GA- 13 Feb 2018

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GA- 13 Feb 2018

Feb 13: World Radio Day 

  • The World Radio Day is observed across the world on Feb 13 every year to celebrate radio as medium for entertainment, information and mode for communication.
  • It provides an opportunity to honour radio’s importance to bring communities together and promote positive dialogue for change. 
  • 2018 Theme: “Radio and Sports”.
  • The theme seeks to promote the inseparable relationship between sports and gender, as well as how improved gender equality in sports broadcasting can lead to greater freedom of expression for all. 

4th Meeting of Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister held in New Delhi

  • The 4th meeting of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) under the chairmanship of Dr Bibek Debroy held in New Delhi.
  • The EAC-PM discussed the possible modalities of implementing the National Health Scheme announced in the Union Budget-2018-19 by the govt.
  • National Health Protection Scheme (Ayushman Bharat Scheme) will cover 10 crore poor and vulnerable families.
  • Under it, up to Rs 5 lakh insurance cover will be provided to each family per year in secondary and tertiary care institutions.
  • The scheme announced is the world’s largest government-funded healthcare programme having 50 crore beneficiaries.

6th World Government Summit held in Dubai

  • The sixth edition of 2018 World Government Summit (WGS) held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Feb 11 to 13, 2018.
  • India is the guest country at 2018 WGS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the inaugural speech on day one. 
  • PM Modi in his inaugural speech propounded the idea of six Rs for sustainable development- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover, Redesign and Remanufacture, with the view to safeguarding the nature. 
  • WGS is a global platform dedicated to shaping future of govt worldwide. 
  • The first WGS was held in Dubai in 2013 and since then it is held annually. 

India’s first ever Highway Capacity Manual released

  • The Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari released India’s first-ever Highway Capacity Manual (Indo-HCM) in New Delhi to guide road engineers and policy makers about road expansion.
  • The Indo-HCM has been developed by CSIR – CRRI on the basis of an extensive, country-wide study of the traffic characteristics on different categories of roads like single lane, two-lane, multi-lane urban roads, inter-urban highways and expressways and the associated intersections on these roads.
  • It lays down guidelines for when and how to expand or manage different types of roads and their intersections and the level of services to be put in place.
  • It will be a useful tool for guiding road engineers and policy makers in the country.
  • This is for the first time that manual has been developed in India.
  • Other countries like USA, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan have already developed their own Highway Capacity Manuals long time back. 

NHAI to launch ranking system for toll plazas

  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to launch ranking system for the toll plazas in an effort to address issues at toll plazas.
  • The massive drive has been launched on more than 300 toll plazas simultaneously across the country by the Highway Operation Division of NHAI. 
  • The ranking will be on the basis of cleanliness, staff behaviour, availability of ambulance and cranes in case of any emergency on highways.
  • Ranking system will improve amenities and overall convenience at toll plazas.
  • It will also create competitive atmosphere of providing best services to the esteemed highway users.
  • Under this, three best toll plazas will be identified every quarter and their names will be published on NHAI website.

Gevora: The world’s tallest hotel opens in Dubai

  • The world’s tallest hotel, Gevora has opened in Dubai, adding another skyscraper to the already towering skyline. 
  • The Gevora Hotel stands at 356 metres and has 528 rooms.
  • It is one metre taller than the previous record holder, the JW Mariott Marquis, which is also in Dubai. 
  • It is situated next to the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, which at 333 metres was the tallest hotel before JW Marriot Marquis opened. 
  • The 75-floor all-gold hotel is 50 metres taller than the Shard in London and 56 metres taller than the Eiffel Tower. 
  • Dubai is also home to the world’s tallest building, which stands at 828 metres.
  • It stands almost nine times higher than Big Ben. 
  • The city-state, which is one of seven to make up the United Arab Emirates, is hoping to attract 20 million tourists every year by 2020.  

World’s first autonomous pods unveiled in Dubai

  • Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched the first tests of the world’s first autonomous pods at the World Government Summit.
  • The autonomous pods has been launched in cooperation with Next Future Transportation and are designed to travel short and medium distances in dedicated lanes.
  • They can be coupled together in as little 15 seconds or detached – depending on the riders’ destination – in five seconds.
  • Each pod is fitted with cameras and electromechanical technologies to carry out the coupling and detaching, which can be activated while the pod is in motion.
  • According to RTA, each pod has an average speed of 20 kms per hour, and measures 2.87 metres in length, 2.24 metres in width and 2.82 metres in height, and weighs about 1,500 kgs – enough to carry 10 riders.
  • The autonomous pod is fitted with a battery that supports three hours of operation, and can be charged in just six hours.
  • The pods form a part of Dubai’s larger strategy of making 25 percent of all journeys in Dubai autonomous by 2030.
  • RTA has signed an agreement with the US-based Next Future Inc. to develop the units as part of the initial phase of Dubai Future Accelerators.

Indian Army contributes 2,300 personnel for UN peace keeping mission

  • The Indian Army has contributed approximately 2300 personnel to support United Nations Peacekeeping Missions to South Sudan (UNMISS) in order to bring peace and normalcy in the war-torn country.
  • It includes deployment of seven Garhwal Rifles Infantry battalion group of the Indian Army.
  • This is for the first time troops hailing from Garhwal region have been nominated to deploy in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
  • The unit will be in operational control of sensitive Jonglei state of South Sudan with detachment at Juba, its headquarters in Bor County and air maintained company group at Pibor County where armed conflicts and ethnic violence is on the rise.

Chandrashekhar Kambar elected as President of Sahitya Akademi 

  • Jnanpith recipient and Kannada litetrateur, Chandrashekhar Kambar has been elected as the President of the Sahitya Akademi.
  • He will serve as president of the Akademi for a period of five years.
  • Hindi poet, Madhav Kaushik elected as vice president of the Sahitya Akademi. 

Swayam Prakash Pani taken charge as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir

  • Swayam Prakash Pani, a 2000-batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Jammu and Kashmir cadre, taken charge as the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Range.
  • With this, he becomes the youngest officer to hold the post at the age of 41.
  • He replaced Munir Ahmad Khan, who has been given the charge of Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) security and home guards.

Rohan More becomes first Asian & youngest to swim across the Ocean Seven

  • The Pune-based Indian long-distance swimmer, Rohan More becomes the first Asian and the youngest person in the world to swim across the Ocean Seven.
  • He covered the distance in 8 hours and 37 minutes despite sudden drop in water temperature.
  • The Ocean’s Seven marathon consists of seven long-distance open-water swims, which includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.
  • With this feat, Rohan has also become the 9th person in the world to swim across Ocean Seven.

Kishan Gangolli wins 13th edition of National ‘A’ Chess Championship for Blind

  • Defending champion Kishan Gangolli from Karnataka won the 13th edition of the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for the blind, organised by All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB), in Mumbai.
  • Gangolli became the champion for the fifth consecutive time with 10.5 points.
  • Gujarat’s Ashvin Makwana stood second, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan of Orissa came third, Aryan Joshi of Maharashtra came fourth and Odisha’s Subhendu Kumar Patra came at fifth position in the National ‘A’ Chess Championship for blind.
  • These top five players in the championship will form the Indian team for the forthcoming ‘World Team Championship’ for the blind to be held in Bulgaria in July 2018.

Sharmila becomes the first Indian to qualify for China LPGA Tour

  • The 26-year-old Bengaluru golfer, Sharmila Nicollet becomes the first Indian golfer to qualify for the China Ladies PGA Tour. 
  • She fought her way back into the tournament in the last two rounds to earn a card for the Tour, which had Women’s World rankings points also.

Golden Globe-winning composer Johann Johannsson passes away

  • Johann Johannsson, an award-winning composer and producer who combined classical sounds and modern electronics on the acclaimed soundtracks to “The Theory of Everything” and “Sicario,” has died at age 48.

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