Current Affairs – February 26, 2021 [Today’s News Headlines]

Here are Today’s News Headlines by GK Today for February 26, 2021

India

Govt announces new social media rules to curb its misuse

To prevent the misuse of social media, the Union government on February 25, 2021 announced new rules that make it mandatory for platforms such as WhatsApp to aid the government in identifying the “originator” of certain messages containing unlawful information, while also requiring social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to remove such content within 36 hours of being notified. As per the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and digital media ethics code) Rules, 2021, social media platforms will also be required to provide information, including related to verification of identity, to lawfully authorised agencies within 72 hours.

Centre frames guidelines for OTT platforms, digital media

For the first time, the government, under the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, has brought in detailed guidelines for digital content on both digital media and Over the Top (OTT) platforms, while giving overriding powers to the government to step in. The new rules lay down a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism. Also, OTT platforms will have to self-classify content into five age-based categories — U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).

City Innovation Exchange platform launched by Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs

The City Innovation Exchange (CiX) platform was launched by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs at an online event on February 25, 2021. The platform will focus on fostering innovative practices in cities. CiX, through an ‘open innovation’ process, engages with innovators to design-test-deliver on solutions to pressing urban challenges.

Swachh Iconic Places: 12 sites to be transformed into ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’

Taking forward the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for transforming iconic heritage, spiritual and cultural places in the country as ‘Swachh Tourist Destinations’ under Swachh Iconic Places (SIP) initiative of Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G), the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti has announced the selection of 12 iconic sites under Phase IV of SIP. These are: Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra – Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh – Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan – Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan – Ramdevra, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan – Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Telangana – Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha – Rock Garden, Chandigarh – Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir – Banke Bihari Temple, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh – Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh – Kalighat Temple, West Bengal.

PM lays foundation stone of various projects in Puducherry

During his visit to Puducherry, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, 2021 laid the foundation stone for 4 laning of NH45-A covering Karaikal District and Medical College Building at Karaikal New Campus- Phase I, Karaikal District (JIPMER). He also laid the foundation stone for development of Minor Port at Puducherry under Sagarmala Scheme and Synthetic Athletic Track, Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, Puducherry.

PM inaugurates various projects in Puducherry

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, 2021 inaugurated the Blood Centre at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry and a 100 bed girls’ hostel at Lawspet, Puducherry for female athletes. He also inaugurated the reconstructed Heritage Marie Building.

President’s rule imposed in Puducherry, MHA issues notification

Puducherry has been placed under President’s rule days after the Congress-led government collapsed after several resignations. The Ministry of Home Affairs on February 25, 2021 issued a notification of imposing President’s rule in Puducherry after President Ram Nath Kovind was satisfied with the report of the Administrator of the Union Territory.

Tamil Nadu govt enhances retirement age of its employees to 60 years

The Tamil Nadu government on February 25, 2021 enhanced the retirement age of its employees, including teachers and PSU staff, to 60 years. Chief Minister K Palaniswami who raised the retirement age of government employees by a year, made an announcement in the Assembly.

PM lays foundation stone of various projects in Tamil Nadu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, 2021 laid the foundation stone for design, supply, installation and commissioning of a 5MW grid connected ground based solar power plant at V.O. Chidambaranar Port and for the extension, renovation and modernisation of Lower Bhavani Project System. He also laid the foundation stone for development of Integrated Command and Control Centers (ICCC) in nine Smart Cities including Tamil Nadu, Madurai, Salem, Thanjavur, Vellore, Tiruchirappalli, Tiruppur, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi.

PM inaugurates various projects in Tamil Nadu

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, 2021 dedicated to the nation the 1000 MW Neyveli New Thermal Power Project and 709 MW Solar Power Project of NLCIL. He inaugurated the 8-laning of Korampallam Bridge and Rail Over Bridge (ROB) at V.O. Chidambaranar Port and the tenements constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) scheme.

Indian Army likely to start using messaging platform SAI from April 1

From April 1, the Indian Army is likely to start using SAI (Secure Application for Internet), a messaging platform, for internal communications. The application, developed by Colonel Sai Shankar, is undergoing the process of getting cyber and security clearance and data testing. Software application is the equivalent of WhatsApp.

Army in process of acquiring Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display systems

The Indian Army is in the process of acquiring 556 Augmented Reality Head Mounted Display (ARHMD) systems. ARHMD is conceived as capability enhancement to Land Based Air Defence Weapon Systems. The proposed system intends to enhance the engagement capability during night and conditions of inclement weather.

India, Pakistan agree for strict observance of ceasefire along LoC

In a first joint statement issued by the two sides in years, India and Pakistan on February 25, 2021 said they have agreed to a “strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control (LoC) and all other sectors” with effect from the midnight of February 24/25. The decision was announced after discussions between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) over the established hotline on February 22.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar meets with his Uzbek counterpart in Delhi

India and Uzbekistan discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan on February 25, 2021 and underlined the importance of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan for regional peace, stability and security. The discussion on Afghanistan took place during talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov in New Delhi as they deliberated on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Economy & Corporate

Centre lifts embargo on grant of govt businesses to private banks

The Centre has lifted the restrictions on the grant of government businesses to private banks, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on February 24, 2021. All private sector banks now will be allowed to conduct government-related banking transactions, such as tax and pension payments. Government-related banking transactions include taxes and other revenue payments, pension payments, and small savings schemes.

International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Sector held

Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, and Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal on February 25, 2021 addressed the 6th International Conference on Pharmaceutical & Medical Devices Sector. He called upon the Indian pharmaceutical and health care sector to adopt best practices in terms of quality, facility and commitment to maintain high standards.

World

President Xi Jinping declares complete victory in eradicating poverty in China

President Xi Jinping on February 25 declared that China has scored a “complete victory” in its fight against poverty by lifting over 770 million people out of it in the last four decades. China has a population of around 1.4 billion. China has achieved the U.N. goal of poverty eradication 10 years ahead of the 2030 deadline, the President said.

Facebook bans Myanmar military from its platforms with immediate effect

Facebook on February 25, 2021 said it had banned the Myanmar military from using its Facebook and Instagram platforms with immediate effect, as weeks of mass demonstrations continue in the Southeast Asian country after the military seized power.

Internet firms to pay for showing Australian news content on their platforms

Australia’s parliament adopted landmark legislation on February 25, 2021 requiring global digital platforms to pay for showing Australian news content on their platforms. The government said the law, called the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, would ensure that news businesses “are fairly remunerated for the content they generate, helping to sustain public interest journalism in Australia”.

Sports

India defeat England by 10 wickets in third test at Ahmedabad

India (145 and 49 for no loss) defeated England (112 and 81) by ten wickets on the second day in the third test of 4-test series at Ahmedabad on February 25, 2021. Axar Patel was declared player of the match for his 11 wickets for 70 runs in the match. India are 2-1 up in the series.

Ravichandran Ashwin reaches 400 test wickets in his 77th match

Ravichandran Ashwin became the second fastest to 400 test wickets on February 25, 2201 — after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan — when he dismissed Jofra Archer in the second innings of the third test match of the 4-test series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Ashwin overtook New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee and South Africa’s Dale Steyn.

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