The Daily Brief – 21st February 2019


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  1. The Union Minister of Commerce and Industries Suresh Prabhu launched SWAYATT (Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions) and GeM Start-up Runway. SWAYATT will bring together the key stakeholders within the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace, the national procurement portal. Start-up Runway will enable Start-ups to conduct market trials with government buyers, seek time-bound feedback and gain realistic product, price comparison and market valuation from potential buyers and investors.
  2. The 7th National Photography Awards were presented by Union Minister of State (IC) for Information & Broadcasting Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore at National Media Centre in New Delhi. The theme for the Professional category was “Women-led Development” and theme for Amateur category was “Fairs and Festivals of India”. Shri Ashok Dilwali was presented Lifetime Achievement Award and Shri SL Shanth Kumar won Professional Photographer of the Year.
  3. The government of Odisha has launched the KALIA Chhatra Bruti scholarship for the children of farmers. The Scholarship is under the KALIA, Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation, a scheme for financing farmers in Odisha. Under the Scheme, Odisha would spend Rs 10,180 crore over three years until 2020-21 in providing financial assistance to cultivators and landless agricultural labourers benefitting  92% of the cultivators in the state and including every category from big farmers to landless cultivators.
  4. The Union government has proposed a new rural Livelihood Scheme, the National Rural Economic Transformation Project under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana– National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM). The project aims to provide interventions to enhance the livelihoods promotion, access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihood interventions. Originally called as Aajeevika – National Rural Livelihoods Mission, the programme was renamed as Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood (DAY-NRLM) in 2015.
  5. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the launch of KUSUM, Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan scheme with an aim to provide financial and water security to farmers through harnessing solar energy capacities of 25.75 gigawatts (GW) by 2022. Individual farmers will be supported in installing standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 horsepower (HP) and will be supported to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP.

    Novak Djokovic
  6. The Laureus World Sports Awards 2019 were presented on 18 February 2019 to honour the greatest sporting achievements of 2018 and celebrate the power of sport to change the world. Sportsman of the Year was given to Novak Djokovic, (Serbia) Tennis. Indian Yuwa won the Sport For Good Award this year. NGO Yuwa was founded in 2009 in Jharkhand. Laureus World Sports Awards was established in 1999 by Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and first ceremony was held on 25 May 2000 in Monte Carlo.
  7. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first ever diesel-to-electric converted locomotive Works (DLW) at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. The 10,000HP freight locomotive was converted from two units of old diesel locomotives of 2600 HP each with indigenous technology. The Indian Railways has undertaken Mission 100 per cent electrification to electrify the last leg of about 13,675 Km railway tracks at a cost of Rs 12,134 crore.
  8. India and Argentina released a Joint Statement on February 18, 2019 after extensive talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the Argentine Republic, Mauricio Macri, who is on a state visit to India from February 17-19, 2019. Both the nations signed 10 MoUs for cooperation in different fields like defence, agriculture etc.
  9. US President Donald Trump on February 15, 2019 signed an executive order declaring national emergency in the nation to construct a wall along the US-Mexico border to prevent the country from invasion of illegal immigrants, drug dealers and criminal cartels. Building a border wall on the US-Mexico border was one of the key promises made by Donald Trump during his 2016 election campaign. Under the National Emergencies Act, since 1976, US presidents have declared nearly 60 national emergencies, as per a White House factsheet. As many as 31 of them are reportedly still in effect

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