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February 16, 2016

16th February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today is President's Day of United States.
    • This day is celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  • Union Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of Sweden have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector
    • Objective of this MOU : To develop cooperation activities in the Railway sector to promote efficiency and sustainability and to achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, research, investment and technology transfer.  

    Science & Technology
    • India today test-fired its indigenously developed Prithvi II missile from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha, as part of a user trial by the army. 
      • Having a strike range of 350 km, the surface-to-surface missile has the capacity to carry 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. 
      • Note : The last user trial of Prithvi II was conducted in November 2015.
    Business & Economy
    • Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) today announced an increase in interest rate on Provident Fund (PF) deposits for 2015-16 to 8.80% from 8.75% in the previous two fiscals. 
    • The government today unveiled a National Capital Goods Policy to give an impetus to the capital goods sector and a leg up to the Make in India initiative. 
      • Note : This is for the first time that a national policy has been framed for the capital goods sector.
      • The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 per cent to 40 per cent of production while increasing share of domestic production in India's demand from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, thus making India a net exporter of capital goods.
    • A 404.2 carat diamond, the world's 27th largest diamond, worth around $20 million was discovered in Africa today. 
      • About 7 cm-long, the high-quality white diamond was found in the mines of Angola by the Lucapa Diamond Company from Australia. 
      • Note : It is by far the biggest diamond found in the region.
    • Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's largest suppliers of crude oil, agreed to freeze output at January levels after talks in Qatar amid falling prices due to excess supply. 
      • Note : Qatar and Venezuela have also agreed to freeze their output.
    • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has permitted telecommunication providers to share the electronic infrastructure, required for operations, with other operators. 
      • Note : The government allowed spectrum sharing last year, while the sharing of mobile towers was facilitated a few years ago. 
      • The move will reportedly reduce the capital expenditure of mobile operators by 30-35%.
    • Noida-based handset maker Ringing Bells has launched India’s cheapest smartphone for under ₹500
      • Called Freedom 251, the phone was launched by Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar
      • Note : Currently, cheapest smartphones in the market are priced around ₹1,500.
    • In Rajasthan, to encourage financial inclusion of people in the state, cooperative banks are going to start a month-long drive from today onwards in which new bank accounts will be opened and KYC forms will also be filled. 
      • According to Cooperative department officials, it will be a one-of-its kind drive in the country with an aim to give the benefit of various schemes of the government directly to the beneficiaries.
    New Appointments
    • UK Sinha will continue to lead SEBI, India's capital and commodities market regulator for one more year. 
      • The government today extended Sinha's term as the chairman of SEBI till March 01, 2017.
      • With this move, Sinha became the second-longest serving chief in SEBI's over two-decade history after DR Mehta.
      • Sinha took over as SEBI chairman in 2011 with a three-year term, later he was given a two-year extension, which was supposed to end on February 17. 
      • SEBI -  Securities and Exchange Board of India
    • Justice Dheerendra Hiralal Waghela was today sworn-in as Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao.  
      • He was serving as the Chief Justice of Orissa High Court prior to his transfer to the Bombay High Court. 
      • He is going to replace Justice Mohit Shah, who retired on September 8, 2015. 
      • Note : Justice Smt Vijaya K Tahilramani was serving as Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
    • 12th South Asian Games concluded with a glittering ceremony in Guwahati today.
      • India was crowned the overall champion at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) after finishing on top with a record 308 medals including 188 gold, 90 silver and 30 bronze medals. 
        • Sri Lanka came in second with an overall tally of 186 medals followed by Pakistan with 106. 
        • Note : India had registered 175 medals in the previous SAG edition.
          • Final Medal Tally of 12th South Asian Games
            • India
              • Gold - 188
              • Silver - 90
              • Bronze - 30
                • Total - 308
            • Sri Lanka
              • Gold - 25
              • Silver - 63
              • Bronze - 98
                • Total - 186
            • Pakistan
              • Gold - 12
              • Silver - 37
              • Bronze - 57
                • Total - 106

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