Daily Current Affairs and GK | 20 February 2024

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 17:33 PM IST

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Topic: Important Days

1. World Day of Social Justice: 20 February

  • Every year on 20 February the World Day of Social Justice is observed.
  • "Bridging Gaps, Building Alliances" is the theme of World Day of Social Justice 2024.
  • The day's main aim is to make social justice the primary goal of all national and international policies.
  • It reminds us of the need to build fairer, more equitable societies.
  • The United Nations General Assembly declared February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice in 2007.
  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on June 10, 2008.
  • According to the UN, social development and social justice are necessary for achieving and maintaining peace and security within and among nations.

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

2. Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh is organising annual Banana Festival from 20 January 2024.

  • The two-day Banana festival is being organised in collaboration with district administration and its various departments.
  • It is being organised under the one-district one-product programme (ODOP).
  • The festival invites businesses, specialists, and scientists from throughout the country to explore investment potential in the region while showcasing Burhanpur's agricultural expertise.
  • With 23,650 hectares under cultivation and 18,325 farmers, Burhanpur produces 16 lakh metric tonnes of bananas annually.
  • Banana sales alone generate a staggering 1,700 million rupees in revenue.
  • Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh is known as the banana city of central India.

Topic: International News

3. Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny died in prison.

  • The cause of his death is not clear. He had returned to Russia in 2021 from Germany.
  • On return, he was arrested. He was later transferred to a penal colony north of Arctic Circle.
  • In 2020, Alexey Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a Soviet-era nerve agent.
  • Alexey Navalny was a leader of the Russia of the Future party. He was awarded the Sakharov Prize for his work on human rights.
  • Nerve agents are a class of organic chemicals. They disrupt the mechanisms by which nerves transfer messages to organs.
  • They disrupt by blocking the enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter.

Topic: Space and IT

4. India's first spy satellite manufactured by a domestic private company will be launched.

  • April will see the launch of the first spy satellite manufactured in India by a domestic private company aboard a SpaceX rocket.
  • The military will utilize it to obtain sensitive information.
  • Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) built satellite is being shipped to Florida in preparation for launch.
  • Previously, the military had to obtain the necessary precise locations and times from overseas suppliers.
  • However, India will now be able to monitor them and have complete ground control due to this satellite.
  • Bengaluru will serve as the location of the ground control center. It is under development and should be operational soon.
  • This will be utilized for processing the satellite's pictures and providing guidance.
  • In collaboration with the Latin American business Satellogic, the center is being constructed.
  • It will also be permitted to exchange the TASL satellite's pictures with friendly countries.
  • Although the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has satellites that can aid in the sharing of the imagery, their use is restricted given the extensive coverage that is needed.
  • India currently obtains the required spy data from US corporations.
  • ISRO launched the meteorological satellite INSAT-3DS last week from the Sriharikota spaceport on board the spacecraft GSLV F14.
  • It will study alerts for natural disasters and weather forecasts. Due to its inconsistent history, GSLV has been referred to as a "naughty boy".

Topic: State News/ Jammu & Kashmir

5. On February 20, PM Narendra Modi visited Jammu to launch several development projects worth more than Rs 32,000 crore.

  • The projects cover a range of sectors, including health, education, rail, roads, aviation, petroleum, and civil infrastructure.
  • During the program, the Prime Minister distributed appointment orders to about 1500 new government employees of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Under the 'Viksit Bharat Viksit Jammu' program, the PM also interacted with the beneficiaries of various government schemes.
  • Several projects worth about Rs 13,375 crore were inaugurated, dedicated to the nation, and laid the foundation stone by PM in a significant step towards upgrading and developing education and skilling infrastructure across the country.
  • A leading skill training institute on advanced technologies – the Indian Institute of Skills (IIS) was also inaugurated by PM in Kanpur.
  • Developed at a cost of over Rs 1,660 crore, PM Modi inaugurated the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Vijaypur (Samba), Jammu.
  • Various rail projects in Jammu and Kashmir including the new rail line between Banihal-Khari-Sumber-Sangaldan (48 km) and the newly electrified Baramulla-Sringar-Banihal-Sangaldan section (185.66 km) were dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.
  • The foundation stone of important road projects, including two packages (44.22 km) of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway connecting Jammu to Katra and Phase II of the four-laning of Srinagar Ring Road, was laid by the Prime Minister.
  • Developing at the cost of about Rs 677 crore, the Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for a project to develop a CUF (Common User Facility) Petroleum depot at Jammu.

Topic: Sports

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually inaugurated the 4th Khelo India University Games on 19 February.

  • The 4th Khelo India University Games has started in Guwahati.
  • A total of twenty sports disciplines are included in the Khelo India University Games 2023 in Guwahati and the remaining four disciplines are from sports of other North-Eastern states.
  • This eleven-day event will be held in eighteen places in seven cities and four and a half thousand players will participate in it.
  • More than 200 universities are participating in this inter-university sports event.
  • On 19 February, men's and women's Kabaddi, basketball, women's football, swimming, and hockey matches were held in various stadiums in Guwahati.
  • On 29 February 2024, Khelo India University Games 2023 Ashta Lakshmi will conclude.
  • The government has allocated Rs 3500 crore for Khelo India University Games 2023 in the budget.
  • Launched in 2016, the Khelo India University Games is a part of the Indian government’s Khelo India initiative.

4th Khelo India University Games

(Source: News on AIR)

Monthly Current Affairs eBooks
January Monthly Current Affairs 2024 December Monthly Current Affairs 2023
November Monthly Current Affairs 2023 October Monthly Current Affairs 2023

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

7. PM Modi digitally launched the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) at Mumbai University.

  • He launched PM-USHA through video conferencing at a programme in Sir Kawasji Jahangir Convocation Hall of Mumbai University.
  • A grant of 20 crore rupees has been approved for the infrastructure and educational development of Mumbai University.
  • Under PM-USHA, funds were sanctioned to various higher educational institutions to strengthen them, develop infrastructural facilities, and implement new educational activities.
  • Under PM-USHA, various schemes are to be implemented at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Kalyan and Thane sub-campus and Kalina Complex under a grant of 20 crore rupees approved by Mumbai University.
  • Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan was a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Its first phase was launched in 2013 and second phase was launched in 2018. RUSA scheme has been launched as PM-USHA.
  • It covers government and government-aided institutions of the States and Union Territories.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. The Khajuraho Dance Festival started on 20 February 2024 in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. 

  • This is the 50th year of celebration of the Khajuraho Dance Festival.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Dr. Mohan Yadav inaugurated the festival.
  • The festival will continue till 26th of this February. In the festival, renowned artists of the country will perform various classical dances like Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Odissi, and Kuchipudi.
  • On the first day of this dance festival, over 1500 artists performed Kathak in Kathak Kumbh. 
  • The Culture Department of the Madhya Pradesh Government is organising the festival in collaboration with Ustad Alauddin Khan Academy of Music and Arts.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

9. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals’s COP14 concluded at Samarkand.

  • The COP14 of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP 14) concluded in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 17 February 2024.
  • It was organized under the theme "Nature knows no borders". It was the first global biodiversity gathering since the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) in 2022.
  • At CMS COP14, Parties reviewed the implementation of the Convention and adopted a New Strategic Plan for the period 2024-2032.
  • The participating members agreed to adopt listing proposals for 14 migratory species and several other resolutions for global wildlife.
  • Eurasian lynx, Peruvian pelican, Pallas’s cat, guanaco, Laulao catfish, Balkan lynx, Lahille’s bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, Magellanic plover, bearded vulture, etc. are among these 14 migratory species.
  • COP14 also adopted a proposal to include Pallas’s cat (Felis manul) in Appendix II of the Convention.
  • The Committee of the Whole (COW) also recommended including the guanaco (Lama guanicoe) in Appendix II of the Convention for adoption.

Topic: MoUs /Agreements

10. IREDA and Punjab National Bank signed a MoU to Co-Finance Renewable Energy Projects.

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) and Punjab National Bank (PNB) have joined hands in financing renewable energy initiatives.
  • The agreement has been signed at IREDA's registered office in New Delhi.
  • The MoU comprises various provisions aimed at enhancing support for renewable energy projects.
  • It includes joint lending, loan syndication and underwriting, and management of Trust and Retention Account (TRA) for IREDA borrowers.
  • The MoU is mainly focused on lending and loan syndication for a wide range of Renewable Energy projects
  • IREDA and PNB can also invest in bonds issued by either organization.

IREDA and Punjab National Bank signed a MoU

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Rankings

11. India steps down to 85th place in the world's most powerful passports ranking.

  • France secured the top spot in The Henley Passport Index for 2024.
  • Whereas India's passport ranking has slipped one place compared to last year, from 84th to 85th.
  • The Henley Passport Index ranked countries based on the strength of their passports.
  • France is leading the list in 2024, with its passport offering visa-free access to 194 countries.
  • Along with France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and Spain are also among the top-ranked countries.
  • Pakistan remains at 106th position like 2023, while Bangladesh has slipped from 101st to 102nd.
  • Henley Passport Index:
    • It was launched in 2006. The index covers 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.
    • It is based on the data collected from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
    • The Index's scoring system was developed to give users a nuanced, practical, and reliable overview of the power of their passport.
    • Each passport is scored on the total number of destinations the holder can access visa-free.



Visa-free score


France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Spain



Finland, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden



Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom



Belgium, Norway, Portugal



Australia, Greece, Malta, New Zealand, Switzerland,









Topic: Personality in News

12. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2024: 19 February

  • Every year on 19 February, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti also known as Shiv Jayanti is celebrated.
  • It is the birth anniversary of Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire, which is celebrated throughout Maharashtra.
  • In 2024, India celebrated the 394th birth anniversary of the great Maratha ruler.
  • Celebrating this festival first started with Maratha ruler Mahatma Phule in Pune in 1870.
  • PM Modi also paid tribute to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on his birth anniversary.
  • Shivaji Maharaj:
    • Shivaji Maharaj's name was Shivaji Bhosale and he was a member of the Bhonsale Maratha dynasty.
    • He was born in Shivneri Fort on the Marathi Shalivahana in 1630, according to Krishna Paksha 3 of the Hindu calendar Falgun.
    • He is considered one of the greatest Maratha rulers.
    • He carved out a territory from the Adilshahi Sultanate of Bijapur, which was the beginning of the Maratha Empire.
    • He is also known for re-establishing Hindavi Swarajya.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti 2024

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Defense

13. Indian Air Force conducted 'Exercise- Vayu Shakti-24' in Rajasthan.

  • The Indian Air Force shows its offensive capabilities at the Pokhran air-to-ground range near Jaisalmer.
  • Fighter jets carried out precision strikes against simulated enemy aircraft and targets on the ground.
  • Exercise Vayu Shakti-24 was based on the theme of Lightning Strike from the Sky.
  • More than 120 aircraft, including Jaguar fighter jets, Sukhoi, Rafale, and Apache attack helicopters, took part in the exercise.
  • Light combat aircraft Tejas, Prachand light combat helicopters, and Akash and Samar surface-to-air missile systems were also used during the exercise.
  • Rudra helicopters destroyed tanks with their rockets, and the C-130J special operations aircraft carried out an assault landing.
  • Vayu Shakti was last held at Pokhran in February 2019.

Topic: Corporates/Companies

14. Authorised capital of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) has been raised to ₹21,000 crore.

  • Earlier, its authorized capital was ₹10,000 crore. The government has increased authorized capital to enhance its operational capabilities.
  • The increase in authorized capital will lower economic costs, lessen the burden of interest, and eventually have a positive impact on government subsidies.
  • The FCI should upgrade its transportation infrastructure, modernize its storage facilities, and implement cutting-edge technology with this infusion of funding.
  • The Center gives equity to the FCI in order to meet its working capital needs and create capital assets.
  • To safeguard farmers' interests, FCI purchases foodgrains at a Minimum Support Price (MSP).
  • Additionally, it distributes the grains under various social programs and keeps strategic stocks.
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