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February 13, 2016

13th February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • According to a recently released United Nation's report, India has been named the third most disaster-hit nation in 2015.
    • China topped the list, followed by the US. 
    • India witnessed 19 disasters, over 2,800 deaths and over ₹22,000 crore economic damage last year. 
    • Meanwhile, worldwide there were over 22,700 casualties, and an estimated $66.5 billion worth economic losses in 2015. 
    • Note : 2015 was the hottest year on record.
      • Casualties - people killed or injured in a war or accident.
  • The US government today announced the approval of a sale of up to eight F-16 fighter jets, radar and other equipment to Pakistan in a $699 million deal, saying it would aid counter-terrorism operations. 
  • Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli is coming to India on a 5-day visit from 19th February 2016.
    • This is his first foreign trip after being elected as Prime Minister of Nepal in October. 
    • PM Oli and his high-level delegation are expected to sign deals worth $2 billion for earthquake reconstruction work and hydropower projects. 

National Affairs
  • On this day (13th February) in the year 1931, Delhi became India's capital.
    • India’s then British Viceroy Lord Irwin formally inaugurated New Delhi as the capital of the country on February 13, 1931. 
    • Delhi has a geographical area of about 1,484 square kilometers, making it the largest city in India. 
    • It has a population of about 16.3 million. 
    • Note : Before Delhi , Calcutta was the capital city of the country.
  • Today (13th February) is World Radio Day.
    • The day is observed every year on the 13 of February to celebrate radio as a forum for entertainment and information, as a bridge of communication for remote communities and its role in empowering people.
    • This day marks the first broadcast by UN radio in 1946.
    • It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference.
    • It was originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.
    • First world radio day was observed in the year 2012.
  • The Ministry of Textiles on today launched 'India Handloom Brand' website where both the producers and consumers can directly sell and buy products. 
    • It will provide complete details of all the registered handloom producers and will also have a unique registration number for every product to authenticate the genuineness of each seller.
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today launched Amma Drinking Water Scheme.
    • This scheme will provide free drinking water for poor sections
    • Under the scheme, each family will receive 20 litres of free water per day through a smart card system
    • To initiate the scheme, drinking water dispensing units will be installed in 100 backward localities.
  • The government today cleared 13 highway projects, with a total length of 600 km and combined worth of ₹10,300 crore
    • The projects are spread across seven states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh
    • Between the NHAI and the road transport ministry, 4,600 km of highways were built till January-end against a target of 6,300 km for the entire fiscal.

  • India and UAE signed seven agreements on cybersecurity, insurance and infrastructure development in a bid to improve bilateral ties. 
    • The deals were signed after talks between PM Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his India visit. 
    • The two countries are working to elevate their relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership".

Business & Economy
  • The 'Make in India' week was inaugurated today by PM Narendra Modi in Mumbai.
    • The event, which is scheduled to be held from 13th to 18th February 2016, will see the participation of over 2,500 international and 8,000 domestic companies along with government delegations from 68 countries. Earlier, Modi had launched a dedicated 'Make in India' centre in Mumbai.
  • Multinational e-commerce major Amazon has set up exclusive 'Make in India' stores on its India and US websites.
    • These stores will feature products made in the country. 
    • The e-stores will showcase products sold by more than 6,000 retailers across the country. 
    • Note : This comes in the backdrop of the 'Make in India' week starting today.
  • YouTube has acquired BandPage, a startup that lets artists sell concert tickets, merchandise, and exclusive fan experiences, for $8 million. 
  • Chairman of UK-based mining firm Vedanta Resources Anil Agarwal today announced that his firm Twinstar Display Technologies will set up India's first LCD manufacturing facility, which will attract an investment of $10 billion (around ₹68,000 crore). 
    • The firm will sign an MoU with the Maharashtra government in this regard under the ongoing 'Make in India' week in Mumbai.
  • The government in the next two to three months is going to introduce Business Identification Number (BIN) for companies. 
    • Once introduced, the BIN will help in reducing the time of registration processes of the companies by acting as an identification number for different regulatory purposes. 
    • The companies will have to apply for the BIN on the government's e-Biz portal.

New Appointments
  • The government has appointed 1982 batch Bihar cadre IAS officer Ramesh Abhishek as the next Secretary to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) in the Commerce and Industry Ministry that spearheads the Make In India and Startup India programmes. 
    • Note : Present secretary Amitabh Kant is due to retire on February 29 and Mr. Abhishek, who is presently posted in the cabinet secretariat as Secretary (Performance Management), would be joining the industry department with immediate effect as an officer on special duty till Mr. Kant's tenure is complete.
  • Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi has been appointed Director of Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR).

Places in News
  • Dubai has confirmed plans to build the world's largest shopping mall named 'Mall of the World' at a cost of $22 billion. 
    • With 8 million square feet of shopping space, the mall would be connected to a theme park, 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings with 20,000 rooms. T
    • he first phase of the mall would be ready by 2020.

People in News
  • Former Governor of Afghanistan's Herat and Kunar provinces Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi was kidnapped today from a high-security area in Pakistan's capital Islamabad
  • Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy today announced her exit from the company through a Facebook post. 
    • Note : She is the first employee for Facebook in India.
Science & Technology
  • Google announced plans to shut down it's photo sharing service Picasa by May to focus on a single service Google Photos. 
    • Note : Google had acquired photo-sharing service Picasa in 2004.
  • Indian startup RailYatri today updated its app to help passengers in medical emergencies during train journeys
    • The latest update available on the Android app gives passengers a list of hospitals on their train route
    • It also provides directions of the hospitals from a station and contact numbers of hospitals and ambulance services.
  • Jnanpith awardee and eminent Malayalam poet, lyricist and environmentalist O.N.V. Kurup passed away.
    • The nation honoured him with Jnanpith in 2007 and also conferred on him the Padma Vibhushan in 2011.
  • Leslie Bassett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer passed away.
    • He was known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation.
    • Note : Bassett received the Pulitzer Prize in 1966 for “Variations for Orchestra,”.
  • Australia's Adam Voges today surpassed Sir Don Bradman’s batting average of 99.94
    • Voges has scored 1204 runs in 14 Tests, averaging 100.33. 
    • Also, he has scored 551 runs since his last dismissal, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record of most runs scored between consecutive dismissals.
  • Latest Medals Tally of South AsianGames2016
    • India
      • Gold - 155
      • Silver - 84
      • Bronze - 26
        • Total - 265
    • Sri Lanka
      • Gold - 25
      • Silver - 55
      • Bronze - 81
        • Total - 161
    • Pakistan
      • Gold - 8
      • Silver - 26
      • Bronze - 45
        • Total - 79

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