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Latest Current Affairs - February 2020

Month Type

  1. Feb 21 is observed as UNESCO International Mother Language Day, with 2020 theme Languages without borders. It was Proclaimed by UN in 2002.
    1. With 61 Crore speakers, Hindi is now third most spoken language in world. English is at the top with 113 crore speakers and Mandarin has 111 crore speakers.
    2. It is also known as Amar Ekushey in Bangladesh, to commemorate martyrs of language movement who lost their lives during Pakistani police firing on 21st of February 1952 in Dhaka.
  2. Shyama Mukherji Rurban Mission completed its 4 years on February 21, 2020 (launched on February 21, 2016). It aims at stimulating local economic development and create well planned Rurban Regions, by developing 300 Rurban clusters.
    1. Niti Aayog proposed that these clusters are to be extended to 1000 in 3 years.
    2. It aims to preserve essence of rural community life.
    3. It is a joint venture with state governments where state governments have to identify clusters.
  3. Indian freelance reporter Ahmer Khan named winner of Agence France-Presse Kate Webb Prize, for his coverage in Kashmir during lockdown of the region after India's decision to abrogate article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
    1. Kate Webb was a New Zealand-born Australian war correspondent for UPI and Agence France-Presse (AFP). She earned a reputation for dogged and fearless reporting throughout the Vietnam War.
  4. Scientists in Netherlands' Naturalis Biodiversity Center discovered a new species of land snail and named it Craspedotropis gretathunbergae, in honour of young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Species belongs to group of so-called caenogastropods, a group of snails found on ground that are dried, extreme temperatures and deforestation have an impact.
  5. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) Launched UPI Chalega Campaign, to further Promote Unified Payments Interface (UPI) Platform. UPI has clocked over 100 crore transactions per month.
  6. An Ernst & Young (EY) report titled Today for tomorrow: realising the potential of Life Sciences 4.0 was released during Bio-Asia 2020 held in Hyderabad. As per report -
    1. Average drug manufacturing utilisation rate in India is around 75% across both active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulation production facilities.
    2. India is largest provider of generic drugs, fulfilling about 40% of the generics demand in US and 25% of all medicines in UK.
    3. India also supplies over 50% of global demand for vaccines and 80% of global demand for antriretroviral drugs for AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).India will capture 8% of global $62 billion biosimilar market by 2025.
  7. Kotak Mahindra Bank received RBI's final approval for reducing promoters' shareholding to 26% of paid-up voting equity share capital. Bank will cap promoters' voting rights to 15% from April 1 onwards.
    1. RBI earlier insisted Kotak Mahindra Bank promoters to cap their voting rights at 20% by March 2020.
    2. Promoter Uday Kotak will sell 4 % of his stake over 6 months, for 12500 crores.
  8. Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed MoU with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for installation of public charging stations to boost e-mobility adoption across India. Under this, EESL will set up public charging stations in 1000 BSNL sites in a phased manner.
  9. Social Network Twitter acquired US based Chromo Labs, which develops tools for short-form video & photo creation. Chroma Stories app let users fill in stylish layout templates and frames for posting collages and Instagram stories, Snapchat etc.
  10. India and Myanmar signed an MoU for regular passenger bus service between Imphal and Mandalay, from April 2020.
  11. UK-Based BAE Systems' PHASA-35 solar-electric aircraft successfully completed its maiden flight, plugging gap between aircraft and satellite technology. Designed to operate unmanned in stratosphere, above weather and conventional air traffic, PHASA-35 offers a persistent alternative to satellites combined with flexibility of an aircraft.
    1. As a High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) vehicle, PHASA-35 is powered by Sun during day and by batteries overnight. It can maintain flight for up to a year operating in stratosphere (upper regions of Earth’s atmosphere).
  12. All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) banned simultaneous conduct of Post graduate diploma in management (PGDM) and Master of business administration (MBA) Programme by Higher education institutions.
  13. Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy launched Nadu Nedu (meaning 'then and now' in Telugu) scheme in all government hospitals, to help improve health conditions of people of state by improving healthcare.
  14. Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE) delivered its fourth anti-submarine warfare stealth corvette to Indian Navy, Named Kavaratti.
    1. It is last in series of four anti- Submarine Warfare Corvettes (ASWC) built by GRSE under Project 28. First three ships are INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt and INS Kiltan.
  15. Supratim Bandyopadhyay has been appointed as chairman of PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority).
  16. Dr Niti Kumar, Senior Scientist at CSIR-CDRI Lucknow received SERB Women Excellence Award 2020. Award will be conferred by President of India during National Science Day Celebrations on February 28 in Vigyan Bhawan (New Delhi).
    1. This award is given to women scientist below 40 years of age who have received recognition from national academies. It comprises research grant of 5 lakhs per annum for 3 years.
  17. Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved acquisition of 74.50% equity of THDC India by NTPC Limited from Government of India.
    1. THDC is a PSU with 74.50% of its shares held by Government and 25.50% held by Government of Uttar Pradesh.
  18. Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved acquisition of 100% of equity of North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) by NTPC Limited, from Government of India.
  19. Mumbai airport launched world's largest temperature-controlled facility to store agro and pharma products, called Export Cold Zone. It is capable of holding more than 700 tonnes of cargo.
  20. Indian Naval Sailing Vessels Mhadei and Tarini set sail for Bay of Bengal Offshore Sailing Expedition, on a prolonged voyage of 3 months.
  21. A tripartite MoU signed between National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), State Program Management Group-Uttarakhand (SPMG-UK) and Indorama Charitable Trust (ICT) to work together for renovation/ development of Ghat at Badrinath and Ghats and Crematoria at Gangotri in Uttarakhandat, at cost of 26.64 Crores.
  22. Ministry of Corporate Affairs inaugurated ‘SPICe+’ Web Form, replacing existing SPICe form.  It would offer 10 services by 3 Central Govt Ministries & Departments (Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Labour & Department of Revenue in Ministry of Finance) and a State Government (Maharashtra).
  23. 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships Held in New Delhi -
    1. 274 competitors from 23 nations competed. China was barred due to coronavirus outbreak. North Korea and Turkmenistan were also unable to participate.
    2. Champions - Freestyle (Iran), Greco-Roman (Iran), Women (Japan)
    3. Medal Table -
      1. Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
        1  Japan 8 4 4 16
        2  Iran 7 3 7 17
        3  India 5 6 9 20
        4  Kazakhstan 5 2 12 19
        5  Kyrgyzstan 2 3 6 11
        6  Uzbekistan 2 2 6 10
        7  South Korea 1 4 1 6
        8  Mongolia 0 4 4 8
        9  Tajikistan 0 2 2 4
        10  Iraq 0 0 1 1
    4. Indian Medalists -
      1. Gold -
        1. Ravi Kumar Dahiya (Men's 57 kg freestyle)
        2. Sunil Kumar (87 kg Men's Greco-Roman)
        3. Pinki (55 kg women's Freestyle)
        4. Sarita Mor (59 kg women's Freestyle)
        5. Divya Kakran (68 kg women's Freestyle)
      2. Silver -
        1. Sakshi Malik (65 kg women's Freestyle)
        2. Nirmala Devi (50 kg women's Freestyle)
        3. Satyawart Kadian (97 kg men's Freestyle)
        4. Gourav Baliyan (79 kg men's Freestyle)
        5. Jitender Kumar (74 kg men's Freestyle)
        6. Bajrang Punia (65 kg men's Freestyle)
  24. Ernst & Young Awards 2019 -
    1. Category  Awardee
      EY Entrepreneur of the year Kiran-Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon)
      Lifetime Achievement Adi Godrej (Godrej Group)
      Start-up Falguni Nayar (Nykaa E-retail)
      Manufacturing Arun Bharat Ram (SRF)
      Services Sridhar Vembu (ZOHO Corporation)
      Financial Services Yashish Dahiya (Policy Bazaar)
  25. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) tightened eligibility for investment advisors, to protect interests of investors.
    1. It has set a upper limit on their fees & proposed a fee of 2.25% of assets under management (AUM) / an amount of 75,000 per annum. Fee can be charged for up to 2 quarters at a time and cannot be fully charged upfront. Enhanced net worth and qualification requirements are also provisioned.
    2. SEBI has barred investment advisers from simultaneously selling financial products and advisory services .
    3. Companies will need to differentiate advisory and delivery activities at the client level.
    4. SEBI also allowed the use of regulatory sandbox by firms on select customers, also granting limited registration for such testing purposes.
  26. Riek Machar has been appointed as first vice president in African Nation South Sudan, to serve 3 years.
  27. Indian table tennis players Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won silver in men’s doubles event at ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open.
  28. Wipro Digital acquired US based Rational Interaction, a full-service digital customer experience (CX) company.
  29. Vijay Advani has been appointed by US-India Business Council (USIBC) as new chairman of its Global Board of Directors.
  30. Noted actor Manoj Kumar felicitated by World Book of Records London with WBR Golden Era of Bollywood honour for his contribution to Indian cinema.
  31. India attended 9th Defence and Security Expert Working Group (EWG) meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation held in Pakistan. This was first meeting of working group under SCO Defence & Security Cooperation Plan – 2020.
  32. FC Goa became first Indian club to qualify for Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League group stage.
  33. Indian Grandmaster D Gukesh defeated Harutyun Barseghyan of France to win 34th Cannes Open Chess in France.
  34. Russia will be first country to host new format of AIBA Team World Cup in 2020, with participation of Best national teams globally.
  35. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) launched 3 phase ‘5G Hackathon’, to shortlist focused cutting edge ideas that can be converted into workable 5G solutions. It will culminate at India Mobile Congress in October 2020. Winners will share prize pool of 2.5 crores.
  36. Bhaskar Khulbe & Amarjeet Sinha have been appointed as Advisor to Prime Minister.
  37. Govt released first rankings regarding Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) payouts -
    1. Top 3 - Haryana (1) Uttarakhand (2), Gujarat (3)
    2. West Bengal named worst while new UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh clubbed together and got 8th spot among 36 states / UTs.
  38. In 2018-19, US surpassed China to become India's top trading partner, as per data by commerce ministry. Trade between US and India was USD 87.95 billion, ahead of that with China being USD 87.07 billion.
  39. RBI started Long Term Repo Operation (LTROs), to enable banks to avail one year and three-year loans at same interest rate of one day repo. Usually, loans with higher maturity period have higher interest rate compared to short term (repo) loans. Current repo rate is 5.15%.
    1. It will put pressure on banks to reduce their lending rates. Hence, there will be a decline in short term lending rates of banks.
    2. RBI Intends to inject 1 lakh crores into banking system through LTRO auctions.
    3. 1st LTRO (Feb 17) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 3-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 1,94,414 crores, with 25035 Crores as alloted amount.
    4. 2nd LTRO (Feb 24, 2020) -
      1. Notified amount was 25000 crores with 1-year tenor. Total bids received amounted to 1,23,154 crores, with 25021 Crores as alloted amount.
    5. 3rd and 4th LTRO will be conducted on Mar 02 and Mar 09, 2020.
  40. Feb 24 is observed in India as Central Excise Day. It commemorates legislation of Central Excise and Salt act on 24 February in 1944.
    1. On Feb 24, 2020, Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana completed 1 year of its implementation. It was launched to increase income of farmers, by providing them income support of Rs 6,000 per year. Till now, Government has released over 50000 crores, benefitting over 8 crore farmer families. PM Kisan app was also lauched on this occasion.
    2. Tamil Nadu  government will celebrate birth anniversary of former CM Jayaram Jayalalithaa on February 24 as ‘State Girl Child Protection Day’.
  41. US President Donald Trump Visited India -
    1. He attended Namaste Trump event at Newly Built Motera cricket stadium in gujarat. It is world's largest Cricket stadium with capacity to accommodate 1.10 lakh people. It is renamed as Sardar Patel Stadium.
    2. Mr Trump visited Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi during his visit.
    3. India and US signed defence deals worth $3 billion, including procurement of 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters by India (2.6 Billion USD) and six AH-64E Apache helicopters ($800 million).
    4. 2 MOUs were signed f0r co-operation in Mental Health and Safety of Medical Products. A Letter of Cooperation signed between Indian Oil Corporation Limited and ExxonMobil India LNG Limited.
    5. US First Lady (President or President's Wife) Melania Trump attended a ‘Happiness Curriculum class at a government school in New Delhi.
  42. Key UN Event 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals hosted by India in Gandhinagar (Gujarat), called CMS-COP-13. It was hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
    1. About -
      1. India is named President of Conference for 3 years. Theme is Migratory species Connect the Planet and we welcome them.
      2. CMS COP 13 logo is inspired by ‘Kolam’, a traditional artform from southern India.
      3. Mascot for CMS COP13 is Gibi - The Great Indian Bustard, a critically endangered species which has been accorded the highest protection status under Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
      4. India is Signatory to Convention on Conservation of Migratory wild Animals (CMS) since 1983. 7 species including Dugong, Whale Shark, Marine Turtle (two species) are identified for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan.
      5. Also, 2020 is marked as super year for nature and biodiversity, to highlight 21 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and their targets.
    2. India’s proposal to include endangered Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican in Appendix I of UN Convention on migratory species has been accepted during CMS-COP 13. Globally, 10 species are accepted for this inclusion, with 3 Indian species.
    3. India announced creation of an institutional facility for undertaking research and assessment for the conservation of migratory birds.
    4. Animal culture, the learning of non-human species through socially transmitted behaviours, is being linked to conservation action for the first time. Proposals were presented to consider conservation measures for Eastern Tropical Pacific Sperm Whale and nut-cracking Chimpanzee, during CMS COP 13.
    5. India and Norway issued Joint Statement on Climate and Environment, pressing need to work jointly towards mitigating marine plastic litter and microplastics.
    6. North India’s first  bird ringing station for observation, monitoring & research on migratory birds, will be setup in Bhagalpur (Bihar). It is 4th in country after Tamil Nadu (Chennai), Rajasthan (Jaipur) and Orissa (Bhubaneshwar). Bhagalpur is a favorite destination of migratory birds. MoU in this regard was signed during CMS-COP13.
    7. India proposed names of 10 more wetlands to be declared as sites of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. India has 37 ramsar sites as of now, with 10 being approved in recently in Jan 2020.
    8. According to State of India’s Bird 2020 launched during the event -
      1. Around 80 % among 146 species of birds population in India has been on decline in past 5 years, with close to 50% declining strongly & Just over 6% are stable and 14% increasing.
      2. The first-of-its-kind analysis classified 101 species as high concern, 319 as moderate concern & 442 into low concern.Out of the species categorised as high concern, 26% are classified globally by IUCN as least concern.
  43. Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival 2020 Awardees -
    1. Category Winners
      Best Film Super 30
      Best Actor Hrithik Roshan
      Best Playback Singer Male Armaan Malik
      Best Playback Singer (Female) Tulsi Kumar
      Decade Star 2020 Anupam Kher
  44. G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors Meeting held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) with theme Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All.
    1. Saudi Arabia is first Arab nation to hold G20 presidency and will hold 15th meeting of G20 in November 2020.
  45. 2 new bird species found during Great Backyard Bird count, in UT of Ladakh. These are Red Throated Thrush and Plumbeous Water Redstart, found for first time in Ladakh Region.
  46. India' Adline Castelino won Miss Diva Universe 2020 title, in Mumbai. She will represent India at Miss Universe pageant 2020.
  47. Department of Telecom approved merger of mobile tower company Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel, which will create a pan-India tower company with over 163,000 towers. Combined entity will be largest tower company in world outside China.
    1. In April 2018, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone announced merger of Indus Towers and Bharti Infratel.
    2. Indus Towers is a joint venture between Bharti Infratel, UK-based Vodafone Group and Vodafone Idea. Bharti Infratel and Vodafone hold 42 % stake each in Indus. Vodafone Idea holds 11.15 per cent stake and the remaining 4.85 per cent is with private equity firm Providence.
    3. This merger can help Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea that collectively owe over Rs 80,000 crore as AGR dues to government. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea may raise funds by divesting their stakes in merged entity to pare debt.
  48. Chinese Researchers identified molecular oxygen in a galaxy outside our Milky Way, by analyzing light waves that reached Earth from Markarian 231, a galaxy around 581 million light years away.
  49. Habitable-Zone Planet Finder (HPF), an astronomical spectrograph on 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory in Texas (US), validated its 1st exoplanet called G 9-40b. It was discovered earlier by Nasa's Kepler Mission.
    1. It is about twice size of Earth orbiting a nearby low mass bright M-dwarf star with orbital period of 6 Earth-days.
  50. Kannada version of book who is bharat mata, translated by K E Radhakrishna and titled as Yaaru Bharat Maate has been released by Former PM Mammohan Singh. English version was penned by Purushottam Agarwal.
  51. Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu released book titled Death; An Inside Story: A book for all those who shall die, written by Jaggi Vasudev, (generally referred to as Sadhguru).
  52. Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy launched an educational scheme called ‘Jagananna Vasthi Deevena (JVD)’. Under this, 2300 crores are allocated to be provided to students pursuing higher studies, to handle hostel and mess expenditure.  ITI students would get 10000, polytechnic students would get 15000 and UG / PG students to get 20000.
  53. Geological Survey Of India denied discovery of gold deposits of over 3000 tonnes and mentioned that mineralised zone having an average grade of 3.03 grams per tonne of gold is tentative in nature and total gold which can be extracted is approximately 160 kg. The rumors in this regard were circulated recently on social media.
  54. India and Sri Lanka signed MoU for up-gradation of infrastructure in plantation schools for estate workers of Indian origin. It envisages up-gradation of infrastructure of 9 plantation schools as identified by Sri Lanka under an Indian grant assistance of 30 crore rupees.
  55. Sveriges Riksbank (or simply Riksbank), the central bank of Sweden, had begun testing its digital version of currency, e-krona. The pilot project will be in operation for one year.
  56. To promote financial literacy and Inclusion, RBI released a National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (NSFI) 2019-24, prepared by Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee (FIAC) of RBI -
    1. Every village should have access to a formal financial services provider within a 5-km radius.
    2. Banking outlets to be increased to provide easy and hassle-free digital process.
    3. Strengthening of digital financial services in all tier-II to tier-VI centres is required to facilitate a less-cash society by March 2022.
    4. Public Credit Registry(PCR) has to be made fully operational by March 2022.
    5. Customers must be made aware of recourses available for grievance resolution, by March 2021.
  57. NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) in collaboration with National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched an AI based Module rolled out for students in Indian schools, To empower young minds with latest technologies.
    1. NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission is Government’s flagship initiative to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. At school level, AIM is establishing Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) in all districts.
    2. AI-Base Module will be implemented across 5,000 Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL), empowering 2.5 million students.
  58. 6th Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV-6) VAJRA of Indian Coast guard launched.
  59. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Hyderabad launched three products to better cater its users -
    1. Small Vessel Advisory and Forecast Services System (SVAS) - to improve operations on numerous small marine vessels.
    2. Swell Surge Forecast System - To provide forewarnings for coastal population of India's vast shoreline
    3. Algal Bloom Information Service - To provide timely information on harmful algal blooms.
  60. 5th Joint Air Force Exercie of India and UK - named Ex Indradhanush commened at Hindon Air Station in Ghaziabad.
  61. Government announced RAISE 2020- ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020, to be held in April in New Delhi.
    1. RAISE 2020 is India's first Artificial Intelligence summit to be organized by Government in partnership with Industry & Academia.
  62. Minister of Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal launched new Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS) portal to monitor the prices of TOP crops – Tomato, Onion and Potato. It will generate early alerts in case there is going to be a major change in the prices of these crops. URL -
  63. Government approved 32 projects in food processing sector under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY), spread across 17 states with funds 406 crores and aiming to generate employment for 15000 people.
    1. PMKSY aims to create processing and preservation capacities and modernise existing food processing units to increase quality of processing and reduce wastage.
    2. Implementation period is 2016-20 and has outlay of 6000 crores.
  64. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) notified allowing 100 % foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance intermediaries, which include insurance brokers, re-insurance brokers, insurance consultants, corporate agents, third party administrators, surveyors and loss assessors.
    1. FDI policy earlier allowed 49 per cent foreign investment in insurance sector, which included insurance intermediaries.
  65. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman launched Enhanced Access and Service Excellence (EASE 3.0), to make public sector banking technology enabled and smart and achieve ease of banking for customers.
    1. EASE is set of technology-based banking reforms, aimed at improvising banking sector with technology.
  66. Sri Lanka withdrew from UNHCR (UN Human Rights Council) resolution, which aimed at resolution is investigation of war time violence against Tamil Tiger rebels. US had barred Sri Lankan Army Chief from entering US soil accusing him of war crimes.
  67. Chinese Smartphone maker Xiaomi collaborated with ISRO to bring ISRO’s Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System “NavIC technology” to its smartphones.
    1. NavIC is a regional geo-positioning system launched by ISRO to provide accurate positioning in 1500 km around Indian mainland. It comprises of 7 satellites, 3 geostationary and four in geosynchronous orbit.
    2. NavIC is accurate up to 5m, much better than US's GPS, which is accurate up to 20 to 30 meters.
  68. 9th Hurun Global Rich List 2020
    1. It ranks 2,816 billionaires from 71 countries.
    2. Top 5 Richest People (Billion USD) -
      1. Jeff Bezos (US) - 140
      2. Bernard Arnault (France) - 107
      3. Bill Gates (US) - 106
      4. Warren Buffett (US) - 102
      5. Mark Zuckerberg (US) - 84
      6. India's Richest Mukesh Ambani is ranked 9th globally, with worth 67 Billion USD.
    3. Counries with most number of Billionaires -
      1. China (799)
      2. USA (626)
      3. India (137)
      4. Germany (122)
      5. UK (119)
  69. International Judicial Conference 2020 held in New Delhi, with theme Gender Just-World and subject Judiciary and The Changing World.
  70. Cabinet Approvals (Feb 26, 2020) -
    1. General -
      1. Approved exemption of India Ports Global Ltd (IPGL) from DPE (Department of Public Enterprises) Guidelines, except reservation and vigilance policies. IPGL is incorporated as a Special Purpose Vehicle jointly promoted by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Deendayal Port Trust (DPT).
        1. As Iran's Chabahar Port is India's first overseas port project with strategic objectives, there is an urgent need to allow IPGL to continue to function as a Board managed company, without making guidelines of DPE applicable to it for 5 years.
      2. Approved issuance of order for adaptation of Central Acts in UT of Jammu and Kashmir under Section 96 of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, which reorganized state of Jammu & Kashmir into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
        1. All Central Laws that are applicable to whole of India, are now applicable to UT of Jammu and Kashmir w.e.f. 31-10-2019.
      3. Approved changes introduced to Surrogacy (Regulation) bill 2019 (Pending in Rajya Sabha), which aims to prevent commercial surrogacy. Changes Include -
        1. Not only close relatives but “any woman” willing to act as a surrogate mother shall be allowed.
        2. It has also approved deleting the definition of infertility. Earlier infertility in bill was defined as inability to conceive within 5 years. Committee believed that it was too long period for a couple to wait for a child.
        3. Insurance Cover of a surrogate mother is to be increased from 16 months to 36 months.
      4. Approved amendment of Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindivi Islands Land Revenue and Tenancy Regulation 1965, to confer occupancy rights to Scheduled Tribe (ST) population in Lakshadweep, for welfare of tribal community.
    2. CCEA -
      1. Approved National Technical Textiles Mission, with allocation of 1480 crores, to make India a global leader in Technical Textiles. It will be implemented between 2020-21 and 2023-24. Components include -
        1. Research, Innovation and Development with outlay of Rs. 1000 Crores.
        2. Promotion and Market Development - Mission will aim at average growth rate of 15-20% per annum taking level of domestic market size to 40-50 Billion USD by 2024.
        3. Export Promotion - Aims at export promotion of technical textiles enhancing from current annual value of 14000 Crore to 20000 Crores by 2021-22 and 10% average growth in exports per year upto 2023-24.
        4. Education, Training, Skill Development
  71. Madhya Pradesh became first state to introduce unified registration card and second state to launch unified driving license after Uttar Pradesh. Unified smart cards for driving license and vehicle registration have a QR code that can help verifying authenticity of data printed on cards.
  72. Indian IT Firm Tech Mahindra acquired US-based Zen3 Infosolutions for 460 crore ($64 million). It will help Tech Mahindra in bolstering its enterprise application practice and capabilities.
  73. Credit information bureau TransUnion Cibil appointed Rajesh Kumar as its new MD and CEO.
  74. RBI allowed Bandhan Bank to open branches without its prior approval, lifting a ban imposed for failing to reduce promoter ownership below mandated 40%.
    1. Bandhan Financial Holdings Ltd is holding company and promoter of Bandhan Bank. Its holding was diluted to 61% from 82% after acquisition of Gruh Finance in 2019. The promoter holding is still well above regulatory ceiling.
    2. Removal of restriction has a condition that at least a quarter of new banking outlets are to be opened in unbanked rural areas.
  75. Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised Rs 850 crore (USD 118 million) from a new issue of offshore Indian rupee-linked 10-year bonds.
    1. ADB's India rupee bonds have been significant for local currency operations. Through issues like this, ADB contributes to capital market development, attracts foreign portfolio investment, and catalyses financing of new ADB loans and investments in Indian rupees.
  76. US Based IT Firm Microsoft  partnered with State Bank of India, to train differently-abled people find jobs in banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector.
  77. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) sanctioned funds approx 400 crores for Various Infrastructure projects in UT of Jammu and Kashmir for current financial year.
  78. Navy Children School Mumbai Student Jiya Rai created a world record by becoming fastest special girl to swim 14 Km in open water. She swam from Elephanta Island to Gateway of India, distance of 14 Km in 03 hours 27 minutes and 30 seconds. This qualifies for registration in India Book of Records, Asia Book, & Limca Book of Records for youngest and first special girl in world to swim 14 Km in 03:27:30 hours in open water.
  79. RBI ordered banks to link all their new floating rate loans to medium enterprises with an external benchmark, effective from April 1, 2020.
    1. Itg is aimed at strengthening monetary policy transmission, to enable medium enterprises to get benefits of reduction in key lending rates.
    2. Floating rate loans to micro and small enterprises as well as floating rate personal and retail loans have already been linked to external benchmarks.
  80. NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) signed MoU  with Central Pollution Control Board, to provide financial support for installation & commissioning of Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS). Data from these stations will be used as inputs for Air Quality Index evaluation for respective cities.
    1. NTPC will provide support of 80 crores for installation of 25 CAAQMS across 6 states and 3 UTs.
  81. RBI issued new method of calculating India’s growth through a Working Paper titled  Nowcasting Indian GDP growth using a Dynamic Factor Model. Paper is co-authored by Soumya Bhadury, Saurabh Ghosh and Pankaj Kumar.
    1. It introduces Dynamic Factor Model of calculating Gross Domestic Product (GDP), using 12 indicators. Indicators are -
      1. Index of industrial production (IIP) –consumer goods
      2. IIP- core sectors
      3. Automobile sales
      4. Non-oil non-gold imports
      5. Exports
      6. Rail freight
      7. Air cargo
      8. Foreign tourist inflows
      9. Government tax receipts
      10. Nominal Effective Exchange Rate (NEER)
      11. Sensex
      12. Bank Credit
  82. South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration (SARI/EI) and US AID (United States Agency for International Development) organized Conference on  Enhancing Energy Cooperation in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) region  at Bangladesh capital Dhaka.
    1. As per a report released during event, India has 98% of coal resources & tops in all energy resources among BIMSTEC region.
    2. India has 319,020 MT of coal, 600 MT oil, 45.5 TCF gas, 4,150 MT biomass and 145 GW hydro and 1,000 GW renewable energy.
    3. Bangladesh ranks 2nd  in coal resources by having 3300 MT followed by Thailand, with 1063 MT of coal.
    4. BIMSTEC is working on connecting 3,000-kilometre long power grid from Myanmar-Thailand to India to ensure better capacity utilization by complementing members country’s demand and supply situation. BIMSTEC countries signed MoU for establishing a regional power grid during the 4th BIMSTEC summit in Nepal in 2018.
    5. BIMSTEC has seven members from South and Southeast Asia - Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.
  83. Ordnance Factory Board became 1st government entity to adopt centralised invoicing platform TreDS (Trade Receivables electronic Discount System), covering 41 Ordnance Factories.
    1. Under TREDS, MSME vendors will get financing facilities from OFB by collateralizing receivable invoices under sovereign guarantee.
    2. It will help government departments with limited MSME procurements to bring their whole vendor network on single platform.
    3. TREDS is a digital platform to assist MSMEs to get their bills financed at a competitive rate through a vendue where multiple registered financiers can participate.
  84. Governmentof will include non-scheduled urban & district central cooperative banks in 3 schemes namely Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) & Interest Subvention Scheme, to make easy access to finance for MSME sector.
  85. NBFC Capri Global Capital announced SME lending product UDAAN for women borrowers, aiming to help women gain access to credit system and encourage entrepreneurial spirit among them. Women borrower should be in age group 18-45 years. It will be offering secured business loans up to 40 lakh.
  86. Feb 27 is observed as World NGO Day.
    1. Also, national-level public health initiative Right To Protein launched India’s first ‘Protein Day’ to raise awareness about health benefits of protein. It will be observed on 27th February.
  87. As per 2019 World Air Quality Report-Region & City PM2.5 Ranking report by IQAir AirVisual -
    1. India ranked 5th most polluted country. Bangladesh  is most polluted country for PM2.5 exposure, followed by Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and India.
    2. Bahamas ranked 98th as cleanest country.
    3. World's most Polluted City for PM2.5 is Ghaziabad (India), followed by Hotan (China) and Gujranwala (Pakistan).
    4. Delhi is Most Polluted Capital City, followed by Dhaka (Bangladesh).
  88. High-level committee on Assam Accord's Clause 6 submitted its report to Assam Govt, headed by retired Justice Biplab Sharma. Assam government will send report to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for follow-up action, regarding implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord.
    1. Clause 6 is one of promises in Assam Accord, a memorandum of settlement inked between All Assam Students Union, Assam state government and government of India in 1985. The accord brought to an end, six years of Assam movement, an agitation in state against undocumented immigrants.
    2. Clause 6 had a provision that a committee will be set up for the demands of the people of Assam.
  89. Rating agency Crisil completed acquisition of US Based proprietary benchmarking data provider Greenwich Associates, announced in December 2019.
  90. Feb 28 is observed as National Science Day in India. 2020 Theme is Women in Science.
    1. It commemorates discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ by Sir C.V. Raman for which he was awarded Nobel Prize in 1930. India designated 28 February as National Science Day (NSD) in 1986.
    2. Government announced 11 chairs in the name of eminent Indian women scientists in various fields to encourage women researchers excelling in various fields. 
    3. President conferred 21 Awards to Winners and Announced 3 Initiatives for Gender Advancement and Equality in Academic and Research Institutions, incuding -
      1. Vigyan Jyoti will create a level-playing field for meritorious girls in high school to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in their higher education.
      2. Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI) will develop a framework for assessing Gender Equality in STEM.
      3. Dr Niti Kumar, Senior Scientist at CSIR-CDRI Lucknow was conferred SERB Women Excellence Award 2020 on National Science Day. It is given to women scientist below 40 years of age who have received recognition from national academies. It comprises research grant of 5 lakhs per annum for 3 years.
  91. National Statistical Office (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation) released 2nd Advance Estimates of National Income 2019-20 and Quarterly Estimates of GDP for October-December (Q3) 2019-20, both at Constant (2011-12) and Current Prices -
    1. In Q3 of 2019-20, GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices estimated at 36.65 lakh crores, against 35 lakh crores in Q3 of 2018-19, showing a growth of 4.7 percent.
      1. Earlier, In Q2 of FY 2019-20, It was 4.5 % and 5 % in Q1 of FY 2019-20.
    2. Real GDP or Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Constant (2011-12) Prices 2019-20 is estimated to be 146.84 lakh crores, against 139.81 lakh crores in 2018-19, showing growth of 5.0 percent, compared to 6.1 % in 2018-19.
    3. GDP at Current Prices in 2019-20 is estimated to show growth of 7.5 percent.
    4. Per Capita Income  in 2019-20 in real terms (at 2011-12 Prices) is estimated to be 95706, compared to 92085 in 2018-19, with growth of 3.9 %.
  92. Indian Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Varad has been commissioned into service. Notably, It is first defence ship to clear all acceptance trials in a single go.
  93. Minister of State (IC) Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh inaugurated Northern Region Renewable Energy Management Centre (NR-REMC). He dedicated to nation, eleven REMCs, placing India among few nations that have state-of-the-art management centers for renewable energy integration. It is part of Government's aim to achieve 175 GW RE Capacity by 2022.
  94. Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set up April 2020, under Consumer Protection Act 2019. It will address issues related to consumer rights, unfair trade practices, misleading advertisements and impose penalties for selling spurious and adulterated products.
  95. 19th World Productivity Congress will be conducted by World Confederation of Productivity Science in May 2020 in Bengaluru, under theme Industry 4.0-Innovation and Productivity. It is Being held in india after gap of 45 years (Last time in 1974). It aims at catalyzing government approaches in enhancing productivity.
  96. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) formed a committee under National Insurance Academy director G Srinivasan, to study feasibility of allowing life insurers to offer Inedmnity based health policies once again. The ban on selling indemnity-based health insurance policies was put Four years ago.
  97. World’s largest species of cave fish measuring over 40cm found inside a remote cave in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills. The fish, related to the Golden Mahseer but has no eyes and is white due to lack of melanin pigmentation, was found in in February 2019. The findings were published recently.
    1. So far, 250 known species of fish are found under earth’s surface. As they live in a nutrient-limited environment most of thes e species are small—195 of them have a mean length of 8.5cm.
  98. Himachal Pradesh reportedly became First state To Achieve 100% LPG Coverage, with no home left without LPG Connection.
  99. Banaras Hindu University (BHU) surveyors discovered Approx 4000 yeas old urban settlement in Varanasi, which could reportedly be one of craft villages mentioned in ancient texts.
  100. Sahitya Akademi Awards 2019 for Translation announced for 23 languages. It contains prize money of 50000 INR. Awardees -
    1. Assamese - Nava Kumar Handique
    2. Bengali - Taran Bandopadhyay
    3. Bodo - Gopinath Brahma
    4. Dogri - Rattan Lal Basotra
    5. English - Susan Daniel
    6. Gujarati - Bakula Ghaswala
    7. Hindi - Alok Gupta
    8. Kashmiri - Ratan Lal Jauhar
    9. Konkani - Jayanti Naik
    10. Maithili - Kedar Kanan
    11. Malayalam - C G Rajagopal
    12. Manipuri - kh. Prakash Singh
    13. Marathi - Sai Paranjpye
    14. Nepali - Sachin Rai Dumi
    15. Odia - Ajoy Kumar Patnaik
    16. Punjabi - Prem Parkash
    17. Rajasthani - Dev Kothari
    18. Sanskrit - Prem Shankar Sharma
    19. Santhali - Kherwal Saran
    20. Sindhi - Dholan Rahi
    21. Tamil - K V Jeyasari
    22. Telugu - P Satyavathy
    23. Urdu - Aslam Mirze
    24. Kannada is to be announced later
  101. Private Bank Indusnd Bank Appointed Sumant Kathpalia as MD and CEO.
  102. Kerala High Court banned all types of political movements in college and school premises, Banning various forms of agitation in campuses.
  103. Uttar Pradesh Cabinet  approved changing name of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Urdu, Arabi-Farsi University  as Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Languages University.  For this, State University Act 1973 will be amended.
  104. Forest Man of India Jadav Payeng will be awarded Swami Vivekananda Karmayogi Award 2020 by My Home India, for his consistent efforts in creating a real man-made forest through massive reforestation. It comprises reward of Rs 1 lakh.
    1. He is an environmental activist and forest worker from Jorhat, Assam. In the past several years, he has planted and tended trees on a sandbar of river Brahmaputra turning it into a forest reserve.
  105. Maharashtra government will undertake genetic study to conserve native species of cattle and domesticated animals in Marathwada region of state.
  106. Raja Ravi Varma State Award  conferred on noted Karnataka painter J.S. Khanderao (for 2019) and Mumbai artist Vasudev Kamath (2020). Instituted by Karnataka’s Shri Ravivarma Art Institute, it carries cash prize of Rs.10,000.
  107. Noted editor Sreekar Prasad entered Limca Book of Records for 'films edited in the most number of languages' (17).
  108. Airtel Payments Bank  launched Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS), enabling customers of any bank with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts will be able to do financial transactions at designated banking points of Airtel Payments Bank.
    1. AEPS enables customers to carry out transactions on a micro-ATM and cash withdrawals with help of their Aadhaar number or virtual ID to access their Aadhaar-linked bank account.
  109. PM Narendra Modi laid foundation stone for Bundelkhand Expressway at Chitrakoot.
    1. This 296-kilometre expressway will start from Bundelkhand's Chitrakoot Dham (Karwi) and will join Agra Lucknow Expressway, with cost 14716 crores. It will link Bundelkhand area to national capital Delhi through Agra-Lucknow expressway and Yamuna expressway as well as play a vital role in development of Bundelkhand region.
    2. PM Modi also Launched a recently Approved Central Sector Scheme Formation and Promotion of Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs), to promote forming 10000 FPOs in 5 years (2019-20 to 2023-24), to ensure economies of scale for farmers. Support to each FPO be continued for 5 years from its year of inception.
      1. Through formation of FPOs, farmers will have better collective strength for better access to quality input, technology, credit and better marketing access through economies of scale for better realization of income.
      2. Budgetary provision will be 4496.00 crore for five years (2019-20 to 2023-24) with a further committed liability of Rs. 2369.00 crore for period from 2024-25 to 2027-28 towards handholding of each FPO for five years from its aggregation and formation.
      3. Initially there will be three implementing Agencies to form and promote FPOs - Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). States may also nominate their Implementing Agency in consultation with DAC&FW.
      4. Initially, minimum number of members in FPO will be 300 in plain area and 100 in North East & hilly areas.
      5. FPOs will be promoted under "One District One Product" cluster to promote specialization and better processing, marketing, branding & export by FPOs.
      6. There will be a Credit Guarantee Fund of up to 1000 crores in NABARD with equal contribution by DAC&FW and NABARD and Credit Guarantee Fund of 500 crores in NCDC with equal contribution by DAC&FW and NCDC, for providing suitable credit guarantee cover to accelerate flow of institutional credit to FPOs.
      7. Report of Doubling of Farmer's Income (DFI) had recommended formation of 7,000 FPOs by 2022 towards convergence of efforts for doubling farmers' income. In Budget 2019-20, Government announced creation of 10000 new FPOs to ensure economies of scale for farmers over 5 years.
    3. He also launched a saturation drive for distribution of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) to all beneficiaries under PM-KISAN Scheme.
  110. India will switch to World’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1, 2020, by proceeding to Bharat Stage (BS-VI) from BS-IV grades at present.
    1. India will join select nations using petrol & diesel which contains 10ppm (parts per millions) of Sulphur which cuts down vehicular pollution.
    2. BS-VI contains 10ppm with good emission standards as Compressed Natural Gas whereas BS-IV contains 50ppm.
    3. It took 3 years to change from BS-IV to BS-VI and oil refineries spent 35,000 crores to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphur fuel.
    4. New fuel will reduce Nitrogen Oxide NOx by 25% in petrol cars and 70% in diesel cars.
  111. US signed a peace agreement with Taliban in Doha (Qatar), for a phased withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, marking an end to America’s longest war.  India witnessed the signing as an observer nation.
  112. Feb 29 is Birth Anniversary of Morarji Desai, Former (4th) Prime Minister of India (1977 and 1979). It is notable as Mr. Desai was born on Feb 29 (leap day).
    1. Feb 29, 2020 is also observed World Rare Disease Day, which is observed annually last date of February. 2020 theme is Reframe Rare for Rare Disease Day.
  113. Visits from India (Feb 21 - 29, 2020) -
    1. Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal visited Bhutan, to attend inaugural session of he Bhutan - India Start-Up Summit 2020.
    2. Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badalvisited Dubai (UAE), to attend 25th Gulfood 2020. It is world’s largest annual food, beverage and hospitality exhibition.
  114. Visits to India (Feb 21 - 29, 2020) -
    1. Home Minister of Maldives, Sheikh Imran Abdulla Visited India.
    2. Myanmar President U Win Myint visited India. 10 MoUs in different sectors were signed, Including -
      1. Cooperation in Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, Combating Timber Trafficking, and Conservation of Tigers and other Wildlife, petroleum products, communication
      2. Agreement regarding Indian Grant Assistance for Implementation of Quick Impact Projects (QIP)
      3. Agreements for India's Co-operation for various developmental projects under Rakhine State Development Programme.
    3. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters Visited India. He attended inaugural ceremony of New Zealand Centre at IIT Delhi.
      1. IIT Delhi had earlier signed MoU with 8 New Zealand universities to establish a New Zealand Centre. IIT Delhi and New Zealand universities will put in $50,000 each - making it a total of $100000 - to fund 10 research projects.
    4.  16th Session of Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) between India and Australia held in New Delhi. Australia was represented by Simon Birmingham, Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
  115. 1st National Conference on Coastal Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CDRR&R) – 2020 organised by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in New Delhi.
  116. International Conference on Standardisation of AYUSH Terminologies held in Delhi, called ICoSDiTAUS-2020. It adopted New Delhi Declaration on Collection and Classification of Traditional Medicine (TM) Diagnostic Data. This 16 nations event is biggest ever international event dedicated to standardisation of Diagnosis and Terminologies of Traditional Medicine in terms of broad level of participation.
  117. General Conferences (Feb 21 - 29, 2020) -
    1. 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Conference 2020 Held in New Delhi.
    2. Adani Foundation launched a unique CSR activity among Kerala’s coastal communities in association with, an international career accelerator for youth.
    3. J&K Advisor UT Govt flagged off 10 day Watan Ko Jano a youth exchange programme organised by Jammu and Kashmir Rehabilitation Council.
    4. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh laid foundation stone of new army headquarters building in Delhi Cantonment, named as ‘Thal Sena Bhawan’. It will be constructed over 39 acres of land.
    5. Historical Gastronomica – The Indus Dining Experience exhibition held at National Museum in New Delhi, organized by National Museum ad One Station Million Stories (OSMS).
    6. 3rd Chitra Bharati Film Festival  held at Gujarat University in Ahmedabad (Gujarat), organised by Bharatiya Chitra Sadhana. 
    7. Run for India Tea organized by Tripura Tea Development Corporation (TTDC) and Tea Board of India in Tripura.
    8. 8th edition of Ganga Kayak festival held in Devprayag (Uttarakhand). It witnessed participation of 45 males and 6 women athletes from Russia, Australia and Nepal.
    9. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched a National Level Awareness Programme (NLAP) 2020, to spread awareness about the schemes & activities undertaken by Ministry.
    10. To promote Fit India initiative, Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC) installed India’s 1st squat machine at Anand Vihar Railway Station in Delhi, where a person who performs 30 squats in 3 minutes will get a platform ticket for free.
      1. Indian Railways also launched its first ‘Restaurant on Wheels’ at Asansol Railway station (West Bengal).
    11. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor N Kumar conferred 'Lifetime Achievement Award' by ICAR National Research Centre for Banana (Tiruchirappalli), during International Conference on Banana 2020.
    12. International conference on Ensemble Methods in Modelling and Data Assimilation (EMMDA) organized by National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
    13. NITI Aayog organised Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Conclave 2020: Partnerships, Cooperation and Development of North Eastern States in Guwahati (Assam).
    14. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu Presented Ideal Legislative Assembly Speaker / Council Chairman Award to Speaker of Kerala Legislative Assembly, P. Ramakrishnan. It was conferred 10th edition of Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad in New Delhi.
    15. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated new Light Combat Helicopter Production Hangar at Helicopter Division in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Complex at Bengaluru (Karnataka). LCH is a 5.5-tonne class combat helicopter developed by HAL.
      1. It is powered by two Shakti engines and has distinction of being first attach helicopter to land in Forward Bases at Siachen, 4,700 mts above sea level with 500kg load.
    16. Gujarat Government has organised cultural festival Vasantotsav, in Gandhinagar, to celebrate rich diverse heritage of country.
    17. National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy developed e-commerce mobile applications to promote products developed by women self-help groups (SHG), called Thirumathikart.
    18. Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy inaugurated National Cyber Research, Innovation & Capacity Centre at CDTI (Central Detective Training Institute) campus in Hyderabad..
    19. 1st anniversary of iconic National War Memorial observed on 25th February, 2020. Its a tribute to heroes who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
    20. Japan will collaborate in making Odisha a steel hub, Under Missions Purvodaya.
    21. HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched‘ Higher Education Leadership Development Programme for Administrator’– a joint initiative of UGC and British Council under UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). It aims to deliver a leadership development programme for middle and senior level administrative functionaries in Indian Universities.
    22. As a first, Canadian doctors used a robot to perform a surgery to treat brain aneurysm. The medical condition is a weakness in a blood vessel in the brain that balloons and fills with blood.
  118. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and its subsidiary Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) acquired 17.28% stake each from 34.56 % of bankers’ stake in Petronet MHB, that owns a petroleum product pipeline in Mangalore (Karnataka0 for about Rs 371 crores.
  119. Researchers at Israel 's Tel Aviv University discovered a jellyfish-like parasite,’Henneguya salminicola’, without a mitochondrial genome, the first multicellular organism known to have this absence. It doesn’t breathe and so doesnt need oxygen for survival.
  120. Maharashtra assembly approved Maharashtra Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Marathi Language in Schools Bill 2020, to make Marathi Language as a mandatory subject in all schools of state. Schools which fails to implement it, will pay penalty of 1 lakh.
    1. Maharashtra Government’s “Smart gram yojana” will also be named after former Deputy CM late Raosaheb Ramrao Patil.
  121. Misc. Corporate Events (Feb 2020) -
    1. Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved combination between Yum Restaurants (India) Private Limited (YRIPL) and Devyani International Limited (DIL). YRIPL is a part of US based Yum! Brands. YRIPL runs restaurants under three Brands - KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
      1. DIL is incorporated in India, present in QSR segment in India and is one of franchisees of YRIPL.
    2. Financial Firm Paytm launched an all-in-one QR, point-of-sale device for merchants & SDK (software development kit) for third-party integration. Businesses will be able to get unlimited payments at zero fees through Paytm wallet, Rupay Cards & all UPI based apps directly.
    3. Religare Enterprises will sell part of stake in its health insurance subsidiary Religare Health Insurance Company, to Kedaara group for Rs 400 crores.
    4. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) permitted messaging platform WhatsApp to expand its Unified Payment Interface (UPI) services to 10 million users, named WhatsApp Pay.
    5. Emami Group announced selling its 100% equity stake in Emami Cement Limited, an Integrated Cement Manufacturing plant for an amount of RS. 5500 crores to Nuvoco Vistas corporation, part of Nirma Group.
    6. Income-Tax Department launched an e-calculator for individuals, to estimate their tax liability if they opt for new tax slabs, comparing old and new tax regimes.
    7. Competition Commission of India approved acquisition of 100% shareholding of WABCO Holdings (WABCO) by ZF Friedrichshafen AG (ZF). ZF is a global technology company and manufactures products for passenger / commercial vehicles and industrial technology. WABCO is a global supplier of primarily pneumatic braking control systems, services that improve safety of commercial vehicles.
    8. Airports Authority of India signed three concession agreements with Adani Enterprises for operations, management and development of Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru airports, for next 50 years.
    9. HDFC Bank partnered with Mastercard and SAP Concur for spending management services for corporate sector.
    10. SBI Cards & Payments Services Ltd partnered with UAE Based Landmark Group, to launch 3 new retail co-branded credit cards namely Lifestyle Home Centre SBI Card, Max SBI Card and Spar SBI Card.
    11. Interactive AI Powered ChatBot solution LIDEA has been launched by Birla Estates, for better customer support.
    12. Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar inaugurated Baroda Startup Banking, an initiative aimed at making the bank a preferred banking partner for the start-up community and connecting with 2000 start-ups. It will include 15 Baroda Startup branches in 15 cities.
  122. Misc. Appointments (Feb 2020) -
    1. Yogesh Kumar Joshi appointed as Army's General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Northern Command.
    2. Pramod Agrawal is appointed as chairman and managing director of PSU Coal India.
    3. Gopal Baglay appointed as New Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka.
    4. Ajay Bisaria is appointed as new Indian High Commissioner to Canada.
    5. Ryan Roslansky will be new CEO of Professional Network Linkedin. Former CEO Jeff Weiner is appointed as Executive Chairman.
    6. Sanjay Vatsayan appointed as commander of Eastern Fleet of Indian Navy. Suraj Berry appointed as Chief of Staff of tri-services Andaman and Nicobar Command.
    7. Vinay Dube appointed as CEO of Domestc Airline GoAir.
    8. Ajay H. Patel elected President of All-India Chess Federation (AICF).
    9. Australia appointed Barry O'Farrell as New high commissioner to India.
    10. RBI approved appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as managing director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank.
    11. Rajlaxmi Singh Deo re-elected as president of the Rowing Federation of India (RFI).
    12. Ms. Padmaja is appointed as next Indian High Commissioner to Oceanian Nation Vanuatu.
    13. Jawed Ashraf is appointed as New Indian Ambassador to France.
    14. PSU National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) appointed Abhay Kumar Singh as its new Chairman & Managing Director.
    15. SN Shrivastava is appointed as new Chief (Commissioner) of Delhi Police.
    16. Togo (West Africa) President Faure Gnassingbe won his fourth term as President.
    17. Abhishek Singh is appointed as New Indian Ambassador to Venezuela.
  123. Misc. Sports Events (Feb 2020) -
    1. National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) banned Indian weightlifter Ramshad AR for 2 years. Also, wrestler Ravinder Kumar was banned for 4-years.
    2. Noted Cricketer and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly will be Goodwill Ambassador of Indian contingent at 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
    3. India's junior Boxers won 14 Medals (with 6 Golds), at Golden Girl Championship in Boras (Sweden).
    4. Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India announced establishment of the High-Performance Centres in seven places across country, aimed at grooming young talent. National Hockey Academy at Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi, SAI Sundergarh, Odisha, SAI UDMCC, Bhopal, and SAI Bengaluru will be active within 3 months and remaining 3 centres will within 1 year.
    5. Haryana defeated Sports Authority of India to win 10th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2020 (A Division).
    6. Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre (LSRC) Red won first Men’s section Khelo India Ice Hockey tournament 2020.
    7. Australia have been presented with ICC Women's Championship trophy, which they have retained by taking a winning lead in the eight-team ODI competition played from 2017 to 2020.
    8. India's woman Tennis player Ankita Raina won her 10th ITF singles title, winning summit clash of USD 25000 event in Nonthaburi (Thailand). She had also won doubles title with Dutch partner Bibiane Schoofs.
    9. All India Tennis Association (AITA) named Rohit Rajpal to continue as India’s non-playing Davis Cup captain 2020. India will travel to Croatia for their next tie in March 2020. Referred to as World Cup of Tennis, Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men’s tennis. Present champions are Spain, who won Davis cup for 6th time in 2019.
    10. Aditya Mehta won National Snooker championship held at Pune, defeating multiple time world champion Pankaj Advani. In Women’s Snooker Finals, Vidya Pillai won the title.
    11. Sweden’s Pole Vaulter Armand Duplantis broke Pole Vault World Record set by Renaud Lavillenie of France in 2014. Armand Duplantis took jump of 20 feet 2.9 inches (6.17 metres) at Copernicus Cup in Torun, Poland.
    12. Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami inaugurated Salem Cricket Foundation (SCF) cricket ground in Valapadi (Salem).
    13. Indian boxer Amit Panghal ranked No.1 in 52kg weight category in International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Boxing Task Force rankings for Olympics Qualifiers.
    14. National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) banned national javelin thrower Amit Dahiya for four years, for a disciplinary violation.
    15. Indian athletes finished with three medals in different categories in World SnowShoe Championship at Myoko, Japan. Ayan Bin Shahnaz bagged silver, while Zain Ali and Muzamil Hussain Mir, bagged bronze medals.
    16. United by Emotion has been revealed as Official Motto of 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Earlier, Miraitowa and Someity were named as official mascot for 2020 Summer Olympics and 2020 Summer Paralympics.
    17. India's female race walker Bhawna Jat qualified for Tokyo Olympics 2020, in 20km RaceWalk event after setting a new national record at National Race Walk Championships. She clocked record time of 1 hour, 29 minutes and 54 seconds.
    18. India won 11 medals at BWF Brazil Para Badminton International in Sao Paulo, With 4 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze.
    19. 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup will be hosted by India in 5 cities, in November 2020. Cities are Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Kolkata and Navi Mumbai. Finals will be held in Navi Mumbai. Official slogan of tournament is Kick Off the Dream.
    20. India will host Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup in 2022. All India Football Federation (AIFF) has also been allotted Asian Football Confederation's Grassroots Charter Bronze Level membership, which will allow AIFF to promote its basic-level events as AFC recognised.
    21. India will host Commonwealth shooting and archery championships in January 2022.
    22. International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Oman player Al Balushi from all formats of cricket for 7 years, for match fixing charges.
    23. India pulled out of Shotgun shooting World Cup to be held in Cyprus in March 2020, citing novel coronavirus threat there.
    24. Ministry of Home Affairs amended provisions of Arms Act 1959 and Arms Rules 2016 to provide adequate firearms and ammunition to shooters for their practice. It has increased number of additional weapons kept by International Medalists/Renowned Shooters to 12 from 7 under exempted category.
  124. Obituaries (Feb 2020) -
    1. Mary Higgins Clark - Noted US Author, known as Queen of Suspense.
    2. Jaswant Singh Kanwal - Noted Punjabi novelist.
    3. Dalip Kaur Tiwana - Padma Shri awardee and Noted Punjabi novelist.
    4. Kirk Douglas - Noted American Actor.
    5. Pranab Kumar Gogoi - Former speaker of Assam Assembly.
    6. Rabi Singh - Noted Odia poet.
    7. Daniel Arap Moi - Kenya’s longest serving President, serving 24 years.
    8. P. Parameswaran - Noted Social Activist and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak from Kerala. He was conferred with Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award.
    9. Roger Kahn - Noted American Author.
    10. Giriraj Kishore - Noted Hindi litterateur and Padma Shri awardee.
    11. Raju Bharatan - Noted cricket journalist and film historian.
    12. Anand R Kulkarni - Noted journalist.
    13. Rajendra Kumar Pachauri - Noted Environmentalist and former chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
    14. Katsuya Nomura - Noted Japanese Baseball Player.
    15. Wendell Rodricks - Noted Indian fashion designer and Padma Shri awardee.
    16. Sonam Sherpa - Noted guitarist and founder of Music band Parikrama.
    17. Tapas pal - Bengali actor & former Trinamool Congress MP.
    18. Harry Greg - Northern Irish footballer.
    19. Mary Kathryn "Mickey" Wright - Noted American Female golfer. She was a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
    20. Larry Tesler - Noted American computer scientist, who introduced cut, copy and paste commands.
    21. Kishori Ballal - Noted Kannada and Hindi actor.
    22. M.S. Mani - Noted Journalist.
    23. Ashok Chatterjee - Former India footballer.
    24. Mohammed Hosni Mubarak - Noted Egypt ruler who ruled over 30 years.
    25. Katherine Johnson - Noted American mathematician, who contributed greatly to growth of NASA.
    26. Thich Quang Do - Vietnam’s Noted Buddhist monk, who was under house arrest since 2003 ans was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize multiple times for his vocal advocacy for democracy.
    27. World’s oldest man, Chitetsu Watanabe of Japan, passed away at 112 years age. Now, Bob Weighton of UK (111 years) has became oldest person.
    28. Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi - Noted Indian Vedic scholar and Indologist from Karnataka. At claimed age of 122 years, he was reported as oldest Person globally.
  125. Indian GDP Growth Forecasts (Feb 2020) -
    1. Fitch Ratings expected India GDP growth to be 5.6 % in FY 2020-21.
    2. Economic Survey 2019-20 projected GDP growth of 6-6.5 per cent for India in 2020-21.
    3. In RBI Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2019-20, RBI projected 6 % GDP growth rate for 2020-21.
    4. Moody’s has cut India’s 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast to 5.4% from 6.6% for 2019-20 and to 5.8% from 6.7% for financial year (2020-21).
    5. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) estimated India’s GDP growth rate to be 4.9 % for current FY 2019-20 and 5.6% in 2020-21.
  126. Persons Resigned / Retired (Feb 2020) -
    1. American-Greek Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg resigned as Chief Economist of World Bank.
    2. American tennis player Abigail Spears has been handed a 22 month doping violation ban.
    3. Indian Cricketer Pragyan Ojha announced retirement from all forms of cricket.
    4. Irish Prime Minister Leo Eric Varadkar resigned due to insufficiency of majority. He will remain as interim leader until a successor is appointed.
    5. New Zealand's Ross Taylor became first cricketer to play 100 matches in all three formats of Cricket.
    6. UK noted hockey player Alex Danson-Bennett announced her retirement.
    7. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad resigned. At 94 years of age, he is World’s Oldest govt leader.
    8. US Based Financial Firm Mastercard's Indian Origin CEO Ajay Banga will retire in 2021. Michael Miebach will take over as new CEO.
    9. Five-time Grand Slam winner Russian Female Tennis player Maria Sharapova announced her retirement.
  127. Industrial Awards (Feb 2020) -
    1. Maharashtra Govt presented lifetime achievement award instituted by Mantralaya and Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh, to senior journalist Dinkar Keshav Raikar.
    2. Defence Startup Big Bang Boom Solutions has been awarded SKOCH Award for “Boron Nitrate Based Personal Hybrid Combat Armour ”.
    3. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has been awarded with Transport Minister’s Road Safety Award 2018-19, for its lowest accident rate. Nagaland road transport won under Hill category.
    4. SCCL CMD N. Sridhar received Bharatiya Mahantam Puraskar 2019-20, at 13th Asian Business and Social Forum conference at Bangkok (Thailand).
    5. Indian Achievers Awards 2020 -
      1. Rajendra Indraman Singh (Chairperson of Priyadarshini Group of Schools & Colleges) has been awarded Indian Achievers Award (IAA) in recognition of his Outstanding Contribution to Indian Education.
      2. Renowned astrologer Sohini Sastri won Best Astrologer of the year.
    6. Numaligarh Refinery Ltd MD SK Barua conferred with PSU Leadership Award by Heavy Industries Ministry.
  128. State Govt Budgets 2020-21 -
    1. Goa -
      1. Budget size for 2020-21 is projected at 21,056 crores, showing 7.8 % Hike compared to FY 2019-20.
      2. 1 lakh insurance cover for all cooperative societies.
      3. A labour and employment smart card for all employees in Goa to gather data on employment in the state.
      4. Goa will reconstitute state finance commission in order to oversee the utilization of funds and to support lower tiers of governance.
      5. Rs 250 crore allocated to hold the National Games 2020 in Goa.
    2. Kerala -
      1. Budget estimates revenue deficit of Rs 15,201 crores.
      2. It promises to provide meals at Rs 25 at 1,000 Kudumbashree restaurants across state.
      3. Building 1 lakh homes under LIFE mission, is also provisioned in Budget.
      4. Govt to raise Rs 2,100 crores to fund KFC (Kerala Financial Corporation) loans.
      5. 1 % additional tax for bikes costing Rs 2 lakh or more. Tax waiver for e-autos for first five years. Land fair price to be increased by 10 %.
      6. All welfare pensions to be hiked by Rs 100.
    3. Odisha -
      1. Presented budget 2020-21 for Rs 1.5 Lakh crores, 8 % hike as compared to 2019-20.
      2. It is Odisha's first ever paperless budget and second state in India after Himachal Pradesh.
      3. To increase income of farmers ‘Samruddha Krishi Niti-2020’ has been proposed.
      4. Odisha is 1st state to introduce Nutrition budget, Strategic budget and Climate code budget.
  129. UT of Delhi Legislative Assembly election 2020 -
    1. Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party won 62 out of 70 seats. BJP got 8 seats.
    2. Voting Percentage - 53.57% (AAP), 38.51% (BJP), 4.26% (INC)
    3. Arvind Kejriwal re-appointed as CM of Delhi for his 3rd term.
  130. 44th International Kolkata Book Fair Held in Kolkata with Russia as the focal theme country. It is world’s largest non-trade book fair, Asia’s largest book fair and the most attended book fair in world.  It is also world's third largest annual conglomeration of books after Frankfurt Book Fair and the London Book Fair. 
  131. 34th edition of Surajkund International Crafts Fair, organized by Haryana Government in Faridabad. Partner country is Uzbekistan and theme state is Himachal Pradesh.
    1. Fair was upgraded to international level in 2013 and since 2015, around 20 countries are being invited.
  132. Public Enterprises Survey 2018-19 Presented in Parliament, prepared by Department of Public Enterprises (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) -
    1. There were total 348 CPSEs as on 31st March 2019, out of which 249 were operational. 86 CPSEs are under construction and 13 under closure / liquidation.
    2. Paid up capital in all CPSEs is 275697 crores, growth of 8.55%.
    3. Investment in all CPSEs is 1640628 crores,growth of 14.65%.
    4. Total income of all CPSEs during 2018-19 is 2440748 crores,growth of 20.12%.
    5. Profit of 178 profit making CPSEs stood at 174587 crores, showing growth of 11.96% from 2017-18.
    6. Loss of 70 loss making CPSEs stood at 31635 crores, showing decrease in losses by 1.69 %.
    7. Overall net profit of 249 Operating CPSEs is 142951 crores, Hike of 15.5 %.
    8. Indian Oil Corporation, NTPC and ONGC were the top three profitable PSUs in 2018-19. While, MTNL, BSNL and Air India are highest loss-making PSU.
  133. 72nd men and 35th women's' Senior National Weightlifting Championships Held in Kolkata (West Bengal). Notably -
    1. Rakhi Halder won gold in Women's 64kg category.
    2. Former world champion Mirabai Chanu won gold in women's 49kg, bettering her own national record by lifting 203 KG.
    3. Jeremy Lalrinnunga won men's 67kg Gold.
    4. Sambo Lapung won gold medal men’s 89kg event, with new national record of 188kg in clean and jerk event in men’s 89kg.
  134. Budget Session 2020 -
    1. Facts -
      1. Budget Session to be held in 2 phases - Phase 1 in January 31-February 11 and second session from March 2-April 3, 2020.
      2. Productivitiy of Both houses (Lok and Rajya Sabha) was 93 %.
    2. Notable Info disseminated during Question Hour -
      1. Public Enterprises Survey 2018-19 Presented in Parliament, prepared by Department of Public Enterprises (Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises) -
        1. There were total 348 CPSEs as on 31st March 2019, out of which 249 were operational. 86 CPSEs are under construction and 13 under closure / liquidation.
        2. Paid up capital in all CPSEs is 275697 crores, growth of 8.55%.
        3. Investment in all CPSEs is 1640628 crores,growth of 14.65%.
        4. Total income of all CPSEs during 2018-19 is 2440748 crores,growth of 20.12%.
        5. Profit of 178 profit making CPSEs stood at 174587 crores, showing growth of 11.96% from 2017-18.
        6. Loss of 70 loss making CPSEs stood at 31635 crores, showing decrease in losses by 1.69 %.
      2. 5.6 km long railway line between Agartala (Tripura) and Akhaura in Bangladesh will be completed by September 2021, improving connectivity between Indian and Bangladesh Railways and boosting trade.
        1. Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is bearing cost for 5.46km Indian side and cost of 10.6 km-long track on Bangladesh side is Funded by Ministry of External Affairs (India).
      3. India’s trade deficit with China reduced from USD 63.05 billion to USD 53.57 billion.
        1. India’s imports from China declined from USD 76.38 billion in 2017-18 to USD 70.32 billion in 2018-19, and our exports grew from USD 13.33 billion in 2017-18 to USD 16.75 billion in 2018-19.
      4. Ministry of MSME is implementing a ‘Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries’ (SFURTI) Scheme under which financial support is being provided for setting up of traditional industries clusters viz. Khadi, Coir & Village industries clusters.
      5. Unemployment rate in India was 6.1 % in 2017-18, as per new Periodic Labour Force Survey being conducted by government. Labour force participation is 36.9 % in 2017-18.
      6. Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) has sanctioned 39 Mega Food Parks and 298 Integrated Cold Chain Projects throughout country, under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY). Among states, Maharashtra has been sanctioned with highest number of food parks and chain projects (67).
      7. Approx 38 Crores Bank accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) till January 2020, launched in 2014. PMJDY accounts have “No minimum balance” requirement. It offers an overdraft (OD) limit of Rs 10,000 & free accident insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh.
      8. Number of subscribers in Atal Pension Yojana (APY) reached over 1.5 Crores in FY 2018-19.
      9. As per UNICEF's State of World's Children Report 2019, Under 5 Mortality Rate in India is 37 per 1,000 live births against Global average of 39 per 1,000 live births in 2018, which translates to more than 8 lakhs under 5 deaths in India.
      10. As per Census conducted by Registrar General of India, sex ratio In India improved to 943 in 2011 from 926 in 1991. As per National Health Profile, India has declining birth rate (from 20.8 in 2015 to 20.2 in 2017) & death rate (from 6.5 in 2015 to 6.3 in 2017) over last three years.
    3. Bills Passed by Parliament (Passed by Both Houses Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) -
      1. None
    4. Bills Passed by Lok Sabha (Pending in Rajya Sabha) -
      1. None
    5. Bills Passed by Rajya Sabha (Pending in Lok Sabha) -
      1. None
    6. Bills Introduced in Parliament (Pending in Both Houses) -
      1. The Aircraft (Amendment) Bill 2020 -
        1. It Bill seeks to amend Aircraft Act 1934, which regulates the manufacture, possession, use, operation, sale, import and export of civil aircrafts, and licensing of aerodromes. Key Provisions -
        2. Authorities - Bill converts 3 existing bodies under Ministry of Civil Aviation into statutory bodies under the Act.   These three authorities are Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB). Each of these bodies will be headed by a Director General.
          1. DGCA will carry out safety oversight and regulatory functions.  
          2. BCAS will carry out regulatory oversight functions related to civil aviation security.  
          3. AAIB will carry out investigations related to aircraft accidents and incidents.  
        3. Power of centre to make rules - Under the Act, government may make rules on several matters, including registration of aircraft, regulating air transport services, and prohibition of flight over any specified area. Bill adds regulation of air navigation services to this list.  
        4. Adjudicating officers:  - Bill provides appointment of designated officers, to adjudicate penalties under Bill.
        5. Offences and Penalties - Under the Act, penalty for various offences is imprisonment of up to two years, or a fine of up to Rs 10 lakh, or both.   Bill raises the maximum limit on fines for all these offences from Rs 10 lakh to one crore rupees. 
          1. Under Bill, central government may cancel licences, certificates, or approvals granted to a person under Act if the person contravenes any provision of the Act.  
          2. Bill allows for compounding of certain offences / rules under the Act.  
          3. Courts will not take cognizance of any offence under this Act, unless a complaint is made by, or there is previous sanction from Director General of Civil Aviation, BCAS, or AAIB.
        6. Exemption for Armed Forces - Armed Forces Aircrafts are exempted from the provisions of the Act.   Bill expands this exemption to include aircraft belonging to any armed force of India.  
      2. Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Bill 2020 -
        1. It seeks to confer status of Institution of National Importance to Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus (Jamnagar), namely -
          1. Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya, Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and to subsume Maharshi Patanjali Institute for Yoga & Naturopathy Education & Research into Department of Swasthvritta of the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda.
      3. Direct Tax Vivad se Vishwas Bill 2020 -
        1. It provides a mechanism for resolution of pending tax disputes related to income tax and corporation tax.
        2. Appellant - Bill defines an appellant as the income tax authority, or the person, or both, whose appeal is pending before any appellate forum as on January 31, 2020. Appellate forums are Supreme Court, High Courts, Income Tax Appellate Tribunals, and Commissioner (Appeals).
        3. Resolution mechanism -
          1. Bill proposes a resolution mechanism under which an appellant can file a declaration to designated authority to initiate resolution of pending direct tax disputes. Designated authority will determine amount payable by the appellant against dispute and grant a certificate, within 15 days of the receipt of declaration.
          2. Appellant must pay this amount within 15 days of receipt of certificate.
          3. On issuance of certificate, appeals pending before Income Tax Appellate Tribunals and Commissioner (Appeals) will be deemed to be withdrawn. Appeals / petitions pending before Supreme Court and High Courts will be required to be withdrawn.
        4. Amount payable for resolution -

          Disputes relating to

          Payable before March 31, 2020

          Additional amount payable after March 31, 2020

          Payment of tax

          Amount of disputed tax

          (any interest or penalty associated with such tax will be waived)

          (i) 10% of the amount of disputed tax, or (ii) interest and penalty relating to that tax, whichever is lower

          Payment of fee, interest, or penalty

          25% of the amount under such dispute

          Another 5% of the amount under such dispute

        5. Waiver of rights - For dispute resolution, appellant is required to furnish an undertaking waiving his rights to seek any remedy or claim in relation to that dispute.
        6. Disputes not covered - Proposed mechanism will not cover certain disputes.  These include where prosecution has been initiated before declaration is filed, involving persons who have been convicted / prosecuted for offence, for enforcement of civil liabilities, and involving undisclosed foreign income or assets.
  135. Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved formation of joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and Ford Motor and the transfer of automotive business of Ford India to joint venture. It envisages formation of joint venture namely Ardour Automotive Private Limited.
  136. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) opened a Industry and Investors' Facilitation Centre in Ministry, to work as a focal point to provide correct and timely information on Policies and programmes of Government and also resolve issues of the renewable energy (RE) investors and industry.
  137. Government renamed National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) Faridabad as Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management (AJNIFM).
    1. It was set up in 1993 as a registered society under Department of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance), with Finance Minister as President.
  138. E-Commerce Firm Amazon Web Services will invest 1.5 billion USD to set up two data centres in Hyderabad, helped by Telangana Government under its Data Centre Policy.
    1. Government of Telangana has framed a dedicated policy for data centres. Under the policy, the government will provide incentives to the firms that set up data centres in state.
  139. Feb 11 is observed as UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed since 2015. 2020 Theme is Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth.
    1. Feb 11 is also observed as World Unani Day, to mark birth anniversary of India's noted Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan. He was one of the founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.
    2. Feb 11, 2020 is also observed as Safer Internet Day, observed every year on 2nd day of 2nd week of february. 2020 Theme Together for better Internet.
  140. US approved sale of Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) to India, costing 1.86 billion USD. The deal is expected to be sealed during Visit of US president Donald Trump to India, during end of March 2020. IADWS includes Air Defence Weapon System, AMRAAM Missiles, NASAMS-II, surface to air missiles, radars, etc.
  141. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel inaugurated Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi as 28th district of the state. New district has been carved out of Bilaspur, and has 3 tehsils and three development blocks namely Gaurela, Pendra and Marwahi.
  142. World Health Organization announced a new name for the Corona Virus, “COVID-19”. Other updates about Coronavirus -
    1. Pangolin, the most trafficked mammal of Asia, has been identified as host of Corona virus by chinse researchers.
    2. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved the funding of USD 2 million to combat the spread of novel coronavirus (nCoV).
    3. WHO called for USD 675 million in donations for a plan to fight novel coronavirus, mainly through investment in countries considered particularly "at risk".
    4. Kerala Government declared outbreak of novel coronavirus as state disaster.
    5. As per Research at Robert Koch institute in Humboldt University (Germany), India ranks 17th in spread of Coronavirus.
  143. Feb 11 is observed as World Unani Day, to mark birth anniversary of India's noted Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan. He was one of the founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.
  144. 13th ESPN Cricinfo Awards -
    1. Category Winner  Country 
      Test batting performance Kusal Perera Sri Lanka
      Test bowling performance Kemar Roach West Indies
      ODI batting performance Ben Stokes England
      ODI bowling performance Matt Henry New Zealand
      T20I batting performance Gleen Maxwell Australia
      T20I bowling performance Lasith Malinga Sri Lanka
      Captain Eoin Morgan England
      Women’s batting performance Meg Lanning Australia
      Women’s bowling performance Ellyse Perry Australia
  145. DRDO started developing a 200-km strike range tactical ballistic missile Pranash, with range 200 KM. It will be an advanced version of 150-km strike range Prahar missile.
  146. RBI freed banks from maintaining cash reserve ratio (CRR) for five years on their deposits for an amount equivalent to loans given to the MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises), housing and vehicles sectors.Banks currently maintain 4 per cent on their deposits as CRR.
    1. Banks are told that they could carve out an amount equivalent to what they lent to these three sectors in the six months (Jan To July 2020) from their total deposit base, and go for five years without maintaining CRR on that amount.
    2. It is being done to ease cash flow to these sectors and improve lending.
  147. Cabinet Approvals (Feb 12, 2020)-
    1. General -
      1. Approved Infusion of 2500 Crores into three Public Sector General Insurance Companies - Oriental Insurance Company, National Insurance Company and United India Insurance Company. These firms are facing critical financial situatons.
      2. Approved presenting Pesticide Management Bill 2020 in Parliament, which aims at making safe and effective pesticides for farmers. It aims to replace Insecticides Act 1968. It includes provisions to provide compensation when there is farm loss due to use of low-quality pesticides.
        1. Iin India, Around 234 pesticides are used in India. Out of these 4 belongs to WHO’ Ia class pesticides, 15 belong to WHO Ib class pesticide. There are 76 pesticides that belong to WHO Class II pesticides.
        2. WHO classifies pesticides based on the hazards created by them. They are Class Ia - extremely hazardous pesticides, Class Ib - highly hazardous pesticides, Class II - Moderately Hazardous pesticides and Class III - Slightly Hazardous pesticides.
      3. Approved to make required changes in the Vivad Se Vishwas Bill 2020, to widen its cover over litigation pending in debt recovery tribunal.
        1. Scheme focuses on tax payers whose tax demands are locked in multiple disputes, similar to Indirect Tax Sabka Vishwas Scheme.
        2. It aims to release 9 lakh crore direct taxes that are locked up in litigation.
      4. Approved presenting Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 in parliament, that will replace 1963 law governing country's 12 major ports.
    2. MOUs -
      1. Iceland - Sustainable Fisheries Development. 
      2. Approved Signing and Ratification of Protocol amending the Agreement between India and Sri Lanka for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.
  148. Uttar Pradesh Cabinet approved Ground Water Act-2020, which aims to improve ground water level by enforcing several regulations -
    1. It makes registration of submersible pumps mandatory.
    2. Farmers and domestic users need not pay fees to use the pumps.
    3. It makes rain water harvesting mandatory in all private schools, colleges.
    4. It also penalizes persons polluting ground water through boring pipes.
    5. It is mandatory for the boring companies to register under the act. Companies have to update their information every three months.
  149. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced to bring medical devices under Drugs and Cosmetics act (DCA), from April 2020 onwards. Every product that is used to treat a patient will now be under the ambit of DCA. List of 37 devices has been included.
  150. Feb 12 is observed as National Productivity Day in India, with National Productivity Week observed between February 12 - 18 every year.
    1. February 12 is also observed globally as Darwin Day, to commemorate the birth anniversary of the father of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.
  151. ClimFishCon 2020, three-day international conference on the impact of climate change on ‘hydrological cycle, ecosystem, fisheries and food security’ held in Koci (Kerala).
  152. US removed India from its list of developing countries that are exempt from investigations into whether they harm American industry with unfairly subsidised exports.
    1. US removed India from the list on account of it being a G-20 member and having a share of 0.5% or more of world trade.
    2. It has cast a shadow on India being able to restore preferential benefits under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) as part of its trade talks with the US, as only developing countries are eligible for it.
  153. Indian boxers has clichéd 5 medals (4 silver, 1 Bronze) at  the 64th “Bocskai Istvan Memorial, in Debracen (Hungary) -
    1. Silver -Gaurav Chauhan (91 kg), Jyoti Gulia (51 kg), Manisha (57 kg), PL Prasad (52 kg)
    2. Bronze - Sachin (57 kg)
  154. Andhra Pradesh government signed MOU with 11 premier agricultural institutions in the country to usher in revolutionary changes in the sector through technology and knowledge transfer to farmers in state.
  155. Book The Thin Mind Map Book, by Dharmendra Rai has been released.
  156. Bengaluru Raptors won Premier Badminton League (PBL) title 2020 for the 2nd time in a row, defeating North Eastern Warriors.
  157. RBI issued draft framework for authorisation of a pan-India new umbrella entity (NUE) for retail payment systems. At present, only National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a not-for-profit company, performs this role. The NUE could choose to be a for-profit entity or not-for-profit.
    1. It will be authorized by RBI under  Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007 (PSS Act).
  158. Indian aerospace firm Ananth Technologies signed deals to build six foreign-owned satellites in India, as first time a private firm is making satellites for global customers using India’s low-cost base. Foreign satellites will be weighing 50 - 250 kg.
  159. Feb 13 is observed as National Women's Day in India, marking birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu. She is known as sobriquet Nightingale of India (Bharat Kokila). She was born on February 13, 1879.
    1. After India's independence in 1947, She was appointed as governor of he United Provinces (present-day Uttar Pradesh), making her India's first woman governor. She remained in office until her death in March 1949.
      1. Her daughter, Padmaja Naidu, is longest-serving Indian female governor with 11-year tenure in West Bengal.
      2. She also became second woman President of Indian National Congress in 1925 (First was Annie Besant).
    2. On this occasion, Govt renamed Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra and was renamed Sushma Swaraj Bhavan in honour of the late external affairs minister. Also, Foreign Service Institute has been renamed as Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service. Haryana government also renamed Ambala City bus stand after late Sushma Swaraj.
  160. Finance Ministry notified Printing of One Rupee Currency Notes Rules 2020 -
    1. Obverse side will feature bilingual signature of Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary (Ministry of Finance) and capital Inset letter ‘L’ in numbering panel. Design surrounding will be of Sagar Samrat, an oil exploration rig. Colour will be predominantly pink green.
    2. Currency notes were introduced in India in 1861, with 1 rupee note introduced by British in November 1917. Although printing of note was discontinued in 1994, it was reintroduced in 2015.
  161. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will develop an air quality monitoring network across 90 locations in Mumbai, as largest such network in India. These stations will give location-wise updates on the quality of air. Currently, Mumbai has 30 air quality monitoring stations.
  162. International Institute of Strategic Studies released report on global Defence Spending titled Military Balance -
    1. Global spending rose by 4% in 2019, largest growth in 10 years.
    2. Defence race with China has kindled US to spend alarmingly towards its Defence Programmes.
    3. US is complaining that NATO members are not contributing enough towards Defence spending, as per 2014 NATO pledge. According to which, member nation should contribute 2% of its GDP to Defence.
  163. World Meteorological Organization announced Antarctica recording its hottest temperature ever, at 20.75 Degree Celsius. It has went past earlier record of 18.3 Degrees Celsius, recorded in January 1982.
    1. Higher temperatures are influenced by shifts in El Nino and Ocean Currents. Antarctic region stores more than 70% of world’s fresh water. If it all melts, sea level will increase by 50 to 60 metres.
    2. Ice sheet in Antarctica covers 14 million square kilometres. It also reflects 80% to 90% of solar radiation.
  164. FIH Awards 2019 by International Hockey Federation -
    1. Men's Player of the Year - Manpreet Singh (India). He is first indian to win FIH Men's Player of the year.
    2. Women's Player of the Year - Eva de Goede (Netherlands)
    3. Men's Rising Star of the Year - Vivek Sagar (India)
    4. Women’s Rising Star of the Year - Lalremsiami (India)
  165. President Ram Nath Kovind presented President’s Colours Awards to Indian Naval Station INS Shivaji, on it completing 75 years of service for Indian Navy.
    1. Last year, this award was given to Indian Naval Academy.
    2. INS Shivaji houses Naval Engineering College that trains officers of Indian Navy and Indian Coastal Guards, located near Bhushi Dam (Lonavala, Maharashtra).
  166. BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking held in New Delhi, attended by BIMSTEC partners (Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and Sri Lanka).
    1. Also, India's National Disaster Response Force hosted 2nd BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020), in Bhubaneswar (Odisha).
  167. Indian Naval Ship (INS) Jamuna reached Sri Lanka to carry out a joint Hydrographic survey, to be conducted for 2 months.
    1. Hydographic survey is the measurement and study of features that affect maritime navigation. It also includes offshore oil exploration, dredging, oil drilling and other related activities.
    2. Currently 8 Indian Naval Ships are deployed in the hydrographic surveys - INS Nirupak, INS Jamuna, INS Investigator, INS Sutlej, INS Sandhayak, INS Darshak, INS Sarvekshak.
  168. Government issued draft rules to set up International Arbitration Centre, as per New Delhi International Arbitration act 2019 which aims to achieve institutionalized arbitration.
    1. Draft rules prescribe pay and allowances of members and also sets up minimum educational qualification and method of selection of employees.
    2. Arbitration and Conciliation act 1996 was amended to make arbitration process simpler, by New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act 2019.
    3. International Arbitration Centre is a dispute settling body that settles arbitration between individuals and companies.
  169. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare introduced School Health Ambassador initiative. Under this, 2 teachers in every school are to be made as Health and Wellness ambassador. It will be linked with other initiatives such as Eat Right Campaign, Fit India Movement and Poshan Abhiyan. 11 themes have been identified for the initiative.
  170. Feb 13 is observed as UNESCO World Radio Day. 2020 theme is Radio and Diversity. It was first celebrated in 2013.
  171. 15th Finance Commission (Headed by N K Singh) constituted a Group on Defence and Internal Security, headed by N.K. Singh. Its Mandate is to examine whether a separate mechanism for funding of defence and internal security ought to be set up.
  172. 5th edition of Exercise AJEYA WARRIOR-2020 between India and United Kingdom Armies commenced at Salisbury Plains (UK).
    1. Other Joint Indo-UK Defence exercises - Konkan exercise (Navy), Indra Dhanush Exercise (Air Force).
  173. RBI conducted Financial Literacy Week 2020 between February 10 - 14, 2020. Theme is “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)”.
  174. UK Govt appointed Indian-Origin person Alok Sharma as minister in charge for UN climate talks in November 2020, known as COP26.
    1. 2020 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is scheduled to be held in Glasgow (Scotland) in November 2020 under presidency of UK government.
  175. Odisha government signed MoU with HDFC Bank to provide smart banking solutions to Startups in state.
    1. Odisha government also announced 5 % hike in dearness allowance, benefiting around 3.5 lakh government employees and 1.5 lakh pensioners.
  176. RBI appointed 5 officials as executive directors - Indrani Banerjee, Saurav Sinha, Vivek Deep, J.K. Dash and P. Vijayakumar. RBI has 12 executive directors.
  177. Rajiv Bansal is appointed as CMD of Disinvestment bound ailing airline Air India.
  178. Debasish Panda has been appointed as new finance secretary of India, replacing Rajiv Kumar.
  179. Uttarakhand cabinet approved 377 sqkm area for proposed eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) for Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR). Proposal will now be forwarded to Central Govt.
    1. No village has been included in sactioned area. Villagers living near reserve have been protesting against inclusion of their respective villages in ESZ, fearing loss of livelihood due to the restrictions imposed by the creation of such a zone
    2. Uttarakhand HC had earlier directed that 10km-area in Uttarakhand be declared as ESZ. As per approved change, maximum area of ESZ is 7.96 km.
  180. Tata Trusts named Srinath Narasimhan as its CEO. Tata Trusts owns 66 % stake in Tata Sons, holding company of the group.
    1. Income-Tax Department in Oct 2019 had cancelled registration of six trusts operating under Tata Trusts, a move that could result in tax liability of about Rs 12,000 crores.
  181. General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) received license from Bank of Russia to commence reinsurance business in Russia, for its subsidiary company "GIC Perestrakhovanie LLC".
  182. Noted space scientist G Narayanan named as chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation’s newly formed commercial entity New Space India Ltd (NSIL).
  183. Former Indian Cricketer Robin Singh appointed as director of cricket of United Arab Emirates.
  184. Atul Kumar Gupta has been appointed as President of Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAI) for 2020-21, with Nihar Niranjan Jambusaria as Vice President.
  185. According to The Banker’s Top 500 Banking Brands 2020 report -
    1. India's IndusInd Bank topped list of ‘Highest increase in brand value’ among global banks, with its brand value increasing 122% in months.
    2. List Top 50 By Total Brand Value by Country has been topped by China, followed by US and Canada. India ranked 8th.
  186. Economist Intelligence Unit revised downwards its global growth forecast for 2020 to 2.2% from 2.3%, because of Novel coronavirus outbreak in China and globally.
  187. Scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology (US) discovered nearest-known ‘baby giant planet’ which is named as “2MASS 1155-7919”. It lies only about 330 light years from our solar system.
  188. Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated first phase of East-West Metro line, which is Kolkata’s second metro line. It is a 5.3 kms long stretch with 6 elevated stations.
    1. Overall, East-West Metro corridor of the Kolkata is a 16.5 kms long stretch., connecting owrah on West bank of River Hooghly with Salt Lake city on East bank.
    2. It is first ever transportation project of India where metro trains will ply under river “Hooghly”.
    3. Presently running Metro services in Kolkata operate on only North-South corridor, a 27.3 Km long stretch. It was inaugurated in 1984.
  189. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar released book titled A Commentary & Digest on The Air, Act 1981, written by K K Khandelwal.
  190. Mobile World Congress, annual telecoms industry gathering has been cancelled over coronavirus fears. It is hosted by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) telecoms association.
  191. Indian-origin Rishi Sunak  named as new Finance Minister of United Kingdom (Chancellor of the Exchequer ). He is son-in-law of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy.
  192. Feb 14, 2020 observed as First Anniversary of Pulwama Attacks on CRPFon Feb 14, 20219. A Memorial was inaugurated at the Lethpora camp for 40 CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel who were killed in Pulwama Attack.
    1. Following Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force conducted surgical strikes in Balakot on February 26, 2019 and killed over 300 Jaish-e-Mohammed Terrorists.
  193. 1st Jerusalem-Mumbai festival held in Mumbai, to promote artistic and cultural ties between Israel and India. The festival, part of a project, has been held in cities around world including Prague and Moscow. Mumbai is first city in Asia to host the event.
  194. Feb 15, 2020 is observed as World Pangolin Day, observed every year on third Saturday of February. Pangolin are seeing rapid decline as Pangolin scales are rich in medicinal properties.
    1. Madhya Pradesh forest department radio-tagged an Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) for the first time in order to know its ecology and develop an effective conservation plan.
  195. A UK Drafted resolution calling for a  lasting ceasefire between warring sides in conflict-stricken Libya has been adopted by United Nations Security Council. It reaffirms support for the UN Support Mission in Libya and underlines commitments made by the international community to bring an end to the fighting in Libya African nation.
    1. Libya has been in midst of conflict since 2011 when civil war broke out between forces loyal to long-time Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Gaddafi was killed in October 2011 by NATO-backed forces.
    2. Even after Gaddafi’s death, insurgency by his loyalists continued and there was strife between the local militia and tribes.
  196. India slammed reference of Jammu and Kashmir in Turkey-Pakistan joint declaration, calling upon Turkey to not interfere in its internal affairs. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also made a reference to Jammu and Kashmir during his visit to Pakistan.
  197. Income Tax Department announced that Permanent Account Number (PAN) will become inoperative if it is not linked with Aadhaar on or before March 31, 2020. Over 30.75 crore PANs have been linked to Aadhaar till now. However, around 17.58 crore PANs are still yet to be linked.
  198. UK-based OneWeb company  sent 34 satellites into orbit on a single Soyuz rocket, from Baikonur port, Kazakhstan. The aims are to have the full network in operation by end of 2021.
  199. Indian feminist and activist Gita Sen won prestigious Dan David Prize 2020 under “present” category, for Gender Equality.  She is director of Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health at the Public Health Foundation of India.
    1. Dan David Prize is given by Dan David Foundation (headquartered at Tel Aviv University, Israel), carrying prize of US$ 1 million for exemplary research. Categories are Past, Present and Future.
    2. Other Awardees of Dan David Prize 2020 -
      1. Past - Lonnie G. Bunch III, Barbara (US) (Cultural Preservation and Revival)
      2. Future - Demis Hassabis (UK), Amnon Shashua (Israel) (Artificial Intelligence)
  200. Patients in need of expensive treatment not covered by packages under Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme will now again be able to get financial assistance of up to Rs 15 lakh under Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN) scheme.
    1. If suggested treatment is not covered under any of approved packages of AB-PMJAY, assistance up to 15 lakh can be provided to AB-PMJAY beneficiaries out of umbrella scheme of RAN.
    2. Financial assistance is provided to patients living below the poverty line suffering from life-threatening diseases and rare diseases.
  201. Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) introduced a system to monitor and detect misuse of client securities by stock brokers, following debacle at Karvy Stock Broking Ltd.
    1. Under the new system, an online register will record brokers’ holdings of client securities.
    2. In November 2019, Sebi barred Karvy from trading on behalf of clients, after broker allegedly used client money for other purposes and indulged in trades that were not authorized by them.
  202. South Central Railways (SCR) zone become 1st zonal Indian railways, to have functional “energy neutral” railway stations on network, by converting 13 railway stations into “energy neutral” stations. Energy-neutral railway stations are capable of meeting 100 % energy requirements by tapping into solar power.
  203. To make recommendations to SEBI on policy matters pertaining to development of municipal debt securities market, SEBI constituted a Municipal Bonds Development Committee headed by Sujit Prasad (SEBI Executive Director).
  204. Retail Chain D-Mart Founder Radhakishan Damani became India’s second-richest person with a networth of $17.8 billion, next only to Mukesh Ambani.
    1. Others in list are HCL’s Shiv Nadar ($16.5 billion), Uday Kotak ($14.9 billion), Gautam Adani ($14.1 billion) and Lakshmi Mittal ($12.1 billion).
  205. Book Messages from Messengers, written by Priti K Shroff has been released.
  206. Puducherry Legislative Assembly became First UT to pass a resolution against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).
    1. Earlier, Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh states had passed similar resolutions against CAA.
  207. NASA will send a new laser-toting robot named ‘SuperCam’ to Mars for studying mineralogy and chemistry from up to about 20 feet (7 meters) away, to help scientists in finding signs of fossilized microbial life on Mars. SuperCam is a part of seven instruments aboard Mars 2020 rover, to be launched in July 2020.
  208. University of Calgary (Canada) researchers discovered 79-million-year-old dinosaur fossils at Alberta (Canada), belonging to a new species of Tyrannosaur named as Thanatotheristes degrootorum Tyrannosaurs were one of the largest meat-eating dinosaurs.
  209. UP Govt entered into collaboration with eGov Foundation, to boost reforms in urban sector by implementing municipal financial accounting system. eGov Foundation will provide Accrual Based Double Entry Financial Accounting Application of DIGIT (Digital Infrastructure for Governance, Impact & Transformation) - India's Largest Open Source Platform for Urban Governance.
  210. 15th Finance Commission (headed by N K Singh) constituted a High Level Expert Group on Agriculture Exports, to recommend measurable performance incentives for States to encourage agri exports and promote crops to enable high import substitution. It will be headed by Sanjiv Puri (ITC CMD).
  211. India Signed $450 million loan agreement with World Bank, to support Atal Bhujal Yojana, the National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme  which aims to contain country’s depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions.
    1. World Bank support will be used in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and cover 78 districts.
    2. The $450 million loan, from World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), has a 6-year grace period, and maturity of 18 years.
  212. 2nd Advance Estimates of production of major crops for 2019-20 released by Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare -
    1. Foodgrains  –  291.95 million tonnes. (record)
      1. Rice  –  117.47  million tonnes. (record)
      2. Wheat  –  106.21  million tonnes. (record)
      3. Nutri / Coarse Cereals  –  45.24 million tonnes.
      4. Maize  –  28.08 million tonnes.
      5. Pulses  –  23.02 million tonnes.
      6. Tur  –  3.69 million tonnes.
      7. Gram – 11.22 million tonnes.
    2. Oilseeds  –  34.19 million tonnes.
      1. Soyabean  –  13.63 million tonnes
      2. Rapeseed and Mustard – 9.11 million tonnes
      3. Groundnut  –  8.24 million tonnes
    3. Cotton  –  34.89 million bales (of 170 kg each)
    4. Jute  & Mesta - 9.81 million bales (of 180 kg each)
    5. Sugarcane – 353.85 million tonnes
  213. As per statement by Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, India will stop importing thermal coal from Financial Year 2023-24. Target is to achieve 1 billion tonnes (BT) coal production by Coal India Limited (CIL) by 2023-24.
  214. Government renamed The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) as Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies andAnalyses, to honour commitment and legacy of late Manohar Parrikar, former Defence Minister and Goa CM.
  215. Government will Facilitate doubling of Milk Processing capacity from 53.5 million MT to 108 million Mt by 2025.
    1. Milk Productivity has increased from 146.3 million MT in 2014-15 to 187.7 million MT in 2018-19 (6.4 % annually).
    2. 54% of milk produced is marketable surplus and remaining 46% is retained in villages for local consumption.
    3. Out of marketable surplus available with farmers, only 36% is handled by organised sectors. Need is to bring remaining 64% surplus milk under organized fold.
  216. Supreme Court upheld judgement of Delhi HC over issue of commissioning of women officers in Indian Army, by granting permission to commission women officers in Indian Army. Earlier, permanent service commission for women were not allowed, especially in combat units.
    1. Delhi HC in 2010 had instructed Govt to provide permanent commissioning of women officers in Indian Army. Govt had argued that women are physiologically weak and are not as efficient as men when it comes to leading a combat unit.
    2. Now, SC has upheld this ruling, pronouncing that permanent commissioning is allowed to all women officers irrespective of years of service.
  217. Haryana Government will provide Rs 6 crores to gold medal winners at Olympic Games, only for players representing Haryana. It will also provide Rs 15 lakhs to every player participating at Olympic Games 2020.
    1. Also, Gold Medalists of Asian Games will be provided with Rs 3 crores and winners of Common Wealth Games are to be provided with Rs 1.5 crores.
  218. As per ISRO's annual report, it will launch 10 Earth Observation Satellites in 2020-21, including first Geo Imaging Satellite GISAT-1. Also, 3 communication and 2 navigation satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2020-21.
  219. RBI decided to sync Financial year of bank with Fiscal Year. Fiscal Year begins in April and ends in March and RBI Financial year is between July and June. It will change 8-decade practice of RBI.
    1. It as recommended by expert committee led by Bimal Jalan. According to committee, RBi will be able to provide estimates of surplus transfers better after the alignment, reducing interim dividend that RBI has to pay to Government.
  220. UT of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir will soon be brought under Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which so far has its jurisdiction only over central services of Jammu and Kashmir. Till Govt sets up a CAT exclusively for J&K, Chandigarh bench is to serve UT of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
    1. Central Administrative Tribunal was established through 42nd amendment of Constitution. It adjudicates (judes) disputes that arise in recruitment of persons in public services, not applicable to armed forces, Supreme Court employees, members of Paramilitary forces and staffs of Secretariats.
  221. India’s Atomic Energy Commission researchers found Lithium Reserves of 14,100 tonnes in Mandya (Karnataka). This rare metal is mainly used in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles. Globally, Chile produces 8.6 million tonnes, Australia produces 2.8 million tonnes and 1.7 million tonnes in Argentina. India imported 1.2 billion USD worth lithium batteries in 2019.
  222. Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari represented India at 3rd global Conference on Road Safety in Stockholm (Sweden). It was aimed at prepare roadmap for achieving Global Goals 2030.
  223. International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced India as hosts for 16 team FIH Junior Men’s World Cup 2021. South Africa will host women’s edition.
  224. 20th Laureus World Sports Awards 2020 (Berlin, Germany) Winners -
    Award Winner
    Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Lewis Hamilton (UK Racer) and Lionel Messi (Argentina Footballer)
    Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Simone Biles (American artistic gymnast)
    Laureus World Team of the Year South Africa Men’s Rugby Team
    Laureus Best Sporting Moment Carried on the shoulders of a nation’ – Sachin Tendulkar
    Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Egan Bernal (Colombian cyclist)
    Laureus World Comeback of the Year Sophia Flörsch (German racing driver)
    Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award Dirk Nowitzki (German basketball player)
    Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award Spanish Basketball Federation
    Laureus Sport for Good Award South Bronx United
  225. Government will infuse 1300 crores into state-owned Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) in next fiscal, to fund its business growth. Last year, government doubled its authorised capital from Rs 10,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore. This year, government earmarked Rs 950 crore capital infusion for Exim Bank.
  226. 65th Amazon Filmfare Awards 2020 (hosted in Assam) -
    1. Best Film- ‘Gully Boy’
    2. Best Director - Zoya Akhtar for ‘Gully Boy’
    3. Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)- Ranveer Singh for ‘Gully Boy’
    4. Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)- Alia Bhatt for ‘Gully Boy’
    5. Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female)- Amruta Subhash for ‘Gully Boy’
    6. Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male)- Siddhant Chaturvedi for ‘Gully Boy’
    7. Best Music Album- ‘Gully Boy’: Zoya Akhtar-Ankur Tewari and ‘Kabir Singh’: Mithoon, Amaal Mallik, Vishal Mishra, Sachet–Parampara and Akhil Sachdeva
    8. Best Lyrics- Divine and Ankur Tewari for “Apna Time Aayega” (Gully Boy)
    9. Best Playback Singer (Male)- Arijit Singh for “Kalank Nahi Ishq Hai Kajal Piya” (Kalank)
    10. Best Playback Singer (Female)- Shilpa Rao for Ke Ghungroo Toot Gaye (War)
    11. Best Debut Director- Aditya Dhar for ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’
    12. Best Debut Actor- Abhimanyu Dassani for ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota’
    13. Best Debut Actress- Ananya Pandey for ‘Student Of The Year 2’ and ‘Pati Patni Aur Woh’
    14. Lifetime Achievement Award- Ramesh Sippy
    15. Excellence In Cinema- Govinda
    16. RD Burman Award For Upcoming Music Talent- Sashwat Sachdev for URI
  227. Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa won 77th Senior National squash championships in Men’s and women’s category respectively in Chennai.
  228. India’s Koneru Humpy won Cairns Cup chess tournament held at St.Louis (US).
  229. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan launched “Yodhavu” (Warrior) mobile app. Through this app, public can inform police about drug abuse and its distribution.
  230. Naga tribes of Manipur celebrated it's seed sowing festival 'Lui-Ngai-Ni', under theme "Oneness through Culture”.
  231. India's First CDS (Chief Of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat) stated that newly created Department of Military Affairs will roll out first ‘theatre command’ by 2022. Also, 2 integrated commands - Air Defence and Peninsular command are being set up immediately.
    1. Peninsular Command will be formed by merging Western and Eastern Command of Indian Navy, which will spread from Sir Creek near the Arabian Sea to Sundarbans in the Bay of Bengal. Currently, there are 2 tri-service commands – Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) and Strategic Forces Command (looks after nuclear assets.
    2. 'Theatre command’, also called joint commands, will look to provide all assets for war under a single commander.
    3. Aim is to set up Air defence command by June 2020 and Peninsular Command by end of 2021.
  232. Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) became 1st airport in India to be completely free of single-use plastic usage, inline with India’s target to abolish all single-use plastic by 2022.
  233. To provide timely and hassle-free service to consumers, Uttar Pradesh government enforced Performance Regulation Act 2019 for power department, becoming first state to do so. Consumers would now get financial compensation of 50-100 INR for delay in solving their complaints by department.
  234. United Arab Emirates issued a licence for a reactor at its Barakah nuclear power plant, making UAE first Arab country to operate a nuclear power plant. When fully operational, the four reactors have the capacity to generate 5,600 megawatts of electricity, around 25 % of UAE’s needs.
  235. Book Chanakya Niti: Verses on life and Living, translated by Aditya Narayan Dhairyasheel Haksar and comprising famous sayings of ancient master of statecraft Chanakya, has been released.
  236. Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) launched an app to facilitate home buyers in buying property through credible developers, called Awaas App.
  237. National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) permitted JSW Steel to acquire bankrupt Bhushan Power and Steel, granting it immunity from prosecution by Enforcement Directorate (ED). JSW Steel will pay 19700 crores to acquire Bhushan Power and Steel.
  238. 2020 Badminton Asia Team Championships (Manila, Philippines) -
    1. Men's Teams - Indonesia (Beating Malaysia)
    2. Women's Teams - Japan (Beating South Korea)
    3. Indian men's team won Bronze at the event.
  239. Soil Health Card Scheme, launched by PM Narendra Modi on February 19, 2015, has completed 5 years on feb 19, 2020. 2015 was also observed as International Year of Soils.
    1. Under Soil Health Card scheme, soil health cards are issued to farmers every 2 years, to provide a basis to address nutritional deficiencies in fertilization practices.
    2. During cycle –I (2015-17) - 10.74 crore Soil Health Cards and during cycle – II (2017-19) - 11.74 crore Soil Health Cards have been distributed to farmers. Till now, approx 750 Crores have been released under this scheme.
    3. On this occasion, Agricultural Minister Narendra Singh Tomar announced that Government will launch “TILHAN MISSION” to boost oil seed production. India is largest importer of Palm Oil. Indonesia is biggest producer of palm oil, followed by Malaysia.
      1. Recently, there has been major rifts between India and Malaysia over Palm oil. India decreased its Palm oil imports from Malaysia, after Malaysia in UN accused India of invading and occupying Kashmir.
      2. India having cut its imports from Malaysia, and is now planning to increase its domestic oil seed production. Currently, Oil seeds account for 13% of cropped area in India.
  240. Telangana Government hosted Bio-Asia Summit 2020 in Hyderabad, with theme Today for Tomorrow and Switzerland as partner Country.
    1. Genome Valley Excellence Awards were announced during BioAsia 2020. American immunologist and oncologist Carl H June and Novartis CEO Vasant Narsimhan have been presented this award for their contributions to life sciences.
    2. National Biopharma mission was launched in 2017 by Ministry of Science and Technology with assistance of World Bank, with estimated 250 million USD needed for it.
    3. An Ernst & Young (EY) report titled Today for tomorrow: realising the potential of Life Sciences 4.0 was released during Bio-Asia 2020. As per report -
      1. Average drug manufacturing utilisation rate in India is around 75% across both active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and formulation production facilities.
      2. India is largest provider of generic drugs, fulfilling about 40% of the generics demand in US and 25% of all medicines in UK.
      3. India also supplies over 50% of global demand for vaccines and 80% of global demand for antriretroviral drugs for AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
      4. India will capture 8% of global $62 billion biosimilar market by 2025.
  241. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) handed over 55 Bhabha Kavach bulletproof jackets Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
    1. It is lightest level III plus bulletproof jacket available in India, weighing 6.8 kgs.
    2. It is based on indigenous hot pressed Boron carbide and carbon nanotube technologies.
    3. It can stop 7.62 x 39 mm hard steel core bullets fired from AK 47 rifles, 5.56 x 45mm Ball MK M bullets of Indian Small Arms System (INSAS) rifles and Self Load Rifles (SLR)/Bolt action rifles with a back face signature of less than 15 mm.
  242. As per report by US-based think tank World Population Review -
    1. India is fifth largest economy at USD 2.94 Trillion, overtaking UK and France in 2019. UK is USD 2.83 trillion and France USD 2.71 trillion. List has been topped by US with $21.44 trillion GDP.
    2. Top 5 - US ($21.44 trillion), China ($14.14 trillion), Japan ($5.15 trillion), Germany ($4 trillion), India ($2.94 trillion)
    3. In purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, India's GDP (PPP) is USD 10.51 trillion, exceeding that of Japan and Germany.
    4. India's GDP per capita is USD 2,170 (US at top with USD 62,794).
    5. India's real GDP growth is expected to weaken for 3rd straight year from 7.5 % to 5 %.
  243. Feb 19 is Birth anniversary of Great Maratha Warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Born 19 February 1630), who belonged to Bhonsle Maratha clan and had roots from Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar. Shivaji carved out an enclave from declining Adilshahi sultanate of Bijapur that formed genesis of Maratha Empire.
  244. Cabinet Approvals (Feb 19, 2020) -
    1. General -
      1. Approved Elevation of Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geoinformatics (BISAG), Gujarat as Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG(N)) under Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY).
        1. At present, BISAG is a state agency of Department of Science and Technology Government of Gujarat, located at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. 
        2. Its charter is based on philosophy that modern day planning for a holistic development calls for transparent, efficient and low-cost decision-making systems.
      2. Approved Phase II of Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) [SBM (G)] till 2024-25, which will focus on Open Defecation Free Plus (ODF Plus), which includes ODF sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM). It will be implemented in a mission mode with a total outlay of 1,40,881 crores.
        1. Under This, incentive of 12000 for construction of Individual Household Toilet (IHHL) to newly emerging eligible households as per existing norms will continue.
        2. Additionally, assistance to Gram Panchayats for construction of Community Managed Sanitary Complex (CMSC) at village level has been increased from 2 to 3 lakh per CMSC.
        3. Fund sharing between Centre and States will be 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and UT of J&K; 60:40 for other States; and 100:0 for other Union Territories. 
        4. Background -
          1. Rural sanitation coverage at the time of launch of SBM (G) on 02-10-2014 was 38.7%.  More than 10 crore individual toilets have been constructed since the launch of the mission.
      3. Approved Constitution of a 12 member empowered Technology Group, with Principal Scientific Adviser to Government as its Chair (K. VijayRaghavan current (3rd), with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam being first PSA). This Group will -
        1. Render timely policy advice on latest technologies
        2. Commercialisation of dual use technologies developed in national laboratories and R&D organisations.
        3. Develop an indigenisation road map for selected key technologies
        4. Select appropriate R&D programs leading to technology development.
      4. Approved 22nd Law Commission of India for a period of three years. It will undertake research in law and review of existing laws in India for making reforms therein and enacting new legislations.
        1. Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by Government, originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. Tenure of 21st Law Commission was upto 31st August, 2018 (Headed by B S Chauhan).
        2. The Law Commission has so far submitted 277 reports.
        3. Names of Chairperson and Members of 22nd law commission are to be announced in due course.
      5. Approved Bill for welfare of Women, Titled Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation Bill 2020 -
        1. It follows introduction in Parliament of Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020, and approval of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Amendment Bill 2020. 
        2. Upon passage of Bill by Parliament, Government shall shall constitute a National Board, which shall lay down code of conduct to be observed by persons working at clinics, to set minimum standards of physical infrastructure, laboratory and diagnostic equipment to be employed by clinics and banks. States / UTs shall constitute State Boards subsequently. 
        3. Bill also proposes stringent punishment for those practising sex selection, sale of human embryos or gametes, running agencies/rackets/organisations for such unlawful practices.
        4. It will regulate Assisted Reproductive Technology services in country.  Consequently, infertile couples will be more ensured/confident of the ethical practices in ARTs.
      6. Approved revamping of "Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)" and "Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS)" to address existing challenges in implementation of Crop Insurance Schemes. These changes are expected to help farmers in better managing risk in agriculture production and Stabilizing farm income. 
        1. Enrolment under Scheme to be made voluntary for all farmers (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        2. Allocation of business to Insurance Companies to be done for three years (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        3. Option shall be given to States/UTs to choose Scale of Finance or district level Value of Notional Average Yield (NAY) Minimum Support Price (MSP) as Sum Insured for any district crop combination (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        4. Central Subsidy under PMFBY/RWBCIS to be limited for premium rates upto 30% for unirrigated areas/crops and 25% for irrigated areas/crops. Districts with 50% irrigated area will be considered as irrigated (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        5. Flexibility to States/UTs to implement Scheme with option to select any or many of additional risk covers/features.
        6. States not to be allowed to implement Scheme in subsequent Seasons in case of considerable delay by States in release of requisite Premium Subsidy to concerned Insurance Companies beyond a prescribed time limit. Cut-off dates for invoking this provision for Kharif and Rabi seasons will be 31st March and 30th September of successive years respectively.
        7. For estimation of crop losses/admissible claims, two-Step Process to be adopted based on defined Deviation matrix, using specific triggers. Only areas with deviations will be subject to Crop Cutting Experiments for assessment of yield loss (PMFBY).
        8. Technology solutions like Smart Sampling Technique (SST) and optimization of number of CCEs to be adopted in conducting CCEs (PMFBY).
        9. In case of non-provision of yield data beyond cut-off date by States to implementing Insurance Companies, claims to be settled based on yield arrived through use of Technology solution (PMFBY alone).
        10. Central Share in Premium Subsidy to be increased to 90% for North Eastern States from existing sharing pattern of 50:50 (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        11. Provisioning of at least 3% of allocation for Scheme to be made by Government and Implementing State Governments for administrative expensesm subject to an upper cap fixed by DAC&FW for each State (Both PMFBY/RWBCIS).
        12. As scheme is being made voluntary for all farmers, therefore, to provide financial support and effective risk mitigation tools through crop insurance (especially to 151 highly water stressed districts), a separate scheme in this regard, will also be prepared.
        13. Concerned guidelines of PMFBY and RWBCIS shall be made operational from Kharif 2020 season.
      7. Approved proposal of Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sign an updated Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) MoU signed between SEBI and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) UK, pursuant to UK's exit from European Union.
        1. In context of UK's proposed withdrawal from EU, FCA brought to notice of SEBI that existing MoU between SEBI and FCA relating to AIFMD, which is currently anchored on EU law, will no longer apply directly in UK.
        2. FCA, UK had submitted to SEBI that no transitional measures would be available if amended MoU is not signed before UK's exit from European Union, and requested SEBI to sign an updated MoU as early as possible.
    2. CCEA -
      1. Approved  upward revision of interest subvention from "upto 2%" to "upto 2.5% p.a." under scheme Dairy processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF), with revised outlay of 11184 Crores.
        1. Under DIDF, Government provides Interest subvention upto 2.5% to NABARD from 2019-20 to 2030-31. Any further increase in costs, are to be borne by end borrowers.
        2. Scheme envisages to have interest subvention component of 1167 crore to be contributed by DAHD, with loan component of 8004 crores to be contributed by NABARD.
        3. Funding period (2017-18 to 2019-20) of the scheme is revised to 2018-19 to 2022-23 and repayment period to be extended upto 2030-31 with spill over to first quarter of the FY 2031-32.
      2. Approved new Central Sector Scheme Formation and Promotion of Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs), to promote forming 10000 FPOs in 5 years (2019-20 to 2023-24), to ensure economies of scale for farmers. Support to each FPO be continued for 5 years from its year of inception.
        1. Through formation of FPOs, farmers will have better collective strength for better access to quality input, technology, credit and better marketing access through economies of scale for better realization of income.
        2. Budgetary provision will be 4496.00 crore for five years (2019-20 to 2023-24) with a further committed liability of Rs. 2369.00 crore for period from 2024-25 to 2027-28 towards handholding of each FPO for five years from its aggregation and formation.
        3. Initially there will be three implementing Agencies to form and promote FPOs - Small Farmers Agri-business Consortium (SFAC), National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). States may also nominate their Implementing Agency in consultation with DAC&FW.
        4. Initially, minimum number of members in FPO will be 300 in plain area and 100 in North East & hilly areas.
        5. FPOs will be promoted under "One District One Product" cluster to promote specialization and better processing, marketing, branding & export by FPOs.
        6. There will be a Credit Guarantee Fund of up to 1000 crores in NABARD with equal contribution by DAC&FW and NABARD and Credit Guarantee Fund of 500 crores in NCDC with equal contribution by DAC&FW and NCDC, for providing suitable credit guarantee cover to accelerate flow of institutional credit to FPOs.
        7. Report of Doubling of Farmer's Income (DFI) had recommended formation of 7,000 FPOs by 2022 towards convergence of efforts for doubling farmers' income. In Budget 2019-20, Government announced creation of 10000 new FPOs to ensure economies of scale for farmers over 5 years.
      3. Approved acquisition of 24 Sikorsky MH(Maritime Helicopters)-60R(Romeo) seahawk multi-role Helicopters from US, worth of USD 2.12 billion for Indian Navy. Lockheed Martin will be principal contractor for the sale.
  245. Times Higher Education Rankings titled The Emerging Economies University Ranking 2020 -
    1. 11 Indian Universities included in top 100, and 56 Indian Universities appeared in complete ranking (total 533 globally).
    2. Indian Institute of Science Bengaluru ranked 16th globally and at top among Indian Universities.
    3. IIT Kharagpur ranked 32nd, IIT Bombay 34th, IIT Delhi 38th. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham entered top 100 for first time (90th).
    4. Top 5 -
      1. Tsinghua University - China (1)
      2. Peking University - China (2)
      3. Zhejiang University - China (3)
      4. University of Science and Technology of China (4)
      5. Lomonosov Moscow State University - Russia (5)
  246. Pakistan test fired 600 km range Ra’ad II missile, with upgraded range from 550km to 600 km.
  247. CSIR topped National Ranking Index 2020 that ranks scientific research institutes, followed by IISc Bangalore and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
    1. Rankings are based on total research output which institutions carried from December 2018 to November 2019.
  248. WHO, Lancet and UNICEF released report A Future for the World’s Children -
    1. In the report, a new Global index has been included in comparing performance of child nutrition, education and sustainability.
    2. According to it, India ranked 77th on a sustainability index that takes into account per capita carbon emissions and 131st on a flourishing ranking that measures best chance at survival and well-being for children.
    3. Report says that India has improved in health and sanitation. However, it has to increase its spending on Health.
    4. Report noted that global carbon emissions need to be reduced from 39·7 giga- tonnes to 22·8 gigatonnes per year by 2030 to maintain even a 66 % chance of keeping global warming below 1·5°C.
  249. Economic Intelligence Unit Worldwide Education for the Future Index 2019 -
    1. India ranked 35, jumping 5 places, provided based on ability of a country to equip their students in skill-based education.
    2. Finland topped the index, followed by Sweden.
  250. Govt. appointed Sanjay Kothari as new Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) and Bimal Julka as New Chief Information Commissioner (CIC).
  251. Sweden created two 1 million USD worth prizes named Food Planet Prize, as a step is to address climate change threats towards food supply all over world. Prizes are for an existing scalable solution for sustainable foods and innovative initiatives to transform global food sector.
  252. RBI Launched National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (2019-24), to provide access to financial services in an affordable manner.
    1. Strategy is based on recommendations of Financial Inclusion Advisory Committee that worked in consultation with SEBI, PFRDA and IRDAI.
    2. Committee recommended Universal Financial Access. Under this, every village will have formal financial service provider within a radius of 5 km. Every adult registered under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana should be enrolled in pension scheme and insurance scheme and Public Credit Registry be made completely operational by March 2022.
  253. Maharashtra Government ordered to destroy Thai Mangur fish breeding centres, mainly because the fish is cultivated in unhygienic conditions. National Green Tribunal in 2000 banned cultivation of Thai Mangur. A study says that Mangur fish is responsible for 70% decline in native fish species of country.
  254. IIT Palakkad will set uo a research centre in data science, at Kanjikode. It is aimed as a providing platform of research for artificial intelligence and Data Science, named as Centre for Research and Education in Data Science.
  255. General Conferences (Feb 11-20, 2020) -
    1. National Water Conference held in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, to finalize guidelines of Right to Water Act. MP will be First state to implement such an act.
    2. 23rd National Conference on e-Governance held in Mumbai. During it -
      1. Election Commission of India received ‘Silver’ award for Excellence in Government Process re-engineering for digital transformation from Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
      2. RailMadad grievance redressal portal of Indian Railways has been awarded Silver under Category II of National e-Governance Awards – “Excellence in providing Citizen-centric Delivery”. RailMadad portal can be accessed using RailMadad Helpline 139, website or App.
    3. India has banned carrying of e-cigarettes on aircrafts, shortly after imposing ban on production, manufacture and advertisement of e-cigarettes.
    4. First inter-city electric bus service between Maharashtra cities of Mumbai and Pune has been launched, capabling to operate within 300 kilometres on a single charge. Maharashtra Cabinet also approved 5-days-work week for govt employees.
    5. Times Now India Action Plan 2020 Summit Held in New Delhi.
    6. 20th International Seminar on Comprehends the Evolving Contours of  Terrorism & IED Threat-Wayahead for the Security Community organised by NSG (National Security Guards) at Manesar (Haryana).
    7. Haryana Govt launched ‘Reading Mission- Haryana’ to inculcate reading habits among students, based on Central Government’s “Reading Mission -2022”.
    8. Supreme Court lifted ban imposed on overnight construction activities in Delhi-NCR region, expected to help restart multiple projects and also restore employment opportunities for several daily wage labourers.
      1. Supreme Court had banned construction activities in Delhi-NCR in November 2019 due to mounting air pollution.
    9. 6th edition of mega industrial exhibition ‘Engi Expo 2020’ organised in Vadodara (Gujarat), by Federation of Small Scale Industries (SSI), to promote ‘Made in India’ products.
    10. National Workshop on Disaster Risk Financing, Insurance and Risk Transfer held in Mumbai, organized by National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and Insurance Institute of India.
    11. Ghaziabad Police launched ‘Operation Nakail’, to verify identity of auto-drivers. Under this, unique four-digit number will be allotted to every auto-rickshaw, which is to be printed on it.
    12. National Conference on Policy Framework for Skilling of Women and Children held in New Delhi, along with Symposium on Emerging Opportunities for Indian Textiles and Crafts.
    13. Road Transport and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari flagged off Apiary on Wheels in New Delhi, as a unique concept for easy maintenance of BeeBox and migration of live colonies, designed by KVIC. Under This, 20 Bee Boxes can be moved between places with ease.
    14. Manipur CM Nongthombam Biren Singh launched Anganphou Hunba (Sowing of First Crop Paddy) programme at Arapti Mayai Leikai in Imphal.
    15. To promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India, Ministry of Textiles is organising Kala Kumbh - Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition in various cities. GI tag is used on handicrafts which correspond to a specific geographical location or origin.
    16. 5th edition of Difficult Dialogues held in Panji (Goa), as an annual forum examining issues of contemporary relevance in South Asia.
    17. 1st National Organic Food festival hosted at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, to boost organic products and promote women entrepreneurship in area of production of organic products.
      1. Theme is Unleashing India’s Organic Market Potential. Organic Food Segment is growing at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10% during 2016-20.
    18. 43rd session of annual meeting of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 2020 based on theme “Investing in sustainable food systems to end hunger by 2030” held at FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) headquarters in Rome (Italy).
      1. It was stated that UN will not be able to achieve the target of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 due to the lack of funds & it will be achieved only by 2040 with an annual investment of more than $115 billion.
      2. It was stated that by 2030, 100 million people will be pushed to poverty, mainly due to climate change impact on agriculture.
    19. Delhi Police and Cab agregator Uber launched “Himmat Plus app” at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, to ensure safety and security of people travelling in cabs.
    20. To boost morale of police officers who work diligently, Punjab Police launched a monthly “Appreciate and Commend” scheme to recognize ‘Punjab Police Performers’ of the month.
    21. India’s first private gold mine will be launched in late 2021 in Jonnagiri in Kurnool district (Andhra Pradesh), by Geomysore Services India Pvt Ltd.
    22. 13th edition of Asian Business & Social Investor Forum 2019-20 & 4th edition – Asia’s Greatest Brands & Leaders 2019-20 held in Bangkok (Thailand).
    23. 1st edition of the Bharat-Bangla Paryatan Utsav-Tourism festival held in Agartala (Tripura), to promote tourism in Tripura.
    24. 4th National Conference on Review of Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) held in Udaipur (Rajasthan).
      1. PMFBY was launched in 2016, replacin Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme and National Agricultural Insurance Scheme. Under this, farmers are paid premium of 2% for Kharif crops and 1.5% for Rabi crops in case of crop damages.
    25. Shipping Minister of State Mansukh Laxmanbhai Mandaviya laid foundation stone for 50-metre high modern lighthouse at Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram (Tamil Nadu), as 5th lighthouse in region.
    26. 3rd meet of India-Norway joint Task Force of Blue Economy for Sustainable Development held in New Delhi. A new collaboration of Integrated Ocean Management and Research was also launched.
    27. Indian Railways upgraded services of Artificial Intelligence based ASKDISHA chatbot (launched in October 2018), to now also support in Hindi Language along with english, for convenience of users.
  256. Visits to India (Feb 11 - 20, 2020) -
    1. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahendra Rajapaksa  visited India.
    2. Vietnam Vice-President  Dang Thai Ngoc Thinh Visited India.
    3. Speaker of Senate of Canada, George J. Furey Visited India.
    4. President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited India -
      1. An MOU was signed to develop a world class National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal (Gujarat), with cooperation from Portugal. In total, 14 MOUs were signed for cooperation in various fields.
      2. Inaugurated Cha-Chai, an installation of art work of Joana Vasconcelos at National Museum in New Delhi. The 5pm tea is a Portuguese family tradition, which strengthens family bonding. It symbolically depicts people to people relations between the countries.
      3. Signed 3 MOUs wth Goa Goverment, Including water augmentation and sewerage management, shipbuilding, education, marine and engineering.
      4. Portugal will be India's partner country at the Technology Submit 2020 to be held in Delhi in late 2020.
  257. Indian Railways and University of Birmingham launched Joint Masters programme in Railway Systems Engineering and Integration in academic year 2020-2021 by National Rail Transportation Institute (NRTI). It was signed by Lord Karan Billimoria, Chancellor of University of Birmingham.
    1. The programme leads to dual M.Sc. that would see NRTI students obtaining two post graduate degrees from both institutions, after spending a year studying at each institution.
    2. This has been taken under Centre of Excellence for Next Generation Transportation Systems that had been set up by an MoU between National Rail Transport Institute with University of Birmingham, in December 2019.
  258. Feb 20 is statehood day of northeastern states of Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.
    1. Arunachal Pradesh became a state on 20th February 1987. And Mizoram, that was a part of Assam was formed on 20th February 1987.
  259. 3rd High Level Global Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm (Sweden), with theme Achieving Global Goals 2030. It is follow up of 2nd High Level Global Conference on “Traffic Safety-Time of Results” in 2015 in Brazil. Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari represented India.
  260. Visits From India (Feb 11-20, 2020) -
    1. Navy Chief Karambir Singh visited Myanmar.
    2. External Affairs minister Jaishankar Visited Germany to attend Munich Security Conference.
    3. 3rd High Level Global Conference on Road Safety held in Stockholm (Sweden), with theme Achieving Global Goals 2030. It is follow up of 2nd High Level Global Conference on “Traffic Safety-Time of Results” in 2015 in Brazil. Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari represented India.
  261. Feb 20 is observed as World Day of Social Justice, with 2020 theme Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice. It is being observed since 2009.
  262. Northeast Frontier Railway is Constructing India’s tallest railway pier bridge with 100 meter height, across Makru river in the Tamenglong district of Manipur.  Targeted to be completed in March 2022, Its cost is 283 crores.
    1. This 555-metre long bridge is one of 148 bridges on 111-km Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge line, which also has 47 tunnels.
    2. Bridge pier is a structure that extends to ground below or into water. It is used to support bridge superstructure and transfer loads to foundation.
  263. Pakistan will remain on FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Grey List till June 2020, and has been warned of stern action if it fails to check flow of money to terror groups. This was decided by global terror financing watchdog FATF during its plenary meet in Paris (France).
  264. ESPN India Awards -
    1. S. No. Award Name Winner
      1 Sportsperson of the Year (Female) PV Sindhu (Badminton)
      2 Sportsperson of the Year (Male) Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooter)
      3 Emerging Sportsperson of the Year Deepak Punia (Freestyle wrestler)
      4 Coach of the Year Pullela Gopichand (Badminton)
      5 Team of the Year Manu Bhaker-Saurabh Chaudhary (10m air pistol)
      6 Lifetime Achievement award Balbir Singh Sr (Hockey)
  265. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos committed $10 billion to a new fund to tackle climate change.
  266. Gujarat government signed MoU with State Bank of India to facilitate approval of loans to entrepreneurs in MSME sector with ease.
  267. IRCTC's Kashi Mahakal Express, The third private train of India, has been flagged off by PM Narendra Modi. It will run between Indore and Varanasi and connect three Jyotirlinga shrines – Omkareshwar, Mahakaleshwar, and Kashi Vishwanath.
    1. Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express is first Private Train of India, followed by Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express as 2nd.
    2. PM Modi also inaugurated Kashi ek Roop Anek Exhibition in Varanasi.
    3. PM Modi also dedicated Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre to the nation, with his 63 feet Pancha Loha Statue.
  268. Incumbent Ashraf Ghani is named winner of Afghanistan Presidential Elections 2019. Voting took place almost five months ago, in September 2019. It is 2nd term for Ashraf Ghani as Afghanistan President.
  269. Bangladesh and Nepal agreed to sign a Free Trade Agreement to enhance trade. Bangladesh also agreed to allow Nepal to use it Saidpur airport located in its northernmost district of Nilphamari close to Nepal.
  270. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust elected Mahant Nritya Gopal Das as its Chairman and vice-president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Champat Rai elected as General Secretary.
    1. Also, Former principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Nripendra Misra has been chosen as the chairman of the Ram Temple Complex Development Committee.
  271. Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman Presented Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament. It is 2nd full Budget of newly elected NDA Government forming 17th Lok Sabha, led by PM Narendra Modi. See Highlights.
  272. Economic Survey 2019-20 Presented by Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman -
    1. Economic Survey 2019-20 in prepared by Chief Economic Advisor Dr KV Subramanian, with theme Wealth Creation. Highlights -
    2. Entrepreneurship -  
      • 12.2 % cumulative annual growth rate of new firms in formal sector during 2014-18, compared to 3.8 % during 2006-2014. About 1.24 lakh new firms created in 2018, an increase of about 80 % from about 70,000 in 2014.
      • New firm formation is lowest in eastern India with lowest literacy rate (59.6 % as per 2011 Census).
    3. Creating Jobs and Growth by Specializing in Network Products -
      • By integrating “Assemble in India for the world” into Make in India, India can -
        • Raise its export market share to about 3.5 % by 2025 and 6 % by 2030.
        • Create 4 crore well-paid jobs by 2025 and 8 crore by 2030.
      • Exports of network products can provide one-quarter of the increase in value added required for making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
      • Share of formal employment increased from 17.9% in 2011 -12 to 22.8% in 2017-18 reflecting formalisation in the economy.
    4. Targeting Ease of Doing Business in India -
      1. India Achieved jump of 79 positions to 63 in 2019, from 142 in 2014 in World Bank’s Doing Business rankings.
      2. Turnaround time of ships in India has almost halved to 2.48 days in 2018-19 from 4.67 days in 2010-11.
    5. Golden jubilee of bank nationalisation - Taking stock -
      1. Survey observes 2019 as the golden jubilee year of bank nationalization (1969).
      2. Public sector Banks account for 70 % of the market share in Indian banking. However, PSBs are inefficient compared to their peer groups on every performance parameter.
    6. Economic Performance in 2019-20 -
      1. GDP growth pegged at 6-6.5% in fiscal year 2020-21, up from 5% in current fiscal (2019-20). Previous Years', GDP Growth at Constant Prices -
        1. 2016-17 - 8.2 %
        2. 2017-18 - 7.2 %
        3. 2018-19 - 6.8 %
        4. 2019-20 - 5 %
        5. 2020-21 - 6 to 6.5 %
      2. To achieve GDP of $5 trillion by 2024-25, India needs to spend about $1.4 trillion over these years on infrastructure.
      3. As per Official data, government’s fiscal deficit touched 132.4% of full-year target at December-end mainly due to slower pace of revenue collections. Fiscal deficit (gap between expenditure and revenue) was 9,31, 725 crores, much higher as compared to government's aim to it to 3.3% of GDP in FY 2019-20 (7,03,760 crores).
    7. External Sector -
      1. India’s Balance of Payments improved from US$ 412.9 bn of forex reserves in end March, 2019 to US$ 433.7 bn in end September, 2019.
      2. Current account deficit (CAD) narrowed from 2.1% in 2018-19 to 1.5% of GDP in H1 of 2019-20.
      3. In sync with estimated 2.9% growth in global output in 2019, global trade is estimated to grow at 1.0% after having peaked in 2017 at 5.7%. It is projected to recover to 2.9% in 2020 with recovery in global economic activity.
      4. India’s top five trading partners continue to be USA, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong.
      5. Exports -
        1. Top export items - Petroleum products, precious stones, drug formulations & biologicals, gold and other precious metals.
        2. Largest export destinations in 2019-20 (April-November) - US, UAE, China and Hong Kong.
      6. Imports -
        1. Top import items: Crude petroleum, gold, petroleum products, coal, coke & briquittes.
        2. India’s imports continue to be largest from China, followed by USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
      7. Logistics industry -
        1. Currently US$ 160 billion, Expected to touch US$ 215 billion by 2020.
        2. According to World Bank's Logistics Performance Index, India ranks 44th in 2018 globally, up from 54th rank in 2014.
        3. Net FDI inflows continued to be good in 2019-20, attracting US$ 24.4 bn in first eight months, higher than corresponding period of 2018-19. Net FPI in first eight months of 2019-20 stood at US$ 12.6 bn.
      8. External debt -
        1. Remains low at 20.1% of GDP as at end September, 2019.
    8. Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation -
      • Gross Non Performing Advances ratio -
        • Remained unchanged for Scheduled Commercial banks at 9.3% between March and September 2019.
        • Increased slightly for Non-Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) from 6.1% in March 2019 to 6.3% in September 2019.
      • Credit growth -
        • Bank Credit growth (YoY) moderated from 12.9% in April 2019 to 7.1% as on December 20, 2019.
        • Capital to Risk-weighted Asset Ratio of SCBs increased from 14.3% to 15.1% between March 2019 and September 2019.
    9. Prices and Inflation -
      1. Inflation witnessied moderation since 2014 -
        • Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased from 3.7 % in 2018-19 (April to December, 2018) to 4.1 % in 2019-20 (April to December, 2019).
        • WPI inflation fell from 4.7 % in 2018-19 (April to December, 2018) to 1.5 % during 2019-20 (April to December, 2019).
      2. Declining inflation from 3.2% in April 2019 to 2.6% in December 2019, reflecting weakening demand pressure in the economy.
      3. CPI-C inflation has been highly variable across States ranging between (-)0.04 per cent to 8.1 per cent across States/UTs in financial year (FY) 2019-20 (April-December).
    10. Sustainable Development and Climate Change -
      1. India moving forward on the path of SDG implementation through well-designed initiatives.
      2. As per NITI Aayog 2nd edition of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index -
        1. Top 5 States - Kerala (1), Himachal Pradesh (2), Andhra Pradesh (3), Tamil Nadu (4), and Telangana (5).
        2. Top UTs - Chandigarh, Puducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
      3. According to United National Development Programme (UNDP), Telangana emerged as best performing state in terms of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Telangana was followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
      4. Forest and tree cover Increased 80.73 million hectare, becoming 24.56 % of geographical area of country.
      5. India has become second largest emerging Green Bond Market after China.
    11. Agriculture and Food Management
      1. Largest Proportion of Indian population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture for employment opportunities as compared to any other sector.
      2. GVA at Basic Prices for 2019-20 from ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’ sector is estimated to grow by 2.8 %.
      3. Agricultural productivity is constrained by lower level of mechanization in agriculture which is about 40 % in India, much lower than China (59.5 %) and Brazil (75 %).
      4. Improper pattern of regional distribution of agricultural credit in India - Low credit in Hilly, Eastern and North Eastern states (less than 1 % of total agricultural credit disbursement).
      5. To contain rising food subsidy bill India should sharply reduce number of beneficiaries covered under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Coverage of NFSA needs to be restricted to bottom 20% (of population) and issue prices for others could be linked to the procurement prices.
      6. Livestock has become a major secondary source of income for rural families. Growth of Livestock has been 7.9% in the last five years.
    12. Industry and Infrastructure -
      1. Industrial sector as per Index of Industrial Production (IIP) registered a growth of 0.6 per cent in 2019-20 (April-November) as compared to 5.0 % during 2018-19 (April-November).
      2. installed capacity of power generation has increased to 3, 64,960 MW as on October 31, 2019 from 3, 56,100 MW as on March 31, 2019.
      3. Report of Task Force on National Infrastructure Pipeline has projected total infrastructure investment of Rs. 102 lakh crore during FY 2020 to 2025.
    13. Services Sector : Increasing significance of services sector -
      1. About 55 % of the total size of economy and GVA growth.
      2. Two-thirds of total FDI inflows into India.
      3. 38 % of total exports.
    14. Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development -
      1. Expenditure on social services as proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 % in 2014-15 to 7.7 % in 2019-20.
      2. India’s ranking in Human Development Index improved to 129 in 2018 from 130 in 2017:
      3. With 1.34 % average annual HDI growth, India is among fastest improving countries.
      4. Share of regular wage employees has increased by 5 % points from 18 % in 2011-12 to 23 % in 2017-18.
      5. Jump of around 2.62 crore new jobs with 1.21 crore in rural areas and 1.39 crore in urban areas in regular wage category.
      6. Total formal employment in the economy increased from 8 % in 2011-12 to 9.98 % in 2017-18.
    15. Thalinomics: The Economics of a Plate of Food in India -
      1. Absolute prices of a vegetarian Thali have decreased significantly since 2015-16 across India and the four regions; though the price has increased during 2019-20.
      2. From 2006-07 to 2019-20 - Affordability of vegetarian Thalis improved 29 % AND Affordability of non-vegetarian Thalis improved by 18 %.
    16. Economic Survey unveiled an early-warning system, ''Health Score'', that could read signs of impending rollover risk problems in NBFC / HFC sector. Sudden payment default without any prior warning by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) in August 2018 had triggered panic and caused liquidity crisis in NBFC sector.
      1. Health Score is based on rollover risk, which includes asset liability management risk, interconnectedness risk, and financial and operating resilience of an NBFC.
  273. India and Maldives signed 5 Memorandum of Understandings to establish Addu Tourism in 5 islands of Addu atoll, at cost of 2.49 million USD. Addu is a city in Maldives that contains several inhabited Islands.
    1. Under India’s High Impact Community Development Scheme, India assists Maldives in developing projects based on the needs of the communities of islands.
    2. Maldives is located in south of Lakshadweep islands, having strategic importance for India containing Chinese presence in region.
  274. Mohammed Allawi has been appointed as Prime Minister of Iraq (50th).
  275. Indian Navy launched a unique coastal security exercise in Sunderbans region (West Bengal), called Matla Abhiyaan, to create awareness about the coastal security to local community.
  276. Pakistan, Somalia declared National Emergency amid severe locust attacks, to tackle the insects that are destroying crops in Punjab province, the main region of agricultural production.
  277. Ministry of Lobour and Employment Launched Santusht Portal, which aims at speedy redressal of public grievances, ensuring transparency, accountability, schemes and policies at grass root level.
  278. APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) signed MoU with CSIR-CFTRI (Central Food Technological Research Institute), under which CFTRI will provide technical support to food industries in North East Region. APEDA will also set up a Liaison Office in Guwahati.
  279. Department of Science & Technology launched a unique scheme called Sophisticated Analytical & Technical Help Institutes (SATHI), To address need for building shared, managed and strong Science and Technology infrastructure in country, which is readily accessible to academia, start-ups, manufacturing, industry and R&D labs.
    1. DST has set up three such centres in the country, one each at IIT Kharagpur, IIT Delhi and BHU at a total cost of Rs 375 Cores.
    2. It is planned to set up five SATHI Centres every year for the next four years.
  280. Feb 2 is observed as World Wetlands Day. 2020 Theme is Wetlands and Biodiversity . It marks adoption of Convention on Wetlands on February 2 in 1971, when a small group of environmentalists signed an international agreement at Ramsar Convention in Iran.
  281. As per Official data, government’s fiscal deficit touched 132.4% of full-year target at December-end mainly due to slower pace of revenue collections. Fiscal deficit (gap between expenditure and revenue) was 9,31, 725 crores at end of Dec 2019. As per revised estimates of FY 2019-20, Fiscal Deficit is to be kept within 3.8 % of GDP.
    1. As per Budget 2020-21, Fiscal Deficit is to be kept within 3.5 % of GDP.
  282. Abbott Tendyne Transcatheter Mitral Valve Implantation (TMVI)  received European CE mark, as first transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) technology in world. Aim is to meet critical need to eliminate mitral regurgitation when surgery or mitral repair is not an option in high-risk surgical patients.
  283. Government appointed M Ajit Kumar as chairman of Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).
  284. World Sustainable Summit 2020 organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at New Delhi, with theme Towards 2030: Making the Decade Count.
    1. As per report released during the summit, carbon-dioxide emissions from steel sector will reach 600 million tonnes by 2050. Current CO2 emissions from steel sector is 242 Million Tonnes, 35% of total emissions of India.
    2. Lucknow and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Pune and Nashik in Maharashtra will launch the ‘Clean Air Project in India’ (CAP India) initiative to improve air quality. It will be implemented by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
  285. 60-year-old Mo O'Brien became first deaf person to row through Atlantic ocean by finishing a 3,000-mile journey.
  286. Minister of Women & Child Development and Textiles, Zubin Irani Honored States / UTS / Districts, for implementation of Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) . Top performing -
    1. States/ UTs with population over 1 crore - Madhya Pradesh.
    2. States/ UTs with population over 1 crore - Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
    3. Districts with population over 1 crore - Indore (MP).
    4. Districts with population Under 1 crore - Serchhip (Mizoram).
    5. PMMVY is a maternity benefit programme being implemented from 01.01.2017. Under it, cash incentive of 5000 is provided to Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers for first living child of family.
  287. Rubigula, the Flame-Throated Bulbul, has been named as official mascot for Goa 2020 National Games (36th edition of National Games), to be held in Oct - Nov 2020. Flame-Throated Bulbul is state bird of Goa.
  288. 2020 Australian Open Tennis (Melbourne, 108th edition) Winners -
    1. Men's Singles - Novak Djokovic (Serbia). He defeated Dominic Thiem (Austria). It was 8th Australian Open title for Novak Djokovic, and his 17th Grand slam title overall.
    2. Women's Singles - Sofia Kenin (US). She defeated Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain). It was First Grand slam title for Sofia Kenin.
    3. Men's Doubles - Rajeev Ram (US) AND Joe Salisbury (UK)
    4. Women's Doubles - Tímea Babos (Hungary) AND Kristina Mladenovic (France)
    5. Mixed Doubles - Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic) AND Nikola Mektić (Croatia)
    6. Boys' Singles - Harold Mayot (France)
    7. Girls' Singles - Victoria Jiménez Kasintseva (Andorra)
  289. To check illegal lottery sales in guise of online lottery, Punjab Govt banned sale of all types of online lottery schemes in the state.
  290. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decommissioned its Spitzer Space Telescope, which was used to study the universe by detecting cosmic infrared radiation for more than 16 years, since its launch in 2003.
    1. It detected most distant galaxies ever detected and also found a previously undetected ring around Saturn.
  291. ISRO announced developing low-cost satellite launch vehicles costing, costing 30-35 crores each, which can put into orbit satellites weighing up to 500 kg. This will give ISRO big commercial boost, as it will be able to cater to micro, mini and medium segments. ISRO has earmarked $1,600 million for launch vehicles, $870 million for PSLV and remaining for GSLV.
  292. Paralympic medal-winner Deepa Malik is elected as president of Paralympic Committee of India. She had won silver in shot putt F-53 at Rio 2016 Paralympics. Gursharan Singh was elected as secretary general.
    1. Sports Ministry had ‘de-recognised’ PCI last year after sacking of then-president Rao Inderjit Singh.
    2. Election results are to be scrutinised by Delhi HC.
  293. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) appointed new members for its 3-member Cricket Advisory Committee(CAC). New Members are Madan Lal, Rudra Pratap Singh and Sulakshana Naik. Kapil Dev had recently resigned as CAC Chairman.
  294. As per Counterpoint Research’s Market Monitor service report, India surpassed US to become 2nd largest smartphone market. India recorded 158 million shipments in 2019 with 7% year-on-year growth. List was topped by China.
    1. Chinese company Xiaomi topped  smartphone market for second consecutive year with 28% market share. Xiaomi was followed by South Korean brand Samsung (21 %).
  295. Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation's National Statistical Office (NSO) released First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for FY 2018-19, 2nd Revised Estimates for 2017-18 and 3rd Revised Estimates for 2016-17 (with Base Year 2011-12) -
    1. Real GDP Growth or GDP at constant Prices estimates for 2018-19 are revised down to 6.1 %, against 6.8 % earlier (First Revised Estimates). Downward Revision is mainly due to deceleration in mining, manufacturing and farm sectors.
    2. Real GDP Growth or GDP at constant Prices estimates for 2017-18 are revised down to 7 %, against 7.2 % earlier (2nd Revised Estimates).
    3. Real GDP Growth or GDP at constant Prices estimates for 2016-17 are revised up to 8.3 %, against 8.2 % earlier (3rd Revised Estimates).
    4. Nominal Net National Income (NNI) at current prices for 2018-19 stands at 167.89 lakh crores, showing growth of 10.8 % during 2018-19 as against 11.2 % in previous year.
    5. Per Capita Income at current prices is estimated as 1,15,293 and 1,26,521 respectively for 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  296. India banned exports of all kinds of personal protection equipment, including clothing and masks used to protect people from air borne particles.
  297. Maldives re-joined 54 member Commonwealth group. In 2016, Maldives pulled out of Commonwealth terming “unjust” the grouping’s decision to penalise Maldives over former President Mohamed Nasheed’s controversial ouster in 2012.
    1. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who won 2018 presidential elections, had promised re-joining the bloc.
  298. Bank of Baroda signed a pact with Care Ratings to assess credit quality of its small and medium enterprises (SME) customers.
  299. Andhra Pradesh Govt launched a doorstep pension delivery scheme named ‘YSR Pension Kanuka’. Under this, various welfare pensions will be delivered to old age pensioners. Old age pension age is also reduced from 65 to 60 years.
    1. PWD persons will get 3000 per month whereas pension for CKDU (Chronic kidney disease of unknown) / dialysis pensions will be 5000 - 10000 per month.
  300. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) approved loan of 140 crores at low interest rates, to Punjab State Agricultural Development Bank (PSADB).
  301. 9th edition of India-Bangladesh joint military exercise Sampriti commenced at Umroi (Meghalaya).
  302. Bhutan introduced a new system for regional tourists called ‘Sustainable Development Fee’, after a concerned legislation was passed by Tshogdu (lower house of Bhutan’s Parliament). Now, tourists from India, Maldives, and Bangladesh have to pay a certain amount for stay in Bhutan. Amount is 1200 Bhutanese Ngultrum (USD 16.85) per day, to be applicable from July 2020.
  303. Feb 4 is observed as World Cancer Day, being observed since 2008. 2010 theme is I am I will (2019 - 2021).
    1. As per WHO cancer report releases on this occasion, cancer cases will increase by 81% by 2040, mainly due to lack of investment. Report says that it is essential to invest 25 billion USD in next decade to save millions of lives.
    2. WHO also called for USD 675 million in donations for a plan to fight novel coronavirus, mainly through investment in countries considered particularly "at risk".
    3. Kerala Government declared outbreak of novel coronavirus as state disaster.
  304. ICAR’s Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) developed cell culture Classical Swine Fever vaccine. It will help save considerable number of rabbits that are killed to produce Lapinised CSF (Classical Swine Fever), the current vaccine. The new vaccine invented gives immunity for 2 years as compared to the previous vaccines that provided immunity for 3 to 6 months.
  305. Supreme Court directed states to establish “Gram Nyayalayas”, within a month.
    1. Gram Nyayalayas act 2008 was passed to provide establishment of Gram Nyayalayas at grass root level, to provide inexpensive justice in rural areas.
    2. At present, only 208 Gram Nyayalayas are functioning as against 2,500 required to function according to the 12th five-year plan. Such Poor implementation compelled Supreme court to issue this advisory.
  306. United Arab Emirates discovered shallow natural gas reserves of about 80 trillion cubic feet, discovered between Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
    1. Earlier In November 2019, UAE announced discovery of 7 billion barrels of oil, raising crude reserves of UAE to 105 billion barrels (6th largest in world).
  307. Study by National Productivity Council reported that use of soil cards has reduced the fertilizer use by 10%, also increasing productivity by 5-6%. Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by Government in 2014-15, to address issue of declining soil nutrients.
  308. Rajasthan Capital Jaipur received World Heritage Certificate from UNESCO, for efforts of the people of Jaipur towards preserving its cultural heritage.
  309. Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC) of US Chamber of Commerce released International IP (Intellectual Property) Index -
    1. India ranks 40th among 53 economies ranked in list, down from 36th rank in 2018.
    2. US ranked first, followed by UK, Sweden, France, Germany and Ireland.
  310. Karnataka Government launched Janasevaka scheme, which aims to provide government services at doorstep and Also digitize several services, making them easily available. Government launched an exclusive mobile number (080-44554455), a website ( and mobile application.
  311. RBI Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2019-20 Kept Monetary Policy Rates Unchanged. Current MPC Rates -
    1. Repo Rate - 5.15 %
    2. Reverse Repo - 4.90 %
    3. Bank Rate - 5.40 %
    4. CRR (Cash Reserve Ratio) - 4 %
    5. SLR(Statutory Liquidity ratio) - 18.25 % (RBI decided to reduce SLR from to 18.0% in six quarterly instalments beginning January 2019)
    6. Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate - 5.40 %
    7. RBI projected 6 % GDP growth rate for 2020-21.
  312. Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) will modernize 25 fishing harbours in India, to increase value of marine products. It will begin from 2 harbours namely Nizampatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Thoppumpady in Kochi (Kerala).
  313. 2nd National Judicial Pay Commission submitted its Report, covering the subject of Pay, Pension and Allowances. It is chaired by Justice P.V. Reddi.
  314. As per Budget 2020-21, Capex (Capital Expenditure) of Indian Railways for 2020-21 is pegged at 1,61,042 crores, 17.2 % higher than 1,56,352 crores in last year. Target of new lines, gauge conversion and doubling/tripling etc. for 2020-21 is 3750 Route Kms against 3150 Route Kms in 2019-20.
  315. Cabinet Approvals (Feb 05, 2020) -
    1. General Approvals -
      1. Approved setting up India's 13th Major Port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra, with cost 65,544 crores.
        1. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as lead partner. With Vadhavan port, India will break into countries with top 10 container ports in world.
        2. Maharashtra has India's largest container port at JNPT. There is a need for a deep draft port that will accommodate the largest Container Ships in the world and also cater to the spill over traffic from JNPT port once its planned capacity of 10 million TEUs is fully utilized.
      2. Approved Alliance Air (subsidiary of Air India) to fly on international sectors between India and Sri Lanka.  A special dispensation is allowed for interim period till Alliance Air deploys minimum of 20 Aircraft or 20% of total capacity, whichever is higher for domestic operations.
      3. Approved Forming Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust, to facilitate development and maintenance of Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, as per Supreme court judgement. There will be 15 trustees in Trust, while one trustee will always be from Dalit society. K. Parasaran (92) has been appointed the chairman of the trust.
      4. Approved Introduction of Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill 2020 in Parliament, along with -
        1. 21 posts of Directors, one each in 20 IIITs (PPP) and one in IIITDM Kurnool (IIIT-CFTI)
        2. 21 posts of Registrars, one each in 20 IITs (PPP) and one in IIITDM Kurnool (IIT-CFTI)
        3. It will declare remaining 5 IIITs (Surat, Bhopal, Bhagalpur, Agartala and Raichur) along with existing 15 Indian Institutes of Information Technology in Public Private Partnership mode as 'Institutions of National Importance', enabling them to award degrees.
      5. Approved bringing cooperative banks under regulation of RBI, by approving amendments to Banking regulation act. With this, cooperative banks have to conduct regulatory commands over cooperative banks. Also, it has to take RBI approval in order to appoint its CEO.
  316. Government Approved Forming Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust, to facilitate development and maintenance of Shri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, as per Supreme court judgement. There will be 15 trustees in Trust, while one trustee will always be from Dalit society. K. Parasaran (92) has been appointed the chairman of the trust.
  317. 73rd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) Winners -
    1. Best Film - 1917
    2. Best Director - Sam Mendes (1917)
    3. Best Actor - Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
    4. Best Actress - Renée Zellweger (Judy)
    5. Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)
    6. Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
    7. Outstanding British Film - 1917
    8. Best Original Score - Hildur Guðnadóttir (Joker)
    9. Best Sound - 1917
    10. Best Film Not (Other than English) - Parasite (South Korean)
    11. Best Documentary - For Sama
    12. Best Animated Film - Klaus
    13. EE Rising Star - Micheal Ward
    14. Facts -
      1. Joker received most nominations (11 categories).
      2. A new award category was introduced - Best Casting.
      3. 1917 won most awards (7), including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Director.
      4. English actor Andy Serkis received BAFTA award for outstanding British contribution to cinema.
  318. US President Donald Trump who had been impeached by House of Representatives has now been acquitted at Senate trial.
    1. He became 3rd US President to be impeached by House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate. Other 2 are Bill Clinton in 1999 and Andrew Johnson in 1868.
    2. Mr Trump was accused of charges that he had sought help from Ukraine to bolster his 2020 re-election.
    3. US Constitution authorizes House of Representatives to remove a US President over a simple majority vote. At the house of Senate, the President is impeached through a trial presided over by Chief Justice of Supreme Court that requires two-thirds majority.
  319. As per a report by AON, World lost $232 billion due to natural disasters in 2019, with India leading in casualties with 1750 deaths.
  320. NTPC raised syndicated Japanese yen loan worth $750 million to help reduce air pollution from its power projects across India. It is largest ever syndicated JPY loan raised by any Asian corporate from offshore Samurai loan market and highest ever single foreign currency loan raised by NTPC.
    1. It will fund installation of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) system, new hydro projects and projects using ultra supercritical technology.
  321. Saima Yunus Khan of Aligarh Muslim University became first Indian to be conferred with IADR Fellowship in field of dental research.
    1. International Association of Dental Research (IADR) John Clarkson Fellowship is awarded to obtain training and experience in dental public health at Children's Hospital Research Institute of the University of Manitoba (Canada) for 5 months.
    2. This Fellowship conmprise US 15000 Grant and is awarded to one post doctoral investigator every two years.
  322. RBI introduced 'low KYC' accounts will allow customers to continue making payments using mobile wallets. Previously, RBI had urged payments companies to comply with 'full KYC' before February 29, 2020.
  323. Indian Oil Corp acquired a minority stake in Israeli battery developer Phinergy, for developing ultra lightweight metal-air batteries that can be used in electric vehicles (EVs). IOC and Phinergy will form a joint venture in India to collaborate in developing aluminium-air battery system including research & development, assembly, sell and service of aluminium-air energy systems technology.
  324. RBI Subsidiary Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) raised limit of insurance cover for depositors in insured banks from 1 lakh to 5 lakh per depositor, To provide greater protection to depositors in banks. The same was proposed in Budget 2020-21.
  325. Reliance General Insurance Company launched health insurance plan named Infinity, with 90 days pre and 180 days post hospitalization cover and sum insured between 3 lakh to 1 crores.
    1. It offers three main benefits - more cover - policyholder will get additional sum insured, more time - policyholder will get covered for additional period, more global - policyholder will be insured in India and also globally for emergency hospitalization.
    2. It also covers expenses incurred on treatment in a hospital under Ayurveda, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy.
  326. Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of Lauder Institute at University of Pennsylvania (US)'s 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index -
    1. India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF) is ranked at 27th position, among 176 global think tanks. It was ranked 118th an year before.
    2. Top 5 -
      1. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (United States)
      2. Bruegel (Belgium)
      3. French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) (France)
      4. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (United States)
      5. Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) (Brazil)
  327. Hindi poet-novelist Vinod Kumar Shukla  won inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award for his translated book  Blue Is Like Blue. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
    1. Stories in "Blue Is Like Blue", translated into English by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Sara Rai, deal with common people and their daily struggles.
  328. Director and producer Priyadarshan conferred with Madhya Pradesh government's National Kishore Kumar Samman for 2018-19 and Noted Actress Waheeda Rehman has been honored as awardee for 2017-18.
    1. The award, instituted by MP Department of Culture, carries a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh.
  329. The Banker Magazine named Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das as ‘Central Banker of the Year 2020’ in Asia-Pacific region. He has been honored for bringing in measures to regulate shadow banking through a restrained approach.
  330. Duff & Phelps  celebrity brand evaluation report 2019 -
    1. Cricketer Virat Kohli  retained top position for 3rd consecutive time, with his brand value up to $237.5 million in 2019.
    2. Actor Akshay Kumar is at 2nd position with a brand value of $104.5 million.
    3. Actors and Couple Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone at 3rd with brand value of $93.5 million each. Padukone also retained most valuable female celebrity status for 2nd consecutive year.
  331. Feb 6 is observed as International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, with 2020 Theme Unleashing Youth Power. It was first introduced in 2003.
  332. President Ram Nath Kovind presented International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy to Dr N.S. Dharmashaktu, under Indian nomination (individual) category and Leprosy Mission Trust under institutional category.
    1.  World Leprosy Day is observed annually on Last sunday of January.
  333. India will have 10 more defence attaches to 10 different countries, To promote defence exports and expand its defence diplomacy.
  334. Britain’s Prince Charles unveiled a new Children’s protection fund for India as part of British Asian Trust, the charity founded by him in 2007 to fight poverty in South Asia. American singer Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (Katy Perry) is named as ambassador for the same.
  335. Andhra Pradesh government launched a scheme to implement disbursal of social security pensions to beneficiaries at their doorstep, named Intivadhakey Pension program.
  336. As per report by German cybersecurity firm Greenbone Sustainable Resilience -
    1. Maharashtra topped among Indian states which are hit by global medical data leak, which made data of 120 million Indian patients available online. Maharashtra was followed by Karnataka.
  337. Fossil of a leafy branch discovered from early Eocene in Patagonia in 1941 which was till now considered to be oldest bamboo of world, has now been shown to be a conifer (Chusquea Oxyphylla). It has been revealed thorugh a research at Pennsylvania State University (US).
  338. Air India Subsidiary Alliance Air commenced direct daily flight operations from Bhubaneswar to Varanasi under RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), as 250th route being operationalised under RCS – UDAN.
    1. Ministry of Civil Aviation also flagged off first direct flight from Bidar airport to Bengaluru in Karnataka, under RCS-UDAN scheme.
  339. Albin Kurti is appointed as new Prime Minister of Republic of Kosovo (Southeast Europe).
  340. IIT Madras researchers developed an AI technology to convert Brain signals of Speech-Impaired Humans into simple Human Language English. This Might be useful in several related applications.
  341. Larsen & Toubro's joint venture with European defence major MBDA, called L&T MBDA Missile Systems (LTMMSL) has set up a missile integration facility (Inert) in Tamil Nadu.
    1. Inert' refers to systems integration process without explosive component of the missile systems being handled at the facility.
  342. 16th edition of  Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) 2020 Held in Mumbai, as oldest international event for non-feature films in South Asia. Notable Awardees -
    1. Golden Conch Award 2020 for Best Documentary Film - Babenco: Tell Me When I Die (Brazilian documentary film)
    2. Silver Conch Award for the Best Short Fiction Film - Marathi film Paavsacha Nibandh (An Essay of Rain)
    3. Silver Conch Award for Best Animation Film - German film Portrait of Suzanne and Indian film Panangaatu Nari (Fox of the Palmgrove)
  343. E-Commerce Firm Flipkart has shut down its subsisdiary Jabong, to focus on Its another Online fashion subsidiary Myntra. Users visiting Jabong are being sent to Myntra. Flipkart bought Jabong In 2016, for USD 70 million and had acquired Myntra in 2014.
  344. 2 Assessment Frameworks - Ease of LivingIndex (EoLI) and Municipal Performance Index (MPI) 2019 have been launched by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, To help assess progress in cities through various initiatives.
    1. These indices are designed to assess quality of life of citizens in 100 Smart Cities and 14 other Million Plus Cities. 
    2. With Municipal Performance Index 2019, Ministry has sought to assess performance of municipalities based on five enablers namely Service, Finance, Planning, Technology and Governance.
    3. For the first time, as part of Ease of Living Index Assessment, a Citizen Perception Survey is being conducted (which carries 30% of marks of Ease of Living Index).
  345. Sharang Artillery Gun has been inducted into Indian Army, produced at Kanpur ordnance factory. These have been upgraded from 130 mm to 155 mm, with hitting range increased from 12 kilo metres to 39 kilo metres.
  346. Government and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) launched India-Central Asia Business Council, as a common platform for businesses of Central Asia and India.
    1. It has been joined by 5 countries - Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic. Currently, India's trade with these countries is 2 billion USD.
  347. RBI will launch Digital Payments Index (DPI) by July 2020, to assess and capture the extent of digitalisation of payments effectively.
  348. Andhra Pradesh Govt inaugurated first Disha Police Station, in Rajamahendravaram city, to deal with crimes against women. 18 such police stations will be opened in Feb 2020.
    1. The stations are established under Disha act 2019, which aims to complete investigation of cases related to crimes against women within 7 to 14 days. Act was passed after a 26-year-old veterinarian was brutally raped and murdered in Telangana.
  349. India's 12 year old Kaamya Karthikeyan became youngest girl to climb highest peak in South America, Mt Aconcagua (6962 Metres).
  350. Coal India’s flagship subsidiary Northern Coalfields Limited has set up a centre named “Science and Applied Research Alliance and Support”(SARAS) to promote Innovation, Research & Development and skill development.
  351. Govt. announced 1500 crores package for Bodo areas of Assam, during Signing of Tripartite Bodo Accord.
    1. Government hd signed historic Bodo peace agreement in January 2020, with National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and All Bodo Students Union (ABSU).  It provides political and economic benefits to tribals without seeking a separate Bodoland state / UT.
    2. Outsiders will have to obtain “permit” to work in territory. It will provide political rights to Bodo Tribals living in Assam.
    3. It is 3rd agreement signed in 27 years, with first being signed with All Bodo Students Union in 1993 and second was signed with Bodo Liberation Tigers in 2003.
  352. UK appointed Philip Barton as New High Commissioner to India. Also, Dame Karen Pierce is appointed as Britain’s ambassador to US, becoming first woman to hold the position.
  353. 33rd African Union (AU) summit Held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), under theme Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa's development.
  354. Rajasthan government announced to issue separate identity cards for persons belonging to transgender community in state. Kerala was the first state to implement this. Kerala was also first Indian state to have a transgender policy.
  355. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved merger of Tata Teleservices consumer mobility business with Bharti Airtel.
    1. It came after Supreme Court (SC) refused to grant stay to an interim order of Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which directed DOT to clear the deal.
    2. Earlier, DoT had moved SC against TDSAT which stayed government’s demand for about Rs 8,000 crore in bank guarantees for one-time spectrum charges (OTSC), and asked government to approve merger.
  356. As per first ever ranking of states on their capacity to deliver justice, as part of India Justice Report (IJR) 2019 -
    1. Top 5 - Maharashtra (1), Kerala (2), Tamil Nadu (3), Punjab (4) and Haryana (5).
    2. List of seven small states (population less than one crore each) was topped by Goa, followed by Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
  357. Odia and English writer Manoj Das received Mystic Kalinga Literary Award (Indian and Global Languages) at Mystic Kalinga Festival (MKF). He was recently conferred Padma Bhushan award in field of literature and education.
  358. Hyderabad Metro became the 2nd-largest operational metro network in India. It now covers 69.2 km, after launch of another 11-km stretch. , Hyderabad Metro is also world’s largest public-private partnership project.
  359. As per MOOCLab’s Business School Rankings 2020 -
    1. IIM Bangalore ranks 3rd globally, for implementing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
    2. 2020 edition of rankings surveyed 16 business schools globally offering courses on three leading MOOC platforms: Coursera, edX and FutureLearn.
  360. 2020 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup (South Africa) -
    1. Bangladesh won the title, as their 1st ICC U-19 World Cup. Bangladesh Defeated India in Final.
    2. Player of the series was India's Yashasvi Jaiswal, who also scored Most runs.
    3. Next U-19 will be hosted by West Indies, in 2022.
  361. Astronomers at University of California (US) discovered an Ultramassive monster galaxy dubbed as XMM-2599. This galaxy existed around 12 billion years ago, just 1.8 billion years after formation of universe.
  362. NASA astronaut Christina Koch, who led first all-female spacewalk in 2019, returned to earth after a record 328 days stay on International Space Station.
    1. Christina Koch holds record for longest single spaceflight by a woman (328 days). She surpassed NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson's 289 days spaceflight.
  363. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) increased minimum net worth criterion for pension fund managers, from 25 to 50 crores.
    1. This brings pension funds on par with mutual funds which have to meet a minimum net worth requirement of Rs 50 crores as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) rules.
  364. Tripura held its 1st ever hornbill festival, to raise awareness among people for conservation of the bird and to showcase biodiversity in state.
    1. Horrnbill festival is held annually in Nagaland, named after hornbill bird.
  365. Feb 8 is birth anniversary of Zakir Husain Khan, the third President of India ( 1967 - 1969).
  366. 22nd edition of India International Seafood Show (IISS) held in Kochi (Kerala), by Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA). This year's theme is Blue Revolution- Beyond Production to Value Addition.
  367. As per World Steel Association, India is 2nd largest steel producer of crude steel after China. Top 5 Crude steel producers in 2019 -
    Rank Country Qty (mt)
    1. China 996.3
    2. India 111.2
    3. Japan 99.3
    4. USA 87.9
    5. Russia 71.6
  368. 92nd Academy Awards (Oscars) -
    1. Awardees -
      Category Winner
      Best Picture Parasite – Kwak Sin-ae and Bong Joon-hodouble
      Best Actress in a Leading Role Renée Zellweger for Judy
      Best Actor in a Leading Role Joaquin Phoenix for Joker
      Best Direction Bong Joon-ho (Parasite)
      Best Supporting Actor Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
      Best Supporting Actress Laura Dern for Marriage Story
      Best Original Score Joker
      Best Original Song "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from Rocketman
      Best Animated Feature Film Toy Story 4
      Best Intrnational Feature Film / Foreign Language Film Parasite (South Korea)
      Best Animated Short Film Hair Love
      Best Documentary Feature American Factory
      Best Documentary Short Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)
      Best Cinematography 1917
      Best Film editing Ford v Ferrari
    2. Facts -
      1. Oscars are most prestigious honour in Film Industry globally.
      2. Hosted in Los Angles (California), US.
      3. Most awards - Parasite (4)
      4. Most nominations - Joker (11)
    3. Governors Awards -
      1. Honorary Academy Awards - David Lynch, Wes Studi, Lian Wertmüller
      2. Jean Hersholt Humanitarian - Geena Davis
  369. 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation held in Chennai (Tamil Nadu).
  370. India's Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand received an honourable mention in 2019 International Olympic Committee's Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award, for his role in development of Badminton Sport in India.
  371. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched a short-range ballistic missile, “Raad-500”, with range 500 KM.
  372. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu released Book titled A Child of Destiny, by Koneru Ramakrishna Rao (GITAM University).
  373. United Nations released additional USD 30 million to support humanitarian operations in Syria's Idlib province.
  374. As per a study by Wildlife Institute of India, Leopard population has declined 75-90 % in India, suggesting similar conservation attention like tigers, for leopards.
  375. Nepal's Arun-3 hydropower project secured more than Rs 101 billion from a consortium of Nepali and Indian banks. It is largest Indian-backed project in Nepal.
    1. This 900-MW export-oriented project project is being developed by India's Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) through its subsidiary SJVN Arun-3 Power Development Company. Its cost is approx 1.5 Billion USD (105 Billion INR), expected to generate power by 2023.
    2. Consortium of India's SBI, PNB, Exim Bank, Union Bank of India and Canara Bank will inject Rs 86 billion, while two Nepali commercial banks Everest and Nabil will put Rs 15.35 billion. This marks Financial Closure of this mega prpject.
  376. Uttarakhand government approved design of a glass floor suspension bridge, the first of its kind in the country, to be built across Ganga river in Rishikesh as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula which was closed in July 2019 due to safety concerns.
    1. Toughened glass floor will be 3.5 inches thick and capable of bearing a load of more than 750 kg per square metre at a stretch.
    2. The span of the bridge will be 132.3 metres long with seven feet high toughened glass railings on either side.
    3. It will be safe for commutation for at least 150 years.
  377. French oil major Total SA will invest $510 million to acquire a 50% stake in Adani's solar assets. Total SA will own half of a joint venture that will house 2,148 MW of operating solar projects owned by Adani Green Energy Ltd.
    1. Also, Qatar Investment Authority will pick a 25.1% stake in Adani Electricity Mumbai Ltd (AEML) for nearly Rs 3,200 crores.
  378. Researchers from IIT Hyderabad claimed finding found a molecule called “AIM-4”that can help in the treatment of rare neurodegenerative disease called “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (ALS) known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease”. ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that severely affects voluntary movement of muscles.
  379. Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) administration renamed Public Health Engineering and Irrigation and Flood Control Department (PHE & IFC) as  ‘Jal Shakthi Department’. J&K UT's LT. Governor Girish Chandra Murmu sanctioned implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to achieve 100% coverage of piped water supply by December 2021.
  380. Uttar Pradesh government allotted 5 acres of land in Ayodhya district to the Sunni Central Waqf Board as directed by Supreme Court.
    1. Land is in Dhannipur village in tehsil Sohawal in Ayodhya on Lucknow highway, about 18 kilometres from district headquarters.
    2. PM Narendra Modi had earlier announced formation of a trust to construct a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, as directed by Supreme Court in its landmark verdict in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, in November 2019. Trust is called 'Shri Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra.".
  381. Visits to India (Feb 1 - 10, 2020) -
    1. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Director-General Audrey Azoulay arrived Visited India. During her visit, Rajasthan Capital Jaipur received World Heritage Certificate from UNESCO.
    2. Harry Theoharis, Minister for Tourism of Greece Visited India.
  382. Feb 10 is observed as UN World Pulses Day, being observed since 2019.
    1. Feb 10, 2020 also observed as 10th round of National Deworming Day in India. Children and adolescents (age group 1 to 19 years) are administered a single dose of a safe medicine Albendazole across nation.
  383. NASA launched Solar Orbiter spacecraft, in association with European Space Agency (ESA). It is expected to send back first photos of Sun's poles. It could help scientists pinpoint origins of space weather and track eruptions on sun in near-real time.
    1. Orbiter will join NASA spacecraft called Parker Solar Probe and an in-progress telescope on Earth that recently captured most detailed photos ever taken of sun's surface.
    2. Probe will use gravitational influence of the Earth and Venus to position itself at 26 million miles from sun. It is 95% of distance between sun and earth. Probe will help scientists to observe solar winds.
  384. General Conferences (Feb 1-10, 2020) -
    1. IIT Madras collaborated with AIIMS Mangalagiri on affordable future technological solutions in various areas including patient safety and quality healthcare.
    2. Madhya Pradesh (MP) government, for the first time, will use drones for mapping villages. It will replace land survey work, done either manually or with the help of satellite images.
    3. 18 day long Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat Campaign began from feb 10, organised by Information and Broadcasting Ministry. PM Narendra Modi had mooted idea of a cultural connect between different regions during Rashtriya Ekta Divas held in 2015. Every State / UT is paired with another state or union territory.
    4. President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurated new global headquarters -"Kanha Shanti Vanam-of Shri Rama Chandra Mission in Rangareddy district of Telangana.
    5. BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) nations deliberated MoU to implement the Motor Vehicle Agreement to regulate personal, passenger and cargo vehicular traffic.
      1. Regulation was signed on June 15, 2015. Agreement was delayed as Bhutan being a carbon negative country had not ratified it.
      2. Other three countries Nepal, Bangladesh and India will implement the agreement with Bhutan as an observer.
    6. Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) operationalized first ever helicopter services from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara helipad to Gauchar, and Chinyalisaur under Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
    7. Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has paired up 20 best performing smart cities with least performing cities, to work as “sister cities”. Best performing cities include Tiruppur, Nagpur, Bhopal, Ranchi, Kanpur, Surat, Indore, Vellore, Vishakhapatnam, Varanasi, Vellore, Nashik, Vadodara, Pune, Kota, Davangere, Dehradun, Udaipur, Amaravati and Agra.
    8. India and Norway signed 4 MoUs  in field of research and higher education.
      1. MoUs Include -
        1. IIT Delhi and UiT (University of Tromso).
        2. Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology and UiT (The University of Tromso)
        3. IIT Jammu and Norwegian University of Science & Technology.
          IIT Mandi and Norwegian University of Science & Technology.
    9. India’s biggest rural technical festival titled ‘Antahpragnya 2020’ held in Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies (Telangana). Theme was “Spot and encourage rural tech innovators”.
    10. Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) is setting up a common facility centre (CFC) in Kolkata to provide the artisans from Bengal an opportunity to produce jewellery keeping their process losses minimized.
    11. Ekushey Book fair (National Book fair of Bangladesh), held in Dhaka. It commemorates martyrs of language movement which helped in establishing Banglaas official language of then East Pakistan.
    12. Western Railways launched branding of electric locomotives, to help Railways earn additional revenue of 1.05 crores INR.
    13. Govt. asked to fast track work on Ujh Project in Jammu and Kashmir, which will enable full utilization of India’s rights under Indus Water Treaty. Project is to be constructed across River Ujh, a tributary of River Ravi.
  385. 23rd National Conference on e-Governance 2020 based on theme “India 2020: Digital Transformation”, held at Mumbai.
  386. 11th DefExpo 2020 Held in Lucknow, Organized by Defence Exhibition Organisation, showcasing export potential of Indian defence industry -
    1. Indian Army’s College of Military Engineering Pune, led by Major Anoopr Mishra, has developed gunshot locators named as “Parth”. It costs around Rs 3 lakhs which is less than imported ones, which cost approx 65 lakhs. It can locate exact location of a bullet from a distance of 400m & neutralize targets faster.
      1. Major Anoop Mishra has also developed a bulletproof jacket for protection against sniper bullets & a helmet which is claimed first in the world that can stop AK-47 (Automatic Kalashnikov- 47) bullets from a distance of 10 meters.
    2. 1st India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave held during DefExpo-2020, with adoption of Lucknow Declaration, signed by 50 African Nations. It recalls strengthening defence cooperation of India with African Nations.
    3.  5th round of India-Russia Military Industrial Conference (IRMIC) conducted during Defexpo-2020 -
      1. 14 MoUs were exchanged between Russian OEMs and Indian companies.
      2. Notably, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Russian Rosneft signed 1st term contract for importing 2 Million Metric Tonnes of Urals grade crude oil to India for 2020.
      3. DRDO's HEMRL (High Energy Materials Research Laboratory) signed an agreement with Rosobornexport of Russia, under which, DRDO will develop Advanced Pyrotechnic Ignition Systems for missile propulsion.
    4. Other Notable News -
      1. Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) and UK India Business Council (UKIBC) signed MOU to bring upon closer defence ties between India and UK.
      2. Notable attendees are Defence Ministers of South Korea (Jeong Kyeongdoo), UAE (Mohammed Al Bowardi) and UK (James Heappey).
      3. DRDO held Ceremony called Bandhan, signing transfer of technology agreements. It transferred 15 licenses to 17 industries.
      4. Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) of India received initial operational clearance. HAL will manufacture approx 200 helicopters indigenously, to meet requirements of Indian Army and Air Force
      5. Indian Navy will get 3rd Scorpene submarine named Karanj, in December 2020. All 6 sub-marine deliveries would be completed by 2022.
        1. Scorpene submarine will to be equipped with DRDO's AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) system from 2023. AIP allows non-nuclear submarines to operate without access to atmospheric oxygen. It replaces diesel-electric propulsion system of non-nuclear vessels.
        2. First scorpene submarine was named Kulvari (commissioned in 2018) and 2nd Khanderi was inducted in September 2019.
      6. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed an MOU with Israel-based defense electronics company Elbit Systems, to promote and market the Digital Head-Up Displays (HUD) units.
      7. HAL Partnered with Israel Aerospace Industries, to manufacture Advanced Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs). Advanced Heron TP, belonging to Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) class with an endurance of over 36 hours, will be manufactured.
  387. Supreme Court upheld constitutional validity of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act of 2018.
    1. SC stated that pre-arrest bail should be granted only in extraordinary situations where a denial of bail would mean miscarriage of justice.
    2. SC/ST Amendment Act 2018 excludes provision of anticipatory bail for a person who has been accused of atrocities against SC and STs. Under the act, investigating officer does not require approval of any authority to arrest the person accused of such crimes
    3. Earlier in March 2018, SC stated that there will be no automatic arrest on a complaint filed under SC/ST Amendment Act 2018. SC also introduced anticipatory bail provision under the Act.
      1. However, another SC bench in September 2019 restored automatic arrest in cases of atrocities against SC and STs as per the act. Govt had filed a review petition before Supreme Court asking it to review its March 2018 order.
  388. Tamil Nadu Govt declaed Cauvery Delta as Protected Special Agricultural Zone.
    1. In 2019, Central Government awarded oil and gas exploration projects in Cauvery basin. This invoked large protests amid water crisis in state. Extraction of hydro carbon requires excess amount of fresh water.
    2. With zone being Agricultural protected Zone, permission of State government is required to undertake projects.
    3. A land announced as Protected Agricultural Zone, cannot be used for any other non-agricultural activities.
  389. Ministry of coal launched web portal to provide star rating of coal mines. Mines scoring between 91% and 100% will get 5 star, below 91% and above 81% will receive 4 star and so on. Mines are to be rated based on 50 parameters.