Current Affairs : 15 Feb 2018

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  1. Nine major global power markets, including India’s Tamil Nadu, have achieved an outsize share of wind and solar generation, showed by US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in a new research.
  • The report, ‘Power-Industry Transition, Here and Now’, includes case studies of markets — ranked by relative share of reliance on variable renewables — that include Denmark, South Australia, Uruguay, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Texas, California and the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
  • 3 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s total electricity generation is accounted from Wind and solar in 2016-17.
  1. The international conference ‘Agricon 2018’ and ‘Agriexpo 2018’ at Chandrashekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology (CSAUT), Kanpur was inaugurated by The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, on February 14, 2018.
  • The President said that in a country as vast as India, problems of farmers in different regions are different, while Speaking on the occasion. We will have to find solutions according to their needs. Water is a common concern.
  • The Government has promoted the concept of “per drop, more crop” in this regard and this message should reach every farmer in the country.
  1. The “Friendship Gate” constructed with an aim to have a Wagah-like beating retreat ceremony for the Indian and Bangladesh border guards has inaugurated by Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad.
  • Near Integrated Check post, 90 km South of capital Shillong on border with Bangladesh, the Friendship Gate has been constructed.
  1. Some “fraudulent and unauthorised” transactions worth about $1.77 billion (about Rs 11, 300 crore) detected by State-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) at one of its branches in
  • The bank said the transactions were for the benefit of a few select account holders with their apparent connivance.
  • It did not name the people involved.
  1. ‘SelfeSavings’, an interactive digital savings account introduced by Equitas Small Finance Bank.
  • With the web-based interactive video form by using Aadhaar number, PAN and other basic details, this account can be opened. The new selfeSavings account has no minimum balance requirement.
  • For balance below 10 lakh It pays an interest rate of 6 per cent per annum and 5 per cent for 10 lakh and above.
  1. Chandrashekhara Kambara, Kannada writer and Jnanpith awardee has been elected president of Sahitya Akademi, defeating his nearest rival, Odiya novelist and another Jnanpith recipient Pratibha Ray, by 27 votes.
  • Ray secured 29 votes as against Kambara’s 56, while the third candidate, Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade, got four
  • For more than 10 years Kambara has served as a member of Sahitya Akademi’s executive board and has been its vice-president since 2013.
  1. As the next Ambassador of India, to the Federative Republic of Brazil, Shri Ashok Das (IFS: 1987) has been appointed.
  • He is presently Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs and expected to take up his assignment shortly.
  1. President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma resigned, eluctantly heeding orders by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to bring an end to his nine scandal-plagued years in power.
    • Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to sworn in as the new president.
  2. At the age of 92, Former Union minister and veteran TDP leader Bolla Bulliramaiah died of old age-related illness.
  • Who was known as a genial person, Bulliramaiah, joined the TDP during its inception and became an MP in 1984.
  • He was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Eluru constituency in 1991, 1996 and 1999 and served as the Union minister of state for commerce during 1996-98 in the United Front government.
  1. The Anti-Narcotics Scheme has extended by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for 3 more years to combat illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances.
  • The financial assistance for narcotics control has been extended, with an estimated budget of Rs. 21 crore.
  • It will be provided to all anti-narcotics agenciesfor strengthening their enforcement capabilities to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
  1. Between Indian Navy, Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard, Tri-service maritime exercise ‘Paschim Lehar’ was held off India’s western coast with an aim to build interoperability.
  • This exercise includes participation of large number of ships, submarines and aircraft from Western Naval Command of Indian Navyand units from Eastern Naval Command, Indian Army, Air Force and Coast Guard.
  1. At recently concluded 6th World Government Summit 2018in Dubai India’s Aadhaar and Umang App have won awards.
  • Umang Appwon in Best m-Government Service Award for Accessible Government Category and Aadhaar won in the Best Government Emerging Technologies 
  • The awards were presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of UAE Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
  1. To opt out of Centre’s National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) announced in Union Budget2018-19, the West Bengal became the first state.
  • According to State Government, it has already made hospitalisation and medical treatment free for its citizens and has already enrolled 50 lakhpeople under its Swasthya Sathi programme.

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