Daily Current Affairs Updates

    Daily Current Affairs Updates

    Daily Current Affairs Updates – 3rd 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:

    Maharashtra cabinet approved special scheme for economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs:

    ·       The State cabinet of Maharashtra chaired by theChief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis approveda special scheme for Dalit community in Maharashtra,to boost their financial status in the state.
    ·       Maharashtra Government announced the approval of the cabinet for Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective Incentive Scheme for the economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs.
    ·       Under this scheme, special facilities would be given to Dalit entrepreneurs besides the present Collective Incentive Scheme 2013.

    Persons with disability to get Unique identity cards:
    ·       All the persons with disabilities will geta unique identity card within one and half year. Addressing Regional Editors Conference in Jaipur,theUnion Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot said this identity card will be valid throughout the country and will help the disabled to get benefit of the welfare schemes.
    ·       The Minister said that to frame laws for transgenders, a bill is likely to be introduced in the budget session of parliament.

    Supreme Court seeks response from Union Government over issue of GM crops:

    ·       The Supreme Court has sought response from the Union Government within 2 weeks, over the issue ofGenetically Modified or GM crops.
    ·       The direction came yesterday while hearing on a contempt petition filed by an activist claiming that Government was seeking to approve GM Mustard, going against the report of a Technical Expert Committee.

    Gujarat Government to implement National Food Security Act by April 2016:
    ·       Gujarat government announced that it has planned to implement theNational Food Security Act by April 2016.
    ·       Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said this, after a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur today criticised the Gujarat government as well as some other states for not implementing the National Food Security Act.

    Gujarat Government to give incentives to Gujarati film industry:
    ·       Gujarat Government has announced a new policy to give incentives toGujarati film industry.
    ·       Addressing a press conference at Gandhinagar, Government spokesperson and Minister Mr Nitin Patel has said that the Gujarati films will be divided in to four categories on different criteria for assistance from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50 lakh.
    ·       Until now Rs 5 lakh was given as subsidy to Gujarati films without any scrutiny. Maximum Rs 50 lakh assistance will be given to A- category film while D- category film will get Rs 5 lakh assistance.

    India pips US to become world’s second largest Smartphone market:

    ·       India has surpassed the US to become theworld’s second largest smartphone market, crossing 220 million in active unique smartphone users in 2015, a year when Samsung maintained its leadership position and Apple made big strides.
    ·       The smartphone shipments in India also grew a healthy 15% annually in the October-December quarter, and rose 23% on year to cross 100 million units milestone, the research firm said.
    Ban 13 pesticides, phase out 6 by 2020, suggests Verma panel:
    ·       The Anupam Verma Committee, set upto review the continued use of 66 pesticides that have been barred/restrictedfor use in farming in other countries, has recommended a ban on 13 ‘extremely hazardous’ pesticides, phasing out of six ‘moderately hazardous’ ones by 2020, and review of 27 pesticides in 2018.
    ·       The six pesticides suggested for phasing out by 2020 are:alachor, dichorvos, phorate, phosphamidon, triazophos and trichlorfon

    India ranked 76 in Transparency International Report 2015:
    ·       The country’s 2015 corruption perception score remains the same as last year’s – 38/100 – showing lack of improvement.
    ·       India shares its rank along with six other countries: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Thailand, Tunisia and Zambia.
    ·       China fared worse than India and Brazil at rank 83 with a score of 37. TI has also noted that Pakistan is the only country among the SAARC countries, to have improved its score this year, though its rank remains poor at 117.
    ·       Denmarktopped the list followed byFinland and Sweden.

    Union Government set up two panels to reform tax policies:

    ·       The Union Government set uptwo new committeesin order to bring coherence and streamline the direct and indirect tax policy and administration.
    ·       The two new panels are:
    ·       Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU)
     Tax Policy Council (TPC)

    Key highlights of Tax Policy Council:
    ·       The TPC will be headed by theFinance Minister Arun Jaitley.
    ·       It will suggest broad policy measures for taxation based on inputs from the TPRU.
    ·       The Council will be advisory in nature, which will help the Government in identifying key policy decisions for taxation.
    ·       The TPC will have nine members: Minister of State for Finance, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, Commerce Minister, Chief Economic Advisor and Finance Secretary. It will also have secretaries from the department of Revenue, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Ministry of Commerce.

    Key highlights of Tax Policy Research Unit:
    ·       The TPRU will be a multi-disciplinary body to examine and analyse any fiscal or tax policy referred by theCentral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) andCentral Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).
    ·       It will prepare and disseminate policy papers and background papers on various taxation issues.
    ·       TPRU will comprise of officers from CBDT, CBEC as well as economists, statisticians, researchers and legal experts. The new committees are a follow up of Parthasarthy Shome panel recommendations on tax reforms

    NIIF signed MoU with Rusnano OJSC to set-up Russia-India High Technology Private Equity Fund:

    ·       National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) withRUSNANO OJSC of Russia. The MoU was to set-up Russia-India High Technology Private Equity Fund for joint implementation of investments into projects in India
    ·       The two parties agreed to cooperate in diverse sectors and facilitate high-technology investments in India.
    ·       They will establish a joint working group with a view to further develop cooperation between them and work on the development of the definitive agreements based on the principles outlined in the Memorandum.

    India, Brunei signed 3 MoUs to deepen bilateral cooperation:
    ·       India and Brunei signed 3 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to deepen bilateral cooperation.
    ·       The MoUs were signed inBrunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan during the Vice President Hamid Ansari’s 3-day visit to the country.

    Details related to 3 MoUs:
    ·       MoU in health cooperation
    ·       MoU on Defence cooperation
    ·        MOU on cooperation in youth and sports affairs
    Apart from signing of the MoUs, the Vice President’s tour included his meeting with the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah and a visit to the sultan omar ali saifuddin mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan

    World Bank approved $35 million to improve citizen access to public services in Madhya Pradesh:

    ·       The World Bank Board approved a 35 million US dollars credit for the Citizen Access to Responsive Services Project.
    ·       The Project will improve access to selected public services for the people of Madhya Pradesh (MP) and particularly those belonging to deprived groups.
    ·       The World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA) will lend the amount with a maturity of 25 years, including a 5 year grace period.

    Infosys to build the World’s tallest Clock Tower:

    ·       Infosys, India’s leading software company, is all set to beat the 96-metre tall Big Ben, the iconic free-standing clock tower in London, with a 135m structure. The proposed clock tower, which will be built in theInfosys Global Education Center in Mysore, close to the country’s tech capital Bangalore, will also rival the Hoover Tower (87m) in California and the McGraw Tower (53m) in Cornell.
    ·       The Infosys’ Mysuru campus which is considered a mini cityin itself is spread over 350 acres, with 12 million sq ft built-up area and the capacity to host more than 15,000 trainees (residing on campus), 8,000 plus employees and several thousand contract workers. It is also theIT major’s largest development centre cum training campus in the world.
    ·       The tower is designed by one of India’s most famous architectsHafeez Contractor, who also designed Infosys’ Mysuru campus with structural engineering consultancy provided by New York-based firm LERA and built by Bengaluru-based KEF Infra.

    World Wetlands Day observed with theme Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods:
    ·       The World Wetlands Day was observed on 2 February 2016 across the globe to mark the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in the city of Ramsar in Iran in 1971.
    ·       The theme of World Wetlands Day this year is Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods. It highlights the value of wetlands in securing local livelihoods through activities as fishing, rice farming, tourism, and water provision.
    ·       The day is observed on the same day every year to promote, create awareness and ensure positive and affirmative action for conservation of wetlands.
    ·       This year the World Wetlands Day is being celebrated by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in collaboration with the West Bengal Government at Sunderbans.

    Excluding Assam, Northeastern states of India collectively have only 59 percent Of Mumbai’s rail length:
    ·       The eight northeastern states collectively contain12 percent of India’s national highway length, although they are home to about 3.8 percent of the country’s population. Only the capitals of Assam (Dispur) and Tripura (Agartala) are connected via rail. Tripura – along with Uttar Pradesh – has India’s highest power deficit of 15.6 percent, followed by Meghalaya with 15.3 percent.
    ·       The first part of this three-part series on the northeast analysed growth rates, unemployment and poverty. In the second part, we look at physical infrastructure, such as highways, railways, aviation and electricity.

    Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines on Zika Virus disease in India:

    ·       The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines on the Zika virus disease,which was declared an international emergency by the World Health Organisation on February 1, 2016.
    ·       In the light of the current disease trend, and its possible association with adverse pregnancy outcomes, the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare advises on the following:

    Enhanced Surveillance
    Community based Surveillance 
    ·       Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) through its community and hospital based data gathering mechanism would track clustering of acute febrile illness   and seek  primary case, if any,  among those who travelled to areas with ongoing transmission in the 2 weeks preceding the onset of illness.
    ·       IDSP would also advise its State and District level units to look for clustering of cases of microcephaly among newborns and reporting of Gullian Barre Syndrome.
    ·       The Maternal and Child Health Division (under NHM) would also advise its field units to look for clustering of cases of microcephaly among new borns.

    Delhi High Court issued guidelines to stop false litigations in courts:
    ·       The Delhi High Court expressed concerns over frivolus litigation and false claims issued specific guidelines to be followed by the lower courts.
    ·       As per the guidelines the lower courts would be able to prosecute charges against such persons under section 209 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The section 209 empowers the courts to take action against complainants.

    INTERNATIONAL:
    Dubai International Airport World’s busiest in 2015:

    ·       Dubai International Airport was declared the world’s busiest airport for international passengers in 2015 for a consecutive time.
    ·       Notably India was Dubai’s single largest destination country in 2015 with 10.4 million passengers.

    Embassy says no ban on Sikh turbans in public places in France:
    ·       The French Embassy said there was no ban on wearing turbans in public space while reacting to a charge by a Sikh organisation that the community has been fighting for their rights in France.
    ·       Outside the premises of public schools, wearing the Sikh turban is very much allowed in public space, contrary to the allegations of certain radical organisations. Only the burkha is banned in public places, for obvious security reasons

    Ted Cruz defeats Donald Trump in Iowa Caucuses:
    ·       Texas Senator Ted Cruz handed a shock defeat to presidential contender Donald Trump in the Iowa Republican caucuses while in the Democratic camp both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders claimed victories as the race for the White House began.
    ·       As the results of the Iowa Caucuses came in, the crowded Republican presidential race appeared to be narrowing down to a three-cornered contest with Marco Rubio coming a close third behind Cruz and Trump.

    UN formally begins peace talks for Syria:

    ·       In Geneva,United Nations announced the formalstart of peace talks for Syria,urged world powers to push for a ceasefire even as government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, launched their biggest offensive north of Aleppo in a year.
    ·       According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, government troops and allied fighters captured hilly countryside near Aleppo yesterday, putting a key supply route used by opposition forces into firing range.

    UN General Secretary calls for compromise between Saudi Arabia and Iran:
    ·       United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to compromise and interact responsibly, seeking to calm a flare-up in tensions between the two regional rivals.

    French President calls on USA to end sanctions on Cuba:
    ·       French President Francois Hollande called for anend to US sanctions on Cuba during a historic visit to Paris byPresident Raul Castro.
    ·       After holding meeting, with the 84-year-old Cuban leader, Mr Hollande said US President Obama must go all the way and bring an end to vestige of the Cold War.
    ·       Mr Castro is on his first official trip to the European Union since taking over from his elder brother Fidel in 2006.

    23 Countries meet to discuss fight against ISIS in Rome, Italy:

    ·       Nearly two dozen nations gathered in Rome to plot theirfight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq and how to choke off its rise in Libya.
    ·       The meeting takes place as talks have begun in Geneva to try to end the five-year Syrian civil war, which has killed at least 250,000 people, driven more than 10 million from their homes.

    Vietnam gets world’s longest cable car system:
    ·       Vietnamtoday inaugurated theworld’s longest three-rope cable car system in Lao Cai province.
    ·       With a total length of 6,292.5 metres, the system was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s longest three-rope cable car route, and also the world’s biggest height gap between its departure and arrival stations of 1,410 metres.
    ·       The system, connecting Muong Hoa Valley and Fansipan mountain in Lao Cai, some 250 km northwest of capital Hanoi, has a capacity of 2,000 passengers per hour with each cabin accommodating 35 people.

    European Union and United States signed Privacy Shield, a new deal on data transfers in Belgium:
    ·       The European Union and United States signed a new deal on data transfers relied on by Facebook and Google.
    ·       The announcement in this regard was made byEuropean Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova in Brussels, Belgium on February 2, 2016. The agreement was namedEU-US Privacy Shield. The deal will come into effect in upcoming 3 months

    BANKING AND ECONOMY:
    RBI eases cross border Transactions for startups:

    ·       The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a slew of regulatory changes to ease border transactions relating to startups.
    ·       The rulers enable to startups to receive foreign venture capital investment irrespective of their sector.
    ·       RBI said that it is considering issuance of innovative FDI instruments like convertible notes by startups.

    Core sectors of the economy slow down to 0.9% in December 2015:
    ·       Growth of the country’s eight core sector industries slowed to 0.9 per cent in December 2015, from3.2 per cent in December 2014. But the December numbers are better than those in November 2015, when core sector output had contracted 1.3 per cent.
    SBI Launches FlexiPay Home Loan Scheme For Professionals:
    ·       State Bank of India introduced a new home loan scheme ‘SBI FlexiPay Home Loan’ for young working professionals/executives.
    ·       Under the scheme, borrowers will get higher loan amount compared to their loan eligibility under normal home loan schemes and they will also have the option of step-up monthly repayments.
    ·       Further, to lower the impact of such additional loan amount on monthly repayments in the form of equated monthly instalments (EMIs), customers taking home loans under the new scheme will also be offered the option of paying only interest during the moratorium (pre-EMI) period of three to five years.
    ·       After the moratorium, they pay moderated EMIs. The EMIs will be stepped up during the subsequent years, the statement said.

    HDFC Bank to sell loans to non-customers through ATMs

    ·       HDFC Bank, is now using its ATM network to grab new customers, including those of other banks who happen to use the bank’s ATMs.
    ·       ATMs is a game changer for the bank as ATMs are open round the clock and available at more than double the locations as branches (4,281).
    ·       The ‘click to call’ option enables the bank to work around the ‘do not disturb’ customers and the applicant can choose any number for a call-back.

    APPOINTMENTS:
    Major General Menon to head United Nations Disengagement Observer Force:

    ·       Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India was appointed as theHead of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
    ·       His appointment was announced by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Menon succeeds Lieutenant General Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal.


    SC appointed Lodha Committee to sell PACL’s assets:
    ·       Supreme Court appointed a committee under formerChief Justice RM Lodha to sell assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL)and refund 49 thousand crore rupees to the investors.
    ·       The investors invested in the firm’s collective investment scheme (CIS) that was deemed illegal by theSecurities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
    ·       A bench headed by Justice Anil Dave said that the title deeds of various lands belonging to PACL should be handed over by the CBI to the SEBI. The court in its direction said that SEBI will take appropriate steps to ensure their sale.
    ·       It also directed the panel to decide on the modalities of sale, but hinted it would be via auction.

    Urban Ladder appoints Sanjay Gupta as Chief Marketing Officer:
    ·       Urban Ladder, the online furniture and home décor company, has announced the appointment ofSanjay Gupta as itsChief Marketing Officer.
    ·       Sanjay brings in twelve years of experience in branding and marketing, and has been instrumental in building brands in the consumer goods industry. Sanjay will lead the company’s marketing strategies, including branding, creative& content and digital and product marketing

    First woman CEO of an Indian unicorn:

    ·       A management reshuffle at data analytics firm Mu Sigma has catapulted Ambiga Dhiraj to the top post, making her the first woman chief executive of an Indian technology company that’s worth at least $1billion.
    ·       We will be a $1-billion (nearly.`6,800 crore) revenue company soon. We’re going to get there in a smooth manner. She will continue to be based in Bengaluru. Her husband, founder-chairman Dhiraj Rajaram, whom Ambiga has replaced as CEO, will relocate to the United States.

    AWARDS AND HONOURS:
    Amitabh Bachchan gets lifetime achievement award:
    ·       Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has been presented with thelifetime achievement awardat NDTV Indian of the Year Awards.
    Titli wins Best First Foreign Film Award:
    ·       Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl directorial “Titli” has bagged theBest First Foreign Film Awardconferred by theFrench Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC).
    ·       This is the first time an Indian film has won this award. The film, co-produced by Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt Ltd and Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films, features actors Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shashank Arora, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi in the lead roles.

    SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
    North Korea to launch a satellite:

    ·       North Korea notified UN agencies that it plans to launch a satellite later this month, which could advance the isolated country’s development of long-range missile technology.
    ·       Western and Asian experts have said that launch was part of an effort to build anintercontinental ballistic missile.
    ·       North Korea is under UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes, and countries including the U.S. and South Korea are seeking fresh sanctions after its nuclear test last month

    SPORTS:
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend opening ceremony of South Asian Games in Assam:

    ·       In Assam,preparations for the opening ceremony of the South Asian Games are on in Guwahati.
    ·       Thousands of artists will perform on February 5, 2016 at Sarusajai stadium.Rare birds including Dhanesh, Bortokola and Deo-hah along with various species of butterflies made out of bamboo and cane will also be featured in theinaugural ceremony of South Asian Games.
    ·       Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with several other dignitaries will witness the colourful ceremony of the game which will reflect rich heritage of North East.

    First T-20 Asia Cup to be held in Bangladesh from February 24:
    ·       In Cricket, the first ever Asia Cup in its T-20 format will start from February 24, 2016 wherein 5 teams will participate.
    ·       According to the event schedule released on February 1, 2016, Indian Cricket team would start their campaign by taking on hosts Bangladesh in the tournament-opener on 24th.
    ·       The eagerly awaited clash between India and Pakistan is slated three days later. The final of the tournament is to be held on March 6th.
    ·       All matches will be played at theSher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur.

    Kerala won 61st National School Athletics championship:

    ·       Kerala won the 61st National School Athletics championship. The national School Athletics championship was held at Olympian Rahman Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala from 29 January 2016 to 2 February 2016.
    ·       This is for the 19th consecutive time Kerala becomes the champions in the event. Kerala, the host of the championship got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals.
    ·       On the other hand, Tamil Nadu stood at second position with 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals. Maharashtra with 101 points gained the third position.

    Sanjeev Rajput Qualifies for 2016 Rio Olympics:
    ·       Two time Olympian Sanjeev Rajput secured India’s 12th Shooting spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    OBITUARY:
    Pak’s oldest Test cricketer Israr Ali dies:

    ·       Former Pakistani cricketer Israr Ali, who was the country’s oldest living Test cricketer, has passed away at the age of 88.
    ·       Born on May 1, 1927 in Jullundar (now Jalandhar) in India, Ali an all-rounder was a member of Pakistan’s first Test squad which went to India in 1952 and played two tests.
    ·       He also appeared in Pakistan’s first test 60 years ago.

    Former LS Speaker Balram Jakhar passes away:
    ·       Veteran Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passed away in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 92.
    ·       Jakhar served as Speaker of Lok Sabha from 1980 to 1989 during which he contributed to the establishment of Parliament Museum. He also served as Agriculture Minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
    ·       Jakhar also served as Governor of Madhya Pradesh from 30 June, 2004 to 30 May, 2009.

    Veteran Pakistani writer Intizar Husain dies at 93:
    ·       Intizar Husain, veteranUrdu short story writer, poet and journalist has passed away at the age of 93.
    ·       Husain’s books include ‘Gali Koochay’, ‘Kankari’, ‘Din Aur Dastan’, ‘Shehr-i-afsos’, ‘Kachhuay’, ‘Khaimay Say Door’, ‘Khali Pinjra’, ‘Morenama’ and ‘Sheharzad Kay Naam’.

    Former RBI Deputy Governor SS Tarapore passes away:

    ·       SS Tarapore, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a noted economist, has passed away in Mumbai, at the age of 80.
    ·       Tarapore joined the RBI in 1961 and retired in 1996 as deputy governor, having been involved in almost all aspects of monetary policy. He served as RBI deputy governor between 1992 and 1996 when C. Rangarajan was the governor. This was a period of rapid change for the Indian economy, with the government having introduced economic reforms in 1991.

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