CURRENT AFFAIRS – FEBRUARY WEEK IV
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Awards and Honours
- On April 24 every year, the Mangeshkars honour the finest artistes in India, this year, the Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award will be given to filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Ranveer Singh, at a function to be held in Pune.
- Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda was felicitated by Melbourne based South Asian community members in Australia.
- Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, the two men who created the famous Diffie-Helman public-key exchange protocol, are conferred with the prestigious Turing Award.
- Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport was awarded the world’s number 1 position for best airport for the second consecutive year in the 25-40 million passenger category.
- India’s Armaan Ebrahim was awarded the Motorsports Man-of-the-Year Trophy at a gala award ceremony.
- Three British researchers, Tim Bliss, Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris have won the 2016 Brain Prize worth one million euros, awarded each year for an “outstanding contribution to European neuroscience”.
- Eminent poet Dr Bhagwati Lal Vyas has been chosen for the 2015 Bihari Puraskar for his anthology of Rajasthani poems ‘Katha Sun Aawe Hai Sabad’.
- Veteran film actor and director Manoj Kumar is to be conferred the 47th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2015.
- Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma took charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police at a time it is battling mounting criticism over handling of the JNU row.
- Dinesh Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and India’s Governor to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Rome was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD.
- Rozle Prezelj of Slovenia is the new Chairman of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission, replacing Namibia’s Frank Fredericks. Prezelj represented Slovenia in the high jump at three Olympics and four IAAF World Championships.
- Independent investor Sunil Sabharwal has become the first Indian-American to occupy a key administration post at the IMF.
- Multi-Commodity Exchange has announced appointment of Mrugank Paranjape as MD & CEO of the exchange.
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) CEO and managing director Natarajan Chandrasekaran and two others were appointed as non-official directors to the board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Banking and Economy
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has presented the Union Budget 2016. With an eye on supporting the small tax-payer and the small investor, the Minister announced a slew of schemes, and income tax exemptions.
- The Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi) will be raising the proposed Rs 10,000-crore corpus for ‘Stand Up India Fund’ from RBI, which will be disbursed to Dalit and women entrepreneurs.
- According to a probe being done by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), over two lakh metric tonnes of Basmati rice was illegally offloaded in Dubai in the last over a year instead of in Bandar Abbas in Iran.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation is exploring the possibility of setting up a cyber crime investigation branch in Mumbai.
- In order to meet the India’s growing needs, the GOI plans to set up nuclear power plants in in Bihar, Haryana and Punjab.
- Tata Consultancy Services, a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization has been recognized as a Top Global Employer by the Top Employers Institute.
- In terms of Energy Security, India has been ranked at the 90th place in a list of 126 countries compiled by WEF, which was topped by Switzerland.
- The Geological Survey of India has identified 46 new coal blocks in the country, out of which 12 are located in West Bengal.
- The Government of India has constituted a committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam. The committee will be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla.
- A bill that would enhance compensation for air travellers in case of death, injury, lost baggage or even inordinate delay in flights was passed by the Rajya Sabha with some changes.
- NHAI has taken a significant step in ensuring development of management competencies of its technical and managerial manpower, with a tie up with Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad.
- Mehsana district administration has roped in the self-help groups (SHGs)to attain total eradication of open defecation.
- The CBI has set up a working group to coordinate with various financial institutions to help curb financial frauds.
- Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi has announced the poll schedule for West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated an ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project, under which a total of 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs).
- The Central Government has decided to dispense with the interview for all Group C (including Group D) and non-gazetted Group B category in Central Government by 31.12.2015.
- US commission scheduled to visit India to discuss and report on the conditions of religious freedom in the country has been denied visa by the Indian government.
- According to new research published in the Lancet, Climate change could kill more than 500,000 people a year globally by 2050 by making their diets less healthy.
- The Supreme Court has declined any interim relief to telecom companies against the Delhi High Court’s order upholding TRAI’s decision making it mandatory for them to compensate subscribers for call drops from January 1, 2016.
- IT and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told in Parliament that the government plans to digitise nearly 1.3 lakh rural post offices by March 2017.
- Paytmhas tied up with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). As a part of the agreement, Delhi Metro travellers will be able to recharge their metro cards via Paytm and DMRC website.
- President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurates first-ever National Conference of Women Legislators in New Delhi.
- Hashim Thaci has been elected as Kosovo’s president after 71 of the country’s 120 MPs voted in favour of his nomination.
- China’s navy has launched its first self-propelled floating dock, giving it the ability to repair warships far from the coast.
- According to Forbes’ annual ranking of billionaires, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates continued his reign as the richest person in the world.
- Peru has declared an emergency three weeks after a major oil pipeline burst, affecting two rivers in the country’s northwest.
- The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution significantly expanding international sanctions against North Korea.
- South Korea’s parliament has passed the country’s first anti-terror bill, with opposition lawmakers leaving the plenary chamber after ending the nine-day marathon speeches.
- Thousands of Mexicans were astonished when they woke up to discover their local river had vanished overnight. The Atoyac River, the sole source of water for 10,000 in the state of Veracruz, is thought to have disappeared into a crevasse following an earthquake tremor.
- The Philippines says it has seized a North Korean ship in line with tightened UN sanctions targeting the country’s nuclear programme.
India and the World
- As announced by the Prime Minister, the Visa on Arrival for Japanese nationals is being launched from tomorrow i.e. 1st March, 2016. This facility will be available at six airports viz. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
- Lamitye 2016, the seventh Indo-Seychelles joint training exercises, aiming to improve interoperability between both armies in counter-insurgency operations, has concluded at Victoria, Mahe Island in Seychelles.
- Eighteen nations from ‘Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’ Plus including United States, China and Russia will participate in the largest `Multinational Field Training Exercise’ being conducted at Pune from March 2.
Snippets from the state
- A total of 180 self-cleaning public eToilets have been installed in Chennai. These Toilets are free for public use.
- Chapchar Kut, the most important traditional festival of the Mizoram people was celebrated across the state and also in the Mizo-inhabited areas in the neighbouring states.
Science and Technology
- WhatsApp will end support for for its app for BlackBerry devices including BlackBerry 10 by the end of 2016.
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman A S Kiran Kumar signaled country’s readiness for Chandrayaan II mission, which will be India’s second mission to the moon.
- The US space agency has finally given green signal for preliminary design of a “low-boom” supersonic passenger jet that will take people places with an unimaginable speed.
- The world’s most expensive train station is opened in New York. The station has been designed by Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish-Swiss architect.
- A new treatment for breast cancer has been hailed a “game changer” after it was found to slow the progression of aggressive breast cancer by nine months.
- London Olympian Basant Bahadur Singh Rana clinched the gold medal in men’s 50km race walk event on the second and final day of the National Championships in Jaipur.
- World number four Stan Wawrinka overcame the spirited challenge of Marcos Baghdatis to win the Dubai Tennis Championship.
- Former National 6Reds runner-up Rahul Sachdev clinched his maiden title by winning the 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship.
- After clinching their 41st Ranji Trophy title in Pune recently, Mumbai annexed their second title this season when they won the Col CK Nayudu Trophy (U-23) by beating Madhya Pradesh.
- Indian shooter Jitu Rai has won a gold in the 50m pistol event at the 2016 ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) World Cup inBangkok.
- Within months after withdrawing as the title sponsor for the Indian Premier League (IPL), soft drinks major PepsiCo has re-entered into a collaboration with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as one of its three new associate sponsors.
- Hockey India national-level umpire Napoleon Singh has been promoted to the International Outdoor Umpire by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
- George Kennedy, the hulking, tough-guy character actor who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a savage chain-gang convict in the 1960s classic Cool Hand Luke, has died.
- Tamil Actor Kumarimuthu passed away due to age-related ailments.
- Martin Crowe, the legendary cricketer from from New Zealand, has passed away due to cancer at the age of 53.
- Former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno Agitok Sangma died due to heart attack at the age of 68.
- All-India Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh, has passed away at the age of 93.
- India’s pioneering film archivist and film scholar PK Nair, who won the epithet ‘celluloid man’ for his impeccable body of work as the founder of the National Film Archive of India (NFAI), has passed away.
- Pat Conroy, the best-selling novelist who blended tales of his childhood with vivid descriptions of life in South Carolina in books including “The Great Santini” and “The Prince of Tides,” has died at the age of 70.
- March 1 – Zero Discrimination Day
- March 3 – World Wildlife Day
- Zee Media Corp. Ltd said it is entering the television shopping business by acquiring a stake in two India Today Group companies.
- Aditya Birla Group firm UltraTech has announced the acquisition of debt-ridden JP Group’s cement plants for Rs 16,500 crore, making it the biggest deal in the sector.
A Dish of Ice Cream
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?”
“50 cents,” replied the waitress.
The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number of coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired. Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress was a bit impatient.
“35 cents,” she said brusquely.
The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.
When the waitress came back, she began wiping down the table and then swallowed hard at what she saw.
There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were 15 cents – her tip.
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