1. 1st women team get into CRPF’s CoBRA commando
A maiden contingent of 34 CRPF women personnel was inducted into its specialized jungle warfare commando force CoBRA. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was raised under the CRPF in 2009 for undertaking intelligence-based jungle warfare operations. It will soon be deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of the country.
2. Glacier burst in Uttarakhand
An avalanche/Glacier burst occurred near Rishiganga Power Project at Raini village, Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. A massive flood has been reported from Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district where the water level in Alaknanda and Dhauliganga river suddenly rose. 100 to 150 casualties are feared in the flash flood. Srinagar, Haridwar, and Rishikesh have been put on alert as well.
3. China’s Sinovac Vaccine approved in Indonesia
The Food and Drug agency of Indonesia has authorized the use of CoronaVac for the elderly ‘taking into account the emergency situation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited information on the benefits and safety of that vaccine’. A rollout of Sinovac’s vaccine in Indonesia last month involved 3 mn doses for medical workers and public servants.
4. 1st High-Level Dialogue held between India-EU
The 1st High-Level Dialogue was a major outcome of the 15th India-EU Leader’s Summit held in July 2020, with an objective for Ministerial level guidance towards the bilateral trade and investment relations. The dialogue was co-chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal and the European Union Executive Vice-President & Trade Commissioner Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis.
5. PM Modi Launches “ASOM MALA” project
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the ‘Asom Mala’ project. It will help to improve state highways and major district roads network. The program will emphasize effective maintenance through continuous field data collection and its linkage with the Road Asset Management System. ‘Asom Mala’ will provide quality inter-linkage roads between the National Highways and the rural roads network.
6. Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan renamed
Aakashvani Sangeet Sammelan will henceforth be called Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan. Shri Prakash Javadekar made this announcement at a Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Centenary Commemorative function at Pune. GOI decides to celebrate year-long birth centenary of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi from 4th February 2021 to 2022. He was conferred the Bharat Ratna award in 2009.
7. IndiGo & Chimes Aviation sign a pact
Chimes Aviation Academy (CAA) has inked an agreement with the country’s largest airline IndiGo for a cadet pilot programme. The programme will start from March and cadets will be trained to professional standards set by IndiGo at CAA’s base in Dhana, Madhya Pradesh. CAA 2008 established, flying training organization.
8. 2nd dose of COVID-19 Vaccine by 13 February
The nationwide COVID-19 vaccine drive started on 16 January. India will start distributing second dose of coronavirus vaccine to beneficiaries from 13 February. The healthcare workers and frontline workers were the first groups to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
9. Tax disputes settlement by “Vivad Se Vishwas”
The Vivad se Vishwas Scheme has received 15 times better response in comparison to Direct Tax Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2016 (DTDRS). Vivad Se Vishwas has settled almost a quarter of the over 5.10 lakh tax disputes, with about Rs. 97,000 crore worth disputed tax being resolved. The Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Act, 2020 was enacted on March 17, 2020 to settle direct tax disputes.
10. Over 60% covid-19 vaccine covers in 12 states
12 States/UTs have achieved 60% or more vaccination coverage of healthcare workers. India is the fastest country to reach the five million Covid-19 vaccination mark in 21 days. The second dose of the vaccine is also scheduled to start from 13th February 2021 for people who were vaccinated on 16th Jan 2021.
11. Federal Bank launches ‘FedFirst’ scheme
Federal Bank has announced the launch of FedFirst, a special savings account scheme for children below 18 years of age. The account helps children develop healthy saving and spending habits, thereby giving them the freedom to save, spend and earn. The account holder is provided with a FedFirst contactless Debit Card with a daily cash withdrawal limit of Rs. 2,500 and POS/e-com limit of Rs. 10,000.
12. China approves Sinovac Biotech vaccine
Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine has been formally approved for use by the general public by China’s medical products regulator. It marks the second COVID-19 vaccine green-lighted for public use in China, after a shot developed by a Beijing institute affiliated to state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) was approved in December 2020.
13. Canada declares ‘Proud Boys’ as terrorists
Canada has formally designated the Proud Boys, a white nationalist group, as a terrorist entity under its criminal law. Canada is the first nation to label the Proud Boys a terrorist group. The Government of Canada has placed 13 new groups on the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities, including four ideologically motivated violent extremist groups: Atomwaffen Division, the Base, etc.
14. India crosses 20 crore covid tests
India has registered a record by crossing the landmark 20-crore total cumulative coronavirus tests. Out of the 20,06,72,589 total tests, India has conducted 7,40,794 tests in a span of 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed. 2,369 testing labs are present in the country including 1,214 government laboratories and 1,155 private laboratories.
15. FAU-G now globally available on play store
Online multiplayer action game ‘FAU-G: Fearless and United Guards’, which is the Indian alternative for PUB-G, has now been released globally. On the occasion of Republic Day, Akshay Kumar launched the mobile action game ‘Fearless and United Guards (FAU-G). The initial episode of is based in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh and the rest of the episodes will be set in other Indian battlegrounds.
16. Root becomes the first player to score 200 in Test
England’s Joe Root became the first cricketer to score 200 in his 100th Test, touching the milestone on the second day of the first Test against India, on 6 Feb 2021. Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam ul Haq, who hit 184 against India in Bengaluru in 2005, held the previous best score in the 100th Test. This was Root’s fifth double century.
17. Assam CM launches schemes for college students
Assam CM has launched two schemes to provide monetary assistance to college students and literary bodies of the state. Under Pragyan Bharati scheme, 3,26,046 college students were given Rs. 1,500 each for purchasing textbooks. The 2nd scheme is Bhasha Gourab, under which the govt provided 21 Sahitya Sabhas (literary bodies) with a total of Rs. 43 crore as contribution towards their corpus funds.
18. Christopher Plummer passes away
Christopher Plummer passed away in February 2021. He became the oldest actor to win an Oscar in 2012. Plummer appeared in more than 100 films and also was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Russian author Leo Tolstoy in 2009’s ‘The Last Station’. He won two Tony Awards for his Broadway work, two Emmy Awards for TV work, and performed for some of the world’s top theatre companies.
19. Centre, Uttarakhand govt sign MoU
An MoU was signed between the Central government and Uttarakhand government on 5 Feb 2021. It has been signed for setting up of Rs. 173 crore science city in Dehradun. The MoU was signed between the Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST) and the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), an autonomous organization under the Indian Ministry of Culture.
20. Delhi Cabinet approves a scheme
The Delhi cabinet has approved ‘Mukhyamantri Vigyan Pratibha Pariksha’. Under this, Rs 5,000 will be provided to 1,000 meritorious students of Class 9 in schools of Delhi as a science scholarship. The scholarship will provide a boost to science education in secondary classes. Students studying in Delhi who have secured more than 60% in Class 8 are eligible for the examination.
21. UN reappoints Bloomberg as climate envoy
The UN has informed that American billionaire Michael Bloomberg has been reappointed as a special envoy to engage govts in tackling the threat of global warming. He was first tapped for the position in 2018. He will engage govt officials and members of the private sector and civil society to finalize and implement plans to vastly accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.
22. NASA picks SpaceX to help with a mission
NASA has picked SpaceX to launch a telescope into orbit for a two-year astrophysics mission starting 2024. The mission, called SPHEREX, will cost NASA about $98.8 million. SPHEREX is a space telescope that would survey the sky in near-infrared light, which the human eye can’t see. The data that it collects would help astronomers understand the evolution of the universe.
23. Andhra State EC launches eWatch app
The Andhra Pradesh State Election Commissioner (SEC) has launched the ‘eWatch’, a digital application (app) to monitor the rural local bodies’ elections. The app has been developed to ensure free and fair elections. However, hours after the launch, the app was challenged in the High Court. The ‘eWatch’ or ‘election watch’ is available both on the web as well as a mobile app.
24. HAL and Rolls-Royce sign MoU
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed an MoU with British automobile manufacturing company Rolls Royce. They will establish an authorized maintenance center for Adour Mk81 engines at HAL to support international military customers and operators. They also signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ to work towards making Adour Mk871 engine parts in India for several international customers.
25. Andhra Pradesh plans three concept cities
Andhra Pradesh govt will prepare an action plan to set up three concept cities in the state for Information Technology industries. The proposed cities are expected to be set up near Vishakapatnam, Tirupati, and Bengaluru. The aim is for these cities to contribute to IT progress and help the state in developing as many industries as possible for creating jobs.
26. Kerala’s first human milk bank opened
The Health Minister of Kerala, KK Shailaja inaugurated the state’s first Human Milk Bank at the Ernakulam General Hospital on February 5, 2021. It will ensure the breast milk for the newborn babies in the hospital, who are not being breastfed by their own mothers who may be deceased or sick. It has been set up with the support of the Rotary Club of Cochin Global.
27. NASA appoints its first-ever climate advisor
NASA has appointed its first-ever senior Climate Advisor. Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS), will hold the position until the agency makes a more permanent appointment. Schmidt’s job will involve communicating and coordinating with the wider scientific community, as well as promoting NASA’s climate-related research.
28. Kalpavanam urban forest park opened in Gajwel
The Kalpavanam urban forest park was inaugurated in Sangapur village of Gajwel mandal in Telangana’s Siddipet on 4 Feb 2021. It is spread over 117 hectares and has been developed at a cost of Rs 7.43 crore. A globe has been installed in the park with the slogan ‘Save Forest Save Earth’. It is the 36th urban park opened in the state.
29. Odisha to get thunderstorm research testbed
Odisha’s Balasore will get the country’s first thunderstorm research testbed. The objective of setting up the testbed is to minimalize human fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes. It will be established in a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, the Indian Meteorological Department, DRDO, and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
30. Andhra: 2nd to undertake Power Sector reforms
Andhra Pradesh has become the second state to undertake the power sector reforms stipulated by the Department of Expenditure. As part of the reforms, the state has started Direct Benefit transfer (DBT) of electricity subsidy to farmers with effect from September 2020. Accordingly, the Dept of Expenditure has granted permission to the state to raise additional borrowing of Rs. 1,515 crore.