Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important current affairs of 23rd February, 2016. These are important for the last phase of LIC AAO 2016.
RBI extends currency swap arrangement with SAARC nations
- In order to enhance economic cooperation and strengthen financial stability, RBI has extended the $2 billion currency swap arrangement to SAARC nations till mid-November 2017.
- The Reserve Bank said in a notification on Tuesday that it has decided to extend the SAARC Currency Swap Arrangement till November 14, 2017.
- Under the arrangement, RBI is to offer swap arrangement up to an overall amount of $2 billion both in foreign currency and Indian rupee.
- The SAARC Swap Arrangement was offered by the RBI to SAARC nations on November 15, 2012.
- The facility will be available to all SAARC member countries — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- The swap amount available to various member central banks has been arrived at broadly based on two months import cover subject to a floor of $100 million and a maximum of $400 million per country.
Union Finance Minister inaugurated Exhibition on Coin and Currency of India
- Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 22 February 2016 inaugurated an exhibition on the Coin and Currency of India at the Great Hall of North Block in New Delhi. The exhibition would help in knowing the history of evolution of currency in the country
- The Department of Expenditure (DoE) under Union Finance Ministry organised the exhibition in coordination with the RBI, CPWD, CISF, the Indian Army, Staff of DoE, Customs and Excise Officers.
Main highlights of the Exhibition
- The exhibition depicts how money has changed in appearance and substance and evolved from barter to coins to the present day bank notes and e-money.
- It also depicts the different names of money, some of which are not in use and some are in use in the present.
StanChart posts first loss in 26 years as revamp costs bite
- Standard Chartered reported its first annual loss since 1989 as hefty restructuring costs and weak commodity prices took their toll on the emerging markets-focused lender.
- The bank slumped to a headline pretax loss of $1.5 billion, after accounting for costs from redundancies and impairments on bad loans. Underlying profit plunged 84 percent to $800 million, missing analysts' average estimate of $899 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
- The loss shows the scale of the task facing new Chief Executive Bill Winters as he attempts to restore revenue growth after six successive quarters of decline.
- The bank's shares fell as much as 12 percent before recovering slightly to be down 5.4 percent at 0942 GMT.
E-Governance Vision 2020 of Election Commission of India
- The term ‘E-Governance Vision 2020’ was in news on 23 February 2016. It was in news because Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Dr. Nasim Zaidi during a Seminar on ‘Leveraging Technology for Transparent and Credible Elections’ said the Election Commission of India is working on it.
- As told by the CEC during his keynote address at the Seminar, the 'E-Governance Vision 2020' will provide inclusive, integrated single window view of services to all stakeholders in all phases of the electoral cycle using multiple channel of delivery.
Gujarat to get India's first roll on-roll off passenger ferry service by April 2017
- Gujarat's Dahej is all set to get India's first roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) vessel passenger ferry services around April 2017. The Rs 550 crore project being executed by the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) is expected to bring down travel time between Saurashtra region in Gujarat with its Southern parts significantly.
- At present travelling from Ghoga in Saurashtra to Dahej in South Gujarat takes around 10-12 hours for trucks and buses, and even by cars it is not less than 6-8 hours. Once the Ro-Ro ferry service commences, this time would be dramatically shortened to one and a half hours.
World Banks’ Road to Resilience initiative Concluded
- The Road to Resilience is an initiative of the World Bank, under which a team undertook a bus trip along the entire Indian coastline. The journey commenced on 10 January 2016 and ended on 15 February 2016.
- This 10000 kilometer journey provided a chance to implement support for six coastal disaster management and climate resilience projects covering all ten coastal states of India, which are supported by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
- World Bank report Building Resilience for Sustainable Development of the Sundarbans
- Some of those projects aim to enhance resilience and mitigate the impact of future disasters, while others are intended to help the country recover from previous events such as Cyclone Phailin (2013) and Cyclone Hudhud (2014).
Union Environment Ministry held ninth meeting of National Steering Committee on Climate Change
- Union Environment Ministry held the ninth meeting of the National Steering Committee on Climate Change (NSCCC) on 22 February 2016. The meeting was presided by the Secretary of MOEFCC, Ashok Lavasa.
- The Committee approved the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) on adaptation submitted by governments of Telangana, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya and Chhattisgarh for funding, under the National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC) at a total cost of approximately 108 crore rupees for implementation in these states.
- The project for Telangana with objective to enhance the climate resilient agriculture for improving livelihoods titled Resilient Agricultural Households through Adaptation to Climate Change in Mahbubnagar district, Telangana is at a total cost of 25 crore rupees for four years.
- It is expected to benefit more than 2000 farming households of Mahbubnagar district fo the State.
Udai Kumar appointed as MD and CEO of MSEI
- Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India Limited (MSEI) on 22 February 2016 appointed Udai Kumar as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The appointment was approved by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
- The SEBI's approval comes after a stringent short-listing process and interviews by the selection committee to select a suitable candidate for the role.
Indian-origin Sikh officer Amar Singh appointed Kuala Lumpur's Commissioner of Police
- An Indian-origin Sikh officer Amar Singh was in news in the third week of February 2016 as he was appointed as Kuala Lumpur's commissioner of police. It was the highest police rank achieved by a Sikh in Malaysia.
- He succeeded Tajuddin Mohamed, who will be moved to federal headquarters as the deputy director of commercial CID on 14 March 2016.
- At the time of this appointment, Amar Singh was holding the position of deputy director of CID.
Awards & Honors –
Goverdhan Mehta conferred Germany’s prestigious award 'Cross of the Order of Merit'
- Goverdhan Mehta, a well known researcher in Chemical Sciences & former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad (UoH), has been conferred with Federal Republic of Germany’s prestigious `Cross of the Order of Merit’.
- Mehta was the VC during 1994-98 of the UoH, which is among the top 10 Universities in the country. However, the campus got caught recently in the unsavoury events following the suicide of Ph.D student, Rohit Vemula and the political fall out.
- Achim Fabig, the German Consul General in Chennai, conferred the ‘Bundesverdienstkreuz’ (the Cross of the Order of Merit) to Goverdhan Mehta. Instituted in 1951 it is the only honour that may be awarded in all fields of endeavour and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for achievements in political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for all kinds of outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.
- Goverdhan Mehta is at present the National Research Professor and Lilly-Jubilant Chair Professor at the University of Hyderabad. He served as the Director of the IISc, Bengaluru (1998-2005) and was also President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).
Indian-origin playwright Ismail Mahomed conferred Knighthood by French Government
- Ismail Mahomed, an Indian-origin art lover and playwright in South Africa, on 22 February 2016 was conferred Knighthood by the French government for his lifelong devotion to the promotion of arts.
- Mahomed was bestowed with The Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature) by French Ambassador Elisabet Barbier in Johannesburg.
Pakistan Parliament becomes first in world to run on solar power
- Pakistan Parliament today became the first in the world to completely run on solar power, a venture supported by China with USD 55 million funding.
- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a simple ceremony switched on solar-powered building of the Parliament in capital Islamabad.
- First announced in 2014, the venture has been funded by the Chinese government as an act of friendship, with the solar power plant costing around USD 55 million.
Tropical Cyclone Winston lashed Fiji killing scores of people
- The tropical cyclone Winston lashed Fiji with winds up to 330 kilometers per hour on 20 February 2016. The cyclone that was accompanied with torrential rain and strong winds killed at least 29 people.
- The cyclone did a considerable damage across the main island Viti Levu and the island of Koro, which were directly hit by strong winds.
- The Winston, a category five storm, is thought to be the biggest to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake while moving west away from Fiji. The cyclone left many cities without power and running water. It also destroyed homes and flooded the low-lying areas.
Ukraine's FC Dnipro won 2016 Sait Nagjee Trophy
- European team FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk from Ukraine on 21 February 2016 won the Sait Nagjee Trophy in Kozhikode, Kerala.
- In the final played at Kozhikode Corporation stadium, Dnipro defeated Atletico Paranaense from Brazil 3-0 to grab the top place.
Renowned singer Bhubaneswari Mishra died
- Noted singer Bhubaneswari Mishra passed away on 19 February 2016 in New Delhi following a cardiac arrest. She was 67.
- The classical singer began her career with the song Tiki Mora Naa Ti for the mythological Odia movie Krushna Sudama in the 1970s.
- Apart from many awards, the veteran singer was also conferred with the Odisha State Film Award for Best Playback Singer (female) for two consecutive terms in 1979 and 1980 for the movies Srikrushna Rasalila and Jay Ma Mangala respectively.