Current Affairs Update – 21st Feb, 2015


1. Banking/Insurance
2. India
3. World
4. Sports
5. Days
6. Awards
7. Obituaries

Banking/Insurance –

IRDAI directs SBI
Life to refund
` 275 crore excess
  • Directing private life insurer SBI Life Insurance Company
    Ltd. to refund excess commission of `
    275.29 crore to policy holders, the Indian insurance regulator on Friday
    reiterated that it has necessary powers to pass such an order under the
    Insurance Act.
  • In a letter to SBI Life, the chairman of Insurance
    Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) T.S. Vijayan directed the
    insurer to implement its March 2014 order to refund ` 275.29 crore of excess commission to
    the policy holders.
  • The SBI Life is a 74:26 joint venture between State Bank of
    India (SBI) and BNP Paribas Cardif of France.
  • Throwing out the contention of the private life insurer that
    the regulator does not have the power to issue directions, the IRDAI said
    Section 34 of the Insurance Act enables it to issue directions to any insurer
    to prevent actions that are detrimental to the interests of policy holders.

State Bank of India
to finance small tea growers in NE

  • State Bank of India (SBI) will provide finance totaling ` 100 crore benefiting
    3,000 small tea growers in the North East soon, a senior official of the public
    sector bank said today.
  • Finance will be provided to tea growers who have proper
    basic documents of their existing garden as per Tea Board of India norms, SBI
    Eastern Range Circle Chief General Manager Sanjay Kumar Magoo told reporters
  • The finance will be for all sections of small growers to
    establish mini-bought tea leaf factories and buying vehicles for transporting
    green leaves, Magoo said.
  • As an example Sikkim has already taken the front seat in the
    tourism sector, he said, adding that Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal
    could be equally attractive places both naturally and geographically for

2. India
PDP, BJP to form
J&K government jointly

  • After two months of talks between the BJP and PDP on forming
    the government in Jammu and Kashmir, sources in both the parties confirmed that
    the two have finalised the deal and will soon announce the government
  • Since the elections results announced a hung verdict in the
    last week of December, the PDP and BJP, formerly seen as political parties with
    completely opposite political positions and agendas, have been in talks with
    each other to form the Government, ignoring all the other options for
  • According to sources, the two have had more than 15 rounds
    of talks during which, at many times, the two parties – in order to pander to
    their respective constituencies – behaved as if the attempts at stitching up
    the coalition were falling through.
  • Head of PDP:  Mufti
    Mohammad Sayeed

2 women join Sarang
team for the FIRST TIME

  • For the first time, two women are part of the Sarang team of
    the Indian Air Force, a show-stopping helicopter-formation team that is
    performing at the Aero India show under way here.
  • Squadron Leader Deepika Misra and Flight Lieutenant Sandeep
    Singh, an engineering officer, hope that one day, there will be an all-woman
    quartet in the squad, whose name means peacock.
  • In a major policy shift in 2010, the IAF allowed women
    pilots to fly twin-engine medium to heavy-lift helicopters. When the IAF sought
    women pilots to volunteer for the Sarang team, she jumped at the chance and was
    among the first to be inducted into the indigenous Advanced Light Helicopter
    squad. She joined its formation unit last July as its first woman IAF pilot.
  • Soon, Flt. Lt. Sandeep Singh will join her as engineering
    officer of the unit. She and six other officers should keep the metal birds in
    good condition at all times (a few other women have joined the Mi-8 and Mi-17
    class of helicopters.)

MoU to provide vocational training to unemployed youth
  • The Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) on 20
    February 2015 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Monitoring
    Cell for Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs).
  • KVIC is under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small &
    Medium Enterprises and RSETI is under the Union Ministry of Rural Development.
  • The MoU was signed by BH Anil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer
    (CEO) & Commissioner for KVIC and KN Janardhana, Chief Project Co-ordinator
    of Monitoring Cell for RSETIs.
  • The MoU was signed to enhance the business skills and
    project-related skills of the beneficiaries under Prime Minister’s Employment
    Generation Programme (PMEGP) and improve the viability of the PMEGP project
    which is being implemented by KVIC.

World –
Parliament of
Thailand passed a law to ban commercial surrogacy for foreigners
  • Parliament of Thailand (National Legislative Assembly) on 19
    February 2015 passed a law banning commercial surrogacy, putting a halt on
    foreign couples seeking to have children through Thai surrogate mothers. The
    parliament voted 160 to 2 to pass the law.
  • The legislation is aimed at ending rent-a-womb industry that
    made the Southeast Asian country a top destination for fertility tourism.
  • It completely bans foreign couples seeking to have children through
    Thai surrogate mothers.

UNSC adopted
Resolution 2201 demanding Houthis withdrawal from Yemen’s government
  • United Nation Security Council (UNSC) on 15 February 2015
    adopted the Resolution 2201 demanding immediate and unconditional withdrawal of
    Houthis from the government institutions of Yemen.
  • The resolution was brought after the UN Secretary-General
    Ban ki-Moon had warned the 15-member UNSC that Yemen was collapsing under the
    weight of a protracted political crisis, widespread attacks by Al-Qaida,
    increasing secessionist tendencies in the south and an acute humanitarian
  • The resolution demanded Houthis to safely release President
    Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and all others from house arrest, and engage in good
    faith in UN-brokered negotiations designed to keep the fracturing Middle
    Eastern country on a steady path towards democratic transition.

First India-US space
security dialogue to be held in March
  • The first India-US Space Security Dialogue would be held in
    early March in New Delhi, the State Department has said.
  • The US Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control,
    Verification and Compliance, Frank Rose, would lead the US delegation for the
    important talks, the decision on which was taken after the maiden meeting
    between the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and the US President Barack Obama, at
    the White House in September last year.
  • Rose would be in India from March 5 to March 9, the State
    Department had said yesterday.

Sports –

West Indies beat
Pakistan by 150 runs

  • Pakistan suffered their second consecutive loss as they were
    handed a crushing 150-run defeat by the West Indies who rode on Andre Russell’s
    all-round show in a completely one-sided cricket World Cup match here on
  • Russell smashed 42 runs of just 13 balls at the far end of
    West Indies innings, hitting three fours and four sixes, after half centuries
    from Denesh Ramdin (51) and Lendl Simmons (50) to help his side score a
    challenging 310 for 6 after being put into bat.
  • Pakistan, on the other hand, dished out a listless
    performance in all departments of the game to slump to their second defeat in
    the tournament. They had lost to arch-rivals India by 76 runs in their campaign
    opener on February 15.

Days –

International Mother
Language Day observed on February 21
  • International Mother Language Day 2015 was celebrated across
    the world on 21 February 2015. The theme for the year 2015 is Inclusive
    Education through and with Language – Language Matters.
  • The year 2015 is the 15th anniversary of International
    Mother Language Day.
  • The day is observed every year since February 2000 to
    promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the
    General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
    Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999.

Awards –
Indian-American Wins
Prestigious Chemistry Award

  • An Indian-American, who developed an environment friendly
    field analyser for checking toxic arsenic levels in water, has been awarded a
    prestigious award for his special contribution in the field of chemistry.
  • Purnendu Dasgupta, a Jenkins Garrett professor of chemistry
    at The University of Texas at Arlington, has been awarded the 2015 American
    Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award.
  • The national award recognises a scientist, who has enhanced
    the professional development of analytical chemistry students, developed and
    published innovative experiments, designed and improved equipment or teaching
    labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching
    analytical chemistry.

Obituaries –

Eminent filmmaker
Nirad Mahapatra passed away
  • Eminent Odia filmmaker Nirad Mahapatra passed away on 19
    February 2015 in Mumbai following a brief illness. He was 67.
  • As a film-maker, Mahapatra was best known for his cultural,
    ecological and industrial documentaries. He was an alumni of the Film and
    Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
  • Mahapatra gained international fame with his very first film
    Maya Miriga in 1984. The film was awarded Rajat Kamal at the National Film
    Awards. Later, it also won a special jury award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Books For 2015 Banking/Insurance Exams

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