• Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, EPFO decided to provide 8.65% interest on Provident Fund deposits for 2018-19 against 8.55% in the last year.
• Members of the Central Board of Trustees of EPFO agreed to give a higher interest for subscribers for the current fiscal.
• The proposal will now go to the Finance Ministry for approval.
• President Ram Nath Kovind promulgated 4 Ordinances on 21 Feb 2019.
• The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance is one of those, declares the practice of instant triple talaq to be void and illegal.
• It will also make the offence punishable with imprisonment up to three years and fine.
• Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) unveiled its new product, the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG) at Aero India 2019 on 21 Feb 2019.
• It was inaugurated by the Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.
• The AWG can be used to generate water straight from the humidity present in the atmosphere.
• It is configurable in static and mobile (vehicular) versions.
• The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh inaugurated the “Waste to Wonder” Park under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) in New Delhi on 21 Feb,19.
• He also lauded SDMC for improving its rank from 202 to 32 in Swachh Sarvekshan, 2018 ranking.
• Some of the main attractions of the “Seven Wonders Park” are the different sized tall replicas of Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramid of Giza, etc.
• The ‘ATL Drone module: Get, Set, Go’ for Atal Tinkering Labs was launched at the ongoing Aero India 2019 in Bengaluru.
• It was launched by NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Drona Aviation, an IIT Bombay start-up.
• With the ATL Drone Module, young students of India will learn how to create their own drones and use them for solving community problems in India.
• A book dedicated to Late eminent Vedanti Swami Pragyanandji was launched by Governor of West Bengal H.E Keshari Nath Tripathi.
• The book is written by Famous Industrialist and Philanthropist Mr. Dinesh Shahra.
• It is primarily aimed at offering saintly wisdom and guidance to lead a content and happy life.
• The Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed a Bill to make Sanskrit the second official language of the state.
• The Himachal Pradesh Official Language Bill, 2019 (Amendment) was introduced by Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh Thakur.
• It was passed without any discussion.
• A drainage-cleaning robot has been introduced for the first time in Chennai as part of efforts to get rid of manual scavenging.
• The robot named Bandicoot was introduced at a cost of 18 lakh rupees and was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Minister Kadambur Raju.
• Drainage cleaning can be detected by viewing the blockages on the screen.
• RBI has released a warning regarding an app called AnyDesk.
• You should not download this app through social media or any other channel, doing so might empty your bank account within minutes.
• RBI alerted banks about potential fraudulent transactions on the unified payments interface (UPI) platform.
• The 10-day long Taj Mahotsav began on 18 February 2019 with the theme ‘Parampara’.
• It was inaugurated at Shilpgram by the Governor of UP Ram Naik.
• Popular playback singers including Usha Uthup and Kumar Sanu will also be performing during this cultural carnival.
• Jitendra Singh Rathore of Rajasthan won the 50 km event in the 6th Open National Race Walking Championship in Chennai on 17 Feb 2019.
• He completed the race in a time of 4:23:23.00, pushing Joshi Sagar of Gujarat (4:24:21.00) to second place.
• Boys 10 km was won by Suraj Panwar, while Rogi Patel won the Girls 10 km.
• A UAE-based international cooling provider entered into a 30-year concession with Andhra Pradesh government to build India’s first district cooling system in Amaravati.
• The agreement was signed between the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) and Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA).
• This will be the company’s first plant outside its GCC market.
• US investment bank, JP Morgan Chase became the first US bank to offer its own cryptocurrency.
• The cryptocurrency, called ‘JPM Coin’ will always have a value equivalent to one US dollar.
• It will be initially used internally between JPMorgan Chase’s wholesale business clients.
• The bank had also built an Ethereum-based blockchain platform for business customers in 2018.
• The Reserve Bank of India withdrew the 20% limit on investments by FPIs in corporate bonds of an entity.
• It was stipulated in April 2018 that no FPI should have an exposure of more than 20% of its corporate bond portfolio to a single corporate.
• This has been done with a view to encourage more foreign investments.
• A poem on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’, by Punjabi writer Nanak Singh has now been translated into English.
• It was banned by the British in 1920.
• Singh was present at Jallianwala Bagh on April 13, 1919, and was 22 years old at the time.
• It will be published by Harper Collins India in March to mark the centenary of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
• Sunil Chhetri was conferred the first ever Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi.
• The award was presented by Football Delhi President Shaji Prabhakaran, a former player, and administrator at the All India Football Federation and FIFA.
• Football Delhi also honoured Shubham Sarangi, youth player from Delhi, currently the player of Delhi Dynamos squad for ISL.
• Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese refugee won the prestigious Martin Ennals human rights prize.
• He has been held in Australia’s notorious offshore Manus Island processing centre for over 5 years.
• Muhamat, from the Zaghawa ethnic group of Darfur, in north-western Sudan, was granted refugee status in early 2015.
• Infosys announced the launch of a digital platform, InfyTQ, offering learning and engagement experiences for engineering students.
• It is a free platform open to all engineering students in their third and fourth year and encourages holistic development.
• It will be available on both mobile and desktop and is equipped with a plethora of content, courses, and news.
• Saina Nehwal beat P V Sindhu to retain her women’s singles crown at the 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals on 16 Feb 2019.
• She registered a 21-18 21-15 against P V Sindhu.
• Saina Nehwal won her fourth Senior Nationals title
• It was held in Guwahati.
• World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 was held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on 16 Feb 2019.
• The theme of WSDS 2019 was ‘Attaining the 2030 Agenda: delivering on our promise’.
• Frank Bainimarama, PM of Fiji was honoured with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2019 for his outstanding contributions towards sustainable development in Fiji.
• India raised the customs duty to 200% on all goods imported from Pakistan, as a strong action against the Pulwama attack.
• The 2 main items imported from Pakistan are cement and fruits, on which the current customs duty is 7.5% and 30-50% respectively.
• India also revoked the MFN (Most Favored Nation) status to Pakistan after this incidence.
• Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik inaugurated and laid foundation stones for development projects in Kalahandi district on 16 Feb 2019.
• He inaugurated the Red Medium Irrigation Project which will benefit 79 villages and provide irrigation facility for 8500 hectares of agricultural land.
• Apart from this, he laid foundation stones for 38 development projects and launched 23 projects.
• President of Argentina Mauricio Macri arrived in New Delhi on 17 Feb 2019 on a 3-day official visit to India.
• Delegation level talks were held to review progress in bilateral ties and explore new avenues of cooperation.
• The President of Argentina also addressed the Plenary Session of India-Argentina Business Forum.
• Vidarbha defended its Irani Cup title on 16 Feb 2019 at the Jamtha Stadium in Nagpur.
• The Irani Cup tournament was conceived during the 1959-60 season to mark the completion of 25 years of the Ranji Trophy championship.
• It is related to cricket.
• Belgium’s Elise Mertens claimed the Qatar Open by beating top seed Simona Halep by 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, in tennis.
• This is her first-ever WTA Premier-level crown, and the fifth title of her career overall.
• Mertens is world number 21.
• A Regional Conference on Deendayal Disabled Rehabilitation Scheme (DDRS) was held at Kolkata, West Bengal on 18 Feb 2019.
• It was organised by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD).
• Under the scheme, every year more than 600 NGOs are provided with financial assistance for running their projects for the rehabilitation of persons with disability.
• The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), organised a 2-day workshop on “Committee of Creditors: An Institution of Public Faith” on 15-16 Feb,19 in Mumbai.
• It was the first of its kind organised jointly with State Bank of India (SBI) & Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA).
• Dr. MS Sahoo (Chairperson-IBBI) & Mr. Rajnish Kumar (Chairman-SBI) were some of the faculty members.
• PM Narendra Modi unveiled projects in Barauni on 17 Feb 2019 to boost development in various sectors.
• He laid the foundation stone of Patna Metro Rail Project and inaugurated the Phulpur to Patna stretch of the Jagdishpur-Varanasi Natural Gas pipeline.
• He also inaugurated the 1st phase of River Front Development at Patna and laid foundation Stone for the Karmalichak Sewerage Network.
• The President of India presented the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony on 18 Feb 2019 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.
• The award was presented to Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh; Chhayanaut, and Shri Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 respectively.
• The award was instituted from 2012.
• It is awarded annually and carries an amount of Rs.1 crore, citation, and Plaque.
• PM Narendra Modi visited Hazaribagh in Jharkhand on 17 February 2019 to unveil several development projects.
• He inaugurated the Medical Colleges at Hazaribagh, Dumka, and Palamu.
• He also inaugurated 4 Rural Water Supply Schemes in Ramgarh and Hazaribagh districts.
• He e-inaugurated the Only Women Engineering College at Ramgarh.
• Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) Scheme was implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on 15 Feb 2019.
• The features of the scheme are family pension and minimum assured pension.
• The unorganised workers whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme.
• Bradley Cooper was awarded the ‘Oscat’ by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
• The animal rights organisation awarded the best director award to Cooper for his enlightened decision to cast his own canine companion in ‘A Star Is Born’.
• PETA is an American animal rights organisation based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president.
• B P Sharma was re-employed as the CMD of the state-run helicopter manufacturer Pawan Hans.
• He was the CMD of Pawan Hans earlier in March 2015.
• He will be serving for a period of 5 months.
• Pawan Hans has a fleet of more than 50 helicopters.
• President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman Sushil Chandra as an Election Commissioner.
• The post had fallen vacant after the appointment of the then Election Commissioner Sunil Arora as Chief Election Commissioner.
• Ashok Lavasa is the senior-most Election Commissioner.
• Minister of State for AYUSH, Shri Shripad Yesso Naik launched the e-AUSHADHI portal, on 13 Feb 2019 at New Delhi.
• It is launched for online licensing of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy drugs and related matters.
• AUSHADHI is an acronym for Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy Automated Drug Help Initiative.
• Ruchira Kamboj was appointed as the Indian envoy to Bhutan on 11th Feb 2019.
• She is an Indian Foreign Service Officer from the 1987 batch and currently India’s High Commissioner to South Africa.
• She was appointed by the Ministry of External Affairs.
• RBI has decided to alter the definition of bulk deposits in the recent monetary policy review.
• It has been revised as single deposits of Rs 2 crore and above.
• Final guidelines regarding this will be issued by the end of Feb 2019. Banks have also been asked to maintain their bulk deposit card rates.
• This indicates that the interest rates are expected to go down.
• Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal inaugurated Cremica Mega Food Park through a video conference on 10 Feb 2019.
• This is the first Mega Food Park of Himachal Pradesh located at Singhain village, Una district.
• The park has been set up at a cost of Rs. 107.34 crores and will provide facilities such as frozen storage, dry warehouse, deep freeze, QC lab, etc.
• Air Chief Marshal, Birendra Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Indian Air Force, went on a 4-day official visit to Bangladesh from 11-14 Feb 2019.
• He will visit operational and training units of Bangladesh Air Force. This is a bilateral goodwill visit to a SAARC nation.
• He will also meet the PM and Chiefs of 3 defense services in Bangladesh. The visit will increase defence cooperation.
• An MoU was signed between Mongolia and Engineers India Ltd., on 10th Feb 2019.
• Engineers India Ltd. is a PSU under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
• It has been signed for Project Management Consultancy services for construction of an oil refinery plant in Mongolia by EIL.
• A 1.5 MMTPA greenfield crude oil refinery will be set up in the Sainshand.
• Ministry of Information & Broadcasting participated at the Berlin International Film Festival 2019.
• The festival is taking place from 7-17 Feb 2019 at Berlin, Germany.
• India Pavilion has been set up to showcase Indian Cinema at the global platform and facilitate new business opportunities in the Media & Entertainment sector.
• An initiative of the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Shehri Samridhi Utsav was launched on 4th February 2019.
• Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) App is launched on the Google play store.
• The Cabinet gave its approval to the proposal to launch Prasar Bharati’s ‘Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development’ scheme.
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the creation of Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) on 6th Feb 2019.
• The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman on 6 Feb 2019.
• A dedicated ‘Asiatic Lion Conservation Project’ was launched by Environment Ministry on 8 February 2019.
• Smriti Mandhana has attained number one ranking in the ICC ODI batting rankings.
• Haryana Hammers won the 4th edition of the Pro Wrestling League defeating Punjab Royals by 6-3 in the summit clash.
• Sana Mir from Pakistan became the first Asian woman cricketer to play 100 T20 international matches.
• Ramit Tandon won the final of the Seattle Open, a Squash event by defeating Egyptian Mohamed Al Sherbini on 2nd February 2019.
• Indian opener Smriti Mandhana made the fastest fifty for India in Women’s T20Is.
• Jeremy Lalrinnunga won the silver medal in men’s 67-kilogram category at the EGAT’s Cup International Weightlifting Championships in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
• NASA has lost touch with the first mini-spacecraft named MarCO CubeSats that ventured into deep space.
• The MarCO CubeSats, nicknamed EVE and WALL-E, were launched in 2018 to test if such low-cost technology can operate in deep space.
• They served as communications relays during the InSight’s Mars landing and have travelled well past Mars.
• Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) imposed a fine of Rs 9 lakh on state-owned United India Insurance Co (UIIC) Ltd for violating certain procedures.
• 3 violations were found during the inspection, of which 2 attracted the fine.
• UIIC is headquartered in Chennai, while IRDAI is in Hyderabad.
• Yes Bank was announced as the winner of the 9th edition of Aegis Graham Bell Award 2018 for its ‘Yes Engage Enrich Excel (EEE)’ project in data science.
• Its EEE program is an industry-first analytics tool that aids the Bank’s relationship managers with top 3 talking points to engage with their customers.
• Aegis Graham Bell Award promotes innovations and entrepreneurship in the ICT domain.
• RBI slapped Rs 1 crore penalty on SBI, country’s largest lender on 7th Feb 2019 for violating norms.
• RBI levied the penalty in the exercise of powers conferred under Section 47 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
• SBI was charged for not monitoring the end use of funds in respect of one of its borrowers.
• The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman on 6 Feb 2019.
• The Cabinet was chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
• The Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman was created in the year 2003 in order to deal with the grievances of public related to the settlement of complaints relating to Income Tax.
• The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Finland on 6th Feb 2019.
• It will support the creation of long-term Research, Development & Innovation collaboration mechanism and establish and strengthen cooperative network between Indian and Finnish organisations.
• The Cabinet was chaired by PM Narendra Modi and the MoU was signed on March 25, 2018 in Helsinki.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the four laning of the Falakata-Salsalabari section of NH-31 D in the northern part of West Bengal on 8 February 2019.
• This 41.7 Km long section of the National Highway falls in the Jalpaiguri district.
• It will have 3 railway over bridges, 3 underpasses, 2 flyovers, 17 minor bridges, and 8 bridges.
• Union Minister of Agriculture, Radha Mohan Singh asked all states to support the PM-KISAN scheme.
• Under the scheme, all Small and Marginal farmers (SMF) families having cultivable land up to 2 hectares will be provided income support of Rs.6000 per year.
• The amount will be provided in three equal instalments of Rs 2000 to farmers.
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