Current Affair of February 2022
1. The Hoysala Temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnath Pura in Karnataka will be nominated for World Heritage List for the year 2022-2023 from India. Since 15 April, 2014, the 'Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala' are on UNESCO's Tentative list. The temples stand testimony to the rich cultural and historical heritage of India.
2. Public Works Department (PWD) has decided to dedicate around one-kilometre-long stretch in North Delhi, to honour the Olympic champions. To celebrate India's success at Olympics and Para Olympics 2021 PWD will dedicate the stretch to Olympic champions like Neeraj Chopra, Ravi Dahiya, PV Sindhu, and others.
3. Kerala Government has signed an MoU with the Social Alpha, through its "Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC)". Government of Kerala signed MoU through Kerala Development & Innovation Strategy Council (KDISC) and Energy Management Centre (EMC).
4. The Meghalaya Chief Minister Shri Conrad Sangma recently inaugurated the Shillong Technology Park. The main objective is to bring back the Meghalayans who left the state in search of job opportunities. Also, the park will create new job opportunities for the youths in the state.
5. On 2 February, 2022, congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be the first speaker in Lok Sabha to discuss on motion of thanks to the President's address at the start of Parliament's ongoing Budget Session.
6. Confusion over the capital of Andhra Pradesh is still there, despite eight years of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh state. On 2 February, 2022, a debate was held in Rajya Sabha, on the issue of capital of Andhra Pradesh. On a question by BJP MP G. V. L. Narasimha Rao, Union Home Minister Nityananda Rai made it clear that decision on capital belongs to state and opined that, capital is Amaravati.
7. The Economic Survey released by the Department of Economic Affairs recently said that India ranks third in the world in terms of forest gain area. India has added 2,66,000 hectares of forest area every year between 2010 and 2020.
8. On World Wetlands Day, that is, on 2 February, the Aravalli Biodiversity Park was announced as the first Other Effective Area – based Conservation Measures site, OECM site. The OECM tag is provided by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN. According to IUCN, the OECM sites are not protected but are rich in biodiversity.
9. The Tamil Nadu Anti – NEET bill was passed by the state assembly in September 2021. The bill seeks to discard the requirement of NEET for medical courses in the state. The central government had made the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test mandatory for all the students in the country. The bill was passed opposing this requirement.
10. The India Press Freedom Report, 2021 was recently released by the Rights and Risks Analysis Group. According to the report, 13 media houses and newspapers were targeted in the country, 108 journalists were attacked, and 6 journalists were killed.
11. On 3 February, 2022, forest department officials have rescued a leopard from Sishugram Red Cross society near IIT Guwahati. Leopard will be released in its safe habitat after observation. NKF(North Kamrup Forest) Division has also started the process of leopard counting census under its divisional jurisdiction.
12. The craft map of Manipur was prepared on the basis of a field survey by an expert team in 2018-19. It is the first of its kind, prepared with the objective of providing equal, concentrated attention to all art forms. The craft map of Manipur was prepared more than a year ago.
13. A team of researchers recently discovered a new gecko species in the Western Ghats of Kerala. The species has been named as Hemidactylus easai. The species was named after the former director of the Kerala Forest and Research Institute P. S. Easa.
14. Delimitation Commission proposed significant changes to the electoral map of Jammu and Kashmir, by carving out new constituencies. Delimitation Commission also redraw several of existing constituencies. The draft delimitation working paper has been rejected by National Conference (NC). It was second set of proposals, proposed by the Commission and was shared with five associate members viz., five J&K Lok Sabha MPs.
15. On 5 February, 2022, Government of Karnataka stated that, 'clothes that disturb equality, integrity and public law & order should not be worn". This directive from government validates decisions of state education institutions to prohibit Muslim girl students from wearing hijab.
16. A new study highlighted that, Ice on a glacier near the summit of Mount Everest has shrunk dramatically, in last three decades. Research was led by University of Maine and published by Nature. Summit of Mount Everest took millennia to form.
17. Since 6 February, 2022, Mumbai has witness high levels of pollution, with its air quality index (AQI) reading reached above 300 frequently. On 6 February, AQI in Mumbai reached to 316, followed by 318 on 7 February and 320 on 8 February. AQI ranging between 301 and 400 is categorised as 'red' or 'very poor'.
18. The Central Government recently released 9,871 crores of rupees as Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant. The grant was provided to 17 states. The grant was released by the finance ministry. The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit grant is provided to the state governments. The grant is provided under Article 275 of the constitution. The grants are released based on the recommendations made by the fifteenth finance commission.
19. Government of India has planned to bring disease-free, behaviourally sound Cheetahs from abroad in India, as a part of reintroduction plan. Government is also looking for Cheetahs, that are not overly imprinted to humans but tolerant, predators-wary, and are capable of hunting wild prey.
20. On 7 February, 2022, Central government released "Central Media Accreditation Guidelines-2022". As per guidelines, accreditation will be suspended or withdrawn, in case journalist acts in a manner prejudicial to India's security, sovereignty & integrity, public order, friendly relations with foreign States, or if journalist is charged with any serious cognisable offence.
21. The "Anti-conversion" bill is being brought in the state of Haryana to prevent unlawful religious conversions. Haryana is a BJP ruled state. The other BJP ruled states that brought in the bill were UP, HP, MP and Karnataka.
22. On 8 February, 2022, a special Assembly session of Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopted the anti-NEET Bill. This bill was returned by Governor R. N. Ravi in January. Governor's decision to return this bill was considered confrontational by State Government, because he did not agree with the bill and also because of remarks of state-appointed expert committee about NEET, which is backed by central government.
23. Mumbai Central Division of Western Railway achieved a milestone of loading "100th textile train" from Chalthan in Surat area to Sankrail in Kharagpur Division, SER. The Textile Express fetched a total revenue of Rs. 10.2 crores for the Railways.
24. India scored the highest place in Sales Force Global Digital Skills Index, 2022. The index was created comparing 19 countries. The index was calculated based on the readiness of the citizens in learning new digital skills and employee sentiments. Of all the countries, India had the highest readiness score. India scored 63 out of 100.
25. The scientists recently found white cheeked macaque in Arunachal Pradesh. The discovery adds a new species to the mammal list of India. The White Cheeked macaque was first discovered in southeastern Tibet. These macaques are different from the other macaques mainly because of their white cheeks. Also, they have a longer tail, long and thick hairs in the neck area.
26. The Chilika Development Authority recently held the annual survey at the Chilika lake recently. The survey was all about the flora and fauna in the lake. According to the survey, the lake has more than 33% of sea grass area of the country. Sea grass is under water plants. They live in or close to the sea.
27. According to latest research by scientists from Tezpur University in Tezpur, Assam and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, Kaziranga National Park in Assam is releasing more carbon than it is absorbing. Research was published in "Agricultural and Forest Meteorology" journal on 9 February, 2022.
28. The National Statistical Office recently released the first revised GDP estimates for the fiscal year 2021. According to the estimates, the GDP contracted by 6.6%. Earlier, the GDP had contracted by 7.3%. The contraction is mainly due to COVID pandemic and the lockdown imposed.
29. Department of Primary & Secondary Education in Karnataka developed an app titled "Nanna Shale Nanna Koduge". Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will launch the app on 14 February, 2022. Nanna Shale Nanna Koduge app, (Meaning 'My School, My contribution' app) will be launched to help in addressing infrastructure needs of government schools, optimal use of hearing aids, shortage of teachers, and utilisation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds.
30. As per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the first pandemic year, 2020, witnessed the highest number of suicides among unemployed in recent past. The suicides toll has crossed 3,000-mark for the first time. As per written reply of Minister of State (Home) Nityanand Rai, 3548 people died by suicide.
31. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting recently cancelled the broadcasting license of Media One Channel. The license was cancelled after the home ministry raised security issues against the channel and denied "security clearance". Media One is a Malayalam news channel.
32. While India's solar power capacity is increasing, the country does not have a proper policy on managing the waste that is being generated from solar panels and its manufacturing process. Currently, India considers solar waste as a part of its generated electronic waste and thus doesn't account for it independently.
33. Recently, researchers traced the tectonic evolution of "Greater Maldive Ridge (GMR)" which is a geodynamic feature in western Indian Ocean. The tectonic evolution can help in reconstruct the original Gondwanaland fracture. This feature led to present-day configuration of continents, continental fragments, as well as formation of ocean basins in the Indian Ocean.
34. On 14 February, 2022, Karnataka High Court struck down provisions of Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, that had banned online games. The division bench was headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Krishna S. Dixit.
35. National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) recently relaxed the eligibility criteria for accreditation of higher educational institutions. University Grants Commission (UGC) is likely to address a webinar on new guidelines soon.
36. A team of researchers recently discovered a new species of bent-toed gecko or lizard, from Umroi Military station in Ri-Bhoi district of Meghalaya. The new species of Gecko or lizard belongs to the family of Cyrtodactylus exercitus ('exercitus' means army, in Latin).
37. An advisory to implement the Child Restraint System which is specifically designed to restrain and protect a child or infant during all phases of flight has been sent to all the airline operators in India by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
38. On 16 February, 2022, Supreme Court rued the knee jerk actions in filling up vacant posts in tribunals, stating that, bureaucracy has been taking up this issue lightly. A bench headed by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana has been dealing with the issue of huge vacancies in various tribunals in India.
39. On 17 February, 2022, Government of Gujarat unveiled new Biotechnology Policy, that offers up to 25 percent financial support on capital investments in the biotechnology sector. Operative period of the new biotechnology policy will be five years, from 2022 till 2027.
40. On 18 February, 2022, government of Karnataka moved to Supreme Court and sought to set up of a bench to hear a plea related to dispute over allocation of water of Krishna River. The Krishna River flows in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
41. According to Transport Minister B. Sriramulu, a new Skill and Entrepreneurship Development University is being planned in Kalyana-Karnataka region. The Skill Development University is being planned for inclusive development of the region.
42. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has come out against the suggestion by National Medical Commission's (NMC), to replace Hippocratic Oath with Charak Shapath during the convocation with medical graduates. According to IMA, Charak Shapath was not made from the viewpoint of modern medicine.
43. The Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) of the Karnataka bench has ruled that 18 percent GST will be levied on the income that is earned from providing guest lectures. The petitioner contacted the AAR to obtain clarification as to whether income earned from guest lectures will attract any form of taxation.
44. The West Bengal Governor prorogued the assembly using his powers under Article 174 of the constitution. It is discontinuing the session of parliament or state legislative assembly. This does not involve dissolving the assembly.
45. The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Pune, has discovered a new frog species which are growing in the freshwater regions along all the states spanning the Western Ghats. Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), the National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Bhubaneswar, Mount Carmel College (MCC), Bengaluru, tied up on the discovery.
46. On 19 February, 2022, Asia's largest Bio-CNG plant will virtually be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Indore. Indore is considered as one of the cleanest cities in India. With the inauguration of Bio-CNG plant, it will set another high standard in cleanliness.
47. Due to limited supply from drought-stricken South America, Indian exporters have arranged to import a record 100,000 tonnes of soy oil from the United States, at a time when palm oil prices are reaching new highs.
48. The Government of Maharashtra had placed a restriction limiting the number of female and male performers in orchestra bars to four each, but the Supreme Court (SC) overturned it. The SC said the limit of performers should not exceed the number 8 but there should not be any restriction on gender composition. The bench that passed the order consists of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice K.M. Joseph.
49. On 21 February, President Ram Nath Kovind conducted a Fleet Review of Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam. President Kovind is in Visakhapatnam for a three-day visit to Eastern Naval Command. Visakhapatnam is hosting the Fleet Review for the second time.
50. On 23 February, 2022, Union Law Secretary Anoop Mendiratta asserted that sexual harassment at workplace is a violation of Fundamental Rights guaranteed in the Indian Constitution. He further asserted that, until and unless women come out in open against it, it will be difficult to bring in changes.
51. Tamil Nadu government has begun work to set up the first Dugong Conservation Reserve of India in the Palk Bay region. Dugongs are endangered species and are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act's, 1972 Schedule 1. Tamil Nadu's Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Department accepted the concept note of Shekhar Kumar Niraj, the Chief Wildlife Warden, and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, for the Dugong Conservation Reserve's creation.
52. On 24 February, 2022, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, announced that Delhi will get India's first e-waste eco-park. First electronic-waste eco-friendly park will be set up in Delhi, to handle the increasing e-waste. Dismantling, Re-cycling, Re-furbishing and re-manufacturing of the waste will be done in a safe and scientific manner.
53. NITI Aayog released its report titled 'Reimagining Healthcare in India through Blended Finance', recently. In its report, NITI Aayog highlighted that, India's healthcare spending is least among BRICS countries. As per report, health insurance contributes 20 per cent to non-life insurance business. This makes it the second largest portfolio.
54. In its new guidelines on data security, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has prohibited the sharing of secret or top-secret documents by its officials over Internet. They have also been asked not to use digital assistant devices like Amazon's Echo, Google Home in office, Apple's HomePod and turn off digital assistants, including Siri and Alexa, in their smartphones or watches.
55. On 25 February, 2022, 'Babasaheb: The Grand Musical', play is all set to be screened in Delhi. It is a play on the life of father of the Indian Constitution, B. R. Ambedkar. It will have two shows a day. First show will start at 4 PM while the second show at 7 PM every day.
56. The Economic Intelligence Unit recently released the Democracy Index Report, 2021. The report described the state of democracy in 165 countries. The report was prepared based on five parameters. They were functioning of the government, electoral process and pluralism, political participation, civil liberties and political culture.
57. According to the Hurun Report, the rich families in India have grown by 11 percent in the year 2021 with a net worth of Rs. 7 crore being reported from 4,58,000 dollar-millionaire households. The Hurun Report has been released after a month of Oxfam's 'Inequality Kills: India Supplement 2022' report, which found that since 2015, more and more of India's wealth has gone to the top 1% of the population.
58. A draft data policy has been published by the central government. This policy states that all data collected, maintained, and generated, by every government ministry and agency shall be open and shareable. The government could also monetize and earn from detailed datasets that have undergone value addition.
59. The city of Mumbai will be hosting the 2023 International Olympic Committee session. This event will see the election for the 2030 Winter Olympics host country and the sports programme for the Olympic Games scheduled in Los Angeles for the year 2028. This IOC session will be held either in the months of May or June the next year.
60. According to Union Minister of State of Prime Minister's office, Jitendra Singh, central government was planning to start 'Purple Revolution' in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. Purple revolution will be planned by encouraging lavender cultivation under CSIR-IIIM's Aroma Mission through the Ministry of Science and Technology.
61. The Union Budget for 2022-23 looks to implement the National Education Policy (NEP). To help this the decision to establish a National Digital University was announced that will look to solve India's seat scarcity problem in educational institutions.
62. With elections in Manipur being scheduled from 27 February to 3 March, the candidates are holding a unique flag hoisting ceremony in their constituencies before embarking on campaigning to the people of the state. This ritual is unique to Manipur, and is practiced by people of all races, political parties, religions, and communities.
63. To counter the nation's democracy ranking from being downgraded, the Ministry of External Affairs created presentations on democracy and sent them to the Lok Sabha Secretariat so that they can be distributed among the Heads of Mission in foreign countries.
64. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is organizing a crafts exhibition-cum-fair in Delhi with the aim of popularising traditional Indian crafts among the diplomatic community. This crafts fair is being held as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) celebrations. At Bikaner House, this fair will be held and it has been named 'Coalescence: Craft-Culture-Community-Climate.'
65. A vaccine manufacturer based in Hyderabad, Biological E has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the drug regulator of India for its Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 18. Biological E's Corbevax vaccine was earlier approved by the Drugs Controller General of India for limited usage in adults during emergency situations in 2019.
66. Vedanta Ltds. Cairn Oil & Gas has discovered oil in the Barmer district of Rajasthan. The company has notified the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) about this discovery. This oil was discovered by Cairn Oil & Gas in a block that was given to them under the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP).
67. The Jammu and Kashmir Police recently started Two women safety squad in Srinagar city. Each squad will comprise of 5 Lady Police officers or personnel each. Both the squads will be headed by Inspector Khalida Parveen.
68. The continuation of the National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme (NMMSS) has been approved by the Ministry of Education (MoE) till 2025-26 with minimum changes in the eligibility criteria like increasing the income ceiling from the present Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3.5 lakh per annum.
69. The Central Government, for the second time, has extended Jammu & Kashmir Delimitation Commission's term. This commission was given the task of redrawing the Union Territories' assembly constituencies. The term of this commission has been extended for two months and will end on 6 May.
70. Recently, Sanjeev Sanyal has been appointed to the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) as a full-time member. Sanyal had previously served as the Finance Minister's Principal Economic Adviser under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
71. The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare announced the Second Advance Estimates of Major Crop Production for 2021-22. Foodgrain production is expected to reach a new high of 316.06 million tonnes.
72. A green signal has been given by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for tendering a Rs. 1000 crore project to clean up Pune's rivers, Mula, Mutha, and Mula-Mutha. The sewage of the city is thrown into the Mula and Mutha rivers, thus making them extremely polluted.
73. Two reports, from the Institute for Competitiveness which is India's chapter of a global network, have been released by Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Health Minister, on India's Covid-19 vaccine development and administration journey.
74. Consumers will soon be able to tell whether their food packaging is harmful or healthy and nutritious. According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), packaged food goods will soon display a 'health star' as part of the new system.
75. Over 15 percent rise in crime has been recorded in Delhi in 2021 as compared to 2020. This increase in the rate has been attributed to less number of cases lodged during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rakesh Asthana is the police commissioner of Delhi. Delhi Police adapted 3 strategies to control crime in the city. They are proactive policing, tactical analysis, and comprehensive action.
1. During the second ADGMIN, India and ASEAN countries have approved the India – ASEAN Digital Work Plan. ADGMIN is ASEAN Digital Ministers meet. The meet was held virtually. Under the plan, the countries will share their knowledge in the emerging areas of digital technologies such as 5G, Internet of Things, cyber forensics and advanced Satellite communication.
2. On 1 February, 2022, SpaceX launched the Italian Earth-observation satellite, Cosmo-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 (CSG-2) after scrubbing the scheduled lift-off for fourth consecutive time. It was launched from a station in Florida, US. Latest call-off was because of presence of a ship in "no-go zone" at Cape Canaveral before the launch.
3. Italian President Sergio Mattarella was again elected for second term, during a joint session of Parliament and eighth round of voting. Mattarella was re-elected with a broad majority. He got 759 votes in favour out of 983 lawmakers and regional representatives.
4. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced to introduce a corporate tax from mid-2023, in a bid to diversify its income. The financial centre of Gulf, is long known as a tax haven. It is the regional headquarters for multinationals. But the financial centre will start taxing business profits over 375,000 AED at 9.0 percent from June 2023.
5. On 2 February, 2022, the Export Import Bank (EXIM) of India and Government of Sri Lanka signed a USD 500-million Line of Credit agreement. The loan agreement is aimed at helping Sri Lanka cope with its current fuel shortages, amid worst economic crisis in the island nation.
6. Sadbhawana means goodwill. The Operation Sadbhawana was launched by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir. The main aim of the project was to help people affected by terrorism in the region. The operations mainly targets to address the aspirations of the people.
7. On 3 February, 2022, Chief Minister of Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb laid the foundation stone for Kamalpur-Kurmaghat border haat between India and Bangladesh. The border haat will be constructed in Dhalai district. This project will further boost trade relations between both the countries.
8. Recently, India remained absent from United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote on Ukraine. This move of India is widely read as a play to balance its ties with Moscow and Washington. It was a procedural vote, on whether to discuss the situation in Eastern Europe.
9. On 4 February, 2022, Pakistan signed a new agreement with China to start second phase of USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). On the occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the controversial projects, stating that it has strategic significance for Pakistan and China. It will also deliver tangible benefits to the people.
10. As per a study, climate change is causing plants in United Kingdom (UK) to flower almost a month earlier on average. Due to warmer weather, autumn leaf has started to fall and flowers are appearing earlier on shrubs and trees. Though some are welcoming these untimely blooms, scientists are warning of climate risks.
11. The researchers from Austria, Netherlands and Switzerland have found that trillions of plastic particles fall along with snow in Switzerland. These particles travel 2000 kilometres through air. About 43 trillion plastic particle land in Alps of Switzerland. They fall along with the snow. They are carried by wind. It has been found that around 3,000 tonnes of Nano plastics get deposited in Swiss soil every year. The spread of the Nano plastics is still unexplored.
12. The Chinese and French oil giants have signed an agreement to build a huge oil pipeline in Uganda. The companies are to exploit the oil resources of the country. This has fumed the environmentalists. The National Offshore Oil Corporation of China and the Total Energies of France are to pump out the crude oil in Lake Albert of Uganda.
13. Recently, NASA announced that, the International Space Station (ISS) will cease operations in 2031. In 2031, the spacecraft will fall out of orbit and into the waters of South Pacific Ocean. NASA published the transition plan for the ISS. It explained how the operations of ISS will eventually be transitioned to commercial low-Earth orbit destinations.
14. The Ministry of External Affairs officially announced the diplomatic boycott of Beijing winter Olympics of India. Doordarshan will not telecast the opening and closing ceremonies of Beijing Winter Olympics. India will not send its envoy to the opening and closing ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympics. However, India will send an athlete to attend the ceremonies.
15. Chinese New Year is also called as Lunar New Year. It is the festival celebrating the beginning of New Year on traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendar. In Chinese and other East Asian cultures, this festival is commonly called as Spring Festival. The festival marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring season. Its observances traditionally take place from New Year’s Eve. First day of Chinese New Year starts on new moon, appearing between 21 January and 20 February. Chinese New Year 2022 is ‘The Year of Tiger.’ Tigers are extremely competitive animals. They are known for their courage and ambitions. The Tiger year is all about making big changes, in world within us and world around us. Tiger years bring in an overall increase in enthusiasm.
16. NROL-87 was launched by SpaceX. Under the mission, the company recently launched a spy satellite for the US military. The satellite was carried by Falcon rocket. This is the second of the three planned launches under the mission. Much information of the NRO fleet is never leaked out. This is because these satellites are used for military purposes.
17. On the fourth day of Russian invasion to Ukraine, Russia destroyed the largest plane in the world called "Ukraine's Antonov-225 cargo plane". The plane was destroyed outside Kyiv. According to weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom, restoring "AN-225 Mriya" would cost over USD 3 billion and could take over five years.
18. On 5 February, 2022, protests again started in Canada's capital. Protestors joined a convoy of truckers who have occupied Ottawa to denounce Covid vaccine mandates for two weeks. Individuals and families huddled across the campfires in bone-chilling weather.
19. The Russian President Vladimr Putin and the Chinese president Xi Jing Pin held a face to face meeting. This is the first time the leaders are meeting in two years. The leaders released a joint statement after the meet. Russia and China have agreed to oppose the enlargement of NATO. They are to abandon the cold war approaches.
20. Anonymous is an international decentralized activist and hacktivist group and movement known for its cyber-attacks against government agencies and institutions, governments, corporations, and the Church of Scientology. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Anonymous declared cyber war against Russia and targeted government websites and took them down. Anonymous also released 200GB of emails from Tetraedr, a Belarusian weapons firm that offered logistical support to Russia during its invasion of Ukraine. Furthermore, Anonymous hacked into Russian television channels, broadcasting uncensored news from Ukraine and playing Ukrainian music through them.
21. The 35th African Union summit was held at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Security and pandemic were given top priority at the summit. The countries discussed about the unavailability of COVID vaccines to many African countries. Lately African Union has been facing institutional failures because of insurgencies and coup. This fact was widely agreed by many of the members.
22. The Endurance22 Expedition was recently departed on schedule from Cape Town. It is headed for Weddell Sea in Antarctica. Endurance22 Expedition was departed by Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust. It aims to locate, survey and film the lost ship of renowned polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, wreck of Endurance.
23. On 6 February, 2022, Cyclone Barsirai made landfall on coast of Madagascar, killing at least six people. It was an intense tropical cyclone. Cyclone had the packing winds of 235 km/h. It struck the Mananjary district, which is around 530 kilometres southeast of the capital Antananarivo.
24. The US government recently approved a sale of 100 million USD worth equipment to maintain and improve the Taiwan Patriot Missile Defence System. This will upgrade the system. This decision was made during Trump administration in 2019. US does not have official relations with Taiwan. However, US is one of the biggest backeras.
25. The scientists have recently discovered a coral reef along the coast of Tahiti. The reef is two miles long and is unaffected by anthropogenic activities and climate change. The coral reef was discovered during a dive expedition. The expedition was supported by UNESCO. The corals discovered were six feet in diameter. The scientists have witnessed coral spawning in the island.
26. ASEAN and India held high level conference on Renewable Energy on 7 February, 2022. On the occasion, Indian Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh highlighted that, India and ASEAN can together develop an entire ecosystem for renewable energy (RE). They will also explore the joint initiative to build re-manufacturing hubs in the region.
27. India has agreed to provide a grant to Sri Lanka for implementing a 'Unitary Digital Identity framework'. The Unitary Digital Identity Framework is apparently modelled on the Aadhaar card. Sri Lankan government will give priority to the implementation of this Framework as a national level programme.
28. On 8 January, 2022, the European Union announced a USD 48 billion plan, in a bid to become a major semiconductor producer. The Chip production plan seeks to curb its dependency on Asian markets for component powering everything from game consoles to cars hospital ventilators.
29. On 8 February, 2022, municipalities of Indore and Dhaka North held a virtual dialogue, for sharing best practises in solid waste management. Webinar was facilitated by High Commission of India and Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
30. On 9 February, 2022, Ministry of Transport and Road Safety of Israel announced its first certification for unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs), for operating in civilian airspace. This certification was issued by Israeli Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for Hermes Starliner unmanned system.
31. On 9 February, 2022, Iran unveiled a new missile called "Khaibar Buster Missile", which is capable of hitting nearby US bases and Israel. Khaibar-buster is a reference to Jewish castle, which is overrun by Muslim warriors led by Prophet Mohammed.
32. On 10 February, 2022, Australia designated the koala as an endangered species amid pressure on the marsupials' eucalyptus tree habitats in eastern states of Australia. The species was classed as vulnerable 10 years also in Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.
33. Russia and Belarus started joint military exercises near Belarusian border with Ukraine on 10 February, 2022. Military exercises started as a part of 10 days of drills. These exercises are seen as a significant element in Kremlin's menacing posture towards its neighbour.
34. On 10 February, 2022, the US Congress passed a legislation ending forced arbitration in sexual assault and harassment disputes at workplaces. The Bill seeks to allow survivors to sue their abusers in public court, even if they have signed employment agreements which require them to settle disputes through an arbitrator, internally.
35. On 11 February, 2022, last day of One Ocean Summit, declaration on "High Ambition Coalition (HAC) on biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)" was introduced. The One Ocean Summit was organised under the leadership of French President.
36. On 11 February, 2022, one of the three persons diagnosed with Lassa fever in United Kingdom, died. Cases of Lassa fever have been linked to travel to west African countries. Lassa virus has been named after a town in Nigeria where first cases were discovered.
37. Foreign Ministers of Australia, India and Japan recently noted that, QUAD is cooperating on sharing intelligence information on threats in the Indo-Pacific region. Ministers called for justice for the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai (2008) as well as Pathankot airbase attack in 2016, for the first time since this group was formed.
38. On 13 February, 2022, a special parliamentary assembly re-elected German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for a second term of five years. Steinmeier was endorsed for head of the state, ahead of the elections, by most mainstream political parties.
39. The parliament of Nepal has approved a contentious USD 500 million US grant, despite opposition and street protests from the Communist parties. In 2017, the US government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) pact was signed by Nepal for infrastructure projects but its ratification had been on hold as there were divisions within political parties, including the coalition that was ruling.
40. On 13 February, 2022, India delivered medical supplies to Kiribati after Pacific Island nation asked for help, for dealing with the first outbreak of COVID-19. According to Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), consignment contained emergency Covid-19 medication, pulse oximeters and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits.
41. Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) of India and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan held annual meeting to review the progress under Japanese Industrial Townships (JITs) in India. DPIIT and the States presented developed infrastructure and land readily available for Japanese investors in these townships.
42. On 14 February, 2022, India banned 54 Chinese apps, that pose threat to the India's security. These 54 apps were banned because they allegedly obtain critical permissions and collects sensitive data of users. Collected real-time data are being misused and are being transmitted to servers located in hostile country.
43. On 14 February, 2022, An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) taskforce started mission in Japan for reviewing controversial planned release of treated water from Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean. Since the Fukushima nuclear plant went into meltdown after a tsunami in 2011, about a million tonnes of processed water has accumulated in tanks at crippled plant. Storage space at the plant is running out.
44. Valentyna Konstantinovska aged 79, is set to take up arms and fight Russian soldiers 'mano a mano' for protecting her city if President Vladimir Putin orders an invasion of Ukraine. Konstantinovska and an army of 'babushkas' (Older Women) have been volunteering since conflict broke out there in 2014.
45. On 14 February, 2022, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked rarely-used emergency powers, in order to bring an end to trucker-led protests against Covid health rules. Emergency powers were invoked after police arrested 11 people with a "cache of firearms", who were blocking a border with the United States.
46. Philippines Senate has postponed the ratification of RCEP after Farmers and other civil society groups in the country took cue from India's decision to stay out of RCEP. Philippines also expressed strong reservations against mega trade deal signed by Duterte government.
47. On 14 February, 2022, attorney general office of Texas sued Meta's (FB.O) Facebook, after alleging that it has violated state privacy protections with facial-recognition technology. Facebook was alleged that, its facial-recognition technology collected biometric data of millions of Texans without their consent.
48. Recently, India advised its citizen, including students, to leave Ukraine temporarily, amid increasing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. India has also advised to avoid non-essential travel to and within the country.
49. Recently, India announced to extend its "SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) network" to neighbour countries, to fight against Covid-19. INSACOG is a network of laboratories for genomic sequencing and surveillance. India will also work for the implementation of "TRIPS waiver", that it co-sponsored with South Africa for diversifying its local manufacturing in regional markets.
50. US woman have become the third person worldwide and first woman, to be cured of HIV. The woman is a leukaemia patient. She received a stem cell transplant from person with natural resistance to Aids-causing virus. She has now been free of the virus for 14 months.
51. On 17 February, 2022, The US Senate voted overwhelmingly to show its support for an independent Ukraine. Senate also condemn Russian military aggression toward its neighbour, amid emergence of fresh fears of a possible invasion which in turn could spiral toward a European war.
52. Death toll from mudslides and floods in colonial-era city of Petropolis in Brazil increased to 117 on 17 February, 2022 and was expected to increase further because of heavy rains in the country in almost a century. City recorded 6 cm of rain, resulting into more soil instability and disrupted efforts to clean up the debris and find survivors.
53. Since 1963, the Munich Security Conference has been held in Munich, Germany, as an annual conference on international security policy. Munchner Konferenz fur Sicherheitspolitik and Wehrkundetagung were the previous names for the conference. It is the largest meeting of its kind in the world.
54. Central Bank Governors and G20 Finance Ministers are looking for a sustainable long-term international financial solution with the help of strengthening the global resilience in the event of future pandemics and closing gaps in health systems between countries.
55. Recently, researchers traced the tectonic evolution of "Greater Maldive Ridge (GMR)" which is a geodynamic feature in western Indian Ocean. The tectonic evolution can help in reconstruct the original Gondwanaland fracture. This feature led to present-day configuration of continents, continental fragments, as well as formation of ocean basins in the Indian Ocean.
56. Bill Gates, noted philanthropist and creator of Microsoft have been awarded the Hilal-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's second-highest civilian honor, for his efforts to help eradicate polio in the country. A lunch was held at the Pakistani premier's residence in honor of Bill Gates, who was briefed on Pakistan's polio eradication efforts and Covid response.
57. According to UNCTAD's Global Trade Update published on 17th February, global trade in goods continued strong in 2021, and trade in services finally returned to the levels of pre-COVID-19. Global trade touched $28.5 trillion which is a record level in 2021, according to the research. This shows a 25% increase over 2020 and a 13% increase over 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic started.
58. The Sixth European Union-African Union Summit was held on 17 and 18 February 2022. This summit took place in Brussels, Belgium. The event was scheduled for October 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed. The summit was co-chaired by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and Macky Sall, President of Senegal, who was also the Chairperson of the African Union at the time.
59. After a case of wild polio was discovered in a three-year-old child, Malawi announced a wild polio outbreak, the first of its kind in Africa in more than five years. In the year 2020, the continent was declared free of all kinds of wild polio.
60. On 18 February, 2022, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are set to firm up a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), during a virtual summit. Virtual Summit will be held between Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
61. U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel announced to scrap the "Golden Visa" programme for millionaire investors, in a bid to cut down on fraud. UK Golden Visas programme will be removed with immediate effect. The removal of Tier 1 investor visa "is just the start of UK's renewed crackdown on fraud and illicit finance".
62. Recently, flights of British military planes to the Falkland Islands stopped at Brazilian airports. This incident has sparked tensions across the islands. Argentina is concerned with the military flights that may be flying under argument of being humanitarian flights.
63. The Frontiers Report is released by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The latest report is named "Noise, Blazes and Mismatches: Emerging Issues of Environmental Concern." This report which has been released before the UN Environment Assembly focuses on rising public health problems that are disrupting natural life cycles and causing environmental impacts around the world.
64. The United States and the European Union (EU) have decided to cut off a number of Russian banks from SWIFT, the main international payment system. Russia's central bank assets will also be frozen, which will limit Moscow's ability to access its foreign reserves.
65. Japan has launched its first hydrogen-powered train. This unveiling is seen as a step towards the country's objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The hydrogen-fuelled train will be tested in the country in March. "Hybari" the two-car train costs over USD 35 million or 4 billion yen and can go up to 140 kilometers or 87 miles at a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour on a single hydrogen refuelling.
66. India and France recently agreed on a Roadmap on Blue Economy and Ocean Governance. Both the countries agreed on this roadmap with the aim of contributing scientific knowledge and ocean conservation. They seek to ensure that the ocean remains a global common, on the basis of rule of law.
67. Storm Eunice sparked the first-ever red weather warning in London on 19 February, 2022. It was one of the most powerful storms in Europe since 1984, when the Great Storm hit Britain and northern France. Around 13 people have been killed by high winds, falling trees and flying debris in Europe.
68. Pakistani authorities announced a new law that will help them in combating false news on social media, a move that free-media groups and the opposition have criticized as being dangerous for being against the freedom of speech. This law minister of Pakistan announced this new law to be necessary as it will help in stopping the spread of fake news and will help in clamping down on such harmful contents.
69. A new naval air defence system named 'C-Dome' has been successfully tested by Israel. This missile system will be used on the Sa'ar 6-class corvettes of the Israel Navy. The C-Dome is a naval variant of the Iron Dome of Israel. The Iron Dome is a missile system of Israel that is used to destroy and intercept missiles and rockets of short-range from the Gaza Strip.
70. President Joe Biden of the United States has announced new sanctions against Russia, saying that Moscow's recognition of two separatist areas in eastern Ukraine as independent as the start of a Russian invasion of its neighbour. The US has criticized Russia's decision to recognize Donetsk's and Luhansk's independence and the authorizing of the deployment of Russian troops under the guise of maintaining peace in the region.
71. Bharti Airtel Ltd has joined "SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium", for scaling up its high-speed global network capacity and serving India's fast growing digital economy. Airtel is participating as a major investor in SEA-ME-WE-6. It is anchoring 20% of the overall investment in cable system.
72. On 22 February, 2022, India sent first tranche of 2,500 metric tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan, loaded in 50 trucks. First convoy would hand over the consignment to World Food Programme (WFP) at Jalalabad in Afghanistan. Wheat assistance will be delivered in multiple consignments.
73. On 23 February, 2022, the European Commission published its draft Data Act, after much anticipation. European Commission sets a raft of new rules for data sharing. It forms part of European Union's strategy, in order to make the bloc a leader in data-agile economy.
74. On 23 February, 2022, Australia became the latest country to announce sanctions against Russia. Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled new measures countering "aggression by Russia against Ukraine." At the first place, Australia will enact travel bans as well as targeted financial sanctions on eight members of Security Council of the Russian Federation.
75. The first bank to set up shop in the metaverse is JP Morgan. A lounge in Decentraland, a blockchain-based community has been set up by the largest bank in the United States. Users can create virtual avatars and rooms, and travel in the 'Onyx Lounge,' of the Ethereum-based services it offers.
76. Indian Air Force (IAF) and Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) are taking part in a bilateral exercise named "Eastern Bridge- VI", in a bid to bolster operational efficiency through interoperability. The Eastern Bridge- VI Air Exercise is started from 21 February, 2022 and would conclude on 25 February.
77. The Nord Stream 2 is a 1,200-km pipeline that extends, through the Baltic Sea, from Ust-Luga in Russia to Greifswald in Germany. This pipeline will be carrying 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually. In the year 2015, the decision to build this pipeline was taken.
78. India and Australia have set up an aggressive 30-day timeline for finalising early harvest agreement (EHA), before finalising a full-fledged free trade agreement between both. Education will be the centre stage of negotiation. Countries would look at mutual recognition of educational qualifications between both the countries.
79. India's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, that has been indigenously designed, developed and manufactured, is set to take part in the famed 'Cobra Warrior' exercises. Cobra Warrior is a multi-nation air exercise, that will be held at Royal Air Force (station) Waddington in United Kingdom.
80. At a remote Neolithic site in Jordan's eastern desert, a team of Jordanian and French archaeologists discovered a 9,000-year-old shrine. The ritual complex was discovered beside large structures which are known as desert kites or mass traps. These traps were thought to have been used to gather wild gazelles for killing in a Neolithic campground.
81. The Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) is a type of implant that bypasses the optic nerves and the retina to link directly to the brain's visual cortex. At Rush University Medical Center, this was successfully placed surgically in the study's first participant.
82. According to an annual report which has been published by the prominent US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center, India's total IP score has risen from 38.4 percent to 38.6 percent, and the country is now ranked 43 out of 55 countries on the International Intellectual Property Index.
83. On 24 February, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over a crucial meeting of Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to discuss the crisis led by Russia's military operations in Ukraine. Modi also spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on this issue.
84. On 24 February, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine, which was termed as "full-scale invasion" by Ukrainian foreign minister. US President Joe Biden called this move of Russia "an unprovoked and unjustified attack".
85. The first country in the world that has authorized the use of a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine is Canada. The two-dose vaccine of Medicago can be given to adults who are aged between 18 to 64, but little data is available on the shots received by people aged 65 and above.
86. India abstained from a United Nations Security Council resolution sponsored by the United States that strongly condemned Russia's aggression against Ukraine. India stated that discussion is the only way to resolve differences and issues, and expressed regret that diplomacy was abandoned.
87. Cyclone Emnati wreaked havoc on Madagascar. It made landfall just north of the south-eastern district of Manakara. The storm, which passed just north of the Indian Ocean islands of Reunion and Mauritius, had slightly weakened by the time it approached Madagascar's eastern coast, but it still had winds of roughly 100 km/h with gusts of 140 km/h.
88. On 24 February, 2022, India and Nepal agreed to set up a joint task force on "proposal to construct a hydropower project" from investments of both the countries. The task force will have maximum three members from both the countries. Agreement was signed at the 9th meeting of Nepal-India Energy Secretary-Level Joint Steering Committee in Kathmandu.
89. On 24 February, Russian troops launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine and targeted its bases and cities with airstrikes and shelling. The Russian army captured airfield near capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. It also took control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. It has attacked Ukraine, from three sides (Land, Sea, Air). So far, 137 people had been killed, including civilians. Ukraine also claimed that 7 Russian planes have been shot down while 50 Russian soldiers have been killed.
90. On 27 February, 2022, the ministry of external affairs set up 24×7 control centres in order to assist the evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraine. India also launched a multi-prong evacuation plan titled 'Operation Ganga' Indian nationals will be evacuated through border crossing points with Poland, Hungary, Romania, and Slovak Republic. Ministry has activated a dedicated Twitter handle, 'OpGanga'.
91. On 27 February, 2022, North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile. It was the first test since nuclear-armed country conducted a record number of launches in January 2022. During the firing, missile flew to an altitude of about 390 miles and a range of 190 miles.
92. On 27 February, 2022, China launched a Long March-8 rocket to place 22 satellites in space. With the launch, China set a domestic record for the most spacecraft launched by a single rocket. The rocket blasted off at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern Hainan Province. It sent the satellites into pre-set orbits.
1. On 1 February, 2022, defence minister Rajnath Singh announced government's decision to convert experimental scheme of inducting women as fighter pilots into a permanent one. Experimental scheme to allow women to fly fighter planes in Indian Air Force (IAF) was started six years ago in 2015.
2. The marine version of the Rafale fighter jet was recently tested on INS Vikrant. The test conducted from the aircraft carrier was successful. The test was conducted to check on the take-off of Rafale jet from aircraft carrier. It was successful. The INS Vikrant aircraft carrier uses a catapult launch. And the jets performed good in the launch.
3. On 3 February, 2022, Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) and Indian Army signed a contract worth Rs. 3,131.82 crore to manufacture and supply Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles. This contract will be executed in three years. Order book position of BDL stands at Rs. 11,400 crore, including Konkurs-M contract.
4. The Railway Protection Force, RPF has launched Operation AAHT to curb human trafficking. It will mainly focus on trains that are originating from border countries. The operation is held under Ministry of Railways. (RPF acts under railways ministry).
5. On 6 February, 2022, seven Indian army personnel were killed in an Avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh. These army personnel were a part of the patrol team. The Indian Army has launched "Search and Rescue" operations.
6. On 9 February, 2022, Union government put ban on the import of drones other than for security, research and defence purposes. Government banned drone import with the aim of promoting 'Made in India' drones. However, there will be no ban on import of drone parts.
7. Russia and Belarus started joint military exercises near Belarusian border with Ukraine on 10 February, 2022. Military exercises started as a part of 10 days of drills. These exercises are seen as a significant element in Kremlin's menacing posture towards its neighbour.
8. The DefExpo 2022 is scheduled to be held from 10 March to 13 March, 2022. DefExpo exhibition is India's biennial marquee event for defence manufacturing industry. It has received confirmation from more than 900 exhibitors. Final number is expected to cross more than 1000. The event will be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, for the first time.
9. Following the 26/11 terrorist attack, India has been consistently trying to augment the nation's maritime security. In regard to this, the government has appointed Vice Admiral (retd) G. Ashok Kumar as the nation's first national maritime security coordinator with the view of strengthening the country's maritime security.
10. On 21 February, President Ram Nath Kovind conducted a Fleet Review of Indian Navy in Visakhapatnam. President Kovind is in Visakhapatnam for a three-day visit to Eastern Naval Command. Visakhapatnam is hosting the Fleet Review for the second time.
11. 'Milan' is the name of the multilateral naval exercise which is hosted by the Indian Navy. This is a biennial exercise and features seminars, sports, social events, and professional exercises among the participating nations. Along with the Indian Navy, the navies of Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka had participated in the inaugural edition of this exercise.
12. In his Mann ki Baat broadcast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged security agencies to include Indian breeds, instead of foreign ones in their dog squads, in the direction of Atmanirbhar Bharat. In this direction, most security agencies have taken steps to train and enlist Indian breeds of repute such as Mudhol hounds, Rajapalayam and Rampur Hounds.
13. On 26 February, 2022, the North-West Frontier Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) organised an ice wall climbing competition in Ladakh, for the first time. More than 100 climbers took part in the competition. It was attended by the lieutenant governor of Ladakh, Radha Krishna Mathur.
Business, Economy & Banking
1. The University Grants Commission, UGC recently released the draft Framework for Higher Education qualification. It is a part of the National Education Policy 2020. All the higher education institutes in the country are to be brought under this new framework.
2. On 1 February, 2022, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman presented the Union budget 2022-23. The budget focuses on macro economic growth, energy transition, promoting digital economy, climate action, tech enabled development, crowding in private investment. Here are the highlights of the budget.
3. The Global Center of Excellence in Affordable and Clean energy was recently launched at IIT Dharwad. The center will enhance the research in affordable and clean energy. The center will create, incubate technologies, physical infrastructure. Also, it will create clean energy solutions. The solutions will target on livelihoods of rural communities.
4. During the Union Budget 2022-23 presentation, the finance minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman announced that RAMP programme is to be rolled out at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,000 crores. The programme is to be implemented for 5 years. RAMP is a post COVID resilience and recovery programme. It aims to improve the condition of MSMEs in India. The MSMEs were badly affected due to COVID pandemic and lock down. It provides better access to finance to the MSMEs.
5. According to Economic Survey, central government has set up a "National Land Monetisation Corporation" in a bid to FastTrack the monetisation of land and non-core assets of public sector entities. As of now, CPSEs have referred 3,400 acres of land and other non-core assets for monetisation.
6. On 1 February, 2022, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a "Battery swapping policy for EVs", during Budget speech of 2022. The Battery Swapping Policy for EVs was announced in a bid to scale, promote and use electric vehicles in India.
7. The government recently approved the sale of loss-making Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) to Tata Steel Long Products Ltd. NINL will be sold to Tata Steel for Rs. 12,100 crore. This is first case of privatisation of a public sector steel manufacturing enterprise in country.
8. On 1 February, 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced to set up "DESH-Stack e-portal", during Budget 2022 speech. Announcement to set up a DESH-Stack online skilling platform and overall focus of Budget on skilling is drawing appreciation from industry, because stakeholders have been highlighting widening skill gap across job market.
9. During the Union Budget presentation, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman announced the issuance of "Green bonds". These bonds are to be issued to mobilise green infrastructure resources. Green bonds are debt instruments. The money collected by selling these bonds are invested in projects that have positive impact on the environment.
10. The Government of India is to launch e – passports from 2022-23. This is to increase the convenience of the citizens. This was announced by the Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman during budget presentation. The e – passports have a small silicon chip. It is embedded within the jacket of the passport. The chip has a memory of 64 KB.
11. During the budget presentation, the finance minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman announced that the safety of the Indian trains is to be increased through the KAVACH technology. The railways were allocated Rs. 1,37,000 crores. Along with Kavach technology, government is to launch 400 Vande Bharat trains. These trains are to run 2000 km. Government will also launch "One Station One product" scheme to help the local businesses.
12. During the budget presentation, the finance minister Smt Nirmala Sitaraman introduced the One Nation One Registration scheme. This will increase the easing of doing business and also will improve the ease of living. The scheme will bring upon uniform registration process throughout the country.
13. In her Budget Speech 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shed light on tax liabilities for virtual assets like cryptocurrencies. Income from any digital asset will now be taxed at 30 percent. There will be no deduction with exception of acquisition cost and TDS applicable beyond specified monetary threshold.
14. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that, government is set to work on improving connectivity across northern border under the Vibrant Villages Programme. Minister did not provide details on this programme. However, as per reports the Vibrant Villages programme will be launched to improve infrastructure in villages along India's border with China.
15. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has started India's first-of-it's-kind project to mix hydrogen into natural gas system at Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Hydrogen blended natural gas will be supplied to Avantika Gas Limited, which is a Joint Venture (JV) company of GAIL with HPCL. It is operating in Indore.
16. The Reserve Bank of India has amended the Payments and Settlement Systems Regulations. This system allows the companies who are seeking to run payment businesses to apply for licenses from the regulator. The application for licensing should include the technology platform which is to be used, the operator's process flow, interoperability with operators of the other payment systems, and security features.
17. Kerala Government has signed an MoU with the Social Alpha, through its "Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC)". Government of Kerala signed MoU through Kerala Development & Innovation Strategy Council (KDISC) and Energy Management Centre (EMC).
18. The Meghalaya Chief Minister Shri Conrad Sangma recently inaugurated the Shillong Technology Park. The main objective is to bring back the Meghalayans who left the state in search of job opportunities. Also, the park will create new job opportunities for the youths in the state.
19. On 5 February, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Hyderabad to kickstart the 50th anniversary celebrations of "International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)". He will dedicate a 216-feet tall "statue of equality" to the nation, on this occasion.
20. The 'ITS' is Intelligent Transportation System. It is a Korean technology. The technology is to be used to monitor Mumbai – Nagpur Expressway. It is the longest expressway in India. The technology will help to prevent accidents. The first phase of the expressway is to be opened by the end of February 2022.
21. The Drugs controller General of India recently granted Emergency Use Permission to Sputnik light COVID-19 vaccine. The expert panel of the central drug authority had recommended this. With this sputnik light becomes the ninth COVID – 19 vaccine in the country.
22. The Central Government recently released 9,871 crores of rupees as Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant. The grant was provided to 17 states. The grant was released by the finance ministry. The Post Devolution Revenue Deficit grant is provided to the state governments. The grant is provided under Article 275 of the constitution.
23. The Ministry of Commerce recently announced that the Indian Footwear and Leather Development Programme (IFLDP) is to continue from 2021-22 till 2026. The programme is to be implemented at a cost of Rs. 1,700 crores. IFLDP will develop infrastructure for leather sector. It will facilitate additional investment. It will increase the production of leather goods. The programme will provide employment opportunities.
24. Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 4.0 virtually on 7 February, 2022. India is running the largest inoculation drive globally in which more than 3 crore pregnant women and 2.6 crore children are covered through Universal Immunisation Programme annually.
25. Fintech Open Month started on 7 February, 2022. It is a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings together the Fintech professionals & enthusiasts, regulators, industry leaders, start-up community, and developers on a common platform. On this common platform, professions, leaders and start-up communities collaborate, exchange ideas, and innovate.
26. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is to develop five light houses in the state of Odisha. Four districts have been identified. The Light Houses are to be built in Public – Private Partnership mode.
27. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced redemption price for the premature redemption of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs), which was due on 8 February, 2022. The redemption price was Rs. 4,813 per unit. It is around 85% premium from its issue price of Rs. 2,600, which was fixed in January 2016.
28. Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative was announced by 'Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) of NITI Aayog in association with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)'.
29. Narayan Rane, the Union MSME Minister has announced the formation of the MSME Technology Centre at Sindhudurg, Maharashtra. This will be set up at a cost worth Rs. 200 crore. The Konbac Sfurti Cluster in Kudal was also launched. This will support 500 honey bee boxes, 300 artisans. 100 electric pottery wheels and 100 agarbatti production machines were also distributed to provide opportunities for self-employment.
30. India's first commercial-scale biomass-based hydrogen plant will be constructed in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh. From 30 tonnes of biomass feedstock, Biomass-based hydrogen plant will produce a tonne of hydrogen per day. It will also produce biochar and methane.
31. On 10 February, 2022, RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept key interest rates unchanged. It retained the accommodative stance in its first policy after Union Budget 2022. This is the tenth consecutive time that, MPC has maintained the status quo. The three-day RBI MPC meeting started on 8 February, and concluded on 10 February.
32. On 10 February, 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted that, for 2022-23, Centre's gross domestic product (GDP) deflator projection is 3 to 3.5 percent. Government's own real GDP growth projection for fiscal year 2022-23 is in the range of 7.6-8.1 percent, while Union Budget assumes a nominal GDP growth rate of 11.1 per cent for fiscal year 2023.
33. Seven AAI airports have been selected for "Voice of Customer Recognition" under the "World Voice of Customer Initiative" of Airports Council International (ACI). AAI airports namely, Chennai, Goa, Kolkata, Patna, Pune, Chandigarh, and Bhubaneswar participated in ACI-ASQ (Airport Service Quality) survey in 2021.
34. Central government has set the target to replace diesel with renewable energy in agricultural sector by 2024. This target was set in line with Government's commitment of increasing the share of non-fossil fuels by 2030 and becoming a net zero emitter by 2070.
35. The Central Bureau of Investigation (SB) has booked ABG Shipyard Ltd, in its biggest bank fraud case. CBI also booked its then Chairman and Managing Director Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal along with others. They have been booked for cheating a consortium of banks led by State Bank of India of more than Rs. 22,842 crore.
36. Central Government cut tax on imports of crude palm oil (CPO), from 7.5 percent to 5 percent. It came into effect on 13 February, 2022. India is world's biggest edible oil importer. It tries to rein in local prices of commodity and help domestic consumers and refiners.
37. Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT) of India and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan held annual meeting to review the progress under Japanese Industrial Townships (JITs) in India. DPIIT and the States presented developed infrastructure and land readily available for Japanese investors in these townships.
38. The Government of India is planning to sell 5% of its share in LIC. LIC is Life Insurance Corporation. With this, the government is trying to raise Rs. 65,000 crores. 10% of the shares are being reserved for eligible policy holders. These shares will carry discounted prices. The plan is to sell 316.25 million shares.
39. On 14 February, 2022, the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) announced that Jio Platforms Ltd (JPL) and SES have formed a Joint Venture (JV) for satellite-based broadband services. SES is a global satellite-based content connectivity solutions provider. Jio Platforms will own 51% while SES will own 49% in the JV firm.
40. Jammu and Kashmir has become the first union territory (UT) to be integrated with National Single Window System. More than 130 industrial services have been made online on the system. 160 more are to be added. The UT has been integrated to facilitate investment in the region. With this the global investors can apply for their business approvals in online mode.
41. Central government has proposed a law to empowers it to fix maximum selling price of fertilizers and control its quality and distribution. Department of Fertilizers has asked comments on the draft Integrated Plant Nutrition Management Bill, 2022, from all the stakeholders.
42. On 15 February, 2022, Indian Railways connected the main and longest tunnel of T-49, under the Udhampur- Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) project. The T-49 tunnel is in between Sumber and Arpinchala station of Katra-Banihal section of USBRL project.
43. On 16 February, 2022, Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai announced that the high-powered committee of central government gave national project status to "Upper Bhadra Project". This is the first project from state to get this status. This status of national project will change irrigation scenario of central Karnataka.
44. On 17 February, 2022, Government of Gujarat unveiled new Biotechnology Policy, that offers up to 25 per cent financial support on capital investments in the biotechnology sector. Operative period of the new biotechnology policy will be five years, from 2022 till 2027.
45. On 18 February, 2022, diversified energy major Indian Oil announced that, it has installed more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in India. Indian Oil have achieved the first of many milestones in enabling EV revolution in India, with successful deployment of more than 1,000 EV charging points.
46. On 18 February, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off 100 kisan drones in different cities and towns of India, in order to help farmers in spraying pesticides in their farms. This is a new chapter in direction of modern agricultural facilities of 21st century.
47. The first country to adopt India's UPI system will be Nepal which will be critical in modernising the neighbouring country's digital economy. To deliver the services in Nepal, NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), NPCI's international arm, has partnered with Manam Infotech and Gateway Payments Service (GPS). In Nepal, GPS is the authorized payment system operator, and Manam Infotech will implement the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) there.
48. India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a trade agreement that will decrease import duties on the majority of Indian exports to the UAE. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) is the Narendra Modi government's first significant trade agreement since coming to power in 2014.
49. The NSE co-location scam involves market manipulation at India's largest stock exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India. Certain people got market information ahead of the rest of the market, allowing them to earn huge profits, thus violating the NSE's demutualization exchange governance and transparency-based system.
50. Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, recently flagged off the first direct flight between Delhi and heritage city of Khajuraho. With the start of this flight, a total of 405 routes would be operationalized under UDAN-RCS scheme.
51. On the basis of several efforts taken by the government in Budget 2022-23, the Indian economy is expected to grow at the fastest rate among the large nations, according to the Finance Ministry's Monthly Economic Review. The review added that India is still the only major and large country listed by the IMF whose growth projection has been revised upwards in FY 2022-23, despite IMF's January 2022 update lowering its global growth estimate for 2022.
52. The government plans to reorganize the commerce department so that it can implement a more organized trade promotion strategy with clear targets. A dedicated trade promotion organization and a trade remedies review committee have been proposed as part of the strategy.
53. According to data from the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), during April-December 2021, India's Foreign direct investment (FDI) equity inflows contracted by 16 percent to USD 43.17 billion. During the same time period the previous year, inflows stood at USD 51.47 billion.
54. The GDP growth prediction for India has been raised by Moody's Investors Service. The prediction for the current financial year has been raised to 9.5 percent from 7 percent. The GDP forecast has been increased citing an economic recovery that has been stronger than expected starting from the national lockdown of 2020 to the COVID-19 second wave in mid-2021.
55. In the city of Mumbai, the Financial Stability and Development Council's (FSDC) 25th meeting was held. This meeting was held under the chair of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The council discussed the different mandates of the FSDC as well as important macro-financial concerns that have arisen as a result of certain domestic and global developments.
56. For the week which ended on 20 February, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) reached a record high of 122.8, up from 119.5 the previous week. The Index showed weak demand due to rising inflation and the scarring due to the pandemic, as the recovery remains uneven, with sluggish consumption and services even before the third COVID-19 wave.
57. According to NITI Aayog, there is a need for more financial instruments to provide a boost to clean mobility in India, particularly shared mobility, while keeping its focus on finance methods that are widely acceptable, applicable, and sustainable.
58. On 22 February, 2022, the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj launched rural connectivity GIS data in public domain. The GIS data in public domain will facilitate broader use by start-ups, governments, academia, and civil society to improve lives across rural India.
59. On 23 February, 2022, the Reserve bank of India (RBI) cautioned public against carpooling app sRide. RBI caution against sRide App, stating that this firm was operating a semi-closed pre-paid instrument, without receiving authorization from the central bank, under Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
60. Recently, an FIR was registered against three Mumbai Police officials for allegedly threatening Angadias and extorting money from them. Before this, Angadias shop in Mulund was looted by robbers. Angadia system is a century-old parallel banking system in India. In this, traders send cash from one state to another through a person called Angadia.
61. On 23 February, 2022, the union minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated "Nikarshan Sadan Dredging Museum". The Nikarshan Sadan Museum is built by "Dredging Corporation of India", at DCI campus in Visakhapatnam.
62. Jammu & Kashmir's Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has approved a foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for the union territory with a foreign stake of a minimum of 51 percent. L. G. Manoj Sinha approved the Policy for Promotion of Foreign Investment in the Industrial Sector in J&K during a meeting of the Administrative Council (AC) in Jammu.
63. On 24 February, 2022, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to design 'Sustainable Cities India' program. This partnership between WEF and NIUA is significant in the light of India's commitment of achieving net zero carbon emission by 2070, made at COP26 summit in Glasgow.
64. Government of Delhi is all set to pitch Delhi as an international filmmaking destination, by approving "Delhi Film Policy 2022". On 24 February, 2022, Delhi Cabinet approved India's most progressive state film policy in a bid to promote Delhi as a hub for cinema activities of European standards.
65. On 24 February, 2022, Global banking group Standard Chartered announced its partnership with International Air Transport Association (IATA) to launch a payment platform for airline industry in India. In addition to existing payment options like credit cards, IATA Pay will be a new payment option that will enable participating airlines to offer instant payment options like UPI Collect (Request to Pay), UPI Scan and Pay.
66. On 25 February, 2022, the Union Bank of India (UBI) launched "Union MSME RuPay Credit Card" in association with National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The "Union MSME RuPay Credit Card" was launched to meet business related operational expenses of Micro, Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
67. Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandavia, launched the National Polio Immunization Drive for 2022, on 26 February. On the Occasion, the Minister noted that, India's strategic fight against polio is a success story of its public health policy against vaccine preventable diseases. India is vigilant and is ensuring that every child under 5 years of age get polio drops.
Science & Technology
1. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found that Mars had water two billion years ago. But today all the water in the planet are evaporated. This was confirmed by MRO with the help of salt deposits on the surface of the planet. The MRO found that water flowed in the planet very recently. This raises the question, how long microbial life would have survived in the planet.
2. On 1 February, 2022, SpaceX launched the Italian Earth-observation satellite, Cosmo-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 (CSG-2) after scrubbing the scheduled lift-off for fourth consecutive time. It was launched from a station in Florida, US.
3. Though India was declared "leprosy-free" in 2005, it still accounts for around 60 percent of world's new leprosy patients. According to data of 'National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP), Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand contributed around 76 per cent of new leprosy.
4. Scientists recently discovered Humbertium covidum. These are new flat worn species. They look like a mini cobra. The new species were found hunting snails in Italy and France. They have been named after COVID pandemic. H.covidum are not endemic in Italy and France. They are believed to be introduced by humans in these regions. They are hammer head flatworms.
5. The palaeontologists recently discovered two fossil flowers in Myanmar. The flowers lived by the end of Cretaceous period. They are some 100 million years old. The two flowers were Phylica piloburmensis and Eophylica priscastellata.
6. The Trojan asteroids are those asteroids that share a common orbit with a planet in the solar system. These rocks circle the same star as that of the planet in the same path. So far only one Trojan asteroid was known to revolve in earth's orbit. It was called 2010 TK7. Recently astronomers have found another Trojan asteroid revolving in the earth's orbit. It has been named 2020 XL5. With this discovery, the astronomers have concluded that there are lot more earth Trojan asteroids.
7. MIT chemical engineers' team has created a new material, which is stronger than steel and lighter as plastic. The material can be easily manufactured in large quantities. Their study was published in 'Nature Journal'. The new material is a two-dimensional polymer. It can self-assemble into sheets, unlike all other polymers.
8. Recently, NASA announced that, the International Space Station (ISS) will cease operations in 2031. In 2031, the spacecraft will fall out of orbit and into the waters of South Pacific Ocean. NASA published the transition plan for the ISS. It explained how the operations of ISS will eventually be transitioned to commercial low-Earth orbit destinations.
9. Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bengaluru has commissioned one of the most powerful supercomputers, called "Param Pravega" in India. Param Pravega supercomputer has a supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops. It is the largest supercomputer in an Indian academic institution.
10. On 2 February, 2022, India inked an interim agreement to confirm its commitment for working on mega science project called "Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO)". The agreement will be valid for one year. The Cooperation Agreement between India and SKA was signed virtually.
11. The researchers of Netherlands have discovered a new HIV variant. It has been named as VB variant. It was lurking the country for a long period. The variant causes 3.5 times to 5.5 times higher levels of infection. However, there is no cause of alarm because of modern treatments.
12. The NASA-funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) has become first survey capable of searching entire dark sky for near-Earth objects (NEOs), every 24 hours. ATLAS is a state-of-the-art asteroid detection system. It is operated by University of Hawai'i (UH) Institute for Astronomy(IfA) for Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) of NASA.
13. Elon Musk's Starlink lost dozens of satellites because they got caught in a geomagnetic storm, after their launch on 3 February, 2022. Starlink had launched 49 satellites, of which 40 were impacted. These satellites fell down from orbit before they could be commissioned.
14. American Space Agency NASA have planned to return to the Moon using innovative technologies, under Artemis, in a bid to explore more lunar surface than ever before. These technologies will require lunar surface systems, which can deliver continuous, reliable power for supporting mining and construction, human habitation and research activities.
15. On 10 February, 2022, NASA selected two science missions namely, Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE) and HelioSwarm, for improving our understanding on dynamics of the Sun, constantly changing space environment and Sun-Earth connection.
16. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its first mission of 2022 is slated on 14 February, 2022. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C52) is scheduled to launch on 14 February, from first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. It will orbit an earth observation satellite (EOS-04).
17. The UK based JET laboratory recently produced 59 mega joules of energy from a fusion reaction. The reaction was conducted for five seconds. With this, the company has smashed its own world record. With this, the company has become capable of creating a mini star and hold it there for five seconds.
18. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently raised concerns on SpaceX's plan to deploy around 30,000 satellites for its Starlink. SpaceX had previously received authorisation for around 12,000 satellites to offer broadband internet. It also requested for authorisation of a second-generation constellation of 30,000 satellites.
19. The Giant Magnellan Telescope is under construction. It will have resolving powers ten times the Hubble Space Telescope. Giant Magnellan Telescope is extremely large telescope. That is, the aperture of the primary mirror is between 20 metres and 100 metres. It will hold seven primary mirror segments. Each of the segment is 8.4 metres in diameter.
20. Astronomers from Indian Institute of Astrophysics have developed a new way to identify potentially habitable planets, with a high probability. Astronomers developed this new way in association with astronomers from BITS Pilani, Goa campus.
21. Scientists from Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre and Physical Research Laboratory recently demonstrated Quantum Entanglement, in a major step forward towards satellite-based quantum communication. Scientists conducted hack-proof communication between two places, using real-time Quantum Key Distribution (QKD). These places were separated by 300 meters.
22. NASA's Parker Solar Probe took its first visible light images of surface of Venus from space. Surface of Venus is usually shrouded from sight, covered in thick clouds. But in two recent flybys, Parker Solar Probe used its Wide-Field Imager (WISPR) to image the entire nightside in wavelengths of visible spectrum.
23. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) recently launched the PSLV - C52 rocket successfully. The rocket carried two small satellites and EOS - 04. The two small satellites were Inspiresat - 1 and INS - 2TD. This is the first launch of 2022. And it is the first launch since the failure of EOS - 03 mission. The EOS - 03 failed as the cryogenic upper stage did not ignite.
24. On 14 February, 2022, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched a satellite called "INSPIRESat-1". INSPIRESat-1 has jointly been developed by team of international researchers including from universities of India, US, Taiwan, and Singapore.
25. Astronomers discovered a third moon orbiting the main-belt asteroid (130) Elektra. This is the first quadruple asteroid ever found. Elektra is a large main-belt asteroid. It was first discovered by Litchfield Observatory astronomer Christian Peters on 17 February, 1873.
26. Researchers from University of Helsinki have developed a molecule, that can inactivate the coronavirus spike protein. It also offers effective short-term protection against the coronavirus. Cell cultures and animal studies on TriSb92 molecule shows that, it protects against coronavirus infection for at least eight hours, including in cases of high exposure risk.
27. According to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), India reported an outbreak of highly contagious H5N1 bird flu virus on a poultry research farm in state of Bihar. In similar incident, state administration of Maharashtra also confirmed on 17 February, 2022, that poultry birds at a small farm in Thane have succumbed to H5N1.
28. A US woman has become the third person worldwide and first woman, to be cured of HIV. The woman is a leukaemia patient. She received a stem cell transplant from person with natural resistance to Aids-causing virus. She has now been free of the virus for 14 months.
29. Tamil Nadu has told the Supreme Court that it does not want the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) to be built in a vulnerable ecological zone in the Western Ghats, at the cost of wildlife and biodiversity, along with local opposition and public outcry against the project.
30. The National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, Hyderabad, has developed the "Fluorine Doped Tin Oxide (FTO) electrode fabricated with reduced Graphene Oxide (rGO)" to detect the Japanese Encephalitis Virus. Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in Western Pacific and South-East Asia. It is often misdiagnosed as Dengue.
31. In a recent study researchers found that, co-infection of Delta and Omicron variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in two epidemiologically unrelated patients, who were suffering from chronic kidney disease and were requiring hemodialysis.
32. An Indian scientist recently developed a completely autonomous technology to repair Aerospace components. The new technology will completely repair and restore high-value components like turbine blades, moulds, and other aerospace components requiring minimal human intervention.
33. Department of Biotechnology has released a draft foresight paper on synthetic biology. In its paper, department has stressed on the need for a national policy to consolidate India's stand on the issue. This 70-page document also notes that, India should avoid conflicting stands on science and policy.
34. A study has revealed that moths are essential for pollination in northeast India's Himalayan environment. The study established that 91 species of moths are pollinators of 21 different species of plants in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim in the north-eastern Himalayas.
35. Fast Radio Bursts (FRB) are bright bursts of radio waves that can be created by celestial objects with everchanging magnetic fields with millisecond durations, making them difficult to identify and pinpoint their exact location in the sky. FRB was detected for the first time in 2007.
36. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently certified four police stations of New Delhi district as 'Eat Right Campus'. Premises in Delhi are recognised as "Eat Right Campus" under the "Sehatmand Delhi Programme". Sejarmand Delhi Programme was launched as a part of "Eat Right India", which is a flagship mission of FSSAI.
37. Located around 3 billion light-years away in the Lynx constellation, is a radio galaxy which is named Alcyoneus Galaxy. This galaxy was discovered using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope and the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) network and it is the largest discovered galaxy in the universe.
38. Government of India will partner with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and pharma company Panacea Biotec, for developing a new Covid Vaccine. They will develop vaccine candidates to provide broad protection against SARS-COV-2 variants as well as other beta coronaviruses.
39. On 22 February, 2022, President Ram Nath Kovind will inaugurate the 'Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate programme' in virtual mode. Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate is a week-long, nationwide programme of competitions and lectures for school students and collegians.
40. A group of archaeologists have found 5,300-year-old skull in a Spanish tomb, that shows possibly the oldest evidence of ear surgery. Several cut marks are visible in the skull across the left ear canal. This implies that, surgery may have been done to relieve pain.
41. The Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee) has launched a mobile app named 'KISAN' for the farmers. Through this app, agro-meteorological advisory services will be provided to the farmers. A farmer's awareness program was organized by IIT Roorkee under the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa (GKMS) project. Farmers from Dehradun, Haridwar, and Pauri Garhwal districts took part in this program.
42. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT scientists have created a new 2D polymer. The polymer was named 2DPA-1. It is lighter than plastic and stronger than steel. Unlike other polymers that form spaghetti like one dimensional chains, the 2DPA-1 self assembles into sheets.
43. A joint team of scientists from IIT Delhi and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), successfully demonstrated Quantum Key Distribution Link, for the first time in India. Quantum Key Distribution link will be created between Prayagraj and Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh, for a distance of around 100 km.
44. Researchers have discovered new species of Pterosaurs, who were the first vertebrates to evolve flight. The species include the largest flying animals in history of Earth. Some of the last-surviving species were of the size of airplanes. Pterosaurs were earlier thought to be restricted to small body sizes with wingspans of 1.6-1.8 m, from Triassic origins to throughout Jurassic period.
45. In China, researchers have discovered specimens of two Prehistoric Bird Species. Its findings appeared in the Journal of Systematics and Evolution. The specimens were discovered from Changma locality in northwestern China. It is an important place for paleontologists, to study bird evolution.
46. Astronomers have recently discovered 3 bodies orbiting Elektra asteroid system, making it the 1st quadruple asteroid system. Previously only two outer moons were known. New moon was discovered recently. Elektra is having a 5.5-year-long orbit, with a width of 200 kilometres.
47. 'Chandrayaan-2 Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS)' payload of Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter detected solar proton events recently. The Solar Proton Events significantly increase the radiation exposure to humans in space. Such multi-point observations help astronomers in understanding the propagation and its impact on different planetary systems.
48. Chinese rover Yutu-2 recently discovered mysterious glass spheres on far side of the moon. The paper highlighting the discovery was published in Science Bulletin. Peculiar morphology, geometry, and local context of the glass globules, collectively, are consistent with being anorthositic impact glasses.
49. Scientists have discovered a bacterium that is big enough to be seen through the naked eye. It has been named Thiomargarita magnifica and is said to be the size of a fly. This huge string-like bacterium can grow up to 2 cm in length, about the size of a fly, and is native to Caribbean mangroves.
1. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her budget speech that, government is set to work on improving connectivity across northern border under the Vibrant Villages Programme. Minister did not provide details on this programme. However, as per reports the Vibrant Villages programme will be launched to improve infrastructure in villages along India's border with China. Infrastructure will be improved in states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh.
2. In Union Budget 2022-23, a new "PM-DevINE scheme" was proposed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Government announced PM-DevINE scheme, with an initial allotment of Rs. 1,500 crore. It stands for "Prime Minister's Development Initiative for North-East".
3. The Bhasha Certificate Selfie campaign has been launched by the Ministry of Education with the aim of promoting multilingualism and encouraging cultural diversity so as to foster the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat spirit. This initiative aims to promote the Bhasha Sangam mobile app which has been developed by MyGov India and the Ministry of Education.
4. The Government of India is to include millets in the mid day meal scheme. This is being done to enhance the nutrition in children. The announcement was made by the Ministry of Education. It is to be implemented by PM POSHAN scheme.
5. The One Nation One Ration card plan was recently enabled in the state of Chhattisgarh. With this, the One Nation One Ration card scheme has become operational in 35 states and union territories. It is now covering 96.8% of the population included in the National Food Security Act.
6. Paray Shikshalaya is open room classroom. It is to be launched by the West Bengal Government. The Paray Shikshalaya is launched for the pre – primary and primary students. Under the scheme, elementary education will be provided to students of class 1 to class 5. The classes will be conducted on ground. The students will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities. Mid – day meals will be provided.
7. Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 4.0 virtually on 7 February, 2022. India is running the largest inoculation drive globally in which more than 3 crore pregnant women and 2.6 crore children are covered through Universal Immunisation Programme annually.
8. Parliamentary Committee recently recommended to increase in guaranteed days of work from 100 to 150 under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), after observing that, MGNREGA is a last fall-back option for many people in rural areas.
9. Union government approved the "Scheme of Modernisation of State Police Forces (MPF) for the period 2021-22 to 2025-26. This is a scheme to modernise and improve police forces across the states and union territories. It will continue for another five years.
10. The Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has notified a new set of rules according to which children under the age of 4 must wear a helmet and safety vest when riding a two-wheeled vehicle. According to the new rules, the speed of motorcycles carrying children under the age of 4 has been limited to 40 km/h.
11. Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs launched the 'Pramarsh 2022' career counseling workshop for school children in the Bikaner District region. One lakh students from over a thousand schools across the Bikaner district, mostly from rural areas, took part in this workshop.
12. Department of Social Justice & Empowerment launched the "SMILE: Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise" scheme on 12 February, 2022, in New Delhi. SMILE is a Central Sector scheme. It is dubbed as Support for Marginalised Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise. It was launched by Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment.
13. The Government of India approved the New India Literacy Programme scheme for the fiscal years 2022-2027 that will cover all areas of adult education and match with the national education policy 2020. The Ministry of Education (MoE) has announced the 'New India Literacy Programme' for the next five years, to cover all aspects of adult education.
14. On 14 February, 2022, the National Health Authority (NHA) has started an exercise to integrate beneficiary database under several schemes for upgrading its own database in a bid to implement scheme in a better manner. AB-PMJAY provides health insurance of up to Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. Insurance is provided for secondary and tertiary care-related hospitalizations.
15. India's new green hydrogen policy was unveiled, promising cheaper renewable energy, a 25-year fee waiver for inter-state power transmission for projects completed before June 2025, land in renewable energy parks, and mega manufacturing zones to help local industries move away from fossil fuels.
16. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar is scheduled to launch the "Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs (SEED)" on 16 February, 2022. Scheme will be launched for the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic Communities (DNCs) at Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi.
17. With the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) entering the seventh year of implementation in the upcoming Kharif season, the government has announced a new doorstep crop insurance distribution policy known as 'Meri Policy Mere Hath'.
18. Under the 'Garbage Free Cities' vision, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has approved Rs. 235 crore to Andhra Pradesh, the largest one-time approval of money for legacy dumpsite restoration. The Centre will contribute Rs. 77.66 crore towards this initiative, with the state covering the remainder.
19. The World Bank, the Government of India, the State Governments of Karnataka, and Odisha, have signed a USD 115 million deal for the Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development Programme to help national and state governments adopt improved watershed management practices to help farmers become more resilient to climate change, improve incomes, and promote higher productivity.
20. Assam government is set to launch a four-year mentorship programme called Project Arohan. This project will be launched to provide guidance to students and boost their skills. For this project, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met Anita Rajan, CEO of Tata STRIVE, to sought their cooperation on this project.
21. The Government of India has approved Phase 2 of the Inter-Operable Criminal Justice System (ICJS). This project will cost Rs. 3375 crore for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26. This project is being implemented by the National Crime Records Bureau.
22. On 18 February, 2022, Ministry of Education approved the continuation of 'Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) Scheme' till 2026. RUSA is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). It was launched to fund state government universities and colleges for achieving the aims of equity, excellence and access.
23. In the year 2022, 11 new Specialised Schools of Excellence (SoSEs) has been introduced in Delhi, taking the total tally of such schools to 31. Delhi government established SoSEs for equipping students with world-class facilities and instructors for curriculum and learning in specialised fields.
24. Marking the 6th anniversary of Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission, ministry of Rural Development approved 296 clusters under it. 6th anniversary was observed on 21 February, 2022. The Shyama Prasad Mukherji Mission was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 for developing 300 clusters across India holistically by providing economic, social, and physical infrastructure abilities. The Mission focuses on cluster-based integrated development through Spatial Planning.
25. On 22 February, 2022, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Giriraj Singh launched the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin Dashboard. This dashboard will help in stringent monitoring of the scheme. It will be used by Stakeholders of PMAYG to monitor and manage the scheme.
26. The National Policy Guidelines on Bio-Medical Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched by Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya in New Delhi. The aim of this policy is to develop an entrepreneurial environment in India that will be innovation-driven with the ultimate goal of improving human health and well-being.
27. Ashwini Vaishnaw, MeitY, Communications & Railways, and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MOS Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship announced the National Strategy on Additive Manufacturing to cater to the next generation of digital manufacturing and also aiming to mitigate the immediate disabilities which are being faced by the local industries.
28. On 24 February, 2022, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to design 'Sustainable Cities India' program. This partnership between WEF and NIUA is significant in the light of India's commitment of achieving net zero carbon emission by 2070, made at COP26 summit in Glasgow.
29. Giriraj Singh, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, launched the Ombudsman App for MGNREGA. This App is a step toward e-governance, and it will help in accountability and transparency. This app will help the Ombudsman in carrying out their duties in a transparent and accountable manner.
30. A 1.7-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant has been commissioned by Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) at Bina, Madhya Pradesh for the Indian Railways. Power to the traction systems of Indian Railways will be fed directly through this plant.
Awards & Honours
1. The Government of India recently added two new Ramsar sites. The sites were added on the World Wetlands Day. The World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2 all over the world. The day spreads the importance of wetlands. It is celebrated on February 2 because the Ramsar Convention was held on 2 February, 1971 at Ramsar, Iran.
2. Recently scientists found that the highest glacier on the world's highest peak, Mount Everest is melting at a faster rate. It is the South Col glacier and the glacier has lost 54 metres of thickness in the last 25 years.
3. Queen Elizabeth of England is to celebrate 70 years of throne on 6 February, 2022. She is 95 years old. The queen ascended to the throne on 8 February, 1952 officially. Her father George VI died on 6 February, 1952. She inherited the throne at the age of 25. If the queen is still on throne till 12 June, 2022, she will beat the record set by King Bhumibol of Thailand.
4. The Karnataka Government will not accept applications for Rajyotsava Awards from 2023. Rather a panel is to be set up to choose the eligible candidates. The state government is following the footsteps of the central government. The central government chooses the Padma awardees by itself. No applications are received from the candidates.
5. Legendary Singer Lata Mangeshkar took her last breath on 6 February, 2022, at the age of 92. She was tested Covid-19 positive on 8 January and was admitted to Mumbai's Breach Candy hospital. She was under observation in the ICU. She was an asset to the film industry and won numerous awards throughout her extensive singing career.
6. On 8 February, 2022, the 80th death anniversary of Sachindra Nath Sanyal was marked. He was the co-founder of Hindustan Republican Association. He was the mentor of Bhagat Singh, Sukdev and Rajguru. Also, he faced imprisonment in "Kakari Train case". He was incarcerated in cellular jail. Incarceration means the state of being confined to prison.
7. An igloo café was recently opened in Jammu and Kashmir. It is now the largest igloo café in the world. The name of the Café is Snowglu. It was built by Wasim Shah, the owner. The café has been built in Gulmarg, Kashmir. It is 44.5 feet in diameter and 37.5 feet in height. The café has become one of the major tourist attractions in the region.
8. Indian documentary Writing with Fire, has been nominated at the 94th Academy Awards in 'Best Documentary Feature Category'. The documentary is directed by filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh. It has been nominated alongside Ascension, Flee, Attica, and Summer of the Soul. Writing with Fire is the only Indian title, to be nominated at Oscar awards 2022.
9. Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a four-day global event that takes place from 18 to 21 February. It is an online citizen science or community science project that was first launched in 1998 by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society.
10. Pasuvula Panduga is a cattle festival that is observed annually during Kanuma (3rd day of the Sankranthi Festival), to appease the gods for improving and protecting livestock. This festival is held in the Rangampet village of Andhra Pradesh. Around 30 people were injured during the recently held festival with the police booking several cases against the organizers.
11. The Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad organizes the Khajuraho Dance Festival, a one-week classical dance festival held annually beside the Khajuraho temples located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. This festival takes place from 20 to 26 February.
12. On 22 February, 2022, Professor Neena Gupta, conferred the Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians 2021. Neena Gupta is a mathematician from Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata. She conferred the award for her outstanding work in affine algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.
1. Veteran Indian hockey goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh, recently won 'World Games Athlete' of the Year, 2021. P. R. Sreejesh was part of men's team, which claimed a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics. He became only the second Indian to receive this award.
2. Union Government has approved the continuation of "Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs)", to strengthen its support for sports in India. Continuation of scheme has been approved with an outlay of Rs. 1575 crore for 2021-22 to 2025-26, that is XV Finance Commission Cycle.
3. The 2028 Olympics is to be held in Los Angeles. This is after the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris. The 2022 Olympics was held in Tokyo. These are all the summer Olympics, the main Olympics. The one that is being held in China right now is Winter Olympics.
4. ICC U-19 World Cup final 2022, India cruised to a four-wicket victory against England, at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, on 5 February, 2022. The win was also a record-extending fifth U-19 title for India. ICC U-19 Indian team chased down a target of 190 runs in 47.4 overs and reached 195 for six.
5. On 6 February, 2022, India played its thousandth ODI match. ODI means One Day International. The match was played against West Indies. Indian team played the match under the captainship of Rohit Sharma. And India won the match.
6. According to Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Gen. Dr. V. K. Singh, Government has prepared a draft National Air Sports Policy (NASP 2022) for promoting air sports in India. Government has received the feedback. It is examining the comments on draft National Air Sports Policy.