Current Affairs – March 09, 2018

India-China bilateral trade hits historic high of USD 84.44 billion in 2017

The India-China bilateral trade reached USD 84.44 billion last year, a historic high despite bilateral tensions over a host of issues including the Doklam standoff. The bilateral trade between the two nations in 2017 rose by 18.63 percent year-on-year to reach USD 84.44 billion. It is regarded as a landmark as the volume of bilateral trade for the first time touched USD 80 billion, well above the USD 71.18 billion registered before that.
The trade touched historic high despite bilateral tensions over a number of issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China blocking India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Masood Azhar, Beijing blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as the longest military standoff at Doklam lasting 73 days. The bilateral trade stagnated around USD 70 billion for several years despite the leaders of both the countries setting USD 100 billion as the target for 2015.

PM launches National Nutrition Mission, and expansion of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, launched the National Nutrition Mission, and expansion of the coverage of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme, at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. The Prime Minister interacted with District Magistrates of aspirational districts. He also interacted with beneficiary mothers and girl children of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme.
The Prime Minister awarded certificates to the best performing districts under the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. VasundharaRaje, said that she is happy that the Prime Minister chose Rajasthan for the launch of a vital scheme and the expansion of another. Rajasthan will always support the efforts of the Prime Minister towards women empowerment, she added.

Diu becomes first UT to run 100% on solar power

The harnessing of solar energy has made Diu the country’s first energy surplus Union territory and a model for an effective way for people to harness this renewable energy source. In just three years, Diu has made rapid progress in solar power generation. The Union territory has an area of just 42 square kilometers. Despite the scarcity of land, solar power plants have been installed over more than 50 acres.
Diu generates a total of 13 megawatts of electricity from solar power generating facilities daily. Around 3 MW is generated by rooftop solar plants and 10 MW by its other solar power plants. Three years ago, the people of Diu consumed electricity supplied from the power grid owned by the Gujarat government, resulting in huge line losses. Once the local power company started generating electricity from solar energy, the electricity loss was significantly reduced.

Telangana gifts ‘We-Hub’ to women entrepreneurs

The Telangana government had an apt gift for women on International Women’s Day this year. Fulfilling the promise made on the concluding day of the ‘Global Entrepreneurship Summit’ held in Hyderabad in November last year, the state government on Thursday launched the first-of-its-kind dedicated incubator for women in India — We-Hub — in the city. We-Hub was launched by Telangana IT and industries minister KT Rama Rao along with India’s missile woman Tessy Thomas and Kalaari Capital managing director Vani Kola in the presence of women entrepreneurs in the city.
Announcing the launch of the incubator, KTR said the state government has allocated a fund of Rs 15 crore for the incubator. “We-Hub will provide women access to capital, mentorship and an enabling environment that will help them succeed despite all the challenges and barriers they have to face. This incubator is not only for tech entrepreneurs but will support all kind of innovations,” he said.

‘Udayam Sakhis’ to mentor budding women entrepreneurs

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) launched Udyam Sakhi Portal for women entrepreneurs of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The portal aims to nurture entrepreneurship and create business models for low-cost products and services in order to empower women. It seeks to provide assistance through its platform for entrepreneurship learning tools, incubation facility, training programs for fundraising, providing mentors, etc.
The mentors, who would be extending their services on a voluntary basis, could be social entrepreneurs, senior executives, retired businesswomen, former bank officials or members of non-profit organizations, the official explained.
Union Minister of MSME: Giriraj Singh

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Hellenic on Renewable Energy Cooperation

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between India and Hellenic. The MoU was signed by the External Affairs Minister, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Government of India and H.E. Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic during the latter’s visit to New Delhi in November 2017.
Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Group to review, monitor and discuss matters relating to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for an exchange of expertise and networking of information.

Twitter appoints Parag Agrawal as Chief Technology Officer

Twitter Inc appointed Parag Agrawal as Chief Technology Officer on Thursday, according to an update on the social media company’s website. Parag Agrawal, who joined microblogging site in 2011 as an Ads Engineer, succeeds Adam Messinger who left in December 2016, the company said.
Agrawal earlier worked at Microsoft and AT&T prior to joining Twitter, according to his LinkedIn profile. Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto resigned last month in a string of departures, to join online lender Social Finance (SoFi) as CEO.

Bhubaneswar to host Super Cup

The inaugural edition of the Super Cup will be played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, starting March 15. All the 20 Indian clubs playing in the ISL and I-League will participate in the Super Cup. Clubs positioned between 7th and 10th places in the I-League and ISL will play a single leg qualifier to earn a spot in the final phase of the tournament. The winners of the 4 qualifier matches will join the top 6 ISL and I-League clubs in the final phase of the tournament.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said: “We are very pleased that the Government of Odisha is supporting the tournament which helped us in finalizing Bhubaneswar as the venue.” “I was delighted to see the response in Jamshedpur for the ISL matches and I believe it has become a significant venue in the Hindi heartland,” he added. “I feel this is an opportunity for us to establish Bhubaneswar as a new football hub.

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