Current Affairs 03rd February 2021| Current Affairs News

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CURRENT AFFAIRS : DAYS

World Wetlands Day Celebrated on 02 February 2021

  • World Wetlands Day is observed every year on 2nd February .
  • Purpose : To raise global awareness about the vital role played by wetlands for people and our planet.
  • Wetlands are protected places under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
  • There are over 2,400 protected wetlands across the world.
  • The theme for World Wetlands Day 2021 is ‘Wetlands and Water.
  • The day is celebrated to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
  • In 2021 marks 50 years of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997.

About Wetland :

  • A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail.
  • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : NATIONAL NEWS

Union Ministers jointly launch unified web portal for monitoring progress of GOBARDHAN activities

  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria jointly launched a unified web portal for monitoring the progress of GOBARDHAN activities across the nation.
  • Gobardhan is an important component of Swachh Bharat Mission Phase-2 for organic solid waste management.
  • The Gobardhan scheme aims at supporting villages effectively to manage their cattle dung and other organic waste.
  • The Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation will work with all the other stakeholders to implement Gobardhan, a unified approach across villages.
  • Gobardhan pilot project will prove to be an important and useful step in cleanliness
  • Through this will get ethanol, bio-diesel and compressed bio-fuel in the coming years.

Policy of Strategic Disinvestment announced

  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget FY 2021-22 in Parliament  announced that the government has approved a policy of strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises
  • That will provide a clear roadmap for disinvestment in all non-strategic and strategic sectors.
  • The government aims at making use of disinvestment proceeds to finance various social sector and developmental programmes and also to infuse private capital, technology and best management practices in Central Government Public Sector Enterprises
  • Two fold classification of Sectors to be disinvested :
  • Strategic Sector : Bare minimum presence of the public sector enterprises and remaining to be privatised or merged or subsidiarized with other CPSEs or closed.
  • Non- Strategic Sector : In this sector, CPSEs will be privatised, otherwise shall be closed.
  • Following 4 sectors to come under it :
  1. Atomic energy, Space and Defence
  2. Transport and Telecommunications
  3. Power, Petroleum, Coal and other minerals
  4. Banking, Insurance and financial services
  • Recognising that Idle assets will not contribute to AtmaNirbhar Bharat and the non-core assets largely consist of surplus land with government Ministries/Departments and Public Sector Enterprises, the Minister proposed to use a Special Purpose Vehicle in the form of a company to carry out monetization of idle land.
  • This can either be by way of direct sale or concession or by similar means.
  • Sitharaman also proposed to introduce a revised mechanism that will ensure timely closure of sick or loss making CPSEs.

About CPSEs :

  • Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) are those companies in which the direct holding of the Central Government or other CPSEs is 51% or more.
  • As on 31.3.2015 there were 298 CPSEs wherein, 63 enterprises are yet to commence commercial operation.

Tax holiday for start ups extended for another year till March 2022

  • To help India’s startups amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tax holidays for these businesses have been extended by one year till March 31, 2022, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22
  • The government has also proposed to incentivise incorporation of one-person companies (OPCs). The move is likely to help smaller startups and innovators.
  • The Government has increased the FDI limit from 49 to 74 percent in Insurance Companies and allowed foreign ownership and control with safeguards.
  • The Government has proposed to infuse 20 thousand crore rupees to re-capitalized Public Sector Banks.

About FDI :

  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) is when a company takes controlling ownership in a business entity in another country. With FDI, foreign companies are directly involved with day-to-day operations in the other country. This means they aren’t just bringing money with them, but also knowledge, skills and technology.

India gets its first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management in Chennai

  • Babul Supriyo announced the establishment of a Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM), as a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management(NCSCM), Chennai, an institution under the Ministry.
  • On the occasion of the World Wetland Day and as a part of its commitment towards conservation, restoration and management of India’s wetlands, the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • The event was attended virtually by NCSCM, State Wetland Authorities and the knowledge partners of the Wetland Division.
  • India has nearly 4.6% of its land as wetlands, covering an area of26 million hectares and has 42 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 1.08 million hectares.
  • The year 2021 also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, celebrated annually as World Wetlands Day.
  • The Minister also released publications relating to Faunal Diversity of all the Ramsar sites in the country and a brochure on Designation of Ramsar sites.

About the Wetland Conservation and Management :

  • The dedicated CWCM Centre would address specific research needs and knowledge gaps,  give a fillip to capacity development and cutting-edge research on wetlands of India, as well as aid in the application of integrated approaches for conservation, management and wise use of the wetlands.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : INTERNATIONAL NEWS

World Bank to provide USD 500 million to Bangladesh for improving Road and Digital Connectivity

  • The government of Bangladesh signed an agreement with the World Bank for the upgradation of rural  roads and connectivity in the western region.
  • The project is expected to benefit over 20 million people in the western region of Bangladesh.
  • The project will help upgrade the 48 kilometre two-lane Jashore-Jhenaidah road to a modern 4-lane highway.
  • It will also help improve 600 kilometre of connecting rural roads and build or develop new rural markets.
  • The project will finance installation of  fiber-optic cables along the highway to ensure fast and reliable internet service
  • The project is the first of a multi-phased USD1.4 billion 10-year program to upgrade the existing 110 kilometre two-lane highway, Bhomra-Satkhira-Navaron and Jashore-Jhenaidah. In the current phase, the project will be implemented in four districts namely Jashore, Jhenaidah, Magura, and Chuadanga.

About World Bank :

  • Headquarters : Washington DC, US
  • President : David Malpass
  • Founded : July 1944

UN World Tourism Organization confirms 2020 as “worst year on record”

  • According to the  global travel and tourism report ‘World Tourism Barometer’ released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the year 2020 was the “worst year on record.
  • Global tourism suffered its worst year on record in 2020, with international arrivals dropping by -74% year-on-year according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
  • Locations worldwide welcomed 1 billion fewer worldwide arrivals in 2020 than within the earlier year as a result of COVID-19 disaster, the associated fall in demand and widespread travel restrictions.
  • Asia and the Pacific (-84%) the primary area to endure the influence of the pandemic and the one with the very best stage of journey restrictions at present in place – recorded the most important lower in arrivals in 2020 (300 million fewer).
  • The Center East and Africa each recorded a -75% decline.
  • Europe recorded a -70% lower in arrivals, regardless of a quick revival within the Summer season of 2020.
  • Based on the most recent UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the collapse in worldwide travel represents an estimated lack of US$1.3 trillion in export revenues – greater than 11 instances the loss recorded in the course of the 2009 world financial disaster.

About UNWTO :

  • Secretary General : Zurab Pololikashvili
  • Headquarters : Madrid, Spain
  • Member States : 159

CURRENT AFFAIRS : BANKING & FINANCE

In 2021 Budget Govt proposes to introduce single securities markets code

  • The government proposed to introduce a unified securities markets code, a move that will help in boosting the ease of doing business in the country’s financial markets.
  • The proposed move would help in cutting down compliance costs and reducing the friction between rules enacted by capital markets watchdog Sebi, depositories and government
  • Finance Minister in her Budget speech for 2021-22 proposed to consolidate the provisions of Sebi Act, Depositories Act, Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act and Government Securities Act into a rationalised single securities markets code.
  • The proposal to create a unified securities market code is very progressive as it aims to simplify and reduce the friction between rules enacted by various acts of Sebi, depositories.
  • Sebi Act – 1992
  • Depositories Act – 1996
  • Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act – 1956
  • Government Securities Act – 2007

About Sebi :

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India
  • Founded : 12 April 1992
  • Headquarters : Mumbai
  • Chairperson : Ajay Tyag

CURRENT AFFAIRS : APPOINTMENTS 

Indian-American Bhavya Lal appointed acting chief of staff of Nasa

  • NASA appointed Indian-American Bhavya Lal as its acting chief of staff.
  • Previously, as the senior White House appointee at NASA, Lal served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the agency and oversaw the agency’s transition under the administration of President Joe Biden.

About Bhavya Lal :

  • Lal serves as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020
  • Lal is an active member of the space technology and policy community, having chaired, co-chaired, or served on five high-impact National Academy of Science committees.
  • Dr Lal will also serve as the senior advisor for budget and finance at NASA.

About NASA :

  • Headquarters : Washington DC, United States
  • Founder : Dwight D.Eisenhower
  • Founded : 1 October 1958

CURRENT AFFAIRS : AGREEMENTS 

Ford, Google join hands to offer cloud-based data services

  • Ford Motor Co will tap into software, artificial intelligence and cloud computing offered by Alphabet Inc’s Google to develop new consumer services and modernize internal operations.
  • As part of a six-year partnership, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will incorporate the tech giant’s Android operating system into its Ford and Lincoln vehicles starting in 2023.
  • Ford will offer its customers built-in Google apps, including its map and voice technology.
  • It will deploy Google artificial intelligence technology to improve the efficiency of vehicle development, supply chain and manufacturing operations

About Ford Motor Company :

  • Founder : Henry Ford
  • Founded : 16 June 1903, United States

About Google :

  • CEO : Sundar Pichai
  • Founded : 4 September 1998 US
  • Founders : Larry Page, Sergey Brin

CURRENT AFFAIRS : BOOKS & AUTHORS

Dalai Lama pens new book ‘The Little Book of Encouragement’

  • Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has come out with his new book titled  ‘The Little Book of Encouragement’, in which he has shared quotes and words of wisdom to promote human happiness.
  • “The Little Book of Encouragement”, which has 130 quotes, is edited by Renuka Singh and published by Penguin Random House.
  • It  deals with the new realities of the panic-stricken world, combat rising extremism, polarity and climate change besides Dalai Lama’s views on Tibet.

CURRENT AFFAIRS : RANKING

Maharashtra tops 2nd India Justice Report for delivering justice to people

  • The second edition of the India Justice Report, India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people, announced.
  • Maharashtra once again at the top of the 18 Large and Mid-sized states (with population of over one crore each), followed by Tamil Nadu (2019: 3rd), Telangana (2019: 11th) Punjab (2019: 4th) and Kerala (2019: 2nd).
  • The India Justice Report (IJR) is an initiative of Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives. The maiden IJR was announced in 2019.
  • Through a rigorous 14-month quantitative research, the India Justice Report 2020 once again tracks the progress states have made in capacitating their justice delivery structures to effectively deliver services to all.
  • It takes account of latest statistics and situations as they existed prior to March 2020. It brings together otherwise siloed statistics from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of Justice delivery–Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.

About India Justice Report (IJR)

  • The India Justice Report (IJR) is launched by Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice, Common Cause, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, DAKSH, TISS–Prayas, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy and How India Lives
  • The states are ranked based on publicly available data of different government entities on the four pillars of justice delivery which are police, judiciary, prisons and legal aid.
  • The first edition of IJR was released in 2019.

About Maharashtra :

  • Governor : Bhagat Singh Koshyari
  • Capital : Mumbai
  • CM : Uddhav Thackeray

CURRENT AFFAIRS : SPORTS NEWS

Former pacer Merv Hughes inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame

  • Former pacer Merv Hughes has been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, the country’s board (CA) announced.
  • The 59-year-old captured 212 Test wickets at an average of 28.38 in a career spanning 53 Tests and 33 ODIs for Australia from 1985 to 1994.
  • His career-best figures of 8-87 against the West Indies at the WACA in 1988 included the final wicket of a hat-trick spread across three separate overs, two innings and two different days.

S Sports  Minister launches the First Reference Material synthesized by NDTL and NIPER to strengthen anti-doping measures

  • Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju launched a breakthrough Reference Material for use in chemical testing.
  • It is synthesized by collaborative efforts of National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Guwahati.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NDTL and NIPER Guwahati was signed in August 2020 which proposes to synthesize 20 rarely available Reference Materials (RMs) during a period of 3 years.

About RM :

  • This Reference Material (RM), has been identified by NDTL as one of the rarely available RMs globally and would be used to strengthen anti-doping measures in all World Anti Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratories.
  • These RMs are used essentially during dope testing for quality control purposes and therefore their availability remains critical in sports dope testing, globally.
  • The availability of these RMs would help the anti-doping laboratories to strengthen their testing capacity. This will help in the greater cause of promoting fair play in sports.
  • It has also been decided to distribute 5 mg of this indigenously developed RM to all the WADA-accredited dope testing laboratories all around the world free of cost for the first occasion.

Daily CA On Feb 02 :

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will celebrate its 45th Raising Day on Feb 01. The ICG is headed by a Director-General, Vice-Admiral rank of the Indian Navy.
  • An arboretum showcasing the floral diversity of the Shivalik hills was inaugurated at Jeolikot in Nainital district.It is Mainly for conserving over 210 species of trees found in the Shivalik range of Himalayas
  • Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu will inaugurate Aadi Mahotsav, a National Tribal Festival at Dilli Haat in INA in the National Capital.
  • Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the 8th India International Silk Fair on Virtual Portal. India has long history of silk production and is the 2nd largest producer of Silk.
  • The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the Budget for the fiscal year 2021-22. 
  • In the Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to amend Insurance Act, 1938 to increase FDI limit from 49% to 74% in insurance companies, and allow foreign ownership and control with safeguards.
  • Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, 76, has been re-elected for a rare third five-year term.
  • The UK is applying to join a free trade area made up of 11 Asia and Pacific nations, under its post-Brexit plans. 
  • A visa scheme to allow Hong Kong residents to come to the UK opened, with some THREE LAKH people expected to apply.
  • Nepal has decided to award the contract for construction of 679 mega watt Lower Arun Hydropower Project to India’s Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN).
  • The Myanmar Military Tatmadaw has announced a one year state of emergency in the country.  The Vice President Myint Swe has been made the acting President and all powers have been transferred to the Commander in Chief Min Aung Hlaing.
  • The Punjab National Bank (PNB) has taken a giant step and won’t allow its customers to withdraw money from non-EMV automated teller machines (ATMs) from today(1 February 2021). 
  • SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd (SBI Card) appointed Rama Mohan Rao Amara as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for a period of two years.
  • Henry Moniz, who has been the chief compliance officer and chief audit executive at media company ViacomCBS Inc., will join Facebook on 8 to lead the company’s global compliance team, according to Facebook. 
  • India’s 24-member shooting contingent topped the medals tally in the first Asian Online Shooting Championship.
  • Dinesh Karthik-led Tamil Nadu clinched their second national T20 championship as they beat Baroda by seven wickets in the final of Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy in Ahmedabad.
  • The Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine, who created one of the most famous riffs in pop music in the 1960s, died at the age of 77.

Daily CA On Feb 03 :

  • World Wetlands Day is observed every year on 2nd February .Purpose : To raise global awareness about the vital role played by wetlands for people and our planet.
  • Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Minister of State for Jal Shakti Rattan Lal Kataria jointly launched a unified web portal for monitoring the progress of GOBARDHAN activities across the nation.
  • Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget FY 2021-22 in Parliament  announced that the government has approved a policy of strategic disinvestment of public sector enterprises
  • To help India’s startups amid the COVID-19 pandemic, tax holidays for these businesses have been extended by one year till March 31, 2022, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman while presenting the Union Budget 2021-22
  • Babul Supriyo announced the establishment of a Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management (CWCM), as a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management(NCSCM), Chennai, an institution under the Ministry.
  • The government of Bangladesh signed an agreement with the World Bank for the upgradation of rural  roads and connectivity in the western region.
  • According to the  global travel and tourism report ‘World Tourism Barometer’ released by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the year 2020 was the “worst year on record.
  • The government proposed to introduce a unified securities markets code, a move that will help in boosting the ease of doing business in the country’s financial markets.
  • NASA appointed Indian-American Bhavya Lal as its acting chief of staff.
  • Ford Motor Co will tap into software, artificial intelligence and cloud computing offered by Alphabet Inc’s Google to develop new consumer services and modernize internal operations.
  • Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has come out with his new book titled  ‘The Little Book of Encouragement’, in which he has shared quotes and words of wisdom to promote human happiness.
  • The second edition of the India Justice Report, India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people, announced. Maharashtra once again at the top of the 18 Large and Mid-sized states
  • Former pacer Merv Hughes has been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, the country’s board (CA) announced.
  • Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Kiren Rijiju launched a breakthrough Reference Material for use in chemical testing.

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