1. India to host first ever Global Maritime Summit
(i) PM Narendra Modi announced that India will be hosting the first-ever Global Maritime Summit in April 2016 in an attempt to foster cooperation between the Navies and maritime agencies of the world and prevent sea-borne terror.
(ii) He emphasised that India would use seas not only to build peace, friendship and trust, but also to curb conflict.
2. Pakistan launches $500 million worth projects for Afghanistan
(i) Recently, Pakistan’s Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal announced that the nation has launched projects worth Rs.500 million to improve education, health and infrastructural development in Afghanistan.
(ii) He added that 3,000 scholarships had been offered to Afghan students across universities in Pakistan.
(iii) He said that Pakistan aims to establish friendly ties with all its neighbours, including Afghanistan, which will be achieved by focussing on the social and economic dimensions of the friendship.
3. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry names Adele best-selling artist
(i) The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry named Adele as the best-selling artist of 2015 based on worldwide sales of recordings.
(ii) The British ballad singer recently broke records with her song “Hello”. Her latest album “25”, which came over four years after its predecessor, broke records for first-week sales in the United States and Britain. She was followed by another British artiste Ed Sheeran and US pop sensation Taylor Swift.
(iii) IFPI presents its annual award based on an artist’s physical and digital sales as well as streaming, although the group does not release figures.
4. Eight scientists win UNESCO Medals
(i) The UNESCO Medals were presented to eight scientists from across the world for their contribution to the development of nanoscience and nanotechnologies recently.
(ii) The recipients include Professor Isamu Akasaki – Japan, Professor Lei Jiang – China, Professor Philippe Pernod – France, Professor Nicholas Kotov – US, Academician Gennady Krasnikov – Russia, Professor Igor Ashurbeyli – Russia, Dr Mikhail Dubina – Russia and Dr Natalya Mikhaylova – Russia.
(iii) The Medal was instituted in 2010 by the International Commission responsible for developing the Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies theme for the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Since then, 24 Medals have been conferred on prominent scientists, institutions and public figures.
5. Maharashtra to get India’s first International Arbitration Centre
(i) Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis declared that India’s first International Arbitration Centre is set to come up in Mumbai along the lines of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
(ii) The centre will offer a variety of arbitrary services to the business community across the world.
(iii) It is a significant development for India’s financial hub as the government is already preparing to establish International Finance Services Centre in Mumbai.
6. Piruz Khambatta named ambassador of Make in India initiative
(i) Ahead of the Make in India week, Rasna’s chairman Piruz Khambatta was recently named the ambassador of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
(ii) The company said, “We will ensure complete indigenous purchase and utilisation of raw and packaging material. We will support Indian SMEs by enhancing our purchase from SMEs from the current 50% to over 70% going forward.”
(iii) The company will also support entrepreneurs who wish to develop with turnkey plant to manufacture food products which would be marketed under Rasna on contract manufacturing basis. It will also promote start-ups as part of the Make in India initiative.
7. Karnataka’s mobile-one governance project wins gold at the m-governance awards
(i) In the fourth World Government Summit in Dubai, Karnataka’s flagship mobile-one governance project won gold at the m-governance awards.
(ii) This was the first time the award was instituted at the Summit and it was bagged by India. The award came head of visit by Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi & Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE’s Armed Forces.
(iii) Launched in December 2014 by President Pranab Mukherjee, the Karnataka Mobile-One app brings over 4000 services, including government and private ones, on an integrated platform that can be accessed as an app on smartphones, a web portal or through SMS and IVRS.
8. Sagarmala Initiative launched to augment infrastructure in coastal areas
(i) Recently, the government announced that it has identified 150 critical projects in 13 states along the 7,500 km coastline of India, which will boost infrastructure development in coastal areas under the ambitious Sagarmala Project.
(ii) The Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “We have reviewed the National Perspective Plan (NPP) of Sagarmala and have identified over 150 critical infrastructure projects.”
(iii) He added that about Rs 70,000 crore have been lined-up for various projects under Sagarmala. The aim of the project is to promote direct and indirect development around port areas to provide infrastructure that will help transportation of goods, services from ports in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
9. Noted Urdu poet Nida Fazli passes away
(i) Recently, noted Urdu poet and Bollywood lyricist Nida Fazli passed away, aged 78.
(ii) His death coincided with late Ghazal singer Jagjit Singh’s birthday, with whom Fazli collaborated to sing ghazals. He is also remembered for many film songs, especially from films like Ahista Ahista and Sarfarosh.
(iii) His poetry was about simple, easy-to-grasp philosophy. It had an unsophisticated, Sufi touch even while dealing with profound thoughts.
10. RBI signs Currency Swap Pact with UAE
(i) The Reserve Bank of India entered into a Currency Swap Agreement with the UAE in order to bolster economic ties with the Gulf nation.
(ii) India is UAE’s top trading partner, while the UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner, after US and China.
(iii) The MoU) was signed between RBI chief Raghuram Rajan and UAE’s Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansoori.
11. Noted Malayalam poet O N V Kurup passes away
(i) Recently, noted Malayalam poet, lyricist and public figure ONV Kurup passed away at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
(ii) Kurup, 84, was a prominent part of Kerala’s cultural landscape for nearly seven decades.
(iii) As a poet and public figure, he was associated with the Left throughout his life. He also contested as the Left Front candidate from the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency in 1989. However, he failed to win the seat.
(iv) He was honoured with the Padma Sri in 1998 and with the Padma Vibhushan in 2011. The Jnanpith was conferred on him in 2007.
12. Asif Kapadia’s Amy wins BAFTA for Best Documentary
(i) The acclaimed documentary “Amy”, which is based on the life of late singer Amy Winehouse, bagged the prize for Best Documentary at the 2016 BAFTA.
(ii) Directed by Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, the film attempts to tell the truth about the troubled singer, who died in 2011 at the age of 27.
(iii) This is Kapadia’s third trophy at the British Film Awards. He previously won the award for sports documentary “Senna” in 2012 and Irrfan Khan-starrer, “The Warrior” in 2003.
13. February 11 to be observed as International Day of Women and Girls in Science
(i) The UN General Assembly designated February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in order attain complete and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.
(ii) The aim is also to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. In the first observance of the day, a High-Level Forum was held at the United Nations Headquarters by The Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) and DESA-DSPD.
(iii)As per the latest UNESCO Science Report, women account for a mere 28% of researchers across the world, with the gap widening at the higher levels of decision-making.
(iv) They also have less access to funds, networks, senior positions, which further disadvantages them in high-impact science publishing.
14. February 13 observed as World Radio Day
(i) February 13 is annually observed as the World Radio Day. This year’s theme was Youth and Radio, aimed at increasing the participation of young people on radio.
(ii) On this occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his greetings to the country and said, “Radio is a beautiful means of communication that has touched several lives through the years.”
(iii) In 2011, the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 13 February as World Radio Day, which is observed to remember the power of radio as a medium of communication not just for dissemination of information or news but giving voice to people across the world.
15. Mirza, Hingis win St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy
(i) In the recently held St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis bagged their 13th women’s double titles, thereby registering their 40th win.
(ii) The Indo-Swiss pair defeated Russian-Czech pair of Vera Dushevina and Barbora Krejcikova 6-3, 6-1 in the finals that lasted for an hour.
(iii) The pair has been on a winning streak except for the loss at the French Open quarter-finals, and have so far won 42 of the 45 matches, clinching titles like the Wimbledon, the US Open, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Beijing, the WTA Finals in Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney, among others.
16. Kavita Raut clinches gold in the women’s marathon event
(i) Recently, India’s long-distance runner Kavita Raut clinched a gold in the women’s marathon event at the 12th South Asian Games.
(ii) Raut, a 30-year-old, clinched the gold in 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds, becoming the fourth Indian woman to have qualified for Rio Games.
(iii) Sri Lankans N G Rajasekara (2:50:47.00) and B Anuradhi (2:52:15.00) took home the silver and bronze medals respectively.
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