Friday, February 05, 2016

Current Affairs Update – 5th February, 2016

Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 5th February, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO 2016 Exam.


Current Affairs at a Glance - 5th February, 2016
  1. The Reserve Bank today said it has got recognition for its efforts to improve regulatory reporting and has been given the XBRL International Award for Excellence. RBI said the award has been given to it in recognition of its efforts in 'Innovation and Continuous Pursuit of Improvement in Regulatory Reporting'.
  2. Indian writer Geethu Mohandas won Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award 2016 on 30 January 2016 for her script of yet-to-be shot film Insha Allah.
  3. Vice President Hamid Ansari today called on Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on whom India has decided to bestow the first world Sanskrit Award.
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 February 2016 dedicated the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) at Lepetkata, Assam to the nation.
  5. Power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (Bhel) today announced the inauguration of 500 Mw Kosti thermal power plant in Sundan, the largest in that country.
  6. Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra) on 4 February 2016 announced the signing of Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Birla Corporation Ltd in relation to 100 percent sale of its subsidiary Reliance Cement Company Private Limited (RCCPL).
  7. India through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). 
  8. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the 12th South Asian Games being held here are not just a sporting platform but also a "springboard for bringing peace and prosperity in the region through business".
  9. ICC appointed Rahul Dravid as member of newly constituted Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group
  10. Joe Alaskey, who voiced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Sylvester the Cat, among other legendary cartoon characters, has died of cancer, according to multiple reports. He was 63.



Awards & Honors –

RBI Gets Award for Innovation in XBRL Reporting


  • The Reserve Bank today said it has got recognition for its efforts to improve regulatory reporting and has been given the XBRL International Award for Excellence.
  • "The XBRL International, the global custodian of the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) standard awarded the 'XBRL International Award for Excellence' to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)," it said in a statement.
  • RBI said the award has been given to it in recognition of its efforts in 'Innovation and Continuous Pursuit of Improvement in Regulatory Reporting'.
  • The Deputy Governor R Gandhi had received the award on January 22, 2016 by XBRL International CEO John Turner.
  • Turner appreciated RBI for the widespread use of XBRL standard in its data collection system, said the release.
  • Turner, particularly mentioned that the approach taken by the RBI in implementing XBRL is quoted extensively in the global forum, it added.
  • XBRL has been adopted by around 60 countries and around 100 regulators around the globe.


Geethu Mohandas won Global Filmmaking award 2016 for script of Insha Allah


  • Indian writer Geethu Mohandas won Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award 2016 on 30 January 2016 for her script of yet-to-be shot film Insha Allah.  The award was presented at 2016 Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony held in Park City, Utah.
  • Geethu won the award for her wonderful narration about an 11 year old boy, Mullakoya who sets off on a treacherous journey from the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea to Indian mainland in search of his missing older brother and tired of living in the shadow of the colorful, magical-realist folklore.


Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Chosen for First World Sanskrit Award


  • Vice President Hamid Ansari today called on Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on whom India has decided to bestow the first world Sanskrit Award.
  • Sirindhorn, a 60-year-old scholar of Sanskrit who was the Royal Patron of the World Sanskrit Conference held here last year, will be travelling to India in this regard, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Anil Wadhwa said here.
  • Before leaving for home, Ansari called on Princess Sirindhorn at the Sra Pathum Palace this morning and inspected the Chitralada Project inside it.
  • Hers will be among the several visits by top Thai leaders expected this year including Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.
  • Over 600 Sanskrit scholars from 60 countries participated in the five-day conference last year which was inaugurated by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
  • Wadhwa also lauded Thailand for successfully hosting the 16th World Sanskrit Conference.


Finance/Industry –

Prime Minister dedicated Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited to Nation


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 February 2016 dedicated the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer Limited (BCPL) at Lepetkata, Assam to the nation.
  • The 10000-crore plant is the first ever petro-chemical project in the entire North-East and it will make raw material for manufacturing plastic.
  • The Brahamputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd was conceived as part of the Assam peace accord signed during the tenure of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and its foundation stone was laid in 2007 by the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
  • Addressed the Annual Conference of Srimanta Sankaradeva Sangha at Sibsagar. Modi was the first Prime Minister to attend the annual conference of the Srimanta Sankardev Sangha in its 85 years history.


Bhel launches Kosti thermal power plant in Sudan


  • Power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (Bhel) today announced the inauguration of 500 Mw Kosti thermal power plant in Sundan, the largest in that country.
  • Significantly, this is Bhel's largest oil-fired thermal power plant in the overseas market and also its first crude-oil fired thermal power plant in Africa.
  • "Bhel built Kosti (UM DABAKER) Thermal Power Plant (4x125 Mw), the largest thermal power plant of Sudan, was inaugurated by His Excellency Omer Hassan Ahmed El-Basheer, President of Sudan," the company said in a statement.
  • Bhel CMD Atul Sobti and senior officials of the government of Sudan as well as the Indian Embassy, were present on the occasion, it said.


Reliance Infra signed Agreement with Birla Corp to sell its Cement Plant


  • Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (RInfra) on 4 February 2016 announced the signing of Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Birla Corporation Ltd in relation to 100 percent sale of its subsidiary Reliance Cement Company Private Limited (RCCPL).
  • While RInfra is an entity of the Anil Ambani-headed Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (Reliance ADAG), Birla Corp is the flagship Company of the M P Birla Group.
  • The deal was valued at 4800 crore rupees or 140 US dollars per tonne and the proceeds will utilised by RInfra towards debt reduction.
  • Under the SPA, the Birla Corp will acquire an integrated cement capacity of 5.08 Metric tonnes per annum (Mtpa) at Maihar, Madhya Pradesh and Kundanganj, Uttar Pradesh and a grinding unit of 0.5 Mtpa at Butibori, Maharashtra.


India –

Vice President Hamid Ansari concluded his two-nation tour to Thailand and Brunei

  • Vice-President Hamid Ansari on 5 February 2016 concluded his two-nation tour to Thailand and Brunei.
  • During the 5-day visit that started on 1 February 2016, the Vice President held talks with the head of governments, political leaders and Indian diaspora to enhance bilateral relations.
  • He visited the country for three days starting from 1 February 2016 on the invitation of Crown Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah.
  • With this tour, Hamid Ansari became the first Vice President to visit Brunei since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • He met the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah.



India signed agreement to become an Associate Member State of EMBO


  • India through the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology signed a Cooperation Agreement to acquire the status of the Associate Member State European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). 
  • The agreement will strengthen scientific interaction and collaborative research between India and Europe in this field.
  • After the signing of an agreement with Singapore by Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC) in July 2015, India became second such country outside the European region.
  • The official kick-off launch ceremony of the agreement was held on 4 February 2016 in New Delhi.
  •  Researchers working in India are now eligible to participate in all EMBO programmes and activities.
  •  Indian scientists can apply to EMBO’s programmes, such as long-term fellowships for postdoctoral researchers, short-term fellowships, courses and workshops, as well as the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.
  •  At the same time, Europe will benefit from networking with the top-level scientists in India’s research community.


India ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage

  • India on 4 February 2016 submitted its Instrument of Ratification of the Convention of Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at Vienna, Austria.
  • The instrument is an important multilateral treaty relating to liability and compensation for damage caused by a nuclear incident.
  • The instrument of Ratification was handed over to Juan Carlos Lentijo, Acting Director General of IAEA by India's Permanent Representative in Vienna Rajiva Misra. The CSC was ratified five years after it was signed on 27 October 2010.


Tea Board issued Version 5.0 of Plant Protection Code expanding list of Pesticides for use


  • The Tea Board of India (TBI) in January 2016 issued Version 5.0 of the Plant Protection Code (PPC) by expanding the list of pesticides and chemicals to 37 from previous 35 that is permitted for use by Indian tea industry.
  • The two new additions in the list are Emamectin Benzoate 5 SG and Flubendiamide 20 WG. The addition became mandatory from 1 January 2015.
  • Use of these two chemicals was cleared by the Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee.


Odisha Government allowed tourists into certain tribal areas after three years ban

  • The Odisha government on 4 February 2016 lifted the restrictions on visit of foreign tourists to certain tribal areas in the State. The ban was lifted after three years.
  • The revised guidelines relaxed restrictions that will enable foreign tourists to trek and learn the lifestyle of primitive tribes living in certain hilly terrains.
  •  Foreign tourists have been asked to pay respect to the culture and tradition of tribals.
  •  The tourists will have to submit their proposed itinerary to the police superintendents of the concerned districts.
  •  The foreign tourists have been asked to take photographs only with the consent of the tribals.


Sports –

PM Inaugurates 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the 12th South Asian Games being held here are not just a sporting platform but also a "springboard for bringing peace and prosperity in the region through business".
  • Declaring the Games open in a colourful ceremony here this evening, Modi said the Games would help form lasting bonds between the participating athletes.
  • Eight countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, besides India will be vying for the top honours in the Games to be co-hosted by Shillong.
  • There will be 228 gold, 228 silver and 308 bronze medals on offer this time. The two North Eastern cities will play host to 3,333 athletes and officials.
  • India, who had topped the medal tally in all the editions so far, have the largest number of participants with 521 athletes (245 women).


ICC appointed Rahul Dravid as member of newly constituted Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group


  • The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on 3 February 2016 constituted Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group.
  • A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting headed by the ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar. The meeting was held at the ICC headquarters in Dubai, the UAE.
  • Apart from Rahul Dravid as a member, the group will consist of a Chairman, two members and two ex-officio members.
  • David Peever (Chairman); He is the Chairman of the ICC Executive Committee
  • Rahul Dravid (Member); Former Indian captain


World –

Supporting Syria & the Region Conference 2016 held in London

  • Supporting Syria and the Region Conference 2016 was held on 4 February 2016 in London. The objective of the conference was to discuss issues related to the over 5-year old civil war in Syria and measures to mitigate the humanitarian conflict faced by the country and the region as a whole.
  • The conference was co-hosted by Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations and saw the participation of over 60 countries.
  • In addition to deliberating on the 2016 Syria humanitarian response plan (HRP) and Regional refugee and resilience plan (3RP) 2016-17, the conference announced 10.7 billion US dollars to undertake humanitarian activities in Syria between 2016 and 2020.


NASA’s New Horizons mission spotted floating hills on Pluto


  • NASA’s New Horizons mission on 14 July 2015 spotted the nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appeared to carry numerous isolated hills which are likely to be the fragments of water ice, as per the press release of NASA on 4 February 2016.
  • As the nitrogen-dominated ice is dense than water ice, it is believed that newly found water ice hills are floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen and resembles icebergs in Earth’s Arctic Ocean. These hills individually measure one to several miles or kilometers across.
  • These hills are another example of Pluto’s fascinating and abundant geological activity and are likely to be fragments of the rugged uplands and smaller versions of the large and jumbled mountains on Sputnik Planum’s western border.


Appointments –

US General John Nicholson named NATO commander in Afghanistan


  • Army Lieutenant General John Nicholson was appointed as the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan. His nomination to the post was confirmed by US Senate committee on 4 February 2016.
  • He succeeded US General John Campbell who has been leading the Afghan operations for nearly 18 months.
  • The powerful Senate Armed Services Committee confirmed Nicholson's nomination during a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan where the outgoing commander US General John Campbell testified before the Senators.
  • At present, Nicholas was US Army commander of NATO land forces.


Obituaries –

Voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck Joe Alaskey Dead


  • Joe Alaskey, who voiced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and Sylvester the Cat, among other legendary cartoon characters, has died of cancer, according to multiple reports. He was 63.
  • Alaskey's spokesperson, KP Lynne, shared the news on the actor's Facebook page, writing, "Never doubt that Joe loved each and every one of you. Your comments and posts always made his day and brought joy to his heart and life", reported Variety.
  • Alaskey replaced Mel Blanc as the voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck after his death in 1989, assuming the Warner Bros characters during the 2000s, including in the film "Looney Tunes: Back in Action."
  • He has also given voice to other Looney Tunes animated heroes, including Tweety and Sylvester. He served as the primary voice for Plucky Duck on "Tiny Toon Adventures" and Yosemite Sam on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
  • Alaskey won a Daytime Emmy Award for voicing Daffy the Duck on Cartoon Network's "Duck Dodgers."





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