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Current Affairs in Short: 28 February 2019

The Income Tax Department on February 28, 2019 said that it will only issue refunds via e-mode into bank accounts of taxpayers which are linked with PAN. Those who have not linked their PAN with their bank account should provide it to their home bank branch and also validate this over the e-filing website of the IT Department.

Feb 28, 2019 17:15 IST
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Crash of MiG 21 fighter jet of Indian Air Force

• The Government informed about Counter Terrorism (CT) action it took on February 27, 2019 against a training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in Pakistan based on credible evidence that JeM intended to launch more attacks.
• The Pakistan Air Force was detected breaching the Indian air space and the Indian Air Force responded instantly.
• In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen falling from the sky on the Pakistan side.
• However, in this engagement, India unfortunately lost one MiG 21 fighter jet.
• The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed the custody of the pilot.

Mi-17 V5 Helicopter of IAF crashes

• On February 27, 2019, one Mi-17 V5 helicopter of Indian Air Force got airborne from Srinagar airfield for a routine mission.  
• The helicopter crashed near Budgam, Jammu & Kashmir.  
• All six air warriors on board the helicopter suffered fatal injuries.  
• A court of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the accident.

RBI, Bank of Japan sign Bilateral Swap Arrangement for India to access 75 billion in US dollars

• The Reserve Bank of India and Bank of Japan have completed signing of the Agreement for Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) between India and Japan.
• The BSA was negotiated between India and Japan during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Tokyo in October 2018.
• This BSA provides for India to access USD 75 billion and was approved by the Union Cabinet in January 2019.
• India can access the agreed amount of USD 75 billion for its domestic currency for the purpose of maintaining an appropriate level of balance of payments or short-term liquidity.  
• The BSA provides India flexibility to use these reserves if at any point of time, in its judgment, there is need to use the resources available under BSA.

Link your PAN with bank for refunds: Income Tax Department to taxpayers

• The Income Tax Department on February 28, 2019 said that it will only issue refunds via e-mode into bank accounts of taxpayers which are linked with PAN.
• Those who have not linked their PAN with their bank account should provide it to their home bank branch and also validate this over the e-filing website of the IT Department.
• The bank account could be either savings, current, cash, or overdraft.
• Till now, the department used to issue refunds to taxpayers either in their bank accounts or through account payee cheques in a case-to-case basis depending on the category of taxpayers.

Piyush Goyal announces “South Coast Railway (SCoR)” a new Zone of Indian Railways in Andhra Pradesh

• Railways Minister Piyush Goyal on February 27, 2019 announced the “South Coast Railway (SCoR)” as the new Zone of Indian Railways.
• The new zone SCoR will comprise of existing Guntakal, Guntur and Vijayawada divisions of Andhra Pradesh.
• Waltair division shall be split into two parts. One part of Waltair division will be incorporated in the new South Coast Railway zone and will be merged with the neighbouring Vijaywada division. Remaining portion of Waltair division shall be converted into a new division with headquarter at Rayagada under East Coast Railway (ECoR).
• South Central Railway will comprise of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Nanded divisions.
• As per item 8 of Schedule 13 (Infrastructure) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, Indian Railways was required to examine establishing a new railway zone in Andhra Pradesh.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates highways projects worth Rs 6900 Crore and Namami Gange Projects in Bihar

• Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid foundation stones for sixteen National Highways projects worth Rs 6943.04 crore in Chhapra and Madhepura, Bihar on February 28, 2019.
• He also laid the foundation stone for several works under Namami Gange programme worth Rs 2826 crore at these two places.
• Gadkari also dedicated to the public 6 Ghats renovated and developed at a cost of Rs 19.75 crore.
• He also laid the foundation stone for 8 projects of rehabilitation and development work of Ghats at Chhapra at a cost of Rs 22 crore.

NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission partners with Adobe to enhance creativity in ATL Schools

• NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Adobe on February 28, 2019 signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to collectively drive the charter of developing creative skills and spreading digital literacy across all Atal Tinkering Labs in India.
• Adobe will be adopting 100 schools under Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) initiative and will be implementing its Digital Disha Program in ATLs under which free licenses of Adobe Spark premium shall be offered to ATLs.
• Launched in 2018, the Adobe Digital Disha Programme is aimed at driving synergies in creative thinking and technology-based learning.
• Under this collaboration, children and teachers across these schools and communities will be benefitted from creative learning resources.

Suresh Prabhu inaugurates ‘Aviation Conclave 2019’ with theme of “Flying for All”

• Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation inaugurated the Aviation Conclave 2019 with the theme of “Flying for All”.  
• The conclave was about the future of Indian aviation.
• It brought together industry leaders, government and regulators for setting the tone and propelling to realize the Vision-2040.
• Over 30 industry leaders participated in 5-key sessions- Drone-Ecosystem Policy Roadmap, Roadmap for Manufacturing Aircraft, the Project Rupee Raftaar- Aircraft Financing from India, the National Air Cargo Policy and the Mission to transform Indian Airports into Next-Gen Aviation Hubs.
• A ‘Passenger Charter’ was released on the occasion.

NCDC to organise ‘India International Cooperative Trade Fair’ in October 2019

• The National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) will organise a first of its kind ‘India International Cooperative Trade Fair’ in October 2019 in New Delhi.  
• The Cooperative Trade Fair will provide platform for sale, market, product display, conferences, buyer-seller meet, networking, policy advocacy etc to national and international cooperatives.
• Talking about the achievements of NCDC, the ‘Yuva Sahakar’ scheme was launched in November 2018 for giving wings to young entrepreneurs in cooperatives.
• The newly formed cooperatives will be able to take advantage of the ‘Cooperative Start up and Innovation Fund’ created by NCDC with liberalised assistance for cooperatives in the North Eastern Region.

Textiles Minister launches Short Term Courses at NIFT Panchkula

• Union Minister of Textiles, Smriti Zubin Irani, launched five short term courses at NIFT Panchkula, Haryana.
• The proposed one-year Certificate Programmes are - fashion clothing & technology; design development for indian ethnic wear; fashion & media communication; textile for interiors & fashion; and fashion knitwear production and technology.
• The permanent campus building of NIFT Panchkula is under construction and is expected to be completed by June 2020.
• Till the completion of the permanent campus, the Institute will be run from temporary campus in Polytechnic-cum-Multi Skill Training Centre in Sector 26 Panchkula.
• The campus is being set up with the support of Department of Technical Education, Haryana.

Monkeys declared as Vermin Species in Himachal Pradesh

• Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister Govind Singh Thakur informed that monkeys have been declared as Vermin species for next one year for eleven districts and 91 tehsils and sub-tehsils in Himachal Pradesh.
• Due to monkeys menace in Himachal Pradesh, humans are getting affected. Thus to resolve this issue, it became necessary to declare monkeys as vermin species.
• State has reported damage to life and property including large scale destruction of agriculture done by monkeys in areas outside forest.
• Monkeys have been adversely affecting the crops and causing harm to humans.
• Vermin are pests or nuisance animals that spread diseases or destroy crops or livestock.

International Digital Health Symposium inaugurated

• Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated the ‘International Digital Health Symposium’ and the exhibition on Digital Health as part of the Symposium.
• The participant countries along with various Government Ministries, states and other stakeholders showcased key innovations, implementation experiences and innovative Digital Health Interventions.
• The Digital Health Symposium follows the two-day 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit and allows wide engagement with innovators, clinical leaders, academia, researchers, healthcare establishments, government representatives, technical experts, and entrepreneurs.
• The Delhi Declaration on Digital Health adopted during the Summit affirms the attainment of sustainable development goals and to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens through the best use of evidence based digital technologies.

Heat Wave 2019: Workshop on Preparedness begins in Nagpur

• The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with Maharashtra is conducting a two-day national workshop on Preparedness, Mitigation and Management of Heat Wave in Nagpur.
• The workshop aims to sensitise States to the need of preparing and implementing specific Heat Action Plans in line with NDMA’s national guidelines on Heat Wave.
• It discussed the roadmap for India’s Heat Wave Management planning in the broader global context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
• Climate change is driving temperatures higher as well as increasing the frequency and severity of heat waves.

Dharmendra Pradhan hands over 100th Letter of Intent under SATAT scheme

• Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Skill development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan handed over the 100th Letter of Intent (LoI) to the Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) Entrepreneur under the SATAT scheme.
• The Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) is a developmental effort that would benefit both vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.
• SATAT was launched in October 2018 with a four-pronged agenda of utilising more than 62 million metric tonnes of waste generated every year in India, cutting down import dependence, supplementing job creation in the country and reducing vehicular emissions and pollution.
• Within 5 months of its launch, over 100 LoIs have been issued under the scheme.

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