1. Delhi’s IGI airport retains world’s number 1 position
i. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has retained the world’s number 1 position for the second consecutive year in 25-40 Million Passengers Per Annum (MPPA) category.
ii. The rankings were announced by the Airports Council International (ACI).
iii. In 2007, a year after the airport was privatised, the airport’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ranking was 101 in the world.
iv. In 2011, the airport moved to number 2 position, which it retained till 2013. In 2014, it became no. 1 in the 25-40 MPPA category and retained the rank in 2015 with a score of 4.96 in ASQ survey on scale of 1 to 5.
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2. Mahesh Kumar Singla committee constituted to consider ST status to six communities of Assam
i. Union Government on 29 February 2016 constituted a committee to consider Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities of Assam.
ii. The committee will be headed by Special Secretary (Internal Security) Ministry of Home Affairs, Mahesh Kumar Singla.
iii. The committee will recommend the modalities for granting of Scheduled Tribe status to six Communities namely Koch Rajbongshi, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom, Chutia and Adivasi (Tea Tribes) in Assam.
iv. The Committee will submit its report by 31 May 2016.
v. The committee will consult with the Government of Assam and suggest the modalities for the required reservations, of shifting the existing reservation for these communities from OBC to ST.
3. Former Chief Justice Of India H.L. Dattu Joined NHRC As Chairperson
i. Former Chief Justice of India H L Dattu took charge as the Chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
ii. He is the 7th Chairperson of the NHRC. His appointment announced under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, by the President on the recommendation of the high powered committee headed by the Prime Minister for the tenure of 5 years.
iii. The committee had cleared the name of Justice Dattu for the post last week.
iv. The post was lying vacant form the last 8 months after the retirement of Justice K G Balakrishnan.
v. The former Chief Justice Of India (CJI) took over the position from Justice C Joseph, who has been the acting chairperson since the end of the five-year term of former chairperson K G Balakrishnan.
4. India Inks $3.1 Billion Deals For Apache And Chinook Helicopters With US
i. Indian Defence Ministry has issued an order worth Rs 22,000 crores for purchase of helicopters, CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache, which will be inducted in the forces soon.
ii. Defence ministry already issued an order for puchase of 15 chinook helicopter and 21 Apache helicopters, which will soon be inducted in the forces,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters on 28-feb.
iii. Ministry had totalling Rs 22,000 crores, has been placed for the purchase of these choppers, which will strengthen the capabilities of country’s defence forces.
5. 7th Lamitye Military Exercise Ends
i. The 7th joint military exercise between India and Seychelles military forces came to a close on 28-feb-2016 at victoria mahe island in seychella with a final attack scenario where suspected pirates had escaped at Cap Ternay.
ii. It was conducted aim to improved interprosporaty of both Armis.
iii.This edition of joint military drill, will be concluding phase of the drill.
iv. It will be incorporating a tactical exercise and will be witnessed by senior military officers from both the countries who will review the standards of interoperability achieved by both the contingents.
v. India and Seychelles have been conducting joint drill ‘Exercise Lamitye’ since 2001. Lamitye which means friendship in Creole (local dialect), is conducted biennially with the aim of enhancing military cooperation and interoperability between the two countries
6. SIDBI To Raise Rs 10,000 Cr. For Stand Up India Fund
i. The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) will raise the proposed Rs 10,000 Crore corpus for ‘Stand Up India Fund’ from Reserve Bank Of India.
ii. The Fund will be disbursed to Dalit and women entrepreneurs. As per the SIDBI Chairman & MD Kshatrapati Shivaji, It will be raised from the RBI through the priority sector lending shortfalls under the scheme announced by PM Narendra Modi.
iii. According to that scheme each bank branch has been mandated to lend to one micro-enterprise promoted by a woman and SC and ST entrepreneur and the funds will also include one devoted for factoring, educational loans, Mudra loans of up to Rs 10 lakh and the Stand Up India loans.
iv. SIDBI is currently working on 4 new credit guarantee funds, apart from the already operational Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises which gives a cover of up to Rs 1 crore for MSME loans.
v. The bank depends on a variety of instruments to raise resources, including certificate of deposits, commercial papers, non-convertible debentures and credit lines from external agencies.
7. Japan to stipulate 80% emission cut goal by 2050
i. The Japanese government will stipulate a long-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 from current levels.
ii. The move follows the international climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015.
iii. The plan, being compiled by the environment ministry and the ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI), is likely to be approved by the cabinet before Japan hosts the Group of Seven (G7) summit in May.
iv. The government is obligated by law to update the national plan for cutting emissions, but it has not had a new plan since fiscal 2013 partly because energy policy was thrown into disarray by disasters, including the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
v. Prior to the global climate talks in Paris, the administration decided on a goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent in 2030 from 2013 levels, which will be included in the upcoming plan.
8. Randeep Hooda Honoured With Achievement Award In Australia
i. Randeep Hooda, the Bollywood actor was felicitated by Melbourne based South Asian community members at a function in Australia. On the occasion, the 39-year-old actor, also shared his memories of the time he spent as an international student in the country.
ii. The members of a non profit organization South Asian Public Affairs Council (SAPAC) honoured the visiting actor with an achievement award for making his mark in the film industry.
iii. At the event, Randeep Hooda formally launched a non profit organisation ‘Nobody Dies Hungry’ founded by an Australian Indian Aloke Kumar.
iv. The award was presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism Danielle Green.
v. And a local councilor Oscar Yildiz also offered Hooda to become an ambassador of ‘Bully Zero Australia’ which the actor accepted.
9. Hashim Thaci elected as President of Kosovo
i. Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci was on 26 February 2016 elected as president of Kosovo by the Members of Parliament amid the protests.
ii. He succeeded Atifete Jahjaga as head of state after winning the required simple majority in voting held in Pristina.
iii. He was a guerrilla leader during a conflict that led to Kosovo, a mainly ethnic Albanian province declaring independence from Serbia.
iv. He had also served as prime minister fell out with many opposition groups after helping to negotiate with Serbia a deal that gave more autonomy to minority Serbs of Kosovo.
v. Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It has been recognised by the US and many EU countries. This self-declared independence was not recognized by Serbia and many other countries around the world.
10. NASA Invites India To Jointly Explore Mars
i. India and the US could jointly explore Mars and, who knows, an Indian astronaut could also head to the Red planet on a joint mission.
ii. India Maiden mission to red planets manglyaan has opened the eyes of the world on ISRO’s capabilities at undertaking low cost, high value inter-planetary mission.
iii. Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL Charles Elachi a part of NASA and an institution better known for piloting most of the American planetary exploration efforts with rovers like Curiosity, says India and the US could jointly explore Mars and even invited India to send astronauts to the Red Planet.
iv. When India launched its mission to Mars, and I congratulate India on a superb mission by reaching the orbit or Mars in the very first attempt.
v. JPL supported ISRO in the navigation and communication because of the antennas we have. Reaching the Mars orbit in first attempt was an amazing achievement and that too at such low cost. Now American scientists through its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) mission and India through its Mars Orbiter Mission are sharing data.
11. Zee Media to acquire 80% stake in India Today companies
i. Zee Media Corporation will acquire up to 80 per cent stake in India Today group’s loss-making e-commerce and TV shopping entities — Today Merchandise and Today Retail Network Pvt Ltd — for Rs 166 crore in staggered payments over the next four years.
ii. The investment will be made in tranches.
iii. By June, Zee Media would acquire 49 per cent stake by investing Rs 39.7 crore by subscribing equity shares of both companies and had managerial and operational control over the target company.
iv. Explaining its rationale for investing in the ventures, Zee Media said TV shopping holds great investment value and with this acquisition, the company would shorten the launch timing of TV shopping channel.
12. Rozle Prezelj elected Chairman of IAAF Athletes’ Commission
i. Slovenian high-jumper Rozle Prezelj on 27 February 2016 was elected the Chairman of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes’ Commission in Monaco.
ii. Prezelj took over as Chairman of the commission from Frank Fredericks with immediate effect.
iii. On the other hand, Britain’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated Vice Chairwoman of the commission.
iv. His best result was at the 2008 Olympics where he finished 12th in high jump.
13. Rahul Sachdev won 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016
i. Rahul Sachdev on 29 February 2016 won the 1st All India Open Invitational Snooker Championship 2016 in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
ii. This tournament was organized by Billiards and Snooker Association of Aurangabad and had no relation with Cue Sports India.
iii. Rahul defeated Pushpender Singh of Railways in the final with 5-3 Score. Though Pushpender emerged as a strong contender and had lost only one frame before reaching the final while Rahul scored a break of 104.
iv. Rahul sood as the runner up in Nationals in 2013 and it was his highest performance. It is major breakthrough in his career to win All India level Invitation tournament.
v. To reach final, Rahul ousted Laxman Rawat (Railways) 5-1 whereas Pushpender Singh knocked out Kamal Chawla of Railways 5-1.
14. Armaan Ebrahim won FMSCI Motorsports Man of the Year Trophy
i. Car racer Armaan Ebrahim on 28 February 2016 was awarded the Motorsports Man-of-the-Year Trophy at ceremony organised by the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI).
ii. Armaan walked away with the glittering ‘Raymond Gautam Singhania Rolling Trophy’ and a cash prize of Rs 2,00,000 for his performance in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Asia Series.
iii. B.I. Chandhok recived lifetime achivement award. An avid racer and a founder of FMSCI, Chandhok has served the motorsports fraternity in various roles and the gathering saluted the man for his lifelong achievements.
iv. He was awarded the trophy by FMSCI chairman Vijay Mallya.
15. Bahadur Singh Rana Won Gold In 50 Km Race Walk In National Championship
i. Olympian Basant Bahadur Singh Rana clinched the gold medal in men’s 50km race walk event on the second and final day of the National Championships in Jaipur.
ii. It was the 3rd edition of National Race Walking Championships.
iii. The 32 year old Rana has a personal best of 3:56:48 which he clocked in the 2012 London Olympics, which was a national record.
iv. Delhi walker Rana clocked 4 hours 7 minutes 24 seconds to finish first out of 33 participants in the race but only 9 managed to complete the race.
v. Perhaps it was a good 1 minute 25 seconds behind the Rio Olympic qualification mark. Chandan Singh clinched the silver medal with a time of 4:09:50 while Jitendra Singh won the bronze medal with an effort of 4:12:10. The former has already bettered the Rio qualification mark in the 20km category. In the Women’s category, Neena K.T won the yellow medal with a time of 53:12.49, Bhawna Jat won the silver with a time of 53:27.79 while Priyanka Patel won the bronze, after clocking a timing of 53:32.95.