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Latest Current Affairs - February 2019

Month Type

  1. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal Presented Interim Union Budget 2019 - 20. Detailed Highlights can be accessed here.
    1. Government in interim budget 2019 unveiled its vision for 2030, listing 10 developmental dimensions. These are Physical & Social Infrastructure, Digital India, Clean & Green India, Rural Industrialization, Clean Rivers, Oceans & Coastline, Space, Self-sufficiency in Food Production, Health, Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
    2. Transparency International conducted a survey to analyse best practices followed by Indian states in the Budget Formulation. It was based on 4 parameters which include public disclosure, budgetary process, post-budget fiscal management and efforts to make budget more transparent and citizen-friendly.
      1. Top slot in survey was occupied by Assam, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
      2. Meghalaya, Manipur and Punjab figured in bottom.
      3. Assam is only state to have published a Citizens Budget in public domain. Also, Assam is only state to have conducted budget awareness campaigns across 17 districts.
  2. Government appointed Rishi Kumar Shukla as new Director of CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).
  3. As per National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) periodic labor force survey (PLFS), India’s unemployment rate hit a 45 year high of 6.1% in 2017-18.
  4. U.K., France and Germany formed a plan to help companies trading to Iran to defy US sanctions on Iran, called INSTEX (acronym of Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges).
    1. US had walked out of Joint comprehensive plan of action (JCPOA) agreement and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Under JCPOA, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions that had been imposed by UN, US and EU.
    2. New plan proposes a special purpose vehicle to accept payments from companies that want to trade with Iran. This plan would shield European companies keen to do business with Iran from U.S. sanctions that could result from dollar-based transactions.
    3. INSTEX is registered at Paris with an initial 3,000 Euros in the capital and a supervisory board with members from France and Germany and chaired by the UK. INSTEX will support legitimate European trade with Iran, focusing initially on the sectors most essential to the Iranian population such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and agri-food goods.
  5. ISRO inaugurated Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) at its HQ in Bengaluru, which would be core of ISRO’s future manned missions. It will implement first development flight of Gaganyaan with support of existing ISRO Centres, and will be responsible for end-to-end mission planning and development.
    1. Gaganyaan is India’s first manned space mission, planning to have first unmanned mission in December 2020 and second for July 2021. Manned mission will happen in December 2021.
    2. Gaganyaan project is headed by R. Hutton, Director of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
    3. Gaganyaan project will take Indian astronauts into space to a height of 350-400 km above Earth and orbits for at least a week.
  6. Defence Acquisition Council headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved acquisition of INR 1,200 crore Milan-2T anti-tank missiles.
    1. While requirement is of 70,000 different types of anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) and 850 different launchers, DAC has approved purchase of 5,000 Milan 2T anti-tank guided missiles from France.
  7. Maharashtra government will implement Tejashri financial services scheme to help rural women, through state’s Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM) and would help understand needs of rural women and bring them into the mainstream of development. INR 10000 as loan per person to poor families and INR 20000 will be provided to Self-help groups (SHGs).
  8. Sikkim government signed MoU with tech firm Microsoft, Aiming to transform educational landscape in state. Microsoft would support in integrating IT content in state board curriculum and build student capacity besides building teacher capacity.
  9. Financial Firm Paytm launched hotel bookings on its platform and acquired travel start up NightStay, which offers deals on last-minute bookings at luxury hotels.
  10. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Launched ‘Kisan Suvidha loan’ for small and marginal farmers, available by farmers for both agriculture and allied activities. It provides loans to individuals with an amount ranging from Rs. 60000 to Rs. 2 Lakh.
  11. Punjab government approved a rural development scheme worth Rs 384.40 crore to supplement ongoing works to build village infrastructure and provide essential amenities, called 'Smart Village Campaign'.
  12. Qatar defeated Japan to win their first ever Asian Cup Football Tournament. It was hosted by United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  13. Feb 02 - World Wetlands Day. 2019 theme is Wetlands and Climate Change.
  14. India’s new e-commerce policy came into effect on February 1, 2019. It puts several restrictions on e-commerce firms, to make a level playing field for all firms, vendors.
    1. It bar online retailers from selling products through vendors in which they have an equity interest.
    2. It also bars them from entering into exclusive deals with brands for selling products only on their platforms.
    3. Policy disallows e-commerce players to control inventory of the vendors. Any such ownership over inventory will convert it into inventory based model from marketplace based model, which is not entitled to FDI.
    4. Under new rules, e-commerce retailer shall be deemed to own the inventory of a vendor if over 25 per cent of the purchases of such a vendor are through it. Hence, not more than a quarter of inventory on an e-commerce platform can come from a single vendor. 
      The policy has also restricted marketplaces from influencing prices in a bid to curb deep discounting.
  15.  As per Official stats, GST collection for January 2019 is estimated at Rs 1.03 lakh crores.
  16. Government constituted a committee under Central Electricity Authority (CEA) to explore prepaid payments by state electricity distribution companies to power plants. Committee will look into problems of delayed payments from distribution companies to power generators.
  17. Mizoram government banned import of pigs and piglets to prevent outbreak of a disease that has cost lives of thousands of swine in state.
  18. Gorkha Brigade received best marching contingent trophy of Republic Day parade, while CRPF won best marching contingent prize for para-military forces.
    1. In category of tableaux , Tripura ‘s tableau that depicted Gandhian way of fuelling rural economy, won first prize whereas Jammu and Kashmir’s tableau won second (depicted the state’s composite culture and ethnic diversity).
  19. Ministry of Labour Notified Rules To Allow Employment of Women in Mines, offering Equal Employment Opportunities for Women in Mines. Central Government exempted women employed in any mine from provisions of section 46 of the Mines Act 1952, subject to some conditions related to timings and other terms.
  20. Indian Banking Association asked banks to waive off processing, documentation, inspection, ledger folio charges and all other service charges for Kisan Credit Card/crop loans upto 3 Lakhs.
  21. PM Narendra Modi launched 220 kV Srinagar- Alusteng - Drass- Kargil – LehTransmission System, to ensure quality power supply to Ladakh round the year. This would boost tourism and enhance socio-economic development of Ladakh. Cost of project is INR 2266 crores.
    1. PM Modi also Launched University of Ladakh, as first-ever university in Ladakh region of J & K.
  22. Manus Island’s refugee Behrouz Boochani ’s debut book ‘No Friends But the Mountains’ won both 25,000 dollars non-fiction prize at Victorian premier’s literary awards and 100,000 dollars Victorian prize for literature, in Australia.
  23. Iran test flighted Hoveizeh long-range cruise missile, on occasion of 40th anniversary of its Islamic revolution. Hoveizeh Cruise Missile has range of over 1,350 km (840 miles).
  24. With USA withdrawing from INF treaty, Russia also declared its suspension of treaty, triggering fear about arms race due to suspension of INF treaty.
    1. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (signed by USA and Russia in December 1987), prohibited USA and Soviet Union from possessing, testing and deploying ground-launched cruise and ballistic missiles of ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometres. Treaty exempted the air-launched and sea-based missile systems in the same range.
    2. Under the treaty, both US and Russia destroyed 846 and 1,846 missiles respectively.
    3. Now, as the treaty has ended, Both Russia and US would indulge in development of these short and medium ranges missiles, triggerinh hige risks for rest of world, mainly European Union.
  25. UN Security Council resolution 2454 has been adopted unanimously, that aims to extend sanctions against the Central African Republic (CAR) for a year.
    1. Central African Republic has been hurt by violence between Muslims and Christians since predominantly Muslim, Seleka rebels overthrew Christian president in March 2013 and seized power. Anti-Balaka militias, mostly Christians, fought back, resulting in thousands of deaths and displacement. As a result, many fled to the country’s north and across the border into Chad and Cameroon.
  26. Haryana Hammers won 4th edition of Pro Wrestling League (PWL), defeating Punjab Royals.
  27. Ministry of Finance will merge 2 regional rural banks in Tamilnadu, naming new entity as Tamil Nadu Grama Bank. Banks to be merged are Pallavan Grama Bank (Sponsored by Indian Bank) and Pandyan Grama Bank (Sponsored by Indian Overseas Bank).
  28. Punjab Govt. approved declaring endangered Indus River dolphin, found only in Beas River in the country, as state aquatic animal.
  29. World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva assumed role of interim President of World Bank, after Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim's retirement became effetive on FEB 1.
  30. Indian Squash Player Ramit Tandon won Seattle Open Title, defeating Egyptian Mohamed El Sherbini.
  31. RBI launched ombudsman scheme for digital payments, to provide free of cost redressal mechanism to grievances raised by customers for digital transactions undertaken by them through non-banking channels, like mobile wallets or tech enabled payment companies using UPI for settlements.
  32. Govt. flagged off Suraksha Yatra a motor rally to advocate Road Safety, from Rajghat in New Delhi. It will cover 7250 km in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar.
    1. 30th National Road Safety Week was also launched on the occasion.On this occasion, Delhi Government launched Zero Fatality Corridor with an aim to curb number of accidents.
    2. Rally will conclude at Yangon in Myanmar on the 24th of February, covering a total distance of 7250 km.
  33. Feb 04 - World Cancer Day. On this Occasion. Union for International Cancer Control launched a new 3-year campaign with the theme: “I Am and I Will”.
  34. According to 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report ,Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has been marked as India’s highest ranked think tank, ranked 118 globally. Brookings Institution is the highest ranked think tank globally and followed by French Institute of International Relations and Carnegie Endowment in second position.
  35. ECA international survey declared Singapore to be most liveable location for Asian Expatriates for 14th consecutive year.
  36. European Parliament approved Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela, highlighting international crisis and pressure of public against President Nicolas Maduro.
  37. 2nd Phase of Pasupu-Kumkuma (Turmeric-Kumkum) scheme and welfare pensions launched by Andhra Pradesh Govt. 94 Lakh DWCRA (Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas) women will be given Rs 10000 in three installments under Pasupu-Kumkuma scheme. Annual Expenditure will be around Rs 13200 crores.
  38. According to commerce and industry ministry data, Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India has declined 11% to $22.66 billion during April-September period of current fiscal. Sectors that received maximum foreign investment are services ($4.91 billion), followed by computer software and hardware ($2.54 billion).
  39. K.Veeramani Award for Social Justice 2018 will be conferred on P.S. Krishnan, given by Periyar International Inc.
  40. Nayib Bukele won presidential elections in Central American Nation El Salvador.
  41. Punjab government constituted a committee to prepare a comprehensive action plan for boosting the dairy sector with the aim of supplementing income of farmers in a result-oriented manner.
  42. Eicher Motors MD & CEO Siddhartha Lal named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 India, with Wipro chairman Azim Premji honoured with the lifetime achievement award. Mr. Lal will represent India at EY World Entrepreneur of Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June 2019.
  43. Penalties Imposed by RBI -
    1. INR 2 crore penalty on UCO Bank for non-compliance of instructions issued by RBI on collection of account payee instruments and those on frauds-classification and reporting.
    2. RBI slapped 1-crore penalty on Syndicate Bank for violating several norms.
    3. RBI levied 2.2 Crores Penalty on Axis Bank for violating norms.
    4. RBI levied penalty of 1 crore on State Bank of India (SBI) for not monitoring end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers.
    5. RBI imposed penalty of 2 crores on Corporation Bank due to some lapses in monitoring of end use of funds and exchange of information with other banks.
    6. RBI imposed penalty of 1.5 crores on Allahabad Bank for violating several norms.
    7. RBI imposed penalty on 3 Public Sector PSU banks due to deficiencies in regulatory compliance with directions issued by RBI on monitoring end use of funds, information exchange with other banks and on restructuring of accounts.
      1. Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) - 1.5 crore
      2. Punjab National Bank (PNB) - 1 crore
      3. Bank of India - 1 crore
  44. SBI UK head Sanjiv Chadha honoured with the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ award in recognition of his contribution to promoting the bilateral relations. Genesis of the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ is traced to the medieval time of around 1237. It enabled recipients to carry out their trade. Previous Indian recipient of the honour is Jawaharlal Nehru, first PM of India.
  45. Thailand government approved naming Siamese fighting fish as National Aquatic Animal. The Siamese fighting fish was chosen as it’s a native, unique species to the kingdom’s waters and an important animal for Thailand’s economy.
  46. Manipur Filmmaker Aribam Syam Sharma returned his 2006 Padma Shri award, in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
    1. The bill has become controversial? as it aims to amend Citizenship Act of 1955, allowing Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan to apply for Indian citizenship. The bill is criticised for being communal as it grants citizenship on the basis of religion.
    2. Heat against the bill is more in North East states as lakhs of illegal immigrants have crossed over to India from bangladesh and are majorly concentrated in northeastern states.
  47. Madras High Court ruled against negative marking in competitive examinations, while hearing a petition. HC said that negative marking is not prevailing anywhere else in world. It acts only as “a bolt in the brain development” of students and prevents them from making intelligent guesses.
  48. Kerala became first State to set up a Price Monitoring and Research Unit (PMRU) to track violation of prices of essential drugs and medical devices under the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO).
  49. National Board of Wildlife gave wildlife clearance to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project (MAHSR) (also called Bullet Train) that passes through the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. Corridor is expected to be ready by 2022.
  50. Maharashtra government has set up a committee to review various schemes being implemented for the welfare of tribals in the state. It is headed by Vivek Pandit.
  51. Kala Ghoda festival, India’s largest multi-cultural street festival begins in Mumbai to celebrate its 20 years of art and culture through cinema, theatre, dance, literature, and sculpture.
  52. Music and dance festival 'Sopan 2019', to encourage young artists to take up traditional art organized in New Delhi, by Sahitya Kala Parishad and New Delhi government.
  53. Cabinet Approvals -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Malaysia - Cooperation in field of Company Secretaryship.
      2. MoU between India and Election Management Bodies of Namibia and Panama.
      3. Norway - India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
      4. Brazil - Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
      5. Maldives - Cooperation in Improve Ecosystems for Agribusiness.
      6. Ukraine - cooperation in Agriculture and Food Industry.
      7. Indonesia - cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
      8. United Arab Emirates -Development Cooperation in Africa.
      9. Finland - Biotechnology.
      10. Uzbekistan - e-Governance.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, for conservation, protection and development of cattle population in country including development and conservation of indigenous breeds. It is in pursuance of the announcement of setting up of the Aayog in the Union Budget 2019-20.
      2. Approved allocating 85% power to Government of Telangana generated from Telangana Super Thermal Power Project (4000MW) of NTPC. and 85% power from expansion project of Patratu Thermal Power Station (4000MW) of Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (PVUNL), a subsidiary company of NTPC Ltd, to the State Government of Jharkhand.
      3. Approved Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman, after alternative complaint redressal mechanisms chosen by public and institution of Ombudsman could not prove to be more effective than regular existing parallel channels of grievance redressal.
        1. Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman was created in 2003 to deal with grievances of public related to settlement of complaints relating to Income Tax. However, it failed to achieve its objectives. Tax payers started preferring alternate methods of grievance redressal like CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System), AaykarSevaKendras etc.
      4. Approved establishment of Circuit Bench of Calcutta High Court at Jalpaiguri. It will have jurisdiction over four districts namely Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar.
      5. Approved introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill 2019. It aims to confer status of Institutions of National Importance to National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli, Haryana, and Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
      6. Approved introducing Cinematograph Amendment Bill 2019 , to amend Cinematograph Act 1952. It aims to tackle Films piracy by including penal provisions for unauthorized camcording and duplication of films.
        1. Insertion of new Section 6AA for prohibition of unauthorized recording will make its violation punishable with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine which may extend to 10 lakh rupees or with both.
      7. Approved establishment of a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India through International Financial Srvices Centres Authority Bill, 2019.
        1. 1st IFSC in India has been set up at GIFT City, Gandhinagar, Gujarat. An IFSC enables bringing back the financial services and transactions that are currently carried out in offshore financial centers by Indian corporate entities to India, providing them easier access to global financial markets. IFSC would also promote development of financial markets in India.
        2. Currently, banking, capital markets and insurance sectors in IFSC are regulated by multiple regulators, i.e. RBI, SEBI and IRDAI. Dynamic nature of business in the IFSCs necessitates a high degree of inter-regulatory coordination. Hence, need is for having unified financial regulator for IFSCs, to provide world class regulatory environment to financial market participants.
        3. Establishment of a unified financial regulator for IFSCs will result in providing world-class regulatory environment to market participants from an ease of doing business perspective.
      8. Approved amendments to Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2018, aimed at effectively tackle menace of illicit deposit-taking activities in country, and prevent such schemes from duping poor and gullible people.
        1. It bans Deposit Takers from promoting, operating, issuing advertisements or accepting deposits in any Unregulated Deposit Scheme.
        2. Bill creates three different types of offences - running of Unregulated Deposit Schemes, fraudulent default in Regulated Deposit Schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to Unregulated Deposit Schemes.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved creation of a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) to be created with NABARD for development and up-gradation of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets and Regulated Wholesale Markets.
        1. AMIF  will provide State/UT Governments subsidized loans for their proposal for developing marketing infrastructure in 585 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and 10,000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs).
      2. Approved Prasar Bharati's "Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development" scheme at a cost of Rs.1054.52 crore for 3 years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. Amount of 435 Crores is approved for continuing schemes of All India Radio and 619 Crores for schemes of Doordarshan.
      3. Approved continuation of the Scheme of "Exploration of Coal and Lignite" with an expected expenditure of Rs.1875 Crores. The approved scheme is for carrying out 24,41,500 meter of drilling and 3575 line km (LKM) of surface geophysical survey.
        1. Under this, approx 7 billion tonne of resources will be established and 11 billion tonne of resources will be proved.
      4. Approved implementation of Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-for setting up 12,000 MW grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Projects, by Government Producers with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support of 8,580 crores.
        1. 12,000 MW or more capacity of grid connected solar power projects will be set up by Government Producers in 4 years. The Scheme will mandate use of both solar photovoltaic (SPV) cells and modules manufactured domestically as per specifications and testing requirements fixed by MNRE.
  54. India’s 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 successfully launched from Spaceport in French Guiana, onboard launch vehicle Ariane 5 VA-247 lifted off from Kourou Launch Base, French Guiana (South America). Its lift off mass is 2536 kg.
    1. It will provide DTH Television Services, connectivity to VSATs for ATM, Stock-exchange, Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG) and e-governance applications. It will also be used for bulk data transfer for a host of emerging telecommunication applications.
  55. Fitch Group's Fitch Solutions projected India's fiscal deficit to be 3.6% of GDP in 2019-20 fiscal, more than 3.4 % Projected in Interim Budget 2019-20.
  56. Asian Development Bank (ADB) bought 14% stake in micro-financier Annapurna Finance for Rs 137 crores. ADB has backed MFIs to help achieve its broader objective of reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific.
  57. Food delivery startup Swiggy acquihired Bengaluru-based AI startup Kint.io for an undisclosed amount. Acqui-hiring refers to buying out a company or an entity primarily for skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.
  58. Fino Payments Bank (FPB) launched a sweep account facility in association with Suryoday Small Finance Bank (SSFB), to address issue of deposit limits faced by all payment banks in India (Currently 1 Lakh).
  59. International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will set up a “World Heritage Centre” housing “spiritual camps” of 45 countries, at its headquarter, Mayapur in Nadia district of West Bengal.
  60. Odisha Govt. launched scholarship scheme named ‘KALIA Chhatravritti Yojana‘, for children of farmers who are the beneficiaries of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme. Under this, beneficiaries will be provided scholarships to pursue higher education in professional courses at free of cost.
  61. Feb 6 - International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
  62. RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) Sixth Bi-Monthly Review -
    1. Decided to reduce Repo Rate under Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 % to 6.25 %
    2. Reverse Repo Rate under LAF stands came down to 6 %
    3. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate and Bank Rate came down to 6.5 % 
    4. MPC also decided to change Monetary Policy Stance from Calibrated Tightening to Neutral. 
    5. CSO estimated GDP growth at 7.2% for 2018-19. GDP growth for 2019-20 is projected at 7.4%.
    6. Current RBI Monetary Policy Rates -
      • Repo Rate - 6.25 %
      • Reverse Repo - 6.00 %
      • Bank Rate - 6.50 %
      • CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) - 4 %
      • SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) - 19.5 % (RBI decided to reduce SLR from existing 19.5% to 18.0% in six quarterly instalments beginning January 2019)
      • Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate - 6.50 %
  63. PM Narendra Modi launched DD Arunprabha, a dedicated 24x7 Doordarshan satellite channel for Arunachal Pradesh and laid foundation stone of a permanent campus of Film and Television Institute (FTI) at Arunachal Pradesh. DD Arunprabha is s24th satellite channel operated by Doordarshan. Channel will showcase the rich tradition and diversity of local culture.
  64. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs instituted PMAY (U) awards for Implementation and Innovation, to recognize outstanding performance and to promote competition by States/UTs, Urban Local Bodies, Beneficiaries and Housing Finance Corporations (under CLSS).
    1. First level of awards is for States/UTs and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) for performance on key indicators of Mission. There would be separate competition among Municipal Corporations and Municipalities within ULBs.
  65. A dedicated Asiatic Lion Conservation Project with contribution of INR 98 crores (for 3 years) has been launched by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change(MoEFCC). Asiatic Lion, endemic to Gir landscape of Gujarat, is one of 21 critically endangered species identified by Ministry for taking up recovery programmes.
  66. 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under UN Environment Programme, will be hosted by India during 15th to 22nd February, 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat, with Great Indian Bustard (GIB) as mascot for the event.
    1. India has been a Party to CMS since 1983.  The Conference of Parties (COP) is the decision-making organ of this convention.
    2. In order to protect migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force, under UNEP. Also referred to as Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for conservation of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together.
  67. Indian Navy's INS Trikand participated in a multinational training exercise ‘CUTLASS EXPRESS – 19’ held at Dijibouti Coast. It was sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), and conducted by Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF).
  68. Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) flight tested second indigenously developed ‘Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR)’ propulsion based missile system. Helicopter-launched anti-tank missile Helina was also successfully test fired. Helina is air-launched variant of Nag, a fire-and-forget ATGM with an estimated range of 4 kilometers. Helina’s range is estimated at between 7 to 8 kilometres.
  69. Government e Marketplace (GeM) and Competition Commission of India (CCI) signed a MOU to enable a fair and competitive environment in e-Marketplace.
    1. GeM is national public procurement platform of Ministry of Commerce and Industries, that has used technology to remove entry barriers for bonafide sellers and has created a vibrant e-marketplace with a wide range of goods and services.
  70. Election Commission of India launched a Voter Verification and Information Programme (VVIP)  for citizens for verifications of their names, new registrations, changes in voter details and corrections in Voter Id Cards for upcoming General Elections 2019.  ECI also enabled Voter Helpline number at number 1950.
  71. Book Law, Justice and Judicial Power – Justice PN Bhagwati’s Approach, written by Mool Chand Sharma has been released.
  72. RBI raised criteria for 'bulk deposits' for banks to Rs 2 crore from the current Rs 1 crore, to provide more operational freedom to lenders to raise funds.
    1. Banks have been given discretion to offer differential rate of interest on the bulk deposits as per their requirements and asset-liability management (ALM) projections. Interest rate on bulk deposits are marginally higher than smaller-amount fixed deposits for similar maturity period.
  73. Vidarbha won their second successive Ranji Trophy Domestic Cricket title, defeating Saurashtra in Final.
  74. Macedonia signed an accord to join NATO to become 30th member of the Military alliance.
    1. Conflict over name with Greece had become a damper in its membership to NATO. Conflict recently came to a logical end with conclusion of Prespa Agreement.
    2. Russia Raised Concerns against Macedonia becoming part of NATO. Russia accused NATO of destabilising Balkans by pushing Macedonia and Montenegro to join NATO. Russia sees Balkan nations as its sphere of influence and is against NATO or any other body led by US or EU making inroads to Balkan countries.
  75. Bengali Preist Francois Laborde conferred Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honour), the highest civilian award of France, in recognition of his work for specially-abled children. He is third person from West Bengal to have been awarded Legion of Honor after Satyajit Ray and Soumitra Chatterjee.
  76. International Intellectual Property (IP) Index  2019, released by US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center. The Index assesses the Intellectual Property regimes and developments in 50 global economies.
    1. India improved by 8 places to 36th Place.
    2. Top 5 - US, UK, Sweden, France and Germany.
  77. Jammu and Kashmir government announced creation of a separate administrative division for Ladakh region, during ongoing governor rule in state.
    1. J & K State had 2 administrative divisions of Jammu and Kashmir earlier. Ladakh would be 3rd administrative division, with Leh and Kargil districts and headquartered in Leh. Ladakh region was earlier part of the Kashmir division.
  78. PM Narendra Modi laid Foundation Stone for Sela Tunnel Project in Arunachal Pradesh across Sela Pass.
    1. Sela Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass located on border between Tawang and West Kameng Districts of Arunachal Pradesh. It connects Tawang with rest of India.
    2. Project involves construction of a road for total distance of 12 km which consist of 2 tunnels. It will also aid travellers in by-passing dangerous snow-covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.
  79. RBI issued new policy for overseas borrowings, rationalizing earlier policy in consultation with Government.
    1. New policy allows all eligible borrowers to raise External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) up to $750 million or equivalent per financial year under automatic route replacing the existing sector wise limits.
    2. To liberalise framework ECB and rupee-denominated bonds Tracks I and II under existing framework are merged as ‘Foreign Currency denominated ECB’ and Track III and Rupee Denominated Bonds framework are combined as ‘Rupee Denominated ECB’ to replace current four-tiered structure (Track I, II and III denotes amount and maturity of funds raised).
    3. All-in cost ceiling per annum has been pegged at the benchmark rate plus 450 bps spread. Minimum average maturity period (MAMP) has been kept at three years for all ECBs.
    4. List of eligible borrowers has been expanded to include all entities eligible to receive foreign direct investment (FDI).
  80. Meghalaya government will rename Dikkibandi stadium after P A Sangma. A junction leading to AMPT road in Tura have been renamed after him.
    1. Purno Agitok Sangma served as Speaker of the Lok Sabha and CM of Meghalaya (from 1988 to 1990).
  81. US President Trump nominated David Malpass for post of president of the World Bank.
    1. World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva assumed role of interim President of World Bank, after Former World Bank President Jim Yong Kim's retirement became effetive on FEB 1.
  82. Assam government announced a new scheme called Arundhati to provide gold at free of cost to brides.
    1. Under this, government aims to provide 1 Tola Gold, to brides belonging to all such communities of Assam where it is customary to provide gold at time of wedding. Government has set aside Rs 300 crores for implementation of Arundhati Scheme.
    2. The scheme is named after Arundhati, wife of great sage Basistha.
    3. Scheme is limited for economically weaker sections, whose annual income is below Rs 5 lakh.
  83. US approved sale of two missile defence systems for Air India One (Official planes flying the prime minister and the president), named Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCAM) and Self-Protection Suites (SPS).
    1. LAIRCM protects large aircraft from man-portable missiles.
    2. SPS will facilitate a more robust capability into areas of increased missile threats.
  84. Kerala High Court said that banks cannot be absolved from liability to loss caused to a customer on account of unauthorised withdrawals made from his/her account, merely on ground that customer did not respond promptly to SMS alert given by the bank.
    1. It is obligation of banks to create a safe electronic banking environment to combat all forms of malicious conduct, which result in the loss to their customers.
  85. Indian Coast Guard and Airport Authority of India (AAI) signed MOU for coordination in aeronautical and maritime search and rescue operations.
  86. Chennai police mobile App ‘DigiCop’ has been launched, enabling people to track status of stolen two-wheelers and cell phones.
  87. RBI raised limit of collateral-free agricultural loans to 1.6 lakh from the current 1 lakh, to help small and marginal farmers. Currently, banks are mandated to extend collateral-free agricultural loans up to 1 lakh, fixed in 2010.
  88. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani launched India Size project in Mumbai, aiming to arrive at a standard Indian Size for the ready-to-wear clothing industry, on lines of the standardized sizes available in other countries.
    1. She also inaugurated ‘Titanwala Museum’ in Bagru that showcases the Chhipa community’s Bagru hand-block printing, a traditional technique of printing with natural colour followed by the chippas of Rajasthan.
  89. France’s Corentin Moutet won Chennai Open ATP Challenger Tennis title, beating Andrew Harris of Australia.
  90. Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been elected as chairman of the African Union, during its summit in Ethiopia.
  91. PM Narendra Modi dedicated to nation the 1.33 million metric ton capacity Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, along with several other developmental projects.
  92. A Himalayan Cloud Observatory has been set up in Tehri district of Uttarakhand with a motive to forecast and monitor cloudburst incidents in the Himalayan region and help to minimize the damage.
  93. Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised 5.2204 billion Philippine pesos ($100 million) from a new issue of local currency bonds in the international market. Currency-linked bonds are denominated in the local currency but settled in US dollars.
    1. ADB issued bonds in Philippine domestic market in 2005 and 2007 but this issue is first time it has mobilized Philippine peso funding from international investors through a currency-linked structure.
  94. UAE Emirate Abu Dhabi included Hindi as third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.
  95. Multinational naval exercise Aman-2019 hosted by Pakistan, with participation of 46 nations.
  96. Acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta will be given Lifetime Achievement Award by Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.
  97. Feb 8 is observed as National Cleft Day in India. On this occasion, Smile Train launched India's first toll-free national cleft helpline - 1800 103 8301. Feb 8 is also observed as ‘National Deworming Day’ across country.
  98. Social Network Focussing launched a digital skilling and mentorship initiative across five states in India that would encourage tribal girls to become village-level digital young leaders for their communities, Named GOAL (Going Online As Leaders). It will train young girls from West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh in digital literacy, life skills, leadership and entrepreneurship for an year.
  99. Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat launched a mobile application developed by Australia-based agri-tech company MoooFarm to provide advisory services to dairy farmers. MoooFarm provides end-to-end last-mile connectivity solution offering extension and technology to the smallholder dairy farmers.
  100. 52nd Boori Boot Yullo festival held at at Dollungmukh (Arunachal Pradesh).
  101. Book Ramayana Retold With Scientific Evidences, written by Saroj Bala has been released. It depicts exact dates for events in Hindu Mythological Novel The Ramayana.
  102. India’s first Institute of Advanced Virology, affiliated to Global Virus Network, has been inaugurated in Kerala. It was announced after outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala in May 2018.
  103. 3rd Brahmaputra Literary Festival held at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra in Guwahati (Assam).
  104. Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani topped Hurun India Philanthropy List 2018, with highest contribution of Rs 437 crore between October 2017 and September 2018.
    1. Ambani was followed by Piramal Group Chairman Ajay Piramal (200 crores).
    2. Total Indian philanthropy amount in the list stands at Rs 1,560 crore, with 39 Indians Listed.
  105. Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Issued Categorization of farmers as per agriculture census 2015-16, which is conducted in every five years. Categorisation of operational holdings as per Agriculture Census -
    1. Category Size-Class
      Marginal Below 1.00 hectare
      Small 1.00-2.00 hectare
      Semi-medium 2.00-4.00 hectare
      Medium 4.00-10.00 hectare
      Large 10.00 hectare and above
  106. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu launched two schemes - Hirkani Maharashtrachi and District Business Plan Competition.
    1. Under Hirkani Maharashtrachi, women’s Self-help group (SHGs) will display their business plan at taluka level. 10 groups will be selected from each taluka and INR 50,000 will be given to each SHG to implement their idea. 5 SHGs at district level will be selected and 2 lakh will be given to each SHG to take idea forward.
    2. Under District Business Plan Competition, competitors at district level will display ideas, out of which 5 ideas will be selected and Work order worth Rs. 5 lakh will be given to 5 selected ideas to implement it.
  107. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) imposed fine of 9 lakh on PSU Insurer United India Insurance Company.
  108. Feb 10 - First-ever UN World Pulses Day. UN also named 2016 as International Year of Pulses.
  109. 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit Organized in Guwahati (Assam), organised by India Foundation, with theme Connectivity: Pathway to Shared Prosperity.
  110. Visits from India (Feb 1 -10, 2019) -
    1. Indian Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa visited Bangladesh.
  111. Visits to India (Feb 1 - 10, 2019) -
    1. Prince Albert II of Monaco visited India.
    2. Bangladesh Finance Minister A. K. Abdul Momen Visited India. India and Bangladesh signed MOU for training 1800 Bangladesh Civil Servants at National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) under Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), over next 6 years.
  112. General Conferences (Feb 1 - 10, 2019)
    1. A Workshop on MoEFCC-Global Environment Facility, UNDP Small Grants Programme(SGP) held in New Delhi. UNDP has been supporting Ministry Of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in implementing Global Environment Facility (GEF) and SGP since 1997. It has reduced 85000 MTs of CO2 emission through a range of alternative energy and energy efficient technologies. 
    2. 2nd Words Count Festival 2019 held in Pune (Maharashtra). First Word Smith Award given to Pavan Kumar Varma. Words Count Festival is curetted by noted screenwriter, author Advita Kala.
    3. 3rd Indo-German Working Group for cooperation on water and waste management held in New Delhi.
    4. Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2019 organized by Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism. Maharashtra is Theme State and Thailand is Partner Nation Country for 2019 edition.
    5. Government organised a meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Cluster Group on Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in New Delhi. IORA is an inter-governmental organisation and has many disaster-prone countries among its 22 members and nine dialogue partners.
    6. 2nd Jharkhand International Film Festival (JIFF) organized by an NGO, Navbharat Nirman Sangh at Ranchi.
    7. 2019 International Spice Conference 2019 organized in Hyderabad, by International Spice Conference.
    8. Celebrating 50-years of formalization of diplomatic ties between India and Bhutan, a two-day international conference on 8th century Himalayan sage Guru Padmasambhava held in New Delhi.
    9. WhatsApp announced Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses in India, in association with Invest India.
      1. Top 5 winners would receive a cash prize worth $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.8 crores). The themes for this Start-up challenge are healthcare, rural economy, financial and digital inclusion, education and citizen safety.
      2. Selected 10 ideas would participate at live pitch day during grand finale and the top 5 would be awarded grants worth $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.8 crores).
    10. Shehri Samridhi Utsav, an initiative of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has been launched. It aims to extend outreach of Deendayal Antyodaya Mission – National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) to most vulnerable. Highlight National Exhibition cum sale of SHG products and National Street Food Festival being organized in New Delhi.
    11. 34th edition of India International Leather Fair (IILF) held in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), aiming to project India as an investment destination and a manufacturing hub for finished leather product design.
    12. First state level awareness programme on agri export policy held in Pune (Maharashtra).
    13. 2nd edition of Asia LPG Summit held at New Delhi, with theme LPG – Energy for Life, organized jointly by major Indian oil marketing companies (OMCs) with World LPG Association (WLPGA).
    14. Ministry of Textiles in association with Central Silk Board organized an event called Surging Silk – Accomplishment and way forward in New Delhi.
    15. Part 2 of Darwaza Band campaign which aims to promote the use of toilets and to sustain the open defecation free status of villages across India has been launche, under Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen initiative of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
    16. Sahapedia and UNESCO organised 2nd edition of India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) 2019. This festival offers the opportunity to discover the hidden gems linked to history.
  113. Feb 11 - International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It is also observed as Unani Day in India. On this occasion, National Conference on Unani Medicine for Public Health was held in New Delhi.
  114. PETROTECH - 2019, considered as India’s flagship hydrocarbon conference, held at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida (UP). PETROTECH-2019 is 13th International Oil & Gas Conference & Exhibition organised under Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.
    1. India is now second largest consumer and importer of the LPG in the world. Import of LPG The import of LPG grew by 12.5 per cent over the past five years to 12 million metric tons (13 million tons) in 2018-19. China Stands at 2nd Position.
    2. On this occasion, MoU between Engineers India Ltd and Government of Mongolia through Mongol Refinery State Owned LLC was signed, for Project Management Consultancy services for construction of an oil refinery plant in Mongolia by EIL.
  115. Nuclear Energy Conference titled Parmanu Tech 2019 held in New Delhi, organised by Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
  116. Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Exercise called Rahat demonstrated in Rajasthan, jointly by Army in coordination with NDMA.
  117. 72nd Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards -
    1. Sl. No.

      Category Winner

      1.

      Best Director  Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
      2. Best Film

      Roma

      3.

      Best Actress Olivia Colman, The Favourite
      4. Best Actor

      Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

      5.

      Best Supporting Actress Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
      6. Best Supporting Actor

      Mahershala Ali – Green Book

      8. Best Animated Film

      Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

      9

      Best Film Not In Foreign Language Roma
  118. 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony  -
    1. Grammy Awards (originally called Gramophone Award) are presented by US Based The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in music industry. Notable Winners in 2019 Edition -
    2. Category Winner
      Album of the Year Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
      Record of the Year “This is America”, Childish Gambino
      Best New Artist Dua Lipa
      Best Rap Album Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B
      Best R&B Album Winner H.E.R.
      Best Rap Song “God’s Plan” by Drake
      Best Country Album Golden Hour by Kacey Musgarves
      Song of the Year “This is America”, Childish Gambino
      Best Rock Album From the Fires by Greta Van Fleet
      Best Rock Song “Masseducation” by St. Vincent
      Dance/Electronic Album Woman Worldwide, Justice
      Producer of the Year Blanton Alspaugh
      Best Music Video “This is America”, Childish Gambino
      Best Country Song “Space Cowboy” by Kacey Musgraves
      Best Folk Song All Ashore by Punch Brothers
      Best Comedy Album Equanimity & the Bird Revelation by Dave Chappelle
  119. Government signed a letter of Intent establishing India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative to collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy. Marine pollution is one of fastest growing environmental concerns.
  120. Indian historian Sanjay Subrahmanyam won prestigious Dan David Prize of Israel for 2019 for his work on inter-cultural encounters between Asians, Europeans and people of North and South America during the early modern era.
  121. Book What Marx Left Unsaid authored by Malay Chaudhuri has been released. It commemorates 200th birth anniversary of German philosopher Karl Marx.
  122. Hungarian Government ruled that women in country with four or more children will be exempted for life from paying income tax, aiming at boosting country’s population.
  123. NITI Aayog and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to codify, document and share best practices to improve learning outcomes in public school education through systemic reforms.
    1. Under this, NITI Aayog and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will document reforms pursued by various state governments that have initiated systemic reforms in education and have begun to see improved learning outcomes over the past few years.
  124. Facebook acquired US-based virtual search start-up, GrokStyle, to enable users shop better using Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities.
  125. Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal commissioned Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park at Tundurru Village in West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, as state's 2nd Mega Food Parka and 1st Mega Aqua Food Park operationalised exclusively established for fish and marine products processing.
    1. Cremica Food Park in Una was also inaugurated, as first mega food park of Himachal Pradesh.
    2. Foundation stone of a Mega Food Park was also laid at Chhata-Barsana road in Mathura (Uttar Pradesh).
  126. In a first of its kind, Ministry of Defence issued Expression of Interest (s) for shortlisting of potential Indian Strategic Partners and foreign OEMs for ‘Procurement of 111 Naval Utility Helicopters (NUH) for Indian Navy, to replace Chetak Helicopters. 95 helicopters out of 111 will be manufactured in India by selected Indian Strategic Partner.
  127. First batch of 4 Chinook military helicopters manufactured by USA based Boeing arrived at Mundra port in Gujarat, for induction into Indian Air Force. Chinook Helicopters are multi-role, vertical-lift platform, which is used for transporting troops, artillery, equipment and fuel.
    1. India had placed a mega contract to Boeing for the procurement of 22 Apache helicopters and 15 Chinooks for Indian Air Force in September 2015.
  128. Government introduced 125th Constitutional Amendment Bill in Parliament, aiming to increase financial and executive powers of 10 Autonomous Councils in Sixth Schedule areas of northeastern region.
    1. It will impact 1 crore tribal people in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
    2. It proposes to provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at grass-root level.
    3. It mandates finance commission to recommend devolution of financial resources to these autonomous councils. Autonomous Councils are currently dependent on grants from Central ministries and State government for specific projects.
    4. It also reserve one-third of seats for women in village and municipal councils in 6h Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram.
    5. Bill to empower Autonomous Councils was announced by government recently after protests in North-East following passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in Lok Sabha.
  129. Ministry of Human Resource Development will implement several measures for Promotion and Protection of Maithili Language and its scripts, based on a committee report. It Includes -
    1. Establishing a Script and Manuscript Centre at Darbhanga in any one of Universities - Kameshwar Singh Sanskrit University or Lalit Narayan Mithila Unviersity.
    2. Early completion of the work pertaining to Unicode Scripts of Mithilakshar by Technology Development of Indian Languages (TDIL).
  130. Power Producer NTPC signed a term loan agreement for Rs 5,000 crore with State Bank of India.
  131. Feb 13 - UNESCO World Radio Day. 2019 theme is Dialogue, Tolerance and Peace.
    1. On this Occasion, Book Let’s Talk On Air: Conversations with Radio Presenters, authored by Rakesh Anand Bakshi has been launched.
  132. Interim Budget Session of Parliament 2019 concluded with Productivity of Lok Sabha being 89% and that of Rajya Sabha 8%. Highlights are -
    1. Interim Union Budget 2019 - 20 was presented. Highlights for the same can be accessed here.
    2. BILLS INTRODUCED -
      1. LOK SABHA -
        1. Finance Bill 2019
        2. Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 2019
        3. Appropriation Bill 2019
      2. RAJYA SABHA -
        1. Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-fifth Amendment) Bill 2019 -
          1. It aims to increase financial and executive powers of 10 Autonomous Councils in Sixth Schedule areas of northeastern region.
            1. It will impact 1 crore tribal people in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
            2. It proposes to provide for elected village municipal councils, ensuring democracy at grass-root level.
            3. It mandates finance commission to recommend devolution of financial resources to these autonomous councils. Autonomous Councils are currently dependent on grants from Central ministries and State government for specific projects.
            4. It also reserve one-third of seats for women in village and municipal councils in 6h Schedule areas of Assam, Mizoram.
            5. Bill to empower Autonomous Councils was announced by government recently after protests in North-East following passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 in Lok Sabha.
        2. Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill 2019
        3. Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian Bill 2019
        4. International Financial Services Centres Authority Bill 2019
        5. Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill 2019
        6. National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill 2019
    3. BILLS PASSED BY LOK SABHA -
      1. Finance Bill 2019
      2. The Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 2019
      3. Appropriation Bill 2019
      4. Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill 2018
      5. Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill 2019 -
        1. Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Act 1951 provided for the erection of a National Memorial in memory of those killed or wounded on April 13, 1919, in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar. 1951 Act also provided for a Trust to manage National Memorial.
        2. 2018 amendment bill removes President of the Indian National Congress as a Trustee. Further, bill clarifies that when there is no Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, leader of the single largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha will be the Trustee.
        3. 2018 bill added a clause to allow central government to terminate the term of a nominated trustee before the expiry of his term without assigning any reason.
      6. Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019
    4. BILLS PASSED BY RAJYA SABHA -
      1. Finance Bill 2019
      2. Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill2019
      3. Appropriation Bill 2019
      4. Personal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019
      5. Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Third Amendment) Bill 2019
    5. BILLS PASSED BY BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT -
      1. Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 2019
      2. Appropriation Bill 2019
      3. Finance Bill 2019
      4. Personal Laws (Amendment), Bill, 2019
  133. Cabinet Approvals (Feb 13, 2019) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. With Morocco for setting up of a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.
      2. With Finland on Cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space.
      3. With Argentina for cooperation in tourism.
      4. With Saudi Arabia on establishing a mechanism for Investment Infrastructure in India and Cooperation in Custom Matters and Tourism.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved Extension of tenure of the National Commissionfor SafaiKarmacharis(NCSK) beyond 31-3-2019 for 3 years.
        1. NCSK was established in 1993 and has been seen extensions in tenure upto now.
      2. Approved introduction of Registration of Marriage of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Bill 2019, for creating  more accountability and offering more protection against exploitation of Indian citizens, mostly women by their NRI spouses.
        1. After Bill is passed, marriages performed by NRIs would be registered in India or Indian Missions & Posts abroad, and necessary changes would be carried out in Passports Act 1967 and Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 by insertion of Section 86A.
      3. Approved Patna Metro Rail Project comprising two corridors - Danapur to Mithapur corridor of 26.94 km stretch AND Patna Junction to New ISBT ( 14.45 km stretch) at 13,365.77 crores cost. The Project will be completed in five years.
        1. Danapur to Mithapur corridor is mostly underground (11.20 km) and partly elevated (5.48 km) and comprises of 11 Stations.
        2. Patna Station to New ISBT corridor is mostly elevated (9.9 km) and partly underground (4.55 km) and comprising of 12 stations.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) with outlay of INR 2900 crores, aimed at improving competitiveness of MSMEs by integrating various ongoing schematic interventions.
        1. Additionally, scheme through Zero Defect & Zero Effect component will promote reduction in emission level of green house gases and improve the competitiveness through reduction in defect / wastage during manufacturing process of products.
      2. Approved continuation of 11 sub-schemes under Umbrella programme for development of Scheduled Tribes from 1-4-2017 to 31-3-2020 with outlay of 11900 crores.
      3. Approved increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute for 2019-20 season, to 3950 per quintal from 3700 per quintal.
  134. Minister of State (IC) for AYUSH, Shripad Yesso Naik launched e-AUSHADHI portal, for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters. It aims to increase transparency, improved information management facility, improved data usability and increased accountability.
  135. India signed $40 Million Loan Agreement with World Bank for a project aimed at bringing clean and reliable drinking water to citizens of Greater Shimla area (Himachal Pradesh), who have been facing severe water shortages and water-borne epidemics over last few years.
  136. GS1 India, a standards organization set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, signed MoU with Government e-Marketplace (GeM), to enable GeM’s buyers and vendors to access diverse and standardized information on attributes of thousands of products across categories, empowering them to make more informed decisions.
    1. GeM will access product data from GS1 India’s DataKart, National repository of information on attributes of millions of retail products in the country.
  137. Sushil Chandra has been appointed as an Election Commissioner (EC) of India.
    1. Election Commission of India consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (currently Sunil Arora) and 2 Election Commissioners - Ashok Lavasa and now other vacanct post of EC to held by Sushil Chandra.
    2. Prior to Joining ECI, Sushil Chandra Held post of Chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  138. Expert committee under Chairmanship of Anoop Satpathy (from V. V. Giri National Labour Institute (VVGNLI)) submitted its report about recommend methodology for fixation of National Minimum Wage (NMW).
    1. Report recommended to fix need based national minimum wage for India at INR 375 per day (or INR 9,750 per month) as of July 2018, irrespective of sectors, skills, occupations and rural-urban locations for a family comprising of 3.6 consumption unit. It has also recommended to introduce an additional house rent allowance (city compensatory allowance), averaging up to INR 55 per day i.e., INR 1,430 per month for urban workers over and above NMW.
    2. Apart from proposing level of a single national minimum wage at an all-India level, report has also estimated and recommended different national minimum wages for different geographical regions of country.
      1. Region I

        Region II

        Region III

        Region IV

        Region V

         Assam, Bihar,  

         Jharkhand, Madhya

         Pradesh, Odisha,

         Uttar Pradesh, and 

         West Bengal

         Andhra   Pradesh, 

         Telangana,

         Chhattisgarh,

         Rajasthan, Jammu

         & Kashmir, and

         Uttarakhand

         Gujarat, 

         Karnataka, Kerala,

         Maharashtra, and

         Tamil Nadu

         Delhi, Goa,   

         Haryana,   

         Himachal 

         Pradesh, and 

         Punjab 

         Arunachal Pradesh,

         Manipur,

         Meghalaya,

         Nagaland, Sikkim,

         Mizoram and

         Tripura

        INR 342 per day

        (INR 8,892 per month)

        INR 380 per day

        (INR 9880 per month)

        INR 414 per day

        (INR 10,764 per month)

        INR 447 per day

        (INR11,622 per month)

        INR 386 per day

        (INR 10, 036 per month)

  139. Government increased Minimum Selling Price (MSP) of Sugar from Rs. 29 to Rs. 31 for the year 2019-20, To enable Sugar mills to clear arrears/dues of cane farmers.
  140. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) KSNDMC and University of Agriculture Sciences, Dharwad have decided to create synergies in institutional efforts by establishing a new Center of IMD called North Karnataka Agromet Forecasting and Research Centre (NKAFC) at UAS Dharwad.
    1. This centre will act as a centre of excellence with multi functions from observations, forecast, research and capacity building in Agro-Meteorological services in Karnataka state to be rendered jointly with the state government machinery at the district level.
  141. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) made amendments to the Model Building Byelaws (MBBL) 2016 and Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (URDPFI) Guidelines 2014, making provisions for establishing Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in country.
    1. Government expects that 25% of the total vehicles on roads should be EVs by 2030.
    2. Government aims to Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Every 25 Km in India.
  142. NASA announced that its 15 year long Opportunity Rover mission is complete after rover failed to respond despite repeated trials since August 2018.
  143. Jharkhand government banned Popular Front of India (PFI) in State, to curb its anti-national activities and for links with several terror outfits.
  144. Sports and Youth Ministry chosen Smiling Clouded Leopard as Mascot for National Games 2022, to be hosted by Meghalay. Clouded Leopard is among wild cats that live throughout forests of Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia Hills
  145. 5th International Dam Safety Conference 2019 held in Bhubaneswar (Odisha), jointly with World Bank under World Bank assisted Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP).
  146. India’s First Semi High Speed Train Vande Bharat Express has been flagged off, on Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route. It will cover distance in 8 hours. Vande Bharat Express can run up to a maximum speed of 160 kmph and has facilities better than any other train.
  147. Goa Government announced that Ghumot, an indigenous earthen drum will be notified as a heritage instrument of Goa.
    1. Ghumot is an indigenous earthen drum fashioned as a designed clay pot, with the skin of the monitor lizard stretched taut across the pot’s mouth, forming a drumhead. Ghumot is a percussion instrument widely played during Ganesh Chaturthi Aarties.
    2. It was banned as Skin of monitor lizard is one of key components of the Ghumot. Since monitor lizard was classified as an endangered wildlife species.
    3. In recent years attempts were made to revive the heritage instrument of Goa by replacing monitor lizard skin with the skin of a she-goat. This has spiked interests about the instrument.
  148. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change released publication titled India – Spearheading Climate Solutions, mentioning India’s key actions taken towards combating and adapting to climate change.
    1. It Includes briefs about several Climate Change initiavtives taken By India, containing India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which has 8 major missions, International Solar Alliance (ISA), State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC), FAME Scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles, UJALA Scheme etc.
  149. Indian Army showcased its artillery firepower by using ultra light Howitzers and indigenous Swathi weapon-locating radar at annual “Exercise Topchi”, held at Deolali Camp near Nashik (Maharashtra).
  150. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated National Cancer Institute (NIC) at Badhsa in Jhajjar district of Haryana. He also inaugurated an ESIC Medical College and Hospital in Faridabad, as first Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Medical College and hospital in North India.
  151. India’s First District cooling system will come up in Amravati, capital of Andhra Pradesh. For this, Andhra Pradesh government entered into a 30-year concession with UAE-based international cooling provider, National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed).
    1. District cooling systems produce chilled water, steam or hot water at a central plant and then pipe that energy out (either underground or over rooftops) to buildings for air conditioning, space heating and water heating.
    2. As a result, these buildings don’t require their own chillers, air conditioners, boilers or furnaces.
  152. Rajasthan Assembly passed Rajasthan Backward Classes Amendment Bill 2019, to address demands of the Gujjars who are protesting for reservations. It provides 5 % quota (up from 1%) in jobs and educational institutions to Gurjars, Banjaras, Gadia Lohars, Raikas and Gadaria communities.
    1. Bill increases the ceiling of creamy layer from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.
    2. Reservation in Rajasthan increased from 21 to 26 %.
    3. Reservations in Rajasthan now crosses the 50 per cent cap on reservations set by the Supreme Court.
  153. Rajasthan Assembly passed Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Bill 2019 and Municipality (Amendment) Bill 2019 to end the minimum education criterion for panchayat and civic polls candidates.
  154. World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), in New Delhi. It is sole Summit on global issues taking place in developing world.
  155. USA and Thailand hosted multi-nation Cobra Gold military exercise 2019, in northern Thai province of Phitsanulok, with participations of 29 nations. India joined this exercise for the first time in 2016 while China was admitted for the first time in 2015 but was only allowed to participate in humanitarian assistance training.
  156. International Labour Organisation released annual World Employment and Social Outlook Trends 2019.
    1. Unemployment rates anticipated to fall to 4.9% in 2019 and are expected to hold steady into 2020.
    2. Number of jobless is estimated to rise from 17.2 crores to 17.4 crores.
    3. Report presents concerns about the female workforce participation rate. The much lower labour force participation of women at 48%, compared with 75% for men means that around three in five of the 3.5 billion people in global labour force were men.
  157. USA House of Representatives approved to end US support for Saudi Arabia-led coalition in war in Yemen. US would withdraw its forces from Yemen within 30 days unless they are fighting al Qaeda or associated forces. It is first time the House of Representatives has ever supported a war powers resolution.
  158. Bihar Govt. announced a Universal Old Age Pension scheme, named Mukhya Mantri Vriddha Pension Yojana (MMVPY). It facilitates amount of INR 400 monthly pension for all in the state above the age of 60 who are not getting a pension from the government. Govt. also announced a pension of 6000 rupees for journalists above 60 years age.
  159. India signed deal with US under Fast Track Procurement (FTP) to avail 72400 new ‘Sig Sauer Assault Rifles’, to overhaul army’s inventory of frontline rifles.
  160. Book Undaunted: Saving the Idea of India, written by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has been launched.
  161. 7th session of World Government Summit held in Dubai (UAE).
  162. American Actor Bradley Cooper won Oscat award from animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for directing his dog in A Star Is Born.
  163. Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) has been rolled out by Ministry of Labour and Employment, which was proposed in Interim Union Budget 2019-20.
    1. Approx 42 crore unorganized sector workers are estimated to be engaged through the scheme.
    2. Thise with monthly income under 15,000 and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme. They should not be covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Further, he/she should not be an income tax payer. Features -
    3. Minimum Assured Pension - Each subscriber shall receive minimum assured monthly pension of 3000 after attaining age of 60 years.
    4. Family Pension - During receipt of pension, if subscriber dies, spouse of the beneficiary shall receive 50% of pension received by beneficiary as family pension.
    5. Contribution by Subscriber - Subscriber’s contribution chart with details of entry age specific monthly contribution is -
      1. Entry Age

        Superannuation Age

        Member's  monthly contribution

        (Rs)

        Central Govt's  monthly contribution

        (Rs)

        Total monthly contribution  (Rs)

        (1)

        (2)

        (3)

        (4)

        (5)= (3)+(4)

        18

        60

        55

        55

        110

        19

        60

        58

        58

        116

        20

        60

        61

        61

        122

        21

        60

        64

        64

        128

        22

        60

        68

        68

        136

        23

        60

        72

        72

        144

        24

        60

        76

        76

        152

        25

        60

        80

        80

        160

        26

        60

        85

        85

        170

        27

        60

        90

        90

        180

        28

        60

        95

        95

        190

        29

        60

        100

        100

        200

        30

        60

        105

        105

        210

        31

        60

        110

        110

        220

        32

        60

        120

        120

        240

        33

        60

        130

        130

        260

        34

        60

        140

        140

        280

        35

        60

        150

        150

        300

        36

        60

        160

        160

        320

        37

        60

        170

        170

        340

        38

        60

        180

        180

        360

        39

        60

        190

        190

        380

        40

        60

        200

        200

        400

    6. Enrolment Process -
      1. Subscriber may visit the nearest CSCs and get enrolled for PM-SYM using Aadhaar number and savings bank account/ Jan-Dhan account number on self-certification basis.
  164. Pramod Chandra Mody has been appointed as new Chairman of CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes). After Previous CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra has been appointed as an election commissioner.
  165. A 48mm long non-venomous snake species has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh, named Crying Keelback ( Hebius lacrima).
  166. Andhra Pradesh Govt. has merged Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana with its own Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme. This will further allow a fixed amount of Rs. 10,000 per annum (6000 by Central Govt.'s PMKISAN scheme and 4000 by state govt.'s Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme) to all farmers in state, irrespective of the size of their land. Benefits will be facilitated in 2 portions of Rs. 5000 before the Kharif and Rabi crop cycle.
  167. UNICEF in Maharashtra partnered with Goa Women and Child Development(WCD) to focus on and support in area of child protection in State.
  168. 2019 Sofia Open Tennis (Bulgaria) -
    1. Singles - Daniil Medvedev (Russia)
    2. Doubles - Nikola Mektić (Croatia) AND Jürgen Melzer (Austria)
  169. Indian Air Force held Vayu Shakti 2019 exercise at Pokhran in Rajasthan, showcasing its firepower capability.
  170. NASA announced a new space telescope mission dedicated to understanding the origins of life and the universe, called Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer or SPHEREx. It is aimed to be launched in 2023.
  171. Book ‘Simplicity & Wisdom’ authored by Dinesh Shahra has been launched.
  172. Hina Jaiswal became First Indian Woman Flight Engineer of Indian Air Force (IAF). Flight Engineer branch was opened to women officers in 2018.
  173. FIH Hockey Player of the Year Awards -
    1. Male - Arthur van Doren (Belgium)
    2. Female - Eva de Goede (Netherlands)
  174. 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships, In Guwahati (Assam) -
    1. Women's - Saina Nehwal won her fourth title, defeating P.V.Sindhu.
    2. Men's - Sourabh Verma won by defeating Lakshya Sen.
    3. Men's Doubles - Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty.
  175. US president Donald Trump declared a national emergency to fund the US-Mexico border without congressional approval. This has been described by Democrats as unconstitutional and they vowed to challenge it.
    1. National Emergency in USA can be subjected to more than 30 national emergencies and can be declared for various reasons, under National Emergencies Act (NEA) 1976. Since 1976, presidents have declared at least 58 states of emergency in USA.
    2. President Trump vowed to construct a wall along USA-Mexico border to stop illegal migration if he comes to power. This requires fencing of 322 km which costs about $ 5.7 billion. It was rejected by US Congress and country went into a 35-day partial government shutdown. However, Congress passed a compromise bill providing President Trump with a mere $1.4 billion for a barrier along 90 kilometres of border. National emergency enables President Trump to divert money from elsewhere, for purpose of construction of wall along border.
  176. United Nations appointed Indian official Chandramouli Ramanathan to one of topmost positions in Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC). He took over as Controller, Assistant Secretary-General for Programme Planning, Budget and Finance.
  177. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) launched a new portal LADIS – Least Available Depth to aid in ensuring of optimum use of National Waterways.LADISAn assured depth of waterway is required for seamless movement of vessels. It will provide real-time data on least available depths for ship/barge and cargo owners so that they can undertake transportation on NWs in a more planned way.
  178. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has withdrawn the earlier order which stipulated a 20% limit on investments by FPIs in Corporate Bonds.
    1. During review of the FPI investment in corporate debt in April 2018, limit was introduced to incentivize FPIs to maintain a portfolio of assets. But market feedback suggested contrary, stating that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) have been constrained by this stipulation.
  179. Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed Himachal Pradesh Official Language Bill 2019 (Amendment), to make Sanskrit second official language of state.
  180. JP Morgan rolled out the first US bank cryptocurrency, called “JPM Coin.
    1. It is intended for thebank’s wholesale payments business that moves $6 trillion around the world daily and not for retail customers.
    2. Cryptocurrencies are used successfully to move money between the bank and a client which usually runs on a blockchain technology.
  181. Football Delhi Presented first-ever Football Ratna award to Noted Indian Footballer Sunil Chhetri.
  182. Sudanese refugee, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, who spent 5 years in Australian detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, has been given Martin Ennals Award 2019 in Geneva (Switzerland), for exposing cruel asylum seeker policy of Australian Government.
  183. Vidarbha Won Irani Cup Cricket Trophy, defeating rest of India. Vidarbha became 3rd team in Indian Domestic Cricket history after Bombay and Karnataka to defend their Irani cup titles.
  184. Amazon launched Amazon Pay Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for Android users in partnership with Axis Bank to issue UPI IDs to its customers in India.
  185. IT Firm Infosys launched a next-generation digital platform ‘InfyTQ’ to facilitate engineering students with best learning experiences by imparting technical and professional skills.
  186. Awards at 69th Berlin International Film Festival -
    1. Golden Bear – Synonyms by Nadav Lapid
    2. Jury Grand Prix (Silver Bear) – By the Grace of God by François Ozon
    3. Alfred Bauer Prize (Silver Bear) – System Crasher by Nora Fingscheidt
    4. Silver Bear for Best Director – Angela Schanelec for I Was at Home, But
    5. Silver Bear for Best Actress – Yong Mei for So Long, My Son
    6. Silver Bear for Best Actor – Wang Jingchun for So Long, My Son
  187. Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) cities and municipal corporations of Raigarh (1st prize), Ambikapur (2nd prize) and Kumbakonam (3rd prize) won top Swachhata Excellence Awards 2019.
  188. A strategic partnership MOU signed between Edelweiss and Bank of Singapore. Edelweiss became first Indian Wealth management company to sign an MoU with off-shore private bank (Bank of Singapore).
  189. National Productivity Week observed between February 12-18, 2019, with theme “Circular Economy for Productivity & Sustainability”.
  190. President presented Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony for 2014, 2015 & 2016 -
    1. 2014 - Rajkumar Singhajit Singh
    2. 2015 - Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh)
    3. 2019 - Ram Sutar Vanji
    4. About -
      1. Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony was instituted by Government in 2012, recognizing contributions made by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to humanity.
  191. Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari launched PCS1x in Mumbai, as upgraded version of e-commerce portal Port Community System(PCS), which has helped in enhancing ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in maritime sector.
    1. PCS Ix is a new generation system with a user-friendly interface that brings together various  stakeholders of maritime sector, and facilitates Government-to-Business, Business –to-Government  and Business-to-Business transactions within required legal framework.
  192. Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu launched SWAYATT initiative, to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions on Government e Marketplace (GeM). It will bring together the key stakeholders within Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace the national procurement portal.
  193. RBI will transfer an interim surplus of 28,000 crore rupees to the central government for the half-year ended 31st December 2018.
  194. Telangana government announced creation of two more districts, Narayanpet and Mulugu. Now number of districts in State has become 33.
  195. Qatar Open Tennis 2019 -
    1. Men's Singles - Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain)
    2. Women's Singles - Elise Mertens (Belgium)
    3. Men's Doubles - David Goffin (Belgium) AND Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France)
    4. Women's Doubles - Chinese Taipei's Chan Hao-ching AND Latisha Chan
  196. Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) received the bulk production clearance (BPC) for production of 114 nos of 'Dhanush', first ever indigenous 155mm x 45 calibre artillery gun, produced in India under 'Make in India' initiative.
    1. 'Dhanush' has been mechanically upgraded to fire standard NATO 155 mm ammunition and can accommodate both boll bags and the bi-modular charge system (BMCS) which have resulted in increasing the range.
  197. Govt. launched Women Safety initiative of Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) in 16 States/UTs and Mumbai city. People in these states and UTs can now call a single pan India number 112 for any emergency. Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal were also launched.
    1. 16 States/UTs where ERSS has been launched - Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, J&K.
    2. Home Minister Rajnath Singh also inaugurated a national cyber forensic lab and Cyber Prevention, Awareness & Detection Centre (CyPAD). The National Cyber Forensic Lab (NCFL) is part of the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) initiative and CyPAD is the Delhi Police’s cybercrime unit.
  198. Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting and Youth Affairs & Sports Rajyavardhan Rathore presented 7th National Photography Awards. Total 13 awards were given comprising of one Lifetime Achievement Award with cash prize of Rs.3,00,000. 1 award each in Professional Photographer of Year and Amateur Photographer of Year with cash prize of Rs.1,00,000 and Rs.75,000 respectively.
    1. Lifetime Achievement Award – Ashok Dilwali
    2. Professional Photographer of the Year – SL Shanth Kumar
    3. Amateur Photographer of the Year – Gurdeep Dhiman
  199. Textiles Minister Zubin Irani launched four projects in North East for development of silk sector - Muga silk seed production centre in Tura (Meghalaya), silk printing and processing unit in Agartala (Tripura), Eri spun silk mill in Sangaipat (Imphal) and development of sericulture in Mamit (Mizoram).
  200. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad launched tele-law mobile application that is integrated with a dashboard and an application called Nyaya Bandhu, to ensure easy access to justice. Pro bono legal service (Nyaya Bandhu) was developed to facilitate practising advocates to connect with registered eligible beneficiaries, solidifing pro bono culture in country.
    1. Mobile application will enable para legal volunteers (PLV)’s to perform on field pre-registration of cases with a facility to seek appointment from panel lawyer on preferred date and time. It will benefit 73,000 PLVs of Legal Service Authorities who will be associated under tele-law service.
  201. HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched Operation Digital Board, to boost quality education in country by leveraging technology. ODB aims at converting a class room into a digital class room and in addition to availability of e-resources at any time and at any place to students.
    1. UGC will implement ODB in Higher Education Institutions(HEIs), aiming at extending digital education to every classroom by 2022. UGC will launch a Portal for all public HEIs to opt for scheme giving details of this facility. For First 2 lakh class rooms targeted in 1st Phase, cost is estimated at 2000 crores.
    2. For Schools - Digital / SMART board will be provided in all Government / Government aided schools having Secondary and Sr. Secondary classes.
  202. Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan inaugurated Sikaria Mega Food Park at Village Tulakona in Agartala, as first Mega Food Park in Tripura state.
  203. A 10 year MoU signed between India's Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada. Both institutions shall explore opportunities for future collaborations in field of forestry science through their respective organizations.
  204. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released 2nd edition of Startup Ranking for 2019, to rank States/UTs for establishing a robust ecosystem for supporting Startups.
    1. Ranking Framework 2019 comprises of 7 pillars and 30 action points, evaluating measures taken by States/UTs during assessment period from May 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019.
  205. Tourism Minister K. J. Alphons inaugurated Eco Circuit: Pathanamthitta – Gavi – Vagamon – Thekkady project at Vagamon (Kerala), under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
  206. Iran unveiled a domestically produced submarine capable of firing cruise missiles, named Fateh, weighing 600 tonnes and has missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometres. Launch is significant as Iran has ongoing issues with USA over its disputed nuclear weapons program.
  207. Government relaxed norms under definition of Start-Ups, to boost startup sector in India. Changes are -
    1. Investment limit of angel investors to seek exemption under Income Tax Act 1961 has been increased to Rs 25 crore from 10 Crores.
    2. An entity shall be considered a start-up up to 10 years from its date of incorporation (instead of 7 years previously).
    3. Entity would be considered as a startup up to a turnover of Rs 100 crore as against earlier limit of Rs 25 crores.
    4. Exemptions Proposed -
      1. A start-up cannot invest in a building or land unless it is for its business or used by it for purposes of renting or held by it as stock-in-trade.
      2. A start-up cannot offer loans or advances, other than those where lending money is part of its business.
      3. A start-up cannot make any capital contribution to any other entity or invest in shares, car, any vehicle or mode of transport that costs more than Rs 10 lakh.
      4. These exemptions were brought in to stop using start-ups for money laundering or receive investment from shell companies for tax evasion.
  208. 150 Srilankan students have been awarded Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for studying in India.
    1. Instituted in 2006-07 for Sri Lankan students, Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships are awarded annually by India.
    2. Recipients receive cash assistance of INR 2,000 to 2,500 per month from 2015-16 onwards for 2 years of Advanced Level studies.
  209. Cabinet Approval (Feb 19, 2019) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved Setting up a new company under Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centers and constituent units of DOS.
      2. Approved Promulgation of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance 2019, which will tackle menace of illicit deposit taking activities in country launched by rapacious operators.
      3. Approved Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase II Comprising two corridors - Motera Stadium to Mahatma Mandir (22.838 km) AND GNLU to GIFT City (5.416 km). Approved Cost is 5384 crores.
      4. Approved National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), aiming to position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).
        1. NPE 2019 replaces NPE 2012, which has been touted as successful in laying foundations for a competitive Indian ESDM value chain.
        2. It Targets to achieve turnover of USD 400 billion by 2025, including targeted production of 1.0 billion (100 crore) mobile handsets by 2025.
      5. Approved Continuation of Swadesh Darshan Scheme during 14th Finance Commission period and beyond. INR 2055 crores approved for 60 on-going projects completing in December 2019 and 324 crores for 6 projects to be completed in September 2020.
        1. Swadesh Darshan Scheme - Integrated Development of theme based tourist circuits is scheme of Ministry of Tourism for development of tourism infrastructure in country.
      6. Approved constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs), to reach most deprived citizens of country. These communities are hard to reach, less visible, and therefore frequently left out. Some DNTs are not covered in any of the SC / ST / OBC categories.
      7. Approved Construction of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) covering a distance 82.15 kms. (68.03 kms. elevated and 14.12 km. underground) at a total completion cost of Rs. 30,274 crores.
        1. RRTS is a first-of-its-kind, rail-based, high-speed regional transit system to be implemented in India. It is proposed to be undertaken by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) namely the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC).
      8. Approved Policy framework on reforms in exploration and licensing sector for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas, to attract new investment in Exploration and Production (E&P) Sector, intensification of exploration activities in hitherto unexplored areas and liberalizing the policy in producing basins.
      9. Approved implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) beyond March 2019 (PMAY-G) Phase-II -
        • Target for construction of 1.95 crore houses under PMAY-G Phase-II upto 2022.
        • Gramin (PMAY-G) in Phase-ll till 2019-20 as per the existing norms of PMAY-G Phase-l, with a target of 60 lakh houses involving financial implication of Rs.76,500 crore (Central'Share of Rs. 48,195 crore and State share of Rs.28,305 crore).
        • Continuation of Program Management Unit (PMU) and National Technical Support Agency (NTSA) till 2019-20.
        • Reduction in administrative expenses from 4% to 2% of programme funds. 2% of the programme funds allocated for administrative component, shall be bifurcated. 0.30% of the programme funds shall be retained at the central level and the remaining 1.70% of the programme fund shall be released to the States/UTs as Administrative Fund.
      10. Approved Agreement with Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for participating in the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA), which will be conducted by OECD in 2021.
        1. Learnings from participation in PISA will help to introduce competency-based examination reforms in the school system and help move away from rote learning.
      11. Approved Implementation of an Externally Aided Project namely “National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) through loan assistance (IBRD Credit) from World Bank.
        1. Technical assistance provided by NRETP and higher level interventions facilitated by the project will enhance livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihood interventions.
    2. MOUs -
      1. Morocco - Reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of Business Visa.
      2. Vietnam - Cooperation in Communications.
      3. Morocco - To facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications.
      4. South Korea - Combating transnational crime and developing police cooperation.
      5. South Africa - Simplification of visa requirements for travels of certain categories of citizens.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved continuing existing schemes of MPDA, Khadi Grant, ISEC and Village Industry Grant, all subsumed under 'Khadi and Gramodyog Vikas Yojana' at cost of Rs. 2800 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
        1. Also approved a new component of 'Rozciar Yukt Gaon' to introduce enterprise-based operation in the Khadi sector and to create employment opportunities for thousands of new artisans.
          1. RYG aims at introducing an 'Enterprise-led Business Model' in place of 'Subsidy-led model' through partnership among 3 stakeholders- KRDP-assisted Khadi Institution, Artisans and Business Partner.
          2. It will be rolled out in 50 Villages by providing 10,000 Charkhas, 2000 looms & 100 warping units to Khadi artisans, and would create direct employment for 250 Artisans per village.
        2. Another intervention is to set up 4 Design Houses across the country to capture regional variations, to provide access to Khadi Institutions, to evolve modern designs, ethnic wear etc. with an investment of Rs.5 crore each.
        3. As a part of rationalization exercise, 8 different schemes of Khadi & Village Industries are now merged under 2 umbrella heads i.e. 'Khadi Vikas Yojana' and 'Gramodyog Vikas Yojana':
          1. Khadi Vikas Yojana [Market Promotion & Development Assistance (MPDA), Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certificate (ISEC), Workshed, Strengthening Weak Infra, Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, Khadi Grant and Khadi & VI S&T]
          2. Gramodyog Vikas Yojanaa [Village Industries Grant].
      2. Approved revision of norms under Mid Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of Rs.12,054 Crore for 2019-20 in addition to the subsidy of about Rs. 8,000 crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution.
        • Annual increase in Cooking cost linked to Inflation Index. This year Cooking cost is enhanced to Rs. 4.35 and Rs. 6.51 per child per school day, thus Cooking cost is enhanced by Rs 361 crore. This will offset the impact of inflation on the food items under Mid Day Meal Scheme.
        • Revision of transportation rate from Rs 75 per quintal, for other than NE & Himalayan States to PDS rate (subject to maximum of Rs.150 per quintal).
        • Revision of Management. Monitoring and Evaluation (MME) rate from 2% to 3% of the total admissible recurring Central Assistance.
        • Assistance for kitchen devices has been enhanced from flat rate of Rs 5,000 per school to Rs 10,000 - Rs 25,000 based on enrolment.
        • A new component of Rs 10,000 per kitchen for repair of more than 10 year old kitchen has been introduced.
        • 50 crore have been allocated for fortification of food items in a systematic manner.
        • Delegation of power of implementing the scheme with minor modifications from the existing guidelines (i.e Central / State Govt.) to District Level Committee Chaired by the District Magistrate.
        • States / UTs have been given flexibility to utilize, with the prior approval of MHRD, 5% of their Annual Work Plan & Budget for new interventions.
        • Concept of community participation in form of Tithi Bhojan will be encouraged under which people from community celebrate important days such as child birth, marriage, birthdays etc. by contributing to Mid Day Meal Scheme.
        • Cooking competitions at Block, District and State levels will be organised to promote innovative menus.
        • Bette Monitoring of attendance at Mid Day Meal, using Automated Monitoring System.
        • Usage of Jails, Temples, Gurudwaras etc, for Mid Day Meal to be promoted.
    4. Approved Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by 2022., with central support of 11,814 crores.
    5. Approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM), to provide financial and water security to farmers. It has 3 components -
      1. Component-A - 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
      2. Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
      3. Component-C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
      4. All three components combined, scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. Central financial support provided under scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crores.
      5. All three components of the Scheme combined together are likely to result in saving of about 27 million tonnes of CO2 emission per annum. Further, Component-B on standalone solar pumps may result in saving of 1.2 billion liters of diesel per annum.
    6. Approved methodology for allowing the allocatee of coal mines for specified end use or own consumption to sell 25% of actual production on ROM basis in open market under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act 2015 and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
      1. This says that in case of coal mines earmarked for specified end uses or own consumption, allocatees are mandated to utilize minimum of 75% of its actual production (ROM basis) in specified end use plants and are allowed to sell upto 25% in open market.
      2. This attempts to address issue of lack of response from bidders during earlier tranches of auction/allotment. The will give certain flexibility to allocattee in cases of change in economic situation, business cycle, End Use Plant requirement etc.
  210. European Parliament and European Council struck a deal to reduce average CO2 emissions compared with 2019 levels. It includes reducing emissions of CO2 from new trucks and buses by 30 % by 2030. It proposes a binding CO2-reduction target for trucks at EU-level for the first time and includes a clear stimulus for zero and low-emission trucks.
  211. PM Narendra Modi flagged off first ever diesel-to-electric converted locomotive at Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). 10000 HP freight locomotive was converted from two units of old diesel locomotives of 2600 HP each with indigenous technology.
  212. Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 -
    1. Sportsman of the Year - Novak Djokovic, (Serbia) Tennis.
    2. Sportswoman of the Year - Simone Biles (USA) Gymnastics.
    3. Comeback of the Year - Tiger Woods (USA) Golf.
      1. Wrestler Vinesh Phogat Became First Indian Athlete to be Nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards, after she was nominated in Comeback of the Year Category.
    4. Breakthrough of the Year - Naomi Osaka (Japan) Tennis.
    5. Sportsperson of the Year With A Disability: Henrieta Farkkašová (Slovakia) Skiing.
    6. Team of the Year: France World Cup Team (France) Football
    7. Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year: Xia Boyu, China (Climbing Mount Everest).
    8. Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya.
    9. Lifetime Achievement Award: Arsène Wenger, France.
    10. Sport For Good Award: Yuwa (India).
      1. NGO Yuwa works specifically with girls from impoverished families in rural Jharkhand. NGO Yuwa was founded in 2009 when American Franz Gastler moved to Jharkhand from Delhi.
  213. Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) introduced ‘Micro Bachat’, a non- linked, participating endowment micro- insurance plan, which offers a combination of protection and savings, as first time a micro insurance plan has been launched providing coverage up to 2 lakh.
    1. Also, HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company launched a first-of-its kind ‘Trip Protector’ insurance policy.
  214. PM Narendra Modi inaugurated ‘Param Shivay’ Supercomputer at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Banaras Hindu University (BHU), with 833 teraflop capacity, built at cost of 32.5 crores under National Super Computing Mission.
    1. Pratyush and Mihir are Fastest supercomputers Currently in India, with maximum speed of 6.8 PetaFlops, established at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) Pune and National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF) Noida respectively.
  215. Finance ministry announced to infuse INR 48,239 crores in 12 public sector banks in this fiscal to help them maintain regulatory capital requirements and finance growth plans.
  216. Software industry Body NASSCOM ended practice of forecasting annual growth, citing rising global economic uncertainties arising out of trade wars and protectionism.
  217. Israel's 1st Moon Mission launched by USA Space Services Firm SpaceX , onboard a Falcon 9 rocket. 3 payloads were - Israeli Beresheet spacecraft, an Indonesian telecommunications satellite Nusantara Satu, and experimental spacecraft for US military. Its first privately-operated mission, to land on the Moon.
  218. AntBot, first walking robot to have navigational capabilities without GPS or mapping, has been designed by Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Aix-Marseille University researchers at ISM Dhanbad.
    1. Also, Bandicoot, a drainage-cleaning robot, has been introduced for first time in India at the Kumbakonam city corporation in Chennai (TN), to get rid of manual scavenging.
  219. Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma inaugurated India’s very first ‘Fulldome 3D Digital Theatre’ at Science City in Kolkata (West Bengal), with costs of 20 Crores funded by Ministry of Culture.
  220. Visits to India (Feb 11 - 20, 2019)-
    1. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze Visited India, to attend 3rd Indo-German Environment Forum held in New Delhi.
    2. Wilbur Ross, US Commerce Secretary Visited India, to attend US Commercial Dialogue and Indo-US CEO Forum held in New Delhi.
    3. Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Vice President and Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Visited India.
      1. MOUs Signed -
        1. MOU on investing in National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
        2. Cooperation in Tourism, Housing and on Enhancing Bilateral Investment Relations.
        3. MoU for Cooperation in Broadcasting, for Exchange of Audio Visual Programme.
      2. Saudi Arabia signed framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) becoming the 73rd country to join India-led renewable energy organisation, which now has 122 members.
    4. Argentina President Mauricio Macri visited India -
      1. MOUs -
        1. Cooperation in Defence, Tourism, Broadcasting, Pharmaceuticals, Agriculture, Information & Communications Technology, Electronics AND Antarctic Co-operation.
        2. A MoU was signed to boost cooperation in sector of nuclear energy. It would bolster institutional linkages in civil nuclear research, development and capacity building.
      2. Argentina signed framework agreement of International Solar Alliance (ISA) becoming the 72nd country to join India-led renewable energy organisation, which now has 122 members.
  221. Visits from India (Feb 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant visited Saudi Arabia.
    2. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Visited Sweden and Germany. India and Sweden signed a security protection agreement that will enable two countries to share classified information.
    3. PM Narendra Modi Visited South Korea. He was conferred Seoul Peace Prize, for his efforts in promoting global peace & harmony through inclusive economic growth. 7 MOUs were signed -
      1. Cooperation between law enforcement agencies and combat trans-border and international crimes.
      2. Agreement for releasing a joint stamp, commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Hur Hwang-ok), a legendary Princess of Ayodhya, who went to Korea in AD 48 and married King Kim-Suro.
      3. Agreement for continuing operations of Korea Plus organisation that facilitates investments by Korean companies in India.
      4. Agreement to promote collaboration among start-ups and set up a Korea Start-up Centre (KSC) in India.
      5. Agreement to facilitate broadcast of DD India Channel in South Korea and KBS World Channel in India.
      6. Agreement on fisheries and aquaculture.
      7. Agreement to promote cooperation in road and transport infrastructure development.
  222. General Conferences (Feb 11 - 20, 2019) -
    1. 4th Agri Leadership Summit organised by Government of Haryana at India International Horticulture Market (IIHM), Ganaur in district Sonipat.
    2. India Pharma 2019 & India Medical Device 2019 held held in Bengaluru (Karnataka), with Theme Enabling Quality Affordable Healthcare.
    3. National Conference on “Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production” Under Indo-German Development Cooperation held in New Delhi.
    4. 3 day Krishi Kumbh held in Motihari (Bihar)..
    5. Jaipur organised Early Ed Asia 2019 educational event, touted as Asia's largest conference on Early Childhood.
    6. ASCEND 2019 organized in Kochi by Kerala government, aiming to attract investment.
    7. First LAWASIA Human Rights Conference organised in in New Delhi, with theme State Power, Business and Human Rights: Contemporary Challenges.
    8. Two day Conference on Unani Medicine for Public Health inaugurated at New Delhi
    9. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting organized First Annual Conference of Media Units in New Delhi.
    10. CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India) YouthCon -19 organized in New Delhi.
    11. 40th International Annual Desert Festival held in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan).
    12. 3 Day International Conference and Exhibition On Energy and Environment held in New Delhi.
    13. 14th Agricultural Science Congress held in New Delhi.
    14. 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit held in New Delhi.
    15. Conference on the VISION ZERO and its relevance to Occupational Safety and Health held in Mumbai.
  223. Feb 20 - World Day of Social Justice. 2019 theme is If You Want Peace & Development, Work for Social Justice.
  224. Dhanya Sanal K. became first woman to climb Agasthyarkoodam peak in Kerala. There was an unofficial ban for women to trek the peak which was recently swept aside by Kerala High Court.
  225. Mallakhamb coach Uday Deshpande (life-time achievement) and Female Cricketer Smriti Mandhana were awarded Maharashtra State Government’s Shiv Chhatrapati Awards.
  226. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) signed first annual deal to buy U.S. crude oil, paying USD 1.5 billion for 60,000 barrels a day beginning April 2019 to March 2020. IOCL is first Indian refiner to buy U.S. oil under an annual contract.
  227. Karnataka Cabinet will introduce recommendations made in Sarojini Mahishi Committee report of 1986 to give 100% reservation for Kannadigas in Group C and D jobs in private establishments, to give priority to Kannadigans in Jobs.
  228. Feb 20 is Statehood day of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Both States were created on Feb 20, 1987.
  229. Feb 21 - International Mother Language Day. 2019 theme is Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation.
  230. Railways Minister Piyush Goyal launched Rail Drishti dashboard, encompassing all digitisation efforts in Indian Railways and promoting transparency and accountability. It brings information from various sources on a single platform and gives access to key statistics and parameters to every citizen of country. This dashboard can be accessed at url raildrishti.cris.org.in
  231. Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu inaugurated National Institutes of Design (NID) at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and Jorhat in Assam, as autonomous institutions under Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
    1. National Design Policy 2007 recommended setting up design institutes on the lines of NID Ahmedabad in other parts of India to promote design programs. Four new NIDs have been set up in Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati), Assam (Jorhat), Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal) and Haryana (Kurukshetra) with a total outlay of 434 crores.
  232. FCI Aravali Gypsum and Minerals India Limited (FAGMIL) will establish a white cement plant near village NohraDhar in Sirmourdistrict, Himachal Pradesh, at cost of 605 crores, as 4th white cement plant in country.
    1. Installed capacity of the plant would be 0.3 million tonnes per annum, expected to commence by 2022.
    2. FAGMIL is Miniratna-II Company with its office at Jodhpur (Rajasthan) and 15 operating gypsum mines in Rajasthan.
  233. 33rd GST Council meeting Held in New Delhi -
    1. To boost residential segment of real estate sector, recommendations were made by GST Council -
      1. GST shall be levied at effective GST rate of 5% without ITC on residential properties outside affordable segment
      2. GST shall be levied at effective GST of 1% without ITC on affordable housing properties.
      3. New GST rate shall become applicable from Apr 1, 2019.
  234. Digital India Awards 2019, by National Informatics Centre (MeitY) -
    1. Several Other Launches were also made on the occasion -
      1. Digital India Coffee Table Book - “Towards a New India, Transforming Digital Dream to Reality"
      2. Digital India Awards Compendium
      3. STQC Accessibility Certification Scheme - A scheme to certify websites that migrate to S3WaaS (Secure, Scalable & Sugamya websites) for  web content accessibility.
      4. Unified Messaging Platform
      5. Public DNS (Domain Name System) Service- A service being implemented by MeitY and configuration setup to be done by NIC for offering to all citizens
      6. Cyber Crisis Management Plan 2019 (CCMP) and Guidance Framework for the CCMP- A framework document for countering Cyber Attacks and Cyber Terrorism and dealing with cyber-related incidents.
      7. Notable Winners -
        1. 35 awards were conferred to teams and individuals in the following categories -

          Category

          Platinum

          Gold

          Silver

          Web Ratna – MINISTRY / DEPT

          Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises

          Department of Financial Services

          Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports

          Exemplary Online Service

          Government e-Marketplace

          Central Board of Secondary Education

          Goods and Services Tax

          Best Mobile App

          eCourts Services

          ePathshala

          • T App Folio
          • Mobile Meeseva App - Andhra Pradesh

          Emerging Technology

          Rajkot Eyeway Project

          Blockchain Implementation in Land Records, Andhra Pradesh

          Crop Area Estimation and Loss Assessment for the State of Gujarat

          Open Data Champion

          Marketing Research and Information Network (AGMARKNET)

          • Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare
          • Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation
          • Surat Municipal Corporation
          • Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion

          Web Ratna – STATE / UT

          Tripura

          Himachal Pradesh

          Kerala

          Web Ratna – District

          Kurukshetra

          • Vellore
          • Mahabubnagar
          • Koraput
          • East Champaran

          Outstanding Digital initiative by Local body

          Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation

          Municipal Corporation, Gurugram

          Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

          Jury Choice

          •   MCA21 Application (Ministry of Corporate Affairs)             

          •   UMANG - Mobile App

  235. Employees' Proident Fund recommended crediting of 8.65 % rate (up from 8.55 %) of interest on EPF accumulations in EPF member’s account for 2018-19.
  236. ‘Waste to Wonder’ theme park – featuring replicas, created from scraps, of the seven wonders of the world, has been inaugurated at Delhi’s Rajiv Gandhi Smriti Van. Structures are built from 150 tonnes of scrap from the MCD’s scrap yards, which includes automobile parts and metal from rods, iron sheets, nuts and bolts.
  237. Supreme Court appointed D.K. Jain as first ombudsman under new BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) Constitution approved by SC.
  238. Chinese news agency Xinhua unveiled world’s first female AI news anchor Xin Xiaomeng, expected to debut in March.
  239. Uma Nath Singh appointed as 1st Lok Ayukta of Nagaland.
  240. Sudan Govt declared a year-long state of emergency, dissolving cabinet and local governments throughout country.
  241. Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) formed a 4-member committee, headed by Sanjeev Sharma, to look into matter of taxation related pain points.
  242. Divya Karnad became First Indian Woman to honoured with ‘Future for Nature Award’ for her work on marine conservation. She is second Indian to receive this award after Dr. Charudutt Mishra.
  243. Tamil Nadu Govt. inaugurated 2nd Coast Guard district headquarters at Thoothukudi, becoming first state have 2 Coast Guard district headquarters (1st in Chennai).
  244. US President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-4 (SPD-4), ordering Pentagon to establish Space Force as the 6th branch of United States military (along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard).
  245. Zimbabwe started trading its new currency, RTGS dollar. Central Bank unveiled a foreign exchange trading system that effectively devalued its quasi-currency, the bond note, which was officially pegged at parity with US dollar.
  246. Bhushan Sharan Singh elected as President of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), for his third term.
  247. Cuba citizens opted for a enacting a new constitution, throuh a public referendum. New constitution that expands recognition of private property. New constitution, replacing the 1976 version, recognises a limited role for free market and private investment, but only under the control of Communist Party.
  248. RBI and Bank of Japan formalised USD 75- billion swap agreement, which would act as a cushion against any sharp swings in the local currency whenever international financial markets turn volatile.
  249. Punjab aeesmbly passed a bill that seeks an apology from British government for Jallianwala Bagh massacre, when innocent protesters in Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on April 13, 1919 were killed.
  250. Ministry of Commerce and Industries Data shows that FDI inflows to India decreased by 7 % to USD 33.49 billion during April-December in FY 2018-19 (compared to USD 35.94 same quarter last year). Services sector received most FDI, (USD 5.91 billion), followed by computer software and hardware (USD 4.75 billion).
    1. Singapore was largest FDI contributor with USD 12.97 billion, followed by Mauritius (USD 6 billion), Netherlands (USD 2.95 billion), Japan (USD 2.21 billion), US (USD 2.34 billion), and UK (USD 1.05 billion).
  251. President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent for amendments to Indian Stamp Act 1899, introduced as part of Finance Act 2019, aimed at rationalizing system of levying stamp duty and help curb tax evasion. Amendments proposed are -
    1. Creation of institutional mechanism to enable states to collect stamp duty on securities market instruments at one place by one agency.
    2. A Mechanism for appropriate sharing the stamp duty with relevant state governments based on the state of domicile of buying client.
    3. Stamp Duty Rates levied by Maharashtra will be taken as a benchmark as state of Maharashtra accounts for 70% of total collection.
  252. Iran held a navy drill named Velayat 97 in Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
  253. Madhya Pradesh Government launched Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana, which guarantees 100 days of employment every year to urban youths from economically weaker sections (annual income is less than Rs 2 lakh). Youth would get Rs 4,000 stipend per month and total Rs 13,500 for the 100 days. Scheme is for youth in age group 21-30 years.
  254. Chennai Spartans won inaugural Pro Volleyball League Title, defeating Calicut Heroes. As part of this win, Chennai Spartans also qualified for 2019’s FIVB Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship.
  255. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) stated that Spotted Cheetahs being translocated from Namibia would be kept at Nauradehi sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
    1. India’s last spotted cheetah had died in 1947. In 1952, it was declared extinct in India.
    2. NTCA conceived Re-introduction Project in 2012. But activists went to Supreme Court against this. SC panel advised against reintroduction citing India does not have habitat and prey density to support cheetahs.
    3. In 2018, Madhya Pradesh government wrote to NTCA to revive the project.
  256. Himachal Pradesh government announced Monkeys as Vermin for 1 year in 11 districts of state, as monkeys have been adversely affecting crops and causing harm to humans. Designation of Vermin refers to pests or nuisance animals which spread diseases or destroy crops or livestock.
    1. This allows selective slaughter of animals that are declared vermins as per Section 62 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
  257. Gujarat government launched 2nd edition of water conservation scheme Sujalam Sufalam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan, which aims to deepen water bodies in state before monsoon to increase storage of rainwater to be used during times of scarcity.
  258. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) constituted three working groups to suggest ways to facilitate exports, especially through e-commerce, and improve compliance by way of curbing tax evasion. Mandate of Working Groups -
    1. Export promotion through e-commerce by addressing trade facilitation barriers faced in India’s export market.
    2. Recommend ways for improving quality of logistics services for exporters.
    3. Enhancing compliance, plugging loopholes to improve customs revenue collections and curb Integrated GST (IGST) refund frauds.
  259. Deloitte launched its global initiative ‘WorldClass’ in India for empowerment of women, aiming to support 10 million girls and women by 2030 through education and skills development. Globally, the WorldClass initiative seeks to prepare 50 million people by 2030, to be better equipped for future of work.
  260. Afghanistan launched a new export route to India through the through the Chabahar Port of Iran. 23 trucks carrying 57 tonnes of dried fruits, textiles, carpets and mineral products were dispatched from western Afghan city of Zaranj to Iran’s Chabahar port. The consignment would be then shipped to Mumbai.
    1. Chabahar Port of Iran provides easy access to the sea for Afghanistan. This allows both India and Afghanistan to engage in trade bypassing Pakistan.
  261. Government released draft E-commerce policy, with focus on 6 broad issues of e-commerce sector, which includes data, infrastructure development, e-commerce marketplaces, regulatory issues, stimulating domestic digital economy and export promotion through e-commerce.
    1. Every e-commerce company will have to construct a registered business entity in India as importer on record or as entity through which all sales in India are transacted.
    2. e-commerce companies are mandated to disclose seller details such as their name, address and contact numbers. Sellers will also provide an undertaking to platform on the genuineness of their products.
    3. Trademark (TM) owners will be given option to register themselves with e-commerce platforms and whenever a trade-marked product is uploaded for sale on platform, the platform shall notify the respective TM owner.
    4. Framework will be created to provide basis for imposing restrictions on cross-border data flow from specified sources.
    5. Policy grants data the status of the capital.
    6. The policy imposes conditions on a business entity that collects or processes any sensitive data in India and stores it abroad. Conditions state that all such data stored abroad shall not be made available to other business entities outside India, for any purpose.
    7. The policy calls for a Suitable framework for sharing of community data that serve the larger public interest (subject to addressing privacy-related issues) with start-ups and firms.
    8. Policy stresses on developing physical infrastructure for a robust digital economy and suggests steps for developing the capacity for data storage in India.
    9. Policy aims to invite and encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in the marketplace model alone.
    10. Policy mandates online marketplaces not to adopt business models or strategies which are discriminatory and which favour one or few sellers/traders operating on their platforms over others.
  262. Noted playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar will be conferred Lifetime Achievement Award at Mahindra Excellence in Theatre Awards (META) 2019.
  263. RBI merged 3 categories of NBFCs - asset finance, loan companies and investment companies — into one new category called NBFC-investment and credit company (NBFC-ICC), to ease operational flexibility of these institutions. RBI has capped investment limit of deposit-taking NBFC–ICC in any other company to 20 % of its owned fund.
  264. Bihar became first state to deploy specially-trained dogs to check smuggling of liquor which continues to take place inspite of the total ban imposed in state.
  265. World Bank, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) launched new social impact bonds exclusively for women, called Women’s Livelihood Bonds (WLBs), with an initial corpus of 300 crores. It will enable women entrepreneurs and units to borrow 50000 - 300000 at annual interest rate of 13% - 14% with tenure of 5 years.
  266. Uttar Pradesh Govt. launched Scheme for Adolescent girls (SAG), with focus on girls between 11 - 14 years who have left studies and will take steps for proper nutrition and special care for them.
  267. Odisha Cabinet approved 'Khushi' scheme to provide free sanitary napkins to school girls across state, to benefit over 17 lakh school girls from Class VI to XII studying in government-aided schools.
  268. Kerala govt. launched India’s first Humanoid Police Robot named KP-BOT, ranked as Sub-Inspector (SI). Its gender is declared female keeping in mind women empowerment and gender equality.
  269. A small brown rat of bramble cay melomys species lived on a tiny island off northern Australia became world’s first mammal to have become extinct due to “human-induced climate change”. Extreme high water levels and damaging storm surges, including its sources of food include the reason behind its Extinction.
  270. Wallace’s giant bee (Wallace Bee), the largest bee known on the Earth which was considered to be extinct since 1981, has been re-spotted in an Indonesian forest. Scientists spotted a female bee of species Megachile pluto and its size is four times the size of the typical European honeybee and has a wingspan of 2.5 inches.
  271. Jharkhand Govt. launched first phase of 100 crores Sweet Revolution Scheme under which 1,207 farmers will be given Rs 1 lakh for bee keeping.
  272. Mohamed Tahir Ayala has been appointed as Prime Minister of Sudan (North Africa).
  273. IIFL Home Finance signed MoU with Maharashtra government for capacity building for affordable housing through credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
  274. Government launchedNational Action Plan – Viral Hepatitis in Mumbai, aimed elimination of viral hepatitis.
    1. According to WHO, viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths globally in 2015. In India, it is estimated that there are 4 crore people suffering from Hepatitis B and 0.6-1.2 crore people suffering from Hepatitis C.
    2. Aim of the program is to combat hepatitis and achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030, achieve significant reduction in the infected population, morbidity and mortality associated with Hepatitis B and C viz. Cirrhosis and Hepato-cellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and Hepatitis A and E.
  275. Feb 24 is observed asCentral Excise Day in India.
  276. 91st Academy Awards (Oscars) announced at Dolby Theatrein Hollywood, the USA. Winners -
    1. Category Winner
      Best Picture Green Book (USA)
      Best Actress in a Leading Role Olivia Colman for The Favourite
      Best Actor in a Leading Role Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody
      Best Direction Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
      Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali for Green Book
      Best Supporting Actress Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk
      Best Original Score Ludwig Goransson for Black Panther
      Best Original Song "Shallow" from A Star Is Born – Music and Lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony
      Best Animated Feature Film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
      Best Animated Short Film Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb for Bao
      Best Foreign Language Film Roma (Mexico)
      Best Documentary Feature Free Solo
      Best Documentary Short Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton for Period. End of Sentence (Produced by Guneet Monga and set in India)
      Best Cinematography Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
  277. Government launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi(PM-KISAN) Yojana for augmenting income of farmers by providing income support to small and marginal farmer families.
    1. Under this, vulnerable landholding farmer families, having cultivable land upto 2 hectares, will be provided direct income support of INR 6000 per year. This support will be transferred directly into bank accounts of beneficiary farmers, in three equal instalments.
    2. Around 12 crore small and marginal farmer families will get benefit from this. It will cause an annual expenditure of 75000 crores for Govt.
    3. On Launching on PM Kisan Scheme,First Installment of Rs 2021 crores was directly sent into bank accounts of 1,010,6,880 (One Crore One Lakh Six Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty) Eligible Farmers.
  278. 12th edition of Aero India Air Exhibition held at Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru.
    1. For the first time, 2019 edition of Aero India combined defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event.  A total of 61 aircraft participated in the event, of which, 31 flew.
    2. Aero India 2019 has tagline of The Runway to a Billion Opportunities. It Included Start-up Day, Womens’ Day, Drone Olympics and Technology Day / Students Day.
    3. DRDO showcased around 250 systems, technologies, working models and innovations in all formats. Highlight was the LCA Tejas which recently got final clearance for induction into IAF. DRDO held 12th Aero India International Seminar (AIS 2019) with Theme Emerging Frontiers in Aerospace Technologies
    4. India's military aviation regulator CEMILAC handed over final operational clearance certificate to LCA Tejas, for Industion into Armed Forces.
    5. Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hughes India signed Agreement for design, development, supply, installation, integration and commissioning of Satellite Communication solutions for helicopters under Ministry of Defence. Agreement will enable MoD’s strategic users to get enabled with helicopter-based Satellite Communication links for real-time and assured communications using ISRO's Ku band satellites.
    6. Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) unveiled its new product, Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG), an innovative solution to meet increasing need for drinking water worldwide.
      1. It can be used to generate water straight from the humidity present in the atmosphere, using a novel technology to extract water from the humidity present in atmosphere and purify it.
      2. AWG is configurable in static and mobile (vehicular) versions and is available in 30 litres/day, 100 litres/day, 500 litres/day and 1,000 litres/day capacities.
    7. US defence Firm Lockheed Martin unveiled F-21 multi-role fighter jet at Aero India-2019. Lockheed Martin will manufacture the plane in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems under India’s flagship programme Make in India.
      1. F-21 fighter jet is specifically configured for Indian Air Force and will strengthen India’s path to an advanced airpower future.
  279. President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated 4 Ordinances -
    1. Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance 2019
      • Aims to give effect to provisions brought in by Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Ordinance 2019, which declares triple talaq to be void and illegal, punishable with up to 3 years imprisonment and fine.
    2. Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019
      • It enables Board of Governors (BOG) appointed in supersession of Medical Council of India (MCI) to continue to exercise powers of MCI for 2 years or till Council is reconstituted.
    3. Companies (Amendment) Second Ordinance 2019
      • It will empower the Central government to allow certain companies to have a different financial year instead of as determined by the Tribunal
    4. Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019
      • It will tackle menace of illicit deposits taking activities, by ensureing a comprehensive ban on unregulated deposit-taking activity and for its effective enforcement.
  280. Attaukal Ponkala festival held in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), as largest religious gathering of women. It involves preparation of ‘Pongala’- a mixture of rice, jaggery and scraped coconut cooked in fresh earthen or metal pots,.
  281. National Aids Research Institute (NARI) will drop its focus on research into the Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and will undergo a name change. It will now address other areas of public health by applying its expertise to other fields of public health.
  282. India Based IT Firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been ranked by Top Employers Institute as global Top Employer for 4th year in a row. TCS has workforce of 4.17 lakh employees globally.
  283. A MoU signed by India and Sri Lanka for establishment of a business centre for ICT incubators in Jaffna (Sri Lanka) through Indian grant of 25 crore Sri Lankan rupees.
    1. Also, Over 150 houses, built by India under the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka were handed over to beneficiaries.
  284. Srei Equipment Finance collaborated with Syndicate Bank to provide equipment financing under co-lending arrangement for various equipment categories like construction, mining, material handling, commercial vehicles, medical and farm equipment.
  285. Merger of Bank of Baroda with Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank shall come into force from 1st April 2019, named as ‘Amalgamation of Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank with Bank of Baroda Scheme 2019. Shareholders of Vijaya Bank will get 402 equity shares of Bank of Baroda for every 1,000 shares held. Shareholders of Dena Bank will receive 110 equity shares of Bank of Baroda for every 1,000 equity shares held.
  286. A boat ambulance service has been launched by the Odisha government. i. It would be used to transport patients to hospitals in remote areas.The cost of the project is Rs 5.40 crore. ii. The ambulance service can be availed by dialling ‘108’. iii. The first boat ambulance was introduced at Batighar in Kendrapara district. iv. Six boat ambulances have been added to the project out of which two boat ambulances have been assigned to Malkangiri and Kendrapara districts and one for each of Koraput and Kalahandi.
  287. Jio Saavn– an India-based global audio and music that it scored the 1st rank among Indian companies and 28th rank globally in the 2019 list of “50 Most Innovative Companies”. Other domestic companies that ranked top on India list of “Most Innovative Companies” are OYO rooms, biodegradable sanitary pad manufacturers Sathi and app based can service Ola.
  288. Helpline for quick redressal of public complaints has been launched by Uttarakhand Govt, with helpline number 1905, To stay open from 8am to 10pm.
  289. A study conducted by scientists across globe has led to discovery of 300,000 new galaxies using a Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) telescope in Netherlands. LOFAR is capable of detecting low radio frequencies which is not visible to other telescopes.
  290. A species of tortoise- Fernandina Giant Tortoise, labelled by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered and possibly extinct for last 100 years, has been rediscovered in Galapagos Island of Fernandina (Ecuador).
  291. A rare frog species has been found by Scientists at Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in Lower Suba nsiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Crimson coloured, Convex-Vented Horned Species (Megophryspachyproctus), was collected from Tale Valley Wildlife Sanctuary of district in 2017.
  292. PM Minister Narendra Modi dedicated National War Memorial to the nation, near India Gate in New Delhi.
    1. Layout of National War Memorial comprises four concentric circles - Amar Chakra or Circle of Immortality, Veerta Chakra or Circle of Bravery, Tyag Chakra or Circle of Sacrifice, Rakshak Chakra or Circle of Protection.
    2. The complex is a commemoration of sacrifices made by Indian soldiers since Independence with names of 25,942 martyrs etched in stone forever.
  293. 79th Indian History Congress (IHC) held at Barkatullah University in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
    1. Indian History Congress was established in 1935 and it is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members.
  294. Indian Air Force struck several Terror Camps in Pakistan, striking multiple militant camps in Balakot, Chakothi and Muzaffarabad, operated by Pakistan Based Terror Organizations Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. Over 350 militants were killed in Airstrike. Its first Indian Airstrike in Pakistan since 1971.
    1. Concerned airstrike is Indian Response to Pulwama (J & K) Terror attackon Feb 14, 2019, by Jaish-E-Mohammad, in which 40 CRPF Jawans were martyred.
    2. This terror attack triggered huge uproar in India and across gloabe. Indian Govermment decided to punish the accused and Airstrikes were done to eliminate any upcoming threats to India. Huge number of Terrorists were eliminated in strikes.
    3. 12 Mirage 2000 Fighter Jets were used by Indian Air Force to execute the strikes. This Indian Move against terror has been widely appreciated by major economies including USA, Israel and Russia.
    4. Apart from Strikes, several other developments were followed after Pulwama attack -
      1. India announced that it would fully utilise its share of unused water from rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej that has been flowing into Pakistan.
        1. Under Indus Water Treaty 1960, waters of the western rivers - Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab, was given to Pakistan and the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers were allotted to India. India's share of water from Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers came to 33 million acres feet (MAF). While about 95 % of water was being used in Indian after construction of 3 main dams, close to 5 % water or 1.6 MAF would flow to Pakistan. To gain access to this water, India is now building more dams which will be completed in six years.
      2. Government approved entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), now extended to ranks of constable, head constable and assistant sub-inspector.
        1. It gained significance after February 14 Pulwama attack. Questions were raised on why troops were not allowed to travel by air so that risk and threat of travelling on road, in large convoys in the Kashmir Valley, is eliminated.
      3. India hiked customs duty on all goods imported from Pakistan to 200% with immediate effect, to discourage imports from Pakistan and hurt its already grounded economy.
        1. India had withdrawn Most Favoured Nation status given to Pakistan, allowing basic customs duty on all goods exported to be raised to 200%.
      4. United Nations Security Council strongly condemned “heinous and cowardly” Pulwama suicide terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. However, Pakistan Ally China maintained its Double Standards and did not accept that the attack has been controlled by pakistan or pakistan based organizations.
      5. International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended discussions with India regarding hosting of global sporting events, after India denied visas to 2 Pakistani Shooters, which were supposed to participate in 25m rapid fire pistol event in ISSF World Cup 2019 being held in New Delhi.
        1. ISSF World Cup 2019 New Delhi was a qualification competition for Tokyo Olympics 2020.
        2. IOC has withdrawn recognition of the 25m rapid fire pistol event and not whole World Cup.
      6. Pakistan has been under immense international pressure to act against terror organizations operating from its soil.
      7. For the first time, India has been invited to attend Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meet. India will attend 46th Session of the OIC’s Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi from March 1 to 2.
        1. Host UAE stated that India has been named as guest of honour in view of its great global political stature.
        2. The invitation is significant as it hs come at a time when India is cornering Pakistan on all international forums due to its alleged role in terror activities. Pakistan is a founding member of OIC and Pakistan has been blocking all efforts of India to engage with OIC. This invitation is seen as a signal of changing geopolitical dynamics.
  295. President Ram Nath Kovind presented Gandhi Peace Prize for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
    1. 2015 - Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari
    2. 2016 - Akshaya Patra Foundation and the Sulabh International
    3. 2017 - Ekal Abhiyan Trust
    4. 2018 - Yohei Sasakawa (from Japan)
  296. India - Bangladesh joint military exercise Sampriti 2019 will be conducted at Tangail, Bangladesh in March 2019.
  297. Government presented National e-Governance Awards in 6 categories (14 Awardees) -
    1. Government Process Re-engineering for Digital Transformation.
    2. Providing Citizen-Centric Delivery.
    3. District level Initiative in e-Governance (i) North-East States + Hilly States (ii) UTs (including Delhi) (iii) Other States.
    4. Outstanding research on Citizen Centric Services by Academic/Research Institutions.
    5. Innovative Use of ICT in e-Governance solutions by Start ups
    6. Adopting Emerging Technologies.
    7.  A Special Jury Award is also being presented in Category-I for IRCTC Rail Connect Mobile App. 
  298. Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) signed MoU for jointly developing infrastructure for fuels, lubricating oil, LPG, Natural Gas and any other related fuel and gas for meeting the requirement of National Waterways.
  299. National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) launched new scheme ‘Yuva Sahakar’ in November 2018, to promote young entrepreneurs in cooperatives.
    1. Newly formed cooperatives will be able to take advantage of the ‘Cooperative Start up and Innovation Fund’ created by NCDC with liberalized assistance for cooperatives in North Eastern Region, Cooperatives operating in Aspirational Districts, cooperatives with 100% women/SC/ST/Person with Disability (PwD) members.
  300. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan unveiled India’s first Indigenous Semiconductor Chips by Bengaluru based semiconductor company “SIGNALCHIP” for 4G/LTE and 5G NR MODEMs.
    1. At present companies and a few countries can design and build semiconductor chips. It is a significant step in terms of Data Security.
    2. 4 chips designed by SIGNALCHIP were unvelied -
      1. SCBM3412: a single chip 4G/LTE modem including the baseband and transceiver sections in a single device
      2. SCBM3404: a single chip 4X4 LTE baseband modem
      3. SCRF3402: a 2X2 transceiver for LTE
      4. SCRF4502: a 2X2 transceiver for 5G NR standards
    3. These chips also support positioning using India’s own satellite navigation system, NAVIC.
  301. Human Resources Development Minister Prakash Javadekarhas launched Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS), aimed at enhancing employability of Indian youth by providing ‘on the job work exposure’ and earning of stipend.
    1. It will provide industry apprenticeship opportunities to general graduates exiting in April 2019 through National Apprenticeship Promotional Scheme (NAPS).
    2. SHREYAS is conceived for students in degree courses, primarily non-technical, with a view to introduce employable skills into their learning, promote apprenticeship as integral to education and amalgamate employment.
    3. SHREYAS is a programme basket comprising initiatives of 3 Central Ministries - Human Resource Development, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Labour& Employment. 
    4. SHREYAS portal will enable educational institutions to log in and provide their respective demand and supply of apprenticeship. Matching students with apprenticeship avenues will take place as per pre-specified eligibility criteria.
  302. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill development and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan handed over 100th Letter of Intent (LOI)  to Compressed Bio-Gas(CBG) Entrepreneur (producer) under SATAT scheme (Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation).
    1. SATAT was launched with a four-pronged agenda of utilising more than 62 million metric tonnes of waste generated every year in India, cutting down import dependence, supplementing job creation in the country and reducing vehicular emissions and pollution from burning of agricultural / organic waste.
  303. Indian Railways has established a new railway zone in successor State of Andhra Pradesh, As per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014.
    1. New zone will have headquarter at Visakhapatnam and will be named South Coast Railway (SCoR). It will comprise of existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions. Waltair division shall be split into two parts.
  304. Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot launched 2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary brought out by ‘Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC)’ under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). 2nd edition includes 6000 words under categories of academic, legal, medical, technical and everyday terms.
  305. Central Information Commission (CIC) ruled that EVM machine is information under the Right to Information Act and directed Election Commission of India (ECI) to respond to appellant who had sought an EVM.
    1. Applicant Rajaak Khan Haider had sought an EVM from Election Commission. The Election Commission had rejected the application saying the EVMs held by it do not come under the definition of “information”.
    2. Applicant approached Central Information Commission with argument that as per Section 2(f) and 2(i) of the RTI Act, the definition of ‘information’ and ‘record’ also includes ‘any model or any sample’ held by a public authority, calling rejection as wrong.
  306. Atal Innovation Mission and software major Adobe signed a Statement of Intent to collaborate on enhancing digital literacy and creativity skills. Under it, Adobe would implement Digital Disha Programme across 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) initiative. Teachers and Children would benefit from creative learning resources via free access to Adobe Spark premium.
  307. India Based Tata Steel recognised as one of World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute for 2019, For the eighth time, in the ‘Metals, Minerals and Mining’ category. Tata Steel is one of only two honorees in the ‘Metals, Minerals and Mining’ industry.
  308. Assam Govt. announced PRANAM Commission to look after the issues related to the Parents Responsibility and Norms for Accountability and Monitoring (PRANAM) Bill.
    1. It makes mandatory for state government employees to look after their parents and unmarried differently abled siblings who do not have their own sources of income.
    2. In case of complaints related to ignorance towards parents or unmarried differently abled siblings, 10 - 15 % of the employee’s salary will be deducted by government and paid to parents / differently abled siblings.
  309. Infosys Foundation constituted Aarohan Social Innovation Awards to reward individuals, teams or NGOs developing solutions for the social sector, aimed at nurturing culture of innovation in social sector to scale positive change across country.
    1. Awards would be given away in six categories spanning healthcare, destitute care, rural development, women’s safety and empowerment, education and sport and sustainability.
    2. The award will also provide winners with an opportunity for residential mentorship at IIT Hyderabad up to 12 weeks.
  310. International Court of Justice (ICJ) advised UK to return the Diego Garcia (Chagos Islands) to Mauritius as rapidly as possible.
    1. Observations made by ICJ noted that decolonisation of Mauritius was not lawfully complete when it attained independence because Britain carved away Chagos Archipelago in 1965 before granting independence to Mauritius in 1968.
    2. Also, residents of Chagos Archipelago were forcibly removed and Chagos Archipelago was handed over to US. US established its strategic Indian Ocean military base at Chagos Archipelago.
    3. Both UK and the US had opposed UN resolution which referred matter to ICJ saying it was a bilateral matter with Mauritius. It is unlikely that UK would accept the advisory.
  311. India test-fired two indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM) from a test range off Odisha coast.
  312. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) signed an MoU to collaborate in area of food and agriculture. Network of Krishi Vigyan Kendras of ICAR would be utilised for technology demonstration and dissemination.
  313. Ministry for Water Resources, River Development, and Rejuvenation presented 82 National Water Awards in 14 categories for 2018.
    1. National Water Awards which have been resumed after a gap of 12 years, to encourage innovative practices of groundwater augmentation. Awards are presented in 14 categories.
  314. A major Jungle fire broken out in Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park in Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka, triggering huge damage and loss to wildlife.
  315. ISRO will soon launch an electronic intelligence satellite Emisat (420 kg weight) for Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO),
    along with 28 third-party satellites.  ISRO would be using a PSLV rocket with four strap-on motors. For the first time, it will be trying to orbit the rocket at 3 different altitudes.
  316. NASA selected a new mission titled as the Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE), that will help scientists understand and forecast vast space weather system around Earth. It will be launched in August 2022.
    1. Mission will focus on colourful bands of light in Earth's atmosphere, called airglow, to determine what combination of forces drive space weather in the upper atmosphere. Mission will investigate how waves in lower atmosphere, caused by variations in densities of different packets of air, impact the upper atmosphere.
  317. 2nd Meet of USA President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held in Vietnam, aiming to persuade North Korea to denuclearise itself. First meet of two leaders was held in Singapore in June 2018.
  318. West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee inaugurated web portal, 'Banglar Shiksha', which will provide real-time data on state-run and aided schools, at url banglarsiksha.gov.in.
  319. Odisha Govt. approved Odisha State Film Policy 2019, to promote Odia films and create a conducive eco-system for production of films in state.
  320. PM Narendra Modi conferred National Youth Parliament Festival 2019 awards at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. Winners from national level competition -
    1. 1st position- Shweta Umre from Maharashtra
    2. 2nd position- Anjanakshi M.S from Karnataka
    3. 3rd position- Mamta Kumari from Bihar.
  321. RBI extended deadline for prepaid payment instrument (e-wallet) issuers to complete their Know Your Customer (KYC) norms by six months, from Feb 28, 2019 earlier.
  322. For first time in 5 years, Indian traders will export raw sugar to Iran. The delivery is happening after so many years owing to Iran’s struggles to secure food supplies due to sanctions imposed by USA. Trading houses have contracted to export 1,50,000 tonnes of raw sugar at $305 to $310 per tonne.
  323. Feb 27 - World NGO Day.
  324. Travel services firm Thomas Cook India acquired 51 percent share in Dubai based Digiphoto Entertainment Imaging (DEI), in a deal valued at $40.6 million(Rs 289 crore).
  325. Cabinet Approvals(Feb 28, 2019) -
    1. MOUs -
      1. Argentina - Cooperation in Medical Products Regulation.
      2. Tajikistan - Cooperation in Renewable Energy.
      3. UK - Cooperation in Weather and Climate Sciences.
      4. Norway - for undertaking non-intrusive Geological Surveys and Investigations.
      5. USA - to access tip line reports on Missing and Exploited Children.
    2. General Approvals -
      1. Approved inclusion of Common Service Centres (CSC e-Governance Services India Ltd.) under MeitY as an enrolment agency, and permitting bulk deposits by other Ministries / Departments / Welfare Boards / other agencies of Government in lieu subscriber’s share. It will enable workers in Unorganized Sector, to get monthly pension of 3,000 on attaining age of 60 years.
      2. Approved Relaxation in Aadhar related Conditions for release of Second Instalment of income support to all Small and Marginal land-holder farmers’ families with cultivable land-holding up to 2 hectares across the country under PM - KISAN scheme.
      3. Approved India joining IEA Bioenergy TCP as its 25th member.
        1. International Energy Agency's Technology Collaboration Programme on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy TCP) is an international platform for co-operation among countries with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment.
      4. Approved National Mineral Policy 2019, aiming to ensure more effective regulation.  It will lead to sustainable mining sector development in future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas. It includes provisions such as -
        • Introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders,
        • Auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on revenue share basis,
        • Proposes to grant status of industry to mining activity to boost financing of mining for private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by private sector
        • Mentions that Long term import export policy for mineral will help private sector in better planning and stability in business
        • Mentions to make efforts to harmonize taxes, levies & royalty with world benchmarks to help private sector.
      5. Approved promulgation of an Ordinance to amend definition of "person", as defined in sub-section (v) of section 2 of Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 (28 of2005) to include a trust, to enable the setting up of a unit in a Special Economic Zone by a trust.
      6. Approved proposal of Jammu & Kashmir Government regarding amendment to Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) 0rder 1954 by way of Constitution (Application to Jammu & Kashmir) Amendment Order 2019.
        1. Once notified, this will pave the way for giving benefit of promotion in service to Scheduled Castes, Schedule Tribes and also extend reservation ofup to 10%   for "economically weaker sections" in educational institutions and public employment in addition to the existing reservation in Jammu and Kashmir.
      7. Approved payment of face value of subscribed share capital of 1450 crore in National Housing Bank(NHB) to Reserve Bank of India (RBl) consequent to amendments made to the NHB Act, 1987 in 2018.
        1. NHB is an apex agency established to operate as the principal agency to promote housing finance institutions in India. Wholesale financing role of NHB will get strengthened with transfer of ownership to Government, thereby making possible augmented funding support to housing finance companies.
        2. Change in ownership from RBI to Gol will also segregate RBI's role as banking regulator and as owner of NHB
        3. Expenditure of 1450 crore is to be met out of Gross Budgetary Support 2018-19. The beneficiaries are RBI and Housing Sector.
      8. Approved proposal of Jammu &Kashmir Government to issue The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 by President of India. It provides for amendments in Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act, 2004 to bringing persons residing in the areas adjoining International Border within the ambit of reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control (ALoC).
        1. It would pave way for bringing persons residing in areas adjoining International Border within ambit of Reservation at par with persons living in areas adjoining Actual Line of Control.
      9. Cabinet approved Agra Metro Rail Project with 2 Corridors, to be completed in 5 years at approved cost of 8379 Crores.
        1. Sikandra to Taj East Gate corridor with length 14 km, which comprises of 13 Stations (6-Elevated and 7-Underground).
        2. Agra Cantt to KalindiVihar corridor with length 15.40 km, comprising of 14 elevated stations.
      10. Cabinet approved Kanpur Metro Rail Project with 2 Corridors, to be completed in 5 years at approved cost of 11076 Crores.
        1. ITT to Naubasta corridor will have length 23.785 km, with 22 Stations (14-Elevated and 8-Underground).
        2. Agriculture University to Barra-8 corridor will have length 8.60 km, with 4 Elevated & 4 Underground stations.
      11. Approved promulgation of an Ordinance for establishing New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) for creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration. This shall benefit public and public institutions in terms of quality of expertise and costs incurred and will facilitate India becoming a hub for Institutional Arbitration.
        1. There will be a chairman, 2 Full time or Part time Members in NDIAC.
        2. Also, 1 representative of a recognised body of commerce and industry shall be chosen on rotational basis as Part time Member.
      12. Approved proposal for implementation of scheme titled 'Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase II (FAME India Phase II)' for promotion of Electric Mobility.
        1. Scheme with outlay of INR 10000 Crores over 3 years will be implemented with effect from 1st April 2019. This is expanded version of present scheme titled 'FAME India1 which was launched on 1st April 2015, with outlay of 895 crores.
        2. · Through the scheme, it is planned to support 10 Lakhs e-2W, 5 Lakhs e-3W, 55000 4Ws and 7000 Buses.
          • Scheme proposes for establishment of charging infrastructure, whereby about 2700 charging stations will be established in metros, other million plus cities, smart cities and cities of Hilly states across the country so that there will be availability of at least one charging station in a grid of 3 km x 3 km.
          • On such highways, charging stations will be established on both sides of the road at an interval of about 25 km each.
      13. Approved Establishment of new All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at Manethi, District Rewari, Haryana at cost of 1299 crores New AIIMS will add 100 UG (MBBS) seats and 60 B.Sc (Nursing) seats.
        1. Cabinet also Gave ‘in principle’ approval to Implementation of Master Plan to convert All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi into a world class Medical University. It envisages freeing up adequate space through redevelopment, vertical expansion and reorganizing the land usage, thus optimizing the infrastructure of Institute for next 20 years.
      14. Approved draft Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Ordinance 2019, which seeks to extend period for reconstitution of Central Council from existing period of one year to two years so that tenure of Board of Governors may be extended for a further period of 1 year with effect from 17th May, 2019.
      15. Approved National Policy on Software Products 2019 to develop India as a Software Product Nation.
        1. Initially, outlay of 1500 Crores is involved to implement schemes envisaged under this policy over 7 years. 1500 Crore is divided into Software Product Development Fund (SPDF) and Research & Innovation fund.
        2. Policy has 5 Missions -
          1. Promote creation of a sustainable Indian software product industry, driven by intellectual property (IP), leading to a ten-fold increase in India share of the Global Software product market by 2025.
          2. To nurture 10,000 technology startups in software product industry, including 1000 such technology startups in Tier-II and Tier-III towns & cities and generating direct and in-direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
          3. To create a talent pool for software product industry through (i) up-skilling of 1,000,000 IT professionals, (ii) motivating 100,000 school and college students and (iii) generating 10,000 specialized professionals that can provide leadership.
          4. IV. To build a cluster-based innovation driven ecosystem by developing 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development clusters having integrated ICT infrastructure, marketing, incubation, R&D/testbeds and mentoring support.
          5. National Software Products Mission will be set up with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.
      16. Approved creation of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and associated activities for disinvestment of Air India and its subsidiaries/JV.
        1. SPV namely Air India Assets Holding Ltd. (AIAHL) has been created for warehousing accumulated working Capital Loan not backed by any asset along with four Subsidiaries (Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (AIATSL), Airline Allied Services Ltd. (AASL), Air India Engineering Services Ltd. (AIESL) and Hotel Corporation of India Ltd. (HCI).
        2. Air India Assets Holding Ltd. was incorporated on 22nd January 2018. As of now, 1 subsidiary, namely AIATSL has been transferred to AIAHL. Government decided to transfer following to newly-created SPV:
          1. Debt of Air India Ltd. amounting to Rs. 29,464 crore;
          2. Subsidiaries which are not part of Air India strategic disinvestment viz. AIATSL, AIESL, AASL are to be shifted to the SPV.
          3. Non-core assets, painting and artifacts and other non-operational assets of Air India Ltd.
      17. Approved Creation of 2 posts of Commissioners in Office of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD), in terms of Section 74(2) of The RPwD Act, 2016 to assist Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities. Out of 2 posts of Commissioners, one will be held a person with disability.
      18. Approved setting up of a Centre for Disability Sports at Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, to be registered under Societies Registration Act 1860. Setting up of the Centre shall entail an estimated cost of 171 crores, over 5 years.
    3. CCEA Approvals -
      1. Approved construction of 4 lane bridge including approaches over river Brahmaputra between Dhubri on North Bank and Phulbari on South Bank on NH-127 B in Assam/Meghalaya.  The total length of the bridge will be 19.282 km.  
        1. Bridge will be built under scheme of North-East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase-03’ under loan assistance with JICA at civil construction cost of Rs.3548 crore and total capital cost of Rs.4997.04 crores. Completion will take approx 6 years.
        2. Bridge will save travel distance from 205.3 km to only 19.282 km, between Dhubri in Assam and Phulbari in Meghalaya.
      2. To help sugar industry to clear its cane dues arrears, CCEA approved providing soft loans of approx 7900-10540 crores to sugar industry. Government will bear interest subvention cost @ 7 - 10% (553 - 1054 crores for one year). T
        1. Government mandated banks to obtain from sugar mills, bank account details of farmers to which cane dues are to be paid, so that it can be directly paid into accounts of farmers on behalf of sugar mills.
        2. To incentivize mills to clear their dues, CCEA also decided that soft loans will be provided to those units which have already cleared at least 25 % of their outstanding dues in sugar season 2018-19.
        3. Surplus sugar production during last sugar season 2017-18 (Oct - Sept) has affected liquidity of sugar mills, resulting in cane price arrears of farmers reaching over 23000 crores in May 2018. Surplus production is also estimated in current sugar season 2018-19 (Over 21000 Crores). The new proposal to extend soft loans to sugar mills is part of Govt measures to tackle the situation.
      3. Gave 'in principle' approval for strategic disinvestment of 100% equity shares of Government in Kamarajar Port Limited (KPL) to Chennai Port Trust (ChPT). Presently, Government and Chennai Port Trust hold 67% and 33% of shares respectively in Kamarajar Port Limited.  
        1. This would help to avoid duplication of capacity creation in ports. Better human resource management in between the two ports will increase the efficiency of both Ports.
      4. Approved FDI Proposal of 5000 - 25000 crores in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), as part of a proposed equity fund raise by way of  a Rights issue of equity shares and/or other equity linked securities to eligible shareholders of company.
      5. Approved revised cost of project ADB assisted North Eastern State Roads Investment Programme (NESRIP), a centrally sponsored scheme implemented over 5 years at Cost of 2144 crores from earlier 1353 crores for construction/upgradation of 433.7 Km long State roads in North Eastern States of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Tripura along with extension of project period upto August 2022. ADB is providing loan assistance of US$ 200 Million in two tranches.
      6. Approved continuation of several Tertiary healthcare programmes for non-communicable diseases and E-Health upto 2020  with outlay of 2551 crores -
        1. Strengthening of Tertiary Care Cancer facilities Scheme
        2. National Program for Health Care of the Elderly
        3. National Program for Prevention & Management of Trauma and Burn Injuries
        4. National Program for Tobacco Control and Drug Addiction Treatment
        5. National Mental Health Program
        6. National Program for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment
        7. Program for Strengthening of e-Health and Telemedicine Services
      7. Approved development of New Greenfield Airport at Hirasar, Rajkot, Gujarat at an estimated cost of 1405 crores, as existing airport at Rajkot is severely land constrained.
      8. Approved investment for Transmission Component of Arun-3 Hydro Electric Project(Nepal portion) for an estimated cost of Rs. 1236.13 crore at June 2017 Price level. Current approval is for Investment approval of 400 kV D/C Diding (In Nepal) - Bathnaha (International Border) via Dhalkebar (In Nepal) Transmission Line of approximately 217 KM falling within Nepal to evacuate power from Arun-3 HEP in Nepal.
        1. It will provide surplus power to India strengthening economic linkages with Nepal. The power from the project shall be exported from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in India.
        2. Arun-3 Hydro Electric project (900 MW) is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha District of Eastern Nepal. The Run-of-River scheme envisages about 70 mtr. high concrete gravity dam and Head Race Tunnel (HRT) of 11.74 Km
  326. 2nd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2018-19 released by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare -
    1. Foodgrains  – 281.37 million tonnes.
      • Rice  –  115.60  million tonnes. (record)
      • Nutri / Coarse Cereals – 42.64 million tonnes.
      • Maize  –  27.80 million tonnes.
      • Pulses  –  24.02 million tonnes.
      • Tur  –  3.68 million tonnes.
      • Gram – 10.32 million tonnes.
    2. Oilseeds  –  31.50 million tonnes.
      • Soyabean  –  13.69 million tonnes
      • Rapeseed and Mustard  –  8.40 million tonnes
      • Groundnut  –  6.97 million tonnes
    3. Cotton  –  30.09 million bales (of 170 kg each)
    4. Jute  & Mesta -10.07 million bales (of 180 kg each)
    5. Sugarcane – 380.83 million tonnes
  327. India signed USD 455 million loan agreement with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), to finance Andhra Pradesh Rural Roads Project, which will connect 3,300 habitations and benefit over 2 Million people.
  328. PM Narendra Modi conferred Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prizes for Science and Technology for 2016, 2017 and 2018 -
    1. 11 Scientists honored in 2016, 10 in 2017 and 13 in 2018.
  329. Textiles Minister Smriti Zubin Irani launched a comprehensive scheme for Development of Knitting and Knitwear Sector under PowerTex India. Main components of scheme -
    • Creation of new service centers on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model by industry and association in the knitting and knitwear clusters.
    • Modernization and upgradation of existing power loom service Centers (PSCs) and institution run by Textile Research Associations (TRAs) and Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) Association in knitting and knitwear clusters.
    • Group work shed scheme.
    • Yarn bank scheme.
    • Common facility centerscheme.
    • Pradhan mantra Credit Scheme.
    • Solar Energy Scheme.
    • Facilitation, IT, awareness,studies, surveys, market development and publicity for knitting and knitwear units.
  330. Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Arun Jaitley released first report on EASE Reforms Index that independently measures progress on Public Sector Banks (PSB) Reforms Agenda announced in January 2018 on 140 objectives and metrics.
    1. Report confirmed effectiveness of Government’s 4R’s strategy in securing banking turnaround, with large 26% Index gain in Responsible Banking underpinning clean banking, and measurable progress in all six Enhance Access & Service Excellence (EASE) reform themes over the three quarters ending December 2018.
    2. Standard restructured advances as a percentage of gross advances reduced from 7% in Mar-15 to 0.5% in Dec-18
    3. GNPA reduced by Rs 31,168 crores, with GNPA ratio declining for 3 successive quarters after after peaking in Mar-18.
    4. IBC has led to record recovery - Rs 98,493 crore recovered by PSBs in first nine months of FY19, YOY growth of 103%.
    5. PSB balance sheets strengthened through infusion of Rs 3.19 lakh crore including infusion by Government and market raising. This has helped five banks to come out of PCA restrictions and improve PCR from 46% in FY15 to 69% in Dec-18 leading to reduced risk.
    6. Fresh slippages reduced by Rs 58,000 crore in 9 nine months of FY19 compared to same period previous FY, Stock of overdue account reduced by 47%, credit risk weighted assets to gross advances reduced by 11%.
    7. Overall score of PSBs increased by 15% between Mar-18 and Dec-18 with average score of PSBs improving from 56.3 to 64.5
  331. Feb 28 - National Science Day. It marks discovery of Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir C. V. Raman on 28 February 1928. For this discovery, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
    1. On This occasion, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar launched STARS scheme (Scheme for Translational and Advanced Research in Science to fund Science projects). It will be implemented at cost of s 250 crores. Under it, 500 science projects will be funded whose selection will be made based on competition. IISC will be the coordinator of the scheme.
  332. As per Hurun Global Rich List 2019, Reliance Industries’ Chairman Mukesh Ambani is Now world’s eighth-richest person (and Asia's Richest) with a net worth of $54 billion. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos topped the list for the second consecutive year with a net worth of USD 147 billion, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates (USD 96 billion) and Warren Buffett (USD 88 billion).
  333. RBI removed three banks - Dhanlaxmi Bank (Pvt Sector), Allahabad Bank and Corporation Bank from PCA framework by moving them out of its weak-bank watchlist.
    1. So far, 5 PSBs have been removed from PCA Framerowrk of RBI out of 11 Banks in it. Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Oriental Bank of Commerce were removed earlier in Jan 2019.
  334. Book titled ‘Quality, Accreditation, and Ranking – A Silent Revolution in the Offing in Indian Higher Education’, edited by H Chaturvedi has beeen released.
  335. General Conferences (Feb 21 - 28, 2019)
    1. International Digital Health Symposium held in New Delhi.
    2. 16th edition of BioAsia 2019 Asia’s largest biotechnology and life-sciences forum conducted in Hyderabad(Telangana), with theme Life Sciences 4.0 – Disrupt the Disruption.
    3. Ministry of Civil Aviation organized Aviation Conclave 2019 with theme of Flying for All in New Delhi.
    4. 5th edition of Global Business Summit (GBS) organized by Yes Bank and Economic Times in New Delhi.
    5. Home Minister Rajnath Singh, chaired 5th Island Development Agency (IDA) meeting held in New Delhi.
    6. National Conference on Logistics Policy: Context, Issues & The Way Forward held in New Delhi.
    7. India Medical Device 2019 and India Pharma 2019– 4th edition of International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Device sector took place in Bengaluru (Karnataka).
    8. 44th IAA World Congress organised in Kochi (Kerala) by International Advertising Association (IAA).
    9. 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit held in New Delhi.
    10. VIVID -Vision Insight and Voices as India goes Digital - the District Informatics Officer (DIO) meet, organised by National Informatics Centre (NIC) in New Delhi. 
    11. Think tank Niti Ayog hosted conference on Future of Indian Banking and role of technology, in New Delhi.
    12. 4th National Conference on Economics of Competition Law Held in New Delhi.
    13. 14th Agricultural Science Congress organized by National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) in collaboration with Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR) in New Delhi.
    14. 55th Munich Security Conference (MSC) held in Munich (Germany), annual meet that brings together security experts from across world. Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran attended on India's Behalf.
    15. Minister for Earth Sciences, Harsh Vardhan inaugurated Atal Bhavan, new campus of Centre for Marine Living Resources and Ecology (CMLRE), at Puthuvype, Cochin, in Kerala.
    16. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu presented Kalam Innovation in Governance Award 2019 at 3rd edition of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Summit on Innovation and Governance in New Delhi. Summit aims at exploring how new age technology can transform impact governance in India and world.
    17. Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda inaugurated centre of the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) in Tripura, which would produce 1500 skilled workers per annum.
    18. Network-18 Rising India Summit held in New Delhi with theme 'Beyond Politics: Defining National Priorities'.
    19. PM Narendra Modi unveiled a 800-kg “Astounding Bhagavad Gita” at ISKCON temple in Delhi,as world’s largest sacred book.
    20. Indian Firm Tejas Networks launched its broadband access product which provides both wireline as well as wireless broadband services from a single integrated platform. It was launched at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona (Spain).
  336. National Book Trust (NBT) appointed Govind Prasad Sharma as its new Chairman.
  337. Muhammadu Buhari re-elected as Nigeria’s President.
  338. India ranked 47th in “Inclusive Internet Index 2019” released by Facebook. Sweden topped the chart, followed by Singapore and US.
  339. Bank of Baroda tied up with Germany’s KfW Development Bank for funding of USD 113 million to refinance solar projects. The tie-up is part of an Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership signed in 2015.
  340. ISSF World Cup 2019 (New Delhi Leg) -
    1. India Ranked at top Jointly with Hungary. Indian Medalists -
      1. Saurabh Chaudhary - Gold in Men's 10 metre air pistol
      2. Apurvi Chandela - Gold in Women's 10 metre air rifle
      3. Mixed team (Saurabh Chaudhary/Manu Bhaker) - Gold in 10 metre air pistol
    2. Medal Tally -
      Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
      1  Hungary  3 0 0 3
       India  3 0 0 3
      3  China  1 6 3 10
      4  Russia  1 1 0 2
      5  Germany  1 0 0 1
        Switzerland  1 0 0 1
  341. Visits from India (Feb 21 - 28, 2019) -
    1. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited European Nations Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain.
      1. 4 MoU signed with Morocco - Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism, Cooperation in Housing and Human Settlement, Reciprocal facilitation of procedures for issue of Business Visa and Cooperation in Youth Matters.
      2. Spanish Government conferred upon her Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit for India’s swift response through Operation Maitri in rescuing 71 Spanish nationals from Nepal in April 2015, after disastrous earthquake.
    2. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited to deliver an address at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi. This is first time that a leader of the non-Muslim country has been invited to the OIC conference. She Swaraj will be Guest of Honour at 46th Session of Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC on the 1st and 2nd of March, 2019.
  342. India and Brunei signed Agreement for Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes (TIEA).
  343. Visits to India (Feb 21 - 28, 2019)
    1. Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Italy, Michele Geraci Visited India, to atted 20th Session of India-Italy Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation (JCEC) Meet, held in New Delhi.
    2. Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren Visited India. India and Sweden signed MOU to boost cooperation in tackling Anti-microbial resistance (AMR).
  344. Persons Resigned / Retired (February 2019) -
    1. South Korean Footballer Ki Sung-yueng announced his retirement.
    2. Pralay Mondal - Yes Bank Senior group President and head of retail and business banking.
    3. Former Australian Cricketer Greg Chappell will exit from Cricket as selector and national talent manager, after Ashes 2019.
    4. Noted West Indies Cricketer Chris Gayle announced that he will retire from One-day Internationals after 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
    5. Malaysia’s 8-time World Squash Champion Nicol David announced her retirement.
  345. Misc. Appointments (Feb 2019) -
    1. Sanjeev Ranjan has been appointed as new Indian Ambassador to Colombia (South America).
    2. K.P.Singh has been appointed as Director-General of Haryana State Police. Dinkar Gupta is appointed as Director General of Punjab Police.
    3. Nilambar Acharya has been appointed as Nepal’s ambassador to India.
    4. Dinesh Bhatia appointed as Ambassador of India to Argentina.
    5. Ruchira Kamboj is appointed as Ambassador of India to Bhutan.
    6. B.S.Mubarak became Ambassador of India to Honduras.
    7. Sailesh Assumed apointed as Secretary in Ministry of Minority Affairs.
    8. Pradeep Singh Kharola appointed as secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
    9. Cricket Australia appointed Ricky Ponting as assistant coach for Australia’s cricket team for 2019 World Cup.
    10. Radheyshyam Julaniya appointed as Union Sports Secretary.
    11. SN Ghormade appointed as Chief of Staff of Eastern Naval Command.
    12. Ashwani Lohani has been re-appointed CMD of Air India.
    13. B. P. Sharma re-appointed as Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) of PSU Power Hans.
    14. Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) appointed 2 Sandeep Mohan Bhatnagar and Ashok Kumar Pandey as its members. Pranab Kumar Das is CBIC Chairman.
    15. G C Anupama elected as president of Astronomical Society of India (ASI).
    16. German sports and lifestyle brand PUMA appointed Indian Champion Boxer M C Mary Kom as its new brand ambassador.
    17. Indian-origin Person Faizel Ismail appointed as director of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance.
    18. Depinder Singh Ahuja appointed aa Chief of Southern Air Command.
    19. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan been appointed as an ambassador of Swasth Immunised India campaign, launched by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Network 18.
    20. Tarun Shridhar appointed as Secretary of Newly created Department of Fisheries in Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
    21. Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh selected as president of Foundation Board for Better Boxing of AIBA (International Boxing Association). AIBA formed Foundation Board for Better Boxing to formulate an action plan for global development of sport.
    22. Saudi Arabia appointed Princess Reema bint Bandar, as its first female ambassador to USA.
    23. US President Donald Trump nominated Kelly Knight Craft as new US ambassador to UN, after resignation of Nikki Haley.
    24. India’s Mushtaque Ahmad elected as Vice-President of the Asian Hockey Federation(AHF).
    25. IDBI Bank appointed Hemant Bhargava as non-executive, non-whole time chairman.
    26. PepsiCo’s India-born former CEO Indra Nooyi joined online retail giant Amazon’s board as a director.
    27. K. J. Srinivasa named as next High Commissioner of India to Cooperative Republic of Guyana (South America).
  346. Misc. Sports Events (Feb 2019) -
    1. Vaani Kapoor became first Indian Golfer to earn a card for Australian Ladies PGA Tour (LPGA).
    2. Indian cricketer Mithali Raj became first female cricketer to play 200 ODIs. Also, Pakistani cricketer Sana Mir become first Female Asian cricketer to play hundred T20Is.
    3. Indian female cricketer Smriti Mandhana become top-ranked batter in women’s ODI cricket.
    4. 13th edition of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will be played in India in 2023. ICC also signed a five-year global partnership deal with beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Company.
    5. INS Dronacharya won Regatta trophy in Area Pulling Regatta Kochi 2019 of Southern Naval Command.
    6. Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won gold medal at EGAT Cup in Thailand.
    7. Former Australian spinner Shane Warne named as brand ambassador of Rajasthan Royals for IPL 2019 Edition.
    8. Indian Players won 4 medals (1 G, 2 S, 1 B) at Bahrain Junior and Cadet Open TT Tournament.
    9. India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran entered top-100 of Men’s Singles Tennis rankings, with rank 97. He is 3rd Indian player to break into the top-100 after Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri.
    10. Indian Billiards Playar Pankaj Advani defeated Lakshman Rawat to win 86th Senior Snooker National Championships Title, in Indore.
    11. Derrick Pereira named as head coach of India U-23 Foootball team.
    12. Jitendra Singh Rathore won men’s 50km race walk competition at the 6th National Open Race Walking Championships in Chennai.
    13. First Mallakhamb World Championship held in Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, in which India won. 15 countries participated in event.
    14. Asian Hockey Federation honoured India's Manpreet Singh with 2018 Player of the Year award. Women team’s striker Lalremsiami named Rising Player of The Year.
    15. Afghanistan scored highest-ever team total in T20s, scoring 278 against Ireland. Previous best was Australia's 263. Also, Afghanistan bowler Rashid Khan became first bowler to take out 4 wickets in 4 balls in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).
    16. Assam beat Mizoram to win Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 Cricket championship held at Cuttack (Odisha).
    17. Indian women's football team will be playing in Turkish Women's Cup. India have been clubbed with Romania, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group A, while France (B), Jordan, Northern Ireland and Turkey make up Group B.
    18. 70th International Boxing Tournament Strandja 2019 held at Sofia (Bulgaria). Russia topped medal tally with 9 medals (5 Gold and 4 Bronze), followed by India at 2nd with 7 medals (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 3 Bronze). For India, Amit Phangal, Nikhat Zareen and Meena Kumari Devi won Gold Medals.
    19. Australian Female Cricketer Alyssa Healy has set new Guinness World Record for the ‘highest catch of a cricket ball’, after she caught a ball which was dropped from a drone, 80 metres above surface at Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG). She broke record held by England’s Kristan Baumgartner (62 metres).
    20. West Indies' Crickter Chris Gayle broke record for “Most Sixes in International Cricket” by hitting 477 international sixes, getting past Shahid Afridi (476 sixes).
    21. G.R. Karthikeyan, father of India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award at FMSCI annual awards.
    22. Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta won Cannes International Open trophy (France), as his first solo International tournament victory.
    23. Former Sri Lankan Cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya has been banned from cricket for 2 years, after he breached several provisons of ICC's Anti Corruption code.
    24. Sri Lanka became first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa.
    25. Global Football regulator body FIFA banned English Premier League club Chelsea from signing players in next 2 transfer windows, after the club was found to have breached related FIFA rules.
  347. Industrial Awards (Feb 2019) -
    1. Rajiv Nath has been conferred with Award of Appreciation by for his contribution to Global Public Healthcare sector. He is also appointed as Member on Board of National Medical Devices Promotion Council by DIPP (now renamed as Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade(DPIIT)).
    2. IIT Roorkee Professor Jayanta Kumar Ghosh has been conferred National Geospatial Award for Excellence-2017 (Lifetime Achievement Award) at Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad.
    3. National Film Development Corporation of India selected as Winner under the Miniratna Category (Category II) by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
    4. 9th edition of Aegis Graham Bell Award held in Panaji Goa. Uniphore Software Systems received the Aegis Graham Bell Award under Innovation in Data Science for its flagship product auMina.
    5. Yes Bank named winner of 9th edition of Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for its ‘Yes Engage Enrich Excel (EEE)’ project in data science. YES EEE program is an industry-first analytics tool that aids Bank’s relationship managers with top three talking points to engage with their customers.
    6. Soumitro Chakraborty, CEO of Innovative Financial Advisors (Fiinovation), is conferred with ‘CEO of the year’ award at 8th World CSR Congress held in Mumbai.
    7. Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) honoured with ‘FICCI CSR Award’ for Women Empowerment, recognizing efforts in integrating and internalizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
    8. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC)’s Rajahmundry unit won Energy and Environment Foundation Global Clean Awards-2019 for sustained efforts in pursuit of Swachh Bharat Mission.
    9. Central Zone Power Distribution Company (CZPDC) Bhopal and West Zone Power Distribution Company (WZPDC) Indore were conferred with the “Saubhagya Award” under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana.
  348. Obituaries (Feb 2019) -
    1. C H Loknath - Noted Kannada Actor.
    2. Ramesh Bhatkar - Noted Marathi actor.
    3. Mahesh Anand - Hindi film actor.
    4. Albert Finney - Oscar-nominated British actor.
    5. Gordon Banks - England Footballer (goalkeeper).
    6. Manfred Eigen - German scientist who jointly won 1967 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
    7. Vijaya Bapineedu - Noted Telugu Film Director.
    8. Bruno Ganz - Noted Swiss actor, who is famous for his role of German dictator, Adolf Hitler in Oscar-nominated film Downfall.
    9. Andrea Levy - Noted British author.
    10. Francis D’Souza - Former Goa Deputy Chief Minister.
    11. Wallace Smith Broecker - Noted American Climate scientist who popularised term “global warming”.
    12. William E. Butterworth III (known as W.E.B. Griffin) - Noted American military veteran and novelist.
    13. Namvar Singh - Noted Hindi writer.
    14. Pratik Choudhury - Bengali singer.
    15. Sooraj Barjatya - Noted Bollywood producer.
    16. Kodi Ramakrishna - Telugu filmmaker.
    17. Ko Channabasappa - Noted freedom fighter and Kannada writer.
  349. State Govt. Budgets 2019 - 20 -
    1. Uttar Pradesh -
      1. UP government presented 4.79 lakh crore budget for 2019-20.
        1. Budget comprised of new schemes worth 21,212.95 crores. Surplus (revenue saving) of INR 27,777.36 crores is estimated in 2019-20.
        2. Government launched Kanya Sumangala Scheme for upliftment of women which would give ‘handsome’ money to all girls in the state when they get married or pass graduation.
    2. Assam -
      1. Assam Govt. presented 4th Deficit Budget of the state for fiscal year 2019-20, with defecit being 1193 crores. Total expenditure in budget crossed 70000 crores.
        1. Under Scheme Arundhati, Brides will be given one tola gold belonging to families having income of less than Rs. 5 lakh per annum.
        2. Students who passes in 12th class examination with first division will be given e-bike.
        3. Widows below 45 years will be given immediate support of Rs. 25,000.
        4. Rice would be sold at Rs.1 per kg to benefit poor families.
    3. Chhattisgarh -
      1. Chhattisgarh Govt. presented Annual Budget for 2019-2020, amounted INR 90,910 crores.
        1. 5000 crore has been marked for farm loan waiver.
        2. 4000 crore had been marked for Mukhya Mantri Khadyanna Suraksha Yojana to provide 35 kg rice per ration card to BPL families.
    4. Odisha -
      1. Odisha Govt presented Interim Budget amounting to Rs. 1,32,660 for 2019-2020.
        1. For first four months, Budget is amounted to Rs. 56,921 crores.
        2. 4,461 crore has been marked for KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) scheme.
        3. 2,935 crore allocated for Rural Water Supply- BASUDHA Sheme.
        4. 2,120 crore has been allocated for Madhubala Pension Yojana.
        5. 400 crore marked to Ama Gaon Ama Bikash-PEETHA.
    5. Tamil Nadu -
      1. Tamil Nadu Govt. presented budget for 2019-20, with revenue pegged at 1,97,721 crores and Revenue Deficit of 14,315 crores.
        1. 1700 crore allocated for 1 lakh concrete houses which are to be built in Cyclone Gaja affected areas.
        2. Will establish a new arts and science college at Rameswaram named after former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
        3. Government would set up a Centre of Excellence for Emerging Technologies under TNeGA (Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency) to harness artificial intelligence, machine learning, block chain, big data and Internet of Things.
    6. Uttarakhand Budget -
      1. State Govt. Presented surplus budget of Rs. 48,663.90 crores. Interest-free loans of up to Rs 1 lakh shall be provided to poor and small farmers. Interest free loans amounting to Rs 5 lakh shall be given to self-help groups involved in agro-related activities. INR 100 crore allocated through cooperative sector in order to reduce migration by generating employment in rural areas and doubling income of farmers by 2022.
    7. Punjab -
      1. Punjab Govt presented state budget with outlay of 1,58,493 crores.
        1. Allocation of 3,000 crores for farm debt waiver is proposed to waive off the loans of landless farm labourers and families of farmers who committed suicides.
        2. Petrol rates decread by Rs 5 and diesel rates by Re 1.
        3. INR 250 crore for Sarbat Sehat Bina Yojana for providing Rs 5 lakh per family annual health care to 70 percent population of Punjab.
        4. Rs 90 crore allocated for new scheme, ‘Mera Kamm, Mera Maan’, wherein urban unemployed youth in age group of 18 - 35 years will be assisted by District Bureaus of Employment and Enterprise for both skilling and wage employment for a specified minimum days in year.
    8. Sikkim -
      1. Sikkim Govt presented interim Budget for 3566.29 crores.
    9. Telangana -
      1. State Govt. presented Interim Budget with expenditure valued at 1,82,017 crores, with revenue surplus of 6564 crores. 1810 crores allocated to fund an unemployment allowance of Rs 3,016 per month to eligible youth. 6,000 croress allocated to waive off agricultural term loans of up to 1 lakh.
    10. Goa -
      1. Goa CM Manohar Parrikar (also holds Finance portfolio) presented 19548.69 crores budget for 2019-20 (14.16% increase), and revenue surplus of 455.10 Crores.
    11. Haryana -
      1. Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu presented INR 1,32,166 crore tax free budget for 2019-20. Government plans to bring a scheme to provide solar water pumping systems to farmers to meet their irrigation needs. Under this, farmers would be provided 2 HP and 5HP solar water pumping systems with 75 percent State Subsidy and 25 percent user share. It also announced a compensation of Rs 12,000 per acre for the crop damage caused by natural calamity.
    12. Delhi -
      1. Delhi Government presented INR 60000 crores budget 2019-20, with over 26 % of total budget earmarked for education. Around 13000 seats will be added to engineering and polytechnic colleges of Delhi. Government announced to set up new Applied Sciences University apart from setting up a Teacher Training University and an MBA course at Delhi Technological University.
      2. Computer tablets will be provided to students scoring above 80 percent in class X in government schools. Those in class XI and XII in Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalayas (RPVVs) and schools of excellence will also receive the tabs.
      3. A new scheme will be launched to provide financial help to differently abled parents for marriage of their daughters.
    13. Bihar -
      1. Bihar govt presented 2,00,501 crore state budget, with 21,516.99 crores revenue surplus. It has provision for opening 11 medical colleges in the State.
    14. Karnataka -
      1. Implementation of Nava Bengaluru Kriya Yojana at an estimated cost of Rs 8,015 crore, of which Rs 2,300 crore will be granted in 2019-20.
      2. Granted 250 crore to Krushi Bhagya scheme and 368 crores for “Mukhyamanthrigala Sukshma Neeravari Yojana” during 2019-20.
      3. Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) 'Bengaluru Rail Infrastructure Development Entity' (B-RIDE) to be formed for implementation of a comprehensive mobility scheme.
      4. 638 crores allocated for Ksheera Bhagya scheme for school going children and Rs 405 crore for Anganawadi children.
      5. It proposed ‘Mini Olympic Games - 2019’ to identify and encourage sports persons between 13 and 15 years.
      6. Creation of 4 new taluks proposed in Harohalli (Ramanagar District) and Chelur (Chikkaballapur District), Terdal (Bagalakot District) and Kalasa (Chikkamagalur District).
    15. West Bengal -
      1. West Bengal gogt prssented state Budget 2019-20 of Rs 2.37 lakh crores with a Rs 9 crore deficit.
      2. Raises wages for contractual workers and data entry operators by Rs 2000 and Rs 500 for Asha and Anganwadi workers.
      3. It proposes a raise of ex-gratia payment to contractual workers to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 2 lakh.
      4. Annual grants of 5,000 and 2,000 have been announced for farmers with 1 acre and less than 1 acre of land, respectively.
      5. The full exemption on education cess and rural employment cess for tea gardens has been extended for two more years.
    16. Nagaland -
      1. Ngaland Govt. presented budget of Rs 1,661.68 crores. Introduction of new policies were announced such as-Nagaland Innovation Fund, Nagaland Investor Network, Entrepreneurship Incubators and Entrepreneurship Development Centres in schools.

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