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  • Current Affairs 23rd February 2019

    Updated : 23-Feb-2019
    Current Affairs 23rd February 2019

    Current Affairs 23rd February 2019 - Important Points

    • Free Air Travel for Paramilitary Forces to Kashmir announced by - Government 
    • India-Saudi Arabia  apprehended  - bilateral Meeting
    • New F-21 Fighter Jet unveiled by - Lockheed Martin 
    • Pact  for Research on Environmental Issues signed between Centre and -  Canadian University
    • India-Spain hold Bilateral Meeting at - Madrid’s Viana Palace
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 on - 22nd February 2019

    Current Affairs 23rd February 2019 - Details

    Free Air Travel for Paramilitary Forces to Kashmir announced by - Government 

    The government has released an order sanctioning the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar & Srinagar-Jammu area to all the Central Armed Police Forces personnel which comprises their journey for joining duty, transfer, tour/going on leave. The provision till now was available for the officers in the rank of Inspectors & above has been now extended to the ranks of constable, head constable & ASI. This decision will profit about 7.8 lakh paramilitary staff.
    Now the jawans & sub-officers can advance book tickets in regular salable flights & claim repayment from their organisation/force for this travel to & from Kashmir.
    The decision is an allowance to the current air courier services for Central Armed Police Forces where
    whole aircraft is booked for the force personnel from either Delhi/Jammu to Srinagar & back. For the J&K sector, an air courier service was already existing for Central Armed Police Forces personals & this was extended in December 2017 to cover extra routes including Delhi-Jammu, Jammu-Srinagar,
    Srinagar-Jammu & Jammu-Delhi.
    Reason behind the decision
    During the February 14th Pulwama attack, 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed
    when an explosives-laden vehicle was blown-off by a JeM terrorist, near the force bus which was plying
    between Jammu-Srinagar as part of a convoy. Questions were elevated on why the troops were not
    permitted to travel by air so that the risk & threat of travelling on road, in large convoys in the Kashmir Valley, is eliminated.

    India-Saudi Arabia  apprehended  - bilateral Meeting

    India & Saudi Arabia apprehended a bilateral meeting on the side-lines of the visit of Saudi Arabia’s
    Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India. The combined statement issued on the side-lines of the
    bilateral meet between Indian PM Narendra Modi & Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin
    Salman highlighted numerous development points.
    Important Highlights

    • Confirming that extremism &terrorism threaten all countries, India & Saudi Arabia disallowed any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to a particular race, religion/culture.
    • Without naming Pakistan, the combined statement informed that countries should renounce the usage of terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
      Constitution of a “comprehensive security dialogue” at the level of national security advisor &
    • formation of a joint working group on counter-terrorism.
    • Saudi Arabia repeated its commitment to meeting India’s rising needs for crude oil & petroleum items & additional for any shortages that may rise as a result of disruptions from other sources without naming Iran.
    • Saudi Arabia also augmented India’s Haj quota by approximately 25000. India’s Haj quota now stands at 2 lakhs.
    • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman informed that Saudi Arabia has previously invested $44 billion in India since the Prime Minister’s visit in 2016 & they realize an investment opportunity of worth $100 billion in sectors including energy, petrochemicals & manufacturing.

    New F-21 Fighter Jet unveiled by - Lockheed Martin 

    United States defence enormous Lockheed Martin revealed the F-21 multi-role fighter jet at Asia’s biggest air show  Aero India-2019.  Lockheed Martin will build the plane in partnership with Tata Advanced Systems under India’s flagship program ‘Make in India’.
    More about F-21 Fighter Jet 

    • The corporation states that the F-21 fighter jet is specifically arranged for the IAF & will fortify India’s path to an advanced airpower future.
    • F-21 would accomplish the IAF’s unique needs & integrates India into the world’s largest fighter aircraft ecosystem with the world’s pre-eminent defence corporation.
    • The F-21 delivers ‘unmatched’ Make in India options & fortifies India’s path to an advanced airpower future together with unparalleled industrial options & accelerates closer India-United States assistance on advanced technologies.
      India’s RFI for 110 fighter jets
    • India had floated Request for Information for acquiring 110 fighter aircraft for its air force.
    • 6 worldwide aviation majors which have responded to the Request for Information are Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin’s F-21 Fighting Falcon, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab’s Gripen & Russian United Aircraft Corporation’s MiG-35.
    • The Request for Information mandates that the gaining the 110 aircraft should have 15% aircraft in
      flyaway condition & the residual 85% to be manufacture in India by a Strategic Partner. 
    • Lockheed has teamed up with Tata Advanced Systems for the F-21, & Boeing has teamed up with Hindustan Aeronautics as well as Mahindra Défense Systems for the local production of the Super Hornet.

    Pact  forResearch on Environmental Issues signed between Centre and -  Canadian University

    The Central government has inked a MoU with the University of British Columbia, Canada to work on
    various environmental matters including climate change, forest resource management & wildlife.
    Features of the MoU

    • The Memorandum of Understanding was inked by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change for the succeeding 10 years to explore openings for associations in the field of forestry science.
    • The opportunities for partnership will be explored via establishments like Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy & Directorate of Forest Education, Uttarakhand, & University of British Columbia.
    • The Memorandum of Understanding will contribute in the exchange of students, scholars & faculty,
      developing research projects, livelihood opportunities & increase the income of the forest-based
    • The Memorandum of Understanding will also benefit industries to optimise the use of forest-based
      resources with access to technology to different shareholders by the respective organisations.
    • The areas to be explored for partnership under the Memorandum of Understanding include
      Collaborative research on wood sciences, forest resource management, adaptation & mitigation to
      climate variation, forest genetics & breeding, wildlife, remote sensing, insect & pest disease, conservation of flora & fauna, biotechnology, bio-energy & bio-economy.

    India-Spain hold Bilateral Meeting at - Madrid’s Viana Palace

    Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj completed a bilateral meeting with her counterpart from Spain Josep Borrel. Meeting was held at Madrid’s Viana Palace, which is Spanish foreign ministry’s authorized HQs to discuss the most pressing matters on the international agenda.
    Highlights of the Bilateral Meet

    • Both India & Spain maintained the promotion of multilateralism & a rules-based concept of free business.
    •  The meeting accredited the growing degree of interlocution between Spain & Indian & the present understanding between the both nations that share values, democratic principles & vision regarding international affairs.
    •  Both deliberated the budding potential of closer economic relations & industrial & technological co-operation between the Mediterranean & South Asian nations especially in fields in which Spanish businesses are global leaders including the civil utilisation of nuclear energy, transport, the railway sector & renewable energy. 
    • The meeting accredited India’s growing influence when it comes to the promotion of international
      stability & security. Spain articulated condolences & solidarity in the aftermath of a brutal suicide bombing at Pulwama that has killed no less than 40 paramilitary troopers.
      Festival of India in Nepal Begins
      A month-long Festival of India in Nepal is being organised at Nepal. Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari was the chief guest of the inaugural ceremony.
      Festival of India in Nepal
    • The Festival of India in Nepal is held by the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre at the Indian embassy in Kathmandu with help from India’s Ministry of culture.
    • The Festival of India in Nepal is intended at consolidating &  solidifying our existing age-old ties,
      reinforcing sensibilities, affinities & shared cultural bonds between the people of our both nations.
    • On the inaugural day, the Sumit Roy Group portrayed the life-span of the Buddha via melody & drama.
    • The month-long festival will swarm cultural performances including Mridangam instrumental
      performance by Pandit Yella Venkateshwara, Punjabi folk dance by Harinder Pal & group, Theatre art by Su-Samannaya group, Kathakali dance by Haripriya & group and Maithali Sons & Dances by Prangan Group.
    • Together with cultural proceedings the Festival also hosts an exhibition on Mahatma Gandhiji together with a speech competition on the Mahatma Gandhiji besides a session on Sanskrit.
      Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre
      Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre goals to promote awareness of India’s composite cultural heritage & to fortify the current cultural bonds across the world. The centres are operated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 on - 22nd February 2019

    PM Narendra Modi on February 22nd, 2019 received the prestigious Seoul Peace Prize 2018 for his  contribution to international co-operation & fostering global economic growth. The committee accredited him for his efforts in promoting global peace  and harmony via inclusive economic growth & improving quality of life. The award was offered 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 & accomplishments of PM Modi was also screened at the occasion.
    More about Seoul Peace Prize

    • The Seoul Peace Prize was recognized in 1990 to memorialize the success of the 24th Olympic Games organised in Seoul, Korea which saw participation of 160 nations, creating harmony & friendship. 
    • The award was recognized to crystallise the Korean people's yearning for peace on the Korean Peninsula & in the rest of the world.
    • The award has been deliberated biennially to individuals who have made their mark through aids to the harmony of mankind, reconciliation between nations & to world peace. 
    • The awardee receives a diploma, a plaque & honorarium around USD 200000.
    • Past laureates comprise distinguished global traits including former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel & intercontinental relief creations like Doctors Without Borders & Oxfam.

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