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1. India and Sweden inked MoU on technical cooperation in rail sector
1. The Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation of the Kingdom of Sweden on 15 February 2016 inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on technical cooperation in rail sector.
2. The MoU aims at developing cooperation activities in the railway area to promote efficiency and sustainability and achieve concrete results with regard to bilateral trade, investment, research and technology transfer.
3. The MoU was signed by Girish Pillai, Adviser / Infrastructure on behalf of Ministry of Railways, and Oscar Stenstrom, State Secretary on behalf of Swedish Government.
Key highlights of the MoU
• Benchmark railways policy development, regulations, organization and specific characteristics for each country.
• Exchange of knowledge, technical expertise, innovation, technology, sustainable solutions and research.
• Other cooperation projects agreed between the participants, such as, tilting coaches/trains, capacity allocation (time tabling) and optimisation of maintenance and improved freight/combination traffic.
• Training and continuing education program in reliability and maintenance of rail transport system for railway engineers and managers.
• The MoU will remain in force for 5 years from the date of signing. However, it can be extended for a further period of 5 years with the written consent of both sides.
2. Prithvi II missile successfully test-fired from Chandipur
1. Indigenously developed Prithvi-II missile was successfully test fired from the Chandipur, off Odisha coast. It was conducted by the Strategic Force Command (SFC) and was monitored by the scientists from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
2. As part of a user trial, the missile test was carried out from a mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR). The test has met all its mission objectives.
3. First Silk Road train arrives in Tehran from China
1. The first long distance cargo train connecting Iran and China has arrived in the Iranian capital city Tehran after starting its journey from China. The train had started its journey from China’s eastern Zhejiang province and it took 14 days to reach final destination.
2. It had covered around 9,500-kilometre distance and passed through two Central Asian countries Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Henceforth such trains will run between both countries once in every month and the frequency will be increased if necessary. These trains will be run by private companies using existing routes.
4. Tata Teleservices subsidiary mRUPEE tied-up with IRCTC
1. mRUPEE, a subsidiary of Tata Teleservices, announced that it has tied up with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to provide an additional payment gateway.
2. Indian Railways carries more than 23 million passengers a day and the association will allow users one-tap payments for rail ticket bookings via mRUPEE wallet for a significant number of travellers.
5. 1st Mega Food Park of Jharkhand inaugurated at Getalsud
1. 1st Mega Food Park (MFP) of Jharkhand was inaugurated at Getalsud village in Ranchi district. The MFP, named Jharkhand Mega Food Park, was inaugurated by Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
Features of Jharkhand Mega Food Park
• It was set up as a public private partnership (PPP) project under the aegis of the Mega Food Park Scheme (MFPS) of the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MFPI).
• It is promoted by M/s Jharkhand Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd. at an estimated cost of 114.73 crore rupees in an area of 51.50 Acres.
• It has Central Processing Centre (CPC) at Ranchi and six Primary Processing Centres (PPCs) are being set up at Lohardaga, Gumla, Hazaribagh, Belchampa, Domchach and Patratu to provide strong backward linkages.
• It will have facilities of Multi Chamber Cold Storage, Dry Warehouse, Vegetable Dehydration Line, modern Quality Control& Testing Laboratory and other processing facilities for fruits & vegetables.
• It will create a modern infrastructure for arresting post-harvest losses of horticultural and non-horticultural produce and provide impetus to the growth of food processing sector in Jharkhand.
• It will help in providing better prices to farmers, reduce wastage of perishables, add value to agricultural produce and create huge opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment for the youth of the State.
• It will benefit the people of Ranchi district and the people of nearby districts of Lohardaga, Gumla, Ramgarh, Garhwa, Koderma, & Hazaribagh etc.as well.
• It is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to about 6000 people and benefit about 25000-30000 farmers in its catchment area.
6. ICC Cricket for Good and UNICEF launched Team Swachh clinics in partnership with BCCI
1. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket for Good and United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with BCCI on 15 February 2016 launched the Team Swachh clinics during the ICC WT20 Host City Tour. The clinics were launched at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
2. The step was taken to promote a nationwide initiative that aims to build a social movement for sanitation and toilet use there by leading to an open-defecation-free India.After Dharamshala, the ICC World T20 Host City Tour will visit each of the venues that will host matches of the showpiece event.
7. Indo-British Asif Kapadia won 2016 Grammy Award for Best Music Film
1. Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia on 15 February 2016 won Grammy Award for Best Music Film for his documentary Amy. The award was presented at the 58th annual awards ceremony that was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the USA
2. Amy is a 2015 British documentary film that depicts the life and death of British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse. It was directed by Asif Kapadia.
3. Earlier, on 14 February 2016, Amy won the award in Best Documentary category at the 69th British Academy Films Awards (BAFTAs) in London.The film is also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary Feature category which will be announced on 28 February 2016.
8. 7th India, Seychelles joint military exercise LAMITYE 2016 begins
1. The 7th edition of India, Seychelles joint military exercise LAMITYE 2016 has begun in Victoria, Seychelles. The fourteen day exercise has been conducted at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA), Victoria till February 28, 2016.
2. This edition of joint military exercise will be concluding phase of the drill. It will be incorporating a tactical exercise to review the standards of interoperability achieved by both the contingents.
9. SBI launches 'Japan Desk' for India-bound investments
1. State Bank of India (SBI) launched 'Japan Desk', a first-of-its-kind initiative to facilitate Japanese corporates looking to invest here with banking and advisory services.
2. This SBI Japan Desk will serve as an one-point comprehensive and reliable information support source for India-bound investments of Japanese companies.
3. Through the Japan Desk, SBI aims to be the window for inbound Japanese investments in India and vice-versa.The Japan Desk -- to be based in New Delhi -- will facilitate in the establishment of banking relationship with Japanese corporates and Japanese nationals, provide information on industries, sectors etc.
10. BHEL commissions 101 MW power plant in Tripura
1. State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has commissioned a 101 MW (Mega Watt) gas-based Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) at Monarchak (near Agartala) in Tripura. The plant was commissioned on basis of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) based on the order placed by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO).
2. So far, BHEL has supplied 1,000 MW of generating equipment in the north-eastern state of Tripura. Being a gas-rich state, the major share of the power requirement of Tripura is met through Gas based projects.
11. Noted music director Rajamani passes away
1. Popular music director and composer Rajamani passed away due to cardiac arrest in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He was 60. He had predominantly worked in Malayalam film industry and had composed music for around 70 films.