Current Affairs Current Affairs : Febraury 18, 2010

Places in News:
Where is Goddess Shri Maduraialaiamman Temple?
Goddess Shri Maduraialaiamman Temple is in Tiruchirapalli. On 18 February 2010, hundreds of devotees from different parts of Tamil Nadu participated in the ‘Mahakumbhabhishekam’ (consecration) of Goddess Shri Maduraialaiamman Temple.

Persons in News:
What is Mahesh Rangarajan committee related to?
Mahesh Rangarajan led 11-member Committee will submit its report about the disturbances in elephant corridors before May 2010. After this report is submitted, the central government will prepare the “elephant protection plan” to save wild elephants.

National Updates:
What is Environment Board for Western Ghats?
On February 18, 2010, Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh announces creation of an Environment Board with five experts in the field as its members. Union Government will allocate Rs 120 crore to the Board to protect the Western Ghats. The board members and experts will visit all the 51 districts which come under the Western Ghats areas and submit a report on the measures to be taken by the government.

How much money have been granted to state government medical colleges to strengthen and upgrade them?
On February 18, 2010, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a one-time grant of Rs 1350 crore to state government medical colleges to strengthen and upgrade them, start new post graduate disciplines and increasing PG seats by 5000 in 148 medical colleges.This was a proposal of health Ministry and would result in strengthening the existing public health delivery system in the form of 5000 5000 additional seats in PG courses in 148 state government medical colleges in pre and para clinical disciplines like Anatomy, Microbiology, Physiology, Pharmacology, Bio-Chemistry, Forensic Medicine, Community Medicine and certain clinical disciplines like Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Anaesthesiology, General Medicine and General Surgery.

This grant is under a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme with funding pattern of 75 per cent by Central government and 25 per cent by state governments for starting new Post Graduate disciplines and increasing seats.

How much money was approved for Computerization of Commercial Taxes administrations of State Governments?
On February 18, 2010 Union Cabinet approved a Mission Mode Project with an overall cost of Rs 1133 crore for computerization of Commercial Taxes administrations of State Governments. This project will help States develop and upgrade the IT systems in their commercial taxes administrations. The focus is two pronged: On the one hand is to provide improved set of services to the dealers and on the other, to improve the efficiency of the commercial taxes administrations of the State Governments.

Note: The Commercial Taxes are the largest revenue sources for the States, often constituting up to two-thirds of a State’s own revenue.

What is UNAIDS called related to 6th Millennium Development Goal?
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, or UNAIDS, is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the HIV epidemic. The mission of UNAIDS is to lead, strengthen and support an expanded response to HIV and AIDS that includes preventing transmission of HIV, providing care and support to those already living with the virus, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communities to HIV and alleviating the impact of the epidemic. UNAIDS seeks to prevent the HIV/AIDS epidemic from becoming a severe pandemic.

on 18th February 2010, UNAIDS called for an international effort to renew commitment for countries to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

The call was made ahead of the UN high-level meeting on Millennium Development Goals and asked all countries to review progress and barriers for achieving national targets for universal access. Please note that Millennium Development Goal 6 is “Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS”

What are Smart Choice cafes?
Smart Choice are cafe outlets of PepsiCo and the company launched the first such cafe in Chennai recently to promote its key category — the health segment — which was marketed under the name Snack Smart. The company wants to launch one such outlet in Delhi and 4 more in other 4 cities in 2010. At Chennai, PepsiCo has partnered with the Centre for Nutrition Counseling, Research and Extension Activities at Women’s Christian College, Chennai, for this project.

Which company signed MOU with IRRI on drip irrigation research?
On February 18, 2010, Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd signed an MOU with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for jointly conducting research to investigate drip irrigation in rice paddies to determine if and how it can improve water-use efficiency and maintain yields. Jain irrigation is world’s largest micro-irrigation manufacturer and this is for the first time that IRRI is experimenting with drip irrigation, that can reduce water use and increase yield, for paddy cultivation in India.

What is IRRI?
IRRI, a non-profit independent organization, is a global leader in rice science with offices in 15 countries across Asia and Africa, including its headquarters in the Philippines.

What is Aircell Nokia Siemens Deal?
Aircel which is the Indian subsidiary of Malaysia’s Maxis Group signs a deal worth 300 million dollars with telecom network equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks to roll out GSM services in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan in April 2010.

What is
Australian High Commissioner to India, Peter Verghese, launches a new networking website for Indian alumni and students Australia. It is an attempt to revive the sagging image of Australia in Indian students.

What is nutrient based subsidy policy?
On February 18, 2010 India’s Union Cabinet approved the implementation of the Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Policy on decontrolled Phosphatic and Potassic fertilizer with effect from April 1, 2010. Under this policy the subsidy will be based upon the nutrients in the Fertilizer viz. Nitrogen, Potash, Phsphorus and sulphur content in 2010-11. In addition to the fixed subsidy on these nutrients, there will be an additional per tonne subsidy for subsidized fertilizer carrying other secondary nutrients and micro nutrients in formulations approved under FCO 1985.

The NBS regime is expected to promote balanced fertilization and consequently increase agriculture productivity in the country through higher usage of secondary and micro nutrients. Ms Soni said it is also expected that new innovative fertilizer products would be developed subsequently under the NBS regime to meet the different requirements of Indian agriculture. The NBS regime is expected to depict the actual demand of fertilizers in the country and promote realistic pricing of fertilizer products in the international market. Unshackling of fertilizer industry is also expected to attract fresh investments in this sector.

Urea, which has the maximum tonnage consumed nitrogenous fertilizers in the country, will continue to be under the current MRP regime, but cabinet has decided to increase the maximum retail price of urea from Rs 4830 per tonne to Rs 5310 per tonne with effect from April 1, 2010, which is about ten per cent.

India World
India – Latvia Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
On 18th Feb. 2010, India and Latvia signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA) for a period of ten years. This agreement is aimed at enhancing bilateral investment and technology flows between the two countries by creating favorable conditions for investors.

India number 1 Gold Consumer
new datas from World Gold Council says that India retains the numero uno postion in Gold Consumption.

Which Indian Companies are investing in a China Pipeline to Myanmar?
China National Petroleum Corporation is building the USD 2.01-billion pipeline to ship gas from blocks A-1 and A-3, where OVL and GAIL India hold 17 per cent and 8.5 per cent stakes respectively, to China. On February 18, 2010, Government of India permits Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and GAIL to pick 12.5 per cent stake in a pipeline that China is building in Myanmar, and allowed them to invest $1 billion more in fields that will provide gas to be shipped to China through the pipeline.

World’s 20 best companies for leadership: Infosys among them
Annual study by Hay Group & Bloomberg has named Infosys among the world’s 20 best companies for leadership, evident from its continued focus on employee development even during the global slowdown. The list has been topped by General Electric, followed by Southwest Airlines.

Which one is world’s cheapest mobile?
Vodafone 150 is being dubbed as world’s cheapest mobile handset. Vodafone unveiled the phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona recently and it was sold for $15.

What is 3GSM World Congress?
3GSM World Congress or GSMA GSM Association Mobile World Congress is the combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a congress featuring prominent Chief Executives representing mobile operators, vendors and content owners from across the world. The event, initially named as GSM World Congress and later renamed as the 3GSM World Congress, is still often referred to as the GSM World Congress or simply the 3GSM.

It takes place at Barcelona, Spain.

Mobile World Congress 2010 was held on February 15th, 2010. One of the biggest news stories that came out of the event was the announcement of Microsoft’s new revamped mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7 Series.

India Visit of Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav
Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav visited India from October 15 to 18. This was his first visit after assuming the office of the Nepal’s President. He met President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh & exchanged views and held discussions on issues of mutual interest and concern. Both sides expressed their satisfaction at the progress in implementation of decisions taken during the visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to India in August 2009.

  1. To facilitate economic and infrastructure development in Nepal, Man Mohan Singh announced extension of a new concessional Line of Credit for US 250 million dollars.
  2. India would supply 50,000 metric tonnes of wheat, 25,000 metric tonnes of rice and 10,000 metric tonnes of yellow peas dal to Nepal, in response to Nepal’s request for supply of food items.
  3. Prime Minister also conveyed India’s readiness to supply 200,000 metric tonnes of wheat, if required by Nepal.

Agreements Signed:

  1. Air Services Agreement (ASA)
  2. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for extension of railway lines to five cross-border points along the Indo-Nepal border,
  3. MOU on the establishment of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Polytechnic at Hetauda
  4. MOU on the establishment of Nepal-Bharat Maitri Sabha Griha in Birgunj.

Obituary: Amlan Datta
Amlan Dutta was a renowned economist, who died in Kolkata. He is known to reopresent India at United Nations Social Development Commission in 1979. His first book titled for democracy was published in 1953. He received many awards including Vidyasagar Award, Desikottam Award and Ananda Puraskar.

Nirmal Pandey
At the age of just 41 years, Nirmal pandey who is best known for his role of Vikram Mallah in Shekhar Kapur’s ”Bandit Queen,” dies at Mumbai of a heart attack.

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    March 12, 2010 at 10:06 am

    sir its a kind request that u should provide daily updated day by day news instead of 15 days back news .i also want to draw your attention towards the providing of previous months gk material likewise the current february one..
    hoping for the actions

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