This Daily Current Affair Capsule is a brief collection of important news from national dailies and government releases on PIB useful for UPSC IAS, CDS, SSC CGL, NDA, etc. It covers national, international, economic, sports news.
National Important Current Affairs – 17 February 2017
☀ In Tamil Nadu, new Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy has been administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Vidyasagar Rao. He has been given 15 days by the Governor to prove his majority. Palaniswamy, known to be a VK Sasikala loyalist, will seek vote of confidence on the floor of the state Assembly tomorrow.
☀ The Union Cabinet has approved a Bill to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir on statistics relevant to any matters specified in the List-I (Union List) and the List- III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
- This Amendment is aimed at strengthening data collection mechanism in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
- It will extend the jurisdiction of the Act to Jammu & Kashmir State in respect of matters not reserved for the State as per the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954.
About the Collection of Statistics Act 2008: It was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects etc.
The Act extends to the whole of India, except Jammu & Kashmir presently. The Jammu & Kashmir State legislature enacted the Jammu & Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and is almost a replica of the central legislation.
The need for an amendment arised because the J&K act is not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List. This has created a legislative vacuum.
☀ Karnataka will implement the Rs. 5,912 crore Mekedatu multi-purpose (drinking and power) project that involves building a balancing reservoir across the Cauvery in Ramanagaram district.
- The Tamil Nadu opposes it on the grounds that it violates the Cauvery tribunal order.
- But, Karnataka says that it aims to utilise excess water after releasing 192 tmcft to Tamil Nadu.
- The State government would place the project before the Central Water Commission as well as the Supervisory Committee of the Supreme Court and Ministry of Environment and Forests for taking clearances.
- A total of 4,996 hectares of forest lands would be submerged under water.
☀ During the upcoming monsoon 2017, weather scientists will fly airplanes loaded with silver iodide over clouds hovering above Solapur, Maharashtra to begin a three-year investigation for efficacy of cloud seeding for producing sufficient rain.
- This Rs 250-crore programme, coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, will be the first controlled experiment to quantify the extent to which clouds form water drops large enough to make rain.
- Maharashtra has frequently considered the idea of cloud seeding because of the frequency of droughts over the Vidarbha region.
How Cloud Seeding is done?
It involves spraying chemicals into clouds. For their experiment, scientists will fly two aircraft and spray dry ice and silver iodide on 100 clouds and compare them with 100 unseeded clouds.
☀ The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Madhya Pradesh.
- This research platform will be established with satellite hubs in West Bengal (for pulses) and Rajasthan (for natural resource management) by the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).
- The platform is aimed at contributing significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.
- The Cabinet also gave ‘in principle’ approval for conferring on FLRP an international status as contemplated in Clause 3 of the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947.
- The establishment of FLRP will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges.
About ICARDA: The International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), is a non-profit agricultural research for development institute that aims to improve the livelihoods of the resource-poor across the world’s dry areas.
It was established in 1977, with a mandate to promote agricultural development in the dry areas of developing countries.
☀ Five new judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court, taking its working strength to 28. Notably, the Supreme Court has a total sanctioned strength of 31 judges. These new judges elevated to the apex court include four chief justices of state high courts and a sitting Karnataka High Court judge.
- Sanjay Kishan Kaul – Chief Justice of the High Court of Madras
- Dipak Gupta – Chief Justice of the High Court of Chhattisgarh
- Mohan M. Shantanagoudar – Chief Justice of the High Court of Kerala
- S. Abdul Nazeer – Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka
- Navin Sinha – Chief Justices of the High Court of Rajasthan
☀ The Bihar Cabinet has passed a proposed amendment to the state service rules forbidding government employees from consuming alcohol anywhere in the state.
- The service rules earlier prohibited government servants from consuming alcohol or any other intoxicant, at workplace only.
International Current Affairs Capsule – 17 February 2017
☀ US President Donald Trump has lifted anti-corruption rules which forced oil companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments to secure mining and drilling rights. The regulations were a part of financial reforms passed by the Barack Obama administration after the 2008 financial crisis. The oil industry was opposing the rules claiming they gave global rivals a competitive edge.
☀ Shand Panesar, an Indian-origin constable with Scotland Yard, has been awarded 2017’s Outstanding Bravery of the Year Award. He is given the award for risking his life with a colleague to rescue a couple from a burning building in London in September 2016.
Economics Today’s Current Affair Capsule – 17 February 2017
☀ TAMRA portal was recently launched across 12 mineral rich states for transparent mining clearances. The portal is developed by the Ministry of Mines.
- It will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timeline for statutory and other clearances, expected to help minimise the gestation period for starting production.
- TAMRA has block-, state- and mineral-wise information of the blocks to be auctioned.
- It also monitors various statutory clearances and also highlights the additional resources generated through e-auction.
☀ The Union Cabinet has approved the acquisition by the State Bank of India of its subsidiary banks namely State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
- The acquisition of subsidiary banks of State Bank is aimed at consolidation of public sector banks.
- It is in pursuance of the Indradhanush action plan of the Government.
- The merger is likely to result in recurring savings, estimated at more than Rs. 1,000 crore in the first year, through a combination of enhanced operational efficiency and reduced cost of funds.
- It will also create improved operational efficiency and economies of scale, improved risk management and unified treasury operations.
☀ Tata Motors announced a partnership with technology major Microsoft India to develop India’s first cloud-connected smart cars.
- The first vehicle showcasing this technology will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 7 under the newly launched ‘TAMO’ brand.
☀ The Indian government has launched an initiative to provide pre-loaded SIM cards to foreign tourists arriving in India on e-Visa. This initiative has been launched in collaboration with state-run telecom company BSNL. These SIM cards will have ₹50 talk time and 50 MB data.
Sports News Current Affair Capsule – 17 February 2017
☀ Indian professional boxer Vijender Singh will fight China’s WBO Oriental Super Middleweight champion, Zulpikar Maimaitiali on April 1 in Mumbai for the title.
The 31-year-old Indian Olympic bronze medal winner, Singh, is undefeated in the circuit so far.
This is our contribution towards making students more aware of what to study and what to ignore in daily news to be in touch with the important and relevant happenings of the World. This is not a substitute of daily newspaper reading. Read the newspaper daily. Have a Good Day!
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