Daily Current Affairs: February 23, 2017

Current Affairs February 23, 2017

Need to encourage leasing to boost SME growth: World Bank

 The World Bank Group sees “leasing” as an important financing tool for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and wants policymakers in India to take steps to propel its growth in the country.

Five associate banks to merge with SBI from April 1

All the five associates will merge with State Bank of India from April 1, in the largest consolidation exercise in the banking history of India.

  • The assets of State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), State Bank of Patiala (SBP) and State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH) will be transfered to SBI from April 1, 2017
  • With the merger of all the five associates, SBI is expected to become a lender of global proportions with an asset base of Rs 37 trillion (Rs 37 lakh crore) or over $555 billion, 22,500 branches and 58,000 ATMs. It will have over 50 crore customers.

Oriental Bank to distribute Cholamandalam MS products

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance has entered into a corporate agency agreement with Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) for distribution of its insurance products. Under the agreement, Chola MS will offer a wide range of non-life insurance products to Oriental Bank customers through the bank’s branch network.

Karnataka Bank bags 2 awards

 Karnataka Bank has bagged two ‘IBA-Banking Technology’ awards.

  • The bank has got the first place in ‘Best financial inclusion initiatives (small bank)’ category, and was runner-up in ‘Best use of digital and channels technology (small bank)’ category.

IRC introduces specialized industrial insurance services in India

Mumbai based Entrepreneur Suresh Khairwar lead International Risk Consultants Insurance Brokers Pvt. Ltd. (IRC) rewrites the history of Indian Insurance industry by introducing Specialized Industrial Insurance to the Indian clients who are aligned to do business with best global practices.

INS Betwa made upright again, may be operational by April 2018

INS Betwa, the missile frigate that toppled over during undocking in December last year, has been made upright and will be operational before April 2018.

  • INS Betwa — inducted in the navy in July 2004 — was part of Task Force 54, tasked to evacuate nationals of India as well as those from Sri Lanka, Nepal and Lebanon married to Indian nationals from the conflict zone during the 2006 Lebanon war, as part of Operation Sukoon.

Navy’s former aircraft carrier INS Viraat to be decommissioned on March 6

Indian Naval Ship (INS) Viraat, which was first commissioned in the Indian Navy on May 12, 1987, will be decommissioned from service on March 6.

  • INS Viraat which is the oldest surviving warship in the world also holds a Guinness world record for the same.

President Mukherjee inaugurates international conference on ‘Bharat-Bodh’

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated a three-day international conference on ‘Bharat Bodh’ – the idea of Bharat, which is being organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Bhartiya Shikshan Mandal in Delhi.

Cabinet approves enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects

The enhanced capacity would ensure setting up of at least 50 solar parks each with a capacity of 500 MW and above in various parts of the country.

India approves investment proposal for 3-Hydro Electric Project in Nepal

India’s Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved investment proposal for 3-Hydro Electric Project on Arun river in Nepal.

  • A 900 MW hydro power project to be set up in Sankhuwasabha district of Nepal at a cost of Rs 5,723.72 crore.

Health Ministry launches ‘Saathiya Kits’ to improve adolescent health

The Health Ministry launched ‘Saathiya Resource Kits’ aimed at improving knowledge on adolescent health issues among teenagers.

  • Health Secretary CK Mishra launched the ‘Saathiya Resource Kits’ along with the ‘Saathiya Salah’ – a mobile app for adolescents – under the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) program.

Ministry of Skill Development, entrepreneurship and Wadhwani Operating Foundation sign contribution agreement

Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and the Wadhwani Operating Foundation (WOF) announced a partnership aimed to empower Government of India’s Pradhan Mantri Yuva Udyamita Vikas Abhiyaan on entrepreneurship.

AYUSH Minister inaugurated the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicine

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated the World Integrated Medicine Forum on Regulation of Homeopathic Medicinal Products: National and Global strategies in New Delhi.

MoU signed for welfare of Handicraft Artisans belonging to Scheduled Castes

Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment have come together to step up interventions for the economic development of an estimated 12 lakh scheduled caste artisans. 

  • An MoU was signed between Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles and National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC), a Central PSU under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, with the objective of working together to improve the earnings of artisans across the country, belonging to Scheduled Castes categories.

Andhra Pradesh to develop Vizag as fintech hub, signs MoU with Visa

Andhra Pradesh government unveiled its plans to develop Visakhapatnam as Fintech hub of the country and signed MoUs with Visa and Thomson Reuters.

  • Visa, the leading global payments network, will help transform Vishakhapatnam into India’s first “less cash” city.

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

Punjab government has prohibited the manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like gutkha and pan masala in the state for one year.

Kerala to launch first-ever sex offenders registry in the country

The Kerala government will launch a registry of sex offenders, the first of its kind in the country.

  • The registry will contain all identification details of sex offenders and would be kept in public domain, he said while detailing plans to check atrocities against women in the state.

World’s longest flammable painting by Gujarat artist

Kamal Rana from Gujarat’s Vadodara had turned the imagination into truth by using fire flames in his art work which he claimed to be the longest painting of the world.

Bharti Airtel to take over Telenor India in full acquisition

Bharti Airtel Limited (Airtel) is all set to take over Telenor’s India operations in a 100 per cent acquisition.

  • The two companies reached an agreement, in which Airtel will take complete control of Telenor India’s operations, licenses and operations, which will include all employees of the company as well as its customer base which pans out to 44 million.

Two-day first BRICS Sherpas meeting started in Nanjing in China

China is hosting the first BRICS Sherpas Meeting in Nanjing in the country’s Jiangsu Province.

  • The first Sherpas meeting will discuss BRICS cooperation in 2017, especially in the political, economic, and cultural sectors.

NASA telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around single star

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.

  • The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system.
  • This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile.

Azerbaijan Leader Names His Wife as Country’s First Vice President

Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev appointed his wife Mehriban as the first vice president of the ex-Soviet nation — the person next in line in the nation’s power hierarchy.

Olympic medalists Dohmen, Naomi van As win FIH Player of the Year awards

Olympic silver medalists-Belgiums’ John-John Dohmen and retiring Netherlands star Naomi Van As won the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) male and female Player of the Year (2016) awards in a star-studded Hockey Stars 2016 Awards ceremony in Chandigarh.

Dustin Johnson dominates Riviera, takes no. 1 spot in world ranking

Dustin Johnson went to No. 1 in the world with a world-class performance at Riviera.


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