Current Affairs: 19 February 2017

Indian Navy Inducts First All-women Global Circumnavigation Vessel 'Tarini'


  • The Indian Navy's second sailboat 'Tarini' was inducted into service
  • The vessel is slated to be the platform for the first Indian all-women global circumnavigation by the Indian Navy to begin in August.
  • The sailboat Tarini is being inducted into the Navy and is slated to be the platform for First Indian All-Women Circumnavigation of the globe expedition of the Indian Navy,
  • Extensive trials of the newly-built vessel were successfully completed in January.
  • The boat is skippered by Lieutenant Commander Vartika Joshi and crew members include Lieutenant Commander Pratibha Jamwal, Lieutenant Aishwarya Boddapati, Lieutenant Patarapalli Swathi, Lieutenant Sh Vijaya Devi and Lieutenant Payal Gupta, it said.
  • The Indian Navy is operating four sailing vessels capable of open ocean deployments - Tarangini, Sudarshini, Mhadei and Tarini, all four of which have been built in shipyards at Goa.

Govt Cuts Tenure Of SEBI Chairman-Designate Ajay Tyagi By 2 Years

  • The government said that the tenure of the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), Ajay Tyagi, will “initially” be for three years. 
  • The earlier order issued had said Tyagi’s term will be for a period not exceeding five years or till the age of 65. 
  • A government official said the latest order was issued to clear up ambiguity on the length of the tenure. The new order said the term will be for an initial three-year perio .. 


RBI allows multilateral FIs to invest in masala bonds

  • Reserve Bank permitted multilateral financial institutions to invest in rupee denominated bonds popularly known as ‘masala bonds’ issued by Indian entities.
  • In order to provide more choices of investors to Indian entities issuing rupee denominated bonds abroad, it has been decided to also permit multilateral and regional financial institutions where India is a member country, to invest in these rupee denominated bonds
  • Meanwhile, the RBI has withdrawn the instruction regarding submission a fortnightly return on Forward Rate Agreement (FRA) and Interest Rate Swap (IRS) to Monetary Policy Department with a copy to various departments of the central bank.
  • In a further step towards rationalization of returns it has been decided to withdraw the said return with immediate effect. The banks are hereby advised to stop sending the hard copy of the said return to RBI

South Asian Speakers’ Summit starts in Indore

  • Speakers of six countries will deliberate on ways to achieve sustainable development goals during a two-day South Asian Speakers' Summit
  • The summit, was inaugurated by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Saturday, will be attended by presiding officers and delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. It will conclude with the adoption of an 'Indore Declaration' - laying down the outcome of the discussions and action points agreed upon by the participants - at a closing ceremony
  • The summit will have a plenary session on 'Identifying Resources for SDGs Implementation in South Asia: Opportunities for Parliamentary Cooperation' on the inaugural day. 
  • The session will inform the delegates about the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the South Asian region and will discuss ways in which legislatures can ensure that adequate financial and other resources accompany implementation of national and regional strategies.

India bag silver medal at women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy

  • India won the silver medal at the women’s Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy having won five matches and lost one
  • In the seven-nation round-robin competition, India defeated Laos 22-7, Philippines 12-5, Nepal 43-0 and Malaysia by 26-12. On the second day, India defeated Pakistan by 5-0 and in the last match were beaten by South Korea by 0-29.
  • As per Asia Rugby’s tournament statistics, Indian Hupi Majhi was one amongst the top three Try Scorers of the tournament and Meerarani Hembram was the third highest in the conversions.
  • The sterling performance that this power-packed team of women has showcased at an international level has made India proud. Tremendous potential for women’s rugby to grow heaps and bounds in our country and make our mark globally.

SBI ties adult with Greenply to offer financial services to the dealers

  • State Bank of India has announced a tie-up with Greenply Industries to grow a channel financing business.
  • Forging a business partnership is rather routine, though this turns out to be special as a bargain allows SBI to take nonetheless another step in flourishing a digital banking footprint.
  • The dual companies sealed a chit of bargain on Saturday for financing a dealers of GreenplyIndustries on electronic platform.
  • SBI pronounced it will extend financial services to Greenply dealers to grow serve on a really rival pricing.
  • SBI, that is slated to suffer one-fourth marketplace share with a partnership of a associate banks with itself in FY18, is formulation to emanate a digital-only bank height to concede exchange to be finished with a assistance of apps, internet banking and mobile banking.
  • It has also taken beginning to stop use of paper from a branches for end-to-end digitisation.

BEL launches communication radio for India Army

  • Bharat Electronics (BEL) has reportedly launched a new communication radio for the Indian armed forces, called STARS-V Mk III, at the Aero India 2017 show. 
  • The radio is completely designed, developed and made in the company. It is a multi brand, high data rate, software intensive IP radio with mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) functions supporting up to 64 notes.
  • Bharat Electronics is a multi-product, multi-technology, multi-unit conglomerate with over 350 products in the areas of military communication, radars, naval systems, C4I systems, weapon systems, homeland security, telecom & broadcast systems, electronic warfare, tank electronics, electro-optics, professional electronic components and solar photovoltaic systems.

OMA Emirates enters Indian payments market; buys MobiSwipe

  • UAE based merchant solutions provider OMA Emirates today said it has entered into Indian market with the acquisition of mobile point of sale (mPOS) firm MobiSwipe.
  • MobiSwipe enables merchants to accept credit and debit card payments through a mobile application.
  • OMA, which is currently having presence in Middle East, Europe and select parts of Asia, will provide services like business development, sales and marketing.
  • The company said its operations will be located in Mumbai and plans to open offices in other parts of the country gradually.
  • OMA Emirates is in the business of providing solutions like electronic funds transfer (EFT) POS application, mobile e-top-up solution, EMV card personalisation solutions, central issuance solutions, branch issuance solutions, among others.

India's vaccine regulatory body NRAI gets highest WHO ratings

  • The National Regulatory Authority of India (NRAI) has been given the maximum ratings by global health body World Health Organisation for vaccine regulations. 
  • \WHO completed the assessment of the status of the Indian vaccine regulatory system against WHO NRA Global Benchmarking Tool (GBT) and measured the maturity of the system in India. 
  • The assessment has been done in respect of 9 different functionalities and Indian NRA has been declared 'functional' with a maturity level of 4 which is the highest level as per currently evolved definitions in respect of 5 functions, and maturity level 3 in respect of 4 functions
  • While, maturity level 4 indicates good results and sustained improvement trends, level 3 reflects systematic process based approach, early stage of systematic improvements, data availability regarding conformance to objectives and existence of improvement trends

SC introduces scheme to provide legal services to middle income group

  • Now, it is easier for the middle and relatively lower income group to avail the legal services of the country.
  • The Supreme Court (SC) of India has introduced the Middle Income Group Scheme.
  • It is a self supporting scheme which provides legal services to the middle income group citizens i.e. citizens whose gross income is not exceeding Rs 60, 000 per month or Rs 7, 50, 000 per annum.
  • The members of the governing body to whom the management of the Society is entrusted as required under Section 2 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, as applicable to the National Capital Territory of Delhi include Chief Justice of India as Patron-in-Chief, Attorney General for India as Ex-officio Vice-President, Solicitor General of India as Secretary and other senior advocates of the Apex Court as its members. As per the Supreme Court rules it is only through advocates on record that cases can be filed before it, according to a PIB release.
  • A sum of Rs 500 shall be payable to the Supreme Court Middle Income Group Legal Aid Society (SCMIGLAS) as service charges.
  • The applicant shall have to deposit the fee indicated by the Secretary, which will be in accordance with the schedule attached to the scheme.
  • It is the Secretary, who will register the case under the MIG Legal Aid Scheme and proceed to forward the papers to the Advocate-on-Record/Arguing Counsel/Senior Counsel on the panel for opinion.
  • If Advocate-on-Record is satisfied that it is a fit case to be proceeded with, then the Society will consider that the applicant is entitled to legal aid, said the PIB release.
  • Under the scheme, middle class people who cant afford the expensive litigation in the Supreme Court can avail the services of the society for a nominal amount

To avail scholarship, Aadhaar now mandatory for college and varsity students

  • To avail benefits under the Central Sector Scholarship Scheme for College and University students, applicants will now have to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar card or undergo Aadhaar authentication
  • Those receiving these scholarships but who don’t have an Aadhaar card will have to apply for enrolment by June 30 this year, the ministry said in a notification. However, this will not be applicable in Jammu & Kashmir.
  • As per another notification issued by the ministry, students who wish to avail the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme will also have to apply for Aadhaar by June 30, though it exempts the states of J&K, Assam and Meghalaya.
  • The move will bring in transparency and enable beneficiaries to get their entitlements directly in a convenient and seamless manner, and Aadhaar obviates the need for producing multiple documents to prove identity.
  • However, till the time Aadhaar is assigned to the students, they may get scholarships on the basis of documents like Aadhaar Enrolment ID slip, Aadhaar enrolment application, voter identity card, PAN card etc.
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