Current Affairs – February 23, 2018

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Hyderabad to host 15th edition of BioAsia 2018 from Feb 22-24

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The 15th edition of BioAsia, the annual flagship programme of Government of Telangana, would be held from 22-24th February 2018 at Hyderabad International Convention Center (HICC) in Hyderabad. With this year’s annual BioAsia event marks 15th edition, the city of Hyderabad which is already the hub of life sciences industries is fast gearing up to host the programme on a grant note. The event is expected to bring together all stakeholders of pharma and life sciences sector from the national and international arena.
Since its inception in the year 2003, BioAsia has emerged as the most preeminent technology and bio-business convention in Asia for life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. This year’s event is expected to witness participation of 1,500 delegates from over 55 countries with 100 high profile speakers and 500 corporates. For this year’s event, Ireland, Netherlands and South Africa have been roped in as international partners for the 15th edition of the event whereas the States of Gujarat, Assam, and Rajasthan are the state partners for the event.

Avani Chaturvedi: First Indian woman to fly fighter jet

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Avani Chaturvedi, 24, has become the first Indian woman to fly a fighter jet solo. She flew a Mig-21 Bison for 30 minutes earlier this week. “It is the breaking of a glass ceiling,” said the team. It was a “big day” in the history of the country’s armed forces. Ms. Chaturvedi was one of the first three female fighter pilots to be inducted into the Indian air force.
The air force tweeted a photo of her standing next to the aircraft after her flight. The other two women are Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh. These three were commissioned as flying officers into the fighter stream after finishing basic training in June 2016, on an experimental basis for 5 on the experimental basis for 5 years initially.
Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) – Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa
Headquarters – New Delhi

India ranks 81st in global corruption perception index

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India has been ranked 81st in the global corruption perception index for 2017, released by Transparency International, which named the country among the “worst offenders” in terms of graft and press freedom in the Asia Pacific region. The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, placed India at the 81st place. In the 2016 India was in the 79th place among 176 countries.
The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. India’s score in the latest ranking, however, remained unchanged at 40. In 2015, the score was 38. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland” ranked top least corrupt. Meanwhile, China with a score of 41 was ranked 77th on the list, while Brazil was placed at 96th with a score of 37 and Russia was at the 135th place with a score of 29.

Idea Payments Bank begins operations

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Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank on 22nd February became the fourth such entity to begin operations since the issuance of licenses to 11 firms by RBI in August 2015. Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank Ltd has commenced operations as a payments bank with effect from February 22, 2018. Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the first to begin the payments bank operations in November 2016 and the Aditya Birla group-promoted firm is the latest to join the bandwagon.
Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma promoted Paytm Payments Bank started giving the differentiated banking services from May last year while FINO Payments Bank Limited has commenced operations in June 2017. The Department of Posts, which also got a license for a payment bank is yet to start its services formally, but it is running some operations on a pilot basis.

Jaipur's Gandhinagar railway station becomes 1st fully women operated station in country

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The Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur recently became the country’s first major railway station to be fully-managed by women. Gandhi Nagar is the important railway station in Jaipur situated on the Jaipur-Delhi rail route with more than 50 trains passing through the station out of which 25 halting at the station.
The station has the footfall of more than 7,000 passengers every day. There are 40 women staff at the station beside women personnel of the railway protection force have been deployed at the station. A step towards empowering women- the all-woman managed railway station, will surely set an example for women across the country that they can independently handle a major railway station.

Federal Bank acquires 26% stake in Equirus Capital

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Private sector lender Federal Bank made its foray into investment banking by acquiring a minority 26 percent stake in Equirus Capital, a boutique investment bank. Ganesh Sankaran, executive director of Federal Bank, said with a shift in client preferences, the bank’s foray into investment banking will help it participate in opportunities and instruments beyond traditional banking products.
The tie-up would help shore up non-interest earnings for the bank while creating additional revenue streams with identified clients. The board of directors of Federal Bank has approved acquiring a strategic minority stake of 26 percent in Equirus Capital (ECPL) subject to statutory and regulatory approvals and satisfactory completion of financial and legal due diligence. Federal Bank presently has around 1,250 branches and 1,679 ATMs across the country.
Federal Bank Headquarters: Kerala
CEO: Shyam Srinivasan

Parivartan scheme launched in Haryana

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The Haryana government launched Parivartan, a scheme designed to address 10 issues, including cleanliness and pollution, in 46 developmental blocks of the state. The scheme was launched by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and 46 top officials of the state, including those from the IAS, IFS and IPS cadres, have been allotted one block each. 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.
The 46 officers will undertake works in the 10 selected common fields and one field of their choice. The chief minister said that for each of the 10 fields, there are three to seven parameters on which the performance of the officers would be assessed.

Amazon India, UP govt ink MoU to support khadi artists

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To develop and support khadi artisans across Uttar Pradesh and empower their growth in the digital economy, Amazon India has inked MoU with the state’s Khadi & Village Industries Board, a government of Uttar Pradesh undertaking. As part of the MoU, Amazon India will educate, train and enable rural artisans to directly sell their products to customers. Through this partnership, Amazon India and Uttar Pradesh Khadi & Village Industries Board intend to empower and generate livelihood opportunities and income for the rural artisans and boost the economy of the khadi and village industry.
By bolstering digital connectivity of the artisan’s community, this collaboration will help them be a part of and benefit from India’s booming digital economy. With the option of selling products online, rural artisans will be able to expand their reach, fetch an appropriate price for their unique products, which in-turn will help raise their overall standard of living.

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