14 February 2018 Current Affairs

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Progress MS-08: Unmanned Russian Cargo Ship launched to Space Station

Russian space agency Roskosmos has successfully launched Progress MS-08, an unmanned cargo spacecraft for the International Space Station (ISS). It was launched onboard of Soyuz-2.1a rocket from Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan. Soyuz-2.1a has four strap-on boosters and core engine, all fueled by mix of kerosene and liquid oxygen.

Indian Army to deploy 2,300 personnel to join UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

The Indian Army would be deploying about 2300 personnel in South Sudan, as a part of UN’s peacekeeping mission in the war-torn nation. The announcement was made by Army Spokesperson Col Aman Anand. The mission aims to bring about peace and normalcy in the nation. The Indian army personnel chosen for the mission belong to the Infantry battalion of Garhwal Rifles regiment. The unit will be in operational control of the sensitive Jonglei state of South Sudan.

Chandrashekhara Kambara elected New President of Sahitya Akademi

Kannada litterateur Chandrashekar Kambar has been elected as president of the Sahitya Akademi in the election held for the post. He has replaced Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari. Hindi poet Madhav Koushik has been elected as vice-president. This is the second time election was held in the history of Sahitya Akademi, after Ananthamurthy’s election to the post. Prof. Kambar has served as the member of the Akademi executive board for over 10 years and was vice-president for 2013-18.

Ashok Das appointed Indian envoy to Brazil

Ashok Das, a 1987 batch Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer, was named India’s new Ambassador to Brazil. Das, presently additional secretary in the external affairs ministry, is expected to take up his assignment shortly, according to a ministry statement. Both India and Brazil are members of the BRICS economic grouping that also includes China, Russia and South Africa.

South Africa declares drought a ‘national disaster’

South Africa, declared a “national disaster” over a drought that has ravaged parts of the country and threatened to leave the city of Cape Town without domestic tap water. The department of cooperative governance said it had elevated the drought to a “national disaster” after reassessing its “magnitude and severity”. Cape Town is in the grip of a catastrophic three-year-long drought as sparse winter rains have failed to bring relief, and dam levels have dropped to dangerously low levels. South Africa’s second city is now facing the prospect of having to turn its taps off under a socalled “Day Zero” scenario to conserve the city’s remaining water supplies.

West Bengal becomes first state to opt out of ‘Modicare’

Claiming that the Bengal government had already enrolled 50 lakh people under its own Swasthya Sathi programme, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced the decision to opt out of Centre’s ‘Modicare’ scheme. This makes West Bengal the first state to withdraw from the ambitious programme. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the NHPS on February 1, making it the biggest global plan to provide quality health cover to a population larger than the combined citizenry of the US, UK, Germany and France.

Odisha’s first female filmmaker Parbati Ghose passes away

Parbati Ghose, Odisha’s first female filmmaker, passed away recently following a prolonged illness. She was 85. Parbati Ghose was born in Cuttack district in 1933, Parbati started as a child artiste in All India Radio and soon moved to the silver screen, also as a child artiste, playing Nila Madhava in Shri Jagannath (1949).


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