Current Affairs 18th January 2018:
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CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL
Election Commission announces poll schedule for Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland:
- The Election Commission (EC) announced the schedule for the Assembly elections in Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland.
- Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti said, in Tripura, the polling will take place on the 18th of next month, while Meghalaya and Nagaland will go to polls on 27th February.
- The counting of votes for all the three states will be held on 3rd March.
- Gazette notification for the poll in Tripura will be issued on the 24th of this month. For polls in Meghalaya and Nagaland, the notification will be issued on 31st January.
|Election Commission of India Headquarters
|Chief Election Commissioner of India
||Achal Kumar Jyoti
|Election Commissioner of India
||Om Prakash Rawat, Sunil Arora
Defence Expo to be held in Mahabalipuram near Chennai from April 11 to 14:
- The first-ever Defence Industry Meet held in Chennai.
- The newly introduced Make-2 initiative in Defence procurement will greatly help small Industries to involve themselves in Defence equipment Manufacturing
- The globally acclaimed Defence Expo this year will be held in Mahabalipuram near Chennai from 11th to 14th of April with the participation of 80 countries.
|Ministry of Defence (Cabinet minister)
|Ministry of Defence (Minister of state)
|Tamil Nadu Capital
|Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
||Edappadi K. Palaniswami
|Tamil Nadu Governor
Government to set up ₹2,200-crore fund to finance solar projects:
- The government is planning to set up a ₹2,200-crore fund to finance solar projects to achieve its target of having 175 GW in renewable energy by 2022.
- India’s current installed renewable power capacity is about 60 GW and it plans to complete the bidding process by the end of 2019-20 to add a further 115 GW by 2022.
India successfully test fires Agni-V missile:
- India successfully test fired its indigenously built, nuclear-capable missile, Agni-V. It was conducted off a test range from Odisha’s Abdul Kalam Island.
- The intercontinental surface-to-surface ballistic missile has a range of 5,000 km. With the aim to strengthen its nuclear arsenal, the Indian army is modifying the Agni missile to make it capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
- New technologies are being incorporated into every test in addition to its navigation and guidance system, warhead and engine power.
Mumbai more expensive than Singapore for expats:
- Mumbai has been ranked as Asia’s fifth most expensive rental city for expatriates, leaving behind Singapore which stood at eighth rank on the list.
- Hong Kong has topped the list with an average price of $10,461 per month for an unfurnished, three-bedroom apartment in expatriate neighbourhoods, according to consultancy firm ECA International.
- Tokyo has been ranked second on the list.
GPS, panic button mandatory in buses, taxis from April 1:
- The government has announced April 1 as the deadline for the mandatory installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and panic buttons in all passenger transport vehicles, including taxis and buses.
- The move will help the passengers to alert police and transport department in panic situations.
- Meanwhile, three-wheelers like e-rickshaws and auto rickshaws have been exempted from the rule.
HRD ministry asks all colleges to provide free Wi-Fi:
- Colleges and technical institutes across the country may soon offer free Wi-Fi to students and staff.
- According to the letter, each user would have a quota of data they can use for free after which; they will have to pay the telecom service provider.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
India Japan Coastguards conduct joint search and rescue exercise:
- A joint Search and Rescue exercise named SAREX-18 was conducted in the Bay of Bengal off Chennai between Indian and Japan Coast Guards.
- A total of nine Indian Ships and eight aircraft participated in the exercise. Other stakeholders like the Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) also sent their assets for the exercise that has been held for the seventh time.
- The highlights of the exercise encompassed the scenario of the hijacking of a cruise vessel and subsequent mass rescue of the passengers in a joint Coast Guard operation of both the countries.
- Operation of helicopters of the two coast guards from the ships of each other, interdiction of pirate vessel, cross boarding and search and rescue demonstration were the other highlights of the exercise.
|Japan Prime Minister
Norway’s airliners should be entirely electric by 2040
- Avinor, the public operator of Norwegian airports, “aims to be the first in the world” to make the switch to electric air transport,
- In the near future, Avinor plans to launch a tender offer to test a commercial route flown with a small electric plane with 19 seats, starting in 2025.
- All of Norway’s short-haul airliners should be entirely electric by 2040
France launched hydrogen-powered bicycles
- A French start-up has become the first company to start factory production of hydrogen-powered bicycles for use in corporate or municipal fleets.
Current Affairs Today: STATE
NHRC to hold Open Hearing and Camp Sitting in Jaipur:
- The National Human Rights Commission holds two-day Open Hearing and Camp Sitting in Jaipur to address the grievances of the people.
- Chairman Justice HL Dattu will inaugurate the hearing of the cases. After the inauguration, the Commission will take up 169 complaints in the Open Hearing which will be heard by the Chairperson and other members.
- The complaints relate to the grievances and atrocities against the persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes due to action, inaction or omission by the public authorities.
|Rajasthan Chief Minister
Maharashtra cabinet approves 1% reservation for orphans in government jobs:
- The Maharashtra cabinet has approved one per cent reservation for orphans in government jobs under general category.
- The provision will help in the rehabilitation of these kids and help secure their future.
- The state cabinet has also approved the Maharashtra State Innovation and Startup policy, which aims to attract investment of 5,000 crore rupees.
|Maharashtra Chief Minister
||C. Vidyasagar Rao
Adani group to invest Rs 750 crore in West Bengal:
- Adani Group would invest Rs 750 crore to double the capacity of the company’s edible oil refinery at Haldia in West Bengal.
- Announcing this at the second and last day of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), Pranav Adani of the Adani Group expressed interest to invest in port, agri and power sectors.
- 750 crore would be pumped in to double the capacity of the edible oil refinery at Haldia from 1600 tonne per day in the next five years. Packaging would also be expanded from 1200 tonne to 1800 tonne.
|West Bengal Capital
|West Bengal Chief Minister
|West Bengal Governor
||Keshari Nath Tripathi
Sabarimala temple collects record Rs. 255 crore:
- Kerala’s Sabarimala temple has recorded it’s highest-ever collection of 255 crore fir this pilgrimage season.
- The temple increase of 45 crore in its collection for this season as compared to the last season.
- The state has spent Rs.38 crore for construction activities this pilgrimage season.
Current Affairs Today: BANKING and ECONOMY
YES Bank to raise $1 billion to fund solar energy projects:
- Yes Bank will mobilise $1 billion till 2023 and $5 billion till 2030 towards financing solar energy projects in India.
- The private sector bank made this announcement at the International Solar Alliance (ISA) conference organised at the World Future Energy Summit 2018 in Abu Dhabi.
- Yes Bank has signed five solar energy co-financing Letters of Intent (LoI) with Tata Power Delhi Distribution (up to 10 MW capacity), Hero Future Energy (up to 1.5 GW capacity), Greenko Group (up to 10 GW capacity), Amplus Solar (up to 1 GW capacity) and Jakson Group (up to 1 GW capacity) for their solar projects in India to be completed by 2023.
|Yes Bank Headquarters
|Yes Bank Tagline
||Experience our Expertise
|Yes Bank MD and CEO
Bank of Baroda partners with Invoicemart as a TReDS partner:
- Digital invoice discounting marketplace – Invoicemart has tied up with state-run lender Bank of Baroda to discount invoices for MSMEs.
- Buyers and sellers registered on the marketplace will now be able to access funding from Bank of Baroda. Invoicemart is a joint venture between Axis Bank Ltd and mjunction services ltd.
- Bank of Baroda had recently announced that it was stepping up its focus on supply chain financing, to provide loans to MSMEs associated with large corporates.
- TReDS is an online mechanism that helps MSMEs unlock working capital without the hassle of applying for loans.
|Bank of Baroda Headquarters
|Bank of Baroda Tagline
||India’s International Bank
|Bank of Baroda MD and CEO
||P. S. Jayakumar
Ujjivan Bank launches tax saver FD scheme:
- Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ujjivan Financial Services, launched a tax saver fixed deposit (FD) scheme across all its branches.
- The FD scheme is targeted at salaried individuals and business professionals. The deposit can be opened in single name or jointly with another individual, including a minor.
- Being a tax-saver scheme, the depositor needs to furnish permanent account number (PAN) while opening the account. Eligible for exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, the deposit has a lock-in period of five years.
- The minimum deposit amount is ₹1,000 and the maximum, ₹1.5 lakh per financial year. The depositors can opt for monthly, quarterly or cumulative annual interest.
- Senior citizens will get an added benefit of 0.5 per cent additional interest rate.
|Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Headquarters
|Ujjivan Small Finance Bank CEO
Grab acquires Indian mobile payments startup iKaaz:
- Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has acquired Bengaluru-based payments startup iKaaz to strengthen its payments platform.
- Grab currently offers services in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.
- Currently, the Grab platform facilitates more than 3.5 million transactions daily and facilitates over a billion transactions per year.
- Launched in 2014, iKaaz’ technology spans across areas like NFC, QR-code, audio-based payments as well as bill payments, online payments and peer-to-peer.
HDFC Bank becomes first Indian bank to cross Rs 5 trillion market capital:
- Private sector lender HDFC Bank became the first Indian bank to cross ₹5 trillion (about $78 billion) market capitalisation.
- In the last one year, the bank’s shares have gained around 56%. The bank is also only the third Indian company to achieve this milestone after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Reliance Industries.
- RIL remained the most-valued company with a market cap of Rs5.82 trillion, followed by TCS with a market cap of Rs5.57 trillion.
|HDFC Bank Headquarters
|HDFC Bank Tagline
|HDFC Bank MD and CEO
||We understand your world
India Ratings projects economic growth at 7.1% next fiscal:
- India Ratings and Research projected the country’s economic growth to improve to 7.1 per cent next fiscal from 6.5 per cent this year, buoyed by robust consumption demand and low commodity prices.
- In its outlook for 2018-19, there will be a gradual pickup in growth momentum owing to structural reforms like GST and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code in place.
- India Ratings, a subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, stated that GDP is expected to grow 7.1 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19.
- The projection is a tad lower than 7.4 per cent growth estimated by Asian Development Bank and International Monetary Fund for next fiscal.
Samsung launches shopping app ‘Samsung Mall’ in India:
- Samsung India has launched a new shopping app and service, called Samsung Mall, exclusively for the Indian market.
- The app offers visual searching of products online and provides an interface to shop across different e-commerce sites, like Amazon and Flipkart.
- Samsung has also launched its new smartphone called Galaxy On7 Prime along with the app.
Current Affairs Today: BOOKS and AUTHORS
Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit pens autobiography:
- Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is coming out with her autobiography, “Citizen Delhi: My Times, My Life”, publishers Bloomsbury India announced.
- The memoir which will be unveiled on January 27 at the 11th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival, will take readers through the “lifelong journey of the only female politician in India to be part of a select, overwhelmingly male, band”.
Current Affairs Today: SPORTS
Steve Smith named ICC Test Cricketer of the Year:
- Australia skipper Steve Smith, who displayed his tremendous form with the bat recently in the Ashes series against England, was named as the Test Cricketer of the year at ICC Awards ceremony.
- The 28-year old honoured with the Compton-Miller medal for his performance in the longest format during the qualification period between September 21, 2016 and 31st December, 2017.
- During the time period, Smith played 16 Tests, in which he scored 1,875 runs at an average of 78.12, which includin eight centuries and five half-centuries.
Virat Kohli named ICC Cricketer of the Year:
- Indian skipper Virat Kohli bagged the honour of becoming the second Indian in a row to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named as the World Cricketer of the Year 2017.
- It was spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who had won the award the previous year. The Indian captain had a terrific 2017 with the bat as he hammered 1059 runs in 16 innings at an average of 75.64 in Test cricket.
- He scored 5 centuries in the year, including 3 double tons in the format.
Virat Kohli named captain of Test Team of the Year, Cheteshwar Pujara, R Ashwin also picked:
- Virat Kohli added another feather to his hat when the Indian captain swept away two ICC Awards (Sir Garfield Sobers Award for the World Cricketer of the Year and ODI Cricketer of the Year)
- With Kohli leading the side in the longer format, two other Indians, Cheteshwar Pujara and R Ashwin also made a place for themselves in the XI.
- The other players who have made it to the team are Dean Elgar, David Warner, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Quinton de Kock, Mitchell Starc, Kagiso Rabada, James Anderson.
Virat Kohli named captain of ICC ODI Team of the Year, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah also included:
- India captain Virat Kohli was honoured with the prestigious World Cricket of the Year Award for 2017 at ICC Awrds function.
- Apart from sweeping away the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy, Kohli also bagged the award for the ODI Cricketer of the Year and was named the captain both ICC ODI and Test teams.
- While Kohli was named the skipper of the teams for respective formats, his ODI deputy Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah were also picked in ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year.
North and South Korea to march under unified Korea flag in Winter Olympics:
- North and South Korea have agreed to march together under a single unified Korea flag at next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.
- They also agreed to field a joint women’s ice hockey team in rare talks at the truce village of Panmunjom.
- It marks a thaw in relations that began in the new year when North Korea offered to send a team to the games.
- The games will take place between 9 and 25 February in Pyeongchang in South Korea.
Current Affairs Today: OBITUARY
Kannada actor Kashinath passes away:
- Noted Kannada film actor, director and producer Kashinath passed away. He was 67.
- Born at Kundapura in Karnataka, the actor’s journey to the tinsel town began as director of ‘Aparoopada Athithigalu’ (1976) starring Suresh Heblikar, Anand Darwar and Mamatha.
- Two years later, he directed another movie ‘Aparichita’, a suspense thriller. Inspired by its success, Kashinath remade the movie in Hindi with a title ‘Be-Shaque’ starring Mithun Chakraborty, Yogeeta Bali and Amrish Puri.
- He also acted in several films. Kashinath has more than 40 movies to his credit. His Kannada film ‘Avale Nanna Hendathi’ was later remade in Hindi titled ‘Jawani Zindabad’ starring Aamir Khan and Farah by Arun Bhatt.