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Current Affairs Today – February 2 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 2

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Govt praises MGNREGA as scheme completes 10 years

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has completed its ten years of achievement. The total government part to the herald of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA is about three-quarters of US$15 billion.

  • It was launched in June 2006 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’ as per the Article 41 of the Indian Constitution.

CBDT ink two bilateral APAs with United Kingdom

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had signed two bilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs) with United Kingdom.

  • The Agreements were signed with two Indian group entities of a UK based Multi-National Company (MNC) under the Mutual Agreement Procedure (MAP) process enclosed in the India-UK DTAA.
  • Now CBDT has signed 41 APAs out of which 38 are unilateral and 3 are bilateral.
  • These transactions face extended and profound transfer pricing disputes.

Companies Law Committee submitted report recommending changes in the Companies Act, 2013

Companies Law Committee had submitted its report to the Government for examining and making recommendations on changing of the Companies Act, 2013.

Changes are as follow:

  • Administrative compensation to be approved by shareholders
  • Re-opening of accounts is limited to 8 years.
  • Limit on sweat equity is raised to 50% of paid up capital from 25% for start-ups.
  • Frauds less than Rs. 10 Lakh are considered as compoundable offences.

Keys

  • Secretary of Ministry of Corporate Affairs – Tapan Ray

India’s fastest-growing state: Meghalaya

Meghalaya

Meghalaya becomes the India’s fastest-growing state with a growth rate of 9.7% in 2013-14.

  • The growth rate of Meghalaya is higher than the fastest-growing state Madhya Pradesh at 9.5%.
  • The report was released by IndiaSpend.
  • But the growth of the state is not creating sufficient jobs and livelihood opportunities.
  • The highest growth rates in gross state domestic product (GSDP) are traced among Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh in 2013-14.
  • The unemployment rate of Meghalaya is second lowest in India with 0.4% in rural areas and 2.8% in urban areas in 2011-12.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Bengaluru tops in Asia Pacific on commercial realty growth

According to property consultant JLL report named ‘City Momentum Index 2016: The Rise of the Innovation-Oriented City’, Bengaluru is ranked first in the Asia Pacific region in terms of city’s socio-economic growth and momentum in the commercial real estate space.

  • London, Silicon Valley Dublin, Bengaluru and Hyderabad is at 17th position in the global ranking.

WHO declares Zika virus outbreak as International Emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus outbreak as an International Emergency.

  • Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and it is supposed that it link to birth defects therefore the WHO has announced it as an international public health emergency.
  • The announcement was made after WHO’s emergency meeting of independent experts headed by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan.
  • Effects of virus are detected in Latin, America, Brazil, Costa Rica and Jamaica.

Key

  • Headquarter of WHO-Geneva Switzerland

Bangladesh Cabinet approved draft of Citizenship Law, 2016 expanding scope for dual citizenship

Bangladesh Cabinet approved draft of Citizenship Law, 2016 expanding scope for dual citizenship

  • Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cleared the draft for the ‘Bangladesh Citizenship Act 2016’.

The new law includes the following

  • Provision for five years of imprisonment should one give false information to acquire citizenship.The law only allowed dual citizenship for Bangladeshis in the US and the UK
  • The new law says Bangladeshis cannot go for dual citizenship with SAARC countries and Myanmar.
  • The draft says that any Bangladeshi who pledges allegiance to a foreign state ‘directly or indirectly’ will lose their citizenship, said the secretary.
  • The new law is being formulated by merging ‘The Citizenship Act 1959’ and ‘The Bangladesh Citizenship Temporary Provisions Order 1972

Foreign nationals, married to Bangladeshis, will have to reside in Bangladesh for at least five years to qualify for citizenship.

BANKING & FINANCE

SBI launches new home loan scheme for working executives

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a new home loan scheme for young working executives.

  • The Scheme enables the working professionals to get higher amount.
  • SBI Flexi Pay Home Loan helps the executives to purchase better and large living spaces for themselves and their families.
  • As per the scheme the bank offered the option of paying only interest during the moratorium (pre-EMI) period of 3 to 5 years to lower the bang of loans.

BUSINESS

Vietnam lifts ban on import of groundnut from India

Vietnam had lifted the ban on import of groundnut from Indian after nine months.

  • The ban on import of Indian groundnuts from April 6, 2015 was due to thwarting quarantine pests Caryedon serratus and Trogodrma granarium
  • The ban was lifted after the visit of a delegation from Vietnam to India in December 2015.
  • After seeing the fumigation facilities, export procedures and export certification system for export of groundnuts from India the delegation decided to lift the ban.

Keys

  • Capital city of Vietnam -Hanoi.
  • Currency of Vietnam – Dong

Japan to set up plant for US-2 amphibious aircraft in India

Japan

Japan’s ShinMaywa Industries will set up a plant for the manufacturer of US-2 amphibious aircraft in India. The ‘Make in India’ project has offered to set up a plant in India to furnish the international demands.

  • This plant in India will provide aircraft to the global market on demand.
  • As per government to government deal Indian Navy is trying to purchase 6 such aircrafts between 2017 and 2022.
  • US-2 amphibious aircraft is very useful in civilian and military applications and can land on choppy waters.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Archana Ramasundram becomes 1st woman DG of Sashastra Seema Bal

Archana Ramasundram is appointed as the Director General (DG) of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and now she became the first woman DG of Sashastra Seema Bal. The decision was issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

Other Appointments

Name Department
K Durga Prasad Director Generals of CRPF
K K Sharma Director Generals of BSF
M K Singla Special Secretary, Internal Security Home Ministry

Metro Cash and Carry appoints former Walmart executive Arvind Mediratta as India MD

Arvind Mediratta appointed as the Managing Director of German wholesale major Metro Cash & Carry India. He takes over from Rajeev Bakshi, who had joined as Managing Director in June 2010.

About Arvind Mediratta :

  • Arvind Mediratta comes to Metro from Walmart USA, corporate Vice President,before that, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Walmart India.
  • Mediratta had joined Walmart in April 2007 and played a key role in setting up Walmart’s Indian cash-&-carry business and organisation from the ground up.
  • Prior to Walmart, Mediratta also worked with companies such as Yum! Foods, Whirlpool India, Marico and Procter & Gamble.

Indian appointed to key World Bank position

Saroj Kumar Jha has been appointed to a key position in the World Bank with President Jim Young Kim.

An Indian Saroj Kumar Jha has been appointed to a key position in the World Bank with President Jim Young Kim. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

  • Jha has been tasked to provide strategic leadership to address the challenge of fragility, conflict and violence, working across the Bank Group and in close collaboration with partners.

About Saroj Kumar Jha   

  • Jha joined the World Bank in 2005 as a Senior Infrastructure Specialist in the Sustainable Development Network and the United Nation’s Development Program ( UNDP) as a senior executive.
  • Earlier, Jha worked as the World Bank’s Global Manager for Disaster Risk Management Practice.
  • He also served as head of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

Key points :

  • World Bank president : Jim Yong Kim
  • World bank HQ: Washington, D.C.,United States

Virender Sehwag appointed Kings XI Punjab’s mentor

Former India opener Virender Sehwag was appointed mentor of the Kings XI Punjab team for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).

  • Sehwag will work closely with head coach Sanjay Bangar and would be responsible for guiding and motivating the squad.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Craftsvilla acquires Sendd for $4.5 Million

CraftsVilla an online marketplace for Indian products has acquired the on-demand shipping service provider Sendd for $4.5 million.Craftsvilla mentions that it will use the acquisition to strengthen its logistics capabilities.

About Craftsvilla

  • Craftsvilla was founded by Manoj Gupta and Monica Gupta in 2011. It takes a 20% commission on the products sold.
  • However, it is not clear if the company does this on per item or per order, which might include many items. The company claims to have 25,000 sellers on its platform, along with 3.5 million sold products.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Japanese firm to open world’s first robot-run farm

World’s first fully automated farm with robots handling almost every step of the process from watering seedlings to harvesting crops will be open in Japan announced by Kyoto-based Spread

  • The indoor grow house will start operating by the middle of 2017 and produce 30,000 heads of lettuce a day.
  • It hopes to boost that figure to half a million lettuce heads daily within five years.
  • The farm, measuring about 4,400 square metres (47,300 square feet), will have floor-to-ceiling shelves where the produce is grown.

Key points :

  • Japan Capital : Tokyo
  • Japan Currency : Yen
  • Japan PM : Shinzō Abe

SPORTS

Aditya Mehta won the National Snooker Championship 2016

Aditya Mehta won the National Snooker Championship 2016

The National Snooker Championship Aditya Mehta won 2016 Championship by defeating Manan Chandra by 6-3 in the men’s final round of the National Snooker Championship 2016. The championship was held in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

  • Vidya Pillai won the women’s final round at National snooker championship 2016 by defeating Amee Kamani by 4-2.
  • Keerath Bhandaal won the women’s billiards final round at National billiards Final by defeating Aranxta Sanchez by 3-1.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Wetland Day

World Wetland Day celebrated every year on 2, February.

Purpose: Wetland Day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

  • WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997
  • Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have acted to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

Theme: Wetlands for our Future – Sustainable Livelihoods”.