One liners 17th February

• Indian Air Force is set to demonstrate its full combat and fire capabilities during ‘Exercise Vayu Shakti-2019’ in the Pokharan firing range close to Indo-Pak border in Rajasthan.

• Taro Kono, Foreign Minister of Japan condolences to Sushma Swaraj, extending sincere condolences to those who lost their lives and their bereaved families in the terrorist attack carried out in Kashmir. Japan expresses its solidarity with India in combatting terrorism.

• Punjab government presents ‘comprehensive action plan’ to check pollution in the Beas and Sutlej, besides steps to restore the water quality of rivers in the state. The state government will also take up the issue with the Centre.

• Zimbabwe is the country has valuable platinum, diamond, gold, coal and copper deposits. It faces a deep economic crisis, the worst in a decade. The country’s main commodities include metallurgical-grade chromite, as well as asbestos, coal, copper, gold, nickel, and iron ore.

• Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, inaugurated the North Karnataka Agromet Forecasting and Research Centre (NKAFC), India’s first agreement forecast centre, at University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) in Dharwad, Karnataka.

• World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2019, the flagship event of ‘The Energy and Resources Institute’ (TERI), was inaugurated by Vice President Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The theme of WSDS 2019 was ‘Attaining the 2030 Agenda: delivering on our promise’.

• The International Labour Organization released World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019 report. As per the report, unemployment rates will fall to 4.9% in 2019 and remains steady in 2020.

• Hockey India named 34 players for the senior men’s national camp, beginning February 18 at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru, to prepare for the season’s first tournament — Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

• Chile president Sebastian Pinera has announced that Chile, along with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, will bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.

• A penalty of Rs 1.5 crore has been imposed on Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) and Rs 1 crore each on Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of India, for violation of various banking norms.

• William Barr was sworn in for second time as the new Attorney General of United States. Barr, who also served as the Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during President George HW Bush’s administration, succeeds Jeff Sessions.

• NASA has announced a new space telescope mission dedicated to understanding the origins of life and the universe. It’s called the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer – shortly SPHEREx.

• The country changed its name to North Macedonia from Macedonia after an agreement with Greece to settle a long-standing dispute. After declaring independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, the country chose the name Macedonia.

• Indian President Ram Nath Kovind would be presenting the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to Rajkumar Singhajit Singh (for the year 2014), Bangladesh cultural organisation Chhayanaut (for 2015) and Ram Sutar Vanji (for 2016), on February 18, 2019.

• Central Government hiked the minimum selling price of sugar by Rs 2 per kg to Rs 31 to help millers clear farmers’ dues. The minimum selling price (MSP) is the rate below which the mills cannot sell sugar in the open market to wholesalers and bulk consumers like beverage and biscuit makers.

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