1. India will work with Oli government, says Sushma
- India was “looking forward” to work with the newly elected government of Nepal, the Ministry of External Affairs said . The message of cooperation was delivered by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Kathmandu on Febraury 1-2. .
- “External Affairs Minister conveyed to all political leaders of Nepal thatIndia is looking forward to working with the democratically elected government to take forward bilateral ties to newer heights for mutual benefit, and to support the Government of Nepal as per its priorities, in its endeavours for rapid economic growth and development,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
- Sushma Swaraj ministry – Chief Minister of Delhi in 1998
- Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs in 26 May 2014 to 7 January 2016
2. Supreme Court refers jallikattu challenge to Constitution Bench
- The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a Constitution Bench to decide whether the people of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra can conserve jallikattu and bullock-cart races as their cultural right and demand their protection under Article 29 (1) of the Constitution.
- A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, in a judgment
- Other names – Eru thazhuvuthal, Manju virattu
- First played – 400–100 BC
3. Krishna water release to be stepped up
- The officials from the Tamil Nadu Water Resources Department to Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh seeking an increase in Krishna water release to meet the requirement of Chennai. The State’s entry point of the Kandaleru Poondi canal in Uthukottai, Tiruvallur district, received 407 cusecs of Krishna water.
- “The Andhra Pradesh authorities have assured to step up the release to enable Chennai receive 3,000 million cubic feet to 3,500 mcft of water. Priority will be given to the drinking water needs of Chennai,” said an official.
- Length – 1,300 km (808 mi) approx
- Basin – 258,948 km2 (99,980 sq mi)
4. ‘Target 50% power from renewables’
- Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said India should strive for 50% of its power generation capacity from renewable sources by 2030 on the back of technological advancements in solar and wind energy.
- “With technological advancements in solar power and large turbines in wind energy, the country should strive for 50% generation capacity from renewable sources by 2030,”He further said India is the first major country which is fast transitioning into a new era of carbon-free energy for its citizens.The Minister also said the country is set to exceed the target of 175 GW in renewable energy and touch 200 GW by 2022.
- Headquarters – Ministry of Coal, Shastri Bhawan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi, India.
- Annual budget – 745.10 crore (US$120 million) 2017-18 est.
5. China asks microblogs to tighten web policing
- China ordered the country’s microblog operators to establish mechanisms to remove false information, in the latest move by authorities to tighten web policing.The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the Twitter-like microblog platforms had allowed the spread of pornographic, vulgar and fraudulent content.To making sure to remove such content, companies should also keep a copy of what users post for at least six months, the CAC said in an online statement.
- “Microblogging service providers shall play an active role in promoting economic development and serving the general public by promoting the core values of socialism,” it said. The statement did not go into any detail on what the new mechanisms should include.
- The first microblogs were known as tumblelogs.
- Microblogging is not without issues, such as privacy, security, and integration .
6. TRAI calls for affordable broadband access
- The new National Telecom Policy should aim at enabling wireless broadband access at affordable prices to 90% of the population while attracting investments worth $100 billion by 2022, telecom regulator TRAI said In its recommendations on the objectives, mission and vision for the new policy, the regulator said the policy should aim at creating two million additional jobs in the ICT sector by 2022.
- TRAI also made a case for establishing by 2019 a single window clearance mechanism, via online centralised platform, for providing Right of Way permission.
- Formed – 20 February 1997
- Website – www,trai.gov.in
7. Afghan President slams Pakistan for harboring Taliban
- The Afghan president slammed Pakistan blaming it for a wave of massive deadly attacks that have ravaged his nation recently and accusing Islamabad of harboring the Taliban. speech to the nation, Ashraf Ghani insisted the “center of Taliban terrorism is in Pakistan” and demanded that authorities in the neighboring country “show some concrete action to rid their territory of insurgents.”
- Mr. Ghani, flanked by Afghanistan’s top Islamic clerics, also urged those among the Taliban who wanted to talk peace with the government to separate themselves from those who want only to fight.
- Capital – kabul
- Religion – Islam
8. Fire in Madurai Meenakshi Temple
- Many shops were gutted in a ‘major’ fire which broke at 10.45 p.m. on Friday along the East Tower side of the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple.
- A police officer said that a spark might have started from a shop and spread within a few seconds, gutting the entire row of 30 to 40 shopsThe cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained though sources said that it could be due to a short circuit.
- Inscriptions – Over 40
- Architecture – Dravidian architecture
9. Banks would pass into foreign hands if policy not changed: Former RBI Governor
- Former Reserve Bank Governor said that there was no “crisis” in the Indian banking system, but cautioned that Indian banks would eventually pass into foreign hands if there is no review of current policies.The shareholding of foreign entities in the large private banks in India is over 70% while in the public sector banks, government and LIC hold bulk ownership and foreigners own majority of the rest of the stake, Reddy said.
- “We do not have 100 per cent government-owned banks. We have public sector banks with mixed ownership….Our banking system is predominantly owned by the government, followed by foreigners and rest by Indians. I repeat, least by Indians,” he said.
- Former Reserve Bank Governor – Y.V. Reddy
- Current Reserve Bank Governor – Urjit Patel
10. Failsafe e-way bill urged after deferred roll out
- “We have raised several issues with the GST Commissioner and we hope the government addresses them first rather than implementing without preparedness,” said Abhishek Gupta, Treasurer, Bombay Goods Transport Association.
- “Lakhs of trucks were stranded across the country and many companies and truckers were not aware of the decision,” he said The e-way bill portal had crashed leaving transporters waiting in vain for hours to generate the bills.
- eWay – global electronic payment system
- e-way bill will be launched from the 1st of February, 2018
11. Indian Army most disciplined force in the world: Mehbooba
- Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has ruled out revoking the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir “due to the prevailing situation” and asserted that the Indian Army is the .“most disciplined” force in the world.
- “The Indian Army is most disciplined force in the world.It was instrumental in bettering the security situation…that is the reason we are here today… They have made huge sacrifices,” she said
- Founded – 1 April 1895
- Headquarters – New Delhi
12. India-US trade estimated to have touched $140 billion in 2017
- In 2016, India was the ninth largest trading partner of the US and one of the major countries with which America has had trade deficit of more than $30 billion. This is expected to continue in 2017 as well, an issue which has repeatedly been raised by President Donald Trump and his top officials in their interaction with their Indian counterpart.
- “We estimate that in 2017 India’s trade [with the US] has gone up from USD 118 billion [the previous year] to USD140,” Mukesh Aghi, president of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) told .
- Indian Ambassador – Navtej Sarna
- U.S. Ambassador – Kenneth Juster
13. Maldives Supreme Court orders release of former President Mohamed Nasheed, eight others
- The Supreme Court of the Maldivesordered the immediate release of exiled former leader Mohamed Nasheed and eight others, terming their trials a violation of the constitution and international law .
- Supreme Court Moto – यतो धर्मस्ततो जयः॥ (Yato dharmas tato jayah) where there is truth (dharma) there is victory (justice)
- Location – Tilak Marg,
14. India Open: Sindhu in semis
- PV Sindhu remained in the hunt to defend her title by reaching the women’s singles semi-finals of the India Open but, Saina Nehwal was knocked out of the tournament in New Delhi
- 2016 Olympic silver medallist, Sindhu, however, recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Spain’s World No 36 Beatriz Corrales 21-12, 19-21, 21-11 in the other quarter-final.The World Championship silver medallist will next face 2013 World champion and World No. 3 Thai Ratchanok Intanon
- Full Name: Pusarla Venkata Sindhu
- Coach: Pullela Gopichand
15. Punjab, Haryana win in Khelo India girls’ hockey
- Punjab and Haryana overpowered their rivals to notch up their second consecutive victories in the girls’ hockey competition of the Khelo India School Games at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi
- Punjab beat Odisha 7-2 in pool B, while Haryana brushed aside Uttar Pradesh’s challenge 3-0 in Pool A.
- Founded – 2009
- Affiliation – International Hockey Federation