Monday, February 01, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 1st February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 1st February, 2016. These are crucial for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 1st February, 2016
  1. State Bank of India (SBI) today launched a new home loan scheme which will enable young working professionals to get higher amount than they are eligible for. Under the scheme, 'SBI FlexiPay Home Loan', the additional loan amount will help such professionals.
  2. Union Ministry of Shipping exported a batch of six metro coaches to Australia on 29 January 2016 from Mumbai. The shipment was made as part of a deal with Australian government to export 450 made-in-India coaches in two and a half year period.
  3. Telecom regulator TRAI has recommended a public private partnership (PPP) model for rolling out government’s ambitious project BharatNet — which involves setting up of a broadband network in rural India.
  4. The government today banned duty- free import of capital goods for power generation and transmission projects under the EPCG Scheme.
  5. India, Afghanistan Ink Pact for Visa-Free Travel by Diplomats
  6. Vietnam has formally lifted the ban on import of Indian groundnut, thereby providing market access after nine months.
  7. Senior IFS officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi was on 29 January 2016 appointed as India’s Ambassador to Mexico.
  8. Kamlesh Kumar Pandey on 28 January 2016 was appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) for a period of three years.
  9. German retailer METRO Cash & Carry has appointed Arvind Mediratta, a former Walmart Executive as its India managing director, replacing Rajeev Bakshi.
  10. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on 29 January 2016 was selected for the prestigious K Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2015.
  11. Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was appointed as mentor of the Kings XI Punjab team for season 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL) on 1 February 2016.



Finance/Economy/Banking –

SBI launches new home loan scheme "FlexiPay" for working executives


  • State Bank of India (SBI) today launched a new home loan scheme which will enable young working professionals to get higher amount than they are eligible for.
  • Under the scheme, 'SBI FlexiPay Home Loan', the additional loan amount will help such professionals in acquiring better and spacious living spaces for themselves and their families, the country's largest lender said in a statement here.
  • To lower the impact of such additional loan amount on monthly repayments in form of EMIs, the customers availing of loan under the scheme will also be offered the option of paying only interest during the moratorium (pre-EMI) period of 3 to 5 years. Thereafter, they will pay moderated EMIs.


India exported six metro train coaches to Australia


  • Union Ministry of Shipping exported a batch of six metro coaches to Australia on 29 January 2016 from Mumbai. The shipment was made as part of a deal with Australian government to export 450 made-in-India coaches in two and a half year period.
  • The coaches were made in Baroda manufacturing plant. It created a history in the India's manufacturing sector in exports as it is first of its kind.
  •  The shipment was made from Mumbai port as it holds supremacy in handling of oversized precious cargo.


Trai recommends PPP model to roll out rural broadband network “BharatNet”


  • Telecom regulator Trai has recommended a public private partnership (PPP) model for rolling out government’s ambitious project BharatNet — which involves setting up of a broadband network in rural India.
  • A PPP model that aligns private incentives with long term service delivery in the vein of the build-own-operate-transfer/build-operate-transfer models of implementation be the preferred means of implementation, Trai said in its recommendations announced today.
  • Currently, a special purpose vehicle Bharat Broadband Network Limited under telecom ministry is handling roll out of optical fibre network and being being executed by BSNL, Railtel and Power Grid.
  • The previous government had approved a project cost of Rs 20,000 crore for laying optical fibre network in 2011 but till now there has been only little progress.
  • It is expected that BharatNet will be completed by 2017-18, after missing many deadlines. Even the project cost has increased to about Rs 70,000 crore over the years.
  • The project was earlier named national optical fibre network (NOFN) and was renamed BharatNet by the current government.


Govt Bans Zero Duty Import of Capital Goods for Power Plants


  • The government today banned duty- free import of capital goods for power generation and transmission projects under the EPCG Scheme.
  • The decision is aimed at encouraging manufacturing of power equipment and giving a push to domestic capital goods sector, with an aim to boost the overall economy.
  • Amending the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in an order: "Authorisation under EPCG Scheme shall not be issued for import of any Capital Goods for generation/transmission of power (including Captive plants and Power Generator Sets of any kind)..."
  • The Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme allows import of capital goods for pre-production, production and post-production at zero custom duty.
  • The government has fixed a target of 88,537 MW power generation capacity addition for the 12th Plan period ending 2016-17.
  • Till December 2015, 72,240.12 MW or 81.59 per cent of the target has achieved, as per the Central Electricity Authority data.


India –

India, Afghanistan Ink Pact for Visa-Free Travel by Diplomats


  • India and Afghanistan today inked a pact for visa-free travel by their diplomats following Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah's meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi where they discussed ways to further deepen the strategic partnership, both in the bilateral and regional context.
  • The Prime Minister also expressed deep gratitude to the Afghan Government and its the National Security Forces for their bravery and sacrifice in order to protect Indians living in the strife-torn nation, especially during the attack on the Indian Consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif on January 4-5, 2016.
  • The minister also assured Abdullah of government's help in facilitating participation of a strong Afghan contingent in the 12th SAF games to be held in Guwahati and Shillong.
  • The Afghan leader's visit comes nearly a month after Modi's trip to Kabul during which he inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building, constructed with India's aid.


Vietnam lifts ban on import of groundnut from India


  • Vietnam has formally lifted the ban on import of Indian groundnut, thereby providing market access after nine months, the Agriculture Ministry said today.
  • The country had suspended import of Indian groundnuts from April 6, due to interception of quarantine pests — Caryedon serratus and Trogodrma granarium — in consignments exported since January, 2015.


30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela started at Faridabad


  • The 30th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela began at Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana on 1 February 2016. The event that will continue till 15 February 2016 was inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
  • Telangana was selected as the Theme State and will showcase its unique culture and rich heritage and about 300 artistes from the state will perform different folk arts. Chhattisgarh was chosen as the Theme State for the 29th Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2015.


Appointments –

Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi appointed as India’s Envoy to Mexico


  • Senior IFS officer Muktesh Kumar Pardeshi was on 29 January 2016 appointed as India’s Ambassador to Mexico.
  • Pardeshi is a Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1991 batch. He is currently posted as Joint Secretary (Passport division) in the Union Ministry of External Affairs.
  • He served as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of India in Jakarta from 2007 to 2010. During 1993-2001, he worked with Indian Missions in Mexico, Colombia and Nepal.


Kamlesh Kumar Pandey appointed as Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities


  • Kamlesh Kumar Pandey on 28 January 2016 was appointed as the Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) for a period of three years.
  • Before joining the post of CCPD, Pandey was associated with Saksham, an NGO working in the field of disability.
  • The CCPD is appointed by the Union Government from persons having special knowledge or practical experience in matters relating to rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities.

The CCPD also coordinates the work of the State Governments’ Commissioners:
  • To monitor the utilization of funds disbursed by the Union Government
  • To take steps to safeguard the rights and facilities made available to persons with disabilities
  • To submit reports to the Central Government on the implementation of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995


Metro Cash and Carry appoints former Walmart executive Arvind Mediratta as India MD


  • German retailer METRO Cash & Carry has appointed Arvind Mediratta, a former Walmart Executive as its India managing director, replacing Rajeev Bakshi.
  • Mediratta joined from Walmart US, where he was working as corporate vice-president (merchandising). He was part of the team that set up Walmart's India cash-and-carry business when he joined the retailer in 2007, before he was elevated as chief operating officer in the country. Later, he moved to the US, the company said in a statement.
  • Metro Cash and Carry has 19 wholesale distribution outlets in India, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai.


Datta Padsalgikar appointed as Commissioner of Police of Mumbai


  • Senior IPS officer Datta Padsalgikar was on 30 January 2016 appointed as the Commissioner of Police of Mumbai with effect from 31 January 2016. He succeeds Ahmed Javed, who was appointed as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
  • With this, Padsalgikar became the 40th Police Commissioner of Mumbai. He was on deputation to the Union Government in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for the past few years, but was repatriated in January 2016 in preparation for his new charge.


Awards & Honors –

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar selected for K Veeramani Award for Social Justice


  • Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on 29 January 2016 was selected for the prestigious K Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2015.
  • Kumar is chosen for the award for his contribution towards social justice as Chief Minister.
  • The award is given away by Periyar International, a Chicago-based voluntary organisation. However, the date and venue of the award function are yet to be decided.


Naresh Bedi honoured with V Shantaram Award Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Veteran wildlife filmmaker Naresh Bedi on 28 January 2016 was honoured with the V Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th edition of the Mumbai International Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films (MIFF 2016).
  • Bedi was honoured for his outstanding contribution to wildlife filmmaking. He is also credited with filming several rare wildlife moments.


Sports –

Kohli replaces Finch as No. 1 batsman in T20 Internationals


  • Virat Kohli was rewarded for his stupendous performance in India’s clean sweep against Australia in the T20 internationals as he replaced Aaron Finch as the top-ranked batsman in the ICC list for the shortest format.
  • According to the latest list released by the ICC, Kohli, who had scores of 90 not out, 59 not out and 50 in the three-match series, gained 47 ratings points to move ahead of Finch with 892 ranking points to his credit.
  • Finch gained 14 points himself thanks to scores of 44 and 74 in Adelaide and Melbourne, but his hamstring injury in game two ruled him out of the final match of the series at the SCG on Sunday.
  • India’s Suresh Raina moved up three places to 13th after his impressive series, while opener Rohit Sharma also moved up four places to be placed 16th in the list.
  • David Warner, who scored 17 in the opening match before heading to New Zealand for the one-day international series against the Black Caps, dropped six spots to 18th.


Kidambi Srikanth won Men's Singles title of Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2016

  • Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on 31 January 2016 won the Men's Singles title of the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships 2016. In the final played at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium in Lucknow, Srikanth defeated China's Huang Yuxiang, 21-13, 14-21, 21-14.
  • This was Srikanth’s fifth title overall, the other four titles include Thailand Grand Prix Gold, China Super Series premier, Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold and India Super Series.


Virender Sehwag appointed as mentor for Kings XI Punjab for IPL season 9


  • Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag was appointed as mentor of the Kings XI Punjab team for season 9 of Indian Premier League (IPL) on 1 February 2016.
  • In his new role, Sehwag will work along with head coach Sanjay Bangar and would be responsible for guiding and motivating the squad.


Aditya Mehta won 83rd Senior National Snooker Championship


  • Aditya Mehta on 31 January 2016 won the 83rd Senior National Snooker Championship in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
  • To win the title, he defeated Manan Chandra 6-3 in the final that was held as part of the National Billiards & Snooker Championship 2016.
  • In another event, Vidya Pillai won the National Snooker Championship in the women’s category by defeating Amee Kamani 4-2. For 38-year-old Vidya, it was her ninth national title.


Fukuoka to host 2021 World Aquatics Championships


  • The International Swimming Federation (FINA) on 31 January 2016 announced that the Japanese city of Fukuoka will host the 2021 World Aquatics Championships.
  • On the other hand, the Qatari capital Doha will host the 2023 event.
  • The decision was made after a vote of the FINA executive committee in Budapest.


Obituaries –

Famous British television and radio personality Terry Wogan died


  • British television and radio personality Terry Wogan died of cancer on 31 January 2016 in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. He was 77.
  • He was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1997 and elevated to an Honorary Knight Commander of the same order (KBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2005.







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