Daily Current Affairs 16th February, 2017

Daily Current Affairs 16th February, 2017


Union Cabinet approves establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform at Amlaha

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved establishment of Food Legumes Research Platform (FLRP) at Amlaha in Sehore, Madhya Pradesh with Satellite Hubs in West Bengal and Rajasthan.
  • The FLRP will be established by International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) for meeting the emerging food security challenges. Under it, ICARDA will carry out research through a multi-disciplinary team of scientists for enhancing productivity of crops range-land and livestock. It will enable India to harness the best of international science in meeting the emerging food security challenges. It will help India to rapidly and effectively absorb research output in the agriculture.

Union Cabinet approves bill to amend Collection of Statistics Act, 2008     

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved introduction of Bill in Parliament to extend the jurisdiction of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu & Kashmir.
  • The Amendment will be pertained to statistics under Union (List-I) and Concurrent lists (List- III) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution and Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Order, 1954.


Cabinet approves merger of five subsidiary banks with SBI

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the acquisition by the State Bank of India of its subsidiary banks namely State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Travancore.
  • The acquisition of subsidiary banks of State Bank is an important step towards strengthening the banking sector through consolidation of public sector banks.
  • It is in pursuance of the Indradhanush action plan of the Government and it is expected to strengthen the banking sector and improve its efficiency and profitability.
  • The acquisition under Section 35 of the State Bank of India Act, 1955 will result in the creation of a stronger merged entity,helping to minimize vulnerability to any geographic concentration risks faced by subsidiary banks.
  • It will also create improved operational efficiency and economies of scale and also result in improved risk management and unified treasury operations.


Government launches TAMRA Portal and Mobile App

  • The Ministry of Mines has launched Transparency, Auction Monitoring and Resource Augmentation (TAMRA) Portal and Mobile Application to ensure transparent award of statutory Clearances for mining operations.
  • The TAMRA platform was simultaneously launched across 12 mineral rich states as a part of the Ease of Doing Business in the Mining sector and to double mining contribution to GDP.
  • It will be an interactive platform for all the stakeholders to compress the timeline for statutory and other clearances as it is expected to help minimise the gestation period for starting production.
  • TAMRA covers block-, state- and mineral-wise information of the blocks to be auctioned, monitors various statutory clearances and also highlights the additional resources generated through e-auction.
  • In case of delay in obtaining any clearances, TAMRA will send out triggers to the authority concerned so that the remedial steps can be taken immediately.
  • The mines ministry will also receive triggers generated by TAMRA, which will facilitate expediting clearances in case the timelines set against each of the statutory clearances are not met.

J&K govt launches e-Prison project

  • The Jammu and Kashmir government launched the e-Prison project to enumerate jail inmates in the State, where numbers of detainees keep swelling during unrest.


Scientists ‘unmask’ superbug-shielding protein

  • Scientists from University of Western Australia have successfully mapped three-dimensional molecular structure of EptA protein that shields superbugs from antibiotics.
  • The EptA protein causes multi-drug resistance by masking bacteria from both the human immune system and important antibiotics.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infections caused multi-drug resistant bacteria kills around 700,000 people each year.
  • A colistin-resistant strain of bacteria uncovered in 2015 is one of the grave concerns for health authorities. The spread of genes containing the colistan-resistant protein may make previously treatable bacterial infections untreatable.

Clouds over Maharashtra will have a silver iodide lining

  • During monsoon 2017, weather scientists will fly airplanes loaded with silver iodide over clouds hovering above Solapur, Maharashtra and begin a three-year investigation to acertain whether cloud seeding produce sufficient rain.
  • The ₹250-crore programme, coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, will be the first controlled experiment to quantify the extent to which clouds form water drops large enough to make rain.

How it works?

  • Rainfall occurs when supercooled droplets of water – those that are still liquid but are at a temperature below the usual freezing point of zero centigrade – form ice crystals. Now too heavy to remain suspend in the air, these then fall, often melting on their way down to form rain.
  • Even in dry areas the air usually contains some water. This can be made to come together and form ice crystals by seeding the atmosphere with chemicals such as silver iodide or dry ice.
  • They work to promote rainfall by inducing nucleation – what little water is in the air condenses around the newly introduced particles and crystallises to form ice.
  • The ‘seeds’ can be delivered by plane or simply by spraying from the ground.


With MTCR done, India to test extended range Brahmos

  • India is planning to test a new version of the Brahmos cruise missile on March 10, with New Delhi’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) removing previous barriers that capped the range of the joint project with Russia.
  • The extended range version of the missile, aiming to reach 450 km, will be an improvement over the current range of 290 km.

About MTCR

  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a multilateral export control regime.
  • It is an informal and voluntary partnership among 35 countriesto prevent the proliferation of missile and unmanned aerial vehicle technology capable of carrying above 500 kg payload for more than 300 km.
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) established in April 1987 by the G7 countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, and the United States of America.
  • The People’s Republic of China is not a member of the MTCR but has agreed to abide by the original 1987 Guidelines and Annex, but not the subsequent revisions.
  • In 2002, the MTCR was supplemented by the International Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (ICOC), also known as the Hague Code of Conduct, which calls for restraint and care in the proliferation of ballistic missile systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, and has 119 members, thus working parallel to the MTCR with less specific restrictions but with a greater membership.
  • India formally applied for membership to the group in June 2015, with active support from France and the United States, and officially became a member on 27 June 2016 with the consensus of the 34 member nations.


Mamata Banerjee declares Kalimpong as separate district

  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee declared Kalimpong as 21st district of West Bengal  Kalimpong as separate district of West Bengal .
  • The new district is from Darjeeling.

2-day Global Investor Summit ‘Momentum Jharkhand’ begins in Ranchi

  • A two-day mega event of Global Investor Summit, branded as “Momentum Jharkhand” is kicked off at Khelgaon of Ranchi.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Submit through viedo-conferencing. A number of Central Ministers will also be present at the occasion.


Tamil Nadu Governor appoints Edappadi K Palaniswami as chief minister

  • Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao appointed Edappadi K Palaniswami as chief minister after replacing of O. Panneerselvam .





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