- International Annual Desert Festival’ begins in Jaisalmer
- The 40th International Annual Desert Festival kicked-off in Jaisalmer with thousands of tourists participating in the colourful event.
- The three-day festival, which exhibits rich cultural heritage of the desert state, commenced with a colourful procession from Gadsisar lake fort.
- It will have interesting events like Mr Desert and Ms Moomal competitions, moustache competitions, turban tying, tug of war, musical and cultural performances, among others.
- The Border Security Force presented a camel tattoo show on the opening day of the festival.
- World Day of Social Justice: 20 February
- Every year 20 February has been declared by the UN as “World Day of Social Justice”.
- The purpose of the day is to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions.
- 2019 theme: If You Want Peace & Development, Work for Social Justice.
- The ILO estimates that currently about 2 billion people live in conflict-affected situations, of whom more than 400 million are aged 15 to 29.
· Iran launched first locally made ‘Fateh’ Submarine
- Iran President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled the first Iranian made semi-heavy submarine – Fateh, meaning “Conqueror” in Persian.
- The Fateh has subsurface-to-surfacemissiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), capable of reaching Israel and U.S. military bases in the region.
- The near600-tonne underwater vessel is equipped with torpedoes and naval mines in addition to cruise missiles, and can operate more than 200 metres below sea level for up to 35 days.
- AntBot, the first walking robot that navigates without GPS
- Scientists claim to have developed the first walking robot that can explore its environment and find its way home without GPS or mapping.
- It is equipped with an optical compass used to determine its heading by means of polarised light.
- With the help of an optical movement sensor directed to the Sun, it measure the distance covered.
- Researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) took inspiration from desert ants to design the AntBot.
- Ants use polarised light and ultraviolet radiation to locate themselves in space.
- India’s first fulldome 3D Digital theatre inaugurated
- India’s first ‘fulldome 3D Digital Theatre’ at the Science City Kolkata was inaugurated by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.
- The ‘fulldome 3D Digital Theatre’ at the Science city is the first of its kind in India having a 23 metre titled dome to offer a fully immersive experience.
- It is the first in the Indian subcontinent where one can feel like touching the water waves or the leaves of a tree during screening.
- The Science City is operated by the National Council of Science Museums under the Ministry of Culture.
· Cabinet approved the ordinance to curb Ponzi schemes
- The Cabinet approvedthe promulgation of an ordinance with regard to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, to protect investors from Ponzi schemes.
- TheLok Sabha had passed the Bill on the last day of the Budget session, but could not get the approval of the Rajya Sabha.
- The proposed ordinance will tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities launched by rapacious operators who exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible peopleof their hard-earned savings. It has provisions for punishment and repayment of deposits.
- Ponzi scheme is aform of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors.
· CCEA launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the launch of theKisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM). The Centre also approved the aid of 34,422 crore to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatts (GW) by 2022.
- The objective of KUSUM is to providefinancial and water security to farmers.
- CCEA is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- CCEA has the mandate to review economic trends on a continuous basis, as also the problems and prospects, with a view to evolving a consistent and integrated economic policy framework for the country.
- It also directs and coordinates all policies and activities in the economic field including foreign investment that require policy decisions at the highest level.
· Dwarka to house Indias first hi-tech forensic lab
- Called the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre(I4C), the lab will have equipment’s to deal with memory forensics, image enhancement, network forensics, malware forensics, crypto-currency forensics, recovery of damaged hard drives and advanced mobile forensics.
- It is the first cybercrimeawareness and detection center in India.
· Cabinet approved the new National Electronics Policy
- The Union Cabinet approved the new National Electronics Policy 2019that aims to achieve a turnover of $400 billion (about Rs.26 lakh crore) for the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector by 2025, while generating employment opportunities for one crore people.
- To promote the creation of an ecosystem, the NEP 2019 has pitched for0 version of the Electronics Manufacturing Cluster scheme, under which infrastructure support will be provided for a group of industries that are part of the product supply chain rather than individual industries.