Current Affairs

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1. Anti-graft watchdog Transparency International, released the 2017 corruption perception index and has ranked India at 81 among 180 countries and territories.
   a) In 2017 India’s score is 40 – the same as 2016, and an increase since 2015, when it was 38.
   b) The least corrupt countries are New Zealand and Denmark said by the index, while Syria, Sudan and Somalia figure are ranked the most corrupt.
   c) South Africa has been ranked the least corrupt (71), while Russia (135) is the most corrupt, among BRICS nations.
2.  A super critical carbon di oxide Brayton test loop facility developed by Indian Scientist, that would help generate clean energy from future power plants including solar thermal.
   a) By Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, this next generation technology loop was developed indigenously.
   b) This is India’s first test-bed for next generation, efficient, compact, waterless super critical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle test loop for power generation. The technology is perhaps the first test loop coupled with solar heat source in the world.
3. Projects worth nearly Rs 4,000 crore were approved in the 9th Executive Committee meeting of National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG),including a 20 MLD Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for tannery cluster at Jajmau in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
   a) At an estimated cost of Rs. 629 crore this 3-phased project includes pre-treatment unit in 380 individual tannery units, a 20 CETP with physical, biological and tertiary treatment, installation of Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD)-based pilot plant of 200 KLD capacity among other components.
   b) This is a major step forward in arresting the pollution in Ganga emanating from the crucial industrial town of Kanpur. The central share of this project is Rs. 472 crore.
   c) The project will be executed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – Jajmau Tannery Effluent Treatment Association.
4.  A mobile application e-Saathi was launched, on the second and last day of the UP Investors Summit.
   a) People will be able to avail public services sitting at home, through the app.
   b) To double the capacity of seats in skill development from 500 to 1,000, the state government was working said Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, adding that MoUs worth Rs 1.2 lakh crore had been signed in the sector at the summit so far.
5.  In the financial services sector during 2017, nearly 40 percent of over 53,000 cyber-attacks in India occurred, placing it at the seventh spot in the list of targeted countries for Web Application Attacks (WAA), a new report said.
   a) In India, Security incidents like phishing, website intrusions and defacements, virus and ransomware targeted the rapidly growing of the Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI) sector.
   b) The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack frequency in the BFSI sector increased by 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017 also stated by the report, titled “Akamai State of the Internet Security Q4 2017,”
6. To usher the “programme based research support” in addressing current and future global and local developmental challenges, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of India and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) was signed on 22 February, 2018.
   a) IDRC has funded 551 research activities worth CA$159 million in India through institutions, researchers and NGOs, since 1972.
   b) By the IDRC in India, 96 research projects worth CA$ 51 million were funded, during the last five years (2012-17).
7. With Taoyuan City of Taiwan for better technology partnership in the state, the Telangana Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
   a) The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2018, concluded earlier with Telangana, India handing over the baton to Armenia for the 2019 edition.
8.  To begin operations since issuance of licenses to 11 firms by RBI in August 2015, Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank today became the fourth such entity.
   a) To begin the payments bank operations in November 2016 Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the firstand the Aditya Birla group-promoted firm is the latest to join the bandwagon.
   b) 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.
9.  In developing IT infrastructure for the mega National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), Tech billionaire Nandan Nilekani will assist the government, which seeks to cover 10-crore families.
   a) The IT infrastructure for the healthcare scheme will be of a huge scale as was required for Aadhar and will have to be scaled up gradually in view of the massive range of the programme.
   b) Former UIDAI chairman Nilekani – the brain behind the Aadhaar – is also a member of the GST return simplification committee.
10.   From March 1 2018, the first sale of electoral bonds will start for period of 10 days at four main branches of State Bank of Indiain Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and New Delhi.
   a) These bonds will have a life of 15 days, and citizen of India or an entity incorporated or established in the country can purchase them.