Daily Current Affairs 20th February 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL NEWS

PM Modi to launch Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative in Assam

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi would launch the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative and lay the foundation stones of one bridge and perform a ground-breaking ceremony (bhumi pujan) of another in Assam via video conferencing.
  • Aim : To improve connectivity in the eastern states, will be marked by the inauguration of the Ro-Pax vessel operations between Neamati-Majuli Island, North Guwahati-South Guwahati and Dhubri-Hatsingimari.
  • Foundation stone of Inland Water Transport Terminal at Jogighopa and various tourist jetties on Brahmaputra and launch of digital solutions for Ease-of-Doing-Business will also be a part of the initiative.
  • The PM will lay the foundation stone for a four lane bridge over the Brahmaputra between Dhubri (on North Bank) and Phulbari (on South Bank).

About Assam :

  • CM : Sarbananda Sonowal
  • Capital : Dispur

Indian Government Launches Sandes, a Whatsapp Like Instant Messaging App For Government Employs

  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India has launched an instant messaging app just like WhatsApp for government employees called Sandes.
  • The government is currently asking employees to use the GIMS/Sandes app. There is still no word if this app will ever be available for all users in the future.
  • Just like WhatsApp, one can share images, videos, voice messages, create groups on the app. Users can also set up their profile pictures and status.
  • Notably, this app is an upgrade to NIC’s existing Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS) app.
  • While the Sandes app allows users to backup chat histories to a registered email, it does not allow users to change their mobile number or email address registered with the app

Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar launches applications for five pan-India surveys

  • The importance of accurate data for policy making, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar launched software applications for five pan-India surveys, including on migrant and domestic workers.
  • The minister also released instruction manuals with questionnaires for the five pan-India surveys being conducted by the Labour Bureau.
  • These five surveys being undertaken by the Labour Bureau are — All-India Survey on Migrant workers, All-India Survey on Domestic Workers, All-India Survey on Employment Generated by Professionals, All-India Survey on Employment Generated in Transport Sector, and All-India Quarterly Establishment based Employment Survey.
  • The objectives of the all-India survey on employment generated by professionals are essentially two-fold, firstly to estimate the total number of active professionals in the country and secondly to capture the employment generated by these professionals.

PM Modi inaugurates oil and gas sector projects in Tamil Nadu

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for key oil and gas sector projects in Tamil Nadu via video conferencing.
  • During his address, the Prime Minister said, Indian Oil’s 143-km-long pipeline from Ramanathapuram to Thoothukudi will monetise the gas from ONG gas fields.
  • This is a part of a larger national gas pipeline project being developed at a cost of4,500 crore.
  • It will benefit Ennore, Thiruvallur, Bengaluru, Puducherry, Nagapattinam, Madurai and Thoothukudi.”
  • He will also lay the foundation stone of Cauvery Basin Refinery at Nagapattinam.
  • These projects will result in substantial socio-economic benefits and will boost the country’s march towards Urja Aatmanirbharta.

About TamilNadu :

  • CM : Edappadi K Palanisamy
  • Capital : Chennai
  • Governor : Banwarilal Purohit

India joins Russia-Iran’s two-day naval exercise

  • India has joined Iran and Russia in a two-day navy exercise dubbed “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021” in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.

About the drill :

  • The drill will cover an area of 17,000 square kilometres (6,500 square miles).
  • It will include shooting at sea and air targets and liberating hijacked ships, as well as search and rescue and anti-piracy operations, Al Jazeera reported.

About Russia :

  • Capital : Moscow
  • Currency : Russian ruble
  • President : Vladimir Putin

About Iran :

  • President : Hassan Rouhani
  • Currency :Iranian rial
  • Capital : Tehran

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Birth Anniversary – Prime Minister pays rich tribute

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid rich tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of his Birth Anniversary.
  • Remembering Chhatrapati Shivaji as an immortal son of Mother India, Mr. Modi said that the saga of indomitable courage, valour and intelligence of the great Maratha ruler will keep inspiring countrymen for ages.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar remembered Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a great warrior and strategist of India.

2020 Tree City of the World – Hyderabad got recognition 

  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Arbor Day Foundation have recognized Hyderabad as a 2020 Tree City of World, for its commitment to growing and maintaining urban forests.
  • Officials said the recognition was a testament to the city’s sustained and institutional efforts to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, development of urban and peri-urban forestry actions, projects and strategic planning and commitment to building a healthy city.
  • Most of the other cities were from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Foreign Ministers of Quad countries demand promoting freedom of navigation in Indo-Pacific region

  • Foreign Ministers of Quad countries – India, Australia, Japan and US – discussed the necessity to promote freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar represented India at the Third Quad Ministerial Meeting. 
  • The Foreign Ministers emphasized their commitment to upholding a rules-based international order, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, rule of law, transparency, and freedom of navigation in the international seas and peaceful resolution of disputes.
  • It was noted that the Indo-Pacific concept had gathered growing international support, including in Europe.

PM calls for special visa for Doctors and Nurses for South Asia to tackle any medical emergency

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India is working towards a healthy and COVID-19 free neighbourhood. 
  • Addressing a Workshop on COVID-19 Management-Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward with nearly ten neighboring countries virtually, Mr Modi said all countries have learned from each other from best practices.
  • The Prime Minister said India has achieved the lowest fatality rate globally.
  • Mr Modi said all countries should maintain collaborative spirit during the vaccination.
  • Mr Modi suggested that there should be special visas for medical professionals and arrangement for special Air ambulance.
  • Prime minister said, India’s Ayushman Bharat can be a case study for all the regional countries for healthcare.
  • The Prime Minister insisted that a regional platform may be created for studies on forecasting future pandemics.

‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ programme with Prime Minister to be held online

  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has announced that the fourth edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school students, teachers and parents – Pariksha Pe Charcha will be held next month.
  • Mr Nishank also said that the registration process for the forthcoming ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ programme has begun which will be open till 14th of March.
  • He informed me that this time the programme will be held virtually.
  • He said the participants of this programme will be selected through an online competition which will be organised on MyGov platform. 
  • Mr Nishank also informed that the portal for online creative writing competition will remain open till 14th of March.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

France Passes Anti-radicalism Bill               

  • The French Parliament has approved an Anti-radicalism Bill in a bid to fight the Islamic radicalism.
  • The bill would strengthen oversight of mosques, schools and sports clubs to safeguard France from radical Islamists and ensure respect for French values, one of President Emmanuel Macron’s landmark projects.
  • The vote in the lower house was the first critical hurdle for the legislation that has been long in the making after two weeks of intense debate. The bill passed 347 to 151 with 65 abstentions.
  • To adapt to the changes, the bill amends the French law of 1905 guaranteeing the separation of Church and State.

About France :

  • President : Emmanuel Macron
  • Capital : Paris

AI based translation software ‘Amar Vasha’ launched by Bangladesh Supreme Court 

  • The Bangladesh Supreme Court launched the Artificial Intelligence (AI) based translation software ‘Amar Vasha’ through a virtual event.
  • The software will translate orders and judgements of the Supreme Court from English to Bangla.
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Law Minister Anisul Haq, Law Secretary Md. Golam Sarwar and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami spoke during the virtual function.
  • The Software has been developed with ‘EkStep’ foundation of India.
  • It is based on their ‘Anuvaad’ translation software used in India to translate from English to Indian languages including Bangla.
  • Anuvaad was deployed by the Supreme Court of India as SUVAS (Supreme Court Vidhik Anuvaad Software) from November 2019.

About Bangladesh:

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

India and Australia – work together for peace, prosperity and security in Indo-Pacific region

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison.
  • Modi said, both the countries reiterated their commitment to consolidate Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and discussed regional issues of common interest.
  • He said, India is looking forward to working together for peace, prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

About Australia:

  • Prime minister: Scott MorrisonTrending
  • Capital: Canberra
  • Currency: Dollar

CURRENT AFFAIRS: STATE NEWS

2,500 classrooms at higher education level to be converted into smart classrooms – Karnataka Deputy CM

  • Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayana, who holds the Higher Education portfolio, has informed that 2,500 classrooms at the higher education level will be converted into smart classrooms in the next two months.
  • At the Government Arts College in Bengaluru, he said that Integrated Learning Management System with high speed internet and the state of the art tabs will be available in the smart classrooms.
  • The Learning Management System will make the learning process more accessible and enable teachers to track the learning level of students.

About Karnataka:

  • Capital: Bengaluru
  • Governor: Vajubhai Vala
  • Chief minister:  S. Yediyurappa

Two new grants announced by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio

  • Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio announced two new grants, namely, the Chief Minister’s Grant for Journalism and the Chief Minister’s Research Grant.
  • Delivering the Budget Speech at the ongoing Budget Session, Mr Rio said, the journalism grant will support the strengthening of democracy and thereby positively impact good governance as it is an endeavor to empower a vibrant fourth estate.
  • He said, the research grant will support advancement of science and extend funding to research and research scholars.

About Nagaland:

  • Capital: Kohima
  • Governor: RN Ravi
  • Chief minister: Neiphiu Rio

Janaushadhi Kendra inaugurated by Union Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda in Bengaluru

  • All the government hospitals in the country will have Janaushadhi Kendras that sell affordable generic medicines to the common man.
  • Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D. V. Sadananda Gowda informed this during the inauguration of a Janaushadhi Kendra in Bengaluru.
  • He appealed to all the doctors in government hospitals to prescribe generic medicines.
  • There are 7,500 Janaushadhi Kendras in the country and Karnataka alone has 850 such shops.
  • The Janaushadhi shops provide BP tablets at a price of 250 to 300 rupees as against 2,500 to 3,000 rupees charged for the branded medicines.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: APPOINTMENT NEWS

Amrit Singh appointed as Max Life Insurance Chief Financial Officer

  • Max Life Insurance Company Ltd (Max Life) has announced the appointment of Amrit Singh as Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President, Strategy.
  • Amrit will be responsible for leading the Company’s finance function and business strategy with the objective of strengthening business performance, growth margins while working with the Company’s leadership team to drive its strategic initiatives.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : AWARDS & HONOURS

5 Indian Origin Persons, Indian Activist Feature | in TIME Magazine’s List of 100 Emerging Leaders

  • Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and five Indian-origin personalities have been featured in Time magazine’s annual list of 100 ‘emerging leaders who are shaping the future.’
  • Five Indian-origin personalities, including Twitter’s top lawyer Vijaya Gadde and UK’s finance minister Rishi Sunak, and an Indian activist feature in TIME magazine’s annual list of 100 “emerging leaders who are shaping the future”.
  • The 2021 TIME100 Next, released on Wednesday, is an expansion of TIME’s flagship TIME100 franchise of the most influential people in the world.
  • Other Indian-origin personalities on the list are Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, doctor and Executive Director of nonprofit Get Us PPE Shikha Gupta and founder of nonprofit Upsolve Rohan Pavuluri.

WCCB bags Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020

  • The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has received the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020 awarded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that WCCB getting the award twice in three years is a testimony of India’s commitment towards ending wildlife crime.
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has been awarded this year under the Innovation category.
  • Earlier, the Bureau had received the award in 2018 under the same category.

CURRENT AFFAIRS: MOU’s

India, Nepal sign MoU – reconstruction of secondary schools in Himalayan Nation

  • India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the reconstruction of six secondary schools in the Himalayan nation. 
  • The MoU was signed between the Indian Embassy and Nepal’s Central Level Project Implementation Unit (Education) of Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA).
  • The MoU was for the construction of six secondary schools at a total cost of Nepali Rupees 518 million, according to a statement by the Indian Embassy.
  • Of the six schools, four including Kanti Bhairab Secondary School, Champa Devi Secondary School, Dhapasi Secondary School and Bishnu Devi Secondary School are located in Kathmandu district and remaining two Siddheshwar Secondary School and Harisiddhi Secondary School are located in Kavre district.
  • Of the six schools, a groundbreaking ceremony of one was held amid a ceremony in Thali of Kathmandu.

TCS signs MoU with invest up to Rs.1,500 cr on Kerala digital hub

  • Global IT leader TCSwill invest an estimated 1,200 – Rs.1,500 crore to expand operations in Kerala and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Technopark here for leasing 97 acres of land at its Technocity campus to set up a digital hub for engineering, product development and IT services across manufacturing sectors, Kerala Chief Minister’s office informed.

Flipkart, Tamil Nadu MSME inks MoU to support small, local products

  • FlipkartTamil Nadu MSME inks MoU to support smalllocal products.
  • Flipkarthas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tamil Nadu MSME Trade and Investment Promotion Bureau (MTIPB) to bring local artisans, weavers, craftsmen and Small and Mid-size Business (SMBs) of the State into the e-commerce fold.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SPORTS NEWS

IPL 2021: Kings XI Punjab officially renamed as Punjab Kings

  • The Mohali-based IPL franchise formally known as Kings XI Punjab were renamed as Punjab Kings, ahead of the 2021 auctions due to be held in Chennai on February 18.
  • The new logo honors the liveliness and vibrancy of the brand and provides modern elements, while we stand out from the rest of the teams.
  • The franchise, jointly owned by Mohit Burman, Ness Wadia, Preity Zinta and Karan Paul, is yet to win an IPL title since the event’s inaugural edition in 2008.
  • In the tournament’s 13-year history, Kings were runners-up once (2014) and achieved a third-place finish on another occasion (2008). They finished sixth in the 2020 edition, held in the UAE.
  • The next IPL is set to start in the second week of April.

About Punjab Kings :

  • Captain : K. L. Rahul
  • Coach :  Anil Kumble

Daily CA On Feb 19 :

  • E-commerce giant Amazon has announced its plans to begin manufacturing devices in India.
  • IIT Madras-incubated startup Pi Beam has launched an electric two-wheeler, PiMo, for Rs 30,000. 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of key projects of power and urban sector in Kerala through video conferencing.
  • The Union Cabinet approved a production-linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector.
  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot will virtually release the 3rd edition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary with 10,000 terms (including 6,000 earlier terms)  on 17th February 2021 in a virtual programme.
  • Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched a Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan under Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban.
  • Facebook has blocked Australian users from sharing or viewing news content on the platform, causing alarm over public access to key information.
  • Patnaik announced a Rs 200-crore package for the development of the 16th-century shrine of Maa Samaleswari, the presiding deity of western Odisha.
  • Sikkim Chief Minister P. S. Tamang launched the ‘Free Gift Milk to Girl Students of Sikkim’ initiative at Gangtok.
  • Civil Aviation Ministry and Directorate General of Civil Aviation have granted permission for usage of drones to Kochi Metro Rail Limited, Kerala.
  • Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has urged the Centre to set up a Centre of Excellence on Maritime Biotechnology in Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
  • Global forecasting firm Oxford Economics revised India’s economic growth projection for 2021 to 2 percent from the earlier 8.8 percent.
  • In its first mission in 2021, India’s space agency ISRO planned to launch on February 28 Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 and three Indian payloads, including one built by a home-grown start-up.
  • Mibe, who is already a director at Honda, would replace Takahiro Hachigo, who has held the CEOpost for six years.
  • Mibe, who is already a director at Honda, would replace Takahiro Hachigo, who has held the CEOpost for six years.
  • Page Industriesshares decline after CEO Vedji Ticku resigns ‘owing to personal commitments’ Shares of Page Industries dropped over 5 percent after the Vedji TickuChief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the company resigned “owing to personal commitments”.
  • The Union Cabinet approved a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme worth Rs 12,195 crore for telecom equipment manufacturing.
  • Three children from the state have been selected for the national bravery awards instituted by the Indian Council for Child Welfare (ICCW).
  • Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Ltd (EOGEPL), India’s leading Coal Bed Methane (CBM) gas producer, said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding for collaboration with the prestigious IIT (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, to jointly work on research and development of various advanced CBM technological innovations indigenously.
  • Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
  • Former Bihar-Jharkhand governor and noted jurist Justice (Retd.) Mandagadde Rama Jois passed away at 88.
  • Major General (retired) Basant Kumar Mahapatra, who had participated in 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars, Passed away . He was 87.
  • Congress leader and former union minister Captain Satish Sharma Passed away. He was 73.

Daily CA On Feb 20 :

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi would launch the Mahabahu-Brahmaputra initiative and lay the foundation stones of one bridge and perform a ground-breaking ceremony (bhumi pujan) of another in Assam via video conferencing.
  • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) of India has launched an instant messaging app just like WhatsApp for government employees called Sandes.
  • The importance of accurate data for policy making, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar launched software applications for five pan-India surveys, including on migrant and domestic workers.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for key oil and gas sector projects in Tamil Nadu via video conferencing.
  • India has joined Iran and Russia in a two-day navy exercise dubbed “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021” in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid rich tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of his Birth Anniversary.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Arbor Day Foundation have recognized Hyderabad as a 2020 Tree City of World, for its commitment to growing and maintaining urban forests.
  • Foreign Ministers of Quad countries – India, Australia, Japan and US – discussed the necessity to promote freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India is working towards a healthy and COVID-19 free neighbourhood. 
  • Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has announced that the fourth edition of Prime Minister’s Interaction Programme with school students, teachers and parents – Pariksha Pe Charcha will be held next month.
  • The French Parliament has approved an Anti-radicalism Bill in a bid to fight the Islamic radicalism.
  • The Bangladesh Supreme Court launched the Artificial Intelligence (AI) based translation software ‘Amar Vasha’ through a virtual event.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison.
  • Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C. N. Ashwath Narayana, who holds the Higher Education portfolio, has informed that 2,500 classrooms at the higher education level will be converted into smart classrooms in the next two months.
  • Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio announced two new grants, namely, the Chief Minister’s Grant for Journalism and the Chief Minister’s Research Grant.
  • All the government hospitals in the country will have Janaushadhi Kendras that sell affordable generic medicines to the common man.
  • Max Life Insurance Company Ltd (Max Life) has announced the appointment of Amrit Singh as Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President, Strategy.
  • Bhim Army Chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad and five Indian-origin personalities have been featured in Time magazine’s annual list of 100 ‘emerging leaders who are shaping the future.’
  • The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has received the Asia Environmental Enforcement Award-2020 awarded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • India and Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the reconstruction of six secondary schools in the Himalayan nation. 
  • Global IT leader TCSwill invest an estimated 1,200 – Rs.1,500 crore to expand operations in Kerala and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Technopark here for leasing 97 acres of land
  • FlipkartTamil Nadu MSME inks MoU to support smalllocal products.
  • The Mohali-based IPL franchise formally known as Kings XI Punjab were renamed as Punjab Kings, ahead of the 2021 auctions due to be held in Chennai on February 18.

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