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Current Affairs for 25 February 2016
February 25, 2016
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CENTRE APPOINTS THREE INFORMATION COMMISSIONERS

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1.The Central government on Wednesday appointed three Commissioners at the Central Information Commission (CIC).

2.Amitava Bhattacharyya, 1980 batch IAS officer; Bimal Julka, 1979 batch IAS officer; and Divya Prakash Sinha, 1979 batch IPS officer, have been made Information Commissioners.

3.The appointments have been made for a term of five years or till the appointees turn 65, according to an official release.

4.Mr. Bhattacharyya was the Staff Selection Commission Chairman. Mr. Julka retired as Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry. He also worked as a Financial Adviser and Special Secretary in the External Affairs Ministry.


 

RAJENDRA SINGH IS COAST GUARD DG

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1.The government has appointed Rajendra Singh as the Director General (DG) of Coast Guard, the country’s coastal protection force. This is the first time an officer from within has been promoted as its Chief which was traditionally headed by a three-star Naval officer.

2.The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the appointment of Singh as the DG, an order issued on Thursday by Department of Personnel and Training said.

3.Mr. Singh joined the Coast Guard in 1980 and is currently the Additional Director General. He will replace Vice Admiral HCS Bisht who has been promoted as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command.

4.He was awarded the Tatrakshak Medal (TM) by the President on August 15, 1990. In recognition of his distinguished service, he was awarded President’s Tatrakshak Medal (PTM) on Aug 15, 2002.


 

MAHARASHTRA LAUNCHES ZERO FATALITY INITIATIVE ON EXPRESSWAY

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In a major initiative, Maharashtra on Tuesday became the first State government to launch an initiative for road safety to transform the 95-km Mumbai-Pune Expressway into a ‘zero fatality corridor’ over the next five years.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and road safety NGO SaveLIFE Foundation to reduce an average of 130 deaths per year in roads accidents on the Expressway.

Making it a first 360 degree intervention across engineering, emergency care, enforcement, and education, the zero fatality corridor initiative will collaborate with the Maharashtra Highway Police, IRB Infrastructure, DY Patil University, Ogilvy ad agency, JP Research India Ltd, BVG, which runs the 108 ambulance service, and 10 private and government hospitals on the vicinity of the Expressway.


 

INDIA ADDS 27 NEW BILLIONAIRES

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1.India added 27 new billionaires with Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries (RIL), emerging at the top with a personal wealth of $26 billion, according to Hurun Global Rich List 2016.

2.Cumulative Indian billionaires’ wealth stood at $308 billion, registering a 25 per cent growth over last year. Mr. Ambani, who is ranked 21st globally, was followed by Sun Pharma promoter, Dilip Shanghvi , with personal wealth of $18 billion.

3.India is home to 111 billionaires and most of them are from Mumbai, according to the report.

4.“With the launch of new central government schemes, Make in India push and so on, I see an immense potential for wealth creation in India,” said Anas Rahman Junaid, Managing Director, Chief Researcher, Hurun Report India. “I hope India’s 2016 budget would simplify tax laws, reduce red tape resulting in an overall increase in transparency.” – India’s e-commerce leaders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal of Flipkart, with wealth of $1.4 billion, were ranked amongst the 69 billionaires under the age of 40.

5.Globally, 99 new billionaires were added to the list in 2016 to take the total billionaire rich list to a record of 2,188, 50 per cent more than 2013.


 

BHEL COMMISSIONS 40 MW HYDRO POWER PROJECT IN WEST BENGAL

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1.Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has commissioned a 40 MW hydro electric generating unit in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district. This takes BHEL’s total hydel power commissioning to 770 MW in this fiscal, which is also the highest so far in a single fiscal year since 2005-06.

2.The project is a run-of-the-river greenfield project on the Teesta river and is part of the 4×40 MW Teesta Low Dam Hydro Electric project. The other three units are also in advanced stage of execution.

3.The second unit is expected to be commissioned soon, according to a BHEL statement. It is also executing the 3×40 MW Rammam Stage III hydro electric project of NTPC in West Bengal.

4.The estimated annual energy generation of 720 million units from the Teesta project , being implemented by NHPC, will result in significant reduction of green-house gas emissions in West Bengal.


 

CABINET NOD TO INCENTIVISE CASHLESS TRANSACTIONS

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1.The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved several steps to promote cashless transactions, which include mandatory card-based or electronic payments beyond a prescribed threshold.

2.Some of the other major steps approved by the Cabinet include the withdrawal of any additional charge currently imposed on card or digital payments by various government entities and the introduction of the required infrastructure for digital payments in all government offices.

3.The Cabinet also approved the rationalisation of the merchant discount rate (MDR) on card transactions and telecom service charges for digital financial transactions to promote mobile banking.

4.With this decision, the government has completed its promise for such measures made in the previous Budget. However, the details of these incentives were not shared in formal communiqué of the Cabinet’s decision.