Daily Current Affairs Updates – 18th February 2016

    Daily Current Affairs Updates – 18th February 2016
    Daily Current Affairs Updates – 18th February 2016:
    Daily Current affairs News Updates about the National and International events were listed here. Candidates those who are preparing for IBPS/SBI/PO/Clerk exam and all other competitive exams can use this.

    NATIONAL:
    1.Tamil Nadu to take part in Make in India week:
    ·       Tamil Nadu will participate in the Make in India week in Mumbai and the State would beprojecting its skills in the manufacturing and electronics sector.
    ·       Tamil Nadu is the third largest manufacturer of electronic hardware in India and the State accounts for 18 per cent of the nation’s electronic output.
    ·       In the automobile sector, the State is the largest contributor in terms of industrial output and has about 20 per cent of India’s total installed capacity of vehicle production. It aims to reach 5 million units production by 2020

    2.Odisha govt to introduce scheme for industries to set up units:
    ·       Odisha government will introduce a self certifying scheme which will shorten the inspection process at the initial levels required for non-hazardous industries to set up units.
    ·       While reviewing the process of ‘ease of doing business’ in the State, Mr Padhi suggested the Labour and ESI Department to expedite the process for notifying the self-certification scheme.
    ·       The decision was taken by, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

    3. Union Cabinet approved Trade Facilitation Agreement:

    ·       Union Cabinet approvedTrade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). 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.
    ·       As per the Trade Facilitation Agreement adopted by the WTO on 27 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland, the TFA shall enter into force for the notified members (107 countries) upon acceptance by two-third WTO Members.
    ·       The TFA contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

    4. Paani Foundation joined hand with Maharashtra Government for water conservation:
    ·       Paani Foundation, a not-for-profit company, started by Actor Aamir Khan and his wife Kiran RaoandMaharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced thatit will work with the state government to solve the water crisis in the state.
    ·       Operation of the foundation is led by Satyajit Bhatkal who is its CEO, while Khan’s ex-wife Reena Dutta is COO.

    5.Govt okays railway projects worth Rs 10,700 crore ahead of Rail Budget:

    ·       To give a fillip to coal transportation that is key to thermal power generation in India,the government approved a slew of railway construction projects worth Rs 10,700 crore. Some of the projects are also aimed at augmenting passenger-carrying capacity.
    ·       The projectscomprise construction of six railway lines and a bridge, and will be mainly funded by institutional finance.
    ·       One of the projects entails doubling the 160-km long Ramna-Singarauli railway line at acost of Rs 2,675.64 crore.

    6.Government bans energy guzzling one-star air-conditioners in the Indian market:
    ·       The government has banned the sale of entry-level one-star air-conditionersin the Indian market and introduced improved energy efficiency guidelines for frost-free refrigerators. It also made it compulsory for companies to adhere to energy rating rules for hi-end inverter ACs from 2018.
    ·       Manufacturers said the move will increase the price of entry-level ACs since the starting range will be a two-star unit that are priced around Rs 3,000 more than the one-star model and cost upwards of Rs 20,000.
    ·       The rules have been notified by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the nodal body under the power ministry for energy efficiency rating of consumer electronics.

    7. Jharkhand and Adani Group inked MoU to set up thermal power plant:

    ·       The Jharkhand government and Adani Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for investment of 15000 crore rupees in the state to set upa 1600 MW capacity thermal power plant.\
    ·       The MoU was signed between Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Rajesh Adani, managing director, Adani Group during the Jharkhand Investors Summit at Make In India Week in Mumbai.
    ·       The Adani Group has entered into an agreement with Bangladesh Power Corporationto provide it energy and the proposed plants in Jharkhand will help the company to supply power to Bangladesh.
    ·       The proposed plants will be set up inGodda and Sahibganj districts of the state.
    ·       The state is also getting aninvestment of 2000 crore from Vedanta group to set up a steel plant.

    8. Union Cabinet gave in-principle approval to LIGO-India project to study gravitational waves:
    ·       The Union Cabinet gave in-principal approval to theLaser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)–India project to study gravitational waves.
    ·       The approval coincided with the announcement of international scientists in February 2016 about the detection of gravitational waves in the LIGO facilities located in the USA.
    ·       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.

    9.Centre to build 2 crore 95 lakh rural house in next 6 years:


    ·       Centre will build 2 crore 95 lakh rural house in the country in the next six years.
    ·       Union Rural Development minister Choudhury Birendra Singh said that his ministry has decided to almost double the allocation of fund to beneficiariesunder Indira Awas Yojna.
    ·       Centre will now provide almost1 lakh 50 thousand rupees to a beneficiary.
    Earlier it used to be 75 thousand rupees.

    10.Nidar, India’s lightest gun ever:
    ·       Nidar, a 22-calibre revolver weighing just 250 grams, has been launched in India byArms manufacturer Rifle Factory Ishapore based in West Bengal.
    ·       Manufactured by Rifle Factory Ishapore in West Bengal, which comes under the Ministry of Defence, Nidar is now on available at their website to those with “valid Arms/Trade license”.
    ·       The gun comes with a cylinder capacity of eight bullets, a 40-mm barrel, a range 7 meters, and is only 140mm in length.

    11. Union Cabinet recommend revocation of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh:

    ·       The Union Cabinet recommendedrevocation of President’s Rule in Arunachal Pradesh, a day after the Supreme Court refused to restrain the Governor from swearing in a new government in the state .
    ·       The central rule was imposed in Arunachal Pradesh on January 26. On Monday, 31 MLAs, led by Congress dissident Kalikho Pul, called on the Governor to stake claim for forming the next government in the politically fragile state.

    12. Union Cabinet approved amendments to be made in Delimitation Act 2002
    ·       The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval toamend section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
    ·       It will enable the Election Commission to carry out limited delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituency (cies) in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal consequent upon the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi enclaves and 111 Indian enclaves respectively between India and Bangladesh.

    13. Union Cabinet approved signing of Agreement between AYUSH and WHO:

    ·       The Union Cabinet has approved signing of Agreement for collaboration inTraditional Medicine between Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organisation.
    ·       Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, this will help inimproving International acceptability and branding of Ayush systems.

    14. 80% of India’s population face severe water crisis: 
    ·       About four billion people, or 66% of the global population, face severe water scarcity for at least one month of the year.
    ·       It also implies that 80% of India’s 1.25 billion population faces severe water scarcity for at least a month every year.
    ·       Of those people, nearly a billion are in India, said a study published in February 2016.
    ·       The study published in international journalScience Advancesis authored by Mesfin M. Mekonnen and Arjen Y. Hoekstra.

    15. National Automobile mission 2016 to be extended till 2026:

    ·       Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete said that theNational Automobile Mission 2016 will be extended till 2026.
    ·       The Mission envisagesIndia to become an international hub for designing and manufacturing of automobile and auto components.

    16. Medaram tribal festival begin in Telangana:
    ·       InTelangana, lakhs of people from different parts of the country are congregating at the Medaram forest area in Warangal District for Sammakka, Saralamma, Jatara.
    ·        Smmakka and Saralamma, tribal women who bravely fought enemy to protect their villagers, centuries ago, worshiped during the Jatara once in every two years.
    ·       Especially Tribal people from across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and neighboring Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and other States will offer prayerson the occasion.

    17. Joint Maritime exercises to be conducted in Odisha from February 24:

    ·       A jointmaritime security exercise of State and Union Government agencies will be conducted along theOdisha coast on 24th of this month.
    ·       Informing this to media persons in Bhubaneswar, the State Principal Secretary, Home department, Asit Tripathy said the exercises will be an attempt to counter any threat by enemy elements, who usually target vital installations in the State.

    18. Vibrant North East expo begin in Guwahati:
    ·       The three day long Vibrant North East program beginning tomorrow in Guwahati, Assam.
    ·       The event is being jointly organized byCentre for Agriculture and Rural Development and ASSOCHAM in association with DoNER ministry.
    ·       Union Food Processing Industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal will inaugurate the event.

    19. Union Government cut interest rates by 0.25% in small deposits in Post Offices:

    ·       Government hascut interest rates by 0.25 per cent on short-term post office deposits, Kisan Vikas Patras and other small saving schemes below five years of maturity.
    ·       However, it left social security schemes such as Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, long term Monthly Income Scheme and PPF untouched.
    ·       The decision was taken to align interest on small savings with market rates and help the economy move to a lower overall interest rate regime eventually.

    20. NHRC issued notice to Union Ministry of Home Affairs over Patiala House violence
    ·       National Human Rights Commission, NHRChas issued notice to the Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary, and Delhi Police Commissioner on allegations of beating of journalists and students outside Patiala House Court.
    ·       It said the incident involves serious violation of human rights and sought reply withing a week.

    21. Government may announce new bulk drug policy within one month:

    ·       Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers Hansraj Ahir has said that the government may announce the new bulk drug policy in a month’s time.
    ·       The policy is expected to bring down imports. Speaking on the sidelines of Make in India week in Mumbai, he said the new bulk drug policy will also increase the domestic output.

    22. Several states organise Investors summit under Make in India week:
    ·       Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Punjab governments are organizing Investors Summits under Make in India Week in Mumbai.
    ·       Discussions and seminars are being held on topics like strengthening India’s road sector, ports and shipping and empowering through design.

    INTERNATIONAL:
    23.WHO seeks $56 million aid for global action plan to fight Zika outbreak:

    ·       World Health Organization is appealing for 56 million dollars to fund a Global Action Plan to combat the Zika virus, which is spreading across Latin America.
    ·       The virus is suspected of causing microcephaly or brain damage in babies and Guillain Barre, a neurological disorder.
    ·       The Zika virus was discovered in Uganda in 1947 and has spread from Africa to other regions. The infection is mild and is not life threatening

    24.India joins multilateral “Cobra Gold” exercise in Thailand with China, Pakistan:
    ·       A 12-member team of the Indian Army is participating in the “Cobra Gold” multilateral exercises being hosted by Thailand, along with its counterparts from China and Pakistan.
    ·       India has been invited to the exercises as an“observer plus” country.
    ·       The theme of the exercise, involving 35 countries, ishumanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
    ·       The decision onIndian participation was conveyed to Thailand during Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s visit there recently.

    25. Syria approved humanitarian access to besieged areas: UN

    ·       United Nations said that theSyrian government has approved humanitarian access to seven besieged areas.
    ·       According to the UN, almost half a million people live in besieged areas.
    ·       The seven areas are those deemed by the 17-member International Syria Support Group to be most in need of relief.These seven areas are
         Deir el-Zour, a city in the east under siege from so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
         Foah and Kefraya, in northern Idlib province that is besieged by rebels
    Madaya, Kafr Batna, Muadhamiya, and Zabadani, all in rural Damascus area that is under siege from government forces
    ·       The move comes following the agreement reached between the world powers in second week of February 2016 that sought a nationwide cessation of hostilities and to accelerate and expand aid deliveries.

    26. India stress on dialogue between partner countries in UN Peace keeping missions
    ·       India has stressed on the need forcareful planning and consultative dialogue between UN Security Council members and the troop contributing countries while formulating the mandate of UN Peace Keeping Operations.
    ·       Speaking at themeeting of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Commission, C-34,India’s permanent representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddinsaid, planning and dialogue will go a long way in promoting safety and security of the peacekeepers.

    27. North Korea deployed mobile ICBM Missiles which can hit mainland USA:

    ·       North Korea has taken steps toward the deployment of its KN08 (Hwasong-13)road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile which could potentially launch a nuclear strike on the United States.
    ·       North Korea has formed a new military unit subordinate to Strategic Rocket Forces to deploy the weapon, citing US and South Korean officials.

    28. Opposition leader in Maldives sentenced to 12 year imprisonment:
    ·       After the sentencing ofMaldivian Democratic Party leader Mohamed Nasheed on terror charges last year, Maldives court sentenced another prominent opposition leader on terror charges for 12 years in jail.

    29. Second case of Zika Virus confirmed in China:

    ·       In China, a second imported case of the Zika virus has been confirmed.
    ·       A 28-year old male patient was red-flagged at the Baiyun International Airport in Guangzhou on Friday after arriving with a high fever.
    ·       The patient had lived in Venezuela for three years. He was exposed to an infected person there before returning to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.

    30. USA and Cuba to restore commercial air traffic for the first time in 50 years:
    ·       US and Cuba have signed an agreement to resume commercial air traffic for the first time in more than 50 years.

    31.China to relocate 9,000 for world’s largest radio telescope:

    ·       China will relocate over 9,000 people residing within the 5-km radius of the world’s largest radio telescope that promises to help humans discover alien life in space.
    ·       As many as 9,110 people will be relocated from China’s Guizhou Province ahead of the opening of the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST).
    ·       Each resident will receive 12,000 yuan ($1,800) in compensation from the government’s eco-migration bureau and each involved ethnic minority household with housing difficulties will get 10,000 yuan subsidy from the Provincial ethnic and religious committee.

    BANKING:
    32. RBI to undertake Incognito visits to Bank branches:

    ·       Reserve Bank has said that it will soon undertake‘incognito visits’ to bank branches to check culture towards customer complaints in banks. In a statement issued in Mumbai.
    ·       The Apex bank said it will also undertake a review of how banks haveimplemented Charter of Customer Rights.
    ·       RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Said customers must have the right to access banking services and to the grievance redressal machinery so that they are not excluded from the banking fold.

    APPOINTMENTS:
    33.Alok Kumar Verma to be next Delhi Police Chief:

    ·       Senior IPS officer Alok Verma will be the next Delhi Police Commissioner. Home Ministry officials have confirmed this decision.
    ·       Mr. Verma will succeed incumbent Delhi Police Chief B S Bassi who will retire on 29th of this month.
    ·       A 1979-batch Union Territory cadre officer, Mr. Verma is currently serving as Director General of Tihar prison. He will serve as the top police officer of Delhi for 17 months

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
    34.DRDO to soon begin trials of anti-radiation missile:
    ·       The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will begincaptive flight trails of a radar-destroying missile by April-May 2016. This will be followed by the maiden flight test that will be held by the end of 2016.
    ·       The Indian Air Force would be inducting the anti-radiation missile (ARM) within two years, following the completion of all the developmental trails.
    ·       This indigenously built tactical missile, developed by theHyderabad-based Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), is an air-to-surface missile (ASM) with a range of 100 km to 125 km

    35. Tiny glass disc can store 360TB of data for 13.8 billion years:

    ·       Now researchers in the UK just might have the solution: a five-dimensional (5D) digital data disc that can store 360 terabytes of data for some 13.8 billion years.
    ·       To create the data disc, researchers from the University of Southampton used a process calledFemtosecond laser writing, which creates small discs of glass using an ultrafast laser that generates short and intense pulses of light.
    ·       The nanostructures created by the technology can be read using an optical microscope in tandem with a polariser (a filter designed to block specific polarisations of light).

    36.ISRO to double missions to 12 per year:
    ·       Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is looking at doubling the number of missionsin the next five years to an average of 12.
    ·       ISRO’s Scientific Secretary Dr. YVN Krishna Murthy gave this information during a seminar in ‘Make in India Week’ in Mumbai. He said, at present, the average is six launches per year

    BUSINESS AND ECONOMY:
    37.Doha oil production freeze deal first step towards new alliance:

    ·       Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro described the decision by several OPEC and non-OPEC oil producing countriesto freeze production as a first step towards a new alliance.
    ·       Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak stressed the decision’s implementation dependence on other oil producers joining the agreement.
    ·       This is the first step towards an alliance between OPEC oil countries and countries not part of the organization.
    ·       The Doha agreement will allow oil prices to stabilize in the future, Maduro said, adding that the slump in oil prices has been aimed against countries such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, as well as the whole of OPEC.

    38.Amazon launches ‘Tatkal’ initiative for small and medium biz:
    ·       E-commerce giant Amazon announced the launch of ‘Amazon Tatkal’, an initiative thatenables small and medium businesses (SMBs) to go online and sell products on Amazon.
    ·       Starting with New Delhi, Amazon Tatkal will traverse the country, engaging with thousands of entrepreneurs, artisans, manufacturers and sellers and help them sell online on the spot.
    ·       Amazon Tatkal is a specially designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms.
    ·       It will enable thousands of interested sellers to start selling on Amazon in real time and experience the benefits of launching an online business.

    39. Tata Motors, Bharat Forge tied up for $11 billion Indian Army’s FICV Programme:

    ·       FICV: Future Infantry Combat Vehicle
    ·       The abbreviation FICV was in news in the second week of February 2016 asTata Motors, Bharat Forge and the USA-based General Dynamics tied up for defense bid under Future Infantry Combat Vehicle programme.
    ·       The FICV Programme involves development of compact combat vehicles for the Indian Army that willreplace Russian-designed BMP (Sarath BMP-II) seriesarmed vehicles that are in operation since 1980.
    ·       The nearly 10 billion US dollar project is touted as India’s largest indigenous defense program.

    AWARDS AND HONOURS:
    40. David Shulman won Israel Prize for Religious Studies for Research on India:

    ·       Renowned Indologist Professor David Shulman was awarded the prestigiousIsrael Prize for Religious Studies for hisbreakthrough research into the literature and culture of southern India.
    ·       Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett approved the recommendation of the prize committee, headed by Professor Shaul Shaked.
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