Wednesday, March 7, 2018

February 2018, Current Affair’s (for CLAT)

1.      Jai Ram Thakur, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, has launched Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) project to promote organic farming. The purpose of the project is to increase agriculture produce and the income of farmers by the year 2022.

2.      The Data Privacy Day (DPD) is observed every year on January 28 to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is an effort to empower people to protect their privacy, control their digital footprint and escalate the protection of privacy and data as everyone's priority.

3.      Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister of Earth Sciences (MoES) , has launched a 2.8 Peta Flops capacity High Performance Computer (HPC) system 'Mihir' in Noida to improve India's weather forecasting. The new HPC facility is expected to improve weather forecasts at the block level across India, predict extreme weather events, and offer high resolution seasonal and extended range forecasts of active/break spells of the monsoon. The facility will also make possible very high resolution coupled models for prediction of cyclones with more accuracy and lead time. The new system will be India's largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance and will propel India's ranking from the 368th position to the 30th in the list of top 500 HPC facilities in the world.

4.      China has remained the world's largest steel producer in 2017 by producing 831.7 million tonnes (MT), according to a latest report published by World Steel Association (WSA). Japan has acquired 2nd position while India overtook the US to become the world's 3rd largest steel producer.

5.      The World Leprosy Day (WLD) is observed every year on the last Sunday of January to support those suffering from leprosy and educate those taking care of people suffering from this disease.

6.      India has been ranked 42nd out of 165 countries at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s annual Global Democracy Index due to rise of conservative religious ideologies and increase in vigilantism and violence against minorities as well as other dissenting voices. This year's report which also measured the state of media freedom around the world noted that in India, media is 'partially free'. Moreover, journalists are at risk from government, military and non-state actors and radical groups, and the threat of violence has a chilling effect on media coverage. The EIU is the research and analysis division of the UK-based media behemoth "The Economist Group". The list is topped by Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark. The index ranks 165 independent states and two territories on the basis of five categories: electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and political culture.

7.      In the Union Budget 2018, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced the government's plan to build a tunnel through the Sela Pass located at an elevation of 13,700 ft which will ensure faster movement of troops in Tawang, a strategically- located town in Arunachal Pradesh bordering China. The proposal to build the Sela pass comes amid concerns in the defence establishment over China's growing assertiveness along the nearly 4,000 km-long Sino-India border. The Sela pass is located between the Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh and considered crucial from strategic perspective.

8.      The 32nd Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2018 has started at Faridabad, Haryana on February 2, 2018. The Mela is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. This year, Uttar Pradesh is the theme state and Kyrgyzstan is the Partner Nation. The 17-day cultural extravaganza will see a spectacular showcase of regional and international crafts, handlooms, traditions along with some mouth-watering multi-cuisine food for the visitors. Representing the ethos of rural India, the Mela celebrates the unique diversity of Indian traditions and culture. Around 20 countries & all the states of India will participate in the fair. The Surajkund Mela will continue till 18th of this month from 10.30 am-8.30 pm.

9.      India has recently joined Ashgabat Agreement on the establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor between the Iran, Oman, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The agreement was signed in April 2011, which envisages facilitation of transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. The accession to the Agreement would diversify India's connectivity options with Central Asia and have a positive influence on its trade and commercial ties with the region. India's accession to the agreement will come into force on February 3, 2018. This agreement will complement India's presence in Chabahar Port, INSTC as well as future accession to Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The Ashgabat agreement is a Multimodal transport agreement between Oman, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and India for creating an international transport and transit corridor facilitating transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.

10.  The 2nd edition of the Nobel Prize Series – India 2018 was inaugurated in Panaji, Goa on February 1, 2018. The theme of Nobel Prize Series – India 2018 is "Science Impacts Lives". The event is jointly organized by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Ministry of Science and Technology, India along with the Government of Goa and Nobel Media AB. The purpose of the 2-day programme is to stimulate engagement in science, literature and peace through interactions with Nobel laureates. Such interactions include lectures, round table discussions and meetings between Nobel laureates and experts, teachers and students. The 1st edition of Nobel Prize Series-India was held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in January 2017.

11.  In Boxing, five-time world champion Mary Kom has clinched gold in the 48 kilogram category among women at the 2018 India Open boxing Tournament in New Delhi . She won against Filipino Josie Gabuco in the final by 4-1. In 64 kilogram category, Pwilao Basumatary was the first among the women to fetch a gold. The former world and Asian bronze medalist claimed a 3-2 win over Thailand's Sudaporn Seesondee. In the men's draw, Sanjeet picked up India's first gold of the day in 91 kilogram class when he upstaged Uzbekistan's Sanjar Tursunov.

12.  B A Chopade has been appointed the new vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). He is at present the vice-chancellor of Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. President Ram Nath Kovind, who is the Visitor to the university, approved Chopade's appointment recently. The post was lying vacant after Girish Chandra Tripathi went on leave following the ruckus on campus in September 2017. Chopade will take charge from BHU Registrar Neeraj Tripathi, who had been holding the additional charge of the top post since October 2017.

13.  The 2018 Kala Ghoda Arts festival has started at Cross Maidan in Mumbai, Maharashtra on February 3 and will go on till February 11. It is in news recently because the Bombay High Court has refused permission for cultural events as part of the Kala Ghoda Festival at public properties free of cost and without imposing any conditions, which were granted by the Maharashtra government. The 2018 theme of the fest is "Hara Ghoda" to promote sustainable living, recycling and environment-friendliness. It is an open platform to discuss contemporary issues led by individuals from different disciples.

14.  The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has signed a project agreement with the World Bank (WB) for Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) on Ganga to enhance navigation on National Waterway-1 from Varanasi to Haldia. Beside this, the Government of India and the World Bank has also signed a $375 million loan agreement for JMVP. The signing of the pact comes after Union Cabinet approved the implementation of $800 million JMVP for capacity augmentation of navigation on River Ganga. The JMVP, which is expected to be completed by March 2023, is being implemented with the financial and technical support of the World Bank. The development and operations of the National Waterway-1 project will lead to direct employment generation to the tune of 46,000 and indirect employment of 84,000 in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. 

15.  India has won the 12th edition of ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 after thrashing Australia in the final by eight wickets at bay oval at Mount Maunganui in New Zealand on February 3. With this win, India has lifted the ICC Under-19 World Cup for the record fourth time. India's star batsman Manjot Kalra led his team to the victory as he made brilliant unbeaten century riding on 8 fours and 3 sixes. He was adjudged Man of the Match and Shubman Gill Man of the Series.

16.  Arun Jaitely, the Union Finance Minister, has inaugurated India's first sentiment index "CriSidEx" for micro and small enterprises in New Delhi. CriSidEx, which is developed jointly by SIDBI and CRISIL, is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters and measures MSE business sentiment on a negative to positive scale. This index will give the detail breakup of the sentiment sentiments and analysis as the sector sees it for the current quarter and for the next quarter. The current parametric feedback was captured through a survey of one thousand one hundred MSEs in November and December last year.

17.  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched the world's longest zip Line "Jebel Jais Flight " in Ras al-Khaimah. The 2.83km zip line allows thrill seekers to jump from the peak off the UAE's highest mountain "Jebel Jais". The Jebel Jais Flight zip line launches from 1,680m above sea level, at the peak of the Jebel Jais Mountain. Ras al-Khaimah currently gets 1 million tourist visitors a year and aims to drive 100,000 of them to use the zip line. It was recently awarded the Guinness World Record for world's longest zip line.

18.  The book "Exam Warriors" has been authored by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inspire youth to face the difficult moments of examinations and life with fresh and new energy. It emphasizes the importance of play, sleep & even travel. It was released by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at a function in New Delhi on February 3, 2018. The book is said to be interactive, with illustrations, activities and yoga exercises, and intended to be a friend to youths not only in acing exams but also in facing life. It is published by Penguin India. Currently, it is available in English and will soon be published in multiple languages.

19.  The first-ever International Kala Mela has been inaugurated by the Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in New Delhi on February 4, 2018. The aim of the event is to focus on direct interaction between the artist and the connoisseur and also educating and raising awareness about art. The Art Festival, organised by Lalit Kala Akademi, will continue till the 18th of this month wherein artists and groups will showcase their work. More than 800 artists from all over the country are expected to participate in the event. Many Embassies and Cultural Centres will also take part. Some the countries taking part in the event are China, Venezuela, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Poland, Mexico, Bangladesh, France, United Kingdom, Spain and Brazil. There are around 325 stalls for Indian artists and organisations including International representations.

20.  The World Cancer Day (WCD) is observed every year on 4th February to raise awareness about cancer, its treatment and to encourage methods of its prevention. The primary goal of the day is to reduce the illness and related deaths by 2020. The 2018 tagline "We can. I can" will explore how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

21.  Syed Mahmud Hossain has been sworn-in as the 22nd chief justice Chief Justice of Bangladesh. He succeeded acting chief justice Abdul Wahab Mian. Mian was appointed as the acting chief justice after the Bangladesh's first Hindu chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha resigned in November 2017 amid graft allegations. Juestice Sinha was at the centre stage of the dispute after the apex court delivered a verdict declaring void 16th constitutional amendment, scrapping Parliament's authority in impeaching Supreme Court judges.

22.  Dr Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has launched people-oriented campaign "Green Good Deeds" to sensitize the people and students, in particular, about climate change and global warming. Referring to the crucial role played by "Polio Sainiks" for Pulse Polio campaign, Dr Vardhan has underlined the need for "Green Sainiks" to broad-base the Green Good Deeds movement and to take it down to the grassroots level successfully. The Environment ministry has also appealed to the teaching community to join the campaign to make people aware about the cause of the campaign.

23.  The unique, first-of-its-kind, floating market has come up in Patuli in Kolkata, West Bengal. The market is similar to the ones on Dal Lake in Srinagar and in Bangkok. The project is being implemented by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). There are 228 stalls, set up on 114 boats, with zone-wise demarcations for fish, meat, vegetables, grocery, etc. Wooden ramps have been constructed, over which people will walk to reach the boat of their choice. Modern technology is being adopted to ensure proper oxidation of the water and thus maintain ecological balance. The surrounding path beside the water body, a canal, on which the market is being set up, is being decked up with paver blocks. The market will be run through a cooperative. The prices will be similar to those in normal markets.

24.  The 9-member committee, headed by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, was constituted by the Union HRD Ministry to draft new National Education Policy (NEP) on June 2017. The committee will submit its report by March 31, 2018. After that, the HRD Ministry will deliberate on the report and thereafter suggestions of the committee will be presented to the Union Cabinet for its approval. The committee also includes former IAS officer KJ Alphonse and Ram Shanker Kureel, who has a wide experience in the field of agricultural sciences and management. The committee has been appointed keeping in mind that the members bring expertise related to the diverse areas of education. Significantly, the panel also reflects the diversity of the country as the members belong to different sections as well as regions. The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992.

25.  The Central Government has announced a Rs 1.4 lakh-crore KUSUM Scheme to promote decentralised solar power production of up to 28,250 MW to help farmers. The acronym KUSUM stands for "Kisan Urja Suraksha Utthaan Maha Abhiyaan". In the Union Budget 2018-19, the Centre has allocated Rs 48,000 crore on the 10-year KUSUM scheme. The scheme would provide an extra income to farmers by giving them an option to sell additional power to the grid through solar power projects set up on their barren lands. It would help in de-dieselising the sector as also the DISCOMS. Under the scheme, the Central Government will provide subsidy to farmers on setting up of solar power plants on their barren land. The 60% subsidy on the solar pumps provided to farmers will be shared between the Centre and the States while 30% would be provided through bank loans. The balance cost has to be borne by the farmers. As a result, Kusum Scheme will solarize agricultural pump sets to double the income of farmers by 2022.

26.  The Uttar Pradesh has launched massive door to door campaign DASTAK in association with UNICEF to eradicate deadly Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and Japanise Encephalitis (JE) disease in the state. The war cry of DASTAK is Darwaja khatkhatao, AES aur JE ko bhagao. In DASTAK campaign, the whole state machinery with the help of UNICEF will now literally go door to door in 38 JES and AE affected districts which mostly fall in the Tarai region of the state which contributes to about 60% of the total AES cases all over the country. In this massive campaign, many departments of the state especially health, rural development, primary education will work together to spread awareness about the diseases through mass media communication, provide clean drinking water, initiate sanitation drive, ensure vaccination and early treatment so that disease should be nipped in the bud. Children of 600 schools in the affected areas will also be part of this campaign.

27.  Zhang Beiwen, a professional badminton player from America, has won the 4th edition of India Open Badminton tournament 2018 in New Delhi on February 4, 2018. In the final, she defeated Olympics and World Championships Silver medalist PV Sindhu by 21–18, 11–21, 22–20 at Siri Fort Indoor Stadium. It was the fifth meeting between Sindhu and Zhang and the head-to-head record now is 3-2 with Sindhu losing this match.

28.  The Haryana government has launched the 'Gobardhan Yojana' to provide for the sale of organic manure and cow urine with an aim to benefit farmers. Under this scheme, a provision of Rs 11 crore has been made to provide benefits of various projects. According to official release, the Gobardhan Yojana would help in doubling the income of farmers and next time, the MSP would be given with additional benefit of 50% over the cost of production.

29.  The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched the world's smallest rocket with the ability to put a tiny satellite into orbit. The experimental SS-520 sounding rocket lifted off from the Uchinoura Space Center. It carried a microsatellite TRICOM-1R, a three-unit CubeSat weighing about 3 kilograms. The CubeSat will now be used to collect images of the Earth's surface via multiple cameras. This satellite launch was a re-flight of the TRICOM-1 mission, which was lost in SS-520's failure in 2017.

30.  The Maharashtra Government has recently approved Ghodazari Wildlife Sanctuary in Chandrapur district as a new wildlife sanctuary in the state. The decision was taken at the 13th meeting of the Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife, chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. The sanctuary, in the North East of Tadoba, will include 159 sq km of Brahmapuri forest. This will not only save the forest but will also improve tourism in nearly 40 villages in the area.

31.  Google has launched new online security campaign #SecurityCheckKiya in India to promote security awareness among general public. The purpose of the campaign is to protect young and first-time web users from account hijacking, safeguard Android devices from malicious apps and secure all their personal data if they lose their device. Under the campaign, Google recommended three simple steps for Internet safety. It includes reviewing security settings and Google account activity. Furthermore, 'Google Play Protect' service scans and checks Android devices for any harmful apps. Find My Device app from Google helps a user to easily long away.

32.  Shabnam Asthana, an Indian public relations expert, speaker, and entrepreneur, has been honoured with the 'Times Power Women of the Year 2017'- Pune for Global PR. The Times Group recently celebrated the invaluable contribution of women by introducing The Times Power Woman 2017 (Pune) awards. These awards were initiated to celebrate the victories of women who have been a great source of inspiration. These awards focused on the women of Pune and the prestigious list included 34 select women with power, supremacy, command and control. These awardees have been instrumental in working towards the improvement of the socio-economic, art, health, education, and fashion, scientific and intellectual potential of the society.

33.  Jerome Hayden Powell has been sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve for a four-year term on February 5, 2018. The oath was administered by Vice Chairman Randal K. Quarles in the Board Room. He succeeded Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the US central bank in its 100-year history. He was nominated to the position by President Donald Trump on November 2, 2017, and was later confirmed by the United States Senate. Prior to this appointment, Powell served as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

34.  The Gandhi Sagar Dam is built on Chambal river and is located in the Mandsaur & Neemuch district of Madhya Pradesh. It is a masonry gravity dam, standing 62.17 metres (204.0 ft) high, with a gross storage capacity of 7.322 billion cubic metres from a catchment area of 22,584 km2. The dam sports a 115-MW hydroelectric power station at its toe, with five 23-MW generating units each providing a total energy generation of about 564 GWh. The dam's reservoir area is the second-largest in India (after the Hirakud Reservoir), and attracts a large number of migratory and non-migratory birds throughout the year.

35.  The first-ever Pelican Bird Festival-2018 was held at the Atapaka Bird Sanctuary on Kolleru lake in Andhra Pradesh on February 4, 2018. Over 5,000 pelican birds from various countries reach Kolleru Lake every year during winter by travelling over 3500 km. The Kolleru lake is located between Krishna and Godavari delta and is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country. The fest was jointly organised by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Authority (APTA) and Krishna district administration.

36.  The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International airport has become the world's busiest single-runway airport, after creating a new world record for single-runway operations by handling 980 arrivals and take-offs in 24 hours, or almost one flight every minute on January 20, 2018.

37.  In the 6th Bi-monthly Monetary policy statement for 2017-18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has kept the key interest rate "repo rate" unchanged at 6% and reverse repo at 5.75%. Also, the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate kept at 6.25%. The decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is consistent with the neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4% within a band of +/- 2%, while supporting growth.

38.  Shubhankar Sharma from Chandigarh has become the highest ranked Indian golfer after grabbing 72nd position in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). He has won the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Sharma now also has the rare distinction of leading both the European Tour Race to Dubai and the Asian Tour Order of Merit. Shubhankar's latest success also helped him join the exclusive club of Indians who have achieved two wins in the same European Tour season, the others being Jeev Milkha Singh (2006) and Anirban Lahiri (2015).

39.  The 5th edition of the South Asia Region Public Procurement Conference (SARPPC-2018) was inaugurated by Arun Jaitley, the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, in New Delhi on February 5, 2018. The theme of the conference is "Public Procurement and Service Delivery". The purpose of the 3-day Conference was to enable the Heads of Public Procurement and other key stakeholders in the eight South Asian countries to meet and learn from one another and from experts in the field of public procurement. The conference was hosted by Government of India (GOI), through the Public Procurement Division (PPD) of the Ministry of Finance and All India Management Association (AIMA). It is held under the auspices of the South Asia Region Public Procurement Network (SARPPN), which is sponsored and facilitated by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank.

40.  The World Wetlands Day (WWD) is observed every year on February 2 to mark the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar in Iran in 1971. The 2018 theme is "Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future". It highlights the value of wetlands in securing local livelihoods through activities as fishing, rice farming, tourism and water provision. The day is observed to promote, create awareness and ensure positive and affirmative action for conservation of wetlands.

41.  The Kandeleru Dam is an irrigation project built on the Kandaleru River in Rapur Mandal, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh. The project is part of the Telugu Ganga project which supplies drinking water to Chennai city from the Srisailam reservoir on Krishna River.

42.  Bermuda has become the world's first country to legalise and then repeal same-sex marriage. The governor of the British island territory John Rankin approved a bill reversing the right of gay couples to marry, despite 2017 Supreme Court ruling that authorized same-sex marriage. It is a step towards seeking to balance opposition to same-sex marriage on the socially conservative island while complying with European court rulings that make sure same-sex couples are recognized and protected in the territory.

43.  The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is organizing a three-day National Meet on Grassroot Informatics- VIVID 2018 in New Delhi from February 8, 2018. The event has be inaugurated by Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad at India Habitat Centre. The theme for VIVID 2018 is – Cyber Security and Innovation. The aim of the meet is to showcase the various initiatives of NIC in creating and enhancing the security of Digital Infrastructure in the country. VIVID would be an extensive platform for knowledge sharing which would empower 240 NIC district officials from across the country to interact and leverage on each other's experience and best practices.

44.  Jhulan Goswami, India's veteran pacer, has become the first female cricketer in the world to take 200 wickets in One-Day Internationals (ODI) cricket. She achieved the feat when she bagged the wicket of South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt during the 2nd ODI of the 3-match series at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley. Beside her, Australia's Cathryn Fitzpatrick is at 2nd spot with 180 wickets followed by compatriot Lisa Sthalekar on 146. India's Neetu David occupies the fifth spot with 141 wickets. Interestingly, the first male cricketer to pick 200 ODI wickets was also an Indian – the great Kapil Dev.

45.  The 6th edition of World Government Summit (WGS) 2018 will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from February 11 to 13. The Indian delegation will be led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The summit acts as a knowledge exchangehub between government officials, thought leaders, policy makers and private sector leaders, and as an analysis platform for the future trends, issues and opportunities facing humanity.

46.  Haryana has topped the overall medal tally at the first-ever Khelo India School Games (KISG-2018) in New Delhi after winning the 102 medals which include 38 gold and 26 silver. Maharashtra has acquired the 2nd position with 111 medals while Delhi with 94 medals came third. The Khelo India School Games was a part of the Khelo India programme which has been introduced by the Union Sports Ministry to revive the sports culture in the country at the grassroots level and make India a sporting nation. The 16 sports disciplines including Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Football, Hockey, Judo, Kabaddi, Kho-Kho, Shooting, Weightlifting and Wrestling were the part of the weeklong event. It was organized at multiple venues across Delhi including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

47.  Kerala has topped the list of larger states on overall health performance in the Health Index report released by Niti Aayog while Uttar Pradesh appeared at the bottom among larger states in terms of overall performance. As per the index "Healthy States, Progressive India' report for large states, Kerala was followed by Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Besides Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar and Odisha are among the states that performed poorly in the health index. Among small states, Mizoram ranked first, followed by Manipur and Goa in terms of annual incremental performance. The Health Index will act as a tool to leverage cooperative and competitive federalism, accelerating the pace of achieving health outcomes. It has been evolved through comprehensive study and inputs from World Bank India and Ministry of Health.

48.  Indra Nooyi, the PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, has been appointed to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Board as its first independent female director. She will join the Board in June 2018 to align with the term of the ICC Independent Chairman. The Independent Director will be appointed for a two-year term although she may be re-appointed for two further terms with a maximum six-year consecutive period of service.

49.  The 2nd edition of Thespis 2 – National Micro Drama Festival (NMDF-2018) will be held at Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi on February 11, 2018. With a total of 30 dramas, each not longer than 10 minutes, will pay tribute to theatre artistes and activists including Tom Alter, Vallabh Vyas, Mangalam Swaminath and Radhakrishnan Wayanad.

50.  India has been ranked 44th out of 50 countries in the 6th edition of Intellectual Property Index (IPI-2018), which is released by U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). As per report, India's ranking reflects a relatively strong performance in the new indicators as well as positive reform efforts on patentability of computer-implemented inventions (CIIs) and registration procedures for well-known marks. The United States has topped the list, followed by the U.K and Sweden.

51.  Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been conferred with the 'Grand Collar of the State of Palestine' by President Mahmoud Abbas for his key contribution to promote relations between India and Palestine. President Abbas conferred the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine on Modi after the conclusion of the bilateral meeting between the two leaders. Mr. Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Palestine. The Grand Collar is highest order given to foreign dignitaries – Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank. It has in the past been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, amongst others.

52.  The Almatti Dam is a hydroelectric project on the Krishna River in North Karnataka, which was completed in July 2005. Geographically, it is located in the Bijapur district. The target annual electric output of the dam is 560 MU. The dam holds a gross water storage capacity of 123.08 TMC at 519 meters MSL.

53.  The 4th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) was held in New Delhi on February 12, 2018 under the chairmanship of Dr Bibek Debroy. During the meeting, the Council discussed the possible modalities of implementing the National Health Scheme announced by the government in the Union Budget-2018-19. Besides, presentations were made on Health Reforms, World Bank Report on Indian Economy and on Indian Fiscal – Monetary Framework.

54.  Rohan More, the Pune-based Indian long-distance swimmer, has become the first Asian and the youngest person in the world to swim across the Ocean Seven. Despite sudden drop in water temperature, he covered the distance in 8 hours and 37 minutes. The Ocean's Seven marathon consists of seven long-distance open-water swims, which includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar. With this feat, Rohan has also become the 9th person in the world to swim across Ocean Seven.

55.  Rajnath Singh, the Union Home Minister, has launched the Centre for learning Sanskrit language in Gujarat University in Ahmedabad on February 10, 2018. The first-of-its-kind spoken Sanskrit centre centre will offer a six-month course for people on how to speak the language. The classes will be held on Saturday and Sunday. In it, no prior knowledge of Sanskrit is required and the first batch shall begin in 10 days. The fees have been fixed at Rs 500.

56.  The Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has released India's first-ever Highway Capacity Manual (Indo-HCM) in New Delhi on February 12, 2018. The manual has been developed by CSIR – CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, inter-urban highways and expressways and the associated intersections on these roads. The manual lays down guidelines for when and how to expand or manage different types of roads and their intersections and the level of services to be put in place. It is designed to be a useful tool for guiding road engineers and policy makers in the country. It has been developed based on the unique nature and diversity of traffic on Indian roads.

57.        The National Sugar Institute (NSI) is located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and was established in 1936. It is involved in research, training and advisory services to the sugar and allied industry, and functions under the Department of Food and Public Distribution of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. It provides technical education and training in research in all branches of sugar chemistry, sugar technology, sugar engineering and allied fields. The institute provides assistance to central and state governments in matters relating to sugar and allied industries.

58.        Krishna Kumari will be the first female Hindu lawmaker in Pakistan since 1947, when Pakistan gained independence from Britain. Nasir Shah, the spokesman in the provincial government of Sindh Province, stated that Kumari is poised to become lawmaker in the 3rd March 2018 elections for the Upper House of Parliament after the country's Opposition party nominated her for the Senate's upcoming elections. Kumari has worked as a social worker and also for a Pakistani charity seeking to create awareness among people about the importance of education and the struggle to achieve basic human rights, guaranteed under Pakistan's constitution but often trampled upon by landowners and tribal chieftains.

59.        Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian President, has been honored with the 2018 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership for excellence in African leadership. The $5 million African Leadership prize is awarded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation which honors role models on a continent where many leaders have stayed in power for decades. Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Africa's first female president, is also the first female and only the fifth person to receive the Ibrahim leadership award since it was established in 2007.

60.        The World Radio Day (WRD) is observed every year on February 13 to remember the unique power of radio which touches lives and brings people together from every corner of the globe. It is the day, in 1946, United Nations Radio was established. The 2018 theme 'Radio and Sports' will promote the inseparable relationship between sports and gender, as well as how improved gender equality in sports broadcasting can lead to greater freedom of expression for all.

61.        India's financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of $950 billion, has been named 12th wealthiest city among the top 15 wealthiest cities globally. Mumbai also features among the top 10 cities in terms of billionaire population. The city is home to 28 billionaires, individuals with $1 billion or more in net assets. According to a new report by New World Wealth, the list was topped by New York with a total wealth of $3 trillion. London ranked second in the list with $2.7 trillion, followed by Tokyo ($2.5 trillion), and San Francisco Bay area ($2.3 trillion). Total wealth, refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities. Government funds are excluded from the figures.

62.        The Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE) is located in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.. It is a higher seat of learning, research and development in the field of agriculture. The CIAE is an autonomous body, an Indian Council of Agricultural Research subsidiary, under the Union Ministry of Agriculture.

63.        India will host the 8th edition of Theatre Olympics in New Delhi from February 17 with theme "Flag of friendship", which will continue till 8th of April. The event will inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at Red Fort. It is being organised by National School of Drama, under the aegis of Ministry of Culture. Over 25,000 artistes from 30 countries will participate in the Theatre Olympics. The 51 day long nationwide theatre extravaganza will be held in 17 cities including Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati and Jammu. It will see 450 shows including 65 shows by international artistes, 600 ambient performances and 250 youth forum shows. It's first time that the Theatre Olympics will be held in India that will serve to create a dialogue between Indian and global artistes.

64.        India's first online radio station "Radio Umang" has launched on 2018 World Radio Day themed around peace, humanity and hope. It comes packed with inspirational stories, engaging talk shows and lots of soothing music. Listeners can tune in to this online radio station through web streaming or download the app. With 24 hours programming, it has found listeners in Hindi speaking regions of India and in over 60 countries worldwide.

65.        The Ban Sagar Dam is a multipurpose river Valley Project built across Son River in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. The dam irrigate an area of 2,490 km² in Madhya Pradesh, 1,500 km²; in Uttar Pradesh and 940 km² in Bihar. The water sharing of dam take place among three states: Madhya Pradesh (2.5 km3), Uttar Pradesh (1.2 km3) and Bihar (1.2 km3). It also provides power generation of 425 MW in Madhya Pradesh.

66.        India's first-ever radio festival has started at the UNESCO House in New Delhi on February 15, 2018 to mark World Radio Day (WRD-2018). The festival has been organised by International Association of Women in Radio and Television in partnership with UNESCO. The festival includes live performances, an exhibition, and slotted panel discussions. Apart from touching on the theme for World Radio Day 2018 – Radio and Sports – the festival is also examining the potential of the medium as a platform for social change, ways to make it more creative and will trace the journey of music on the radio.

67.        Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, the chairperson of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) , has been sworn-in as the 41st Prime Minister of Nepal, after his Left alliance routed the ruling Nepali Congress in the country's historic parliamentary and local polls. President Bidhya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly-elected Prime Minister on 15 February 2018 under Article 76 of newly adopted Constitution of Nepal. Oli, who is known for his pro-China stance, has served his first stint as Prime Minister of Nepal from 11 October 2015 to 3 August 2016.

68.        The World Sustainable Development Summit – 2018 will be held in New Delhi on February 16. The summit will address a wide variety of issues, including combating land degradation and air pollution, effective waste management and create financial mechanisms to enable effective climate change mitigation. The theme of the 2018 Summit is – Partnerships for a Resilient Planet, which seeks to create action frameworks to resolve some of the most urgent challenges facing developing economies in the backdrop of climate change. The summit is the flagship forum of the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). It seeks to bring together on a common platform, global leaders and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors. Over 2,000 delegates are expected to participate in the summit, including policy makers, researchers, diplomats and corporates from around the world.

69.        West Bengal has become the first Indian state to opt out of the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) "Modicare", which was unveiled in the Union Budget 2018. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Banerjee has stated that West Bengal already has made hospitalization and medical treatment free of cost for its citizens, so it doesn't see the point of spending on a separate programme that will do the same. Under the provisions of the Modicare, the Centre will contribute Rs 2,000 crore to the scheme, out of a total cost of Rs 5,500 crore to Rs 6,000 crore. State governments are expected to pay the remainder.

70.        The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai has launched the test of the world's first autonomous pods at the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 11, 2018. The autonomous pods are designed and engineered in cooperation with the US-based Next Future Transportation. These are designed to travel short and medium distances in dedicated lanes. They can be coupled together in as little 15 seconds or detached – depending on the riders' destination – in five seconds. Each pod is fitted with cameras and electromechanical technologies to carry out the coupling and detaching, which can be activated while the pod is in motion.

71.        The Omkareshwar Dam is a gravity dam on the Narmada River just upstream of Mandhata in Khandwa district, Madhya Pradesh. It is named after the Omkareshwar temple located just downstream. An associated hydroelectric power station located at the base of the dam has an installed capacity of 520 MW. The Narmada is the largest river in Madhya Pradesh, flowing towards the west and falling in the Arabian Sea.

72.        The world's tallest hotel 'Gevora' has opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 11, 2018. The gleaming gold 75-storey Gevora Hotel stands 356 metres, or nearly a quarter of a mile, tall. The hotel has 528 guest rooms and suites and four restaurants. It has 232 Deluxe Rooms, 265 one-bed room deluxe and 31 two-bedroom suites. It also have a pool, jacuzzi and health club as well as a luxury spa. Dubai is also home to the world's tallest building "Burj Khalifa", which pierces the city skyline at 828 metres (half a mile) high.

73.        Haruhiko Kuroda has been reappointed as the governor of Bank of Japan (BOJ) for second five-year term by the Government of Japan. His second term will come into force when the current one ends in April 2018. Kuroda will be first governor to serve two terms since 1954. The Bank of Japan is the central bank of Japan and it is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

74.        The 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO-2018) will be hosted by China in the city of Qingdao in June, 2018. China had taken over the rotating chair of SCO after the17th SCO summit 2017, which was held in Astana, Kazakhstan in June 2017. The SCO is consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. The SCO focuses on security- related issues of the region especially on counter terrorism cooperation.

75.        The World Sustainable Development Summit – 2018 has inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on February 16, which has been organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to discuss frameworks to resolve climate change crises in developing countries. The theme of the 2018 Summit is – Partnerships for a Resilient Planet – which seeks to create action frameworks to resolve some of the most urgent challenges facing developing economies in the backdrop of climate change. The 3-day summit will see participation from over 41 countries, bringing together different stakeholders in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors. The conference will address a wide variety of issues, including combating land degradation and air pollution, effective waste management and create financial mechanisms to enable effective climate change mitigation.

76.        Cyril Ramaphosa, head of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), has been sworn-in as the new President of South Africa on 15 February 2018. He was elected as the fifth president of South Africa by the ruling party politicians after the resignation of Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa, who is an anti-apartheid activist, trade union leader and businessman, served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018.

77.        The 54th Munich Security Conference (MSC-2018) was held in Munich, Germany from February 16-18 to discuss pressing security issues, including North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and the Syrian civil war. US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono attended the meet. The issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons development program was high on the agenda. The MSC is an annual conference on international security policy that has taken place since 1963.

78.        The Maharashtra government will launch cheap sanitary pad scheme "Asmita Yojana" on the International Women's Day for rural women. Under the scheme, girls in Zilla Parishad schools will get a sanitary napkin packet at Rs 5 while rural women can avail it at a subsidised rate of Rs 24 and Rs 29. The scheme, catering to girl students and women in rural areas, will be formally launched on March 8, 2018.

79.        India and Iran has recently signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income in New Delhi. The Agreement will stimulate flow of investment, technology and personnel from India to Iran & vice versa, and will prevent double taxation. The Agreement will provide for exchange of information between the two Contracting Parties as per latest International Standards. It will improve transparency in tax matters and will help curb tax evasion and tax avoidance. The Agreement also meets treaty related minimum standards under G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.

80.        The National Banana Festival (NBF-2018) has started at Kalliyoor, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala from February 17 to 21. The festival is organised by Centre for Innovation in Science and Social action (CISSA) in partnership with Kalliyoor Grama Panchayat and a host of National and State organisations. The two-day event is aimed at helping farmers from across the country get exposure to new technologies and new species in banana cultivation. The Banana Festival exhibition will showcase everything about banana. This will provide first-hand information to the farmers and general public about its multifaceted uses.

81.        The Ranganadi Dam is a concrete-gravity diversion dam on the Ranganadi River in Arunachal Pradesh which serves a run-of-the-river scheme. The dam is intended for hydroelectric purposes and is part of Stage I of the Ranganadi Hydro Electric Project and supports the 405-megawatt Dikrong Power House.

82.        The prestigious World Congress on Information Technology has started in Hyderabad on February 19, 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the inaugural session of the 3-day IT summit through a video link. The World Information Technology and Services Alliance is organising Congress while the National Alliance of Software and Services Companies and the Telangana state Government are jointly hosting the prestigious event. Over 2000 delegates including heads of IT majors, visionaries, Government leaders and academia from 30 countries will take part in the Congress being held for the first time in India. Over 150 global thought leaders will share their views during the Congress.

83.        Archaeologist and historian Arvind P. Jamkhedkar will be the new Chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR). He will replace Prof. K. Sudershan Rao, whose term as ICHR chief was mired in controversy. 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. Prof. Jamkhedkar, who taught at Dhule, Nagpur and Mumbai, was vice-president of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai from 2007 to 2013. He is also editor of the Journal of Asiatic Society of Mumbai.

84.        India's first Artificial Intelligence (AI) centre will be set up by the Maharashtra Government in Mumbai. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will launch the plan for the institute during the Magnetic Maharashtra Summit and at the Global Economic Conference in Canada in March 2018. The AI institute will give a fresh impetus to the fourth industrial revolution, and promote Mumbai as an investment destination in innovations and data analysis. The main aim of the centre is to integrate artificial intelligence in the field of social development.

85.        The National conference on "Agriculture 2022- Doubling Farmers' Income" has started at National Agriculture Science Complex (NASC) in New Delhi on February 19, 2018. It is organized by the Union Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW). The 2-day conference is organized with a view to identifying various critical issues relating to agriculture and farmers' welfare and finding appropriate solutions.

86.        The Union Government has constituted a committee headed by Rajiv Kumar, the Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog, to study the Brahmaputra and flood control measures in Assam and neighboring states.

87.        Star India, the official broadcaster for the Indian Premier League (IPL), has got the audio-visual production rights of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL-2018). The 2018 IPL will be held in Mumbai, Maharashtra from April 7 to May 27. The announcement was made on February 19 when the BCCI opened the bids for the audio-visual production rights for the IPL and the 2018-19 domestic cricket season.

88.        Milkbasket, India's first and largest micro-delivery platform, has been recognised as 'Startup of the Year' 2017 at the 7th Small Business Awards held in New Delhi. The startup of the year award is dedicated to young SMEs, aged 7 years or less, with great potential to become big in local/international markets.

89.        India will be the global host of 2018 World Environment Day (WED), which is scheduled to be held on June 5, 2018. The theme "Beat Plastic Pollution" urges governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together and explore sustainable alternatives and urgently reduce the production and excessive use of single-use plastic polluting our oceans, damaging marine life and threatening human health. The World Environment Day is a UN Environment-led global event and is the single largest celebration of our environment each year.

90.        The University Grants Commission (UGC) has recently constituted a four-member Empowered Expert Committee (EEC), which is being entrusted to conduct the appraisal of applications for short listing 20 Institutions of Eminence. N Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner of India is the Chairperson of the committee. The government is likely to announce the names of the selected institutions by April 2018. The committee was constituted by the UGC after the approval of the central government, as per the UGC (Institutions of Eminence Deemed to be Universities) Regulation, 2017, and UGC (Declaration of Government Educational Institutions as Institutions of Eminence) Guidelines, 2017.

91.        Uma Bharati, the Union minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has launched the Bagori Ganga Gram project, New Swajal Project at Bagori and Gangotri Iconic Place at Dunda village in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand on February 20, 2018. Besides creating cleanliness, providing basic amenities to the people of Ganga bank villages, these projects would also generate employment. The Open Defecation Free (ODF) village Bagori is one of the 24 pilot Ganga Villages picked up to be transformed into Ganga Grams this year. Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.

92.        The Singapore government 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. According to government, 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, after which the levy will be reviewed and possibly raised to between Sg$10 and Sg$15 per tonne by 2030.

93.        The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted a new 5-member expert Committee under the chairmanship of Y H Malegam, a former member of the Central Board of Directors of RBI, to look into the reasons for wide divergence by banks in asset classification and provisioning by banks and measures to prevent frauds. The committee will also look into the issue of huge non-performing asset divergences — between what banks classify and what is detected in RBI inspection — and recommend steps to address the issue. The other members of the committee are Bharat Doshi, S. Raman and Nandkumar Saravade. A.K. Misra, Executive Director of RBI, will be the Member-Secretary of the committee.

94.        The 22nd edition of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT-2018) has been inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video conference in Hyderabad on Feb 19, which will continue till Feb 21. The WCIT is held for the first time in India. Beside this, the 26th edition of NASSCOM India Leadership Forum (ILF) was also held in the same venue later on. Since NASSCOM is the host of the WCIT, the 26th edition of India Leadership Forum (ILF) is a limited edition. Telangana is the state partner for both the events. At least 20 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies and 100 other top executives besides over 5,000 delegates are expected to attend the conference.

95.        India has been ranked 81st out of 180 countries in the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for 2017, released by Transparency International (TI), which named the country among the "worst offenders" in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region. In 2016 India was in the 79th place among 176 countries. The index, which measures perception of corruption in the public sector, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. India's score remained intact at 40 points in both 2016 and 2017. This year, New Zealand and Denmark scored the highest scores with 89 and 88 out of 100, respectively. Somalia was found to be the most corrupt country in the world. The 2017 index highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.

96.        The Haryana government has officially launched the Parivartan scheme, which is designed to address 10 issues including cleanliness and pollution, in 46 developmental blocks of the state. 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. Under this scheme, the state government will provide training (practical) to the employees and thus will create strong training workforce in the state. This is a unique scheme in order to ensure that the benefit of all government scheme must reach the people.

97.        The Raja Lakhamagouda dam is a dam constructed across the Ghataprabha River in the Krishna River basin. It is situated at Hidkal village in Hukkeri Taluk of Belagavi district in North Karnataka. The dam with the height of 62.48 metres and 10 Vertical Crest Gates, impounds a large reservoir with a gross surface area of 63.38 Square kilometres, and storage capacity of 51.16 Tmcft. It is an earthen and masonry dam which caters to the Irrigation needs for over 8,20,000 acres, and Hydel power generation.

98.        The 3-day India International Textiles Expo (IITExpo) has started in Sri Lankan capital of Colombo on February 21, 2018. It is being organized by Powerloom Development & Export Promotion Council (PDEXCIL) with the support of Union Ministry of Textiles & Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India (GoI). The Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony was Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Special Assignments of Sri Lanka. At the event, about 45 exhibitors from various textile clusters of India are displaying variety of fabrics, home textiles, traditional items etc. suitable for apparel, industrial, technical application and general consumers. This would be a unique opportunity to see the products of reputed Indian textile companies under one roof.

99.        The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is celebrated every year by UNESCO on February 21 to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversityand promote multilingualism. This year, in 2018, UNESCO commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its bold statement that 'no discrimination can be made on the basis of language', and celebrates its translation into more than 500 languages. The 2018 theme is "Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development".

100.    India and France will co-host will co-host the first International Solar Alliance (ISA) summit at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 11th March 2018, where at least 10 heads of state are expected to be present. The ISA will see representation from over 120 countries and multilateral bodies like the United Nations, World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ISA is a treaty-based international body for promotion of solar energy in alliance with 121 countries, which are lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. The summit would discuss various projects being prepared by different countries in areas including rural electrification, off grid solar, water supply and irrigation.

101.    The 7th edition of the Youth Festival has started with theme "Let Love Live" at Central Park in New Delhi on February 22, 2018. The 6-day is organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad and the Department of Art, Culture and Languages, Delhi Government. The main purpose of this fest is to promote young performers. This year's festival is focused on "celebration of the freedom to love" and will host performances that drive home this message among the youngsters of Delhi.

102.    Billy Graham, one of the most widely heard Christian evangelist in history, has passed away in North Carolina, USA on February 21, 2018. He is credited for transforming American religious life through his preaching and activism. His leadership summits and crusades in more than 185 countries and territories forged powerful global links among conservative Christians, and threw a lifeline to believers in the communist-controlled Eastern bloc. Dubbed America's pastor, Graham was a confidant to US Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. In 1983, President Reagan gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honour. Graham's reached millions of people through his pioneering use of prime-time telecasts, network radio, daily newspaper columns, evangelistic feature films and globe-girdling satellite TV.

103.    The Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS) is located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. With the total capacity of 3340MW, the plant is largest power plant in the Maharashtra. It accounts for more than 25% of total Maharashtra needs. The plant gets water supply from Erai Dam when in normal conditions.

104.    Aruna Budda Reddy, who hails from Hyderabad, has competed at the 2018 Gymnastics World Cup and created history after becoming the first Indian gymnast to win a medal in an individual event at the Gymnastics World Cup by claiming a bronze medal in the women's individual vault event at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia on February 24, 2018. Aruna scored 13.649 average points to finish third and claim the bronze medal at the Hisense Arena. Tjasa Kysslef of Slovania took home the Gold, while Emily Whitehead of Australia won the Silver.

105.    The 4th edition of Economic Times – Global Business Summit (ET-GBS 2018) was held in New Delhi with theme "New Economy – New Rules" on February 23-24. The GBS is a flagship initiative of the Times Group that envisions to bring together visionaries, thought leaders, heads of state, policy makers, academicians and corporate heads cohesively driving a singular agenda for Scripting Economic Change, by connecting the building blocks of Economics for India and the Globe. It is a platform with multitude of policy makers and industry leaders under one roof.

106.    Kunwar Bai (106), the brand ambassador of Swachch Bharat, has passed away at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on February 23, 2018. A resident of Kotabharri village in Dhamtari district, Kunwar Bai was in the national news as a mascot for Swachch Bharat campaign; she sold all her goats to construct a toilet at her home. Not only was she applauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the PM also touched her feet and felicitated her during a public meeting in Rajnandgaon in February 2016.

107.    The Indian Navy will host the multi-national MILAN series of exercises under the theme of 'Friendship Across the Seas' at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands from March 6 to March 13, 2018. Besides fostering co-operation through naval exercises and professional interactions, MILAN also provides an excellent opportunity to the participating navies to come together in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding to nurture stronger ties. It is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by the Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. The purpose of Milan 2018 is to showcase the rich heritage and pristine natural beauty of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the foreign visitors.

108.    The 21st edition of National conference on e-Governance has started in Hyderabad, Telangana with theme "Technology for Accelerating Development" on February 26, 2018. The conference, which is jointly organised by the Government of India (GoI) and Telangana Administrative Reforms department, will provide a forum for Secretaries of Administrative Reforms and Information Technology of the Centre and the State Governments, IT Managers and software solution providers to exchange views, discuss issues and analyse various solution frameworks. The two-day conference will deliberate on several aspects of the e-governance including its universalization and replication, governing e-governance, best practices, emerging technologies and synergising role of national and state governments.

109.    The Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd (ABIPBL) has become the 5th entity to begin operations as a payments bank with effect from February 22, 2018. The ABIPBL is a joint venture between Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd (51%) and Ideal Cellular (49%). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a licence to the bank under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of payments bank in India. The other payments banks that have started operations include Airtel Payments Bank Ltd, India Post Payments Bank Ltd, Paytm Payments Bank Ltd and Fino Payments Bank Ltd. The other applicants that are yet to set up payments bank include Vodafone m-Pesa Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd and National Securities Depository Ltd.

110.    China has been elected as the vice-president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) at the plenary meeting in Paris on February 23, 2018. In its plenary meeting, the FATF placed Pakistan under "grey list" to monitoring in its International Cooperation Review Group until June 2018 for compliance of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Finance of Terrorism regulations. It gave Islamabad time till June 2018 to prepare an action plan against terror groups operating from Pakistan. The FATF was set up in 1989 with the primary goal of setting standards to combat money laundering, but in 2001 its mandate was expanded to include countering terror financing. It can take action such as financial restrictions against any country.

111.    The Jawahar Sagar Dam is a dam across the Chambal River. It is situated about 24 km (15 mi) south-west of Kota, Rajasthan. The dam has a catchment area of 27, 195 km ² and provides relief to the people of the area during times of severe water shortage. It is one of the dams which have been built under the Chambal Valley project of State of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The dam also produces 99 MW (3×33 MW) of hydropower.

112.    The high-level committee for Central Assistance Chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has approved financial assistance of Rs 1711 crore for Bihar which was affected by floods in 2017. The committee also approved assistance of Rs 1055 crore for Gujarat which was also affected by floods. Apart from this, Rs 838 crore have been sanctioned for West Bengal and Rs 420 crore each have been sanctioned for Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh which were also affected by floods. Tamil Nadu will receive Rs 133 crore and Kerala will receive Rs 169 crore which were affected by cyclone Ockhi. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh will get Rs 836 crore and Rs 396 crore. The two states were affected by Kharif drought in 2017.

113.    The 15th Edition of BioAsia conference 2018 was held in Hyderabad with theme "Right Time, Right Now" from February 22-24. It is the annual flagship life sciences and pharmaceuticals conference of the Telangana Government. About 1500 delegates from 55 countries participated in the 3-day conference with focus on strategies to take on the rapid phase of change, ways to develop new models for distribution and healthcare delivery, among others. In it, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa were the International Partners while Gujarat, Assam and Rajasthan were the partner states for this event.

114.    Uma Bharti, the Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, has launched the 2nd project of Swajal Yojana at village Bhikampura, Karauli, Rajasthan with a budget of more than Rs 54.17 lakh. Besides ensuring the availability of clean drinking water to every household round the year, the project would also generate employment. Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply. Under the scheme, 90% of the project cost will be taken care by the Government and the remaining 10% of the project cost will be contributed by the community. The Operations and management of the project will be taken care by the local villagers.

115.    The Central institute of Psychiatry is one of the premier training centers in India for mental health professionals. It is directly governed by the Government of India and is located in Kanke, Ranchi in Jharkhand.

116.    The National Science Day (NSD) is observed every year on February 28 to mark the discovery of Raman effect by Physicist CV Raman on 28th February, 1928. The purpose of the day is to spread the message of importance of science and its application among the people. The theme of NSD-2018 is "Science and Technology for a Sustainable Future", which has been chosen for the purpose of raising public appreciation of the scientific issues involved.

117.    Roger Federer, 20-times Grand Slam champion, has won the 2017 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year awards at the 18th edition of the awards ceremony in Monaco. Federer, who returned to the world number one ranking, had clinched the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles in 2017 after the 7-year break of winning any major. He won the 2018 Australian Open also. Beside this, Serena Williams has won the World Sportswoman of the Year award after winning her 23rd grand slam in 2017. Formula 1 constructors' champions Mercedes picked up the Team of the Year trophy, while wheelchair athlete Marcel Hug bagged the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability. Brazilian football club Chapecoense were given the Best Sporting Moment of the Year for their response in adversity following a plane crash in 2016 in which they lost the majority of their team.

118.    Vijayendra Saraswathi has become the 70th Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, traditionally referred to as Kamakshi, on 28th February 2018 with the demise of Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamiji. The Kanchipuram mutt is a Hindu monastic institution, located in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. It is a pilgrimage for Hindus all around the world and particularly in South India. It is known as Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, and the head of the matha is referred to as a "Sankaracharya". The mutt was established by Adi Shankaracharya about 2520 years ago.

119.    India has been ranked 47th out of 86 countries in the latest Inclusive Internet Index (III-2018) report, which was commissioned by Facebook and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The index is topped by the Sweden, followed by Singapore and the US. This year's index covered 91% of the world's population and an expanded data set of 86 countries, up from 75 countries in 2017. The index assessed a country's Internet inclusion across four categories: availability, affordability, relevance and readiness. The EIU is a British business within the Economist Group, providing forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.

120.    The 2nd India-Korea Business Summit 2018 was held in New Delhi on February 28 to strengthen the economic relationship, boost trade relations and increase investments between India and Republic of Korea. The 2018 theme was "India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade and Investments". The summit addressed various issues across industries and was attended by over a 1000 delegates, including 425 South Korean delegates from 90 Korean companies, senior government officials and political leaders. It was organized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in partnership with ChosunILbo, KOTRA, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Invest India.

121.    Moody's Investors Service has recently estimated India's GDP growth forecast for year 2018 & 2019. In it, it has kept the GDP growth forecast for India in the calendar year 2018 unchanged at 7.6 % and for 2019 at 7.5 %, amid signs of economic recovery from the negative impact of demonetisation and disruption caused by GST roll out. In its global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, Moody's said the Budget for fiscal year beginning April 1 (2018-19) includes some measures to stabilize rural economy that was disproportionately hit by scrapping of high denomination 500 and 1000 rupee notes.

122.    The 45MW Nimoo Bazgo Power Project (NBPP) is a run-of-the-river power project on the Indus River situated at Leh district of Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The project is designed to generate 239 MUs of energy. The Power station comprises of a 57m high concrete gravity dam, 3 intake structures on the power dam portion on right bank for diversion of water through 3.3 m diameter steel penstock of about 55.0 m long, a surface power house located at the toe of the dam on right bank and a short tailrace channel. The power house has an installed capacity of 45 MW (3 x 15 MW). It was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 2014.

123.    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised exposure limit under Exchange Traded Currency Derivatives (ETCD) trading for residents and foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) to $100 million across all currency pairs involving the Indian rupee. The RBI's decision to raise the limit will help entities engaged in forex transactions to maintain their currency risks in a better manner.