Current Affairs 14th February 2021

1. Rashmi Saman to head Oxfords Student’s Union

Rashmi Samant is the first Indian woman to occupy the prestigious position of President of the Oxford Student’s Union. She is a student of MSc in energy systems at Linacre College, also an alumna of Karnataka’s Manipal Institute of Technology. She received more than the combined votes of the other three candidates for the post.

2. Parag Honour List for 2021

2nd edition of the annual list by the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts features the best of children’s books published in the past one year. The list 2021 features 35 books for children and young adults across fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres by various authors consisting of 20 titles in English and 15 in Hindi. It aims to promote good quality children’s literature.

3. India’s first dolphin research center

Patna will soon get India’s first dolphin research center. The society for the long-awaited National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC) is likely to be formed within a month of February 2021. Bihar accounts for 50% of the world’s river dolphin population, a highly endangered species under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972.

4. S. Balakrishnan, new MD, and CEO of Aegon Life

Aegon Life Insurance has appointed Satishwar Balakrishnan as its new Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO). He was working as a Chief Financial Officer of Aegon Life since June 2019. Aegon Life is India’s first and leading digital-only life insurance provider.

5. Pak approves China’s CanSinoBIO COVID vaccine

Pakistan has approved China’s CanSino Biologics Inc’s (CanSinoBIO) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Pakistan is the second country to approve CanSinoBio after Mexico. Earlier, Pakistan has also approved vaccines developed by China’s Sinopharm, Oxford-AstraZeneca, and Russia’s Sputnik V. Pak began vaccination drive with 500,000 doses of Sinopharm donated by longtime ally China.

6. Britain’s Karim Khan, Chief Prosecutor at ICC

Britain’s Karim Khan is elected as a Chief Prosecutor at International Criminal Court. He is elected for a nine-year term, starting on 16 June 2021, and will replace lead prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. British barrister Karim is best known for heading the United Nations special investigative team looking into Islamic State crimes in Iraq

7. Nasa’s candidature for SpaceX Crew-4 mission

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has assigned Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines as Commander and Pilot respectively, for SpaceX Crew-4 mission. These are the Additional crew members for the project, assigned as mission specialists. The mission is expected to launch in 2022 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.

8. Mario Draghi, Italy’s new Prime Minister

Former Chief of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi is formally sworn in as Italy’s new Prime Minister on 13 February 2021. He succeeded Ex-PM Giuseppe Conte who has resigned on January 21 due to the collapse of a coalition government. Draghi’s government is the 67th to take office since 1946 and the seventh in the last decade alone.

9. India gifts 2K metric tonnes of rice to Syria

The Government of India is gifting 2000 MT of rice to strengthen food security in Syria. GOI has taken this step, as the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic approaches with the request for emergency humanitarian assistance. The first consignment of rice was handed over by the Indian ambassador to Syria while remaining to reach Syria on 18 February 2021.

10. ISRO announces BHUVAN, the option to Google Maps

ISRO has signed an MoU with geospatial technology company CE Info Systems Pvt Ltd, which owns MapmyIndia to create an indigenous mapping portal and geospatial service. The collaboration will identify and build a holistic geospatial portal utilizing earth observation datasets, ‘Navic’, Web Services & APIS available in MapmyIndia. The geospatial portals will be called “BHUVAN’, ‘VEDAS’ & ‘MOSDAC’.

11. Muskan, Himachal’s Youngest ZP Chairperson

Muskan, 21, is the youngest person to be elected as Zila Parishad Chairperson from Bilaspur dist, Himachal Pradesh. In Panchayati Raj Institution polls held in a hilly state, over 68% of the representatives elected to Zila parishads, panchayats & urban bodies are below the age of 40 years. Over 32% of these are in the age group of 21 to 30 yrs, out of which Muskan is youngest to head top post

12. World Bank signs project with Chhattisgarh

The Government of India, the Government of Chhattisgarh, and the World Bank have signed a $100 mn project. It is titled ‘CHIRAAG – Chhattisgarh Inclusive Rural and Accelerated Agriculture Growth’. It has been signed to develop sustainable production systems that allow tribal households in remote areas of Chhattisgarh to practice round-the-year production of diversified and nutritious food.

13. ISRO tests satellites made by the private sector

2 satellites by Indian startups- SpaceKidz India and Pixxel, were tested at the UR Rao Satellite Centre of ISRO in Bengaluru in Feb’21. This is a first for the space agency, which so far has only taken help in manufacturing and fabrication of various parts of satellites and rockets from the Indian industry. It also helped these two fix problems with the solar panels on their satellites,

14. Pakistan’s successful launch of Babur missile

The Pakistan Army successfully test-fired a short-range surface-to-surface ballistic Babur cruise missile IA on 11 Feb’21. It is capable of hitting land and sea targets with high precision up to 450 kilometers away. The Babur cruise missile IA was launched from a state of the art Multi Tube Missile Launch Vehicle. It earlier conducted a successful test of the ballistic missile Shaheen-III.

15. CEAT ropes in Rana Daggubati as ambassador

Tyre maker CEAT has roped in Rana Daggubati as its brand ambassador for promoting the ‘Puncture Safe’ range of bike tyres. As part of the campaign across all 5 southern states, he will feature in the new commercial for these tyres to be aired across TV and digital platforms. The company has launched tyres for motorcycles in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

16. TN govt rolls outcrop loan waiver scheme

Tamil Nadu govt has rolled out the Rs. 12,110 cr crop loan waiver scheme for over 16 lakh farmers. CM K Palaniswami gave away certificates to 9 farmers on 13 Feb 2021. The certificates state that loans taken from cooperative banks and due on 31 Jan 21 have been waived. On 5 Feb’21, CM had announced a waiver of Rs 12,110.74 crore crop loans availed by 16,43,347 farmers from cooperative banks.

17. Maharashtra’s 2nd vaccination round to start

The Maharashtra govt will start giving the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the healthcare workers from 15 February 2021. Those healthcare workers, who have received their first dose of the vaccine and completed the four-week period, will be eligible for the second dose. Till 12 Feb 2021, a total of 6,48,573 healthcare and frontline workers have received their first dose of the vaccine in the state.

18. Anti-clotting therapy may prevent Covid death

A clinical study circulated by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) claims strong evidence that prompt preventive blood-thinning drugs may reduce the risk of death in COVID-19 patients. Patients given preventive blood-thinning drugs (prophylactic anticoagulants) within 24 hours of admission to hospital with COVID-19 are less likely to die compared with those who do not receive them.

19. CDSL: 1st to open 3 cr active Demat accounts

Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL) has become India’s first and only listed depository to open three crores plus (30 million) active Demat accounts. CDSL is currently the largest depository in the country in terms of active Demat accounts. The depository facilitates holding and transacting in securities electronically and facilitates settlement of trades on stock exchanges.

20. Amit Shah approves over Rs. 3K cr for 5 states

4 states that were hit by natural disasters in 2020 -Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry – will get about Rs. 3,000 crores central assistance under the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). Madhya Pradesh, meanwhile, will receive Rs. 1,280.18 crores for pest attack during Kharif season. It was approved by a high-level committee headed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on 13 Feb 21.

21. Volvo Cars appoints Jyoti Malhotra as MD

Volvo Cars India has appointed Jyoti Malhotra as the new Managing Director of the company. The new appointment will come into effect from 1 March 2021. With the appointment of Jyoti Malhotra, Volvo Cars India has chosen the first Indian to lead the company in India. Currently, Malhotra serves as the Director Sales and Marketing for the company and he joined the company in August 2016.

22. Oxford Covid vaccine to be tested on children

The University of Oxford will begin testing the coronavirus vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca, on kids for the first time. Oxford University has launched a study to assess the safety and immune response of the Covid-19 vaccine it has developed with AstraZeneca, in children. Around 300 volunteers, aged 6 to 17, will be enrolled and the first inoculations are expected in February 2021.

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