Current Affairs – February 13, 2018

Eminent Kannada writer Chandrashekhara Kambara elected as Sahitya Akademi president

Eminent Kannada writer and Jnanpith winner Chandrashekhara Kambara was elected as the president of Kendra Sahitya Akademi. He became the third Kannada writer to be elected to the premier body of litterateurs after he brushed aside contest from Marathi writer Bhalachandra Nemade and Odiya writer Prathibha Ray. According to sources, Kambara secured 56 of the 89 votes polled to elect the president of the Akademi and emerged as the winner. Prathiba Ray, who was also a favorite in the run-up to the elections, secured 29 votes, and Bhalanchandra won four of all the votes polled. Kambara is the first Kannada writer to be elected president of the Akademi in the past 25 years. In 1993, another eminent writer and Jnanpith winner was elected to head the Akademi. Kambara was formerly the vice president of the Akademi. He was the first vice-chancellor of the Kannada University of Hampi.
Sahitya Akademi established: 1954
Headquarters: New Delhi

12th February: National Productivity Day

The National Productivity Council is observing National Productivity Day on 12th, and National Productivity Week till 18th February. It is the 60th Anniversary of the National Productivity Council and is being celebrated as Diamond Jubilee Year. “Industry 4.0 Leapfrog Opportunity for India” has been selected as the theme for the National Productivity Week -2018. Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution as it is called, is emerging globally as a powerful force and is being called as the next industrial revolution. It is characterized by the increasing digitization and interconnection of products, value chains, and business models. In order to converge the aims of growth with employment, it is important to increase the share of manufacturing in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022 and to create 100 million additional jobs by 2022.

Mumbai 12th richest city globally with total wealth at $950 billion: New World Wealth report

India’s financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of $950 billion, has been named among the top 15 wealthiest cities globally, while New York topped the list, says by New World Wealth report. London ranked second in the list with $2.7 trillion, followed by Tokyo ($2.5 trillion), and San Francisco Bay area ($2.3 trillion).According to a report by New World Wealth, the economic hub of India is the 12th wealthiest city, followed by Toronto with a total wealth of $944 billion, Frankfurt (14th, $912 billion) and Paris (15th, $860 billion). 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. 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.

IIM-Ahmedabad to open 1st overseas extension center in Dubai

The Indian Institute of Management (IIM-A) and the UAE-based BRS Ventures on 12, February, signed an agreement to establish the premier B-school’s first overseas extension center in Dubai. The proposed UAE Extension Center will begin with executive education programmes that are relevant to the region and will include both open learning and customized training programmes. The agreement was signed at the World Government Summit 2018, an annual event held in Dubai, that brings together leaders in government for a global dialogue about governmental process and policies with a focus on the issues of futurism, technology, and innovation, the statement added.

Pune’s Rohan More becomes 1st Asian and youngest to swim across Ocean Seven

Pune-based swimmer Rohan More became the first Asian as well as the first Indian to swim across the Ocean Seven. Rohan is the youngest person in the world to swim across the Ocean Seven. 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. The swimming marathon is widely considered equivalent to the Seven Summits mountaineering challenge. With this, More becomes only the ninth person in the world to complete it. More completed his first marathon swim at the age of 11. He completed the Triple Crown almost twenty years later, in less than 11 months and continues to set and accomplish marathon goals. In 1996, he crossed ‘Dharamtar to Gateway of India Channel (35 km) in seven hours and 29 minutes. More also completed six of the Oceans Seven swims between 2014 and 2016.

India’s inflation in January eases to 5.07%, IIP for December at 7.1%

India’s factory output grew at a robust 7.1% in December on the back of high manufacturing production while retail inflation slowed to 5.07% in January as food inflation softened, according to the government. In November, the index of industrial production (IIP) grew 8.8% and consumer price index (CPI) based inflation rose by 5.21% in December. Food inflation softened to 4.58% in January from 4.85% a month ago. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6th February kept interest rates unchanged and warned that inflation risks were skewing upwards. The central bank raised its March quarter CPI inflation forecast to 5.1% and projected an inflation range of 5.1-5.6% in the first half of the next fiscal year. However, RBI posits a revival in growth—projecting acceleration in economic growth to 7.2% from a level of 6.6% in the current fiscal year. It premises this on a host of factors including the revival in investment demand and strengthening exports.

India posts marginal increase in forest cover says report

Total forest cover in India has increased by 6,778 sq km over the last two years – from 7,01,495 sq km in 2015 to 7,08,273 sq km in 2017 – with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Telangana reporting maximum increase during the period. The marginal increase has now put the forest cover at 21.54% of the country’s total geographical area. The India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017, released by the Union environment ministry 12, February, shows that the increase in tree cover during the period has, however, taken the overall tally of total forest and tree cover together to 8,02,088 sq km in 2017 – an increase of 8,021 sq km (1% increase as compared to 2015 assessment). Total forest and tree cover together now stands at 24.39% of the country’s geographical area. The report shows that the forest cover in five north-eastern states – Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, and Meghalaya – has, however, decreased in 2017 as compared to 2015.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change: Harsh Vardhan

Steve Smith wins Australia’s Border Medal

Australia cricket captain Steve Smith capped off a golden 12 months by winning his second Allan Border Medal in Melbourne. Smith, hailed as the country’s finest batsman since Donald Bradman, polled 246 votes, well ahead of two-time medal winner David Warner (162 votes) and Nathan Lyon (156 votes). Smith, who had earlier been named Australia’s Test Player of the Year for his dominant 12 months with the bat, won his first Border Medal in 2015. The skipper was the hot favourite to take the award following a year in which he played 24 international games in limited overs and Test cricket and scored 1754 runs at 67.46 with 7 centuries.

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