Current Affairs in Short: 25 February 2021
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with 599 international wickets became the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India on February 25, 2021.
New COVID-19 strains not 'more infectious': AIIMS Director
• AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria shared on February 24, 2021 that the new COVID-19 strains from the UK and Brazil are not 'more infectious. He assured that the COVID-19 vaccines will be able to control the spread of coronavirus and lessen the mortality rate.
• Guleria also highlighted the need to aggressively study the mutations of the Covid-19 virus and look at it more closely. He said that we should not miss out on the strains that are more infectious.
• The AIIMS Director further assured that currently, we have vaccines efficacy of 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent so even if there is a slight fall in efficacy they will still be effective in preventing the virus from further spreading.
• The Union Health Ministry had revealed on February 23rd that two new strains of the Covid-19 virus - the N440K variant and the E484Q variant have been detected in Maharashtra and Kerala.
• However, there is evidence to suggest that these two newer virus strains are responsible for the surge in cases in some districts in these two states.
Delhi Government allows automatic promotion of students from Nursery to Class 2
• The Directorate of Education Delhi said in its assessment guidelines to schools released on February 24, 2021 that all students from Nursery to Class 2 will be automatically promoted to the next class in the academic session 2021-22.
• The purpose of the assessment is to understand the impact of an alternate learning approach that needed to be adopted under prevailing circumstances, stated the Directorate of Education (DoE), Delhi.
• It further added that the data of the assessment will help the Directorate in determining the course content and learning strategies for the next session.
• The students from class KG to class 2 will be graded on the basis of winter break assignments and responses to online or offline worksheets shared with the students during the COVID pandemic through digital modes.
• The Delhi government has also decided not to hold offline exams for students till Class 8. There is no directive for Class 9 and 11.
• As per the guidelines, there will be no offline examination for students of classes 3 to 8.
R Ashwin becomes fourth highest wicket-taker for India
• Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin with 599 international wickets became the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India on February 25, 2021.
• Ashwin dismissed Ollie Pope in the 28th over during India's third test against England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to surpass Zaheer Khan's tally of 597 international wickets and climb to the fourth spot on the list of Indian bowlers with the most wickets in international cricket.
• Ashwin now has 599 wickets across formats and is only behind former skipper Anil Kumble (953), spinner Harbhajan Singh (707), and Kapil Dev (687).
• Ashwin is also on the verge of becoming the fourth Indian bowler to take 400 Test wickets.
Financial Action Task Force to take a call on Pakistan’s grey list status today
• The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to decide whether or not Pakistan has made considerable efforts to counter terror financing and take a call on whether the country will continue to remain in the grey list.
• It is highly unlikely that Pakistan will get a breather as European nations believe the country has not fully implemented the points in the plan of action laid down by the watchdog.
• Certain European nations including FATF host France, have recommended that Pakistan continued to be kept in the grey list. Pakistan has been on the grey list since June 2018.
• The FATF is an inter-governmental body, which was set up in 1989 to combat money laundering, terror financing and other related threats to the international financial system. The body currently has 39 members.
Leh to undergo holistic development worth Rs 100 crore
• Leh is all set to undergo nearly Rs 100 crore worth of holistic development. A team of consultants from the Tourism Ministry visited Leh for spot inspection on February 24, 2021.
• Leh has been shortlisted under the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme.
• PRASAD aims at integrated development in a planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide a complete religious tourism experience.
• The scheme is also expected to help economic development, employment generation, world-class tourist infrastructure and promotion of local art, culture and handicrafts.