Daily Current Affairs – 20th February 2015

Daily Current Affairs – 20th February 2015

  • Today’s World Day of Social Justice. This day recognizing the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment. The United Nations General Assembly has decided to observe 20 February annually, approved on 26 November 2007 and starting in 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice. The General Assembly proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice in 2007, inviting Member States to devote the day to promoting national activities in accordance with the objectives and goals of the World Summit for Social Development and the twenty-fourth session of the General Assembly. Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

  • Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas finalized new norms after consultations with the Union Finance Ministry and Chief Economic Adviser as oil subsidy sharing formula between the public sector oil refining companies and oil marketing companies. No contribution towards subsidy for crude oil price less than and equal to 60 dollars per barrel, 85 percent contribution towards subsidy for crude oil prices exceeding 60 dollars per barrel and less than or equal to 100 dollars per barrel. 90 percent contribution towards subsidy for crude oil prices exceeding 100 dollars per barrel. The new formula is supposed to come into effect starting from October 2015.

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the continuation of the incentive scheme for marketing and promotion services of raw sugar production during the current sugar season (October-September) of 2014- 15 and also granted for raw production of 14 lakh metric tonne of sugar. He fixed uniform rate of export subsidy at 4000 rupees per metric tonne for 2014-15 sugar season which is much higher than 3371 rupees per tonne fixed in 2014 for August-September period.

  • Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved for four highway projects in three states namely Uttar Pradesh (two projects), Odisha and Chhattisgarh under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis. These are as follows:

Six lane of the Chakeri-Allahabad section of National Highway – 2 (NH-2) in Uttar Pradesh (total length 145 kilometer)

Six lane of the Handia-Varanasi section of NH-2 in Uttar Pradesh (total length 72.4 kilometer)

Six lane of the Baleshwar- Chandikhole section of NH-5 in Odisha (total length 137 kilometer)

Four/Six lane of the Raipur-Bilaspur section of NH-30/NH-130 (old NH-200) in Chhattisgarh (total length 127 kilometer)

  • Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the nationwide Soil Health Card Scheme in Suratgarh town of Sriganganagar district, Rajasthan to help farmers to scientifically analyze the soil of farms and improving productivity by appropriate use of nutrients or fertilizers in the country. It contain all basic information and crop-wise recommendations of nutrients or fertilizers required for farms of different soil types and carry crop-wise recommendation of fertilizers required for farm lands and other inputs to increase the productivity of individual farmer.
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  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented Krishi Karman Awards 2013-14 to State Government functionaries during the launch of the Soil Health Card scheme nationwide at Suratgarh, Rajasthan. the Krishi Karman Awards to State Government functionaries led by Chief Ministers of States and progressive farmers belonging to the states of Punjab, Odisha, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat and Commendation Awards were also presented to the State Government functionaries led by Agriculture Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Karnataka.

  • 23rd Chief Minister (CM) of Bihar Jitan Ram Manjhi resigned and recommended the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly. He resigned before the trust vote. He had served as Minister for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes’ Welfare in the cabinet of Nitish Kumar and elected by the Janata Dal (United) Party as the 23rd Chief Minister of Bihar following Nitish Kumar’s resignation.

  • JD(U) strongman and former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar will take oath on Sunday as the chief minister of the state. This follows the high-voltage political drama that ended with chief minister and JD(U) rebel Jitan Ram Manjhi tendered his resignation to the governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Friday.

  • Union Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley launched a single window eBiz portal for 11 central government services in New Delhi. It is a Government-to-Business (G2B) portal and was launched with an aim to bring transparency and ease of doing business in the country and catered by the portal include four services of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), two services of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), two services of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), one service each from Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO).

  • The personalized pinstripe suit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was won in an auction by Dharmanandan Diamonds Private Limited, a Diamond Trading Company (DTC) sightholder for Rs 4.31 crore. Hitesh Patel, managing director, Dharmanandan Diamonds Private Limited said, “It is worth the price. Our mission was to get the PM Modi’s suit at any cost and contribute to the Ganga Cleanliness mission. We are happy that the city has contribute to the mission and the suit stays with us. Now, we plan to display this as memorabilia at the upcoming SDB project”.
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  • US helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky had entered into an agreement with TATA Advanced Systems in 2009 for the manufacture of cabins for the company’s S-92 helicopters, which is used by a number of VVIPs in the world including the US president. US President Barack Obama will soon fly in a new helicopter whose cabin has been made in India.

  • Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi advocated for Naturonomics for Assam and other North Eastern (NE) states to usher in a robust economy in the region as using right blend of nature and economics for sustainable development in the region. he government would give adequate impetus on tea, bamboo, food processing and other agro-based industries to stimulate the industrial growth of the State and he coined the term while speaking at the inauguration of the first-ever Assam International Trade and Industrial Fair at Jorhat. The fair has seen participation from countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bhutan and Thailand and many other countries.

  • Prime Minister Manuel Valls won the confidence vote over market reforms in France’s Socialist Government. 289 votes were needed to pass the motion in the National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament. The no-confidence vote brought in National Assembly saw only 234 lawmakers voting in favour of the motion which was far short of the number required to bring down the government. In France’s 57-year old Fifth republic, only once, a no-confidence vote has succeeded. It succeeded in 1962 when it was used to out the government of Georges Pompidou.

  • Pavlopoulos was elected by the Greek Parliament as the new President of Greece with 233 votes in favour, and is slated to succeed Karolos Papoulias after the end of the latter’s term on 13 March 2015. He was born in Kalamata to university professor Vasilios Pavlopoulos and grew up in the same city. After finishing school in his home town, he entered the Law School of the University of Athens in 1968. He is a Greek lawyer, university professor and politician.

  • Two tropical cyclones Marcia and Lam hit Australia. It is the first time that two cyclones have hit Australia at one time. Marcia is a category five storm and it made the landfall at central Queensland and left a trail of destruction over Yeppoon and Rockhampton. On the other hand Cyclone Lam is a category four storm which made landfall in the Northern Territory.

  • Major general Chrishantha de Silva was appointed as the new Sri Lankan Army chief by president Maithripala Sirisena, who also reinstated several loyalists of former army chief Sarath Fonseka. He will succeed Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake with effect from February 22. De Silva becomes the 21st Commander of the Sri Lanka Army since the island gained independence from Britain in 1948.
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  • Prime Minister Paul declared three days of official mourning for Haiti in response to the accident, and government officials announced a state funeral and vigil for the victims, to be held on February 21, 2015. A stampede occurred during the traditional Mardi Gras parade on Champ de Mars in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. Initial reports stated that at least 16 people had died in the accident. The number was revised to 18 dead (15 men and 3 women) according to the Haitian Minister of Communications, Rotchild François Junior. Nadia Lochard, of the Department of Civil Protection, stated that 20 people were killed in the accident. In addition, 78 people were injured, according to Haiti Prime Minister Evans Paul.

  • Islamist rebels detonated a car bomb at the entrance of a hotel in the Somali capital on Friday and then stormed inside where politicians had gathered, killing at least 10 people including a lawmaker and lightly wounding two ministers. The suicide attack targeted the Central Hotel around midday on Friday, typically a busy time for hotels as it is the Somali weekend. Ambulances wailed as they raced to the scene where a huge plume of smoke rose above the Indian Ocean coastal city. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, aims to topple the Western-backed federal government and impose its strict version of Islamic sharia law on the Horn of Africa nation that is struggling to rebuild after two decades of war.

  • Urdu poet Dr. Kalim Ahmed Ajiz died on 15 February 2015 in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand. He was 90. His namaz-e-janaza (funeral ceremony) was performed in Gandhi Maidan, Patna and burial took place at his birthplace Telhara in Nalanda. He was a retired professor of Patna University.
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