Current Affairs Daily Updates: 17th February 2017

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Daily Current Affairs Updates: 17th February 2017

Shurhozelie Liezietsu unanimously elected as legislature party leader in Nagaland
  • The ruling Naga People's Front (NPF) President Shurhozelie Liezietsu has unanimously elected the legislature party leader in Nagaland.
  • He will take over the reign from Chief Minister TR Zeliang.
  • Earlier, the majority of the NPF legislators wants to break the deadlock between the agitating groups and the government.
  • Shurhozelie has also accepted the offer to restore normalcy and prevent the imposition of President's rule in the state.
Sunil Mehta appointed non-executive Chairman of PNB:
  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) has a new non-executive Chairman in Sunil Mehta.The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for the appointment of Mehta as non-executive Chairman of PNB.
  • He has been appointed for a period of three years. The only condition is that he would be required to resign from the board of State Bank of India before joining the board of Punjab National Bank.
Neelam Damodaran is Bank of India new ED
  • The Government has appointed Neelam Damodaran as Executive Director of Bank of India.
  • His tenor is up to November 30, 2019.Prior to his elevation as ED, Damodaran was General Manager with Bank of Baroda.
  • He took charge on February 16,2017 .With this appointment, Bank of India now has two EDs. R A Sankara Narayanan has been ED of the bank since May 15, 2015.
Indian-origin Shand Panesar Wins UK’s Bravery Award:
  • A heroic Indian-origin Scotland Yard officer has been honoured with a top bravery award in the UK for risking his own life to save a family trapped in a burning house, winning the vote of thousands of Londoners.
  • Shand Panesar, along with colleague Craig Nicholson, won the Total Excellence in Policing Awards at the annual ceremony for rescuing a couple from a burning building.
Hindi Scholar and writer Surendra Verma selected for Vyas Samman 2016:
  • Surendra Verma, a well known Hindi scholar and writer, was selected for Vyas Samman 2016. He was chosen for the prestigious award for his novel Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha: Padma Pankhuri Ki Dhar Se.
  • The book, Kaatna Shami Ka Vriksha, was published in 2010.
  • Vyas Samman was instituted in 1991 by the KK Birla Foundation and carries a cash award of Rs 3.50 lakh, a citation and a logo.
AIIMS wins first prize for sanitation & hygiene under Kayakalp awards
  • All India Institute of Medical Science, AIIMS of Delhi has won the first prize and a cash reward of 5 crore rupees for maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene under the Government's Kayakalp awards.
  • AIIMS was followed by North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong, which got a cash prize of 3 crore rupees. While Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, received the third prize of one crore rupees.
  • Health Minister J P Nadda yesterday gave away the awards to the winners under various categories in New Delhi.
RBI allows regional rural banks to grant gold loans up to Rs2 lakh
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said that regional rural banks (RRBs) can grant gold loans up to Rs2 lakh with bullet repayment option against the current limit of Rs1 lakh.
  • Under bullet repayment schedule, loan amount is paid at the end of maturity.
  • The loans with a bullet repayment will have a maximum maturity of 12 months and the loan-to-value ratio should be 75% of the gold pledged.
  • Crop loans sanctioned against the collateral security of gold or gold ornaments shall continue to be governed by the extant income recognition, asset classification and provisioning norms for such loans.
Citi Bank launches instant chat service for customers
  • Citi has launched instant chat services for customers logged in to Citibank Online (CBOL) in India.
  • The real-time chat facility focuses on resolving queries instantly, in a safe environment, across cards, domestic and non-resident accounts, and loans, for clients as they transact online.
  • The live chat functionality will transform the post login experience of our customers as they will be able to instantly connect with our service team while they bank on our secure site.
  • The chat facility will address the customer’s need for help or clarification while logged into CBOL
Tata Motors Signs Strategic Technological Agreement with Microsoft:
  • Tata Motors Ltd and Microsoft India entered into strategic agreement to collaborate on the technology front for making driving a more personalized experiences for the customers. As per the agreement, Microsoft will make use of its IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning technologies to develop a highly personalized, smart vehicle for the customers.
  • The first vehicle showcasing such technological advancements will be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor show on March 7, 2017. 
  • The tie-up will act as a new revenue opportunity for the company as car buyers increasingly look for value-added services.
India Ranked 143 in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom Index:
  • India has been ranked 143 out of 186 economies in the annual Index of Economic Freedom 2017 released by top US based Think Tank, The Heritage Foundation.The Index measures the degree of economic freedom in the countries of the world.
  • Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand are the top three nations in the Index respectively.
  • India has been placed in the category of “Mostly Unfree” Economies in which the points ranges from 50.0-59.9.
UNICEF Makes $110 Million Appeal for Sudan Children: 
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched a $110 million appeal to help two million acutely malnourished children across Sudan including hundreds of thousands living in conflict areas. 
  • Sudan is home to around 13 percent of all children suffering from acute malnutrition across Africa. Two million children under five in Sudan are acutely malnourished.
Shri Radha Mohan Singh Inaugurated 2017 Indian Seed Congress in Kolkata:
  • The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Shri Radha Mohan Singh inaugurated the Indian Seed Congress 2017 in Kolkata.
  • The theme of Seed Congress is “Seed of Joy”.
  • The theme is in line with vision of PM Modi government to bring happiness and prosperity in the lives of farmers by doubling their farm income by 2022.
Andhra Pradesh signs MoUs for 12 textile units
  • During the recent CII partnership summit in AP 12 MoUs were signed by the State Government with different companies for setting up 12 apparel units in the State entailing investment of Rs. 963 crores in all and generating 46,000 jobs.
  • These 12 projects will come up in the next one to one-and-a-half years. Four of the units will come up in the Brandix apparel park , including two by Chinese companies, five units in Anantapur district and the remaining in Chittoor district. 
  • The Andhra Pradesh Government is encouraging the textile sector in a big way and entrepreneurs should make use of the benefits being offered by the State as well as the special package given by the Union Government in the Budget to set up more units, according to K. Srikanth Prabhakar, the Joint Director in the office of the Commissioner of Handlooms and Textiles, AP Government.
Two-day Global Investor Summit 'Momentum Jharkhand' begins in Ranchi
  • A two-day mega event of Global Investor Summit, branded as "Momentum Jharkhand" was started at Khelgaon of Ranchi.
  • More than one thousands delegates, including many leading industrialists, both Indian and from other countries, will take part in this.
  • The Jharkhand Government is hoping for an investment of around three lakhs seventy five thousands crores rupees from 219 companies.
BEL launches communication radio
  • Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) has unveiled a new communication radio for the Indian armed forces (STARS-V Mk III) at the Aero India 2017 show.
  • The radio is completely designed, developed and made in BEL.
  • It is a multi-brand, high data rate, software intensive IP radio with mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) functions supporting up to 64 notes.
Vetiver Network launched in Tamil Nadu:
  • India Vetiver Network (INVN) has been launched at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. INVN is a not-for-profit scientific network to promote vetiver in India. 
  • Vetiver has worldwide application to tackle many environmental issues like soil erosion, mitigation of soil and water pollution.
  • The mission of INVN is environmental protection using vetiver. Promotion of research in vetiver identification of varieties, improved production technologies and distillation techniques.
International Conference on NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries-NxGnMiFu-2017 inaugurated in New Delhi
  • Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Science Dr. Harsh Vardhan has inaugurated the three day International Conference on “NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries” (NxGnMiFu-2017) in New Delhi on February 15, 2017
  • To innovate new techniques, technologies and applications for clean, safe, symbiotic sustenance of society, environment and industries in post-2020 era.
  • The conference was organised by CSIR-Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad as a part of CSIR-Platinum Jubilee Celebration to commemorate 75th year of its foundation.
Kerala cabinet Gives In-Principle Approval for Greenfield Airport at Sabarimala
  • The Kerala cabinet gave its in-principle approval for setting up a Greenfield Airport at pilgrim centre Sabarimala located at the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the Western Ghat mountain ranges of Pathanamthitta District, Kerala.
  • The state government has also directed Kerala State Industrial Development Corp (KSIDC) to conduct a study on the proposed airport.
Science Express Climate Action Special to be flagged off
  • Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave and Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan has flagged off Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS II) from Safdarjung Railway station in Delhi to tour across the country.
  • The train will be open for public viewing at Delhi Cantonment Railway Station tomorrow and later embark upon its journey across the country.
  • The SECAS II will run till 8th September and culminate its journey at Gandhinagar.
  • The Science Express will cover over 19,000 kilometres, and will be exhibited at 68 stations across 20 states.
  • Science Express intends to contribute towards increasing understanding of the science of climate change, the observed and anticipated impacts, and different possible responses.
NASA Scientists Record January 2017 as Third Warmest January in 137 years
  • According to the Monthly Analysis of Global Temperatures report published by the NASA scientists at Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, January 2017 has been recorded as the third warmest January in 137 years of modern record-keeping.
  • As per the report, January 2016 was the hottest month with a temperature of 1.12 degree Celsius warmer than the mean January temperature from 1951-1980.This was followed by January 2007 at 0.96 degree Celsius and finally January 2017 with a temperature of 0.92 degree Celsius warmer than mean January temperature.
6 Indian paddlers advance to pre-quarterfinals in ITTF World tour
  • The six Indian paddlers have advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour India Open in New Delhi.
  • In the Men's Singles, Achanta Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai andSanil Shetty won their respective matches.
  • In the Women's section, Mouma Das, Mousumi Paul and Suthirta Mukherjee won their respective matches to enter the last-16 stage.
PV Sindhu jumps to career-best no. 5 in BWF rankings
  • The Olympic silver medallist Indian Shuttler PV Sindhu has become the second Indian woman to break into the top-five of the badminton singles world rankings.
  • This is the first time that Sindhu achieved her career-best ranking of No. 5 on.
  • Earlier, Saina Nehwal is only other Indian woman to achieve such a feat.
  • Sindhu has become the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal and only the second Indian to win a badminton Olympic medal after Saina.