Daily Current Affairs Updates– 2nd 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. Meghalaya India’s Fastest Growing State:
· According to a study by India Spend,Meghalaya has emerged as India’s fastest growing state, with a growth rate of 9.7% in 2013-14.
· The study further revealed 12.8 million people live below poverty line in the entire northeast region, fewer than Karnataka alone, which has 12.9 million poor people.
· Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal recorded the highest growth rates in GSDP 2013-14.
2. CBDT signed two bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with United Kingdom:
· The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) signed two bilateralAdvance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with United Kingdom.
· With this signing, CBDT has concluded three bilateral APAs the first one being a bilateral APA signed with Japan in December 2014. This is a significant step towards providing a stable and predictable tax regime
· With this signing, CBDT has so far signed 41 APAs out of which 38 are unilateral and 3 are bilateral
3. Himachal Pradesh to spend 15 crore rupees on Swachh Bharat Mission in Kinnau
· The Himachal Pradesh Government in the first week of February 2016 decided to spend 15 crore rupees on Swachh Bharat Mission in tribal district of Kinnaur.
· The funds will be utilized on capacity building and organizing of workshops for awareness. Under the Mission, target has been also fixed to involve all the schools, government institutions and villages.
Key highlights of the Mission:
· Under the Mission, the first installment offour crore fifty lakh rupees has been received by the district authorities.
· Every single household will be given 12 thousand rupees for toilet construction for which survey was conducted in the year 2012.
· A special cleanliness drive will be launched under Swachh Bharat Mission with the help of Youth and Mahila Mandals in all the 65 Panchayats.
· Five Panchayats have been selected under Solid Waste Management where organic fertilizers will be made from the waste
4. India-Afghanistan to let envoys travel Visa-Free:
· India and Afghanistan signed a pact for visa-free travel for diplomats, tweetedExternal Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
· The pact was signed followingAfghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah’s meeting withPrime Minister Narendra Modi.
· Abdullah is in India primarily to attend aconference on counter terrorism to be held in Jaipur.
5. Duty Free Import of power plant equipment banned:
· The Government banned the Zero-duty import of capital goods for the generation and transmission of power, as per theExport Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme.
· The decision aims to promote theproduction of power equipment and thedomestic capital goods industry.
· The EPCG scheme permits import of capital goods at Zero-custom duty for pre-production, production and post-production
6. Companies Law Committee submitted report recommending changes in the Companies Act, 2013:
· The Companies Law Committee submitted its report to the Union government
· It was constituted in June 2015 for examining and making recommendations on the issues arising out ofimplementation of the Companies Act, 2013.
· It was chaired by Tapan Ray Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs and consist 8 members and one member convener.
7. India exported six metro train coaches to Australia:
· Union Ministry of Shipping exported a batch of six metro coaches to Australia from Mumbai. The shipment was made as part of a deal with Australian government to export 450 made-in-India coaches in two and a half year period
· The coaches were made in Baroda manufacturing plant. It created a history in the India’s manufacturing sector in exports as it is first of its kind
· The shipment was made from Mumbai port as it holds supremacy in handling of oversized precious cargo
· The coaches are 75 feet long and weigh 46 tonnes each. They require a highly specialized loading system with a high degree of precision while they were being loaded to the Ship
8. Minimum wage set for domestic helps in Rajasthan:
· Rajasthan government has setrs.5642/month as minimum wage for domestichelps in the state while limiting their working hours to 8hours/day.
· The Rule applicable from January 1, 2016 also states that for each hour beyond the mandated 8 hours, employers will have to pay double the minimum fixed wage per hour to the workers.
9. Cost of non-subsidised LPG cut by Rs.82.5/Cylinder:
· The Price of non-subsidised LPG cut by Rs.82.5/Cylinder was cut down amid a fall in the global prices.
· Non Subsidised cooking gas in Delhi will now cost 575rs per domestic cylinder compared to earlier rs.657.50.
10. Budgetary support to railways reduced by 8000 crore:
· Finance Ministry has reduced the gross budgetary support to the railways to32000 from 40000 crore announced in the railway budget.
· The support was slashed by 12000 crore in November, citing low spending by Railways in first 6 months of the Fiscal.
· But the reduction was reduced to 8000 crore after the railways sent an explanation to the government.
11. Madhya Pradesh government to allot 35000 houses for Police Force:
· Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan said that the govt will construct 35000 homes for its police force in the next 5 years.
· over 250 newly constructed houses built by the MP Police Housing Corporation have already been provided to Personnel.
12. Supreme Court seeks reply from Gujarat Government for not implementing welfare schemes:
· The Supreme Court came down heavily on Gujarat and certain other states for not implementing welfare legislations includingNational Food Security Act.
· The Food Security Act says it extends to whole of India. The bench headed byJustice Madan Lokur also asked the Centre to collect and collate information from drought-hit states on the status of welfare schemes like MGNREGA, National Food Security and mid-day meal.
13. MGNREGA as scheme completes 10 years :
· As MGNREGA completes ten years tomorrow, Narendra Modi govermment, which earlier appeared critical of the UPA’s flagship rural job scheme, hailed the measure saying the achievements of a decade are a “cause of national pride and celebration”.
· Some announcements are also when Finance Minister Arun Jaitely delivers a key note address atMGNREGA SAMMELAN-2016.
· The person day generation is the highest in the second quarter (45.88 crore) and third quarter (46.10 crore) than it has been in the last five years.
14. ‘Indian likely to become CFO of AIIB’:
· India is likely to bag the post of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in the newly launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) the multilateral bank, whose formation was steered by China in order to boost infrastructure development in Asia.
· The South China Morning Post (SCMP) is reporting that the vice-presidents working alongsideChina’s Jin Liqun the newly appointed President of the AIIB will be from Germany, India, South Korea, Britain and Indonesia.
· The Vice-President from Germany would serve as the Chief Operating Officer, while his peer from India would become the bank’s first CFO.
15. TSPSC to go in for e-verification of certificates:
· TheTelangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) will be soon going fore-verification of certificates, including caste and community, towards providing a fool-proof mechanism for selection of candidates to various government jobs.
· We have also charted a new path by conducting computer-based recruitment exam for 30,000 candidates simultaneously.
16. National Pension System Service week being observed:
· The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is observing National Pension System Service Weekfrom February 1, 2016 to attract more subscribers towards government pension plans.
· The week-long campaign is being dedicated to service-orientation towards the subscribers and aimed at awareness building and improved information dissemination. The campaign has been launched to mark the completion of two years of statutory status of PFRDA Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
17. Indian Coast Guard celebrated 39th Founding anniversary:
· President and Prime Minister have extended their greetings and felicitations to all ranks of the Indian Coast Guard and their families on39th Anniversary of Indian Coast Guard today. In his message, President Pranab Mukherjee said, over the years, the Indian Coast Guard has evolved into a professional maritime force dedicated to the service of the nation.
· He hoped that the Indian Coast Guard will continue to discharge its maritime responsibilities in a diligent and responsible manner.
18. Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari leaves for Brunei and Thailand on 5 day tour:
· Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari left forBrunei Darussalam and Thailand on a five-day tour on the invitation of the leaders of the host nations on February 1, 2016.
· It is to carry forward India’s bilateral engagements with the two key South East Asian nations. This will be the first ever visit of a Vice President of India to Brunei after establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations in May 1984. To Thailand, the visit at the level of a Vice President is happening after fifty years.
19. Hindi to be made the medium of competitive exams in Madhya Pradesh:
· In Madhya Pradesh, now Hindi will be the medium of state government’s competitive exams.
· Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhanhad made an announcement in this regard during10th Vishwa Hindi Sammelan held in Bhopallast year.
· General Administration Department of the State has issued an order regarding mandatory use of Hindi, which has been sent to all the government departments.
20. 30th Surajkund Mela began at Faridabad:
· The 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela, is began atFaridabad in Haryana on February 1, 2016.
· The Mela is organized by the Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs. This year Telangana will be the theme State, which is showcasing its unique culture and rich heritage and about 300 artistes from the state will perform different folk arts.
21. Maharashtra Government removes 5 licenses required for opening Hotels in state:
· To promote ‘ease of doing business’, Maharashtra government has decided to do away with five operational approvals hotel owners currently need to obtain from the state Home department.
· Among others, food registration certificate, swimming pool license and license for public entertainment performance will not be needed anymore.
22. Last assembly session before elections begin in Assam:
· Assam Assembly session has begun on a stormy note at Dispur in Guwahati on February 1, 2016. DuringGovernor P B Acharya’s address, opposition parties shouted slogan alleging state government’s failure in all fronts. As soon as the Governor started his speech, AIUDF members said that government has failed in all fronts. BJP and Asom Gana Parishad legislators also joined in the protes
23. Vietnam lifted ban on import of Groundnut from India:
· Vietnamlifted the ban on import of Indian Groundnut in its territory.
· The decision in this regard was communicated to Government of India byVietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)stating that PlantProtection Department of Vietnam (PPD) will issue import permits for groundnuts.
24. World’s first ‘robot-run’ farm set to open in Japan:
· Japanese firm it would open theworld’s first fully automated farm with robotshandling almost every step of the process, from watering seedlings to harvesting crops.
· Kyoto-based Spread said the indoor grow house will start operating by the middle of 2017 and produce 30,000 heads of lettuce a day.
25. Myanmar’s new parliament session begins:
· The Parliamentray session that will installMyanmar’s first democratically elected government in over 50 years.
· Majority members from Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyis Party 80%of the total elected seats in the elections.
26. Indonesia working on rice import deal with India:
· In a move that could boost sagging rice exports from the country, Indonesia is working on an agreement withIndia to buy rice to get over its temporary deficit of the cereal.
· Both sides are working out details of a memorandum of understanding which is expected to be signed whenIndonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong visits New Delhi later this month.
27. China to blacklist unruly air passengers:
· Unruly air passengers in China will be blacklisted under a new regulation that came into effect.
· Five top Chinese airlines Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Spring Airlines also decided to limit services to passengers deemed “uncivilised”.
28. UK granted licence to use gene editing techniques on human embryos:
· The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) of United Kingdom granted license to theFrancis Crick Instituteto use new gene editing techniques on human embryos.
· Under the license, the institute will be allowed to genetically modify human embryos for research purposes in order to better understand infertility and miscarriage issues.
· With this issuance of license, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to give authorization for experimentation on human embryos. Earlier, China allowed similar research on a limited scale
29. Bangladesh Cabinet approved draft of Citizenship Law, 2016 expanding scope for dual citizenship:
· Bangladesh Cabinet approved the draft of a proposedCitizenship Law, 2016 that was framed by amalgamating two existing laws and expanding scopes for dual citizenship for expatriate Bangladeshi nationals.
· The new Law was proposed by amending the existing the Citizenship Act 1951 and consolidating it with the Bangladesh Citizenship Temporary Provisions Order 1972 to help future citizens in the complex immigration world.
· Before this, a provision was available forBangladeshis having nationality of the UK and the US only
BANKING AND ECONOMY:
· IMF’s meeton Asia’s economy will be hosted inNew Delhi withPrime Minister Narendra Modi and Christine Lagarde as chief speakers.
· Asia’s strong economic performance, its increased resilience to shocks and the region’s ongoing economic policy challenges will be the focus of a high-level conference in New Delhi March 11-13.
· Co-hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Indian government,“Advancing Asia: Investing for the Future”will bring together officials, corporate executives, academics, and civil society representatives from more than 30 countries spanning Asia and the Pacific.
31. RBI lets only e-filing of FDI forms from Feb 8:
· The RBI asked banks in India to switch to onlyOnline filing of forms related to Foreign direct Investment (FDI) on the government’s e-biz portal, starting February 8
· Currently RBI allows both online and physical filing of FDI forms for users.
· Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country’s largest life insurer, announced the launch of its own insurance repositoryLIC E-services.
· Chairman SK Roysaid that for policies sold online, the policy bond will be hosted on theE-services portal but other policyholders can also register on the portal, which will be free of cost for the policyholder.
33. RBI keeps key rates unchanged:
· RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan left the key policy rate unchanged but indicated at accommodative stance saying with“inflation moving closer to the target” there would be more room for rate cut to support growth.
· The repo or short term lending rate remains unchanged at6.75 per cent and the reverse repo rate at5.75 per cent
· Google’s holding company Alphabet overtook apple to become the most valued publicly traded company in the world.
· Alphabet’s market cap rose to around $570 billion as against Apple $534 billion.
· This is reportedly the first time google’s value has exceeded that of apple’s since 2009.
35. SpiceJet launches alternative to delayed flights:
· Air Carrier SpiceJet launched a feature ‘Fly for Sure’ that would guarantee air travel within 24 hours for passengers whose flight has been cancelled or delayed by over 90 minutes.
· The alternate flight will reportedly be booked in the same route as was booked earlier.
· Passenger can avail the feature by paying a fee of Rs.299 while booking.
36. CCI approves $12.2bn Marriott Starwood Deal:
· The Competition Commission of India approved the acquistion of Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide by Marriott international estimated at $12.2 billion.
· The acquistion will lead to the creation of theworld’s largest hotel chain.
· Post the deal, the new entity will run around 5500 hotels spread across 100 countries.
· The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendedpublic private partnership (PPP) model for the roll out of theBharat Net project that has been marred by delays.
· Bharat Netseeks to connect all of India’s households, particularly in rural areas, through broadband by 2017, forming the backbone of the government’s ambitiousDigital India programme.
· TRAI has also said that the task of rolling out broadband network should be given to a concessionaire selected through reverse bidding.
38. ComScore acquires Rentrakfor $732 million:
· American internet analytics companycomScore announced to have acquired TV and Cinema audience tracking services providerRentrak for $732 million in all all stock deal.
39. Flipkart invests 666 crore in logistics arm Ekart:
· Flipkart has invested 666 crore in its logistics armEkart, which was bought back from WS Retail.
· This is Flipkart’s second investment in 7 months into the logistics business created with the name‘InstaKart Services’.
· Flipkart received 127 crore fromSingapore based Klick2Shop Logistics Services International.
· Airline industry experts say in New York, plummeting oil prices have led to falling plane ticket prices– and prospects for an even bigger bonanza of consumer-friendly fares in the coming months.
· With fuel prices down by two-thirds from the dizzying heights of mid-2014, when oil topped 100 US dollars per barrel, the oncecash-strapped airline industry is now reaping record profits
41. India’s Zee Gold DMCC joins Dubai’s DGCX as broker member:
· The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX), a leading derivatives exchange in the Middle East, has welcomed Zee Gold DMCC as a broker member which is a subsidiary of India’s first and largest gold refinery.
· Zee Gold DMCC, a subsidiary of Shirpur Gold Refinery Limited and part of Essel Group, will play active role in developing Dubai Spot Gold Contract.
· Archana Ramasundaram was appointed as theSashastra Seema Bal Chief.
· This is the first time in India thata woman has been appointed to head a paramilitary force.
· A 1908 batch IPS officer of Tamilnadu cadre, Ramasundaram was earlier serving as theDirector of National Crime Records Bureau.
43. Saroj Kumar Jha, alumnus of IIT Kanpur appointed as World Bank’s Senior Director for the Fragility, Conflict and Violence Group:
· Saroj Kumar Jhaassumed the position of Senior Director for theFragility, Conflict and Violence Group at the World Bank.
· Saroj Kumar Jha, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. Jha till last week wasWorld Bank’s Regional Directorfor Central Asia based in Almaty since February 2012.
44. J K Garg takes over as MD of Corporation Bank:
· J K Garg has taken over as Managing Director and CEO of Corporation Bank following the retirement of S R Bansal.
· Prior to this appointment, Garg was Executive Director in UCO Bank, Corporation Bank said in a statement.
· He had started his career at Corporation Bank in 1986, and would head the bank for three years.
AWARDS AND HONOURS:
· The gorgeousRewati is a student of Guwahati Law College and had wonMiss Popular andMiss Multimedia titles in Femina Miss India 2015.
· Rewati had also made it to theTop 50 of Times Most Desirable Women 2015along with top Bollywood actresses likeAnushka Sharma andKangana Ranaut.Kelin Rivera Kroll from Peru was crownedMiss World University, 2016.
46. Priyanka Chopra to present at the Oscars:
· Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, who has made a successful international debut with American show‘Quantico,’ is all set to present at the upcoming 88th Academy Awards.
· Priyanka becomes the sole representative of India at this year’s Oscar ceremony. The country’s official entry in the best foreign film category for the Oscars 2016, ‘Court’ could not make it to the final five.
BOOKS AND AUTHORS:
· Former President APJ Abdul Kalam’s book “Transendence” was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, with religious leaders, politicians, diplomats and businessmen from all communities sharing the lessons from the book based on hisspiritual experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
· The book, in which Kalam details his experiences with Pramukh Swami Maharaj, leader of the global Bochasanwasi Shri
· Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), was lauded by speakers who said they had benefited from the advice and wisdom of both the leaders.
48.10 books by Mamata Banerjee released at Kolkata Book Fair:
· West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee broke her own record at the 40thKolkata International Book Fair (KIB) by penning and releasing 10 books.
· The books are on a wide ranging subjects from delivery of good governance to “return of peace” in the Darjeeling hills or partially Maoist controlled Junglemahal area. She has also penned a book on ‘intolerance’, while rest of the books are for the children.
· Ms. Banerjee has written more than 60 books over the last few decades.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY:
· India and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) entered into a partnership in January 2016to explore the environment of Ladakh underNASA’s Spaceward Bound programme
· Under the partnership, a team of scientists from NASA, the Mars society Australia and the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow will undertake an expedition to Ladakh in August 2016.
· During their 10-day expedition, the scientists will study the similarities of certain parts of the region’s topography and microbial life to the surroundings of Mars
50. Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory set up in Karad, Maharashtra:
· Union Minister of Science, Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the construction ofBorehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL) atHazarmachi, Karad, Maharashtra.
· Union Government decided to construct Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL) to investigate the earthquake mechanism in Koyna-Warna Region.
· The Borehole Geophysics Research Laboratory (BGRL) will work in order to resolve the challenges regarding seismological problems through drilling investigation
· Scientists from theCentre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have discovered a new genus and species of‘arboreal toad’ or ‘bush toad’ in the Andaman Islands, which could open up opportunities of research into the geophysical aspects of the region where it was found.
· Sized only about 21-27 millimetres from snout to vent, the tiny amphibian named ‘Blythophryne beryet’ can be held between the tip and the first node of the index finger.
52. Microsoft testing underwater datacentres:
· Microsoft revealed that as the world turns to computing power in the cloud it is working to putdata centres under water.
· Researchers working on“Project Natick”tested a prototype vessel on the ocean floor about a kilometer off the US Pacific Coast for about four months last year.
· The vessel was named after a“Leona Philpot”character in popularXbox video game franchise ‘Halo.’
· After scoring a total of 199 runs in three T20Is against Australia at an average of 199.000,Virat Kohli became theTop ranked T20I batsman in the World.
· Kohli Replaced Australia’s Aaron Finch at the top of the list.
· Suresh Rainamoved up 3 places to 13th whileRohit Sharma also moved up to 4 spots to be ranked 16th.
54. Aditya Mehta won the National Snooker Championship 2016:
· Aditya Mehtawon the National Snooker Championship 2016. He defeated Manan Chandra by 6-3 in the men’s final round of the National Snooker Championship 2016 that took place on January 31, 2016 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
· In women’s final round at National snooker championship 2016 Vidya Pillai claimed the title by defeating Amee Kamani by 4-2. On the other hand, women’s billiards title at National snooker championship 2016 was won by Keerath Bhandaal.
· Men’s snooker:Aditya Mehta defeated Manan Chandra by 6-3 (0-112, 72-35, 8-73, 84-7, 49-72, 74-19, 72-33, 128-1, 83-39)
· Men’s billiards: Sourav Kothari defeated Siddharth Parikh
· Women’s billiards: Keerath Bhandaal defeated Aranxta Sanchez by 3-1 (77-51, 64-75, 76-35, 75-73)
· Women’s snooker: Vidya Pillai defeated Amee Kamani by 4-2 (36-78, 73-37, 71-35, 0-88, 62-23, 59-32)
Note:National Snooker Championship 2016 was organized by Madhya Pradesh Billiards and Snooker Association under Billiards and Snooker Federation of India. It was scheduled to take place from January 12, 2016 to January 31, 2016. National Snooker Championship 2016 was the 83rd edition of Senior National Billiards and Snooker Championship.
· Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was appointed asmentor of the Kings XI Punjab team for season 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL).
· In his new role,Sehwag will work along with head coach Sanjay Bangar and would be responsible for guiding and motivating the squad.
56. Rajkot IPL franchise to be named Gujarat Lions:
· The newly formed Rajkot based Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has been named as theGujarat Lions.
· The IPL team’s logo has been unveiled. Indian BatsmanSuresh Raina has been named the Captain of the Lions while former Australian cricketerBrad Hodge has been named as the Coach of the Team.
57. Pep Guardiola signs three-year contract with Manchester City:
· Spaniard Pep Guardiola has signed a three-year contract to take over asManchester City manager in July, the Premier League club.
· Guardiola, who won 14 titles with Barcelona in his four-year coaching spell, had turned down a contract extension at Bayern late last year after winning back-to-back league titles and being on course for a third straight Bundesliga crown under the Spaniard.
· Senior lawyer and long-time director board member of the Nair Service Society,N.S. Prabhakaran Pillai, died of old age-related ailments in Thiruvalla. He was 84.
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