Current Affairs Feb 21, 2024

Current Affairs Feb 21, 2024


Current Affairs Feb 21, 2024

National News

The First Skill India Centre Inaugurated in Sambalpur, Odisha by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

  • Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan inaugurates the first Skill India Centre (SIC) in Sambalpur, Odisha, emphasizing the importance of skill training in new-age job roles.
  • The initiative aims to upgrade the skills of the youth, particularly in demand-driven industries, with a focus on empowering over 1200 students through the centre.
  • Secretary Atul Kumar Tiwari and NSDC CEO Ved Mani Tiwari were among the dignitaries present at the inauguration, highlighting the government’s commitment to skill development and entrepreneurship.

Who is Dharmandra Pradhan?

  • Name: Dharmendra Pradhan
  • Position: Cabinet Minister for Education and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India
  • Parliamentary Representation: Represents Madhya Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha; Former member of the 14th Lok Sabha
  • Date of Birth: June 26, 1969
  • Hometown: Talcher, Odisha

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Releases Souvenir Coins at SPMCIL’s 19th Foundation Day

  • Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Ministry of Finance, unveiled 3 souvenir coins during the 19th Foundation Day celebrations of SPMCIL.
  • The event took place in New Delhi, Delhi, utilizing a hybrid mode to accommodate both physical and virtual participation.
  • The released coins include a coloured souvenir coin featuring the Greater One Horned Rhinoceros, a bi-metallic clad souvenir coin on the Enlightenment of Buddha, and a coloured souvenir silver coin commemorating the Shree Ram Janmbhoomi Mandir in Ayodhya.

Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL)

  • Nature: SPMCIL is a wholly-owned Miniratna Category-1 Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
  • Functions: It is responsible for the production of currency notes, coins, postal stamps, and other security-related documents for the Government of India.
  • Printing: SPMCIL prints Indian currency notes of various denominations, employing advanced security features to prevent counterfeiting.
  • Minting: It mints coins of different denominations for circulation in India, utilizing modern techniques to ensure quality and security.

Appointment News

Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi Assumes Role of Vice Chief of Army Staff

  • Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi takes charge as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff, succeeding Lt. Gen. CP Mohanty.
  • Previously served as the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Northern Command, stationed at Udhampur from 2022 to 2024.
  • With Lt. Gen. Manoj Pande’s impending retirement in May, Lt. Gen. Dwivedi is positioned as the senior-most officer in line for the top post based on seniority.

Indian Army:

  1. Establishment: The Indian Army was established on April 1, 1895, during the British rule in India.
  2. Motto: The motto of the Indian Army is “Service Before Self” (Seva Parmo Dharma).
  3. Chief of Army Staff: The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) is the highest-ranking officer of the Indian Army. As of my last update, General Manoj Mukund Naravane is the current COAS.
  4. Ranks: The Indian Army follows a rank structure, including officers, junior commissioned officers (JCOs), and other ranks. Some of the key officer ranks include General, Lieutenant General, Major General, Colonel, and Captain.
  5. Branches: The Indian Army is divided into various branches, including Infantry, Artillery, Armoured Corps, Engineers, Signals, and more.


Varun Ghosh Makes History as First Australian Senator to Swear Oath on Bhagavad Gita

  • Varun Ghosh, originally from Western Australia, becomes the first-ever Australian Parliament member to take oath on the Bhagavad Gita.
  • Ghosh appointed as the latest Senator, representing Western Australia in the Federal Parliament’s Senate.
  • His oath-taking ceremony marks a significant moment in Australian parliamentary history, reflecting diversity and inclusivity.


India Contributes $1 Million to IBSA Fund via UNOSSC, Strengthening South-South Cooperation

  • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, presents a $1 million cheque to UNOSSC Director Dima Al-Khatib for the India, Brazil, and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation Fund (IBSA Fund).
  • The contribution underscores India’s commitment to South-South cooperation and efforts to address poverty and hunger globally.
  • The IBSA Fund aims to support sustainable development projects in developing countries, particularly in areas related to poverty alleviation and food security.

UNOSSC (The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation):

  • Establishment: UNOSSC was founded in 1974 by the UN General Assembly after the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.
  • Mandate: It serves as the key UN entity for promoting and facilitating South-South cooperation among developing nations.
  • Functions: UNOSSC offers policy advice, technical assistance, and capacity-building to countries involved in South-South cooperation. It also encourages partnerships, advocates for its significance, and fosters knowledge exchange.
  • Headquarters: Based in New York City, UNOSSC operates under the guidance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).


MoU Signed Between IEPFA and DBS Bank to Enhance Investor Awareness

  • Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) and DBS Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in New Delhi.
  • DBS Bank commits to supporting IEPFA’s investor awareness efforts through the dissemination of safety messages across its digital platforms and extensive branch network in 19 Indian states.
  • Smt. Anita Shah Akella, Joint Secretary of MCA and CEO of IEPFA highlights the proactive approach of the authority in engaging users and enhancing responsiveness through awareness initiatives.

Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA)

  • Establishment: IEPFA, formed on September 7, 2016, operates under the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, India, administering the Investor Education Protection Fund (IEPF) for refunding unclaimed dividends, shares, and matured deposits/debentures.
  • Objective: IEPF is committed to promoting investor awareness and safeguarding their interests by protecting them from financial fraud and malpractices.
  • Activities: IEPFA conducts diverse Investor Awareness Programs, fostering financial literacy among investors, enabling them to make informed decisions and guard against financial risks.
  • Impact: Through its efforts, IEPFA contributes significantly to building a financially literate and secure investor base, fostering transparency and trust within India’s financial markets.

Ashish Vijayakar Appointed MD and CEO of SBM Bank India

  • Ashish Vijayakar assumes the role of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of SBM Bank (India) Limited for a three-year term, starting from February 17, 2024.
  • He takes over from Sidharth Rath, who resigned from the position in November 2023.
  • Vijayakar’s appointment signals continuity and leadership stability in SBM Bank India’s management team.

SBM Bank (India) Limited Overview:

  • Formation: Established in 2018, SBM Bank (India) Limited is the first bank to receive a universal banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate as a Scheduled Commercial Bank under a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) mode in India.
  • Ownership: SBM Bank India is a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) of SBM Holdings, based in Mauritius (formerly known as State Bank of Mauritius).
  • Leadership: Led by Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ashish Vijayakar, with headquarters located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Services: Offers a comprehensive range of banking services in India, operating under the regulatory framework of the Reserve Bank of India.


Asian Track Cycling Championships 2024 to Commence in New Delhi

  • The Asian Track Cycling Championships 2024, serving as a qualifier for the Paris Olympics, will kick off at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
  • 22 elite Indian cyclists, including Ronaldo Singh, David Beckham, Esow Alben, and Rojit Singh, will compete for medals across various track cycling events.
  • The championships represent a significant opportunity for Indian cyclists to showcase their talent on a regional stage and secure berths for the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan Clinch Bengaluru Open 2024 Men’s Doubles Title

  • Indian tennis duo Saketh Myneni and Ramkumar Ramanathan triumph in the men’s doubles final at Bengaluru Open 2024.
  • They secured victory by defeating Constantin Bittoun Kouzmine and Maxime Janvier of France.
  • The win highlights the prowess of Indian players in the international tennis circuit.


Shashi Tharoor Conferred with France’s Highest Civilian Honour

  • Shashi Tharoor, diplomat, author, and politician, awarded the prestigious ‘Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur’ (Knight of the Legion of Honour), France’s highest civilian honour.
  • Recognition for Tharoor’s lifelong dedication to fostering global understanding and significant service to India and the world.

France’s Highest Civilian Honour: Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur

  • The Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, translated as Knight of the Legion of Honour, is France’s highest civilian honour.
  • Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, it is awarded for exceptional merit and contributions to France and humanity.


HAL and DRDO Launch Rs 60,000 Crore Upgrade Project for Su-30MKI Fleet

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) collaborates with DRDO for a comprehensive upgrade project for Su-30MKI fighter jets.
  • Project aims to enhance aircraft capabilities with advanced technologies and indigenous systems.
  • Over 50% indigenous content to be integrated, reflecting India’s commitment to self-sufficiency in defence production.

DRDO Overview:

  • Establishment: Founded in 1958 under the Indian Ministry of Defence.
  • Objective: Enhance India’s defence capabilities.
  • Scope: Engaged in aeronautics, armaments, electronics, combat vehicles, engineering systems, instrumentation, missiles, advanced computing, and simulation.
  • Achievements: Developed India’s first nuclear-capable ballistic missile, Agni series, BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, and indigenous radar systems.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) – India GK

  • Establishment: Founded in 1940 as Hindustan Aircraft Limited, later renamed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Ownership: Under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India.
  • Scope: Premier aerospace company involved in the design, manufacture, and overhaul of aircraft, helicopters, and related systems.
  • Product Range: Produces various aircraft, including fighter jets (e.g., Su-30MKI, Tejas), transport aircraft (e.g., Dornier, Avro), and helicopters (e.g., Dhruv, Chetak).


International Mother Language Day Celebrates Linguistic Diversity and Multilingualism

  • International Mother Language Day, observed globally on February 21st, aims to raise awareness about linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • The day promotes the preservation and protection of mother languages, highlighting their importance in fostering cultural identity and understanding.

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