Current Affairs: 15 February 2017

ISRO sets space record with successful launch of Cartosat-2 and 103 other satellites

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) set a new record in space mission achievements after it successfully launched 104 satellites in one go from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh
  • This was ISRO’s first space mission for the year 2017, and the most complicated mission it has ever carried out.
  • The PSLV-C37/Cartosat2 Series satellite mission included the primary satellite (Cartosat-2) and 101 international nano satellites.
  •  It also launched two of its own nano satellites, INS-1A and INS-1B.
  • PSLV first launched the 714 kg Cartosat-2 Series satellite for earth observation, followed by the INS-1A and INS-1B, after it reached the polar Sun Synchronous Orbit.
  •  It then went on to inject 103 co-passenger satellites, together weighing about 664 kg, in pairs.
  • ISRO scientists used the XL Variant – the most powerful rocket – earlier used in the ambitious Chandrayaan and during the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey appointed as ICAI president

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) elected Nilesh Shivji Vikamsey as president and Naveen N D Gupta as vice-president. 
  • They have been elected for the year 2017-18
  • Vikamsey, who served as vice-president, has been a member of the ICAI since 1985.
  • Gupta has been a chartered accountant for more than 20 years.
  • A statutory body, the affairs of ICAI are managed by a council in accordance with the provisions of the Chartered Accountants Act, 1949 and the Chartered Accountants Regulations, 1988.
  • The council has 32 elected members and eight are nominated by the Central government.

IDFC Asset Management Company launches fixed income fund 

  • IDFC Asset Management Company has launched an open-ended fixed income fund and hopes to mop-up revenue in the range of Rs 300 crore-500 crore from the scheme in the NFO period itself. 
  • The Credit Opportunities Fund opens for subscription on February 14 and closes on February 27. 
  • It will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase from March 6. 
  • The company hopes to mop-up Rs 300-500 crore during the NFO period of the Credit Opportunities Fund, 
  • The fund will also emphasise on collaterals/covenants where it believes it is required 

Ravi Shankar accredited as High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda

  • Shri Ravi Shankar (IFS: 1995), presently High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Uganda, has been concurrently accredited as the High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Rwanda, with residence in Kampala (Uganda).
  • He is expected to take up his assignment shortly.

Kush Bhagat awarded CM title by World Chess Federation

  • Kush Bhagat, a second grade student from Hill Spring International School, was awarded the title of Candidate Master (CM) by World Chess Federation body, FIDE
  • For his tremendous performance in UAE, Kush has been bestowed with this honour by FIDE
  • The title comes after a range of admirable performances by him, over the span of last six months, beginning with his conquest of U-7 Maharashtra State Championship 2016 title to becoming the World Schools Under 7 Blitz champion in Sochi (Russia), and finally his performance, with three gold medals at the first ever Western Youth Chess Championship 2016 at UAE

Jehan Daruvala wins New Zealand GP, finishes fifth in Toyota series

  • Jehan Daruvala won the Toyota Racing Series’ New Zealand Grand Prix at the Chris Amon Circuit in Manfeild, New Zealand, on Sunday to finish the 2017 championship on a high.
  • Jehan, who started from pole, led through the race to the chequered flag in the main feature race, and the third of the weekend action.
  • There are only two Grands Prix, outside of Formula 1. 
  • Macau has the distinction of hosting one, while the other happens to be the New Zealand Grand Prix. Jehan Daruvala now holds the distinction of being the only Indian driver to register a win at a Grand Prix, having won the New Zealand Grand Prix at the Chris Amon Circuit in Manfeild.
  • Jehan will compete in the FIA F3 European Championship in 2017.

Tehmina Janjua appointed as the first woman foreign secretary of Pakistan

  • Tehmina Janjua becomes the first women to be appointed as the new foreign secretary of Pakistan. She will be replacing Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in the office. 
  • Tehmina Janjua will assume the post of Foreign Secretary in the first week of March 2017. 
  • She has rich experience of working in bilateral and multilateral domains both at Headquarters and Missions abroad
  • anjua has a career of over 32 years and she is seasoned diplomat who holds a Master’s degrees from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad and also from Columbia University
  • She also served as Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during 2011. 
  • Janjua served as Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy from December 2011 to October 2015. 
  • At present she is serving as Ambassador and Permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in Geneva since October 2015.

World Bank Group to conduct training programmes for NBFCs

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has teamed up with Finance Industry Development Council (FIDC) to conduct training programmes for Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs).
  • The training programmes will be on 'movable asset financing' and 'commercial credit reporting'. 
  • For this purpose, two engagement letters have been signed between IFC and FIDC, a representative body for NBFCs, especially those engaged in asset financing.
  • Jun Zhang, IFC India Country Head and Raman Aggarwal, Chairman of FIDC were the signatories to the engagement letters at an event held at IFC's office in the capital.
  • These training programmes would be conducted at various centres across the country under the guidance of leading consultants from the World Bank Group.
  • Such programmes are expected to enhance the awareness, expertise and professionalism of NBFCs, especially the large number of small and medium sized NBFCs catering to the credit needs in rural and semi-urban areas.

Sachin Tendulkar Adopts Donja Village In Maharashtra For Transformation

  • Cricket great and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar has adopted the village of Donja in Maharashtra's Osmanabad district, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna, sanctioning over Rs. 4 crore for the development of the village from his MPLAD fund. 
  • The amount will be spent on development of a new school building, a water Supply scheme that would provide potable water to each household, concrete roads and a sewage line attached to the same, a press release stated. Tendulkar had earlier adopted the vilage of Puttamraju Kandriga in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Five special village level meetings have been held since the village was adopted by Tendulkar, under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana with participation of women from the village.
  • Over 400 of the 610 households in Donja village did not have toilets when the village was adopted by Tendulkar. Since then, over 231 toilets have been built and are being used.
  • Oxigen Financial Services is helping improve the banking services at Donja. 12 retail outlets were trained and steps were taken to encourage them to set up micro cash-recycler ATMs.

Haryana wins Rs 1 crore Kabaddi championship

  • Hosts Haryana won the first edition of the three-day Pandit Deen Dayal Updhyay All India National Style Kabaddi championship held at Motilal Nehru School of Sports here.
  • Haryana defeated the Railways team 33-27 to clinch the title.
  • Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) beat Air India 45-37 to secure the third position.
  • Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar felicitated the players for their performances and gave away cash prizes of Rs 1 crore, Rs 50 lakh and Rs 25 lakh to the top three teams.
  • This is the highest prize money for any kabaddi event in the country.

Veteran journalist T V Parasuram died

  • Veteran journalist T V Parasuram, a former correspondent of the Press Trust of India, died today in the US due to age-related illness
  • The veteran journalist, who won a Harvard Niemen Fellowship in journalism, served as the correspondent for The Indian Express for two decades till his retirement at age 58.
  • Parasuram then became the PTI's Washington correspondent till he quit journalism at age 82. 
  • He was a regular at the press conferences of US presidents during his over five-decade stay in America. 
  • Parasuram authored two books, 'A Medal for Kashmir' - a first hand account of the Indian Army's operations in 1947-48 in Jammu and Kashmir - and 'India's Jewish Heritage'. 

Aero India starts in Bengaluru to focus on Make in India

  • The 11th edition of the Aero India air show which starts in Bengaluru on Tuesday is expected to be one of the largest in recent years, with a focus on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India initiative.
  • Around 270 Indian and 279 foreign firms are slated to participate in the event where some major companies, including Airbus and Boeing Co, are expected to sign deals under the Make in India banner.
  • The highlight of the show at the city’s Yelahanka Air Force Station will be fighter jets that make up a large part of the 72 aircraft being showcased. Among these will be Rafale fighter jets made by French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation SA. 
  • India bought 36 of these aircraft for an estimated $8.9 billion last year in a deal that has been negotiated several times over the years.
  • Rafale planes have been used by the French armed forces in combat operations for more than a decade. They entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and the Air Force in 2006.

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