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Important Current Affairs 15th February 2022

INTERNATIONAL

German President Steinmeier reelected for second term

• German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been re-elected for a second term of five years by a special parliamentary assembly. This is also the final term for Steinmeier, which he won with 71% of the vote. The special assembly was made up of the members of parliament of the lower house and representatives of Germany’s 16 states. Steinmeier was first elected as the president on February 12, 2017, with 74% of the vote.

• Before first becoming president in 2017, Steinmeier, 66, served two stints as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s foreign minister and earlier was chief of staff to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Germany’s president has little executive power but is considered an important moral authority. After a messy parliamentary election result in 2017, Steinmeier helped prod politicians to form a new coalition government rather than holding out for a new vote.

NATIONAL

Governor Manoj Sinha launches QR code-based mechanism for certification, labelling of handmade carpets of J&K

• Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor, Manoj Sinha has launched a QR code-based mechanism for certification and labelling of handmade carpets of the union territory. With the QR-based application, which is the first of its kind in the country, customers can check and verify the authenticity and other requisite details of carpets produced in Jammu and Kashmir, read an official statement from the administration. Manoj Sinha also felicitated UT’s awardees of Handicrafts & Handloom. J&K Handicrafts are repositories of India’s creative traditions that are serving as a cultural expression.

• The Jammu and Kashmir government has introduced Export Incentive Scheme. Under this scheme, the incentive of 10 per cent of the total volume of GI certified Handicrafts and Handloom products exported to any country, with a maximum reimbursement of up to Rs 5 crores, shall be provided to eligible exporters registered with the Department of Handicrafts and Handloom.

Indore's Central Jail gets its own FM radio channel 'Jail Vaani'

• In Madhya Pradesh, the Central Jail of Indore has started its own radio channel ‘Jail Vaani-FM 18.77’. Through this radio channel, the jail inmates will get to know about the happening in the world. The radio channel will also provide the jail inmates with information on health and social issues.

• The radio station will act as a medium for prisoners to tell their own stories and also to share their experiences. The aim is to inform jail inmates about what is happening across the world. Jails with such innovative measures adopted for the reform of prisoners will certainly act as correctional institutions.

Centre approves continuation of police modernisation scheme for 5 yrs with Rs 26,275 crore

• The Government has approved the continuation of the Scheme of Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF Scheme) for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26. Total Central financial outlay for five years is Rs. 26,275 crores. The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) since 1969-70.

• The objective of the scheme is to gradually reduce the dependence of the State Governments on the Army and the Central Armed Police Forces to control internal security and law and order situations by equipping the State Police Forces adequately and strengthening their training infrastructure.

• The focus of the scheme is to build cutting edge level police infrastructure by the construction of secure police stations, training centres, police housing (residential), equipping the police stations with the required mobility, modern weaponry, communication equipment and forensic set-up etc.

17th Mumbai International Film Festival to be held from May 29-June 5

• The 17th edition of the Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short Fiction and Animation films (MIFF-2022) is scheduled to take place from 29 May to 4 June, 2022 at the Films Division complex, Mumbai. Those films which were completed between September 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021, are eligible. The best documentary of the festival will receive a Golden Conch and 10 lakh in a cash award. As India is celebrating Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the current edition has instituted a special award for the best short film on the theme India@75.

• The programme is organized by the Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since 1990, with support from the Government of Maharashtra, and focuses on documentary, short fiction and animation films. It is the oldest and largest festival for non-feature films in South Asia.

APPOINTMEN & RESIGNATION

ICAI elects CA Debashis Mitra as President and CA Aniket Sunil Talati as Vice-President

• Debashis Mitra has been elected as the President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the year 2022-23. Mitra, who is serving his third term in ICAI Council, has been in the accounting profession for more than 34 years. Apart from being a Chartered Accountant, he is also a Cost Accountant and a Company Secretary. He holds a master’s degree in commerce and is also a law graduate as well as a qualified Information Systems Auditor.

• Aniket Sunil Talati has been elected as Vice President of the institute, which has more than 3.40 lakh members and over 7 lakh students.

• Talati, who has a master’s degree in commerce, served as Chairman of Ahmedabad Branch of ICAI for the year 2014-15 and as Secretary, WIRC for the year 2017-18.

Tata Group appoints former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci as new Air India MD and CEO

• Ilker Ayci has been appointed as the new CEO and MD of Air India. He will assume his responsibilities on or before 1st April 2022. Ilker Ayci is a former chairman of Turkish Airlines. Ilker is an aviation industry leader who led Turkish Airlines to its current success during his tenure there.

• Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. After graduating from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University, he served as a researcher in the Department of Political Sciences at Leeds University in the U.K.

• Starting his career in 1994, he was assigned several positions in Kurtsan Ilaclar A.S., Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Universal Dis Ticaret A.S., respectively, and then he served as a general manager in Basak Sigorta A.S. between 2005-2006, and then in Gunes Sigorta A.S. between 2006 and 2011.

BOOKS & AUTHOR

Book ‘How to Prevent the Next Pandemic’ authored by Bill Gates

• A book titled ‘How to Prevent the Next Pandemic’ has authored by Bill Gates will be published this year in May 2022. In the book Bill Gates has written about specific steps that can only stop future pandemics but, in the process, provide better health care for everyone around the world.

• His last book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need”, was released in February 2021. The book, to be published by Penguin Random House internationally and Knopf in the US.

BANKING AND ECONOMIC

ABG Shipyard, its directors booked by CBI in Rs 22,842-cr bank fraud case

• Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked ABG Shipyard for an alleged Rs 22,842-crore financial fraud. ABG Shipyard is the flagship entity of ABG Group. It has cheated a consortium of 28 banks and financial institutions of Rs. 22,842 crore. This is the biggest bank fraud case ever registered by the CBI. The case pertained to funds gotten and misused during the 2012-17 period. Rishi Agarwal, the then CMD of ABG Shipyard has been named in the FIR.

• This consortium was led by ICICI Bank. Of this, ABG Shipyard owes Rs. 7,089 crore to ICICI Bank, Rs. 3,639 crores to IDBI Bank, Rs. 2,925 crores to State Bank, Rs. 1,614 crores to Bank of Baroda, and Rs. 1,244 crore to Punjab National Bank, among others. The Funds given by these banks were used by the executives of ABG Shipyard for purposes other than for which they were given and they were engaged in diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust. The same has been revealed in a report submitted by M/s. Ernst & Young LP.

RBL Bank partners with Creditas Solutions to automate collections

• RBL Bank has partnered with Creditas Solutions for its ‘Neo Collections’ platform. The bank will utilise the SaaS-based platform to accelerate efficiency in collections across the loan cycle. The platform is built to automate strategies for reaching out to customers individually in an empathetic manner and motivate them to repay loans.

• The platform can also determine the best course of action for every customer by offering customised payment plans to service debt, schedule an EMI plan or opt for payment resolution options. The Neo Collections Platform, a Do It Yourself (DIY) debt management platform, will help our customers seamlessly monitor, manage and pay their dues.

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