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Evening News Digest: 24 February 2018

Heavy Water Board signed an agreement with M/s Clearsynth, Mumbai

  • Heavy Water Board, a constituent industrial unit of DAE, signed a collaborative agreement with M/s Clearsynth, Mumbai on February 23, 2018 for sale of 20 tonnes of Heavy Water in a year.
  • The sale of Heavy Water will be for development of deuterium labeled compounds, NMR Solvents, d-labeled Active Pharma Ingredients (APIs).
  • The agreement is an important era in Indian nuclear industry history s it will initiate import substitution for the deuterated compounds and Heavy Water. Indian industries use to import deuterated compounds and Heavy Water to the tune of US $9 Million.

7 days cultural extravaganza ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ begins

  • Seven days cultural extravaganza ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ under the ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ matrix began in Madhya Pradesh on February 24, 2018.
  • The States paired with Madhya Pradesh are Nagaland and Manipur. The event is being organized by Union Ministry of Culture.
  • The Mahotsav will cover a profusion of art forms from classical and folk music and dance, theatre to literature and the visual arts and would offer the chance to experience the best in established and emerging virtuosity.

Indo-German MOU under 'Sustainable Urban Development & Smart Cities in India'

  • An Indo-German MoU has been signed for an “Implementation Agreement in Sustainable Urban Development and Smart Cities in India” on February 24, 2018.
  • The objective of the programme is to develop and apply concepts for sustainable urban development about the provision of urban basic services and housing in selected cities and Smart Cities in India.
  • The Agreement was signed between Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) GmbH.
  • The project will help link urban development schema in India with the Sustainable Development Goal No. 11 ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.
  • The German contribution to the project is up to 8 million EURO and the project will continue for a duration of three years (starting from 2018 till December 2020).

First Fully Digitally Enabled Locomotive inducted into Indian Railways

  • Indian Railways in collaboration with M/S General Electric (GE) under the Public Private Partnership initiative has inducted two Digitally Enabled Locomotives based on the state of the art insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) technology.
  • The two HHP prototypes locomotives were wholly designed in India under the ‘Make in India’ program.
  • The total investment amount is Rs.13000 crore and under the agreement Indian Railways has a 26% stake.
  • The locomotive is also the first fully digitally enabled locomotive with greater reliability and availability and is also provided with a device to manage disasters.

RBI launches Ombudsman scheme for NBFCs

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on February 24, 2018 launched the Ombudsman Scheme for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), in accordance with the announcement made in Monetary Policy statement of February 7, 2018.
  • The Ombudsman will be for redressal of complaints against NBFCS registered with RBI under section 45-IA of the RBI Act, 1934.
  • The scheme will provide a cost-free and expeditious complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCS covered under the scheme.
  • The offices of the NBFC Ombudsmen will function at four metro centres - Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi and will handle complaints of customers in the respective zones.

India successfully test-fires 'Dhanush' missile

  • The Indian armed forces on February 24, 2018 successfully test fired nuclear-capable surface-to-surface ballistic missile Dhanush from a naval warship positioned in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The trial was conducted by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Navy from an undisclosed location nearly 45 km from the Paradip coast.
  • Dhanush, the indigenously developed naval version of the ‘Prithvi’ short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) has a striking range up to 350 km and can neutralise both land-based and sea-based targets. It can carry a single warhead, conventional or nuclear up to 500 kg.
  • Developed by DRDO under Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP), this single stage missile uses liquid propellant.

PM Modi launches Amma Two-wheeler Scheme in Chennai

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Amma two-wheeler Scheme in Chennai on February 25, 2018 – the birth anniversary of late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalitha.
  • The scheme was the AIADMK government's ambitious scheme of providing 50 percent subsidy to working women to buy two-wheelers.

Senior journalist Neelabh Mishra passes away

  • Senior journalist and editor-in-chief of National Herald, Neelabh Mishra, passed away on February 24, 2018 in Chennai. He was 57.
  • In 2016, Mishra steered the re-launch of National Herald, the newspaper founded by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1938, as a digital news website.
  • In 2017, Mishra relaunched the National Herald as Sunday newspaper, and then National Herald’s sister publications Navjivan and Qaumi Awaz as news websites.

Adityanath inaugurates 2-day 'Rasotsav' in Mathura

  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on February 24, 2018 inaugurated the two-day ‘Rasotsav’ at Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Veterinary Institute in Mathura.
  • The event is jointly organised by the state tourism department, the Brij Tirth Vikas Parishad and the Brajbhumi Vikas trust.

India-bound TAPI gas pipeline breaks ground on Afghan section

  • Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India on February 24, 2018 ceremonially broke ground on the Afghan section of an ambitious multi-billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia.
  • The four countries aim to complete the 1,840-kilometre (1,143-mile) pipeline and begin pumping natural gas from Turkmenistan’s giant Galkynysh gas field by the beginning of 2020.
  • Turkmenistan sits on the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves but lost a major buyer in Russia after Russian energy giant Gazprom wound down imports of Turkmen gas and then ceased purchases completely in 2016.
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