Current Affairs 9th February 2021

Table of Contents

1. Safer Internet Day: 9 February

Safer Internet Day (SID) is celebrated around the world in February of each year, with Safer Internet Centres, SID Committees, and other supporters in each of the countries coming together to plan and organize events. SID celebration for 2021 took place on 9 February with the slogan “Together for a better internet”. The day was first celebrated in the year 2012

2. Madhya Pradesh launches ‘SAANS’ campaign

The Health Department in Madhya Pradesh has launched the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (‘SAANS’) campaign. The aim is to reduce infant mortality due to pneumonia. A strategy is being chalked out under it in which medical staff is being trained. Around 4,000 health and wellness centers have been set up in Madhya Pradesh for this purpose.

3. Denmark to create world’s first energy island

Denmark has approved a plan to build the world’s first energy island in the North Sea. It will produce and store enough green energy to cover the electricity needs of 3 million European households. The artificial island will be linked to hundreds of offshore wind turbines and will supply both powers to households and green hydrogen for use in shipping, aviation, industry, and heavy transport.

4. Square Kilometre Array Observatory launched

An intergovernmental organization called the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory has been launched to give a push to radio astronomy. Under the organization, two radio telescope networks would be set up, and they would not be a single telescope but an array of antennas and dishes of radio telescopes. The two networks will be based in South Africa and Australia.

5. Tamil Nadu to get its fifth tiger reserve

Tamil Nadu will now have a new tiger reserve, encompassing over 1 lakh hectares of land that falls under the Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary. The Union government approved the state’s fifth tiger reserve. Meghamalai has a large population of spotted deers, Indian gaurs, wild boars, and other carnivores.

6. Gen. Thimayya Memorial Museum inaugurated

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated General Thimayya Memorial Museum at Madikeri in Kodagu district, Karnataka on 6 Feb 2021. General K.S. Thimayya served as the Chief of Army Staff from 1957 to 1961 and his ancestral house ‘Sunny Side’ has been renovated and converted into a museum. The museum showcases weapons and military uniforms and houses a battle tank at the entrance.

7. Ishant: 3rd Indian to take 300 Test wickets

Ishant Sharma has become the sixth Indian and the third pacer from the country to take 300 wickets in Test cricket, joining former India captains Kapil Dev and Anil Kumble. Ishant reached the landmark on 8 February 2021. Ravichandran Ashwin (377 before this game), Harbhajan Singh (417), and Zaheer Khan (311) are the other bowlers from the country who have reached the landmark.

8. ICC announces BYJU’S as a global partner

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced Edu-tech company BYJU’S as its global partner from 2021 to 2023. The three-year agreement will see BYJU’S partner all ICC events over the period, including the forthcoming men’s T20 World Cup in India and the women’s World Cup in New Zealand. In August 2019, the company became the official jersey partners of the Indian cricket team.

9. Ankita Raina: 5th to feature in Grand Slam

Ankita Raina on 7 Feb 2021, qualified for the doubles event of the Australian Open and became the fifth Indian woman to secure a place in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Ankita along with her Romanian partner Mihaela Buzarnecu earned a direct entry for the doubles event. Nirupama Mankad, Nirupama Vaidyanathan, Sania Mirza, and Shikha Uberoi have competed in the Grand Slam main draws earlier.

10. Nutrition garden inaugurated at Palampur

Himachal Pradesh CM Jai Ram Thakur has inaugurated a Golden Jubilee Nutrition Garden at Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University Palampur. It has been built under a Rs 19 cr environment sustainability plan. This environment sustainability plan concept of the Centre of Advanced Agricultural Science & Technology (CAAST) is entitled ‘Protected Agriculture and Natural Farming

11. Ministry Of Defence, BEL sign contract

Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) have signed a contract for procurement of Software Defined Radio Tactical (SDR-Tac) worth over Rs. 1,000 crores. The SDR-Tac has been designed and developed by the Defence Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL) of DRDO. The delivery will take place within three years.

12. NHAI inks MoU with 200 technical institutes

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has inked initial pacts with 200 technical institutes to encourage them for voluntary adoption of highway stretches for research etc. So far, 18 IITs, 27 NITS, and 207 other reputed engineering colleges have consented for the MoU. Out of over 250 institutes that have consented for the MoU, 200 have become signatories.

13. NTPC to install an early warning system

NTPC will install early warning systems in its projects located in hill states prone to natural disasters like avalanches. This was decided after an avalanche took place near the Rishiganga Power Project at Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project also suffered major damage. This announcement was made by Union Power Minister R K Singh.

14. Waterbirds census conducted at Pong Dam lake

The annual waterbird count at Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary was conducted in the first week of February 2021. Thousands of migratory birds from all over the world visit the wetlands located at Pong Dam in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. As many as 1,08,578 birds of 96 species were counted this year. Of them 1,01,431 birds are classified as water-dependent migratory birds.

15. Maersk appoints Vikash Agarwal as new MD

Integrated container logistics firm Maersk has appointed Vikash Agarwal as its new Managing Director for South Asia. He will take full charge of the business for the company in South Asia, covering India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and the Maldives, from April 1, 2021. Currently, he is serving as the Managing Director of CEVA Logistics – Indian subcontinent.

16. Film Karavan launches ‘Bandra Film Festival

Online content distribution company Film Karavan has collaborated with YouTube to launch ‘Bandra Film Festival, a digital film festival. The festival will show more than 50 films from filmmakers across the country & across multiple genres, languages & formats. The festival will also allow viewers to donate funds to support the films and filmmakers of their choice.

17. Tennis legend Akhtar Ali passes away

Tennis legend Akhtar Ali passed away in February 2021. He represented India in eight Davis Cup ties against Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Mexico, Japan, and Monaco between 1958 and 1964. He was the winner of the Asian mixed doubles championship. His last ATP tour outing was against Vijay Amritraj in Bombay on November 11, 1974.

18. World Sustainable Development Summit 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the World Sustainable Development Summit 2021 on 10 Feb 2021. The theme of the summit is ‘Redefining Our Common Future: Safe and Secure Environment for All’. It will be held till 12 Feb 2021. Energy and industry transition, climate finance, circular economy, clean oceans, are amongst the range of topics to be discussed during the summit.

19. 41.75 crore accounts opened under PMJDY

A total of 41.75 crore accounts have been opened so far under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) out of which 35.96 crore accounts are operative. Under PMJDY, a bank account can be opened with any bank branch or Business Correspondent (BC) including those of private sector banks. The total number of PMJDY accounts opened by public sector banks is 40.48 crore.

20.Government to launch portal

The government has proposed in the Union Budget to launch a portal that will collect information on building and construction workers among others. It will be set up by the Directorate General of Labour Welfare. It will help formulate health, housing, skill, insurance, credit, and food scheme for migrant workers. The rulemaking process is already underway and likely to be completed soon.

21. India: Fastest to reach 6 million vaccinations

Union Health Ministry informed that in the last 24 days, India has become the fastest country to reach six million vaccinations in the world. USA took 26 days to reach the mark while the UK took 46 days to reach six million vaccinations. So far 60 lakh 35 thousand and 660 beneficiaries have been vaccinated for COVID-19 since the launch of the vaccination drive on 16th of January 2021.

22. NCAP to be implemented in 122 cities

The Ministry of Environment will implement National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) across 122 cities in the country to reduce air pollution. NCAP targets to achieve a 20 to 30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024 across the country. The number of good quality air days has increased to 218 in 2020 against 106 in 2016, and the number of poor quality air days decreased to 56 in 2020.

23. Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2021

Rajya Sabha has passed The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2021. It will replace the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance of 2021 which merged the Jammu and Kashmir cadre of the IAS, IPS, and IFS with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory cadre, also known as AGMUT cadre. The President had promulgated the ordinance in January 2021.

24. Dr. Zakir Hussain’s birth anniversary: 8 Feb

8 February marks the birth anniversary of former President Dr. Zakir Hussain. Born on 8 February 1897, he served as the third President of the country from 13 May 1967 till his death on 3 May 1969. He previously served as Governor of Bihar from 1957 to 1962 and as Vice President of India from 1962 to 1967.

25. Hardeep Singh Puri introduces a bill in RS

Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri introduced the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in the Rajya Sabha on 8 Feb 2021. It will replace the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on 30th December 2020.

26. Chingari inks deal with 2 music labels

Short video platform Chingari has partnered with two independent, non-film music labels TM Music and ii Music to strengthen the catalog available for its content creators to engage with. Owned by Tech4Billion Media Pvt Ltd, the app has got more than 46 million users in India. It also has an alliance with T-Series, Merchant Records, and international record label company Thrace Music.

27. BCCI can use drones for aerial cinematography

Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have granted a conditional exemption to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the deployment of drones for live aerial cinematography of the India Cricket Season in 2021. The Drone Rules 2021 are in the final stages of discussion with the Law Ministry and approval is expected by March 2021.

28. Uttar Pradesh to set up state control room

UP government has sent a team of 4 officials to Joshimath in Chamoli and will set up a state control room at Haridwar to coordinate with the Uttarakhand govt the rescue and relief operations. It will also set up district control rooms. 1070 and WhatsApp no. 9454441036 has been established for people of the state where they can share the details of any missing person in the calamity.

29. Maharashtra: 6th in terms of COVID cases

Maharashtra is ranked 6th in the country in terms of COVID cases and deaths reported per million. According to Maharashtra’s Public Health Dept, the state ranks below Delhi, Goa, Pondicherry, Kerala, and Chandigarh in terms of new infections and the resultant mortality rate per million. As of 3 February 2021, Kerala recorded a growth rate of 0.6% while Maharashtra’s rate stood at just 0.10%.

30. HP govt proposes outlay of Rs. 9,405.41 crores

Himachal Pradesh government has proposed an outlay of 9,405.41 crore rupees under the developmental budget for the year 2021-22. This was announced by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over MLA’s meeting on 8 Feb 2021. Out of this amount, Rs 565.52 cr has been provided for roads and bridges while Rs 360.72 crore has been provided for minor irrigation and drinking water schemes.

31. A National Horticulture Fair inaugurated

A National Horticulture Fair was inaugurated by Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji of the Art of Living Foundation on 8 Feb 2021. It was organized by the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research on its campus near Bengaluru. The fair to be organized till February 12, 2021, with a theme of ‘Start up and Stand up India’ is aimed at making farmers successful entrepreneurs.

32. India to see the largest increase in energy demand

India will experience the largest increase in energy demand among countries worldwide over the next 20 years as its economy continues to develop. This was stated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in the report – “The India Energy Outlook 2021”. India’s combined import bill for fossil fuels is projected to triple over the next two decades, with oil by far the largest component.

33. DFC Floating Rate Fund launched

IDFC Mutual Fund has announced the launch of the IDFC Floating Rate Fund. It is an open-ended debt scheme predominantly investing in floating rate instruments. IDFC Floating Rate Fund aims to invest a minimum of 65% of its corpus in floating rate securities issued by corporates or the government. The New Fund Offer (NFO) will open on 10 February and close on 16 February 2021.

34. Bengaluru airport bags a global recognition

The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) has won the Airports Council International World’s ‘Voice of the Customer award. The Voice of the Customer’ initiative recognizes airports that continued to prioritize their customers during the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Under the #WeAreHere For You umbrella of BIAL, various campaigns were launched to rebuild passenger confidence.

35. Wipro names new heads for Japan, Germany

Wipro Limited has appointed Tomoaki Takeuchi as the country head and Managing Director for Japan. Prior to joining Wipro, he headed the Japan operations for Cognizant. Wipro also announced the appointment of Michael Seiger as the country head and MD for Germany and Austria. Before joining Wipro, Seiger was the global head of application management at Atos SE.

36. Nagraj Kashyap to join SoftBank Vision Fund

SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund is hiring Nagraj Kashyap as its Managing Partner. Nagraj Kashyap is the outgoing global head of Microsoft’s M12 fund. He was previously head of ventures at Qualcomm Inc. before joining Microsoft in 2016. Managing Partner Colin Fan is leaving his role to become an adviser to SoftBank Investment Advisers.

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