1. Railway budget 2016-17 tabled in

(i) On February 25th,
the Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu tabled the Railway Budget, 2016-17 in
the Parliament. In his address Prabhu said, this Budget owes inspiration to the
vision of PM Narendra Modi — to make railways backbone of India’s progress
& economic development’.

(ii) There was no
hike in passenger rail fare announced in this budget. In addition with the view
to make the railway journeys more comfortable the Indian Railways announced to give
more facilities to the passengers, 65,000 additional berths will be provided in
the trains and 2500 water vending machines will be installed. The railways have
developed world’s first Bio-Vaccum toilet and 17,000 Bio-toilets will be
provided in the trains and re-development of stations under Public Private Partnership mode, too has
been proposed among other things.

(iii) It was also
proposed to introduce 1,780
Automatic Ticket Vending Machines all over the country with mobile apps and GoIndia smartcard for cashless purchase
of UTS and PRS tickets. The capacity of e-ticketing system will be enhanced from
2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute to support 1, 20,000 users
as against 40,000 earlier. 400 more stations will be provided with Wi Fi

 (iv) The core objective as mentioned by Prabhu
was to make Indian Railways the engine of employment generation, economic
growth at national level and improve the quality of services for each individual.

2. Economic Survey 2016-17 tabled ahead of annual

(i) On February 26, Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tabled the Economic Survey for the Financial Year
2016-17 in Parliament ahead of the annual budget. The economic survey includes
the analysis of economic condition in various sectors and reform programs in
the past 12 months, and also presents projections for 2016-17.

(ii) The economic
survey has projected the growth rate of Indian economy to be 7- 7.75% in the
current financial year while inflation will remain between 4.5 to 5%. In long
term the government has projected the growth momentum to reach 8% and above
provided economic reforms continue.

(iii) The survey called
for further momentum for economic reforms, subsidy cuts and fiscal
consolidation. Overall, survey presented an optimistic picture of Indian
economy stating that amidst the gloomy landscape of global slow down, India
stands as a haven of stability and an outpost of opportunity.

(For more details of
the economic survey 2016-17 click here –

3. Indian sport-stars lead Forbes list of promising young under 30

(i) As per the recently
released Forbes’ inaugural list of top “promising young leaders and game
changers” under the age of 30 in Asia, Indian sportsperson lead the pack of 56
Indians on the list.

(ii) Tennis star Sania
Mirza, Indian Batsman Virat Kohli and top-seeded badminton player Saina Nehwal are
among the few who have made it to the list.

(iii) The Forbes list
includes 300 young inspiring and charismatic leaders from countries including
India, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and
Australia, who are contributing to their industries in a significant way various
fields such as media, retail, industry, consumer
technology, enterprise technology, arts, healthcare and science, et al.

prominent Indian personalities who figured on the list included Bollywood actress
Shraddha Kapoor, Arunima Sinha, the first female and first Indian amputee to climb
Mt Everest in 2013, Chaitanya Tamhane, the writer and director of the critically
acclaimed movie ‘Court’. In the retail and e-commerce category, Raghav Verma, the
co-founder of Indian tea chain ‘Chaayos’ with IIT-Mumbai alumnus Nitin Saluja.

4. President to declare
Kerala as the first digital state

(i) President Pranab Mukherjee recently declared Kerala as the first digital
state of the country thereby adding another feather in the cap of the southern

Kerala was declared the first digital state on account of its high e-literacy
rate and mobile penetration (32 m connections). It is also the first to
complete the national optic fiber network project which helps to provide
high-speed internet in all gram panchayats and remote areas.

Owning to these developments many key government offices are soon to switch to
paperless operations. More than 3000 offices in the state, including motor
vehicles and land registration departments have achieved this feat.

In addition, President is also expected to launch a digital empowerment
campaign aimed at bridging the digital divide by 2020.

5. India’s largest lender SBI to raise Rs. 15,000 crore 

As per the recent development, India’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI)
got the approval of share-holders to raise Rs.15,000 crore by public issue or
overseas issuance of shares.

In January 2016, SBI had expressed about its plans to raise this sum of Rs.15000
crore by March 2017. Following the general meeting recently, it was decided to
raise the said amount.

As per the bank’s BSE filing, “The money can be raised by either of the ways
including public issue, rights issue or private placement, such as qualified
institutional placement (QIP) or Global Depository Receipt or American
Depository Receipt or any another mode or a combination, as may be decided by
the Board.”

money raised is to help SBI meet global risk norms under Basel III, which the
banks needs to be fully compliant with by March 2019.

6. Vijay Mallya steps down
as Chairman of USL

Vijay Mallya, chairman of the UB Group has stepped down as non-executive
chairman of United Spirits Ltd., controlled by Diageo Plc recently.

The deal to this effect was struck between Mallya and UK firm Diageo which
agreed to drop all charges of irregularities against him, and pay him $75
million over five years in return asking him to step down.

development, finally put an end to year-long boardroom battle and speculations which found Mallya guilty impropriety
and violation in the company. Mahendra K Sharma, an independent Director is expected
to replace Vijay Mallya as the Chairman of USL.

7. Gianni Infantino elected Fifa’s president

(i) In a recent
development, Switzerland’s Gianni Infantino succeeded countryman Sepp Blatter
as the president of the World football governing body — FIFA.

(ii) As per reports, Infantino
polled 115 votes, 27 more than closest rival Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim
al-Khalifa, who received second highest votes. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein (four
votes) and Jerome Champagne (0) were third and fourth respectively.

(iii) Infantino is a
45 year old lawyer from Brig, in the Valais region of Switzerland. He will
succeed Blatter, who led Fifa since 1998 but stood down last year and
subsequently suspended from football for six years for breaching ethics

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