The important current affairs of the day are- Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme to be launched in 61 additional districts, Ministry of Railways launched three IT enabled services for Indian Railways, ISRO to launch GSLV by December 2016.

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Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao programme to be launched in 61 additional districts

The Union Government announced on February 10, 2016 that it has decided to extend its flagship scheme Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao in additional 61 district, across eleven states in the country. The scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Haryana in 2015, seeks to improve the declining trend of child sex ratio in selected districts. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Union Ministry of Women and Child Development, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.

Ministry of Railways launched Three IT enabled services for Indian Railways

The Union Minister of Railways, Suresh Prabhu formally launched three IT (Information Technology) enabled services for the Indian Railways on February 10, 2016 at New Delhi. The three services launched include (i) Paperless unreserved ticketing through mobile phone (ii) Pilot Project of hand Held Terminals for TTEs on Northern Railway and (iii) E-booking of disposable linen.

Crown Prince of UAE given ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces General Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was given ceremonial reception at the forecourts of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on February 11, 2016. Later, the visiting dignitary met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence where the two leaders are believed to have discussed issues of mutual concern. The Crown Prince is on a three day visit to India.

ISRO to launch Cryogenic Mark III based GSLV in December 2016

The Indian Space Research Organisation -ISRO will launch the Cryogenic mark- III based GSLV satellite launch vehicle during December 2016. ISRO senior official and VSSC Director Dr K Sivan told reporters on the sidelines of the 10th High Energy Materials Conference and Exhibition held in Hyderabad on February 11, 2016. He said the GSLV will be Stage-tested in two months and go for launching in December.

Union Government released National Framework for Malaria elimination

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda released the National Framework for Malaria Elimination at New Delhi on February 11, 2016.  Mr. Nadda said India is committed to eliminate Malaria from the country. Minister said prevalence and deaths due to Malaria have declined in the past decade.

Prime Minister to launch smart card scheme for unorganised workers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon launch a smart card scheme for over 40 crore unorganised workers in the country to provide them various social security benefits like insurance and pension. Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said this at launch of Global Network Operations Centre of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation in New Delhi yesterday. He said within one month Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch smart card called Unorganised Workers’ Identification Number (UWIN) card.

PM paid tributes to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay on his death anniversary

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his death anniversary on February 11, 2016. In his message, Mr Modi said the life of Pandit Deendayal was devoted to serving the nation and the poor. He said, government remains committed to his idea of Antyodaya or serving the last person in the society.

27% reservation for backward classes in Private sector recommended by National Commission for Backward classes

The recommendations of National Commission for Backward Classes for 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in private sector jobs has evoked favourable reactions from political parties. BJP spokesperson Bizay Sonkar Shastri said that there is valid ground for reservation in private sector but it can be provided only after creating a conducive atmosphere and it should not be imposed. He said, there is valid ground for working towards making a conducive atmosphere as private sector gets many government concessions, including tax rebates and infrastructure like land and water at a concessional rate.

Veteran film director Aurobindo Mukherjee passed away

Veteran film director Aurobindo Mukherjee passed away in Kolkata on February 10, 2016. He was 97. Mukherjee was the maker of cult Bengali classics like ‘Agniswar’, ‘Mouchak’ and ‘Nishipadma’ — all starring matinee idol Uttam Kumar – in the early 70s. Shakti Samanta’s ‘Amar Prem’, starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, was inspired by ‘Nishipadma’. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has condoled Mukherjee’s death.

Elephanta Island off the coast of Mumbai to receive electricity from August 15

Nearly 1,200 residents of the Elephanta island, famous for its Hindu cave sculptures and located around 10 km off Mumbai coast, will have electricity from the Independence Day this year. Elephanta, a popular tourist destination, despite its proximity to the country’s financial capital and housing caves which were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is still without electricity.

New Land revenue act became effective in Uttar Pradesh

In Uttar Pradesh, the new land Revenue Act become effective from February 11, 2016. The new code unifies many Acts and replaced at least 39 old land revenue acts. The new revenue act now also replaced the pre and post British era old acts of 1901 and 1950. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on 6th February launched this new revenue code booklet at a programme in Lucknow.

Tamil Nadu Government expressed its desire to sign MoU with Indian Railways

The Tamil Nadu government has expressed its desire to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Railways for implementing key infrastructure projects. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has said the state has prioritized establishing special purpose vehicles for high speed passenger rail links from Chennai to Kanniyakumari and Madurai to Coimbatore and Chennai-Tuticorin freight corridor.

Chief Minister of Assam released draft document ‘Vision Assam 2030’

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi unveiled a draft document, ‘Vision Assam 2030’ for ensuring inclusive and sustainable development in the state on February 10, 2016. He said, ‘Vision Assam 2030 – Everything for Everyone – Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Development’ envisions a “transformed future” for the people of Assam free from all forms of deprivation, inequities and insecurity within the next 15 years. Unveiling of the document in Guwahati, Mr Gogoi said now Assam has become the first state to have a vision document on sustainable development goals.

RBI seeks applications for regularisation of declared wealth

Reserve Bank has said that those who have declared unaccounted overseas assets under the black money law should file application with its central office for regularisation of declared wealth. RBI, in a statement issued in Mumbai, said a person resident in India who has declared any asset under the Black Money Act and intends to hold them is required to make an application to the RBI within 180 days of declaration.

UAE agreed to store crude oil in India’s strategic storage

The UAE’s national oil company Abu Dhabi National Oil (ADNOC) Company has agreed to store crude oil in India’s maiden strategic storage and give two-third of the oil to it for free. India is building underground storage at Visakhapatnam , Mangalore and Padur to store about 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil to guard against global price shocks and supply disruptions.

Small savings interest rates to be revised every quarter: Government

The government has announced that it will revise small savings interest rates every quarter, instead of annually. Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said government will revise small savings rates in a day or two. He said interest rates on girl child, senior citizen schemes will not be reviewed.

India and Australia to enhance cooperation in clean coal technology

India and Australia have agreed on enhancing cooperation in clean coal technology, renewable energy and LNG. Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal met his Australian counterpart Josh Frydenberg on the last day of the India-Australia Energy Dialogue in Canberra on February 10, 2016.

NATO and EU sign agreement for cooperation in Cyber defence

NATO and the European Union have signed an agreement to improve cooperation in cyber defence. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called it a concrete example of the two Brussels-based organizations joining forces to counter modern forms of hybrid warfare. He told reporters that the technical agreement, signed at NATO headquarters yesterday, establishes a framework for emergency response teams from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union to exchange information and share best practices.

UAE appoints eight women ministers in the new cabinet

The United Arab Emirates UAE has appointed women ministers to the newly created portfolios for happiness and tolerance, and youth affairs. Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum named eight women as he revealed his latest cabinet line-up of 29 ministers. Ohoud al-Roumi, who had served as director of the council of ministers’ office, was appointed minister of state for happiness.

Indian origin Harinder Sidhu appointed Australia’s High Commissioner to India

Indian-origin Harinder Sidhu will be Australia’s new High Commissioner to India. Sidhu, who will replace the outgoing High Commissioner Patrick Suckling, is a senior officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia. Announcing Sidhu’s appointment, Australian foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop said, India is one of Australia’s closest and most significant partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

US Senate passed Bill calling for tougher economic sanctions on North Korea

The Senate (Lower House of the US Congress) of the United States of America (USA) voted a resolution unanimously on February 10, 2016 to toughen economic sanctions on North Korea in reaction to its recent nuclear test and the long-range rocket launch. The Senate bill passed on February 10, 2016 would sanction anyone who contributes to North Korea’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities undermining cyber security and the provision of materials for such activities.

India breaks record by winning 122 Gold medals in South Asian Games

India shooters claimed 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze in the 12th South Asian Games on February 11, 2016. They got the coveted yellow metal each in the Men’s 50 metre Rifle Prone Team and Individual, and Men’s 25 metre Center Fire Pistol event. The Rifle Prone team comprised of Gagan Narang, Chain Singh and Surendra Singh. In the Individual section, Chain Singh bagged the Gold, while Narang settled for a Silver.