Current Affairs Quick Recap – February (Week II)

CURRENT AFFAIRS – FEBRUARY WEEK II

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Awards and Honours

  • KJ Joseph from Kerala has set a new world record for the maximum number of knuckle push-ups in a minute.
  • The new version of Next Generation e-Ticketing System (NGET) introduced by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has been bestowed gold in national award for e-governance 2015-16 in “Innovative Use of ICT by Central Government PSUs” category.
  • Lionel Messi has been named La Liga’s Player of the Month for January
  • Bollywood actress Vidya Balan received the Pride of Kerala Award from the World Malayalee Council and Kairali TV

Appointments

  • Former chief of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) RK Pachauri has been appointed executive vice-chairman of the organization.
  • The Governing Council of TERI appointed Ashok Chawla, former Union Finance Secretary and former Chairman of the Competition Commission, as its new chairman.
  • Australia has announced the appointment of Harinder Sidhu, India-origin as the new High Commisisoner-designate.
  • Davinder Singh, Indian-origin lawyer in Singapore has been named as vice-chairman of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce Commission.
  • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Tamar Hahn as Israel Director of the Unite
  • United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Buenos Aires, which serves Argentina and Uruguay. Rasna chairman Piruz Khambatta has been named ambassador of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative by the Government of India.

Banking and Economy

  • According to Crisil Research, Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.9 per cent in the fiscal starting April, lower than earlier forecast of 8.1 per cent.
  • The Reserve Bank of India said it will actively inject additional cash into the banking system in March 2016.

National Round-up

  • The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has dedicated the state of the art Paradip Refinery in Odisha to the nation.
  • On February 11, GOI is going to launch an ambitious programme that seeks to eliminate malaria by 2027
  • E-commerce company Moglix has announced an undisclosed financial investment in the company by industrialist Ratan Tata.
  • Maharashtra’s ambitious plans to set up India’s first international arbitration centre in Mumbai has begun ahead of the Make In India Week to be held in the city from February 13 to 18
  • India will host the first ever Global Maritime Summit this year and called for maritime cooperation stating that the seas must be used to build peace, friendship, trust and curb conflict in April 2016.
  • The Union textile ministry has bestowed the tag on Chettinad cotton saris, which would enable them to promote the material in the international market as ‘Indian Handloom Brand’.
  • Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in Delhi-based biopharmaceutical firm Invictus Oncology Pvt Ltd, next generation cancer therapeutic startup. The investment in Invictus Oncology is Tata’s fifth in 2016
  • Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) entering into a tie up with leading tea cafe chain Chaayos.
  • Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will enter into a partnership with Delhi Police, in which it will help develop a mechanism to facilitate “predictive policing” and “live crime mapping”.
  • Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services, effectively prohibiting Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero platform by Airtel in their current form.
  • India will focus on the north-eastern region to expand its hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries with an eye on markets such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand.
  • Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has partnered with Nokia Networks to create technology solutions that will enhance broadband connectivity in rural India.
  • The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) advised private entities, including cooperative and philanthropic organisations, to reserve 27% of all hiring for people from the so-called other backward classes (OBCs).
  • JP Nadda, the Health Minister has launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
  • The US Chamber of Commerce has released its 4th annual International IP Index -Infinite Possibilities- which measured the IP environment in India has placed India at number 37 out of 38 countries.
  • The unreserved ticketing mobile application which was launched in South Central Railway – ‘UTSONMOBILE’.
  • NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal has announced that his firm Twinstar Display Technologies will set up India’s first LCD manufacturing facility in Maharashtra,
  • Kicking off the ‘Make In India Week’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Make In India Centre at the MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai.
  • According to a study released by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), India has been ranked 3rd among the top five.
  • To improve ease of doing business, the government will soon introduce Business Identification Number (BIN) for the companies.
  • Two years after India launched Nirbheek, a handgun pitched as the country’s “first gun for women”, a state-run arms factory has launched a similar gun which it says is India’s lightest gun. The new .22-calibre revolver is named Nidar.
  • Indian Railway is firming up a proposal to develop an online fuel management system, a first of its kind for the national transporter, to check pilferage and bring transparency in fuel consumption
  • Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Freedom fighter Pt Madan Mohan Malviya has turned 100 years on 13th February 2016

International Round-up

  • UK wind energy industry received a boost with the announcement of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, to be built off the north-east coast.
  • A UN Panel panel has proposed long-sought greenhouse gas emissions standards for airliners and cargo planes.
  • World powers pressed Russia to stop bombing around Aleppo in support of a Syrian government offensive to recapture the city.
  • The Obama administration has proposed $860 million aid for Pakistan, including $265 million for military hardware, which it said would help the country fight terrorists, secure nuclear weapons and improve ties with India.
  • YouTube has launched its first original movies and series’ exclusively for which subscribers – YouTube Red.
  • NATO and the European Union have signed an agreement to improve cooperation in Cyber defence.
  • United States and Cuba will sign a bilateral agreement to restore regular flights between the two countries after more than half a century.
  • Canada, the US and Mexico signed a deal in Winnipeg, Canada, to tap into energy cooperation among them
  • The US government has approved the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
  • Dubai said it would build the world’s largest shopping mall despite an economic slowdown looming in the region.
  • The United States has temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea
  • Titanic II, a replica of the Titanic, which infamously was declared “unsinkable” and promptly sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg in 1912, killing 1,503 people, is being built for a whole new journey across the Atlantic to set sail in 2018.
  • BandPage has been acquired by Google owned YouTube for a reported $8 million.

India and the world

  • Indian and Chinese armies are breaking new grounds of friendship on the sensitive Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the cold desert of Ladakh.
  • The 14 day Indo-Nepal Combined Military Exercise at general area, Pithoragarh which commenced on 08 February 2016 and will culminate on 21 February 2016 – Surya Kiran IX
  • United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will store crude oil in India’s 1.5 million tonnes-Mangalore strategic petroleum reserve using it as a wholesale storage capacity.
  • Kalyani Group has tied up with Swedish defence major Saab to form a joint venture firm for the multi-billion dollar contract for short range surface to air missile and man-portable very short-range air defense (VSHORAD) programme.
  • Visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan India held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on various issues of mutual concern inked many agreements.
  • India and Sweden have resolved to scale up bilateral relations and expressed their commitment to a transparent, fair and predictable global traderegime under the World trade Organisation (WTO).

Science and Technology

  • Google has introduced a new flood alerts feature in India as a part of its efforts to make critical information around natural disasters more accessible to everyone.
  • Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV III) developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be launched by December 2016.
  • Microsoft has released an app which utilises facial recognition and artificial intelligence to recognise your dog’s breed – Fetch
  • University of California, Berkeley scientists have developed an Android app that can detect earthquakes using smartphones. The app is called – MyShake.

Sports Point

  • India continued to dominate on the second day of the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) with Sapna Devi.  winning gold in the women’s Wushu Taolu (Changquan) competition
  • India’s Anirban Lahiri has been voted as the Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of Year by fans in an online poll.
  • Indian long-distance runner Kavita Raut has qualified for the Rio Olympics in women’s marathon after winning the event in the 12th South Asian Games.
  • India, the overall champion over all the 11 previous editions of the South Asian Games, has crossed a historic milestone of winning its 1,000th gold.
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has banned Asad Rauf, Pakistani umpire for five years after its disciplinary committee found him guilty of corrupt practices

Important Days

  • February 10 – National Deforming Day
  • February 13- World Radio Day

Obituary

  • Renowned Urdu and Hindi poet who has died in Mumbai at the age of 78 – Nida Fazli
  • Former Prime Minister of Nepal and Nepali Congress President who passed away due to Pneumonia at the age of 79 – Sushil Koirala
  • The brave army man who was battling for his life at the Army’s Research & Referral hospital in New Delhi, has passed away – Lance Naik Hanamanthappa
  • Veteran film director who passed away at the age of 97 – Aurobindo Mukherjee
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning composer known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation, who has died at the age of 93 – Leslie Bassett
  • US Supreme Court Justice, the leading conservative voice on the high court, who has died at the age of 79 – Antonin Scalia
  • Renowned Malayalam poet and lyricist who passed away at a private hospital at the age of 84 – ONV Kurup
  • Soviet football legend who died at the age of 84 was capped 31 times by the then Soviet Russia (the USSR) between 1952-59 and scored 16 goals – Anatoly Ilyin

Snippets from the states

  • Gujarat government is planning to set up India’s first civil aviation park in the state
  • Maharashtra has emerged as the top ranking state in terms of overall Internet readiness index, a new report published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indicus Analytics.
  • Haryana government has inked an agreement with Indo-UK Healthcare Private Limited to establish medical institutions in the state with proposed investment of Rs 1,000 crore
  • The Tithal beach in Valsad district of Gujarat is all set to become the first disabled-friendly beach in India.
  • Peacock, the national bird of India, may soon be termed a vermin and culled ruthlessly in Goa.

Tit-bits

  • The Hindu minority community in Pakistan will soon have a marriage law as a parliamentary panel has unanimously approved the Hindu Marriage Bill.
  • Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd, the largest bottler of Coca-Cola India, has stopped production at its bottling plant at  Kaladera near Jaipur (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Brynihat (Meghalaya).
  • After TRAI’s decision on discriminatory pricing, Facebook has announced that it has scrapped its controversial Free Basics initiative from India.
  • Kirthiga Reddy, Facebook Inc’s India managing director who said she is stepping down and returning to the United States to “explore new opportunities” at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The False Human Belief!!!

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime can break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Moral: Failure is a part of learning. We should never give up the struggle in life. You Fail not because you are destined to fail, but because there are lessons which you need to learn as you move on with your life.


Download in PDFCurrent Affairs – February week II PDF

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