17th February 2019 Current Affairs
PM Narendra Modi flagged off India's fastest train, Vande Bharat Express


The Semi speed Train 18, which has been recently given a new name "Vande Bharat Express".

The semi-high-speed Train 'Vande Bharat Express' was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15th February 2019, from the New Delhi railway station.

The train will travel from Delhi to Varanasi in 9 hours and 45 minutes, with stoppage time of 40 minutes each at Kanpur and Allahabad (now Prayagraj).

It can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph.

The total seating capacity is 1128 passengers


Finance Minister launched 'Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan' Scheme


Finance minister has launched a pension scheme named 'Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Yojana' (PM-SYM) for the labours, associated in the unorganized sector.

The scheme will facilitate the benefits up to 10 crores unrecognized sector workers.

An amount of Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the scheme.

It was announced in Interim Budget 2019.

PM-SYM will provide the pension benefits to the unrecognized sector worker whose monthly income is up to Rs 15000.

Under the Scheme, Only by contributing Rs.100 per month the beneficiary will get is Rs 30000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.

The worker whose age is 18 to 40 years may enroll under PM-SYM


Amazon launched 'Amazon Pay UPI' for Android users in India


Amazon in partnership with Axis Bank launched "Amazon Pay Unified Payments Interface (UPI)" for Android users to facilitate secure payments and financial transactions on its platform.

With this, users will be able to use their Amazon Pay UPI ID to shop on, make payments including recharge and bill payments, without entering bank account or debit card credentials.


Security Protection Agreement signed between India and Sweden


India and Sweden signed a security Protection Agreement, which will enable both the countries to share classified information with each other.

Union Minister of Defence, Nirmala Sitharaman and her Swedish counterpart Pater Hultqvist signed the pact in Stockholm.

The agreement will boost 'Make in India' initiative.

The agreement will provide a facilitating for greater cooperation on the high end and cutting edge technology and manufacturing.


'Early Ed Asia 2019' held in New Delhi


The two-day event Early Ed Asia 2019 which is Asia's largest conference on Early Childhood, was held at the City Palace in Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The motto of the event was 'Our Children, Our Future'.

It was presented by Diya Kumari, the Royal Family of Jaipur in association with ScooNews and Early Childhood Association (E.C.A).

It was the first time such a conference was held in India with over 6000 eminent early childhood educators, policy-makers, researchers and other stakeholders from India and Foreign countries.


World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 held in New Delhi


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'

Frank Bainimarama, Prime Minister of Fiji was honoured with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2019 for his outstanding contributions towards sustainable development in Fiji.


5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting held in New Delhi


The 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee Meeting was held in New Delhi.

The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Affairs Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Abdul Momen.

Four MoUs were signed during this meeting

MoU between National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Mussoorie and Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA), Bangladesh on Training and Capacity building Programme for Bangladesh Civil Servants.

MoU between Hiranandani Group and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority to facilitate investments in Indian Economic Zone in Mongla, Bangladesh.

MoU between the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) and the Ministry of Health of Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of medicinal plants.

MoU between Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh and Central Bureau of Investigation of India (CBI) for cooperation in the flight against graft.


'World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019' Report released by IOL


The International Labour Organization has released the World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019 report.

Unemployment rates will fall to 4.9% in 2019 and remain steady in 2020 as per the report.

Among the age group 15-24, the global unemployment stood at 11.8% which is much higher than other age groups.

In the global labour market, 2 billion out of 3.3 billion people worked in informal employment, thus risking their economic security


NASA to launch SPHEREx mission to investigate Universe


NASA will launch a new space telescope mission SPHEREx with an aim to understand the origins of life and the universe, in 2023.

The word SPHEREx is the abbreviation of Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer.

Astronomers will use the mission to gather data on more than 300 million galaxies, as well as more than 100 million stars in our own Milky Way

SPHEREx will survey 100 of millions of galaxies near and far, some so distant, that their light has taken 10 billion years to reach Earth.

Every six months, SPHEREx will survey the entire sky using technologies adapted from Earth satellites and Mars spacecraft.


IWAI launched portal 'LADIS' for real-time information


Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has launched a new portal LADIS for real-time data on available depth on stretches of National Waterways.

Least Available Depth Information System (LADIS) will ensure real-time data on ship and cargo owners on which they can undertake transportation on National Waterways (NW) in a more planned way.

It is a step towards ensuring optimum use of National Waterways.


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