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Current Affairs for 29 February 2016
February 29, 2016
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PUNJAB BANS SALE OF ARMY UNIFORM

Punjab government on Sunday imposed a ban on the sale of army uniforms across the state. “The state government has banned the sale of army uniforms without valid identification in all areas,” an official spokesman said in Chandigarh. Punjab had witnessed terror attacks in Pathankot and Gurdaspur in the recent past where militants had disguised themselves in the army fatigues.

“These orders would remain in force till April 21, 2016,” he added, adding next course of action will be decided afterwards. The state has also banned use of red and blue coloured stickers used by police on vehicles. The government has also prohibited the use of plates of political parties on vehicles with immediate effect, he said.


SAMSUNG WINS APPEAL IN PATENT DISPUTE WITH APPLE

A U.S. appeals court on Friday overturned a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung, finally handing the South Korean smartphone maker a significant win in its longstanding patent feud with top rival Apple.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., said Samsung Electronics Co Ltd did not infringe Apple’s “quick links” patent, and that two other patents covering the iPhone’s slide-to-unlock and auto-correct features were invalid. The court also said Apple was liable for infringing one of Samsung’s patents.

Apple and Samsung have been battling over mobile device technology patents for years. Apple has mostly prevailed, and in December, Samsung paid Apple $548.2 million stemming from a separate patent case, which Samsung has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


 

EVERTON: IRANIAN FARHAD MOSHIRI BUYS 49.9% STAKE

Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has bought a 49.9% stake in Everton, the Goodison Park club says.

Moshiri, 60, sold his stake in Arsenal to business partner Alisher Usmanov on Friday so he could buy into Everton, who play Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals next month.

“After an exhaustive search, I believe we have found the perfect partner to take the club forward,” Everton chairman Bill Kenwright said.

The deal needs Premier League approval.

Kenwright, who bought Everton from Peter Johnson for £20m on 26 December 1999, said he was prepared to sell as far back as November 2007.


 

RESUL POOKUTTY WINS BEST SOUND FOR ‘INDIA’S DAUGHTER’ AT GOLDEN REEL AWARD

Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty has bagged the best sound award for documentary “India’s Daughter” at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ 63rd annual Golden Reel Awards.

44-year-old Pookutty, who attended the awards ceremony here, took to Twitter to share his excitement about winning the honour for the Leslee Udwin-directed documentary, which is banned in India. “And we won the #63rd Golden Reel Award for #India’a Daughter! First in Asia a Golden reel coming home to India,” Pookutty posted.


 

ULTRATECH ACQUIRES JAYPEE GROUP’S CEMENT ASSETS FOR RS. 16,500 CRORE

UltraTech Limited has agreed to acquire Jaypee Group’s 22.4 million tonnes of cement capacity assets for Rs.16,500 crore, making it the largest deal in the Indian cement sector.

Kumar Mangalam Birla’s cement flagship firm entered into a binding agreement with Jaiprakash Associates Ltd., for the acquisition of its identified cement plants having a total cement capacity of 22.4 mtpa and situated in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. As per the agreement these plants have been valued at Rs.16, 500 crore, according to a BSE filing. A number of foreign and Indian companies were in the race to acquire these plants.

The deal will also include a four mpta plant under implementation at a cost of Rs.470 crore, according to the filing. The acquired assets will give UltraTech access to the newer markets in Satna, UP East, Himachal Pradesh and Coastal Andhra


 

3 INDIAN BEACHES IN ASIAN TOP TEN. BUT NONE WORLD CLASS

India has three of the top 10 beaches in Asia, a survey by the travel website TripAdvisor said.
The three beaches are: Agonda, Palolem (both in Goa) and Radhanagar on Havelock Island in the Andamans, according to the TripAdvisor survey of visitors to its website.

However, none of the beaches from India feature in the category of the world’s best beaches.
“India, with its extensive shoreline, is dotted with beautiful stretches of sand and it’s great to see these gems gaining recognition globally,” TripAdvisor India’s country manager Nikhil Ganju said.

This year’s awards honour 343 beaches, including the top 10 in the world, apart from similar lists for Asia, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, the UK and the US.


RAJASTHAN INKS AGREEMENTS WORTH RS. 11,500 CRORE

A total of 51 pacts worth Rs 11,531.21 crore were signed between various companies and the State government here over the weekend.

The memorandums of understanding (MoUs), signed by various departments, related to tourism, agriculture, industries, urban development, housing and mining sectors.

Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) also signed some MoUs.

The projects will create more than 26,000 direct jobs.


 

BLACKBERRY BUYS CYBER SECURITY CONSULTANCY; MOVES DEEPER INTO SERVICES

BlackBerry said on Wednesday that it has acquired U.K.-based cyber security consultancy Encription, moving the company deeper into the services business as it continues to morph into a more software-focused entity amid its ongoing turnaround.

The smartphone industry pioneer, which is pivoting to focus more on security software and services as the popularity of its devices have waned, said it sees massive potential in the area, with cyber security consulting currently worth an estimated $16.5 billion a year globally.

The terms of the Encription deal, which closed Friday, were not disclosed.

The acquisition will bring a team of about 40 cyber security professionals, who have helped test network vulnerabilities for both government agencies and large corporate entities, into the BlackBerry fold.


 

REGISTRATION FOR AMARNATH YATRA BEGINS TODAY

The registration for this year’s pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Amarnath will start from Monday.

It will begin for both Baltal and Chandanwari routes through 432 designated bank branches.

The 48-day Yatra will commence simultaneously on both the routes from July 2 and conclude on Raksha Bandhan on August 18.

Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board P. K. Tripathi said the step-by-step procedure which the yatris need to follow to register has been put on the board’s website.

The CEO said pilgrims would have to furnish a compulsory health certificate while seeking registration.

Only certificates issued by doctor or medical institutes and authorised by the concerned State government shall be accepted at the designated bank branches.

For Yatra 2016, only those health certificates that have been issued on or after February 10 shall be considered valid.

The CEO further said those under the age of 13 years or above the age of 75 years and women, who are over six-week pregnant would not be allowed to be registered.


 

VINOD RAI BECOMES FIRST CHAIRMAN OF BANKS BOARD BUREAU

The government on Sunday set up a Bank Board Bureau (BBB) to help manage state-run banks better but stirred a controversy by appointing former comptroller and auditor general Vinod Rai as its first chairman. The setting up of the BBB, which will have three other part-time members, is seen as a major reform initiative as the finance ministry will give up several powers it has enjoyed over the years.

The choice of chairman, however, came under scrutiny with principal opposition party Congress questioning possible violation of Article 148(4) of the Constitution. “The CAG shall not be eligible for further office either under the government of India or under the government of any state after he has ceased to hold his office,” it says.