Current Affairs – February 11, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 11, 2021

INDIA

Indian Navy’s exercise TROPEX-21 underway in IOR

Indian Navy’s largest exercise — Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX-21) — to test its combat readiness in the context of the current geo-strategic environment is underway in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The month-long drill will witness joint exercises by ships and aircraft and other assets of the Indian Air Force, Army and the Indian Coast Guard in the IOR, including its adjunct waters.

Myanmar’s insurgent group Chin National Army seeks asylum in Mizoram

Myanmar-based armed insurgent group Chin National Army (CNA) has sought asylum for their families in India in the wake of the military coup in the neighbouring country. The CNA, the armed wing of the Chin National Front (CNF), has asked authorities in Mizoram’s Champhai district for asylum for 40 families.

As Twitter seeks talks, Ministers move to Indian-made app Koo

Amid the ongoing tussle between the government and microblogging platform Twitter over blocking of content and accounts related to farmers’ protest, Union Ministers and government departments are also setting up accounts on Koo, a Made-in-India alternative to Twitter. Koo app was among the winners of the government’s ‘AatmaNirbhar App Innovation Challenge’ in 2020.

Over 66,000 manual scavengers identified across country

As many as 66,692 manual scavengers have been identified across the country, the government said on February 10, 2021. The highest number of manual scavengers have been identified in Uttar Pradesh at 37,379 followed by 7,378 in Maharashtra, 6,170 in Uttarakhand and 4,295 in Assam. Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale said 340 people have died while cleaning sewers and tanks in the last five years.

TERI organising World Sustainable Development Summit on Feb 10-12

The 20th edition of The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) flagship event, the World Sustainable Development Summit, is being held online from February 10 to 12, 2021. The theme of the Summit is ‘Redefining our common future: Safe and secure environment for all’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Summit on February 10, 2021.

SC orders status quo on dismantling of decommissioned aircraft carrier ‘Viraat’

The Supreme Court on February 10, 2021 ordered status quo on the dismantling of India’s decommissioned aircraft carrier ‘Viraat’ which was in service with the Indian Navy for 29 years before being decommissioned in March 2017. The court issued notice to the Centre and others seeking their responses on a plea filed by a firm which seeks preservation of the ship from being dismantled and for creating it as a museum.

China’s claims both sides have begun disengagement from Pangong lake in Ladakh

China’s military announced on February 10, 2021 that front line troops of India and China had begun disengaging from the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake) in Ladakh, where both sides have been locked in a stand-off for months. The Indian Army was yet to release a statement on the development.

Economy & Corporate

Parliament passes Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020

The Parliament has passed the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 with the Rajya Sabha passing the legislation on February 10, 2021. The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on September 23, 2020. The bill seeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of major ports in the country and provide greater autonomy to these ports.  It will replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963. The legislation provides for the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.  These Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.

NHAI removes minimum amount requirement in FASTag Wallet

The National Highways Authority of India has decided to do away with the requirement of maintaining a minimum amount in FASTag wallet. The move aims at ensuring seamless movement at electronic toll plazas.

NITI study to assess unintended economic impact of select SC, NGT decisions

Government think tank NITI Aayog has commissioned a study to assess the “unintended” economic impact of select decisions of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal. Jaipur-based CUTS International has been asked to do the study on the apex court rulings on halting consultation of Mopa Airport in Goa, stopping iron ore mining in Goa, and shutting down Sterlite Copper’s Tuticorin plant in Tamil Nadu.

World

World Pulses Day observed on Feb 10

World Pulses Day was observed on February 10, 2021 under the theme ‘#LovePulses for a healthy diet and planet’. Pulses, also known as legumes, are the edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.

WHO dismisses ‘lab leak’ theory of coronavirus origin in Wuhan, China

Following a 12-day visit to China to probe the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, a team of World Health Organization (WHO) on February 9, 2021 dismissed the theory of a ‘lab leak’ of the virus. Peter Ben Embarek, the Danish WHO food safety expert leading the international team, said his group will not recommend further investigation into the theory that the virus accidentally leaked from labs conducting coronavirus research.

India, US review Indo-Pacific developments and Quad cooperation

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a “comprehensive discussion on February 9, 20201 and reviewed Indo-Pacific developments and the Quad cooperation.

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