Daily Current Affairs Updates – 19th 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.
1.Make in India Week gets Rs 15 lakh cr investment commitment:
· Investment of whopping 15 lakh, 20 thousand crore rupees has been committedduring the Make in India week that concluded in Mumbai.
· The host state Maharashtra got lion’s share in the Make in India Week. It attracted investment to the tune ofeight lakh crore rupeesin diverse areas.
· Make in India Week in Mumbai has successfully brought manufacturing, design and innovation to the centre-stage.
· 102 countries were represented in the mega expo. A total of 150 events were organized under the Make in India Week banner. More than 25 thousand people participated in seminars.
2.Union Cabinet approved MoU between India and 13 countries for cooperation in field of Agriculture:
· Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its ex-post facto approval forMemoranda of understanding (MoU) signed between India and various countries for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
· The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)will help in the nature of capacity building, knowledge exchange through visits of scientists, technicians, and experts.
· Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavisannounced that thecountry’s second International Finance Centre (IFC) will be set up at the Bandra-Kurla Complex here. The IFC will coexist with the proposed terminal for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
· The first IFC has come up in an SEZ of Gift city, located betweenAhmedabad and Gandhinagar
4.Digital agri market platform to be launched on April 14:
· A digital platform for enabling farmers to sell their produce at a better rate anywhere in the country will be launched on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced as he resolvedto ensure doubling of the farmers’ income by 2022.
· He said this platform will enable the farmers, using a mobile phone, to sell their produce anywhere in the country, wherever they can get a better price.
· Besides the Crop Insurance Scheme, he spoke about Soil Health Card scheme, PM’s Irrigation Scheme, Organic farming, ensuring adequate availability of urea and ethanol blending programme to help the sugarcane farmers and also pitched for’Start Up’ initiatives in agriculture sector.
· State-run equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) commissioned a 270 MW generation unit at the Goindwal Sahib Thermal Power Project of private producer GVK Power& Infra inPunjab.
· BHEL has earlier commissioned four hydro sets of 82.5 MW each at theAlaknanda Hydro Power Project in Uttarakhand.
6.NITI Aayog favours land leasing act:
· NITI Aayog panel on agriculturehas favouredpreparing a model for land leasing act.
· The Aayog’s task force under theChairmanship of Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya held third and last regional consultation meeting with Northern, Eastern and North Eastern States yesterday.
7.Reference annual books India 2016 and Bharat 2016 released by Union Government:
· Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitleyreleased the India 2016 and Bharat 2016, reference annuals in New Delhi.
· The kind of details India 2016 carries makes it a must-read for everyone, particularly for journalists and politicians India 2016 will be of great use for his colleagues in Parliament and will be an asset to every home in India.
· The e-version of the book was also released by Mr Jaitley.
· Union Minister for Textiles Santosh Gangwarhas said that thenew textile policy will be announced by April this year.
· Speaking at the Make in India Week in Mumbai he said that the inter-ministerial discussions are over regarding it. Mr Gangwar said that the government willmake export oriented schemes to boost exports in textiles sector.
· Ministry is working on the updation and expansion of this sector The Government is expecting Rs. 30,000 crore investment in 74 textile parks.
9.Make in India week concluded in Mumbai:
· The mega eventMake in India Week is concluded in Mumbai.
· This event attracted a large number of investors from across the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had declared the event open on Saturday to give momentum to Make in India initiative.
· State governments fetched sizable investment by organizing investment summits here. Seminars are being held on opportunities in Textiles and Biotechnology on the last day.
10.Website for Maritime India summit 2016 launched:
· Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkarihas launched theWebsite for Maritime India Summit 2016.
· It will facilitate investors and participants to access detailed information about the summit, including registrations.
· The Maritime India Summit is scheduled to be held in Mumbai. The summit will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 14 April 2016.
11.Tamil Nadu launched free bus pass scheme for senior citizens in Chennai:
· In Tamil Nadu,Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has announceda free bus pass scheme for senior citizensin Chennai.
· She said the scheme wouldcome into effect from February 24, 2016 that coincides with her birthday.
· People above 60 years of age can avail the free travel facility in non-AC buses being run by the state run Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Chennai.
· Andhra Pradesh government has come forward to set up a 200-acre model industrial township near Vijayawada to boost MSME industry in the State.
· The township will house infrastructure facilities, skill development training centre and accommodation for the workers. The State government will provide land to MSME industries in the township which has already been identified nearVeerapanenigudem village at Gannavaram town in Krishna district.
13.Dell submits proposal to Andhra Pradesh Government to rejuvenate education in state run schools:
· To make Andhra Pradesh an education hub and a knowledge state, in line withChief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s vision, tech giant Dell has come forwardto assist the state to introduce grass-root reforms in school education.
· A delegation from Dell, led by Ashish Dhawanmet the Chief Minister in Vijayawada and gave a presentation on rejuvenating the education system in the state schools.
14.Northern Central Railway commissioned ultra modern computer-based signalling system at Khurja Jn:
· North Central Railway in association with the Construction and open line Units of the Railway commissioned anultra modern computer-based signaling system at the Khurja junction.
· With this commissioning, the Khurja Yard, which is a part of the Allahabad Railway Division, will have a 256 possible movements leading to immense flexibility and faster clearance of trains.
· Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the guidelines for operationalization of thePradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana(PMFBY).
· The guidelines were issued at afarmers’ convention in Sherpur village of Madhya Pradesh.
· The PMFBY is a path breaking scheme for crop insurance, Yojana will come into force from the2016 Kharif season (from June to October in India).
· It aims atboosting the agricultural sector of India and envisages a uniform premium of only 2 percent to be paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5 percent for Rabi crops. The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be 5 percent.
· Prime Minister Modi also presented a trophy of Krishi Karman Award to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
· On the other hand, Modi was conferred withKisan Mitra and Kisan Hiteshi Samman on behalf of Madhya Pradesh government for his historic decisions in the interest of farmer’scommunity.
16.Union Cabinet approved nomination of NITI Aayog CEO as part-time member of Telecom Commission:
· Union Cabinet approved nomination of theChief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog as a part-time member of the telecom commission.
· With this decision,Amitabh Kant will assume the role by virtue of hisposition as the NITI Aayog CEO.
· The new role for the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog CEO was envisioned as the institution replaced the Planning Commission the Secretary of which was a part-time member in the telecom commission.
17.All central Universities to fly National flag in campus: HRD Ministry:
· All the 46 central universities in the country will fly the national flag on their campuses to signify a “strong India”, said a resolution adopted at a meeting of vice chancellors chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday.
· The first flag will be hoisted at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), a proposal presented by the minister and backed by all the 46 vice-chancellors, according to human resource development ministry officials.
· Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, has launchedEnvironment Information System (ENVIS) portal and mobile application.
· ENVIS Portal runs parallel with the objectives of Digital India which works onimproving the digital literacy in the environment sector and deliver services digitally.
· The Minister also distributed theaward of the best State ENVIS centre to Forests, Environment& Wildlife Management Department, Sikkim and the award for the best Thematic ENVIS Centre to Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
19.Drough Solutions for Farmers Shown at Hackathon:
· A Team from Mumbai based Vivekanand Education Society’s Institiute of technology proposed a low-cost irrigation set for farmers affected by drought in the country at the IIT-Bombay Hackathon.
· Harsh Gupta and Nirbhay Pherwani,who won the first prize in the water solutions category unveiled asubsurface irrigation model with a sensor-based Crop Prediction System which help predict crop growth.
20.United Nations and Colombian Government launched trust fund for peacebuilding needs:
· The United Nations (UN) and the Government of Colombiaannounced thelaunch of a new multi-partner trust fund in Bogotato respond to stabilization and Peacebuilding needs.
· The Fund will be managed by the Government and the UN, in close cooperation with interested donors. The Fund will especially support conflict areas in the lead-up to and aftermath of possible peace agreements with theRevolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP).
· Norway, Sweden and the UN’s own Peacebuilding Fund are the first contributors, helping the new fund kick off with an initial 8 million US dollars.
21.People in Uganda voted in Presidential elections:
· People across Uganda have begun voting in presidential elections, withincumbent Yoweri Museveni seeking to extend his 30-year rule.
· Seven opposition candidates are taking part in the race widely seen as the tightest in the country’s history. Ugandans are also voting in parliamentary and local elections . More than 15 million people are eligible to cast their ballots.
22.US President Obama signs North Korea sanctions:
· United States President Barack Obama has signed off on new sanctions against North Koreatopunish the reclusive Asian nation for its provocative recent nuclear test and rocket launch.
· The White House said Mr Obama signed measures passed by the Congress, tightening sanctions on anyone importing goods or technology related to weapons of mass destruction into North Korea, or anyone who knowingly engaged in human rights abuses.
· U.S. President Barack Obama is likely to make a historic visit to Cubanext month thefirst sitting American president to go to the island nation in 80 yearsas the two Cold War era foes make efforts to normalise their ties.
· The trip is planned for March 21-22 before the president flies to Argentina.
· Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, slammed Obama for his planned trip to Cuba.
24.Nepal PM Oli to reach New Delhi today on six-day India visit:
· Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli will arrive in New Delhi on a six-day visit to India.
· This is first visit of Mr Oli abroad after assuming office in October last year.
· The visit is expected to lead a further strengthening of India’s age-old, close and friendly relations with the Himalayan nation.
· India’s biggest online marketplace Flipkart has announced the appointment of Nitin Seth as its Chief People Officer.
· In Flipkart, Seth will lead the human resource function and partner with the leadership team.
· Nitin Seth the new CPO of Flipkart will report to Binny Bansal, CEO and co-founder of Flipkart,He replacedMekin Maheswari who was associated with the company since its inception.
· Earlier to this appointment, Seth was the Managing Director and Country Head for Fidelity International in India.
· Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra has been appointed as Director General of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
· Misra is currently DG (Systems) at the Directorate General of Systems and Data Management.
· Najib Shah, who is now Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs, was holding the charge of DG DRI.
· India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched ‘Japan Desk’, a single window for inboundJapanese 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.
· This SBI Japan Desk will also serve as an one-point comprehensive and reliable information support source for India-bound investments of Japanese companies.
· SBI is also planning toset up another dedicated Japan Desk at Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
28.SEBI bars 22 brokers for Reversal Trading:
· SEBI barred22 stock brokers from the Securities market for executing ‘reversal trade’ worth around 8100 crore in the stock options segment, to generate fictional profit and losses
· Reversal trading is an arbitrage strategy of entering the opposite side of a currently held futures position. Sebi had earlier barred 59 entities from markets for suspicious trading.
Business and Economy:
29.Cross Roads India Assistance acquires MeriCAR:
· New Delhi- based Cross Roads India Assistance (CRIA)has acquiredMeriCAR.com.
· Founded in 2008 by Rakesh Sidana, theStartup helps car owners search for car servicing and repair centres within a radius of 20 Kilmoeters.
· Google India Chief-Rajan Anandan
30.Yahoo Shuts Down 7 Digital Magazines:
· is phasing out seven digital magazine properties, including those for food and travel, as part of the Internet company’s cost-cutting moves.
· On Wednesday, the company said it has begun phasing out seven digital magazines:Yahoo Food, Yahoo Health, Yahoo Parenting, Yahoo Makers, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Autos and Yahoo Real Estate.
· , Time Inc.’s top editorial executive who joined Yahoo as , announced the closures in a .
31.India to grow at 7.5% in 2016,2017: Moody’s
· Indian economy will grow at 7.5% in 2016 and 2017as it is relatively less exposed to external headwinds, like China Slowdown and will benefit from lower commodity prices.
32.Cipla acquires two U.S. generic drug companies:
· Cipla Ltd., acquired two U.S. generic drug companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc., to increase its revenue and introduce new products for oncology and diabetes in the world’s largest pharmaceutical market.
· The Mumbai-headquartered Ciplaclosed the transaction through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cipla (EU) Ltd.
· The combined revenue for the two companies for the year-ended 2015 was over $230 million
33.Ramco Systems opens engineering lab in Singapore:
· Chennai-based Ramco Systems has opened an engineering lab in Singapore to develop advanced aviation information technology solutionssuch as wearables for ground engineers and drones to inspect aircraft.
· Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance will be the first anchor partner for the lab.
· The lab claimed to be first of its kind in Asia and supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board was launched at the Singapore Airshow.
· It will work on next-generation applications and develop intellectual property to solve major problems facing the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry.
· Reliance Industries Ltd, owner of the world’s biggest refining complex, is preparing to lift oil from Iran next month after a gap of about five years.
Awards and Honours:
35.Lyricist Sameer Anjaan Enters Guinness Book of World Records:
· Bollywood’s popular lyricist Sameer Anjaan has made into theGuinness Book of World Records this year.
· He was rewarded forwriting the most number of songs for Bollywood films.
· The official record states that Sameer wrote 3,524 songs for 650 Bollywood movies, as verified on December 15, 2015.
· Sameer was included as a Guinness World Record holder under a new category titled‘Most prolific Bollywood lyricist’.
· Sameer, who has been penning songs for the last 30 years, is also thefirst lyricist to bag this honor.
36.Indian Nominated for’Global Teacher Award’:
· Robin Chaurasia,an Indian Teacher who teaches girls in the red light areas of Mumbai has been nominated for the Global Teacher Prize among the World top 10 Educators.
· The Prize Money for the title is US $ 1 million. The Winner will be announced on March 13, 2016
37.Indian Couple awarded for longest marriage in New Zealand:
· A Christian group has awarded an Indian-Origin Couple, married for almost 81 years, for being the longest married couple in New Zealand.
· Jeram Ravji and Ganga Ravji,both of whom turned 100 this year,were married at the age of 19.
· Notably they took part in the Indian Struggle,they have 6 children,15 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren
38.World Press Photo of the Year 2015 goes to Warren Richardson:
· The jury of the 59th annual World Press Photo Contesthas selected an image byAustralian photographer Warren Richardson as the World Press Photo of the Year 2015.
· The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.
· Richardson is a freelance photographer, currently based in Budapest, Hungary.
Science and Technology:
· Googlehas launchedGmailify, a service that lets non-Gmail users access Gmail’s spam protection, inbox organization and Google Now Features without changing their existing e-mail addresses.
· Users canlink their Yahoo Mail or Outlook accounts to Gmail by signing in through the Gmail app and enabling Gmailify.
· Notably, users can already access e-mails from other providers from the Gmail app.
· Japan has successfully launched ASTRO-H space observation satellite to probe mysterious black holes.
· The satellite was launched by H2A rocket after it had successfully lifted off at theTanegashima Space Centre.
· ASTRO-H satellite has been developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in cooperation with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and others.
· It will orbit earth at an altitude of about 580 kilometres and observe X-rays emanating mainly from black holes and galaxy clusters
· TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a Tata Group company, has designed the first ever India-made robot called ‘Tata Brabo’
· The robot will be developed for micro, small and medium enterprises which require cost-effective robotic solutions for their manufacturing purposes.
· Brabo will be priced at Rs 3 Lakh for 2kg payload, and Rs 6 Lakh for 10kh payload. The main advantage Tata will have is the localized manufacturing of the robot which will help it to price the robots lower than foreign players.
· It is expected to launch first ever India-made robot before May 2016.
42.NASA invites ISRO for Joint Mars Mission meet:
· American Space Agency NASAhas invited theIndian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)among other space agencies for a meeting in the US to discuss a possible international collaboration on Mars Mission
· NASA;s Jet Propulsion Associate Director-Jakob Van Zyl
43.World’s First bendable phone ‘ReFlex’ developed:
· Researchers from theQueen’s University have developed the World’s First Flexible Display SmartPhone named ‘ReFlex’.
· The Phone senses the force with which a user bends the screen, allowing them to experience physical tactile Feedback when interacting with apps through bend gestures.
44.Google Translate Now features over 100 Languages:
· Google’s online Language translation tool now covers 103 languagesafter it added 13 new ones including Sindhi, Hawaiian and Kurdish.
· US based Caterpillar has developed‘Cat S60’,theWorld’s first smartphone with a thermal camera.
· The device is waterproof to a depth of up to 5 metres, take live thermal images and measures surface temperatures.
· It has a 4.7 inch display, ‘Flir thermal camera and 32 GB expandable storage.
46.Truecaller launches ‘TrueSDK’ to let apps verify users:
· With TrueSDK, our aim is to empower third party apps with a credible verification option andenable users to use the app of their choice by making their phone numbers their identity.
· Since adding to its product line in 2015 with Truedialer and Truemessenger, the company claims it now has more than 100 million users across the country.
47.Lockheed Martin ready to manufacture F-16 jets in India:
· US fighter jet makerLockheed Martinsaid it is ready to manufacture F-16 aircraft in India and supports the ongoing talks between the two countries to set up the first manufacturing facility, one of the largest projects under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
· Shaw expressed strong interest in having the F-16 made in India “soon” without elaborating on the time-frame, linking it to the progress of the government-to-government talks.
· Four cities have submitted their bids to host the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games with the International Olympic Committee.
· Paris, Rome, Los Angeles and Budapestdelivered their first bid files focusing on vision, games concept and strategy.
49.Indian women cricket team defeated Sri Lanka:
· The Indian women’s cricket team have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
· In the second encounter in Ranchi on February 17, 2016 the hosts beat the visitors by six-wickets. India had won the first match in Ranchi by 107 runs on February 15, 2016.
· Mumbai will meet Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy finalwill be played in Pune from February 24.
· It is Mumbai’s first entry into the Ranji final in three seasons. They made it to the final on the basis of first innings lead as their five-day semi-final against Madhya Pradesh ended in a draw on the concluding day in Cuttack on February 17, 2016.
· Suhaani Lohia, a six-year-old from Mumbai, made a little bit of history when she was ranked among the top six ranked players for players of around her age, belongs to the top league with theWorld chess body Fide releasing a list this Sunday.
· Her rating of 1156 is behind two Russians, two Iranians and one Danish player.
· Suhaani joins the list of the world’s youngest rated players in the girls’ category.
· Suhaani had won a silver medal last month at the National Schools Chess Championships at Nagpur in the Under-7 category with a commendable score of seven points out of possible nine.
52.DDCA refuse to implement Justice Lodha Committee recommendation:
· Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA)has refused to implement the Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendations which could have direct ramifications on the functioning of BCCI’s state units.
· The managing committee of DDCA that met in New Delhi yesterday, was not quite convinced about most of the major recommendations calling for sweeping reforms in the BCCI’s governing structure.
· Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography ‘Playing it My Way’has entered theLimca Book of Records for being the‘Bestselling Audit Hardback on Release’ across non-fiction and fiction categories.
· Released in November 2014,the book registered 150289 confirmed copies on order subscriptions, it also holds the record in retail value terms after logging up 13.59 crore,at a cover price of 899rs.
54.Haryanto becomes Indonesia’s First Formula One Driver:
· British Formula One Racing team Manor Racinghas signedIndonesia’s Rio Haryanto,making him the first Indonesian Formula One Driver.
· The 23 Year Old,,who finished fourth in last year’s GP2 Series,will start for Manor racing at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20.
· Haryanto will drive as the team’s second driver alongside Germany’s Pascal Wehrlein.
· Veteran Hindustani classical singer Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan died in Kolkata on 18 February 2016. He was 107.
· Born in Uttar Pradesh in 1908, Khan belonged to Gwalior Gharana, was a resident Guru at ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata.
· Khan’s traditional compositions have been recorded by the BBC and Iraq Radio. On the other hand, organizations like Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academi, Lucknow and ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata have recorded and preserved many compositions.
· He was a member of the All India Radio Audition Committee, New Delhi and was awarded with many titles by the organizations.
56.Malayalam Writer Akbar Kakkattil Passes away:
· Renowned Malayalam novelist and story writer Akbar Kakkattil passed away in Kozhikode. He was 62 years old. Kakkattil was undergoing treatment for a lung-related ailment for a year.
· He has 54 books to his credit which includes, four novels, 27 short stories, six collections of essays, seven novelettes, a play, among others.
· He was the Vice-President of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and member of Malayalam Advisory Panel of National Book Trust and Malayalam Advisory Board of Kerala Government.
· He was a two-time winner of the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi award.
57.Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski passed away:
· Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski passed away in Warsaw, Poland after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75.
· Zulawski was known for an idiosyncratic approach to storytelling and blending surrealism, horror and psychic excess in the emotionally savage films likeThat Most Important Thing: Love,Possession andMy Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days.
· Andy Ganteaume, the former West Indies and Trinidad& Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman, passed away in Santa Margarita, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He was 95.
· Ganteaume was West Indies’ oldest living Test cricketer, and the world’s second oldest, after South Africa’s Lindsay Tuckett
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