1. *The Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, led Congress government presented its third state budget and the first paperless budget on February 24, 2021 in the state assembly*
2. *Former Delhi Police commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi may be appointed as the next Puducherry Lt governor.*
3. *The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) recently published its draft national policy on migrant labours.*
4. *The finance ministry on Wednesday allowed all private sector banks to participate in government-related business like collection of taxes pension payments and small savings schemes.*
5. The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new EWS Policy, paving the way for construction of more than 25,000 houses for the economically weaker sections.
6. *AAP wrote to Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar and demanded the immediate release of labour rights activist Nodeep Kaur from Karnal jail.*
7. A 23-year-old labour rights activist, Kaur was arrested in Haryana’s Sonipat on January 12 when a group formed by an association of industrial owners allegedly manhandled protesters demanding payment of pending wages of some workers. She is facing three separate cases that include charges of attempt to murder and extortion. While she was granted bail in two cases on February 12 and February 15 respectively, she is yet to secure bail in the third case.
8. *The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to impose President’s Rule in Puducherry* . This proposal was approved days after the Congress-led government in the union territory lost power after a vote of confidence.
9. *Ahmedabad’s giant Motera named ‘Narendra Modi Stadium’ before 3rd India-England Test*: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel joined the group of Opposition leaders condemning the renaming of the Motera Cricket Stadium in Gujarat, the largest in the world, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
10. *Ahead of polls, Assam extends AFSPA for another 6 months* : The existing ‘disturbed area’ status of Assam was extended for another six months from February 27 under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), ahead of the Assembly elections in the state due in April-May.
11. *All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen supremo Asaduddin Owaisi’s first rally in Kolkata, scheduled to be held on Thursday, has been cancelled as the city police denied permission for it, party sources claimed.*
12. *Respect wisdom of voters: Kapil Sibal on Rahul’s Kerala remark* : The Congress’ position has and will always be to respect electors and their freedom of choice irrespective of their location, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday, even as he refused to comment specifically on Rahul Gandhi’s ‘North-South’ remarks.
13. The government is ready to resume talks with protesting farmers if they respond to its offer to put the three contentious farm laws on hold for one-and-a-half years and work out the differences during that time through a joint committee, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said
14. *People above 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities to get Covid-19 vaccine from March 1*
15. Noted Punjabi singer and actor Sardool Sikander died on Wednesday at a Mohali hospital where was undergoing treatment for COVID-19. He was 60.
16. *Schools in Haryana reopened for the students of classes 3 to 5 on Wednesday, while regular classes for grades 1 and 2 will start from March 1.*
17. *The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave its verdict on the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Civil Services Prelims 2021 extra attempt. No extra Chance will be given* Dismissing the petition seeking a second shot at the civil service examination due to the Covid-19 pandemic and age bar, the apex court has said that no extra chance will be given to the UPSC candidates who exhausted their last attempt in October 2020.
18. *The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the acquisition of 118 Arjun Mark 1A tanks on February 23, 2021* .The approval was given for the Indian Army at a cost of ₹6,000 crores. 118 tanks would join the fleet of first batch of 124 Arjun tanks.
19. *Travellers from five states, including Maharashtra, Kerala and Punjab, will have to show negative COVID-19 test report before entering the national capital,* officials said on Wednesday amid a spike in coronavirus infections in some states.
20. *_Coronavirus Cases* :_ 11,046,432
1. *An Indian social activist, Anjali Bhardwaj, who works on issues of transparency and accountability has been selected for the “United State International Anti-Corruption Champions Award”* along with the other 11 anti-corruption champions. These names were announced by Joe Biden administration.
2. *Indian-American lawyer Kiran Ahuja to head Office of Personnel Management in Joe Biden administration*
3. *Army Chief General MM Naravane on Wednesday struck a reconciliatory note with China after its troops retreated from the Pangong Tso lake area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.* He said that India’s relations with China would develop along the path we wish to develop. After nine rounds of talks, both countries reached a mutual agreement for disengagement of troops from the most contentious area of North and South Pangong lake.
4. *Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday (February 23, 2021) attended the United Nations Security Council Open Debate and said that India is the only country on track among the G20 nations to meet its climate change mitigation commitments.* He said, “We are not only meeting our Paris Agreement targets but will also exceed them.”
5. As Khalistani elements are trying to exploit the ongoing farmers’ protests in India to create anarchy, Khalistan-sympathising parliamentarians in the Western countries, especially those in the UK and Canada, have also come out in support of them by attacking India at the diplomatic front. *Earlier, Sikh Federation UK launched a signature campaign to urge the UK government to pressurise the Indian government on farmers protests.*
6. *Chinese President Xi Jinping may attend BRICS Summit 2021 in India*
7. *Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Wednesday that Kashmir is the only dispute with India and it can only be resolved through dialogue.*
8. Wanted diamond merchant Nirav Modi, who remains behind bars in a London prison as he contests his extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated USD 2-billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam case, will find out the UK court”s ruling in the nearly two-year-long legal battle on Thursday.