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DAILY GK - FEBRUARY 2016 -- 121 TO 150

121. Chhattisgarh And Railway Signed Joint Venture For Infrastructure Development

i. Indian Railway signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chhattisgarh Government to establish a joint venture ( JV ) for laying tracks and expedite implementation of railway projects in the state. 
ii. With this Chhattisgarh became 5th state to join hands with the Indian Railways for speedy execution of rail projects through JV route.
iii. Under this MoU, state government will have 51% share and Indian Railways will have remaining 49% share in the JV company. The joint venture will focus on project development and implementation, resource mobilization, land acquisition and monitor the progress of critical rail projects in the state.

122. Indian Origin Lawyer Davinder Singh Appointed As Vice - Chairman Of ICC

i. A top Indian origin lawyer has been named as Vice-Chairman of the Paris based International Chamber of Commerce Commission (ICC) on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-corruption.
ii. Davinder Singh, 58, is one of the top Indian origin lawyer in Singapore. He is the only Singaporean lawyer to be appointed to the leadership of one of 13 Policy Commissions under the ICC. 
iii. Currently he is the chief executive of the Singapore based law firm Drew & Napier. He was the member of Singapore Parliament from 1988-2006. 

123. Wipro To Buy US Healthcare Services

i. Global software major and India's 3rd largest exporter Wipro has made an announced buying "HealthPlan Service" business in the US for $460 million (Rs.3,150 crore). ii. HealthPlan Services is a leading independent technology and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) provider in the US health insurance market that offers solutions to health insurance firms. 
iii. By partnering with HealthPlan, Wipro will have first-mover advantage in the high growth public and private exchange space for individual, group and ancillary markets.
iv. With this acquisition, Wipro is looking to give its healthcare business a major fillip. 
v. This is Wipro’s overall 4th acquisition in the in calendar year 2015 . The acquisition process is likely to be completed within the next three months.

124. Amazon To Invest In Westland ( A Tata Group Company )

i. Ecommerce company Amazon has made an investment in Westland, a Trent Ltd subsidiary ( Tata Group ) in support of its publishing business. 
ii. The investment will help to expand its international  reach and scale its physical and digital book businesses. 
iii. Westland had also signed a two-month exclusive deal with Amazon to sell the book through its online platform.

125. Leslie Bassett : Pulitzer Winner Composer Passes Away

i. Leslie Bassett, Pulitzer winning composer passed away in Oakwood, Georgia. 
ii. He was 93. As a master composer he was known for his lush sonorities and ecumenical instrumentation and for compositions of coaxing a vast range of tonal colours from the bits of wood and brass. 
iii. He had also served as trombonist, composer and arranger in the US Army and Europe during World War II. 
iv. Bassett received the Pulitzer in 1966 for “Variations for Orchestra,” which had been given its United States premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy the year before. 

126. Anirban Lahiri wins Hilton Asian Tour Golfer of the Year award

i. The Indian triumphed at the Maybank Malaysian and Hero Indian Open before going on to finish tied fifth at the PGA Championship last year.
ii. He also became the first Indian to feature at The Presidents Cup and ended the year by winning the Asian Tour Order of Merit title and finishing in 40th place in the world rankings.
iii. Lahiri won the award ahead of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, Malaysia's Danny Chia and Philippines' Miguel Tabuena.

127. 13 February : World Radio Day

i. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is celebrating 
World Radio Day on 13 February.
ii. This year, the UNESCO theme for World Radio Day is “Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster”.
iii. It was proclaimed on 3 November 2011 by UNESCO's 36th General Conference after originally proposed by the Kingdom of Spain.

128. Discovery Of The Centuary : Gravitational Waves

i. Scientists have observed a stunning discovery in their quest to fully understand gravity.

ii. They have observed the warping of space time generated by the collision of two black holes more than a billion light-years from Earth.
iii. The scientist team says the first detection of these gravitational waves will usher in a new era for astronomy.
iv. The gravitational waves were predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity 100 years ago in 1915. The gravitational waves were detected on September 14, 2015 by LIGO detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA.

129. Narendra Modi opens ‘Make In India’ centre in Mumbai

i. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Make in India Centre at Bandra Kurla Complex, a 
commercial complex in the suburbs of Mumbai.
ii. The Make In India week will conclude on 18 February.
iii. Make in India is the current government’s flagship initiative, launched by the prime minister in September 2014, to encourage international companies to manufacture their goods in India.
iv. Make in India Week will be the flagship event to provide greater momentum to the Make in India initiative, and to showcase to the world the achievements of the nation in the manufacturing sector.

130. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award 2015

i. Chief Executive Officer Vinita Gupta  and managing director Nilesh Gupta, Lupin Ltd have been chosen the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015. Ms. Vinita and Mr. Nilesh Gupta will now represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo from 7-12 June 2016.
iii. An 11-member jury led by Adi Godrej selected the winners.
iv. F. C. Kohli, former Vice-Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his pioneering contribution towards the Indian software industry and nation-building.

131. MOU Signs Between NRDC & IICB To Promote Entrepreneurship

i. To promote start-ups and entrepreneurship, the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) and National Research Development Corporation (NRDC).
ii. Both arms of the DSIR, have signed an MoU to facilitate industry-institute partnership.
iii. The MoU have been signed by Dr H. Purushotham, CMD  of NRDC and Director, CSIR-IICB Prof. Samit Chattopadhyay in the presence of the Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of S&T and Earth Sciences and Dr Rabiranjan Chattopadhyay, West Bengal Minister  for Science, Technology & Biotechnology. 

132. International Radio Fair 2016 Hosted By Bhubaneswar

i. International Radio Fair 2016 is to be held at Bhubaneswar.
ii. The fair will start on the occasion of World Radio Day i.e. 13th of February and close on 14th.
iii. Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and eminent news reader Upendra Pahadsingh have given their consent join the Radio Fair this year among others.

133. Oracle To Setup Its Campus In Bengaluru

i. The computer giant Oracle is planning to set up a campus in Bengaluru and start an initiative to 
help more than half a million students in India develop computer science skills.
ii. This was conveyed by Oracle's Global CEO Safra Catz to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
iii. Oracle is of the view that the plans are likely to boost Mr. Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, and strengthen India’s position as a world-class design and manufacturing hub.

134. Ashok Chawla Appointed As Chairman Of TERI

i. TERI's governing council appointed Ashok Chawla as its new chiarman.
ii. Chawla is the former Union Finance Secretary and former Chairman of the Competition Commission.
iii. The Council decided after the elevation of climate scientist R.K. Pachauri indicted in a sexual harassment case to the post of Executive Vice Chairman on Monday, received widespread criticism from the media and women’s rights lawyers.
iv. The Research and Resources Institute (TERI) re announced that the new Director General, Ajay Mathur, as a Member of the Council will operate with full executive powers. Mr. Mathur was brought in to replace Mr. Pachauri on DG's post.

135. Kavita Raut Clinched Gold In SAG Marathon
i. India long distance runner Kavita Raut  clinches gold in marathon.

ii. The 30 year old Raut easily clinched the marathon gold in 2 hours 38 minutes and 38 seconds to become the 4th Indian women to have qualified for Rio Games women’s marathon.
iii. Nashik girl Raut is the lone athlete to have qualified for the Olympics from the 12th SAG.
iv. With these two gold and one bronze, India ended the athletics competition with 28 gold, 22 silver and 9 bronze, medals thereby establishing their unrivalled superiority in the South Asian region.

136. Lionel Messi Named La Liga Player Of Month
i. FC Barcelona forward Lionel Andres Messi has been named Liga BBVA Player of the Month for January, for the first time.
ii. The award has been given out since the beginning of the 2013-14 Primera División season but the five-times Ballon d’Or winner had not won it until now.
iii. Messi is the only football player in history to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or five times, four of which he won consecutively, and the first player to win three European Golden Shoes.

137. Malayalam poet ONV Kurup passes away
i. Noted Malayalam poet and lyricist O N V Kurup passed away in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. He was 84. 
ii. He was popularly known as “ONV”, Ottaplakkal Nambiyadikkal Velu Kurup and had made significant contributions to the Malayalam film music. He was also was part of the progressive movement in Kerala. 

138. Banaras Hindu University turns 100 years
i. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founded by Freedom fighter Pt Madan Mohan Malviya has turned 100 years on 13th February 2016. 
ii. BHU was founded as important seat of higher education in 1916. During time of its establishment it was first university in India that was the result of a private individual’s efforts. 
iii. After its formation, BHU had played an important role in the freedom movement of India.
iv. It main purpose was to build a bridge between India’s past and modernising world system in the areas of social sciences, humanities particularly in evolving non colonial history as a discipline. 

Motto of BHU: विद्ययाऽमृतमश्नुते/ Vidyayā’mritamașnute (Sanskrit). In English it means “Knowledge imparts immortality.” 

  • To mark this occasion, University had organised a centenary seminar on higher education and contribution of BHU where Supreme Court Judge Pinaki Chandra Ghosh will be the Chief Guest. 
  • Earlier in September 2014, Union Government had released special coins of Rs 100 (commemorative) and Rs 10 (released in the market) to commemorate the 100th year of establishment of BHU. Postal Department also had issued a special commemorative stamp to mark the occasion. 
  • Currently, BHU has about 140 departments organised into 6 institutes besides one Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and an Institute of Medical Sciences. It is Asia’s largest residential university with more than 15,000 students from different parts of country are presently studying in it. BHU has been listed in the list of Institutes of National Importance. 

139. Tamar Hahn appointd as Director of United Nations Information Centre
i. Tamar Hahn from Israel has been appointed as the Director of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 
ii. She took the charge of the office after she was appointed to this post by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. 
iii. Prior to this appointment, she was the Regional Adviser for Resource Mobilization and Partnerships at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Office for the Caribbean and Latin America in Panama City (Panama). 

About United Nations Information Centre 
The UNIC is also known as information services or information offices. It serves as regional couriers of information from the UN to the local public.  There are at least 60 locations around the world which serve as regional couriers of information from the UN. They are operated by the United Nations Department of Public Information. 

140. Neem extract may help treat Pancreatic Cancer: Study
i. A new study has claimed that a natural extract derived from the neem tree can potentially be used to treat pancreatic cancer without harming normal, healthy cells. 
ii. The study was conducted by scientists from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso). The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. 

Key facts 

  • Scientists have tested nimbolide, a compound found in neem leaves against pancreatic cancer in cell lines and mice. 
  • The results have showed that this natural compound can stop pancreatic cancer’s growth and metastasis without harming healthy, normal cells in vitro and in vivo experiments. 
  • In the tests, it was also observed that nimbolide was able to reduce the migration and invasion capabilities of pancreatic cancer cells by 70 per cent. 
  • It was also found that after Nimbolide was induced cancer cells, it reduced the size and number of pancreatic cancer cell colonies by 80 per cent. 

Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate among the all other forms of cancers. Around 94 per cent of patients suffering from it die within five years of diagnosis. The cancer grows quickly and there are currently no effective treatments available. 

141. World Radio Day observed with theme Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster
i. World Radio Day was observed globally on 13 February 2016 with the theme Radio in Times of Emergency and Disaster.
ii. To mark the occasion, various activities conducted across India celebrating importance of radio in the day to day life.
iii. In Odisha, a two-day annual international event Outreach International Radio Fair 2016 was inaugurated in Bhubaneswar.

About World Radio Day
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) annually celebrate the World Radio Day by planning activities with broadcasters, organizations and communities around the world.
  • The day is a global celebration of radio as a forum for entertainment and information, as a bridge of communication for remote communities and its role in empowering people.
  • UNESCO at its 36th General Assembly on 3 November 2011 proclaimed 13 February as World Radio Day. The first World Radio Day was officially celebrated in 2012.
  • World Radio Day marks the anniversary of the first broadcast by United Nations Radio in 1946. 13 February 1946 was the day when the UN Radio transmitted its first call sign. 
  • The theme for 2015 World Radio Day was Youth and Radio.

142. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India
i. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on 12 February 2016 concluded his 3-day visit to India. He is also the deputy supreme commander of UAE armed forces
ii. He visited India on invitation of Narendra Modi who became the first Prime Minister to visit the UAE after a gap of 34 years in August 2015.

Highlights of 3-day visit
  • He held talks with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on a gamut of bilateral relations.
  • During the visit, both countries signed 9 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding.
  • The agreements and MoUs covered a wide range of sectors like the sphere of cyber security, infrastructure, renewable energy and finance.
  • Both the countries issued a joint statement that expressed resolve to increase trade by 60 percent over by 2020.
  • He visited Mumbai and met Indian business leaders at the Mumbai Stock Exchange.

143. Pakistan Cricket umpire Asad Rauf banned for 5 years
i. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has banned Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf for five years after its disciplinary committee found him guilty of corrupt practices.
ii. It was announced by BCCI president Shashank Manohar who had headed the disciplinary committee.
iii. The BCCI Committee has found Rauf guilty of misconduct and corruption under multiple statutes of its BCCI Anti-Corruption Code. He was accused of accepting expensive gifts from bookies besides placing bets on IPL matches in the 2013 edition.
iv. Earlier Rauf had served as part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) elite panel. He was withdrawn from panel by Pakistan after the allegations against him broke out.

144. Andhra Pradesh Government Signs Agreement With USTDA
i. The US Trade and Development Agency has signed MoU with the Department Of Municipal

Administration of Andhra Pradesh on funding for drawing up the master plan for Visakhapatnam Smart City and a consortium of three US companies, comprising AECOM, KPMG and IBM. 
ii. The MoU was signed by Principal Secretary (Municipal Administration) Karikal Velavan and Country Manager of USTDA Heather K Lanigan in the presence of Chief Minister and Director of USTDA Leocadila I Zak. 

145. 3 MoU Worth Rs. 21,000 Crore Signed On 1st Day Of Make In India Week
i. On the first day of the 'Make in India' week in Mumbai, the three MoUs between Maharashtra government bodies and various companies for total investment worth Rs. 21,000 crore have been signed. 

ii. Twinstar Display Technologies, Raymond Industries and Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages were among the companies that signed the MoUs for setting up manufacturing plants in India.
iii. The First MoU: TwinStar Display Technologies has inked MoU with Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
iv. Second MoU: Raymond Industries and MIDC have inked MoU as part of ‘Farm to Fabric’ initiative.
v. Third MoU: Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages, Jain Irrigation Pvt Ltd and Department of Agriculture and Marketing of Maharashtra have inked MoU for setting up a juice manufacturing facility.

146. BAFTA Awards : 69th British Academy Film Awards
i. The 69th British Academy Film Awards held on 14 February 2016 in London. 
ii. It has taken place in Central London at the Royal Opera House.

iii. The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
iv. The Revenant' scooped the best film, best actor and best director awards at the 69th edition of the biggest film awards outside the U.S.
v. The other award of BAFTA's are as follow : Outstanding British Film: Brooklyn. Best Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant). Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant). Best Actress: Brie Larson (Room). Most awards: The Revenant (5 wins). Most nominations: Bridge of Spies and Carol (9 nominations each). 

147. Biraja Prasad : Indian Ambassador To Tajikistan Passes Away

i. Biraja Prasad, India’s Ambassador to Tajikistan passed away following a massive cardiac arrest. 

ii. He was the youngest Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer to be appointed as India’s Ambassador to any country. 
iii. Mr. Biraja Prasad , who belonged to Odisha started his career as diplomat. 

148. Bollywood Actress Vidya Balan Awarded With The Pride Of Kerala Award
i. Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has been awarded the 'Pride of Kerala' award by the World Malaya lee Council and Kairali TV. 

ii. National Award-winning actress Vidya Balan, who hails from Kerala, is 38 year old.
iii. National award winner had made her debut in Bollywood in 2005 in Parineeta. 
iv. The Bollywood actress has already received many awards and honors like National Film Award for Best Actress - for The Dirty Picture (2011). Padma Shri Award in 2014. She also has won five Filmfare Awards in Best Female Debut for Parineeta (2005), Best Actress for Paa (2009), The Dirty Picture (2011) and Kahaani (2012) and Critics Award for Best Actress for Ishqiya (2010).

149. Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi Appointed As New Director Of IIMR

i. Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi has been appointed as Director of Indian Institute of Millets Research (IIMR), Rajendranagar. 
ii. Prior to this appointment, he was working as the Principal Scientist at Seed Science and Technology of the IIMR.
iii. Earlier Dr. Vilas A. Tonapi had served as Head, Division of Seed Science and Technology at New Delhi based Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). 

150. Facebook India's Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy Steps Down
i. A day after closing down its controversy ridden free basics programme in India, Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy has stepped down from her current role and will relocate to the

United States.

ii. She would be moving to Facebook's headquarters in the US in the next 6 to 12 months. Facebook started looking for her successor in India. 
iii. Facebook has shut down ' Free Basics' in India, days after telecom regulator TRAI barred operators from charging discriminatory rates for internet access based on content. 
iv. Free Basics was offered in India in partnership with Reliance Communications and was earlier known as


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