15 February 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

15 February 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

15 February 2019 - Daily Current Affairs

1. Sushil Chandra appointed new Election Commissioner

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has appointed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra (Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer-1980 batch) as an Election Commissioner.
  • Chandra's tenure as chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) was to expire in May 2019.
  • He will fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of O.P. Rawat.
  • Mr. Chandra (61-years) completed his B. Tech from IIT Roorkee and LLB from Dehradun.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner heads the Election Commission of India, a body constitutionally empowered to conduct free and fair elections to the national and state legislatures.
  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) was formed on 25 January 1950 is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India.
  • Chief Election Commissioner: Sunil Arora & Election Commissioner: Ashok Lavasa.

National Affairs

2. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan pension scheme comes into effect from today

  • Today, The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan scheme (announced in the interim Budget) has been implemented.
  • Under the scheme, workers of the unorganised sector will receive a minimum assured pension of three thousand rupees per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The workers whose monthly income is 15 thousand rupees per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18 to 40 years are eligible for the scheme.
  • During the receipt of the pension (if the subscriber dies) the spouse of the beneficiary will be entitled to receive 50%of the pension.
  • The subscriber will be required to have a mobile phone, savings bank account and Aadhaar number.
  • All the branch offices of LIC, ESIC and EPFO and all Labour offices of Central and State Governments will guide the unorganised workers about the Scheme.

3. Indian army Carried Out the annual exercise named ‘Exercise Topchi’

  • Indian Army showcased its artillery firepower by using ultralight Howitzers and indigenous Swathi weapon-locating radar at the annual ‘Exercise Topchi’ at Deolali Camp near Nashik, Maharashtra.
  • There were a showcase of display of rockets, missiles, surveillance, and target acquisition radars, remotely piloted aircraft and hi-tech equipment in addition to gunfire.
  • The precision displayed while delivering the explosives in the target area stunned all those present.

4. India’s first Aqua Mega Food Park Commissioned in Andhra Pradesh

  • Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal commissioned the Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh (through video conferencing).
  • The mega park has been set up in 57.81 acres at a cost of Rs 122.60 crore
  • It will be the first Mega Aqua Food Park operationalised exclusively for fish and marine products processing in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

5. 44 CRPF personnel martyred in a suicide attack in Kashmir

  • India lost 44 of its bravest Jawans of CRPF (country's largest paramilitary force)  in an absolutely abhorrent, cowardly attack in Awantipora, Pulwama in Kashmir.
  • This after a Jaish dastard rammed a vehicle carrying explosives weighing 350 kgs into a CRPF truck.
  • Gradeup salutes our martyrs of Pulwama attack and stands with the families of our martyr brothers.

Honours & Awards

6. Bradley Cooper wins the Best Director from PETA for ‘A Star Is Born’

  • Bradley Cooper (43-years) has been awarded the ‘Oscat’ by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
  • The animal rights organisation awarded Cooper “for his enlightened decision to cast his own canine companion in ‘A Star Is Born’ rather than using one supplied by a notorious animal exhibitor”.
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Its slogan is "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way."

 Books & Authors

7. P Chidambaram’s Book “Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India” launched

  • Former Vice President Hamid Ansari has launched the new book of P Chidambaram (former Finance Minister) named “Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India” at Nehru Memorial Museum in New Delhi.
  • The book is a collection of essays on the country’s atmosphere of fear and how the constitutional values are being threatened.

Banking and Finance

8. CCEA approves CLCS-TUS with a total outlay of Rs. 2900 crore

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) with a total outlay of 2900 crore rupees.
  • The objective of the scheme is to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs by integrating various ongoing schematic interventions aimed at up-grading technology through the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy (CLCS).
  • The scheme will facilitate technology up-gradation improvement in Quality of products by MSMEs, enhancement in productivity, reduction in waste.

9. Centre increases MSP of Sugar by 2 Rs/Kg

  • The Union Government has increased the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of sugar from 29 rupees to 31 rupees per kilogram for the year 2018-19, considering the rising arrears of sugarcane growers.
  • With this step, the appropriate amount will be available to sugar mills, which will enable them to pay the sugarcane farmers on time.
  • Minimum Support Price (MSP) is an Agriculture product price set by the Government of India to purchase directly from the farmer.
  • This rate is to safeguard the farmer to a minimum profit for the harvest if the open market has a lesser price than the cost incurred.

10. NTPC signs a pact with SBI for Rs 5K crore term loan

  • State-owned power NTPC has signed a term loan agreement for Rs 5,000 crore with State Bank of India.
  • This loan has a tenure of 15 years and will be utilised to part finance the capital expenditure of NTPC.
  • NTPC Limited is India's largest energy conglomerate with roots planted way back in 1975 to accelerate power development in India.


11. Chemistry Nobel Prize winner Manfred Eigen passes away

  • Nobel Prize winner German scientist Manfred Eigen (91-years) passed away.
  • Mr. Eigen shared the 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on extremely fast chemical reactions.
  • In 1971, he founded Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany.
  • He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Institute of Human Virology in the US in 2005.

12. Former Afghan interim President Mojaddedi passes away

  • Former Afghan interim President Sibghatullah Mojaddedi (93-years) passed away in Kabul hospital after a long illness.
  • He played many roles in Afghan politics.
  • Mojaddedi fought the Soviets and rose to become the country’s interim President (for two months) after the collapse of the Afghan communist regime in 1992.
  • In 2003, he served as chairman of the Loya Jirga (or Grand Assembly) that approved the Constitution for a post-Taliban era.


13. Prajnesh Gunneswaran breaks into men's singles top 100

  • Prajnesh Gunneswaran has made it to the top-100 of Men's Singles Tennis rankings.
  • He ranked 97th with a jump of six places.
  • Prajnesh is the third Indian player to break into the top-100 barrier after Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri.
  • He reached the semi-finals of the ATP Chennai Challenger last week to ensure his entry into the coveted bracket.

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