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Weekly Current Affairs February 2023 Week – 02

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Indian Navy’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and the MIG29 K Fighter Aircraft have
    successfully performed their maiden landing and take-off attempts on the Indian Naval Ship
    (INS) Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier.
    INS Vikrant:
  • It was commissioned into the Indian Navy by PM Narendra Modi on 2 September 2022.
  • It is built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.
  • It has been designed by the Warship Design Bureau, formerly known as the Directorate of
    Naval Design.
  • The 45,000 metric tons vessel is 262 meters long and around 60 meters wide.
  1. The Government of India (GoI) has appointed a 16-member inter-ministerial committee to
    draft Digital Competition Act within three months. The committee will be headed by Manoj
    Govil, Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
    Members:
  • Sangeeta Verma, Chairperson of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), joint
    secretary (Competition) of the MCA, Dr Saurabh Srivastava; the cofounder of industry
    body NASSCOM, and experts from leading law firms.
  • Joint secretary-level officers invited by the Niti Aayog, Department of Commerce,
    Economic Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology,
    and Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
    The committee will review whether existing provisions in the Competition Act, 2022, and the
    rules and regulations framed thereunder are sufficient to deal with the challenges that have
    emerged from the digital economy.
    The committee will study the international best practices on regulation in the field of digital
    markets as well as other regulatory regimes/ institutional mechanisms/ government policies
    regarding competition in the digital markets.
  1. The Ministry of Tourism has hosted the 1
    st Tourism Working Group Meeting under G20 at
    Dhordo Tent City in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.
    The three-day meeting has been addressed by Union Minister for Tourism G.Kishan Reddy,
    Union Minister Parshottam Rupala, Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying;
    and Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Bhai Patel along with opening remarks by Brazil and
    Indonesia.
    Approximately 6.19 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2022.
    The Ministry of Tourism is celebrating this year (2023) as “Visit India Year 2023”.
    Group of Twenty (G20):
    The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum comprising 19 countries and the
    European Union. It works to address major issues related to the global economy, such as
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    international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development. It
    was founded on 26 September 1999.
    Note: India assumed the G20 Presidency for a year, from 1st December 2022 to 30th
    November 2023.
  2. India has hosted the 9
    th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER9) in association with
    the International Energy Forum (IEF) at the India Energy Week 2023 which has been held in
    Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The theme for this roundtable is “Mapping new pathways for energy security, inclusive
    growth and energy transitions”.
  • AMER9 has been a platform for dialogue between producers, consumers, & International
    Organization to join and debate energy issues which confront the Asian and global energy
    sector.
    During the event, the Ministry of Petroleum has signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) with the
    Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) for strengthening cooperation in the field of
    data and research and for enhancing global energy security, stability, and sustainability.
  1. Indian Army has launched ‘Operation Dost’ to extend humanitarian aid to Syria and Turkey
    which are recently hit by massive earthquake.
  2. The inception meeting of the G20 Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of
    Women’s Economic Representation (EMPOWER) 2023, an alliance of G20 business leaders
    and governments, has been held at the Taj Convention Hotel in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
  • G20 EMPOWER 2023 aims to transform challenges into opportunities accelerating the
    shift towards women-led entrepreneurship and greater inclusion of women in the
    workforce.
  • The theme of the meeting is “Empowering Women to Lead across Sectors: Role of Digital
    Skilling and Future Skills”.
  • Three focus areas under India’s G20 Presidency are “Women’s Entrepreneurship: A winwin for Equity and Economy”, “Partnership for promoting women’s leadership at all levels
    including at grassroots” and “Education, the key to women’s empowerment and equal
    workforce participation”
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development is India’s nodal ministry for G20
    EMPOWER.
  • Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd. is the Chair
    of EMPOWER 2023 during India’s G20 Presidency.
    Under India’s G20 Presidency, EMPOWER will host three meetings in February, April, and June
    2023 at Agra, Thiruvananthapuram, and Bhopal respectively.
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  1. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has recently launched the 2nd edition of the
    Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space
    Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
    SSLV-D2 has carried EOS-07, Janus-1 and AzaadiSAT-2 satellites into 450 km circular orbit, in
    its 15 minutes flight.
  • EOS-07 is 156.3 kg satellite designed, developed and realized by ISRO.
  • Janus-1, a 10.2 kg satellite, belongs to ANTARIS, USA.
  • A 8.7 kg satellite AzaadiSAT-2 is a combined effort of about 750 girl students across India
    guided by Space Kidz India, Chennai.
  1. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the year-long celebrations
    commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, a social
    reformer, at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Delhi.
    He has also released a logo for commemoration.
    Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati:
  • He was born as Mool Shankar Tiwari on 12th February 1824 in Tankara, Gujarat in a
    Brahmin family.
  • He was an Indian philosopher, social leader and founder of the Arya Samaj (1875).
  • Arya Samaj is a reform movement of Vedic dharma and he was the first to give the call for
    Swaraj as “India for Indian” in 1876.
  • He strongly opposed discrimination against women and also initiated campaigns for the
    education of women.
  • He gave the slogan “Back to the Vedas”.
  • He wrote the book ‘Satyarth Prakash’ as a commentary on Vedas in 1875.
  • He started Shuddhi Movement wherein purification was imparted to those who sought
    their way back to Hinduism.
  1. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has launched the
    ‘Digital Payments Utsav’, a comprehensive campaign aimed at promoting digital payments
    across India.
  • The campaign will take place from 9th February to 9th October 2023.
  • The focus of the campaign will be on promoting digital payments in India, especially in the
    cities of Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
  • It is a part of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) event.
    Other initiatives launched:
  • A G20 Co-branded QR code
  • A G20 edition of the preloaded RuPay On-The-Go device
  • A joint campaign by MeitY and Delhi Police to promote secure digital payments
  • A Coffee Table Book titled “Towards a Developed India Catalysing Inclusive Growth
    Through Digital Payments.”
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    In addition, 28 DigiDhan Awards have been presented to top-performing banks, bankers, and
    fintech companies in different categories for their outstanding performance in the digital
    payments space.
  1. The Union Minister for Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw has inaugurated AMRITPEX 2023
  • National Philatelic Exhibition at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
    It has been organized by the Department of Posts under the Ministry of Communications as a
    part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
    It is the national platform to highlight and display the 5000 years old rich history and culture
    of the country.
    During the occasion, Padmashree Shovana Narayan, a noted Kathak Dancer, has launched
    a commemorative postal stamps on Bridal Costumes of India & a cover release on Nari
    Shakti.
    The exhibition displays more than 20,000 exhibits under 13 competitive categories and
    invitees.
    Note: Philately is the collection and study of postage and imprinted stamps.
  1. Union Secretary for Health & Family Welfare Rajesh Bhushan has launched a nationwide
    Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF).
  • Objective: To end disease transmission through the door-to-door administration of antifilarial drugs, especially in 10 filaria affected states.
  • Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka,
    Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh have jointly launched the campaign.
    Note: India has set a target to eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of
    the global target.
  1. Quad nations (India, Australia, the USA and Japan) have recently launched “Quad Cyber
    Challenge” to strengthen cyber security in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • With the help of the ‘Quad Cyber Challenge’, the four nations will jointly make efforts to
    improve cyber security.
  • National Security Council will be the Indian representative at the QUAD in implementing
    the challenge.
    Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue:
    It is a group of four countries: United States of America, Japan, Australia and India. The
    concept of Quad was given by the former Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe in the year
    2007.
    Note: Australia will host the Quad Summit in 2023.
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  1. The 3
    rd ASEAN Digital Ministers (ADGMIN) meeting with India has been held on a virtual
    platform. The Minister of State for Communications (MoSC), Devusinh Chauhan, and Ivan
    John E. Uy, Secretary, Department of Information and Communication Technology,
    Philippines have co-chaired the meeting.
  • The theme of the meeting is “Synergy Towards a Sustainable Digital Future”.
  • The meeting has witnessed the productive discussions on strengthening India ASEAN
    relations in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
    The meeting has approved the India-ASEAN Digital Work Plan 2023.
    ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations):
    It was established on 8th August 1967 with the signing of the Bangkok declaration.
    Founding members: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
    Presently ASEAN comprises 10 member states namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines,
    Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
    ASEAN Secretariat: Jakarta, Indonesia
    Secretary-General: Dr Kao Kim Hourn
  1. India has planned to propose a global initiative called “MIIRA” (Millet International
    Initiative for Research and Awareness) to encourage millets consumption and production.
  • It is in line with UN declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets and Centre’s plan to
    make India a global hub for millets.
  • MIIRA secretariat will be in Delhi.
  • The Indian Institute of Millet Research in Hyderabad will be supported as the Center of
    Excellence for sharing best practices, research, and technologies at the international level.
  • Around 41 percent of global production of millets takes place in India.
  1. Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya and Union Minister of
    Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal have jointly inaugurated Integrative Medicine (IM) Centre of
    All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) at Safdarjung hospital.
    Integrative Medicine (IM):
    IM is defined as healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body,
    mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes therapeutic relationship
    between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate
    therapies.
    IM neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative therapies uncritically.
  2. Minister of Transport of State of Qatar Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti has officially visited
    India from 5th to 8th February 2023. The year 2023 marks 50 years of establishment of full
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    diplomatic relations between India and Qatar. The diplomatic relations between both
    countries were established in 1973.
  • India’s bilateral trade with Qatar in 2021-22 was US$ 15.03 billion.
  • India’s export to Qatar during 2021-22 was US$ 1.83 billion and India’s import from Qatar
    was US$ 13.19 billion.
  • In 2021, India was among the top four largest export destinations for Qatar and is also
    among the top three sources of Qatar’s imports.
    Note: Za’ir-Al-Bahr (Roar of Sea) is naval exercise between Indian and Qatar Navy.
  1. The Jaffna Cultural Centre, constructed with an Indian government grant, has recently
    dedicated to the people of Sri Lanka. This centre is an important initiative signifying the close
    cultural cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.
    Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Jaffna Cultural
    Centre in March 2015.
  2. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA),
    which was established in 1986 and works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry,
    has observed its 37th Foundation Day on 13th February 2023.
  • The target given to APEDA in the current financial year (2022-23) is USD 23.56 billion, out
    of which 84% i.e. USD 19.69 billion has been achieved till December 2022.
  • In 2021-22, the APEDA exported agricultural products worth USD 24.77 billion.

STATES AFFAIRS

  1. The state government of Telangana has launched India’s first new mobility-focused cluster,
    Telangana Mobility Valley’ (TMV), which aims to attract investments of around Rs.50,000
    crore and generate more than 4 lakh jobs in the next five years in the state.
  • TMV has been unveiled during the first edition of Mobility Next Hyderabad Summit part of
    the Hyderabad E-Mobility Week held at Hyderabad, Telangana.
  • TMV aims to facilitate companies across all segments of sustainable mobility including
    Electric 2Wheelers/ 3 wheelers/ 4 wheelers, Advanced Cell Chemistry and Hydrogen fuel
    cells, Tier 1 and Tier 2 Component manufacturers, and Auto Engineering R&D companies
    among others.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently inaugurated the Aljamea-Tus-Saifiyah Arabic
    Academy, widely known as Jamea, campus in Marol in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This will be
    the fourth campus of Aljamea-Tus-Saifiyah Arabic Academy.
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    He has also flagged off two Vande Bharat trains, Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat Train and
    Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat Train, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CMST)
    in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    So far, 10 Vande Bharat Trains have commenced operations.
  2. The people of Dungti village near Demjok in eastern Ladakh have recently achieved the
    feat of getting tap water even at -30° C under the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) scheme.
    PHE department has installed solar-based submersible pumps in the village and insulated
    water connections as a result drinking water is now available for households in village at
    doorsteps.
  3. India’s first air-conditioned double decker bus has been inaugurated in Mumbai,
    Maharashtra by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The bus will run
    between the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and the Kurla bus depot after all clearances have
    been granted.
  4. The first “G20 Employment Working Group” (EWG) Meeting under India’s G20 Presidency
    has been held in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The co-chairs of the EWG are Brazil and Indonesia.
    The meeting has been led by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
    Aarti Ahuja, Secretary of Ministry of Labour & Employment, is India’s G20 EWG Chair.
    The three priority areas of the 1st G20 EWG Meeting are:
  • Addressing Global Skill Gaps
  • Gig & platform economy & social protection
  • Sustainable financing of social security
  1. The Geological Survey of India (GSI), an attached office to the Ministry of Mines, has
    discovered lithium inferred reserves (G3) for the first time in India. A 5.9 million tonnes of
    lithium inferred reserves have been discovered at Salal-Haimana in the Reasi district of
    Jammu and Kashmir.
  2. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has launched the portal for creation of ‘Family ID – One
    Family One Identity’ to identify families as a unit to implement the ‘One Family One Job’
    scheme.
    The aim is to give free or discounted rations to families without ration cards who are
    ineligible for the National Food Security Scheme.
  3. Indian Navy’s Captain Prashant Saxena AWPS (Mbi) has launched the first Ammunition Cum
    Torpedo Cum Missile (ACTCM) Barge, Yard 125 (LSAM 15), at Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd in
    Thane, Maharashtra.
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  • This Barge will boost the “Make in India” initiative.
  • This Barge is being built with a service life of 30 years.
  • ACTCM Barges will provide impetus to Operational commitments of Indian Navy (IN) by
    facilitating Transportation, Embarkation and Disembarkation of articles / ammunition to
    IN Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours.
    In 2021, the Indian Navy signed a contract with Suryadipta Projects to construct 11 ACTCM
    Barges.
  1. The 2
    nd edition of the Indian Rice Congress has recently inaugurated by President Droupadi
    Murmu at ICAR-National Rice Research Institute in Cuttack, Odisha.
  • The 2023 congress has been held on the theme “Transforming Rice Research”.
  • The congress focused on the global food crisis and the recent scientific developments that
    will help in increasing the production and yield of paddy crops.
  • Notably, ICAR-NRRI has developed 160 varieties of rice.
    Important point:
    The rice production in India was only 89 million tonnes in 2010, which has increased by 46
    percent to 130MT in 2022. India is the second largest producer of rice and number one in
    exports.
  1. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation the 246 km Delhi – Dausa –
    Lalsot section of the Delhi Mumbai Expressway in Dausa, Rajasthan. It has been developed
    at a cost of more than Rs.12,150 crore. This section will reduce the travel time from Delhi to
    Jaipur from 5 hours to around 3.5 hours and provide a major boost to the economic
    development of the entire region.
    He has also laid the foundation stone of 247 kilometres of National Highway projects to be
    developed at a cost of more than Rs 5940 crore. This includes:
  • A 67-km long four-lane spur road from Bandikui to Jaipur to be developed at a cost of
    more than Rs 2000 crore
  • A six-lane spur road from Kotputli to Baraodaneo, to be developed at a cost of about Rs
    3775 crore.
  • Two-lane paved shoulder of Lalsot – Karoli section, being developed at a cost of about Rs
    150 crore.
    Delhi Mumbai Expressway:
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    It will be India’s longest expressway with a length of 1,386 km.
    It will reduce the travel distance between Delhi and Mumbai by 12% from 1,424 km to 1,242
    Km and travel time will be reduced by 50% from 24 hours to 12 hours.
    It will pass through six states: Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and
    Maharashtra.
  1. DHARA-2023, the annual meeting of the members of the River Cities Alliance (RCA), has been
    organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with the National
    Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) from 13th to 14th February in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • DHARA stands for Driving Holistic Action for Urban Rivers.
  • DHARA 2023 has been organised for the Municipal Commissioners of the member cities
    to come up with possible learning solutions for urban river management.
  • DHARA 2023 provides a platform for senior officials including Commissioners, Addl.
    Commissioners, Chief Engineers and Senior Planners of the 95-member river cities in
    India to co-learn and discuss solutions for managing local water bodies.
  1. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 14th edition of Aero India 2023, the
    biennial Aero India International Seminar, at Air Force Station, Yelahanka in Bengaluru,
    Karnataka.
  • The theme of Aero India 2023 is “The Runway to a Billion Opportunities”.
  • The event has been organised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation
    (DRDO) in association with the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI).
  • More than 80 countries along with 800 defence companies including around 100 foreign
    and 700 Indian companies have participated in the event.
  • The event focus on displaying indigenous equipment/technologies and forging
    partnerships with foreign companies.
  • The event promotes the export of indigenous air platforms like Light Combat Aircraft
    (LCA)-Tejas, HTT-40, Dornier Light Utility Helicopter (LUH), Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)
    and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).
    Note: India has set a target to export USD 5 billion (earlier USD 1.5 billion) worth of military
    hardware by 2025.
  1. The 1
    st Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM) of Agriculture Working Group (AWG) under
    India’s G20 Presidency has been held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
  • The 3-day event has been inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj
    Singh Chouhan.
  • The major attraction of this exhibition was millets and its value-added food products
    along with stalls from Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.
  • Around a 100 delegates from G20 member countries, guest countries and International
    Organizations have participated in the meeting.
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  1. A team of researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad have
    revealed that Diyodar meteorite of 2022 (fell in Gujarat) was India’s first aubrite in 170
    years. Around 90% of Diyodar meteorite was composed of orthopyroxene.
    This is only the second reported aubrite to fall in India, after the Bustee fall in 1852 in
    Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
  2. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has launched a new global gateway for India’s
    largest state with the inauguration of the first VFS Global Joint Visa Application Centre
    (JVAC) and the VFS Global Academy in Lucknow.
    This Visa Centre will facilitate the visa application process for 10 countries – Austria,
    Netherlands, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Italy and
    Saudi Arabia – in Lucknow.
  3. President of India Droupadi Murmu has inaugurated the National Convention on ‘Women as
    Foundation of Value-based Society’ at the Om Shanti Retreat Centre in Gurugram,
    Haryana.
    She has also launched an all-India awareness campaign ‘Empowering the Family’.
    The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has launched a programme “Alternate agriculture
    system for sustainability project” to boost organic food production and increase economic
    returns for farmers in the Union Territory (UT).
  • The total outlay of the programme is Rs.84 crore.
  • The project aims to create six to seven organic clusters per district, covering a total of
    2000 hectares of land.
  1. Grishneshwar Temple is located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It is one of
    the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines and the smallest of all. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has been
    mentioned in the Shiva Purana and Padma Purana.
    Its current structure was built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 18th century AD.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Hillary Clinton, former US secretary of state, has announced a first-of-its-kind ‘Global
    Climate Resilience Fund’ of 50 million dollars for women to fight climate change in
    association with the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
    The fund will empower women and communities to fight climate change and help provide
    new livelihood resources and education.
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    Note: Hillary Clinton has recently (February 2023) visited Gujarat to commemorate the 50th
    anniversary of SEWA as a trade union.
  2. Awami League leader Mohammad Shahabuddin Chuppu will become the next (22nd)
    President of Bangladesh. He will replace Mohammad Abdul Hamid, the longest-serving
    President of the country, whose tenure will end on 23rd April 2023.
  3. President of Moldova Maia Sandu has appointed presidential adviser Dorin Recean, a proWestern economist, as the new Prime Minister of Moldova. She has succeeded Natalia
    Gavrilita who has resigned from the post.
  4. Nikos Christodoulides has been elected as the 8
    th President of Cyprus by defeating
    veteran diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis. He has scored 51.9% of the vote while Andreas
    Mavroyiannis had 48.1%. He will succeed Nicos Anastasiades.

REPORTS & INDICES

  1. As per the Global Threat Landscape Report 2021-22 by cyber-security firm CloudSEK, India
    has witnessed the highest attacks by hackers in Asia in 2022. Globally, India is the 2
    nd most
    targeted country in 2022 while the United States of America (USA) has remained the most
    targeted country.
  • The number of cyber-attacks targeting India has increased by 24.3 percent in 2022.
  • Indonesia, Russia, and China are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th most targeted countries in 2022.
  • North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe have remained the most targeted regions in both
    the years 2021 and 2022.
  • Ransomware attacks has increased drastically, going from the least common (0.3%) in
    2021 to the third most common (8%) in 2022.
  1. As per the ‘Global Minority Report’ released by the Centre for Policy Analysis (CPA), India
    has been ranked as number one among 110 nations for its inclusivity measures towards
    religious minorities.
  • India has the highest level of religious minorities’ acceptance, followed by South Korea,
    Japan, Panama, and the US.
  • Maldives, Afghanistan, and Somalia are at the bottom of the list.
  • The UK and the UAE are at positions 54 and 61, respectively.
  1. The National Council of Applied Economic Research’s (NCAER) latest report on “Making
    India a Global Power House on Farm Machinery Industry” has been released by the
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    Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare Shobha Karandlaje in New
    Delhi.
    This study has been sponsored by Mahendra & Mahendra.
    Highlights of the report:
  • The report has analyzed the non-tractor farm machinery industry from both demand and
    supply side perspectives, bringing out the challenges in the sector. It aims to make India a
    Global Power House of Farm Machinery.
  • Availability of adequate farm power is very crucial for timely farm operations for
    increasing production and productivity and reducing losses.
  • India’s farm power availability is at 2.49 Kw/ha in 2018-19 which is much lower as
    compared to Korea (+7 kw/ha), Japan (+14kw/ha), USA(+7kw/ha).
  • The report states that India needs a vision for the next 15 years to convert itself into a
    production and export hub for non-tractor farm machinery.
    National Council of Applied Economic Research’s (NCAER):
    It was established in 1956. It is India’s oldest and largest independent, non-profit, economic
    policy research institute.
  • Dr Poonam Gupta is the Director General of NCAER.
  • Dr Anil K Sharma is the Secretary of NCAER.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
  1. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has recently published
    the ‘World Oil Outlook (WOO) 2045’ at the India Energy Week 2023 which has been held in
    Bengaluru, Karnataka.
    As per WOO, India and China will control 37 percent of the global GDP by 2045, and will also
    account for a major share of the world’s energy resources, including crude oil.
    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will account for 34%.
    The global oil demand is projected to increase to 13 million barrels per day (mbd) hitting
    almost 110 mbd by 2045, in which the largest incremental demand is likely to be observed in
    India at 6.3 mbd, followed by Other Asia (4.7 mbd), Middle East (3.7 mbd) and Africa (3.6
    mbd).
  2. The Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Giriraj Singh has inaugurated
    the Mission Antyodaya Survey (MAS) 2022-23 and also launched its portal and mobile
    application at a function in New Delhi.
  • The Department of Rural Development has been conducting Mission Antyodaya Survey
    across all Gram Panchayats in the country since 2017-18.
  • The purpose of this survey is to transform the lives and livelihoods of people to
    measurable outcomes through the convergence of various schemes.
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  • The survey aims to lend support to the process of participatory planning for the Gram
    Panchayat Development Plan which will improve service delivery, enhance citizenship and
    improve governance at the local level.
  • The survey is being conducted to collect village-level data on 183 indicators under 216
    data points of 21 sectors.
  1. India’s national accreditation system under the Quality Council of India (QCI) has been
    ranked fifth out of 184 countries in the world, as per the recently released Global Quality
    Infrastructure Index (GQII) 2021.
  • In 2020, India was ranked ninth in the world in accreditation.
  • India’s overall quality infrastructure ranking continued to be in 10th position in the world.
    India is in 9th position in the standardization system and 21st in the world in the metrology
    system.
    Germany has topped the index, followed by China, & USA.
    The GQII ranks the 184 economies in the world on the basis of quality infrastructure (QI). The
    GQII rankings are published and presented post-facto for each year based on the data
    collected till the end of that year.
  1. As per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s position has improved in the
    Aviation Safety Oversight Ranking of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It
    has been improved to 55th from 112th position earlier.
  • Under its Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring
    Approach, an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) was undertaken in India from
    November 9 to 16, 2022.
  • USOAP is based on eight critical elements (CE) of a safety oversight system, which are
    measured by a set of protocol questions (PQs).
  1. As per the Financial Times 2023 Global MBA Ranking, the Post Graduate Programme (PGP)
    from the Indian School of Business (ISB) has continued to be ranked first in India among
    Indian B-schools.
  • ISB is the only Indian B-school that made it to the Top-50 this year, with 39th rank globally,
    and 6
    th rank in Asia.
  • ISB has campuses in Hyderabad (Telangana) and Mohali (Punjab).
    The Financial Times’ top-100 list includes 5 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). These
    are:
  • IIM Ahmedabad (51st)
  • IIM Bangalore (52nd)
  • IIM Calcutta (76th)
  • IIM Indore (89th)
  • IIM Lucknow (90th)
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    Columbia Business School in the United States has topped the global ranking, followed by
    Insead France and IESE Business School in Spain.

GOVERNMENT SCHEMES & PROGRAMMES

  1. The Government of India (GoI) has recently extended the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja
    Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) scheme till March 2026 as its
    implementation was significantly affected due to the pandemic.
    PM-KUSUM:
  • It was launched in 2019 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
  • The scheme aims to boost solar capacity to provide energy security to Indian farmers.
  • It also aims to increase the share of installed capacity of electric power from non-fossil
    fuels sources to 40% by 2030.
  • The scheme consists of a total of three components;
    (1) Component A is to install 10,000 MW of solar power by installing a small power plant of
    capacity up to 2 MW.
    (2) Component B is for 20 lakh standalone solar-powered agricultural pumps.
    (3) Component C is for the solarisation of 15 lakh grid-connected agricultural pumps.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  1. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to collaborate
    on the application of Extended Reality (XR) and other technologies in Indian Human
    Spaceflight Programme.
    This training module will be created on the basis of Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality
    (VR) / Mixed Reality (MR).
    Under this MoU, ISRO will utilize the advanced technologies created at the eXperiential
    Technology Innovation Centre (XTIC) at IIT Madras in order to promote Research and
    Development (R&D) in the field of XR.
  2. India and the European Union (EU) have formed three Working Groups under the India-EU
    Trade and Technology Council (TTC) to strengthen the strategic relationship with the trade
    bloc.
    Three Working Groups are:
    1) Working Group on Strategic Technologies, Digital Governance, and Digital
    Connectivity- It will be chaired by the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & Information
    Technology.
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    2) Working Group on Green and Clean Energy Technologies- It will be chaired by Principal
    Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.
    3) Working Group on Trade, Investment, and Resilient Value Chains – It will be chaired by
    the Secretary, Department of Commerce
    Trade and Technology Council (TTC):
    TTC was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of the European
    Commission Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to India in April 2022.
  3. Qualcomm Technologies has launched the world’s first satellite-based two-way capable
    messaging solution for premium smartphones named “Snapdragon Satellite”.
  • It has been developed by Qualcomm in association with Iridium satellite constellation.
  • It has been developed to bring satellite-based connectivity to the next-generation
    premium Android smartphones.
  • It is powered by Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems.
  • The devices based on the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform will be the first to
    get this technology.
  1. Skye Air, a Gurugram-based drone solutions provider, has launched ‘Skye UTM’, India’s first
    traffic management system for drones.
  • It has been launched in the presence of the Union Minister of Road Transport and
    Highways of India Nitin Gadkari.
  • The software will allow drone operators to plan routes, make flight plans and assess risks
    before running drone-based operations in the country.
  1. The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and the National Forensic Sciences
    University (NFSU), Gandhinagar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to
    set up digital forensic laboratories along with the exchange of information and knowledge,
    technological advancement, and skill development in the field of digital forensics.
    DGGI:
    It is the apex intelligence organization, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and
    Customs (CBIC), for the collection and dissemination of information and for taking necessary
    measures to check evasion of GST.
    It was established in 1979 as an independent wing under the control of the Directorate of
    Revenue Intelligence, New Delhi.
  • Principal Director General: Surjit Bhujabal
  • Headquarters: New Delhi
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  1. The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with Digital Green under a public-private partnership framework to
    build a national-level digital extension platform.
  • The platform will host a digital library of curated multi-format multi-lingual content, and
    help extension workers deliver it to farmers.
  • It will also provide online courses to upskill extension workers in various agriculture,
    horticulture, fisheries, livestock and rural livelihood fields.
  • The platform is set to be launched within 6 months.
  1. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with The Ocean Cleanup to eliminate plastic pollution in the world’s
    oceans and rivers.
    The aim is to decrease plastic leakages into marine ecosystems by promoting policies and
    behavioural changes intended to advance effective plastic waste management systems and
    decrease overall plastic pollution.
  2. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has signed 18,643 Memorandum of Understandings
    (MoUs) for investment intentions over the three-day Uttar Pradesh Global Investor
    Summit (UPGIS) 2023, with a value of Rs.33.50 lakh crore in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
    The Western UP has received the most investment due to cities like Noida and Agra. The
    region will receive about 45% of the entire investment.
  3. Hyderabad-based Greenko Group has recently inked a pact with Belgium-based John
    Cockerill to source electrolysers for Una green ammonia plant.
  • The green ammonia plant in Una, Himachal Pradesh, will receive 28 units of 5 MW
    alkaline electrolysers.
  • The 300 mt/day plant, which is being developed by Greenko Zeroc, a division of Greenko
    Group, and John Cockerill, will be the biggest green ammonia plant in India.
  • This will enable a hydrogen production capacity of 140 MW of high-pressure alkaline
    electrolysers.
  • The electrolysers are due to be delivered in March 2024 and the plant is set to be
    commissioned by June 2024.
    Other agreements signed:
    Germany-based Uniper has signed an agreement with Greenko ZeroC to source green
    ammonia from the latter’s Kakinada facility in Andhra Pradesh.
  1. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has signed a contract with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) for the
    procurement of 41 indigenous Modular Bridges, worth over Rs.2,585 crore, for the Corps of
    Engineers of the Indian Army.
    Modular Bridges:
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  • It have been designed and developed by Defence Research and Development
    Organisation (DRDO) and shall be produced by L&T.
  • It will replace the manually launched Medium Girder Bridges (MGB).
  • Each set of Modular Bridge shall consist of seven carrier vehicles based on 8×8 Heavy
    Mobility Vehicles and two launcher vehicles based on 10×10 Heavy Mobility Vehicles.
  • Each set shall be capable of mechanically launching a single span fully decked 46-meter
    assault bridge.
  1. The Government of Uttar Pradesh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with
    India Health Link (IHL) under their InvestUP programme to set up ‘hPod’, a Health ATMs
    providing screening of various health parameters at more than 4,600 community and
    primary health care centres in the state.
    Health ATMs:
    It is a touch-screen kiosk hardware, designed for managing health-related information which
    allows individuals to access their personal health information through any internetconnected web browser.
  2. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has partnered with Samsung
    Semiconductor India Research (SSIR), a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, to promote
    research and development (R&D) in the field of on-chip Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
    protection.
    The aim of this partnership is to mitigate the IC chip failures and field returns that are caused
    by ESD failures.
    Other collaboration:
    The Department of Collegiate and Technical Education (DCTE), Karnataka and Samsung
    Semiconductor India Research (SSIR) have collaborated to set up ‘Industrial Internet of Things
    Labs’ (IoT Innovation Labs) in 35 Government Polytechnics across the state.
    The project costs Rs.1.52 crore and also includes setting up of AI labs in at least two
    institutions.
  3. Liberty Global Plc, a multinational telecommunications company headquartered in London,
    UK, has acquired a 4.9% stake in Vodafone Group Plc, British multinational Telecom
    Company based in the UK, in a surprise bet on Vodafone’s plans to revamp its business.
  4. GAIL (India) Limited has entered into an Advance Pricing Agreement (APA) with the Central
    Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) for determining the transfer pricing margin payable on its
    long-term LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) sourcing contract from the United States for a period
    of five years.
    With this, GAIL has become the first Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) in oil & gas sector in
    India to successfully sign the APA.
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    The APA scheme was launched in 2022 to enhance the government’s goal of promoting a
    non-adversarial tax system and improve the ease of doing business in India.
  5. Tata Group-led carrier Air India has signed a deal with Airbus SE and Boeing Co to buy 500
    new jets worth more than $100 billion at list prices.
    Air India has agreed to purchase 250 Airbus planes, split between 210 single-aisle A320neos
    and 40 wide body A350s, and 220 Boeing aircraft including 190 of its 737 MAX narrow body
    jets, 20 787 wide bodies and 10 777Xs.
  6. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with The Ocean Cleanup to eliminate plastic pollution in the world’s
    oceans and rivers.
    The aim is to decrease plastic leakages into marine ecosystems by promoting policies and
    behavioural changes intended to advance effective plastic waste management systems and
    decrease overall plastic pollution.
  7. Reliance Jio and global mobile network operators’ organisation GSMA have announced the
    roll-out of their digital skills initiative to train rural women in India. The initiative aims to
    provide need-based training to rural women and individuals from marginalised/low-income
    groups to help them make meaningful use of digital access.
    As per the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022’, women in India are 41 percent less
    likely than men to use mobile internet.
  8. K. Rajaraman, Secretary (Telecom), Government of India & the Chairman, Digital
    Communications Commission, has launched the ‘IEEE C-DOT Certified Telecom Expert
    Program (ICCTEP)’ to create a platform for advanced learning and offer certifications in
    diverse areas of advanced technologies.
  • The program is a joint effort of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and
    C-DOT (Centre for Development of Telematics) to bring learning in the areas of Telecom
    including 5G, Cyber Security and Quantum Communication to bridge the skill gap.
  • This program has been launched during the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA)
    Workshop centred on “Next Generation Connectivity”.
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  1. Pao Navotek, Russia’s 2nd
    -largest natural gas producer, has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. (Deepak
    Fertilisers) on the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and low-carbon ammonia.
  2. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has won an over £600 million (about $723 million)
    contract with Phoenix Group, UK’s largest long-term savings and retirements provider, to
    digitally transform the Phoenix’s ReAssure business using the TCS BaNCS-based platform.
    The deal is an expansion of TCS’s long-standing partnership with the Phoenix Group.
  3. Pawan Hans Limited, a central public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Civil
    Aviation, has commenced its helicopter services on six routes in the state of Assam. These
    new helicopter services launched under the Regional Connectivity SchemeUdeDeshkaAamNaagrik (RCS-UDAN) scheme will provide connectivity on the “DibrugarhJorhat-Tezpur-Guwahati-Tezpur-Jorhat-Dibrugarh” network.
  4. HDFC Bank Limited has executed an agreement to sell its entire 9.95 percent equity stake
    held in Softcell Technologies Global Private Limited (STGPL) at Rs.600.36 per equity share
    for a cash consideration of Rs.9.94 crore.

BANKING & FINANCE

  1. The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has recently proposed an institutional
    mechanism for Stock Brokers to ensure prevention and detection of fraud or market abuse.
    Brokers are regulated under SEBI (Stock Brokers) Regulations, 1992.
    Proposed framework:
  • To set up a Robust Surveillance Systems to detect potential fraud.
  • To provide protection to whistle blowers.
  • Escalation and reporting mechanism to detect suspicious trading activities.
  1. Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, an arm of Bajaj Finserv life insurance, has launched
    Sustainable Equity Fund for investors. The fund named ‘Bajaj Allianz Life Sustainable
    Equity Fund’ will allow investment in companies that are socially responsible and have been
    evaluated on relevant Environment (E), Social (S), and Governance (G) factors.
    The fund will be available on the insurer’s flagship ULIPs (Unit Linked Investment Plans).
    The fund is benchmarked to the Nifty 100 ESG Index.
  2. Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, has tied up with Ascenda, the world
    leader in powering global rewards card and payment value propositions for financial brands,
    to power its new Points & Miles Transfer Program.
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    The programme is specially designed for Axis Bank credit cardholders.
  3. Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) has tied up with the National Payments
    Corporation of India (NPCI) to introduce RuPay Credit Card on UPI, which will allow users to
    link RuPay credit cards with their UPI ID for all merchant payments.
  4. Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL), a subsidiary of Mahindra
    Group, has appointed Raul Rebello, who is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the
    company, as its new Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect
    from 29th April 2024.
    He will replace the incumbent Ramesh Iyer who is set to retire on 29th April 2024.
  5. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has released the ‘Asian Economic Integration Report
    (AEIR) 2023: Trade, Investment, and Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific’.
  • The report states that greener trade and investment is crucial to tackling climate change
    in Asia and the Pacific and will require governments in the region to work together more
    closely.
  • The report states that the integration in Asia and the Pacific region is progressing steadily
    and remained stable in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Asia and the Pacific region are responsible for around 50% of global CO2 emissions.
  • Almost 40% of the world’s disasters occur in the region, and more than 70% of people
    affected by disasters live in Asia and the Pacific.
  1. South Indian Bank has launched a wealth management platform in partnership with Geojit
    Financial Services. The platform named ‘SIB Wealth’ will offer range of financial services to its
    High Net Worth customers to invest their money in the best financial instruments available in
    the market.
    Under the platform, SIB will be offering the following products/services:
  • Portfolio management services
  • Alternative investment fund
  • Systematic investment plan
  • Mutual fund
  • Bond
  • Real estate funds
  • Structured products
    Other partnership:
    South Indian Bank has tied up with Telangana State Treasury (Cyber Treasury) to
    facilitate online payments.
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  1. Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a Chinese multinational technology company owned by
    Jack Ma, has sold its entire stake of 3.16% equity for around Rs.13,600 crore in a block
    transaction of One97 Communications Limited, the parent company of Paytm.
    Alibaba, which held 6.26% of Paytm as of September 2022, sold a 3.1% share in the company
    for USD 125 million in a block sale in January 2023.
  2. PhonePe, India’s largest digital payment company, has launched support for ‘UPI
    International’ payments, making it India’s first fintech platform to enable cross-border
    Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments.
    This supports all international merchant outlets in the UAE, Singapore, Nepal, and Bhutan
    that have a local QR code.
  3. Airtel Payments Bank has launched ‘BizKhata’, a current account which comes with
    unlimited transactions and instant activation for small merchants and business partners in
    India.
    Key features:
  • This current account has no minimum balance condition.
  • The business owners can receive and make online payment transfers to any bank across
    India through IMPS, UPI, NEFT and IFT.
  • The account is linked to a QR code to receive payments from any UPI app.
  1. The Government of India (GoI) has allowed Indian Bank to increase the number of posts of
    executive directors from three to four.
    In August 2019, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) in the Finance Ministry,
    announced that nationalized banks with a total business of Rs.10 lakh or more as per the last
    declared results should have 4 executive directors.
    The merger of Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank on 1st April 2020 has created a
    combined entity with a business mix of over Rs.8-lakh crore and catapulted it to the seventh
    largest among banks.
  2. The Government of India (GoI) has appointed K Satyanarayana Raju as Managing Director
    (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Canara Bank with effect from 7th February 2023. He
    has succeeded L.V. Prabhakar who resigned from office on 31st December 2022.
  3. HDFC Bank has launched a pilot programme ‘OfflinePay’ under the Reserve Bank of India’s
    (RBI’s) Regulatory Sandbox program in partnership with Crunchfish, to test offline digital
    payments for merchants and customers.
  • The program will enable customers and merchants to make and receive payments even
    when there is no mobile network.
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  • This program will be carried out across 16 cities as part of the pilot test.
  • During the pilot, the offline transaction amount will be limited to up to Rs. 200 per
    transaction.
  1. Bank of India Mutual Fund has launched a New Fund Offer (NFO) ‘Bank of India Multi Cap
    Fund’ for investors looking to diversify their portfolio across large, mid and small cap
    categories.
    The NFO for the scheme opens for subscription on 10th February till 24th February 2023.
    The scheme will be managed by Nitin Gosar.
  2. One97 Communications Limited, which owns financial services company Paytm, has
    launched a special G20-theme QR Code to celebrate India’s presidency of the intergovernmental forum and India’s leadership in mobile payments.
  • The QR code has been launched by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Electronics &
    IT, during the ‘Digital Payments Utsav’ at the India Habitat Centre.
  • The special commemorative QR Code features logos of MeitY’s ‘DigiDhan Mission’, along
    with those of the G20 2023 and 75th year of India’s independence.
  1. Kotak Mahindra Bank will acquire 100 percent equity shares of Sonata Finance Pvt Ltd, a
    non-banking financial company-microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI), from its existing
    shareholders for about Rs.537 crore in cash.
    After acquisition, Sonata Finance will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the bank.
    The acquisition will be subject to regulatory approvals, including by the Reserve Bank of India
    (RBI).
  2. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a USD 130 million loan to increase
    agricultural productivity and promote horticulture agribusinesses to raise farmers’ income in
    Himachal Pradesh.
    The “Himachal Pradesh Subtropical Horticulture, Irrigation, and Value Addition Project” will
    help increase the income and resilience to the effects of climate change of at least 15,000
    farm households in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Sirmour, Solan, and Una.
  3. MobiKwik, payment app of One MobiKwik Systems Limited, has become the first fintech app
    in India to support RuPay Credit Card on Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
    The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has allowed MobiKwik to provide its
    customers the facility to make UPI payments through the RuPay credit cards.
  4. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has launched ‘Hello Ujjivan’, India’s first mobile banking
    application with 3 V’s – voice, visual, vernacular-enabled features – to provide banking
    access to individuals who have limited reading and writing skills.
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  • The app is co-created with Navana.AI.
  • It is accessible by voice in 8 languages: Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada,
    Odia, and Assamese.
  1. HDFC Mutual Fund has launched three open-ended schemes: HDFC S&P BSE 500 ETF, HDFC
    NIFTY Midcap 150 ETF & HDFC NIFTY Smallcap 250 ETF replicating the S&P BSE 500 index,
    NIFTY Midcap 150 index & NIFTY Smallcap 250 index respectively.
    The scheme will be managed by Abhishek Mor, Nirman Morakhia, and Arun Agarwal.
  2. Bajaj Finance Limited has launched a new portal named ‘Insurance Mall’ for its customers
    to ensure an Easy-buy experience.
    The new portal offers a wide range of policies and plans in the core insurance segment and
    also the company’s one-of-its-kind category of Pocket Insurance and Subscription.
  3. The European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the European Union, has formally agreed
    to join the India Hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) and increase support for large-scale green
    hydrogen hubs and projects across India with indicative funding of €1 billion, subject to
    Indian government and EIB approvals.
    The MoU with IH2A will allow the EIB to promote clean energy investment and green
    hydrogen development in India.
  4. Edelweiss General Insurance has been renamed as Zuno General Insurance Limited
    (Zuno GI), a new age digital insurer with an aspiration to reimagine and redefine Insurance to
    make it easy, friendly, and transparent.
    Zuno GI has also launched the findings of its survey titled ‘Usage Based Insurance: Decoding
    Awareness, Perception and Behaviour’ to understand the needs of customers when looking
    at motor insurance, which helped it design and introduces a new usage-based smart policy.
  5. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has tied-up with Meta,
    parent company of Facebook, for the G20 Stay Safe Online Campaign. Under this
    collaboration, Meta will create resources in multiple Indian languages to educate the public
    on how to stay safe online.

RBI IN NEW

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has organized Financial Literacy Week (FLW) 2023. The
    literacy week has been observed from 13th February to 17th February 2023 to propagate
    financial education messages on a particular theme across the country.
    Banks have been advised to disseminate the information and create awareness among its
    customers and the general public.
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  2. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has met on
    February 6-8, 2023, and released the Monetary Policy Statement, 2022-23 Resolution of
    the MPC which projected India’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth to 6.4% for
    FY24 (lower than 7% in FY23) with FY24’s Q1 at 7.8%, Q2 at 6.2%, Q3 at 6%, and Q4 at 5.8%.
    The stance is to focus on withdrawal of accommodation.

Note- The next meeting of the RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is scheduled to be held
during April 3, 5 & 6, 2023.
Other Decisions:
CPI Inflation:
CPI inflation forecast for FY23 is projected at 6.5%, with Q4FY23 at 5.7%.
CPI inflation for FY24 is forecasted at 5.3%, with FY24’s Q1 at 5%, Q2 at 5.4%, Q3 at 5.4%, and
Q4 at 5.6%.

  • The MPC has raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.50% from 6.25%.
  • RBI has proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India to use Unified Payments
    Interface (UPI) for their merchant payments (P2M) while they are in India. Initially, it will be
    extended to travellers from G-20 countries at select international airport.
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  • RBI has permitted lending and borrowing against Government Securities (G-secs) to
    increase the depth of the bond market. It has also restored the market trading hours in GSec to pre-pandemic levels i.e. 9 AM to 5 PM.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced to launch a pilot project on QR Code-based
    Coin Vending Machine (QCVM) to improve the distribution of coins.
  • The pilot project will roll out in 19 locations in 12 cities across the country.
  • The QCVM is a cashless coin dispensation machine which will dispense coins against debit
    to the customer’s bank account using Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
  • These vending machines will dispense coins against debt to the customer’s account using
    UPI instead of physical tendering of banknotes.
  1. RBI has extended the validity of authorization issued to Vakrangee Limited to set up, own
    and operate White Label ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) in India till 31st March 2024.
    White Label ATMs are ATMs set up, owned and operated by non-banks. Non-bank ATM
    operators are authorised under the Payment & Settlement Systems Act, 2007 by the Reserve
    Bank of India (RBI).

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  1. NTPC Limited, India’s largest power generating company, has been honoured with ‘ATD
    Best Awards 2023′ by the Association for Talent Development (ATD), USA. This is the sixth
    time that NTPC Limited has won this award for demonstrating enterprise success in the field
    of talent development.
    ATD Best Awards:
    The award recognises organisations that demonstrate enterprise through talent
    development. The award includes small and large private, public, and not-for-profit
    organizations from across the globe.
  2. VP Nandakumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Manappuram Finance
    Ltd, has been honoured with the Hurun India Award for his outstanding contributions to the
    business. He has received The Hurun Industry Achievement Award 2022 from top Hurun
    India officials at a function held in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    V.K. Mathews, founder, and executive chairman, IBS Software, has also been conferred the
    Hurun Industry Achievement Award 2022.
  3. Veteran Journalist Dr. Anne Bhavani Koteswara Prasad, popularly known as ABK, has
    been chosen for the prestigious “Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Award” for excellence in
    Journalism-2020 for his outstanding contribution towards journalism.
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  • The award has been conferred by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chairperson, Press
    Council of India.
  • The award will be presented on February 28, 2023 at the Deputy Speaker Hall,
    Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.
    Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Award for Excellence in Journalism:
    The Press Council of India has instituted National Awards to honour journalists excelling in
    print journalism in various fields from 2012 onwards. The award carries a cash award of Rs.1
    Lakh, a plaque and a citation.
  1. Ricky Rej, an Indian music composer and environmentalist based in Bengaluru, Karnataka,
    has won his 3
    rd Grammy at the 65th annual Grammy Awards 2023 under the Best
    Immersive Audio Album category for the album “Divine Tides”.
  • He shared the award with rock legend Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the iconic
    British rock band, The Police.
  • He won his first Grammy Award in 2015 (shared with Wouter Kellerman) for his album
    “Winds of Samsara”.
    The 65th annual Grammy Awards 2023 has been held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles,
    California, the USA. The award recognizes the recordings released between 1st September
    2021 and 30th September 2022.
  1. Akshata Rakshe from Mumbai, Maharashtra has won the title of Taj Miss India 2023 at
    the grand finale of Taj Miss & Mrs. India 2023 held at Hotel Sadanand Regency in Balewadi,
    Pune, Maharashtra.
  • First runner up: Natasha Sadaphal
  • Second runner up: Isha
  1. Niyati Totala and Neel Kalpeshkumar Parikh of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
    Indore have won the Global Best M-Gov Award. The students have won AED 1 million by
    winning the gold medal at the World Government Summit 2023 in Dubai, UAE.
  • The students have been awarded the prestigious medal by Egyptian President Abel Fattah
    Al-Sisi.
  • These students developed ‘Blockbill’ app. Blockbill is a blockchain-based receipt
    generation app that generates digital receipts for all of its users’ transactions.
    World Government Summit 2023:
    It has been organized in Dubai, UAE from 13th to 15th February 2023. The theme of the
    summit is “Shaping Future Governments”. The summit brings thought leaders, global experts
    and decision makers from around the globe to share and contribute to the development of
    tools, policies, and models that are essential in shaping future governments.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

  1. Manoj Pande, Chief of Army Staff General, has recently released a book titled “Savdhaan: A
    Chronicle of Central Command” in New Delhi. The book has been authored by Central
    Command chief Lt Gen Vivek Kassyap and Vikram D Souza and designed and published by
    the Times Group.
    The book documents the heritage and significant moments in the evolution of the Surya
    Command through its history of bravery and gallantry.

PERSON IN NEWS

  1. Myntra, an Indian fashion e-commerce company, has appointed Bollywood actor Ranbir
    Kapoor as its new Brand Ambassador to endorse men’s fashion wear on the platform.
    He will feature in a brand campaign titled ‘Be Extraordinary Everyday’ slated to go live shortly
    alongside Kiara Advani.
  2. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has recommended the name of Dr Rajeev
    Singh Raghuvanshi as the new Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). He will succeed Dr
    V.G. Somani.
    Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI):
    DCGI heads the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which is responsible
    for ensuring the quality of drug supply across the country. It also has the authority to give
    approval to new drugs and regulate clinical trials.
  3. President of India Droupadi Murmu has appointed 13 new Governors while accepting the
    resignations of Bhagat Singh Koshyari as Governor of Maharashtra and of Radha Krishnan
    Mathur as Lt. Governor of Ladakh.
Governor/ Lt. GovernorState/UT
Lt. General Kaiwalya Trivikram ParnaikArunachal Pradesh
Lakshman Prasad AcharyaSikkim
C.P. RadhakrishnanJharkhand
Shiv Pratap ShuklaHimachal Pradesh
Gulab Chand KatariaAssam
Justice (Retd.) S. Abdul NazeerAndhra Pradesh
Biswa Bhusan Harichandan (earlier Governor of Andhra Pradesh)Chhattisgarh
Sushri Anusuiya Uikye (earlier Governor of  Chhattisgarh)Manipur
La. Ganesan (earlier Governor of Manipur)Nagaland
Phagu Chauhan (earlier Governor of Bihar)Meghalaya
Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar (earlier Governor of  Himachal Pradesh)Bihar
Ramesh Bais (earlier Governor of Jharkhand)Maharashtra
Brig. (Dr.) Shri B.D. Mishra (Retd.) (earlier Governor of  Arunachal Pradesh)Ladakh
  1. Hyundai Motor India has roped in the Indian women cricketers Yashika Bhatia and
    Renuka Singh Thakur as its Brand Ambassador for #TheDriveWithin campaign.
  • The company has earlier (December 2021) renewed its partnership with Smriti Mandhana,
    Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues for #TheDriveWithin campaign.
  • The campaign marks the celebration of these world-renowned women cricketers and a
    testament to years of gruelling training and hardships.
  1. The Central Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has elected CA
    Aniket Sunil Talati and CA Ranjeet Kumar Agarwal as President and Vice-President of ICAI
    for the term 2023-24.
    Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI):
    It is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament, viz. The Chartered Accountants Act,
    1949 (Act No.XXXVIII of 1949) for regulating the profession of Chartered Accountancy in the
    country. The Institute, functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Corporate
    Affairs, Government of India. It is located in New Delhi.
  2. Union Minister of Law & Justice Kiren Rijiju has announced that the President of India
    Droupadi Mormu has appointed Chief Justices for 4 High Courts in exercise of the powers
    conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Indian Constitution.
Chief JusticeHigh Court
Justice Sandeep  MehtaGuwahati
Justice Jaswant SinghTripura
  1. Meenakshi Nevatia has been appointed as the Additional Director & Managing Director
    (MD) of Pfizer Limited for a period of 5 years with effect from 3rd April 2023. She will succeed
    S Sridhar.
  2. Vivek Koka has been appointed as the new Chief Business Officer (CBO) of Alt Balaji. He
    has succeed Ekta R Kapoor and Shobha Kapoor who have stepped down from their positions
    as the head of the company.

OBITUARIES

  1. Acclaimed poet, critic, linguist and writer KV Tirumalesh has recently passed away in
    Hyderabad, Telangana. He was born in 1940 in Karadka village in Kasorgod, Madras
    Presidency, British India (now in Kasargod district, Kerala).
    He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2010 for his collections of poems Akshaya
    Kavya in Kannada.
    Other major works: Mahaprasthana, Mukhavaadagalu, Ullekha, Vagartha, etc.
  2. Italian Alpine Ski Racer Elena Fanchini has recently passed away in Solato, Brescia, Italy
    due to cancer. She was born on 30th April 1985 in Lovere, Italy. She represented Italy at 3
    Winter Olympics (2006, 2010, and 2014), and 6 World Championships.

SPORTS

  1. Australian cricketer Aaron James Finch has announced his retirement from international
    cricket. He has represented Australia in 254 international matches across all formats,
    playing 5 Tests, 146 ODIs, and 103 T20Is.
  2. Indian wrestlers has concluded the 2023 Grand Prix Zagreb Open, the first ranking series
    of 2023, held in Zagreb, Croatia from 1st to 5th February 2023, with 2 bronze medals.
  • Aman Sehrawat, an Indian wrestler, has won the bronze medal in the men’s 57kg
    category on the opening day by defeating Zane Raye Rhodes Richards of the USA.
  • Ashu, an Indian wrestler, has won the bronze medal in the men’s 67kg category by
    defeating Adomas Grigaliunas of Lithuania.
    A total of 15 Indian wrestlers have competed at the Zagreb Open 2023.
    Justice Sonia Giridhar
    Gokani
    Gujarat
    Justice N Kotiswar
    Singh
    Jammu & Kashmir and
    Ladakh
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  1. Wu Yibing from China has won the men’s singles title at the 2023 Dallas Open after
    defeating American tennis player John Isner at the finals held in Altec Tennis Complex in the
    city of Dallas, USA.
    Men’s double title: Jamie Murray and Michael Venus (New Zealand).
  2. Jean-Éric Vergne of DS Penske, a French Racing Driver, has won the first ever Formula E
    race in India-2023 Greenko Hyderabad E-Prix, Round 4 of the ABB FIA Formula E World
    Championship.
    Nick Cassidy of Envision and Antonio Flex da Costa of TAG Heuer Porsche have finished
    second and third, respectively.
    A total of 11 teams have competed in the 2023 Hyderabad E-Prix held in the Hyderabad
    Street Circuit,
    Hyderabad, Telangana.
  3. Sunrisers Eastern Cape, led by South African cricketer Aiden Markram, has won the
    inaugural edition of Betway SA20 League 2023, a Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament in
    South Africa, organized by Cricket South Africa.
    Sunrisers Eastern Cape has defeated Pretoria Capitals in the finals held in Wanderers
    Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Betway SA20 Award Winners:
  • Spirit of the season: Sunrisers Eastern Cape
  • Rising Star: Eathan Bosch (Pretoria Capitals)
  • Batter of the season: Jos Buttler (Paarl Royals)
  • Bowler of the season: Roelf van der Merwe
  • Player of the season: Aiden Markram (Sunrisers Eastern Cape)
  1. The 19th edition of the FIFA Club World Cup 2022, an international men’s association
    football competition, has been held in Rabat, Morocco from 1st to 11th February 2023.
    Spain’s Real Madrid has won the FIFA Club World Cup 2022 for the 5
    th time after defeating
    Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal in the final match.
    Best player: Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid)
    Fair play award: Real Madrid
    Top scorer: Pedro (Flamengo)
  2. Madhya Pradesh has hosted the 5th edition of the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2023
    in eight cities (Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Maheshwar, Balaghat, Mandla, Jabalpur and Gwalior)
    from 30th January to 11th February 2023. Only the track cycling events are held outside the
    state in the national capital New Delhi.
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  • Maharashtra, with 56 gold medals and a total tally of 161, has won the Khelo India Youth
    Games 2023 title.
  • Haryana is the first runner-up with 128 medals (41 golds, 32 silvers and 55 bronze).
  • Madhya Pradesh is the second runner-up with 96 medals (39 golds, 30 silvers and 27
    bronze).
    Mascots: Asha (Female Cheetah) and Mowgli
    Torch: Amarkantak
    Theme Song: Hindustan ka Dil Dhadka do
    The Khelo India Youth Games is a flagship event under the government of India’s Khelo India
    initiative. Haryana won the inaugural title in 2018 as well as in 2022. Maharashtra clinched
    the remaining three championship titles – 2019, 2020 and 2023.

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. World Pulses Day is observed annually on 10th February. The day has been established by
    the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the
    importance of pulses (dry beans, lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, lupins) as a global food.
  • Theme 2023: ‘Pulses for a Sustainable Future’
  • In 2018, the UN General Assembly decided to mark 10 February as World Pulses Day.
  • The day was first observed in 2019.
  1. National Deworming Day is observed annually on 10th February to create awareness
    about the importance of deworming to all preschool and school-age children between the
    ages of 1-19 years.
  • It is a bi-annual initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • Annually the 10th February and 10th August are observed as the National Deworming
    Day.
  • The day was first observed in 2015.
    According to World Health Organisation (WHO), around 24 percent of the world population is
    infected with soil-transmitted helminths (worms). As a result, around 241 million children
    between the ages of 1 and 14 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, known as
    soil-transmitted helminths.
  1. Anti-Smuggling Day is observed annually across India on 11th February to impart
    knowledge and create awareness among the citizens to combat smuggling in order to foster
    national security and economic development. The day was first observed in 2022 by the
    FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy
    (CASCADE).
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  2. International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed annually on 11th February
    to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. The day
    is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women in collaboration with institutions and civil society
    partners.
  • Theme 2023: “Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance. Sustain (I.D.E.A.S.): Bringing
    Everyone Forward for Sustainable and Equitable Development”
  • The year 2023 marks the 8
    th International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
    In December 2015, the United Nations adopted a resolution to celebrate February 11 as the
    International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The day was first observed in 2016.
  1. World Unani Day is observed annually on 11th February to mark the birth anniversary of
    the great Indian Unani scholar and social reformer Hakim Ajmal Khan.
    The day was first observed in 2017 at the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine
    (CRIUM), Hyderabad.
    Hakim Ajmal Khan:
    He was an eminent Indian Unani physician who was a versatile genius, a great scholar, a
    social reformer, a noted freedom fighter, a Unani medical educationist and founder of
    scientific research in Unani System of Medicine. He was one of the founders of the Jamia
    Millia Islamia in New Delhi.
    Note: Unani system was introduced in India by the Arabs and Persians sometime around the
    eleventh century.
  2. Anti-Smuggling Day is observed annually across India on 11th February to impart
    knowledge and create awareness among the citizens to combat smuggling in order to foster
    national security and economic development. The day was first observed in 2022 by the
    FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy
    (CASCADE).
  3. National Productivity Day is observed annually across India on 12th February to
    encourage implementation of productivity tools and techniques with contemporary relevant
    themes.
  • The day is part of the National Productivity Week, which is observed from 12 to 18
    February by the National Productivity Council (NPC).
  • The theme of National Productivity Week 2023 is ‘Productivity, Green Growth, and
    Sustainability: Celebrating India’s G20 Presidency’.
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  1. Darwin Day is observed annually on 12th February to commemorate the birth anniversary
    of the 19th
    -century British naturalist, Charles Darwin. The day aims to inspire people to follow
    their intellectual curiosities. It urges us to explore truth through scientific means.
    Charles Darwin:
  • He was born on 12th February 1809 in Shrewsbury, England.
  • He is well-known for his work “The Theory of Natural Selection”.
  • He published his thoughts on evolution and natural selection in “On the Origin of Species”
    in 1859.
  1. National Women’s Day is observed annually across India on 13th February to
    commemorate the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu. The year 2023 marks the 144th birth
    anniversary of her.
    Sarojini Naidu:
  • She was born as Sarojini Chattopadhyay on 13th February 1879.
  • She was named the ‘Nightingale of India’ or ‘Bharat Kokila’ by Mahatma Gandhi
    because of her poetic and lyrical genius.
  • She became the president of the Indian National Congress in 1925.
  • She was one of the forefront leaders who led the Civil Disobedience Movement and the
    Quit India Movement.
  • She became the Governor of the United Provinces in 1947, becoming the first woman to
    hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
  • She established the Women’s India Association in 1917.
  1. International Epilepsy Day is observed annually across globe on the Second Monday of
    February to spread awareness and educate the general public on the true facts about
    epilepsy and the urgent need for improved treatment, better care, and greater investment in
    research.
  • In 2023, the day falls on 13th February 2023.
  • The day is organised jointly by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the
    International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).
    Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that makes a person go through sudden and recurrent
    episodes of sensory disturbances.
  1. World Radio Day is observed annually on 13th February to recognize radio as a powerful
    medium, which brings people together from every corner of the globe, to promote diversity
    and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.
    The day was proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the
    United Nations General Assembly in 2012.
    Theme 2023: “Radio & Peace”
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  2. International Childhood Cancer Day is observed annually on 15th February to raise
    awareness about childhood cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with
    cancer, the survivors and their families.
  • Theme 2023: ‘Better Survival’ is achievable #throughtheirhands
  • The symbol for childhood cancer is the Gold ribbon.
  • The day was first observed in 2000 by the Childhood Cancer International (CCI).

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