1. US forces killed al-Qaeda leader Qasim al-Rimi
In a major counter-terrorism operation in Yemen, the US forces have killed al-Qaeda leader Qasim al-Rimi who was the founder of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, confirmed by the United States President Donald Trump. This is the third major strike by the US under Trump Administration in recent months.
- The AQAP has long been considered al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch for its attempts to carry out attacks on the US mainland.
- The US has killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October and top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January.
2. MP govt decided to use drones for mapping villages
The government has decided to use drones for mapping villages in MP state in which 55 thousand villages has been selected.
- So far, land survey work is being done either manually or with the help of satellite images in Madhya Pradesh.
- The population area map will be drawn on a scale of 1: 500, which will give a clear picture of the population area.
3. World Bank chief economist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, declares resignation
World Bank chief economist Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg has declared that she will be leaving the institution from March 1 to return to teaching at Yale University.
- Research director Arat Cray will work for Goldberg until the new permanent chief economist is hired.
- After the resignation of Paul Romer following a controversy over the World Bank’s statistical methods, Goldberg took up her post at the end of April 2018.
4. Mizoram get Junior National Football Championship for Dr. BC Roy Trophy
Mizoram has achieved the final of the Junior National Football Championship for Dr. BC Roy Trophy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong.
- As both teams finished 1-1 in regulation and extra time, Mizoram hit/beat/defeated Punjab 5-4 on penalties.
- Last year Mizoram inverted the tide and defeated Punjab in the final 2-1.
5. Britain selected Philip Barton as the High Commissioner to India
The British government has selected Career diplomat Philip Barton as the High Commissioner to India who will replace Dominic Asquith. He will come in power from Spring 2020.
- Philip Barton who is a career diplomat, studied economics and politics at Warwick University. He has a Master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
- In 1986, he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). From 2014 to 2016, he worked as the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. He also was the Director-General, Consular, and Security at FCO from April 2017 to January 2020.
6. DoT confirmed the merger of Tata group with Bharti Airtel
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the merger of the consumer mobile operations of the Tata group with Bharti Airtel. The final approval comes now after two years after the companies had announced their plan to merge businesses.
The merger of Tata group with Bharti Airtel:
- The Tata group had announced in Oct 2017 that it is to sell its consumer mobile business to Bharti Airtel.
- Under the deal, Airtel has engaged Tata’s mobile phone operations across the country in 19 circles out of which17 under Tata Teleservices and two under Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd.
- Airtel’s spectrum footprint and 4G coverage were developed after the acquisition. The deal also enabled Airtel to use part of the existing fibre network of the Tata companies.
7. Manoj Das conferred the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award
On 8 February, Odia and English writer Manoj Dashas conferred the Mystic Kalinga Literary Award (Indian and Global Languages) at the Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF). He got the award at the literary-cultural festival in Bhubneswar. The award offered a cash prize of Rs.1 lakh along with a khadi shawl and certificate for the laureate.
Manoj Das is currently teaching Philosophy and English literature at the Sri Aurobindo International University in Puducherry. He was recently awarded Padma Bhushan, the country’s third-highest civilian award for his contribution in the field of literature and education.
8. SBI announced rate cut in FDs
State Bank of India (SBI) has declared a cut in retail fixed deposits (FD) rates. It will be effective from 10 February. The move is due to the surplus liquidity in the system.
SBI rate cut:
- SBI resumed its interest rate on retail term deposits that are less than Rs 2 crore and bulk term deposits of Rs 2 crore and above.
- SBI degraded the Term Deposit rates by 10-50 basis points (bps) in the Retail segment and 25-50 bps in the Bulk segment.
- It also degraded the FD rates across all tenors except for those with a maturity period of 7 days to 45 days.
- SBI has declared a rate cut of FDs that are maturing in 46 days to 179 days by 50 bps.
- It proposed senior citizens an additional 50 bps interest rate across all tenures and for FDs maturing in 180 days to 210 days and 211 days to less than 1 year, an interest rate of 5.50% will be given.
9. HAL got approval to produce light utility helicopter
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has received initial clearance from DRDO’s department of defense research and development for its light utility helicopter (LUH). LUH will succeed the aging fleet of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The clearance will pave way for its production.
Light Utility Helicopter (LUH):
- LUH is a single-engine, 3-ton utility helicopter that is indigenously designed and developed to meet the operational requirements of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- Three prototypes have been built and cumulatively completed in 550 flights in different regions and climatic conditions.