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- One day after the Pulwama terror attack on 14th February, 2019, India has taken a stern step of withdrawing the Most Favoured Nation or MFN Status of Pakistan. This move would enable India to increase customs duty on goods coming from Pakistan. The decision was taken in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) that took place on 15th February 2019. 37 CRPF personnel were martyred in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on 14th February 2019 when a terrorist attacked with an explosive-laden vehicle into one of the buses of the convoy of the security forces.
- India’s First District cooling system will come up in Amravati, capital of the Andhra Pradesh. The government of Andhra Pradesh has entered into a 30-year concession with UAE-based the National Central Cooling Company (Tabreed) for this purpose. District cooling uses only 50 per cent of primary energy consumption for cooling urban building n compared to other cooling systems. This also reduces carbon emissions.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a three-year extension from 2017-18 to 2019-20 of the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Up-gradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) with a total outlay of 2,900 crores on 13th February 2019. The scheme aims to improve the competitiveness of MSMEs also focus on improving the quality of products and enhancement in productivity.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that its Mars Mission, Opportunity has come to an end. This marked the conclusion o f the 15-year saga. The decision to end the mission was made after all the efforts to restore contact with the Opportunity Mars rover didn’t yield desired results. Opportunity was the second of the twin Mars Exploration Rovers to land on Mars in January 2004.
- William Barr was sworn in for second time as the new Attorney General of United States and succeeds Jeff Sessions. Barr, who also served as the Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during President George HW Bush’s administration, will oversee the remaining work in Robert Mueller’s investigation in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
- Indian President Ram Nath Kovind will present the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to Rajkumar Singhajit Singh, Bangladesh cultural organisation Chhayanaut and Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively on February 18, 2019, New Delhi. The award was instituted by the Union Government in 2012 to recognise the contributions made by Rabindranath Tagore to humanity at large with his works and ideas, as part of the commemoration of his 150th Birth Anniversary, for promoting values of cultural harmony.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 15, 2019 flagged off India’s first Semi High Speed (160 kmph) Train, ‘Vande Bharat Express’ on New Delhi-Kanpur-Allahabad-Varanasi route from the New Delhi Railway Station. Vande Bharat Express is regarded as a successor to the 30-year-old Shatabdi Express that was introduced in 1988. Vande Bharat Express is the first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine) and is driven by a self-propulsion module.
- The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment on February 15, 2019 launched the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana (PM-SYM), a mega pension scheme for unorganised sector. Each subscriber under the scheme will receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
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