms enhancing women’s rights introduced in recent months by Saudi Arabia.
AIIB approves $1.5 billion of loans to India
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved $1.5 billion in loans to India for infrastructure-related projects in 2018.
- The funds would be used for investment in India’s energy, roads and urban development projects.
- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shipping ministry and IIT Madras joins hand
- Shipping ministry has set up a centre in a joint initiative with IIT Madras to accelerate indigenous development of technology & patents.
- It also aims to reduce reliance on costly foreign consultations.
- The centre, supported by ministry’s flagship Sagarmala Project, will be located at the satellite campus of IIT Madras.
- It is expected to serve as the technological arm of shipping ministry.
Modi to address India-Korea Business Summit
- PM Modi addressed the 2nd India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi.
- The summit aims to create framework for an open & action-oriented dialogue b/w top business leaders & govt officials from India & Korea.
- This year, the theme of the summit is “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade & Investments”.
- India and Korea are the 3rd& 4th largest economies in Asia.
Former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian Dies
- TSR Subramanian, former Cabinet Secretary of the Union government passed away due to prolonged illness.
- Subramanian, a 1961 batch officer of the Indian Administrative Service, was the cabinet secretary from August 1, 1996, to March 31, 1998.
- He also headed several government committees, including those on education and environment.
Nadda rolls out free viral load tests for HIV
- Health minister JP Nadda has launched the free Viral Load Tests, which measure the quantity of virus in the body.
- The move is likely to benefit 12 lakh people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in the country.
- The test is of immense importance to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of patients taking lifelong anti-retroviral therapy.
Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein arrives in India
- King of Jordan Abdullah-II bin Al-Hussein has arrived in India on a 3 day visit.
- This will be his second visit to India after his visit along with Queen Rania in 2006.
- The two sides are expected to sign a number of memorandums of understanding and agreements in diverse areas of bilateral cooperation.
- India is Jordan’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade worth $1.35 billion.
Intermodal stations to come up in 15 cities
- National Highways Authority of India has prioritized 15 cities across the country for the development of intermodal stations.
- Out of these 15 cities, Nagpur & Varanasi have been selected as pilot projects.
- Intermodal stations are terminal infrastructure which integrates transportation modes like rail, road, inland waterways, etc so that people can move from one mode to another seamlessly.
China Plans to build military observatory in Maldives
- China is planning to build an ocean observatory in the Maldives for military purposes, located in Makunudhoo.
- The observatory will also give China access to an important shipping route in the Indian Ocean.
- Both China and the Maldives had finalised an official agreement called the ‘Protocol on Establishment of Joint Ocean Observation Station’ last year.
‘SRIJAN’ has been launched at MyGov portal
- Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is taking up redevelopment of around 600 major Railway stations across the country.
- In this mega exercise, assistance and involvement of all stakeholders i.e. railway passengers, urban planners, architects, engineers is important.
- Towards this objective of stakeholders’ consultation, an idea competition for development of 635 stations on Indian Railways, ‘SRIJAN’ (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint ActioN) has been launched at MyGov portal since 26.01.2018.
- The last date for submission of entries in this competition is 26.03.2018. The winners will get certificates and worthy ideas will be incorporated in the designs.
China may overtake US as biggest producer of nuclear power in 20 Years
- The International Energy Agency has said that China may overtake the US as the world’s biggest producer of nuclear power as it is expected to triple its nuclear capacity in the next 20 years.
- It added that lesser investment in nuclear energy and no lifetime extension of the existing plants threatened the US’ position as the global leader in nuclear power.
Railways to start all-weather glass-roof train in Kashmir
- The Northern Railways has decided to introduce an all-weather, glass-roof AC train with 40 seats in Kashmir in order to enhance tourism in the valley.
- The train will have Vista dome coaches, which will have rotatable-pushback seats, GPS-based information system, LED lights, and automatic sliding compartment doors.
- The frequency of operating the train is yet to be determined, an official said.
Bihar is national topper in FY17 growth, with 10.3 pc
- Bihar clocked a growth rate of 10.3 per cent in 2016-2017 as against 7.5 per cent in the corresponding fiscal a year ago, according to the latest Economic Survey tabled in the state Assembly.
- Bihar’s growth rate is higher than that of the national average of 7.0 per cent, the 12th Economic Survey of Bihar said.
- The state has consistently been revenue surplus, which increased from Rs 5,101 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 10,819 crore in 2016-17.
State Bank Of India Planned For UK Restructuring
- State Bank of India (SBI) is planned for a major restructuring of its business in the United Kingdom from April.
- SBI’s UK operations will transform into a subsidiary named State Bank of India UK Limited from April 1, in compliance with wider ring-fencing of capital requirements by the Bank of England.
- The move will mean that all retail branches of SBI in the UK will fall under a new UK-incorporated banking entity instead of their previous status as overseas branches of the Indian entity and synergizing role of national and state governments.
CSIR signs MoU with IORA: CSIR-CIMAP to host coordinating center on medicinal plants
- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) has entered into a MoU with the Regional Center for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT) of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for designating Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Lucknow (CSIR-CIMAP) as Coordinating Center on Medicinal Plants.
- The MoU was signed by Prof. Anil Kumar Tripathi, Director CSIR-CIMAP and Dr. A. Sedrpousan, Director, IORA-RCSTT.
- The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Girish Sahni, DG, CSIR and Secretary, DSIR.
- The delegation also attended the 31st Khwarizmi International Award Ceremony which was addressed by H.E. Dr. Hassan Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
India ranks 47th on Inclusive Internet Index
- India has been ranked 47th out of 86 countries on the Inclusive Internet Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which was commissioned by Facebook.
- Sweden took the first place, followed by Singapore and the US.
- The scores on the index, which covered 91% of the world’s population, is based on the scores of Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness categories.
Morne Morkel Announced His Retirement
- South African pacer Morne Morkel announced that he will retire from international cricket after the end of the Test series against Australia.
- The 33-year-old has played in 83 Tests and has picked up 294 wickets so far.
MC Mary Kom And Seema Poonia Bag Silver Medals In Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament
- Indian stars Seema Poonia and MC Mary Kom have settled for Silver medals after losing in the final of 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing tournament at Sofia in Bulgaria.
- While Mary Kom lost to Bulgarian Sevda Asenova in the 48-kilogram title bout, Seema went down to Russian Anna Ivanova in the 81 kg final. Overall Indian women ended up with two silver and four bronze medals in one of the oldest boxing tournaments in Europe.