Current Affairs 12th February 2021

1. Bumble’s CEO becomes a rare female billionaire

Bumble, a company catering to women and led by women has made its CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd a billionaire. Bumble Inc, sold shares in its upcoming trading debut at $43, valuing Whitney’s stake at more than $900 million and lifting her overall fortune above $1 billion. Wolfe Herd founded Bumble, a Texas-based company in 2014 following her departure from Tinder.

2. WHO, EU to launch vaccine rollout program

WHO and the European Union will launch a 40-million euro ($48.5 million) program. It will help deploy COVID-19 vaccines in six former Soviet republics. The program will involve Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova. AstraZeneca’s vaccine will become a key part of the rollout of vaccines. The recommended dosage is two doses administered over an interval of 8-12 weeks.

3. India’s first-ever CNG Tractor launched

India’s first-ever diesel tractor converted to CNG was formally launched by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on 12 Feb 2021. The conversion, carried out jointly by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India will help farmers increase their income, by lowering costs. Farmers will be to save more than Rs 1 lakh annually on fuel costs.

4. Bihar tops with 79.4% COVID-19 vaccination

Bihar has topped the country with 79.4 percent COVID-19 vaccination, according to the data released by Union Health and Family Welfare Department. Tripura is in the second position with 77.8 percent while Madhya Pradesh is in the third position with 76 percent. The total number of people who have got the first dose of COVID -19 vaccines in Bihar has crossed 4,29,760.

5. Goa: 6th to successfully undertake ULB reforms

Goa has become the 6th State in the country to successfully undertake Urban Local Bodies reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure. It has now become eligible to mobilize additional financial resources of Rs. 223 cr through Open Market Borrowings. Goa has joined five other states – Andhra Pradesh, MP, Manipur, Rajasthan, and Telangana, who have completed Urban Local Bodies reforms.

6. Mobile laboratories for COVID-19 testing

Mobile laboratories for COVID-19 testing will soon be made available across Maharashtra. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray launched 3 laboratory vans for COVID-19 testing on 11 Feb 2021. These mobile laboratories can carry out 3,000 tests per day and reports would be available in 24 hours. Until 2020, testing was done only in two labs in Mumbai and Pune, but now there are more than 500 labs.

7. Bus stand cum shopping complex inaugurated

In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated the general bus stand cum shopping complex cum multi-level parking in Jammu on 11 Feb 2021. It has been constructed at the cost of Rs. 213 crore. It will help pilgrims who come for the journey of Mata Vaishno Devi shrine and address the problem of Jammu people and largely help with the traffic congestion being faced by them.

8. GMC starts OPD services in Nuclear Medicine

In J&K in a major initiative for improving patient care, the Government Medical College Administration has started OPD services in Nuclear Medicine. The OLD will operate in the Department of Regional Cancer Centre initially twice a week i.e. on every Monday and Wednesday. The consultation will be provided by Dr. Sudhir Sharma in Nuclear Medicine from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

9. China celebrates Lunar New Year

China celebrated Lunar New Year on 12 Feb 2021 as it stepped into the Year of the Ox. It is one of the most important Chinese festivals, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. The festival lasts 15 days, starting with a feast on New Year’s eve and ending with the Spring Lantern Festival on 26th Feb. Festivities started in the last lunar month on Laba Festival.

10. Joe Biden revokes national emergency order

US President Joe Biden has revoked the national emergency order used to fund former President Donald Trump’s Mexico border wall project. In 2019, former US President Trump had declared a state of emergency over the southern border, which had allowed him to bypass Congress and use military funds for its construction. About 25 billion dollars had been spent on the project.

11. Morocco receives 4 mn vaccine doses from India

Morocco received the second batch of 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by India’s Serum Institute, on 11 Feb 2021. The latest batch of vaccines follows 2 million doses received in Jan 2021. The country has ordered enough vaccines for 33 million people and aims to inoculate 80% of the population.

12. Maritime India Summit-2021 from 2nd March

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Maritime India Summit-2021 on 2 March 2021. It will be held from 2-4 March 2021. It is being organized by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways jointly with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) as the industrial partner. The entire summit will be held on virtual platform www.maritimeindiasummit.in.

13. Annual Udyanotsav of Rashtrapati Bhavan opens

President Ram Nath Kovind opened the annual Udyanotsav of Rashtrapati Bhavan on 12 Feb 2021. The Mughal Garden will remain open for the general public from 13th February to 21st March 2021 between 10 AM to 5 PM except on Mondays. As precautionary measures, the walk-in entry will not be available. Visitors will be allowed to see the Gardens only through advance online booking.

14. More than 57,000 water structures inaugurated

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh virtually inaugurated more than 57,000 water structures constructed in Madhya Pradesh under Jalabhishekam’ campaign, on 11 Feb 2021. These structures costing over Rs. 2000 cr were constructed under Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Irrigation Scheme. These will irrigate 2.50 lakh hectares of land without submerging an inch of land.

15. Divya-Drishti 202 organized by CLAWS

Indian Army National Seminar-cum-Webinar, named as Divya-Drishti 202 on Multi-Domain Operations: Future of Conflicts was organized by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, CLAWS on 11 February 2021. It aimed to bring together national and international experts and practitioners to deliberate on the subject of multi-domain operations. The inaugural address was delivered by Army Chief General MM Naravane.

16. Over one crore MSMEs registered in 5 years

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Ministry has informed that more than 1 crore 2 lakh MSMEs have been registered in the country within five years. As per Udyog Aadhaar Portal, a total of one crore two lakh 32 thousand 468 MSMEs were registered between 2015 to June 2020. MSME Ministry has also implemented various other schemes for the growth and development of the MSME sector in the country.

17. Haryana to provide Rs 5L to Olympic qualifiers

The Haryana Cabinet has decided to provide financial assistance of Rs, 5 lakh to sportspersons as ‘preparations money’ who have qualified for Olympic games. The government also decided to create a separate cadre under which, 50 posts of deputy directors in group-A, 100 posts of senior coaches, and 150 posts of coaches in group-B and 250 posts of junior coaches in group-C have been sanctioned.

18. Samarpan Diwas: 11th February

‘Samarpan Diwas’ is observed on the death anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on 11th February. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) thinker and former leader of the political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of Bharatiya Janata Party. He became President of the Jana Sangh in December 1967. He passed away on February 11, 1968,

19. India: Fastest to reach 7 million vaccinations

India has become the fastest country in the world to achieve over 7 million vaccinations against Covid-19. India accomplished this feat in only 26 days. The USA took 27 days to reach the mark while the UK took 46 days to reach 7 million vaccinations. India started the Covid-19 immunization drive on January 16, 2021, with two locally manufactured vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin.

20. Government decides to shut 2 pharma PSUs

The govt has decided to close 2 pharma public sector undertakings and disinvest the other 3. The PSUs which will be closed are Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL). The ones to be disinvested are Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL), Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL), and Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceutical Ltd (KAPL).

21. PhonePe, Axis Bank partner on UPI multi-bank

PhonePe has partnered with India’s third-largest bank, Axis Bank on UPI multi-bank model. It will offer its users the chance to create and use multiple UPI IDs with Axis Bank’s “@axl” handle. The platform enables the users to choose between multiple handles for their UPI transactions on the multi-bank model.

22. Bank of Maharashtra ties up with LoanTap

Bank of Maharashtra has entered into a co-lending agreement with non-banking financial company LoanTap Credit Products for MSME loans. LoanTap offers a range of business, vehicle, and personal loans to the underserved segment. With LoanTap, the bank would be getting into faceless sanctions and disbursals using the mobile app.

23. Assam government appoints Hima Das as DSP

Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal has appointed athlete Hima Das as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the state. The cabinet also decided to amend the integrated sports policy of the state by appointing sportspersons as Class-I and Class-II officers in different departments of the state. Medal winners in Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games will be appointed as Class- I officers.

24. VP Joy appointed Kerala’s Chief Secretary

Additional Chief Secretary VP Joy will succeed Vishwas Mehta as Kerala’s Chief Secretary. Mehta will retire on February 28, 2021, and is expected to take over as the Chief Information Commissioner. He had returned to the state cadre recently after his central deputation. On his return, he was appointed the officer on special duty in the rank of additional chief secretary.

25. BHEL bags order from the Indian Navy

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged an order from the Indian Navy for supplying 2 Super Rapid Gun Mounts (SRGM). These are the main guns standardized for all warships of the Indian Navy. It has indigenized these guns and has established dedicated manufacturing and inspection facilities at its Heavy Electrical Equipment Plant, Haridwar for the production and installation of these guns.

 26. New Delhi railway station to get a makeover

The central govt has taken up redevelopment of the New Delhi railway station on Public-Private Partnership mode at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,000 cr. The facilities proposed include congestion-free non-conflicting entry/exit to the premises, segregation of arrival/departure of passengers, etc. Ahmedabad and Surat railway stations have also been identified for redevelopment in Gujarat.

27. Govt to sell stake in National Fertilizers Ltd

The central government has decided to sell 20% stake in National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) through an offer for sale. It is the second-largest producer of Urea in the country with a share of about 15% of total Urea production in the country. Incorporated in 1974, the NFL has an authorized capital of Rs. 1,000 crores and a paid-up capital of Rs. 490.58 crores.

28. Abhin Devadiga, Ancy Sojan claim 200m titles

Karnataka’s Abhin Bhaskar Devadiga and Kerala’s Ancy Sojan claimed the under-20 men’s and women’s 200m crowns respectively on the final day of the 36th National Junior Athletics Championships on 10 Feb 2021. Praveen Chithravel won the triple jump event, while MP’s Arjun Waskale rewrote the under-18 boys 1500m meet record by winning the race with a timing of three minutes 50.38 seconds.

29. USA to rejoin UNHRC

The US is rejoining the United Nations Human Rights Council. Former President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the international body in 2018. In the immediate term, the US would engage as an observer. The United Nations Human Rights Council is a United Nations body whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world

30. Kerala Knowledge Mission launched

Kerala government has launched Kerala Knowledge Mission which aims to transform the state into a knowledge economy. The mission will promote innovative ideas, coordinate knowledge initiatives and equip young people with updated skills. Job aspirants and educated unemployed youth can register at www.knowledgemission.kerala.govin which will act as a digital workforce management system.

31. Odisha to move Supreme Court

The Odisha government has decided to move the Supreme Court over the border dispute with Andhra Pradesh. Andhra Pradesh is conducting panchayat elections in 3 of its villages. Andhra will hold panchayat elections in Talaganjeipadar, Patusineri, and Phagunseneri in Kotia gram panchayat by changing their names to Ganjeibadara, Pattuchennuru, and Pagluchennuru, on 13 Feb’21.

32. Strides Pharma receives USFDA approval

Strides Pharma Science’s subsidiary, Strides Pharma Global Pte Ltd, has received approval from the US health regulator for Prednisone tablets. The tablet is prescribed for a variety of conditions, including allergies, respiratory illness, and arthritis. It has received approval for Prednisone tablets USP in the strengths of 10 mg and 20 mg from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

33. Biocon Biologics, Viatris receive EC approval

Biocon Biologics Ltd. has announced that Kixelle, biosimilar insulin, co-developed with NASDAQ-listed Viatris Inc., has received marketing authorization approval from the European Commission. It is a fast-acting insulin analog indicated for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in adults. It has been approved as a 100 units/ml solution for injection in the vial.

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