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Current Affairs February 21 2020

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Current Affairs Today 21 2020

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Overview of Cabinet approvals on February 19, 2020
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals on February 19, 2020. The approval in detail are as follows:

  • Cabinet has approved the signing of updated Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) agreement between Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the UK’s (United Kingdom) Financial Conduct Authority(FCA).
  • Cabinet approved the upgrading of Gandhinagar (Gujarat ) based Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG) as Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG(N)).
  • Cabinet has approved the Phase II of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen).
  • Cabinet approves to raise interest subvention for Dairy processing & Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) to 2.5% from 2%.
  • Cabinet approves Rs 4,458 crore scheme for dairy sector
  • Cabinet approves scheme for “Formation and Promotion of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) ” to form and promote 10,000 new FPOs
  • Cabinet clears Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020
  • Cabinet nod to set up a 12-member Technology Group headed by Principal Scientific Adviser to Government of India (GoI),Prof K. VijayRaghavan.
  • Cabinet has allowed to make significant changes to the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) and Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS) in order to address the challenges.
  • Cabinet approves formation of 22ndLaw Commission of India for a term of 3 years….Click here to Read More

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Delhi, tops in Nature Ranking Index 2020
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) ranked first in the Nature Ranking Index 2020. All the institutions are ranked on the basis of total research output from december 01, 2018 to 30th November , 2019.
Numbers in research output
Numbers in research output are designated by total citations in numbers and shares, that indicate the sharing percentage per article….Click here to Read More

BANKING & FINANCE

SBI Card join hands with Landmark group to launch 3 new retail co-branded credit cards
On February 20, 2020, SBI (State Bank of India) Cards & Payments Services Ltd( previously known as SBI Cards and Payment Services Private Limited), a payment solutions provider in India, has entered into the partnership with Landmark Group, one of the largest retail and hospitality organizations, to launch 3 new retail co-branded credit cards namely Lifestyle Home Centre SBI Card, Max SBI Card and Spar SBI Card —with 4 Landmark Group brands – Lifestyle, Home Centre, Max and Spar .
Key Points:
i.The co-branded cards are available in three variants. It includes, Base, SELECT and PRIME and cater to the needs of consumers ranging from Value for Money to Premium and Super Premium.
ii.Cardholders of any of the above said cards can enjoy the same benefits across all participating Landmark brands. In this way, they can get many other benefits along with saving in many categories through the same card.
iii.From all variants, customers can earn SBI Card reward Points that can be redeemed across all brands of Landmark in India thereby rewarding loyal customers.
About SBI card:
Founded– 1998
Headquarters– Gurgaon, Haryana
CEO– Hardayal Prasad
It has a credit card customer base of over 9 million.
About Landmark Group:
Founded– 1973
Headquarters– Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In 1999, the Landmark Group entered India, to revolutionize retailing in the country. It now operates more than 350 stores in India and employs more than 15,000 people in the business of  Lifestyle, Home, CentreMax Hypermarkets,Citymax Citymax (a hospitality division).

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS        

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw won EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2019
On February 19, 2020 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director (MD) of Bengaluru based biopharmaceutical company Biocon, won Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the year 2019 (for her innovation & affordable life saving medicines), at the 21st edition of the awards held in New Delhi, India.
Key Points:
i.About Mazumdar-Shaw: She will also represent India at the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Award (WEOY) in Monte Carlo between June 4 and 6, 2020. She was also one of the Indian signatories of the Giving Pledge, who dedicated the majority of her wealth to philanthropic causes.
ii.Adi Godrej, Godrej Group Chairman was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award.
iii.Tuhin Parikh, senior managing director (Real Estate), BlackStone India, was the first recipient awarded with “Transformational Impact Person of the Year award” & this category has been newly launched to recognise individuals who have transformed both the industry and ecosystem in India.
iv.Awards were announced in 9 categories, with the winners coming from both mature industries and unicorns…..Click here to Read More

ESPN Multi-Sport Annual Awards 2019 announced:PV Sindhu & Saurabh Chaudhary becomes Sportperson of the year Female & Male
On February 21,2020 Entertainment and Sports Programming Network(ESPN)Multi-Sport Annual Awards 2019 announced PV Sindhu & Saurabh Chaudhary as ‘Sportsperson of the year’ 2019 female & male. PV Sindhu received this ‘Sportsperson of the year’(Female) award for the third consecutive time. Dutee Chand was named as the first winner of the ESPN India courage award.
Gist about the Award
The Award acknowledges individuals and teams based on 10 categories. Based on the vote by a 16 member panel the winners are selected. Cricket is not covered as it is already included in ESPNcricinfo’s Annual Awards….Click here to Read More

Indian freelance journalist Ahmer Khan wins AFP’s Kate Webb Prize 
On February 20, 2020, The 27-year old Indian freelance reporter Ahmer Khan was announced as the winner of the 2019 Kate Webb Prize by the Agence France-Presse, for his series of videos and written reports on how people in Kashmir impacted while scraping article 370 by the Government of India.
Key points:
i.About Kate Webb Prize:In 2008 AFP established the Kate Webb Prize with a cash reward of euro 3000 ( approximately Rs.3.2 lakhs) to recognize Journalists working in difficult conditions in Asia, for the remembrance of Kate Webb.
ii.And later in 2020, the Award will be formally presented in a ceremony at Hong Kong

Venkaiah Naidu presented the Ideal Legislative Assembly Speaker/ Ideal Legislative Council Chairman Award 2019 to P. Ramakrishnan, Speaker of Kerala
On February 20, 2020 Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu presented the Ideal Legislative Assembly Speaker/ Ideal Legislative Council Chairman Award 2019 to the Speaker of the Kerala Legislative Assembly Shri P. Ramakrishnan, during the inauguration of the 10th edition of the 4 day function “Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad” (Indian Student Parliament),from february 20 to 23,2020, held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
Key Points:
i.The Ideal Legislative Assembly Speaker Award-2019 recognises the significant contribution made by the Hon’ble Speaker in strengthening & safeguarding best legislative practices in the state.
ii.The selection committee was chaired by Shri Shivraj Patil -Former Speaker of the Parliament and the Governing Council of the Bhartiya Chhatra Sansad and honoured by MIT School of Government.
iii.Ideal Chief Minister Award 2019 will be awarded to Amrinder Singh, CM of Punjab during the 4th day function on 23rd February 2020.

Indian Railways Customer grievance portal “RailMadad” gets National e-Governance Awards
On February 20, 2020 RaidMadad, the grievance redressal portal of Indian Railways, has been awarded Silver award under Category-II of National e-Governance Awards– “Excellence in providing Citizen-centric delivery” at the 23rd National Conference on e-Governance which was held at Mumbai on 7 & 8th february 2020.
Key Points:
i.About RailMadad: RailMadad is the single portal for grievance, inquiry and assistance for all railway customers- passenger, freight, parcel. Customers can also give their suggestions on RailMadad.
ii.RailMadad Portal can be accessed by Railway customers using RailMadad helpline no. 139 (with IVRS [Interactive Voice Response System] voice and SMS [Short Message Service] facilities), RailMadad website: railmadad.indianrailways.gov.in and RailMadad App.
iii.About National e-governance awards: To recognize and promote excellence in implementation of e-governance initiatives, DARPG (Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances) presents National e-governance awards every year.

Two 1 Million Dollar worth ‘Food Planet Prize’ created by The New Curt Bergfors Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden
The New Curt Bergfors Foundation created the world’s largest prize for sustainable food solutions in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. The name of the prize is Food Planet Prize and it’s worth one million dollar.The jury prize will be chaired by Johan Rockstrom the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research.
Objective of the Prize
-To provide solutions  to feed people where climate change scares the world’s food supply
-To create a sustainable food system for growing population.
About the Food Planet Prize
i.Th prizes will be issued under two categories which are follows:-

  • One prize for “an existing scalable solution for sustainable foods”
  • Second prize for “innovative initiatives that could transform the global food sector”

ii.Later in 2020 ,the first prize will be awarded.
iii.The Curt Bergfors Foundation was established in 2019 to highlight the challenges in today’s food system.Curt Bergfors ,Swedish entrepreneur and philanthropist is a founder of this foundation.
Background of the Prize

  • With the current food system the world can’t feed the population as the world population is 7.8 billion, while in 2030 it will be 8.5 billion and in 2050 close to 10 billion.
  • To eradicate hunger by 2030 is one of the goals of the UN’s Sustainable Development as over 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS    

RBI appointed Sunil Gurbaxani as Dhanlaxmi Bank MD & CEOrbiOn February 20, 2020 Reserve Bank of India (RBI) appointed Sunil Gurbaxani as MD (Managing Director) and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Dhanlaxmi Bank for a period of 3 years. Sunil was the successor of T.Latha.
Key Points:

i.Sunil Gurbaxani served as the Executive Vice President of Axis Bank.
ii.Dhanlaxmi bank was removed from the RBI PCA (Prompt Corrective Action) framework, as the bank is found to be not breaching any of the risk thresholds of the framework.
iii.During the end of the third quarter in December 2019, the bank reported a 26% rise in a net profit to Rs 21.28 crore & registered a net profit of Rs 16.90 crore during the year 2019.
iv.Total income of the bank raised to Rs 285.85 crore from Rs 272.16 crore in October to December 2018-19.
About Dhanlaxmi Bank:
Headquarters- Thrissur, Kerala.
Tagline- Tann.Mann.Dhan.
Chairman- Mr. Sajeev Krishnan.

Irish PM Leo Eric Varadkar resigns, retains as interim leaderLeoOn February 20, 2020 Irish Prime Minister Leo Eric Varadkar resigned due to the insufficiency of the majority after the parliamentary vote. He submitted his resignation to Irish President Micheal Daniel Higgins.
Key Points:

i.He will remain as an interim leader and the government will continue to carry on their duties until the successor has been appointed.
ii.Leo Varadkar served as ‘Taoiseach’ (means Prime Minister of Ireland) since June 2017.
About Ireland:
Capital- Dublin.
Currency- Euro.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das is elected as the President and Champat Rai as general secretary of The Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das is elected as the President and Champant Rai as General Secretary of the The Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust in its meeting.
About the Meeting
The aim of the meeting is to speed up the construction of The Ram temple in Ayodhya
It was decided to open an Account in Ayodhya’s State Bank of India branch for donations for the construction.
Appointments

Name Post elected
Former secretary of PM Nripendra Misra Head of temple construction committee
Swami Govind Dev Giriji Maharaj of Pune Treasurer
Senior Lawyer Parasaran Head of the Trust

The Trust’s other members include Jagatguru Shankracharya, Jyothishpeethadheeshwar Swami Vasudevanand Saraswati Ji Maharaj from Allahabad, Jagatguru Madhavacharya Swami Vishwa Prasannatheerth Ji Maharaj, Pejawar Math in Udupi, Yugpurush Paramanand Ji Maharaj from Haridwar, Swami Govinddev Giri Ji Maharaj from Pune and Vimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra from Ayodhya.
About the Trust
i.It was constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi government with 15-member .
ii.In November 2019 the trust was formed in obedience to the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya dispute.

      SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Netherlands Scientists discovered new snail species; named after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg
On February 21, 2020, A group of scientists with Naturalis Biodiversity Center,a research center on biodiversity based in Leiden, the Netherlands, have discovered a new species of land snail and named it “Craspedotropis gretathunbergae” in honour of the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg for her efforts to raise awareness about climate change.
The snails have been found near the research center at Kuala Belalong Field Studies Centre in Brunei.
Key Points:
i.The newly discovered species belong to the group of so-called caenogastropods . It is a group of snails found on the ground that are dried, extreme temperatures and deforestation have an impact.
ii.The lead scientist of this research was J.P. Lim, who found the first specimen of the snail.
iii.The scientists’ team published a description of the snail in the Biodiversity Data Journal.
iv.Greta Thunberg nominated for Nobel Peace Prize 2020 & is also the subject of a Hulu documentary that will air in 2020, working titled ‘Greta’. She was also chosen as the 2019 Person of the Year.

Cabinet approved Procurement of 24 US made MH-60R Seahawk helicopters
On February 19, 2020, The Cabinet Committee on Security headed by the Prime Minister of India Shri. Narendra Modi has approved the acquisition of 24 Sikorsky MH(Maritime Helicopters)-60R(Romeo) seahawk multi-role Helicopters from The United States, worth of USD 2.6 billion (approximately Rs.1871 crores) for Indian Navy.
Key points:
i.Lockheed Martin who built the helicopters for the US, will be the principal contractor for the sale. The helicopters will be procured through the foreign military sales (FMS) method administered by The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
ii.The Defence Acquisition Council of India had cleared the procurement of the 24 multi-role helicopters in August 2018. Later, in April 2019, the US State Department approved the sale of the helicopters to India
iii.The actual contract will be signed by the United States President Donald Trump during his visit to India, and these helicopters will replace the old British-made Sea King helicopters, which were placed in the Indian Anti-submarine warfare’s.

Indian Railways launched HRMS Mobile app for its employees
On February 20 2020 Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman, Railway Board, launched HRMS (Human Resource Management System) Mobile application (app) through which all employees of Indian Railways can view and access data related to their services. The app was designed and developed by CRIS (Centre for Railway Information System).
Key Points:
i.About HRMS Mobile app: The app allows employees to view their historical data since the date of joining in Railways including details related to the Increments, Promotions, Awards, Transfers, Postings, Leave, Training, and composition of Family as per records, Nominations for retirement benefits and also brings transparency to administration.
ii.This application will be a single window communication system between Railway employees and Administration.
iii.At present data of 93% (11.19 lakh) serving railway employees had been collected in this module.
iv.This app is available on Google Play Store- HRMS Employee Mobile App for Indian
Railways.
Indian Railways announces the launch of joint research initiatives and teaching programmes with University of Birmingham at National Rail Transportation Institute
i.Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav,Chairman, Railway Board and Lord Karan Billimoria, Chancellor, University of Birmingham announced the launch of a Joint Masters programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration in academic year 2020-2021 by the National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI)
ii.The MoU of the teaching program initiative was signed between the National Rail Transport Institute and University of Birmingham on December 18, 2019.
About Indian Railways:
Headquarters- New Delhi, India.
Minister of Railways- Shri Piyush Vedprakash Goyal.
Piyush Goyal Constituency- Maharashtra.

SPORTS

Left arm Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha announced retirement from all forms of cricketojhaOn February 21, 2020 Left arm Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha tweeted about his retirement from all forms of cricket on twitter.The 33-year-old player has 16 years experience in professional cricket.He hailed from Bhubaneshwar.
Key Highlights

i.He played his last match in 2013 during the farewell test Match of Sachin against West Indies in Mumbai but
ii.He played 108 matches, scored 848 runs and took 424 wickets.
iii.In December 2014 he was barred due to his illegal action. But on 30th January he cleared the test.
iv.On June 28 2008 Karachi he played his one day International match against Bangladesh and secured 2/43.
Awards and Achievements

  • First and one of the two spinners to win Purple Cap in Indian Premier League.
  • He became world no 5 as his career best ranking in ICC Player Ranking.
  • At present he is at 21st position in IPL ranking for Number of wickets.
  • Awarded as IPL Jury’s Best Bowlerat 2010.

OBITUARY

Larry Tesler Inventor of Copy-Cut-Paste passed away at 74LarryOn February 17, 2020, Lawrence Gordon Tesler known as Larry Tesler was an American computer scientist who worked in the field of human–computer interaction and also the Inventor of Copy-Cut-Paste functions for computers in 1973 has passed away at the age of 74 in Portola Valley, California, U.S.
Key points:

i.Tesler was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1945 and served as a young researcher in photocopying company Palo Alto Research Center (Parc), and he also worked for blue-chip firms including Apple, Amazon and Yahoo.
ii.Later he Established UX consultancy in California.

IMPORTANT DAYS

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was observed on Feb 21, 2020mother-languageInternational Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed annually on February 21 since 2000 as a worldwide observance of UNESCO (United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). The day creates an awareness on linguistic, cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism and in India the day is observed as ‘Matribhasha Diwas’.
Theme of IMLD for the year 2020
is“Languages without Border”.
MHRD celebrated ‘Matribhasha Diwas’ on feb 21, 2020
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) celebrated “Matribhasha Diwas” on february 21, 2020 across the country. Vice President Shri M Venkaih Naidu was the chief guest of the function held in New Delhi, India,
Theme for the year 2020 is “Celebrating our Multilingual Heritage”.
The theme reflects the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’….Click here to Read More

STATE NEWS

Central and UP government renamed 4 railway stations of Prayagraj
On February 21, 2020 Four railway stations in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj will get new names, in order to recognise the identity of the ancient city. The names of the stations were changed by the State and Central Government.
Key Points:
i.Allahabad Junction will now be Prayagraj Junction, Allahabad City will now be known as Prayagraj Rambag, Allahabad Chhioki has been changed to Prayagraj Chheoki & the name of Prayagghat to Prayagraj Sangam.
About Uttar Pradesh (UP):
Capital- Lucknow.
Chief Minister (CM)- Yogi Adityanath.
Governor- Anandiben Patel.

AC GAZE

National Payments Corporation of India launches ‘UPI Chalega’ campaign
National Payments Corporation of India(NPCI) launches ‘UPI Chalega’ campaign, which is aimed to guide users towards the right usage of UPI(Unified Payments Interface) and help to create a habitual change, use of UPI in their daily life.
UPIChalega.com has also been setup where users can access information about live banks and third-party apps on the interface as well as social feeds.

*******

S.No Current Affairs Headlines: 21 February 2020
1 Overview of Cabinet approvals on February 19, 2020
2 Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Delhi, tops in Nature Ranking Index 2020
3 SBI Card join hands with Landmark group to launch 3 new retail co-branded credit cards
4 Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw won EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for 2019
5
ESPN Multi-Sport Annual Awards 2019 announced:PV Sindhu & Saurabh Chaudhary becomes Sportperson of the year Female & Male
6 Indian freelance journalist Ahmer Khan wins AFP’s Kate Webb Prize
7
Venkaiah Naidu presented the Ideal Legislative Assembly Speaker/ Ideal Legislative Council Chairman Award 2019 to P. Ramakrishnan, Speaker of Kerala
8 Indian Railways Customer grievance portal “RailMadad” gets National e-Governance Awards
9
Two 1 Million Dollar worth ‘Food Planet Prize’ created by The New Curt Bergfors Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden
10 RBI appointed Sunil Gurbaxani as Dhanlaxmi Bank MD & CEO
11 Irish PM Leo Eric Varadkar resigns, retains as interim leader
12
Mahant Nritya Gopal Das is elected as the President and Champat Rai as general secretary of The Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
13
Netherlands Scientists discovered new snail species; named after Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg
14 Cabinet approved Procurement of 24 US made MH-60R Seahawk helicopters
15 Indian Railways launched HRMS Mobile app for its employees
16 Left arm Indian spinner Pragyan Ojha announced retirement from all forms of cricket
17 Larry Tesler Inventor of Copy-Cut-Paste passed away at 74
18 International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was observed on Feb 21, 2020
19 Central and UP government renamed 4 railway stations of Prayagraj
20 National Payments Corporation of India launches ‘UPI Chalega’ campaign

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