Current Affairs – February 06, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 6, 2021

INDIA

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana crosses 1.75 crore women till FY 2020

This scheme was announced on December 31, 2016. Under this scheme, pregnant women and lactating mothers receive ₹5,000 on the birth of their first child in three instalments. As per the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana has more than 1.75 crore beneficiary women till financial year 2020.

TTD to build temple for goddess Padmavati in Chennai

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to construct a temple for goddess Padmavati in Chennai on an estimated budget of ₹6.85 crore. The temple will be built on a 14,880 sq ft site. The land for the temple was donated by South Indian actor P. Kanchana.

Country’s first thunderstorm research testbed to be set up at Balasore in Odisha

India’s first thunderstorm research testbed will be set up in Balasore, Odisha.  It was announced by Director-General of India Meteorological Department (IMD) Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra. The objective of setting up the thunderstorm testbed is to minimalise human fatalities and loss of property due to lightning strikes. It will be established in a collaboration with the Ministry of Earth Sciences, IMD, DRDO and ISRO.

Average dropout rate of girls at 17.3% at secondary level in 2018-19: WCD

The Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani, said in Lok Sabha that the average dropout rate of girls was 17.3% at the secondary education level and 4.74% at the elementary level in 2018-19.

First ASEAN-India Hackathon 2021 concludes

Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and Union Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar attended the award ceremony of ASEAN- India Hackathon 2021. The Hackathon involved more than 300 students, mentors, and officials participating from 10 ASEAN countries and India.

Barbados PM thanks Indian govt. for COVID-19 vaccine doses

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has expressed her gratitude to the Indian government for “most generous” donation of COVID-19 vaccine doses. Barbados, with population of over 2.87 lakhs, has recorded 1641 coronavirus cases out of which 1,274 persons have recovered as of now.

1 in 5 Indians exposed to novel coronavirus, reveals sero survey of ICMR

the third round of the serological survey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) finds that nearly one in five Indians were infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus until December 2020. India is showing a declining number in fresh infections since September 2020.  Only 12,899 new infections were added on February 4, 2021.

Collection of DNA samples will lead to misuse: Justice Madan Lokur

Supreme Court pronounce that, allowing investigating agencies to collect DNA samples from suspects, in accordance with the DNA Technology (Use and Application) Regulation Bill, 2019, will be an “unbridled power that is easily capable of misuse and abuse”. It will also be a “threat to the life, liberty, dignity and privacy of a person”.

Economy & Corporate

Monetary Policy Review: Policy repo rate unchanged at 4%, stance accommodative

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on February 5, 2021 announced that the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will keep policy repo rate unchanged at 4%. The reverse repo rate will also be same at 3.35%. The marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the bank rate has been kept at 4.25%. RBI projected a GDP growth rate of 10.5% for the financial year beginning April 1. It says, the inflation rate will come down to 5.2% in January-March and will decline to 4.3% by the third quarter the fiscal 2021.

RBI to allow retail investors to directly enter government securities market

RBI has allowed the retail investors to directly enter government securities market. Currently, the RBI allows small investors to buy government bonds through Gobid platform on BSE and NSE.

Banks required to increase CRR to 4% by May 22, 2021: RBI

RBI has decided to restore the cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 4%. To help banks to tackle the disruption caused by COVID-19, the CRR of all banks was reduced by 100 basis points to 3.0% of net demand and time liabilities (NDTL). Now, the banks would be required to maintain the CRR at 3.5% of NDTL from March 27, 2021 and 4.0% of NDTL from May 22, 2021.

RBI to set up single ombudsman for banks, NBFCs and digital transactions

RBI announced it will be integrating consumer grievances redressal under a single ombudsman as against three schemes working at present. Presently, there are dedicated ombudsman schemes for consumer grievance redressal in banking, non-bank finance companies and digital transactions.

Interest on PF contributions of over ₹2.5 lakh must in I-T filing: CBDT

Employees making contributions of more than ₹2.5 lakh a year into their Provident Fund (PF) accounts, will have to include the interest on the investments exceeding ₹2.5 lakh in their annual income starting 2021-22. The Union Budget 2021 has proposed tax on interest income on PF contributions exceeding ₹2.5 lakh a year.

PayPal to wind down its domestic payments business in India from April 1

PayPal Holdings Inc will wind down its domestic payments business in India from April 1. It will now focus on its cross-border payments business. Under it, the global customers will still be able to pay Indian merchants using the service.

HAL hands over 5 ALHs Mk III to Indian Navy (3) and Indian Coast Guard (2)

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over three Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Mk III to Indian Navy and two ALHs to Indian Coast Guard as part of its 16 ALHs contract during the ongoing Aero India 2021 at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru on February 05, 2021.

60 start-ups under Defence India Start-up Challenge given grants

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh revealed that 60 winners out of more than 1,200 start-ups and innovators who participated in Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC) have received grants of up to Rs 1.5 crore each to build prototypes.

Sri Lanka settles $400 million currency swap facility with India

Sri Lanka has settled a USD 400 million currency swap facility with India, the Indian High Commission said in Colombo on February 5, 2021. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had concluded the USD 400 million currency swap agreement in July 2020 under the SAARC currency swap framework.

World

US: Biden administration delays implementation of Trump era rule on H-1B

The Biden administration has decided to delay the H-1B policy of the previous Trump administration on allocation of the popular foreign work visas and it will continue with the lottery system until December 31, 2021. On January 7, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced to do away with the traditional lottery system in deciding the successful applicants for the H-1B visas.

Biden halts Trump-ordered US troops withdrawal from Germany

President Joe Biden has formally stopped the planned withdrawal of US troops from Germany that was ordered by the Trump administration in 2020 but had never actually begun. Trump had announced that he was going to pull out about 9,500 of the roughly 34,500 US troops that are stationed in Germany.

Biden ends U.S. support for Saudi-led Yemen war

President Joe Biden will end the U.S. military support for the war by its Saudi allies in Yemen. This is a reversal of former President Donald Trump’s policy of providing logistical assistance and selling advanced weaponry.

Sports

Ajay Singh re-elected Boxing Federation of India (BFI) chief

Ajay Singh was re-elected the president of the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). He defeated Maharashtra MLA Ashish Shelar by polling 37 votes against Shelar’s 27.

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