13th February: World Radio Day
The United Nations annually celebrates World Radio Day on 13th of February to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio. It also aims to enhance the networking and international cooperation among broadcasters.
The 9th edition of World Radio Day is divided into three main sub-themes:
1. Advocating for pluralism in radio, including a mix of public, private and community broadcasters.
2. Encouraging representation in the newsroom, with teams comprised of diverse society groups.
3. Promoting a diversity of editorial content and programme types reflecting the variety of the audiences.
43rd Session of International fund for Agricultural Development
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations works to address hunger and poverty in developing countries. The 43rd session of the governing council of IFAD was held at Rome.
It was announced at the council meet that with the current progress rate, it is not possible to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2030.
The UN believes that the SDG Goal can be achieved only after a decade, that is by 2040. This is mainly because of lack of funds. In 2015 the world leaders under the SDG aimed to eliminated hunger by 2030.
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Amendment of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Sri Lanka
The Union Cabinet approved the protocol to amend the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) that was signed between India and Sri Lanka. The DTAA with respect to prevention of fiscal evasion is to be amended.
Under the amendment, an anti-abuse provision is to be included. Also, the amendment will include Principle Purpose Test. This will help in curbing strategies that exploit gaps in tax rules.
India is a signatory of MLI, whereas Sri Lanka is not. Therefore, it is essential for the countries to insert Principle Purpose Test to meet the minimum standards.
In 2016, around 100 countries signed Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty. The treaty includes features that help to prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. This is called Multilateral Instrument or MLI.
Cabinet approves Pesticide Management Bill 2020
The Union Cabinet approved to table the Pesticide Management Bill, 2020 in Parliament. The bill aims at making safe and effective pesticides for farmers. The main aim of the bill is to replace the Insecticides Act, 1968.
The bill includes provisions to provide compensation when there is farm loss due to use of low-quality pesticides. The loss of farmers is to be paid using funds collected from the manufacturers. The information regarding the pesticides available in the market is to be made available in digital format. This will help farmers make the right choice.
Capital Infusion in three public sector Units OICL, UIICL and NICL
The Union Cabinet approved on capital infusion in three Public Sector Units namely United India Insurance Company (UIICL), Oriental Insurance Company Limited (OICL) and National Insurance Company Limited (NICL).
During the meet the cabinet also approved an immediate release of Rs 2,500 crores in order to address their critical financial position and also regulate their solvency requirements. The capital infusion is aimed at merging the three insurance companies in the future. Merging the companies will improve their operational efficiency and solvency ratio.
The Solvency ratio is the ratio between net operating income and total debt obligations.
Dharmendra Rai’s book “The Thin Mind Map Book” launched
“The Thin Mind Map Book” authored by a mind mapping & brain literacy pioneer Dharmendra Rai, was launched.
The book aims to give people an experience in mind mapping and making them expert through reading and doing all the experiential exercises mentioned in the book.
Dharmendra Rai was the first person in the world to talk on TEDx on Creativity & Mind Mapping.
Disaster Management Exercise of BIMSTEC NDRF begins in Bhubaneswar
The National Disaster Response Force of Government of India is to host the second BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise-2020 (BIMSTEC DMEx-2020). The exercise is held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
The BIMSTEC countries namely Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Nepal are to participate in the exercise. The other two BIMSTEC countries namely Thailand and Bhutan are not participating in the exercise this time.
The exercise is held under the theme: “A Cultural Heritage Site that suffers severe damage in the Earthquake and Flooding or Storm”
ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019
ESPNcricinfo (sports news website) announced the 13th edition of the Annual ESPNcricinfo Awards 2019. The awards were presented under 12 categories.
Category – Winner
Captain of the year – Eoin Morgan (England)
Test batting performance of the year – Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka)
Test bowling performance of the year – Kemar Roach (West Indies)
ODI batting performance of the year – Ben Stokes (England)
ODI bowling performance of the year – Matt Henry (New Zealand)
T20I batting performance of the year – Glen Maxwell (Australia)
T20I bowling performance of the year – Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka)
Debutant of the year – Jofra Archer (England)
Women’s batting performance of the year – Meg Lanning (Australia)
Women’s bowling performance of the year – Ellyse Perry (Australia)
Associate batting performance of the year – George Munsey (Scotland)
Associate bowling performance of the year – Bilal Khan (Oman)
Ground Water Act, 2020 approved by UP cabinet
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath approved Ground Water Act-2020. The act aims to improve ground water level.
The act makes the registration of submersible pumps mandatory. The farmers and domestic users need not pay fees to use the pumps. The act makes rain water harvesting mandatory in all private schools, colleges.
It also penalizes persons polluting ground water through boring pipes. Also, it is mandatory for the boring companies to register under the act.
ICC ODI rankings: Kohli retains top spot; Ravindra Jadeja grabs seventh position
In Cricket, India skipper Virat Kohli continues to hold on to the top spot in the batting chart of the latest ICC ODI rankings released in Dubai. His deputy Rohit Sharma also maintains the second position.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja climbed three rungs to grab the seventh position. Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi emerged as the new world number one all-rounder. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal jumped to the 13th spot.
However, speedster Jasprit Bumrah lost the top spot and was placed at the second position in bowling chart. His place has been taken over by Kiwi pacer Trent Boult. Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav slipped to the 16th place.
India includes elephant, bustard in global conservation list
India will be moving to include the Asian Elephant and the Great Indian Bustard in the list of species that merit heightened conservation measures.
The list will be debated at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), an environment treaty under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The COP is scheduled to be organised from February 17 to 22 in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. There are 130 parties to the convention and India has been a member since 1983.
India-Iceland MoU in Sustainable Fisheries Development
The Union Cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Iceland in the field of fisheries.
The countries had signed agreements in September 2019, to develop inland fisheries. According to the agreement, the countries agreed to create facilities of technical experts and scientists in shore areas and deep sea areas. They also agreed on exchange of scientific research literature, scientific experts in the field of fisheries. The agreement strengthens bilateral cooperation between India and Iceland.
Medical Devices now to be regulated under Drugs and Cosmetics Act
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that medical devices are to be brought under Drugs and Cosmetics act (DCA). This is to come into effect from April 1, 2020.
According to the regulation, every product that is used to treat a patient will now be under the ambit of DCA. It includes MRI, CT scan, thermometer, dialysis machines, etc. A list of 37 devices has been included. This includes medical devices used on animals as well.
Mobile World Congress cancelled over coronavirus fears
The Mobile World Congress, the annual telecoms industry gathering that draws more than one lakh visitors to Barcelona, was cancelled. The event was hosted by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) telecoms association.
The decision comes after dozens of tech companies and wireless carriers dropped out, with the latest cancellations by Nokia, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and Britain’s BT.
National Water Conference in Madhya Pradesh
The Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal hosted the National Water Conference. The Conference was inaugurated by Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
The importance and revival of traditional water sources, right to water, river rejuvenation campaign in Madhya Pradesh and many other related topics are being discussed during the four sessions of the conference.
National Workshop on e-office held in New Delhi
National Workshop on e-office was held in New Delhi. It was inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Dr Jitendra Singh. During the National Workshop on e-office, Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) Reforms was also launched by the minister.
The minister stated that the number of public grievances has increased to 19 lakh at present from 2 lakh in 2014. The Government of India in 2019 has received 18.7 lakh public grievances and disposed 18.1 lakh of them.
New bullet proof jacket developed by BARC-to be used by CISF
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre developed a new bullet proof jacket called Bhabha Kavach. The jackets are to be used by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The nominal weight of the jacket is 6.8kg. It is the lightest level-3 plus jacket. It has been produced based on carbon nanotube and hot- pressed boron carbide technologies
The product is a substitute for imports and has been introduced under Make in India initiative. It has been approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and National Institute of Justice.
The Jacket is capable of stopping hard steel core bullets that are fired from AK 47 and self-loading rifles and bolt action rifles.
UK’s start-up OneWeb launches 1st big batch of satellites
The UK-based OneWeb company has sent 34 satellites into orbit on a single Soyuz rocket, from Baikonur port, Kazakhstan.
The aims are to have the full network in operation by the end of 2021. This is the 50th Soyuz mission conducted by Arianespace, as the company plans to perform 19 more medium-lift Soyuz from three spaceports by 2021. Its mission was to drop its satellite batch into one of 12 planes planned for the constellation.