NATIONAL AFFAIRS


Monthly Current Affairs February 2016 “NATIONAL AFFAIRS” key points to Remember.
1) The Ministry of Tourism in co-ordination with Ministry of Culture has launched the Swachh Paryatan mobile app to increase citizens’ participation in the protection and upkeep of heritage monuments in India.
2) Katni in Madhya Pradesh will have India’s longest railway bridge, 14 km on the up line, almost three and half times longer than Vembanad rail bridge in Kerala that connects Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi and is 4.62 km long.
3) According to latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on global arms purchases, India continues to remain the world’s largest arms importer.
4) INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear armed submarine is now ready for full fledged operations. The submarine has passed several deep sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests over the past five months.
5) The Government has decided to induct women in all military combat roles in the future.
6) The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for introduction of steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means.
7) In a bid to provide standardised accommodation options to train travellers through a convenient booking platform, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with OYO Rooms.
8) The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for establishment of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog with appropriate manpower.
9) In the Rail Budget 2016, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu announces a capital plan of Rs. 1,21,000 crore for 2016-17; claims action initiated on 139 budget announcements made last year.
10) The Indian Express Power List, which ranks the 100 most powerful Indians, for the year 2016, has been released.
11)Industrialist Mukesh Ambani remains India’s richest person with a sharp surge of 30 per cent in his net worth to $26 billion, pushing his global rank to 21st on a worldwide rich list topped by Bill Gates.
12) The Lok Sabha has passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant voting rights to people who became citizens of the country following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.
13) Union Women and Child Development minister Maneka Gandhi said India has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC countries with 48 deaths reported per 1000 live births.
14) The Union Government has extended e-Tourist Visa Scheme to 37 more countries. With this, the total count of countries under the scheme will become 150.
15) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch the country’s first solar mission called Aditya-L1.
16) The fifth edition of IBSAMAR 2016 trilateral naval exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked off in Goa. IBSAMAR is abbreviated as of India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime.
17) Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has inaugurated India’s first Digital Automotive Experience Outlet called Unity Hyundai in the national capital.
18) The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to make a plan to block websites showing child pornography and sought its response to a plea to ban viewing of porn at public places.
19) President Pranab Mukherjee has declared Kerala as the first digital state of the country
20) The Maharashtra government has taken action against e-commerce giants Snapdeal, Amazon and Flipkart which were selling medicines online without valid licences.
21) Vedanta Limited has won India’s first-ever gold mining lease auctioned by the Chhattisgarh government.
22) Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu has announced plans to set up a dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (Sutra).
23) Apple is setting up its first technology development center outside the US, in Hyderabad, India.
24) SnapBizz Cloudtech Pvt. Ltd, which devises technology for grocery stores, said it raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd.
25) According to Monster Salary Index (MSI), Information Technology sector is the highest paying sector in India with a median gross hourly salary of Rs 346.42, while those in the manufacturing sector get paid the least at Rs 254.04.
26) The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27% to 40% of production while increasing share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60% to 80%, thus making India a net exporter of capital goods.
27) India said it may seize Vodafone Group Plc’s assets in the country if the company doesn’t pay a disputed Rs.14,200 crore tax bill that’s still undergoing international arbitration proceedings.
28) The government of India has increased the PF interest rate to 8.8 per cent for the ongoing financial year ended March 2016 from 8.75 per cent earlier.
29) Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari launched a dedicated website to the union government’s Maritime India Summit 2016 to be held in April at the Ports and Shipping seminar at Make in India (MII) Summit.
30) Hyderabad based packaging material maker Bollant Industries has raised an undisclosed funding from Ratan Tata.
31) The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to the Agreement for collaborative activities to be signed in the area of Traditional Medicine between Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and the World Health Organization, Geneva.
32) BAE Systems has announced selection of Mahindra as its India partner for the nearly $700 million deal for the supply of 145 M777 Howitzers.
33) Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley released ‘Bharat 2016’ and ‘India 2016’ year books.
34) The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to amend section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
35) Cricket Legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography, Playing It My Way, has entered the Limca Book of Records in the category of best-selling books across both fiction and non-fiction categories with 1,50,289 copies sold on order subscriptions.
36) Government of India has approved eight highway projects worth Rs 6,000 crore for six states – Punjab, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Odisha.
37) Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Sushri Uma Bharti will inaugurate “Jal Manthan -2″ on February 22, 2016 New Delhi.
38) Dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul, 46, has sworn in as the ninth Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh with the support of 18 rebel Congress MLAs, and two Independents and 11 BJP MLAs who gave outside support.
39) The Public investment Board has approved the Rs 800-crore proposal from India Post for setting up a payments bank and it will be placed before the Cabinet within a month for final approval.
40) Indian Railways may introduce train hostesses on soon to be launched Delhi-Agra Gatiman Express, the first train in India to run at a speed of 160 kmph.
41) Public sector oil major ONGC has approved Rs.3,104 crore additional investment for drilling of wells and creating surface facilities to produce 5.1 MMSCMD (million metric standard cubic metres per day) gas from gas fields in Tripura.
42) Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious ‘Rurban Mission’ for developing 300 villages across the country as urban growth centres amid his assertion that his government is for the poor, dalits and other oppressed.
43) The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has dedicated the state of the art Paradip Refinery in Odisha to the nation.
44) On February 11, GOI is going to launch an ambitious programme that seeks to eliminate malaria by 2027
45) E-commerce company Moglix has announced an undisclosed financial investment in the company by industrialist Ratan Tata
46) Maharashtra’s ambitious plans to set up India’s first international arbitration centre in Mumbai has begun ahead of the Make In India Week to be held in the city from February 13 to 18
47) India will host the first ever Global Maritime Summit this year and called for maritime cooperation stating that the seas must be used to build peace, friendship, trust and curb conflict in April 2016.
48) The Union textile ministry has bestowed the tag on Chettinad cotton saris, which would enable them to promote the material in the international market as ‘Indian Handloom Brand’.
49) Ratan Tata has invested an undisclosed amount in Delhi-based biopharmaceutical firm Invictus Oncology Pvt Ltd, next generation cancer therapeutic startup. The investment in Invictus Oncology is Tata’s fifth in 2016.
50) Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) entering into a tie up with leading tea cafe chain Chaayos.
51) Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) will enter into a partnership with Delhi Police, in which it will help develop a mechanism to facilitate “predictive policing” and “live crime mapping”.
52) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services, effectively prohibiting Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero platform by Airtel in their current form.
53) India will focus on the north-eastern region to expand its hydrocarbon and petrochemical industries with an eye on markets such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand.
54) Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has partnered with Nokia Networks to create technology solutions that will enhance broadband connectivity in rural India.
55) The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) advised private entities, including cooperative and philanthropic organisations, to reserve 27% of all hiring for people from the so-called other backward classes (OBCs).
56)JP Nadda, the Health Minister has launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines India’s strategy for elimination of the disease by 2030.
57) The US Chamber of Commerce has released its 4th annual International IP Index -Infinite Possibilities- which measured the IP environment in India has placed India at number 37 out of 38 countries.
58) The unreserved ticketing mobile application which was launched in South Central Railway – ‘UTSONMOBILE’.
59) NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal has announced that his firm Twinstar Display Technologies will set up India’s first LCD manufacturing facility in Maharashtra.
60) Kicking off the ‘Make In India Week’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Make In India Centre at the MMRDA Grounds in Mumbai.
61) According to a study released by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), India has been ranked 3rd among the top five.
62) To improve ease of doing business, the government will soon introduce Business Identification Number (BIN) for the companies.
63) Two years after India launched Nirbheek, a handgun pitched as the country’s “first gun for women”, a state-run arms factory has launched a similar gun which it says is India’s lightest gun. The new .22-calibre revolver is named Nidar.
64) Indian Railway is firming up a proposal to develop an online fuel management system, a first of its kind for the national transporter, to check pilferage and bring transparency in fuel consumption.
65) Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Freedom fighter Pt Madan Mohan Malviya has turned 100 years on 13th February 2016.
66) To support India’s efforts to end tuberculosis, US development agency USAID has announced grants aimed at scaling up innovative solutions for combating the disease in the country.
67) India has test fired its indigenously-built Akash missile from complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha and it is a surface-to-air missile.
68) The limit has been imposed by authorities on IRCTC online ticket booking and this has been cut to a maximum of 6 tickets in a month from the existing provision of maximum of 10 tickets by an individual user.
69) India ranks 76 in Corruption Perception Index.
70) The Government of India has decided to nominate Ahmedabad for the UNESCO world heritage city tag this year.
71) Alibaba.com, the wholesale trading platform of China’s Alibaba group today unveiled its first physical trade facility centre in the country at Jaipur.
72)Jet Airways, India’s premier airline, has introduced a new booking feature, which allows the passengers the flexibility to retain a selected fare for a limited period of time before confirming the purchase at a later date called ‘Fare lock’.
73) The government of India is all set to clean 1,600 village panchayat headquarters along the river banks within the next six months and complete the first phase of Ganga cleaning by October this year.
74) Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government wants to create a network across villages in the country to provide more job opportunities through the sector Khadi Gramudyog.
75) India has got its first underwater restaurant in Ahmedabad, giving a new experience to food lovers.
76) The tiny hill state Meghalaya has been emerged as the fastest-growing state in the whole country with a growth rate of 9.7% in 2013-14
77) Mumbai-based ethnic retailer, Craftsvilla, has acquired Mumbai-based on-demand shipping service provider startup Sendd for about $4.5 Mn.
78)Infosys, the leading Indian software company, is all set to beat the 96-metre tall Big Ben, the iconic free-standing clock tower in London, with a 135m structure.
79)India has surpassed the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market, crossing 220 million in active unique smartphone users in 2015.
80) The Supreme Court of India has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India, BCCI to implement the recommendations of Justice R M Lodha Committee.
81) Vice-President Hamid Ansari left Thailand after concluding a five-day tour of Thailand and Brunei.
82) Consumers who are charged more than the MRP can now file their complaints on WhatsApp or dial up the Weights and Measures department for appropriate action on 9869691666 or dial 022-22886666.
83) A National Organic Farming Research Institute will be established in Sikkim by upgrading the Regional Centre of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in Gangtok.
84) Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 12th South Asian Games (SAG) in Guwahati, Assam on February 5, 2016.
85) Union government will spend Rs 1 lakh crore for development of road infrastructure in Karnataka.
86)India officially became the Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
87) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 February 2016 dedicated the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) at Lepetkata, Assam.
88) The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has directed the Assistant Registrar of Geographical Indications Registry, Chennai, to proceed with registration of Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Basmati rice.
89) Ministry of Urban Development has approved projects worth over Rs.12 cr for improving tourist infrastructure in heritage places of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh and Warangal in Telangana.
90) Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J.P. Nadda has launched Project Sunrise for prevention of AIDS in the eight North-Eastern states.
91) The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has decided to set up the National Organic Farming Research Institute in Sikkim.
92) Government of India is considering a package of tax incentives for the labourintensive leather and gems and jewellery sectors.
93) Sri Aurobindo International Centre for Education, Puducherry has become India’s first fully solar powered institute (Educational).
94) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has agreed to vacate the airbase at Leh district which will be used for expansion of the civilian airport by the Jammu and Kashmir government.
95) Concerned over the sharp rise in infectious disease like tuberculosis, Maharashtra government will introduce a bill banning spitting in public places.