Current Affairs Update – 18 Feb, 2015

3. India
4. World
6. Summit
1. RBI/Banking/Finance

RBI Lifts Ban on
Import of Gold Coins, Medallions by Banks

  • The Reserve Bank today lifted the ban on imports of gold
    coins and medallions by banks and trading houses.
  • The RBI in a notification also said banks are permitted to
    import gold on consignment basis. Domestic sales will be, however, permitted
    against upfront payment only.
  • The RBI and the government have been receiving requests for
    clarification on some of operational aspects of guidelines on import of gold
    after withdrawal of restrictions on import of the metal on November 28 last
    year, the notification said.
  • Aiming to tame the then widening current account deficit
    (CAD), the central bank in August 2013 had prohibited imports of gold coins and
    medallions besides restricting inbound shipments of the metal.
  • Under the 80:20 scheme, which was withdrawn on November 28
    last year, gold imports were linked with its exports.
  • The notification further said the obligation to export under
    the scheme will continue to apply in respect of unutilised gold imported before
    November 28, 2014.

2. Business

Snapdeal acquires
Exclusively to create ‘India’s first online luxury mall’

  • Further strengthening its fashion business, online
    marketplace today announced the acquisition of
    (formerly, the definitive online destination for premium and
    luxury fashion.
  • Under this partnership, Exclusively will complement
    Snapdeal’s existing ecosystem and will provide a consolidated offering for the
    luxury and lifestyle shopper, making it India’s first online luxury mall, the
    ecommerce major said in a press note.
  • Luxury and premium fashion brands from across the world can
    now open stores in Exclusively’s online luxury mall, which will continue to
    function as an independent site and all aspects of Exclusively’s online
    shopping experience will remain intact, with new collection and service
    augmentations in the pipeline. With its nationwide reach, Snapdeal will help
    Exclusively scale up and expand its current business and reach.

Mashable partners
with to launch ‘Mashable India’

  • Mashable, the leading media company for the Connected
    Generation, and Web Portal Limited, India’s fastest-growing and
    leading publisher of original content, on Wednesday announced their partnership
    to launch Mashable India.
  • The partnership brings Mashable together with Web
    Portal Ltd., a joint venture between Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and Zee
    Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
  • This new online destination will bring together Mashable’s
    mission of inspiring and informing its global community about how digital and
    technology are changing the world with’s strength in generating
    original content for Indian audiences and widespread reach in the Indian
    digital space.
  • Web Portal currently publishes original content
    destinations that include,,,,,, and traffic-leading portal – all together properties reach out to over 45 million
    unique visitors per month.

RUAG Aerostructures,
Tata Group signed a pact to supply components for Airbus 320
  • Europe-based RUAG Aerostructures and Tata Group firm TAL
    Manufacturing Solutions on 17 February 2015 signed a multi-year contract worth
    over 150 million US dollar.
  • Under the agreement, both the companies joined hands for the
    production and supply of aero structural components and sub-assemblies for
    Airbus 320 programme.
  • As part of the contract, TAL will manufacture and supply
    over 550 sheet metal components, machined parts and sub-assemblies to RUAG for
    Airbus A320 programme.

3. India
AERO 2015 – Bangalore

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the Aero India 2015 air
    show and exhibition on Wednesday morning at the Air Force Station Yelahanka.
    Defence Ministers or officials of equivalent ranks of six countries — the USA,
    Russia, Israel and Germany among them — were present.
  • The Indian military planes and helicopters include, the
    Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv,
    the Sukhoi-30 MkI medium fighter and the newly-purchased Pilatus basic trainer
    from the IAF and HAL stables.
  • A highly expectant Dassault of France has brought in three
    Rafale fighters: this plane is shortlisted to be bought for the IAF.
  • The air show had static and air display by various aircraft
    including fighter, transport, helicopter and aerobatic display teams.
  • While the number of aircraft participating in static and air
    displays is tentatively 72, Indian Air Force Sarang Team and air display teams
    from Sweden, UK, Czech Republic and open sky jump by USA Special Forces are
    among the major attractions.

Bihar State Cabinet
approved the inclusion of Dusadh caste in Mahadalit category
  • Bihar State Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Jitan Ram
    Manjhi on 14 February 2015 approved a proposal of state SC/ST welfare
    department to include the Dusadh (Dhari and Dhadi) caste in the Mahadalit
  • With this approval, there is no Dalit community in Bihar as
    all Dalits are now categorised as Mahadalits in the State.
  • Dusadh caste is now eligible for welfare schemes meant for

Rahul Kaiche became
first cardiac surgeon in Maharashtra to use titanium plates for coronary

  • Dr Rahul Kaiche on 17 February 2015 became first cardiac
    surgeon in Maharashtra and second surgeon in India to use titanium plates for
    Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery. He is a cardiac surgeon at
    Wockhardt hospital in Nashik.
  • He used the titanium plates instead of the traditionally
    used wires for sternal closure in Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
    surgery. The surgery was performed at the charitable Saibaba hospital in
  • He used the innovative technique of using titanium plates
    for closing the mamory sternum bone on a 64 years patient Bashir Sayyed Noor.
    For this, he used 2 H shaped and one U shaped titanium plates fitted with
    titanium screws.

4. World

China proposes
triangular partnership with India, Sri Lanka

  • Steering clear of a perception of China-India rivalry,
    Beijing has proposed at triangular partnership with India and Sri Lanka, ahead
    of a month-end visit to Beijing of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala
  • China’s new strategic construct of inclusive ties with India
    and Sri Lanka follows its advocacy of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road
    (MSR), where India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan are visualized as
    partner countries in South Asia. While India is connected to the MSR through the
    Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor, China sees Sri Lanka
    as an important point of trans-shipment in the global trade network. The
    Pakistani port of Gwadar, which is to be connected to Kashgar in China’s
    Xinjiang Province, is also one of the nodes of the MSR.

3 Indians in the
shortlisted 100 applicants for the one-way trip to Mars

  • Three Indian, two women and one man were among the
    shortlisted 100 applicants who were chosen for one-way trip to Mars under Mars
    One mission in the third week of February 2015. These Indians are Ritika Singh,
    Shradha Prasad and Taranjeet Singh Bhatia.
  • 29-year-old Taranjeet Singh Bhatia is studying Doctorate in
    Computer Science at the University of Central Florida. 29-year-old Ritika Singh
    an adventure sports lover who lives in Dubai and 19-year-old Shradha Prasad is
    from Palakkad, Kerala.
  • Mars One Project aims to set up a human colony on Mars and
    under the plan around 40 selected people will be sent to the red plant on a
    permanent basis.
  • The finalists of the plan will be trained for seven years
    before being sent on the planet.
  • The Mars One will start sending out four people at a time
    from 2024.
  • The first troop will reach the red planet in 2025.

5. Appointed

Jawed Usmani sworn-in
as Chief Information Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh

  • Former IAS officer Jawed Usmani was on 17 February 2015
    sworn-in as Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Uttar Pradesh (UP). The
    oath of office and secrecy was administered by UP Governor Ram Naik at Raj
    Bhavan, Lucknow.
  • He was sworn-in to the office after he took voluntary
    retirement as Chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Board of Revenue.
  • Jawed Usmani was appointed as UP Chief Information
    Commissioner in November 2014. But during this appointment, he was the Chairman
    of Uttar Pradesh Board of Revenue which was not in conformity with the Right to
    Information Act, 2005.
Grabar-Kitarovic sworn-in as President of Croatia

  • Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was on 15 February 2015 sworn in as
    the President of Croatia. She is Croatia’s first female President and overall
    fourth President since Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
  • In January 2015 election run-off, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
    defeated her left-wing predecessor Ivo Josipovic. In the election she had
    secured 50.5 percent of the votes while her predecessor Ivo Josipovic secured
    49.5 percent votes.
  • The Croatian president has a largely ceremonial role and has
    a five-year term.

6. Summit
5th India-Myanmar
Joint Trade Committee meet held in Nay Pyi Taw
  • The 5th India-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting
    was held in Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar on 17 February 2015.
  • India’s Minister of State for Commerce & Industry
    (Independent Charge) Nirmala Sitharaman co-chaired the meet with Myanmar’s
    Union Minister of Commerce U Win Myint.
  • Both the countries agreed to work together to remove the
    bottlenecks that hampers the bilateral trade and investment. The bottlenecks
    identified were lack of good connectivity, lack of banking arrangement both for
    regular and border trade.

First Renewable
Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo, RE-Invest 2015, held in New Delhi
  • The first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo,
    also called RE-Invest 2015, was held in New Delhi from 15 February 2015 to 17
    February 2015. The meet was organised by the Union Ministry of New and
    Renewable Energy as a follow-up to the Make in India initiative of the Prime
  • The central theme of RE-Invest is to attract large scale
    investments for the renewable energy sector in India.
  • The aim of the meet is to evolve innovative financial models
    for funding and to ensure the partnership of states and the Centre in
    harnessing renewable energy. Germany is the partner country for Re-Invest 2015.

7. Sports
Communications and Twitter partnered for ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
  • Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications (RCom) on 17
    February 2015 inked a deal with micro blogging site Twitter to allow its
    subscribers to access it for free and stay connected and engaged during the
    six-week ICC World Cup 2015.
  • As per the deal, RCom customers can engage with players,
    commentators and celebrities, watch exclusive pictures and videos, remain
    updated with the latest scores without incurring any data charges.
  • Further the deal will allow customers without twitter
    accounts to access cricket-related tweets by logging on to on their mobile phones throughout the duration of this
    global event between 13 February and 31 March 2015.

8. Obituaries

Veteran cartoonist
Rajinder Puri passed away

  • Veteran cartoonist, columnist and political activist
    Rajinder Puri passed away on 15 February 2015 in New Delhi following a brief
    illness. He was 80.
  • Rajinder Puri was famously known for his cartoons that
    critiqued and assessed political events through amazing perception. He was
    associated with various newspapers including The Hindustan Times and The
    Statesman as a cartoonist and writer.
  • Rajinder Puri authored many books which includes India 1969:
    a crisis of conscience (1971), India the wasted years: 1969-1975 (1975),
    Government that works and how! (1989), Recovery of India (1992), Bull’s Eye
  • Rajinder Puri moved into politics in 1977 when he was
    General Secretary of the then Janata Party. Later he became the founder General
    Secretary of Lok Dal. Since 1988, he has not been attached to any political

Bollywood Actor
Ashraful Haque passed away

  • Bollywood actor Ashraful Haque passed away on 17 February
    2015 at a private hospital in Andheri East, Mumbai after suffering from
    Myelodysplastic Syndrome. He was 46. Haque is survived by his wife and a son.
  • Ashraful Haque was famously known for his roles in the
    movies Delhi Belly and Fukrey. The actor performed more than 30 Indian plays
    and acted in over approximately 30 films apart from his Telly Serials and Ad
  • He played the lead role in the national award-winning film
    The Lost Behrupiya in 2013.