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Current Affairs Today – February 20 2017

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Bihar Government Prohibits State Officials from Consuming Liquor Anywhere In The World
i. The Bihar Cabinet under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has ruled out a new rule under which the no officials of the state government would be allowed to consume liquor either in the state or outside the state and not even abroad.
ii. This makes Bihar the first state to have such restrictions for officials and judges.
iii. The cabinet amended the Bihar Government Servants’ Conduct Rules 1976 and approved the Bihar Judicial Officers Conduct Rules, 2017.
iv. From now the bureaucrats, judges or magistrates caught drinking anywhere in the world will be punished.
v. Any officer found guilty would be liable to face dismissal, suspension or even salary cuts.
vi. The drinking ban will also apply to Bihar officials on deputation outside the state.
♦ Capital: Patna                        ♦ Bird: Sparrow
♦ Governor: Ram Nath Kovind   ♦ Flower: Marigold
♦ Animal: Ox                            ♦ Tree: Peepal

Khajuraho Dance Festival Starts in Madhya Pradesh
i. The Khajuraho Dance Festival kicked off at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh from February 20, 2017. The seven day festival will conclude on February 26, 2017.
ii. The dance festival is conducted every year by the Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad.
iii. This cultural festival showcases various Indian classical dance styles such as Kathak, Bharathanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Manipuri and Kathakali with performances of some of the best exponents in the field.
Khajuraho Dance Festivaliv .The dances are performed in an open-air auditorium, usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (the Sun God) and the Vishvanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
v. Some of the activities to be undertaken as a part of the festival include, international art conclave, dialogue on art, documentaries, short films among others
State Festival of Madhya Pradesh :
Tejaji Fair, Khajuraho Dance Festival and Lokrang festival


Report Finds India as the World’s Largest Arms Importer in the Last Four Years
i. According to a report released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on February 20, 2017, India emerged as the world’s largest importer of major arms during 2012–16.
ii. As per the report, India accounted for 13 percent of the global total sales.The total volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16
iii. According to the data, in Asia, India increased its arms imports by 43 percent between 2007–11 and 2012–16 which is far greater than the imports by its rivals China and Pakistan.
iv. Between 2007 and 2011, India accounted for 9.7% of global imports which is still more than any other country.
v. Major arm suppliers to India include Russia, USA, European states, Israel and South Korea.


SBI Rebrands Corporate Website as
i. The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) rebranded its corporate website as “” from the earlier “” on February 19, 2017.
ii. Now is the highest domain protocol commonly known as generic top level domain (gTLD).
iii. With this, SBI has become the first banking organization in India to adopt gTLD for its internet presence.
iv .The adoption of gTLD will enable SBI to use its corporate name .sbi as their website’s top-level identifier instead of using “.com” or “” as domains.
v. The existing web address will remain active till customers become familiar with operating through the new address.
State Bank of India
♦ State Bank of India is a government owned multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai
♦ Founded: 1 July 1955
♦ Chairperson: Arundhati Bhattacharya

SEBI Approves IRB InvIT Fund to Raise Fund Through IPO
i. Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its approval to IRB InvIT Fund, to raise Rs 4,300 crore through an initial public offering (IPO).
ii. IRB InvIT Fund is an investment trust sponsored by IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited, an Indian highway construction company headquartered in Mumbai.
IRBiii .Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) are like mutual fund schemes which pool in money from individual investors for investing in infrastructure initiatives.
iv. In September 2016, IRB InvIT Fund had filed its draft papers and got ‘observation’ from SEBI on February 9, 2017. This process is necessary for any entity to launch public offer.
v. According to the draft papers, IRB InvIT’s IPO comprises fresh issue of units worth up to Rs 4,300 crore by the trust and an offer for sale of units by IRB Infrastructure Developers and its subsidiaries comprising Modern Road Makers, Aryan Toll Road, ATR Infrastructure and Ideal Road Builders.
vi. The IRB InvIT Fund is sponsored by Mumbai-based toll road developer while IRB Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. is the investment manager to the trust.
vii. Some of the other such trusts registered with SEBI are GMR Infrastructure Investment Trust, MEP Infrastructure Investment Trust and IL&FS Transportation Investment Trust.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)
♦ Formed: 12 April 1992
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
♦ Chairman: U.K Sinha

Karnataka Bank Signs MoU with Daimler India
i. Magaluru based Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd (DICV) on February 20, 2017 to extend finance to customers for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.
ii .The deal will benefit the customers belonging to sectors such as MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to purchase commercial vehicles.
Karnataka Bank Limited
♦ Headquarters: Mangalore
♦ CEO: Polali Jayarama Bhat
♦ Founded: 1924
♦ Motto: Your family bank. Across India


Microsoft-Flikpkart Announce Strategic Tie-Up
i. US based IT giant Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Indian electronic commerce company Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal has  announced a “strategic partnership” on February 20, 2017.
ii. Aim :  To provide consumers in the country the best online shopping service.iii. As per the deal, Flipkart, will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.
iv. Microsoft Azure will add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres.
v. Flipkart also plans to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service.
Microsoft :
♦ Microsoft Corporationis an American multinational technology company that develops, manufactures, licenses, supports and sells computer software, consumer electronics and personal computers and services
♦ The fifth Microsoft logo, introduced on August 23, 2012
♦ Chairman: John W. Thompson
♦ CEO: Satya Nadella


Tata Steel owned Katamati Iron Mine Wins Best Green Organization Award
i. Katamati Iron Mine, owned by Tata Steel, was conferred with the Best Green Organisation of the Year Award on February 18, 2017 at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards in Mumbai.tata steel-logo
ii. The Global Green Future Leadership Awards, organized by World CSR Day, was honored to Katamati Iron Mine in recognition of its environmental protection measures.
iii. The award was received by Rahul Kishore, Head of Mining Operations, Katamati Iron Mine on behalf of Tata Steel from Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai.
iv. Katamati iron mine has been engaged in environmental protection efforts for years and has successfully implemented Environmental Management System as per the requirements of ISO 14001:2004
v. The Global Green Future Leadership Awards is awarded to any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address environmental concerns while maintaining a profit.


Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang Resigns, NPF Supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu elected as next CM
i. Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang stepped down from the post on February 19, 2017 facing revolt from his party MLAs against the decision to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in urban local bodies.
ii. Accompanied by several of his senior Cabinet colleagues, Zeliang submitted his resignation to the Governor of Nagaland P.B. Acharya who accepted the resignation and asked Zeliang to continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.
iii. Subsequently, the Nagaland People’s Front leader Zeliang, called for an emergency meeting of the NPF (Naga People’s Front) Legislature Party on February 20, 2017 at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima to select a new consensus leader to succeed him.
iv. Finally after meeting, Shurhozelie Liezietsu was unanimously elected as the legislature party leader of the ruling Democratic Alliance to be the new Nagaland Chief Minister. He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on February, 22, 2017


Apple acquires Israeli start-up RealFace
i. An American multinational technology company Apple has announced to acquire Israel-based start-up “RealFace” for an undisclosed amount on February 20, 2017
ii. The amount of the deal will be ‘several million dollars’.
iii. This acquisition will help to add facial recognition to the upcoming Apple’s iPhone 8. Apple can use the technology from the Israeli start-up for its own facial recognition software.
About RealFace :
♦ RealFace is a small start-up company in Israel, founded in 2014.The company developed facial recognition software as an alternative to traditional passwords and fingerprint recognition.
♦ It developed an app, Pickeez, that used facial recognition technology to choose the best pictures of a user from all their social networks.


Iran Launches Advanced Rockets During Military Exercises in Desert
i. The Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard launched sophisticated rockets during a military exercise that started on February 20, 2017 in Iran’s central desert.
ii. The three day maneuvers called ‘Grand Prophet 11’ will last on February 22, 2017.
iii. The model of the small and advanced rockets or their capabilities have not been revealed.
iv. The launch comes despite warnings from the United States and the sanctions over the previous ballistic missile test.Iran Rocket
♦ Capital: Tehran
♦ Currency: Iranian rial
♦ President: Hassan Rouhani
♦ Supreme leader: Ali Khamenei

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Successfully Launches From NASA launch Pad
i. The California-based SpaceX onboard its Falcon 9 rocket launched a robotic Dragon cargo ship with about 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) of supplies and science experiments toward the International Space Station on February 19, 2017 from Launch Complex 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
ii. After the launch, the rocket’s first stage separated and touched down on a landing pad at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
iii .It marked the eighth successful landing for SpaceX Rocket Company. The company became the first private space firm to launch a rocket from a NASA facility.
iv. This was the first time that SpaceX is using the LC-39A launchpad at the Kennedy Space Center since it leased it from NASA in 2014. It was originally built for the 1960s-era Apollo moon program.
v. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was closely monitoring the launch to learn more about the company’s operations before it clears the company to fly NASA astronauts on SpaceX rockets.
♦ Space Exploration Technologies Corporation better known as SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company.
♦ It was founded with the goal of creating the technologies to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.
♦ It has developed the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles and the Dragon spacecraft which is flown into orbit by the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to supply the International Space Station (ISS) with cargo.
♦ Headquarter: Hawthorne, California
♦ Founded: May 2002
♦ CEO: Elon Musk


Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma
i. Indian international cricketer Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports person had signed an eight-year deal worth Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a sports apparel brand Puma on February 20, 2017
ii. Kohli now join the list of  global ambassador for the brand likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry.
iii. Only Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs 100-crore club through multi-year contracts with talent management agencies, but they have never Virat Kohlibeen signed by a single brand for such a big amount.
Puma :
♦ PUMA SE, branded as PUMA, is a German multinational company that designs and manufactures athletic and casual footwear, apparel and accessories.
♦ The company was founded in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler.
♦ Headquarters: Herzogenaurach, Germany

Afghanistan Cricketers Nabi & Rashid Khan to Make Debut in IPL
i. For the first time in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction, two Afghanistan players were selected by the franchise on February 20, 2017 during the IPL Auction 2017.
ii .Mohammad Nabi became the first player from Afghanistan to be picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs. 30 lakhs.
iii. On the other hand his teammate Rashid Khan was signed by Mumbai Indians for an amount of Rs. 4 Crores.
iv. Five out of the 352 players listed for the auction in Bangalore were from Afghanistan for the first time.
v. 18-year-old Rashid Khan who is known for his googly has 62 international wickets to his name, 31 each in ODIs and T20 Internationals.
v. Nabi has represented the country in 72 ODIs and 52 T20 Internationals.

Frenchman Tsonga beats Goffin to Win Rotterdam Open
i .Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the 44th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament by defeating Belgian David Goffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 on February 19, 2017 in Rotterdam.
ii. Tsonga is the fourth Frenchman to win the title in Rotterdam Open. Before him Cedric Pioline (2000), Nicolas Escudé (2001 and 2002) and Michael Llodra (2008) did the same.
iii .With this, the sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (31) claimed his first ATP title since 2015 and will move up to 11th position in the World Ranking.
iv. The 26-year-old Goffin has not won a single ATP title since 2014.

Pakistan Cricket Legend Shahid Afridi Announces Retirement from International Cricket
i. Legendary Pakistani cricket Shahid Afridi  announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket on February 19, 2017 putting an end to 21-year career.
ii. Afridi had already quit the Test and ODI cricket earlier but still continued with T20.
Shahid Afridiiii .The 36-year-old star played for Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India. After that he stepped down as the captain and continued to play as a player.
iv .During his cricket career Afridi played just 27 Test matches with 1,176 runs and the highest score of 156 and 48 wickets.
v. In One-Day International he played 398 matches with 8,064 runs, a highest score of 124 while taking 395 wickets with his leg spin.
vi. Similarly, in Twenty20 international match he played 98 matches with 1,405 runs and 97 wickets.


Norway Nobel Committee Chairwoman Kullmann Dies At 65
i. Chair-woman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Kaci Kullmann Five, died on February 19, 2017. She was 65.
ii. Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible to select the Peace Prize laureates.
iii. Former businesswoman of Norway, Kullmann served as trade and shipping minister from 1989-1990 and was the leader of the Conservative Party from 1991-1994.
iv. In 2003, Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee while was elected chair in 2015.
v .She was among the decision makers who honoured former US vice president Al Gore (2007), former US president Barack Obama (2009), Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (2010), and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi (2003).

Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma passes away
Ved Prakashi. Famous Hindi novelist Ved Prakash Sharma was passed away in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh on February 18, 2017 . He was 62.
ii. Sharma has written nearly  176 novels includes “Qaidi No 100” and “Vardi Wala Gunda“.
iii. He had also written scripts for about half-a-dozen Hindi movies.

Former Mohun Bagan Goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee Passes Away
i. Former Mohun Bagan goalkeeper Shibaji Banerjee passed away in Kolkata on February 19, 2019 after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 68.
ii. The soccer legend Shibaji had played for the club for 11 years. Banerjee won 34 trophies with the club.
iii .He is also well known for stopping a free kick taken by Pele during the 1977 exhibition match against New York Cosmos.
iv. Banerjee was part of Mohun Bagan’s three-man technical committee at the time of passing away.


World Day of Social Justice  – February 20, 2017
i. Every year, 20th February is observed as World Day of Social Justice to recognize the World Day of Social Justice - February 20need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment
ii. 2017 Theme: “Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work”
iii. The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually, approved on 26 November 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice
Objectives :
♦ To encourage people to look at how social justice affects poverty eradication.
♦ To focuse on the goal of achieving full employment and support for social integration