21st February 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Bihar Government Prohibits State Officials from Consuming Liquor Anywhere In The World

  • Bihar Cabinet has ruled out a new rule under which the no officials of the state government would be allowed to consume liquor either in the state or outside the state and not even abroad.
  • This makes Bihar the first state to have such restrictions for officials and judges.
  • The cabinet amended the Bihar Government Servants’ Conduct Rules 1976and approved the Bihar Judicial Officers Conduct Rules, 2017.
  • Any officer found guilty would be liable to face dismissal, suspension or even salary cuts.

International Current Affairs

India is the World’s Largest Arms Importer in the Last Four Years

  • According to a report released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) India emerged as the world’s largest importer of major arms during 2012–16.
  • India accounted for 13 percent of the global total sales. The total volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and increased by 8.4 per cent between 2007–11 and 2012–16.
  • India increased its arms imports by 43 percent between 2007–11 and 2012–16 which is far greater than the imports by its rivals China and Pakistan.
  • Between 2007 and 2011, India accounted for 9.7% of global imports which is still more than any other country.

Business & Economy

SBI Rebrands Corporate Website as bank.sbi

  • The country’s largest lender State Bank of India (SBI)rebranded its corporate website as “bank.sbi” from the earlier “co.in
  • With this, SBI has become the first banking organization in India to adopt gTLD for its internet presence.
  • The adoption of gTLD will enable SBI to use its corporate name .sbi as their website’s top-level identifier instead of using “.com” or “.co.in” as domains.
  • The existing web address will remain active till customers become familiar with operating through the new address.

SEBI Approves IRB InvIT Fund to Raise Fund Through IPO

  • Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has given its approval to IRB InvIT Fund, to raise Rs 4,300 crore through an initial public offering (IPO).
  • Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) are like mutual fund schemes which pool in money from individual investors for investing in infrastructure initiatives.
  • According to the draft papers, IRB InvIT’s IPO comprises fresh issue of units worth up to Rs 4,300 crore by the trust and an offer for sale of units by IRB Infrastructure Developers and its subsidiaries comprising Modern Road Makers, Aryan Toll Road, ATR Infrastructure and Ideal Road Builders.
  • Some of the other such trusts registered with SEBI are GMR Infrastructure Investment Trust, MEP Infrastructure Investment Trust and IL&FS Transportation Investment Trust.

Karnataka Bank Signs MoU with Daimler India

  • Karnataka Bank Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt Ltd (DICV) to extend finance to customers for the purchase of commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.
  • The deal will benefit the customers belonging to sectors such as MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to purchase commercial vehicles.

Microsoft-Flikpkart Announce Strategic Tie-Up

  • Aim : To provide consumers in the country the best online shopping service.
  • As per the deal, Flipkart, will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.
  • Microsoft Azure will add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres.
  • Flipkart also plans to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service.

Apple acquires Israeli start-up RealFace

  • This acquisition will help to add facial recognition to the upcoming Apple’s iPhone 8. Apple can use the technology from the Israeli start-up for its own facial recognition software.
  • RealFace is a small start-up company in Israel, founded in 2014.The company developed facial recognition software as an alternative to traditional passwords and fingerprint recognition.


Tata Steel owned Katamati Iron Mine Wins Best Green Organization Award

  • Katamati Iron Mine,owned by Tata Steel, was conferred with the Best Green Organisation of the Year Award  at the Global Green Future Leadership Awards.
  • Katamati iron mine has been engaged in environmental protection efforts for years and has successfully implemented Environmental Management System as per the requirements of ISO 14001:2004
  • The Global Green Future Leadership Awards is awarded to any organization that participates in environmentally friendly or green activities to ensure that all processes, products, and manufacturing activities adequately address environmental concerns while maintaining a profit.

People in News

Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang Resigns, NPF Supremo Shurhozelie Liezietsu elected as next CM

  • Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliangstepped down from the post facing revolt from his party MLAs against the decision to reserve 33 per cent seats for women in urban local bodies.
  • Accompanied by several of his senior Cabinet colleagues, Zeliang submitted his resignation to the Governor of Nagaland B. Acharya who accepted the resignation and asked Zeliang to continue in office till alternative arrangements are made.
  • Shurhozelie Liezietsu was unanimously elected as the legislature party leader of the ruling Democratic Alliance to be the new Nagaland Chief Minister. He will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on February, 22, 2017

Norway Nobel Committee Chairwoman Kullmann Dies At 65

  • Chair-woman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Kaci Kullmann passed away. She was 65.
  • Former businesswoman of Norway, Kullmann served as trade and shipping minister from 1989-1990 and was the leader of the Conservative Party from 1991-1994.
  • In 2003, Kullmann became a member of the Norwegian Nobel committee while was elected chair in 2015.
  • She was among the decision makers who honoured former US vice president Al Gore (2007), former US president Barack Obama (2009), Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (2010), and Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi (2003).

Science & Technology

Iran Launches Advanced Rockets During Military Exercises in Desert

  • Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard launched sophisticated rockets during a military exercise that started  in Iran’s central desert.
  • The model of the small and advanced rockets or their capabilities have not been revealed.
  • The launch comes despite warnings from the United States and the sanctions over the previous ballistic missile test.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Successfully Launches From NASA launch Pad

  • California-based SpaceX onboard its Falcon 9 rocket launched a robotic Dragon cargo ship with about 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) of supplies and science experiments toward the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • After the launch, the rocket’s first stage separated and touched down on a landing pad at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
  • It marked the eighth successful landing for SpaceX Rocket Company. The company became the first private space firm to launch a rocket from a NASA facility.

Sports Current Affairs 

Virat Kohli first Indian sportsperson to ink Rs 100-cr deal with Puma

  • Indian international cricketer Virat Kohli became the first Indian sports person had signed an eight-year deal worth Rs 100-crore endorsement deal with a sports apparel brand Puma
  • Kohli now join the list of  global ambassador for the brand likes of Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Thierry Henry.
  • Only Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been in the Rs 100-crore club through multi-year contracts with talent management agencies, but they have never been signed by a single brand for such a big amount.

Afghanistan Cricketers Nabi & Rashid Khan to Make Debut in IPL 

  • For the first time in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction, two Afghanistan players were selected by the franchise during the IPL Auction 2017.
  • Mohammad Nabi became the first player from Afghanistan to be picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad for 30 lakhs.
  • On the other hand his teammate Rashid Khan was signed by Mumbai Indians for an amount of 4 Crores.
  • Five out of the 352 players listed for the auction in Bangalore were from Afghanistan for the first time.

Frenchman Tsonga beats Goffin to Win Rotterdam Open

  • Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the 44th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament by defeating Belgian David Goffin 4-6, 6-4, 6-1
  • Tsonga is the fourth Frenchman to win the title in Rotterdam Open. Before him Cedric Pioline (2000), Nicolas Escudé (2001 and 2002) and Michael Llodra (2008) did the same.
  • With this, the sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (31) claimed his first ATP title since 2015 and will move up to 11th position in the World Ranking.

Pakistan Cricket Legend Shahid Afridi Announces Retirement from International Cricket

  • Legendary Pakistani cricket Shahid Afridi announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket putting an end to 21-year career.
  • The 36-year-old star played for Pakistan Twenty20 team at the 2016 world championships in India. After that he stepped down as the captain and continued to play as a player.
  • During his cricket career Afridi played just 27 Test matches with 1,176 runs and the highest score of 156 and 48 wickets.
  • In One-Day International he played 398 matches with 8,064 runs, a highest score of 124 while taking 395 wickets with his leg spin.
  • In Twenty20 international match he played 98 matches with 1,405 runs and 97 wickets.