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Current Affairs One - Liner : 20th February 2024

Published on February 20, 2024
  • National:
    • The Banana-Turmeric Festival 2024 was held in Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh on 20th and 21st February. It was part of the one-district one-product programme (ODOP) to promote bananas and turmeric. The festival aimed to attract investment, bring banana products to e-commerce platforms, and showcase the diversity of products derived from bananas.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 20th February 2024
    • On February 20, PM Narendra Modi launched development projects worth over ₹32,000 crore in Jammu and Kashmir. This includes the inauguration of AIIMS in Vijaypur, Jammu, and the launch of projects worth ₹13,500 crore across India. These initiatives aim to boost connectivity, sustainability, and economic growth in the region.
    • The 4th Khelo India University Games, Ashtalakshmi, were virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 19th February. The event, part of the Khelo India initiative, is being held across seven states in the Northeast with 45,000 athletes from 200 institutes participating over 11 days.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi digitally launched the Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (PM-USHA) at Mumbai University on February 20, 2024. The initiative aims to boost academic practices and research activities in State Government universities and colleges, thus fostering equity, access, and excellence in higher education. The PM-USHA has been allocated a budget of Rs. 12,926.10 crore.
  • Banking:
    • On its 89th Business Commencement Day, the Bank of Maharashtra launched 89 new digital products and services. The bank leverages technologies like AI, ML, and RPA to enhance operational efficiency and customer service. They’ve also introduced a finance scheme for MSMEs and Corporates, and a special scheme for the glass bangle industry in Firozabad.
    • The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has given in-principle approval to Policybazaar to upgrade its license from a direct insurance broker to a composite insurance broker. This will allow Policybazaar to sell reinsurance products, expand its services into risk management, and maintain claims data.
  • Mous:
    • On February 16, 2024, India and Taiwan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a virtual ceremony for the employment of Indian workers in Taiwan. The agreement, signed by the Director General of the India-Taipei Association (ITA) Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav and Baushuan Ger, the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in New Delhi, stipulates that Taiwan would decide the number of migrant workers and types of industries, while India would handle recruitment and training.
  • Science & Technology:
    • The Parhyale Odian is a new species of marine amphipod discovered in Chilika Lake, Odisha, India on February 19, 2024. This shrimp-like crustacean, named after the native language of Odisha, was identified by researchers at Berhampur University. The species is brown, about eight millimeters long, and has 13 pairs of legs.
  • Summits & Conferences:
    • The National CSR Summit was held at IIT Madras on February 19, 2024. The event, titled ‘Building India 2047 – Technology for Better Tomorrow’, focused on ‘Technology-Driven Social Impact’. It brought together industry leaders, PSUs, and corporate firms from across the country. The inaugural IIT Madras CSR Awards (2023) were presented during the summit. The Chief Guest was Dr. Palanivel Thiagarajan, Minister for Information Technology and Digital Services, Government of Tamil Nadu. REC Limited received the ‘Innovative Technology Development Award’ for its 2 MW Rooftop Solar Plant at IIT.
  • Defence:
    • The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of India, chaired by Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh, approved capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 84,560 crore on February 16, 2024. The acquisitions aim to enhance the capabilities of the Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The approved proposals include new generation anti-tank mines, Air Defence Tactical Control Radar, Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Multi-Mission Maritime Aircraft, Heavy Weight Torpedoes, Flight Refueller Aircraft, and Software Defined Radios.
  • Apps & Portals:
    • PayNearby launched the Digital Naari platform on February 15, 2024. It’s a mobile app aimed at generating self-employment for women in rural and semi-urban areas of India. The platform offers various financial and digital services, and aims to onboard one lakh women by the end of 2025.
  • Important Days:
    • World Pangolin Day is observed annually on the third Saturday of February to raise awareness about the endangered Pangolin. In 2024, it was on February 17. Pangolins are unique mammals covered in scales, which they use for protection. They eat ants and termites using their long, sticky tongues. All 8 species of pangolin are threatened with extinction due to illegal trade, despite being protected under international law.
    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti is celebrated on February 19th each year to honor the birth of the Maratha warrior king, Shivaji Maharaj. In 2024, it marked his 394th birthday. He was a visionary leader and the founder of the Maratha Empire in the 17th century. The day is observed with various events across Maharashtra and other parts of India.
    • Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day, celebrated on February 20, marks the statehood of Arunachal Pradesh. The day is a tribute to the state’s cultural heritage, diversity, and progress. It was formerly known as the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) and became a state in 1987. The state is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to 26 main tribes and several sub-tribes.
    • Mizoram Foundation Day, celebrated annually on February 20, marks Mizoram’s attainment of statehood in 1987. It’s a day of cultural programs and celebrations, honoring the legacy of those who fought for the state’s independence and celebrating the achievements of the people of Mizoram.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • RPSF Constable Sh. Shashikant Kumar was awarded the ‘Jeevan Raksha Padak’ by the President of India for his act of bravery on June 8, 2023. He saved a female passenger from a moving train at Prayagraj Chheoki Railway Station.
    • Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and former UN diplomat, was conferred with France’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur’, on February 20, 2024. The award recognized his efforts to deepen Indo-French ties and his commitment to international peace and cooperation.
  • Appointments:
    • Indian cricketer Shubman Gill has been designated as Punjab’s ‘state icon’ for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. As a ‘state icon’, he will engage in various campaigns aimed at voter awareness to ensure a voting percentage of 70 percent. The poll panel has set the target of “Is Vaar 70 Paar” for the upcoming polls.
  • Obituaries:
    • Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny died on February 16 in prison. His spokesperson claimed he was “murdered”. His death has led to widespread mourning and protests in Russia.

Questions:

Q.1 What does the Digital Naari platform offer?
a. Only financial services
b. Only digital services
c. Both financial and digital services
d. Neither financial nor digital services
Q.2 How many pairs of legs does the Parhyale Odian have?
a. 10 pairs
b. 11 pairs
c. 12 pairs
d. 13 pairs
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