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Current Affairs Today – February 21 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

PM Initiates Rurban Mission

PM Narendra Modi launched the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban Mission which is an initiative to transform the rural areas to get an urban look.

  • Started in Dongargarh near chattisgarh
  • To attract 5100 crore investment
  • Scheme divided into 300 clusters in next 3 years

Jharkhand State Budget 2016-17 publicized

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das presented Rs 63,502 crore budget for 2016-17 with strong focus on agriculture, curbing tax evasion and women.

  • As per annual financial statement, from the total budget outlay, Rs 26,437.34 crore was non-plan and Rs 37,065.35 crore was under plan.

“Royal state” and “Heart” of India composed SPVs for Smart Cities

As per the statement of Ministry of Urban Development, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have leading the charts in establishing the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) for the implementation of smart city plans.
(Minister of Urban Development – Venkaiah Naidu)

  • The Ministry of Urban Development will infuse 200 crore for the 20 selected cities only after SPVs are set up.

PM’s Hometown Restricts Mobile For Women

Narendra Modi is willing to take the Digital India initiative to the rural regions of the nation whereas on the contrary in his hometown a village called Mehsana near Suraj has restricted unmarried women to use mobile. The village leaders say that mobiles like liquor are spoiling the youth.

Flash points

  • It restricts unmarried women from using a mobile phone
  • If found violating the village resolution a fine of 2100 is to be paid
  • A reward of 200 is given to the informers
  • Girls can speak through their relative’s phone

Key points

  • Gujarat CM- Anandi Ben patel
  • In January, Ludar in Banaskantha district was the first village to implement such a ban

BANKING & FINANCE

All Villages to get Banking Access Zones

Our government is all set to proffer banking services in every village with the succor of technology and the network of Common Services Centres (CSCs).
(IT Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad)

  • The announcement has been made during the conference of women village level entrepreneurs (VLEs) under CSCs in New Delhi by IT minister.

Through CSCs, VLEs earned commissions of Rs. 438 crore on e-services viz. pancards, passport and rail ticketing.

World Bank to help Rajasthan in energy reforms

World Bank has pledged to lend to Rajasthan government on energy reforms this decision has been taken in the aftermath of meeting between World Bank’s country Director in India Mr. Onno Ruhl and Rajasthan Chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

  • The director praised the state’s effort on energy development and conveyed that Cooperation work between West Bengal government and Rajasthan government on energy reforms.
  • The bank has prepared detailed report focusing energy reforms from conventional and non-conventional sources.World Bank to help Rajasthan in energy reforms
  • The meeting held at Vasundhara Raje’s residence, Chief secretary CS Rajan special principal secretary for energy sanjay Malhotra and other officials were attended the meeting.

Quick Facts:

  • World Bank Inception-1944
  • Headquarters- Washington DC
  • President –Jim Yong Kim

PIB clears India Post’s Rs 800 crore proposal for payments bank

The Public Investment Board Clears Rs. 800 Crore proposal from India Post to set up Payment Banks, It will be kept before the Cabinet for the final approval within a month.

  • The PIB which runs under Finance Ministry stimulates the investment proposals by state run companies.
  • India Post also in line to finalize the consultant for setting up India Post’s payment bank and shortlisted six consultants but only three of them submitted the bids.
  • RBI has granted Payment Bank License to the department which has been serving financial services through 1.55 lakhs branches and India Post Payment Bank will start its full-fledged operation from this march.

About Payment Banks:

  • Reserve Bank of India has given Principal approval to set up Payment Banks to 11 entities out of 56 applicants
  • These banks targets unbanked areas which focusses financial inclusion irrespective of area people live be it city or remote village.
  • It cannot lend and can accept Deposits up to 1 Lakh, also provides Debit Card not Credit Card.

BUSINESS

GSFC to Setup a Nylon-6 Plant in Baroda

Gujarat State Fertilizers Commission has proposed to set up a manufacturing unit of Nylon -6 Plant near Baroda at an estimated cost of Rs.140 Crores.

Flash points

  • GFSC is going to enhance the nylon 6 chips production to 15000 MTPA
  • It has recently strengthened its nylon yarn at a cost of 50 crores with the production of 2600 MTPA
  • The company which took up a Melamine project for Rs.1000 crores is to begin the project in 2018-19

US launches anti-dumping probe on tyres from India, Sri Lanka and China

The US Department of Commerce has decided to initiate Antidumping and Countervailing duties investigations on imports from Pneumatic off -Road Vehicle tyres which imported from India, China and Sri Lanka.US launches anti-dumping probe on tyres from India, Sri Lanka and China

  • The duties will be imposed to off Road duty tyres that runs on gravel surface such as agricultural fields, Construction duties and other factories.
  • The US International Trade Commission will determine the impact of these imported tyres which significantly makes injury to the domestic tyre industries.
  • Similar Tyre type from China had earlier faced this probe.

Why Antidumping and Countervailing Duty?

  • Antidumping and Countervailing duties are imposed independently of any other duty to which imported goods are liable. These are calculated to bridge the gap back to a fair market value.
  • These duties are liable to imported products that causes harm to the domestic products i.e.: The imported item priced less than the domestic product of same kind.

AWARDS & RECONITIONS

DICE 2016: Fallout 4 Wins Game of the Year at DICE Awards 2016

Bethesda Soft works owned Fallout 4 pronounced as the winner of the 19th DICE Awards organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science (AIAS) the event held at Las Vegas, US.

The Bestselling Game also bagged three awards including

  1. Game of the Year.
  2. Best Roll playing Game of the Year.
  3. Outstanding Achievement in game Direction.
  • Fallout 4 is an action role playing video game available in Platform 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • AIAS is a non-profit organization that organizes the DICE Awards in recognition of the interactive arts.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Vinay Kumar Singh accredited as the MD of NCRTC

New Delhi headquartered National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) has designated railway officer Vinay Kumar Singh as its Managing Director.

  • The selection has been made through an interview, taken by search and selection committee.
  • The committee was comprised of Urban Development Secretary, Railway Board Member (Staff), an official from the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT)and an expert from World Bank.

Jayant Misra Appointed As DG of DRI

Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra was appointed as Director General of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).

  • Jayant Misra has been transferred from Director General of Systems and data management to the current post that lies vacant about eight months
  • This comes after Special Investigation team asked the DRI to verify if USD 505 billion was transacted out of the country between 2004 -2013 as part of Trade based money laundering.

Amit Mitra appointed as chairman of GST committee

Amit Mitra appointed as chairman of GST committee

Economist and West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has been appointed as the chairman of empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers on Goods and Service tax.

  • He will succeed the Kerala State Finance Minister KM Mani who supposed to resign over corruption charges against him in November 2015.
  • The Head of the Empowered Committee of State Finance Minsters has always been from opposition ruled state.

Goods and Services Tax

  • GST is a comprehensive single tax levied on Goods and services that will subsume all other taxes levied on the goods and services indirectly.
  • It restricts the states for taxing the sale or purchase of goods to the supply of goods or services.

Presently there are 160 that have implemented the GST in the world.

Sujan R. Chinoy concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to Republic of the Marshall Islands

Senior envoy Sujan R Chinoy has been appointed as India’s Ambassador to republic of the Marshall Islands , presently he is serving ambassador to Japan .He is concurrently  accredited to the post concurrently

  • He had served earlier in Indian Missions in Hong Kong and Beijing. Also worked at the permanent mission of India to the United Nations in New York.
  • Sujan R. Chinoy, from Gujarat Cadre of 1981 batch of the Indian Foreign Service.

Ketan Shukla the new HC Of Bostwana

The 1986 IFS batch officer Dr.Ketan Shukla is appointed as the new High Commissioner to the Republic of Bostwana .He was previously the Joint secretary of Ministry of External Affairs. He succeeds Ms.Hemalata , C. Bhagirath as the High commissioner of the African state.

Key points

  • Bostwana capital- Gaborone
  • Bostwana Currency- Bostwana pula
  • President of Bostwana- Ian Khama

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Ksheer Scanner To Benefit People

The union minister for science and technology Harsh Vardhan dedicated the Ksheer Scanner system for people which are used to detect Adulteration in Milk. It was developed by CSIR-CEERI.

  • India is the leading producer of milk with 18% contribution of world production
  • India consumes about 146 million tonnes of milk

SPORTS

Brendon Mccullum Sets A New Record With His 54 Ball Ton

Brendon McCullum the New Zealand skipper sets a new record with his 54 ball ton in his farewell innings against Australia on February 20 in ChristChurch.. He broke the record of fastest ton in test cricket by Vivian Richards and Misbah which was scored in 56 balls. It also gains special importance with this being Mccullum’s last test match.

  • McCullum’s first 100 had 16 fours, four sixes three two’s and just six singles
  • He crossed his second fifty in just 20 balls

Asian Athletic Indoor Championships

Asian Athletic Indoor Championships

This weekend gains importance with the Indoor Asian Athletic championships starting in Doha in Qatar. It takes place between February 19-21.this 7th Asian Athletic Championship will have around 450 men and women representing 37 nations.

  • Main stadium- Aspire Doom
  •  Total events- 26
  • Two Asian and five world records were made on the first dayFlashlight
  • Mutaz Barshim wins high jump
  • Li Ling improves Asian pole vault record to 4.70 m from 4.66m
  • Mayooka johny with her 6.35m leap in Long jump gained India’s first Asian indoor title event

OBITUARY

Famous Singer Bhubaneshwari Mishra Passes Away

The famous Odissa singer Bhubaneshwari Mishra passed away at the age of 67 following a sudden cardiac arrest in NewDelhi.Odissa CM Naveen Patnaik expressed his deep condolence and called her a very talented artist.

Key points

  • She is a renown classical and playback singer
  • She began her career with Tiki Mora Naa Ti as her first song in 1970’s
  • She received Odisha state film award in best female playback singer category in two consecutive years 1979 & 1980

Italian Novelist Umberto Eco Passed Away At 84Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco, the philosopher cum novelist who is renowned for his work ‘The Name Of The Rose’ demised at the age of 84.he was struggling with cancer and died on Feb 19 night.

Keypoints

  • Eco was born in Alessandria in 1932
  • The Italian novelist’s famous novel The Name Of The Rose (1980) was made into a film in 1986
  • His novel Numero Zero was released last year
  • He has been known as a Master of Italian culture
  • Foucault’s Pendulum is his another famous novel
  • He founded the communications department at the University of San Marino in the 1980s.