Current affairs (18TH FEBRUARY)
LAUNCH OF PILOT PEY JAL SURVEKSHAN
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has launched the Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan under Jal Jeevan Mission- Urban.
- The Pilot Pey Jal Survekshan has been launched in 10 cities, which are Agra, Badlapur, Bhubaneswar, Churu, Kochi, Madurai, Patiala, Rohtak, Surat and Tumkur.
- The motive of the Jal Jeevan Mission Urban is to provide universal coverage of water supply to all households through functional taps in all 4,378 statutory towns in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal – 6.
- Objective: To ascertain the equitable distribution of water, reuse of wastewater and mapping of water bodies with respect to quantity and quality of water through a challenging process.
- Outlay: The Government has proposed a total outlay of Rs 2.87 lakh crore for JJM (U) in fiscal 2021-22, which includes Rs. 10,000 crore for continuing financial support to AMRUT Mission.
INDIA JOINS IRAN AND RUSSIA IN MARITIME SECURITY
- India joined Iran and Russia in the naval exercise dubbed as “Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021”, which kicked-off in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
- The Chinese navy will also join the exercise. The purpose of the drill is to enhance the security of international maritime trade, confront maritime piracy and terrorism, and exchange information.
- The drill will cover an area of 17,000 square kilometres (6,500 square miles). It will include shooting at sea and air targets and liberating hijacked ships, as well as search and rescue and anti-piracy operations.
- The exercise ‘Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt’ is so flexible that any country could join if they wish to do so.
DHARMENDRA PRADHAN PARTICIPATES IN 11TH IEA
- The 11th IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposium on Energy Outlooks was held virtually on February 17, 2021, under the patronage of the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.
- From India, the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan, participated in the symposium.
- The trilateral symposium discussed the long-term outlooks of key producer and consumer countries, apart from the comparative analysis of short, medium, and long-term energy outlooks that OPEC and the IEA published in 2020.
NIC LAUNCHED INSTANT MESSAGING 'SANDES' APP
- The National Informatics Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has launched an instant messaging platform called “Sandes”.
- Similar to WhatsApp, the new government instant messaging systems (GIMS) platform can be used for all kinds of communications by anyone using a mobile number or email id.
- The need to build a home-grown messaging platform was felt by the government to ensure secure communication between people as they worked from home, following the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19.
- The Sandes app is also a part of the government strategy to encourage the use of India-made software so as to build an ecosystem of indigenously developed products.
- National Informatics Centre Founded:
- National Informatics Centre Director-General: Neeta Verma.
- National Informatics Centre Headquarters: New Delhi.
KIRAN BEDI REMOVED AS LT. GOVERNOR OF PUDUCHERRY
- Kiran Bedi, the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, has been removed from the top position.
- Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Governor of Telangana, has been given additional charge as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry till a permanent replacement will be announced.
- The development comes in the backdrop of a major shake-up in the Puducherry Assembly after several Congress legislators resigned ahead of the Assembly elections due this year.
SKOCH CHIEF MINISTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
- The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has been conferred the Skoch Chief Minister of the Year Award.
- The Award has been presented to the CM by Chairman, Skoch Group, Sameer Kochhar personally at Tadepalli in Andhra Pradesh.
- The award selection was based on a study of project-level outcomes in various States.
- Similarly, initiatives have been taken across the government to respond to COVID-19 and have shown desirable outcomes. All the above and more is evident in a year-long study of 123 projects from across sectors in Andhra Pradesh.
- The State has taken several revolutionary measures in the past two years to make governance more efficient and transparent. Innovative measures have been taken across sectors, the credit for which goes to the Chief Minister.
HCL TECH. INKS PACT WITH IIT KANPUR
- HCL Technologies has inked an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) to collaborate in the area of cybersecurity.
- As part of the pact, the IT company will work with C3iHub, a specialised cybersecurity research centre at IITK.
- This collaboration will bring together the country’s brightest minds, advanced research capabilities and global resources to develop advanced solutions in the area of cybersecurity.
- HCL and IITK will bring in real-world industry exposure to carry out joint initiatives and research.
- The teams will develop a security framework and solutions for cybersecurity challenges in current and future operational technologies as one of the first areas of interest.
- They will also work together to discover and manage cyber threats, vulnerabilities, and risks for critical infrastructure.
3RD EDITION OF INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE DICTIONARY
- The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot released the “3rd edition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary, in a virtual event.
- The 3rd edition of the ISL dictionary contains a total of 10,000 terms. These include the 6000 terms of the first and second edition of the dictionary.
- The terms are of everyday use from academic terms, legal & administrative terms, medical terms, technical terms and agricultural terms.
- The Dictionary has been developed by the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC), an autonomous Institute under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Divyangjan), Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
- The 1st edition of the ISL Dictionary was launched on 23 March 2018 with 3000 terms. The 2nd edition was launched on 27th February 2019, with 6000 terms (including earlier 3000 terms).