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Current affairs for 17th to 25th Feb 2017

Current affairs for 17th to 25th Feb 2017

  1.  In its thirty ninth flight (PSLV-C37), ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series Satellite along with 103 co-passenger satellite on February 15, 2017, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR at Sriharikota. This is the thirtyeight consecutively successful mission of PSLV. The total weight of all the 104 satellites carried on-board PSLV-C37 was 1378 kg. PSLV-C37 lifted off at 0928 hrs (9:28 am) IST, as planned, from the First Launch Pad. After a flight of 16 minutes 48 seconds, the satellites achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 506 km inclined at an angle of 97.46 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and in the succeeding 12 minutes, all the 104 satellites successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage om a predetermined sequence beginning with Cartosat-2 series satellite, followed by INS-1 and INS-2. The total number of Indian satellites launched by PSLV now stands at46. Of the 103 co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C37; two – ISRO Nano Satellites-1 (INS-1) weighing 8.4 kg and INS-2 weighing 9.7 kg – are technology demonstration satellites from India. The remaining 101 co-passenger satellites carried were international customer satellites from USA (96). The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1), Israel (1), Kazakhstan (1) and UAE (1).
  2. Pursuing Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of coronary stents. This was informed by Centre has issued notification for fixing the ceiling prices of coronary stents. This was informed by Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Ananthkumar. The step would bring down the cost of coronary stents currently hiked by about 380%. The ceiling prices of Bare Metal Stents (BMS), having 10% market share, has been capped at Rs. 7,260 and Drug Eluting Stents (DES), having 90% market share, at Rs. 29,600. These prices are exclusive of VAT and other local taxes. The Minister further stated that since most of the States have 5% VAT on stents, the MRP of BMS and DES would be Rs. 7,623 and Rs. 31,080. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the prices within 60 days as required. The step is a major decisive action on the unethical margins charged at each stage in the supply chain of coronary stents.
  3. The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Sanhay Gandhi has urged schools to strictly observe Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment, issued by the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of WCD Ministry. The WCD Ministry has asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development for wide spread circulation and implementation of the Guidelines for Elimination of Corporal Punishment in schools. This was done in the light of the recent disturbing incident of girl students who were meted out tormenting corporal punishment in the school for not completing their homework. The incident was widely reported in the media, thereby bringing to public attention the issue of corporal punishment used in schools.
  4. The total food grain production in the country has been pegged at record 272 million tonne. Agriculture Ministry in its second advance estimates of production of major crops for 2016-17 said a record is going to be made due to good rainfall and various policy initiatives taken by the government. It is higher by about 7 million tonnes in 2013-14. Total production of rice is estimated at record 108.86 million tonnes which is also a new record. Wheat production, estimated at 96.64 million tonnes is also a record.
  5. Nearly half of the 18-lakh people under the Income Tax scanner for suspicious bank deposits during the demonetization period, have been put in the ‘doubtful’ category. The action against them will follow only after the new tax amnesty scheme which ends on 31st of next month. Under ‘Operation Clean Money’, the IT department had sent SMS and e-mails to these people.
  6. The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI, stood at 5025% (provisional) for the month of January 2017 (over January 2016) as compared to 3.39% (provisional) for the previous month and -1.07% during the corresponding month of the previous year.
  7. UN Secretary General Antonia Guterres has cautioned US President Donald Trump against abandoning the idea of a two-state solution to the Israeli-President conflict, saying there is no alternative. It comes after Mr. Trump went against decades of US policy, saying he would back whatever formula led to peace. Palestinians reacted with alarm to the possibility that the US could drop support for Palestinian statehood.
  8. In the United States, a top American Senator has sought reform in H-1B visas system to bring in highly qualified workers from other countries to fill the huge shortage of IT professionals in the US. Republican Senator Orin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force, said in Washington that he will soon re-introduce the Immigration Innovation Act, which he had introduced in the last two Congresses to modernize H-1B visa system.
  9. In Pakistan, the death toll in the suicide attack inside the crowded Sufi Shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sindh has risen over 80.
  10. India’s star shuttler PV has risen to a career best BWF ranking of number five. She overtook Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi, as per the latest rankings released. This is the first time that Sindhu has broken into the top five. Saina Nehwal, who is ranked ninth, is the other Indian in the top 10, while Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying continues to lead the rankings. Saina had a rather forgettable year in 2016 as she had been out for most of the year due to a knee injury. Sindhu, in contrast, had probably the best year of her career as she won the Silver Medal at the Rio Olympic and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.
  11. The Indian team has lifted the T 20 World Cup for Blind Cricketers. Following the success of Para athletes at Rio Paralympics 2016, the Indian team for Blind Cricket has added another chapter of glory in history of Indian Sports by retaining T 20 World Cup. The emphatic victory of India in finals over Pakistan is significant as the visiting side was enjoying unbeatable record in the championship this year till their defeat in finals by India.
  12. The first Youth Test match between Under-19 cricket teams of India and England has ended in a draw. In the match played at Nagpur, a staggering 17 wickets fell on the fourth and final day.

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