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Current Affairs February 15 2020

We are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 15 February 2020, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2020 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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NATIONAL AFFAIRS

South Central Railways zone becomes India’s 1st to have energy-neutral stations
On February 13, 2020, the Indian South Central Railways (SCR) zone becomes India’s first to have 13 energy-neutral stations. The number is highest amongst all the zones across the Indian Railways network.
About energy-neutral railway stations:
i.These are capable of meeting 100% energy requirements through solar photovoltaic panels which have been commissioned at the station buildings.
ii.The total capacity of all the solar panels installed at the 13 energy neutral stations is 99 kWp at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.
iii.Around 1.3 lakh units annually are generated from these 13 energy neutral stations.
iv.The SCR zone could save Rs 13 lakh per year through solar power generation, as all of the power requirements of the energy neutral railway stations such as lighting, fans, pumps as well as other electrical appliances are met through the solar energy, which brings down the net traditional energy consumption at these railway stations to zero.
About South Central Railway
Formation– 02.10.1966
Headquarter– Secunderabad
General Manager– Gajanan Mallya

Govt amends Arbitration and conciliation act 1996 for making arbitration user friendly
On February 12, 2020, The union government has amended the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 by the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2015  with the aim to make the arbitration process smooth, cost efficient, speedy execution of the case and ensure the mediation of the arbitrator.
i.Benefit: An amendment to the Act of 1996 will help in achieving the goal of improving institutional arbitration by setting standards, making the arbitration process a party and setting up an independent institution to execute the case in time.
ii.Salient features: This amendment provides for the creation of an independent institution Arbitration Council of India -ACI….Click here to Read More

Nitin gadkari flags off KVIC’s ‘Apiary on wheels’ for bee keeping in New Delhi
On February 13, 2020, Nitin Jairam Gadkari ,the union minister for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) flagged off ‘Apiary on Wheels’ in New Delhi in the presence of Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
Apiary on Wheels is a unique concept for easy maintenance of BeeBox and migration of live colonies, designed by KVIC.
Key Points:
i.In accordance with Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s vision, KVIC’s honey mission was launched in 2017 and involves training of beekeepers, distribution of bee-keeping boxes and rural-educated.
ii.Benefits: Apiary on Wheels is a holistic approach to meet the challenges faced by beekeepers & also help reduce the labor cost of maintenance of bee box and living bee colonies across India.
In this platform, 20 Bee Boxes can be moved from one place to another without any problem. In 4 separate compartments with 2 large wheels and independent doors on either side, having 5 bee boxes helps each platform to intact without disturbing the living bee colonies.
It is connected to solar panel system which automatically turns on a fan inside the compartment when the temperature reaches 35 degree centigrade or above.
Moving bees from one place to another, cooling with the help of solar panels and drip of sugar will not be a risk to the life of the bees, preventing damage to their boxes and colonies will help in producing quality honey.
About Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KVIC):
Founded
– 1956
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

15th finance commission forms 5-member panel led by NK singh on defence & Internal security fund
On February 13, 2020, The 15th Finance Commission has set up a five-member group led by 15th Finance Commission Chairman , Nand Kishore (NK) Singh to investigate the need for separate arrangements for funding defense and internal security.
The panel will comprise the following members:
i.AN Jha, member of the 15th Finance Commission
ii.Ajay Bhalla, Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
iii.Ajay Kumar, Secretary of Ministry of Defence
iv.T V Somanathan , Expenditure Secretary
Key Points:
i.
This group will test whether a separate mechanism for financing defense and internal security should be put in place, and if so, how this fund would be operationalised.
ii.The announcements were made after the commission held the 6th meeting of its advisory council to seek views  of the participants on the Commission’s report for 2020-21 and other recommendations included in the report. Apart from this, outlook for nominal GDP growth during 2021-22 to 2025-26 and other macro-economic parameters were also discussed.
iii.The Commission has also planned to form a committee to address issues of debt and fiscal deficit of states and centre, which  will help in formulating  a legal framework for a fiscal architecture.
About 15th Finance Commission:
Formed
– 27 November 2017
Headquarters– New Delhi
Minister responsible– Nirmala Sitharaman (Minister of Finance)

Nitin Gadkari inaugurated first inter-city electric bus service in Maharashtra
On February 14, 2020 Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, inaugurated the first inter-city electric bus service, between Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Pune (Maharashtra).
Key Points:
i.About electric bus: The electric bus has 43 seats manufactured by Mitra Mobility Solution, covers a range of 300 kilometre on single charge & will be operated twice between 2 cities.
ii.Prasanna Patwardhan, CMD (Chairman & Managing Director) of Mitra Mobility Solution mentioned that the company has around 1,300 electric buses in operation and the services will be extended to other parts of Maharashtra & other states.
iii.Nitin Gadkari mentioned that the government is planning to build e-(electric) highways.
About Maharashtra:
Founded- 1 May 1960.
Capital- Mumbai.
Districts- 36.
Chief Minister(CM)- Uddhav Bal Thackeray.
Governor- Bhagat Singh Koshyari.

Government of India hosts National Organic Food Festival in New DelhiThe Government of India (GOI) is to host the National Organic Food festival from February (21 to 23, 2020) at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, India. The festival will be inaugurated by Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
The 3 day festival is celebrated for the 1st time in order to boost organic products and to promote women entrepreneurship in the area of production & processing of organic products.
Theme: Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential.
Key Points:
i.The festival will be organized by (MoFPI) and (MoWCD) Ministry of Women and Child Development.Organic Food Segment grows at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% during 2016-20.
ii.Around 150 women Entrepreneurs and Self Help Groups (SHG’s) from all over the country will be exhibiting their organic products such as fruit & vegetables, ready to eat products, spices and condiments, Honey, cereals, dry fruits etc.,
iii.The festival will focus on facilitating business linkages & women entrepreneurs through B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2G (Business-to-Government) meetings.
iv.India is the 9th largest agricultural organic production in the world and produced 1.70 million tonnes of organic products namely Oil Seeds, Sugar cane, Cereals & Millets, Cotton, Pulses, Medicinal Plants, Tea, Fruits, Spices, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, Coffee etc.
v.Goal 2025: India’s Organic Food Business expected to reach Rs. 75,000 Crores by 2025.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

43rd IFAD Governing Council held in Rome, Italy: Climate Change to push 100 millions to poverty by 2030
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s 43rd Governing Council meeting was held in Rome, Italy on 11-12 February 2020 on the theme “Investing in sustainable food systems to end hunger by 2030”. During the meet, the IFAD stated that the sequences of climate change and it’s impacts on agriculture will push around 100 million people to poverty by 2030.
Key Points:
i.An appeal has been made for the same to urgently spend more on rural development to avoid a catastrophic situation arising out of the climate emergency.
ii.In 2018, 90% of 17.2 million people displaced by disasters were due to weather and climate-related events.
iii.In Africa alone, climate conflicts have risen by 36% between 2018 and 2019 which stops agricultural production.
About IFAD:
Establishment– 1977
President– Gilbert F. Houngbo
Headquarters– Rome, Italy

IISS Study: World Defence spending rose by 4.0% in 2019; India ranked 5th & US tops
On February 14, 2020, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) annual “Military Balance” report states that global spending on defence hiked by 4% percent in 2019, showing largest growth in 10 years (2010-2019). The report showed top 15 countries, among them, the world’s biggest defence spenders are United States (US), China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India.
Key Points:
i.The increase in US spending alone from 2018 to 2019 is USD 53.4 billion.
ii.There is 6.6% increase in China and the US defence spendings while Europe’s spendings hike by 4.2%.
Table Showing Defence Spending of Top 10 Countries in 2019

[su_table]

Rank Country Defence Spending  (US$bn)
1 United States 684.6
2 China 181.1
3 Saudi Arabia 78.4
4 Russia 61.6
5 India 60.5
6 United Kingdom 54.8
7 France 52.3
8 Japan 48.6
9 Germany 48.5
10 South Korea 39.8

[/su_table]…..Click here to Read More

Mobile World Congress 2020 cancelled
On February 13, 2020 GSM Association (Global System for Mobile Communication) has cancelled the MWC 2020 (Mobile World Congress) to be held in Barcelona, Spain due to Coronavirus outbreak.
Key Points:
i.Mobile World Congress meeting was held annually since 2006, in Barcelona, Spain, where governments, ministers, policy makers, operators and industry leaders across the world will be presented & discuss developments in the technology sector.
ii.Some of the sponsors & companies that will take part in MWC event are Vodafone, Cisco, LG (Life’s Good), Vivo, NTT Docomo, Sony, Amazon, Facebook, Mediatek, Intel, Nvidia etc.,
About GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) Association:
Founded- 1995.
Headquarters- London, United Kingdom (UK).
CEO (Chief Executive Officer)- John Hoffman.

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

SEBI constituted municipal bonds development committee headed by Sujit PrasadOn February 14, 2020, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has constituted Municipal Bonds Development Committee headed by Shri Sujit   Prasad, Executive Director, SEBI in order to get recommendations on policy matters pertaining to development of municipal debt securities market. The members of the committee include representatives from ministry, Municipal Corporation, lawyers, professionals and market   practitioners.
Responsibilities of committee:

i.To advise SEBI on issues related to regulation and development of primary and secondary market of municipal debt securities.
ii.To make recommendation for introducing  simplification and  transparency  in  systems and procedures in the primary and secondary market.
iii.To ensure investor protection in the primary and secondary market.
iv.To direct SEBI on measures to facilitate issuers (i.e. municipalities) for issuance of municipal debt securities.
About SEBI:
Establishment– April 12, 1992
Chairman– Ajay Tyagi
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS       

DMart’s Founder Radhakishan Damani becomes India’s 2nd richest person after Mukesh AmbaniOn February 15, 2020 Supermarket chain DMart’s Founder Radhakishan Damani becomes India’s 2nd richest person after Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited. According to Forbes ‘Real Time Billionaires’ Index, Damani has a net worth of $17.8 billion.
Key Points:

i.DMart’s shares surged 700% in March 2017, with a market capitalisation of Rs 1.55 lakh crore.
ii.DMart operates 196 stores in 72 cities across the country.
Top 5 persons:
1.Mukesh Ambani ($57.4 billion),
2.Radhakishan Damani ($17.8 billion),
3.Shiv Nadar ($16.5 billion),
4.Uday Kotak ($14.9 billion),
5.Gautam Adani ($14.1 billion).
About DMart:
Founded- 2000.
Founder- Radhakishan Damani.
Headquarters- Mumbai.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS      

Indian origin, Rishi Sunak, named UK’s new Chancellor of the ExchequerOn February 13, 2020, Indian origin Rishi Sunak (39) has been appointed as the United Kingdom’s (UK) new Chancellor of the Exchequer by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the UK government’s chief financial minister. He succeeds Pakistani-origin Sajid Javid who resigned as Chancellor.

  • Now, British cabinet has three Indian-Origin MPs namely Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Priti Patel, Home Secretary, and Rishi Sunak as Finance Minister.

About Rishi Sunak
i.Born in UK, Rishi is an Oxford University and Stanford graduate.
ii.Prior to this appointment, he was serving as the Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 24 July 2019 to 13 February 2020, and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from 9 January 2018 to 24 July 2019.
iii.He was elected as Conservative MP for Richmond (Yorks) in May 2015 .
iv.It should be noted that he is a son-in-law of Infosys Co-founder Narayana Murthy and his wife name is Akshata.
About UK
Capital– London
Currency– UK Pound
Head of state– Queen Elizabeth II

Vinay Dube appointed as CEO of GoAir
On February 14, 2020 Vinay Dube was appointed as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of GoAir. He was the successor of Cornelis Vrieswijk who resigned in February 2019. GoAir MD (Managing Director), Jehangir Waldia was holding the additional charge of chief executive.
Key Points:
i.About Vinay Dube:Vinay Dube served as CEO of Jet Airways and joined GoAir in an advisory role in October 2019. He also served as a senior vice president (Asia Pacific) at Delta Airlines, CEO of Delta Technology, vice president at Sabre Airline Solutions and manager at American Airlines.
ii.GoAir airline operates over 325 daily flights to 35 destinations in India and abroad.
About GoAir:
Founded- 2005.
Founder- Jehangir Waldia.
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra.

SPORTS

ICC women’sT20I rankings 2020: Smriti mandhana reached 4th placeOn February 14, 2020, According to the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I (Twenty-twenty International) rankings 2020 for Women players, Indian women’s cricket team’s star batsman Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana has moved up three places to 4th in the batsmen’s rankings with 732 points, while Jemimah Rodriques slipped to number 7. Harmanpreet Kaur holds the 9th position in this list of batsmen.
Key Points:

i.Batting ranking: New Zealand batsman Suzannah Wilson “Suzie” Bates is at the first place with a rating of 765.
ii.Bowling: In the bowling rankings, Australia’s Megan Scutt ranks first & India’s Poonam Yadav slipped six places to drop out of the top 10 and now remains in the 12th position.
Here’s the list of top3 & Indian players in ICC T20  ranking 2020:

[su_table]

Rank Batting Bowling All-rounder
1 Suzannah Wilson “Suzie” Bates (New Zealand ) Megan Schutt (Australia) Ellyse Alexandra Perry ( Australia)

Sophie Frances Monique Devine (New Zealand )

2 Sophie Frances Monique Devine (New Zealand ) Shabnim Ismail (South Africa)
3 Bethany Louise Mooney (Australia) Sophie Ecclestone (England) Natalie sciver (England)
Rank of Indian players
Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana-4th
Jemimah Rodriques-7th
Harmanpreet Kaur-9th
Radha Prakash Yadav-4th
Deepti Bhagwan Sharma-4th

[/su_table]

About ICC( International Cricket Council):
Formation
– 15 June 1909
Headquarters– Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Chairman– Shashank Manohar
CEO– Manu Sawhney

OBITUARY

Parikrama lead guitarist & founder Sonam Sherpa passed away at 48On February 14, 2020 Sonam Sherpa, founding member & lead-guitarist of music band Parikrama, passed away at the age of 48 in Kurseong, West Bengal due to cardiac arrest. He was born on 8th October 1971 in Kalimpong, West Bengal.
Key Points:

i.Sherpa formed Parikrama music band with his associate Subir Malik.
ii.The band memorable songs include “But it rained”, “Till I’m no one again”, “Open skies”, “Am I dreaming” and also gave music for the Bollywood movie, Manjunath.
iii.Sherpa owned and ran Parikrama school at Hauz Khas village, New Delhi.
iv.”But it rained” song was selected as “25 Greatest Indian Rock Songs of the Last 25 years” and Sherpa also featured as “Top 10 Guitarist of India” by Rolling Stone magazine.

IMPORTANT DAYS

February 15: World Pangolin Day & Madhya Pradesh radio-tags first-ever Indian PangolinWorld Pangolin Day will be observed every year on 3rd Saturday in february month to raise awareness & to protect these unique species from extinction. The 9th World Pangolin day was observed on february 15, 2020.
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) forest department & Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) has radio-tagged an Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) for the first time in order to know its ecology and develop an effective conservation plan
Key Points:
i.About Radio-tagging: Radio-tagging involves attaching a transmitter to an animal to monitor its movements.
ii.About Pangolin: Pangolins are also known as “scaly anteaters”, toothless animals & most trafficked wildlife species in the world.
iii.The scales of pangolin are in high demand in China, where they are used in traditional Chinese medicine,
iv.India is a home of 2 species of pangolins- Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) found in north-eastern India and Indian pangolin is widely distributed in India & it is also found in neighbouring countries viz Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan.
v.The 2 species are protected & are listed under the Schedule I Part I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and under Appendix I of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

STATE NEWS

Bihar govt launches `Pyaar ka Paudha` campaign to promote the practice of planting trees
On February 14, 2020, The state Government of  Bihar’s Department of Environment and Forest in Patna has launched  `Pyaar ka Paudha` (a plant of love) drive under the Jal Jeevan Hariyali campaign with an aim to promote the practice of planting trees in the state.
Key Points:
i.As a part of this imitative, the environment department has appealed to the people to gift the plant of love to their close ones as it will be alive for years & also stalls of Patna plants have been planted for this purpose.
ii.If this experiment is successful, it will be implemented in other areas of the state as well.
About Bihar:
Capital– Patna
Governor– Phagu Chauhan
Chief minister– Nitish Kumar
Wild Life Sanctuaries(WLS)- Gautam Budha  WLS, Kanwarjheel WLS ,Kaimur WLS ,Kusheshwar Asthan Bird WLS ,Nagi Dam WLS.

Manipur’s ‘Anganphou Hunba’ programme launched at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal East
On February 13, 2020, Manipur Chief Minister, Nongthombam Biren Singh launched “Anganphou Hunba” (Sowing of First Crop Paddy) programme at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal East. The programme was organised by Arapti Urup Farmers’ Association under the supervision of Keirao AC Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) Lourembam Rameshwor.
Initiatives by Manipur Government:
i.The state govt has prepared a Rs 260-crore project to provide irrigation facilities by pumping ground water and is awaiting the Centre’s approval.
ii.The government has also planned to provide irrigation water by the Minor Irrigation Department to places having adequate arable land and large number of farmers.
About Manipur
Capital– Imphal
Governor– Najma Heptulla
State Animal– Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii)
State Bird– Mrs. Hume’s pheasant
State flower– Lilium mackliniae
State Tree– Phoebe hainesiana

GOI sanctioned 9 Medical colleges and 2 AIIMS for Jammu & Kashmir
On February 14, 2020 Jitendra Singh, Union Ministers for State, Public Grievances and Pensions, mentioned that Government of India (GOI) has allocated 2 AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) for Jammu & Kashmir(J&K)- one in Jammu & other in Kashmir.
Key Points:
i.Jitendra Singh also mentioned that 9 medical colleges have also been sanctioned in J&K in addition to the 2 AIIMS.
ii.About Jammu AIIMS: The government had approved the proposal for setting up AIIMS in Jammu at Vijaypur, Samba district, under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) in January 2019.
iii.The project is being executed by CPWD (Central Public Works Department) & an estimated cost of the project is Rs 1661 crores.
iv.The AIIMS Jammu consists of both medical & nursing college projected to be completed by August 2022.

Current Affairs Headlines: 15 February 2020

  1. South Central Railways zone becomes India’s 1st to have energy-neutral stations
  2. Govt amends Arbitration and conciliation act 1996 for making arbitration user friendly
  3. Nitin gadkari flags off KVIC’s ‘Apiary on wheels’ for bee keeping in New Delhi
  4. 15th finance commission forms 5-member panel led by NK singh on defence & Internal security fund
  5. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated first inter-city electric bus service in Maharashtra
  6. Government of India hosts National Organic Food Festival in New Delhi
  7. 43rd IFAD Governing Council in Rome, Italy: Climate Change to push 100 millions to poverty by 2030
  8. IISS Study: World Defence spending rose by 4.0% in 2019; India ranked 5th & US tops
  9. Mobile World Congress 2020 cancelled
  10. SEBI constituted municipal bonds development committee headed by Sujit Prasad
  11. DMart’s Founder Radhakishan Damani becomes India’s 2nd richest person after Mukesh Ambani
  12. Indian origin, Rishi Sunak, named UK’s new Chancellor of the Exchequer
  13. Vinay Dube appointed as CEO of GoAir
  14. ICC women’sT20I rankings 2020: Smriti mandhana reached 4th place
  15. Parikrama lead guitarist & founder Sonam Sherpa passed away at 48
  16. February 15: World Pangolin Day & Madhya Pradesh radio-tags first-ever Indian Pangolin
  17. Bihar govt launches `Pyaar ka Paudha` campaign to promote the practice of planting trees
  18. Manipur’s ‘Anganphou Hunba’ programme launched at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal East
  19. GOI sanctioned 9 Medical colleges and 2 AIIMS for Jammu & Kashmir

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