Daily Current Affairs – 17th February 2015
- Dosmoche festival was celebrated with religious and traditional fervor in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir in the third week of February 2015. It is celebrated to mark the victory over evil forces and also to evade any natural disaster in the year ahead. It was instituted by the Kings of Ladakh on the pattern of the famous Mon-Lam or Great Prayer ceremony of Lhasa.
- AAP government put a restriction on termination of services of any contractual employee till a thorough review of the issue was completed, a move which will benefit around one lakh employees decided in high-level meeting presided over by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Around one lakh employees, including doctors, nurses, teachers, sanitation staff are working under contractual scheme in various Delhi government departments and agencies. Delhi government was in the process of carrying out a thorough review of the issue of contractual employees to finalize a policy framework.
- The seven ministers were suspended by state JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh after receiving consent from the party’s national president Sharad Yadav, party chief whip in the Assembly Shrawan Kumar.
- The auctions, which will see the government sell spectrum in the CDMA frequency of 800MHz and also in the GSM bands of 900MHz, 1,800MHz and 2,100MHz are expected to fetch the government over Rs 1 lakh crore as operators are likely to bid aggressively to bag the scarce commodity, considering some of them are losing airwaves in many key circles. The fight is expected to be particularly aggressive in the highly-efficient 900MHz band and also in the 2,100MHz frequency, which is mainly used for 3G services. Eight operators, Mukesh Ambani (Reliance Jio Infocomm), Anil (Reliance Communications), Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Russia’s Sistema-controlled Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Telenor-controlled Uninor, Tata Teleservices and Aircel have submitted applications. Operators like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Sistema-Shyam have approached various courts and telecom disputes tribunal TDSAT.
- A Hindu temple was vandalized with hate message and swastika spray-painted on its wall in the US state of Washington, the latest incident that has shocked the community ahead of the Maha Shivratri festival and happened when unidentified miscreants sprayed swastika and painted “Get Out” on one of the walls of the temple in the Seattle Metropolitan area. It is one of the largest Hindu temples in the entire North West.
- Balasubramaniam Venkataramani was appointed as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) Limited.
- Indira Gandhi International Airport won the annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award, which recognises and rewards the best airports in the world based on Geneva-based ACI’s ASQ passenger satisfaction survey and Mumbai Airport Chhatrapati Shivaji International (CSI) also figuring in the top five list. GI is run by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a joint venture between the AAI and GMR Group-led consortium, while the CSI is run by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), a joint venture between the AAI and GVK group-led consortium.
- Punit Renjen was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Operations. He is the first Indian-origin person to head a Big-Four audit firm. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst & Young (EY), and KPMG are the other three firms in Big-Four group. Renjen will join a growing rank of Indians who head global corporations and financial institutions including MasterCard Inc’s Ajay Banga, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella, Deutsche Bank’s Anshu Jain and PepsiCo Inc’s Indra Nooyi.
- Supreme Court has sought response from Prasar Bharati over the feasibility of launching a separate channel to broadcast India’s cricket matches during the World Cup. Prasar Bharati has challenged a high court order which restrained Doordarshan from sharing match feed with cable operators. Prasar Bharati will have to submit its reply by Thursday.
- Union Ministry of Finance imposed the anti-dumping duty on imports of graphite electrodes for five years with ranges between 278.19 US dollars and 922.03 US dollars per ton decided by the recommendations of the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping Duty (DGAD). Government aims to protect the domestic industry from below-cost shipments of graphite electrodes. The graphite electrodes are used in melting of steel.
- Indian-origin scientist Professor Srikanth Jagabathula received Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) for developing data-driven modeling and learning techniques to improve the accuracy of operational decision making. He will receive a total of 500000 US dollar over the next five years to continue his research in developing data-driven modeling and learning techniques with the goal of improving the accuracy of operational decision making.
- The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory for a possible 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami along the coast of Iwate prefecture with following a 6.9-magniture earthquake that struck in the Pacific some 210 kilometres (130 miles) east of Miyako, Iwate at a depth of 10 kilometres (6 miles) the northern part of the country.
- Film Dhanak directed by Nagesh Kukunoor won two awards at the 65th Annual Berlin International Film Festival held from 5/02/2015 to 15/02/2015. The category in which he won as Best Feature Film by the Children’s Jury for Generation Kplus and Awarded with The Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus International Jury for the Best Feature-length film and received 7500 euro as prize money.
- The death toll due to swine flu is increasing with each passing day and has claimed over 596 lives this year. Altogether 8,423 people have contracted swine flu this year with Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the worst-affected states with their respective tolls standing at 176, 150, 76 and 58 on which Centre has ordered additional stocks of medicines and diagnostic kits following a spurt in cases of swine flu.
- Filmmaker Sajid Khan’s 2014 film “Humshakals” is leading the 7th Annual Golden Kela Awards with five nominations, while Prabhudheva’s “Action Jackson” has bagged four nominations. The awards are an Indian version of the Golden Raspberry Awards, which take place in the US. This year, the Golden Kela Awards will honour the worst of Bollywood films released during 2014.
- France signed a 5.2-billion-euro (5.9 billion US dollar) agreement with Egypt for the first foreign sale of its 24 Rafale fighter plane. It will intensify the Egypt’s military capability to tackle the jihadists more efficiently and add more fire power to the air strikes.
- Mars One project that aims to establish the first human colony on the Red Planet by 2025 has shortlisted 100 hopefuls (from the initial 2,02,586 applicants) to proceed to the next round of the Mars One astronaut selection process. These 100 aspiring candidates shortlisted for a planned one-way trip to Mars in 2024 include 50 men and 50 women from all around the world – 39 from the Americas, 31 from Europe, 16 from Asia, 7 from Africa, and 7 from Oceania. The 16 people from Asia include 3 Indians – 19-year-old girl Sharadha, 29-year-old Ritika and 29-year-old Taranjeet. These were selected from a pool of 660 candidates after participating in personal online interviews with Norbert Kraft, MD, chief medical officer. During the interviews the candidates had a chance to show their understanding of the risks involved, team spirit and their motivation to be part of this life changing expedition.
- Saurav Ganguly had been awarded with the Honorary Life Membership of Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).
- Michele Ferrero died on 14 February 2015 in Monte Carlo, Monaco following a prolonged illness. He was 89. He was Italy’s richest man and the owner of a global chocolate and confectionery empire that was built on the popular Nutella spread. Ferrero group produces around 365000 tonnes of Nutella every year in 11 factories around the world. The biggest market of Nutella is in Germany followed by France and Italy.
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