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Current Affairs: 21st February 2015

Category : All, Current Affairs · by Feb 22nd, 2015

1- International Mother Language Day is being observed across the world on 21 February

International Mother Language Day is being observed across the world on 21 February,khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge

International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day (Bhasha Divas) is observed across the world, on 21 February every year.

2015 Theme: “Inclusion in and through education: Language counts”.  The year 2015 is the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day.

Objective: To promote awareness of linguistic, multilingualism and cultural diversity.

About International Mother Language Day

  • The Day  is  observed  yearly  by  UNESCO  member  states  and  at its headquarters to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
  • On 16 May 2007, by resolution 61/266, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the  International  Year  of  Languages,  to  promote  unity  in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

Importance of International Mother Language Day: It is the greatest weapon to express one’s feeling. Mother Language of one country is the sign of independence of that country.

About Bangla  Language Movement

  • The day assumes special significance in Bangladesh where scores of people, mostly students and teachers of the Dhaka University, were mercilessly shot down by the Pakistani army in 1952 in erstwhile East Pakistan.
  • This day is  commemorated  in  Bangladesh  since  1952  where  a  number  of Dhaka university  student activists  were  killed  by  the  Pakistani  police  and  army  during  the Bangla  Language Movement.
  • The activists had protested against imposition of Urdu as the national language side-stepping Bengali – their mother tongue.
  • But the incident calls for celebration too as the protest sowed the seeds of home-grown nationalism that ultimately led to the creation of Bangladesh from the ashes of the Liberation War in 1971.

2- Union Government launches portal Madad to redress consular grievances

Union Government launches portal Madad to redress consular grievances

MADAD- because you are us

Union Government has launched Consular Grievances Monitoring portal named MADAD (Help)- Because You Are Us.

MADAD an e-portal will help Indian citizens living abroad to file consular grievances online on the services offered by the Indian Missions and Posts abroad. It was launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the MEA headquarters in New Delhi.

Features of MADAD

  • MADAD allows direct registration of the grievances by the members of the public and effective monitoring of the grievance handling process thereafter, until it is redressed.
  • It incorporates several innovative features including flexible architecture to handle a variety of grievances, linking of similar grievances on the basis of passport number to avoid duplication and automatic escalation and enhancement of priority.
  • It will also help to speed up forwarding and handling of complaints, improve tracking and redressal and escalate unresolved cases.
  • The authorities will be assigned responsibility through a colour-coded dashboard. This dashboard will change its colour if the response in not given in a stipulated time.
  • It also has colour code system of red-amber-green pattern. It will keep check on performances of authorities in redressing grievances. The green colour indicates cases are cleared, while the pending cases will be indicated in red colour.

3- Drug-resistant malaria detected at Myanmar-India border

Scientists have detected drug-resistant malaria at the Myanmar-India border. It was revealed in a Oxford University led study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

Tests have shown that this drug-resistant malaria is on the verge of entering India and now poses an enormous threat to global health. These detected drug-resistant malaria parasite have ability to shrug off the effects ofartemisinin (normally given as part of combination therapy to fight malaria) has been spreading since it emerged in South-east Asia.

Drug-resistant malaria has been detected in South Asian countries like Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.

In case Myanmar, 940 parasite samples were collected at 55 malaria treatment centres and its border regions. Scientist have found that almost 40 percent of the samples had mutations in their so-called kelch gene, K13 a known genetic signal of artemisinin drug resistance.

Earlier, drug-resistant malaria parasite to Chloroquine was discovered in 1957 around the border between Cambodia and Thailand.

Deaths from malaria have nearly halved since 2000, and the infection now kills about 584,000 people each year. But drug-resistant malaria parasite may threat to global health in future.

4- India signs loan agreement with ADB to boost power generation capacity in Assam

India has signed loan agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) for 50 Million dollars to boost power generation capacity in Assam.

The loan agreement was signed for the second Assam power sector investment programme.

Key facts 

  • This programme aims to build up the capacity of power generation and distribution systems in state to meet the growing energy demand.
  • Loan funds are going to finance investments of the programme to augment and improve generation capacity in Assam for replacement of an inefficient generating plant and construction of new hydropower plant. This programme is expected to be completed by 31 December 2018.
  • Since 2003, ADB has supported Assam’s power sector with five loans totaling $450 million. These loan funds have helped the State enact key reforms and improve transmission and distribution systems.

Problems of Assam’s Power Sector

At present Assam is facing problem of power crunch. More than third of households in the State are facing daily electricity cuts for 5 to 6 hours. Many important businesses in state such as the tea gardens are not connected to the grid. In peak periods Assam has to buy up to 15% of its power from independent producers at very high cost.

5- Chrishantha de Silva appointed as Sri Lanka Army chief

khichdi, blog,current affairs, general,knowledge, ias, ips, civil, services, CSAT,pre, ies, general studies, GS, mains, competitive, entrance, bank, PO, IBPS,Chrishantha de Silva appointed as Sri Lanka Army chief

Chrishantha de Silva

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has appointed Major general Chrishantha de Silva as the new Sri Lankan Army chief.

De Silva is the 21st Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, since the island nation gained independence from Britain in 1948. He will succeed Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake with effect from 22 February 2015.

De Silva had joined the Sri Lanka Army as cadet officer in 1980 and has served in many regions including operational areas.

Along with this appointment, Sri Lanka’s new government reinstated the rank of former army Chief General Sarath Fonseka, who was stripped of all ranks and was sentenced to jail by previous President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

General Sarath Fonseka was Sri Lanka’s only four-star general who had led the Army to defeat the Tamil Tigers in 2009. In 2010, he had fallen out with Rajapaksa and challenged him in the election of 2010. Thereafter Fonseka was arrested, court martialled and jailed for corruption.

6- CCI gives nod to Kotak-ING Vysya Bank merger

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given its approval to proposed Rs 15,000-crore merger deal between Kotak Mahindra Bank and ING Vysya Bank.

CCI in its approval mentioned that this merger is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India. The CCI also has 0bserved that the ING Vysya does not have significant market share in any of the relevant markets and there is presence of large players in these markets. So it will act as a competitive constraint to the parties.

This approval is considered as important step for merging of two banks to form new entity. This merger will make Kotak Mahindra Bank fourth-largest private bank in India in terms of total business. The biggest three private banks are ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank.

Background

  • In November 2014, Kotak Mahindra Bank had announced that it is acquiring ING Vysya Bank in an all-stock deal.
  • The management of these banks are expecting that the new merged entity will be operational by April 1, 2015.
  • The acquisition will help Kotak Mahindra Bank to widen its reach in South Indian market and also help in acquiring SME customers as ING Vysya Bank was having stronghold in SME customers.
  • After merger the combined banking entity will have a widespread network of 1,214 branches across pan India.

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