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Current Affairs: 19th February 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Feb 20th, 2015

1- Union Government launches single window e-biz portal

Union Government has launched a single window government-to-business (G2B) portal- e-Biz (www.ebiz.gov.in) for 11 Central government services to bring transparency and ease of doing business in the country.

Union Government launches single window e-biz portal,Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi

Single Window e-biz Portal

The portal was unveiled to public by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi.

Key facts

  • It is government’s approach aimed at improving India’s ranking in Ease of doing business index by leveraging technology to bring transparency, improve efficiency and promote convenience.
  • It provides single platform for online submission and processing of forms including online payment.
  • Government has identified 10 pilot states for its initial implementation and later to expand it across the country.

The portal will provide in total 11 Union government services to meet its objective. Among the 11 services,

  • 4 services are from Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) – Services such as name availability, Director Identification Number (DIN), certificate of incorporation and commencement of business.
  • 2 services of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) – Provide Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Tax-Deduction Account Number (TAN).
  • 2 services of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – to simplify the process such as foreign collaboration through general permission route from RBI.
  • 1 service of Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) – Know importer-exporter code (IEC).
  • 1 service of Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)- To complete employer’s registration
  • 1 service of Petroleum and explosives Safety Organization (PESO)- issue of explosive licences.

Government is also planning to roll-out more than 200 services related to investors and businesses in next few years.

2- Veteran Spinner Anil Kumble inducted in ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

Veteran Spinner Anil Kumble inducted in ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

Veteran Spinner Anil Kumble

Former India Captain and ace spinner Anil Kumble has been chosen to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He will be 77th inductee into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

He will be felicitated and inducted on 22 February 2015 during the ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and South Africa in Melbourne.

  • Anil Kumble had played 132 Tests and 271 One Day Internationals (ODIs) from 1990 to 2008.
  • In his cricket career he had taken 619 Test wickets and is the 3rd highest wicket-taker in Test cricket after Muttiah Muralidaran (800 wickets) and Shane Warne (708 wickets).
  • He also had claimed 337 wickets in ODIs making him the 9th most successful all-time great bowlers in this format.
  • Kumble is one of only two bowlers in history of cricket after England’s Jim Laker who had taken all 10 wickets in an innings.
  • He was captain of Indian Team and led it in 14 Tests between 2007 and 2008 .
  • Kumble also has scored 2,506 runs in Tests and 938 runs in ODIs.

He is the 4th Indian cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Others are Bishen Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar who were inducted into Hall of Fame in 2009.

About ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises the achievements of the legends from the game of cricket.

It was launched in January 2009 by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of its centenary celebrations in association with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).

3- Eminent Odisha film maker Nirad Mahapatra passes away

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Eminent Odisha film maker Nirad Mahapatra passes away

Nirad Mahapatra

Eminent filmmaker from Odisha Nirad Mahapatra passed away in Mumbai. He was 67. As a film-maker, he was best-known for his cultural, ecological and industrial documentaries.

About Nirad Mahapatra

  • Nirad Mahapatra was born on 12 November 1947 in Bhadrak, Balasore district of Odisha.
  • He was an alumni of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
  • Mahapatra was lecturer at FTII from 1972-1974 and had taught acclaimed directors like Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Saeed Mirza and Ketan Mehta. He was also in the Board of Directors of FTII.
  • He made into international fame with his very first film Maya Miriga. In 1984 the film had  won a Rajat Kamal at the National Film Awards. Later it won a special jury award at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • In his film maker career, he made several exceptional documentaries and won many awards.

4- India successfully test-fires N-capable Prithvi-II missile in Odisha

India successfully test-fired its nuclear capable Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha.

Test- It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and monitored by the scientists of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

Missile was fired from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) as part of a user trial by the army and met all mission objectives.

About Prithvi-II missile

Prithvi-II missile is the first missile indigenously developed by DRDO under India’s prestigious Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP). It was inducted into India’s SFC in 2003.

Features

  • Surface to surface ballistic missile.
  • Variants: Prithvi-I for the Army; Prithvi-II for the Indian Air Force; and the Dhanush for the Navy.
  • Single-stage, Liquid-propelled.
  • Advanced inertial navigation, control and guidance system. It uses advanced inertial guidance system with manoeuvering trajectory.
  • Payload capacity: 500-1,000 kg.
  • Range: 350 km.

5- Rashad Hussain appointed as US Special Envoy and Coordinator

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Rashad Hussain appointed as US Special Envoy and Coordinator

Rashad Hussain

Rashad Hussain, an Indian-American has been appointed United States (US) Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications. He will hold both posts. Prior to this appointment, he was Special Envoy of the US to Organisation for Islamic Countries (OIC).

As Special Envoy he will lead a staff from a number of U.S. departments and agencies to expand global engagement and partnerships of the US to counter violent extremism. As part of new role, he will also coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide strategic communications focused on violent extremists and terrorist organisations.

About Rashad Hussain

  • Rashad Hussain is son of Indian immigrants from state of Bihar.
  • In 2009 he had served as Deputy Associate Counsel to US President Barack Obama and focused issues related to national security, new media, and science and technology.
  • He had also served as Director for Global Engagement at the National Security Council (NSC) and as a Special Assistant US Attorney in Washington, where he had prosecuted criminal cases.
  • Award-In 2013, he was awarded US Distinguished Honor Award for his exceptionally outstanding service to the agencies of the US Government.

6- Kalyani Group announces joint venture with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defence System

India’s Kalyani Group has announced a joint venture (JV) with Rafael Advanced Defence System of Israel. This joint venture company will be based in India. It was announced by Chairman and Managing Director (MD) of Kalyani Group Baba Kalyani.

It will be the first such venture under the new Foreign direct investment (FDI) limits in defence sector.

Key facts

  • The joint venture company initiative is in line with the government’s Make in India policy.
  • It will enable the development and production of high-end technology and expand the defence industry base in the country.
  • The joint venture will be a 51:49 partnership basis.
  • Kalyani Group will be holding 51 per cent stake in it as per the new FDI norms (FDI cap in defence to 49 per cent). While, Rafael Advanced Defence System will be holding 49 per cent stake.

7- Snapdeal acquires luxury goods portal Exclusively.com

Online retailer Snapdeal.com has acquired luxury fashion portal Exclusively.com for an undisclosed amount.

With this acquisition, Snapdeal is seeking to expand its presence in the high-end fashion segment and targeting $2 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of the current calendar year.

It will also complement Snapdeal’s existing ecosystem and provide it with a consolidated offering for the luxury and lifestyle shopper, making it India’s first online luxury mall. The acquisition of Exclusively is similar to India’s e-commerce giant and Snapdeal’s arch rival Flipkart. Earlier in May 2015, Flipkart had acquired online fashion retailer Myntra for an estimated Rs 2,000 crore deal.

About Snapdeal.com

  • Snapdeal.com was started in February 2010.
  • It was founded by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, an alumnus of IIT Delhi.
  • Since its formation Snapdeal has grown to become the largest online marketplace in India. At present it offers an assortment of 4 million+ products across diverse categories from over 50,000 sellers, shipping to 4,000 towns and cities in India.

8- Bihar government announces 35% reservation for women in non-gazetted government jobs

Bihar government has announced 35% reservation for women in non-gazetted government jobs in group C and D grade. This decision was taken at state cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

The cabinet meeting also took following decisions

  • Hiked Member of Legislative Assembly  Development Fund (MLADF) from the present Rs. 2 crore in a year to Rs. 3 crore from the next financial year.
  • Proposal to pay 13 months salary in place of 12 months to policemen upto inspector rank.
  • Hiked the daily wage of home guards to Rs. 400 from Rs. 300 at present.
  • Enhance the payment of agricultural advisors to Rs. 7,000 per month from Rs. 6,000 per month at present.

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