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Weekly Current Affairs : 19th Feb to 25th Feb 2018

Welcome to Ping MY Career’s Weekly Current Affairs section. Here we provide selected current affairs from around the world and present it before you. Today we provide before you the Weekly Current Affairs : 19th Feb to 25th Feb 2018. Hope you are benefited.


Saudi Arabia allows women to open business without male consent

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced a major policy change by allowing women to open their own business without the need of showing consent from a husband or male relative. The announcement was made by the country’s Ministry of Commerce and investment, which stated on it website that women can now launch their own business and benefit form governmental e-services without having to prove consent from a guardian.

42 Indian languages heading towards extinction

42 languages or dialects in India are considered to be endangered and are believed to be heading towards extinction as only few thousand people speak them. According to report of Census Directorate, there are 22 scheduled languages and 100 non-scheduled languages in country, which are spoken by large number of people – one lakh or more. There 42 languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. A list prepared by UNESCO also has mentioned them as critically endangered languages. The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore is working for protection and preservation of these languages under central scheme Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India.

Crime Drama “Three Billboards” won five BAFTA Film Awards

Crime drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” captured five British BAFTA Film Awards. The movie, chronicling a grieving mother’s campaign for justice, won for original screenplay and outstanding British film, while Frances McDormand bagged best actress and Sam Rockwell best supporting actor prizes. The Shape Of Water – the most heavily nominated film of the night with 12 nods – came away with only three awards, including best director for Guillermo Del Toro. Darkest Hour claimed two prizes, including for Gary Oldman as best actor.



Roger Federer Wins Rotterdam Open For 97th Career Title

Roger Federer (Switzerland) celebrated his return to the top of the world rankings by winning the Rotterdam Open, in the Netherlands. It was his 97th career title. The 36-year-old, the oldest No.1 in history, defeated Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) in the final. Federer is three years older than American Andre Agassi was when previously holding the record for oldest No.1 back in 2003. This was his third title in Rotterdam following successes in 2005 and 2012. France doubles pair P. H. Herbert and N. Mahut won the Men’s Doubles Title.

UN names India as Global Host for the World Environment Day 2018

Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan announced that India will host the World Environment Day 2018. The theme for the World Environment Day-2018, held every year on June 5, is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Harsh Vardhan also launched the first electric charging facility at the Lodhi Road UN office – the first ever in a UN office in India.

India, Indonesia begin joint drill

A special task force of Indian Army & Indonesian Army have begun the 6th Garuda Shakti exercise in the West Java province of the archipelago country. Drill aims to build experience sharing in counter-terrorism operations, close quarter combat & other areas of special operations. The exercise b/w Indian & Indonesian Special Forces highlights the increasing trust & cooperation b/w the 2 armies.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrived in Riyadh on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia. He will co-chair the 12th India-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission Meeting to be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Mr Jaitley will also open the Saudi-Indian Business Council. Finance Minister will also visit India Pavillion at the Saudi National Heritage and Cultural Festival Janadriyah. Mr Jaitley will meet with the Saudi Minister of Trade & Investment Majid Al-Qassabi to discuss the bilateral issues between the two countries.

Amazon Dethrones Microsoft as Third Most Valuable Company

According to a report in The New York Post, with a market cap of $702.5 billion, Amazon has become the third most valuable company in the world, racing past Microsoft, which has a market cap of $699.2 billion. Apple and Alphabet stand ahead of Amazon as the most valuable companies in the world.

PM Modi opens ‘biggest party office in world’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the BJP’s new headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, spread over 1.70 lakh square feet. According to the BJP Chief, the building is bigger than the office of any political party in the world. The new headquarters is fitted with the latest communication technologies and has a spacious social media office.

Sanjiv Bajaj named as EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017

Business consultancy firm EY named Bajaj Finserv’s Sanjiv Bajaj as the entrepreneur for 2017. Sanjiv Bajaj will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo. The company also conferred E. Sreedharan, who spearheaded metro projects in Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, and Lucknow, with the lifetime achievement award. The awardees were selected by a nine-member jury led by Sun Pharmaceuticals’ managing director Dilip Shanghvi.

Arvind Jamkhedkar to be next Chairman of ICHR

Archaeologist and historian Arvind P. Jamkhedkar will be the next Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He will replace Prof. K. Sudershan Rao. The post fell vacant after Prof. Rao’s retirement. Prof. Jamkhedkar is at present Chancellor of Deccan College, Pune, known in academic circles for its archaeology department.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar first Indian pacer to take five-fors in all formats

Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has become the first Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul in all three formats in international cricket. Bhuvneshwar achieved the feat by taking his first T20I five-wicket haul against South Africa.

Australia’s Most-Capped female player Alex Blackwell retires

Australia’s most-capped female player and vice-captain Alex Blackwell has announced her retirement from international and state cricket. She became just the fourth female Australian to pass 5,000 runs when she batted in the Test, Twenty20 and One-Day arenas, compiling 5,250 runs. Blackwell, who led Australia to victory at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies in 2010, was also a member of Australia’s World T20 winning sides in 2012 and 2014 and has two World Cup trophies from 2005 and 2013.


UP government signs 900 MoUs ahead of Investors Summit 2018

According to the UP’s Industry Minister Satish Mahana, more than 900 MOUs have been signed so far. He claimed that this is the highest number of agreements that have ever been signed with private companies.

Health Minister Addresses Global Digital Health Partnership Summit In Australia

Mr. J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has addressed the Global Digital Health Partnership Summit, at Canberra, Australia. The Union Health Minister spoke on the topic: Making Digital Health Services a Priority in Healthcare Reform. He stated that India is committed to reforms in health service delivery using ICT under Digital India Program of Government of India.



PNB Arm, IFC Tie Up To Raise $800 Mn For Affordable Housing

PNB Housing Finance Ltd has tied up with International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, to raise $800 million for green and affordable housing in India. IFC is in negotiations with two other housing finance firms to invest another $150 million, as well as with property developers to assist the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) from both the demand and supply sides. Under PMAY, the government offers interest subsidy of 6.5% to economically weaker sections on their home loans. The scheme is for people with an annual income up to Rs3 lakh.

BAFTA Awards 2018: Complete List Of Winners

Crime drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won maximum prizes at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards 2018, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK.
A. Category Winners:
1. Best Film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
2. Outstanding British Film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Best Director Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
4. Best Actress Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
5. Best Actor Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
6. Best Supporting Actress Allison Janney, I, Tonya
7. Best Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 8. Best Cinematography Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
9. Original Screenplay Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
10. Adapted Screenplay James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
11. British Short Film Cowboy Dave British Short Animation: Poles Apart
12. Special Visual Effects Blade Runner 2049 Best Animated Film: Coco
13. Best Film Not In The English Language The Handmaiden Best Documentary: I Am Not Your Negro
14. Best Production Design Paul Austerberry, Jeff Melvin, Shane Vieau, The Shape of Water
15. Best Editing Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss Baby Driver
16. Best Sound Dunkirk
17. Best Original Music The Shape of Water
18. Best Costume Design Phantom Thread
19. Best Makeup & Hair Darkest Hour
20. The Ee Rising Star Award (Voted For By Public) Daniel Kaluuya.

UK and India upgrade joint research on clean water and clean energy

United Kingdom and India have launched joint research projects on ‘Water Quality Research’ and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’. The ‘Water Quality Research’ programme has 8 projects and ‘Energy Demand Reduction in Built Environment’ programme has 4 projects, with total joint investment of up to £15 million.

PM Flags Off Palace Queen Hamsafar Express In Karnataka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Palace Queen Humsafar Express between Mysuru and Udaipur in Mysuru Railway Station. Both the Mysuru Palace and Udaipur palace are iconic tourist attractions and this special train will create a new tourist circuit connecting North India and the South. The train between Mysuru and Udaipur will act as a backbone of tourism, an employment generating industry. He also dedicated to the nation, the electrified Mysuru-Bengaluru Railway Line and announced two more infrastructure projects for the region.

Amazon Launches Its 1st Food Retail Service In India

Amazon becomes the first foreign e-commerce firm to start its own food retail venture in India called Amazon Retail, piloting its services in Pune. It will reportedly be available on Amazon India platform and sell locally made and packaged food to the consumers directly. Amazon also has Amazon Now app, which connects retailers with customers for sale of groceries.

Aga Khan’s 11-Day Visit To India Begins

Spiritual leader Aga Khan is on the 11-day visit to India. Sunder Nursery, a 90-acre park near Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, will be inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of the Aga Khan. In addition to these engagements, he will be visiting the cities of Ahmadabad, Hyderabad and Mumbai, where Aga Khan Development Network is involved in various development projects. During his previous visit in 2015, the Aga Khan was conferred Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to social development in India.


World Congress On Information Technology And Nasscom India Leadership Forum Held Concurrently In Hyderabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 22nd edition of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Hyderabad through a video conference. The WCIT is held for the first time in India. The 26th edition of Nasscom India Leadership Forum (ILF) was also held in the same venue later on. Nasscom is the host of the of WCIT. Telangana is the state partner for both the events.

India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-II Missile

India successfully test-fired Agni II medium-range nuclear-capable missile from APJ Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired Agni-II from a mobile launcher at launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range. Agni-II, which has a length of 20 meters, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1000 kgs over a distance of 2000 km. It is a part of the Agni series of missiles developed by the DRDO.

Singapore to Impose Carbon Tax From 2019

Singapore will impose a ‘carbon tax’ from 2019 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect. Finance minister Heng Swee Keat stated that the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023.

Union Government Clears Private Commercial Mining In Coal

In a major reform in the coal sector since its nationalization in 1973, the government allowed private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use. This move ended the monopoly of state-owned Coal India Ltd. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) under the Chairmanship of PM Narendra Modi. Currently, the private sector is allowed coal mining for captive use only. The reform will bring efficiency into the coal sector by moving away from the era of monopoly to competition and lower power tariffs.

R.K. Singh Inaugurates ‘International R&D Conclave’ In New Delhi
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh inaugurated the ‘International R&D Conclave’ in New Delhi. It is a two-day conference on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges of R&D in Indian Power Sector. It has been organized by Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The conference was stressed upon the need of a dedicated R&D department in CEA to coordinate the research in the power sector.

International Mother Language Day 2018 observed globally

The Day facilitates access to education while promoting fairness for population groups that speak minority and indigenous languages particularly girls and women.

Newborn Mortality Rate: India 12th Worst Among Low-Income Countries

India has been ranked 12th-worst among 52 low-middle income countries based on the number of children dying within the first month of their birth, which is 25.4 per 1,000 live births. Pakistan is the worst with 45.6 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This is the first time that UNICEF has come out with rankings based on their newborn mortality rate (NMR) (the number of deaths per 1,000 live births). Japan, with an NMR of 0.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, has been ranked the world’s safest country in which to be born followed by Iceland (1) and Singapore (1.1).


Avani Chaturvedi creates history becomes first Indian woman to fly fighter aircraft solo

Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo. She flew a MiG-21 bison in her first solo flight from Jamnagar base of Indian Air Force (IAF) in Gujarat. Flying officer Avani Chaturvedi belongs to the first batch of female pilots, besides Flying officer Bhawana Kanth and Flying officer Mohana Singh, who were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in 2016.

Jaipur’s Gandhinagar Railway Station becomes fully women operated station

The Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur, Rajasthan became railway station to be fully-managed by women. Gandhi Nagar is important railway station in Jaipur situated on the Jaipur-Delhi rail route. The station has footfall of more than 7,000 passengers every day. There are 40 women staff at the station besides women personnel of the railway protection force have been deployed at the station.

Kerala makes vaccination compulsory for school admissions

Kerala government made vaccination compulsory for school admissions from next academic year onwards. Parents will have to show details of shots given to children at the time of enrolment in schools. The health minister of Kerala KK Shailaja has released the new health policy draft. The move comes in the wake of stiff opposition from certain communities against the vaccination drive.

Kamal Hassan launches new political party “Makkal Needhi Maiam”

Actor Kamal Haasan launched his political party Makkal Needhi Maiam (people justice centre) in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. He also unfurled his party’s flag, which has six hands – three in red and three in white – joined together around a star on a white background.

Virat Kohli, 1st Indian to cross 900 points in ICC ranking

Virat Kohli has become only the second batsman in the history of the game to cross 900-point mark concurrently in Tests & ODIs. Kohli is only the 2nd batsman after AB de Villiers to attain the 900-point mark concurrently in both formats. Kohli thus moved ahead of Brian Lara in the all-timers’ list & ranks 7th in ODI list of all-time rankings that is led by Vivian Richards with 935 points.



Cobra Gold Military Exercise held in Thailand

US Marines in Thailand for the Cobra Gold training exercise took part in one of the wildest parts of the drills – drinking cobra blood. This was the 37th edition of the exercise. Cobra Gold is an annual military exercise for Marines and one of the largest in the Indo-Pacific region. This year, seven countries are participating in Cobra Gold – the US, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Singapore. Part of the drill involves jungle survival. Marines learn which plants and animals are safe to eat if they’re ever stranded.

India ranks 81st in global corruption perception index

India has been placed at the 81st spot among 180 nations in the global Corruption Perception Index for 2017, which was recently released by Transparency International. The report has, in fact named India among the worst offenders in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region.

India International Textiles Expo begins in Colombo

A three day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) of India began in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry. The event was inaugurated by Sri Lankan minister of Special Assignments Dr. Sarath Amunugama. At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India displayed variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers.

Evangelist Billy Graham dies at 99

The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world’s most famous Christian evangelists, has died at the age of 99. The evangelist brought his “Billy Graham Crusades” around the world, preaching to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories. His largest such gathering drew 1 million people in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1970s. As Graham prepared at age 86 for what he called his final U.S. crusade, a three-day event in New York City the weekend of June 25, 2005, he pondered his own mortality.


44th Khajuraho dance festival held in Madhya Pradesh

The 44th edition of Khajuraho Dance Festival 2018 was held at Khajuraho temple, a UNESCO world heritage site in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh. It was inaugurated by Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and was organised by culture department of state government. Khajuraho Dance Festival is annual cultural festival that highlights richness of various Indian classical dance styles. The 6-day festival showcased classical dances including Kathak, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali and Mohiniattam.

Parivartan Scheme launched in Haryana

The Haryana government launched Parivartan, a scheme designed to address 10 issues, including cleanliness and pollution, in 46 developmental blocks of the state. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The 10 issues include facilitation of financing, making agriculture profitable and sustainable, improving health services, implementing Swachh Bharat, decongesting market areas, engaging the youth, checking air pollution, ensuring availability of identity-related services, effective policing, and ensuring road order and conduct.



Trump pushes for ban on gun ‘bump stocks’

US President Trump has signed an order to ban bump-stock devices, which were used by a gunman who killed 58 Las Vegas concert-goers last year. Such devices enable a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute. The gun control debate took on a new urgency after 17 people were killed at a school in Florida last week. He also said arming teachers could ‘solve the problem’ of school shootings.

Norway’s Bjoergen becomes most successful Winter Olympian

Marit Bjoergen won her 14th medal at the Winter Games by taking bronze with her Norwegian teammates in the team sprint. With this, she became the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, breaking the tie she held with Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

Petro: Venezuela becomes first country to launch virtual currency

Venezuela become first sovereign country to officially launch its own cryptocurrency called Petro backed by oil, gas, gold and diamond reserves to circumvent US-led financial sanctions. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has claimed that the pre-mined cryptocurrency Petrohas raised US $735 million on the first day of its pre-sale.

India 7th most targeted nation for Web Application Attacks: Report

India has been placed at the seventh spot in the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA), according to a new report titled ‘Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017′. The report states that nearly 40 per cent of over 53,000 cyber attacks in India occured in the financial services sector during 2017.

India contributes $1 mn for Tonga devastated by Cyclone Gita: UN

According to United Nations (UN), India is contributing $1 million for relief efforts in the Pacific Ocean Kingdom of Tonga that was devastated by Cyclone Gita. Of that $500,000 would be given as immediate relief to Tonga and another $500,000 would be allocated to it from the India-UN Development Partnership Fund (I-UNDPF).

Renowned Violinist MS Anantharaman passes away

Noted violinist M.S. Anantharaman, an exponent of Parur style of violin playing had passed away. He was 94 and is survived by his sons M.S. Sundaresan and M.A. Krishnaswamy and daughter M.A. Bhagirati, all of whom are proficient in Carnatic music.


India Successfully Test-Fires ‘Dhanush’ Missile

India has successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable surface-to-surface Dhanush ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off Odisha coast. This naval variant of the indigenously-developed Prithvi-II missile was test-fired from the ship positioned near Paradip in the Bay of Bengal. It was developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. ‘Dhanush’ missile is capable of carrying a payload of 500 kg and hitting both land and sea-based targets.

US wins Ice Hockey Gold at Winter Olympics 2018

The US won the gold medal of Women’s Ice Hockey at 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, thus breaking the 20-year medal drought. They last won the medal in 1998 Nagano Games. To win the medal, the women team defeated Canada in the final in dramatic shootout. Canada had won four straight Olympic Golds, three times beating the United States in the final including twice in overtime.

CBI arrests Rotomac Pens’ owner Vikram Kothari

The CBI arrested Rotomac Pens’ owner Vikram Kothari and his son Rahul for allegedly defrauding banks of Rs3,700 crore. Kothari’s company had submitted forged documents to get loans and created shell firms to carry out illegal activities. Earlier, authorities had notified all land, sea, and air ports to prevent Kothari and his family members from leaving India.

Maldives announces Presidential elections in September this year

Despite facing these worse situations, Maldives started doing preparations for the upcoming Presidential elections to be held this year. The first round of the elections is to be held in early September. It is mentioned that the authorities welcome the election body to start the preparations for the elections. The Government took note of its announcement to hold the first round of Presidential elections during early September and encouraged all relevant stakeholders to offer the Commission their full, unreserved support for the conduct of their work.

Cricket Canada unveils ICC-approved T20 League

Canada’s own first franchise-based Twenty20 league “Global T20 Canada”, was announced in New Delhi. The Global T20 Canada League will begin functioning from July 2018 at three venues in Toronto. It is conceptualised, designed, developed and managed by Mercuri Group with Cricket Canada. Global T20 Canada League has received official sanction of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Cricket Canada has become the first Associate member of the ICC to start a Twenty20 franchise league in the North America market.


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