Current Affairs 19th and 20th February 2022, Daily GK Update
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Delhi Police became India’s 1st Security Force to launch ‘Smart Card Arms License’
- On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Delhi Police (16th February 2022), Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah officially launched the Delhi Police’s “Smart Card Arms License” and “Shastra Mobile Application”.
- Delhi Police introduced ‘Smart Card Arms License’ to provide techno-friendly digital services to the citizens of Delhi. Delhi Police has become India’s first security force to introduce the ‘Smart Card Arms License’, replacing the arms license booklet.
- The smart card and the Shastra app were designed and developed in coordination with the National e-Governance Division (NeGD), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
- The smart card has inherent security features which include an 18-digit unique identification number. Smart Card Arms License will be integrated with the ‘e-Beat book’ through the ‘Shastra mobile app’ for effective policing.
PM Modi inaugurated 550-tonne capacity Bio-CNG plant “Gobar-Dhan” in Indore
- PM Modi inaugurated Asia’s largest 550–tonne capacity ‘Gobar-Dhan’ Bio-CNG plant in Indore. It is based on the concept of waste-to-wealth innovation.
- The municipal solid waste-based Gobar-Dhan plant is in line with PM’s vision of creating “garbage-free cities” under the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0.
- The Gobar-Dhan plant will have the capacity to treat 550 tonnes of segregated wet organic waste and produce around 17,000 kg CNG and 100 tonnes of organic compost per day. It will produce CNG with 96% pure methane gas.
- This ‘lighthouse plant’ has been set up under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model, by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) and Indo Enviro Integrated Solutions Limited (IEISL).
About Madhya Pradesh:
- Capital: Bhopal
- Governor: Mangubhai C. Patel
- Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
India’s 1st Water Taxi Service inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra
- India’s 1st water taxi service to enable faster connectivity between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra was virtually inaugurated by the union minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
- The Water Taxi services will commence from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also connect nearby locations at Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta island, and JNPT.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated the newly constructed Belapur jetty which is built at a cost of Rs 8.37 crores. It was funded in the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
- The jetty will enable the movement of vessels to locations such as Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta, and Karanja.
- 131 projects worth Rs 1.05 lakh crore have been earmarked for Maharashtra. Of these, financial assistance of Rs 2,078 crore will be provided to 46 projects under Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. These projects will boost tourism and employment generation.
- Capital: Mumbai
- Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari
- Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray
Govt announced to launch doorstep crop insurance distribution drive ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ under PMFBY
- With the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) entering the seventh year of implementation in the upcoming Kharif season, the government has announced to launch a doorstep distribution drive ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ to deliver crop insurance policies to farmers.
- The doorstep campaign aims to ensure all farmers are well aware and equipped with all information on their policies, land records, the process of claim and grievance redressal under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
- The campaign will be launched in all implementing states in the upcoming Kharif PMFBY was launched in February 2016.
About Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY):
- Launched: 18 February 2016
- Parent Ministry: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW)
Government extended Capacity Development Scheme till 31 March 2026
- The Union Cabinet approved for the continuation of the Capacity Development (CD) scheme of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) till 31st March 2026 or further review, whichever is earlier with an outlay of Rs. 3,179 crores approved during 15th Finance Commission.
- The scheme comprises the main scheme, capacity development, and two sub-schemes viz. support for statistical strengthening (SSS) and economic census (EC).
- The CD scheme is an ongoing central sector scheme (CSS) of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) with an overall objective to augment infrastructural, technical, and manpower resources for enabling the availability of credible and timely official statistics.
- The CD scheme contains all statistical and data management activities of MoSPI that generate and maintain the official statistical system of India. The scheme also facilitates evidence-based decision-making and for policy planning by the government.
India, UAE signed a Comprehensive Trade Agreement
- India and the United Arab Emirates signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
- It will cover goods, services, and digital trade, among others, that will allow 90% of the country’s exports duty-free access to the Emirates.
- The bilateral trade pact is India’s first in the region and the first comprehensive trade agreement with any country in a decade. UAE is India’s third-biggest trading partner behind the US and China.
- Capital: Abu Dhabi
- Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
- President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Global trade rose 25% to hit record high of $28.5 trillion in 2021, according to UNCTAD
- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published the Global Trade Update which shows that in 2021, world trade in goods remained strong and trade in services finally returned to its pre-COVID-19 levels.
- Overall, the value of global trade reached a record level of $28.5 trillion in 2021. That’s an increase of 25% on 2020 and 13% higher compared to 2019.
- Meanwhile, trade in services rose by $50 billion to reach $1.6 trillion, just above pre-pandemic levels.
About United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
- Founded: 1964
- Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
- Secretary-General: Rebeca Grynspan (Costa Rica)
Banking and Financial
Govt signed loan agreement of $115 million with World Bank for REWARD Project
- Government of India, the state govt of Karnataka, and Odisha signed a loan agreement of $115 million (INR 869 crore) with the World Bank for the implementation of “Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development” (REWARD) Project.
- It will help national and state institutions adopt improved watershed management practices to help increase farmers’ resilience to climate change, promote higher productivity and better incomes.
- The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the lending arm of World Bank Group financing will support the $115 million loan and has a maturity of 15 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.
- Karnataka with $60 million, Odisha with $49 million, and the remaining $6 million will be for the central government’s Department of Land Resources.
- India has one of the largest watershed management programs in the world. The Government of India has committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 and doubling farmers’ income by 2023.
List of Loan approved by World Bank 2021-22
- $150 Million: Chennai’s Sustainable Urban Services
- $40 million: to strengthen health systems in Meghalaya
- Rs 770 crore: for Assam to promote river transportation
- $250 million: to improve quality of learning in Andhra Pradesh
- $135 million: to improve efficiency, reliability of electricity supply in West Bengal
- USD 125 million: to West Bengal for social protection services
Centre reduced agri-cess on Crude Palm Oil from 7.5% To 5%
- Government of India has reduced agri-cess for crude palm oil (CPO) from 7.5% to 5% with effect from12th February 2022. Following the reduction of the agri-cess, the import tax gap between CPO and Refined Palm Oil has increased to 8.25%.
- This will benefit the domestic edible oil refiners and also check the prices of cooking oils. The GoI has also extended the current basic rate of import duty of 0% on CPO, crude soyabean oil, and crude sunflower oil till 30 September 2022.
- The 12.5% import duty on refined palm oils, 17.5% on refined soyabean oil, and 17.5% on refined sunflower oil will continue in effect until September 30, 2022.
- Cess is a kind of special-purpose tax which is levied over and above basic tax rates.
The Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) is a tax that the government imposes on the commercial production of agricultural produce.
RBI cancelled licence of Maharashtra’s Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has canceled the licence of Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd., Mantha, District Jalna, Maharashtra.
- In this regard, the bank ceases to carry on banking business w.e.f. February 16, 2022 to safeguard the interests of its depositors.
- The apex bank also prohibited the cooperative bank from conducting the business of ‘banking’ which includes acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits as defined in Section 5(b) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949 with immediate effect.
- The bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects. It does not comply with the provisions of section 11(1) and section 22 (3) (d) read with section 56 of the BR, 1949.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
- Founded: April 1, 1935
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Governor: Shaktikanta Das
- Deputy Governors: Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M Rajeshwar Rao, T Rabi Sankar
SBI Ecowrap report projected India’s GDP at 8.8% in FY22
- State Bank of India (SBI) Research Report, Ecowrap, has revised downwards the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of India for FY22 (2021-22) to 8.8%.
- Earlier this was estimated at 9.3%. The report projects the GDP to grow at 5.8% in the third quarter (Q3) of FY2021-2022 (October-December).
- The country’s economy expanded by 8.4% in the second quarter of 2021-22, to cross pre-pandemic levels. However, the GDP growth in the July-September period was slower than the 20.1% expansion in the previous quarter.
Note: India GDP projected for FY22 (2021-2022)
- ICRA-9% in FY22 and FY23
- Crisil-5%, 7.8 for FY23
- Fitch Ratings-8.4%
- RBI: 9.5%
- India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra)- 3% (9 jan update), 7.6% in FY23
- Care Rating– 8.8 to 9%
- Economic Advisory Council to PM: 0-7.5% in FY23, 5% in FY22
- National Statistical Office (NSO):2% in FY 2021-22, 6.6% in 2020-21
- Economic Survey 2021-22: 8-8.5% for FY23
BSE Ebix Partners with LIC for Distribution of Insurance Products
- BSE Ebix Insurance Broking Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture of BSE and Ebix Fincorp Exchange Pvt. Ltd., signed an insurance broker agreement for the distribution of Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) products.
- Aim: To offer customer-centric solutions backed by technological innovations and best-in-class services.
- Under this agreement, BSE Ebix will offer their clients insurance products offered by LIC such as Life and Health, using its omnichannel digital presence.
- BSE-EBIX aims to reach every citizen of India and provide insurance solutions to customers.
About Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC):
- Founded: 1956
- Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Chairperson: M R Kumar
Appointment and Resignation
Chetan Ghate appointed as Director of Institute of Economic Growth
- Chetan Ghate has been appointed as the new Director of the Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi. He succeeded Ajit Mishra.
- Ghate was a member of the RBI’s 1st Monetary Policy Committee between 2016-2020. Ghate has been a professor of economics at the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the National Accounts system (ACNAS).
- He is the winner of the 2014 Mahalanobis Memorial gold medal for the best research economist.
Table Tennis player Manika Batra appointed as brand ambassador of Adidas
- Adidas’ sportswear team appointed Indian table tennis player, Manika Batra as the brand ambassador
- The partnership focuses on empowering women to realize their dreams, cheering for women to break barriers, and boost participation in sports.
- Manika Batra is the first Indian woman to win gold in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games 2018. She is the first Indian player to reach the top 10 of the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) World rankings in women’s doubles and top 15 in mixed doubles, and the first Indian woman to reach the top 50 of the ITTF Rankings.
Note: List of brand ambassador
- RenewBuy: RajKummar Rao
- GoodDot: Neeraj Chopra
- Games24x7’s ‘RummyCircle’: Hrithik Roshan
- Uttarakhand: Akshay Kumar
- Bata India: Disha Patani
- MediBuddy: Amitabh Bachchan
- Brand Ambassador and investor of Krishi Network: Pankaj Tripathi
- Gaming app A23: Shah Rukh Khan
- Khadi & handicrafts of Bihar: Manoj Tiwari
Bill Gates conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan honour for efforts to eradicate polio
- Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has been conferred with Hilal-e-Pakistan. It is the second-highest civilian honor in the country. He has been awarded for his efforts to help eradicate polio in Pakistan.
- Gates is on a day-long visit to Pakistan and has met with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also visited the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) that oversees efforts to curb Covid-19.
- Founded: 4 April 1975, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
- Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States
- CEO: Satya Nadella
- Chairperson: John W. Thompson
Bihar’s Sakibul Gani became 1st player to hit triple ton on first-class debut
- Bihar’s Sakibul Gani become the first player in the history of the game to score a triple century on his first-class debut.
- He scored 341 off 405 balls, hitting 56 fours and two sixes, in the Plate Group Ranji Trophy fixture against Mizoram at the Jadavpur University Campus ground in
- Gani has played List A cricket before this, scoring 377 runs from 14 matches including a century. In 11 domestic T20s, he has made 192 runs.
Book and Author
Uma Das Gupta authored a new book ‘’A History of Sriniketan: Rabindranath Tagore’s Pioneering Work in Rural Construction”
- The book titled “A History of Sriniketan: Rabindranath Tagore’s Pioneering Work in Rural Construction” was authored by Uma Das Gupta and published under Niyogi Books ‘Paper Missile’ released.
- The book contains Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s work in ‘village reconstruction’ by setting up ‘Sriniketan’, a wing of his Visva Bharati International University at Santiniketan in 1922, which is also popularly known as a university town. It is situated in West Bengal.
- The book highlights the efforts of Rabindranath Tagore in improving the condition of the peasantry by using scientific methods of cultivation through laboratory experiments where the expert and the peasant collectively participated.
- Rabindranath Tagore: A Biography
- The Oxford India Tagore: Selected Essays on Education and Nationalism
- A Difficult Friendship: Letters of Rabindranath Tagore and Edward Thompson, 1913-1940
- Friendships of ‘largeness and freedom’: Andrews, Tagore, and Gandhi
19 February: World Pangolin Day 2022
- World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the “Third Saturday of February” every year. In 2022, the annual World Pangolin Day is being celebrated on 19 February 2022.
- 2022 marks the 11th edition of the event. The day aims to raise awareness about these unique mammals and speed up conservation efforts. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.
- Pangolins are the only mammal to be covered in scales. To protect themselves, they curl into balls like hedgehogs. They are the most smuggled mammal in the world because people want their meat and scales.
19 February: Soil Health Card Day
- Every year India observes the Soil Health Card Day on 19 February to commemorate the launch of the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme, and create awareness about the benefits of the scheme.
- 2022 marks the seventh year of the launch of the SHC Scheme. The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to all farmers every two years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme on 19th February 2015 at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.
- The card would provide details about the nutritional deficiencies in the soil so that the farmers can supplement the soil with suitable fertilizers and increase the yields. The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country.
20 February: Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day
- Northern States Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh celebrate their Foundation Day on February 20, since 1987.
- Arunachal Pradesh is the extreme northern part of the country, which is also known as the ‘land of the rising sun’. The state at the edge of the Himalayas is proud to be called the land of dawn and lit mountains.
- Mizoram was declared as a separate UT in 1972 under the Northeast Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. It became the 23rd state of India after the 53rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution, 1986. Mizoram, as well as the state of Arunachal Pradesh, came into existence on 20 February 1987.
20 February: World Day of Social Justice
- World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually all over the world on 20 February to raise a voice against social injustice happening across the world. The International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008.
- This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919. It builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998.
- The 2008 Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization. Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations.
- Theme 2022: Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment
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