1. Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali passes away

  1. Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recently passed away in Cairo, Egypt, at the age of 93.
  2. He was the first UN chief from Africa and strived to forge peace deals between Israel and Egypt. He served as the UN chief from January 1992 to December 1996, a period marked by crises across the world, including the break-up of Yugoslavia, the Rwandan Genocide, etc.
  3. He was the only Secretary General to be deprived of a second term due to opposition from then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and President Bill Clinton as he was constantly in loggerheads with the US.
  4. Boutros-Ghali He studied in Cairo and Paris, specialising in international law. He also served as the former Vice Foreign Minister of Egypt.

2. ICC, Unicef launch Team Swachh clinics

  1. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the BCCI have launched Team Swachh clinics during the ICC WT20 Host City Tour. The five-year global partnership between ICC and UNICEF was announced in October 2015.
  2. The campaign aims to carry out a social movement for sanitation and toilet-use in India to rid the practice of open defecation.
  3. Dharamshala was the venue for the campaign’s launch after post which the ICC World T20 Host City Tour will visit each of the venues that will host matches of the showpiece event.
  4. The World T20 will be held in India from March 15 to April 3 at Dharamsala, Mohali, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Nagpur and Bengaluru.

3. IRCTC to tie-up with mRUPEE to enable easy payment

  1. IRCTC will tie-up with mRupee for a one-tap payment solution for rail ticket bookings. mRupee is a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices and allows easy bookings through its wallet.
  2. IRCTC handles catering, tourism and online ticketing operations of the Indian Railways. Indian Railways carries more than 23 million passengers a day and the IRCTC portal sees approximately 4.5 to 5 lakh bookings daily.

4. President Pranab Mukherjee confers Infosys Prize 2015

  1. President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Infosys Prize 2015 on eminent researchers across six categories.
  2. The six awardees are: Prof Umesh Waghmare – Engineering and Computer Science, Prof Jonardon Ganeri – Humanities, Dr Amit Sharma – Life Sciences, Prof Mahan Mj – Mathematical Sciences, Prof G Ravindra Kumar – Physical Sciences and Dr Srinath Raghavan – Social Sciences.
  3. The prize consists of a cash reward of Rs.65 lakh, a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate. The prize was instituted in 2009 and is awarded by the Infosys Science Foundation, a not-for-profit trust.

5. Lodha Group’s vice-president Santosh Kumar joins CloverMark

  1. NVS Santosh Kumar has quit as the vice-president (sales) of Lodha Group and has joined integrated sales and marketing firm CloverMark as chief sales officer.
  2. With over 25 years of diverse experience, Kumar has worked in companies including ITC Group and PlanetM Retail.
  3. CloverMark is a brand of Four Clover Realty and is more focused on the real estate sector. It works closely with homebuyers and builders to provide end-to-end solutions.
  4. In late 2015, chief financial officer Anurag Singhvi and chief marketing officer R Karthik also quit their positions in Lodha Group, which is one of India’s largest realty firms.

6. Haryana to collaborate on technology, development with S Korean state

  1. South Korean state of Chungcheongbuk and Haryana have agreed to forge a sister-statehood relationship for technology and overall development.
  2. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has invited South Korean businesses and investors to the Happening Haryana Global Investors Summit-2016, which will be held in Gurgaon from March 7-8, 2016.

7. Boeing wins $1.3 billion buy commitment from China’s Okay Airways

  1. Boeing has won a commitment from China’s Okay Airways to buy 12 aircraft for $1.3 billion.
  2. Founded in 2004, Okay Airways is China’s first privately-owned airline.
  3. It has committed to buy eight 737 MAX 8s, three 737 MAX 9s and one next generation 737-900 extended range version, which are all narrow-bodied aircraft.
  4. The Chinese carrier also has the option to order another eight 737 MAX 8s. It aims to have 80 aircraft by 2020, with 30% of the fleet expected to be wider aircraft.

8. Etihad Airways registers record passenger figures in India

  1. Gulf carrier Etihad Airways along with partner Jet Airways has carried a record 3.3 million people between Abu Dhabi and India in 2015, recording a 63% rise in passenger traffic. This is a steep increase from the 2 million flown during the previous 1 year.
  2. James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer reported that Etihad and Jet Airways together offer over 44,000 seats each week between Abu Dhabi and India. Before its deal with Jet, Etihad Airways carried only 2% of the international traffic to and from India.
  3. The combined networks of the two airlines offer over 250 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 15 cities across India.
  4. As per reports, by 2020, domestic and international passenger traffic through Indian airports is likely to double to 450 million.The UN World Tourism Organisation predicts more than 50 million Indians travelling overseas annually by 2020.

9. Iran invites Indian investment in projects worth $8 billion

  1. Iran has invited India to invest in infrastructure projects worth $8 billion as the nation is no longer thwarted by sanctions imposed by the West. Iran has also offered a stake in the expansion of the second phase of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport.
  2. An Iranian delegation visited India recently to invest in infrastructure projects across sectors like railways, ports, bridges, rail electrification, etc.
  3. The two countries are currently negotiating India’s participation in the 600-km rail network between Chabahar port and Zahedan, which will connect India with the Iranian rail network.
  4. The oil and gas sector is another significant area of cooperation as before sanctions were imposed on Iran it was the second-largest supplier of crude oil to India.

10. Fashion designer Manish Arora conferred Knight of the Legion of Honour

  1. Fashion designer Manish Arora will be awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour), France’s highest civilian honour.
  2. The award is given for outstanding service, irrespective of the nationality of the recipients. It was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and the President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the Order of the Legion of Honour.
  3. This award comes in recognition of Arora’s creations and significant contribution to the world of fashion as well as his longstanding ties with France.
  4. In the past, Indians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amitabh Bachchan and J.R.D Tata have been recipients of the prestigious award.

11. Jauna Murmu, Ranjit Nayak chosen for TOP scheme

  1. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recently selected sprinter Jauna Murmu and archer Ranjit Nayak, who are from Odisha, for the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme. It was formulated by the Union Government for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.
  2. Framed under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), TOP aims to identify and support prospective medal winners for both editions of the Games.
  3. The scheme focuses on Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling, Shooting and Yachting. Chosen athletes will be given financial aid for an individualised training at sports institutes.

12. Taylor Swift bags her second Grammy for best album

  1. Recently, singer Taylor Swift bagged the Album of the Year award at the 58th annual Grammy Awards for her pop album “1989”. The 26-year-old singer became the first woman to win this honour twice at the Grammys, previously having received the award in 2010 for her album “Fearless”.
  2. Indian-origin filmmaker Asif Kapadia won the Best Music Film award for “Amy”, his documentary on late singer Amy Winehouse.
  3. English musician Mark Ronson won the Record of the Year award for his song “Uptown Funk”. Some of the artists who won awards at the Grammys this year are as follows:

Song of the Year: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Solo Performance: Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars

Best Rock Performance: Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

Best Rock Album: Drones – Muse

Best Rap Performance: Alright – Kendrick Lamar

13. National Capital Goods Policy unveiled

  1. Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete has released the National Capital Goods Policy.
  2. The policy aims to improve the export of Indian-made capital goods through a ‘Heavy Industry Export & Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA)’, enhance competitiveness of the capital goods sector by increasing budgetary allocation, etc.
  3. The policy aims to improve the export of Indian-made capital goods through a ‘Heavy Industry Export & Market Development Assistance Scheme (HIEMDA)’, enhance competitiveness of the capital goods sector by increasing budgetary allocation, etc.
  4. The objective is to expand production of capital goods from Rs.230,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.750,000 crore in 2025 and boosting direct and indirect employment to 30 million from the current 8.4 million.

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