Update your IQ with the GK Eduwrap Weekly Edition, loaded with GK updates & Current Affairs. Now confidently crack the IBPS, SSC’s Current Affairs Section!
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. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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 authorisation 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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.
1. 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).
2. 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.
3. 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.
Awards & Recognition:
1. 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%).
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
Appointments & Resignations:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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).
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
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”.
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.
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.
Science & Technology:
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).
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
1. 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.
1. 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.