Friday, February 26, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 26th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the important Current Affairs of 26th February, 2016. These are important for the last phase of the LIC AAO 2016n as well as other Bank an Insurance Exams in 2016.


Current Affairs at a Glance – 26th February, 2016
  1. The Economic Survey for 2015-16, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday, pegged India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 7-7.75 per cent next financial over this year.
  2. Retirement fund body EPFO has tightened norms on withdrawal of provident fund as well investment of such amount in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana for its over five crore subscribers. Now, the subscribers will not be able to claim withdrawal of their provident fund after attaining age of 54 years. They would have to wait till attaining the age 57 years. The ministry has notified new rules.
  3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked lenders to spread out, in equal instalments, provisions they make when they take over troubled loan accounts under a special restructuring programme to deal with stressed assets. The RBI asked banks to build up over four quarters provisions amounting to at least 15% of the loan for so-called strategic debt restructuring (SDR). In that programme, banks will swap part of the loan for majority ownership of a troubled company and then look for a new owner.
  4. Dr Avinash Chander, former scientific advisor to the defence minister and ex-DRDO chief, today received the prestigious Astronautical Society of India's Aryabhata Award.
  5. YES Bank, India's fifth largest private sector bank, on 23 February 2016 received the prestigious Green Bond Pioneer Award for being the Pioneers in Emerging Markets-India in an award ceremony at London Stock Exchange (LSE), London. YES Bank is the only Indian bank to be recognized in these first ever Green Bond Awards.
  6. The Union Government on 25 February 2016 appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard, the country’s coastal protection force. This is the first time an officer who is not from the Indian Navy has been elevated to the position.
  7. Japanese auto maker Honda Motor Company on 23 February 2016 announced that it had appointed Yoichiro Ueno as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its car operations in India.
  8. Online fashion store Jabong today announced the appointment of Muralikrishnan B, former eBay India country manager, and senior e-commerce and consumer internet executive, as the company’s chief operating officer.
  9. The Diageo-controlled United Spirits (USL) today announced the appointment of M K Sharma as its new chairman, a day after the embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya resigned from the post.
  10. The Spices Board is setting up Gujarat's first quality evaluation laboratory at the Kandla, The facility, which will be operational by end of March this year, wil provide analytical services to the Indian spice industry, monitor the quality of spices produced and processed in the country and analyse all the samples collected by the Board.
  11. Jain Irrigation System founder Chairman and Padmashri awardee Bhavaralal Jain -- who pioneered micro-irrigation system in India -- died today after a brief illness.
  12. Mumbai Police on 25 February 2016 created 16 no-selfie zones around the city. The action was taken in response to several deaths of people taking selfies.


Finance/Economy/Banking –

Economic Survey 2015-2016 released


  • The Economic Survey for 2015-16, tabled in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday, pegged India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 7-7.75 per cent next financial over this year.
  • The upper part of the range  given in the Survey is slightly higher than the 7.6 per cent, officially pegged for the current financial year, while the lower part is way down.
  • The Survey was hopeful that the economy could clock eight per cent economic growth in a couple of years due to reform measures initiated by the government.

 Don't Forget to Download the Economic Survey PDF from here :Click Here to Download



EPFO tightens norms for withdrawal of Provident Fund


  • Retirement fund body EPFO has tightened norms on withdrawal of provident fund as well investment of such amount in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana for its over five crore subscribers.
  • Now, the subscribers will not be able to claim withdrawal of their provident fund after attaining age of 54 years. They would have to wait till attaining the age 57 years. The ministry has notified new rules.
  • As per the earlier norms, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account at the age of 54 years and their claims were settled just one year before their retirement.
  • In another change, EPFO has made it mandatory to wait till attaining the age of 57 for claiming PF withdrawal for transferring that to the Life Insurance Corporation of India for investment in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.
  • Earlier norms used to allow subscribers to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations for investing in the scheme after attaining the age of 55 years.
  • The EPFO has also amended the scheme for appointment of upto Joint Secretary level officers by its apex decision making body the Central Board of Trustees' (CBT).


RBI asks banks to increase provisions in debt-for-equity swaps


  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked lenders to spread out, in equal instalments, provisions they make when they take over troubled loan accounts under a special restructuring programme to deal with stressed assets.
  • The RBI asked banks to build up over four quarters provisions amounting to at least 15% of the loan for so-called strategic debt restructuring (SDR). In that programme, banks will swap part of the loan for majority ownership of a troubled company and then look for a new owner.
  • Indian banks are coping with $117 billion of stressed loans. Critics say the SDR programme helped banks camouflage the scale of the problem, because they did not have to make extra provisions and they would struggle to sell the companies they were acquiring through debt-for-equity swaps.
  • Under other amendments to SDR announced on Thursday, the RBI also said lenders will be required to sell at least 26% of the exchanged equity in a troubled company within 18 months to keep the loan's current classification.
  • The revised rules will be applicable prospectively, the regulator said, but added it would be prudent for banks to follow the new rules in cases where they have already decided to undertake strategic debt restructuring.


Awards & Honors –

Former DRDO chief Dr Avinash Chander received the prestigious Astronautical Society of India's Aryabhata Award

  • Dr Avinash Chander, former scientific advisor to the defence minister and ex-DRDO chief, today received the prestigious Astronautical Society of India's Aryabhata Award.
  • He received the award from Dr R Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor to government of India, and Dr A S Kiran Kumar, chairman ISRO, at ASI-ISRO Awards function held at Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad.
  • The Aryabhata Award, named after the fifth century Indian astronomer and mathematician and also in commemoration of the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, is presented annually to an individual for outstanding lifetime contribution to the promotion of astronautics in India.
  • The award consists of a citation and Rs 1 lakh in cash.


YES Bank won Green Bond Pioneer Award


  • YES Bank, India's fifth largest private sector bank, on 23 February 2016 received the prestigious Green Bond Pioneer Award for being the Pioneers in Emerging Markets-India in an award ceremony at London Stock Exchange (LSE), London.
  • YES Bank was recognised for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market, including the highly successful issuance of India's first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds.
  • YES Bank is the only Indian bank to be recognized in these first ever Green Bond Awards. Winners in other categories include World Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) and Ile De France amongst others.


Appointments –

Rajendra Singh became first non-navy officer to head Indian Coast Guard


  • The Union Government on 25 February 2016 appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General (DG) of Indian Coast Guard, the country’s coastal protection force. This is the first time an officer who is not from the Indian Navy has been elevated to the position.
  • The director general's post has so far only been held by officers who were commissioned in the Indian Navy.
  • The Appointments Committee of Cabinet had cleared the name of Singh as the next DG, with the Department of Personnel and Training issuing an order.


Yoichiro Ueno appointed President and CEO of Honda Cars India


  • Japanese auto maker Honda Motor Company on 23 February 2016 announced that it had appointed Yoichiro Ueno as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its car operations in India.
  • Ueno will replace Katsushi Inoue on 1 April 2016. Inoue has been named Operating Officer of Honda Motor and Chief Operating Officer for regional operations (Europe region).


Jabong appoints former eBay India head Muralikrishnan B as COO


  • Online fashion store Jabong today announced the appointment of Muralikrishnan B, former eBay India country manager, and senior e-commerce and consumer internet executive, as the company’s chief operating officer.
  • This is the fourth top-level hiring at Jabong in three months, even as Sanjeev Mohanty took over as chief executive in December 2015.
  • Mr. Muralikrishnan will directly report to Mr. Mohanty and will be responsible for overseeing the technology, product and digital marketing functions, the statement said.
  • Prior to joining Jabong, he was Chief Operating Officer of online real estate portal IndiaProperty, before which he co-founded a start-up in the digital health space.


M K Sharma to take over as new USL chairman

  • The Diageo-controlled United Spirits (USL) today announced the appointment of M K Sharma as its new chairman, a day after the embattled liquor baron Vijay Mallya resigned from the post.
  • Mallya's exit from the board of United Spirits ended a long-drawn tussle between him and the majority owner, UK's Diageo, following allegations of irregularities on loans given to UB Group companies.
  • Mallya will have the honorary title of founder emeritus, USL.
  • The development follows three state-owned banks -- Punjab National Bank, United Bank and SBI -- declaring him, his group holding company United Breweries Holdings Ltd and the long-defunct Kingfisher Airlines as wilful defaulters.
  • A bank consortium led by SBI has decided to auction Kingfisher House in Mumbai on March 17 this year to recover a part of the Rs 6,963 crore dues from Kingfisher.
  • USL is now controlled by the world's largest spirits maker Diageo, which had acquired an additional 26% stake in USL for Rs 11,448.91 crore in July to take its total share in the Indian firm to 54.78%.


Bangladeshi cricketer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza appointed UNDP National Goodwill Ambassador For Youth


  • Bangladeshi cricketer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was on 25 February 2016 appointed as National Goodwill Ambassador For Youth by the United National Development Programme (UNDP).
  • In this regard, UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Robert Watkins presented Mortaza with a certificate of his official appointment in Dhaka.
  • With this appointment, Mortaza also became the first personality to be appointed as a goodwill ambassador for youth development in Bangladesh.
  • In his new role, Mortaza, who is leading the national cricket team both in ODIs and T20 formats, will advocate for youth employment in Bangladesh and help in country’s efforts in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


India –

Maharashtra Government finalised PMC for Shivaji memorial in Arabian Sea

  • Maharashtra Government on 24 February 2016 finalised a Project Management Consultant (PMC) for the proposed Chhatrapati Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea. The project scheduled to be completed by 2018 will be executed at an expense of 84 crore rupees.
  • The consultant was finalised at a meeting headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. As per the decision a consortium of Egis India Consulting Engineers Pvt Ltd and Design Associates were appointed as the PMC.
  • PMC will finalise the concept design, float tenders and oversee the implementation of the project. Chairperson of the Oversee committee MLC Vinayak Methe said that the agreement will be signed with the consortium within a week’s time.


Gujarat's first spices quality evaluation lab to be operational by March


  • The Spices Board is setting up Gujarat's first quality evaluation laboratory at the Kandla, The facility, which will be operational by end of March this year, wil provide analytical services to the Indian spice industry, monitor the quality of spices produced and processed in the country and analyse all the samples collected by the Board.
  • According to industry sources, Gujarat is an important centre for cumin (jeera), coriander, fennel production and exports. This lab will be helpful to improve quality products in the state.
  • The Spices Board has set up similar laboratories at Mumbai, Kochi, Guntur, Chennai, New Delhi and Tuticorin.
  • The laboratory can test samples for various parameters like total plate count, yeast and mould count, coliforms, aflatoxin, moisture, colour value and volatile oil.


Mumbai Police created 16 no-selfie zones


  • Mumbai Police on 25 February 2016 created 16 no-selfie zones around the city. The action was taken in response to several deaths of people taking selfies.
  • This enforcement of the order is police’s bid to discourage people from putting themselves at risk while taking selfies.
  • The spots include popular sea-fronts like Bandra Bandstand, Marine Drive and Juhu Chowpatty.
  • The process of identifying and marking certain spots in the city as 'No Selfie Zones' was initiated by Mumbai police in January 2016.
  • India is home to 19 of the world's 49 reported selfie deaths since 2014. These include two people who died earlier in February 2016 after one tried to take a selfie near a dam in the town of Nashik. A classmate who jumped in to try to save the man also drowned.


Obituaries –

Jain Irrigation founder chairman Bhavarlal Jain passes away


  • Jain Irrigation System founder Chairman and Padmashri awardee Bhavaralal Jain -- who pioneered micro-irrigation system in India -- died here today after a brief illness.
  • Jain, who was a renowned industrialist in Jalgaon and a pioneer in Indian agriculture, passed away in Jaslok Hospital today afternoon. He had been undergoing medical treatment at the hospital for the past 10 days, the company said in statement.
  • Jain would be remembered for transforming the lives of millions of farmers by pioneering the micro irrigation system in India.






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