National News Weekly Current Affairs Update (15 February to 21th February 2016)
The important weekly current affairs update have been listed below along with the other relevant and significant information regarding them. This compilation is not a substitute to regular newspaper reading. Rather, this will help in revision of all relevant current event happenings of the week starting from 15th February to 21th February 2016.
- The University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all the Indian universities to celebrate ‘Matribhasha Diwas’ on March 3 instead of February 21 this year. This is because UNESCO has declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day, which falls on a Sunday this year.
- Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) have been set up for the cities of Jabalpur, Indore and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajasthan for the development of smart cities. These cities figure in the list of the first 20 smart cities announced earlier in January.
- Maharashtra government has decided to formulate a policy on ‘Green Corridor’ and appoint a nodal officer to ensure smooth transportation of harvested organs within a specified time. This policy is aimed at negating hurdles faced by police over jurisdiction, obtaining NoCs and appointing counsellors to convince families of brain-dead patients to donate organs.
- Mobile phones have been banned for unmarried women in Suraj village of PM Narendra Modi’s native district of Mehsana in Gujarat. A fine of ₹2,100 for using or possessing a mobile phone has been imposed.
- Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) in Urban areas, a total of 5.07 lakh houses have been sanctioned so far, out of which the three states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana & West Bengal got 69%. The PMAY has replaced the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana for building affordable housing to the urban poor.
- The Centre has approved proposals for the construction of over 80,000 houses for the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in urban areas in seven states. Entailing an estimated investment of ₹4,076 crore, with central assistance of ₹1,226 crore, the houses would be built across 163 cities in West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
- According to National Crime Records Bureau data, out of 47 sedition cases invoked in 2014, Jharkhand has recorded the highest number of Sedition cases with 18 such incidents. Bihar, the second closest saw 16 cases. While Jammu & Kashmir recorded no cases of sedition.
- The Make in India week has concluded in Mumbai. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 13, 2016. The week-long event has secured investment commitments worth 15.2 lakh crore rupees across the country.
- Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’ has entered the Limca Book of Records for being the ‘Bestselling Adult Hardback on Release‘ across non-fiction and fiction categories. It was released in November 2014, and registered 1,50,289 confirmed copies on order subscriptions. It also holds the record in retail value terms after logging up ₹13.51 crore, at a cover price of ₹899.
- After holding a meeting with Vice-Chancellors of all central universities, the HRD Ministry has announced to make the installation of the national flag compulsory in all central universities on a 207 feet high mast on their campuses to signify “strong and united India.”
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has announced Free bus travel for senior citizens in the Chennai metropolitan area from her 68th birthday on February 24.
- PM Narendra Modi has released the guidelines of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana at the Kisan Kalyan Mela in Madhya Pradesh. This scheme envisages payment of uniform premiums for crops by farmers. Modi has said that farmers will get claims against the full sum insured and there is no upper limit on the government’s subsidy for the scheme.
- India has launched the lightest gun ever which weighs as less as 250 grams, and it has been named ‘Nidar‘. Manufactured by the Rifle Factory Ishapore in West Bengal, which comes under the Ministry of Defence, Nidar is now on available at their website to those with “valid Arms/Trade license”.
- Renowned Indologist Professor David Shulman has been selected for the prestigious Israel Prize for his breakthrough studies in fields like philosophy and religion. He has been chosen for this award for his studies on the religion, literature and culture of southern India and has command over Indian languages like Sanskrit, Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam.
- The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Agreement for collaboration in Traditional Medicine between Ministry of AYUSH and the World Health Organisation. The Union Cabinet has also approved a proposal to notify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Haryana state government and South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk have agreed to enter into a sister-statehood relationship for development.
- India test-fired its indigenously developed Prithvi II missile from Chandipur in Odisha, as part of a user trial by the army. It has a strike range of 350 km, the surface-to-surface missile has the capacity to carry 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads.
- Indian lyricist Sameer Anjaan has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for writing lyrics to the most number of Bollywood songs. The official record states that Sameer wrote 3,524 songs for 650 Bollywood movies (as on December 15, 2015).
- Indian fashion designer Manish Arora has been conferred the Knight of the Legion of Honour (France’s highest honour), by French Ambassador François Richier. Earlier, Indians including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and JRD Tata have been honoured similarly.
- According to a government survey by the Quality Council of India, Mysuru has retained its position as the cleanest city in India, followed by Chandigarh, Tiruchirappalli, New Delhi, and Visakhapatnam. Dhanbad was last in the list, while other cities in the bottom-10 include Varanasi, Patna, and Meerut.
- Top 10 Clean Cities in India
- Mysuru (Karnataka)
- Chandigarh (UT)
- Tiruchirapalli (Tamil Nadu)
- New Delhi
- Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
- Surat (Gujarat)
- Rajkot (Gujarat)
- Gangtok (Sikkim)
- Pimpri chinchwad (Maharashtra)
- Greater Mumbai (Maharashtra)
- Top 10 Clean Cities in India
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given its approval to the controversial railway link between the Hubbali-Ankola in Karanataka, and asked the railways to approach the state Government for moving further. Note that: This order assumes significance as Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) last year had disapproved the 168-km rail link project, conceived in 1998 primarily to transport iron ore from the Bellary-Hospet mines, and said that it would have “huge and irreparable” ecological impact on the forests, wildlife and biodiversity of the Western Ghats.
International News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (15 February to 31 January 2016)
By reading the following Weekly Current Affairs 2016, you can know the highlights of the week starting from 15th February to 21th February in brief.
- India and Nepal have signed Nine partnership deals during Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s first foreign trip since being elected. These deals are expected to develop infrastructure, improve cultural cooperation, and help utilise India’s $250 million post-earthquake reconstruction grant.
- The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has declared all the hoverboards including self-balancing scooters and single-wheel devices currently available in the market as unsafe. It has also asked all hoverboard makers and sellers to voluntarily take the devices off from the market.
- Nepal Government decided to constitute an 11-member-political committee to study the demarcation of federal states on the constitution. The committee will also review the disputed provisions within the country’s new constitution which was adopted on 20 September 2015.The committee will be chaired by : Kamal Thapa (Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister).
- ISRO will collaborate with the University of Toronto for a nano-satellite that will monitor the air pollution levels in some of the most polluted cities like Delhi, Lucknow and Amritsar. It will be placed 500 km above the Earth’s surface, and will analyse the sunlight reflected from the earth’s surface to determine the nature of suspended particles.
- U.S. President Barack Obama is going to make a historic visit to Cuba next month. He will be the first sitting American president to go to the island nation in 80 years.
- Indo-Nepal Combined Battalion level Military Training Exercise SURYA KIRAN is being conducted at Pithoragarh. During the exercise, an Infantry battalion each from Indian Army and the Nepalese Army would be training together and sharing their experiences of Counter Terrorism operations and Jungle Warfare in mountain terrain. The Surya Kiran series of exercises is a bi-annual event which is conducted alternatively in Nepal and India.
- The training will also focus on Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief including medical and aviation support.
- The United States has slapped North Korea with more stringent sanctions for defying the world with its nuclear weapons program, weeks after it launched a satellite-carrying rocket into space and conducted its fourth underground nuclear test.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif are likely to meet next month in Washington, US. They are expected to attend a nuclear summit in Washington, which is going to be held on 31st March and 1st April 2016.
- A 12-member team of the Indian Army is participating in the “Cobra Gold” multilateral exercises, which is being hosted by Thailand, along with its counterparts from China and Pakistan. India has been invited to the exercises as an “observer plus” country.
- The French parliament has voted to extend the country’s state of emergency by a further three months, thereby allowing authorities to carry out police raids and put people under house arrest without prior authorisation of a judge.
- A Yellow fever outbreak in Angola has killed 51 people, in the first epidemic of the disease to hit the country in 30 years. There is no specific treatment for the viral haemorrhagic disease which is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and found in tropical regions of Africa and Latin America’s Amazon region.
- Sindh has become the first Pakistan province to adopt landmark Hindu Marriage Bill, 2015 in order to allow the minority community to register their marriages. This is for the first such a law is being passed since formation of Pakistan in 1947 to safeguard rights of Hindus, a second largest religious minority community in the country.
- The Seventh Joint Military Training Exercise between the Indian Army and the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) – LAMITYE 2016, started at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria, Seychelles. The SPDF will be represented by 20 personnel from Tazar (Special Forces Unit) and 32 from Seychelles Infantry.
- India and Seychelles have been conducting joint exercises since 2001 & ‘Exercise Lamitye’, which means friendship in Creole (local dialect), is conducted biennially with the aim of enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between the two countries.
- Russia has decided to deliver S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran. The Islamic Republic reportedly wants to buy more advanced missile systems like the S-400 system, but negotiations for their sale are currently not taking place.
- The 69th edition of British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, was held at the Royal Opera House in London, to honour the best British and international contributions to film for the year 2015. Leonardo DiCaprio was named the Best Actor for his role in ‘The Revenant’. Alejandro Iñárritu directorial ‘The Revenant’ won five awards including those for the ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Direction’.
- A film on conservation efforts by villagers titled ‘Nagaland is changing, But…‘, has won the Golden Beaver Best Film Award in the institutional category at this year’s 6th National Science Film Festival in Mumbai. This film was Directed by : Gurmeet Sapal and Produced by : Nagaland State Forest Department.
Economics News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (15 February to 21th February 2016)
Important news and events in the economic world that happened over the whole week including the Sunday news has been listed here for quick revision.
- Aditya Birla Nuvo has announced the formation of a joint venture (JV) with Idea Cellular to form a payments bank. Such banks can offer internet banking and initially collect deposits of up to ₹1 lakh per individual. The RBI gave ‘in-principle’ approval to 11 entities to form payment banks last year, including Reliance Industries, Tech Mahindra and Vodafone.
- The government has approved Eight highway projects, stretching about 350 km and worth ₹6,000 crore, for six Indian states. Projects worth ₹34,000 crore have been cleared by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry in February. Note that: The government has set a target of awarding highway contracts of 10,000 km this fiscal and has so far achieved 7,677 km.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced that India’s second International Finance Centre (IFC) will be set up at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. The IFC will coexist with the proposed terminal for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
- India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has announced that it has raised₹3,000 crore through tier-II bonds. SBI has priced its 10-year bonds at a yield of 8.45%. These bonds have a call option at the end of the fifth year under which the lender can call back its bonds from investors and repay them ahead of the tenure.
- Indian economy will grow at 7.5% in 2016 and 2017 as it is relatively less exposed to external headwinds, like China slowdown, and will benefit from lower commodity prices, Moody’s Investors Service announced.
- Yahoo has announced that it will shut down seven digital magazines including Yahoo Food, Health and Travel. The company has also mentioned that it has designed a plan to focus on the successful areas– News, Sports, Finance and Lifestyle.
- The government has banned the sale of entry-level one-star air-conditioners in the Indian market and introduced improved energy efficiency guidelines for frost-free refrigerators. It has also made it compulsory for companies to adhere to energy rating rules for hi-end inverter ACs from 2018.
- India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched ‘Japan Desk’, a single window for inbound Japanese investments in India and vice-versa. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative that seeks to facilitate Japanese corporates looking to invest in India with banking and advisory services.
- Devaraja Reddy has been elected as President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). He will have tenure of one year of ICAI which is an apex body of Indian Chartered Accountant. Prior to this appointment, he was Vice President of ICAI for the Council Year 2015-16.
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced an increase in interest rate on Provident Fund (PF) deposits for 2015-16 to 8.80% from 8.75% in the previous two fiscals.
- The government has unveiled a National Capital Goods Policy to give an impetus to the capital goods sector and a leg up to the Make in India initiative. This is for the first time that a national policy has been framed for the capital goods sector. The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 per cent to 40 per cent of production while increasing share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, thus making India a net exporter of capital goods.
- A 404.2 carat diamond, the world’s 27th largest diamond, worth around $20 million was discovered in Africa. About 7 cm-long, the high-quality white diamond was found in the mines of Angola by the Lucapa Diamond Company from Australia. It is by far the biggest diamond found in the region.
- The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has permitted telecommunication providers to share the electronic infrastructure, required for operations, with other operators. The government has allowed spectrum sharing last year, while the sharing of mobile towers was facilitated a few years ago. The move will reportedly reduce the capital expenditure of mobile operators by 30-35%.
- In Rajasthan, to encourage financial inclusion of people in the state, cooperative banks are going to start a month-long drive from onwards in which new bank accounts will be opened and KYC forms will also be filled. According to Cooperative department officials, it will be a one-of-its kind drive in the country with an aim to give the benefit of various schemes of the government directly to the beneficiaries.
- The Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered the amalgamation of the crisis-hit National Spot Exchange (NSEL) with its cash-rich parent Financial Technologies (FTIL) to enable early settlement for the victims of a Rs 5,574-crore payment crisis.
- Piruz Khambatta, Chairman and Managing Director of Rasna, has been appointed as the ambassador of the “Make in India” initiative by the Government of India.
- According to a report by Monster Salary Index, the Information Technology (IT) sector is the highest paying sector in India, with average hourly salary of ₹346.42. Banking, Financial services and Insurance sector emerged as the second most paying sector with ₹300.23 average hourly salary. It also identified manufacturing sector as the least paying sector with average hourly salary of ₹254.04.
- Japan‘s economy has shrunk an annualized 1.4% in the quarter ended December, following a revised 1.3% gain in the previous quarter, the Japanese government announced . Japan’s central bank has adopted negative interest rates last month.
- Union Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of Sweden have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector. To develop cooperation activities in the Railway sector to promote efficiency and sustainability and to achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, research, investment and technology transfer.
Sports News Weekly Current Affairs Update – (15 February to 31 January 2016)
Important happenings in the field of sports have been given below. Since candidates don’t focus on sports news over the week, below you will find all the exam worthy details. We hope this weekly sports update is sufficient for your perusal.
- Indonesia win Badminton Asia Team Championships semi-final against India in Hyderabad.
- New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum Scored the fastest Century in Test History in 54 balls while playing his farewell test against Australia in Christchurch. McCullum broke the 56-ball record jointly held by Vivian Richards and Misbah Ul Haq.
- Indian long jumper Mayookha Johny has leapt to the 6.35-meter mark to win the Gold medal at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. This is India’s first medal at the Championships.
- India women cricket team has clean sweeped three match ODI series against Sri Lanka .
- The 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season will feature Chhattisgarh as the 28th team after it was given a full member status by BCCI . The Ranji Trophy has been a 27-team tournament since 1985/86 with Tripura being the last team that was added.
- Indian wrestler Gaurav Sharma has clinched the bronze in the 59kg Greco-Roman model, defeating Eun-Bin Kim of Korea at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Bangkok. This is India’s fourth medal at the event inside the opening two days.
- India has defeated China 3-2 in the men’s category of the Badminton Asia Team Championships. Kidambi Srikanth, Ajay Jayaram, and HS Prannoy won their respective singles matches to give the hosts the victory.
- British Formula One racing team Manor Racing has signed Indonesia’s Rio Haryanto, making him the first Indonesian Formula One driver. The 23-year-old, who finished fourth in last year’s GP2 series, will start for Manor Racing at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20.
- 12th South Asian Games concluded with a glittering ceremony in Guwahati . India was crowned the overall champion at the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) after finishing on top with a record 308 medals including 188 gold, 90 silver and 30 bronze medals. While Sri Lanka came in second with an overall tally of 186 medals followed by Pakistan with 106. Note that : India had won 175 medals in the previous SAG edition.
- Final Medal Tally of 12th South Asian Games
- Gold – 188
- Silver – 90
- Bronze – 30
- Total – 308
- Sri Lanka
- Gold – 25
- Silver – 63
- Bronze – 98
- Total – 186
- Gold – 12
- Silver – 37
- Bronze – 57
- Total – 106
- Final Medal Tally of 12th South Asian Games
- In a PSL match between Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi, Grant Elliott andZulfiqar Babar set a new world record for the highest 10th wicket partnership in a T20 game as they scored 63 runs in 32 balls. The previous best was 59 runs made by Heath Streak and James Anyon playing for Warwickshire on 1st July 2005.
- American novelist Harper Lee (89), most known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird‘ (1960), has passed away . Lee’s second novel ‘Go Set a Watchman’, which was written in the mid-1950s, was published last year.
- India’s oldest performing musician, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan (107), has passed away. He was trained in the Gwalior Gharana of Hindustani classical music, who represented the 16th generation of Tansen’s lineage. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2013, becoming the oldest Padma awardee.
- Renowned Malayalam writer Akbar Kakkattil (62) has passed away. A two-time Sahitya Akademi award winner, Akbar was famous for his short story collections include ‘Shameela Fahmi’, ‘Adhyapaka Kathakal’, ‘Medhaswam’, ‘Ee vazhi vannavar’ and ‘Nadapuram’. He also authored a novel titled ‘Mruthyuyogam’ and a novelite ‘Randum Randu’.
- The former UN secretary general , Boutros Boutros-Ghali has passed away at age of 93 years. He took office in 1992 at a time of growing influence for the UN following its decisive role in the Gulf War, serving one five-year term. He faced criticism for the UN’s failure to stop the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
- Noted music director Rajamani passes away in Chennai. He gave music for successful Malayalam films like “Ekalavyan”, “Commissioner”, “The King”, “Aram Thampuran” and “Narasimham”.
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