24th February 2017 – Current Affairs Today


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National Current Affairs

Antyodaya rail coaches for unreserved passengers

  • Antyodaya was meant for Aam Aadmi (common man). The fare structure will be between 10 per cent and 15 per cent more than the regular fare.
  • These modern coaches are provided with bio-toilets for zero discharge of effluents and also have toilet occupation indication lights provided at each end near the doorway with better visibility from compartments, a first in general class.
  • The first Antyodaya Express will be plied between Mumbai and Tatanagar, and the second will be between Ernakulam and Howrah shortly.

Sikkim becomes 22nd State to join UDAY

  • Sikkim has joined the union government’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) as 22 nd state , the so called UDAY will in turn hand it an overall benefit of Rs 356 crore.
  • Upon this decision Sikkim has inked MoU with the union government under the Scheme Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) for operational improvement of the state’s Power Distribution Department.
  • The MoU will help in improving operational efficiency of the power distribution and reduction in AT&C and transmission losses to 15 per cent and 3.50 per cent, respectively, is possibly to bring in added revenue of around Rs 328 crore.

Compensation Fund For Children

  • Compensation fund under Nirbhaya scheme to make available financial help to children who are victims of sexual crimes.
  • The money for this fund will be drawn from Nirbhaya Scheme and will be watched directly by the Women and Child Development Ministry and on the total amount of money to be set aside for this scheme is yet to be decided.
  • In contrary Central Victim Compensation Fund was set up with an initial corpus of Rs 200 crore in 2015 but has not been operating.

Kerala to launch sex offenders registry, first in the country

  • Kerala government also plan to launch the country’s first sex offenders registry which will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in public domain.
  • A comprehensive victim relief fund will be set-up by the state government to provide interim relief for victims of sex crimes, both children and adults.

Punjab bans manufacture, sale of gutkha, pan masala for one year

  • A one year ban on the manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like gutkha and pan masala
  • The ban also applicable to processed, flavoured, scented, chewing tobacco.

India and Japan ink pact on rail safety

  • Aim of the MoU : To enhance railway safety in the Indian Railways with focus on railway track and rolling stock safety, a press statement said on Tuesday.
  • Areas of cooperation: Rail inspection, rail wielding and providing automatic railway track safety inspection, maintenance of rolling stock.
  • The Delhi – Mumbai and the Delhi – Howrah lines  are will be taken up first for the technology upgrade plan.

International Current Affairs

BRICS summit’s 1st Sherpas Meeting held in China

  • The meeting is focusing on the theme of “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future” upon considering the current international situation.
  • This event will see a participation of 100 people, including Sherpas, diplomatic envoys in China and the New Development Bank representatives.
  • The Sherpas mechanism, as a main vehicle to coordinate and promote the BRICS cooperation, primarily serves to make political preparations for the BRICS Summit.
  • BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

South African High Court Rejects ICC Withdrawal

  • South Africa’s High Court obstructed the government’s attempt to withdraw from the International Criminal Court(ICC).
  • The country high court judge ruled against the government to withdraw its notice of withdrawal from the ICC based in The Hague, Netherlands.

Business & Economy

Oriental Bank Ties Up With Chola MS To Sell Insurance Products

  • Haryana based Oriental Bank of Commerce has signed a corporate agency agreement with Chennai based general insurance provider Cholamandalam General Insurance Company for distribution of insurance products on February 22, 2017
  • The insurance products includes motor, health, home and travel.

India’s GDP projected to slow to 6.6% post-demonetisation, says IMF

  • International Monetary Fund come up with India’s growth projection which predicted slow 6.6 per cent in 2016-17 fiscal due to “temporary disruptions” caused by demonetisation.
  • The IMF has noted that demonetisation would have only short term impact on the economy and it would bounce back to its expected growth of more than 8% in the next few years.
  • The IMF said in its annual country report on India mentioned that growth is projected to slow to 6.6 per cent in FY2016/17, then rebound to 7.2 per cent in FY2017/18, due to temporary disruptions, primarily to private consumption as a result of cash shortage

Visa-AP Sign MoU To Make Vishakhapatnam ‘Less-Cash’ City

  • Visa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh government to make Vishakhapatnam as India’s first ‘less-cash’ city
  • Aim : To provide 500 million under-served with a payment account by 2020
  • This is the first step to design India’s ‘Fintech Valley’that will act as a facilitator for information flow. It will provide support to FinTech start-ups by providing access to Visa’s APIs, providing subject matter expertise, and participating in boot camps and hackathons.

Government notifies protocol amending tax treaty with Israel

  • Centre has notified the protocol amending the India-Israel tax treaty to provide for exchange of information on tax matters including bank details with a view to check black money flows which will come into force effect in India from fiscal year beginning April 1.
  • The amended treaty will pave provision for sharing information which received from Israel in respect of an Indian resident to other law enforcement agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and CBI with authorization of Competent Authority.
  • The treaty enforces for levy of capital gains tax in India on sale of shares or interest in a partnership, trust or other entity if it derives more than 50 per cent of the value directly or indirectly from immovable property situated in the country at the time of the sale of any time during preceding 12 months.

Bharti Airtel To Acquire Telenor India

  • India’s largest domestic telecom operator Bharti Airtel has signed an agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments to acquire Telenor India Communications.
  • According to the agreement, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licenses and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.
  • It will give it an access to 7 circles including Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West


Karnataka Bank bags two awards at IBA Banking Technology Awards

  • IBA-Banking Technology awards:
    • Best financial inclusion initiatives(small bank)’ category – Winner
    • Best use of digital and channels technology(small bank)’ – Runner
  • The award recognizes and rewards individuals, professionals and banks who have recorded noteworthy technology and business benefits in 2016

People in News

Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre to head Cauvery Tribunal

  • Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre has been appointed as the chairman of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT)
  • Prior to this, he has served as chief justice of Gauhati High Court and the High Court of Manipur. He also served as judge at Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan High Courts.

Science & Technology

CBEC launches mobile app for GST

  • Central Board of Excise and Customs(CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST among others.
  • Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24×7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the touch of a button
  • GST app will provide the information like
    i. Migration to GST-Approach and guidelines for migration
    ii. Draft Law-Model GST Law, IGST Law and GST Compensation Law
    iii. Draft Rules-Rules related to Registration, Returns, Payment, Refund and Invoice
    iv. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GST
    v. Various resources on GST such a videos, articles etc.
    vi. Related Website Links and Helpdesk/Email Contact

Nasa finds 60000-year-old living microbes in Mexico’s Naica mine

  • NASA scientists have accidently made finding of living microorganisms stuck inside crystals for as long as 60,000 years in a Naica mine, a working lead, zinc and silver mine in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua.
  • This findings will throw some light on effects on how we try to understand the evolutionary history of microbial life on this planet.

Astronomers discover 7 new Earth-sized exoplanets that may sustain life

  • Astronomers have spotted at least seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the same star 40 light-years away from the sun with similar size to earth.
  • The seven exoplanets were spotted around dwarf star called TRAPPIST-1. 
  • Of these seven planets, three of them are in the fit for human habitation of the star, known as TRAPPIST-1e, f and g, and may even have oceans on the surface.

Sports Current Affairs 

Mithali, Harmanpreet in top-10 of ICC rankings

  • Indian Women Captain added another feather by claiming no 2 position in the ICC batswomen’s rankings. The top batter Harmanpreet Kaur was placed in the tenth spot after clinical performance in the recent past.
  • The rankings is topped by Meg Lanning of Australiawith with 804 points while Raj with 733 points and Harmanpreet with 574 in the list.
  • In the Bowling chart Jhulan Goswami, placed at the third behind Marizanne Kapp of South Africa and Stefanie Taylor of West Indies. The all-rounder’s list featured with only in top 10 as Jhulan is at seventh spot.