Current Affairs February 24 2019

We are here for you to provide the important Current Affairs February 24 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 24 2019INDIAN AFFAIRS

Overview Of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s First Visit To India

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, paid his first visit to India from 19-20 February 2019, at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
  • Saudi Arabia signed the framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and became the 73rd country to join the India-led renewable energy organisation which now has a total of 122 members.
  • 5 MoUs were signed – Infrastructure,Tourism,Housing
  • Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, Carnival Cinemas and Glenmark, along with other top Indian companies signed 15 agreements to invest in Saudi Arabia.
  • India and Saudi Arabia decided to hold “joint naval exercises” and agreed to constitute a ‘Comprehensive Security Dialogue’ at the level of National Security Advisers (NSAs), and set up a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
  • Saudi crown prince said that he sees investment opportunities worth USD 100 billion in various sectors in India and that they have already invested USD 44 billion since the PM’s visit in 2016. He has committed to invest USD 100 billion in sectors like energypetrochemicals and manufacturing……………………Click here to read more

NITI Aayog co-hosted Conference on The Future of Indian Banking
The Future of Indian Banking” conference was co-hosted by NITI Aayog along with the Foundation for Economic Growth and Welfare (EGROW Foundation) on February 22, 2019 at the Civil Services Officers’ Institute (CSOI), New Delhi. Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, inaugurated the event.
i. It was aimed to increase and elevate the discourse on the banking sector in India, and help develop insights to inform the continued evolution of the Indian banking sector for optimally supporting the growing credit needs of the Indian economy.
ii. The progress made by the Indian banking system in the past 4 years that provided a strong foundation for a long runway for expanding credit and supporting accelerating growth of India’s economy, was highlighted by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, and he indicated that there was still a lot of work to be done in improving the financial system and furthering reforms in the financial sector.
iii. Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subramanian suggested taking forward the P J Nayak committee’s recommendations on governance reforms in Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and said that the risk in the sector would persist until these reforms were institutionalised.
iv. He also advised diversification of business model by PSBs so that lenders were able to absorb any economic shock.

PM Modi addressed the Global Business Summit in New Delhi
On 23rd February 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the Global Business Summit in New Delhi.

Key points:
i. He announced that India would be a 10 trillion-dollar economy- the third largest in the world.
ii. He highlighted the role of his government’s policies in establishing a high growth rate and controlling inflation.
iii. The government would provide conducive environment for start-ups and promote renewable sources of energy.
iv. He said that the government works towards the upliftment of all the sections of the society, and does not discriminate on the basis of their economic profile, their caste, creed, language and religion.
v. He highlighted the role of the government in establishing the highest post-liberalisation growth rate of 7.4 per cent and lowest inflation of less than 4.5 per cent.
vi. He said that 100 smart cities are being built across the country and also mentioned high speed trains and their development and elimination of all unmanned railway crossings.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Waste to Wonder Park in Delhi
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated ‘Waste to Wonder Park’ which houses the replicas of seven wonders of the world made from scrap material at Sarai Kale Khan, Delhi.

i. It was built by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC)and is the first-of-its-kind tourist attraction in the world, with the replicas of the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro, Rome’s Colosseum, and the Statute of Liberty.

Union minister Smriti Irani launched the Integrated Large Scale Eri Farming in Arunachal Pradesh
Union textiles minister Smriti Irani,during her 2-day visit to the North-East, launched the Integrated Large Scale Eri Farming under North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS) in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh and will cover about one thousand acres land for Eri Farming in the chosen districts of the state.
i. 5 districts of the state,namely,Papumpare, East Kameng, Siang, East Siang and West Siang, will be covered by the project initially.The cost of project is Rs 37.25cr with GoI share of Rs 35.65cr.
ii. Government has decided to provide financial assistance to 4000 beneficiaries under NERTPS and skill training will be imparted to eri silk farmers and weavers under the Samarth Scheme.
iii. The project aims to support Eri food plantations and also empower the tribal women of the state with employment opportunities and sustainable livelihood.
About Arunachal Pradesh
♦ Capital – Itanagar
♦ Chief Minister – Pema Khandu
♦ Governor – Brig. Dr. B. D. Mishra

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurates two silk projects in Assam
On 22nd February 2019, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated two projects under the ministry of textiles at Udalguri,Assam.

The projects are:
Integrated Soil to Silk Project

  • It has been set up at a cost of 55 crores.
  • It will provide employment opportunities to 15,600 people in the duration of the project and to 7,000 people once fully functional.
  • Aims to undertake new Eri plantation on 100 hectares and work on 600 acres of existing Eri farms and provide handloom and work sheds to 2500.

 Eri Spun Silk Mill

  • The expected turnover from this project would be 10 crores with a profit of Rs. 3 crores in the first year.
  • It will generate direct employment for 107 persons all through the year.
  • It will be implemented directly by the state government in tandem with the Central Silk Board.
  • It will provide indirect employment to around another 1,500 Eri farmers through backward linkage and to around 730 weavers through forward linkage.
  • It would ensure sustainable livelihood for women of Bodoland Territorial Council through tapioca plantation at Kokrajhar.

Odisha approved Rs 466 Crore Sanitary Napkin Scheme for adolescent girls
Odisha government, in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, approved Khusi scheme aimed at improving menstrual hygiene among adolescent girl students in the state, with an outlay of Rs 466.08 crore over a period of 5 years.

i. Free sanitary napkins will be provided to 17.25 lakh adolescent girl students of Class 6 to 9 studying in government and non-government aided schools of the state. It will also cover Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawaharlal Navodaya Vidyalayas.
ii. Each girl student will be provided with 18 beltless sanitary napkins per month.
iii. Other objectives of the scheme include reducing the expenditure of the parents towards health care of the girls, reduction in the dropout rate among girls, improved attendance in schools and increase in academic parameter.
The scheme will be implemented in coordination with the School and Mass Education, Scheduled Tribe & Scheduled Caste Development and Minorities and Backward Classes, and Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities departments.
Related Points

  • The cabinet also approved Kalia Scholarship for the education of farmers’ children, a scheme already announced by the chief minister with the objective of extending financial assistance to the children of the beneficiaries of the KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation).
  • The farmers children can pursue their professional courses in the state-run institutions

About Odisha
♦ Capital – Bhubaneshwar
♦ Chief Minister – Naveen Patnaik
♦ Governor –Ganeshi Lal

Telangana CM presented Rs 1.82 lakh cr interim budget for 2019-20
On 22nd February 2018, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao presented a Vote-on-Account Budget for the year 2019-20.
Key points:
i. It is an interim budget.
ii. The total expenditure is valued to be Rs 1,82,017 crore which is 4 percent higher than the previous year- out of which there is a revenue expenditure of Rs 1,31,629 crore and a capital expenditure of Rs.32,815 crore.
iii. The estimated revenue surplus is pegged at Rs 6,564 crore and fiscal deficit is Rs 27,749 crore which is2.81 percent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
iv. Revenues for Budget Estimate (BE)of 2019-20 of the state are valued at Rs 94,776 crore.
v. A sum of Rs 1810 crore has been allocated in the Budget to fund an unemployment allowance of Rs 3,016 per month to the eligible youth.
vi. Rs. 6,000 crores have been allocated to waive off agricultural term loans of up to Rs. 1 lakh.

TN Becomes First State in mainland to get 2 Coast Guard Districts
On 22nd February 2019, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit inaugurated the second Coast Guard district headquarters at Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is the first state in India to get a second Coast Guard district headquarters. The first district headquarters is Chennai.
The second headquarters have been set up to deal with frequent issues faced by fishermen and provide anti-poaching operations, search and rescue missions and coastal security measures.
Key points:
i. Both coast guard will function under Commander Coast Guard Region (East).
ii. The area of operations will include about 680 km of the coastline along districts of Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari.
iii. The position of first district Commander of the district headquarters (Tuticorin) has been given to Coast Guard DIG Arvind Sharma.

Government decided to stop share of Indus water to Pakistan
On the lines of Pulwama terror attack, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that India has decided to stop the flow of its share of water to Pakistan.
In this regard, Centre is planning to build projects on 3 rivers flowing into Pakistan, to divert water towards Yamuna.
i. The water will be diverted from the eastern rivers and supplied it to Indians in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.
ii. Under the Indus Waters Treaty, India shares water of the Beas and Sutlej rivers with Pakistan.


FATF remained Pak in “Grey” list for failing to stop terror financing
On 22nd February 2019, Financial Action Task Force (FATF)condemned the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir,which led to death of 40 CRPF jawans and decided to keep Pakistan in the ‘grey’ list owing to continued funding of terrorist groups such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamat-ud-Dawa.
It stressed on the fact that Pakistan should work continuously to formulate an action plan and work to reduce its strategic deficiencies, analyse the terror financing risks posed by the terrorist groups and conduct supervision on the basis of risk-sensitivity.
About Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
Headquartered in Paris, FATF is an international terror financing watchdog.
Its ‘Gray’ listing means downgrading of the country by multilateral lenders like International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and European Union (EU).

3-day navy drill from Gulf to Indian Ocean announced by Iran
Iran announced that it will be launching a 3-day annual navy drill named “Velayat 97” in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, including a sensitive global shipping route, with an aim to evaluate the equipment of the navy, practice launching weapons and enable the troops to gain readiness in battle.
i. It will be held in the waters of Strait of Hormuz, Makran coast, Oman Sea and the north of the Indian ocean and will cover an area of 2 million square kilometres.
ii. It will showcase Iran’s submarines, warships, helicopters and drones and will also include missile launches from the vessels.
Related Point

  • The Strait of Homruz, located between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, is an international transit route where American forces pass routinely and has seen tense encounters between the American and Iranian forces in the past.

About Iran
♦ Capital – Tehran
♦ Currency – Iranian Rial
♦ President – Hassan Rouhani

President Bashir declares year-long state of emergency in Sudan
On 22nd February 2019, a state of emergency was declared in Sudan by its President Omar al-Bashir. The government was dissolved at both the cabinet and local levels.
i. It was due to continuous protests by the general public since 19 December who were furious by the mismanagement of the nation’s economy and wanted the leader to step down.
ii. He has appointed 16 army officers and two security officers as new governors for the 18 provinces of the country.
About Bashir
♦ He rose to power in 1989 by overthrowing the elected government of then leader Sadiq al-Mahdi.
♦ He faces charges of war crimes and genocide in Darfur and is also wanted by the International Criminal Court.
♦ His term ends in 2020.


RBI bundles NBFCs into a single type to offer operational flexibility
On 22nd February 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in accordance with an announcement made during the last bi-monthly policy, decided to create a single category for the NBFCs (non-banking financial companies) by bundling their present three-tier structure. It was also decided that exposures to all NBFCs, excluding core investment companies, will be risk weighted as per credit ratings.
i. These steps have been undertaken to provide greater operational flexibility to the NBFCs, reducing the number of categories into which they are divided, on the principle of regulation by activity and not regulation by entity.
ii. In this regard, asset finance companies, loan companies and investment companies have been categorised as NBFC- investment and credit companies (NBFC-ICCs).
iii. A deposit taking NBFC-ICC will be required to make an investment of an amount less than twenty per cent of its owned fund, in unquoted shares of another company which is not a subsidiary company or a company in the same group of the NBFC.

Zimbabwe Starts Trading New Currency RTGS dollar
On 20th February 2019, Zimbabwe’s central bank announced the discontinuation of its official currency, quasi-currency bond note officially pegged at parity with the U.S. dollar and launched a new currency called RTGS dollars, to resolve a long-term monetary crisis.

i. The currency was launched at an initial rate of 2.5 RTGS dollars per US dollar. 
ii. This step was undertaken to do away with hyperinflation and fiscal deficit issues the country had been facing and the shortage of dollars which had been negatively impacting the economy.
iii.The new currency replaces electronic bank savings called digital dollars and the bond notes and was named after the real-time gross settlement system that banks use to transfer money between each other.


HAL places order with Thales for 2.75-inch rocket launchers to equip Indian armed forces
HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) has signed a contract with Thales, a French aerospace and defence company,for supplying “135 2.75-inch (70-mm) rocket launchers, to improve the tactical capabilities of the Indian armed forces.

i. The contract states that each of the Indian Army and Air Force’s multi-role attack helicopters (18 Advanced Light Helicopters and 15 Light Combat Helicopters) will equipped with four 2.75-inch (70-mm) 12-tube rocket launchers. These rocket launchers can be used on both light and combat helicopters.
ii. These rocket launchers are manufactured using a composite material which makes them 50 per cent lighter than metal launchers and reduces the possibility of corrosion.
iii. Thales would supply the following:

  • Four 2.75-inch (70-mm) 12-tube rocket launchers
  • Fire control capability
  • T100 sighting system


Overview Of The “Digital India Awards 2018”

  • The Digital India Awards are aimed at encouraging Government entities, which have made significant contributions towards the implementation of e-Governance and shown an exemplary & innovative approach to achieve administrative efficiency and transparency.
  • Union Minister of Electronics & IT, Law & Justice,Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, conferred “Digital India Awards 2018” at the exclusive ceremony. 35 awards were conferred to teams and individuals……………………Click here to Read more

JSPL won the FICCI CSR Award for Women Empowerment
Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) was conferred with the prestigious ‘FICCI CSR Award‘ for Women Empowerment for its innovative and high impact women empowerment programmes, implemented by the company’s CSR Arm – JSPL Foundation, across its operational areas in India.
i. Director, JSPL and the Co-Chairperson of JSPL Foundation Shallu Jindal received the award from Union Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu in New Delhi.
About FICCI CSR Awards

  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards are India’s first CSR award, instituted in 1999 by FICCI.
  • The aim of the award is to identify and recognize the efforts of companies in integrating and internalizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  • This year is the 17th year of the FICCI CSR Awards.


Justice Uma Nath Singh takes oath as First Lokayukta of Nagaland
On 22nd February 2019, Justice Uma Nath Singh took the oath as the first lokayukta of Nagaland. He was formerly the Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court. His tenure would last for a period of 5 years or until he turns 70, whichever occurs earlier.
i. The oath was administered to him by Governor of Nagaland P.B Acharya at Raj Bhavan. The ceremony was also attended by Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio, Opposition Leader T R Zeliang, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs and other dignitaries.

Kareena Kapoor Khan named brand ambassador of Swasth Immunised India
Bollywood actress, Kareena Kapoor Khan is named as the brand ambassador of Swasth Immunised India, a year-long campaign initiated by Network18 and Serum Institute of India which promotes immunisation of babies under two years of age.

i. The campaign was launched at Mumbai and Adar Poonawalla, President, Vaccine Manufacturers Association of India and CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII), Natasha Poonawalla, Executive Director, SII, and Dr Nitin Shah, section head of pediatrics department at PD Hinduja National Hospital, were present at the event.


Australian wicket-keeper, Alyssa Healy, sets Guinness World Record at MCG
Australia’s wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy set a new Guinness World Record after achieving the feat for the ‘highest catch of a cricket ball’ at the Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG).

i. She caught a ball which was dropped from a drone,80 metres above the cricket ground.
ii. The record was previously set by the England’s Kristan Baumgartner with a catch from 62 metres and before her, former England captain,Nasser Hussain held it with 49 metres.
iii. The record attempt was part of the campaign carried out by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket Australia in collaboration, to set the highest attendance figure for a women’s sporting fixture during the final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, which will be held on 8th March, 2020 at MCG,coinciding with International Women’s Day.


Telugu Film Director Kodi Ramakrishna Dies At 69
On 22nd February 2019, Kodi Ramakrishna, Telugu film director died due to ill health.
i. He directed more than 100 films over a period of 30 years.
ii. He originally hails from Palakollu in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
iii. He directed numerous blockbuster films like ‘Mangammagari Manavadu’, ‘Muddula Mavayya’ and ‘Muvva Gopaludu’.

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