Current Affairs February 2020 3rd Week
1.Mahant Nritya Gopal Das
The first meeting of the Ram Mandir Trust to oversee the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya was held in New Delhi. The trust has decided that a Committee will be formed to decide on the construction of the temple. Nripendra Misra, former principal secretary of Prime Minister Modi will be the head of the temple construction committee. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was elected as the president of the Trust whereas Champat Rai would be the general secretary. The 15-member trust was formed in adherence to the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute in November last year.
Sanjay Kothari, the Secretary to the President, has been selected as the new Chief Vigilance Commissioner. Also, former Information and Broadcasting Secretary Bimal Julka,has been selected as the new Chief Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission. Both Kothari and Julka are retired Indian Administrative Service officers. The Central Vigilance Commission is an-corruption watchdog with autonomous status. The Central Information Commission was constituted under the Right to Information Act and has the jurisdiction over all central public authorities.
GoAir has appointed Vinay Dube as the airline's Chief Executive Officer. Till now, Dube was serving as an advisor to the carrier, a role which he took up after quitting the defunct Jet Airways in May last year. Dube would be responsible for the management of the airline and also for meeting the goals and long-term growth objectives of the company. The budget airline did not have a CEO since the departure of Cornelis Vrieswijk in March last year.
Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Chief Minister of Delhi for the third consecutive time. Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal administered the oath of office and secrecy to Mr. Kejriwal and six Cabinet Ministers at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital. Mr. Kejriwal has retained all the Cabinet Ministers who were part of his last government. They are Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain and Rajendra Gautam. Mr. Kejriwal's first term lasted only for 49 days and completed the full tenure in the second term. The Aam Aadmi Party swept the Delhi assembly polls held last week, bagging 62 out of 70 seats.
In Afghanistan, the Independent Election Commission announced that Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as President of the country. However, his closest opponent Abdullah Abdullah has refused to recognize the results and declared himself winner potentially endangering peace negotiations with the Taliban.
Ghani garnered 9,23,592 votes, or 50.64 percent of votes that took place 28th of September last year. Meanwhile, the Taliban has also rejected Ghani's win. It has posed a question to a US Peace Plan that calls for a reduction in violence after an expected agreement to be signed on 29th of this month between Washington and the Taliban.
Deep Kalra, group chief executive of Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, has stepped down. Kalra, a St Stephen’s College and IIM-Ahmedabad alumni, will now serve as executive chairman. Rajesh Magow, who was heading its India business, taking over Kalra’s role. Magow will work closely with Kalra in his new role and focus on driving the next phase of growth for the MakeMyTrip Group through its three brands - MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and Redbus.
Former India all-rounder Robin Singh was appointed director of cricket of the United Arab Emirates. The 56-year-old's appointment comes following the sacking of Dougie Brown as head coach. Singh, who had represented India in one Test and 136 ODIs between 1989 and 2001, has over the years made a name for himself in coaching. He was associated with the Indian Premier League's highly successful Mumbai Indians franchise, Caribbean Premier League's Barbados Tridents since 2013 and T10 franchises in the T10 league here.
The World’s Biggest Cricket Stadium, the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad – renamed as the Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium will be inaugurated by US President Donald Trump during his visit to India. The stadium has a capacity of 1.10 lakh people. Sardar Vallabhbhai Stadium emerged as the World’s Biggest Cricket Stadium after the previous 53000-seater Motera Stadium was demolished back in 2015. US President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit India along with his wife Melania Trump.
9.P V Sindhu wins third successive ESPN's Female Sportsperson of the Year award
World champion shuttler P V Sindhu won the ESPN's Female Sportsperson of the Year award for a third consecutive time while young shooter Saurabh Chaudhary bagged the honour in the male category. Sprinter Dutee Chand became the first winner of the Courage award for being inspirational both on and off the field. Ace chess player Koneru Humpy won the award for the Comeback of the Year. Wrestler Deepak Punia bagged coveted ESPN's Emerging Sports Person of the Year award. Chief National Badminton Coach Pullela Gopichand claimed the Coach of the Year award. Sindhu's World Championship win, the first by an Indian in badminton, has also been selected as the Moment of the Year.
10.65th Amazon Filmfare Awards 2020
The 65th Amazon Filmfare Awards 2020 were held on February 15 in ‘Awesome’ Assam in Guwahati. This was the first edition of the award show which was held outside Mumbai.
- Best Film- ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Director Zoya Akhtar for ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Film (Critics)- ‘Article 15’ (Anubhav Sinha) and ‘Sonchiriya’ (Abhishek Chaubey)
- Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)- Ranveer Singh for ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Actor (Critics)- Ayushmann Khurrana for ‘Article 15’
- Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)- Alia Bhatt for ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Actress (Critics): Bhumi Pednekar and Taapsee Pannu for ‘Saand Ki Aankh’
- Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female)- Amruta Subhash for ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male)- Siddhant Chaturvedi for ‘Gully Boy’
- Best Music Album- ‘Gully Boy’: Zoya Akhtar-Ankur Tewari and ‘Kabir Singh’: Mithoon, Amaal Mallik, Vishal Mishra, Sachet–Parampara and Akhil Sachdeva
- Best Lyrics- Divine and Ankur Tewari for “Apna Time Aayega” (Gully Boy)
- Best Playback Singer (Male)- Arijit Singh for “Kalank Nahi Ishq Hai Kajal Piya” (Kalank)
- Best Playback Singer (Female)- Shilpa Rao for Ke Ghungroo Toot Gaye (War)
- Best Debut Director- Aditya Dhar for ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’
- Best Debut Actor- Abhimanyu Dassani for ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’
- Best Debut Actress- Ananya Pandey for ‘Student Of The Year 2’ and ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’
- Best Original Story- ‘Article 15’ (Anubhav Sinha and Gaurav Solanki)
- Best Screenplay- ‘Gully Boy’ (Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar)
- Best Dialogue- ‘Gully Boy’ (Vijay Maurya)
- Lifetime Achievement Award- Ramesh Sippy
- Excellence In Cinema- Govinda
11.Dan David Prize-2020
Feminist scholar and activist Gita Sen has won the prestigious Dan David Prize for her expansive work in the fields of population policies, reproductive and sexual health, women’s rights, poverty, labour markets and global governance. The Dan David Prize annually awards three prizes of $1 million each to globally inspiring individuals and organisations. It is endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University. It recognises and encourages innovative and interdisciplinary research that cuts across traditional boundaries and paradigms. Sen is the director of the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health at the Public Health Foundation of India.
Mickey Wright, often described as the greatest woman golfer of all time, died. Her haul of 13 major victories included four US Women's Open titles and four US Women's PGA Championships. Wright had accumulated 82 titles of Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour titles during a professional career which stretched from 1954 to 1969. She won the 1954 World Amateur Championship before turning professional the following season. Her retirement in 1969, which came at the relatively early age of 34, shocked women's golf.
Popular Bengali film actor and former Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal passed away. Tapas Pal acted in a number of Bengali films besides two times elected in Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar Constituency in Nadia District of West Bengal. Tapas Pal also elected in the State assembly. His acting in 'Dadar Kirti', Saheb, Parabat Priya and other films acclaimed appreciation.
Noted fashion designer and Padma Shri awardee Wendell Rodricks passed away. Apart from being a giant in the fashion and lifestyle industry, Rodricks was an advocate for queer rights and environmental issues in India. He is credited with revolutionising Indian fashion and promoting it globally. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014 and was a recipient of Chevalier de I'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the order of arts and letters) in 2015.
15.The Crossfire of Love- Dhiren Tiwari
Filmmaker and screenwriter Abhinav Kashyap of the 'Dabangg' fame recently unveiled the novel 'The Crossfire of Love', a racing psychological romantic thriller by US-based author Dhiren Tiwari. Within days of the release, the novel has topped the WH Smith Bestseller charts and has garnered high praise from both critics in print and television. The novel is an explosive #MeToo story told from the perspectives of Saira, a failed journalist obsessed with reviving her career.
16.Divya Kakran wins a gold medal at Asian Wrestling Championships
Divya Kakran became only the second Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships defeating junior world champion Naruha Matsuyuki in New Delhi. Divya won all four bouts in the five-wrestler 68 kilogram category, as the competition was fought in the round-robin format. Navjot Kaur had become the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Championships in 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan in 65 kilogram.
17.India to host AFC Women's Asian Cup in 2022
India will host the 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup. The Women's Committee of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced this in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Besides India, Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan were the other competing candidates. Besides, India will have the experience of hosting the FIFA Women's Under-17 World Cup later this year.
18.Sunil Kumar wins gold in 87-kg Greco Roman category in Asian Wrestling Championships
Greco Roman wrestler Sunil Kumar opened India's medal account in the Asian Wrestling Championships at New Delhi by winning a Gold. The seasoned grappler beat Azat Salidinov from Kyrgyzstan in the final of the 87 kg category. Sunil Kumar had reached the final by a victory over Kazakh opponent Azamat Kustubayev to finish the semi-final bout 12-8. Last year also, Kumar had made it to the final and ended with a silver medal.
19.AIFF receives 'Grassroots Charter Bronze Level' membership of AFC
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has received the "Grassroots Charter Bronze Level" membership of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The Asian sports governing body has confirmed this in a letter to the AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das. This declaration accords AIFF the right to promote its grassroots events and activities with the support and recognition of the AFC in accordance with the applicable terms of the AFC Grassroots Charter.
20.Sachin Tendulkar's 2011 world cup moment becomes Laureus best sporting moment
Sachin Tendulkar being carried on the shoulders of his teammates following India's world cup triumph in 2011 was voted as the Laureus best sporting moment in the past 20 years. Former Australian captain Steve Waugh presented the trophy to Tendulkar, after Tennis great Boris Becker announced the winner at a ceremony. First held in 2000, the Annual Laureus Sports Awards honour the greatest and most inspirational sporting triumphs of the year. On the 20th anniversary of the awards, the Laureus sporting moments award allowed people to vote for the most inspiring sporting moment of the past 20 years.
21.Asian Wrestling Championship begins in New Delhi
Asian Wrestling Championship begins in New Delhi. It will be held at the KD Jadhav Hall of Indira Gandhi Stadium till the 23rd of this month. The event will have a total of 30 weight classes, 10 each in Freestyle Men, Women, and Greco Roman. The Championship will begin with Greco-Roman events, followed by women's wrestling and men's freestyle.
22.NADA bans javelin thrower Amit Dahiya for four years
National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) has banned javelin thrower Amit Dahiya for four years for evading sample collection and trying to cheat officials during the 2nd National Javelin Throw Open Championship 2019 held at SAI Centre in Sonipat. NADA had issued the charge of notice to Dahiya on July 16 for violating rule 2.3 of the NADA. The doping agency presented the case to the Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (ADDP) on January 9 where the athlete's justification was found to be unsatisfactory. NADA said the ADDP has now passed an order to suspend him for four years from the date of his provisional suspension.
23.India to host 2020 junior men's Hockey World Cup
India will host next year's Junior Men's World Cup. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced this at Lausanne in Switzerland. This is the second time that India will be hosting the prestigious tournament, having staged it in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh in 2016, where the hosts lifted the coveted trophy. The competition will be played towards the end of 2021 and the exact venue and dates for the tournament will be announced at a later stage. In all, 16 teams will compete for the title in the Junior Men's World Cup, out of which six will be from Europe, four from Asia, including hosts India, two from Africa, two from Oceania and two from Pan America.
24.Koneru Humpy wins Cairns Cup
World Rapid Chess Champion Koneru Humpy re-asserted her supremacy in style by winning the Cairns cup title. He won with 6 points from nine rounds and bagged the 45,000 dollar winner's purse in St. Louis. Interestingly, in the final round, Humpy drew with GM Dronavalli Harika, who finished sixth with 4.5 points.
25.Indian athletes clinch 3 medals in World SnowShoe Championship
Indian athletes finished with three medals in different categories in the World SnowShoe Championship at Myoko, Japan. Ayan Bin Shahnaz bagged silver, while Zain Ali and Muzamil Hussain Mir, all are from Kashmir, bagged bronze medals in their respective categories. Athletes from 17 countries including the USA, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden and France participated in the championship. The Indian contingent was fielded by the SnowShoe Federation of India.
26.Haryana govt announces Rs six crore to those winning gold medals at Olympics
The Haryana government has decided to give 6 crore rupees to players of the state that bag gold medals at the Olympic Games. State Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, 3 crore rupees will be given to those winning gold medals at Asian Games and 1.5 crore rupees to the winners of yellow metal at Commonwealth Games. An amount of 15 lakh rupees will be given to each player participating in the Olympic Games so that the players can make the state, as well as the country, proud.
27.International Mother Language Day: 21 February
International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February. The day is observed every year to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism. The day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh 21 February is the anniversary of the day when Bangladeshis fought for recognition for the Bangla language.
28.World Day on Social Justice: 20 February
World Day of Social Justice is an international day observed every year on 20 February. The day recognises the need to promote social justice, which includes efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, gender equality, unemployment, human rights, and social protections. On this day, many organisations, including the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and American Library Association (ALA), make a statement on the need for social justice for people. The idea of celebrating this day is to emphasise the idea of working towards improved society by promoting social justice. Theme: “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”
29.Nepal celebrates 70th National Democracy Day on 19 February
Nepal celebrated its 70th National Democracy Day on 19 February. A special ceremony was held at the Nepal Army Pavilion Tudikhel in Kathmandu to mark the occasion. Every year, Falgun 7 of the Nepali calendar is commemorated as the National Democracy Day in Nepal. In 2007 Bikram Sambat, on this day, democracy was established in the Himalayan nation ending over a century old autocratic Rana regime.
30.Bangladesh to enhance Mongla Port Capacity
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) of Bangladesh has approved the proposal to enhance the capacity of the Mongla port. India has extended a line of credit for the expansion of the Mongla Port capacity. Out of the total estimated project cost of Tk 6014 crore, India will provide Tk 4459 crore equivalent to $ 530 million as Line of Credit for the project. With the enhancement of the capacity of the Mongla port it would be able to handle 15 million tons of cargo and 4 lakh shipping containers of a standard 20 feet size called TEUs. On completion the project will significantly boost connectivity in the BBIN (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal) region. It will also boost trade with India, Bhutan and Nepal. India and Bangladesh had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports in 2015. Mongla is the second largest sea port in Bangladesh.The project is expected to be completed by June 2024.
31.Bangladesh to sign Free Trade Agreement with Nepal
Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to sign a Free Trade Agreement to enhance trade between the two countries. Bangladesh has also agreed to allow Nepal to use it Saidpur airport located in its northernmost district of Nilphamari close to Nepal. Bangladesh exports commodities worth $38 million to Nepal and imports goods worth around 18 million dollars. Talking to media persons The Nepal Foreign Minister expressed the hope that Nepal will be able to provide 500 MW of hydroelectric power to Bangladesh once the Indian Company GMR completes its project in Nepal.
32.Sub-group of terror financing watchdog FATF recommends continuation of Pak in ‘Grey List’
A sub-group of the global terror financing watchdog FATF recommended the continuation of Pakistan in the 'Grey List' for its failure to check terror funding. The decision was taken at the meeting of the FATF's International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG), held at the ongoing Paris plenary. The final decision will be taken when the FATF takes up issues concerning Pakistan. The FATF meeting is being held a week after an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan sentenced Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, to 11 years in two terror financing cases. Pakistan was placed on the 'Grey List' by the FATF in June 2018.
Points to Remember: FATF
- FATF Headquarters: Paris, France
- Founded: July 1989
- Members: 39
33.Singapore firm wins bid to buy India’s longest road tunnel
Singapore-based infrastructure investment platform Cube Highways has won the bid to acquire India’s longest road tunnel - the 9.2-km Chenani-Nashri project in Jammu & Kashmir - for Rs 3,929 crore.
The IL&FS board has declared Cube as the highest bidder (H1), and invited lenders to vote for the sale through the e-voting process. The tunnel project has a debt of around Rs 5,454 crore and a sale of the asset will help bring down the overall debt position of the company. Cube Highways, a platform floated by I Squared Capital and backed by International Finance Corp and ADIA, operates 1,700 km of highways in India. In October 2019, The government has renamed Chenani-Nashri tunnel on national highway 44 in Jammu & Kashmir as Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Tunnel.
34.India to switch to world's cleanest petrol, diesel from April 1
India will switch to the world's cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now. This has been achieved in just three years and not seen in any of the large economies around the globe. India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities. State-owned oil refineries spent about 35,000 crore rupees to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphur fuel. BS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG.
35.Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets on Herath festival
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted people on the occasion of Herath, one of the biggest festivals of Kashmiri Pandits. The festival is marked by a night of praying. Called ‘Herath’ in Kashmiri, a word derived from the Sanskrit ‘Hararatri’ the ‘Night of Hara’ (another name of Shiva), it has been described as Bhairav Utsava in Tantric texts. It is celebrated a day ahead of ‘Shivratri’ by Hindus in other parts of the country.
36.CSIR tops scientific research institutional ranking
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has been ranked first in the Nature Ranking Index-2020. The rankings are based on total research output which the institutions have carried out from December 01, 2018 to 30th November, 2019. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, has been ranked second. The top subjects so associated with the research work include: Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physical Science, Chemistry and Life Sciences. The third place in India is secured by Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR-Mumbai). About 4600 scientists are actively involved in CSIR's 38 laboratories across the country, supported by about 8000 scientific and technical personnel. CSIR on average files about 200 Indian patents and 250 foreign patents annually.
37.Centre releases 19,950 crore rupees as GST compensation to states and Uts
The Central Government has released 19,950 crore rupees as GST compensation to states. With this release of GST compensation, the Central Government has released a total of over 1.20 lakh crore rupees towards GST compensation to the states during the current fiscal. In the financial year 2018-19, an amount of over 95 thousand crore rupees was collected as GST compensation cess of which over 69 thousand crore rupees was released to the States and Union Territories as GST compensation.
38.Project ‘Tej’ to help medtech firms test ideas
MedTechConnect and the Government of Telangana have launched Project Tej, a platform to help entrepreneurs test their innovative ideas in the field of medical technologies. MedTechConnect was set up by engineering services company Cyient and Xynteo’s India2022 Coalition. The new platform was launched on the sidelines of BioAsia 2020, a biotechnology and life-sciences forum, in Hyderabad. Through Project Tej, medical technology innovators and device manufacturers can validate the usability of their devices in public health settings and gain access to public health channels.
39.CPCB identifies 60 pollution river stretches in northeastern states
The Central Pollution Board (CPCB) has identified 60 pollution river stretches based on Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) in different northeastern states. According to the report, CPCB has identified over 350 polluted river stretches across India and the number continues to grow. The study found out that the discharge of industrial and mining effluent and dumping of waste has been identified as the major causes of pollution of these stretches, which are mostly located near towns and cities. The report further said that more than 60% of the country’s sewage is released into the streams and rivers untreated. Consequently, half of the rivers in the country are now polluted with the Ganga, Sabarmati, and Yamuna being the most polluted.
40.Rajasthan CM presents state budget for 2020-21
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot presented the state budget for the financial year 2020-21 in the state assembly. The government has decided 7 Sankalp of the government, which includes Nirogi Rajasthan, prosperity of Farmers and youth, welfare of women, child and old age persons, education for all. Mr. Gahlot announced that 100 cr 'Nehru Baal Sanrakshan Kosh' to be established to prevent child labour and trafficking.Highest 39 thousand 500 hundred crore has been proposed for the education department. He announced 3 crore rupees cash reward for gold medalist in commonwealth games, 2 crore for silver medalist and 1 crore for bronze medalist.
41.Tripura Tea Board organizes 'Run for India Tea' event
In Tripura, the Tea Board of India in collaboration with Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) organized "Run for India Tea" morning to promote and popularise Tripura tea alongside India tea. A large number of tea workers wearing traditional dresses along with students participated in the tableau procession. The corporation is working tirelessly to boost the tea industry in the state.
42.India overtakes UK & France to become 5th largest world economy
India has emerged as the fifth-largest world economy in 2019, overtaking the UK and France, as per a report by US-based think tank World Population Review. India's economy is the fifth-largest in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.94 trillion, overtaking the UK and France in 2019 to take the fifth spot. The size of the UK economy is $2.83 trillion and that of France is $2.71 trillion. India's service sector is the fast-growing sector in the world accounting for 60 per cent of the economy and 28 per of employment.
43.India jumps five ranks to 35th in Worldwide Education for the Future Index 2019
India ranks 35th in the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019, as per a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The country ranked 40th with an overall score of 41.2 across categories in 2018. The index assesses countries based on their abilities to equip students with skill-based education. Finland was at the top of the index followed by Sweden.
44.Govt to launch Tilhan Mission to boost oilseed production
The government will launch the Tilhan Mission to make the country self-reliant in oilseed production. The announcement was made at an occasion of Soil Health Card Day. Soil Health Card Day was celebrated all over India on February 19, 2020. Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said, the government is seriously working on enhancing the oilseed production in the country. The government has also decided to create 10 thousand Farmers Producer Organisation (FPO) across the country for which an assistance of over 6,000 crore rupees will be provided.He also said, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana will not be mandatory for farmers and it will be voluntary for them.
45.Arunachal Pradesh celebrates 34th Statehood Day on 20 February
Arunachal Pradesh celebrated its 34th Statehood Day on 20 February. Arunachal Pradesh attained statehood on February 20, 1987. Prior to this it was a union territory since 20 January 1972. Home Minister Amit Shah will launch a slew of projects on the occasion. He will launch the Arunachal Pradesh Industrial and Investment Policy, 2020, inaugurate the Joram-Koloriang Road constructed by BRO, lay the foundation stone of the new headquarters of the state police and along with other projects.
46.Goa paired with Jharkhand under 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat'
Under Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat, Goa state is paired with Jharkhand. Various exchange activities are already on between Goa and Jharkhand. The Directorate of Art and Culture from Goa has been organizing many activities in this regard. Recently cultural and folk artistes troupes from Goa participated in an event in Jharkhand successfully. Artisans, craftsmen and artists from Goa visit Jharkhand and they get an opportunity to render their talent.
47.EAM to inaugurate Indian Pavilion at 70th Berlin International Film Festival on Feb 20 in Germany
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will inaugurate Indian Pavilion at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival at ‘Berlinale-2020’ in Germany. The festival will be held till 1st of March. India Pavilion will provide a platform to popularize Indian cinema in the overseas market and facilitate new business opportunities. Information and Broadcasting Ministry in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry, CII is participating in the event. This year for the festival, three Indian feature films, as well as one short documentary film, have been selected. These are Pushpendra Singh’s Laipla Aur Satt Geet, Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo!, Akhsay Indikar’s - Sthalpuran and Ekta Mittal’s short documentary - Gumnaam Din.
48.Hindi is 3rd most spoken language in the world with 615 million speakers after English, Mandarin
Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world in 2019 with 615 million speakers. The 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue stated English at the top of the list with 1,132 million speakers. Chinese Mandarin is at the second position with 1,117 million speakers. Bangla has been ranked as the 7th most spoken language of the world. Bangla has 228 million native speakers. Ethnologue brings out an yearly database of living languages of the world since its establishment in 1951.
49.IDSA to be renamed as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
The Union Government has decided to rename the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, IDSA as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar. It will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence institute with the contribution of the former Defence Minister and Padma Bhushan awardee. He was Defence Minister from 9th November 2014 to 14th March 2017. An autonomous body under the Ministry of Defence, IDSA was established as a registered society in New Delhi in 1965, dedicated to objective research and policy relevant studies on all aspects of defence and security.
50.Highest ever Budget for Uttar Pradesh of over Rs 5 lakh crore tabled in State Assembly
The Uttar Pradesh Government presented the state's largest ever annual budget in the State Legislature. The budgetary demands of 5 lakh 12 thousand 860 crore rupees was tabled in Assembly by Finance Minister Suresh Khanna in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. This is the fourth budget presented by the Yogi Adityanath Government.There are new schemes of 10 thousand 967 crore 87 lakh rupees included in the budget. A fund of three thousand 300 crore rupees has been given for Piped drinking water in Bundelkhand and Vidya area. An amount of 510 crore rupees has been allocated for the development under Purvanchal Nidhi and Bundelkhand Nidhi. The government has emphasized on Metro Rail transport and 844 crore rupees have been given for Agra, Kanpur and Gorakhpur projects. The government has allocated 5 ,791 crore rupees for the Swachh Bharat Mission.
51.CBRI Roorkee organises workshop on post-earthquake reconstruction at Kathmandu
Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), Roorkee organised a workshop on the post-earthquake reconstruction of schools and other educational facilities in Nepal at Kathmandu. The workshop was aimed to provide best practices for delivering End to End construction management at all stages of the project including pre-construction, construction and post-construction. It will pave the way for effective project implementation covering the aspects of Project Execution Guidelines, Good Construction Practices, Monitoring and Reporting to achieve the best quality of construction. The government of India is supporting the reconstruction of 70 schools and one library as part of its post-earthquake assistance in the education sector. CBRI Roorkee is providing Design Supervision and Project Management Consultancy Services for the reconstruction of 70 higher secondary schools in seven districts of Nepal.
52.CDS Gen Bipin Rawat announces plan to create Peninsula Command
Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat said there are plans to create a Peninsula Command with Navy’s Eastern and Western Command under it. Along with, India is looking at setting up two to five theatre commands. Air Defence command will be rolled out by beginning of next year and peninsula command will be rolled out soon. He also said that India may have a separate Jammu and Kashmir theatre but the shape would be finalised later.
53.Soil Health Card Scheme to complete five years
The ambitious Soil Health Card Scheme is completing five years on 18 February 2020.The scheme was launched in 2015 to assess the nutrient status of every farm holding in the country. The objectives of the scheme are to issue Soil Health Cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in fertilization practices. Soil Health Card provides information to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on the appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility. From 2015 to 2017, over 10 crores Soil Health Cards were distributed to farmers in the first phase. In the second phase, over 11 crore cards have been distributed to farmers across the country.
54.Kerala CM launches ''Yodhavu'' mobile app to combat drug menace
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched 'Yodhavu' (Warrior), a mobile app as part of efforts to curb the growing menace in the State. Through this app the public can inform police about drug abuse and its distribution. A special feature of the application, introduced by the Kochi city police, was that the informer's identity could be kept secret. The chief minister urged people to fight against the growing drug menace in the state.
55.Union Minister Raosaheb Danve visits country’s largest Silos in Moga district
Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Patil Danve visited the country’s largest Silos (steel storehouse) in Dagru village in Moga district in Punjab. The Silo has a total capacity of two lakh metric tonnes (MTs). The Silos owned by the Adani Agri-Logistics Limited is with an agreement with the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to store, purchase and distribute the wheat stock.
56.PM flags off Kashi Mahakal Express
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the latest religion-themed train, the Kashi Mahakal Express that connects, for the first time, places related to three jyotirlingas- Omkareshwar near Indore, Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain, and Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi. Railway PSU Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be running this as the third “corporate” train after two Tejas Express trains. The train will cover 1131 km between Varanasi and Indore via Lucknow and a distance of 1102 km between Varanasi and Indore via Prayagraj (Allahabad) in approximately 19 hours. The overnight train is also IRCTC’s first overnight, long-distance train to run on a regular basis. This Lord Shiva-themed train will be followed by a Ramayan-themed train to be launched next month from across India. The Ramayana Express will touch places related to the mythology of Ram, including Ayodhya.
57.South Central Railways (SCR) zone becomes 1st in India to have energy-neutral stations
The Indian Railways South Central Railways (SCR) zone has become the first zonal railway in the country to have functional “energy neutral” railway stations on the network. The South Central Railways has converted a total of 13 railway stations into “energy neutral” stations, which is the highest amongst all the zones across the Indian Railways network.Energy-neutral railway stations are capable of meeting 100 per cent energy requirements by tapping into solar power through solar photovoltaic panels which have been commissioned at the station buildings. The SCR zone, the total capacity of all the solar panels installed at the 13 energy neutral stations is 99 kWp.
58.Hyderabad hosts 3-day ‘BioAsia 2020’
Hyderabad is hosting the three-day BioAsia 2020, Asia's largest biotechnology and life sciences forum. The event themed 'Today for Tomorrow' will witness as many as 2,000 delegates from 37 countries. Switzerland will be the partner country at the event this year. An eminent 40-member team consisting of industries, academia and start-ups from Switzerland will participate in the event. As many as 800 companies are set to take part in BioAisa 2020.
59.'Pyaar ka Paudha' campaign launched by Bihar govt to encourage practice of planting trees
'Pyaar ka Paudha' (a plant of love) campaign has been launched by the Bihar government's Department of Environment and Forest in Patna, to encourage the practice of planting trees in the state. Department of Environment, humbly request you to gift one plant of love to your closed ones and provide good care. The aim of this campaign is to promote the practice of planting trees in the state.
60.India to host 13th COP on Conservation of Migratory Species of wild animals
The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS) is going to be hosted by India from 17th to 22nd February 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The theme of CMS COP13 in India is, “Migratory species connect the planet and we welcome them home”. In the logo of CMS COP-13, Kolam art form is used to depict key migratory species in India like Amur falcon, humpback whale and marine turtles. The mascot for CMS COP13, “Gibi - The Great Indian Bustard” is a critically endangered species that has been accorded the highest protection status under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. India has been a Party to the CMS since 1983.
61.SAMPRITI-IX: Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise concludes in Meghalaya
Over the past two weeks, Armies of India and Bangladesh participated in joint military exercise SAMPRITI-IX at Umroi, Meghalaya. As the 9th edition of the Joint Exercise SAMPRITI reached its culmination day on 16 February 2020. The exercise was aimed at strengthening the military relations between the two countries. The exercise provided an ideal platform for the personnel of the two countries to share their experiences on counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism operations.
62.Manipur: Seed sowing festival 'Lui-Ngai-Ni' celebrated at Ukhrul
The Naga tribes of Manipur celebrated it's seed sowing festival 'Lui-Ngai-Ni', under the theme "Oneness through Culture”. Manipur's Minister of Tribal Development N. Kayisii graced the festival as inaugural Chief Guest and Tamei MLA Awangbou Newmai as Guest of Honour. Leaders from other communities of the State, mainly Meitei, Kuki and Zomi also participated at Lui-Ngai-Ni Festival to show mutual solidarity for peaceful co-existence.
63.Mizoram, Bihar paired under EK Bharat Shrestha Bharat programme
Mizoram is paired with the State of Bihar for the year 2019-2020 under the EK Bharat -Shrestha Bharat campaign. The central government’s Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat programme aims to establish cultural exchanges between people of different regions. Both states are organizing various programmes like students’ exchange, cultural exchange between both sides people to know each other’s cultural varieties and promote national integrity. About 30 people including students in two batches from Mizoram will travel to Bihar in the last week of this month under cultural exchange and students exchange categories in line of Ek Bharat -Shrestha Bharat ideal.
64.PM Modi launches 50 development projects worth over Rs 1,200 crore at Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 50 development projects worth more than rupees 1200 crore. He also flagged off the Kashi Mahakaal Express to link Varanasi, Ujjain and Omkareshwar, and dedicated to the nation the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Memorial Centre. At Padav area of Chandauli district, Prime Minister also unveiled the 63 feet Statue of Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya. This is the largest statue of the leader in the country. The projects which PM launch includes a 430-bed super speciality Government hospital, a 74-bed psychiatry hospital and Centre for Vedic Research at Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya (BHU). ANNASHETRA, the community kitchen of Kashi Vishwanath Temple was also inaugurated by the Prime Minister.
65.Govt to host “National Organic Food Festival” in New Delhi
The government will organise an organic food festival for women entrepreneurs “National Organic Food Festival” from February 21-23 in New Delhi. The aim of this program is to promote the segment which is projected to expand nearly three-fold to Rs 75,000 crore in market size in the next five years. The three-day festival will be organised jointly by Food Processing and Women & Child Development ministries at JawaharLal Nehru Stadium in the national capital. The theme of this festival is ''Unleasing India’s Organic Market Potential''.
66.Indian-origin UK Minister Alok Sharma to lead UN climate summit
Indian-origin Alok Sharma was named the new UK Minister in charge of the crunch UN climate talks to be hosted by Britain this November. Agra-born Sharma has been promoted to the post of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle. He will take charge of the crucial summit ‘COP26' as its former president was removed amid controversy just weeks ago.
67.Maharashtra govt announces five-day working week for its employees
The Maharashtra government announced a five-day working week for its officers and employees. The cabinet also extended the current work hours by 45 minutes. The new routine would start from February 29. Currently Maharashtra government officials work on the first and third Saturdays of the month and get an off on the second and fourth Saturdays.
68.Delhi paired with Sikkim under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme
Ek Bharat shreshth Bharat abhiyan focused campaign is underway in the country. National Capital Delhi has been paired with Sikkim under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme. Cultural exchanges are taking place from time to time in Sikkim and Delhi with food festivals, dance festivals etc. With people to people contact, the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat initiative has strengthened the bond between Delhi and Sikkim a sense of oneness in the country.
69.EIU lowers global growth forecast for 2020 to 2.2%
The Economist Intelligence Unit has revised downwards its global growth forecast for 2020 to 2.2 per cent, from 2.3 percent previously. It has lowered the forecast due to the new risks that have emerged following the novel coronavirus outbreak in China. The Economist Intelligence Unit's baseline scenario is that the public health emergency in China will be brought under control by end-March.
70.JSW Steel gets NCLAT's approval to acquire Bhushan Power for Rs 19,700 cr
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal has approved the ₹19,700-crore resolution plan of JSW Steel to takeover the bankrupt Bhushan Power and Steel. The approval comes with the immunity sought by the new owner against investigations being carried out against the erstwhile promoters of Bhushan Power and Steel. This comes after the government recently amended Section 32A of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, providing immunity to the bidders and the insolvent company’s assets from investigation.
71.Moody's Investors Service slashes India's growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020
Moody's Investors Service slashed India's growth forecast to 5.4 per cent for 2020 from 6.6 percent predicted earlier. In its on Global Macro Outlook, Moody's said India's economy has decelerated rapidly over the last two years and expects economic recovery to begin in the current quarter. The growth projections are based on calendar year and as per its estimates. Global GDP growth forecast has been revised down, and Moody's now expect G-20 economies to collectively grow 2.4 per cent in 2020.
72.HAL to provide IAF with 83 Tejas fighters in Rs 39,000 crore deal
With the overall cost of IAF acquiring 83 single-engine Tejas fighters and their support package from defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) being slashed from the earlier around Rs 56,500 crore to Rs 39,000 crore. The over Rs 17,000 crore reduction in overall cost has come after hard-nosed negotiations spread over a year. The defence ministry and IAF were initially shocked at the “exorbitant price” being demanded by HAL to produce the 83 Tejas Mark-1A jets along with the maintenance and infrastructure package. HAL promises to begin deliveries of the Mark-1A jets in three years. It was in November 2016 that the Defence Acquisitions Council had first approved the procurement of 83 Tejas jets at a cost of Rs 49,797 crore. But HAL had responded with a quote of around Rs 56,500 crore, which led to protracted cost negotiations.
73.D-Mart’s owner Radhakishan Damani becomes second richest man in India after Mukesh Ambani
Avenue Supermarts, which is doing business as D-Mart, founder Radhakishan Damani has now become the second richest Indian after Reliance Industries ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani. He has left behind many heavyweights to acquire the coveted spot including the likes of philanthropist Shiv Nadar, banker Uday Kotak, and industrialists Gautam Adani and Lakshmi Mittal. As per the Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires’ Index, Damani en-masses a total wealth of $17.9 billion, and is just behind RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani who is not only India’s but Asia’s richest man having a total net worth of $57.9 billion.
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