Daily Current Affairs – 21st February 2015
- Today’s International Mother Language Day globally. It is worldwide to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was first announced by UNESCO on 17 November 1999. Its observance was also formally recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. Its significance is promoted the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.
- Today’s Language Movement Day or Language Revolution Day or Bengali Language Movement Day. It commemorates protests and sacrifices to protect Bengali as a national language during Bengali Language Movement of 1952. It is also referred to as Language Martyrs’ Day or Martyrs’ Day. To commemorate this movement, Shaheed Minar, a solemn and symbolic sculpture, was erected in the place of the massacre. The day is revered in Bangladesh and, to a somewhat lesser extent, in West Bengal as the Martyrs’ Day.
- In sensational corporate-espionage case which has rocked the country, home minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that those involved in the scandal would not be spared and strictest punishment would be meted out to them as Rs.10000 Crore.
- Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA) here turned into a mini-hospital with scared IPS trainees and staff rushing to get swine flu vaccines after six probationers and a child tested positive for the H1N1 virus that has already left 49 dead in Telangana since January 1. Authorities flew in a H1N1 expert from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and distributed masks along with anti-viral and homeopathic medicines to more than 1,000 people at the prestigious academy.
- Squadron leader becomes first female aerobatic pilot in Indian Air Force.
- The woman brigade is creating all the buzz and catching attention at Aero India 2015 in Bengaluru. Squadron Leader Deepika Misra, Wing Commander Bhavna Mehra and Flight Lieutenant Sandeep Singh of Indian Air Force’s Team Sarang are standouts at the show.
- Tapan Misra was appointed as the Chief of ISRO’s Space Applications Centre (SAC). Formerly, Tapan Misra was Deputy Director of Microwave Remote Sensing Area in SAC.
- Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia asked Delhi Jal Board to submit a report on the city’s sewer system and contamination of water within 10 days after review with senior officials of the water utility and executive engineers of all 23 divisions on Friday and asked them to map the water and sewarage infrastructure.
- Government departments as Estate department, PWD, Home, Lucknow Municipal Corporation and Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) are way ahead of commoners when it comes to nonpayment of electricity dues more than Rs 33crore to Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA). Thisinclude government buildings, guest houses, police stations and BSP memorials and Mantri Awas. LDA owes more than Rs 85 lakh as dues against electricity consumption at Ramabai Ambedkar rally Sthal, BR Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, Manyavar Kanshiram Parivartan Prabandhan Sansthan and LDA Pradhikaran Bhawan, Gomtinagar. Dues against Rajya Sampatti Adhikari (Estate officer) are to the tune of Rs 6.8 crore (approx). PWD owes maximum Rs 19 crore (approx). Home department owes more than Rs 7 crore.
- India’s foreign exchange reserves have hit a fresh high, rising by $ 2.956 billion to $ 333.169 billion in the week to February 13, helped by a healthy increase in foreign currency assets. It had increased by $ 2.329 billion to $ 330.213 billion.
- India’s share markets will open for regular trading hours on Saturday, February 28, when the government is due to unveil a much- anticipated budget for the fiscal year starting in April, the country’s two main exchanges.
- Maheshwar Sahu was appointed as an Independent Director on the board of Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). Sahu is famously known as the individual behind the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild event- Vibrant Gujarat Summit. He holds 15 years of practical experience in industries including that of more than 5 years in Union Government and more than 23 years of experience in civil service.
- Rajasthan Electricity Regulatory Commission (RERC) announced revised power tariffs in different consumer categories, permitting discoms to increase domestic electricity charges by around 16% (85 paise per unit) and for non-domestic sector by around 19%. The average increase for all categories was 16.89%. The fixed charges too were increased for all categories – the hike ranging between Rs 20 and Rs 50 per connection per month.
- In aggressive bidding, Hindalco Industries has won one more mine in the ongoing coal auction, taking the total number of blocks won by the firm to three that includes two in Chhattisgarh and one in Jharkhand. Hindalco had on February 15 bagged Kathautia mine in Jharkhand and also won GareIV/5 mine in Chhattisgarh on February 19.
- Mulayam Singh had personally invited Modi for the ceremony. Mulayam’s grandnephew and RJD President Lalu Prasad’s daughter Raj Lakhsmi tied the knot in Saifai. Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the wedding ceremony of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s grandnephew and Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Yadav in Saifai.
- Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s party has announced a 72-hour nationwide shutdown from Sunday to intensify pressure on the government to hold fresh elections, raising tensions in the country already plagued by political standoff that has claimed over 100 lives.
- Sri Lanka has approved a bill for the protection of victims and witnesses of crimes, seen as reflection of the new government’s will to implement reforms. The law provides for compensation to witnesses cooperating with investigations and punitive action against those who would harass victims or witnesses to a crime.
- Monitoring Cell for Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) and The Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide vocational training to unemployed youth. It was signed by KN Janardhana, Chief Project Co-ordinator of Monitoring Cell for RSETIs and BH Anil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Commissioner for KVIC to enhance the project-related skills and business skills of the beneficiaries under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and improve the growth of the PMEGP project which is being implemented by KVIC.
- The study using the 2011 census data estimates that 660 million people (54.5% of the population) live in regions that do not meet the annual PM 2.5 (fine, respirable pollution particles) standard of 40 microgramme per cubic metre, and 262 million people (21.7% of the population) live in regions with air pollution levels more than twice this standard. Nearly every Indian (1,204 million people, or 99.5% of the population) lives in an area with PM 2.5 pollution above the World Health Organisation’s 10 microgramme per cubic metre guideline. Director of the Energy Policy Institute at Chicago with prominent economists and public policy experts from Yale and Harvard University, the study looks at air quality data in different parts of the country from pollution control boards and satellite data.
- Thailand has passed a law banning foreigners from paying Thai women to be surrogates, after two high-profile cases sparked debate last year.
- WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature to Android users. Users able to get the voice calling feature activated on our Android phone after receiving a WhatsApp call. Although, we were able to make voice calls to other Android and BlackBerry 10 users with the latest version of the app, the feature was not being activated for all users. It’s possible that WhatsApp may have set a limit to the number of users one could invite or is only allowing a limited set of users at this time to test its networks.
- Volvo Cars has announced that it had completed designs for self-driving cars which it plans to put on the road in two years. He has designed a complete production-viable autonomous driving system.
- A group of 158 women and children abducted by BokoHaram militants in December, have been reunited with their families yesterday.
- Star batsman Virat Kohli on Friday became the second most followed Indian sportsperson on ‘Facebook’ behind iconic Sachin Tendulkar as he crossed the 20-million mark. Kohli is listed at 20th position, while Tendulkar occupies 13th spot in the list of sportspersons who have maximum followers on Facebook.
- Pakistan set a new record for the worst start to a one-day international innings when they collapsed spectacularly to 1 for 4 against the West Indies after 3.1 overs in their Pool B match in Christchurch.
- Govind Pansare, leader of Communist Party of India (CPI), passed away at the age 82. He was shot along with his wife Uma by unidentified persons near his house in Kolhapur. He was threatened and abused for speaking against the glorification of Nathuram Godse at a gathering.
- Manorama Dobriyal Sharma, Member of Parliament (MP) in Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand and Congress Party leader, died at the age of 60
- Eminent Odia filmmaker Nirad Mahapatra passed away at the age of 67. Mahapatra was best known for his ecological, industrial and cultural documentaries.
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