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Important Current Affairs 16th February 2017 with PDF

Gk and Current Affairs 16th February 2017

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We bring you the Latest  (Gk)General Knowledge, Daily Current Affairs news, Events, General awareness Today  16th February 2017 Section in FREE PDF (English & Hindi), a section which outlines the latest important news, Events headlines which are hardly covered elsewhere.


INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

India and 5 Others Attend Meet on Afghanistan in Russia


India along with six other nations participated in a meet held in Moscow on 15 February 2017. The conference was conducted to discuss Afghanistan’s future.


●    In a similar conference held two months earlier, Russia had invited only China and Pakistan, a move that was objected by both India and Afghanistan. 
●    India especially objected its exclusion from the previous conference on Afghanistan, as it has always believed in a close and constructive cooperation for peace and stability in the region.
●    Moscow agreed to expand its circle and hold a six-nation conference including Russia, China, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran. 
●    The one-day conclave was led by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov. 
●    While Gopal Baglay represented India at the meet, Pakistan was represented by Mansoor Ali Khan.
●    India has always shared a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship with Russia and before that with the Soviet Union.


AWARDS


Kayakalp Awards Felicitate Public Health Facilities


Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare felicitated Kayakalp awards (2016-17) for work in maintaining high standards of sanitation and hygiene in public health facilities. 

●    Referring to the ICT based application ‘Mera Aspataal (My Hospital)’ that captures patients’ feedback about their experience in the health facilities on the services that they received or sought to receive, Shri Nadda said that the Ministry is seeking the feedback of people digitally to improve the quality of services at the health centres.
●    The Health Minister also informed that to complement and leverage the efforts and achievements made so far, MOHFW have launched a joint initiative with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation- Swachh Swasth Sarvatra. 
●    Under this initiative Community Health Centres (CHCs) in Open Defecation Free (ODF) blocks will be supported to achieve Kayakalp 
certification and Gram Panchayat of Kayakalp Primary Health Centres (PHCs) will be prioritized to become ODF. 
●    The Kayakalp scheme launched in 2015 covered 10 Central Government Institutions and District Hospitals in the year of launch. 
●    This year the scheme expanded coverage to 16 Central Government institutions including 6 new AIIMSs and all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). 

NATIONAL NEWS


TAMRA Portal and Mobile Application to ensure Transparent Award of Statutory Clearances for Mining Operations Launched


With an objective to enhance transparency and accountability as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector, Union Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Shri Piyush Goyal launched TAMRA portal and Mobile Application on 10th February, 2017. 


●    Ministers of Mining and senior officers from 12 mineral rich States were also connected through video conferencing.
●    TAMRA will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timelines for statutory and other clearances as it would help minimize the gestation period for commencing production.
●    TAMRA covers block-wise, state-wise and mineral-wise information of the blocks to be auctioned, monitors various statutory clearances, and also highlights the additional resources generated through e-Auction. 
●    In case of delay in obtaining any clearances, TAMRA will send triggers to the concerned authority so that the remedial steps can be taken immediately by those responsible. 
●    The Ministry of Mines will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA and will facilitate in expediting clearances.

NATIONAL NEWS

 Cabinet Approves Establishment of FLRP at Amlaha by ICARDA 


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha, Sehore, Madhya Pradesh with Satellite Hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan by ICARDA in the second phase.

●    The establishment of FLRP in India will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges. 
●    India would be able to rapidly and effectively absorb the research output achieved in the country by FLRP. 
●    A major international R&D institution will make India an even bigger center for agricultural research in the world and this in turn, will attract further research & development investment in the country.  
●    This is a research set up by an international organization. ICARDA has a good track record of innovation, as in climate resilient technologies including suitable food legume varieties for dry-land production systems. 
●    ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock. 
●    This platform will contribute significantly towards reducing poverty, improving food security, improving nutrition and health, and sustaining the natural resource base.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS


Cabinet Approves Air Services Agreement Between India and Rwanda

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India and Rwanda. 

●    The Agreement has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchange between India and Rwanda, bringing it in tune with developments in the civil aviation sector.  
●    It will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security.
●    Rwanda is a sovereign State in the East African Region. It is also one of the smallest countries on the African mainland.
●    Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
●    India-Rwanda relations are marked by cordiality, convergence of views and cooperation on major international issues.

NATIONAL NEWS


Cabinet Approves Bill to Bring J&K under Statistics Act, 2008


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal to introduce a Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir on statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in the List-I (Union List) and the List- III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, as applicable to Jammu & Kashmir under the Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954. 
●    The Amendment will strengthen data collection mechanism in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
●    The Amendment will Provide for extending the jurisdiction of the Act to Jammu & Kashmir State in respect of matters not reserved for the State as per the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order 1954;
●    The Amendment will Provide for appointing a nodal officer at the Centre and in each State/Union Territory to effectively coordinate data collection activities and provide consultation to Government Departments for avoiding unnecessary duplication, etc.
●    The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects etc. 
●    The Act extends to the whole of India, except Jammu & Kashmir.

NATIONAL NEWS


Cabinet Approves Acquisition of Subsidiary Banks of SBI


The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the acquisition by the State Bank of India of its subsidiary banks namely State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore. 


●    The Cabinet also approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the State Bank of India (Subsidiary Banks) Act, 1959 and the State Bank of Hyderabad Act, 1956.
●    The merger is likely to result in recurring savings, estimated at more than Rs. 1,000 crore in the first year, through a combination of enhanced operational efficiency and reduced cost of funds.  
●    Existing customers of subsidiary banks will benefit from access to SBI’s global network.  
●    The merger will also lead to better management of high value credit exposures through focused monitoring and control over cash flows instead of separate monitoring by six different banks.
●    The acquisition under Section 35 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955 will result in the creation of a stronger merged entity.  
●    This will minimize vulnerability to any geographic concentration risks faced by subsidiary banks.  
●    It will create improved operational efficiency and economies of scale.  It will also result in improved risk management and unified treasury operations.


NATIONAL NEWS


CCEA Approves Awards for 44 Small Oil and Gas Fields


Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval to award contract in 31 contract areas (44 fields - 28 onland and 16 offshore) of discovered small fields of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL).  


●    These areas were discovered long back but these discoveries could not be monetized due to various reasons such as isolated locations, small size of reserves, high development costs, technological constraints, fiscal regime etc. 
●    For early monetization of these fields, in September, 2015, Cabinet approved 69 marginal fields for offer under Discovered Small Fields Policy.  
●    Out of these, 67 Discovered Small Fields were clubbed into 46 contract areas and put on offer through online international competitive bidding.  
●    A total of 134 e-bids were received for 34 contract areas. 
●    A total of 47 companies submitted their bid, out of which 43 are Indian Companies and rest 04 are foreign companies.


On This Day

On February 16, 1659 the 1st known cheque (£400) was dated. It is now on display at the Westminster Abbey in London. By the 17th century, bills of exchange were being used for domestic payments in England. Cheques, a type of bill of exchange, then began to evolve. Initially they were called drawn notes, because they enabled a customer to draw on the funds that he or she had in the account with a bank and required immediate payment. These were handwritten, and one of the earliest known still to be in existence was drawn on Messrs Morris and Clayton, scriveners and bankers based in the City of London, and dated 16 February 1659.

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