Current Affairs

22 February, 2021

International

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar Launched India’s BRICS 2021 website

i.External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar launched India’s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa)2021 website(https://brics2021.gov.in/about-brics.html) at the BRICS Secretariat at Sushma Swaraj Bhawan, Delhi.
ii.In addition to this, he also soft launched the upgraded facilities at Sushma Swaraj Bhavan that will serve as the Secretariat for BRICS Summit.
iii.India assumed the presidency of BRICS for 2021. Russia was the chair of BRICS for 2020.

India, European Union hold 11th Macroeconomic Dialogue virtually

The 11th India-EU (European Union) Macroeconomic dialogue was held virtually. Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Economic Affairs led the Indian Delegation & Maarten Verwey, Director General, Economic & Financial Affairs (ECFIN), European Commission led the European Union delegation.
Representatives from the Indian Delegation
Official from Department of Economic Affairs, Department of Revenue & Ministry of External Affairs. During the meeting, the two sides expressed interest to sign Bilateral Cooperation arrangements to boost bilateral trade. India & European Union have been negotiating the Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) for many years, but have not yet arrived at a mutual consensus on it. The two sides discussed collaborations in the G20 on Finance track matters, G20 Framework Working Group deliverables, G20 Action plan, debt related issues & international taxation of digital economy. It also held discussions on all the dimensions of mutual interest including the political, economic, environmental, research & innovation, trade & investment and security.

National

Highlights of Ethiopia Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen 4-day visit to India

i.Ethiopia Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen was on a four-day visit to India where he inaugurated the new Chancery & Residence at Ethiopian Embassy, New Delhi and met Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) at Hyderabad House, New Delhi.
ii.India and Ethiopia signed following two memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the presence of both ministers. Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of Diplomatic Passports MoU between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), India and Wollo University, Ethiopia.

PM inaugurates and lays foundation stone of key projects of power and urban sector in Kerala

i.The Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated Pugalur – Thrissur Power Transmission Project, Kasaragod Solar Power Project and Water Treatment Plant at Aruvikkara in Kerala.
ii.He also laid the foundation stone of Integrated Command and Control Centre and Smart Roads Project in Thiruvananthapuram during the event.
iii.The conference was also attended by Chief Minister of Kerala Shri Pinarayi Vijayan along with Union Ministers of State (IC) for Power New & Renewable Energy Shri Raj Kumar Singh and Housing & Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, were also present on the occasion.

Amazon India Signs MoU with Directorate General Resettlement to Hire Ex-Servicemen of Armed force

i. Amazon India signed Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) with Directorate General Resettlement(DGR) to provide work opportunities to ex-service personnel of the armed force(Army, Air force, Navy,) and their families across its network in India.
ii.This in line with the global vision of Amazon to hire 25,000 military veterans by 2025.
iii.The partnership further expands the Military Veterans Employment program of Amazon India.
Purpose: To create alternative career opportunities for ex-service personnel who have served the country.
About Amazon India:
Manager (Country Head of India) – Amit Agarwal
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
About Directorate General Resettlement (DGR):
It is an Inter Service organization functioning directly under the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare (Ministry of Defence).
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Director General– Maj Gen MK Sagoch

Indian Coast Guard’s C-453 Interceptor Boat Commissioned at Chennai

Indian Coast Guard’s (ICG) C-453 Interceptor Boat was commissioned in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. C-453 is the 17th of 18 Interceptor Boats which are being indigenously built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. The ship was commissioned by Leena Nanda, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs. It will be commanded by Assistant Commandant Animesh Sharma and will be based at Chennai under Coast Guard Region (East). It will be deployed for the surveillance of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). With the commissioning of Interceptor C-453, ICG now has 157 ships & boats and 62 aircrafts.

Economy

SBI Payments Services Launched ‘YONO Merchant App’ to Expand digitization of Merchant Payments in India

i.SBI Payment Services Pvt. Ltd launched YONO Merchant App to expand the digitization of merchant payments in India.
ii.Through the app, merchants can turn their Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled Android smartphones into payment acceptance devices.
iii.It is a brand extension of State Bank of India(SBI)’s YONO(You Only Need One) platform.
iv.SBI has also partnered with Visa on the Tap to Phone feature to boost acceptance infrastructure across India .
About SBI Payment Services Pvt. Ltd:
It is a Joint Venture(JV) between State Bank of India(SBI) and Hitachi Payment Services Pvt. Ltd.
Chairman– Swaminathan Janakiraman
MD & CEO– Mr. Girikumar M Nair
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI Puts Rs 1000 Withdrawal Cap on Deccan Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd. for Next 6 Months

i.The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) on considering the present liquidity position of Deccan Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd., has imposed a withdrawal cap of Rs 1,000 on the customers of the bank. But, customers are allowed to set off loans against deposits subject to conditions.
ii.This is for the period of 6 months from the close of business on February 19, 2021.
iii.This is part of certain directions given by RBI to the bank
About Deccan Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd.,
Headquarters– Vijayapura, Karnataka

Sports

Sri Lankan Cricketer Dhammika Prasad announces Retirement from International Cricket

Sri Lankan Fast Bowler Dhammika Prasad announced his retirement from International Cricket at the age of 37. He has represented Sri Lanka in 25 Tests, 24 One Day Internationals (ODIs) & 1 Twenty20 International (T20I). He has taken 75 wickets in Tests & 32 wickets in ODIs. He first made his International debut in an ODI game against Bangladesh in 2006.

Miscellaneous

Amit Shah Released Book “Rashtra Pratham – 82 Varshon Ki Swarnim Gatha” on CRPF’s History

Amit Shah, Home Minister of India released a book titled “Rashtra Pratham – 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha” (Nation First – The Golden Story of 82 Years), which chronicles the history of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) since its raising in 1939. The book was compiled by historian Dr Bhuwan Kumar Jha of Delhi University. The book was released at the event organised for the first ever CRPF Veteran Day, at the CRPF Shaurya Officers Institute, New Delhi. The book is aimed to inspire the newly inducted personnel’s of CRPF.
About the Book:
i.The book of 11 chapters accounts various aspects of CRPF such as its founding and operations, enactment of CRPF Act, the valor and sacrifice of CRPF at Hot Springs and Sardar Post, its role in 1971 Indo Pak war, counter insurgency operations in Punjab, northeast and J&K, civic action initiatives, overseas missions, special forces Rapid Action Force(RAF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action(CoBRA), sports and Welfare among others.
ii.This book illustrates the history of CRPF from the perspective of a Historian, which maps the changes over a period of time and the development related to the shifts in society and politics.

Israel, US commence works to develop ‘Arrow-4’ – Air Defense System Missile

Israel Missile Defense Organisation & United States Missile Defense Agency have commenced work on the development of ‘Arrow-4’ anti-ballistic missiles which will be part of Israel’s multi-layered Ballistic Missile Shield Missile Defence/shield is a system, weapon, or technology which is used for detecting, tracking, intercepting & destroying incoming attack missiles (Ballistic Missiles & other short tactical missiles) in the atmosphere and in space. Arrow-4 Missile Shield will be an advanced version of the existing Arrow-2 & Arrow-3 Interceptors. Boeing, an American Aerospace & Defense company & Elbit Systems, Israel will be part of the Arrow Defence project. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will be the main contractor for the development & production. Israel is one of the Four Countries to have successfully developed an anti-ballistic missile system, after the USA, Russia & India.

MCEME, OFMK sign Agreement for designing Indigenous Armoured Tracked Repair Vehicle

Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), Secunderabad, Telangana signed an Academic and Technical Linkage Agreement with Ordnance Factory, Medak (OFMK) district, Andhra Pradesh for designing an indigenous Armoured Tracked Repair Vehicle (ATRV). Lieutenant General TSA Narayanan, AVSM (Ati Vishisht Seva Medal), Commandant MCEME & Mr Alok Prasad, General Manager, OFMK were present during the event.

Nitin Gadkari launched Go Electric campaign” to give a boost to electric mobility and use of electrical appliances across country

i.Union Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) in the presence of Minister of State (MoS) Raj Kumar Singh, Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy launched “Go Electric” campaign.
ii.The aim of the Campaign, Go Electric is to spread awareness at PAN-India level on the benefits of e-mobility and EV Charging Infrastructure as well as electric cooking in India.
iii.It is an important initiative that would help in reducing the import dependence of our country in the coming years and would be an important step towards a cleaner and greener future.
About Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH):
Nitin Gadkari Constituency– Nagpur, Maharashtra
Minister of State (MoS)– Vijay Kumar Singh

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