Current Affairs Update – 19 Feb, 2015


2. India
3. World
4. Sports

1. Banking/RBI/Finance

SBI starts Tech
Learning Centres to promote tech-banking

  • In an effort to move closer to customers and to empower
    them, the State Bank of India, India’s largest bank, launched a massive,
    customer friendly initiative, Tech Learning Centres (TLCs) across the country.
  • 385 State Bank TLCs across the length and breadth of the
    country have started holding interactive learning sessions and demos of the
    bank’s tech-channels for over ten thousand customers every month since November
  • TLCs will spread awareness of the Bank’s various tech
    channels including Cash Deposit Machines, Mobile Banking apps, Net Banking and
    Green Remit Cards, in addition to providing guidance on how to use these
    channels safely and in a secure manner.
  • This is expected to encourage more and more customers to use
    these convenient, self-service, tech- channels for their routine transactions
    instead of queuing up at branches.

Axis Bank to launch
‘Burgundy’ for HNI customers
  • Axis Bank will provide premium personalised banking services
    with dedicated managers to its affluent high net-worth individual (HNI)
    customers with preferential treatment with an intention to increase business
    from the segment.
  • The third largest private bank will launch ‘Burgundy’ to
    offer personalised end-to-end services across segments.

Samsung buys startup
  • Samsung Electronics Co has bought U.S. mobile wallet startup
    LoopPay, signalling its intention to launch a smartphone payments service to
    compete with a recent offering from rival Apple Inc.
  • Mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the United
    States and elsewhere, despite strong backing. Apple, Google, and eBay Inc’s
    PayPal have all launched services to allow users to pay in stores via

2. India

Union Government
approved Project-17A worth 8 billion US dollar
  • Union Government on 18 February 2015 approved Project-17A
    worth 8 billion US dollar. The project is aimed at building country’s most
    advanced warships. 
  • Under the Project-17A seven frigates will be built
    indigenously with stealth features to avoid easy detection.
  • The frigates under the Project-17A will be built at
    government shipyards in Mumbai and Kolkata.
  • The move is a part to boost Make in India campaign to build
    a domestic defence industrial base and reduce dependence on expensive imports
    that have made India the world’s biggest arms market.

Nuclear capable
Prithvi-II missile test-fired from Chandipur in Odisha
  • India on 19 February 2015 successfully test-fired nuclear
    weapons capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile from Chandipur-on-sea in
    Balasore district, Odisha as part of a user trial by the army.
  • The missile was tested for a shortened range of 250 km as
    against its full range of 350 km. The indigenously developed missile was
    launched by personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) from a road mobile
    launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR).
  • With a strike range of 350 km, Prithvi-II is capable of
    carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads and is thrusted by liquid propulsion
    twine engines. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering

Kalyani group forms
JV with Rafael of Israel

  • The Kalyani group, on Thursday, announced a joint venture
    with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel to develop and manufacture a
    wide range of technology and systems.
  • This is the group’s third joint venture business. In the new
    venture, the Kalyani group will hold 51 per cent stake and Rafael the balance.
    The announcement comes few months after the government’s move to increase the
    foreign direct investment cap in defence to 49 per cent.
  • This is one of the major deals under the new FDI limits.

India’s first air
quality checking Mobile App SAFAR-Air launched
  • India’s first air quality checking Mobile App, SAFAR-Air was
    launched on 17 February 2015 at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in
    Pune, Maharashtra.
  • SAFAR is an acronym for System of Air Quality Weather
    Forecasting and Research which was first launched in Delhi in 2010 during the
    Commonwealth Games. The Project Director of SAFAR is Gufran Beig.
  • The App was launched by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences
    (MoES) to provide online metro Air Quality information Service in real time.

Bihar Government
decided to grant 35% reservation for women in Non-Gazetted jobs
  • State Government of Bihar on 18 February 2015 decided to
    give 35 percent reservation to women in non-gazetted government jobs.
  • The decision was made during the state cabinet meet presided
    by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. Apart from this, the Cabinet also made 21
    more decisions.

Some of them
  • Hike in MLA development fund from the existing 2 crore
    rupees in a year to 3 crore rupees from financial year 2016
  • Approved the proposal to pay 13 months’ salary in place of
    12 months to policemen up to inspector rank

3. World –
Bharti Airtel Ltd
tied-up with UNICEF to provide education content in 17 African countries
  • Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel Limited on 18 February
    2015 tied-up with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide health,
    education and youth-focused content to its customers in 17 African countries.
  • In this regard, Bharti Airtel limited and UNICEF signed a
    partnership agreement. Their partnership is aimed at improving African
    population’s access to health and education-related information from various
    innovative projects supported by UNICEF.

India and Bangladesh
decided to step up Joint Border Patrolling
  • India and Bangladesh on 17 February 2015 decided to step up
    joint patrolling along the boundary to act against criminals and smugglers.
  • The coordinated border management plan will also help in
    enhancing cooperation between the two nations.

4. Sports

Barry Knowles appointed
as head of Youth Development Programme of Bharat FC
  • Pune-based I-League football club Bharat FC in the third
    week of February 2015 appointed English football coach Barry Knowles as head of
    its youth development programme.
  • The appointment of Barry Knowles is part of Bharat FC
    efforts to build its own training facility at Manjri and to build squads in the
    under -9, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 age groups. Another unique aspect of this youth
    setup will be that the academy will give preference to young aspirants from

5. Appointments

Indian-American Rashad Hussain
appointed US Special Envoy and Coordinator

  • Rashad Hussain (37), an Indian-American has been appointed
    Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications for
    Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to expand global engagement and
    partnerships of the US to counter violent extremism.
  • Rashad was currently serving as the Special Envoy of the US
    to Organisation for Islamic Countries (OIC). Hussain also served as Deputy
    Associate Counsel to US President Barack Obama, focusing on national security,
    new media, and science and technology issues before his role in OIC.
  • In another previous role as Director for Global Engagement
    at the National Security Council (NSC) and as a Special Assistant US Attorney
    in Washington he prosecuted criminal cases.

6. Obituaries
Producer Daggubati
Ramanaidu died

  • Noted film producer and Dada Saheb Phalke award winner
    Daggubati Ramanaidu died on 18 February 2015 in a hospital of Hyderabad. He was
  • In 2013, he was awarded with the Padma Bhushan, India’s
    third highest civilian award
  • In 2009, he received the Dadasaheb Phalke, Indian cinema’s
    highest honour

Books For 2015 Banking/Insurance Exams