General - Current Affairs for February, 2016

General Current Affairs for February, 2016

Month wise coverage of General Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

Preparing General Current Affairs February, 2016

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  • Month & Year   
▼ India has third highest child mortality rate among SAARC Nations: World Bank    [02-26-16]

According to World Bank data, India has the third highest child mortality rate among SAARC nations with 48 deaths reported per 100 live births and according to the data, country’s under 5 mortality rate is 48 per 100 live births. Pakistan (81) and Afghanistan (91) are higher still. According to ORGI, the U5MR, estimated as number of child deaths per 1000 live births, was 85, 77, 59, 55, 52 and 49 in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

▼ River Information System to be launched: GoI   [02-26-16]

GoI has proposed to launch a River Information System akin to ATC which will combine tracking and meteorological equipment with specialised software to increase traffic and transport processes within inland navigation apart from swift e-data exchange between mobile vessels and shore base stations through real time exchange of data. Navigational aids are also provided to guide the vessel during navigation and Inland Waterways Authority of India has been taken up on National Waterway 1 on River Ganga in 3 phases. Vessels plying on National waterways will be made compatible with RIS.

▼ India to conduct first ever major multinational war exercise Force18   [02-26-16]

This exercise will be held in Pune with 18 ASEAN Plus members including South Korea, Japan, Russia, China and the US, This is in line with the Act East Policy to learn and share best practices of other armies in the world and display commitment for peace in the region. The theme of Force18, which will be held from March 2nd to 8th, is humanitarian mine action and peacekeeping operations. Foreign trainers will be participating in this exercise too.

▼ NFAI under Ministry of I&B organises first workshop on film preservation and restoration   [02-26-16]

National Film Archives of India under the I&B Ministry in association with International Federation of Film Archives and Film Heritage Foundation has organised a unique first of its kind initiative , a 10 day international workshop on film preservation and restoration at Pune’s NFAI campus, commencing from 26th February. 48 participants have enrolled for this workshop which will examine theory and practice on numerous techniques related to film conservation, digitization, restoration and film archiving. This is in furtherance of the National Film Heritage Mission.

▼ INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear armed submarine ready for operations   [02-25-16]

The submarine has passed deep see driving drills and weapons launch test and is the first of five SSBNS planned for induction.  This is the lead ship of its class and the 6000 tonne vessel was constructed under the Advanced Technology Vessel project at Vizag’s Ship Building Centre. Arihant was launched in 2009 at the Kargil War Victory Day or Vijay Diwas anniversary. Arihant has 4 vertical launch tubes which carry 12 smaller missiles/4 larger missiles.

▼ 18th Mercer Annual Quality of Living survey finds Hyderabad to be best Indian city   [02-25-16]

The survey was released on 23rd February and was conducted on 230 cities. It helps companies and organizations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It is compiled by Mercer which set that the highest quality of life was offered by Vienna while the lowest quality was Baghdad. & Indian cities with their ranks are provided below:

  • Hyderabad-139
  • Pune – 144
  • Bangalore – 145
  • Chennai – 150
  • Mumbai – 152
  • Kolkata – 160
  • New Delhi – 61

▼ 5th edition of IBSAMAR exercise kicks off   [02-25-16]

The war exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked off on 19th February 2016 at Goa and will conclude on 29th February 2016. This marks the first time the exercise is being conducted in Indian waters, with previous editions being held in South Africa. The main aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the 3 navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The thrust of exercises at sea in 2016 will be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface firings, Air Defences, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Flying Operations, Search and Rescue and tactical procedures.

▼ MP’s Katni to have India’s longest railway bridge   [02-24-16]

This bridge is 14 km on the up line, almost three and half times longer than Vembanad rail bridge in Kerala that connects Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi and is 4.62 km long. Called Katni grade separator, down line of the bridge would be of 7 km. Its total length would be 21 km up and down side. CCEA has cleared the project. Good and cargo trains as well as passenger trains will benefit from this move.

▼ India emerges world’s largest arms importer: SIPRI   [02-24-16]

As per the latest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on international arms purchases India is the world’s largest arms importer accounting for 14% of the global imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe. India’s arms imports remain 3 times greater than those of its rivals China and Pakistan. Its biggest suppliers are Russia, the US, Israel and France. China which has emerged as the world’s third largest arms exporter after U.S. and Russia has raised its exports of major arms by 88% between 2006-2010 as well as 2011-2015 and concurrently China’s global share of arms exports rose from 3.6 to 5.9 per cent.

▼ VVPAT to stage a comeback in general elections 2019   [02-24-16]

By 2019, EC holds that whole country will be covered by paper audit trail machines. Such machines also called Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail were first introduced in 2013 to ensure transparency and precision in the voting process. One polling takes place, VVPAT linked EVM takes a printout and preserves it for later use to tally when there is dispute in the final result.

▼ Empowered Group of State Transport Ministers formed under Shri. Yunus Khan   [02-23-16]

Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari has announced formation of an Empowered Group of State Transport Ministers to advise on policy issues to make the country’s transport sector modern, efficient and transparent. The Empowered Group will be headed by Shri Yunus Khan, the PWD and Transport Minister of Rajasthan. The group will focus on making India’s road transportation system efficient, practical and cost effective as well as safe.

▼ Bihar joins UDAY   [02-23-16]

Bihar signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the Scheme UDAY – “Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana” for operational and financial turnaround of the DISCOMs. The distribution utilities of the country are currently reeling under heavy debt burden. As on 30th September, 2015, the outstanding debt of the DISCOMs stood at Rs.4.3 lakh crore.

▼ Pope Francis calls for worldwide ban on death penalty   [02-22-16]

Pope Francis on 21st February 2016 called for a worldwide ban on the death penalty, saying the commandment "You shall not kill" was just as valid for the guilty as for the innocent. He called on politicians worldwide to work for cessation of executions during the Holy Year of the Church. This year ends in November 2016.

▼ CSIR-CEERI develops Ksheer Scanner    [02-22-16]

The Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute has developed a technology called Ksheer Scanner for tackling health hazards due to milk adulteration. India ranks number 1 for milk production and contributes a total of 18% of the world’s milk. It is estimated that 60% of this milk is contained. Ksheer Scanner detects the above identified adulterants in milk and is a low cost portable system with user friendly features. It can detect contaminants in a given sample in just 45 seconds at the cost of 50p. Apart from this CSIR-CEERI has also developed the Ksheer Analyser, Ksheer Tester and Ksheer Scanner Plus.

▼ Fiji residents face cyclone Winston   [02-22-16]

This cyclone tore through the Pacific Island chain prompting a national curfew and month long state of disaster. Speeds from the cyclone were estimated at 177 miles per hour and cyclone was tracked across northern coast of main island, Viti Levu. Though not directly in the cyclone’s path. Fiji’s capital Suva was experiencing high winds. Government has also declared a state of national disaster for 30 full days.

▼ MoU signed between MoD and Skill Development Network (SDN) Trust for Collaboration on Technical and Program Management Support   [02-22-16]

MoU was signed for supporting MoD’s skill development programmes. Close to 60,000 young service personnel retire each year and the skill development programme assists in job creation opportunities for them. SDN Trust will provide the programme management support to MOD in its Skill Development initiatives like successful launch National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) based skill training to ESM, supporting NSQF compliant training programmes through Ordinance Factory Boards (OFBs), Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs) and introduction of vocational education in schools manned by defence forces.

▼ MoPNG establishes IIPE at Vizag   [02-19-16]

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, GoI has established Indian Institute of Petroleum and Energy Vishakhpatnam as per the Andhra praised Reorganisation act 2014. The MoU has been signed between Andhra University and IIPE to commence in the academic year 2016-2017 and is for 3 years till IIPE sets up its own infrastructure. MoU is facilitated by HPCL.

▼ Homi Bhabha National Institute gets approval to form NISER   [02-19-16]

Mumbai based Homi Bhabha National Institute has been accorded approval by HRD ministry to commence an off campus centre at Bhubaneswar entitled National Institute of Science Education and Research/ NISER with prospective effect. Ministry has issued a notification in regard to this with the UGC.

▼ 7th joint military training exercise LAMITYE commences   [02-17-16]

This is a two week long exercise being conducted between SPDF and Indian Forces at Seychelles Defence Academy located in Seychelles’s Victoria city. LAMITYE means friendship in Creole and aims to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries. It is the 7th biannual exercise since its 2001 inception.

▼ Swachh Survekshan surveys 73 Indian cities for cleanliness   [02-17-16]

73 cities were surveyed by the Swachh Survekshan 2016 survey announced by the Ministry of Urban Development. 15 cities scoring more than 70% of total market (2000) were categorised as leading cities whereas 20 cities were placed in the 60 to 70 percent category as Aspiring Leaders. Those in the range of 40 to 60 percent are cities which need to accelerate efforts and those below 50% were termed Slow Movers. The top 10 cities leading the survey were:
1. Mysuru
2. Chandigarh
3. Tiruchirapalli
4. New Delhi Municipal council
5. Visakhapatnam
6. Surat
7. Rajkot
8. Gangtok
9. Pimprichindwad
10. Greater Mumbai

▼ Jharkhand’s first Mega Food Park set up in Ranchi   [02-16-16]

In order to give an impetus to Food Processing Sector in Jharkhand, the first Mega Food Park in the State promoted by M/s. Jharkhand Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. at Village Getalsud, District Ranchi has been set up. It was inaugurated by Minister Harsmirat Kaur Badal who informed the Mega Food Park has been set up with the project cost of Rs. 114.73 crore in an area of 51.50 Acres. The park will have facilities of Multi Chamber Cold Storage, Dry Warehouse, Vegetable Dehydration Line, modern Quality Control& Testing Laboratory and other processing facilities for fruits & vegetables. It will provide direct and indirect employment to about 6000 people and benefit about 25,000-30,000 farmers within its catchment area.

▼ UK Sinha to remain SEBI Chairman till March 2017   [02-16-16]

UK Sinha will remain the SEBI chairman till March 2017 with the government on 15th February extending his term by a single year. Sinha’s current term was to end on February 17th. His extension was approved by the Cabinet Appointments Committee headed by Indian PM Narendra Modi. SEBI has implemented numerous capital market reforms during Sinha’s turn as SEBI Chairman.

▼ Dubai to move ahead with Mall of the World project, world’s largest shopping mall   [02-15-16]

Dubai has announced that it will be building what is the world’s largest shopping mall. Mall of the World covering 8 million square feet of shopping space connected to theme parks and over 100 hotels has been announced. The first phase (one fourth of the project) will be completed before the Dubai Expo 2020 exhibition. Total estimated bill is around USD 22 billion.

▼ Nidar, India’s lightest gun launched   [02-15-16]

India’s lightest gun Nidar was recently launched by a state run arms factory. It weighs 250 grams and costs USD 513. Nirbheek is India’s first gun for women and costs INR 122,360 rupees. Nidar is made out of aluminium alloy which ensures it is light yet has strength similar to steel. Both Nirbhaya and Nirbheek are synonyms of Nirbhaya, the India’s press’s name for 23 year old Jyoti Singh, the victim of the December 2012 gangrape.

▼ Tithal Beach in Valsad to become India’s first disabled friendly beach   [02-15-16]

Tithal Beach in Valsad district in Gujarat is set to become India’s first disabled friendly beach in the nation. Preparations are on to leave open a 1 km stretch of the beach by June to have disabled friendly amenities and facilities. Construction on the beach spanning 3 km will be made in two phases for ensuring disabled friendly amenities.

▼ National Framework for Malaria Elimination launched by Health Ministry   [02-12-16]

Health Minister JP Nadda has launched the NFME or National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 which defines India’s strategy for eliminating this disease by 2030. NFME document defines goals, objectives, strategies, targets and timelines and will serve as a roadmap for advocating and planning malaria elimination in the country in a phased manner. NFME 2016-2030 also defined key apaches such as programme phasing and categorisation of states or UTs with API as the main criterion. Elimination of Malaria will result in lowering expenditure on disease control and lessons from polio and tetanus elimination can prove valuable for eradicating malaria.

▼ Widespread groundwater decline in bread basket states   [02-12-16]

The northern bread basket states have experienced a groundwater decline. Around 15% of the Indian foodgrains is being produced in the states, Of the 6607 ground water assessment units, around 1071 are over exploited. This means that withdrawal of ground water is greater than the recharge within a particular unit. Currently 914 units are in varied stages of ground water criticality. NAQUIM has revealed that around 1.04 lakh has been mapped and management plans have been prepared for approximately 82,000 sq.kms.

▼ Chettinad cotton saree wins India Handloom tag   [02-10-16]

Chettinad cotton saree during the first week of February 2016 won the India Handloom tag for unique design and identity. The Amarar Rajiv Gandhi Handloom Weaver’s Cooperative Society which produces these sarees will also come up with brand as well as logo for marketing the product, following Ministry authorisation. The Chettinad cotton saree also called knandaangi has bold checks, stripes and hues with a vibrancy that is refreshing.

▼ Project Sunrise launched in NE states   [02-8-16]

Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has just launched Project Sunrise for AIDS prevention in 8 NE states. Project is funded by CDC of the US and will be implemented in NE in addition to NACO programmes. AIDS prevention special programme for NE will be implemented in 20 districts of the 8 NE states. New initiative will cover over 1 lakh people.

▼ Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage ratified by India   [02-8-16]

Instrument of Ratification of the Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage 1997 was submitted to the IAEA by India’s Permanent Rep in Vienna, R. Misra. Instrument is a multilateral treaty for liability and compensation due to nuclear incidents. It will come into force from May 2016.