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Current Affairs for 24 February 2016
February 24, 2016
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FIRST BROAD-GAUGE GOODS TRAIN ARRIVES IN TRIPURA

The first goods train from Silchar in Assam arrived near here on Tuesday on a broad-gauge railway track, setting up rail connectivity between land-locked Tripura with the rest of the country.

The train was received by the Tripura Transport Minister Manik Dey and senior officials of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) at the Jirania railway station, about 15 km from here.

Receiving the train, Mr. Dey said: “With the arrival of the first goods train from Silchar over the broad-gauge railway track, a long cherished dream of the people has been fulfilled. Now we have no doubt that better connectivity through fast trains would be set up with the rest of the country.”


SEAS ARE RISING AT FASTEST RATE IN LAST 28 CENTURIES

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling.

The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days.

Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communitiesfor hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland.


U.P., UTTARAKHAND JOIN HANDS FOR MURADNAGAR-HARIDWAR METRO

The governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand today announced developing Muradnagar-Haridwar metro together.

At a meeting between Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat and Uttar Pradesh Irrigation Minister Shivpal Yadav it was decided that a joint special purpose vehicle (SPV) would be constituted for the purpose. A feasibility study for the project would be completed soon, according to a release.

The two also agreed to sign an MoU on the pending Jamrani dam and transfer of 37 canals to Uttarakhand, which have their heads and tails in the hill, but whose ownership is vested in Uttar Pradesh.


 

FII CAP IN STATE-RUN BANKS MAY INCREASE TO 49 PER CENT

The government is considering a proposal to increase the cap on foreign institutional investment in public sector banks to 49 per cent from 20 per cent.

The move comes at a time public sector banks need equity capital while their stocks have taken a hammering after reporting huge losses in the third quarter due to a sharp rise in non-performing assets, banking industry sources said.

According to present regulations, a single non-banking institution cannot hold more than 10 per cent in a bank while one bank can hold maximum 5 per cent stake in another bank. These stipulations, however, may continue.

The public sector banks will need to raise tier-I capital as their capital positions have depleted due to higher provisioning for bad loans. While the government has commited Rs.70,000 crore capital infusion in four years (starting from this financial year) that amount may be inadequate, several rating agencies had pointed out.


 

NASA MAKES APOLLO ‘MOON MUSIC’ PUBLIC

NASA has made public the recording of the mysterious ‘outer-space music’ that Apollo 10 mission astronauts heard as their spacecraft flew around the far side of the Moon in 1969.

The transcript of the conversation between Apollo 10 astronauts Eugene Cernan and John Young mentioning the strange sound and the crew’s response to the phenomenon were released in 2008. However, the audio of the discussion and the sounds that the astronauts were referring to has just been made public. Out of radio contact with Earth and all alone on the far side of the Moon, the astronauts had not expected to hear anything on their instruments.

“You hear that? That whistling sound? Whoooooo,” Mr. Cernan is heard saying in the recording. The astronauts then mention that it sounds like “outer-space type music.”


VIENNA NAMED WORLD’S TOP CITY FOR QUALITY OF LIFE

Vienna is the world’s best city to live in; Baghdad is the worst, and London, Paris and New York do not even make it into the top 35, according to international research into quality of life.

German-speaking cities dominate the rankings in the 18th Mercer Quality of Lifestudy, with Vienna joined by Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt in the top seven.

Paris has tumbled down the league, falling 10 places to 37th, just ahead of London at 39th, almost entirely because of the city’s vulnerability to terrorist attacks.

The study examined social and economic conditions, health, education, housing and the environment, and is used by big companies to assess where they should locate and how much they should pay staff.

Viennese-born Helena Hartlauer, 32, said she was not surprised at her city’s top position. The municipality’s social democratic government has a long tradition of investing in high-quality social housing, making Vienna almost uniquely affordable among major cities.