Current Affairs
  1. On 6 February, The Times Higher Education (THE) released the list of the best colleges in Asia in the Asia University Rankings 2018. There are 42 Indian Universities in the list but none in top 25. India managed to improve its score on the index with a total of 42 finding a place among just over 350 Universities. Indian Institute of Science (IIS) in Bengaluru was the topmost Indian University in the list coming in at rank 29. At rank 44 was the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, followed by IIT-Kharagpur at 60 with 11,016 students. IIT-Roorkee, rank 65, IIT-Kanpur, rank 81 and IIT-Delhi, rank 86.
  • The top 10 spots were secured by universities from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
  • Tezpur University in Assam was the last Indian university in the top 100
  1. In Saudi Arabia’s annual ‘Janadriyah Festival’, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj inaugurated, where India has been invited as guest of honour this year. Officials said:-
  • Earlier, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had said that India’s participation in the festival will be multifaceted and would take relations of the two nations “to new heights”. The Indian pavilion at the festival will project a number of Indian themes and projects, according to the minister.
  1. At Atapaka Bird Sanctuary on Kolleru lake (one of the largest fresh water lake in the country), the government of Andhra Pradesh held the first-of-its kind, one-day Pelican Festival. At Atapaka village which is located on the borders of the Krishna and the West Godavari districts, the officials made elaborate arrangements to attract tourists for the ‘Pakshula Panduga’.
  2. The Supreme Court told that to weed out fake licences the Centre is in the process of linking driving licences with Aadhaar number and a software for this covering all states on a real time basis is under preparation. Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, a bench comprising Justices was informed about it by a court-appointed committee on road safety headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice K S Radhakrishnan. This assumes significance as a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is currently hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the enabling 2016 law.
  3. ISRO established 473 Village Resource Centres (VRCs) on a pilot scale, to demonstrate the potential of satellite technology for development of rural areas, in association with selected NGOs, Trusts and State Government Departments. About Rs 18 crores was spent for establishing these VRCs.
  • Space technology enabled services such as tele-healthcare, tele-education, natural resources information, advisories related to agriculture, career guidance to rural students, skill development and vocational training etc have provided by VRCs.
  1. 5 Highways Projects inaugurated / laid foundation stone for 137 km of highways projects worth Rs 5632 crore around Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh by Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. This includes construction of a new, sixlane bridge  over Ganga at Fafamau, Allahabad besides widening of national highways.
  • Ministry plans to build highways worth Rs 2 lakh crore in Uttar Pradesh before the government’s five year term ends next year, said by Gadkari.
  1. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 0 per cent on the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation.
  • Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 per cent. The GVA forecast for FY18 has been revised down to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent earlier. The central bank has upped the inflation forecast for Q4 of this fiscal year to 5.1 percent from 4.3 percent to 4.7 percent earlier and to 5.1-5.6 percent in the first half of next year.
  • Current Monetary Policy Rates:
  • Repo Rate: 6% • Revrese Repo Rate: 5.75% • Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate: 6.25% • Bank Rate: 6.25% • Cash Reserve Ratio: 4% • Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR): 19.5% .
  1. The pioneers of homecooked food delivery, Mumbai Dabbawalas partnered with Paytm Payments Bank, a digital bank which provides zero balance accounts and zero charges on digital transactions. Around 5000 dabbawalas will now be able to collect instant payments for their Dabba service through Paytm QR, as part of this association. Additionally, they will also avail an easy access to banking and other financial services by opening their bank accounts with Paytm.
  2. The RBI had made it mandatory for all the the NBFCs to have a grievance redressal officer, whose name and address has to be put up in the offices of the NBFCs, for consumer complaints till now.
  • As per the RBI guidelines announced during the monetary policy, the customers can directly file a complaint, with an ombudsman in place.
  • The scheme will cover all deposit-taking NBFCs and those with customer interface having asset size of one million and above initially, according to
  1. To improve monetary policy transmission, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said it will link the base rate for loans with the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) from 1 April. This is likely to narrow the gap between the base rate and MCLR, and benefit borrowers who are still using the base rate, said some analysts.
  2. By becoming the first female cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets, India’s veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami has added another feather to her illustrious. During the second ODI between India and South Africa, Goswami achieved the feat. The 35-year-old, playing her 166th ODI, dismissed opener Laura Wolvaardt for her 200th She was adjudged ICC Women Cricketer of the Year in 2007.