Newton’ India’s Official Entry for Oscars 2018

  • According to the Film Federation of India, ‘Newton’ will be India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars 2018.
  • Newton is a 2017 Indian Hindi-language black comedy film directed by Amit V Masurkar and Produced by Drishyam Films.
  • The movie tells the story of a polling officer Newton Kumar who is bent on conducting free and fair elections in the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarh.
  • This year’s Oscars will be held on 4th March 2018 in Los Angeles.

Dharmendra Pradhan to host first LPG Panchayat in Gandhinagar

  • Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan will inaugurate one of the ambitious programmes of the Centre, LPG Panchayat, aimed at encouraging rural communities to turn to clean fuel.
  • The First LPG Panchayat will be held in Gandhinagar, where Pradhan will preside over the interaction between women using LPG under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY) and the companies.
  • According to data shared by the oil marketing companies, so far three crore connections have been allotted under the PMUY against the target of five crore by 2019.

SBI launches Indian bond index series in London

  • State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the FTSE SBI Bond Index series in partnership with global index provider FTSE 100, which will give tools to investors from India, the UK and globally to analyse India’s government bond market, and drive growth in this market.
  • This index, launched in collaboration with the London Stock Exchange, will ensure that international investors have an international benchmark that is transparent, that is well governed and that is something they can easily rely on.

Samsung’s Bixby Voice now works in India

  • Bixby takes some initial setting up, requiring users to input their voice, reading commands and sentences and trying out a few tasks. 
  • Bixby is meant to do additional and on-phone tasks which Samsung hopes will make getting things done faster and easier. Bixby Voice can be triggered by saying “Hi Bixby” to a sleeping device also.

Dr. Harshvardhan Launches Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana

  • Dr. Harshvardhan launched “Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay Vigyan Gram Sankul Pariyojana” which will experiment and endeavour to formulate and implement appropriate S&T Interventions for Sustainable Development through cluster approach in Uttarakhand.
  • Department of Science and Technology is implementing several initiatives for upliftment and economic development of rural areas in the country. 

Note - Dr. Harsh Vardhan is the incumbent minister at Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Govt Launches Campaign to Sensitise Women About Cancer

  • Minister of State Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel launched a nationwide health campaign to sensitise women about the early screening and the preventive care for cancer.
  • Themed 'Nurturing the Nurturer', the campaign was launched by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) in partnership with the Apollo Hospitals group.

Balraj Joshi Appointed as New NHPC Chairman

  • Balraj Joshi was appointed the chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) of NHPC Ltd, the country’s premier hydropower utility. Joshi is at present director (technical) in the organisation.
  • According to another order, P. Alli Rani has been appointed the CMD of Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) Ltd. She is at present director (finance) in Container Corporation of India Limited. Rani has been appointed to the post for a period of five years.

Dabur India Ties Up with Amazon for Ayurveda Marketplace

  • Dabur India has tied up with e-commerce major Amazon for an online Ayurveda marketplace which will house all ayurvedic brands and products of the country.
  • The company will also offer consumers an insight into various ayurvedic medicines for treating a variety of ailments. The exclusive Ayurveda e-marketplace has been hosted by Amazon India and the content is developed by Dabur India.

  • Jeff Bezos was the Founder of Amazon.
  • Amazon is an e-commerce company based in the USA.

SBI Tops Trust and Popularity Charts

  • State Bank of India (SBI) is India’s most trusted and most popular bank according to a survey conducted by Brand Finance, a business valuation and strategic consultancy headquartered in London.
  • On the trust charts, SBI is followed by HDFC Bank and Central Bank of India whereas, on the popularity charts, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank take the second and third spots respectively.

Note -
  • Recently, SBI had slashed interest rate on savings account deposits by 50 basis points to 3.5 per on balance of Rs 1 crore and below.
  • Its is Headquartered in Mumbai.

India Gets its First High Horsepower Locomotive from France

  • India has received its first High Horsepower Locomotive with the bodyshell of 12000 HP loco from Alstom France at Kolkata port. This first-of-its-kind high-power electric locomotive will be used to haul freight trains at twice the existing speed by 2018.
  • This is the first major FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project in the rail sector. The first such locomotive is estimated to cost about Rs 30 crore. The Indian Railways is currently using 6,000HP locomotives for freight services. The locomotive will run at a speed of up to 120 km/h. 

Note - Shri Piyush Goyal is the Present Railway Minister of India.

West Bengal Gets $300 Million ADB Loan

  • Multilateral funding agency ADB has sanctioned a USD 300 million loan facility for carrying forward fiscal reforms in West Bengal. The board of Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a loan of USD 300 million to continue a comprehensive series of fiscal reforms in West Bengal.
  • West Bengal, for the first time in 2012 had received a USD 400 million from ADB, its first policy-based lending with an aim to create a fiscal space necessary to sustain higher public investment in the eastern India. 

Note - ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Takehiko Nakao is the President of ADB.

First Indian team for FIFA U-17 World Cup announced

  • The first ever Indian squad to participate in the FIFA World Cup, U-17 World Cup Squad has been announced. 
  • The 21 players who will participate in the World Cup Squad include Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin and Hendry Antony.

World's Richest Woman Liliane Bettencourt Passes Away

  • Liliane Bettencourt, the heir to the French L’Oreal hairspray empire and the world’s wealthiest woman, has died aged 94. She was from France.
  • Bettencourt, whose net worth was estimated at about €33bn (£29bn) this year, was the face of one of France’s biggest cosmetics conglomerates and had once captured the public’s imagination as the nation’s poor little rich girl.

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