5 to 7 February 2020 - Current Affairs


International :

  • Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay presented the 'World Heritage City' certificate to the Pink City – Jaipur, Rajasthan on February 05, 2020. Indian Minister of Urban Development Shanti Dhariwal received this award in a ceremony held at Albert Hall.


  • Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania has released the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has been ranked at 27th position among 176 global think tanks (U.S. and non-U.S.). It was ranked at 118th position in the 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

    Think tanks are those organizations that generates policy-oriented research, analysis, and advice on issues whether domestic or international. It also enables policy makers and the public to make well informed decisions about public policy. These are affiliated or independent institutions that are structured as permanent bodies. The aim of the index is to produce an inclusive and far-reaching report of international think tanks.



National :

  • Government has prepared a draft of National e-commerce policy to create a facilitative regulatory environment for growth e-commerce sector in India. Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said it will leverage access to data such that data of Indians can be used for the growth of digital economy in India. The Minister said the government has also introduced National policy on Electronics and National policy on Software Products in 2019 for the growing digital economy.


  • Centre Government has issued gazette notification over setting up of Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust for the construction of Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya. The trust will have office in Delhi's Greater Kailash.


  • Union Cabinet has given in principle approval to set up country’s 13th major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra. The total cost of the project is likely to be over 65 thousand crore rupees. Vadhavan port will be developed on land lord model. A Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50 per cent to implement the project. The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including reclamation, construction of breakwater, besides establishing connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities will be undertaken under public private partnership mode by private developers. 

    The position of Jawaharlal Nehru Port is the biggest container port in the country and with the development of Vadhavan port, India will break into the countries with top 10 container ports in the world. Maharashtra has India's largest container port at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust which caters to the hinterland of Maharashtra, North Karnataka, Telangana and secondary hinterland of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, NCR, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.


  • The Karnataka government launched a doorstep delivery scheme - Janasevaka scheme on February 4, 2020. The government also launched a website- janasevaka.karnataka.gov.in - to provide citizens with easy access to important government services. The Janasevaka scheme will enable citizens of the state to get home delivery of 53 important government services including issuance of ration card, health card, senior citizen identity card, revenue khatas and marriage registration certificate. The beneficiary will have to place the request for the service through the website. The request can also be made through phones.


  • The Government of India has set a target of installation of 100 GigaWatt solar power and 60 GigaWatt wind power capacity in the country by December 2022 by implementing various schemes. Energy Minister R K Singh said, majority of solar power projects are installed with private investments. He added that Grid connected solar power capacity of over 33,700 megawatt has been installed in the country till 31st December 2019.


  • In Jammu and Kashmir, the Administrative Council approved the proposal of the Housing and Urban Development Department to set up an Elevated Light Rail System in both the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar. The Light Rail Transit System in Jammu will have one corridor with a total length of 23 kilometres. The LRTS in Srinagar will have two corridors with a total length of 25 kilometres. The capital cost of the project, at current prices, including land, R&R and taxes is estimated to be 4,825 crore rupees for Jammu, LRTS and 5,734 crore rupees for Srinagar, LRTS.


  • Jammu and Kasmir Administrative Council has accorded sanction to the implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission and road map to achieve 100 per cent coverage of piped water supply by December 2021 across the UT aligning it to the National Mission of Jal Jeevan. The objective of the mission is to provide Functional Household Tap Connections to every rural household with priority to desert/drought-prone and border areas, schools, Anganwadi and health centres, etc.


  • The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The bill proposes to declare five IIITs in Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode as Institutions of National importance. Under the IIIT Laws Amendment Bill 2020, five IIITs in the PPP mode at Bhopal, Surat, Bhagalpur, Raichur and Agartala will be declared as Institutions of National importance. With this, the total number of IIITs that have been declared as institutions of national importance will go up to 25.


  • Indian Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman on February 5, 2020 introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha, "The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Bill 2020" to provide for the resolution of the disputed tax. The bill was aimed only to ease the taxpayer who was otherwise needed to go to court to defend his case, the government has brought a structured and formula-based solution to the dispute.


  • Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said Poshan Abhiyaan aims to reduce malnutrition in the country in a phased manner. She said, the target is to bring down stunting of children in the age group of 0 to 6 years from 38.4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2022.


  • Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo informed that the Central Government launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the air pollution problem across the country. The Minister said that the programme targets to achieve 20 to 30 per cent reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024 keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration. Around 102 non-attainment cities have been identified including Delhi and Mumbai.


  • The government of India on February 7, 2020 said, more than one crore twenty-seven lakh pads of Suvidha Sanitary Napkins priced at one rupee per pad have been sold through Jan Aushadhi Kendras across the country till the end of January 2020.




Bilateral :

  • A bilateral meeting between the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of Bangladesh and District Magistrates (DMs) of Tripura(India) was held in Agartala on February 5, 2020. Several important cross border issues like border fencing, human trafficking, drugs smuggling, Agartala- Akhuara rail link project and others between the two nations were discussed in the day-long meeting.



Economy :

  • Insurance cover on bank deposits has been increased to five lakh rupees from one lakh rupees effective from February 04, 2020. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement that the cover is provided by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI. The deposit insurance scheme covers all banks operating in India, including private sector, cooperative and even branches of foreign banks. There are some exemptions such as deposits of foreign governments, deposits of Central and State Governments, and inter-bank deposits. Deposit insurance was static at one lakh rupees since 1993.


  • Union Cabinet has decided to bring Cooperative banks under the regulatory mechanism of Reserve Bank of India. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadkar said the move will ensure greater accountability and transparency in the functioning of Cooperative Banks.



Business :

  • India’s Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri has assumed the responsibility of India’s Co-Chair of the Expo-2020 Dubai Committee. Mr Suri was also a recipient of the UAE's Order of Zayed II honour.


  • Expo-2020 is a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai is scheduled to open on 20th October, 2020. Through its theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” and its three sub-themes - Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability - Expo-2020 aims to unlock the potential of each visitor while encouraging collaboration and presenting opportunities for all to make a difference towards the future development of humanity.




Defence :

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th edition of the DefExpo-2020, a flagship biennial event of the Ministry of Defence in Lucknow, UttarPradesh. The theme of the Expo is "India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub". The Expo promises to bring new technologies, technological solutions, where Defence manufacturing companies from India and abroad showcase their products and services in the Defence arena, on a single platform.


  • India and African nations adopted the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ during the first India-Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave on February 6, 2020. The conclave was held on the sidelines of the 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition, DEFEXPO India 2020. The ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was adopted in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterparts from 12 African nations and heads of delegations from 38 other African countries. Overall, 50 African nations signed the declaration along with India at the conclave, which was organized for the very first time. 

    African Union’s theme for 2020 is "Silence The Guns: Creating conducive conditions for African Development”. The main vision is to achieve conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide and rid the continent if human rights violations, violent conflicts and humanitarian disasters.



Awards :

  • President Ram Nath Kovind presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu and the Leprosy Mission Trust in New Delhi on February 06, 2020.


Sports :

  • Rakhi Halder of Bengal has bagged gold at Senior Women's National Weightlifting Championships in kolkata.

  • Former BCCI president late Jagmohan Dalmiya's son, Avishek became the youngest president of Cricket Association Bengal.


  • Para-athlete and India’s lone woman Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik has been elected as president of Paralympic Committee of India. The Headquarters of Paralympic Committee of India is located at Bengaluru, Karnataka.


  • In Gujarat, Monika Nagpure and Rutvik Bhajiwala both from Surat have won the 31st "Veer Savarkar Akhil Bharatiya Samudra Taran Spardha". The annual All India Sea swimming competition was held on February 06, 2020 at Gir Somnath coast of Gujarat.


  • Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India on February 06, 2020 announced the establishment of the High Performance Centres in seven places across the country to provide state-of-the-art facilities to Junior and Sub-Junior players. The move is aimed at grooming young talent in view of 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games. These centres will be closely monitored by Hockey India and its High Performance Director and the programme will also ensure that the athletes are provided with international exposure. These seven centres will be set up under the Khelo India scheme and will have expert professional training, utilization of sports science and education of the youngsters.


  • Australian Open is the first of the four annual Grand Slam events among the world’s major tennis championships. The grand slam Australian Open is held annually at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.

    List of Winners: 
No.
Category
Winner
Runner Up
1
Men’s Singles
Novak Djokovic (Serbia)
Dominic Thiem (Austria)
2
Women’s Singles
Sofia Kenin (USA)
GarbineMuguruza (Spain)
3
Mixed Doubles
BarboraKrejcikova (Czech Republic) & Nikola Mektic (Croatia)
BethanieMattek-Sands (USA) & Jamie Murray (United Kingdom)
4
Men’s Doubles
Rajeev Ram (United States of America) & Joe Salisbury (United Kingdom)
Max Purcell (Australia) & Luke Saville (Australia)
5
Women’s Doubles
TimeaBabos (Hungary) & Kristina Mladenovic (France)
Su-Wei Hsieh (Chinese Taipei) &BarboraStrycova (Czech Republic)


  • In Football, Mizoram has won the final of the Junior National Football Championship for Dr BC Roy Trophy at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on 6 February, 2020.



Persons :

  • Hollywood legend and veteran actor, Kirk Douglas passed away at Beverly Hills, California in US. He was 103.

  • Mo O’Brien (60 years) has become the first deaf person on record to row an ocean by finishing a 3,000-mile journey across the Atlantic with her daughter Bird Watts, and their friend Claire Allinson.



Appointments :

  • Gopal Baglay has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. He will replace Taranjit Sandhu.


Science & Technology :

  • NASA's astronaut Christina Koch returned from space to Earth safely on February 6, 2020. Koch returned after an 11-month mission, breaking the world record for the most time spent by a woman in space. Koch has spent 328 days on International Space Station ISS, surpassing the previous record of 289 days held by fellow American Peggy Whitson. Koch's medical data will be especially valuable to NASA scientists as the agency draws up plans for a long-duration manned mission to Mars.


  • Madhya Pradesh state government has decided to use drones for mapping villages. So far, land survey work is being done either manually or with the help of satellite images in Madhya Pradesh. 55,000 villages of the state have been selected for mapping. Now, the map of the population area will be made on a scale of 1: 500, which will give a clearer picture of the population area. The state revenue department has entered into an agreement in this regard with Survey of India, the country's national mapping agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology.



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