Current Affairs Today 1 : International Fleet Review 2016, hosted by Indian Navy concluded in Visakhapatnam
International Fleet Review (IFR) 2016 of the Indian Navy was concluded along the coast of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh on 8 February 2016.
The 5-day long event was hosted by the Indian Navy with the theme as United through Oceans. It was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of India who is the supreme commander of armed forces, Pranab Mukherjee.
Features of International Fleet Review 2016
- Aimed at assuring the country of the Indian Navy’s preparation, high morale and discipline.
- Country’s biggest military exercise
- Friendly naval contingents from around the world joined Indian navy’s ships and submarines.
- Participation of 50 navies, 90 ships, including 24 warships and over 70 aircraft.
- Ships of Indian Coast Guard and mercantile marine also participated in the review.
- List of participating countries included the 5 permanent members of the UNSC – USA, China, UK, Russia and France, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, etc.
- Showcased latest acquisitions such as carrier-borne MIG 29K strike fighter, the P8I long range maritime reconnaissance aircraft and the KM-31 AEW helicopter.
- The Navy ships India’s biggest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, INS Viraat, destroyers INS Mysore, INS Kolkata and frigates – INS Satpura and INS Shivalik, Teg participated in the event.
- Dolphin was the mascot for the IFR-2016.
About International Fleet Review
- A ceremonial and stately inspection of naval warships by the supreme commander of armed forces, the President of India.
- Held for the second time in India.
- First IFR was held off the coast of Mumbai in 2001 when APJ Abdul Kalam was the President. 29 countries participated in that event.
Current Affairs Today 2 : Former Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala passed away
Nepal’s former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala passed away in Kathmandu, Nepal on 9 February 2016, due to chronic respiratory problem.
Koirala was 76 and a key figure in adoption of Nepal’s new constitution in September 2015 with overwhelming support in the Constitution Assembly.
About Sushil Koirala
- Born on 12 August 1939 in Banaras, India.
- Entered politics in 1954 inspired by the social-democratic ideals of the Nepali Congress.
- In political exile in India for 16 years following the royal takeover of 1960.
- Spent 3 years in Indian prisons for his involvement in a plane hijacking in 1973.
- A member of the Central Working Committee of Nepali Congress since 1979 and was appointed General Secretary of the party in 1996 and Vice President in 1998.
- 12th general convention of the Nepali Congress elected him as party President on 22 September 2010
- Nepali Congress emerged as the largest party in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections under Koirala’s leadership.
- Elected as Prime Minister of Nepal by the parliament on 10 February 2014.
- Served as the Prime Minister of Nepal from 11 February 2014 to 10 October 2015.
- A historic agreement among four major political parties was made, which paved the way for new constitution drafting process in the country in June 2015
Current Affairs Today 3 : North Korea launches Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite
North Korea’s National Aerospace Development Administration (NADA) launched the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite on 7 February 2016.
The satellite was launched from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, on-board the Kwangmyongsong rocket.
Features of Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite
- An earth observation satellite
- Launched as per the 2016 plan of the 5-year program for national aerospace development.
- To augment country’s science, technology, economy and defense capability.
- Placed in the polar orbit at a distance of 500 km from the Earth.
- Named after late leader Kim Jong Il, the father of the present leader Kim Jong Un.
- The launch attracted wide spread criticism from the UN and other major powers including the western countries led USA.
- In an emergency meeting on 7 February 2016, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) condemned the launch terming it as a missile test to validate nuclear arms carrying capabilities which are under development.
- North Korea, earlier on 6 January 2016, claimed that it conducted nuclear bomb test. It was the 3rd nuclear test since its first launch in 2006 which attracted UN sanctions.
- The timing of the test assumed significant as it was conducted ahead of a ruling party congress in May 2016, the first since 1980.
Current Affairs Today 4 : Govt launches 24×7 toll free Tourist Infoline in 12 International Languages
Union government launched the 24×7 Toll Free Tourist Infoline in 12 International Languages including Hindi and English in New Delhi on 8 February 2016.
The languages handled by the contact centers include ten International languages other than English and Hindi, namely, Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Tourist Infoline Project Features
- Implemented by the Union Ministry of Tourism through M/s TATA BSS who are associated with the work after open bidding process.
- The service will provide information relating to Travel and Tourism in India to domestic and International tourists and visitors.
- Assist the callers with advice on action to be taken during times of distress while travelling in India and if needed alert the concerned authorities.
- Calls made by tourists both international and domestic while in India will be free of charge and can seek help and information for a hassle free experience.
- International tourists in India and international callers who speak the aforementioned languages will be directed to the call agents proficient in the respective language.
- The service will mainly serve those who know very little about India and travel within India, along with those who do not understand Indian systems and English.
Current Affairs Today 5 : Chettinad cotton sarees wins India Handloom tag
During the first week on February 2016, the Chettinad cotton saree won the India Handloom tag for its unique designs and identity.
After checking different quality parameters stipulated by the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), The Textiles Committee, Union Ministry of Handlooms and Textiles, Mumbai, registered the Chettinad cotton saree under the India Handloom Brand Scheme.
The Ministry authorized the Amarar Rajiv Gandhi Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society, which produced the sarees, to use the brand and logo for marketing the product.
About Chettinad saree
- Chettinad cotton saree, also known as kandaangi
- Unique in the dramatic and spontaneous use of colour and pattern with bold checks, stripes and contrasting hues.
- Vibrancy and weight are its distinguishing factors.
- Records and old photographs show the use of saree by previous generations, which was worn differently from the regular sari before the arrival of blouses and underskirts.
About India Handloom Brand Scheme
- An endorsement to quality of the handloom products in terms of raw material, processing, embellishments, weaving design and other parameters besides social and environmental compliances for earning the trust of the consumers.
- On 7 August 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India Handloom Brand at Chennai as part of the First ever National Handloom Day celebrations.