1. Mumbai-based Robin Chaurasiya among 2016 Global Teacher’s Prize finalists
(i) Recently, Mumbai-based Robin Chaurasiya was named one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher’s Prize 2016, which is considered as the Nobel Prize for teaching. Chaurasiya is the founder of Kranti School for daughters of commercial sex workers of Kamathipura.
(ii) The finalists have been shortlisted from 8,000 nominations from 148 countries. The award that will be announced on March 13, carries a cash prize of $1 million.
(iii)The Prize, which carries a cash reward of 1 million, was instituted by the Varkey Foundation under the aegis of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.
2. India – Seychelles joint military exercise Lamitye 2016 begins
(i) The 7th joint military exercise between the Indian Army and Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF), called Lamitye 2016, recently began in Victoria, the capital of Seychelles.
(ii) The Indian force comprises an infantry platoon and representatives from the Special Forces, while the SPDF consists of 20 personnel from Tazar (Special Forces Unit) and 32 from Seychelles Infantry.
(iii) Both countries have been holding biennial joint military exercises since 2001 with the aim of improving military cooperation and interoperability. The term ‘Lamitye’ means friendship in Croele (local dialect in Seychelles).
3. SEBI constitutes committee to refund Rs.49,000 crore to PACL investors
(i) Following a Supreme Court order, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently instituted a committee under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha in order to dispose of the land purchased by PACL Ltd. and refund individuals who had invested in the company’s funds for purchase of the land.
(ii) S. Raman, a whole-time SEBI member, and Amit Pradhan, the chief general manager and regional director of SEBI’s North Regional Office, will be two of the members in the committee.
Note: Recently, SEBI had fined PACL and nine of its directors a total of Rs.23.32 crore for allegedly violating norms on collective investment schemes (CIS) and illegally mobilising Rs.49,100 crore from investors during 1996-2014.
4.Tamil Nadu to launch free buss pass scheme for senior citizens
(i) The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa announced a free bus pass scheme for senior citizens in Chennai recently.
(ii) Making a suo moto statement, the CM said that the scheme would come into effect from 24th February, which is also her 68th birthday.
(iii) The scheme can be availed by people above the age of 60 to travel in non-AC buses run by the state’s Metropolitan Transport Corporation in Chennai. Based on the response, the scheme will be extended to other parts of the state.
5. Alok Kumar Verma is Delhi’s new Police Commissioner
(i) Alok Kumar Verma was appointed as Delhi’s new Police Commissioner and will replace BS Bassi by March 1, 2016.
(ii) The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had sent a panel comprising names of three IPS officers to the Cabinet Committee on Appointments (CCA), which selected Verma, a 1979-batch officer and the most senior of the three.
6. Tata steel bags TIME’s ‘best in class for manufacturing award’
(i) At the recently held Make in India week, US-based publishing company TIME Inc. announced the winners of the inaugural TIME India Awards, which honours leaders for manufacturing excellence.
(ii) Following is the list of winners across the three categories:
* Best in class manufacturing award – Tata Steel
* Manufacturing innovator of the year award – Hero MotoCorp
* TIME India Young Maker of the Year – Yogesh and Rajesh Agrawal of Ajanta Pharma Limited.
7. Amazon launches Tatkal initiative for SMBs
(i) The e-commerce major announced the launch of ‘Amazon Tatkal’ that enables small and medium business (SMB) to go online and sell products on Amazon in real-time.
(ii) As per the company statement, “Tatkal is a specially designed studio-on-wheels offering a suite of launch services including registration, imaging and cataloguing services, as well as basic seller training mechanisms.”
(iii) Amazon Tatkal will visit seller-dense pockets across cities and engage with local businesses over the next several months.
8. Nike terminates deal with Manny Pacquiao due to his derogatory comments on homosexuals
(i) Recently, the sportswear brand ended its association with professional boxer Manny Pacquiao following his offensive comments against homosexuals. In a recent interview, the 37-year-old boxer described homosexuals as “worse than animals”.
(ii) In its statement the company said, “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.”
(iii) Pacquiao, who is running for the senate seat in his country Philippines, later apologised for his remarks.
9. Freedom 251 – world’s cheapest smartphone launched
(i) Indian handset manufacturing firm Ringing Bells recently launched Freedom 251, the world’s cheapest smartphone.
(ii) For just Rs.251 ($3.67; £2.56), the phone offers 8GB storage and front and rear cameras, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and Android 5.1 Lollipop OS, among other features.
(iii) Bookings for the phone opened on February 18 and will close on February 21. The company said, “The launch is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for “empowering India to the last person, transforming India’s growth story.”
10. India tops the medal charts at 12 SAG
(i) The 12 South Asian Games recently concluded and India topped the medal count with a total of 308 medals – 88 gold, 99 silver and 30 bronze. On the last day of the event, female Indian boxers- London Olympics bronze-medallist M.C. Mary Kom (51kg), former world champion L. Sarita Devi (60kg) and Asian Games bronze winner Pooja Rani (75kg) – bagged gold in their respective categories.
(ii) The judokas (a competitor in judo) bagged two gold and two silver medals. India dominated the games, followed by Sri Lanka in the second spot with a tally of 186 medals (25 silver, 63 silver and 98 bronze) and Pakistan ranking 3rd with a count of 106 medals (12 gold, 37 silver and 57 bronze).
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