Daily Current Affairs 07th & 08th February 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL NEWS

Four more states complete ease of doing business reforms

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), added four more states have completed the reforms in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, as stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance as per recent data.
  • Four more States are  Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab .
  • These States have become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources and have been granted permission to raise additional Rs 5,034 crore through Open Market Borrowings.
  • The total number of states that have undertaken the stipulated reforms to facilitate ease of doing business has gone up to
  • Earlier, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana have also reported completion of this reform.
  • On completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these twelve states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 28,183 crore.
  • The ease of doing business is an important indicator of the investment friendly business climate in the country. Improvements in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy,
  • In May 2020, the government had decided to link the grant of additional borrowing permissions to states that will undertake the reforms to facilitate ease of doing business
  • The four citizen-centric areas for reforms identified were as follows:
  • The implementation of the One Nation One Ration Card System
  • Ease of doing business reform
  • Urban local body or utility reforms
  • Power sector reforms
  • Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh became the first state to complete three out of four citizen-centric reforms and received additional funds for capital projects. The Department of Expenditure allocated an additional Rs.660 crore to Madhya Pradesh for capital expenditure.

About DPIIT :

  • Founded : 1995
  • Comes Under Ministry of Commerce and Industry

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

14th International Children’s Film festival concludes in Bangladesh

  • The 14th International Children’s Film Festival of Bangladesh (ICFFB) came to an end in
  • A total of 12 awards were presented to the winners at the concluding ceremony.
  • 179 films from 37 countries were shown at various venues during the 7-day long festival organised by the Children’s Film Society (CFS) of Bangladesh.
  • Apart from Bangladesh, films from India, Armenia, US, UK, Ireland, Japan and China among others were shown in the course of the festival.
  • Dutch Film Jackie and Oopjen was awarded the Best International Feature Film Award.
  • Bangldeshi film Maati got The Young Talent Award while Lottery won the Special mention under the Young Talent Award.

About Bangladesh :

  • Capital : Dhaka
  • Currency : Bangladeshi taka
  • President : Abdul Hamid

South Korea To Build World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm

  • South Korea unveiled a5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of efforts to foster an environmentally-friendly recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The project is a major component of President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal, initiated last year to curb reliance on fossil fuels in Asia’s fourth-largest economy and make it carbon neutral by 2050
  • Moon attended a signing ceremony in the southwestern coastal town of Sinan for the plant, which will have a maximum capacity of 2 gigawatts.
  • The plan is part of the country’s Green New Deal that seeks to transition South Korea to a more sustainable energy future.
  • It is accelerating the eco-friendly energy transition and moving more vigorously toward carbon neutrality.
  • The estimated cost of the project is 48.5 trillion won ($43.2 billion).
  • The project would provide up to 5,600 jobs and help achieve a goal to boost the country’s wind power capacity to 16.5 GW by 2030 from 1.67 GW now.
  • Till date, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is Hornsea 1 in Britain, which has 1.12 GW capacity.

About South Korea :

  • President : Moon Jae in
  • Capital : Seoul
  • Currency : South Korean won

NASA chooses SpaceX to launch $99M astrophysics mission

  • NASA has chosen SpaceX to provide launch services for its upcoming two-year astrophysics mission slated to kick off in June of 2024.
  • The mission is dubbed Spherex, which stands for Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer.
  • Its goal is to “survey the sky in the near-infrared light,” which could then help answer questions about the birth of the universe and the development of galaxies.
  • SPHEREx will also look for water and organic molecules in areas where stars are formed from gas and dust, as well as disks around stars where new planets could be forming.
  • The mission will allow astronomers to collect data on more than 300 million galaxies, and more than 100 million stars in the Milky Way.
  • The small astrophysics spacecraft, SPHEREx, weighs 329-lb. (178 kilograms).
  • The mission, which costs around $98.8 million to launch, will take off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

About NASA :

  • Headquarters : Washington, United States
  • Founder : Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Founded : 1 October 1958

Square Kilometre Array Observatory launched

  • A new intergovernmental organisation called Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council has been formed with the intention of building the world’s largest radio telescope.
  • The council held its first-ever meeting to approve the plans and start a new journey in space exploration. 
  • Though it is headquartered in the UK, SKAO has members from Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the Netherlands.
  • French-born Dr Catherine Cesarsky has been appointed as the first Chair of the SKAO Council.
  • The Indian contingent of over 20 institutions will be led by Pune-based National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of TIFR.

Objective of SKAO

  • To look into some of the unexplored areas of the universe and seek answers about its history and evolution, study fundamental physics in extreme environments and know about galaxies over cosmic time.
  • The telescope will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail and survey the entire sky much faster than any system currently in existence.

What are radio telescopes?

  • Unlike optical telescopes, radio telescopes can detect invisible gas and, therefore, they can reveal areas of space that may be obscured by cosmic dust.
  • Significantly, since the first radio signals were detected by physicist Karl Jansky in the 1930s, astronomers have used radio telescopes to detect radio waves emitted by different objects in the universe and explore it.
  • According to NASA, the field of radio astronomy evolved after World War II and became one of the most important tools for making astronomical observations since.

So what is significant about the SKA telescope?

  • The telescope, proposed to be the largest radio telescope in the world, will be located in Africa and Australia whose operation, maintenance and construction will be overseen by SKAO.
  • The completion is expected to take nearly a decade at a cost of over £1.8 billion.
  • Significantly, the development of SKA will use the results of various surveys undertaken using another powerful telescope called the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), which is developed and operated by the country’s science agency CSIRO.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : STATE NEWS

Madhya Pradesh launches ‘SAANS’ campaign to reduce infant mortality 

  • The health department in Madhya Pradesh has launched the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (‘SAANS’) campaign with the aim of reducing infant mortality due to pneumonia.

Purpose :

  • To reduce the death rate due to pneumonia among infants a strategy is being chalked out under the Social awareness campaign in which medical staff is being trained.
  • Training will be imparted at the community and primary health centres.
  • Around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres have been set up in Madhya Pradesh for this purpose.
  • The State government has also developed training modules in partnership with PGIMER, Chandigarh, and UNICEF, which will be used to enhance the skills of health workers, including doctors and paramedical staff .

About Madhya Pradesh :

  • Capital : Bhopal
  • CM : Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Jammu and Kashmir govt restores 4G mobile Internet service in entire Union Territory

  • The high speed mobile data services have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing respite to people affected by the ban, especially students, working professionals and business community.
  • The services were suspended on August 5, 2019 when the central government abrogated the special status of J&K and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories.
  • The 2G service on mobile phones was restored across J&K in January 2020.
  • The high speed mobile data services were restored in twin J&K districts including Ganderbal in Kashmir and Udhampur in Jammu division on a trial basis on August 16, 2020, as part of calibrated easing of restrictions.
  • The pre-paid SIM card holder will be given access to internet connectivity only after verification as per norms applicable to postpaid connections.

MSME wing of GoI to cooperate in setting up industries up to 20 crore rupees in Dhanbad

  • In Jharkhand, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME wing of the Government of India will cooperate in setting up industries up to  20 crore rupees in Dhanbad.
  • The central government will give 70 percent amount, while the remaining 30 percent is to be borne by the state government and industrialists.
  • The Central Government has taken initiatives to set up integrated industries, including the automobile section, tools room, and other subsidiary industries in Dhanbad for Rs 20 crore and more.
  • This amount will be received by industrialists through clusters. Director MSME D K Sahu in Dhanbad has assured the industrialists to resolve the above issues and problems, and focus upon Prime Minister’s vision of Vocal for Local.

About MSME :

  • Headquarters : New Delhi
  • Founded : 2007
  • Joint Secretary : Ateesh Kumar Singh

About Jharkhand :

  • Capital : Ranchi
  • CM : Hemant Soren

CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING NEWS

Federal Bank launches ‘FedFirst’ savings account scheme for children

  • Federal Bank has announced the launch of FedFirst, a special savings account scheme for children below 18 years of age.
  • The account helps children develop healthy saving and spending habits, thereby giving them the freedom to save, spend and earn.

About the Account Features :

  • The account is designed to enable children to learn the importance of money management. The account comes with unique features and offers.
  • The account holder is provided with a FedFirst contactless Debit Card with a daily cash withdrawal limit of ₹2,500 and POS/e-com limit of 10,000, in addition to free online facilities including access to internet banking, mobile alerts and email alerts.
  • Additional benefits including reward points, seasonal cashback and promotional offers and deals on dining, hotels, travel, bill payments through their debit card are available.

About Federal Bank :

  • Headquarters : Aluva, Kerala
  • CEO : Shyam Srinivasan
  • Founder : K.P.Hormis
  • Founded : 23 April 1931, Nedumpuram

RBI to set up a 24×7 helpline for digital payment services

  • RBI has announced certain measures of protection of common bank account holders in the Monetary policy statement.
  • It includes setting up of 24*7 helpline for digital payment services, integrated ombudsman scheme, CTS across all bank branches and allowing retail investors to open Gilt accounts with RBI.
  • Reports that the government is encouraging various modes of digital payments.
  • The helpline will, in addition to building trust and confidence, also reduce expenditure on both financial and human resources, otherwise incurred for addressing queries and grievances.
  • The major payment system operators would be required to facilitate setting-up of a centralised industry-wide 24×7 helpline for addressing customer queries in respect of various digital payment products and give information on available grievance redress mechanisms by September 2021.
  • RBI has decided to move beyond the aggregator model and provide retail investors online access to the government securities market along with the facility to open their gilt securities account.

About RBI :

  • Headquarters : Mumbai
  • Founder : British Raj
  • Governor : Shaktikanta Das

RBI to set up expert committee for urban co-op banks

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an expert committee on Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) involving all stakeholders in order to provide a medium-term road map to strengthen the sector, enable faster rehabilitation/resolution of UCBs, as well as examine other critical aspects relating to these entities.
  • This follows the provisions of the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2020 becoming applicable to Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) with effect from June 26, 2020.
  • The amendments have brought near parity in regulatory and supervisory powers between UCBs and commercial banks in respect of regulatory powers, including those related to governance, audit and resolution.
  • The constitution of the committee as well as the terms of reference will be notified separately by the RBI.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : APPOINTMENTS 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Set to Become W.T.O.’s First Female Leader

  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria, appears set to become the next director general of the World Trade Organization.
  • She would be the first woman and the first African national to lead the organization.
  • Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister, spent 25 years at the World Bank as a development economist and now is the chairwoman of the Center for Global Development, according to the center’s website.
  • She is the former finance minister of Nigeria, succeeding Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down in August 2020.

About WTO :

  • Headquarters : Geneva, Switzerland
  • Founded : 1 January 1995
  • Membership : 164 Member states

Michael Bloomberg Re-Appointed as United Nations Climate Envoy

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres re-appointed Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions.

About Bloomberg :

  • Bloomberg was first appointed UN special envoy on cities and climate change in 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
  • Bloomberg would work with governments, companies, cities, and financial institutions to ensure they pledge to cut emissions and commit to net-zero before 2050.
  • Bloomberg has previously been appointed toN. climate envoy positions in 2014 and 2018.
  • Bloomberg will be global ambassador for the campaigns “Race to Zero” and “Race to Resilience,” which rally businesses, cities, and investors to mobilize climate action.
  • Bloomberg is the founder and owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
  • He would also work to mobilise stronger and more ambitious climate action in the lead-up to 2021 United Nations Climate Change conference in Scotland in November 2021.

About United Nations :

  • Secretary General : Antonio Guterres
  • Headquarters : New York, United States
  • Founded : 24 October 1945, San Francisco, California

Google Cloud appoints Bikram Singh Bedi as Managing Director 

  • Google Cloud has announced the appointment of Bikram Singh Bedi as the Managing Director for its India business.
  • With the current appointment as managing director, Bedi will succeed Karan Bajwa, who was recently elevated as the Vice President of Google’s Asia Pacific Cloud.

About Bikram Singh Bedi :

  • At Google, Bikram Bedi will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s sales and operations teams in this dynamic market.
  • Bedi, a senior leader with more than 26 years of leadership experience, will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s sales and operations teams in this dynamic market.
  • He joined Google Cloud from Indian online grocery delivery startup, Grofers where he served as President Strategy and New Initiatives.
  • Prior to that, he set up the AWS business in India and was the head of India and South Asia for six years.
  • He also held various leadership positions at IBM and Oracle.
  • Bedi was the man who reportedly set up Amazon Web Services in India and led the vertical for six years long.

About Google Cloud :

  • Launched : April 7, 2008
  • Programming Languages : Python, Java, Go, C++, Ruby

CURRENT AFFAIRS : CONFERENCES

First India-EU High-Level Dialogue On Trade, Investment Held

  • The first High-Level Dialogue (HLD), co-chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and the European Union Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, was held on Feb 05, 2021.
  • Commitment to the establishment of this Dialogue was a major outcome of the 15th India-EU Leaders Summit held in July 2020.
  • Objective : For ministerial-level guidance towards the bilateral trade and investment relations, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • The ministers emphasized the importance of global cooperation and solidarity in a post-COVID-19 era and agreed for further deepening of bilateral trade and investment relationship through a series of regular engagements, aiming at quick deliverables for the businesses in these tough times.
  • The ministers also agreed to meet within the next three months, with an objective for reaching consensus on a host of bilateral trade and investment cooperation issues viz. a bilateral Regulatory Dialogue; an India-EU Multilateral Dialogue to explore further possibilities of cooperation; etc.
  • They concluded with confidence and commitment towards a renewed India-EU commercial and economic partnership reflecting the full potential of bilateral commercial relations.

About European Union :

  • Headquarters : Brussels, Belgium,
  • Founded : 1 November 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands

CURRENT AFFAIRS : AGREEMENTS

Karnataka govt sign Memorandum of Understanding with 34 Aerospace and Defence firms

  • Karnataka has benefitted from the Aero India show that concluded in Bengaluru.
  • The State Government signed Memorandum of Understanding with 34 Aerospace and Defence firms with an investment prospect of 2464 crore rupees that can generate 6462 direct employment opportunities.
  • The agreements signed during the Aero India Show will encourage aerospace and defence equipment manufacturers to set up bases in the state.
  • Karnataka has a vibrant aerospace and defence sector manufacturing ecosystem contributing over 65 percent of defence and aerospace exports in the country
  • The state Industrial policy of 2020-25 provides several incentives and regulatory reforms related to land access and labour market regulations.

About Karnataka :

  • CM : Yediyurappa
  • Capital : Bangalore

CURRENT AFFAIRS : OBITUARIES 

‘The Sound Of Music’ Star & Oscar Winner Christopher Plummer Passes Away At 91

  • Christopher Plummel, known for his popular role as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has passed away at 91.

About Christopher Plummel :

  • The Canada-born actor had kicked off his career on stage, making his Broadway debut in 1954.
  • Plummel then made his film debut with Sidney Lumet’s Stage Struck in 1958.
  • He received various awards for his work, which includes Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award.
  • He won his first Oscar (for supporting performance) for his act in Beginners, released in 2011, becoming the oldest to win an acting academy Award. His other Oscar nomination was for All the Money in the World, released in 2017, after he had replaced Kevin Spacey.
  • He is the only Canadian and one of the few performers globally to have received the Triple Crown of Acting, which are Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award.
  • He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 82 for Beginners (2010)
  • Some of his other well-known works include Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992), Terrence Malick’s The New World (2005) Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019), and Todd Robinson’s The Last Full Measure (2019).

Founder of Rang Vidushak, theatre director Padma Shri Bansi Kaul Passed away 

  • Founder of Rang Vidushak and theatre director Padma Shri Bansi Kaul, 71, passed away.
  • Born in 1949 in a Kashmiri Pandit family, Bansi Kaul was a Hindi theatre director and the founder of Rang Vidushak, a theatre group and theatre institute in Bhopal.
  • He was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1995 and Padma Shri in 2014.
  • He received Rashtriya Kalidas Samman for the year 2016–17.
  • Christopher Plummer, actor of ‘The Sound of Music’ fame, dies at 91

Daily CA On Feb 06 :

  • Every Year On Feb 06 , International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is Observed.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited NSE 3.79 % (HAL) unveiled a leap in technology of teaming up unmanned aircraft and vehicles with manned jets similar to the US project of skyborg.
  • Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Denmark to build the world’s first energy island in the North Sea. The €28 billion construction project is the biggest of its kind in Danish history. The government will hold a 51% stake in the island, with the remainder held by the private sector
  • The southern state of Kerala will get its first human milk bank. The state-of-the-art facility will be inaugurated by health minister K K Shailaja at state-owned Ernakulam general hospital in Kochi.
  • Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the first heliport of the state in Majuli
  • The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept its repo rate unchanged at 4 percent while maintaining an ‘accommodative stance’ as long as necessary at least through the current financial year to the next year.
  • The Union Budget 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) projected a GDP growth rate of 10.5 percent for the financial year beginning 1 April.
  • The California-based global digital payment platform PayPal has announced that the company has decided to wind down its domestic payment services in India with effect from April 01, 2021.
  • The 1st meeting of the Joint Working Group in the field of Renewable Energy between India and the Kingdom of Bahrain held On Feb 04, 2021 in virtual format.
  • A total of 201 MoUs, product launches, and technology transfers were concluded at the Bandhan ceremony held on the last day of Aero India 2021 at Yehalanka, Bengaluru on February 05, 2021.
  • The Maharashtra Cabinet approved the implementation of the Chief Minister Water Conservation Programme, costing 1,340.75 crore.
  • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Zomato for empowering street food vendors with new digital technology and to provide greater income-earning opportunities on the food delivery platform.
  • Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden and an ongoing target for conservatives, has a memoir coming out April 6, 2021.The book is called “Beautiful Things” and will center on the younger Biden’s well publicized struggles with substance abuse.
  • The first-ever ASEAN-India Hackathon concluded on February 4 with more than 400 students, mentors, and officials from 10 ASEAN countries and India participating.

Daily CA On Feb 07 & 08 :

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), added four more states have completed the reforms in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, as stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance as per recent data.
  • The 14th International Children’s Film Festival of Bangladesh (ICFFB) came to an end in A total of 12 awards were presented to the winners at the concluding ceremony.
  • South Korea unveiled a5 trillion won ($43.2 billion) plan to build the world’s largest wind power plant by 2030 as part of efforts to foster an environmentally-friendly recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • NASA has chosen SpaceX to provide launch services for its upcoming two-year astrophysics mission slated to kick off in June of 2024.
  • A new intergovernmental organisation called Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council has been formed with the intention of building the world’s largest radio telescope.
  • The health department in Madhya Pradesh has launched the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (‘SAANS’) campaign with the aim of reducing infant mortality due to pneumonia.
  • The high speed mobile data services have been restored in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing respite to people affected by the ban, especially students, working professionals and business community.
  • In Jharkhand, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME wing of the Government of India will cooperate in setting up industries up to  20 crore rupees in Dhanbad.
  • Federal Bank has announced the launch of FedFirst, a special savings account scheme for children below 18 years of age.
  • RBI to set up a 24×7 helpline for digital payment services, integrated ombudsman scheme, CTS across all bank branches and allowing retail investors to open Gilt accounts with RBI.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an expert committee on Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) involving all stakeholders in order to provide a medium-term road map to strengthen the sector, enable faster rehabilitation/resolution of UCBs, as well as examine other critical aspects relating to these entities.
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria, appears set to become the next director general of the World Trade Organization.
  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres re-appointed Michael Bloomberg as his Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions.
  • Google Cloud has announced the appointment of Bikram Singh Bedi as the Managing Director for its India business.
  • The first High-Level Dialogue (HLD), co-chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and the European Union Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, was held on Feb 05, 2021.
  • Karnataka has benefitted from the Aero India show that concluded in Bengaluru.
  • Christopher Plummel, known for his popular role as Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has passed away at 91.
  • Founder of Rang Vidushak and theatre director Padma Shri Bansi Kaul, 71, passed away.

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