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February 25, 2016

25th February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announced that the country is going to increase defense spending by nearly $21.6 billion over the next decade. 
  • India is going to host the 3rd edition of the Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation.
    • There will be 13 participating countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
    • All the participating countries will share their knowledge of tiger conservation and help each other through exchange of ideas.
    • Aim :  To promote awareness about tiger conservation across Asia and the world.
    • Important Points to Note : 
      • India's tiger count has risen up to 2,226 from 1,912 in the last few years. 
      • State-wise, Karnataka has the highest number of tigers (406).
National Affairs
  • The Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi today announced that, India has the third highest under-five child mortality rate among SAARC countries with 48 deaths reported per 1000 live births. 
    • Afghanistan has the highest rate (91), followed by Pakistan (81).
  • Kashmir witnessed the hottest day of February since 1940 on Tuesday (23rd February 2016) the local meteorological department announced today. 
    • The maximum temperature of the day was recorded at 20.6°C, 11 degrees above normal, in the state capital Srinagar. 
  • The Karnataka government has announced a housing scheme for over 600 transgenders facing social boycott in Bengaluru. 
    • The houses will come up on 50 acres of land on the outskirts of the city where the government is building a township for the economically weaker sections of society. 
  • Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul today won the floor test in the state assembly with the support of 40 MLAs in the house, which has an effective strength of 58. 
    • Congress MLA Wangki Lowang was elected speaker of the assembly. 
    • Note : Kalikho Pul was appointed as the CM on February 19 after President's Rule was revoked in the state.
  • The Delhi Cabinet today approved a proposal to authorise the Public Works Department to carry out vacuum cleaning of the city’s roads
    • At present, roads are swept manually which adds to rising levels of air pollution since fine dust particles are kicked up, especially during the summers. 
    • The move is expected to be effected from April.
  • The Delhi government today approved the extension of a scheme of paying ₹1 crore ex-gratia to the families of defence personnel who lose their lives on account of operations, calamities and disaster. 
  • The Ministry of Urban Development has approved an investment of ₹495.11 crore for 13 cities in 6 states under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Action Plans for 2015-16.
    • Investment plans for water supply, sewerage networks and septage management, storm water drains, urban transport and provision of green spaces were cleared for Assam ₹186.27 crore, Jammu & Kashmir ₹171 crore, Goa ₹59.44 crore, Tripura ₹36.62 crore, Meghalaya ₹22.81 crore and Puducherry ₹18.97 crore.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for establishment of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog. 
    • This move seeks to give substantial boost to the innovation ecosystem and to catalyse the entrepreneurial spirit in the country. 
  • National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 was officially launched in Mizoram
    • The Act was launched by State Food civil Supplies and Consumer affairs Minister John Rotluangliana at Aizwal.
    • The Act will become effective in the state from 1 March 2016.
    • The state has decided to allocate 3 kilogram of rice in addition to the 5 kilogram covered by Food Security Act.
    • In addition, the State government has also decided to provide 8 kilogram of Rice at the rate of 15 Rupees to those not covered by Food Security Act.
  • India and a consortium of top UK research institutions, including the Cambridge University, have signed an MoU to conduct a research programme in the field of crop science to help tackle global challenges in the areas of food security, crop science and biotechnology.
    • Scientists from Cambridge University will collaborate with Indian counterparts to conduct research in the field of crop science.
    • The UK-India Collaboration programme in crop science aims to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.
People in News
  • According to Hurun Global Rich List 2016, India now has 111 billionaires, up from 97 in 2015. 
    • Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani topped the list for India, occupying the 21st spot with a $26 billion net worth. 
    • Globally, the number of billionaires increased by 99 to 2,188, with Bill Gates as the richest person with a $80 billion net worth.
Awards & Honors
  • British singer Adele today dominated the BRIT Awards 2016 by winning a total of four awards
    • Adele won the title of the best British Female Solo Artist, BRITs Global Success award, British Album of the Year for '25' and British Single of the Year for her song 'Hello'. 
  • India’s leading private lender Yes Bank has been awarded inaugural Green Bond Pioneer Award in London, United Kingdom. 
    • Yes Bank was bestowed with this award in recognition for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market including successful issuance of India’s first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds. 
  • Beijing overtakes New York City as ‘Billionaire Capital’
  • Goverdhan Mehta, a well known researcher in Chemical Sciences & former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH), has been conferred with Federal Republic of Germany’s prestigious `Cross of the Order of Merit’.
  • Hyderabad-based GVK Biosciences (GVK BIO) has been awarded prestigious Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Award
    • The company was bestowed with this award in the category of Best Environment Friendly Project for its ambitious Go Green, Grow Green plantation drive under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. 
New Appointments
  • Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee took oath as the 28th Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka.
    • He was serving as acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court since June 1, 2015.
  • Japanese car manufacturer Nissan today named Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as their new global ambassador
    • The decision came after the company in October 2015 signed an eight-year sponsorship agreement with the ICC, in which the carmaker will be a global sponsor for international tournaments.
  • Jet Airways today announced that it has appointed Rahul Taneja as Chief People Officer and he would be responsible for shaping the group's operations and performance.
  • Yoichiro Ueno has been appointed as new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Honda Cars India by its parent Honda Motor Company. 
    • He will succeed Katsushi Inoue who was elevated to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company for Regional Operations (Europe region). 
  • Michael Pesch has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Infosys Consulting Holding, a subsidiary of India’s second largest software company Infosys. 
Business & Economy
  • The Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today (25th February 2016) presented the Railway Budget of the year 2016-17 in Lok Sabha. 
    • This is his Second rail budget. 
    • Unlike last year, Prabhu did not propose a hike in passengers fares or freight rates, and introduced three new superfast trains.
    • Here are some Highlights of Rail Budget 2016-17
      • No Increase in Passenger Fare.
      • No Increase Freight.
      • Send and SMS and your coach will be cleaned during journey.
      • Focus to provide reserved ticket for all by 2020.
      • Reservation quota of 33 % for Female passengers.
      • Wi-Fi facilities will be provided in association with Google.
      • New Uniforms for Railway employees is proposed in this rail budget 2016. 
      • Downlaod PDF Version of Rail Budget Highlights from here
  • The Union Cabinet today cleared a proposal to withdraw surcharges, service charges and convenience fees on cards and digital payments
    • This would be instrumental in reducing cash transactions and tax avoidance. 
    • Note : The government will also rationalise the merchant discount rate — the fee charged by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended currency swap arrangement to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations till mid-November 2017. 
    • All 7 SAARC member countries including Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka can avail the facility. 
    • Under the arrangement, RBI will be offering swap arrangement up to an overall amount of US 2 billion dollars both in foreign currency and Indian rupee. 
    • This move of RBI aims at enhancing economic cooperation and strengthening financial stability among the SAARC countries. 
  • Long-distance runner Lalita Babar was named as the Sports Person of the Year during the India Sports Awards 2015. 
    • Current national record holder, Babar has qualified for the Rio Olympics in the 3000-metre steeplechase event. 
    • Note : Dipa Karmakar, first Indian to qualify for the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships final stage, was named the Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year.
  • FIFA today opened its new $140 million World Football Museum in Zurich. 
    • The museum houses football artifacts and memorabilia acquired by the organisation, including Paul Gascoigne’s 1990 yellow card, Italy coach Enzo Bearzot’s 1982 smoking pipe and World Cup memorabilia including balls, posters and mascots.  
  • The Pakistan government today gave permission to the Pakistan Cricket team to participate in the ICC World T20, to be held in India from March 8. 
    • Note
      • Earlier Pakistan Cricket Board had requested the ICC to hold Pakistan's matches at a neutral venue in case their government refuses to give permission. 
      • Pakistan will face India at Dharamsala on March 20.

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