February 13 Current Affairs

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State :

Tamilnadu :

Battery-operated car service launched

  • A battery-operated car service to transport differently-abled persons and elderly persons from the Collectorate bus stop to various government offices in and around the Collectorate campus was launched.
  • The vehicle that costs ₹7 lakh was launched to enable the differently abled and the elderly persons reach the several government offices functioning in and around the Collectorate premises.

‘Time to rebrand Tamil Nadu’

  • The announcement of the second edition of Global Investors Meet (GIM) comes at a time when the State’s investment climate is not so encouraging and foreign direct investment has fallen by over 50%.
  • Tamil Nadu received foreign direct investment (FDI) of $2.21 billion during April to March 2016-17, when compared to $4.52 billion in 2015-16.

Water metering system set to return

  • A water metering system is set to be implemented in the city. Nearly 10 years ago, Chennai Metrowater tried to introduce water meters. But, it received lukewarm response and was eventually given up. This time, the Metrowater has targeted commercial establishments to fix digital water meters.
  • This will be one of the early projects to be executed by the Metrowater under the Smart City Mission.Metrowater to implement project in commercial buildings under Smart City Mission .

Jayalalithaa’s portrait unveiled in Assembly

  • Amid opposition from political parties and anti-corruption activists, the portrait of the late AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was unveiled in the Assembly by Speaker P. Dhanapal .
  • The portrait, measuring 7 ft x 5 ft and ‘Amaidhi, Valam, Valarchi (Peace, Prosperity, Progress)’ — her motto for the 2016 Assembly elections — was painted below her portrait.

Award for BHEL official

  • K. Kalaiselvan, executive director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Ranipet, received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Rotary International during the Rotary District Conference 3231 held recently.
  • The award, under the business category, was given in recognition of his contribution to the power sector business.

Kerala :

Karapuzha reservoir struggles for survival

  • Unrestricted human intervention is sounding the death knell for Karapuzha reservoir, a multi-purpose project and an emerging tourism destination in Wayanad.Construction activities lead to silt being deposited in huge quantities
  • Construction works are under way, after bulldozing a hillock, for a drinking water project of the Kerala Water Authority on the banks of the reservoir.

A rice mill in Palakkad turns into MGR memorial

  • One of the first modern rice mills to come up in Kerala’s Palakkad district, Bhama Rice Mill of Vadavannur village, is being converted into a memorial for iconic Tamil politician and matinee idol M.G. Ramachandran, whose childhood home is located in the same village.
  • The memorial will also serve as a ‘village heritage centre’ and showcase the culture and agrarian traditions of Palakkad. It is being established by the local chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).

No.1, but State has a few hidden concerns

  • The NITI Aayog’s just-released report, ranking the States as per “Performance in Health Outcomes” Index put Kerala on top as the overall best performing State and at the bottom, at rank 21, when the annual incremental progress was measured.
  • One of the significant indicator is sex ratio at birth (SRB), which showed a decline in Kerala by seven points from 974 (females per 1,000 males) in the base year (2014-15) to 967 in the reference year of 2015-16.

Telangana :

Seismological station to come up in Amaravati

  • National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) Chief Scientist D. Srinagesh on Monday said the NGRI was prepared to set up a seismological station in Amaravati, at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi if the government so desired, for a detailed analysis of the low-intensity quakes that take place in this region frequently.
  • Mr. Srinagesh said A.P. had nine seismological stations, including at Polavaram and Mylavaram, which disseminate data real-time to the NGRI.

Child marriages continue in Prakasam district

  • A new way to hoodwink officials and activists and perform child marriages, which are rampant in Prakasam district, has come to light. Parents avoid huge gatherings when such marriages are solemnised as the authorities have tightened the regulations to curb the evil social practice.
  • Avoiding pomp, the families and close relatives of the child bride and groom performed the wedding at the dead of night and gathered for a community lunch after the knot was tied, a group of religious leaders .

Pension rekindles hope among filaria patients

  • The monthly pension scheme for filaria patients announced by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has rekindled the hopes of around 2,886 patients in the district. Patients had been protesting for the past decade for a monthly pension to provide relief from the debilitating disease, which can leave patients immobile.Decade-long protests yield relief to patients .
  • IFTU district secretary Ch. Ramaiah said the actual number of filaria patients is several times more than the official figures claim .

Karnataka :

Green cover: Karnataka’s forests grow, but not in Kodagu and Shivamogga 

  • The India State of Forests 2017 report, released by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on Monday, shows that while the State’s conservation efforts and thrust towards agroforestry is leading to an impressive increase of 1,101 sq km of tree cover, eco-sensitive areas such as Kodagu and Shivamogga continue to see a decline.
  • India State of Forests 2017 report shows impressive increase of 1,101 sq km of tree cover .Amidst the verdant green patches thriving in the State are bald spots causing concern.

NCERT syllabus for class 6 students

  • Class 6 students of all State syllabus schools will have to study National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books for science and mathematics from the 2018-19 academic year.
  • This was decided by the Department of Primary and Secondary Education to ensure that the curriculum of State syllabus schools is on a par with CBSE schools. The department’s move comes after the State syllabus textbooks came under scathing criticism from the NCERT, which said the textbooks were not learner-centric.

Rahul Gandhi claims complete credit for Article 371(J)

  • Claiming full credit for Article 371(J) of the Constitution, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that his party understood the backwardness of Hyderabad Karnataka region and offered special status through a constitutional amendment. He was addressing public gatherings in Jevargi and here on the third day of his party’s Janashirvada Yatre on Monday.
  • Mr. Ajay Singh, the MLA of Jevargi and son of former Chief Minister late Dharam Singh, in his welcome address at Jevargi, set the agenda for Mr. Gandhi’s speech by hailing the latter as the man behind the realisation of Article 371(J).

INDIA :

Two militants who targeted CRPF HQ killed

  • Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, holed up in a building in Srinagar after an abortive attempt to storm the CRPF headquarters on Monday, were killed in a 28-hour operation .
  • A CRPF jawan was killed and a policeman was injured in an exchange of fire on Monday in Karan Nagar area.

Maldives open to sending emissary

  • President Abdullah Yameen’s special envoy had to abort his trip mid-way after India refused to engage him, the Ambassador of Maldives told The Hindu, adding however, that Male still wanted to send an emissary at a mutually convenient time.
  • Envoy condemns former President Nasheed’s call for Indian military intervention

Muslims reach out to Kashmiri Pandits on Herath

  • A new initiative to connect Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims was recently started in the Valley. On the occasion of Herath (Shivratri) on Tuesday, greeting cards were sent out, as part of the initiative, with warm wishes for the festival.
  • ‘Raabta Kashmir’ started out as a small endeavour to “help search and reconnect old friends, neighbours, school mates, colleagues, families from Kashmir who haven’t heard from each other in the last 28 years”, said Jaibeer Ahmad, who is curating the community page on Facebook.

Air Force gets vintage Dakota aircraft from veteran

  • Chief of the Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) B.S. Dhanoa on Tuesday received a restored World War-II DC3 Dakota aircraft from an IAF veteran.
  • “The Dakota [Dak] was also part of my childhood as my father flew it all over India and so today, I fulfil my dream of helping my father donate a DC3 Dakota to the Indian Air Force,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP and son of Air Cdre (retd.), M.K. Chandrasekhar, a Dakota Pilot.

World :

Sri Lanka’s first national unity government in trouble

  • Crisis gripped Sri Lanka’s first national unity government on Tuesday, with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe failing to reach consensus on the future of their coalition government, following the huge defeat their parties suffered in the recent local government elections.
  • the leaders met at the President’s home — their third encounter after the poll results were released on Sunday — along with members of the Cabinet and some Ministers. They decided to set up a committee to chart out the next steps and “reform proposals” for their cohabitation government. The panel will come out with a report within three days, sources told .

$88.2 billion needed to rebuild Iraq

  • Kuwait on Monday opened a week of conferences seeking aid for rebuilding Iraq after the onslaught of the Islamic State group, seeking tens of billions of dollars for a nation only a generation ago that invaded it.
  • Kuwait is hosting a series of conferences on rebuilding Iraq after the onslaught of the Islamic State group.

FATF meeting forces Pakistan terror curbs

  • Pakistan’s move to ban Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, and for the first time extend its Anti-Terrorism Act to include all UN-proscribed organisations and entities, is an important step, say officials.
  • They however, added that Islamabad may just be “clutching at straws” to avoid being “grey-listed” at next week’s plenary session of the United Nation’s terror financing watchdog.Islamabad clutching at straws: MEA

Science :

Digging into dung for clues to New Zealand’s past biodiversity

  • There are scientists who dig up skeletons, and there are those who dig up metals. But the greatest find for a group of scientists from New Zealand, has been dung. To be precise, fossilised bird dung from almost 1500 years ago.
  • These findings can also help understand the ecosystem and biodiversity of the past. After human settlements started, New Zealand lost almost “41% of indigenous bird species” and its ecosystems drastically and quickly changed says the report published recently in the journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Sports :

Duminy to lead South Africa in T20 series against India

  • Port Elizabeth, Feb 13 (PTI) Cricket South Africa today named JP Duminy as captain for the three-match T20 series against India starting in Johannesburg on February 18.
  • Duminy will lead the side in absence of injured Faf du Plessis, who fractured his index finger in the first ODI at Durban .

Winter Olympics: Japan short track skater Saito fails doping test

  • PJapanese short track speed skater Kei Saito has failed an out-of-competition doping test and was expelled from the Pyeongchang Olympic Games, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Tuesday.
  • Saito, a reserve athlete who had not yet competed, was provisionally suspended after testing positive for masking agent acetalozamide, CAS said, adding that a final ruling would be issued after the Games.

Hazare Trophy: TN will hope to avoid wooden spoon

  • When there is nothing at stake, teams play for pride. You need to dig in deep to find that precious quality.Lack of incisive bowling and awry pacing of the innings has haunted the defending champion .
  • Both Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, with four and eight points from five games, are out of the Vijay Hazare one-day competition but finishing the season with a win will be a consolation of sorts for one of them. The two sides meet at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium .

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