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Current Affairs Today – February 23 2016

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INDIAN AFFAIRS

Kasaragod district of Kerala declared as “Zero Landless District”

Kasaragod district of Kerala has been declared as the second zero landless district, after Kannur.

  • It was announced during the “title deed mela” by the Kerala’s home ministerRamesh Chennithala. The event was presided by state’s revenue minister Adoor Prakash.
  • 30,900 plots have been identified for zero landless scheme in Kasargod District.
  • As a part of project, 73 acres of land in Kasaragod taluk and 971.10 acres have been made available in Hosdurg taluk.

Empowered Group of State Transport Ministers formed to suggest measures on transport sector

Union Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways led by Mr. NitinGadkari announced the Empowered Group of State Transport ministers Headed by Rajasthan Transport Minister Yunus Khan formed to suggest measures on ailing transport sector.

AIM: To Advice on policy issues to make the Country’s transport sector modern efficient and transparent manner, and pledged to strengthen the sector.

  • To sort out accidents and traffic jams there is a need for technology that uses Satellite it similar to Air traffic Control and river Traffic Control
  • He also stated 5 lakhs accidents that accounts about 1.5 lakh lives and pledged to reduce 50% of them by next five years.
  • The Minister also stressed the need E –Tolling in all toll plazas in the country which will make hassle free toll collection that considerably reduces the Vehicle Traffic and Pollution significantly.

‘Exercise IBSAMAR’ between India, SA, Brazil begins

IBSAMAR” is a joint naval exercise between India, Brazil and South Africa, this will be the fifth edition of the Harbor Phase of the Exercise to commence from Goa Coast. This is done in two phases namely Harbor phase and Sea Phase.

AIM:  To increase the interoperability among three navies as well as common understanding maritime security between the navies.

  • This is the first time the Exercise is held in India all the previous editions of the joint Exercise hosted in South Africa initiated in 2006.
  • The scope of IBSAMAR-V includes range professional interactions during harbor phase and diverse range operational activities during Sea Phase.
  • In the course of the Exercise Indian navy represented by INS Mumbai an Indigenous designed and built guided missile destroyer INS trishul- A Stealth Frigate and INS –Shalki, A Shisuhumar class submarine.IBSAMAR

South Africa

  • Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Down, Bloemfontein
  • Currency: South African rand

Brazil

  • Capital: Brasilia
  • Currency: Brazilian real

Atal Pension Yojana eligible for same tax benefits as National Pension System

Atal Pension Yojana which replaced the National Pension System now will be eligible for the tax benefits as it was provided for National Pension System.

  • The Tax benefits comes with additional deduction of Rs. 50,000 introduced in the last year budget.
  • Since the launch in June 2015 the Scheme It has gained 20 Lakh beneficiaries which is open to Indians aged between 18 and 40 and minimum tenure of 20 years.
  • The key feature of the scheme is the government will contribute 50% for a period of five years to the subscribers who joins before 31 March 2016.Tax payers will not come in the ambit of the scheme.

Committee formed in Nashik to Rejuvenate Godavari

A Few environment activists under the leadership of Deepak Naik– chairperson of Maharashtra state Economic development council have formed a committee in Nashik to revive Godavari.

  • The committee includes Rekha Somalia, Deepak Naik , environment activists and experts
  • Naik who has rejuvenated nearly 78 rivers strongly believes that there is a lot of potential to revive Godavari
  • Activists also plan to encourage eco tourism, bird tourism and agro tourism compared to boat club and seaplane

42nd Khajuraho Dance Festival Begins In MP

42nd Khajuraho Dance Festival Begins In MP

The 42nd Khajuraho Dance Festival begun in  Khajuraho, Chhatrapur District in Madhya Pradesh

  • The famous festival to showcases verities of classical Dances including Kathak, Bharatanatyam,Oddissi, and Kuchipudi giving a picture of the ancient tales like Mahishsur Mardini and Krishna Rasa the auspicious showcase is organized by Department of Culture, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The festival is celebrated on the framework of Khajuraho Temple build by Chandela Dynasty between 950 and 1050 AD.
  • The Performances includes Classical dances, Documentaries, Short Films related to fine Arts and it will be held in front of the temples dedicated to Surya (The lord Sun) at ChitraguptaTemple and Lord Shiva at Vishwanatha Temple.
  • The Khajuraho Temple is a group of Hindu and Jain Temples in Madhya Pradesh. They are one of the UNESCO World heritage Sites in India.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

US and Russia enter into a New deal to stop Bloodshed in Syria

Syria which has been continuously under coverage because of its internal warfare and outraged terrorist activities is again in flashlight following an agreement by US and Russia to ceasefire in Syria. This New deal came as a joint statement from US and Russia. However this ceasefire excludes Islamic state, al-Nusra Front and the other deemed terrorist groups.

Present scenario

  • The Syrian army is now backed by Moscow, Iran and fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Ranged against them are rebels supported by the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia

Pakistan parliament became the first to run entirely on solar power

On Tuesday (February 23), Pakistan parliament became the first of its kind to run entirely on solar power. It was inaugurated by Pakistan Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

  • The project was funded by china which costs about $55 million
  • It was initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit in 2014
  • It is another symbol of Pakistan-China friendship Sharif remarked.
  • Pakistan capital- Islamabad

India Extends $1 Million Assistance to Cyclone-Hit Fiji

India to extend $1 million in immediate assistance to the Island Nation Fiji after Devasting cyclone Winston hits.

  • Winston cyclone severely affecting the island with it wind gusts of 325 Kmph and 12 m height waves that severely causes lives as well as financial damage to the country.
  • India pledged to support in the rehabilitation and rebuilding of the Fiji.

FIJI

  • Capital: Suva
  • Currency: Fijian Dollar

EU grants ‘special status’ to UK

David Cameron led United Kingdom has been granted “Special Status” in the 28 Nation union. The UK Leader pledged to campaign heart and soul to stay in EU.

  • This move comes after two days negotiation that made Britain an explicit exemption from the foundational goal that “Ever Closer Union”. And this decision has been taken unanimously.
  • Cameron Will make official announcement in this regard, however he said the poll is expected to cast on June 23 this year.
  • The summit held in Brussels with his EU counterparts to discuss varies issues pertaining with migrant movement.

United Kingdom

  • Capital: London
  • Currency:  Pound Sterling
  • Prime Minister:  David Cameron

BANKING & FINANCE

Srei ram to invest 2000 crores for Indian Vision Fund

Srei ram will invest 2000 crores for India Vision Fund which will buy the stressed assets, loans & properties of corporate, NBFC’S and companies which can be revived through proper plans.

  • The fund will invest in debt cum mezzanine instruments thereby providing investors an opportunity to gain on their investments
  • Both national and international investors are likely to invest
  • Srei Ram CIO- Nalin kumar

BUSINESS

India-The Major importer of Arms in the world

A Report released by the SIPIR (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) clearly places India in the topmost position of Arms import in the world between 2011-2015. India’s imports account for 14% of the world’s total imports.

Flashpoints

  • India is followed by China in the row making it as the second largest importer with 7% and then Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%)
  • India’s imports have been increased by 90%in the year 2011-15 compared to 2006-10
  • India’s imports is thrice as that of China and Pakistan

Ricoh India to supply Hardware in Odisha Schools

Ricoh India, a subsidiary of Ricoh group, Japan has got an order worth Rs.344 Crores from Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation to supply hardware for Government schools in Odisha.

  • The project involves supply,installation of hardware, connected accessories, software and its maintenance
  • 2000 government aided high schools of Odisha are to be benefited out of this under the [email protected] school scheme

Other facts

  • Ricoh India expects 55% revenue growth this year
  • It has planned to invest 300 crores in development of its Data centers
  • Presently it has two data centers in New Delhi and Kolkata

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

India Sports Awards 2015: SPY conferred upon Lalita Babar

The title of Sportsperson of the Year has been conferred upon long-distance runner Lalita Babar for the India Sports Awards 2015.

  • The Indian Sports Award were presented in New Delhi on the last day of the “Turf 2015-16”, organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) with the support of the sports ministry.

Tamilian movie “Kanavu Variyam” to get Remi Award at WorldFest

Kanavu Variyam, a Tamil movie directed by a Chennai based techie Arun Chidambaram has been selected for the prestigious Remi Award in the US.

  • The award will be presented to Arun Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, which will be held from April 8-17, 2016.
  • The film deals with the power cuts and shortage of electricity in the Indian villages.
  • The movie is produced by A. Chidambaram and Karthik Chidambaram in the banner of DCKAP Cinemas.

India Gate’s 550kg rice bag enters Guinness World Records

The rice Bag of India Gate’s Classic Basmati Rice weighing 550 kg has recorded as Heaviest Bag of Rice.This world record feet entered in Guinness Book of World Records in the 4 day food and hospitality trade show named Gulfood 2016.

  • The new record by Noida based KRBL Ltd world Largest Rice Millers and Basmati Rice Exporters.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS

Ri Myong Su Appointed As New Military Chief Of North Korea

Ri Myong Su has been appointed to head the Korean People’s Army general staff after his predecessor Ri Yong –gil exclusion from the post, rumors circulated that he has been executed.

  • State run Korean Central News Agency(KCNA) have made no announcement prior to his appointment, however he has been spotted Military maneuvers  that led by the Supreme Leader Kim Jong –un
  • Ri Myong su is an experienced hand in North Korean politics. He was an advisor to the former Leader Kim Jong-il and the head of the Ministry for People’s Security.He has started his career in 1950 during the Korean War.
  • North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test last month and launched a long-range rocket earlier of this month.Ri Myong Su Appointed As New Military Chief Of North Korea

NORTH KOREA:

  • Supreme Leader: Kim Jong Un
  • Capital: Pyongyang
  • Currency: North Korean won

Udai Kumar appointed as the fulltime MD & CEO of MSEI

The Metropolitan Securities Exchange of India Limited appointed Udai Kumar as its MD & CEO on a permanent basis after the approval came from SEBI.

  • He was the MD & CEO of MSEI on a interim basis since 12,October 2015
  • Saurabh sarkar who was the former MD & CEO quit in October following a fall in the market share in the currency derivatives segment

Facts to be known

  • MSEI formerly known as MCX is the youngest stock exchange of the country founded in 2008
  • It was renamed as MSEI in 2014 and has its headquarters at Mumbai

Justice Vineet Saran appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court

Justice Vineet Saran has been appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court by the President of India Pranab Mukherjee .The new Chief justice will take oath on February 26.Justice Vineet Saran appointed as Chief Justice of Orissa High Court

  • Vineet was officiating as a senior judge of Karnataka High Court prior to his new appointment, the post was lying vacant since 15 February after the serving Judge D H Waghela took charge of Chief Justice of Bombay.
  • Pradeep K Mohanty is currently working as acting chief justice of Orissa High court.
  • Justice Vineet saran graduated from Allahabad University in 1976 and obtained L.L.B in 1979.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

India’s first N-submarine INS Arihant aces deep sea test

Having passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests over the past few months, and now it is ready for formal induction into the Naval Fleet.

  • India’s ambitious indigenously build first Nuclear Armed Submarine is ready for full-fledged operations.
  • The RFS –Epron a Russian ship supplemented nuclear submarine on its deep sea dives and launch tests since October last year that took place in Visakhapatnam.

ENVIRONMENT

India overtakes China in Pollution level

Greenpeace analysis data taken by NASA satellites alarmed that the average particulate matters of population have increased in India overtaking China for the first time in 21st century.

  • As per a WHO report out of the 20 most polluted cities 13 lies in India especially North India
  • In 2005, the particulate matter pollution in India was very less than eastern china but with robust measures to curb pollution China has reduced its pollution level from 2013
  • India has only 39 NAQI stations as compared to 1500 such stations in China
  • Only by implementing strict rules and more stations to measure particulate matters in air pollution can be brought down
  • Bharat VI mission is likely to be implemented by April,2020

SPORTS

FC Dnipro Reserves clinched the 2016 Nagjee International Club Football Tournament

The 36th edition of the Sait Nagjee Football Tournament was held at Kozhikode, Kerala. FC Dnipro Reserves of Ukraine had grabbed the tournament’s trophy by defeating Atletico Paranaense Reserves of Brazil.

  • The 15 days event of 2016 was the first edition of this tournament after 1995.
  • The event was organised by the Kozhikode District Football Association (KDFA)with the support of Siddeek Ahmed, President KDFA.
  • The Sait Nagjee Trophy was in partnership with UK based charitable organizationFootball for Peace (FfP).