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CURRENT AFFAIRS: DAYS
International Mother Language Day
- On 21st February, International Mother Language Day (IMLD) will be celebrated as a worldwide annual observance of UNESCO. MHRD will also observe Matribhasha Diwas on 21st Feb to highlight the linguistic diversity of our country.
- The central theme for International Mother Language Day 2020 is ‘Languages without borders’.
- According to UNESCO, ‘local, cross-border languages can promote peaceful dialogue and help to preserve indigenous heritage’. On 21stFebruary 2020 – the organization will be celebrating Multilinguism under this theme.
World Thinking Day
- On February 22, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides across 150 countries celebrate World Thinking Day.
- Promoted by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS for short) along with Girl Scouts of the USA, World Thinking Day originated in 1926.
- World Thinking Day 2020 celebrates the diversity, equity, and inclusion reflected in our global movement.
Central Excise Day celebrated on 24 February
- The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) celebrates Central Excise Day every year on February 24 all over the country. This occasion is dedicated to Central Excise Day and Salt Act, which was enacted on 24 February 1944.
- The Central Excise Day is commemorated every year across India on February 24. It is to encourage the excise department employees to carry out the central excise duty all over the country in a better way to prevent the corruption in the goods manufacturing business as well as to implement other rules to carry out the best possible excise services.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: NATIONAL
Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates New Institutional Campus at NIPHTR in Navi Mumbai
- Union Minister of Science & Technology, Health and Family Welfare and Earth Science Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that public health should be a subject that needs thorough rejuvenation in India. Dr. Harsh Vardhan was inaugurating a New Institutional Campus at the National Institute of Public Health Training & Research (NIPHTR) at Navi Mumbai.
- He informed that in the first cabinet meeting, the centre had decided to start at least 75 medical colleges in those areas where malnutrition cases are mostly reported. He stated that in sustainable development and reduction of maternal mortality rates, India under Modi’s regime has achieved more than expectations. He also added that India has a very robust Ayushman Bharat Programs under which 86 lakhs patients have been enrolled.
Over Rs 50,000 Cr released by centre to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme so far
- The PM-KISAN scheme launched on 24th February last year, is to provide income support to all landholding farmers’ families across the country and enable them to meet expenses related to agriculture as well as domestic needs.
- Under the Scheme, six thousand rupees per year is transferred in installments directly into the bank accounts of the farmers.
- Centre has released 50,850 crore rupees to farmers the scheme so far. As on the 20th of this month, 8.46 crores farmer families have been given the benefits.
- The scheme initially provided income support to all small and marginal farmers’ families across the country, holding cultivable land up to two hectares. However, its ambit was later expanded to cover all farmer families in the country irrespective of the size of their landholdings. Affluent farmers have been excluded from the scheme such as income tax payers in the last assessment year.
PM Modi, US Prez Trump to jointly address Namaste Trump event at Motera stadium
- US President Donald Trump will arrive in Ahmedabad on a two-day visit to India. He will be accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and top brass of his administration. In Ahmedabad, he will visit Sabarmati Ashram and take part in a roadshow with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders will jointly address over one lakh people at the Namaste Trump event at Motera cricket stadium.
- A cultural extravaganza will be organised at the stadium during the Namaste Trump event. Huge billboards of the two leaders and replicas of historic places in Gujarat have placed along the roads where people will greet the two leaders.
Ministry of MSME launches national level awareness programme
- Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched a National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020 from February 17 to 28.
- The objective of the NLP is to spread awareness about schemes and activities undertaken by the Ministry and its attached organisations — Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Coir Board, National Small Industries Corporation Limited, National Institute of MSME, MSME Technology Centres, and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialisation, as per an official statement issued .
- A total of 126 field offices of the Ministry and its organisations are conducting the awareness programmes across the country to disseminate information amongst students of colleges and educational institutes. During the fortnight awareness drive will be conducted in more than 600 colleges covering almost 60,000 students from all parts of the country.
- Under the NLAP, interactive sessions are being held with the students, taking up their queries, doubts about the schemes, and programmes as well as providing solutions to their enquiries.
- Along with the interactive sessions, the students are also shown audio-video films and presentation on the activities of the Ministry and its organisations, as well as provided details of schemes implemented by the Ministry.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: INTERNATIONAL
FATF decides to retain Pakistan in ‘Grey List
- The global terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) decided continuation of Pakistan in the ‘Grey List’ and warned the country that stern action will be taken if it fails to check the flow of money to terror groups. The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s plenary in
- The plenary has noted that Pakistan addressed only a few of the 27 tasks given to it in controlling funding to terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and the Hizbul Mujahideen, which are responsible for a series of attacks in India.
- Pakistan has to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020. If Pakistan fails to comply with the FATF directives, there is every possibility that the global body may put the country in the ‘Black List’ along with North Korea and Iran.
- With Pakistan’s continuation in the ‘Grey List’, it will be difficult for the country to get financial aid from the International Monetory Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Union, thus further enhancing problems for the nation which is in a precarious financial situation. Pakistan was placed on the ‘Grey List’ by the FATF in June 2018 and was given a plan of action to complete by October 2019 or face the risk of being placed on the ‘Black List’.
- The FATF is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.
- Headquarters: Paris, France
- Founded: July 1989
- President: Xiangmin Liu
India, Sri Lanka sign MoU for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools for estate workers of Indian origin
- India and Sri Lanka have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools for estate workers of Indian origin. The MoU was signed by acting High Commissioner Mr. Vinod. K. Jacob and Secretary, Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka Mr. N.H.M. Chithrananda in Colombo.
- The project envisages up gradation of infrastructure of 9 plantation schools as identified by Sri Lanka under an Indian grant assistance of 30 crore rupees. The government of India has been implementing several projects in the field of education, deepening India-Sri Lanka cooperation in the education sector.
- Construction and renovation of many school buildings in Northern Province is also being undertaken under Indian grant assistance.
- These projects are in continuation of Government of India’s people-oriented development cooperation with Government of Sri Lanka. India’s overall commitment of development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at a total of around 5 billion US dollars and among these, 560 million US dollars under grants.
Recent news related to Srilanka :
- Cabinet Approves amendment of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Sri Lanka
- Sri Lankan Prime Minister visits India: Terrorism and Trade discussed
- India to set up Maritime Research Coordination Centre in Sri Lanka
- Indian Naval chief on a four-day visit to Sri Lanka
- The seventh Indo-Sri Lanka joint military exercise was held on December 1, 2019 at Aundh military station.
- The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Jamuna has been deployed in the shores of Sri Lanka to carry out a joint Hydrographic survey. The survey is to be conducted for 2 months time period.
Language Martyrs’ Day ‘Amar Ekushey’ Observed in Bangladesh
- Bangladesh observed the Shaheed Dibash known as ‘Amar Ekushey’ across the country to pay tribute to the martyrs of language movement. The day is observed as Shaheed Dibash to commemorate the martyrs who were killed in firing by the Pakistani police on 21 February 1952 in Dhaka.
- The students were agitating to establish Bangla as the state language of Pakistan. Bangladesh was part of the then Pakistan which had declared Urdu as the only state language for both West Pakistan and East Pakistan which became Bangladesh after the liberation war of 1971.
- Later in 1956 Pakistan was forced to recognise Bangla as one of the state languages but the agitation did not stop. It subsequently galvanised people into waging a victorious war of liberation against Pakistan in 1971. India played a key role in the liberation war of Bangladesh.
- President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh paid tribute to the language martyrs by placing wreath at the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka immediately after midnight. The national flag of Bangladesh flew at half mast on all official buildings.
About Bangladesh :
- Capital: Dhaka
- Currency: Bangladeshi taka
- Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina
Egypt to host ‘India by the Nile’ fest in March
- The annual ‘India by the Nile’ festival in Egypt will be held this year from March 2-10, bringing with it a selection of classical and popular Indian art forms to the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and
- The festival is organised by the Teamwork Arts (a company that specialises in showcasing Indian art at festivals all over the world) in cooperation with the Indian Embassy in Cairo and several other Egyptian partners, the Al Ahram newspaper said in a report on Friday.
- This year, the festival will include “En Route to Bollywood“. a colourful show featuring well-known songs from Bollywood films, accompanied by dancers.
- A Bollywood dance workshop, which is one of the main features of the event, will take place this year too, led by India-based French dancer and choreographer Gilles Chuyen.
- In addition, the Astha Dixit Dance Company will provide a modern perspective on one of the oldest Indian classical dance forms, kathak. The festival will also feature “Yoga and Wellbeing” sessions.
- Capital: Cairo
- Currency: Egyptian pound
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BANKING AND FINANCE
US surpasses China to become India’s top trading partner
- The United States has surpassed China to become India’s top trading partner. According to the Commerce Ministry data, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at nearly 88 billion dollars in 2018-19 fiscal. During the period, India’s trade with China was at 1 billion dollars.
- Similarly, during April-December 2019-20, the bilateral trade between the US and India stood at 68 billion dollars against a nearly 65 billion dollars trade with China in the same period.
- America is one of the few countries with which India has a trade surplus. On the other hand, India has a huge trade deficit with China. In 2018-19, India has a trade surplus of 16.9 billion dollars with America, while it has a deficit of 53.6 billion dollars with the neighbouring country. The data showed that China was India’s top trading partner since 2013-14 till 2017-18.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Free platform ticket for 30 squats at Delhi’s Anand Vihar railway station
- Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal notified the installation of a novel ticket vending machine at Delhi ‘s Anand Vihar station. Named as the ‘squat machine,‘ this machine allows passengers to get a platform ticket for free in exchange for performing 30 squats in 180 seconds.
- In a first-of-its-kind scheme, the Indian Railways has installed a squat machine at the Anand Vihar station and 30 squats in front of it will generate a free platform ticket.
- As part of the health initiative, the railways has also opened a “Dawa Dost” store at the station, a generic medicine store for passengers.
- Dawa Dost aims to make it easier for Indians to take care of their health and help them make substantial savings on their health bills by providing high-quality, affordable medicines. Dawa Dost supports the Indian government’s stance on the use of generic medicines.
- The firm currently has 10 stores in Rajasthan and Delhi and plans to increase to 100 stores in a year and to 1,000 in the next four years.
- The railways has also installed a Robocura massage chair, the most advanced body massage chair that has 3D massage rollers, along with a longer massage track line giving maximum massage coverage.
- To promote healthy eating, the railways has also created a “Eat Right Station Certification”, the main objective of which is to help passengers make healthy food choices.The station is the first ‘Eat Right Station’ under the Northern Railway
National Council of Applied Economic Research pegs GDP growth at 4.9 per cent in 2019-20
- Think tank National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) pegged the economic growth for the current fiscal at 9 per cent, a tad down from 5 per cent estimated by the National Statistical Office (NSO).
- However, for 2020-21, the NCEAR expects the Indian economy to improve its growth rate to 6 per cent. Indian economy grew by 6.1 per cent in 2018-19. “GDP growth is forecast to be 4.9 per cent in Q3: 2019-20, and 5.1 per cent in Q4: 2019-20.
- The annual growth rates for 2019-20 and 2020-21 are forecast to be 4.9 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively,” an NCEAR statement stated. The NSO as well as the RBI has projected the GDP growth rate at 5 per cent for the current fiscal. The NCEAR has indicated some improvement in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.
Microsoft, SBI Foundation to upskill youth with disabilities for BFSI jobs
- Microsoft has collaborated with SBI Foundation to create opportunities in the banking and financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, for youth with disabilities.
- Under the initiative, the two organisations will upskill 500 youth for BFSI jobs across Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR. The programme will be driven in collaboration with various government agencies, industry skilling bodies and non-profits. As a part of this effort, both the companies will develop an AI-powered marketplace that will enable the BFSI industry to better connect with people having disabilities (to upskill them).
- SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar stated that by leveraging technology, more job avenues for people with disabilities open up in the BFSI sector.
SBI Card, Landmark Group tie-up to launch retail co-branded credit cards
- SBI Card has partnered with Landmark Group to launch retail co-branded credit cards. Lifestyle Home Centre SBI Card, Max SBI Card, and Spar SBI Card were introduced in partnership with four Landmark brands – Lifestyle, Home Centre, Max, and Spar.
- The new co-brand cards are available in three variants – Base, SELECT and PRIME and cater to consumers across segments from value-for-money to premium to super-premium. PRIME variant cardholders can avail total savings of up to Rs 30,000 annually on this card. The joining and renewal fee for the Base variant is Rs 499 plus GST, SELECT variant is Rs 1,499 plus GST and PRIME variant is Rs 2,999 plus GST.
- Designed to be a one-stop payment solution for the entire family, these cards provide a rewarding shopping experience to cardholders across categories that include fashion – premium and affordable, home furnishing including furniture and grocery.
- The underlying value proposition of all these cards is the same. Cardholders of any of these cards can avail similar benefits at all participating Landmark brands, thus getting savings and a host of other benefits across a spectrum of categories through a single card.
Axis Bank to explore long-term partnership with Max Life
- Axis Bank, along with Max Financial Services Limited and its subsidiary Max Life Insurance, have signed a confidentiality and exclusivity arrangement that will allow the private sector lender to explore the possibility of entering into a long-term strategic partnership with the life insurer.
- The arrangement has a three-month timeline. This is expected to give the private sector lender a greater foothold in the insurance sector, while Max Financial Services has been scouting for another shareholder for Max Life.
- Max Life is currently the largest non-bank-owned private life insurer in India. Max Financial Services holds a 72.5 per cent stake in Max Life, while Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance holds 25.5 per cent equity. Axis Bank owns 2 per cent stake in Max Life. Bancassurace deal
- Axis Bank and Max Life have had a bancassurace (banca) arrangement for nearly a decade, with the new premium generated estimated at more than ₹12,000 crore.
- CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry
- Headquarters: Mumbai
- Founded: 1993, Ahmedabad
- Tagline: Badhti Ka naam Zindagi.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATES
4 railway stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj get new names
- Four Railway Stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj will now sport new names, a move aimed at reviving the identity of the ancient city.
- Allahabad Junction will now be Prayagraj Junction, Allahabad City will now be known as Prayagraj Rambag, Allahabad Chhioki has been changed to Prayagraj Chheoki and the name of Prayagghat has been changed to Prayagraj Sangam.
- The names of the stations were changed by the central and the state government.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP)
- Capital- Lucknow
- Chief Minister (CM)- Yogi Adityanath
- Governor- Anandiben Patel
World famous Goa carnival to begin in Panaji
- The world-famous Goa Carnival will begin in the capital Panaji. The festival, which displays Goan art and culture, is celebrated with fun, frolic, pomp and splendor.
- The mood in Panaji city is quite festive and all the preparations are done for the float parade that is going to take place. The floats carry different messages and themes and there is also a band of music and troupes of artists on each float vehicle.
- Local as well as foreign tourists participate in this Carnival festival. Tonight streets in Panaji will be lit up with marching bands, group dances and artists dressed in colourful costumes. The thrill of Carnival attracts visitors all across Goa.
- Governor: Satya Pal Malik
- Chief minister: Pramod Sawant
- Capital: Panaji (Executive Branch)
Chhattisgarh organises ‘Krishi Maha-Kumbh’ to cater to future farming practices
- A three-day mega agricultural festival organised in Raipur called ‘Krishi Maha-Kumbh’ was inaugurated by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. Also known as the National Agriculture Festival, this mela boasted of going beyond the traditional dominant practices of farmers by encouraging the agrarian community to experiment with non-conventional farm activities, adopt modern technologies and secure quality organic produce.
- It also provided carry several notable attractions for the farmers and other visitors to understand how the integrated farming system can go along with the changed perception towards modern efficient agricultural practices.
- Thousands of farmers attending the occasion were updated with modern agriculture information and technological tools that raise new hopes on how to manage their farms and sustainable farm produce.
- The pneumatic precision (mechanised) planter with side drawbar for sowing vegetable crops cited to be suitable to Indian conditions and agronomic practices drew in much curiosity even as the farmers became deft in vegetable grafting procedure to improve crop production.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: ACQUISITIONS AND MERGERS
Modi government approves merger of Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers: Sources
- The Department of Telecom (DoT) on approved the merger of the country’s largest mobile tower company Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel,
- The combination of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers will create a pan-India tower company with over 163,000 towers, operating across all 22 telecom service areas.
- The combined entity will be the largest tower company in the world outside China. Bharti Infratel and Vodafone hold 42 per cent stake each in Indus.
- Vodafone Idea holds 11.15 per cent stake in the mobile tower firm.
- As per the plans, the combined company, which would fully own the respective businesses of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers, would change its name to Indus Towers Ltd and will continue to be listed on Indian stock exchanges.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPS AND PORTAL
Online Chatbot ‘ASKDISHA’ upgraded to converse with Railway customers in Hindi language
- Indian Railways had introduced the services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot in October 2018 for the benefit of the users of the ticketing website www.irctc.co.in and tourism website www.irctctourism.com of its PSU, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).
- The ASKDISHA Chatbot was initially launched in English language but in order to further enhance the customer services rendered and to further strengthen the services of the chatbot, IRCTC has now powered voice enabled ASKDISHA to converse with customers in Hindi language also in the e-ticketing site www.irctc.co.in. The customers can now ask queries to ASKDISHA in Hindi language by voice as well as text.
- IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future.
- The first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers. Since its initial launch, more than 150 million passengers have been benefited by ASKDISHA with 10 billion interactions for seeking help on reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products.
Indian Railways launches mobile app for employees
- Indian Railways, Railway Board Chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav launched the HRMS (Human Resource Management System) mobile app, in which the employees can see the data related to their service and communicate with the administration for any changes.
- The app has been developed by the Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS).
- The mobile app allows employees to view their historical data since their date of joining, including details related to increments, promotions, awards, transfers, postings, leave, training and retirement benefits.
- Scanned copies of their physical service record are also available in the app, which is an important milestone in computerisation of HR related functionalities in Indian Railways.
About Ministry of Railways:
- Formed– 16 April 1853
- Headquarters– New Delhi
- Union Minister– Piyush Goyal
CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENTS AND RESIGNATION
RBI approves Sunil Gurbaxani’s appointment as Dhanlaxmi Bank MD and CEO
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as managing director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.
- Gurbaxani is working with Axis Bank at present.
- During the third quarter ended December, the bank reported a 26 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 21.28 crore for the third quarter ended December.
- The private sector lender had registered a net profit of Rs 16.90 crore during the corresponding period in previous fiscal.
- Total income rose to Rs 285.85 crore from Rs 272.16 crore in October-December 2018-19.
About Dhanlaxmi Bank
- Headquarters- Thrissur, Kerala
- Tagline- Tann.Mann.Dhan
- Chairman- Mr. Sajeev Krishnan
Rajalaxmi Deo re-elected as Rowing Federation of India president
- Rajalaxmi Singh Deo was re-elected as the president of the Rowing Federation of India (RFI).
- Rajpal Singh, G Bhasker, Souvik Ghose, and Sreekunara Kurup were elected as vice-presidents.
- MV Sriram was voted as secretary-general of the RFI while Krishna Kumar Singh and Chirajit Dhukan were chosen as joint-secretaries of the federation.
- The post of the treausurer was won by Nababudin Ahmed. Jasbir Singh, Venkateshwara Rao, Ismail Baig, Jacob, and Manjunatha were elected as the executive committee members.
- The winning candidates will remain at the post for four years till 2024.
Retired IAS officers Amarjeet Sinha, Bhaskar Khulbe appointed as Advisers to PM
- Retired IAS officers Amarjeet Sinha and Bhaskar Khulbe have been appointed as Advisers to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. DoPT in its order stated the appointments have been made on contractual basis initially for a period of two years or until further orders
- Both the Indian Administrative Service officers are from the 1983 batch. Mr Sinha was from the Bihar Cadre and Mr Khulbe from the West Bengal Cadre.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS
Manoj Kumar felicitated by London’s World Book of Records for contribution to Indian cinema
- Veteran actor Manoj Kumar has been felicitated by the World Book of Records, London with the WBR Golden Era of Bollywood honour for being a legendary actor and for his contribution to Indian cinema.
- The certificate of honour was presented to Manoj Kumar recently by Santosh Shukla, Supreme Court Advocate (President World Book of Records), Usman Khan (Vice President, World Book of Records, India) and Professor Rajeev Sharma.
- Manoj Kumar was the winner of 47th Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2015 and also awarded Padma Shri award by the Government of India in 1992.
BRICS CCI announces Direct Tax Summit & Awards 2020 in association with Achromic Point
- BRICS Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BRICS CCI), organized the 2nd Annual Direct Tax Summit & Awards 2020 in association with Achromic Point – an international consulting firm.
- The day long summit saw an eminent list of delegates discussing recent trends and issues in the field of International Tax and identified the best methods for integrating into the new systems while deriving the most tax benefits.
- Dharampal Satyapal Limited won the award for Best In-House Direct Tax Team of the Year.
Indian Railways customer grievance portal ‘RailMadad’ gets DARPG e-Governance Award
- RailMadad, the grievance redressal portal of Indian Railways, has been awarded Silver under Category II of the National e-Governance Awards – ‘Excellence in providing Citizen-centric Delivery.’
- This award was conferred during the 23rd National Conference on e-Governance which was held in Mumbai.
- The RailMadad portal can be accessed by Railways customers via the RailMadad helpline no. 139 (with IVRS, voice and SMS facilities), RailMadad website, and the RailMadad App (on android & iOS). The RailMadad helpline number ‘139’ is available in 12 languages.
- RailMadad is linked with the Railways’ existing ticketing systems like PRS & NTES. Hence journey details of passengers are automatically fetched when passengers enter PNR details, and complaints go automatically to the concerned field unit, which accelerates grievance redressal.
- For every registered grievance, the complainant gets a unique CRN (complaint reference number), using which complainants can check the status of the grievance. After closure of a complaint, the customer receives an SMS with a link to provide feedback on the quality of redressal.
Curt Bergfors Foundation of Sweden announces ‘Food Planet Prize’
- The Curt Bergfors Foundation of Sweden has created two USD 1 million prizes for solutions towards sustainable food system amid the threatening climate change.
- ‘New Food Planet Prize’, the prize is to be awarded annually in two categories: existing scalable solution for sustainable foods and innovative initiative for transforming food sector. Experts in the field of climate research will be the prize jury.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SUMMITS AND CONFERENCE
WCD & FPI Ministers Irani, Badal inaugurate Delhi Organic Food Fest
- The Organic Food Festival was jointly inaugurated by Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries and Smriti Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Textiles.
- The theme of the festival is ‘Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential’.The festival is being held from February 21-23.
- The Organic Food Festival would provide an opportunity to women entrepreneurs for capacity building and economic empowerment.
- The Government is planning to hold organic food festivals more frequently and in different parts of the country depending on unique organic products of a particular region.
- The Organic Food Festival for women entrepreneurs is as an outcome of the MoU (which aims at building capacities of women entrepreneurs) signed between the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD).
- This is the first such event where more than 180 women entrepreneurs and self-help groups are participating from over 25 States and Union Territorieswith very interesting products on display from across the country. These are indigenous to the geography and are otherwise difficult to access.
- Kiwi from Arunachal Pradesh, black wheat, pesto sauce from Ladakh, chia seeds cookies and apricot oil from Uttarakhand are available at the fest. This festival will strive to provide linkages to women producers to market and supply chains, thereby facilitating their financial inclusion.
CM Kamal Nath inaugurates IFS Meet in Bhopal
- Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath inaugurated a Forestry Conference of Indian Forest Service officers at Noronha Academy of Administration in
- Chief Minister Kamal Nath also released three books including ‘Camping Destinations of MP’, ‘Wildlife Destination Map of MP‘ and a magazine at the IFS meet.
- The main purpose of the conference is to deliberate on the usage of forest produce and the role of forests in economic growth.
National Museum hosts ‘Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience’ exhibition
- The National Museum in New Delhi is hosting a unique exhibition on India’s ancient food history called “Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience till the 25th of this month that goes back to over 5000 years ago.
- The event is curated jointly by the National Museum and One Station Million Stories (OSMS) – is based on archaeological research, museum artifacts and their characteristics.
- The exhibition demonstrates the evolution of food habits, food processing techniques and related architecture of the Harappans. Recreation of food of the Indus-Saraswati Civilization by National Award-winning Chef Sabyasachi Gorai is one of the main attractions of this exhibition which is first of its kind in the country.
NITI Aayog organizing Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020
- NITI Aayog is organizing Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern states- in Guwahati, Assam.
- The three-day event will see representations from the North Eastern states, Central Ministries, academia, civil society and international development organizations.
- Following the inaugural session, the technical sessions would include SDG localization in the North East, economic prosperity and sustainable livelihoods, climate adaptive agriculture, health and nutrition among others.
- NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs at the national and sub-national level. Progress in the northeast region is crucial in this decade of action for the country to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
- This conclave is part of the NITI Aayog’s continuous efforts towards fostering partnerships at the sub-national level.
About Niti Aayog :
- The NITI Aayog is a policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach.
- Formed: 1 January 2015
- Objectives: Foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Chairperson: Narendra Modi
- Vice Chairperson :Amitabh Kant, (CEO)
CURRENT AFFAIRS: DEFENCE
Rajnath Singh lays foundation stone of new Army headquarter building
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone for construction of a new Army headquarter building in
- Thal Sena Bhawan, the multi-storeyed complex adopting Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA-5 rating) norms, designed like a “rising sun” and spread over nearly 39 acres.
- `Thal Sena Bhawan’ will help bring down pollution, reduction in fuel consumption, cutting down the movement of about 3,000-4,000 vehicles on a daily basis between different offices every day.
- The project of the new building was authorized in an effort to help not only accommodate all related offices in one place but also to make up the existing deficiency of 44 per cent.
- Over 7.5 lakh sq.m 6,014 offices will be constructed which will hold 1,684 officers both military and civilian and around 4,330 sub staff. There will be basic amenities as well as a residential area for security personnel.
- Proposed to be completed in five years, it is expected to generate a minimum of 2 lakh hours of skilled and unskilled work.
About Indian Army:
- Founded- April 1, 1895.
- Motto- Service before Self.
- Chief of the Army Staff (COAS)- General Manoj Mukund Naravane.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: SPORTS
chanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran win silver at Hungarian Open
- Indian men’s doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan settled for a silver medal at the ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open after losing the summit clash to German combination of Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska at Budapest 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11 on Saturday.
- The Indian pair had defeated top seeds Ho Kwan Kit and Wong Chun Ting of Hong Kong 3-2 in the semi-finals. It is Sharath Kamal’s second medal from the prestigious tournament. He also won a bronze with Manika Batra in mixed doubles.
India’s 13-year old Grandmaster D Gukesh wins 34th Cannes Open
- In Chess, India’s 13-year old Grandmaster D Gukesh emerged champion in the 34th Cannes Open in France. Gukesh defeated Harutyun Bargseghyan of the host nation in the final round to end with 7.5 points. Gukesh, who last year became the world’s second youngest Grandmaster ever, beat the Frenchman in 50 moves to emerge clear winner
- The Tamil Nadu player had won his first open tournament, bagging top honors in the Hillerod 110th Anniversary Open event in Denmark.
- He remained unbeaten in the tournament and posted wins over top-seeded Chongsheng Zeng of China and Bargseghyan among others.
India wins one silver, two bronze medals in Asian Wrestling Championships
- India won one silver and two bronze medals on concluding day of Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi . In 74 kilogram category India’s Jitender settled for a silver medal following a defeat by defending champion Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Kaisanov 1-3.
- In 86 Kg category, Deepak Punia defeated Issa Abdulsalam Abdulwahhab Al Obaidi of Iraq 10-0 and clinched a bronze medal. Rahul Aware defeated Iran’s Majid Almas Dastan by 5-2 and settled for a bronze. India secured total 20 medals in the championship including five golds and six silvers and nine bronzes.
PM Narendra Modi declares first-ever Khelo India University Games open
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the first-ever Khelo India University Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium Cuttack in Odisha .
- With this inauguration, India joined the league of nations where University Games are organized. As many as 3,400 athletes from 159 universities across the country will vie for top honours across 17 disciplines, including rugby which is among the six-team events.Launching the multi-disciplinary sporting event through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said it marks the next step in the country’s sporting revolution. This was not only a historic moment in Indian sports but also a big step for the future of Indian sports.
- Modi recalled that in just three years of the start of Khelo India Games, participation has doubled and talents from villages and tier 2 and 3 cities are getting exposure and making the country proud.
CURRENT AFFAIRS: OBITUARY
Former India footballer Ashok Chatterjee passes away
- Former India footballer Ashok Chatterjee, who was a part of the country’s bronze-medal winning teams in the Merdeka Cup in 1965 and 1966,passed away.
- Chatterjee, who made 30 appearances for the senior national team, made his international debut when he came on as a second-half substitute for PK Banerjee against Japan in the Merdeka Cup in 1965.
- He was honoured with Mohun Bagan Lifetime Achievement Award by the club in 2019.
Krishna Bose, former Jadavpur MP and TMC leader passes away
- Academic-turned-politician Krishna Bose passed away due to age-related ailments. She was 89.
- Bose, the former Trinamool Congress MP from the Jadavpur constituency
- She was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1996, then again in 1998 and also in 1999.
DAILY CA 21TH FEB
- Centre releases Rs 19,950 cr as GST compensation to states, UTs
- Fourth Anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission to be observed on 21st feb
- V Prez inaugurates four-day Indian Students’ Parliament in New Delhi
- CPCB identifies 60 pollution river stretches in northeastern states
- Sri Lanka: Government decides to withdraw from UNHRC consensus resolutions
- India attends SCO defence and security experts meeting in Pakistan
- Kotak Mahindra Bank gets RBI nod on promoters’ stake dilution plan
- India needs to invest USD 109 billion to halve its road accident fatalities in next decade: World Bank
- Ganga Kayak Festival organised in Uttarakhand
- Tamil Nadu, Karnataka to observe Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary as ‘Girl Children Protection Day’
- UP govt allots Rs 2,000 cr for Jewar airport in budget
- Haryana govt to open Atal Kisan – Majdoor canteens to provide meals at concessional rate
- Tripura: Bharat-Bangla Tourism festival begans in Agartala
- Arunachal Pradesh celebrates 34th Statehood Day
- EESL inks pact with BSNL for 1,000 EV charging stations across country
- Indian freelance journalist Ahmer Khan wins AFP’s Kate Webb Prize for covering ‘challenging’ Kashmir
- S Jaishankar inaugurates Indian pavilion at Berlin International Film Festival
- NE Sustainable Development Goals Conclave to be held in Assam
- Solar Powered PHASA-35 Completes First Test Flight In Australia
- SCSC launches new app to make women feel safe
- Personal reading scanner machine for visually impaired
- Union Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar unveils India/Bharat 2020
- India ranks 77th on sustainability, 131st in child flourishing index rankings
- India to send its largest military aircraft to evacuate more Indians from Wuhan
- P V Sindhu wins third successive ESPN’s Female Sportsperson of the Year award
- Divya Kakran wins a gold medal at Asian Wrestling Championships
- Pragyan Ojha announces retirement from international, 1st-class cricket
- Former FICCI president & Executive Chairman of KCP Group L. Dutt Passe
DAILY CA 22nd, 23rd and 24th FEB
- International Mother Language Day- 21st feb
- World Thinking Day- 22nd feb
- Central Excise Day celebrated on 24 February
- Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates New Institutional Campus at NIPHTR in Navi Mumbai
- Over Rs 50,000 Cr released by centre to farmers under PM-KISAN scheme so far
- PM Modi, US Prez Trump to jointly address Namaste Trump event at Motera stadium
- Ministry of MSME launches national level awareness programme
- FATF decides to retain Pakistan in ‘Grey List
- India, Sri Lanka sign MoU for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools for estate workers of Indian origin
- Language Martyrs’ Day ‘Amar Ekushey’ Observed in Bangladesh
- Egypt to host ‘India by the Nile’ fest in March
- US surpasses China to become India’s top trading partner
- Free platform ticket for 30 squats at Delhi’s Anand Vihar railway station
- National Council of Applied Economic Researchpegs GDP growth at 9 per cent in 2019-20
- Microsoft, SBI Foundation to upskill youth with disabilities for BFSI jobs
- SBI Card, Landmark Group tie-up to launch retail co-branded credit cards
- Axis Bank to explore long-term partnership with Max Life
- 4 railway stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj get new names
- World famous Goa carnival to begin in Panaji
- Chhattisgarh organises ‘Krishi Maha-Kumbh’ to cater to future farming practices
- Modi government approves merger of Bharti Infratel, Indus Towers: Sources
- Online Chatbot ‘ASKDISHA’ upgraded to converse with Railway customers in Hindi language
- Indian Railways launches mobile app for employees
- RBI approves Sunil Gurbaxani’s appointment as Dhanlaxmi Bank MD and CEO
- Rajalaxmi Deo re-elected as Rowing Federation of India president
- Retired IAS officers Amarjeet Sinha, Bhaskar Khulbe appointed as Advisers to PM
- Manoj Kumar felicitated by London’s World Book of Records for contribution to Indian cinema
- BRICS CCI announces Direct Tax Summit & Awards 2020 in association with Achromic Point
- Indian Railways customer grievance portal ‘RailMadad’ gets DARPG e-Governance Award
- Curt Bergfors Foundation of Sweden announces ‘Food Planet Prize’
- WCD & FPI Ministers Irani, Badal inaugurate Delhi Organic Food Fest
- CM Kamal Nath inaugurates IFS Meet in Bhopal
- National Museum hosts ‘Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience’ exhibition
- NITI Aayog organizing Sustainable Development Goals Conclave 2020
- Rajnath Singh lays foundation stone of new Army headquarter building\
- chanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran win silver at Hungarian Open
- India’s 13-year old Grandmaster D Gukesh wins 34th Cannes Open
- India wins one silver, two bronze medals in Asian Wrestling Championships
- PM Narendra Modi declares first-ever Khelo India University Games open
- Former India footballer Ashok Chatterjee passes away
- Krishna Bose, former Jadavpur MP and TMC leader passes away