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February 23, 2017

23rd February 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (23rd February 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 23rd February 2017

International Current Affairs
  • Today (23rd February) is World Rotary Day.
  • The UK government and the European Union have pledged £170 million (around ₹1,400 crore) aid to South Sudan following the declaration of the world's first famine since 2011. 
    • This came after warnings by the UN that about 40% of South Sudan's population is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and people are already dying from hunger caused by famine.
MOUs & Agreements
  • The Union Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have signed an MoU to set up interventions for the welfare and economic development of scheduled caste artisans. 
    • This MoU was signed between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a CPSU under Ministry of Social Justice.
National Current Affairs
  • The Gujarat Assembly has passed Gujarat Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2017
    • This bill seeks to empower the state government to use Aadhaar number as the sole identifier for the delivery of various subsidies and benefits in an effective and targeted manner.
  • One of the significant biodiversity mega events of India, the National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 was recently held at Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). 
    • The event is hosted by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board. 
    • The main aim of the event is to identify practical, evidence-based case studies at the regional level to support the plan of action.
    • Theme of National Biodiversity Congress (NBC) 2017 : Mainstreaming Biodiversity for Sustainable Development”.
  • The Union Defence Ministry has given its nod to the Phase II of coastal surveillance project to expand the coastal radar surveillance network. 
    • It will strengthen surveillance of over 7,500-km coastline of the country. 
    • The decision was taken by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. 
    • It also approved proposal of setting up of a shore-based intermediate engine repair facility for the Indian Navy’s MiG-29K fighters at the Naval yard in Goa.
  • The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched SAATHIYA Resource Kit and SAATHIYA SALAH mobile app for adolescents as part of the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) programme
    • The kit and app will help Peer Educators (Saathiyas) who are introduced under the RKSK programme. 
    • The Saathiyas act as catalyst for generating demand for adolescent health services and also impart age appropriate knowledge on key adolescent health issues to their peer groups.
  • The Union Government has announced the expansion of rotavirus vaccine in five additional states under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP). 
    • The additional states are, Assam, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu
    • The announcement comes after 38 lakh children were vaccinated when the vaccine was first introduced in four states – Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has released the new format for recording and reporting road accident data
    • The uniform accident-recording format has been drawn on the lines of developed countries. 
    • It has been forwarded to all state police and transport departments for adaptation and to furnish annual road accident data.
  • In a first in India, the Kerala government has decided to set up a registry of sex offenders, Governor P Sathasivam announced today. 
    • The publically available registry will contain the names and details of people who commit crimes against women. 
    • This would enable employers in profiling prospective employees and the police to keep a track of offenders' activities.
New Appointments
  • Britain has appointed Cressida Dick as the next Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police.
    • With this, she will become the first woman to head Scotland Yard in its 188-year history. 
Business & Economic Affairs
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal-led India's largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel today announced it is buying Norwegian telecom company Telenor's India operations
    • In a transaction expected to close in a year, Telenor India's spectrum, licenses, operations, including its employees, will become a part of Airtel. 
  • India held a total wealth of $6.2 trillion (over ₹415 lakh crore) as of December 2016, a New World Wealth report has revealed. 
    • Further, India is home to over 2.6 lakh millionaires and 95 billionaires, the report stated. 
    • India was also among the top five countries which saw the maximum outflow of millionaires in 2016, at around 6,000.
  • The Cabinet has approved an investment of ₹8,100 crore for setting up at least 50 solar parks and ultra mega solar power projects, Power Minister Piyush Goyal announced today. 
    • The investment would double the solar power production target to 40,000 MW. 
    • Note : The government has laid down a plan to achieve 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022.
  • The Government has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV.
    • Applications for the bond will be accepted from February 27, 2017 to March 03, 2017. 
    • The Bonds will be issued on March 17, 2017. 
    • The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange.
Science & Technology
  • NASA discovers 7 Earth-like planets orbiting a star just 40 light-years away. 
    • All of them orbit at the right distance to possibly have liquid water somewhere on their surfaces. 
    • The planets closely circle a dwarf star named Trappist-1, which at 39 light years away makes the system a prime candidate to search for signs of life. 
    • Only marginally larger than Jupiter, the star shines with a feeble light about 2,000 times fainter than Earth's sun.
  • In a first, Quantum Computers based on different technologies were pitted against each other. 
    • IBM and the University of Maryland tested their respective quantum computers to run on same algorithms. 
    • Maryland achieved 77.1% accuracy, while IBM only reached 35.1% accuracy, but was up to 1,000 faster than its competitor, resulting in a split decision.
  • International Space Station today successfully captured SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft that was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Sunday. 
    • Dragon is expected to be unpacked in around four weeks, after which it will be sent on a five and a half hour return mission to Earth. 
    • The original docking attempt was aborted on Wednesday after a navigational error.
  • Japanese electronics company Sony has announced the world's fastest SD card with a maximum write speed of 299 MB per second. 
    • The memory card will also offer a read speed of 300 MB per second. 
    • Sony claims the cards, which will be available with 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB capacities, will be temperature resistant, shockproof and X-Ray proof.
Sports Current Affairs
  • India won the men's Roll Ball World Cup Championship as they beat Iran 8-7 in the final today. 
    • India also won the tournament in the women's category, defeating Iran 6-4 in the final. 
    • Note : Roll Ball is a combination of roller-skating, handball, and basketball, and it was invented by an Indian sports teacher Raju Dabhade in 2003.
  • Indian Grandmaster Harika Dronavalli has entered the semi-finals of the Women's World Chess championship, after defeating Georgia's Nana Dzagnidze in the quarter-finals. 
    • She will now face ninth seed China's Tan Zhongyi in the semi-finals of the tournament being held in Tehran. 
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