Current Affairs February 2015

Contents

Hello Friends!!! Here comes the second edition of Mindfeeders Monthly Current Affairs. Current Affairs February 2015  has been compiled keeping in mind the questions that are most likely to be asked in various entrance exams by the team of Mindfeeders.

So, Here goes the list of Current Affairs February 2015.

1st Feb 2015

1. Canister based version of Agni-V launched off from Wheeler Island, Odisha.

DRDO successfully test fired Agni-V, country’s Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) from a canister. A canister launch refers to lift off from a truck on roads or from any open space. Agni-V can carry nuclear warhead weighing 1.1 tonnes and has a range of 5000 K.M.

2. High Powered Committee on Urban Co-operative Banks

RBI constituted a High Powered Committee on Urban Co-operative Banks under the chairmanship of Shri. R. Gandhi to re-examine the size, conversion and licensing terms of urban co-operative banks and recommend recommendations within three months from the date of its first meeting.

3. New Chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL)

T. SuvarnaRaju succeeded R.K Tyagi to become the 17th Chairman of HAL.Mr.Raju joined HAL as a Management Trainee in 1980. He is an Engineering Graduate, M.Phil in Defence Strategies Studies and PG Diploma in IPRs.

2nd Feb 2015

1. Australian Open-2015

Leander Paes and Martina Hingis won Australian open mixed doubles-2015.Novak Djokovic of Serbia clinched the Men’s finals beating Andy Murray. Djokovic holds Rank 1 in the ATP world tennis rankings.Serena Williams clinched the women’s Australian open 2015 title after beating Maria Sharapova. This was Serena Williams 19th grand slam title.

3rd Feb 2015

1. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)

Union Govt of India decided to rename the second phase of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) after the BJP Prime Minister AtalBihariVajpai to Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). It is an ambitious Rs. 2 Lakh crore programme for city modernisation under the ministry of Urban Development.

4th Feb 2015

1. RBI reduces SLR limit

Reserve Bank of India reduced Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) from 22% to 21.50% while keeping all the other rates unchanged. SLR is the amount of funds that banks have to keep in the form of gold and government securities before lending to its customers.

This would release around Rs. 45000 crore into the banking system. Reduction in SLR signifies that banks need to keep lesser amount in the form of gold and govt securities and more funds would be available that could be lent to the customers thereby increasing liquidity in the system.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio

21.5%

Repo Rate

7.75%
Reverse Repo Rate

6.75%

Bank Rate

8.75%

Marginal Standing Facility

8.75%

Cash Reserve Ratio

4%

* Rates as on 07-Feb-2015

2. Forex Limit raised

Under the Liberalised remittance scheme, an individual can now remit upto $250000 a year. Earlier this limit was $1,25,000.

3. External Advisory Committee to evaluate applications of Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks

RBI announced an external Advisory Committee to evaluate applications of Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks. External Advisory Committee for Small Finance Banks would be headed by Smt. UshaThorat and External Advisory Committee for Payment Banks would be headed by ShriNachiket M Mor.

RBI has received number of applications from top corporates and telecom giants who have shown interest in obtaining licences pertaining to Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks.

5th Feb 2015

1. New Union Home Secretary appointed

Shri L.C Goyal has been appointed as new home secretary following Anil Goswami removal from the post who reportedly tried to prevent the arrest of Matang Singh in muticroreSaradha scam.

2. Poor performance of India in GIPC Index

India ranked 29th out of 30 economies in the third annual International IP Index released by U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC). U.S topped the rankings.

3. Advisory to Banks

Banks have been advised to display the list of inoperative bank accounts/ unclaimed deposits for a period of more than 10 years on their respective websites. Banks are advised to display only name and address of the depositors on their websites whose funds have been transferred to Depositors Awareness and Education Fund.

However, banks will not disclose account number, type of account or branch details of such depositors. Banks have to complete the process before 31-Mar-2015.

6th Feb 2015

1. EY Entrepreneur of the Year-2014

Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawala has been awarded with the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the year 2014. He is the MD of Serum Institute of India.

2. Supreme Court’s Historic Judgement

Supreme Court of India has ruled than an election will become null and void if the winning candidate fails to disclose his complete and full details of criminal antecedents at the time of filing nomination papers.

This is the first time when it has been ruled that the entire election process of the respective area will become null and void upon non disclosure of winning candidates criminal antecedents against the earlier practice of disqualification of the errant candidate. The verdict is in account to the violation of voter’s right to make informed choice while casting his valuable vote.

7th Feb 2015

1. Jnanpith Award-2014

Veteran Marathi writer Shri Bhalchandra Nemade aged 76 has been selected for the 50thJnanpith Award-2014 by Jnanpith Selection Board. Apart from Jnanpith Award, Shri Balchandra Nemade is the winner of Sahitya Academy Award and the prestigious Padam Shri in 2011. His famous work in Kosala, a Marathi Novel was a milestone in his writing career.

8th Feb 2015

1. New Criteria to infuse Capital into PSBs (Public Sector Banks)

Two efficiency parameters have been adopted by centre to decide the quantum of capital infusion in banks.

a) Return on Assets (ROA)

b) Return on Equity (ROE)

Based upon these two parameters centre has chosen 9 PSBs to infuse Rs. 6990 crore into the banking system. According to an official release,

State Bank of India

Rs. 2970 Crore
Bank of Baroda

Rs. 1260 Crore

Punjab National Bank

Rs. Rs. 870 Crore
Canara Bank

Rs. 570 Crore

Syndicate bank

Rs. 460 Crores
Allahbad Bank

Rs. 320 crores

Indian Bank

Rs. 280 crores
Dena Bank

Rs. 140 Crores

Andhra Bank

Rs. 120 Crores

 

9th Feb 2015

1.First Meeting of NITI Aayog

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of NITI Aayog. He addressed the meeting and identified poverty alleviation as the biggest challenge. PM Narendra Modi called upon all Chief Ministers to work with center to create ‘cooperative federalism’. He denote Center and state as “TEAM INDIA”.

He also state that Regional Councils under Niti Ayog should catalyse the process of growth by helping states and other members.

2. Formation of three sub groups within NITI Ayog

After the first meeting of NITI Ayog, PM Narendra Modi announces the formation of three sub groups         constituting Chief Ministers of the states.

a) One sub group will study 66 centrally sponsored schemes and will also decide which scheme should be transferred to State and which to cut down.

b) One sub group will decide and recommend the NITI Aayog about promotion of skill development and creation of skilled manpower within the states.

c) One sub group will decide the institutional mechanism, technical advancement, in lieu of Swachh Bhaarat Mission so that it will become part of our life.

 Along with the sub groups, PM Narendra Modi also asked states to form two task forces, under the supervision of NITI Ayog, One would focus on poverty alleviation, and the other one would keep an eye on future development of agriculture in the state.

3. Nuclear Liability Contract

The Government is not making any change in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage (CLND) Act 2010, Between India and US. According to this act, U.S suppliers of Nuclear Reactor or its parts are not directly liable for any nuclear damage occurred in India.

This clarification is given by Government after bilateral talks between India and U.S, two weeks after the visit of Barak Obama, U.S president.

10th Feb 2015

1. Grammy Awards- Honour for India

Indian boy Ricky Kej, bagged prestigious Grammy Award for the album “winds of samsara” in the Best New Age Album category. Neela Vaswani also won Grammy for her documentary on Malala Yousafzai named” I AM MALALA: HOW ONE GIRL STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND CHANGED THE WORLD” In the Best Children’s Album Category.

2. MOU to develop Solar Park

Adani Enterprises signed MOU with Rajasthan Govt. to develop solar parks with 10,000 MW capacity in the next 10 years. Solar park will produce clean energy thereby stepping towards India’s goal for clean renewable energy independence.

11thFeb 2015

1. AAP landslide win in Delhi

In a nearly clean sweep election mandate, Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bagged 67 seats out 70 seats in the Delhi assembly elections. BJP was cornered out to 3 seats while congress could not open its account. Swearing in ceremony is scheduled on 14th Feb 2015.

 2. ICICI new digital service “POCKETS” launched

“POCKETS”a mobile app launched by ICICI bank which can be downloaded from Google playstore by any customer (including non ICICI customers). The e-wallet can then be seeded with funds from any bank account through net banking or debit card and can be used to send money to any e-mail id, mobile number, facebook friends or bank account.

However, the transaction limit is of Rs.10000 for non ICICI customers. The users can recharge mobiles, pay utility bills, buy movie tickets, order food, send physical as well as e-gifts, split and share expenses with friends with the e-wallet. Users can attach their zero balance savings accounts to the wallet and earn interest on the idle money.

3. Internet.org launched in India-A joint venture of Facebook and Reliance Communications

Reliance customers with internet enabled handsets can now access 38 websites for free through a facebook led initiative internet.org. The 38 websites that are being offered free are a mix of news, education, health sites, music and weather.

Facebook, Wikipedia, Reliance astrology are one of the few sites that would be given free access through internet.org.

12th& 13th Feb2015

1. Solar Projects to be set up by Reliance Power in Rajasthan

Reliance Power signed MOU with Rajasthan govt. to set up 6000MW of solar power projects in next 10 years.

14th Feb2015

1. Cricket World Cup-2015

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 commenced on 14th Feb 2015. The venue of the world Cup this time is Australia and New Zealand.

 2. Inter-City Train derails

At least 9 people were killed and several injured when Bengaluru-Ernakulam Intercity express derailed in the early hours of 13th Feb 2015. Railway Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh for the dead, Rs. 50000 for severely injured and Rs. 25000 for minor injuries.

15th Feb 2015

1. Shri Arvind Kejriwal sworn in as the 8th Chief Minister (CM) of Delhi

Shri Arvind Kejriwal took oath as the 8th CM of Delhi at the Ramlila Maidan. Lt. Governor of Delhi Shri Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy. Along with Shri.Arvind Kejriwal, 6 cabinet ministers took oath of office and secrecy. Shri Arvind Kejriwal has not kept any portfolio with himself and will act as a bridge between people and cabinet.

Cabinet Minster Portfolio
Manish Sisodia Deputy CM, Urban Development and Education
GopalRai Transport, Development, Labour, General administration department and employment
Asim Ahmed Khan Food and Civil Supply, Environment and Forest
Satyendra Jain Power, Health, Industries and PWD
Jitender Singh Tomar Home and Law
Sandeep Kumar Women and Child Social welfare, Language and SC/ST.

16th Feb2015

1. Historic Win of Team India over Pakistan in World Cup-2015

Team India beat Pakistan by 76 runs to win its maiden match in the ICC Cricket world cup 2015. Virat Kohli was declared man of the match after his 22nd ODI hundred in the match. Shikhar Dhawan (73) and Suresh Raina (74) contributed to take the total on the Indian Score Board to 300. This marks 6th continuous wins over Pakistan in World Cup.

17th Feb 2015

1. India signs Nuclear Pact with Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka signed nuclear partnership with India that would facilitate cooperation in the transfer and exchange of knowledge and expertise, capacity building, sharing of resources, training of personnel in peaceful uses of nuclear energy along with the use of radioisotopes, nuclear safety, radioactive waste management, nuclear and radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection.

 In a bid to strengthen the ties, both the countries inked three more agreements apart from nuclear partnership. MOU was signed for the establishment of Nalanda University. Both the countries agreed to enhance ties in cultural documentation and performing arts. To facilitate agro processing, a work plan under MOU was signed between both the countries.

2. Wholesale Price Index dips to negative

Owing to slide in the fuel prices, WPI slipped to -0.39 %in the month of January. It reflects falling cost of production at the manufacturing level. However CPI stood at 5.11% and food inflation surged to 8% in the month of January. Rising food prices were offset by the dip in the fuel prices that led to slippage of WPI into the negative zone.

3. New CEO of Deloitte

India born Punit Renjen will succeed Barry Salzbergas the next CEO of US based Deloitte. He will assume his new role from June 1,2015.

4. Auction of Telecom Spectrum

Department of Telecommunication has received applications from eight telecom companies. Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Reliance Communications, Reliance Jio Infocom, Uninor and Tata Teleservices have applied for 29 licenses in 18 service areas. Govt. is expected to fetch Rs. 1 lakh crore from the auction.

5. China’s “Silk Road Fund”

$40 billion Silk Road fund has become operational to finance infrastructure projects connecting South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and Europe. This fund is in addition to $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The fund will be utilized for the development of rail tracks, roads, fibre optic highways and much more.

6. One way “Trip” to Mars

 Netherlands based non-profit organization Mars One has shortlisted 3 Indians, 1 man and 2 women who would be sent for one way trip to mars in 2024. The project aims to send around 40 people to set up a human colony in Mars. The finalists will be trained for a period of 7 years before being sent to Mars in 2024.

7. Yuvaraj to play for Delhi Daredevils

In the auction ceremony of IPL(Indian Premier League) of Cricket, highest bid was placed by Delhi daredevils owner, a whopping Rs. 16 Crore for Yuvraj Singh.

18th Feb 2015

1.Website for FDI Proposals re-launched

Finance Ministry re-launched its website for filing and processing FDI proposals which require government’s approval. Applicants are required to submit only 1 proposal application instead of 15-18 copies required earlier. Online queries can also be raised through Any-doubts module.This step has been undertaken to increase transparency and accountability in its procedure.

19th Feb 2015

1.Film Producer Daggubati Ramanaidu dies at the age of 78

South Indian legend, veteran film producer Daggubati Ramanaidu passed away at the age of 78 after he lost his battle with Cancer. He has been conferred with Dada Sahab Phalke Award in 2009 and Padma Bhushan in the year 2013. He has produced 139 films in all official languages of India.

20th Feb 2015

1.Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched “Soil Health Card Scheme”

Following deteriorating soil health due to excessive use of fertilizers, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched “Soil Health Card Scheme” to scientific methods of agriculture to raise crop yields while promoting soil health. Prime Minister emphasized upon soil testing and encouraged entrepreneurs to establish soil testing labs in small towns.

The card carries a crop wise recommendation of nutrients that will help farmers to increase productivity by judicious use of inputs. The card also enlists soil health indicators that can be accessed without any laboratory equipment.

Prime Minister also urged farmers to use drip irrigation so that each and every drop of water can be utilized. Around 14 Crore farmers are expected to be enrolled in the scheme in the next three years. The scheme was launched from Rajasthan.

2. State Bank of India’s Tech Learning centres

In a bid to educate customers regarding Technology, State Bank of India launched Tech Learning Centers in Dec 2014. 385 Centers have been opened across the country which educates over 10,000 customers every month. The scheme aims to remove hesitation among the customers to use technology for their banking needs.

3. Reserve Bank of India lifted ban from lending against Gold

Banks are now free to grant gold metal loans on gold import. In addition, nominated banks have been allowed to import gold on “consignment basis”, an arrangement wherein ownership of the imported gold remains with the supplier till final sale is made to the customer.

21st Feb 2015

1. Two massive Cyclones hit Australia

A category-5 tropical cyclone Marcia hit Queensland coast leaving behind trail of destruction with trees uprooted, houses ripped apart and power lines torn down. Another category-4 cyclone Lam hit further north causing extensive damage to remote aboriginal communities.

2. Several developmental schemes announced for Arunachal Pradesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off first train connecting Delhi to Naharlagun. This weekly train will complete its journey in 38 hours. Shri Narendra Modi also flagged off Naharlagun- Guwahati Express.Besides Prime Minister inaugurated a water supply scheme for Itanagar and laid foundation stone for 132 KV transmission line. These announcements were made on the 29th statehood day of Arunachal Pradesh.

3. New Accounting Standard Notified

Government of India notified new accounting standards (Ind AS) which will be mandatory for companies from financial year April-1-2016.Companies with more than Rs. 500 crore worth have to comply with the norms mandatory from April-1-2016.

 22nd Feb 2015

1. First Woman Mayor of Baghdad

Ms. Zekra Alwach, became the first woman to be appointed for the post of Mayor in Baghdad.

2. New Director of ISRO’s Space and Application centre appointed.

Tapan Misra is appointed as the new Director of ISRO Space and application centre division in Ahmedabad. Tapan Misra has replaced A.S Kiran Kumar, who moved as Chairman of ISRO last month.

 23rd Feb 2015

1. Team India thrashed South Africa in Pool-B match at ICC World Cup

With Shikhar Dhawan’s blistering performance of 137 off 146 balls (his career best), India posed a target of 308 in front of South Africa. Controlled bowling of Mohd. Shami and R. Ashwin restricted South African chase to a total of 177, thereby team India beating South Africa by 130 runs. Shikhar Dhawan was declared man of the match.

2. Gandhi Statue in London Parliament Square

Bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi will be unveiled in London Parliament Square on March,14-2015.ShriArunJaitley is expected to be the Chief Guest at the event to install the statue. The statue portrays him drapped in a shawl.

He would become the first Indian to be honored with a statue in the Parliament Square who never held any public office. The bronze statue has been designed by British sculpture Philip Jackson.

3. Nuclear Leak detected at Fukushima Plant, Japan

Fresh Nuclear Leak has been detected by the sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant.Radiation levels of about 50-70% higher than normal has been detected.

24th Feb 2015

1. 10th Bipartite Wage Negotiations Concluded

The Indian Bank’s Association succeeded in concluding 10th Bipartite Wage Negotiations with the Bank Trade Union. A 15% increase in pay slip has been agreed upon during the negotiations. In addition, Second and Fourth Saturday of every month will be holidays.

However the remaining Saturdays will be full working days. The agreement will be effective from Nov-1, 2012. Banks were supposed to go on strike from 25th Feb 2015. With the agreement in place, Bank Union called off the strike.

2. All Glitters for “Birdman” in Oscars

“Birdman” bagged four Oscars including the Best Picture and Best Director in the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Julianne Moore won the best actress award for Still Alice and Eddie Redmayne won the Best Actor award for The Theory of Everything. Other awards won during the events are as follows:

 

Best Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette Boyhood
Best Supporting Actor J.K Simmons Whiplash
Best Documentary Citizen Four  
Best Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Birdman
Best Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki Birdman
Best Foreign Film Ida Polish Movie(Poland)
Best Animated Picture Big Hero 6  
Best Animated Short Feast  

 

3. Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Elected

Ram NiwasGoel has been elected as the Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly, MLA of AamAadmi Party (AAP) from Shahdara. Bandana Kumari has been elected as the Deputy Speaker of the assembly.

 4. ICC Cricket Hall of fame

Former Indian captain and leg break spinner of India, Anil Kumble along with Late. Betty Wilson has inducted in the ICC Hall of fame at MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground), Australia.

25th Feb 2015

1. Fastest ODI century scored by Chris Gayle of West Indies

In a Pool B match between West Indies and Zimbabwe, Chris Gayle smashed 215 runs off 147 balls, highest individual score in ICC World Cup. He also set record of making fastest ODI Double century in 138 balls.

2. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairperson R.K Pachauri Resigned

R.K Pachauri resigned from the chairmanship of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change owing to charges of Sexual Harassment. Vice Chair Ismail El Gizouli will act as IPCC Chair.

3. BJP-PDP alliance set to form Government in Jammu & Kashmir

After a series of discussions which lasted for over two months, BJP-PDP alliance came to a consensus to form a govt in Jammu and Kashmir. It would be a first for BJP to form a govt in Border state. Mr. Mohammed Sayeed is slayed to become Chief Minister

4. Kingfisher House taken over by Consortium led by State Bank of India

A 17 bank consortium led by State Bank of India took over Kingfisher House, a 17000ft property at Ville Parle to recover loans due on Vijay Mallya. The estimated worth of Kingfisher House is Rs. 100 Crore.

5. Spice Jet’s new promoter 

Following regulatory approvals, Co-founder of Spice Jet Ajit Singh officially became the promoter of the airlines. 58.46% shareholding of Kalanidhi Maran and Kal Airways Pvt Ltd got transferred to Ajit Singh consequent to regulatory approvals.

 26th Feb 2015

1. Full Number Portability from May 3rd 2015

TRAI(Telecom Regulatory authority of India) has amended Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation act 2009 which will finally allow the users to get the benefit of Full Number portability. Hence this amendment will allow subscribers to retain their original number while relocating to any state in India.

2. Relaxation for H1-B Visa Holders

Department of Homeland Security has amended regulations to allow H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in United States. H-4 Visa is given to the dependents of H1-B visa holders. This would be effective from 26-May-2015. H1-B Visa is given to those individuals who are in special occupation on a temporary basis generally for a fixed period of time.

3. Now Three Parent Baby a reality through mitochondrial replacement Therapy

UK House of Lords has passed a legislation that will allow the creation of babies form DNA’s of three people, hence by the use of Mitochondrial replacement therapy.Now in England, the women who is suffering from genetic disease of Mitochondria can give birth to the child which is free from this hereditary disease by IVF fertilization of the embryo, thus altering the DNA sequence of the fetus  by indulging the third person.

27th Feb 2015

1. Railway Budget 2015-2016

Union Railway Minister Mr.Suresh Prabhu presented Railway Budget 2015. Key highlights of the budgets are:

  • There will be no new trains for the passengers.
  • Passengers will also not getting a fare hike. Instead Freight charges have increased upto 10% on selected items.
  • WIFI facility would be available on 400 stations
  • SMS alerts for train timings
  • User friendly ladders for upper berth will be designed by NID.
  • Created new department for cleanliness. 17000 bio-toilets and new toilets in 650 stations.
  • Tickets can be booked 120 days prior the journey date.
  • Unreserved tickets can be booked within 5 minutes.
  • Five year safety plan to be framed by June 2015.
  • Safety Plan includes- surveillance camera, geo-spatial technology for unmanned crossing, Train collision avoidance system to be installed on selected routes.

28th  Feb 2015

1. Economic Survey 2014-15

Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, presented Economic Survey 2014-2015 in the Parliament. This Economic survey has been prepared by Chief Economic Advisor of Finance Ministry, Arvind Subramanian

 Key Highlights of the Survey are:

  • Economic growth is expected between 8.1% to 8.5% during 2015-2016.
  • 5% growth rate is estimated in 2014-2015
  • Fiscal Deficit target 4.1% of GDP in 2014-2015
  • CAD(Current Account Deficit) is estimated to fall 1% of GDP in 2015-2016
  • Consumer Inflation will range between 5 to 5.5% in 2015-2016
  • Inflation has shown a declining trend in 2014-2015
  • In terms of taxation, government has been overestimated the tax estimates and thus there is a need to increase tax revenue.
  • Food grain production is estimated at 257.07 million tonnes for 2014-2015
  • Food subsidy amount to Rs.107,823.75crore during 2014-2015.

2. Appointment of New Chairman of SIDBI

Kshatrapati Shivaji has took over as the charge of new Chairman and Managing director of SIDBI(Small Industries Development Bank of India). Mr. Shivaji has been appointed on deputation of 3 years.

 

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