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FEBRUARY 2016 GA REFRESHER

RBI
1. RBI keeps key rates unchanged

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on 02 Feb 2016 kept the key policy rate unchanged, but said the monetary
policy will remain accommodative if fiscal side helps.
Accordingly, the repo rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to the system will continue at 6.75 per cent.
The cash reserve ratio (CRR) or the amount of deposits banks park with RBI has also been unchanged at 4
per cent.
Repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF): unchanged at 6.75 per cent.
Reverse repo rate under the LAF: unchanged at 5.75 per cent.
Marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate has unchanged at 7.75 per cent.
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks: Unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability
(NDTL).
In Financial Year (FY) 2016 growth will be at 7.4% with downward bias and FY17 growth at 7.6 % despite
headwinds.

2. RBI cancels registration of 4 NBFCs


The Reserve Bank of India on 08 Feb 2016 said that it 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.
The 4 NBFCs are Goyal Commercial Pvt Ltd and First Debt Management Co. of India Ltd belonging to
Kolkata, while Nostalgia Finvest Private Limited and Narad Realtors Private Limited belong to Mumbai.
Following the cancellation of registration certificate, the above companies cannot transact the business of a
non-banking financial institution.
3. RBI releases report on Introduction of Interest Rate Options
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 February 2016 released the Report of the Working Group on
Introduction of Interest Rate Options in India.
An RBI working group headed by Prof PG Apte observed that the financial entities, including banks, do not
have any instruments to manage the embedded options on their balance sheets.
Interest rate options (IROs) give buyers the right, but not the obligation, to pay or receive a predetermined
interest rate (the strike price) over an agreed period.

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4. RBI signs pact with UAE's central bank


The RBI on 12 Feb 2016 signed a pact with the Central Bank of the UAE to enter into a Currency Swap
Agreement, which is aimed at strengthening economic ties with the Gulf nation.
The MoU was signed between RBI chief Raghuram Rajan and UAEs Central Bank Governor Mubarak
Rashed Al Mansoori.
India is UAEs top trading partner while the latter is Indias third largest trading partner after the U.S. and
China.
5. RBI to inject adequate additional liquidity to support banks
The Reserve Bank of India will inject adequate additional liquidity using a combination of appropriate
instruments while continuing with its normal liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) operations.
This will be done with a view to addressing the "expected tightening of liquidity conditions" next month on
account of advance tax payments by corporates and in order to provide flexibility to the banking system in
its liquidity management towards March-end 2016.
6. Apex court asks RBI to give list of defaulters of overRs. 500 cr loan
The Supreme Court on 16 Feb 2016 directed the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to provide a list of
companies which are defaulters of bank loans of over Rs. 500 crore while expressing serious concern over
the rise in bad loans.
The apex court also asked the RBI to provide within six weeks the list of companies whose loans have been
restructured under corporate debt restructuring schemes.
7. RBI extends SAARC currency swap arrangement
In order to enhance economic cooperation and strengthen financial stability, RBI has extended the $2
billion currency swap arrangement to SAARC nations till mid-November 2017.
The extension aims at enhacing economic cooperation and strengthens financial stability within the
SAARC region.
The SAARC Swap Arrangement was offered by the RBI to SAARC nations on November 15, 2012.
The facility will be available to all SAARC member countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan,
Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

UNION BUDGET 2016-17


Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley presents Union Budget 2016-17
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents his third Union Budget.
With an eye on supporting the small tax-payer and the small investor, the Minister announced a slew of
schemes, and income tax exemptions.
He introduced a slew of taxes and cess to be imposed on services to help rural welfare programmes.
Income tax slabs for the financial year 2016-17 has remained unchanged, the finance minister announced in
the Parliament.
India hailed as a bright spot amidst a slowing global economy by IMF.
Arun Jaitley announces the nine pillars of the Union Budget 2015-17:1. Agriculture and Farmers Welfare: with focus on doubling farmers income in five years;
2. Rural Sector: with emphasis on rural employment and infrastructure;
3. Social Sector including Healthcare: to cover all under welfare and health services;
4. Education, Skills and Job Creation: to make India a knowledge based and productive society;
5. Infrastructure and Investment: to enhance efficiency and quality of life;
6. Financial Sector Reforms: to bring transparency and stability;
7. Governance and Ease of Doing Business: to enable the people to realise their full potential;
8. Fiscal Discipline: prudent management of Government finances and delivery of benefits to the needy;
and Tax Reforms: to reduce compliance burden with faith in the citizenry.

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9.

Global growth has slowed down from 3.4% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2015.

Highlights:
Taxation:
Infrastructure and agriculture cess to be levied.
Excise duty raised from 10 to 15 per cent on tobacco products other than beedis
1 per cent service charge on purchase of luxury cars over Rs. 10 lakh and in-cash purchase of goods and
services over Rs. 2 lakh.
4% high capacity tax for SUVs.
Companies with revenue less than Rs 5 crore to be taxed at 29% plus surcharge
Limited tax compliance window from Jun 1 - Sep 30 for declaring undisclosed income at 45% incl.
surcharge and penalties
Excise 1 per cent imposed on articles of jewellery, excluding silver.
0.5 per cent Krishi Kalyan Cess to be levied on all services.
Pollution cess of 1 per cent on small petrol, LPG and CNG cars; 2.5 per cent on diesel cars of certain
specifications; 4 per cent on higher-end models.
Dividend in excess of Rs. 10 lakh per annum to be taxed at additional 10 per cent.
Personal Finance:

No changes have been made to existing income tax slabs


Rs 1,000 crore allocated for new EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) scheme
Govt. will pay EPF contribution of 8.33% for all new employees for first three years
Deduction for rent paid will be raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000 to benefit those living in rented houses.
Additional exemption of Rs. 50,000 for housing loans up to Rs. 35 lakh, provided cost of house is not
above Rs. 50 lakh.
Service tax exempted for housing construction of houses less than 60 sq. m
15 per cent surcharge on income above Rs. 1 crore
Social:
Rs. 38,500 crore for Mahtma Gandhi MGNREGA for 2016-17
Swacch Bharat Abhiyan allocated Rs.9,500 crores.
LPG connections to be provided under the name of women members of family: Rs 2000 crore allocated for
5 years for BPL families.
100 crore each for celebrating the Birth Centenary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay and the 350th Birth
Anniversary of Guru 5 Gobind Singh.
2.87 lakh crore grants to gram panchayats and municipalities - a quantum jump of 228%.
300 urban clusters to be set up under Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission
Four schemes for animal welfare.
Health:

2.2 lakh renal patients added every year in India. Basic dialysis equipment gets some relief.
A new health protection scheme for health cover upto 1 lakh per family.
National Dialysis Service Prog with funds thru PPP mode to provide dialysis at all district hospitals.
Senior citizens will get additional healthcare cover of Rs 30,000 under the new scheme
PM Jan Aushadhi Yojana to be strengthened, 300 generic drug store to be opened
Stand Up India Scheme to facilitate at least two projects per bank branch.

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Education:
Scheme to get Rs.500 cr for promoting entrepreneurship among SC/ST
10 public and 10 private educational institutions to be made world-class.
Digital repository for all school leaving certificates and diplomas. Rs. 1,000 crore for higher education
financing.
Rs. 1,700 crore for 1500 multi-skill development centres.
62 new navodaya vidyalayas to provide quality education
Digital literacy scheme to be launched to cover 6 crore additional rural households
Entrepreneurship training to be provided across schools, colleges and massive online courses.
Objective to skill 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojna-FM Jaitley
National Skill Development Mission has imparted training to 76 lakh youth. 1500 Multi-skill training
institutes to be set up.
Energy:

Rs. 3000 crore earmarked for nuclear power generation


Govt drawing comprehensive plan to be implemented in next 15-20 years for exploiting nuclear energy
Govt to provide incentive for deepwater gas exploration
Deepwater gas new disc to get calibrated market freedom, pre-determined ceiling price based on landed
price of alternate fuels.

Investments and infrastructure

Rs. 27,000 crore to be spent on roadways


65 eligible habitats to be connected via 2.23 lakh kms of road. Current construction pace is 100 kms/day
Shops to be given option to remain open all seven days in a week across markets.
Rs. 55,000 crore for roads and highways. Total allocation for road construction, including PMGSY, - Rs
97,000 crore
India's highest-ever production of motor vehicles was recorded in 2015
Total outlay for infrastructure in Budget 2016 now stands at Rs. 2,21,246 crore
New greenfield ports to be developed on east and west coasts
Revival of underserved airports. Centre to Partner with States to revive small airports for regional
connectivity
100 per cent FDI in marketing of food products produced and marketed in India
Dept. of Disinvestment to be renamed as Dept. of Investment and Public Asset Management
Govt will amend Motor Vehicle Act in passenger vehicle segment to allow innovation.
MAT will be applicable for startups that qualify for 100 per cent tax exemption
Direct tax proposals result in revenue loss of Rs.1060 crore, indirect tax proposals result in gain of
Rs.20,670 crore

Agriculture:

Total allocation for agriculture and farmer welfare at Rs 35984 crores


28.5 lakh heactares of land wil be brought under irrigation.
5 lakh acres to be brought under organic farming over a three year period
Rs 60,000 crore for recharging of ground water recharging as there is urgent need to focus on drought hit
areas cluster development for water conservation.
Dedicated irrigation fund in NABARD of Rs.20.000 cr
Nominal premium and highest ever compensation in case of crop loss under the PM Fasal Bima Yojna.
Banking:

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Banks get a big boost: Rs 25,000 crore towards recapitalisation of public sector banks.
Jaitley says: Banking Board Bureau will be operationalised, we stand solidly behind public sector banks.
Target of disbursement under MUDRA increased to 1,80,000 crore
Process of transfer of government stake in IDBI Bank below 50% started
General Insurance companies will be listed in the stock exchange
Govt to increase ATMs, micro-ATMs in post offices in next three years

FISCAL DISCIPLINE

Fiscal deficit in RE 2015-16 and BE 2016-17 retained at 3.9% and 3.5%.


Revenue Deficit target from 2.8% to 2.5% in RE 2015-16
Total expenditure projected at 19.78 lakh crore
Plan expenditure pegged at 5.50 lakh crore under Plan, increase of 15.3%
Non-Plan expenditure kept at 14.28 lakh crores
Mobilisation of additional finances to the extent of 31,300 crore by NHAI, PFC, REC, IREDA,
NABARD and Inland Water Authority by raising Bonds.
Committee to review the implementation of the FRBM Act.

RAILWAY BUDGET 2016-17


Railway Budget 2016-17 announced by Suresh Prabhu
Union Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu presented the Railway Budget 2016-17 on 25 Feb 2016. The theme
of the budget- Overcoming challenges Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways: Chalo,
Milkar Kuch Naya Karen.
He, in his second Rail Budget, said the three pillars of the budget are Nav Arjan New revenues, Nav
Manak New norms, Nav Sanrachna New Structures reflecting three R's.
The Union Railway Budget 2016-17 focused on capacity creation in the rail sector, with an increased
outlay of about Rs. 1.21 lakh crore, and on completion of the ongoing projects rather than announcing new
ones. Extending 2015's measure, passenger fares remain the same.
Mr. Prabhu's announcements included India's first rail auto hub in Chennai, boost to e-catering,
connectivity to North-East and Wi-Fi in railway stations.
No Hike in Passenger Fare
65,000 Additional Berths and 17,000 Bio Toilets to be Installed
Operations Audit to Improve Punctuality of trains Proposed
Online Booking of wheelchairs and Braille enabled new coaches to be introduced for the Divyang
Wi Fi Facilities in 400 more Stations
2500 water vending machines to be installed
Stations to be Developed Under PPP Mode
Award of Civil Contracts for Dedicated Freight Corridor to be Over by the end of this Financial Year
Capacity of E-Ticketing System to be Enhanced
Introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines, mobile apps & GoIndia smartcard for cashless
purchase of UTS and PRS tickets
Enhanced capacity of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute
SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches to be introduced
Increased Quota of Lower Berth for Senior Citizens and Women
820 Rail Over Bridges (ROB)/ Rail Under Bridges (RUB) constructed
Operating Ratio to Increase from 90% to 92% Proposed
Nargol- Hazira Port Connectivity to be taken up under PPP Mode
Clean my Coach service through SMS
Two dedicated freight corridors by 2019

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ECONOMY
1. DIPP gives nod to set up Indias first Defence Industrial Park
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) of Union Government has given its final approval to
Kerala Governments approval to set up Indias first Defence Industrial Park at Ottappalam. Proposal in
this regard was forwarded by Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra), a Kerala
government owned Public Sector Company.
Union government also has agreed to bring the park under the Modified Industrial Infrastructure
Upgradation Scheme (MIIUS).
The park would be established in 60 acres of land at cost of Rs. 231 crore with the financial help of Central
and State government.
Union government will invest Rs 50 crore in it while the rest of the amount would be met by the State
government.
2. SBI launches FlexiPay Home loan
State Bank of India introduced a new home loan scheme SBI FlexiPay Home Loan for young working
professionals/executives.
Under the scheme, borrowers will get higher loan amount compared to their loan eligibility under normal
home loan schemes and they will also have the option of step-up monthly repayments.
The additional loan amount under FlexiPay will help working professionals/executives acquire better and
spacious living spaces for themselves and their families, taking into account their future needs.
For lowering the impact of additional loan amount on monthly repayments in form of EMIs, the customers
availing of loan under the scheme will also be offered the option of paying only interest during the
moratorium (pre-EMI) period of 3 to 5 years. Thereafter, they will pay moderated EMIs.
3. World pledges $10B for Syrians
World leaders pledged more than $10 billion to help fund schools, shelter and jobs for refugees from
Syria's civil war at "Supporting Syria and the Region Conference 2016", which was held on 4 February
2016 in London.
The conference was co-hosted by Germany, Kuwait, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United Nations
and saw the participation of over 60 countries.
4. Mahindra AMC gets Sebi nod
Mahindra Asset Management Company has received markets regulator Sebi's approval for setting up of
mutual fund business.
Mahindra AMC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services (MMFS).
At present, there are over 40 mutual fund houses operating in the country.
HDFC MF, ICICI Prudential and Reliance MF are among the top mutual fund companies in India.
MMFS is a part of the Anand Mahindra-led Mahindra group.
5. B2B meet for SMEs begins in Kochi
The three-day Kerala Business-to-Business Meet 2016 has inaugurated at the CIAL Trade Fair &
Exhibition Centre in Nedumbassery.
The meet will provide the SMEs in Kerala greater exposure to businesses outside Kerala and even India.
SMEs from seven sectors food processing industry, handlooms, textiles & garments, rubber, wood-based
industries, Ayurveda, herbal & cosmetics, engineering with electrical & electronics are participating in
the meet.
6. Sebi task force to review norms for commexes
Commodity markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to review the
existing risk management systems, delivery mechanisms and procedures for supervising warehouses by
commodity exchanges.

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For this, Sebi has set up a task force, which will submit its report in three weeks.
Sebi also reversed liberalisation in some of the position limits and the National Commodity and Derivatives
Exchange (NCDEX) had to suspend castor seed contracts, one of its most liquid commodities, to avoid
defaults.

7. Modi calls for 10% cut in oil imports by 2022


Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated Indian Oil Corporations (IOCs) new state of the art refinery at
Paradip in Odisha to the nation.
He stressed on cutting crude oil imports by 10% by 2022, the year marking 75 years of India's
independence.
Set up at an investment of 34, 555 crore, the refinery is the 11th for IndianOil and adds 15 miilion metric
tonnes per annum (MMTPA) to take total capacity to 80.7 MMTPA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the permanent campus of National Institute of Science
Education and Research (NISER) in Jatani near Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The primary objective of NISER is to train and nurture human resources in the field of Sciences for the
knowledge economies of the future.
8. India to grow at 5-year high of 7.6 per cent in 2015-16
Indian economy will grow at a 5-year high of 7.6 per cent in the fiscal ending March, overtaking a slowing
China, on the back of improvement in manufacturing and farm sectors.
Gross domestic product (GDP) will expand by 7.6 per cent in 2015-16 compared with 7.2 per cent a year
earlier, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The previous high at 8.9 per cent was recorded in 2010-11. China grew 6.9 per cent in 2015 while Russia
contracted 3.7 per cent. Brazil is forecast to shrink 3.7 per cent.
9. Bandhan Bank launches VISA debit cards
Kolkata-based Bandhan Bank on 09 Feb 2016 launched VISA debit cards and announced availability of
services for NRIs. NRIs will henceforth be able to open accounts with selected branches of the bank.
The debit cards launched in collaboration with VISA will be available in two variants - Classic and
Platinum. Benefits will be available as per the category selected.
10. FM inaugurates the Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP)
The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley inaugurated the Non-Tax Receipt Portal (NTRP), developed by
the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on 15 Feb 2016.
The portal will electronically collect over Rs 2 lakh crore annually in non-tax receipts from sources such as
dividends by state-owned firms, RBI and spectrum fee.
The annual collection of Non Tax Receipts is over Rs. 2 lakh crores.
11. PNB declares United Breweries Holdings wilful defaulter
Vjay Mallya-led United Breweries Holdings Ltd on 16 Feb 2016 said it has been declared a Willful
Defaulter by Punjab National Bank (PNB).
Punjab National Bank vide letter dated February 11, has declared the company a Willful Defaulter,
United United Breweries Holdings Ltd (UBHL).
12. SBI launches 'Japan Desk' for India-bound investments
State Bank of India (SBI) on 16 Feb 2016 launched 'Japan Desk', a first-of-its-kind initiative to facilitate
Japanese corporates looking to invest here with banking and advisory services.
This SBI Japan Desk will serve as an one-point comprehensive and reliable information support source for
India-bound investments of Japanese companies.
Through the Japan Desk, SBI aims to be the window for inbound Japanese investments in India and viceversa.

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13. PIB clears India Posts Rs. 800 cr proposal for payments bank
The Public Investment Board has approved the Rs. 800-crore proposal from India Post for setting up a
payments bank and it will be placed before the Cabinet within a month for final approval.
PIB, under the Finance Ministry, whets the investment proposals by state-run entities.
14. Standing committee on Finance submits report on NPAs
The Parliamentary Standing committee on Finance submitted the report on the Net Non performing Assets
(NPAs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
The Net Non performing Assets (NPAs) of Public Sector Banks stood at two lakh five thousand twenty
four crores (2,05,024 cr) till September 2015 and the Gross NPAs during the corresponding period stood at
three lakh sixty nine thousand nine hundred ninety crore rupees (3,69,990 cr).
In its twenty seventh report tabled in Parliament, the committee observed the bulk of bad loans of banks
may be linked to firms that are struck with over capacity and weak demand.
The committee is chaired by M. Veerappa Moily.
15. Economic Survey estimates 7 to 7.5% growth rate for 2016-17
Ahead of the Union Budget (scheduled on 29 Feb 2016), the Economic Survey on 26 Feb 2016 termed
external environment as challenging but projected a 7-7.5 per cent GDP growth rate in the next fiscal (April
1, 2016 to March 31, 2017) which could accelerate to eight per cent in a couple of years.
The survey was prepared by the finance ministry's chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian.
The growth rate of GDP at constant market prices is projected to increase to 7.6% in 2015-16 from 7.2% in
2014-15.
Real GDP growth for 2015-16 is expected to be in the 7% to 7.75% range.
CPI inflation seen around 4.5 to 5% in 2016/17.
2016/17 current account deficit seen around 1-1.5% of GDP.
Estimated capital requirement for banks likely around Rs 1.8 trillion by 2018/19.
16. EPFO tightens norms for withdrawal of funds
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.
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.
As per the earlier norms, the EPFO subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in
their PF account at the age of 54 years.
17. SBI launches SBI e-Smart SME to offer Ecommerce Loan
Indias largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) has launched SBI e-Smart SME to provide a working
capital loan for sellers on ecommerce platforms.
It was launched by SBI in partnership with ecommerce platform Snapdeal in the presence of banks
chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya and Snapdeal CEO Sri Kunal Bahl.

NEWS (NATIONAL)
1. Counter Terrorism Conference starts in Jaipur
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Counter-Terrorism Conference-2016 on 03 Feb 2016 at Jaipur,
and said that terrorism is undoubtedly the single gravest threat that humanity is facing today.
India said that countries which support terrorism must be named and shamed, asserting the need for united
efforts to combat terror.

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Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of Islamic
Republic of Afghanistan, Kalyan Singh, Governor of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Chief Minister
of Rajasthan and Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways.

2. Govt sets up two new tax committees


The government has set up two new committees -- Tax Policy Research Unit and Tax Policy Council in
order to bring coherence and streamline the direct and indirect tax policy and administration.
The Tax Policy Council will be led by the Finance Minister and will suggest broad policy measures for
taxation based on inputs from the Tax Policy Research Unit (TPRU).
The TPRU will be a multi-disciplinary body to examine and analyse any fiscal or tax policy referred by the
CBDT and CBEC and also prepare and disseminate policy papers and background papers on various
taxation issues.
3. MGNREGA completes 10 years of implementation
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005 completes ten years
of implementation.
On this occasion, Union Ministry of Rural Development had organised MGNREGA SAMMELAN in New
Delhi to highlight achievements MGNREGA.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was Chief Guest in the Sammelan.
MGNREGA is a flagship rural job guarantee scheme that was announced by the then UPA government
headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in February 2006.
The scheme aims at providing 100 days wage employment to every household to ensure livelihood security
in rural areas.
It also aimed at sustainable development to address the cause of drought, deforestation and soil erosion.
One third (33 per cent) proposed jobs in the scheme have been reserved for the women.
Union Ministry of Rural Development is nodal agency for the implementation of the scheme.
4. Centre issues guidelines in wake of Zika virus
The Union Government has issued detailed guidelines to tackle the outbreak of Zika Virus Disease in the
wake of reported cases in Americas.
These guidelines were issued by Union Health Ministry and comes after World Health Organisation
(WHO) had declared this outbreak as Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
The health ministry issued a detailed advisory, including a travel advisory, asking pregnant women to either
defer or cancel their travel to affected areas.
It has also designated the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) as the nodal agency for
investigation in case of an outbreak.
Zika is an emerging viral disease transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, which is also
known to transmit infections like dengue and chikungunya.
5. India, Brunei ink three MoUs
India and Brunei have signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the fields of
defence, health and youth affairs & sports.
These MoUs were signed the representatives of both the countries in presence of the visiting Vice President
Mohd Hamid Ansari at capital Bandar Seri Begawan.
The three MOUs are:
1. MoU in Health Cooperation
2. MoU on Defence Cooperation
3. MoU on Cooperation in Youth and Sports Affairs
The defence agreement between both countries is being considered as a major diplomatic breakthrough
since both sides established formal relations in 1984.

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6. CSIR launches Indias first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched the countrys first anti-diabetic
ayurvedic drug named BGR-34 for type two Diabetes mellitus.
BGR-34 stands for Blood Glucost Regulator and offers effective, safe, patient-friendly solution for
managing type two Diabetes.
The drug BGR-34 is developed jointly by National Botanical ResearchInstitute (NBRI) and Central
Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), the Lucknow-based research units of CSIR.
7. India becomes associate member of EMBO
India officially became the Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology Organisation
(EMBO).
In this regard, Union Ministry of Science and Technology has signed an agreement to acquire the status of
Associate Member of EMBO.
India is second country outside the European region to be an Associate Member State of EMBO. First one
being Singapore which had signed such agreement with European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC)
in 2015.
EMBO is a professional organization of life scientists in Europe with his its headquarter at Heidelberg,
Germany.
8. India ratifies nuclear liability convention
India has ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 which
sets parameters on a nuclear operators financial liability.
In this regard, India has submitted the Instrument of Ratification of the CSC to the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) and shall come into force after 90 days i.e May 2016.
It will facilitate and boost Indias nuclear commerce with international partners. Contribute to strengthen an
international convention and global nuclear liability regime.
9. Pranab Mukherjee reviews Indian naval fleet at IFR 2016
President Pranab Mukherjee reviewed the Naval fleet off Visakhapatnam coast on 06 Feb 2016 morning as
part of the International Fleet Review (IFR) being conducted.
A fleet review is a ceremonial inspection of naval warships by the supreme commander of the armed
forces, the President of India.
The President conducted the fleet review aboard INS Sumitra, the Presidential yacht.
Also on the yacht were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and three other
service chiefs.
The fleet review has 71 of Indian Navys ships lined up, including both aircraft carriers, INS Vikramaditya
and INS Virat.
Around 50 navies and 24 foreign ships are participating in the International Fleet Review, the second to be
held by India and the largest military exercise hosted by the country so far.
The last IFR was held in Mumbai in 2001 which was presided by the late APJ Abdul Kalam.
10. India, Sri Lanka sign MoUs
India and Sri Lanka on 05 Feb 2016 have signed two memoranda of understanding (MoUs)- one in the
health sector and another on renovation of schools.
The MoUs were signed after the ninth session of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission that was co-chaired
by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera.
11. Centre launches 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 available on the existing Toll Free Number
1800111363 or on a short code 1363.

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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.

12. TRAI rules in favour of Net Neutrality


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on 08 Feb 2016 issued the 'Prohibition of Discriminatory
Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016' that bars service providers from offerring or charging
discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
TRAI will also levy a penalty of Rs. 50,000 a day for discriminatory tariffs charged by service providers.
The telecom sector regulator has barred differential pricing of data products, implying that controversial
zero-rated products such as Facebook's Free Basics and Airtel Zero won't be allowed to be offered in the
country. 'Project Sunrise' launches
Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda has launched Project Sunrise for the prevention of
AIDS specially among people injecting drugs in the 8 North-Eastern states.
The AIDS prevention special project aims to diagnose 90 per cent of such drug addicts with HIV and put
them under treatment by 2020.
Project Sunrise is a five year programme aimed at complementing the ongoing National AIDS Control
Programme (NACP) which is to primarily improve coverage, quality and scale of HIV interventions among
People Who Inject Drugs (PWID) in eight North East States.
13. Corp Bank inks pact for insurance cover
Corporation Bank entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Universal Sompo General
Insurance Co., Ltd., for providing personal accident death coverage to its savings bank account holders
under Corp Signature, Corp Super and Corp Saral category.
The Bank provides free personal accident death cover of Rs. 10 lakh to its Corp Signature and Rs. 5 lakh to
its Corp Super account holders.
In the event of accidental death of account holder, the nominee will get the benefit.
14. CPCB releases National Air Quality Indices for 24 cities
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has released National Air Quality Indices (AQI) for 24 cities
across India in the month of January 2016.
In the list Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) and Muzzafarpur (Bihar) were on the top with an AQI value of 409
points each and were coded as severe in terms of air pollution in January 2016.
Faridabad (Haryana), Patna (Bihar) and Agra (Uttar Pradesh) were placed at 3rd, 4th and 5th position with
399, 388 and 372 points respectively.
15. DGCA and USTDA sign Agreement
India's aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and United States Technical
Development Agency (USTDA) have signed the Grant Agreement for India Aviation Safety Technical
Assistance Phase II in New Delhi.
Phase II of the current project is aimed at sustaining efforts undertaken during 2014 for restoration of IASA
Category 1 status and bringing in more systemic improvements in the area of operation, airworthiness and
licensing.
16. India aims to be malaria-free by 2030
Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, J P Nadda on 11 Feb 2016 launched the National Framework
for Malaria Elimination (NFME) 2016-2030, which outlines Indias strategy for elimination of the disease
by 2030.
He urges that all states will be expected to bring down annual parasite incidence (API) to less than 1 per
thousand population by the end of 2017.
17. NDRC inks MoU with IICB

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The National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has entered into a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Kolkata to promote
entrepreneurship.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Union Minister of Science & Technology Harsh Vardhan and West
Bengal Minister for Science, Technology & Biotechnology Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay.

18. Govt sanctions Rs.580 crore for Agartala-Akhaura rail link Project
Union Government has sanctioned about 580 crore rupees for Agartala-Akhaura railway link Project to
connect Kolkata (West Bengal) with Tripura via Bangladesh.
The sanctioned fund will be used for the laying of the five km railway track up to Bangladesh border from
Agartala.
It is 15 km long strategic railway route that would connect the Indian Railways with the Bangladesh
Railways.
The work on this project is expected to complete by 2017.
Of the 15 km strategic railway track, 10 km falls in the Bangladesh side and the rest 5 km falls in India.
19. India, UAE ink 9 bilateral agreements
India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed 9 bilateral agreements covering cooperation in the
various sectors.
These agreements were signed during the second day of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown
Prince of Abu Dhabi official visit to India.
MoU on Technical Cooperation in Cyber Space and Combating Cyber Crime.
MoU for Participation institutional investors in Infrastructure Investments.
General Framework Agreement on Renewable Energy Cooperation.
MoU in the Exploration and use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.
MoU on Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement. MoU on Trade.
MoU for bilateral cooperation in Insurance sector.
Executive Programme for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC).
20. Make in India Week: 3 MoUs worth Rs 21000 crore signed
Three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) envisaging total investment of 21,000 crore rupees were
signed on the first day of the Make in India Week in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
These MoUs were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief
Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
TwinStar Display Technologies subsidiary of Sterlite Group Company has inked MoU with Maharashtra
Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to set up an LCD manufacturing unit in technical
collaboration with Autron of Taiwan with an investment of 20,000 crore rupees.
Raymond Industries and MIDC have inked MoU as part of Farm to Fabric initiative.
Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Jain Irrigation Pvt Ltd and Department of Agriculture and Marketing of
Maharashtra have inked MoU for setting up a juice manufacturing facility to support farmers growing
oranges in Vidarbha region of state.
21. BHU celebrates Diamond Jubilee
Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Freedom fighter Pt Madan Mohan Malviya has turned 100
years on 13th February 2016.
BHU was founded as important seat of higher education in 1916.
During time of its establishment it was first university in India that was the result of a private individuals
efforts.
22. President presents Infosys Prizes

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President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday felicitated six winners of Infosys Science Foundation Prizes 2015
for their outstanding contribution in their fields.
The winners are Umesh Waghmare in engineering and computer science category, Jonardon Ganeri for
humanities, Amit Sharma in life sciences, Mahan Maharaj in mathematical sciences, G. Ravindra Kumar in
physical sciences and Srinath Raghavan in social sciences.

23. Indian-origin student's charity honoured in US


An Indian-origin eighth-grade student has been honoured in the US city of Hartford for his efforts to help
underprivileged students in the US and around the world through his charity organisation.
Ishaan Patel, founder & CEO of Planting Pencils, was recently honoured by the Milan Cultural
Organisation during the Republic Day celebration in the legislative office building in downtown Hartford.
24. Govt. unveils National Capital Goods policy
The government on 15 Feb 2016 unveiled a National Capital Goods Policy to give an impetus to the capital
goods sector and a leg up to the Make in India initiative.
The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 per cent to 40 per cent of production while
increasing share of domestic production in India's demand from 60 per cent to 80 per cent, thus making
India a net exporter of capital goods.
25. India, Sweden ink MoU on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector
Union Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of Sweden have inked a
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.
The main objective of MoU is to develop cooperation activities in the Railway sector to promote efficiency
and sustainability and to achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, research, investment and
technology transfer.
26. BHEL commissions 101 MW power plant in Tripura
State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a 101 MW (Mega Watt) gas-based
Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) at Monarchak (near Agartala) in Tripura.
The plant was commissioned on basis of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) based on the
order placed by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).
27. India participates in Cobra Gold 2016 multilateral exercise
For the first time, India has participated in the Cobra Gold 2016 multilateral exercise hosted by Indonesia
after 12 member Indian Army delegation joined it.
In this edition of multilateral exercise, India has accorded as an observer plus status keeping in view its
increasing regional operability.
Cobra Gold 2016 is 35th edition of multilateral exercise in which 35 countries have participated and its
main theme is humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
In the 10 day exercise (from 9 to 19 February), over 8564 personnel are participating from countries like
Indonesia, US, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and others.
28. Cabinet grants in-principle approval to the LIGO-India mega science proposal
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its in principle approval to
the LIGO-India mega science proposal for research on gravitational waves.
The proposal, known as LIGO-India project (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory in
India) is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
29. CCEA approves construction of 6 railway lines at a cost of Rs. 10,700 cr
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on 17 Feb 2016 approved construction of six railway lines
and a railway bridge to cater to both increased passenger and freight needs at an estimated cost of 10,700
crore.

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All the six projects are expected to be completed over the next five years.

30. NRDC inks MoA with IACS on Technology Transfer


National Research Development Corporation (NRDC) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)
with Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) for commercialisation of technologies and
intellectual properties (IP) developed at IACS.
Under this MoA, NRDC will provide its services in IP Evaluation and Valuation in terms of their
commercial potential to IACS.
31. Numero Uno becomes official clothing supplier for WC T20
Indias leading denim brand Numero Uno will be the official clothing supplier of next months ICC World
Twenty20.
The company will also be official clothing supplier manufacturer and retailer of ICC-branded apparel and
merchandise till December 2020. The ICC World Twenty20 will be held from March 8 from April 3.
32. Indian Railways wins National Chess Team Championship
Indian Railways has won The National Chess team Championship for the first time.
The 36th Championship was held at Bhubaneswar from 8th to 14th February, 2016.
To win the championship the team defeated Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) team in the final.
33. Cabinet approves trade facilitation agreement
The Union Cabinet has approved the Proposal for Notification of Commitments under the Trade
Facilitation Agreement (TFA) of WTO, ratification and acceptance of the Instrument of Acceptance of
Protocol of TFA to the WTO Secretariat.
To facilitate both domestic coordination and implementation of the agreement, it also approved setting up
of a National Committee on Trade Facilitation that would be chaired jointly by the Commerce and Revenue
Secretaries.
34. Union Government launches ENVIS portal
The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has launched
Environment Information System (ENVIS) portal and mobile application.
ENVIS Portal (http://envis.nic.in) runs parallel with the objectives of Digital India which works on
improving the digital literacy in the environment sector and deliver services digitally.
It will play important role integrating network of ENVIS centres.
35. Union Government launches Website for maiden Maritime India Summit
Union Government has formally launched website for maiden Maritime India Summit 2016 scheduled to
be held in April 2016.
It was launched by Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari on the sidelines of the Make in India Week in
Mumbai.
36. National Science Day observes on 28 February
In India February 28 is celebrated as the National Science Day i.e. Rashtriya Vigyan Diwas (
) every year.
It aims to impart scientific temper in the minds of people of all age groups.
The theme for year 2016 is Scientific Issues for Development of the Nation that aims at raising public
appreciation.
This day marks the epoch-making discovery of Raman Effect by Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata
Raman (CV Raman) on February 28, 1928.
37. PM unveils operational guidelines for PMFBY

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 February 2016 launched the guidelines for operationalization of the
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).
The guidelines were issued at a farmers convention in Sherpur village of Madhya Pradesh. The Yojna will
come into force from the 2016 Kharif season (from June to October in India).
It aims at boosting the agricultural sector of India and envisages a uniform premium of only 2 percent to be
paid by farmers for Kharif crops, and 1.5 percent for Rabi crops.
The premium for annual commercial and horticultural crops will be 5 percent.

38. India, Myanmar conduct fourth coordinated patrol


The fourth edition of the India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR) was successfully undertaken from
February 13 to 16, 2016.
It was conducted by navies of the two countries along the strategically significant International Maritime
Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal.
In this edition IMCOR, Indian Navy Ships Saryu and Bitra along with Myanmar Ships Aung Zeya and
FAC 563 participated.
39. Union Cabinet gives nod to Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The Union Cabinet has given its approval to amend Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950
and section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002.
In this regard, Government is going to introduce Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament in
pursuance of the Constitution (One Hundredth Amendment) Act, 2015.
These amendments will give voting rights to people who became Indian citizens following the exchange of
enclaves between India and Bangladesh.
Amendment of Delimitation Act, 2002 will enable Election Commission of India (ECI) to carry out limited
delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal.
40.Cipla completes $550 mn acquisition of two US firms
Cipla Ltd., acquired two U.S. generic drug companies, InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Exelan
Pharmaceuticals Inc., to increase its revenue and introduce new products for oncology and diabetes in the
worlds largest pharmaceutical market.
The Mumbai-headquartered Cipla closed the transaction through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Cipla (EU)
Ltd.
41.Govt gives nod for building of 81,757 houses for urban poor in 7 states
The Centre has sanctioned construction of of 81,757 houses for Economically Weaker Sections(EWS) in
urban areas in 7 states with a total investment of Rs.4,076 cr.
Of this, the Ministry will provide total central assistance of Rs.1,226 cr @ Rs.1.50 lakh per each house to
be built for the benefit of urban poor under the Prime Ministers Awas Yojana (Urban).
The states are in West Bengal, Telangana, Bihar, Mizoram, Rajashtan, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
Of the total houses, 58,456 houses will be built under the Beneficary Led Construction component.
The rest of the houses will be built under the Affordable Housing in Partnership component under which
state governments will provide land and the central government will give an assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh to
each beneficiary.
42. PM Modi launches Rurban Mission
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the National Rurban Mission (NRM) from Kurubhat in
Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh.
The mission also dubbed as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission (SPMRM) aims to spur social,
economic and infrastructure development in rural areas by developing a cluster of 300 Smart Villages with
an investment of over Rs 5,000 crore over the next 3 years across the country.

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The Rurban mission would replace the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's Provision of
Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (Pura) initiative.

43. CII inks MoU with Dubai exports to boost trade


The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with
Dubai Exports to boost trade and explore business opportunities.
CII is a non-government organisation of Indian businesses which works to create an environment
conducive to the growth of industry in the country.
44. FM inaugurates Exhibition on Coin and Currency of India
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on 22 February 2016 inaugurated an exhibition on the Coin and
Currency of India at the Great Hall of North Block in New Delhi.
The exhibition would help in knowing the history of evolution of currency in the country.
The Department of Expenditure (DoE) under Union Finance Ministry organised the exhibition in
coordination with the RBI, CPWD, CISF, the Indian Army, Staff of DoE, Customs and Excise Officers
45. Srei arm launches Rs. 2,000-cr India Vision Fund
Srei Alternative Investment Managers Ltd (SAIML), a Srei venture, on 23 Feb 2016, announced the launch
of its Rs. 2,000-crore India Vision Fund.
46. India Gates 550-kg rice bag enters the Guinness
A bag of rice weighing 550 kilograms has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for being the
heaviest bag of rice.
The rice bag of India Gate Classic Basmati Rice brand has achieved the feat at the annual 4-day food and
hospitality trade show being held from February 21-25.
KRBL, which owns the India Gate Basmati rice brand, is also one of the recipients of Worlds Greatest
Brands and Leaders 2015 - Asia & GCC Awards.
47. Worlds 1st fast-acting Anti-Rabies drug to be launched in India
Worlds first fast-acting anti-rabies drug Rabies Human Monoclonal Antibody (RMAb) will be launched in
India.
The drug has been developed by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) and US-based MassBiologics of
the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
48. Govt appoints 3 information commissioners in CIC
The Centre on 24 Feb 2016 appointed three information commissioners in the Central Information
Commission (CIC).
They are Amitava Bhattacharyya, Indian Administrative Service, (Gujarat 1980), retired Chairman, Staff
Selection Commission, Bimal Julka, IAS (Madhya Pradesh:1979), retired Secretary, Ministry of
Information and Broadcasting, and Divya Prakash Sinha, Indian Police Service (Manipur-Tripura: 1979),
retired Secretary (Security), Cabinet Secretariat.
49. Union Cabinet approves setting up of 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.
The headquarter of the Atal Innovation Mission will be New Delhi.

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50. Cabinet clears $150 million Chabahar port project


The Union Cabinet has approved 150 million dollars credit for Development of the strategically important
Chabahar Port in Iran.
In this regard, the Union Ministry of Shipping had forwarded the proposal for provision and
operationalization of credit from EXIM Bank.
Union Cabinet also has authorized Union Ministers of Finance, Shipping and External Affairs to approve
the final contract with Iran and for resolution of any issue arising in implementation of the project.
Union Ministry of Shipping to form a Company in Iran for implementing the Chabahar Port Development
Project and related activities.
51. Cabinet gives nod to India-Maldives double taxation Agreement on airlines
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Maldives for the
avoidance of double taxation of income from international air transport.
This agreement provides relief from double taxation for airline enterprises operating between the two
countries.
52. Yes Bank wins inaugural Green Bond Award in UK
Indias leading private lender Yes Bank has been awarded inaugural Green Bond Pioneer Award at a
ceremony held in London, United Kingdom.
Yes Bank was bestowed with this award in recognition for its pioneering efforts in the Green Bonds market
including successful issuance of Indias first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds.
53. Cabinet nod to incentivise cashless transactions
The Union Cabinet on 24 Feb 2016 approved several steps to promote cashless transactions, which include
mandatory card-based or electronic payments beyond a prescribed threshold.
The Cabinet also approved the rationalisation of the merchant discount rate (MDR) on card transactions
and telecom service charges for digital financial transactions to promote mobile banking.
54. E-Tourist Visa Scheme extended to 37 more countries
The Union Government has extended e-Tourist Visa Scheme to 37 more countries.
With this, the total count of countries under the scheme will become 150.
The new countries included in e-Tourist Visa scheme are Austria, Albania, Botswana, Brunei, Bulgaria,
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Comoros, Cote dlvoire, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Croatia, Eritrea, Denmark,
Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Iceland, Lesotho, Liberia, San Marino,
Moldova, Namibia, Romania, South Africa, Swaziland, Switzerland, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, Trinidad &
Tobago, Tajikistan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
55. Restaurant cash-back app, Zaggle, launched
A restaurant cash-back app, Zaggle, which benefits customers with cash-back on every bill they pay at food
outlets, has been launched at an investment of $2 million.
The Hyderabad-based firm, promoted by serial entrepreneur Phani N Raj, plans to invest $8 million more
in the business model. Zaggle has been initially launched for 1,400 outlets in Hyderabad and Pune
including restaurants, bars and clubs.
56. LIC hikes stake in NTPC to 12.98%
State-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has increased its stake in Indias largest power producer
NTPC by 3.90 per cent after buying 32.15 crore shares in the open market.
LIC, which had 9.08 per cent stake earlier, hiked its shareholding in the company to 12.98 per cent by
buying shares between July 25, 2014, and February 24, 2016.
LICs stake increase in NTPC includes its participation in this weeks offer of sale (OFS) by the
government.
57. JustDial launches single e-commerce app

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Local search firm JustDial has launched a new app - JD that will help consumers to buy anything from
movie tickets to flight tickets to order food online.
It will help increase sales for the local retailers who are losing out to big e-commerce players.

58.13th World Spice Congress begins in Ahmedabad


The 13th edition of World Spice Congress (WSC) will begin in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The theme of the three-day biennial event is Target 2020: Clean, Safe and Sustainable Supply Chain. 13th
WSC has been jointly organized by the Spices Board, Cochin Hill Produce Merchants Association, and
India Pepper and Spice Trade Association.
59. Ratan Tata to head Indian Railways' innovation committee
Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu, in the Railway Budget 2016-17, announced plans to set up a
dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics (Sutra) for
carrying out detailed analytics leading to optimised investment decisions and operations.
The team would comprise professional analysts and best-in-class decision support systems and optimisation
engines.
60. 'Neerja' declared tax free in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh
Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Government on 26 February 2016 announced that actress Sonam Kapoor-starrer
Neerja will be tax free in the state.
The movie is based on the life of young flight attendant Neerja Bhanot, who died trying to save the lives of
350-odd passengers on a hijacked Pan Am aircraft in 1986.
The film, released on 19 February, has already been declared tax-free in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The film is directed by Ram Madhvani.

NEWS (STATES)
1. Himachal to spend 15 crore rupees on Swachh Bharat
The Himachal Pradesh Government decided to spend 15 crore rupees on Swachh Bharat Mission in tribal
district of Kinnaur.
The funds will be utilized on capacity building and organizing of workshops for awareness.
Under the Mission, target has been also fixed to involve all the schools, government institutions and
villages.
2. 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela begins
The 30th edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela has begun at Faridabad in Haryana after it was
formally inaugurated by Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Telangana is the theme State of this edition of Mela and the two focus countries are China and Japan.
3. Maharashtra announces Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Group Incentives Scheme
Maharashtra government has announced Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective
Incentive Scheme for the economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs.
Decision in this regard was taken by state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in
Mumbai.
Under it, special facilities will be given to Dalit entrepreneurs besides the present Collective Incentive
Scheme 2013.
20% plots for small and medium scale industries will be reserved for the Dalits within Maharashtra
Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
4. Haryana, Ontario ink pact for cooperation

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Haryana and the Province of Ontario in Canada signed an MoU aimed at enhancing commercial and
cultural ties.

5. Modi inaugurates petrochemical plant in Dibrugarh


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 5 February 2016 dedicated the Brahmaputra Cracker and Polymer
Limited (BCPL) at Lepetkata, Assam to the nation.
Modi inaugurates Rs. 10,000-crore petrochemical plant that will make raw material for manufacturing
plastic and a wax making unit using indigenous technology in Numaligarh Refinery Limited to the nation..
The Brahamputra Cracker and Polymer Ltd was conceived as part of the Assam peace accord signed during
the tenure of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
6. Kerala's 'She-Taxi' bags CM's innovation award
Kerala's all-women taxi cab service 'She-Taxi', touted as the country's first 24x7 taxi network by women for
women, has bagged the prestigious Chief Minister's Award for Innovation in Public Policy 2014.
Owned and operated by women entrepreneurs, She-Taxi was selected for the recognition in the
'developmental interventions' category.
The Gender Park, an autonomous institution under the state Social Justice Department, had launched the
cab network two years ago with an aim to promote entrepreneurship, self-employment and security among
women.
7. 12th South Asian Games begins in Guwahati
The 12th edition of South Asian Games (SAG) has begun in Guwahati, Assam after it was inaugurated by
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
The 11-day event is being jointly hosted by Guwahati and Meghalaya capital, Shillong. Over 2,500 athletes
from 8 SAARC nations viz. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and the
Maldives.
Total of 228 events in 23 sports disciplines will be played during the games, which India is hosting for the
third time.
The theme song of 12th South Asian Games is "Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan" which literally translates to "The
world is a playground" was written by Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, a notable personality of India.
The slogan of games is Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity.
Tikhor, a one-horned rhino that represents endangered fauna of Assam found in Kaziranga National Park is
the Official mascot of the event.
8. Centre approves Heritage development projects in AP, Telangana
Ministry of Urban Development on 05 Feb 2016 has approved projects worth over Rs.12 cr for improving
tourist infrastructure in heritage places of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh and Warangal in Telangana.
An inter-ministerial Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) National Empowered
Committee approved development of a heritage park at a cost of Rs 7.36 crore in Amaravati besides
developmental works at 1,000 Pillar Temple (Rs. 4.85 crore) and Kazipet Durgah and rejuvenation of pond
at Padmakshi Temple (Rs.2.13 crore) in Warangal city.
Amaravati and Warangal are among the 12 cities included in HRIDAY for improving the social, cultural
and economic ecosystems with the objective of conserving the rich cultural heritage and enabling better
facilities for tourists and pilgrims.
9. National Arogya Fair-2016 begins at Dehradun
The 4-day National Arogya Fair began at Dehradun in Uttarakhand on 05 Feb 2016.
The Fair has been organized by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa
Rigpa & Homoeopathy (AYUSH) in collaboration with the State government of Uttarakhand and the
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
The Fair aims to create awareness among the people about the uses of the AYUSH Systems, their costeffectiveness and the availability of herbs and plants used for prevention and treatment of common ailments
at their door-steps through various mass-media channels to achieve the objective of Health for all.

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10. GI tag for Basmati rice of 7 states approved


The Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has ordered Chennai based Geographical Indications
Registry (GIR) to issue Geographical Indication tag for Basmati rice.
This GI tag will be issued to basmati rice variety grown in 7 states in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) on the
foothills of the Himalayas.
These states are Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh and Jammu &
Kashmir.
This tag will help to preserve the unique identity of Indias aromatic basmati rice in the international
markets.
11. Maharashtra tops in internet readiness index
Maharashtra has emerged as the top ranking state in terms of the overall Internet readiness index, followed
by Karnataka, Gujarat, Telengana and Tamil Nadu, according to a report released on 08 Feb 2016.
The report, Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States, was published by the Internet and Mobile
Association of India (IAMAI) and Indicus Analytics.
The Internet readiness index is a composite index on components like e-infrastructure index, e-participation
index, IT services and e-governance index.
12. Chettinad Cotton Saree gets Indian Handloom tag
The Union textile Ministry has bestowed the Indian Handloom Brand tag on "Chettinad cotton saris" for its
unique designs and identity.
This tag was bestowed under the India Handloom Brand Scheme after checking its various quality
parameters stipulated by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).
The Ministry also has offered a logo to use the brand for marketing the product. Chettinad cotton saree is
also known as kandaangi.
It is the traditional sari of the Chettinad region in Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu.
13. 'Hydrocarbon Vision document 2030' for NE India releases
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan released
the Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for north-east India on February 9, 2016 in Guwahati, Assam.
The Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 outlines steps to leverage the hydrocarbon sector for social and economic
development of the north-east region.
The states covered under it are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim,
Mizoram and Tripura.
14. National Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) at Gangtok, Sikkim
Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Radha Mohan Singh on 10 Feb 2016 announced the
establishment of National Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI) at Gangtok, Sikkim.
Sikkim has recently been declared as the first organic state in the country.
The Institute will provide research and technological backstopping to Organic Production System in the
country in general and North East Hills Region in particular.
15. Ministry of Railways and Govt of Telangana sign MoU
An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Formation of Joint Venture Companies for Development of
Railway Infrastructure in the State of Telangana was signed between Ministry of Railways and State
Government of Telangana on 11.02.2016.
The MoU envisages formation of a Joint Venture companies having 51% stakes of the respective State
Government and 49% stakes of Ministry of Railways.
16. Translational Research Unit of Excellence inaugurated in Kolkata

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Union minister for science & technology & earth sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan inaugurated a Translational
Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE) at the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research - Indian Institute of
Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB) Kolkata.
TRUE is conceived as a productive platform for successful industry-institute liaison for translating
previously achieved and ongoing biomedical discoveries by IICB scientists into biomedical deliverables.

17. Gogoi unveils Vision Assam 2030


Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on 11 Feb 2016 unveiled a draft document, 'Vision Assam 2030' for
ensuring inclusive and sustainable development in the state.
'Vision Assam 2030 - Everything for Everyone - Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Development'
envisions a "transformed future" for the people of Assam free from all forms of deprivation, inequities and
insecurity within the next 15 years.
With the unveiling of the document, Assam has become the first state to have a vision document on
sustainable development goals.
18. Marine Museum inaugurated at MARC in Digha
The Marine Museum at the Marine Aquarium and Regional Centre (MARC) of Zoological Survey of India
(ZSI), Digha was thrown open to the public.
The newly constructed museum contains Fish gallery, Coral gallery, and Molluscan gallery with more than
500 marine species display.
The MARC, ZSI, Digha also celebrating its 25th years of service to the nation on faunal inventory and
research.
19. Destination North-East-2016 inaugurates
The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr.
Jitendra Singh inaugurated the festival Destination North-East-2016 in New Delhi on 12 Feb 2016.
The festival is being organised by the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) and
Ministry of Culture.
The festival will showcase the inherent economic, social and cultural strength of the North East Region
(NER) at the national level.
The three-day mega event will include theme specific Business Summit consisting of sectors like Tourism,
Agriculture, Food Processing, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, IT, Handloom & Handicrafts,
Livelihood, Micro-Finance and Start ups.
20. Karnataka MobileOne bags award
Karnataka MobileOne, the flagship application launched by the State government in 2014, bagged the Gold
award at the World Governance Summit in Dubai.
Secretary, Department of e-Governance, Srivatsa Krishna, received the award on behalf of the State from
Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdam bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Prime Minister of the UAE
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
21. PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 'Make In India' Week in Mumbai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 13 Feb 2016 inaugurated the Make in India Week at NSCI, Worli, a
flagship event designed to impart greater momentum to the initiative to boost the manufacturing sector in
the country.
He also inaugurated the Make in India Centre at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex.
Make in India is the Modi government's flagship initiative, launched by Mr Modi last year in September,
aimed at showcasing to the world the achievements of the nation in the manufacturing sector and promote
India as a preferred manufacturing destination.
It will encourage international companies to manufacture their goods in India.
22. Jayalalithaa announces 'Amma Kudineer Thittam'

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Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on 13 Feb 2016 announced 'Amma Kudineer Thittam' - a new scheme for
supplying drinking water to those who cannot afford to buy purified drinking water from private players.
In the first phase, 100 places with the most number of poor people would be identified within Greater
Chennai Corporation limits and water supplying points would be established.

23. Madhya Pradesh gets first Mega Food Park


In order to give an impetus to the growth of the Food Processing Sector in Madhya Pradesh, the first Mega
Food Park in the state promoted by M/s Indus mega Food Part Pvt. Ltd was inaugurated on 12 Feb 2016 by
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries at Village Panwa, Tehsil Kasarwad,
District Khargone.
A 2nd Mega Food Park has been sanctioned by the Ministry in Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh, which
will be ready in the next 24 to 30 months.
24. Film on conservation efforts by Nagaland villagers wins award
Nagaland is changing, But film has won the Golden Beaver Best Film Award in the institutional
category at the 6th National Science Film Festival held in Mumbai.
It also has received the technical excellence award for best sound design at the festival.
The film is based on conservation efforts by villagers and has been directed by Gurmeet Sapal.
25. Mysuru declared cleanest city in Swachh Sarvekshan 2016
Mysuru city from Karnataka has been ranked first in terms of cleanliness for second time in row among the
73 surveyed cities in Swachh Sarvekshan 2016.
Mysore from Karnataka topped the list of 10 cities, while Chandigarh is in the second position and
Tiruchirappalli bagged the third position.
The national capital came fourth in the list.
The rankings of the Swachh Survekshan Survey 2016 were conducted by Quality Council of India (QCI) as
part of Swachh Bharat Mission.
26. Jharkhand gets first mega food park
In order to give an impetus to the growth of the food processing sector in Jharkhand, the first mega food
park in the state promoted by Jharkhand Mega Food Park Pvt. Ltd. was inaugurated by Food processing
minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal at village Getalsud, district Ranchi.
The mega food park has been set up with the project cost of Rs 114.73 crore in an area of 51.50 acres.
27. USTDA, AP Govt ink pact to develop Visakhapatnam as Smart City
US Trade and Development Agency ( USTDA) inked an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Government
to develop infrastructure, communications and data systems in Visakhapatnam, in line with its goal to
become a Smart City.
The grant agreement was inked in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
28. IIPE and Andhra University sign MoU
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between IIPE and Andhra University to start the
IIPE sessions during the academic year 2016-17.
The MoU is for a period of 3 years till the period IIPE sets up the infrastructure in its own premises.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG), Government of India has established Indian Institute of
Petroleum and Energy (IIPE), Visakhapatnam, as noted in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act (2014).
29. West Bengal government launches Utkarsh Bangla Scheme
West Bengal government has launched the Utkarsh Bangla Scheme with an aim of providing vocational
training to school dropouts.
The scheme was launched by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata.

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On this occasion, she also released a book on Utkarsh Bangla.

30. Punjab bans sale of army uniform


Punjab government on 28 February 2016 imposed a ban on the sale of army uniforms across the state.
Any person who wants to buy the uniform would have to submit a self-attested copy of his identity card
and phone number with the shopkeeper.
This record would be duly maintained along with date of sale in the record register of the shopkeeper.
These orders would remain in force till 21 April 2016 and next course of action will be decided afterwards.
31. President inaugurates Indias first Gender Park
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Indias first Gender Park at Kozhikode district of Kerala.
It is also the first of its kind gender equality convergence centre in Asia.
The park is an initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala Government to promote research
and other initiatives to enable total gender equality.
He also dedicated Indias first co-operative society in Information Technology (IT) sector UL CyberPark in
Kozhikode, Kerala.
32. President declares Kerala as first digital state
President Pranab Mukherjee has formally declared Kerala as the countrys first digital state.
It was announced by President after launching a digital empowerment campaign of state at a function to be
held in Kozhikkode.
The campaign aims at bridging the digital divide by 2020.
33. East coast set to get sixth doppler radar
A new doppler radar to boost the weather forecasting system in the cycloneprone eastern coast will be
commissioned in Gopalpur in Odisha next month.
It will be the sixth such radar on the country's east coast.
34. President inaugurates Kerala Tourisms Muziris Heritage Project
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase Kerala Tourisms Muziris Heritage Project (MHP)
at Trissur in Kerala to reinstate the historical and cultural significance Muziris.
The project is Kerala Governments first green Project and Indias largest heritage conservation project.
President also launched the website of the MHP.
MHP is supported by the Union Government and seeks to conserve ancient seaport of Muziris and
showcase its culture of 3000 years.
35. Vibrant North-East 2016 Summit and Exhibition inaugurated
Union Minister Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated the Vibrant North-East 2016
Summit and Exhibition in Guwahati on 19 Feb 2016.
3 Mega Food Parks have been sanctioned for this region, one each in Assam (which has been made
operational), Mizoram and in Tripura.
5 Cold Chain projects have also been sanctioned by the Ministry in the States of Assam, Manipur,
Mizoram.
36. Cabinet gives nod to implement Nitish Kumar's 'Saat Nischay'
Bihar Cabinet on 19 Feb 2016 gave nod to implement Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's 'Saat Nischay' scheme
in the next five years.
As part of its 'Sushashan' programme, the Cabinet in a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, gave its nod
for implementation of 'Saat Nischay' scheme in the next five years which starts from 2016-17 to 2020-21.

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The 'Saat Nischay' (seven resolves) scheme aims at making younger generation self-reliant through
education, skill development, education loan, electricity connection to all villages, providing piped water
supply to every household, road and drainage in urban areas.
The Cabinet sanctioned Rs 1,897.50 crore to give power connection to every household and the process
would be completed in the next two years.

37. Make in India Week concludes in Mumbai


The Make in India week concluded in Mumbai, after it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
on February 13, 2016.
The week-long event has secured investment commitments worth 15.2 lakh crore rupees across the country.
The host state Maharashtra alone accounted for 8 lakh crore rupees investment in diverse areas.
38. Four Bengali sweets to get GI tag
West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Indication (GI) tag for four traditional sweet
delicacies of the state.
These four traditional sweet delicacies are Moa of Jainagar, Sarpuria of Krishnagar, and Mihidana and
Sitabhog of Burdwan.
39. Swachh Himachal Padhai bhi, Safai bhi campaign launches
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) has launched Swachh Himachal Padhai bhi, Safai bhi
campaign in Dharamsala.
With this unique campaign, HPCA became the first cricket association in the country to work towards
Swatch Bharat Abhiyan initiated by the Union Government.
The campaign aims at involving youth to promote good health and sanitation in urban and rural areas in the
Himalayan state.
40. Bihar becomes sixth state to join UDAY Scheme
Bihar became the sixth state to join Union Governments UDAY (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana)
Scheme for financial restructuring of debt of power distribution companies.
In this regard, tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Bihar government,
State Power Distribution companies (DISCOMs) and Union Power ministry.
Bihar is the 6th state after Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to become part of
the scheme.
It is second Non-NDA state after Uttar Pradesh to join the scheme.
Jharkhand is the first state to join UDAY scheme.
41.Haryana set to become first state to complete Aquifer mapping
Haryana is set become the first state in the country to complete aquifer mapping for its groundwater
resources by May 2016.
Aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock from which groundwater can be extracted.Aquifer
mapping: It is scientific mapping of aquifers to asses the groundwater situation.
42. India to host 3rd AMC on Tiger Conservation
India is going to host Asia Ministerial Conference (AMC) on Tiger Conservation from 12 April 2016 to
save tigers.
It will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It will the third such conference on tiger conservation to be hosted by India that will see the participation of
all 13 tiger range countries (TRCs).
They are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal,
Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

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India is home to nearly 70% of the worlds tiger population and according to the 2014 tiger census, there
are 2,226 tigers in the country.

43. 42nd Khajuraho Dance Festival begins in MP


The 42nd edition of world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival began at Khajuraho in Chhatrapur District in
Madhya Pradesh.
It showcases performances of some of the best exponents in the field of Bharathanatyam, Kathak,
Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri and Kathakali.
The performances includes Documentaries, Short Films related to fine Arts and Classical dance forms that
are performed in open-air auditorium usually in front of the Chitragupta Temple dedicated to Surya (Sun
God) and Vishwanatha Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
44. Assam Cabinet Approves Metro Rail For Guwahati
The Assam Cabinet on 23 February 2016 approved the detailed project report (DPR) for a Mass Rapid
Transit System (MRTS) for Guwahati.
The cabinet also gave green signal to setting up of the Guwahati Metro Rail Corporation Limited
(GMRCL).
State Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi will lay the foundation stone for the Metro project in Khanapara area on
29 February 2016.
45. President inaugurates Kerala Tourisms Muziris Heritage Project
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first phase Kerala Tourisms Muziris Heritage Project (MHP)
at Trissur in Kerala to reinstate the historical and cultural significance Muziris.
The project is Kerala Governments first green Project and Indias largest heritage conservation project.
President also launched the website of the MHP.
MHP is supported by the Union Government and seeks to conserve ancient seaport of Muziris and
showcase its culture of 3000 years.
46.East coast set to get sixth doppler radar
A new doppler radar to boost the weather forecasting system in the cycloneprone eastern coast will be
commissioned in Gopalpur in Odisha next month.
It will be the sixth such radar on the country's east coast.
The others are located in Chennai, Kolkata, Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam and Paradip.
47.President declares Kerala as first digital state
President Pranab Mukherjee has formally declared Kerala as the countrys first digital state.
It was announced by President after launching a digital empowerment campaign of state at a function to be
held in Kozhikkode.
The campaign aims at bridging the digital divide by 2020.
This declaration was made considering the rapid digital strides of the state which has achieved 100 percent
mobile connectivity, 75 percent e-literacy, maximum digital banking, broadband connectivity upto the
Panchayat level, linking bank accounts with Aadhar cards and e-district plan in all districts.
48.President inaugurates Indias first Gender Park
President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated Indias first Gender Park at Kozhikode district of Kerala.
It is also the first of its kind gender equality convergence centre in Asia.
The park is an initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala Government to promote research
and other initiatives to enable total gender equality.
He also dedicated Indias first co-operative society in Information Technology (IT) sector UL CyberPark in
Kozhikode, Kerala.

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49. Punjab bans sale of army uniform


Punjab government on 28 February 2016 imposed a ban on the sale of army uniforms across the state.
Any person who wants to buy the uniform would have to submit a self-attested copy of his identity card
and phone number with the shopkeeper.
This record would be duly maintained along with date of sale in the record register of the shopkeeper.
These orders would remain in force till 21 April 2016 and next course of action will be decided afterwards.

NEWS (WORLD)
1. India, Afghanistan ink pact for visa-free travel by envoys
India and Afghanistan have signed an agreement for visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders of the
two countries.
This agreement was signed after Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Afghanistan Government Abdullah
Abdullah met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
Both leaders also shared views on further deepening the India-Afghanistan relationship both in the bilateral
and regional context and also to reenergised the strategic partnership between the two countries.
2. Vietnam lifts ban on import of groundnuts
Vietnam on 1 February 2016 formally lifted the ban on import of Indian Groundnut. With the decision,
India will be able to resume export after nine months.
The Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (MARD) formally communicated the decision
to the Government of India stating that Plant Protection Department of Vietnam (PPD) will issue import
permits for groundnuts for 18 January 2016.
3. WHO declares Zika virus outbreak as International Emergency
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency over the
explosive spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
It was announced after WHOs emergency meeting of independent experts headed by WHO DirectorGeneral Margaret Chan.
The meeting was convened in Geneva, Switzerland to assess the outbreak of the virus which is linked to
birth defects in the Americas.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
It is close cousin of other other vector-borne diseases like Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever
transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes .
4. 12 nations sign historic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
All 12 Pacific Rim countries have signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Auckland, New
Zealand making it one of the biggest trade deals in history.
These 12 countries are: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Canada, United States,
Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.
TPP is Free Trade Area and these member countries across the Pacific Rim are home to 800 million people
and account for 40% of global trade.
Objectives of TPP:
(i) Lower trade barriers such as tariffs.
(ii) Establish a common framework for intellectual property
(iii) Enforce standards for labour law and environmental law
(iv) Establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
5. Sri Lanka celebrates I-Day

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Marked by symbolism of high degree, the 68th Independence Day of Sri Lanka was on 04 Feb
2016 celebrated with an uncommon element - the rendering of the Tamil version of the national anthem at
the government's main event of the day.
The celebration got off to a colourful start as the Sinhala version of the anthem was played and President
Maithripala Sirisena hoisted the national flag.
But, what captured the attention of many was that the Tamil version was sung by school students at the end
of the event.

6. WHO certifies vaccine maker GreenSignal Bio


Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO) has accorded PQP (Pre-qualification of Medicines
Programme) certification to the city-based GreenSignal Bio Pharma Pvt. Ltd., a BCG vaccine-making firm.
GreenSignal is the second Indian company to get PQP certification from WHO.
PQP certification helps GreenSignal to participate in the global immunisation programme, which is
facilitated through international procurement agencies such as UNICEF and others.
These global institutions go by the WHOs list of pre-qualified products while making a decision on
procurement for medicines for distribution in resource-limited nations.
7. Tonga declares Zika outbreak
The tiny South Pacific island-nation of Tonga has declared an outbreak of the Zika virus after five cases of
the mosquito-borne illness are confirmed and another 265 are suspected of having it.
The World Health Organization this week declared the Zika virus a global emergency.
8. India-Nepal military exercise begins in Pithoragarh
The 14 day Indo-Nepal Combined Military Exercise Surya Kiran IX at general area, Pithoragarh
commenced on 08 February 2016 and will culminate on 21 February 2016.
The Nepal Army is being represented by officers and troops of the elite Shree Rudra Dhoj Battalion while
an Infantry Battalion is participating on behalf of Indian Army.
The Combined Battalion Level Exercise is being conducted under the aegis of Panchshul Brigade of
Central Command.
This is the Ninth Indo-Nepal Combined exercise and during the next 14 days of combined training,
emphasis would be laid on upgradation of tactical and practical skills by sharing each others experiences
and also on enhancing interoperability in Jungle Warfare and Counter Terrorism operations in mountain
terrain
9. Adele officially named the bestselling artist of 2015
Adele has been officially named as the best-selling artiste worldwide in 2015, after smashing chart records
to smithereens by releasing her third album 25.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) announced that the 27-year-old British
singer was the highest selling musical act based on worldwide sales of music recordings in the whole of
2015, despite not releasing 25 until November.
10. Obama launches Cyber Security 'National action plan'
United States President Barack Obama has unveiled a cyber-security national action plan to boost security
awareness amid of growing risks from new technologies.
Under this action plan, President Obama in his budget request has asked for 19 billion US dollars for cybersecurity efforts.
This budgetary request is 35 per cent up from current levels which have 3 billion dollars allocation.
11. Worlds largest solar plant opens in Morocco
Morocco has switched on what will be the world's largest concentrated solar power plant.

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The Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex, worlds largest solar power plant, was opened on 9 February 2016 in
the Souss-Massa-Dra area in Morocco, 10 km from Ouarzazate town.
The plant holds the capacity to produce enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 and
reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 760000 tons per year.
The solar plant, called the Noor complex, uses concentrating solar power (CSP) which is more expensive to
install than the widely used photovoltaic panels, but unlike them, enables the storage of energy for nights
and cloudy days.
World Bank, who partially financed construction of the plant through a $97 million loan from the Clean
Technology Fund.

12. Hindu Marriage Bill approved in Pakistan


A National Assembly committee of Pakistan on 8 February 2016 unanimously passed Hindu Marriage Bill
2015. The National Assemblys Standing Committee on Law and Justice cleared the final draft of the bill,
where five Hindu lawmakers were specially invited.
The committee adopted the bill unanimously after making two amendments to fix the minimum age of the
marrying male and female at 18 and making the law applicable to the whole of Pakistan.
13. India ranks 37th on USCCs 2016 Intellectual Property Index
India has ranked 37th out of 38 countries for its intellectual property rights environment in the annual IP
index released by the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC).
Based on six key parameters like rights and limitations of the patent, copyright and trademark regimes,
trade secrets, enforcement and ratification of international treaties, the index painted a grim picture of
India, which scored 7.05, lower than last years 7.23.
The index, prepared by USCCs Global Intellectual Property Chamber, found the US leading the index with
28.61 points. Venezuela ranked below India with 6.42 points on the index.
14. NATO, EU sign agreement on Cyber Defence Cooperation
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and European Union (EU) have signed an agreement to
improve Cooperation in Cyber Defence to counter modern forms of hybrid warfare.
In this regard a technical agreement was signed at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium between both
organisations which have 22 member countries in common.
It was signed between NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) and the Computer
Emergency Response Team European Union (CERT-EU).
15. Four Indian-Americans selected to U.S. National Academy of Engineering
Four Indian-Americans have been selected to the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Engineering
(NAE) to be part of its new list of 80 members for their valuable contributions to the society.
Anil K. Jain, Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Ganesh Thakur and Dr. K.R. Sridhar were formally made part of the
NAE during a ceremony at its annual meeting.
Founded in 1964, the NAE is a non-profit institution that provides engineering leadership in service to the
nation.
16. 4th World Government Summit concluded in Dubai
The 3-day long annual World Government Summit (WGS) concluded on 10 February 2016 in Dubai, the
UAE. The summit was 4th in the series since the launch of WGS in 2013 by the UAE Government.
It provided an opportunity to showcase innovations, best practice and smart solutions to inspire creativity to
tackle these future challenges.
17. Indo-Seychelles joint military exercise begins
The Seventh Joint Military Training Exercise between the Indian Army and the Seychelles Peoples
Defence Forces (SPDF) - LAMITYE 2016, began at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria,
Seychelles from 15 February to 28 February 2016.

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India and Seychelles have been conducting joint exercises since 2001 & Exercise Lamitye, which means
friendship in Creole (local dialect), is conducted biennially with the aim of enhancing military cooperation
and interoperability between the two countries.

18. For the first time Scientists discover Gravitational Waves


Scientist for the first time have discovered Gravitational Waves (GW) that were hypothesised by Albert
Einstein in 1916.
These waves were detected by the scientists working at two LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitationalwave Observatory) facilities in United States.
LIGO scientists have detected these gravitational waves produced by collision of two black holes located
1.3 billion light years away from earth.
The LIGO experiment has 4km long L-shaped tunnels and uses lasers to measures changes in the distance
between two ends.
19. UK daily "Independent" to go online-only
One of Britain's leading daily newspapers, "The Independent", announced it will end its print edition and
switch to digital only mode from next month amid falling readership.
Launched in 1986, the editorial team at The Independent is currently led by an Indian-origin editor Amol
Rajan and is known as a campaigning voice among media outlets in the UK.
The Independent has a total circulation of around nearly 60,000, making it one of Britain's least-read
newspaper.
20. India and Singapore sign MoU
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 Feb 2016 gave its ex-post facto
approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore Cooperation
Enterprise (SCE), an Agency of Government of Singapore on cooperation in the field of Urban Planning
and Governance.
The MoU was signed on 24th November, 2015. The MoU will allow the two countries to share experiences
in the field of urban development, governance and capacity building.
21. India and Armenia Sign MoU on Agriculture Cooperation
India and Armenia signed an agreement for cooperation in the agriculture sector.
In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan
Singh and Armenian Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetyan, which provides for setting up of a Joint
Working Group (JWG) and preparation of work plans in priority areas of farm sector.
22. India, Nepal sign seven accords
India and Nepal have signed seven agreements for cooperation in various fields.
These agreements were signed at a summit meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting
Nepali counterpart KP Sharma Oli in New Delhi.
Signed Agreements are
MoU on Post-earthquake reconstruction assistance
MoU on strengthening of road infrastructure in Nepal
MoU in the field of performing arts
Letters of Exchange on Transit Routes: (i) Operationalization of Vishakhapatnam Port. (ii) Transit
between Nepal and Bangladesh through Kakarbitta-Banglabandh corridor.
Letters of Exchange on Rail Transport
Inauguration of Muzaffarpur-Dhalkebar transmission line
Establishment of Eminent Persons Group (EPG)
23. 66th Berlin International Film Festival

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66th edition of Berlin International Film Festival was held in Berlin, Germany from 11 February to 21
February 2016. Italian documentary film Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) directed by Gianfranco Rosi was
awarded prestigious Golden Bear, the top prize of the festival.
Honorary Golden Bear: Michael Ballhaus.
Silver Bear for best director: Mia Hansen-Lve (France) for Things to Come.
Silver Bear for Best Actress: Trine Dyrholm (Denmark) for The Commune.
Silver Bear for Best Actor: Majd Mastoura (Tunisia) for Hedi.
Silver Bear for Best Script: Tomasz Wasilewski for United States of Love.
Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear): Death in Sarajevo by Danis Tanovi.
Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear): A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz.
Crystal Bear or the best short film: El inicio de Fabrizio for Argentinian film Fabrizios Initiation.
Crystal Bear award (Generation K-Plus section): Malayalam film "Ottal" (Director: Jayaraj
Rajasekharan Nair)

24. International Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance inaugurates


Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda on 23 Feb 2016 inaugurated 3-day International
Conference on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in New Delhi.
AMR has emerged as the number one public health challenge faced by the world today.
25.Google is shutting down Google Compare
Google is shuttering Google Compare, its US comparison-shopping site for auto insurance, credit cards and
mortgages after one year.
The quick reversal is a setback to the Alphabet unit's efforts to use its enormous reach to provide
consumers with niche shopping services and financial-services tools.
26. GVK Bio gets global CSR award
GVK Biosciences has bagged the Global CSR Excellence & Leadership Awards in the category of Best
Environment Friendly Project for its 'Go Green, Grow Green' plantation drive.
The global CSR awards are constituted by the World CSR Congress every year on the World CSR Day and
are presented to companies who believe in the value of sustainable corporate social responsibility.
GVK Bio has obtained this recognition for its mega plantation drive conducted in July 2015.
27. Pak parliament first in world to run entirely on Solar Power
Pakistans Parliament building located in national capital Islamabad became the first in the world to
completely run on solar power.
It achieved this feat after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif switched on solar-powered building of the
parliament in a simple ceremony.
28. Japan's Sharp accepts takeover by Taiwan's Hon Hai
Sharp Corp. agreed on 25 Feb 2016 to a 489 billion yen ($4.4 billion) takeover by Taiwans Hon Hai
Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, becoming the first major Japanese electronics maker to be
acquired by a foreign company.
Under the agreement, Foxconn will gain a 66 per cent stake in the company.
Sharp was considering both Foxconns bid and an offer from a Japanese government-backed consortium of
Japanese investors.
29. Hurun Global Rich List 2016
India added 27 new billionaires with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), emerging at
the top with a personal wealth of $26 billion, according to Hurun Global Rich List 2016.

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Cumulative Indian billionaires wealth stood at $308 billion, registering a 25 per cent growth over last year.
Mr. Ambani, who is ranked 21st globally, was followed by Sun Pharma promoter, Dilip Shanghvi , with
personal wealth of $18 billion.
Hurun Report on 24 Feb 2016 released the Hurun Global Rich List 2016, a ranking of the US dollar
billionaires currently found in the world.

SCIENCE, DEFENCE and TECHNOLOGY


1. Microsoft acquires SwiftKey
Technology giant Microsoft is all set to buy software keyboard and SDK application maker SwiftKey.
SwiftKey is a free keyword application that powers more than 300 million Android and iOS devices.
With this acquisition, Microsoft intends to integrate SwiftKey technology with their Word Flow technology
for Windows.
Swiftkey was founded by SwiftKey Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock.
2. TCS becomes world's most powerful IT Services brand
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced that it has been rated as the Worlds Most Powerful Brand
in IT Services by Brand Finance, the worlds leading brand valuation firm.
TCS emerged as the IT services industry's most powerful brand with a score of 78.3 points earning it an
AA+ rating.
Brand Finance is the worlds leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
3. India, China hold first joint tactical drill on border
For the first time, border troops of India and China have held their first joint tactical exercise with
named Sino-India Cooperation 2016 in Chushul-Moldo in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is part of the ongoing initiatives taken by India and China to ensure greater interaction between troops
stationed along the Line of Actual Control, and thereby ensure peace and tranquillity along the border.
The exercise focused on actions to be coordinated to tackle jointly aspects of humanitarian aid and disaster
relief.
4. Paper waste turned into green cellulose Aerogel
For the first time, scientists from National University of Singapore (NUS) have successfully converted
paper waste into green nontoxic cellulose Aerogels.
Aerogels are among the lightest solid materials in the world and are also one of the finest insulation
materials available.
Green Aerogels are ultra-light, non-toxic, extremely strong, flexible and water repellent.
It is obtained by converting paper waste into biodegradable Aerogels which is a simple, cost-effective and
fast method.
This novel material is ideal for applications such as oil spill cleaning, heat insulation as well as packaging,
and it can potentially be used as coating materials for drug delivery and as smart materials for various
biomedical applications.
5. YES Bank's tie up with Smartbox
Private sector bank YES Bank has tied up with Smartbox Ecommerce Solutions for solving challenges
related to last mile delivery for e-commerce players and making life easy for online shoppers.
It will help power the payment solutions for Smartbox network of Automated Parcel Delivery Terminals.
6. Prithvi II missile successfully test-fired from Chandipur

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Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast.
It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
Prithvi-II missile is the first missile to be developed by DRDO under Indias prestigious IGMDP
(Integrated Guided Missile Development Program).
It is surface-to-surface medium range ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km.
It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.

7. Indias first lightest gun Nidar launched


Indias first indigenously developed lightest revolver (gun) Nidar weighing merely 250 grams was
successfully launched.
It has been designed and manufactured by the state-run Rifle Factory Ishapore located in West Bengal
giving boost to the Make in India initiative in small manufacturing sector.
Nidar is much lighter than Nirbheek (500 grams) revolver which was exclusively designed for women.
It is .22 caliber gun (revolver) with a 40-mm barrel and is only 140mm in length.
8. Cargo App to track movement of shipments
Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has launched a new mobile application, 'DIAL
CARGO' for cargo operations.
It will help in electronic clearance of cargo through the customs department.
'DIAL CARGO' provides authorised access to operators, customs department, custom house agents, airlines
and freight forwarders, among others and would enable greater visibility for cargo operations and tangible
cost and resource benefits.
9. Amazon launches Tatkal initiative
E-commerce giant Amazon on 17 Feb 2016 announced the launch of Amazon Tatkal, an initiative that
enables small and medium businesses (SMBs) to go online and sell products on Amazon.
It will enable thousands of interested sellers to start selling on Amazon in real time and experience the
benefits of launching an online business.
10. Google Translate introduces 13 new languages
Saying 'hello' online in Sindhi just got easier as Google Translate will now speak Sindhi.
Now, Sindhi speakers can type or handwrite a phrase on their phone or computer and it will be instantly
translated into English, or vice versa.
Along with Sindhi, Google has introduced 12 other new languages Amharic, Corsican, Frisian, Kyrgyz,
Hawaiian, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Luxembourgish, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Shona, Pashto and Xhosa.
This will help bring a combined 120 million new people to the billions who can already communicate with
Translate all over the world.
The introduction of 13 new languages brings the total number of languages Google Translate supports to
just over 100.
11. Tata Motors & Bharat Forge tie up for $11-bn defence bid
Tata Motors, Bharat Forge and General Dynamics have forged an alliance to bid for the $11 billion (Rs
78,000 crore) project of making combat infantry vehicles for the Indian Army under the Future Infantry
Combat Vehicle (FICV) Programme.
General Dynamics, a US-based aerospace and defence company, successfully designed and developed
Ground Combat Infantry Fighting Vehicle for the US Army.
The company was chosen for India's FICV programme by Tata Motors and Bharat Forge for its experience
in developing such a complex vehicle.
12. Indian origin scientist discovers fast Tin Monoxide conductor to replace silicon

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A team of scientist in US led by an Indian-origin Ashutosh Tiwari has discovered Tin Monoxide (SnO)
conductor to replace silicon.
SnO is a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier
computers and smartphones that consumes less power.

13. Googles Project Loon begins its operations in Sri Lanka


Googles Project Loon began its operations in Sri Lanka after first helium-filled balloon landed in
Pupuressa area in Gampola town.
It was one of three balloons that were put up in Sri Lankan airspace for trials to provide high-speed internet
service after it was launched from South America.
14. ISRO successfully test cryogenic engine of GSLV Mark 3 rocket
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted hotbed test of the indigenously
developed high-thrust cryogenic engine (CE20) of the GSLV Mark 3 (LVM3) rocket for the upper stage.
The long-duration test was conducted at ISRO Propulsion Research Centre at Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu
and lasted for 640 seconds.
It was conducted with Mixture Ratio Controller (MRC) in a closed loop mode.
The CE20 uses Liquid Hydrogen at -253 degrees C and Liquid Oxygen at -193 degrees C as propellants
and generates power of approximately 2 MW.
It has been developed indigenously by Mahendragiri based Liquid Propulsion System centre (LPSC).
15. Five hot Jupiter like planets discover
Scientists have discovered five new Jupiter-like planets that are similar in characteristics to our solar
systems biggest planet.
The newly discovered planets were designated as WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b
and WASP-133 b.
They orbit very close to their host stars and hot compared to Jupiter.
16. Swachh Paryatan Mobile App Launches
Swachh Parayatan Mobile App was launched by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of State (I/C) for
Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation.
It aims to raise cleanliness related issues at the monuments.
The application will cover 25 ASI monuments covered under the Adarsh Smarak list of the Ministry of
Culture initially.
More monuments will be added to the list later on.
17. India remains worlds largest arms importer
India continues to remain the worlds largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global arms imports
in the 2011-2015 timeframe.
It was revealed by report on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, Stockholm
International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
India (14%), China (4.7%), Australia (3.6%), Pakistan (3.3%), Vietnam (2.9%) and South Korea (2.6%).
18. Naval Exercise IBSAMAR 2016 kicks off
The fifth edition of IBSAMAR 2016 trilateral naval exercise between Brazil, India and South Africa kicked
off in Goa.
IBSAMAR is abbreviated as of India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime.
This is the for the first time the exercise is held in India as all the previous editions were held in South
Africa since it began in 2006.
Indian navy will be represented by INS Mumbai a missile destroyer, INS Shalki a Shisuhumar class
diesel electric submarine and INS trishul a stealth frigate.

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19. Indias first nuclear submarine INS Arihant passes deep sea tests
Indias first indigenously built nuclear armed submarine INS Arihant has successfully passed several deep
sea diving drills as well as weapons launch tests.
These successful tests undertaken off Vishakhapatnam coast where the submarine was build. These tests
makes it ready for formal induction into the Naval Fleet.
INS Arihants design is based on the Russian Akula-1 class submarine.
It is a 6,000-tonne nuclear powered submarine and is 112 metre long.
Powered by 83 MW pressurised light water reactor built with Russias help.
This reactor generates tremendous heat, driving a steam turbine.
Capable of launching twelve short range nuclear-capable ballistic missile BO-5 (K 15) which has a range of
700 kms and four K 4 ballistic missile with a range of 3,500 km.
20. ISRO to set up Satellite Centre for in ASEAN countries in Vietnam
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working to establishment of a Satellite Tracking & Data
Reception Station and Data Processing Facility for ASEAN Member countries in Vietnam.
ISRO will set up this satellite centre at the behest of Union Government as part of Space Cooperation
between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Atomic Energy
and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Lok Sabha.
21. U.S. test-fires ICBMs
The U.S. military test-fired its second intercontinental ballistic missile in a week on 26 Feb 2016, seeking
to demonstrate its nuclear arms capacity at a time of rising strategic tensions with Russia and North Korea.
The unarmed Minuteman III missile roared out of a silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California late at
night, raced across the sky at speeds of up to 15,000 mph (24,000 kph) and landed a half hour later in a
target area 6,500 km away near Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific.

REPORTS
1. SC appointed Lodha Committee to sell PACL's assets
Supreme Court on 2 February 2016 appointed a committee under former Chief Justice RM Lodha to sell
assets of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Ltd (PACL) and refund 49,000 crore rupees to the investors.
The investors invested in the firms collective investment scheme (CIS) that was deemed illegal by the
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
2. India third most disaster prone in 2015: UN report
India has been ranked third among the top five most disaster-hit countries in 2015.
After China and the US, which have been hit by 26 and 22 disasters respectively last year, India is the most
affected country having suffered 19 disasters in 2015, according to a study released by the United Nations
Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
The head of UNISDR, Robert Glasser, said 2015 was the hottest year on record and this has confirmed that
weather and climate-related disasters now dominate trends linked to natural hazards.
3. Canada, US, Mexico ink MoU to Cooperate on Climate Change
Canada, United States (US) and Mexico have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Climate
Change and Energy Collaboration to tap into energy cooperation among three countries.
The MoU was signed at the North American Energy Ministers Meeting held in Winnipeg, Canada and
hosted by Canadas Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr.
4. Moodys pegs Indias GDP growth at 7.5% in 2016, 2017

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US agency Moody's Investors Service on 18 Feb 2016 forecast for India a "stable GDP growth at around
7.5 percent in 2016 and 2017", saying the country is relatively less exposed to external headwinds, like the
Chinese slowdown, and will benefit from lower commodity prices.
In its report Global Macro Outlook 2016-17 Global growth faces rising risks at time of policy
constraint, Moodys said growth will fail to pick up steam over the next two years as the slowdown in
China, lower commodity prices and tighter financing in some countries weigh on the economy.

5. Prasar Bharati signs historical MoU with EBC


Prasar Bharati has signed a MoU with Empresa Brasil de Comunicao (EBC) in connection with several
broadcast related activities including exchange of news, programmes and co-production.
This MoU is being described as historical as it is the first agreement that Prasar Bharati has signed with any
South American country.
It was signed between Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jawhar Sircar and EBC Vice
President Mr Mario in Brasilia, Brazil.
6. Recommendations of Ajay Shankar Committee
Government-constituted expert committee to examine the Possibility of Replacing Multiple Prior
Permissions with Pre-Existing Regulatory Mechanism has submitted its recommendations.
The 11 member committee was headed by Ajay Shanka, Former Secretary of Department of Industrial
Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

APPOINTMENTS
CEO of Infosys Consulting Holding AG
New Commanding-in-chief of WNC
Mumbai Police Commissioner
Indias envoys to Mexico, Vietnam
1st woman DG of Sashastra Seema Bal
MD and CEO of Corporation Bank
DG of CRPF
Director (Marketing), Coal India Ltd
Head of Mission and Force Commander of the
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
(UNDOF)
Senior Director for the Fragility, Conflict and
Violence Group in the World Bank.
AIIB Vice-President
NATO Commander in Afghanistan
Head of Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICoAS).
New Secretary of the Drinking Water and
Sanitation Department
New president of South Asian Wrestling
Federation
President of
International Grown Diamond
Association (IGDA).
Executive Vice-Chairman of The Energy and
Resources Institute (TERI)
New Secretary, Railway Board

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Michael Pesch
Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba
Datta Padsalgikar
Pardeshi, Harish
Archana Ramasundram
Jai Kumar Garg
K Durga Prasad
S N Prasad
Major General Jai Shanker Menon

Saroj Kumar Jha


D J Pandian
John Nicholson
Aruna Sethi
Parameshwaran Iyer
Brijbhushan Sharan Singh
Vishal Mehta
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri
R K Verma

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Chief Justice of Bombay High Court


New Australian High Commissioner
Director of the United Nations Information
Centre (UNIC)
Vice-Chairman of International Chamber of
Commerce Commission (ICC)
Director of Indian Institute of Millets Research
(IIMR)
New ICAI president
New Prime Minister of the Central African
country Chad.
Sebi Chairman
President of Kosovo
Chairman of the International Association of
Athletics Federations (IAAF) Commission
Chairperson
of
International
Fund
for
Agriculture Development (IFAD)
First Chairman of Banks Board Bureau (BBB)
New Police Commissioner of Delhi
DG of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)
MRF CMD Automotive Tyre Manufacturers'
Association (ATMA)
New IMF chief
9th Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh
Chairman of the Empowered Committee of State
Finance Ministers on Goods and Services Tax
(GST)
New Chief Justice of Orissa HC
President of Central African Republic
MD of NCRTC
Police Commissioner of Malaysias capital Kuala
Lumpur
North Korea New chief of the Korean Peoples
Army General Staff
Chief People Officer of Jet Airways
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) of Metropolitan Stock Exchange of
India (MSEI) Ltd
CJ of Meghalaya HC
Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre
(BARC)
New Chairman of National Human Rights
Commission (NHRC)
New President & CEO of Honda Cars
28th CJ of Karnataka
Nissan's global ambassador
Sportsperson of the Year
Director of CSIR-National Chemical Lab, Pune
President of FIFA

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Justice Waghela
Harinder Sidhu
Tamar Hahn
Davinder Singh
Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi
M. Devaraja Reddy
Albert Pahimi Padacke
UK Sinha
Hashim Thaci
Rozle Prezelj
Dinesh Sharma
Vinod Rai
Alok Kumar Verma
Jayant Mishra
K.M. Mammen
Christine Lagarde
Kalikho Pul
Amit Mitra

Justice Saran
Faustin Archange Touadera
Vinay Kumar Singh
Indian-origin Sikh Amar Singh
Ri Myong Su
Rahul Taneja
Udai Kumar

Justice Dinesh Maheshwari


K N Vyas
Ex-CJI HL Dattu
Yoichiro Ueno
Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee
Rohit Sharma
Lalita Babar
Ashwini Nangia
Gianni Infantino

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UNDP goodwill ambassador

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza

USL new chairman


Germanys Cross of the Order of Merit

M K Sharma
Goverdhan Mehta

COO of Jabong

Muralikrishnan B

AWARDS
Awards
Best Social Bank award
2015 MRF Challenge Formula 2000
Bhimsen Joshi Award
2016 Global Filmmaking Award
Directors Guild of America
EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 award
Lifetime Achievement Award for his
contribution towards the Indian software
industry and nation-building
New chairman of TERI
Secretary to the Department of Industrial
Policy and Promotion (DIPP)
Director of IIMR
Pride of Kerala
TIME India Award
Knight of the Legion of Honour
2016 Grammy Award
Israel Prize
Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar Award.
Most prolific Bollywood lyricis
Best Service Hospital
World Press Photo of the Year
Best Childrens film award
2016 Remi Award
Global CSR award
Aryabhata Award

Awardee
Corporation Bank
Pietro Fittipaldi
Pandit Ram Narayan
Geetu Mohandass' 'Insha' Allah'
Alejandro Gonzalez
Vinita Gupta, Chief Executive Officer and Nilesh
Gupta, Managing Director, Lupin Limited
FC Kohli,

Ashok Chawla
Ramesh Abhishek
Vilas Tonapi
Vidya Balan
Tata Steel
Manish Arora
Asif Kapadia
David Shulman
Sanjay Lila Bhansali & Ranveer Singh
Sameer Anjaan
The Command Hospital (Eastern Command),
Kolkata
Warren Richardson
Ottal
Kanavu Variyam
GVK Bio
Dr Avinash Chander

69th BAFTA Awards 2016


The 69th British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held at the Royal Opera House in
London.
This year the BAFTA awards were conferred for the outstanding performances in films and documentaries
screened at British Cinemas in 2015.
Best Film: The Revenant.
Outstanding British Film: Brooklyn.
Best Director: Alejandro G. Irritu (The Revenant).
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant).
Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room).
58th annual Grammy Awards

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The 58th Annual Grammy Awards were awarded in Los Angeles.


Taylor Swift kicked off the Grammy Awards with a performance of her latest hit single, Out of the Woods,
from her album 1989 which also won the album of the year Grammy.
Record of the year- Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.
Album of the year- 1989, Taylor Swift.
Best new artist- Meghan Trainor.
Song of the year (songwriters award)- Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge.
Best pop solo performance- Thinking Out Loud, Ed Sheeran.
Best rock performance- Dont Wanna Fight, Alabama Shakes.
Best rock song- Alabama Shakes Dont Wanna Fight.
Best rock album- Drones, Muse.
Best rap album- To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar.
Best country album- Traveller, Chris Stapleton.
Best metal performance- Cirice, Ghost.
Best R&B song- DAngelo and The Vanguards Really Love.

The 88th Oscar Awards


The 88th Oscar Awards, popularly known as Academy Awards were awarded at the Dolby Theatre
in Hollywood & Highland Center, Los Angeles.
Leonardo DiCaprio is the 2016 Oscar Winner for Best Actor whereas Brie Larson is the 2016 Oscar
Winner for Best Actress.
Chris Rock hosted the award ceremony and Indian Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra made her debut on
the Oscars red carpet and presented the award.
The Oscar Awards for the year 2016 were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
(AMPAS) in 24 categories.
The Oscar for the Best picture conferred on "Spotlight".
Overall, "Mad Max: Fury Road" has the most bragging rights, with six statuettes from 10 nods in total.
Best Picture: Spotlight
Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Best Actress: Brie Larson for Room
Best Director: Alejandro Irritu for The Revenant
Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Best Original Score: Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight
Best Foreign Language Film: Son of Saul (Hungary)
Best Live Action Short Film: Stutterer
Best Documentary Feature Film: Amy
Best Documentary Short Film: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out
Best Animated Short Film: Bear Story
Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina, Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett
Best Sound Mixing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo
Best Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White
Best Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel
Best Cinematography: The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Makeup and Hair Styling: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short
Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

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SPORTS
1. Pietro Fittipaldi wins 2015 MRF Challenge Formula 2000
Brazilian racing driver Pietro Fittipaldi has won the 2015 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 by winning two of
the four races.
2. Srikanth grabs Syed Modi Title
Ace Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth won the 2016 Syed Modi International Grand prix Gold
Championship Title of Badminton in Mens singles category.
In the final match played at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), he defeated Huang Yuxiang of China by 21-13, 2114 and 21-14 score.
Womens single Title: Sayaka Sato (Japan) won the 2016 Syed Modi International Grand prix Gold
Championship Title.
Mens Doubles Title: Malaysian pair of Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong won the 2016 Syed Modi
International Grand prix Gold Championship Title.
Womens Doubles Title: South Korean pair of Jung Kyung-eun and Shin Seung-chan won the 2016 Syed
Modi International Grand prix Gold Championship Title.
Mixed Doubles Title: Indonesian pair Praveen Jordan and Deby Susanto won the 2016 Syed Modi
International Grand prix Gold Championship Title in mixed doubles category.
3. Djokovic wins sixth Australian Open
World Number One tennis player Novak Djokovic from Serbia has won the 2016 Australian Open Title in
the mens singles category.
In the final match played at Melbourne, Australia he defeated Andy Murray of Britain in 7 straight sets by
6-1, 7-5, 7-6 score.
With this win, Djokovic retained the title and also equalled the record of Roy Emersons record of six
Australian Open Singles titles. He had earlier won this title in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
4. Aditya Mehta wins 83rd Senior National Snooker Championship
Aditya Mehta on 31 January 2016 won the 83rd Senior National Snooker Championship in Indore, Madhya
Pradesh.
He defeated Manan Chandra in the final that was held as part of the National Billiards & Snooker
Championship 2016.
In another event, Vidya Pillai won the National Snooker Championship in the womens category by
defeating Amee Kamani 4-2.
For 38-year-old Vidya, it was her ninth national title.
The womens billiards title was won by 19-year old Keerath Bhandaal by defeating Arantxa Sanchis of
Maharashtra 3-1.
Keerath is a student of Economics at the Jesus and Mary College in Delhi.
5. Kerala wins 61st National School Athletics championship
Kerala won the 61st National School Athletics championship.
The national School Athletics championship was held at Olympian Rahman Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala
from 29 January 2016 to 2 February 2016.
This is for the 19th consecutive time Kerala becomes the champions in the event. Kerala, the host of the
championship got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals.
Tamil Nadu stood at second position with 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals.
Maharashtra with 101 points gained the third position.
6. Dravid in ICC's Anti-Corruption Oversight Group

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The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on 3 February 2016 constituted Anti-Corruption Unit
Oversight Group.
The oversight group will include the Chairman of the Executive Committee (under whose area of
responsibility this function rests) and will also include former India captain Rahul Dravid, legal expert
Louis Weston and independent anti-corruption advisor John Abbott, who was the Chairman of the Integrity
Working Party.
The Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, and ICC Chief Executive, David
Richardson, will also be ex-officio members of the group.
The oversight group will meet once a year to review and provide independent input into the strategy
adopted by the sport to tackle corruption and its implementation, and to offer its advice and guidance to the
Chairman of the ACU where required.

7. T. Vijyalaxmi grabs the first gold of 12th SAG


India opened their medal account with cyclist T. Vijyalaxmi grabbing the first gold of the 12th South Asian
Games in womens 30km individual time trial final on the first day of competitions in Guwahati on 06 Feb
2016.
In the mens 40km individual time trial final, Arvind Panwar clocked 52 minutes and 28.800 seconds to
win the gold.
8. West Indies wins ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2016
West Indies for the first time has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup by defeating three time champions
India by five wickets played at Mirpur (Bangladesh).
Man of the match: Keacy Carty (West Indies)
Player of the tournament: Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh)
9. Dominic Thiem wins ATP Argentina Open
World No. 19 Dominic Thiem on 14 February 2016 defeated Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (2), 3-6, 7-6
(4) to win the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Buenos Aires tournament.
With the win, Theim claimed his fourth ATP singles title.
10. 2016 South Asian Games concludes
12th South Asian Games (SAG) 2016 concluded on 16 February 2016 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic
Stadium, Sarusajai of Guwahati, Assam.
The game that saw 228 events in 23 sports disciplines was held from 5 February to 16 February 2016.
Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal declared the Games closed at a colourful
closing ceremony.
The event saw participation of about 2600 athletes from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh,
Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives. It was co-hosted by Guwahati, Assam and Meghalaya capital,
Shillong.
India finished at the top with a record 308 medals - 188 Gold, 90 Silver and 30 Bronze, which put to shade
its previous best of 214 medals at the 2006 Games in Colombo.
India made clean sweep in Boxing (won 10 Gold medals at stake), tennis and kabaddi (won both men and
women gold).
13th South Asian Games will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal in 2019.

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11. Stan Wawrinka wins 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title


Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the mens singles category.
In the final match played in the United Arab Emirates, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) by 6-4, 7-6
(15/13) score.
It was his ninth straight final and overall 13th title of his career and second of the 2016 season after
winning Chennai Open.
Womens Singles: Sara Errani (Italy) won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the womens singles category. In the
final she defeated Barbora Strcov of Czech Republic Barbora Strcov.
Mens Doubles: Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the
mens doubles category. They defeated Feliciano Lpez and Marc Lpez pair from Spain.
Womens Doubles: Chuang Chia-jung (Chinese Taipei) and Darija Jurak (Croatia) won the 2016 Dubai ATP
Tennis title in the womens doubles category. They defeated French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina
Mladenovic.
12. Tendulkars autobiography enters Limca Book of Records
The God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, might have said his goodbyes to the game of cricket but even after
his retirement, he continues to make records.
Tendulkar's autobiography, Playing It My Way, has entered the Limca Book of Records in the category of
best-selling books across both fiction and non-fiction categories with 1,50,289 copies sold on order
subscriptions.
The book has been published by Hachette India in the year 2014 with Boria Majumdar as the co-author of
the book.
13. Punjab Warriors beat Kalinga Lancers to clinch maiden title
The Jaypee Punjab Warriors on 21 February 2016 defeated Kalinga Lancers 6-1 to clinch Hockey India
League (HIL) title in the fourth edition of the six-team tournament at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in
Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das presented the winner's trophy to Jaypee Punjab Warriors captain Sardar
Singh and Mark Knowles.
Player of the Tournament Award:- Rupinder Pal Singh of Delhi Waveriders.
14.Sara Errani wins Dubai WTA title
Italys Sara Errani on 20 February 2016 defeated Czech Republics Barbora Strycova to clinch the WTA
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships womens singles title.
A former Top 10 fixture and French Open finalist, Errani's greater big-match experience shone through as
she emerged victorious by a 6-0, 6-2.
15. Dnipro FC wins 2016 Nagjee International Club Football Tournament

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Ukraines Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Football Club (FC) has won the 2016 Sait Nagjee International Club
Football Tournament.
With this victory, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk became first European team to win this prestigious Football
tournament held in India.
In summit clash played at the EMS Corporation stadium at Kozhikode (Kerala), Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk FC
defeated Brazilian FC Atletico Paranaense by 3-0 goals.

16. Sania, Saina, 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.
Kohli was named among Indias highest earning celebrities in 2015 at USD 11.3 million.
17. Mumbai wins Ranji Trophy 2016
Mumbai has won the Ranji Trophy for a season 2015-16 by defeating Saurashtra.
With this victory, Mumbai clinched eight Ranji title for record 41st time (10 of them being won with
innings wins) after playing in record 45 finals.
In the final match played a Gahunje Stadium of Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune, Mumbai
defeated Saurashtra by 21 runs.
Shreyas Iyer of Mumbai was declared man of the match for his 117 runs in the match.
18. Stan Wawrinka wins 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title
Stan Wawrinka from Switzerland has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the mens singles category.
In the final match played in the United Arab Emirates, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) by 6-4, 7-6
(15/13) score.
It was his ninth straight final and overall 13th title of his career and second of the 2016 season after
winning Chennai Open.
Womens Singles: Sara Errani (Italy) won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the womens singles category. In the
final she defeated Barbora Strcov of Czech Republic Barbora Strcov.
Mens Doubles: Italian pair of Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi has won the 2016 Dubai ATP Tennis title in the
mens doubles category. They defeated Feliciano Lpez and Marc Lpez pair from Spain.
Womens Doubles: Chuang Chia-jung (Chinese Taipei) and Darija Jurak (Croatia) won the 2016 Dubai ATP
Tennis title in the womens doubles category. They defeated French pair of Caroline Garcia and Kristina
Mladenovic.

Important Days
01 Feb: Indian Coast Guard Day
02 Feb: World Wetlands Day
04 Feb: World Cancer Day; National Day of Sri Lanka
05 Feb: Kashmir Day or Kashmir Solidarity Day (in Pakistan)
06 Feb: The International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
08 Feb: Chinese New Year 2016
10 Feb: National Deworming Day
11 Feb: The World Day of the Sick (Roman Catholic Church)
12 Feb: Darwin Day (birth anniversary of Charles Darwin)
13 Feb: World Radio Day; Sarojini Naidus birth anniversary
18-27 Feb: Taj Mahotsav

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20 Jan: World Day of Social Justice


21 Jan: International Mother Language Day
23 Feb: World Rotary Day
24 Feb: Central Excise Day
27 Jan: The International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
28 Feb: National Science Day

OBITUARY
Former Army Chief General
British television and radio personality
Former RBI Deputy Governor
Veteran Urdu writer
Former Lok Sabha speaker
United States (US) Astronaut
Famous political cartoonist
Renowned Urdu Poet and well known
Bollywood lyricist
Former Prime Minister of Nepal and
Nepali Congress (NC) President
Uttar Pradesh Panchayati Raj Minister
Siachen avalanche survivor
Veteran film director
Pulitzer winning composer
Indias Ambassador to Tajikistan
Noted Malayalam poet and lyricist
Popular music director and composer
Former United Nations (UN) SecretaryGeneral
Renowned Malayalam writer
Famous Tamil Comedy actor
Indias Oldest Cricketer
Eminent vocalist
Former West Indies batsman
US writer
Italian author
Noted Classical singer
Fidels brother
Indias Oldest Cricketer
Tamil actor-comedian

Kotikalapudi Venkata Krishna


Rao
Terry Wogan
S S Tarapore
Intizar Husain
Balram Jakhar
Edgar Mitchell
Sudhir Tailang
Nida Fazli
Sushil Koirala
Kailash Yadav
Lance Naik Hanamanthappa
Aurobindo Mukherjee
Leslie Bassett
Biraja Prasad
O N V Kurup
Rajamani
Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Akbar Kakkattil
Kumarimuthu
B K Garudachar
Ustad Abdul Rashid
Andy Ganteaume
Harper Lee
Umberto Eco
Bhubaneswari Mishra
Ramon Castro
BK Garudachar
Kumarimuthu

ALL THE BEST!!

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