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  • Current Affairs 23rd February 2018

    Updated : 23-Feb-2018
    Current Affairs 23rd February 2018

    Current Affairs 23rd February 2018 - Important Points

    • Union Government sets up ‘NITI Forum for Northeast’  on - 21st February 2018
    • Union Government launches mobile app on Bamboo Housing & Construction on - 22nd February 2018
    • New shark species discovered in Atlantic Ocean by- Scientists
    • India to host 1st International Solar Alliance on - 11th March 2018
    • Special cell for women entrepreneurs to be launched by - NITI Aayog
    • First country to launch virtual currency -  Venezuela 

    Current Affairs 23rd February 2018 - Details

    Union Government sets up ‘NITI Forum for Northeast’  on - 21st February 2018

    The Union Government publicized on February 21st, 2018 that it has released an order for the initiating the Niti Forum for North-East states.
    The council will have its Secretariat in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
    Composition of the Forum's Members

    • The council will be co-chaired by the VC of NITI Aayog and Minister of State, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.
    • Secretaries of Government Ministries consisting Railways, Transport, Environment and Forest & Climate Change, Water Resources, Power, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Human Resource Development, New & Renewable Energy, Health &Family Welfare.
    • Chief Secretaries of North-East states of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Secretary, North East Council, Shillong and Joint Secretary, MHA along with various professionals from different fields.
      Key Objectives
    • The primary task of the council would be to classify various limitations on the way of fast-tracked, inclusive and maintainable Economic Growth in the North-East Area of the nation.
    • It will also be essential to mention suitable interventions for addressing the identified restrictions.
    • It will also evaluate the development position in the North-East Region.
    • It may also inspect and address any additional issue that is of importance.
    • The council would also be essential to devise its own process to conduct its business, meetings and visits or forming Sub-Groups.

    Union Government launches mobile app on Bamboo Housing & Construction on - 22nd February 2018

    Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, Hardeep Puri, on February 22nd, 2018 initiated a Mobile App on Bamboo Housing & Construction.  Publication Building Materials and Housing Technologies for Sustainable Development Hardeep Puri also inaugurated a journal titled ‘Building Materials and Housing Technologies for Sustainable Development’.  

    The Journal have 38 papers covering different subjects with the topic of the National Seminar.  National Seminar All these inaugurations were done on the eve of the launch of the National Seminar on “Emerging building Materials and Construction Technologies”. It was hosted by Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council.

    The Session was hosted to take stock of the fresh creativities in the field of building materials & construction practices and deliver opportunity to all the investors to come and exchange their experience and knowledge for the national advantage at large.

    • To concur with the National Seminar, a Demonstration on Emerging Building Materials and Construction Technologies was also planned. 
    • The demonstration displayed various building products and manufacturing techniques that can upgrade housing sector of the nation. 24 organisations showcased their products, skills and systems.

    New shark species discovered in Atlantic Ocean by- Scientists

    A group of scientists have recognized a new shark species in the Atlantic Ocean. The researchers by using genetic testing assured that the new species is different from its complements residing in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 

    The species have been nomenclature Atlantic sixgill shark. The research was issued in the journal Marine Biodiversity.
    Key Highlights

    • The sixgills in the Atlantic Ocean were identified to be very different from the ones in the Indian and Pacific Oceans on a molecular level, even they might look same to the naked-eye.
    • The Atlantic sixgill sharks are far smaller than their Indo-Pacific counterparts, with a length of 6-feet, which can grow up to 15-feet or more.
    • The fresh species also have exceptional, saw-like lower teeth.
    • Further, the new species of sharks have 6-gill slits, while most sharks have 5-gill slits.
    • By identifying a new classification, the Atlantic sixgill sharks will now have an improved chance of survival for a long duration.
    • The challenging part, is the fact that the new species reside at deep ocean levels, about 1000-feet below the surface, as it makes scientists challenging to study.

    India to host 1st International Solar Alliance on - 11th March 2018

    India will swarm the first International Solar Alliance Summit on March 11th, 2018 in New Delhi. It will be introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The International Solar Alliance became a treaty grounded international inter-governmental organisation on December 6th, 2017 after the ratification by Guinea on November 6th, 2017.
    International Solar Alliance, having headquarter at Gurugram, focuses at mega deployment of solar energy via better coordination and combination of demand from solar rich nations situated between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Presently, 46 nations have joined and 19 nations have approved the Framework Agreement of International Solar Alliance.
    Key Objective

    • The International Solar Alliance objects to initiate 121 projects during the summit. 
    • These 121 schemes will be signed in 2 phases- with 50 on March 11th and another 71 on April 20th. 
    • During the summit, 2 new programmes will be initiated. These programmes will be for Rooftop-Solar and Mounting Solar E-Mobility and Storage.

    International Solar Alliance

    • The International Solar Alliance was initiated jointly by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande on the 1st day of the COP-21 summit at Paris in 2015.
    • The alliance was considered as a alliance of solar resource rich nations to cooperate on meeting their energy requirements via a common and decided approach.
    • It goals to form a cooperative platform for amplified deployment of solar energy skills to enhance energy security and supportable development.

    Special cell for women entrepreneurs to be launched by - NITI Aayog

    NITI Aayog would be initiating a special cell known as “Women Entrepreneurial and Innovation Cell” in the coming month to backing women entrepreneurs and issuing encourage to their enterprises.
    The initiation follows the positive conclusion of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which was co-hosted by India and the USA in Hyderabad in November 2017. The summit witnessed the presence of Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor of the President of the USA, Donald Trump.

    • The initiative is boosted by an increase in the number of women tycoons in India.
    • While speaking at a reception organised in Washington DC in the respect of a delegation of women tycoons from India by the FICCI, NITI Aayog associate Anna Roy informed that the Indian women tycoons are adding about much development in the public and private sectors.
    • Presently, above 2-dozen Indian women tycoons are in the United States on a business tour.


    • The main aim behind the formation of the women’s cell is to generate awareness, took discernibility to the present initiatives, taking departments together and facilitating partner connect.
    • The devoted women cell will support promotion of women tycoons in India.
    • The cell will be named as Women Entrepreneurial and Innovation Cell of Niti Aayog.
    • It will be led by Anna Roy, Niti Aayog advisor.
    • It will propose financial support to women with the Rupees 10,000 crores finance of Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency.

    First country to launch virtual currency -  Venezuela 

    Venezuela become 1st sovereign nation to formally release its own cryptocurrency named as Petro
    backed by gas, oil, diamond and gold reserves to avoid United States headed financial approvals.
    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has appealed that the pre-mined cryptocurrency Petrohas
    generated US $735 million on the 1st day of its pre-sales.
    Key Points

    • The Petro objects to facilitate Venezuela to upgrade in issues of monetary sovereignty, to do financial transactions and defeat financial barrier. It is founded on blockchain knowledge.
    • Its value will be attached to price of barrel of Venezuelan oil from the earlier day. Government will get Petro as a mode of payment of national contributions, taxes, public services and fees.
    • Venezuelan government will release 100 million coins of Petro, out of which 38.4 million are available for pre-sale and 44 million coins will be provided in Initial Coin Offerings in March 2018.
    • The balance 17.6 million coins will be reserved by Venezuelan Super-intendency of Currency and Related Activities.
      Petro Gold 
    • Government of Venezuela is scheduling to release another cryptocurrency grounded on gold named as Petro-Gold which will be supported by gold, with inspiring response to Petro.
    • It will be extra power and strength to the Petro. However, Petro Gold will not be the 1st cryptocurrency grounded on gold.
    • Many similar currencies are operated in market consisting RMG, formed by The Royal Mint in Britain.

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