GK Eduwrap – Monthly – February 2016 | Click to download in PDF Format

GK-Eduwrap-February-2016

 

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National – Across the India

 

1. West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Indication (GI) tag for four traditional sweet delicacies of the state.

 

These four traditional sweet delicacies are Moa of Jainagar, Sarpuria of Krishnagar, and Mihidana and Sitabhog of Burdwan.

GI tag will help to protect these sweets from cheap imitations and also help preserve their quality. It will also help to boost their exports.

 

2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Rurban Mission (NRM) from Kurubhat in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.

 

It aims at catalyzing overall regional growth for simultaneously benefiting the rural as well as urban areas of the country.

The mission also dubbed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission (SPMRM) aims to spur social, economic and infrastructure development in rural areas by developing a cluster of 300 Smart Villages over the next 3 years across the country.

 

 

3. Union Government has launched ‘Swachh Parayatan’ mobile application to keep tourist places clean.

 

It was launched by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi.

The project is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Tourism through Delhi eGovernance Society (DeGS) and National Informatics Centre (NIC).

 

 

4. India continues to remain the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global arms imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe.

 

Top arms importers are India (14%), China (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).

It was revealed by report on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

 

5. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has hiked Minimum Support Price (MSP) of raw jute from 2,700 to 3,200 rupees per quintal.

 

MSP is a form of agricultural market intervention undertaken by the Union Government in order to insure agricultural producers are protected against any sharp fall in farm prices.

 It was decided during CCEA meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The hike has been done for the year 2016-17 to boost production.

 

 

6. The Union Cabinet has approved 150 million dollars credit for Development of the strategically important Chabahar Port in Iran.

 

In this regard, the Union Ministry of Shipping had forwarded the proposal for provision and operationalization of credit from EXIM Bank.

Chabahar Port will help India to expand maritime commerce in the region and enhance footprint of Indian companies in the region.

 

 

7. The Union Cabinet as given its approval for establishment of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog.

 

AIM and AIM Directorate will be established that will help in implementation of mission activities in a focussed manner. Its headquarters will be in New Delhi.

This move seeks to give substantial boost to the innovation ecosystem and to catalyse the entrepreneurial spirit in the country.

 

 

8. The Union Government has extended e-Tourist Visa Scheme to 37 more countries. With this, the total count of countries under the scheme will become 150.

 

The e-Tourist Visa Scheme facilitates pre-authorization of Visa i.e. electronic travel authorization given to foreigners prior to travel.

The new countries included in e-Tourist Visa scheme are Austria, Albania, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Comoros, Cote d’lvoire, Cape Verde,  Czech Republic, Croatia, Eritrea, Denmark, Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Gambia, Ghana,  Madagascar, Malawi, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, San Marino, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago, Tajikistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

9. Government-constituted expert committee to examine the Possibility of Replacing Multiple Prior Permissions with Pre-Existing Regulatory Mechanism has submitted its recommendations.

 

The committee will be consisting 11 members and will be headed by Ajay Shanka, Former Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Steps like Greenfield development and earmarking of mixed land use redevelopment should be undertaken.

 

 

10. The 13th edition of World Spice Congress (WSC) will begin in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

 

The theme of the three-day biennial event is ‘Target 2020: Clean, Safe and Sustainable Supply Chain’.

13th WSC has been jointly organized by the Spices Board, Cochin Hill Produce Merchants’ Association, and India Pepper and Spice Trade Association.

 

11. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation sanctioned construction of around eighty two thousand houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in urban areas of 163 cities.

 

The cities are in West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, Mizoram, Rajashtan, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

State wise number of houses sanctioned: – West Bengal – 27830 houses, Telangana – 22817, Bihar – 13315, Mizoram – 8922, Rajasthan – 6052, Jharkhand—2337, Uttarakhand – 484.

 

 

12. The Union Cabinet has given its approval to amend section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002.

 

In this regard, Government is going to introduce Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament in pursuance of the Constitution (One Hundredth Amendment) Act, 2015.

These amendments will give voting rights to people who became Indian citizens following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

 

 

13. The Make in India week concluded in Mumbai, Mumbai after it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 13, 2016.

 

The Make in India was country’s biggest show of manufacturing sector that had successfully brought manufacturing, design and innovation to the centre-stage.

The event has secured investment commitments worth 15.2 lakh crore rupees across the country. The host state Maharashtra alone accounted for 8 lakh crore rupees investment in diverse areas.

 

14. “Wild Pig (sus scrofa)” has been declared as “Vermin” in Uttarakhand for a year, by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

 

MoEFCC used powers preserved to it by section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972.

Vermin means wild mammals and birds which are harmful to crops, farm animals or which carry disease.

The motive behind this decision is to carry out an extermination (hunting/poaching) of wild pigs outside the reserve forest on a large scale.

 

15. Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has released the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030 at New Delhi. The framework outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.

 

16. Mysuru city from Karnataka has been ranked first in terms of cleanliness for second time in row among the 73 surveyed cities in “Swachh Sarvekshan 2016”.

 

Quality Council of India (QCI) has conducted the ranking as a part of ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’.

Top 10 cities according to the ranking are Mysore (1st rank), Chandigarh (2nd), Tiruchirappalli (3rd), Delhi (4th), Visakhapatnam (5th), Surat (6th), Rajkot (7th) and Gangtok (8th), Pimpri-Chinchwad (9th) and Greater Mumbai (10th).

 

 

17. India’s first indigenously developed lightest revolver (gun) “Nidar” was successfully launched.

 

Its weight is only 250 grams.

The state-run Rifle Factory Ishapore (West Bengal) has manufactured it under “Make in India” initiative.

It is much lighter than ‘Nirbheek’ (500 grams) revolver.

It has cylinder capacity of eight bullets.

 

 

18. Utkarsh Bangla Scheme has been launched by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.

 

She also released a book on Utkarsh Bangla On this occasion.

Objective of the scheme is to give vocational training to school dropouts by providing training ranging from 400 to 1200 hours free of charge.

 

 

19. Union Government has formally launched website for maiden Maritime India Summit 2016.

 

It was scheduled to be held in April 2016.

It will facilitate investors and participants to access detailed information about the summit, including registrations.

 

 

20. Environment Information System (ENVIS) portal and mobile application, has been launched by the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar.

 

ENVIS is central sector Scheme of the MOEFCC implemented since 1982.

The purpose of the scheme is to integrate country-wide efforts in environmental information collection, storage, collation, retrieval and dissemination.

 

21. Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated Jharkhand’s first mega food park at village Getalsud in Ranchi district.

 

Food park has been set up with the project cost of 114.73 crore rupees in an area of 51.50 acres.

It will provide better prices to farmers, increase value to agricultural produce, reduce wastage of perishables and create huge opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship for the youth in the state.

 

22. Commemoration 200th Birth Anniversary of Tatya Tope was observed in New Delhi.

 

He was one of the notable generals in India’s First War of Independence (1857-58) of Revolt of 1857.

On this occasion, Union Ministry of Culture with the support of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library had organized a national conference and special lecture.

 

23. India was ranked 37th among the surveyed 38 countries in the Intellectual Property Index (IPI) released by United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC).

 

For nearly 85% of the global GDP was targeted by these 38 countries benchmarked in the 2016 index accounts.

India has scored a low 7.0 out of maximum 30 points, because the Patent protection in India remains outside of international best practices.

With 6.42 points on the index, Venezuela ranked lowest below India at 38th position.

 

24. Gujarat State Government has decided to set up India’s first aviation park near Bagodara village in Ahmedabad district to strengthen the aviation sector.

 

25. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced plans to develop aircraft carrier INS Viraat as a tourism center.

 

It will be developed as a tourism centre after its decommissioning at Vishakhapatnam in June 2016.

 

26. United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon launched a report titled One Humanity: Shared Responsibility.

 

The report called for a global campaign to prevent the erosion of humanitarian law and protect civilians in conflict.

The summit aims at providing an opportunity for concrete steps towards ending the suffering experienced by billions of people at present.

 

27. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has released National Air Quality Indices (AQI) for 24 cities across India in the month of January 2016.

 

In the list Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Muzzafarpur (Bihar) were on the top with an AQI value of 409 points each and were coded as ‘severe’ in terms of air pollution in January 2016.

 

28. The Union textile Ministry has bestowed the Indian Handloom Brand tag on Chettinad cotton saris for its unique designs and identity.

 

This tag was bestowed under the India Handloom Brand Scheme after checking its various quality parameters stipulated by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

 

29. Union Ministry of Tourism has launched 24×7 Toll Free Multi-Lingual Tourist Info Linefor international tourists in 12 international languages.

 

The 12 languages include 10 International languages besides English and Hindi, namely, French, Arabic, Italian, German, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

 

30. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC’s) new state of the art refinery at Paradip in Odisha to the nation.

 

It is overall IOC’s 11th refinery to be set up and has installed capacity of 15 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA).

 

31. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the permanent campus of National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) in Jatani near Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

 

The primary objective of NISER is to train and nurture human resources in the field of Sciences for the knowledge economies of the future.

 

32. The 30th edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela has begun at Faridabad in Haryana after it was formally inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

 

33. Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of Union Government has given its final approval to Kerala Government’s approval to set up India’s first Defence Industrial Park at Ottappalam.

 

34. Maharashtra government has announced Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective Incentive Scheme for the economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs.

 

Under it, special facilities will be given to Dalit entrepreneurs besides the present Collective Incentive Scheme 2013.

 

35. Maharashtra Government has rolled out Deradicalization Program for the minority community to counter both home-grown extremism and the global Islamic State (IS) threat.

 

This program aims at bringing youth especially from the minority community into the mainstream and make coordinated efforts and policies in different 13 sectors for their empowerment.

 

36. The Odisha government lifted the restrictions on visit of foreign tourists to certain tribal areas in the State. The ban was lifted after three years.

 

37. President Pranab Mukherjee dedicated India’s first co-operative society in Information Technology (IT) sector UL CyberPark in Kozhikode, Kerala.

 

ULCCS cooperative was launched in 1925 in Vadakara in Kozhikode district by 14 members with an initial investment of 37 paise.

The IT Park has been set up by a labour cooperative society, Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS).

It is built on 25 acre land in Nellikode in Kozhikode district at the cost of Rs. 270 crore.

 

38. India’s first Gender Park was inaugurated at Kozhikode district of Kerala by President Pranab Mukherjee.

 

The Gender Park seeks to encourage women to take part in developmental and decision making process.

The park is an initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala Government to promote research and other initiatives to enable total gender equality.

 

39. The first phase Kerala Tourism’s Muziris Heritage Project (MHP) was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee at Trissur in Kerala to reinstate the historical and cultural significance Muziris.

 

Muziris was an ancient seaport and urban centre which dates from at least the 1st century BC and located at the mouth of the Periyar River in Kerala.

The project is Kerala Government’s first green Project and India’s largest heritage conservation project.

 

International – Across the Globe

 

1. An Indian-origin art lover and playwright Ismail Mahomed from South Africa has been knighted by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.

 

He was bestowed with Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature (The Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg.

Presently, he is working as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

 

2. Pakistan’s Parliament building located in national capital Islamabad became the first in the world to completely run on solar power.

 

It achieved this feat after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif switched on solar-powered building of the parliament in a simple ceremony.

Currently, there some parliaments in world like Israel’s Knesset that partly run on solar power.

 

3. India has lost solar case against United States at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for in breaching of international trade rules.

United States had dragged India to WTO’s DSB in 2013 alleging that domestic content requirement on solar power developers discriminated against American and other imported solar technology.

WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) ruled that India’s domestic content requirement for National Solar Mission (NSM) discriminated against imported solar technology.

 

4. Nepal Government decided to constitute an 11-member-political committee to study the demarcation of federal states on the constitution.

 

 It will also review the disputed provisions within the country’s new constitution that was adopted on 20 September 2015.

 The 11-member will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and will also include representatives from the agitating Madhesis.

 

5. Google’s Project Loon began its operations in Sri Lanka after first helium-filled balloon landed in Pupuressa area in Gampola town.

 

Project Loon is a pet project of search engine giant Google for providing Internet access to rural and remote areas using high-altitude helium-filled balloons.

It was one of three balloons that were put up in Sri Lankan airspace for trials to provide high-speed internet service after it was launched from South America.

 

6. The fourth edition of the India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) was successfully undertaken from February 13 to 16, 2016.

 

 It was conducted by navies of the two countries along the strategically significant International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.

 IMCOR, Indian Navy Ships Saryu and Bitra along with Myanmar Ships Aung Zeya and FAC 563 participated in this.

 

7. Japan has successfully launched ASTRO-H space observation satellite to probe mysterious black holes.

 

 It was launched by H2A rocket after it had successfully lifted off at the Tanegashima Space Centre.

 It has been equipped with four X-ray telescopes and two gamma-ray detectors and is designed to capture X-rays that cannot be detected on Earth because the planet’s atmosphere absorbs them.

 

8. Sindh became the first Pakistan province to adopt landmark Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015 to allow the minority community to register their marriages.

 

 First time a law passed to safeguard rights of Hindus, since formation of Pakistan in 1947.

 Minimum age of marriage has fixed by the law as 18 years.

 It makes mandatory, that a marriage is solemnized after consent of both female and male in the presence of at least two witnesses and registration of the marriage.

 

9. India has participated in the Cobra Gold 2016 multilateral exercise for the first time, hosted by Indonesia after 12 member Indian Army delegation joined it.

 

 Cobra Gold multilateral exercise is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise held annually in Thailand.

 Cobra Gold 2016 is 35th edition of multilateral exercise in which 35 countries have participated and its main theme is humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

 

10. LAMITYE 2016, the 7th edition of India, Seychelles joint military exercise has begun in Victoria, Seychelles.

 

 It’s a fourteen day exercise which has been conducted at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria till February 28, 2016.

 Indian Army contingent will comprise an infantry platoon and representatives from the Special Forces.

 

11. The first long distance cargo train connecting Iran and China has arrived in the Iranian capital city Tehran after starting its journey from China.

 

 It has started its journey from China’s eastern Zhejiang province and it took 14 days to reach final destination.

 It had covered around 9,500-kilometre distance and passed through two Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

 

12. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) appointed women ministers to the newly created portfolios for happiness and tolerance, and youth affairs.

 

13. An agreement for the improvement in Cooperation in Cyber Defence to counter modern forms of hybrid warfare has been signed between The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU).

 

 A technical agreement was signed at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium between both organizations in the presence of all the 22 members of both countries.

 It was signed between NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team of European Union (CERT-EU).

 Under this agreement both countries will solve the cyber security problems, share information and best practices to solve it, so that the objectives of the EU Cyber Defence Policy Framework can be met.

 

14. Abu Dhabi National Oil (ADNOC) Company, the UAE’s national oil company has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs) storage.

 It will be for the first time that India is doing partnership with other country for storing crude oil in the SPR storage for emergency purpose.

 For this purpose UAE has agreed to give two-third of the oil to it for free.

 

15. United States President Barack Obama has unveiled a cyber-security national action plan to boost security awareness amid of growing risks from new technologies.

 

 Under this action plan, President Obama in his budget request has asked for 19 billion US dollars for cyber-security efforts.

 This plan has been earmarked to help modernize the patchwork of computer systems used in government agencies.

 

16. For the first time, border troops of India and China have held their first joint tactical exercise codenamed Sino-India Cooperation 2016 in Chushul-Moldo in Jammu and Kashmir.

This exercise is complement to the Hand-in-Hand series of India-China Joint Exercises and the recently conducted joint exercise in Sikkim.

 

17. France became first country in the world to ban supermarket food waste.

 

18. Japan’s ShinMaywa Industries is planning to set up manufacturing plant of US-2 amphibious aircraft in India under ‘Make in India’ initiative to cater to international demands.

 

Sports

 

1. Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the men’s singles category.

 

In the final match played in the United Arab Emirates, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) by 6-4, 7-6 (15/13) score.

It was his ninth straight final and overall 13th title of his career and second of the 2016 season after winning Chennai Open.

 

2. The Jaypee Punjab Warriors has won the fourth edition of Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) title 2016.

 

Hockey India League (HIL) is a professional field hockey league in India organized by Hockey India, the governing body for the sport in India.

It was their maiden title.

The final match was played at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, in which they defeated Kalinga Lancers by 6-1 goals.

Player of the Tournament was given to Rupinder Pal Singh (Delhi Waveriders).

Man of the Match was given Mark Knowles (Punjab Warriors).

 

3. Ukraine’s Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Football Club (FC) has won the 2016 Sait Nagjee International Club Football Tournament. It was 36th edition of the tournament and the first edition after 1995 when it was stopped.

 

4. Mumbai has won the Ranji Trophy for a season 2015-16 by defeating Saurashtra.

 

With this victory, Mumbai clinched eight Ranji title for record 41st time (10 of them being won with innings wins) after playing in record 45 finals.

Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between teams representing regional cricket associations.

It was named after England and Sussex cricketer Kumar Shri Ranjitsinhji and was first played in 1934.

 

5. Indian Railways for the first time won the 36th National Chess team Championship in Bhubaneswar, Odisha by defeating Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) team in the final.

 

6. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good and United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with BCCI on 15 February 2016 launched the Team Swachh clinics during the ICC WT20 Host City Tour.

 

The clinics were launched at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.

The step was taken to promote a nationwide initiative that aims to build a social movement for sanitation and toilet use there by leading to an open-defecation-free India.

 

7. The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup has won by West Indies for the first time, played at Mirpur (Bangladesh).

 

WI defeated India by five wickets.

Keacy Carty (West Indies) declared as “Man of the match”.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh) declared as “Player of the tournament”.

 

8. The International Cricket Council (ICC) removed Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla from the list of venues for the 2016 World T20 Championships, on its official website. Four World T20 games was about to hosted by Kotla. But the venue has been dogged by controversies lately and its status as a host remains under question.

 

9. Quinton de Kock, the wicketkeeper-batsman of South Africa became the fastest to make 10 One Day International (ODI) centuries.

 

10. India’s ace squash player Joshna Chinappa has won the gold medal in women’s individual category at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG).

 

11. India’s Sapna Devi has won gold for India in the women Wushu Taulu (Changquan) Competition at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG).

 

12. The Australian women cricket team won the three-match ODI series against Indian women team.

 

13. Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth won the 2016 Syed Modi International Grand prix Gold Championship Title of Badminton in men’s singles category.

 

14. World Number One tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia has won the 2016 Australian Open Title in the men’s singles category.

 

15. Brazilian racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi has won the 2015 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 by winning two of the four races.

 

16. Aditya Mehta won the 83rd Senior National Snooker Championship in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

 

17. Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was appointed as mentor of the Kings XI Punjab team for season 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL).

 

18. The International Swimming Federation (FINA) announced that the Japanese city of Fukuoka will host the 2021 World Aquatics Championships.

 

19. India won the three-match T-20 series against Australia, 3-0. In the third and final Twenty20 match played in Sydney, India defeated Australia by seven wickets.

 

20. Kerala has won the 61st National School Athletics championship which concluded in Kozhikode.

With this, Kerala (host) become champions in the event for the 19th consecutive time.

 

Awards & Recognition

 

1. President Pranab Mukherjee has formally declared Kerala as the country’s first digital state.

 

Kerala was able to achieve this feat due to the combined efforts of the government and various social organizations in the state.

President announced it after launching a digital empowerment campaign of state at a function to be held in Kozhikkode.

 

2. Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actor Ranveer Singh have been chosen for the prestigious 2016 Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award.

 

The award was instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, father of Lata Mangeshkar.

The award will be bestowed upon them by Lata Mangeshkar at a function to be held in Pune on 24 April to commemorate Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar’s death anniversary.

 

3. Resul Pookutty, the Oscar-winning sound designer has won the prestigious American Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) Golden Reel Award.

 

The Golden Reel Award has been instituted by the MPSE and recognises excellence in an array of sound editing achievement, sound effects and foley to dialogue and score integration and ADR to music.

Pookutty is a film sound designer, sound editor and mixer working in Hollywood, Hindi cinema, Malayalam Cinema and Tamil cinema.

He won the best sound for documentary “India’s Daughter” directed by Leslee Udwin. It is based on the Delhi gangrape incident of December 2012.

 

4. The 88th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

For the second consecutive year, film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu received the most nominations.

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra made her debut in the award ceremony and presented Award in the ‘Best Editing’ category along with actor Liev Schreiber.

Best Picture: Spotlight.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant).

Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room).

Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant).

 

5. India continues to remain the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global arms imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe.

 

Declared by report on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Top arms importers are India (14%), China (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).

 

6. Bihar became the sixth state to join Union Government’s UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana) Scheme for financial restructuring of debt of power distribution companies.

 

Prior to this Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to become part of the scheme.

 

7. Haryana is going become the first state in the country to complete aquifer mapping for its groundwater resources by May 2016.

 

 Aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock from which groundwater can be extracted.

 It is scientific mapping of aquifers to assess the groundwater situation.

 

8. Tamil film Kanavu Variyam has won the prestigious 2016 Remi Award in the United States.

 

 The film has been directed and produced by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram and Karthik Chidambaram.

 The award will be presented to A Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival that will be held from 8 to 17 April, 2016.

 

9. An Indian-origin art lover and playwright Ismail Mahomed from South Africa has been knighted by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.

 

 He was awarded with Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature (The Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg.

 

10. Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences (GVK BIO) has been awarded prestigious Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award.

 

 Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award was established by the World Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Congress.

 They are bestowed annually on eve of World CSR Day on companies that believe in the value of sustainable CSR.

 

11. India’s leading private lender Yes Bank has been awarded inaugural Green Bond Pioneer Award at a ceremony held in London, United Kingdom.

 

 Yes Bank was the first Indian Bank to issue Green Infrastructure Bonds (GIBs) in India. It had issued India’s first-ever GIBs worth 1,000 crore rupees in 2015.

 Yes Bank was bestowed with this award in recognition for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market including successful issuance of India’s first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds.

 

12. Goverdhan Mehta, a Chemical scientist and well-known researcher has been conferred with Germany’s prestigious Cross of the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) Award by Achim Fabig, German Consul General in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

 

 It is Germany’s only honour that is awarded to both Germans and foreigners in all fields of endeavour.

 Goverdhan Mehta is former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) from 1994 to 1998. He has authored more than 400 research papers.

 

13. Dr Avinash Chander, former DRDO Director-General (DG) has been awarded prestigious Aryabhata Award of Astronautical Society of India.

 

 He was the chief architect of India’s strategic Agni series of ballistic missile systems and famously is known as Agni man of India.

 The award was presented to him in recognition for his contribution to missile technology.

 

14. The Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Kolkata was awarded with the Best Service Hospital by the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

 

 The Raksha Mantri’s Trophy was instituted in 1989 to create a healthy competition among the Command Hospitals of the Army and its equivalent hospitals in the Navy and Air Force.

 The trophy for the Second Best Hospital was presented to INHS Asvini, Mumbai, which was received by its Commandant Surgeon Rear Admiral AA Pawar.

 

15. David Shulman, a renowned Indologist Professor was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Religious Studies for his breakthrough research into the literature and culture of southern India by Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

 

16. The 58th Annual Grammy Awards were announced by the Recording Academy announced at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The best recordings, compositions and artists in the eligibility year, which was from October 2014, to September 2015 announced in this ceremony.

 

 Best album of the year (Album-1989 by Taylor Swift)

 Best record of the year (Album-Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars)

 Best song of the year (Album-Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge).

 

17. Tiruchirapalli city in Tamil Nadu has won “best city performer” in Behavioral change Communication Award.

 

 Trichy city commissioner Vijayalakshmi received the award from Union Minister of urban Development Venkaiah Naidu in the Swach Sarvekshan function.

 The city has shown the way in cleanliness and hygiene.

 The city has ranked third in clean city award and is among the 15 leader cities along with Mysuru (1st), Chandigarh (2nd) and New Delhi (4th).

 

18. The Infosys Prizes has been conferred to six winners for their outstanding contribution in the research fields in New Delhi for the year 2015, by President Pranab Mukherjee.

 

 Infosys Prize is an annual award bestowed upon researchers, scientists, social scientists and engineers in India by the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF).

 The winners are: -

Umesh Waghmare (Engineering and Computer Science category)

Mahan Maharaj (Mathematical Sciences category)

Amit Sharma (Life Sciences category)

Ravindra Kumar (Physical Sciences category)

Srinath Raghavan (Social Sciences category)

 

19. The 69th British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held at the Royal Opera House in London. The awards are announced as:

 

 Best Film: The Revenant.

 Outstanding British Film: Brooklyn.

 Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant).

 Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant).

 Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room).

 

20. The Film ‘Nagaland is changing, But…’, directed by Gurmeet Sapal, has won the Golden Beaver Best Film Award in the institutional category at the 6th National Science Film Festival held in Mumbai.

 

21. Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has been awarded with the ‘Pride of Kerala’ Award by the World Malayalee Council and Kairali TV.

 

 She belongs to Kerala and had made her debut in Bollywood in 2005 in Parineeta.

 She won National Film Award for Best Actress for The Dirty Picture (2011), Padma Shri Award in 2014, five Filmfare Awards in Best Female Debut for Parineeta (2005), Best Actress for Paa (2009), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012) and Critics Award for Best Actress for Ishqiya (2010).

 

22. President Pranab Mukherjee on 13 February 2016 conferred Infosys Prize 2015 on six winners in New Delhi. These winners are: – Prof Umesh Waghmare, Prof Jonardon Ganeri, Dr Amit Sharma, Prof Mahan Mj, Prof G Ravindra Kumar and Dr Srinath Raghavan.

 

23. Karnataka’s flagship mobile-one governance application has won gold medal at the fourth World Government Summit in Dubai, UAE in the m-governance awards category. Karnataka’s e-governance secretary Srivatsa Krishna received the award, on behalf of state government.

 

24. Four Indian-Americans Anil K Jain, Dr Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr K R Sridhar, elected to National Academy of Engineering of USA, for their outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education.

 

25. Four Indian-Americans have been selected for the prestigious US National Academy of Engineering (NAE). NAE is a private non-profit governmental organization (NGO) in the United States, established in 1964 and is part of the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Selected Indian-Americans are: – Arati Prabhakar, Anil K. Jain, Ganesh Thakur, and K.R. Sridhar.

 

26. Union Ministry of Labour and Employment announced the Prime Minister Shram Awards for the year 2014 on 9 February 2016.

 

There are nine nominations for the Shram Bhushan Award, Nineteen nominations for Shram Vir or Shram Veerangana and twenty six nominations for Shram Shree or Shram Devi Awards.

Even though, the total number of Shram Awards is 32, the number of workers receiving the awards is 54 which Included 3 women, as some of the awards have been shared by workers and/or teams of workers consisting of more than one worker. These include 36 workers from the public sector and 18 workers from the private sector.

 

27. Eight scientists received the UNESCO Medals for their contributions to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies at Paris.

 

Name Country Contribution
Professor Isamu Akasaki  Japan Created the blue light-emitting diodes, which resulted in the discovery of white light sources for illumination.
Professor Lei Jiang China Designed and fabricated the bio-inspired surfaces with specific wettability.
Professor Philippe Pernod France Worked on active nanostructured magnetic and multiferroic films, Micro-Magneto-Electro-Mechanical Systems and their applications, and multistable nanostructures.
Professor Nicholas Kotov United States of America Worked on biometric self-organization of Nano colloids, ultra-strong nanocomposites, tissue engineering with nanomaterials, and nanoscale drugs.
Academician Gennady Krasnikov Russian Federation For his efforts to broaden the use of nanotechnologies in manufacturing industries
Professor Igor Ashurbeyli Russian Federation For his work in the field of the development of new generation microelectronic devices, information systems and technologies.
Doctor Mikhail Dubina Russian Federation For his work in research and development of new medical technologies based on the use of nanostructures in the earlier on-line diagnostics as well as the creation of new nano biotechnological devices that could influence the   bioprocesses in the human body.
Doctor Natalya Mikhaylova Russian Federation For her work on the application of nanotechnologies in aesthetic medicine, in the fields of cosmetology, polysaccharide development, cancer therapy, reconstructive and plastic surgery.

 

28. The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez was received his second consecutive Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for best feature film at the 68th annual DGA Awards.

 

29. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was selected for the prestigious K Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2015.

 

30. Veteran wildlife filmmaker Naresh Bedi was honoured with the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF 2016).

 

31. Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl directorial film ‘Titli’ has won the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC).

 

32. Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan was presented with the lifetime achievement award in New Delhi.

He received the honour at NDTV Indian of the Year Awards for his contribution to the film industry.

 

33. Kerala’s all-women taxicab service She-Taxi received the prestigious Chief Minister’s Award for Innovation in Public Policy 2014 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

It was selected for the recognition in the developmental interventions category.

 

34. Manipuri documentary film Phum-Shang bagged the prestigious Golden Conch Award for the best documentary film at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films (MIFF 2016).

 

35. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced that it has been rated as the World’s Most Powerful Brand in IT Services by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation firm.

 

36. Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan was selected for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Award for 2015-2016.

 

37. India officially became the Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

 

India is second country outside the European region to be an Associate Member State of EMBO.

 

First one being Singapore which had signed such agreement with European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) in 2015.

 

38. Indian writer Geetu Mohandas won Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award 2016 for her script of yet-to-be shot film Insha Allah.

 

Mergers & Acquisitions

 

1. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google has overtaken Apple as s most valuable company in the world.

 

Alphabet has made a profit of $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter and was valued at 548 billion dollars followed by Apple which was valued 534 billion dollars.

 

2. Wipro Limited, India’s third largest IT exporter, has acquired US based healthcare technology firm HealthPlan Services for US 460 million dollars.

 

HealthPlan Services is a leading independent technology and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) provider in the US health insurance market that offers solutions to health insurance firms.

This is Wipro’s overall 4th acquisition in the year 2015. Earlier it had bought Denmark-based Designit, German IT consulting firm Cellent AG and US-based Viteos Group.

It was part of the Wipro’s traditional “string of pearls” acquisition strategy.

It shall help company to strengthen its position in the US health insurance market.

 

3. Tata Motors, Bharat Forge tied up for $11 billion Indian Army’s FICV Program.

 

FICV (Future Infantry Combat Vehicle) is an amphibious, tracked, armoured vehicle and will be operated by a crew of 3 members consisting of the commander, gunner and driver with an additional capacity to carry 7 fully equipped infantrymen.

It will have the strike power of a 45 tonne Main Battle Tank (MBT) including rapid fire cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun, grenade launcher and an anti-tank missile.

 

Appointments & Resignations

 

1. Alok Kumar Verma, Senior IPS Officer has taken charge of new Police Commissioner of Delhi, replacing B. S. Bassi.

 

He is a senior IPS officer from 1979-batch Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.

He also served as Director General (Prisons).

 

2. Vinod Rai, former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has been appointed as the first Chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB).

 

BBB will be a super authority (Autonomous Body) of eminent professionals and officials for public sector banks (PSBs). It will replace the Appointments Board of Government.

Appointed Members of Banks Board Bureau includes Vinod Rai (Chairman), N. Sinor (Member), Anil K Khandelwal (Member), Rupa Kudwa (Members).

 

3. Dinesh Sharma has been unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD).

 

IFAD was established in 1977 as the 13th Specialised Agency of the United Nations. India is a founder member of IFAD and a key contributor among the member countries.

Currently, he is serving as Additional Secretary of Department of Economic Affairs under the Union Ministry of Finance and is also India’s Governor to the IFAD, Rome.

 

4. Indian Railway Officer Vinay Kumar Singh has been appointed as Managing Director of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).

 

 NCRTC is a nodal implementing agency of the three corridors of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in the National Capital Region (NCR) zone.

 He has also worked with Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a railway PSU involved in the study of high speed rail corridors.

 

5. Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra has been appointed as Director General (DG) of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

 

 He will succeed Najib Shah, Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs who was holding the charge as DG of DRI.

 He also served as Director General (Systems) of Systems and Data Management based in New Delhi.

 

6. Justice Vineet Saran has been appointed as the the new Chief Justice (CJ) of Orissa High Court as per the provisions of Article 217 of Constitution, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

 His appointment comes after it was lying vacant ever since transfer of Justice D H Waghela as CJ of Bombay High Court.

 

7. Scientist KN Vyas has been appointed as Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for a term of three years.

 

 The BARC is India’s premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

 His appointment was confirmed by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

 

8. An Indian-origin Sikh Amar Singh has been appointed the Police Commissioner of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

 

 He becomes first person of Indian origin (PIO) and first Malaysian Sikh to achieve the highest police rank in the Muslim-majority country.

 He also served as deputy director of CID.

 

9. Udai Kumar has been appointed as full-time Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI) Ltd.

 

 MSEI formerly known as MCX Stock Exchange Ltd. (MCX-SX), is India’s youngest and one of the three stock exchanges recognized by SEBI. It was founded in 2008.

 The appointment was approved by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and comes after stringent shortlisting process and interviews by the Selection Committee.

 

10. Yoichiro Ueno has been appointed as new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Honda Cars India by its parent Honda Motor Company.

 

 He will succeed Katsushi Inoue who was elevated to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company for Regional Operations (Europe region).

 

8. Michael Pesch has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Infosys Consulting Holding, a subsidiary of India’s second largest software company Infosys.

 

 He will be responsible for Infosys Consulting business in Europe Latin America and Asia Pacific Region and also work as Regional Head DACH Countries (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

 

11. Union Government has selected former Chief Justice of India (CJI) H L Dattu as new Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

 

 He was selected by the high-powered committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 He will succeed Mr. K.G. Balakrishnan who had demitted office after his five-year term ended in May 2015.

 

12. Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee has sworn-in as the 28th Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka.

 He was administered oath to the office as per provision of Article 219 of Constitution by the Governor Vajubhai R. Vala in a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan, Bengaluru.

 He also served as Acting Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka since June 2015.

 

13. Gianni Infantino (45) of Switzerland has been elected as new President of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), a global governing body of football.

 

 FIFA in English International Federation of Association Football is the governing body of association football, futsal and beach football.

 He also served as General Secretary of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) since 2009 and was associtated with it for past 15 years.

 He won by securing 115 of the 207 eligible votes in the 2016 FIFA Extraordinary Congress held in Zurich, Switzerland, defeating Sheikh Salman of Bahrain.

 

14. Kalikho Pul has been sworn-in as the 9th Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh after Governor JP Rajkhowa used his discretionary powers to appoint him.

 

 He was administered oath to the office and secrecy by Governor in a simple function at Raj Bhawan in Itanagar.

 Earlier, President’s Rule under Article 356 was lifted in the state after President Pranab Mukherjee had given his assent to it. This had paved the way for government formation.

 

15. Christine Lagarde (60) from France has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund for a second five-year term.

 

 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 188 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, facilitate international trade, secure financial stability, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty around the world.

 Christine Lagarde had also served as Minister of Finance and Minister for Foreign Trade of France.

 

16. Devaraja Reddy has been appointed as President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

 

 He will have tenure of one year of ICAI which is an apex body of Indian Chartered Accountant.

 He was Vice President of ICAI for the Council Year 2015-16.

 He is chartered accountant from past 28 years.

 

17. Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi has been appointed as Director of Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR).

 

 He worked as the Principal Scientist at Seed Science and Technology of the IIMR and Head of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi.

 

18. Ashok Chawla has been appointed as new Chairman of the Governing Council of TERI on 12 February 2016.

 

 He served as the Finance Secretary to the Government of India and the Chairman of the Competition Commission.

 

19. Davinder Singh, Indian-origin lawyer, has been appointed as Vice-Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce Commission (ICC) on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption.

 

 ICC is Paris (France) based private sector world business organization with a central role in global trade and commerce.

 Singh is one of top Indian-origin lawyer in Singapore.

 At present he is performing his duties as the chief executive of the Singapore based law firm Drew & Napier.

 He was member of Singapore Parliament from 1988-2006.

 

20. Indian-origin Harinder Sidhu has been appointed as Australian High Commissioner to India succeeding High Commissioner Patrick Suckling.

 

 She was born in Singapore and later migrated to Australia. Her family hailed from Punjab.

 She is second envoy from Australia after Peter Varghese who had ancestral roots to southern Indian state of Kerala.

 

21. Tamar Hahn of Israel appointed as the Director of United Nations Information Centre in Buenos Aires by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

 

22. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri has been appointed as Executive Vice Chairman of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

 

23. Justice Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela was appointed the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.

 

24. Former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) Rajendra Kumar Pachauri was appointed as the Executive Vice-Chairman of the organization with the immediate effect.

 

25. The South Asian Wrestling Federation announced the appointment of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh as its President.

 

26. Vishal Mehta was appointed as the President of the newly- formed International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA).

 

27. Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba took over as Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Mumbai headquartered Western Naval Command (WNC) at a ceremonial parade held at INS Shikra.

 

28. Senior IPS officer Datta Padsalgikar has been appointed as the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai. He will be 40th Police Commissioner of Mumbai.

 

29. Senior IFS officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi was appointed as India’s Ambassador to Mexico.

 

30. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey was appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) for a period of three years.

 

31. Senior IPS officer Archana Ramasundram (58) was appointed as the Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).

 

With this, she became first woman police officer to lead a central police force that guards the country’s international borders.

 

32. Union Government has appointed senior IPS officer K Durga Prasad has Director General (DG) of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

 

33. The Union Government appointed Jai Kumar Garg as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Corporation Bank for a period of three years.

 

34. An Indian national Saroj Kumar Jha was in news as he was appointed as the Senior Director for the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Groupat the World Bank.

 

35. Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India has been appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

 

36. Justice Ramayyagari Subhash Reddy was appointed as Chief Justice of the Gujarat high Court.

 

37. Former IAS officer D J Pandian has been appointed vice-president and chief investment officer (CIO) of Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

 

38. Principal Adviser (Cost) Mrs. Aruna Sethi has been appointed as head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS).

With this, she becomes first lady ICoAS officer to the topmost post.

 

39. A US Senate Armed Services Committee has confirmed the nomination of General John Nicholson to the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan.

 

Economics & Banking GK

 

1. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs).

 

 It mentions that mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India.

 By implicating this programme the Software developers and start-ups will continue to have the freedom to innovate without worrying infringement notices in Computer Related Inventions area.

 

2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended currency swap arrangement to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations till mid-November 2017.

 

 A currency swap involves exchange of principal and interest in one currency for the same in another currency. It is considered to be a foreign exchange transaction.

 All 7 SAARC member countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka can avail the facility.

 

3. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Parliament. This was the the second railway budget for Suresh Prabhu and third rail budget of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government.

 

 Theme of the Budget was ‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’ for overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Rejuvenate, Restructure Indian Railways.

 Three pillars strategy were set as “Nav Arjan – New revenues, Nav Manak – New norms, Nav Sanrachna – New Structures”.

 

4. Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been approved by Union Cabinet.

 

 It approved the Notification of Commitments, its ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat.

 India is the 71st country to give nod to the agreement that seeks to ease customs procedures to boost commerce.

 

5. The Union Government has unveiled a National Capital Goods Policy 2016 to give an incentive to the capital goods sector and the Make in India initiative.

 

 It will increase exports of capital goods from the current 27% to 40 % of production and share of domestic capital goods production in terms of demand from 60% to 80% in order to make India a net exporter of capital goods.

 It will improve technology depth across sub-sectors, ensure mandatory standards, increase skill availability and promote growth and capacity building of MSMEs.

 It will enhance Indian made capital goods export through a “Heavy Industry Export & Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA)”.

 

6. Agartala-Akhaura railway link Project got a sum of Rs. 580 Crore from the Union Government, with aim to connect Kolkata (West Bengal) with Tripura via Bangladesh, by laying the five km railway track up to Bangladesh border from Agartala.

 

 It’s a 15 km long strategic railway route that would connect the Indian Railways with the Bangladesh Railways.

 10 km of it falls in the Bangladesh side and the rest 5 km falls in India.

 The project is expected to complete by 2017.

 It was started after the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh to India in January 2010 when both countries had agreed to lay the railway track.

 

7. To connect Kolkata with Tripura via Bangladesh through railway, the Union Government sanctioned about 580 crore rupees.

 

The money was sanctioned for constructing the 15-kilometer railway track between Kolkata and Tripura.

The project that is expected to be completed by 2017 will pass through Bangladesh.

The Agartala-Akhaura rail-link between Indian Railway and Bangladesh Railway will reduce the current 1700 km road distance between Kolkata to Agartala via Siliguri to just 350-kilometer by railway.

 

8. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the Report of the Working Group on Introduction of Interest Rate Options in India. The report was prepared by RBI committee chaired by Prof PG Apte.

 

9. The World Bank Board approved a 35 million US dollars credit for the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project.

The Project will improve access to selected public services for the people of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and particularly those belonging to deprived groups.

 

10. The Himachal Pradesh Government decided to spend 15 crore rupees on Swachh Bharat Mission in tribal district of Kinnaur.

 

11. The Union Government has constituted two new committees namely Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU) and Tax Policy Council (TPC) to streamline the taxation policy and administration.

Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU)

It will assist the TPC in taking appropriate policy decisions and shall prepare tax proposal and analysis of legislative intent.

It will also take decisions on expected increase or decrease in tax collection and economic impact.

It will comprise of officers from CBEC, CBDT as well as economists, researchers, statisticians and legal experts.

 

Tax Policy Council (TPC)

It shall aim to have a consistent and coherent approach to the issue of tax policy.

It will look at all the research findings coming from TPRU and suggest broad policy measures for taxation.

 

12. The European Union (EU) approved 3.3 billion Euros in funding to help Turkey cope with the issue of Syrian migrants.

At present, Turkey is home to around 3 million Syrians who fled the country since the beginning of the civil war in 2011.

The funding is aimed at curbing flow of asylum seekers into the Europe by tightening its borders with Turkey.

 

 

Bills – New & Amendments

 

1. Lok Sabha has passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant voting rights to people who became citizens of India following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

 

The bill seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and the Delimitation Act, 2002.

This bill aims to empower the Election Commission of India (ECI) to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015.

 

2. A National Assembly committee of Pakistan unanimously passed Hindu Marriage Bill 2015.

 

The committee adopted the bill unanimously after making two amendments to fix the minimum age of the marrying male and female at 18 and making the law applicable to the whole of Pakistan.

 

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

 

 

1. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was sighned between the confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Dubai Exports to boost trade and explore business opportunities.

 

 CII is a non-government organisation of Indian businesses which works to create an environment conducive to the growth of industry in the country.

 Dubai Exports works with other Dubai Government Departments to simplify the export process by developing long-term growth strategies to expand businesses and maximize opportunities.

 

2. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) have been signed between Department of Biotechnology (Union Ministry of Science and Technology) and a association of top United Kingdom (UK) research institutions for joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.

 

 The association included representatives from Cambridge based National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), John Innes Centre, Norwich based University of East Anglia and Rothamsted Research Institute.

 The aim of the MoU is to promote knowledge exchange, enhance collaborative research and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.

 

3. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Maldives for the avoidance of double taxation of income from international air transport.

 

 This agreement provides relief from double taxation for airline enterprises operating between the two countries.

 

4. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Prasar Bharati and Empressa de Brazil Communicacao (EBC).

 

 The MoU was signed in connection with several broadcast related activities including exchange of news, programmes and co-production.

 The MoU includes long list of Indian programmes to be broadcast on EBC network including documentaries, science programs, serials and Portuguese programs from Goa.

 

5. Union Cabinet has given its approval for Memorandum of understandings (MoUs) signed between India and various countries for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

 

 It will help in (i) capacity building measures (ii) knowledge exchange through visits of scientists and technicians (iii) exchange of genetic resources.

 It will also aid in development of appropriate technologies and farm practices for enhancing agriculture productivity at farmers’ field.

 

6. The Union Cabinet has apprised signing of BRICS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and innovation (STI), to promote cooperation in the field of STI among BRICS countries by means of mutually agreed S&T events and activities.

 

7. A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) has been signed between National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), for commercialization of technologies and intellectual properties (IP) developed at IACS.

 

 NRDC is an Enterprise of Department of Scientific & Industrial Research under the aegis of Union Ministry of Science & Technology.

 IACS is an autonomous and oldest research institute in Kolkata (West Bengal).

 

8. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector has been signed between Union Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Enterprise & Innovation of Sweden.

 

 This is to develop cooperation activities in the Railway sector to promote efficiency and sustainability and to achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, research, investment and technology transfer.

 It will remain in force for 5 years and can be extended for a further period of 5 years with the written consent of both sides.

 

9. Three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) predicting a total investment of 21,000 crore rupees were signed on the first day of the Make in India Week in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

 

 First MoU was signed between Twin Star Display Technologies subsidiary of Sterlite Group Company and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).

 First MoU was signed as a part of ‘Farm to Fabric’ initiative, between Raymond Industries and MIDC.

 First MoU was signed between Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Jain Irrigation Pvt Ltd and Department of Agriculture and Marketing of Maharashtra to set up a juice manufacturing facility to support farmers growing oranges in Vidarbha region of state.

 

10. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Climate Change and Energy Collaboration has been signed between Canada, United States (US) and Mexico.

 

 The MoU was signed at the North American Energy Ministers Meeting held in Winnipeg, Canada.

 It was hosted by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr.

 

11. India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed 9 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in the various sectors, during the second day of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi official visit to India. The agreements includes Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) in concern with-

 

 Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber Crime.

 Participation institutional investors in Infrastructure Investments.

 General Framework Agreement on Renewable Energy Cooperation.

 The Exploration and use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

 Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement.

 Bilateral cooperation in Insurance sector.

 Executive Programme for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC).

 Letter of Intent for skill development and recognition of qualifications.

 

12. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has signed two bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with United Kingdom (UK).

These APAs were signed with two Indian group entities of a UK based Multi-National Company (MNC) as per the terms of Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) process mentioned in the India-UK Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA).

 

13. India and Afghanistan inked a pact for visa-free travel by their diplomats.

 

14. India and Brunei have signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the fields of defence, health and youth affairs & sports.

 

15. All 12 Pacific Rim countries have signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Auckland, New Zealand making it one of the biggest trade deals in history.

These 12 countries are: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

 

16. Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra) announced the signing of Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Birla Corporation Ltd in relation to 100 percent sale of its subsidiary Reliance Cement Company Private Limited (RCCPL).

 

17. India through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

The agreement will strengthen scientific interaction and collaborative research between India and Europe in this field.

 

Science & Technology

 

1. The cycloneprone eastern coast of India will get a new doppler radar to boost the weather forecasting system.

 

Doppler radar is an observational tool for monitoring and predicting severe weather events such as hailstorms, thunder storms, cyclones and tornados within a radius of 300 km.

It will be commissioned by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Gopalpur in Odisha which had faced the severe cyclonic storm Phailin in October 2013.

 

2. Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan has released Seismic Microzonation reports for Delhi and Kolkata.

 

These reports highlight vulnerability of specific areas in these megacities and help in minimizing the effects of earthquakes by (i) Proper assessment of Seismic Hazard (ii) Implementation of safe building construction codes (iii) adopting appropriate land-use planning.

Benefits of seismic microzonation are Disaster Mitigation and Management Authorities, Risk Assessment, and Help Urban Development Authorities.

 

3. Micro blogging site Twitter for first time has launched #Positionofstrength campaign in India to empower women to raise voices against any form of discrimination.

 

The campaign seeks spread awareness to bridge the gender equality gap online in India and inspire the of women leaders next generation to have an influential voice in society.

It was launched by taking cue from a study showcasing a prevailing male dominance over both online and offline space.

The campaign has been launched with partnership of FICCI Ladies Organization and Observer Research Foundation.

 

4. The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs).

 

 The new order clearly mentions that, mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India.

 Software developers and start-ups will continue to have the freedom to innovate without worrying infringement notices in Computer Related Inventions area.

 

5. The Union Cabinet has given its approval for introduction of steps for promotion of cashless payments (transactions) through cards and digital means.

 

 This move aims at reducing cash transactions in order to minimize tax avoidance and migration of Government payments and collections to cashless mode.

 In this regard, various short and medium term measures have been approved for implementation by the Government Departments, Ministries and Organizations.

 

6. State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest lender has launched SBI e-Smart SME to provide a working capital loan for sellers on ecommerce platforms.

 

 SBI launched it in partnership with ecommerce platform Snapdeal in the presence of bank’s Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and Snapdeal CEO Sri Kunal Bahl.

 By this scheme sellers on ecommerce platforms can apply for the loan online and get instant sanctioning of the loan with KYC documents.

 

7. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch the country’s first solar mission called Aditya-L1.

 

 It was announced by Union Minister of State (MoS) in PMO Jitendra Singh in the Lok Sabha.

 Aditya-L1 satellite will be placed in an orbit about 15 lakh kilometres from the earth in a halo orbit around the L1 Lagranian point. It will be launched by using the PSLV XL.

 

8. Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working to establishment of a Satellite Tracking & Data Reception Station and Data Processing Facility for ASEAN Member countries in Vietnam.

 

 ISRO will set up this satellite centre at the behest of Union Government as part of Space Cooperation between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

 This facility is intended to acquire and process Indian Remote Sensing Satellite (IRSS) data pertaining to ASEAN region and disseminate to ASEAN Member countries.

 

9. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully conducted hotbed test of the indigenously developed high-thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) of the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM3) rocket for the upper stage.

 

 The long-duration test was conducted at ISRO Propulsion Research Centre at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu and lasted for 640 seconds. It was conducted with Mixture Ratio Controller (MRC) in a closed loop mode.

 It has been developed indigenously by Mahendragiri based Liquid Propulsion System centre (LPSC).

 

10. Scientists have discovered five new Jupiter-like planets that are similar in characteristics to our solar system’s biggest planet and were designated as WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b and WASP-133 b.

 

 They orbit very close to their host stars and hot compared to Jupiter.

 These planets were discovered by researchers from Keele University in UK by using Wide Angle Search for Planets-South (WASP-South) instrument.

 

 

11. Engineers belonging to the University of Utah, the USA, discovered a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that is made up of the elements tin and oxygen or tin monoxide (SnO).

 

 The discovery was made by a team of engineers led by Indian-Orgin Ashutosh Tiwari and published online on 15 February 2016 in the journal Advanced Electronic Materials.

 

12. A team of scientist in US led by an Indian-origin Ashutosh Tiwari has discovered Tin Monoxide (SnO) conductor to replace silicon.

 

 SnO is a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that consumes less power.

 SnO semiconductor is made of the two elements tin and oxygen. It is first stable P-type 2D semiconductor material ever in existence.

 

13. Astrophysicists at NASA have found a super-Earth exoplanet dubbed as 55 Cancrie with an atmosphere for the first time.

 

 Super-earths are merely rocky planets that are larger than the Earth. They’re widely supposed to be the most common type of rocky planet in the galaxy.

 These NASA astrophysicists were working with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the University College London.

 

14. Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast.

 

 It’s the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).

 It is surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km. and capacity of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.

 It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

 

15. A Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP) has been launched Union Government to electronically collect non-tax receipts.

 

 The non-tax revenues mainly includes dividends, spectrum charges, interest receipts, royalty, licence fee, sale of forms and application fees under the RTI Act.

 It was launched by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley as part of Union Government’s flagship Digital India campaign.

 Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley launched it as part of Union Government’s flagship Digital India campaign.

 It has been developed by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and the Union Finance Ministry.

 

16. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a 101 MW (Mega Watt) gas-based Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) at Monarchak (near Agartala) in Tripura.

 

 It was commissioned on basis of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) based on the order placed by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).

 State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will be supplying the gas for the project.

 

17. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) – India project to study gravitational waves has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

 LIGO-India is a part of the IndIGO (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations) initiative and seeks to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India.

 

18. India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched ‘Japan Desk’, a single window for inbound Japanese investments in India and vice-versa.

 This is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to facilitate Japanese corporates looking to invest in India with banking and advisory services.

 In future, SBI is also planning to set up another dedicated Japan Desk at Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

 

19. Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast.

 

 It’s the first missile to be developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious IGMDP (Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).

 It is surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km. and capacity of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.

 It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

 

20. A Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP) has been launched Union Government to electronically collect non-tax receipts.

 

 The non-tax revenues mainly includes dividends, spectrum charges, interest receipts, royalty, licence fee, sale of forms and application fees under the RTI Act.

 It was launched by Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley as part of Union Government’s flagship Digital India campaign.

 Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley launched it as part of Union Government’s flagship Digital India campaign.

 It has been developed by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) and the Union Finance Ministry.

 

21. Three IT (Information Technology) enabled apps has been launched by the Union Ministry of Railways, to bring transparency in Indian Railways following the path of Digital India initiative.

 

 These app projects were launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at through Video-Conferencing from Rail Bhawan at a function held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

 The three IT apps are “Hand Held Terminals for TTEs”, “Paperless unreserved ticketing mobile application”, “E-booking of disposable linen on trains”.

 

22. Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas (MoPNG) has released the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for north-east India.

 

The Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 outlines steps to leverage the hydrocarbon sector for social and economic development of the north-east region.

The states covered under it are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, Mizoram and Tripura.

 

23. An international team of biologists have discovered a new species of hydroid polyps emitting green fluorescence in the Red Sea.

 

These hydroid polyps ( also called hydrozoas) are presumably a new species of the genus Cytaeis whose body length reaches 1.5 mm.

They were found to be emitting green light in association with the gastropod Nassarius margaritifer in the night.

 

24. The Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex, world’s largest solar power plant, was opened in the Souss-Massa-Draa area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town.

 

The plant holds the capacity to produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760000 tons per year.

 

25. An international team of scientists (biologists) discovered a new species of hydroid polyps emitting green fluorescence in the Red Sea.

 

These polyps were found to be emitting light in the night in association with the gastropod Nassarius margaritifer.

These hydroid polyps also called hydrozoas (presumably a new species of the genus Cytaeis, whose body length reaches 1.5 mm) was found during the investigations of the biodiversity of coral reefs of the archipelago Farasan (Saudi Arabia, south of the Red Sea).

 

26. For the first time, scientists from National University of Singapore (NUS) have successfully converted paper waste into green nontoxic cellulose aerogels.

 

Aerogels are among the lightest solid materials in the world and are also one of the finest insulation materials available.

Green Aerogels are ultra-light, non-toxic, extremely strong, flexible and water repellent. It is obtained by converting paper waste into biodegradable Aerogels which is a simple, cost-effective and fast method.

 

27. North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) launched the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite.

The satellite was launched on-board the Kwangmyongsong rocket from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province.

 

28. The US space agency NASA announced that the first flight of its new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), carrying 13 CubeSats and an uncrewed Orion Spacecraft will be launched in 2018.

 

29. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda launched the Project Sunrise in Imphal, Manipur.

The project seeks to improve interventions against human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) among people who inject drugs (PWID) in eight north east States.

 

30. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency over the explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

 

31. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) under chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Rajasthan Electronics and Instruments Limited (REIL) of Jaipur to delink from its parent company Instrumentation Limited (IL) and turn into an independent Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under Department of Heavy Industry.

It will help REIL to attain a level of growth commensurate with its potential.

 

32. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union Minister for Science, Technology and Earth Sciences inaugurated the construction work of Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL) at Hazarmachi, Karad of Maharashtra.

 

BGRL is being developed at Karad to understand and address the challenges of the seismological problems (natural calamities) of societal relevance in the Koyna Region through drilling investigation.

The program is a unique approach to understand the mechanism of earthquakes in the Koyna region.

It is proposed to drill deep boreholes to reach the depths of earthquakes in this region and set-up a deep borehole observatory.

 

33. Hyderabad-based vaccines manufacturer Bharat Biotech has announced a breakthrough in developing the world’s first Zika vaccine by developing two candidates.

These two candidates are in an advanced stage of development and could be ready soon after pre-clinical studies concluded in the next five months.

 

34. Reliance Defence Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, will set up the Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation and Research in Aerospace in Bengaluru.

The centre, the first-ever of its kind in the private sector in India, will be a world class facility for research, development and innovation in aerospace technology. It will generate more than 1500 highly skilled jobs.

The centre will be a knowledge-driven technology venture and will function as a global centre of aerospace excellence.

 

35. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched the BGR-34, the country’s first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug for Diabetes. BGR is acronym for blood glucose regulator.

 

36. India has ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 which sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability.

 

Important Dates

 

1. In India February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas every year.

 

The theme for year 2016 is “Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation” that aims at raising public appreciation.

It aims to impart scientific temper in the minds of people of all age groups.

 

2. 21 February has observed as International Mother Language Day (Bhasha Divas).

 

 2016 Theme for this day was “Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes”.

 The year 2016 is the 16th anniversary of International Mother Language Day.

 The Day is observed annually by UNESCO member states to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

 

3. Every year on 10 February is observed as National Deworming Day to combat parasitic worm infections among preschool and school-age children across India.

 

4. The World Wetlands Day was observed on 2 February 2016 across the globe to mark the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar in Iran in 1971.

The theme of World Wetlands Day this year is Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods.

 

5. Every year World Cancer Day (WCD) is being observed on 4 February across the world to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

The theme (tagline) for year 2016 WCD is “We can. I can”. It reflects on what everyone can do to raise awareness of cancer and asks to take pledge and action in fight against cancer.

 

6. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 completed ten years of implementation on 2nd February 2016.

Under the Act, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme was launched with the objective of providing at least 100 days of employment in rural areas across the country.

 

Death

 

1. Bindiganavile Krishnaswamy Garudachar, Legendary pre-independence cricketer and skipper has passed away in Bengaluru, Karnataka. He was 99.

 

He was the oldest living Indian first-class cricketer who had represented Mysore, United province and Bombay first class cricket matches.

He had his cricket career in the 1930s and his first-class debut was in November 1935 playing for Mysore against Madras in the 1935–36 edition of the Ranji Trophy.

 

2. Bhubaneshwari Mishra, the famous Odissa singer passed away following a sudden cardiac arrest in New Delhi. She was 67.

 

 She was one of the talented artist from Odisha and was renowned as classical and playback singer.

 She has been conferred with Odisha State Film Award for best female playback singer for two consecutive terms in 1979 and 1980 for the movies Srikrushna Rasalila and Jay Ma Mangala respectively.

 

3. US writer Harper Lee passed away in Monroeville, Alabama, US at the age of 89.

 

 She was born as Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, US.

 She had authored a novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ released in 1960 which had become a classic of modern American literature. It has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

 

4. Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a Veteran singer passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal following old-age related ailments. He was 107.

 He was born in Uttar Pradesh in 1908 in a family of musicians. He was a descendant (16th generation) of Tansen, a classical music composer in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.

 He was a highly acclaimed Hindustani classical singer of Gwalior Gharana who had created around 2,000 compositions and was also a prolific writer and poet under the pseudonym Rasan Piya.

 

5. Akbar Kakkattil, A renowned Malayalam writer passed away in Kozhikode, Kerala due to cancer. He was 62.

 

 He was born on 7 July 1954 at Kakkattil in Kozhikode District.

 He was known for giving birth to a new genre in Malayalam literature and his works are known for their unique narrative style which has an undertone of unfailing humour.

 

6. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General passed away in Cairo, Egypt. He was 93.

 He was born in Cairo on 14 November 1922.

 He had worked in the administrations of Egyptian Presidents Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, served as Egypt’s Minister of State (MoS) for Foreign Affairs from 1977 till 1991 and as first Secretary General of La Francophonie, an organisation of French-speaking nations from 1997 to 2002.

 

7. Rajamani the Popular music director and composer passed away due to cardiac arrest in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was 60.

 

 He was born into a family of Carnatic musicians and was the son of noted musician BA Chidambaranath.

 Her had worked in Malayalam film industry and had composed music for around 70 films.

 He made his first independent venture as composer and music director in Tamil film Gramathu Kiligal (1983) and followed by Kalloori Kanavugal (1983).

 

8. Biraja Prasad, India’s Ambassador to Tajikistan, passed away following a massive cardiac arrest.

 

 He was the youngest IFS officer to be appointed as India’s Ambassador to any country. He joined IFS in year 1998.

 He had held assignments like third secretary and then second secretary (Political) in Embassy of India, Moscow (Russia) from 2000 to 2002.

 He served as undersecretary (Russia) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), New Delhi from 2004 to 2005, undersecretary (Europe West) from 2005 to 2007 in MEA, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Embassy of India at Madrid (Spain).

 

9. Malayalam’s most celebrated contemporary poet and Jnanpith-winner Ottaplakkal Neelakandan Velu Kurup passed away on 13 February 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 84.

 

10. Leslie Bassett, a Pulitzer winning composer, passed away on 4 February 2016 in Oakwood, Georgia. He was 93.

 As born in Hanford, California on January 22, 1923.

 He was known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation and for compositions of coaxing a vast range of tonal colours from the bits of wood and brass.

 

11. Anatoli Ilyin, the Soviet football legend, passed away. He was the scorer of the first ever UEFA European Championship qualifying goal and the strike that earned the Soviet Union Olympic gold in 1956.

 

12. Aurobindo Mukherjee, a Veteran film director, passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal after suffering from geriatric problems. He was 97. The famous cult Bengali classics like ‘Mouchak, ‘Agniswar” and ‘Nishipadma’ were made by him.

 

13. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, a Siachen soldier, died at an army hospital.

 

 He was among 10 soldiers who were swept away by an ice wall on February 3 while guarding the Sonam post located some 20,500 feet high in the Himalayas.

 He survived six days buried under a 25-feet avalanche in Siachen.

 

14. Uttar Pradesh Panchayati Raj Minister Kailash Yadav passed away in Gurgaon after reportedly suffering a brain stroke. He was 65.

 

15. Former Prime Minister of Nepal and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala passed away due to Pneumonia in capital city Kathmandu. He was 79.

 

16. Renowned Urdu Poet and well known Bollywood lyricist Nida Fazli passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra following a heart attack. He was 78 years old.

 

17. Renowned American singer-songwriter Dan Hicks passed away after a two-year long battle with throat and liver cancer. He was 74.

 

18. Cartoonist Sudhir Tailang died due to brain tumor in Gurgaon. He was 55.

 

19. Veteran British TV and radio presenter Sir Terry Wogan passed away in London after long battle with cancer. He was 77.

 

20. Former Army Chief General Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna Rao passed away on 30 January 2016 in New Delhi following a cardiac arrest. He was 92.

 

21. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passed away in New Delhi. He was 92.

 

22. Economist and former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) S.S. Tarapore passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 80.

 

23. Legendary Urdu fiction writer, novelist, columnist and poet Intizar Husain passed away in Lahore, Pakistan. He was 93.

 

Click here to download GK Monthly Eduwrap for February 2016 in PDF Format

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