i. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today urged the global investor community at ‘Invest Karnataka 2016’ to consider Karnataka as their partner for growth.
ii. Citing the Global Startup Eco-system Ranking Report 2015, Siddaramaiah pointed out that Bengaluru is the only Indian city to be ranked amongst the 20 Startup Eco- systems in the World.
iii. At the ‘Invest Karnataka 2016’ meet, Siddarmaiah said, “Karnataka is being put on a high growth trajectory. Our focus is to ensure economic growth for each and every person in the State. Our goal is to make our state highly prosperous. Our government is working towards propelling Karnataka to contribute to India’s growth in a significant way.”
iv. He claimed that ever since the Congress took over the office, Karnataka has received Foreign Direct Investment worth USD 5.2 Billion. “We rank as the state with the Second highest FDI in India. We have cleared more than 500 projects worth over USD 20 Billion”.
v. He said,”Our goal is to make Karnataka the growth engine of India”.
2. Vice President visit to Thailand
i. Vice President Hamid Ansari reached Thailand on a three-day visit during which he will hold discussions on a range of issues with the country’s top leadership to boost bilateral ties.
ii. He was received at the airport by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Prajin Juntong.
iii. Ansari will have a one-to-one meeting with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who will also host a banquet in Ansari’s honour.
iv. This is the first visit by an Indian Vice President to Thailand after a gap of 50 years.
v. Ansari, during his visit, will also have an audience with Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and deliver a speech at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok on ‘From Look East to Act East: India’s Partnership with Thailand and ASEAN’ besides addressing the Indian community at a reception to be hosted by the Indian Ambassador to Thailand. He will return to Delhi on Friday.
3. Former Deputy Governer S.S.Tarapore passes away
i. S.S. Tarapore, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a noted economist, passed away in Mumbai on Tuesday. Tarapore had been in hospital in Mumbai for the last few days, and breathed his last on Tuesday morning. He was 80.
ii. Tarapore joined the RBI in 1961 and retired in 1996 as deputy governor, having been involved in almost all aspects of monetary policy.
iii. RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said in an e-mail statement: “Shri Tarapore was an extremely well regarded central banker, His contributions as a member on the two Narasimham Committees set the tone of first generation reforms in the financial sector.
iv. Tarapore was also known as an inflation hawk, chiding policymakers through his public comments and writings for being too lax on inflation control.
4. Titli became first Indian film to win Best First Foreign Film award by FSCC
i. Indian film-maker Kanu Behl directorial Titli on 1 February 2016 bagged the Best First Foreign Film Award conferred by the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics 2016 (FSCC).
ii. Titli has earlier won at various international film festivals at places like Bordeaux, Hawaii, New York, Turkey and Spain.
iii. The story of the movie revolves around Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, who plots a desperate bid to escape the family business.
5. Former Loksabha Speaker Balram Jakhar Passes Away
i. Veteran Congress leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Balram Jakhar passed away in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 92.
ii. Jakhar served as Speaker of Lok Sabha from 1980 to 1989 during which he contributed to the establishment of Parliament Museum. He also served as Agriculture Minister in the Cabinet of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao.
iii. Jakhar also served as Governor of Madhya Pradesh from 30 June, 2004 to 30 May, 2009
iv. Jakhar headed Business Advisory Committee, Rules Committee, General Purposes Committee, and Standing Committee of the Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies in India.
v. he became General Secretary All India Congress Committee in 1990 and from 1992 he was member, Congress Working Committee.
6. Ban appoints Major General Menon as UNDOF head
i. Major General Jai Shanker Menon of the Indian Army, a veteran of peacekeeping operations, has been appointed as the head of a key United Nations force stationed in Golan to maintain the ceasefire between Israeli and Syrian forces.
ii. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named Major General Menon as the Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).
iii. He succeeds Nepal’s Lt Gen Purna Chandra Thapa, who will complete his assignment on February 7.
iv. Major General Menon has held a number of command positions in the Indian Army, including Commandant of Regimental Training Centre, Brigade Commander and Battalion Commander.
7. Jai Kumar Garg appointed as MD and CEO of Corporation Bank
i. The Union Government appointed Jai Kumar Garg as Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Corporation Bank for a period of three years.
ii. Garg took charge of the public sector bank on 1 February 2016, succeeding S R Bansal, who superannuated from services as CMD on 31 January 2016.
iii. Garg is a chartered accountant and also associate member of Indian Institute of Banking and Finance. Prior to his appointment at Corporation Bank, he worked as executive director in UCO Bank.
8. TCS Rated World’s Most Powerful Brand in IT Services: Report
i. India’s top multinational IT company Tata Consultancy Services has been rated as the world’s most powerful brand in Information Technology Services by a leading global brand valuation firm, the company said on Wednesday.
ii. Brand Finance’s 2016 annual report evaluated thousands of the world’s top brands to determine which are the most powerful and the most valuable. Scoring highly on a wide variety of measures such as familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) emerged as the IT services industry’s most powerful brand with a score of 78.3 points – earning it an AA+ rating.
iii. “TCS’ customer focus has been central to its recent success, but a closer look at our data shows strong and improving scores for brand investment and staff satisfaction too,” said David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance.
iv. “It has emerged as a dominant force in the IT services industry and is the strongest brand in the sector. Its brand power is indisputable,” Haigh said. Across all industries, Disney was rated as the most powerful brand and Apple as the most valuable brand for 2016. According to the report, TCS is also the fastest growing brand within its industry over the last 6 years.
v. The company’s overall brand value has increased from $2.34 billion in 2010 (when the first evaluation of the TCS brand was conducted) to $9.4 billion in 2016.
9. Reliance Entertainment, Neeraj Pandey join hands to form film production venture
i. Billionaire Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Entertainment today announced a joint venture with film-maker producer duo Neeraj Pandey and Shital Bhatia’s Friday Filworks for production of movies.
ii. Akshay Kumar starrer ‘Rustom’ will be the first movie under the banner, Plan C Studios. Plan C Studios will be an equal partnership joint venture between the two, the company said in a statement.
iii. Neeraj Pandey won acclaim with his very first film ‘A Wednesday’ in 2008, which went on to win the National Award. Subsequently, he directed ‘Special 26’ in 2013, and ‘Baby’ in 2015. Neeraj is currently on the floors with ‘MS Dhoni -The Untold Story’, one of the most anticipated films of the year.
iv. “We are delighted to partner with creative minds like Neeraj and Shital. This relationship is in line with our continuing strategy in the media and entertainment business, of partnering with like minded and successful individuals, while playing the role of supportive investors on our part,” Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Group Managing Director, Reliance Group, said.
v. Commenting on the partnership, Neeraj Pandey said: “The partnership with Reliance Group is very significant and welcome, as it enables us to further raise the bar on our continued strategy of developing cutting edge commercial content. We like to keep pushing the envelope, and this partnership will greatly expand our vision.”
vi. Reliance Entertainment has produced, distributed and released more than 170 films in multiple Indian languages, including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali. Internationally, it has partnered with iconic film producer and director Steven Spielberg.
10. Haryana, Ontario ink pact for cooperation
i. Haryana and the Province of Ontario in Canada today signed an MoU aimed at enhancing commercial and cultural ties.
ii. The MoU was signed by the Managing Director of Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, Sudhir Rajpal, and Deputy Minister of Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, Helen Angus, in the presence of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and Premier of Prince Edward Island, Wade MacLauchlan.
iii. The two sides decided to designate nodal agencies for timely and effective communication on matters of common interest, an official said.
iv. Khattar said this was the first time that such nodal agencies have been designated. He said the Haryana government would organise ‘Happening Haryana Global Investors’ Summit-2016’ in Gurgaon on March 7 and 8 to attract investors to the State and extended an invitation to the Ontario Premier for the meet.
v. Khattar said the agreement inked by the two sides would help facilitate knowledge transfer in areas such as museum development and cultural preservation.
11. ZTE Soft inks pact with AP
i. Chinese technology company ZTE has inked a pact with the Andhra Pradesh government to work on smart city projects in the state. As a company associated with a number of smart city projects, the diversified telecom and technology major ZTE plans to engage itself with the state and work on the upcoming smart city projects in Andhra Pradesh.
ii. A memorandum of understanding was inked between GS Phani Kumar, Special Secretary, Information and Technology, Andhra Pradesh and ZTE Soft MD SH Prasoon Sharma in the presence of State IT and Information Minister Palle Ragunath Reddy, here, according to a statement.
iii. ZTE Soft has been engaged with more than 140 smart city projects globally and is keen to work on smart city projects in India. With the Narendra Modi government seeking to lay special thrust on development of smart cities, ZTE has already begun to engage itself with smart city initiatives in Gujarat and plans to expand its presence.
iv. Under the letter of intent inked by ZTE, it proposes to work with AP on not only smart cities, E-Pragathi project, Incubation Centre, smart technology projects among others which the State has initiated.
v. Two of AP cities –Visakhapatnam and Kakinada – have been chosen to be part of the smart city projects in the first phase announced recently.
12. Samariya given additional charge as CPFC
i. HL Samariya, a 1985 batch IAS officer from the Telangana cadre, has been given additional charge as Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC), for three months or till the appointment of a regular incumbent or till further orders, a release said.
ii. Samariya is currently Additional Secretary in the Labour Ministry.The additional charge of Secretary, Department of Agriculture, has been given to Ashok Kumar Angurana, a 1980 J&K cadre officer.
13. Kerala emerges as winner of 61st National School Athletics championship
i. The National School Athletics championship began on January 29 and concluded yesterday, i.e on February 2. Kerala emerged as the overall winner for the 19th consecutive time. The national School Athletics championship was held at Olympian Rahman Stadium in Kozhikode, Kerala.
ii. According to newspaper reports, Kerala, the host of the championship got 306 points winning 39 gold, 29 silver and 17 bronze medals. On the other hand, Tamil Nadu stood at second position with 116 points winning 11 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze medals.
iii. Maharashtra with 101 points obtained the third position. The venue of this event of Athletics is at the Olympian Abdurrahman Stadium in Medical College Ground at Kozhikode, Kerala.The School Games Federation of India hosted the 61st National Schools Athletics Championship 2016 (SGFI 2015-16) at Kozhikode (Calicut). As many as 3,000 athletes representing 36 teams are took part in the five-day meet.
iv. Ten of the Kerala athletes won meet records. Kerala could not overcome their 46 gold record score in 2009 this year as well. State Education Minister P K Abdu Rubb presented the prize at the concluding session. Kerala’s Anumol Thampi won the Junior Girls section 3000m with a record breaking effort of 9:47.19 seco, eclipsing the meet mark of 10:00.03s by Ritu Dinakar of Uttar Pradesh in 2008 in Kolkata.
v. In the Junior Boys 3000m, P N Ajith (Ker) claimed the first spot finishing the race in 8:46.54s and Karthik Kumar (UP) came second with 8:47.69s. Vidya Bharathi’s Shyam finished third with 8:49.37s.