Current Affairs – February 10, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 10, 2021

INDIA

Rajya Sabha passes bill to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi

The Rajya Sabha on February 9, 2021 passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi. It replaces the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Second (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 which was promulgated by President Ram Nath Kovind on December 30, 2020.

India, Afghanistan sign MoU for construction of Shatoot dam

India and Afghanistan on February 9, 2021 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of the Shatoot dam to provide drinking water to Kabul. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Afghan counterpart Hanif Atmar signed the MoU for the construction of the dam.

IIT Kharagpur develops solar-powered pesticide sprayer for smaller farm fields

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have developed energy-efficient pesticide sprayers devices for smaller agricultural tracts owned by marginal farmers. The device is aimed to increase field capacity and uniformity in liquid spraying. It will also reduce the drudgery to the operator and dependency on fossil fuel for carrying out spraying in cropped areas.

Govt cancelled FCRA licence of over 20,600 NGOs in 10 years

The government presented the data that it has cancelled the FCRA licences of over 20,600 NGOs in the last 10 years. Most of these cancellations were done on account of non-filing of annual returns which is a mandatory requirement under the law. The NGOs were found to have violated various provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), 2010.

Bollywood actor-director Rajiv Kapoor dies at 58

Bollywood actor-director Rajiv Kapoor passed away on February 9, 2021 at the age of 58.

Economy & Corporate

SC nod for SBI MF plan to distribute Rs 9,122 cr to Franklin Templeton unitholders

The Supreme Court (SC) on February 9, 2021 approved the mechanism proposed by SBI Mutual Fund to distribute Rs 9,122 crore to the unitholders of shuttered debt schemes of Franklin Templeton Mutual Fund. The distribution mechanism was framed in consultation with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Franklin Templeton MF. SC on February 2 had directed to distribute Rs 9,122 crore to respective unitholders in proportion to their holdings in the schemes.

247 CPSEs earn profit of Rs 1.78 lakh crore during 2018-19: CAG

The Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) has said that 247 central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) earned profit of Rs 1.78 lakh crore during 2018-19. However, the CAG flagged that 189 CPSEs had accumulated losses of Rs 1.4 lakh crore as on March 31, 2019. Out of these, net worth of 77 companies had been completely eroded due to the accumulated losses.

HDFC Bank invites applications from entrepreneurs for SmartUp grants

HDFC Bank is inviting applications from start-ups and solo entrepreneurs for its SmartUp grants under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) brand — Parivartan. The window to apply will close on February 16, 2021. The bank will be focusing on start-ups in the education (edtech) and skill development sector this year for the grant.

Govt has decided to shut 2 pharma PSUs, disinvest other 3

The government has decided to close two pharma public sector undertakings and disinvest the other three. The Department of Pharmaceuticals has five public sector undertakings (PSUs). Out of the five PSUs, the government will close two pharma PSUs, namely Indian Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (IDPL) and Rajasthan Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (RDPL). While the government will strategically disinvest the other three — Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd (HAL), Bengal Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BCPL), and Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceutical Ltd (KAPL).

Centre launches scheme ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 FPOs’

The Ministry of Agriculture has said that the government has launched a new Central Sector Scheme titled ‘Formation and Promotion of 10,000 Farmer Produce Organizations (FPOs)’ and it has committed resources in this regard with a budgetary provision of Rs 6,865 crore. The FPOs will be developed to produce clusters, wherein agricultural and horticultural products are grown for leveraging economies of scale and improving market access for members. The FPOs will be provided financial assistance upto Rs 18 lakh per FPO for a period of three years.

India to overtake EU as world’s 3rd largest energy consumer by 2030: IEA

India will overtake the European Union as the world’s third-largest energy consumer behind China and the US by 2030. It was highlighted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its India Energy Outlook 2021 report released on February 9, 2021.

World

Safer Internet Day observed on Feb 9

Safer Internet Day was observed on February 9, 2021. The day is observed every year on the second day of the second week of February. From cyberbullying to social networking to digital identity, each year Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of emerging online issues and current concerns.

Pak SC orders immediate rebuilding of Hindu temple in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Pakistan Supreme Court has directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government to start the immediate rebuilding of a Hindu temple located in Karak district’s Teri area which was set on fire by a mob on December 30, 2020. In January 2021, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had also announced reconstruction of the temple, as well as a crackdown against the attackers.

US Senate declares that Trump’s impeachment trial is constitutional

On a 56-44 vote, the Senate has declared that the impeachment trial for Donald Trump is constitutional and will move forward. The vote came after four hours of arguments from Trump’s lawyers and the Democratic impeachment managers.

China blocks Clubhouse, app used for political discussion

Chinese authorities are blocking access to Clubhouse, a social media app that allowed users in China to discuss sensitive topics with people abroad including Taiwan and treatment of the country’s Muslim minority. The move adds Clubhouse to thousands of websites and social media apps to which the ruling Communist Party blocks access in an effort to control what China’s public sees and reads.

UAE’s unmanned space probe enters orbit of Mars

The first Arab interplanetary mission entered the orbit of Mars on February 9, 2021 after nearly seven-month, 300-million-mile journey to unravel the secrets of weather on the Red Planet. The unmanned space probe named “Al-Amal”, Arabic for “Hope”, blasted off from Japan in 2020.

SARS-Cov-2 transmission most likely due to intermediary host species: WHO

The WHO team of experts investigating the origin of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan said that the virus most probably jumped to humans through an intermediary host species.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere dies at 89

French novelist and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere died on February 8, 2021 at the age of 89. He was awarded Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2015. He also won Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film (1963) for ‘Heureux Anniversaire’, shared with Pierre Étaix and Academy Honorary Award (2014) for lifetime achievement.

Sports

England defeat India in first Test at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

England (578, 178) defeated India (337, 192) by 227 runs in the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on February 9, 2021.

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