Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 7th and 8th February, 2016. These are important for the upcoming LIC AAO Exam.
TRAI bats for net neutrality, says no to differential pricing
- In a big blow for social media giant Facebook, India's telecom regulator on Monday ruled out differential pricing for internet service providers.
- “Telecom service providers will be prohibited from offering different/discriminatory tariffs based on content, service, application or any other data which user is accessing or transmitting on the internet,” Trai said in its recommendations on differential pricing for data services.
- However, providing limited free data that enables user to access entire internet will be allowed and even in emergency situations such as floods and earthquake, operators will be allowed to offer free data plans.
- Operators will be fined if they violate any rules fixed by the Trai -- financial disincentive of Rs 50,000 for each day of contravention subject to maximum Rs 50 lakh. Also, operators cannot enter into any arrangement based on discriminatory pricing and would be fined if they do otherwise.
RBI cancels registration of 4 NBFCs
- The Reserve Bank of India on Monday said that it has cancelled the certificate of registration of four non-banking financial companies.
- No details were given by the apex bank for cancellation of the certificates of these firms.
- “The Reserve Bank has cancelled the certificate of registration of four non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) in exercise of the powers under the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934”, it said in a notification on Monday.
- Goyal Commercial Pvt Ltd and First Debt Management Co. of India Ltd are the NBFCs belonging to Kolkata, while Nostalgia Finvest Private Limited and Narad Realtors Private Limited belong to Mumbai.
- The registration certificate of these NBFCs were cancelled in November and December of 2015.
- “Following the cancellation of registration certificate, the above companies cannot transact the business of a non-banking financial institution”, RBI added.
DMICDL to implement India’s largest green-field Smart City in Dholera
- With Larsen & Toubro being awarded the Rs. 1,734-crore EPC contract, work on the construction of ancient port-city of Dholera in Gujarat, touted as India’s largest green-field smart city under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) is all set to role out with a SPV created to manage the new township on a sustainable basis.
- Cube Construction Engineering Ltd will construct the Administrative and Business Centre at Dholera, a company spokesman said.
- The ambitious project is being jointly promoted by the DMIC and Dholera Special Investment Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA). The first Board meeting of the Dholera Industrial City Development Ltd (DICDL), held on January 30, had approved the EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) contract for Rs. 1,734.04 crore for construction of roads and services by Larsen & Toubro.
- A second contract for Rs. 72.31 crore for construction of the Administration and Business Centre of Dholera (ABCD) was approved for Cube Construction Engineering Ltd.
HCL to collaborate with Microsoft for industrial Internet of Things
- HCL Technologies has launched an Internet of Things (IoT) incubation center in Redmond, Washington, USA, designed to leverage Microsoft Azure IoT Suite to accelerate enterprise IoT adoption.
- The HCL incubation center will build vertical solutions focused on two key growth areas - industrial & manufacturing and life sciences & healthcare, with use cases around industrial automation, remote patient monitoring and fleet management, among others.
- The center will also deploy a new model of innovation leveraging real-time analytics, sensory data and rapid co-creation allowing customers to experience the impact IoT can have on their ability to create sustainable business value.
National Air Quality Indices for 24 cities released by Central Pollution Control Board
- Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in the first week of February 2016 published National Air Quality Indices (NAQI) for 24 cities. The AQI published with a colour code and a numerical value will help in comparing pollution levels in each cities.
- The NAQI is determined on the basis of concentration of eight pollutants, including Particulate Matter (PM2.5 fine, respirable particles), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), ammonia (NH3) and lead (Pb).
- Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and Muzzafarpur in Bihar topped the list and were coded as ‘severe’ in terms of air pollution in January 2016 with an AQI value of 409 points each.
- These two cities are followed by Faridabad (399), Patna (388) and Agra (372) at 3rd, 4th and 5th position respectively.
- The national capital Delhi stood at the sixth position with 362 points and was coded as ‘very poor’.
- Earlier in December 2015, Delhi was coded as ‘Poor’ in AQI with 293 points. Seven other Indian cities were ahead of it and rated as ‘very poor’ and they were Agra (342), Faridabad (345), Kanpur (347), Lucknow (353), Muzzaffarpur (400), Patna (373) and Varanasi (366).
India's first aviation park to come up in Gujarat
- To strengthen the aviation sector in Gujarat, the state government has planned to set up the country's first-ever aviation park here, having a slew of facilities, including an airstrip, training school, helipad and space for setting up small manufacturing units among others.
- According to officials of government-owned Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd (GUJSAIL), this integrated park aims to raise awareness about the potential of the aviation sector among students, professionals, policymakers and business entities.
- GUJSAIL, which is given the task by the government to carry out the project, has recently identified a piece of land near Bagodara village, about 30 km from here.
First joint tactical exercise Sino-India Cooperation 2016 held in Chusul-Moldo area along LoAC
- India and China on 6 February 2016 held first joint tactical military exercise Sino-India 2016.
- The one-day long exercise was held in Chusul-Moldo area that is located along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
Details related to Sino-India 2016 exercise
- The exercise is part of the ongoing initiatives taken by India and China to ensure greater interaction between troops stationed along the LoAC.
- The focus of the exercise was on joint actions to tackle aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
- It was participated by 30 border troops each from both the countries.
- It complements the Hand-in-Hand series of India-China joint exercises which started in 2007.
Union Government launched 24x7 toll free Tourist Infoline in 12 International Languages
- Union government on 8 February 2016 launched the 24x7 Toll Free Tourist Infoline in 12 International Languages including Hindi and English in New Delhi.
- The languages handled by the contact centers include ten International languages besides English and Hindi, namely, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Silent Features of the Tourist Infoline Project
- This project is being implemented by the Union Ministry of Tourism through M/s TATA BSS who have been associated with the work after open bidding process.
- This Infoline service will provide information relating to Travel and Tourism in India to the domestic and International tourists or visitors.
- And it will assist the callers with advice on action to be taken during times of distress while travelling in India and if need be alert the concerned authorities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Paradip Oil Refinery in Odisha
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 7 February 2016 inaugurated the Paradip Oil Refinery in Odisha. It is Indian Oil Corporation Limited’s 11th refinery, which was dedicated to the nation by PM Modi.
- Built over a period of 16 years at a cost of 34555 crore rupees, the foundation stone for the Paradip Oil Refinery was laid by ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 24 May 2000.
- The refinery was expected to start production in the third quarter of 2013. Due to delays the cost of refinery project has increased by 2.5 per cent.
Key highlights of Paradip Oil Refinery
- Located 140 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, Paradip refinery is one of the most modern refineries in the world which can process cheaper high sulphur heavy crude oils. It has a complexity factor of 12.2 based on Nelson index.
- The refinery is equipped to produce fuels of premium grade Euro-IV and Euro-V quality.
Project Sunrise to improve HIV interventions among PWID in North-Eastern states launched
- Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jagat Prakash Nadda on 6 February 2016 launched the Project Sunrise in Imphal, Manipur.
- The project seeks to improve interventions against human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) among people who inject drugs (PWID) in eight north east States.
Features of Project Sunrise
- It seeks to improve coverage, quality and scale of HIV interventions among PWID, Female Injecting Drug Users (FIDU) and spouses of PWID.
- It is a 5-year programme aimed at complementing the ongoing National AIDS Control Programme (NACP).
- It will be implemented in 20 districts of 8 north eastern states at an estimated cost of 70 crore rupees.
Sushma Swaraj inaugurated Rise of Digital India Exhibition in Colombo
- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on 6 February 2016 inaugurated the Rise of Digital India Exhibition in Colombo. The exhibition was a part of Sangam -The Festival of India in Sri Lanka 2015-16.
- Swaraj was on a two day visit to Sri Lanka to co-chair the 9th session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting along with her Sri Lankan counterpart, Mangala Samaraweera.
- The Rise of Digital India exhibition showcases the initiative of Indian government to take the benefits of Information Technology to the common man. The exhibition is a part of six month long Festival of India celebrations in Sri Lanka.
McCullum ends ODI career with series win against Australia
- Brendon McCullum marked his last one-day international for New Zealand with a match and series victory over Australia today.
- McCullum’s farewell seemed likely to be soured by a dramatic batting collapse which saw New Zealand lose its last six wickets for 23 runs to be all out for 246, but the bowlers dismissed Australia for 191 with more than six overs to spare, winning by 55 runs to clinch a 2-1 series victory.
- Australia had been on target for victory when on 164-5 but the controversial dismissal of Mitch Marsh exposed the tail and New Zealand’s bowlers quickly wrapped up the win.
- Marsh was given out caught and bowled by Matt Henry when his forcing shot hit the toe of his boot and carried to the bowler who took the ball low down.
Sapna Devi won gold in women Wushu Taulu competition
- Sapna Devi on 7 February 2016 clinched gold for India in the women Wushu Taulu (Changquan) Competition of the 12th South Asian Games held at the Rising Sun Sports Complex, Assam Rifles, Laitkor in Shillong.
- Sapna bagged gold after scoring 9.45 points. The silver went to Susmita Tamang of Nepal with a score of 8.72. Pakistan's Nazia Parvaiz had to settle for the bronze with a score of 6:30 points.
- In the men's section, India’s Anjul Namdeo was able to bag a bronze medal after scoring 8:66 points. The gold went to Sri Lankan player P.L. H Lakshan with a score of 8:86, the silver went to Bijay Sinjali of Nepal with a score of 8:80 points.
ICC suspended Pakistan's leg-spinner Yasir Shah for doping offence
- International Cricket Council (ICC) on 7 February 2016 suspended Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah for three months after he tested positive for a banned substance, chlortalidone.
- The 29-year-old Yasir was suspended from Cricket after he pleaded guilty to breaching the ICC's Anti-Doping Code that relates to the presence of a banned substance in a player's sample.
- Chlortalidone, also used to treat high blood pressure, is on WADA's prohibited list of diuretics and masking agents and is prohibited both in-competition and out-of-competition.
France became first country in the world to ban supermarket food waste
- The French Senate on 3 February 2016 unanimously passed a law to ban large food stores from throwing away food that is approaching its expiration date. The National Assembly, France's other legislative chamber, had unanimously voted on the same measures in December 2015.
- With this, France has become the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and food banks.
- The law came into being after a petition was launched by anti-poverty campaigners led by Councillor Arash Derambarsh.
- With the new law, supermarkets are bound to make donations to charities and food banks, failing which they face a fine of 75000 euros and a jail term of 2 years.
- Stores of 400 square metres and above will have to sign contracts promising that they will give unsold food due to be thrown away before its best before date to charities and food banks.
Awards & Honors –
The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez won Directors Guild of America award 2015
- The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez was on 6 February 2016 received his second consecutive Directors Guild of America (DGA) award for best feature film at the 68th annual DGA Awards.
- Previously he won the same award for the movie Birdman which went on to win three Oscars for best picture, original screenplay and director.
- He has joined a select group of directors who have won the DGA trophy twice including Ang Lee, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, George Stevens, David Lean, Ron Howard and Joseph Mankiewicz.
- Steven Spielberg is the only director to have won the DGA feature trophy three times.
Vishal Mehta appointed as President of International Grown Diamond Association
- Vishal Mehta on 4 February 2016 was appointed as the President of the newly- formed International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA).
- Mehta is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IIa Technologies, which grows diamonds at its state-of-the-art facility in Singapore.
Acclaimed Poet-Lyricist Nida Fazli Dies at 78
- Renowned poet and lyricist Nida Fazli, who penned several soulful compositions like 'Kabhie kisi ko mukamil jahan nahi milta', passed away today after he complained of breathlessness at his residence in suburban Mumbai. He was 78.
- Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli, popularly known as Nida Fazli, was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award.
- Born in Delhi in a Kashmiri family, Fazli did his schooling in Gwalior. During the partition, his parents migrated to Pakistan, but Fazli decided to stay in India.
- Some of his famous ghazals include "Kabhie Kisi Ko Mukamil Jahan Nahi Milta", 'Aa Bhi Jaa, Aa Bhi Jaa' ("Sur"), "Tu Is Tarah Se Meri Zindagi Mein" ("Aap Toh Aise Na They") and 'Hosh Waalon Ko Khabar Kya' ("Sarfarosh").