One liners 20th February

• Government-owned Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is to raise Rs.300 crore through bonds over the next few months from a clutch of investors, including Tata group companies such as Tata Chemicals, Voltas, Titan, and Trent.

• A new map of the night sky published in charts hundreds of thousands of previously unknown galaxies discovered using a LOFAR telescope that can detect light sources optical instruments cannot see.

• AntBot is the first walking robot to have navigational capabilities without GPS or mapping.

• Sixteen U.S. states sued President Donald Trump’s administration over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the Constitution.

• French aerospace major Safran, is to set up a plant in Hyderabad. It aims to make parts for CFM International’s LEAP turbofan engine with an investment of €36 million. Construction will begin in June. The new facility will be of the 13,000-square metre.

• The new Cancer Centre at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) is built at a cost of Rs 500 crore and aims to provide affordable cancer care to patients in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttarakhand and even neighbouring countries like Nepal. He also inaugurated Homi Bhabha Cancer Hospital in Lehartara.

• Yuwa, a Jharkhand-based NGO working for girl empowerment, won the Laureus Sport for Good award and became the third Indian entry to bag the honour. Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014.

• Wallace Smith Broecker gave early warnings on climate change and coined the term ‘Ocean Conveyor Belt’, a global network of currents affecting air temperature and rain patterns.

• A new microinsurance plan ‘Micro Bachat’ was launched by the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India. It provides coverage of up to 2 lakhs and is the first micro-insurance plan to do so.

• State budget of Rs. 48,663.90 crore was presented by Finance Minister Prakash Pant who described it as a balanced budget by prioritising education, health, agriculture, employment generation in rural areas, infrastructure, housing and urban development.

• The Cabinet approved the promulgation of an ordinance with regard to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, to protect investors from Ponzi schemes.

• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the launch of the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM).

• Smriti Irani, laid the foundation stone of Hastshilp Complex in New Delhi which is to be built in a period of 18 months by NBCC (formerly known as National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd) and at a cost of Rs.113.56 crores.

• Trade and investment, defence and security, including counterterrorism, and renewable energy will be discussed during the crown prince’s meeting with Modi.

• The Union Cabinet approved the new National Electronics Policy 2019 that aims to achieve a turnover of $400 billion (about Rs.26 lakh crore) for the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector by 2025.

• Muliaman Hadad, Indonesia’s ambassador to Switzerland, submitted a formal bid letter from President Joko Widodo to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne. If Indonesia wins the opportunity to host the summer Olympics 2032.

• Iran President Hassan Rouhani has unveiled the first Iranian made semi-heavy submarine – Fateh, meaning “Conqueror” in Persian. The Fateh has subsurface-to-surface missiles with a range of about 2,000 kilometers.

• The 40th International Annual Desert Festival held on the sand dune in Jaisalmer with thousands of tourists participating in the colourful event.

• Union home minister Rajnath Singh and LG Anil Baijal inaugurated a state-of-the-art National Cyber Forensic Lab (NCFL) and the Delhi Police’s cyber crime unit ‘CyPAD’ at Dwarka, Sector 16C. Called the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C).

• The world’s first electric train engine converted from a diesel engine flagged off in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi and is a part of Indian Railway’s Mission 100 percent electrification and de-carbonization efforts.

• Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma inaugurated India’s very first ‘Fulldome 3D Digital Theatre’ at the Science City in Kolkata, West Bengal. It is fully funded by the Ministry of Culture at a cost of Rs 20 crore.

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