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Current Affairs for 21 February 2016
February 21, 2016
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INDIA, NEPAL SIGN SEVEN ACCORDS

1.India and Nepal signed seven agreements on Saturday at a summit meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli, even as leaders of the Madhesi people in Nepal threatened one more blockade.

2.Addressing the press after the signing ceremony at the Hyderabad House, Mr.Oli said that both sides were determined to avoid the disruption of Nepal’s transit facilities as experienced over the past five months. Referring to Nepal’s dependence on India for receiving essential commodities, Mr.Oli said without naming Madhesi protesters, “Unscrupulous elements should not be allowed to abuse the open borders between Nepal and India”.

3.Nepali sources told The Hindu that differences persisted between India and Nepal over how to address the aspirations of the blockade-enforcing Madhesis, the “unscrupulous elements” in Mr.Oli’s speech.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE GETS SECOND TERM AS IMF CHIEF

1.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday announced that it selected Christine Lagarde to serve as its leader for a second five-year term.

2.Lagarde, the sole candidate nominated for the post of the IMF chief, will start the second term from June 5.

3.The IMF said in the announcement that the decision was taken by consensus among its executive board.

4.Lagarde, a former French finance minister, took over as head of the IMF in 2011 following Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s resignation amid scandal. She is the first woman to lead the international organisation, Xinhua news agency reported.


 

JUSTICE SARAN NEW CHIEF JUSTICE OF ORISSA HIGH COURT

1.Justice Vineet Saran will be the new Chief Justice of Orissa High Court. A Presidential warrant of appointment of Justice Saran reached here on Friday.

2.Sources in the High Court registry said the new CJ will take oath of his new assignment on February 26.

3.Prior to his present appointment, Justice Saran was officiating as a senior judge of Karnataka High Court.

4.The post of Orissa Chief Justice was lying vacant ever since Justice D. H. Waghela took over as the CJ of Bombay High Court in February 15.


RETIRING NEW ZEALAND SKIPPER BRENDAN MCCULLUM SCORES FASTEST EVER TEST CENTURY

1.Retiring New Zealand skipper Brendan McCullum has scored the fastest ever Test century, making the most of a no-ball lifeline, to notch his ton off just 54 balls.

2.Caught out by Mitchell Marsh on 39, McCullum was given a reprieve when replays showed James Pattinson had overstepped the mark for the wicket-taking delivery.

3.And the Black Caps skipper made them pay, racing to a record-breaking century to surpass West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards and Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq in his final Test match.

4.Richards and Misbah took 56 balls to score their centuries, while Australia’s Adam Gilchrist notched three figures off 57 balls against England in 2006/07.


 

“FOUR NEW EXPRESS TRAINS FROM SILCHAR BY APRIL”

1.Railways Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on Saturday said four new express trains will ply from Silchar by April this year.

2.“Our focus is to connect the entire North East with the rest of India through rail network. As part of this plan, we will introduce four new express trains from Silchar by April,” Mr Prabhu said here.

3.The trains will run from Silchar to Agartala in Tripura, Tinsukia in Assam, Mumbai and Chennai he said, adding one intercity train will also be started between Silchar and Guwahati.

4.Mr Prabhu flagged off the ‘Sampark Kranti Express’, which was extended to Silchar from Guwahati and will go to New Delhi and said one heritage train will be started in Barak valley soon.

5.The Railway Minister also inaugurated the Badarpur-Jirania and Badarpur-Jiribam sections for trial run.


 

KARNATAKA WOMEN BREAK INTO ANOTHER MALE BASTION

1.With the Karnataka Janapada Academy (KJA) set to launch 60 all-woman folk teams representing signature arts of the State, Women’s Day will see hundreds of women artists making waves. On the day of launch on March 8, 60 troupes from 30 districts (two each) will present spectacular performances in Dollu Kunita, Veeragase, Kamsale, Tammate, Patakunita, Venu Kunita, Chittimela, Puja Kunita, Jaggalige Kunita, and other important folk forms.

2.Considering the demand performances of artistes like Durgamma of Ballari (Dollu Kunita), Savitha Chirukunaiah of Mandya (Puja Kunita), Yashoda of Tumakuru (Tammate) and Shweta of Chikkamagaluru (Veeragase) have generated at national and international events, including at the Indian Premier League, there is hope of commercial gain as well.


 

CHINA STEPS UP ELECTRIC VEHICLE DRIVE TO LIFT NATION’S ‘NEW NORMAL’ ECONOMY

1.China appears focused on rapidly developing an ecosystem for electric vehicles, which includes a surge of charging points on its expressways and a hi-tech manufacturing upgrade.

2.Some of the country’s top rated expressways, including the Beijing to Shanghai corridor and the Beijing to Macau link via Hong Kong will host charging stations every 50 kilometers. The government-owned State Grid Corporation says that its present move is part of an ambitious plan.

3.By 2020, the company hopes to build 10,000 rapid charging stations and 120,000 charging posts across 202 cities and 36,000 kilometer of expressways. Aware of the herculean task, the firm issued a statement on Friday, inviting private and public investors to join it as partners.

4.Electric vehicles are part of the vanguard of China’s innovation-based ‘new normal’ economy, which is meant to combat the slowdown in its low-tech manufacturing and drop in exports.


 

OBSERVE ‘MATRIBHASHA DIWAS’ ON MARCH 3: UGC

1.Universities and colleges across the country will now have to mark March 3 on their calendars. While educational institutions thought they do not have to conduct any activities on ‘Matribhasha Diwas’ on February 21 as it happens to be a Sunday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked them to observe the day on March 3 instead.

2.‘Matribhasha Diwas’ is otherwise observed as International Mother Language Day across the world. The theme for 2016 is ‘Quality education, language(s) of instruction and learning outcomes.’


 

EATING FRESH AVOCADOS EVERY DAY CAN IMPROVE CHOLESTEROL LEVELS

1.Eating fresh avocados every day can significantly change lipid profiles and improve cholesterol levels, reveals a study conducted at the University of the Pacific at Stockton in California.
2.According to findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, the use of avocados in lieu of solid fats and foods that have higher saturated fat content to significantly change lipid profiles.

3.”Fresh avocado, as part of a balanced diet and as a cholesterol-free substitute for solid ..