1. India tops the list of major milk producing countries
(i) As per recent data, India has topped the list of major milk-producing countries in the world, recorded a milk production figure of 146.31 million tonnes in 2014-15 as compared to 137.7 million tonnes a year ago.
(ii) However, Union Minister of Agriculture Radha Mohan Singh has pointed that though India has recorded considerable increase in milk production in 2014-15 as compared to 2013-14 (up by nearly 6.3% as compared to global average of 2.2% increase during the year), the milk productivity (production per animal) in the country was far less vis-à-vis developed dairy nations.
(iii) India is followed by USA, China, Pakistan and Brazil.
2. Former Nepal PM Sushil Koirala passes away
(i) Recently, former Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala passed away, aged 78, at his residence in Maharajgunj on the outskirt of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
(ii) Koirala had been instrumental is promulgating Nepal’s new constitution in September 2015.
(iii) He was the president of country’s largest political party the Nepali Congress and had been the nation’s Prime Minister from February 2014 to October 2015.
3. Thailand kicks-off largest multilateral military exercise in Asia-Pacific
(i) Cobra Gold 2016, which is the largest multilateral exercise in Asia-Pacific kicked off at the Royal Thai Marine corps headquarter in Chonburi, east of Bangkok, Thailand.
(ii) Around 8,500 soldiers from seven nations- Thailand, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia- are set to take part in several activities throughout the 11-day exercise.
(iii)Though Thailand and the US had co-hosted the drill for 35 years, this year the US maintained a scaled down presence due to a 2014 coup in Bangkok.
4. US, India considering joint naval patrols in South China Sea
(i) As per recent devlopments the United States and India held discussions about carrying out joint naval patrols in the disputed South China Sea.
(ii) The countries are hopeful of launching the joint exercise within a year. The US aims to take a more united stand by cooperating with its allies and other Asian nations on the issue as tensions have increased after Beijing constructed seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago.
(iii) Though India and the US have strengthened their military ties, India has never carried out joint patrols with another country.
5. Obama unveils new cyber security national action plan
(i) Recently, US President Barack Obama unveiled new cyber security national action plan in order to change old government networks and institute a high-level commission to improve security awareness.
(ii) This announcement comes after several incidents of data breaches and cyber attacks on government and private networks in the US over the past few years and the passage of a cyber-security bill aimed at facilitating better threat-sharing.
(iii) As per reports, President Obama has asked for $19 billion for cyber-security efforts in his budget request, a 35% increase from present levels.
6. India to export 120 LBH railway coaches to Bangladesh
(i) In its biggest consignment so far, India Railways will export 120 modern Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches to Bangladesh at an estimated cost of Rs.367 crore by March 2016.
(ii) The first consignment of 40 sets will be shipped in March and eventually the rest. The manufacturing of these stainless steel LHB broad gauge coaches for Bangladesh Railways is ongoing at the Rail Coach Factory (RCF) in Kapurthala.
(iii) The export order of 120 LHB coaches includes 17 AC first class, 17 AC chair car, 34 non-AC chair car with pantry, 33 Non-AC chair car with prayer room and 19 power car coaches.
7. Maharashtra set to be India’s first silicon chip-manufacturing hub
(i) In a first, Maharashtra is set to become India’s first silicon chip-manufacturing hub and the fourth country in the world after China, South Korea, and Japan to try its hand in the development of touchscreen technology.
(ii) Recently, the state cabinet also announced a new policy to bring silicon chip-manufacturing firms to set up shop in Maharashtra, offering subsidised land, tax incentives, etc.
(iii) The government will thus likely sign an MoU with major electronic chip makers in the industry during the Make In India Week starting February 13, 2016.
8. Karnataka first state to record winter crop failure this year
(i) Karnataka became the first state to record failure of winter yield this year.
(ii) The state has requested for Central financial aid of Rs.1,417 crore after rabi crops worth Rs.7,209 crore were ruined. Crops in more than 70% of the sown area have been lost.
(iii) This year India has been through an unusually dry and warm winter that has not only affected sowing across the nation but has also increased fears of crop failure in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
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