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Current Affairs Today – February 18 2016

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Dear Readers, We cover some important news in Current Affairs Today Section, which are not covered in Daily Detailed News, More Current Affairs coverage will help you to Score Good Marks in Competitive Exam.

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CAT Feb 18


India and Singapore sign MoU

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).The MoU was signed on 24th November, 2015.

  • The MoU will allow the two countries to share experiences in the field of Urban Development Governance and Capacity Building.

Key points:

  • Singapore Capital: Singapore
  • Singapore Currency: Singapore Dollar
  • Singapore PM: Lee Hsien Loong

Cabinet approves WTO’s trade facilitation pact

  • The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for notification of commitments under the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).WTO
  • The agreement, which is part of the WTO’s Bali ministerial package of 2013, contains provisions for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. It also sets out measures for effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.
  • The Cabinet also approved the ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat and constitution of the National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF).
  • The committee would be set up under the joint chair of the revenue and commerce secretaries to facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the provisions of the agreement.

The agreement will come into force after it is formally accepted by two-thirds of the WTO membership. Till now, 69 countries of the 162 members of the WTO have ratified this pact.

CCEA approves construction of 6 railway lines at a cost of Rs. 10,700 cr

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved the construction of 6 railway lines and a railway bridge at an estimated cost of Rs 10,700 crore.

  • These six lanes include Hubli-Chickajur line, Wardha (Sewagram) Ballarshah, Ramna-Singrauli line Anuppur-Katni, Katni-Singrauli line and Rampur Dumra-Tal-Rajendrapul line.
  • The new railway lines will organize the increased railway passenger and their needs.


  • Minister of Railways – Suresh Prabhu

Haryana, South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk to collaborate on technology and development

Haryana and South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk had agreed to collaborate on technology and development.

  • Haryana’s CM Manohar Lal Khattar had accepted the proposal for sister-statehood relationship made with delegation from South Korea.
  • Some of the South Korean companies in India are Samsung,LG and Hyundai and currently added companies are Kakodear, Casco, LS cables and SD Bio Sensor.
  • For the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit-2016 government invites the South Korean businesses and investors which is scheduled to be organized in Gurgaon on March 7-8. 

Signing of BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation

The Union Cabinet had been apprised about signing of BRICS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and innovation (STI).

  • The MoU will help in the promotion of cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation among BRIGS countries.
  • The aim of the MoU is to establish a planned framework of cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation STI.


WHO Issues $56 Million Plan To Combat Zika Virus

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said that $56 million is needed to combat the Zika virus through June, including fast-tracking vaccines and diagnostics.
  • The funds, including $25 million for the WHO itself, would also be used to control the mosquito-borne virus that has now spread to 39 countries and has been linked to birth defects in Brazil, as well as research studies.

US-Asean summit session held in California

US-Asean summit session held in California

U.S -Southeast Asian summit session was held at the historic Sunnylands Center in Rancho Mirage, California.

The three objectives of the summit are

  • To provides an opportunity to build out its economic approach for the United States and ASEAN.
  • To resolve the maritime disputes peacefully according to international law
  • To signal the importance of ASEAN to its successor.

ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations


Govt cuts interest rate on small post office schemes by 0.25%

Interest on short-term post office saving deposits was cut by 0.25 percent while the rate on employees’ provident fund was increased marginally to 8.8 percent.

  • The finance ministry has cut interest rate on post office savings of 1, 2 and 3 year terms,Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP) as well as 5-year Recurring Deposits, but left long-term instruments such as monthly investment scheme (MIS), PPF senior citizen and girl child plans untouched.


Big Bazaar Direct ties up with Oxigen Services

Big Bazaar Direct had tied up with Oxigen Services a payment service provider.

  • The aim of the tie is to offer products easily to the end customers at affordable price and at their nearer store.
  • This tie will enable Oxigen’s 2 lakh retailers to sell the wide assortment of Big Bazaar Direct to their end customers.


  • Chairman and Managing Director of Oxigen Services – Pramod Saxena
  • Founder of BigBazaar – Kishore Biyani

Jharkhand and Adani Group inked MoU to set up thermal power plant

Jharkhand government and Adani Group had inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a 1600 MW capacity thermal power plant for investment of 15000 crore rupees in the state.

  • It will be set up in Godda and Sahibganj districts of Jharkhand.
  • The Jharkhand total investment is expected to be Rs 62,000 crore.


  • Jharkhand Chief Minister – Ragubar Das
  • Managing director of Adani Group – Rajesh Adani


Sameer Anjaan enters Guinness Book of World Records

Lyricist Sameer Anjaan (Shitala Pandey) had been entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for writing the most inexhaustible number of songs in Bollywood.

  • He become the first ever lyricist to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • He was awarded for writing most number of Bollywood movies songs.
  • He had written 3,524 songs for 650 films in the last 30 years.

Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Kolkata gets Raksha Mantri’s Trophy for Best Service Hospital.

  • The Defence Minister Shri Manohar Parrikar presented the Raksha Mantri’s Trophy and citation for the Best and Second Best Service Hospital in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).
  • The trophy for the Best Service Hospital went to Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Kolkata, which was received by its Commandant Major General TS Ahluwalia.
  • The trophy for the Second Best Hospital was presented to INHS Asvini, Mumbai, which was received by its Commandant Surgeon Rear Admiral AA Pawar.

Karnataka Bank bags award

Karnataka Bank Ltd has bagged ‘IBA Banking Technology Award’ in the category of ‘Best Risk and Fraud Management Initiative  Runner Up among the small banks.

  • The bank said the award was announced as part of Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) Technology Conference, Expo and Awards 2016.
  • Mahabaleshwara MS, Chief General Manager of the bank received the award from HR Khan, Deputy Governor of RBI, and Ashwani Kumar, Chairman of IBA, in Mumbai

Key points:

Karnataka Bank is a major banking institution based in the coastal city of Mangaluru in Karnataka, India. The Reserve Bank of India has designated Karnataka Bank as an A1+-class scheduled commercial bank.It was founded in 1924.

Fashion designer Manish Arora conferred Knight of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest honour

Fashion designer Manish Arora had been conferred with the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) France’s highest civilian honor.

  • The award is given for gratitude of his inspired creations and significant contribution to the fashion world.Fashion designer Manish Arora conferred Knight of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest honour
  • Knight of the Legion of Honor award is presented to both citizens of France as well as foreigners.


  • Capital of France – Paris
  • Prime minister of France – Manuel Valls
  • President of France – François Hollande
  • Currencies of France – Euro, CFP franc


Flipkart appoints Nitin Seth as the Chief People Officer

Nitin Seth appointed as India’s biggest online marketplace Flipkart Chief People Officer. 

  • Prior to Flipkart, Seth was the managing director and country head for Fidelity International in India.
  • Seth will lead the human resource function and partner with the leadership team to build an organization for the future that is versatile and adaptable and bring about a distinctive culture that will fuel business performance.


  • CEO and co-founder of Flipkart – Binny Bansal

Alok Kumar Verma to be the next Delhi Police chief

Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma will be the next Commissioner of Delhi Police. He will succeeding incumbent B S Bassi, who will hang his boots on February 29.

About Alok Kumar Verma

  • A 1979-batch Union Territory cadre officer, 58-year-old Verma is currently serving as DG of Tihar prison.
  • He will serve as the top police officer of the national capital for 17 months.


Cabinet grants ‘in-principle’ approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ‘in principle’ approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal for research on gravitational waves. The proposal, known as LIGO-India project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in India) is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The LIGO-India project will establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory in India in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the U.S. run by Caltech and MIT.
  • The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier.

LIGO-India will also bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for the Indian industry which will be engaged in the construction of eight kilometre long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain.

Amazon launches ‘Tatkal’ initiative

Amazon announced the launch an initiative that enables small and medium businesses (SMBs) to go online and sell products ‘Amazon Tatkal’.

  • Tatkal will traverse the country engaging with thousands of entrepreneurs, artisans, manufacturers and sellers and help them sell online on the spot.
  • It said Amazon Tatkal is a specially designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms.

Amazon CEO –Jeff Bezos

Union Government launches Website for maiden Maritime India Summit

Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari  launched a website dedicated to the union government’s Maritime India Summit 2016 to be held in April at the ongoing ‘Make in India Week’ event

  • The website will facilitate investors and participants access detailed information about the summit including registrations

About Maritime India Summit :

  • The Maritime India Summit to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 at the city’s Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre.
  • The Maritime India Summit (MIS) 2016 will comprise an Investors’ Summit on April 14 and 15, 2016, along with exhibition and demo sessions spread over three days.

World’s cheapest Smartphone Freedom251

World’s cheapest Smartphone Freedom251

Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd a Noida based company had launched Freedom 251 possibly the world’s cheapest Smartphone.

  • The Smartphone costs Rs. 251.
  • It has 8GB storage capacity which can be expanded up to 32GB using a microSD card.
  • It is launched to empower Indian economy.
  • It has a 4-inch display (960×540 pixels) IPS display with front and back cameras.
  • The phone has 1GB of RAM and Qualcomm 1.3GHz quad-core processor.
  • It runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. 

Japan Launches Satellite to Study Black Holes

Japan had successfully launched ASTRO-H space observation satellite to study the black holes.

  • The satellite had been developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and others.
  • It was launched by the H-IIA rocket from the Tahegashima Space Center.
  • The satellite has four x- ray telescopes that permit the space agency to examine faraway galaxy clusters.


Numero Uno becomes official clothing supplier for WC T20

India’s leading denim brand Numero Uno will be the official clothing supplier of ICC World Twenty20.

  • The company will also be official clothing supplier manufacturer and retailer of ICC-branded apparel and merchandise till December 2020.
  • The ICC World Twenty20 will be held from March 8 from April 3.

About Numero Uno :

Numero Uno Clothing, Ltd. manufactures and markets apparel and accessories for men, women, and kids. The company offers its products primarily under Numero Uno brand.


I&B Minister releases India 2016 & Bharat 2016

Information & Broadcast Minister (I&B) had released the ‘India 2016‘ and ‘Bharat 2016 Reference Annual‘ books.The Bharat 2016 and India 2016 Reference Annual books give a complete publication of country’s progress in different fields.

  • The books include sections on general knowledge, current affairs, sports and important events which help the students for competitive exams.