Today Current Affairs 29th February 2016

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Socialist leader Nihal Ahmed Maulavi Mohammed Usman died on 29 February 2016 in Nashik. He was 90. He was popularly known as Nihalbhai and was the first mayor of the Malegaon Municipal Corporation. He was the state president of Janata Dal (Secular). He was a former Minister of technical and higher education of Maharastra.He was elected as legislator in the state Assembly for nearly three decades.He contested to the State assembly elections for 10 times from 1960 to 1995 and was elected all the times But in 1999, he contested for Loksabha and was defeated.

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. Prezelj took over as Chairman of the commission from Frank Fredericks with immediate effect. On the other hand, Britain’s marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was nominated Vice Chairwoman of the commission.He is 36-year-old, a three-time Olympian and a European Under-23 champion in 2001, will replace Namibian Frank Fredericks with immediate effect after a meeting of the commission here on Saturday, reports Xinhua

The Famous sound designer Resul Pookutty on 27 February 2016 became the first Asian to win the award for Best Sound for documentary India’s Daughter at the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ (MPSE) 63rd annual Golden Reel Awards.The competing films/ television documentaries in the list included Beware Baltimore, Chef’s Table,Deadliest Catch, and The Undrafted, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Revenant among others.

Kebab shops and fried fast food shops are to be banned from opening in Verona in order to preserve the city’s 'decorum’.A ruling that prevents the opening of new restaurants that sell deep-fried fast food, or serve mostly ‘ethnic’ dishes, was passed in the UNESCO World Heritage site this week after a surge in kebab shops in the city.Verona Mayor Flavio Tosi told The Telegraph.“This protects not only our historic and architectural patrimony of the city centre, but also the tradition of typical culture of the Verona territory.”

The 18-year-old Sataparna Mukherjee of a village around 30 kms away from Kolkata has been selected for National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) prestigious Goddard Internship Programme. She is among five students from across the world who will get an opportunity to stay and study in US.Her paper on Black Hole Theory was appreciated by the institute, which extended the scholarship offer in return.Under the programme, Sataparna will work as an employee and researcher and she will be a part of earth science and technology development programme.

While presenting the Union Budget 2016, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today allocated ₹55,000 crore for the development of roads and highways. Total investment in Road Sector would stand at ₹97,000 crore for 2016-17, he added. The NHAI will raise an additional ₹15,000 crore via bonds. Including the given sector, the total outlay for infrastructure stood at ₹2,21,246 crore.

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley has proposed to set up a higher education financing agency and has allocated Rs 1000 crore for the same in the Union Budget-2016. In his Budget speech Jaitley said that the governement aims to skill 1 crore youth in the next 3 years under the PM Kaushal Vikas Yojana. The National Skill Development Mission has imparted training to 76 lakh citizens and 1500 multi skill training institutes are to be set up in the future for which Rs 1700 crore are set aside, he said

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today while presenting the Union Budget allocated Rs.9,000 crore for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Further, he announced a Rs.2,000 crore fund to meet the initial costs of providing LPG cylinders to 1.5 crore households below the poverty line. Also, a new health protection scheme to provide health cover of upto Rs.1 lakh per family will be launched.

The Union Budget 2016 aiming to double farmers income by 2022, Finance Minister Jaitley on Monday has announced an allocation of nearly Rs 36,000 crore for the farm sector while raising the agri-credit target to Rs 9 lakh crore for the next fiscal. He has also allocated Rs 15,000 crore for interest subvention on the farm credit, Rs 5,500 crore for the new crop insurance scheme and Rs 500 crore to boost pulses output."Our total allocation on agriculture and farmers welfare is Rs 35,984 crore," Jaitley said.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 25 February 2016 decided to allow birth companions during delivery in public health facilities. The decision is aimed at reducing Maternal Mortality Ratio and Infant Mortality Rate in India. The presence of a female relative during labour is a low cost intervention that has proved to be beneficial to the women in labour.

The officials of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have unearthed a huge rice scam. The scam worth Rs 1,000 Crores involves the export of high-quality Basmati rice to Iran. The rice being exported to Iran were diverted after crossing half way. In a probe initiated by DRI, it has come to light that more than 2 lakh metric tonnes of Basmati rice were offloaded in Dubai instead of Bandar Abbas located in Iran.Over 25 exporters from Haryana and Punjab are under scrutiny for their involvement in the multi-crore scam.

Senior IPS officer Alok Kumar Verma on Monday took charge as the new Commissioner of Delhi Police at a time it is battling mounting criticism over handling of the JNU row. Kumar succeeds B S Bassi who was at loggerheads with the AAP government on a range of issues in the last one year. Verma, a 1979 batch IPS officer of the AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre, was serving as the Director General of Tihar jail.He assumes charge of Delhi Police when it is battling mounting criticism over handling of the JNU row.

The Union Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harsh Vardhan released Seismic microzonation reports for Delhi and Kolkata in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion, he said such scientific endeavours should help us to minimize the impact of earthquakes by (a) Proper assessment of Seismic Hazard (b) Implementation of safe building construction codes, and (c) adopting appropriate land-use planning. The Minister complimented scientists and investigators involved in the Seismic Microzonation of NCT Delhi and the Kolkata Megacities.

Vedanta Ltd has won India's first-ever auction of a gold mine, a provincial government official said, as the nation opens up the sector to private companies to curb overseas purchases of the metal that cost it $36 billion last year. Vedanta, a unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc , beat three other bidders in the auction of the Baghmara mine in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, the head of the state's Directorate of Geology and Mining, Reena Kangale, told Reuters on February 26,2016.

BK Garudachar, India’s oldest first class cricketer from the pre-independence era passed away on Friday. He was the former captain of Mysore who played as an all-rounder. Garudachar’s best figures were 11 wickets for 62 runs when Mysore won their first Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad during the 1941/42 season. In the batting department, Garudachar’s made a tally of 1,126 runs with an average of 29.53 holding 1 century and seven fifties. As a bowler he took 100 wickets at 26.20 average. Bindiganavile Krishnaswamy Iyengar Garudachar was born in Chikmagalur district, Karnataka on January 13, 1917.

According to the latest survey by Travel website Tripadvisor, India has three of the top ten beaches in Asia favored by travellers. The beaches are Agonda, Palolem (both in Goa) and Radhanagar on the Havelock Island in the Andamans. Travellers’ Choice Award-winning beaches were determined on the quantity and quality of traveller reviews and ratings on the TripAdvisor website gathered over a 12-month period. This year’s awards honour 343 beaches, including the top 10 in the world and lists for Asia, Africa, Australia, the Caribbean, Central America, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, the UK and the US. Three of India’s beaches have featured in the list of top 10 beaches in Asia.

Punjab government on 28 February 2016 imposed a ban on the sale of army uniforms across the state. Any person who wants to buy the uniform would have to submit a self-attested copy of his identity card and phone number with the shopkeeper. This record would be duly maintained along with date of sale in the record register of the shopkeeper. These orders would remain in force till 21 April 2016 and next course of action will be decided afterwards.The decision was taken in backdrop of terror attacks in Pathankot and Gurdaspur in the recent past. During the attacks, the militants had disguised themselves in the army fatigues.

Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on 29 February 2016 presented Union Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha. This was the second full year Budget of the NDA government and the third budget of Jaitley.The finance minister announced nine pillars of the budget and they are Agriculture and farmers' welfare, rural sector, social sector including healthcare, education, skills and job creation, infrastructure, financial sector reforms, ease of doing business, fiscal discipline, tax reforms to reduce compliance burden.

Dinesh Sharma, Additional Finance Secretary and India’s Governor to the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of IFAD for a period of two years in its 39th Session held on 17 February and 18 February 2016 in Rome, Italy. The Governing Council Session of IFAD was marked by special focus on inclusive growth and on the investments required to meet the sustainable development goals in the realm of eradicating poverty and hunger.

'Spotlight' was named Best Picture at the 88th Academy Awards held in Los Angeles today. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won the Best Director Award for 'The Revenant'. Mark Rylance won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Award for 'Bridge of Spies', while Alicia Vikander was named Best Actress in a Supporting Role for 'The Danish Girl'.

Leonardo DiCaprio has won his first Oscar, for survival epic The Revenant, having been nominated six times. He was named best actor at the 88th Academy Awards, with Brie Larson named best actress Oscar for Room.

Ireland’s ruling coalition was ousted by voters angry at the country’s uneven recovery, leaving Prime Minister Enda Kenny facing the unpalatable prospect of trying to secure a deal with his biggest rival. His government appeared to be the latest victim of European voters’ growing antipathy to mainstream politics, hit by a backlash against years of austerity and a perception that Ireland’s poor are not benefiting from the fastest economic growth in Europe.

Stanislas Wawrinka on 28 February 2016 won his ninth straight final to clinch the Dubai ATP Tennis title. In the final played in Dubai, Wawrinka defeated Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets with a 6-4, 7-6(13). This was the third time that Wawrinka has played in Dubai. In his previous two visits, the Swiss star never won a match.The French Open champion claimed the 13th title of his career and second of the season after Chennai, improving to 13-2 in 2016. This was his second title of the year. He won a third consecutive Chennai title in January 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Saudi Arabia as part of his three-nation trip from March 30 during which he will also visit Washington to attend Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). Starting his visit with Belgium on March 30 for India-EU Summit, Modi will travel to Washington for NSS from March 31 before his two-day bilateral visit from April 2 to Saudi Arabia. He will hold talks with the Saudi leadership on key regional and bilateral issues, including trade and energy

Gender Park', India's first gender equality convergence center, will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee in Kozhikode on February 27.The park is an initiative of the Social Justice Department of the Kerala government to bring together the state, academia and civil society on a common platform to address the gender issues.The Centre, the country's first such large-scale initiative, will create an environment to share global knowledge and experiences  in reducing gender inequalities,CEO of the park Dr PTM Sunish said in a release.

National Science day is celebrated on February 28 e very year to commemorate the discovery of Raman Effect by Sir C.V.Raman National council for science technology and communication asked the government to designate February 28 as science day in 1986.Since then this day has been celebrated in every school, college, science organizations all over India.

Former CAG Vinod Rai was on Sunday appointed first Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau, which will advise the government on top-level appointments at public sector lenders and ways to address the bad loans problem among other issues. Besides, ICICI Bank s former Joint Managing Director H.N. Sinor, Bank of Baroda s former CMD Anil K Khandelwal and rating agency CRISIL s former chief Rupa Kudwa have been appointed members In a statement, the government said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of the Department of Financial Services for the constitution of Banks Board Bureau (BBB) with the named persons as “part-time Chairman/Members, besides the ex-officio official members, for a period of two years”.