1. Cabinet Approves Trade Facilitation Agreement
- Union Cabinet approved the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.
- The pact was agreed upon at a multilateral meeting in Bali in 2013.
- It will take effect once two-thirds of the WTO members complete ratification process.
2. Ringing Bells Unveils World’s Cheapest Smartphone
- Defense Minister Manohar Parrikkar launched the cheapest smartphone.
- The smartphone, named ‘Freedom 251’, comes with a price tag of Rs. 251.
- ‘It has 4-inch display, a 3.2 MP primary camera and a front facing camera.
- Bookings will start on Thursday 18 February from 6.00 am.
- Ringing Bells had also launched the cheapest 4G smartphone at Rs 2,999, recently.
3.SEBI chief designate’s term cut by two years
- The government on 17th Feb 2017 reduced the term of Ajay Tyagi, Chairman-designate of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, by two years.
- Tyagi, who will take over as SEBI chief next month, will now have a term of three years and will be eligible for an extension.
4. Govt may divert coal from thermal plants to steel industry: Goyal
- The government is examining a proposal to divert high-grade domestic coal from thermal power plants to meet the needs of the steel industry for coking coal.
- Speaking at the sidelines of the International Conference on NexGen Technologies for Mining and Fuel Industries here, Minister of State for coal, Piyush Goyal said, “There are certain grades of coal which if washed can be upgraded to coking coal.
- So, Secretary Coal has been advised to work with the coal companies. We are trying to get an additional 20 mn tonnes of coking coal in the country within the next 3-4 years .”
5. Neelam Damodaran is Bank of India new ED
- The Government has appointed Neelam Damodaran as Executive Director of Bank of India. His tenor is up to November 30, 2019.Prior to his elevation as ED, Damodaran was General Manager with Bank of Baroda.
- He took charge on February 16, 2017 .With this appointment, Bank of India now has two EDs. R A Sankara Narayanan has been ED of the bank since May 15, 2015.
6. Rubber Board gets nod for 2nd phase of skills project
- The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has approved the second phase of a Rubber Board project for skill development in the rubber plantation sector under the Pradhan Mantri KaushalVikas Yojana (PMKVY).
- The project proposes to impart Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) training to 22,000 persons in rubber tapping and processing in Kerala, Tripura and
7. CMFRI launches ‘fish identifying’ app
- The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a mobile app called Fish Finder — to identify commercial reef and reef-associated fishes.
- The app has an easy search portal with common names and is useful for the public as well as researchers and students, said Rekha J Nair, Principal Scientist of the Demersal Fisheries Division of CMFRI, who developed the app.