Today’s Current Affairs from TheHindu, Indian Express, PIB covering all important happening in national, international, economics, awards and sports.
National Daily Current Affairs pdf – 15 February 2017
■ Voting for Assembly elections in Uttarakhand and second phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh is taking palce today. In Uttarakhand, voting is taking place for 69 of the 70 assembly seats. For the second phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, voting is taking place for 67 constituencies spread over 11 district of western UP in this phase. Over 2.28 crore voters, will exercise their franchise in this phase.
■ Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch a record 104 satellites including Cartosat-2 in a single mission. The heavy duty rocket PSLV C37 carrying 104 satellites lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. The satellites will be injected into sun synchronous orbit at different slots at different angles and at different times.
- This will be the world’s highest number of satellites to be inserted into space in a single launch. This venture is not only a historical feat to maximise PSLVs capability but also to optimally utilise it as an investment opportunity.
■ Intervening to bring together IAS-IPS couples forced to live separately due to rules that debar civil servants from changing cadre on grounds of marriage where parent cadre of one spouse is home cadre of another, the government has allowed such officers to choose the immediate next cadre opted by them in their UPSC DAF application.
- As per a DoPT note, the appointments committee of Cabinet (ACC) has now changed the service rules to allow married IAS and IPS officers, where either of them cannot opt for the cadre of the spouse being their respective home cadre, to get the same cadre.
- As recommended by the committee, the Centre has now allowed the officers to choose the immediate next cadre opted by the officer in the detailed application form submitted to UPSC below the present cadre allotted.
■ Haryana government has notified that no person will be allowed to consume liquor at a place which is not licensed or authorized under the Punjab Excise Act, 1914 except his dwelling unit.
- The consumption of liquor in a vehicle running or parked, along the road or in a park/garden/market or a river side etc. shall be an offence.
- In case of any violation, an Excise Officer will detain the offender, liquor and the vehicle, if any and will forward the case, within 24 hours of such detention, to the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner (Excise)-cum-Collector of the district.
- The Collector might either refer the case to the Court for trial or dispose of the case himself by imposing a penalty of 5,000 rupees per person for the first offence, 10,000 rupees per person for the second and every subsequent offence.
■ Paving the way for the conduct of Kambala (traditional buffalo race), the Karnataka Legislative Assembly has passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017.
- The Bill seeks to exempt kambala and bullock-cart racing from the ambit of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960.
- The demand for Kambala is spurred by the success of the stir in Tamil Nadu for allowing Jallikattu, which led to the state government bringing a similar amendment to the Central act.
- Presently, Kambala is stayed by the High Court following a petition by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Kambla in its traditional form is non-competitive sport, in which buffalo pairs are made to race one after another in paddy fields. It is considered a thanksgiving to the Gods for protecting the animals from diseases.
Over the years, it has however become an organised sport with animal rights activists claiming that the buffaloes run in the race due to fear of being beaten, which the organisers dismiss, saying no violence is involved and that several modifications had been made to ensure that it is an animal friendly event.
■ The Supreme Court has clarified that it is not necessary to stand during the National Anthem if it was a part of a movie or a documentary. Note that: The court recently directed theatre owners to play the National Anthem before movie screenings.
■ First of its kind, a floating elementary school has come up in Manipur’s Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in the country. It aims to provide education to drop outs students, who have been rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis.
International Current Affairs PDF – 15 February 2017
■ Five hundred US troops are arriving at a Romanian Black Sea port with tanks and hardware to bolster defense in the East European NATO nation. The US embassy said the “Fighting Eagles,” 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, will be stationed in the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in eastern Romania on a rotating basis. The deployment expands US’s capacity in maintaining peace and security in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea region.
Note that: NATO’s ties with Moscow deteriorated after Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and supported a pro-Russian insurgency. NATO has since increased military exercises in Eastern Europe to reassure allies.
■ Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN Tehmina Janjua has been appointed the country’s first woman Foreign Secretary. She will replace incumbent Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary, who will be taking charge as Pakistan’s new ambassador to the US.
☀ New IMF Training and Technical Assistance Center, known as South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) was recently inaugurated in Delhi for Economic Capacity Building in South Asia. Less than a year after IMF Managing Director Ms Christine Lagarde and the Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a capacity development center for South Asia, the opening of SARTTAC marks a major milestone in the partnership between the IMF and its member countries in the region.
- SARTTAC, is a new kind of capacity development institution, fully integrating customized hands-on training with targeted technical advice in a range of macroeconomic and financial areas, and generating synergies between the two.
- SARTTAC is financed mainly by its six member countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka — with additional support from Australia, the Republic of Korea, the European Union and the United Kingdom.
- SARTTAC’s strategic goal is to help its member countries strengthen their institutional and human capacity to design and implement macroeconomic and financial policies that promote growth and reduce poverty.
■ Dubai’s State transport authority have announced that they aim to launch hover-taxis, with the aim to introducing aerial vehicle in UAE and de-congesting the road traffic. Made by a Chinese firm, Hover taxi EHang 184 can travel on a programmed course at 100 kilometres an hour (60 mph) at an altitude of 300 metres (1,000 feet).
- A passenger simply needs to select a destination for the autonomous taxi or the flying cars to take off, fly the route and touchdown in the chosen spot monitored by a ground control centre.
Economics Today’s Current Affairs PDF – 15 February 2017
■ India’s latest private airline, Zoom Air, will start daily scheduled operations on the Delhi-Kolkata-Durgapur-Delhi sector from today.
Note that: The Zoom Air becomes India’s 10th scheduled carrier for domestic skies presently, with others being Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Jetlite, Indigo, Spicejet, GoAir, Vistara and Air Asia India.
■ According to Commerce Ministry data, Wholesale inflation rose to a 30-month high of 5.25 per cent in January this year. Inflation rose owing to climbing global crude oil prices, even though food prices have moderated.
■ Anil Ambani group led Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy to provide repair and alteration services for ships of the Seventh Fleet.
- RDEL becomes first Indian company (both public or private) to provide logistical support to the US military within Indian territory.
☀ The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) will tap anchor investors such as sovereign wealth funds to raise Rs 8,000 crore to fund infrastructure projects worth Rs 16,000 crore in FY18. The government has set a target for the Fund to finance projects worth Rs16,000 crore infrastructure projects, both greenfield & brownfield.
According to the Output Outcome Framework for Schemes 2017-18, the NIIF will raise Rs 8,000 crore from strategic anchor partners — multilateral/bilateral institutions, SWFs, pension funds and domestic public sector enterprises.
About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) :
It was proposed in Union Budget 2015. The government has set up this Rs. 40000 crore fund to provide long term capital for infrastructure projects. NIIF has been structured as a fund of funds and set up as Category II Alternate Investment Fund (AIF) under the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Regulations.
The objective of NIIF is to maximise economic impact through infrastructure development in viable projects both greenfield and brownfield, including stalled projects, mainly in the core infra sector.
15 February 2017 – Sports Daily Current Affairs PDF
■ Australian batsman Adam Voges, who has the second-highest average in international Test cricket, has announced his retirement from international cricket.
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