Latest Current Affairs Today – 19th February 2016


Read about the new chairman of the BRICS union, the new material discovered which is faster than silicon, the new scheme by the govt of Maharashtra to eradicate drought completely…

1) India Assumes Chairmanship Of BRICS, Will Host Summit This Year:


  • Russia had the chairmanship of BRICS before it was passed on to India.
  • India will host the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-China-South Africa) summit later this year date and venue for which has not been yet been finalized.
  • India would hold this position for the next 11 months.Brics

About BRICS:

  • The influential BRICS association is a inter country bloc comprising five countries and having 42 per cent of the world population and a combined GDP of over USD 16 trillion.
  • South Africa was the latest member and became a part of the group on December 24, 2010 after being formally invited by China and the other BRIC countries to join the group.
  • Since 2010, the BRICS nations have met annually at formal summits.


2) Team led by an Indian-origin scientist discovers new semiconducting material for faster computers, smartphones.


Semi conductor

  • A team led by an Indian-origin scientist in US has discovered a new kind of 2D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that consume a lot less power.
  • The semiconductor, made of the elements tin and oxygen, or tin monoxide (SnO), is a layer of 2D material only one atom thick, allowing electrical charges to move through it much faster than conventional 3D materials such as silicon.
  • Transistors and other components used in electronic devices are currently made of 3D materials such as silicon and consist of multiple layers on a glass substrate.

More Details:

  • Transistors made with Tiwari’s semiconducting material could lead to computers and smartphones that are more than 100 times faster than regular devices.
  • They also will require much less power to run, a boon for mobile electronics that have to run on battery power. Tiwari said this could be especially important for medical devices such as electronic implants that will run longer on a single battery charge.
  • The research was published in the journal Advanced Electronic Materials.


3) Google’s Project Loon Internet balloon ‘crashes’ in maiden Sri Lanka test flight:



  • A Google balloon, part of the company’s high-speed Internet service known as “Project Loon”, crashed in a Sri Lankan tea plantation during its maiden test flight.
  • Villages found the deflated balloon with its electronic equipment in the island’s central tea-growing region of Gampola.
  • However Sri Lanka’s Information and Communication Technology Agency, which is coordinating the tests with Google, described the landing as controlled and scheduled.


  • Project Loon is a pet project of search engine giant Google for providing Internet access to rural and remote areas using high-altitude helium-filled balloons.
  • These balloons were placed at an altitude of about 18 km in the stratosphere where wind speed is low and turbulence is minimum.
  • Each balloon could provide full wireless broadband Internet coverage up to an area of 40 km and are powered mainly by solar panels.
  • It promised to extend mobile and data coverage at cheaper rates for the people. These balloons were supposed to have a lifespan of about 180 days.


4) Direct Descendant Of Tansen And Padma Bhushan Awardee, Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan Passes Away.



  • Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a direct descendant of the third son of music legend Miyan Tansen, (Surat Sen) passed away yesterday.
  • The Padma Bhushan awardee was still performing at the age of 107.
  • He is survived by his two sons, two daughters and a number of grandchildren.
  • Suffering from old-age related ailments, he fell sick in the morning and was rushed to a hospital where he breathed his last.


  • Born to Chhote Yusuf Khan, he represented the 16th generation of Miyan Tansen’s lineage.
  • A resident guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in the city for the past two decades, Khan had given music lessons even on Wednesday to his students who always called him ‘Baba’ out of respect.
  • Trained in the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music, he was adept in the worlds of Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar and Thumri.
  • In 2013, he got the distinction of being the oldest person to get a Padma award.


5) Maharashtra Government launches Jalyukta Shivar scheme to make Maharashtra a drought free state by 2019.


Jalyukta Shivar

  • Maharashtra government has launched the project “Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan” in a bid to make Maharashtra a drought-free state by 2019.
  • The project involves deepening and widening of streams, construction of cement and earthen stop dams, work on nullahs and digging of farm ponds.
  • The mobile app, developed by MRSAC, is being used to map these locations. The project aims to make 5000 villages free of water scarcity every year.
  • Aamir khan has been roped in to be the brand ambassador of this scheme.


  • As many as 1,109 farmers in Maharashtra’s water-stressed Marathwada region of eight districts ended their life in 2015.
  • Rainfall over the last two years in three of the worst affected district was comparable to the lowest in the 20th century.
  • Maharashtra’s situation–its agricultural output is India’s second largest–is universally difficult, with rainfall short by 40% in 2015, the third year of deficit (it was 30% short in 2014, 20% in 2012 and above average in 2013).

Click here to take the latest Current affairs Quiz.