11-12 February 2018 Current Affairs

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12 Feb, 2018

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1) ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) and its partners on 11 February 2018 signed an agreement to acquire a 10% stake in a large offshore oilfield in Abu Dhabi for USD 600 million. What is the significance of this deal? – This is the first time any Indian company has set foot in oil rich UAE

Explanation: OVL, the overseas arm of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and a unit of Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) on 11 February 2018 signed a historic agreement for acquiring 10% stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Co’s (ADNOC) 40-year Lower Zakum Concession, Offshore Abu Dhabi.

This is the first time that Indian oil companies have taken part in an Abu Dhabi oil and gas concession. The concession, which has a term of 40 years with an effective date of 9 March 2018, was signed by ONGC Group Chairman Shashi Shanker and ADNOC Group Chief Executive Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber in presence of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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2) Among Indian cities which is the only city to feature in the list of top 15 wealthiest cities globally that was disclosed in a report by New World Wealth? – Mumbai

Explanation: India’s financial capital Mumbai, with a total wealth of USD 950 billion, has been named among the top 15 wealthiest cities listing by New World Wealth. India is the 12th wealthiest city, while New York topped the list with a total wealth of USD 3 trillion. Total wealth, refers to the private wealth held by all the individuals living in each city. It includes all their assets (property, cash, equities, business interests) less any liabilities.

According to the report, Mumbai is home to 28 billionaires, individuals with USD 1 billion or more in net assets. It is also home to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the 12th largest stock exchange in the world. Major industries in the city include financial services, real estate and media.

London ranked second in the list with USD 2.7 trillion, followed by Tokyo (USD 2.5 trillion), and San Francisco Bay area (USD 2.3 trillion). Others in the list include Beijing (USD 2.2 trillion), Shanghai (USD 2 trillion), Los Angeles (USD 1.4 trillion), Hong Kong (USD 1.3 trillion), Sydney (USD 1 trillion), Singapore (USD 1 trillion) and Chicago (USD 988 billion).

Mumbai is followed by Toronto with a total wealth of USD 944 billion, Frankfurt (14th, USD 912 billion) and Paris (15th, USD 860 billion) in top 15 cities.

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3) Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on 10 February 2018 conferred with which highest honour by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas? – “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine”

Explanation: President Mahmoud Abbas bestowed the “Grand Collar of the State of Palestine” on Indian President Narendra Modi after the conclusion of their bilateral meeting in Ramallah on 10 February 2018.

He was bestowed with this honour in recognition of his contributions to promoting relations between India and Palestine.

The Grand Collar is Highest order given to foreign dignitaries – Kings, Heads of State/Government and persons of similar rank. This award has in the past been awarded to King Salman of Saudi Arabia, King Hamad of Bahrain, President Xi Jinping of China, among others.

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4) Asma Jahangir, who passed away on 11 February 2018, was a noted personality of Pakistan associated with which field? – Human rights activism

Explanation: Asma Jahangir was one of the leading human rights and pro-democracy activist of Pakistan. She championed women’s rights throughout her career. She worked closely with her sister Hina Jilani on many of her endeavours.

She was trained as a lawyer and worked in Pakistan’s Supreme Court from age 30. She later emerged as a vocal critic of the military establishment. She was imprisoned in 1983 and put under house arrest in 2007 for opposing military leader’s removal of Supreme Court chief justice.

Asma was also a co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and of the first free legal aid centre in Pakistan. She was winner of several awards including the UNESCO/Bilbao prize for the promotion of a culture of human rights and the French Legion of Honour. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

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5) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 11 February 2018 officially launched a project for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. Which religious institution will build this temple? – Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS)

Explanation: Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), the worldwide religious and civic organization within the Swaminarayan branch of Hinduism, will construct a grand Swaminarayan Temple in Abu Dhabi, which will be the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The proposed temple will be on the pattern of the existing Akshardham Swaminarayan temples in Delhi and Gandhinagar.

On 11 February 2018 the Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the BAPS Swaminarayan temple via video conferencing from the Dubai Opera House, where he addressed the members of the Indian community.

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