Current Affairs – February 24, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 24, 2021

INDIA

Congress government in Puducherry falls

The Congress government in Puducherry fell on February 22, 2021 after Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy resigned ahead of the confidence vote. On February 21, the ruling coalition of Congress (9) and DMK (2) had 11 MLAs while the opposition had 14: All-India NR Congress (7), AIADMK (4), BJP (3). The 33-seat Assembly has one independent MLA while there are seven vacancies.

India, World Bank sign $68 mn project for improving education in Nagaland

Indian government, Government of Nagaland and the World Bank on February 23, 2021 signed the $68 million “Nagaland: Enhancing Classroom Teaching and Resources Project” to enhance the governance of schools across Nagaland as well as to improve teaching practices and learning environments in select schools.

Court in Delhi grants bail to climate activist Disha Ravi

A court in New Delhi on February 23, 2021 granted bail to climate activist Disha Ravi, arrested in connection with allegedly being involved in sharing a “toolkit” on social media related to the farmers’protest, terming evidence produced by police as “scanty and sketchy”. The court said there is nothing on record to establish any direct link between Ravi and pro-Khalistan activists of ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’ (PJF) and also there is not even an iota of evidence brought connecting the perpetrators of the violence on January 26 with the PJF or her. She was arrested from Bengaluru on February 13.

Former TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar dies at 69

Former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Rahul Khullar passed away on February 23, 2021 in New Delhi at the age of 69. Khullar, a 1975-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was appointed as TRAI chief in May 2012. He served at TRAI for three years. Before being appointed as TRAI chief, he was a secretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Trade.

Economy & Corporate

DAC approves capital acquisition proposals worth Rs 13,700 crores

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on February 23, 2021 approved capital acquisition proposals of various weapons, platforms, equipment required by the three-armed forces and accorded three Acceptance of Necessities (AoNs) for an overall cost of Rs 13,700 crore. All these AoNs are in the highest priority category of defence acquisition.

India, Mauritius sign CECPA

India and Mauritius have signed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA). This is the first trade Agreement signed by India with a country in Africa. The Agreement is a limited agreement, which will cover Trade in Goods, Rules of Origin, Trade in Services, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, Dispute Settlement, Movement of Natural Persons, Telecom, Financial Services, Customs Procedures and Cooperation in other areas.

AIIB to give loan for Assam Intra-State Transmission System Enhancement Project

Union Government and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) on February 23, 2021 signed a loan agreement for $304 million Assam Intra-State Transmission System Enhancement Project to improve reliability, capacity and security of the power transmission network in the State of Assam. The programme would strengthen the existing intrastate transmission network of Assam by augmenting it with newer networks to achieve affordable, secure, efficient and reliable round the clock power. The total estimated cost of the project is USD 365 million of which USD 304 million will be financed by the AIIB.

World

Nepal’s Supreme Court reinstates dissolved House of Representatives

Nepal’s Supreme Court in a historic verdict on February 23, 2021 reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli who was preparing for snap polls. A five-member Constitutional bench annulled the government’s decision to dissolve the 275-member lower house of parliament. Nepal plunged into a political crisis in December 2020 after President Bidya Dev Bhandari dissolved the House of Representatives and announced fresh elections on the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli.

Canadian MPs vote to label China’s treatment of Uighur minority as ‘genocide’

Canadian MPs voted February 22, 2021 to label Beijing’s treatment of its Uighur minority as genocide in response to China claims its policy in Xinjiang is a “shining example” of human rights progress. Rights groups believe at least one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been incarcerated in. China is also accused of forcibly sterilizing women and imposing forced labour.

EAM inaugurates new chancery building of Indian High Commission in Mauritius

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on February 23, 2021 inaugurated a new and environment-friendly chancery building of the Indian High Commission in Mauritius. Indian-origin people constitute nearly 70 per cent of the population of Mauritius. Their ancestors were sent there as indentured labourers during British rule.

Luca Attanasio, Italy’s ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo, killed

Luca Attanasio, Italy’s ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo, his bodyguard and a driver from the World Food Programme were killed in an attack on their convoy on February 22, 2021. The ambush occurred as the convoy was travelling from Goma, Congo’s eastern regional capital, to visit a World Food Program school feeding project in Rutshuru.

Ahmed Zaki Yamani, Saudi oil minister from 1962 to 1986, dies at 90

Ahmed Zaki Yamani, a long-serving oil minister in Saudi Arabia who led the kingdom through the 1973 oil crisis and the nationalisation of its state energy company, died on February 23, 2021 in London. He was 90. Yamani became oil minister in 1962 and would lead the ministry until 1986.

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