Current Affairs February 12, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of February 12, 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. The 2nd ASEAN-India Youth Summit 2019 was held in Guwahati, Assam on the theme “Connectivity is the pathway to shared prosperity” from 03-06 February 2019. It is organized by India Foundation in collaboration with Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Government of Assam. Over 100 youth delegates the ten ASEAN countries – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam took part in the summit. The purpose of the summit was to strengthen the mutual cooperation among the youth leaders from India and the ASEAN countries. Hence, the 2019 summit is a step to facilitate Socio-cultural exchanges between the countries to further strengthen the values of tolerance, pluralism and diversity.

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2. The Reserve Bank of India has exercised its powers conferred under Section 47A of the Banking Regulation Act of 1949 & imposed a penalty of Rs 1 crore on the State Bank of India (SBI) for not monitoring the end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers. However, SBI did not share details of the borrower and the loan amount given to the borrower.

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3. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently raised the limit for collateral-free agriculture loans to Rs 1.6 lakh from Rs. 1 lakh to enhance coverage of small and marginal farmers in the formal credit system. Currently, the banks are mandated to extend collateral-free agricultural loans up to Rs. 1 lakh. This limit was fixed in the year 2010. The RBI also proposed to set up an internal working group to review various issues plaguing farm credit, such as regional disparity, extent of coverage and limited capital formation from such credit. As per interim Budget of 2019, the Government of India (GoI) will also launch the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) programme to provide assured income support to small and marginal farmers. Under this, vulnerable landholding farmer-families, having cultivable land up to two hectares, will be provided direct income support at the rate of Rs. 6,000 per year. This income support will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of beneficiary farmers in three equal instalments of Rs. 2,000 each. The programme will be funded by the Government of India (GoI).

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4. The first-ever World Pulses Day (WPD) is observed on 10th February to raise awareness about the multiple benefits of eating pulses. Pulses are a type of leguminous crop that are harvested solely for the dry seed. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses. Pulses do not include crops that are harvested green (e.g. green peas, green beans)—these are classified as vegetable crops. In 2018, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) designated 10 February as World Pulses Day (WPD) to keep alive the positive momentum surrounding these healthy, nutritious, protein-rich, nitrogen-fixing legumes after FAO’s successful 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP) Campaign.

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5. The book titled “Law, Justice and Judicial Power – Justice P N Bhagwati’s Approach” has been authored by Professor (Dr.) Mool Chand Sharma. It was formally released by Chief Justice of India, Justice Ranjan Gogoi at a function held in New Delhi. The first edition of the book was received by President Ramnath Govind. Justice Bhagwati has been called the father of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in India. The book is a collection of 24 essays written in honour of Justice Bhagwati, celebrating his judicial work and landmark judgments as well as his work towards introducing PIL in India.

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6. The Himalayan Cloud Observatory has recently been set up in the SRT campus Chamba of Tehri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand to receive forecast and monitor cloud burst incidents in the Himalayan region and help minimise the damage. This is the second observatory in the country to monitor cloud activities by the Indian Science and Technology (IST) Department and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur that can function in high-altitudes. The cloudburst incidents are very frequent in the hilly areas of Uttarakhand and resulted in a huge loss of life. The Himalayan Cloud Observatory has recently prepared a six-month data while being in the testing period, so that after the completion of the testing period, cloud bursting incidents in future could be easily predicted and the severe loss of lives and property caused to the localities due to this could be stopped.

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7. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) has decided to include Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice. The move will help the Hindi speakers to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier. It is an estimated that 3.3 million Indian expats live in United Arab Emirates (UAE), and a large number of them are blue collared workers. Hence, this is an excellent step taken by Abu Dhabi that will certainly improve access to justice for India’s blue collar workers. It also fits perfectly into the wider agenda of UAE’s Year of Tolerance”.

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8. On 11th of February, the 13th edition of International Oil and Gas Conference ‘PETROTECH-2019’ has inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The three-day biennial event is organised under the aegis of the Union Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. The conference will showcase the recent market and investor friendly developments in India’s oil and gas sector. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries and 7000 delegates from around 70 countries are expected to be part of PETROTECH -2019.

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9. Egyptian President, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has been elected as the chairman of the African Union (AU) at the continental body’s summit in Ethiopia. El-Sisi’s election brought to an end the one-year chairmanship of Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. The Egyptian leader is expected to focus on the fight against armed groups on the continent and rebuilding efforts of countries recovering from conflict. It is the first time since the AU was founded in 2002 that Egypt assumes the top seat of the body. The African Union (AU) is a continental union consisting of 55 countries of the continent of Africa. The purpose of AU is to achieve greater unity and solidarity between the African countries and Africans. The primary languages spoken include Arabic, English, French and Portuguese and the languages of Africa. Within the African Union, there are official bodies such as the Peace and Security Council and the Pan-African Parliament.

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10. The Meghalaya Cabinet has recently decided to rename the Dikkibandi stadium in Tura town after former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma. The state Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma approved the recommendations received from the state naming authority tasked with the job to name roads, and institutions after personalities. PA Sangma is also a former chief minister ofMeghalaya. He was elected from the Tura Lok Sabha seat a number of times. Conrad K Sangma and James K Sangma are sons of Purno A Sangma. Formerly, Dikkibandi stadium was known as the MP stadium. The state Cabinet has also decided to name a road leading from Mawlai-Mawroh to Madan in honour of Saint Teressa.

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