Current Affairs February 12 2019

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Current Affairs February 12 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Overview of Prime Minister’s visit to Tripura
On 9th February 2019, Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited Agartala in the final leg of his a day long tour to Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.

Various development projects were inaugurated by Narendra Modi in Agartala
PM Modi during his visit to Agartala, Tripura inaugurated various development projects. It was the final destination of a day long tour to 3 North Eastern States.
Key Points
i. Narendra Modi advocated the HIRA (Highway, I way, Railway, Airway) Model of Development for Tripura.
ii. Farmers and labourers in unorganized sector after 60 years of age will get Rs.3000 per month as pension through Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan Pension Yojana.
iii. Farmers who have less than 5 acres of land will get Rs.6000 per annum in their bank account through PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
iv. A New Complex of Tripura Institute of Technology, Narsingarh was inaugurated by Narendra Modi.
Garjee- Belonia Railway Line was inaugurated by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi
Modi during his visit to Agartala inaugurated 23 Km long Garjee-Belonia Railway Line. The project was part of the Rs.3407 crore Agartala – Sabroon national railway project which is for 115 km.
Key Points
i. The 23.32 km railway track is in Southern Tripura under Garjee-Belonia section. It would facilitate the carriage of goods and passengers from North-eastern states on the Bangladesh railway network.
ii. The project costs Rs. 400 crores. The train will run at maximum speed of 100km/hr. It is the full – fledged rail connectivity with the rest of India.
Statue of Tripura’s last Maharaja was unveiled by PM
During the visit of PM Modi to Agartala he unveiled the statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya at the Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, Agartala. It was part of the union government policy to honour the heroes of India.
Key Points
i. Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya is considered as father of modern architecture in Tripura. He did the entire planning of present-day Tripura during his rule. He planned the capital city Agartala also.
ii. Statue was built by faculty and students of Tripura government’s Art and craft college. It costs Rs.5 lakh for the Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya statue.
About Tripura
♦ Capital: Agartala
♦ Chief Minister: Biplal Kumar Deb
♦ Governor: Kaptan Singh Solanki

Overview of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visit to Assam
Narendra Modi has visited Assam to attend the several programs and to lay the foundation stone of several vital and development projects worth Rs. 18,000 crore.

Key Points
i. Narendra Modi laid foundation stone of ALL India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) at Changsari in Guwahati.
ii. He inaugurated Numaligarh Refinery Ltd’s bio-diesel refinery and the Barauni-Guwahati gas pipeline, connecting northeast with national gas grid at an estimated cost of Rs. 6000 Crore, which will further meet the requirement of industries, supply CNG to automobiles and cooking gas to households.
iii. He also initiated the work for Guwahati to North Guwahati connecting 6 Lane Bridge over Brahmaputra River.The total cost of the bridge is estimated at 1,925 crore.
iv. He also initiated LPG capacity augmentation of mounted storage vessel in North Guwahati.
About Assam
♦ Capital- Dispur,
♦ CM- Sarbananda Sonowal
♦ Governor- Jagdish Mukhi

PMKVY Short Term Training has trained 25.25 Lakh Candidates
25.25 lakh candidates,out of the 37.32 lakh (aprrox.), have been trained under the Short-Term Training (STT) of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY). Similarly, 11.27 lakhunder Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and 0.8 lakh under Special Project in various sectors across India.
i.Skill Loan Mission’ has been launched by the Government to support youth by providing loan facility to individuals who wish to enroll for the skill development courses, as per the Skill Loan eligibility criteria.
ii. All the member banks of the Indian Banking Association (IBA) and other banking and financial institutions, including Micro Finance Institutions, regulated by the Reserve bank of India (RBI) are applicable for the Skill Loan Scheme.
iii. The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship’s lead bank, ‘Bank of India’ is the first bank to notify and implement the scheme.
iv. Loans are available in the range of Rs 5000 to Rs 15,000.
v. In the financial year 2017-18, total amount of Rs 29.06 crore was disbursed against 3551 accounts, and during 2018-19 (till Dec 18), Rs 19.46 crore against 2429 accounts.
Flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), aimed at enabling a large number of Indian Youth to take up industry-relevant skill training to help them secure a better livelihood.

India gets its 4 Chinook heavy lift helicopters from US
On the lines of Indo-US $2.5 billion deal in 2015, stating the purchase of 22 Apaches and 15 Chinook helicopters for IAF, India received a batch of first four, Boeing Co’s, CH-47F Chinook military helicopters, from US which arrived at the Mundra Port in Gujarat.
Key Points
i. These are modern heavy lift choppers which have a primary purpose to move troops, artillery, barrier materials, and equipment on the battlefield. Its tandem configuration also provides exceptional handling qualities like to operate in climatic, altitude, and crosswind conditions.
ii. These helicopters have been used by the US Army since 1962 and were also availed in Vietnam.
iii. These Chinooks will be conveyed to Chandigarh later this year, where they will be formally admitted into the Indian Air Force.
iv.They will replace the Russia-made Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters, the Mi-26 helicopters and Mi-35 attack helicopters.
United States of America
♦ Capital- Washington, D. C.,
♦ Currency- US Dollar
♦ President- Donald Trump

Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurates Cremica Food Park, the 1st Mega Food Park of Himachal Pradesh
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries,Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated Cremica Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd in Village Singhain ,Una District of Himachal Pradesh. This is the first Mega Food Park operationalized in the State of Himachal Pradesh.
About the food park
i. This Mega Food Park has been set up in 52.40 acre of land at a cost of Rs. 107.34 crore.
ii. The park have a common administrative building for office and other uses at Solan, Mandi, and Kangra.
iii. Ministry of Food Processing Industries  implemented Mega Food Park Scheme in the country, to give a major boost to the food processing sector by adding value and reducing food wastage .
About Himachal Pradesh
♦ Capital- Shimla
♦ Chief minister- Jai Ram Thakur
♦ Governor-Acharya Dev Vrat
About Harsimrat Kaur Badal
♦ Constituency-Bathinda
♦ Cabinet Minister for Food Processing Industries.

Surging Silk, Mega Event  Held in New Delhi
On February 10,2019,Surging Silk, Mega Event by Ministry of Textiles and Central Silk Board was held in New Delhi.

About the event
i. The event was organized with a motive to highlight the growth of silk industry in India.
ii. In this event, Buniyaad Tasar Silk Reeling Machines distributed to women reelers from tribal areas, to eradicate  the age old practice of thigh reeling by end of March 2020.
iii. These machines developed by Central Silk Technological Research Institute in association with an entrepreneur from Champa in Chhattisgarh will improve the quality and productivity of Tasar silk yarn.
iv. A mobile application e-cocoon was launched during this event to check the quality of  silkworm seeds.
Static Gk:
India is the second largest producer of silk after China and the largest consumer of silk.

Meghalaya government to rename Dikki Bandi stadium after P A Sangma
On February 9,2019,The Meghalaya Cabinet decided to rename the Dikki Bandi stadium in Tura town after former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma.
i. Purno Agitok Sangma served as the Chief Minister of Meghalaya from 1988 to 1990.Conrad K Sangma and James K Sangma are sons of Purno A Sangma.
Other Changes

  • To rename road leading from Mawlai-Mawroh to Madan in honour of Saint Teressa.
  • Roads under Greater Laban area namely – Howel Road was renamed Thranghok J Rangad Road while Zikzak Road was renamed as Ardendu Chaudhuri road.
  • Batti Bazar road at Laban was also renamed as Roland Lyngdoh Road.
  • Sylhetipara Road at Laban was renamed as Krepsing Swer Road.
  • Jackson Trace Road at Lower Lumparing named as Melington Kharkongor Road.

Festival of Basant Panchami was celebrated all over the nation
Vasant Panchami is a Hindu festival which highlights the coming of spring.

About the festival
i. According to the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated between the months of January and February all over the nation.
ii. The celebration of the Basant Panchami is centered on the goddess of wisdom, Sarasvati.

A 3-day Krishi Kumbh Mela held in Bihar
Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh along with Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon inaugurated the 3-day long Krishi Kumbh Mela in Motihari, Bihar.
i. The main objective of the event is promoting modern techniques and diversification in agriculture to help in doubling farmer’s income.
ii. According to the Shri Radha Mohan Singh, the government aims to double the income of farmers by 2022 and it is also creating a strong infrastructure from ‘Beej to Bazar’ for enhancing the farmer’s income
iii. Government is creating strong infrastructure from “Beej to Bazar” for enhancing the farmer’s income.
iv. The Union Agriculture Minister, with the support of state Chief Ministers, is set to the implement the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) program in an efficient manner to ensure expeditious transfer of benefits to farmers
About PM-KISAN Scheme
Centrally sponsored scheme under which an income support of Rs 6000/- per year (in 3 instalments) will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares
About Bihar
♦ Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
♦ Governor – Lalji Tandon


Nepal hosted 2nd Joint Secretary Level Meeting to assess India-Nepal Trade Treaty
The two day 2nd Joint Secretary Level meeting to review the India-Nepal Trade Treaty,inked in 2009 was organized in Pokhara, Nepal on 7th Feb, 2019 to deliberate upon various bilateral issues and non-tariff barriers in bilateral trade.
Key Points
i. India deputation was led by Bhupindra Singh Bhalla (Joint Secretary of South Asia), Department of Commerce whereas Nepal Deputation was led by Ravi Shankar Sainju (Joint Secretary of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies).
ii. This meet was based on comprehensive review of the existing bilateral trade treaty to enhance commerce and investments between India and Nepal.
iii. This is 2nd follow-up meet after 1st meet which was held in August last year, to discuss possible ways to facilitate different non-tariff barriers in bilateral trade.
About Nepal
♦ Capital- Kathmandu
♦ Currency- Nepalese Rupee
♦ Prime Minister- Khadga Prasad Oli


RBI MSME package to help recast 1 lakh crore loan for 700k accounts
On February 11,2019,RBI restructuring package for small businesses will help recast Rs 1 lakh crore of loans to 7 lakh MSME s account holders.
About the scheme
i. This scheme must be implemented by every bank before March 2020.
ii. This MSME package would enhance job opportunities in the industry.
iii. This scheme announced by RBI is a one-time scheme wherein a loan tenor and interest rate can be revised without classifying the asset as an NPA.
iv. The facility is available for standard advances of up to Rs 25 crore .


2019 Grammy Awards: Complete Overview
On 10th February 2019, The 61st Annual Grammy Awards Ceremony to recognize the best recording, compositions and artists of the eligibility year (1st October 2017 to 30th September 2018) was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, USA.

  • Childish Gambino and Kacey Musgraves won the most awards (4 each).
  • On 8th February 2019, Dolly Parton was conferred with the ”MusiCares Person of the Year”.
  • For the first time both “Song of the Year” and “Record of the year” was awarded to a rap song, “This is America”……………………….Click here to Read more

BAFTA Awards 2019 – “Roma” Film Won Best Picture
72nd British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ceremony, popularly referred to as BAFTA Awards 2018 was held on 10th February 2019 in Royal Albert Hall,London, United Kingdom.

  • Netflix drama ‘Roma’ won the best film prize along with director, Alfonso Cuaron and co-stars Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz won in their respective categories.
  • With seven BAFTAs, The Favourite by the director Yorgos Lanthimos emerged as the top winner on the awards night……………………..Click here to Read more

John Morris Ajax Fire Engine bags “Statesman Challenger” trophy in the Statesman 53rd edition Vintage car rally
On February 11,2019,the world’s one and only fire engine with original Shrewsbury and Challiner solid tyres preserved at National Rail Museum (New Delhi) won the “Statesman Challenger” trophy in the statesman 53rd edition Vintage car rally.
i. This fire engine was built by the famous fire engineers  John Morris and Sons  in 1914 of Salford, Manchester.
ii.The engine was marketed in the collaboration with Belsize motors Ltd. of Clayton, Manchester.
iii.The earliest lots was sold to the Nizam’s State Railway.


African Union elects Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi as its new chairman
Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the President of Egypt, was elected as the African Union’s new chairman during 32nd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

i. Mr. El Sisi would succeed Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame,who served for a period of 1 year.
ii. The Egyptian President said that the objective would be to improve peace and security in Africa in a holistic and sustainable manner, by keeping mediation and preventive diplomacy as the priority.
Related News
♦ A statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie, was unveiled at the African Union’s meeting.
About Ethiopia
♦ Capital – Addis Ababa
♦ Currency – Birr
♦ Prime Minister – Abiy Ahmed

Centre has named Ruchira Kamboj as India’s new ambassador to Bhutan
On Feb. 11 2019, Ruchira Kamboj, currently serving as the High Commissioner of India to South Africa, was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Bhutan.

i. She is a 1987 cadre Indian Foreign Service (IFS) Officer who has previously served as the Ambassador/PR to Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO, Paris.
ii.She will succeed Jaideep Sarkar.
About Bhutan
♦ Capital – Thimphu
♦ Currency – Ngultrum
♦ Prime Minister – Lotay Tshering
About South Africa
♦ Capital – Cape Town
♦ Currency – South African Rand
♦ President – Cyril Ramaphosa
♦ Headquarters – Paris
♦ Director-General – Audrey Azoulay

Australia spin legend Shane Warne named brand ambassador of  Rajasthan Royals
On February 10,2019, Australia spin legend Shane Warne was entitled as the brand ambassador of Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming 12th edition of Indian Premier League(IPL).

i. Shane Warne was the captain of Rajasthan Royals for four seasons (2008-2011), after that he retired from all form of cricket.
ii. The 11th edition of the IPL ,had shane Warne as  Rajasthan Royals ‘s mentor.
iii.Rajasthan Royals has decided to change its jersey colour from blue to pink this year.


Jamie Chadwick becomes the first female driver to win MRF Challenge title in Chennai
The 20 years old,Jamie Chadwick from Bath, England made history by becoming the first female driver to win the MRF challenge title after winning 3 out of 5 races in the final round in Chennai.
i. She has defeated Max Defourny of Belgium.
ii. She won 6 out of 15 races in the series which had started in November and included events in Dubai and Bahrain.
Related News
Chadwick won the British F3 race and became the first woman to win this title in August 2018.

Corentin Moutet wins Chennai Open ATP Challenger title by defeating Andrew Harris
19-year-old Corentin Moutet of France defeated Andrew Harris of Australia by 6-3, 6-3 in the singles final and won the title in Chennai Open ATP Challenger tennis tournament.
i. The finals were held at Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu(SDAT) Tennis Stadium in Nungambakkam, Chennai.
ii. It was Moutet’s 2nd Challenger title and he received 80 ATP points whereas, Andrew received 48 ATP points.


11th February declared as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 11th February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, in order to achieve full and equal participation and access to women and girls in science, and to further achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

i. As per the UNESCO data (2014-16), only about 30% of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education
ii. Globally, the enrolment of female students is particularly low in ICT (3%), Natural Science, Mathematics and Statistics (5%) and in in Engineering, manufacturing and construction (8%)
iii. The theme for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019 was “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth.

World day of the Sick observed on 11th February
11th February is observed as the World Day of the Sick. It was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 with an aim to encourage people to pray for those who suffer from ill and for their caregivers.
i. World Day of the Sick was observed for the first time on 11th February 1993

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