Current Affairs Update – 10th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 10th February, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 10th February, 2016

  1. India continues its
    dismal run in International IP Index
    , placed at the 37th position among 38 economies studied for their IP
    environment and commitment to innovation, by the US Chamber of Commerce.  US topped the index.
  2. The Reserve Bank of
    India (RBI)
    on 8 February 2016 released the Report of the Working Group on Introduction of Interest Rate Options in
    India
    . The report was prepared by
    RBI committee chaired by Prof PG Apte
    .
  3. Central Statistics
    Office (CSO)
    under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation
    (MoSPI) on 8 February 2016 released the
    Advance Estimates (AE) of National Income for the financial year (FY) 2015-16
    .
    The growth in GDP during 2015-16 is
    estimated at 7.6 %
    as compared to the growth rate of 7.2 % in 2014- 15.
  4. Vodafone, country’s
    second largest telecom operator
    , launched its fourth generation broadband services in Mumbai.
  5. Karnataka Vikas
    Grameen Bank (KVGB)
    has signed a memorandum
    of agreement (MoA)
    with the National
    Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC)
    for obtaining
    funds. These funds will be used for onward lending to Schedule Caste borrowers.
  6. To connect Kolkata
    with Tripura via Bangladesh through railway,
    the Union Government on 10
    February 2016 sanctioned about 580 crore
    rupees
    . The money was sanctioned for constructing the 15-kilometer railway
    track between Kolkata and Tripura.
  7. The 9th Indo-Nepal
    Combined Battalion level Military Training Exercise Surya Kiran
    commenced
    at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand on 8 February 2016.
  8. Sikkim’s Chief
    Minister Pawan Chamling
    on 9 February 2016 announced that the state government will construct a ‘Mini
    Sikkim’
    , which will be a centre for showcasing the state’s diverse and rich
    culture.
  9. India on 10 February
    2016 observed the first National
    Deworming Day
    in schools and preschools (anganwadis).
  10. Myntra founder Mukesh
    Bansal quits Flipkart
  11. Justice Dhirendra
    Hiralal Waghela
    on 8 February 2016 was
    appointed the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court
    .
  12. The Noor Ouarzazate
    Solar Complex, world’s largest solar power plant
    , was opened on 4 February
    2016 in the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco,
    10 km from Ouarzazate town.

Finance/Industry/Economy –
RBI released PG Apte Working Group Report on Introduction of Interest
Rate Options in India

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
    on 8 February 2016 released the Report of the Working Group on Introduction of
    Interest Rate Options in India. The report was prepared by RBI committee
    chaired by Prof PG Apte.

Key recommendations of the Apte Committee
  • To begin with, simple call and
    put Options, caps, floors, collars and swaptions may be permitted. Complex
    structures may be introduced subsequently.
  • Both Over-the-Counter (OTC) as
    well as exchange traded options may be introduced. While in the OTC segment only
    European options may be permitted, both American and European structures may be
    permitted on Exchanges.
  • Fixed Income Money Market and
    Derivatives Association of India (FIMMDA)/Financial Benchmark India Private
    Limited (FBIL) may come out with the list of eligible domestic money or debt
    market rates as benchmarks like G-Sec, T-Bills, MIBOR,OIS, MIFOR, IRF etc.
  • While banks, PDs and other
    regulated entities having sound financials and prudent risk management may be
    allowed as market makers subject to the approval of concerned regulator, all
    domestic entities having underlying interest rate risk may be permitted as
    users.
  • While no documentation relating
    to underlying exposure may be required for exposures up to 5 crore rupees,
    large corporate may also be allowed to take hedging positions for their anticipated
    interest rate exposures.
  • The minimum lot size of the
    contract is to be kept at 2 lakh rupees on Exchanges and on the OTC, it is 5
    crore rupees and in multiples of 5 crore rupees thereof among the market
    makers. Transactions between user and market maker may be standardized.

CSO released Advance Estimates of National Income 2015-16

  • Central Statistics Office (CSO)
    under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on 8
    February 2016 released the Advance Estimates (AE) of National Income for the
    financial year (FY) 2015-16.
  • It also released the Quarterly
    Estimates (QE) of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the third quarter (Q3)
    of the FY 2015-16.

Main highlights of Advance Estimates
  • The growth in GDP during 2015-16
    is estimated at 7.6 % as compared to the growth rate of 7.2 % in 2014- 15.
  • Real GDP or Gross Domestic
    Product (GDP) at constant (2011-12) prices in the year 2015- 16 is likely to
    attain a level of 113.51 lakh crore rupees.
  • Real Gross Value Added (GVA) or
    GVA at basic constant prices (2011-12) is anticipated to increase from 97.27
    lakh crore rupees in 2014-15 to 104.38 lakh crore rupees in 2015-16.
  • Anticipated growth of real GVA at
    basic prices in 2015-16 is 7.3 % against 7.1 % in 2014-15.
  • The sectors which are likely to
    register growth rate of over 7.0 % are financial, real estate and professional
    services, trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting,
    and manufacturing.

Vodafone launches 4G in Mumbai

  • Vodafone, country’s second
    largest telecom operator, launched its fourth generation broadband services in
    Mumbai. The service was unveiled by chief minister Devendra Phadnavis, a
    Vodafone customer himself.
  • The company launches its services
    months after Bharti Airtel launched its 4G services across 300 towns in India.
  • At the launch, Chief Minister
    Phadnavis said mobile was a key aspect of its JAM trinity (Jandhan, Aadhaar,
    Mobile) which was transforming governance. He said that he would have liked if
    Vodafone had launched 4G in Mumbai first as it was the commercial capital of
    the country.
  • Mumbai is a critical market for
    all telecom players, as it has the highest level of smartphone penetration
    (60%) and data accounts for 30% of Vodafone’s revenues in the Mumbai circle
    against 20% for the rest of the country.

Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank inks pact with NSFDC

  • Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank
    (KVGB) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with the National Scheduled
    Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC) for obtaining funds. These
    funds will be used for onward lending to Schedule Caste borrowers.
  • A press release by the bank said
    here on Wednesday that NSFDC is a fully owned public sector undertaking under
    the Union Ministry of Social Justice. The corporation assists the target group
    by way of loans, skill training, and entrepreneurship development programmes.
  • Ashok Reddy, Chairman of KVGB,
    said that MoA with NSFDC will provide easy finance for the businesses of
    Schedule Caste members with rate of interest varying from 3 per cent to 10 per
    cent per annum.
  • C Ramsesh Rao, Assistant General
    Manager of NSFDC, said the corporation would extend 100 per cent refinance to
    the bank, up to ₹2 lakh
    for the self-employment activities of persons belonging to Scheduled Caste.
  • Suryakant Ganga, General Manager
    of KVGB, and Rao of NSFDC signed the MoA in the presence of Reddy in Dharwad on
    Wednesday.

Kalyan Jewellers partners Flipkart to sell jewellery online

  • Kerala-based jewellery brand
    Kalyan Jewellers on Wednesday announced its foray in the e-commerce segment and
    will offer gold and diamond jewellery on retail major Flipkart’s e-commerce
    platform.
  • The products will be available
    from February 12, the company said in a statement.
  • Kalyan will make available its
    popular jewellery designs in gold and diamond encompassing rings, pendants,
    earrings and necklaces ranging from Rs 3,500 to Rs 2 lakh, it added.
  • Kalyan Jewellers Chairman and
    Managing Director T S Kalyanaraman said online jewellery sales is growing at
    more than 70 per cent per annum, valued at more than Rs 1,200 crore.

580 crore rupees sanctioned for construction of railway track to
connect Kolkata & Tripura via
Bangladesh

  • To connect Kolkata with Tripura
    via Bangladesh through railway, the Union Government on 10 February 2016
    sanctioned about 580 crore rupees. The money was sanctioned for constructing
    the 15-kilometer railway track between Kolkata and Tripura.
  • The project that is expected to
    be completed by 2017 will pass through Bangladesh.
  • The Agartala-Akhaura rail-link
    between Indian Railway and Bangladesh Railway will reduce the current 1700 km
    road distance between Kolkata to Agartala via Siliguri to just 350-kilometer by
    railway.
  • The project ranks high on Prime
    Minister’s ‘Act East’ Policy, and is expected to increase connectivity and
    boost trade between India and Bangladesh.

India –
9th Indo-Nepal Combined Battalion level Military Training Exercise
Surya Kiran started in Uttarakhand

  • The 9th Indo-Nepal Combined
    Battalion level Military Training Exercise Surya Kiran commenced at
    Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand on 8 February 2016.
  • The 14-day long exercise will
    take place till 21 February 2016 under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade of
    Central Command.
  • An Infantry battalion from Indian
    Army will represent the exercise while Nepalese Army is being represented by
    officers and troops of the elite Shree RudraDhoj battalion.

Sikkim to construct Mini Sikkim for showcasing state’s diverse &
rich culture

  • Sikkim’s Chief Minister Pawan
    Chamling on 9 February 2016 announced that the state government will construct
    a ‘Mini Sikkim’, which will be a centre for showcasing the state’s diverse and
    rich culture.
  • The ‘Mini Sikkim’ will be
    constructed under the Namthang Ratheypani constituency in South Sikkim
    district.
  • The announcement was made while
    inaugurating a newly constructed market at Maniram Bhanjyang in the district.
  • As per reports, the new project
    will consist of traditional houses of fifteen ethnic communities of Sikkim.
    Traditional museums will also be put in place alongside commercial outlets
    throughout the State.
  • This initiative will help the
    state in garnering domestic and international tourists throughout the year.

Days –
National Deworming Day observed on 10 February

  • India on 10 February 2016
    observed the first National Deworming Day in schools and preschools
    (anganwadis).
  • The day is observed to combat
    parasitic worm infections among preschool (anganwadi) and school-age children.
  • During this albendezole 400 mg
    chewable tablets are provided to children at government, government-aided, and
    private schools, and anganwadis. Out-of-school children will be administered
    the deworming tablet at anganwadis.
  • The albendazole tablets will be given
    free-of-cost to children.
  • The National Deworming Day will
    be followed by a mop-up day on 15 February 2016 to administer the deworming
    tablet to children who were absent from the school or anganwadi on 10
    February. 

Appointments/Resignations –
Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal quits Flipkart

  • India’s largest e-commerce
    company Flipkart has lost two key executives, including Mukesh Bansal, who led
    the commerce and advertising business after co-founder Binny Bansal took over
    as the chief executive last month.
  • Mukesh Bansal, 40, who sold his
    online fashion retailer Myntra for Rs 2,000 crore to Flipkart, confirmed his
    exit on Wednesday.
  • Flipkart on its blog said that
    its chief business officer Ankit Nagori resigned to start a sports engagement
    platform that Flipkart founders Binny and Sachin Bansal would back.

Justice Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela appointed as Chief Justice of Bombay
High Court

  • Justice Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela
    on 8 February 2016 was appointed the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
  • Justice Waghela, currently
    serving as the Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court, has been asked to assume
    charge by 16 February 2016.
  • The Bombay High Court has been
    functioning with an officiating Chief Justice since October 2015, after the
    retirement of Justice Mohit S Shah in September 2015.

Isuzu Motors India appoint Hitoshi Kono as new Deputy MD

  • Isuzu Motors India on 9 February
    announced a change in the senior management position of the company in its
    Indian operations. The Japanese company has appointed Hitoshi Kono as the new
    Deputy Managing Director, and will succeed Shigeru Wakabayashi in the country.
  • Hitoshi Kono will take on the new
    role of Deputy MD from February 14, while Wakabayashi will assume the role of
    Division COO, Isuzu Business Division, Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan.
  • Kono is currently the General
    Manager of Isuzu Asia Department at the Isuzu Business Division.
  • Wakabayashi has been instrumental
    in setting up Isuzu operations in India since 2012 when he set up a new
    manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh. Isuzu recently launched Isuzu D-MAX
    pick-up at the Auto Expo 2016.

World –
World’s largest concentrated solar plant opened in Morocco

  • The Noor Ouarzazate Solar
    Complex, world’s largest solar power plant, was opened on 4 February 2016 in
    the Souss-Massa-Drâa area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town.
  • 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.
  • Phase One of the project involved
    the construction of a 160MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant named Noor I,
    while Phase Two involved the construction of the 200MW Noor II CSP plant and
    the 150MW Noor III CSP plant, and Phase Three will involve the construction of
    the Noor IV CSP plant.
  • The World Bank partially financed
    construction of the plant through a 97 million US dollar loan from the Clean
    Technology Fund.

US President unveiled Cyber Security National Action Plan

  • The President of United States
    (US) Barack Obama on 9 February 2016 unveiled a Cyber Security National Action
    Plan.
  • The action plan called for an
    overhaul of aging government networks and a high-level commission to boost
    security awareness.
  • The action plan was unveiled on
    eve of Safer Internet Day designated by governments and technology firms to
    boost awareness on cybersecurity issues.

Main highlights of Action Plan
  • The plan seeks to address both
    short-term and long-term threats, with the goal of providing every American a
    basic level of online security.
  • Obama issued an executive order
    creating a 12-member Cybersecurity Commission to make recommendations to both
    the public and private sectors. The panel will submit the report to the
    president by 1 December 2016.
  • The plan also called for a new
    federal chief information security officer to direct cybersecurity across the
    federal government.

Lists/Indexes –
India Ranks 37th in International IP Index

  • India continues its dismal run in
    International IP Index, placed at the 37th position among 38 economies studied
    for their IP environment and commitment to innovation, by the US Chamber of
    Commerce. 
  • Patent protection in India
    remains outside of international best practices, and Indian law does not
    provide adequate enforcement mechanisms to effectively combat online piracy,
    the report said.
  • Produced by the Chamber’s Global
    Intellectual Property Center (GIPC), the study – in its fourth edition – found
    India’s score was largely unchanged from previous editions of the study.
    Venezuela finished last out of the 38 economies studied, while the United States
    was the top ranked country.
  • India’s overall score decreased
    to 7.05 as against 7.23 in the third edition. The report noted that this
    decrease was largely driven by the introduction of the Global Measure of
    Physical Counterfeiting in the current edition, in which India was ranked, 7th,
    out of the 38 economies mapped.
  • The United States topped the
    index, while UK, France, Germany and Sweden also came in ahead of Singapore.

Awards & Honors –
Four Indian-Americans selected to U.S. National Academy of Engineering

  • Four Indian-Americans have been
    selected to the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to be
    part of its new list of 80 members for their valuable contributions to the
    society.
  • Anil K. Jain, Dr. Arati
    Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr. K.R. Sridhar were formally made part of the
    NAE during a ceremony at its annual meeting, the academy announced in a
    statement on 9 February, 2016.
  • Mr. Jain, a distinguished
    professor in the department of computer science and engineering at the Michigan
    State University in East Lansing, was elected for his contributions to the
    field of engineering and practice of biometrics. An IIT-Kanpur alumnus, Mr.
    Jain’s research focuses on pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric
    recognition.
  • Dr. Prabhakar, director of the US
    Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Virginia, was chosen for
    national leadership to advance semiconductor and information technologies.
  • Mr. Thakur, who is the president
    of Thakur Services Inc. in Houston, Texas, was named a member for leadership in
    the implementation of integrated reservoir management techniques.
  • Dr. Sridhar, the principal
    co-founder and chief executive officer of Bloom Energy Corporation in
    California, was selected for the “contributions to transport phenomena and
    thermal packaging of electrochemical systems and generation of clean, reliable
    and affordable power“.




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