Current Affairs

23 February, 2021

International

India, Maldives signs deals in sustainable urban development, public broadcasting

The Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid informed on February 20, 2021, that India and Maldives have signed multiple agreements in sustainable urban development and public broadcasting.

The Foreign Minister shared the news via Twitter and also mentioned that the Maldives India partnership has continued to expand into new areas of cooperation, for the mutual benefit of people.

China supports India in hosting BRICS Summit 2021

China expressed its support for India on February 22, 2021, in hosting BRICS Summit this year. The Chinese official stated that the country will work with India for strengthening the cooperation between the 5-members grouping of emerging economies.

While answering the question on India assuming the Chairmanship of BRICS, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman of China, Wang Wenbin stated that Beijing backs India in hosting the BRICS summit 2021.

India has undertaken the Chairmanship of BRICS- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa for the year 2021 and is all set to hold the summit. The External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar On February 19, 2021, also launched India’s BRICS 2021 website at BRICS Secretariat New Delhi.

National

Thaawarchand Gehlot Virtually Releases ‘3rd Edition of Indian Sign Language Dictionary with 10,000 Terms’

Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot virtually released the ‘3rd edition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary with 10,000 terms (including 6,000 earlier terms)’ in a virtual programme. The Dictionary has been published by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous Institute under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.

Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0

i.Union Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) virtually launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0. He also released the Operational Guidelines for IMI 3.0 and the awareness material/IEC package developed as part of the campaign.
ii.The video conference was also attended by Minister of State (MoS) Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoH&FW.
iii.The focus of the IMI 3.0 is to reach children and pregnant women with the 12 Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPD) under Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) who have missed these vaccine doses during the COVID-19.
iv.It should be noted that the IMI 3.0 is the 8th phase of Mission of Mission Indradhanush.

India’s first Digital University set up in Thiruvananthapuram, Keral

i. The state government of Kerala, on the line of its Digital Transformation Initiatives announced in Budget 2021, has launched India’s first Digital University, Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology (KUDSIT) in Technocity at Mangalapuram in Thiruvananthapuram by upgrading its two-decade old Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Kerala (IIITM-K), a center of excellence in information technologies.
ii.The Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan inaugurated the KUDSIT through videoconferencing.
iii.The 10-acre University was launched during a function which was virtually presided over by Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan. The Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology (KUDSIT) virtually unveiled the university plaque during the function.
iv.The university is aimed at utilizing the developments in digital technology for social progress and for all individuals.

Government approves 8 Toy Manufacturing Clusters worth Rs 2,300 crore

i. The Central Government has approved 8 toy manufacturing clusters at a cost of Rs 2,300 crore viz. three clusters in Madhya Pradesh, two in Rajasthan, and one each in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
ii.This decision has been taken on the lines of “National Action Plan for Indian Toy Story” that seeks to reduce import dependence of toys which was around $1.5 billion in FY2020 of which 90% of imports was from China and Taiwan.
iii.In this regard, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) will develop toy clusters under existing schemes such as the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (Sfurti) which is currently being implemented in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
iv.The plan is to have 35 toy clusters under the scheme.
About Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Commerce and Industry
Secretary – Guruprasad Mohapatra

Economy

LIC of India launches ‘Bima Jyoti’ Plan

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India launched a new plan ‘Bima Jyoti’ Plan (Plan No. 860) which will be effective from February 22, 2021. Bima Jyoti is a Non-linked, Non-Participating, Individual, Limited Premium Payment, Life Insurance Savings Plan. The Plan offers a Guaranteed addition at a rate of 5% (i.e at a rate of INR 50 per thousand or INR 5 per 100) Basic Sum Assured at the end of each policy year throughout the policy term.
About Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India:
Chairman – M R Kumar
Central Office – Mumbai, Maharashtra

RBI has Brought State Bank of Sikkim Under its Regulatory Purview

i.The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has brought the State Bank of Sikkim under its regulatory purview.
ii.The bank only operates within Sikkim and is wholly-owned by the state government.
iii.With this regulatory purview, the ownership structure of the bank will not be changed and will be regulated by the RBI on a par with other banks.
About State Bank of Sikkim:
Head Office– Gangtok,Sikkim
MD– Phurba Wangdi Bhutia
Chairman– Dal Bahadur Gurung

Kotak Standard Multicap Fund Renamed as Kotak Flexicap Fund

Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited (KMAMC) announced that Kotak Standard Multicap Fund is being renamed as Kotak Flexicap Fund.
This is in line with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)’s Modification in Multi-Cap Mutual Funds Category, where multicap funds are required to invest at least 25% of their corpus in large, mid and small cap stocks each.
About Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company Limited (KMAMC):
KMAMC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (Kotak) and is the Asset Manager for Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund (KMF).
It started its operations in December 1998
Group President & Managing Director (MD)– Nilesh Shah
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra

Sports

Karnataka to host 2nd Edition of Khelo India University Games in 2021

Karnataka is set to host the 2nd Edition of Khelo India University Games (KIUG) in 2021. The games will be hosted in Jain University, Bengaluru and other venues in Karnataka in collaboration with Association of Indian Universities (AIU). KIUG is the largest University level sports competition in India. The KIUG 2021 will see the addition of 2 new native sports namely ‘Yogasana’ & ‘Mallakhamb’ in the medal events. The total number of medal events/sports will be 19.
About Sports Authority of India (SAI):
Director General – Sandip Pradhan
Head Office – Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi

Miscellaneous

Tennis: Overview of 2021 Australian Open

The 109th Edition of Australian Open (53rd in Open Era) took place from February 8-21, 2021 at the Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia.
Chronologically, it is the First Grand Slam event (out of 4) of each Year in both the Men’s & Women’s Tour. It takes place on a Hard surface (called as Hard Courts). The Tournament is organized by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Winners of 2021 Australian Open
Category Winner Runner-up
Men’s Singles Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Daniil Medvedev (Russia)
Women’s Singles Naomi Osaka (Japan) Jennifer Brady (USA)
Men’s Doubles Ivan Dodig (Croatia) & Filip Polasek (Slovakia) Rajeev Ram (USA) & Joe Salisbury (Great Britain)
Women’s Doubles Elise Mertens (Belgium) & Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova
(Czech Republic pair)
Mixed Doubles Rajeev Ram (USA) & Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) Matthew Ebden & Samantha Stosur
(Australian pair)

India Launches ‘Sandes’ a Made in India alternative of WhatsApp

Indian launched a Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS) app called ‘Sandes’ which will be a Made in India alternative of WhatsApp. Developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology the app was initially open to use only to government officers, now it has been released for common public on Apple’s App Store. The Government is also working on another Instant Messaging app called ‘Samvad’, it is being developed by Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT).

NASA Launched Space Station Supply Ship to ISS Named After S.S. Katherine Johnson

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched the Space Station Supply Ship, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus capsule named after S.S. Katherine Johnson, to the International Space Station (ISS).
The numbers of S.S. Katherine Johnson, a Black NASA mathematician, featured in the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures”, contributed to the flight of John Glenn on 20th February 1962, who became the first American to orbit the world. The launch of this 4-ton shipment for NASA from Wallops Island, Virginia marks the 59th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic launch. This is the 15th Supply run of Northrop Grumman for NASA.

Centre reconstituted NITI Aayog governing council with PM as Chairperson

i.The Central Government has reconstituted the governing council of the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson.
ii.He also chaired the 6th meeting of NITI Aayog which saw the entry of Ladakh for the first time, along with participation of Jammu and Kashmir as a UT.
About NITI Aayog:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Amitabh Kant
Headquarters – New Delhi

RBI Ropes in Punjabi Singer-Rapper Viruss to Drive its Public Awareness Campaigns on Cyber Frauds

i.Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has roped in Punjabi Singer-Rapper Viruss to drive its public awareness campaigns on cyber frauds. On February 19, 2021 RBI in its official twitter handle, launched the campaign, featuring Viruss.
ii.This is part of its awareness campaign ‘RBI Kehta Hai’: Jaankar Baniye, Satark Rahiye!(RBI Says: Be knowledgeable, Be cautious) that was launched in 2016 and has been running in social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube .
iii.The latest campaign was different from others as it used peppy rap music to provide information to people.
About Reserve Bank of India(RBI):
Formation– 1 April 1935
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)

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