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Current Affairs as on 24th February 2017
International Current Affairs
Here we are providing very important current affairs of international category for 24th February 2017.
- To shore up bilateral ties, the 1st Strategic Dialogue between India and China was recently held at Beijing (capital of China).
- The meeting was co-chaired by India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and China’s Executive Vice Foreign minister Zhang Yesui.
- The Afghan practice of ‘bacha bazi‘, which involves the sexual enslavement of boys, is set to be criminalised for the first time.
- A new round of United Nations-sponsored peace talks aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict has started in Geneva.
- This comes after the Astana talks ushered in a fragile ceasefire.
- The rebels are expected to feature in a “greater role” in this round of talks.
- Note : The last round of Geneva talks ended nine months ago after an escalation in hostilities.
- Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito marked his 57th birthday today by announcing that he is ready to become emperor after the expected abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito.
- Note : The Japanese government is considering steps on how to allow the 83-year-old Akihito, who wants to step down due to old age and illness, to abdicate as existing laws don’t allow it.
National Current Affairs
Most important National Current Affairs of 24th February 2017 are provided below:
- Today (24th February) is Central Excise Day.
- This day is observed to encourage the employees of excise department to carry out the central excise duty all over the India in better way in order to prevent the corruption in goods manufacturing business as well as implement other rules to carry out best possible excise services.
- The week-long Brahan Natyanjali, a dance obeisance to Lord Bragadeesvarar, began today on Mahashivarathri at the Big Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
- The Haryana government has made it mandatory for all private schools to install solar systems.
- A special grant of ₹20,000 per kilowatt will also be given to the schools for installing solar power plants.
- The 1st Gramin Khel Mahotsav is going to be held in Delhi from 25th to 31st March.
- The festival is being organised to help involve rural youth to participate in popular sports.
- This will have games like Matka race for women, Pagdi race for men over 65 along with other conventional sports like a 11-km Gramin Mini Marathon.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the enhancement of capacity from 20,000 MW to 40,000 MW of the Scheme for Development of Solar Parks and Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects.
- The capacity of the solar park scheme was enhanced after considering the demand for additional solar parks from the States.
MOUs & Agreements
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of an Agreement between India and Poland on cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
- The cabinet also approved the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece.
- The delegations both countries in September 2016 had finalized the text of ASA.
- The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation.
Banking & Economic Affairs
- The State Bank of India (SBI) will merge with its all 5 associate banks from 1st April 2017.
- This is the largest consolidation exercise in the banking history of India.
- Officers and employees, excluding the board of directors and executive trustees of associate banks, will become employees of SBI following the merger.
- Note : After the merger, SBI will have over 50 crore customers.
- The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) today launched a mobile app for GST to provide updates to taxpayers on the regime which is to be rolled out from July 1.
- The CBEC GST app will help taxpayers in migration to GST, provide reading material on GST, and also put draft laws and rules, among others.
- Indian IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been ranked the world’s third most valuable brand in IT services industry by brand valuation firm Brand Finance.
- IBM topped the brand value list, followed by Accenture.
- Note : Indian IT services companies Infosys and HCL are also ranked among the top ten.
- Jet Airways today announced a reciprocal codeshare partnership with Hong Kong Airlines.
- It will place its marketing code 9W on select Hong Kong Airlines’ flights while the latter will place its marketing code HX on Jet Airways flights.
- Codesharing allows an airline to book its passengers on partner carriers and provide travel to destinations where it has no presence.
- The private-sector employees will soon be able to withdraw up to ₹20 lakh in tax-free gratuity after the Centre decided to bring them at par with central government staff.
- Note : At present, private sector employees can get tax exemption up to ₹10 lakh in gratuity after five years of continuous employment.
The New Appointments as on 24th February 2017 list is under:
- Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has been chosen as the Brand Ambassador for the government’s cleanliness initiative Swachh Bharat Mission.
- She will feature in TV and radio campaigns which are aimed at discouraging people from littering on roads.
- Mohamed Abdullahi, has been inaugurated as the President of Somalia in the country’s capital Mogadishu today.
- A dual US-Somali citizen, Mohamed had earlier served as the Prime Minister of Somalia during 2010-11.
Sports Current Affairs
All Sports Updates on 24th February 2017 details are provided below:
- India’s Pooja Ghatkar has won bronze in the Women’s 10-metre air rifle on the opening day of the International Shooting Sports Federation World Cup at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Ranges in Delhi today.
- With 64 Test wickets in the ongoing season, Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin today surpassed Kapil Dev to become the highest wicket-taker for India in a domestic Test season.
- Former Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara became the Second Asian, after Mahela Jayawardene, and 16th overall to feature in 1,000 matches across all forms of the game.
- He achieved the feat after featuring for Karachi Kings against the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League today.
- Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, which is hosting the ongoing India-Australia Test match, is the 80th different venue where India have played a Test match, the most by any team.
- India is followed by Pakistan who have played Tests at 79 different venues.
- Note : India have played most number of Tests (40) at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
- The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will be conducting the civil services preliminary examination, to select IAS and IPS officers among others, on June 18 this year.
- The UPSC will be holding the examination in June instead of August after a gap of three years as the examinations in 2016, 2015, and 2014 were held in the month of August.