Current Affairs: 6 February 2017

Table Tennis Nationals: Sharath Kamal, Madhurika Patkar Win Singles Titles

  • Madhurika Patkar won the women's singles crown for the first time, while veteran A. Sharath Kamal bagged his seventh national crown in the 78th 11Even Sports Table Tennis Senior National Championships
  • Sharath beat an equally weary Soumyajit Ghosh 4-2 and Madhurika downed six-time national champion Poulomi Ghatak 4-0 at the Manesar Sports Club.
  • Sharath made a good beginning but Ghosh came back to take the next. The pattern continued until the fourth, but in the fifth, Sharath accelerated and increased the lead with considerable pace.
  • In the women semi-finals, Poulomi disposed of sixth seed Pooja Sahasrabuddhe 4-0, while Madhurika stopped defending champion Manika Batra 4-2.
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India to host FIBA Women’s Asia Cup in July in Bengaluru

  • India will host FIBA Women’s Asia Cup basketball tournament in July, Basketball Federation of India announced.
  • The continental flagship tournament for women will be held here from July 23 to 29.
  • India has also been given another continental level tournament — the FIBA U-16 Women’s Asian Championship — which will be held from October 22 to 28 in Hyderabad.
  • This will be the first time since 2009 that India will host a major FIBA (International Basketball Federation) event.
  • In 2009, the BFI was allotted the same two Championships — the 1st FIBA Asia U-16 Championship for Girls in Pune and the 23rd FIBA Asia Championship for Women in Chennai.
  • Fourteen teams will compete in both the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and the U-16 Women’s Asian Championship, with eight teams in Division A (which include new Oceania teams Australia and New Zealand) and six in lower Division B.
  • India is in Division B in both the Senior and U-16 events.

Sports Minister Vijay Goel lays foundation stone of Center of Excellence for Para Sports in Gujarat

  • Sports Minister Vijay Goel laid the foundation stone of the Center of Excellence for Para Sports Gandhinagar, which will be the first ever training facility in the country dedicated to para athletes.
  • The Center of Excellence is being set up at an estimated budget of over Rs 50 crores.
  • It will have world class facilities where para athletes can train for various international competitions including Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games. It will also act as a classification center for para athletes.
  • The Center will also hold seminars, educational programmes and workshops throughout the year with the help of International Paralympic Committee.
  • The Center will have a fully air conditioned indoor hall, fully air conditioned elite hostel of 100 beds, 20 VIP accommodation for foreign guest which will also be air conditioned and open land for warm-up.
  • The entire project will be constructed by CPWD in coordination with various experts and consultants having full accessibility as per the norms of IPC.

Google sells satellite imaging business Terra Bella to Planet Labs

  • Alphabet Inc’s Google  would sell its satellite imaging business, Terra Bella, to Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based private satellite operator founded by former Nasa scientists.
  • The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • As part of the deal, Planet Labs will acquire the Terra Bella business including the SkySat constellation of satellites, Alphabet said.
  • Google will enter into a multi-year contract to purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet Labs after the deal closes.
  • Google had acquired Terra Bella, originally known as Skybox Imaging, for $500 million in 2014.
  • The deal will help Planet Labs broaden its available data and add new customers.
  • Planet Labs is one of several startups aiming to harness technology allowing satellites to become smaller and less expensive, making it easier to deploy large networks of satellites at less risk and lower cost than previously. 

Arun M. Kumar elected Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India

  • KPMG in India has a new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in Arun M. Kumar.
  • Kumar, who was till recently a top official in the Obama administration, has been elected to head the professional services firm in India for a five-year term beginning February 5, said a KPMG announcement on Sunday.
  • He succeeds Richard Rekhy, who led the firm as CEO for over four years.
  • Kumar -- who was elected by the KPMG India Board and ratified by the India partners -- brings a wealth of international leadership experience to KPMG India, including his tenure in public service in the US over the last three years as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of US and Foreign Commercial Service in the Obama Administration.
  • He has spent the majority of his career with KPMG in the US, including serving on the KPMG US and KPMG Americas boards from 2008-2013.

India Opens Coal-Mining Market for First Time in Four Decades

  • India plans to allow non-state mining companies to mine and sell coal for the first time in more than four decades
  • The nation’s coal ministry will auction four mines to both state-run and private companies during the year starting April 1, Kumar told reporters in New Delhi. The winning bidders will have the freedom to sell the coal, a privilege currently limited to a handful of state-run companies.
  • The step may allow miners an opportunity to benefit from one of the world’s biggest coal markets, yet the offer has to be good enough to compensate for regulatory challenges, according to analysts. A broader implementation of the plan could threaten the monopoly of Coal India Ltd., which controls more than 80 percent of the nation’s production.
  • The government will have to offer mines with reserves of more than 1 billion metric tons to enable scale of operation and use of technology and allow investors complete pricing freedom

Alastair Cook gets top British honor from Prince Charles

  • The England Test captain Alastair Cook was honored with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, London on February 4, 2017.
  • CBE is one of the highest Order of honors among a series of top 5 British honors. It is rewarded for contributions made in the field of arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations, and public service outside the Civil Service.
  • Alastair Cook played his debut test match at the age of 21 against India at Nagpur in 2006 and made his maiden century in the second innings.
  • The 32-year-old also became the youngest batsman to score 10000 run in Test cricket in May 2016.

Qatar Airways launches world's longest flight 

  • Qatar Airways launched the world's longest scheduled commercial service with its inaugural flight from Doha to Auckland.
  • The Boeing 777 flight will take 16 hours and 20 minutes, pass over 10 time zones, five countries and travel 14,535 kilometres before reaching Auckland.
  • This will make it the world's longest passenger service in terms of flying time, according to tracking website flightradar24.
  • In March last year, Emirates airline launched what was then thought to be the world's longest non-stop scheduled commercial flight, with a service from Dubai to Auckland, spanning 14,200 kilometres.
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