Telangana State approves the creation of Mulugu district
* The Telangana State government has approved for the creation of Mulugu as a new district. It is carved out from Bhupalpalli district. This would be the sixth district to be created from the erstwhile Warangal district.
* The State government has issued a notification calling for objections and suggestions from the public on December 31. The one-month period duration expired on January 30. There were no objections to the proposals from the public. The district headquarters is Mahabubabad.
ISRO launched GSAT-31 fromFrench Guiana
* Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 has been launched successfully by European launch services provider- Ariane-5 rocket from French Guiana. It placed GSAT-31 in the intended Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit.
* Weighing about 2,535 kg, the GSAT-31 will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites.
* GSAT-31 is to provide transponder capacity for supporting VSAT networks, Television uplinks, Digital Satellite News Gathering, DTH television services, cellular backhaul connectivity, and many such applications.
Google to shut down its Google Plus platform
* Google is to shut down its Google Plus platform, which had been originally conceived as a social networking option different from Facebook and Twitter. This announcement was made in December 2018. The reason for the shutdown was prompted by a major security breach, besides the lack of a growth trajectory that Google had anticipated.
* The shutdown process has started. The option for users to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events is no longer available, since February 4. The option for using Google+ for comments was removed from Blogger on February 4, and from other sites, it will be removed by March 7. All the Google+ comments will be deleted starting April 2.
Air India CMD Pradeep Singh Kharola appointed Civil Aviation secretary
* Air India chief Pradeep Singh Kharola appointed as Civil Aviation secretary.
* He will succeed Rajiv Nayan Choubey who retired on January 31, 2019, after the resignation he took over as a member in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
SBI UK Chief Honoured ‘Freedom of the City of London’
* The State Bank of India’s Uk chief Mr. Sanjiv Chadha has been honored with the ‘Freedom of the City Of London’ by the city of London Corporation in recognition of his contribution to promoting the bilateral relations. Sanjiv Chadha was nominated for the honor by Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin and Sheriff Vincent Keaveny.
* Sanjiv Chadha took up the position in 2014 and he will be succeeded by Sharad Chandak. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was the previous Indian recipient of this award and other recipient includes author JK Rowling and actor Dame Judi Dench.
6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement Released: Repo Rate Reduced to 6.25%
* RBI has released 6th Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement. On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:
* Reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5% to 6.25% with immediate effect.
* Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.0%, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.5%.
* On the supply side, the FAE has placed the growth of real gross value added (GVA) at 7.0 per cent in 2018-19 as compared with 6.9 per cent in 2017-18.
* The MPC also decided to change the monetary policy stance from calibrated tightening to neutral. These decisions are in consonance with the objective of achieving the medium-term target for consumer price index (CPI) inflation of 4% within a band of +/- 2% while supporting growth.
* Retail inflation declined from 3.4% in October 2018 to 2.2% in December, the lowest print in the last eighteen months.
* Inflation in the fuel and light group fell from 8.5% in October to 4.5% in December.
* CPI inflation excluding food and fuel decelerated to 5.6% in December from 6.2% in October.
Indian squash player Ramit Tandon win Seattle Open title
* Indian squash player Ramit Tandon defeated Egyptian Mohamed El Sherbini in the finals to win the Seattle Open, a PSA challenger squash Tour event.
* The top-seeded Indian, who rose to his career high ranking of 58 in the latest February list, won his first PSA title in the new year and fourth title overall in his career.