Current Affairs highlights of the week- 31st January 2021- 6th February 2021

Talking about the major events that unfolded at both national and international level.

National Highlights of the week

  1. The 8th India International Silk Fair was launched on the virtual platform by the Textile Minister of India, Smriti Irani. This fair is deemed to be India’s largest silk fair. The trade show will take place under the virtual network of the Indian Silk Export Advisory Board. The fair is a prolonged experience that would last for five days.

  2. Lucknow Metro has been the world’s first metro service to use ultraviolet rays in the sanitation of trains. The LMRC procured UV sanitization apparatus through Jaipur, Rajasthan formed M/s FB TECH, which is an Indian company.

  3. SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd (SBI Card) appointed Rama Mohan Rao Amara as Managing Director and Chief Executive Director for 2 years.

  4. The Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) decided not to conduct the Ranji Trophy in 2020-21. The first time in 87 years that India’s top first-rate cricket national championships will not take place.

  5. R. S. Sharma is named the new CEO of the Ayushman Bharat Scheme or the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana which is National Health Authority’s insurance scheme (NHA). Indu Bhushan will be succeeded by the newly-appointed Executive Director, RS Sharma.

  6. In line with the minimum support price policy, the government has agreed to include 14 new minor forest products in the list under the marketing mechanisms for small forest products. The products included in the programme are Tasar Cocoon, bamboo shoot, elephant apple dry, wild dry mushroom and malkangani seed.

  7. India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, declared that a new Asset Reconstruction and Asset Management company will be set up in India during the presentation of the Union Budget 2021.

  8. The Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Budget 2021 declared that the government plans to minimise enforcement for companies with One Single Employee (OPC). This will help foster business and creativity in India.

  9. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced a proposal on “Voluntary Scrapping of Vehicles.” The policy on voluntary scrapping of vehicles would help scrap unfit and polluting vehicles. The new strategy would help fueled and environmentally sustainable vehicles to be promoted.

  10. The Ministry for Information & Broadcasting has said in its latest standard operating procedures (SOPs) for theatres and cinemas that from 1 February 2021 the auditorium of cinemas, plays and multiplexes have been allowed to run with 100% of its seating capacity

  11. On 1st February 2021, Lt. Gen. Chandi Prasad Mohanty became the Vice President of the Army Staff, succeeding Lt Gen SK Saini.

  12. India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced two new centrally funded projects, the Project Poshan 2.0, and the PM Aatma Nirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana.

  13. India’s 15th Finance Commission has submitted a five-year final report. The report is presented to upgrade the Financial Governance of India’s Municipalities. The Financial Year 2020-21 interim report was submitted in the Parliament along with the 2020-21 budget.

  14. In the Union Budget 2021, Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman did not suggest any changes to the income tax slab rate. The system of income taxes was held the same as before. Though some relief for senior citizens was declared. The government confirmed the exemption to senior citizens over the age of 75 from submitting a tax return.

  15. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified while introducing the 2021-2022 union budget, that a fiscal deficit of 6.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) is expected for the following financial year.

  16. On 1 February 2021, Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, inaugurated “Kerala Looks Ahead”. It is a virtual global conclave for three days. It seeks to create a long-term road map for the development of Kerala.

  17. India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman declared an agriculture and development infrastructure cess (AIDC) for some commodities during his 2021 budget presentation. AIDC has been announced to help the industry, which was affected the most in the COVID-19 pandemic.

  18. Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Punjab, launched a mission called ‘Har Ghar Pani, Har Ghar Safai’. The government’s mission is to achieve the target of 100% drinking water supply in all rural homes by March 2022.

  19. On 5 February 2021 Kerala will open its first Human Milk Bank. This new facility is being opened by the Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja at the Ernakulam General Hospital

  20. Oxford Languages called ‘Aatmanirbharta’, as the Hindi word for 2020. Which means self-confidence, implying the day-to-day achievements of the countless Indians who handled and survived the pandemic.

  21. India’s Vice President, Mr Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the Aadi Mahotsav in New Delhi at Dilli Haat.  Dilli Haat, INA organises and exhibits tribal arts and crafts, medicine, cuisine and folk performances.

  22. Aero India 2021 is scheduled to begin in Bengaluru on 3 February 2021the display will end on February, 5th 2021. During the display, a deal comprising ₹48,000 crores will be signed to manufacture 83 indigenous Teja Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-73

  23. Recently, the NITI Aayog published its Little Andaman plan. The initiative is known as “Sustainable Development of Little Andaman Island Vision Document”. This plan aims at designing the islands of Andaman and Nicobar for sustainable and holistic development.

  24. The Ministry of Commerce organises a Udyog Manthan. A series of webinars will be held under the Udyog Manthan. The Webinar focuses on 45 industries, including the pharmaceutical and electronic industries.

  25. A new Center for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM) will soon be established in Chennai. The goal of this Wetland Conservation and Management Center shall be to resolve wetland conservation problems and unique research needs.

  26. Maharashtra chief minister has initiated a scheme to improve Maharashtra’s start-up environment. Also, the government has proposed the establishment of the International Skill Development Center in Mumbai.

  27. India’s Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh, opened a new Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) production facility. The facility was opened in Bengaluru at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). The plant is expected to double the production of LCA Tejas, an Indian fighter jet.

  28. By amending the Companies Laws, the Minister of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has modified the definition of small businesses. With the new amendment, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) will be able to establish One-Person Companies in India. (OPI)

  29. Minister of  Agriculture Jal Shakti Singh Shekhawat, Minister of State Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Animal Husbandry Giriraj Singh collectively established a strong unified web portal. This web portal is used to track the implementation of GOBARDHAN activities in India.

  30. India on 4 February 2021 will host Aero India 2021 a Conclave of Defense Ministers for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The conclave’s main theme is ‘Enhanced Peace, Security and Cooperation in the Indian Ocean’.

  31. Moody’s Ratings Agency has recently anticipated that India’s nominal GDP will grow by nearly 17% in the financial year 2021. The rating agency, based in the US, is also predicting that India will forecast its fiscal deficit above the estimated projection.

  32. The District Government of Villupuram in Tamil Nadu released its first declaration in compliance with the 1972 Wildlife Conservation Act. The declaration was made to declare the wetlands of Kaliveli as a bird sanctuary.

  33. Recently, 50 religious places were identified by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to carry out measures to ensure zero tolerance of child labour.

  34. In the course of the ongoing budgetary session, the Home Minister recently submitted a crime data report to the parliament. The Home Affairs Ministry told the parliament that the country’s growing use of the Internet has led to an increase in cybercrime. It also emphasised that the majority of cybercrimes include sexual harassment and spread of hatred.

  35. A risk-based internal audit system (RBIA) was implemented by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). It has made its usage compulsory for select financial and urban cooperative non-banking firms.

  36. On 4 February 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Chauri Chaura, Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh. This day marks the 100th anniversary of the incident of Chauri Chaura, a landmark event in the nation’s war of independence.

  37. The AYUSH ministry (MoA) recently established the Common Yoga Protocol (CYP). The programme was launched in the context of the ministry’s efforts to improve yoga practises in India and abroad.

  38. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry (MOHUA) and Zomato under the AtmaNibhar Nidhi scheme of Prime Minister Street Vendor. Under the scheme, it was decided to take the street food vendors on board with the platform of zomato. This will help street food vendors have online access.

  39. The renovation work of the Central Avenue began with the ceremony of Bhoomi Pujan. The region around the Rajpath is Central Vista Avenue. The Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri conducted Bhoomi Pujan.

  40. Andhra Pradesh is now the second state to incorporate changes to the power sector proposed by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Expenditure.

  41. The Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Shaktikanta Das recently announced a 24*7 helpline network for the banking system to improve digital payment services in India. This was announced through the Statement on Development and Regulatory policy.

  42. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to establish an Urban Co-operative Bank Expert Committee (UCBs). The committee would include all stakeholders so that a medium-term road-map could be given. In return, the medium-term roadmap would help improve the industry. It also enables the faster recovery or resolution of UCBs.

  43. Recently 26 additional green zone drones have been licenced by the central government. The approval was given to facilitate the operation of drones which conform to the NPNT (Non-Permission-No-Take-off) framework. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Defence authorised the operation.

  44. On February 4, 2021, the Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal initiated the “Switch Delhi” campaign. The campaign was launched to facilitate the use of electric vehicles. Furthermore, he asked people to purchase electric vehicles as it will play an important role in Delhi’s fight against pollution.

  45. On February 8 of 2021, the National Fair of Horticulture will start. The event takes place for five days at the Indian Horticultural Research Institute (IIHR). The event will also be virtually attended by people from all over India. The theme of the event is ‘Horticulture for Start-Up and Stand-Up India’.

  46. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that it would have a single ombudsman in remedies for customer complaints, compared with three operational grievance remedies that are operating currently. RBI is willing to adopt the  “One Nation One Ombudsman” approach.

  47. PayPal, an American digital payment solution provider, has announced that from 1 April 2021 it will stop providing domestic payment services in India. PayPal also said it will focus on enabling Indian businesses to sell more internationally.

  48. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has told the parliament that Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) which is a central government’s maternity benefit scheme has crossed 1.75 crores, eligible women, by 2020.

  49. Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar’s third phase is scheduled to be held on February 6, 2021, in Guwahati. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be attending the event. During the event, the government of Assam will distribute ₹3,000 of financial aid to every 7.5 lakh people who belong to tea-garden areas.

  50. The National Conservation Authority for Tigers (NTCA) has approved the establishment of Tamil Nadu’s fifth tiger reserve. The tiger reserve will be surrounded by the Meghamalai and the Srivilliputhur Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuaries.

  51. In a written response to Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Sanjay Dhotre stated that over 2.9 lakh of cybersecurity digital banking incidents were registered in 2020.

  52. Recently, the specialist jungle warfare commando force called COBRA was initiated to a maiden contingent of 34 CRPF staff. The contingent will now be deployed in India’s anti-Naxal grid. Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) is the Special Operating Unit of Indian Central reserve police force (CRPF).

International Highlights of the week 

Image Source – Patrika
  1. Recently about 1,750 Rohingya Muslims were sent by the Bangladeshi Authorités to the controversial island, “The Bhashan Char Island” situated on the Bengal Bay. The refugees living on the island were against this step taken by Bangladesh.

  2. A new policy on citizenship has been declared by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A small number of foreigners are intended to be granted citizenship by the government. Thus, the UAE has been the first Gulf Arab country to formalise the process of increasing the economic participation of migrants.

  3. The UN Counter-terrorism chief asked the countries to relocate the 27,000 children trapped in mass camps in the Northeastern part of Syria. Most of these children are of Islamic State extremists who dominate the vast streams of Iraq and Syria.

  4. The Minister of Union Education, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal spoke about the ASEAN India Hackathon. Shri Pokhriyal pointed out that ASEAN-INDIA Hackathon was inaugurated to further improve the Indian and ASEAN connections.

  5. The Myanmar military seized charge of the country and declared a one-year state of emergency. Also, Aung San Suu Kyi, state councillor and other leaders of government were arrested. The government’s failure in coping with the pandemic in Covid-19 was declared to be a state emergency.

  6. The Dalai Lama has launched his new book, The Little Book of Encouragement, recently. The book contains 130 quotations. Renuka Singh edited this book and it is published by Penguin Random House.

  7. Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently announced the launch of its first civil space flight. Inspiration4 is scheduled for launch on Falcon9 by SpaceX. It will be the world’s first all-commercial astronaut flight.

  8. The new protein-based biosensor to detect the coronavirus was recently set up by a team of researchers led by David Baker, professor of biochemistry and director of the Institute of Protein Design at UW Medicine.

  9. The 16th edition of the joint military exercise ‘Yudh Abhyas’ between Indo-US is scheduled to start in Rajasthan on 8 February and end on 21 February 2021. The exercise will take place on the border between India and Pakistan.

  10. The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked Norway first in the Democracy Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit has ranked India 53rd in the global ranking of the 2020 Democracy Index

  11. The first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Renewable Energy between India and Bahrain was held virtually on 4 February 2021. Both sides emphasised the importance of renewable energy to achieve climate change objectives at the conference. They also talked about the government’s policies, progress made and the potential goals that their governments have set.

  12. Pakistan successfully tested a ballistic Surface-to-Surface missile named Ghaznavi that is capable of nuclear power. The missile was evaluated on February 3, 2021. The ballistic missile is up to 290 kilometres long. The missile was launched to mark the end of the Armed Forces Command Annual Field Training Exercise.

  13. Recently, the Stardust 1.0 launch vehicle was tested on a Loring Commerce Centre, the former military base in the USA. The launch is significant because this is the first commercial space launch to be powered by biofuels.

  14. The United Nations celebrated the International Day of the Human Fraternity on 4 February 2021. The theme of 2021 was  ‘A Pathway to the Future.’

  15. A new State Administrative Council was declared in Myanmar by the military regime. A chief executive officer Min Aung Hlaing is in charge of the administrative council. There are 11 participants in total. Of the 11 participants, the eight are military members themselves.

  16. The Ministry of the Environment of China has recently announced the creation of a new Public Information Portal to track the emissions of polluting firms. The portal will be operational from 1st March 2021. This platform will help public authorities to prosecute those who violate the rules.

  17. Recently a conference was organised by the Square Kilometer Array Observatory (SKAO). The Council approved the construction of the world’s largest radio telescope during the meeting. Square Kilometer Array Observatory is the new multilateral organisation that is committed to astronomy. It has its headquarters in the UK.

  18. India and the European Union conducted the 1st High-Level Dialog on Trade & Investment (EU) on 5th February 2021. Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal and, Executive Vice-President & Committees of the European Union Valdis Dombrovskis co-chaired the dialogue.

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