1. China elected as Vice President of Financial Action Task Force
• China was elected as the Vice President of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body mandated to combat terror financing and money laundering. China's election came after the FATF plenary meeting on February 23, 2018 in Paris.
• China's election to the FATF assumes significance as Pakistan is set to be put in the FATF 'grey list' in June 2018. The grey lists puts countries under the scanner for not implementing the objectives of the task force.
• During the plenary meeting, FATF placed Pakistan under monitoring in its International Cooperation Review Group until June 2018 for compliance of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Finance of Terrorism regulations.
2. Saudi Arabia allows women to enlist in military
• The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has for the first-ever time opened applications for women to enlist in the military.
• Women have been given time till March 1, 2018 to apply for positions with the rank of soldier in the provinces of Riyadh, Mecca, al-Qassim and Medina.
• The move is a continuation of the kingdom’s effort to enact reforms that grant females more access to a wide range of previously forbidden careers.
• The female applicants must be Saudi citizens with a high school diploma. The age limit has been set between 25 to 35 years.
3. UIDAI launches blue coloured Baal Aadhaar
• The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a blue coloured 'Baal Aadhaar' card for children below the age of five years.
• The card will be issued to children in the age group without any biometric details but they will be required to complete a mandatory verification process when they turn five and then again when they are 15 years old.
• The blue coloured Aadhaar card will be given to children below the age of 5 years. To get a Baal Aadhaar, no biometric details will be needed. When the child turns 5, a mandatory biometric update will be required.
4. A great loss to Indian Cinema, Bollywood actress Sridevi no more
• Sridevi, a Bollywood actress who charmed audiences with her larger-than-life performances like Hawa Hawai and Chandni, died on February 24, 2018 in Dubai following a cardiac arrest. She was 54. She is survived by her husband Boney Kapoor and two daughters, Jhanvi and Khushi.
• Sridevi was in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend a family wedding. Her sudden and untimely death has trembled the entire nation and has saddened millions of fans.
• Sridevi is considered as the Bollywood’s first female superstar who gave several box-office hits with no man beside her in a leading role.
5. China proposes removal of 2-term limit for President
• China on February 25, 2018 paved the way for third consecutive term of President Xi Jinping by proposing removal of 2-term limit for President.
• The proposal was made by Communist Party of China (CPC) through amendments to China's Constitution. It proposed that the President and the Vice-President shall not be constitutionally restricted to two consecutive terms in office.
• The proposal was raised to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC). It will be approved at an annual meeting of parliament that will be held on March 5, 2018.
• Xi Jinping, who is serving his second consecutive five-year term, can now continue beyond 2023. Xi was named as the President of China in 2012. His first five-year term as president came to an end in 2017.
6. DRDO successfully test-flights Rustom 2 drone
• The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on February 25, 2018 successfully conducted the test-flight of India's home-made drone 'Rustom 2' at its Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) at Chitradurga, Karnataka.
• Rustom 2 is being developed on the lines of predator drones of the United States with an aim to carry out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles for the armed forces with an endurance of 24 hours.
• The drone was developed for use by all three services of the Indian armed forces- Indian Navy, Indian Army and Indian Air Force.
7. RBI launches Ombudsman Scheme for NBFCs
• The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched ‘Ombudsman Scheme’ for non-banking financial companies (NBFC) for redressal of complaints against them.
• As per the RBI, this Scheme will offer a speedy and cost-free complaint redressal mechanism relating to deficiency in the services by NBFCs covered under the Scheme.
• The Scheme will be known as ‘Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018’.
8. Top Cabinet Approvals: 1 March 2018
• The Union Cabinet was on February 28, 2018 apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Fiji on cooperation in renewable energy.
• It approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Macedonia on cooperation in the field of Health.
• It approved the proposal of the Department of Commerce to give focused attention to 12 identified Champion Services Sectors for promoting their development, and realizing their potential.
• The Cabinet approved amendments to (i) The Housing and Telephone Facilities (Members of Parliament) Rules, 1956 (ii) The Members of Parliament (Constituency Allowance) Rules, 1986, (iii) The Members of Parliament (Office Expense Allowance) Rules, 1988.
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the regularization and extension of Government Guarantee from Rs 9500 crore to Rs 19000 crore for procurements of pulses and oilseeds at MSP by NAFED under Price Support Scheme (PSS).
9. Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati passes away
• Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the Kanchi Shankaracharya, passed away on February 28, 2018 in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. He was 82. He was 69th pontiff of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.
• He will be succeeded by the junior pontiff Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswathi, the 70th Shankaracharya of Kamakoti Peetam traditionally referred to as Kamakshi.
• He was named as the successor to Kanchi Mutt by Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swami and was given the title Jayendra Saraswathi on 22 March, 1954, when he became the younger pontiff. He became an elder pontiff in 1994.
10. India ranked 47th in Inclusive Internet Index 2018
• India was ranked 47th out of 86 nations in the Inclusive Internet Index 2018, which was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on February 26, 2018.
• The EIU was commissioned by social media giant Facebook. This year's index covered 91 per cent of the world's population and an expanded data set of 86 countries, up from 75 countries in 2017.
• The report ranked India at the 47th position when it comes to inclusive Internet and connectivity for all due to low usage and poor quality.