Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 February 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 20 Feb 2021 22:23 PM IST

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Topic: Defence

1. India successfully tested Anti-tank missiles Helina and Dhruvastra.

  • India successfully launched Helina (Army Version) and Dhruvastra (Air Force Version) Missile Systems from Advanced Light Helicopter Dhruv in desert ranges.
  • These missile system has been designed and developed indigenously by DRDO.
  • For evaluating missile capabilities in minimum and maximum range, five missions were carried out during the trial.   
  • Now, the missile system is ready for induction in defense forces.
    • It is a third-generation Anti-Tank Guided Missile. It has a maximum range of 7 km.
    • It is an air version of the Nag missile. It has all weather day and night capability. It can hit the target in direct hit mode as well as top attack mode.
    • It has been manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
    • Standoff Anti-tank Guided Missile is an upgraded version of the HELINA missile.

India Tested Anti-tank missiles Helina and Dhruvastra

(Source: News on AIR)


Topic: Miscellaneous

2. Hyderabad recognized as a ‘2020 Tree City of the World’.

  • Hyderabad has been recognized as a ’2020 Tree City of the World’ by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • It is the only city to get this recognition in India. It has joined the network of cities which recognize the importance of trees in the city.
  • Most of the cities that get this recognition are from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc. In the last two years, 120 cities from 63 countries have got this status.  
  • The Tree Cities of the World programme is an initiative to recognize cities committed to the management of urban forests and trees.
  • Tree Cities of the World programme was introduced at World Forum on Urban Forests in 2018 in Italy.

2020 Tree City of the World

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

3. PM Modi will chair 6th meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog.

  • Sixth meeting of the governing council of NITI Aayog will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The council will discuss upon various topics, including infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, health, human resource development, etc.
  • Ladakh will participate for the first time. At the same time, Jammu and Kashmir will participate for the first time as UT.
  • In the sixth meeting, UTs with administrators are also invited.
  • NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India):
    • It was formed on 1 January 2015 and replaced the Planning Commission.
    • It is a policy think tank of Government of India.
    • What is the composition of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog?- It comprises the Prime Minister (Chairman), Vice Chairman, Full-time members, Ex-officio members, Chief Ministers of States and Union Territories, UTs with Legislatures and Lt Governors of other UTs.
    • The council provides a platform to discuss issues at various levels such as inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues.
    • Who is the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog?- Rajeev Kumar
    • Who is the CEO of NITI Aayog?- Amitabh Kant

Topic: MoUs/ Agreements

4. Two agreements signed between India and Ethiopia.

  • Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, is on a 4-day visit to India.
  • During this visit, two agreements have been signed between India and Ethiopia on visa facilitation and leather technology.
  • India and Ethiopia have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two nations in various fields like defence, economic, Science and technology, digital and culture.
  • Ethiopia:
    • It is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa.
    • It shares its borders with Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somalia.
    • Capital of Ethiopia: Addis Ababa
    • Currency of Ethiopia: Birr
    • The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, received the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
    • President of Ethiopia: Sahle-Work Zewde

agreements signed between India and Ethiopia

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

5. Central government launched ‘Go Electric Campaign’ to promote adoption of electric vehicles and cooking appliances.

  • In order to ensure energy security, the Union government has launched ‘Go Electric Campaign’ of BEE.
  • The aim of this campaign is to promote adoption of electric vehicles and cooking appliances.
  • This campaign will promote cost effective, environment friendly and domestically made electric products. It will reduce dependency on the imported fossil fuels.
  • Through this campaign, people will shift from conventional vehicles and cooking methods to electric vehicles and electric cooking appliances.
  • Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is responsible for undertaking awareness drive so as to promote Public Charging, e-mobility and its ecosystem. BEE works under the aegis of Ministry of Power.
  • In February 2021, CM of Delhi launched the ‘Switch Delhi’ campaign to promote use of electric vehicles.
  • The government had earlier launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme.
  • Electric vehicles are run by electric motors which are powered by energy stored in batteries. These batteries can be recharged by electricity from an external source.

Go Electric Campaign

(Source: BEE)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

6. Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0.

  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0 (IMI 3.0) has been launched by Dr. Harsh Vardhan to expand immunization coverage across the nation.
  • Two rounds for 15 days each will start from 22 February and 22 March.
  • Focus of IMI 3.0 will be the children and pregnant women who did not get the vaccine during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • IMI 3.0 aims to achieve 90% full immunization coverage in all districts of India.
  • As of now, Mission Indradhanush has covered 690 districts and vaccinated 37.64 million children and 9.46 million pregnant women.
  • Intensified Mission Indradhanush:
    • Mission Indradhanush was launched in December 2014 to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women.
    • To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017.
    • Vaccines for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, severe form of childhood tuberculosis, hepatitis B, meningitis and pneumonia (Hemophilus influenza type B infections), Japanese encephalitis (JE), rotavirus vaccine, IPV, adult JE vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) and measles-rubella (MR) vaccine are provided under this programme.

Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0

(Source: IMI3.0 website)

Topic: National News

7. Prakash Javadekar launched Atal Paryavaran Bhavan at Lakshadweep.

  • Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has unveiled the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan in Kavaratti island, Lakshadweep.
  • During the inauguration, he released a book titled “Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Coasts of India”.
  • Mr. Javadekar is on a 4-day official visit to Lakshadweep.
  • Lakshadweep:
    • It is a group of 36 islands with an area of 32 sq km.
    • It is the smallest Union Territory of India.
    • It was formed in 1956 and was named Lakshadweep in 1973.
    • Capital of Lakshadweep: Kavaratti
    • Administrator of Lakshadweep: Shri Praful Patel
    • Entry to the islands of Lakshadweep is allowed after an entry permit is issued by Lakshadweep Administration.

Atal Paryavaran Bhavan at Lakshadweep

(Source: MoEFCC)

Topic: International News

8. US officially re-entered the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • United States has once again become the party to the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • US President Joe Biden has announced that the US will host a climate summit of world leaders on 22 April 2021 (Earth Day). During this summit, he will unveil the US’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris agreement.
  • In 2017, US became the first nation to formally withdraw from the Paris Accord. The withdrawal came into effect on 4 November 2020.
  • Paris Climate Agreement:
    • It is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
    • It was adopted on 12 December 2015 at CoP 21 in Paris. It came into effect on 4 November 2016.
    • It aims to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
    • Countries were to submit their NDCs by 2020. In their NDCs, countries communicate actions they will take to reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. NCDs are non-binding plans.
    • Fifth anniversary of the Paris Climate agreement was celebrated on 12 December 2020.
    • CoP 26 will be held in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Paris Climate Agreement

(Source: UN)

Topic: Books and Authors

9. Amit Shah launched book ‘Rashtra Pratham - 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha’ in New Delhi.

  • A book titled ‘Rashtra Pratham - 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha’ was released in New Delhi by Amit Shah.
  • The book contains the detail about the history of CRPF since its inception in 1939- its challenges, successes and sacrifices.
  • Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF):
    • The Central Reserve Police Force is the largest Central Armed Police Force in India.
    • It functions under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
    • It was established on 27 July 1939.
    • It is headquartered in New Delhi.
    • Its motto is ‘Service and Loyalty’.
    • Director General of CRPF- A P Maheshwari

Topic: State News/ Arunachal Pradesh

10. Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day: 20 February

  • Arunachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state of India on 20 February, 1987.
  • In the year 2021, Arunachal Pradesh is celebrating its 35th statehood day.
  • Manipur, Tripura and Meghalaya celebrate their statehood days on 21 January.
  • Sikkim statehood day is observed on 16 May. Assam celebrates its statehood day on 26 January.
  • Arunachal Pradesh:
    • It is the easternmost state of India.
    • It shares its border with Assam, Nagaland, Bhutan, Myanmar and China.
    • Capital of Arunachal Pradesh: Itanagar
    • Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh: Pema Khandu
    • Governor of Arunachal Pradesh: B D Mishra
    • Namdapha National Park, Pasighat, Nuranang falls, Sangti Valley, Bumla Pass, Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary are some famous tourist destinations in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Major Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh: Adi (Abor), Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagin, Galo, Khampti, Bugun (Khowa), Mishmi, Momba (Monpa), Sherdukpen, Singpho
    • Losar festival is celebrated by the Monpa tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.

Statehood day of Mizoram

Topic: State News/ Mizoram

11. Mizoram Statehood Day: 20 February

  • Mizoram became a state of India on 20 February, 1987.
  • It became the 23rd state of India through the 53rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1986.
  • Mizoram:
    • It is a state in northeast India that shares its border with Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
    • Capital of Mizoram: Aizawl
    • Governor of Mizoram: P S Sreedharan Pillai
    • Chief Minister of Mizoram: Zoramthanga
    • It is one of the four northeast states mentioned in the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution. Other three states are Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.
    • It has one Lok Sabha seat and one Rajya Sabha seat.
    • The highest peak in Mizoram is the Blue Mountain (Phawngpui).
    • 5 major tribes of Mizoram are- Lushei, Ralte, Hmar, Paihte, Pawi (or Poi).
    • There are three main festivals celebrated by Mizos- Mim Kut, Chapchar Kut and Pawl.
    • Cheraw or Bamboo Dance is one of the famous dances performed by Mizos.

Topic: Space and IT

12. Government releases guidelines for acquiring and producing Geospatial data.

  • On 15 February 2021, the government released guidelines for acquiring and producing Geospatial data.
  • These guidelines would also apply to acquiring and producing of Geospatial Data Services, including Maps.
  • These guidelines have provisions for the liberalisation of acquisition and production of geospatial data and geospatial data services, including maps.
  • In the guidelines released by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), government has highlighted the importance of the availability of Geospatial data for the blue economy and Atmanirbhar Bharat.
  • Fisheries, deep-sea mining and offshore oil and gas come under the blue economy. 
  • Guidelines will apply to Geospatial Data Services, maps and products provided by government agencies, private organizations and individuals.
  • Autonomous bodies, academic and research institutions and NGOs offering these services will also be required to follow the guidelines.
  • As per the guidelines, political maps published by the Survey of India would be taken as standard and private entities should adhere to these standards when publishing such maps.
  • Digital Maps/Geospatial Data with accuracy greater than the threshold value can be stored on the domestic cloud or servers physically located within the territory of India. 
  • As per the guidelines, DST would constitute the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee for the promotion of activities related to Geospatial Data.
  • The guidelines say that only Indian Entities would get access to Indian ground stations for real-time positioning and their data.
  • Only Indian Entities would be allowed to carry Terrestrial Mobile Mapping Survey, Street view surveys. Similarly, only Indian entities would be allowed to survey in Indian territorial waters.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

13. TIGER uncrewed Ultimate Mobility Vehicle concept introduced by Hyundai.

  • It is Hyundai’s first uncrewed Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) concept. TIGER stands for Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot. TIGER is Hyundai’s second Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV).
  • The UMV can transform itself into a four-legged walking machine from a four-wheeler. It can use its walking ability to travel over difficult terrain. 
  • It uses robotic and wheeled locomotion technologies. It can connect to drones.
  • It can be used for 360-degree surface evaluation in areas affected or damaged by sudden natural disasters. It can also be used as a mobile exploration platform in extreme, remote locations. 
  • Hyundai Motor Group’s New Horizons Studio is developing the UMV in collaboration with Autodesk and Sundberg-Ferar. X-1 is the first version of TIGER.
  • Elevate was Hyundai Motor Group’s first-ever UMV concept. Hyundai is a South Korean automotive manufacturer.  





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