Current Affairs Daily Digest – February 19 2020
1. Foundation Stone for Lighthouse at Dhanushkodi laid
Foundation stone for a 50-metre high foundation stone laid at Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram. This is the fifth lighthouse in the region. he light house is to be built at a cost of Rs 8 crore rupees. The lighthouse is to be located opposite to the old church that was destroyed in a cyclone in 1964. It will facilitate navigation to 33 to 37 km from the sea shore.
2. Task Force Meet: India and Norway to strengthen their BLUE ECONOMY PARTNERSHIP
India and Norway jointly inaugurated a Task Force of Blue Economy for Sustainable Development. The third meet of the task force was held on February 18, 2020. They also launched a new collaboration of Integrated Ocean Management and Research at the meet.
3. February 19: Soil Health Card Day
In order to commemorate the launch of Soil Health Card Scheme, the GoI is marking Soil Health Card Day on February 19, 2020. The Soil Health Card Scheme was launched by PM Modi on February 19, 2015.
The Scheme was launched in 2015 to evaluate soil fertility. It was introduced to issue soil health cards every two years. The aim of the scheme is to promote soil test in order to promote nutrient management.
4. Indian Bird Species have declined by 80% says State of India’s Birds Report at CMS COP 13
State of India’s Birds Report was released at the CMS COP 13. It assessed the status of more than 867 birds. The report says that more than 80% of Indian bird species have declined in the last 5 years. More than 15,000 bird watchers participated in the survey.
5. Kala Kumbh: Exhibition to promote GI crafts and Heritage of India held in New Delhi
Kala Kumbh – Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition was held in various parts of the country through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts). The aim of the exhibition is to promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India. The exhibition will be held from 14-23 February 2020 at Bengaluru and Mumbai. The event will be conducted in Kolkata and Chennai in March 2020.
6. Navi Mumbai to host final of FIFA U-17 Womens World Cup
Navi Mumbai will be hosting the final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on 21 November. The announcement was made by the organizing committee. The official slogan of FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 is “Kick off the Dream”. The tournament will be held from 2-21 November 2020. India also seeks to host the U-20 World Cup and the Club World Cup.
7. Pakistan successfully tested Ra’ad-II cruise missile
Pakistan successfully flight tested the air-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile Ra’ad-II. The test aimed to boost the military’s deterrence capability on land and at sea. The Ra’ad-II missile is an attempt to match India’s BrahMos cruise missile
8. Former FICCI president V L Dutt passed away
Former Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) President Dr. V L Dutt passed away on 18 February. Dutt headed FICCI in 1991-92. He was the chairman of the India Vietnam Joint Business Council of FICCI. He graduated from the Business Institute of Management, London. He served as the chairman of The K C P Group of companies. He was awarded an honorary degree of doctor of letters by the Nagarjuna University.
9. Pakistan to remain in Grey List
The International Co-operation Review Group (ICRG) of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that Pakistan will be retained on the “Grey List”. Pakistan failed to completely implement the 27-point action plan to check terror financing. The announcement was made during the five-day FATF Plenary session which is held in Paris.
10. Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world
The 22nd edition of the world language database Ethnologue reported that Hindi is the 3rd most spoken language of the world in 2019. English at the top of the list with 1,132 million speakers. Chinese Mandarin is in second position with 1,117 million speakers.
11. Australia appoints Barry O’Farrell as the next high commissioner to India
Australia appointed former New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell as the next high commissioner to India. O’Farrell will succeed Harinder Sidhu. The announcement was made by the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne. Mr. O’Farrell will also have non-resident accreditation to Bhutan.
12. PM unveiled statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in UP
Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the statue of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on 16 February. He inaugurated the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre in Padao on the Varanasi-Chandauli border. He also launched several projects worth Rs.1,200 crore that includes a 430-bed super specialty government hospital, and a 74-bed psychiatry hospital at Banaras Hindu University, UP.
13. Afghanistan: Ashraf Ghani secures 2nd term as President
In Afghanistan, independent Election Commission announced that Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as President of the country.
However, his closest opponent Abdullah Abdullah has refused to recognize the results and declared himself winner potentially endangering peace negotiations with the Taliban. Abdullah said, he is going to establish an inclusive government.
14. Bangladesh to sign Free Trade Agreement with Nepal
Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to sign a Free Trade Agreement to enhance trade between the two countries; Announcing this after meeting the visiting Foreign Minister of Nepal Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Monday, Commerce Minister of Bangladesh Tipu Munshi said that a committee will be formed to work out the modalities of the agreement.
15. IDSA renamed Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
The Union government has decided to rename well-known think tank Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) as ‘Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses’.
“The decision has been taken to honour the commitment and legacy of the late Manohar Parrikar. It will align the vision and aspiration of the premier defence institute with the contribution of the former Defence Minister and Padma Bhushan awardee,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
16. Govt to facilitate doubling of milk processing capacity by 2025
Union Government will facilitate doubling of milk processing capacity from over 53 million tonne to 108 million tonne by 2025.
In India, milk production is growing by 6.4 per cent during the last five years and has increased from over 146 million tonne in 2014-15 to over 187 million Tonne in 2018-19. The Ministry said, about 54 per cent of milk produced is marketable surplus and remaining 46 per cent is retained in villages for local consumption.
17. Sunil Kumar wins gold in 87-kg Greco Roman category in Asian Wrestling Championships
Wrestler Sunil Kumar opened India’s medal account in the Asian Wrestling Championships at New Delhi today by winning a Gold. The seasoned grappler beat Azat Salidinov from Kyrgyzstan in the final of the 87 kg category.
18. Women’s golf legend Mickey Wright dies aged 85
One of the most successful women’s golfers of all time, Mickey Wright, has died at the age of 85. The American won 13 majors and 82 LPGA Tour titles to sit second on the all-time women’s major list behind countrywoman Patty Berg (15), who died in 2006.