1) Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion: Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, as the world's largest social network looks for ways to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd. The acquisition of the hot messaging service with more than 450 million users around the world stunned many Silicon Valley observers with its lofty price tag. Facebook will pay $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares and $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest over four years.
Know about WhatsApp?- WhatsApp Messenger is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones. In addition to text messaging, users can send each other images, video, and audio media messages as well as their location using integrated mapping features. WhatsApp Inc. was founded in 2009 by Americans Brian Acton and Jan Koum (also the CEO), both former employees of Yahoo!, and is based in Mountain View, California..
2) Rajya Sabha passed Telangana Bill: India on February 20, 2014 got its 29th state, but not before a day-long debate in Parliament and a decades-long struggle for it. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013, which seeks to bifurcate the southern state into Telangana and Seemandhra, was passed by Rajya Sabha on Thursday, days after it was adopted by Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh announced to grant special Category Status to 13 districts of Seemandhra for a period of five years to improve state’s finances. The Prime Minister also said the resource gap that may arise in Seemandhra after state division in the first year will be compensated in the Regular Union Budget for 2014-15.
Know about Telangana?- Telangana is a region in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana is bordered by the states of Maharashtra to the north and north-west, Karnataka to the west, Chhattisgarh to the north-east and Odisha to the east. State of Andhra Pradesh had three main cultural regions: Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. The Telangana region has an area of 114,840 square kilometres (44,340 sq mi), and a population of 35,286,757 (2011 census) which was 41.6% of the population of Andhra Pradesh. On 5 December 2013, Cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill prepared by the Group of Ministers (GoM).
3) Saurabh Chandra is new Oil Secretary: Saurabh Chandra, Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, will be the new Oil Secretary. He will replace Vivek Rae who is retiring on February 28. The file for appointment of new Petroleum & Natural Secretary has been signed by the concerned authorities including the Prime Minister and now a formal order is expected any time.
4) Odia becomes sixth classical language: Odia on Thursday became the sixth language in India to get classical status following approval of the Union cabinet. With this achievement, Odia is now in the same league with Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. It is the first language from the Indo-Aryan group of languages to get the classical tag.
5) Unique identity code for hallmarked jewels: Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) proposes to introduce UIN as a component of hallmark to ensure traceability of such certified articles in a bid to protect consumers from being cheated. It will be a nine-digit alpha-numeric code on jewellery. Sunil Soni, Director-General, BIS, said the UIN concept in jewellery is expected to be operational later this year. It will also help the standards body take action against the unscrupulous manufacturers misusing the ISI mark/hallmark.
6) Senior bureaucrat Yaduvendra Mathur named Exim Bank CMD: Veteran civil servant Yaduvendra Mathur was on Thursday appointed Chairman and Managing Director of the Export Import Bank of India (Exim Bank). Mathur, who was Chairman and Managing Director of Rajasthan Financial Corporation, succeeds TCA Ranganathan, who retired in November last year.
Know about Exim Bank?- Export-Import Bank of India is the premier export finance institution in India, established in 1982 under the Export-Import Bank of India Act 1981. Since its inception, Exim Bank of India has been both a catalyst and a key player in the promotion of cross border trade and investment. Exim Bank is managed by a Board of Directors, which has representatives from the Government, Reserve Bank of India, Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India, a financial institution, public sector banks, and the business community.
7) CCEA approves Rs.46,000 crore Green India Mission: The cabinet committee on economic affairs on Thursday approved a Rs.46,000-crore scheme to improve and increase India’s diminishing forest cover, a day after the environment ministry was rapped for failing to properly implement a decade-old afforestation programme. The new scheme, known as the National Mission for a Green India, envisages an expenditure of Rs.13,000 crore in the 12th five-year plan period ending in March 2017, and a total cost of Rs.46,000 crore over the next 10 years.
8) Chidambaram to attend G20 finance ministers` meet in Australia: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will embark on a five day trip to Australia beginning Friday during which he will attend the G20 Ministerial meeting and also meet international investors. Chidambaram will be leading a high level Indian delegation to attend the two day G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting scheduled to be held in Sydney, Australia on Feb 22 and 23. Beside the Finance Minister, the Indian delegation includes Dr. Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Dr. Arvind Mayaram, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and other senior officials of Ministry of Finance among others.