Latest Current Affairs Today – 18th February 2016


Read about The new farmer friendly policy unveiled by PM modi today, the Utkarsha bangla Scheme, the now famous LIGO detector in India and more…

1) PM to release guidelines on Fasal Bima Yojana.


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday released the guidelines for operationalization of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, which was approved by the Union Cabinet last month.pradhan-mantri-fasal-bima-yojana
  • Prime Minister expressed confidence in this scheme being able to solve all the problems faced by the farmers.

 Objectives of Fasal Bima Yojana:

  • To provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases.
  • To stabilize the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming.
  • To encourage farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices.
  • To ensure flow of credit to the agriculture sector.


2) Japan launches mission to study black holes. 


  • Japan launches Astro-H satellite from the Tahegashima Space Center to study about black holes.astro
  • The satellite was launched aboard the H-IIA rocket with three smaller satellites – Horyu-4 and ChubuSat 2 and 3.

More details about Astro-H:

  • The X-ray astronomy satellite (Astro-H), which the agency has named ‘Hitomi’, is a joint collaboration between Jaxa, Nasa, and other groups, including the European Space Agency.
  • It will enter Earth orbit at an estimated altitude 360 miles (580 km) – far above the International Space Station’s orbit of around 250 miles (400 km).
  • Over the course of the satellite’s expected three-year mission, it will capture data on black holes and other ‘high energy’ bodies, including supernovas, by detecting the radiation they churn out into the cosmos.


3) West Bengal government launches Utkarsh Bangla Scheme.


  • West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday unveiled the Utkarsh Bangla Scheme in Kolkata
  • Miss Banerjee herself has designed the logo of the scheme.mamata
  • Utkarsh Bangla will also ensure that the students get the opportunity of campus placements after their training, she said.

Key Features about Utkarsh Bangla Scheme:

  • The Government hopes that this flagship scheme for placement linked skill development would create millions of jobs in the state.
  • After the successful completion of the training, the students would be given certificates and would directly be linked to jobs and self employment opportunities.


4) Union Cabinet clears LIGO-India gravitational wave observatory:


  • Days after an international team of scientists, including several from India, formally announced that it had detected gravitational waves from deep space, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said it had, “in principle,” approved a proposal to have a gravitational wave detector in India.LIGO
  • Known as the LIGO-India project, it is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST)

 More details about LIGO:

  • The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is a large-scale physics experiment and observatory to detect gravitational waves.
  • On 11 February 2016, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration published a paper about the detection of gravitational waves, from a signal detected at 09.51 UTC on 14 September 2015 of two ~30 solar mass black holes merging about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth.


5) BAE, Mahindra join hands for M777 Howitzer unit:


  • Defence firm BAE Systems on Wednesday announced Mahindra as its business partner for the $694-million deal for the supply of 145 M777 howitzers to the Indian army.M777
  • Last year, BAE developed and submitted a US government-supported proposal offering a higher degree of indigenisation on the M777 weapon system.

More details about M777 Howitzer:

  • The M777 howitzer is a towed 155 mm artillery piece, successor to the M198 howitzer in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army.
  • On 22 November 2014, the process for starting making these weapons was started under the “Make In India” program.

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