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Current Affairs Today – February 25 2016

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Current Affairs Today feb 25


Prabhu’s Era: Rail Budget 2016-17

On 25th February 2016, Railway Budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 has been presented by Union Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu.

  • The key budget document dubbed “Annual Financial Statement” aka “Budget Statement”, showing estimated receipts and expenditure, has to be laid before Parliament in respect of every financial year which runs from 1st April to 31st March w.r.t Article 112 of the Constitution.

PMKVY Funds for Punjab

NDA government’s Flagship Scheme Pradhan MandhiriKushalVikasYojana in complementary to the Prime Minister Make in India Campaign to envisage the skilled labour to the Nation.

  • It was launched on 15th July 2015, that provides training to the Youths and in the completion of the training they will certified and monetary award through Direct Benefit transfer (DBT).
  • The Scheme implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and all the 29 States and 6 Union Territories will come under the ambit of the scheme.
  • Punjab being one the Beneficiary state that enrolled 45, 544 candidates of which 31, 221 of them trained and 1, 205 Candidates have got employment.
  • Under the scheme 7, 174 candidates of Punjab has awarded whooping monetary award of 6, 54, 62,500 – through DBT.


  • Capital: Chandigarh
  • Chief Minister:  Prakash Singh Badal
  • Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki

Cabinet nod to Atal Innovation Mission

Atal Innovation Mission and Self Employment Talent Utilization are being set up National Institution for Transforming India and will have Headquarter in New Delhi.

AIM of the Mission: An innovation Promotion Platform that involves Academics, Entrepreneurs, and Researchers possessing national and international Experiences to foster a Culture of Innovation, R&D in India.

  • Decision has been taken by Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narandra Modi and the Mission would be guided by Mission High Level Committee.
  • AIM and SETU under NITI to come up with Rs 500 Crore and Rs. 1, 000 crore respectively as stated in Budget Speech 2015- 2016 by finance minister.
  • NITI Aayog established an Export Committee on Innovation and Entrepreneurship to work out detailed forms of AIM and SETU by the chairmanship of Tarun Khanna Professor at Harvard University.

Points to Remember about NITI:

  • Chairperson: Narendra Modi
  • CEO: Amitabh Kant
  • Vice Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya

Avoidance of Double taxation income by agreement between India and Maldives

PM- Narendra Modi and his cabinet approved the agreement which will avoid double taxation for International airline enterprises in Maldives and India.

Main featuresAvoidance of Double taxation income by agreement between India and Maldives

  • Tax can be paid on the profits earned out of operation of aircrafts only in the country where the enterprise belongs to
  • It provides for relief from double taxation for airline enterprises of both the countries way of exemption of income derived by the enterprise of India from the operation of aircraft in international traffic, from Maldivian tax and vice-versa.
  • It provides tax certainty
  • Mutual agreement procedure to solve issues

India-UK agreement for collaboration of Crop Sciences

The Department of bio-technology of Ministry of Science & Technology and UK’s top research institute signed a MoU for collaboration for research on Crop Sciences.

  • The agreement was signed by Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Cambridge University Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
  • Aim-Collaborative Research, exchange of Knowledge, support capacity building for resilience in Food security
  • Focus areas- Drought resistance, Disease resistance, yield enhancement and crop re-breeding
  • Establishment of Indo-UK plant science centre in India

Cabinet approves $150 million for Chabahar port in Iran

The cabinet approved $150 million for development of Chabahar port in Republic of Iran which will facilitate trade route to Afghanistan bypassing Pakistan.

  • The MoU was signed between India and Tehran last May to develop Chabahar port on South-eastern coast
  • It will facilitate a trade route to nearby nations especially Afghanistan
  • It will help India compete with China which has invested heavily in Gwadar port in Pakistan


Billionaires in India are higher than Russia and UK

In accordance with the Hurun Report 2016, India introduces 27 new billionaires, thereby sat at3rd position in the list of billionaires, raising the number to 111. The Hurun Global Rich List 2016 ranked 2,188 billionaires from 68 countries.

  • India ranked behind China which stood as chart lead with 568 billionaires and United States which positioned at 2nd with 535 billionaires.

“Vienna” leads the list of “World’s Best City to Live In”

In accordance with the 18th Mercer Quality of Life study, Vienna is the world’s best city to live in.

  • The study examined 230 global cities on the premises of social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment, and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff.
  • Baghdad was named as the worst city in the world.

Britain-the FinTech capital of the world

An Independent report published by Ernst & Young today ranked Britain as the first among FinTech cities of the world. Britain is first among seven leading FinTech hubs from Silicon Valley to Hong Kong.

  • Major FinTech cities: Australia, California, Newyork, Hong Kong, Germany and Singapore


SBI launches new branch for e-commerce loans

Country’s largest lender launches SBI ESmart SME to offer E-Commerce startups, this is the first of its kind.

  • The Bank has decided to cater exclusively to offer loans to E commerce startups and will have dedicated branch, also joined hands with E commerce major Snapdeal.
  • With this sellers can apply loan on the E commerce platform as well as exclusive branches where it will be sanctioned instantly.
  • This product uses proprietary data and surrogates information from Public Domain to access the Creditworthiness for the loan approval.


  • Quick Sanction with KYC documents.
  • Collateral free loan up to Rs. 10 Lakhs under MUDRA
  • Processing fee of 0.399%
  • Women Entrepreneurs will have concession of 25%.


FINO PayTech-Reliance tie-up to provide credit for Rural poor in MP

FINO Paytech has tied up with Reliance Commercial Finance to provide credit to rural areas of Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh.

  • Loan is given through Joint Liability Group model
  • It will provide credit for women for a tenure of 24 months for revenue generating activities
  • A pilot project has been initiated in Vidharba of Maharashtra, Bhopal,Hardha, Khandwa,Vidhisha, Khargone in MP.

Points to note

  • Vipr Bhardwaj-Executive Vice president and head of FINO Paytech
  • Srinivasan –CEO of Reliance Commercial Finance

Johnson & Johnson fined $72 million for baby powder

Johnson & Johnson to pay fine of $ 72 million in the case of ovarian cancer that cost a woman life who used a company’s talcum powder.Johnson & Johnson fined $72 million for baby powder

  • Louis jury ordered the pharmacy company to pay $72 million to Jacqueline Salter Fox family, $ 10 million for actual damages and $ 62 million for punitive damages.
  • About 1, 000 cases have been filed in Missouri court, also Jacqueline Fox used the talcum powder over 35 years and died at age of 62.
  • Johnson company faces claims that it failed to create awareness that its Talc-based products could cause cancer.


Goverdhan Mehta honoured with “Bundesverdienstkreuz”

Federal Republic of Germany’s prestigious “Cross of the Order of Merit” has been bestowed upon the Padma Shri awardee Goverdhan Mehta, a well-known researcher in Chemical Sciences & former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad.

  • “Bundesverdienstkreuz” (the Cross of the Order of Merit) has been presented to Mr. Goverdhan by Achim Fabig, the German Consul General in Chennai.

Afghan cyclist team nominated for Nobel Peace prize

Afghan cyclist team nominated for Nobel Peace prize

Afghanistan’s National Cyclist team has been nominated for Nobel Peace prize by members of Italian Parliament according to Total cycle team. They have been nominated for using bicycle as a vehicle for social justice, enduring violence and social stigma.

Points to know

  • This cyclist team ended up first in Asian championship held at Delhi in 2013
  • Afghan had a cycle team in 1986 and then due to Taliban rule it was prohibited in the nation and reborn in 2011 under the efforts of Abdul Sediq
  • The team is led by Zahra Hussaini
  • Around 118 members of Italian parliament voted for this team


Govt appoints 3 information commissioners in CIC

The NDA led Centre appointed three retired civil servants as Information Commissioner of Central Information Commission they are,

  1. Amitava Bhattacharyya (IAS) -Gujarat -1980.
  2. Bimal Julka    (IAS) -Madhya Pradesh -1979.
  3. Divya Prakash Sinha (IPS) -Manipur -1979.

Nissan welcomes cricket stars as new global ambassadors

Japanese Car maker Nissan announced a new line –up of cricket talent in partnership with the International cricket Council as Global Ambassadors.

  • Indian Opener Rohit Sharma, West Indian All Rounder Andre Russell and New Zeland skipper Suzie Bates will help the Nissan to bring excitement among cricket fans, starting with ICC World T20 in India. South African Bowling maestro Dale steyn and bowler Rabada also work as ambassadors in their home country.
  • In addition to advertising Campaign these ambassadors will be active on social media across the tournament emphasizing fan’s eye initiative Nissan Play of the Day and Sharing cricket content.
  • The sponsorship deal with ICC includes all tournaments between 2016 and 2023 and the deal life of eight years.

Rahul Taneja-the New Chief People Officer of Jet Airways

The 47 Year old, Rahul Taneja is appointed as the new Chief People Officer of Jet Airways India Ltd on Tuesday(February 23).He will be placed at the company’s Headquarters at Mumbai.

About Rahul Taneja

  • He worked earlier with Essar Group as HR
  • He has 25 Years of experience in various industrial sectors
  • He has served as the HR of many National and International companies

Justice Dinesh Maheshwari sworn-in as Chief Justice of Meghalaya H

  • Justice Dinesh Maheshwari will be the new Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court who succeeded Uma Nath Singh who retired on January 14.
  • Sahnmuganathan State’s governor administrated the oath ceremony of the Chief Justice in Raj Bhavan.Justice Dinesh Maheshwari sworn-in as Chief Justice of Meghalaya HC
  • Dinesh Maheshwari graduated in law from Jodhpur University in 1980, earlier worked as Senior Judge of the Allahabad High Court‘s Lucknow Bench.


  • Capiatl: Shillong
  • Chief Minister: MukulSangma
  • Governor: V. Shanmuganathan


Government to Sell Its 5 % Stake in NTPC

Government has decided to divest 5% of its share that raised Rs. 5030 crore in NTPC through the Offer for Sale route as per the disinvestment plan of 2015-16.

  • This will be the second biggest disinvestment after Indian Oil Corporation and sixth disinvestment in the fiscal that spread over two days.
  • Government had offered 41.22 crore shares at a floor price of Rs. 122 per share that raised whooping 5, 030 crore and government remains major stakeholder of 69.96% in NTPC.
  • Disinvestment Board has been fixed target of Rs. 69, 500 crore for2015-16 fiscal , It comes after the SEBI’s OFS Rules revision on disinvestment that allow the bidding for shares spread over two days.


CGPDTM revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions

The Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDT) has issued an order excluding software patents in its revised guidelines for Computer Related Inventions (CRIs).

Flash points

  • The new order clearly mentions that, mere computer programmes those not in conjunction with a novel hardware will not be granted patent in India
  • The new guidelines Follow CGPDT’s stay on the revised guidelines issued in August 2015 which have allowed the patenting of software
  • Earlier, CGPDTM had agreed with a Parliamentary Panel which had observed that computer programmes as such are not intended to be granted patent as per Patents Act, 1970
  • The sub-section 3(k) of Act mentions that mathematical methods or business methods or computer programme or algorithms are not patentable.

Points to note

  • CGPDTM is a nodal agency that supervises IPR rights in India
  • It is under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • O.P.Gupta-officer of CGPDTM


High sediment mercury levels reported in Arctic region

A recent study conducted by researchers from Kottayam Kerala school of Environmental sciences revealed that the level of sediment mercury is high in Arctic region.

  • The study was conducted in Kongsfjorden-one of the fjord situated at Ny-Alesund
  • It was conducted by a group of researchers from Kottayam Kerala school affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University


Australia Reclaims No.1 in ICC Test rankings


India on 24th February lost its No.1 position to Australia in ICC test rankings. Australia after defeating the Kiwi’s in Christchurch test match won the series                2-0 against New Zealand and also climbed the ladder in test rankings reaching the top.

Points to note

  • Australia ended up at No.1 in ICC test rankings for this year with 112 points
  • India are in 2nd position with just 2 points behind Aussies with 110 points
  • Australia will receive a cash award of $ 1 million and India to get 5 lakh $ cash award
  • Steve Smith will receive the cash on behalf of the team
  • South Africa and Pakistan are in 3rd and 4th ranks respectively
  • This is the eighth time Australia have ended up first in ICC test rankings since it was started in 2003
  • They currently occupy position 1 in ICC ODI rankings