Current Affairs, News & Facts of 23 Feb 2016

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  • Malayalam film Ottal named best children’s film at Berlin International Film Festival


    Malayalam film Ottal named best children’s film at Berlin International Film Festival

    Malayalam film Ottal has been named the best children’s film at the Berlin International Film Festival and honoured with the Crystal Bear award in the “Generation KPlus” section. This is the third year in a row that Indian films have triumphed. Earlier winners were "Killa" 2014 and "Dhanak" 2015.

    “Ottal” has been directed by Malayali filmmaker Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair. It is about the story of an old fisherman and his grandson. The movie is an adaptation of Anton Chekhov's short story 'Vanaka'.

    Prior to this "Ottal" has bagged the National Award for best film on Environment Conservation/Preservation.  It had set a record at 20th International Film Festival of Kerala by sweeping all the top awards.

  • 66th Berlin International Film Festival : List of winners


    66th Berlin International Film Festival : List of winnersThe 66th edition of the annual Berlin International Film Festival was held from 11 February to 21 February 2016,  with American actress Meryl Streep as the President of the Jury. Italian documentary Fire at Sea, directed by Gianfranco Rosi bagged the prestigious Golden Bear, the top prize of the festival.

    The Honorary Golden Bear for lifetime achievement was presented to German cinematographer Michael Ballhaus and Hail, Caesar!, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, was selected to open the festival.

    Berlin International Film Festival awards :

    (1) Crystal Bear or the best short film: El inicio de Fabrizio for Argentinian film Fabrizio’s Initiation.

    (2) Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear): A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery by Lav Diaz. 

    (3) Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear): Death in Sarajevo by Danis Tanovic.

    (4) Silver Bear for Best Script: Tomasz Wasilewski for United States of Love.

    (5) Silver Bear for Best Actor: Majd Mastoura (Tunisia) for Hedi. 

    (6) Silver Bear for Best Actress: Trine Dyrholm (Denmark) for The Commune. 

    (7) Silver Bear for best director: Mia Hansen-Løve (France) for Things to Come. 

  • Four Bengali sweets to get GI tag


    Four Bengali sweets to get GI tagThe West Bengal government is planning to get Geographical Indication (GI) tag for four traditional sweet delicacies of the state with a view to protect them from imitations and preserve their quality. It will also help to boost their exports. These four traditional sweet delicacies are Moa of Jainagar, Sarpuria of Krishnagar, and Mihidana and Sitabhog of Burdwan.

    Jainagar-er moa: It is made of puffed rice and date palm jaggery at Jainagar in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. 

    Sarpuria: Made of milk cream and is famous in Krishnagar area of Nadia district. 

    Sitabhog and Mihidana: They are rice-based sweets from Burdwan.

    Geographical Indication (GI) : A geographical indication (GI) is a name or sign used on certain products having a unique geographical origin and evolution over centuries with regards to its special quality or reputation attributes. GI registration is governed by the Geographical Indications of goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

  • Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra appointed DG DRI


    Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra appointed DG DRI

    Senior IRS officer Jayant Misra has been appointed as Director General (DG) of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) with the approval of competent authority.

     Prior to this appointment, Jayant Misra was serving as Director General (Systems) of Systems and Data Management based in New Delhi.

    He will succeed Najib Shah, Chairman of Central Board of Excise and Customs who was holding the charge as DG of DRI. Senior bureaucrat S Ramesh has been appointed DG (Systems) in place of Misra. Ramesh at present is Chief Commissioner of Customs in Chennai.

    Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI)The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an intelligence agency established on 4th December 1957. It functions under the aegis of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in the Department of Revenue of Union Ministry of Finance. It enforces prohibition of smuggling of gold, diamonds, electronics, narcotics, foreign currency, counterfeit Indian currency etc.

  • Noted singer Bhubaneswari Mishra passes away


    Noted singer Bhubaneswari Mishra passes away

    Renowned classical singer Bhubaneshwari Mishra passed in New Delhi, following a sudden cardiac arrest. She was 67.The classical singer began her career with the song ‘Tiki Mora Naa Ti’ for the mythological Odia movie Krushna Sudama in the 1970s.

    Awards and Honours : She was conferred with the Odisha State Film Award for best playback singer (female) for two consecutive terms in 1979 and 1980 for the movies Srikrushna Rasalila and Jay Ma Mangala respectively.

  • 21 February : International Mother Language Day observed across the world 


    21 February : International Mother Language Day observed across the world

    International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is annually observed worldwide on 21 February. It seeks to promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity.

    It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999 and was formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. The year 2016 is the 16th anniversary of International Mother Language Day.

    International Mother Language Day also signifies importance of mother language as the greatest weapon to express one’s feeling. Mother Language of one country is the sign of independence of that country.

    Theme for the year 2016 : “Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes”. 

    Connection with BangladeshInternational Mother Language Day has deep relation with Bangladesh where  students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath University and Dhaka Medical College, were mercilessly shot down by the Pakistani army in 1952 in erstwhile East Pakistan because the activists demonstrating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan. The protest came to be known as Language Movement.

  • Railway officer Vinay Kumar Singh appointed as MD of NCRTC


    Railway officer Vinay Kumar Singh appointed as MD of NCRTCRailway officer Vinay Kumar Singh has been appointed as Managing Director of National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), the implementing agency for the three corridors of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) in the NCR zone. Currently Singh is working with Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a railway PSU involved in the study of high speed rail corridors.

    About 30 senior officials in the government had shown interest for the post of MD of the newly-formed NCRTC among which 15 were interviewed by the search and selection committee comprising of  Urban Development Secretary, Railway Board Member (Staff), an official from the DoPT and an expert from World Bank among others. 

    National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) The National Capital Region Transport Corporation Limited (NCRTC) is the implementing agency for taking up the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project in the  National Capital Region (NCR) zone. The three rapid rail corridors will connect capital with Panipat, Meerut and Alwar.

    Established: July 11, 2013

    Headquarter: New Delhi. 

    Functions:  It is envisaged to undertake design construction, operation and maintenance of the RRTS project on a similar pattern as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)

  • Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to 13 MoUs on agriculture


    Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to 13 MoUs on agriculture

    The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given it's ex-post facto approval for memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between India and 13 countries including Israel and Syria for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.

    The 13 countries with whom MoU has been signed  in the field of agriculture and allied sectors are Netherlands, Nepal, Cyprus,Israel, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Tanzania, Surinam, Zambia, Syria, Bhutan, Chile and Mauritius.

    This MoU will help in capacity building, knowledge exchange through visits of scientists and technicians, exchange of genetic resources, development of appropriate technologies and farm practices for enhancing agriculture productivity at farmers field.

    Background : As per "Transaction of Business Rules, 1961", it is mandatory for any government departments/ministries to bring before the Union Cabinet cases involving negotiations with foreign countries on agreements, treaties and other important matters for approval.

  • Jaypee Punjab Warriors wins 2016 Hockey India League


    Jaypee Punjab Warriors wins 2016 Hockey India LeagueThe Jaypee Punjab Warriors clinched their first-ever Hockey India League title, defeating the Kalinga Lancers by 6-1 goals, in the final match played at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Ranchi. In earlier two seasons, Punjab Warriors had finished runners-up after they had lost to Delhi Waveriders in 2014 and to Ranchi Rays in 2015.

    Awardees of the Hockey India League

    Player of the Tournament Award: Rupinder Pal Singh (Delhi Waveriders). 
    Man of the Match Award: Mark Knowles (Punjab Warriors) 
    Goal of the Match award: Armaan Qureshi (Punjab Warriors). 
    Emerging Player of the Match award: Armaan Qureshi. 
    Dhruv Batra Maximum Goals award: Glenn Turner (Kalinga Lancers). 
    Ponty Chadha Upcoming Player of the Tournament award: Sumit (Ranchi Rays).

    Hockey India League

    • Hockey India League (HIL), known as the Coal India Hockey India League is a professional field hockey league in India organized by Hockey India, the governing body for the sport in India. The league was established in 2013 and is sanctioned by International Hockey Federation (FIH). 
    • HIL, along with the Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, and Pro Kabaddi League, is considered one of the major sports leagues in the country. Currently, there are six franchisee based teams having players from India and around the world. 2015 edition of the league was won by Ranchi Rays.
  • PM Narendra Modi launches National Rurban Mission in Chhattisgarh


    PM Narendra Modi launches National Rurban Mission in ChhattisgarhPrime Minister Narendra Modi,launched the ambitious National Rurban Mission (NRM) from Kurubhat in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh. The mission is also known as Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Rurban mission (SPMRM).

    The mission aims to draw an investment of over Rs 5,000 crore in three years to "transform rural areas to economically, socially and physically sustainable spaces." The scheme would complement the Smart Cities initiative by  cluster of Smart Villages over the next 3 years across the country.

    Salient features of National Rurban Mission (NRM) :

    The scheme through development of rurban growth clusters aims at catalyzing overall regional growth by provisioning of economic activities, developing skills & local entrepreneurship and providing infrastructure amenities.

    The State Governments would identify the clusters in accordance with the Framework for Implementation prepared by the Ministry of Rural Development. These clusters would be well delineated areas with planned layouts prepared following the planning norms of the State/UTs.

    The clusters will be geographically contiguous Gram Panchayats with different population and follow administrative convergence units of Gram Panchayats.

    Population criterion : Coastal and plain areas must have population of about 25000 to 50000. Hilly, desert or tribal areas must have 5000 to 15000. There will be a separate approach for selection of clusters in Tribal and Non-Tribal Districts.

    Balanced development : Strengthening rural areas and de burdening the urban areas hence leading to balanced regional development and growth of the country, simultaneously benefit the rural as well as urban areas of the country, hence leading to balanced regional development and growth of the country.

    Fourteen components of National Rurban Mission (NRM)

    (1) Skill development training linked to economic activities 
    (2) Agro Processing/Agri Services/Storage and Warehousing 
    (3) Digital Literacy 
    (4) Sanitation 
    (5) Provision of piped water supply 
    (6) Solid and liquid waste management 
    (7) Village streets and drains 
    (8) Street lights 
    (9) Fully equipped mobile health unit 
    (10) Upgrading school /higher education facilities 
    (11) Inter-village road connectivity 
    (12) Citizen Service Centres- for electronic delivery of citizen centric services/e-gram connectivity 
    (13) Public transport 
    (14) LPG gas connections.


  • Google’s Project Loon begins its operations in Sri Lanka


    Google’s Project Loon begins its operations in Sri Lanka

    Google's balloon-powered high-speed internet service known as 'Project Loon' began its operations in Sri Lanka after first helium-filled balloon landed in Pupuressa area in Gampola town. It is one of three balloons that will be used in the trials. The balloon was launched from South America. 

    Sri Lanka is not investing any capital, but will take a 25% stake in a joint venture with Google to deliver a high-speed internet service powered by helium-filled balloons in return for allocating spectrum for the project. A further 10% of the joint venture would be offered to existing telephone service providers on the island.

    Project Loon promises to extend coverage and cheaper rates for data services. Once the balloon project is up and running the Service providers will be able to access higher speeds and improve the quality of their existing service.

    Facts and figures : Sri Lanka was the first country in South Asia to introduce mobile phones in 1989 and the first to roll out a 3G network in 2004. It was also the first in the region to unveil a 4G network two years ago. There are 3.3 million mobile internet connections and 630,000 fixed line internet subscribers among Sri Lanka's more than 20 million population.

    About Google’s Project Loon

    Project Loon is the Flagship Project of search engine giant Google developed by Google X with the mission of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.The project uses high-altitude balloons placed in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 18 km where wind speed is low and turbulence is minimum. Each balloon can provide full wireless broadband internet coverage up to an area of 40 km and are powered mainly by solar panels. The balloons will have a lifespan of about 180 days, but can be recycled.

    Users of the service will connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. These balloons have transceivers which can connect to cell phone networks in order to fill the gaps in their networks especially in remote areas such as mountains and deserts. 

    These balloons have transceivers which can connect to cell phone networks in order to fill the gaps in their networks especially in remote areas such as mountains and deserts. It promises to extend mobile and data coverage at cheaper rates for the people. These balloons will have a lifespan of about 180 days and can be recycled.

  • India, Myanmar conduct fourth coordinated patrol


    India, Myanmar conduct fourth coordinated patrolIndia and Myanmar undertook India-Myanmar coordinated patrol (IMCOR) along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Andaman Sea. The coordinated patrol was successfully undertaken from February 13 to 16, 2016. Navies of the two countries have conducted coordinated patrols along the maritime boundary since 2013.

    Indian Navy ships Saryu and Bitra along with Myanmar ships Aung Zeya and FAC 563 participated in the patrol. It should be noted that besides Myanmar, India has formal agreement for joint patrol only with two other navies they are - Thailand and Indonesia.

    Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

    During the Closing Ceremony of 4th IMCOR, India and Myanmar signed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the India-Myanmar Coordinated Patrol (IMCOR). The signing of the SOP is a significant achievement and will facilitate smooth conduct of coordinated patrols between two friendly neighbours that share a long maritime boundary in the strategically significant Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal

  • Make in India Week concludes in Mumbai : More than Rs 15.2 lakh crore investment commitments 


    Make in India Week concludes in Mumbai : More than Rs 15.2 lakh crore investment commitments The week-long Make in India event which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 13, 2016 has concluded in Mumbai. The event has secured investment commitments worth 15.2 lakh crore rupees across the country with host state Maharashtra alone accounting for Rs 8 lakh crore. Besides, it received investment enquiries worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore. 

    Facts to know :

    More than 8 lakh people visited the Make In India Expo and other events, of which 49,743 were registered delegates. 102 countries were represented in the mega expo. 17 Indian states and 3 countries – Germany, Sweden and Poland had their pavilions in the Make In India Centre.

    The Make In India Expo was spread over 23 lakh sqft area, housed under air-conditioned hangers in 27 halls in which, 150 events were organized under the Make In India Week banner while more than 25,000 people participated in  Seminars and Symposia.

    Make In India Week also provided platform for nearly 8,200 Business-to-Business,  Business –to-Government and Government –to-Government meetings. 

    Over 1,200 experts from various walks of life from Ministers, Chief Ministers, policymakers, industrialists, academicians and spiritual gurus spoke on wide ranging issues concerning business and society.

    215 exhibitors show cased their strengths and opportunities in 11 sectors covering aerospace & defence, automobiles, chemicals & petrochemicals, construction machinery, food processing, infrastructure, IT & electronics, industrial equipment & machinery, MSME, pharmaceuticals and textiles. 

  • Union Cabinet gives nod to Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016


    Union Cabinet gives nod to Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to amend section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 and section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002. In this regard, Government is going to introduce Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Parliament in pursuance of the Constitution (One Hundredth Amendment) Act, 2015.

    It will enable Election Commission to carry out limited delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary Constituency(cies) in the Cooch Behar District of West Bengal and  give voting rights to people who became Indian citizens following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

    Background : In a historic pact between India and Bangladesh, 51 Bangladeshi enclaves (Chhitmahals) in Indian Territory and 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh territory were exchanged. The move altered the geography and demography of the district of Cooch Behar in West Bengal. Since the newly acquired area has become the part of Indian territory, it was necessary to make delimitation exercise within the limited constituency area of Cooch Behar before the ensuing 2016 West Bengal State Assembly elections.


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