Prithvi-II missile successfully test-fired
o India successfully test-fired indigenously developed nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missile on Wednesday.
o The surface-to-surface missile, which has a strike range of 350 km, is capable of carrying 500-1,000 kg of warheads.
o Developed under DRDO’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme, Prithvi-II uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvring trajectory to hit its target.
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6%
o The RBI has kept the repo rate, the rate at which banks borrow from RBI, steady at 6% for the third time in a row during its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review.
o This comes after retail inflation in December rose to a 17-month high of 5.21%.
o The RBI last cut the rate by 25 basis points in August last year.
RBI To Link Base Rate With MCLR
o The Reserve Bank of India will link the base rate with the MCLR from 1st of April 2018 to ensure expeditious transmission of its policy rate to borrowers.
o The RBI had introduced the MCLR system with effect from 1st April 2016, the Central bank observed that a large proportion of bank loans continue to be linked to Base Rate.
o Urjit Patel is the Governor of RBI.
Bermuda Abolishes Same-Sex Marriage
o Bermuda has become the first country to legalise and then repeal same-sex marriage.
o Bermuda’s governor John Rankin approved a bill reversing the right of gay couples to marry, despite a supreme court ruling last year authorising same-sex marriage.
o About half a dozen same-sex marriages took place in Bermuda between the supreme court ruling in May 2017.
Forbes Releases Cryptocurrency Rich List
o Business magazine Forbes has released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.
o The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.
o He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) & Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).
Indian princess gets Royal Mail stamp
o Indian princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh has been honoured with a Royal Mail stamp of the UK to mark the centenary of the suffragette movement.
o Sophia, the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, is the only woman to have one of the eight stamps to herself.
o The image on the stamp shows her selling copies of a Suffragette newspaper in 1913.
Jhulan Goswami takes 200 ODI Wickets
o Indian women’s cricket team pacer Jhulan Goswami has become the first woman in the world to take 200 wickets in ODI cricket.
o Goswami achieved the feat playing in her 166th ODI against South Africa.
o Goswami had become the leading wicket-taker in women’s ODI in May 2017, overtaking former Australian pacer Cathryn Fitzpatrick’s record of 180 wickets.
Google And NCERT Join Hands
o Google and NCERT signed a pact to integrate a course on ‘Digital Citizenship and Safety’ in information and communication technology curriculum.
o It was signed on the occasion of Safer Internet Day (06th February).
o The curriculum is spread into four themes – being smart, being safe, being a digital citizen and being future ready.
Israel to give Air India ?6 crore
o Air India will get a one-time grant of approximately ?6 cr from Israel for launching direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
o The flight is expected to operate on the shortest route and significantly reduce the cost of travel between the two countries.
o In its efforts to attract Indian tourists, Israel has increased its promotional budgetary allocation to USD 2.5 m in the last 2 years.
Howrah Bridge celebrates 75th anniversary
o On the night of February 3, 1943, the inauguration of the Howrah bridge took place without any fanfare when a lone tramcar rolled down from the Kolkata city end to the Howrah Railway station end.
o This marvel turned 75 this year.
o The Howrah Bridge is a suspension type balanced cantilever bridge with the central span between the two main towers of the bridge measuring about 1500 ft.
TVS Motor, Intel tie up for green scooter
o TVS Motor Company Ltd., unveiled ‘futuristic’ scooter and motorcycles to transform future mobility using alternative fuel.
o It included electric scooter, ethanol-powered Apache motorbike and cruiser motorcycle.
o To reduce the carbon footprint, TVS showcased ethanol-powered TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi Ethanol. The use of ethanol will reduce the dependence on import of petroleum products.
Ujjwala Yojana to benefit 8 crore women now
o The Union Cabinet took a slew of decisions across sectors.
o The Cabinet also approved the increase in the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, meant to provide LPG connections to rural women, to eight crore from the earlier five crore, adding that this has to be achieved by 2020.
o It also approved an additional allocation for the scheme of ?4,800 crore.
Chile gets 5 national parks together
o Chile has created five new national parks that are collectively the size of Switzerland.
o The new national parks, which aim to preserve vast tracts of Patagonia, comprise 9 million acres of federal land and over 1 million acres of land donated by American philanthropists.
o Interestingly, the latter marks the largest private land donation in the world.
881 km of rail network to be electrified
o The Union Budget for fiscal 2018-19 has proposed electrification of 881 km of rail network in WB at a proposed cost of ?771.54 cr.
o The project will be undertaken in seven zones of West Bengal, under the jurisdiction of Kolkata-based Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway & Maligaon-based North Frontier Railway.
o The electrification of the WB part of this route involves a cost of ?124.95 crore