1. Hindalco bags Gare Palma coal mine
i. Aditya Birla group firm Hindalco Industries has won the Gare Palma IV/5 mine in Chhattisgarh by outbidding companies like BALCO, Sesa Sterlite, Ambuja Cements, which were also vying for the same block.
iii. States, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal, are set to get over Rs 50,000 crore from the coal blocks sold in the ongoing auction.
iv. The government is auctioning the coal blocks after the Supreme Court cancelled allocation of 204 mines in September last year. It has put 19 mines on block in the first tranche.2. Nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile test-fired
i. India on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear weapons capable, surface-to-surface Prithvi-II missile for a shortened range of 250 km as against its full range of 350 km from Chandipur in Balasore district, Odisha.
ii. The indigenously-developed missile was launched by personnel of Strategic Forces Command (SFC) from a road mobile launcher at around 9.15 am.
iii. Carrying a dummy payload weighing 500 kg, the missile met all the mission objectives. The entire mission was carried out by SFC personnel as part of regular training.
iv. Prithvi-II is the first missile to have been developed by the DRDO under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and has been inducted into the SFC in 2003.
3. Kalyani Group announces joint venture with Rafael Defence System
i. The Kalyani Group has announced a joint venture with Rafael Advanced Defence System of Israel. This joint venture company will be based in India.
ii. The initiative is in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ policy and will enable the development and production of high-end technology in the country, said the company.
iii. The joint venture will be a 51:49 partnership, with Kalyani Group holding 51 per cent stake as per the new FDI norms. Recently, the government had raised the FDI cap in defence to 49 per cent.
iv. The Kalyani Group claimed the joint venture will be among the first such ventures under the new FDI limits.
4. Rashad Hussain appointed as US Special Envoy and Coordinator
i. Indian-American Rashad Hussain has been appointed as the Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counter-terrorism Communications.
ii. According to the state department of US, the appointment will expand the global engagement and partnerships of the US in order to counter violent extremism.
iii. Hussain is currently the US special envoy to Organization for Islamic Countries (OIC).
iv. In January 2009, Hussain was appointed as the Deputy Associate Counsel to US President Barack Obama, whose role was to focus on national security, new media and science and technology issues.
v. In January 2013, he received the Distinguished Honor Award for outstanding service to the agencies of the US Government which has marked national or international significance.
5. Bharti Airtel Ltd tied-up with UNICEF to provide education content in 17 African countries
i. Indian telecom major Bharti Airtel Limited on 18 February 2015 tied-up with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide health, education and youth-focused content to its customers in 17 African countries.
ii. In this regard, Bharti Airtel limited and UNICEF signed a partnership agreement. Their partnership is aimed at improving African population’s access to health and education-related information from various innovative projects supported by UNICEF.
iii. The partnership extends across 17 countries in Africa including Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Chad, DRC, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
6. Bihar announces 35% reservation for women in non-gazetted govt jobs
i. Bihar government has announced 35% reservation for women in non-gazetted government jobs in group C and D grade.
ii. This decision was taken at state cabinet meeting presided by Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.
The cabinet meeting also took following decisions
Hiked Member of Legislative Assembly Development Fund (MLADF) from the present Rs. 2 crore in a year to Rs. 3 crore from the next financial year.
Proposal to pay 13 months salary in place of 12 months to policemen upto inspector rank.
Hiked the daily wage of home guards to Rs. 400 from Rs. 300 at present.
Enhance the payment of agricultural advisors to Rs. 7,000 per month from Rs. 6,000 per month at present.