Indian Polity

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill 2017: Karnataka Assembly has passed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 to allow kambala, the traditional buffalo race and bullock-cart racing. The bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960. Governor Vajubhai R. Vala may refer the Bill to President for his assent as it amends central law. Kambala is an annual traditional Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held in coastal districts of Karnataka to entertain rural people of the area.
Defence Procurement Organization: A new procurement body to integrate and streamline the long and arduous process of defence acquisitions will be set up as Defence Procurement Organisation. It will be a vertical under the Union Defence Ministry and simplify the purchase procedure by integrating procurement processes.
National Deworming Day: NDD is observed every year on February 10th with main objective to combat parasitic worm infections among preschool and school-age children across India. It was launched in 2015 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family welfare. The goal of the day is to deworm all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years in order to improve their overall health, cognitive development, nutritional status and quality of life. On this day, Albendazole tablets are given to all targeted children. This year for the first time, deworming tablets were given to the private schools children also.
Atlas for Visually Impaired (India): This atlas is world’s first Braille Atlas for visually impared persons that is released by National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organisation – NATMO under Department of Science and Technology. NATMO is the premier agency of applied Geo-Spatial technology and pioneer in Thematic Mapping and Atlas Cartography under Department of S&T, Union Ministry of Science & Technology. It is engaged in preparing different atlases, thematic maps and other documents on block level, district, state, national and many other monograms.
Revenue Insurance Scheme for Plantation Corps: It is a pilot scheme for protecting the growers from the risks such as pest attacks, yield losses and income decline caused by fall in prices. It was launched for protecting growers of plantation crops such as tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom and tobacco. In pilot mode it will be implemented in 8 states till 2018 that includes West Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Sikkim and Tamil Nadu.
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: It is expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programme in the world. It targets the rural digital literacy. It will mitigate the lacunae found in 71st National Sample Survey Organisation – NSSO – which found that only 6% of the total rural households have a computer.

International Affairs

World Radio Day: It is recognized every year on February 13th and was instituted by UNESCO. On this day in 1946 UN Radio had transmitted its first call sign. The first WRD was officially celebrated in 2012 and this year the theme was “Radio is You”.
International Intellectual Property Index: India has been ranked 43rd out of 45 countries in the intellectual property index released by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre – GIPC. The index was released as part of a report titled, ‘The Roots of Innovation’. The top 5 countries include – US, UK, Germany, Japan and Sweden. The index started in 2012 by USGIPC ranks countries based upon 35 parameters each having one point weightage. Some of the parameters are patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and market access, enforcement, and ratification of international treaties.

Economic Affairs

Indradhanush 2.0: It is the name given to 2nd recapitalization plan for public sector banks that will be soon rolled out by the government. It will be finalized by the RBI to clean up the balance sheets of the PSBs to ensure bank remain solvent and fully comply with global capital adequacy norms, BASEL-III.
BASEL-III: Basel III is a global, voluntary regulatory framework on bank capital adequacy, market liquidity risk and stress testing. It was agreed by Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) members in 2010–11. Basel series of norms are broad supervisory standards formulated by BCBS to ensure that financial institutions have enough capital on account to meet obligations and absorb unexpected losses.


Loktak Elementary Floating School: India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur. The first of its kind school aims to provide education to drop outs students as well as illiterate adults. Currently it will provide education to around 40 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers. It was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA). Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. It is referred as the lifeline of Manipur and plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. The ancient lake is famous for the phumdis (also known as “phumshongs”), the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it. Keibul Lamjao National Park is one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
INS Sarvekshak: It is Indian Navy’s survey vessel based at the southern command in Kochi which has become the first naval ship to go green by installing solar power system on board.
Nilambur Teak: Nilambur Teak from Kerala has been accorded GI tag. It is internationally known for its superior timber quality and elegant appearance. Nilambur is christened as the Mecca of Teak. Other products from Kerala with GI tag includes: Pokkali Rice, Vazhakulam Pineapple, Tirur Betel vine, Wayanadan rice varieties Jeerakasala and Gandhakasala, Central Travancore Jaggery and Chengalikodan Nendran, a banana variety. GI is covered as an element of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

Person in News

Ajay Tyagi: Senior IAS Officer Ajay Tyagi has been appointed as the chairman of SEBI. The chairman of SEBI has a tenure of 5 years or 64 years of age, whichever is earlier. He is a 1984 batch IAS Officer of Himachal Pradesh Cadre. SEBI is the statutory regulator for the securities market in India established in 1988. It was given statutory powers through the SEBI Act, 1992. It has three functions: quasi-legislative (drafts regulations in its legislative capacity), quasi-judicial (passes rulings and orders in its judicial capacity) and quasi-executive (conducts investigation and enforcement action in its executive function). SEBI is headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra

Science & Tech

AAD Interceptor Missile: AAD Interceptor Missile is part of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence system. AAD stands for Advanced Air Defence and is also dubbed as Ashwin. It was recently successfully test fired from Abdul Kalam defence base off the coast of Odisha. India is among the few countries with successful AAD systems that includes US, Russia and Israel apart from India. It forms the endo-atmospheric interception segment of India’s Ballistic Missile Defence system and other segment i.e. exo-atmospheric segment is taken care by Prithivi Air Defence


70th BAFTA Awards 2017: BAFTA or British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ceremony was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. La La Land won the most of the awards in the event, winning 5 and was also most nominated in 11 categories. Best Film award was won by La La Land. These are annual awards found in 1947 by the British Film Academy. The award consists of a theatrical mask designed by American sculptor Mitzi Cunliffe.
59th Grammy Awards 2017: The Recording Academy at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California announced the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. These are recording industry’s most prestigious awards presented annually by National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the US. First time these awards were given in 1959 and were then called Gramophone Awards. There are 4 main categories which along with this year’s winner are as follows: Record of the Year – ‘Hello’ by Adele, Album of the Year - ‘25’ by Adele, Song of the Year – ‘Hello’ by Adele and Best New Artist – ‘Chance the Rapper’.


81st National Badminton Championships: 81st Senior National Badminton Championship was recently concluded in Patna in Bihar. The Men’s single title was won by Sourabh Verma where as Ms Rituparna Das won the Women’s single title. The women’s double event was won by duo of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant. Men’s double even was won by duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Chirag Shetty and the Mix Double Title went to duo of Satwik Sai Raj and Maneesha K.