- 1. World Wetlands Day 2021: 2 February
- 2. Uttarakhand established its first arboretum in Nainital district.
- 3. Privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) approved by cabinet.
- 4. Government to hold at least 75% stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India for coming five years.
- 5. India’s biggest Aero show started at Bengaluru.
- 6. Bhavya Lal is appointed as acting chief of staff of NASA.
- 7. India will set up its first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management at Chennai.
- 8. CSIR – CMERI developed Solar-Biodiesel Minigrid System.
- 9. Development Status of AIIMS in the Country.
- 10. PM mentioned Bhagyashree Sahu's efforts in promoting 'Pattachitra' painting in his Mann ki Baat programme.
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Topic: Important Days
1. World Wetlands Day 2021: 2 February
- It is celebrated every year on 2 February to raise awareness about the importance of wetland for humans and earth.
- It is observed to mark the date of adopting the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971 in Ramsar, Iran.
- The theme for World Wetlands Day 2021 is ‘Wetlands and Water’.
- The Ramsar Convention was adopted in 1971 and came into force in 1975. It provides a framework for the conservation of all wetlands across the world.
- At present, 42 wetlands of India are under the Ramsar list.
- Wetland is an area of land that is either covered with water or saturated with water. It includes mangroves, deltas, floodplains, rice-fields, coral reefs, etc.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
2. Uttarakhand established its first arboretum in Nainital district.
- Uttarakhand has set up its first arboretum with 210 species of trees found in the Shivalik range of the Himalayas. It is established in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
- It is one of the biggest botanical gardens in the state. It has been inaugurated by renowned environmentalist Ajay Singh Rawat.
- It has been named as ‘Shivalik Arboretum’. It also conserves species of moss, lichen and ferns found in the Shivalik range.
- Its main aim is to educate people about nature and generate awareness about the conservation of nature. It will also help in providing scientific information, medicinal use, and cultural significance about any particular species of tree.
- The largest botanical garden of India is Indian Botanic Garden in Kolkata.
3. Privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) approved by cabinet.
- Privatisation of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) has been approved by cabinet.
- But it has not been decided whether its subsidiaries will be part of the privatization or not.
- Orissa Minerals Development Company Ltd (OMDC) and Bisra Stone Lime Company Ltd (BSLC) are RINL’s subsidiaries.
- BSLC operates mining of limestone and dolomite at mines located in Birmitrapur in Odisha’s Sundargarh district.
- OMDC runs six iron ore and manganese ore mining leases. They are located at Barbil in Odisha’s Keonjhar district. The names of mines are given below.
Dalki manganese mines
Kolha Roida iron & manganese mines
Thakurani iron & manganese mines
Bariaburu iron mines
Belkundi iron & manganese mines
Bhadrasai iron & manganese mines
- Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is a navratna PSU. It runs Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Currently, government’s stake in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is 100%.
4. Government to hold at least 75% stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India for coming five years.
- Government will hold at least 75% stake in Life Insurance Corporation of India for coming five years.
- As per the amendments to Life Insurance Act, 1956 tabled in Parliament with Finance bill, government will hold at least 51% stake in LIC after five years.
- In amendments to Life Insurance Act 1956, it is proposed that authorized share capital of LIC would be increased to 25,000 crore rupees.
- In Union Budget 2021-2022 speech, Finance Minister has announced that government would bring Initial Public Offering (IPO) of LIC. LIC is owned by government of India.
- Y Viswanatha Gowd has been appointed as new CEO of LIC Housing Finance Ltd (LICHFL). Siddhartha Mohanty has become Managing Director of LIC.
- LIC was formed on 1 September 1956. It is headquartered in Mumbai, India. Its chairperson is M R Kumar. Its slogan is yogakshemam vahamyaham (Your welfare is our responsibility).
Topic: National News
5. India’s biggest Aero show started at Bengaluru.
- The 13th edition of the Aero India air show has started at Bengaluru in Karnataka. It is inaugurated by the Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. It is scheduled to be held from 3rd to 7th February 2021.
- In this three-day event, more than 200 MoUs will be signed between different procurement and manufacturing agencies.
- The Defence Ministers of 27 countries will participate in this event for the first time.
- Aero India 2021 logo is inspired by the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
- For the first time, Aero India show will be organised in physical and virtual mode.
- In this year’s Aero show, aircraft like Dakota, B-1 Lancer, Surya Kiran, Sarang helicopters will participate.
- Aero India:
- It is a biennial air show held at Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- It is organized by the Defence Exhibition Organisation, Ministry of Defence.
- It is Asia’s largest Aero show.
(Source: News on AIR)
6. Bhavya Lal is appointed as acting chief of staff of NASA.
- Indian-American scientist Bhavya Lal has been appointed as the acting chief of staff of NASA.
- She has worked as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.
- She is experienced in Space Technology, Strategy and Policy Analysis. She has also chaired many committees related to space technology.
- She is the co-founder of the annual conference on Nuclear and Emerging Technologies in Space (NETS).
- She is a member of nuclear engineering and public policy honour societies.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent space agency of the U.S. federal government.
- It was established in 1958 and it is responsible for the space program, and Space research in the USA.
- Its headquarters is located in Washington, D.C.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
7. India will set up its first Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management at Chennai.
- The Environment Ministry has announced to set up a Centre for Wetland Conservation and Management at Chennai on World Wetland Day.
- It will be established as a part of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), Chennai.
- It will work as a knowledge hub and full-fill the research needs for the conservation and management of wetlands.
- It will assist State/ UT Wetland Authorities in the formulation of regulatory frameworks and implementation of policy for the conservation of wetlands.
- The world has celebrated the 50th anniversary of Ramsar Convention on 2 February 2021.
- India has 42 Ramsar sites and wetlands cover about 4.7% of the total geographical area of the country.
- National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management: It is a research institute under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It is located in Chennai.
Topic: New Development
8. CSIR – CMERI developed Solar-Biodiesel Minigrid System.
- CSIR-CMERI-Centre of Excellence for Farm Machinery has developed a Solar Biodiesel Hybrid Minigrid system of 50kW peak capacity.
- It will provide 24X7 power supply to Center for Excellence in Farm Machinery (COEFM) in Ludhiana.
- It will reduce dependency on fossil fuels for the production of Power and it could help in providing uninterrupted power supply in villages and hilly areas.
- It a unique method of producing power at the local level with the help of renewable energy. The other renewable source of energy like wind energy and Biogas can be integrated into this system.
- This Minigrid System will be also used to provide electricity to agricultural pumps.
- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR): CSIR is India’s largest research and development organization and an autonomous body.
- CMERI is a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Topic: National News
9. Development Status of AIIMS in the Country.
- The Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY) aimed to set up 22 new AIIMS in the country. It includes 10 AIIMS sanctioned in 2017-18.
- In 22 new AIIMS, six have become functional. These six AIIMS are at Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Jodhpur, Patna, Raipur and Rishikesh.
- In another 6 AIIMS, OPD services have become functional. These are at Rae Bareli, Mangalagiri, Gorakhpur, Bathinda, Nagpur and Bibinagar.
- MBBS course has been started in AIIMS at Mangalagiri, Nagpur, Kalyani, Gorakhpur, Bathinda, Rae Bareli, Deoghar, Bibinagar, Guwahati, Bilaspur, Jammu and Rajkot.
- The construction work of 16 AIIMS are on different stages.
- Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY):
- It was launched in 2003.
- It aims to curb regional imbalances in the field of healthcare services.
- It also aims to promote facilities for quality medical education in India.
- The scheme has two components-
- Setting up of AIIMS like institutions
- Upgradation of Government Medical College/Institutions
Topic: Art and Culture
10. PM mentioned Bhagyashree Sahu's efforts in promoting 'Pattachitra' painting in his Mann ki Baat programme.
- Prime Minister has mentioned the story of Bhagyashree Sahu's efforts for the promotion of Pattachitra' painting in his Mann ki Baat programme.
- Pattachitra painting (Odisha):
- It is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha.
- It is a mural painting and origin can be traced from religious centers of Puri, Konark and Bhubaneshwar.
- The colours used in this painting are prepared from materials like vegetables, stones and minerals.
- It mainly depicts the stories of Hindu deities. The popular theme of this painting are based on Lord Jagannath, Vaishnava culture and Krishna and Radha