Daily Current Affairs Updates– 23rd 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.Budget Session of Parliament to begin today; Key Bills to come up for consideration:
· Budget Session of Parliament will begin today. Since it is the first session of the new calendar year, it will begin with the address of President Pranab Mukherjee to the joint sitting of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.
· During the session, theRail Budget will be presented on 25th and General Budget on 29th of this month.
· The first phase of the Session will come to an end on 16th of next month. The second phase will start from 25th April and conclude on 13th May.
· The government has prioritised 32 items for the session including 11 Bills pending in the Rajya Sabha and one in the Lok Sabha besides transacting financial business related to budget.
2. E-Governance Vision 2020 of Election Commission of India:
· The term ‘E-Governance Vision 2020’ was in news because Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Nasim Zaidi during a Seminar on‘Leveraging Technology for Transparent and Credible Elections’said the Election Commission of India is working on it.
· ‘E-Governance Vision 2020’ will provide inclusive, integrated single window view of services to all stakeholdersin all phases of the electoral cycle using multiple channel of delivery.
· The Vision 2020 will have five strategic goals and 11 mission mode projects wherein some of priority areas will be in mobile apps, social media, knowledge and learning management.
· The Vision 2020 is in line withthe increase of use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in elections on priority by virtually every Election Management Bodies (EMB) around the world.
3. Union Government formed Empowered group of state Transport Ministers:
· The Union Government has formed Empowered Group of State Transport Ministers to suggest measuresto boost the transport sector and improving the public transport system across the country.
· Addressing the16th Meeting of National Road Safety Council, Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said,Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan will chair the group and also suggest measures to minimise road accidents in the country.
4. Swacch Paryatan Mobile app launched by Union Government:
· Tourism Ministry launched Swachh Paryatan Mobile App to facilitate the public to communicate their complaints about any unclean area and garbage piles in and around tourist destinations on February 22, 2016.
· Launching the App,Tourism Minister Dr Mahesh Sharma said, initially 25 Adarsh Smarak Monuments protected by Archaeological Survey of India have been identified for inclusion in the app.
5.President Pranab to inaugurate 1st ever Gender Park at Kozhikode:
· The first ever Gender Park in the country to promote research and other initiatives to enable total gender equalitywill be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee atKozhikode.
· The park has come up on a 24-acre campus. It isan initiative of the Department of Social Justice of the State government to bring together the state, academia and civil society on a common platform to address various gender issues.
· The park will bethe country’s first large scale initiative to create an environment to share global knowledge and experiences in reducing gender inequalities.
6. Union Government asks 20 cities to launch smart city projects:
· Urban Development minister M Venkaiah Naidu asked the first batch of 20 cities selected in the first round of competition to launch respective smart city projects by June 25, 2016.
· Addressing a workshop in New Delhi, Mr Naidu asserted that the Smart City Competition was completely city neutral neither favouring nor discriminating against any participant city.
7. Union Government released seismic Micro zonation reports:
· Minister for Science and Technology Dr Harsh Vardhan releasedseismic microzonation reports of Delhi and Kolkata in New Delhi
· Speaking on the occasion, Dr Vardhan said, microzonation of 30 cities in the country has started as different areas has different risks. He said, the report will help in minimizing impact of earthquake and protect life and property.
8. 9thIndo-Nepal Army exercise Surya Kiran IX Concluded:
· The Ninth Indo-Nepal Combined Battalion level Military Training ExerciseSURYA KIRAN between the Indian Army and the Nepalese Army was conducted at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand from February, 8 to February 21, 2016 under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade of Central Command of the Indian Army.
· During the exercise, an Infantry battalion each from Indian Army and the Nepalese Army trained together and shared their experiences of Counter Terrorism operations and Jungle Warfare in mountain terrain.
10. Supreme Court seeks status report on Jat agitation from Union Govt, Haryana and U.P Government:
· The Supreme Court sought a status report in two days from Haryana government on the plea of Delhi government seeking resumption of water supply to the national capital.
· Apex Court also issued notice to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government on the plea of Delhi government which has also sought a direction for ensuring security on the barrages on Munak Canal in Haryana.
11. Magh Purnima being observed in Allahabad:
· Large number of devotees are reaching Sangam in Allahabad since morning to take a holy dip on the occasion of Magh Purnima.
· This is the last bathing of Magh month. Kalpwasis who have been camping at Sangam for last one month will also end their kalpwas today. Several religious programmes are being organized in kalpwasi’s camps.
12.Odisha CM seeks declaration of Biju Patnaik International Airport as embarkation point for Odisha’s Haj pilgrims:
· Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested the Union Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapati Raju to declare the Biju Patnaik International Airport as the embarkation point for the Haj pilgrims of Odisha from this year.
· In a letter to the Union Minister, Mr Patnaik said this year more than 600 pilgrims from Odisha are expected to undertake pilgrim and it would help them if the journey could be done directly from Bhubaneswar. The Chief Minister said the Haj pilgrims of Odisha were using the Kolkata airport route for the journey.
13.Madhya Pradesh Announces Free Education For Scheduled Caste Students In Government Colleges:
· Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced free education for Scheduled Caste students in government collegesincluding, engineering and medical institutions.
· Mr Chouhan on this occasion also said that‘Mahakumbh’ would be organized on the occasion of Ravidas Jayanti at Maihar every year.
· Ravidas’s birthplace Varanasi will be linked with the Mukhya Mantri Teerth Darshan Yojna (Chief Minister’s Pilgrimage Scheme) so that people can visit the place free of cost.
14.Government to sell 5% stake in NTPC to garner Rs 5K cr:
· Government will sell five per cent stake in country’s largest power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
· It will be sold at a floor price of 122 rupees per share to raise over five thousand crore rupees. The stake sale would be spread over two days with institutional bidders getting the first chance to buy shares.
· Retails investors, for whom 20 per cent shares have been reserved, will get to bid on 24th of this month. In May last year, the Cabinet had approved the five per cent stake sale in NTPC. The government holds 74.96 per cent in the firm.
15.India remains world’s largest arms importer, with 14% of total share:
· India continues to remain the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe, in yet another indicator of the country’s enduring failure to build a strong domestic defence-industrial base (DIB).
· The latest data on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), also shows India’s arms imports remain three times greater than those of its rivals China and Pakistan. Its biggest suppliers are Russia, the US, Israel and France.
16.Government notice to HSBC for abetting tax evasion:
· Indian tax authorities have issued notices to global banking giant HSBC, warning of prosecution against its Swiss and Dubai arms for allegedly abetting tax evasion by four Indians and their families.
· The UK-based HSBC, which also disclosed ongoing probes by tax authorities from various countries in connection with alleged abetment of tax evasion and money laundering through its Geneva branch.
· HSBC has been under scanner ever since a leaked list of hundreds of Indian clients of its Geneva branch found its way to Indian tax authorities.
17. Union Government taking steps to boost exports:
· Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman has said, the Union Government is taking steps to boost exports.
· She said that decline in exports is because of fall in global economy. She said, no licence is given for importing firecrackers and hence entry of foreign made firecrackers is illegal. The Minister said, the drive against foreign firecrackers will continue this year too.
18. Chief Minister of Rajasthan calls for peace and order from Jats in the state:
· In Rajasthan, Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje has asked agitating Jats of Bharatpur and Dholpur to maintain peace and order.
· In an official press release the Chief Minister said that OBC commission has already been formed to study the social and economic status of the community in these two districts.
19. Nepal’s PM visit to clear misunderstandings between India-Nepal: Nepal’s PM
· Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli today said the mission of his visit to India was to clear misunderstandings that surfaced between the two nations following adoption of the new Constitution.
· Delivering a lecture atIndian Council of World Affairs in New Delhi, Mr Oli said he had met Prime Minister, President and other top leaders and clarified how Nepal seeks to advance as a nation with the help of India towards prosperity.
20. China sacked head of its Securities regulator:
· China has removed the Head of its Securities Regulator as it tries to tackle major volatility in its stock markets.
· Xiao Gang was replaced by Liu Shiyu as the chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
21. Cyclone Winston hit Fiji:
· The death toll from Cyclone Winston, which tore through Fiji on the weekend, has risen to at least 20, officials say. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said food and medical supplies would be rapidly distributed to those affected.
· The Red Cross in Fiji said relief was starting to reach those affected.
22. Saudi Prince asks Muslim nations to lead counter terrorism:
· A prominent Saudi prince has appealed Muslim countries to take the lead in fighting terrorism.
· Prince Turki al-FaialSaid ,an Islamic counter terrorism alliance of 34 nations, that was announced in last december, should have been created sooner. Prince Faial has earlier held ambassador posts to the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland
· The ongoing exercise named ‘Thunder of the North’, is the largest military exercise witnessed in the region.
23. Bangladesh paid homage to 1952 Language Movement martyrs at Central Shaheed Minar:
· Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka: Place were several sacrificed their lives for the recognition of Bangla as the state language.
· Central Shaheed Minar (or Martyr’s Monument) of Dhaka came in news, as Bangladeshi nationals paid their homage to the martyrs of the historic 1952 Language Movement.
· The Shaheed Minar is a national monument, which was designed and built by Hamidur Rahman a Bangladeshi sculptor in collaboration with Novera Ahmed.
24. Parliamentary elections announced in Syria by President Bashar Al- Assad:
· The President of Syria Bashar al-Assad has announced that parliamentary elections are to be held on April 13, 2016
· The Syrian President Bashar Al Assad issued a decree on February 22, 2016 which included seat allocations for each of the provinces in Syria. The last Parliamentary elections were held in Syria in May 2012.
25. Indian-origin Sikh officer Amar Singh appointed Kuala Lumpur’s Commissioner of Police:
· Indian-origin Sikh officer Amar Singh appointed Kuala Lumpur’s Commissioner of Police
· He succeeded Tajuddin Mohamed, who will be moved to federal headquarters as the deputy director of commercial CID on 14 March 2016.
· At the time of this appointment, Amar Singh was holding the position of deputy director of CID.
26.Udai Kumar appointed as MD and CEO of MSEI:
· Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India Limited (MSEI) appointed Udai Kumar as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment was approved by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
· The SEBI’s approval comes after a stringent short-listing process and interviews by the selection committee to select a suitable candidate for the role.
27. Euroclear agrees to RBI model to clear debts:
· Belgium based securities settlement company Euroclearhas reportedly agreed to a model suggested by the RBI to settle Indian government debt papers in the Overseas market.
· Under the model, the overseas debts will be cleared in India through Indian Brokers.
· Further Foreign Institutional investors using the Euroclear platform to trade in India need not register in India to Settle their Investments
28.HSBC India under RBI lens for breaches:
· TheRBI has concluded that HSBC may have possibly encouraged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) breaches byallowing certain customers to bank with offshore private banking locations despite not qualifying for the same.
· Checks carried out by the central bank have revealed that HSBC may havebreached the limits under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.
· Under this scheme, Indians are allowed to open accounts abroad, but outward remittances are limited to an annual ceiling.
· It added that deficiencies were observed in KYC, including an instance where a decoy customer was able to persuade the bank to open a dubious account in September 2014.
AWARDS AND HONOURS:
29.Indian-origin playwright Ismail Mahomed conferred Knighthood by French Government:
· Ismail Mahomed, an Indian-origin art lover and playwright in South Africa, was conferred Knighthood by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.
· Mahomed was bestowed with The Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg.
BUSINESS, ECONOMY AND TECHNOLOGY:
30. Volvo recalls 59,000 cars across 40 countries:
· Swedish car maker Volvo is recalling 59,000 cars across 40 markets over a fault that can temporarily shut down the engine.
· The software fault is restricted to five cylinder diesels from the 60 and 70 series constructed from the middle of last year. Group spokesman Stefan Elfstrom said, the fault could be unpleasant for drivers.
31. Lenovo launches global mobile roaming service:
· China’s Lenovo Group Ltd will launch a global wireless service for its mobile devices to cut roaming costs for its users.
· The service, called Lenovo Connect, allows users to travel to 50 countries and use their devices at local prices on mobile internet, without installing new SIM cards.
32. China’s Huawei unveils first PC aimed at businesses:
· Chinese electronics giant Huawei unveiled its first personal computer, a convertible tablet aimed at the premium business market that will compete with Apple’s iPad Pro and the Microsoft Surface.
· The thin MateBook has a 12-inch pixel display, weighs just 640 grammes without the keyboard although it looks heavier, and has a battery life of ten hours under standard use.
· The tablet fastens to its keyboard case using magnets and it features a fingerprint reader.
· The entry-level model with 128 GB storage starts at 799 euros (USD 890) in Europe with the top model coming in at 1,799 euros.
33. DataWind plans third facility with Rs 100 crore investment:
· Make in India push, low-cost handset and tablet maker DataWindintends to spend Rs 100 crore on a third manufacturing facility and is in talks with eastern states includingWest Bengal and Bihar.
· This will be operational in 60 to 90 days. Speaking about the government’s initiatives in the previous Budget, he said correcting the inverted duty structure was an important step to boost handset manufacturing.
34.Cloud computing major DigitalOcean to set up first data centre in India:
· DigitalOcean, the world’s second-largest cloud computing provider, will set up its first India data centre in Bengaluru, in the April–June quarter of 2016.
· The New York-headquartered firm, which is setting up shop in India, will invest $5 million in thedata centre in Electronics City and is looking to hire a Country Manager, supported by a small marketing team that will be based out of Bengaluru.
· India is one of the company’s top five markets after the US, the UK, Canada and Brazil
35. Gear 360: Samsung announces new camera to create immersive 360-degree videos:
· Alongside the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung, at the Galaxy Unpacked 2016 event, also announced the launch of the Gear 360 camera, a 360-degree camera with front and back lenses to stitch together 360-degree videos for VR devices and apps.
· The Samsung Gear 360 is equipped with dual fisheye lenses, with both having 15 megapixel image sensors, giving users the ability to capture high-resolution (3840×1920) 360-degree video that also supports 30 megapixel still images.
· The Gear 360 features is said to be compatible with a wider selection of accessories and mounts currently available on the market.
36.BankBazaar.com expands into Asian markets:
· After consolidating its position in the India market over the last seven years,online financial marketplace BankBazaar.com has expanded into Asian markets, with special focus on Singapore.
· Aman Narain, former global digital banking head of Standard Chartered, has been appointed CEO for International Markets. He will help globalise the company’s ‘Made in India’ intellectual property.
37.Reliance Communications gets CCI nod to acquire Sistema’s MTS:
· Reliance Communications (RCom) said fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI)has given nod to its deal toacquire Russian conglomerate Sistema’s Indian telecom unit, Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) that operates under the MTS brand.
· In November,India’s leading telecom operator RCom announced acquisition of Sistema’s Indian telecom unit in an all-stock deal that will create an operator with 118 million subscribers.
· As per the deal, SSTL will hold about 10 per cent stake in RCom and pay off its existing debt before closing the deal.
38. 31 species of birds spotted at Otteri Lake:
· The census is an annual feature and focusses on the arrival of new birds and the increase in their numbers compared to the previous years, officials said.
· The lake has a water-spread area of 16 acres and is protected with a 635-metre-long bund. The water storage capacity of the lake is about 8.5 crore litres. Due to the rain in November and December last year, the lake was brimming with water and as many as 31 species of 7,256 birds were recorded by the surveyors.
· The Indian cormorant accounted for 3,259 of the birds counted, followed by the little cormorant at 1,756, zoo officials added.
39. Pangolin, the critically endangered scaly Anteater:
· Pangolins, the scaly anteaters and insectivorous mammals of the order Pholidota, were in news because 20 February 2016 was observed as the fifth annualWorld Pangolin Day.
· The day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of February with a hope to raise awareness about these unique mammals and their plight.
· On the eve of World Pangolin Day, TRAFFIC India, a division of WWF-India, stressed on the need to save these creatures as they are on the verge of becoming extinct due to illegal poaching and habitat loss.
40. India women hockey team draws match with South Africa:
· In Hockey, the second match of Indian women team’s tour to South Africa ended in a 2-2 draw between India and the hosts.
· In a match played in Cape Town on , defenders Gurjit Kaur and Deep Grace Kaur scored the goals for India. Both goals came through penalty corner conversions in the first half. Indian eves had earlier defeated the hosts 1-nil in the tour-opener.
41. Ukrainian Football club Dnipro won the Sait Nagjee Tournament in Kerala:
· In Kerala, Ukraine’s FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk won the Sait Nagjee International Club Football tournament beating Brazilians Atletico Paranaense, 3-0 in the summit clash, at the EMS Corporation stadium at Kozhikode.
· While the first goal for Dnipro came in the 41st minute, the second and third goals were scored in the 61st and 85th minute in the second half.
42. Long jumper Prem Kumar won silver in Asian Indoor Athletics Championships:
· India’s Kumaravel Prem Kumarbagged silver in long jump at the 7th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
· Prem Kumar cleared a creditable 7.92m in his final attempt to win the silver.
· With this,the Indians signed off their campaign in Doha with 1 Gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals.
· In the overall rankings,Indian Women’s team finished at the sixth place whilemen’s team could succeed in securing the eighth spot. The only gold medal for India was won by Mayookha Johny who topped the podium in long jump.
· Meanwhile, Ranchi will host 2017 Asian Athletics (Outdoor) Championships
43. Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Neil Robertson to win 2016 Welsh Open:
· Ronnie O’Sullivanwon seven frames in a row to beat Neil Robertson 9-5 and win2016 BetVictor Welsh Open title held at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
· It was O’Sullivan’s 28th ranking title, which put him in joint second place with Higgins and Steve Davis for the number of career ranking titles.
44. Italy’s Sara Errani clinched Dubai Tennis Championships title:
· Italy’s Sara Erranidefeated Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova to clinch the WTADubai Duty Free Tennis Championships women’s singles title.
45. Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone won Rio Open Title:
· Italian woman Tennis player Francesca Schiavone wonRio Open title defeating Shelby Rogers of America with scores of 2-6, 6-2, and 6-2 in the final held in Rio de Janeiro.
· It is her seventh career title. She won her first Grand Slam title at 2010 French Open.
46. Indian Women’s Ice Hockey Team crowdfunds itself:
· India’s first Women’s Ice Hockey teamfrom Ladakh is crowdfunding its FirstInternational tour to Taipei, China.
· After qualifying for the International Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, 2016,they needed funds to travel.
47. Iconic British Pilot Captain Eric Winkle Brown passed away
· The Royal Navy’s most decorated pilot, Capt Eric “Winkle” Brown, has died at the age of 97.
· Captain Brown also held the world record for flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft– 487. During World War Two, Capt Brown, who was born in Leith in 1919, flew fighter aircraft and witnessed the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
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