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The Instrument of Ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, 1997 has been submitted by India to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), marking an important measure in addressing matters related to civil nuclear liabilities.
- The instrument was handed over by Indian Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative of India to IAEA Rajiva Misra to Acting Director General of IAEA, Juan Carlos Lentijo.
- This ratification will come into force after 90 days, i.e. May 4, 2016.
The Instrument of Ratification will not only clear the way for India’s nuclear commerce with international economies but also make a contribution in strengthening the global nuclear liability regime.
Invest Karnataka 2016, the first Global Investors Meet (GIM) was held from 3rd to 5th February 2016 with a theme “where the future is made” at Bengaluru.
- During this two day Invest Karnataka event across energy, pharma, information technology & biotechnology, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism, Karnataka had signed 147 projects with a commitment to invest Rs 1.33 lakh crore.
India to participate in Cobra Gold 2016 military exercise
India confirmed its participation in the annual amphibious military exercise dubbed “Cobra Gold” in 2016.
- Cobra Gold is an Asia-Pacific multilateral amphibious military exercise held every year in Thailand.
The decision has been taken on the sidelines of the meeting that was held in Delhi to deepen maritime and defence cooperation which covers a range of issues, including ocean safety, disaster management and anti-terror drills.
India Investment Summit 2016
In a bid to succeed “Make in India” campaign, Ministry of Finance in partnership with SBI Caps is organized an India Investment Summit in New Delhi.
- Focused Areas of Summit – Road transport, highways, ports, urban infrastructure, railways, power and renewable energy and State Level projects
During the event FinMin launched the Logo of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) which is established as a Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations.
- NIIF is to be financed with Government’s own contribution along with equity participation from both foreign and domestic strategic anchor partners with Government’s share being 49%.
Maharashtra rolls out Deradicalisation Programme in wake of IS threat
Maharashtra had rolled out a deradicalisation programme for the minority community because of home-grown extremism and the global Islamic State (IS) threat.
- The program aims to bringing youth of the minority community into the mainstream and making coordinated efforts in education, sports, urban planning, law and order, skill development, women and child, social justice, and health.
The program includes:
- Opening of vyayam shalas in minority areas
- making National Cadet Corps (NCC) and
- Bharat Scouts and Guides (BS&G) compulsory in minority schools
Odisha permitted tourists into certain tribal areas after three years ban
After 3 years of ban, Odisha government has lifted the restrictions on visit of foreign tourists to certain tribal areas in the State, which was imposed due to the abduction of two Italian tourists in Kandhamal district by Maoists.
Highlights of the revised guidelines:
- Foreign tourists have been asked to pay respect to the culture and tradition of tribals.
- The tourists will have to submit their proposed itinerary to the police superintendents of the concerned districts.
- The foreign tourists have been asked to take photographs only with the consent of the tribals.
India had beaten the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market in the world. Now India had crossed 220 million in active unique smartphone users in 2015.
Germany to host Laureus World Sports Awards in 2016
The 17th edition of Laureus World Sports Awards 2016 will be hosted by Berlin, Germany on April 18.
- The Awards will consist of 7 categories which will recognize the achievements of the outstanding athletes from 2015, crowning the Sportsman, Sportswoman, Action, Disability athlete and Team of the Year.
- Capital – Berlin
- Currency – Euro
- President – Joachim Gauck
EU approved 3.3 bn euros to Turkey to cope with Syrian refugee crisis
The European Union has consented 3.3 billion Euros of succor for Turkey to cope with the issue of Syrian migrants.
- Under the deal, the EU’s executive is contributing one billion euros to the fund, while the 28 member states will contribute the rest.
The funding is aimed at curbing flow of asylum seekers into the Europe by tightening its borders with Turkey.
WHO accords PQP certification to Indian vaccine maker GreenSignal Bio Pharma
World Health Organization WHO had accorded PQP (Pre-qualification of Medicines Programme) certification to the GreenSignal Bio Pharma Pvt. Ltd.
- BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) is a vaccine-making firm.
- GreenSignal becomes the second Indian company to get PQP certification from WHO
- This certification helps GreenSignal to participate in the global immunization programme that is facilitated through international procurement agencies such as UNICEF and others.
GreenSignal is supplying BCG vaccine to the Government of India and Indonesia.
BANKING & FINANACE
Government will infuse about Rs 5,000 crore capitals in the Public Sector Banks (PSB) in the current fiscal to strengthen balance sheet.
FDI twofolds to 114% in December 2015
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Indian economy twice the usual size to $4.5 billion in December 2015. There was 114% growth recorded for December 2015 as compared to December 2014, when India has received $2.16 billion.
- Major sectors attracted foreign inflows – computer software and hardware, trading, services, automobile and telecommunications.
- India receives maximum FDI from Singapore, Mauritius, Netherlands and Japan.
The government has relaxed FDI norms in 15 sectors, including Defence, single brand retail, construction development, civil aviation and LLPs, to boost FDI in the country.
BSE, IFC jointly develop corporate governance scorecard
BSE and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have jointly developed a corporate governance scorecard. The scorecard help the companies assess their corporate governance performances against national or international-benchmarked practices.
- It will help companies in identify areas of further improvement and track progress over time.
- It can be used to make board processes more efficient, improve strategy, aid decision-making, and manage risks.
- It will help Companies for better recognizing the way in which governance affects their operations.
- The scorecard can be used by stakeholders, including regulators, promoters, and investors.
SBI, Thomas Cook team up for ‘inflation-proof’ holidays
State Bank of India (SBI) had tied up with Thomas Cook for ‘inflation proof’ holiday.
- Inflation proof’ holiday is offer to the online customers which helps them to save on frequent deposits.
- It is optional for the customers either to travel or exchange their savings on the maturity of the frequent deposit by promoting holidays.
- Customers will pay for a future holiday at today’s prices while earning interest on the linked e-recurring deposit through inflation-proof holiday.
- SBI’s recurring deposit interest rate is 7.25%.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Kerala’s all-women taxi cab service “She-Taxi” had bagged the prestigious Chief Ministers Award for Innovation in Public Policy 2014.
- She-Taxi idea was chosen for the honor taking into account it as a unique model and its prospects to reproduce in other places.
- The initiative had deal with the safety and security concerns of women travelers.
- The award had been received by Gender Park CEO Dr P T M Sunish and the She-Taxi representatives from K Muraleedharan, MLA, at a function.
Anoop Bhaskar joins IDFC Mutual Fund
IDFC Mutual Fund has designated the Anoop Bhaskar as its head of equities. Prior to this appointment, he was the head of equities at UTI MF and is considered one of the finest fund managers.
- He will succeed Kenneth Andrade.
The AMC manages a range of funds across debt and equity asset classes and has a distribution reach that covers 39 cities directly and has an indirect presence in over 283 towns across India.
John Nicholson appointed NATO Commander in Afghanistan
Army Lieutenant General John Nicholson has been designated as the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan. He will succeed US General John Campbell.
- Prior to this appointment, Nicholas was US Army commander of NATO land forces.
John Nicholson appointment was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan.
- Capital – Kabul
- Currency – Afghan afghani
- President – Ashraf Ghani
World Bank Expert Mr. Iyer to Lead Swachh Bharat Mission
GOI has accredited World Bank’s water and sanitation specialist, Parameshwaran Iyer (56), as the new Secretary of the Drinking Water and Sanitation Department.
- He is appointed for a period of 2 years and will be responsible to steer the Swachh Bharat Mission.
About Parameshwaran Iyer:
An IAS officer of the UP cadre is the key person behind the proposed $1,500 million loan from World Bank for the Swachh Bharat Mission.
- He took voluntary retirement in 2009 and joined the World Bank.
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
California headquartered Cisco Systems Inc has publicized to acquire Jasper Technologies that connect devices to internet for $1.4 billion in cash and equity awards.
- This acquisition enables Cisco to access IoT solution that is interoperable across devices and works with IoT service providers, application developers and environment of partners.
Birla Corp Acquires cement arm of Reliance Infra
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infrastructure inked a concord to sell its cement business wing Reliance Cement to Birla Corporation for Rs. 4,800 crore.
- The decision in this regard has been taken as the part of the Reliance Infrastructure’s efforts to reduce its debt.
Reliance Cement currently has 3 plants in India with total installed capacity 5.6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Reliance Defence to set up Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation & Research in Aerospace in Bengaluru
Reliance Defense had announced to set up Dhirubhai Ambani centre for research, development and innovation in aerospace technology.
- The proposed centre will produce more than 1,500 highly-skilled jobs.
- It will also support government’s plan for indigenous design, development and manufacturing of defense equipments.
- This research centre is first-ever private center of its class in India.
- This is “Make in India” initiative by the government in the defense sector.
Arun Jaitley launches Finance Ministry’s official YouTube channel
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley launched the official YouTube channel for the Ministry of finance. The channel will be launched before the start of the Budget session.
- The channel will distribute information on a real-time basis.
- The channel will display videos featuring schemes launched by the PM – Jan Dhan Yojana Launch, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Insurance schemes, among several others.
- The channel also have videos of the reforms introduced in the Union Budget 2015 and speeches of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley .
ICC removes India from Permanent member status
The ICC has removed India, England and Australia as the permanent members of its decision-making executive committee.
- In decision in this regard has been taken due to the widespread criticism received by ICC suggesting that these countries would take over cricket at the expense of other member nations.
ICC chairman would not be allowed to hold a position in a member country board.