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Government Approves Continuation of RUSA Scheme till 31st March 2026The Government has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme till 31st March 2026 with an expenditure of 12,929.16 crore rupees. The new phase of the scheme would support around 1,600 projects.
- Out of Rs 12,929.16 crores of expenditure, the centre will share Rs 8,120.97 crore and the state will share Rs 4,808.19 crore.
i.The new phase of the scheme has been designed to implement some of the recommendations of the New Education Policy (NEP).
ii.Under the new phase of the scheme, State Governments will support Gender inclusion, Equity Initiatives, Enhances employability through vocationalisation and skill upgradation.
About Ministry of Education (MoE):
Union Minister – Dharmendra Pradhan (Rajya Sabha Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of State – Annpurna Devi (Kodarma,Jharkhand) ; Dr. Subhas Sarkar (Bankura, West Bengal); Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh (Inner Manipur, Manipur)
>> Read Full News
TransUnion CIBIL Partners with FICCI to Launch Nationwide MSME Consumer Education Program
TransUnion CIBIL Limited (TransUnion CIBIL), formerly known as Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL), partnered with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to launch a nationwide Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) consumer education program to support MSME’s across India to get awareness about credit management, CIBIL Rank and commercial credit information.
MSME Consumer Education Program:
i.The objective of the programme is to empower MSME’s with knowledge on how to build a good credit history and CIBIL Rank to avail easier and faster access to finance.
ii.The program will kick off with MSME clusters in Maharashtra, Assam, and Tripura and aims to reach thousands of MSMEs across key clusters in India.
i.TransUnion CIBIL offers MSME lenders solutions like CIBIL Rank and commercial credit reports for astute lending.
- CIBIL Rank assigns a rank to the MSME based on its credit history data on a scale of 1-10.
ii.It also publishes insight reports like the MSME Pulse in association with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) analysis report to support policymakers and the industry with market insights on the MSME sector.
What is the CIBIL score?
i.CIBIL score introduced in 2007 was India’s 1st generic risk scoring model for banks and financial institutions.
ii.A CIBIL score is a three-digit number between 300-900, 300 being the lowest, that represents an individual’s credit-worthiness. A higher CIBIL score suggests good credit history and responsible repayment behaviour.
About TransUnion CIBIL Limited:
TransUnion CIBIL maintains one of the largest collections of consumer credit information globally.
MD & CEO– Rajesh Kumar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Govt Enters Its 7th Year of Implementing PMFBY & To Launch ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’-Doorstep Distribution DriveThe government has successfully entered into the 7th year of implementing Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), since its launch on 18th February 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Sehore, Madhya Pradesh (MP).PMFBY will launch ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ drive.
Launch of ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’:
- The scheme will be launching a doorstep distribution drive,‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ to deliver crop insurance policies to the farmers in all implementing States in the upcoming Kharif season.
- The doorstep distribution drive aims to ensure all farmers are well aware and equipped with all information on their policies, land records, the process of claim and grievance redressal under PMFBY.
About Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW):
Union Minister – Narendra Singh Tomar (Morena, Madhya Pradesh)
Minister of state – Sushri Shobha Karandlaje (Udupi Chikmagalur, Karnataka) ;Kailash Choudhary (Barmer, Rajasthan)
>> Read Full News
21st Edition of TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit 2022 held Virtually
The 21st Edition of the annual flagship event of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2022, held virtually from 16th to 18th February 2022.
- The theme of the event: ‘Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future’.
i.Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has delivered the inaugural address at the summit virtually. Environment ministers from nearly a dozen countries took part in the event which had delegates from ~131 countries.
ii.Vedanta has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TERI at the WSDS 2022 to ‘Sustainable Use of Resources for a Resilient Planet through Transformative Actions’ and improve its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.
iii.Vedanta plans to invest around Rs 200 crore over the next five to 10 years on R&D (Research and Development) and sustainability initiatives to promote and build a sustainable ecosystem.
About The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI):
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Director General – Dr Vibha Dhawan
>> Read Full News
PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates ‘Kisan Drone Yatra’:Flagged off 100 ‘Kisan Drones’ To Spray Pesticides In FarmsPrime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Kisan Drone Yatra’, an initiative by Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd and flagged off 100 ‘Kisan Drones’ in various cities and towns across India to spray pesticides in farms across the states of India. This is a special initiative aimed to support the farmers across India.
- The 100 Kisan Drones were set off in 100 villages in 16 states across India which includes Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa.
- The farmers can use the high capacity Kisan drones to transport their produce such as fruits, vegetables and flowers to markets in a minimal time and boost their income.
About Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd:
Founder and CEO-Agnishwar Jayaprakash
Headquarter– Chennai, Tamil Nadu
PM Narendra Modi has Inaugurated Asia’s Biggest Bio-CNG Plant ,Gobar-Dhan
Prime Minister (PM) of India Shri Narendra Modi has virtually inaugurated the Asia’s biggest Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) plant ,Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) at the cost of Rs 150 crore in Indore, Madhya Pradesh. To implement “waste to wealth”, and “circular economy” to maximise resource recovery.
i.The plant produces around 17,000 to 19000 kg of CNG and 100 tonnes of organic compost per day.
ii.IT is based on the concept of “zero landfill models”.
Benefits of Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Plant
i.Reduction in greenhouse gas emission.
ii.Providing green energy along with organic compost as fertiliser.
Purpose of Bio-Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Plant
i.The 50% of CNG produced by the plant will be purchased by IMC to run 400 city buses on CNG and the remaining will be sold in the open market.
About Indo Enviro Integrated Solutions Ltd (IEISL)
Directors – Kuldipkumar Dayaram Kaura, Rishi Rajesh Kumar Shukla and Parvez Keki
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
>> Read Full News
G Kishan Reddy Inaugurates 1st Global Summit on ‘Reimagining Museums In India’ in HyderabadThe Minister for Culture, Minister of Tourism and Minister of Development of the North- Eastern Region, G. Kishan Reddy inaugurated the first of its kind, a 2 – Day Global Summit held virtually on 15th-16th February 2022 in Hyderabad, Telangana about ‘Reimagining Museums in India’.
About the summit:
i.The summit has been organised under the aegis of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the flagship program on preserving, protecting, and perpetuating our cultural heritage to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
ii.Four themes of the online summit – Architecture and Functional Needs; Management; Collections (including Curation & Conservation practises); and, Education and Audience Engagement.
About Minister for Culture:
Union Minister – G. Kishan Reddy (Secunderabad, Telangana)
Minister of state – Meenakashi Lekhi (New Delhi, NCT of Delhi) ; Arjun Ram Meghwal (Bikaner, Rajasthan)
>> Read Full News
India’s PM Narendra Modi & UAE’s Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan Hold India-UAE Virtual Summit 2022;India-UAE CEPA Signed
On February 18, 2022, India’s Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi & United Arab Emirates(UAE)’s Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan Hold India-UAE Virtual Summit 2022. Historic India-UAE CEPA Signed during the summit.
- The PM and the Crown Prince issued a Joint Vision Statement ‘Advancing India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone’.
Historic India-UAE CEPA Signed:
i.India-UAE CEPA: India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed and exchanged during the virtual summit by India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Minister of Economy of UAE, H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri.
- The India-UAE CEPA is the 1st bilateral trade accord concluded by the UAE, and it is also India’s 1st bilateral trade agreement in the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region.
ii.The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner, PM had stated the possibility of an increase in the bilateral trade volume from USD 60 Billion to USD 100 billion in the coming 5 years through CEPA.
iii.India ranks as the UAE’s number one trading partner for non-oil exports and it is accounting for nearly 14 percent of the UAE’s total non-oil exports globally.
About UAE (United Arab Emirates):
Capital – Abu Dhabi
Currency – United Arab Emirates dirham
President – Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
>> Read Full News
MoHFW’s MoS Bharati Pravin Pawar Launched India’s & South Asia’s 1st BSL-3 Containment Mobile Laboratory in Nashik, Maharashtra Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare(MoHFW), inaugurated India’s and South Asia’s first Biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) containment mobile laboratory in Nashik, Maharashtra. The mobile laboratory, which can commute to various locations, will provide a public health solution.
- This is a part of the Government of India(GoI)’s efforts to strengthen healthcare infrastructure through the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission(PM-ABHIM).
Purpose: To investigate the newly emerging and re-emerging viral infections that are extremely infectious and have a high potential to kill human beings.
About the Mobile Laboratory:
i.The mobile laboratory was designed and built by the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) in collaboration with Klenzaids, Mumbai based manufacturer of Aseptic, Bioclean and Containment (bio-safety) equipment.
ii.The laboratory was built at a cost of ~Rs 25 crores.
i.The mobile laboratory is an airtight, access-controlled, bio-decontaminable, fitted with safe change HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filtration and biological liquid waste decontamination system.
ii.The lab has every system and equipment required for full standalone operation.
iii.It is controlled through an intelligent control automation system. The system maintains the working environment under negative air pressure, maintains equipment parameters and records all necessary data.
i.The lab will be able to access remote and forested areas of India, where specially trained scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) can investigate outbreaks using samples from humans and animal sources.
ii.This will ensure timely and on-site diagnosis with a rapid turnaround time for reporting these outbreaks.
Maharashtra: PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates 2 Railway Lines Connecting Thane & Diva; Flagged off 2 Suburban Trains
Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi dedicated two additional railway lines (5th & 6th line) connecting Thane and Diva in Maharashtra over video conferencing and he also flagged off 2 suburban trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway.
- The 9.44-km-long 5th and 6th railway lines were built at a cost of ~Rs 620 crores, features a 1.4 km long rail flyover, 3 major bridges and 21 minor bridges.
- These 2 lines will enable the introduction of 36 new suburban trains in Mumbai.
- Ministry of Railways has allocated more than 11,000 crores to Maharashtra in the 22-23 budget.
BANKING & FINANCE
World Bank, GOI signed USD 115 million loan agreement for REWARD Project
The Government of India (GoI), and the World Bank signed loan agreements of USD 115 million to implement the “Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development” (REWARD) Project in the states of Karnataka and Odisha with the support of the respective governments.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD),lending arm of World Bank Group financing will support the $115 million loan has a maturity of 15 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.
- Karnataka with $60 million ,
- Odisha with $49 million , and the remaining $6 million will be for the central government’s Department of Land Resources.
This project is an initiative of the Department of Land Resources (DoLR), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and World Bank. It is proposed as a 6 years project, from 2021 to 2026 and one of the largest watershed management programs in the world.
About World Bank:
Headquarters- Washington, D.C. United States
President– David Malpass
Motto- ‘’Working for a World Free of Poverty’’
>> Read Full News
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
NHPC Sets Up New Subsidiary ‘NREL’ for Development of RE & Small Hydro and Green Hydrogen ProjectsNHPC Limited (Ltd),has set up a new wholly owned subsidiary company namely ‘NHPC Renewable Energy Limited (NREL)’, for development of Renewable Energy, Small Hydro and Green Hydrogen based business of NHPC Ltd.
- As per a BSE, the NREL was registered with the Registrar of Companies, National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi & Haryana, on 16th February 2022.
i.Currently, NHPC’s total installed generation capacity stands at 7071 megawatt (MW) which includes 100 MW of Solar or Wind energy-based plants.
- Another 5999 MW of Hydro plants and 105 MW of Solar plants are under construction.
ii.The 1st part of the National Hydrogen Policy, was unveiled which allows free inter-state wheeling of renewable energy used in the production of green hydrogen and ammonia, among other things.
iii.The government’s focus is on renewable energy and clean energy with a target of 500 GigaWatt (GW) by 2030.
i.In December 2021 The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management and National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog approved the formation of the separate renewable energy unit.
- This unit shall develop Renewable Energy Projects either in Stand-alone mode or through formation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) in collaboration with other agencies.
i.NHPC has signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL) for development of 10,000 MW renewable energy projects / parks in Raja
ii.State-owned NTPC has already incorporated NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd for its expansion in the clean energy space.
About NHPC Limited:
Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) – Abhay Kumar Singh
Headquarters – Faridabad, Haryana
Three Decades of Partnership: Sonata Software and Microsoft Launched ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’
Microsoft in its partnership with Sonata Software launched ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’. Sonata Software provides the best retail Platforms through world-class Internet Protocol (IPs), in-house migration and modernisation tools, engineering services for the retailers.
- The partnership with Microsoft Cloud for Retail is to enhance capabilities, emphasis on leveraging data, elevating the shopping experience, building real-time, sustainable supply chains, and empowering store associates.
- The Sonata Connected Retail solution is available through Microsoft AppSource.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Bill Gates Honoured with ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’ 2nd Highest Civilian Honour of Pakistan
On 17th February 2022, the government of Pakistan has honoured Bill Gates of United States of America with Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second Highest Civilian Honour of Pakistan for his efforts towards eradicating polio in Pakistan.He is the co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist.
- Dr Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan conferred the award to Bill Gates at the ceremony held in Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad, Pakistan, during his one-day visit to Pakistan. This marks Bill Gates first-ever visit to Pakistan.
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been a major contributor in worldwide polio eradication through Gavi, the vaccine alliance.
APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS
IOC Athletes’ Commission Re-elected Terho as Chair ; Seung Min Ryu & Sarah Walker elected as VC & 2nd VC
On 18 February 2022,the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission (AC) re-elected ice hockey player Emma Terho of Finland as its Chair and table tennis player Seung Min Ryu of Republic of Korea as its first Vice-Chair (VC).
- The commission also elected cyclist Sarah Walker of New Zealand as second VC of the Commission.
About the elected players:
i.Emma Terho is a five-time Olympian and former captain of the Finland women’s ice hockey team. She secured bronze medals at both the Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998 and Vancouver 2010.
- She will be the head of the Commission until the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
ii.Seung Min Ryu ,the table tennis player won a gold medal in the men’s singles at Athens 2004, a team silver medal at London Olympics 2012 and a team bronze medal at Beijing Olympics 2008.
- She was elected to the IOC AC at Rio Olympic 2016 and then as Vice-Chair in Tokyo 2020 games.
iii.Sarah Walker is a three-time world champion in BMX (bicycle motocross)from New Zealand. In 2008 she competed in the inaugural Olympic women’s BMX competition in the Beijing games. She secured a silver medal at the London Olympics 2012.
About International Olympic Committee (IOC):
President– Thomas Bach
ACQUISITIONS & MERGERS
SBI, BoB, PNB, UBI, BoM and Canara Bank Pick Up Stake in IDRCLState Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Union Bank of India (UBI), Canara Bank, and Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), has announced the subscription to the shares of India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL).
- IDRCL is a service company or an operational entity, which will manage assets and loop in-market professionals and turnaround experts.
- The Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and public Financial Institutions (FIs) will hold a maximum of 49% stake in IDRCL and the remaining will be with Private sector lenders.
- PSBs will maintain 51% ownership in National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) and the remaining will be with Private sector lenders.
Details of subscription:
SBI: The SBI has subscribed to 99,000 shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL for an equity stake of 12.30%. SBI’s stake will be reduced to 5% by 31st March 2022.
BoB: BoB has subscribed to 99,000 shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL for an equity stake of 12.30% which will be reduced to 9.90% by 31st March 2022.
PNB: PNB has subscribed to 90,000 shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL for an equity stake of 11.18% and this will be reduced to 5% when other investing banks infuse their respective share of capital.
UBI: UBI has subscribed to 99,000 shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL for an equity stake of 12.30%, its stake will be brought below 10% in due course of time on subscription by other PSBs/ FIs.
Canara Bank: Canara Bank has subscribed to 1.20 lakh shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL amounting to a stake of 14.90%, which will be reduced to 5% by 31st March 2022.
BoM: BoM has subscribed to 50,000 shares of Rs 10 each of IDRCL amounting to a stake of 6.21% which will be reduced to 4% by 31st March 2022.
About India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL):
i.IDRCL, an asset management company (AMC), was established by the government of India with an authorized capital of Rs 50 crore.
ii.It will work in tandem with the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) to clean up the bad loans of the banking sector.
iii.IDRCL will provide management and resolution of assets acquired by NARCL.
New Bent-Toed Gecko Species Discovered In Meghalaya, Named After Valour Of Indian ArmyOn 18 February 2022, A team of herpetologists recorded a new species of bent-toed gecko from a Umroi Military Station in Meghalaya. Its scientific name is Cyrtodactylus Exercitus (in Latin ‘exercitus’ means army) and its English name is ‘Indian Army’s bent-toed gecko’. The finding of the study was published in theEuropean Journal of Taxonomy.
- The species is named to honour the valour of the Indian Army and was discovered as part of the research team’s efforts to uncover herpetofaunal diversity of North East India.
Note- Herpetology- it is a branch of zoology that deals with the study of amphibians and reptiles.
i.The genus Cyrtodactylus is represented by about 320 species worldwide and is the third most speciose vertebrate genus in the world.
- India is now home to 40 species of the bent-toed gecko with the northeast accounting for 16 of them.
ii.The research paper also mentioned a new bent-toed gecko, the Cyrtodactylus siahaensis named after Mizoram’s Siaha district where it was found.
iii.The research team is comprised of Jayaditya Purkayastha,Sanath Chandra Bohra, Yashpal Singh Rathee, Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga, Vabeiryureilai Mathipi, Lal Biakzuala, Lal Muansanga and Beirathie Litho.
In 2021, a team of researchers from Mizoram University also discovered a new species of Cyrtodactylus belonging to the family of Cyrtodactylus khasiensis from Lunglei, Mizoram and named Cyrtodactylus lungleiensis,
- One can differentiate these geckos from other such species through a bent toe, which resembles that of a bird’s toe.
- These bent-toe geckos reside only in the wild amid bushes, rocks and woods.
Governor-Satya Pal Malik
Tribe-Khasi, Garo, Jaintia
Dance- Shad Weiking (festival dance), Shad Nongkrem or Pomblang
BOOKS & AUTHORS
A book titled ‘The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley’ authored by Jimmy SoniA new book titled ‘’The Founders:The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley ’’, authored by Jimmy Soni and published by Simon & Schuster ,will be released on 24 February 2022.
i.It highlights the story of multinational digital-payments company PayPal and how it covered the journey of a start-up that turned into one of the most successful companies of all time, worth over USD 70 billion today.
ii.It also offers colorful anecdotes about famous people like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and Reid Hoffman.
Other Books authored Jimmy Soni:
- A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age
- The Founders: Elon Musk, Peter Thiel and the Company that Made the Modern Internet
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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 20 & 21 February 2022|
|1||Government Approves Continuation of RUSA till 31st March 2026|
|2||TransUnion CIBIL Partners with FICCI to Launch Nationwide MSME Consumer Education Program|
|3||Govt Enters into 7th Year of Implementing PMFBY : Govt Plans to Start Doorstep Distribution Drive for Crop Insurance|
|4||21st Edition of TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit 2022 held from February 16- 18|
|5||PM Modi Inaugurates ‘Kisan Drone Yatra’; Flagged off 100 ‘Kisan Drones’ To Spray Pesticides In Farms Across States|
|6||PM Narendra Modi has Inaugurated Asia’s Biggest Bio-CNG Gobar-Dhan Plant|
|7||G Kishan Reddy Inaugurates Global Summit on ‘Reimagining Museums In India’|
|8||India-UAE Virtual Summit held between PM Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan; Signs CEPA|
|9||MoHFW’s MoS Bharati Pravin Pawar Launched India’s & South Asia’s 1st BSL-3 Containment Mobile Laboratory in Nashik, Maharashtra|
|10||Maharashtra: PM Modi Virtually Inaugurates 2 Railway Lines Connecting Thane & Diva; Flagged off 2 Suburban Trains|
|11||World Bank, GOI signed USD 115 million loan agreement for REWARD Project|
|12||NHPC Incorporates Subsidiary for Development of Renewable Energy|
|13||Three Decades of Partnership: Sonata Software and Microsoft Launched ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’|
|14||Bill Gates Honoured with ‘Hilal-e-Pakistan’ 2nd Highest Civilian Honour of Pakistan|
|15||IOC Athletes’ Commission Re-elected Terho as Chair, Walker elected as second VC & Sarah Walker as 2nd VC of the Commission|
|16||SBI, BoB, PNB, UBI, BoM and Canara Bank Pick Up Stake in IDRCL|
|17||New Bent-Toed Gecko Species Discovered In Meghalaya, Named After Valour Of Indian Army|
|18||A book titled ‘The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley’ authored by Jimmy Soni|