Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 17 February 2021
Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams - 17 February 2021
Drinking water survey launched in 10 cities
The Union housing and urban affairs ministry on Tuesday launched a survey to collect data on drinking water in 10 cities under the JalJeevan Mission (Urban).
As part of the survey, 'PeyJalSurvekshan', data will also be collected on wastewater management and condition of water bodies in the cities.
In a statement, ministry secretary DurgaShanker Mishra said the mission will be monitored through a technology-based platform on which beneficiary response will be monitored.
"'PeyJalSurvekshan' will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water through a challenge process," Mishra said.
As the first step, he said, the ministry has decided to launch a pilot 'PeyJalSurvekshan' in 10 cities -- Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat and Tumkur.
According to the secretary, based on the learnings of the pilot survey, this exercise will be extended to all Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities.
TamilisaiSoundararajan is new Governor of Telangana
The Centre has appointed Tamil Nadu BJP Chief TamilisaiSoundrarajan as the Telangana Governor. Expressing gratitude to the BJP over the appointment, Tamilisai stated that her term as the state Chief ends in December, allowing her to take up the role of Governor.
This appointment comes along with the change of Governors in three other states - Kerala, Maharashtra and Himachal.
Tamilisai has served in the Tamil Nadu BJP unit in various capacities starting from the South Chennai District Medical Wing Secretary in 1999.
She was appointed as the chief of TN BJP in August 2014. A doctor by profession, Tamilisai is the daughter of Congress leader KumariAnanthan. She also happens to be the niece of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar. Though she does not have an RSS background, Tamilisai had been one of the BJP's star campaigners during the 2014 LokSabha polls, leading to her appointment as BJP chief. She was the state BJP's first woman president.
Russia denies visa to US official for NASA post, calls it 'a reciprocal step'
Moscow said it had denied a visa for a candidate to head the mission of US space agency NASA in Russia, in what it described as retaliation for the US denial of a visa to an undisclosed Russian official.
Russia did not identify the US official who had been denied a visa, or provide further details of the incident for which it was retaliating. The US embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"It was a reciprocal step," RIA state news agency quoted deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying.
Russia and the United States have cooperated closely in space exploration for decades, jointly flying the International Space Station, despite deteriorating relations in other areas.
Ryabkov said NASA was not responsible for creating obstacles that thwarted interaction with Moscow, but that this was not the case for other US government bodies.
High fiscal deficits key risk to India's investment grade credit rating: S&P
Higher government deficits and higher debt stock over an extended period is the key risk to India's investment grade credit rating, Andrew Wood, director Asia-Pacific Sovereign Ratings at S&P Global Ratings, warned on Wednesday.
S&P currently has India at "BBB-", its lowest investment grade rating, with a stable outlook.
"We will be watching the balance between the economy and the fiscal settings in India very closely going forward because in our opinion higher growth rates over the next few years are going to be critical to contain, maintain and finance the government's higher fiscal deficits and debt stock," Wood said during a webinar.
He said there are signs of stabilisation in the economy especially over the last four to five months and S&P is seeing a good potential for India to "somewhat rebound" in the fiscal year starting April.
Wood said with growth rebounding by 10% in the next fiscal year will only take India to GDP levels seen in FY20 and would mean a permanent loss of 10% of production as compared to the pre-pandemic path that the economy was on.
Australian media firms squeeze '$47 million a year' from Google as new law looms
Australia claimed an early win in a protracted licencing battle with Google on Wednesday as media companies lined up to announce content deals with the internet giant that were reportedly far more lucrative than their global rivals.
A month after the Alphabet Inc-owned company threatened to shut down its search engine in Australia to avoid what it called "unworkable" content laws, the country's two largest free-to-air television broadcasters have struck deals collectively worth A$60 million ($47 million) a year, according to media reports.
That dwarfs the $76 million Google will split between 121 publishers in France over three years, which averages $209,000 a year per publisher, as reported by Reuters.
The Australian deals come days before the government plans to pass laws that would allow it to appoint an arbitrator to set Google's content fees if it can't strike a deal privately, a factor that government and media figures held up as a turning point for negotiations which stalled a year earlier.
::SCIENCE AND TECH::
Russian Progress cargo spacecraft successfully reaches ISS
The spacecraft was carrying a little more than one ton of nitrogen, water and propellant.
Progress 77, the unmanned cargo spacecraft from Russia, docked at the International Space Station (ISS).
“Russia's Progress 77 spacecraft docked at the station’s Pirs docking compartment today at 1:27am ET delivering 1.1 tons of nitrogen, water and propellant to the station,” the ISS tweeted on Wednesday.
The spacecraft was carrying a little more than one ton of nitrogen, water and propellant. It began its journey on February 15 from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan.
NASA in a blogpost said that the Russian Progress 77 spacecraft is carrying these items to aid Expedition 64 crew members who are currently stationed in the ISS. “The spacecraft is carrying a little more than one ton of nitrogen, water and propellant to the station and the Expedition 64 crew members who are living and working in space to advance scientific knowledge, demonstrate new technologies, and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth,” the space agency said in its post.
India beat England in the second Test in Chennai
England succumbed to an inevitable 317-run defeat by India on the fourth day of the second Test in Chennai.
Faced with the hopeless task of chasing 482 on a deteriorating pitch, England lost all 10 wickets to spin as they were bowled out for 164 to leave the four-Test series poised at 1-1.
Only captain Joe Root provided prolonged resistance, but even he needed plenty of fortune in his 33, before Moeen Ali chanced his arm for 43 off only 18 balls.
Debutant left-arm spinner Axar Patel claimed 5-60, while off-spinner RavichandranAshwin took 3-53 - and match figures of 8-96 - to go with a century in India's second innings.