Current Affairs Update – 25th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 25th February, 2016. These are important for the last phase of LIC AAO 2016 and Other Exams in 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 25th February, 2016
  1. The Reserve Bank today said it has included National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD) in the Second Schedule to the RBI Act. NBAD is the leading bank in the Middle East. Currently, it has a global presence in 17 countries and overseas territories, spanning five continents.
  2. Union Government on 24 February 2016 approved introduction of steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means. The move aims at reducing cash transactions. Under the move no surcharge, service charge, convenience fee will be levied on card and digital payment. Steps will be taken for payments beyond a prescribed threshold mandatory through cards or digital mode. As per the decision, several short term (to be implemented within one year) and medium term (one year to two years) by the Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations.
  3. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 25 February 2016 presented the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. In his second Rail Budget, Prabhu outlined a capital plan of 121000 crore rupees in 2016-17.
  4. Fino Paytech has tied up with Reliance Commercial Finance (RCF) to source loans in rural Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, according to statement from the company.
  5. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 approved the proposal for loan of 150 million US Dollars to Iran for the development of Chabahar Port.
  6. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 gave approval to sign an agreement between India and Maldives for the avoidance of double taxation of income from international air transport.
  7. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 22 February 2016 cancelled the certificate of registration of the 26 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
  8. Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 gave its nod for a proposal to establish Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog with appropriate manpower.
  9. Private carrier Jet Airways today said it has inked a codeshare pact and loyalty exchange programme with the Korean Air which will allow passengers of the two airlines seamless travel between India and South Korea.
  10. The Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology and a consortium of top UK research institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.
  11. Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee on 23 February 2016 took oath as the 28th Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka.
  12. Blogmint, an automated influencer marketing platform that connects brand with social influencers, has bagged the award for Marketing Technology-Startup of the Year at the DQ LIVE Business Technology Awards 2016.
  13. Kanavu Variyam, a Tamil movie directed by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram, in the third week of February 2016 was selected for the prestigious Remi Award.
  14. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. appointed Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as its new global brand ambassador, along with West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell and New Zealand captain Suzie Bates. The trio will endorse the brand starting with the ICC World Twenty20 in India from March 8.
  15. Tennis star Sania Mirza, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli and top-seeded badminton player Saina Nehwal lead the pack of over 50 Indians in Forbes’ inaugural list of top “promising young leaders and game changers” under the age  of 30 in Asia. The Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ list includes 300 “young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changers” from countries including India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia who are contributing to their industries in a significant way.
  16. A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel on 24 February 2016 ruled in favour of the United States in its challenge to New Delhi's alleged discrimination against US solar exports.
  17. China UnionPay and Visa Inc signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on payments security, Visa said on Thursday.



Finance/Economy/Banking –

RBI Includes National Bank of Abu Dhabi in Reserve Bank Act


  • The Reserve Bank today said it has included National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC (NBAD) in the Second Schedule to the RBI Act.
  • NBAD is the leading bank in the Middle East. Currently, it has a global presence in 17 countries and overseas territories, spanning five continents:
  • It has operations in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Oman, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, France, Switzerland, the UK, USA and Brazil.
  • In a separate notification, RBI informed about change in name of Bank Internasional Indonesia.


Union Cabinet approved Promotion of Payments through Cards and Digital means


  • Union Government on 24 February 2016 approved introduction of steps for promotion of payments through cards and digital means. The move aims at reducing cash transactions.
  • Under the move no surcharge, service charge, convenience fee will be levied on card and digital payment. Steps will be taken for payments beyond a prescribed threshold mandatory through cards or digital mode.
  • As per the decision, several short term (to be implemented within one year) and medium term (one year to two years) by the Government Ministries/ Departments/ Organisations.

Major highlights of promotion of payments through cards and digital means
  • It will be instrumental in reducing tax avoidance, migration of Government payments and collections to cashless mode
  • It will discourage transactions in cash by providing access to financial payment services to the citizens to conduct transactions through card/digital means
  • It will help in shifting payment ecosystem from cash dominated to non-cash/less cash payments

Features of the proposals for promotion of payments through cards and digital means include
  • Steps for withdrawal of surcharge/service charge/convenience fee on card/digital payments currently imposed by various Government Departments/organisations and introduction of appropriate acceptance infrastructure in Government Departments/organisations
  • Rationalization of Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on card transactions and a differentiated MDR framework for some key transaction segments
  • Mandating payments beyond a prescribed threshold only in card/ digital mode
  • Introduction of formulae linked acceptance infrastructure by the stakeholders of certain card products


Railway Budget 2016-17: Highlights


  • Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 25 February 2016 presented the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. In his second Rail Budget, Prabhu outlined a capital plan of 121000 crore rupees in 2016-17.
  • A saving of 8720 crore rupees for Budget estimates of 2015-16 will be effected in 2016.
  • Theme of the Budget is Overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways: ‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’.
  • Railway Budget of 2016-17 is based on three pillars and they are Nav Arjan (New Revenues), Nav Manak (New Norms) and New Sanrachna (New Structures).




Fino Paytech, RCF tie up to offer loans in rural areas


  • Fino Paytech has tied up with Reliance Commercial Finance (RCF) to source loans in rural Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, according to statement from the company.
  • The loans will be disbursed by the Fino Fintech Foundation, an associate company of Fino PayTech. Reliance Commercial Finance is the asset-financing arm of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital.
  • Fino Paytech is one of the 11 entities that received an in-principle licence from the Reserve Bank of India in August 2015 to start payments bank operations last year, with the condition that they must start operations within 18 months. According to RBI norms, payments banks are not allowed to lend; their primary activity is to facilitate remittance services and offer simple financial products like insurance and mutual funds.


Union Cabinet approved $150 million Credit to Iran for Chabahar Port Development

  • Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 approved the proposal for loan of 150 million US Dollars to Iran for the development of Chabahar Port.
  • The credit will be provided from EXIM Bank and was made by Union Ministry of Shipping.
  • The Cabinet authorized the Ministers of Finance, External Affairs and Shipping to approve the final contract with Iran and for resolution of any issue arising in implementation of the project.
  • It also authorized the Union Ministry of Shipping to form a Company in Iran for implementing the Chabahar Port Development Project and related activities.



Union Cabinet approved India-Maldives Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation of Income from International Air Transport

  • Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 gave approval to sign an agreement between India and Maldives for the avoidance of double taxation of income from international air transport.

Features of the Agreement
  • It will provide tax certainty for airline enterprises of India and Maldives.
  • It provides for relief from double taxation for airline enterprises of both the countries way of exemption of income derived by the enterprise of India from the operation of aircraft in international traffic, from Maldivian tax and vice-versa.
  • The country, to which the product or enterprise belongs to, will impose the tax on the profits from the operation of aircraft in international traffic.



RBI cancelled Certificate of Registration of 26 NBFCs

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 22 February 2016 cancelled the certificate of registration of the 26 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs).
  • RBI cancelled the certificate of registration of these 26 NBFCs in exercise of the powers conferred on it, under Section 45-IA (6) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.
  • Following the cancellation of registration certificate, these companies cannot transact the business of a non-banking financial institution as laid down under clause (a) of Section 45-I of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934.

The NBFCs whose registration was cancelled includes
  1. Labh Lease and Finance Ltd
  2. Advantage Finvest Limited
  3. Mathura Financial Services Limited
  4. Wizard Fincap Limited
  5. M.J.K. Mercantiles Private Limited
  6. Avorik Vyapaar Private Limited
  7. Bengani Resources Private Limited (Formerly known as Mayuri Vinimay Private Limited)
  8. Bajaj Auto Holdings Limited
  9. Alpha General Leasing & Finance Private Limited
  10. Binikom Vyapaar Private Limited
  11. MIS Consultants Private Limited
  12. S.J. Finance & Consultants Private Limited
  13. Ganpati Vincom Private Limited (Presently, Savi Global Realtors Limited)
  14. Delton Impex (P) Ltd
  15. Abirami Financial Services [India] Limited
  16. ITI Capital Markets Limited
  17. Breakeven Business Credits Private Limited
  18. Pathik Overseas Limited
  19. J.M.B. Commercial & Credit Limited
  20. Esjay Estates Limited
  21. Cosmat Investment Private Limited
  22. Pavai Trading Co. Private Limited
  23. Modern Vintrade Private Limited
  24. Swadhaar Finserve Private Limited
  25. Punwire Holdings Limited
  26. IDFC Finance Limited



Union Cabinet approved proposal to establish Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and SETU in NITI Aayog

  • Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2016 gave its nod for a proposal to establish Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) in NITI Aayog with appropriate manpower.
  • It was observed that AIM is a mission and SETU is an approach to encourage innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship.
  • The proposed Mission activities will be implemented in a focused manner with the establishment of AIM and AIM Directorate.

Features of the Mission
  • Mission High Level Committee (MHLC) would guide the Mission to take all decisions relating to approval of requisite guidelines which include Grand Challenge areas, prize money and implementation of various elements of AIM and SETU.
  • Mission Director and other appropriate manpower will be hired by NITI Aayog.
  • They will be established with an initial sum of 500 crore rupees and 1000 crore rupees respectively.
  • New Delhi will be headquarters to the Mission.


Jet Airways, Korean Air ink codeshare pact


  • Private carrier Jet Airways today said it has inked a codeshare pact and loyalty exchange programme with the Korean Air which will allow passengers of the two airlines seamless travel between India and South Korea.
  • As part of the pact, which will come into force on March 1, Jet Airways and Korean Air will be able to connect from multiple points in India to Seoul over various gateway points in Asia.
  • Korean Air operates over 462 flights per day to 129 cities in 46 countries with a fleet of 167 aircraft, including 10 jumbo jets A380s.
  • Under the arrangement, Jet Airways will place its marketing code on Korean Air-operated non-stop flights between Incheon, Seoul and Mumbai, as well as flights between Incheon, Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore.
  • Similarly, Korean Air will place its marketing code on Jet Airways flights on Singapore-Mumbai and Bangkok-Mumbai-Delhi routes, a release said.


India –

India, UK institutions sign agreements for collaboration in crop sciences


  • The Department of Biotechnology in the Ministry of Science and Technology and a consortium of top UK research institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for establishment of a joint India-UK collaboration programme in crop science.
  • The aim of the agreement is to enhance collaborative research, promote knowledge exchange, and support capacity building to develop resilience in food security.
  • The agreement was signed by Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Cambridge University Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and Nafees Meah on behalf of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) of UK.
  • It was also signed by representatives from the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), in Cambridge; the John Innes Centre, UK; the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, UK; and Rothamsted Research Institute UK.


West Bengal Government announced to constitute two task forces for tribals, Gorkhas

  • West Bengal Government on 24 February 2016 announced its decision to constitute two task forces for the development of Adivasis and Gorkhas living the state.
  • One task force will work for the tribals of the Terai-Dooars and the other for the Gorkhas living in the Darjeeling Hills region in northern part of the State.
  • These task forces will have working authority akin to the development boards constituted earlier.
  • The decision to the effect was taken at the State Cabinet meet held on 17 February 2016. But the announcement was made by State Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, Arup Biswas at a meeting of the Dooars Siliguri Terai Bhartiya Nepali Development Forum (DSTBNDB) held on 24 February.


Appointments –

Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee sworn-in as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court

  • Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee on 23 February 2016 took oath as the 28th Chief Justice of the High Court of Karnataka.
  • Governor Vajubhai R. Vala administered the oath to Justice Mukherjee in a ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan.
  • He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice of High Court of Karnataka on 1 June 2015.


Awards & Honors –

Blogmint Awarded as Startup of the Year


  • Blogmint, an automated influencer marketing platform that connects brand with social influencers, has bagged the award for Marketing Technology-Startup of the Year at the DQ LIVE Business Technology Awards 2016.
  • The award aims to recognise startups that have broken new ground in using technology to add value to the marketing fraternity.
  • Blogmint’s self-serve platform has been seen helping marketers connect with social influencers and integrate influencer marketing as part of their marketing mix.


Tamil film Kanavu Variyam to be honoured with Remi Award

  • Kanavu Variyam, a Tamil movie directed by a Chennai-based techie Arun Chidambaram, in the third week of February 2016 was selected for the prestigious Remi Award.
  • The award will be handed over to Chidambaram during the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, which will be held from 8 April 8 to 17 April 2016.
  • The story of Kanavu Variyam revolves around power cuts, which is the most familiar problem faced by people in Tamil Nadu.
  • The previous recipients of the Remi Award, which is given to independent films and filmmakers, include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers and Ang Lee.


Hugh Grant awarded British Film Institute fellowship


  • Hugh Grant has been celebrated by the British Film Institute which on Tuesday evening bestowed on him its highest honour.
  • Grant was given a BFI fellowship, following in the footsteps of British actors who include Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, John Hurt, Elizabeth Taylor and Sir Michael Caine.


Sports –

Rohit Sharma appointed as global brand ambassador of Nissan


  • Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. appointed Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma as its new global brand ambassador, along with West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell and New Zealand captain Suzie Bates. The trio will endorse the brand starting with the ICC World Twenty20 in India from March 8.
  • The three cricketers, in addition to appearing on the advertising campaign of the company, will be active on social media throughout the tournament and will be a part of other initiatives such as Nissan Play of the Day.
  • Nissan has been in the forefront of sport sponsorship that already includes the UEFA Champions League, City Football Group and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


Sania, Kohli lead pack of 56 Indians in Forbes’ Asia list


  • Tennis star Sania Mirza, Indian batting mainstay Virat Kohli and top-seeded badminton player Saina Nehwal lead the pack of over 50 Indians in Forbes’ inaugural list of top “promising young leaders and game changers” under the age of 30 in Asia.
  • The Forbes ‘30 under 30 Asia’ list includes 300 “young and driven entrepreneurs and game-changers” from countries including India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and Australia who are contributing to their industries in a significant way.
  • As many as 56 Indians feature in the list with 27-year old Kohli, Mirza and Nehwal and 26-year-old actress Shraddha Kapoor leading the pack.
  • Ritesh Agarwal, 22, founder and CEO of “disruptive hospitality business and app” ‘OYO Rooms’ leads the consumer tech category.
  • Kanika Tekriwal, 27, co-founded and heads ‘JetSetGo’, an India-based private jet concierge service that links passengers to planes through an online marketplace.


World –

United States won WTO dispute against India's solar rules


  • A World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel on 24 February 2016 ruled in favour of the United States in its challenge to New Delhi's alleged discrimination against US solar exports.
  • The panel agreed with the US that India's localisation rules discriminated against imported solar cells and modules under India's National Solar Mission.
  • The US Trade Representative's office called the ruling a significant victory that will hasten the spread of solar energy across the world and support clean-energy jobs in the United States.


Visa signs MoU with China UnionPay


  • China UnionPay and Visa Inc signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on payments security, Visa said on Thursday.
  • The MoU comes as Visa awaits regulations that would give it direct access to the Chinese market for clearing bank card transactions. The market was valued at $6.84 trillion in 2014.
  • China had announced last year that it would open up the market for foreign payment networks from June.
  • Visa, the world's largest payments network operator, had said in January that it continues to work towards making a formal application in China while awaiting final regulations.


US court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 72 million dollar for cancer death


  • Missouri state court of United States on 22 February 2016 ordered Johnson & Johnson Company to pay 72 million dollars to the family of Jacqueline Fox, who died of ovarian cancer caused due to the use of the company's talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.
  • In a verdict, jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis awarded the family of victim, 10 million dollars as actual damages and 62 million dollars as punitive damages.
  • US lawyers claimed that this verdict as the first of its kind by a U.S. jury to award damages over the claims.






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