Current Affairs 15th February 2021

1. NAFED to develop a project at Kot Bhalwal

The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council (AC) has approved the establishment of an Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) project. It will be developed by the National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED). To implement the project, the Jammu Municipal Corporation (IMC) will sign an agreement with NAFED to set up a 350 MT capacity ISWM plant.

2. Mandu festival starts at Mandu in Dhar

In MP, the 3-day Mandu Festival began at Mandu in the historic town of Dhar district on 13 Feb 2021. Handicrafts related to handmade art are also being displayed in the Mandu Utsav to encourage vocal for locals. Dino Adventure Park and Fossils Museum were also inaugurated. It is the country’s first modern fossil park which has 24 eggs and other fossils of dinosaurs on display

3. KVIC revives one of Assam’s Khadi Institutions

The Khadi workshed at village Kawali in Baksa district has been revived with spinning and weaving activities and direct employment to 60 families. Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) has revived the workshed and distributed charkhas and looms. The revived group workshed was inaugurated by KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena on 14 Feb 2021.

4. Annual convention of ADTOI concluded

The Annual Convention of the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI) concluded in Gujarat on 13 Feb 2021. It was jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism and ADTOI with support from Gujarat Tourism. It aimed at building public confidence to travel for the revival of domestic tourism in the country. As part of it, the Ekta marathon was also organized to promote fit India.

5. Over 30 lakh metric tonne of paddy procured

In Bihar, over 30 lakh metric tonne of paddy has been procured from farmers of the state this season. In Feb 2020, paddy procurement was only 4.64 metric tonnes. Rs. 4,871 crores have been paid to over four lakh farmers for procurement of paddy for 2021. Feb 21, 2021, is the last date for procurement of paddy. The state govt has set a target to buy 45 lakh metric tonne paddy from farmers.

6. Odisha crosses 8 mn mark milestone in tests

Odisha has crossed the 8 million mark milestone in COVID-19 tests. While the state has conducted about 80 lakh 24 thousand sample tests to date, the covid-19 active caseload has come down to 760. The state so far has vaccinated about 4 lakh 12 thousand healthcare and frontline workers representing five percent of the total vaccination in the country as of 13 February 2021.

7. Aadhar card mandatory for vaccination in Bihar

In Bihar, the Aadhar card has been made mandatory for Covid-19 vaccination. Beneficiaries have now to certify their Aadhar number during the registration of vaccination. This step has been taken to check testing fraud of Covid -19 vaccination and transparency. No side effect of the vaccine has been reported from any part of the state.

8. Hsieh Su-Wei becomes the oldest quarterfinalist

In Australian Open Tennis, 35-year-old Hsieh Su-Wei has become the oldest first-time quarterfinalist in a Grand Slam. Hsieh is the current doubles world number one but ranked 71 in singles. She made her Grand Slam debut in 2005 but had never gone beyond the fourth round before in 37 previous attempts.

9. Ravichandran: First to take 200 wickets

In cricket, Ravichandran Ashwin has become the first player in the 143-year history of Test cricket to take 200 wickets against left-handed batsmen. He achieved the feat during India’s second Test against England at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Stuart Broad was the 200th left-hander to be dismissed by Ashwin. Ashwin has picked 391 wickets in his career so far.

10. Sniffer dogs participate in the Navy’s exercise

2 explosive sniffing dogs, named Minki and Mukti, were slithered down from a naval helicopter onto the offshore oil platform Neelam as part of a simulated bomb threat during Exercise Prasthan and Sea Vigil held in February 2021. Clearance Divers of the Western Naval Command slithered down onto the oil rig platform with the two dogs. The dogs then proceeded to do their job of sniffing out IEDs.

11. S Senate acquits Trump for the second time

The US Senate has acquitted former President Donald Trump for a second time. Mr. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in January 2021 on the charge that he incited an insurrection when his supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The House accused him of inciting the riot in which his supporters entered the Senate chamber and offices of officials.

12. Japan officially approves Pfizer vaccine

The Japanese government has officially approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer. The vaccine is the first to be given the green light for use against the coronavirus in the country. The vaccine will be given to people aged 16 or older. Two shots will be administered three weeks apart. Inoculations are expected to begin on 17 February 2021.

13. Around 100 pulses species developed in 5 yrs

More than 100 improved and high-yielding species of pulses have been developed in five years. This was announced by Agriculture Minister Narendra Tomar while speaking at the international event held in Rome to celebrate World Pulses Day. India accounts for 23.62 percent of the world’s total pulses production in 2019-20. It is the biggest producer and consumer of pulses in the world.

14. Production of Khadi records 29% growth

Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Vinai Kumar Saxena has informed that the production of Khadi has recorded 29 percent growth in the country. 94 million square meters of Khadi have been produced during the last six years. An MoU was also signed with Tribal Affairs Ministry to supply six lakh meters of Khadi clothes to school by March 2021.

15. Govt announces Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban)

The govt has announced the Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) in the Union Budget 2021-22 on the lines of Jal Jeevan Mission (Rural). It will be implemented over 5 years, with an outlay of Rs. 2,87,000 crore. The govt has set aside 50,000 crore rupees for drinking water and ten thousand crore rupees for sanitation. The budget allocation for Jal Jeevan Mission has increased by 450% for 2021.

16. Indian Navy commences COVID-19 vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination drive for naval personnel serving on front-line naval units of Eastern Naval Command(ENC) began on 14 Feb 2021 at Visakhapatnam. This is a part of the largest vaccination drive being undertaken across the nation. Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain PVSM, AVSM, VSM Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC received the first dose of vaccine at INHS Kalyani.

17. 26th Hunar Haat in New Delhi from 20 Feb

Minority Affairs Ministry is organizing the 26th Hunar Haat of artisans and craftsmen from across the country at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi from 20 Feb’21. More than 600 artisans and craftsmen, including a large number of women artisans, from more than 31 states and UTs will participate in the event. The Hunar Haat will be organized with the theme of Vocal for Local till 1 March 2021.

18. Arjun Main Battle Tank handed over to the Army

PM Modi handed over the indigenously developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (Mark 1A) to Army Chief General MM Naravane in Chennai on 14 Feb 2021. PM Modi was in Chennai to launch various government programs in Tamil Nadu. The tank is indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured by DRDO’s Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment in Chennai.

19. Lanes in fee plazas declared as FASTag lanes

All lanes in the fee plazas on National Highways were declared as FASTag lanes from 15 Feb 2021. This has been done to further promote fee payment through digital mode, reduce waiting time and fuel consumption, and provide for a seamless passage through the fee plazas. The fitment of FASTag in M and N categories of motor vehicles was mandated with effect from 1 Jan 2021.

20. PM to lay the foundation stone of a memorial

PM Modi will lay the foundation stone of Maharaja Suheldev Memorial and development work of Chittaura Lake in Bahraich, UP on 16 Feb 2021. The event marks the birth anniversary of Maharaja Suheldev. The complete project will include the installation of an equestrian statue of Maharaja Suheldev and the development of various tourist amenities like a cafeteria, guest house, and children’s park.

21. Indian Navy join hands with Titagarh Wagons

Titagarh Wagons has signed a contract for the construction and supply of five Diving Support Crafts from the Indian Navy. The project cost is about Rs. 174.76 crore only and has to be completed within 30 months. Driving support craft will help in the diving operation and will serve as an ideal platform for conducting training of the Indian Navy’s diving cadre.

22. PM Modi unveils several projects in Kerala

PM Modi unveiled several projects worth Rs. 6,100 cr at INS Garuda Naval Air Station in Kochi, Kerala. PM inaugurated the country’s first full-fledged international cruise terminal, Sagarika at Cochin Port Marine Engineering Training Institute of Cochin Shipyard Ltd. Along with the launch of Ro-Ro Vessels, Willingdon Islands PM also unveiled the Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project of BPCL.

23. SERB Women Excellence Award 2021

The women scientists Dr.Shobhna Kapoor, Dr. Antara Banerjee, Dr.Sonu Gandhi, and Dr.Ritu Gupta are selected for the SERB Women Excellence Award 2021. Award provides a grant of Rs.15 lakhs for a period of 3 yrs to scientists below the age of 40. It is given by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), a statutory body of the Department of Science and Technology.

24. World Bank’s report on road crashes in India

World Bank and Save Life Foundations report titled Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society was released by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on 13 Feb 21. The report showcases that Road crash deaths in India, which are the highest in the world, are a burden on its demographic dividend and have a tangible impact on poverty.

25. Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2021

The Union Culture Ministry’s flagship festival, the Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav 2021 is going to be held in West Bengal. The 11th edition of the program has started with the inauguration by West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on 14 Feb 21 and will be celebrated up to 22 Feb 21. RSM will enhance mutual understanding between people of diverse cultures, thereby securing stronger unity integrity of India.

26. Indian astronomers detect the huge optical flare

Indian astronomers have reported one of the strongest flares from a feeding supermassive black hole or blazar called BL Lacertae. BL Lacertae blazar is 10 million light-years away and is among the 50 most prominent blazars. Analysis of flare can help to calculate the black hole mass, size of emission region, and mechanism of the emission.

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