Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 and 8 February 2021

Topic: State News/Assam

1. PM Modi launched ‘Asom Mala’ road project.

  • PM Modi launched the ‘Asom Mala’ road project, which aims to further develop state highways.
  • ‘Asom Mala’ road project also aims to improve major district road networks in Assam. It is planned to be finalized in five years.
  • PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for two medical colleges and hospitals located at Biswanath and Charaideo districts of Assam.
  • On 07 February 2021, PM Modi visited Dhekiajuli in the Sonitpur district of Assam to lay the foundation stone for several different projects.
  • Assam:
    • Its capital is Dispur. Its largest city is Guwahati. It has 34 districts.
    • State Dance: Bihu, State Bird: White-winged wood duck
    • Governor of Assam is Jagdish Mukhi and Chief Minister is Sarbananda Sonowal.
    • Lok Sabha seats: 14, Rajya Sabha Seats: 7  
 

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

2. Mandu Festival will be celebrated on 13-14th February.

  • The two-day-long Mandu festival will be organised on 13-14th February in the historical city Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. It will be the second edition of Mandu Festival.
  • It is being organised by the Tourism department of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Many activities will be organised during the festival, which includes photo contests, yoga workshops, musical performances, etc.
  • Mandu:
    • It is also known as ‘The City of Joy’ and Shadiabad.
    • It is located in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh.
    • Mandu is mainly known for the love story of Sultan Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati.
    • Baz Bahadur’s Palace, Rewa Kund, Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, etc. are some prominent historical places of Mandu.

Topic: Reports and Indices

3. India ranks 53rd in EIU’s Democracy Index 2020.

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released the Democracy index report 2020 titled “Democracy in sickness and in health?”.
  • In the recently released Democracy Index 2020, India has ranked 53rd, higher than most of its neighbouring countries.
  • India has slipped two places as compared to the 2019 index. Its overall score is 6.61. 
  • India slipped from 27th (in 2014) to 53rd (in 2020) due to democratic backsliding. 
  • Norway has topped the index, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Canada.
  • The index 2020 classifies 23 countries as full democracies, 52 as flawed democracies, 35 as hybrid regimes and 57 as authoritarian regimes.
  • Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia are given ‘full democracy’ status.
  • India is placed under the ‘flawed democracy’ category.
  • Afghanistan ranks 139th and is classified as an ‘authoritarian regime’.
  • Democracy Index:
    • It is released annually by EIU, a UK-based company.
    • It ranks 167 countries and classifies them under various categories:
    •  The score is calculated under 5 categories having 60 indicators:
      • Electoral Process and Pluralism
      • Functioning of government
      • Political participation
      • Political culture
      • Civil liberties
    • The countries are further classified into one of the four regimes based on their scores. These four regimes are:
      • Full Democracy
      • Flawed Democracy
      • Hybrid Regime
      • Authoritarian Regime

Topic: International News

4. Denmark to build first energy island of the world in North Sea.

  • Denmark has approved a plan to create the world’s first energy island in the North Sea.
  • The island will produce and store green energy to cater to the demands of 3 million European households.
  • The island will be located 80 kilometers off Denmark’s west coast and will have an initial capacity of 3 Gigawatt.
  • In its initial phase, the artificial island will be linked to various offshore wind turbines.
  • The decision is a part of the European Union’s plan to move towards renewable energy and increase its offshore wind energy capacity 25 times by 2050.
  • Denmark is also planning for an energy island in the Baltic Sea.
  • Denmark:
    • It is a Nordic country that shares its border with Germany.
    • Capital: Copenhagen
    • Currency: Danish krone
    • Prime Minister: Mette Frederiksen
    • It became a member of EU in 1973.

prime minister of denmark

Topic: Defence

5. Yudh Abhyas 20: India-US Joint military exercise commences in Rajasthan.

  • The joint military exercise between US and India, Yudh Abhyas 20, has started at Mahajan Field Firing Range in Rajasthan.
  • This exercise is the 16th edition of the annual bilateral military exercise Yudh Abhyas.
  • The exercise will be held from 8 February to 21 February 2021.
  • 11th battalion of Jammu and Kashmir rifles is representing India in the exercise.
  • The exercise will promote sharing of war-related techniques, skills and experience between the two armies.
  • This is one of the largest military training exercises between the two countries.
  • In January 2021, the air forces of India and France held a joint exercise Desert Knight-21 at Jodhpur Air force station in Rajasthan. 
  • Yudh Abhyas:
    • It is a bilateral exercise between the armies of India and US.
    • The exercise aims at increasing cooperation and interoperability between the two armies.
    • The first edition of this exercise was held in 2004 in Mizoram.
    • The 2019 edition was held at the Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, US.
  • Other India-US joint exercises:
    • Vajra Prahar- Army
    • Red Flag- Air force
    • Tiger Triumph- Triservice
    • Malabar- Navy
    • PASSEX- Navy

Topic: National News

6. India’s first geothermal power project will be established in Ladakh.

  • Scientists have identified the Puga village of Ladakh as the hotspot of geothermal energy in India. Puga has a potential of more than 100 MW of geothermal energies.
  • The first geothermal power project of India, Geothermal Field Development Project, will be established in Puga village, Ladakh.
  • Under the first phase of the pilot project, 1 MW power will be generated, and for this, a tripartite MoU has been signed between ONGC Energy, LAHDC, Leh and the Power Department of UT Ladakh.
  • The project is likely to be commissioned by the end of 2022.
  • Research and Development stage or demo of the project will be the second phase of the project.
  • Under the third phase, joint ventures and commercial projects will be promoted.
  • Geothermal energy is the heat derived within the sub-surface of the earth. It can be used for heating, cooling and generating clean electricity.
  • Geothermal fields of India are categorised into five classes, viz. North- western Himalaya, Son-Narmada-Tapti (So-Na-Ta) Lineament, West Coast Margin, Thermal field of eastern and north east region and other geothermal regions.

Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. Iqbal Singh Chahal awarded Citizen of Mumbai by Rotary Club.

  • The Rotary Club has awarded BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal the Citizen of Mumbai Award.
  • He was awarded for his tireless service in Mumbai during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In 2020, he was conferred the top ‘COVID Crusader Award 2020’ by the Indo American Chamber of Commerce in the Indian Bureaucrats category.

Topic: Art and Culture

8. Government to rename Akashvani Music Festival after the name of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

  • Government will rename Akashvani Music Festival after the name of Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.
  • Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar announced the renaming of Akashvani Music Festival at Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Centenary Commemorative function in Pune.
  • From now on, Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan will be known as Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan.
  • Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was awarded Bharat Ratna in 2009. Pandit Sawai Gandharva was his guru.

Topic: Space and IT

9. NASA, ASI, CSA and JAXA planning to launch robotic Mars ice mapping mission.

  • NASA, Italian Space Agency (ASI), Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and JAXA are planning to launch a robotic Mars ice mapping mission.
  • NASA, ASI, CSA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced their intention to create a mission plan for robotic Mars ice mapping mission.
  • The mission could be ready for launch in 2026. Mars ice mapping mission might help in finding out suitable landing site on Mars (also called Red Planet) and define objectives for human missions to Mars.
  • On 18 February 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover is likely to land at Jezero Crater on Mars. It is likely to collect samples of regolith (Broken rock and soil) before returning to Earth.
  • Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity are names of other Mars rovers sent by NASA. Sojourner was NASA’s first Mars rover.

Topic: Art and Culture

10. Central government and Uttarakhand government signed MoU to establish Science city in Dehradun.

  • Central government and Uttarakhand government have signed an MoU to establish Science city in the Jhajhra area of Dehradun.
  • The project for setting up of Science city will be complete in four years. Total value of project is Rs 173 crore.
  • Out of this, Central government will provide Rs. 88 crore and State government will provide Rs. 85 crore.
  • The names of agencies signing the MoU are Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology and National Council of Science Museums (NCSM).
  • Ministry of Culture had approved Uttarakhand’s proposal to change Regional Science Centre, Dehradun into Science City. The approval was given under scheme of Promotion of Culture of Science (SPoCS).
  • Then, Delegated Investment Board of Ministry of Culture approved Uttarakhand’s proposal in April 2020.
  • NCSM is an autonomous organization under Ministry of Culture. Its headquarters are located in Kolkata.

Topic: State News/Madhya Pradesh

11. Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) campaign launched by Madhya Pradesh government.

  • Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (SAANS) campaign was launched by Madhya Pradesh government.
  • SAANS campaign aims to reduce infant mortality due to pneumonia. In the SAANS campaign, medical staff is being trained at community and primary health centres.
  • Nearly 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres have been established in Madhya Pradesh for training.

Topic: Miscellaneous

12. National Horticulture Fair 2021 started in Bengaluru.

  • National Horticulture Fair 2021 started with the theme of Horticulture for Start-Up and Stand-Up India.
  • It started at the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research campus, Bengaluru. It is a five-day long fair.
  • People from all across India can participate virtually in National Horticulture Fair 2021.
  • The fair is being organized both online and offline by Indian Council for Agricultural Research and IIHR.
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research:
    • It is the apex body for coordinating, guiding, and managing research and education in agriculture.
    • It works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.

Topic: State News/ Rajasthan

13. Rajasthan government started campaign to make Rajasthan beggar free and rehabilitate the beggars.

  • Rajasthan government has started a campaign to make Rajasthan beggar free and rehabilitate the beggars.
  • The campaign started in Jaipur. Government will later expand the campaign to cover other districts of the state if it is successful in Jaipur.
  • The campaign involves the rehabilitation of beggars with combined efforts of Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation (RSLDC) and an institute.
  • The name of the institute is Sopan Institute of Science, Technology, and Management. The campaign also involves the opening of ‘Kaushal Vardhan Kendra’ to provide skills to beggars.
  • The campaign is a component of the Chief Minister’s BHOR scheme - Bhikshu Orientation and Rehabilitation for poor and homeless people.
  • Under the campaign, beggars will be kept for three and half months and get skill training. Rajasthan government will pay 215 rupees a day to beggars.

Topic: State News/West Bengal

14. Foundation stone of 2nd Catalytic iso dewaxing Unit at Haldia refinery of Indian Oil Corporation Limited laid by PM Modi.

  • Foundation stone of 2nd Catalytic iso dewaxing Unit at Haldia refinery of Indian Oil Corporation Limited has been laid by PM Modi.
  • PM Modi also inaugurated three other projects at Haldia in West Bengal. They are given next.
    • BPCL’s LPG Import Terminal
    • GAIL’s Dobhi (Bihar)-Durgapur (West Bengal) Natural Gas Pipeline
    • NHAI’s four-lane road over bridge cum flyover at Ranichak
  • On this occasion, he spoke about one nation-one gas grid, Hydrogen Mission and Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Pipeline.
  • He also said that India is one of the countries with the highest consumption of gas.
  • Furthermore, he mentioned that the Dobhi-Durgapur Natural Gas Pipeline section would benefit West Bengal and some districts of Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Dobhi-Durgapur Natural Gas Pipeline section is a component of Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Pipeline.
  • He said that the Durgapur-Haldia section of Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra Pipeline should be completed quickly.
  • Hydrogen Energy Mission:
    • In Budget 2021-22 speech, Finance Minister proposed launching of a Hydrogen Energy Mission in 2021-22 to produce hydrogen from green power sources.
    • Government’s plan to start a comprehensive National Hydrogen Energy Mission was announced by PM Modi at third Re-invest Conference in November 2020.

Topic: Geography

15. Bursting of Nanda Devi glacier led to flooding of Dhauliganga River near Rishiganga Power Project.

  • Bursting of Nanda Devi glacier led to the flooding of Dhauliganga River near Rishiganga Power Project at Raini village in Tapovan area of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand.
  • Massive flooding due to glacier burst swept away 13.2 MW Rishiganga hydropower project near Joshimath.
  • Massive flooding partially destroyed 520 MW NTPC’s Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project on the Dhauliganga River.
  • Teams of State Disaster Response Force, National Disaster Response Force, Indo Tibetan Border Police, and Defense personnel are carrying out rescue operations in affected areas.
  • Dhauliganga and Alaknanda rivers meet at Vishnuprayag. Joshimath is a town along the banks of River Alaknanda.
  • Nanda Devi (7817 metres) is the third highest peak of the Himalayas in India after Kanchenjunga (8598 metres) and Nanga Parbat (8126 metres).

Bursting of Nanda Devi glacier

(Source: News on AIR)

 

 

 

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