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Current Affairs Today – February 4 2016

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Current Affairs Today 4 February 2016

INDIAN AFFAIRS

Mumbai has illustrious potential for Modern Retail

In accordance with the Knight Frank & Retailers Association of India “Think India. Think Retail. 2016” report, Mumbai Metropolitan Metro has the highest potential for modern retail in the country at Rs 1.05 lakh crore.

  • Mumbai Metropolitan Metro is followed by Delhi National Capital Region, which has total potential of Rs 77,900 crore and Bengaluru is third in the list, with potential of Rs 48,600 crore.

Haryana, Ontario ink pact for cooperation

Haryana and Ontario in Canada had signed a Pact. It was aimed to enhance commercial and cultural ties. This pack will help to facilitate knowledge transfer in areas like museum development and cultural preservation

  • The pact was inked by the Managing Director of Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, Sudhir Rajpal, and Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, Helen Angus, in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and Premier of Prince Edward Island, Wade MacLauchlan.

Maharashtra announces Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Group Incentives Scheme

Maharashtra State Cabinet had announced the Babasaheb Ambedkar Special group Incentive Scheme for the economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs.

  • The scheme aimed to providing special facilities to Dalit entrepreneurs besides the present group Incentive Scheme 2013.
  • The scheme provides 20 per cent plots are reserved for the Dalits in small and medium scale industries with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
  • Under this scheme only one member of the family will be eligible for loan and start up Unit till get an additional 10 pc incentive.

Counter terrorism conference 2016

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Counter-Terrorism Conference 2016 at Jaipur. Counter terrorism is considered to be about tactics, weapons, force levels and intelligence gathering.

The important features of counter-terrorism strategy are:

  • Capacity building to prevent attacks through intelligence collection and collation
  • Development of technological capabilities
  • Raising of Special Forces and enactment of special laws

The strategy of Counter-terrorism is to prevent attacks through intelligence collection and collation, development of technological capabilities, rising of Special Forces and enactment of special laws.

Modi attended Global Ayurveda Fest in Kozhikode

The 3rd edition of Global Ayurveda Festival at Kozhikode, Kerala has been inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi. Ayurveda Festival Kerala is an international Ayurvedic biennial event started to serve as a force to galvanize Ayurvedic sector to aspire, plan and achieve greater heights.

  • This international seminar gave ideal platform to update, learn and train by interacting with the masters of Ayurveda & Allied Sciences of national and international repute.

Kerala Govt also tied up with Asian and European countries to promote Indian systems of medicine globally and planned to bring Ayurveda into the National Health Mission.

Keys Kerala:

  • Capital – Thiruvananthapuram
  • CM – Oomen Chandy
  • Governor – P. Sathasivam

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

TCS emerged as the world’s most powerful IT Services brand

The world’s leading brand valuation firm “Brand Finance” has rated India’s tech giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) as the world’s most powerful IT services brand its Brand Strength Index. The valuation firm has presented TCS with AA+ rating with a total score of 78.3.

  • TCS also emerged as the fastest growing brand within its industry with a growth rate of 286% (2010-2016).
  • Among other sectors, Disney was rated as the most powerful Media brand and Apple as the most valuable brand for 2016.

12 nations sign historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement

The world’s biggest multinational trade deal was signed by 12 member nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) in Auckland, New Zealand. The Agreement aims to create a single market system as to encourage trade and investment similar to that of the European Union.

India, Afghanistan ink pact for visa-free travel by envoys

India and Afghanistan inked a pact for visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders of the two countries. They also discussed security situation in the bilateral and regional context.

  • The pact was signed after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah.
  • External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and the officer Abdullah discussed the security situation, Afghan peace process, internal political situation in the strife-ravaged country as also the regional security situation.

India signs an Agreement to Become an Associate Member State of EMBO

To strengthen the scientific interaction and collaborative research between India and Europe, India has inked a cooperation agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

  • EMBO is an organization of more than 1700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences.
  • The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information.

BUSINESS

ZTE Soft inks pact with AP

Chinese technology company ZTE has inked a pact with the Andhra Pradesh government to work on smart city projects in the state.

  • Under the letter of intent inked by ZTE, it proposes to work with AP on not only smart cities, E-Pragathi project, Incubation Centre, smart technology projects among others which the State has initiated.

As per the recent announcement, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada have been chosen to be part of the smart city projects in the first phase.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Golden Conch Award presented to Manipuri documentary “Phum-Shang”

Golden Conch Award for the best documentary has been conferred upon Manipuri documentary film “Phum Shang” at 14th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF).

  • Gold Conch Award for the best feature length documentary film shared by Swiss film “My Name Is Salt” and an Indian film “Placebo”.

Mark Zuckerberg emerged as world’s fourth richest person

Mark Zuckerberg emerged as world's fourth richest personAs per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 400 richest people, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to become the world’s fourth-richest person.

  • Zuckerberg is the only billionaire among the world’s five-richest people whose worth has increased this year.

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates still leads the global rich scale with an estimated personal worth of $78.7 billion, followed by Spain’s Amancio Ortega ($69.3 billion) and US investment guru Warren Buffett ($59.6 billion).

Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan selected for Bhimsen Joshi Award

Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan had selected for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Award 2015-2016.

  • The announcement for the award was made by Maharashtra’s Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde.
  • It is an annual Classical Music Award, instituted by the Maharashtra Government.
  • The award includes Rs 5 lakh in cash, a citation and a memento.
  • Pandit Ram Narayan was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan, in 2005 in Hindustani classical music.

APPOINTMENTS

Major General Jai Shanker Menon appointed as UNDOF head

Major General Jai Shanker Menon of India is appointed as the Head United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Aruna Sethi accredited as head of ICoAS

Government has designated Aruna Sethi as the head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS), becoming the first lady ICoAS officer to achieve this mark.

  • Prior to join ICoAS, she was working as Principal Adviser (Cost).
  • She has held important portfolios at various ministries including Consumer Affairs, Corporate Affairs, Finance, Commerce and Industry and Defence.

About Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS): It is one of the 6 organised accounting services of the Government of India. Office of Chief Adviser Cost is one of the divisions functioning in the Department of Expenditure.

  • This Office is responsible for advising the Ministries and Government Undertakings on cost accounts matters and to undertake cost investigation work on their behalf.

Google search chief Singhal to quit, to be replaced by AI head

Google search chief Singhal to quit, to be replaced by AI headAmit Singhal, the longtime head of Google’s internet search business will be bowed out from services by the end of this month.

  • He will be replaced by John Giannandrea, who is currently working in artificial intelligence (AI) at Alphabet.

Born in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh, Singhal (47) joined Google in 2000. He has been involved with many technologies that have made Alphabet, the parent of Google.

Satender Kumar designated as the next HC to Saint Lucia

Satender Kumar has been concurrently accredited as the next High Commissioner of India to Saint Lucia with residence in Paramaribo.

  • Since August, 2015, presently he is serving as Ambassador of India to the Republic of Suriname.

Keys Saint Lucia:

  • Capital – Castries
  • Currency – East Caribbean dollar
  • PM – Kenny Anthony

DJ Pandian appointed AIIB Vice-President

D J Pandian has been appointed as the vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). He is the Former chief secretary of Gujarat.

  • AIIB the Beijing-based USD 100 billion multi-lateral lender was set up to boost lending for infrastructure projects.
  • AIIB will also invest in sectors such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.

China, India and Russia with 34 per cent, 8.52 per cent, 6.66 per cent stake, respectively are the three largest shareholders of AIIB.

ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS

Microsoft acquires SwiftKey

Microsoft had acquired software keyboard and SDK application maker SwiftKey. SwiftKey is a free keyword application and it powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices.

  • Microsoft plan to join together SwiftKey technology with their Word Flow technology for Windows.
  • Swiftkey was founded by SwiftKey Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock.
  • The acquisition is of 250 million USD.
  • Swiftkey helps to enhance the interaction between technology and people while Microsoft focus on empowering people and organizations

Keys      

  • Executive Vice President, Technology and Research of Microsoft’s – Harry Shum

Reliance Entertainment, Neeraj Pandey joins hands for film production

Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment made a joint venture with film-maker producer duo Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia’s Friday Filworks for production of movies.

  • Akshay Kumar starrer “Rustom” will be the first movie under the banner, Plan C Studios.
  • Plan C Studios will be an equal partnership joint venture between the two.

Reliance Entertainment has produced, distributed and released more than 170 films in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali.

  • Internationally, it has partnered with iconic film producer and director Steven Spielberg.

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

CSIR launches India’s first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug named BGR-34

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched India’s first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug named BGR-34 for type two Diabetes mellitus.

About BGR-34

  • BGR-34 is developed jointly by National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP) Luck now-based research units of
  • The drug will help maintain normal blood glucose levels, reduce chances of complications due to persistent high blood glucose.

SPORTS

Srikanth remains World No. 9 in latest BWF ranking

As per the latest BWF rankings, Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold men’s title winner K Srikanth sat again on World No. 9 while P V Sindhu dropped a place to be No. 12.

  • In women’s singles’ ranking list Saina Nehwal remained consistent at World No. 2.
  • In men’s double pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar improved two places to be at World No. 34, while Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy ranked at World No. 20.
  • P Kashyap slipped to World No. 15 while H S Prannoy ranked at 27th spot.
  • The duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa ranked at 13th.

IMPORTANT DAYS

World Cancer Day – February 4

To raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment, February 4 is marked as the World Cancer Day. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.

  • This event is organized on annual basis under the supervision of Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and other leading health organizations involved for cancer fighting.
  • World Cancer Day Theme 2016-18: We can. I can.