• Current Affair, 29th February 2020

    • February 29, 2020
    • Posted By : upliftlife
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    1. Success of Balakot air strikes has clearly demonstrated India’s strong will against terrorism: Rajnath Singh


    • On the first anniversary of Balakot airstrikes today, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh saluted Indian Air Force for its unmatched bravery and courage exhibited during the air strikes.
    • In a tweet, Mr Singh said, it was a successful counter terror operation launched by the fearless air warriors of the Indian Air Force. He said, with the success of Balakot air strikes, India has clearly demonstrated its strong will against terrorism. The Minister said, the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has adopted a different approach from earlier governments and now it do not hesitate to cross the border to protect India against terrorism.
    • He thanked Mr Modi for bringing change in India’s approach against terrorism and the ways to counter terror. Mr Singh said, the Surgical Strikes of 2016 and Balakot Air Strikes of 2019 are testimony to this change. He said, it is certainly a New and Confident India in making.


    1. HM Amit Shah says adequate forces have been deployed in affected areas of Delhi, situation under control

    • Union Home Minister Amit Shah today said that adequate forces have been deployed in the affected areas of the national capital and the situation is under control. Mr Shah chaired a meeting to discuss the current situation in the national capital after violence erupted in the North-East Delhi over the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
    • Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, senior officials and representatives of different political parties attended the meeting.
    • During the meeting, Mr Shah urged the political parties to exercise restraint and rise above party lines to tackle the situation. He appealed to all to desist from spreading rumours and said, political parties should cooperate with police to quell these rumours and dispel fear among the public. He also appealed to the people and media to communicate responsibly and avoid spreading rumours. He asked Delhi Police Commissioner to have senior police officers present in Police Control Rooms so that rumours can be dispelled as quickly as possible.
    • The Home Minister said, borders of Delhi with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have been under surveillance for the last three days and Delhi Police has been taking adequate steps in view of the upcoming Supreme Court hearing relating to issues pertaining to Citizenship Amendment Act. Mr Shah also urged the political parties to avoid provocative speeches and statements which could flare up the situation.
    • He also spoke of the need to re-activate local peace committees and said that those committees should include representatives of all sections of society, religions and eminent local persons. He said, feedback on the issue has been taken from local representatives and incorporated for further course of action after discussions with Lieutenant Governor and Delhi Police Commissioner.
    • Mr Shah noted that the professional assessment is that the violence in the capital has been spontaneous. He expressed confidence in Delhi Police and said that the force has shown maximum restraint to get the situation under control.
    • Those present in the meeting expressed grief on the death of Head Constable Ratan Lal, who was killed on Monday. Those present in the meeting expressed grief on the death of Head Constable Ratan Lal, who was killed on Monday.
    • Briefing the media after the meeting, Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal termed the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah positive, saying it was decided that all parties will take necessary steps to restore peace in Delhi. He said, the police is doing their part and Home Minister has assured that whatever force is needed will be provided.
    • Meanwhile, the  Lt. Governor and Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik paid tribute to Delhi Police Head Constable who lost his life during violence
    • The tribute was paid during the wreath-laying ceremony. Mr Baijal also instructed all concerned to extend all possible assistance to his family.
    • Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia met the injured at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital in the city.
    • Mr Kejriwal also visited Rajghat, the memorial of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to pray for peace and normalcy in the city.
    • Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval late last night met top Delhi police personnel at the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-East) and reviewed the situation. Mr Doval accompanied by senior police officials and visited areas affected by violence in North-East Delhi.



    1. India and US sign defence deals worth 3 billion dollars


    • India and the United States yesterday finalized defence deals worth three billion dollars and signed three agreements, including in health and oil sectors.
    • A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on mental health between the health departments of both the two countries.
    • Another MoU on the safety of medical products was signed between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization with the US Food and Drug Administration.
    • A Letter of Cooperation was signed between Indian Oil Corporation Limited and Exxon Mobil India LNG Limited and Chart Industries Inc, US.
    • In a joint press meet after holding extensive talks with visiting US President Donald Trump in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the defence cooperation between two countries is reflective of the rising strategic partnership between India and US.
    • The Prime Minister said, they have decided to enhance efforts to hold supporters of terrorism accountable and agreed on new mechanism to contain drug trafficking.
    • Prime Minister added that both countries are committed to openness, fair and balanced trade and have decided to enhance strategic energy partnership.
    • In his statement, President Trump said, India and the US have expanded their defence cooperation with agreements for New Delhi to purchase more than three billion dollars of advanced American military equipment. Mr. Trump also affirmed the two countries’ commitment to protect their citizens from radical Islamic terrorism.
    • The US President said, another major focus of discussions today was forging bilateral economic relationships that is fair and reciprocal.
    • Briefing media in New Delhi yesterday, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, the Indo-US comprehensive strategic global partnership has been reinforced by President Trump’s visit. He informed that talks between the two leaders were held in five major categories of security, defence, energy, technology and people to people contact.



    1. MIB issues advisory to TV channels to be cautious about content; Asks them to refrain from broadcasting anything that may incite violence


    • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting yesterday issued an advisory to all private satellite TV channels asking them to be cautious about content that may encourage or incite violence or contains anything against the maintenance of law and order or which promote anti-national attitudes.
    • The advisory came in the wake of violence in some parts of northeast Delhi.
    • The advisory also called on private channels to be cautious of content that contains attack on religion or communities or visuals or words contemptuous of religious groups or which promote communal attitudes.
    • It also cautioned against content that may carry defamatory, deliberate, false and suggestive innuendos and half-truths.
    • The advisory asked channels to ensured that no content is telecast which is violative of the Programme and Advertising Codes as prescribed in the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act, 1995.
    • All private satellite TV channels were requested to ensure strict compliance of the advisory.


    1. India to send aircraft to novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan to deliver medical supplies


    • India will send a transport aircraft to the Novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan today to deliver medical supplies and relief material. On the return, it will also bring back more Indians following a clearance from China.
    • As informed by the Ministry of External Affairs, departure of the Indian flight to Wuhan is being planned today and the evacuees will arrive on February 27.
    • Earlier, the transport aircraft was scheduled to fly on February 20, but was waiting for clearance from the Chinese side.
    • Items being supplied are gloves, surgical masks, feeding and infusion pumps and defibrillators based on the requirements as indicated by the Chinese side.


    1. Nirbhaya case: SC to hear on March 5 Centre’s appeal against Delhi HC verdict on hanging of 4 convicts together


    • The Supreme Court today said that it would hear on 5th of March the plea filed by the Centre challenging the Delhi High Court verdict which held that the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya case have to be executed together and not separately.
    • The apex court had made it clear on 14th of February that pendency of the Centre’s appeal seeking separate execution of the four convicts would not come in the way of trial court’s issuing a fresh date for their hanging, which is now scheduled for 3rd of March.
    • The appeal filed by the Centre and the Delhi Government came up for hearing before a bench of Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and Navin Sinha which adjourned the matter for next week.
    • The high court dismissed the Centre’s plea against the trial court’s order on 5th of February staying the execution of death sentence of the four convicts. It also faulted the authorities concerned for not taking steps for issuance of death warrant after the rejection of appeals of the accused by the Supreme Court in 2017.
    • Earlier, the trial court on 17th of February issued fresh date for execution of death warrants for 3rd of March at 6 a.m. for the four convicts –  Mukesh Kumar Singh Pawan Gupta, Vinay Kumar Sharma and Akshay Kumar– in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.


    1. Talks between Modi-Trump held in five major categories of security, defence, energy, technology and people to people contact

    • India has said that the Indo-US comprehensive strategic global partnership has been reinforced by the visit of US President Donald Trump. Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump were held in five major categories of security, defence, energy, technology and people to people contact. He said, there was a useful and comprehensive discussion on trade and both countries have decided to move towards a big deal in the sector. Mr Shringla said, there has been a noticeable decline in adverse trade balance from 30 billion dollars a few years ago to 25 billion dollars today. He added that the adverse trade balance is gradually eroding with greater amount of acquisitions that India is making from US.
    • The Foreign Secretary said, President Trump has assured highest consideration to India for procurement, technology, joint collaboration in defence sector. He said, India and US have decided to set up working group on narcotics and reinvigorate homeland security. Replying to media query, Mr Shringla said, Pakistan figured  in the talks and concerns were put on the table on cross-border terrorism.
    • On a question on mention of Jammu and Kashmir during Indo-US talks, the Foreign Secretary said, discussion centred on positive developments in the two new Union Territories. He said, energy has emerged as one of most important areas of bilateral cooperation. He added that connectivity was discussed in global context, especially within Indo-Pacific region.
    • The Foreign Secretary also expressed hope that both countries will be able to conclude MoU on intellectual property rights soon.


    1. EESL successfully completes a decade of helping India become energy efficient


    • The Minister of State (IC) for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Shri R.K. Singh has announced the successful installation of 10 lakh smart meters across India, under the Government of India’s Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP). These smart meters, operational in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Bihar, aim to bring efficiency in the distribution system leading to better service delivery. The programme is being implemented through Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL).
    • Power, Government of India, which was set up by the government to facilitate energy efficiency projects and to work as Energy Service Company.
    • At a function to mark 10 years of EESLthe  Ministeralso announced the commissioning of 100 MW cumulative capacity decentralised solar power plants connected to agriculture feeders. The capacity of these solar power plants, in each substation, ranges from 0.5 MW to 10 MW. The decentralised solar plants cater to the requirements of farmers connected to the respective agriculture feeder daily, by means of reliable day time electricity.
    • The Minister also launched the dashboards of Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP), National Electric Mobility Programme and solar initiatives to transparently monitor the real time progress of the programmes and its impact. The Hon’ble Minister also launched an integrated mobile application – EK EESL- where all the dashboards of all the programmes being implemented by EESL will be accessible and anyone can monitor their real-time progress. In the context of the National Electric Mobility Programme, the Hon’ble Minister highlighted that the electric vehicles deployed by EESL have completed 2 crores cumulative Kilometers.
    • Stating that EESL has proved to be harbinger of change , Shri R.K.Singh informed that “the EESL has proved to be harbinger of change. It has replaced 10.6 mn street lights in just about 12 months. Working on a model which has resulted in 36 crore LED bulbs being distributed by it and 80 cr. Bulbs being sold through trade leading to reduction in emissions of almost around 80 mntonnes of CO2 equivalent”.EESL spearheaded and implemented the Government of India’s zero subsidy UnnatJyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) programme by distributing LED bulbs and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) by retrofitting streetlights with LEDs. Today, UJALA is the world’s largest domestic lighting project and SLNP is the world’s largest streetlight replacement programme.
    • EESL and Provincial Energy Authority, Ministry of Interior, Royal Thai Government exchanged a MoU during the event for long-term cooperation and collaboration to advance the implementation and deployment of energy efficiency measures at SMEs in Thailand.
    • Under the Buildings Energy Efficiency Programme (BEEP), EESL has completed projects in 10,344 buildings including Railway Stations and Airports. Implementing Agriculture Demand Side Management (AgDSM), EESL has installed over 73,800 no. of pumps in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Under the National Emobility Programme, till date, 1,510 e-cars have been deployed/under registration. For charging e-cars, 300 AC & 170 DC Captive chargers have also been commissioned and 68 public charging points are currently operational in Delhi NCR.
    • In the pursuit of increasing charging infrastructure penetration, we have also partnered with Urban Local Bodies in Hyderabad, Noida, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chennai, and are in discussion with others across India. We have also partnered with Apollo Hospitals, BSNL, CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd, Maharashtra Rail Corporation Limited (Maha-Metro), PWD Maharashtra, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) for setting up public charging infrastructure across India.
    • Established in 2009 to unlock the potential of energy efficiency, initiatives implemented by EESL have cumulatively led to energy savings of over 58 billion kWh and a reduction of over 46 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the globe. In its 10 years, EESL has had an exponential growth, with offices spread across India, UK, Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia. EESL’s revenue has grown at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 114.96 per cent from INR 26 crore in FY 2013-14 to INR 2565 crore in FY 2018-19.  With its rapid growth, EESL now aims to become INR 10,000-crore company in the next three years.
    • During last one decade, EESL has been extensively engaged with various stakeholders and partners like Government agencies, manufacturers, innovators, multilateral agencies, academia, R&D organizations, service agencies etc. to promote energy efficiency in various sectors of national economy.
    • Shri R.K. Singhfelicitated previous Chairmen and CEOs of EESL for their contribution in organisation’s growth and expansion. The ceremonial event was also graced by Shri SanjivNandanSahai, Secretary, Ministry of Power, dignitaries from various ministries, state governments, multilateral bodies, industry and think tanks.
    • EESL is the world’s largest energy service company (ESCO) that is driving numerous initiatives that are potential game-changers in building a conducive ecosystem for energy efficient technologies, across geographies. EESL aims to create market innovations with a solutions-driven approach through its Zero-Subsidy, Zero-Capex, and Pay-As-You-Save (PAYS) novel business model. EESL has taken its market transformation business model to the UK, Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia.


    1. National Integration Camp themed Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat inaugurated in Sikkim


    • A National Integration Camp (NIC) themed Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat was inaugurated at the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco-tourism Institute at Chemchey, South Sikkim yesterday. The camp is being organized by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Sikkim. Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim Indra Hang Subba inaugurated the camp.
    • Speaking on the occasion, Mr Subba highlighted the ountry’s significant youth potential, calling the high percentage of youth in the population the engine for India’s growth. He also spoke about the variety of participants at the NIC as representative of the country’s core strength. He asked visitors to enjoy Sikkim’s natural beauty, pollution-free environment and minimise their footprint on the environment.
    • Sikkim has been paired with Delhi under Ek Bharat-Shreshth Bharat. A highlight of today’s inaugural function was a dance performance themed Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao by participants from Delhi. A member of the Delhi team, Santosh speaks about her participation at the event.
    • Around 250 participants from 16 states are participating in the four-day national integration camp, which would showcase the vibrance of India’s diversity. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Chemchey, South Sikkim.


    1. Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari arrested in South Africa


    • Fugitive gangster Ravi Pujari has been arrested in South Africa and being brought to India.
    • Police sources in Bengaluru said that Pujari, who was wanted in many cases of extortion and murder, will reach Bengaluru at midnight today.
    • The underworld don was on the run for over 15 years. He was deported to Senegal, from where he had jumped bail last year.


    1. Shri Pralhad Joshi lays foundation stone of Crusher and Conveyor System at NALCO, ODISHA


    • Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi laid foundation stone of Crusher and Conveyor System at NALCO’s Mining & Refinery (M&R) Complex in Damanjodi, Odisha today. The System will cater to feed bauxite for the 5th stream of Alumina Refinery of the company. The project is expected to be completed by April, 2022 and would cost around Rs. 483 crores.
    • “We as a country aim to reach a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and I am sure NALCO will be a success story in this growth trajectory.” Union Minister of Coal and Mines said while interacting with employees of NALCO at M&R Complex in Damanjodi after laying the foundation stone.
    • Referring that Odisha has about 51% of bauxite, 25% of coal and 34% of iron ore resources of the country apart from 96% of Chromite and 44% of Manganese resources, Shri Pralhad Joshi said “Our Govt. has taken a number of steps to unlock the mining potential of mineral rich States for the benefit of the country as well as the population residing in these areas.” He also appreciated the State Government for supporting mining activities in the region and highlighted that it will help in boosting the economy and bringing development to the State.
    • Earlier on Monday, Shri Joshi had chaired a review meeting of NALCO at Visakhapatnam and directed the senior officials of the company to ramp up production to achieve annual target with paying due attention to safety. He expressed his happiness over NALCO becoming the world’s cheapest producer of Bauxite & Alumina for the 4th consecutive year. He also praised NALCO for achieving capacity utilisation in the midst of challenges arising out of operating in a remote location.
    • Union Minister of Coal and Mines also visited Panchpatmali bauxite mine located in the Koraput district, the largest bauxite mine in Asia, having a bauxite deposit of approx. 310 million tonnes.
    • National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) is a Navratna CPSE under the Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India. with its headquarters at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Company is one of the largest integrated Bauxite-Alumina-Aluminium- Power Complex in Asia. The company is listed on Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange. The Alumina Refinery provides alumina to the company’s smelter at Angul and exports the balance alumina to overseas markets through Visakhapatnam Port. The present normative capacity of Alumina Refinery is 21 lakh MT per annum through 4 nos. of independent streams. The Refinery receives bauxite from its own captive Panchpatmali Bauxite Mines of Eastern Ghats located 16 kms away through a special type of conveyor belt called Cable Belt. Coal is received from Mahanadi Coalfields Limited; Caustic Soda Lye is received through their Port Facilities and water from upstream of Kolab Reservoir which is located in the Koraput District.






    1. President of Myanmar U Win Myint to arrive in New Delhi on a 4-Day visit


    • President of Myanmar U Win Myint will arrive in New Delhi this afternoon on a four day State Visit to India. Mr U Win Myint will be accompanied by the First Lady Daw Cho Cho. He will visit Akshardham temple in the National Capital .
    • he will be accorded ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will also visit Rajghat to pay tribute to father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi. Mr U Win Myint will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • Several agreements are expected to be signed after the talks. He will meet President Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow evening. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jai Shankar will call on the visiting dignitary.
    • The President of Myanmar is scheduled to visit Bodh Gaya on Friday and Agraon Saturday.


    1. Egypt’s former President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, who ruled country for 30 years passes away


    • Egypt’s former President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, who ruled the country for 30 years, died yesterday. He was 91. A former air force chief, Mubarak became Vice President of Egypt on 14 October 1981, and just eight days later, was sworn in as the President after Islamist militants assassinated his predecessor Anwar Sadat during a military parade.
    • Within Egypt Mubarak presided over slow but steady economic growth and largely kept the country out of armed conflicts after decades of war with Israel.
    • As the region was convulsed by one crisis after another, Mubarak was seen as a steady hand and a reliable U.S. partner against Islamic extremism. He sent troops as part of the U.S.-led coalition in the 1990-1991 Gulf war and contributed to efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    • After almost three decades in power, Mubarak, was forced to resign on February 11, 2011, following 18 days of protests around the country.
    • Mubarak’s ouster came in the heady Arab Spring days, soon after Tunisians overthrew their leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
    • Mubarak was later arrested and put on trial over the deaths of protesters during the 18-day revolt as well as for corruption. He was condemned to life in jail in 2012, but by 2017, he was cleared of all charges and released.
    • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have expressed condolences on the death of the Egyptian leader.



    1. Seminar on Indian Defence Equipment held in Dhaka



    • High Commission of India in Bangladesh organised a seminar on Indian Defence Equipment in Dhaka on Wednesday. According to a press release issued by the High Commission of India in Bangladesh, 12 Indian firms participated in the event.
    • Speaking on the occasion, India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das said that India and Bangladesh have close cooperation in many diverse areas and it was natural for them to pursue further cooperation in the field of defence technologies.
    • Bangladesh Minister for Industries, Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun was the chief guest. Paying tribute to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman he said that Bangbandhu had emphasized on building disciplined and professional Armed Forces in the country. The Minister said that Bangladesh’s Security Forces have earned a name for themselves as disciplined and professional force.He said the seminar provided an opportunity for defence manufacturers from India in developing fruitful partnerships with Bangladesh.
    • Earlier, High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das met the representatives of Indian Defence manufacturing industry on Tuesday and briefed them about the various avenues of defence cooperation between India and Bangladesh.





    1. India working to be in top ten countries in medal tally in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics: Kiren Rijiju

    • Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, India is working to be in top ten countries in medal tally in 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. The Sports Minister inaugurated Khelo India Ladakh Winter Games – 2020 in NDS Indoor Stadium Ice Hockey rink in Leh today. The Minister informed already 62 sports persons in various fields are qualified for Tokyo Olympics in July 2020 and some more will be eligible by May, to send a largest contingent with winnability from the country.
    • Kiren Rijiju said, to channelize 20 percent share of youth energy of the world from India, the government is conducting first time University Games, Youth Games and Winter Games under Khelo India programme. So far 15 thousands of students are identified and under training in various camps.
    • He said, March 7, JK Winter games will be conducted in Gulmarg, and assured increase in funds for improving the standards and participation in Winter Games.
    • While replying to appeals, the Sports Minister assured for recognition to Ice Hockey, funds for infrastructure, funds for sports development under Minority affairs department and administrative clearances will be completed in a month’s time.
    • Ladakh LG RK Mathur appealed the Minister to consider the proposals to build international standard winter sporting facilities in Ladakh.  He assured that UT Ladakh will fully utilize the funds. LG also appealed to expand NSS, NCC, Scouts & Guides in Ladakh region.
    • Leh Hill Council CEC Gyal P Wangyal, Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Advisor to LG Umang Narula and senior officials, officers of ITBP, Ladakh Scouts are also present at the inaugural of Winter Games.
    • In the exhibition Ice Hockey match played, the ITBP team won with 2-0 goals over Ladakh Scouts Regiment Centre team.  In Leh and Kargil over 1700 students in 10 blocks will participate in Ice Hockey, Figure Skating and Speed Skating events, and compete District and UT level in the final stage.



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