Gyaankosh – Current Affairs for February 2019 – Set 2

  • Siddhartha Lal, CEO and MD of Eicher Motors has been named EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2018. He brought back the motorcycle brand Royal Enfield in India. Azim Premji is awarded Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution in information technology.
  • Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Indian historian, has won the Dan David Prize of Israel for the year 2019. He is been awarded for his work on inter-cultural encounters between Asians, Europeans, North Americans and South Americans during the early modern era.
  • Father Francois Laborde, 92 years old Bengal Priest, is awarded with the Legion d’Honneur, the highest civilan award of France. This award is given for his work for specially-abled children in Howrah.
  • Essar Oil UK, part of Essar group, has acquired British Petroleum’s stake in the terminal assets and the pipeline  connected to Stanlow Refinery to enter new markets in the British Midlands. Esar Oil UK has acquired 100% stake in Northampton Terminal, 45% stake in Kingsbury Terminal and 11.5% stake in UKOP pipeline. The estimated value of this deal is $150 million.
  • The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal LADIS (Least Available Depth) that would ensure real-time information on available depth on stretches of national waterways (NWs). This would help ship, barge and cargo owners to undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way.
  • The President of India has appointed Sushil Chandra as the new Election Commissioner. He is appointed after retirement of O.P. Rawat as Chief Election Commissioner.
  • The International Hockey Federation (FIH) awards are annual awards given to best men and women player in international hockey. FIH 2019 awards are given to:
    • Arthur Van Doren (Belgium) – HIF Player of the year Men
    • Eva de Goede  (Netherlands) – HIF Player of the year Women
    • Vincent Vanasch (Belgium) – HIF Goalkeeper of the year Men
    • Maddie Hinch (Great Britan) – HIF Goalkeeper of the year Women
  • Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Chairman, topped the Hurun India Philanthropy list with a donation of 437 crores. He is followed by Anand Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group, who donated 400 crores.
  • Facebook acquired GrokStyle, a US based virtual search start-up, to boost AI capabilities. GrokStyle was founded in 2015 and was based in San Francisco. The company helped IKEA develop its augmented reality app – Place, to include a handy new feature that allowed people to snaps photos of furniture then use those pics to search for similar IKEA products.
  • Norway and India have signed a letter of Intent for Maritime Pollution Initiative. The joint initiative aims to combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.  The letter was signed by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India together with Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The country, formerly known as the Republic of Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, on paper ending a decades-long dispute that should pave the way for NATO membership. The freshly named country celebrated the event with a flag-raising ceremony marking its prospective – and long-awaited – accession to NATO.
  • NASA announced that its Mars Mission – Opportunity Rover Mission has come to an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. After more than a thousand commands to restore contact, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made their last attempt to revive Opportunity to no avail.
  • Cognizant has agreed to pay $25 million to settle its India bribery charges, as Department of Justice filed criminal cases against two if its former top executives. The complaint alleges that in 2014, a senior Tamil Nadu official demanded a $2 million bribe from the construction firm responsible for building Cognizant’s 2.7 million square foot campus in Chennai.
  • On 14th February 2019 in a terrorist attack, with an explosive-laden vehicle into one of the buses of convoy of security forces, 37 CRPF personnel were martyred in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.  Jaiesh-e-Mohammed has taken the responsibility of the attack.
  • India and Sweden signed a security protection agreement when Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was on a visit to Sweden. This agreement will enable the two countries to share classified information with each other.
  • On 15th Feb 2019, USA President Donald Trump declared national emergency to fund US-Mexico border without congressional approval. The national emergency and other measures will free up $8 billion – far more than the $5.7 billion he initially demanded – to free up funding for 234 miles of bollard wall.
  • In Yonex –Sunrise 83rd Senior Badminton Nationals 2019, Saina Nehwal won her fourth title. She defeated P.V.Sindhu in the finals in Guwahati.  Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles, claiming the men’s singles crown after defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games.
  • India withdraws MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status of Pakistan after Pulwama terror attack on 14th Feb 2019. This move will enable India to increase the customs duty on goods coming from Pakistan.
  • Vidarbha defended the Irani cup title at Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur by defeating rest f India. Vidarbha is the only 3rd team in Indian Domestic Cricket history after Bombay and Karnataka to defend their Irani cup titles.
  • JP Morgan became the first US bank with cryptocurrency called as – JPM Coin”. The currency is designed to be decentralized so that no one has control over transactions being sent over the network.  The currency is intended for the bank’s wholesale payments business that moves $6 trillion around the world daily and not for retail customers
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