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All India Radio News Summary: 09 FEBRUARY 2018

All India Radio News Summary: 09 FEBRUARY 2018

  1. Prime Minister embarked on a 4-day visit to Palestine, the United Arab Emirates and Oman

This is the first ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Palestine and Oman and the second visit to UAE.

  • This region is a key priority in India’s external engagement and the visit will strengthen India’s growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region.
  • PM reaffirmed India’s support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.
  • UAE is a valued strategic partner with whom India has fast-tracked cooperation in all major spheres including economy, energy, high technology and security.
  • Oman is a close maritime neighbour with whom India enjoys excellent relations.
  • The India-Palestine bilateral trade stands at around 40 million US dollars.
  • Automotive spare parts, tourism, agro-products, textiles, fabrics and pharmaceuticals are some of the areas of interest to Indian manufacturers and exporters.
  • Apart from strong political support to the Palestinian cause at bilateral and international levels, India has been extending various forms of economic assistance to Palestine.
  • New Delhi has, so far, extended budgetary and project support of over 60 million dollars.
  • Besides, Indian arts and culture, especially Bollywood movies, are very popular in this West Asian country


  1. Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of around 136 crore rupees on search engine major Google

The Competition Commission of India has imposed a fine of around 136 crore rupees on search engine major Google for unfair business practices in the Indian market for online search.

  • Passing the order on complaints, filed in 2012, the regulator said the penalty is being imposed on Google for infringing anti-trust rules.
  • It was alleged that Google is indulging in abuse of its dominant position in the market for online search through practices leading to search bias and search manipulation, among others.  


  1. Supreme Court directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal

The apex court directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.

  • TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq kms spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
  • The court was hearing a plea filed by an Environmentalist seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area.
  • The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  1. Power Minister launched a web-based monitoring system and a fly-ash mobile application

The mobile app will act as an interface between producers and consumers.

  • The ASH TRACK Mobile App will manage 200 million tonnes of fly ash by tracking coal based power plants situated within 100 km and 300 km from given location and availability of fly ash.
  • The App gives plant-wise, utility-wise and State-wise ash utilisation status in the country.
  • At present 63 per cent of the fly ash is being utilised and target is 100 per cent utilisation.


  1. PyeongChang Winter Olympics
  • This is the first time that South Korea is hosting the Winter Games.
  • Athletes from 92 countries and territories are taking part in the Olympics.  
  • North Korea has also sent athletes to the Olympics in response to an appeal by South Korean President, who wants to promote inter-Korean dialogue.
  • In women’s ice hockey, the 2 Koreas have formed their first joint team in Olympic history.


  1. ‘Healthy States, Progressive India Report’ – Niti Aayog

NITI Aayog launched the ‘Healthy States, Progressive India Report’.

  • Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have ranked top among the larger states in terms of overall performance.
  • Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh are at top in the terms of annual incremental performance. 
  • The report said common challenges for the states is to address vacancies in key staff, establishment of Cardiac Care Units and quality accreditation of public health facilities.


  1. Government health expenditure has increased by 8 per cent

Union Health Minister said the government health expenditure has increased by 8 per cent from around 1.30 lakh crore rupees in 2013-14 to 1.40 lakh crore rupees in 2014-15.

  • Under the National Health Policy-2017, the government has decided to raise the health expenditure to 2.5 per cent of the GDP by 2025.
  • It also envisages that States contribute at least 8 per cent of their total government health expenditure.