Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 24th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 24th February, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming Bank and Insurance exams as well as the last phase of LIC AAO 2016.

Current Affairs at a Glance – 24th February, 2016
  1. Origo Commodities India today said it has tied up with State Bank of India   to offer post-harvest credit facility to farmers across the country against warehouse receipts.
  2. Budget hotel aggregator OYO Rooms has tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer standardised accommodation and a convenient booking platform to rail travellers, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
  3. The Assam Cabinet on 23 February 2016 approved the detailed project report (DPR) for a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for Guwahati. The cabinet also gave green signal to setting up of the Guwahati Metro Rail Corporation Limited (GMRCL). The 203 kilometres Metro corridor will be completed in three phases.
  4. Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot less voting system, was in news on 23 February 2016. It came in news, after Assam’s Chief Electoral Officer announced that VVPAT will be introduced in 10 constituencies (around 2400 polling booths) in upcoming assembly polls. He said that Dispur and Jalukbari assembly constituencies in Kamrup Metro district will be included in the VVPT trial.
  5. The fifth edition of exercise IBSAMAR between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked off on 19 February 2016 in Goa. The exercise will conclude on 29 February 2016.
  6. Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was selected as the next Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 23 February 2016. 65-year-old Justice Dattu will have tenure of five years.
  7. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari of Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on 24 February 2016 was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court.
  8. Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Atanu Chakraborty was today appointed as Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Oil Ministry's technical advisory arm for exploration and production.
  9. Jet Airways Appointed Rahul Taneja as Chief People Officer
  10. India has consolidated its number 3 position as the biggest producer of billionaires in the world after China and the United States. India has produced 111 billionaires, 14 more than last year’s 97, as compared to China’s 568 billionaires and 535 billionaires from the United States. India is third in the list, overtaking Russia and UK.
  11. 18th Mercer annual Quality of Living survey was released on 23 February 2016. The list compiled by consulting firm Mercer said Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube River offers the highest quality of life of all cities in the world. On the other hand, the Iraqi capital Baghdad, once more took its place at the bottom of a live ability list. Highest ranked Indian city was Hyderabad – rank 139.



Finance/Economy –

Origo Commodities ties up with SBI for credit to farmers


  • Origo Commodities India today said it has tied up with State Bank of India   to offer post-harvest credit facility to farmers across the country against warehouse receipts.
  • Origo Commodities, which provides post-harvest management solution, currently manages 35 lakh tonnes of agricultural produce across 15 states in 500 warehouses.
  • Origo Commodities is an implementation agency mandated by NABARD to promote Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (NWR) at farmers' level through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACs) and co-operative banks.
  • Warehouse receipt financing is an essential financial tool for farmers to avail loans by storing crops in warehouses.


IRCTC, OYO Rooms tie up for hotel bookings


  • Budget hotel aggregator OYO Rooms has tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to offer standardised accommodation and a convenient booking platform to rail travellers, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
  • Under the tie-up, OYO Rooms will power the IRCTC hotel-booking page, offering their inventory and standardised amenities to passengers.
  • With this, IRCTC customers will have ready access to hotel accommodations under OYO, Abhinav Sinha, COO, OYO Rooms said.
  • IRCTC-OYO Rooms will offer nearly 45,000 hotel rooms in over 170 cities in India. The IRCTC portal witnesses 5 to 5.5 lakh bookings a day.


India –

Assam Cabinet approved Metro Rail for Guwahati
  • The Assam Cabinet on 23 February 2016 approved the detailed project report (DPR) for a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for Guwahati. The cabinet also gave green signal to setting up of the Guwahati Metro Rail Corporation Limited (GMRCL).
  • State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will lay the foundation stone for the Metro project in Khanapara area on 29 February 2016.

Key highlights of Guwahati Metro project

  • The 203 kilometres Metro corridor will be completed in three phases.
  • Phase I will cover a length 61.4 kilometres, and will have four corridors: Dharapur-Narangi (elevated), M.G. Road to Khanapara (underground), Jalukbari to Khanapara (elevated) and ISBT to Paltanbazar (elevated).
  • There will be 54 stations in the first phase.
  • The trains will have a carrying capacity of up to 975 passengers each.
  • The estimated projected cost including land is 18020 crore rupees.


VVPAT to be introduced in 10 constituencies in Assam assembly polls


  • Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), a method of providing feedback to voters using a ballot less voting system, was in news on 23 February 2016.
  • It came in news, after Assam’s Chief Electoral Officer announced that VVPAT will be introduced in 10 constituencies (around 2400 polling booths) in upcoming assembly polls. He said that Dispur and Jalukbari assembly constituencies in Kamrup Metro district will be included in the VVPT trial.
  • VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as intended and can serve as an additional barrier to changing or destroying votes.


Exercise IBSAMAR between India, South Africa, Brazil started in Goa


  • The fifth edition of exercise IBSAMAR between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked off on 19 February 2016 in Goa. The exercise will conclude on 29 February 2016.
  • This is the first time that Exercise IBSAMAR is being conducted in Indian waters. All the previous editions were being held off South Africa.
  • The primary aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations.


Election Laws (amendment) Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

  • A Bill to empower the Election Commission to undertake a limited delimitation exercise and grant voting rights to certain Indian citizens in the Cooch Behar district of West Bengal was introduced in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
  • Union Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda introduced the Election Laws (amendment) Bill 2016.
  • The introduction of this Bill assumes significance as it comes months before West Bengal goes in for elections in May 2016.
  • The term of the 294-member West Bengal Assembly ends on May 29.
  • The Centre is likely to push for the passage of this Bill in the next few days to enable the Election Commission to carry out the limited delimitation exercise. .
  • Once enacted, the law would pave the way for delimitation exercise to be carried out in those areas that became part of Cooch Behar district following the exchange of enclaves with Bangladesh.


Appointments –

Former CJI HL Dattu selected as Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission


  • Former Chief Justice of India (CJI) Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was selected as the next Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 23 February 2016. 65-year-old Justice Dattu will have tenure of five years.
  • His name was cleared for the post by a committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other members of the committee were Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien.
  • The post was lying vacant since 11 May 2015, when KG Balakrishnan demitted office after five-year term. Justice Cyriac Joseph had been functioning as the acting chairperson since then.


Justice Dinesh Maheshwari sworn-in as Chief Justice of Meghalaya HC


  • Justice Dinesh Maheshwari of Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on 24 February 2016 was sworn-in as the Chief Justice of the Meghalaya High Court.
  • Maheshwari was administered the oath of office by state Governor V. Shanmuganathan.
  • Justice Maheshwari succeeds Justice Uma Nath Singh who retired as Chief Justice on 14 January 2016. Since then, Justice Sudip Ranjan Singh was serving as the acting Chief Justice of the state high court.


Govt appoints 3 information commissioners in CIC

  • The Centre on Wednesday appointed three information commissioners in the Central Information Commission (CIC).
  • They are Amitava Bhattacharyya, Indian Administrative Service, (Gujarat 1980), retired Chairman, Staff Selection Commission, Bimal Julka, IAS (Madhya Pradesh:1979), retired Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and Divya Prakash Sinha, Indian Police Service (Manipur-Tripura: 1979), retired Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat.


Atanu Chakraborty appointed Director General of Hydrocarbons


  • Gujarat-cadre IAS officer Atanu Chakraborty was today appointed as Director General, Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), Oil Ministry's technical advisory arm for exploration and production.
  • 55-year-old Chakraborty has been appointed for four-year term in the rank of Additional Secretary as chief of DGH, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.
  • A 1985-batch officer, he is at present working as Managing Director of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd, a state-run energy player.


Jet Airways Appoints Rahul Taneja as Chief People Officer


  • Jet Airways today said it has appointed Rahul Taneja as Chief People Officer and he would be responsible for shaping the group's operations and performance.
  • Taneja, who previously headed Corporate Human Resources at diversified Essar Group, would be part of the airline's Executive Management Committee.
  • In recent times, some companies, especially in the e-commerce space, have been roping in executives for the post of Chief People Officer.


Lists/Reports –

18th Mercer Quality of Life survey released; Vienna ranked best city for quality of life, Baghdad worst


  • 18th Mercer annual Quality of Living survey was released on 23 February 2016. The survey of 230 cities helps companies and organizations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff.
  • The list compiled by consulting firm Mercer said Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube River offers the highest quality of life of all cities in the world. On the other hand, the Iraqi capital Baghdad, once more took its place at the bottom of a live ability list.

Seven Indian cities were ranked in the list and they are 
  1. Hyderabad – rank 139
  2. Pune – rank 144
  3. Bangalore – rank 145
  4. Chennai – rank150
  5. Mumbai – rank 152
  6. Kolkata – rank 160
  7. New Delhi – rank 161


India ranks 3rd in Rich List by Hurun Report


  • India has consolidated its number 3 position as the biggest producer of billionaires in the world after China and the United States. India has produced 111 billionaires, 14 more than last year’s 97, as compared to China’s 568 billionaires and 535 billionaires from the United States. India is third in the list, overtaking Russia and UK.
  • The combined wealth India billionaires went up by 25% to $308 billion as compared to last year, as per the Rich List compiled by Shanghai-based Hurun Report.
  • In a statement, Hurun said India’s richest Mukesh Ambani and Cyrus Poonawalla of unlisted Serum Institute added $6 billion and $4 billion to their wealth respectively.
  • Beijing is the new “Billionaire Capital of the World.”
  • The Chinese capital has overtaken the Big Apple as home to the most billionaires 100 to 95 according to Hurun, a Shanghai firm that releases yearly rankings and research about the 1 per cent.
  • The study, which comes months after reports suggested China now has more billionaires than the United States, highlights how China’s elite are continuing to accrue vast wealth despite a wobbling stock market and tepid economy.
  • Beijing took the title from New York after minting 32 new billionaires last year, while New York gained four.
  • Moscow came in third place, with 66 billionaires, while Hong Kong and Shanghai came in fourth and fifth with 64 and 50, respectively.


Awards & Honors –

Sagar Sarhadi to be honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at IFFP


  • Renowned scriptwriter Sagar Sarhadi will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the second edition of the International Film Festival of Prayag (IFFP). The festival will be held in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh from 26 February to 28 February 2016.
  • Sarhadi will be honoured at the festival for his contribution to Hindi cinema over the years.





Regards



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