Daily Current Affairs 20th February, 2021

Daily Current Affairs 20 February 2021 for Banking/Insurance/SSC and other related exams.

NATIONAL NEWS

India, Nepal sign MoU for reconstruction of six 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 for the construction of six secondary schools at a total cost of Nepali Rupees 518 million.
  • 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.

India hosted workshop on “COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward” 
India hosted a Workshop on ‘COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward’.

  • Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka participated in the workshop. All countries including Pakistan supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposals at the workshop.
  • The key proposals by Mr Modi include special visas for medical professionals and arrangement for special Air ambulance. He insisted that a regional platform may be created for studies on forecasting future pandemics. He also called for creating a regional network for promoting technology assisted epidemiology.

Govt approves new schemes for industrial development worth Rs 28,000 crore for J&K
Government has announced a new Central Sector Scheme for Industrial Development of Jammu and Kashmir. The scheme is approved with a total outlay of 28 thousand 400 crore rupees.

  •  It will be effective from 1st April this year and will remain in force up to 31st March 2037. 
  • The main purpose of the scheme is to generate employment which directly leads to the socio economic development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Go Electric campaign launched to ensure energy security in the country
The Central Government launched the Go Electric campaign to boost the adoption of electric mobility vehicles and electric cooking appliances to ensure energy security in the country.

  • Go Electric is a future of India which will promote cost effective, environment friendly and indigenous electric products.
  • This campaign will create awareness among people to shift from conventional vehicles to electric vehicles and conventional cooking methods to use of induction stoves.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurates Atal Paryavaran Bhavan
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar inaugurated the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan at Lakshadweep. He reached  Kavaratti in Lakshadweep a four day official visit.

  • He attended high level meetings with Secretaries of various departments in Lakshadweep administration. He will take part in various official programmes at Suheli, Kadmat and Bangaram islands.
  • He will also evaluate the major innovative initiatives of the Union Territory’s Forest and Environment Department.

Free Gift Milk to Girl Students of Sikkim’ initiative by Sikkim Government
Sikkim Chief Minister P. S. Tamang launched the ‘Free Gift Milk to Girl Students of Sikkim’ initiative at Gangtok last week.

  • The initiative will benefit  around 1,500 students who would be provided 200 mls of milk every day.
  • This initiative is a step towards eradicating malnutrition and other health problems among the young generation.

Kerala to Host Annual Folk Art Fest ‘Utsavam 2021’ From February 20
Bringing alive Keralas rich and diverse folk and ritualistic art traditions in 30 venues across the state, the 7-day annual cultural festival ‘Utsavam 2021’ is to get off to a colourful start on February 20.

  • Hundreds of artistes, representing a variety of folk, tribal and ethnic traditions that flourished in different parts of the state would perform during the 13th edition of the event.
  • The event is being organised by Kerala Tourism together with Kerala Folklore Academy, Bharat Bhavan, and District Tourism Promotion Councils.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US officially re-joins Paris climate agreement overturning Donald Trump’s decision to exit
The United States has officially rejoined the Paris Agreement informed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

  • Under the Paris agreement, countries are expected to enhance their commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions every five years. The goals of the global pact are to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
  • President Biden plans to host a climate summit of world leaders on Earth Day, April 22, where he will roll out the US’ goal for reductions of carbon emissions by 2030 — known as the nationally determined contribution under the Paris accord.


BUSINESS & ECONOMY

India’s Forex Reserves Down by $ 249 Million to $ 583.697 Billion: RBI Data
The country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD 249 million to USD 583.697 billion in the week ended February 12, RBI data showed.

  • In the previous week, the reserves had declined by USD 6.24 billion to stand at USD 583.945 billion.
  • It had touched a record high of USD 590.185 billion in the week ended January 29, 2021.

S&P Global Ratings forecasts, India will be one of fastest growing emerging market economies with a 10 per cent growth in next fiscal
S&P Global Ratings has said that India will be one of the fastest growing emerging market economies with a 10 per cent growth in the next fiscal.

  • The forecast for India in 2021 is on the stronger side and shows that a lot of economic activity, which was frozen last year, is coming back on line to normalisation.
  • S&P said India’s economy has stabilised over recent months, with progressively better manufacturing, services, labour market, and revenue data.


SPORTS

LSRC Men’s, Kharu women lift 1st LG Ice Hockey Cup in their respective section
Ladakh Scouts Regiment Centre (LSRC) Men’s and Kharu women have lifted the 1st Lieutenant Governor Ice Hockey Cup in their respective sections, in Leh.

  • After Domkar levelled the scores with 1-1 in the stipulated time, Kharu beat the Domkhar women by 3-1 goals in a penalty shootout. While Ladakh Scouts won the finals, beating the arch rival on ice hockey rink the ITBP, by 3-0 goals.

Elise Mertens, Aryna Sabalenka win women’s doubles title of Australian Open
In Tennis, the Belgian and Belarus pair of Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka has won the WOMEN’S doubles final of the Australian Open 2021.

  • They defeated Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic in straight sets of 6-2, 6-3.

Manika Batra wins singles title at 82nd National Table Tennis Championship
India’s top-ranked table tennis player Manika Batra beat Reeth Rishya, 4-2, in the women’s singles final, to win the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championship, at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, Haryana.

  • It was Manika’s second Nationals title. She won her maiden national title in 2015 in Hyderabad.


APPOINTMENTS

Ajai Malhotra becomes first Indian chairperson of Advisory Committee at Human Rights Council
Ajai Malhotra has become the first Indian to be elected as the Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council, said the Permanent Mission of India at United Nations.

  • Malhotra has previously served as ambassador to Russia (2011 to 2013), Kuwait (2009 to 2011), Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York (from 2005 to 2009) and Romania (with concurrent accreditation to Moldova and Albania) from 2003 to 2005.


AWARDS

Hyderabad gets recognition as 2020 Tree City of the World
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.

  • 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.


SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

American space agency NASA lands its fifth rover ‘Perseverance’ on Mars successfully
The American space agency NASA successfully landed its  fifth rover ‘Perseverance’ on Mars in a deep crater near the planet’s equator called Jezero.

  • It touched down the surface of Mars after successfully overcoming a risky landing phase known as the seven minutes of terror. The six-wheeled vehicle will now spend at least the next two years drilling into the local rocks, looking for evidence of past life.
  • Starting from summer, it will attempt to collect around 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, to be eventually sent back to Earth sometime in the 2030s for lab analysis.

India Successfully Test Fires Helina, Dhruvastra Anti-tank Guided Missiles
India successfully test fired indigenously-developed anti-tank guided missile systems ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’, paving their induction into the Army and the Indian Air Force respectively.

  • The defence ministry described the missiles as one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world. The missiles were test fired at Pokhran deserts in Rajasthan.
  • The system has all-weather day-and-night capability and can defeat battle tanks with conventional armour as well as with explosive reactive armour. It is one of the most-advanced anti-tank weapons in the world.
  • The ‘Helina’ and ‘Dhruvastra’ are third generation anti-tank guided missiles that can engage targets both in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.


BOOKS & AUTHORS

Home Minister releases book ‘Rashtra Pratham – 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha’
Home Minister Amit Shah released a book ‘Rashtra Pratham – 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha(Nation First – The Golden Story of 82 Years)’ in New Delhi.

  • The book chronicles the glorious history of CRPF since its raising in 1939 and it has detailed and thoroughly researched account of CRPF’s journey, challenges, successes, and sacrifices.
  • CRPF celebrated its first-ever Veterans Day on 19th February . The third Friday of February will be celebrated every year as the Veterans Day of the force. 


IMPORTANT DAYS

Soil Health Card Day 
Every year India observes the Soil Health Card Day on 19 February.

  • This day commemorates the launch of the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme and also it creates awareness among citizens regarding the advantages of the scheme. 2021 marks the sixth year of the launch of the SHC Scheme.
  • The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to farmers every two years so as to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in soil. The scheme ensures additional income to farmers by increase in yields and it also promotes sustainable farming.

World Day Of Social Justice
The World Day of Social Justice is observed every year on February 20. 

  • The main motto of this day is to make people aware of their rights so that they can speak against social inequality.
  • The theme for World Day of Social Justice 2021 is “A Call for Social Justice in the Digital Economy”.

World Pangolin Day 2021
World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the “Third Saturday of February” every year. In 2021, the annual World Pangolin Day is being celebrated on 20 February.

  • The day aims to raise awareness about these unique mammals and speed up conservation efforts. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.


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