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Government approves INR 945 Crore for ‘Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS)’ for 2021-25Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry has given the approval for setting up of Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) with a Corpus of INR 945 crores for the period 2021-25. The Scheme will come into force from April 1, 2021 & DPIIT will be the implementing agency of the scheme.
- The scheme will provide funds to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry & commercialization.
- During the Budget 2020-21, Union Finance Minister proposed the setting up of a National Seed Fund for development of startups & provide Credit Guarantee for startups.
i.Experts Advisory Committee (EAC) will be constituted by DPIIT for execution & monitoring of SISFS.
- Any startup recognised by DPIIT, incorporated not more than 2 years ago
- Preference will be given to startups who are working in sectors like Social Impact, Waste Management, Water Management, Financial Inclusion, Education, Agriculture, Food Processing, Biotechnology, Healthcare, Energy, mobility, defence, space, railways, oil and gas, textiles.
Selected Startups will receive an amount of up to INR 20 Lakhs after successful validation of their concepts, prototype development & product trials.
- Amounts will be disbursed on anMilestone-based instalments.
About Ministry of Commerce & Industry:
Union Minister – Piyush Goyal
Minister of State (MoS) – Hardeep Singh Puri, Som Parkash
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VP Venkaiah Naidu Inaugurates National Tribal Festival – Aadi Mahotsav 2021 at New DelhiOn February 1, 2021, Vice President (VP) of India inaugurated the National Tribal Festival ‘Aadi Mahotsav’ 2021 at Dilli Haat, New Delhi. The festival will be held from February 1-15, 2021 will showcase Tribal art, crafts, medicine, cuisine & folk performances from Tribal Artists and chefs from more than 20 states of the country.
- The festival is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs & Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED).
i.Aadi Mahotsav has been organized annually since 2017.
- The main objective behind the festival is to familiarise people with the rich and diverse craft, culture of tribal communities.
- The Theme of the Tribal Festival is ‘A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Crafts, Culture and Commerce’.
- The 2020 edition of the Festival was cancelled due to Pandemic.
It is the nodal agency working towards Tribal Empowerment
Managing Director – Pravir Krishna
Headquarters – New Delhi
<<Read Full News>>
Overview of France’s Ecological Transition Minister, Barbara Pompil’s 5-day Visit to IndiaBarbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition made a 5-day Visit to India from January 28-February 1, 2021. During the visit several key initiatives were signed & discussed between the two countries for boosting the Indo-French cooperation in sustainable development such as sustainable development, renewable energy, Biodiversity Conservation, Smart cities & plastic waste management. They are
- Indo-French Year of the Environment for the period 2021-22
- Discussions on Strengthening of International Solar Alliance launched by both countries in 2015
- Signing of Letter of Intent between the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) & French Development Agency (AFD) for development of 150 MW floating solar plant
- Signing of Credit Facility agreement with Finance Ministry to provide 250 M Euros for Surat Metro Rail Project
i.During her visit,
- Barbara Pompili held meetings with Indian & French companies which are involved in smart mobility & sustainable city projects in Surat.
- Visited Kaziranga National Park in Assam which is one of the sites of Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC) funded by AFD.
- Interacted with Research in the Centre of Excellence-Sustainable Polymers, IIT Guwahati who have developed India’s first biodegradable plastic.
President – Emmanuel Macron
Capital – Paris
Currency – Euro,CFP franc
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Ministry of Tribal Affairs includes 14 New MFP items under MSP scheme to provide fair prices to Tribal GatherersThe Ministry of Tribal Affairs has included 14 additional Minor Forest Produce (MFP) items under the Minimum Support Price (MSP) Scheme to ensure that Tribal Gatherers get fair prices for their Forest Produces.
- The 14 items are Tasar Cocoon, Cashew Kernel, Elephant Apple Dry, Bamboo Shoot, Malkangani Seed, Mahul Leaves, Nagod, Gokhru, Pipla/Uchithi, Gamhar/Gamari, Oroxylumindicum, Wild Mushroom dry, Shringraj & Tree Moss.
- The 14 new items have been added to MSP under the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce through Minimum Support Price (MSP) & Development of Value Chain for MFP’ scheme.
i.The Central Government introduced MSP for certain products of MFP through the ‘Mechanism for Marketing of MFP’ scheme in 2011.
- Objective – To provide a safety net to underprivileged forest dwellers.
- The scheme has been conceptualised and implemented by TRIFED with State Agencies across 21 States of India.
- It has injected around INR 3000 crores into the tribal economy since April 2020.
ii.In the times of Pandemic, this has further helped in improving the livelihoods of disadvantaged tribes across the country.
About Ministry of Tribal Affairs:
Union Minister – Arjun Munda
Minister of State (MoS) – Renuka Singh Saruta
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India, Qatar Hold Fourth Foreign Office Consultations VirtuallyOn 1st February 2021, the fourth Foreign Office Consultation was held between India and Qatar over a virtual platform.
Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (Consular, Passport and Visa and OIA), Ministry of External Affairs(MEA), India led the Indian side and Dr. Ahmad Hassen Al-Hammadi, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar, led the Qatari side.
Discussions during the 4th Foreign Office Consultations:
i.This 4th Foreign Office Consultations provided an opportunity to review the complete scope of the bilateral relations, including political, energy, trade, investments, Defence, food security, health security, science and technology, consular, community and cultural issues.
ii.Both India and Qatar reiterated their commitment to cooperate and work in the above areas and discussed new areas of cooperation.
iii.Both the sides exchanged their views on the issues of mutual interest at regional and multilateral levels and cooperation at UN and other international fora.
iv.India and Qatar have agreed to hold the first Joint Commission Meeting at Foreign Minister Level.
Prime Minister– Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani
Currency– Qatari Riyal
Textile Minister Smriti Irani virtually Inaugurates 8th India International Silk FairOn 31st January 2021, Union Minister for Women & Child Development and Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani virtually addressed the inaugural session of India’s Biggest Silk Fair, the 8th India International Silk Fair. The 5 daylong event was virtually organised by Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC), a non-profit organisation under the Ministry of Textiles & Sponsored by Department of Commerce.
Virtual Platform – https://virtualindiansilkfair.in/
Event – 31st January to 4th February 2021
About Silk in India:
i.India is the only country in the world to produce all 4 varieties of Silk – Mulberry, Eri, Tassar (Tropical & Temperate), and Muga.
ii.India (in 2nd place) is only behind China in Silk Production.
iii.India has around 11 Geographical Indications (GI) in silk, including Pochampally Ikat, Chanderpaul Silk, Mysore Silk, Kanchipuram Silk, Muga Silk, Salem Silk, Arni Silk, Champa Silk.
Note – China is the world’s largest producer & Exporter of Silk.
About Ministry of Textiles:
Union Minister – Smriti Zubin Irani (Lok Sabha Constituency – Amethi, UP)
Minister of State – Ajay Tamta (Lok Sabha Constituency – Almora, Uttarakhand)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
US Startup bluShift Aerospace launches ‘Stardust 1.0’ – World’s 1st Commercial Rocket powered by BiofuelOn January 31,2021 United States (US) based Startup bluShift Aerospace launched ‘Stardust 1.0’ from Loring Commerce Centre in Maine, US. It is the World’s 1st Commercial Rocket launch powered by Biofuel.
- The solid biofuels used in the launch is non-toxic, Carbon Neutral & can be sourced from America
- It uses Nitrous Oxide bubbled with Oxygen as an oxidizer
i.Stardust 1.0 is a launch vehicle which is capable of launching tiny nanosatellites.
- It is 20 Feet Tall & weighs around 250 kg
- It can carry a maximum payload mass of 8 kg
- The rocket carried 3 payloads during the launch
ii.bluShift Aerospace’s Rocket Engine is a hybrid of solid and liquid propellant called ‘Modular Adaptable Rocket Engine for Vehicle Launch (MAREVL)’.
What are Biofuels?
Biofuels are obtained from Biomass which can be converted into Liquid Fuels and used as transportation fuels.
About bluShift Aerospace:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Sascha Deri
Headquarters – Brunswick, Maine, USA
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Cyrtodactylus arunachalensis: New Species of Gecko Named After Arunachal PradeshA team of researchers from 5 institutes discovered a new species of gecko in Arunachal Pradesh. The species is named “Cyrtodactylus arunachalensis” after Arunachal Pradesh, the state in which it was discovered.
The paper on the newly discovered Gecko was published in “Evolutionary Systematics”, an international peer reviewed journal.
i.The Cyrtodactylus arunachalensis belongs to the genus Cyrtodactylus, commonly known as bent-toed geckos.
ii.These geckos are nocturnal (active in the night and sleep at day)
iii.They are found in rocky areas under culverts.
iv.The appearance of these groups are similar, therefore close observation is required to differentiate the species, even comparison of DNA sequence is a must to confirm identification.
Importance of the discovery:
i.This is the 4th new reptile species discovered by the team during their expedition in Arunachal Pradesh from June to August 2019 with an aim to study the undocumented biodiversity of the state.
ii.The discovery of the new species of lizard proves the rich biodiversity of the state which is yet to be documented.
The other species discovered by the team includes, Trimeresurus salazar a Pit Viper species, named after the character Salazar Slytherin from Harry Potter and Trachischium apteii, named after Deepak Apte, well-known marine biologist and Director of the BNHS.
BOOKS & AUTHORS
Dalai Lama’s New Book Titled “The Little Book of Encouragement” Released His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama authored a new book titled “The Little Book of Encouragement”. The book edited by Renuka Singh is published by Penguin Random House is set to be released.
About the book:
i.The book is a compilation of Dalai Lama’s quotes and ideas to deal with the new realities of the post pandemic world along with how to combat rising extremism, polarity and climate change and his views on Tibet.
ii.The book also promotes human values, talks about the key to happiness and comments on Sino-India ties.
About Dalai Lama:
i.The Dalai Lamas are believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet.
ii.He was Born as Lhamo Thondup on 6th July 1935 and was officially installed as the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940 and renamed as Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (Tenzin Gyatso).
iii.He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his campaign of over 40 years to end the domination of China in his homeland.
He has authored numerous books which include, Inner World, The Seed of Compassion: Lessons from the Life and Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Life of My Teacher: A Biography of Kyabjé Ling Rinpoché and Happiness.
World Wetlands Day 2021 – 2nd Februaryi.World Wetlands Day is annually observed across the globe on 2nd February to create awareness about the importance of wetlands and their roles towards humans and the planet.
ii.2nd February 2021 marks the 25th World Wetlands Day.
The theme of World Wetlands Day 2021 is “Wetlands and Water”.
iii.The day marks the adoption of the Conservation of Wetlands on 2nd February 1971 in Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of Caspian Sea.
iv.The first World Wetlands Day was observed in 1997.
v.The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for the conservation and optimised use of wetlands and their resources.
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Punjab CM Amarinder Singh launched ‘Har Ghar Pani, Har Ghar Safai’ MissionOn 1st February, 2021 Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh virtually launched ‘Har Ghar Pani, Har Ghar Safai’ mission, aimed at providing 100% potable water supply to all rural households of the state by March, 2022.
i.CM inaugurated Mega Surface Water Supply Scheme, covering 85 villages in Moga district, 144 new water supply schemes for 172 villages, 121 Arsenic & Iron removal plants.
ii.The Scheme was Funded by – World Bank, Jal Jeevan Mission of GoI, NABARD, and State Budget.
iii.CM launched New Large multi-village surface water supply schemes covering 85 villages in Moga district that were affected by Uranium pollution, at a cost of Rs. 1,020 crores.
Nicknames of Cities:
Golden City of India – Amritsar
Royal City – Patiala
City of industries – Ludhiana
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Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal launches 2 Schemes for College Students, Literary bodiesOn February 1, 2021, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal launched 2 schemes namely – ‘Pragyan Bharati’ & ‘Bhasha Gourab’ in the State. Under the schemes monetary assistance will be provided to college students & literary bodies of the state.
- To encourage the young generation to Strive for Knowledge through Education
- To provide financial assistance to writers & indigenous Sahitya Sabhas
i.‘Pragyan Bharati’ – under this scheme around 3, 26, 046 College students will be given INR 1, 500 each for purchasing new text books.
- A total of INR 161 crores would be reimbursed for the free admission of 4 Lakh Eligible students
ii.‘Bhasha Gourab’ – Under the scheme, the State Government will provide 21 Sahitya Sabha’s (Literary bodies) around INR 43 crore as a contribution towards their capital funds.
- Around 600 writers have received INR 50, 000 each under the scheme for help in their literary activities.
RAMSAR Site – Deepor Beel
Governor – Jagdish Mukhi
<<Read Full News>>
Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)
|S.no||Current Affairs 3 February 2021|
|1||Government approves INR 945 Crore for ‘Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS)’ for 2021-25|
|2||VP Venkaiah Naidu Inaugurates National Tribal Festival – Aadi Mahotsav 2021 at New Delhi|
|3||Overview of France’s Ecological Transition Minister, Barbara Pompil’s 5-day Visit to India|
|4||Ministry of Tribal Affairs includes 14 New MFP items under MSP scheme to provide fair prices to Tribal Gatherers|
|5||India, Qatar Hold Fourth Foreign Office Consultations Virtually|
|6||Textile Minister Smriti Irani virtually Inaugurates 8th India International Silk Fair|
|7||US Startup bluShift Aerospace launches ‘Stardust 1.0’ – World’s 1st Commercial Rocket powered by Biofuel|
|8||Cyrtodactylus arunachalensis: New Species of Gecko Named After Arunachal Pradesh|
|9||Dalai Lama’s New Book Titled “The Little Book of Encouragement” Released|
|10||World Wetlands Day 2021 – 2nd February|
|11||Punjab CM Amarinder Singh launched ‘Har Ghar Pani, Har Ghar Safai’ Mission|
|12||Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal launches 2 Schemes for College Students, Literary bodies|