1. World Pulses Day: 10 February
World Pulses Day is observed on the 10th of February every year. Pulses are the legume branches or small plants that contain edible seeds including beans, peas chickpeas, and lentils. Pulses are a rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals. In 2019, the General Assembly proclaimed 10 February as the World Pulses Day.
2. Mahima Kaul resigns from Twitter
Mahima Kaul has resigned from the post of Director, Public Policy, India and South Asia at Twitter. She served at Twitter India for five years. Mahima Kaul will continue in her role till the end of March 2021. Ankhi Das had also quit as Twitter India’s policy head earlier in October 2020.
3. Vodafone Idea beats Jio and Airtel
Vodafone Idea (Vi) has the fastest 4G download and upload speeds for October -December 2020, compared to Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio). This was informed by the speed testing platform Ookla. According to Ookla, this makes Vi the only telco delivering the fastest speed consistently over a six month period on a pan-India basis.
4. Skyroot, Bellatrix sign MoU
Skyroot Aerospace and Bellatrix Aerospace have signed an MoU to use the Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) being developed by Bellatrix Aerospace. An Orbital Transfer Vehicle is a spacecraft that can perform various in-orbit operations, allowing a launch vehicle to deliver satellites to more orbits. Skyroot and Bellatrix plan to have the first mission of a Vikram launcher with an OTV by 2023.
5. Railways registers highest loading figures
Indian Railways has registered the highest ever loading figures i.e. 119.79 MT in January 2021. The last best was in March 2019 as 119.74 MT. As per the statistics for February 2021, Indian Railways loading was 30.54 million tonnes which include 13.61 million tonnes of coal, 4.15 million tonnes of iron ore, 1.04 million tonnes of foodgrains, 1.03 million tonnes of fertilizers, etc.
6. Investor Corner launched under PDC
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the Investment Corner under Project Development Cell (PDC). It has been launched on the revamped website of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. On registering with the PDC, the investor can indicate her/his plans to invest in the sector of preference in case of a new investor.
7. EPFA signs MoU with IGNOU
The Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) have signed an MoU. It is for collaboration in utilizing the tele-lecturing facility of Gyan Darshan Channel (EPMC) for a telecast of Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs) through distance learning mode. So far, IEPFA has conducted around 50 thousand IAPs.
8. Government notifies a scheme
The government has notified a scheme for extending financial assistance to project proponents for enhancement of ethanol distillation capacity or to set up distilleries for producing 1st Generation (1G) ethanol from feedstocks. Under the scheme, the government would bear interest subvention for five years for setting up of new distilleries; expansion of existing distilleries, etc.
9. Biological E aims to produce 60 crore vaccines
Biological E is looking at contract-manufacturing 60 crore doses of Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine a year. In Aug 2020, Biological E had entered into an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the companies of Johnson & Johnson, regarding the same. Biological E’s own covid vaccine is under clinical trials. Johnson’s vaccine is one-shot and can be stored in a refrigerator.
10. ICICI appoints Anand Shah as head of PMS, AIF
ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company Limited has appointed Anand Shah as the head of Portfolio Management Services (PMS) and Alternative Investment Funds (AIF) Investments. Portfolio Management Services offer a customized investment portfolio in equity or debt asset classes. While AIF is an investment avenue to pool in funds for investing in private equity, real estate, or hedge funds.
11. Amalfiaco sells 6.06% in CG Consumer
Advent International Corp’s Amalfiaco sold 6.06% in CG Consumer Electricals for Rs. 1,492 crores in an open market transaction on 9 Feb 2021. Amalfiaco Ltd sold 38 million shares or 6.06% of CG Consumer for Rs. 392.45 apiece. As per the latest shareholding pattern, Amalfiaco Ltd held 11.42% in the firm. In November 2020, Amalfiaco and MacRitchie Investments Pte Ltd sold 8.77% in CG Consumer for Rs. 1631 cr.
12. Basavaraj: Chairman of Karnataka upper house
The Janata Dal (Secular) Member of Legislative Council Basavaraj Horatti was elected as the Chairman of the upper house in Karnataka on 9 Feb 2021. The Congress member Pratap Shetty who was the Chairman earlier had resigned on February 4, 2021, after a no-confidence motion was moved against him by JD(S) and BJP. Karnataka Legislative Council has a strength of 75 members.
13. Eli Lilly’s therapy gets authorization
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Eli Lilly’s combination antibody therapy to fight COVID. The therapy of two antibodies, bamlanivimab, and etesevimab, helped cut the risk of hospitalization and death in COVID-19 patients by 70%. This therapy is authorized for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients aged 12 and above.
14. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance launches GIFT
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has launched Guaranteed Income for Tomorrow or GIFT. It helps policyholders to achieve their long-term financial goals. It also enables customers to eliminate the uncertainty of future income streams by providing guaranteed income. The policyholder can opt to receive the maturity benefit in the form of guaranteed income for a period of 5, 7, or 10 years.
15. Apple partners with TSMC
Apple Inc has partnered with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) to develop micro OLED displays, which it plans to use in its upcoming augmented reality (AR) devices. TSMC is the sole supplier of iPhone processors. Micro OLED displays are thinner, smaller, and use less power, making them more suitable for use in wearable AR devices.
16. Sushant Dash to take over as Starbucks chief
Tata Starbucks has appointed Sushant Dash as its new Chief Executive Officer in India effective from 1 May 2021. He will join Tata Starbucks as CEO Designate effective April 1, 2021, and take over as CEO on May 1, 2021. Dash replaces current CEO Navin Gurney, who is stepping down to pursue an opportunity outside of the company. Starbucks started operating in India from 2012 onwards.
17. 1st ever Mahila Jan Sunwai Programme in Jammu
In J&K, the National Commission for Women (NCW) in collaboration with the Social Welfare Dept held the 1st-ever Mahila Jan Sunwai Programme in Jammu on 9 Feb 2021. It was held under the chairmanship of NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma. During the program, complainants of 40 cases related to women from all sections of the society were present and the Chairperson disposed of 7 cases on the spot.
18. Rajasthan: 12th to undertake ONORC reform
Rajasthan has become the 12th state in the country to successfully undertake ‘One Nation, One Ration Card’ system reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. Now, the state has become eligible to mobilize additional financial resources of Rs. 2,731 crore through Open Market Borrowings and permission in this regard has been issued.
19. India facilitates Transit traffic to Nepal
India facilitated the transit of fertilizer export from Bangladesh to Nepal via the Rohanpur-Singhabad rail route. The first train for export to Nepal was handed over by Bangladesh railways to Indian railways in Feb 2021. India and Bangladesh had signed an agreement in 1976 to allow the export of commodities from Bangladesh to Nepal via Indian territory as ‘traffic in transit’.
20. Defence gets nearly 19% rise in capital outlay
In the Union Budget for 2021-22, the allocation for the Defence services has been increased to years Rs. 4.78 lakh cr compared to Rs. 4.71 lakh cr in the 2020-21 budget. There is nearly a 19% hike in capital expenditure and it is the highest-ever increase in the last 15 years. Rs. 1,35,000 cr has been set aside for capital expenditure that includes purchasing new weapons, aircraft, warships, etc.
21. Kaziranga National Park records 93,491 birds
In Assam, the Kaziranga National Park has recorded a total of 93,491 birds as per the latest census. 112 bird species were found during the enumeration. The recent bird census has witnessed an increase of over 59 thousand birds in the national park. In 2020, the figure stood at 34,284. 35 teams were involved in the 2-day census that concluded in February 2021.
22. Govt launches new Central Sector Scheme
The govt has launched a new Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOS). It has a budgetary provision of Rs. 6,865 crore. Under this Central Sector Scheme with funding from the government of India, the formation and Promotion of FPOs are to be done through implementing agencies, and at present, nine such agencies have been finalized.
23. Retail food inflation declines to 3.41% in Dec
The Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry has informed that retail food inflation has declined in the country. Retail food inflation declined to 3.41% in December 2020 in comparison to 11.73% in April 2020 as per Consumer Food Price Index. The government has also approved an action plan for the construction of steel silos in the country for a capacity of 100 lakh metric tonnes.
24. More than 187 lakh Kisan Credit Cards issued
More than 187 lakh Kisan Credit Cards with a credit limit of 1,76,000 crore rupees have been sanctioned to farmers across the country during the last year. A special drive to cover farmers under the Kisan Credit Card is going on from February 2020. The government has introduced the Kisan Credit Card Scheme to enable the farmers to purchase agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, etc.
25. Indian Army to deploy dogs to detect Covid-19
Indian Army has, for the first time ever, started using its dogs for quick detection of Covid-19. Two dogs have been trained to detect Covid-19 by sniffing samples of sweat & urine. The use of canines will assist in quick & real-time detection of the disease. Countries like the UK, Finland, France, Russia, Germany, Lebanon, UAE & the US have already trained dogs for detection of Covid-19.
26. IndiGo appoints Jiten Chopra as CFO
IndiGo has appointed Jiten Chopra as its Chief Financial Officer, effective from February 21, 2021. Formerly he was an Executive at BSR & Co (KPMG). He will succeed Aditya Pande, who is leaving the airline to pursue other interests. He joined the airline in February 2020 as head of governance, risk, and compliance.
27. Moderna inks agreement with Taiwan, Colombia
US drugmaker Moderna Inc has signed supply agreements for its Covid-19 vaccine with the governments of Taiwan and Colombia. The agreements were signed for production of five million doses and 10 million doses for Taiwan & Colombia respectively. Deliveries of the vaccine will begin in mid-2021. Taiwan also had agreed to buy 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from UK drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc.
28. AE’s ‘Hope’ probe enters Mars orbit
Under the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, the UAE’s ‘Hope’ probe successfully entered Mars’ orbit on 8 Feb 2021. ‘Hope’ will orbit the Red planet for at least one Martian year, or 687 days. The probe is designed to reveal the secrets of Martian weather. “Hope” was launched successfully from the Tanegashima Space Center near Minamitane, Japan, on July 19, 2020.
29. India, Afghanistan ink deal for new dam
India and Afghanistan have signed a pact for the construction of the nearly $ 300 million Shahtoot Dam. The MoU was signed by the EAM Dr. Jaishankar & Foreign Minister of Afghanistan Hanif Atmar on Feb 9, 2021. The Shahtoot dam is to be built on the Maidan river tributary of the Kabul river. It will provide drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city.
30. Manipur CM launches organic products
Manipur CM N Biren Singh launched a new range of packaged organic products and Loumi Connect App on 7 Feb 2021. These were launched in a function organized jointly by the Directorate of Horticulture and Soil Conservation and Eastern Border Areas Development Authority (EBADA). Packaged organic items were chakhao ladoo box, dry kiwi, black rice flour, black rice flakes, organic turmeric, etc.
31. Wipro recognized in HRC’s index
Wipro Ltd has been named to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2021 corporate equality index (CEI). The CEI is a premier benchmarking survey and report on US corporate policies and practices relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workplace equality administered by the Human Rights Campaign. This is the third time that Wipro has been included in the CEI.
32. Odisha government to build memorial
The Odisha govt will construct Covid Warrior Memorial in Bhubaneswar in recognition of the sacrifice and services of Covid warriors. More than 60 Covid warriors including health workers in Odisha have succumbed to covid. Martyr status would be accorded to all health personnel and other support services who succumbed to Covid19.
33. NASA signs Sol with 3 agencies
NASA and three international partners have signed a statement of intent to advance a possible robotic Mars ice mapping mission. The agencies are the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The agencies have agreed to establish a joint concept team to assess mission potential, as well as partnership opportunities.
34. Sasmita Lenka wins UN’s award
In a first for India, a female forest officer from Odisha, Sasmita Lenka has been felicitated with United Nation’s Asia Environmental Enforcement Award. Lanka, who is a divisional forest officer in Athgarh, Cuttack, received the award under the ‘Gender Leadership and Impact’ category. Lenka has helped in busting an international network of pangolin in Athgarh and Khunnpunni.
35. Actor-director Rajiv Kapoor passes away
Actor-director Rajiv Kapoor, son of filmmaker-actor Raj Kapoor, passed away in February 2021. Rajiv Kapoor made his acting debut with the 1983 film “Ek Jaan Hain Hum”, but made the first appearance as a leading man in the blockbuster “Ram Teri Ganga Maili” (1985). Rajiv Kapoor’s last film as a hero was the 1990’s “Zimmedaar”. He then made a switch to production and direction.
36. DRDO signs MoU with IISc
The DRDO has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Science (11Sc) to establish a center of excellence to promote advanced research. The JTAP-Centre for Excellence would be located in the IISc premises at Bengaluru. As per the MoU, DRDO will support Joint Advanced Technology Program (ATP) in equipping it with advanced and unique research facilities,
37. HAL signs agreement with Elbit Systems
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has entered into an agreement with Elbit Systems Electro-Optics Elop Ltd., Israel. It will supply Digital Overhead Head-Up Display Systems (DOHS). The DOHS’ will be initially manufactured in the existing facility of HAL’s Division at Korwa. The Digital Overhead HUD with modern optics provides sharp brightness, a larger field of view, and a larger head motion box.
38. Assam CM lays the foundation stone of an institute
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal laid the foundation stone of the Institute of Wildlife Health and Research (IWH&R) at Dinjan, Dibrugarh on 8 Feb 2021. He also laid the foundation stone of Sahitya Manishi Upabon (Biodiversity Park) in Dibrugarh and Charaideo districts virtually. He also launched the People’s Plantation program, which is an effort to generate awareness about tree-plantation.
39. India Tunisia Business Council launched
The India Tunisia Economic Forum was held in February 2021. Indian Economic Trade Organization organized this event. An MoU was signed between Tunisia Africa Business Council and Indian Economic Trade Organization by Anis Jaziri, President, Tunisia Africa Business Council, and Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of the IETO. A steel plant will be established in Tunisia owing to the collaboration.