Current affairs (21ST FEBRUARY)
INDIA & MALDIVES SIGNED PACTS TO BOOST INFRASTRUCTURE
- External Affairs Minister (EAM), S. Jaishankar was on a two-day official visit to the archipelago nation the Maldives to review bilateral ties and development cooperation.
- During this visit, Mr S Jaishankar handed over 1 lakh additional doses of the made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine to the Maldives.
- With this, the total Covid vaccine doses gifted by India for the Maldives reaches two lakh. Jaishankar also offered a $40-million line of credit (LoC) to support the development of sports infrastructure in the Maldives.
- Apart from this, five pacts were signed between India and Maldives to boost infrastructure in the island nation. They included:
- Amendatory Agreement to repurpose an older EXIM Bank of India Line of Credit of USD 25 million for Road Devt.
- Letter of Intent between EXIM Bank and local authorities for financing a housing project of 2000 units in Hulhumale.
- MoU on grant funding USD 0.5 million for a fish processing plant in Kendhikulhudhoo in the northern Maldives.
- MoU on capacity building and exchange of content and expertise between Prasar Bharati and Public State Media, Maldives.
- MoU on sustainable urban development between MoHUA and Ministry of national planning, housing and infrastructure, Maldives.
FIRST SKILL UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN INDIA
- The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal has laid the foundation of the first skill university of eastern India in Darrang district in Assam.
- The state-of-the-art skill university would be built with a financial outlay of Rs 1,000 crore. It will impart training to over 10,000 students in 12 disciplines.
- The university is expected to be completed by 2026. It will have “understandings” with countries like Germany, Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, Japan, England.
- Assam CM: Sarbananda Sonowal.
- Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.
INAUGURATION OF ATAL PARYAVARAN BHAVAN
- The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, inaugurated the Atal Paryavaran Bhavan at Lakshadweep. Prakash Javadekar is on a four-day official visit to Lakshadweep from February 19 to 22, 2021.
- During the visit, the minister attended high-level meetings with the Secretaries of various departments in the Lakshadweep administration, participated in various official programmes at Suheli, Kadmat and Bangaram islands.
- The minister will also evaluate the major innovative initiatives of the Union Territory’s Forest and Environment Department, so that Lakshadweep undergoes comprehensive development, without compromising its commitment to nature.
- Lakshadweep Capital:
- Lakshadweep Administrator: Praful Patel.
IOCL SIGNED PACT WITH GREENSTAT NORWAY
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has signed a Statement of Intent with Greenstat Hydrogen India Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary of Greenstat Norway, to set up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen.
- Under this association, a Center of Excellence on Hydrogen (CoE-H) including CCUS and Fuel Cells, would be developed for clean energy by IndianOil and M/s Greenstat in cooperation with Indo-Norwegian Hydrogen Cluster companies/organizations.
- Facilitate transfer and sharing of technology, know-how and experience through the green Hydrogen value chain and other relevant technologies including hydrogen storage and fuel cells.
- CoE-H will be a vehicle for promoting R&D projects in Green and Blue Hydrogen between Norwegian and Indian R&D institutions/universities.
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited Headquarters: New Delhi, India.
- Indian Oil Corporation Limited Chairman: Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.
US OFFICIALLY REJOINS PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT
- The United States has officially rejoined the Paris Agreement, under the Presidency of US President Joe Biden.
- Earlier, in November 2020, the US had officially exited the agreement on the order of then-President Donald Trump.
- The landmark Paris climate agreement was signed in 2015, as per which countries are expected to enhance their commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions every five years.
- The goals of the global pact are to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
DJOKOVIC & OSAKA WINS AUSTRALIAN OPEN
- In tennis, Japan’s Naomi Osaka won her fourth Grand Slam title on February 20, 2021, after she beat American Jennifer Brady in the women’s singles game of the Australian Open final 2021.
- The four Grand Slam title for Osaka comes two Australian Open titles (2021 and 2019) and two US Open title (2018 and 2020).
- In Men’s singles final, Novak Djokovic claimed his ninth Australian Open crown and the 18th Major Grand Slam overall, as he defeated Daniil Medvedev.
- Men’s Singles: Novak Djokovic (Serbia) defeated Daniil Medvedev (Russia)
- Women’s Singles: Naomi Osaka (Japan) defeated Jennifer Brady (US)
- Men’s Doubles: Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Filip Polášek (Slovakia )defeated Rajeev Ram (US) and Joe Salisbury (UK)
- Women’s Doubles: Elise Mertens (Belgium) and Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) defeated Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) and Kateřina Siniaková(Czech Republic )
- Mixed Doubles: Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) and Rajeev Ram of the US defeated the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Matthew Ebden.
WORLD THINKING DAY: 22ND FEBRUARY
- World Thinking Day, originally known as Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups worldwide.
- The day is observed to think about fellow brothers and sisters around the world, address their concerns and understand the true meaning of guiding.
- The theme for World Thinking Day 2021 is peacebuilding. Peacebuilding is at the heart of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and is as vital and relevant today as for the last 100 years.
- By completing the steps in the Stand Together For Peace activity pack, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts will; Stand Strong, Stand up and Stand Together for peace building.