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Important Current Affairs 27th February 2020

National New

Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog partners with NASSCOM to roll out Artificial Intelligence Modules in Indian schools:

• NITI Aayog and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) have collaborated with the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) for the launch of an AI-based Module rolled out for students in Indian schools.

• The launch was done on February 27, 2020. The AI-Base Module has been introduced with an objective for students to leverage the full potential of AIM’s Atal Tinkering Lab (ATL).

• The module contains activities, videos and experiments that enable students to work through and learn the various concepts of AI.

Offshore Patrol Vessel-6 “VAJRA” launched at Chennai:

• The 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) ’VAJRA’ was launched in at Chennai on February 27, 2020. Shri Mansukh Mandaviya was the chief guest of the event.

• Mandaviya is the Minister of State for Shipping(I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Government launches MIEWS Portal for Monitoring prices of TOP Crops

• Ministry of Food Processing Industries has launched the Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) Web Portal for ‘real time monitoring’ of prices of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops.

• Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries launched the portal.

• MIEWS system is designed to provide advisories to farmers to avoid cyclical production as well as an early warning in situations of gluts and for simultaneously generating alerts for intervention under the terms of the Operation Greens(OG) scheme.

New Toll-Free Number of GST helpdesk:

• The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) recently launched a new toll-free number for GST related problems. This number will work 365 days for answering queries about the GST.

• GSTN has introduced new features to improve taxpayers’ experience by giving them more power. A new toll-free number is - 1800 103 4786'. Anyone can call on this helpline from 9 am to 9 pm.

International News

Sri Lanka to construct first electric rail track in Kandy:

• The Government of Sri Lanka has decided to build its first electric railway track in Kandy. Sri Lanka government believes that it will ease transportation and provide better infrastructure to the country.

• The Government has planned to build construct a new electric rail track between Kandy to Rambankana, about 78 km from the capital Colombo via Katugastota.

Janez Jansa named as Prime Minister of Slovenia:

• The President of Slovenia recently nominated Janez Jansa as the new Prime Minister of the country. He has decided to form a government with three other political parties.

• He has also been the Prime Minister of Slovenia twice before. He was the Prime Minister of the country from 2004 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2013.

Banking and Economy

Analysts foresee 4.5 to 4.7 per cent GDP growth in 3rd quarter:

• India’s GDP growth in the October-December quarter of the financial year 2018-19 will likely print at 5-4.7 per cent, according to researchers.

• As per SBI Research’s composite leading indicator, which analyses inputs from 33 various indicators, growth will remain flat in Q3, at 4.5 per cent clocked in Q2; ICRA believes third-quarter GDP may settle at around 4.7 per cent led by a modest uptick in services, industry and agricultural growth.

Science and Technology

Incois launches three ocean-based services:

• The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (Incois), Hyderabad, has launched three ocean-based specialised products/services — the Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS), the Swell Surge Forecast System (SSFS) and the Algal Bloom Information Service (ABIS).

• Incois, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, provides a number of free services for users in the marine realm, including fishermen.

Sports

Five-Time Grand Slam Champion Maria Sharapova Retires From Tennis At 32:

• Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, one of the world’s most recognisable and highest-paid sportswomen, announced her retirement at the age of 32.

• “Tennis – I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova stated in an article for Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines.

• After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain – to compete on a different type of terrain. Sharapova burst onto the scene as a supremely gifted teenager and won her Grand Slams before serving a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

Appointments and Resignations

Mastercard names product chief Michael Miebach as CEO, Ajay Banga moves to executive chairman:

• Mastercard’s chief executive officer of 10 years, Ajay Banga, will step down at the start of the next year and be replaced by Chief Product Officer Michael Miebach.

• India-born Banga will take on the role of executive chairman, while Miebach will become the company’s president on March 1.

• Miebach served as managing director at Barclays Bank and general manager at Citibank.

Ranking

Mukesh Ambani Top Indian in Hurun Global Rich List 2020; Jeff Bezos retains No 1 spot:

• The Hurun Global Rich List 2020 was released on 26 February 2020 to rank the top billionaires in the world.

• The ninth edition of the ranking list has 2,817 billionaires from 71 countries and 2,183 companies.

• The list has been topped by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for the third time, with an estimated net worth of $140 billion.