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Weekly Current Affairs February 2023 Week – 03

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) has hosted the 6th Shanghai
    Cooperation Organisation Supreme Audit Institutes (SCO SAI) Leader’s meeting in
    Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The meeting has been led by Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General
    of India, under the theme of “Integrating Emerging Technologies in Audit”.
  • Participants: 30 delegates from the SCO SAIs of India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan,
    Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and SCO Secretariat.
  • Governor of Uttar Pradesh Anandiben Patel has inaugurated the meeting.
  • During the meeting, CAG has signed 2 Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with SAIs
    of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan to strengthen cooperation and exchange of expertise in
    the field of auditing.
  1. The First G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) meeting
    has been held in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The three-day meeting has been led by the Ministry
    of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India.
    During the meeting, all G20 nations showed commitment to:
  • Arrest Land Degradation, Restore Ecosystem, and Enrich Biodiversity.
  • Promote a sustainable and climate resilient blue economy.
  • Encourage resource efficiency and circular economy.
    During the meeting, India has presented the inception report of the technical study on
    ‘Accelerating the transition to Sustainable & Climate Resilient Blue Economy’ covering all G20
    nations.
    Announcements made during the meeting:
  • Indian Presidency has planned to convene an Ocean 20 dialogue to facilitate detailed
    discussion on important aspects on Blue Economy.
  • The Indian Presidency has also announced a coordinated beach cleaning event to be
    conducted on 21st May 2023 on the sidelines of the Ocean 20 dialogue.
  • Indian Presidency will publish the 5th report on actions against marine plastic litter under
    the G20 Framework for Marine Plastic Litter, in collaboration with Japan.
    The discussions during this meeting will be taken forward at the 2nd ECSWG meeting, which
    is scheduled on 27-29th March, 2023 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  1. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved
    strengthening cooperative movement in the country and deepening its reach up to the
    grassroots.
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  • The plan is to establish Primary Agriculture Credit Societies (PACS) in each uncovered
    panchayat, viable dairy cooperatives in each uncovered panchayat/village and viable
    fishery cooperatives in each coastal panchayat/village as well as panchayat/village having
    large water bodies.
  • The initial target is to establish 2 lakh multipurpose PACS/dairy/fishery cooperatives in
    the next five years.
  • The plan will be implemented with the convergence of various schemes by leveraging the
    ‘whole of government’ approach.
  • The plan will be implemented with the support of NABARD, National Dairy Development
    Board (NDDB) and National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB).
  1. Drone-startup Garuda Aerospace has unveiled its latest drone, ‘SURAJ’, a solar-powered
    unmanned reconnaissance J-Glider, at Aero India 2023.
  • SURAJ is an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) high-altitude drone
    designed specifically for surveillance operations, providing real-time information to the
    high command and protecting jawans on the ground.
  • The drone will carry a versatile payload of high-resolution zoom cameras with thermal
    imagery and foliage-penetrating lidar sensors with a maximum capacity of 10 kg.
  • This cutting-edge technology will capture, process, and transmit photos and videos in real
    time.
  • It has an endurance of 12 hours and can fly at an altitude of 3000 ft.
  1. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, And Waterways (MoPSW) has constituted a high-level
    committee to draft revised guidelines for operationalization of Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax ferry
    transportation services.
  • The committee will be headed by Sanjay K Mehta, Chairman, Deendayal Port Authority,
    Gandhidham, Gujarat.
  • The committee will also draft the Model Concession Agreement for Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax
    Terminal Operator and a Model License Agreement for the Operation of Ro-Ro/RoPax/Fast Passenger Ferry.
  • The committee will formulate and streamline the future Roadmap of Ro-Pax Ferry
    development in the country.
  • The committee will implement the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of harnessing
    the waterways and integrating them with the economic development of the country.
    Under the ambit of Sagarmala Programme, the MoPSW has operationalized Ro-Pax Ferry
    service between Ghogha – Hazira in Gujarat and Mumbai – Mandwa in Maharashtra.
    The Government of India (GoI) has launched a mobile application of the Ministry of Coal,
    “Khanan Prahari”, and a web app “Coal Mine Surveillance and Management System”
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    (CMSMS) for reporting unauthorized coal mining activities so that the responsible Law &
    Order enforcing body can monitor them and take appropriate action.
    CMSMS:
  • It is developed by the Ministry of Coal in collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute
    for Space Application and Geo Informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar. Gujarat, and the Ministry
    of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
  • It provide a tool to the public for reporting through the “Khanan Prahari” application.
  • It is one of the first spatially enabled surveillance systems to be created in India.
  • It has been hosted on the National Centre of Geo-Informatics (NCoG) portal.
  1. The First Meeting of G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) has been held in
    Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 13 February to 15 February 2023.
  • The meeting showcased India’s digital transformation journey and brought together G20
    members, key knowledge partners, and guest countries to discuss digital public
    infrastructure, cybersecurity, and digital skilling.
  • In the meeting, NASSCOM and UNESCO shared their research, which says the global
    economy could lose up to $11.5 trillion by 2028 due to the digital skills gap.
    The Chair of G20-DEWG is Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics & IT.
    The next DEWG meeting will take place in Hyderabad, Pune, & Bengaluru.
    Additional Information:
    The DEWG was formed in 2017 as part of German G20 presidency with the aim of
    promoting the implementation of a secure, interconnected, and inclusive digital economy.
    The global digital economy estimated to be worth USD 11 trillion and expected to reach USD
    23 trillion by 2025.
  1. Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India, Western Regional Centre (WRC), Pune has
    discovered a new beetle species ‘Omorgus Khandesh’ in India. With the addition of this new
    species, now there are a total of 14 extant species of Trogidae family in India.
    Omorgus Khandesh:
  • It is a necrophagous and also called a keratin beetle.
  • This species belongs to the Trogidae family.
  • The beetles of this group are sometimes called hide beetles as they tend to cover their
    body under the soil and hide.
  • It is important for forensic science as it helps detect the time of death of an animal or
    human.
  1. The 4th edition of joint military exercise, “EX DHARMA GUARDIAN 2023”, has been
    conducted between India and Japan Camp Imazu in Shiga province of Japan from 17th
    February to 2nd March 2023.
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    Participants:
  • India: Troops of the Garhwal Rifles Regiment
  • Japan: Infantry Regiment from the Middle Army
    The scope of this exercise covers platoon level joint training on operations in jungle and semi
    urban/urban terrain.
    The joint exercise will enable the two armies to share best practices in tactics, techniques and
    procedures of
    conducting tactical operations under a UN Mandate, in addition to developing interoperability, bonhomie, camaraderie and friendship between the two armies.
    The exercise will enhance the level of defence co-operation between Indian Army and
    Japanese Ground Self Defence Forces, furthering the bilateral relations between the two
    nations.
  1. To advance India’s cyber-preparedness, ‘KAVACH-2023’, a national level hackathon has been
    launched to identify innovative ideas and technological solutions for addressing the cyber
    security and cybercrime challenges of the 21st century.
  • KAVACH-2023 is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell, AICTE;
    Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)) and
    Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C, MHA).
  • KAVACH-2023 will be conducted in two phases.
  • This will be a 36-hours long event, during which youth from educational institutions across
    the country and registered start-ups will participate to find robust, secure and effective
    technological solutions for cyber security by using their technical expertise & innovative
    skills.
  • Total prize money worth Rs.20 lakh will be awarded to the winning teams.
  1. The Ministry of External Affairs has introduced the ‘mPassport Police app’ to streamline
    and expedite police verification during the passport issuance process. This app will also help
    with the timely updation and issuance of passports.
  2. India has recently launched its first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based chatbot named ‘Lexi’
    powered by ChatGPT, an AI computer program. The chatbot has been invented by the
    financial technology firm Velocity.
    It is designed to provide assistance to e-Commerce founders with business insights in a
    simplified manner.
    It has been integrated with Velocity’s own analytics tool i.e. Velocity Insights.
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  3. The 12th World Hindi Conference has been organized in Nadi, Fiji from 15th to 17th
    February 2023 by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India in association with the
    Government of Fiji.
    Objective: To promote Hindi as a language of contact-dialogue among all people around the
    world who speak, understand, and are fond of it.
    Theme: “Hindi: From traditional knowledge to artificial intelligence”
  • During the conference, India and Fiji have signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports.
  • The “Vishwa Hindi Samman” has been presented to a total of 12 Hindi scholars from
    India and 19 scholars from abroad.
    Note: The 11th World Hindi Conference was held in Mauritius in 2018.
  1. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has developed a compressed air-based
    mineral transport system. It is designed to carry coal and other minerals.
  • It is a hyperloop system and can reach speeds of 120 km per hour.
  • The hyperloop accommodates storage wagons, guiding rails, wheel assembly system, and
    enables seamless mineral transportation.
  • It will neither use battery nor will it require electricity, rather it will run on air pressure.
  1. The Government of India (GoI) has formed a 12-member Cabinet Secretariat Coordination
    Unit (CSCU) panel headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba to monitor the implementation
    of the government’s ambitious National Programme for Civil Services Capacity Building
    (NPCSCB) or Mission Karmayogi programme for training of government employees.
  • Members of the CSCU include a nominee of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), secretary
    (Coordination), cabinet secretariat, DoPT secretary, home secretary, expenditure
    secretary, Environment, Forest & Climate Change secretary, Higher Education secretary
    and revenue secretary.
  • Chief Executive Officer of Karmayogi Bharat and secretary of Capacity Building
    Commission will be permanent invitee to the panel, Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary
    (Training), DoPT will be the Member Secretary.
  • The CSCU will monitor the implementation of NPCSCB and undertake activities like
    overseeing the formulation of the National Capacity Building Plan (NCBP) and place it for
    approval of the Prime Minister’s Human Resource Council (PMHRC) and to periodically
    monitor the implementation of Annual Capacity Building Plans.
  • The meeting of CSCU will be convened quarterly or as and when deemed appropriate.
    Mission Karmayogi:
    It was launched in 2020 with the objective of enhancing governance through Civil Service
    Capacity Building. It aims to prepare civil service officers for the future by making them more
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    “creative, constructive, imaginative, innovative, proactive, professional, progressive,
    energetic, enabling, transparent and technology-enabled.
  1. India has been elected as the Chair of the 62nd Session of the UN Commission for Social
    Development (CSocD). The Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations,
    Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj has been elected, on behalf of India, as Chair of the 62nd
    session of CSocD.
  • The commission has also elected Jon Ivanovski (North Macedonia), Carla María Carlson
    (Dominican Republic), and Thomas Lammar (Luxembourg) as Vice-Chairs of the 62nd
    session.
  • The priority theme of the 62nd session is “Fostering Social Development and Social Justice
    through Social Policies to accelerate Progress on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for
    Sustainable Development and to achieve the overarching goal of poverty eradication.”
  • The announcement has been made at the 13th plenary meeting-61st session of CSocD.
    The Chair of the 61st session of the commission is Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Ambassador
    and Permanent Representative of Qatar.
  1. Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, has announced that
    “eSanjeevani”, India’s National Telemedicine Service, has recently achieved a significant
    landmark by providing teleconsultation services to 10 crore beneficiaries. eSanjeevani was
    launched in November 2019.
  • Around 57% of the beneficiaries of eSanjeevani are women and around 12% beneficiaries
    are senior citizens.
  • So far, the platform has peaked to serve 5,10,702 patients in a day.
  • More than 1,15,234 Health & Wellness Centres are operational in the country.
    The leading 10 states in terms of adoption of eSanjeevani are: Andhra Pradesh (31701735),
    Tamil Nadu (12374281), West Bengal (12311019), Karnataka (11293228), Uttar Pradesh
    (5498907), Maharashtra (4780259), Telangana (4591028), Madhya Pradesh (4015879), Bihar
    (3220415) and Gujarat (2988201).
  1. Ministry of Defence has launched the Indian Air Force e-MMS and SAMAR portal at Aero
    India 2023.
    E-MMS:
    It is one of the largest and technologically complex digital Enterprise Asset Management
    solutions implemented in world. It is software that helps an organization track the status of
    maintenance tasks, and schedule equipment repairs.
    SAMAR:
  • It stands for System for Advance Manufacturing Assessment & Rating.
  • It is a portal of DRDO’s Aeronautical Research and Development Board (AR&DB).
  • It is an outcome of the collaboration between DRDO and Quality Council of India (QCI).
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  • It is the benchmark to measure the competency of defence manufacturing enterprises.

STATES AFFAIRS

  1. Boeing, the United States aerospace company, has launched its first Global Support Center
    (GSC) in India at Gurugram that will provide customised operational efficiency and safety
    improvement projects for its airline customers, civil aviation regulatory bodies and other
    industry stakeholders.
    It will also transfer knowledge to enhance safety and efficiency for airline partners in India.
    The Union Minister of State for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh has declared that the
    North India’s first nuclear power plant will be constructed in the Gorakhpur village in the
    Fatehabad district in Haryana.
  • The Gorakhpur Haryana, Anu Vidyut Pariyojana (GHAVP) will have two units of about 700
    MWe capacity each of pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR) indigenous design.
  • At present, India has total 22 nuclear reactors and the total installed capacity is 6,780 MW.
  1. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has laid the foundation stone
    of the world’s largest and unique ‘Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park’ in Nagpur,
    Maharashtra. This park is being developed keeping in mind the vision of Prime Minister
    Narendra Modi to build an inclusive society. Instead of sympathy, this park will show
    empathy.
  • A provision of about Rs.12 crore has been made by the Ministry of Social Justice and
    Empowerment, for this park.
  • This park is being built in an area of 90 thousand square feet.
  • This park is being built for disabled children and general citizens in Pardi campus of
    Nagpur.
  • The park will have adapted facilities for all 21 types of disabilities.
  • It will have facilities like touch and smell garden, hydrotherapy unit, water therapy,
    independent room for mentally challenged children, mother.
    Note: The central government passed the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act for the rights of
    persons with disabilities in 2016.
  1. The first-ever Sundarban Bird Festival has been organized by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve
    (STR) and South 24 Parganas division of West Bengal Forest Department at Sajnekhali Beat
    Complex, STR.
  • During the festival, 145 species of birds have been spotted that include 42 species of
    waders, mudflat birds and shore birds, 12 raptors, 78 forest birds, 6 water fowls and
    seven other bird species.
  • Birds like Eurasian curlew, lesser sand plover and brown hawk owl are spotted.
  • Seven species of kingfishers, including the black-capped kingfisher are also seen.
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    Sunderbans National Park:
    It is a tiger and biosphere reserve located in the Sunderbans delta in the state of West
    Bengal. The Sunderbans is named after the Sundari trees which are found in bulk in this area.
    The park was established as a national park on 4th May 1984 as earlier it was created as
    wildlife sanctuary in 1977, designated as the core area of Sunderbans Tiger Reserve.
  1. The Mizoram Assembly has unanimously adopted an official resolution opposing any move
    to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
    UCC refers to the proposal to replace personal laws that are based on religious practices of
    each major religious community in country with a common set of laws that would apply to all
    citizens. UCC comes under Article 44.
  2. Operation Sadbhavana (Goodwill) is a unique humane initiative undertaken by Indian
    Army in the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh to address aspirations of people affected by
    terrorism, sponsored and abetted by Pakistan.
  • As part of ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’, Indian Army is undertaking multiple welfare activities
    such as running of Army Goodwill Schools, Infrastructure Development Projects and
    Education Tours for the children living in remote areas of Ladakh.
  • To improve the standard of education and to provide them with quality education, Indian
    Army is presently running seven (07) Army Goodwill Schools (AGS) under ‘Operation
    SADBHAVANA’ in Ladakh Region.
  • Some of the objectives achieved through ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’ are national
    integration tours, women empowerment, employment generation, education and
    development activities towards nation building.
  1. The States that have spent a higher portion of their budget expenditure on education in FY23
    are Delhi, Assam, and Himachal Pradesh, which allocated 22 percent, 20 per cent and 19
    percent, respectively.
  • Bihar has allocated 18.3% of its budget towards education. Chhattisgarh has allocated
    18.82% of its budget towards education.
  • The other States that have allocated a comparatively smaller proportion of their net
    expenditure to education include Andhra Pradesh (12.7 percent), Karnataka (12.73 per
    cent), Uttar Pradesh (12.89 per cent), and Punjab (13.05 per cent).
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    The Central Government has allocated Rs.44,094 crores on education, that is, 16.51% of the
    total budget for the financial year 2023-24. This is 8% higher than the previous year.
  1. Ladakh has hosted India’s first frozen-lake marathon ‘Last Run’ at Pangong Tso at a
    height of 13,862 feet. The 21-kilometre marathon, with Lukung as its starting point, has
    ended at Maan village.
  • It is being organised by the Adventure Sports Foundation of Ladakh (ASFL) in collaboration
    with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council-Leh, the Tourism Department and
    the Leh district administration.
  • The marathon has been called the “Last Run” to highlight the issue of climate change.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated ‘Aadi Mahotsav’, the mega National Tribal
    Festival at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi to celebrate the spirit of tribal
    culture, crafts, cuisine, commerce and traditional art. It has been organised from 16 to 27
    February 2023.
  • The Aadi Mahotsav is an annual initiative of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing
    Development Federation Limited (TRIFED) under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
  • The programme will showcase the rich and diverse heritage of tribes in over 200 stalls at
    the venue.
  • Around 1000 tribal artisans will participate in the Mahotsav.
  • A special focus in the Mahotsav will be on showcasing Shree Anna (Millets) grown by
    tribals.
  1. The Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA), Ministry of Corporate
    Affairs (MCA), in association with the Mizoram Tourism, has organized a State-Level Investor
    Awareness and Financial Literacy Conference “Financial Literacy in Amrit Kaal –
    Empowering Investors” in Aizawl, Mizoram.
    The Conference has been inaugurated by Robert Romawia Royte, Minister, Tourism Sports &
    Youth Services, I&CT, Govt. of Mizoram.
    During the conference, the following major announcements have been made:
  • “Niveshak Sarathi”, an investor awareness van, has been flagged off in Aizawl covering
    major locations in Mizoram. This is an initiative by IEPFA to promote financial literacy
    among people in far-flung areas.
  • “75 dedicated Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs)” announced for the State of
    Mizoram.
  • “Niveshak Didi”: Three female Gramin dak Sevaks from Mizoram have been given
    certificates during the inaugural session of the event to conduct specialised programmes
    for the women. This initiative is being executed in association with India Post Payment
    Bank with the theme of financial education by the women for the women.
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  1. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has approved a Rs.30.40 crore project “Sensorbased Smart Agriculture” for integration of agriculture with technology driven by Artificial
    Insemination (AI) and IoT (Internet of Things) for automation of practices, enhanced resource
    use efficiency and profitability.
  2. The Union Cabinet has approved the construction of Shinku La Tunnel to provide allweather connectivity in Ladakh. The tunnel will lead to all-round development of the region
    and give a boost to the tourism
  • The construction work of this 4.1 kilometer tunnel will be completed by December 2025.
  • The total expenditure on this project will be Rs.1,681 crore.
  • The new tunnel will connect Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Valley to Zanskar Valley in
    Ladakh.
  • The new tunnel will be built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) as part of ‘Project
    Yojak’.
    Shinku La or Shingo La pass:
    It is a mountain pass located on the border between Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. It is at an
    altitude of 5,091 metres.
  1. India’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework has been launched in Puducherry
    to balance growth alongside sustainable management of ocean resources and coastal
    environment preservation.
    This framework is part of an agreement under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative
    signed between India and Norway in 2019.
    Objectives of MSP Framework:
  • To bring the diverse ocean users under the same platform
  • To create a broad and inclusive picture of the ocean
  • To provide a common platform for the policy builders and decision makers to discuss with
    each other
  • To allocate marine spaces the right way
  • To increase transparency
  1. Franco-Japanese automotive alliance Renault-Nissan has announced an investment of USD
    600 million (Rs.5,300 crore) in India to bring six new products, including two small electric
    cars, and upgradation of their Chennai plant.
    The alliance will make their Chennai manufacturing facility to be 100 percent based on
    renewable energy by 2045.
  2. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-National Bureau of Animal Genetic
    Resources, Karnal (NBAGR) has registered 10 new breeds of livestock species, including
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    cattle, buffalo, goat and pig. This has taken the total number of indigenous breeds to 212 as
    of January 2023.
    Cattle breeds:
    Kathani: It is dual-purpose cattle found in Maharashtra. It possesses good draft ability and is
    suited to marshy land for paddy cultivation.
    Masilum: It is a small-sized but well-built and sturdy cattle of Meghalaya. It is reared by the
    Khasi and Jaintia communities for sports, manure and socio-cultural festivals.
    Sanchori: It is found in the Jalore district of Rajasthan.
    Pig breeds:
    Manipuri Black: It is native to Manipur.
    Banda: It belongs to Jharkhand.
    Wak Chambil: It is from Garo hills of Meghalaya.
    Buffalo breed:
    Purnathadi: It is found in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
    Goat breeds:
    Sojat, Karauli, Gujari: All three new breeds belong to different regions of Rajasthan.
  3. The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) has organized the National Organ &
    Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) Scientific Dialogue 2023 in New Delhi. The
    dialogue has been organized to bring all the stakeholders under one roof to brainstorm ideas
    about interventions and best practices in the organ and tissue transplant field that can be
    taken up for saving lives.
    During the dialogue, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that India has achieved
    more than 15,000 transplants in a year; an annual increase of 27% in transplant numbers
    observed.
  4. India’s first-ever Indigenous Automatic Train Supervision System (i-ATS) has been
    launched for operations on the Red Line of the Delhi Metro.
  • The i-ATS system has been launched on the Red Line from the Operations Control Centre
    (OCC) in Shastri Park by Manoj Joshi, the Secretary of Union Ministry of Housing and
    Urban Affairs, who is also Chairman of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
  • The i-ATS system has been developed by a joint team of DMRC and Bharat Electronics
    Limited (BEL), under the government of India’s ‘Make in India’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’
    initiatives for metro rail transit systems.
    Momentum 2.0:
    Delhi Metro will also launch India’s first virtual shopping, metro recharge app ‘Momentum
    2.0′. This app will allow passengers to purchase a range of products and book services while
    travelling, and collect their orders at their destination stations.
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  1. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated the first phase of ‘Shiv Srishti’, a historical
    theme park based on the life of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, at Ambegaon in
    Pune, Maharashtra.
    The project has been inaugurated on the occasion of the 393rd birth anniversary (19th
    February) of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19th February 1630 at Shivneri Fort in Pune
    district in Maharashtra.
  • The celebration of Shivaji Jayanti was set by Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, also known as
    Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, in 1870.
    The project is being implemented by the Maharaja Shivchhatrapati Pratishthan for which the
    state government allocated land and Rs.50 crore for the first phase.
    The total cost of the project is Rs.438 crore.
  1. Union internationale des chemins de fer (UIC) or International Union of Railways (UIC) and
    Railway Protection Force (RPF) have jointly organized the 18th World Security Congress in
    Jaipur, Rajasthan from 21st to 23rd February 2023.
  • Theme for the 18th edition of the Congress is “Railway Security Strategy : Responses
    and Vision for Future”.
  • The Congress is divided into 4 sessions with underlying sub-themes of “Protecting Critical
    Assets & Freight”, “Human Security Approach”, “Best Railway Security Tools & Practices
    across the World” and “Vision 2030”.
    Notably, the Director General of RPF, Sanjay Chander IPS, has taken over as the Chairman of
    the International UIC Security Platform from July 2022 to July 2024.
    Previously, in 2006 and 2015, RPF India had successfully organized and hosted the
    International UIC World Security Congress in New Delhi.
  1. Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala has
    launched the Sagar Parikrama Phase-III from Hazira Port in Surat, Gujarat. The Parikrama
    will proceed towards the coastal line of Maharashtra at Satpati, Vasai, Versova, and will end
    at Sasson Dock, Mumbai.
    The Phase III focuses on sustainable balance between the utilization of marine fisheries
    resources for food security of the nation and livelihoods of coastal fisher communities and
    the protection of marine ecosystems, and to bridge the gaps of fisher communities.
    Objectives of ‘Sagar Parikrama’:
  • To facilitate interaction with fishermen, coastal communities and stakeholders so as to
    disseminate information of various fisheries related schemes and programs being
    implemented by the Government;
  • To demonstrate solidarity with all fisher folk, fish farmers and concerned stakeholder as a
    spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat;
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  • To promote responsible fisheries with focus on sustainable balance between the
    utilization of marine fisheries resources for food security of nation and livelihoods of
    coastal fisher communities.
  • To protect marine ecosystems.
  1. Union Minister of Labour & Employment Bhupender Yadav, in presence of Chief Minister of
    Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar, has inaugurated the new building of Directorate Insurance
    Medical Services, ESI Scheme, Haryana at Panchkula and has also laid the foundation stone
    of 3 doctors dispensaries at Rai and Barhi, Sonepat district, Haryana from, Panchkula
    Chandigarh.
  2. Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has successfully managed to raise about Rs.720
    crores through their green bonds which will be utilized for developing a 60-megawatt solar
    plant. The green bonds floated by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) as a public issue
    for setting up solar power plants has received a overwhelming response from investors and
    attracted a subscription of around Rs.721 crore.
  3. India and Uzbekistan have conducted the fourth edition of the DUSTLIK 2023 military
    exercise in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand from 20th February 2023 to 5th March 2023. This
    exercise is biennial, meaning conducted once in two years.
    Participants:
  • Indian side: 14th Battalion, The GARHWAL Rifles from the Western Command
  • Uzbekistan’s side: North Western Military Command
    Objective: To enhance military capability to carry out multi-domain operations in a SubConventional scenario under the United Nations Mandate.
    Note: The 3rd edition of Exercise DUSTLIK was held in Yangiarik, Uzbekistan.
  1. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has attended the 76th Raising Day celebration of Delhi
    Police as the Chief Guest in New Delhi. On this occasion, he has inaugurated the complete
    online facility of passport verification and also dedicated mobile forensic vehicles inducted in
    the Delhi Police to the people.
    He has also inaugurated the academic complex of National Forensic Science University’s
    (NFSU) Delhi Campus.
    Delhi Police comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Motto: Shanti Seva Nyaya
  • Delhi Police Commissioner: Sanjay Arora
  1. India’s first hybrid sounding rocket by private players as part of Dr APJ Abdul Kalam
    Satellite Launch Vehicle Mission 2023 has been successfully launched from Pattipulam
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    village in the Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu in the presence of Tamilisai Soundararajan,
    Governor of Telangana and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
    Around 5000 students from colleges and schools (from Class 6th to 12th) across the country
    are involved in the project.
  2. The President of India Droupadi Murmu has inaugurated the 25th edition of the
    International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF) 2023 in New Delhi. It has been
    organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
    IETF is a business platform for buyer seller meets, international conferences and seminars,
    business networking, technology assessments, strategic partnerships, vendor development
    and is attended by visitors from around the globe.
  3. Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar has inaugurated the ‘Divya
    Kala Mela 2023’ at MMRDA Ground-1 at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It
    has been organized from 16th to 25th February 2023.
  • Divya Kala Mela is an initiative of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with
    Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to create a market for products
    made by divyangjans.
  • In the Divya Kala Mela 2023, products from different parts of the country, including
    Jammu-Kashmir and the North-Eastern States, are being exhibited, along with handicrafts,
    handlooms, embroidery works and food items.
  • The fair features a series of cultural activities including performances by differently-abled
    artists and renowned professionals.
    The next Divya Kala Mela will held be in Bhopal in the month of March, 2023.
  1. The World’s Highest Weather Station, which was installed by the National Geographic
    Society (NatGeo), has been rebuilt on Mount Everest after it was destroyed due to
    hurricane-force winds on Mt. Everest.
  • A team of scientists and Sherpa have again placed its new version atop Mount Everest.
  • The group has been led by a 31-year-old electrician and mountain guide Tenzing Gyalzen
    Sherpa.
    According to the Guinness World Records report, the team of mountaineers and scientists of
    NatGeo installed a record-breaking weather station in 2022 at an altitude of 8,810 metres
    (28,904 ft); just 39 metres (128 ft) below Everest’s summit. It was installed to automatically
    measure various meteorologically phenomenon.
    The station will be fully operated by NatGeo till 2025 before transferring the technology to
    the Nepal Government in 2026.
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  1. Madhya Pradesh Governor Mangubhai Patel has inaugurated the 49th edition of the
    ‘Khajuraho Dance Festival-2023’ in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh. The festival has been
    organized from 20th to 26th February 2023.
  • Under the Department of Culture, the festival is being organized with the joint efforts of
    Ustad Alladin Khan Music and Arts Academy, Tourism Department, Archaeological Survey
    of India, World Dance Alliance and Chhatarpur District Administration.
  • During the dance festival, art exhibitions of various countries including India, Art-Mart,
    dialogue between artists and artisans and a fair of traditions and skill along with
    terracotta and ceramic national exhibitions have been showcased.
    Notably, the first meeting of the G20 Culture Working Group under the chairmanship of
    India has also been held in Khajuraho from February 23 to 25.
    Note: Khajuraho Dance Festival was first held in 1975. The festival is annually organised by the
    Madhya Pradesh Kala Parishad.
  1. The Governor of Odisha Ganeshi Lal has launched ‘Ama KrushAI’, India’s first Artificial
    Intelligence (AI)-powered ChatBot for the agriculture sector, at the valedictory session of
    ‘Krushi Odisha 2023’.
  • Ama KrushAI chatbot will help farmers with the best agronomic practices, government
    schemes and loan products from more than 40 commercial and cooperative banks.
  • It will run under a pilot project involving more than 10,000 farmers and will be
    implemented in full-fledged in the next two months.
  • The ChatBot is created using Bhashini and the ChatGPT system by IIT Madras.
  1. The Supreme Court has recently (Feb 2023) issued notices to the Centre and five states,
    Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand, over the failure to
    elect a Deputy Speaker.
  2. The UAE India Business Council – UAE Chapter (UIBC-UC) has been launched to boost
    bilateral trade and investment between India and UAE, commemorating the 1st anniversary
    of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to bolster
    economic ties and facilitate enhancing bilateral trade and investment.
  • The UIBC-UC has been launched by Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State
    for Foreign Trade, in the presence of Ambassador of India to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir,
    Consul General of India in Dubai Aman Puri and founding members of the UBIC-UC.
  • The two nations aim to increase bilateral trade to USD 100 billion and attract USD 75
    billion in investment from the UAE to India.
    UIBC-UC:
  • The UIBC-UC will serve as the counterpart organisation to the UIBC India Chapter, which
    was established in New Delhi on 3rd September 2015.
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  • The UIBC-UC will operate under the supervision of the Federation of UAE Chambers of
    Commerce & Industry.
  • The council will have its office in Abu Dhabi.
  • Chairman of UIBC-UC: Faizal Kottikollon (Chairman of KEF Holdings)
  • Co-Chairman of UIBC-UC: Rizwan Soomar (CEO & MD (India Subcontinent) at DP World)
  • Major General (Retd.) Sharafuddin Sharaf, who serves as the Chairman of the UIBC India
    Chapter, will also hold the position of Vice Chairman of UIBC-UC.
  1. India’s lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3 has successfully underwent EMI-EMC (ElectroMagnetic Interference/ Electro-Magnetic Compatibility) test during 31st January 2023 –
    2
    nd February 2023, at U R Rao Satellite Centre, Bengaluru.
    Chandrayaan-3 interplanetary mission has three major modules:the Propulsion module,
    Lander module, and Rover. The mission’s complexity calls for establishing radio-frequency
    (RF) communication links between the modules.
    EMI-EMC test:
    It is conducted for satellite missions to ensure the functionality of the satellite subsystems in
    the space environment and their compatibility with the expected electromagnetic levels. This
    test is a major milestone in the realization of the satellites.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. In February 2023, Nicola Ferguson Sturgeon announced her resignation as First Minister
    of Scotland and leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) at a press conference in
    Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the first female First Minister of Scotland and the first woman
    to lead any of the devolved UK administrations.
  2. Netherlands-based Philips Domestic Appliances has been renamed as ‘Versuni’. This
    comes after Royal Philips sold its domestic appliance business to Hillhouse Capital in
    September 2021.

REPORTS & INDICES

  1. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report tiled as “Electricity Market
    Report 2023”. The report states that Asia will use half of the world’s electricity by 2025, a
    majority of which will be used in China, which consumes more electricity than the European
    Union, the United States (US), and India combined.
    Africa will only use 3% of the world’s electricity in 2025, despite having a fifth of the world’s
    population.
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    The report warned that electricity demand and supply are becoming increasingly weather
    dependent.
    In 2022, Electricity demand in India (8.4%) and the United States (US) (92.6%) rose, while
    Covid restrictions affected China’s growth.
  2. As per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the global mean sea level has
    raised by 4.5 mm per year during the period 2013-22 and human influence played a key role
    in the increases in sea levels since 1971.
  • Global mean sea level has increased by 0.20 m between 1901 and 2018.
  • The average rate of sea level rise is 1.3 mm per year between 1901 and 1971, 1.9 mm per
    year between 1971 and 2006, and 3.7 mm per year between 2006 and 2018.
  • Sea-level has risen faster since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last
    3,000 years.
  • India, China, Bangladesh and Netherlands face highest threat of sea level rise globally.
  • Almost 11% of global population (896 million people) lived within Low Elevation Coastal
    Zone in 2020, potentially increasing to beyond 1 billion people by 2050.
    Over the next 2,000 years, global mean sea-level will rise by about two to three m if warming
    is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, 2 to 6 m if limited to 2 degrees Celsius and 19 to 22 m with 5
    degrees of warming.
  1. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update
    (Jan 2023), has projected India’s growth at 6.1% in FY23. It was 6.8% in 2022. IMF has also
    projected India’s growth at 6.8% in 2024.
  • Global growth: 2.9% (2023) and 3.1% (2024)
  • Global inflation: 6.6% (2023) and 4.3% (2024)
  1. As per the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and National Entrepreneurship Context
    Index’s (NECI) report titled ‘Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2022/2023 Global Report
    Adapting to a “New Normal”, India has been ranked 4th among 51 countries in having a
    quality entrepreneurship ecosystem.
    India’s latest score of 6.1 reflects a steady increase in the country’s overall entrepreneurial
    environment over the years.
    India’s NECI score rose from 5.8 in 2019 (ranked 6th among GEM economies) to 6.0 in 2020
    (ranked 4th).
    The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan are the top countries in the GEM 2022/2023 Global
    Report.
  2. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released the
    Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) for the year 2022. This year, STRI covered
    around 50 countries.
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  • Japan has been ranked first in STRI. It is followed by UK, Netherlands, Czech Republic, and
    Chile in second, third, fourth, and fifth places respectively.
  • The bottom countries are Indonesia (50th spot), Thailand (49), Russia (48), and India (47).
    Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
    OECD is a unique forum where the governments of 37 democracies with market-based
    economies collaborate to develop policy standards to promote sustainable economic growth.
  • Headquarters: Paris, France
  • Secretary-General: Mathias Cormann
  1. Morgan Stanley in its research report has projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to
    grow at 6.2% in FY24 as drivers of domestic demand remain intact amid fears of an
    impending slowdown.
  • The Union Budget for FY24 had projected nominal GDP growth at 10.5%, as the centre
    increased the capital investment outlay steeply for the third year in a row by 33 percent to
    Rs.10 trillion.
  • The Economic Survey for 2022-23 projected that India will witness a growth between 6-6.8
    percent in FY24.
  1. As per the latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India’s annual rate of
    a wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation in January 2023 has eased to a two-year low
    of 4.73% from 4.95% in December 2022.
    As per the latest data by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, the retail
    inflation based on consumer price index (CPI) or retail inflation has increased to 3 months
    high of 6.52% in January 2023, from 5.72% in December 2022.

GOVERNMENT SCHEMES & PROGRAMMES

  1. The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved
    Centrally Sponsored Scheme, “Vibrant Villages Programme” (VVP), for the Financial Years
    2022-23 to 2025-26 with financial allocation of Rs.4800 crore. Out of financial allocation of
    Rs.4800 crore, Rs.2500 crore will be used for roads.
  • VVP was announced in the Union Budget Speech 2022.
  • It aims to enhance infrastructure in villages along India’s border with China, in states like
    Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh.
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  • The scheme will provide funds for development of essential infrastructure and creation of
    livelihood opportunities in 19 Districts and 46 Border blocks 4 states and 1 UT along the
    northern land border of the country which will help in achieving inclusive growth and
    retaining the population in the border areas.
  • In the first phase, 663 Villages will be taken up in the programme.
  • Vibrant Village Action Plans will be created by the district administration with the help of
    Gram Panchayats.
  • 100 % saturation of Central and state schemes will be ensured.
    Other cabinet approvals in February 2023:
  • Cabinet has approved signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the
    Government of India and the Government of Republic of South Africa for cooperation in
    Disability Sector.
  • Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between the Government of the Republic of
    India and the Government of the Republic of Chile for cooperation in the field of
    Agriculture and Allied sectors.
  • Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants
    of India (ICAI) and The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  1. The National Council of Science Museums and the Science and Technology Department of
    the Government of Rajasthan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up
    Science Centre and Planetarium in Kota, Rajasthan.
  • The centre will be one of the best science centres and planetariums in the world.
  • The centre will be constructed with a cost of 35 crore 25 lakh rupees.
    Planetarium is a theatre for showing educational and entertaining shows about astronomy
    and the night sky.
    Note: Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is the largest planetarium in Asia and the second-largest
    planetarium in the world.
  1. The Indian Army has joined hands with Advanced Data Processing Research Institute
    (ADRIN) at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to co-develop niche technology and
    end products duly aligned to the dynamic requirements of the force.
    ADRIN, Department of Space, Government of India is located in Secunderabad, Telangana.
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  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez have agreed to
    collaborate on issues such as digital infrastructure, climate action, clean energy and
    sustainable development.
    Both leaders have discussed several bilateral and international issues of mutual interest.
    Important points:
  • India and Spain establish their diplomatic relations in 1956.
  • Spain is India’s 7th largest trading partner in the European Union.
  1. The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), a Mini Ratna,
    Category-I CPSE, wholly owned by the Govt. of India, has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with the Energy Resources Institute (TERI).
    The MoU, with an estimated cost of Rs.525.49 lakh, is for the integrated development of
    village for Social Development – Model Village – Siroliya, District – Dewas, Madhya Pradesh
    under CSR initiatives of SPMCIL.
  2. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has partnered with TheGreenBillions Ltd (TGBL)
    to set up India’s first solid waste-to-hydrogen plant at Hadapsar Industrial Estate in Pune,
    Maharashtra, at an investment of Rs. 350 crore.
    TGBL will spend an additional Rs.82 crore to construct the storage facility and logistics
    support.
    This partnership is of 30 years.
  3. The Central Water Commission (CWC), Department of Water Resources, River
    Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, has signed a Memorandum of
    Agreement (MoA) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee to set up an
    International Centre of Excellence for Dams (ICED) under the Dam Rehabilitation and
    Improvement Project Phase II and Phase III.
  • This MoA will remain valid for 10 years or till the duration of the DRIP Phase-II and PhaseII Scheme, whichever is earlier, from the date of signing.
  • The ICED is being set up at a cost of Rs.109 crore.
  • The Centre will work for agreed dam safety areas to support and provide solutions to
    various emerging challenges faced in dam safety through scientific research and latest
    technological innovations.
  1. The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S), Government of India, Food Safety &
    Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and National Institute of Pharmaceutical
    Education & Research, Hyderabad (NIPER Hyderabad) have signed a tripartite
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deal with the problem of doping in sports.
    Objectives of this MoU:
  • To create nutritional supplement testing capacity in India.
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  • To provide information & build awareness about the risks associated with use of
    nutritional supplements.
  • To increase research opportunities in the clean sport & anti-doping domain.
  • To provide options for safe and dope-free nutritional supplements for sportspersons.
    Doping:
    It basically means athletes taking illegal substances to make their performance better. There
    are five types of banned drugs, called doping classes. The most common are stimulants and
    hormones.
  1. The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding
    (MoU) with \
    Meesho, an e-commerce platform owned by Bengaluru-based Fashnear Technologies Private
    Limited, for marketing of products made by the Self Help Groups (SHGs) under the
    Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM).
  • During the occasion, Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh has asserted
    that the target of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have 10 crore SHG members will be
    achieved by 2024.
  • The cumulative bank loans to SHGs was about Rs.80.000 crore pre- 2014, which has
    now crossed over 6.25 lakh crore in the last 9 years, with an NPA of 2.08%.
    Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihood Mission (DAY-NRLM):
    It was launched in 2011. It is a flagship poverty alleviation program implemented by the
    Ministry of Rural Development.
    It aims to reduce poverty by enabling the poor household to access gainful self-employment
    and skilled wage employment opportunities resulting in sustainable and diversified livelihood
    options for the poor.
    The Mission has four core components:
    (a) Social mobilization and promotion and strengthening of self-managed and financially
    sustainable community institutions of the rural poor women;
    (b) Financial inclusion;
    (c) Sustainable livelihoods;
    (d) Social inclusion, social development and access to entitlements through convergence
  1. Tata Steel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Central Building
    Research Institute (CBRI), a constituent of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
    (CSIR), to collaborate on research, academic growth, and sustainable solutions in mining.
    Under this MoU, CBRI will provide scientific inputs to Tata Steel on slope stability analysis and
    control measures in mining areas and affordable and sustainable green housing technologies
    for the rehabilitation and resettlement of families in mining areas.
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  2. The Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (Wadhwani AI) has collaborated with the
    Karnataka State Department of Agriculture (KSDA) to promote the welfare of farmers
    across the state using AI-powered solutions.
    Note: Wadhwani AI was inaugurated in 2018 by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
  3. As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and South Africa
    on Cooperation on the Re-introduction of Cheetah to India, South Africa has recently
    transferred 12 cheetahs (7 males and 5 females) to India.
    These cheetah have joined eight of the mammals relocated to India’s Kuno National Park
    (Madhya Pradesh) from Namibia in September 2022. Now, the total number of Cheetahs in
    Kuno National Park has increased to 20.
    Cheetah:
  • The Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, is the world’s fastest mammal, and is endemic to the
    savannahs of Africa.
  • The cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952.
  • It is a keystone species (organism that helps define an entire ecosystem) of dry forests,
    scrub forests, and savannahs.
  • It is protected under Appendix 1 of CITES.
  • IUCN status: African Cheetah (Vulnerable); Asiatic Cheetah (Critically endangered).
  1. NDDB Mrida Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary company of National Dairy Development
    Board (NDDB), has signed an agreement with Sistema.bio, India’s leading biogas company,
    and launched the ‘Gobar Se Samriddhi’ programme in Anand, Gujarat.
  • The agreement is signed to work with smallholder dairy farmers and provide sustainable
    solutions in waste-to-energy and open avenues of generating additional income for
    farmers.
  • As per the agreement, in the initial phase, 15,000 bio gas plants will be installed by the bio
    company for the farmers in Surat, Kolhapur, and Pune.
  • At present, 40,000 farmers use biodigesters developed by Sistema.bio to create value
    from waste.
  1. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru has signed a Memorandum of
    Understanding (MoU) with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) to work together in Artificial
    Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other emerging technologies.
  • The MoU has been inked on the sidelines of the ongoing Aero India 2023.
  • The MoU will enable BEL and IISc to develop various products and services wherein AI is
    embedded and integrated.
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  1. Nepal and India have signed a pact to increase the power import and export capacity
    through the 400 kV Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur transmission line by 200 MW, increasing it
    from 600 MW to 800 MW.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his then Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli had
    launched the 140 km Muzaffarpur-Dalkebar power transmission line in 2016.
    The pact has been signed during the 10th India Nepal Energy Secretary-level Joint Steering
    Committee (JSC) meeting held in Mount Abu, Rajasthan.
    Key agreements approved/signed:
  • An agreement to import and export 70 to 80 MW of electricity from TanakpurMahendranagar 132 KV (kilovolt) power transmission has also been signed between the
    two sides.
  • Both the parties agreed on the early completion of the construction work of the Indian
    section of the 400 KV new Butwal-Gorakhpur transmission line as the second
    international transmission line by March 2025.
  • It has also been agreed to set up the necessary mechanisms to export power from Nepal
    to Bihar during the rainy season through the existing 132 KV transmission line.
  • It has also been agreed to build two additional 400 KV capacity international transmission
    lines between the two countries, including the Inaruwa-Poornia transmission line by
    2027/28 and the New Lamki -Bareli transmission line by 2028-29.
  • India has granted permission for Nepal to export 50 MW of electricity to Bangladesh via
    India as per export-import guidelines if a specific proposal is submitted.
  1. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of certain equity
    share capital of LT Foods Limited, a subsidiary Daawat Foods Limited (DFL), by SALIC
    International Investment Corporation under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
  2. The Indian Navy, in association with Navy Wellness and Welfare Association (NWWA), has
    collaborated with motoring company Jeep India to organize an All Women Motor
    Expedition as a tribute to the brave woman of India and of the Indian Navy. The expedition
    has commenced from the National War Memorial in New Delhi and to the Longewala War
    Memorial from 14th to 25th February 2023.
  • Objective: To motivate women to join the Naval force.
  • Slogan: ‘She’s Unstoppable’
  • Tagline: ‘Soar High’
  1. Tata Steel has successfully completed the first multi-modal shipment of 960 tonnes of TMT
    (Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars from Haldia Port in West Bengal to Agartala in Tripura
    through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route, reiterating its commitment to a
    sustainable future.
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  2. Rolls-Royce Marine North America Inc has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
    with the Kalyani Strategic Service Limited (KSSL), a 100% subsidiary of Bharat Forge, to
    develop indigenously develop niche naval propulsion technologies and products for the
    Indian Navy.

BANKING & FINANCE

  1. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified six Income Tax Returns (ITR)
    forms for Assessment year 2023-24/ Financial year 2022-23. It has also notified ITR-V
    (verification form) and Indian Income Tax Return Acknowledgment.
    The ITR forms will come into effect from 1
    st April 2023.
    ITR forms:
    SAHAJ (ITR-1): It can be filed by an individual having total income up to Rs.50 lakh, having
    Income from Salaries, one house property, other sources (Interest etc.), and agricultural
    income up to Rs.5000.
    ITR-2: Income from residential property.
    ITR-3: Income from profits and gains of business or profession.
    SUGAM (ITR-4): It is filed by an Individual, HUFs and Firms (other than LLP (Limited Liability
    Partnerships)) being a resident having total income upto Rs.50 lakh and having income from
    business and profession which is computed under sections 44AD, 44ADA or 44AE.
    ITR-5 & 6 are filed by LLPs and businesses.
    ITR-7: It is filed by trusts.
  2. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), working under the aegis of the
    Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), has collaborated with HDFC Life,
    one of India’s leading life insurers, under the Skill India Mission to support self-employment
    and augment entrepreneurial opportunities.
  3. The Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has introduced the Issue Summary
    Document (ISD) for filling papers pertaining to Initial Public Offer (IPO) and for further issue
    of securities in XBRL format to make available relevant information at the stock exchanges
    and depositories in a structured manner.
    This will be done in a phased manner starting 1
    st March 2023.
    The ISD should be filed in two stages.
  • In the first stage, the ISD will be filed with pre-issue fields.
  • In the second stage, the ISD will be filed with post-issue fields after allotment is
    completed.
    XBRL:
    It stands for Extensible Business Reporting Language. It is a language for the electronic
    communication of business and financial data used for business reporting around the world.
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    It provides major benefits in the preparation, analysis and communication of business
    information.
  1. Mastercard and ACCESS Development Services have announced the launch of the Farmer
    Producer Organizations (FPO) programme in Assam. The aim is to strengthen FPOs by
    helping build their capacity through structured technical assistance by a professional cadre of
    trainers.
  2. Indian Overseas Bank has recently (Feb 2023) launched the facility of issuance of e-BG
    (Electronic Bank Guarantee) scheme in association with the National e-Governance
    Services Limited (NeSL).
    e-BG:
    The e-BG is an instrument issued by the city-headquartered bank in which the bank
    undertakes to guarantee a specific amount against the non-fulfillment of some
    action/performance of the applicant. The main features of the e-BG are completely paperless
    mode with digital stamping and digital signature.
  3. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has inked a data licensing pact with CME Group, the
    world’s leading derivatives marketplace, for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil and
    natural gas contracts. The pact will allow NSE to list, trade and settle rupee-denominated
    NYMEX WTI Crude Oil and Natural Gas (Henry Hub) derivatives contracts for Indian market
    participants.
  4. EbixCash World Money Limited, a subsidiary of US-based Ebix Inc, has become the first
    entity in India to launch the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for foreign
    nationals visiting India.
  5. ICICI Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BNP Paribas, a
    European Bank, to meet the financial needs of European enterprises operating in India and
    Indian companies in the European Union (EU).
  6. Cashfree Payments, a leading payment and Application Programming Interface (API)
    banking solutions company, has launched ‘Co-lend’, India’s first Automated Escrow
    Management Solution for co-lending.
  • Co-lend is developed in line with the digital lending guidelines announced by the Reserve
    Bank of India (RBI).
  • Co-lend provides a robust platform for co-lending originators and lenders, particularly
    those authorizing high volumes of loans where real-time disbursement, repayment, and
    reconciliation are primary requirements.
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  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong have
    participated in the virtual launch of real time payment linkage between the Unified
    Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore to enable faster, more
    efficient, and transparent cross-border transactions relating to trade, travel, and remittances.
  • The launch has been done by Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and
    Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
  • Singapore is the first country with which cross border Person to Person (P2P) payment
    facility has been launched.
  • The PayNow-UPI linkage is India’s first and Singapore’s second cross-border real-time
    payment system linkage.
  • This will help the Indian diaspora in Singapore, especially migrant workers/students and
    bring the benefits of digitalisation and FINTECH to the common man through
    instantaneous and low-cost transfer of money from Singapore to India and vice-versa.
  • The project to link both the payment systems was initiated in September 2021.
  1. Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has topped the list of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in terms of
    loan growth percentage for the third quarter of FY23, an analysis of the latest financial results
    of public sector banks showed.
  • BoM has showed a growth of 21.67% in gross advances year-on-year (y-o-y) in Q3FY23.
  • BoM is followed by the Union Bank of India with a growth rate of 19.80% in advances
    during Q3 of FY23.
  • SBI has registered a growth rate of 16.91%, holding the fourth spot in advances growth
    percentage.
    Key points:
  • In terms of Retail-Agriculture-MSME (RAM) loans, BoM has recorded the highest growth of
    19.18%, followed by Punjab & Sind Bank with a growth rate of 19.07%, and Bank of
    Baroda with a growth of 18.85% on an annual basis.
  • In terms of asset quality, BoM and SBI were in the lowest quartile as far as gross nonperforming assets (NPAs) and net NPAs were concerned.
  • In terms of deposit growth, Bank of Baroda has topped the charts among public sector
    banks with a growth rate of 14.50%, followed by Union Bank of India, and BoM.
  • In terms of total business growth, Union Bank of India has recorded the highest growth
    of 16.07% during Q3FY23. It has been followed by BoM with 15.77% rise and BoB with
    15.23%.
  1. Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) has launched ‘UPI Lite’, a feature enabled by
    National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for multiple small-value UPI transactions.
  • With this, PPBL has become the first payments bank in India to deploy such a UPI Lite
    feature as part of its commitment to promote innovation.
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  • The new feature will allow users to make real-time, small-value payments of up to Rs.200
    without using a UPI PIN.
  • UPI Lite feature was introduced by RBI in September 2022.
  1. The State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a new retail term deposit scheme called the
    ‘Amrit Kalash Deposit’. The scheme offers 7.10% interest rate for regular citizens, 7.60%
    interest rate for senior citizens. The period of the deposit is 400 days. The scheme is
    launched for both domestic and NRI (Non-Resident Indian) customers.
  2. HDFC Bank has become the first private sector lender to enable its customers the option to
    use their Rupay credit cards on the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with the BHIM (Bharat
    Interface for Money) App and other UPI-enabled apps. HDFC Bank RuPay credit cards can be
    linked to a UPI identity for secure payment transactions.
    Currently, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Indian Bank, which are all state
    owned, use the UPI feature.
  3. Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance, the life insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited,
    has launched ‘Anmol Suraksha Kawach’ to meet short-term protection needs of
    policyholders.
    Features of ‘Anmol Suraksha Kawach’:
  • It is a non-linked, non-participating term insurance plan launched to protect policyholders’
    short-term protection needs.
  • The plan provides a protection option for those aged between 25 and 55 years.
  • The policyholders will be able to choose a short-term policy term of 2 to 5 years.
  • The policyholders can choose from the varied sum assured options ranging from Rs.50
    lakh to Rs.2 crore in steps of Rs.25 lakh.
  • They will be eligible for a maximum coverage ceasing age of 60 years.

RBI IN NEWS

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has Introduced Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act
    (FCRA) related transaction code in National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time
    Gross Settlement (RTGS) Systems. The instructions will be effective from 15th March 2023.
  • Originating banks are required to select two mandatory fields of NEFT / RTGS systems
    while remitting foreign donations to the FCRA account at SBI.
  • Originating banks are required to pass on donor details relating to “transaction without
    Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) details” and “transaction with LEI details” as part of ‘Sender to
    remitter information’ in NEFT and RTGS.
    Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS):
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    The RTGS system is primarily meant for large value transactions. The minimum amount to be
    remitted through RTGS is Rs.2 lakh with no upper or maximum ceiling. In RTGS, the
    transactions are processed continuously on a transaction-by-transaction basis throughout
    the day. There is real time transfer of funds to the beneficiary account.
    National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT):
    NEFT is an electronic fund transfer system in which the transactions received up to a
    particular time are processed in batches. There are no limits on the amount of NEFT
    transactions.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has launched its 2nd global hackathon “HARBINGER 2023 –
    Innovation for Transformation” on the theme ‘Inclusive Digital Services”.
    HARBINGER 2023 aims to identify and enable solutions and/or business models to solve the
    following challenges in the digital financial services landscape:
  2. Innovative, easy-to-use, digital banking services for differently abled (Divyaang).
  3. RegTech solutions to facilitate more efficient compliance for Regulated Entities (REs).
  4. Exploring use cases/solutions for CBDC-Retail transactions, including transactions in offline
    mode.
  5. Increasing Transactions Per Second (TPS)/ throughput and scalability of blockchains.
    The HARBINGER 2023 is hosted on Application Programming Interface Exchange (APIX)
    platform.
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued the final guidelines on Interest Rate Risk in
    Banking Book (IRRBB), which require banks to measure, monitor, and disclose their
    exposure to IRRBB that may impact the capital base and future of earnings of lenders.
  • As per the guidelines, the Board of the banks has the responsibility for understanding
    the nature and the level of the bank’s IRRBB exposure.
  • The Board should approve broad business strategies as well as overall policies with
    respect to IRRBB.
  • The Board is responsible for ensuring that steps are taken by the bank to identify,
    measure, monitor and control IRRBB consistent with the approved strategies and
    policies.
    Interest Rate Risk in Banking Book (IRRBB):
    It refers to the current or prospective risk to banks’ capital and earnings arising from adverse
    movements in interest rates that affect its banking book positions. Excessive IRRBB can pose
    a significant risk to banks’ current capital base and/or future earnings.
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  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has appointed Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, former Executive
    Director of Bank of Baroda (BoB) as a member of the Advisory Committee on Reliance Capital
    Limited (RCL).
    The other two members of the advisory committee are Sanjeev Nautiyal (former DMD, State
    Bank of India) and Praveen P Kadle (former MD & CEO of Tata Capital Limited).
  2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued draft norms for lending and borrowing of
    government securities (G-secs) to facilitate wider participation in the Government
    Securities Lending (GSL) market by providing investors an avenue to deploy idle securities
    and enhance portfolio returns.
    Key norms:
  • GSL shall be undertaken for a minimum period of one day and a maximum period of
    ninety days.
  • G-Secs issued by Centre (except treasury bills (T-bills)) are eligible for lending and trading
    in GSL, whereas G-Sec of both Centre and States (including T-bills) shall be used as
    collateral under a GSL.
  • An entity eligible to undertake repo transactions in G-secs, and any other entity approved
    by the RBI will be eligible to participate in GSL transactions as lender of securities.
  • Securities borrowed under a GSL transaction shall be eligible for Statutory Liquidity Ratio
    (SLR) for borrower (not for lender).
    Government Security (G-Sec):
    It is a tradable instrument issued by Central or state Governments. It acknowledges
    government’s debt obligation.
  • Such securities are short term (usually called T-Bills, with maturities of less than one year)
    or long term (usually called Government bonds or dated securities with maturity of one
    year or more).
  • Central Government issues both, T-bills and bonds or dated securities while State
    Governments issue only bonds or dated securities, called State Development Loans (SDL).
  • G-Secs carry practically no risk of default and, hence, are known as risk-free gilt-edged
    instruments.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has granted in-principal authorisation to 32 existing
    payment aggregators (PAs) and 19 new PAs to act as online PAs. The aim is to bring entities
    that are undertaking online payment aggregation business within the regulatory fold.
  • Existing online PAs that have received RBI’s in-principle nod include Amazon (Pay) India,
    Google India Digital Services, Pine Labs, Reliance Payment Solutions, Zomato Payments,
    and Infibeam Avenues, among others.
  • New entities that have received the in-principle nod include Groww Pay Services, Hitachi
    Payment Services, Juspay, TATA Payments, and Zoho Payment Technologies, among
    others.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  1. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has presented President’s Colour to Haryana Police at
    Haryana Police Academy in Karnal on behalf of President Droupadi Murmu in recognition of
    the Haryana Police’s exceptional service.
    With this, Haryana Police has become one of the 10 state (Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh,
    Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Assam)
    police forces in the country to receive this highest honour from the President.
    President’s Colour:
    It is a special flag awarded to a military, paramilitary or police unit as a mark of recognition
    for its services. It is also known as ‘Nishaan’. The Indian Navy was the first to receive this
    honour in 1951 by Dr Rajendra Prasad.
    Other projects inaugurated in Karnal:
    Union Minister Amit Shah has also laid the foundation stone and inaugurated various
    projects of the Haryana Cooperation Department in Karnal.
  • He has inaugurated a Cooperative milk plant with a capacity of processing 5 lakh liters of
    milk per day with a cost of Rs. 200 crores.
  • Internet Radio “Sahakarita Vani” has been launched to provide major scientific
    information related to farming, animal breeding and improvement in the quality of milk
    etc. to the farmers.
  • An Export House has also been launched to provide facilities ranging from packaging to
    branding and exports.
  1. The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign of the United Nations Development Programme
    (UNDP) to raise awareness about the climate emergency, has won Gold and Silver in two
    different categories at the 2nd Annual Anthem Awards.
  • Gold in the Category: Sustainability, Environment & Climate – Non-Profit Campaign
  • Silver in the Category: Sustainability, Environment & Climate – Global Awareness
    Campaign.
    This has been announced by The International Academy of Digital Arts & Science (IADAS).
    Anthem Awards
    It was launched in 2021 by The Webby Awards, The Anthem Awards honors the purpose &
    mission-driven work of people, companies and organizations worldwide across seven core
    causes: Diversity; Equity & Inclusion; Education; Art & Culture; Health; Human & Civil Rights;
    Humanitarian Action & Services; Responsible Technology; and Sustainability, Environment &
    Climate.
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  1. The Union Minister for Culture G. Kishan Reddy has presented the Ustad Bismillah Khan
    Yuva Puraskar (UBKYP) 2019, 2020 and 2021 to 102 artists (including three joint awards) of
    India who have made a mark as young talents in their respective fields of performing arts, at
    Meghdoot Theatre Complex, Rabindra Bhavan, in New Delhi.
    The event has been presided over by Dr Sandhya Purecha, Chairperson of Sangeet Natak
    Akademi.
    Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (UBKYP):
    It is given annually by the Sangeet Natak Akademi. It is given to artists up to the age of 40
    years. It was introduced in the year 2006 with the objective of identifying and encouraging
    outstanding young talents in diverse fields of the performing arts and giving them national
    recognition early in their life, so that they may work with greater commitment and dedication
    in their chosen fields. The award carries a cash prize of Rs.25,000/-, an Angavastram and a
    plaque.
  2. Noted Malayalam writer Subhash Chandran, a two-time recipient of the Kerala Sahitya
    Akademi Award, has won the Akbar Kakkattil Award for his novel ‘Samudrasila’. This novel
    is published by Mathrubhumi books.
    This novel also won the M. Sukumaran Memorial Literary Award for the year 2021.
    Akbar Kakkattil Award:
    The award was instituted by a trust in the memory of the short story writer and novelist from
    Kozhikode. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs.50,000 and a sculpture.
  3. Indian-American Karthik Subramaniam, a San Francisco-based software engineer, has
    won the 2023 National Geographic ‘Pictures of the Year’ award beating 5000 entries. He has
    been awarded for his photo titled “Dance of the Eagles”.
  • He titled the photo as “Dance of the Eagles” to pay homage to a dragon war in George R R
    Martin’s novel A Dance with Dragons
  • He clicked the photo during his week-long photography trip in Alaska.
  • The photo will be featured in the May issue of the National Geographic magazine.
  1. The winners of the 76th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2023 have been
    announced in London’s Royal Festival Hall.
    ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ has won a maximum of seven awards, that includes Best
    Film and Director. It is a German anti-war drama which is based on the 1928 novel by Erich
    Maria Remarque.
    ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ and ‘Elvis’ have won four BAFTA awards.
    BAFTA Awards 2023:
AwardsWinners
Best Film, Best  Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Not in the  English Language,  Best Cinematography,  Best Original Score,  and Best SoundAll Quiet on the Western Front
Best DirectorEdward Berger (All Quiet on the  Western Front)
Leading  RoleActorAustin Butler (Elvis)
ActressCate Blanchett (Tar)
Supporting  RoleActorBarry Keoghan (The Banshees of  Inisherin)
ActressKerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin)
Best DocumentaryNavalny
EE Rising StarEmma Mackey
Best Special Visual  EffectsAvatar: The Way of Water
Best Animated FilmGuillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Best Original  Screenplay, and Outstanding British  FilmThe Banshees of Inisherin (Martin  McDonagh)
Best Casting, Best  Make Up & Hair, and  Best Costume DesignElvis
British Short FilmAn Irish Goodbye
British Short  AnimationThe Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and  the Horse
  1. The Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral R Harikumar has awarded ‘on the spot’ Unit Citation to
    Indian Naval Ship (INS) Nireekshak in Kochi, Kerala. The citation, a first in the Indian Navy,
    has been awarded for deep sea diving & undertaking salvage operations under the most
    challenging circumstances.
    INS Nireekshak has been part of various diving operations and holds the record for the
    deepest dive carried out in the country to a depth of 257 m.
    INS Nireekshak:
    Awards Winners
    Best Film, Best
    Adapted Screenplay,
    Best Film Not in the
    English Language,
    Best Cinematography,
    Best Original Score,
    and Best Sound
    All Quiet on the Western Front
    Best Director Edward Berger (All Quiet on the
    Western Front)
    Leading
    Role
    Actor Austin Butler (Elvis)
    Actress Cate Blanchett (Tar)
    Supporting
    Role
    Actor Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of
    Inisherin)
    Actress Kerry Condon (The Banshees of
    Inisherin)
    Best Documentary Navalny
    EE Rising Star Emma Mackey
    Best Special Visual
    Effects
    Avatar: The Way of Water
    Best Animated Film Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
    Best Original
    Screenplay, and
    Outstanding British
    Film
    The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin
    McDonagh)
    Best Casting, Best
    Make Up & Hair, and
    Best Costume Design
    Elvis
    British Short Film An Irish Goodbye
    British Short
    Animation
    The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and
    the Horse
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  • It is a Dive Support and Submarine Rescue Vessel of Indian Navy.
  • It is built by Mazgaon Shipbuilders in 1985.
  • The ship has been in service with the Navy since 1989 and was commissioned in the year

PERSON IN NEWS

  1. Neil Mohan, an Indian-American executive and a long time Google and YouTube executive,
    has been appointed the new CEO of YouTube. He will replace Susan Wojcicki.
  2. Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana has been appointed as National Ambassador of
    UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) India. He has joined hands with UNICEF to support
    ensuring the rights of every child to survive, thrive, and be protected as well as promoting
    their voice and agency in decisions that concern them.
  3. Lieutenant General MV Suchindra Kumar has been named as the new Vice Chief of Army
    Staff. He has succeeded Lt Gen B S Raju who has been appointed as the Jaipurheadquartered South Western Army Commander.
    Other appointment:
    Lt Gen NSR Subramani, serving as the Chief of Staff at the headquarters of the Northern
    Command in Udhampur, has been appointed as the next Central Army Commander in
    Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
    These appointments will come into effect on 1st March 2023.
  4. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of BVR
    Subrahmanyam, former IAS officer, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog. He has
    succeeded Parameswaran Iyer, who has been named the Executive Director of the World
    Bank for two years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post or until further
    orders.
  • BVR Subrahmanyam is a 1987-batch IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh cadre.
  • He belongs to Andhra Pradesh.
  • In 2018, he was appointed the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. It was during his
    tenure that the state’s special status was scrapped and it was divided into two union
    territories.
  • He also served as the Commerce Secretary.

OBITUARIES

  1. Lalitha Lajmi, a noted painter and sister of late actor-flimmaker Guru Dutt, has recently
    passed away at the age of 90. She was born on 17th October 1932 in Calcutta, Bengal
    Presidency, British India.
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    Her works are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Modern Art, the British
    Museum, and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Museum Mumbai,
    Maharashtra.
  2. Legendary Indian football player and two-time Olympian Tulsidas Balaram has recently
    passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was born on 4th October 1936 in Ammuguda village
    near Secunderabad, Hyderabad, British India. He was one of the best players of the golden
    age of Indian football of the 1950s and 1960s. His playing position was as a center forward or
    as a left winger. He received Arjuna Award from the Government of India in 1962.
  3. Telugu actor and politician Nandamuri Taraka Ratna has recently passed away in
    Bengaluru, Karnataka. He was born on 22nd February 1983 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
    (now in Telangana). He made his debut with Okato Number Kurraadu (2002), written and
    produced by K. Raghavendra Rao. He won the Nandi Award for Best Villian- Amaravathi in
    1. Indian politician Om Prakash Kohli has recently passed away at the age of 87. He was born
      on 9th August 1935 in Delhi. He was the Governor of Gujarat from 2014 to 2019. He also
      served as an additional charge of the office of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh and Goa.
      He was the President of the Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party from 1999 to 2000 and had
      served as a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2000.
  4. Renowned Yakshagana playback singer and scriptwriter Balipa Narayana Bhagawatha
    has passed away at his residence near Moodbidri in Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka.
    He was born on 19th March 1938 at Padre village in Kasaragod (Kerala) district. He had
    mastered a unique style of singing which fans had named as “Balipa shaili” (Balipa style). He
    wrote over 30 Yakshagana “prasangas” (scripts).
  5. Shoichiro Toyoda, the second-generation leader of Japanese auto giant Toyota, has
    passed away in Aichi, Japan at the age of 97. He was born on 27th February 1925 in Aichi,
    Japan. He was the eldest son of Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded Toyota in 1937.
  • Shoichiro Toyoda joined Toyota in 1952 and has served in various positions.
  • He became the President of Toyota, a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer,
    in 1982.
  • He was the Chairman of the company from 1999 till his demise.

SPORTS

  1. The third edition of Khelo India Winter Games has been held at Gulmarg in Baramulla
    district of Jammu and Kashmir. A total of 11 sports – skiing, curling, bobsleigh, skeleton,
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    snowshoe, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice skating, ice hockey and
    bandy – featured at the Khelo India Winter Games 2023.
    Participants: Over 2,000 athletes, representing 32 teams, including Indian States, Union
    Territories as well as teams from the Army and other institutions, competed for medals.
    Jammu and Kashmir, who won the first two editions, has again topped the medal tally with
    76 medals (26 golds, 25 silvers and 25 bronze).
    First runner-up: Maharashtra (13 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 Bronze)
    Second runner-up: Himachal Pradesh (10 Gold, 14 Silver and 7 Bronze)
    Third runner-up: Army (10 Gold, 10 Silver and 9 Bronze)
    Note: The first Khelo India Winter Games was held in 2020.
  2. Race Walker Akshdeep Singh has won the men’s 20 km gold at the National Open Race
    Walking Championship held in Ranchi, Jharkhand in a record-breaking time of 1 hour 19
    minutes 55 seconds. He broke the record of 1:20:16, achieved by Sandeep Kumar at the 2021
    National Race Walking Championships at Ranchi.
    Race Walker Priyanka Goswami has won the women’s 20 km gold in the championship.
    Both of them have qualified for the August World Championships in Budapest and the 2024
    Paris Olympics.
  3. Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal has announced his retirement from all forms
    of cricket. He represented Pakistan in 53 Tests, 157 ODIs, and 58 T20Is with 6871 runs across
    formats, including 11 centuries. He was part of the Pakistan team that won the T20 World
    Cup in 2009.
  4. The 3rd edition of the 2023 Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships (official and
    sponsored title: Blue Ocean Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship Dubai 2023) has
    been held at the Dubai Exhibition Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 14 to 19
    February 2023.
  • The People’s Republic of China has won the championship by defeating South Korea
    with 3-1.
  • With this, South Korea stood at 2nd position with silver medal.
  • India and Thailand shared the 3rd position or Bronze medal.
  1. Saurashtra, led by Jaydev Unadkat, has won the Ranji Trophy 2022-23 by defeating Bengal
    cricket team by nine wickets in the final match held at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, West
    Bengal. Saurashtra has won the Ranji Trophy for the second time.
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  • Player of the match (final): Jaydev Unadkat
  • Player of the series: Arpit Vasavada (Saurashtra)
  • Most runs: Mayank Agarwal (Karnataka) (990)
  • Most wickets: Jalaj Saxena (Kerala)
    Ranji Trophy:
    The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) annually organizes the Ranji Trophy, a
    domestic first-class cricket match between the country’s state and regional cricket
    associations.
  • It is named after the first cricketer to represent India, Ranjit Singh ji, also referred to as
    “Ranji.”
  • It was first played in 1934–1935.
  • Mumbai won the first-ever edition and also won the most Ranji Trophies.

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. World Pangolin Day is annually observed across the globe on the 3
    rd Saturday of
    February with an aim to create awareness about Pangolins a unique endangered mammal
    and their plight.
    In 2023, the day falls on 18th February 2023.
    The day marks the observance of the 12th World Pangolin Day.
    Over 1,000 pangolins poached and trafficked in India between 2018 and 2022.
    Pangolin:
  • Pangolins are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales and they use those scales to
    protect themselves from predators in the wild.
  • Pangolins eat ants, termites and larvae and are often known as the scaly anteater.
  • There are eight species of pangolins in the world of which the Indian Pangolin (Manis
    crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are found in India.
  • Indian pangolin: Endangered; and Chinese pangolin: Critically Endangered.
  1. World Day of Social Justice is observed annually on 20th February to encourage people to
    look at how social justice affects poverty eradication. It also focuses on the goal of achieving
    full employment and support for social integration.
    Theme 2023: “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice”
    On 26 November, 2007, the UN General Assembly declared 20 February as the annual World
    Day of Social Justice. The day was first observed in 2009.
  2. International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed annually on 21st February to
    spread awareness regarding linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.
  • Theme 2023: “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education”
    Weekly Current Affairs February 2023 Week – 03
    iia
    www.practicemock.com 39 info@practicemock.com 9319314079
    The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It
    was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout
    the world since 2000.

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