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Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

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SpaceX launches the world’s most powerful rocket carrying car into space

US space flight company SpaceX has launched the world’s most powerful operational rocket ‘Falcon Heavy’ into the space. The Falcon Heavy blasted off from the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States. Falcon Heavy carried a red Tesla Roadster car belonging to SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk into space. The car was outfitted with a mannequin dressed in a spacesuit, a high-data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov’s science fiction book series, the Foundation Trilogy, and a plaque bearing the names of 6000 SpaceX employees.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Sushma Swaraj visits Saudi Arabia

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the opening ceremony of the 32nd Al Jana-driyah festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. India has been invited as the Guest of Honour country for the festival. Mrs Swaraj in her first engagement addressed Indian community members at a reception in Riyadh and spoke about the relations between the two countries. During her three day visit, she will meet with the Saudi leadership to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Jhulan Goswami 1st woman in the world to take 200 ODI wickets

Indian women’s cricket team pacer Jhulan Goswami has become the first woman in the world to take 200 wickets in ODI cricket. Goswami achieved the feat playing in her 166th ODI against South Africa. Goswami had become the leading wicket-taker in women’s ODIs in May last year, overtaking former Australian pacer Cathryn Fitzpatrick’s record of 180 wickets.

India successfully test-fires nuclear capable Agni-1 missile

An indigenously developed short-range nuclear capable ballistic Agni-1 was successfully test-fired from a mobile launcher at Pad 4 of the Integrated Test Range at Odisha’s Dr Abdul Kalam Island. It was 18th version of Agni-1, which could achieve all parameters within the stipulated time period. The defence Research and Development Organization (RDO) has successfully tested country’s longest indigenously developed nuclear missile Agni-V on 18 January 2018.

THE World Rankings 2018: More Indian Universities in Asia’s Top 200

Only two Indian institutes have featured in the top 50 Asian institutes in recently released TIMES Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for educational institutes in Asia. The two institutes that have made their way to top 50 are Indian Institute of Science (29th rank) and Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (44).

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Kathakali Maestro Madavoor Vasudevan Nair passes away

Kathakali maestro Madavoor Vasudevan Nair collapsed on stage and died while performing at Agasthyacodu Mahadeva Temple, Kerala. He was 89. A recipient of several awards, including Padma Bhushan, he was the follower of the Kaplingattu School, the particular style of south Kerala.

Nepal’s ex-King visits India

Nepal’s last monarch Gyanendra Shah has arrived in Odisha to attend the International Gau Sambardhana Mahotsav as Chief Guest. He will lay the foundation stone for a Gaumata Mandir. The event was dubbed as the ‘Wow Cow Mission’ which aims to raise the status of India’s ‘desi’ cow to boost the economy, agriculture and nutrition.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Committee constituted by Karnataka govt recommends separate state flag

Nine member committee constituted by Karnataka government has recommended separate state flag. It submitted report on designing separate flag for the state and providing a legal standing for it. It has discounted any constitutional or legal hurdles for it.

Nancy Pelosi made history of delivering longest 8 hour speech in American Senate

Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Minority Leader, delivered her speech for more than eight hours in American Senate. The House Historian’s Office confirmed the lawmaker’s record of longest speech to the media. The previous record of longest speech dates back to 1909 when a Missouri representative, Champ Clark, spoke for 5 hours and 15 minutes against a tariff overhaul. Nancy Pelosi’s speech was ended in 8 hours and 5 minutes.

MP govt launches app to spread awareness against pollution

The Madhya Pradesh government launched a mobile application “pollution metre” to spread awareness against pollution in the western part of the state. It has been developed with the help of a private firm and the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board. With the help of the app, anybody can check the status of air, water and noise pollution in their respective areas.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

5th South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference held in New Delhi

The Fifth edition of South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference was 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”.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Indian princess gets Royal Mail stamp

Indian princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh has been honoured with a Royal Mail stamp of the UK to mark the centenary of the suffragette movement. Sophia, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, is the only woman to have one of the eight stamps to herself. The image on the stamp shows her selling copies of a Suffragette newspaper in 1913.

Forbes releases its first-ever cryptocurrency rich list

Business magazine Forbes released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in 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).

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Rajnath Singh releases book titled “Mere Sapnon ka Bharat”

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh released a book titled “Mere Sapnon ka Bharat”. It is a compilation of interviews of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee by Tarun Vijay, an ex-MP, at a function in New Delhi. The Home Minister described Mr Vajpayee as a distinguished personality who stands alone because of his stature. He is respected by all cutting across the political parties divides.

Dubai retains rank as World’s Busiest International Airport in 2017

Dubai International Airport has held on to its No 1 ranking as the world’s busiest airport for international travel, after seeing around 88.2 million passengers in 2017. Dubai International Airport first surpassed London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international traffic in 2014. It has maintained the title ever since, with some 90 airlines flying into Dubai, a gateway for East-West travel.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

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.

Actor John Mahoney passes away

Actor John Mahoney passed away after brief illness in Chicago, the USA. He was 77 years old. He was well-known for playing the title character in the “Frasier” show. He worked in films for nearly 35 years. His important works are “The American President”, “Moonstruck”, “In the Line of Fire” and “Say Anything”.

Antony Dominic sworn in as Chief Justice of KeralaActing Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court Antony Dominic was on 9 February, 2018 sworn in as the Chief Justice of Kerala. With this, Justice Dominic became the first keralite to occupy the post of Chief Justice of Kerala in 17 years. The last Keralite who occupied the top post was Justice KK Usha, who served the court in the year 2001.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi becomes ICC’s 1st Independent Female Director

PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi has been appointed as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) first-ever independent female director. Nooyi will join the cricket body in June 2018 for a 2-year term. The introduction of an Independent Director, who must be female, was approved by the ICC in June 2017, aimed at improving the global governance of the sport.

Guinness World Record attempted for playing Ice Hockey at highest altitude

To set a record in the Guinness book for ice hockey on the world’s highest altitude, an international level tournament was organized at recently built international standards open ice hockey rink at an altitude of 4371 meters above the sea level at Chiba Kargyam in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Five international teams from USA, Germany, Canada, Slovakia and Russia and a local team participated in the tournament. It was jointly organized by the Hockey Foundation, USA, Ladakh Winter Sports Club and Lalok Winter Sports Association.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Khelo India School Games: Haryana tops in medal tally

The first Khelo India School Games concluded in New Delhi with sports powerhouse Haryana topped the overall medal tally. The state won 102 medals which include 38 gold and 26 silver. Maharashtra with 110 medals (36 of them gold) finished second while Delhi with 94 medals came third. Sports Minister, Col Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the top State Haryana with the glittering trophy.

CCI slaps Rs 136 crore fine on Google for unfair business practices

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of around Rs. 136 crores on search engine major Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search. The penalty is being imposed on Google for infringing anti-trust conduct. It was alleged that Google is indulging in abuse of dominant position in the market for online search through practices leading to search bias and search manipulation, among others.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

India ranks 44th in Global Intellectual Property Index, US tops

India increased “substantially” its score in the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, ranking 44th among 50 nations, according to the US Chambers of Commerce report. India’s overall score has increased substantially from 25% in the 5th edition of the Index to 30% in the 6th edition, according to the annual report prepared by the Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC) of the US Chambers of Commerce. Last year, India ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the Index.
The top 3 countries in the list are-
The USA.
The United Kingdom.

PM Modi 3 Nation visit- leaves for Palestine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for his three-nation visit to Palestine, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. This is the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine, and Prime Minister Modi’s second visit to UAE and first to Oman. Prime Minister would be addressing the Sixth World Government Summit being held in Dubai, UAE at which India has been extended ‘Guest of Honour’ status.

NITI Aayog unveils Health Index for states

NITI Aayog on 9 February, 2019 released a comprehensive ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ report in New Delhi. The health index ranks the states on the basis of their performance on measurable indicators such as infant mortality rate, sex ratio at birth and functional 24×7 public health centres. The healthy state progressive report ranked Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu at the top among the larger states in terms of overall performance. The report was released by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant in New Delhi. The index has been evolved through comprehensive study and inputs from World Bank India and Ministry of Health.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Winter Olympic Games starts in Pyeongchang, South KoreaThe 23rd Olympic Winter Games officially kicked off with a colorful ceremony at Pyeongchang in South Korea. Ninety-two countries are participating in the event. There will be 102 medals up for grabs in Pyeongchang, covering seven sports and 15 disciplines. The ceremony was directed by Song Seung-whan, a South Korean actor. Hosts South Korea also produced a show of unity with neighbours North Korea during the ceremony.

Renowned literature Chandrasekhar Rath passes away

Renowned Odia literature Chandrasekhar Rath passed away at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar following age-related ailments. He was 89 and is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. Rath has written several novels, short stories, essays and poems during his illustrious career. Rath was conferred with several awards including Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award and Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman for his contribution in the field of literature.

Reliance Industries wins Golden Peacock Award 2017 for CSR

Reliance Industries (RIL) has been awarded the Golden Peacock Award 2017 for corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The award was a recognition, in particular, of the work done by its CSR arm Reliance Foundation under Founder and Chairman Nita Ambani.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Eight year old Indian origin girl enters UK Math Hall of Fame

Sohini Roy Chowdhury, eight-year-old Indian-origin schoolgirl has entered the UK’s Mathletics Hall of Fame, an online mathematics-based competitive tool aimed at primary school pupils. She made it into the top 100 World Hall of Fame after solving mathematical puzzles with speed and accuracy. New Delhi born Sohini joined the competition this year as a student of Nelson Primary School in Birmingham.

India retains top spot as source market for Dubai in 2017

Dubai witnessed 15% growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2017, hosting 2.1 million visitors, retaining top spot as the source market. It also became the first country to cross the 2 million mark in a single year, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). The growth is mainly due to the success of Dubai Tourism’s ongoing collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in the ‘BeMyGuest’ campaign.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Sachin Tendulkar, his wife launch book on child health care

Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and his wife Anjali Tendulkar launched a book on child health care titled ‘Even When There Is A Doctor’. Penned down by Dr Yashwant Amdekar along with Dr Rajesh Chokhani and Krishnan Sivaramakrishnan, the book describes the role of an individual or parents in improving their child’s health.

Intel sets a Guinness world record with 1,218 drones at 2018 Winter Olympic Games

The opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games 2018 saw a record-setting performance of 1,218 drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), flying in sync to create huge formations of various Olympic sports and the iconic Olympic rings. This record was set by Intel. The drones set a world record for the ‘most unmanned aerial vehicles airborne simultaneously,’ which was previously held by 500 drones during a 2016 performance in Germany.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

NPCI appoints Biswamohan Mahapatra as Non-Executive Chairman

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) appointed Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman for two years with immediate effect. He succeeds B Sambamurthy who was the interim chairman.

US lists three militants as global terrorists

The US Department of Treasury has designated three individuals allegedly linked to Pakistan-based terror networks including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Taliban as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. The move is intended to disrupt the South Asian terrorist support networks. The three include Rahman Zeb Faqir Muhammad, Hizb Ullah Astam Khan and Dilawar Khan Nadir Khan.

Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Former Bangladesh PM sentenced for 5 years

Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was jailed for five years. She was found guilty in a corruption case by a Special Judge’s Court in Dhaka. She was charged with misappropriating Tk 21 million in foreign donations received by the ‘Zia Orphanage Trust’.

Over 2000 people play Shankh at Rajim Kumbh Mela to create world record
A record was set on the second day of Rajim Kumbh Mela in Chhattisgarh after over 2,100 saints and locals blew ‘shankh’ (conch shells) together. Golden Book of World Records certified the record. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had inaugurated Rajim Kumbh Mela and Ganga Aarti performance at banks of river Mahanadi in Gariyaband’s Rajim.

China to reopen Nathu La pass for Mansarovar yatris in India
China has agreed to reopen the Nathu La pass for Indian pilgrims to undertake the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh informed the Lok Sabha. China had closed the route last year citing “unfavourable conditions”, at a time when India and China were engaged in a military standoff at Doklam. The four-month travel period to the Kailash Mansarovar yatra starts from June.
Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

Saudi Arabia temporarily bans poultry imports from India over bird flu
Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of live birds, hatching eggs and chicks from India after a form of bird flu that is highly lethal for poultry was found in the south Asian country. In January, India had reported an outbreak of a highly contagious bird flu virus near Bengaluru in the southern state of Karnataka.

Thailand most traffic congested country and Los Angeles most congested city of 2017
According to a global traffic scorecard published annually by Inrix, a company that aggregates and analyzes traffic data collected from vehicles and highway infrastructure, the top 10 most congested cities in the world, 2017 are: 1. Los Angeles 2. New York City (tie) 2. Moscow (tie) 4. Sao Paulo, Brazil 5. San Francisco 6. Bogotá 7. London 8. Atlanta 9. Paris 10. Miami The most congested country in the world is Thailand, with drivers spending an average of 56 hours in peak-hour congestion. The top 10 most congested countries, 2017 are: 1. Thailand 2. Indonesia 3. Colombia 4. Venezuela 5. United States (tie) 5. Russia (tie) 7. Brazil (tie) 7. South Africa (tie) 9.Turkey 10. United Kingdom

NPCI appoints Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) appointed Biswamohan Mahapatra as non-executive chairman for two years. He succeeds B Sambamurthy who was the interim chairman. Last month NPCI had appointed Dilip Asbe as its managing director and CEO.
Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

India retains top spot as source market for Dubai in 2017
Dubai witnessed 15 percent growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2017, hosting 2.1 million visitors, retaining top spot as the source market. India also became the first country to cross the 2 million mark in a single year, according to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism). India was followed by Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the second place, contributing a total of 1.53 million tourists last year.

NHAI to start Pilot Project named Pay As You Use tolling system on Delhi to Mumbai National Highways
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has floated a Request For Proposal (RFP) to implement ‘Pay as You Use’ tolling on the Delhi-Mumbai Highway, for which bids are expected to be submitted by February 26. The pilot project involves implementing a satellite based electronic toll collection system running on GPS/GSM technology for around 500 commercial vehicles on the Delhi-Mumbai National Highway. The project will run for one year.

Central Government approves construction of over 1.86 lakh more houses under PMAY Urban
The central government has approved the construction of over 1.86 lakh more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme, taking the total number of affordable houses sanctioned to over 39.25 lakhs. The latest approvals under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, PMAY (Urban), entailed an investment of Rs 11,169 crores, with central assistance of Rs 2,797 crores. Haryana has been sanctioned the maximum number of 53,290 houses in this round of approval, followed by Tamil Nadu 40,623 houses, Karnataka 32,656 houses and Gujarat 15,584 houses. Maharashtra got 12,123 houses, Kerala 9,461, Uttarakhand 6,226 and Orissa 5,133 houses.

Noted Odia litterateur Chandrasekhar Rath passes away
Eminent Odia author and poet Chandrasekhar Rath passed away at the age of 89. He was nominated for a Padma Shri this year for his contribution in Odia literature. His three novels, Yantrarudha (The Instrumented) 1967, Asurya Upanivesh (The Sunless Colony) 1974 and Nav Jatak (Regenesis) 1981, have given him a special place in Odia literature. He has also received literary awards like Sahitya Akademi Award and Sarala Award.
Weekly Current Affairs : 11th Feb 2018

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