Current Affairs  10th- 15th February

·         10th February: World Pulses Day 2024 .

o   Theme – “Pulses: Nourishing soil and people”.

·         10th February: This day is also celebrated as the ‘National Deworming Day’ by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

·         10th February: International Day of the Arabian Leopard. To raise awareness about the Arabian Leopard, the United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed February 10 as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard in 2023.

o   The Arabian Leopard is included as ‘Critically Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List. It has a very limited distribution, being found only in a few isolated pockets of habitat in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates.

·         11th February: Death Anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya. He was a prominent RSS functionary from Gujarat and was among the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh.

o   Launched weekly “Panchajanya” and the daily “Swadesh”.

·         11th February : World Unani Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Hakim Ajmal Khan an eminent Indian Unani physician and social reformer.

·         11th February:  This day is celebrated by the United Nations as ‘International Day of Women and Girls In Science” to celebrate the participation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.

o   Theme 2024: Women and Girls in Science Leadership,  a New Era of Sustainability.

o   As a single online portal representing Indian Women and Girls in STEM, the Government of India on this occasion has launched “SWATI (Science for Women –A Technology & Innovation) portal on this occasion at New Delhi.

·         12th February: National Productivity Day. This day is celebrated to mark the foundation of the National Productivity Council (NPC).

o   Theme  2024: Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Productivity Engine for Economic Growth.

·         12th February: International Epilepsy Day. This day is celebrated to raise awareness of epilepsy on the Second Monday of February each year.

o   Theme 2024: ‘Milestones on My Epilepsy Journey’

·         12th February 2024 was also celebrated as the 200th Birth Anniversary of Swami Dayananda Saraswati at his birthplace in Morbi, Gujarat.

o   Swami Dayananda Saraswati was the founder of the Arya Samaj. He was the first to give the call for Swaraj as “India for India” in 1876 and gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”.

o   DAV (Dayananda Anglo Vedic) schools came into 1886 to realize the visions of Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

·         On the second moon after the winter solstice, which is actually Magh Shukla Pratipada on the eastern lunar calendar year, Sonam Loshar festival is celebrated by the Tamang and Hyolmo communities of Nepal , Sikkim and Darjeeling.

·         The Union Government on 9th February announced that it will confer posthumous Bharat Ratna on Ex-Prime Ministers P.V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and legendary Agricultural Scientist M.S. Swaminathan.

o   Thus the number of Bharat Ratna receipents in a year became the highest in 2024 with 5 awardees: Karpoori Thakur, L.K Advani , P.V Narasimha Rao, Chaudhary Charan Singh and M.S. Swaminathan. Traditionally at maximum, the President awards three persons the Highest Civillian Award of India, ‘Bharat Ratna’,  for exceptional service / performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavor , on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

o   MS Swaminathan:

§  Born: August 7, 1925 in Madras Presidency.

§  Also known as ‘Father of the Green Revolution in India’ and ‘Father of Economic Ecology’.

§  He had immense contribution in Agriculture and Food Production not only in India but also in Asia. He played a crucial role in developing high-yielding varieties of paddy and wheat leading to the Green Revolution in India and Making India self-sufficient in food grains by 1971.

§  Served as the Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research and International Rice Research Institute.

§  Served as the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture in 1979-80 and the president of the IUCN and the Chairman of the National Commission on Farmers.

§  Awards: Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1971, Albert Einstein World Sciences Award in 1986, First World Food Prize in 1987, Padma Shri, Padma Bhusan and Padma Vibhusan (1989).

§  He was also named one of the top 20 most influential Asians of the 20th Century by The Times Magazine.

o   P.V. Narasimha Rao:

§  Born in June 28, 1921 in Present Day Telangana.

§  He was a prominent lawyer, statesman, politician and an author.

§  He was the first person from South India to become  the Prime Minister of India.

§  First Congress PM outside the Nehru-Gandhi family.

§  During his regime in 1991, when India was facing a scary BoP crisis, it was under his government that India undertook three path breaking changes – Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation.

§  One of his famous books – The Insider.

o   Chaudhary Charan Singh:

§  Born in 23rd December 1902 in Meerut , UP.

§  Actively participated in the Freedom Struggle of India, was an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi and got jailed on multiple occasions.

§  In 1967, became the first Non-Congress CM of Uttar Pradesh.

§  Became the Chief Minister for the second time in 1970.

§  Served as the 5th Prime Minister of India, is recalled as the chief architect of land reforms in UP.

§  He dedicated his entire life for the rights of Farmers and their welfare – regarded as a ‘Champion of Peasants’.

§  Famous book – Abolition of Zamindari : Two Alternatives.

·         Assam  CM Himanta Biswa Sharma has launched the mascot “Astalakshmithe vibrant butterfly” for 4th Khelo India University Games 2023 in Guwahati.

·         Justice S. Vaidyanathan sworn in as the  Chief  Justice of the Meghalaya High Court, the oath being administered by Governor Phagu Chauhan.

·         LIC Mutual Fund appoints Ravi Kumar Jha as MD&CEO.

·         TATA AIA Life Insurance appoints Venkatachalam H as its MD & CEO.

·         TomTom Traffic Index:

o   Released by : A company called TomTom which specializes in location technology.

o   The Report looked at 387 cities in 55 countries measuring how traffic affected travel time, fuel costs, and carbon emissions.

o   London had the slowest traffic in 2023.

o   India, Bengaluru (6th) and Pune (7th) were among the slowest traffic having cities.

o   In terms of level of congestion however Bengaluru ranks 2nd and Pune ranks 7th.

·         The Government of India has approved a new Sub Scheme under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana’, named ‘Pradhan Mantri Matsya Kisan Samridhdhi Yojana’.

o   Its aim formalization of the fisheries sector and supporting fisheries MSMEs by providing access to institutional credit.

o   The financial outlay for the scheme has been over Rs. 6,000 Cr. for the next four years.

o   Padhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana (PMMSY):

§  The Central Sector scheme was launched on 10th September, 2020 by the Prime Minister, it is a flagship scheme under the Department of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.

§  Its goal is to bring a Blue Revolution in India trough the sustainable development of the fisheries sector.

§  Fin Outlay: Rs. 20,050 Cr.

·         The President of India Draupadi Murmu has inaugurated Aadi Mahotsav at the Major Dhyan Chand National Staduim in New Delhi, organized by TRIFED (Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India) under Ministry of Tribal Affairs with an aim to showcase the rich diversity of India’s cultural heritage.

·         The Parliament has passed Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2024, piloted by Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, that seeks to amend the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution)  Act, 1974, which establishes the Central and the state Pollution Control Boards to prevent and control water pollution.

o   According to the amendment, it seeks to decriminalize minor offences related to water pollution and replace it with monetary penalty. And the central government will prescribe the manner of nomination of Chairpersons of the State Pollution Control Boards.

·         The Government of India has launched India’s Digital Payments Connectivity with Mauritius and Sri Lanka by means of extending its UPI and RuPay Card services.

·         The Government of India has announced the inaugural edition of the National Creators Award to celebrate India’s digital innovators and content creators for their impactful contributions to India’s landscape.

·         IRS Narendra Kumar Yadav becomes the first Civil Servant to be appointed as the Brand Ambassador for Fit India Movement. It is a nationwide initiative launched by the government of India with the aim of encouraging Indians to incorporate physical activity and sports into their daily lives.

·         Minister of State for Health SP Baghel has launched Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) which is a parasitic infection caused by microscopic worms that infect the lymphatic system. It is targeted to be eliminated by 2027.

·         The Olive Ridley Turtles, known as  the smallest and most abundant of all sea turtles in the world and also for their unique mass nesting called “Aribada” in the East coast of India, has arrived at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary of Odisha.

·         Scientists at the CSIR – National  Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) in Bengaluru have successfully tested an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called “High Altitude Pseudo Satellite” (HAPS). They are like drones except they are expected to fly by at an extraordinary high in the stratosphere and can be powered by solar cells and a battery system enabling it to achieve 20km heights and a float for months. They can be doubled up as “towers in the sky” and “pseudo satellite” which provides more flexibility than satellites.

·         The Tata Trust is going to establish India’s first State-of –the-art small animal Hospital in Mumbai in March 2024.

·         Pathum Nissanka becomes the first Sri Lankan to Smash ODI Double Century against Afganistan at Palekele. He also became the batsmen with highest individual score in Sri Lanka’s ODI History at 210*.

·         Etihad Airways becomes the Principal Sponsor of Chennai Super Kings. Bollywood star Katrina Kaif is the brand ambassador of the Abu-Dhabi based airways company.

·         Switzerland Tourism honors star athlete Neeraj Chopra with a plaque at the famous Ice Palace at Jungfraujoch, known as the ‘Top of Europe’ in Switzerland.

·         Sportstar Aces Awards 2024:

o   Sportsman of the Year Award (Individual) : Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (Badminton)

o   Sportswoman of the Year Award (individual) : Rameshbabu Vaishali (GM, Chess), Sift Kaur Samra (Shooter).

o   Sportsman of the Year (Parasports): Sumit Antil (Javelin)

o   Sportswoman of the Year (Parasports): T. Murugesan (Badminton)

o   Coach of the Year : Rahul Dravid

o   Lifetime Achievement Award: Chandu Borle, Karnam Malleshwari

o   Sportstar of the Year (Male): Neeraj Chopra (Javelin)

o   Sportstar of the Year (Female): Sheetal Devi (Archer)

o   Best State for the Promotion of Sports: Tamil Nadu

o   Best PSU for the Promotion of Sports: NTPC Ltd.

o   Best Corporate for the Promotion of Sports: Tata Steel Ltd.

o   Best University for the Promotion of Sports: SRM Institute of Science and Technology (T.N)

o   Ace of Aces Award: Rohan Bopanna

o   International Icon: Muttiah Muralidharan

·         NASA’s Transisting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has spotted a ‘super Earth’, TOI-715b, 137 light years away that is orbiting a small reddish star within a ‘habitable zone’.

·         13th February: This day is celebrated as World Radio Day. Italian scientist G. Marconi was the man behind developing radio communication in 1895.

o   Theme:Radio: A Century informing, entertaining and educating”.

·         13th February: This day is also the birth anniversary of the “Nightingale of India”, Sarojini Naidu. She was the first Indian Women President of Indian National Congress and the first women to hold a governors’ office (Uttar Pradesh).

·         13th February: World Condom Day is celebrated since 2009 by the AIDS Health Care Foundation for raising awareness about birth control and STDs.

·         Veteran artist A Ramachandran passes away in Delhi who was known for his monumental canvasses, colourful oil and watercolour paintings. He was awarded the Padma Bibhusan in 2005.

·         Dattaji Rao, the oldest Test Cricketer of India has passed away at the age of 95. His cricketing journey began from 1948 Ranji Trophy spanning 11 Tests for India and captaining the national team in 1952.

·         Renowned Litterateur and Padma Shri Awardee Usha Kiran, an exemplary writer in Hindi and Maithili passes away. She was awarded the Sahitya Akademi in 2012 for her novel “Bhamati: Ek Avismaraniya Prem Katha”.

·         Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has unveiled a life sized statue of India’s first CDS Gen. Bipin Rawatin Dehradun.

·         Institute of Chartered Accountants in India (ICAI) has  appointed Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal as its new President. ICAI is a statutory body established in 1949 for the formulation of Accounting Standards; and Standard Auditing Procedures  under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

·         Defeating India in the finals , Australia has become the winner of the Men’s U-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

·         Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Ranking 2024:

o   Indian School of Business (ISB) has been ranked 1st in India and 31st globally in the ranking.

o   Topped By: The University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) #1 , INSEAD #2 and Columbia Business School #3.

o   This rankings are a reflection of best global business schools of the World.

·         Dubai is going to have World’s first Air Taxi – Joby Aviation S4 which has reduced noise levels, zero operating emissions and enhanced passenger convenience, at the World Governments Summit 2024. It will be operational from 2026.

·         A team of 71 personnel of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Sarang Helicopter Display Team is going to participate at the Singapore Air Show 2024 at the Changi Exhibition Centre with five Dhruv ALH (Advanced Light Helicopters), developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

·         Katrina Kaif has been named as the Brand Ambassador of Chennai Super Kings.

·         Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has unveiled a new Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) , APAAR initiative during the National Education Conference.

o   APAAR stands for Automated Permanent Academic Account Registry. It is a unique and permanent 12 digit ID to every student, consolidating their academic achievements in a unified and accessible platform.

o   APAAR is poised to become the aspirational and globally recognized document for students in India. Registration under APAAR is voluntary not mandatory.

·         Ministry of Electronics & IT is going to host the first ever future skills summit in Guwahati, Assam on February 15 to deliberate on strategies for shaping the future of talent in India.

o   Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology: Ashwini Vaishnav.

·         Union Minister of Food Processing Pashupati Kumar Das inaugurated the  “SUFALAM” (Start-Up Forum for Aspiring Leaders and Mentors) conclave – aimed at catalysing innovations and driving growth in the food processing industry.

·         Union Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy Raj Kumar Singh has inaugurated the Indian Power Stations Operations & Maintenance Conference 2024 hosted by NTPC limited, Raipur, Chattisgarh.

o   Theme 2024:Operations and Maintenance Practices for Safe, Reliable & Cost Effective Power Generation.”

·         Assam government has declared Kaji Nemu (Citrus Limon) as its ‘state fruit’. It is known for its juicy, aromatic nature and immense nutritional value.

·         Kerala has received the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s Award for the best tuberculosis elimination activities and the state’s efforts to coordinate the National TB Eradication Programme in the private sector.

o   Kerala has recorded the highest number of registrations of TB patients from the private sector on the Nikshay Portal.

·         AIIMS – Delhi and SBI has jointly launched “Smart Payment Card” for hassle free payments for treatment. It is being provided free of cost to all patients and has no service charge. The card will be linked to the Patient’s Unique Hospital Identification Number (UHID) and the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID issued under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

·         Odisha has declared Gupteshwar Forest in Koraput District as its fouth Biodiversity Heritage Site.

o   Other BHS of Odisha:

§  Mandasaru in Kandhamal District.

§  Mahendragiri in Gajapati District.

§  Gandhamardan in Bargarh and Bolangiri Districts.

·         Water Digest World Water Awards 2023-2024 were presented by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Sekhawat in Delhi.  It is a global event that recognises excellence in water management, held in partnership with UNESCO.

o   Winners:

§  Best STP (Sewage Treatment Plant) and “ Water Use Category”: Noida Authority.

§  Excellence in Digitalisation Category: Tata Steel’s Fero Alloys and Minerals Division (FAMD).

·         India’s Top-seeded Sumit Nagal has won the Tennis Chennai Open ATP Challenger finale defeating Luca Nardi of Italy. The Chennai Open is the first in a series of ATP Challenger 100 events to be held in India.

o   Also Darja Semenistaja of Latvia beats Storm Hunter of Australia to clinch the title of 2024 L&T Mumbai Open WTA tournament.

·         The Education Ministry and FIFA has become partners to promote football culture in the country’s schools by jointly distributing 11 lakh footballs to more than 1.5 lakh schools under the Football for Schools (F4S) programme.

·         Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur along with International Chess Federation (FIDE) president Arkady Dvorokovich, handed over the Chess Olympiad Torch to Budapest, Hungary, the host of the 45th edition of the Chess Olympiad.

o   The 44th Chess Olympiad was held in Chennai in 2022.

·         Ivory Coast has won the Africa Cup of Nations ( Football)

·         The Sangeet Natak Akademi, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Culture and the apex body in the field of performing arts in the country is going to set up first of its kind Regional Centre of Sangeet Natak Akademi in the South India in Hyderabad.

·         World Governments Summit 2024 is going to be held at Dubai, UAE from February 12-14.

o   Theme: “Shaping Future Governments”.

o   India, Turkey and Qatar are invited as the guests of honour at the summit.

o   With the participation of over 25 governments and their nation heads the aim of this summit is to identify innovative solutions for future challenges.

·         Paytm E-Commerce Private Limited has renamed itself to ‘Pai Platforms Private Limited’ after acquiring Bitsila by gaining gaining share in the online retail business.

o   Paytm CEO and Founder: Vijay Sekhar Sharma.

·         Former Prime Minister, Alexander Stubb wins the Finland Presidential Election. Finalnd has become the 31st member of NATO.

o   Finland:                Capital- Helsinki, Currency – Euro , PM – Petteri Orpo.

·         The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Kerala Section has awarded the 2024 K.P.P Nambiar Award on ISRO Chairman S. Somanath for playing pivotal role in steering the Chandrayaan-3 Mission and playing other significant roles in various Vikram Sarabhai Space Centres (VSSC) and ISRO Missions.

·         Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shantanu Thakur, has flagged off  the first cargo vessels carrying stones from Maia (West Bengal) inland customs port to Sultanganj port of Bangladesh on Ganga river bolstering riverine trade between the two nations.

·         Prama India and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) has announced a technology partnership for Thermal Camera Technology.


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