Current Affairs in Short: 14 February 2018
The Union Government has decided to impose an extra charge of Rs 200 for those wishing to see the main mausoleum at Taj Mahal. The entry fee to the monument will also be raised from existing 40 rupees to 50 rupees and an extra Rs 200.
1. Winter Olympics Events rescheduled as high winds sweep through Pyeongchang
Several Olympic events were postponed or rescheduled as strong winds swept through the Pyeongchang region on February 14, 2018, causing damage to temporary structures set up for the Games.
The Nordic combined, biathlon and Alpine skiing events were postponed or delayed due to the damaging weather conditions.The Olympic organisers stated that they are revising the competition schedule and are working to limit the damage sustained around venues.
At the Gangneung Ice Arena, the venue for figure skating and short track speed skating, a tent set up for security screenings fell flat on the pavement. The Olympic volunteers and reporters could be seen trudging with their backs to the wind, shielding their faces from the dust.
2. India, Russia celebrate 70 years of bilateral relations in field of agriculture
India and Russia on February 14, 2018 celebrated 70 years of bilateral relations in the field of agriculture at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.
On the occasion, delegations from both India and Russia visited the Central State Farm (CSF) in Suratgarh, which was set up in 1956 with the help of USSR.
Scientists from Russia played a huge role in laying the foundation of agriculture in the deserts of Thar, which brought about a major change in the agriculture farming in nearby areas including fringe area of Punjab.
3. Three-day national workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition to begin in Kerala
A three-day national workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and its applications
will be conducted by the Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management–Kerala (IIITM-K) in Thiruvananthapuram from February 22, 2018.
The programme would be covering aspects such as speech production, speech signal processing, speech recognition models, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) using Deep Neural Networks and its various applications.
The workshop will also deal with topics like recent industry approaches in speech recognition and developments, related issues and challenges and current research areas in speech.
4. Venezuela, Libya suspended from voting in UN General Assembly
Venezuela and Libya have been suspended from voting in the UN General Assembly for the third time in three years because of millions of dollars in unpaid dues to the world body.
The Secretary-General Antonio Guterres informed the General Assembly in late January that 14 countries including Venezuela and Libya were in arrears, and Assembly spokesman Brenden Varma confirmed on February 14 that Venezuela and Libya have lost their vote in the 193-member global organisation as a result.
According to a letter from Guterres to the Assembly President, Venezuela must pay a minimum of 25,200,296 US dollars to restore its voting rights and Libya must pay at least 6,594,842 US dollars.
5. London City Airport reopens after World War II bomb scare
London City Airport has reopened after an unexploded 500 kilogram World War Two bomb was safely moved from the area.
The bomb was discovered at the King George V Dock on February 11 during planned work at the east London airport. Following the discovery, all flights were cancelled, the airport was shut down and an exclusion zone was put in place, with the closure affecting up to 16,000 passengers and nearby residents being evacuated from their homes.
The royal navy divers worked through the night to move the bomb.
6. Union Government introduces extra fee to enter main mausoleum at Taj Mahal
The Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has announced that the tourists visiting the Taj Mahal would have to pay more from April 1, 2018.
As of now, there is no separate fee for entry to the main mausoleum. However, with this decision, those wishing to see the main mausoleum at Taj Mahal will have to pay an extra charge of Rs 200.
Besides this, the entry fee will also be raised from existing 40 rupees to 50 rupees and an extra Rs 200. The move is aimed at preserving the historic site and effecting better crowd management.
The decision follows a recent report by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, which had recommended immediate steps to reduce footfall into the mausoleum for its protection.