Daily GK Update: 18th February 2020

Kala Kumbh- Handicrafts Exhibition to be held to promote GI crafts and heritage

  • With an objective to promote Geographical Indication (GI) crafts and heritage of India, the Ministry of Textiles is organizing Kala Kumbh – Handicrafts Thematic Exhibition in various parts of the country through the Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts).
  • The exhibitions are planned in various major cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The exhibitions sponsored by Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) started on 14th February 2020 and will continue till 23rd February 2020 at Bengaluru and Mumbai and will also be organized in Kolkata and Chennai in March 2020.

Source: Devdiscourse

Rare good news from a rare metal: Reserves of lithium, critical for EV batteries, found near Bengaluru

  • Reserves of lithium, a rare metal critical to build batteries for electric vehicles, have been discovered in Mandya, 100 km from Bengaluru — a find that should boost local manufacturing of EV batteries.
  • Researchers at the Atomic Minerals Directorate, a unit of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, have estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in a small patch of land surveyed in the Southern Karnataka district, according to a paper to be published in the forthcoming issue of journal Current Science.

Source: The Economic Times

India-Russia defence deals set to cross $16 bn; to include S-400 systems, Kalashnikov rifles

  • Defence deals between India and Russia are set to cross $16 billion and Moscow is committed to the timely implementation of contracts, including the supply of S-400 air defence systems and production of Kalashnikov rifles and Kamov helicopters.
  • The two countries signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during the recent Defexpo 2020 in Lucknow that covered development and production of land, air and naval systems and hi-tech civilian products.

Source: Hindustan Times

Govt launches 7th economic census in Delhi, process to take three months

  • The seventh economic census was launched in the national capital territory of Delhi on Friday.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) has tied up with Common Service Centres Network (CSCN), a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and IT, to carry out the census.

Source: Business Standard

5th API Task Force Meet discusses coronavirus (COVID-19), drugs, medicine & pharma

  • Keeping in view the country’s over dependence on import of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), the Union Government has constituted a Task Force on APIs under the chairmanship of Minister of State (MoS) for Shipping (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya, to formulate a roadmap for the enhanced production of APIs in the country.
  • The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers has announced that the 5th meeting of the Task Force was held yesterday, where several important issues were discussed regarding policy relaxations to small, medium, and large API units, and also simplification of the process for environment clearance for production and availability of medicines.

Source: Indus Dictum

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana: 4th National Conference held in Udaipur

  • The two-day long 4th National Conference on Review of Implementation of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) began in Udaipur, Rajasthan today.
  • Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, inaugurated the conference which saw participation of around 140 members representing different states, banks, insurance companies, RBI, NABARD, among others.
Source: Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welware