Latest Current Affairs Today – 17th February 2016

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Read about The new defence procurement policy, the maiden capital goods policy, the latest MoU signed with Sweden and more…

1) New defense procurement policy from April 2nd.

Details:

  • Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the DPP would give priority to indigenous manufacturers under the Make in India initiative but it wouldn’t be a mandatory condition to award contacts. The new policy would modernise the defence forcesdefence
  • Parrikar said the government had attempted to bring in transparency, especially in defence procurement. He said the Indian Air Force was not keen on procuring 20 Tejas single-seat, single-engine, lightweight, high-agility supersonic fighter aircraft but now an order for 100 had been placed.
  • Parrikar said the government had issued 370 licences and signed 40 to 50 MoUs in the defence sector.

Background:

  • Ever since the new government took oath, PM Narendra modi has repeatedly stressed on the importance of reforming the Defence sector and hand picked Manohar Parrikar for the high profile ministry.
  • Indian Defense bases have been facing security crisis and the need of hour is for reforms in this sector

 

2) Centre Asks Scientists To Develop Organic Agriculture Technology.

Details:

  • The Centre has exhorted government agriculture scientists to develop technologies and resources for organic agriculture in the North Eastern Region.
  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh met the scientists of Central Agricultural University and Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) in this connection.Organic Farming
  • He also laid the foundation stone for the new College of Agriculture, Kyrdemkulai, Meghalaya at the College of Post Graduate Studies, Umiam (Barapani) in Meghalaya and then inspected the ICAR Complex, Umiam, in Ri Bhoi District.

Background:

  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous organisation under the Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India.
  • The ICAR has played a pioneering role in ushering Green Revolution and subsequent developments in agriculture in India through its research and technology development that has enabled the country to increase the production of food grains by 5 times, horticultural crops by 9.5 times, fish by 12.5 times, milk 7.8 times and eggs 39 times since 1951 to 2016

3) Make in India week: Govt unveils maiden capital goods policy, aims to create 21 million jobs.

Details:

  • The government on Monday unveiled the first-ever policy for the country’s capital goods sector, which envisages creation of 21 million additional jobs by 2025.
  • The policy envisions increasing the share of capital goods in total manufacturing activity from 12 per cent at present to 20 percent by 2025.300648-make-in-india
  • The objectives of the National Capital Goods Policy are to create an ecosystem for a globally competitive capital goods sector to achieve total production in excess of Rs 7.5 lakh crore by 2025 from the current Rs 2.3 lakh crore.

 Background:

  • Make in India is an initiative of the Government of India to encourage multi-national, as well as domestic, companies to manufacture their products in India.
  • It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014.
  • India would emerge, after initiation of the programme in 2015, as the top destination globally for foreign direct investment, surpassing China as well as the United States


4) India signs MoU with Sweden for technical cooperation in Railways.

Details:

  • The Indian government signed an MoU for technical cooperation with the government of Sweden in the railways sector.
  • The collaboration aims to enhance efficiency and sustainability in order to achieve substantial results as regards bilateral trade, investment, research and technology transfer.Flag-Pins-India-Sweden
  • The provisions of the MoU enable exchange of information, technical expertise, innovation, technology, sustainable solutions and research. Both India and Sweden will work to standardise policy development, regulations and organisation, among others for their respective railways.

Background:

  • It is one of the world’s largest railway networks comprising 115,000 km (71,000 mi) of track over a route of 65,808 km (40,891 mi) and 7,112 stations.
  • Indian Railways is planning to launch smart coaches with luxurious interiors that will make train journeys more comfortable for travellers. The plan will most likely be announced in the Railway Budget to be presented in Parliament on February 25.

5) World’s cheapest smartphone priced at Rs 251 launched.

Details:

  • Noida-based Ringing Bells is all set to launch the world’s cheapest 3G smartphone at just Rs 251(less than $4).ringing-bells-smartphone
  • The Freedom 251 will be officially unveiled in New Delhi on Wednesday evening at an event that will be presided over by Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, MP, with the Union Defence Minister Sri Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Guest.
  • The company said that the Freedom 251 smartphone has been developed ‘with immense support’ from the government and is touting it as a success story of PM Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ scheme.

Background:

  • A new entrant in the Indian mobile phone market, Ringing Bells had launched one of India’s cheapest 4G smartphone at Rs 2,999, recently. It has launched two other feature phones in the market
  • Established last year, Ringing Bells will start with the assembly of handsets in Phase-I and aims at full indigenous development of the feature-rich smartphones. It did not disclose any other details about manufacturing, products and pricing.

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