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Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st February 2024

Published on February 21, 2024
  • National:
    • The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized a two-day workshop on Urban Livelihoods in Ranchi, Jharkhand, from February 15-16, 2024. The workshop was part of the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) and focused on enhancing resilience and empowerment for women in urban India.
Current Affairs One - Liner : 21st February 2024
    • The Chief Minister of Sikkim, PS Golay, launched a World Bank and Indian government-backed program called Sikkim INSPIRES on February 17, 2024. This transformative initiative aims to foster economic inclusion for women and youth in non-farm sectors. The program will operate across nine government departments over the next five years, focusing on sectors such as mental health, education, entrepreneurship, and employment training.
    • On 21st February, a national health project was launched by Union Minister Shri Sarbananda Sonowal. The project aims to screen and manage health issues of over 20,000 tribal students across 14 states through Ayurvedic interventions. The focus is on Anaemia, Haemoglobinopathies, Malnutrition & Tuberculosis.
    • The ‘Himalayan Basket’ initiative, launched by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on 19th February, is a commodity trading venture dealing in Himalayan products. It provides direct employment to over 200 people and supports local agriculture. Products like milk, turmeric, and mint are purchased locally, processed, and then supplied to foreign destinations. The initiative is aimed at boosting local employment and sustainable development.
    • The ‘Sagar Aankalan’ guidelines were launched by the Indian government on February 16, 2024. They aim to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of Indian ports by mapping and benchmarking their logistics performance, aligning with global standards, and prioritizing productivity, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.
    • The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly passed the Maratha Reservation Bill in a special session. This bill provides a 10% quota for the Maratha community in education and government jobs. The bill was approved by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his Cabinet.
    • The 50th Khajuraho Dance Festival started on 20th February 2024 in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. It’s a week-long festival celebrating India’s classical dance forms. This year, around 1,500 dance students performed Kathak to set a Guinness World Record. The festival also includes skydiving and a food festival.
  • International:
    • On February 19, Malta became the 119th member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The ISA is a global effort to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources and combat climate change. The agreement was signed in New Delhi by the Permanent Secretary at the Maltese Foreign Ministry, Christopher Cutajar.
    • The Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) is a program launched by the World Health Organization (WHO). It aims to strengthen international cooperation in digital health and promote country capacity. The initiative supports the implementation of the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025 and other WHO norms and standards for Digital Health System Transformation.
  • Banking:
    • Mswipe Technologies, a company that began in the offline payments space with point of sale devices, received a Payment Aggregator license from the Reserve Bank of India on February 19, 2024. This license allows Mswipe to expand its services into the online category with its own gateway, particularly targeting MSMEs.
  • Mous:
    • The Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and DBS Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 20, 2024, in New Delhi. The partnership aims to enhance investor awareness and protection by disseminating safety messages via DBS Bank’s various digital platforms. This MoU was signed by Lt. Col. Tushar Anand, GM of IEPFA, and Rajiv Bagga, Executive Director and India Head of Government Business at DBS Bank.
  • Science & Technology:
    • SpaceX launched Intuitive Machines’ lunar lander, Odysseus, on February 15, 2024. It entered lunar orbit on February 21, 2024, and is set to attempt a landing near the moon’s south pole on February 22, 2024. If successful, it will be the first private spacecraft to soft-land on the moon. The mission, called IM-1, is part of NASA’s Artemis program and carries 12 payloads, half of which are NASA science instruments.
  • Summits & conferences:
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9th edition of the Raisina Dialogue on February 21, 2024. The Raisina Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The theme of the 2024 edition is "Chaturanga: Conflict, Contest, Cooperate, Create”. The conference hosted over 2500 participants from about 115 countries. The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic (Greece), H.E. Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, joined the inaugural session as the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address. The dialogue took place over three days, from February 21-23, 2024.
  • Sports:
    • On Saturday, February 17, 2024, the Indian tennis duo of Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan made history by winning the doubles title at the Bengaluru Open 2024. The tournament was held at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association in Cubbon Park, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
    • An 8-year-old Indian-origin boy named Ashwath Kaushik, who resides in Singapore, has made history by becoming the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in a classical chess tournament. Ashwath defeated the seasoned Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa during the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland.
    • Faiz Fazal, a veteran of Vidarbha cricket, has retired from professional cricket. He played his only ODI for India in 2016 and scored a half-century. His career spanned 21 years, during which he played 137 first-class, 113 List A, and 66 T20 matches. He announced his retirement at the end of Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy match against Haryana.
  • Awards & Honours:
    • Alex Dawson from Sweden has indeed been awarded the prestigious title of Underwater Photographer of the Year 2024. His winning photograph, titled ‘Whale Bones’, showcases a breath-hold diver exploring a minke whale skeleton beneath the Greenland ice sheet.
  • Appointments:
    • Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi assumed the appointment of the Vice Chief of the Army Staff on 19 February 2024. Prior to this, he was the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command from 2022-2024. He has had a distinguished career spanning 39 years, with command appointments in challenging operational environments across the country.
    • Ilham Aliyev has been re-elected as the President of Azerbaijan for a fifth term. He won with a significant majority of 92% of the vote. The election was held amid a crackdown on independent media and a boycott by the main opposition parties. For the first time, polling stations were opened in Karabakh.
    • Ashish Vijayakar has been appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of SBM Bank India for a three-year term starting from February 17, 2024. He is a seasoned banker with around 30 years of experience, having held key positions in Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Obituaries:
    • Fali Sam Nariman, a distinguished constitutional lawyer and senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India, passed away on February 21, 2024. He was internationally recognized for his expertise in international arbitration and served as the President of the Bar Association of India from 1991 to 2010.
    • Ameen Sayani, renowned for his iconic voice behind ‘Binaca Geetmala’, passed away at the age of 91 due to a heart attack. He was known for his introduction ‘Namaste behno aur bhaiyon, main aapka dost Ameen Sayani bol raha hoon’ on Radio Ceylon.

Questions:

Q.1 Which country became the 119th member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA)?
a. India
b. France
c. Malta
d. Australia
Q.2 Who has been appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of SBM Bank India?
a. Ratan Tata
b. Ashish Vijayakar
c. Mukesh Ambani
d. Aditya Puri
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