Current Affairs: 14 February 2017

World Radio Day: 13 February 2017

  • February 13 is World Radio Day, which celebrates the radio as a way of educating people, providing information, and promoting freedom of expression across cultures.
  • Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates World Radio Day by planning activities with broadcasters, organizations and communities around the world.
  • Despite being over 100 years old, the radio is one of the most popular ways to exchange information, provide social interchange, and educate people all over the world. It has been used to help people, including youth, to engage in discussions on topics that affect them.
  •  It can save lives during natural or human-made disasters, and it gives journalists a platform to report facts and tell their stories. 
  • The first World Radio Day was officially celebrated in 2012.
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INS Sarvekshak Becomes India’s First Ship to be Installed with Solar Power System

  • Indian Navy’s survey vessel INS Sarvekshak has gone green by installing a solar power system on board.
  • The system, equipped on the ship, works using sunlight and hence, is 100% reliable for power source that can be used for communication equipment, battery charging and general lightings onboard round the clock with battery outputs during the night.
  • The system is “maintenance free” whereas the diesel generator requires regular maintenance

Germaine de Randamie crowned 1st featherweight champ at UFC 208

  • Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm by unanimous decision in a clinch-filled bout at UFC 208 to become the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.
  • The 32-year-old de Randamie (7-3) dropped to her knees in celebration as the Barclays Center crowd booed the end of a lackluster bout
  • De Randamie, a Dutch kickboxer who also fought in Strikeforce, said she needed surgery on one of her hands after the fight.
  • Holm (10-3) has lost three straight bouts since she became the first fighter to defeat Ronda Rousey in December 2015.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected German President

  • Germany's parliamentary assembly has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, as the country's president.
  • The position of president in Germany is largely ceremonial, because the chancellor is the official head of government and has a higher profile on the world stage.
  • Steinmeier previously served as vice chancellor and foreign minister under current Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • He was elected by the vast majority of the assembly, receiving 931 out of 1,253 votes.
  • Germany is the union's largest economy and has played a major role in the region's refugee crisis.
  •  The Merkel government has implemented an open-door policy that has welcomed more than 1 million asylum-seekers over the past two years.

Sandeep Jajodia is new Assocham President

  • Sandeep Jajodia has been elected President of the industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham)
  • Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman of Welspun Group, and Kiran Kumar Grandhi, Vice-Chairman of GMR Infrastructure, have taken over as senior vice-president and vice-president, respectively.
  • ASSOCHAM is a not for profit organization, facilitating reach of India to all businesses around the globe, for wanting to do business with India.
  • It has contributed significantly by playing a catalytic role in shaping up the Trade, Commerce and Industrial environment of the country.

Grammys Awards 2017

  • The 2017 Grammy Awards handed out 84 awards to the music industry’s best and brightest 
  • The major awards were handed out during the televised broadcast, but many were handed out before the big show began.
  • The big winner of the night was Adele, who took home five Grammys, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for “Hello,” and, in a major upset, beat out Beyoncé for Album of the Year (25).
  • Adele also won all three of the major awards in 2012 for her 2011 album 21.
  • A Grammy Award or Grammy is awarded by the Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the mainly English-language music industry.
  • The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958.
  • The four main category of award includes, Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best New Artist.

‘La La Land’ Wins Top Prize at BAFTA Awards in London

  • Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” dominated the 70th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night, claiming five prizes including best film, director, and leading actress for Emma Stone. The triumph maintained the musical’s momentum through this year’s awards season ahead of the Oscars on Feb. 26.
  • The BAFTA Fellowship award was presented to the hollywood’s legendary comedian and filmmaker Mel Brooks (90) by Duke of Cambridge Prince William. 
  • The BAFTA Fellowship is a lifetime achievement award presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) since 1971 in recognition of outstanding 
  • achievement in the art forms of the moving image.

Longest elevated bike path in world opens in China

  • The longest elevated bike path in the world has been opened in a city in south-east China.
  • The five-mile long, 16-feet wide bicycle-only pathway – dubbed “the winding viaduct” – has been built in the city of Xiamen.
  • During an initial month-long trial period it will be open from 6.30am to 10.30pm, covering the city’s five major residential areas and three business centres.
  • The route can carry 2,023 cyclists per hour, while 300 hire bikes are available for people who do not have bicycles.
  • Large sections will be sheltered underneath an elevated motor vehicle expressway and 30,000 lights will illuminate the cycleway during the night.

Government to launch Indradhanush 2.0 for Recapitalization of PSBs 

  • Government plans to come out with 'Indradhanush 2.0', a comprehensive plan for recapitalisation of public sector lenders, with a view to make sure they remain solvent and fully comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.
  • 'Indradhanush 2.0' will be finalised after completion of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) by the Reserve Bank, which is likely to be completed by March-end.
  • Post Asset Quality Review (AQR) exercise by the RBI to clean up the balance sheets of PSBs, the numbers are being re-looked at and a revised programme of capitalisation will be issued as part of 'Indradhanush 2.0' 

National Career Services (NCS) and Jeevan Praman Facility for EPFO Pensioners Launched in Hyderabad Post Office

  • The Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya launched the National Career Service (NCS) for youths and Jeevan Praman facility to EPFO pensioners through Post Offices at DakSadan in Hyderabad on February 12, 2017.
  • The Post Offices will serve as an Employment Registration Centres for Unemployed rural youth on behalf of the “National Career Service” Portal where youths can register themselves for employment in 1,55,000 post offices established across the country for over 3000 occupations offered under 52 sectors in NCS
  • It would build a bridge between the net connected urban areas and non connected rural areas and help the youth to avail facility to register for employment at their doorstep hassle-free and have access to a rich repository of career content.
  • The centre aims to provide employment to five crore people over next five years.
  • Besides, the EPFO pensioners can also submit their Digital Life Certificate (Jeevan Praman) through the Head Post Offices. This will also benefit the EPFO pensioners to avail the facility at their doorstep.

MEA co-hosted Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue 

Aimed at building synergy between business and foreign policy, the Ministry of External Affairs hosted co-host the second Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue on February 13-14 in Mumbai.
At the inaugural dialogue of the event, themed 'Where Geopolitics meets Business', Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar participated in a discussion with his counterpart from Bangladesh, Shahriar Alam.
The Ministry of External Affairs is co-hosting the Second Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue with Gateway House on 13-14 February in Mumbai. 
This is India's premier geoeconomics conference focused on building synergies between business and foreign policy

India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake

  • Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country, has now become home to first of its kind loktak floating elementary school. Situated about 50 km from Imphal, the school has been inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur.
  • The Loktak Lake is referred as the “lifeline of Manipur” as it is highly productive and many lives depend on the lake for endurance. 
  • The lake is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds.
  • Now the Loktak Lake has added a feather to its cap by supporting the first of its kind Floating Elementary School. 
  • The school was recently inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok village in Manipur. It aims to provide education to drop outs students, who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis.

GNFC township becomes 100% cashless

  • Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers (GNFC) township, the state owned company's township at Bharuch, which has a population of around 5,000 and floating population of around 10,000 every day, has become 100% cashless and probably the first such township in India.
  • It has facilities like a big shopping centre, restaurants, eateries, schools and colleges, hospital, stadium, guest house, etc. The GNFC township shall be launched by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani
  • The GNFC is the first integrated industrial township in the country to go 100% digital in all financial transactions. 
  • All the shops in the GNFC township, which include paan shops, laundries, vegetable shops, barber shops, provision stores, cycle repairing shops, flour mills, conduct their business only through cashless transactions using PoS machines, e-wallets like BHIM, UPI, SBI Buddy, etc. Even a paan is purchased cashless and a cup of tea is also available cashless only.
  • Niti Ayog, government of India, has adopted the GNFC's 100% cashless township model for replication in other parts of the country.

Karnataka amends law to allow kambala

  • Paving the way for the conduct of kambala, traditional buffalo race, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Monday passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017.The Bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
  • Kambala is currently stayed by the High Court following a petition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
  • Thousands in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, where kambala is widely held, had protested the ban. 
  • They argued that the annual kambala races in paddy fields were part of their tradition. 
  • The sport did not torture animals 
  • The movement gathered momentum after the jallikattu agitation in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
  • Governor Vajubhai R. Vala is likely to refer the Bill to the President for his assent.
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