February 2015 Current Affairs List

Current Affairs Global - 2 February 2015

  1. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Kanagasabapathy Sripavan as the new Chief Justice of the island country. With this, he has become Sri Lanka's 44th chief justice. He succeeded Shirani Bandaranayake who resigned on 29 January 2015.

With this appointment, he is also the second Tamil to be the Chief Justice of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. The first Tamil Chief Justice of Sri Lanka was Suppiah Sharvananda, who served between 1984 and 1988.

  1. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has been appointed as Chairman of African Union (AU). With this appointment, he will be the 13th Chairman of African Union and will succeed Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. African Union has 54 member countries and the motto is A United and Strong Africa.

  2. Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray by 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0 in the final match of Australian Open Men-s single title to win his fifth Australian Open title. With this win, he became close to Roy Emerson who won the Australian Open title for maximum number of times (6 times).

  3. Serena Williams defeated Russia-s Maria Sharapova by 6-3, 7-6 (5) in the Australian Open Women-s singles title to win her 19thGrand Slam title. With this win, she is second only Steffi Graf (22) on the list of major winners in the Open era.

  4. India-s Leander paes and his partner Martina Hingis won the Australian Open Mixed Doubles title after defeating third seeded France-s Kristina Mladenovic and Canadian Daniel Nester by 6-4, 6-3 in the final match last weekend.With this win, Paes has won eight men-s doubles and seven mixed doubles Grand Slams. Martina Hingis won five Grand Slam singles titles and 11 major doubles crowns including nine women-s and two mixed doubles tiles.

Current Affairs India - 2 February 2015

  1. Reliance Industries has teamed up with state run State Bank of India to apply for a payments bank licence. RIL and SBI have put in a joint application to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a payment bank that can offer services such as remittances and deposits but not loans. SBI will hold 30% stake in the joint venture while the remaining 70% stake will be held by RIL.

Recently Airtel and Kotat have also announced Joint Venure to apply for a payments bank licence. Also Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, Future Group and Vakrangee Ltd apply to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up payments banks. A payments bank licence will allow companies to accept deposits of up to Rs.1 lakh and increase payment options, especially for people who have no bank accounts.

  1. India-s core sector growth dropped to 3-month low of 2.4% in December 2014 compared to 6.7% growth witnessed in the previous month of November. Core sector growth dropped due to lower production in Crude oil and natural gas output. During April-December period of current financial year, the eight sectors grew by 4.4% compared to 4.1% growth in the same period of last year.

The production of crude oil declined by 1.4% natural gas by 3.5% and fertilizer by 1.6% and steel output dropped by 2.4% in December. Electricity generation also dropped by 3.7% in the same month. At the same time coal production grew by 7.5% and refinery products by 6.1%.

  1. India-s manufacturing sector growth moderates in January as the HSBC compiled Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for manufacturing sector dropped to 52.9 in Januarycompared to two-year record high of 54.5 in December. Any reading higher than 50 indicates growth in the sector.

PMI reading drops mainly because of consolidation after two months of strong growth. With record low inflation, RBI may cut rates again in order to boost both economic and industrial growth.
Current Affairs Global - 3 February 2015

  1. Global Credit Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has been asked to pay around USD 1.38 billion settlement to US regulators over allegations that S&P knowingly inflated its ratings of risky mortgage bonds before the sub-prime crisis in 2008.The ruling covers all the mortgage bond ratings between years 2004 and 2007.

These mortgage bonds including sub-prime mortgages were responsible for US housing market collapse and one of the worst financial crisis after the great depression.
Current Affairs India - 3 February 2015

  1. The Reserve Bank of India has increased the eligibility limit for foreign exchange remittances under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) by 100% to USD 250,000 per person per year. The increase was done based on reviewof the external sector outlook and as a further exercise in macro prudential management.

  2. Madhya Pradesh has been chosen for the 10th national award for excellent work in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act-MGNREGA by the Central Government.Union Rural Development Minister Virendra Singh presented the award to state-s Panchayats and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava at the MGNREGA summit held in New Delhi.

74% construction of permanent assets has been done through MGNREGA in the state through which 179 crore 11 lakh mandays of employment have been created. Out of these, 77 crore 36 lakh mandays of employment have been provided to female labourers.
RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 7.75% during its monetary policy review today; SLR cut by 50 bps to boost liquidity
RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has kept key policy rates unchanged during its seventh bi-monthly monetary policy review meeting today. Repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks for the short term, was kept unchanged at 7.75% while the Reverse Repo Rate, the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks, was kept unchanged at 6.75%. The cash reserve ratio for banks has been kept unchanged at 4%.
The RBI has decreased the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks by 50 bps to 21.5% with effect from the fortnight beginning 7th February to improve liquidity in the market. Statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) refers amount that the commercial banks require to maintain with the RBI in the form of gold or government approved securities (G-Secs or bonds) before lending.
The RBI said that it will continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25% of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate, and liquidity under 7-day and 14-day term repos of up to 0.75% of NDTL of the banking system through auctions. The reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 6.75% and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate have been kept unchanged at 8.75%.
Reserve Bank Governor has projected inflation target at 6% by January 2016 and kept GDP growth projection unchanged at 5.5% for the current financial year 2014-15.
Current Affairs Global - 4 February 2015

  1. China has overtaken the United States as the top destination for foreign direct investment as per the total FDI received for the year of 2014.This is the first time China overtook USA since 2003. As per data published by the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development, foreign firms invested USD 128 billion in China compared to USD 86 billion investment in the USA in 2014.

Current Affairs India - 4 February 2015

  1. The Bihar government has announced that it will provide free education to all the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and girl students till Post Graduation (PG) level in the state.The government will reimburse the entire education cost to such universities/colleges after getting all the details.

As per latest government data, there were 4.05 lakh SC, ST and girl students studying undergraduate courses in the state, but the figure declines sharply to just 10,870 students belonging to these categories at the PG level.

  1. The government has set up a high level panel, headed by former Home Secretary Anil Baijal, to suggest a framework to assess CSR activities done by different companies under the companies- law. As per new companies law passed by the Government last year, some profitable companies are required to shell out at least 2% of their three-year average annual net profit towards Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

  2. Indian own mobile phone company Micromax has overthrown Korean tech giant Samsung to take the top spot in the Indian smart phone market, as per market analyst firm Canalys. Indian smart phone market is the third largest in the world and this is for the first time, one domestic company reached to No 1 position in terms of market share.

Current Affairs Global - 5 February 2015

  1. World Cancer day was observed yesterday (4th February) across the world in order to raise awareness about the prevention, detection, and treatment of the deadly disease. The theme for this year 2015 is "Not beyond us", which indicates that there are many practical things that can be done by individuals and by communities to reduce the burden of cancer.

The 2015 campaign focused on four key areas i.e. choosing healthy lives, Delivering early detection, Achieving treatment for all and Maximizing quality of life.

  1. India has been ranked 3rdposition in the Hurun Global Rich List 2015 for the first time after overtaking Russia which now struggles with economic growth due to US sanctions and record low crude oil price. The list is a ranking of the dollar billionaires across the world. USA and China secured the first two positions in the list followed by India.

India has 97 billionaires in 2014 compared to 70 in the previous year. Their combined wealth adds up to USD 266 billion. Mukesh Ambani (ranked 41 globally) retains his rank as the richest Indian in the same list. Russia has 93 billionaires and their combined wealth is $365 billion.
Current Affairs India - 5 February 2015

  1. India-s ranking has improved by one notch, from last to second last position in the international intellectual property (IP) index released by the US Chamber of Commerce on 4thFebruary. The annual IP index evaluates a total of 30 countries according to their IP environment in which India was placed at the bottom of the list for the first two years.

The US has been placed at the No 1 position of the list which Thailand has been placed at the bottom of the list. India-s improvement of one notch was due to draft national IPR policy released by the Modi Government recently which recognised the fundamental links between IP, innovation, and the successful development of innovative products.

  1. Union home secretary Anil Goswami resigned yesterday after he admitted that he had called up CBI officers to stop central investigation agency from arresting and summoning former Union minister Matang Sinh for questioning in the Saradha chit fund scam.

L C Goyal, a 1979 batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre, has been appointed as the new Home Secretary. Before that he was secretary under rural development ministry. He has earlier served as joint secretary (internal security) in the home ministry from 2002 to 2007.

  1. Madhusudhan Prasad has been appointed as the Secretary, ministry of urban development (MoUD). He replaced Shankar Agarwal. Earlier he was a Director and Joint Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs and Additional Secretary in the Union Ministry of Commerce.

  2. Justice Madan Mohan Das has been appointed to probe the multi-crore chit fund scam in Odisha. He succeeds Justice Radha Krushna Patra who passed away on 28thJanuary this year. The inquiry commission was constituted on 9thJuly 2013 to hear the complaints of the depositors and take necessary steps for return of their investments.

  3. The Roongta committee has submitted its recommendation on bringing reforms in central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) to Indian Government. The Central Government will take a decision based on the recommendation.

The committee had given as many as 40 suggestions which include better corporate governance, more autonomy to Boards of PSUs, better utilisation of resources and transparency and fixing tenures of CMDs of PSU companies.

  1. Saloni Dalal has beocome the youngest player to win the bronze medal in the 200 m breaststroke event in the 35th National Games 2015 being held in Kerala. She is just 12 years old and class 7 student from Karnataka.

Current Affairs Global - 6 February 2015

  1. The United States added 257,000 jobs in January as US job market continues to improve with strong economic recovery.US unemployment rate also increased slightly to 5.7% in January compared to 5.6% in December, as per the data published by the US Labor Department.

  2. Pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer Inc has announced that it would acquire Hospira Inc, a leading provider of injectable drugs, infusion technologies and biosimilars, for around USD 17 billion. This will be Pfizer-s biggest acquisition so far after it failed to acquire UK-based pharmaceuticals firm AstraZeneca last year. Under the deal, Pfizer will pay USD 90 a share in cash for a total enterprise value of approximately USD 17 billion.

  3. Indian-American Ajaypal Singh Banga has been appointed as the Member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN), a key administration position in the United States (US).Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations (ACTPN) is the advisory panel of US president-s on international trade. Currently He has been serving as President and CEO of payment services company MasterCard since 2009.

Current Affairs India - 6 February 2015

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of NITI Aayog today and asked for ideas from economists to attract investments, create jobs and finance infrastructure to achieve strong growth for India. These ideas will be used during government's first full year budget to be announced on 28thFebruary.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Aayog's full time members Bibek Debroy and V K Saraswat, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, ex-RBI governor Bimal Jalan, Subir Gokarn, Ashok Gulati and G N Bajpai attended the first meeting of NITI Aayog.

  1. MO Garg has been appointed as the Director General of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).Before this appoitment, he was Director in CSIR-Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun. He did B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from Nagpur University and M.Tech from IIT Kanpur.

  2. Famous Marathi author Bhalachandra Nemade has been selected for the prestigious Jnanpith award for the year 2014.With this, he will be the 50th recipient of the award. He has also been conferred with Padma Shri and Sahitya Academi award.

  3. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has acquired 25% stake in Indian mobile payments and ecommerce platform Paytm owner One97 Communications in order make its entry in Indian market. Paytm is India's largest mobile commerce platform with nearly 25 million orders a month and more than 23 million mobile wallet users.

Current Affairs India - 8 February 2015

  1. Central Government has announced that it would infuse Rs. 6,990 crore in nine public sector banks including SBI, Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) in order to improve their capital structure as per latest global risk norms. This is the first tranche of capital infusion which the government had earlier announced during budget for 2014-15. India-s largest bank SBI will get Rs. 2,970 crore while Bank of Baroda will get Rs. 1,260, PNB Rs. 870 crore and Canara Bank Rs. 570 crore.

  2. Kolkata has become the first Wi-Fi-enabled metro city in India after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched this 4th Generation (4G) free Wi-fi service in the city this week. Also the state government plans to cover whole city under Wi-Fi by mid-April 2015. The 4G Wi-fi service is provided by the Private telecom operator Reliance Jio.

  3. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves jumped by USD 5.845 billion to all time high USD 327.883 billion in the week ended 30thJanuary, as per weekly report published by the RBI. Strong FII inflows to Indian capital market and reduction in import bill due to drop in Crude oil are the main reasons for record high forex reserves.

The jump was mainly due to increase in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 5.814 billion to USD 303.325 billion in the same week. Special Drawing Rights and India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were also increased by USD 24.6 million and USD 6.8 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 19.377 billion in the same week.

  1. Indian Anirban Lahiri won his maiden European Tour title after defeating Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in a in the final match of the Malaysian Open today.

Just three months after coming through qualifying school, Lahiri made up five shots on overnight leader Wiesberger before holding his nerve over the last few holes to emerge a winner by a single stroke after carding a four-under-par 68.
Current Affairs India - 9 February 2015

  1. Indians have been ranked at 16thplace with total worth of USD 4.1 billion on the new leaked HSBC list of Swiss bank account holders from over 200 countries.The list was published by an international body of journalists ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) which contains more than one lakh HSBC customers and their bank accounts with total worth of more than USD 100 billion.

People from Switzerland have been ranked at No 1 position in the same list with net worth of USD 31.2 billion followed by UK, Venezuela, US and France in the top five.

  1. The Ministry of External Affairs has published 19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) in a press release to remove cloud over Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act (CLND) 2010. The government has made it clear though the FAQs that it is not making changes to the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damages Act (CLND) 2010and the immediate liability for any incident would be channelled only to the operator, in this case PSU Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL).

  2. The Janata Dal United (JDU) of Bihar has replaced their leader Jitan Ram Manjhi with Nitish Kumar which will clear the way for Nitish Kumar to be reelected as the Chief Minister of Bihar. The leaders including JDU president Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) President Lalu Prasad and Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh handed over a list of 130 MLAS and asked the Governor to allow Nitish kumar to take oath as Bihar-s Chief Minister.

Earlier he resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar after JDU-s disappointing performance in the Lok Sabha election held last year and chose Jitan Ram Manjhi as the Chief Minister of Bihar.

  1. Goa has been ranked at 6thposition in the list of top 10 nightlife cities in the world by the list published by the 'National Geographic'. The list mentions Goa's beaches and surrounding areas as the right place to enjoy night life.

Dublin (Ireland) has been ranked at No 1 position in the list followed by Belgrade (Serbia), La Paz in Bolivia, Sao Paulo in Brazil, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Goa in India, Ibiza in Spain, Houston in Texas, Thessaloniki in Greece and Baku in Azerbaijan.

  1. Two Indians, Ricky Kej and Neela Vaswani have been awarded at the 57th Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles this weekend.Bengaluru-based musician Ricky Kej's album 'Winds of Samsara' with African flautist Wouter Kellerman has won the best new age album award while Neela Vaswani won the trophy in the Best Children's Album category for " I am Malala:How one Girl Stood Up for Education and changed the World." In the album, she had narrated the audio version of the book of the same name.

  2. Vodafone India has appointed Naveen Chopra as Chief Operating Officer, effective from 1stApril 2015. Currently he is Director of Vodafone Business Services (VBS).He will succeed Sunil Sood, who will take over from Martin Pieters as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer from the same date.

Indian economy grew by 7.5% in third quarter of FY2014-15; Expected to grow at 7.4% in current fiscal year
Indian economy grew by 7.5% in the third quarter (September-December) of the current fiscal year 2014-15 compared to growth rate of 8.2% in the previous quarter, as per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) based on new base year 2011-12. The government had recently updated the base year to calculate Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 2011-12 from 2004-05.
The sectors which registered a growth rate of over 7% are financial, real estate and professional service; trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting; public administration, defence and other services; and electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services. Growth in the agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and quarrying; construction and manufacturing- is estimated to be 1.1%, 2.3%, 4.5% and 6.8% respectively in the same quarter.
Also Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.4% in the current financial year 2014-15 compared to 6.9% growth witnessed in the previous financial year.
Current Affairs India - 10 February 2015

  1. Indian economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has been awarded the inaugural Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize in recognition of his contribution to society, as per the announcement made yesterday.

He is considered as one of the world's foremost thinkers in the field of famine, poverty, social choice and welfare economics, and was awarded with the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work in the same.

  1. Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan-s name was included in the LIMCA book of records recently for being the only woman of the country to represent the same Lok Sabha constituency on the same party ticket for eight consecutive times.As a senior BJP party leader, she represents the Indore Lok Sabha constituency and has been winning from the seat since 1989. She was elected for the first time in 1989 and was re-elected in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014.

  2. Gauri Shankar, an Executive Director of Punjab National Bank, has been given additional charge as Managing Director and CEO of PSU bank Punjab National Bank with immediate effect. The post has been vacant since November, when the former Chairman and Managing Director K R Kamath failed to get extension from the government.

  3. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCom), watchdog of Indian IT Industry, has reduced growth projection for the Indian IT industry marginally for the next financial year. It has cut its export estimate for information technology and back-office services to 12-14% for the next fiscal year 2015-16 ending March 2016 as against 13-15% estimated for current fiscal year 2014-15.

For the current fiscal year, It has projected IT exports to grow at 13.1% (in constant currency terms), which is at the lower end of its growth guidance for the sector.

  1. Reliance Communications Ltd has partnered with social networking giant Facebook to offer free data access to select popular websites for all its existing and new customers.As a part of this deal, 33 popular websites can be accessed free of cost through internet.org but the subscriber needs to have is an internet enabled hand set.

This service was launched in seven circles including Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Kerala in the first phase. Other circles will be included in the later phases.

  1. Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Star India, secured certain media rights relating to the Indian Premier League (IPL) for approximately Rs.302.2 crore over a three-season period, as per announcement made by the BCCI. This media rights were provided for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Other companies submitted bid for the same are Times Internet Ltd and Multi Screen Media Pvt Ltd with bids were Rs. 191.8 crore and Rs. 285 crore respectively.
AAP wins Delhi Assembly Election in a landslide victory, Secures 67 out of 70 seats
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) scripted a landslide victory after securing 67 out of total 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections. BJP was managed to win in only 3 seats while Congress was completely eliminated from the National Capital. With this win, AAP gets complete majority to form next government in Delhi under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal. Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as Delhi-s Chief Minister on 14th February at Ramlila Maidan excactly one year after he had resigned as Delhi Chief Minister as he did not have the numbers in the Delhi assembly to push an anti-corruption bill.
BJP Chief Minister candidate Kiran Bedi lost one of the BJP's safest seats at Krishna Nagar and BJP managed to get only 3 seats in the national capital. Post the assembly result announcement, Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi has congratulated Arvind Kejriwal on his party's win in Delhi assembly elections and assured him of the Centre's support in the development of Delhi.
Current Affairs India - 11 February 2015

  1. Yash Bhati Samman 2015 was awarded to famous journalist and writer Vinod Mehta by Uttar Pradesh government.He launched a number of successful publications such as the Sunday Observer, Indian Post, The Independent, The Pioneer (Delhi edition) and Outlook.

Yash Bharti Samman was instituted by Mulayam Singh Yadav in 1994 which honors people for their excellence in literature, fine arts, folk and classical music and sports.

  1. M Ravindran has been appointed as the Chairman of Indraprastha Gas Ltd. He succeeds K K Gupta, Director (Marketing), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) who has completed his 2 year tenure.

IGL is a joint venture of GAIL, BPCL and government of Delhi. The post of chairman is rotated among GAIL and BPCL after every two years.

  1. India-s largest private bank, ICICI bank has launchedIndia-s first digital bank'Pockets' service to allow anyone to instantly make transactions on a mobile phone with or without a bank account. As per ICICI bank, anyone can download the e-wallet from Google Playstore, fund it from any bank account in the country and start transacting immediately which will also enable customers to pay bills, transfer money to other email id or mobile number easily.

This services is also known as Digital Bank which will allow customers to deposit or transfer from any bank account through a debit card or Net banking account easily on a mobile phone.

  1. Marathi theatre artist and film actor Atmaram Govind Bhende passed away on 7thFebruary. He was awarded with the Shrimant Yuvraj Chatrapati Maharaj Kolhapur Award by Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Parisha in 1991 and was awarded Life Time Achievement Award in 2003.

IIP growth slows to 1.7% in December; January CPI inflation increases marginally to 5.11%
India's Index of Industrial Production, the most important parameter to judge performance of industrial sector, grew by 1.7% in December compared to 3.8% growth in November.  Manufacturing sector output, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by 2.1% in December compared to 1.1% contraction in the same month last year which pushed the overall IIP growth higher.
IIP growth stood at 0.1% in December 2013. The cumulative IIP growth for the period April-December of the current financial year 2014-15 stood at 2.1% compared to 0.4% contraction in the same period last year.
At the same time, India's Retail inflation, measured by Consumer Price Index, increased slightly to 5.11% in January compared to 5% in December, measured on the new base year of 2012. Retail Food inflation, measured by newly published Consumer Food Price Index, stood at 6.06% in January. The Central Statistics Office has changed base year from 2010 to 2012, the weights of items and groups and has shifted to geometric mean for computing inflation from existing process of arithmetic mean.
Current Affairs Global - 13 February 2015

  1. World Radio Day is observe today (13thFebruary) across the world to celebrate radio as a medium for communication, entertainment and information for remote communities and its role in communicating and empowering people.It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 byUNESCO's 36th General Conference. It was originally proposed by theKingdom of Spain.

Theme of World Radio day 2015 is 'Youth and Radio' and how young people can be better represented through the most powerful medium. Radio is also considered to be the most accessible and powerful medium even during the most disadvantaged groups and remote areas.

  1. The eurozone economy grew by more-than-expected 0.3% in the last quarter (September to December) of the previous year 2014. GDP growth stood at 0.9% for the entire euro zone region in year 2014.

Germany's economy, the largest in the Eurozone, grew by 0.7% while France grew by just 0.1% in the same quarter. Three economies contracted in the same period which are Greece, Finland and Cyprus.

  1. US Tech giant Apple Inc. became the first company in the world to reach a market value of USD 700 billion as its share price touched record high value on US stock exchanges. With its USD 710 billion market capitalization Apple has now extended his lead over number two company, oil giant Exxon Mobil, which has market capitalization of USD 382 billion. Apple is also having almost double market value compared to other tech giants including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle etc.

Current Affairs India - 13 February 2015

  1. India has been ranked at 136th place out of 180 countries across the worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015, as per the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2015 published today. India has shown improvement in its rank this year from 140thrank in 140 with absolute score declined from 40.34 to 40.49.

As per World Press Freedom Index (WPFI), Finland secured the No1 rank followed by Norway (2nd), Denmark (3rd), Netherlands (4th), Sweden (5th), New Zealand (6th), Austria (7th), Canada (8th), Jamaica (9th), Estonia (10th) in the top 10 list.

  1. Indian-origin scientist Gurpreet Singh, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University, was awarded with the USD 500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER awardfor his research on Scalable liquid exfoliation processing of ultrathin two-dimensional metal dichalcogenides nanosheets for energy storage devices.

National Science Foundation CAREER award is given by US National Science Foundation as part of Faculty Early Career Development Programme. This CAREER award will help him to study large-scale production of ultrathin sheets, a few atoms thick and several micrometres wide using transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs).

  1. The Board of Directors of Grasim Industries Limited has recently approved the proposed merger of Aditya Birla Chemicals (India) Limited (ABCIL) with Grasim. This merger is subject to approval of the high court and regulatory authorities. Under the merger proposal, the shareholders of ABCIL will get one share of Rs 10 each of Grasim for every 16 shares of Rs 10 each they hold in ABCIL.

Post this merger, Grasim Industries will turn into a chemical conglomerate and it will fit well with the group's chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla's plan of consolidating similar business one umbrella.

  1. The Board of India Cements Ltd. (ICL) has cleared the proposal for transfer of IPL franchise rights of Chennai Super Kings to its wholly owned subsidiary, Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd. With this, the cricket franchise will be owned by the shareholders of a company.

The Supreme Court had also directed that BCCI elections be held in six weeks "subject to the condition that no one who has any commercial interest in BCCI events shall be eligible for contesting the elections for any post whatsoever-. This move will be help N Srinivasan to contest for the election of BCCI head.
Current Affairs Global - 14 February 2015

  1. Ashton Carter has been confirmed as the next American defence secretary by the Senate this week. He, a formerdeputy defense secretary, will replace Chuck Hagel to become the 25thUS Secretary of Defence. US Senate has approved his appointment by a vote of 93 to 5.

  2. ICC Cricket world cup started today with two matches played on the first day.In the World Cup-s opening game, New Zealand defeated Sri Lanka by 98 runs while in the second match Australia defeated England by 111 runs.

Current Affairs India - 14 February 2015

  1. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal took oath as the eighth Chief Minister of Delhi today with the promise to make Delhi as the first corruption-free state and act against communal elements. He was administered the oath of office along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and five other ministers by the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung at the Ramlila Ground in New Delhi.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia will hold the charge of Eduction, Finance, Planning and Revenue ministries and Satyendar Jain will hold the charge of Power, Health, Industries and PWD ministries. Gopal Rai will hold the charge of Transport, Labour and Employment departments and Sandeep Kumar will hold the charge of Women and Child Development, Social Welfare and SC and ST departments. Food, Civil Supply and Environment and Forest departments are with Asim Ahmed Khan while Jitender Singh Tomar has been given the charge of Law and Justice, Home, and Tourism. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not keep any department under his charge, but he will oversee the work of different departments and supervise their work.

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated American Engineering giant General Electric's (GE) first manufacturing plant in India which will manufacture a range of diversified products for sectors such as energy, aviation, oil & gas transportation.

In the first phase of the operation, the facility is focused on products and solutions for the power generation, oil & gas and transportation industries. Modi has also invited GE to set up facility to build ships in India at the same event.

  1. India has successfully test-fired its 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Indian Navy destroyer INS Kolkata today. INS Kolkata, which was commissioned by the Indian Navy in August 2014, has the capability of firing the highest number of BrahMos missiles.

INS Kolkata can fire 16 BrahMos missile in salvo mode where other ships can fire maximum number of 8 BrahMos missile. The Universal Vertical Launcher (UVLM) is used in these ships has a unique design, developed and patented by BrahMos Aerospace.

  1. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves jumped by USD 2.329 billion to all time high USD 327.883 billion in the week ended 36thFebruary, as per weekly report published by the RBI. 

The jump was mainly due to increase in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 1.633 billion to USD 304.958 billion in the same week. Special Drawing Rights was also increased by USD 21.8 million but India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was decreased by USD 130.3 million respectively in the same week. Gold Reserves were increased by USD 805.3 million to USD 20.183 billion in the same week.

  1. Indian national football team-s captain Sunil Chhetri was presented with All India Football Federation-s 2014 Player of the Year award in the men category. He was voted the winner by I-League coaches. With this, he received the award for the fourth time after winning the same earlier in 2007, 2011 and 2013. He surpassed the legendary footballer IM Vijayan who won the award thrice.

Striker of Indian women football team Bala Devi win the same award in the women category while Sandesh Jhingan received the Emerging Player of the Year 2014 award and Santosh Kumar won the Best Referee 2014 award.
India-s exports contracted by 11.19% in January; Trade deficit drops to 11-month low of USD 8.32 billion
India-s export contracted by 11.19% in January compared to same month last year to USD 23.88 billion while total imports also dropped by 11.39% in January compared to same month last year to USD 32.2 billion due to steep drop in global crude oil prices. Trade deficit for the same month stood at USD 8.32 billion. Exports in January 2014 stood at USD 26.89 billion and the trade deficit stood at USD 9,.45 billion which is the lowest in last 11 months.
For the April-January period of current financial year 2014-15, total exports grew by 2.44% to USD 265.03 billion while total imports increased by 2.17% to USD 383.41 billion in the same period. Trade deficit for the period stood at USD 118.37 billion.
Current Affairs Global - 16 February 2015

  1. Japanese economy grew by an annualized rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter (September-December) of the previous year 2014. With this growth Japan was able to come out of recession.

The GDP growth rate stood at 0.6% in the fourth quarter compared to previous quarter while GDP grew by 0% in 2014 from 1.6% growth in the previous year of 2013.
Current Affairs India - 16 February 2015

  1. India and Sri Lanka have signed a civil nuclear deal today during presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena.This is his first India visit after becoming President of the island country. The two countries have also signed three other pacts, on cooperation in agriculture, culture, and Sri Lanka's participation in the Nalanda University Project.

  2. Two women scientists, Tessy Thomas and Geeta Varadan, have been chosen for the Dr.Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award 2014. Both have been chosen for their significant contributions in the fields of missile technology and remote sensing. Tessy Thomas is Director of Advanced Systems Laboratory of DRDO and Project Director (Mission) Agni V while Geeta Varadan is director of Advanced Data Processing Research Institute of ISRO.

  3. India-born Punit Renjen has been appointed as the next CEO of US-based accounting giant Deloitte's global operations. With this he will become the first Indian-origin person to head a 'Big-Four' audit firm.Deloitte, which is present across 150 countries including India and employs over two lakh people, is one of the four largest audit firms in the world and competes with PwC, KPMG and EY.

  4. Senior NCP leader and former Maharashtra-s Home Minister during the 26/11 terror attacks, R R Patil passed away at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai today.He was 57.

He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the first time in 1990 and appointed Rural Development Minister in the Congress-NCP government in 1999. He was made Deputy Chief Minister in 2004 and again appointed Home Minister for a second time in 2009 after the Congress-NCP combine retained power in the state.

  1. Indian IT services company Infosys has announced its acquisition of US based leading provider of automation technology for large-scale software management, Panaya Inc, for around USD 200 million. The transaction is expected to be completed before 31stMarch, 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.

Panaya's CloudQuality(tm) suite will help Infosys to bring automation to several of its service lines via an agile SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and helps mitigate risk, reduce costs and shorten time to market for clients.

  1. IPL-8 auction was held today for the next IPL season. Yuvraj Singh attracted the maximum price of Rs 16 crore from IPL team Delhi Daredevils followed by Dinesh Karthik who attracted Rs 10.5 crore from Royal Challengers Bangalore in the auction today.

India's overall inflation drops to -0.39% in January
India's overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), drops to -0.39% in January compared to 0.11% December.
At the same time, the rate of inflation for fuel dropped further to (-) 10.69% in January compared to (-) 7.82% in December due to continuous drop in crude oil price. Also the rate of inflation for manufactured products dropped to 1.05% in the same month from 1.57% in December. With negative overall inflation numbers, the RBI is expected to cut rates during its next monetary policy review meeting to boost growth.
Current Affairs India - 17 February 2015

  1. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan scheme, nearly 7.1 lakh toilets have been built in individual household in January while total 31.83 lakh toilets have been built between April 2014 and January 2015. This is around 25.4% of the target of the current financial year 2014-15. Under this scheme, Government has planned to spend nearly Rs 2 lakh crore over the next five years to build 12 crore toilets in India.

  2. Indian-origin scientist Professor Srikanth Jagabathula has been awarded with the Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States (US).He was awarded for his research work in developing data-driven modelling and learning techniques to improve the accuracy of operational decision making. As a part of this award, he will receive a total of USD 500,000 over the next five years for his further research on the same topic.

  3. Balasubramaniam Venkataramani has been appointed as the new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) Limited this week. Before this appointment, he was the Chief Business Officer of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) Limited operates within the regulatory framework of the Forward Contracts Regulation Act, 1952 (FCRA, 1952) since November 2003.

Current Affairs Global - 18 February 2015

  1. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic sworn in as the first Woman President of Croatia after winning the election held in January this year.She defeated her left-wing predecessor Ivo Josipovic in a close fought election after securing 50.5% votes in favor compared to 49.5% votes in against.

She had earlier worked as European affairs and foreign minister from 2003 to 2008 and then served as Croatia's ambassador to the US until 2011 when she was named NATO's assistant secretary general.
Current Affairs India - 18 February 2015

  1. The Aero India expo 2015, 10thedition of the five-day international edition of the aerospace and aviation exhibition, started at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bangalore today. The show was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who again talked about 'Make in India'campaign to attract more foreign investment and invite foreign companies to set up defence related manufacturing firms in India.

More than 600 companies including 328 foreign companies are expected to participate in the same exhibition. The US will have the largest presence at the show with 64 companies followed by France with 58 companies, the UK with 48, Russia with 41, Israel with 25 and Germany with 17 companies.

  1. Delhi-s Indira Gandhi International Airporthas been chosen as the best airport among the world's most performing airports in the 25-40 million passengers per annum category by the Airport Council International(ACI). Apart from Delhi, Mumbai airport was also placed in the top five list.

Indira Gandhi International Airport won the annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award, which recognises and rewards the best airports in the world based on Geneva-based ACI's ASQ passenger satisfaction survey.

  1. Famous film producer and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner Daggubati Rama Naidu passed away today at Hyderabad.He was 78. He produced more than 135 films and made films in several Indian languages under his Suresh Productions banner.

He was awarded with Dadasaheb Phalke award in 2009 and Padma Bhushan award in 2012 for his outstanding contribution towards Indian film industry. He also held Guinness Book of World Record for making more number of films individually in less time.

  1. Reserve Bank of India may soon start printing Rs 1 currency note, as per latest press release by the Central bank.The government had earlier discontinued printing of one rupee notes in November 1994 due to higher printing costs.

  2. India-s online marketplace Snapdeal.com has announced the acquisition of Exclusively.com (formerly Exclusively.in) today which is an online portal for premium and luxury fashion. With the acquisition, Snapdeal.com will be able to offer luxury and lifestyle items to its customers.

Current Affairs India - 19 February 2015

  1. The government has launched a single window e-Biz portal in order to bring transparency and improve ease of doing business in India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Launched the portal in New Delhi today and said that this project will in fostering the business environment in the country in a holistic manner.

The portal will provide four services from Ministry of Corporate Affairs, two services of Central Board of Direct Taxes, two services of Reserve Bank of India and one service each from Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Employees Provident Fund Organization and Petroleum and explosives Safety Organization. A business user can avail the service any time from today.

  1. India successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile as part of a user trial by the army today from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. The missile with a strike range of 350 km and can carry 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory.

  2. Bihar government has announced 35% reservation for women in non-gazetted government jobs in group C and D grade. This decision was taken at state cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today.

The cabinet also hiked Member of Legislative Assembly  Development Fund (MLADF) from the present Rs. 2 crore in a year to Rs. 3 crore from the next financial year and passed a proposal to pay 13 months salary in place of 12 months to policemen upto inspector rank.

  1. Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel Limited has signed a partnership agreement with United Nations Children-s Fund (UNICEF) to provide health, education and youth-focused content to its customers in 17 African countries.This deal aims to improve African population-s access to health and education-related information from various innovative projects supported by UNICEF.

The partnership extends across 17 countries in Africa including Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Chad, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

  1. Former India Captain and famous Leg Spinner Anil Kumble has been chosen to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame which has all times greatest cricketers. He will be felicitated and inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the next ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and South Africa in Melbourne on 22ndFebruary.

With this, he will become the fourth Indian cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame after Bishen Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar who were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.

  1. Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Russia-s Sergey Karjakin in the final round to win the Classical section of Zurich Chess Classic in Zurich today. Anand won 2 matches and drew remaining 3 games in the six-player round robin. USA-a Hikaru Nakamura finished at second after settling for a draw with Armenia-s Levon Aronian.

Current Affairs Global - 21 February 2015

  1. International Mother Language Day was observed today (21stFebruary) across the world. The year 2015 is the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day and this year-s theme is -Inclusive Education through and with Language - Language Matters-.

The day represents the date in 1952 when Pakistan police killed some students in Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) who were demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan.
Current Affairs India - 21 February 2015

  1. Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned just before the scheduled trust vote at the Bihar assembly yesterday.He had submitted his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. With this Nitish kumar is all set to return as Bihar Chief Minister again on 22ndFebruary.

  2. The formation of the BJP-PDP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir may be announced soon as both the parties are able to reach to common consensus in both the controversial issues like Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Power Act. PDP won 28 seats and BJP won 25 seats in the 87-member Assembly in the assembly poll conducted in December 2014.

  3. Famous scientist Tapan Misra has been appointed the Chief of ISRO-s Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad Gujarat. He will succeed A S Kiran Kumar, who was appointed as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) last month.

He was awarded Hari Om Ashram Prerit Vikram Sarabhai research Award in 2004, ISRO Merit award in 2008 and Sir JC Bose National Talent Search (JBNSTS) Scholarship in 1981.

  1. Founder and Managing Director of Sun Pharma, Dilip Shanghvi is now the richest Indian due to his more than 63% holding in three group companies; Sun Pharma, Sun Pharma Advanced Research and Ranbaxy Labs, is not worth of about USD 23.4 billion. This is higher than worth of USD 21.2 billion owned by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.

But as per the Bloomberg Billionaire Index Mukesh Ambani is still the richest Indian (33rd globally) with a net worth of USD 21.9 billion followed by Shanghvi (39th globally) with a net worth of USD 19.7 billion.

  1. India-s foreign exchange (forex) reserves jumped by USD 2.956 billion to all time high USD 333.1693 billion in the week ended 13thFebruary, as per weekly report published by the RBI. Strong FII inflows to Indian capital market and reduction in import bill due to drop in Crude oil are the main reasons for record high forex reserves.

The jump was mainly due to increase in foreign currency assets which was increased by USD 2.299 billion to USD 307.257 billion in the same week. India-s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  was also increased by USD 661.9 million and Special Drawing Rights was decreased by USD 5.1 million in the same week. Gold Reserves remained unchanged at USD 20.183 billion in the same week.

  1. Famous leader of Communist Party of India (CPI), Govind Pansare passed away in Mumbai yesterday night.He was shot along with his wife Uma by unidentified persons near his house in Kolhapur last week. He was 82. He was leading a campaign against the collection of toll in Maharashtra.

  2. FamousUrdu poet Dr. Kalim Ahmed Ajiz passed away in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. He was 90. He was the author of several books and classical ghazals and his first book of ghazals wasreleased in 1976 by the President of India Fakruddin Ali Ahmad.

  3. Bollywood actor Ashraful Haque, known for his role in the movies Delhi Belly and Fukrey, passed away in Andheri, Mumbai. He was 46 and suffering from Myelodysplastic Syndrome for a long time.

Current Affairs Global - 23 February 2015

  1. Birdman movie won the best picture award at the 87th Annual Academy Awards or the Oscar yesterday night. Alejandro G Inarritu won the best director award for the same movie.

British actor Eddie Redmayne won the best actor Oscar award for his role in "The Theory of Everything" and Julianne Moore won the best actress for her role in Still Alice. Walt Disney's super hero action comedy film "Big Hero 6" won the best animated feature film. Refer the below link for complete list of winners of 87th Annual Academy Awards.

  1. Former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has been arrested under anti-terrorism laws after a court said that he might flee the country to avoid hearings on terrorism charges. He is facing criminal charges over his order to arrest a Criminal Court judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012. Nasheed was the first democratically elected President of Maldives and he stepped down as the President of Maldives in 2012.

Current Affairs India - 23 February 2015

  1. JDU leader Nitish Kumar took oath as a Bihar Chief Minister yesterday to become the Chief Minister of the state for the fourth time. Earlier he had resigned from the post last year in May 2014 over JD(U)'s debacle in the Lok Sabha election. 22 ministers were also administered the oath of office along with him.

  2. Himachal Pradesh is set to become the India-s first state to present a paperless budget on 11thMarch.Since the state already has the country's first green assembly, all documents related to budget estimates would be made available online and only around 10 budget copies would be printed for record.

  3. Bank trade unions finally managed to get a good deal of a 15% hike in wages coupled with second and fourth Saturday off from PSU bank managements after long negotiations period of more than 2 years.Though bank employees have got second and fourth Saturday off, they will have to work full day on the first and third Saturdays.

The wage hike is effective from November 2012 and will be applicable to nearly 10 lakh employees in public sector banks, old generation private sector banks and some foreign banks. With this decision, the Indian Banks' Association has called off their planned four-day strike starting from 25th February.

  1. India-s Foreign direct investment (FDI) jumped by more than 100% to USD 2.16 billion in December 2014 compared to USD 1.10 billion in the same month of 2013.During the April-December period of current fiscal year 2014-15, total FDI increased by 27% to USD 21.04 billioncompared to USD 16.56 billion received in the same period last fiscal year.

Amongst the top 10 sectors, telecom received the maximum FDI of USD 2.67 billion in the same period, followed by services (USD 2.29 billion), automobile (USD 1.58 billion), pharmaceuticals (USD 1.21 billion) and computer software and hardware (USD 971 million). During the period, India received maximum FDI from Mauritius at USD 5.89 billion, followed by Singapore (USD 4.31 billion), the Netherlands (USD 2.57 billion), the US (USD 1.48 billion) and Japan (USD 1.42 billion).

  1. Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has warned today of losing credit rating if proper reform steps are not taken by the NDA government. As per S&P, India must boost growth, cut its fiscal deficit and fulfil promises of financial and fiscal reforms in order to justify an upgrade in a credit rating.

S&P raised India's credit rating outlook to 'stable' from 'negative' with 'BBB-minus' rating in September last year after a stable government and chances of more reforms.
Current Affairs Global - 24 February 2015

  1. Justice Rana Bhagwandas, the first Hindu chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, passed away in Karachi on 23rdFebruary. He was 72. He was the first Hindu and second non-Muslim to head the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2005-2006 duringthe absence of the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

  2. Takahiro Hachigo has been appointed as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co. Limited. He will take charge in June this year and he succeeds Takanobu Ito, who had resigned from his post on 23rdFebruary 2015. Before this appointment, he was Managing Officer of Honda Motor Co. Limited.

  3. West Indies opener Chris Gayle became the first batsman to score a double century in a World Cup innings when he scored 215 runs while playing against Zimbabwe in a Pool B group match today. He also scored the fastest double century as he took 138 balls to reach his 200 runs, breaking previous record of Virender Sehwag who took 140 balls to score double century.

It was also the fifth double century in all ODI cricket with Rohit Sharma scored 2, Sachin Tendulkar scored 1 and Virender Sehwag scored 1 double century earlier. Sachin Tendulkar scored the first double century in ODIs in 2010.
Current Affairs India - 24 February 2015

  1. BJP and PDP have finally announced to form their coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir today. BJP President Amit Shah met PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti in Delhi today and made the formal announcement.As per the announcement, PDP will get the Chief Minister post and BJP will get the deputy Chief Minister post.

  2. 14th Finance Commission, headed by former RBI Governor Y.V. Reddy, submitted its report to Central Government. The commission has recommended to increase state-s share in the centre's tax revenue to 42% from current 32%.The recommendations of the commission has accepted by the centre which is for the 5 year period from FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20.

  3. Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri has resigned from his post, after being named in a sexual harassment case.A 29-year-old researcher of TERI has made sexual harassment charges against him after she joined TERI in September 2013.

  4. The Indian Army and India-s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Defence Salary Package on 23rdFebruary. The revised MoU has added some additional facilities and basic features which include Many free/concessional services like free cheque books, free drafts, free funds transfers to any bank in India through RTGS / NEFT, free ATM cards and others etc.

The allocation also includes the Nepal Express Remittance Scheme which enables instant fund transfers to Nepal for the benefit of the Nepali Domicile Gorkha Soldiers serving in the Indian Army.

  1. Ranchi Rays won the Hero Hockey India League 2015 after defeating Jaypee Punjab Warriors by 3-2 in the final at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi.Ranchi Rays, which was earlier named as Ranchi Rhinos also lifted the inaugural Hero Hockey India title in 2013.

Current Affairs India - 25 February 2015

  1. The AAP government of New Delhi has slashed power tariff by 50% for consumption up to 400 units per month and promised to provide free 20,000 litres water to every household per month as promised before the assembly poll. With this cut in power bill, 90% of Delhiites will be benefited.

Water tariff will be charged if the consumption limit exceeds 20,000 litres which will be effective from 1st March. AAP had earlier promised these steps in its election manifesto released before the assembly poll held earlier this month.

  1. The Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav resigned from his post after the Central Government has asked him to step down after a FIR filed against him in a recruitment scam.He was named in an FIR registered by a special task force (STF) probing the multi-crore Madhya Pradesh professional examination board (MPPEB) or Vyapam scam under various sections of IPC, including 420 for cheating.

  2. Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri stepped down as Chairperson of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Pachauri said that he was unable to provide strong leadership to the organization in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. He has been the Chairperson of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since April 2002. Ismail El Gizouli will now hold the post till a new chairperson is selected.

Current Affairs India - 26 February 2015

  1. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India amended the mobile number portability (MNP) regulations this week to allow users to change their service provider in any part of the country while retaining the number.That facility will be effective from 3rdMay this year. Currently, number portability can be done only within a telecom circle.

  2. Clemson University has honoured former Tata group Mr. Ratan Tata with the Doctorate of Automotive Engineering at the South Carolina Automotive Summit held in Washington recently. Dean of Clemson's College of Engineering and Science Anand Gramopadhye said Ratan Tata not only is a titan in the automotive industry in India, but he also is a giant in the global marketplace.

  3. Ahead of the Union Budget announcement on this Saturday, global rating agency Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has revised India-s GDP growth projection upwards at 7.9% for the fiscal year2015-16 due to improved investment and low crude oil prices.

At the same time, S&P has lowered its GDP growth forecasts for China, Japan, and the other Asian economies, as per its report titled 'Stronger US economy and lower oil prices aren't boosting Asia-Pacific growth'.
Union Railway Budget 2015-16 Highlights
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented Railway budget today at the Parliament. This is the second Railway budget presented by the newly elected NDA government under the leadership of Narendra Modi.
Key aims are better customer experience, higher safety, improved and modernized infrastructure, and make Indian Railways financially self-sustainable.
Key Highlights of the Railway budget 2015-16:

  1. No increase in Rail Fares.
    2. Rs 8.5 lakh crore to be invested in Railways over 5 years
    3. Allotment for passenger facilities hiked by 67%
    4. Plan expenditure to go up to a record Rs 1.1 lakh crore in 2015-16 from Rs 66,000 crore in the previous year
    5. By 2019, the proposed investment in Railways would be in tune of Rs 856021 crore.
    6. Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance instead of 60 days.
    7. All-India 24X7 helpline - 138, will be launched from March 1 this year
    8. To Increase annual passenger capacity to increase from 21 million to 30 million
    9. To Revamp PPP Model In Railway
    10. Toll free number 182 created for security related complaints

  2. SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains
    12. Government to introduce Malaviya Chair at IIT/BHU for Railway technology
    13. Bio toilets in trains - 17000 current toilets will be replaced in next one year
    14. CCTVs to be introduced in selective trains and suburban trains for women safety.
    15. Rs.2000 cr for Coastal Connectivity Program
    16. Rs.2500 cr through BOT/Annuity route.
    17. In 400 stations wi-fi facility will be provided.
    18. 1330% increase in railway electrification over previous year.
    19. Operation 5 minutes to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within 5 minutes.
    20. 492 section of IR - running at a capacity of more than 100%
    21. 228 running between 80-100%
    22. Proposed the best operating ratio in nine years, of 88.5 per cent for 2015-16
    23. Hand-held devices for ticket checkers for moving towards paperless ticketing
    24. Mobile application to address complaints of people is also being developed
    25. Railway University will be set up in FY16
    26. 6608 kms of track to be electrified
    27. Projects worth Rs 96,182 crore to expand capacity of 9,420 km rail lines
    28. SMS alert to be introduced for train timings
    29. Make in India opportunities - Speedier Railway - 9 hi-speed corridors, high speed trains
    30. Satellite railway terminals in major cities - 10 select stations
    31. E-catering introduced in 108 trains, can order on IRCTC website
    32. The speed passenger trains across nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km
    33. Feasibility report of high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmadabad expected by mid-2015.
    34. Rs 6,750 crore allocated for eliminating 3438 level crossings
    35. 970 road-under bridge and road-over bridge to be constructed.
    36. More general class coaches to be added in identified trains; more AC EMU services for Mumbai suburban section.
    37. Skill development and self-employment to be encouraged on Konkan Railway model
    38. Propose to make -Incredible Rail- for Incredible India
    39. Gandhi circuit for tourism purpose will be promoted
    40. Water recycling plants and water harvesting at high consumption areas
    41. JV with major public sector companies for meeting requirements of new lines
    42. Train Collision Avoidance Systems will be installed
    43. Train Warning Protection Systems will be installed
    44. ISRO-s help to be taken to improve safety
    45. 3438 level crossings to be eliminated

Current Affairs Global - 28 February 2015

  1. The U.S. government has confirmed that it would allow holders of the H-4 visa, who are spouses of high-skilled workers on the H-1B visa, to work in USA and it will provide work authorization from 26thMay onwards.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Department said that the H-4 employment eligibility was -an important element of the immigration executive actions President Obama announced in November 2014-.

  1. US Tech giant Apple Inc has been order by federal Jury in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to pay USD 553 million fine for three patent infringementsowned by patent licensing firm Smartflash LLC. The Jury in its verdict found out that Apple Inc-s iTunes software has infringed three patents owned by Smartflash LLC.

  2. US economic growth was revised downward to 2.2% in the last quarter (October to December) of the previous year 2014 from earlier growth estimate of 2.6%.The downward revision was due to slower growth in business inventory investment. The US economy grew at an annual rate of 5% in the same quarter.

  3. South African batsman AB de Villiers scored the fastest ever 150 in one-day internationals while planning against West Indies in a group league match of ICC cricket world cup on Friday. He took just 64 deliveries to reach 150 runs and beat the previous best record set by Australian batsman Shane Watson.

Current Affairs India - 28 February 2015

  1. National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas was celebrated today (28thFebruary) across the nation. The theme for year 2015 is -Science for Nation Building- with the purpose of raising public appreciation on scientific issues for the development of nation.

This day marks the discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman (CV Raman) on 28th February 1928 for which he was awarded with Nobel Prize in 1930.

  1. Kshatrapati Shivaji has been appointed as the Chairman and Managing Director of Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). He, a 1986 batch IAS officer, has been appointed for 3 years from the date of taking charge. He is currently Principal Secretary (Expenditure), Finance Department in Maharashtra government.

  2. Chief Justice of Odisha High Court, Amitava Roy sworn in as a judge of Supreme Court of India. He was appointed by the President of Indiaand he will serve the post for three years. With his elevation, the strength of the SC judges increased to 29. SC has a sectioned strength of 31 judges.

  3. Chairman and Managing Director of State Bank of India, Arundhati Bhattacharya has been named in the Forbes list of 50 'power businesswomen' published by the global business magazine.

The list also includes six other Indian businesswomen which are: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, founder of Biocon; Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Bank; Shika Sharma, Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank; Akhila Srinivasan, Managing Director of Shriram Life Insurance/ Shriram Capital; and Usha Sangwan, Managing Director of Life Insurance Corporation of India.

  1. Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor have won the ATP Tennis Championship doublestitle after defeating Aihsan-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nined Zimonjic in the final match by 6-4, 6-1 held in held in Dubai on 28thFebruary.

Union Budget 2015-16 Highlights
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley present Union budget to make way for high economic growth and favorable environment for business investment. Key highlights are:
Fiscal Deficit and Growth Related

  • GDP growth seen at between 8% and 8.5% year on year

  • Aiming double digit growth rate, achievable soon

  • Fiscal deficit seen at 3.9% of GDP in 2015/16

  • Will meet the challenging fiscal target of 4.1% of GDP

  • Remain committed to meeting medium term fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP

  • Current account deficit below 1.3% of GDP

  • To Keep fiscal discipline in mind despite need for higher investment

Inflation Related

  • Expects consumer inflation to remain close to 5% by March, opening room for more monetary policy easing

  • Monetary policy framework agreement with the RBI clearly states objective of keeping inflation below 6%

Revenues, Expenditure and Borrowing Related

  • Revenue deficit seen at 2.8% of GDP

  • Non tax revenue seen at 2.21 trillion rupees

  • Agricultural incomes are under stress

  • Gross market borrowing seen at 6 trillion rupees

  • Net market borrowing seen at 4.56 trillion rupees

  • Plan expenditure estimated at about 4.65 trillion rupees

  • Non-plan expenditure seen at about 13.12 trillion rupees

  • Allocates 2.46 trillion rupees for defence spending

  • Allocates 331.5 billion rupees for health sector

  • If revenue improves, hope to raise budgeted allocations for rural job scheme by 50 billion rupees

Disinvestment Related

  • Government targets 410 billion rupees (USD 6.7 billion) from stake sales in companies in 2015/16

  • Total stake sale in FY 2015-16 seen at 695 billion rupees

  • Sets stake sale target for FY2016-17 at 550 billion rupees

  • Revises down stake sale target for 2014/15 to 313.5 billion rupees

Market and Policy Reforms Related

  • Propose to merge commodities regulator with SEBI

  • To bring a new bankruptcy code

  • To amend the RBI act this year, and provide for a monetary policy committee

  • To set up public debt management agency

  • Proposes to introduce a public contract resolution of disputes bill

  • To establish an autonomous bank board bureau to improve management of public sector banks

  • To enact a comprehensive new law on black money

  • Propose to create a universal social security system for all Indians

  • To launch a national skills mission soon to enhance employability of rural youth

  • To raise visa-on-arrival facility to 150 countries from 43

  • Allocates 346.99 billion rupees for rural employment guarantee scheme

Taxation Related

  • To abolish wealth tax

  • Replaces wealth tax with additional 2 pct surcharge on super rich

  • Proposes to cut to 25% corporate tax over next four years

  • Corporate tax of 30% is uncompetitive

  • Net gain from tax proposals seen at 150.68 billion rupees

  • Modification of permanent establishment norms so that the mere presence of a fund manager in India would not constitute a permanent establishment of the offshore fund, resulting in adverse tax consequences.

  • Proposes to rationalize capital gains tax regime for real estate investment trusts

  • Expects to implement goods and services tax by April 2016

  • To reduce custom duty on 22 items

  • Basic custom duty on commercial vehicle doubled to 20%

  • Proposes to increase service tax rate and education cess to 14% from 12.36%

  • Plans to introduce direct tax regime that is internationally competitive on rates without exemptions

  • Exemptions for individual tax payers to continue

  • To enact tough penalties for tax evasion in new bill Tax dept to clarify indirect transfer of assets and dividend paid by foreign firms

Infrastructure Related

  • Investment in infrastructure will go up by 700 bln rupees in 2015/16 over last year

  • Plans to set up national investment infrastructure fund

  • Proposes tax-free infrastructure bonds for projects in roads, rail and irrigation projects

  • Proposes 5 "ultra mega" power projects for 4,000 MW each

  • Second unit of Kudankulam nuclear power station to be commissioned

  • Will need to build additional 100,000 km of road

  • Ports in public sector will be encouraged to corporatise under Companies Act

Subsidy Related

  • Food subsidy seen at 1.24 trillion rupees

  • Fertiliser subsidy seen at 729.69 billion rupees

  • Fuel subsidy seen at 300 billion rupees

  • Major subsidies estimated at 2.27 trillion rupees

  • We are committed to subsidy rationalisation based on cutting leakages


  • Government defers rollout of anti-tax avoidance rules GAAR by two years

  • GAAR to apply prospectively from April 1, 2017 andRetrospective tax provisions will be avoided

  • To develop a sovereign gold bond

  • To introduce gold monetisation scheme to allow depositors to earn interest

  • To introduce Indian-made gold coin to reduce demand for foreign gold coins