• Current Affair ,24th February 2020

    • February 24, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    NATIONAL NEWS

    1. 9th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0

    • My dear countrymen, I am fortunate to have got an opportunity once again to greet citizens from Kutch to Kohima, Kashmir to Kanyakumari; in fact across the length & breadth of the country. Namaskar to all of you. Reflecting on the expanse & diversity of our land, revering them fills each & every Indian with a sense of pride. And an opportunity to experience this varied diversity is one that touches the heart, filling it up with joy; it is a flower that radiates inspiration.
    • A few days ago, at a small place at the Hunar Haat in Delhi, I witnessed hues of our country’s diverse expanse, cultures, traditions, cuisines & the warmth of emotions. As a matter of fact the repertoire comprising traditional attires, handicrafts, carpets, utensils, Bamboo & brass products, Phulkari of Punjab, exotic leatherwork of Andhra Pradesh, beautiful paintings from Tamilnadu, brass products of Uttar Pradesh, Bhadohi carpets, copper work of Kutch, a number of musical instruments & innumerable stories; the vivid mosaic of pan- Indian art & culture was truly unique. The stories of the artisans’ perseverance, zeal & love for their skill are equally inspiring as well. Listening to a divyang woman at the Hunar Haat was a source of fulfillment. She told me that earlier she used to sell paintings on the pavement. Her life changed after she connected with Hunar Haat. Today, she is not only self- reliant; she has purchased a house too. At Hunar Haat, I got the opportunity to converse with many other artisans. I am told that over 50 per cent of the crafts persons participating at Hunar Haat are women.
    • Also, during the last three years, through Hunar Haat, close to three lakh artisans & crafts persons have gained many opportunities of employment. Hunar Haat, of course, is a platform showcasing art & craft; it is also lending wings to people’s dreams. It is a venue where it is impossible to overlook the country’s diversity. Besides handicrafts, it displays the diversity of India’s varied cuisine too. In a single row, one could savour the sight of Idli- Dosa, Chhole- Bhature, Daal- Baati, Khaman- Khandvi & what not! I thoroughly enjoyed having the delicious Litti- Chokha of Bihar. All over India, fairs & exhibitions such as this are organized from time to time. Whenever the opportunity arises, one should attend such events to know India, to experience India. Thus, not only would you be able to be a part of the country’s art-culture canvas; you will also contribute in the progress & prosperity of hardworking crafts persons, especially women. Do make it a point to visit.
    • My dear countrymen, our country is bestowed with great traditions. The legacy that we inherited from our ancestors, the knowledge & values that have permeated entail compassion toward each & every living being and boundless love for nature. All this is a part of our cultural heritage. And to partake of this culture of hospitality in the Indian ethos, every year, numerous species of birds from across the world come to India. Throughout the year, India is home to many migratory species. We are told that more than 500 varieties of birds fly in from varied regions. Recently, Gandhinagar was host to the COP- 13 convention, where this phenomenon was mulled over, discussed and deliberated. India’s efforts concerning the subject were lauded too. Friends, it is a matter of pride for us that for the next three years, India will chair the COP convention on migratory species. Do send in your suggestions on lending more substance to this opportunity, making it more useful.
    • While discussing the COP convention with you, an important piece of information connected with Meghalaya drew my attention. Very recently, biologists have discovered a new species of fish whose habitat is within the caves of Meghalaya. It is believed that this fish is the largest among aquatic species found under the surface of caves. It lives in deep, dark underground caves, with little chance of light reaching in. Scientists are perplexed at the ability of this large fish to survive in such deep caves. It is a matter of joy that our India, and especially Meghalaya is home to a rare species. It lends a new facet to India’s bio-diversity. We are surrounded by many such mysteries, which are still undiscovered. To discover such a phenomenal enigma calls for fierce detective passion.
    • The great Tamil poetess Avvaiyar writes: Kattat Kemaavoon Kalladaru Udgadvu, Kaddat Kamiyan Adva Kalladar Olaaadu.
    • This means, what we know is but just a handful of sand; what we do not know is like a universe in itself. Similar is the case with the biodiversity of this country. The more you know, the more you realize the magnitude of what you do not know. Our biodiversity too is a unique treasure for the entire human kind. We have to preserve it, conserve it & explore further.
    • My dear young friends, children & the youth in India are increasingly taking a keen interest in Science & Technology. Record satellite launches into space, new records, new missions fills up every Indian heart with a sense of pride. When I was in Bengaluru during Chandrayan-2, I witnessed immense enthusiasm & fervor on the part of the children present there. There was no sign of drowsiness from any angle. In a way, they kept awake throughout the night. One can never forget their inquisitiveness when it came to Science, Technology and Innovation. To give a fillip to this very enthusiasm in children & young people; to encourage scientific temper in them, another system has been put in place. You can now sit & watch rocket launching at Sriharikota, taking place in front of your own eyes. Recently, the facility has been made open for all. A visitors’ gallery has been erected, large enough to seat 10 thousand people. Online booking is also possible through a link provided on ISRO’s website. I am told that many schools are arranging tour for their students to show them rocket launching and motivate them. I urge the Principals & teachers of all schools that they should avail of this benefit in times to come.
    • Friends, I would like to convey to you another exciting piece of information. I’d read the comment of Paras from Dhanbad, Jharkhand on Namo App. Paras wants me to tell our young friends about ISRO’s ‘Yuvika’ programme. ‘Yuvika’ is a very commendable effort on part of ISRO to integrate the youth with science. This program was launched for school students in the year 2019. ‘Yuvika’ is an acronym for ‘ Yuva Vigyani Karyakram and this program is in consonance with our vision, “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, Jai Anusandhaan’. In this programme, students, after their exams, during their holidays, visit different centres of ISRO and learn about Space Technology, Space Science and Space Applications. If you want to know how training is imparted, what its nuances are, how exciting it is, then you must read the experience of those who have attended its earlier sessions. If you wish to be a participant of this training, you can register by visiting the website of ‘Yuvika’ linked to that of ISRO. My young friends, I’m telling you the name of the website which you can write down, and must visit today itself. It is – www.yuvika.isro.gov.in. Have you written it down?

    • My dear countrymen, the beautiful valleys of Ladakh witnessed a momentous event on the 31st of January 2020, for History was made when an Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft took off from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport. A mixture of 10% Indian Bio-jet fuel was used in this flight and this was the first time that this mix was used in both engines. Not just that, but the airport from which this plane took off from Leh is not only one of the highest altitude airports in India but also in the world! Notably, the bio-jet fuel is prepared from non-edible tree borne oil. It is procured from various tribal areas of India. These efforts will not only reduce carbon emissions but may also reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports. I congratulate all the people involved in this significant mission, especially the scientists of CSIR and Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, who made it possible to develop the technology to fly an aircraft with bio-fuel. Their efforts also empower the ‘Make in India’ mission.

    • My dear countrymen, our new India is not willing to tag along with the old approach. In particular, our sisters and mothers of New India are going ahead and grasping the challenges hands on thus setting a pace for a positive transformation in the entire society. The region of Purnia in Bihar is an inspiration for people across the country. This area has been grappling with the havoc caused by floods for decades together. In this backdrop, it has been very difficult to do farming and mobilize other sources of income. But under these very circumstances, some women of Purnia chose a different path. Friends, earlier the women of Purnia used to cultivate cocoons from silkworms obtained from Mulberry trees, and received very nominal price for their produce, while merchants who bought this raw silk made huge profits by spinning it into silk yarn. But today, the women of Purnia have taken a new initiative that has changed the entire scenario. These women formed mulberry-production co-operatives with assistance from the Government. After that, they spun silk yarn from the cocoons, and also started getting saris made with those threads. You will be surprised to know that the very cocoons were sold for a nominal amount earlier; saris made from them are fetching thousands of rupees now. The Didis of the ‘Adarsh Jeevika Mahila Mulberry Production Group’ have performed miracles that are being witnessed across many villages. The Farmer Didis of many villages of Purnia are not only getting saris produced, but are also selling them in big fairs by putting up their own stalls – an example of how today’s women fortified with new power, new thinking are achieving new targets.

    • My dear countrymen, the entrepreneurship of women and daughters of our country, their courage, are a matter of pride for each one of us. We find many such examples around us which illustrate the manner in which our daughters are breaking age old shackles and attaining new heights. I would particularly like to share with you, the achievement of twelve-year-old daughter Kamya Karthikeyan. Kamya, at the age of just twelve years, has conquered Mount Aconcagua. This is the highest peak of the Andes Mountains in South America, which is about 7000 meters high. Every Indian will be touched by the fact that at the beginning of this month, when Kamya conquered the peak, the first thing she did was to hoist our tricolour there. I have also been told that Kamya, who has made the country proud, is now on a new mission, which is called ‘Mission Saahas’. Under this she is trying to conquer the highest peaks of all the continents. Also, under this mission she will also be skiing on North and South poles.

    • I wish Kamya all the best for ‘Mission Saahas’. By the way, Kamya’s achievement also motivates everyone of us to stay fit. Fitness has also contributed in great measure in Kamya’s achieving great heights at such a young age. A Nation that is fit, will always be a nation that is a hit. By the way the oncoming months are very opportune for adventure sports. The geography of India is such that it provides many opportunities for adventure sports in our country. On the one hand, we have high mountains, on the other, there is a desert spread far and wide. Similarly on the one hand we have a network of dense forests, on the other, there is an infinite expanse of the sea. Therefore, I make a special appeal to all of you to visit the place of your choice, pick up the activity of your interest and ensure integrating of your life with adventure. Shouldn’t there always be adventure in life? And on top of that friends, after knowing the success story of our twelve-year-old daughter Kamya, you will be astonished, once you hear the success story of 105-year-old Bhagirathi Amma.
    • Friends, if we wish to progress in life, develop ourselves, wish to achieve something in life, the first pre-condition for that is the student within us must never die. Our 105 year old Bhagirathi Amma, also gives us this inspiration. Now you would be wondering, who Bhagirathi Amma is! Bhagirathi Amma lives in Kollam in Kerala. She lost her mother when she was very young. Soon after her marriage at a young age, she lost her husband as well. But Bhagirathi Amma did not let go of her courage, did not lose her spirit. She had to quit school before she was 10-years-old. She restarted her school education at the age of 105! She started studying again!In spite of her advanced age, Bhagirathi Amma wrote her level 4 exam…and then eagerly awaited her results. She scored 75 percent in her exams. Not just that, she scored cent per cent marks in Mathematics. Amma now wants to continue her studies; wants to appear for higher exams. It’s obvious that people like Bhagirathi Amma are the strength of this country; a great source of inspiration for all of us. Today I specially salute Bhagirathi Amma.
    • Friends, our courage, our determination during adverse circumstances in life can help us completely alter the situation. Recently, I read one such story in the media, which I would surely like to share with you. This is the story of Salman who lives in Hamirpur village of Moradabad. Salman is divyang by birth. He is unable to stand on his feet. Despite this hardship, he hasn’t lost hope, and decided to start his own business. On top of that, he resolved to help other divyang people people too. And soon enough, Salman started manufacturing slippers and detergent in his village itself. And in no time, 30 divyang people joined him. Do also note, that while Salman himself found it difficult to walk, he decided to manufacture slippers, that help others walk easily. The important thing is that Salman trained his divyang colleagues himself. Now all of them jointly not only manufacture the products, but also market them. By dint of their hard work, they not only ensured employment for themselves, but also turned their venture into a profit-making one. Today, all of them together manufacture 150 pairs of slippers a day. Not just that, this year Salman has resolved to provide employment to 100 more such divyang mates. I salute their courage and their enterprise. A similar determination has been manifested by residents of Ajrak village in Kutch area of Gujarat. In 2001, after the devastating earthquake, most villagers were migrating from the village. However, one person by the name of Ismail Khatri, decided to stay back and nurture his traditional art form of ‘Ajrak print’. And in no time at all, everyone was enchanted by the natural colours used in the Ajrak art. And the entire village joined in on their traditional handicraft category. The villagers not only nurtured their ages-old art form, but also fused it with modern fashion. Now major designers and Design Institutions have started using the Ajrak Print. The hardworking village folk have today turned ‘Ajrak print’ into a major brand. Large international buyers are now getting attracted towards this print.
    • My dear countrymen, recently the festival of Maha Shivaratri was celebrated throughout the country. The blessings of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati has kept the ethos of this nation awakened. On the occasion of Mahashivaratri, may you continue to be blessed by Bhole baba…may Lord Shiva fulfill all your wishes…may you be energetic, healthy…and continue to do your duties unto the country.
    • Friends, along with Mahashivaratri, now the splendour of spring will keep blooming day by day. In the coming days, we will celebrate Holi and soon after that, Gudi Padva will be celebrated. The festival of Navaraatri is also associated with spring. Ram Navami will also be celebrated. Festivals and celebrations are an inseparable part of the social fabric of our country. Every festival has a hidden social message which binds not just the society, but the entire country into a spirit of unity. After Holi, from the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, the Indian Vikrami New year also begins. For that too, please accept my greetings in advance.
    • My dear countrymen, I think students will be busy with their examinations till the next Mann Ki Baat. Those who have completed their examinations, will be carefree. My heartiest wishes to those who are busy, and also to those who are carefree. We will meet again in the next edition of Mann Ki Baat with lots of new topics.
    • Many many thanks. Namaskaar.

    2. The Vice President calls for cultural renaissance

    • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for renewed effort towards a cultural renaissance by promoting our rich cultural and spiritual heritage.
    • Addressing a huge gathering at Isha Yoga Center, in Coimbatore on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri today the Vice President said that India is the only country which believes in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam- the whole world as a family’.
    • Shri Naidu highlighted that our ancient sages and rishis have guided and enlightened the people of this land through their knowledge and wisdom. He called upon the need to pass this treasure of wisdom to next generations.
    • Mentioning the twelve Jyothirlingas spread all over the India, the Vice President said that this exemplifies that India has always been a single cultural entity since ancient times.
    • Emphasising the relevance of Lord Shiva in modern times, the Vice President said that present day lifestyle and high pressure work routines are making our lives stressful leading to increased levels of frustration, irritation and impatience.
    • In such a competitive world, the Vice President said, the people are increasingly turning to Yoga as it not only improves health but brings inner peace. It helps to achieve self control through unity between body and mind, Shri Naidu said.
    • The Vice President said that Yoga is an art and science and should not be viewed from any political or religious prism.
    • Describing that Shiva as ‘Neelakantha’ who consumed Halahala – the poison to save the world, Shri Naidu appealed to the youth to fight against the poison of social evils such as corruption, casteism, illiteracy and poverty inflicting the modern day society.
    • Mentioning Lord Shiva’s love and closeness to nature, mountains and animals, the Vice President asked everyone to love and live with nature.
    • Describing the respect for nature as a specialty of Indian culture, he called for adopting sustainable development practices.
    • “We should benefit from nature without being exploitative”, he said.
    • Shri Naidu appreciated Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev ji for his noble initiatives such as ‘Rally for River’ and ‘Cauvery Calling’. the Vice President said that Sadhguru reminds us of our ancient sages and Rishis.
    • “He has the rare ability to explain complex concepts easily. He is a guru who reaches out to the people with the message of hope, of peace and positive thinking”, Shri Naidu said.
    • He called upon the people to develop positive attitude in life and shun violence and destructive tendencies. He appealed to the people to take an oath on the occasion of this Maha Shivratri to bring peace, harmony and prosperity in the world.
    • On this occasion, the Vice President also released the book titled ‘Death – An Inside Story’ written by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev ji and witnessed the light and sound show on Lord Shiva.
    • Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Chief Minister of Puduchery, Shri V. Narayanaswami, Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Shri Ashwani Chaube, Tamil Nadu Minister for Animal Husbandry, Shri Udumalai K. Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development, Shri S.P. Velumani, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev and devotees from across India and world were present on the occasion.

    3. Prime Minister to Declare Open the First ever Khelo India University Games

    • The first-ever Khelo India University Games will take off in Odisha with a mega launch event at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack.
    • Honourable Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi will declare open the multi-disciplinary sporting event through video conference.
    • The Khelo India University Games are being launched by the Government of India in association with the Government of the State of Odisha.
    • The Games will be held from 22 February to 1st March 2020 at Bhubaneswar.
    • This is the largest ever competition held at university level in India and will have about 3500 athletes from over 150 universities across the country taking part in it.
    • There will be a total of 17 sports namely archery, athletics, boxing, fencing, judo, swimming, weightlifting, wrestling, badminton, basketball, football, hockey, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, rugby and kabaddi. The attempt is to make the Khelo India University Games an aspirational competition for India’s youngsters with twin objectives of helping them find the balance between sport and education.
    • Khelo India Programme, a brain child of the Prime Minister was introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a great sporting nation.
    • Government of India successfully conducted the Khelo India School Games in 2018 and the National Youth Games in 2019 and 2020.

    4. GSI denies discovery of 3000-tonne gold deposits in UP’s Sonbhadra

    • Geological Survey of India has said there has been no discovery of gold deposits estimated to be around 3,000 tonnes in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district, as published by various media.
    • In a release, the GSI clarified that it has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposit in Sonbhadra district. It informed that GSI, Northern region has carried out several exploration works for gold but the results were not encouraging.
    • It added that this exploration was carried out in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 and in the report, GSI has estimated a probable category resource of 52806.25 tonnes of Ore with 3.03 grams per tonne for a strike length of 170 meters in Sonaphari area of Sonbhadra district.
    • It clarified that the total gold which can be extracted from the total resource of 52806.25 tonnes of ore is approximately 160 kg and not 3350 tonnes as mentioned in media.

    5. USD 5 trillion economy goal is achievable goal in coming five years

    • Minister of Commerce & Industry and Railways, Shri Goyal said that India has a rich pool of management talent. Millions of people have devoted their life serving the nation, serving corporations, serving businesses and serving the Government. He said USD 5 trillion economy is something that 1.3 billion people will be engaged in creating and it is an achievable goal in coming five years.
    • Shri Goyal was speaking at All India Management Association’s (AIMA) 64th Foundation day & 14th National Management Day at New Delhi today.Shri Piyush Goyal urged all to come together with collaboration and cooperation, for fulfilling the PM’s vision and mission for the $5 trillion economy in next five years, and truly making India a Superpower.
    • Shri Goyal further added that MSME is a sector which truly deserves recognition, because some of them are doing truly wonderful work. MSMEs are the largest creator of jobs, largest exporters & largest contributors to the ecosystemand Indiaas a nationcannot survive without them. “We should all ensure on becoming a nation builder and take our governance & good management practices to the remotest parts of the country”, Minister Shri Piyush Goyal added.
    • Shri Piyush Goyal congratulated the award winners for their contribution in the field of Innovation in MSME, Public Services and special achievements at managerial positions. Shri Goyal emphasised on the importance of Innovation in the success of Enterprises.

    6. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh lays foundation stone of Thal Sena Bhawan at Delhi Cantt

    • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh laid the foundation stone of new Army Headquarters ‘Thal Sena Bhawan’ at Delhi Cantt. today. Addressing soldiers on the occasion, Shri Rajnath Singh said, all the departments of the Army as well as the Department of Military Affairs will come under one roof and collectively contribute towards national security, besides effectively dealing with defence-related issues. He added that the new building will play a significant role in saving valuable resources and contribute to administrative efficiency. Raksha Mantri termed the foundation stone of the new building as a ‘source of inspiration that will remind the people of the country about the sacrifices made by our soldiers’.
    • Shri Rajnath Singh credited the Armed Forces personnel for making an invaluable contribution towards nation building, saying that India has emerged as one of the most powerful nations due to the sacrifices made by the soldiers. He hoped that the new building will not just be an edifice of Army personnel and civilian defence staff, but will inspire the people to achieve new goals with renewed passion and enthusiasm.
    • Raksha Mantri also underlined the importance of greater jointness and integration among the Armed Forces, noting that the appointment of Chief of the Defence Staff and creation of Department of Military Affairs are some of the important steps in that direction. He expressed confidence that this jointness will help in increasing the military capabilities of the country and bring more synergy in handling defence-related issues.
    • The new building, proposed in an area of 39 acres, has been conceptualised as a multi-storey green building, adopting Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) norms. Approx. 7.5 lakh square meters of area will be constructed to house the office complex and parking.
    • The building, expected to be constructed in five years, will house offices, residential complex for security personnel with basic amenities. More than 1,700 officers both military & civilian and 1,300 sub staff will be accommodated in the new building.
    • Presently, Army Headquarters is spread over several pockets i.e. South Block, Sena Bhawan, Hutments Area, RK Puram, Shankar Vihar and other places.

    7. Online Chatbot ‘ASKDISHA’ upgraded to converse with Railway customers in Hindi language

    • In order to resolve queries of railway passengers over the internet pertaining to various services offered, Indian Railways had introduced the services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot in October 2018 for the benefit of the users of the ticketing website www.irctc.co.in and tourism website www.irctctourism.com of its PSU, Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited (IRCTC).
    • The ASKDISHA Chatbot was initially launched in English language but in order to further enhance the customer services rendered and to further strengthen the services of the chatbot, IRCTC has now powered voice enabled ASKDISHA to converse with customers in Hindi language also in the e-ticketing site www.irctc.co.in. The customers can now ask queries to ASKDISHA in Hindi language by voice as well as text.
    • On an average, around three thousand enquiries are being handled by ASKDISHA in Hindi language on daily basis and the figure is increasing day by day which also shows the acceptability of the new feature by the customer. IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future.
    • The chatbot is a special computer programme designed to simulate conversation with users, especially over the internet. The first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers. Since its initial launch, more than 150 million passengers have been benefited by ASKDISHA with 10 billion interactions for seeking help on reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products.

    8. Shri Dharmendra Pradhan lays foundation stone for ore beneficiation unit in Rajhara

    • Union Minister for Steeland Petroleum &Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan visited the Rajharamines of Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) today on the second day of his Bhilai visit. He was accompanied by Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) Shri Anil Kumar Chaudhary and other senior officials of SAILand BSP.
    • The minister laid the foundation stone for ‘Ore Benficiation Plant’ at the iron ore premises of Rajhara, which will augment the quality of iron ore supplied to the Plant. He also visited various mines sites of Rajhara and saw the technical and mining process of ore extraction. He planted sapling at the Saptagiri Park at Rajhara.
    • Shri Pradhan met the tribal students adopted by BSP at the BSP’s tribal student hostel and interacted with them. He also met twenty nursing students sponsored by SAIL-BSP. Every year twenty girls from tribal region of Rowghat and Rajhara are adopted under BSP’s CSR activities for nurse’s training. It may be mentioned that these tribal students are provided with free of cost education, boarding &lodging and provided all study materials.
    • The Minister also met the students and teachers of the English medium school run by the Plant and DAV in the Antagarh region. Apart from this, he also witnessed and praised the exhibition put by BSP of the CSR activities undertaken by the Plant at Rajhara, its peripheral areas and at Rowghat.Shri Pradhan also took stock of the CSR activities underway at the Mines and also met and discussed with the representatives of worker’s unions of the Mines.

    9. Ministry of MSME conducting a National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020 across the Country (17-28 February, 2020)

    • The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has launched a National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020 from February 17, 2020 to February 28, 2020. The main objective of NLAP is to spread awareness about the schemes and activities undertaken by the Ministry and its attached organisations – Office of Development Commissioner (MSME), Khadi & Village Industries Commission, Coir Board, National Small Industries Corporation Limited, National Institute of MSME, MSME Technology Centres, and Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Rural Industrialization.
    • A total of 126field offices of the Ministry and its organisations are conducting the awareness programmes across the country to disseminate information amongst students of colleges and educational institutes. During the fortnight awareness drive will be conducted in more than 600 colleges covering almost 60,000 students from all parts of the country.

    Through the awareness programme, an attempt is being made by the Ministry of MSME to encourage students/ youth to take up entrepreneurship as their career. Interactive sessionsare being held with the students, taking up their queries, doubts about the schemes, and programmes as well as providing solutions to their enquiries. Along with the interactive sessions, the students are also shown audio-video films and presentation on the activities of the Ministry and its organisations, as well as provided details of schemes implemented by the Ministry.

    10. Indian Naval Symphonic Orchestra – 2020

    • The Indian Naval Band captured the hearts and minds of the music enthusiasts during the Indian Naval Symphonic Orchestra held at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Lodhi road, New Delhi on 21 Feb 20. The world famous band, which in the recent past has performed at renowned military band festivals like Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland, Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival at Moscow and Russian Federation Navy Day Parade at St. Petersburg, Russia, regaled and enthralled the audience with a wide range of repertoire of stirring Martial Music, arrangements of Western Classical, Indian Classical and other forms of contemporary popular and folk Music.
    • During the melodious evening the band related closely to the audience, incorporating varied choices like swing, waltz, movie theme, disco, funk, popular, and patriotic music, displaying their talent and keen professionalism. The Naval band had also participated in the recently conducted Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk on 29 Jan 20 with their upbeat compositions, intricate formations including a Sail boat. The band performed admirably under the baton of Commander VC D’Cruz, Director of Music (Navy), who is an alumnus of Pilar Music School, Goa and Trinity College of Music, London.
    • The musical evening was organised as part of the Navy Day Activities and was hosted by Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff. The Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Shri Anil Baijal graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    11. 70th Berlin International Film Festival

    • On opening day of the Berlin International Film Festival, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) hosted India Networking Reception at Berlinale 2020. The occasion saw a gathering of Prominent Film Festival Heads, International Film Associations, Film Agencies and Renowned Production Houses interested in fostering collaborations with India.
    • The focus of the discussion was on forging ties for co-production of films and developing partnerships for the 51st edition of IFFI to be held later this year. The participants were also apprised about policy initiatives of Government to ease filming in India in India through the web portal (www.ffo.gov.in) to act as a single point of contact for film shooting applications, etc.
    • With participation of 80 to 100 participants for the India Networking Evening, the Delegation also met prominent people like Mr Bobby Bedi, Owner and Managing Director, Kaleidoscope Entertainment; Stephan Ottenbruch, founder, Indogerman films; Jana Wolf, Head marketing and advertising, Berlin International Film Festival; Carlota Guerrero Bernaus, Catalunya Film Commission; Jo Muhlberger, Deputy Managing Director, European Film Promotion; Irena Jelic, Head of Promotions and festivals, Croatian Audiovisual; HettieHalden, Screen Daily; Dr Markus Gorsch, MDM online; and Sonia Jean-Baptiste, Cofounder, Chelsea Film Festival, among others.
    • The participants at the Networking evening expressed their desire for possible collaborations with India & IFFI 2020. This signifies the attractive growth opportunities for Media and Entertainment Industry in making India – the next destination for filming.

    12. White House says India, US relations are based on shared democratic traditions, common strategic interests

    • White House says that India and US relations are based on shared democratic traditions, common strategic interests, and enduring bonds between people of both countries. This has been exemplified by the very close relationship between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • Both the leaders met on four occasions in the last year further cementing the ties between the two democracies.
    • not many people would know that in 2014, much before his election to the White House, Donald Trump in a personal visit to Pune spoke highly about Narendra Modi. Rose Garden in the White House was witness to the rejuvenation of the bond between both the unique democracies where both the leaders met for their first official meeting in 2017. Since then Prime Minister Modi and President Trump met on a number of occasions on the sidelines of ASEAN, G-7, G-20 and the UNGA meet.
    • Every such meeting has displayed immense affection and trust which both the world leaders share. The warmth of their personal relationship was remarkably displayed in the historical welcome which Mr. Modi received in Houston, Texas last year in the Howdy Modi event.

    13. Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya Inaugurated India’s First Floating Jetty & Immigration office in Goa

    • Union Minister of State for shipping Mansukh Mandaviya, inaugurated the India’s first floating jetty on the banks of Mandovi river, Goa and also an immigration facility office at a cruise terminal in Vasco, Goa.
    • The floating jetty is made up of cement concrete which was built on a short time, will boost inland waterways, they are environment friendly and 3 more will be built in Goa.
    • The new floating jetty can be resized, realigned and relocated as per requirement.
    • Immigration counter at the cruise terminal in Mormugao Port, Goa, wil help foreign nationals who arrive on cruise ships.
    • The State receives 45 international cruises annually in addition to domestic cruise boats.
    • Goa Chief Minister (CM) Pramod Sawant, Union AYUSH (Ayurvedic, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) Minister Shripad Naik and Rajya Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) Vinay Tendulkar were present on the occasion.

    14. India & Sri Lanka signed MoU for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools

    • India and Sri Lanka have signed a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools for estate workers of Indian origin.
    • The MoU was signed between Mr. Vinod K. Jacob, acting High Commissioner of India and Secretary, Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka, Mr. N.H.M Chithrananda at Colombo, Sri Lanka.
    • The project is implemented to upgrade the infrastructure of 9 plantation schools as identified by Sri Lanka under an Indian grant assistance of Rs 30 crores.
    • GOI (Government of India) has been implementing several projects in the field of education for deepening India-Sri Lanka cooperation in the education sector.
    • Under Indian grant assistance, construction & renovation of many school buildings in Northern Province of Sri Lanka is also being undertaken.
    • India’s overall commitment of development assistance to Sri Lanka stands at a total of around 3.5 billion US (United States) dollars, of which 560 million US dollars under grants.

    SPORTS NEWS

    15. Indian athletes including Rashpal Singh, Jyoti Gawte vie for top honours in New Delhi Marathon

    • Elite Indian athletes Rashpal Singh, Sher Singh, Jyoti Gawte and Monika Raut will vie for top honours in the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Marathon in New Delhi tomorrow.
    • The New Delhi Marathon is recognized as a National Marathon Championship by Athletics Federation of India and will see over 18,500 athletes taking part in four different categories.
    • All the categories will be flagged-off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium by Indian cricket icon and IDBI Federal Life Insurance’s brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar.

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