Daily Current Affairs 23rd February, 2017
Bharti Airtel to acquire Telenor India
- The country’s largest telecom services provider, Bharti Airtel (Airtel) has officially announced that it will acquire Telenor India. The deal sixe is expected to be in between between Rs. 6,500 crore and Rs. 7,000 crore.
- According to Telenor, the transaction will not trigger any impairment. As part of the agreement, Airtel will acquire Telenor India’s running operations in seven circles Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.
Suresh Prabhu unveils Antyodaya Express for common man
- Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu unveiled Antyodaya Express for common man Equipped with cushioned seats, aluminium composite panels, and LED lights, the Antyodaya Express, a new fully unreserved train for the common man with specially designed colourful coaches.
- The first Antyodaya Express will be launched between Mumbai and Tatanagar, and the second will be between Ernakulam and Howrah shortly.
CCEA approves doubling of solar power capacity to 40000 MW
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.
- The capacity of the solar park scheme was enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States.
Union Cabinet approves Air Services Agreement between India and Greece
- Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece.
- At present there is no ASA between India and Greece. T
- The delegations both countries in September 2016 had finalized the text of ASA.
WTO’s trade facilitation agreement comes into effect
- The WTO’s trade facilitation agreement, which seeks to ease customs norms, came into effect from with its two-thirds members ratifying the pact.
- The TFA, which has been ratified by India, will give a boost to the global trade, which has been impacted due to slowdown in the world economy.
- According to experts, the agreement comes at a time when India’s efforts to improve exports are gaining momentum.
- The 164-member World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a statement stated that a major milestone for the global trading system was reached as the first multilateral deal concluded in the 21-year history of the multi-lateral trade body entered into force.
Govt doubles maternity leave for women workers in industries
- The government has allowed women working in industries to take six months maternity leave pre-empting parliamentary approval on the maternity benefit amendment bill that is pending in the Lok Sabha.
- Through an executive order the labour and employment ministry has doubled maternity leave to six months from three for industrial women workers.
- But the benefit will be restricted to women who make a monthly contribution to the employees’ state insurance corpus from their salaries.
- This means about 2.9 million women working across various industries will get the benefit.
ENVIRONMENT,SCIENCE AND TECH
NASA discovers 7 Earth-like planets
- US space agency NASA has announced that scientists researching outer space have found the existence of another ‘solar system’ – seven Earth-like planets orbiting a small star in galaxy 40 light years away – opening up the most promising hunting ground so far for life beyond.
- The Spitzer Space Telescope has found that the planets are as large as Earth and at least three of them are in a “habitable zone”. Almost all of them are rocky and three are likely to have water. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets.
About the Exoplanets
- This star system is less than 40 light-years from Earth, or 235 trillion miles away, in the constellation Aquarius.
- At the hub is a small, faint star known as Trappist-1.
- Seven planets circle Trappist-1, with orbits ranging from 1 ½ to 20 days.
- If Trappist-1 were our sun, all these planets would fit inside the orbit of Mercury. That’s how close they are to their star and why their orbits are so short.
- Three of the planets are smack dab in the so-called habitable zone, also known as the Goldilocks zone, where conditions are just right for water and life to flourish — not too much and not too little stellar energy. The four other planets are tantalizingly close to the Goldilocks zone— so close that they, too, could harbor water and potentially life.
- The ultracool star at the heart of this system would shine 200 times dimmer than our sun, a perpetual twilight as we know it. And the star would glow red — maybe salmon-coloured, researchers speculate.
- Unlike Earth, which rotates on its axis, the planets are “tidally locked to the star.” This means that one side of the planet has only day, and one side has only night. It also means the weather conditions are unlike what we experience on Earth.
India to host 2019 Combined World Cup for shooting
- The National Rifle Association of India(NRAI) announced that India will be hosting the Combined World Cup for shooting in 2019 during the meeting held in New Delhi.