Current Affairs – February 16, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 16, 2021

INDIA

Indian Navy gets third Scorpene submarine, to be commissioned as INS Karanj

The Indian Navy got its third Scorpene submarine, which commissioned as INS Karanj, of Project P-75 on February 15, 2021 in Mumbai. INS Karanj is the third Scorpene submarine constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited after Khanderi and Kalvari.

UP launches Abhyudaya scheme to provide free coaching for competitive exams

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on February 15, 2021 launched the Abhyudaya scheme to provide free coaching for competitive exams like NEET and IIT-JEE to students at the district level. He through video conference also interacted with some of the 50,192 students selected under the scheme.

‘Maa’ scheme to provide meal at Rs 5 to poor people in West Bengal launched

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on February 15, 2021 launched the ‘Maa’ scheme under which her government would provide a meal at a nominal cost of Rs 5 to poor people. They will get a platter of rice, dal, a vegetable and egg curry for Rs 5. The state government will bear a subsidy of Rs 15 per plate.

Economy & Corporate

RBI forms expert panel to explore consolidation of urban cooperative banks

The Reserve Bank of India has set up an expert committee on urban co-operative banks (UCBs) to provide a road map for strengthening the sector and also evaluate the prospects for consolidating the sector. The committee will be headed by former deputy governor of RBI, N. S. Vishwanathan and has been asked to submit its report within three months.

WPI inflation at 2.03% on costlier manufactured items, food prices ease

The wholesale price-based inflation rose to 2.03 per cent in January 2021, even as food prices cooled. The WPI inflation was 1.22 per cent in December 2020 and 3.52 per cent in January 2020.

India liberalises restrictions on geospatial data for map-making

Announcing a sweeping change in India’s mapping policy, the Centre on February 15, 2021 liberalised regulations on geospatial data, making it freely available in the country for innovation and IT companies. Under the new guidelines, the sector will be deregulated and aspects like approvals have been done away with.

Final production batch of LRSAM Missiles flagged off at DRDL, Hyderabad

The final production batch of Long-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (LRSAM) was flagged off at DRDL, A P J Abdul Kalam Missile Complex in Hyderabad on February 14, 2021. It has been designed and developed by DRDO M/s Israel Aerospace Industries to equip the latest ships of the Indian Navy. The LRSAM Missile system can provide point and area defence against various aerial targets including fighter aircrafts and missiles.

ADB to give Rs 100 cr loan to hospital chain Medanta to combat Covid-19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on February 15, 2021 said it will provide Rs 100 crore loan to hospital chain Medanta for healthcare services and medical equipment to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

World

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appointed as new head of WTO

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was on February 15, 2021 appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) by representatives of the 164 member countries. She is the first African official and the first woman to hold the job. Her predecessor, Roberto Azevedo, stepped down August 31, 2021, a year before his term expired.

US: Joe Biden reverses Trump’s designation of Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists

Joe Biden’s US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on February 12, 2021, recognizing the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, announced the reversal of former President Trump’s designation of Ansarallah (the Houthis Movement) as a foreign terrorist organisation and specially designated global terrorist group. The decision comes into effect on 16 February.

China overtakes US as EU’s biggest trading partner in 2020

In 2020, China overtook the United States as the EU’s biggest trading partner, the EU statistics agency Eurostat said on February 15, 2021. Eurostat said the trade volume with China reached 586 billion euros ($711 billion) in 2020, compared to 555 billion euros ($673 billion) for the US. EU exports rose by 2.2% to 202.5 billion euros while at the same time, imports from the People’s Republic of China increased by 5.6% to 383.5 billion euros.

Sports

R. Ashwin becomes 1st bowler to dismiss left-handers 200 times in Tests

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on February 14, 2021 became the first player in the 143-year history of Test cricket to take 200 wickets against left-handed batsmen. He achieved the feat during the second day of India’s second Test against England here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.

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