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February 17, 2016

17th February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The French parliament has voted to extend the country's state of emergency by a further three months, allowing authorities to carry out police raids and put people under house arrest without prior authorisation of a judge.
    • French President Francois Hollande had pushed for the extension of the state of emergency, which has been in place since 13th November 2015, when armed attackers killed at least 130 people across various locations in Paris.
  • A Yellow fever outbreak in Angola has killed 51 people, in the first epidemic of the disease to hit the country in 30 years.
    • A total of 241 people were now infected. 
    • More than 450,000 people had been vaccinated in the capital of a target of nearly 1.6 million.
    • Important Points to Note
      • There is no specific treatment for the viral haemorrhagic disease which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America's Amazon region.
      • The centre of the outbreak is the capital Luanda's eastern suburb of Viana, where 29 deaths and 92 cases have been reported over the past six weeks.
  • Sindh became the first Pakistan province to adopt landmark Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015 in order to allow the minority community to register their marriages. 
    • Note : This is for the first such a law is being passed since formation of Pakistan in 1947 to safeguard rights of Hindus, a second largest religious minority community in the country.
National Affairs
  • The Union Cabinet, today recommended revocation of President's Rule in Arunachal Pradesh
    • This comes a day after the Supreme Court refused to pass an order restraining the state's Governor from swearing-in a new government. 
    • Earlier, 31 MLAs including Congress dissident Kalikho Pul, approached the Governor to stake claim for forming the government in the state.
  • Haryana state government and South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk today agreed to enter into a sister-statehood relationship for development.
Science & Technology
  • Scientists in the UK have created five-dimensional glass discs that can store 360 TB of data for up to 13.8 billion years
    • The glass used to make the disc will be safe to use for up to 1,000°C. 
    • Unlike CDs, which reflects light encoded in two dimensions, the glass disc encodes five dimensions, making it feasible to store large data.
Awards & Honors
  • Indian lyricist Sameer Anjaan has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for writing lyrics to the most number of Bollywood songs
    • The official record states that Sameer wrote 3,524 songs for 650 Bollywood movies (as on December 15, 2015). 
    • Note : Sameer was included as a Guinness World Record holder under a new category titled 'Most prolific Bollywood lyricist'.
  • Indian fashion designer Manish Arora was conferred the Knight of the Legion of Honour (France's highest honour), by French Ambassador Fran├žois Richier. 
    • Note : Earlier, Indians including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and JRD Tata have been honoured similarly.
Business & Economy
  • The Indian Rupee weakened by 24 paise to hit a 30-month low of 68.62 against the dollar today.
  • Noida-based handset maker Ringing Bells has unveiled 'Freedom 251', the world's cheapest smartphone.
    • Priced at ₹251, the 3G-enabled Android phone sports a 4-inch qHD display, 1 GB RAM, 3.2 MP rear camera, 0.3 MP front camera, 8 GB in-built memory and is powered by a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. 
    • It will be available on company's website between February 18-21.
New Appointments
  • IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma, who currently serves as Director General (Prisons), has been appointed as the Police Commissioner of Delhi.
    • He will take charge after BS Bassi, a 1977 batch officer, who is going to retire on 29th February 2016.
    • Note : Verma is from the 1979 batch and has also served as Director General of Police in Mizoram.
  • Devaraja Reddy has been elected as President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI)
    • He will have tenure of one year of ICAI which is an apex body of Indian Chartered Accountant. 
    • Prior to this appointment, he was Vice President of ICAI for the Council Year 2015-16. 
    • He is chartered accountant from past 28 years.
  • The former UN secretary general , Boutros Boutros-Ghali (93) passed away. 
    • He took office in 1992 at a time of growing influence for the UN following its decisive role in the Gulf War, serving one five-year term.
    • He faced criticism for the UN's failure to stop the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
    • He was the United Nation's 6th secretary general.
  • The first ever T20 international match was played on this day (17th February) in the year 2005, between Australia and New Zealand at Auckland. 

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