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Current Affairs for 18 February 2016
February 18, 2016
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HCL BUYS VOLVO’S IT BIZ

1.India’s fourth largest IT services company HCL Technologies said it had acquired the external IT business of auto major Volvo.

2.With the new deal, the IT services major will add 40 new customers in the Nordics and France region.

3.As part of the buyout, about 2,500 people working for the Volvo Group will be transferred to HCL across 11 countries.

4.With the deal, HCL will create an automotive Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Gothenburg, based on the domain expertise of the Volvo team, to serve HCL’s global automotive and manufacturing customers.


 

PRIVATE SECTOR WILL BUILD FIGHTER JETS IN INDIA: PARRIKAR

India and France are in advanced stage of talks to conclude an inter-governmental agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

India and France are in advanced stage of talks to conclude an inter-governmental agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. This fighter aircraft will likely be other than the Rafale.

The Air Force is expected to induct over 100 of the improved LCA which will feature an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, mid-air refuelling and improved electronic warfare suite in addition to other minor improvements.

Stating that HAL has currently streamlined the assembly line for production of eight aircraft per year, Mr. Parrikar said that this will absorb between 10,000 to 20,000 people in the full ecosystem.


 

CHINA DEPLOYS MISSILES IN DISPUTED SOUTH CHINA SEA

Taiwan said on Wednesday that China had positioned anti-aircraft missiles on a disputed South China Sea island, as Australia’s foreign minister began talks in Beijing expected to deal with tensions over China’s moves to assert its maritime claims.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said in a statement it had “grasped that Communist China had deployed” an unspecified number of missiles on Woody Island in the Paracel group. The Philippines said the development increased regional tensions.


 

WHOLESALE MARKETS MAY GO THE DIGITAL WAY

The Delhi government has decided on an ambitious plan to transform its wholesale fruit and vegetable markets into ‘ e-mandis’ .

As part of this project, all mandis will be connected with a centralised system with supplies being tracked on a real-time basis.

Although a mammoth task, if successfully implemented, the project would result in greater transparency by eliminating the middlemen. “The farmers would benefit the most with the e-mandi system as they would get the actual price of their produce, which at present is primarily taken away by the middlemen,” said a member of the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board.


PUNE AUTHOR BAGS SAHITYA AKADEMI’S TRANSLATION PRIZE

Damodar Khadse bagged the prize for his adroit translation of Baromas (Forever).

The Marathi literary world received a shot in the arm in the Sahitya Akademi’s recent announcement of its prizes in the Best Translation category in New Delhi on Monday.

Pune-based author-translator Damodar Khadse bagged the prize for his adroit translation of noted Marathi litterateur Sadanand Deshmukh’s visceral and topical award-winning 2004 novel on the plight of Vidarbha farmers, Baromas (Forever), into Hindi. Mr. Deshmukh himself was awarded the Sahitya Akademi prize for his book.

The 67-year-old Dr. Khadse is among the 23 translators selected by the Executive Board of the Sahitya Akademi, whose translated books are to be feted later in the year.


 

RINGING BELLS’ SMARTPHONE TO COST RS. 251

Noida-based smartphone maker Ringing Bells is set to unveil India’s most affordable smartphone on Wednesday, priced at Rs.251, a move that is set to disrupt the booming Indian mobile handset market.

The 3G handset, Freedom 251, features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad-core processor and 1 GB RAM, according to details shared by the company.

The Android Lollipop-based handset will have an onboard storage of 8 GB with support for expandable memory of up to 32 GB.

It features a 3.2-MP rear and a 0.3-MP front facing camera and a 1,450-mAh battery.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar will introduce the smartphone Freedom 251 in the market.


 

17 ATHLETES FOR ASIAN MEET

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has picked 17 athletes for the Asian indoor athletics championship to be held in Doha from February 19 to 21.

The squad includes Asian women’s long jump champion Mayookha Johny, reigning shot put champion Omprakash Kharana and Commonwealth Youth Games high jump record holder Tejaswin Shankar.

India had fielded four athletes and won just one gold medal in the previous edition held in Hangzhou, China.


 

BAE SYSTEMS PICKS MAHINDRA AS PARTNER FOR ARTILLERY GUN DEAL

This year could well be a turnaround for the Indian Army in its long endeavour to bury the ghosts of the Bofors scandal and equip its forces with new artillery guns. The U.S.-based BAE Systems has picked the Mahindra group as a partner for the M-777 Ultra-Light Howitzer (ULH) deal under which an assembly, integration and test (AIT) facility is to be set up in India under the government’s Make in India initiative.

This development coincides with developments on the government front. The deal for 145 guns, which is expected to cost $700 million, is being discussed as a government-to-government deal under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme. The U.S. government is expected to issue the Letter of Acceptance (LoA) to India this week, formalising the deal.