- At least two dead in 6.4-magnitude quake in Taiwan
- A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near the coastal city of Hualien in Taiwan late on Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, killing at least two people and causing several buildings to collapse.
- The quake struck about 22 km (14 miles) northeast of Hualien shortly before midnight, and the epicentre was very shallow at just 1 km, the USGS said.“Two people were unfortunately killed, and 114 have suffered light or severe injuries,” Taiwan’s Premier William Lai told an emergency government meeting
- President Of Taiwan – Tsai Ing-wen
- first president – Chiang Kai-shek
2. Satellite phone to aid fishing in troubled waters
- After Ockhi, fishermen want reliable means of communication The cyclone has speeded up the process of getting a reliable mode of communication on board the fishing crafts, an alternative to the mobile phone, which only has coverage up to 12 nautical miles (one nautical mile equals 2 km). The solution most fishermen prefer is a satellite phone.
- Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar, who recently witnessed a demonstration of a satellite phone from BSNL, said they were mulling various options, including Medium Frequency-High Frequency radio (costing upwards of ₹3 lakh) and satellite phones.
- In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth’s Moon.
- Isaac Newton was the first published mathematical study of the possibility of an artificial satellite.
3. Maldives’ former President Nasheed seeks Indian military intervention in crisis-ridden country
- Exiled former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has sought Indian military intervention to release jailed dissidents in the capital.
- The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that India was disturbed by the declaration of a State of Emergency in the Maldives following the refusal of the Maldivian government to abide by the unanimous ruling of the full bench of the Supreme Court on 1 February. The Constitutional rights of the people of the Maldives have also been suspended
- Mohamed Nasheed (born on 17 May 1967) is a Maldivian politician, human rights and environmental activist, who served as the fourth President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012.
- On 30 August 2014, Nasheed was elected as the President of the Maldivian Democratic Party.
4. Railway vacancies put safety at risk
- Huge vacancies in the Indian Railways coupled with the delay in the process of recruitment seem to have put the safety of train operations at risk. With pressure from zonal railways and employees’ unions mounting, the Ministry of Railways is expected to launch a major recruitment drive to fill at least 50 % of the estimated 1.5 lakh vacancies in the safety category alone.
- In Southern Railway alone, there were 12,500 vacancies in the safety category, mostly in the track maintenance wing. The move to engage retired railway employees in safety category work had not yielded the desired response even as the age limit was increased from the initial 62 to 65 years.
- Indian Railways is India’s national railway system.
- Founded – 8 May 1845
- Headquarters – New Delhi, India
5. 22,960 applications for two-wheeler scheme
- The Chennai Corporation has received 22,960 applications for the ‘Amma Two-wheeler Scheme’ from working women owing to the popularity of the scheme in areas such as R.K.Nagar. Minister for Local Administration S.P. Velumani has announced that the deadline for the submission of applications has been extended from February 5 to 10 because of requests from residents.
- As many as 1.74 lakh applications have been received from women in the State. Chennai recorded the largest number of applications for the scheme .
- District Collector – V. Anbuselvan, IAS
- Special Officer & Commissioner – D. Karthigeyan, IAS
6. Hazare Trophy: Gritty Goa upstages Tamil Nadu
- Defending champion Tamil Nadu was handed a reality check when domestic minnows Goa, riding on Swapnil Asnodkar’s century, posted an easy four-wicket win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy Group C match here on Tuesday.Disciplined bowling by the spinners and a delightful century by Asnodkar does the trick .
- The 2017–18 Vijay Hazare Trophy is the 16th season of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, a List A cricket tournament in India
- Administrator(s) – BCCI
7. Bitcoin drops below $6,200 for first time in three months
- Bitcoin plunged 20% to a three-month low today, its latest sharp loss following a series of setbacks for the cryptocurrency that, with a collapse across global mainstream markets adding to the selling.
- The virtual currency fell to $6,190 for the first time . Today’s collapse comes just six weeks after bitcoin hit a record high of $19,511, fuelled by a flood of speculators looking to make a quick buck, with warnings it could fall another 50 per cent.
- Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system.
- Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
8. Tea exports at 36 year high, says Tea Board
- Indian tea exports have touched a record high of 240.7 million kg in 2017, surpassing the 241.3 million kg high achieved in 1981 according to quick provisional figures released by the Tea Board. Five importing countries, including two of India’s rivals in the global arena, helped India reach this export level.
- The biggest contributors to this performance was Egypt , which increased exports by 166 %, followed by Sri Lanka, which increased imports by 84.8 % and China where Indian tea exports increased by 50 %.
- Country of origin – China
- Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub (bush) native to Asia.
9. RBI likely to keep repo depreciate on hold
- Consumer price index-based inflation or retail inflation — the central bank’s primary yardstick for setting interest rate — was 5.21% in December, just below the 6% upper band mandate of RBI. Rising food prices was one of the main reason behind this 17- month-high retail inflation.
- “RBI is likely to stay on hold on policy rates tomorrow, but expect a hawkish commentary,” said Abheek Barua, chief economist, HDFC Bank. “Rising oil prices, higher MSPs announced in the Budget and slight deviation in the fiscal consolidation path have increased the probability of higher rates in 2018-19.
- Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
- Governor – Urjit Patel
10. HC sounds note of caution over loudspeakers
- The Madras High Court on Monday expressed anguish over complaints of the unbridled use of cone speakers, which have been banned, as well as the blaring noise of loudspeakers at religious institutions and public meetings.
- Both the Supreme Court and the High Court had, in the past, come down heavily on such practices .Asks Public Secretary to direct Collectors to enforce the ban on cone speakers .
- The Madras High Court is the high court of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
- Established – 1862
11. CB-CID may be asked to investigate Madurai Meenakshi temple fire
- The case pertaining to the fire accident at the Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple is likely to be transferred to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID).
- “We have sought a transfer of the ‘accidental fire’ case registered by the Madurai City Temple police station to the CB-CID, considering its sensitive nature,” a senior city police officer told The Hindu.
- Meenakshi Temple, also referred to as Meenakshi Amman or Minakshi-Sundareshwara Temple, is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River in the temple city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India.
- The temple is a major pilgrimage destination within the Shaivism tradition, dedicated to Meenakshi Devi and Shiva.
12. Oil tanker with 22 Indian sailors released by pirates in West Africa
- An oil tanker which had been hijacked by pirates off the coast of West Africa with 22 Indian sailors has been released, the ship’s owners announced.
- India thanked the governments of Benin and Nigeria for their assistance in ending the nearly week-long crisis.The Marine Express was at the anchorage Cotonou in the Gulf of Guinea in Benin when it was taken over by pirates .
- Built: c. 1963–present
- An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil.
13. Markets recover some losses; Sensex down 407 points
- Select buying in index heavyweights helped the benchmark equity indices recover most of the day’s losses even as the overall market breadth remained weak amidst an overall global selloff.
- At 2:50pm, the BSE Sensex was trading at 34,350.14, down 407 points or 1.17%. It was down over 1,100 points during the morning session. The broader Nifty was down 126.45 points or 1.19% at 10,540.10.
- The S&P BSE SENSEX (S&P Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index), is a free-float market-weighted stock market index of 30 well-established and financially sound companies listed on Bombay Stock Exchange.
- Location – Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
14. Tata Steel aims for 1,000 cr. sales from ‘solutions’ business
- Encouraged by the response to its branded household ‘solutions’ offerings, Tata Steel is now aiming for a ₹1,000 crore contribution from this segment within three years.
- Its steel doors are selling at a fast clip and a ₹200 crore turnover at the business in 2018-19 looks realistic, a senior company official said.Company plans increased focus on retail segment that includes doors, windows
- Tata Steel Limited is an Indian multinational steel-making company headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
- Founder – Jamsetji Tata
15. Israel to give 750,000 euros to AI for launching Delhi-Tel Aviv flight
- Air India will get a one-time grant of 750,000 euros from Israel for launching direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, which is likely to be launched next month (march), a senior Israeli official said .
- “The Ministry of Tourism will approve a grant to Air India in response to their request and according to the conditions of the directive, which includes a grant of 250,000 Euro per weekly flight, up to a total of three weekly flights,” Lydia Weitzman, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism
- President – Reuven Rivlin
- Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu