i. Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has launched first NIC-CERT, a setup of National Informatics Centre to prevent and predict cyber attacks on government utilities. It was launched in New Delhi.
ii. NIC-CERT has been set up with the objective of creating a comprehensive framework that integrates world-class security components and inbuilt threat intelligence for detection, prevention and incident response.
- National Informatics Centre (NIC) was established in 1976.
- Smt. Neeta Verma- Director-General of NIC, Headoffice- New Delhi.
2. Finance Minister Holds 5th Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting
i. The Finance Minister of India Arun Jaitley holds his 5th Pre-Budget Consultation Meeting with the leading Economists in New Delhi. According to the Finance Minister, India has recorded an average growth of 7.5% from 2014-15 to 2016-17.
ii. The fiscal deficit as a ratio of GDP stood at 3.9% in 2015-16 and 3.5% in 2016-17 and is budgeted to be 3.2% for the Current Financial Year 2017-18.
- The first finance minister of independent India was R. K. Shanmukham Chetty, who also presented its first Budget.
3. Mount Hope Becomes UK’s New Highest Mountain
i. Britain has a new highest mountain after new satellite data revealed the peak was almost 400 metres taller than previously thought. Mount Hope, in the British Atlantic Territory, was recently re-measured and found to be 377 metres taller than previous calculations.
ii. This takes it to 3,239 metres, meaning it knocks Mount Jackson, the current title holder at 3,184 metres, off the top spot.
Mount Hope- in the British Atlantic Territory- UK’s new highest mountain (3,239 meters)- replaced Mount Jackson (3,184 meters).
UK PM- Theresa May, Capital- London, Currency- Pound sterling.
4. Government Fixes Sovereign Gold Bond Rate at Rs 2890/gram
i. The government has fixed Rs 2,890 per gram as the price of new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs). The government, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, has decided to offer a discount of Rs 50 per gram to investors applying online and making payments digitally.
ii. Earlier, Government had floated Series III of Sovereign Gold Bonds 2017-18, for the period from October 09, 2017 to December 27, 2017.
iii. Under the scheme, the bonds are denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof. Minimum investment in the bonds is one gram, with a maximum limit of 500 grams per person, per financial year.
5. Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban on Movie Theatres After 35 Years
i. Saudi Arabia will have its first public cinemas in more than 35 years after the government announced the lifting of the ban on movie theatres.
ii. Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad stated that opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification.
- Saudi Arabia Capital- Riyadh, Currency- Saudi Riyal.
6. Indian Economy Likely to Grow by 7.2% in 2018, 7.4% in 2019: UN Report
i. Indian economy is likely to grow by 7.2 percent in 2018 and go up further to 7.4 percent in 2019 on the back of strong private consumption, public investment and the ongoing structural reforms, according to a UN report.
ii. The ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018’ report was unveiled by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). The UN DESA report said the GDP growth is projected to be 6.7 percent in 2017.
UN Report titled ‘World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018’ says- GDP growth in India is projected to accelerate from 6.7 percent in 2017 to 7.2 percent in 2018 and 7.4 percent in 2019.
- UN Secretary-General: Antonio Guterres, Headquarters- New York, USA.