Daily Current Affairs 20th February, 2017
Cash withdrawal limit for savings account increases to Rs 50,000 per week
- Savings accounts holders will now be able to withdraw up to Rs 50,000 per week.
- An RBI notification, issued on January 30,2017 announced that from February 20, 2017 the cash withdrawal limit for savings accounts will be raised to Rs 50,000 from Rs 24,000 a week.
- The limits on cash withdrawals from savings bank account will be withdrawn completely from March 13, 2017.
- Till now, there is no limit on current account and there is a cap of Rs 50,000 for farmers a week and Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage.
India approves $340 million loan to Nepal’s infrastructure development programmes
- India has sanctioned a soft loan of $340 million to Nepal for various infrastructure development programmes.
- Under these programmes, Mahalaki bridge and 15 roads will be constructed in various parts of Nepal. The completion of infrastructural projects will strengthen physical connectivity and also emotional bonding between the people of both the countries.
GST council approves law to compensate states for revenue loss
- The GST Council has approved a law to compensate states for any loss of revenue from the implementation of the new nationwide indirect taxation regime.
- The meeting was held in Udaipur, Rajasthan first time outside national capital.
- The Compensation Law provides compensation to states that will incur losses because of implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) in the first five years. This law will go to Parliament for approval in the second half of the 2017-18 Budget Session beginning March 9, 2017.
Oriental Bank launches mobile wallet ‘Batuaa’
- On the occasion of the 75th Foundation Day, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has come up with several digital offerings including launch of mobile wallet ‘Oriental Batuaa’.
- Besides introducing a new version of mobile banking, OBC has also launched two new cards.
- While the Oriental Premium card is a RuPay based Platinum international debit card with airport lounge access, the other card-Oriental Prepaid Card is a RuPay card for individuals and corporates.
- Besides it has also launched two MSME schemes The two MSME schemes that have been launched are ‘Oriental Sanjeevani’and ‘Oriental Budget Hotels and Restaurants’.
- Oriental Sanjeevani is a specialised scheme for doctors for setting up new hospitals and clinics. The other scheme is for individuals, proprietors, companies etc for setting up new hotels, restaurants, lodges, motels etc.
Barren Island: India’s only live volcano active again
- According to scientists from Goa based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), India’s only live volcano at Barren Island in the Andaman and Nicobar has become active again.
- Barren Island volcano last erupted in 1991 after remaining dormant for 150 years and since then it is showing sporadic activity.
- Now it is erupting in small episodes of five to 10 minutes.
Scientists claim discovery of Zealandia a submerged continent in Pacific Ocean
- Geologists have claimed discovery of new geological continent named Zealandia submerged beneath the south-west Pacific Ocean.
- Zealandia is around 4.5-million square km land mass and is 94% under water. Only its highest points — New Zealand and New Caledonia are visible.
- Zealandia is two-thirds the size of Australia and spreads out over 4.9-million-square kilometres of continental crust. It was once a part of Australia.
- It is believed that it had broken off from Antarctica about 100 million years ago, and then from Australia about 80 million years ago as part of the breakup of super-continent Gondwanaland and sank beneath sea.
- Sea-floor samples show that Zealandia consists of light continental crust and not the dark volcanic rocks that make up nearby underwater plateaus.
- The highest point of Zealandia is Aoraki–Mount Cook at 3724 m.
- The region has elevated bathymetry relative to surrounding oceanic crust, diverse and silica-rich rocks, and relatively thick and low-velocity crustal structure.
Khajuraho Dance Festival held in Madhya Pradesh
- The 44th edition of world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival was held at in the backdrop of the famous Khajuraho temples in Chhatrapur district, Madhya Pradesh. The festival has started with presentation of Anuj Mishra, Sanchita Bhattacharya and Jayshree Acharya. In this edition of festival, eminent Indian classical dancers had performed. It included performances of colourful and brilliant Indian dances like Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bharatnatyam, and Mohniattam. Besides, several other cultural activities like art exhibitions and art fair were also held during the festival.
About Khajuraho Temples
- Khajuraho Temples is a group of Hindu and Jain Temples in Madhya Pradesh build by Chandela Dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD.
- They are listed as UNESCO World heritage Site.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
Scientists develop high-quality graphene from soybean
- In a breakthrough, scientists have used the humble soybean to make the world’s strongest material graphene commercially more viable.
- Graphene is a carbon material that is one atom thick. Its thin composition and high conductivity means it is used in applications ranging from miniaturised electronics to biomedical devices.
- These properties also enable thinner wire connections; providing extensive benefits for computers, solar panels, batteries, sensors and other devices.
- The potential applications of graphene include water filtration and purification, renewable energy, sensors, personalised healthcare and medicine, to name a few.
- Graphene has excellent electronic, mechanical, thermal and optical properties as well. Its uses range from improving battery performance in energy devices, to cheaper solar panels.
31st state hood day of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram: 20 February
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has greeted people of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram on their 31st statehood day (20 February 2017) Conveying his best wishes to people of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Arunachal Pradesh was granted statehood on this day in 1987, Mizoram was declared a state in 1972.
February 20: World Day of Social Justice
- The World Day of Social Justice is observed every year on February 20 to recognize the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.
- To mark this occasion, UN and International Labour Office had organised several organisations to spread importance of social justice for people.
- 2017 Theme: “Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work”.
- According to the UN Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.
AWARDS AND HONOURS
Indian Movie Newton Wins top Honour at Berlin Film Festival
- Indian Cinema movie Newton directed by Amit Masurkar was honored with the Art Cinema Award in the Forum Segment at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival held from February 9-18, 2017 in Berlin, Germany.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma
- Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports personality to strike a Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a single brand. Kohli signed an eight-year deal with sports apparel brand Puma worth Rs 110 crore.
Afghan players Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan create IPL history
- Afghanistan cricket broke a new barrier when Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan became the first from the war-torn nation to be picked in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
- Both Nabi and Khan players were bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad, for Rs. 30 lakh and Rs. 4 crore respectively. Five cricketers from Afghanistan were included in the auction for the first time.
Shahid Afridi retires from international cricket
- Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi has announced his retirement from international cricket, but stated that he wants to play in his country’s domestic league for two more years.