13-14 February 2018 Current Affairs

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14 Feb, 2018

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1) What is India’s forest and tree cover in percentage as disclosed in the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 that was released on 12 February 2018? – 24.39%

Explanation: India’s forest and tree cover has increased by 8,021 sq. km, up 1% since 2015, to 802,088 sq. km, which is about 24.39% of the total geographical area (GA) of the country. Of the total increase of 8,021 sq. km in forest and tree cover, forest cover grew by 6,778 sq. km and tree cover by 1,243 sq. km.

According to the report, India’s total forest cover is 708,273 sq. km (about 21.54% of India’s total GA) and tree cover is 93,815 sq. km (about 2.85% of the total GA). The increase in total forest cover also includes an increase of 181 sq. km in mangrove cover, taking the total mangrove area in the country to 4,921 sq. km.

In 2015, India’s forest cover was 701,673 sq. km. The ISFR comes every two years and the 2017 report is the 15th such report. ISFR 2017 is also more comprehensive as it is based on information from 633 districts of the country compared to 589 in 2015.

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2) Who was elected as the new president of the Sahitya Akademi on 12 February 2018? – Prof. Chandrashekar Kambar

Explanation: Noted Kannada litterateur Chandrashekar Kambar has been elected as the new president of the Sahitya Akademi in the election held for the post on 12 February 2018. In the elections Kambar secured 56 votes, while his nearest contender and Odia writer Prathiba Ray got 29 votes. Marathi writer Balachandra Nemade, who was also a ‘symbolic’ contestant, secured four votes.

Prof. Kambar is the third Kannada writer to head the country’s premier literary institution, after Vinayak Krishna Gokak (1983) and U.R. Ananthamurthy (1993).

This was the second time election was held in the history of Sahitya Akademi, after Ananthamurthy’s election to the post. Kambar will replace Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari.

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3) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 12 February 2018 tightened norms for bad loan resolution by setting timelines for resolving large Non Performing Assets (NPAs), failing which banks will have to mandatorily refer them for insolvency proceedings. What is the prescribed time-line for such loans? – 180 days

Explanation: According to the notification issued by the RBI on 12 February 2018, banks must implement a resolution plan within 180 days (starting 1 March 2018) where the exposure is Rs. 2,000 crore and above, failing which the NPA account has to be referred to the insolvency and bankruptcy code within 15 days. This guideline was issued to set timeline for resolving large NPAs.

The large accounts are mainly those where banks have initiated resolution and are classified as restructured standard assets. Indian banks are sitting on a stressed assets pool of over Rs.10 trillion.

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4)  What is the name of the India-born engineer who was part of the team that bagged the scientific and engineering award at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards on 11 February 2018? – Vikas Sathaye

Explanation: An engineer raised in Mumbai, Vikas Sathaye, was part of the 4-member team that bagged the scientific and engineering award at the Oscars 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards that was held on 11 February 2018.

Sathaye’s team was honoured at the Beverly Hills ceremony “for the concept, design, engineering and implementation of the Shotover K1 Camera System”.

Sathaye, born in Pune in 1967, grew up in Mumbai. After school, Sathaye completed a diploma in instrumentation from VPM’s polytechnic, Thane, followed by a BE in electronics from VIT Pune, and an M. Tech in instrumentation from IISc, Bangalore. He taught at Pune’s Cummins College of Engineering for Women for seven years, during which he was sent to Italy for a project with Fiat for three months.

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Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !

Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.

Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.

Know about Sepp Blatter!

Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.

 


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