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February 20, 2017

20th February 2017 Important Daily Current Affairs

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Dear Great Ambitionists, here are today's (20th February 2017) Important Current Affairs updates. Happy Reading :)

Daily Current Affairs of 20th February 2017

International Current Affairs
  • Today (20th February) is World Day of Social Justice.
    • It is an awareness day which had been initiated by the United Nations (UN) in 2009 and it aims to bring back the approach of social justice to mind.
    • One of its basic principles is the fair dispersal of goods. Social Justice is the basic condition for peace and respect between the nations on a connected world.
    • Theme of World Day of Social Justice 2017 : "Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work
  • NATO is going to approve a plan to build its anti-terrorism headquarters in Italy to monitor terrorist activities spreading across Europe.
    • This will help in coordinating information on crisis countries like Libya and Iraq, and addressing terrorism.
    • Secretary-General of NATO : Jens Stoltenberg
National Current Affairs
  • Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram are celebrating Statehood Day today. 
    • Both these states were granted statehood on this day in the year 1987. 
    • Both of these were Union Territories before being granted statehood.
  • Test drills for the construction of the first undersea bullet train route in India have begun today.
    • The 7-kilometre route will form part of the country's first bullet train project, the 508-kilometre Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor
    • The corridor, set to cost ₹1 lakh crore, will feature multiple underground and underwater passages.
  • Within days after proving the majority of his government in the Assembly, the newly-appointed Tamil Nadu CM E Palanisamy today announced 50% discount for over a lakh women in the state to buy mopeds
    • He also announced the closure of 500 state-run liquor outlets.
  • In a campaign named "Break the Bloody taboo", NGO Sacchi Saheli is going to conduct sessions on menstruation for girls in 70 Delhi government schools.
New Appointments
  • National People's Front President Shurhozelie Liezietsu was today elected as the next Chief Minister of the Nagaland. 
    • This comes after the current CM TR Zeliang tendered his resignation on Sunday.
  • The Saudi Stock Exchange has appointed Sarah Al Suhaimi, CEO of investment bank NCB Capital, as its first female head
    • Important Note : She is the first woman to chair a major government financial institution in the kingdom.
Science & Technology
  • Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX today successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft which will deliver nearly 2,500 kg of cargo to International Space Station for NASA. 
    • Dragon spacecraft is also carrying strains of the MRSA superbug to study its behaviour in microgravity. 
    • The launch was conducted from the same pad used for NASA's first manned mission to the moon.
People in News
  • Actor and model Milind Soman successfully completed the 517.5-kilometre-long Ultraman Florida challenge, considered to be one of the world's toughest endurance races. 
Awards & Honors
  • Hungarian drama film 'On Body and Soul', a love story set in a slaughterhouse, won the Golden Bear, the top prize at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival today. 
Books & Authors
  • Actor Amitabh Bachchan and industrialist Ratan Tata have offered to fund cancer survivor Neelam Kumar's comic book. 
    • The book, which would share stories of survivors, is going to be the first comic book on cancer, which is due for publication.
Banking & Economic Affairs
  • The government today launched a QR (quick response) code-based payment solution called BharatQR to allow cashless payments without a card swiping machine.
    • BharatQR has been jointly developed by MasterCard, Visa and Rupay. 
    • A customer will scan the BharatQR code to pay directly to a merchant. 
    • Currently, BharatQR is integrated into ICICI Bank’s Pockets app and HDFC Bank’s PayZapp.
  • Beginning today, the maximum cash withdrawal limit from savings account has been increased to ₹50,000 a week from ₹24,000. 
    • The relaxation is followed by an RBI notification issued on January 30, announcing the changes in the weekly withdrawal limits effective from February 20. 
    • The limits on cash withdrawals from savings bank account will be withdrawn completely from March 13.
  • Cash purchases of jewellery will attract 1% tax collected at source (TCS) from April 1 if the amount exceeds ₹2 lakh, as against the current threshold of ₹5 lakh. 
    • Once the Finance Bill 2017 is passed, jewellery will be treated on par with general goods. 
    • This comes amid the government's decision banning cash transactions above ₹3 lakh from April 1.
  • India has committed soft loans amounting to $340 million (around ₹2,280 crore) to Nepal for infrastructure projects. 
    • Through these loans, India committed itself towards a bridge project and 15 road projects in the neighbouring country.
Sports Current Affairs
  • Virat Kohli has become the first Indian athlete to sign a deal worth over ₹100 crore with a brand, after signing up with Puma. 
    • With the reportedly eight-year-long deal, Kohli will join Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry as Puma's global ambassador. 
  • Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from T20 internationals today, thereby ending his 21-year long international career. 
  • Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi has become the first cricketer from his country to join the Indian Premier League (IPL). 
    • Nabi was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for ₹30 lakh in the auction held today.
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