Top 10 Weekly Current Affairs: 19 February to 24 February 2018
UNICEF issued a blank statement to Syria on February 20 to express its outrage at mass casualties among Syrian children in the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta and neighboring Damascus.
1. Jaipur’s Gandhinagar railway station becomes 1st fully women operated station
• The Gandhi Nagar railway station of Jaipur, Rajasthan became the country’s first major non-suburban railway station to be fully-managed by women.
• It is the second station in the country to be managed solely by women – the first being Matunga in Mumbai.
• Gandhi Nagar is important railway station in Jaipur situated on Jaipur-Delhi rail route. More than 50 trains pass through the station daily out of which 25 halting at it.
2. UNICEF issues Blank Statement on Syria, says it has run out of words
• UNICEF issued a blank statement to Syria on February 20, 2018 to express its outrage at mass casualties among Syrian children in the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta and neighboring Damascus.
• There were 10 empty lines with quote marks indicating missing text and an explanatory footnote, indicating its incapability to describe children’s suffering and its outrage.
• Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been besieging almost 400000 civilians trapped inside Eastern Ghouta for years.
• This siege has tightened this year and attacks on the enclave have intensified.
3. ICC Rankings: Virat Kohli crosses 900 points in Tests, ODIs
• India captain Virat Kohli became only the second batsman after South Africa's AB de Villiers, in the history of the game to cross the 900-point mark in Tests and ODIs, as per latest ICC ODI player rankings.
• Pacer Jasprit Bumrah grabbed the joint-top position among bowlers.
• Kohli consolidated his top position with 558 runs in the 5-1 series win over South Africa, during which he slammed three centuries.
• Kohli is now a good 22 points ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, whose ODI career high was 887 points which came against Zimbabwe in January 1998.
4. Students in Bihar asked to wear slippers during board exams
• In a bid to stop cheating, the Bihar School Examination Board on February 18, 2018 ordered students sitting for the board examinations to not wear shoes and socks during the examination.
• The board stated in an official circular that the students will have to wear slippers on the exam day.
• The Bihar School Examination Board's President stated that this rule will also be implemented in the annual Secondary Examinations.
• The instructions have been issued to all district education officers, candidates and parents in this regard.
• The board examinations are scheduled to commence in Bihar from February 21, 2018.
• The new rule comes after 985 students were expelled on February 17 for cheating during the intermediate examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board.
• A total of 25 people were caught writing the exam on behalf of another candidate.
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5. Reliance to invest 60,000 cr in Maharashtra
• The Chairman and MD of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani announced on February 18, 2018 that his company would be investing around Rs 60,000 crores in a collaborative initiative in the state of Maharashtra, over the next 10 years.
• Reliance would be establishing India's first-ever integrated industrial area for the fourth Industrial Revolution in the state of Maharashtra.
• More than 20 global companies, including Nokia, Dell, HP, Cisco, Siemens have already agreed to co-invest with Reliance.
• The fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to help Maharashtra and India solve difficult problems including education, healthcare, water security and also boost agriculture.
6. Woman cricketer Harmanpreet to join Punjab police on March 1
• India's Twenty20 women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur is set to join Punjab police as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) on March 1, 2018.
• This became possible after Indian Railways relieved Harmanpreet following her request to join Punjab police.
• She had resigned from the Railways last year. Her medical test for the post of DSP had already been completed but she could not join as Indian Railway did not relieve her.
• Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had offered the DSP post to Harmanpreet in July 2017, following her scintillating performance in the Women's World Cup 2017.
7. Norway's Bjoergen becomes most successful Winter Olympian
• Norway's Marit Bjoergen on February 21, 2018 became the most successful athlete in Winter Olympics history by clinching the bronze medal in cross country skiing's women's team sprint free.
• Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins won the gold and the first Olympic cross country title for the United States.
• Bjoergen's bronze with Maiken Caspersen Falla took her total tally to 14 Olympic medals, surpassing fellow Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen who has 13 in biathlon.
• The 37-year-old Bjoergen is also the second most successful woman at both Summer and Winter Games, trailing behind only Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina who has won 18 medals.
8. CCEA approves opening up of commercial coal mining to private firms
• CCEA approved the methodology for auction of coal mines for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
• It also allowed private companies to mine the fossil fuel for commercial use, ending the monopoly of state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL), which is a major reform in the coal sector since its nationalisation in 1973.
• Currently, private sector is allowed coal mining for captive use only.
9. For garbage disposal, Bengal a model for the whole country
• Union Rural Development Ministry recently has sent instructions to all the state and union territory governments to study and implement the Bengal model.
• TMC Government in West Bengal has used the 100 Days’ Work Scheme (NREGA) for garbage disposal by the Panchayats.
• The solid waste management system that the panchayats have implemented is both health-friendly and environment-friendly.
• West Bengal has also been acknowledged by the Centre as being the best in implementing the 100 Days’ Work Scheme.
10. Artificial Intelligence can be used to eradicate poverty and diseases: PM Modi
• Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated recently that the Union Government has firm belief that it can use artificial intelligence to eradicate poverty and diseases.
• He said by doing so the government would be able to bring prosperity to poor and under-privileged sections.
• The Prime Minister said there is no doubt that productivity will increase by using Artificial Intelligence, however, there are also rising fears of human redundancy because there is a competition between the mind and the machine.
• Further, he added that the progress of Artificial Intelligence depends on and will be driven by human intentions.