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Important Current Affairs 24th February 2022

INTERNATIONAL

Russia-Ukraine Border Conflict 

• The Russia-Ukraine Border Conflict, have been simmering for more than two months, with diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue showing little sign of progress. Russia has more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, sparking Western warnings of an imminent invasion. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile, voiced concerns that Russia continues to build up troop numbers along Ukraine’s borders, including in Belarus.

• The Border conflict in Ukraine began with protests in the capital city of Kiev in November 2013 against Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject a deal for greater economic integration with the European Union. After a violent crackdown by state security forces unintentionally drew an even greater number of protesters and escalated the conflict, President Yanukovych fled the country in February 2014.

• In March 2014, Russian troops took control of Ukraine’s Crimean region, before formally annexing the peninsula after Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation in a disputed local referendum. Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the need to protect the rights of Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Crimea and southeast Ukraine. The Border conflict heightened ethnic divisions, and two months later pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine held a referendum to declare independence from Ukraine.

NATIONAL

Union Minister Giriraj Singh launches Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain

• Giriraj Singh, who is the Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, has released the Rural Connectivity GIS Data in Public Domain. This data includes the GIS data for more than 8 lakh rural facilities which have been collected and digitised using the GIS platform developed for the PM-GSY scheme. Other than Giriraj Singh, other Union Ministers like Faggan Singh Kulaste and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, were also present at the release event.

• An estimate is that more than 6.90 lakh km of roads have been constructed, which connects 1,61,508 habitations with an expenditure of about 2.69 lakh crores of Indian rupees.

• Speed of the construction of rural roads under the PMGSY has seen massive growth during the last few years and the use of new technology has been emphasized which has resulted in a saving of about 5000 crores of Indian rupees.

• The data which has been made available in the public domain can be beneficial to the startups, entrepreneurs, businesses, civil society, academics and other government departments to build products, conduct research,  and plan investments for a quicker disaster response.

IAF to participate in multi-nation air exercise 'Ex Cobra Warrior 22' in UK

• Indian Air Force will participate in a multi-nation air exercise named ‘Exercise Cobra Warrior 22’ at Waddington, in the United Kingdom from March 06 to 27, 2022. IAF Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas will participate in the exercise along with fighter aircraft of the UK and other leading Air Forces. Five Tejas aircraft will fly to the United Kingdom. IAF C-17 aircraft will provide the necessary transport support for induction and de-induction.

• The exercise is aimed at providing operational exposure and sharing best practices amongst the participating Air Forces, thereby enhancing combat capability and forging bonds of friendship. This will be a platform for LCA Tejas to demonstrate its manoeuvrability and operational capability.

OBITUARY

Andhra minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy passes away at 50

• Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has passed away. The 50 years old Minister returned to India from Dubai Expo. Reddy, was a two-time MLA from the Atmakur Assembly constituency in the Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh. He was the Minister for Industries, Commerce, and Information Technology in Andhra Pradesh Government.

Renowned Malayalam Actor Dies At 74

• Veteran Malayalam film and stage actress, KPAC Lalitha has passed away at 74. In a career spanning five decades, she starred in over 550 films in Malayalam and Tamil. Born as Maheswari Amma in Kayamkulam of Alappuzha, the actress had joined K.P.A.C (Kerala People’s Arts Club), a prominent drama troop in Kerala.

• Lalitha won two National Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress along with four Kerala State Film Awards. She got the national award for the character in ‘Amaram’ in 1999 and for ‘Shantham’ in 2000. She also held the position of the Chairperson of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy for five years.

APPOINTMENTS & RESIGNATIONS

Centre nominates Sanjay Malhotra as a Director of Central Board of RBI

• The Centre government has nominated Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, as a Director on the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The nomination of Malhotra, a 1990 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, is effective from February 16, 2022, and until further orders.

• Prior to his appointment as DFS Secretary, Malhotra was the Chairman and Managing Director of REC Ltd. He succeeded Debashish Panda, who completed his term on January 31, 2022.

K.N. Raghavan new Chairman of ISRG

• Executive Director of the Indian Rubber Board, K.N. Raghavan has been elected the new Chairman of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). He will officiate as Chairman of the group for the next two years. He will preside over the meeting of the heads of delegation scheduled for March 31 at Singapore.

• India, being both a producer and a consumer of rubber, will be in a good position to protect the interests of both producers and consumers in the IRSG -the only international commodity body approved by the Common Fund for Commodities for development financing in the rubber sector.

• International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), an intergovernmental organisation of natural and synthetic rubber producing and consuming countries. IRSG is the only forum for natural rubber (NR) and synthetic rubber (SR) producers and consumers to discuss matters affecting the world rubber industry and act as an interface between government and the Industry. International Rubber Study Group Members: Cameroon; Cote d’Ivoire; European Union; India; Nigeria; Russia; Singapore; Sri Lanka.

IMPORTANT DAYS

Central Excise Day 24 February 2022

• Central Excise Day of India is celebrated every year on February 24. The day is being celebrated to honour the service of the Central Board of Excise and Custom (CBEC) to the country. The day is celebrated to honour the officers associated with CBEC and their services. The day is celebrated to commemorate the legislation of the Central Excise and Salt act on 24 February 1944.

• The central excise day is celebrated to raise awareness about the contribution of the central excise officers among the general public of the country.

• The jobs of the members of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs in preventing corruption among the manufacturing industries are worth appreciation and encouragement.

BANKING AND ECONOMY

India Ratings pegs FY22 GDP growth at 8.6% on data revision

• India Ratings has revised downwards its GDP growth forecast for 2021-22 to 8.6 per cent from the consensus 9.2 per cent projected earlier. According to an India rating analysis, National Statistical Organisation (NSO) is likely to peg the FY22 real gross domestic product growth at Rs 147.2 lakh crore. This translates into a GDP growth rate of 8.6 per cent, down from the 9.2 per cent forecast in the first advance estimate released on January 7, 2022.

• The major reason for the likely downward revision is the upward revision of FY21 GDP to Rs 135.6 lakh crore in the first revised estimate of national income for FY21, which was released on January 31, 2022.

Alternative investment policy: Sebi rejigs panel

• Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has reconstituted its alternative investment policy advisory committee, which advises the capital markets regulator on a range of issues that impact further development of the (Alternative Investment Fund) AIF space. The committee has now 20 members. The panel, which was constituted by Sebi in March 2015, earlier had 22 members. Till now, the committee has submitted three reports on the AIF industry.

• The committee is chaired by Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy. Apart from Murthy, the committee includes members from Sebi, Ministry of Finance, AIF players and industry associations.

• Gopal Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, TVS Capital Funds; Gopal Jain, co-founder and managing partner, Gaja Capital; Vipul Roongta, managing director and CEO, HDFC Capital Advisors; and Renuka Ramnath, chairperson, Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) are among the members of the panel, as per Sebi.

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