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Current Affairs 17 February 2021

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Current Affairs 17 February 2021 EnglishWe are here for you to provide the important Recent and Latest Current Affairs 17 February 2021, which have unique updates of Latest Current Affairs 2021 events from all newspapers such as The Hindu, The Economic Times, PIB, Times of India, PTI, Indian Express, Business Standard and all Government official websites.

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Smriti Irani Virtually Inaugurated Jute seed distribution Plan & Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop at Barrackpore, WBUnion Textile Minister Smriti Irani rolls out commercial Jute seed distribution schemei.On February 15, 2021, Union Minister Smriti Zubin Irani, Ministry of Textiles and Women & Child Development virtually inaugurated the Certified Jute Seeds Distribution Plan and Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop on Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise for Jute (ICARE-Jute) Initiative.
ii.The workshop was organised at Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibers (CRIJAF) Institute at Barrackpore, West Bengal (WB).
iii.Both events were organized by the Ministry of Textiles through its field offices viz; Office of the Jute Commissioner, National Jute Board (NJB), Jute Corporation of India (JCI) and ICAR-CRIJAF.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Smriti Irani Constituency– Amethi, Uttar Pradesh
Headquarter– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

India needs USD 500 Billion to reach 2030 RE Target of 450 GW: IEEFA Report Indian renewable energy sector will need investmentsAccording to the report ‘Capital Flows Underpinning India’s Energy Transformation’ released by Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), India needs an Investment of USD 500 Billion to reach its target of 450 Gigawatts (GW) of Renewable Energy (RE) by 2030.
i.Out of USD 500 Billion,

  • USD 300 Billion should be utilized for building Wind and Solar Infrastructure
  • USD 50 Billion on Grid Firming Investments like gas-peakers, hydro power and batteries
  • USD 150 Billion on expanding and modernising transmission and distribution

ii.The report also states that the RE sector in India has received investments worth USD 42 Billion since 2014.
iii.The report was authored by Tim Buckely, Director Energy Finance Studies & Saurabh Trivedi, Research Analyst.
iv.At 900 GW India has the largest untapped Renewable potential in the World.
v.The report stated that Indian renewables sector is being dominated by major private Independent Power Producers (IPPs) like ReNew Power, Greenko, Adani Green, Tata Power, Azure Power, and Hero Future Energies.
Click here to read the full report
About Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA):
Executive Director – Sandy Buchanan
Headquarters – Cleveland, Ohio, USA
<<Read Full News>>

HCL Signed MoU with IIT – Kanpur to Collaborate in CybersecurityHCL Tech signs MoU with IIT-K for cybersecurityOn 15th February 2021, the HCL Technologies (HCL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur (IIT – K) to collaborate in the field of cybersecurity.
HCL will also work with the C3iHub, a specialised cyber security research centre of IIT-K.
To bring in the brightest minds, advanced research capabilities and global resources to develop advanced solutions in cybersecurity.
Features of the MoU:
i.Under this MoU, the teams will develop a security framework and solutions for cybersecurity issues in the present and future operational technologies as one of the areas of interest.
ii.HCL and IIT-K will work towards discovering and managing the cyber threats, vulnerabilities and critical infrastructure risks.
iii.HCL and IIT-K will bring in real world industry exposure to carry out joint initiatives and research.
iv.IIT-K in collaboration with HCL will identify selective research projects to scale them up.
for commercialization of products and services, These projects will be tested on the international benchmark and the research and production will be done in the special HCL environment.
About HCL:
Founder– Shiv Nadar
Executive Director & CEO– Roshni Nadar Malhotra
Headquarters– Noida, Uttar Pradesh

Mandu Festival held at Mandu in Dhar district of Madhya PradeshMandu festival starts at Mandu in DharOn February 13-15, 2021, a three-day Mandu Festival was held at Mandu in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh on the theme “Khojne mein Kho Jao (feel lost in discovering)”. It was inaugurated by state culture and tourism minister Usha Thakur.

  • She also inaugurated Dino Adventure Park & Fossils Museum in Mandu and construction of Astro Park building at a cost of Rs 59 lakh.
  • Notably, Dinosaur Park is India’s first modern fossil park which has 24 eggs and other fossils of dinosaurs. The park provides information related to the life of dinosaurs.

Key Points:
–Handicrafts related to handmade art, wood cloth, food items were displayed at Mandu Fest to encourage vocal for locals.
–Madhya Pradesh government is making efforts to promote handicrafts so that artists can get enough space for their artworks.
–This festival familiarizes people around the world with the special culture of rural Madhya Pradesh.
About Madhya Pradesh (MP):
Chief Minister– Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Capital– Bhopal
Dams – Gandhi Sagar Dams (Chambal River), Indira Sagar Dam (Narmada River)

AYUSH Ministry & WHO SEARO signed LoE to Depute AYUSH Expert for WHO’s Traditional Medicine Programme Ministry of Ayush, GoI and the WHO signed MoU on Coopertaion in the field of Traditional Medicinei.On February 15, 2021, The Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) and the World Health Organization South East Asia Regional Office (WHO SEARO) signed a letter of exchange (LoE) for deputation of an AYUSH expert to WHO’s regional traditional medicine programme in New Delhi.
ii.The LoE was signed by Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of Ayush and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of WHO South-East Asia Region.
iii.Under this AYUSH ministry will support WHO SEARO for implementing the regional traditional medicine action plan on safe and effective use of traditional medicine service.
iv.Both participants also agreed to launch a public health research project on COVID-19.
About World Health Organization South East Regional Office (WHO SEARO):
Member States– 11
Headquarter– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

DoT to  set up Digital Intelligence Unit & TAFCOP to tackle UCC, Financial FraudsGovt to set up digital intelligence unitDepartment of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications has set up a New Nodal Agency called ‘Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU)’ & Consumer protection mechanism called ‘Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP)’ for tackling Unsolicited Commercial Communication (UCC), financial frauds involving telecom resources.

  • The decision to set up DIU & TAFCOP was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister of Communications.
  • The main purpose of DIU will be to coordinate with various Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA), Financial Institutions & Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to investigate Fraud activities which involve the telecom resources.
  • The TAFCOP system will be set up at 22 License Service Area Level.

Key Points discussed during the Meeting:

  • Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad proposed to impose Financial Penalty & disconnection of resources against tele-marketers who repeatedly violate rules and disturb the citizens.
  • He also proposed to develop a web/mobile application & SMS based system for addressing grievances regarding UCC.

TCCCPR, 2018:
In 2018, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) notified the ‘Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preferences Regulations (TCCCPR), 2018’ to curb the problem of UCCs.
About Ministry of Communications:
Union Minister – Ravi Shankar Prasad (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Patna Sahib)
Minister of State – Dhotre Sanjay Shamrao (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Akola, Maharashtra)
<<Read Full News>>

MoHUA launches ‘Pey Jal Survekshan 2021’ on Pilot basis in 10 citiesMinistry of Housing and Urban Affairs launches Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan

On February 16, 2021, Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) launched ‘Pey Jal Survekshan 2021’,  drinking water survey under Jal Jeevan Mission-Urban (JJM-U) on a pilot basis in 10 cities.

  • As part of the survey, ‘Pey Jal Survekshan 2021’, data will be collected on wastewater management and condition of water bodies of at least 3 water bodies in the cities.


  • To determine equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater & mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water.

Key Points:

  • The 10 cities are Agra (UP), Badlapur (Maharashtra), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Churu (Rajasthan), Kochi (Kerala), Madurai (TN), Patiala (Punjab), Rohtak (Haryana), Surat (Gujarat) & Tumkur (Karnataka).
  • Based on responses received in the 10 cities, the survekshan will be extended to all AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) cities

Mode of Collecting Data:

  • Face-to-Face Interviews with Citizens and municipal officials as per approved questionnaire

Jal Jeevan Mission (Urban) (JJM (U)):
In the Budget 2021-22, JJM (U) was announced under the MoHUA for providing universal coverage of water supply to all households through functional taps on lines of Sustainable Development Goal – 6.
<<Read Full News>>


RBI Formulates EC for Strengthening & Consolidating UCBs; Headed by N S VishwanathanRBI sets up paneli.On the lines of the “Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies” released with the Monetary Policy Statement on February 05, 2021, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) formulated an 8-member Expert Committee (EC) on Urban Cooperative Banks (UCBs). The former Deputy Governor of RBI, N. S. Vishwanathan, is the chairman of the committee. The Committee is required to submit its report within three months.
ii.The committee will examine the issues faced by the UCBs and will also be responsible for preparing a road map for its strengthening.
iii.The measures to be recommended by the committee will adhere to the recent amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
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>>

ADB Signs Rs 100 Crore Debt Financing Agreement with Medanta to Support COVID-19 Response in IndiaMedanta to get ₹100 crore loan from ADB to combat Covid-19i.On February 15, 2021 The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed Rs 100 crore(USD 13.7 million) debt financing agreement with Multi-Specialty medical institute, Medanta to provide essential health care services and medical equipment to India.
Purpose: To Support COVID-19 Response in India
ii.This financing is part of the $20 billion assistance package announced by ADB in April 2020 to help its developing members manage the pandemic.
iii.Aniruddha Patil, head of Health and Education Investments at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department, and Naresh Trehan, Chairman and Managing Director of Medanta signed the agreement.
About Medanta:
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
Chairman & Managing Director– Dr. Naresh Trehan
About  Asian Development Bank (ADB):
Establishment– 1966
Headquarters– Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines
Membership– 68 countries(Including India)
President of ADB  and Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Director– Masatsugu Asakawa
<<Read Full News>>

Bank Credit Growth at 90% of FY20 level: RBI DataBank credit growth at 90% of FY20In accordance with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) data on Scheduled Banks’ Statement of Position in India, bank credit growth in FY21 up to January 29, 2021 has reached about 90% of the same period of FY20.

  • This states that credit demand is coming back to normalcy after severe economic impact amid COVID-19.
  • It should be noted that RBI has projected real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth at 5% in FY22.

Key Points:
–Year-to-date (YTD) credit growth of all scheduled banks at Rs 3,39,147 crore was about 90% of the year-ago YTD credit growth of Rs 3,74,938 crore.
–On a year-on-year basis, credit growth decreased to 5.92%  as against 7.41% as of January-end 2020.
–YTD deposit growth at Rs 12,36,944 crore was about 1.5 times the year-ago growth of Rs 8,26,394 crore.
–On a year-on-year basis, deposit growth was at 10.85% as of January-end 2021 against 10.42% as of January-end 2020.
Static points about Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
-It was established on the recommendation of the Hilton Young Commission.
-RBI is responsible only for printing the currency notes. Minting of coins is done by the Government of India.
-Dr. Manmohan Singh is the only Prime Minister to have also served as the Governor of RBI.

Kerala Financial Corporation Becomes 1st Govt Financial Institution in Kerala to Launch Debit CardKerala Financial Corporation to launch debit cardsi.On February 15, 2021 Kerala Financial Corporation(KFC) announced that it will introduce its own debit card. KFC becomes the 1st government financial institution in Kerala to launch debit card.
ii.This 5 year Rupay platinum card will be co-branded in association with public sector banks.
iii.The card will be issued in accordance with the guidelines of Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
About  Kerala Financial Corporation(KFC):
Incorporated under–  State Financial Corporations Act of 1951
Headquarters– Thiruvananthapuram, kerala
Chairman & Managing Director– Tomin J Thachankary IPS
<<Read Full News>>

Mastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital payments more accessible for MSMEs and startupsMastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital paymentsi.Mastercard and Razorpay have joined hands to empower Indian micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups especially in tier 2 and 3 cities in digitising their operations, maintaining business continuity in the challenging environment, and preparing them for cashless future.
ii.It should be noted that Razorpay is India’s youngest unicorn (Company valuation exceedes $1 billion).
About Mastercard:
Executive Chairman– Ajay Banga
CEO– Michael Miebach
Headquarters– New York, United States
About Razorpay:
CEO– Harshil Mathur
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
<<Read Full News>>


India’s GDP to grow at 13.5% : Nomura & States’ fiscal deficit is 4.3% of GDP in FY22- IndRaEconomic activity on verge of normality, GDP to growi.In accordance with Nomura, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow at 13.5% in FY22 as Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) increased to 98.1 for the week ending February 14, 2021 from 95.9% in the preceding week.
ii.The real GDP to contract by 6.7% in FY21 and grow by 13.5% in FY22.
iii.On the other hand, India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra) projected aggregate fiscal deficit of States for FY22 at 4.3% of GDP compared to 4.6 %(Revised) in FY21. In this regard, the agency has revised the outlook on State finances for FY22 from stable to negative.
About Nomura:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Kentaro Okuda
Headquarter– Tokyu, Japan
About India Ratings & Research (Ind-RA)
Managing Director & CEO– Rohit Karan Sawhney
Headquarter– Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>


Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed as 7th DG of WTO; Becomes the First Woman and First African to Head WTONigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed WTO Director-Generali.On 15th February 2021, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria was appointed as the 7th Director General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO), multilateral trade body.She will hold the position from 1st March 2021 to 31st August 2025.
ii.She succeeds former Director-General Roberto Azevêdo who announced his retirement 1 year before the expiry of his tenure.
iii.With this appointment, Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala became the first woman and the first African to head the WTO.
iv.Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has twice served as the Finance Minister of Nigeria between 2011 and 2015 and she has also served as the Foregin Minister of Nigeria in 2006, the first woman to hold both the positions.
v.She served as the Managing Director of the World Bank.
About World Trade Organisation:
WTO deals with the global rules of trade between the countries.
To ensure that trade flow is as smooth, predictable and free as possible.
Location– Geneva, Switzerland
Established– 1 January 1995
Created by– Uruguay Round negotiations (1986-94)
Member– 164 members
<<Read Full News>>    

Actor Rana Daggubati Becomes Brand Ambassador of CEATCEAT ropes in Rana Daggubati as brand ambassadorCEAT Limited, a tyre company of RPG Enterprises(Rama Prasad Goenka Group) has signed in Actor Rana Daggubati as its brand ambassador to promote the new ‘Puncture Safe’ range of bike tyres.
Key Info:
i.CEAT has launched ‘Puncture Safe’ range of tyres in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
ii.Rana Daggubati, as part of an integrated marketing campaign in 5 southern states, will feature in the new ads for these tyres  to be aired across TV and digital platforms.
iii.The new commercial will also be aired during the ongoing India-England Test series.
‘Puncture Safe’ range 
These tyres have a technology that enables it to seal punctures for nails up to 2.5 mm in diameter. It will not lose air by sealing themselves even after being punctured.
About Rana Daggubati:
i.Besides being an actor, he is also a producer, television personality, visual effects coordinator, and an entrepreneur .
ii.He acted  in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil language films.
iii.His films include, Baahubali: The Beginning(2015) , Baahubali 2: The Conclusion-2017(which became the highest grossing Indian film of all time),  Ghazi (2017), and Nene Raju Nene Mantri (2017).

Dr Ajay Mathur Elected as Director-General of ISA; Succeeds Upendra TripathyISA announces Dr Ajay Mathur as its new Director-Generali.Dr Ajay Mathur has been named as the new Director-General of  International Solar Alliance (ISA) following his election at the 1st special Assembly of ISA members that was held virtually on February 15, 2021.
ii.He succeeds Upendra Tripathy who was in the position since ISA was founded in 2015.
iii.Prior, being named as the director general of ISA, Dr Ajay Mathur was serving as the director general of The Energy & Resources Institute(TERI)
About International Solar Alliance (ISA):
It is a treaty-based intergovernmental organisation launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and Former President François Hollande of France at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November, 2015.
HeadQuarters– Gurugam, Haryana
<<Read Full News>>

Preeti Sinha, Indian Origin Investment Banker was Appointed as the Executive Secretary of UNCDFPreeti Sinha to lead UN Capital Development Fundi.The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) appointed Preeti Sinha, an Investment and development Banker of Indian Origin as the New Executive Secretary of UNCDF.  Sinha succeeds Judith Karl, who retired in February 2021.
ii.Preethi Sinha started her tenure on 15th February 2021.
iii.Preeti Sinha will be overseeing the efforts of UNCDF in delivering scalable impacts to enable the international financial architecture work for the world’s frontier and pre-frontier markets.
iv.She will focus on the sustainable development for women, youth and small and medium sized enterprises, smallholder farmers and other underserved communities.
About UNCDF:
Executive Secretary– Preeti Sinha
Headquarters– New York
Established in 1966
<<Read Full News>>

Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge Named as Prime Minister of CongoCongo president names Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde as new Prime MinisterFelix Tshisekedi, President of Democratic Republic of the Congo named Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge as the Prime Minister(PM) of the country. He belongs to the Future of Congo political party. He succeeds Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, who resigned on January 28, 2021  after a no-confidence vote in the parliament.
About  Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge:
i.Prior to his appointment he was serving as the General Director of the state mining company Gécamines (General Quarries and Mines) since June 2019.
ii.In 2015 he was the Cabinet minister of youth and sport.
About Democratic Republic of the Congo:
Capital– Kinshasa(largest city of Congo)
Currency- Congolese franc


MDL delivers ‘INS Karanj’ – India’s 3rd Kalvari-Class Submarine to Indian NavyThird Scorpene class submarine INS Karanj delivered to Indian NavyOn February 15, 2021, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) delivered the Third of Six Kalvari-class submarines based on ‘Scorpene Class’ to the Indian Navy at Mumbai, Maharashtra. The submarine will be commissioned into the Indian Navy in March, 2021 as ‘INS Karanj’.

  • ‘INS Karanj’ successfully completed its sea trials which began in January, 2018.
  • The submarine has been designed by French company ‘The Naval Group’ (formerly known as DCNS) & constructed in MDL, Mumbai under Project 75 (P-75).
  • The 2 previous Scorpene-Class Submarines which have been commissioned & are presently operated by the Indian Navy are INS Kalvari (Commissioned in December, 2017) & INS Khanderi (Commissioned in September, 2019).

Status of 6 Scorpene Submarines:
With 3 Scorpenes inducted into the Indian Navy, 3 more submarines are under development/sea trials phase which include INS Vela, INS Vagir & INS Vagsheer is at the stage of outfitting. The delivery of all 6 Submarines is expected to be completed by 2022.
About Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL):
CMD – Vice Admiral Narayan Prasad
Location – Mazagon, Mumbai, Maharashtra
<<Read Full News>>

Rajnath Singh Launches E-Chhawani Portal & Mobile App for Cantonment Boards Raksha Mantri launches E-Chhawani portal & mobile appOn February 16, 2021, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched E-Chhawani Portal & Mobile app in New Delhi. It has been developed by eGov Foundation, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Director General Defence Estates (DGDE) & National Informatics Centre (NIC).

  • ‘E-Chhawani’ has been launched along the lines of Digital India & e-Governance.
  • Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat;Director General Defence Estates (DGDE), Deepa Bajwa were present during the event.

To Provide online civic services to around 20 Lakh residents of 62 Cantonment Boards across India.

  • To avail services like renewal of leases, application for birth & death certificates, water & sewerage connections, trade licences, mobile toilet locators & payments of various taxes & fees.
  • The app will ensure effectiveness & Transparency of services distribution system of the Cantonment Board.
  • In future, services like filing of property & building tax, collection of rent & booking of community centres will be added to the portal.

<<Read Full News>>


Former Indian Cricketer Naman Ojha retires from all forms of CricketWicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha retires from all formatsOn 15th February 2021, Former Indian Wicketkeeper – Batsman Naman Ojha(37 years old) from Madhya Pradesh(MP) announced his retirement from all forms of Cricket(international and BCCI/MPCA domestic first-class cricket). He has represented India in all three formats and holds the record for the most dismissals (351) by a wicketkeeper in Ranji Trophy.
About Naman Ojha:
i.He debuted in 2000-2001 representing Madhya Pradesh.
ii.He made his international debut against Zimbabwe during India’s 2010 tour of Zimbabwe.
iii.He represented India in a Test match against Sri Lanka held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2015 and became the first test cricketer from Madhya Pradesh since Rajesh Chauhan(1993 to 1998).
iv.He has featured in an ODI and two T20Is during his 20 years in the domestic circuit.
v.He has played for the 2016 title winning Sunrisers Hyderabad and he has also represented the  Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils in the IPL T20 league.
i.He has scored 9753 runs in First Class cricket and he also has 471 dismissals which includes 54 stumpings.
ii.With 7861 runs, He is the 8th highest run getter in Ranji Trophy.


Justice M Rama Jois, Former Governor of Bihar & Jharkhand Passed Away at 88Former Bihar-Jharkhand Governor Rama Jois passes wayOn 16th February 2021, Justice Mandagadde Rama Jois, the former governor of Bihar and Jharkhand passed away at the age of 89 in Bengaluru, Karnataka. He was born on 27th July 1931 at Shimoga, Karnataka.
About M Rama Jois:
i.M Rama Jois served as the Chief Justice of Punjab & Haryana High Court.
ii.Justice Rama Jois associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was elected as the member of Rajya Sabha as a BJP representative.
i.He has authored several books like Legal and Constitutional History of India: Ancient Legal, Judicial and Constitutional System, Raja Dharma with Lessons on Raja Neeti, on various aspects of law which includes constitutional law.
ii.Ancient Indian law and Bharateeya values in modern law were his areas of special interest.


Award Winning Author Irwin Allan Sealy to Pen New Book Titled, ‘ASOCA: A Sutra’Irwin Sealy to pen imagined memoir ofAward Winning Author Irwin Allan Sealy to pen a new book titled, ‘ASOCA: A Sutra’,  a memoir of Ashoka The Great. The book is to be published by  Penguin Random House‘s Viking imprint and will be released in July 2021.
Note: Penguin had published the 30th anniversary edition of his debut novel ‘The Trotter-Nama’.
Who is Ashoka the Great?
He is an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent.
He converted to Buddhism, after witnessing the mass deaths of the Kalinga(Odisha) War that was waged by him.
He played a key role in the spread of Buddhism from India to other parts of Asia in the 3rd century BC.
About Irwin Allan Sealy:
His other works include- Hero, The Everest Hotel, Red, The Small Wild Goose Pagoda: An Almanack, Zelaldinus: A Masque
i.For his novel The Trotter Nama,he won:

  • The Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 1989, for Best First Book, Europe and South Asia.
  • Sahitya Akademi Award in 1991

ii.He won Crossword Book Award in 1998 for his book The Everest Hotel.
iii.He won Padma Shri in 2012 for Literature and Education.


West Bengal CM Launches ‘Maa’ Scheme for providing meals at INR 5 Mamata Banerjee launches ‘Maa’ scheme to provide meals at ₹5 to poor peopleOn February 15, 2021, West Bengal Chief Minister (CM) Mamata Banerjee virtually launched ‘Maa’ Scheme under which the Government will provide subsidised cooked meals for the poor & destitute at a cost of INR 5.  The state government has allotted a budget of INR 100 Crore for the scheme.

  • The West Bengal Government will bear a subsidy of INR 15 per plate.
  • The meal consisting of a plate of rice, dal, a vegetable and egg curry will be given at a first-come-first-serve-basis at community kitchens operated by self-help groups.
  • The Canteens will be open from 1 PM to 3 PM every day.

i.Maa Kitchens have started functioning at a few places in Kolkata and districts such as Malda, Dakshin Dinajpur, Paschim Medinipur and Howrah.
About West Bengal:
Lakes – Mirik Lake, Rabindra Sarobar Lake & Senchal Lake
Rivers – Hooghly, Teesta
<<Read Full News>>

Karnataka Government roped in Actor Darshan as ‘Agriculture Ambassador’

On 15th February 2021, BS Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, roped in Kannada Actor Darshan as the ‘Agriculture ambassador’ of the Agriculture department of Karnataka.
Darshan agreed to the role of Agriculture ambassador without any remuneration.

  • He will be promoting the programmes and schemes of the State’s Agriculture department and foster hope among the farmers.
  • He is also the ambassador for the Forest Department.

Other celebrity Ambassadors of Karnataka:
i.In January 2021, Youngest Director Kishan SS was declared as the ambassador of the Karnataka’s Child Rights Commission.  He has features in the Guinness Book of Records for being the youngest Director (age of 9) of a feature film.
ii.In March 2020, Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, was named the development ambassador of Chamarahanagar district.
iii.In 2014, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) roped in Puneeth Rajkumar and Radhika Pandit as the ambassador for the Right To Education(RTE).
About Karnataka:
Nuclear power plant– Kaiga Generating Station (KGS)
UNESCO sites– Group of monuments of the capital of Vijayanagara Empire, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (Papanatha Temple, Temple Area and Jaina Temple), Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Agumbe Reserved Forest


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 17 February 2021
1Smriti Irani Virtually Inaugurated Jute seed distribution Plan & Jute Farmers Awareness Workshop at Barrackpore, WB
2India needs USD 500 Billion to reach 2030 RE Target of 450 GW: IEEFA Report
3HCL Signed MoU with IIT – Kanpur to Collaborate in Cybersecurity
4Mandu Festival held at Mandu in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh
5AYUSH Ministry & WHO SEARO signed LoE to Depute AYUSH Expert for WHO’s Traditional Medicine Programme
6DoT to  set up Digital Intelligence Unit & TAFCOP to tackle UCC, Financial Frauds
7MoHUA launches ‘Pey Jal Survekshan’ on Pilot basis in 10 cities
8RBI Formulates EC for Strengthening & Consolidating UCBs; Headed by N S Vishwanathan
9ADB Signs Rs 100 Crore Debt Financing Agreement with Medanta to Support COVID-19 Response in India
10Bank Credit Growth at 90% of FY20 level: RBI Data
11Kerala Financial Corporation Becomes 1st Govt Financial Institution in Kerala to Launch Debit Card
12Mastercard and Razorpay partner to make digital payments more accessible for MSMEs and startups
13India’s GDP to grow at 13.5% as per Nomura while States’ fiscal deficit revised to Negative in FY22, IndRa
14Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed as 7th DG of WTO; Becomes the First Woman and First African to Head WTO
15Actor Rana Daggubati Becomes Brand Ambassador of CEAT
16Dr Ajay Mathur Elected as Director-General of ISA; Succeeds Upendra Tripathy
17Preeti Sinha, Indian Origin Investment Banker was Appointed as the Executive Secretary of UNCDF
18Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde Kyenge Named as Prime Minister of Congo
19MDL delivers ‘INS Karanj’ – India’s 3rd Kalvari-Class Submarine to Indian Navy
20Rajnath Singh Launches E-Chhawani Portal & Mobile App for Cantonment Boards
21Former Indian Cricketer Naman Ojha retires from all forms of Cricket
22Justice M Rama Jois, Former Governor of Bihar & Jharkhand Passed Away at 88
23Award Winning Author Irwin Allan Sealy to Pen New Book Titled, ‘ASOCA: A Sutra’
24West Bengal CM Launches ‘Maa’ Scheme for providing meals at INR 5
25Karnataka Government roped in Actor Darshan as ‘Agriculture Ambassador’