1. Thiruvananthapuram tops city governance ranking: ASICS
- Thiruvananthapuram, capital of Kerala has topped in city governance ranking of the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems (ASICS) 2016 conducted by Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.
- This year it was the fourth edition the annual survey which had evaluated 21 major cities from the 18 states.
- It highlighted inadequacies in urban governance that could affect public service delivery and quality of life.
- Pune is ranked second, up two ranks from 2015. Kolkata retained its third slot.
- National capital Delhi slipped to 9th rank from seventh. Bhubaneswar was the biggest gainer in the 2016 survey as it jumped eight places from 2015 to the 10th spot.
2. Odisha Govt signs MoU with ‘Invest India’:
- The Odisha government has signed an agreement with “Invest India” the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of the Union ministry of commerce and industries.
- They will help the state govt. in achieving the Mission-1000 Start-ups by the year 2020 and help the youth in realising their dreams.
- Start-up India has the objective of making India a country of job creators and make India the No. 1 start-up nation in the world.
3. Supersonic Prithvi Interceptor Missile Successfully Test-fired:
- Indigenously developed supersonic Prithvi interceptor missile was successfully test-fired from launch complex III of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore, Odisha.
- The indigenously developed supersonic interceptor missile is capable of destroying any incoming enemy ballistic missile at low altitude.
- The successful test validates the reliability of its two layered Ballistic Missile Defence. Earlier in February 2017, DRDO had successfully carried out test of the exo-atmospheric interceptor missile destroying the target outside the earth’s atmosphere at an altitude of over 85 km.
- The Prithvi interceptor missile has been indigenously developed by DRDO. It is a 7.5-metre-long single stage solid rocket propelled guided missile.
4. J S Deepak named India's next Ambassador to WTO:
- Telecom Secretary J S Deepak (IAS officer -1982 batch Uttar Pradesh) was named India's next Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) from June 2017.
- Deepak has been shifted from the telecom ministry and has been made Officer on Special Duty in the commerce department with "immediate effect".
- Earlier, he was India's chief negotiator at the WTO and for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement.
- The World Trade Organization is a global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.
- The WTO officially commenced on 1 January 1995 under the Marrakesh Agreement, signed by 123 nations on 15 April 1994 replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).
5. Delhi Govt extends midday meal scheme for girls up to class 12:
- Currently, the scheme covers all primary classes of MCD and government schools and upper primary classes till Class 8th with 16 lakh students.
- Schools will start serving midday meal to girl students of class 9th to 12th from 1st of next month.
- Now, Delhi state government will become the first state in the country to serve midday meal up to class 12.
- This will be done with a view to fight malnourishment and anemia, especially in female students.
6. Panneerselvam inaugurates 'Amma Kalviyagam':
- Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister ‘O Panneerselvam’ has launched a portal 'ammakalviyagam.in' as a part of 69th birth anniversary celebrations of late chief minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram (known as Amma).
- The portal is a hub of learning, interaction, opportunity, and connection.
- It will help student assistance from reputed teachers free of cost at the convenience of their homes.
7. Aashray inks MoU with Jharkhand, to set up incubation center for start-ups:
- Gujarat-based Incube Ventures Pvt Ltd, under the banner of Aashray Promotion of Social Enterprises Foundation announced the signing of an MoU with the Jharkhand government’s Department of Information Technology and e-Governance (DoIT) to establish an incubation center for start-ups in the state.
- The MoU was entered in the ‘Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors Summit 2017’ held recently.
8. Ajay Tyagi takes charge as 9th Sebi chief:
- IAS officer Ajay Tyagi is taking charge as the chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on 2 March 2017.
- He has replaced Mr. U.K Sinha. Mr. Tyagi needs to immediately take a call on five key issues.
9. Government Panel recommends legal framework to protect interests of migrants:
- Government appointed ‘Working Group on Migration’ headed by Partha Mukhopadhay has recommended necessary legal and policy framework to protect the interests of the migrants in the country.
- The panel in its report stated that the migrant population makes substantial contribution to economic growth and so it is necessary to secure their Constitutional rights.
- The 18-member Working Group was constituted by Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in 2015.
10. BEML launches solar rooftop project in Karnataka:
- BEML (Bharat Earth Movers Limited), a defense public sector company, has set itself a goal of utilizing 100 percent renewable energy for its consumption.
- In this endeavor, the company has inaugurated a 200 KW grid connected rooftop solar project at its Mysore complex. To achieve 100% renewable energy, BEML has set up a 5 MW windmill project in Gadag district in north Karnataka.
11. Govt. asks banks to provide mobile banking facility to customers by 31st March:
- The union government has asked all banks to provide mobile banking facility to all customers by 31st March in a bid to push digital transactions.
- Banks have been asked to run a nationwide campaign up to 31st March to ensure that every customer who has a mobile phone is enabled for mobile banking.
- The customers who are using UPI or BHIM app should automatically be enabled for mobile banking.
12. World Bank offers over $1-billion loan to Maharashtra:
- The World Bank has announced an assistance programme of over $1 billion in the areas of urban transport and climate resilient agriculture in Maharashtra, over the next 2-3 years.
- This was announced by the World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Kristalina Georgieva. Over the last five years, World Bank had invested over $1.4 billion in Maharashtra in urban transport, rural water supply, and agriculture.
13. Reliance General Insurance, Catholic Syrian Bank tie up:
- Reliance General Insurance (RGI), a part of Reliance Capital, has entered into a bancassurance tie-up with Catholic Syrian Bank.
- With this tie-up, RGI will offer its general insurance products to Catholic Syrian Bank's 1.5 million customer base spread across its 430 branches in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra.
14. Sanjiv Singh appointed Indian Oil Corporation Chairman:
- Sanjiv Singh has been appointed as the chairman of the country’s largest commercial enterprise Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL).
- The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved his appointment for a period of five years.
- Singh is at present the director of Refineries at the IOCL. He will be assuming the charge on or after 1st June 2017.
15. Virat Kohli to receive Polly Umrigar Award & Ashwin to get Dilip Sardesai Award:
- Indian Captain Virat Kohli will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award.
- The award is given to India's International Cricketer of the Year at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Annual Awards, to be held in Bengaluru on 8th March 2017.
- Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been nominated for the Dilip Sardesai Award.
- Earlier, Kohli had won Polly Umrigar Award in 2011-12 and 2014-15 and becomes the first Indian cricketer to be bestowed the honor on three occasions.
- India off-spinner Ashwin holds the distinction of getting the Dilip Sardesai Award twice (first in 2011).
16. Luis Norton de Matos appointed new head coach of India U-17 Football Team:
- The All India Football Federation (AIFF) appointed Portugal's Luis Norton de Matos as the head coach of the India Under-17 team for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
- The tournament is scheduled to be held in October 2017 in India. A former manager with the Benfica Reserve side, De Matos replaces Nicolai Adam, who was forced to resign under controversial circumstances after a revolt from the players.