1. *The Central government told the Supreme Court that there was no connection between the massive ongoing Char Dham road-widening project and the glacier burst earlier this month* that resulted in the death of a number of people in Uttarakhand.
2. *The 29th edition of Nasscom Technology and Leadership Forum (NTLF) is being organized from 17th – 19th Feb.* It is the flagship event of the National Association of Software and Service Companies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the forum on Wednesday via video conferencing.
3. *The Congress party made a clean sweep of Punjab’s seven municipal corporations in the state local body polls.* The party bagged almost all the bodies for which the results were declared yesterday.
4. *Petrol Crosses Rs 100-Mark In Rajasthan, First Time Ever In India* : In Sriganganagar town of Rajasthan, petrol price soared to Rs 100.13 a litre.
5. *Petrol at ₹100 | PM Modi blames previous governments for not cutting import dependence* Central and state taxes make up for 60% of the retail selling price of petrol and over 54% of diesel.
6. *Former Union Minister MJ Akbar’s defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani — filed over her allegations of sexual misconduct against him — could not be proved* , a Delhi Court said, acquitting her of all charges.
7. Ethanol extracted from sugarcane is being doped in petrol to reduce the requirement of imports. Currently, 8.5% of petrol is ethanol and this proportion is targeted to be raised to 20% by 2025, helping cut imports as well as give farmers an alternate source of income.
8. *Toolkit Case: Bombay High Court Holds Nikita Jacob’s Arrest For 3 Weeks* : The Bombay High Court granted Mumbai lawyer and environmental activist Nikita Jacob transit bail for three weeks in connection with a case filed by the Delhi police in connection with the Toolkit matter. In case of arrest, she will be released on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one surety of like amount.
9. A head-to-head political battle will play out on Thursday in Kolkata neighbouring South 24 Parganas district where Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are scheduled to address independent rallies separated by some distance.
10. Congress leader and former union minister Captain Satish Sharma died in Goa on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was 73
11. The Delhi police had on Monday alleged that she, along with Bengaluru environmentalist Disha Ravi and Maharashtra engineer Shantanu Muluk, had created a toolkit meant to tarnish India’s image. In the process, they were allegedly in direct touch with “pro-Khalistani elements”.
12. *Hailstorms are likely at some places in Vidarbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra in the next two days* in view of the moisture-laden winds from the Bay of Bengal.
13. *The National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) staged an agitation in Delhi on Wednesday against the arrest of environment activist Disha Ravi* and alleged that the government is “flirting with fascistic techniques” to quell democratic protests in the country. Disha Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on Saturday by the Delhi Police.
14. *The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has launched an app called Sandes. This instant messaging platform is similar to WhatsApp.*
15. *The Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act, 2015 on February 17, 2021. This act allows the juveniles, aged 16 to 18 who are in conflict with Law and are involved in Heinous Offences, to be tried as adults.*
16. The Labour Minister, Santosh Gangwar, will launch the software applications for five all India surveys on February 18, 2021
17. *Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao turned 68 yesterday* . PM Modi and a number of politicians and film stars greeted the Telangana Chief Minister on his birthday.
18. *The Cabinet approved enhanced financial powers of up to ₹200 cr for senior military officers to make capital procurement.* The deputy chief of army staff (capability development and sustenance) – a post created last December – is among the officers who have been granted enhanced financial powers.
19. *Combined Commanders’ Conference 2021: PM Modi to address top military commanders in Kevadia in March 2021*
For the first time in his second tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the top commanders of the three defence forces at the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat in the first week of March.
20. *To help and rehabilitate retired Army personnel, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is all set to engage 2,000 of them in the ranks of sub-inspector and below,* in various units across the country on contractual basis.
21. *No COVID-19 Deaths In Last 24 Hours In 18 States, Union Territories:* Union health ministry said
22. *Coronavirus Cases:* 10,949,546
1. *A delegation of 24 ambassadors visit to India,* including those from France, European Union and Malaysia, arrived in Srinagar on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir for making an assessment of the situation post the scrapping of the erstwhile state’s special status in 2019.
2. *Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla Arrives In Russia For 2-Day Visit* He is in Moscow for talks with top Russian officials.
3. *A major tragedy was averted on Wednesday with the timely detection of a suspected Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted inside a pressure cooker on a busy highway in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir*. The suspected IED was found on the roadside at Manjakote on Jammu-Poonch highway
4. *India invites Pakistan to virtual SAARC meet on Covid-19* : India will host a health secretary-level meet virtually with other South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries on Thursday to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Pakistan has also been invited to attend the workshop.
5. *Afghan President sends sacred chadar to Ajmer Dargah,* reiterates India-Afghan bonds
While offering a chadar to Sufi saint Gharib Nawaz Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who calls himself a “student of Sufism for over 50 years”, has said that Chishti order (of Sufism) thrives in Afghanistan.
6. *India and Russia have agreed to work closely on key issues at the UN Security Council* , in keeping with the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.
7. *India pushing ahead with key Kaladan transit project in Myanmar*
India is pushing ahead with the Kaladan transit project in Myanmar’s Rakhine state as it is seen as key to improving connectivity with the landlocked northeastern states and creating conditions to facilitate the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.
8. *India joins Iran-Russia’s two-day navy exercise, Chinese Navy to also participate*
“Iran-Russia Maritime Security Belt 2021” in the northern part of the Indian Ocean.
9. *The government has issued new guidelines for all incoming international travellers coming from or after transiting through flights originating from United Kingdom, Europe and Middle East.* From February 23, these travellers will be mandatorily subjected to self-paid confirmatory molecular tests on arrival at the airport of entry in India.