Daily Current Affairs – 19 February 2017


Twitterati erupt as MS Dhoni removed as Rising Pune Supergiants skipper

  • Rising Pune Supergiantshave removed MS Dhoni as the captain of their side and appointed Steve Smith as the new leader for the upcoming IPL
  • Franchise owner Sanjiv Goenka confirmed that they have decided to remove Dhoni from captaincy and appoint and younger captain Steve Smith from the new season.

DMK calls for hunger strike across party offices on Feb 22, Stalin booked

  • DMK working president MK Stalin, on Sunday announced hunger strike across party offices in Tamil Nadu on February 22.
  • Earlier in the day, an FIR was also filed against Stalin, his party MLAs, MPs and cadres for holding a protest at Marina beach against the alleged attack on him and his MLAs during the trust vote in the Assembly.
  • Police said an FIR has been filed against them for unlawful assembly and violation of public order.

Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes: Gates

  • Robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said.
  • “Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, USD 50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things,” Gates told Quartz website.
  • “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” said Gates, one of the world’s richest men.

Former Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir passes away in Kolkata.

  • 68-year-old Kabir, who was suffering from a kidney ailment and related complications, died at 2.52 PM,
  • Born on 19 July, 1948 in Kolkata, Justice Kabir did his LLB and MA from the University of Calcutta and was made a permanent judge of the Calcutta High Court on 6 August, 1990.
  • He was appointed Supreme Court judge on 9 September, 2005 and was sworn-in as the 39th Chief Justice of India on 29 September, 2012. His tenure ended on 19 July, 2013.
  • The former CJI had sparked controversy during the last days of his tenure when former Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya had alleged that Kabir blocked his elevation to the Supreme Court because he opposed the elevation of Kabir’s sister as Calcutta High Court judge.
  • He had also denied another charge that he favoured Sahara group in its battle against Sebi on refunding Rs 24,000 crore to investors.

South Korea Likely to Develop New Delhi Station as World Class.

  • South Korea has come forward to redevelop the New Delhi railway station, one of the busiest terminals in the country, as a world-class facility.
  • Catering to more than five lakh passengers in a day, the station will be converted into a swanky complex at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore, offering the best facilities and shopping experience to travellers, according to an ambitious plan unveiled by the railways.
  • Three Skyscrapers to Be Installed at the Ajmeri Gate Side.
  • The redevelopment of New Delhi station is part of Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s emphasis on attracting substantial revenue through redevelopment of 400 stations with private participation.
  • The railways has recently launched the first phase of the ambitious station redevelopment project for 23 junctions.

Actor Ravi Kishan joins BJP in presence of party president Amit Shah

  • Actor Ravi Kishan on Sunday formally joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of national president Amit Shah. The actor, accompanied by BJP MP and Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, met Shah at the party headquarters on 11 Ashoka Road. Speaking to reporters outside the party office, Kishan said.

NSG gets shot in arm with grenade dropping drones, dog robot

  • A grenade-dropping drone, 3D fly-on-the-wall radar to see through a 20-m-thick wall and a ‘dogo robot’ armed with remote pistol are some of the latest weaponry provided to the NSG to undertake lethal counter-terror operations with a punch of stealth.
  • A senior official said that the ‘black cats’ force, giving an edge to its sharp-shooters, has recently upgraded sniper rifles and inducted the German PSG1 A1 which carries an enhanced number of 20 rounds to engage and pin down targets for a longer time and is complemented with longer range and extreme accuracy.
  • The 14-kg radar sports a price tag of over Rs 1 crore and can be placed on the outside of a closed room like a fly-on-the-wall, an official said.
  • A 3D ‘through wall radar’, upgraded from the 2D variant which the NSG is understood to have used during last year’s attack on the Pathankot IAF base, will give the commandos pictures from across a 20-meter thick wall with a 80 degree field of view.

Rohtang Tunnel will be ready well within 2019 deadline

  • The construction of Rohtang Tunnel, a strategic project that will also provide all-year road connectivity to Lahaul and Spiti Valley, will be completed ‘well within’ the deadline of 2019, project engineers have said.
  • The tunnel at Rohtang pass in Himachal Pradesh, located at a height of over 10,000 feet, had missed the 2015 deadline due to a number of geological challenges it battled since 2010 when its construction began.
  • According to the data provided by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the implementing agency of the project, 2,249 metres of tunnelling was done last year, the highest annual progress achieved so far.

China will stop coal imports from North Korea

  • China announced that it will suspend all coal imports from North Korea, a measure taken to comply with sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the United Nations.
  • The Council decided then that annual imports of coal from North Korea by member states should not exceed $400.9 million, or 7,500,000 metric tons, whichever is lower. Saturday’s announcement comes after news reports this week that China had turned back a shipment of North Korean coal worth around $1 million.

US lawmakers to visit India next week

  • Twenty-seven US lawmakers will visit India next week as New Delhi relies more on American Congress in the wake of immigration reforms and foreign policy changes by Donald Trump administration.
  • A delegation of 19 US lawmakers will visit New Delhi and Hyderabad next week under the auspices of Aspen Institute, a think-tank based in Washington DC.
  • Another delegation of eight US Congressmen, led by Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, will visit New Delhi and Bengaluru around the same time. The visiting US Congressmen will meet Union Ministers, Members of Parliament, academicians and industry leaders.

 Shreyas Iyer scores an unbeaten 202 as India A and Australia play out a draw

  • Shreyas Iyer scored an unbeaten double century as India A and Australia play out a draw in the three days warm up game at Mumbai. Karnataka batsman Krishnappa stood strong with Iyer to help India reach a total 403, 66 runs less than Australia’s first innings total. At the end, Iyer remained not out at 202.

Online EPF withdrawal, pension fixation to be a reality by May

  • Retirement fund body EPFO is expected to launch online facility for settlement of claims, includingEPF withdrawal and pension fixation, by May this year to put an end to tedious paper work by its members
  • At present, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) receive close to 1 crore applications manually for settlement ofEPF withdrawal claim, pension fixation or getting group insurance benefit by deceased persons
  • As per the scheme, EPFO is required to settle all claims within 20 days from filing of the application for settlement of pension orEPF withdrawal.
  • Under the pilot, the EPFO has already connected its around 50 field offices with the central server. The body has recently extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar for its subscribers and pensioners till March 31, 2017.

Soon, pay 1% tax at source to buy jewellery worth over Rs 2 lakh in cash

  • Cash purchases ofjewellery will attract one per cent tax collected at source (TCS) from April 1 if the amount exceeds Rs 2 lakh, as against the current threshold of Rs 5 lakh.
  • Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed,jewellery will be treated on par with general goods, which attract one per cent TCS on cash purchase of above Rs 2 lakh.

NMDC in talks to acquire stake in Vietnam’s tungsten mine

  • State-owned iron ore minerNMDC Ltd is in discussions with Vietnam-based Masan Resources to acquire a “considerable stake” in its Nui Phao polymetallic mine, sources close to the development said.
  • The mine, which has rich reserves of tungsten mineral, is located in Thai Nguyen province in Northern At present, India mostly imports tungsten for its domestic requirements due to high production cost of the metal.

India beat Pakistan to make final of Women’s World Cup Qualifier

  • The Indian women’s cricket team continued its unbeaten run at theICC World Cup Qualifiers by advancing to the final with a seven-wicket victory over arch-rivals Pakistan here today.
  • Indiabundled out Pakistan for a meagre 67 in 43.4 overs after asking them to bat upon winning the toss. The team then achieved the target in just 22.3 overs, scoring 70 for three to post a comprehensive win which helped it top the Super 6 table.

3D-printed ‘laugh star’ becomes first artwork created in space

  • A ‘laugh star’ – 3D-printed representation of sound waves generated from human laughter – created aboard the International Space Station (ISS) has become the first ever piece of art to be produced outside Earth.
  • The artwork was printed using the Additive Manufacturing Facility (AMF), a gravity independent 3D printer, which supports the daily operations of the ISS by producing parts, tools and assemblies, effectively eliminating the need to wait months for those to be launched from Earth.
  • Technical trouble makes SpaceX abort rocket launch with seconds to spare
  • US space companySpaceX aborted the lift-off of its Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) at the last minute on Saturday due to technical trouble.
  • ASpaceX Falcon 9, carrying a Dragon cargo capsule loaded with nearly 5,500 pounds of supplies and equipment bound for the ISS, was supposed to blast off from the US space agency NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Centre for the first time

2 Indians die every minute due to air pollution

  • The air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day and an average of two deaths take place daily due to air pollution, says a new study.
  • According to medical journalThe Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world are in  The study released this week but based on 2010 data estimates that globally 2.7-3.4 million pre-term births may be associated with PM 2.5 exposure and South Asia is the worst hit accounting for 1.6 million pre-term births.
  • Recently, 48 leading scientists released the study and they find thatPatna and New Delhi the worst polluted cities of the world for PM 2.5 levels or the fine particulate matter that hurts the heart most.

Mongolia agrees $5.5 bn economic bailout plan with IMF.

  • Mongoliahas agreed with the International Monetary Fund and other partners for a $5.5 billion economic stabilization package, according to a statement from the IMF on Sunday.Mongolia has agreed with the International Monetary Fund and other partners for a $5.5 billion economic stabilization package, according to a statement from the IMF on Sunday.








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