21 February 2018 Current Affairs

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World Congress On Information Technology And Nasscom India Leadership Forum Held Concurrently In Hyderabad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 22nd edition of the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) in Hyderabad through a video conference. The WCIT is held for the first time in India. The 26th edition of Nasscom India Leadership Forum (ILF) was also held in the same venue later on. Nasscom is the host of the of WCIT. Telangana is the state partner for both the events.

India Successfully Test-Fires Agni-II Missile

India successfully test-fired Agni II medium-range nuclear-capable missile from APJ Abdul Kalam island off the Odisha coast. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) fired Agni-II from a mobile launcher at launch complex 4 of the Integrated Test Range. Agni-II, which has a length of 20 meters, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of 1000 kgs over a distance of 2000 km. It is a part of the Agni series of missiles developed by the DRDO.

Singapore to Impose Carbon Tax From 2019

Singapore will impose a ‘carbon tax’ from 2019 to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and make companies more competitive as global agreements on climate change take effect. Finance minister Heng Swee Keat stated that the tax would be levied on all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The tax, to be applied to all sectors, will be Sg$5.0 ($3.8) per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023.

Union Government Clears Private Commercial Mining In Coal

In a major reform in the coal sector since its nationalization in 1973, the government allowed private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use. This move ended the monopoly of state-owned Coal India Ltd. The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) under the Chairmanship of PM Narendra Modi. Currently, the private sector is allowed coal mining for captive use only. The reform will bring efficiency into the coal sector by moving away from the era of monopoly to competition and lower power tariffs.

R.K. Singh Inaugurates ‘International R&D Conclave’ In New Delhi
Union Minister of State (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh inaugurated the ‘International R&D Conclave’ in New Delhi. It is a two-day conference on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges of R&D in Indian Power Sector. It has been organized by Central Electricity Authority (CEA). The conference was stressed upon the need of a dedicated R&D department in CEA to coordinate the research in the power sector.

International Mother Language Day 2018 observed globally

The Day facilitates access to education while promoting fairness for population groups that speak minority and indigenous languages particularly girls and women.

Newborn Mortality Rate: India 12th Worst Among Low-Income Countries

India has been ranked 12th-worst among 52 low-middle income countries based on the number of children dying within the first month of their birth, which is 25.4 per 1,000 live births. Pakistan is the worst with 45.6 newborn deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). This is the first time that UNICEF has come out with rankings based on their newborn mortality rate (NMR) (the number of deaths per 1,000 live births). Japan, with an NMR of 0.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, has been ranked the world’s safest country in which to be born followed by Iceland (1) and Singapore (1.1).

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