Current Affairs: 21 February 2017

SpaceX Launches 1st Private Rocket from Historic NASA Pad

  • SpaceX has launched the first private rocket from the same historic site that saw some of NASA's greatest space missions, then landed a booster nearby in a resounding success.
  • The California-based company's Falcon 9 rocket launched a robotic Dragon cargo capsule toward the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center — the same pad that once hosted Apollo moon missions and space shuttle launches.
  • The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth successfully, landing a few miles from the Florida launch site about 8 minutes after liftoff as planned. 
  • It was SpaceX's first daytime landing at the site, called Landing Zone 1, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
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Tata Steel's Katamati Mine wins Best Green Award

  • Tata Steel's Katamati iron mine has been honoured with the the Best Green Organisation of the Year Award at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards in recognition of its environmental protection measures. 
  • The award was presented at a function organised by World CSR Day
  • Katamati iron mine has been engaged in environmental protection efforts for years and has successfully implemented Environmental Management System as per the requirements of ISO 14001:2004
  • The Global Green Future Leadership Awards is for any organisation that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address environmental concerns while maintaining a profit.

Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma

  • Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand
  • Kohli signed an eight-year deal with sports apparel brand Puma worth Rs 110 crore. The Indian cricket captain is now set to join the likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry, among others, as a global ambassador for the brand.
  • The long-term deal could potentially cover Kohli’s remaining career with the Indian team. A bulk of the endorsement deal, estimated between Rs 12 crore to 14 crore annually, is locked up in fixed payout.
  • Only Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs 100-crore club through multi-year contracts with talent management agencies, but they have never been signed by a single brand for such a big amount.

Jo Wilfried-Tsonga beats David Goffin to win Rotterdam Open

  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga engineered a comeback to defeat David Goffin at the Rotterdam Open and earn a first ATP title
  • Tsonga moved up to 11th in the world rankingsGoffin, playing his second ATP final in a row after losing in Sofia to Grigor Dimitrov, is set to become the first Belgian man to enter the world top 10.
  • In Buenos Aires, Japan's world number five and top seed Kei Nishikori suffered a surprise defeat by Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Argentina Open final.
  • Ukraine's Dolgopolov won 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 on the clay to win his third ATP title and first in five years.
  • American Ryan Harrison beat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-1 6-4 to win his first ATP title at the Memphis Open.

Microsoft-Flikpkart announce strategic tie-up

  • IT giant Microsoft today announced a “strategic partnership” with Flipkart, wherein as a first step, the online retailer will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.
  • The strategic partnership was aimed at providing consumers in the country the best online shopping service,
  • Starting with computing infrastructure, Microsoft Azure will ultimately add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres.
  • Flipkart in its tenth year of operations had taken e-commece to about 50 million customers and the question now was how to take this to 500 million people in the next ten years.
  • Flipkart plans to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service.
  • With 'powerful insights' about its business and new, intelligent services, Flipkart can deliver increasingly relevant and personalised experiences to its customers

Bihar Government Prohibits State Officials from Consuming Liquor Anywhere In The World

  • After making Bihar a dry state in keeping with his 2015 Assembly election promise, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has taken his policy to a whole new level. 
  • The minister has made a new rule, according to which, no officials of the state government are allowed to consume liquor outside the state or country. Bihar is the only state to have passed such a rule.
  • State’s governor declared an amendment to the Bihar Government Servants’ Conduct Rules 1976 and said the rule was effective immediately.
  • The decision was taken by Nitish during a Cabinet meeting. The government officials have gone a step ahead to sign pledges promising that they would abstain from consuming alcohol anywhere in the world.
  • Guilty officials will either be dismissed, suspended or face salary cuts.

Khajuraho Dance Festival 2017

  • The Khajuraho Dance Festival started at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh from February 20, 2017. The seven day festival will conclude on February 26, 2017.
  • The dance festival is conducted every year by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad.
  • This cultural festival showcases various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali with performances of some of the best exponents in the field.
  • The dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishvanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Some of the activities to be undertaken as a part of the festival include, international art conclave, dialogue on art, documentaries, short films among others

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