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Current Affairs 11 February 2021

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India, Afghanistan signed MoU for Construction of Lalandar [Shatoot] Dam in AfghanistanIndia, Afghanistan sign MoUi.On February 9, 2021, the Central Government has laid the foundation of 2nd dam i.e. Lalandar [Shatoot] Dam, to be built by India in Afghanistan, by signing the virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between both nations. It will be constructed on the Kabul river basin which is one of the five river basins of Afghanistan. 
ii.It was signed by Union Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India and Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar in the presence of Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi and President of Afghanistan Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
iii.This project is partially funded by India and is a part of Indo-Afghan New Development Partnership.
About Afghanistan:
Capital– Kabul
Currency– Afghan afghani
<<Read Full News>>

IEPF Authority signs MoU with IGNOU for Telecast of IAP IEPFA signs MoU with Indira Gandhi National Open UniversityInvestor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPF Authority), Ministry of Corporate Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for collaboration in using the Tele-Lecturing Facility of Gyan Darshan Channel (EMPC – Electronic Media Production Centre) for telecast of Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs) through distance learning mode.
Objective – To spread the Investor Education and Awareness messages
i.This is the 1st time that IEPF Authority is entering into a pact for using electronic and digital platforms for conducting IAPs.
ii.Initially 26 Tele Lecturing programmes have been planned for telecast.
IEPF Authority:
In September, 2016 the Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority was established for the administration of Investor Education and Protection Fund Government of India under the provisions of section 125 of the Companies Act, 2013.
Its responsibilities are 

  • Administration of Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF).
  • Make refunds of shares, unclaimed dividends, matured deposits/debentures etc.
  • To promote awareness among investors.

About IEPF Authority:
Chairperson – Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs (Rajesh Verma)
Headquarters – New Delhi
About IGNOU:
Vice-Chancellor – Professor Nageshwar Rao
Location – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

Government of India allocates Rs. 16000 crore for PMFBY for FY22Government of India allocates Rs 16000 crore PMFBYi.On February 7, 2021, the Central Government has allocated Rs 16000 crores for Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) for FY22, an increase of around Rs 305 crore as compared to FY21.
The reason behind an increase in the amount is to boost the safety of farmers’ crops and ensure maximum benefit of crop insurance.
ii.Notably, the scheme covers the entire cropping cycle from pre-sowing to post-harvest which include loss coverage due to prevented sowing and mid-season adversities.
About Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW):
Union Minister– Narendra Singh Tomar (Constituency- Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State– Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala, Kailash Choudhary
<<Read Full News>>


India to be Largest Source of Energy Demand Growth to 2040: IEA’s India Energy Outlook 2021India to be largest source of energy demand growth to 2040 - IEAi.In accordance with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) “India Energy Outlook 2021”, India will surpass European Union as the world’s third-biggest energy consumer by 2030. In this regard, India energy demand growth share will be maximum at 25% in the next two decades.
ii.As per India’s current national policy scenario, its gross domestic product (GDP) expands to an estimated $8.6 trillion by 2040 thereby the energy consumption is expected to be nearly doubled.
iii.Also, there is a need to spend an additional $1.4 trillion by India to adopt clean energy technologies over the next 20 years.
About International Energy Agency (IEA):
Executive Director – Dr Fatih Birol
Headquarters – Paris, France
Members Countries– 30 member countries and 8 association countries
<<Read Full News>>

FAO endorses First-ever Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture at COFI3434th Session of the FAO Committee on FisheriesDuring the 34th Session of UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) Committee on Fisheries (COFI 34) which took place virtually from February 1-5, 2021, members of the session supported the first-ever Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries & Aquaculture.

  • The declaration calls for Strong action to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and emphasized on the importance of recovering from impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

i.The report ‘The impact of COVID-19 on fisheries and aquaculture food systems Possible Responses’ released by FAO in November, 2020 was discussed during COFI 34 session.

  • Due to pandemic, the global aquaculture production is expected to fall by around 1.3% which is the first fall in several years.

ii.The next COFI session (COFI35) is set to be held from September 5-9 in 2022.

  • The Committee on Fisheries (COFI) is a subsidiary body of the FAO Council established by FAO Conference in 1965.
  • It is the only intergovernmental forum where members of FAO discuss and review issues related to fisheries and aquaculture.

About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director General– Qu Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy
<<Read Full News>>


RBI Observes Financial Literacy Week 2021 from February 8 to 12RBI launches Financial Literacy Week 2021 from February 8-12i.The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) observes Financial Literacy Week(FLW) annually since 2016 to promote & spread awareness about financial education messages on a particular theme through a focused campaign across India. 
ii.FLW 2021 is being celebrated from February 8 to 12.  The 5 day event was launched by Ajay Kumar, Regional Director, RBI.
Theme of FLW 2021– Credit Discipline and Credit from Formal Institutions
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Formation– 1 April 1935
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Deputy Governors– 4 (Bibhu Prasad Kanungo, Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, and M Rajeswar Rao)
<<Read Full News>>

AGSTTL & Mastercard Partnered to Introduce 1st-Ever ‘Contactless’ Cash Withdrawals on ATMs in IndiaAGS Transact partners Mastercard for ‘contactless’ cash withdrawals at ATMsi.On February 9, 2021 AGS Transact Technologies Ltd (AGSTTL) entered into partnership with Mastercard to introduce First-Ever ‘Contactless’ Cash Withdrawals on Automated Teller Machines(ATMs) in India. 
ii.The partnership enables the Mastercard cardholders to withdraw cash at ATMs by scanning the Quick Response(QR) code that is displayed on the ATM screen. 
iii.The Cardless ATM is powered by Mastercard’. 
Purpose: To offer more secured banking experience to the customers in India.
About AGS Transact Technologies Ltd (AGSTTL):
Chairman & MD– Ravi B Goyal
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
About Mastercard:
Executive Chairman– Ajay Banga
CEO– Michael Miebach
Headquarters – New York, United States
<<Read Full News>>

IRDAI panel okays the launch of Index-Linked Insurance PoliciesIrdai panel okays launch of index-linked insurance policiesi.The Working Group Committee (WGC) set up by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has recommended the introduction of index-linked insurance policies (Ilips). The report is opened for comments till March 8, 2021.
ii.The committee has been formed in August 2020 under Dinesh Pant, Appointed Actuary of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India on the lines of the requests from insurers for reintroducing Ilips. It was banned by IRDAI in 2013.
iii.The committee was responsible to examining the need of index-linked products in India.
About Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI):
Chairman – Subhash Chandra Khuntia
Headquarters – Hyderabad, Telangana
<<Read Full News>>

NPCI launched Global Hackathon – ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’ on APIXNPCI launches Global Hackathon - ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’ on APIXi.National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched a Global level Hackathon ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’, to find out the alternatives for the authentication of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) transaction for eg: Biometric. This Challenge is supported by APIX, world’s first cross-border, open architecture API marketplace and sandbox platform.
ii.The Challenge is an open for global Fintechs, solution providers and developers and can submit unique solutions that simplify authorization.
iii.UPI is a unique payment system through which customers can link their bank account to a mobile application and make easy, safe and instant money transfers. 
About National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI):
It is an initiative of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
Establishment– 2008
Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Dilip Asbe
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

Bharti AXA General Insurance Introduced Health AdvantEDGE, an Innovative Health Insurance PlanBharti AXA General Insurance launches of Health AdvantEDGEi.Bharti AXA General Insurance introduced  Health AdvantEDGE, an innovative health insurance plan. 
ii.It is specifically designed to cater the healthcare and wellness needs of customers.
iii.The insurer has launched the Bharti AXA Wellness Cuppa portal for its customers to boost customer engagement and experience.
About Bharti AXA General Insurance:
It is a joint venture company with a 51% stake from Bharti Enterprises and 49% stake of the AXA Group.
Established– 2008
HeadQuarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Managing Director(MD) and Chief Executive Officer(CEO)– Sanjeev Srinivasan
Tagline– Suraksha ka Naya Nazariya
<<Read Full News>>

HDFC Bank invites start-ups to apply for SmartUp grants

Private sector lender HDFC Bank is inviting applications from start-ups and individual entrepreneurs for its SmartUp grants. SmartUp grants are a part of the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR)


India’s FY21 GDP to Contract by 7% from -7.4%: SBI’s Ecowrap ReportIndian economy to contract by 7 pci.On February 10, 2021 Ecowrap report of the State Bank of India (SBI) has estimated that India’s Gross domestic Product(GDP) for FY 21 will contract by 7%(-7%) from -7.4%  projected earlier. 
ii.The GDP growth in FY22 will remain at 11%.
About SBI (State Bank of India):
Founded– July 1, 1955 as SBI
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Chairman– Dinesh Kumar Khara
Tagline– The banker to every Indian; With you all the way; Pure banking nothing else; The nation banks on us; A bank of the common man
<<Read Full News>>


GAIL Acquires 5% Stake of Indian Energy Exchange in Indian Gas ExchangeGAIL acquires IEX's 5 pc stake in Indian Gas ExchangeGAIL (India) Limited has acquired a 5% stake of Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEX) in Indian Gas Exchange Ltd (IGX). GAIL becomes the 3rd strategic investor in IGX after Adani Total Gas & Torrent Gas. With this disinvestment, IEX will hold 85% stake in IGX. 
5% Equity Stake Acquisition by Adani Total Gas and Torrent Gas
Recently, Adani Total Gas and Torrent Gas acquired 5% stake each in IGX. This was the 1st time stakes of IGX were sold, as it was wholly-owned by the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX). The total 10% stake has been sold for about Rs 7.38 crore
About IGX:
Launched: On June 15, 2020 by Dharmendra Pradhan Union minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Operates under: The regulatory framework of Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).

  • It is India’s first automated national level trading platform for physical delivery of natural gas. 
  • It is the 1st gas exchange to receive authorization from Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) under recently notified Gas Exchange Regulations 2020

Purpose: It is an online trading platform to make physical delivery of natural gas and provides a neutral and transparent marketplace to trade.
Director– Rajesh Kumar Mediratta
Headquarters-Noida, Uttar Pradesh
About Indian Energy Exchange Ltd (IEX):
It is the first and largest energy exchange in India providing a nationwide, automated trading platform for physical delivery of electricity, Renewable Energy Certificates and Energy Saving Certificates.
Headquarters-Noida, Uttar Pradesh
About GAIL (India) Limited
Chairman & Managing Director– Manoj Jain
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi


Dharmendra Pradhan Launches Investment Corner on MoPNG’s Revamped WebsiteDharmendra Pradhan launches investment cornerOn February 9, 2021, Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel launched Investment Corner under Project Development Cell (PDC) on the upgraded website of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG).

  • The section will help the investor community to reach out to the MoPNG.
  • It will channelize investor’s interest to the MoPNG PDC Team. 

i.The Investment corner will help MoPNG in implementation of Union Cabinet’s decision to establish Project Development Cells (PDC) in Ministries, Departments to enhance the investment friendly ecosystem.
ii.It will also help in coordination of issues along with the responsible agencies of Government of India and State Governments.
About Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG):
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Member of Parliament –  Rajya Sabha, Constituency – Madhya Pradesh)
<<Read Full News>>

Square Kilometre Array – World’s Largest Radio Telescope

On February 5, 2021, Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) Council held its Maiden Meeting during the meeting they approved the establishment of World’s Largest Radio Telescope namely ‘Square Kilometre Array’. The telescope will consist of a vast number of radio receivers which will be positioned in South Africa and Australia. SKAO is a 10-member intergovernmental organisation dedicated to radio astronomy. The members of SKAO are Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Netherlands and UK. The headquarters of SKAO is situated at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, United Kingdom. Radio Telescopes are capable of detecting gas and can reveal areas of space which are hidden by cosmic dust.


ICC Announced BYJU’s as Global Partner from 2021 – 2023

On 8th February 2021, The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced BYJU’s as its global partner from 2021 to 2023. Under the 3-year agreement BYJU’s will partner all the events of ICC from 2021 to 2023, including the Men’s T20 World Cup in India, and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.

  • Under this partnership BYJU’s will have extensive in-venue, broadcast, and digital rights to all ICC events.
  • BYJU’s became the official jersey partner of Indian Cricket team in August 2019. 


Bollywood Actor Rajiv Kapoor Passed Away at 58 Actor-producer Rajiv Kapoor dies at 58On 9th February 2021, Bollywood Actor, Director and film producer Rajiv Kapoor passed away at the age of 58 in Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was the son of veteran filmmaker Raj Kapoor and brother of Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor. He was born on 25th August 1962 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Rajiv Kapoor is also known as “Chimpu”. 
Rajiv Kapoor:
i.Rajiv Kapoor made his debut as an actor in the film “Ek Jaan Hain Hum” in 1983. 
ii.His well known works include, Aasman (1984), Lover Boy (1985) and Zabardast (1985). 
iii.Ram Teri Ganga Maili the 1985 film directed by Raj Kapoor is one of his most credited movies. 
iv.He has produced the well known films like “Aa Ab Laut Chalen” and “Henna” and he directed the movie “Prem Granth” in 1996. 


Meghna Pant Authored a New Book Titled ‘The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Good News’Titled The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Good News by award-winning author Meghna PantMeghna Pant has authored a new book titled ‘The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Good News’. The book will be published by Penguin Random House India. It will be released  in April 2021, and will shortly become a major motion picture under the title Badnam Ladoo.

  • This is the author’s second novel.

Essence of the Book:
The book is about  Ladoo, a small-town woman who offends her conservative family when she decides to use a sperm donor to have a baby, while continuing to look for Mr Right. 
About Meghna Pant:
i.Apart from being an author, she is a journalist and speaker.
ii.Her 2nd non-fiction book titled ‘How To Get Published in India’ (Bloomsbury, 2019) is India’s first and only guide to publishing in India.
iii.The other works of the author include  Happy Birthday (Random House, 2013),  Feminist Rani (Penguin Random House, 2018).
Her debut novel, One & a Half Wife (Westland, 2012) won the national Muse India Young Writer Award (2014).


World Pulses Day 2021 – 10th FebruaryWorld Pulses day 2021i.The United Nations(UN)’s World Pulses Day is annually observed across the globe on 10th February to celebrate the contribution of the pulses to the sustainable food system, healthy growth and environmental benefits. 
ii.The First World Pulses Day was celebrated on 10th February 2019. 
iii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/73/251 on 20th December 2018 and proclaimed the 10th February of every year as the World Pulses Day. 
iv.The World pulses day was proposed by Burkina Faso
<<Read Full News>>

National Deworming Day 2021 – February 10National Deworming Day 2021i.National Deworming Day 2021 is celebrated on 10th February, 2021 with a mop-up day on 15th February, 2021. 
ii.National Deworming Day (NDD) is a biannual event celebrated across India to create awareness about worm infection and to eradicate the intestinal worms which is also known as soil Transmitted Helminths(STH) in children aged 1 to 19.
iii.10th February 2021 marks the 12th round of the National Deworming Day (NDD). 
iv.The World Health Organization (WHO) approved ‘Albendazole tablet’ is used for the treatment of intestinal worms in children and adolescents.
<<Read Full News>>


Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Launches ‘Kerala Knowledge Mission’; Inaugurates Digital Workforce Management SystemKerala CM launches Knowledge MissionOn February 9, 2021, Kerala Chief Minister (CM) Pinarayi Vijayan launched the 
‘Kerala Knowledge Mission’ at Thiruvananthapuram. The aim of the mission is to transform Kerala into a knowledge economy by promoting innovative ideas, coordinating knowledge initiatives & equipping young people with New Skills.

  • Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council (K-DISC) is heading the mission. It is supported by Kerala Startup Mission and ICT Academy.

Digital Workforce Management System Kerala:
i.As part of the mission, the government also launched a first-of-its-kind platform called ‘Digital Workforce Management System Kerala’ (DWMSK) (

  • The platform designed, developed and managed by Digital University Kerala (DUK) (also known as Kerala University of Digital Sciences, Innovation and Technology) and other state agencies will help Youngsters to learn new skills and connect trained youth with the global job market and leading private sector enterprises. 
  • It will also be used by the Kerala Government to distribute Insurance and Loan assistance to Entrepreneurs.
  • It will provide training in the areas of data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, full stack development, cyber security, digital content creation, media, synthetic biology, genetic engineering and agricultural consulting.

About Kerala:
Governor – Arif Mohammed Khan
Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) – Idukki WLS, Periyar WLS, Wayanad WLS, Kurinjimala WLS.  
<<Read Full News>>

Odisha Cabinet approves Implementation of ‘REWARD’ project with Assistance from World BankOdisha to implement REWARD projectOn February 9, 2021, Odisha Cabinet headed by its Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved the proposal for implementation of the ‘Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD)’ project. The estimated expenditure for the project is INR 500 Crores, of which the World Bank will provide assistance of INR  350 Crores.
The project is being implemented to ensure efficient water management & enhanced cropping area.

  • The implementation period of the project is 6 years beginning from April, 2021.
  • It will be implemented in 7 districts of Odisha – Sambalpur, Dhenkanal, Nayagarh, Deogarh, Koraput, Nabarangpur & Sundargarh.
  • Odisha’s Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment Department will implement the project with assistance from Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Directorate.

‘REWARD’ Project:

  • To improve land and water conservation and climate resilience in selected watersheds
  • Strengthening capacities of national and state institutions to deliver effective science-based watershed development programs.

ii.It is an initiative of Department of Land Resources, Government of India & World Bank
iii.The project will be funded in 70:30 proportion, where 70% will be funded by the World Bank & 30% by the State Government.
iv.It is being implemented in the Indian States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
v.Total allocation for the project is ~ USD 250 Million (~ INR 1,821.25 crore) – USD 178.5 Million is from World Bank & balance is funded by Government of India & State Governments.
About Odisha:
Tribes Bonda (also known as the Bondo), Gadabas, Sora (also known as saora)
Mountains & Peaks – Mahendragiri (Mountain), Deomali (Mountain Peak), Malayagiri (Mountain Peak)
About World Bank:
President– David Robert Malpass
Headquarters– Washington, D.C., United States
<<Read Full News>>

UP Introduced 16 Digit Unicode to Identify the Landholdings

The government of Uttar Pradesh(UP) has introduced a new system to issue a unique 16-digit unicode to identify the landholding in UP.  The unicode will be used to check on cases of land dispute and protect people from fraudsters. 

  • The revenue department of UP will be issuing these 16 digit unicode. 
  • The revenue court is working on marking the disputed plots in the computerised management system. 

The first 6 digits is based on the population of the land, next 4 digit determines the identity of the land, next 4 digit based on the number of divisions of the land and last 2 digit based on the category of the land (agricultural, residential and commercial land).


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S.noCurrent Affairs 11 February 2021
1India, Afghanistan signed MoU for Construction of Lalandar [Shatoot] Dam in Afghanistan
2IEPF Authority signs MoU with IGNOU for Telecast of IAP
3Government of India allocates Rs. 16000 crore for PMFBY for FY22
4India to be Largest Source of Energy Demand Growth to 2040: IEA’s India Energy Outlook 2021
5FAO endorses First-ever Declaration for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture at COFI34
6RBI Observes Financial Literacy Week 2021 from February 8 to 12
7AGSTTL & Mastercard Partnered to Introduce 1st-Ever ‘Contactless’ Cash Withdrawals on ATMs in India
8IRDAI panel okays the launch of Index-Linked Insurance Policies
9NPCI launched Global Hackathon – ‘NPCI PayAuth Challenge’ on APIX
10Bharti AXA General Insurance Introduced Health AdvantEDGE, an Innovative Health Insurance Plan
11HDFC Bank invites start-ups to apply for SmartUp grants
12India’s FY21 GDP to Contract by 7% from -7.4%: SBI’s Ecowrap Report
13GAIL Acquires 5% Stake of Indian Energy Exchange in Indian Gas Exchange
14Dharmendra Pradhan Launches Investor Corner on MoPNG’s Revamped Website
15Square Kilometre Array – World’s Largest Radio Telescope
16ICC Announced BYJU’s as Global Partner from 2021 – 2023
17Bollywood Actor Rajiv Kapoor Passed Away at 58
18Meghna Pant Authored a New Book Titled ‘The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Good News’
19World Pulses Day 2021 – 10th February
20National Deworming Day 2021 – February 10
21Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Launches ‘Kerala Knowledge Mission’; Inaugurates Digital Workforce Management System
22Odisha Cabinet approves Implementation of ‘REWARD’ project with Assistance from World Bank
23UP Introduced 16 Digit Unicode to Identify the Landholdings