Home Daily Updates IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 21 -FEBRUARY - 2016
IMPORTANT CURRENT AFFAIRS & DAILY NEWS UPDATES : 21 -FEBRUARY - 2016
Sunday, 21 February 2016 06:43

 

DAILY NEWS UPDATES

21 -FEBRUARY - 2016

 

JHARKHAND AND ADANI GROUP INKED MOU TO SET UP THERMAL POWER PLANT

The Jharkhand government and Adani Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for investment of 15000 crore rupees in the state to set up a 1600 MW capacity thermal power plant.

The MoU was signed between Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Rajesh Adani, managing director, Adani Group during the Jharkhand Investors Summit at Make In India Week in Mumbai.

The Adani Group has entered into an agreement with Bangladesh Power Corporation to provide it energy and the proposed plants in Jharkhand will help the company to supply power to Bangladesh.

The proposed plants will be set up in Godda and Sahibganj districts of the state.

The Jharkhand government announced that it is expecting a total investment of over 62000 crore under various Make in India projects.

The biggest investment to the state has been committed by the Adani Group which will invest 50000 crore rupees for power and fertiliser manufacturing plants.

The state is also getting an investment of 2000 crore from Vedanta group to set up a steel plant.

APPLE TO SET UP TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTRE IN HYDERABAD

Apple Inc. announced setting up of a Technology Development Centre (TDC) in Hyderabad, Telangana. For Apple, it will be the first TDC outside the USA.

With this announcement, Apple joined other big technology firms like Microsoft, Google and Facebook that focused on Hyderabad to expand their operations in Asia.

The centre will be set up at an estimated investment of 25 million US dollars and occupy 250000 square feet in Tishman Speyer's WaveRock facility.

The proposed TDC is of strategic value as, at present, Apple Inc. is the world’s largest mobile technology company and India is the world's fastest-growing smart phone market.

The setting up of the TDC is also part of Apple’s recent efforts to expand operations beyond the USA. Earlier, in January 2016, it announced setting up of Europe’s first iOS Development Centre in Italy.

TATA MOTORS, BHARAT FORGE TIED UP FOR $11 BILLION INDIAN ARMY’S FICV PROGRAMME

FICV: Future Infantry Combat Vehicle

The abbreviation FICV was in news as Tata Motors, Bharat Forge and the USA-based General Dynamics tied up for defense bid under Future Infantry Combat Vehicle programme.

The FICV Programme involves development of compact combat vehicles for the Indian Army that will replace Russian-designed BMP (Sarath BMP-II) series armed vehicles that are in operation since 1980.

The nearly 10 billion US dollar project is touted as India’s largest indigenous defense program.

Features of Future Infantry Combat Vehicle Programme

• The FICV is an amphibious, tracked, armoured vehicle and will be operated by a crew of 3 members consisting of the commander, gunner and driver with an additional capacity to carry 7 fully equipped infantrymen.

• The weight of the vehicle will be kept at around 20 tonnes so that it can be transported by air and other means in combat zones.

• It will have the strike power of a 45 tonne Main Battle Tank (MBT) including rapid fire cannon, a 7.62 mm machine gun, grenade launcher and an anti-tank missile.

• It will be fully amphibious and all terrain capability for high mobility to keep pace with new advancement in weaponry system.

DAVID SHULMAN WON ISRAEL PRIZE FOR RELIGIOUS STUDIES FOR RESEARCH ON INDIA

Renowned Indologist Professor David Shulman was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Religious Studies for his breakthrough research into the literature and culture of southern India.

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett approved the recommendation of the prize committee, headed by Professor Shaul Shaked.

Who is David Shulman?

David Dean Shulman is an Indologist and regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the languages of India.

His research incorporates many fields, including the history of religion in South India, Indian poetics, Tamil Islam, Dravidian linguistics and Carnatic music.

He was formerly Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and professor in the Department of Indian, Iranian and Armenian Studies.

At present, he holds an appointment as Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

He is also a published poet in Hebrew, a literary critic, a cultural anthropologist.

He has authored and co-authored more than 20 books on various subjects ranging from temple myths and temple poems to essays that cover the wide spectrum of the cultural history of South India.

Through his books and translations, he introduced the field of India studies to Israeli academia and the general public, acting as a sort of ambassador for Indian civilisation in Israel.

He is a peace activist and a founding member of the joint Israeli-Palestininian movement Ta'ayush.

Bilingual in Hebrew and English, he has mastered Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, and reads Greek, Russian, French, German, Persian, Arabic and Malayalam.

He won the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship in 1987, making him the first Israeli to be conferred with the honour.

About Israel Prize

The Israel Prize is an award handed out by the State of Israel and is generally regarded as the state's highest honour.

It is presented annually, on Israeli Independence Day, in a state ceremony in Jerusalem, in the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Knesset (Israel's legislature) and the Supreme Court President.

The prize was set up in 1953 at the initiative of the Minister of Education Ben-Zion Dinor, who himself went on to win the prize in 1958 and 1973.

In 2015, Israeli immunologist Zelig Eshhar was honoured with the Israel Prize for life sciences.

UNION CABINET APPROVED NOMINATION OF NITI AAYOG CEO AS PART-TIME MEMBER OF TELECOM COMMISSION

Union Cabinet approved nomination of the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog as a part-time member of the telecom commission. With this decision, Amitabh Kant will assume the role by virtue of his position as the NITI Aayog CEO.

The new role for the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog CEO was envisioned as the institution replaced the Planning Commission the Secretary of which was a part-time member in the telecom commission.

The NITI Aayog CEO will lend value to the deliberations of the commission as the NITI Aayog was mandated to serve as a think tank of the government.

About Telecom Commission

• It was set up by the Union Government in 1989 with administrative and financial powers to promote rapid development in all aspects of telecommunications.

• The statutory commission consists of a chairman, 4 full-time members and 3 part-time members.

• With the addition of NITI Aayog CEO, the commission will have 4 part-time members.

UNION CABINET GAVE IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL TO LIGO-INDIA PROJECT TO STUDY GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

The Union Cabinet gave in-principal approval to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) - India project to study gravitational waves.

The approval coincided with the announcement of international scientists in February 2016 about the detection of gravitational waves in the LIGO facilities located in the USA.

LIGO-India is a part of the IndIGO (Indian Initiative in Gravitational-wave Observations) initiative and seeks to move one Advanced LIGO detector from Hanford to India.

What, Why & How of India’s gravitational wave observatory initiative IndIGO

Features of LIGO-India Project

• It will establish a state-of-the-art gravitational wave observatory in India in collaboration with the LIGO Laboratory in the USA that is run by Caltech and MIT.

• It will involve constructing eight kilometer long beam tube at ultra-high vacuum on a levelled terrain.

• The project will bring unprecedented opportunities for scientists and engineers to dig deeper into the realm of gravitational wave and take global leadership in this new astronomical frontier.

• It will bring considerable opportunities in cutting edge technology for the Indian industry.

• The project will motivate Indian students and young scientists to explore newer frontiers of knowledge, and will add further impetus to scientific research in the country.

• It piloted by the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science and Technology (DST).

• It is envisaged as an international collaboration between the LIGO Laboratory and three lead institutions in the IndIGO consortium.

• The three lead institutions are - Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) Gandhinagar, Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore.

GOVT SET TO REVOKE PRESIDENT’S RULE IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH

  • A day after the Supreme Court refused to stop the dissident leaders and the Governor in Arunachal Pradesh from forming a new government, the Union Cabinet sought the revocation of President’s rule in the State imposed on January 26.
  • The dissidents had staked a claim to form a government. Mr. Pul was accompanied by 19 rebel Congress MLAs, along with 11 BJP legislators, and two Independents.

CABINET GIVES IN PRINCIPLE APPROVAL TO GRAVITATIONAL WAVE DETECTOR

  • Days after an international team of scientists, including several from India, formally announced that it had detected gravitational waves from deep space, the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said it had, “in principle,” approved a proposal to have a gravitational wave detector in India.
  • Those connected with the project said it was an important development and marked the government formally acknowledging it but a final decision regarding the money, and how it would be spent, was still some time away.
  • Current estimates suggest the project would cost at least Rs. 1,200 crore.
  • The gravitational waves were detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) — a system of detectors in Washington and Louisiana.]
  • Known as the LIGO-India project, it is piloted by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The LIGO-India project will be jointly coordinated and executed by three Indian research institutions: the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune and Department of Atomic Energy organisations: Institute for Plasma Research (IPR), Gandhinagar and the Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT),Indore.
  • Another ambitious mega- science project, the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project — a proposed, under-ground observatory in Tamil Nadu to detect ephemeral particles called neutrinos — had been cleared by the Centre in 2015, after several years of deliberations.

BY YEAR END AT LEAST ONE FIGHTER AIRCRAFT FROM PRIVATE SECTOR

  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said that by the year-end, India would select one or more fighter aircraft which will be manufactured locally by a private company under the Make in India initiative.
  • This is in addition to the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the production of which is be- ing scaled up.
  • India and France are in advanced stage of talks to conclude an inter-governmental agreement for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. This fighter aircraft will likely be other than the Rafale.
  • The Air Force is expected to induct over 100 of the improved LCAs which will feature an Advanced Electronically Scanned Array radar,mid-air refuelling and improved electronic warfare suite in addition to other minor improvements.

INDIA AND NEPAL BEGIN TO REPAIR STRAINED TIES

  • India and Nepal hope to begin repairing ties as Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli makes his first official visit to India.
  • But as Mr. Oli lands in Delhi on the six-day visit, the two sides are unlikely to dwell too much on the past few months of strain, choosing instead to focus on the earthquake reconstruction effort, Indian power projects in the pipeline and future cooperation.
  • In accordance with tradition, Mr.Oli is making India his first destination abroad after becoming Prime Minister in October 2015.
  • He will meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and other leaders in Delhi besides visiting two of India’s worst earthquake-hit areas, looking at the hydropower station built in Tehri, Uttarakhand, and re- construction projects in Bhuj, Gujarat.
  • Equally clear is the desire on both sides to put events since August 2015 behind them, when India and Nepal fought a public and blistering battle over the new Constitution.
  • India refused to welcome the Nepal Constitution passed in September 2015, as the statute ignored the concerns of groups in the southern Madhes region of Nepal that borders India, and demanded four amendments to be made: on reservations, constituency delimitation, demarcation of provinces and citizenship rights.

CHINA DEPLOYED SURFACE TO AIR MISSILE IN DISPUTED WOODY ISLAND

  • China has deployed an advanced surface-to-air missile system to one of the disputed islands it controls in the South China Sea, ratcheting up tensions even as U.S. President Barack Obama urged restraint in the region.
  • The missile batteries had been set up on Woody Island. The island is part of the Paracels chain, under Chinese control for more than 40 year but also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • Images from civilian satellite companyImageSat International show two batteriesof eight surface-to-airmissile launchers as well as a radar system.]
  • China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year, and has been building runways and other infrastructure on artificial islands to bolster its claims.
  • Taiwan President-elect Tsai Ing- wen said tensions were now higher in the region.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION NEEDS $ 56 MILLION TO COMBAT ZIKA VIRUS

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) said that $56 million were needed to combat the Zika virus until June, including for the fast-tracking of vaccines, diagnostics and research studies into how it spreads.
  • The funds, including $25 million for the WHO and its regional office, would also be used to control the mosquito- borne virus that has spread to 39 countries, including 34 in the Americas.
  • The WHO expects the funds to come from member states and other donors and said that in the meantime it has tapped a new emergency contingency fund for $2 mil- lion to finance its initial operations.

INDIA’S MOST AFFORDABLE SMARTPHONE WILL COST 251 RUPEES

  • Noida-based smart-phone maker Ringing Bells is set to unveil India’s most affordable smartphone, priced at Rs.251, a move that is set to disrupt the booming Indian mobile handset market.
  • The 3G handset, Freedom 251, features a 4-inch display, Qualcomm 1.3-GHz quad- core processor and 1 GB RAM, according to details shared by the company.
  • The Android Lollipop-based handset will have an onboard storage of 8 GB with support for expandable memory of up to 32 GB.
  • It features a 3.2-MP rear and a 0.3-MP front facing camera and a 1,450-mAh battery.
  • The mass market device will come with preinstalled apps including Women Safety, Swachh Bharat, Fisherman, Farmer, Medical, WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.
  • Bookings for the Freedom 251 will start on Thursday.

DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACEUTICALS ARE EXPECTED TO COME UP WITH BULK DRUG POLICY

  • Department of Pharmaceuticals is expected to come out with a newbulk drug policy in less than amonth with an objective to growthe Indian pharmaceuticals sector to a $200 billion industry by2030.
  • Under this policy, the government wants to build an ecosystem to help pharma companiesto move up in the value chainand develop new moleculesthrough innovations.
  • The industry which grew inthe last 15 years has potential tobe a $200 billion industry andcan be the world’s largest if itscales up and moves up thevalue-chain.
  • Until 1970 India was dependent on other countries for itspharmaceutical requirementsand in 20 years’ time it becameself sufficient to meet its own requirements.
  • India has now become a superpower as far as generic drugs are concerned. India can become a $300 billion industry including medical devices by 2030.
  • As per this report the country’s pharmaceutical industry has the potential to touch $200 billion by 2030 from the present $32 billion.
  • And the medical devices segment can grow from $5 billion now to $100 billion.

 

 

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Last Updated on Monday, 22 February 2016 03:32