Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 4th February, 2016. These are Important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016.
TCS became world's most powerful IT Services brand
- Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on 3 February 2016 announced that it has been rated as the World’s Most Powerful Brand in IT Services by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation firm.
- Scoring highly on a wide variety of measures such as familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, TCS emerged as the IT services industry's most powerful brand with a score of 78.3 points earning it an AA+ rating.
- TCS is also the fastest growing brand within its industry over the last six years.
Key highlights of Brand Finance Global 500 2016 Report
- Disney is the world’s most powerful brand
- Despite slowing sales, Apple is the world’s most valuable brand
- Volkswagen brand value falls by $12 billion US dollars following emissions scandal
Telangana signs several pacts with Ontario
- Ontario Province, Canada and Telangana State have today inked a slew of MoUs in the areas of education, infrastructure, IT and research.
- Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, who spoke at a plenary session attended by Ontario delegates and representatives from Indian companies and institutions, said generating trade, jobs and economic growth for both regions is the intent.
- The key pacts inked include the new manufacturing unit to be set up by Data Wind, joint venture between Astra Microwave Products Ltd and Vaughan, Ontario-based broad based systems. It will provide broadcasting services, satellite uplinking and medical imaging products to India and other regional markets.
- Another MoU between the IIT, Hyderabad and Hamilton, Ontario-based McMaster University to generate opportunities to create intellectual property through innovation and to commercialise research outcomes was signed.
- The Nuclear Fuel Complex and Toronto-based Kinectics signed an agreement for one of the most advanced partnerships in the Canada – India nuclear energy initiatives while Ottawa-based Solantro and their Indian partner, Smarttrack will collaborate on the development of power electric solutions for renewable energy and micro inverters.
CIPET signed MoU with Karnataka Government to set up Advanced Polymer Laboratory in Bengaluru
- Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET), under the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers on 3 February 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Karnataka Government to set up Advanced Polymer Design and Development Research Laboratory cum High Learning Centre at Bengaluru.
- The State Government share 50 percent of project cost apart from allotting the required land for the centre.
- Union Government will bear the remaining 50 Percent and act as a multi-functional one-step facility with specialization in product development in Polymer sector.
Union Government granted Miniratna Category-I Status to HSCC
- Union Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda on 1 February 2016 awarded the certificate of Miniratna Category-I status to Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation (I) Ltd (HSCC). The honour was awarded to its CMD Gyanesh Pandey at Nirman Bhawan in New Delhi.
- It got the status for its consistency in excellent performance in top and bottom-line growth along with its turnover, particularly for the last five years. These status are granted by the Department of Public Enterprises under Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises.
- HSSC is a Public Sector Enterprise under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare since its inception it has been a profit making organisation. As a result, it attained the Miniratna-II status in 2002.
- Criteria to award Miniratna Status
- Those CPSEs that have shown profits in the last continuous three years and have positive net worth can be considered eligible for grant of Miniratna status.
India, China Hold Inaugural Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation
- Amid enduring tensions over the South China Sea, India and China today held inaugural round of talks on maritime cooperation.
- The dialogue here covered a range of issues of mutual interest, including exchange of perspectives on maritime security and prospects for maritime cooperation between the two countries, the External Affairs Ministry said.
- It said developments in international regimes such as UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and IMO (International Maritime Organisation) also figured in the discussions.
- The Indian delegation was led by Amandeep Singh Gill, Joint Secretary (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Chinese delegation was led by Kong Xuanyou, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
India's first Ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug, BGR-34, launched by CSIR
- Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on 3 February 2016 launched the BGR-34, the country's first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug for Diabetes. BGR is acronym for blood glucose regulator.
- The ayurvedic drug BGR-34 was launched at Kozhikode, Kerala by CSIR's Senior Principal Scientist Dr AKS Rawat as part of the Global Ayurveda Festival in the city.
- BGR-34 is designed for type 2 Diabetes mellitus, has been scientifically validated for its efficacy and safety. Priced at 5 rupees per tablet, the medicine is now available at all major chemist counters of Kerala.
Bharat Biotech unveiled first vaccine candidate Zikavac for Zika Virus
- Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech on 3 February 2016 claimed that it has achieved a breakthrough in developing a vaccine to fight the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
- Bharat Biotech developed world’s first, two promising candidates ZikaVac vaccines for Zika infection.
- The company is probably the first in the world to file for global patent for the two vaccines.
- One of the possible vaccines is recombinant, which means it is created by genetic engineering, while the other was inactivated, and will enter pre-clinical trials in animals in two weeks.
India to participate in Cobra Gold 2016 military exercise in Thailand
- The term Cobra Gold was in news on 3 February 2016 as India confirmed its participation in the annual amphibious military exercise in 2016.
- The decision in this regard was conveyed to Thailand, the host country, during Vice President Hamid Ansari’s visit to the country.
- It is the largest Asia-Pacific military exercise and held in Thailand every year.
- It is among the largest multinational military exercise in which the United States participates.
- As of 2014, Cobra Gold has three distinct activities, namely, the Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise (CALFEX), Command Post Exercise (CPX) and activity related to assisting the local Thai population.
Reliance Defence to set up Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation & Research in Aerospace in Bengaluru
- Reliance Defence Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, will set up the Dhirubhai Ambani Centre for Innovation and Research in Aerospace in Bengaluru.
- An announcement in this regard was made by the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani on 3 February 2016 at the Invest Karnataka 2016 summit in Bengaluru.
- The centre, the first-ever of its kind in the private sector in India, will be a world class facility for research, development and innovation in aerospace technology. It will generate more than 1500 highly skilled jobs.
- The centre will be a knowledge-driven technology venture and will function as a global centre of aerospace excellence.
Canadian province of Prince Edward Island & Ontario signed MoUs in Chandigarh
- Canadian Provinces of Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Ontario in first week of February 2016 inked Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in Chandigarh. The MoUs were inked during the India visit of the premiers of PEI and Ontario Wade MacLauchlan and Kathleen Wynne respectively.
- The meetings were focused on cultivating relationships with India in renewable energy, sustainable development, food products, and post-secondary education.
- MoU to facilitate exchanges of faculty and students and collaboration on research and programming was signed by University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) with Chitkara University and the Punjab Agricultural University.
- MoU to send apples grown in eastern Prince Edward Island to markets in India and Asia was signed between the province and Canadian Nectar products.
Aruna Sethi appointed as first women head of Indian Cost Accounting Service
- Aruna Sethi, the Principal Adviser (Cost), on 1 February 2016 took over charge as the head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS). With this appointment, she became the first woman to occupy the post.
- Prior to the present elevation, Aruna, a 1985 batch ICoAS officer, held important portfolios in Government of India including Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Defence etc.
DJ Pandian appointed Vice President of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
- Former chief secretary of Gujarat DJ Pandian was appointed vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on 3 February 2016.
- His appointment as vice-president and chief investment officer was approved by AIIB. The retired 1981-batch IAS officer of Gujarat cadre had worked on deputation with the World Bank in Washington. He was also the MD of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).
- The Beijing-based 100 billion dollar multi-lateral lender, AIIB was set up in Beijing on 25 December 2015. It was established to boost lending for infrastructure projects such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare.
Awards & Honors –
Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan selected for Bhimsen Joshi Award
- Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan on 3 February 2016 was selected for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Award for 2015-2016.
- Narayan’s selection for the award was announced by Maharashtra's Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde in Mumbai.
- Pandit Ram Narayan popularised the bowed instrument sarangi as a solo concert instrument in Hindustani classical music and became the first internationally successful sarangi player.
- He was awarded India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2005.
Manipuri documentary Phum-Shang won Golden Conch Award at MIFF 2016
- Manipuri documentary film Phum-Shang on 3 February 2016 bagged the prestigious Golden Conch Award for the best documentary film at the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Animation and Short Films (MIFF 2016).
- The film is directed by Haobam Paban Kumar, an alumnus of the Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata.
- The 52-minute film critically examines the serious environmental problems faced by the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. The lake is characterised by its unique floating biomass, known as Phumdi, which is the primary source of livelihood for fishermen who live on huts built on the Phumdis.
- Swiss film My Name Is Salt and an Indian film Placebo shared the Golden Conch Award for the best feature length documentary film.
She-Taxi initiative of Kerala bagged Chief Minister's Award for Innovation
- Kerala’s all-women taxicab service She-Taxi on 3 February 2016 received the prestigious Chief Minister's Award for Innovation in Public Policy 2014 in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. It was selected for the recognition in the developmental interventions category.
- This initiative was selected for the award considering it as a unique model and its possibility to replicate in other places.
- In short span of time, it addressed the safety and security concerns of women travellers along with the contribution to socio-economic empowerment aspect of women in the state.
Pacific Rim nations signed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
- All twelve Pacific Rim countries on 4 February 2016 signed the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand. This is one of the biggest trade deals in history.
- The ceremonial signing event on the pact was led by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and US Trade Representative Mike Froman at Auckland's Sky City Convention Centre.
- The trade deal looks to facilitate investment between 12 countries across the Pacific Rim, which together account for about 40 percent of the global economy. The agreement was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.
WHO recommended to rate movies with smoking scenes to protect children from tobacco addiction
- World Health Organisation (WHO) on 1 February 2016 recommended all governments to rate movies with smoking scenes to protect children and adolescents from tobacco addiction in Geneva.
- According to the WHO’s third edition of Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action report, movies showing the use of tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking.
EU approved 3.3 billion euros funding to Turkey to cope with Syrian refugee crisis
- The European Union (EU) on 3 February 2016 approved 3.3 billion Euros in funding to help Turkey cope with the issue of Syrian migrants. At present, Turkey is home to around 3 million Syrians who fled the country since the beginning of the civil war in 2011.
- The funding is aimed at curbing flow of asylum seekers into the Europe by tightening its borders with Turkey.
- Under the deal, the EU's executive is contributing one billion euros to the fund, while the 28 member states will contribute the rest.
World Cancer Day 2016 observed with theme We can. I can.
- World Cancer Day (WCD) 2016 was observed across the world on 4 February 2016. The day was observed with year’s theme – We can. I can.
- World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. The tagline of the theme reflects on what you can do and asks to make a pledge and take action and make a difference in fight against cancer.