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Current Affairs Today – February 13 2017

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February

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Bill Passed in Karnataka Assembly to allow ‘Kambala’
i .The Karnataka assembly unanimously passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017 on February 13, 2017 to legalize the conduct of Kambala” and bullock cart races in Karnataka.
ii. The Bill seeks to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, (Central Act 59 of 1960) and exempt the two sports from the ambit of the Act keeping in mind their traditional nature and also to protect native breeds of buffaloes.
iii. The bill states that the traditional sports events of “Kambala” and “Bulls race or Bullock cart race” plays significant role in preserving and promoting traditions and culture among the people in the state.
iv. Kambala is a traditional annual buffalo race in marshy fields held in the coastal districts of the state in which buffalo pairs are made to race one after another in paddy fields and is considered a thanksgiving to the Gods for protecting the animals from diseases.

GNFC township becomes India’s first cashless Township
i. India’s first cashless township “Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals (GNFC) township”was inaugurated by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani on February 13, 2017
ii. Nearly 10,000 residents in GNFC have embraced various digital mode of payments instead of cash.
iii. In the township, residents are making cashless payments at shopping centres, schools, colleges, hospital, stadium, laundry and even at tea stalls.

India’s first floating elementary school inaugurated on Manipur’s Loktak Lake
i. India’s first floating elementary school particularly for drop outs has been inaugurated on Loktak lake at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village in Manipur on the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, 2017.
ii. The school named as Loktak Elementary Floating School has been opened under an floating elementary schoolinitiative of All Loktak Lake Fishermen’s Union, Manipur (ALLAFUM) with the support of NGO, People’s Resources Development Association (PRDA) under a programme of ActionAid India.
iii. The need to establish such a school was felt considering sudden high dropout rate of children living in the Champu Khangpok floating villages
iv. Loktak Development Authority had removed more than 700 floating huts as part of clearing the lake after the introduction of Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006, about five years ago, resulting in largescale displacement of the fishing community and thus children of these fishing communities were forced to discontinue their education.
v. The school will not only cater to the need of the children but for the illiterate adults as well. The newly-inaugurated school in the floating village is currently providing education to around 40 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers.
vi. PRDA will pay the volunteers under the project called ‘Empowering vulnerable local communities for sustainable development’, which is funded by Action Aid India.

National Career Services (NCS) and Jeevan Praman Facility for EPFO Pensioners Launched in Hyderabad Post Office
i. The Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya launched the National Career Service (NCS) for youths and Jeevan Praman facility to EPFO pensioners through Post Offices at DakSadan in Hyderabad on February 12, 2017.
ii. The Post Offices will serve as an Employment Registration Centres for Unemployed rural youth on behalf of the “National Career Service” Portal where youths can register themselves for employment in 1,55,000 post offices established across the country for over 3000 occupations offered under 52 sectors in NCS
iii. It would build a bridge between the net connected urban areas and non connected rural areas and help the youth to avail facility to register for employment at their doorstep hassle-free and have access to a rich repository of career content.
iv. The centre aims to provide employment to five crore people over next five years.
v. Besides, the EPFO pensioners can also submit their Digital Life Certificate (Jeevan Praman) through the Head Post Offices. This will also benefit the EPFO pensioners to avail the facility at their doorstep.

MEA & Gateway House Co-Hosts 2nd Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue
i .The Ministry of External Affairs and Gateway House are co-hosting the Second Gateway of India Geoeconomic Dialogue from February 13-14, 2017 in Mumbai.
ii. The theme of the conference is “Where Geopolitics meets Business”.
iii. This is India’s premier geo-economics conference with the focus on building synergies between business and foreign policy
iv .The conference will have various several panel discussions on topics like Sovereign Funds, Global Taxation, Digital Economy, Indo-Pacific, India’s Defence-Industrial Base etc.
v. Important Ministers presents during the conclave includes M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law and Justice & Minister of Electronics and Information, Md. Shahriar Alam, State Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh, Yves Leterme, former Prime Minister of Belgium, and Secretary General, International IDEA, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Foreign Secretary, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Power.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Longest elevated cycle path in the world opens in China
i. The world’s longest elevated cycle path has been opened in Xiamen, China which can handle about 2,023 cyclists with a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.
ii. The path is five miles long and 16 feet wide having 11 entrances and connects to 11 bus stops and two underground rail stations.
iii. Besides the private cyclists, the path also has facility of over 300 for-hire bikes available for sharing. In addition to the bike-share stations, the path also has plenty of space for bike parking, and some bike-centric service pavilions.
iv. Initially for a month trail, the path will be open to all kinds of bikes, including public and private bikes, from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm in a bid to promote green transport.
v .The cycleway has been designed by Dissing + Weitling a Danish architectural firm, who Longest elevated cycle path in the world opens in Chinaalso created the award-winning Cykelslangen or Cycle Snake which is an elevated orange bike lane in Copenhagen.
China
♦ Capital: Beijing
♦ Currency: Renminbi
♦ President: Xi Jinping

BANKING & FINANCE

Government to launch Indradhanush 2.0 for Recapitalization of PSBs
i. Union Government has decided to launch ‘Indradhanush 2.0’ for recapitalisation of public sector lenders so that the banks remain solvent and fully comply with the global capital adequacy norms namely Basel-III.
ii. The Indradhanush 2.0 programme will be finalised by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) after completion of Asset Quality Review (AQR) being undertaken and is likely to be completed by end of March 2017.
iii. Asset Quality Review is being undertaken to recognize the top defaulting accounts as Non-Performing Assets (NPA) and make adequate provisions for them as they have negative impact on banks and their stocks.
iv .Post AQR, revised programme of capitalisation will be also issued as part of ‘Indradhanush 2.0.
v. Earlier in 2015, under Indradhanush roadmap, the government had announced to infuse Rs 70,000 crore for recapitalization in state-run banks over four years while the banks had to raise a further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirement in line with global risk norms known as Basel-III.

BUSINESS

Reliance Defence Signs Master Ship Repair Agreement with US Navy
i. The Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with US Navy on February 13, 2017 to perform repair and alteration services for US Navy’s Seventh Fleet vessels.
ii. The Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra) controlled RDEL will perform complex repair and alternation services for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet vessels operating in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean
iii. The Reliance Shipyard was qualified by US Navy as an approved contractor to perform complex repair for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet vessels in January 2017.
iv .Reliance Shipyard at Pipavav, Gujarat is the first shipyard in India to have received MSRA Certification to undertake servicing and repairing works for the vessels of Seventh Fleet.
v. The fleet has about 100 vessels of different types and currently US Navy’s Seventh Fleet visit Singapore or Japan for such works.
vi. Reliance Shipyard has been selected after a detailed site survey by US Government representatives during end-October 2016. 

L&T and MBDA Missile Systems Forms JV to Develop Missiles in India
i .Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), an Engineering and construction major has entered into a Joint Venture with European defence major MBDA Missile Systems on February 13, 2017.
MBDAii. The main aim of the JV is development of missiles in India under the Make in India initiative while procuring the missile systems from abroad.
iii. As per the agreement, L&T will own 51 percent stake in the JV named L&T MBDA Missile Systems while the rest 49 percent the European partner.
iv. L&T is targeting an annual turnover of Rs 10,000 crore from the JV by 2021.
v. Initially, the JV will aim to develop and supply fifth generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM5s), missiles for coastal batteries and high speed target drones.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

70th British Academy Film Awards Winner List
i. The 70th British Academy Film Awards commonly known as the BAFTA Awards was held on February 12, 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall in London to honour the best British and international contributions to film in the year 2016. The awards are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
ii. The Movie La La Land won the most awards at the event by winning total five honors including Best Film, Best Director– Damien Chazelle, Best Cinematography-Linus Sandgren, Best Original Music-Justin Hurwitz and Best Actress in a Leading Role-Emma Stone.
iii. The BAFTA Fellowship award was presented to the hollywood’s legendary comedian and filmmaker Mel Brooks (90) by Duke of Cambridge Prince William.
Complete List of Winners

Award Winner
Best Film La La Land
Best Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Actor Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Best Actress Emma Stone (La La Land)

59th Annual Grammy Award Winners List
The 59th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was held on February 12, 2017 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.The ceremony recognized the best recordings, compositions, and artists of the eligibility year from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.
Complete List of the 2017 Grammy Award

Award Category Winner
Album Of The Year Adele for ’25’
Record Of The Year ‘Hello’ by Adele
Song Of The Year Hello by Adele and Greg Kurstin

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Frank Walter Steinmeier Elected New President of Germany
i. Germany’s former Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been elected as the new President of Germany on February 12, 2017.
ii. The 61-year old won by 931 votes out of 1,239 valid votes cast by the members of the Federal Assembly.
iii. He is due to take office as the 12th Federal President of Germany on 19 March 2017.
iv. Steinmeier, a member of the Social Democratic party will succeed incumbent President Joachim Gauck who will step down on March 18 at the age of 77.German President
v. Steinmeier previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2013 to 2017.
Germany
♦ Capital: Berlin
♦ Currency: Euro
♦ President: Joachim Gauck

Sandeep Jajodia Appointed New President of Assocham
i. Sandeep Jajodia, the CMD of Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd. Has been appointed the new president of industry chamber Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) on February 13, 2017.
ii. Jajodia has replaced Sunil Kanoria, the vice-chairman, Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited.
iii. Besides, Balkrishan Goenka, Chairman, Welspun Group has been appointed as the senior vice-president while Kiran Kumar Grandhi, vice-chairman of GMR Infrastructure Ltd, has been appointed as the vice-president of the industry body.
iv. Assocham will continue to play a transformational role both nationally and globally and the chamber will empower Indian enterprises by focusing on the most critical and relevant issues in a highly impact-oriented manner
Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)
♦ ASSOCHAM is one of the apex trade associations of India that acts as an interface between industry, government and other relevant stakeholders on policy issues and initiatives.
♦ The goal of this organisation is to promote both domestic and international trade and reduce trade barriers while fostering conducive environment for the growth of trade and industry of India.
♦ Founded: 1920
♦ Headquarters: New Delhi, India

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

INS Sarvekshak Becomes India’s First Ship to be Installed with Solar Power System
i. Indian Navy’s survey class vessel INS Sarvekshak has become the first ship in India to be fitted with solar power system on board.
INS Sarvekshakii .The ship has been equipped with 18 sheets of solar panel of 300 Watt which is capable of generating 5.4 kW power.
iii .As per the Navy, if the system is used even for 25 days in one year, it can repay its costs in less than 10 years. The estimated profit generated by the system during the ship service life of 25 years is Rs. 2.7 crore.
iv. It took about six months to install the entire system. The Indian warship is now 100 percent reliable for power source using sunlight that can be used for charging battery, communication equipment and general lightings onboard round the clock with battery outputs during the night.

ENVIRONMENT

New bird species Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush found in Nepal  
i. A Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush has been spotted in the high mountainous region of Nepal by Friends of Nature (FoN) reasearchers and then confirmed by the bird experts Carol Inskipp and Hem Sagar Baral.
ii. Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush is considered an autumn passage migrant bird species in Pakistan and India.
iii. With this the total number of avian species in the Himalayan country to 866. 
Nepal :
♦ Capital: Kathmandu
♦ Currency: Nepalese rupee
♦ Prime minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal

SPORTS

Dutch Women Germaine De Randamie crowned first UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion
UFC Womeni. Netherland native Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm (7-3) to claim the UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion at the UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York on February 11, 2017.
ii. The featherweight division was newly introduced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2016.
iii .The 32-year-old de Randamie became the first women to clinch the victory in the first fight of the newly introduced 145lb division.

Joe Root Becomes New Test Captain of England
i. The England and Wales Cricket Board named Joe Root as England’s Test captain on February 13, 2017 who will take over Alastair Cook.
ii. Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named as the vice-captain.
iii. Alastair Cook resigned on February 6, 2017 after captaining England for four and a half years in 59 Tests.
iv. The 26-year-old Yorkshire batsman, Root, has scored 4,594 Test runs since he made his debut in 2012 and has been vice-captain since May 2015.
v. Root will become England’s 80th Test skipper with his first game to be held against South Africa at Lord’s on July 6.

 IMPORTANT DAYS

World Radio Day – February 13, 2017
i. World Radio Day is observed annually on February 13th across the world to remember the unique power of radio to touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the World radio Dayglobe.
ii. It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO‘s 36th General Conference.
iii. 2017 theme is Radio is You which puts the spotlight on audiences, ensuring their views and diversity are represented on the airwaves.
iv. The theme was chosen to encourage radio stations to be the best radio stations they can, by having audience engagement policies, ethical committees, public editors, self review programmes and ensuring their community radio networks were strong.