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February 22, 2016

22nd February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (22nd February) is Twins day.
  • Today is World Thinking Day.
  • Colombia's Constitutional Court has banned Oil, Gas and Mining operations in the country's high altitude ecosystems called the 'paramos'. 
National Affairs
  • Mahamaham festival concluded today at Kumbakonam (Tamil Nadu) with religious fervor.
    • The nine-day festival, known as the 'Kumbh Mela of the south', concluded today, with conduct of the most important event 'theerthavari', witnessed by lakhs of people.
    • This  is a Hindu festival celebrated every 12 years in the Mahamaham tank located in the South Indian town of Kumbakonam.
    • Note : The last Mahamaham was celebrated on March 6, 2004. 
  • In the first ever meeting of head priests, Travancore Devaswom Board today decided to continue Sabarimala temple's entry restriction on women between 10 and 50 years
  • Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis today announced that the state government will offer interest-free loans to women self-help groups (SHGs) in the state. 
    • The CM also announced that the SHG malls will be set up in every district of Maharashtra, with the first to be set up in Nagpur. 
  • The West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Identification (GI) tag for four traditional sweetmeat delicacies of the state with a view to protect them from imitations and for exporting them in future.
    • The four sweetmeats for which GI tags are being sought are,
      •  'Moa' of Jainagar, 
      • 'Sarpuria' of Krishnagar, 
      • 'Sitabhog' and 'Mihidana' of Burdwan. 
    • Note : A GI tag is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.

Awards & Honors
  • Six Indian-Americans are among the 106 people who will receive the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers from US President Barack Obama. 
    • They are, 
      • Milind Kulkarni, 
      • Kiran Musunuru, 
      • Sachin Patel, 
      • Vikram Shyam, 
      • Shwetak Patel, 
      • Rahul Mangharam.
    • Note : Presidential Early Career Award is the US government’s highest honour for young independent researchers.
  • Tamil movie, Kanavu Variyam, directed by Arun Chidambaram has won the Remi Award of the 49th WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.
    • This is reportedly the oldest independent film & video festival in the world. 
    • The Remi award is given to independent films and filmmakers. 

New Appointments
  • Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra has been appointed as Director General (DG) of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
    • Prior to this appointment, he was serving as Director General (Systems) of Systems and Data Management based in New Delhi.
    • He is going to replace Najib Shah, Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs who was holding the charge as DG of DRI.
  • Indian Railway Officer Vinay Kumar Singh has been appointed as Managing Director of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC)
    • Prior to this appointment, he was working with Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a railway PSU involved in the study of high speed rail corridors. 
  • Justice Vineet Saran will be the new Chief Justice of Orissa High Court
    • Prior to his present appointment, he was officiating as a senior judge of Karnataka High Court.
    • Note : The post of Orissa Chief Justice was lying vacant ever since Justice D. H. Waghela took over as the CJ of Bombay High Court in February 15.
    • Justice Pradeep K. Mohanty was officiating as acting CJ here since then.

Business & Economy
  • The Indian rupee slumped to a fresh 30-month low against the US dollar as the currency touched a low of 68.69 today.
    • Note : The rupee had hit an all-time low of 68.89 on August 28, 2013. 
  • Parliament's Budget Session will begin tomorrow with President's address to the joint sitting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
    • During the session, the Rail Budget will be presented on 25th February and General Budget will be presented on 29th February.
  • Belgium-based securities settlement company Euroclear has reportedly agreed to a model suggested by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to settle Indian government debt papers in the overseas market. 
    • Under this model, the overseas debts will be cleared in India through Indian brokers. 
    • Further, foreign institutional investors using the Euroclear platform to trade in India need not register in India to settle their investments.
  • The RBI has cancelled registration of as many as 26 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) including Bajaj Auto Holdings and IDFC Finance Ltd.
    • Important Points to Note
    • The Reserve Bank can cancel a certificate of registration granted to a non-banking financial institution on various grounds including when a company ceases to carry on the business of an NBFC in India. 
    • The registration is also liable to get cancelled if the entity doesn't comply with any condition subject to which the certificate of registration had been issued to it.

  • India's first Women's Ice Hockey team from Ladakh is crowdfunding its first international tour to Taipei, China. 
    • After qualifying for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, 2016, they needed funds to travel. 
    • They have now reached 90 percent of their goal at the crowdfunding platform, Milaap.
  • The Jaypee Punjab Warriors has won the 4th edition of Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) title 2016
    • Important Note : It was their maiden title. 

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