Current Affairs, News & Facts of 04 Feb 2016

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  • Google's Parent company, Alphabet Inc overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company


    Google's Parent company, Alphabet Inc overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company

    Google parent company, Alphabet Inc has overtaken Apple as the most valuable company in the world. For the first time, Alphabet Inc has disclosed the profitability of Google's search engine and its other online services, and details of amount it is spending on ambitious technology projects such as self-driving cars and loon project.

    Facts and figures

    Alphabet Inc has made a profit of USD 4.9 billion in the fourth quarter and was valued at 548 billion dollars thus stealing the crown from Silicon Valley rival Apple Inc. which was valued 534 billion dollars.

    Google Unit which is the core businesses of  Alphabet Inc is the largest contributor in the total revenue as Google reported revenues worth 74.5 billion dollars in 2015 and had made a profit of 23.4 billion dollars.

    Internet and related businesses such as search, ads, maps, YouTube and Android as well as hardware products such as its low-cost Chromebook laptops come under the Google Unit of Alphabet Inc.

    Gmail service has crossed one billion monthly active users last quarter, joining the rank of Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube and Google Play.

    Google's advertising revenue increased nearly 17 percent to USD 19.08 billion, while the number of ads, or paid clicks, rose 31 percent.  It would be interesting to know that 80 percent of YouTube views come from outside of the United States.

    In 2012, Apple overtook Exxon Mobil and became the most valuable company in the world and in 2015 Apple became the first company to reach a market value of USD 700 billion.

     Alphabet Inc.  Alphabet Inc. was established in 2015 as the parent company of Google. It encompass all other earlier subsidiaries and products of Google under its umbrella. Some of its subordinators include Google, Calico, GV, Google Capital, X, Google Fiber and Nest Labs.


  • ‘Titli’ awarded by French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 


    ‘Titli’ awarded by French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Indian filmmaker Kanu Behl directorial “Titli” has bagged the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC). This is the first time an Indian film has won this award.

    Titli stars Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi, Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial and Lalit Behl in the lead roles. It has been co-produced by Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films and Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt Ltd.

    It is a tale of a dysfunctional family and a young boy's struggle to escape his oppressive family. It had won many awards at various international film festivals at places like Bordeaux (France), Hawaii (US), New York (US), Turkey and Spain.

    French Syndicate of Cinema Critics (FSCC) awards : FSCC awards are annual awards which awards four prestigious prizes each year including Best French Film, Best International Film, Best First Foreign Film and Best Short Film. FSCC also organises International Critics Week which is the oldest parallel competitive section of the Cannes International Film Festival.


  • Former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passes away  


    Former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passes away

    Former Lok Sabha Speaker and veteran Congress leader Balram Jakhar passed away  in New Delhi. He was 92. Jakhar served as Speaker of Lok Sabha from 1980 to 1989 during which he contributed to the establishment of Parliament Museum and computerization of Parliamentary works.

    Balram Jakhar
    Born on August 23, 1923 at Panjkosi village in Ferozepur district of Punjab, Jakhar graduated from a college in Lahore before the partition. He then took up the family profession of farming and introduced modem techniques that helped increase the yield.

    Jakhar was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1972 and was re-elected in 1977 becoming the Leader of the Opposition. He played pivotal role in the enrichment of Indian Parliamentary democracy during his long political journey.

    He was elected to the Lok Sabha four times and served as Central Agriculture minister in 1991with P. V. Narasimha Rao Ministry. He was elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly for two terms in 1972 and 1977 and served as the  Leader of Opposition in the state.

    Mr Jakhar was the first Asian to be elected as Chairman of Commonwealth Parliamentarian Executive Forum. He also served as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh from 2004 to 2009.

    Awards and Honours  In 1975, Jakhar was conferred with 'All India Udyan Pandit' award by the President for his contribution to Horticulture.


  • Former RBI Deputy Governor S S Tarapore passed away  


    Former RBI Deputy Governor S S Tarapore passed awayFormer deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a noted economist, S.S. Tarapore, passed away in Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was 80. Tarapore was well-regarded central banker who will always be remembered as a crusader in fight against inflation and his strong views on capital account convertibility.

    S.S. Tarapore 

    S.S. Tarapore started his career with RBI as a research officer in 1961 and demitted office as Deputy Governor in September 1996. He served RBI as it's Deputy Governor from 1992 to 1996 when C. Rangarajan was the governor. 

    Indian economy saw crucial structural changes at the time when he was serving RBI as it's Deputy Governor as economic reforms were introduced by the government in 1991.

    Based on the recommendations of the committee, Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) was replaced with Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in June 2000. 


  • Major General Jai Shanker Menon appointed as UNDOF Head


    Major General Jai Shanker Menon appointed as UNDOF Head

    Major General Jai Shanker Menon from India has been appointed as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He will succeed  Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa of Nepal, who will complete his assignment on February 7, 2016. Maj Gen Menon brings with him extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping affairs at the national and international levels.

    Major General Jai Shanker Menon 

    Prior to this appointment, Maj. Gen. Menon was Additional Director General Equipment Management in the Indian Army. From 2012 to 2013, he was General Officer, Commanding an Infantry Division.

    During his service with armed forces he has held command positions in the Indian Army, including Commandant of Regimental Training Centre, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander. 

    He has also served at the international level, including in the United Nations as a Military Observer in the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ) in 1993 and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) from 2007 to 2009.

    He holds a Master of Management Studies degree from Osmania University in Hyderabad, a Master of Defence Studies degree from Madras University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jawahar Lal Nehru University.


  • India, Brunei ink three crucial agreements


    India, Brunei ink three crucial agreements

    India and Brunei have inked three memorandums of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the areas of defence, health, and youth and sports affairs. The MoUs were signed between the representatives of both the countries in presence in the presence of Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari who is on his visit to Brunei. Brunei is the fourth largest producer of Liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world and among the largest gas exporters with 9 percent share of the export market.

    The MoUs signed are 

    MoU in Health Cooperation : The MoU aims at establishing cooperation  between the two countries in the field of health sector by sharing technical, scientific, financial and human resources and pharmaceutical regulatory practices. The MoU also aims at upgrading health care, research and medical education. 

    MoU on Defence Cooperation : By signing MoU on Defence Cooperation both the countries aims at expanding the scope of Defence Cooperation. It should be noted that Defence Cooperation between India and Brunei exist since long decades in the sectors of  naval ship visits, training of senior military officers in Staff colleges and exchange of experience. 

    MoU on Cooperation in Youth and Sports Affairs : The MoU aims to broaden the sports relationship between the two countries by providing a framework for exchanges of sports teams and sports persons. Under the MoU both the countries will also exchange  expertise in coaching, Sports Management and Administration, Sports talent identification and exchange of information in the field of youth Affairs.

    Diplomatic importance  The agreement signed betwwen the two countries is very crucial as it is a  major diplomatic breakthrough since both sides established formal relations in 1984. Currently the defence responsibilities of Brunei is handled by United Kingdom. Brunei has territorual disputes with China on the issue of South China Sea so the defence agreement between both countries has a broad meaning in terms of India's global relationship.


  • Kerala emerges as winner of 61st National School Athletics championship


    Kerala emerges as winner of 61st National School Athletics championshipKerala has emerged as the overall winner of  61st National School Athletics championship that began on January 29 and concluded in Kozhikode on 2nd Feb. Kerala has won the championship for the 19th consecutive time. In this edition of the championship, Kerala has got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals. Tamil Nadu stood at second position with 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals. Maharashtra with 101 points obtained the third position. 

    The 61st National Schools Athletics Championship 2016 (SGFI 2015-16) was organised by the School Games Federation of India at Kozhikode (Calicut). As many as 3,000 athletes representing 36 teams had taken part in the five-day meet.


  • CSIR launches first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drug


    CSIR launches first ayurvedic anti-diabetic drugThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has launched the country's first anti-diabetic ayurvedic drug named BGR-34 for type two Diabetes mellitus. The drug has been developed jointly by National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) and Central Institute for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (CIMAP), the Lucknow-based research units of CSIR.

    Scientists of NBRI and CIMAP made an in-depth study of over 500 renowned ancient herbs and finally identified the six best herbs listed in ayurvedic ancient texts to be combined in different fractions and quantities and processed meticulously to develop this new drug.

    For the purpose of quality commercial production and extended distribution, AIMIL Pharmaceuticals (I) Ltd, known for its innovative Ayurvedic products, has been transferred the rights and technical knowhow to produce and market it for medical use.The modern diabetes drugs are known for side-effects and toxicity but BGR-34 works by controlling blood sugar and limiting the harmful effects of other drugs. It inhibits DPP-4 and enhances insulin secretion. The product has passed several battery of tests and showed hypoglycemic activity in experimental subjects.


  • DJ Pandian appointed AIIB Vice-President


    DJ Pandian appointed AIIB Vice-President

    Former chief secretary of Gujarat D J Pandian has been appointed vice-president and chief investment officer of the newly-created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Pandian is a retired Gujarat cadre IAS officer and has also worked on deputation with the World Bank in Washington. He was also the MD of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC).

     Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) 

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is Beijing-based USD 100 billion multi-lateral lender set up to boost lending for infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region. With authorised capital of USD 100 billion and subscribed capital of USD 50 billion, AIIB will invest in sectors such as energy, transportation, urban construction and logistics as well as education and healthcare. China, India and Russia are the three largest shareholders of AIIB, holding 30.34%, 8.52%, 6.66% stake respectively.  Their voting shares are 26.06%, 7.5% and 5.92% respectively.  China had nominated its former finance minister Jin as the first president of AIIB. 


  • Devendra Fadnavis announces Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective Incentive Scheme


     Devendra Fadnavis announces Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective Incentive SchemeMaharashtra Cabinet has launched  Bharatratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Special Collective Incentive Scheme for the economically backward Dalit entrepreneurs. Under this scheme, special facilities would be given to Dalit entrepreneurs besides the present Collective Incentive Scheme 2013.

    20% plots of plots within Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will be reserved for the Dalits which will be given to them at 30% concessional rate whereas plots in other areas will be available at 20% concessional rate. 

    Limitations of the scheme

    • Businessmen who are in Service and Commodities sector can only  avail the benefits of this scheme.
    • It will be limited for only those industries where people from Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) have 100% investment. 
    • Only one person from each SC/ST family can avail the benefits under the scheme and there will be no cap on income to launch any business.



2nd Aug

Exam Date : 02-08-2016

Exam Time : 07:15:00

Ques/Time : 6/5 min


Exam Date : 01-08-2016

Exam Time : 06:00:00

Ques/Time : 8/5 min

Todays test

Exam Date : 22-07-2016

Exam Time : 05:10:00

Ques/Time : 3/5 min