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Current Affairs National
Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to visit China next month
- Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday she would visit China next month, which will be an important trip in the backdrop of the strain in ties between the two countries after the Doklam standoff.
- She, however, did not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting.
- In August last year, India and China decided to end their 73-day standoff between their troops in Doklam.
- The standoff had strained ties considerably between the two countries.
Govt to use MNREGS, soft loans to build 22k agricultural markets
- The government will use a mixed funding pattern involving the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS) and subsidised loans to develop 22,000 agricultural markets as part of its strategy to fulfil one of the key rural initiatives spelt out in the Union budget.
- These new markets, essentially village ‘haats’, will serve as aggregation points and increase the number of selling points where farmers can bring their produce with minimal rules.
- The aim is to provide an alternative to rigged farm-to-fork supply chains that drive down farmers’ profits.
India wins Best Exhibitor Award at ITB-Berlin event
- India won the best exhibitor award in International tourism festival ITB at Berlin in Germany, Union Minister of States for Tourism K J Alphons informed here on Monday.
- Talking to mediapersons, the Minister, who led the Indian delegation at the event, said more than 100 countries participated in the ITB-Berlin meet and for the first time India has won this award.
- India’s Incredible India presented a short film named “Yogi of the Racetrack” in the meet.
Modi, Macron inaugurate UP’s biggest solar power plant
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant in Mirzapur district’s Chhanvey block.
- The prime minister, Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik and chief minister Yogi Adityanath received the French president and his wife Brigitte at the airstrip here.
- The prime minister and the French president pressed a button to energise the solar panels and dedicated the 75 MW facility to the people.
- Built at a cost of around Rs 500 crore by French firm ENGIE, the 75 MW solar plant has come up at Dadar Kalan village on the hilly terrain of the Vindhyas range.
Bengal tops in rural job scheme, T.N. is second
- West Bengal has become the best performing State both in terms of allotting jobs and utilising funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
- According to statistics recently provided in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav, West Bengal generated more than 28.21 crore work days under the scheme so far in 2017-18 and spent more than ₹7,335.31 crore for it.
- Tamil Nadu occupied the second spot with 22.17 crore work days and spent ₹5,981.75 crore.
- Andhra Pradesh was third with 18.16 crore work days, and funds worth ₹5054.17 crore.
Current Affairs Business and Economy
India’s industrial production grows 7.5% in January
- India’s factory production grew in January to 7.5% over the same month last year, and marginally over the 7.1% recorded in December 2017, official data showed on Monday.
- “The General Index for the month of January 2018 stands at 132.3, which is 7.5% higher as compared to the level in the month of January 2017,” a Central Statistics Office (CSO) release said.
- The cumulative Index of Industrial Production (IIP) growth for the April-January period of the current fiscal over the corresponding period of the previous year stood at 4.1%, the CSO said.
IKEA appoints Peter Betzel as India CEO
- Swedish flat-pack furniture pioneer IKEA on Monday appointed Peter Betzel as the new CEO for its India business.
- Betzel takes over from Juvencio Maeztu, who moves into a global role as CFO, and deputy CEO of IKEA Group INGKA Holding BV, the company said in a statement.
- Previously, Betzel was heading the IKEA group’s largest market,Germany, and will now take the lead for IKEA’s expansion into India beginning with the upcoming launch of the company’s first store in Hyderabad in 2018.
IREDA, EIB ink 150mn-euro loan agreement for renewable energy
- Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and European Investment Bank (EIB) have inked a 150 million euros loan agreement, a move that will benefit over 1.1 million households with clean energy.
- IREDA, which is the financing arm of New and Renewable Energy Ministry, has signed the loan agreement for a second line of credit (LoC) on non-sovereign basis, an official statement said.
- It added that the line of credit is for tenure of 15 years, including a grace period of three years and will be used for financing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in India.
- EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its member states.
Current Affairs Sports
India finish top of ISSF World Cup shooting medals tally
- India topped the medals tally for the very first time in an International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) competition.
- Stellar show from Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Akhil Sheoran, Om Prakash Mitharval, Anjum Moudgil and Mehuli Ghosh ensured Indian finished the ISSF World Cup shooting in Guadalajara, Mexico, with four gold, one silver and four bronze medals.
Manish Pandey, Shardul Thakur star for India in hard-fought win vs Sri Lanka
- Manish Pandey’s vital 42* and his 68-run stand for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik (39*) after Shardul Thakur’s career-beest 4/27 helped India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in a rain-reduced 19-overs-a-side game on Monday and get closer to a spot in the final of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series.
- Pandey’s knock steadied the Indian innings after India’s three most experienced batsmen failed.
Matt Wallace beats Andrew Johnston in play-off to win Indian Open
- Briton Matt Wallace beat compatriot Andrew Johnston in the first hole of their play-off to win his second European Tour title at the Indian Open on Sunday.
- Wallace, who shared the lead along with home favourite Shubhankar Sharma after the penultimate round, carded a four-under 68 at the DLF Golf and Country Club to soar to the top on 11-under.
Current Affairs World
Pakistan’s first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator sworn in
- Krishna Kumari Kolhi on Monday sworn-in as Pakistan’s first-ever Hindu Dalit woman Senator.
- Kolhi, 39, was among 51 legislators who were sworn in as the members of the upper house of the Muslim-majority country.
- Kolhi, who belongs to a remote village in Nagarparkar district of Thar in Sindh province, is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
- Presiding officer Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasar administered the oath to the senators elected on March 3 by the federal and provincial assemblies.
China to merge banking, insurance regulators, create new ministries in biggest revamp in years
- China will merge its banking and insurance regulators and create a new agricultural and rural village ministry, a parliament document released on Tuesday showed, among a number of proposed changes in the biggest ministry shake-up in years.
- China will also transfer some of the banking and insurance regulators’ roles to the central bank, the document showed.
Current Affairs Miscellaneous
Floating Lab set up to monitor Manipur’s Loktak Lake
- The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Laboratory (IBSD), Imphal, set up a floating laboratory in northeast India’s largest freshwater lake, Loktak to constantly monitor its water quality and eventually improve it.
- The laboratory was inaugurated by Manipur’s Forest and Environment Minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh in Imphal on February 24.
Russia ‘test-fires hypersonic Kinzhal missile’
- Russia has successfully test-launched a hypersonic missile, one of a range of nuclear-capable weapons announced by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month.
- The country’s defence ministry released video footage showing the missile detaching from a fighter jet and leaving a fiery trail behind it.
- It said the intended target was hit.
- On 1 March, Mr Putin described the Kinzhal missile – named after a type of dagger – as “an ideal weapon”.
“Palace on Wheels” gets tourist train of the year award
- The luxury train ‘Palace on Wheels’ of Rajasthan, popular among foreign tourists, has bagged the ‘Tourist Train of the Year’ award of the Pacific Area Travel Writers’ Associ-ation.
- State Director (Tourism) Pradeep Kumar Borar received the award from Union Minister of State for Tourism K.J. Alphons.
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