Daily Current Affairs - 15-02-2021

The Government of India had decided to supply the Coronavirus vaccines to Canada. This decision was taken by the Indian side following a personal request made by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau to Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Trudeau has asked for support of India to Canada and assistance for Covid-19 vaccines in order to fight the pandemic. PM Modi has also assured the Canadian prime minister that, India will completely support the vaccination program in Canada.


India-Canada relations

The relationship between India and Canada recently entered into crisis following the concerns raised by the Canadian Prime Minister over the ongoing farmers’ protest in India. The Ministry of External Affairs of India had termed the comments made by Canada as Unwarranted. However, the prime minister later changed his views and commended the Indian government to hold the dialogues with the farmers’ leaders.

Russia has launched a new progress cargo ship into orbit in February 14, 2021. The cargo ship was launched in order to deliver the cargo to the seven crew members in the International Space Station (ISS).

More in news

Soyuz Rocket

It is a 152-foot-tall or 46-meters launch vehicle comprising of the three-stages. The rocket will head on a north-easterly trajectory to reach the ISS. The second stage of the rocket which is also called the core stage has been is powered by one RD-108A engine. The second stage is designed in a way that it continues firing for approximately three more minutes before shifting to the third stage of the rocket called the RD-0110 engine.

International Space Station (ISS)

It is a modular space station or a habitable artificial satellite. It has been installed in low Earth orbit. It is a multinational collaborative project that involves the participation of five space agencies namely, NASA from United States, Roscosmos from Russia, JAXA from Japan, ESA from Europe, and CSA from Canada. Intergovernmental treaties and agreements are signed between the countries in order to establish the ownership and uses policies. The station is divided into two parts. The first part is the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) which is operated by Russia and the second part of United States Orbital Segment (USOS) which is run by the United States in association with other nations.

The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship recently rolled out the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme in all the districts India.


About SANKALP Scheme

The SANKALP scheme stands for the “Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion”. This programme is assisted by the World Bank loan. The scheme was launched with the objective of strengthening the district skill administration and the District Skill Committees (DSCs).

Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) programme

MGNF is a two-year fellowship programme. It was launched with the objective of boosting the skill development at the district level. It has been designed under the SANKALP scheme. The scheme was launched with the aim of addressing the challenge of non-availability of personnel in order to implement the programmes at district, state and national levels. Under the programme, the fellows should be aged between 21 to 30 years to get enrolled.

A new artificially intelligent “mathematician” which is called as the “Ramanujan Machine” have the potential to reveal the hidden relationships between numbers.

Key Facts

Srinivasa Ramanujan

Machine learning

In the machine learning, an algorithm detects the patterns in large amounts of data. The detection of pattern is done with minimal direction from programmers. Machine learning finds its use in a variety of pattern-finding applications. It is used in the image recognition as well as in the discovery of drug.

The Union Textile Minister, Smriti Irani, has launched the commercial Jute seed distribution scheme on February 15, 2021.

Key Facts

Recent Developments

The textile minister also said that both the Agriculture Ministry and the Textile Ministry has been working and enhancing the synergy in order to extend its support to the Jute growing farmers. Recently, the centre took the decision of mandatory packaging in jute materials. This move will benefit over 4 lakh farmers. It will also help nearly 40 lakh Agri-based households. Further, excavation for Jute-retting tanks has been included under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). This move will help in creating 46 lakh days of work for the farmers.

About Jute

It is a natural fibre having a golden, soft, long, and silky shine. Jute is the cheapest fibre which is procured from skin of the plant’s stem. Jute is also called as the golden fibre. The Golden Fibre Revolution in India is associated to the jute production. Jute industry is one among the oldest textile industries in India that involved directly or indirectly a large chunk of people.

The Indian government has gifted 2000 metric tonnes of rice to Syria in a bid to strengthen the food security with the middle east countries.


India-Syria Relation

The Ministry of external affairs stated that; India has always stood in solidarity with the people of Syria. The bilateral relation between both the countries continued through the development and capacity buildings project in Syria. It continued even during the internal conflicts in the country. India has provided understated grants to Syria in the recent times:

The Health and Family Welfare Department of Odisha has announced recently to established a COVID-19 Warrior Memorial in Bhubaneshwar.

Key Facts

Why this memorial is being constructed?

The Chief Secretary of Health Department, PK Mohapatra, stated that the Covid-19 pandemic is kind of once in a century pandemic. Thus, to keep the health crisis in the memory of the people and to recognize & honour the services provided by the frontline workers this Covid-19 warrior memorial will be constructed. The memorial will also honour the sacrifices made by the frontline warriors who lost their lives while fighting with the pandemic. In Odisha, around 60 Covid-19 warriors and health workers died amid the pandemic.


The COVID-19 war memorial is being constructed in the backdrop of announcement made by the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik in 2020. The chief minister had announced in the year 2020 that, all the health personnel and support services staffs who died due to the Coronavirus pandemic, will be given the status of martyr. The government had also announced Rs. 50 lakh ex-gratia to all the public and private health personnel and the members of all the support services who died while providing services amid the pandemic.

Kerala, which is home to India’s biggest art event called Kochi-Muziris Biennale, is now aspiring to become a museum hub in the country.


Keralam Museum

  1. Koyikkal Palace Folklore Museum at Nedumangad in Thiruvananthapuram,
  2. Gandhi Smriti Museum at Payyanur and
  3. Vaikom Satyagraha Memorial Gandhi Museum in Kottayam.

Museum Projects in Kerala

The government has also decided that the Bastion Bungalow at Fort Kochi will function as the Ernakulam District Heritage Museum. The galleries of this museum visually explain the interventions of Portuguese, Dutch and the British powers into the political domain kingdoms of Kerala. Apart from that, Kerala recently opened District Heritage Museum in Palakkad. It is situated 150 km north of Kochi. This museum focuses on the agriculture, arts and music of the region.

The World Bank recently published its report titled “Traffic Crash Injuries and Disabilities: The Burden on Indian Society”. This report was released by Union transport minister, Nitin Gadkari, on February 13, 2021. The report mentions the disproportionate impact of a road crash on poor households.  It also throws light on the links between poverty, road crashes, inequality and vulnerable road users across India.

Key Findings of the report

The World Bank notes that the road crashes have a devastating and disproportionate impact on the poor households. It can throw the family into deep poverty. In that light, the World Bank showed its commitment to support the government in order to create a safety nets for poor households. The safety net would help in easing the financial burden of the poor families. It will also help them to face the challenge of the emergency linked to road crashes.

The Governor of West Bengal, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, inaugurated the 11th edition of ‘Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav’ on February 14, 2021.

Key Facts

Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav

11th edition

The year 2021 is witnessing the eleventh edition of Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav. The festival is being held in between 14th to 28th February, 2021 in West Bengal. It will be organised at Cooch Behar in between 14th to 16th February, 2021, at Darjeeling in between 22nd to 24th February, 2021 while at Murshidabad in between 27th to 28th February, 2021. This edition is significant in the light of COVID Pandemic that has severely impacted the cultural sector. Through this event support and assistance will be provided to the artists by the ministry of culture.

The Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi, has put the climate change at the centre of his plans to run Italy. He has created a super ministry to ensure a transition to green energy drives recovery in the country. The super ministry has been established with the objective of making full use of European Union funds with respect to the climate change.

Key Facts

About Mario Draghi

Italian Government Crisis 2021

This political event began in January 2021 in Italy and ended in February 2021 after Mario Draghi sworn in as the Prime Minister. The Italian government crisis include the event of the announcement to revoke IV’s support to the government of Giuseppe Conte. This announcement was made by Matteo Renzi who is the leader of Italia Viva (IV) and the former Prime Minister of Italy.

Hung Parliament of 2018

The general election in 2018 produced a hung parliament in Italy. After several talks and negotiations, a coalition government was formed on June 1, 2019 between the centrist Five Star Movement (M5S) and right-wing League.  However, this coalition ended after Giuseppe Conte’s resignation in August 2019. Again in September 2019, new government was formed with Giuseppe Conte as its head.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) recently issued orders to make FASTag compulsory at all toll plazas in effect from February 15, 2021 all across India.



Recent Development

State-run oil marketing companies like IOCL, HPCL and BPCL had signed MoU in January 2019 to enable the use of FASTag in order to make purchases at petrol pumps. This move will further encourage the faster adoption of this mechanism. As per the data till September 2019, FASTag lanes are available across 500 national and state highways. Further, more than 54.6 lakh cars have been enabled with FASTag.

The Finance Ministry has decided to infuse Rs 3,000 crore capital into the state-owned general insurance companies in the current quarter.

Key Facts


How this infusion will be utilised?

Capital infusion for the insurers will help three public sector general insurance companies to improve their financial and solvency position. It will also help the insurers to meet the insurance needs of economy. The infusion of the capital will also help in absorbing the changes and enhancing the capacity to raise the resources. Lastly, it will help in improving the risk management.

National Insurance Company Limited (NICL)

It is a state-owned general insurance company. The tagline of the company is “Trusted Since 1906”. It is headquartered at Kolkata. NICL was established by Gordhandas Dutia and Jeevan Das Dutia in 1906. NICL also serves in Nepal.