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Current Affairs 2 February 2021

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Nepal awards Construction of 679 MW Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s SJVNIndia''s SJVN bags 679 MW hydroelectric projectOn 30th January, 2021, During the 46th meeting of the Investment Board of Nepal (IBN) chaired by Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli awarded the contract for construction of 679 MW (MegaWatt) Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Ltd under public-private partnership.
i.The project has been awarded to SJVN after a successful International Competitive Bidding.

  • The Lower Arun Hydropower Project will be constructed on the River Arun situated in the Sankhuwasabha and Bhojpur districts of Eastern Nepal.
  • It is being constructed under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model and will cost around USD 860 Million (Nepali Rupees 100 Billion).
  • It is capable of generating around 3, 561 million units of electricity per annum.

About Nepal:
Prime Minister – K. P. Sharma Oli
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
About SJVN:
Chairman – N.L. Sharma
Headquarters – Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
<<Read Full News>>

India’s Transition towards EV in 2020-30 to cost around INR 19.7 Lakh Crore: NITI Aayog & RMI ReportIndia's EV transition will require $266 billion investmentAccording to the report ‘Mobilising Finance for EVs in India: A Toolkit of Solutions to Mitigate Risks and Address Market Barriers, January 2021’ released by NITI Aayog & Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), India’s transition towards Electric Vehicles (EVs) adoption between the years 2020-2030 will need a capital of INR 19.7 Lakh Crores (USD 266 Billion) they will be utilized for construction of vehicles, charging stations, and batteries & other infrastructures.

  • Immediate steps needed to be taken for India’s EV transition are Mobilisation of Capital & Finance towards EV assets & infrastructure.
  • Projected size of the Annual Loan Market for EVs will be around INR 3.7 lakh crore (USD 50 Billion) in 2030.

Main Purpose of the report – To provide Landscape assessment, Barrier Assessment & Solution Identification for increasing EV adoption in India.
Key Findings:
i.Initiatives taken by Government to improve EV Sector in India

  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, with a budget of INR 18, 100 Crore (USD 2.4 Billion) for Advanced Chemistry Cell battery sector.
  • ‘Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME)’ with a budget of INR 1, 000 Crore (USD 135 Million) for improving charging infrastructure.
  • Promoting the Domestic manufacturing of EVs through National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage.

ii.The report listed 10 solutions that Financial Institutions (FIs) can adopt for mobilising capital needed for India’s EV Transition. It includes 6 targeted instruments & 4 ecosystem enablers.
Click here to read the full report
About Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Jules Kortenhorst
Headquarters – Colorado, United States of America
About NITI Aayog:
Chief Executive Officer – Amitabh Kant
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

India to emerge as 2nd most Resilient Economy in 2021, Germany tops the list:PHDCCI IER RankingsIndia to emerge as most resilient economy afterAccording to the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) International Economic Resilience (IER) India is set to emerge as the 2nd Most Resilience Economy in 2021 among top-10 leading economies showcasing the strong recovery of Indian Economy in the Post COVID-19 era. Germany took the top spot & South Korea took the 3rd spot.
i.Indicators – It is based on 5 Macroeconomic indicators such as Real GDP growth rate, Merchandise export growth rate, Current Account Balance (as percentage of GDP), General Government net lending/borrowing (as percentage of GDP), Gross Debt-to-GDP ratio.
President – Sanjay Aggarwal
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal addressed the  inaugural session 2021 ASEAN-India HackathonUnion Education Minister addresses ASEAN India Hackathon 2021On 1st February, 2021 Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ addressed the inaugural session of 2021’s ASEAN-India Hackathon. ASEAN-INDIA Hackathon 2021 is launched by Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) in partnership with Ministry of Education (MoE), India.
Participating Countries – 10 ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam) and India.
i.2 broad themes – “Blue Economy” & “Education”.
ii.The Government of India had launched 1000 ASEAN PhD Fellowships exclusively for ASEAN citizens.
iii.The National Education Policy 2020 of India, will open opportunities for the whole world.
iv.This Hackathon will be enactment of six fundamental virtues of our civilisation: respect, dialogue, cooperation, peace, prosperity and innovation.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN):
Chair of 2021 – Brunei Darussalam (Theme of its ASEAN Chairmanship is “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”).
Secretary-General – H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi(2018 -2022)
Head Quarter – Jakarta, Indonesia
<<Read Full News>>

HAL to Launch Tejas Mark II in 2022; High-speed trials to be conducted in 2023Tejas Mark II roll out next yearHindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to launch the Indigenous Tejas Mark II Multirole Combat Jet in August-September of 2022. The 1st high-speed trial of the jet will be started in 2023 and productions are expected to begin in 2025.
The new version of Tejas will have Bigger fuselage, longer range, better maintainability, greater load carrying capability, stronger engine power & superior net-centric warfare systems.

  • Tejas Mark II will be more advanced than Tejas Mark-IA, which is being procured by Indian Air Force from HAL.
  • According to the 48, 000 Crore deal signed in January, 2021, HAL will deliver 73 Tejas Mk1A & 10 Tejas Mk 1 trainers by 2026.
  • The main purpose of the Tejas is for Air Combat, Offensive air support with reconnaissance & anti-ship operations.

India is working on the development of a Fifth-Generation medium weight deep penetration fighter jet and is expected to cost around USD 5 Billion.

  • The prototype of the Fifth Generation aircraft is expected to be ready by 2026 & production works by 2030.

About Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL):
Chairman and Managing Director – R Madhavan
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka


Investment in Upskilling has potential to boost Global GDP by USD 6.5 Trillion by 2030: WEF ReportInvestment in upskilling can boost global GDPAccording to the report ‘Upskilling for Shared Prosperity’ – January 2021 released by World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Investments in Upskilling can boost the Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by USD 6.5 Trillion by 2030 also adding that it has the potential to boost India’s GDP by USD 570 Billion (INR 40 Lakh Crore) by 2030.

  • Upskilling has the potential to create 5.3 Million new jobs by 2030 and will help in a more inclusive and sustainable global economy.
  • The report was released during WEF’s The Davos Agenda 2021.
  • With proper upskilling & reskilling initiatives, India has the capacity for GDP gains equivalent to 6.8% of total GDP.

Key Points:

  • Reskilling & Upskilling will help people to get equipped with experience and skills needed for jobs created by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  • Upskilling set to increase Global productivity by 3% on average by 2030.
  • The report highlights a disconnect between the current education programme & skill that employers are looking for hiring.
  • Upskilling i.e Learning new skills will be the key to recover from COVID-19.
  • The report states that India has the 2nd Highest additional employment potential at 23 Lakhs, after the USA which has the potential to generate 27 lakh jobs.

Click here to read the full report
About World Economic Forum (WEF):
Founder and Executive Chairman – Klaus Schwab
Headquarters – Cologny, Switzerland
<<Read Full News>>


Uttar Pradesh Adjudged as the Best Tableau Award Among the 32 Participants: Republic Day ParadeUP's Ram temple model gets best R-Day tableau awardi.The Republic Day parade tableau of Uttar Pradesh was adjudged as the best tableau among the 32 tableaux that participated in the Parade on 26th January 2021. The theme of the UP tableau was “Ayodhya: The cultural heritage of Uttar Pradesh”. 
Kiren Rijiju,
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sport presented the awards and prizes to the participants.
ii.The tableau of the Department of Biotechnology won the top honours among the 9 tableaus from various ministries, departments, paramilitary forces and Defence Ministry. The tableau represented Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan: COVID, the process of vaccine development through various processes.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Ramsar Convention sites– Sur Sarovar, Upper Ganga River, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary, The Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Sarsai Nawar Jheel, Saman Bird Sanctuary.
Wildlife Sanctuary– Katarniya Ghat WLS, Hastinapur WLS, Kishanpur WLS, Mahaveer Swami WLS, Ranipur WLS, Chandraprabha WLS, Kaimoor WLS, Sohelwa WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS
<<Read Full News>>


R S Sharma appointed as the CEO of National Health Authority ;Succeeds Indu BhushanR S Sharma appointed as new CEOOn February 1st, 2021 Ram Sewak Sharma(R.S. Sharma), former Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) took charge as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Authority (NHA) of India. R.S. Sharma replaced the outgoing CEO Indu Bhushan.
i.NHA, an autonomous body is responsible for implementing Ayushman-Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY).
ii.R.S.Sharma served as the Chairman of TRAI from 10 August 2015 to 30 September 2020.
About National Health Authority (NHA):
National Health Authority is the successor of National Health Agency, which was functioning as a registered society since 23rd May, 2018.
Reconstituted on 2nd January 2019. 
Chief Executive Officer(CEO)- R S Sharma
Headquarters– New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>


Domestic Cricket: Tamil Nadu wins 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 competition

On January 31, 2021, Tamil Nadu Cricket Team defeated Baroda in the finals of the 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Competition held at Sardar Patel Stadium, Ahmedabad, Gujarat to win the trophy. The 12th Edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was held from January 10-31, 2021. The Tamil Nadu cricket team was led by Dinesh Karthik.


Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, died at 87Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, who warned of ozone hole, dies at 87On 28th January 2021, Nobel Prize winning atmospheric chemist Paul Jozef Crutzen passed away at the age of 87. He was born in Amsterdam in 1933.He made Key studies on degradation of Ozone layer by pollutants, which served as a base to 1987’s Montreal Protocol.
Key Points:
–In his key finding he described that Nitrogen Pollution destroys the ozone layer in the atmosphere.
–He Popularised the term “Anthropocene” in 2000 to define the current geological era in which human activity is influencing the planet.
Awards & Honours:
i.Nobel Prize in Chemistry – 1995 (for his work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone).He won the Noble Prize in Chemistry along with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland.
ii.He won Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement – 1989
iii.He won Volvo Environment Prize – 1991
iv.He wonFellow of the Royal Society – 2006 & Lomonosov Gold Medal – 2019.


Pavan C. Lall Authored Book Titled “Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor” ReleasedThe Untold Story of Rana Kapoor by Pavan C LallPavan C.Lall’s new book titled “Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor” provides the details about the rise and fall of one of the India’s promising bankers Rana Kapoor and it also questions the banking system, its regulators and the business environment that led to the fall of YES Bank.
The book was published by HarperCollins. 
About the book:
i.The book features the birth of YES Bank in 2004 and its rise as the 4th largest private bank in India, with approved permission to operate in Singapore, London and Dubai.
ii.The book also points out the reckless lending, allegations of bribery and corruption which led to the fall of the bank.
About Pavan C.Lall:
i.Pavan C.Lall hails from Calcutta, West Bengal who pursued his writing in the United States.
ii.He worked as the associate editor at the Business Standard. has contributed to Fortune India, the Telegraph, the Dallas Business Journal and other publications
iii.He won the Citi Journalistic Excellence Award India 2015-2016.
iv.He is the author of “Flawed: The Rise and Fall of India’s Diamond Mogul Nirav Modi”.

“This Life at Play: A Memoir by Girish Karnad” Memoir of Girish Karnad Translated From Kannada into EnglishThis Life at Play A Memoir by Girish KarnadThe English translation of the “This Life at Play: A Memoir by Girish Karnad” the Kannada book authored by Girish Karnad is set to be released on the 83rd birth anniversary of Girish Karnad, on 19th May 2021 by Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publisher.

  • The Kannada book is translated into English by writer and translator Srinath Perur and Girish Karnad.
  • The book is published by HarperCollins India Publisher. 

About the book:
i.The kannada book was first published in 2011.
ii.The book showcases his life from early life in Dharwad, engaging in local theaters to his education in Mumbai and as Rhodes scholar in Oxford.
iii.The book also portrays his life during his career as publisher, his journey in the film industry and his personal life.
About Girish Karnad:
i.Girish Karnad was a writer, director, actor and activist. Some of his notable works include, Nagamandala, Tughlaq, Hayavadana, Hittina Hunja.
ii.He made his debut as an actor in Samskara in 1970 and has acted in more than 90 films in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.
iii.He also served as director of the Nehru Centre and as Minister of Culture, in the Indian High Commission, London (2000–2003).
i.He received the Padma Shri in 1974 and Padma Bhushan in 1992 for arts.
ii.He received the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary prize, in 1999 for his contributions to literature and theatre.
iii.He has also won various literary awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi, Rajyotsava Award, Sahitya Academy award, Kannada Sahitya Parishat Award.
About Srinath Perur:
Srinath Perur is the author of “If It’s Monday, It Must Be Madurai” and the translator of “Ghachar Ghochar”.


World Leprosy Day 2021 – 31st JanuaryWorld Leprosy Day 2021i.World Leprosy Day is annually observed across the globe on the last Sunday of January to create awareness about leprosy, also known as Hansen’s Disease. This day is a celebration of the leprosy community to advocate the rights of the person affected with the Leprosy and to create awareness about the medical and social implications of leprosy.
ii.The World Leprosy Day 2021 falls on 31st January 2021. 
iii.The theme of the 2021 World Leprosy day is “Beat Leprosy, End Stigma and Advocate for Mental Well-Being”.
iv.Annually, India celebrates the World Leprosy day on 30th January, the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi
ii.According to WHO, India has the highest number of new cases of leprosy per annum followed by Brazil and Indonesia.
<<Read Full News>>

Indian Coast Guard Day 2021 – February 1Indian Coast Guard Dayi.Indian Coast Guard Day is annually observed across India on 1st February which marks the Raising day of the Indian Coast Guard.
ii.1st February 2021 marks the 45th Raising day of the Indian Coast Guard, Operating under the Defence Ministry.
iii.In 1978 the Indian Coast Guard had only 7 surface platforms, and currently the ICG has 156 ships, 62 aircrafts in its inventory and it is aimed to reach its target force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircrafts by 2025.
About Indian Coast Guard:
Director General– Krishnaswamy Natarajan
Headquarters– New Delhi
Motto– Vayam Rakshamah
<<Read Full News>>


Rajeev Ranjan IAS Appointed as Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu; Succeeds K ShanmugamRajeev Ranjan named Tamil Nadu Chief SecretaryOn 31st January 2021, Rajeev Ranjan, a senior IAS officer of 1985 batch Tamil Nadu cadre was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu following the retirement of the incumbent K Shanmugam.He took charge as the new Chief Secretary on 1st February 2021 .

  • Rajeev Ranjan was serving as the Union secretary for fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy development in New Delhi. He will attain his superannuation on 30th September 2021.
  • K Shanmugam will continue to serve as the advisor to the government of Tamil Nadu in the grade of Chief Secretary for a term of 1 year.

On the request of the government of Tamil Nadu, the centre approved the appointment of Rajeev Ranjan as the new Chief Secretary.
About Rajeev Ranjan:
i.Rajeev Ranjan started his service as the sub collector of Tiruvannamalai from 1987 to 1989 after which he was appointed as the Collector of Trichy.
ii.He has also served as the Director and Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion of the Union Ministry of Industries Commerce from April 2000 to June 2007.
iii.He served as the Special Secretary in the GST council in 2018.
iv.He introduced the e-invoicing system, streamlining of the procedures for taxpayers and sharing of data and data analytics to prevent tax evasion.
v.He was appointed as the Union Secretary of Fisheries in March 2020.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot launches New Phase of Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana CM Ashok Gehlot launches new phase of Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Health Insurance SchemeOn 30th January, 2021 Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, launched a new Phase of the state government Insurance scheme “Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana” from Jaipur. The scheme will provide free treatment to its beneficiaries in both private & state run hospitals.
Highlights- The scheme will provide INR 5 lakhs worth benefits to 1.1 crore families.
Key points on the Scheme:
i.Insurance cover has been Increased from INR 3.30 lakhs to INR 5 lakhs.
ii.Aimed at covering two-third of the State’s population.
iii.Entire medical expenditure for 5 days prior to getting admitted in the hospital and 15 days after the discharge is included in the package.
iv.The Estimated cost of the Scheme is ₹1800 crore annually (₹1400 crore – State share & ₹400 crore – Center’s share).
About Rajasthan:
Rajasthan is India’s Largest state by Area.
Ramsar Sites- Sambhar Lake, Keoladeo National Park


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S.noCurrent Affairs 2 February 2021
1Nepal awards Construction of 679 MW Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s SJVN
2India’s Transition towards EV in 2020-30 to cost around INR 19.7 Lakh Crore: NITI Aayog & RMI Report
3India to emerge as 2nd most Resilience Economy in 2021, Germany tops the list:PHDCCI IER Rankings
4Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal addressed the  inaugural session 2021 ASEAN-India Hackathon
5HAL to Launch Tejas Mark II in 2022; High-speed trials to be conducted in 2023
6Investment in Upskilling has potential to boost Global GDP by USD 6.5 Trillion by 2030: WEF Report
7Uttar Pradesh Adjudged as the Best Tableau Award Among the 32 Participants: Republic Day Parade
8R S Sharma appointed as the CEO of National Health Authority
9Domestic Cricket: Tamil Nadu wins 2020-21 Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 competition
10Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, died at 87
11Pavan C. Lall Authored Book Titled “Yes Man: The Untold Story of Rana Kapoor” Released
12“This Life at Play: A Memoir by Girish Karnad” Memoir of Girish Karnad Translated From Kannada into English
13World Leprosy Day 2021 – 31st January
14Indian Coast Guard Day 2021 – February 1
15Rajeev Ranjan IAS Appointed as Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu; Succeeds K Shanmugam
16Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot launches New Phase of Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana