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Daily News Digest, 17th February 2016

Government plans to extend National Automobile Mission 2016 for 10 years

  • Union Ministry has announced the plan to extend the National Automobile Mission 2016 will be extended till 2026 i.e. for 10 years.
  • The Mission envisages India to become an international hub for designing and manufacturing of automobile and auto components.
  • The ministry is also trying to establish a technology fund for companies.

Government hiked PF interest rate hiked to 8.8% for 2015-16

  • The government has increased interest rates on the provident fund (PF) to 8.8 per cent for the ongoing financial year ended March 2016 from 8.75 per cent earlier.
  • EPFO has been paying 8.75 percent interest rate for the last two fiscals to its 5 crore organised sector subscribers.
  • EPFO provides the rate of interest from its earnings on investment informal sector workers’ fund without any assistance from the government.
  • The income projection of the retirement fund body is upwards of Rs 34,844 crore for the current fiscal.
  • At this, EPFO would not have any problem to raise the rates to even 9% considering that it would still have Rs 100-odd crore surplus.

Medaram tribal festival begins in Telangana

  • Medaram tribal festival begins in TelanganaPeople from different parts of the country are congregating at the Medaram forest area in Warangal District, Telangana for Sammakka, Saralamma, Jatara.
  • Smmakka and Saralamma are the tribal women who bravely fought the enemy to protect their village centuries ago, worshiped during the Jatara once in every two years.
  • Tribal people from across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and neighboring Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and other States will offer prayers on the occasion.
  • The four-day Tribal festival to be taken place this evening, lakhs of devotees have already arrived at Medaram.
  •  The sea of humanity drawn from different parts of the country, cultures, different languages and varied traditional background thronging the forest area to offer prayers to tribal goddesses.
  • Medaram is located deep in the forest over 100 kilometers away from the district headquarters, Warangal.

Malayalam Writer Akbar Kakkattil passes away

  • Noted Malayalam novelist and short story writer Akbar Kakkattil passed away. He was 62 years old and is survived by a wife and two children.
  • Kakkattil was undergoing treatment for a lung-related ailment for a year.
  • He has 54 books to his credit which includes, four novels, 27 short stories, six collections of essays, seven novelettes, a play, among others.
  • He was a two-time winner of the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi award. He was also the recipient of the first-ever award in humour section in 1992 for his ‘School Diary’-an anthology of short essays.
  • He was the Vice-President of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Member of Malayalam Advisory Panel of National Book Trust and Malayalam Advisory Board of Kerala Government.
  • He had worked as a member of the governing body of South Zone Cultural Centre of the Union government and Kerala State Institute of Children’s literature.
  • He was also a member of Malayalam Advisory Board of Kendra Sahitya Akademi and Convener of Publication Committee, Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
  • His work ‘Sarga Sameeksha’, a creative and critical interface of a young writer with the iconic writers of the older generation is perhaps first of its kind among Indian languages.

Former UN chief Boutros Boutros-Ghali passes away

  • Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali passes away in Cairo. He was 93 years old
  • He led the world body during one of its most difficult periods with failed missions in Rwanda and Bosnia.
  • The Egyptian diplomat became the first Secretary General of Africa in 1992, but his tenure ended abruptly five years later when the United States vetoed his second term.

Flipkart appoints Nitin Seth as its Chief People Officer

  • Flipkart has appointed Nitin Seth as the Chief People Officer of the company.
  • Seth will lead the human resource function and partner with the leadership team. He will report to Binny Bansal, CEO & Co-founder of Flipkart.
  • Earlier, Seth was the Managing Director and Country Head for Fidelity International in India.
  • He had worked as Director of McKC, McKinsey’s global knowledge center in India. He led McKC for eight years.
  • Seth also chairs the NASSCOM regional council for Haryana and is the chairperson of the National GIC Council and is part of the NASSCOM Executive Council.
  • Seth is a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

BAE Systems selects Mahindra Defence as India’s partner for gun deal

  • BAE Systems has opted Mahindra Defence as its India’s partner for artillery gun deal.
  • The $700 million deal for the supply of 145 M777 Howitzers, which are ultra lightweight artillery guns having a strike range of 25 km.
  • India and the United States are in discussion for the supply of 145 M777A2 LW155 Howitzers for the Indian Army.
  • Last year, BAE developed and submitted a US government-supported proposal offering a higher degree of indigenisation on the M777 weapon system.
  • BAE made the commitment to establish AIT capabilities in India in partnership with a domestic Indian company.
  • The facility is a fundamental part of the M777 production line.
  • A domestic Assembly, Integration and Test facility will enable the Indian Army to access maintenance, spares and support for the M777 locally.

Uber signs MoU with the Maharashtra government

  • Uber has signed a MoU with the  Maharashtra government’s Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Department (SDED) to help create 75,000 entrepreneurship opportunities across the state.
  • Uber has also committed to the promotion of equality of jobs with a focus on training women and people from marginalised sectors. 
  • This aims to promote an equal and fair opportunity for all to earn sufficient income as independent entrepreneurs on the platform.

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