AIIB approves USD 1.5 billion loans to India for infrastructure projects
• China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved USD 1.5 billion in loans to India for infrastructure-related projects in 2018.
• The funds would be used for investment in India's energy, roads and urban development projects.
• The bank will examine allotting more funds for such projects in 2019.
Civil Aviation Minister inaugurates Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre
• Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju inaugurated a first of its kind Aviation Multi Skill Development Centre at the Chandigarh Old Airport Terminal building.
• The centre is a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the Airports Authority of India.
• It has been set up in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation and is supported by the Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council of India.
• It will train youth in 8 Aviation job roles over the next three years.
Saudi King sacks Army Chief and some other commanders in major military shake-up
• Saudi King Salman suspended the Military Chief General Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan and a number of other top commanders in a series of royal decrees issued on February 26, 2018.
• Fayyad al-Ruwaili was appointed as replacement of General Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan.
• The series of royal decrees also saw the appointment of new governors, deputy governors of provinces across the kingdom as well as new ministers to several posts.
I&B Ministry releases reference annual India 2018 and Bharat 2018
• Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani released the reference annual India 2018 and Bharat 2018.
• The books have been published by Publications Division in English and Hindi.
• These books are authentic and comprehensive volumes about government's plans and achievements in various sectors.
• The basic information about states and UT is also available in these volumes. These books will also help people especially researchers and students.
Russia vetoes UN draft resolution pressuring Iran over Yemen
• Russia on February 26, 2018 vetoed a UN draft resolution presented by Britain that would have pressured Iran over its failure to block supplies of missiles to Yemen's Huthi rebels.
• The text, strongly supported by the United States, won 11 favourable votes at the 15-member Security Council but was blocked by Russia's veto.
• China and Kazakhstan abstained, while Bolivia also voted against the measure.
• The adoption of a resolution at the UN Security Council requires 9 votes and no vetoes from the five permanent council members - Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States.
• After the veto, the council unanimously adopted a Russian-drafted measure that extended the sanctions regime against Yemen for one year, but that text made no mention of Iran.
Maharashtra celebrates Marathi Bhasha Diwas
• Maharashtra celebrated ‘Marathi Bhasha Diwas’ on February 27, 2018.
• Various cultural programmes were organized in the different parts of the state.
• Celebrations were also held at the Legislative Assembly in Mumbai where the budget session is going on.
• To mark the day, major events were organized in Nashik, the hometown of the litterateur VV Shirwadkar.
• Marathi Bhasha Diwas’ is celebrated on the occasion of the birth anniversary of noted Marathi litterateur VV Shirwadkar, popularly known as ‘Kusumagraj'.
CSIR-NIO Goa announces discovery of methane gas flares in Krishna Godavari basin in Bay of Bengal
• CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa announced the discovery of methane gas flares and active cold seeps from the seabed in the Krishna Godavari basin in the Bay of Bengal.
• The seep sites are distributed over a water depth of 900 metres to 1900 metres.
• These sites are characterized by high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, calcium carbonate, unique faunal groups and shallow presence of methane hydrates.
• The discovery has put India on the global map of cold seeps and is a landmark finding in the history of gas hydrates in the country.
New Facilities for UAN-Aadhar linking introduced by EPFO
• Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has introduced UAN-Aadhaar linking facility for the convenience of members using EPFO Link in UMANG Mobile App.
• The facility on e-KYC Portal has further added a new feature to link UAN with Aadhaar online using biometric credentials.
• For using this facility with UMANG APP, Member will have to provide his/her UAN. An OTP will be sent to the UAN registered Mobile Number.
• After OTP Verification, member will have to provide Aadhaar details and gender information. Another OTP will be sent on Aadhaar Registered Mobile Number and/or email.
• After OTP verification, Aadhaar will be linked with UAN where UAN and Aadhaar details are matched.
Uma Bharti launches 2nd project of Swajal Yojana in Rajasthan
• Union Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Uma Bharti, launched the Swajal pilot project at Village Bhikampura, Karauli, Rajasthan.
• The project will ensure the availability of clean drinking water to every household round the year and would also generate employment.
• The pilot Swajal Project at Bhikampura was launched with a budget of more than 54.17 lakh rupees.
• Swajal is a community owned drinking water programme for sustained drinking water supply.