Daily Current Affairs and GK | 21 and 22 February 2021

By PendulumEdu | Last Modified: 22 Feb 2021 22:26 PM IST

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Topic: Art and Culture

1. 47th Khajuraho Dance Festival going on in Madhya Pradesh.

  • 47th Khajuraho Dance Festival, which is based on the Indian classical dance tradition, is going on in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Through Ustad Alauddin Khan Music and Arts Academy Bhopal, the Culture Department is organizing this week-long festival.
  • After a gap of 44 years, the event is being held in the temple complex of the Western Temple Group of Khajuraho.
  • There are 8 Indian classical dances- Bharatnatyam, Odissi, Sattriya, Kathak, Kathakali, Manipuri, Mohiniattam, Kuchipudi.
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments:
    • The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty.
    • These temples belong to two different religions- Hinduism and Jainism.
    • It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
    • These temples are built in the Nagara style of temple architecture and are famous for their erotic sculptures.

47th Khajuraho Dance Festival

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

2. Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic clinched 2021 Australian Open title.

  • Naomi Osaka of Japan has won the Australian Open title by defeating Jennifer Brady.
  • It is her second Australian Open title after her first win in 2019.
  • Earlier, she had won the US Open title in 2018 and 2020.
  • Novak Djokovic has won his ninth Australian Open title by defeating Daniil Medvedev.
  • He had earlier clinched the Australian Open titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021.
  • In Men’s doubles, Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek have won their first Grand Slam as a team.
  • In Mixed doubles, Barbora Krejcikova and Rajeev Ram have clinched the Australian Open 2021.
  • In Women’s doubles, Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka are the winners of the Australian Open 2021.
  • Australian Open:
    • It is the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The other three are- French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
    • The first Australian tennis tournament was played in Melbourne in 1905.

Australian Open winners

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

3. India and Maldives signed agreements in many areas.

  • India and Maldives signed agreements in many areas such as fish processing, public broadcasting, sustainable urban development, road infrastructure and housing.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar is on a two-nation visit to Maldives and Mauritius.
  • He reached Male (capital of Maldives), and agreements were exchanged between External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid.
  • Both of them reviewed bilateral ties and bilateral projects. They also discussed the ongoing COVID situation and other issues.
  • The agreement in the field of public broadcasting is aimed at cooperation between Prasar Bharti and the official State Media of Maldives.
  • The agreement is also aimed at collaboration and capacity building in the area of public broadcasting.

India and Maldives MoU

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

4. International Mother Language Day: 21 February.

  • International Mother Language Day is celebrated every year on 21 February, and in the year 2021, it is being celebrated with the theme "Fostering multilingualism for inclusion in education and society".
  • UNESCO had declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day in 1999. The decade 2022-2032 will be observed as the United Nations International Decade of Indigenous Languages.
  • Year 2008 was declared as the International year of languages by the UN General assembly. 
  • In India, the Ministry of Education celebrates 21 February as Matribhasha Diwas (Mother Language Day) since 2015. A four-day long virtual event is being organized by three different organizations to mark the day this year.
  • The names of three organizations are Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA).
  • On this occasion, the International virtual calligraphy exhibition will be inaugurated by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu.

Topic: Defence

5. Indian and Indonesian navies carry out Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in Arabian Sea.

  • Indian and Indonesian navies carried out Passage Exercise (PASSEX) in the Arabian Sea.
  • Indian Navy Ship INS Talwar and Indonesian Navy’s multirole Corvette KRI Bung Tomo participated in the PASSEX.
  • Earlier, the Indian Navy had participated in PASSEX with Australian Navy, Vietnamese Navy, Russian Navy and USS Nimitz strike group.
  • In November 2020, the 24th edition of Malabar exercise was hosted by the Indian Navy. Navies of US, Japan and Australia took part in this Malabar exercise.

Topic: State News/ Kerala

6. Kerala government inaugurated first phase of Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON) project.

  • Kerala government has inaugurated the first phase of the Kerala Fiber Optic Network (KFON) project.
  • Under KFON, a complementary optical fiber network will be laid across Kerala and broadband infrastructure would be strengthened.
  • Under the second phase, KFON infrastructure would be used to provide free internet connectivity to economically backward families and subsidized connectivity to others.
  • KFON project is a joint venture between two entities of Kerala and Kerala government. Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Ltd and Kerala State Electricity Board are names of these entities.
  • Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) led consortium is executing KFON. BEL will operate and maintain a 35,000-km-long network for the coming seven years. Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board is funding the project.
  • As of now, Kerala is the only state that has made the ‘Right to Internet’ a basic right of its citizens. Finland is the world’s first country to make broadband Internet a legal right for every citizen.
  • In Faheema Shirin v. State of Kerala case, Kerala High Court has recognized the right to internet access as a fundamental right. 
  • The working of optical fibre is based on the phenomenon of Total Internal Reflection.

Topic: Geography

7. Researchers observed a declining trend of rainfall near the highest rainfall areas of world.

  • According to a study by researchers, it has been found that there is a declining trend of rainfall at Cherrapunji and nearby areas.  
  • The researchers observed the rainfall pattern from 1901-2019 and the team found that the annual mean rainfall of the region has a declining trend.
  • Data shows that from 1973-2019 the annual rainfall has declined by 0.42 mm per decade in the regions of Agartala, Cherrapunji, Guwahati, Kailashahar, Pasighat, Shillong and Silchar.
  • The data also reveals that from 2006 onwards vegetation area has decreased while the area of cropland has increased.
  • The main cause for the declining rainfall is-
    • Increase in the Indian Ocean temperature
    • Deforestation in the region
    • Conversion of forestlands and vegetation area to croplands areas
  • Due to change in rainfall pattern Jhum cultivation or shifting cultivation has decreased, which impacted the livelihoods of the people of the region.
  • Northeast India is one of the most biodiversity-rich regions of the world. It is one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.
  • The change in the rainfall pattern can be stopped with solid water management strategies, Afforestation, etc.
  • Mawsynram is a town in Meghalaya. It is the wettest place on Earth.

Topic: Sports

8. Seiko Hashimoto appointed as new president of Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

  • Japanese Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto is appointed as the new president of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
  • Seiko Hashimoto has replaced Yoshiro Mori. Yoshiro Mori had resigned from the post due to his sexist comments against women.
  • She had participated in the seven Olympic Games. She had won the bronze medal in the 1500 m speed skating at the 1992 Winter Olympics.
  • Tokyo Olympics 2020 is scheduled to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021. Japan will host its fourth Olympics.

Seiko Hashimoto president of Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Sports

9. Ankita Raina and her partner Kamilla Rakhimova won Phillip Island Trophy.

  • India’s Ankita Raina and her Russian partner Kamilla Rakhimova clinched the doubles event title in the Phillip Island Trophy.
  • The Ankita-Kamilla pair has defeated Anna Blinkova and Anastasia Potapova by 2-6, 6-4, 10-7 in the finals.
  • Ankita has become the second Indian player to reach in top-100 in the WTA rankings in doubles after Sania Mirza.
  • Ankita Raina has also won the gold medals in the women’s singles and mixed-doubles events at the 2016 South Asian Games.
  • Phillip Island Trophy 2021: It is a tennis tournament. It is played on outdoor hard courts in Melbourne, Australia.

Topic: Sports

10. Manika Batra wins Senior National Table Tennis Championship.

  • Manika Batra has won the women’s singles title in the 82nd Senior National Table Tennis Championships in Panchkula. She defeated Reeth Rishya in the finals.
  • It is the second time that Manika has won this title. She had won her first title in 2015 at Hyderabad. She was also runner-up at Ranchi in 2017.
  • Now, she will compete in various events, including the WTT Contender events, World and Asian Olympic qualifiers, etc.
  • Achievement of Manika Batra:
    • She won three gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games in the women’s doubles event.
    • She led the Indian women’s team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
    • She is the only Indian to receive “The Breakthrough Star Award”.
    • She and her partner Mouma Das win the silver medal in the women’s doubles category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
    • She received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2020.





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