02 February 2016 Current Affairs

WHO declares Zika virus global health emergency

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 2 February 2016  announced that the explosive spread of the Zika virus in the Americas is an “extraordinary event” that merits being declared an international emergency. The WHO convened an emergency meeting of independent experts to assess the outbreak after noting a suspicious link between Zika’s arrival in Brazil last year and a surge in the number of babies born with abnormally small heads. The last such public health emergency was declared for the devastating 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed more than 11,000 people.

Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2015-16

“On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, on 2 February 2016 RBI has been decided to:
keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.75 per cent;
keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability (NDTL);
continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate and liquidity under 14-day term repos as well as longer term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions; and continue with daily variable rate repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF will remain unchanged at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 7.75 per cent. “

India, Brunei discuss South China Sea dispute

Brunei on 2 February 2016 held discussion with an Indian delegation led by Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea which has the potential to affect free maritime traffic in Southeast Asia.The pact is aimed at ensuring uninterrupted energy lanes between India and Southeast Asia.  Brunei’s main port, Muara — one of the main ports in Southeast Asia through which the bulk of the country’s oil and gas exports to India take place — is in the South China Sea region and will become a major component of India’s growing maritime partnership with Brunei.

World Wetlands Day observed on February 2

The World Wetlands Day was observed across the globe on  February 2 every year. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control and shoreline stability. Since 1971, the Ramsar Convention is observing the day. This year, the theme of the day is “Wetlands for our Future: Sustainable Livelihoods”. Mentioning a study conducted by SPARSO, there was 130 acre of wetland in Dhaka in 1968 and it was found only 63 acre in 2001.

Afghanistan boy  of 5 can  get chance to meet Messi

A 5-year-old Afghan boy, Murtaza Ahmadi made a splash on the Internet by wearing a homemade Lionel Messi jersey, might get the chance to meet the Barcelona great. The Afghan Football Federation has said it is planning to set up a meeting between Messi and Murtaza Ahmadi, who was pictured wearing an Argentina jersey made from a plastic bag with Messi’s name and number on the back.

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