Daily Current Affairs Update: 8th February 2018

1. Mumbai Airport Becomes World’s Busiest Single-Runway Airport

Chhatrapati Shivaji International airport, Mumbai created a new world record for single-runway operations by handling 980 arrivals and take-offs in 24 hours.
By operating 980 flight on January 20, 2018, Mumbai Airport surpassed its own record of 974 flights in 24 hours reported on December 6, 2017.
As per 2017 annual report of CAPA, the Sydney-based education network, Mumbai airport, which is currently operating at 94% of its maximum passenger handling capacity, will reach saturation point in 2018.
According to reports, in March 2017, it created a world record by handling 837 flights a day or one in 65 seconds on an average in fiscal 2017 and thus overtook London’s Gatwick airport that managed 757 flights a day.
It later went on to break its own record with 969 flights in November and 974 in December 2017.

2. EAM Swaraj Attends Opening Ceremony of Riyadh’s Al-Janadriyah Fest

The External Affairs Minister reached Riyadh on 6th February on her first official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj attended the opening ceremony of the 32nd Al Jana-driyah festival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. India has been invited as the Guest of Honour country for the festival.
Swaraj in her first engagement addressed Indian community members at a reception in Riyadh and spoke about the relations between the two countries. She hailed PM Modi’s 2016 visit to the Gulf kingdom as a strong visit that provided the much needed impetus to growth of relations between both the countries.
During her three day visit, she will meet with the Saudi leadership to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi Riyal

3. Google and NCERT Join Hands to Teach Students Digital Safety

Google and National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) signed a pact to integrate a course on ‘Digital Citizenship and Safety’ in information and communication technology curriculum. It was signed on the occasion of Safer Internet Day on 6th February.
The curriculum developed by NCERT in collaboration with Google will be used to train students from class I – class XII across 1.4 million schools in India where they will learn how to become good and responsible digital citizens.
The curriculum is spread into four themes – being smart, being safe, being a digital citizen and being future ready.
Google will not charge any fee for the training.

Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States
CEO: Sundar Pichai

4. President Kovind Inaugurates the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav 2018

President of India Ram Nath Kovind, on 7th February, inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav 2018 of Lord Gommateshwara or Bahubali at Shravanabelgola in Karnataka.
The Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav, or head-anointing ceremony, of the 57-feet tall monolithic statue, is celebrated once every 12 years.
It has been celebrated for about a 1,000 years.
Bahubali or ‘One With Strong Arms’ was the son of Adinath, the first Tirthankara of Jainism.
The  Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony in 2018 is said to be 88th in series that commenced in 981 A.D, and second Mahamastakabhisheka of 21st Century, according to a government press release.

President of India: Ram Nath Kovind (14th and current President of India)

6. 60 Solar Cities to be Developed Across India

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy under its scheme “Development of Solar Cities” has approved/sanctioned 60 Cities including 13 Pilot and 5 Model Cities up to 12th Five-year Plan period.
The Stake-holders Committees have been constituted in 21 Cities and Solar City Cells have been created in 37 Solar Cities.
Solar PV projects with aggregate capacity of 8069.16 kWP and Solar Water Heating System with aggregate capacity of 7894 meter square collector area have been sanctioned under the programme.
While Rs. 101.64 crore has been sanctioned, Rs. 25.92 crore has been released under scheme “Development of Solar Cities” so far.

6. Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement for 2017-18 Released by RBI

The Reserve Bank of India in its Sixth Bi-Monthly statement 2017-18 has made the following announcements –

  • Keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.0 percent.
  • The reverse repo rate under the LAF remains at 5.75 percent.
  • The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 percent.
  • The decision of the MPC is consistent with the neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance.
  • Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) remains unchanged at 4%.

As per RBI’s report, with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4 percent within a band of +/- 2 percent, while supporting growth.

Current Rates Remarks (In respect of previous Bi-monthly Policy)
Policy Rates
Policy Repo Rate 6.00% Unchanged
Reverse Repo Rate 5.75% Unchanged
Marginal Standing Facility Rate (MSF) 6.25% Unchanged
Bank Rate 6.25% Unchanged
Reserve Ratios
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) 4% Unchanged
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) 19.50%
(as per RBI official website)


7. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank Approve JFC Finance’s Bid to Acquire Palogix Infrastructure

ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank have approved JFC Finance (India) Ltd’s bid to acquire the insolvent Palogix Infrastructure, a 20-year old firm in railways logistics.

JFC Finance, the Delhi-based non banking firm, has proposed to acquire close to 80% in Palogix for Rs 100-crore.

The logistics firm owes Rs 150 crore to creditors.

  ICICI Bank HDFC Bank
CEO Chanda Kochhar Aditya Puri
Headquarters Mumbai Mumbai


8. Uber, Transport Ministry Partner to Push Road Safety Awareness

As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage road safety awareness, ride-sharing company Uber has joined hands with union ministry of road transport and highways to push for the cause in the country which witnesses around five lakh accidents every year.
Uber will jointly promote road safety messaging on its mobile application and the social media through co-branded materials and mediums.
The ministry and Uber will jointly be preparing the learning materials which will be shared and utilised by over 200 driving schools.

Founders: Travis Kalanick, Garrett Camp
CEO: Dara Khosrowshahi
Headquarter: San Francisco, California, United States

9. Hardayal Prasad Appointed as SBI Card MD & CEO

SBI Card, the country’s second largest credit card issuer, has a new Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer in Hardayal Prasad.
Prasad has taken over from Vijay Jasuja, who superannuated on January 31.
Prior to this appointment, Prasad was with State Bank of India, holding multiple leadership positions in the bank.
He had joined SBI as a probationary officer in 1983.

10. Kathakali Maestro Madavoor Vasudevan Nair Passes Away

Kathakali maestro Madavoor Vasudevan Nair collapsed on stage and died while performing at Agasthyacodu Mahadeva Temple, Anchal. He was 89.
A recipient of several awards, including Padma Bhushan, he was the follower of the Kaplingattu School, the particular style of south Kerala.

11. SpaceX Launches Its Most Powerful Rocket Towards Mars

The US-based SpaceX has successfully launched the world’s most powerful operational rocket Falcon Heavy towards Mars. The rocket, carrying a Tesla Roadster car, will revolve around the Sun in a way that will repeatedly bring it close to the Earth and Mars.
Falcon Heavy’s thrust and capacity are the highest since NASA’s Saturn V, which carried astronauts to the Moon. Falcon Heavy successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

12. Nuclear-Capable Prithvi-II Missile Successfully Test-Fired

India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile as part of a user trial by the Army from Integrated Test Range at Chandipur, in Odisha.
Prithvi-II is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kilogram of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion twin engines. It is a surface-to-surface missile and has a strike range of 350 km.

13. Shubhankar Sharma Becomes Highest Ranked Indian Golfer

In-form young golfer Shubhankar Sharma was elevated from 193 to 72, a gain of 121 spots, in the world rankings making him the highest-ranked Indian in the world.
Sharma has enjoyed a golden run over the past few months on the international stage.
When Shubhankar entered the event in South Africa he was ranked 462 in the world.

14. Jhulan Goswami 1st Woman in the World to Take 200 ODI Wickets

Indian women’s pacer Jhulan Goswami created another record as the lanky seamer became the first cricketer to claim 200 ODI wickets in the history of women’s cricket.
Jhulan achieved the feat during the 2nd ODI against South Africa women.
Having entered the 2nd ODI on 199 wickets, Jhulan dismissed South African batswoman Laura Wolvaardt to achieve the feat in her 166th ODI match.
Jhulan remains to be one of the pillars of the Indian women’s cricket team, despite having her ODI debut in 2002.
Interestingly, former Indian skipper Kapil Dev was the first cricketer ever to claim 200 ODI wickets.
Even Kapil Dev took 166 matches to achieve the feat.