DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS: 23RD FEB 2017
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1. CABINET APPROVALS ON FEBRUARY 22, 2017
i. The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs okayed revised norms for the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects with the production target enhancement to 40,000 MW from the present 20,000 MW.
ii. Cabinet has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security.
iii. Cabinet has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Greece which has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange also in line government’s developments in the civil aviation sector.
iv. Union Defence Ministry has approved 38 additional coastal radar stations with the cost of Rs 800 cr to enhance coastal surveillance on India’ over 7500 km long line.
vi. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs approved investment proposal for generation component of 900 MW Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project in Nepal by state owned SJVN Limited.
2. NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY CONGRESS 2017 HELD IN KERALA
i. 3rd National Biodiversity Congress 2017 held Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
ii. Its aim is to identify practical evidence based case studies at regional level to support the plan of action.
iii. Theme of the event was “Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development” with 4 sub-themes.
iv. This year event is comprises of programmes including exhibition, conference, capacity building workshops and Childrens Biodiversity Congress.
3. INDIA, CHINA TO HOLD STRATEGIC DIALOGUE TO BOOST BILATERAL TIES
i. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar attended the 1st India-China Strategic Dialogue to be held in Beijing to reinforce bilateral ties amid hectic meetings to resolve differences over Beijing’s reluctance to support India’s NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
ii. The two sides discussed all issues of mutual concern and interest including friction point and expressed strong commitment to develop positive relations despite differences.
iii. India & Chinaiii. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar along with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui held the strategic dialogue and also held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
4. BHARAT FINANCIAL LAUNCHES INSTANT MICROLOAN FACILITY
i. Hyderabad based non-banking finance company Microfinance institution Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd launched an instant loan approval at a village near Bassi in Jaipur district, Rajasthan
ii. The objective of this initiative to help rural areas embrace cashless transactions. The loan amount will be deposited directly to the loanee bank account.
iii. The loan facility based on a 3-step verification process of Aadhar-based e-KYC, credit bureau authentication and e-Sign and non collateral loans up to Rs 60,000 for one year to rural women.
iv. It will be rolled out by June 2017 in all microfinance companys nationwide network with several being in Rajasthan, Bihar and Delhi.
5. SIDBI, VIJAYA BANK COMBINES TO PROVIDE CONCESSIONAL LOANS TO MICRO, SMALL UNITS
i. Lucknow based Small Industries Development Bank of India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bengaluru based Vijaya Bank for providing concessional finance to micro and small enterprises.
ii. Aim: To promote and strengthen the units in the MSE segment
iii. The MoU also expect joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for meeting capital expenditure under the ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’ scheme at concessional rate of 9.60 per cent, along with working capital from Vijaya Bank.SIDBI, Vijaya Bank
iv. The resources and expertise of SIDBI in MSME financing and the outreach of Vijaya Bank are proposed to be leveraged
6. ICRA SAYS GVA GROWTH TO DECLINE BY 70 BPS TO 6.2% IN Q3
i. Guragon based Domestic rating agency ICRA reported that the gross value added is set to slip to 6.2% in the third quarter from 6.9% and GDP growth will decline to 6.5% from 7.2%.
ii. Services sector is expected to ease to 8% from 9.1% in line with moderation in fuel demand following the note ban.
iii. Industrial growth is set to more than halve to 4% from 8.6%, led by manufacturing, construction and mining and quarrying.
iv. The annual growth of systemic deposits improved to 15.2% as of December 23, 2016 from 10.2%.
7. NASSCOM SIGNS MOU WITH ITAC JAPAN
i. The National Association of Software and Services Companies has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IoT Acceleration Consortium Japan.
ii. Its aim is to collaborate to address digital technology shifts and accelerate IoT adoption at a global level across the industry.
ii. NASSCOM and ITAC will exchange statistics and dynamic practices related to the respective IoT industries and will look at facilitating exchange programs for association members.
8. AZERBAIJAN PREZ NAMED MEHRIBAN ALIYEVA AS COUNTRY’S FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
i. Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev has named his wife Mehriban Aliyeva as Azerbaijan’s 1st vice-president.
ii. Aliyeva has served previously as a lawmaker and headed a charity.
iii. She becomes the country’s 1st powerful lady and second most powerful person in Azerbaijan.
9. AMARINDER SINGH’S BIOGRAPHY ‘THE PEOPLE’S MAHARAJA’ RELEASED
i. Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh’s biography, ‘The People’s Maharaja‘, written by Khushwant Singh was released in Chandigarh.
ii. Captain Amarinder Singh is an Indian politician of the Indian National Congress.
ii. He was CM of Punjab from 2002 to 2007. Now, he is the sitting President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.
OBJECTIVE QUESTIONS BASED ON TODAY’S NEWS
Q1. THE NATIONAL BIODIVERSITY CONGRESS 2017 WAS HELD IN WHICH STATE?
a) Himachal Pradesh
c) Tamil Nadu
Q2. THE INDIA-CHINA STRATEGIC DIALOGUE WAS HELD IN WHICH CITY TO BOOST BILATERAL TIES AND RESOLVE DIFFERENCES?
c) New Delhi
Q3. WHICH ORGANIZATION HAS SIGNED A MOU WITH THE IOT ACCELERATION CONSORTIUM OF JAPAN FOR FASTER ADOPTION OF IOT ACROSS INDUSTRY?
a) Data Security Council of India
b) National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software
c) National Association of Software and Services Companies
d) Centre for Internet and Society
Q4. WHO HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS THE FIRST VICE PRESIDENT OF AZERBAIJAN?
a) Samir Sharifov
b) Elmar Mammadyarov
c) Mikayil Jabbarov
d) Mehriban Aliyeva
Q5. WHO IS THE AUTHOR OF THE PEOPLE’S MAHARAJA, A BIOGRAPHY OF PUNJAB CONGRESS CHIEF AMARINDER SINGH?
a) Khushwant Singh
b) Arundhati Roy
c) Vikram Sethi
d) Amitav Ghosh.
1 - B 2 - D 3 - C 4 - D 5 - A