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Daily GK Dose 22nd February 2018

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Daily GK Dose 22nd February

1. India, Indonesia joint military drill begins

The Indian and Indonesian armies began the sixth edition of their annual military exercises in the West Java province of the archipelago country.

  1. The opening ceremony of the two-week Garuda Shakti military drill between the Special Forces of the Indian Army and the Indonesian Army was held at Bandung.
  2. Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Pradeep Kumar Rawat attended the opening ceremony along with Indonesian military officers.


2. Nadda addresses Global Digital Health Partnership Symposium at Australia

“Digital health has great potential towards reducing inequity in provisioning and distribution of healthcare resources and services and it can greatly facilitate proactive treatment for disabled patients, children with developmental delays and deformities and people suffering from mental health illnesses and for those suffering from stigmatic infections such as HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis.” This was stated by Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare during his address at the Global Digital Health Partnership Symposium at Sydney, Australia.

  1. The Union Health Minister spoke on the topic: The role of digital health in supporting improved health outcomes in India.
  2. The Union Health Minister informed the participants that the National Health Policy (2017) of India clearly articulates the healthcare aspirations of people of India with three distinct goals.

3. Government sets up the “NITI Forum for Northeast”

The Union Government has issued order setting up the ‘Niti Forum for North-East’.

  1. The forum will be co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog and Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER).
  2. The forum will have its Secretariat in the Ministry of DoNER.
  3. The NITI Forum for Northeast is tasked to identify various constraints on the way of accelerated, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of the country and to recommend suitable interventions for addressing identified constraints.   
  4. It will also review the development status in the NER.

4. NER’s first regional Centre for Agriculture in Mizoram

Israeli Ambassador Mr Daniel Carmon informed that a Centre for Agriculture, with collaboration of Israeli expertise, is going to be inaugurated in Mizoram on 7th March this year.

  1. This will be the first such centre in the North East region of India that is being established with Israeli collaboration, he added.
  2. Set up with a cost of Rs 8-10 crore, this centre is exclusively for processing of citrus fruits.
  3. The project has been set up with the tripartite collaboration of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Government of Israel and State Government of Mizoram.

5. Kerala makes vaccination compulsory for school admissions

The CPI(M)-led Left Front government in Kerala has made vaccination compulsory for school admissions from next academic year onwards.

  1. Parents will have to show details of shots given to children at the time of enrolment in schools. 
  2. Earlier the government had constituted a 17-member experts panel headed by Dr E Ekbal to chalk out a comprehensive health policy.

6. Gandhi Nagar becomes the country’s first all-woman managed railway station

The Gandhi Nagar railway station in Jaipur, became the country’s first major railway station to be fully-managed by women.

  1. Gandhi Nagar is important railway station in Jaipur situated on the Jaipur-Delhi rail route with more than 50 trains passing through the station out of which 25 halting at the station.
  2. The station has footfall of more than 7,000 passengers every day.

7. Centre constitutes committee to study Brahmaputra and flood control measures in Assam

The Centre has constitued a committee headed by the Vice Chairman of the NITI Aayog Rajiv Kumar to study the Brahmaputra and flood control measures in Assam and neighbouring states.

  1. Assam government has submitted required report on flood control measures to the committee.
  2. Measures are being taken by the Water Resource department to repair the damaged river embankment due to flood.


8. British bank RBS hires “digital human” Cora on probation

A life-like avatar called Cora is being put through her paces by Royal Bank of Scotland, helping customers with basic queries and giving its digital banking drive a more human face.

  1. RBS, which recently axed a quarter of its branches and has announced thousands of job cuts in the past year alone as it reduces costs, will only deploy Cora to NatWest customers if the bank's female avatar passes her probation period.
  2. Cora, which is undergoing advanced testing as part of a pilot programme at RBS, could even be used to train members of staff.

9. EPFO cuts interest rate to 8.55% for 2017-18

Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has reduced interest rate on deposits to 8.55% for 2017-18 following a general decline in interest rates.

  1. The decision was taken by EPFO’s central board of trustees at its 220th board meeting, labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said.
  2. EPFO had announced an interest rate of 8.65% for 2016-17 and 8.8% in 2015-16.

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