Current Affairs – February 25, 2018

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Indo-German MOU on technical cooperation under Sustainable Urban Development programme & Smart Cities in India

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India and Germany on February 23, 2018, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an ‘Implementation Agreement in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in India’ in New Delhi. The agreement was signed between Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ), India on behalf of Germany. It was signed by Ranjan Mishra, Additional Secretary of Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry and Annette Röckel, Deputy Country Director and Tanja Feldmann, Cluster Coordinator, Sustainable Urban and Industrial Development, GIZ India.
The Union Minister of State (IC) for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri and the German Ambassador to India, Martin Ney were present at the occasion. The main objective of the programme is to develop and apply concepts for sustainable urban development about the provision of urban basic services and housing in selected cities and Smart Cities in India.

NHRC retains its ‘A’ status of accreditation with GANHRI in Geneva

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The National Human Rights Commission retained its ‘A’ status of accreditation with the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) for the fourth consecutive term of five years, during the annual meet of GANHRI in Geneva, Switzerland. The ‘A’ status is given to those national human rights bodies, which, after a rigorous process of review every five years, are found fully compliant with the UN-mandated Paris principles.
The accreditation confers international recognition and protection of the NHRI and grants participation in the work and decision-making of the GANHRI, as well as the work of the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms. The NHRC got ‘A’ status first time in 1999 which is retained in 2006 and 2011 reviews. The GANHRI found that NHRC, India perfect on all these counts to be given ‘A’ status of accreditation with it.

Huawei, Airtel conduct India’s first successful 5G network trial

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Huawei and Bharti Airtel recently announced successfully conducting 5G network trial under a test set-up in India. The trial was conducted at Airtel’s Network Experience Centre in Manesar (Gurugram). “We are moving quickly to begin collaboration towards 5G interoperability and development testing (IODT). We look forward to working closely with our partners for developing a robust 5G ecosystem in India,” said Abhay Savargaonkar, Director-Networks, Bharti Airtel.
During the test trial, a user throughput of more than 3Gbps was achieved. This is the highest measured throughput for a mobile network in 3.5 GHz bandwidth 100MHz bandwidth and end-to-end network latency of approximately 1 msec, the company said. The setup demonstrated high-spectral efficiency and potential for diversified services such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) that can be delivered by 5G technology to serve a digitally connected world.

Aruna Reddy creates history to win bronze at Gymnastics World Cup

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Aruna Budda Reddy became the first Indian gymnast to clinch an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne by securing bronze in the women’s vault. Reddy, 22, scored 13.649 to finish behind gold medallist Tjasa Kysslef of Slovenia and Emily Whitehead of Australia who took silver. The other Indian woman in contention, Pranati Nayak finished sixth with a score of 13.416. Reddy is a former black belt and Karate trainer. In 2005, Reddy won her first National medal which convinced her to take up the sport.
Reddy finished 14th at the qualification round of the Vault apparatus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and went one up with a ninth-place finish at the Asian Games. Also, at the 2017 Asian Championships, Aruna finished on 6th position on Vault. Indian gymnastics was put on the map when Ashish Kumar gave the country its first-ever gymnastics medal by winning a bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Then six years later at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian gymnast to qualify for Olympics in 52 years, where she narrowly missed out on a bronze medal.

India to host 1st International Solar Alliance on 11th March

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The inaugural conference of the international solar alliance (ISA) will be held in New Delhi on March 11, the country’s external affairs ministry said. The event is expected to set the ball rolling for India’s leadership in providing affordable renewable energy. The conference will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron, besides a host of other heads of states and heads of governments from countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Seychelles, Ghana, Gabon, Australia, Venezuela, Fiji, Mauritius, among others. So far as many as 55 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement out of which 26 have already ratified it.
The ISA has become the first treaty-based international and inter-governmental organization to be headquartered in India. Its secretariat is located in Delhi’s neighboring town of Gurgugram in the state of Haryana where a land of five acres has been allocated for it. The government of India has also allocated a fund of 130 crores Rupees (about 20 million U.S. dollars) for setting up the ISA, and an additional 45 crores Rupees (about 7 million U.S. dollars) would be provided for in the next three years. Multilateral development banks, UN agencies, business entities in renewable energy, civil societies, have also been invited to the conference.

Kunwar Bai, the 106-year-old icon for Swachh Bharat campaign, dies

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Kunwar Bai, a 106-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh who was chosen as a mascot for the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan‘, died after a prolonged illness. Kunwar Bai passed away at Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Memorial Hospital where she was admitted yesterday, a government official said. Kunwar Bai shot to fame in 2016 when the story of how she sold her goats to build a toilet at home got nationwide publicity. She was felicitated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a public meeting at Kurrubhat village in Rajnandgaon district and later made a mascot for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
She was suffering from age-related ailments and was admitted to the Dhamtari district hospital a few days ago. According to the official, all 18 houses in her village Kotabharri in Dhamtari district now have toilets, earning the village Open Defecation Free status. Chief Minister Singh expressed grief over her death, describing her as the “Swachhta Doot” (messenger of cleanliness) of the state.

Cricket Canada announces ICC-approved T20 league

7cc 25 - Current Affairs – February 25, 2018
The proliferation of T20 franchise leagues has spread further to North America with Cricket Canada’s announcement that they have signed a 25-year licensing agreement to start their own three-week competition. Dubbed the Global T20 Canada, the tournament is tentatively scheduled to get underway in July 2018 after it was sanctioned by the ICC. Among the key characteristics of the six-team league, according to Cricket Canada president, is that a minimum of four Canada eligible players must be included in each 15-man squad.
However, there is no mandate that any Canada players must be in a starting XI, opening up the possibility of XIs comprising only foreign players. It has not been decided if the league will have an auction system with a salary cap or a draft, but Saini said that one of the six teams will be made entirely of West Indian overseas players, aside from the four Canada resident players. “The West Indies is a sponsor of the league,” Saini said. “The ICC approval is based on Full Member participation so one team will be a West Indian team.

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