Daily Current Affairs, 14th February 2020 - VISION

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Friday, February 14, 2020

Daily Current Affairs, 14th February 2020

1) National Women’s Day of India 2020
•India celebrates Sarojini Naidu’s birthday as National Women’s Day every year on February 13. This year Nation celebrates its 141st Birth Anniversary. She was born on February 13, 1879. She was famous for her nickname ‘Nightingale of India’ or ‘Bharat Kokila’ because of her poems.

•Sarojini Naidu was not only a freedom fighter, but she also became the first woman governor of the United Provinces, the present Uttar Pradesh. She was one of the forefront leaders who led the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement.

2) Piyush Goyal inaugurates Kolkata’s East-West Metro line
•Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the first phase of “East-West Metro line” which is Kolkata’s second metro line. The phase 1 of the East-West Metro corridor is a 5.3 kms long stretch with 6 elevated stations and executed by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL).

•Overall, the East-West Metro corridor of the Kolkata is a 16.5 kms long stretch. The East-West Metro corridor connects the Howrah on the West bank of River Hooghly with Salt Lake city on the East bank.

3) India bans e-cigarettes in both domestic and international flights
•The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), under the Ministry of Civil Aviation of India, has issued a circular that Electronic-Cigarettes and all forms of Electronic Nicotine Delivery System(ENDS) will not be allowed in both domestic and international flights as well as at airports. Under the Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act which is passed in December 2019.

•The order issued with the approval of DG (director-general) BCAS, Rakesh Asthana, is valid from the date of issuance. The circular also announced that the offenders will be sentenced into prison up to one year and also a fine of Rs. 1 lakh. In the case of repeat offenders, the jail term is increased to 3 years with Rs. 5 lakhs fine.

4) Manipur CM launches ‘Anganphou Hunba’ programme in Imphal
•Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh launched ‘Anganphou Hunba’ (Early Paddy Crop) programme at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal East. The State government has planned to provide irrigation water by the Minor Irrigation Department to places having adequate arable land and a large number of farmers.

•The State government has also taken up steps to produce a sufficient quantity of fishes by providing loans to 800 selected fish farmers. It is being done with a view to save around 400 crore rupees spent every year in importing fishes from outside.

5) “Operation Nakail” for Auto-rickshaws in Ghaziabad
•The Ghaziabad police launched ‘Operation Nakail’ under which the identity of all auto-rickshaw drivers will be verified and a unique four-digit number will be allotted to them. The drivers will be required to get the unique number printed on the front, left, right and rear side of the auto-rickshaws. Customers can file complaints using the number if they face any harassment.

6) Rishi Sunak appointed as UK’s new Finance Minister
•Rishi Sunak has been appointed as the Finance Minister of the United Kingdom. He will replace Pakistani Chancellor Sajid Javid. Now three Indian origin Members of Parliament are a part of Britain’s most diverse cabinet led by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Along with Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel has been appointed as the Home Minister and Alok Sharma has been appointed as the Business Secretary in the British Cabinet.

7) Two prominent institutes named after Sushma Swaraj by GoI
•The Government of India has renamed two institutions after Sushma Swaraj in an honour of the late External Affairs Minister. The two institutions are: the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and the Foreign Service Institute.

•The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra has been renamed as Sushma Swaraj Bhavan as the late External Affairs Minister was known for her empathy in reaching out to distressed Indians worldwide. The Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra is a cultural centre which reflects India’s connection with its diaspora around the world.

•The Foreign Service Institute has been renamed as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service. The Foreign Service Institute is an institution where the training of the diplomats takes place.

•Late External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also the youngest Cabinet Minister in the Haryana government, served as the first woman Chief Minister of Delhi and was also the first woman spokesperson for a national political party in the country. She had also served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha between 2009-14.

8) 15th Finance Commission constitutes panel on Defence & Internal security
•The Fifteenth Finance Commission has formed a 5-members panel on defence & internal security. The constituted panel aims to study whether a separate mechanism should be organised for the funding of defence and internal security and if yes, then how this mechanism could be operationalised.

•The panel will be headed by the Chairman of the Fifteenth Finance Commission N K Singh, expenditure secretary T V Somanathan, defence secretary Ajay Kumar, finance commission Member AN Jha and home affairs secretary Ajay Bhalla as its members.

•The above announcements were made after the sixth meeting of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.

9) New Delhi hosts “Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking”

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has organised the two days BIMSTEC’s Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking in New Delhi. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) conference was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Home Affairs.

Participants of the BIMSTEC’s Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking:

Delegates from BIMSTEC partner nations including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India participated in the BIMSTEC’s Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking. The conference is a platform for all the participating countries to engage with each other to exchange ideas, policies and best practices in order to combat the issue of illicit drug trade which is plaguing every nation

Indian Government’s stance on the issue:

•Government of India has adopted the zero tolerance policy against the trade of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. India has also signed 26 bilateral agreements, 15 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) and 2 security pacts with other countries to combat the issue of illicit drug trade. In order to prevent the online sale of narcotics and illicit drugs, the Government of India has issued the notification regarding the registration of B2B companies.

•The Union Government has also laid down a strategy to increase the coordination among the agencies of the Centre as well as States. The Ministry of Home Affairs has formed a joint coordination committee to improve the surveillance over drug trafficking. An e-portal has also been started for digitalisation of drug data that may be utilized by various drug enforcement agencies.

10) IndusInd Bank tops list of ‘Highest increase in brand value’
•According to ‘The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands 2020’ report, IndusInd Bank has topped the list of ‘Highest increase in brand value’ among global banks. The brand value of Induslnd Bank has increased by 122% over the past 12 months, making it the highest placed for growth in brand value, across the globe. The bank reported total assets of Rs 3.1 lakh crore at the end of Q3 FY20.

•As a part of the report, the list “Top 50 By Total Brand Value by Country” has been topped by China, followed by United States (US) at 2nd position while Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) ranked at 3rd and 4th spots. Japan has moved up to the fifth spot. India ranked 8th in this list in comparison to 10th place in 2019. India’s brand value is 26,516 $m in 2020 showing an increase of 13% in comparison to 23,409 $m in 2019.

10) EIU lowers global growth forecast for 2020
•The Economist Intelligence Unit has revised downwards its global growth forecast for 2020 to 2.2% from 2.3%. This impact because of Novel coronavirus outbreak in China and also the virus starts spreading globally. The virus originated in Wuhan, a city of around 11.3 million people in central Hubei province, China, and has spread to most provinces in mainland China and overseas.

•Global growth was sluggish throughout 2019 amid trade tensions, a sharp deceleration in real GDP growth in the US, China and India and political uncertainty in a number of EU countries.  EIU also revised China’s growth downwards by lowering the real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) forecast for China in 2020 to 5.4 per cent from 5.9 per cent earlier. 

•EIU also estimated the GDP growth for India to 6.1 per cent for 2020 from 4.9 per cent estimated for the year 2019, Low-interest rate in India will increase the demand and Investment in 2020 and also the coronavirus does not spread in India are the reasons for the upward GDP growth.

11) New Delhi to host “National Organic Food Festival” for women entrepreneurs
•The National Organic Food Festival is going to be held for women entrepreneurs in New Delhi. The festival will be jointly organised by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) and Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).

•The festival will be held with the theme of “Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential”.

12) Scientists discovered the nearest known planet “2MASS 1155-7919 b”
•The scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology has discovered the nearest-known ‘baby giant planet’ which is named as “2MASS 1155-7919 b”. The scientists has used the data from Gaia space observatory to find the baby giant planet.

•The newly discovered baby giant planet which is named as “2MASS 1155-7919 b” lies about 330 light-years from our solar system. The planet is closer to Earth and is located in the Epsilon Chamaeleontis Association. This planet orbits a star that is about 5 million years old. The planet has only ten times the mass of Jupiter.

13) Haryana CM releases the book “A Commentary and Digest on The Air, Act 1981”
•Haryana Chief Minister (CM), Manohar Lal Khattar, released a book titled “A Commentary & Digest on The Air, Act 1981” at Chandigarh, Haryana. The book was written by Dr K K Khandelwal. The book was published by The Bright Law House.

•The book focuses on ways of preventing and controlling air pollution. The book will enhance the readers to create awareness on air pollution in society and provides an elaborate explanation on law devised to prevent air pollution.