Current Affairs – February 27, 2018

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21st National Conference on e-Governance begins in Hyderabad

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Union Minister of State for Consumers Affairs C.R. Choudhary and Telangana IT Minister K.T. Ramarao inaugurated the 21st National Conference on e-Governance in Hyderabad on 26th February. In his presidential address, C.R. Choudhary has called for a change in the mindset of people if e-Governance has to be made effective and bring qualitative changes in people’s life.
The Conference was organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Government of India, along with the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India in association with Telangana government. The theme of the conference this year is, ‘Technology for accelerating Development’.
The inaugural session will be followed by plenary sessions based on themes: Building User Experience, Universalization and Replication and Governing e-Governance on day one and on day 2 the two plenary sessions would be based on e-Governance Good/ Best Practices, Emerging Technologies.

Navy to host MILAN from March 6 to 13

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The Indian Navy will host the multinational MILAN series of exercises at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar islands from March 6 to March 13, 2018. MILAN is a congregation of littoral navies conducted biennially by the Indian Navy under the aegis of the Andaman and Nicobar Command. It began in 1995 with the participation of four littoral navies and has steadily grown in size and complexity encompassing participation of maritime forces from not just the Bay of Bengal and South East Asia but the larger Indian Ocean Region.
With the underlying theme of ‘Friendship Across the Seas’, MILAN 2018 will witness a diverse mix of professional exercises and seminars, social events and sporting fixtures, the statement added. “Besides fostering co-operation through naval exercises and professional interactions, MILAN also provides an excellent opportunity to the participating navies to come together in a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding to nurture stronger ties,” the Navy said in a statement.

UIDAI introduces ‘Baal Aadhaar’ for children below 5 years of age

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UIDAI or the Unique Identification Authority of India has introduced a ‘Baal Aadhaar’ card. This blue-coloured card will be given to children below the age of five years. To get a Baal Aadhaar, no biometric details will be needed. UIDAI had made this announcement through a series of tweets on its official handle. “A child below 5 years of age gets a blue in colored Aadhaar known as Baal Aadhaar. When the child becomes 5 yr old, a mandatory biometric update is required,” it said.
A mandatory biometric update will be required when the child turns five. For this update, which is free, parents can take the child to any nearby Aadhaar centre. The process of updating these Baal Aadhaar cards will be same as that of a normal Aadhaar. It will require a biometrics of 10 fingers, iris and the facial photograph. The same process has to be repeated when the child turns 15. The deadline to link Aadhaar card with other services has been fixed to March 31 by the government.

China becomes Vice President of FATF

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China becomes Vice President of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body mandated to combat terror financing and money laundering. In its plenary meeting in Paris, FATF had placed Pakistan under “grey list” subject to direct monitoring and intense scrutiny by International Cooperation Review Group till June 2018 for compliance of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Finance of Terrorism Regulations. Pakistan was on the same list from 2012 to 2015.
It is an inter‐governmental policy-making body that aims to establish international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing. It was established in 1989 during the G7 Summit in Paris (France) to combat the growing problem of money laundering. It comprises over 39 member countries including India. FATF Secretariat is housed at the headquarters of the OECD in Paris.

20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in Fiji

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20th Conference of the Commonwealth Education Ministers (20CCEM) was held in Nadi, Fiji from 19th – 23rd February 2018. The Conference was held for Education Ministers of Commonwealth nations to meet and discuss solutions to contemporary issues and challenges in education sector viz. low enrolment rates in preschool, primary and secondary schools, gender disparities in education and low adult literacy.
The theme of 20CCEM was “Sustainability and Resilience: Can Education Deliver?”. Indian delegation to this conference was led by Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development. First Commonwealth education conference was held in Oxford, the UK in 1959. It has been taking place every three years since then.

International Conference on Sustainable Biofuels 2018 begins in Delhi

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The two-day international conference on Sustainable Biofuels is jointly being organized on February 26-27, 2018 by Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India and Biofuture platform in New Delhi. The conference will seek to a clear understanding of the development in bio-economy made by participating countries, increase awareness of policymakers about the challenges faced by the industry-investor for commercial scale-up of advanced biofuels.
The conference will also focus on concerns of the private sectors to speed up large-scale production of sustainable biofuels. The international conference on Sustainable Biofuels will bring the experts and delegates from 19 countries together in Sustainable Biofuels sector to share information and best practices, take stock of current knowledge and build consensus on the actions most needed to move forward.

Airtel joins Seamless Alliance to provide in-flight connectivity

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Bharti Airtel has joined ‘Seamless Alliance’ to provide in-flight connectivity to customers. The alliance aims to use satellite technology to offer data connectivity to mobile users when they’re on a flight. The formation of the alliance was announced in Barcelona. OneWeb, Airbus, Delta, and Sprint are the other founding members of the alliance.
“We are delighted to be a founding member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high-speed data services even while they are in-flight. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes LIVE at the earliest,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

SRIJAN, an idea competition for 635 Station Development on Indian Railways

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Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Limited (IRSDC) is taking up redevelopment of around 600 major Railway stations across the country. In this mega exercise, assistance and involvement of all stakeholders i.e. railway passengers, urban planners, architects, engineers are important. Towards this objective of stakeholders’ consultation, an idea competition for development of 635 stations on Indian Railways, ‘SRIJAN’ (Station Rejuvenation Initiative through Joint Action) has been launched at MyGov portal since 26.01.2018.
The last date for submission of entries in this competition is 26.03.2018. The winners will get certificates and worthy ideas will be incorporated into the designs. IRSDC has also launched competition through Mygov portal for IRSDC logo and tagline. The winner for logo competition will get the cash prize of Rs 75,000/-and for tagline also will get Rs 75,000/-. The last date for submission of entries is 26.3.18.

P-Note investments dip to 8-yr low at Rs 1.19 lakh cr in Jan

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Investments in the domestic capital market through participatory notes (P-notes) plunged to a nearly eight-and-a-half-year low of Rs 1.19 lakh crore in January-end amid stringent norms put in place by regulator SEBI to check misuse. P-notes are issued by registered foreign portfolio investors to overseas investors who wish to be part of Indian stock markets without registering themselves directly.
They, however, need to go through a proper due diligence process. According to Sebi data, the total value of P-note investments in Indian markets — equity, debt, and derivatives — slumped to Rs 1,19,556 crore at January-end from Rs 1,24,810 crore at the end of the preceding month. This is the lowest level since August 2009, when the cumulative value of such investments stood at Rs 1,10,355 crore.
SEBI – Securities and Exchange Board of India
Chairman – Ajay Tyagi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra.

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