Current Affairs February 21, 2019

In this post, GKToday presents Current Affairs of February 21, 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. India’s first ‘fulldome 3D Digital Theatre’ was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma at the Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal. The new system is capable of screening high resolution, full dome, and digital 2D/3D content by utilising six, high-end projectors in a 23-meter diameter dome using Ulteria Seam technology. The Science City is operated by the National Council of Science Museums under the Ministry of Culture.

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2. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has recently launched the country’s first semi-heavy missile-equipped submarine, dubbed as Fateh (‘Conqueror’ in Persian). The new submarine will fill a gap between the light Ghadir class and the heavy Kilo-class submarines that the country possesses. The Fateh has subsurface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.

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3. Prof. Wallace Smith Broecker (87), a scientist who raised early alarms about climate change and popularized the term “global warming”, has passed away in New York, United States. He brought “global warming” into common use with a 1975 paper that correctly predicted rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would lead to pronounced warming. He was also an advocate for political action to deal with the problem. Broecker was also a pioneer in radiocarbon and isotope dating and became the first person to recognise what he called the ocean conveyor belt, a global network of currents affecting everything from air temperature to rain patterns. He joined Columbia’s faculty in 1959 and was known in science circles as the “Grandfather of Climate Science”.

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4. Prof. Namvar Singh (92), renowned Hindi literary critic and author, has passed away in New Delhi on Feb 19. Born on 28th July 1926 in a village in Varanasi, Singh was the first chairman of JNU’s Centre of Indian Languages. He had authored over a dozen books including ‘Chhayavad’ and ‘Dusri Parampara Ki Khoj’ among others. He received Sahitya Academy Award for literary criticism in 1971 for ‘Kavita Ke Naye Pratiman’. He had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha election as a candidate of Communist Party of India in 1957 from Chandauli in Uttar Pradesh.

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5. In tennis, Belgium’s Elise Mertens has claimed the biggest title of her career by beating top seed Simona Halep 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open in Doha. This is her first WTA Premier-level crown and fifth title of her overall career.

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6. Gymnast Simone Biles and tennis player Novak Djokovic won the top prizes at the 2019 Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. Djokovic won the Sportsman of the Year award after claiming victory at both the US Open and Wimbledon. While, Biles was named Sportswoman of the Year after winning four gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the 2018 World Championships. Golfer Tiger Woods won the Comeback award, while tennis player Naomi Osaka won Breakthrough of the Year. The other winners of the night were Chloe Kim (Action Sportsperson), Eliud Kipchoge, Arsene Wenger (Lifetime Achievement), Lindsey Vonn (Spirit for Sports), Jharkhand-based NGO Yuwa (Sport for Good) and Xia Boyu (Sporting Moment), the man who climbed Mount Everest, 44 years after he lost both his lower legs due to frostbite on his first attempt.

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7. Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has recently launched a new micro insurance plan ‘Micro Bachat’. It is a regular premium, non-linked, participating endowment micro insurance plan, which offers a combination of protection and savings. For the first time, a micro insurance plan has been launched providing coverage up to Rs 2 lakh. This plan provides financial support for the family in case of unfortunate death of the policyholder during the policy term and a lumpsum amount at the time of maturity for the surviving policyholders. This plan is available for standard healthy lives only in the age group of 18-55 years without undergoing any medical examination. The policyholder need not undergo any medical examination.

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8. The 7th National Photography Awards 2019 were presented by Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore at a function held at the National Media Centre on 19th Feb. In it, ace photographer Ashok Dilwali has been bestowed with the Life Time Achievement Award, who is known for his work on the Himalayas. A total of 13 awards carrying cash prizes were presented to the winners in professional and amateur categories. Shanth Kumar won the ‘Professional Photographer of the Year’ award, while Gurdeep Dhiman won award for ‘Amateur Photographer of the Year’. The theme for the Professional category was “Women-led Development” and theme for Amateur category was “Fairs and Festivals of India”.

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9. The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to host the 79th session of Indian History Congress (IHC) at Barkatullah University in Bhopal from February 26 to 28, 2019. The 79th session was earlier supposed to be held at the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) from December 28 but was cancelled due to financial reasons. Over 1,000 delegates including prominent historians are expected to participate in the IHC. This will be 2nd time Madhya Pradesh will host IHC after it was held earlier in 2011. IHC is the largest professional and academic body of Indian historians with over 10,000 members. It was established in 1935 and its first session was held at Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal, Pune. Its primary objective is to promote and encourage scientific study of Indian history.

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10. In a bid to go digital in classrooms, the Union Human Resources Development Ministry has launched Operation Digital Board on the lines of Operation Blackboard of 1987, which was started with the purpose of providing minimum basic facilities to all primary schools. The programme will be implemented in schools from this academic year to provide better digital education. Under the programme, 7 lakh classrooms of 9th, 10th and 11th standards and two lakh classrooms of colleges and Universities will be equipped with digital boards by 2022. It will improve the quality of education and offer new opportunities and new ways of teaching and learning. The initiative will convert the monologue classrooms into interactive ones. The move will revolutionize the education system in the country with different kinds of digital teaching materials, quality lectures and other facilities.

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