Current Affairs February 21 2019

We are here for you to provide the important Current Affairs February 21 2019, which have unique updates of all daily 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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Current Affairs February 21 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Cabinet Approvals On 19th February 2019

  • Cabinet approved setting up a new company under Department of Space
  • Cabinet approved continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin beyond March, 2019 (PMAY-G Phase-II)
  • The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of an Externally Aided Project named National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) through loan assistance from World Bank.
  • Cabinet approved continuation of Khadi Gramodyog Vikas Yojana from 2017-18 to 2019-20
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the revision of norms under Mid-Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of Rs.12,054 Crore for 2019-20 in addition to the subsidy of about Rs. 8,000 Crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the Policy framework on reforms in exploration and licensing sector for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/blocks for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • The Union Cabinet has given its approval for constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Promulgation of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.
  • The Union Cabinet gave approval to the release of an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees, and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners with effect from 1st January 2019, representing an increase of 3% over the existing rate of 9% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.
  • Cabinet approved “Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Integrated Development of Theme-based Tourist Circuits in the country”
  • Cabinet approved Proposal for Promulgation of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Second Ordinance, 2019
  • Cabinet approved proposal for promulgation of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019
  • Cabinet approved Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor of RRTS
  • The Union Cabinet approved one post of Secretary in the level 17(Rs.2,25,000/- fixed) and one post of Joint Secretary in the level 14 of the Pay Matrix (Rs.144200-218200) in the Department of Fisheries on permanent basis to ensure smooth functioning and fulfil the mandate of the newly created department.
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022.  The programme will be implemented with total central financial support of Rs.11,814 crore.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for Cadre Review of 8 organized Group ‘A’ Services in Railways………………………………..Click here to Read more

Cabinet Approvals With Foreign Countries On 19th February 2019

  • The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Morocco on the Reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of Business Visa.
  • The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Morocco to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications. The MoU was signed on 22nd January 2019.
  • The Union Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and Vietnam for cooperation in the field of Communications.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Agreement between India and South Africa on simplification of visa requirements for travels of certain categories of citizens.
  • The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between the South Korean National Police AgencyRepublic of Korea (South Korea) and the Ministry of Home Affairs, India on combating transnational crime and developing police cooperation………………………………….Click here to Read more

Overview Of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Visit To Varanasi

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first ever diesel to electric converted locomotive twin engine of 10000 Horse Power(HP) at DLW Varanasi.
  • Prime Minister,Narendra Modi inaugurated Virtual Experiential Museum (VEM) under Archeological Survey of India, Man – Mahal,in the bank of the River Ganges.
  • PM Narendra Modi inaugurated supercomputer ‘Param Shivay’ at IIT-BHU.The supercomputer of 833 teraflop capacity built at the cost of Rs 32.5 crore………………………………..Click here to Read more

Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, launched SWAYATT in New Delhi
On 19th February 2019, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation has launched SWAYATT and GeM Start-up Runway in New Delhi.

i.SWAYATT (Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions) is an initiative to bring together the indian stakeholders to Government e-Marketplace (GeM), the national procurement portal.
ii.While, GeM Start-up Runway is an initiative of GeM in association with Start -up India. It will enable Start-ups registered with Start-up India to access the public procurement market and sell innovative products and services to government buyers.
iii.GeM Start-up Runway will address goals and objectives under United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
iv.The concept of SWAYATT and Start-up Runway was introduced by CEO GeM, Radha Chauhan.
About Delhi
♦ Chief Minister- Arvind Kejriwal
♦ Lieutenant Governor- Anil Baijal

Textiles Minister Launches four projects in North East for the development of Silk Sector
On 19th February 2019, four projects for the development of Silk sector were launched by Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani via video-conferencing,in the North-East. She also inaugurated new office buildings of the Weavers’Service Centre (WSC)in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, and Kannur, Kerala.
The projects launched are:
i. Muga silk seed production centre in Tura, Meghalaya, taken by the Central Silk Board for implementation under the Integrated Sericulture Development Project(ISDP) in order to establish seed infrastructure units in the north-eastern states.
ii. Eri spun silk mill in Sangaipat, Imphal with a total cost of Rs. 21.53crore and implemented by collaboration between state and Centre Silk Board(CSB).
iii. Silk printing and processing unit in Agartala, Tripura to enhance growth in the whole textile value chain and facilitate local weavers and artisans.The Rs.3.71 cr project will produce, print and process 1.5 lakh meter silk per annum.
iv. Sericulture development project in Mamit, Mizoram with the total cost of Rs. 11.53 crore.

Operation Digital Board launched by HRD Ministry to provide better digital education
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry launched Operation Digital Board on the lines of Operation Blackboard to provide better digital education in school.
i. The government has aimed at equipping 9 lakh classrooms in schools and colleges across the country (7 lakh classrooms of 9th, 10th and 11th standards and 2 lakh classrooms of colleges and Universities) with digital facilities for teaching by 2022.
ii. Human Resource Development Minister,Prakash Javadekar said, “Around 60-70 years back, ‘Operation Black Board was launched, and now as the country is progressing, we have come up with ‘Operation Digital Board’, the aim of which is to have digital and interactive boards in every classroom”.

8th World CSR Congress 2019 in Mumbai
World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress (World CSR Congress 2019) is one of the admired meetings which promote Entrepreneurship, Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Social Development.

i. 8th World CSR Congress held between Feb 17 and Feb 18 ,2019 in Mumbai, Maharashtra.It was attended by participants from 33 countries to encourage the efforts of individuals and organizations.
ii. Theme of the year 2019 is ‘Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)’ to focus on corporate strategies,innovation, and strategic alliances.
Dr.Soumitro Chakraborty won ‘CEO of the year’ award
♦ CEO of Innovative Financial Advisors Pvt Ltd, (Fiinovation), Social Entrepreneur Dr.Soumitro Chakraborty was awarded ‘CEO of the year’at the 8th World CSR Congress.
♦ He has been recognized for implemented various programmes in partnership with various corporations and NGOs in the field of health, environment, education and livelihood.

International Vision Zero Conference’ to promote Occupational Safety and Health inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra
From 18th to 20th February, a 3 day ‘International Vision Zero Conference’ was inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra to promote occupational safety and health.

i. The Conference was organized by Directorate General Factory Advice and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Ministry of Labour and Employment, German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV), Germany along with Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and International Social Security Association – Manufacturing, Construction and Mining. It was inaugurated by Shri Heeralal Samariya, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment.
ii. ‘Vision Zero’ is based on four principles:

  • Life is non-negotiable.
  • Humans are fallible.
  • Limits of tolerance defined by physical resistance of humans.
  • People are entitled to safe transport and safe workplaces.

Key points:
i. It aims to help the government to enhance workplace security and reduce occupational hazards by controlling risks, ensuring safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces and skill upgradation of workforce.
ii. DGFASLI, Ministry of Labour and Employment has signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) to enhance safety and health at work, to reduce the occurrence of work related accidents and diseases and to promote social protection.
About Maharashtra
♦ Capital- Mumbai
♦ Chief Minister- Devendra Fadnavis
♦ Governor- C. Vidyasagar Rao

4th edition of India’s biggest Global Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices held in Bengaluru
On 18th and 19th February 2019, the India Medical Device 2019 and India Pharma 2019– 4th edition of International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device sector took place in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It was organised by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Government of India in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

i. It was inaugurated by Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda,Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Statistics and Programme Implementation.
ii. The theme for India Pharma 2019– ‘Enabling Quality Affordable Healthcare’ and that of India Medical Device 2019  ‘Med-Tech India: Gearing up for Ayushman Bharat’.
Key points:
i. The aim of the conference was to highlight and facilitate the growth of the medical devices sector and its role in provision of cost-friendly access and healthcare to the citizens.
ii. The purpose of annual conference is to constantly look for and find the best-suited technology solutions and manufacturing techniques for the devices.
iii. It provided a huge platform for interaction between industry and the Government in areas where government’s help is required to transform the Indian medical device ecosystem.
About Karnataka
♦ Capital- Bengaluru
♦ Chief Minister- HD Kumaraswamy
♦ Governor-VajubhaiVala

Regional Conference on ‘Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation scheme (DDRS)’ organised by DEPwD at Kolkata, West Bengal
On 18th February 2019, a regional conference on ‘Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS)’ was organised in Kolkata, West Bengal. DDRS is a scheme implemented by Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.This is the third of a series of Regional Conferences held across the country.

Programme Implementing Agencies (PIAs), mostly NGOs and state government representatives from 13 Eastern and North-Eastern states of India-West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura marked their presence at the conference.
About DDRS
i. It was established in 1999 by the Government of India.
ii. Under this scheme, monetary help is provided to around 600 NGOs which work in the field of education and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. Out of these 600 NGOs, about 26% NGOs under DDRS and 46% of Special School for Children with Intellectual Disabilities are from Eastern and North-Eastern States.
About West Bengal
♦ Capital- Kolkata
♦ Chief Minister- Mamata Banerjee
♦ Governor- Keshari Nath Tripathi

‘KALIA Chhatra Bruti’ scholarship for farmers children launched by Odisha government
On 19th February 2019, ‘KALIA Chhatra Bruti’ scholarship for the children of farmers benefited under the KALIA scheme was launched by the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.
Key points:
i. It aims at providing financial assistance for technical and professional education to farmers’ children by incurring all expenses involved in various levels of education, such as course fee, hostel fee, mess fee by state govt.
ii. The scholarship shall be sent directly to the bank accounts of students who require it via. DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer).
iii. The scholarship can be applied for online at portal from 19th February 2019 itself.
iv. Children of KALIA(Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) Scheme beneficiaries who are eligible for the scholarship can avail monetary help in more than 13 professional/technical subjects viz- MBBS, BDS, BAMS, BHMS, B.Pharma, B. Sc Nursing, BVS and AH, B.E, B.Arch and B.Plan, B.Sc Agriculture, B.Sc Horticulture, B.Sc Forestry, B.Sc Fisheries, B.Sc Community Science in more than 30 government institutions.
About Odisha
♦ Capital- Bhubaneshwar
♦ Chief Minister- Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor-Ganeshi Lal

Thiruvananthapuram to host Attukal Pongala festival, world’s largest religious congregation of women
Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala shall host the AttaukalPonkala festival-one of the largest religious gathering of women on a single day.
i. The festival involves preparation of ‘Pongala’- a mixture of rice, jaggery and scraped coconut cooked in fresh earthen or metal pots,by lakhs of women, in order to worship the presiding deity of Attukal Bhagavathy temple.
ii. All the offices and institutions across the city observe a holiday on this day.Attukal temple is also called ‘women’s Sabarimala’ as only women perform the ritual.
About Kerala
♦ Capital- Thiruvananthapuram
♦ Chief Minister-Pinarayi Vijayan
♦ Governor-Palanisamy Sathasivam


55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held at Munich, Germany
55th Munich Security Conference (MSC), an annual meeting that brings together leaders and security experts from across the world, was held from 15th to 17th February 2019.
i. Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran attended the conference and participated in various events besides holding bilateral meetings with several countries.
ii. India received widespread support on the issue of Pakistan’s role in cross-border terror attacks including Pulwama strike at the conference.
About Germany
♦ Capital – Berlin
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Chancellor – Angela Merkel


Draft guidelines for standard health product issued by IRDAI
On February 19,2019 Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India(IRDAI) had issued the draft guidelines for Standard Health Product.The Guidelines on Standard Health Product are issued under the provisions of Section 34 (1) (a) of Insurance Act, 1938.
Guidelines issued by IRDAI:
i. Grace Period for premium payment:

  • For Yearly payment of mode, a fixed period of 30 days is given as Grace Period
  • All other modes of payment except,Yearly payment of mode a fixed period of 15 days are allowed as a Grace Period.
  • There are four modes of payment viz-Monthly,Quarterly,Half Yearly,Yearly.

ii. Basic Sum Insured under standard product:

  • Minimum limit– Rs.50000
  • Maximum limit- Rs.10 lakhs

iii. Age: Minimum entry age is 18 years and maximum age is 65 under the Regulation 12(i) of HIR 2016, along with lifelong renewability. There is no maximum exit age.Dependent Child / children shall be covered from the age of 0 days to 25 years.
iv. Co-payment:5% of Co-pay will be part of the product feature.
v.The product will have the basic mandatory covers and no additional or add-on covers will be allowed.
Standard Health Product Covers:
Hospitalization expenses including room, nursing expenses, Intensive Care Unit, Intensive Cardiac Care Unit expenses, dental treatment, necessitated due to an injury, plastic surgery, necessitated due to disease or injury and domiciliary hospitalization.The Policy will also cover the expenses incurred on treatment under AYUSH.
Click here to read entire guidelines issued by IRDAI


OFB Gets Bulk Production Clearance for 114 ‘Dhanush’ Artillery Guns
A clearance for bulk production of 114 ‘Dhanush’ artillery guns has been received by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) from the Indian army.
About Dhanush
i. It is the first long-range artillery gun to be produced in India.
ii. It portrays the success story of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
iii. It has an inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, on-board ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system. Its self-propulsion unit allows it to negotiate and deploy itself in mountainous terrains with ease.
iv.Dhanush’ is the product of joint efforts by the OFB and the Indian Army with contributions from DRDO, DGQA, DPSUs such as BEL, PSUs such as SAIL and several private enterprises.


Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the 7th National Photography Awards in New Delhi
On 19th February 2019, Union Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports Col Rajyavardhan Rathore presented the 7th National Photography Awards in New Delhi.13 people were awarded in total, in different categories.

The Professional category was themed as Women led Development, while the Amateur category was themed as Fairs and Festivals of India.National Photography Awards are organized by Photo Division under Ministry of I&B to promote art and technique of photography.
List of Awards:

  • Ashok Dilwali- Lifetime achievement award- cash prize of Rs. 3,00,000.
  • S L Shanth Kumar -professional category- cash prize of Rs. 1,00,000.
  • Arun Sreedhar, Kailash Mittal, Mihir Singh, Ms Ranita Roy and P V Sunder Rao -special mention awards in professional category- cash prize of Rs. 50,000
  • Gurdeep Dhiman -Amateur category- cash prize of Rs. 75,000.
  • Avijit Datta, Mahesh Balasaheb Lonkar, Manish Jaisi, S. Neelima and P. Ravi Kumar- special mention awards in the amateur category- cash prize of Rs. 30,000.

Key points:
i. National Photography Awards were started in 2010.
ii. The Minister paid a visit to the Photo Exhibition set up at National Media Centre and also released a special brochure.


PayU India appoints Reliance Payments executive Anirban Mukherjee as CEO
Anirban Mukherjee, presently the co-chief executive of Reliance Payments has been appointed as the CEO of PayU India owned by Naspers.He will succeed Amrish Rau.

i. The urgent responsibilities at hand would be the management of $100 million worth of business, witnessing a growth rate of 30% currently, formulating investment plans and gauging potential technological partnerships.
ii. The company has also highlighted the plan to double its loan book to about $2 billion over the next few years.


Tele-law mobile app, Nyaya Bandhu launched by Department of Justice
On 19th February 2019, a tele-law mobile application ‘Nyaya Bandhu’ was launched by the Union Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Key points:
i. It is pro bono legal service which is designed to connect practising lawyers and the registered eligible beneficiaries in a hassle-free manner.
ii. It will enable the para legal volunteers (PLV)’s to perform on field pre-registration of cases with a facility to seek appointment from the panel lawyer on date and time suitable to them.
iii. It contains facility to confirm and register the pre-registered cases, to enable online interface between the beneficiary and the panel lawyer through video conferencing and telephone facility.
iv. The application will benefit 73,000 PLVs of National Legal Service Authority and State Legal Services Authorities (SLSA) in the country who will be associated under Tele-Law service.


Scientists discover massive mountains under Earth’s crust
Massive mountains have been discovered by scientists.
i. These mountains are located in the Earth’s mantle at a depth of 660 km, and could provide a breakthrough on how the planet was formed.
ii. According to a study published in the journal ‘Science,’ data obtained from a huge earthquake in Bolivia has been used to find mountains and other topography on a layer which is located at a depth of 660 km, separating the upper and lower mantle.


70th Strandja Memorial Tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria
70th International Boxing Tournament Strandja 2019, hosted by European Boxing Confederation(EUBC) was held at Sofia, Bulgaria.

i. Russia topped the medals tally with 9 medals (5 Gold and 4 Bronze), followed by India at 2nd rank with 7 medals (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze) and USA at 3rd with 8 medals (2 Gold, 1 Silver, 5 Bronze).
ii. Asian Games Gold medallist, Amit Phangal, claimed a second successive Gold by defeating Kazakhstan’s Temirtas Zhussupov by 5-0 in the Men’s 49 KG category.
iii. Former junior world champion, Nikhat Zareen (Women’s 51 KG) and Meena Kumari Devi (Women’s 54 KG),became the first set of Indian Women Boxers to clinch Gold medals in Sofia.
iv. Manju Rani (Women’s 48kg) settled for a Silver after being defeated by Josie Gabuco of Philippines.
v. Pwilao Basumatari (Women’s 64kg), Neeraj (Women’s 60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (Women’s 69kg) had settled for Bronze medals.

UAE Coach Irfan Ansari banned by ICC for 10 years
International Cricket Council (ICC) banned(United Arab Emirates) UAE-based coach Irfan Ansari for a period of 10 years, from all forms of Cricket as he was found guilty of making a “corrupt approach” to Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed in 2017.
i. ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching three counts of the Anti-Corruption Code during a hearing.


Hindi author and literary critic Namwar Singh passed away
Mr.Namwar Singh from Varanasi,Uttarpradesh a famous Hindi author and known for his different approach in Hindi literature through criticism.He died in New Delhi at the age of 92.

i. He received the Sahitya Akademi award for ‘Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman’ for literary criticism in the year 1971.
ii. His other notable works are ‘ Chhayavaad’ and ‘Dusari Parampara Ki Khoj’ .
iii. He was the former president of the All India Progressive Writers’ Association (AIPWA).


February 20 observed as World Day of Social Justice
World Day of Social Justice is observed annually on February 20 to create attentiveness about social justice based on gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

Objective :- This day promotes peaceful and prosperous coexistence among different nations. It also creates awareness throughout the world about values of gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants.
Theme of 2019 –  ‘If you want Peace and Development, Work for Social Justice’ to  focuses on the goal of achieving full employment for the bottom 40 per cent of people and support for social integration.
On 26th November 2007, The United Nations General Assembly has approved to observe 20 February every year and started observing from 2009, as the World Day of Social Justice.

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