Read : Current Affairs: 8th February, 2021

Posted on :- 2021-02-10 17:58:35
Source :- The Hindu Newspaper

 

Current affairs (8TH FEBRUARY)

 

 

 

FIRST INDIA-EU HOLDS HIGH LEVEL DIALOGUE

 

  • The first India-European Union High-Level Dialogue was co-chaired by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal from India side and the European Union Executive Vice-President & Trade Commissioner Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, from the EU side.

 

  • This Dialogue was organised in line with the commitment made at the 15th India-EU Leader’s Summit held in July 2020.

 

  • Ministers agreed for further deepening of bilateral trade and investment relationship through a series of regular engagements, aiming at quick deliverable for the businesses in these tough times.

 

  • They also agreed to meet within the next three months, to reach consensus on a host of bilateral trade & investment cooperation issues like bilateral Regulatory Dialogue; an India-EU Multilateral Dialogue to explore further possibilities of cooperation.

 

  • European Union (EU) Headquarters location: Brussels, Belgium.
  • European Parliament President: David-Maria Sassoli.

 

COMMENCEMENT OF MILITARY EXERCISE 'YUDH ABHYAS'

  • The India-US joint military exercise “Yudh Abhyas 20” commenced in Mahajan Field Firing Range of Bikaner district in Rajasthan.

 

  • This is the 16th edition of an annual bilateral joint exercise of both the armies. It will continue till the 21st of this month.

 

  • The previous version of the joint exercise was held at Seattle in the United States. This exercise is another step in the growing military cooperation between the two countries, which shows the growth in Indo-US relations.

 

  • It is also a sign that both India and the US understand the threat of terrorism and are standing shoulder to shoulder in combating the same.

 

  • About 250 US and 250 Indian army soldiers are participating in the exercise. Both the armies will share their war-related techniques, skills and experience with each other during this exercise.

 

  • The exercise is one of the largest military training and defence cooperation efforts between India and the United States.

 

PM MODI LAUNCHES ASOM MALA IN ASSAM

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the ‘Asom Mala’ programme in Dhekiajuli of Sonitpur district, Assam. As per the PMO, this initiative will boost the state’s road infrastructure and contribute to Assam’s economic progress and improve connectivity.

 

  • The programme is unique for its emphasis on effective maintenance through continuous field data collection and its linkage with the Road Asset Management System.

 

  • PM Modi also laid the foundation stones of medical colleges and hospitals in Biswanath and Charaideo with an aim to boost Assam’s health infrastructure.

 

  • The two medical colleges and hospitals are being set up at Biswanath and Charaideo at a total estimated project cost of over Rs 1,100 crores. Each hospital will have a 500-bed capacity and 100 MBBS seat capacity.

 

REFORMS IN EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

  • As per the recent data by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), four more states have completed the reforms in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’, as stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

 

  • The four states are- Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. These states have become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources to the tune of Rs 5,034 crore through open market borrowings.

 

  • Now the total number of state that has undertaken the reforms to promote Ease of Doing Business till now has gone up to 12.

 

  • The other states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

 

  • Altogether, these twelve states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 28,183 crore.

 

  • In May 2020, the central government had announced to link grant of additional borrowing permissions to states who undertake the reforms in four citizen-centric sectors to facilitate ease of doing business.

 

  • The four citizen-centric areas for reforms identified were -implementation of one nation one ration card system, ease of doing business reform, urban local body/ utility reforms and power sector reforms.

 

BIKRAM SINGH BEDI APPOINTED AS MD OF GOOGLE CLOUD

 

  • Google Cloud has appointed Bikram Singh Bedi as the new Managing Director for its India Business. He will succeed Karan Bajwa, who has been elevated as Vice president for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region cloud operations at Google Cloud.

 

  • At Google, Bikram Bedi will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s sales and operations teams in this dynamic market.

 

  • Google Cloud is also on track to launch its Delhi cloud region in India this year – its second after Mumbai that was launched in 2017.

 

  • Bedi, a senior leader with more than 26 years of leadership experience, will be responsible for leading Google Cloud’s sales and operations teams in this dynamic market.

 

  • He joined Google Cloud from Indian online grocery delivery startup, Grofers where he served as President Strategy and New Initiatives.

 

  • Prior to that, he set up the AWS business in India and was the head of India and South Asia for six years. He also held various leadership positions at IBM and Oracle.

 

 

 

GLACIAL BURST TAKES PLACE IN UTTARAKHAND

  • The glacier burst took place at the Rishiganga power project after a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off in Tapovan area of Joshimath in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on 7th February morning and damaged the Rishiganga dam on Alaknanda river.

 

  • National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) Tapovan Vishnugad project on Dhauliganga river and Rishi Ganga Power Corporation Ltd’s project, with a planned capacity of 520 MW and 13.2 MW, respectively, have been nearly washed away.

 

  • Many villages were evacuated as floods swept away five bridges, damaged homes and the nearby NTPC power plant, and washed away a small hydropower project near Rishiganga.

 

  • National and state disaster response teams have been deployed, as have teams from the ITBP. The Army has sent six columns and the Navy seven diving teams.

 

SPACE X TO LAUNCH SPHEREX MISSION

  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected spaceflight company, SpaceX to launch its SPHEREx Mission.

 

  • Through this mission, NASA aims to perform an all-sky survey to measure the near-infrared spectra of approximately 450 million galaxies across the universe and 100 million stars inside our Milky Way galaxy.

 

  • The SPHEREx or the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) spacecraft.

 

  • The small astrophysics spacecraft, SPHEREx, weighs 329-lb. (178 kilograms). It will be launched to space aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, in June 2024, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

 

  • Acting Administrator of NASA: Steve Jurczyk.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.
  • NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.

 

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