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The government will extend the e-tourist VISA to 37 more countries from today.At present Indian Government offers two VISA’s to tourists namely traditional tourist VISA and e-VISA
- An e-VISA or electronic VISA is something which does not have a stamp or label
- Currently 113 countries are given e-VISA
- This scheme was introduced by the government on November 27,2014
Mizoram Government officially Launched National Food Security Act, 2013 and will come in effect from March 1, 2016.The Act was launched by Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister John Rotluangliana at Aizwal in Mizoram.
- The Act will cover two third of the state’s population , Up to 75 % of the Rural population and 50% urban population for receiving the subsidized food grain.
- Over 706, 296 out of the total population of 11 lakh would be provided rice at subsidized rate while the non-beneficiaries could buy eight kg of rice per month at a cost of Rs. 15 per Kg.
Sex ratio upgraded from 933 in 2001 to 943 in 2011
In accordance with the information received from Office of Registrar General of India (RGI), India has shown a mounting in sex ratio from 933 females in 2001 to 943 in 2011 for every 1,000 males.
- As per report, female births has increased to 1,06,36,276 in 2013 from 94,63,528 in 2012 as compared to 1,18,44,107 and 1,04,25,752 male births in the corresponding years.
- This improvement in sex ratio is due to the measures taken by govt for girl child through gender sensitive policies, provisions and legislations.
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare – Jagat Prakash Nadda
Committee formed for Evolution of New Education Policy
A committee has been framed under T.S.R Subramanian to evolve the New Education Policy. The committee has to consider the various suggestions received from online portal, various educational pioneers and experts and frame a Draft of the New Education Policy.
- The Committee consists of Shri T.S.R. Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary as the Chairman
- It includes Shailaja Chandra, former Chief Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sevaram Sharma, former Home Secretary, NCT of Delhi, Shri Sudhir Mankad, former Chief Secretary, Gujarat & J.S. Rajput, former Director, NCERT as members.
- The 3 consultations include online, grassroots and national level thematic deliberations
- The online consultation process was undertaken on MyGov.in portal from 26th January, 2015 to 31st October, 2015
- 29,109 suggestions have been received on the 33 identified themes.
Cabinet approves incentivise cashless transactions
The Union cabinet has approved to incentivize cashless transactions by providing support in various ways.
- It has withdrawn charges levied by banks, financial organization for using cards and other digital means of money transfer
- It also have paved way to use cashless transactions in government offices by removing the need to provide proof
- Rationalization of Merchant Discount rate on telecom services to promote mobile banking
- This will curb the illegal transactions as most of them are taking place through cash transactions
- Finance minister- Arun Jaitley
Iran votes in first elections since nuclear deal
Iranians will cast vote on February 26, 2016 to choose a new parliament and for the top clerical body Assembly of Experts that appoints Iran’s Supreme Leader.
- This is first election since Iran signed Nuclear Deal with World Powers will test the people mandate of the country.
- To Choose 290 MPS out of 6000 Candidates, Almost 55 million people are eligible to cast votes to elect MPs.
- In the second Election the will also select the Assembly of Experts of 88 Clerics out of A total of 161 Candidates that monitors the work of the Leader of the Iran.
- Member of Parliaments are elected for four year term while Clerical body have eight year term and will have sound influence in the Parliament.
- Currency: Iranian Rial
- Supreme Leader: Ali Khemani
- President: Hassan Rouhani
India losses solar case against US at WTO
World Trade Organization said Indian Government’s Power purchase Agreements with solar firms were inconsistent with international Norms.
- WTO headquartered Geneva, Switzerland in this issue alleged India that Domestic Content Requirement (DCR) in the country’s solar mission were biased in nature against the American Solar Developers.
- The Jury found that DCR measures were less favorable Treatment to the American Companies and were not justified under GATT (General Agreement of Trade and Tariff) rules.
- However India can challenge this ruling before the appellate body of WTO.
India’s Solar Mission:
India’s Solar Mission also called Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission launched in 2010 by UPA government led Dr. ManMohan Singh with the target 20 GW by 2022 with the revised target of100 GW by 2022 in last year’s Budget Speech.
BANKING & FINANCE
On 26th February 2016, Finance minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Macro-Economic Survey 2015-16 in Parliament. The economic survey was prepared by the Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian.
- In accordance with survey, Indian economy is growing at a pace of 7-7.5% and it is expected to accelerate at 8% in the next couple of years.
- India’s macro-economy is sturdy and it is likely to be the fastest growing major economy in the world in 2016 as it shows an expansion from 7.2% in 2014-15 to 7.6% in current fiscal.
The Reserve bank has included the National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD) in second schedule of RBI Act, 1934. It was released by RBI in a notification.
- NBAD is the leading bank in middle east
- It has its global presence in around 17 countries
- It is spread over overseas territories and five continents
Birla Sunlife Mutual funds officially launched 100 % paperless Aadar based EKYC facility this is the first of its kind from the company.
- That allows the First time investors can now complete their eKYC formality by their Aadar number using One Time Password method of recording investors data from Aadar Data that procured by Unique Identification Authority of India.
CCEA hikes MSP of raw jute from Rs 2,700 to 3,200 per quintal
Government has decided to raise the Minimum Support Price of Raw Jute by 18.5 % to Rs.3200 from Rs. 2700 for 2016-17,this decision come after Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) advised to revise the price of agricultural products.
- Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to raise the MSP to increase the raw Jute Production that has been declining recent years.
Jute Cultivation in India:
- Almost 85% of Jute Cultivation is done in the Ganges delta, also it provides Livelihood to 40 Lakh formers in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Bihar which employ 3.75 lakh workers.
- India, Bangladesh and China respectively the three largest Jute producers in the World.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Tennis’s World no.1 Sania Mirza, batting linchpin Virat Kohli and badminton lead Saina Nehwal listed their names in the Forbes “30 under 30 Asia”.
- The Forbes list of “promising young leaders and game changers” under the age of 30 in Asia includes 300 young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changers who are contributing to their industries in a significant way.
- Countries included – India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan,Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia.
Avinash Chander Former Director General of the DRDO honored with Aryabhata Award of Astronautical Society of India. He was a Formal Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister.
- The Award was presented to Avinash Chander by R.Chidmabaram Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India and The Chairman of ISRO A S Kiran Kumar ASI – ISRO function held at Space Application Center Ahmadabad.
EEPC (Engineering Export Promotion Council, Eastern Region)‘s Gold Trophy for outstanding export performance during 2013-14 has been conferred upon National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO).
- It is headquartered in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
India’s fifth largest private sector Bank Yes Bank received prestigious Green Bond Pioneer Award Ceremony held in London.
- This Award was granted in recognition for its pioneering efforts in the Climate Bond Initiative , Yes Bank being first Indian Bank to issue Green Infrastructure Bonds in India worth 1000 crore with Green shoe option that witnessed strong demand among investors.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNS
The government has appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General of Coast guard.He is the first person to be appointed not from a Navy background.’
- The DG of coast guard was so far given to three star naval officers and this is the first time a person from Coast guard is directly appoint
Vijay Mallya steps down as United Spirits’ chairman
Well Known Businessman Vijay mallya resigned from Chairman of United Spirits Limited after, the Company’s majority Stake holder Diageo agreed to pay Rs. 515 crore settlement over a perid of five years.
- Mahindra Kumar Sharma an Independent Director of the Firm to replace him.
- Mallya also resigned from his position as a director of Royal Challengers Sports, this comes with immediate effect.
- United spirits has 39% of the Indian Sprits market, and India is Second largest market for Diageo.
United Spirits Limited:
The company established in 1826 by Angus McDowell headquartered in Bangalore, An Alcoholic Beverages Companyand Second Largest Spirits Company by Volume in the World.
Subhro Kamal Mukherjee sworn in as Chief Justice of Karnataka High court
Subhro Kamal Mukherjee took oath as the Chief Justice of Karnataka High court on Tuesday evening in the presence of Governor Vajubhai Vala at Raj bhavan in a simple ceremony.
- Subhro Kamal Mukherjee born in 1955 joined the legal profession in 1982 practising as a lawyer
- He was appointed the judge of Karnataka High court in April,2015
- He was appointed as the acting Chief Justice of Karnataka High court in June 1,2015
- The post was vacant since Waghela was appointed as CJ of Mumbai HC
- Now Mukherjee is the 28th Chief Justice of HC of Karnataka
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
ISRO to launch Aditya-L1 in 2016
After the successful completion of Mars mission, ISRO has planned to launch the first solar mission Aditya-L1 in this year.
- This will be India’s first solar mission and known as Aditya-L1
- This mission will place the satellite in orbit15 lakh kilometers from Earth
- Primary objective will be to study Solar corona in different wavebands
- This mission was started in 2012 but postponed due to MARS mission
- The IIA has designed the space-based solar coronagraph, basically a telescopic attachment which will black out the glare of the Sun in order to study
- This will be launched by the ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) into an 800 km polar orbit.
Points to note
- ISRO will launch 8 Indian and 19 foreign satellites this year
- The countries whose satellites it will be launching include Algeria, Canada, Germany, Indonesia and USA
A group of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of technology have discovered that sea sponges were the first animal to have appeared on earth based on a fossil record that predates Cambrian explosion.
- Scientists found trace of rare molecules from a fossil dated before Cambrian explosion which occurred 540 million years ago
- The rare molecule 24-Isopropyl cholesterol was found to be present in sea sponges probably making it to be the first evolved organism