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February 26, 2016

26th February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • The central government today announced the extension of e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) facility to 37 more countries.
    • With this, the total count of countries under the scheme will reach 150.
    • The 37 more countries included in the e-TV scheme are,
      • Albania, Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d'lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Namibia, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
National Affairs
  • Mumbai has declared 16 no-selfie zones across the city after a spate of accidental deaths linked to  “selfie fever”.
    • According to recent reports, India’s youth have been gripped by a craze for selfies taken in unusual spots and at unique angles.
    • But this selfie fever led India, to the Top Position in selfie-related fatal accidents
    • Note : Since 2014, 19 of the world’s 49 selfie-linked deaths have occurred in India.
  • The Union Health Ministry has decided to allow "Birth Companions" during deliveries to provide one-to-one support is aimed at reducing Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and Infant Mortality Rate (IMR).
    • Women who have experienced the process of labour may be designated as 'birth companions'. 
    • They are expected to provide continuous one-to-one support to women at the time of delivery.
    • With this move, Female relatives, and in some cases husbands of a pregnant woman can now be present to provide emotional support to her during child birth at public health facilities.
  • The Lok Sabha passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016
    • The bill seeks to amend the Delimitation Act, 2002 and the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
    • These Acts regulate allocation of seats to the national and state legislatures, and delimitation (that is, fixing boundaries) of parliamentary and assembly constituencies.

Awards & Honors
  • The Father Agnel School in Greater Noida has been named India's greenest school by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
    • The second prize went to Queen's Valley School, Dwarka (Delhi), while the Government Senior Secondary School (Shimla) was ranked third.
  • PM Narendra Modi has been listed as the most powerful Indian by The Indian Express. 
    • The list comprising the 100 most powerful Indians of 2016 has ranked RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat at the second spot, followed by Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley at the third and fourth spots respectively. 
    • The list also features Sonia Gandhi (5th) and Rahul Gandhi (9th).
  • Avinash Chander, former Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and Director General of the DRDO, has been conferred with the Aryabhata Award of the Astronautical Society of India.

New Appointments
  • The Union Government has appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard (ICG), country’s coastal protection force. 
    • He will replace Vice Admiral H. C. S. Bisht.
    • Important Note :  
      • With this appointment, Rajendra Singh becomes first DG of ICG from its own internal cadre since it was set up in 1978. 
      • So far this top post was only held by officers who were commissioned in the Indian Navy. 
  • Online fashion retailer Jabong today appointed former eBay India Country Manager B Muralikrishnan as its Chief Operating Officer (COO)
    • This is Jabong's fourth top-level hiring in three months.
  • United Spirits (USL) today announced the appointment of MK Sharma as its new Chairman, a day after former chairman Vijay Mallya resigned from his position. 
  • India's second largest software exporter Infosys has extended the tenure of Chief executive officer & Managing Director Vishal Sikka by another two years till the year 2021
    • Sikka was earlier appointed as MD & CEO till 2019. 
    • Note : Mr. Sikka was the first non-founder who was appointed as the CEO and Managing Director of the company.

Business & Economy
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today tabled the pre-Budget Economic Survey in the Lok Sabha. 
    • GDP growth rate for 2015-16 to be in the range of 7% to 7.75 %
    • Fiscal deficit of 3.9 pc achievable
    • Inflation rate pegged at  4.5 to 5 pc
    • Current account deficit seen around 1-1.5% of GDP 
    • Check complete highlights of Economic Survey from here
  • The RBI today asked banks going in for Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) to make sufficient provisions of close to 15% of the loans' value. 
    • The decision was taken to tide over possible loss in the value of the equity they acquire in lieu of debt and residual loans. 
    • RBI also revised more SDR norms as many stakeholders sought more flexibility.
  • The digital arm of Zee Entertainment, Zee Digital Convergence, has launched its own video-on-demand service called OZEE
    • Available on both Android and iOS, the platform will “make content available within minutes of its television telecast” and deliver it for free. 
    • Further, the content’s shelf life will be for a lifetime and it will be delivered even on low bandwidth connections.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced an Open Market Operation (OMO) purchase of government securities worth ₹12,000 crore on March 3. 
    • The RBI conducts OMO purchases in order to infuse liquidity into the system whenever there is a deficiency, while it conducts OMO sales to suck excess liquidity from the system.
  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India, which reportedly controls around 70% of the insurance market, has introduced the third gender option in its proposal forms for transgenders. 
    • The decision is in line with the Supreme Court’s 2014 verdict recognising transgenders as the third gender. 
    • The new form has been approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA).

  • UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino was elected as the ninth FIFA President
    • The post was previously held by Sepp Blatter for more than 17 years before being suspended in October 2015. 
  • The ICC, for the first time, has included two female officials in the 31-member Playing Control Team for March’s women’s World T20 tournament. 
    • New Zealand’s Kathleen Cross and Australian Claire Polosak will be officiating in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 matches. 
    • Note : Six Indian officials including match referee Javagal Srinath have also been included in the Playing Control Team.
  • ICC is considering introducing bi-divisional Test cricket calendar, where Test-playing nations will be split into two divisions with promotion and relegation occurring between them every two years. 
    • A league system for T20I and ODI is also being mulled upon. 
    • The proposals will be discussed at an ICC conference in June and might be implemented after the 2019 World Cup.
  • Mumbai was crowned the champions of the Ranji Trophy for the 41st time after defeating Saurashtra in the final by an innings and 21 runs today.  

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