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February 22, 2014

21st February 2014 Current Affaris Updates


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International Affairs
  • Indian installations in Afghanistan are likely to come under increased attacks from Pakistani proxy forces following withdrawal of US troops at the end of 2014.
  • Nepal will overhaul security on Mount Everest, a year after a brawl between European mountaineers and local guides made global headlines.
  • A Moscow judge convicted eight anti-government protesters of rioting during a 2012 protest against Vladimir Putin, following a trial seen as part of the Kremlin's efforts to stifle dissent.
National Affairs
  • Today (21-02-2014) is International Mother Language Day. This day is observed worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • Government introduced a new pension form for its retired employees which simplifies the process of sanctioning pension and doing away with the requirement for submission of affidavits.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government tabled an Interim Budget of Rs 2,59,848.68 crore for 2014-15 fiscal with an estimated deficit of Rs 5,181.71 crore.
  • Uttarakhand, known as one of the safest abodes of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Southeast Asia, is fast emerging as an important contributor to the illegal trade of ivory across the globe.
  • IT major IBM has come to the rescue of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to plug water leakage in the city, pegged at 45 per cent of the supply.
Economy & Business
  • The Supreme Court refused to pass any interim order on a plea seeking to restrain the Centre from granting further approvals to operationalise the $ 30 million deal between Tata Sons and Malaysia-based AirAsia.
  • Europe's No. 2 insurer, AXA , is targeting close to 1.2 billion euros in investments this year, Chief Executive Henri de Castries, without saying if they would be aimed at emerging markets.
  • With rising penetration of internet and smartphones in the country, investors are increasingly taking to trading on the NSE through use of these mediums.
  • Shiv Nadar-led HCL Corporation, the firm that controls HCL Technologies and former PC maker HCL Infosystems said there are no plans to sell its IT services firm.
  • Ford India announced reduction in the prices of its vehicles by up to Rs 1.07 lakh across various models after the excise duty cut announced in the interim Budget.
  • The Indian economy is much more resilient to external shocks now than was last year, attributing this to a series of administrative decisions and policy measures taken by the Union Government.
  • The government has directed banks not to publish photographs of education loan defaulters in newspapers, shielding the youth from the 'name-and shame' policy that lenders have adopted to tighten the screws on borrowers who refuse to pay.
  • Harley-Davidson India, which launched its most affordable bike Street 750 at the Auto Expo in New Delhi earlier this month, is all set to roll out some financing schemes for its customers next month.

Science & Technology
  • India test-fired the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile from the Integrated Test Range launch complex at Chandipur.
  • Nokia has launched 'Treasure Tag' accessory that could be attached to keys, bags or other valuables for easy tracking.
  • In a major breakthrough, doctors at AIIMS have devised a new technique for spine surgery in patients suffering from congenital anomaly of the vertebral column.
  • Google has announced a new research project aimed at bringing 3D technology to smartphones, for potential applications such as indoor mapping, gaming and helping blind people navigate.

Mounika Rao

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