Daily Current Affairs 18th February 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS: IMPORTANT DAYS

Taj Mahotsav – Observed on 18 February to 27 February

  • Taj Mahotsav has been celebrated successfully since 1992 in Agra in the month of February for ten days, from 18th February to 27th February in Shilpgram, Near Taj Mahal, Agra.
  • This festival invokes the memories of the old Mughal era and nawabi style prevalent in Uttar Pradesh in the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Organized by:Department of Tourism, Government of India
  • 2021 Theme: Together in the diverse culture
  • Celebrated to promote rich arts, crafts, culture, cuisine, dance and music of the state and country.
  • A procession taken out in the typical Mughal era style, food festival, performances by folk musicians and dancers, etc

CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL NEWS

India Accounts for 11 % of Global death in Road Accidents – World Bank

  • The World Bank has released a comprehensive report  titled ‘Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society’ in association with the SaveLife Foundation.

About SaveLife Foundation :

  • It is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to improving road safety and emergency medical care across India.
  • On Feb 13, 2021 a report was released by Union transport minister, Nitin Gadkari.
  • As per report “India tops the world in road crash deaths and injuries. It has 1 percent of the world’s vehicles but accounts for 11 per cent of all road crash deaths, witnessing 53 road crashes every hour; killing 1 person every 4 minutes.
  • A recent study commissioned by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) estimates the socio-economic costs of road crashes at Rs 1,47,114 crore in India, which is equivalent to 0.77 per cent of the country’s GDP.
  • 70 percent of the fatalities are the age group of 18 to 45 years, impacting the country as a whole.

About World Bank :

  • Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
  • President: David Malpass
  • Parent organization: World Bank Group
  • Founded: July 1944, United States
  • Founders: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White

Government makes FASTag mandatory on all National Highways

  • Government has made FASTag mandatory on the National Highways. All lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways were declared as FASTag lanes.
  • As per NH Fee Rules 2008, any vehicle not fitted with FASTag or vehicle without valid, functional FASTag, entering into the FASTag lane of the fee plaza will have to pay a fee equivalent to two times of the fee applicable to that category.
  • FASTags will prove to be beneficial both to the passengers as well as to the toll management authorities.
  • FASTag is a RFID tag which is linked with a payment instrument and can be easily affixed on the windscreen of any vehicle.

About FASTag :

  • Comes Under Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
  • Founded : November 4, 2014
  • Headquarters : Delhi

Govt increases budget of Dept of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences by 30 per cent

  • The Union Government has increased the budget of Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences by 30 per cent as compared to the revised estimate of 2020-21.
  • An allocation of Rs 16,695 crore has been given for the two ministries which will add thrust to India’s remarkable, accelerated growth in the fields of Science and Technology.
  • Rs 50 thousand crore have been allocated for the National Research Foundation.
  • The Minister informed that the National Research Foundation (NRF) will be an independent society and it will build on existing national strengths in research and innovation. It will fill gaps in the current research and education ecosystem to augment India’s research and innovation achievements.

Nitin Gadkari says, Tamil Nadu has become reducing road accidents by 50 per cent

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that Tamil Nadu has become a pioneer in reducing road accidents by fifty per cent.
  • Inaugurating Road Safety Schemes in Chennai, the Minister told that all other states should follow Tamil Nadu model for road safety.
  • He said that there was a need to increase the width of the roads in the country, identify the black spots and follow excellent road engineering methods.

President inaugurates Rashtrapati Bhavan Krida Sthal in President’s Estate

  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Rashtrapati Bhavan Krida Sthal in the President’s Estate which includes renovated Football Ground and Basketball Court.
  • On the occasion, an exhibition football match was played between the children of My Angels Academy, a trust working for the cause of underprivileged children.
  • These state-of-art sports facilities are developed with the aim to cater to the needs of the employees of Rashtrapati Bhavan and their families.
  • An inter-departmental football tournament with five teams namelyPresident’s Secretariat Heroes, Household Youngs, PBG Warriors, Army Guard Daredevils and Delhi Police Stalwarts starts to encourage the employees and their family members to take part in the sports activities

Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs unveils Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan

  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan under Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban, JJM-U.
  • Secretary Housing and Urban Affairs Durga Shanker Mishra informed that  it  will be conducted in cities to ascertain equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water through a challenge process.
  • He said, as a first step, the Ministry has decided to launch the Survekshan in 10 cities- Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat and Tumkur.

Defence Minister launches e-Chhawani portal

  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched e-Chhawani portal.
  • Launching the portal, Mr Singh said, residents of Cantonment areas can register their complaints regarding civic issues and resolve them while sitting at home.
  • The minister said, government is committed to refine the system and improve the Ease of Living for people.
  • Mr Singh said, e-Chhawani project aims to provide online municipal services to more than 20 lakh citizens across 62 Cantonment Boards through a multi-tenancy central platform.
  • Through this portal, online application for renewal of leases, online registration of births and deaths and   online application for water and sewerage connection will be very simpler.
  • CDS General Bipin Rawat was also present at the event.

PM Modi unveils several development projects in Assam

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative, lay the foundation stone of Dhubri-Phulbari Bridge and perform Bhoomi Poojan for construction of Majuli Bridge Assam through video conferencing.
  • Mr Modi said it is a landmark day for Assam’s development journey as the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative will be launched.
  • Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Mansukh Mandaviya, DoNER minister Dr. Jitendra Singh and Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma will be present on the occasion.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China overtakes US, becomes European Union’s biggest trading partner

  • China last year overtook the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat
  • The European Union, was the third-largest trading partner for the bloc, behind China and the United States.
  • Eurostat said the trade volume with China reached 586 billion euros ($711 billion) in 2020, compared to 555 billion euros ($673 billion) for the US.
  • The agency said EU exports rose by 2.2 percent to 202.5 billion euros while at the same time, imports from the People’s Republic of China increased by 5.6 percent to 383.5 billion euros.

About China :

  • Currency : Renminbi
  • Capital : Beijing

About US :

  • Capital : Washington
  • President : Joe biden

Ethiopian Deputy PM arrives in New Delhi

  • Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen Hassen arrived in New Delhi on a four-day official visit to India.
  • Mr Hassen will inaugurate the new Chancery and Residence at Ethiopian Embassy in New Delhi along with External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar.
  • He is scheduled to meet Dr Jaishankar at Hyderabad House.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : STATE NEWS

PM Narendra Modi to lay foundation stone for Maharaja Suheldev Memorial in Uttar Pradesh

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and Maharaja Suheldev Development project and dedicated it to the public Maharaja Suheldev State Medical College (Baharaich) via video conferencing.
  • The project includes the installation of a horse-riding statue of Maharaja Suheldev, separate tourist facilities such as a cafeteria, guest house, and children’s park.
  • The Prime Minister will also address a webinar for consultation on the roadmap for effective implementation of Union Budget 2021-22 in the infrastructure sector.

About UP :

  • Governor : Anandiben Patel
  • CM : Yogi Adityanath
  • Capital : Lucknow

PM Modi unveils several key projects of oil & gas sector in Tamil Nadu

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation of key projects of the oil and gas sector in Tamil Nadu through video conferencing.
  • Mr Modi will dedicate to the nation the Ramanathapuram -Thoothukudi natural gas pipeline and the Gasoline Desulphurisation Unit at Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited, Manali.
  • He will also lay the foundation stone of Cauvery Basin Refinery at Nagapattinam.
  • These projects will bring in substantial socio-economic benefits and will boost the country’s march towards Urja Aatmanirbharta.

Kiran Bedi removed as Puducherry LG

  • Kiran Bedi has been removed from the post of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor.
  • In a press communiqué, Rashtrapati Bhawan said, Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan has been given additional charge as Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.

15 states successfully attain Ease of Doing Business reforms

  • The number of states successfully completing the Ease of Doing Business reforms has increased to 15.
  • The Finance Ministry has said that three more states – Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have completed Ease of Doing Business reforms.
  • On receipt of recommendation from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the Department of Expenditure has granted permission to these three states to raise additional financial resources of nine thousand 905 crore rupees through Open Market Borrowings.
  • The Ministry said, earlier, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana had also reported completion of this reform. 
  • On completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these 15 states have been granted additional borrowing permission of over 38 thousand crore rupees.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING & FINANCE 

RBI sets up 8 member panel to suggest steps for strengthening, consolidating UCBs

  • The Reserve Bank set up a committee to draw a vision document for strengthening urban cooperative banks (UCBs) and exploring the potential of consolidation in the sector.
  • The committee, to be headed by former RBI Deputy Governor N.S. Vishwanathan,

Other Members are :

  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala ( chairman of Nabard )
  • Mukund Chitale
  • NC Muniyappa
  • RN Roshi
  • MS Sriram
  • Jyotindra Mehta
  • Neeraj Niga
  • The panel will “draw up a vision document for a vibrant and resilient urban co-operative banking sector having regards to the Principles of Cooperation as well as depositors’ interest and systemic issues.
  • The committee will consider the need for differential regulations and examine prospects to allow more leeway in permissible activities for UCBs with a view to enhancing their resilience.

About RBI :

  • Governor : Shaktikanta Das
  • Establishment : 1 April, 1935, kolkata
  • Headquarters : Mumbai, Maharashtra

ICICI Lombard launches corporate risk index

  • Private general insurer ICICI Lombard has launched the ‘Corporate India Risk Index’. This is intended to be a unified, standardised corporate risk index that spans industries and companies.
  • Corporate risk index that uses a risk measurement tool has been developed with the management consulting firm Frost & Sullivan covering 150 top companies from its own investment portfolio across 15 key sectors, ICICI Lombard chief executive Bhargav Dasgupta told reporters.
  • The insurer said that this will help companies understand the level of risk that their business is facing and also assist in developing a successful risk aversion plan. It has worked with consulting firm Frost and Sullivan to develop the risk measurement tool.
  • The index showed that most of corporate India’s risk management strategies are focused primarily on operational and natural hazard risks, influenced by COVID-19. It added that there is a scope for improvement in the way market, economic, technological and crime or security risks are being managed.

About ICICI :

  • CEO : Bhargav Dasgupta
  • Headquarters : Mumbai
  • Founded : 2001

CURRENT AFFAIRS: BUSINESS NEWS

Hyderabad software firm unveils intelligent neo banking solution

  • Hyderabad-based product development and software services startup Machint Solutions has launched an intelligent neo banking platform, Uluka.
  • The launch took place at Hyderabad International Convention Center, Novotel & HICC in the presence of Home Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy, Serilingampally MLA Arekapudi Gandhi, and Chevella MP Dr G Ranjith Reddy, and banking & IT leaders.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENT NEWS

Nigerian economist become first female chief of WTO

  • Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and first African to be appointed as the head of the World Trade Organization.
  • The appointment, which takes effect from March 1, came after U.S. President Joe Biden endorsed her candidacy.
  • Okonjo-Iweala has been Nigeria’s finance minister and, briefly, foreign minister, and has had a 25-year career at the World Bank as an advocate for economic growth and development in poorer countries.

Mahender Kanyal appointed India’s Ambassador to Syria

  • Mahender Singh Kanyal has been appointed as the next Indian Ambassador to Syria.
  • Kanyal, who is presently Ambassador of India to Suriname, is expected to take up the assignment shortly.

Mahesh Palashikar appointed as GE T&D India Chairman

  • GE T&D India Ltd (GETDIL) has announced Mahesh Palashikar as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
  • Palashikar will assume the new role on March 1, succeeding Vishal K Wanchoo who resigned from the Board upon taking a new job with another company after retirement from GE, the company said.

Preeti Sinha to lead UN Capital Development Fund

  • Sinha will oversee UNCDF’s ‘last mile’ finance models to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
  • The UN Capital Development Fund has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary, whose focus will be on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.
  • Sinha commenced her tenure as UNCDF Executive Secretary, the highest leadership rank in the institution.

Umakant Dash appointed as IRMA director

  • The Institute of Rural Management- Anand (IRMA) announced the appointment of Dr. Umakant Dash to the post of Director.
  • Dash, a PhD in Applied Economics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, has more than 25 years of experience in teaching and research.
  • Prior to joining IRMA, he served as the Head of Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT- Madras and as Adjunct Professor at IIM – Tiruchirappalli.

Nihar N Jambusaria elected ICAI President

  • Debhashis Mitra has been elected as Vice President.
  • The CA Institute appointed its new President Nihar N Jambusaria.
  • He has been elected as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for 2021-22.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: AWARDS AND HONOURS

Andhra Pradesh conferred Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award

  • The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award.
  • The Award has been presented to the CM by Chairman, Skoch group, Sameer Kochhar personally at Tadepalli in Andhra Pradesh.
  • SKOCH Group Chairman Sameer Kochhar called on the Chief Minister at his camp office at Tadepalli and presented the award to him.

Bharat Biotech bags Genome Valley Excellence Award

  • Bharat Biotech is being presented the Genome Valley Excellence Award for 2021 for its “breakthrough, pioneering research, development and commercialisation of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin,” a release said.
  • BioAsia, organised by the Government of Telangana, has announced that the Genome Valley Excellence Award for the year 2021 will be bestowed upon Bharat Biotech International for research, development and commercialisation of vaccines including COVAXIN (COVID-19 Vaccine), Rabies vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, Polio vaccine and Typhoid Conjugate vaccines, among others. Dr Krishna M Ella, Chairman & MD, and Suchitra Ella, Joint MD, Bharat Biotech International will receive the award on February 22, 2021, during the inaugural event of BioAsia 2021.

Daily CA On Feb 17 :

  • Safer Internet Day is observed every year on the second day of the second week of February Theme of 2021 : Together for a better internet”.
  • World Human Spirit Day is celebrated on 17 February to make people aware of the simple ways through which we can empower ourselves every day.
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and MapmyIndia, the navigation solutions provider, have joined hands to offer an indigenous mapping solution to take on Google Maps.
  • IIT Bombay launched its first-ever annual fundraising campaign in India, Cherish IIT Bombay 2021.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the NASSCOM Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF) via video conferencing.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said that unity in diversity is the beauty of Indian democracy and this unique feature is only visible in India.
  • The first day of the spring called ‘Pahela Phagun’ was celebrated in Dhaka despite the continued shadow of Corona pandemic in the country.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will inaugurate the Mukhyamantri Abhyudaya Yojana, a free coaching program meant for students preparing for competitive exams, on Feb 15, 2021
  • The tribal painter Bhuri Bai of Madhya Pradesh was invited as the Chief Guest at the Foundation Day celebrations of Bharat Bhavan.
  • IIT Bombay launched its first-ever annual fundraising campaign in India, Cherish IIT Bombay 2021. 
  • The Japanese brokerage has projected the GDP of India to grow at 13.5 percent in FY22 (2021-22).
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank launched its outward forex remittance service, Kotak Remit, hence allowing its users to directly send money abroad from their phones.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday constituted an eight-member expert committee on Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs) that is tasked with examining existing issues and providing a road map for strengthening the sector.
  • The Kerala Bank has launched ATM demonstration vans to promote digital transactions.
  • Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar has been sworn-in as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court today at Raj Bhavan, Imphal.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA) has announced Ajay Mathur as its new Director General following his election at the first special assembly of ISA members.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Om Prakash Dadhich and Sandeep Kumar Senior IRS officers as members in the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  • Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani rolled out the commercial Jute seed distribution scheme.
  • Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presented the National Bal Shree awards to M Madhurima, S Ananthan and K Prajwal at Cliff House. 
  • The ITC Grand Chola Hotel, Guindy was awarded the ‘Swachh Hotel’ award as part of Swachh Survekshan 2021 by the Greater Chennai Corporation, for its sustained initiatives in solid waste management.
  • Leading digital transformation solutions company UST has been certified as a ‘Top Employer’ in the US, the UK, Malaysia, India, Mexico, Spain, Singapore, and the Philippines for 2021 by the Top Employers Institute (TEI), the global authority
  • HCL Technologiesannounced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) to collaborate in the area of cybersecurity
  • Former Argentine President Carlos Menem Passed away. He was 90 years old.

Daily CA On Feb 18 :

  • Taj Mahotsav has been celebrated successfully since 1992 in Agra in the month of February for ten days, from 18th February to 27th February in Shilpgram, Near Taj Mahal, Agra.
  • The World Bank has released a comprehensive report  titled ‘Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society’ in association with the SaveLife Foundation.
  • Government has made FASTag mandatory on the National Highways. All lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways were declared as FASTag lanes.
  • The Union Government has increased the budget of Department of Science and Technology and Ministry of Earth Sciences by 30 per cent as compared to the revised estimate of 2020-21.
  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that Tamil Nadu has become a pioneer in reducing road accidents by fifty per cent.
  • President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated the Rashtrapati Bhavan Krida Sthal in the President’s Estate which includes renovated Football Ground and Basketball Court.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan under Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban, JJM-U.
  • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched e-Chhawani portal.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative, lay the foundation stone of Dhubri-Phulbari Bridge and perform Bhoomi Poojan for construction of Majuli Bridge Assam through video conferencing.
  • China last year overtook the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat
  • Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen Hassen arrived in New Delhi on a four-day official visit to India.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and Maharaja Suheldev Development project and dedicated it to the public Maharaja Suheldev State Medical College (Baharaich) via video conferencing.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation and lay the foundation of key projects of the oil and gas sector in Tamil Nadu through video conferencing.
  • Kiran Bedi has been removed from the post of Puducherry Lieutenant Governor.
  • The number of states successfully completing the Ease of Doing Business reforms has increased to 15.
  • The Reserve Bank set up a committee to draw a vision document for strengthening urban cooperative banks (UCBs) and exploring the potential of consolidation in the sector.
  • Private general insurer ICICI Lombard has launched the ‘Corporate India Risk Index’. This is intended to be a unified, standardised corporate risk index that spans industries and companies.
  • Hyderabad-based product development and software services startup Machint Solutions has launched an intelligent neo banking platform, Uluka.
  • Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala became the first woman and first African to be appointed as the head of the World Trade Organization.
  • Mahender Singh Kanyal has been appointed as the next Indian Ambassador to Syria.
  • GE T&D India Ltd (GETDIL) has announced Mahesh Palashikar as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
  • Sinha will oversee UNCDF’s ‘last mile’ finance models to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
  • The Institute of Rural Management- Anand (IRMA) announced the appointment of Dr. Umakant Dash to the post of Director.
  • Debhashis Mitra has been elected as Vice President.
  • The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award.
  • Bharat Biotech is being presented the Genome Valley Excellence Award for 2021 for its “breakthrough, pioneering research, development and commercialisation of vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin,” a release said.

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