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February 02, 2016

2nd February 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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International Affairs
  • Today (2nd February) is World Wetlands Day.
    • This Day is celebrated to raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.
  • An association called 'Fliederlich' today opened Germany's first shelter for gay refugees in the city of Nuremberg. 
    • The shelter, a two-storey house, can accommodate 8 people and has already received four requests. 
    • The initiative was taken after around 20 refugees alleged that they felt threatened in the shelters they were put up in.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) today declared Zika virus as a global public health emergency.
    • Note :  No case of virus reported in India.
  • Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari has embarked upon 5-day official Visit of Brunei and Thailand
    • The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary is also accompanying him.
    • He is visiting Brunei at the invitation of Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah
    • This will be the first high-level visit from India since the establishment of diplomatic relations with Brunei in May, 1984.

National Affairs

  • The UPA government's flagship rural job guarantee scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), completed 10 years of implementation today. 
    • The scheme was introduced by the then PM Manmohan Singh in 2006 guaranteeing at least 100 days of wage employment to rural population
    • To celebrate the same, the Centre is holding 'MGNREGA Sammelan' in Delhi today.
  • The Bihar government today relaxed the rule that makes toilets a mandatory requirement at the homes of candidates contesting in local body polls. 
    • This comes ahead of local body polls in Bihar next month. 

Places in News
  • Dubai International Airport was declared the world's busiest airport for international passengers in 2015. 
    • Note : India was Dubai's single largest destination country in 2015 with 10.4 million passengers.
  • Vietnam has inaugurated the world's longest three-rope cable car system in the northern province of Lao Cai. 
    • With a total length of 6,292.5 meters, the cable car system has also been recognised by the Guinness World Records' representatives. 
    • It is also the cable car system with the world’s biggest height gap between its departure and arrival stations (1,410 metres).

New Appointments
  • J K Garg has taken over as Managing Director and CEO of Corporation Bank following the retirement of S R Bansal.
  • Online furniture and home decor startup Urban Ladder today appointed former Marico executive Sanjay Gupta as its Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
  • An Indian, Saroj Kumar Jha, has been appointed to a key position in the World Bank with President Jim Young Kim assigning him a role to provide strategic leadership to address the challenge of fragility, conflict and violence.
  • For the  first time, the government today appointed a woman IPS officer as the chief of a paramilitary force
    • Tamil Nadu cadre IPS officer Archana Ramasundram will take over as Director General of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB).
    • The 1980-batch officer is the current head of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). 
    • The SSB chief’s post fell vacant on January 31, after then DG B D Sharma retired.
Business & Economy
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the key policy rates unchanged in its 6th bi-monthly monetary policy review.
  • Google's holding company Alphabet today overtook Apple to become the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world
  • The RBI has asked banks in India to switch to only online filing of forms related to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) on the government's e-biz portal, starting February 8.
    • Currently, RBI allows both online and physical filing of FDI forms for users. 
  • Vietnam has formally lifted the ban on import of Indian groundnut, thereby providing market access after nine months, the Agriculture Ministry announced today.
    • Note : The country had suspended import of Indian groundnuts from April 6, due to interception of quarantine pests — Caryedon serratus and Trogodrma granarium — in consignments exported since January, 2015.

Awards & Honors
  • Rewati Chetri from Assam has been crowned Miss Asia (Best in Asia Continent) at the World Miss University 2016 pageant, held in Beijing.
    • Important Note : Kelin Rivera Kroll from Peru was crowned Miss World University 2016.

Science & Technology
  • IT giant Infosys is set to build the world's tallest 135-metre free-standing clock tower at its global education centre in Mysuru at a cost of ₹60 crore.
    • The tower, which will be higher than the Big Ben in London, will have 19 floors built in Gothic style.
    • The tower will reportedly be ready in the next 20 months.
  • NASA has released a 360° video of Mars on Facebook, enabling viewers to immersively explore the surface of the planet. 
    • The video was produced by stitching together photos taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover and using the "technology created by the 360 video team at Facebook". 
    • You can check that video from here

  • Chef Benoît Violier, dubbed the world's best chef passed away. 
    • The news of his death comes two months after his restaurant, the 'Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville', was declared the world's best restaurant by France's 'La Liste'.

  • Two-time Olympian Sanjeev Rajput secured India's 12th shooting spot for the 2016 Rio Olympics
    • Rajput finished fourth in the men's 50-metre rifle three positions event at the 'Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition for Shooting' at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi today. 
  • The newly-formed Rajkot-based Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise has been named as the Gujarat Lions
    • The IPL team's logo has also been unveiled. 
    • Indian batsman, Suresh Raina has been named the captain of the Lions while former Australian cricketer, Brad Hodge has been named as the coach of the team.
  • Team India's U-19 opener Rishabh Pant records the fastest fifty in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup against Nepal.
  • National Snooker Championship 2016
    • Men's Category : Aditya Mehta won the title by beating Manan Chandra.
    • Women's Category : Vidya Pillai won the title by beating Amee Kamani.

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