Current affairs (12TH FEBRUARY)
CHINA'S TIANWEN-1 ENTERS MARS ORBIT
- On February 10, 2021, a Chinese spacecraft named "Tianwen 1" successfully entered Mars orbit. The probe entered MARS orbit after 6 and a half months from Earth.
- This is China's first independent mission on the Red Planet. After arriving near the track, the robot probe started and completed the 15-minute combustion of the thruster.
- The combustion of the propeller slows the speed of the spacecraft, so it can be captured by the gravity of Mars.
- The Astro One mission will attempt to send the landing module, which is rapidly descending for 7 minutes to carry a 240 kg rover. The rover will be sent to the northern hemisphere of Mars, called Utopia.
- After the successful landing of the rover, the solar-powered rover will explore the surface of Mars for 90 days. Wanderers will study the soil and study whether there are signs of ancient life there. It can also track groundwater and ice using ground-penetrating radar.
- Tianwen-1 is an interplanetary mission of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). According to the mission, the Chinese Space Administration sent a robotic spacecraft to Mars.
- The spacecraft was successfully launched at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on July 23, 2020. It was launched from the heavy launch vehicle of the Long March on May 5.
- The spacecraft was named Tianwen-1, which means a Chinese poem written two thousand years ago. This is China's first independent MARS mission after the failure of the probe jointly launched by China and Russia in 2011.
INDIA'S FIRST CNG TRACTOR TO BE LAUNCHED
- India will launch its first diesel tractor on February 12, 2021, which has been converted to compressed natural gas (CNG).
- The CNG tractor will be officially launched by Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Road Union. The conversion of diesel tractors to CNG tractors was jointly completed by Rawmatt Techno Solutions and Tomasetto Achille India.
- Converting diesel to compressed natural gas will help farmers increase their income. This will reduce costs and help create jobs for people in rural India.
- CNG tractors will also help farmers save more than 100,000 rupees in fuel costs each year. In turn, this will help farmers improve their livelihoods.
- CNG is a clean fuel. Among all fuels, compressed natural gas has the lowest carbon content. This is economical because the lead content is zero.
- It is essentially non-corrosive, non-dilutable and non-polluting. These features help extend the life of the engine. In addition, the fuel requires less regular maintenance.
NDB COMMITTED 100MN USD INTO NIFF FUNDS OF FUND
- The New Development Bank (NDB) has committed to invest USD 100 million (Rs 727.6 crore), into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIF) Fund of Funds (FoF).
- With NDB’s investment, the total commitments secured by the FoF have reached $800 million (about Rs 5,820 crore). This investment marks NDB’s first equity investment into India and its first-ever investment into a Fund of Funds.
- Currently, the Government of India (GoI), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) are the investor in the FoF. Now NDB has joined the group.
- The FoF was established in 2018 with the objective of providing homegrown Indian private equity fund managers access to an India-focused institutional investor that operates at scale.
- The Investments will hugely benefit the Indian economy which is facing difficulties due to pandemic. It will also support India’s efforts to boost investment in infrastructure.
- NDB’s support will further address issues like investment gaps, availability of institutional funding for domestic private equity funds.
- NIIFL Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Sujoy Bose.
- NIIFL Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- New Development Bank Chairperson of the Board of Governors: Anton Siluanov (Russia).
- New Development Bank Headquarters: Shanghai, China.
RBI LAUNCHES FINANCIAL LITERACY WEEK (FLW)
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched the Financial Literacy Week (FLW) from February 8-12, 2021, to propagate financial education.
- RBI conducts Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year since 2016 to propagate financial education messages on a particular theme every year across the country, through a focused campaign.
- The theme for 2021 FLW is”Credit Discipline and Credit from Formal Institutions”.
- Banks have been advised to disseminate the information and create awareness among its customers and the general public.
- Further, RBI will undertake a centralized mass media campaign during the month of February 2021 to broadcast essential financial awareness messages to the general public.
JUAL ORAM'S BOOK ECONOMIC AWARENESS IN INDIA
- Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Defence and MP Jual Oram has launched ‘Turn Around India: 2020- Surmounting Past Legacy’, a book on creating economic awareness among masses. The book is authored by RP Gupta.
- ‘Turn Around India: 2020’ is an intimate narrative of Gupta’s experiences and how he attained success through sheer hard work and determination.
- The book provides a practical and viable option for reviving Indian economy for creating new jobs and enlarging public income and also, the structural reforms such as fiscal and monetary stimuli for overcoming economic crisis arising due to pandemic.
- The book talks about the economic history of India enabling to identify the strengths and weakness and take corrective actions.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR 'THE INDIA TOY FAIR' 2021
- The Government of India will organise the first-ever ‘The India Toy Fair, 2021′ from February 27, 2021, to March 02, 2021, on a virtual platform.
- The official website for India Toy Fair-2021 is theindiatoyfair.in. This initiative is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of making India a global hub for the Toy Industry.
- The website and online registration were inaugurated on February 11, 2021, jointly by the Union Education Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani and Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal.
- The exhibition is jointly organized by the Ministry of Textiles, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. This is a virtual activity designed to provide children with happy learning opportunities.
- The fair will involve children in teaching, learning and promoting the indigenous toy industry. The Gandhinagar Centre for Creative Learning(CCL) of the Indian Institute of Technology has developed more than 200 toys for fair display.
- The expo will also include 75 exhibition booths from the State Council Education Research and Training Committee (SCERT), Ministry of Education, National Education Research and Training Committee (NCERT) and Ministry of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL).
CLIMATE CHANGE STUDY ON INDIAN AGRICULTURE-NICRA
- Under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), the Impact of Climate Change on Indian agriculture was studied.
- The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched a network project NICRA in 2011 to address the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture.
- The project aims to enhance the resistance of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration.
- Research on adaptation and mitigation involves crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management.
- The project consists of four parts. Strategic research, technology demonstration, capacity building and sponsorship/competitive grants.
- NICRA was launched at a cost of Rs. 350 crores, with the following objectives: Through the development and application of improved production and risk management technologies, to enhance the resistance of Indian agriculture including crops, livestock and fisheries to climatic variability and climate change.
- Demonstrate site-specific technology packages on farmers’ fields to adapt to current climate risks. Strengthen the capacity building of scientists and other stakeholders in climate-resilient agricultural research and its applications.
INTERNATIONAL EPILEPSY DAY OBSERVED ON 8TH FEB
- The International Epilepsy Day is observed on the second Monday of February every year across the world. In 2021, the International Epilepsy Day was observed on February 08.
- The day is organised jointly by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) to raise awareness about epilepsy and highlight the kinds of problems faced by victims, their friends and family.
- Epilepsy is a neurological disorder which makes a person go through sudden and recurrent episodes of sensory disturbances.