Top 10 Weekly Current Affairs: 18 February to 23 February 2019
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, visited India on February 19-20, 2019. The Prime Minister and His Royal Highness condemned in the recent Pulwama terror attack on Indian security forces on February 14, 2019.
PM Narendra Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize for 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 22, 2019 received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. The committee credited him for his efforts in promoting global peace and harmony through inclusive economic growth and improving quality of life.
The award was presented to him by Kwon E-hyock, the Chairman of the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation at a grand ceremony in Seoul, South Korea. A short film on the life and achievements of Prime Minister Modi was also screened at the event.
Aero India 2019: Drone Olympics Competition held
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurated the 12th biennial edition of International Aerospace and Defence Exhibition ‘Aero India 2019’ at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bengaluru.
For the first time, the 2019 edition of Aero India combines the defence and civil aviation segments into a holistic event with the co-involvement of the defence and civil aviation ministries. The 12th edition of Aero India intends to be a “Runway to a billion opportunities” and put India on the Global map.
MHA approves air travel for all personnel of CAPFs
In a significant decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs approved the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs).
The decision will immediately benefit approximately 7,80,000 personnel of the CAPFs in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable and ASI who were otherwise not eligible earlier. This includes journey on duty and journey on leave, i.e; while going on leave from Jammu and Kashmir to home and return.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s India visit: Key highlights
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Saudi Arabia, visited India on February 19-20, 2019.
The Prime Minister and His Royal Highness condemned in the recent Pulwama terror attack on Indian security forces on February 14, 2019. Prime Minister expressed his thanks to the Saudi Crown Prince for ordering the release of 850 Indian prisoners from Saudi jails.
India's fighter jet ‘LCA Tejas’ now fully combat-ready
Landmark day for India's defence sector, India's first self-made fighter jet, Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK I (LCA Tejas) on February 20, 2019 received the Final Operational Clearance for induction into the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a fully-weaponised fighter jet.
The formal declaration of Final Operational Clearance (FOC) of the aircraft was made by Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Secretary of Defence (R&D). Prior to this, the LCA Tejas was an Initial Operational Clearance (IOC) aircraft.
Government clears proposal to encourage investments in Start-Ups; hikes tax exemption cap
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu on February 19, 2019 cleared proposals to encourage investments in Start-Ups, aiming at simplifying the process of exemptions for Start-ups from the ‘Angel Tax’ under Section 56 (2) (viib) of Income Tax Act, 1961.
As per the new norms, registered startups will be exempted from tax on funding of up to Rs 25 crore compared with the existing limit of Rs 10 crore. Till date, the startups were availing of the tax concession only on the condition that their total investment, including funding from angel investors, does not exceed Rs 10 crore.
CCEA approves ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan’ Scheme for farmers’ welfare
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on February 19, 2019 approved the launch of ‘Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan’ with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.
The Scheme will have substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emissions. All three components of the Scheme will save about 27 million tonnes of CO2 emission per annum.
Union Government launches three women safety initiatives
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi jointly launched three significant initiatives to promote the safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces and the public spaces on February 18, 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
The initiatives include Emergency Response Support System, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal. The Ministry launched Emergency Response Support System in 16 states and union territories including Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadar Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Jammu and Kashmir.
India, Argentina sign MoU, release Joint Statement
India and Argentina released a Joint Statement on February 18, 2019 after extensive talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, who is on a state visit to India from February 17-19, 2019.
President Mauricio Macri is in India at the invitation of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Argentine Republic and the Republic of India. The President is accompanied by senior government officials and a business delegation.
India raises customs duty on all goods imported from Pakistan
India on February 16, 2019 increased customs duty on all goods originating from or imported from Pakistan to 200 per cent with immediate effect. It is not very clear whether this will affect the third-country trade which is going on between the two countries through places such as Dubai in the UAE and Singapore.
Pakistan exported just $500 million of goods in 2017-18 to India, representing 1.5 per cent of its exports. However, it is believed to have exported goods worth about 3-4 times as much through third countries.
Chris Gayle announces retirement from One-day Internationals
Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has announced that he will retire from One-day Internationals after this year’s World Cup in England and Wales. The announcement was made by West Indies Cricket on February 17, 2019.
The 39-year old left-hander has scored 9,727 ODI runs, second only to the legendary Brian Lara among West Indians in 284 matches. He needs 677 more runs to surpass Lara as the West Indies' all-time record ODI run scorer, a feat he will be hoping to achieve during his fifth World Cup.