Current Affairs – February 18, 2018

LS Speaker Sumitra Mahajan inaugurated 6th India Region CPA conference

Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan on 17th February inaugurated the 6th India region Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference at Patna in Bihar. Addressing the gathering, the Speaker spoke about the objectives and role of the Parliamentary Association body. The conference will hold discussions mainly on two topics — ‘Parliament’s role in the development agenda’ and ‘Legislature and Judiciary – Two important Pillars of Democracy’. Addressing the gathering, the Speaker stressed upon the need to strengthen the legislature, executive, and the judiciary in order to make democracy strong. Earlier, Bihar Assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary welcomed the dignitaries noting that the CPA has 52 countries as its members which are home to 70,000 parliamentarians. The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), previously known as the Empire Parliamentary Association, is an organisation which works to support good governance, democracy, and human rights.

Established: 1911

Secretariat: London

Chairperson: Emilia Monjowa Lifaka

Sex Ratio at Birth dips In 17 of 21 large States, Gujarat records fall of 53 Points        

The sex ratio at birth (SRB) saw a decline in 17 out of 21 large states of the country, with Gujarat recording an alarming dip of 53 points, a report released by the Niti Aayog stated, stressing on the need to check sex-selective abortion. According to the report, among the 17 states which recorded substantial drop of 10 points or more, in Gujarat the SRB fell to 854 females from 907 females per 1,000 males born registering a drop of 53 points from 2012-14 (base year) to 2013-15 (reference year) in this indicator. Gujarat is followed by Haryana, which registered a drop of 35 points, Rajasthan (32 points), Uttarakhand (27 points), Maharashtra (18 points), Himachal Pradesh (14 points), Chhattisgarh (drop of 12 points), and Karnataka (11 points), the ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ report states. “There is a clear need for states to effectively implement the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994 and take appropriate measures to promote the value of the girl child,” the report stated. According to the report, improvement in SRB was witnessed in Punjab, which registered a rise of 19 points, followed by Uttar Pradesh (10 points) and Bihar (9 points).

Botanical Survey of India signs MoU with UK’s Natural History Museum       
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and Natural History Museum (NHM) of United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi on February 16, 2018 to enhance cooperation in the field of genetic/taxonomic studies, research and training and conservation in India, including species and habitat conservation assessments. The MoU was signed by Director, BSI Dr Paramjit Singh and Head of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division, NHM, Dr Sandra Knapp, in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan.The agreement will also help both the nations keep up with their commitment to use scientific evidence to support the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES and the Nagoya Protocol

BSI Established: 1890

Headquarters: Kolkata

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau begins weeklong India visit   

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in India on 17th February for a weeklong visit aimed at enhancing business ties between the two countries. Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are also expected to focus on areas including civil nuclear cooperation, space, defense, energy and education. Trudeau was received at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport by Gajendra Singh She khawat, a junior agriculture minister. A formal ceremony will be held on Feb 23 before his talks with Modi, who visited Canada in April 2015. Canada has an estimated 1.4 million people of Indian origin. During his visit, Trudeau will meet with top business leaders in Mumbai and visit key Indian monuments, including the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Jama Masjid in New Delhi. Canada mainly imports pearls, organic chemicals, pharmaceutical products, textiles, bicycles and motorcycles from India. It exports vegetables, paper, fertilizers, wood pulp, iron and steel and precious stones to India.

Capital: Ottawa
Currency: Canadian Dollar

India slides 16 spots to 78th position on globalization index over 11 years    

As flows of trade and people fell the world over since the 2008 global financial crash, India dropped 16 spots to 78 from 62 among 140 countries in 11 years to 2015 on a globalization index brought out by international logistics company DHL. The Global Connectedness Index 2016, the fourth since it was first released in 2011, prepared by Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven A. Altman (both teach management at New York University Stern School of Business, US), was released on November 15, 2016. The Scientific and Engineering Award is given for scientific achievements that produce a definite influence on the advancement of the motion picture industry. Netherlands, Singapore and Ireland stood in the top three.


Sachin Tendulkar announced as brand ambassador for upcoming Twenty 20 Mumbai League           

Probability Sports India Private Limited, a consortium of the IIFL Group as Lead Member and Wizcraft, on Friday announced cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar as the League Ambassador of the Twenty-20 Mumbai League. The Mumbai-based inaugural T20 cricket league, held under the aegis of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), will be held in March. With six teams participating in the first season, the tournament is scheduled to take place between March 11-21. Probability Sports has invited bids for awarding six teams to enroll and participate in the T20 Mumbai League. The teams will be from Mumbai North, Mumbai North-West, Mumbai North-East, Mumbai North-Central, Mumbai South-Central and Mumbai South.


Indian engineer awarded sci-tech Oscar Award      

Vikas Sathaye, a Pune-born person has been honored with the Scientific and Engineering Academy Award at the Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards 2018 at Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California. Sathaye and his team received the award for his contribution towards conceptualization, designing, engineering, and the implementation of the ‘Shotover K1 Camera System’ during his stint at Shotover Camera Systems in Queenstown, New Zealand. The Shotover K1 Camera System is a camera mount that is used in aerial filming. The camera mount gets attached to the base of a helicopter, which carries the camera and lens. The primary function of the camera mount is to eliminate any vibration from reaching the camera, thus ensuring a steady footage. The Scientific and Engineering Award is given for scientific achievements that produce a definite influence on the advancement of the motion picture industry.


Roger Federer becomes the oldest world No 1 in tennis history       

Roger Federer returned to the summit of men’s tennis for the first time in more than five years and became the oldest World No.1 in the sport’s history after he proved too strong for Robin Haase at Rotterdam’s ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament. The 36-year-old Swiss great secured his spot in the history books and the last four of the tournament with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory against his Dutch opponent on 16th February. Federer, who needed to reach the semi-finals in order to overtake Rafael Nadal when the rankings are next updated on Monday, was last the top-ranked player in November 2012 and he has beaten the record of Andre Agassi, who was 33 when he topped the standings in 2003.


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