1. Happy Basant Panchami: One of the most vibrant festivals of India, Basant Panchami is celebrated in the beginning of the spring season. The word ‘Basant’ means spring season while ‘Panchami’ refers to the fifth day of the lunar fortnight. On Basant Panchami, Maa Saraswati is worshipped and hence the day is also known as Sri Panchami or Saraswati Jayanti. On February 16, the auspicious time for Saraswati Puja starts at 6:59 and ends at 12:35 PM.
2. *An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 was reported near Portblair in Andaman and Nicobar island on Monday evening.* The earthquake struck at 7:23 PM IST at a depth of 10 km from the surface.
3. *PM Modi handed over a ‘chadar’ to Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi that will be offered on his behalf at the shrine of renowned Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti* . The shrine at Ajmer is one of the holiest Sufi shrines
4. *Supporting Farmers Not A Crime”: Arvind Kejriwal On Disha Ravi’s Arrest*: 21-year-old eco-activist Disha Ravi saying the move by the Delhi police was an “unprecedented attack on democracy”. The Bengaluru resident was taken into custody on Saturday for her role in the “Toolkit” case.
5. *Priyanka Gandhi Demands Release Of Activist Disha Ravi In “Toolkit” Case*.
6. *Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said* *The government is “looting from the public” and is helping in the development of only “two”,* in a fresh attack on the centre as the price of each domestic LPG cylinder was hiked by Rs 50 in Delhi. A day after the centre hiked the price of LPG cylinders in the national capital by Rs 50 – a non-subsidised cylinder will now cost Rs 769.
7. *Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has tested positive for coronavirus, hours after he fainted on stage during an election rally in Vadodra* , and was flown to Ahmedabad to be admitted to a hospital. He has mild symptoms.
8. *To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Gujarat government on Monday extended till February 28 the night curfew in four major cities of the state- Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot.* 12am to 6 am instead of the earlier 11 pm to 6 am.
9. *The Finance Ministry has decided to infuse Rs 3,000 crore capital into the state-owned general insurance companies in the current quarter.*
10. *Siddique Kappan, the Kerala journalist arrested on his way to Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to report on the alleged gang-rape of a Dalit woman, has been granted bail by the Supreme Court for five days, with conditions, to visit his 90-year-old mother*.
11. The Union Textile Minister, Smriti Irani, has launched the commercial Jute seed distribution scheme on February 15, 2021.
12. *West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday virtually launched the ”Maa” scheme under which her government would provide a meal at a nominal cost of Rs 5 to poor people*: They will get a platter of rice, dal, a vegetable and egg curry for Rs 5, she said adding that the state government will bear a subsidy of Rs 15 per plate. Self-help groups will operate the kitchens from 1 pm to 3 pm every day.
13. *The Health and Family Welfare Department of Odisha has announced recently to established a COVID-19 Warrior Memorial in Bhubaneshwar.*
14. *Fifteen labourers were killed after a truck overturned in Jalgaon, Maharashtra* : President Kovind Condoles Loss Of Lives In Road Accident In Maharashtra. PM announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those killed.
15. Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Monday hit out at Haryana Congress leader Vidya Rani over her remarks about distributing liquor to the protesting farmers, who have been camping at several border points in Delhi for more than 80 days. Tikait said that such people didn’t have anything to do with the agitation against the Centre’s three new farm laws and added that the Congress party could distribute whatever it wanted in its own movement.
16. *The Punjab State Election Commission on Monday ordered repolling at three booths of the Municipal Councils of Patran and Samana in Patiala.* The repolling will be held on February 16 from 8 am to 4 pm, and counting will take place on February 17.
17. *Businessman and Bollywood actor Sachin Joshi was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged money laundering case involving Mumbai-based Omkar Realty group.* He is best known for purchasing Vijay Mallya’s Goa bungalow —Kingfisher Villa which went under the hammer for over Rs 73 crore in 2017.
18. Actor Sandeep Nahar, who was seen alongside late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput in ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ and with Akshay Kumar in ‘Kesari’, has allegedly died by suicide on Monday (February 15, 2021).
19. *The Satish Dhawan nanosatellite will be launched on February 28 by the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).* SpaceKidz India has developed the nanosatellite. It *will carry a copy of Bhagavad Gita, a photograph of Prime Mister Narendra Modi, and names of 25,000 individuals to space* by February-end. The nanosatellite called Satish Dhawan Satellite,
20. *UP Police Recruitment 2021:* The Uttar Pradesh Police Recruitment Board (UPPRB) will soon release the notification for recruitment in 9534 vacancies to the post of Sub Inspector (SI) Civil Police (Male/Female), Platoon Commander/Sub-Inspector Armed Police (Male) and Fire Service Second Officer (Male) on the official website – uppbpb.gov.in.
21. *PM Modi, handed over the indigenously- developed Arjun Main Battle Tank (Mark 1A) vehicles to Army Chief General MM Naravane.* : The upgraded Arjun Mark-1A Main Battle Tank is widely regarded as India’s response to the Russian-made T-90S ‘Bhishma’ tanks that currently form the bulk of India’s armoured vehicle regiments.
22. *Government to start administering COVID-19 vaccine to 3rd prioritized group of people above 50 yrs from next month*
23. *Coronavirus Cases* 10,925,208
1. *India’s maiden human spaceflight module ‘Gaganyaan’ will be launched after the second unmanned mission planned in 2022-23.* India plans to have a sustained human presence in space and is coming out with a policy framework and a long-term roadmap.
2. *The Serum Institute of India will ship the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Canada in less than one month, Serum’s chief executive said.*
3. *External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Monday said a closer India-Japan partnership is most natural and has had a central place in India’s modernisation and development efforts.* He also said, The awarding of Padma Vibhushan to previous (Japan) PM Shinzo Abe was symbolic of our journey.
4. *The complete disengagement at the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh as agreed between India and China last week is expected to be over by end of this week.* Last week it was agreed that as part of disengagement, Chinese forces will move east of Finger 8 of the north bank of the Pangong Lake, while India will base its troops at the permanent base–Dhan Singh Thapa post near Finger 8.
5. The 10th round of military talks, which was agreed to happen 48 hours after complete disengagement will happen, expectedly next week. The talks will focus on disengagement on Gogra, Depsang, and Hot Spring.
6. External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Monday pitched for connectivity from “The Arabian Sea to the South China Sea” even as India and Japan work together in tandem. Speaking at an event in Guwahati.