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16th, 17th and 18th Feb 2021 Current Affairs Headlines

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National News

Rajnath Singh launches e-Chhawani portal for online civic services to Cantt Boards

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently launched an online portal “e-Chhawani” and mobile app, to facilitate “ease of living” and “ease of doing” for the residents of the Cantonment Boards across the country.

The ‘e-Chhawani’ portal will provide online municipal services to more than 20 lakh citizens across all 62 Cantonment Boards of India while sitting at home.

The residents of cantonment areas can register their complaints regarding civic issues and even get their documents like trade licence, sewerage connectivity applications through the portal

Jointly been developed by eGov Foundation, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Directorate General Defence Estates (DGDE), and National Informatics Centre (NIC).

A cantonment board is a civic administration body in India under control of the Ministry of Defence. It takes care of mandatory duties such as the provision of public health, water supply, sanitation, primary education, and street lighting etc.


International News

“Pahela Phagun” spring festival celebrated in Bangladesh

The first day of the spring called “Pahela Phagun” was celebrated in Dhaka, Bangladesh despite the continued shadow of Corona pandemic in the country. Cultural organisations held programmes at different venues in the city to herald the beginning of the spring. Programmes were held at the Suhrawardy Udyan, Nandan Manch of Shilpakala Academy and several other locations.

The Jatiya Basanta Utsab Udjapan Parishad organized the programme at the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka. Young women wearing yellow saris and youth dressed in ‘Punjabis’ took part in the festivity.

The programme featured dance and musical performances. The traditional programme of ‘Basanta Utsab’ at the Fine Arts faculty in Dhaka university was cancelled since educational institutions have been closed till Feb. 28 by the government due to the Corona pandemic.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina; Capital: Dhaka; Currency: Taka.
  • President of Bangladesh: Abdul Hamid.

China Overtakes the US as Largest Trading Partner of the European Union

The People’s Republic of China has overtaken the United States (US) as the biggest trading partner of the European Union (EU) in 2020, according to the data by the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat.

Britain, which left the European Union in 2020, was the third-largest trading partner for the bloc, behind China and the United States.

The trade volume of the EU with China reached 586 billion euros ($711 billion) in 2020, compared to 555 billion euros ($673 billion) for the US. Bilateral trade with the UK reached 444.7 billion euros.

The EU exports to China rose by 2.2 per cent to 202.5 billion euros while imports from China increased by 5.6 per cent to 383.5 billion euros.

Similarly, EU exports to the United States fell by 13.2 per cent in the same period and imports by 8.2 per cent. Exports to the UK fell by 13.2 per cent, while imports dropped by 13.9 per cent.


Appointments News

Ajay Mathur elected new DG at special assembly of ISA

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) has announced Dr Ajay Mathur as its new Director-General following his election at the first special assembly of ISA members. Dr Mathur replaces Mr Upendra Tripathy, who has served as Director-General since the ISA was founded in 2015.

ISA accelerate the demand for and use of safe, sustainable, and affordable solar energy for all. It aims to mobilize over $1 trillion USD of investment into solar projects by 2030 through focused advocacy, policy and regulatory support, capacity building, and overcoming perceived investment barriers.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • International Solar Alliance  Headquarters: Gurugram.
  • International Solar Alliance  Founded: 30 November 2015.
  • International Solar AllianceFounded: Paris, France.

Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar sworn-in as Chief Justice of Manipur HC

Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar has been sworn-in as the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court at Raj Bhavan, Imphal. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the High Court of Manipur by the President of India. Prior to this, he served as a Judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Manipur: N. Biren Singh; Governor: Najma Heptulla.

Preeti Sinha appointed to head the United Nations Capital Development Fund

The UN Capital Development Fund has appointed Indian-origin investment and development banker Preeti Sinha as its Executive Secretary, the highest leadership rank in the institution. She succeeds Judith Karl.

He will work with a focus on providing micro-finance assistance to women, youth, small and medium-sized enterprises in under-served communities.

The New York-based United Nations Capital Development Fund is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP. It was established in 1966.

The original mandate of UNCDF: to assist developing countries in the development of their economies by supplementing existing sources of capital assistance by means of grants and loans.

The organisation provides micro-finance access to the 47 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) of the world, to help them unlock the full potential of public and private finance.


Banking News

RBI constitutes 8-member expert panel for strengthening Urban Co-operative Banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has constituted an eight-member expert committee on Primary (Urban) Co-operative Banks (UCBs) to examine issues and suggest a road map for strengthening the sector. The committee will be chaired by the former RBI Deputy Governor N. S. Vishwanathan

Assess the regulatory measures taken by the RBI and other authorities in respect of UCBs and their impact over the last five years to identify key constraints and enablers in fulfilment of their socio-economic objective.

Review the current regulatory approach and recommend suitable measures to strengthen the sector.

Suggest effective measures for faster rehabilitation and resolution of UCBs and assess the potential for consolidation in the sector

Other members

  • Harsh Kumar Bhanwala: Former Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) ,
  • Mukund Chitale: Chartered Accountant
  • NC Muniyappa and RN Joshi: retired Indian Administrative Service officers
  • MS Sriram: IIM Bengaluru Professor
  • Jyotindra Mehta: President of the National Federation of Urban Cooperative Banks and Credit Societies
  • Neeraj Nigam: Chief General Manager-in-Charge, Department of Regulation, RBI

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

Awards News

Delhi Police receives Best Marching Contingent Trophy-2021

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh presented the trophies of best marching contingents of the Republic Day Parade 2021 in New Delhi on February 15, 2021.

Jat Regimental Centre bagged the trophy of best marching contingent among the Tri-Services while Delhi Police was adjudged as the best marching contingent among the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and other auxiliary services.

Theodore Baskaran won Sanctuary Lifetime Service Award 2020

S. Theodore Baskaran who is a writer, a historian, a naturalist and an activist has won the Sanctuary Lifetime Service Award, 2020. The award was instituted by the Sanctuary Nature Foundation.

Theodore Baskaran was chosen for the award in the light of his dedication to the wildlife conservation. He won the award for his writing prowess in English and Tamil contributing towards the conservation discourse. He was also chosen for the award in the backdrop of inspiring the young naturalists.

Some of his books in the English language include- Dance of the Sarus: Essays of a Wandering Naturalist; Book of Indian Dogs and A Day with the Shama: Essays on Nature.


Sports News

Assam government appoints Hima Das as DSP

Star sprinter Hima Das has been appointed as a Deputy Superintendent of Police by the Assam government.

The 21-year-old from Assam, known as ‘Dhing Express’ referring to the town near her native village, is currently training at the NIS-Patiala and will be aiming to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as the athletics calendar starts in a few days.

The reigning world junior 400m champion, who won a silver in women’s 400m in the 2018 Asian Games, was also part of the gold-winning women’s 400m relay and mixed 400m relay quartets in the quadrennial event in Jakarta.

Naman Ojha announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha has announced his retirement, from all formats of cricket. He made his first-class debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2000-01.

The 37-year-old from Madhya Pradesh holds the record for the most dismissals by a wicketkeeper in the Ranji Trophy. He has also represented India in all three formats, featuring in one Test, one ODI and two T20 Internationals.


Obituary

Indo-Pak War Veteran retired Major General BK Mahapatra passes away

War veteran Major General (retired) Basant Kumar Mahapatra, who had participated in major battles including the 1962 Indo-China war, and 1965 and 1971 India-Pakistan war, has passed away.

Hailing from Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Mahapatra was commissioned into armoured corps (Tanks) of the Indian Army as a Combat Officer and was popularly known as ‘Tank Man’. He was conferred with the prestigious Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM).

Former Bihar-Jharkhand Governor & Jurist M Rama Jois, passes away

Noted jurist and a former Governor of Bihar and Jharkhand, Justice (Retd.) M. Rama Jois has passed away. The former Rajya Sabha MP, had also served as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. He was also a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India.


Miscellaneous

IIT Bombay launches fundraising campaign “Cherish IIT Bombay 2021”

IIT Bombay has launched its first-ever annual fundraising campaign in India, Cherish IIT Bombay 2021. As per information shared by the IIT, the funds will be used for the creation of world-class laboratory complexes, modernization of lecture halls and continuation of awards to attract and retain faculty.

The donations made to IIT Bombay by corporate bodies and individuals are 100% tax-deductible under section 80G of the Indian Income Tax Act.

Kanchoth festival celebrated across J&K”s Chenab valley

The ancient Kanchoth festival, a symbol of ancient Nag culture, was observed with religious fervour and gaiety across the Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir.

The festival is celebrated by locals, mainly Nag followers who believe that on this day of Gouri Tritiya, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married and the latter insisted on a throne made of snow as her wedding gift.

The festival is celebrated by locals, mainly Nag followers who believe that on this day of Gouri Tritiya, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married and the latter insisted on a throne made of snow as her wedding gift.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Manoj Sinha.

11th Edition of “Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav” inaugurated in WestBengal

The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar inaugurated the 11th Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav at Cooch Behar Palace at West Bengal.

The Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Culture, organised under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat Programme, since 2015, to celebrate the idea of unity in diversity. The event was inaugurated in the presence of Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism, Shri Prahlad Singh Patel.

Useful notes for all competitive exams:

  • West Bengal Governor: Jagdeep Dhankhar.
  • West Bengal Capital: Kolkata.
  • West Bengal CM: Mamata Banerjee.

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