General Knowledge & Current Affairs

February 2020 - 10th to 15th

1: ADB Approves the funding of $2 million to combat Novel Coronavirus

  • The Asian development bank (ADB) has approved the funding of USD 2 million to combat the spread of novel coronavirus.
  • The funds will support the efforts to stop the outspread of the virus.

2: WHO officially names Coronavirus disease as “Covid-19”

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially named the disease caused by the new coronavirus as “Covid-2019”.
  • The new name “Covid-2019” has been taken from the words “corona”, “virus” and “disease” ,with 2019 representing the year in which it emerged.

3: Mobile World Congress cancelled over coronavirus fears

  • The Mobile World Congress, the annual telecoms industry gathering that draws more than one lakh visitors to Barcelona, was cancelled over coronavirus fears.
  • The event was hosted by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) telecoms association.

4: UK’s start-up launches 1st big batch of satellites

  • The UK-based One Web company has sent 34 satellites into orbit on a single Soyuz rocket, from Baikonur port, Kazakhstan
  • The aims are to have the full network in operation by the end of 2021.

5: 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.

1:Coal Ministry launches Web Portal for Star Rating of Mines in India

  • Ministry of Coal (MoC) has launched a web portal for star rating of coal mines to promote the green, safe and sustainable mining practices with the help of technology.
  • The web portal for star rating of coal mines enables all operational coal mines across India for self-rating, their subsequent validation by Coal Controller’s Organization (CCO), further evaluation and finally award of star rating

2: BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 begins in Bhubaneswar

  • BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 has been started in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
  • The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is organizing the BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise 2020 on behalf of the Government of India.
  • The BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise was inaugurated by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

1: Uttarakhand flags off first Heli services under UDAN

  • Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN (Ude desh ka Aam Nagrik) of Government of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized the first ever helicopter services in the state of Uttarakhand

2: Hyderabad Metro Rail becomes 2nd largest metro network in India

  • The world’s largest public-private partnership project is now the 2nd largest operational metro network in the country after Delhi.

3: India’s 1st glass floor suspension bridge to be built in Rishikesh

  • The Uttarakhand Government has approved the design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country to have a floor made of toughened transparent glass.
  • This bridge will be built across the River Ganga in Rishikesh. The bridge is as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula, almost 94 years old, which was closed in 2019 due to safety reasons.
  • The bridge design has been prepared by the Public Works Department (PWD).

4: Tripura organises its 1st-ever “Hornbill Festival”

  • The 1st-ever Hornbill festival of Tripura was celebrated in Agartala. The aim to conserve the striking forest bird œHornbill and to boost the livelihood of the people through tourism.
  • Chief Minister (CM) Biplab Kumar Dev inaugurated the festival at Baramura hill (in western Tripura).

5: Largest air quality monitoring network of India to be installed in Mumbai

  • The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has approved the setting up of an air quality monitoring network of 90 stations in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

6: Piyush Goyal inaugurates Kolkata’s East-West Metro line

  • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the first phase of œEast-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).

1:India and UK to hold joint military drill ‘Ajeya Warrior’

  • India and the United Kingdom will conduct their 5th edition of joint military exercise ‘Ajeya Warrior-2020’ at Salisbury Plains, the United Kingdom from February 13-26
  • The exercise is being held from 2005.

2: DRDO developing new strike range Pranash ballistic missile

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has started developing a 200-km strike range tactical ballistic missile ‘Pranash’
  • The missile is an advanced version of the 150-km strike range Prahar missile which was being developed for tactical missions. The surface-to-surface ballistic missile will be of use for the Air Force and Army.

1: Pullela Gopichand honoured with lifetime achievement award by IOC

  • The Chief National coach for the Indian Badminton team Pullela Gopichand honour with Coaches lifetime achievement award by International Olympic Committee’s (IOC)
  • He is the 1st Indian coach to be Honoured with this Lifetime award by the Olympics Committee

2: 13th edition of ESPN cricinfo Awards 2019 announced

  • ESPN cricinfo (sports news website) announced the 13th edition of the Annual ESPN cricinfo Awards 2019
  • The awards were presented under 12 categories & selected by a jury comprising former cricketers, ESPN cricinfo senior editors, writers & global correspondents.

3: President Kovind presents President’s Colour to INS Shivaji

  • President Ram Nath Kovind presented ˜President’s Colour’ to the INS Shivaji at a ceremony in Lonavala, Maharashtra
  • The Presentation of Colour or Standards by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces is an acknowledgement of the unit’s meritorious service. INS Shivaji was commissioned in 1945

4: South Indian Bank bagged two awards at the Banking Technology 2019 awards by IBA

  • South Indian Bank has bagged two awards at the Banking Technology 2019 awards instituted by the Indian Banks’ Association
  • This event was held in Indian Bank Association’s 15th Annual Banking Technology Conference, Expo and Awards held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

1: India out of US’ developing nations list for trade benefits

  • The US removed India from its list of developing countries that are exempt from investigations into whether they harm American industry with unfairly subsidised exports
  • The United States Trade Representative (USTR) eliminated a host of countries including Brazil, Indonesia, Hong Kong, South Africa and Argentina

1Finance Ministry notifies ‘Printing of One Rupee Currency Notes Rules, 2020’

  • The Union Ministry of Finance has notified ‘Printing of One Rupee Currency Notes Rules, 2020’ vide Gazzette Notification G.S.R. 95(E) dated February 7, 2020
  • The One Rupee notes shall be printed at the note printing presses for issue under the authority of Government of India for circulation

2: Bank of Russia gives license to GIC Re for reinsurance business

  • India’s reinsurance company, General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) has received the license from Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) to commence reinsurance business in Russia

3: 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

1: 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

1: ISRO G Narayanan to head space PSU NSIL

  • Veteran space scientist G Narayanan has been named the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation’s newly formed commercial entity New Space India Ltd (NSIL).
  • He was earlier working as deputy director (systems reliability and quality assurance) at the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), a Thiruvananthapuram-based unit of Isro that designs, develops liquid propulsion stages for launch vehicles

2: Rajiv Bansal becomes new CMD of Air India

  • Senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal was named the Chairman and Managing Director of national carrier Air India
  • He succeeds Ashwani Lohani. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved his appointment as CMD of Air India.

India ranks 40th in Global Intellectual Property Index 2020

  • India has been ranked 40th out of 53 countries on a global intellectual property index 2020
  • US, UK, Swede, France and Germany are in top five economies on this Index

1: 5th Dhaka Art Summit inaugurated in Bangladesh

  • This summit was inaugurated by State Minister of Bangladesh KM Khalid and had more than 500 artists, sculptors, architects, and art professionals from various countries

2: Engiexpo 2020′ to be held in Vadodara, Gujarat

  • The 6th edition of the mega industrial exhibition ‘Engiexpo 2020’ is being organised in Vadodara, Gujarat from February 15 to 17, 2020
  • The three-day mega exhibition will be organised by the Federation of Small Scale Industries (FSSI), to promote ‘Made in India’ products.
  • Over 10,000 industrial products will be showcased in more than 300 stalls. Several companies from Uzbekistan are also participating in the exhibition.

3: Mumbai hosts National Conference on E-Governance

  • National Conference on e-Governance 2020 was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • The Mumbai Declaration was adopted on the concluding day of the National Conference on e-Governance
  • The theme of the conference is: India 2020: Digital Transformation. The National e-Governance Awards 2020 were also presented during the conference

4: 33rd African Union (AU) summit held in Ethiopia

  • The 33rd edition of the African Union (AU) summit was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • The 33rd edition of the African Union (AU) summit was held with the theme “Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development”

5: NSG organises 20th International Seminar against terrorsim at Manesar, Haryana

  • National Security Guard (NSG) has organised the 20th International Seminar on “Comprehends the Evolving Contours of Terrorism & IED Threat-Wayahead for the Security Community” at Manesar, Haryana
  • The seminar was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy

6: National Water Conference held in Madhya Pradesh

  • National Water Conference was held in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The Conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
  • The importance and revival of traditional water sources, right to water, river rejuvenation campaign in Madhya Pradesh and many other related topics are being discussed during the four sessions of the conference.
  • The experts discussed that water conservation technological development should be included with traditional means to solve the growing water crisis.

7: 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).

1: Uttar Pradesh Govt to launch internship scheme for school college students

  • CM of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has announced an internship scheme for 10th, 12th and graduate students of the state to brighten employment prospects

1: Bangladesh wins ICC U-19 Cricket world cup 2020

  • Bangladesh has won the ICC U-19 Cricket World cup held in South Africa.
  • They defeated India under-19 team by 3 wickets

2: Ladakh Scouts wins Khelo India Ice Hockey Championship

  • The Ladakh team won the first Men’s section Khelo India Ice Hockey by defeating Indo-Tibetan Border Polic team

3: Australia presented with ICC Women’s Championship trophy

  • Australia was awarded the ICC (International Cricket Council) Women’s Championship trophy 2020, which they maintained by winning victories in the 8-team one-day championship between 2017 and 2020.
  • Australia’s team was led by Meghann Moira Lanning, which also won this trophy last time(ie 1st edition 201416)

4: Kaamya Karthikeyan becomes youngest girl to climb Mt Aconcagua

1: World Pulses Day observed globally on February 10th

  • This day is a designated United Nations Global event to recognize the importance of pulses as a global food

2: National Deworming Day observed on February 10th

  • This is day is observed for children and adolescents in the age group of 1 to 19 years in all states and Union Territories on the occasion.

3: National Productivity Day observed globally on 12 February

  • National Productivity Day is observed on 12 February annually. The day is celebrated by the National Productivity Council (NPC) to promote productivity culture in India

4: UN celebrates World Radio Day on 13th of February

  • The United Nations observes World Radio Day to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio
  • It also encourages the decision makers to establish and provide accessibility to information through radio.

5: 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

1: Dharmendra Rai’s book “The Thin Mind Map Book” launched

  • The book aims to give people an experience in mind mapping and making them expert through reading and doing all the experiential exercises mentioned in the book

1: American Author Roger Kahn passes away

  • Roger Kahn wrote 20 books in his lifetime. In 1989 he collaborated with Pete Rose for biography of legendary Boxer Jack Dempsey

2: Padma Shri awardee Wendell Rodricks passes away

  • Famous Indian fashion designer Wendell Rodricks passed away. He was awarded Padma Shri in 2014 and also Chevalier de L’ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2015
  • He wrote books namely: The Greenroom, Poskem: Goans in the shadows, Moda Goa- History & Style

1: 1st look of biopic on APJ Abdul Kalam released

  • Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar released the first look of a bipic on former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
  • Madhur Bhandarkar is the producer and the director of the movie. Hollywood actor Muhammad Ali is playing Dr. Kalam’s role in the movie

2: Astronomers discover Ultramassive Galaxy XMM-2599 from early universe

  • he International team of astronomers led by scientists at the University of California, United States(US) have discovered an Ultramassive monster galaxy dubbed as XMM-2599.

3: 1st Jerusalem-Mumbai Festival to be held in Mumbai

  • The first ‘Jerusalem-Mumbai Festival’ will be held in the Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • This festival is organised to showcase the special links between the two cities and to promote ties between India and Israel
  • Famous Israeli cinema, The Mossad, will be screened at the festival in the presence of the movie director Alon Gur Arye

4: TRIFED organizes workshop on “Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development”.

  • The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) has organized the workshop on “Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development” under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in New Delhi.
  • The workshop on “Van Dhan and Entrepreneurship Development” was inaugurated by Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda.

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: 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.

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.
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