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National Daily Current Affairs Capsule – 14 February 2017
☀ The Supreme Court today convicted AIADMK General Secretary VK Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case. In the court’s verdict in the case, Ms Sasikala and two others were found guilty under Prevention of Corruption Act.
- A bench of justices PC Ghose and AK Roy said, the AIADMK General Secretary will be jailed for four years and cannot contest elections for the next 10 years.
- The bench, however, abated the appeal proceedings against former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa owing to her death. Ms Jayalalithaa was also an accused in the case.
- The apex court set aside Karnataka High Court’s order which had, in May 2015, overturned a trial court’s verdict exonerating Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Sasikala. Karnataka government had challenged the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court.
This verdict means Ms Sasikala is now ineligible to be the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
Note that: She is locked in a power struggle with acting Chief Minister O Panneerselvam over government formation in the state. Ms Sasikala was elected as the AIADMK’s legislature party leader last week, paving way for her to become the Chief Minister. OPS had, however, revolted against Ms Sasikala saying he was forced to resign.
☀ India successfully test-fired what is hailed as a gen-next state-of-the-art interceptor missile from a defence base off Odisha coast, achieving a significant milestone in its ongoing Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) programme.
- The homegrown anti-ballistic missile, dubbed Prithvi Defence Vehicle (PDV), travels at supersonic speed and is capable of destroying targets at a high altitude of more than 120 km in the exo-atmospheric region.
☀The Indian Navy has installed solar panels on board survey ship INS Sarvekshak, based in Kochi. With this, Sarvekshak has become the first ship in India, perhaps first in the world, to use solar energy on board.
- The solar panels have the capacity to produce 5.4 KV of electricity, which is sufficient for internal lighting of the vessel round-the-clock.
☀ The Supreme court has set aside provisions of the ‘Karnataka Determination of Seniority of the Government Servants Promoted on the Basis of Reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the State) Act’, 2002, which did away with ‘catch up’ rule and provided consequential seniority to persons belonging to Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in promotion.
- The court said the provisions of the Act are ultra vires to Articles 14 (right to equality) and 16 (equality of opportunity in Government service) of the Constitution.
- What is catch up rule? ‘Catch up’ rule means that if a senior candidate of general category is promoted after SC/ST candidates, he would regain his seniority in promotion over the juniors promoted ahead of him under the reserved vacancies.
☀The second edition of Hunar Haath has begun in New Delhi. It is being organized by the Minority Affairs Ministry to encourage, promote and provide national and international market to master artisans/craftsmen belonging to the Minority communities from across the country.
- Theme: “Craft Aur Cuisine Ka Sangam”.
- “Hunar Haat” is being organized through National Minorities Development & Finance Corporation (NMDFC) under USTTAD (Upgrading the Skills & Training in Traditional Arts/Crafts for Development) scheme of Ministry of Minority Affairs.
☀ The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC is organising a two day seminar on Bonded Labour. It will cover various aspects related to the prevalence of bonded labour and challenges in its elimination, relief and rehabilitation of the rescued bonded labourers.
- Chairperson of NHRC Justice H L Dattu will inaugurate the event while Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya will be the chief guest.
International News Current Affairs Updates – 14 February 2017
☀ In United States, at least 2 lakh people have been evacuated from several Northern California counties after damage to a spillway at the Oroville Dam.
- The dam, which is the Americas tallest, remains intact but the emergency spillway, which guards against the overflow of the dam when water levels are high, was eroding.
- The damage in the spillway prompted a mandatory evacuation for cities and counties near Lake Oroville.
- Residents of Yuba County have also been asked to evacuate.
- This county hosts an estimated population of 13 percent of Punjabi-Americans and houses several gurudwaras.
☀ The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch and threatened to take further significant measures against Pyongyang.
- The Council members including China, Pyongyang’s main ally, agreed on a US-drafted statement describing the test-firing of the missile as a grave violation of the UN resolutions.
- United States, Japan and South Korea requested the urgent meeting after North Korea announced it had successfully tested a new missile on Sunday, the first launch since US President Donald Trump took office.
☀ The US has imposed sanctions on the new Vice-President of Venezuela, accusing him of involvement in international drug trafficking. The order adds Tareck el-Aissami to the US narcotics “kingpin” sanctions list for playing a significant role in international narcotics trafficking.
☀ The 11th International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition – Aero India 2017 begins today at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- The five-day biennial event is being organized by Defence Exhibition Organisation (DEO). Nearly 270 Indian and 279 foreign companies will take part in the expo.
- Fighter aircraft manufacturers like Lockheed Martin, SAAB, Dassault Aviation, BAE and others are setting up stalls where they will showcase their products. 72 aircraft will participate in airshow.
- Two lakh business visitors will attend the show. Surya Kiran Aerobatics team of the Indian Air Force will display 500th public show today since its formation in 1996.
- A total of 51 countries are participating. Aerobatic teams participating in the show will be the Indian Air Force Sarang Team, the Indian Air Force Surya Kiran Team, the Scandinavian Air Show Team from Sweden and the Evolvkos Aerobatic Team from Britain.
Economics Today’s Current Affairs Download – 14 February 2017
☀ The Centre is targeting an investment of about ₹2,200 crore by 2019 in start-ups working on new technologies in the electronic sector under the Electronics Development Fund (EDF). The EDF would put in 10% of the capital in ‘daughter funds’ and the rest would be invested by venture capitalists. Hence, a targeted investment of ₹2,200 crore by the government will help mobilise ₹22,000 crore for the ‘daughter funds,’ which will then invest primarily in start-ups.
About Electronics Development Fund (EDF):
The EDF is a ‘fund of funds’ that works with venture capitalists to create funds, known as ‘daughter funds,’ which provide risk capital to companies developing new technologies in the area of electronics, nano-electronics and IT.
The fund is an attempt to develop the electronics system design and manufacturing sector in the country to achieve “net zero imports” by 2020.
☀ Government plans to come out with ‘Indradhanush 2.0’, a comprehensive plan for recapitalisation of public sector lenders, with a view to make sure they remain solvent and fully comply with the global capital adequacy norms, Basel-III.
‘Indradhanush 2.0’ will be finalised after completion of the Asset Quality Review (AQR) by the Reserve Bank, which is likely to be completed by March-end.
About Indradhanush mission:
Under Indradhanush roadmap announced in 2015, the government had announced to infuse Rs 70,000 crore in state-run banks over four years while they will have to raise a further Rs 1.1 lakh crore from the markets to meet their capital requirement in line with global risk norms, known as Basel-III.
The mission includes the seven key reforms of appointments, board of bureau, capitalisation, de-stressing, empowerment, framework of accountability and governance reforms.
☀ The commerce ministry is planning a merger of the commodity boards and set up an umbrella organisation in order to improve production and exports of plantation crops like tea, coffee and spices.
- The five commodity boards, under the ministry of commerce, are responsible for production, development and export of tea, coffee, rubber, spices and tobacco.
- The Coffee Board is a statutory organisation constituted under the Coffee Act, 1942.
- The Rubber Board was constituted under the Rubber Act, 1947.
- Tea Board was set up on 1st April, 1954 under the Tea Act, 1953.
- The Tobacco Board was constituted in January, 1976, while the Spices Board was formed in February, 1987.
14 February 2017 – Sports Current Affairs Download
☀ The first ever International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour event in India begins today at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi. The 1.5 lakh US dollar India Open also happens to be the biggest ever ITTF event in terms of prize money. Overall, 80 players have confirmed their participation, 52 in the men’s section and 28 in the women’s section.
☀ India beat Pakistan by 9-wickets to win T20 Blind World Cup at Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Successfully defending their title in the T20 Blind World Cup, Indian team achieved the victory target of 198-runs in the 18th over in the final of the tournament this afternoon. The team had won the previous edition by defeating the same rivals in the final held in 2012.
☀ In Cricket, India defeated Bangladesh by 208 runs in the one-off Test at Hyderabad. The win is India’s sixth successive series victory.
- Skipper Virat Kohli became the first Test batsman to hit double hundreds in four consective series, and also scored the most Test runs in a home season, 1,206. Kohli was adjudged man of the match.
- Ashwin became the fastest bowler ever to take 250 Test wickets.
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