National Current Affairs
February 3rd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : National Current Affairs
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1) P.M. Narendra Modi called to Make renewable energy affordable.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for innovation and research to develop renewable energy to provide affordable electricity to every household.
  • As many as 293 companies have committed to generate 266 GW of renewable energy in the next five years under the government’s ambitious RE-Invest programme unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Inaugurating the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet (RE-Invest), Mr. Modi called for collaboration between the 50 nations with abundant solar power to develop technological solutions.
  • Hybrid power generation involving solar and wind energy should be encouraged as it will help save on transmission and power evacuation infrastructure cost.
  • The cost of electricity from solar photovoltaic cells has come down from Rs. 20 per unit to Rs. 7.50 and research and innovation can help bring it down further.
2) National Lok Adalat disposes 56,000 cases, disburses Rs. 265 crore.
  • Over 56,000 cases across the country were disposed of by the third National Lok Adalat which also saw disbursal of Rs. 265 crore as claims towards final settlement in bank recovery and cheques bounce cases.
  • According to National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), several banks, financial institutions and others participated in the Lok Adalat which was organised nationwide and arrived at final settlements of over Rs. 265 crore.
  • The Lok Adalat was organized under the patronage of Chief Justice of India HL Dattu and the leadership of Supreme Court Judge Justice TS Thakur throughout the country except in Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
3) Modi assures global investors reforms push will continue.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, assured global investors that the government’s reforms push would continue and there would be predictability in policies.
  • The first manufacturing plant of American multinational General Electric inaugurated in India.
  • The new facility will manufacture a range of diversified products for sectors such as energy, aviation, oil as well as gas transportation.
Multi-model facility:
  1. The multi-modal facility will support GE’s global operations as well as cater to the growing domestic demand.
  2. To support the Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, GE Vice Chairman John Rice announced the second phase expansion of Chakan unit a testimony to GE’s commitment to the Indian market.
  3. The Prime Minister also urged GE to participate in the defence production programmes of the government as well as that of modernisation of the Indian Railways.
  4. Including phase II, GE will have a total investment of $200 million in India, and it will also explore possibility to invest in the railway sector.
4) PM Modi opens judicial museum that houses certificates of Mahatma Gandhi, Jinnah.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the `Permanent Judicial Museum` at Bombay High Court, which has on display the Barrister Certificates of Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.
  • The museum has been set up as a part of the court`s sesquicentennial (150th year) celebration.
  • The museum also boasts of Barrister Certificates of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, K.M. Munshi and the first Chief Justice of India, M.C. Chhagla.
  • The Supreme Court of Bombay, between 1824 and 1862, which became the Bombay High Court in 1862.

5) AAP to launch `Jai Kisan Abhiyan` in Haryana.

  • With the aim of strengthening itself in Haryana, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) would launch `Jai Kisan Abhiyan` across the state.
  • The party leaders and workers will make representations before district officials and present a salt bag to all the Members of Parliament to remind them of their responsibility towards the people.
  • The party leaders and workers will make representations before district officials and present a salt bag to all the Members of Parliament to remind them of their responsibility towards the people.
6) Union Ministry of Finance imposed Anti-dumping duty on imports of graphite electrodes.
  • Union Ministry of Finance imposed the anti-dumping duty on imports of graphite electrodes for five years.
  • The duty ranges between USD 278.19 and USD 922.03.
  • The main use of graphite electrodes is in melting of steel. The DGAD had initiated and conducted investigation into dumping, injury and causal links between dumping and injury to the domestic industry.
  • The DGAD had carried out the probe into the dumping on complaints of domestic manufacturers like HEG and Graphite India.
7) Aero India 2015 opened in Yelahanka.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened The 10th edition of the Aero India 2015 air show and exhibition at the Air Force Station Yelahanka.
  • Defence Ministers or officials of equivalent ranks of six countries — the USA, Russia, Israel and Germany among them were present.
  • The Indian military planes and helicopters include, the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, the Sukhoi-30 MkI medium fighter and the newly-purchased Pilatus basic trainer from the IAF and HAL stables.
8) U.S.-based news portal Mashable to foray into Indian market.
  • U.S.-headquartered news portal Mashable announced its foray into the Indian market in partnership with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s JV firm
  • Web portal is a joint-venture between Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.
  • Mashable India will have an editorial team based in India for localized content.
9) Shri Bandaru Dattatreya Launches Online Helpdesk for Settlement of Inoperative Accounts.
  • In accordance with the Prime Minister’s directions on the occasion of the ‘Shrameva Jayate’ programme regarding the settlement of EPF Inoperative Accounts having Rs. 27,000 crores as balance, EPFO has launched an action program.
  • The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment inaugurated an EPFO Inoperative Account online helpdesk to assist the holders of Inoperative Accounts to trace out their accounts and effect settlement or transfer of the same to their present account.
  • The introduction of Universal Account Number (UAN) is expected to greatly facilitate as UAN would enable consolidation of multiple previous PF account numbers with the present one.
10) Small watershed schemes announced by rural ministry.
  • The Minister for Rural Development Shri Birender Singh announced small watershed schemes across the country to promote a variety of economic activities including agriculture.
  • The watershed schemes have the big potential to fight poverty and reduce the imbalances between the poor and the rich.
  • Centre and States should join hands to promote water conservation programmes in an honest fashion and address the credibility crisis.
About watershed Scheme:
  1. Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Sudarshan Bhagat explained extensive community participation particularly of Women and weaker sections should become an integral part of the water conservation schemes.
  2. During the function, jingle, Logo, Name and Tagline of Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) were launched for wider publicity. The selected unique name for the IWMP now is “Jal Sadhana” and the tagline is “Conserve water, Conserve life”.

11) Rs. 50k crore naval project gets Cabinet nod.

  • The Cabinet Committee on Security sanctioned the country`s biggest naval project, the construction of seven stealth frigates for Rs. 45,381 crore.
  • Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL), Mumbai , will build four of these, while Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, Kolkata (GRSE).
  • This project, dubbed Project 17A, follows on from the earlier Project 17, in which MDL built three 5,600-tonne frigates: INS Shivalik, Satpura and Sahyadri.
Complete details of project 17A:
  1. The first two frigates would be delivered by MDL and GRSE in 2022, with the rest coming in pairs at one-year intervals.
  2. The main advance in Project 17A will be the "modular" method with which the frigates will be constructed.
  3. The new vessels will be fitted with BrahMos cruise missile for land attack, and the new Indo-Israeli Long Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LR-SAM) that can shoot down incoming anti-ship missiles.
  4. Project 17A is vital for executing the navy`s Maritime Capability Perspective Plan (MCPP), which envisions a 160-ship navy, with 90 capital warships, i.e. aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates and corvettes.
12) Shripad Naik Emphasizes on Availability of Quality Raw Material for Production of Quality AYUSH Drugs.
  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH and Health and Family Welfare, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik has underlined the importance of availability of quality raw material for production of quality drugs.
  • The Minister suggested that review meetings should be held from time to time with all stakeholders to understand the bottlenecks they face in taking up large cultivation of medical plants.
About AYUSH:
  1. The National AYUSH Mission (NAM) is a turning point as it, inter-alia, envisages better access to AYUSH services through increase in number of AYUSH Hospitals and Dispensaries ensuring availability of AYUSH drugs and trained manpower.
  2. The Minister informed that the Ministry of AYUSH has decided to undertake a programme on ‘Homeopathy for Healthy Child’.
  3. The Ministry of AYUSH is also planning to organize a mega event on International Yoga Day falling on 21st June.
13) PM launches Soil Health Card scheme targeting 14 crore farmers.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a Soil Health Card scheme, under which the Centre plans to target over 14 crore in the next three years to check the excess use of fertilizers.
  • The newly set up Niti Aayog and the states have been asked to constitute high-powered expert committees on agriculture to boost farm growth.
  • Farmers need to do away with traditional farming techniques and adopt scientific methods of agriculture to raise crop yields.
About Soil Health Card Scheme:
  1. The card, to be issued after testing soil, would help them save up to Rs 50,000 in 3 acres of land.
  2. The card, which will carry crop-wise recommendation of fertilizers required for farm lands, will help farmers identify health of soil and judiciously use soil nutrients.
  3. The scheme will be implemented in all states to promote soil testing services, issue of soil health cards and development of nutrient management practices.
  4. The union government is planning to distribute the cards to 3 crore farmers in this financial year.
14) Centre removes MEP on potato export.
  • The government removed restrictions on export of potato by doing away with the minimum export price.
  • With rise in food inflation, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in June last, had imposed a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of $450 a tonne on potatoes to tame rising prices and augment domestic prices.
  • Keeping in view of the prevailing lower prices and higher domestic availability of potato, the government has decided to remove the MEP on export of potato.
15) Government Launches Portal `MADAD` to Redress Consular Grievances.
  • Indian citizens living abroad will now be able to file consular grievances online as the government launched an e-portal to address such complaints promptly with a high degree of “accountability”.
  • The portal seeks to significantly reform the linear process adopted to post grievances from the originator of the grievance to the concerned Embassy or Consulate of India abroad and cut down the time required for grievances to be sent from Delhi to our Missions abroad and to get them to take necessary action.
  • Healthy intra-department competition would act as a deterrent for officials to not let work slide and they would therefore respond with greater accountability now.
16) The two-day national meet on Adoption concludes with consensus to protect interests of children.
  • The two-day National meet on adoption organized by Child Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) of the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development concluded in New Delhi.
  • The meet concluded with the message that all stakeholders should make every possible effort to ensure that the interests of the children are given utmost importance in the process of adoption.
  • During the sessions, various stakeholders including child care agencies, legal experts, representatives from MEA and UIDAI discussed issues and processes related to the implementation of adoption guidelines.
  • Aadhar cards to be issued to all children in adoption agencies across India.
About CARA:
  1. The meet was inaugurated by Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi.
  2. The Chairperson of CARA: Smt Deepak Sandhu.
  3. The Secretary of CARA: Dr. Veerendra Mishra.
  4. Aadhar cards will empower the children with a Unique identity of their own which can be verified and authenticated online and thus it will eliminate false identities.