Current Affairs of 15 February


India Withdrew MFN Status
India Withdrew MFN Status
India Withdrew MFN Status - India withdrew the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status accorded to Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir that led to the killing of 37 CRPF personnel and injuring of many others. The decision was taken during a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, which was presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the terror attack.

Most Favoured Nation Status
Most Favoured Nation Status
Most Favoured Nation Status - According to the World Trade Organisation rules, countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners. If one country is granted a trade concession such as, for example, lower import duties, then all WTO members must be extended the same concessions. This principle is known as the Most Favoured Nation treatment. Despite repeated promises, Pakistan has never granted MFN status to India. Revoking it means India can levy whatever import tariffs it wants. India can now make it very expensive for Pakistan to export its goods to India.

Vande Bharat Express
Vande Bharat Express 
Vande Bharat Express - Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019 flagged off India's first Semi High Speed Train, ‘Vande Bharat Express’ on New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route from the New Delhi Railway Station. With maximum speed of 160 kmph, Vande Bharat Express or Train-18 offers travel classes like Shatabdi Train but with better facilities with a totally new travel experience to passengers. The Vande Bharat Express will cover the distance between New Delhi and Varanasi in 8 hours at speed of 160 kmph.

Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley
Arun Jaitley - Arun Jaitley resumed charge as the finance minister after a gap of over a month, which was the second break within a year that he had to take to undergo medical treatment. The President of India, as advised by the prime minister, has directed to assign the portfolios of the Minister of Finance and Minister of Corporate Affairs to Arun Jaitley.

Pramod Chandra Mody
Pramod Chandra Mody
Pramod Chandra Mody - Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has appointed senior IRS officer Pramod Chandra Mody as chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT). He will succeed Sushil Chandra, who was recently appointed Election Commissioner. 

Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony
Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony
Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony - Indian President Ram Nath Kovind would be presenting the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Bangladesh cultural organisation Chhayanaut and Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively on February 18, 2019 in New Delhi. The award was instituted by the Union Government in 2012 to recognise the contributions made by Rabindranath Tagore to humanity at large with his works and ideas.

Trump Issued Emergency Declaration
Trump Issued Emergency Declaration
Trump Issued Emergency Declaration - President Donald Trump has decided to sign a spending bill averting a government shutdown but will also issue an emergency declaration to fund his controversial border wall. Declaring an emergency, a rare step, would free Trump to seek to redirect federal funds from elsewhere to help pay for a wall along the US-Mexico border. US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed disdain for the President's upcoming emergency declaration. She stated that the happening at the border is not an emergency.

Mars Rover Opportunity Declared Dead
Mars Rover Opportunity Declared Dead
Mars Rover Opportunity Declared Dead - NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity was officially declared dead on February 13, 2019, after having contributed almost 15 years of grand services. The declaration came after the long wait of eight months after the robot stopped responding to engineers back on earth after the dust storm hit the red planet. Setting off for Mars on the night of July 7, 2003, the golf-cart-sized robot has covered the distance of 28 miles since it has landed on the surface on January 25, 2004. 

World Bank Loan For Shimla
World Bank Loan For Shimla
World Bank Loan For Shimla - The Government of India, Government of Himachal Pradesh and the World Bank signed a $40 Million Loan Agreement to help bring clean and reliable drinking water to the citizens of the Greater Shimla area, who have been facing severe water shortages and water-borne epidemics over the last few years.

Defence Agreement With Germany and Sweden
Defence Agreement
Defence Agreement With Germany and Sweden - India concluded defence cooperation and security protection agreements with Germany and Sweden during the ongoing visit of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The agreement will enable both the countries to share classified information with each other.

SBI Acquired Stake in Jet Airways
Jet Airways
SBI Acquired Stake in Jet Airways - A consortium of commercial banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) will acquire a majority stake in Jet Airways (India) Ltd. by converting part of their debt into equity and advancing more capital to give the airline a lifeline to enable it to achieve a turnaround.

Penalty On Banks
Penalty On Banks
Penalty On Banks - The RBI has imposed penalties on three public sector banks for violation of various norms. A penalty of Rs. 1.5 crore has been imposed on Oriental Bank of Commerce and Rs. 1 crore each on Punjab National Bank and Bank of India. The penalty has been imposed for non-compliance with various directions on monitoring of end use of funds, exchange of information with other banks, and on restructuring of accounts.

Patna Metro Rail Project
Patna Metro Rail Project
Patna Metro Rail Project - Narendra Modi government has cleared the deck for Patna Metro rail project. Patna Metro will be Bihar’s first metro. The cost of the mega project is estimated at Rs 13411.24 crore. The project is scheduled to be completed in 5 years.