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Today Gk Updates & Daily Current Affairs - 21 feb 2020

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Today Gk Updates & Daily Current Affairs – 21 feb 2020


1. International Mother Language Day

  • On 21 February,International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is celebrated worldwide every year to celebrate the linguistic diversity that exists in the world and to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
  • UNESCO has identified over 7000 languages that are used (read, written and spoken) in different countries across the world.
  • According to UNESCO, the central theme of the Day for 2020 is ‘Languages without borders’ – local, cross-border languages can promote peaceful dialogue and help to preserve indigenous heritage.
  • In India the Day is being celebrated as “Matribhasha Diwas”. And the theme of the Matribhasha Diwas 2020 is ‘Celebrating our Multilingual Heritage’ reflecting the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat.
  • The day is celebrated to commemorate the day as on 21st February 1952, four students of Dhaka University namely Abul Barkat, Abdul Jabbar, SofiurRahman, Abdus Salam were gunned down by police, during their protest march demanding inclusion of ‘Bangla’ as one of the two national languages.


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In 2007, the United Nations called upon its members to promote, preserve and protect their languages. It also proclaimed the year 2008 as the “International Year of Languages”.

India has 22 officially recognised languages, 1635 rationalised mother tongues, 234 identifiable mother tongues, according to Census 2001.


2. India to switch to world’s cleanest petrol, diesel from April 1

  • India will switch to the world’s cleanest petrol and diesel from April 1 as it leapfrogs straight to Euro-VI emission compliant fuels from Euro-IV grades now – a feat achieved in just three years and not seen in any of the large economies around the globe.
  • India will join the select league of nations using petrol and diesel containing just 10 parts per million of sulphur as it looks to cut vehicular emissions that are said to be one of the reasons for the choking pollution in major cities.
  • State-owned oil refineries spent about 35,000 crore rupees to upgrade plants that could produce ultra-low sulphur fuel.
  • BS-VI has a sulphur content of just 10 ppm and emission standards are as good as CNG.
  • India adopted Euro-III equivalent (or Bharat Stage-III) fuel with a sulphur content of 350 ppm in 2010 and then took seven years to move to BS-IV that had a sulphur content of 50 ppm. From BS-IV to BS-VI it took just three years.


 3. India jumps to 35th rank in Worldwide Education for the Future Index

  • India ranks 35th in the Worldwide Education for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019, as per a report published by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
  • The country ranked 40th with an overall score of 41.2 across categories in 2018.Now, it has jumped by five ranks and currently holds rank 35.
  • Finland was at the top of the index followed by Sweden.
  • Among the largest economies the countries that fell back in their rankings include US, UK, Russia and France.
  • The ranking is provided based on the ability of a country to equip their students in skill-based education.The scores were provided based on the performance of the countries in three countries namely teaching, policy environment and teaching environment.


 4. India overtakes UK & France to become 5th largest world economy

  • India has emerged as the fifth-largest world economy in 2019, overtaking the UK and France, as per a report by US-based think tank World Population Review.
  • India’s economy is the fifth-largest in the world with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.94 trillion.
  • India’s real GDP growth, however, it said is expected to weaken for the third straight year from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent.
  • India’s service sector is the fast-growing sector in the world accounting for 60 per cent of the economy and 28 per of employment while manufacturing and agriculture are two other significant sectors of the economy.


 5. Asian Elephant, Great Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican classified as “Endangered Migratory Species”

  • Asian Elephant, Indian Bustard and Bengal Florican were declared as “Endangered Migratory Species” at the CMS COP 13.
  • The proposal was accepted by 130 countries that are party to the convention at the ongoing 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS COP 13).
  • India declared Indian Elephant as “National Heritage Animal”. This provides highest degree of legal protection to the animal under Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.The threats to the Indian Elephants include habitat loss, human elephant conflict, habitat fragmentation, illegal trade and poaching.
  • The Bengal Florican does not breed outside the protected areas today. It is listed as the critically endangered species under the IUCN list and is oftopmost conservation priority.
  • The Great Indian Bustard is also listed under critically endangered species in IUCN Red List.According to the Wildlife Institute of India, there are only 150 Great Indian Bustards left in the country.


 6. World Day of Social Justice: 20 February

  • World Day of Social Justice is an international day observed every year on 20 February to raise voice against social injustice and to bring the various communities internationally together to eliminate poverty, gender, and physical discrimination, illiteracy, religious discrimination to make a socially integrated society.
  • The Theme of the Social Justice Day2020 is “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”.
  • The idea of celebrating this day is to emphasize the idea of working towards improved society by promoting social justice.
  • On November 26, 2007, the UN General Assembly declared that starting from the sixty-third session of the General Assembly, February 20 will be celebrated annually as the World Day of Social Justice. In 2009 the day was scheduled to be first observed.