Current affairs (10TH FEBRUARY)
INDIA & AFGHANISTAN AGREEMENT ON SHATOOT DAM
- India and Afghanistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU over video-teleconferencing (VTC), for the construction of the Shahtoot Dam (Lalander Dam) on a tributary of the Kabul river in Afghanistan.
- The project, which costs nearly $ 300 million, is a part of the New Development Partnership between India and Afghanistan.
- The MoU was signed between External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar and Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mr Hanif Atmar, in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Afghanistan President Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
- The Lalander [Shatoot] Dam would meet the safe drinking water needs of Kabul City, provide irrigation water to nearby areas, rehabilitate the existing irrigation and drainage network, aid in flood protection and management efforts in the area, and also provide electricity to the region.
- This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan, after the India- Afghanistan Friendship Dam [Salma Dam], which was inaugurated in June 2016.
MUKHYAMANTRI VIGYAN PRATIBHA PARIKSHA SCHEME
- The Delhi cabinet has approved “Mukhyamantri Vigyan Pratibha Pariksha” in which Rs 5,000 will be provided to 1,000 meritorious students of Class 9 in schools of Delhi as a science scholarship.
- The scholarship will provide a boost to science education in secondary classes at the school level.
- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed this as a crucial step for our government to promote excellent and talented students.
- Delhi government seeks to promote the pursuit of excellence and scientific temper among the children.
- According to the release, the students studying in Delhi schools who have secured more than 60 per cent in Class 8 are eligible for the examination. Students belonging to SC, ST, PH, or OBC category will be given a relaxation of up to 5 per cent of marks.
INDIA'S FIRST THUNDERSTORM RESEARCH TESTBED
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced to set up the first ‘Thunderstorm Research Testbed’ of the country at Odisha’s Balasore district.
- The main objective of the “Thunderstorm Research Testbed” is to minimalise human fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes.
- The facility will be established in a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences, IMD, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Besides this, the IMD has also planned to set up a first-of-its-kind monsoon testbed near Bhopal. Currently, both the projects are in the planning stage and detailed project reports are being made.
- India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director-General: Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.
- India Meteorological Department Founded: 1875.
- India Meteorological Department Headquarters: Mausam Bhavan, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
WORLD PULSES DAY OBSERVED ON 10TH FEBRUARY
- The United Nations designated World Pulses Day is observed every year on 10 February. The day has been established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of pulses (dry beans, lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, lupins) as a global food.
- The theme, “Nutritious Seeds for a Sustainable Future,” was decided back in 2016 when the year was nominated to be celebrated as International Year of Pulses.
- Since then, the theme has remained the same from 2019 to 2021. In 2018, the UN General Assembly decided to mark 10 February as World Pulses Day. The first WPD was held on February 10, 2019.
- On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231) proclaiming 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP).
14TH INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL
- The 14th International Children’s Film Festival of Bangladesh (ICFFB) came to an end in Dhaka. A total of 12 awards were presented to the winners at the concluding ceremony.
- 179 films from 37 countries were shown at various venues during the 7-day long festival organised by the Children’s Film Society (CFS) of Bangladesh.
- Apart from Bangladesh, films from India, Armenia, US, UK, Ireland, Japan and China among others were shown in the course of the festival.
- Dutch Film Jackie and Oopjen were awarded the Best International Feature Film Award. Bangladeshi film Maati got The Young Talent Award while Lottery won the Special mention under the Young Talent Award.
WOMEN INDUCTED INTO SPECIALIZED COBRA UNIT
- A maiden contingent of 34 CRPF women personnel has been inducted into its specialized jungle warfare commando force CoBRA.
- The contingent will soon be deployed in the anti-Naxal operations grid of the country. This women’s contingent will undergo pre-induction training for 3 months and then deployed with the units in Naxal violence-affected districts of Chhattisgarh like Dantewada, Sukma, and Bijapur.
- The members of the 34 CRPF women personnel contingent have been chosen from the 6 all-women battalions of CRPF.
- The first battalion of CRPF numbered 88, was raised this day in 1986 at a CRPF base in Delhi. An all-women brass band of CRPF was also commissioned during the ceremony that was held to mark the 35th Raising Day anniversary of the first women’s battalion of CRPF.
- The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) was raised under the CRPF in the year 2009 for undertaking intelligence-based jungle warfare operations.
- Till now, the force was an all-male unit and it is for the first time that a contingent of women personnel has been inducted into it.
- The commandos of the CoBRA teams are expected to be mentally and physically tough and most of the teams are deployed in Maoist violence-affected states of the country.
- Some of the CoBRA teams are also deployed in the northeastern states for undertaking counter-insurgency operations.
- A ceremony was held to mark the induction of women contingent in Kadarpur village wherein the chosen women personnel performed combat drills.
'SAANS CAMPAIGN' LAUNCHED TO REDUCE INFANT MORTALITY
- The health department in Madhya Pradesh has launched the Social Awareness and Action to Neutralise Pneumonia Successfully (‘SAANS’) campaign.
- The main purpose of the campaign is to reduce the death rate due to pneumonia among infants a strategy is being chalked out under the Social awareness campaign in which medical staff is being trained.
- Training will be imparted at the community and primary health centres. Around 4,000 Health and Wellness Centres have been set up in Madhya Pradesh for this purpose.
- The State government has also developed training modules in partnership with PGIMER, Chandigarh, and UNICEF, which will be used to enhance the skills of health workers, including doctors and paramedical staff.
FORMER VICE- PRESIDENT RELEASES HIS BOOK
- A book titled ‘By Many a Happy Accident: Recollections of a Life’ has been authored by M Hamid Ansari. Mohammad Hamid Ansari was the vice president of India and chairman of the Rajya Sabha for two consecutive terms from 2007 to 2017.
- A former diplomat, he served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, as high commissioner to Australia and as permanent representative to the United Nations in New York.
- The book is an account of a life of unplanned happenings that took M. Hamid Ansari away from his preferred fancy for academia to professional diplomacy and then be co-opted in public life and catapulted to the second-highest office in the land for two consecutive terms.
- None of his predecessors, except Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, had experienced this honour.
- Besides chairing the Rajya Sabha and shedding interesting light on some of its functional aspects, Ansari used the vice presidency as a formidable pulpit to express himself candidly on a range of issues at different times in India’s changing political landscape.
- Their overarching theme was the need for modern India to re-commit itself to the constitutional principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, to the values of a composite culture, and for correctives in polity relating to identity, security and empowerment of the weaker segments of our society.