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Daily Current Affairs 31st Jan 2018

Karnataka gets Asia’s largest drip irrigation project with Israeli tech

  •  The largest drip irrigation project in Asia, the Ramthal project in Karnataka, executed by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL), has been commissioned.
  • Netafim, an Israeli corporation, has provided technical assistance for this project, which is based on the Israeli drip technology.
  • The Ramthal Marola project in the Bhagalkot district of Karnataka has been implemented by Krishna Bhagya Jala Nigam Limited. MEIL will be in charge of the operation and maintenance of this project for the next five years.
  • A total of 2,150 km length of pipeline was laid for this drip irrigation project.

Third Scorpene-class submarine INS Karanj launched

  • The Indian Navy Has Launched The Third Scorpene Class Submarine Karanj In Mumbai.
  • It Has Been Constructed By Shipbuilder Mazagon Dock Limited In Collaboration With French Shipbuilding Major Naval Group,Formerly DCNS. The Karanj Is Built Under The Project 75 Programme.
  • A Total Of Six Submarines Are Going To Be Built At The MDL. The First Of The Six Scorpene-Class Submarine Is Kalvari And The Second One Is Khandari.

Rajasthan announces 1% quota for MBCs

  •  The BJP government in Rajasthan has announced 1% reservation for the Most Backward Class (MBC), comprising Gujjars and four other nomadic communities, within the 50% ceiling mandated by the Supreme Court. The Cabinet approved the decision last month and sent it for the Governor’s consent.
  • The overall reservation in the State stood at 49% before the decision.

International Kolkata Book Fair 2018

  • The 42nd edition of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 will be inaugurated today by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and France’s Minister of Culture and Communication Francoise Nyssen. The fair, touted to be world’s largest attended book fair, will be open for public from January 31 and will continue till February 11.
  • The venue for the International Kolkata Book Fair 2018 will be Central Park Mela Complex at Salt Lake in Karunamayee and the timings will be 12 PM to 8 PM. Apart from the book fair, the fifth edition of Kolkata Literature Festival 2018 which is an integral part of the International Kolkata Book Fair, will be held at the same venue for three days – from 8 to 10 February, 12 noon onwards.
  • Organised by Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the book fair will see publishers and participants from across the world.

CM launches Rs 110 cr scheme to provide 24×7 power supply in Haryana

  • Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakurlaunched integrated power development scheme at Nagrota Bagwan today to provide 24×7 power supply in 54 towns of the state.
  • The Rs 110 crore centrally sponsored scheme is for 54 towns of the state in the ratio 90:10 by the Centre andstate government.
  • This will include strengthening of power distribution system, setting up new transformers, besides upgrading 33 KV and 22 KV Electric sub stations in the state and maintaining electric lines to prevent transmission losses.

Kovind approves Bill to hike judges’ salary

  • President Ram Nath Kovind gave his approval to a Bill that will more than double the salaries of Supreme Court and High Court judges.
  • ow after the President’s approval, the Chief Justice of India will draw a monthly salary of ₹2.80 lakh, up from the current ₹1 lakh.
  • Other judges of the Supreme Court and Chief Justices of High Courts will draw a monthly salary of ₹2.50 lakh, a jump from the current ₹90,000.

PM Narendra Modi to launch Khelo India School Games

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modiwill launch the first Khelo India School Gamesat the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
  • The week-long inaugural edition will be an Under-17 event where athletes have been invited to participate across 16 disciplines: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Swimming, Volleyball, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.
  • There will be 199 gold, 199 silver and 275 bronze medals at stake.
  • The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in the country at the grass-root level.
  • It is expected to help scout young talent from the schools in various disciplines and groom them as future champions.

India, ADB sign $250 million loan for rural road projects in five states

  • India and the Manila- based Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Tuesday signed a $250 million loan to finance the construction of 6,254 km of all-weather rural roads in Assam, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal under the flagship Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Programme (PMGSY).
  • The First Tranche Loan is part of the $500 million Second Rural Connectivity Investment Program for India approved by the ADB Board in December 2017.
  • The program is aimed at improving rural connectivity, facilitating safer and more efficient access to livelihood and socio-economic opportunities for rural communities through improvements to about 12,000 kilometres Rural Roads across the 5 States.
  • The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs in the government’s Ministry of Finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, country director of the ADB office in New Delhi.

India 6th wealthiest country with total wealth of $8,230 billion

  • India has been ranked sixth in the list of wealthiest countries with total wealth of $8,230 billion, while the United States topped the chart, says a report.
  • According to a report by New World Wealth, the US is the wealthiest country with total wealth of $64,584 billion, followed by China ($24,803 billion) and Japan ($19,522 billion).
  • Others in the list include United Kingdom (4th, $9,919 billion), Germany (5th, $9,660 billion), France (7th, $6,649 billion), Canada (8th, $6,393 billion), Australia (9th, $6,142 billion) and Italy (10th, $4,276 billion).

SBI to launch credit card for farmers

  • The State Bank of India, through its subsidiary SBI Cards & Payments Services Pvt Ltd, will offer credit cards to farmers across the country.
  • The project has been initiated on a pilot basis in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and depending on the success of the pilot run, it will be launched nationally, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said.
  • Unlike the Kisan Credit Card (KCC), the new credit cards for the farmers will have a credit limit with a credit period of 45 days. Currently, under KCC, beneficiaries (farmers) maintain loan accounts with the banks and the lenders offer them debit cards against this account.

EPFO makes new company registration paperless

  •  Companies will no longer be required to submit physical applications for registering themselves under the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in order to cut down unnecessary paperwork and compliance hassles for employers.
  • Earlier, employers had to submit a physical copy of Form 5A to the concerned EPFO field office upon new registration of establishment and whenever there was any change in ownership details.
  • EPFO said employers can update Form 5A online and submit with e-signatures. This will not only reduce the unnecessary paperwork but also avoid the need to visit EPFO field offices.

Axis Bank launches 4th edition of “Evolve”

  • Private sector Axis Bank has launched the fourth edition of ‘Evolve’, an annual multi-city knowledge series for Bank’s SME customers.
  • The current edition of evolve, titled “Transform your Family Business into your dream company”, will empower the SMEs understand the winning strategies and best practises that have helped some of the leading family businesses in India grow into reputable enterprise.
  • This edition will span across 30 cities including Nagpur, Surat, Rajkot, Pune, Vishakhapatnam, Trichy, Kanpur, Ludhiana and Jamshedpur, a bank release said here. The series aims to equip the participating SMEs with new-age strategies, live case studies, operational know-how, regulatory and Government related knowledge skills, president and head, SME, Axis Bank.

India launches high performance computer system Mihir

  • In an initiative to improve India’s weather forecasting, the ministry of earth science (MoES) on Tuesday launched a high performance computer (HPC) system named Mihir.
  • The HPC will be India’s largest in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel the country’s ranking from the 368th position to the top 30 in list of HPC facilities across the world.

China drawing up new 2018-2020 “battle plan” against smog

  •  China is currently drawing up details of a new “battle plan” to curb pollution over the 2018-2020 period.
  • Liu Youbin, a spokesman at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, told a press briefing that officials are currently drawing up supporting regulations for major industrial regions like Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the Yangtze river delta. He didn’t say when the detailed plan would be released.

Sharath Kamal Wins Table Tennis Nationals Championship

  • Sharath Kamal beat top-seeded Anthony Amalraj to win the men singles title for the eighth time, equalling the feat of Kamlesh Mehta in the 79th edition of the 11Even Sports Senior Nationals in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
  • Suthirta Mukherjee from West Bengal emerged the new women champion, beating Hyderabad Nationals winner Manika Batra.

Melbourne to host final of men’s, women’s 2020 World T20

  •  Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final of both the men’s and women’s World Twenty20 when the tournaments come to Australia in 2020.
  • The women’s tournament, made up of 10 teams, will be held from Feb. 21 to March 8 before 16 men’s teams play from Oct. 18 to Nov. 15. It will mark the first time the tournaments are held as standalone events in the same year in the same country.
  • The women’s final will coincide with International Women’s Day, with the world governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), hoping for a record attendance at a women’s sporting event.

S.K. Joshi appointed new Chief Secretary of Telangana

  •  Shailendra Kumar Joshi, Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation, was appointed the new Chief Secretary of Telangana State .

Vikram Singh Sisodia Named Chef-De-Mission For CWG

  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has appointed its joint secretary Vikram Singh Sisodia as the Chef-de-Mission for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
  • The IOA also appointed three team managers to accompany Sisodia.
  • The 21st Commonwealth Games will be held from April 4 to 15 in Gold Coast, the second largest city in Australia.

 “Speaking Truth to Power” book launched

  • Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and P Chidambaram released a book titled “Speaking Truth to Power” authored by P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Jan 30, 2018.
  • Former finance minister P Chidambaram urged the citizens of India to speak truth so that the nation can uphold the legacy of its founding fathers.
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