All major news and events covered in The Hindu

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All major news and events covered in The Hindu
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
2015
February 28 th 2015
Business & Economy:
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented NDA Government's first full fledged Union Budget in the Lok
Sabha today.
o
Corporate tax to be reduced from 30 to 25 per cent over the next four years; No change in individual
income tax.
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Wealth tax abolished; two per cent additional surcharge on super-rich with above one crore rupee
annual income.
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Proposes to introduce bills to curb black money.
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Goods and Services Tax to be in place by April 1, 2016.
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Two crore houses in urban areas by 2022 and four crore in rural areas.
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Two lakh rupees insurance for poor people under Jan Dhan Yojana on premium of one rupee per month.
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AIIMS to be established in five states.
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Three-pronged approach to use Jan Dhan, Aadhar and mobile technology to check pilferage of subsidies.
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Proposes over 11 per cent hike to defence sector.
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Fiscal deficit to be reduced to three per cent in the next three years.
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Refer Union-Budget-2015 Tab for more Details.
In order to provide convenient online shopping experience to customers, Indian Railway Catering and
Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has tied up with Amazon.in to sell various products.
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Under the agreement, IRCTC will leverage the huge traffic it generates being a virtual monopoly for train
e-ticketing to sell products such as consumer electronic, books, shoes, apparel etc.
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It has added a “shop on Amazon” tab on its homepage which redirects to a separate landing page on
Amazon.in.
National Affairs:
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Today (28th February 2015) is National Science Day.
o
The theme of this year is Science for Nation Building.
o
On this day, the nation pays tributes to the legacy of the great scientist, Dr C V Raman, who brought
Nobel Prize in Science to Asia and India for the first time for his epoch-making discovery Raman
Effect.
o
Professor Raman disclosed this discovery to the world on 28th of February, 1928 and he was
awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930.
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First President of Republic of India, Bharat Ratna, Dr. Rajendra Prasad's Death Anniversary today.
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Observing it was “most undesirable” to let an MP or MLA continue even for a day if he or she has been elected
using illegitimate means, the Supreme Court said today that special benches should be created at all high
courts in the country to speedily decide election petitions.
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First Assamese dictionary for Science and Technology terms with over 40,000 words was released by
Dibrugarh University Vice Chancellor Dr Alok Kumar Buragohain today.
o
The 1,160-page dictionary covered almost all streams of science, including Physics, Chemistry,
Botany, Zoology, Mathematics, Geology, Geography, Computer Science, Statistics, Astronomy among
others.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
2015
People in News:
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted the resignation of Dr R K Pachauri from the Prime Minister's
Council on Climate Change.
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Dr Pachauri had resigned from the council following the registration of a sexual harassment case against
him.
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He is also Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute, TERI, was re-nominated to the
Council by the Prime Minister last year.
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He had been member of the Council since its inception in 2007.
Mukul Roy, once the second in command of the Trinamool Congress, has been removed from the post of the
party’s national general secretary today.
Deaths:
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US based Bangladeshi Author Avijit Roy hacked to death by suspected religious extremists in Dhaka.
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US terms the incident as an assault on free speech
Sports:
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World Cup 2015
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India defeated UAE by nine wickets.
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NewZealand become the 1st to enter quarterfinals after defeating four-time champions Australia.
February 27 th 2015
International Affairs:
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The World Health Organization lauded India's tobacco control mechanisms, calling the country a
"champion" for curbing "tobacco marketing in films".
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Chinese President Xi Jinping has unveiled his new political theory "four comprehensives", calling for deeper
reforms and rule of law, asserting his authority on the ruling Communist Party and emerging as its strongest
leader.
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1st Indo Nepal Friendship Motor Rally 2015 was Flagged Off by Minister of State (Ind. Charge) Tourism &
Culture, Ashok Chandra Panda at Hotel Mayfair Waves, Puri (Odisha) today.
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This is the first ever Indo-Nepal Friendship Motor Rally.
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This rally is being jointly organized by kalinga Motor Sports Club, Bhubaneswar and Nepal
Automobile Sports Association (NASA).
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About 24 Teams and 120 participants from INDIA & NEPAL took off on an exciting journey of 3060 kms
spanning 10 days and touching Kathmandu would conclude at the India Gate, New Delhi on the 8th of
March 2015.
National Affairs:
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Nation remembers
his Death Anniversary today.
Chandra ShekharAzad (23rd July 1906 – 27th February 1931) on
o
He was a great Indian freedom fighter who was involved in Kakori Train Robbery, the attempt to blow
up the Viceroy's train, and the shooting of Saunders at Lahore to avenge the killing of Lala Lajpat Rai.
o
He was the mentor of Bhagat Singh, another great freedom fighter.
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February
o

2015
After the independence, to commemorate Chandra Shekhar Azad, Alfred Park (Allahabad), where
Chandra Shekhar Azad shot himself was renamed Chandra Shekhar Azad Park.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the government is ready to make changes in the
controversial Land Acquisition Bill if in interest of farmers.
o
He termed MNREGA a failure of Congress but the scheme to continue.
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The Supreme Court today took a strong view against circulation of sexual violence videos on popular
messaging services and their telecast on social networking sites, ordering a Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) inquiry into two rape cases that were highlighted early this month by Sunitha Krishnan
who runs the anti-trafficking NGO Prajwala.
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Haryana government today said it has decided to raise the cash reward under the inter-caste marriage
scheme from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
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It was constituted under Rule 16 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act.
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Chief Minister - Manohar Lal Khattar
Election Commission will link electoral photo Identity card with Aadhar number to stop duplication and to
make electoral rolls error free.
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Around 10 to 12% entries in electoral roll are duplicate.
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Chief Election Commissioner - H S Brahma
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The Supreme Court today held that a person can be accorded Scheduled Caste (SC) status on his reconversion to Hinduism if he is accepted by fellow caste men and proves that either he or his forefathers
previously belonged to that caste before embracing another religion.
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The Gujarat Forest department and Zoological Society of London entered into memorandum of
understanding for the protection of Asiatic lion and its habitat which was inked on Thursday.
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The Gujarat Forest department will use smart software which will be used for tracking the movement of
their staff and even the lions.
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This software has been developed jointly by the Zoological Society of London and the Gujarat forest
department.
Awards & Honors:
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Ex-chairman of the Tata Group Ratan Tata has been honored with an honorary Doctorate of Automotive
Engineering by the Clemson University at the South Carolina Automotive Summit.
New Appointments:
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Justice Amitava Roy was today sworn in as a judge of the Supreme Court.
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He was the chief justice of Orissa high court.
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With his elevation, the strength of the apex court judges has gone up to 29.
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The apex court has a sectioned strength of 31 judges.
Kshatrapati Shivaji, a 1986 batch IAS officer, has taken over as the Chairman and Managing Director of
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).
Deaths:
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Actor Leonard Nimoy (83), who won a worldwide fan base as the pointy-eared half-human, half-Vulcan Mr
Spock in the blockbuster "Star Trek" television and film franchise, died today.
Sports:
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February

2015
World Cup 2015
o
South Africa defeat West Indies by 257 runs
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South African cricketer AB DeVilliers hits fastest 150 (66 balls) in ODI history.
Business & Economy:
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West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra today presented the state budget and said the government is
expecting to create 17.5 lakh employment in the coming year.
o
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Finance Minister ArunJaitley tables Economic Survey today.
o
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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sad that "This is a people's budget. It was a Budget for Maa, Mati,
Manush."
A head of the Union Budget tomorrow (28th February 2015), the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today
(27th February 2015) tabled the Economic Survey 2014-2015 in Lok Sabha, which outlines the broad
direction of the Budget and the economic performance of the country. This survey, prepared by the
finance ministry's chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, forecasts Indian economy is likely to
grow above 8 percent in 2015-16. The Survey further said that economic growth for the financial year
2015-16 is likely to remain between 8.1 and 8.5 percent.
Key Points to Remember
 Growth rate of over 8% expected for 2015-2016
 Fiscal deficit of 4.1 pc achievable
 Inflation rate pegged at 5 to 5.5 pc
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Highlights of Economic Survey 2014-15
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Fiscal Deficit
o India must meet its medium-term fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent of GDP
o Government will adhere to fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2014/15
o Govt should ensure expenditure control to reduce fiscal deficit
Growth
o 2015/16 GDP growth seen at over 8 pct y/y
o Double digit economic growth trajectory now a possibility
o Economic growth at market prices seen between 8.1 - 8.5 per cent in 2015/16 on basis on new GDP
calculation formula
Current Account Deficit
o Estimated to fall 1 pct of GDP in coming fiscal year
Inflation
o Inflation shows declining trend in 2014/15
o Inflation likely to be below central bank target by 0.5 - 1 per centage point
o Lower inflation opens up space for more monetary policy easing
o Govt and central bank need to conclude monetary framework pact to consolidate gains in inflation
control
o CPI inflation in 2015/16 is likely to range between 5 - 5.5 per cent
Reforms
o There is scope for big bang reforms now
o India can increase public investments and still hit its borrowing targets
Fiscal Consolidation
o Govt remains committed to fiscal consolidation
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February
2015
o
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India can balance short-term imperative of boosting public investment to revitalize growth with
fiscal discipline
o Outlook for external financing is correspondingly favorable
Subsidies
o
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IT & ITeS Sector
o IT and ITeS sector including Business Process Management (BPM), continues to be one of the largest
employers in the country
o Software products and services revenues for 2015-16 is projected to grow at 12-14 per cent.
o Government's "Make in India" mission has included IT and BPM among the 25 focus sectors
Tourism
o Increase in growth on both foreign tourist arrivals at 7.1 per cent and foreign exchange earnings at
6.6 per cent in the year 2014.
o Easing of the Indian tourism visa regime through the expansion of Tourist Visa on Arrival enabled
by Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will give a fillip to foreign tourist arrivals in the country.
Trade & Repair Services Sector
o
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Migration from traditional stores to modern retail continues, though the latter still accounts for only
8 per cent of the total market.
E-Commerce Market
o
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Overhauling of subsidy regime would pave the way for expenditure rationalization
Government proposes to include sufficient provisions for consumer safeguards in the ongoing
amendments to the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
Media & Entertainment Industry
o
With 100 percent FDI permitted in the Film Sector, India is emerging as the new favorite of
international studios.
February 26 th 2015
Railway Budget 2015-16 Highlights
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has presented the Narendra Modi-led BJP government's first full year Rail Budget on
26th February 2015. The Key Themes of the Budget were in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's initiatives Swachch Bharat Mission, Make in India and Digital India.
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Highlights of the Rail Budget 2015
There is no increase in passenger rail fares.
No new trains announced.
Plan Outlay proposed Rs. 1,00,011 crore, increased by 52%.
Allocation for passenger amenities up by 67%.
Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years.
'Operation 5 mins', wherein passengers travellling unreserved can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.
Bio toilets and airplane-type vaccum toilets in trains.
Rs 1,000 Nirbhaya Fund, which was lying idle so far, will finally board a train to provide women's safety
surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women's safety without compromising
on privacy.
Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance.
The speed of nine railway corridors will be increased to 160 and 200 kmph.
200 more stations to come under Adarsh Station scheme.
In 400 stations wi-fi facility will be provided.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
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2015
Facility of online booking of wheelchair for senior citizens.
Satellite railway terminals in major cities.
Centrally managed Rail Display Network is expected to be introduced in over 2K stations over the next 2 years.
All india 24/7 helpline - 138 from March 2015 ; Toll free No.182 for security.
917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings; at a cost of Rs.
6,581 crore.
Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities.
A mobile application to address complaints of people is also being developed.
SMS alert services for passengers to inform them about arrival and departure of trains.
The facility of e-ticketing to go paper less.
24 to 26 coaches in certain identified trains, more general class coaches, ladders to be replaced.
Introduction of integrated ticketing will be done, a Defence travel system has been developed to make travel
easier.
Satellite railway terminals in 10 major cities.
Railways to become prime mover of Indian Economy, Five years action plan proposed.
Thrust on measurable and sustainable improvement in passenger experience and to make Rail a safer means of
travel.
More General class coaches will be added in identified trains.
Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System to be installed on select routes.
Investment 84% higher, 77 new projects covering 9,400 km of doubling/tripling/quadrupling works proposed.
Cleanliness in Railways highest priority under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat.
A new department for keeping stations and trains clean under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
International Affairs:

In accordance with the prime minister's directives, Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will be
undertaking the first phase of the SAARC Yatra as per the following schedule
 March 1 - Bhutan
 March 2 - Bangladesh
 March 3 - Pakistan
 March 4 - Afghanistan
o He will begin his “SAARC yatra” with a visit to Thimphu on March 1st and Dhaka on March 2nd, followed
by a visit to Islamabad, where he will resume India-Pakistan foreign secretary-level talks that were
cancelled last year.
o
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Later in the month, he would visit Nepal, and also Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and the dates for those
“are being worked out”.
Russia and Cyprus have signed an agreement that would give Russian military ships access to the EU
member state's ports in the Mediterranean Sea.
o
The deal comes amid heightened tensions between the Kremlin and the West over Russia’s annexation
of Ukraine’s Crimea territory a pro-Moscow insurgency fighting Kyiv's forces in eastern Ukraine.
o
Russian President : Vladimir Putin
o
Cypriot President : Nicos Anastasiades
Jamaica has decriminalised the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
o
The country's parliament passed a much-debated law allowing the possession of up to 2oz (57g) of
marijuana.
o
It will also allow for a licensing authority to oversee the medical and scientific uses of the plant.
National Affairs:
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February

2015
PDP Chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed will meet PM Narendra Modi tomorrow in New Delhi to give a final
touch to the common minimum programme for government formation in Jammu and Kashmir.
o
Mr. Sayeed is likely to take oath this Sunday as the next chief minister of J&K under a PDP-BJP
alliance.
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Delhi Government announces compensation of 1 crore rupees to the next of the kin of a CRPF personnel
Narottam Das who was killed in a landmine blast in Gaya, Bihar earlier this week.
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Chhattisgarh government lifts ban on participation of its employees in the activities of RSS.
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o
The Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965 prohibit a government servant from taking
part in politics.
o
“No government servant shall be member of, or be otherwise associated with, any political party or any
organisation which takes part in politics nor shall he take part in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any
other manner, any political movement or activity,” states Rule 5(1).
o
However, the state government, in it's recently released notification with the subject line “regarding
participation of government servants in activities of RSS”, said that “as far as Rule 5(1) of
Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1965 is concerned, its restriction does not apply to RSS”.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal writes to Haryana CM Manohar LAL Khattar on the issue of release of water from
Munak canal.
o
Delhi Chief Minister has said that the shortage of water can lead to major disruptions in production of
drinking water in the national capital.
o
Mr Kejriwal has also sought time from the Haryana Chief Minister for a meeting with his officials at
Chandigarh to discuss and resolve the issue.
Awards & Honors:

Six Indian women CEOs and Managing Directors, including State Bank of India head Arundhati
Bhattacharya and ICICI CEO Chanda Kochchar, have been named by Forbes magazine in its 50 'Power
Businesswomen' from Asia who are "knocking down" walls in the traditional male bastions.
o
Apart from Bhattacharya and Kochchar, the Indian executives on the list are
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Akhila Srinivasan - MD/Non-Executive Director of Shriram Life Insurance/Shriram Capital
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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw - Founding Chairman and MD of Biocon
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Shikha Sharma - CEO and MD of Axis Bank
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Usha Sangwan - MD of LIC
Science & Technology:
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Australian researchers from Monash University, aided by staff from the CSIRO and Deakin University, have
c
w l ’s
s 3D-printed jet engines, a breakthrough that could change the way aircraft are
constructed.
o
They have printed two engines and put one of them on display at the International Air Show in Avalon,
Victoria.
People in News:
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The masked Islamic State militant known as "Jihadi John", who has been pictured in the videos of the
beheadings of Western hostages, has been named.
o
He is Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-20s from west London, who was
previously known to British security services.
Sports:
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February

2015
World Cup 2015
o
Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 92 runs
o
Afghanistan beat Scotland in a closely contested match.
February 25 th 2015
National Affairs:
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Delhi government has slashed power tariff by 50% for consumption up to 400 units per month.
o
This decision will benefit around 90 percent of Delhiites.
o
Government has also decided to supply free water up to 20,000 litres for every household in a
month.
o
Both these decisions will be effective from March 1st, 2015.
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave approval for establishing the New
Development Bank (NDB) and the BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA).
o
Heads of the five nation BRICS group - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - decided at their
sixth summit in Fortaleza in July last year to create a development bank as well as a reserve fund to
finance infrastructure projects and other sustainable development projects.
o
The cabinet also approved state-run power producer NTPC Ltd's plans to set up 15,000 megawatt of
grid-connected solar projects, which would be completed in three tranches.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav presented a Rs 3.02 lakh crore annual budget for 2015-16,
10.2 per cent more than last fiscal.
o
This is his fourth budget.
o
This budget shows a deficit of 2.96 per cent, Yadav earmarked Rs 9,388.79 crore for new schemes
apparently with an eye on the Assembly elections due in 2017.
Mobile subscribers from 3rd May, will be able to port their numbers anywhere in the country while
changing service providers.
o
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI has amended the regulation on it.
o
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) currently allows consumers to change their service provider while
retaining the same number only within a telecom circle, which in most cases, is limited to a State.
o
In a statement TRAI said that it has issued sixth amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile
Number Portability Regulation, 2009, which will facilitate full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in
the country.
International Affairs:
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The United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to legalize the creation of the babies by the
DNA from three people, using Mitochondrial Donation Technique.
o
The members of the House of Lords have voted in favour of the Bill that amends the Human
Fertilization and Embryology Act (HFEA) in 1990.
o
Earlier in this month, the House of Commons had passed the bill.
o
HFEA of the United Kingdom will now decide how to license the procedure to prevent babies suffering
from deadly genetic diseases since birth.
o
The first 'designer baby' could be born as early as 2016.
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February
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2015
This law will help to prevent the babies from serious inherited diseases which may be passed on from
the mother to the child.
The U.S. government has confirmed that effective 26th May 2015, some holders of the H-4 visa, who are
spouses of high-skilled workers on the H-1B visa, will be eligible for work authorisation, a potential boon
for approximately 179,600 individuals in the first year alone.
People in News:
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Vatican, Missionaries of Charity and National Commission of Minorities have slammed RSS Chief Mohan
Bhagwat’s controversial remarks on Mother Teresa.
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A special Tada court has sentenced gangster Abu Salem to life imprisonment for the murder of builder Pradip
Jain in 1995.
Science & Technology:
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As many as 27 Indian Satellites, including 11 which facilitate the communication network in the country, are
currently operational.
o
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One more satellite would be launched next month while three more are in the pipeline, Minister of State
in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said.
A membrane capable of producing safe drinking water by filtering out objects at the nanoscale level and
killing the commonly found pathogenic bacteria E. coli has been developed by a team led by Dr. Suryasarathi
Bose, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Engineering, IISc, Bengaluru.
Awards & Honors:
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Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad has received a human rights award in Geneva for creating a Facebook
page inviting women in Iran to post pictures of themselves without their headscarves in defiance of rules
requiring them to wear a hijab.
o
The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a group of 20 non-governmental
organisations, gave Ms. Alinejad this award for “giving a voice to the voiceless and stirring the conscience
of humanity to support the struggle of Iranian women for basic human rights, freedom and equality.”
New Appointments:
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Ravi Chaudhary, an Indian-American aviation expert and former US Air Force officer, was named the Executive
Director for Regions and Centre Operations at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates
and oversees all aspects of American civil aviation.
Deaths:
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Ace cinematographer Aloysius Vincent, popularly known as A Vincent, who is known for his work in Telugu,
Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films, passed away on Wednesday, 25 February.
o
His movies "Vayanadan Thampan" and "Parunthu" are considered iconic movies.
o
He won the Filmfare Best Cinematographer Award for "Prem Nagar" (1974).
o
In 2003, Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC) awarded him an Honorary Membership, along
with KK Mahajan and VK Murthy.
Sports:
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World Cup 2015
o
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Ireland beat UAE by 2 wickets in a thrilling encounter.
Ranchi Rays crowned champions of Hero Hockey India League 2015 (HHIL) by defeating Jaypee Punjab
Warriors.
February 24 th 2015
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February
2015
International Affairs:

India announced that the country is ready for talks with Pakistan on all issues including Jammu and Kashmir
in accordance with the Simla Agreement.
o
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will travel to Pakistan next week, seven months after India cancelled
foreign secretary-level talks.
National Affairs:
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The government today introduced the Land Acquisition amendment bill in the Lok Sabha amid uproar by the
Opposition.
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The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement
(Amendment) Bill 2015 will replace an ordinance which had been promulgated by the NDA government
on December 30 last year.
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The Opposition parties, led by the Congress, vociferously opposed the bill on the floor of the house.
o
Civil society activists, led by Anna Hazare, are protesting the issue at Jantar Mantar, a short distance
away from parliament.
o
Rural Development Minister - Birender Singh
BJP chief Amit Shah announced today that his party will partner with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to
form government in Jammu and Kashmir, two months after election results were declared.
People in News:
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Bangladesh's fugitive former lawmaker Abdul Jabbar was today sentenced to jail until death by a special
tribunal for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 independence war against Pakistan.
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Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav has been named in an FIR filed in the MP professional
examination board case popularly known as Vyapam scam.
o
The manipulation in selection process for government jobs, conducted by Vyapam, is being probed by a
Special Investigation Team (SIT).
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Rajendra K Pachauri has quit as chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
days after the police began investigating charges that he sexually harassed a 29-year-old woman employee in
Delhi.
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The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat cast aspersions on the services of Mother
Teresa by saying that conversion to Christianity was the main objective behind her service to the poor.
Sports:
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World Cup
o
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West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 73 runs.
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Chris Gayle becomes the first batsman to score a fastest double century (200 from 138
balls) in World Cup.
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He breaks Virender Sehwag's record (140 balls)
International Kabbadi Championship began in Madurai today.
o
It has been named Amma world cup kabaddi championship in honour of former Tamil Nadu chief
minister J Jayalalithaa.
o
She had earlier sanctioned a grant of Rs 3 crore for the event.
Business & Economy:
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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled 14th Finance Commission report in Lok Sabha today.
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February
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2015
o
There is no service tax in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
o
The Finance Commission has suggested raising share of states in central taxes to 42 percent from
current 32 percent.
o
As per the increased devolution suggested in the report of the 14th Finance Commission, the states will
get Rs 3.48 lakh crore in 2014-15 and Rs 5.26 lakh crore in 2015-16.
o
"The higher tax devolution will allow states greater autonomy in financing and designing of schemes as per
their needs and requirements," the report said.
o
Headed by - Y V Reddy
In a bid to boost fixed line phone connections in the country, telecom regulator TRAI today removed charges
that a landline service provider has to pay to the other service providers for transmitting its customers'
phone calls - a move that is likely to lead to lower tariffs.
o
Now, calls made from landline-to-landline or landline-to- mobiles will not include the interconnection
charge, which was 20 paise.
o
Trai has also reduced network interconnection usage charges (IUC) on calls made from mobile phones
by about 30 per cent to 14 paise per call from 20 paise earlier.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Indian Army and State Bank of India
(SBI) on the Defence Salary Package.
o
The signing in ceremony was chaired by the Adjutant General, Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma and was
attended by top dignitaries of SBI Bank, headed by Dr Vaidyan MG, Dy MD (Retail Strategy).
o
The first MoU between SBI and the Indian Army was signed in 2011 and was valid for a period of
three years.
o
The revised MoU is tailor-made (with a few minor changes) to suit the requirements of serving soldiers,
pensioners and families.
Deaths:


Popular Tamil director R.C Sakthi, who launched actor Kamal Haasan in a lead role passed away.
o
He directed some critically—acclaimed films such as “Manidharil Ithanai Nirangala”, “Dharma
Yuddham” and “Amma Pillai”.
o
His last directorial venture was the Tamil film “Pathini Penna", which fetched him two State awards for
best film and best dialogue writer.
Former acting chief justice of Pakistan Rana Bhagwandas passed away.
o
He was the first Hindu and the second non-Muslim head of the supreme court of Pakistan.
February 23 rd 2015
International Affairs:

India and Nepal today began 8th 'Surya Kiran' exercise, a battalion-level combined military training exercise
in Kathmandu, focusing on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations in the mountainous and jungle
terrain.
o
The Nepalese contingent was represented by a battalion from an Infantry Division of Nepalese Army.
o
The Indian side was represented by an equivalent strength from a Mountain Brigade.
o
The focus of the ongoing exercise is to carry out counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in
the mountainous and jungle terrain and to practice facets of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,
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including actions to be taken during pandemic, epidemic and various other humanitarian assistance
situations.
National Affairs:



Budget Session of Parliament begins today with President Pranab Mukherjee's address to both Houses.
o
The budget session contains 44 items of financial, legislative and non-legislative business.
o
The bills replacing ordinances on raising the foreign investment limit in insurance, auctioning coal
mines and changing the rules of land acquisition are some of the important legislations scheduled to be
tabled during the session.
o
The Juvenile Justice (Care and protection of Children) Bill, The Labour Code on Wages Bill , The small
factories (regulation of employment and condition of services) Bill, and The Labour Code on Industrial
Relations Bill are also likely to come up during the session.
o
Government seeks cooperation from opposition for smooth functioning of the session.
Social activist Anna Hazare starts his two day long agitation in Delhi against the Land acquisition Ordinance
o
Ordinance on Land Acquisition is anti farmer which the Government has brought to cater to
industrialists, he said.
o
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will participate in the protest along with social activist Anna Hazare
at Jantar Mantar tomorrow.
Public sector banks, including the country's biggest lender State Bank of India, will remain shut on alternate
Saturdays, according to a deal reached between employee unions and the Indian Banks' Association, which
represents lenders.
o
An agreement was also reached to hike wages of over 7 lakh public sector bank employees by 15
per cent.
o
The wage hike will be applicable from November 2012 and will be valid for five years.
 Check complete details from here.
Good news to all Bankers & Banking Aspirants. The discussions which were held between the Indian Bank's
Association representing Managements of banks and the authorized representatives of workmen Unions
and Officers' Associations on wage revision came to an end.
In today's talks, An agreement was reached to hike wages of over 7 lakh public sector bank employees
by 15 per cent. The wage hike will be applicable from November 2012 and will be valid for five years [The
bank unions were demanding 19 per cent hike].
The Second and Fourth Saturday's will be holidays (other Saturdays will be full working days). Actually,
the Employee unions were demanding a five-day week, but the agreement was reached on keeping alternate
Saturdays off.
The deal comes ahead of the Union Budget and will help the government avert a four-day strike starting
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February 25.

Himachal Pradesh is set to become the country's first state to present a 'paperless' budget on March 11.
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Since the state already has the country's first green assembly, all documents related to budget
estimates would be made available online and only around 10 budget copies would be printed for
record.

Himachal Pradesh Chief minister - Virbhadra Singh
Awards & Honors:
The 87th Academy Awards ceremony (commonly referred to as Oscars 2015) was held on 22nd February
2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. These awards were presented in
24 Categories by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). "Birdman" was the big winner of the
night by winning oscars for best picture, cinematography & original screenplay, and the film's director, Alejandro
González Iñárritu, won the directing Oscar. J.K. Simmons won the first Oscar of the night, for actor in a supporting
role, while Patricia Arquette won for actress in a supporting role. Other winners included Common and John Legend
for their original song "Glory" from the film "Selma," the Polish film "Ida" for best foreign film, and "Big Hero 6" for
best animated feature film. Here is the Complete Winners List.
Complete Winners List of Oscars 2015
 Best Picture - Birdman
 Best Actress in a Leading Role - Julianne Moore for Still Alice
 Best Actor in a Leading Role - Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything.
 Best Director - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
 Best Adapted Screenplay - Graham Moore for 'The Imitation Game'
 Best original screenplay - Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo for
Birdman
 Best original score - Alexandre Desplat - The Grand Budapest Hotel
 Documentary Feature - CitizenFour by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
 Film Editing - Tom Cross - Whiplash
 Best Cinematography - Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman
 Best Production Design - The Grand Budapest Hotel
 Animated Feature Film - Big Hero 6
 Best Animated Short film - Feast
 Special Effects - Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher for Interstellar
 Best Sound Editing - American Sniper - Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
 Sound mixing and Sound Editing Oscar - Whiplash - Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley
 Best documentary short film - Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 - Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Dana Perry
 Best live-action short film - The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby, James Lucas
 Achievement in makeup and hairstyling - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier
 Best Foreign Film - Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski
 Best costume design - The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
 Best Supporting Actor - JK Simmons for Whiplash
 Best Supporting Actress - Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Deaths:

A pioneer of mobile theatre in Assam, leading painter and sculpture artist Adya Sharma (86)has passed away.
o
He was known to all as Guruji.
New Appointments:

Honda Motor has announced its new president and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo.
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
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He is currently the company’s managing officer, he will take over the role which is being held by
Takanobu Ito effective late June 2015.
AAP MLA Ram Niwas Goel was unanimously elected Speaker of the Delhi Assembly on the first day of the
two-day session of the House.
o
Another ruling party legislator, Bandana Kumari, was elected Deputy Speaker of the House where the
main and only opposition, BJP, has a negligible presence with just three legislators.
Business & Economy:

Private power utility Tata Power today announced signing an initial agreement with Russia's largest coal
producer Siberian Coal Energy Company for tapping opportunities in the energy sector.
o
The organization has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Siberian Coal
Energy Company (SUEK) to identify and evaluate opportunities in energy sector in Russia.
o
As part of the agreement, both Tata Power and SUEK will cooperate on identifying and targeting
opportunities in the energy sector in Russia and other geographies of common interest in order to
develop mutually beneficial transactions.
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
England beat Scotland by 119 runs at Christchurch.
February 22nd 2015
National Affairs:

Nine months after he stepped down, the JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar was today sworn-in as the Bihar Chief
Minister, ending days of political drama following a bitter power struggle with Jitan Ram Manjhi.
o
Besides Kumar, 22 ministers, including three women, were also administered the oath of office.

The ministers are : Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Vijendra Prasad Yadav, Ramai Ram, Damodar
Raut, Narendra Narayan Yadav, P.K. Shahi, Shyam Rajak, Awadesh Kushwaha, Lesie Singh, Dulal
Chand Goswami, Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh, Shrawan Kumar, Ramlashan Ram Raman,
Ramdhani Singh, Jai Kumar Singh, Manoj Kumar Singh, Javed Iqbal Ansari, Bima Bharti, Ranju
Geeta, Baidyanath Sahni, Vinod Singh Yadav and Naushad Alam.
International Affairs:

Today (22nd February) is Twins day.

Today is World Thinking Day.

o
This day is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
o
It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the
world.
o
It is a day when they think about their "sisters" (and "brothers") in all the countries of the world, the
meaning of Guiding, and its global impact.
The Sri Lankan parliament has given approval to enact laws to protect the victims of crimes and witnesses
by passing the long awaited piece of legislation.
o

Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe presented the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime
and Witnesses Bill in Parliament and the bill was passed by the House with amendments.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa
is in his Official visit to India.
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People in News:

An Indian Christian priest, Father Alexis Prem Kumar, abducted in Afghanistan eight months back, has been
released.
o

Prem Kumar was abducted in Herat province in western Afghanistan by unidentified gunmen on June 2
last year.
Mohamed Nasheed, the former Maldivian president and opposition leader, was arrested today.
o
He was the country’s first democratically elected leader
o
He was arrested on terrorism charges over the controversial detention of Criminal Court Judge Abdulla
Mohamed in January 2012.
Awards & Honors:

Purnendu Dasgupta, an Indian-American, who developed an environment friendly field analyser for checking
toxic arsenic levels in water, has been awarded with 2015 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical
Chemistry J. Calvin Giddings Award.
o
The national award recognises a scientist, who has enhanced the professional development of analytical
chemistry students, developed and published innovative experiments, designed and improved
equipment or teaching labs and published influential textbooks or significant articles on teaching
analytical chemistry.
Business & Economy:

FDI in India almost doubled to 2.16 billion dollars in December 2014, compared to 1.10 billion dollars in the
same month of 2013.
o
Amongst the top 10 sectors, telecom received the maximum FDI of 2.67 billion dollars in the ninemonth period, followed by services 2.29 billion and automobile 1.58 billion.
o
During this period, India received maximum FDI from Mauritius of 5.89 billion dollars, followed by
Singapore 4.31billion & the Netherlands 2.57 billion.
Sports:
Word Cup 2015

India beat South Africa by 130 runs.

Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan slams 137 (his 1st century in World Cup).
February 21st 2015
National Affairs:

The government has raised about 8.33 crore Rupees from the three-day auction of the items gifted to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi .
o

The administration has received 1,852 valid bids for the items, including Modi's monogrammed suit,
which went under the hammer for 4.31 crores and the money will be used to finance the Clean Ganga
Mission.
External Affairs Minister SushmaSwaraj launches web portal "MADAD" (Because You Are Us) to address
grievances of Indians residing abroad
o
Indian citizens living abroad will now be able to file consular grievances online with this e-portal.
o
This portal will address such complaints promptly with a high degree of "accountability".
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
2015
Among the chief characteristics of ‘Madad’ are to speed up forwarding and handling of complaints,
improve tracking and redressal and escalate unresolved cases.
In ’s
p llu n, ranked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) among the worst in the world, is
adversely impacting the lifespans of its citizens, reducing most Indian lives by over three years, a new study has
said.
o
Over half of India’s population — 660 million people — live in areas where fine particulate matter
pollution is above India’s standards for what is considered safe, said the study by economists from the
University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale published in Economic & Political Weekly.
International Affairs:



21st February is International Mother Language Day.
o
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote
linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
o
The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language,
Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in
Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is on a 3 day visit to Bangladesh
o
On Saturday she met Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, raising hope for a breakthrough in
resolving Teesta river water sharing issue.
o
She assured of a "positive role" in resolving the outstanding Teesta river issue to protect interests of
both sides.
o
She also proposed a series of steps including construction of Bangabandhu Bhayan in Kolkata to
strengthen cultural ties with Bangladesh.
Y
n’s
P s n Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi left Sanaa after Shia rebels who surrounded his
house let him go under international and local pressure.
Business & Economy:


The proposed Rs 15,000-crore merger deal between Kotak Mahindra and ING Vysya has got the CCI's
approval.
o
This merger will create the country's fourth largest private sector lender.
o
CCI - Competition Commission of India
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of India signed a $50 million loan agreement for
the second Assam Power Sector Investment Program which aims to build up the capacity of power
generation and distribution systems to meet the growing energy demand in the state of Assam.
o
The first tranche loan of the $300 million multi-tranche financing facility will fund generation capacity
enhancement and distribution efficiency improvement subprojects in the state.
o
Signed between

India - Tarun Bajaj, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs,
Ministry of Finance

ADB - Teresa Kho, Country Director of ADB's India Resident Mission
New Appointments:

Major general Chrishantha de Silva was appointed as the new Sri Lankan Army chief by president
Maithripala Sirisen.
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De Silva will succeed Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake with effect from February 22, Sirisena's office
said in a statement.
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
West Indies beat Pakistan by 150 runs.
February 20 th 2015
International Affairs:

Thailand has passed a law banning foreigners from paying Thai women to be surrogates, after two highprofile cases sparked debate last year.
o

A group of 15 women and children abducted by BokoHaram militants in December, have been reunited with
their families today.
o

The issue of surrogacy was in the spotlight last year after a Western Australian couple were accused of
leaving a twin boy, known as Baby Gammy, with his surrogate mother after they discovered he had
Down syndrome.
They were kidnapped during a raid on Katarko village in Yobe state.
Turkey and the United States signed an agreement to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State
group.
o
The deal was signed by U.S Ambassador John Bass and Turkish Foreign Ministry undersecretary
Feridun Sinirlioglu.
National Affairs:



Facing apparent defeat, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned today.
o
Hours ahead of the trust vote, Manjhi submitted his resignation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi.
o
Nitish Kumar to take oath as Bihar chief minister on Sunday (22nd February).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's monogrammed bandhgala suit that had kicked up a politicalstorm was
today sold off for Rs 4.31 crore at an auction in Surat.
o
The pin-striped navy blue suit that Modi wore for his Summit meeting with the US President Barack
Obama on January 25, had the name "Narendra Damodardas Modi" repeatedly embroidered into the
fabric and is believed to be Rs 10 lakh.
o
The suit has been purchased for Rs 4.31 crore by Dharmananda Diamond Company's Lalji Patel and his
son Hitesh Patel.
o
The proceeds will go towards cleaning up the river Ganga.
An input on the National Gas Grid for the upcoming Finance Minister's budget speech is among the various
"secret" documents Delhi Police has recovered from the accused in the corporate espionage case.
o
Besides, police has also recovered a letter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Principal Secretary
Nripendra Misra.

Prime Mninister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar today to participate in the
state's 29th foundation day has flagged off the first ever express train from Naharlagun to New Delhi.

The government has launched a single-window portal, 'e-biz', integrating 11 central government services, to
facilitate faster clearances for businesses.
o
Launched by - Finance minister Arun Jaitley
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
Government has given its approval for over 8 thousand 6 hundred crore rupees of Highway projects in Uttar
Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival begins today's s evening at Madhya Pradesh.
o
Eminent Indian classical dancers will perform during the seven day festival.
o
Inaugurated by - Minister of State for Culture Surendra Patwa
New Appointments:

Eminent scientist Tapan Misra has been appointed the Chief of ISRO's Space Applications Centre (SAC),
Ahmedabad.
o

Misra, Deputy Director, Microwave Remote Sensing Area in SAC, succeeds A S Kiran Kumar, who was
appointed as the Chairman of the ISRO last month.
Former top IAS officer from Gujarat, Maheshwar Sahu has been appointed as an independent director on the
board of Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).
People in News:

S uadron Leader Deepika Misra has become the first IAF woman pilot ever to join a formation display
team.
o
The much heralded helicopter display team ‘Sarang’ of Indian Air Force, now boasts of a women pilot.
o
Deepika Misra has notched up nearly 1,6
at Bareilly and Udhampur.
o
She was inducted into the indigenously built Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv display team in June last
year.
hours on Chetak and Cheetah helicopters after her two stints
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
New Zealand crush England by eight wickets
o
Skipper Brendon McCullum slams fastest half century (in 18 balls) ever in World Cup.
February 19 th 2015
National Affairs:


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched "Soil Health Card" scheme, under which the Centre plans to
target over 14 crore farmers in the next three years to check the excess use of fertilizers.
o
The card, which will carry crop-wise recommendation of fertilizers required for farm lands, will help
farmers identify health of soil and judiciously use soil nutrients.
o
Rajasthan Agriculture Minister Prabhu Lal Saini said the card will contain all basic information and
recommendations for the farmers which will help in improving productivity by using appropriate
inputs.
The Prime Minister presented the Krishi Karman Awards to State Government functionaries led by Chief
Ministers of States and progressive farmers, to the states of Punjab, Odisha, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Madhya
Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat.
o
He presented Commendation Awards to State Government functionaries led by Agriculture Ministers of
States to Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Karnataka.
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

The process of printing documents for the Budget 2015-16 began today with the ritual halwa ceremony,
which was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in North Block of Secretariat Building, New Delhi
o
It has been a tradition which has continued for long. As part of the ritual, halwa is prepared in a big
kadhai (vessel) and served to the staff of the Ministry.
o
The significance of the sweet dish is that after it is served, a large number of officials and support staff,
who are directly associated with budget making and printing process, are required to stay in the
Ministry and remain cut off from their families till the presentation of the budget by the Minister.
o
These officials not even allowed to contact their near and dear ones through phone or any other form of
communication, like email.
o
Only very senior officials in the Finance Ministry are permitted to go home.
o
The budget, which will be the first full-fledged budget of this NDA government, will be presented on
28th February 2015.
KailashMansarovar Yatra-2015 will be conducted from the 8th of June to 9th of September this year.
o


2015
The routes for the Yatra will be via Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand and via Nathu La Pass in Sikkim.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol's 1995 iconic love saga "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayeinge
(DDLJ)" has ended its uninterrupted 1009-week glorious run at the Maratha Mandir theatre, Mumbai
today.
o
The cult romantic film, which marked the directorial debut of Aditya Chopra, completed its 1000 weeks
in December last year.
o
This film has became the longest screened film in Indian cinema (19 Years).
o
The film played out in the 9:15 AM show today for the last time at the theatre.
The Delhi Police crime branch arrested five people on charges of leaking or trying to get documents on policy
matters of different ministries today.
o
Some of them have been accused of leaking confidential information to business houses to tweak
government's policy decisions.
o
Two are ministry officials, three are intermediaries among the arrested.
International Affairs:



Today is the first day of the New Year on the Chinese lunar calendar.
o
The Chinese New Year is the longest national holiday in China, spanning a total of fifteen days, and
New Year’s Day is the most important date in the Chinese calendar.
o
Each year of the calendar's 12-year cycle is represented by an animal.
o
2015 is the year of the Goat.
Nepal celebrates its 65th Democracy Day today.
o
National Democracy Day (Rashtriya Prajatantra Divas) is being held in Nepal every 19th of February
in honor of the late King Prithvi Narayan Shah, The Great led the country in achieving freedom from
the Rana regime.
o
President - Dr. Ram Baran Yadav
o
Vice-president - Parmanda Jha
o
Prime Minister - Sushil Koirala
Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon today called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who expressed
satisfaction with the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
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During the meeting, Modi recalled his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the
sidelines of the UN General Assembly in September 2014.
People in News:

Thailand's attorney general filed charges against deposed prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra today, in a case
that could result in a 10-year jail term if she is found guilty.
o
Yingluck, Thailand's first woman prime minister, was charged with negligence for her role in a rice
subsidy scheme that has cost the state billions of dollars.
Science & Technology:

India today successfully test-fired nuclear weapons capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile for a
shortened range of 250 km as against its full range of 350 km from Chandipur in Balasore district, Odisha.
Business & Economy:


The Reserve Bank of India lifted ban on import of gold coins and medallions by banks and trading
houses.
o
RBI said that banks have also been permitted to import gold on consignment basis.
o
The apex bank, however, added that domestic sales will be permitted against upfront payment only.
Keeping in tune with 'Make in India' programme in the defence sector, Kalyani Group, owners of Bharat Forge
the world's second biggest forging company, announced a joint venture (JV) with Rafael Advanced Defence
System from Israel.
o

The venture will be based in Hyderabad and Kalyani Group will hold 51% in the JV with the rest vesting
with Rafael.
India’s largest online marketplace, Snapdeal.com today announced it has acquired Exclusively.com
(formerly Exclusively.in) the definitive online destination for premium and luxury fashion.
o
With this acquisition, Snapdeal.com looks to further strengthen its fashion business and reaching $2
billion in GMV in the fashion category this year.
New Appointments:

Rashad Hussain, of Indian heritage, has been appointed as US envoy and coordinator for Strategic CounterTerrorism Communications to expand international engagement and partnerships to counter violent
extremism.
o
Hussain was earlier US special envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the second
largest intergovernmental body after the UN, with 57 member states.
Deaths:

Eminent Odia film director Nirad Naraya Mahapatra passed away.
o
He had shot into international fame with his very first film “Maya Miriga” in 19 4 which won a Rajat
Kamal at the National Film Awards before going on to win a special jury award at the Cannes Film
Festival.
o
The director taught acclaimed directors like Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Saeed Mirza and Ketan Mehta as an
FTII lecturer from 1972-1974.
Sports:

Indian Open swim team led by Wing Commander Paramvir Singh, swam from Goa to Mumbai in a bid to set
the World Record for the longest open water swim in the world.
o
The previous record was held by a team from Israel for swimming a total distance of 380 kms in 123.2
hrs.
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To beat this record, the six-member Indian Open Water swim team - The Sea Hawks - set off from Dona
Paula in Goa last Friday and were all set to swim a distance of 490 kms along the Konkan coastline and
reach Gateway of India in Mumbai today in 156 hours.

Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the
fifth and final round to win the Classical section of Zurich Chess Classic.

Former Indian captain Anil Kumble is all set to become the 77th member of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame
after his name was inducted in the prestigious list during India's World Cup game against South Africa at
Melbourne today.

World Cup 2015
o
imbabwe beat UA by four wickets at Nelson, NewZealand .
February 18 th 2015
International Affairs:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on her first official visit to oil-rich Oman.
o
Today she met Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah and reviewed bilateral
political, economic, defence and security issues as well as the regional situation.


Both the leaders discussed strategic aspects of relations as maritime neighbours.
o
She also met Oman's Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said.
o
Later she met Indian community in Oman and praised them for their achievements.
Robert Bentley, the Governor of the American state of Alabama has apologized for the brutal police assault
on a 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel, who was hurt in a confrontation with Madison police while visiting
relatives earlier this month.
National Affairs:

132nd birth anniversary of Indian Revolutionary MadanLal Dhingra is being observed today

Aero India 2015
o
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates 10th Aero India show, a biennial air show and aviation
exhibition in Bengaluru today.
o
Modi is the second Prime Minister to inaugurate the event after H D Deve Gowda in 1996.
o
This is the biggest air show in Asia and is said to be the largest ever air show to be hosted so far in
India.
o
This show is b s
o
Over 300 foreign firms along with 54 ministerial and other high-level delegations from several
countries took part in this year's event.
o
India showcased its indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Advanced Light
Helicopter Dhruv, radars, missiles, satellites, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Airborne
early warning and control system (AWACS) .
o
Foreign military aircraft that are displayed include F-15C Eagle, Lockheed F-16C, Boeing KC-135,
Boeing C-17, Rafale and Embraer EMB-145I etc.
o
The US with 64 companies had the largest presence at the show in which 33 other countries are
taking part.
o
Behind the US is France with 58 companies, UK 48, Russia 41, Israel 25 and Germany 17.
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PM Narendra Modi's monogrammed pinstripe suit with his name Narendra Damodardas Modi - forming the
stripes was auctioned in Surat today.
o
Rajesh Juneja, a Surat-based textile businessmen bid a whopping Rs 1.21 crore for this controversial
suit that modi wore during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India last month.
o
The auction of the suit will go on for three days.
o
The proceeds of auction will go to the Namaami Gange Trust Fund.
o
As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi had held similar charity auctions of gifts.
The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is organising a week-l n N
n l T b l F s v l, ‘Vanaj 2015’, which
has a host of activities lined up to showcase the culture of tribal people from across the country.
Awards & Honors:

Delhi based Indira Gandhi International Airport has won the annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award,
which recognizes and rewards the best airports in the world based on Geneva-based ACI's ASQ passenger
satisfaction survey.
o
This airport has been adjudged the best, among the world's most performing airports in the 25-40
million passengers per annum category by the Airport Council International (ACI), with Mumbai
Airport also figuring in the top five list.
o
Both Delhi's IGI and Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International (CSI) airports are operated under a joint
venture between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and private firms.
Deaths:

Veteran film producer and Dada Saheb Phalke Award winner, D Rama Naidu (79) passed away.
o
Popularly known as "Movie Mogul", he had produced 150 films in 13 Indian languages (maximum films
in Telugu).
o
He held the Guinness Book of World Records for the most films produced by an individual.
o
In 2009, he received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for Lifetime Achievement in the film industry for
his outstanding contribution.
o
In 2012, he was conferred with the third highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.
Business & Economy:

Swiss police today searched British banking giant HSBC's offices at Geneva as part of its probe into "suspected
money laundering"
o
The bank has been in news for a leaked list of its account holders that included 1,195 Indian names.
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 105 runs in a Group A match at Canberra.
February 17 th 2015
International Affairs:

External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on Two Day Visit to Oman.
o She has arrived in Muscat and will meet top leadership in Oman and hold talks on security and defence.
o In her first public engagement, she will interact with expatriate Indian community at the Indian
Embassy in Muscat today.
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Tomorrow she will meet her Omani counterpart, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Deputy Prime
Minister of Oman and the Royal court.
Important points to note
 India and Oman enjoy excellent ties and have worked together in anti-piracy operations and
cyber-crime.
 Joint military exercises have been held recently by the two countries.
 India - Oman bilateral trade is on the upswing and crossed $5.7 billion in 2013-2014.
Egypt's military carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIS militants in Libya yesterday in retaliation for the
slaughter of 21 Egyptian Christians by the jihadist group.
o
The bombing raids pulled Egypt deeper into the widening international fight against ISIS and
highlighted the extremists' growing presence in North Africa.
o
At least 64 IS militants killed in these Egyptian airstrikes.
National Affairs:
 The nation celebrates the most auspicious day of Mahashivratri today.
o Maha Shivratri is observed on the 13th night/14th day of the 11 Hindu month of Phalguna or Maagh
every year.
 Haryana government has decided to run a special taxi service for women passengers in Gurgaon.
o These special taxis will be driven by woman drivers.
o Officials said they intend to start the service in the next 100 days, with a fleet of 50 Tata Nano cars.
 Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the increasing division and hostility on religious
lines.
o He said this has become a global concern and his government will ensure that there is complete freedom
of faith.
o Appealing to all religious groups to act with mutual respect and tolerance, he said government will not
allow any groups to incite hatred against each other and violence against any religion.
 Death toll from Swineflu this year has soared to 585 with 100 more casualties reported across the country in
three days since 12 February.
o So far eight thousand 423 people have contracted swine flu this year in the country.
o Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the worst-affected states.
o Delhi and TamilNadu have reported a high incidence of swine flu cases but the death toll in the two
states is relatively low due to high level of awareness and better health infrastructure.
 The Arvind Kejriwal government has decided not to terminate the services of contractual employees till
further instructions.
o There are around one lakh contractual employees working in various departments of the government
who were promised regularization ahead of the Delhi polls Feb 7 by the AAP.

Aero India 2015
o Asia's premier air show, "Aero India", will start in Bengaluru tomorrow with global armament majors
eyeing the multi-billion dollar Indian defence market, seeking to align with the "Make in India" campaign
of the Narendra Modi government.
o To be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
o Modi will be the second Prime Minister to inaugurate the event after H D Deve Gowda in 1996.
o This is said to be the largest ever air show to be hosted so far in India.
 Over 300 foreign firms along with 54 ministerial and other high-level delegations from several
countries will be taking part in this year's event.
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The US with 64 companies will have the largest presence at the show in which 33 other countries
are taking part.
Behind the US is France with 58 companies, UK 48, Russia 41, Israel 25 and Germany 17.
Business & Economy:

Infosys has announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to fully acquire U.S.-based automation
technology provider Panaya for an enterprise value of $200 million.
o
This is the company’s second largest acquisition after it acquired Zurich-based consulting company in
2012 for around $350 million.
New Appointments:
 Former IAS officer Jawed Usmani today took oath as new Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) of Uttar
Pradesh.
o Usmani, a 1978-batch IAS officer, had taken voluntary retirement from service before taking over as the
CIC.
 India-born Punit Renjen was appointed the next CEO of U.S.-based accounting giant D l
’s l b l
operations.
o He became the first Indian-origin person to head a ‘Big-Four’ audit firm.
Deaths:

National School of Drama graduate and talented actor Ashraful Haque(45) Passed away due to bone marrow
related disease.
o
He has played pivotal characters in films like Company, Jungle, Ravan, Deewar, Black Friday, Paan Singh
Tomar, Delhi Belly, Fukrey and the recently released movie The Lost Beharupiya.
Sports:


World Cup 2015
o
New Zealand beat Scotland by 3 wickets.
o
Afghanistan to take on Bangladesh tomorrow.
Reliance Communications (RCom), part of the Anil Ambani-led group, which is the global telecom sponsor
of the ICC World Cup 2015, has partnered with Twitter to provide its customers with a platform to follow the
global commentary as the world’s 14 best cricketing nations compete for the tag of the champion team, with no
data charges.
o
Customers who do not have a Twitter account can also access cricket-related Tweets by logging on to
www.rcom.co.in/cricket on their mobile phones throughout the duration of this global event - from 13th
February 2015 to 31st March 2015.
February 16 th 2015
People in News:

Croatia's first woman president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, was sworn in today and pledged to help kickstart
the EU member's ailing economy.
o
The 46-year-old conservative former foreign minister and NATO official narrowly defeated her left-wing
predecessor Ivo Josipovic in an election run-off in January.
National Affairs:

The Patna High Court restrained the Jitan Ram Manjhi Government in Bihar from taking any policy
decisions involving financial implications till 19th of this month.
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While restraining the Jitan Ram Manjhi government, the HC said that the CM can only work on routine
matters till majority is proved on the floor of the House.
International Affairs:

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena's India Visit
o
Sirisena, who is on a four-day visit to India, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at New Delhi today.
o
Taking the ties to a new level, Sri Lanka and India inked a civil nuclear pact besides deciding to
expand defence and security cooperation.

The nuclear pact would facilitate cooperation in the transfer and exchange of knowledge and
expertise, sharing of resources, capacity building and training of personnel in peaceful uses of
nuclear energy, including use of radioisotopes, nuclear safety, radiation safety and nuclear
security.

It would also facilitate cooperation in radioactive waste management and nuclear and
radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection.
o
The two countries also signed three other pacts, including cooperation in the field of agriculture.
o
Another MoU was signed to enable Sri Lanka to participate in the Nalanda University Project.

Egypt today said that it has launched air strikes against Islamic State targets in Libya after the extremist
group released a grisly video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians it had held hostage for
weeks.

The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that demands that Shiite
rebels immediately relinquish control of Yemen's government in a crisis that has pushed the Arab
world's poorest country near collapse.
o
This resolution demands that the Houthi rebels "immediately and unconditionally" withdraw
forces from government institutions.
o
The United States and ten other countries co-sponsored the resolution that had been originally drafted
by Jordan and the United Kingdom.
Deaths:

The French actor Louis Jourdan, best known for his role in the multi-Oscar winning 1958 musical Gigi, has
died in California aged 93.
o
Often seen in roles that capitalised on his Gallic charm, he described himself as Hollywood's "French
cliche".

NCP leader & former Maharashtra home minister R R Patil (57) died today.

Veteran journalist and cartoonist Rajinder Puri (70) passed away in New Delhi today.
o
He was associated with The Statesman for nearly six decades.
New Appointments:

Taiwanese handset maker HTC today said its Vice President and India Head Faisal Siddiqui has been appointed
as the new Regional President of its South Asia operations.
o
South Asia region includes, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and
emerging markets in Asia.
Business & Economy:

Yes Bank, In ’s fourth largest private sector bank today said that it will raise Rs. 500 crore with a
greenshoe option through issue of Green Infrastructure Bonds.
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o
The bonds are for a tenor of 10 years.
o
This is “India’s first ever green infrastructure bonds"
o
The amount raised will be used by the Bank to finance green infrastructure projects in renewable energy
and energy efficiency projects including solar power, wind power, biomass, and small hydel projects.
Inflation dropped to a five and a half year low of - 0.39 per cent in January on falling prices of manufactured and
fuel items.
Sports:

Yuvraj Singh set a new record as he emerged as the costliest-ever buy in the Indian Premier League by
going for a whopping Rs 16 crore to Delhi Daredevils in the eighth players' auction in Bangalore on Monday.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has slapped a Rs. 425 crore show cause notice against BCCI, IPL, their
officials and private multimedia firms for alleged contravention of forex laws in awarding a media rights
contract in 2009.

World Cup 2015
o
Ireland pulled off yet another Cricket World Cup upset today when it raced to 307-6 to beat two-time
champion the West Indies' by four wickets with 25 balls to spare in a Pool B match, taking a giant
stride toward the tournament's quarterfinals.
February 15 th 2015
International Affairs:


SriLanka President Maithripala Sirisena is on 4 day maiden visit to India.
o
This is his maiden foreign trip after assuming charge.
o
During this trip, he will hold talks with the Indian leadership on entire gamut of bilateral ties including
ways to further enhance cooperation and the peace and reconciliation process in the island nation.
o
He has already indicated that he wants to have a closer relationship with India and chose it for his first
foreign visit.
Pakistan released 172 Indian fishermen today, as a goodwill gesture, two days after the Prime Ministers of
both countries decided to resume high-level talks.
o

The fishermen had been held at the Malir and Landhi District Jails in Karachi for allegedly violating
territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.
China has opened a new embassy in Pakistan (Islamabad), its "largest overseas" diplomatic mission, which
Foreign Minister Wang Yi described as a symbol of friendship between the "all weather" allies.
o
The opening of this new embassy came as China and Pakistan deepen their all weather relations with
the construction of the multi-billion Economic Corridor through the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).
o
China also set to construct two 1,100 nuclear reactors with $6.5 billion in addition to the four
medium size reactors.
National Affairs:

Bihar Cabinet today approved a politically sensitive proposal of including the Paswan caste in the 'Mahadalit'
category.
o
The decision was taken at a special meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Jitan Ram
Manjhi.
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
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

In accordance with this scheme, a sum of Rs 5000 per month would be provided to members of
press after retirement at the age of 60.

In case of death a sum of Rs 2500 per month would be provided to family of the beneficiary
scribes.

Journalists and photographers of daily and fortnightly newspapers, magazines, electronic media,
news portal, news channels and news agencies would benefit from the pension scheme.
Of the 5,871 sq km increase in the forest cover of India, West Bengal accounts for nearly 64 per cent of
this rise.
He described India's thrust towards renewable energy production as an effort to ensure universal
energy access for India's poor.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the `Permanent Judicial Museum' at Bombay High Court,
which has on display the Barrister Certificates of Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
o

Manjhi also announced a gift for mediapersons by okaying Bihar mediapersons pension scheme.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet and
Expo (Re-Invest) 2015 in New Delhi.
o

The Paswan caste had been left out from the Mahadalit category during former Chief Minister
Nitish Kumar's time when he had constituted a Mahadalit commission and announced many
special welfare programmes for them.
A study conducted by the Forest Survey of India that was recently published points out that W s B n l’s
forest cover has increased by 3,810 sq km, which is followed by Odisha where increase in forest cover has
been 1,444 km and Kerala where the increase has been about 622 sq km.
o

2015
The museum has been set up as a part of the court's sesquicentennial (150th year) celebration.
Kerala-based business conglomerate Muthoot Group has launched the 'Friends for Life' project in partnership
with World Wide Fund for Nature-India.
o
The project is part of the Muthoot Haathi Mera Saathi CSR initiative.
o
This conservation project aimed at effective management of human-elephant conflict and
protecting the habitats of Asian elephants in six states include North Bank landscape in Arunachal
Pradesh, Kaziranga and Karbi-Anglong in Assam; Terai Arc landscape in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar; Western Ghats landscape in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and also some parts of northern West Bengal.
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
India won against long-time rival Pakistan by 76 runs, in their opening match in the cricket World Cup
at the Adelaide Oval today.
o
Pakistan scored 224 chasing India's 300.
o
Virat Kohli hit a century in 119 balls and adjudged Man of the Match.
o
This was India's sixth straight World Cup win over pakistan.
o
India vs Pak in World Cups
 1992 : India won by 43 runs
 1996 : India won by 39 runs
 1999 : India won by 47 runs
 2003 : India won by 6 runs
 2011 : India won by 29 runs
 2015 : India won by 76 runs
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o
India will play with South Africa in their next group assignment Feb 22 in Melbourne.
o
South Africa wins against Zimbabwe.
2015
People in News:

Yogaraj CP, a 29-year-old Indian yoga teacher in Hong Kong today set a Guinness World Record for
performing Yoga continuously for 40 hours non-stop, demonstrating more than 1,500 'asanas'.
o

He broke the record for the 'Longest Yoga Marathon (Male)' by performing continuously for three
days starting on Friday and ending today afternoon.
Goa Police today arrested Shyam Kishor Garikapatti, a Dawood Ibrahim gang member who was convicted
in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case and involved in 18 other major crimes, including the JJ hospital
shootout.
Awards & Honors:

Dr. Tessy Thomas, Director, Advanced Systems Laboratory of the Defence Research and Development
organization, Hyderabad and Project Director (Mission) of Agni V, and Mrs. Geeta Varadan, Director, Advanced
Data Processing Research Institute ISRO, have been chosen for the prestigious Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial
Award for the year 2014.

Chhattisgarh was today felicitated for emerging as one of the best performing states in the renewable
energy segment.
o

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented the award to Principal Secretary of Chhattisgarh's Energy
department, Aman Singh, during the Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest).
Filmmaker Nagesh Kukunoor’s ‘Dhanak’ has been honoured with The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus
International Jury for the best feature-length film at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
o
The movie, which premiered at the festival, also received a special mention from Kids Jury at the festival.
February 14 th 2015
International Affairs:

The United States has welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to send Foreign Secretary S
Jaishankar to Islamabad, a move seen as an effort to revive the suspended Indo-Pak talks.

India today signed a loan agreement worth USD 8 million with World Bank for sustainable livelihoods and
adaption to climate change.
o
The agreement was signed by Joint Secretary (MI) in Ministry of Finance Tarun Bajaj and World
Bank's India Country Director Onno Ruhl.
National Affairs:

Arvind Kejriwal takes oath as Chief Minister of Delhi
o
He Promises to make Delhi first corruption-free city.
o
He allocated portfolios among the Ministers.
o
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia will hold the charge of Eduction, Finance, Planning & Revenue
o
Satyendar Jain will look after Power, Health, Industries & PWD departments.
o
Gopal Rai has been given the responsibility of Transport, Labour & Employment departments
o
Sandeep Kumar will hold the portfolios of Women & Child Development, Social Welfare and SC & ST
departments.
o
Asim Ahmed Khan will look after Food, Civil Supply & Environment and Forest departments
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o
Jitender Singh Tomar has been given the charge of Law & Justice, Home, and Tourism.
o
Kejriwal will not keep any department under his charge, he will oversee the work of different
departments and supervise their work.
The 23rd edition of 9 day long New Delhi World Book Fair began at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi today.
o
Inaugurated by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.
o
This year's theme : Suryodaya: Emerging Voices from Northeast India.
o
Singapore has been accorded the Guest of Honour Country status for this edition of fair while the
Focus Country is South Korea.
o
Organised by National Book Trust (NBT), an apex body of the under the Union Ministry of Human
Resource Development.
o
Smriti Irani said that her Ministry would approach the Railway& Civil Aviation ministries to set up book
stalls of National Book Trust on platforms and in airports to encourage people to read books.
A local court in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district has acquitted all the 70 accused in the 2002 post-Godhra
riots that took place in Seshan Nava village for lack of evidence.
o
A total of 14 Muslims were killed in the riots that broke out on March 2, 2002 and two persons from the
Hindu community were killed in police firing.
Science & Technology:

India today successfully test-fired the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile from INS Kolkata, the navy's
most powerful and newest warship, in Arabian sea.

Google's ambitious Project Loon will be commercially available by 2016.
o
Under the Project Loon, Google plans to provide affordable Internet to everyone through Internet
beaming helium balloons which will be travel 20km above the Earth's surface, in the stratosphere.
New Appointments:

Commodity exchange MCX has roped in BSE's Chief Business Officer B Venkataramani to head the bourse as
Managing Director and CEO.
o
The top post at MCX has been lying vacant since May last year when the then MD & CEO Manoj Vaish
resigned.
People in News:

The Chairman of a Hyderabad-based English daily Deccan Chronicle T. Venkattram Reddy was today
arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the alleged default of Rs 357 crore loan from
Canara Bank.
Sports:

World Cup 2015
o
Australia and New Zealand win their group matches
o
India to clash with Pakistan tomorrow.
February 13 th 2015
National Affairs:

The Union Home Ministry has announced a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) for reinvestigation of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, mainly in Delhi and other States.
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o
The SIT will look into all serious criminal cases relating to the riots, examine evidence and even re-open
cases and file charge sheets in the courts concerned.
o
It has been given six months to complete its work, including filing of charge sheets in nearly threedecade old cases.
o
Headed by : Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch.
o
Members :

Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge

Kumar Gyanesh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police in Delhi Police.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to wish him on Cricket
World Cup in Australia.
o
In a tweet, Mr. Modi said that he had spoken to Mr Sharif and the heads of other SAARC countries
whose teams are playing in the ICC World Cup to wish them luck.
o
Mr. Modi spoke to Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,
President of Sri Lanka Maithiripala Sirisena and conveyed his wishes.
President Pranab Mukherjee opened the annual "Udyanotsav" of Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
o
The Mughal Gardens will remain open for general public from February 14 to March 15, 2015 between
9:30 am to 4:00 pm.
International Affairs:


Today (13th February) is World Radio Day.
o
The day is observed every year on the 13 of February to celebrate radio as a forum for entertainment
and information, as a bridge of communication for remote communities and its role in empowering
people.
o
This day marks the first broadcast by UN radio in 1946.
o
It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference.
o
It was originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.
o
First world radio day was observed in the year 2012.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told US President Barack Obama that India's permanent
membership in the reformed UN Security Council is unacceptable to Pakistan.
o

In a telephonic conversation with Obama, Sharif said that India cannot become a UNSC permanent
member due to India's non-compliance of all the resolutions passed by the UN on Kashmir.
India has improved its ranking from 140 to 136 in the World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) 2015, released
by Reporters Without Borders (RWB).
o
In the WPFI 2015, India was placed at 136th position out of 180 nations that were surveyed worldwide
in terms of press freedom.
o
In the top of the list were three Scandinavian countries: Finland on the 1st position followed by
Norway and Denmark.
o
At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea were the worst performers
securing the last places in the index.
o
The 2015 World Press Freedom Index highlights the worldwide deterioration in freedom of information
in 2014.
Business & Economy:
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
The IMF and the World Bank have agreed to provide massive financial assistance to strife-torn Ukraine US
dollar 19.5 billion in all to bail it out of an economic crisis.
o

2015
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine yesterday agreed on a US dollar 17.5 bailout
package with the World Bank announcing another US dollar two million financial assistance.
In a significant development in the treatment of AIDS patients, Indian pharmaceutical major Cipla has been
awarded $188.95 million (around Rs. 1,172 crore) by Global Fund ARV (anti-retroviral) tender.
o
The contract is effective from January 1, 2015 and will run for a period of three years.
o
The supplies are to commence from the fourth calendar of the current year.
Awards & Honors:


Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU) has been selected for the prestigious
Mahindra Samridhi India Agri Award 2015 in recognition of its contribution in increasing agriculture
productivity and rural prosperity.
o
The award will be presented by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, at the award
ceremony to be held at New Delhi, on February 24.
o
The Mahindra Samridhi India Agri Award has been instituted by Mahindra & Mahindra in 2010 with the
objective of commending purposeful contributions that made a difference in the field of agriculture to
increase productivity and enhance rural prosperity.
Gurpreet Singh, an Indian origin scientist has received the prestigious $500,000 National Science
Foundation CAREER award to develop ultrathin metal sheets that can help produce better rechargeable
batteries.
Deaths:

A well-known Telugu novelist and writer Kesava Reddy (68) passed away.
o
His novel Athadu Adavini Jayinchadu (He Conquered Forest) which was published in `80s, was well
received by the people and probably the best among his works.
o
“Munemma”, “Moogavani Pillanagrovi” and “Smasanam Dunne” were among his other novels.
New Appointments:

Pranab Mukherjee appoints Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister
o
President also appoints Manish Sisodia, Asim Ahmed Khan,Sandeep Kumar, Satyendar Jain, Gopal
Rai and Jitender Singh Tomar as cabinet ministers.

Tech giant Yahoo today said its Indian arm has signed up South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes as its
analyst for the upcoming World Cup 2015 coverage on Yahoo Cricket.

Micromax Informatics today appointed Ashish Agrawal as its new Chief Technology Officer.
February 12 th 2015
International Affairs:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi for the fifth IndiaU.S. Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue.
o
The dialogue will focus on capital market reforms and economic policies between the two countries.
o
Lew, who is on a two-day visit to India, met leading business heads in Mumbai yesterday at the
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and US-India Business Council Roundtable.
National Affairs:
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2015
A Mumbai Court directs city police to file FIR against 14 people, including producer-director Karan Johar,
actor Ranvir Singh, Arjun Kapoor, actresses Deepika Padukone, and Alia Bhatt, stand up comedians, and venue
officials and other participants of controversial AIB Roast programme.
o
The video of the show went viral on YouTube.
o
It was, however, later taken down from YouTube after protests erupted over the use of expletives and
sexually explicit jokes and the Maharashtra government ordered a probe.
o
Under section 177 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a metropolitan court has the statutory jurisdiction
over the place of offence.
o
The sections under which the complaint would be registered include section 120-b (criminal
conspiracy), sections 294, 509 (speaking vulgar, obscene and pornographic words publicly
before a women audience) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 67 and 66 A of the Information
Technology Act, 2000 (circulation of obscene, pornographic content on the internet).
o
The provisions of Bombay Police Act 1951, the Environment Protect Act, 1986, and Maharashtra
Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966 would also be included in the FIR.
Social activist Anna Hazare is going to protest against land acquisition bill in Delhi on 24th of this month.
Deaths:

Veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon (73), an award-winning war reporter & longtime
correspondent for the "60 Minutes" news show, has died in a car accident in Manhattan.
Business & Economy:

Apple became the first company to reach a market value of $700 billion as shares vaulted amid upbeat
news on the US tech giant's gains in the smartphone market and soon-to-arrive smartwatch.
o
CEO - Tim Cook
Science & Technology:

Experimental aerospace firm SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Florida after two
planned attempts were scrapped earlier in the week.
o
The mission will monitor changes in solar wind, to warn forecasters of changes which affect satellites,
power grids and communication systems.
Sports:

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
o
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The 11th Edition of Cricket World Cup officially known as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, opened
today with a vibrant opening ceremony at Christchurch, New Zealand.
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Thousands of fans filled the leafy Hagley Park to witness the launch of the first World Cup in
New Zealand and Australia in 23 years.
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The formal part began with a lone bagpiper and ended with a booming fireworks display, which
some say was the biggest in the city's history.
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The first match of the tournament will take place at the Hagley Oval between New Zealand
and Sri Lanka on February 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wished each and every player of Indian cricket team playing in the
World Cup in a series of tweets today.

Modi posted 15 tweets for the 15-member Indian squad, who will open their World Cup title
defence against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 15.
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February 11 th 2015
People in News:
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has crossed the 10 million mark in terms of number of followers on the
popular social media platform Twitter.
o
Modi, who made his Twitter debut in January 2009, is the second most followed politician on Twitter,
behind US President Barack Obama and ahead of Mitt Romney (USA).
o
Besides, he is also the third most followed world leader behind Obama and the Pope.
The Emmy and Golden Globe winning comedian Jerry Seinfeld is set to perform in India next month,
marking his first ever performance in Asia.
o
The man whose influential show Seinfeld was named “the greatest television show of all time”, will
perform in Mumbai on March 14 and 15 at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium, NSCI, as a part of the
ongoing Stage42 festival which is a showcase of talent and experiences in comedy, music, theatre and
food.
National Affairs:
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
Taking serious note of "inordinate delay" in completing caste census, the government today warned that
central assistance to states for building rural houses and welfare pensions would be blocked if they fail to
complete the exercise before March 15.
o
In year 2015-16 and onwards, this SECC data will be the base on which the beneficiaries for the Indira
Awas Yojana (IAY) and the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) will be selected so far as
the Rural Development Ministry is concerned and those states who failed in selecting the beneficiaries
from this data base would not receive financial assistance
o
SECC - Socio Economic and Caste Census
Udyanotsav 2015
o
President of India Pranab Mukherjee will open Rashtrapati Bhavan's " Udyanotsav" for public viewing
on February13, 2015 evening. Public can visit Mughal Gardens from Feb.14 till March 15 between 9.30
am to 4pm.
o
This year's main attraction of the Udyanotsav is tulips, which have reportedly been in bloom in vivid
colors of red, orange and yellow.
o
Apart from the tulips, the 120 varieties of roses, which are a permanent feature of the gardens
throughout the year, will also be on display.
Business & Economy:

SpiceJet today announced the launch of the ‘Cheaper Than Train Fares’ sale offer with one-way fares pegged
at a starting price of just Rs 599 all-inclusive for domestic flights.
Science & Technology:

Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCOM) has partnered with Facebook to offer free data
access to select popular websites for all its customers, existing and new ones.
o
The partners launched Internet.org, a Facebook-led initiative to bring internet to everyone in the world.
o
Thirty three popular websites can be accessed free of cost through internet.org and all the subscriber
needs to have is an internet enabled hand set.
o
70 per cent of RCOM's customers who have such phones are now off line and they are expected to
benefit from this service.
Awards & Honors:
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2015
The mascot of India's 35th National Games, Ammu the Great Hornbill, has entered the Limca Book of
Records.
o
The mascot found its place in the record books owing to a play, 'Kalikkunna Kuttikalkkayi Bharatham
Kathirikkunnu' (India Awaits Children Who Play) featuring the bird which has been staged in over 140
schools in Kerala.
o
The Limca Book's 2015 Special Literature Edition said that by April 9, 2014, the play was staged in 147
schools across seven districts in the southwestern state.
Sports:

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has revised the Scheme of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar,
which was introduced in 2009 to encourage and promote involvement of corporates, sports promotion boards
etc., in the promotion and development of sports in the country.
o
In the revised scheme, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given in following four categories:
1.
Identification and nurturing of budding/young talent
2. Encouragement of sports through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
3. Employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures
4. Sports for Development.
In the revised Scheme, eligibility criteria for all four categories have been prescribed. As ‘Training to promote
rural sports, nationally recognized sports, Paralympic sports and Olympic sports’ have been included in the Schedule
VII of the Companies Act 2013 and the companies can now spend on promotion and development of sports from the
funds earmarked for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a specific category for ‘ ncouragement of sports through
Corporate Social Responsibility’ has been provided for in the revised Scheme.
As non-governmental organizations are also doing a lot of work in promotion and development of sports,
a separate category ‘Sp s
D v l p nt’ has been provided for exclusively for NGOs to recognize their
contributions.
National Games 2015
Services win the men's Hockey title
Punjab bag the honours in the women's section.
Services way ahead of the rest with 107 medals including 66 gold.
Haryana is in 2nd place with 30 gold.
Maharashtra is in 3rd place with 27 gold.
February 10 th 2015
National Affairs:

The Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda along with state health minister Rajendra Rathore
declared February 10 as the National Deworming Day.
o
The day will be observed in 11 states and Union Territories including Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Dadra
& Nagar Haveli, and Haryana among others in the first phase on February 10 to treat 140 million
children initially at risk of parasitic worms infection in schools and Anganwadi centres.
o
Medicines would be given to children aged between 1-19 years.
o
Around 65% children were covered under the programme today (on February 10) and the remaining
will be covered between February 11 and 14.
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o

The medicines were given to children up to the age of 5 years at Anganwadi centres, while children aged
between 6 to 19 years were provided medication at all government schools.
Aam Admi Party (AAP) sweeps Delhi polls
o
Wins 67 seats in 70- member assembly
o
Decimates BJP and Congress in elections
o
AAP gets 54.3% popular votes cast compared to 32% of BJP.
o
Aam Aadmi Party Convenor Arvind Kejriwal has been elected the leader of legislature party.
o
All the newly elected 67 MLAs unanimously took the decision in this regard.
o
PMO India Narendra Modi congratulates Arvind Kejriwal on the win.

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2015
He assured him Centre's complete support in the development of Delhi.
o
BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi loses election in Krishna Nagar Constituency.
o
Kejriwal is going to sworn in as Delhi Chief Minister on 14th February 2015 at Ramlila Maidan.
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged off 3 new trains.
o
The trains are Mumbai-Gorakhpur Jansadharan Express, Pune-Lucknow Weekly Express and BidarMumbai Weekly Express.
o
All the three trains are part of the Budget announcements.
MOUs:

For the establishment of solar power plants generating 10,000 megawatt in the state, a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) was signed between the Rajasthan government and Adani Enterprises Limited.
o
As per the MoU, Adani group will invest nearly Rs 40,000 crore in the state and install solar plants of
10,000 MW in a phased manner.
o
The first 5,000 MW plant will be developed in first five years and the rest in subsequent years.
o
The MoU was signed in the presence of chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Rajesh Adani, managing
director of Adani group at the chief minister's residence.
o
Out of the total capacity, 5,000 MW will set up by the Adani group while the rest is likely to be in
collaboration with Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation (RREC).
o
Along with it, Adani Enterprises will also set up a manufacturing unit of solar equipment and panels. The
group has also showed interest in developing power transmission system in the state.
New Appointments:

Vodafone India has announced that Naveen Chopra, Director –Vodafone Business Services (VBS) will succeed
Sunil Sood as Chief Operating Officer for Vodafone India with effect from April 1, 2015.
o
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This follows the earlier announcement of Sunil Sood to succeed Marten Pieters as Managing Director
and Chief Executive Officer with effect from April 1, 2015.
M Ravindran was appointed as the Chairman of Indraprastha Gas Ltd, the firm that sells CNG in New Delhi.
o
He replaces K K Gupta, Director (Marketing), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), who has
relinquished the charge upon completion of his two-year tenure
Deaths:

U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed the death of Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who had been held
hostage by Islamic State militants, saying the United States would "find and bring to justice the terrorists who
are responsible."
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Awards & Honors:

Indian economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has been awarded the inaugural Charleston-EFG John
Maynard Keynes Prize.
o
Sen is regarded as one of the world's foremost thinkers in the field of famine, poverty, social choice and
welfare economics, and his ground-breaking work has not only been academically influential, but has
also had a profound impact on the formation of development policy worldwide, an official statement
said.
o
Currently a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, Sen has been a Professor at
the London School of Economics and until 2004 was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. His books
have been translated into more than 30 languages.
Science & Technology:

The world's first hotel staffed entirely by robots is set to open in Japan later this year, promoted with the
slogan "a commitment for evolution".
o
The Henn-na Hotel will open in the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture in July 2015
with the hope that by employing "actroid androids" - robots that mimic humans - it will be able to
significantly reduce costs.
o
10 robots will staff the 72-room hotel, capable of cleaning rooms, transporting luggage and greeting
guests at the hotel's reception.
Business & Economy:

Jan Dhan Yojna started at Dhanbad Jail today.
o
Dhanbad divisional jail has taken the first step to bring the benefits of the central government's Pradhan
Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana to its inmates.
o
The prison authorities, acting on the instruction of Dhanbad deputy commissioner Prashant Kumar,
have roped in the State Bank of India (SBI) to open accounts for 1,100 jailbirds, including 45 women and
a majority being undertrials, to ensure their financial inclusion that is being harped upon by the
Narendra Modi-led government.

United Bank of India is now free to recruit again as Reserve Bank of India has removed the ban imposed on it
14 months back, but the curbs on branch expansion and lending is still limiting growth, the bank's new
managing director and chief executive P Srinivas said today after announcing Rs 42 crore net profit for the
quarter to December 31, 2014.

ICICI Bank today announced the l unc
‘P ck s’, India’s first digital bank for the youth.
o
Anyone, including those who are not customers of ICICI Bank, can download the e-wallet from Google
Playstore, fund it from any bank account in the country and start transacting immediately.
o
This wallet uses a virtual VISA card which enables the users to transact on any website or mobile
application in India. Customers can also request for a physical card to use it at any retail outlet.
February 9th 2015
International Affairs:

Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam has begun a four-day state visit to India, as the two countries
mark 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
o
This is President Tan's first state visit to India.
o
During his visit he will inaugurate the opening of the Peranakan Exhibition themed "The Peranakan
World: Cross-Cultural Art from Singapore and the Malacca Straits", which is the main
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commemorative event celebrating the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations, at the National Museum in
New Delhi.
o
He will also launch the Singapore-India Commemorative Book published by the Institute of South Asian
Studies, and attend the "Flavours of Singapore" hosted for the Singaporean community in New Delhi.
National Affairs:

Today is Death anniversary of Murlidhar Devidas Amte, popularly known as Baba Amte, an Indian social worker
and social activist, who known particularly for his work for the rehabilitation and empowerment of poor people
suffering from leprosy.

JD(U) expels CM Jitan Ram Manjhi from party accusing him of "indiscipline" and demanded that Governor Kesri
Nath Tripathi ask him to take a trial of strength in the Assembly within 48 hours.
o
Nitish Kumar meets Governor to stake claim to form government.
Awards & Honors:

Distinguished journalist Vinod Mehta has been conferred Uttar Pradesh's highest civilian award Yash Bharti by
the State government.

Bengaluru-based musician Ricky Kej's collaborative album 'Winds of Samsara' wins the best new age
album award at the 57th Grammy Awards.

Complete list of Winners from 57th Grammy Awards.
The 57th Annual Grammy Awards was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Indiab s R cky K j’s collaborated album Winds Of Samsara won the Best New Age Album trophy. Ricky teamed
up with South African musician Wouter Kellerman for the album, which symbolises peace and harmony. Another
Indian artist to make it big at the awards this year was Neela Vaswani. She won the trophy in the Best
C l
n’s Albu c
y for I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World
(Malala Yousafzai). Vaswani narrated the audio version of the book. Below is the complete winners list of 2015
Grammy Awards.
Grammy Awards Winners List 2015
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Record of the Year - "Stay with Me," Sam Smith
Song of the Year - "Stay with Me" (Darkchild Version)
Album of the Year - Morning Phase, Beck
Best Country Album - Platinum, Miranda Lambert
Best R&B Performance - "Drunk in Love," Beyoncé
Best Rock Album - Morning Phase, Beck
Best Pop Vocal Album - In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith
Best Pop Solo Performance - "Happy," Pharrell Williams
Best New Artist - Sam Smith
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration - "Monster," by Rihanna and Eminem
Best Rap Album - The Marshall Mathers LP2, Eminem
Best Urban Contemporary Album - Girl, Pharrell
Best R&B Album - Love, Marriage & Divorce, Toni Braxton and Babyface
Best R&B Song - "Drunk in Love," Beyoncé, and Jay-Z
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical - Max Martin
Congrats Best Folk Album - Remedy, Old Crow Medicine Show
Best Americana Album - The River & The Thread, Rosanne Cash
Best American Roots Song - "A Feather Not a Bird," Rosanne Cash
Best American Roots Performance - "A Feather Not a Bird," Rosanne Cash
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2015
Pop duo/group performance - "Say Something", A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera
Best Rock performance - Lazaretto, Jack White
Best Rock Song - "Ain't It Fun," Paramore
Best Alternative Music Album - St. Vincent, St. Vincent
Best Reggae Album - Ziggy Marley, Fly Rasta
Best Gospel Album - Erica Campbell, Help
Best Latin Pop Album - Ruben Blades, Tangos
Best Dance Recording - Clean Bandit, "Rather Be" [ft. Jess Glynne]
Best Dance/Electronic Album - Aphex Twin, Syro
Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) - Beck, Morning Phase
Best Surround Sound Album - Beyoncé, Beyoncé
Best Music Video - "Happy", Pharrell Williams
Best Rap Performance - "i," Kendrick Lamar
Best Metal Performance - The Last In Line, Tenacious D
Best Country solo performance - "Something In the Water", Carrie Underwood
Country duo/group performance - Gentle On My Mind, The Band Perry
Best Country Song - I'm Not Gonna Miss You, Glen Campbell
Bluegrass album - The Earls of Leicester, The Earls of Leicester
Best Contemporary Instrumental Album - Bass & Mandolin, Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer
Best Dance Recording - Rather Be
Best Dance/Electronic Album - Syro
Best New Age Album - Winds Of Samsara, Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman
Best Improvised Jazz Solo - Fingerprints, Chick Corea
Best Jazz Vocal Album - Beautiful Life, Dianne Reeves
Best Jazz Instrumental Album - Trilogy, Chick Corea Trio
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album - Life In The Bubble, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
Best Latin Jazz Album - The Offense Of The Drum, Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Best Gospel Performance - No Greater Love, Smokie Norful
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/ Song - Messengers, Lecrae Featuring For King & Country
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album - Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong, For King & Country
Best Roots Gospel Album - Shine For All The People, Mike Farris
Best Latin Pop Album - Tangos, Rubén Blades
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album - Multiviral, Calle 13
Best Regional Mexican Music Album - Mano A Mano - Tangos A La Manera De Vicente Fernández, Vicente
Fernández
Best Topical Latin Album - Más + Corazón Profundo, Carlos Vives
Best Regional Roots Music Album - The Legacy, Jo-El Sonnier
Best World Music Album - Eve, Angelique Kidjo
Best Children's Album - I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala
Yousafzai) [narrated by Neela Vaswani]
Best Musical Theater Album - Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Jason
Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein, producers (Carole King, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway
Cast)
Best Instrumental Composition - The Book Thief, John Williams, composer (John Williams)
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or Classical - Daft Punk, Ben Bram, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan,
Kirstin Maldonado & Kevin Olusola, arrangers (Pentatonix)
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 Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals - New York Tendaberry, Billy Childs, arranger (Billy Childs
Featuring Renée Fleming & Yo-Yo Ma)
 Best Recording Package - Lightning Bolt, Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner, art directors
(Pearl Jam)
 Best Boxed or Special Edition Package - The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27),
Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors (Various Artists)
 Best Album Notes - Offering: Live At Temple University, Ashley Kahn, album notes writer
 Best Historical Album - The Garden Spot Programs, 1950, Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation
producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer (Hank Williams)
 Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical - All Of Me (Tiesto's Birthday Treatment Remix)
 Best Engineered Album: Classical - Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem; Symphony No. 4; The Lark
Ascending
 Producer of the Year: Classical - Judith Sherman
 Best Orchestral Performance - Adams, John: City Noir
 Best Opera Recording - Charpentier: La Descente D'Orphée Aux Enfers
 Best Choral Performance - The Sacred Spirit Of Russia
 Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance - In 27 Pieces - The Hilary Hahn Encores
 Best Classical Instrumental Solo - Play
 Best Classical Solo Vocal Album - Douce France
 Best Classical Compendium - Partch: Plectra & Percussion Dances
 Best Contemporary Classical Composition - Adams, John Luther: Become Ocean

Boyhood (the film which took 12 years to make) honored with the Best Film Award at 68th BAFTA (British
Academy Film Awards) 2015.

Complete list of Winners from 68th BAFTA.
The 68th edition of British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs, was held
at the Royal Opera House in London, to honour the best British and international contributions to film in 2014.
These awards were presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). BAFTA Awards
are also called as the British version of the Oscars. Boyhood (the film which took 12 years to make) honored
with the Best Film Award, It also won Best Director for Richard Linklater and Best Supporting Actress for
Patricia Arquette. The big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won five awards, including
many of the technical prizes. Indian (Bollywood) film 'The Lunchbox', which was nominated in the 'Best Film
Not In The English Language' category, couldn't make it to the finals. Here is the complete winners list of BAFTA
Awards 2015.
BAFTA Film Awards 2015 Winners List
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Best Film : Boyhood
Leading Actor : Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Leading Actress : Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Director : Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Supporting Actor : J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Supporting Actress : Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Outstanding British Film : The Theory of Everything
Original Music : The Grand Budapest Hotel
British Short Animation : The Bigger Picture
British Short Film : Boogaloo And Graham
Documentary : Citizenfour
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2015
Editing :
Whiplash
Production Design : The Grand Budapest Hotel
Makeup & Hair : The Grand Budapest Hotel
Sound : Whiplash
Best Animated Film : The Lego Movie
Special Visual Effects : Interstellar
Cinematography : Birdman
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer : Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone,
Pride
Original Screenplay : The Grand Budapest Hotel
Film Not in the English Language : Ida
Adapted Screenplay : The Theory of Everything
Costume Design : The Grand Budapest Hotel
The EE Rising Star Award : Jack O'Connell
Original Music : The Grand Budapest Hotel
Science & Technology:

China today launched its first cruise liner to sail via its ambitious transcontinental initiative Maritime Silk
Road (MSR) on its maiden voyage during which it will visit three South-East Asian nations including Malaysia
and Vietnam.
Business & Economy:

Indian economy is estimated to grow at 7.4% in 2014-15 against 6.9% in previous year.
o
The estimate is based on new formula. According to estimates released by Central Statistics Office today,
economy grew at 7.5 per cent during the October-December 2014 quarter.
o
The GDP growth for first quarter of 2014-15 has been revised to 6.5 per cent as opposed to 5.7 per cent
estimated earlier. GDP growth for the second quarter has been revised to 8.2 per cent from 5.3 per cent
estimated earlier.
New Appointments:

German sportswear major Adidas Group has appointed Damyant Singh as its Brand Director in India.
o
He succeeds Tushar Goculdas, who was recently appointed as the Brand Director-Adidas Emerging
Markets.
February 8th 2015
International Affairs:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia does not plan to wage war on anyone and going to
cooperate with all.
o
The comments were the first from Mr. Putin since he met French President Francois Hollande & German
Chancellor Angela Merkel on the crisis in the Ukraine.
o
Mr. Putin said there is clearly an attempt to restrain the development of Russia with different means.
National Affairs:

Prime Minister Modi chaired 1st meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi today.
o
He discusses with Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors the flagship schemes and infrastructure projects.
o
Modi, has announced that the NITI Aayog would constitute three sub groups: of Chief Ministers on
the following themes:
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1. Sub-group to study the 66 Centrally Sponsored Schemes and recommend which to continue,
which to transfer to states, and which to cut down.
2. Sub-group to recommend how NITI Aayog can promote skill development and creation of
skilled manpower within states.
3. Sub-group to decide on institutional mechanisms to be evolved, and technological inputs,
for ensuring that commitment to Swachh Bharat becomes a part of our life in perpetuity.
o
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The Prime Minister also asked all states to create two task forces under the aegis of the NITI Aayog
One task force would focus on poverty alleviation, and the other would focus on future
development of agriculture in the state, and how the Centre can assist the state in this regard.
The Election Commission today ordered re-polling in two polling stations in Delhi where voting took place
yesterday.
o
Voting will take place tomorrow at polling station number 31 in Delhi Cantonment and polling station
number 132 in Rohtas Nagar Assembly constituency.
o
The decision was taken after scrutiny by election observers.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered a ban on roadside shops and eateries along the animal
corridors near Assam's Kaziranga National Park among a slew of directions in the wake of increasing wildlife
casualties due to vehicular movement on the adjacent highway.

Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar today said it is an honour that the state was getting global recognition
as a "safe tourism destination" as he hailed the recent announcement by a media conglomerate that placed Goa
at the sixth spot in 'Top 10 Nightlife Cities' list.
o
Important Note: Goa has been positioned sixth in the list of top 10 nightlife cities in the world by 'National
Geographic'.
MOUs:

Maharashtra government today signed an MoU worth Rs 949 crore with engineering and construction
major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for setting up CCTV based surveillance in the city.
o
As per the MoU signed by the company and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai, 6,000
CCTVs will be installed across the metropolis and suburbs by September 2016.
Science & Technology:

In Uttar Pradesh, Dashashwamedha and Sheetala, two main Ghats of Ganga in Varanasi have been equipped
with WiFi facility today.
o
Visitors at these Ghats will get free WiFi connectivity in the vicinity of around seven hundred metres.
o
Inaugurating the service in Varanasi, Union IT and Telecommunication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
said that eight more Ghats of the city will be equipped with WiFi connectivity in the coming months.
Deaths:

Veteran Marathi theatre artiste and film actor, Atmaram Bhende (91), considered the doyen of Marathi
experimental theatre, passed away.
o
He was the first to introduce the revolving stage concept in Marathi theatre way back in the early 1960s.
Business & Economy:

The Reserve Bank is likely to increase the investment limit for foreign portfolio investors in government
securities by $5 billion, once the Budget is announced.

Telecom subscriber base of the country reached all-time high of 97 crore at the end of December 2014.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
2015
o
The latest report of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said the number of telephone subscribers
in India increased from 964.20 million at the end of November, 2014 to 970.97 million at the end of
December, 2014.
o
The report also said the Teledensity in the country, which means connection per 100, reached 77.58.
o
The mobile or wireless subscriber base in country is now already at all-time highs after it crossed 93.53crore mark at the end of October 2014.
Sports:

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri today claimed the Malaysian Open 2015, biggest victory of his career.
February 7th 2015
National Affairs:

Delhi registered a record voter turnout in the assembly polls which closed at 6 pm today, according to
preliminary data received from Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi, 67 per cent voter turnout was recorded.
o

JD(U) legislature party elects Nitish Kumar as new leader, sacks Jitan Ram Manjhi.
o

Chief Election Commissioner - H S Bramha
The Bihar cabinet approved a proposal recommending dissolution of the state Assembly.
The Supreme Court today directed the Centre to convene a meeting of the home secretaries of the states and
Union territories within four weeks to frame a scheme for providing medical treatment to acid attack
victims.
o
The apex court had earlier banned over the counter sale of acid, “unless the seller maintains a
log/register recording the sale of acid which will contain the details of the person to whom acid is sold,
the uantity sold and shall contain the address of the person to whom it is sold.”

In an acknowledgement of the efforts of foreign service officers in cultivating and protecting Indian interests
abroad, Prime Minister N
n
M
y unv l “T ns
n", a memorial in commemoration of
those Indian government officers and personnel who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while serving
abroad.

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Chief Minister Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh has officially
declared V l n n ’s D y s M u-P u D v s (P
n s’ D y).
o
The state has been celebrating February 14 as Matru-Pitru Divas instead of Valentine’s Day since the
year 2012 on the advice of the jailed Godman, Asaram Bapu.
International Affairs:

Pakistan has said that it may grant non-discriminatory market access status to India and the two countries
are moving towards sealing a deal to liberalise trade.

Nigeria’s electoral commission has decided to postpone the 14th February 2015 Presidential and
Legislative elections for six weeks to give a new multinational force time to secure north-eastern areas under
the sway of Boko Haram.
o

Millions could be disenfranchised if the voting went ahead while the Islamic extremists hold a large
swath of the northeast and commit mayhem that has driven 1.5 million people from their homes.
“Nafea Faa Ipoipo”, or “When Will You Marry?”, A painting of two Tahitian girls has been sold for $300
million, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold.
o
Painted by French artist Gauguin in 1892.
MOUs:
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February

2015
As part of its diversification programme, the state owned Industrial Infrastructure Development
Corporation (IDCO) today signed an MoU with public sector Indian Rare Earth Ltd (IRE) to set up a mineral
separation plant in Odisha's Ganjam district.
o
IDCO CMD Vishal K Dev and IRE CMD R N Patra have executed the MoU at the State Secretariat in the
presence of Industries minister Devi Prasad Mishra.
o
The cost of this project is pegged at Rs 450 crore.
New Appointments:

The Greek parliament today elected Zoe Konstantopoulou, as its new President.
o

The 38-year-old lawyer, a member of the left-wing party Syriza, received a record number of 235 of 300
deputies’ votes.
The director of Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, Dr MO Garg takes charge as the new Director General
of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR).
o
This post was technically vacant since more than a month as Dr PS Ahuja retired on December, 31, 2014.
Science & Technology:

LCA-NP2, the second prototype of the Navy version of the Light Combat Aircraft, flew for the first time today.
o
It took off from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd runway at 12.27 p.m. and flew for about 35 minutes, said
HAL, the production partner in the indigenous fighter programme.
o
HAL Chairman - T. Suvarna Raju

North Korea today announced that it has test-fired a new anti-ship cruise missile, a move experts in Seoul
viewed as an attempt to raise tensions ahead of joint military drills between the United States and South Korea.

Indian Coast Guard today inducted a high-sp
off Paradip coast.
o
p
ll n s p ‘A
’ into its fleet which will be stationed
With this new commissioning, the number of patrolling ships of the Coast Guard reached Six.
Business & Economy:

In ’s
n xc n
s v s su
by 5.84 b ll n US D ll
billion US Dollars during the week ending January 30.
s to touch a fresh all-time high of 327.88
o
In the previous reporting week, the reserves had declined marginally by 97.9 million dollars to 322.037
billion dollars.
o
The increase in reserves was on account of higher foreign currency assets (FCA), which forms a major
constituent of overall reserves.
Sports:


National Games 2015
o
Ace pistol shooter Vijay Kumar wins a golden double for the second time with the haul of 5 gold and
one bronze.
o
Services continue to lead with 38 gold
Ishant Sharma ruled out of the Cricket World Cup owing to a knee injury.
o
As per regulations, Mohit Sharma, who was a stand-by, will be inducted into the World Cup squad.
February 6th 2015
International Affairs:
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February


US President Barack Obama has said that the "acts of intolerance" experienced by religious faiths of all
types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.
o
The comments by Obama came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President's
public speech in New Delhi in which he touched upon religious tolerance was a "parting shot" aimed at
the ruling BJP.
o
Union Minister Arun Jaitley rejects these remarks, Says aberrations cannot alter India's history of
tolerance.
France and Germany present a new peace plan to end conflict in Ukraine. US extends full support to this plan.
o

2015
French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel presented this plan, a
day after Kiev gave its tentative support for the proposal.
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena will embark on a four-day visit to India from 15th February.
o
This will be Mr Sirisena's first foreign trip after becoming President.
National Affairs:

PM Narendra Modi Held First Meeting of NITI Aayog Today
o
He discussed the state of the economy, especially the farm sector, and sought suggestions for the
upcoming budget in this meeting.
o
This meet would set the agenda for meeting of the Aayog's governing council comprising all Chief
Ministers and Lt. Governors of Union Territories (UTs) on February 8.
o
The ex-officio members and special invitees of the Aayog also attended the first meeting of the body.
o
The first Vice-Chairman of the Aayog, Arvind Panagariya, and full time member Bibek Debroy and
V K Saraswat had joined last month.
o
The ex-officio members are Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railway
Minister Suresh Prabhu and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
o
The Aayog's special invitees are Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Social Justice and
Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani.
Awards & Honors:

Eminent Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade, whose 1963 novel Kosala (Cocoon) changed the
dimensions of Marathi novel, was selected for 2014 Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honour in India, by the
Jnanpith Selection Board.
o
Nemade is the fourth Marathi writer to win the literary honour after VS Khandekar in 1974, VV
Shirwadkar alias Kusumagraj in 1988, and Govind Karandikar alias Vinda Karandikar in 2003.
o
This is the 50th Jnanpith Award.
Business & Economy:

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has won a defence contract worth Rs 1,090 crore, to produce and supply
14 Do-228 aircraft to the Indian Air Force along with six reserve engines, one flight stimulator and related
equipment.
o
The HAL Do-228 aircrafts are manufactured by the Transport Aircraft Division at Kanpur.
o
The Division has previously supplied 125 Hindustan Aeronautics Do-228 planes for the defence and
other customers and has expertise in manufacturing the transport and trainer category of aircraft.
New Appointments:
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February

2015
US President Barack Obama has announced to appoint top Indian-American CEO Ajay Banga to a key
administration position.
o
Banga, chairman of the US India Business Council, has been appointed as member of the Advisory
Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Sports:

National Games 2015
o
Gymnast Dipa Karmakar bags Five individual golds
o
Services continue to top medals tally.
February 5th 2015
National Affairs:



Kolkata has become India's first Wi-Fi-enabled metro city as the service was launched from Park Street
today.
o
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today's evening informed through her Twitter account.
o
She tweeted "All my WiFi friends, I am tweeting using #WiFiKolkata. So proud to be first WiFi Metro city in
India. Congratulations to us all."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the direct cash transfer schemes like the “PAHAL Yojana” will
bring an end to black-marketing and subsidies will reach people more effectively.
o
xpressing satisfaction at the registration of 1 crore citizens as part of the “PAHAL Yojana”, the prime
minister said the scheme has a major role in nation-building.
o
This scheme aims to reduce diversion and eliminate duplicate or bogus LPG connections.
o
The scheme aims to reduce diversion and eliminate duplicate or bogus LPG connections.
o
PAHAL Yojana is one of the largest cash transfer schemes in the world.
o
PAHAL - Pratyaksh HAnstantarit Labh
Delhi Elections 2015
o
The elections for the 70-member Delhi Assembly will be held in a single phase on 7th February. The
counting of votes will take place on 10th February.
o
Campaigning for Delhi Assembly election ended this evening with major political parties engaging in
accusations and counter accusations and making last ditch efforts to woo the voters.
o
The Election Commission has banned dissemination and publication of exit polls or opinion polls and
their results from Thursday till Saturday evening, the date of polling.
o
The Commission has also prohibited displaying of any election matter, like any poll survey during the
period of 48 hours, which includes the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.
o
New Chief Election Commissioner - H.S. Brahma
Business & Economy:

GSHHDC will soon launch its own e-commerce portal under ‘Garvi-Gurjari’ brand to reach out to a bigger
customer base and boost sales in overseas markets.
o
GSHHDC \ signed an MoU with global e-commerce giant eBay and plans to tie-up with domestic ecommerce majors as Flipkart and Snapdeal.
o
GSHHDC - Gujarat State Handloom and Handicraft Development Corporation
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February


2015
India has improved its rank marginally on the intellectual property (IP) index released by the US Chamber
of Commerce yesterday.
o
The US body has moved India to the second last place from rock bottom in its ranking order last year.
o
The annual IP index, which this year ranked a total of 30 countries on a series of indicators reflecting
their IP environment, had put India at the bottom in the first two years.
o
This year, Thailand has been ranked at the last place while US retains the top spot.
The Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) has proposed a 78.4 per cent reduction in airport
charges at the Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi, applicable from February 1, according to a consultation
paper circulated by the tariff regulator.
o
AERA, however, said the implementation of the proposal will be done once the Delhi International
Airport Ltd (DIAL) submits fresh rate slabs for its approval.
o
DIAL is a joint venture between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and GMR group with 26 per
cent and 74 per cent holding, respectively.
People in News:

Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang today won the trial of strength with 59 MLAs in the 60-member House
voting in his favour at the one-day special session of the Assembly.

Former Gujarat top cop D G Vanzara set to walk out of jail after court granted him bail in Ishrat Jahan
encounter case.
o
Mr Vanzara was granted bail today in the 2004 killing of college student Ishrat Jahan. But a court in
Ahmedabad said he can't enter Gujarat.
o
Eight police officers were charge-sheeted in the case. Four were granted bail earlier and today, two
more got it - Mr Vanzara and another police officer, P P Pandey.
New Appointments:

LC Goyal today took charge as the new Union home secretary replacing Anil Goswami who had resigned
yesterday.

Former New York Supreme Court Judge Mary McGowan Davis will replace Canadian legal expert William
Schabas, as the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council Gaza probe.
o

The three member commission of inquiry appointed in August had included Schabas, McGowan
Davis and Senegalese legal expert Doudou Diene.
Infosys Ltd, India’s second largest software services exporter, has announced that it has appointed Roopa
Kudva as an independent member of its board.
o
Kudva is the managing director and chief executive officer of global credit rating agency Crisil Ltd in
India.
Sports:

National Games 2015
o

Services retain top position in the medals tally with 29 gold medals followed by Haryana with 25 gold.
Portuguese professional football player Cristiano Ronaldo Voted Best English Premier League Player
Ever in the 23-year history of the English Premier League.
February 4th 2015
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February

PMO India Narendra Modi promises global investors a fair, predictable and consistent tax system and
growth-focused economic policies.
o

The decision, taken at a meeting of the state cabinet, said no fee would be taken from the SC/ST and girl
students at the time of admission in government universities and colleges in Bihar.
Maharashtra Government is planning to revamp the 'Jeevan Amrut Yojana' (blood-on-call) scheme which is
aimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeries and medical procedures in remote
areas.
o

The PM said, the priority of his government is growth and jobs and to establish global benchmarks in
areas such as governance, transparency and taxation.
The Bihar government has decided to provide free education to Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes
(ST) and girl students till Post Graduation (PG) level in the state.
o

2015
The Yojana was launched last year, under which the patients have to pay Rs 450 towards the cost of
blood and Rs 50 to Rs 100 as transportation cost depending on the distance, and request (for blood) is
placed by the hospital concerned.
Aimed at curbing corruption in land transactions in Haryana, the Manohar Lal Khattar government has
launched online registration of land deals in all tehsils of the state.
o
Initially, the facility was offered in only eight tehsils.
o
After the successful implementation of the pilot project during past more than a month, the facility will
be available in all 130 tehsils and sub-tehsils of Haryana.
o
Under the new system, documents for land registration have to be submitted at e-Disha centres, where a
helpdesk will provide information regarding stamp duty and collector rates. The help desk will fix the
appointment date of applicants with tehsildars for registration of sale deed.
International Affairs:


Today (4th February) is World Cancer Day.
o
This day is dedicated to spread awareness about one of the deadliest diseases in the world, Cancer.
o
This Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of
the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008.
o
The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer
by 2020.
o
This year's theme : 'Not Beyond Us'.
o
The 2015 campaign will be articulated around four key areas of focus:

Choosing healthy lives

Delivering early detection

Achieving treatment for all

Maximising quality of life
Sri Lanka celebrates 67th Independence Day
o
President Maithripala Sirisena promised to bridge the ethnic divide that still exists following the end
of the country’s civil war five years ago.
o
He also called for a process of national reconciliation between the Sinhalese in the south and the Tamils
in the north and east of the country.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
2015

Home secretary Anil Goswami resigned after government asked him to put in his papers in the wake of
controversy over his alleged attempt to stall the arrest of Saradha scam accused Matang Sinh, a former Congress
minister at the centre.

Former Police Chief of Gujarat P.C.Pande discharged in Tulsi Ram Prajapati fake encounter case.
New Appointments:

Rural development secretary L.C Goyal, a 1979-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Kerala
cadre, has been appointed as the next Home Secretary.
Awards & Honors:

Dr. Zakir A. Naik, president of the Islamic Research Foundation of India, won the 2015 King Faisal
International Prize (KFIP) for Service to Islam.

Indian Journalist and writer H n l S n up ’s book on entrepreneurial ventures in India has been
shortlisted for the U.S.’ prestigious Hayek Prize this year.
Sports:

National Games 2015
o
Services continue to dominate Medal Tally with 20 Gold medals.
o
Haryana maintain their 2nd positions with 19 Gold medals.
February 3rd 2015
International Affairs:

The UK is now set to become the first country to introduce laws to allow the creation of babies from three
people.
o
In an historic move, MPs have voted in favour of the creation of babies with DNA from two women and
one man.
o
In a free vote in the Commons, 382 MPs were in favour and 128 against the technique that stops genetic
diseases being passed from mother to child.
o
During the debate, ministers said the technique was "light at the end of a dark tunnel" for families.
National Affairs:

Madhya Pradesh awarded the 10th national award for excellent work in Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
o


The award was presented to Madhya Pradesh Panchayats and Rural Development Minister Gopal
Bhargava by the Union Rural Development Minister Virendra Singh at the MGNREGA summit held
in New Delhi.
Punjab will issue Aadhaar-linked e-ration cards to ensure that only genuine beneficiaries get subsidized food
grain.
o
Punjab is the first state in the country to have initiated the e-ration cards.
o
Punjab's Food and Civil Supplies Minister : Adesh Partap Singh Kairon
IRCTC has announced the new system and a new option to Book IRCTC Train Tickets through Cash on
Delivery (COD) and launched a new website called http://www.bookmytrain.com.
o
With the help of this new website, the booking system is more faster and efficient and even on low 2g
networks customers can book the tickets very easily and fastly through its beta version.
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February
o
o
Deaths:

2015
This COD scheme has been launched on pilot basis and the service will be available in more than 200
cities initially. Customers can book a ticket 5 days prior to commencement of journey.
Rs 40 will be charged for the delivery of each Sleeper Class ticket, Rs 60 will be charged for an AC class
ticket
Noted sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee (65) passed away in New Delhi.
o
She was the first Indian artist whose work was displayed at the Sydney Biennale in 1986.
o
She was best known for her sculptures using knotted hemp fibre and cast bronzes.
Business & Economy:


In an attempt to provide more liquidity to the banking system, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today reduced
the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) by 50 basis points from 22 per cent to 21.5 per cent with effect from 7th
February 2015.
o
This move is likely to pump in around Rs. 45,000 crore to the system, which is likely to prod banks to cut
their lending rates.
o
Highlights of RBI's Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy statement:
 Short-term lending rate unchanged at 7.75 per cent.
 Cash Reserve Ratio unchanged at 4 per cent.
 Statutory Liquidity Ratio cut to 21.5 per cent, effective February 7, to unlock banking funds.
 Current Account Deficit at 1.3 per cent of GDP for 2014-15.
 Inflation target at 6 per cent by January 2016.
 GDP growth estimates under old base for current fiscal at 5.5 per cent; 6.5 per cent for 2015-16.
 Banks asked to lend to productive sector to spur investment, growth
 Limit of foreign exchange remittance doubled to USD 2,50,000 per person annually
 72 application for Small Finance Banks, 41 for Payments Banks received
 Export credit refinance to be replaced with provision of system level liquidity, effective
February 7
 Foreign portfolio investors allowed to re-invest in G-Secs after their investment limits are
utilised
 Bi-monthly policy statement for 2015-16 on 7th April 2015.
China has surpassed the United States as the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), a
position held by the US for 11 year.
o
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recently published a report
showing China had attracted USD 127.6 billion in foreign investment in 2014 compared to USD 86
billion invested by foreign businesses in the US.
Current CRR, SLR, MSF, Bank Rate, Repo Rate, Rev Repo Rates 2015:
The list of present RBI Rates (CRR, SLR, MSF, Bank Rate, Repo Rate, Rev Repo Rates) along with the
respective dates as of 15th January 2015. If you have any confusion regarding the terminology mentioned below, you
can refer to the detailed short notes given at the end of the table. Hope it will be helpful for your upcoming competitive
exams (especially SBI PO, Clerks and RBI Grade B Officers Exams).
Current RBI Rates2015:
S. No
Rates / Reserve Ratios
%
W.e.f
1
Bank Rate
8.75 %
15th January 2015
2
Repo Rate
7.75 %
15th January 2015
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February
3
Reverse Repo Rate
6.75%
15th January 2015
4
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)
4.00%
9th February 2013
5
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)
21.50%
3rd February 2015
6
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF)
8.75 %
15th January 2015
2015
Bank Rate:
Bank rate, also referred to as the discount rate, is the rate of interest which a central bank charges on the
loans and advances that it extends to commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. Changes in the bank
rate are often used by central banks to control the money supply.
Repo Rate:
Repo rate is the rate at which our banks borrow rupees from RBI. Whenever the banks have any
shortage of funds they can borrow it from RBI. A reduction in the repo rate will help banks to get money at a
cheaper rate. When the repo rate increases, borrowing from RBI becomes more expensive.
Reverse Repo Rate:
This is exact opposite of Repo rate. Reverse Repo rate is the rate at which Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
borrows money from banks. RBI uses this tool when it feels there is too much money floating in the banking
system. Banks are always happy to lend money to RBI since their money is in safe hands with a good interest. An
increase in Reverse repo rate can cause the banks to transfer more funds to RBI due to this attractive interest
rates.
CRR :
Cash reserve Ratio (CRR) is the amount of funds that the banks have to keep with RBI. If RBI decides to
increase the percent of this, the available amount with the banks comes down. RBI is using this method (increase
of CRR rate), to drain out the excessive money from the banks.
SLR :
SLR (Statutory Liquidity Ratio) is the amount a commercial bank needs to maintain in the form of cash,
or gold or govt. approved securities (Bonds) before providing credit to its customers. SLR rate is determined and
maintained by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in order to control the expansion of bank credit. SLR is
determined as the percentage of total demand and percentage of time liabilities. Time Liabilities are the
liabilities a commercial bank liable to pay to the customers on their anytime demand. SLR is used to control
inflation and propel growth. Through SLR rate tuning the money supply in the system can be controlled
efficiently.
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF)
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) is the rate at which scheduled banks could borrow funds overnight
from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) against approved government securities. The basic difference between
Repo and MSF scheme is that in MSF banks can use the securities under SLR to get loans from RBI and hence
MSF rate is 1% more than repo rate.
New Appointments:

Dr.Nandita Chatterjee took over as the new Secretary in the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty
Alleviation (HUPA).
o
Her last assignment was as Member-Secretary, National Commission for Women.
Sports:

35th National Games
o
Olympian Vijayakumar strikes gold in the 25 metre pistol event
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February
o
2015
Jasvir Kaur breaks National record in 63 kg women category in Weightlifting.
February 2nd 2015
International Affairs:


Russia, India and China have called for an early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention
on International Terrorism.
o
In a joint communique issued after the 13th meeting of foreign ministers of the three countries,
under the RIC Forum in Beijing today, they strongly condemned terrorism in all forms and said there can
be no ideological, political, racial, ethnic or any other justification for acts of terrorism.
o
The Ministers affirmed the need for all countries to join efforts in combating terrorism under the
auspices of United Nations.
o
Indian External Affairs Minister - Sushma Swaraj
o
Chinese foreign Minister - Wang Yi
o
Russian foreign Minister - Sergey Levrov
India and China jointly launched the Visit India Year in China (Beijing) during the visit of Indian External
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to China.
o
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The initiative is aimed at enhancing the flow of tourists from China to India and to strengthen the people
to people bond. China will support the promotion of Indian tourist resources in its country.
India today launched its flagship diplomacy magazine in Chinese language to give "interesting" information
about the country's rich culture and tradition.
o
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took the opportunity to unveil the Chinese version of 'India
Perspectives'.
Science & Technology:

NASA successfully launched its first Earth satellite designed to collect global observations of the vital soil
moisture hidden just beneath our feet.
o
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The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory, a mission with broad applications for science and
society, lifted off at 6:22 a.m Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on a United Launch
Alliance Delta II rocket.
Pakistan today conducted a successful flight test of the R ’
missile (ALCM).
, an indigenously developed air launched cruise
o
The Ra’ad missile, with a range of 350 km, enables Pakistan to achieve “strategic standoff capability”
on both land and sea.
o
The Director General of Strategic Plans Division, Lt.Gen. Zubair Mahmood Hayat termed it a major step
towards strengthening Pakistan’s full spectrum credible minimum deterrence capability.
New Appointments:

Anish Aggarwal today took over as Director (Pipelines) at Indian Oil Corp, the nation's largest oil refining
and marketing company.
Business & Economy:

Top corporates and telecom companies have applied to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to open Payments
Banks .
o
Among those applied for the licence include Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Aditya Birla Nuvo, Future
group, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular to name a few.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
2015
o
The last date for submission of application ended today.
o
The RBI is yet to come out with the comprehensive list of the applicants.
o
Payments or small finance banks are being planned to augment financial inclusion and provide basic
banking services to un-banked population.

These banks will help in saving, facilitate remittances and provide payment services.
Sports:
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National Games 2015
o
Haryana dominates opening day of the 35th National Games with 6 gold medals and a silver medal,
followed by hosts Kerala (two gold, one silver and two bronze) and Madhya Pradesh (two gold and
three bronze medals).
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Swimming was the most exciting sport on the first day as many new records were made.

Karnataka’s A
n D’S uz finished the 200 metres freestyle race in 1 minute 52.06
seconds to be the new champion.
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In the Women’s section, Haryana’s Shivani Kataria clocked 2 minutes 7.46 seconds to
grab the Gold and break the Games record.
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1
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Sandeep Sajwal of Madhya Pradesh wins gold in the 200 metre swimming breast
stroke.
metres Men’s butterfly event also saw a new record.
World squash champion Nicol David has set a new record for topping the world rankings when she
secured top spot for the 106th month.
o
The 31-year-old Malaysian player, who first headed the Women’s S uash Association (WSA) list in
January 2006, overtook the 105-month record set in February 1993 by Susan Devoy, the four-time
world champion from New Zealand.
February 1st 2015
International Affairs:

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is in China on a four-day visit and is accompanied by the new
foreign secretary S Jaishankar.
o
Mrs. Sushma Swaraj inaugurated 2nd meeting of the India- China Media Forum in Beijing today.
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o
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The day-long meeting will deliberate on media’s role in promoting bilateral strategic
partnership, boosting economic cooperation and opportunities and challenges for India-China
media cooperation.
India and China exchanged notes on modalities for opening the second route for pilgrims undertaking
the Kailash Mansarovar yatra.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China in May this year, ahead of the meeting with her Chinese
counterpart Wang Yi.
o
Modi's visit to China is a reciprocal one by President Xi Jinping to India in September last year.
National Affairs:

12th death anniversary of 1st Indian-American woman in space Kalpana Chawla being observed today.

The government is likely to accept the recommendation of a committee led by former Supreme Court judge
G.P. Mathur to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February

2015
o
The panel, set up on December 23 last year, submitted its report to Home Minister Rajnath Singh last
week.
o
The riots, which followed assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, claimed
over 3,000 lives, of which 2,000 fell prey to violence in Delhi.
The 29th edition of the Surajkund International Crafts Mela (fair) began today at Surajkund in Haryana's
Faridabad district, adjoining New Delhi.
o
The Mela is jointly hosted by Haryana Tourism Corporation and Surajkund Mela Authority, in
collaboration with the union ministries of tourism, textiles, culture and external affairs.
o
Known for showcasing richness and diversity of handicrafts, handlooms and the cultural heritage of the
country, the fair has Lebanon as the partner country and Chhattisgarh as the theme state this time.
o
This year, 18 countries are part of the Mela, which include, besides Lebanon, SAARC nations Sri Lanka,
Nepal, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Eurasian nations Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Belarus,
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Tajikistan. Other participating countries include
Kuwait, Qatar, Thailand, Uganda and Syria.
o
The Mela will be held till 15th February 215.
Awards & Honors:

Shahid Kapoor won the Filmfare award for Best Actor (Male) for his performance in the film “Haider”, while
Kangna Ranaut received the Best Actor (Female) award for “Queen”, at the 6 th Filmfare Awards ceremony.

Britannia Filmfare Awards
Filmfare Awards, the most coveted award ceremony of India came out with its list of winners for the
year 2014. This event was held on 31st January 2015 at Yash Raj Studio, Mumbai. This year, the show was
hosted by Kapil Sharma (comedian), Karan Johar (film maker) and Alia Bhatt (actress) together. The
nominations were announced on 19th January 2015. Kangana Ranaut starrer "Queen" is in the news by winning
Most Awards (6) and Most nominations (12). Here is the complete list of winners of 60th Filmafare Awards.

Complete list of the winners of the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards 2014
 Best Film - Queen
 Best Director - Vikas Bahl (Queen)
 Best Actress - Kangana Ranaut (Queen)
 Best Actor - Shahid Kapoor (Haider)
 Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female) - Tabu (Haider)
 Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Male) - Kay Kay Menon (Haider)
 Best Debut director - Abhishek Varman (2 States)
 Best Actor (Critics) - Sanjay Mishra (Ankhon Dekhi)
 Best Actress (Critics) - Alia Bhatt (Highway)
 Best Film (Critics) - Rajat Kapoor (Ankhon Dekhi)
 Best Music Director - Shankar-Eshaan-Loy (2 States)
 Best Lyrics - Rashmi Singh - Muskurane ki wajah (CityLights)
 Best Debut (Male) - Fawad Khan, Khoobsurat
 Best Debut (Female) - Kriti Sanon, Heropanti
 Best Story - Rajat Kapoor, Ankhon Dekhi
 Best Dialogue - Abhijat Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani, PK
 Best Screenplay - Rajkumar Hirani and Abhijat Joshi, PK
 Best Playback Singer (Male) - Ankit Tiwari, Galliyan (Ek Villain)
 Best Playback Singer (Female) - Kanika Kapoor, Baby Doll (Ragini MMS 2)
 Lifetime Achievement Award - Kamini Kaushal
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Current Affairs for Banks and Various Competitive Examinations
February
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2015
Best Choreography Award - Ahmed Khan, Jumme Ki Raat (Kick)
Best Background Score - Amit Trivedi, Queen
Best Cinematography Award - Bobby Singh and Siddharth Diwan, Queen
Best Action - Sham Kaushal, Gunday
Best Editing - Abhijit Kokate and Anurag Kashyap, Queen
Best Production Design - Subrata Chakraborty and Amit Ray, Haider
Best Costume - Dolly Ahluwalia, Haider
Best Sound Design - Anilkumar Konakandla and Prabal Pradhan, Mardaani
New Appointments:

T. Suvarna Raju took over as the 17th chairman of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), following
his predecessor R.K. Tyagi's retirement.

Kanagasabapathy J Sripavan sworn in as 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.
People in News:

Islamic State militants today said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto,
prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to vow to step up humanitarian aid to the group’s opponents in the
Middle East and help bring his killers to justice.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot has tested positive for swine flu.
o
In a tweet, Gehlot said that he had tested positive for the H1N1 virus but his condition has improved
after starting treatment in time.
Deaths:

Former German President Richard von Weizsaecker, who declared Germany's World War II surrender a
"day of liberation" for his country as he urged it to confront the Nazi past, and promoted reconciliation during a
tenure spanning the reunification of west and east, has died. He was 94.

Carl Djerassi, an Austrian-born US chemist who developed the birth control pill, has passed away at the age
of 91.
o
He was most famous for leading a research team in Mexico City that in 1951 developed norethindrone, a
synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill.
Business & Economy:

Jet fuel (ATF) price today cut by a steep 11.3 per cent and now costs less than diesel.
o
Last month, its rate had fallen below the price at which petrol is sold.
o
The price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by Rs. 5,909.9 per kilolitre, or 11.27
per cent, to Rs. 46,513.02 per kl, oil companies announced today.
Sports:

Novak Djokovic lifts Men's singles crown of the Australian Open (this is his 5th title), Leander Peas and
Martina Hingis win Mixed Doubles trophy.

Australia clinches the One-day International Tri-Series at Perth beating England by 112 runs.
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