Current Affairs February 02, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of February 02, 2019 in Short Notes form for preparation of IBPS, Banking, CLAT, SSC, Railway, UPSC, IAS/PCS, UPPSC, BPSC, MPPSC, RPSC, TNPSC, MPSC, KPSC and all other competitive examinations of India.

1. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has recently signed agreements worth $93 million for providing Naval MRSAM (Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile) systems to India. The contracts for the air defence system were entered with the Indian Navy and the Cochin Shipyard. Under the contracts, IAI will provide complementary systems for the air defense system (ADS). The MRSAM family is an operational air-defense system used by Israel's navy as well as by India's naval, air and ground forces. It provides broad as well as topical defense against a range of assault air, marine and ground threats. MRSAM comprises several key state-of-the-art systems, including a digital radar, command and control, launchers, and interceptors with advanced homing seekers.

2. The World Leprosy Day (WLD) is observed every year on the last Sunday of January to spread awareness about the disease, the impact of discrimination and social stigma attached to it and how these negative effects hamper the efforts to stop the spread of the disease. This year, in 2019, it falls on 27 January and its theme is ‘Ending discrimination, stigma and prejudice’. Leprosy (or Hansen disease) is one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. The disease is caused by the bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae and is contagious. It is an infectious chronic disease that targets the nervous system, especially the nerves in the cooler parts of the body – the hands, feet, and face. This chronic disease can be passed on from one person to another or even by breathing airborne droplets from the affected individuals. Even cough and sneezes, or coming into contact with the affected individual nasal fluids could lead to leprosy. The infection can be contracted at any age.

3. Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra has taken charge as new Director General of National Cadet Corps (NCC) in New Delhi. Commissioned in the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla and Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. The NCC is an Indian military cadet corps with its headquarters at New Delhi, It is the world's largest uniformed youth organization. Its motto is 'Unity and Discipline'.

4. On 30th January2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the National Salt Satyagraha Memorial at Dandi in Navsari district, Gujarat to the nation on Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary. At the memorial site, there are statues of Mahatma Gandhi and 80 Satyagrahis who had marched with him during the historic Dandi Salt March in 1930 to make salt from sea water against the British law. The memorial also has 24-narrative murals depicting various events and stories from the historic 1930 Salt March. Solar trees are installed to meet the energy requirements of the memorial complex. The memorial project of the Union Ministry of Culture is advised by a High Level Dandi Memorial Committee (HLDMC), and is designed, coordinated and implemented by IIT Bombay in association with an international design team.

5. On January 29, the 2-day International conference on 8th century Himalayan sage Guru Padmasambhava was held in New Delhi that saw the participation of distinguished scholars from both countries. The conference titled ‘Life and Legacy of Guru Padmasambhava’, was organized by the Centre for Escalation of Peace (CEP). Scholars from both countries discussed the Guru who was born in India and moved towards Bhutan in the 8th century to spread Buddhism and Buddhist teachings all across the Himalayan region. The conference was dedicated to the 50 years of diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan. In Tibetan Buddhism, Guru Padmasambhava is generally referred to as Guru Rinpoche, which means “precious master.” Guru Rinpoche is a totally enlightened being, a fully awakened one, a buddha.

6. On January 30, ISRO launched the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC) at its headquarters in Bengaluru for the human spaceflight programme. The centre is the hub of ISRO's future manned missions. HSFC shall be responsible for the implementation of Gaganyaan project — which involves mission planning, development of engineering systems for crew survival in space, crew selection and training and also pursue activities for sustained human space flight missions. HSFC will take the support of ISRO centres to implement the first developmental [crewed] flight. Under the Gaganyaan project, a 3-member crew will be sent to space for at least 7 days by 2022, the 75th year of Independence. Dr. S Unnikrishnan Nair is the founder director of HSFC, while R Hutton is the project director of Gaganyaan.

7. Germany, France and the UK have officially set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade and circumvent US sanctions. The long-awaited special payment system will help save the Iran nuclear deal by allowing Tehran to keep trading with EU companies despite Washington re-imposing sanctions after US President Donald Trump abruptly quit the accord in 2018. The three countries have launched the device at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Bucharest, Romania. The new institution ‘INSTEX’ is a project of the three governments and will receive the formal endorsement of all 28 EU members. The Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) is registered in France and will be headed by German banker Per Fischer, a former Commerzbank director.

8. Indian captain Mithali Raj has scripted history by becoming the first female cricketer to play 200 ODIs when she played 3rd and final ODI against New Zealand on February 1. Though, she could not make a big impact in her 200th game, scoring nine off 28 balls as India were bowled out for 149 in the third and final ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton. Mithali is also the highest run-getter in ODIs with 6622 runs at an average of 51.33, including seven hundreds. She also holds the record for having captained the India Women team 123 times with England's Charlotte Edwards again second on this list having captained the Three Lions for 117 matches. Mithali made her ODI debut way back in 1999 and has featured in 200 games out of the 263 ODIs India have played. She has also played 10 Tests and 85 T20.

9. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has been renamed as the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with a mandate to deal with matters related to start-ups, facilitating ease of doing business among others. The move comes amidst demand by traders’ body CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) for forming a separate ministry for internal trade. The newly-named department under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry will look into matters related to promotion of internal trade, including retail trade, welfare of traders and their employees, facilitating ease of doing business and start-ups. Earlier, the matters related to internal trade were under the domain of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

10. On 1st February, a music and dance festival 'Sopan 2019’ has started at Central Park in New Delhi to encourage young and upcoming artistes to take up traditional art forms. The fest is organised by Sahitya Kala Parishad and the Delhi government in association with New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). It is an attempts to take forward the traditional Indian art forms. This 6-day long festival is an opportunity for upcoming talents from vocals and instruments to dance forms to set an audience base for themselves. Young artistes such as Odissi dancers Madhur Gupta and Premananda Sahoo, vocalist Shivam Bhardwaj, percussionists Aamir Hussan and Amaan Jamil, and Kathak dancers Mrinalini among others will perform during the musical extravaganza.

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