1. Maharashtra rolls out Deradicalisation Programme in wake of IS threat
i. Maharashtra Government has rolled out Deradicalisation Programme for the minority community to counter both home-grown extremism and the global Islamic State (IS) threat.
ii. The plan has been chalked out by the State Home Department that includes a 50-point socio-economic strategy.
iii. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has approved the proposal in this regard and also has passed a government resolution on it.
2. US General John Nicholson appointed NATO Commander in Afghanistan
i. A US Senate Armed Services Committee has confirmed the nomination of General John Nicholson to the commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan.
ii. He will succeed outgoing commander US General John Campbell. His appointment comes at a time when serious concerns have been raised about the security situation in Afghanistan.
3. WHO accords PQP certification to Indian vaccine maker GreenSignal Bio Pharma
i. The World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN Health agency has accorded PQP (Pre-qualification of Medicines Programme) certification to Chennai based GreenSignal Bio Pharma.
ii. The Indian pharmaceutical company was accorded this certification for manufacturing a BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) vaccine. With this, it became second Indian company to get PQP certification from WHO.
4. India ratifies Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage
i. India has ratified Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage (CSC), 1997 which sets parameters on a nuclear operator’s financial liability.
ii. In this regard, India has submitted the Instrument of Ratification of the CSC to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and shall come into force after 90 days i.e May 2016.
5. India becomes Associate Member of European Molecular Biology Organisation
i. India officially became the Associate Member State of European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).
ii. In this regard, Union Ministry of Science and Technology has signed an agreement to acquire the status of Associate Member of EMBO. India is second country outside the European region to be an Associate Member State of EMBO.
iii. First one being Singapore which had signed such agreement with European Molecular Biology Conference (EMBC) in 2015.
6. ICC appointed Rahul Dravid as member of newly constituted Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group
i. The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board constituted Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group.
ii. A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting headed by the ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar. The meeting was held at the ICC headquarters in Dubai, the UAE.
iii. Apart from Rahul Dravid as a member, the group will consist of a Chairman, two members and two ex-officio members.
iv. The ICC mandated the Anti-Corruption Unit Oversight Group to meet once a year to review and provide independent input into the strategy adopted by the sport to tackle corruption and its implementation.
v. The group was further mandated to offer its advice and guidance to the Chairman of the Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) where required.
7. NASA’s New Horizons mission spotted floating hills on Pluto
i. NASA’s New Horizons mission on 14 July 2015 spotted the nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appeared to carry numerous isolated hills which are likely to be the fragments of water ice, as per the press release of NASA on 4 February 2016.
ii. As the nitrogen-dominated ice is dense than water ice, it is believed that newly found water ice hills are floating in a sea of frozen nitrogen and resembles icebergs in Earth’s Arctic Ocean. These hills individually measure one to several miles or kilometers across.
iii. These hills are another example of Pluto’s fascinating and abundant geological activity and are likely to be fragments of the rugged uplands and smaller versions of the large and jumbled mountains on Sputnik Planum’s western border.
8. Vice President Hamid Ansari concluded his two-nation tour to Thailand and Brunei
i. Vice-President Hamid Ansari on 5 February 2016 concluded his two-nation tour to Thailand and Brunei.
ii. During the 5-day visit that started on 1 February 2016, the Vice President held talks with the head of governments, political leaders and Indian diaspora to enhance bilateral relations.
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