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  • Current Affairs 20th February 2018

    Updated : 20-Feb-2018
    Current Affairs 20th February 2018

    Current Affairs 20th February 2018 - Important Points

    • Saudi Arabia allows women to open business without male consent on - 15th February 2018
    • Robots to clean up manholes soon to be deployed by - Kerala Government
    • India, Iran sign MoU to avoid Double Taxation on - 17th February 2018
    • 8th edition of Theatre Olympics inaugurated by - Vice-President Venkaih Naidu in New Delhi
    • World Information Technology Congress 2018 inaugurated by - PM Narendra Modi
    • Maharashtra inks deal with Virgin Group for World’s First Hyperloop between Mumbai and - Pune
    • Watan Ko Jano programme organised by - Home Ministry
    • Atal Bhujal Yojana for water conservation by - The Union Government
    • Fourth Container Terminal of JNPT in Mumbai   inauguratesd by - PM Narendra Modi

    Current Affairs 20th February 2018 - Details

    Saudi Arabia allows women to open business without male consent on - 15th February 2018

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on February 15th, 2018 declared a major policy alteration by permitting females to start their own employments without the right of showing consent from a husband or any male relative. The declaration was done by the nation’s Ministry of Commerce and investment, which informed on their website that females can now initiate their own employments and benefit from governmental e-services without any consent from a guardian.

    • This initiative has marked a major step away from the hard guardianship system that has ruled the nation for decades.
    • Females are needed to provide permission proof from their husband, father or brother, to complete any government paperwork, travel or for enrolment in classes in Saudi Arabia's caretaking system.
    • It is also a symbolic initiative on the part of the Saudi government to create an equal-gender society.
    • The move is also in line with Saudi Arabia’s attempt to increase its fast-growing private sector.
    • The oil-rich country is forcing to increase its private sector, including a development of female employment under its new reform plan.
      Did you know?
    • The Arab country has been a witness to many new progressive reforms ever since Mohammed Bin Salman was nominated as the Crown Prince on 21st June 2017.
    • The Prince is increasingly looked as the chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform plan, which looks forward to increase the female percentage in the trained workers from 22 percent to about one-third.

    Robots to clean up manholes soon to be deployed by - Kerala Government

    The Kerala government will soon be using the robot services to clean the sewer-holes in the state. The robots have been built by a startup firm known as Genrobotics. The programme is boosted by Kerala Water Authority, which has joined efforts with Kerala start-up programme to change new ideas into practical techniques for marking issues concerning to leakage of pipes and sanitation. An accordance has already been inked among Kerala Start-up Mission and the Kerala Water Innovation Zone for the transfer of technique.
    Key Features 

    • Named Bandicoot robots are loaded with Wi-Fi, control panels and Bluetooth. 
    • They have 4 limbs and a bucket structure connected to a spider web appearing extension to scoop out the waste from sewers.
    • The facilities of the robot will be primarily used in Thiruvananthapuram, which has over 5,000 sewer-holes.
    • The robotic system is focused at the fully eradication of manual scavenging.

    More about the Project 

    • The robots have been produced by a 9 members team comprising youngsters from engineering streams.
    • The youth gave-up their steady jobs to find an answer to finish manual scavenging in an effort to fetch some dignity resemblance to the lives of those, who gave endless attempts to clean the sewers. 
    • The group took 7-8 months’ time to outline the semi-automatic robot.
    • Within an hour, the robot could clean 4 sever-holes on the 1st day itself with ease. 

    India, Iran sign MoU to avoid Double Taxation on - 17th February 2018

    India and Iran on February 17th, 2018 signed an MoU for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with context to taxes on income. The news was shared by the Central Board of Direct Taxes.  The MoU is on the similar aspect to the earlier MoUs entered into by India with other countries.  It was witnessed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who arrived in India on February 15th, 2018 for a 3-day visit. 

    • The MoU will inspire flow of investment, technology and employees from India to Iran and vice-versa and will avoid double taxation.
    • It will also utilised for interchange of information among the 2 nations according latest international guidelines.
    • It will also upgrade transparency in tax issues and will aid check tax evasion and tax avoidance.
    • The accordance also meets treaty concerned least guidelines under G-20 OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, in which India cooperated on an equal footing.
    • Apart from this, India and Iran inked eight other MoUs to increase cooperation among them on different topics consisting traditional systems of medicine, agriculture, postal cooperation and health and medicine. 
    • The two nations also inked a maritime accordance, in which Iran leased operational control of a part of the Chabahar port to India for a time period of eighteen months.

    8th edition of Theatre Olympics inaugurated by - Vice-President Venkaih Naidu in New Delhi

    The eighth version of Theatre Olympics was initiated by Vice-President Venkaih Naidu in New Delhi. The programme was held by National School of Drama under Ministry of Culture. The idea of the festival is “Flag of Friendship.”
    Key Facts

    • Nationwide 51-day long theatre parody was organised in various cities. It presented Indian and
      international theatre groups, renowned theatre personalities along with their achievements.
    • 30 nations took part in the festival around the globe.
    • It will consist 60 living legends courses conversing with theatre believers and 50 master classes on different art forms. It also contains interactive discussions, exhibitions, symposia, seminars and workshops with world renown actors, authors, directors and designers.
      The Theatre Olympics
    • The Theatre Olympics is an international festival that assemble finest productions of reowned theatre practitioners from across the world.
    • It was found in 1993 in Delphi, Greece as an ambition of famous Greek theatre director Theodorus Terzopoulus. Greece was the 1st nation to organised the Theatre Olympics in 1995.

    World Information Technology Congress 2018 inaugurated by - PM Narendra Modi

    PM Narendra Modi initiated World Information Technology Congress-2018 in Hyderabad, with an idea
    of Future Enterprises, through video conference. It was organised by Telangana Government, in collaboration with nations leading IT organizations, National Association of Software and Services Companies and global IT body World Information Technology and Services Alliance.
    Key Points

    • This is for 1st time India is organising World Information Technology Congress. It will be 2nd time that the programme will be happening in Asia after it was organised in Kualalumpur, Malaysia in 2008.
    • About 2500 representatives and leading IT chiefs from around the world that took part in the mega IT programme.
    • Delegates from IT companies from about 80 nations participated in the meeting. Moreover, minimum 20 CEOs from Fortune 500 organisations and 100 other leading representatives witnessed the conference.

    World Information Technology Congress

    • World Information Technology Congress is an annual programme and thought as the biggest event of its kind.
    • It focuses providing single platform to IT professionals, policy and decision-makers and Government officials from around the world together to consider different objections and relevant
      solutions to them.
    • It is exclusive in its global outlook on ICT issues and its capability to draw employers, providers, media and university from across the world. It was 1st organised in 1978 and since then organised after every 2 years.
    • The 2014 World Information Technology Congress was organised in Mexico and had aimed on the knowledge of Digital World and 2016 edition was organised in Brasilia, Brazil.

    Maharashtra inks deal with Virgin Group for World’s First Hyperloop between Mumbai and - Pune

    The Virgin Group headed by Richard Branson has inked an intent accordance with Government of
    Maharashtra to figure world’s 1st hyperloop transportation system among Mumbai and Pune. The foundation stone for the project was placed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 1st day of Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit organised in Mumbai.
    Key Points

    • The suggested hyperloop transportation system will connect central Pune with megapolis and Navi
      Mumbai international airport.
    • It focuses to decrease travel-time among 2 mega cities to 20 minutes from 3 hours currently. Details of project price and time-line are yet to be declared.
    • The suggested loop will be a completely electric and will have the capacity travel about 1,000 kilometres per hour.
    • It will be capable to ship 150 million passengers yearly.
    • It will change transportation system and make Maharashtra global innovator in this space.
    • The plan will develop thousands job opportunities and has various socio-economic advantages.
      Hyperloop Technology
    • Hyperloop Technology is named as 5th mode of transport. It is system of magnetically floating capsules that are directed at high speeds through low-pressure tubes.
    • It predicts tube modular transport system that runs friction free. It utilises linear Induction motors in it to regulate speed of pods.
    • It is still in trial phases in various nations and not been applied for practical use anywhere in world yet.
    • Hyperloop is 2-3 times faster than fastest high-speed rail and demanded to have speeds more than
      commercial air travels.
    • It has minor civil engineering footmark, with no direct releases or noise levels as compared to trains.
    • Hyperloop system’s capital price per mile is 60 percent that of high-speed train, and is less-costly to handle.

    Atal Bhujal Yojana for water conservation by - The Union Government

    The Union Government has expressed ambitious water conservation plan Atal Bhujal Yojana to handle
    increasing crisis of decreasing groundwater levels. The Rupees 6,000 crores will be directed under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, Ganga Rejuvenation. It is waiting for cabinet’s approval.
    More about Atal Bhujal Yojana

    • The aim of plan is to renew ground water and create enough water storage for agricultural activities.
    • It also objects on renewal of surface water bodies so that ground water level can be improved, mainly in the rural areas.
    • It will emphasis to renew ground water sources and confirm efficient utilisation of water by
      connecting people at local level.
    • The plan after Cabinet’s approvals will soon be initiated in water-depressed states including Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Haryana, UP and MP.
    •  It will include 78 districts, 193 blocks and over 8,300 gram-panchayats around these states.
    • Centre will be funding half of the total project amount and balance of the budgetary price will be
      communal by the World Bank.
    • This plan will facilitate those people, who are in requirement for regular ground water supply mainly farmers who have been badly affected by shortage of ground water from last many years.
    • Its aim is mainly on contribution of communities and convergence with various water schemes.
    • Its biggest component is holding society answerable and making behaviour change to handle
      groundwater resource. It will aid upgrade overall viewpoint towards water resource.
      Did you know?
    • The present status of groundwater is shocking, mainly due to unequal ground water progress and its extra exploitation.
    • As per the report issued by the Central Ground Water Board, out of 6,607 studied administrative components 1,071 components are more than ground water broken, 217 components are serious, 697 components are less than serious, and 4,530 units are protected.

    Watan Ko Jano programme organised by - Home Ministry

    The Ministry of Home Affairs had freshly planned Youth Exchange “Watan Ko Jano” programme. In this,
    PM Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh met youngsters of J&K in New Delhi. About 200 youngsters from state go to see different places of nation as part of the initiative.
    More about Watan Ko Jano

    • The initiative is financed jointly by Ministry of Home Affairs, Central Government (Kashmir) and J&K State Rehabilitation Council Social Welfare Department.
    • It focuses to provide exposure to youngsters and children of Jammu and Kashmir about the traditional and socio-economic progress happening in other parts of nation.
    • Youngsters and children affected by militancy and from weaker parts from Jammu and Kashmir are chosen for the scheme.

    Fourth Container Terminal of JNPT in Mumbai   inauguratesd by - PM Narendra Modi

    PM Narendra Modi initiated Fourth Container Terminal of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai. With this, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust folded its container handling space. 

    The fresh Fourth Container Terminal will improve space of 24 lakh containers yearly in Phase-I and following finishing of Phase-II in 2022, the space of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust will be 100 lakh containers yearly.
    Key Points

    • The fresh Fourth Container Terminal of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has been progressed on Design, Built, Fund, Operate and Transfer basis for an exemption period of 30 years at approximated price of Rupees 7915 crores. The project was applied in 2 Phases.
    • The suggestive price of the project for Phase I was Rupees 4719 crores. Its foundation stone was placed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2015 and was accomplished in record time.
    • The terminal has deepest cabins to tackle Mother Ships. It can tackle mega container ships from quay length of one kilometre and cranes that can spread 22 rows wide. It can also tackle 3 container ships at one go with enough yard space.
    • The fresh Fourth Container Terminal is also connected to devoted rail freight corridor and can accept approximate 350 containers each rake.
    • The rail services will be largest in India with only on-dock Dedicated Freight Corridor compliant ability in India.
    • It has facility for storing 1,600 refrigerated containers to hold agricultural and horticulture yield.

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