Defence Ministry to clear acquisition of Main Battle Tank Arjun Mark 1A for Army
• The Defence Ministry is all set to clear the acquisition of Main Battle Tank Arjun Mark1A worth over Rs 6,000 crore by the Army. This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the battle tank to the nation.
• The Ministry had recently cleared the induction of 118 Arjun Mark1A tanks into the Indian Army. The Arjun Mark1A tank has been fully designed and developed by the DRDO in close coordination with the Indian Army.
• The 118 tanks would be joining the first batch of 124 Arjun tanks that have already been inducted into the Army and are deployed in the western desert along the Pakistan front.
• They would also form two regiments in the Armoured Corps of the Indian Army like the first 124 tanks.
Centre aims to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025: PM Modi
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared on February 23, 2021 that the Central government is aiming to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) from the country by 2025. The Prime Minister said this while addressing a webinar on the health sector’s budget implementation.
• He said that wearing masks, early diagnosis and treatment are important in its prevention. As per the annual TB report 2020 released in June 2020, around 24.04 lakh TB patients were notified in 2019, which amounts to a 14 per cent increase in TB notification as compared to 2018.
• The Prime Minister added saying that the Centre is not only investing in healthcare but also focusing on bringing in employment opportunities. He also called for greater public and private partnership in the health sector.
UK bans non-essential international travel till May 17
• United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on February 22, 2021 banned all non-essential international travel to and from the country till at least May 17, 2021. The decision was taken in the view of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
• The ban was imposed due to the rapid spread of the new COVID-19 strain. The travel and aviation sectors have been among the hardest-hit during the pandemic with restrictions imposed across the world.
• The UK PM said that domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation will be allowed no earlier than April 12th but non-essential international travel will remain banned.
• The government’s Global Travel Taskforce is expected to reconvene to issue a report by April 12th recommending how to safely resume international trips.
Tripura gets first-of-its-kind road constructed from plastic waste
• Tripura, in a first-ever initiative, has started using plastic waste for the construction of roads. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on February 22, 2021 that the main aim is to reduce plastic waste and make the environment plastic-free.
• The Tripura CM said that this is for the first time in Tripura that waste plastic was collected and recycled, and used in constructing a 680 metre long road in front of the Women’s College near BK Road.
• This is a first-of-its-kind initiative in Tripura and it aims to set an example of how plastic waste is reduced by putting it to judicious use.
• This initiative is a beautiful example of how we can make our environment plastic-free and use plastic waste in public welfare projects.”
India allows Pakistan PM’s aircraft to use its airspace for travel to Sri Lanka
• India has allowed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s aircraft to use Indian Air Space to travel to Sri Lanka. Imran Khan will be travelling to Sri Lanka on his maiden visit on February 23rd.
• In 2019, Pakistan had denied permission to India to use its airspace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flights to the US and Saudi Arabia citing alleged human rights violations in Kashmir.
• India had taken up the issue with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, as under normal circumstances, the VVIP aircraft are granted permission by countries.