Friday, February 19, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 19th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 19th February, 2016. These are important for the upcoming Bank and Insurance Exams.



Current Affairs at a Glance - 19th February, 2016
  1. The government has appointed West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra as the chairman of the goods and services (GST) panel, a move that came three months after the previous head, former Kerala finance minister K M Mani, resigned in November 2015. The move comes just ahead of the Budget session, which starts from Tuesday.
  2. City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) inked 11 MoUs worth Rs 30,000 crore for the development of Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) projects, including Khalapur Smart City, during the just concluded Make In India Week.
  3. Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) has signed an MoU with Jaina Mobiles Industries for setting up of an Electronics Cluster in Industrial Model Township (IMT) Sohna, district Mewat, Haryana.
  4. State-run equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) on 18 February 2016 commissioned a 270 MW generation unit at the Goindwal Sahib Thermal Power Project of private producer GVK Power & Infra in Punjab.
  5. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on 18 February 2016 sanctioned construction of around eighty two thousand houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in urban areas of 163 cities. The cities are in West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, Mizoram, Rajashtan, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand. State wise number of houses sanctioned  West Bengal - 27830 houses, Telangana22817, Bihar13315, Mizoram8922, Rajasthan6052, Jharkhand2337, Uttarakhand484.
  6. Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy on 16 February 2016 signed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) at the Tri-Service Headquarters in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  7. With the President's rule having been lifted in Arunachal Pradesh, dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul is set to be sworn in as the state's new Chief Minister tonight.
  8. Kajol appointed as part-time member of the Prasar Bharati Board till November 2021, sources said.
  9. The AP Government has appointed K Narasimha Murthy as Advisor (Financial Services) in the rank of Special Chief Secretary.
  10. Information technology (IT) major Infosys has appointed Michael Pesch as chief executive officer (CEO) of Infosys Consulting Holding AG (formerly Infosys Lodestone), effective April 1.
  11. Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski passed away on 17 February 2016 in Warsaw, Poland after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75. Zulawski was known for an idiosyncratic approach to storytelling and blending surrealism, horror and psychic excess in the emotionally savage films like That Most Important Thing: Love, Possession and My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days. 




Finance/Industry/Economy –

Amit Mitra Named Chairman of GST Committee of State FMs


  • The government has appointed West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra as the chairman of the goods and services (GST) panel, a move that came three months after the previous head, former Kerala finance minister K M Mani, resigned in November 2015. The move comes just ahead of the Budget session, which starts from Tuesday.
  • Confirming the development, minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha expressed hope that the Constitution amendment Bill on GST would be passed by Parliament in the Budget session.
  • With this, the tradition to have the finance minister of an opposition-ruled state to be the head of the empowered committee of state finance ministers has been maintained.
  • The committee is to deliberate on the GST exemption thresholds and GST Bill.
  • A panel, headed by chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, had suggested a higher GST exemption threshold of Rs 75 lakh annual turnover against Rs 50 lakh recommended by the Centre.
  • States are divided on the limits, with most including Karnataka seeking a lower exemption limit of Rs 10 lakh annual turnover.
  • The empowered committee also has to discuss the GST law and business processes for payments, refunds and return filing.


CIDCO inks MoUs worth Rs 30,000 crore during Make in India Week


  • City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) inked 11 MoUs worth Rs 30,000 crore for the development of Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA) projects, including Khalapur Smart City, during the just concluded Make In India Week.
  • Addressing a press conference at CIDCO headquarters in Navi Mumbai yesterday, its MD and vice-chairman Sanjay Bhatia said 11 MoUs have been signed during the week, which concluded yesterday, for the development of NAINA pilot project in Navi Mumbai, which also includes integrated township Khalapur Smart City.
  • The MoUs were signed in the presence of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Bhatia said, adding the minister on the occasion congratulated Khalapur, Kalote Mokashi and Nadode gram panchayats, representing 11 villages, under the project.
  • CIDCO also inked an MoU with Transparency International India to combat corruption and for effective governance.
  • Bhatia said CIDCO has taken the initiative to work with Transparency International India to maintain transparency in governance under which CIDCO employees, suppliers and vendors will be given specialised trainings.
  • Some of the MoUs signed by the corporation were with Paradise Lifespaces LLP (Rs 3,000 crore), Citygold & Research Ltd (Rs 2,000 crore), Marathon Group (Rs 4,960 crore), Wadhwa Constructions and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (Rs 10,000 crore).


HSIIDC signs MoU for setting up of electronics cluster in Haryana

  • Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) has signed an MoU with Jaina Mobiles Industries for setting up of an Electronics Cluster in Industrial Model Township (IMT) Sohna, district Mewat, Haryana.
  • Disclosing this here today, Captain Abhimanyu, industries minister for Haryana, informed that the MoU has been signed by Sudhir Rajpal , IAS, managing director, HSIIDC and Pradeep Jain, managing director of M/s Jaina Mobiles Industries.
  • This project would generate investment of over Rs.1,000 Crore and would also generate employment for up to 40,000 people.


BHEL commissioned 270 MW unit of Goindwal Sahib Thermal Power Project in Punjab


  • State-run equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) on 18 February 2016 commissioned a 270 MW generation unit at the Goindwal Sahib Thermal Power Project of private producer GVK Power & Infra in Punjab.
  • Thermal sets of 270 MW rating are in-house improvisations of the 210/250 MW sets supplied by the company earlier, which currently form the backbone of the Indian power sector and have been performing much above the national average as well as international benchmarks.
  • All the operational sets of 210-270 MW class in Punjab have been supplied, erected and commissioned by BHEL, i.e., six units of 210 MW at Ropar, 2 units of 210 MW and 2 units of 250 MW at Bhatinda, besides 270 MW Unit at Goindwal Sahib.


India –

Union Government nod for building of 82000 houses for poor in urban areas of 163 cities


  • The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation on 18 February 2016 sanctioned construction of around eighty two thousand houses for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in urban areas of 163 cities.

The cities are in West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, Mizoram, Rajashtan, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand. State wise number of houses sanctioned 
  1. West Bengal - 27830 houses
  2. Telangana – 22817
  3. Bihar – 13315
  4. Mizoram – 8922
  5. Rajasthan – 6052
  6. Jharkhand—2337
  7. Uttarakhand - 484

  • According to the Ministry, the construction will involve an investment of over four thousand crore rupees, of which, the Union Government will provide an assistance of 1226 crore rupees. These 1226 crore rupees will be provided under the Prime Minister's Awas Yojana (Urban).


Standard Operating Procedure for India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol signed

  • Indian Navy and Myanmar Navy on 16 February 2016 signed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) at the Tri-Service Headquarters in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • With this signing of SOP, Myanmar became the third country with which India has signed a formal agreement for maritime coordinated patrols.
  • The signing of SOP reflects growing naval interaction between India and Myanmar. It will facilitate smooth conduct of coordinated patrols between two neighbours that share a long maritime boundary in the strategically significant Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.



Appointments –

Kalikho Pul to be sworn in as Arunachal Pradesh CM today


  • With the President's rule having been lifted in Arunachal Pradesh, dissident Congress leader Kalikho Pul is set to be sworn in as the state's new Chief Minister tonight.
  • The swearing in ceremony is set to take place at the Raj Bhavan at 9 pm tonight in Itanagar.
  • The Union cabinet had on Wednesday decided to recommend revocation of President's rule in the state but within hours the Supreme Court ordered that status quo be maintained till it examined records on the disqualification of the 14 rebel MLAs.
  • The revolt by Congress rebels led to a political crisis in the state that finally led to imposition of President's Rule on January 26.


Kajol appointed as part-time member of the Prasar Bharati Board


  • The actress, known for starring in hit films like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Baazigar, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai etc, will serve as a part-time member on the Board till November 2021, sources said.
  • Among the key matters that would be taken up at the meeting is the appointment of the DGs of Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) which have been functioning under interim heads for close to a year.
  • Recently, the interim chief of Doordarshan, C Lalrosanga, had also put in his papers citing personal reasons.
  • Apart from Kajol, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has also appointed Shashi Shekhar Vempati, who heads an online media company, to the Board.


AP govt appoints Narasimha Murthy as Advisor (Financial Services)

  • The AP Government has appointed K Narasimha Murthy as Advisor (Financial Services) in the rank of Special Chief Secretary.
  • A chartered accountant and member on board of financial institutions, the 58-year-old, Narasimha Murthy has already been working as Chairman of Financial Ponzy Schemes and Member of Fiscal Management Committee of the State.
  • He is associated with the development of Cost & Management Information Systems for more than 175 companies covering more than 50 Industries, a press release stated.


Michael Pesch appointed CEO of Infosys Consulting Holding


  • Information technology (IT) major Infosys has appointed Michael Pesch as chief executive officer (CEO) of Infosys Consulting Holding AG (formerly Infosys Lodestone), effective April 1.
  • He will focus on expanding the reach of Infosys consultants and experts in digital transformation and design-led innovation, as well as increasing Infosys' expertise in large-scale SAP programmes, the company said in a statement.
  • He will also serve as the regional head for the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) countries, bringing an integrated approach to IT transformation to every client engagement in the region.
  • Infosys said Pesch brings with him more than two decades of experience in global consulting and management roles and till very recently served as CEO of arvato Systems Group.


Awards & Honors –

Eastern Command received Raksha Mantri’s Trophy for Best Service Hospital

  • The Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Kolkata, on 18 February 2016 was awarded with the Best Service Hospital. The Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar presented the trophy and citation to the hospital’s Commandant Major General TS Ahluwalia in the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) in Kolkata.
  • The trophy for the Second Best Hospital was presented to INHS Asvini, Mumbai, which was received by its Commandant Surgeon Rear Admiral AA Pawar.


Obituaries –

Former West Indies cricketer Andy Ganteaume died

  • Andy Ganteaume, the former West Indies and Trinidad & Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman, passed away on 17 February 2016 in Santa Margarita, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. He was 95.
  • Ganteaume was West Indies' oldest living Test cricketer, and the world's second oldest, after South Africa's Lindsay Tuckett.
  • He scored 112 in his only Test innings, which left him with highest Test batting average in history.


Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski passed away


  • Polish film director Andrzej Zulawski passed away on 17 February 2016 in Warsaw, Poland after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75.
  • Zulawski was known for an idiosyncratic approach to storytelling and blending surrealism, horror and psychic excess in the emotionally savage films like That Most Important Thing: Love, Possession and My Nights Are More Beautiful Than Your Days. 
  • Zulawski went to France when his second feature The Devil was banned in Poland. After the success of That Most Important Thing: Love in 1975, he returned to Poland where he spent two years making On the Silver Globe.






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