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Current Affairs National
India, US working together on regional, maritime security
- The US is working with India on a range of issues including regional and maritime security, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
- “Our goal is to ensure that we are working together on an array of issues with respect to regional security,” chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana White told.
NHAI to deploy all-women toll staff on International Women’s Day
- The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to deploy all women toll collecting staff in day shift on at least one toll plaza close to the city area in every state and Union Territory on the International Women’s Day on March 8.
- “If this initiative is successful, then it will be implemented across all toll plazas under operation by NHAI within the next three months.
- The regional officers have been instructed in this regard,” the ministry of road transport and highways said in a statement.
Centre approves Rs 2,900 crore to make cities safer for women
- The Centre on Thursday approved projects worth over Rs 2,900 crore under the Nirbhaya fund for eight major cities of the country in a bid to make them safer for women.
- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad Ahmedabad and Lucknow have been sanctioned a total of Rs 2,919.55 crore after a meeting today of the Empowered Committee, which is headed by the secretary of Women and Child Development (WCD).
Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami launches new education helpline for students
- Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami on Thursday has launched a 24-hour education helpline – 14417 – which will provide all education-related information in a single platform.
- Students and parents can get answers to their queries on higher education opportunities, career guidance and other education-related information in this new toll-free helpline.
- Students with depression can also contact 14417 to get psychological help.
India successfully test-fires ATGM Nag in desert conditions
- India on Wednesday successfully test-fired Anti Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) Nag in desert conditions, defence sources said.
- The Nag ATGM has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Wednesday’s flight tests have once again proved their capability.
- Director General (Missiles and Strategic Systems) G Satheesh Reddy said the technologies pertaining to ATGM to engage targets in different conditions have been established with the successful tests.
Current Affairs Business and Economy
SBI, ICICI Bank, PNB hike leading rates; EMIs to get costlier
- Home and auto loans are set to get costlier as banks increase their benchmark lending rates. State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank all increased their marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) by 10-20 basis points on Thursday.
- After the MCLR system came into affect in April 2016, this is the first time banks have increased the benchmark lending rate, signalling a turn in the interest rate cycle.
- SBI increased the one-year MCLR by 20bps to 8.15% from 7.95%, whereas ICICI Bank, the largest private sector bank, raised one-year MCLR by 10bps from 8.20% to 8.30%.
Current Affairs Sports
New South Wales Open : Golfer Amandeep Drall tied 16th, Sharmila Nicollet tied 42nd
- Amandeep Drall was the best Indian on view despite two late bogeys as she finished at tied 16th at the end of the opening round of the Women’s New South Wales Open.
- At the Coffs Harbour Golf Club, Amandeep, who missed the cut at Bonville Resort a week ago, was 2-under through 15 holes, when she dropped back-to-back bogeys on seventh and eighth holes, which were the second nine for her.
- She finished on tied 16th at even par 71.
- Sharmila Nicollet was four-over through her first five holes, before staging a good recovery with three birdies against one bogey in the remaining holes for a card of 2-over 73 and is currently tied 42nd.
- Vani Kapoor and Gaurika Bishnoi were 4-over 75 and Tied-67th after the first round.
Indian woman cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur joins Punjab police
- Indian women’s Twenty20 cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined the Punjab police as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
- Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora pinned the stars on her uniform.
- Harmanpreet, who was serving in the Indian Railways, was relieved from her duties after she put in a request to join Punjab police.
Vinesh Phogat settles for silver at Asian Wrestling Championships
- Vinesh Phogat lost a close bout on Thursday to settle for a silver medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
- Vinesh suffered a 2-3 defeat to China’s Chun Lei in the summit clash of the women’s 50kg freestyle event.
- Another Indian wrestler Sangeeta defeated Jieun Um of Korea to win a bronze medal in the women’s 59kg freestyle event.
- Vinesh and Sangeeta’s medals increased the India’s tally so far to four, including two bronze medal in Greco-Roman events.
Current Affairs World
India, Russia and Bangladesh sign MoU on building nuke plant
- India, Russia and Bangladesh on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in building the Rooppur nuclear power project in Bangladesh.
- Indian companies can be involved in construction and installation works and supply of materials and equipment of a non-critical category for the project, said a statement issued by Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation or Rosatom.
- Rosatom, Bangladesh’s science and technology ministry and India’s Department of Atomic Energy will also cooperate in the field of personnel training, exchange of experience and consulting support.
- The MoU was signed in Moscow by Rosatom’s deputy director general for international relations Nikolay Spassky, Bangladesh ambassador SM Saiful Hoque and Indian ambassador Pankaj Saran.
Storm-driven flood in Northeast US
- Businesses blocked doors with sandbags and officials warned residents of waterfront homes to be ready to evacuate as the northeastern United States braced for a powerful storm on Friday that threatened to flood coasts from Maine to North Carolina.
- Along Boston’s Long Wharf, not far from the Fanueil Hall tourist area, large piles of sandbags were in place around a subway station and a Marriott hotel, a spot that flooded with icy seawater during an early January storm.
Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism, says Pentagon
- Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism, the Pentagon said on Thursday.
- The US has repeatedly said that Pakistan is not taking action against terror groups like the Haqqani network and the Taliban.
- Islamabad has denied those allegations.Last month, the US froze some $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan.
- “With respect to Pakistan, we believe that Pakistan can do more to combat terrorism. This is an inflection point and this is an opportunity and Pakistan has an opportunity to do more,” Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White told reporters at her weekly news conference.
Current Affairs Miscellaneous
Google celebrates festival of Holi with colourful doodle
- The Google Doodle marked the festival of Holi that is being celebrated across India on Friday.
- The Google itself is designed to depict various colourful people dancing to the beats of the drums which is a significant element of the festivities.
- It further defines Holi as “a Hindu spring festival celebrated in some northern states of the Indian subcontinent, also known as the ‘festival of colours’ “.
Viber to launch biggest group chat with up to 1 billion members
- Cross-platform instant messaging and voice over IP (VoIP) application Viber on Thursday announced the biggest group chat – Viber Community, with group “limits” of up to one billion members, in a bid to drive more usage and bring in more users to the app.
- Members of the groups will be able to interact with comments and reactions, and group administrators will be able to monetise the streams, tapping into a network of app partners and the larger e-commerce and media business of Rakuten, which owns Viber, according to a report by TechCrunch.
Google rolls out its Machine Learning course for everyone
- Google on Thursday launched “Learn with Google AI” — a set of educational resources developed by Machine Learning (ML) experts at the company, for people to learn about concepts, develop skills and apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to real-world problems.
- “Learn with Google AI” comes with existing content as well as the new Machine Learning Crash Course (MLCC).
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