February 2016 Current Affairs List

Current Affairs International - 1 February 2016

  1. World Number One Novak Djokovic has retained the Australian Open Men's Singles Title after he defeated UK-s Andy Murray in straight sets 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 in the final match played at Melbourne yesterday. With this win, he also equaled the record of Roy Emerson's record of six Australian Open Singles titles.

  2. Veteran British actor Frank Finlay has passed away yesterday. He was 89.Finlay was best known for his roles in 'Othello' and 'The Three Musketeers' and was was awarded a CBE gong in 1984 and was popular for his role in the plays 'The Adventures of Don Quixote' and 'Voltaire in Candide'.

Current Affairs India - 1 February 2016

  1. India-s top IT Services companies, Infosys and TCS have joined the list of companies in USA to support US President Barack Obama-s just announced -Computer Science for All- initiative in order to significantly increase the number of children with access to computer science training in the US and build a more technologically advanced nation.

Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys have announced to invest as part of a public private partnership through a National Science Foundation (NSF), which will put in USD 120 million to support and train computer science teachers in schools.

  1. Former principal partner of Dentsu Mama Labs, Swati Bhattacharya has joined FCB Ulka Advertising as its chief creative head.She replaced Sarbir Singh, who resigned in December 2015.

  2. Senior IFS officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi, a 1991-batch IFS officer, has been appointed India's next Ambassador to Mexico. He is currently working as Joint Secretary (Passport division) in the Ministry of External Affairs.

  3. India-s core sector, consisting of key eight core sectors, grew by 0.9% in December 2015 compared to 3.2% growth seen in the same month last year. This growth rate is better than growth rate in the previous month of November which stood at (-) 1.3%.

Production of crude oil, steel and natural gas declined by 4.1%, 4.4% and 6.1% respectively in the same month. But coal production, petroleum products, cement, electricity generation and fertilizer production increased by 6.1%, 2.1%, 3.2%, 2.7% and 13.1% respectively in the same month.

  1. Famous Indian shuttler K. Srikanth won the Men's Singles title of the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold Badminton Championships after defeating China's Huang Yuxiang by 21-13, 14-21, 21-14 in the final matchplayed at Lucknow yesterday. This was his fifth title overall. Korean, Sung Ji Hyun won the Women-s singles trophy after defeating Japanese Sayako Sato by 12-21, 21-18, 21-18 in the final match.

Current Affairs International - 2 February 2016

  1. World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared Public Health Emergency of International Concern over the explosive spread of the Zika virus in mainly Latin America.This Zika virus is linked to birth defects in the Americas. The UN health agency organized an emergency meeting of independent experts in Geneva to assess the outbreak of the virus.

  2. Google's holding company Alphabet overtook apple to become the most valued publicly traded company in the world. Alphabet's market capitalization jumped to USD 570 billion compared to Apple-s market capitalization of USD 534 billion.

Current Affairs India - 2 February 2016

  1. The Companies Law Committee, set up in June 2015 to examine and suggest changes on issues pertaining to implementation of the Companies Act, 2013, has submitted its report to the Union Government. The Committee was chaired by Tapan Ray, Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

More than 2000 suggestions were received during the panel's consultation process. It has proposed changes in 78 sections of the Act that along with other consequential changes would bring about 100 amendments to the Act.

  1. India-s north east state Meghalaya has emerged as India's fastest growing state, with a growth rate of 9.7% in 2013-14, as per a study by India Spend. Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachalrecorded the highest growth rates in GSDP 2013-14.

  2. Tamil Nadu Cadre IPS officer Archana Ramasundram was appointed as the Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) that guards India's frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan. With this appointment, she became the first woman to head a paramilitary force. Also IPS officer K Durga Prasad was appointed as Director Generals of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

  3. J K Gargtook over as Managing Director and CEO of Corporation Bank. He succeeds S R Bansal who retired from his post. Before this appointment, he was Executive Director in UCO Bank.

  4. India Under-19 opener Rishabh Pant scored the fastest U-19 international half century - 78 off 24 balls, while playing against Nepal Under-19 match. He reached 50 in just 18 balls.

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged at 6.75 percent during its monetary policy review today
RBI Governor Dr Raghuram Rajan has kept key policy rates unchanged during its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy review meeting for fiscal year 2015-16 today. Repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks for the short term, was kept unchanged at 6.75% while the Reverse Repo Rate, the rate at which RBI borrows money from banks, was kept unchanged at 5.75%. The cash reserve ratio for banks has been kept unchanged at 4%.
The RBI has also kept statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks unchanged at 21.5%. 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. Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate that is rate at which RBI lends money to domestic banks kept unchanged at 7.75%. The RBI governor also has retained its earlier projection of 7.4% GDP growth for the financial year and inflation at 5% for financial year 2016-17.
Current Affairs International - 3 February 2016

  1. India's Major General Jai Shanker Menon has been appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by UN Secretary, General Ban Ki-moon. He succeeds Lt General Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) established the UNDOF in 1974 in order to maintain the ceasefire between the Israeli and Syrian forces and to supervise the implementation of the disengagement agreement.

  2. FamousUrdu fiction writer and poet Intizar Hussain passed away in Lahore. He was 92. He was among the 10 finalists for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in 2013 and the first Pakistani national and also the first Urdu writer ever to be nominated for the international award. He was conferred with the 'Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters' by the French Ambassador to Pakistan in September 2014.

Current Affairs India - 3 February 2016

  1. India-s apex court, Supreme Court appointed a committee headed by formerChief Justice RM Lodha to sell assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL)and refund Rs 49,000 crore to the investors. The investors invested in the firm-s collective investment scheme (CIS) which was termed as illegal by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

  2. SN Prasad has been appointed as the Marketing Director for Coal India Limited with effect from 1st February, 2016. He succeeded B K Saxena, who retired recently. Before this appointment, He was the General Manager (Sales & Marketing) in South Eastern Coalfields Limited, the Bilaspur-based subsidiary of CIL.

  3. Indian film Titli, directed by Kanu Behl, won the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC). The story of the movie revolves around Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, who plots a desperate bid to escape the family business.

  4. India-s services sector growth jumped the maximum in last 19 months in January as PMI stood at 54.3 in January compared to 53.6 in December 2015, as per the seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Activity Index. This is the strongest monthly gain in over one-and-a-half years. The overall jump was due to seventh successive monthly expansion of new business inflows.

  5. India's largest IT Services Company Tata Consultancy Services has been rated as the world's most powerful brand in Information Technology Services, as per Brand Finance's 2016 annual report. Brand Finance's 2016 annual report evaluated thousands of the world's top brands to determine which are the most powerful and the most valuable. Based on high scores on familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) emerged as the IT services industry's most powerful brand with a score of 78.3 points - earning it an AA+ rating.

  6. India has surpassed the US to become the world-s second biggest market for smartphones with more than 220 million active smartphone users in 2015. The smartphone imports in India also grew by 15% annually in the October-December quarter, as per research report.

  7. Former Lok Sabha speaker Balram Jakhar passed away today. He was 93. He served as Speaker of the Lok Sabha from 1980 to 1989 and played a crucial role in the automation and customization of the Parliamentary works.He also served as the Agriculture Minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao and later served as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh from 2004 to 2009.

  8. S.S. Tarapore, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a famous economist, passed away in Mumbai yesterday. He was 80. He joined the RBI in 1961 and retired in 1996 as deputy governor. He was also known as an inflation hawk for his public comments and writings for being too lax on inflation control.

Current Affairs International - 5 February 2016

  1. World Cancer Day (WCD) 2016 was observed on 4thFebruary across the world to raise awareness about Cancer and fight against the same. Theme of this year was -We can. I can-. The World Cancer Day 2016-2018 will explore how everyone, as a collective or as individuals, can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

  2. Cisco Systems announced its acquisition of Jasper Technologies Inc., a start-up that connects devices such as cars and medical devices to the Internet, for USD 1.4 billion in cash and equity awards. This is Cisco-s biggest acquisition since 2013 when it acquired security company Sourcefire for USD 2.7 billion.

  3. Viacom's board of directors have appointed CEO Philippe Dauman as executive chairman. He will replace founder Sumner Redstone who has also stepped down as the executive chairman of CBS Corps. Redstone will become chairman emeritus of Viacom and Dauman will serve as a Redstone trustee in the event of his death as well as the founder's health care proxy.

Current Affairs India - 5 February 2016

  1. The Budget Session of Parliament will commence on 23rdFebruary in which the Finance Minister will present the General Budget on 29thFebruary. But there will be no curtailment of the session or the recess period on account of Assembly elections in five states due shortly, as per decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

  2. Central Government has appointed World Bank's water and sanitation specialist, Parameshwaran Iyer to promote Prime Minister-s Swachh Bharat Mission. The post was allotted for a period of two years. He is an IAS officer of the UP cadre who had launched Jal Suraj program in India and later took voluntary retirement in 2009 and joined the World Bank.

  3. Aruna Sethi has been appointed as the head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS), also the first woman to occupy the post.Before this appointment, she held important portfolios in Government of India including Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Defence etc.

  4. Former chief secretary of Gujarat DJ Pandian has been appointed vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) this week. Earlier he had worked on deputation with the World Bank in Washington.

AIIB was set up in Beijing in December 2015 with the aim to boost lending for infrastructure projects such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare. China had nominated its former finance minister Jin Liqun as the first president of AIIB.

  1. Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan has been chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi classical music award for 2015-2016. The annual award, instituted by the Maharashtra government, is given to individuals who have excelled in classical vocal or instrumental music. Pandit Ram Narayan received global acclaim for his music for which he was conferred India-s second highest civilian honor, Padma Vibhushan, in 2005.

  2. Birla Corporation acquired cement business from Reliance Infrastructure Ltd for Rs.4,800 crore. Both the companies have signed a deal on this one. As a part of the deal, Birla Corporation will acquire the 100% cent shareholding of RInfra in RCCPL.

  3. Amazon-s cloud service arm Amazon Web Serviceshas built its data centres in around5 locations in Mumbaiin order to expand its business in India and to tap its growing talent potentials.

  4. Former India player, Rahul Dravid has been appointed as a member of the newly formed Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group by International cricketing body ICC. The group will also consist of a Chairman, two members and two ex-official members. The team will meet annually to review and provide independent input into the strategy to tackle corruption and its implementation.

Current Affairs International - 6 February 2016

  1. Mobile messaging app WhatsApp announced it has crossed the one billion user milestone globally after it has added nearly 100 million users in last five months. That's nearly one in seven people on Earth who use WhatsApp each month to stay in touch with their loved ones, their friends and their family,- WhatsApp said in a blogpost. Facebook acquired WhatsApp for USD 19 billion in February 2014, which is also its biggest acquisition so far.

  2. NASA Astronaut Edgar Mitchell passed away in West Palm Beach, Florida. He was 85. He was the lunar module pilot on Apollo 14 and was the sixth man to walk on the Moon.

Mitchell and his colleague, Shephard jointly hold records for the longest time spent and longest distance traversed on the lunar surface, the largest payload returned from lunar surface and the longest lunar stay time (33 hours). He also took the famous photograph of Shepard standing next to an American flag.

  1. FamousCartoonist Linus Maurer, whose name was used for one of the main characters in the Peanuts comic strip, passed away.He was 90. He worked as a cartoonist from 1960s to 1970s. Before that, he also worked as an illustrator for IBM and AT&T in New York and as an art director for the McCann Erickson ad agency and Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco.

  2. The US economy added 151,000 jobs in January which was lower than expected and lower than December-s addition of 292,000.US unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in January 2016.

Current Affairs India - 6 February 2016

  1. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has launched the official YouTube channelof the Ministry in order todisseminate information on a real-time basis.The channel showcases videos featuring schemes launched the Central Government recently which include Jan Dhan Yojana Launch, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Insurance schemes etc.

  2. Mahindra Asset Management Company (AMC) has got the requirement approval from Capital Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to manage the Mahindra Mutual Fund business.Mahindra AMC has 12 months from now on to launch the fund house and their first product. Mahindra Finance is a NBFC with over Rs 40,000 crore in managed assets, with 40 lakh customers in over 2.6 lakh villages.

  3. USA based Indian-origin academician Soumitra Dutta is all set to become the dean of the prestigious Cornell University's new College of Business. The institute will start with its first academic year in 2016-17. Dutta is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and is currently the dean and professor of management and organizations in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at the Cornell University.

  4. Indian-Origin Vishal Mehta has been appointed as the President of the newly- formed International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA). He is CEO of a Singapore-based company IIa Technologies which makes lab diamond and IGDA is a platform of more than 10 leading grown diamond producers, distributors and retailers.

  5. Famous political cartoonist Sudhir Tailang passed away today afternoon in a Hospital in Gurgaon after battling with brain cancer for a long time. He was 56. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2004 by Indian government for his contribution to the art of cartooning.

  6. Advertising guru A G Krishnamurthy passed away on 5thFebruary morning after over 10 days' of hospitalization in Hyderabad. He was 73.5th February also happened to mark the 25th anniversary of MICA (formerly Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad), an institute that he founded in March 1991 with a vision to create leaders in the advertising and media industries.

Current Affairs International - 8 February 2016

  1. China's foreign exchange reserves dropped by USD 99.5 billion to nearly USD 3.2 trillion in January while Chinese Government continue to struggle with lower economic growth.This is also the lowest level in more than three years. Worries about China's economy have also pushed the yuan to a five-year low.

  2. Director Alejandro Gonzalez won his second consecutive Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for best feature film at the 68th annual DGA Awards for his movie -The Revenant-.Earlier he won the same award for the movie Birdman which won three Oscars for best picture, original screenplay and director.

  3. New Zealand Cricket Team Captain Brendon McCullum announced his retirement from One day international cricket after completing series victory over Australia today. He played 260 ODIs and scored 6083 runs with 5 centuries and 32 half centuries.

Current Affairs India - 8 February 2016

  1. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has ruled in favor of net neutrality and turned down the proposal by the telecom service provider to allow any differential pricing services to function in the country.In its ruling published today, it has barred service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content being accessed by a consumer. The telecom authority issued regulations in this regard prohibiting them from entering into any arrangement, agreement or contract, with any person that may cause discriminatory tariffs.

  2. The Gujarat government has announced to set up India's first-ever aviation park in the state in order to strengthen its aviation sector.The aviation park will be equipped with facilities such as airstrip, training school, helipad etc.

  3. Famous Urdu Poet and well known Bollywood lyricist Nida Fazli passed away in Mumbai today at Versova.He was 78. He has also written several songs for Indian films.

Current Affairs International - 9 February 2016

  1. Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) head Brijbhushan Sharan Singh has been appointed as the president of the South Asian Wrestling Federation (SAWF) and Bangladesh-s Tabiur Rehman has been appointed as the Secretary General.Ajgar of Pakistan, U.H. Neville Pdmashri from Sri Lanka and Raj Mohammed Ansari of Nepal were also elected vice presidents at the same time.

  2. Nepal's Arjun Thapa was appointed as the 12th Secretary General of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).He succeeds Maldives- Ahmed Saleem. Before this appointment, he had served as the Foreign Secretary of Nepal as well as charge de' affairs of the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations.

  3. Former Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala passed away at his residenttoday.He was 78. He was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and has also been receiving treatment for tongue cancer.

Current Affairs India - 9 February 2016

  1. Indian Navy's International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016 was recently concluded in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. The five-day event saw participation of navy personnel from 50 nations, which was also attended by President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Narendra Modi. Ships from other countries which participated in the event include Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, France, Indonesia, Iran, Maldives, UK and USA etc.

  2. Former Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) R K Pachauri was appointed as the Executive Vice-Chairman of TERI with the immediate effect.At the same time, Ajay Mathur, former chief of Bureau of Energy Efficiency, has been appointed as the Director General of TERI.

Current Affairs International - 10-11 February 2016

  1. The world-s largest solar power plant, Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex, was opened in the Souss-Massa-Dra area in Morocco. The plant holds the capacity to produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760000 tons per year.

  2. Scientists announced that they have succeeded in detecting gravitational waves from the violent merging of two black holes in deep space after decades of effort. This was first mentioned by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity almost a century ago, which is now established through this detection of gravitational wave.

Current Affairs India - 10-11 February 2016

  1. Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who had been battling for life at the Army-s Research & Referral hospital, passed away today. He was 33. He is from town Dharwad in Karnataka. He was found alive under 38 feet of snow after 6 days of massive avalanchein Siachen while Indian Army was conducting rescue operation.

  2. India has been ranked at No 37thposition in the list of 38 countries in terms ofthe International Intellectual Property Index, released by the US Chamber of Commerce's Global International Intellectual Property Centre. The 38 economies benchmarked in the 2016 Index account for nearly 85% of the global GDP.

USA topped the index followed by the UK, Germany, France and Sweden. Among BRICS nations, Russia was ranked at 20th, China at 22nd, South Africa at 26th and Brazil at 29th positions.

  1. Maharashtra has topped the list of states in terms of the overall Internet readiness index, as per data released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Indicus Analytics. Maharashtra secured its position in areas like e-infrastructure, eGovernance, IT services and consumer participation. Maharashtra is followed by Karnataka, Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu.

  2. Former Chief Secretary of Gujarat DJ Pandian has been appointed as the Vice-President, Chief Investment Officer of the newly formed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The primary responsibility of the Chief Investment Officer is leading the planning and supervision of the Bank-s infrastructure investment by promoting sustainable investment throughout Asia.

  3. IAS officer Ramesh Abhishek has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He will succeed the current DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant, when he retires.

  4. India has secured No 1 rank in the list of major milk-producing countries in the world with total milk production of 146.31 million tonnes in 2014-15 compared to 137.7 million tonnes in previous year. India is followed by USA, China, Pakistan and Brazil.

  5. Union Ministry of Labour and Employment announced the Prime Minister Shram Awards for the year 2014. There are nine nominations for the Shram Bhushan Award, Nineteen nominations for Shram Vir or Shram Veerangana and twenty six nominations for Shram Shree or Shram Devi Awards. Shram awards were set up by the Union Government in 1985 to recognize the outstanding contributions of workers in both public and private sectors.

  6. Indian IT Services Company Wipro acquired Florida-based HealthPlan Services, run by private equity firm Water Street Healthcare Partners, for USD 460 million. The firm has 2,000 employees and it provides technology and Business-Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) on a subscription basis to the health insurance sector. This is Wipro-s second-largest acquisition in order to strengthen its healthcare vertical.

  7. Mukesh Bansal, the head of commerce and advertising business and Founder of Myntra has quit FlipKart. He has quit to the e-commerce firm to start an entrepreneurial venture in the sports domain. He joined Flipkart when the online marketplace acquired fashion retailer Myntra in 2014 and post his separation he will continue to be an adviser to the company.

  8. Famous Bengalifilm-maker Aurobindo Mukherjee passed away in Kolkata today, He was 97. He was known for famous Bengali movies like -Dhanyi Meye-, 'Agniswar', 'Mouchak' and 'Nishipadma'-all featuring Uttam Kumar-in the early 1970s.

  9. Three-time champions India secured its birth for the final match of the Under-19 World Cup after defeating Sri Lanka by 97 runs in the first semi-final at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. India will play against West Indies in the final match for the title.

Current Affairs International - 13 February 2016

  1. World Radio Day is being observed today (13thFebruary) across the world by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).The UNESCO theme for World Radio Day for this year is -Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster-. The day was proclaimed in November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

  2. The United Arab Emirates UAE has appointed women ministers to the newly created portfolios for happiness and tolerance, and youth affairs after Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoumnamed eight women.

  3. Indian origin lawyer, Davinder Singh, has been named as Vice-Chairman of the Paris based International Chamber of Commerce Commission (ICC) on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption. With this appointment, he has become the only Singaporean lawyer to be appointed to the leadership of one of 13 Policy Commissions under the ICC.

  4. Leslie Bassett, Pulitzer winning composer passed away in Oakwood, Georgia. He was 93. He was known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation and for compositions of coaxing a vast range of tonal colours from the bits of wood and brass. He received the Pulitzer in 1966 for -Variations for Orchestra-.

  5. Soviet football legend Anatoli Ilyin passed away in Moscow, Russia. He was 84. He was the scorer of the first ever UEFA European Championship qualifying goal which helped the Soviet Union to secure Olympic gold in 1956. He won five Soviet Top League titles and two Soviet Cups.

  6. FC Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Andres Messi has been named Liga BBVA Player of the Month for January, for the first time. The award has been given out since the beginning of the 2013-14 Primera División season he won the same for the first time.

  7. New Zealand Cricket team captainBrendon McCullum played his 100th consecutive Testwhile playing against Australia.Since making his debut on March 9, 2004 in Hamilton against South Africa, he has played 99 consecutive Test matches for New Zealand so far. The record of playing most consecutive Tests (153 tests) at any stage of a career is still held by former Australia Captain Allan Border.

Current Affairs India - 13 February 2016

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Make in India Week at NSCI, Worli today which aims to gather momentum for Indian Government-s Make in India initiatives. He also inaugurated the Make in India Centre at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex in presence of Prime Minister of Sweden, Prime Minister of Finland and other senior dignitaries from India and abroad.

  2. Chief Executive Officer Vinita Gupta and managing director Nilesh Gupta, Lupin Ltd have been chosen for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015.With this, they will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 7-12 June 2016.

  3. TERI's governing council has appointed Ashok Chawla as its new chairman. It has also sent R.K. Pachauri to indefinite leave after widespread criticism from the media and women-s rights lawyers following his elevation to the post of Executive Vice Chairman earlier this week. The Research and Resources Institute (TERI) has also announced that the new Director General, Ajay Mathur, as a Member of the Council will operate with full executive powers.

  4. Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddyquit from the Social networking giant after Facebook shuts down its free basic services in India following TRAI-s decision not to allow Net Neutrality. She announced her decision through a Facebook post. She is the first employee for Facebook in India.

  5. Renowned Malayalam poet and Jnanpith winner Prof. O.N.V. Kurup has passed away in Thiruvananthapuram today. He was 84.Popularly known as -ONV-, Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup, has also made significant contributions to the Malayalam film music. He won the Jnanpith in 2007 for his overall contributions to the Malayalam literature in the last six decades.He was also awarded Padma Shri in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2011 by Indian Government.

Current Affairs International - 15 February 2016

  1. World Radio Day was observed globally on 13th February 2016 to raise awareness about its role in communication. The theme of 2015 was -Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster-. Various activities were conducted across India celebrating importance of radio in the day to day life.

World Radio Day marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by United Nations Radio on 13th February 1946 when the UN Radio transmitted its first call sign.

  1. Israel-s Tamar Hahn has been appointed as the Director of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Before this appointment, she was the Regional Adviser for Resource Mobilization and Partnerships at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Office for the Caribbean and Latin America in Panama City (Panama).

  2. The 69th British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award was held on 14thFebruary 2016 in London. The Revenant received the awards for best film, best director (Alejandro G. Iñárritu) and best actor (Leonardo DiCaprio). Best Actress was won by Brie Larson for the movie Room.

  3. The West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup for the first time after defeating India by five wickets in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday. India scored 145 runs after loss of 10 wickets. West Indies team achieved the target in 49.3 overs. India played the final match for the fifth time and won the title 3 times before.

Current Affairs India - 15 February 2016

  1. Mysuru has been ranked as the country-s cleanest city followed by Chandigarh and Tiruchi in a sanitation survey conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The results of -Swachh Survekshan-2016- were released by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu in Delhi today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi was ranked 65th among 73 cities while Dhanbad has been ranked at the bottom of the list.

  2. Ashok Kumar Bhargava, Managing Director of Apeejay Tea Limited, was re-elected as the Chairman of the Indian Tea Associationand will also hold chairmanship of Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), the apex body of Tea Plantation Association in India.

  3. Bollywood actress Vidya Balan was awarded the 'Pride of Kerala' award by the World Malayalee Council and Kairali TV. She won National award in 2011 as Best Actress for the movie -The Dirty Picture- and was given Padma Shri Award in 2014.

  4. India-s exports dropped by 13.6% in January compared to same month last year to USD 21.07 billion which is 14thconsecutive monthly decline. At the same time, Imports dropped by 11.01% to USD 28.71 billion in the same month. Trade deficit stood at USD 7.63 billion in January compared to USD 7.87 billion same month last year.

Total cumulative exports for the April-January period of financial year 2015-16 stood at USD 217.67 billion compared to 264.322 billion in the same period last financial year. Total value of imports for the same period stood at USD 324.52 billion compared to USD 383.87 billion in the same period last year.

  1. India-s Index of industrial production (IIP) dropped for the second month in a row, contracting by 1.3% in December 2015 due to drop in manufacturing and capital goods output. IIP growth stood at 3.6% in December 2014. Production of capital goods contracted 19.7% and manufacturing sector contracted 2.4% in the same month. Mining sector production jumped by 2.9% while consumer durables production grew by 16.5% in the same month.

  2. India-s retail inflation, measured by the Consumer price index (CPI), increases marginally to 5.69% in January compared to 5.61% in December due to higher food inflation. Retail inflation stood at 5.19% in the same month last year.

  3. India-s overall inflation, measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), dropped to minus 0.9% in January due to lower prices of food articles, mainly vegetables and pulses.Overall inflation stood at minus 0.73% in December 2014. This is the 15th straight month since November 2014 that inflation stood at the negative zone. The food inflation stood at 6.02% in January compared to 8.17% in December.

Current Affairs India - 16 February 2016

  1. UK Sinha has been given one more year extension as Chairman of Capital Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) as The Central Government has extended his term as the chairman of SEBI till 1stMarch 2017.Sinha took over as SEBI chairman in 2011 and with this one more extension he also becomes the second-longest serving chief in Sebi's over two-decade history after DR Mehta.

  2. Justice Dheerendra Hiralal Waghela was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. Before that, he served as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court. He succeeds Justice Mohit Shah, who retired on in September 2015.

  3. Indian American Sri Srinivasan is all set to become the first Indian-American Judge of the U S Supreme Court when he will replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his unexpected death. He originally from a village near Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli. He made history in 2013 when he became the first Asian American and Indian American to serve in the Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit.

  4. Malayalam Music Director and Composer Rajamani, passed away in Chennai following a sudden heart attack. He was 60. He had composed music for around 70 Malayalam films.

Current Affairs International - 17 February 2016

  1. Singer Taylor Swift bagged the Album of the Year award at the 58th annual Grammy Awards for her pop album "1989".With this award, she became the first woman to win this honour twice at the Grammys after winning the same award for her album "Fearless" in 2010.

Indian-origin filmmaker Asif Kapadia won the Best Music Film award for his documentary on late singer Amy Winehouse named as -Amy-.

  1. Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recently passed away in Cairo, Egypt. He was 93. He was the first UN chief from Africa and served from January 1992 to December 1996. He played a key role in securing peace deals between Israel and Egypt.

Current Affairs India - 17 February 2016

  1. India has successfully test-fired its indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile today from a test range at Chandipur in Orissa by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). This missile is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.

  2. Noida based Company Ringing Bells launched the world's cheapest 3G smartphone at just Rs 251 (less than USD 4) in India todaywhich is going to disrupt the surging smartphone market in India, which is the world's second largest market after China. The smartphone comes with a 4-inch WVGA resolution display, 1.3 Ghz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB total storage space and a 3.2 megapixel camera on the back, 0.3 megapixel front camera and 1450 mAh battery. This is dual-SIM 3G capable phone.

  3. India-s railway ticket booking portalIRCTC has announced its tie-up with mRupee for a one-tap payment solution for rail ticket bookings. mRupee is a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices and allows easy bookings through its wallet.

  4. Indian fashion designer Manish Arora will be awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour), France's highest civilian honour, for his outstanding service and significant contribution to the world of fashion. It was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and the President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour. Other Indians who won the same award include Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and J.R.D Tata.

  5. Indian IT Services Company HCL technologies acquired Volvo group's external IT business in a deal worth of more than USD 1 billion and signed a deal for 5 year outsourcing with Volvo. This is the largest deal so far signed by any Indian IT company and also the largest acquisition by HCL.

It will enable HCL to create an automotive Centre of Excellence in Gothenburg, Sweden, based on the domain expertise of the Volvo team. Also Volvo-s IT business will be an important addition of HCL-s portfolio with a potential revenue generation of USD 200 million per year.

  1. Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) hasannounced an increase in interest rate on Provident Fund (PF) deposits to 8.8% for financial year 2015-16 from 8.75%in the previous two financial years. All the subscribers are expected to get benefit from the same.

  2. India was crowned as the Overall Champion at the 12th South Asian Games after finishing top with a record 308 medals including 188 Gold, 90 Silver and 30 Bronze Medals. Srilanka secured Second position with an overall tally of 186 medals followed by Pakistan with 106.

Current Affairs International - 18 February 2016

  1. Famous Indologist Professor David Shulmanwas awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Religious Studies for his researchon the religion, literature and culture of southern India. Israel-s Education Minister Naftali Bennett had approved the recommendation of the prize committee.

He has been awarded with Emet Prize by the Isreali Prime Minister-s Office for excellence in academic and professional achievements and he also won prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1987, first for an Israeli.
Current Affairs India - 18 February 2016

  1. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a proposal to notify the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to project India as a business friendly destination.The cabinet has also approved to set up a National Committee on Trade Facilitation which will be chaired jointly by the Commerce and Revenue Secretaries.

  2. The Union Cabinet has recommended revocation of President-s Rule in Arunachal Pradeshafter the Supreme Court refused to restrain the Governor from swearing in a new government in the state Earlier Union Cabinet and President of India approved President Rule in January.

  3. Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra has been appointed as Director General of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). Currently he is working as DG (Systems) at the Directorate General of Systems and Data Management.He will succeed Najib Shah, who is currently holding the charge of DG DRI.

  4. IPS Officer Alok Kumar Verma has been appointed as new Police Commissioner of Delhi Police. He will succeed current Commissioner BS Bassi on 1st March 2016after his retirement on 29thFebruary 2016. The cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA) has confirmed his appointment.

Current Affairs International - 20 February 2016

  1. The World Bank has approved USD 150 million to help countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to combat the Zika virus. The funding will be provided to the governments fighting against rapid spread of the virus.

  2. Uganda's Electoral Commission has announced that Yoweri Museveni has won the election and will be re-elected as the President of the country for the fifth term. He had won 60.75% of the vote and his main opponent Kizza Besigye had got 35% votes.

  3. USA President Barack Obama will become the first USA President to visit Cuba in last 80 years when he will visiting Cuba next month. Cuba-s proximity with Russia during Cold war era was the main reason destabilized the ties between USA and Cuba.

  4. Vietnam approached the United Nations to file a formal complaint against China's new role in positioning surface-to-air missile battery on a disputed island in the South China Sea. Considering it as infringements of Vietnam's sovereignty and threatening peace and stability in the region, Vietnam lodged a formal complaint with United Nations.

  5. Christine Lagarde was re-elected as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a second term effective from July 2016. She took over as the MD of the IMF after the resignation of her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn following his involvement in a sex scandal.

  6. Australian photographer Warren Richardson was selected for the World Press Photo of the Year 2015 award by the jury of the 59th annual World Press Photo Contest. The World Press Photo of the Year honors the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year.

His picture shows refugees crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary, near Horgoš (Serbia) and Röszke (Hungary) which was taken at night on 28 August 2015.

  1. Famous American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Harper Lee passed away. She was 89. She won Pulitzer Prize for her novel -To Kill a Mockingbird-. The book narrated the story of a white lawyer defending a black man falsely accused of rape in the depression-hit American south. She was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature. President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts in 2010.

  2. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum created a new record by scoring the fastest Test century while playing his last test match. He scored 100 runs from 54 balls on day one of the second Test match against Australia. With this, he broke records of West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards and Pakistani cricketer Misbah-ul-Haq, who held the record of scoring fastest test century in 56 balls.

  3. Rio Haryanto becomes Indonesia-s first Formula One driver after signing a deal with Manor Racing. He will make his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix on 20thMarch this year. He will replace Will Stevens and will join his team mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Current Affairs India - 20 February 2016

  1. Kalikho Pul was sworn in as the state's Chief Minister by Governor J P Rajkhowa. He has become 8thPM of the North-Eastern state. He was sworn in after showing support from majority MLAs.

  2. Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography -Playing It My Way- entered the Limca Book of Records after being the bestselling book in both fiction and non-fiction categories. Published by Hachette India in November 2014, 1,50,289 copies were sold so far which has broken all the records.

  3. West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra has been elected the new Chairman of the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers, which is working with the central government to finalize the goods and services tax (GST) regime.The position was lying vacant after former Chairman KM Mani resigned as Finance Minister of Kerala in November 2015.

  4. Infosys has appointed Michael Pesch as the CEO of Infosys Consulting Holding AG which was earlier known as Infosys Lodestone. His appointment is effective April 1. In his new role, Michael will be responsible for Infosys' consulting practice in Europe, Latin America and the Asia Pacific Region and will report into Sanjay Purohit, global head of Infosys Consulting.

  5. Bollywood lyricist Sameer Anjaan-s named was included in the Guinness Book of World Records this year for writing most number of songs for movies. As per official records, he wrote 3,524 songs for 650 Bollywood movies till 15thDecember 2015. He was included as a Guinness World Record holder under a new category titled -Most prolific Bollywood lyricist-.

  6. Karnataka Bank Ltd was awarded with the IBA Banking Technology Award- in the category of -Best Risk and Fraud Management Initiative - Runner Up- amongst small banks.The award was announced as part of Indian Banks- Association (IBA) Technology Conference, Expo and Awards 2016.

  7. Robin Chaurasiya, who runs a non-profit school named as Kranti in Mumbai for girls from the city-s red light areas, has been named in the top 10 short-list for a global prize for teachers. He will compete with teachers from the UK, US, Nairobi, Palestine, Japan, Finland, Australia and Pakistan to win the USD 1-million Global Teacher Prize 2016.

  8. Indian Pharmaceutical Company Cipla has acquired two US generic drug companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc in order to increase its revenue and introduce new products for oncology and diabetes in the world-s largest pharmaceutical market, USA.

  9. FamousHindustani classical vocalist Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan passed away in Kolkata. He was 107. He was awarded with the Padma Bhushan award and Sangeet Natak Akademi award. Also he was a resident guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in the Kolkata for the past 20 years.

Current Affairs International - 22 February 2016

  1. The World Social Justice Day was observed on 20thFebruary across the world like every year. The theme for 2016 was -A Just Transition - environmentally sustainable economies and societies-.The United Nation General Assembly announced 20thFebruary as World Day of Social Justice in 2007.

  2. International Mother Language Day (Bhasha Divas) was observed across the world on 21stFebruary. The day indicates importance of mother language as the greatest weapon to express one-s feeling. Theme for 2016 was -Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes-.

  3. An Indian-origin Sikh, Amar Singh has been appointed the Police Commissioner of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur which is the highest police rank achieved by a Sikh in the Malaysia. He will replace Tajuddin Mohamed.

  4. Famous Italian author Umberto Eco, author of best-selling novels including "The Name of the Rose" passed away. He was 84. He had been suffering from cancer.

Current Affairs India - 22 February 2016

  1. Punjab Warriors won their maiden Hockey India League title after defeating Kalinga Lancers by 6-1 in the final match played in Ranchi on Sunday. They finished as Runners up in last two editions of Hockey India league. At the same time, Delhi Waveriders secured Bronze medal after defeating champions Ranchi Rays in the other decider.

Current Affairs International - 23 February 2016

  1. Austria-s capital Vienna has been ranked as the best place in the world to live, as per an international survey on quality of life. No Indian city got placed in the top 100. Vienna is followed by Zurich, Auckland, Munich and Vancouver. Baghdad was named as the worst city in the world.

Among Indian cities, Hyderabad topped the list at 139th position, followed by Pune at 144, Bangalore 145, Chennai 150, Mumbai 152, Kolkata 160 and national capital Delhi at 161.

  1. Bangladesh Cricket team captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is set to be named as the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) "national goodwill ambassador for youth" this week.As per UNDP release, UNDP Bangladesh will appoint Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as the UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador for Youth in Bangladesh.

Current Affairs India - 23 February 2016

  1. Former Chief Justice of India H L Dattu has been appointed as the next Chairman of National Human Rights Commission.He succeeds Mr. K.G. Balakrishnan who demitted the office after his 5-year terms in May last year, since then the post had been lying vacant. Justice Cyriac Joseph had been functioning as the acting chairperson since then.

  2. India has been ranked at 54thposition in terms of its domestic policies supporting worldwide innovation as per report published by a global technology think tank, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). The report considered total 56 countries across the world and it analyzed the extent to which on a per capita basis, their respective economic and trade policies contribute to and detract from innovation globally.

  3. India continues to remain the world-s largest arms importer, with total import of nearly 14% of the global arms imports in the 2011-2015 duration, as per data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India is flowed by China (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).

  4. Shinjini Kumar, a former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) executive, has been appointed as the chief executive officer at Paytm payments bank. She is currently working as a Director at consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and she will join Paytm in March.

  5. The National award winning Malayalam film 'Ottal' has been named the best children's film at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and won the Crystal Bear award in the 'Generation KPlus' section.  The film, directed by Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, depicts the store of an old fisherman and his grandson. "Ottal" won the National Award for best film on Environment Conservation.

Current Affairs International - 24 February 2016

  1. Pakistan's parliament became the first parliament in the world to go completely green by running entirely on solar power. This solar power venture is supported by China for around USD 55 million.

  2. Australia Cricket team has been ranked as No 1 team in the test rankings after replacing India following 2-0 test series win against New Zealand recently. Australia is followed by India, South Africa, Pakistan and England.

Current Affairs India - 24 February 2016

  1. Famous scientistK N Vyas has been appointed as the Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) for a period of 3 years. He succeeds Shekar Basu.

  2. Ashwini Nangia from the University of Hyderabad (UoH) has been appointed as the Director of the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He has contributed to the new field of cocrystals and its applications to the pharmaceutical industry. He has over 200 research papers to his credit including several reviews.

  3. Justice Vineet Saran has been has appointed as the new Chief Justice (CJ) of Orissa High Court. He succeeds Justice D H Waghela who was transferred earlier as Chief Justice of Bombay High Court. Before that Justice Pradeep K. Mohanty was working as Acting CJ of Orissa High Court.

  4. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court.He succeeds Justice Uma Nath Singh who retired as Chief Justice this month.

  5. An Indian-origin art lover and playwright Ismail Mahomed from South Africa was honored by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.  He was awarded with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature (The Chevalier de l-Ordre des Arts et Lettres) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg. Currently he is working as the Artistic Director of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

Current Affairs International - 25 February 2016

  1. China-s capitalBeijing has replaced New York City as the new "Billionaire Capital of the World" in terms of most number of billionaires. Beijing is now home of 100 billionaires compared to 95 in New York, as per a Shanghai company data. Moscow secured third placewith 66 billionaires while Hong Kong and Shanghai secured fourth and fifth place with 64 and 50 billionaires respectively.

Current Affairs India - 25 February 2016

  1. State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) has declared 904 borrowers as wilful defaulters who owed the bank total Rs. 10,869.71 crore as of December 2015. The list had 764 companies which owed the PSU bank Rs 9,200 crore. Key companies include Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery, which owes Rs.900.37 crore, Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds (Rs.747.98 crore), Zoom Developers (Rs.410.18 crore), Nafed (Rs.224.26 crore) and S. Kumar Nationwide (Rs.146.82 crore).

  2. India's second largest IT Services Company Infosys extended current CEO Vishal Sikka-s term for another 2 years till 2021. Earlier he was appointed as CEO of the company till 2019. The Company's Nomination and Remuneration Committee (Committee) and Board recognized the outstanding initiatives taken by Dr Vishal Sikka to improve growth and rewarded him with USD 11 million annual salary.

  3. Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India appointed Udai Kumar as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, after receiving approval from Capital Market regulator SEBI.Earlier he was appointed as the interim CEO and MD in October last year after the resignation of Saurabh Sarkar.

  4. Indian business man Vijay Mallya has stepped down from the post of chairman of United Spirits following a deal with current owner of the Liquor maker Diageo. United Spirits was founded by his father Vittal Mallya. As per deal with Diageo, Diageo will withdraw all allegations in terms of financial irregularities in USL book and agreed to pay him USD 75 million for the separation.

  5. GVK Biosciences was awarded with the Global CSR Excellence and Leadership Awards in the category of Best Environment-Friendly Project for its 'Go Green, Grow Green' plantation drive. The awards are given by the World CSR Congress every year on the World CSR Day.

Current Affairs International - 26-27 February 2016

  1. Gianni Infantino has been elected as the President of World Football governing body FIFA after winning a second-round vote held in Zurich this week. With this, he became the ninth FIFA President after the second ballot in which he secured 115 of 207 total votes. He will serve FIFA till 2019. He succeeded Sepp Blatter, who held the position since 1998.

  2. Japanese Carmaker Nissan has named Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as their new global ambassador along with West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell and New Zealand women's team captain Suzie Bates. With this they join current brand ambassadors South African pacers Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada. Nissan's eight-year sponsorship deal with ICC comprises all tournaments for the period 2016 to 2023.

Current Affairs India - 26-27 February 2016

  1. The Economic survey was presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha on Friday. The survey predicted GDP growth rate in the range of 7 to 7.75% for financial year 2016-17, which will be the highest in the world. It said government will meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.9% of GDP.

The survey also called for more economic reforms, subsidy cuts and fiscal consolidation in order to improve India-s macro-economic condition. Overall, it presented an optimistic picture of Indian economy during global economic slowdown. As per the report, increase in wages recommended by the 7th pay commission will not destabilise prices and will have little impact on inflation.

  1. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved to establish Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayogwith appropriate manpower in order to implement of Mission activities in a focussed manner. The Mission would be guided by a Mission High Level Committee (MHLC) which will take all decisions relating to approval of requisite guidelines including Grand Challenge areas, prize money and implementation of various elements of AIM and SETU.

  2. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved introductory steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means. The move was taken to reduce cash transactions and promote payments through cards and digital means. This steps will also help to reduce tax avoidance and black money in the financial system.

For card/digital payments to increase, they should be easy to use, readily available and accepted, should not impose any undue financial burden on the merchant and user, and should offer an appropriate level of security.

  1. Mumbai Police has recently created 16 no-selfie zones around the city after several deaths reported while taking selfies. The step was taken to stop people from putting themselves at risk while taking selfies. The spots include popular sea-fronts like Bandra Bandstand, Marine Drive and Juhu Chowpatty.

  2. The Central Government has appointed three information commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC). They are IAS Amitava Bhattacharyya, Bimal Julka and IPS Divya Prakash Sinha. They have been appointed for a period of 5 years or till they attain age of 65 years.

  3. Ashwini Nangia has been appointed as the Director of the CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. He is an alumnus of the IIT Kanpur and currently working with the School of Chemistry at the UoH. He has contributed to the new field of cocrystals and its applications to the pharmaceutical industry.

  4. Diageo-owned United Spirits USL) has appointed MK Sharma as its new chairman, after Vijay Mallya resigned from the post. The world-s largest spirits maker Diageo now owns 54.78% of the Indian Liquor maker USL.

  5. Online Fashion Retailer Jabonghas appointed former eBay India Country Manager B Muralikrishnan as its Chief Operating Officer (COO).Post this appointment, he will work closely with Jabong's largest shareholder Global Fashion Group (GFG)and will lead Jabong-s technology and digital marketing functions.

  6. Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has announced appointment of Ratan Tata as head of the Indian Railway Innovation Committee. Earlier he has announced plans to set up a dedicated cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (Sutra) with the aim of carrying out detailed analysis leading to optimized investment decisions and operations.

  7. Former Scientific Adviser to Defence Minister and ex-DRDO chief Dr Avinash Chander was awarded with the prestigious Astronautical Society of India's Aryabhata Award 2013. He received the award from Dr R Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Adviser to Union Government and Dr A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman ISRO, at ASI-ISRO Awards function held at Space Applications Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad.

  8. Actor Ranveer Singh was selected for Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award who will be awarded by Lata Mangeshkar at a function to be held in Pune.Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar award was instituted in 1999 in the memory of Dinanath Mangeshkar, father of Lata Mangeshkar. The award carries monetary award of Rs 101001 a memento and a citation.

  9. India's female Long-distance runner Lalita Babar was named as the Sports Person of the Year in the India Sports Awards 2015 in a ceremony organized by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) along with Sports Ministry. The Indian Sports Award were given away in New Delhi at the conclusion of day one of -Turf 2015-16'. She is the current Indian national record holder and has already been qualified for Rio Olympics in the 3000 meter steeplechase event.

Also Gymnast Dipa Karmakar was named as the Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India was awarded with the Best National Sports Federation recognition. Hockey legend Balbir Singh was awarded with the lifetime achievement award.

  1. Mumbai won the Ranji Trophy after defeating Saurashtra by an innings and 21 run in the final match. With this win, Mumbai won Ranji trophy 41 times in 45 finals. Karnataka, which won the title last year, comes at distant second in the overall Ranji titles with only eight titles. Shreyas Iyer was named man of the match for his 117 runs in Mumbai's only innings of the match.

Current Affairs International - 29 February 2016

  1. Slovenian high-jumper Rozle Prezeljhas been elected the Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes' Commission in Monaco. He succeeds Frank Fredericks. At the same time, UK-s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was elected as the Vice Chairwoman of the commission.

  2. Famous sound designer Resul Pookutty won award for Best Sound for documentary India-s Daughter at the Motion Picture Sound Editors- (MPSE) 63rd annual Golden Reel Awards. With this he has become the first Asian to win the same. The MPSE presents The Golden Reel Awards every year to acknowledge the year's best work in the field of sound editing.

Current Affairs India - 29 February 2016

  1. National Science Day was observed on 28thFebruary across the nation with the theme of -Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation-.The day is observed annually to mark the discovery of the Raman Effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928. Raman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930 for his discovery and this was the first Nobel Prize for India in the field of Science.

  2. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been formally declared elected as the president of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for the 7th consecutive term. The election as BJD president was a mere formality as he was the only candidate to file nomination papers for the post.

  3. Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has been appointed as the first Chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB) after his appointment proposal was approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Central government has set up a Bank Board Bureau for Public Sector Unit (PSU) banks to monitor each banks on the basis of some "key performance indicators".

  4. Dinesh Sharma, Additional Finance Secretary, Department Of Economic Affairs and India-s Governor to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) was elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD for a period of two years in its 39th Session held in Rome, Italy. IFAD was setup in 1977 as the 13th Specialized Agency of the United Nations and works towards removing poverty and hunger in rural areas all over the world.  India is a founder member of IFAD and a key contributor among the member countries.

  5. Socialist leader and former Maharashtra Minister Nihal Ahmed Maulavi Mohammed Usman passed away in Nashik following age-old ailments. He was 90. He was the former Maharashtra Minister of technical and higher education, state president of Janata Dal (Secular).

  6. Famous Tamil Comedy actor Kumarimuthu passed away in Chennai. He was 77. He acted more than 500 tamil films in which he did different roles through his humorous acts.

Union Railway Budget 2016-17 Highlights
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented Railway budget at Lok Sabha today for financial year 2016-17. Key highlights of railway budget are

  • Proposed a plan size of one lakh twenty one thousand crore rupees in 2016-17

  • Proposed to reorganize the Railway Board along business lines suitably empowering Railway board chairman

  • Aims to achieve operation ratio of 92%

  • 17,000 additional bio-toilets to be provided by the end of current fiscal

  • WiFi facilities at 100 more stations this year and 400 stations next year

  • 2,800 km of broad gauge track conversion envisaged

  • 8.8 lakh crore to be spent on infrastructure in five years

  • 40,000 crore expected from the government as budgetary support

  • Budget that reflects the expectations of the entire nation

  • Saving of Rs.8,720 crore from last year's estimates

  • Envisaging capital expenditure of Rs.1.21 lakh crore

  • Railways to generate 9 crore mandays of employment in 2017-18 and 14 crore mandays in 2018-19

  • To increase lower berth quota for senior citizens by 50 percent

  • 17,000 additional bio-toilets to be provided by the end of current fiscal

  • Aims to achieve operation ratio of 92 percent

  • No hike in passenger and freight rates

  • LIC to fund Rs.1.5 lakh crore over five years on favourable terms

  • Two elevated tracks envisaged from Churchgate and CST on Mumbai's suburban railway system

  • Specialised teams envisaged in specific areas to improve efficiency

  • All-India 24X7 helpline for women

  • Fully unreserved trains to be operated on high-density corridors

  • Local art to be highlighted at railway stations

  • Academic facility at Vadodara being upgraded to university level

  • Railways to generate 9 crore mandays of employment in 2017-18 and 14 crore mandays in 2018-19

  • Social media being increasingly used to ensure transparency

  • Online booking of retiring rooms made possible

  • 17,000 additional bio-toilets to be provided by the end of current fiscal

  • Saving of Rs.8,720 crore from last year's estimates

  • Envisaging capital expenditure of Rs.1.21 lakh crore

  • 2,800 km of broad gauge track conversion envisaged

  • Seven km of broad gauge lines to be commisssioned every day during 2016-17

  • Hope to commission 19 km of new broad gauge track every day by 2018-19

  • 8.8 lakh crore to be spent on infrastructure in five years

  • 40,000 crore expected from the government as nudgetary support

  • Introduction of overnight double decker trains on busiest routes, which has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost 40%

  • Installation of 2,500 water vending machines, introduction of 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines and enhancing capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute

  • More than 65,000 additional berths

  • Improvement in passenger amenities including cleanliness and safety

  • Genration of 9 crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19

  • E-ticketing facility to foreign debit and credit cards for foreign tourists and NRIs

  • Two to four Deen Dayalu coaches in some long distance trains for unreserved travel to enhance carrying capacity

  • 10 good sheds will be developed in 2016-17.

  • Set up two loco factories for Rs. 40,000 crore

  • A sum of Rs 50 crore has been set aside for providing innovation grants to employees, startups and small businesses

  • Start Antyodaya express and Dindayal Express to reflect government's commitment towards poor

Union Budget FY 2016-17 Highlights
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget 2016 and the Finance Bill at the Parliament today. Below are the key highlights:
Fiscal Related:

  • GDP growth has accelerated to 7.6% while CPI inflation has come down to 5.4%.

  • Fiscal deficit in for FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17 retained at 3.9% and 3.5% respectively

  • Revenue Deficit target from 2.8% to 2.5% in FY 2015-16

  • Current account deficit seen at 1.4% of GDP- for FY 2015-16

  • Total expenditure projected at Rs 19.78 lakh crore

  • Plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.50 lakh crore under Plan, increase of 15.3%

  • Non-Plan expenditure kept at Rs 14.28 lakh crores

  • India is considered as a 'bright spot' amidst a slowing global economy by IMF.

  • Foreign exchange reserves touched highest ever level of USD 350 billion

  • Additional fiscal burden due to 7th Central Pay Commission recommendations and OROP implementation

Roadmap and priorities:

  • 'Transform India' to have a significant impact on economy and lives of people.

  • Better Government to focus on ensuring macro-economic stability and prudent fiscal management and boosting on domestic demand

  • 100% village electrification by 1st May, 2018

  • Higher focus on enhancing expenditure in priority areas of - farm and rural sector, social sector, infrastructure sector employment generation and recapitalisation of the banks.

  • Focus on Vulnerable sections through Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, New health insurance scheme to protect against hospitalisation expenditure and facility of cooking gas connection for BPL families

  • Continue with the ongoing reform programme and ensure passage of the Goods and Service Tax bill and Insolvency and Bankruptcy law

  • Provide legal framework for dispute resolution and re-negotiations in PPP projects and public utility contracts

  • Dept of Disinvestment renamed as Dept of Investment and Public Asset Management

Agriculture and farmers' welfare related:

  • Allocation for Agriculture and Farmers' welfare is Rs 35,984 crore

  • -'Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana' to be implemented in mission mode in which 28.5 lakh hectares will be brought under irrigation.

  • A dedicated Long Term Irrigation Fund will be created in NABARD with an initial corpus of about Rs 20,000 crore

  • 5 lakh farm ponds and dug wells in rain fed areas and 10 lakh compost pits for production of organic manure will be taken up under MGNREGA

  • Allocation under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana increased to Rs 19,000 crore. Will connect remaining 65,000 eligible habitations by 2019.

  • Allocation under Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana Rs 5,500 crore.

  • Rs 850 crore was allocated for four dairying projects - 'Pashudhan Sanjivani', 'Nakul Swasthya Patra', 'E-Pashudhan Haat' and National Genomic Centre for indigenous breeds

Rural sector development related:

  • 38,500 crore for Mahtma Gandhi MGNREGA for 2016-17 and Rs 9,500 crores for Swacch Bharat Abhiyan

  • Special Hub to support SC/ST entrpreneurs

  • LPG connections to be provided under the name of women members of family: Rs 2000 crore allocated for 5 years for BPL families.

  • 300 urban clusters to be set up under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission

  • Allocation for rural sector - Rs 87,765 crore.

  • Rs 2.87 lakh crore will be given as Grant in Aid to Gram Panchayats and Municipalities as per the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission

  • New health protection scheme will provide health cover up to Rs One lakh per family. For senior citizens an additional top-up package up to Rs 30,000 will be provided

Education, skills and Job related:

  • 62 new Navodaya Vidyalayas will be opened

  • Allocation for skill development - Rs 1804 crore

  • 1500 Multi Skill Training Institutes to be set-up

  • Regulatory architecture to be provided to ten public and ten private institutions to emerge as world-class Teaching and Research Institutions

  • Higher Education Financing Agency to be set-up with initial capital base of Rs 1000 Crores

  • Government will pay contribution of 8.33% for of all new employees enrolling in EPFO for the first three years of their employment. Budget provision of Rs 1000 crore for this scheme.

Infrastructure and investment related:

  • Total investment planned in the road sector, including PMGSY allocation, will be Rs 97,000 crore during 2016-17.

  • Nearly 10,000 kms of National Highways will be built in 2016-17.

  • Allocation of Rs 55,000 crore in the Budget for Roads. Additional Rs 15,000 crore to be raised by NHAI through bonds.

  • Reforms in FDI policy in the areas of Insurance and Pension, Asset Reconstruction Companies, Stock Exchanges.

  • 100% FDI to be allowed through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India.

  • 3000 crore allocated for nuclear power generation

  • 160 airports and airstrips are chosen which can be revived

  • Additional allocation of Rs 31,300 crore by NHAI, PFC, REC, IREDA, NABARD and Inland Water Authority by raising Bonds.

Financial sector reforms:

  • Statutory basis for a Monetary Policy framework and a Monetary Policy Committee through the Finance Bill 2016.

  • RBI to facilitate retail participation in Government securities.

  • Amendments in the SARFAESI Act 2002 to enable the sponsor of an ARC to hold up to 100% stake in the ARC and permit non institutional investors to invest in Securitization Receipts.

  • Allocation of Rs 25,000 crore towards recapitalisation of Public Sector Banks.

  • Target of amount sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana increased to Rs 1,80,000 crore.

  • Amendmends to boost Asset Reconstruction Companies to manage NPAs of public sector banks

On ease of doing business related:

  • A Task Force has been constituted for rationalisation of human resources in various Ministries.

  • Comprehensive review and rationalisation of Autonomous Bodies.

  • Bill for Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services by using the Aadhar framework to be introduced.

  • Introduce DBT on pilot basis for fertilizer.

  • Amendments in Companies Act to improve enabling environment for start-ups.

Tax related:

  • Committed to providing a stable and predictable taxation regime and reduce black money.

  • Domestic taxpayers can declare undisclosed income or such income represented in the form of any asset by paying tax at 30%, and surcharge at 7.5% and penalty at 7.5%, which is a total of 45% of the undisclosed income. Declarants will have immunity from prosecution.

  • Surcharge levied at 7.5% of undisclosed income will be called Krishi Kalyan surcharge to be used for agriculture and rural economy.

  • Raise the ceiling of tax rebate under section 87A from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 to reduce tax burden on individuals with income upto Rs. 5 lakhs.

  • Increase the limit of deduction of rent paid under section 80GG from Rs 24000 per annum to Rs 60000, to provide relief to those who live in rented houses.

  • Accelerated depreciation wherever provided in IT Act will be limited to maximum 40% from 1.4.2017

  • Benefit of deductions for Research would be limited to 150% from 1.4.2017 and 100% from 1.4.2020

  • Excise duty raised from 10 to 15% on tobacco products other than beedis

  • Deduction for additional interest of Rs50,000 per annum for loans up to Rs35 lakh sanctioned in 2016-17 for first time home buyers, where house cost does not exceed Rs 50 lakh.

  • 1% service charge on purchase of luxury cars over Rs. 10 lakh and in-cash purchase of goods and services over Rs. 2 lakh.

  • SUVs, Luxury cars to be more expensive. 4% high capacity tax for SUVs.

  • Companies with revenue less than Rs 5 crore to be taxed at 29% plus surcharge

  • Limited tax compliance window from Jun 1 - Sep 30 for declaring undisclosed income at 45% incl. surcharge and penalties

  • Excise 1% imposed on articles of jewellery, excluding silver.

  • 5% Krishi Kalyan Cess to be levied on all services.

  • Pollution cess of 1% on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars; 2.5% on diesel cars of certain specifications; 4% on higher-end models.

  • Dividend in excess of Rs. 10 lakh per annum to be taxed at additional 10%

  • Lower the corporate tax rate for the next financial year for relatively small enterprises i.e companies with turnover not exceeding Rs 5 crore (in the financial year ending March 2015), to 29% plus surcharge and cess.

  • 100% deduction of profits for 3 out of 5 years for startups setup during April, 2016 to March, 2019. MAT will apply in such cases.

  • Commitment to implement General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR) from 1.4.2017.

  • Exemption of service tax on services provided under Deen Dayal Upadhyay Grameen Kaushalya Yojana and services provided by Assessing Bodies empanelled by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship.

  • Exemption of Service tax on general insurance services provided under 'Niramaya' Health Insurance Scheme launched by National Trust for the Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disability.

  • Withdrawal up to 40% of the corpus at the time of retirement to be tax exempt in the case of National Pension Scheme (NPS). Annuity fund which goes to legal heir will not be taxable.

  • Reduce service tax on Single premium Annuity (Insurance) Policies from 3.5% to 1.4% of the premium paid in certain cases.

  • Surcharge to be raised from 12% to 15% on persons, other than companies, firms and cooperative societies having income above Rs 1 crore.

  • Securities Transaction tax in case of 'Options' is proposed to be increased from .017% to .05%. > Equalization levy of 6% of gross amount for payment made to non- residents exceeding Rs 1 lakh a year in case of B2B transactions.

  • 'Clean Energy Cess' levied on coal, lignite and peat renamed to 'Clean Environment Cess' and rate increased from Rs200 per tonne to Rs400 per tonne.

88th Academy Awards (Oscars 2016) Winners List
Best pictureSpotlight
Best actorLeonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
Best actressBrie Larson, "Room"
Best supporting actorMark Rylance, "Bridge of Spies"
Best supporting actressAlicia Vikander, "The Danish Girl"
Best directorThe Revenant, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Best original screenplaySpotlight, by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy
Best adapted screenplayThe Big Short, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Best costume designMad Max: Fury Road, Jenny Beavan
Best production designMad Max: Fury Road, production design by Colin Gibson; set decoration by Lisa Thompson
Best makeup and hairstylingMad Max: Fury Road, Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin
Best cinematographyThe Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best film editingMad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
Best sound editingMad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White
Best sound mixingMad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
Best visual effectsEx Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Best animated short filmBear Story, Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
Best animated feature filmInside Out, Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera
Best documentary, short subjectA Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Best documentary featureAmy, Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
Best live-action short filmStutterer, Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
Best foreign-language filmSon of Saul, Hungary
Best original songWriting's on the Wall from "Spectre"- Music and lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Best original scoreThe Hateful Eight, Ennio Morricone