Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 20th February, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming Bank and Insurance Exams.
India, Nepal ink seven MoUs spanning health, education and cultural heritage
- India and Nepal on Saturday inked seven memorandums of understanding (MoU)s. The MoUs were signed in the presence of Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, who is on his first visit abroad after assuming office in October last year.
About the MoUs
- An MoU on utilization of USD 250 million Grant component of GOI's Assistance package for post-earthquake reconstruction assistance was signed the two countries.
- The second MoU was strengthening of road infrastructure in the Terai area of Nepal.
- The third MoU was signed between Nepal Academy of Music and Drama and Sangeet Natak Academy, India which aims to enhance relations between India and Nepal in the field of performing arts through exchanges of experts, exponents, dancers, scholars and intellectuals.
- Then there were two letters of exchange on Transit Routes, one on transit between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor and the second on operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port.
- There was also letters of exchange on Rail Transport, one on rail transport to/from Vishakhapatnam and the second on rail transit facility through Singhabad for Nepal's Trade with and through Bangladesh.
- The sixth MoU, which was the inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line was done by both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart.
- The seventh agreement was the establishment of Eminent Persons Group which was decided to be established at the third meeting of the India- Nepal Joint Commission held at Kathmandu in July 2014.
Odisha Government launched Pucca Ghar Yojana for Construction Workers
- The Odisha Government today launched Pucca Ghar Yojana for construction workers.
- Launching the scheme, chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced that pucca houses will be built for 50,000 construction workers during the current financial year with a cost of `500 crore.
- A construction worker, registered with the Odisha Buildings and Construction Workers' Welfare Board, for the three years can avail the benefit, he said.
- The chief minister said that out of the 12.6 lakh registered construction workers in the state, 2.5 lakh have received assistance of `90 crore from the state government. He said that the state government will provide assistance of `10 crore to over 25,000 registered construction workers during the year.
- The chief minister said memoranda of understanding (MoU) have been signed with Odia Workers' Associations at Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Chennai for the welfare of the construction workers from the state.
First phase of Kerala's smart city project inaugurated
- The first phase of Kerala's dream SmartCity project, including a Rs 400-crore 6.5 lakh sq ft IT tower overlooking a 300 metre waterfront area, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other dignitaries here today.
- The project is a joint venture of Dubai Holding and the state government.
- Besides Chandy, Union Minister for Skill Development, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister for Industries and IT and Chairman, SmartCity Kochi, P KKunhalikutty, Gulf-based Kerala business tycoon M A Yusuf Ali and top officials of SmartCity jointly inaugurated the first phase of SmartCity, which will provide 5,500 knowledge-based jobs.
- The launch of the 4.7 million sq ft phase-two was also performed simultaneously. It will be completed in 36 months and provide 60,000 jobs.
KN Vyas Appointed Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Chief
- Distinguished scientist KN Vyas on Friday was appointed Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the country's premier multi-disciplinary nuclear research centre.
- He succeeds Shekar Basu, who was in October appointed as Atomic Energy Secretary and Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Mr Vyas' name for a period of three years, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.
- Mr Vyas, who has made outstanding contributions in the area of design and development of a novel fuel, is a recipient of the Science and Technical Excellence awards.
- He is currently working as the associate director at BARC, as per its website.
- The BARC is India's premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai.
Christine Lagarde appointed for second term as IMF chief
- Christine Lagarde, who steered the IMF through some troubled times including the Eupropean financial crisis, has been re-appointed as its Managing Director for a second five-year term after an uncontested election.
- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday selected 60-year-old Lagarde to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on July 5, 2016, IMF said in a statement. The Board’s decision was taken by consensus.
- France’s former finance minister secured early backing from many of the fund’s most powerful members when the IMF’s executive board launched the selection process in January, keeping other contenders from making an alternate bid and ensuring her a second term.
Nitin Kapadia appointed Head of StanChart Securities
- Standard Chartered Securities India today announced the appointment of capital markets veteran Nitin Kapadia as its head and executive director.
- Kapadia has over two decades of experience in capital markets.
- He started his career as investment banker and moved on to set up and lead retail stock broking companies while also playing a significant part in business merger of a leading retail broking business.
US launches anti-dumping probe on tyres from India, Sri Lanka
- A US investigative body has decided to go ahead with its anti-dumping investigations into a certain category of tyres imported from India and Sri Lanka that may have a damaging effect on the US domestic industry even as it let China off the hook.
- All six commissioners of the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) voted to determine that there is a reasonable indication that the US industry is materially injured by imports of certain new pneumatic off-the-road tyres from India that are allegedly sold in the country at less than fair value and subsidised by the governments of India and Sri Lanka.
- According to a statement, the Commission further determined yesterday that imports of these products from China are negligible.
- Following the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the US Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its investigations on imported products from India and Sri Lanka, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on April 4 and its preliminary anti-dumping duty determinations due on June 16.
- As a result of the Commission’s finding of negligibility, the investigations on imports of these products from China will be terminated, USITC said.
Japan launched astronomy satellite ASTRO-H
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on 17 February 2016 successfully launched astronomy satellite ASTRO-H from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.
- The satellite was launched on-board the H-IIA rocket, which was previously known as the New X-ray Telescope (NeXT), and is expected to operate in low Earth orbit for three years.
- ASTRO-H is the eye to study the hot and energetic universe. The ‘H’ refers to the word Japanese word Hitomi that means pupil or entrance window of the eye.
Awards & Honors –
Sameer Anjaan entered Guinness Book of Records for writing 3524 songs
- Bollywood lyricist Sameer Anjaan on 17 February 2016 was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the Most prolific Bollywood lyricist ever who has composed 3524 different songs as of 15 December 2015.
- Sameer has written 3524 songs in 650 Bollywood movies, and is now the first Guinness Record possessor in this particular category.
- Sameer was presented with a certificate during a celebration ceremony held in Mumbai.