Current Affairs Current Affairs February 2020

  The Mumbai airport has recently launched the world largest temperature-controlled facility to store agro and pharma products. The “Export Cold Zone” launched is capable of holding more than 700 tonnes of cargo.
  • Highlights
The terminal connects 500 cargo destinations spread across 175 countries. The unit is spread over 6,000 square metres. It is spread across 12 truck docks equipped with dock-levellers, automated workstations, spacious acceptance and examination area, X-Ray machines and Ball mat system for Unit Load Device. Mumbai Airport is one of the few airports in the world, first in the country and third in Asia to obtain IATA CEIV PHARMA accreditation.
It is an accreditation provided by International Air Transport Association. The Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceuticals Logistics (CEIV Pharma) was launched by IATA in order to enhance the supply chain of pharma products all over the world. This accreditation establishes safety, security, efficiency and compliance in handling pharmaceutical products.

 On February 24, 2020, the Union Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal chaired a high-level meeting to review the progress of Institutes of Eminence.
  • Highlights
The following decision were taken at the meeting
  • The Institutes of Eminence shall invite professors and foreign faculties in order to deepen interface between the institutes in the country and other recognized institutes
  • The Institute of Eminence are to be given open access to research journals
  • The institutes shall adopt model villages under Unnat Bharat Scheme.
  • Unnat Bharat Scheme
Unnat Bharat Scheme was launched to promote development in the rural areas. The scheme aims to address the increasing inequity in the rural areas due to ecological degradation. It is important to focus on model villages under the scheme as 70% of the villages live in rural India. Though majority of the population lives in rural areas, their contribution towards GDP is only 17%. Therefore, it is important to bring up more such measures to increase their GDP contribution.

  India’s Grandmaster D Gukesh has won the 34th Cannes Open in France. He defeated Harutyun Bargseghyan of France in 50 moves to win the chess tournament. Siva Mahadevan of India secured the 10th place with six points. D Gukesh from Tamil Nadu also became the world’s second youngest Grandmaster ever in 2019 when he won the Hillerod 110th Anniversary Open event in Denmark.

  Russia will be the first country to host the new format of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Team World Cup 2020. AIBA Executive committee members voted in favour to approve the Russian bid at its meeting in Budapest, Hungary. The tournament will be coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II under the motto “Boxing for peace”. The best national teams all over the world will take part in the edition. This format will make boxing more attractive to spectators and sponsors. The first World Cup was conducted at the famous arena of Madison Square Garden in New York City, the USA in 1979. The World Cup was held from 1979 to 1998 and also in the period 2002-2006 as a team event. The last tournament was organised in Moscow in 2008.

  Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched 1st Khelo India University Games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium at Cuttack, Odisha through video conferencing. About 3,400 athletes from 159 universities across the country will be participating across 17 disciplines. It is the largest ever multi-discipline sports event being conducted at one venue for University students and hopes to unearth talented sportspersons for India. Khelo India University Games will provide a great platform to showcase sporting talent at the national level.

  FC Goa became the first Indian club to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League group stage. FC Goa sealed the top spot in the Indian Super League (ISL 2019-20) standings, finishing as the league’s table-topper after beating Jamshedpur FC 5-0 in an Indian Super League match. Indian clubs like Mohun Bagan and East Bengal have played in the Asian Club Championships but no team from the country has ever played in the group stage of AFC Champions League since its introduction in 2002. Recently, ISL was recognised as the top-tier league in the country by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and as a result, its top team in the league phase will be representing India in the AFC Champions League.

  President of the United States (POTUS) Donald Trump has arrived in India on 24th February 2020. He was accompanied by the First Lady of the United States Melania Trump. With this, Donald Trump has become the first serving US President to visit Gujarat. After his arrival, the US president was welcomed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After welcome, the cavalcade of US president head towards Sabarmati Ashram. After reaching the Sabarmati Ashram, the US president and the first lady of US spun the Charkha and then head towards the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad for “Namaste Trump” event.
  • “NAMASTE TRUMP” Event:
Following the Sabarmati Ashram visit, both the leaders arrived at the world’s largest cricket stadium “Sardar Patel Stadium” which is also known as “Motera Stadium” to attend and address the “NAMASTE TRUMP” event. The “NAMASTE TRUMP” event featured cultural performances.
  • Taj Mahal Visit:
Following the “NAMASTE TRUMP” event, the US delegate landed at Kheria Airport, Agra, Uttar Pradesh to visit one of the 7 wonders of the world, i.e. the iconic “Taj Mahal” in Agra. At the airport, the US President and the first lady were received by Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel. The US President and the first lady arrived at the iconic Taj Mahal and admired the beauty of the historical monument. After the Taj Mahal visit, the US delegates returned to Delhi for the rest of their trip.

 The Indian Railways recently launched Hindi Version of Artificial Intelligence-based chatbot called “ASKDISHA”.  ASKDISHA Chatbot was initially launched in English language but in order to further enhance the customer services rendered and to further strengthen the services of the chatbot, IRCTC has now powered voice-enabled ASKDISHA to converse with customers in the Hindi language. IRCTC plans to launch ASKDISHA in more languages along with many other additional features in the near future. The chatbot is a special computer programme designed to simulate conversation with users, especially over the internet. The first-of-its-kind initiative by IRCTC is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users’ queries pertaining to various services offered to railway passengers. Since its initial launch, more than 150 million passengers have been benefited by ASKDISHA with 10 billion interactions for seeking help on the reservation of tickets, cancellation, enquiry of refund status, fare, PNR search, train running status, enquiry about retiring rooms and tourism products.

  Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approved the appointment of Sunil Gurbaxani as managing director and CEO of Dhanlaxmi Bank for a period of three years. Gurbaxani is working with Axis Bank at present. Dhanlaxmi Bank was removed from the RBI Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework, subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring, as the bank is found to be not breaching any of the risk thresholds of the framework.

  The US-India Business Council (USIBC) has appointed Vijay Advani as new Chair of its Global Board of Directors. Prior to this, he served as Executive Chairman of the Board in January 2020. The council also announced two new members of the Global Board of Directors Lockheed Martin International Senior Vice President Tim Cahill and GE South Asia President & CEO Mahesh Palashikar. US India Business Council (USIBC) represents top global companies operating across the United States, India, and Indo-Pacific.

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