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National Daily Current Affairs Capsule – 21 February 2017
■The Centre has filed in the Supreme Court a status report on the investigation conducted by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases.
- The apex court had asked the Centre to apprise it about the steps taken in the matter within four weeks after the government had said that the SIT’s work is in progress.
■ CBI has named its former director Amar Pratap Singh as an accused along with controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi and some others in a case registered to probe alleged corruption. An FIR was registered against Singh for allegedly favouring Qureshi.
■ The government has announced the expansion of rotavirus vaccine in five additional states under its Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). The vaccine will be expanded to Assam, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
- The announcement came after 38 lakh children were vaccinated in four states – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha when the vaccine was first introduced.
- The vaccine will prevent Rotavirus diarrhoea in children which accounts for approximately 40% of hospitalizations from diarrhoea in India.
Diarrhoea is one of the biggest killers in children and rotavirus is one of the most common causes of severe diarrhoea in children less than 2 years of age.
Rotavirus diarrhoea is responsible for nearly 78,000 deaths, 32 lakh out-patient visits and nearly 9 lakh hospitalizations every year. Viral diarrhea is highly contagious.
Rotavirus is transmitted by the faecal-oral route, via contact with contaminated hands, surfaces and objects, and by the respiratory route.
Universal Immunization Programme is a vaccination program launched by the Government of India in 1985. The program consists of vaccination for ten diseases- tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles, Hepatitis B, Diarrhoea, Japanese Encephalitis and Pneumonia.
■ India’s only live volcano in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has started spewing smoke and lava again, after lying dormant for 150 years. Barren Island volcano erupted in 1991 and has been showing sporadic activity since then.
- The Andaman basin is an active back-arc spreading basin known for strong seismicity, submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal activity.
- Scientists from CSIR-NIO have been surveying the basin and have identified several small submerged volcanoes in a linear chain called a volcanic arc.
■ Test drills for the construction of the first undersea bullet train route in India have begun. The 7-kilometre route will form part of the country’s first bullet train project, the 508-kilometre Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor. The corridor will cost Rs 1 lakh crore, will feature multiple underground and underwater passages.
■ J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has declared 2017 as ‘Year of Apple’ in order to promote the famous Kashmiri apples in domestic and foreign markets. As part of this, the Chief Minister has launched the High Density Apple Plantation Scheme in Srinagar.
- Jammu and Kashmir is the largest apple producing State in India at 11.2 metric tonnes, which accounts for 71% of national production.
International News Current Affairs Updates – 21 February 2017
■ India and Rwanda have inked agreements in the fields of innovation, aviation and visa requirements. This agreements were signed in Kigali in the presence of Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari and Rwandan Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi during a business forum meet. Ansari, is in Rwanda on the first leg of his 2-nation visit to East Africa, will also launched a India-Rwanda innovation growth programme.
■ NATO will approve a plan to build its anti-terrorism headquarters in Italy to monitor terrorist activities spreading across Europe. This will help in coordinating information on crisis countries like Libya and Iraq, and addressing terrorism.
Economics Today’s Current Affairs Download – 21 February 2017
■ The Saudi Stock Exchange has appointed Sarah Al Suhaimi, the CEO of investment bank NCB Capital, as its first female head. She is the first woman to chair a major government financial institution in the kingdom.
■ The government has launched a QR (quick response) code-based payment solution called BharatQR to allow cashless payments without a card swiping machine. BharatQR has been jointly developed by MasterCard, Visa and Rupay.
- A customer will scan the BharatQR code to pay directly to a merchant.
■ Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX has successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft which will deliver 2,500 kg of cargo to International Space Station for NASA. Dragon spacecraft is also carrying strains of the MRSA superbug to study its behaviour in microgravity.
■ Cash purchases of jewellery will attract 1% tax collected at source from April 1 if the amount exceeds Rs 2 lakh, as against the current threshold of Rs 5 lakh. Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods. This is in line with government’s decision banning cash transactions above Rs 3 lakh from April 1.
21 February 2017 – Sports Current Affairs Download
■ Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has become the first cricketer from Afghanistan to join the Indian Premier League (IPL). Nabi was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 30 lakh in the auction.
■ Virat Kohli has become the first Indian athlete to sign a deal worth over Rs 100 crore with a brand, after signing up with Puma. With this reportedly 8-year-long deal, Kohli will join Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry as Puma’s global ambassador.
Some Questions to check your general knowledge from the above issues:
Q1. The full form of NATO is ?
- North American Trade Organization
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- North American Treaty Organization
- North African Trade Organization
Q2. The capital of Rwanda is _ ?
Q3. Which of the following are not covered under the universal Immunization Programme?
Answers: Q1 – (2) ; Q2 – (2) ; Q3 – (3)
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