- US envoy all for trade ties
- The US has underscored the need for the right environment to promote trade and investment in Bengal and India.
- US ambassador Kenneth I. Juster said removal of non-trade barriers would, in the long run, aid investment that depends on market, regulatory climate, governmental policies, growth prospect vis-à-vis complications.
- In his first open interaction with businessmen and media during his maiden two-day visit to Calcutta, the ambassador on Wednesday batted for “freedom of speech” and “open exchange” in multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and pluralistic countries such as India and the US.
- The US ambassador met Bengal finance and industries minister Amit Mitra at Nabanna on Tuesday in the absence of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is away in Darjeeling.
· Forbes Releases Its First-Ever Cryptocurrency Rich List
- Business magazine Forbes released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest peoplein the cryptocurrency space.
- The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.
- He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) and Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).
· Bermuda Becomes first Country In World To Abolish Same-Sex Marriage
- Bermuda becomes the first country to legalize and then repeal same-sex marriage.
- Bermuda’s governor John Rankin approved a bill reversing the right of gay couples to marry, despite a supreme court ruling last year authorizing same-sex marriage.
· Google and NCERT Join Hands To Teach Students Digital Safety
- Google and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)signed a pact to integrate a course on ‘Digital Citizenship and Safety’ in information and communication technology curriculum.
- It was signed on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (06th February).
- The curriculum developed by NCERT in collaboration with Google will be used to train students from class I – class XII across 1.4 million schools in India where they will learn how to become good and responsible digital citizens. The curriculum is spread into four themes – being smart, being safe, being a digital citizen and being future ready.
· HAL Develops First Hawk-I Flight
- The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited developed the first flight of Hawk-i with indigenous Real Time Operating System (RTOS).
- Hawk-i is the first indigenous RTOS developed in India from scratch and certified by Center for Military Airworthiness and Certification (CEMILAC).
- The RTOSis the system software which provides a standard run-time environment for real-time applications execution in a safe and reliable manner.
· Fifth South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference Held In New Delhi
- The Fifth edition of South Asia Region Public Procurement Conferencewas held in New Delhi.
- It was hosted by Public Procurement Division (PPD) of Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA).
- It was held under auspices of South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN),which is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Islamic Development Bank.
- The theme this edition of the conference was “Public Procurement and Service Delivery”.
· Union Cabinet approves implementation of PMRF scheme gives nod to enhance beneficiaries under Ujjwala Yojana from 5 to 8 crores
- Union Cabinet approved implementation of Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) schemeat a total cost of 1,650 crore rupees for a period of seven years beginning 2018-19. The scheme was announced in the Union Budget for 2018-19.
- Under this scheme, the best students who have completed or are in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from IISc or IITs or NITs or IISERs or IIITs will be offered direct admission in the Ph.D. programme in the IITs or IISc.
- Such students, who fulfill the eligibility criteria, and are shortlisted through a selection process, as laid down in the PMRF Guidelines, will be offered a fellowship of 70 thousand rupees per month for the first two years, 75 thousand rupees per month for the 3rd year and 80 thousand rupees per month in the 4th and 5th years.
· Defence Ministry constitutes a 13-member advisory committee to expedite capital acquisition for Armed Forces modernisation
- Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharamanconstituted a 13-member advisory committee to monitor and expedite capital acquisition projects for the modernization of the armed forces.
- In a statement, the Ministry said, the committee will undertake an independent review and check the status of ongoing critical projects worth more than 500 crore rupees.
- The panel will suggest measures to improve the capital acquisition process.
- The committee, headed by Vinay Sheel Oberoi, will have to present an initial status report on identified projects to the Defence Minister by March 31.
- Centre to link driving licence with Aadhaar
- The Centre is in the process of linking driving licences with Aadhaar number to weed out fake licences and a software for this covering all states on a real time basis is under preparation, the Supreme Court was told.
- A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was informed about it by a court-appointed committee on road safety headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice K S Radhakrishnan.
- This assumes significance as a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is currently hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the enabling 2016 law.
- ISRO sets up 473 Village Resource Centres for rural development
- To demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas, ISRO established Village Resource Centres (VRCs) on a pilot scale, in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments.
- VRCs have provided various space technology enabled services such as tele-healthcare, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture, career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training etc.
- About Rs 18 crores was spent for establishing 473 VRCs.
· Development of Solar Cities scheme: 60 Solar Cities to be developed
- Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)under its “Development of Solar Cities” scheme sanctioned the development of 60 Solar Cities including 13 Pilot and 5 Model Cities up to 12th Five-year Plan period (2012–2017).
- So far, master plans of 49 Solar Cities have been prepared.
- Under it, local Governments are motivated for adopting renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures.
- Solar City developed under this scheme will have all types of renewable energy based projects like solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to energy.
· Nuclear-Capable Prithvi-II Missile Successfully Test-Fired
- India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, in Odisha. It is a surface-to-surface missile and has a strike range of 350 km.
- Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is thrust by liquid propulsion twin engines.
- Inducted into the Armed forces of the country in 2003, the nine-meter-tall, single-stage liquid-fuelled Prithvi-II is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
- Jhulan Goswami first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets
- India’s veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami has added another feather to her illustrious cap by becoming the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets.
- Goswami achieved the feat during the second ODI between India and South Africa.
- The 35-year-old, playing her 166th ODI, dismissed opener Laura Wolvaardt for her 200th scalp.
- She was adjudged ICC Women Cricketer of the Year in 2007.