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Current Affairs February 2023

Current Affairs February 2023


  • STATE’s News


12th World Hindi Conference in Fiji

  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka inaugurated the 12th World Hindi Conference at Nadi in Fiji (Pacific Island nation).
  • Theme: “Hindi – Traditional Knowledge to Artificial Intelligence”.
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar unveiled Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s bust in India House in Suva and interacted with a large gathering of members of the diaspora community.

World Government Summit 2023

  • The World Government Summit 2023 held in Dubai under the theme of “Shaping Future Governments”.

Global Best M-GOV Awards:

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore Students won AED 1 million by winning the gold medal at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
  • Niyati Totala and Neel Kalpeshkumar Parikh of The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore, were awarded the prestigious medal by Egyptian President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi.
  • The IIT students were the creators of the ‘Blockbill’ Blockbill is a blockchain-based receipt generation app that generates digital receipts for all of its users’ transactions.
  • This app solves multiple problems, which aids the transition away from the production of thermal papers for printing receipts.
  • The “M-Gov Award” and the “GovTech Award” are annual awards organized by the UAE government as part of the World Government Summit. 

FATF Suspends Russia

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global organization that monitors financial crime, suspended Russia’s membership after finding that Moscow (Russia)‘s conflict in Ukraine breached the FATF’s principles.
  • FATF is the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog set up in 1989 out of a G-7 meeting of developed nations in Paris. 

First dialogue on Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET)

  • India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hold talks with the US counterpart on the first dialogue on Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) in the
  • Completing the work on the long-awaited NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) earth observation satellite is an excellent example of how the US-India partnership in space can benefit the world.

About iCET Initiative

  • The iCET initiative was launched by India and the US in May 2022, and is being run by the National Security Councils of both countries. Under iCET, the both countries have identified six areas of cooperation which would include co-development and co-production, that would gradually be expanded to QUAD, then to NATO, followed by Europe and the rest of the world.
  • Under iCET, India is ready to share its core technologies with the US and expects Washington to do the same.
  • Six Areas of Cooperation: scientific research and development; quantum and artificial intelligence, defense innovation, space, advanced telecom which would include things like 6G and semiconductors.
  • Significance: The objective is to provide cutting edge technologies to the rest of the world which are affordable.
  • About NSA : formed in 1998, the NSA is the primary advisor to the Prime Minister of India. He also presides over the National Security Council (NSC). The current NSA is Ajit Doval.

 Ukraine’s Odesa in UNESCO’s World Heritage List

  • Recently, the World Heritage Committee decided to add the historic centre of Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa to its list of World Heritage sites. This decision recognizes the extraordinary universal value of the site and the duty of all humanity to protect it. The Historic Centre of Odesa has also been inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh region

  • Armenia appealed to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to order Azerbaijan to dissolve the road blockade isolating Nagorno-Karabakh.

About Dispute

  • Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous and heavily forested region. Under international law, it is within Azerbaijan but had been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces (supported by Armenia) since 1994.
  • Majority of the population here is ethnic Armenians who reject Azeri rule (the legal system of Azerbaijan).

 Zero-Draft’ of the Pandemic Treaty  : WHO

  • The World Health Organization’s (WHO) has published a ‘Zero-Draft’ of the Pandemic Treaty, aiming to bring in Global and National-Level Pandemic Preparedness.
  • Reason: The zero-draft of the pandemic treaty was prepared based on recognising the catastrophic failure of the international community in showing solidarity and equity in response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The draft recognizes common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities in pandemic prevention, preparedness, response and recovery of health systems as one of its guiding principles.

key provisions of the treaty

  • Definition of Pandemic: An outbreak is considered a pandemic when an infection spreads quickly globally — with high morbidity and mortality.
  • Intellectual Property Rights(IPR): The draft calls for intellectual property rights to be waived off during pandemics which advocates say would allow for wider access to life-saving drugs and vaccines more quickly.
  • Allocation of pandemic products to WHO: The draft proposes that 20% of pandemic-related products – vaccines, diagnostics, personal protective equipment and therapeutics – should be allocated to the WHO which will then ensure their equitable distribution.

o Half of these pandemic products allocated to WHO (10% of total global production) should be donated while the other half would be bought for an “accessible” price.

  • Constitution of a Pathogen Access and Benefit-Sharing system (PABS): PABS is another key element of the draft. Under this, genomic sequences of all pathogens with pandemic potential — and the benefits that come with such information — are to be shared on an “equal footing” in the system. The information is to be shared on a publicly accessible platform and in a time-bound manner.
  • The draft calls for setting up WHO Global Pandemic Supply Chain and Logistics Network to ensure a better and fairer distribution of counter-measures as well as a global compensation scheme for vaccine injuries.

 Lamu Archipelago

  • India has handed over to Kenya 100 nautical charts covering the general coastal area around the Lamu Archipelago (near Kenya’s northern coast), following a joint survey of the area by the Navies of the two countries.
  • From India, the survey was conducted by the Indian Navy’s National Hydrography Office.
  • Note: The Lamu Archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean close to the northern coast of Kenya, to which it belongs.

Trilateral cooperation initiative : India-France-UAE

  • India, France and the United Arab Emirates(UAE) have announced the creation of a formal trilateral cooperation initiative.
  • Note: The idea of this partnership was first discussed at a meeting in New York during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022.


  • To serve as a forum to promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, with a focus on solar and nuclear energy, as well as in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity, particularly in the Indian Ocean region.
  • To work together in defence, countering infectious diseases, and promoting cooperation in global health organizations such as the World Health Organization, Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, and Unitaid.
  • To identify tangible cooperation on implementing the “One Health” approach, and support the development of local capacities in biomedical innovation and production within developing countries.
  • To expand their cooperation through initiatives such as the Mangrove Alliance for Climate led by the UAE and the Indo-Pacific Parks Partnership led by India and France.

Chinese Spy Balloon

  • The US military has downed the suspected Chinese spy/surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean and launched a mission to recover all the equipment from its debris.
  • This has drawn a strong reaction from China which warned of repercussions over America’s use of force against its civilian unmanned airship.

Why USA is worried?

  • Earlier, the Pentagon said it has detected a surveillance balloon over Montana. It was found to be traveling at an altitude well above commercial air traffic.
  • Montana is home to some of America’s most lethal nuclear Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICMBs).
  • USA claimed that the balloon was being used by the People Republic of China to surveil strategic sites in the continental United States.
  • By shooting down the balloon, USA addressed the surveillance threat posed to military installations and further neutralise any intelligence value it could have produced, preventing it from returning to China.

What are spy balloons?

  • Spy balloons are high-altitude surveillance tools. They usually operate at 80,000-1,20,000 feet to gather intelligence. This height is well above the altitude of commercial aircraft.
  • These spy balloons are equipped with cameras and imaging devices.
  • Unlike satellites, balloons are economically viable. Due to their proximity to the Earth’s surface, they can widely scan an area from close quarters and capture clearer, high-resolution images of the target.
  • Balloons are one of the oldest forms of surveillance technology. The Japanese military used them to launch incendiary bombs in the US during World War Two.
  • They were also widely used by the US and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Paris Club

  • The Paris Club, an informal group of creditor nations, will provide financial assurances to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Sri Lanka’s debt.
  • Formed in 1956, the Paris Club is an informal group of creditor nations whose objective is to find workable solutions to payment problems faced by debtor nations.
  • The Paris Club has 22 permanent members, including most of the western European and Scandinavian nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. All 22 members are part of a group called OECD.
  • The group is organized around the principles that each debtor nation be treated case by case, with consensus, conditionality, solidarity, and comparability of treatment.
  • The Paris Club stresses the informal nature of its existence. As an informal group, it has no official statutes and no formal inception date, although its first meeting with a debtor nation was in 1956, with Argentina.

Earthquake   in Turkey

  • Recently, powerful tremors were felt in Turkey after an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 struck along a well-known fault line called the Anatolia tectonic block (south-eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border).
  • The earthquakes emerged from relatively shallow depths and were a “strike-slip quake”.
  • It is being described as the strongest Earthquake that Turkey has experienced in over a century and the worst disaster since 1939. The 1939 earthquake was the Erzincan Earthquake that had caused “extreme damage in the Erzincan Plain and the Kelkit River Valley.

What Makes Turkey Prone to Earthquakes?

  • In the Eastern Mediterranean region comprising Turkey, Syria and Jordan, tectonics are dominated by complex interactions between the African, Arabian, and Eurasian tectonic plates, and the Anatolian tectonic block.
  • Note : A shallow earthquake is an earthquake that occurs at a shallow depth, usually within the Earth’s crust, near the surface. They typically have a depth of less than 70 km and can result in strong ground shaking and surface faulting.


Moment Magnitude Scale:

  • It is a logarithmic scale that measures the total amount of energy released by an earthquake.
  • It is the only scale capable of reliably measuring the magnitudes of the largest, most destructive earthquakes (that is, greater than magnitude 8).
  • It was developed in the 1970s by Japanese seismologist Hiroo Kanamoriand American seismologist Thomas C. Hanks.

Why moment Magnitude Scale is preferred over Richter Scale

  • Moment magnitude estimates are about the same as Richter magnitudes for small to large earthquakes. But only the moment magnitude scale is capable of measuring M8 (read “magnitude 8”) and greater events accurately.
  • Moment Magnitude Scale (denoted as Mw) was developed due to limitations of Richter scale.
  • Note: The recent earthquake that hit Turkey recorded a magnitude of 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude scale.

Richter scale

  • It was invented in 1935 by Charles F. Richteras a mathematical device to compare the size of earthquakes.
  • The Richter scale is used to rate the magnitude of an earthquake, that is, the amount of energy released during an earthquake.
  • The Richter scale is a base-10 logarithmic scale, meaning each order of magnitude is 10 times more intensive than the last one.
  • It is most effective for regional earthquakes no greater than magnitude 5.

 Operation Dost

  • India has recently launched ‘Operation Dost’ to extend assistance to Turkey and Syria, the nations hit by an intense 8-magnitude earthquake.
  • Under operation dost, India has sent search and rescue teams, mainly teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), materials, medicines, medical equipment and consumables to Turkey and Syria.
  • The NDRF teams comprise dog squad, medicines, blankets, four wheelers.
  • The Indian Army’s team of medical specialists is providing relief to the injured at a field hospital set up in Turkey’s Hatay. The hospital is running with medical, surgical and emergency wards.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF):

  • It is India’s specialized force for responding to natural disasters and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense (CBRN) emergencies. The force was constituted under the Disaster Management Act of 2005. NDRF is a force of 12 battalions, organised on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the paramilitary forces of India:

IMPAC5- Canada

  • Recently, the 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) was held in Canada in order to discuss the solutions to address the Funding Gap of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
  • This meeting is crucial since nations agreed to protect 30% of Earh’s lands and oceans by 2030 at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in 2022.

Multilateral Security Dialogue

  • Recently, the National Security Advisor(NSG) addressed a Multilateral Security Dialogue on on Afghanistan in Moscow.
  • The discussion revolved around issues related to Afghanistan, including security and humanitarian challenges and was attended by representatives from various countries including Russia, China, and Iran.

ASEAN Digital Ministers (ADGMIN) meeting

  • Recently, the 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers (ADGMIN) meeting was held on a virtual
  • The theme of the meeting was “Synergy Towards a Sustainable Digital Future”.
  • The meeting focused on enhancing the relationship between India and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

REAIM 2023

  • Recently, the world’s First International Summit on the Responsible Use of Artificial intelligence in the Military (REAIM 2023) was held in the Hague, Netherlands.
  • The conference, co-hosted by South Korea, hosted 80 government delegations (including those from the US and China), and over 100s of researchers and defense contractors.
  • India was not a participant in the summit.

62nd Session of UN Social Development Commission

  • The UN Commission for Social Development has elected India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj as its chair for the 62nd session.
  • UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD): CSocD, formerly known as Social Commission, has been in existence from the very inception of the United Nations. It advises the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Governments on a wide range of social policy issues and on the social perspective of development. CSocD is a functional commission of the ECOSOC of the United Nations. It meets annually in New York, usually in February.
  • Purpose: Since the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen in 1995, the CSocD has been the key UN body in charge of the follow up and implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action.

o Since 2006, the Commission has taken up key social development themes as part of its follow up to the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit.

  • Membership: Originally 18, membership now stands at 46.
  • Members are elected by ECOSOC based on equitable geographical distribution for four-year terms.

Vinyl chloride Gas

  • Recently, a freight train derailed in the East Palestine town of Ohio state in the US. The train was carrying hazardous chemicals mainly Vinyl Chloride. Following the derailment, the train company burnt the carcinogenic chemicals in the freights. This released toxic smoke in the region. Hundreds were forced to vacate their homes. Residents complained of nausea and severe vomiting after the incident.
  • Vinyl chloride gas is carcinogenic and highly flammable. It causes liver cancer, lung cancer, and leukaemia.
  • It is produced industrially for its commercial uses. It can’t occur naturally. It is used primarily to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a hard plastic used for pipes, as well as in some packaging, coatings and wires.

 Russia suspends New START Treaty

  • The Russian President has announced that Russia is suspending its participation in the New START treaty, the only remaining nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia.


  • The name START comes from the original “Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty”, known as START-I.
  • START-I was signed between the US and the erstwhile USSR in 1991, and came into force in 1994.
  • START-I capped the numbers of nuclear warheads and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that each side could deploy at 6,000 and 1,600 respectively.
  • START-I lapsed in 2009 and was replaced first by the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT, also known as the Treaty of Moscow), and then by the New START treaty.

What is the New START Treaty?

  • The New START Treaty was signed by the then-US President and then-Russian president in 2010. The treaty came into force in 2011 and was extended in 2021 for five more years (till 2026).
  • Under the Treaty, America and Russia cannot deploy more than 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads and more than 700 long range missiles and bombers. It also limits each country to 800 deployed and non deployed launchers and delivery vehicles.
  • Additionally, the treaty allows each side to carry out up to 18 short notice (32 hours) on site inspections of strategic nuclear weapons sites annually to ensure that the other country.
  • Compliance of the treaty: The treaty gave the US and Russia seven years to reduce their stockpiles, including nuclear warheads that are launched using long-range missiles, submarines, and bombers.In 2018, both nations met the arms limits prescribed by the pact.

o However, inspections under the treaty have stalled in the past three years. They were first put on hold in March 2020 owing to the COVID19 pandemic.Russia and the US were due to discuss the restarting of inspections in November 2022, but this was postponed by the Russian President.There has been no development in this regard since. Why did Russia suspend the treaty?

  • The Russian President has said that it is suspending the treaty as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation(NATO) and the U.S wanted to “inflict ‘strategic defeat’ on Russia and “try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time”.
  • Russia also accused the U.S. of rejecting Russian requests for visits to specific U.S. facilities.The U.S State Department also stated that Moscow was not complying with the pact as it had not let Washington carry out on-site inspections.

Will this suspension lead to an arms race?

  • The Russian President said that the country is not withdrawing from the treaty entirely. But Russia will not allow US countries to inspect its nuclear arsenal.
  • Analysts believe it is entirely symbolic since Russia had not been permitting inspections anyway.As per them, the move appears to be aimed at pressuring the US President and his allies so that Russia can dictate the terms under which the war would come to an end.

 Seattle, USA

  • Seattle City Council became the first city in the United States of America (USA) to ban caste-based discrimination. It included caste as a class to be protected against discrimination, alongside race, gender, and religion.
  • Even though caste discrimination has roots in South Asia, it has been exported to the West with the large diaspora and persons of South Asian heritage there.
  • The fight to address caste discrimination was led by Dalit rights activists and organisations like Equality Labs and other local groups, many of whom originally hailed from India.

 India-Germany Cooperation on innovation

  • Recently, the Indian Prime Minister met with the German-Chancellor (Olaf Scholz’s) and agreed on a Vision Statement to enhance cooperation on innovation and technology. It focuses on deepening ties between industry and spurring cooperation on development of advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and 6G. Both countries agreed to cooperate on Green Hydrogen.
  • It is considered to be the most comprehensive economic document signed between the two major economies to date.
  • Under a $5.2 billion agreement, Germany and India plans to jointly construct six conventional submarines in India.

Congo joined ISA

  • Congo has recently joined the India-led International Solar Alliance. The Ambassador of Republic of Congo signed the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country in Central Africa bordered by the South Atlantic Ocean. DRC is the second-largest country in Africa by area.
  • The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions. The Headquarters is in India with its Interim Secretariat being set up in Gurugram.

South Africa declares ‘State of Disaster’ over electricity crisis

  • In order to speed up the government’s reaction to an ongoing energy crisis, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa proclaimed a state of Disaster.
  • Since 2008, the nation has struggled with electricity shortages that have reached historic heights, resulting in rolling blackouts every day of this year.



 Government e-marketplace (GeM)

  • Government e-Marketplace achieves a Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) of Rs. 1.5 Lakh Crores.
  • GeM has been effectively contributing to the government’s commitment of “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”.
  • About GMV: GMV refers to the value of goods sold via customer-to-customer or e-commerce platforms. It is calculated prior to the deduction of any fees or expenses.
  • About Government e-marketplace (GeM) : The GeM is an online platform launched by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India in 2016 to facilitate procurement of goods and services by various government departments and organisations. It is open to all government departments, public sector undertakings, autonomous bodies and other organisations.
  • Currently, GeM stands at the third position after Singapore’s GeBIZ.
  • South Korea’s KONEPS is the largest such platform in the world.


Operation Sadbhavana:

  • 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.
  • Activities: 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 Union Territory (UT) 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.
  • ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’ projects are selected after taking local aspirations into consideration, in conjunction with local civil administration and it is ensured that there is no duplicates with projects of civil administration.

Yuva Sangam Portal

  • The “Yuva Sangam” registration portal was recently launched at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi.
  • Yuva Sangam is an initiative to build close ties between the youth of the Northeast Region and the rest of

India under the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat. Under this initiative, over 20000 youth will travel across India and gain a unique opportunity of cross-cultural learning. The program is an opportunity for the youth of NER to see India.

Prison Reforms

  • Open Prisons: Rajasthan has adopted an open prison model where convicts stay on community land without high walls or strict surveillance. The move has promoted a reformative form of punishment and succeeded in transforming the lives of inmates. The state has opened 40 such camps. Under the system, Prisoners who have served 1/3rd of their sentences are eligible to shift to the open jails. In these open camps, each inmate can stay with 3 family members, some are also established at gaushalas to enable the inmates to work at the cow shelters. As minimum-security facilities, open prisons require 92.4% less staff compared to closed jails and the cost incurred per prisoner is only ₹500/month.
  • Tihar Jail : Tihar jail is installing AI-powered CCTV cameras to monitor inmates and fight crime. The premises will also have a real-time grievance redressal system and optical fibre network. Tihar jail is the largest prison complex of South Asia. With a capacity to house 5,200 inmates, it has 12,762 prisoners at present. The overcrowding has made monitoring inmates difficult leading to commitment of many crimes from inside the jail.


  • The World Bank (WB) is lending up to $1 billion (divided into two complementary loans of $500 million under Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP) and Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program (EHSDP) each to help India with preparedness for future pandemics as well as to strengthen its health infrastructure.
  • Through this combined financing, the bank will support India’s flagship Pradhan Mantri-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).
  • Both the PHSPP and EHSDP loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) of WB have a final maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of five years.

What is PM-ABHIM?

  • The PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY), which has now been renamed as PM-ABHIM, was announced in the Union Budget 2021-22.
  • The PM-ABHIM scheme was launched in October 2021 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and will run in addition to the National Health Mission (NHM).
  • It is one of the largest Pan-India health schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure to accomplish the vision of comprehensive healthcare across the country.
  • Components: It consists of Centrally Sponsored Scheme Components [like Ayushman Bharat – Health & Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) in rural and urban areas] and some Central Sector Components (like Critical Care Hospital Blocks).

Khanan Prahari Mobile App

  • The Government of India has launched one mobile app namely “KhananPrahari” and one web app Coal Mine Surveillance and Management System (CMSMS) for reporting unauthorized coal mining activities.
  • The mobile app is developed by Ministry of Coal that enables citizens to report incidents of illegal coal mining using geo-tagged photos and textual information from the location of the incident.

GST Appellate Tribunal

  • Recently, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in its 49th Meeting has reached consensus on the constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal to resolve the rising number of disputes under the old indirect tax regime.
  • GST Appellate Tribunal: The council has approved the creation of a national tribunal mechanism with state benches for the redressal of disputes. The Tribunal will resolve the rising number of disputes under the GST regime that are now clogging High Courts and other judicial fora.
  • The GST Tribunal will have one principal bench in New Delhi and many benches or boards in states. The principal bench and state boards would have two technical and two judicial members each, with equal representation.
  • But all four members would not sit to hear each case, which is likely to be decided based on the threshold or value of dues involved.

Jadui Pitara

  • Recently, the Ministry of Education has launched Learning – Teaching Material for the Foundational Stage under National Education Policy 2020 and Jadui Pitara was launched at the Occasion.
  • In October 2022, the Ministry of Education launched the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) education of children in the three to eight years age group.

What is Jadui Pitara?

  • Jadui Pitara is a play-based learning-teaching material tailored for children between the age group of 3-8 years. It comprises playbooks, toys, puzzles, posters, flash cards, story books, worksheets as well as reflecting the local culture, social context and languages is designed to pique curiosity and accommodate the diverse needs of learners in the foundational stage.
  • Jadui Pitara has been developed under the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and is available in 13 Indian languages. It aims at enriching the learning-teaching environment and making it more child-centric, lively and joyful for the Amrit Generation as envisioned in the NEP 2020.

Linking Aadhaar to Voter ID

  • According to the Election Commission (EC), over 60% of India’s 94.5 crore voters have linked their Aadhaar number to their voter IDs.
  • Tripura has the highest rate of Aadhaar linking, with over 92% of voters in the state providing their Aadhaar details to the EC.
  • Lakshadweep and Madhya Pradesh have the second and third highest rates of Aadhaar linking, with over 91% and 86% of voters having provided the number respectively.
  • Southern states have lower proportions of Aadhaar registration compared to the national average, with Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka falling shy of 71%, and Tamil Nadu and Kerala standing around 63% and 61%.
  • Gujarat has the lowest Aadhaar registration by voters, with only 31.5% of voters linking the document to their voter registration.
  • Also, less than 34% of voters in Delhi had their Aadhaar linked.

Jaipur Declaration

  • The 18th UIC World Security Congress, organised by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the International Union of Railways (UIC), ended with the adoption of the Jaipur Declaration.
  • It called for the adoption of new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence 5G, IoT among others to develop comprehensive solutions for Railway Security.
  • About UIC: The UIC (Union International Des Chemins) or International Union of Railways established in 1922 is headquartered in Paris. It is the worldwide professional association representing the railway sector for research, development & promotion of rail transport.
  • About RPF: RPF is the prime security and law- enforcement organisation in the field of Railway Security in India. Constituted as a federal Force in the year 1957, RPF is responsible for security of railway property, passenger and passenger zones. RPF personnel serve the Nation and go the extra mile in their line of duty embodying its tagline “Sewa hi Sankalp- A promise to serve”.
  • RPF has played exceptional role towards enhancing passenger security in India through various initiatives such as Operation Nanhe Farishte for rescue of children and Operation AAHT for rescuing women and children from the clutches of traffickers.

eShram Portal

  • The eShram portal has experienced unprecedented success from the unorganised/migrant workers of the country and as on 24th February 2023, over 28.60 crore workers have registered on the eShram portal.
  • The eShram portal was launched in 2021 by the Ministry of Labour & Employment to create a National Database of unorganised/migrant workers and to provide them with a Universal Account Number (UAN).

Skye UTM

  • Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari unveiled Skye UTM, which is the most cuttingedge unmanned traffic management system in the world, which is capable of handling 4,000 flights per hour and 96,000 flights per day. Skye UTM is a Cloud-based aerial traffic management system that integrates unmanned air traffic with manned aviation airspace.
  • Skye UTM has been built towards providing situational awareness, autonomous navigation, risk assessment, and traffic management to all drone/other aerial mobility operators across the airspace.

“Aadhaar Mitra”

  • The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has recently launched a chatbot to help people get an answer to their queries related to the Aadhaar card. It is called “Aadhaar Mitra”.
  • The Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)-a based chatbot can answer queries related to Aadhaar enrolment number, PVC Card order status, and complaint status, among other things. It is available in both English and Hindi languages.


  • The Indian Air Force has developed an innovative solution ‘Vayulink’ that would aid pilots in dealing with bad weather and also provide jammer-proof uninterrupted communication with the base station.

The data link communication uses the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) that is also known as NAVIC, to send radio communication to the base station when the signals are low.

POLITY (Articles or Sections in News)

What is Greater Tipraland?

  • Greater Tipraland is the core ideological demand of the TIPRA Motha. o The Tipra Motha Party (TMP), also known as the Tipraha Indigenous Progressive Regional Alliance, is a regional political party and previously a social organization in Tripura, India.
  • The objective is to carve out a new State for the 19 indigenous tribes of Tripura under Articles 2 and 3 of the constitution.
  • Article 2 – Parliament may by law admit into the Union, or establish, new States on such terms and conditions as it thinks fit.
  • Article 3 comes into play in the case of formation of new States and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing States by the Parliament.
  • Among the 19 notified Scheduled Tribes in Tripura, Tripuris (aka Tipra and Tiprasas) are the largest.
  • According to the 2011 census, there are at least 5.92 lakh Tripuris in the state, followed by Bru or Reang (1.88 lakh) and Jamatias (83,000).

Regional extent of the proposed State

  • It includes the region under Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous district Council (TTAADC) and 36 villages out of it, within the Tripura State boundaries.
  • The demand seeks to include every tribal person living in indigenous area or village outside TTAADC
  • However, the idea doesn’t restrict toTripura tribal council areas.
  • It extends to include Tiprasa (indigenous people of Tripura) spread across different states of India like Assam, Mizoram etc.
  • It also includes those living in Bandarban, Chittagong, Khagrachari and other bordering areas of neighbouring Bangladesh.

How did the demand originate?

  • Apprehension of the indigenous communities : The demand mainly stems from the anxiety of the indigenous communities in connection with the change in the demographics of the state, which has reduced them to a minority. It happened due to the huge influx of refugees from East Pakistan. The flood of refugees led to bitter differences. From 63.77 per cent in 1881, the population of the tribals in Tripura was down to 31.80 per cent by 2011. The indigenous people have not only been reduced to a minority, but have also been dislodged from land reserved for them
  • Ethnic conflict and insurgency : Later, ethnic conflict and insurgency gripped the state, which shares a nearly 860km long boundary with Bangladesh. The conflict between the tribals and the non-tribals escalated in 1980 and took the shape of armed insurgency. The demand for autonomous regions or separate statehood during this time metamorphosed to sovereignty and independence. However, after a political truce was reached between the State and the rebel groups, the demand for statehood was revived.
  • Rise of Ethnic-Politics : There has been a revival of ethnic nationalism in Tripura by the newly formed political party. It is trying to unite people from both tribal and non-tribal ethnic identity since 2019. This party claims that a separate state could alone alleviate problems faced by Tripuri tribes.

Other similar Demands in the North East:

  • Greater nagalim (Parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Assam and Myanmar)
  • Bodoland (Assam)
  • Tribal Autonomy Meghalaya

No bar on contesting two seats in one poll

  • A PIL was filed in Supreme court seeking to restrict candidates from contesting elections for the same office simultaneously from more than one constituency.
  • Section 33(7) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 allows a person to contest election for the same office from two constituencies at the same time.
    • Prior to 1996, there was no bar on the number of constituencies one can contest from. The provision was then amended and a limit of two seats was set.
  • When a candidate contests from two seats, he has to vacate one of the two if he wins both. Following this, byelections are conducted for the vacant seat.

How dis Supreme court react to the PIL

  • Supreme Court has rejected the petition to bar candidates from contesting from more than one constituency in the

Lok Sabha or legislative assembly elections, calling it a matter of “parliamentary sovereignty” and “political democracy”. In other words, the court chose to leave the issue to the wisdom of the Parliament.

What are the concerns associated with one candidate contesting from two seats?

  • Burden on Exchequer – This imposes a financial burden on the public exchequer, government manpower and other resources because by-elections have to be held in constituency that has been vacated. It leads to wastage of time and is against the spirit of the Constitution.
  • Vacant constituency goes unrepresented – Because the candidate has to resign from one of the two seats and byelections are to be held within the maximum period of 6 months (S. 151-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951), the constituency may go unrepresented for the duration of those six months.
  • This surely does not amount to effective representation and makes a mockery of the democratic process.

What are the suggestions of the Election commission on one candidate contesting from two seats?

  • Election Commission has suggested: o The law should be amended to provide that a person cannot contest from more than one constituency at a time or
    • The candidate should deposit an amount of ₹5 lakh for contesting in two constituencies in an Assembly election or ₹10 lakh in a general election. The amount would be used to cover the expenses for a byelection in the eventuality that he or she was victorious in both constituencies and had to relinquish one.

Eknath Shinde-led Sena Faction Gets ‘Bow and Arrow’ Symbol

  • The Election Commission recognized the faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as the real Shiv Sena and allocated it the bow and arrow symbol.
  • In the order, the Election Commission informed that 40 MLAs backing Shinde got nearly 76% of the votes polled in favor of the 55 Shiv Sena candidates who had won their seats in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls. On the other hand, the Uddhav Thackeray faction’s 15 MLAs got 23.5% of the votes polled. Meanwhile, 13 MPs of the Shinde faction got 73% of the total votes cast in Shiv Sena’s favor in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while only 27% of the votes went to MPs from the Thackeray camp.
  • Note: Eknath Shinde, the chief minister of Maharashtra, was elected as the Shiv Sena’s supreme leader.


  • It means removal/deletion from the records of Parliament a word or portion or entire speech delivered by the MPs in the respective House.
  • It is exercised upon by the orders of the Speaker or Chairman and is carried out in accordance with laid down rules.
  • The expunged portions can no longer be reported by media houses, even though they may have been heard during the live telecast of the proceedings.
  • In news: A portion of a speech delivered by the opposition leader in the Lok Sabha on February 7th, 2023 were expunged from the records of Parliament by the Speaker’s orders.
  • Article 105 of the Constitution: It confers on members, freedom of speech in the House and immunity from interference by the court for anything said in the House.
  • Respective House rules granting powers to Presiding Officers: Rule 380 of the Rules of procedure of the LS and Rule 261 of the RS give the power to the presiding officers of these Houses to expunge any words used in the debate which are defamatory, unparliamentary, undignified or indecent.

Section 69 (A) of IT Act 2000

  • MeitY recently issued orders to block 138 online betting platforms and 94 money lending apps on an “urgent” and “emergency” basis under Section 69 (A) of the IT Act, 2000. Some of the sites and apps were allegedly linked to China and contained “material prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
  • Section 69 of the IT Act allows the govt. to issue content-blocking orders to online intermediaries such as Internet Service Providers, telecom service providers, web hosting services, search engines, online marketplaces, etc. provided such a content is deemed a threat to India’s national security, sovereignty, or public order.

Sealed Cover Jurisprudence (SCJ)

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has rejected a “Sealed Cover” suggestion from the Government pertaining to the Adani-Hindenburg issue.
  • About Sealed Cover Jurisprudence : SCJ is a legal concept that refers to the practice of presenting sensitive or confidential information to a court or tribunal in a sealed envelope or cover, to be opened and reviewed only by the judge or judges in charge of the case.

Even though there is no specific law to define the idea of sealed cover, the SC derives its power to use it from Rule 7 of order XIII of the Supreme Court Rules 2013 and Section 123 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872.

  • The Court can ask for information in a sealed cover in broadly two circumstances: o When information is connected to an ongoing investigation,

o When it involves personal or confidential information whose disclosure may result in violation of an individual’s privacy or breach of trust.

 Special Marriage Act (SMA) 1954

  • Recently, a Bollywood actress (Swara Bhaskar) chose to marry under the provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
  • The Special Marriage Act of 1954 (SMA) was passed by the Parliament in October, 1954. It governs a civil marriage where the state sanctions the marriage rather than the religion.

How SMA is different from Personal laws ?

  • Personal law such as marriage, divorce, adoption are governed by religious laws that are codified. These laws, such as the Muslim Marriage Act, 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, require either spouse to convert to the religion of the other before marriage.
  • However, the SMA enables marriage between inter-faith or inter-caste couples without them giving up their religious identity or resorting to conversion.
  • Note: In the Indian system, both civil and religious marriages are recognised.

Who can get married under the Special Marriage Act?

  • The applicability of the Act extends to the people of all faiths, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, and Buddhists, across India.
  • The minimum age to get married under the SMA is 21 years for males and 18 years for females.
  • However, once married as per the secular law, under Section 19 of the Act, any member of an undivided family who professes the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain religion shall be deemed to effect their severance (ending a connection) from the family.
  • This would affect rights, including the right to inheritance, of the persons choosing to marry under the SMA. What is the procedure for a civil marriage?
  • As per Section 5 of the Act, the parties to the marriage are required to give a notice, in writing, to a “Marriage Officer” of the district.
  • Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties and three witnesses are required to sign a declaration form before the Marriage Officer.
  • Once the declaration is accepted, the parties will be given a “Certificate of marriage” which is essentially proof of the marriage.

What is the “notice period” under the SMA?

  • As per Section 6, a true copy of the notice given by the parties will be kept under the Marriage Notice Book.
  • Upon receiving the notice, the marriage officer shall publish it in some conspicuous place in his office to invite any objections to the marriage within 30 days.
  • Section 7 deals with Objection to marriage. It allows any person before the expiration of thirty days from the date of the notice’s publication to object to the marriage.
  • Various grounds of objection are specified in Section 4 of the Act.
  • If an objection has been made, the Marriage Officer cannot solemnize the marriage until he has inquired into the matter of the objection.

What are the criticisms of SMA?

  • The provisions related to the practice of posting the notice are often criticised as they are commonly invoked to harass consenting couples.
  • The unwarranted disclosure of matrimonial plans by two adults entitled to solemnize it may, in certain situations, jeopardize the marriage itself.
  • In certain instances, it may even endanger the life or limb of the party due to parental interference.
  • In January 2021, the Allahabad High Court ruled that couples seeking to solemnize their marriage under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 can choose not to publish the mandatory 30-day notice of their intention to marry.

Live Transcription of Courtroom Proceedings using AI

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) started a first-of-its-kind project to transcribe its proceedings live using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • The SC transcription is using Teres, which is a platform used often for transcribing arbitration proceedings. The transcript will also be shared with lawyers who argued cases for verification and is likely to be uploaded on the SC website every evening.

It is the second major decision towards making the court more transparent after the SC’s decision to livestream its proceedings before Constitution Benches.

  • In 2022, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) launched the digital platform FASTER (Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records) to communicate interim orders, stay orders, bail orders, etc, of the Supreme Court to authorities concerned through a secured electronic communication channel.
  • The Supreme Court has also launched other programmes involving technology like AI based portal ‘SUPACE’ in the judicial system aimed at assisting judges with legal research.
  • In the United States, court transcripts are available to litigants and the public. The US’s SC provides audio and text transcripts of the proceedings. In the United Kingdom, a litigant can ask for a transcript of the court proceedings for a fee if the hearing is recorded.

False info about educational qualification

  • Recently, the Supreme Court (SC) has said that providing false information about electoral Candidates Qualification is not a Corrupt Practice under RPA (Representation of People’s Act) Act 1951.
  • The SC observed that no one in India votes for a candidate based on their educational qualifications.

Term of 22nd law commission extended

  • Recently, the Union Cabinet extended by one-and-a-half years the term of the 22nd Law Commission which is mandated to identify laws that are “no longer relevant” and recommend for their repeal. The term of the panel has been extended up to August 31, 2024. It is also mandated to suggest enactment of new legislation as may be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble of the Constitution.
  • The Law Commission of India is a non-statutory body constituted by the Government of India from time to time. The first Law Commission was established during the British Raj era in 1834 by the Charter Act of 1833 and was chaired by Lord Macaulay. The first Law Commission of independent India was established in 1955 for a three-year term.

Menstrual leave

  • Recently, the issue of menstrual leave came to highlight when Spain became the first European Union country to grant paid menstrual leave to workers, with the right to three days of menstrual leave per month, which can be expanded to five days.
  • Menstrual leave or period leave refers to all policies that allow employees or students to take time off when they are experiencing menstrual pain or discomfort.
  • Countries Promoting Menstrual Leaves: Spain, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Zambia, South Korea and Vietnam.

Indian scenario

  • In India, a student filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking direction for the government for the implementation of the menstrual leaves policy. However, the SC declined to consider the petition, stating that the issue falls within the purview of executive policy.
  • The court has also pointed out that menstrual pain leave has different dimensions and may also act as a disincentive for employers from engaging female employees.
  • Bihar and Kerala are the only Indian states that have introduced menstrual leave policies for women.
  • Bihar’s policy was introduced in 1992, allowing employees two days of paid menstrual leave every month.
  • Kerala recently announced that the state’s higher education department will grant menstrual and maternity leaves for students in universities under the department, and a Kerala school has also introduced a similar system.
  • Private companies: In 2017, two Mumbai-based companies – Gozoop and Culture Machine – became the first private companies to introduce period leave in India.
  • In 2020, Zomato introduced menstrual leave for up to ten days a year for its women and transgender employees. Since then, other private companies like Swiggy and Byju’s have also introduced similar policies.


Fifth Nano Urea Plant

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah laid the foundation stone of a ₹450 crore nano urea plant and township of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) in Deoghar, Jharkhand.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the world’s first nano urea plant in Gujarat in 2021.
  • Significance: Nano Urea will benefit farmers and it is already being exported to five countries.


Indian Railways Launches WhatsApp Food Delivery Facility ‘Zoop’. Passengers traveling in Indian Railways can now order food online through WhatsApp while undertaking a journey by using their PNR number. This comes as a step further towards making e-catering services more customer-centric in Indian Railways.

UK Surpasses India

  • The UK has surpassed India as the sixth-largest equity market in the world for the first time since May 2022 as a weaker pound increases the attraction of exporters and concerns over the Adani-Hindenburg controversy are being felt throughout Indian markets.

India’s first-ever municipal bond issue for retail opens

  • Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has launched India’s first public issue of municipal bonds intending to raise up to Rs 244 crore to fund a solar power project.
  • This would be the first time a municipal body is targeting individual investors in India.

India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement

  • The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) comes into force in December 2022.
  • Earlier, In April 2022, India and Australia signed an Economic Co-operation and Trade Agreement (ECTA).
  • The aim of this agreement is to double the bilateral trade to $50 billion in five years and ease movement of people, goods and services across borders. Significance of ECTA For Australia
  • Many analysts described the ECTA as an antidote for Australia’s China trouble as it will give exporters duty-free access to India. India is the second-largest market after China.
  • In 2020, China punished Australia economically after the Australian government supported an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19. Since then, Australia has witnessed sustained trade sanctions from its top trading partner, China.

Significance of ECTA For India

  • Labour-intensive sectors : The major boost would be in its labour-intensive sectors, which are currently subject to import duty of 4-5% by Australia. Now, it will gain immediate duty-free access.
  • Manufacturing sector: Exports of textiles and apparel, leather and footwear, furniture, sports goods, jewellery, machinery, railway wagons and select agricultural and marine products are seen to be the top beneficiaries in addition to pharma.

o Australia is the largest importer of garments in the southern hemisphere. While China’s share of import of apparel into Australia is more than 70%, India’s share in imports is less than 5%. With the ECTA getting operationalised, India will have a slight duty advantage over Vietnam and Indonesia for imports in the Australian market.

  • Power sector : Coal accounts for three-fourths of Indian imports from Australia. o LNG, alumina, and manganese are other vital imports. The Indian power sector will gain from cheaper coal.
  • Service sector : There are major gains on the services side too. Australia has committed to facilitate India’s services in IT, ITeS, business services, health, education and audio-visual, among others. It has agreed to provide a poststudy work visa of 2-4 years for Indian students and a work and holiday visa for youth. It has also offered a quota for entry of 1,800 Indian chefs and yoga teachers.

Payment Aggregator

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently granted payment aggregator licenses (in principle approval) to 32 entities under under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (PSS Act).
  • The PSS Act, 2007 provides for the regulation and supervision of payment systems in India and designates the RBI as the authority for that purpose and all related matters.

Payment aggregator (PA)

  • A PA (also known as a merchant aggregator) is a third-party service provider that allows merchants to accept payment from customers by integrating it into their websites or apps.
  • It facilitates different types of payment transactions, including cash/cheque, online payments through multiple payment sources, or offline touchpoints.
  • It allows merchants to accept bank transfers without setting up a bank-based merchant account. It means a merchant need not have a merchant account directly with the bank.
  • A PA in India is incorporated under the Companies Act 2013.
  • A PA can be a bank or a non-bank entity.
  • Since a PA handles funds, it requires a license from the RBI.

Only non-bank payment aggregators require unique authorization from RBI as ‘handling funds’ is considered a part of the normal banking relationships for bank PAs.

  • Examples: Amazon (Pay) India, Google India, Razorpay, PayPal, Stripe, Pine Labs, etc.

Payment Aggregator v/s Payment gateway:

  • A payment gateway is a software that allows online transactions to take place, while a payment aggregator is the inclusion of all these payment gateways.
  • While a payment gateway is an intermediary, the payment aggregator is the interface where the payment gateway processes the transactions.
  • Most payment aggregators own payment gateways to offer various exclusive services to their merchant customers.

Teja Chilli

  • The Teja Chilli of Telangana is the most popular chilli in many countries. Despite high international demand, the farmers of Teja Chilli are facing heavy losses. They are struggling to recover their investment.
  • Khammam Agriculture market is one of the biggest chilli markets in Telangana. It is the largest producer of Teja Chilli. The Teja Chilli is the major ingredient of Oleoresin. Oleoresin is a chilli extract used in food processing units in Asia. Demand for Oleoresin increases the demand for Teja chilli in Asia.
  • About Teja Chilli: The chilli is a sub-variety of Guntur Chillies. Of all the Guntur Chilli varieties, the Teja Chilli is the finest. Other Guntur Chilli varieties are Madhubala, Bedki, Roshni, Ankur, etc.
  • Export destinations of Teja Chilli: Sri Lanka, Latin America, USA, UK, South Korea, Middle East, Bangladesh
  • Reasons for the high demand for Teja Chilli: The Teja chilli is thin and very light in weight. A small quantity is enough to make the food hot and spicy. For this reason, the demand of the chill is high.

UPI-PayNow partnership

  • Recently, India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore’s PayNow have been integrated to enable faster Remittances between the two countries.
  • Singapore has become the first country with which cross-border Person to Person (P2P) payment facilities have been launched.
  • The UPI-PayNow partnership marks the world’s first to feature cloud-based infrastructure and participation by nonbank financial institutions.

Sagar Parikrama Phase III

  • The Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairy launched “Sagar Parikrama,”- Phase-III from Surat, Gujarat’s Hazira Port.
  • It is an initiative of Government of India, aiming to resolve the issues of the fishers and other stakeholders and facilitate their economic upliftment through various fisheries schemes and programs being implemented by the Government of India such as PMMSY (Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana).
  • Nodal Ministry: Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying.
  • The Parikrama shall be accompanied by the State Fisheries officials, Fishermen representatives, Fish-Farmers entrepreneurs, stakeholders, professionals, officials and Scientists from across the nation.
  • Phase III program of ‘Sagar Parikrama’ will cover mainly the coastal areas of Maharashtra and Gujrat.
  • Phase –I: organized in March 2022 from Mandvi (Gujarat).
  • Phase- II: organized in September 2022 from Porbandar (Gujarat). Fisheries Sector in India?
  • India is the second major producer of fish through aquaculture in the world.
  • India is the 4th largest exporter of fish in the world as it contributes 7.7% to the global fish production.
  • Also, India ranks 1st in inland capture fish production and 3rd in overall fish production in the world.
  • Currently, this sector provides livelihood to more than 2.8 crore people within the country.

 Amazon to Join ONDC

  • Amazon has announced that it will join the Indian government’s ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce) platform. In 2022, Microsoft became the first big technology company to join the network with an intention of introducing group buying in the Indian market through social e-commerce.

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC)

  • ONDC is an open e-commerce protocol set up by the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  • ONDC is a non-profit company whose network will enable the display of products and services from all participating e-commerce platforms in search results across all apps on the network. For example, if both Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart integrate their platforms with ONDC, a user searching for a Bluetooth headset on Amazon would also see results from Flipkart on the Amazon app.
  • ONDC is a globally first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to democratize digital commerce.

 Sovereign Green Bonds Framework

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued the maiden Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrBs in two tranches for an aggregate amount of Rs 16,000 crore (First announced in the Union Budget 2022-23).
  • The RBI auctioned 5-year and 10-year green bonds worth Rs 4,000 crore each on 25 January and on 9 February.
  • The proceeds will be utilised for funding public sector projects seeking to reduce carbon emissions (to fund environmentally sustainable projects).


 36th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2023

  • Recently, Vice President, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar inaugurated the 36th Surajkund International Crafts Mela at Faridabad, Haryana.
  • The Surajkund Mela is unique event that showcases the richness and diversity of the handicrafts, handlooms and cultural fabric of India. Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2023 is the largest crafts fair in the world.
  • Note: In 2013, the fair was upgraded to an international level.
  • Organizing Body: Surajkund Mela Authority & Haryana Tourism in collaboration with Union Ministries of Tourism, Textiles, Culture and External Affairs.
  • Surajkund Mela is an annual event that is held during the first fortnight of each February.
  • Partner Nation: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is the partner nation in 36th Surajkund International Crafts Mela 2023.
  • Partner State: North Eastern Region is the theme state in the 36th Surajkund International Crafts Mela.
  • Significance: The Surajkund Mela is a custodian of the heritage crafts involving use of traditional skills that are fading away due to cheap machine made imitations, and a special section is earmarked for showcasing of these heritage crafts.
  • Note: The Union Budget 2023-24 has also envisaged the PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman, to help craftsmen expand the reach and quality of their creations. Other initiatives include Mudra Yojana, One District, One Product and Unity Malls, etc.

Keeladi Excavation

  • The excavations in the Keeladi region since 2015 prove that an urban civilisation existed in Tamil Nadu in the Sangam age.
  • Keeladi excavation site is a Sangam period settlement that is being excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.
  • Location: This is a large-scale excavation carried out in Tamil Nadu after the Adichanallur archaeological site. o Keeladi is a tiny hamlet in the Sivaganga district in south Tamil Nadu. It is about 12 km south-east to the temple city of Madurai and is located along the Vaigai river.
  • This site is estimated to be from the period between the 5th century BCE and the 3rd century CE.
  • About Sangam age: The Sangam age is a period of history in ancient Tamil Nadu which was believed to be from the 3rd century BCE to the 3rd century CE and derives its name from the renowned Sangam assemblies of the poets of Madurai from that time.

1,300 year old stupa found in Odisha

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found a 1300 year old stupa in the middle of a mining site in Odisha’s Jajpur district. The stupa was found at Parabhadi, situated near Lalitagiri, a major Buddhist complex.
  • Note: This is the same place from where Khondalite stones were supplied for the beautification project around the 12th century Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri.
  • Lalitagiri is a major Buddhist complex in the state of Odisha. Tantric Buddhism was practiced at this site.
  • Together with the Ratnagiri and Udayagiri sites a short distance away, Lalitagiri is part of the “Diamond Triangle”.

Sant Guru Ravidas Jayanti

  • The birthday of Sant Guru Ravidas was observed on 05th Feb 2023. Guru Ravidas Jayanti is celebrated on Magh Purnima (full moon day in the Magh month of the Hindu lunar calendar).
  • Guru Ravidas was a 15th century saint and reformer of the Bhakti movement who gained prominence due to his belief in one God and his unbiased religious poems. He dedicated his whole life to the abolition of the caste system and openly despised the notion of a Brahminical society. Around 41 of his poems were included in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’, the religious text of the Sikhs.

Visva-Bharati University – West Bengal

  • Visva-Bharati University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, is set to become the world’s first “living heritage university”. The university is expected to receive the heritage tag from UNESCO in April or May 2023.
  • Normally heritage tag is given to a dead monument. For the first time in the world, a living university which is functioning is going to get the heritage tag from UNESCO.

Key Points

  • Visva-Bharati University is located in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India. When founded in 1921, it was named after Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore until Visva-Bharati Society was registered as an organization in May 1922.
  • Rabindranath believed in open-air education and introduced that system at the university, which prevails to date.


  • Recently, the Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology inaugurated AMRITPEX 2023 – National Philatelic Exhibition. This five-day Mahakumbh of Stamps (11th to 15th February 2023) in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, is being organized as a part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Celebrations.
  • The exhibition will feature stamps and photographic collections on the country’s history and culture. It is based on five themes – Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and New India, Yuva Shakti, Nari Shakti, Nature and Wildlife, and India’s Culture and History.
  • For the first time in India, new Technology like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality has been used to showcase the cultural heritage, history, nature and wildlife by narrating the stories of stamps.

Deendayal Upadhyaya

  • The Prime Minister has paid tributes to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya on his Punya Tithi (Death Anniversary).
  • He was born in 1916 in Nagla Chandrabhan village, now called Deendayal Dham in Uttar Pradesh. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and dedicated himself to full-time work in RSS from 1942. He started a monthly magazine “Rashtra Dharma”, a weekly ‘Panchajanya’, and a daily ‘Swadesh’.
  • In 2019, Prime Minister unveiled a 63-feet tall statue of Pandit Upadhyaya while inaugurating the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Memorial Centre in Padao on the Varanasi-Chandauli border.

Lavani Folk dance

  • Lavani is a traditional folk-art form of Maharashtra in which women dancers wearing nine-yard-long sarees in bright colours, make-up, and ghunghroos perform on dholak beats on a stage before a live audience. The word Lavani comes from ‘lavanya’ or beauty.
  • There are several types of Lavani & the most popular is Shringarik (erotic) kind.
  • It attained popularity in the Peshwa era in the 18th century. Traditionally, performances were held in front of kings or lords, and for the entertainment of tired soldiers resting during breaks in fighting.
  • In News: Recently, Several Senior performers of Lavani have called for ban on vulgar performances, in the name of Lavani.

Other dance in News:

  • Launda Naach” of Bihar: Few months ago, the doyen of Bhojpuri folk theatre art “Launda Naach” and legendary artist Ram Chandra Manjhi (Padam Shree awardee) passed away. The Launda Naach is a prominent Bhojpuri folk art of Bihar comprising songs, dance, comedy, satire, parody and theatre. In this art, men impersonate women wearing sari, blouse, long hair wig during the performance.


  • Under the presidency of India in G20, the first meeting of the Culture Working Group has begun at Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh recently. The meeting was chaired by the Union Minister for Culture and Tourism.
  • On the first day of the meeting Padam Shri Mr. Nek Ram known as the Millet man has been invited to celebrate the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023.
  • The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its between 950 and 1050 AD. Only about 20 temples remain; they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions – Hinduism and Jainism. The UNESCO site of ‘Khajuraho Group of Monuments’ is famous for its Nagara-Style architecture and graceful sculptures of nayikas (Hindu Mythological female protagonists) and deities.




Ajay Banga Indian-American business leader, Ajay banga has been appointed as 14th President of World bank as its current chief David Malpass announced early retirement.
Banga is the first Indian-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions – International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the WB.

Banga (63) currently serves as vice chairman at General Atlantic and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.

BVR Subrahmanyam Former IAS officer  (Commerce Secretary) appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of Niti Aayog for 2 years term. He succeeds Parameswaran lyer, who has been named as the Executive Director of World Bank.
Shailesh Pathak Secretary General of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
Rajeev Singh Raghuvanshi appointed as the new Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).
Lt Gen MV Suchindra Kumar  He has been named as the new Vice Chief of Army Staff.
Shiv Pratap Shukla Former Union Minister of State for Finance, Shiv Pratap Shukla has been appointed as Governor of Himachal Pradesh replacing Rajendra Arlekar.

He was administered the oath of office of Governor by the acting Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court Justice Sabina. He took oath in Sanskrit.

Ramesh Bais appointed as the new Governor of Maharashtra after the resignation of Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
Shamika Ravi Economics professor and researcher  appointed as a member of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
Dr. Ami Bera Indian-American Congressman  appointed as a member of a powerful US House Committee handling intelligence-related matters.
Manuela Roka Botey first woman prime minister of Equatorial Guinea.
Apsara Iyer First Indian-American student to get elected as president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.


elected as the President of Cyprus after a second and final round of voting.
Md Shahabuddin Chuppu A former judge and freedom fighter, was elected unopposed as Bangladesh’s 22nd President.


Neal Mohan Indian-American, appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of             Alphabetowned YouTube following Susan Wojcicki’s resignation.
Afshan Khan Indo-Canadian woman has been appointed as coordinator of the “Scaling Up Nutrition Movement,” by United Nations.


MicroLED display technology 

  • Apple is reportedly shifting to microLED display technology, which is considered as the next big transition in display technology.
  • MicroLEDs are self-illuminating diodes that are brighter and provide better colour reproduction than Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display technology. The basis of MicroLED technology is sapphire. Sapphire can shine on its own forever. A MicroLED screen is so small but packed with bright light. The picture in a MicroLED screen is generated by a number of individual light-emitting diodes.
  • Benefits of MicroLED display technology: a) Brighter with better colour reproduction and viewing angles, b) Limitless scalability as they are resolution, bezel, ratio, and size-free, c) Self-emissive and produces colors without backlighting or color filters.
  • Challenges: Apple’s plan to transition to microLED displays was planned for 2020 but was delayed due to high costs and technical challenges. MicroLEDs require a lot of power to operate, which can make them less energyefficient than other display technologies.

 ISRO-NASA ‘NISAR’ satellite to be launched from India in September

  • National Aeronautics       and       Space    Administration (NASA) and        the        Indian   Space Research

Organisation (ISRO), jointly developed an Earth-observation satellite, called NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar), got a send-off ceremony at the American space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.

  • ISRO will use NISAR for a variety of purposes including agricultural mapping, and monitoring of glaciers in the Himalayas, landslide-prone areas and changes in the coastline.


  • Scientists have discovered a third natural source of quasicrystals in the Sand Hills of north central Nebraska, USA. In quasicrystals, the atoms are arranged in a pattern that repeats itself at irregular, yet predictable, intervals.
  • Applications: Quasicrystals can be used in surgical instruments, LED lights and non-stick frying pans. They have poor heat conductivity, which makes them good insulators.

Cholera vaccine shortage in Africa

  • According to the World Health Organization, the African continent is likely to see its worst cholera crisis this decade, driven by extreme weather events and poor water supply and sanitation infrastructure.
  • The WHO (World Health Organization) has said Climate Change could make cholera epidemics more common, as the bacteria that causes the disease can reproduce more quickly in warmer water.

About Cholera disease:

  • It is a life-threatening infectious disease and a public health hazard.
  • It is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.
  • Symptoms: Profuse watery diarrhoea, Vomiting, Leg cramps etc
  • It is transmitted to humans through water or food which is contaminated with the cholera bacterium.
  • The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water.
  • Currently, there are three WHO pre-qualified oral cholera vaccines (OCV), Dukoral, Shanchol, and EuvicholPlus. All three vaccines require two doses for full protection.

 Sickle cell Anaemia

  • In Union Budget 2023-24, the government has announced a mission to eliminate Sickle cell Anaemia by 2047.
  • Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a chronic single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterized by chronic anaemia, acute painful episodes, organ infarction and chronic organ damage and by a significant reduction in life expectancy.


  • Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), the premier CPSE under the Ministry of Coal has introduced drone technology in coal mines.
  • Engaged in coal mining activities in Sundergarh, Jharsuguda and Angul districts of Odisha, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) contributes more than 20 % of the total coal produced in India.
  • About Technology: The technology has been introduced through the launch of a web-based portal VIHANGAM’ along with a drone and ground control system. The portal allows an authorised person to access real-time drone video from the mine through a dedicated 40 Mbps internet lease line near the mines. There is a control station that flies the drone and the system can be operated through the portal from anywhere.
  • Purpose: It has been introduced in coal mines for environmental monitoring, volume measurement, and photogrammetric mapping of mines for digitalisation of the mining process.
  • Note: Coal is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55% of the country’s energy needs. The country’s industrial heritage was built upon indigenous coal.

Jupiter : Planet with most natural satellites

  • Astronomers recently discovered 12 new moons around Jupiter, increasing the total number of moons it has to 92 – the largest number any planet on our solar system has (Saturn has 83 moons).
  • The moons were discovered using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile in 2021 and 2022 and have been added to a list kept by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre (size of these moons ranges from 1-3 kms).
  • Note: Uranus has 27 confirmed moons, Neptune 14, Mars 2 and Earth has 1 moon while Venus and Mercury have no moons.

Upcoming missions to Jupiter include –

  • (a) ESA’s spacecraft to Jupiter to study the planet and some of its biggest, icy moons (in 2023),
  • (b) NASA’s Europa Clipper to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa which could harbour an ocean beneath its frozen crust (in 2024).
  • NASA earlier launched Mission Lucy to explore the Jupiter Trojan Asteroids.

Diyodar meteorite

  • In 2022, a meteorite fell over two villages in Banaskantha, Gujarat. Analysis of the meteorite has revealed it to be a “rare, unique specimen” of aubrite. Hence, it has been named as Diyodar meteorite.
  • Note: India has been the site of hundreds of meteorite crashes but this is only the 2nd recorded aubrite crash. The past was in 1852 in Basti, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Aubrite: Aubrite meteorites are coarse-grained igneous rocks that are formed in oxygen-poor conditions. They contain a variety of exotic minerals that are not found on Earth.
  • Source of origin: Scientists are not yet sure of their origin, but some signs indicate that they could be from the asteroid 3103 Eger or from the planet Mercury.
  • Composition: The recently found aubrite meteorite in Gujarat was composed of ortho pyroxene.
  • Pyroxenes: Pyroxenes are silicates consisting of single chains of silica tetrahedra(SiO4). Pyroxenes such as diopside and jadeite have been used as gems.

Laboratory-Grown Diamonds (LGD)

  • The Ministry of Finance (MoF) in its 2023-24 Union Budget has put special emphasis on Laboratory-Grown Diamonds (LGD).
  • Scientists working at a General Electric research laboratory in New York are credited with the creation of

the world’s first-ever LGD in 1954.

About LGD:

  • LGD are manufactured in laboratories, as opposed to naturally occurring diamonds. However, the chemical composition and other physical and optical properties of the two are the same.
  • Naturally occurring diamonds take millions of years to form; they are created when carbon deposits buried within the earth are exposed to extreme heat and pressure.


  • They are mostly manufactured through two processes, High Pressure,High Temperature (HPHT) method or Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD)
  • Both HPHT and CVD methods of growing diamonds artificially begin with a seed, a slice of another diamond.
  • They are used for industrial purposes in machines and tools and their hardness and extra strength make them ideal for use as cutters.
  • Pure synthetic diamonds are used in electronics as a heat spreader for high-power laser diodes, laser arrays and high-power transistors.
  • India is the world’s largest cutting and polishing center for diamonds, accounting for over 90% of polished diamond manufacturing globally.
  • Surat in Gujarat is a global hub for diamond manufacturing.
  • India contributes 19% of the total diamond exports in the world.

CAR T-cell Therapy

  • CAR T-cell therapies are a major breakthrough in cancer treatment.
  • Unlike chemotherapy or immunotherapy which involve taking drugs, CAR T-cell therapies use a patient’s own cells. They are modified in the laboratory to activate T-cells and target tumor cells.
  • CAR T-cell therapy has been approved for leukaemias (cancers arising from the cells that produce white blood cells) and lymphomas (arising from the lymphatic system).
  • CAR T-cell therapies are even more specific than targeted agents and directly stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight cancer, leading to greater clinical efficacy. That’s why they’re referred to as “living drugs.”

Bio-hybrid Robot

  • Biohybrid robots are composed of biological and synthetic components. These robots are being developed to reconstruct biological functions in mechanical systems to obtain a better understanding of biological designs.
  • Sniffing Robot: Scientists at Tel Aviv University in Israel have developed a sniffing robot which is equipped with a biological sensor. The robot uses the antennae of a locust to diagnose disease and improve security checks. Locusts smell with their antennae. The scientists will use the locust’s antennae to hone the computer’s scent detection abilities. This could help advance disease diagnosis and improve security checks.


  • Recently, 7 workers died due to asphyxiation during the removal of oil sludge in an edible oil tank in Andhra Pradesh. Asphyxiation is the failure or disturbance of the respiratory process brought about by the lack or insufficiency of oxygen in the brain.


  • Astronomers have spotted a ring around a dwarf planet called Quaoar in the outer reaches of the solar system.
  • Quaoar is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt. (Kuiper belt is a flat ring of small icy bodies that revolve around the Sun beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune).
  • Quaoar is roughly one-twelfth the diameter of Earth, one-third the diameter of the Moon and half the size of Pluto. It is greater in volume than all known asteroids combined. Quaoar has its own moon, the 100-mile-wide (160 km) Weywot. Its surface is moderately red and composed of low-density ice mixed with rock. It takes about 288 years for Quaoar to go once around the sun in a roughly circular orbit.
  • Signs of water ice on the surface of Quaoar have been found, which suggests that cryovolcanism may be occurring on Quaoar. A small amount of methane is also present on its surface which can only be retained by the largest Kuiper belt objects.

Eliminating filariasis by 2027

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a nationwide Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign aimed at ending filariasis disease. India aims to eliminate filariasis by 2027, three years ahead of the global target.
  • High-burdened areas are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. What is Filariasis?
  • Filariasis is a parasitic infection caused by microscopic, thread-like worms known as filariae. It is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes, and it affects millions of people in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
  • Causes and Transmission: Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea.
  • There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms: o Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases, o Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases, o Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.
  • Symptoms: Lymphatic filariasis infection involves asymptomatic, acute, and chronic conditions.
  • In chronic conditions, it leads to lymphoedema (tissue swelling) or elephantiasis (skin/tissue thickening) of limbs and hydrocele (scrotal swelling).
  • Treatment: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends three drug treatments to accelerate the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis. The treatment, known as IDA, involves a combination of ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine citrate and albendazole.
  • The plan is to administer these drugs for two consecutive years. The life of the adult worm is hardly four years, so it would die a natural death without causing any harm to the person.

Marburg Virus

  • Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa has confirmed its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease.
  • According to the WHO, marburg virus disease (MVD), earlier known as Marburg hemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal hemorrhagic fever. It is highly contagious and causes haemorrhagic fever.
  • History: The rare virus was first identified in 1967 after it caused simultaneous outbreaks of disease in laboratories in Marburg, Germany and Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Symptoms: MVD can manifest itself in the form of high fever, muscle aches and severe headache. Around the third day, patients report abdominal pain, vomiting, severe watery diarrhoea and cramping. In this phase, the WHO says, the appearance of patients has been often described as “ghost-like” with deep-set eyes, expressionless faces, and extreme lethargy.
  • Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from fruit bats and spreads among humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, surfaces and materials.
  • Fatality rate: The disease has an average fatality rate of around 50%. However, it can be as low as 24% or as high as 88% depending on virus strain and case management.

Mad Cow disease

  • Brazil has halted its beef exports to China after a case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the northern state of Para.
  • Mad Cow disease is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). It is a transmissible, slowly progressive, degenerative, and fatal disease which affects the central nervous system of adult cattle.
  • Causes: It is caused by a protein called a prion, which is normally found on cell surfaces, called a prion,       When this protein gets altered, it destroys the nervous system tissuethe brain and spinal cord.
  • Transmission: A cow gets BSE by eating feed contaminated with parts that came from another cow that was sick with BSE.
  • Symptoms: A common sign of BSE in cows is incoordination. A sick cow has trouble walking and getting up. It usually takes four to six years from the time a cow is infected with the abnormal prion to when it first shows symptoms of BSE.
  • There are no vaccines available for this disease.

ALMA Telescope

  • In News: The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), a radio telescope comprising 66 antennas is set to get software and hardware upgrades.
  • It is a state-of-the-art telescope that studies celestial objects at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths.
  • They can penetrate through dust clouds and help astronomers examine dim and distant galaxies and stars out there.

It also has extraordinary sensitivity, which allows it to detect even extremely faint radio signals.

  • The telescope consists of 66 high-precision antennas, spread over a distance of up to 16 km.
  • It is operated under a partnership between the United States, and 16 countries in Europe, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Chile. The radio telescope was designed, planned and constructed by the US’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Why is ALMA located in Chile’s Atacama Desert?
  • Moreover, the desert is the driest place in the world, meaning most of the nights here are clear of clouds and free of light-distorting moisture — making it a perfect location for examining the universe.

FBP2   Gene

  • Recently a study found that the loss of a key gene, FBP2 makes hummingbirds more efficient at breaking down sugar to use it for energy.
  • Hummingbirds’ hovering flight, a seemingly effortless suspension in air, is achieved by burning sugar in their flight muscles at a blisteringly fast rate.
  • Hummingbird, native to American continent, has approximately 350 species which are found in Iridescent colours. These birds are comparable to India’s Sunbirds. Aztecs referred to them as Huitzilin or ‘A ray of sun’.

Bisphenol A

  • A recent study conducted in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, suggests Bisphenol A can indirectly aid in the spread of vector-borne diseases in humans and animals.
  • The research establishes that the human-made chemical Bisphenol A can significantly shorten the breeding time of southern house mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus).
  • This mosquito is a major carrier of the West Nile virus, Rift Valley fever virus and avian pox in tropical and subtropical countries, and thereby aids in its quick multiplication.
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that is mainly used in combination with other chemicals to manufacture plastics and resins. It is produced by the condensation of phenol and acetone. This type of plastic is used to make some types of beverage containers, compact disks, plastic dinnerware, impact-resistant safety equipment, automobile parts, and toys.


 Exercise Trishakti Prahar

  • The Indian military recently concluded exercise Trishakti Prahar — a joint training exercise in Teesta Field Firing Ranges, North Bengal (close to the strategic ‘Siliguri’ corridor or Chicken’s neck).
  • All the latest defense equipment was used during the exercise. This includes helicopters, infantry combat vehicles, new-generation equipment, mortars, artillery guns, etc. The Indian Army checks if the troops are in battle preparedness through these exercises
  • Note: The Siliguri corridor or Chicken’s neck (West Bengal) is a stretch of land bordering Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, measuring approximately 170×60 km; at the narrowest it is about 20-22 km. It is strategically important to India. If this passage is closed, the Indian mainland will lose its contact with the northeastern states. For this reason, the Siliguri corridor is important to India.

Exercise Dharma Guardian

  • The 4th edition of the joint military exercise, Exercise Dharma Guardian, between India and Japan is being conducted at Camp Imazu in Shiga Province, Japan from 17th February to 2nd March 2023.
  • Other Military Exercises between India and Japan are JIMEX (naval), SHINYUU Maitri (Air Force) and Exercise Veer Guardian.

Exercise Tarkash (India-US)

  • It is a counterterrorism Exercise between India’s National Security Guard(NSG) and US Special Operations Forces(SOF) recently held in Chennai.
  • Objective: To rapidly neutralize the terrorists, rescue the hostages safely and deactivate the chemical weapons being carried by the terrorists.
  • Significance: For the first time, the exercise included Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) terror response in its drill.
  • Note: “CBRN weapons which are also classified as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) have been used by States and terror elements in the past. The most recent use of CBRN in the form of a sarin gas attack was witnessed in Syria in 2017 when more than 100 people died.

 Exercise Cobra Warrior

  • India recently dispatched Mirage-2000 fighters and other aircraft to participate in the ‘Cobra Warrior’ exercise in the United Kingdom.
  • It is a multilateral exercise in which Air Forces from Finland, Sweden, South Africa, USA, and Singapore would also participate alongside UK’s Royal Air Force and Indian Air Force.
  • The aim of the exercise is to participate in diverse fighter aircraft engagements and learn from the best practices of various Air Forces.
  • IAF is participating in the exercise with five Mirage 2000 fighters, two C-17 Globemaster, and an IL-78 mid-air refueller aircraft.

Other Exercises between India and the United Kingdom:

  • Konkan Shakti-Tri services exercise; Ajeya warrior-Army exercise; Konkan – Navy; Indradhanush (Air Force)

Exercise Desert Flag VIII

  • It is an annual multinational large-force employment warfare exercise hosted by the UAE Air Force.
  • Indian Air Force / IAF is participating participating with five Light Combat Aircraft, LCA Tejas and two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. A total of 110 Air Warriors from the Indian Air Force are participating in the ongoing exercise Desert Flag VIII.
  • Participants: Air Forces from UAE, France, Kuwait, Australia, the UK, Bahrain, Morocco, Spain, the Republic of Korea, and the USA would also be participating.

India’s Joint Military Exercises with the UAE:

  • In-UAE BILAT (bilateral naval exercise)
  • Desert Eagle-II (bilateral air force exercise)

 Aero India 2023

  • Venue: Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru from 13th Feb-17th Feb, 2023.
  • The event was the biggest-ever till date and witnessed the participation of 98 countries, according to the Ministry of Defence.
  • This year’s theme is ‘The runway to a billion opportunities’ and the focus is on showcasing India’s growth in aerospace and defense capabilities.

 Predator MQ 9A drones

  • The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US. The Predator armed drones can fly up to 50,000 feet for up to 24 hours and carry an option of Hellfire air-to-ground missiles for high-value targets or air-to-air missiles to bring down aerial enemy targets.
  • Of these 18 drones from the US, 6 drones will be provided to each of the three services.
  • Note: The Indian Navy already has two General Atomics-manufactured Sea Guardian (MQ 9B) drones for maritime domain awareness on lease from the US.


  • Indigenous Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is set to be tested again in April 2023.
  • DRDO+ IAI = Another Medium Range SAM (Surface to Air Missile) is being developed by the DRDO in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The maiden launch of MRSAM Army Version was conducted in December 2020 and its induction is on and is ready for deployment.
  • Note: QRSAM is a canister-based system, which means that it is stored and operated from specially designed compartments. In the canister, the inside environment is controlled, thus along with making its transport and storage easier, the shelf life of weapons also improves significantly. The system is capable of detecting and tracking targets on the move and engaging targets with short halts.



• Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) is an American anti-missile system designed to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their “terminal” phase of flight when they are falling towards the target. They have the ability to intercept missile inside and outside the atmosphere. It is interoperable

with other ballistic missile defence systems and is highly mobile and deployable worldwide.


LCA Tejas Mk2

  • According to a senior official from the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), the Indigenous Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk2 will be integrated with heavy standoff weapons like SCALP, an air-to-ground, longrange deep strike missile.
  • The Indigenous LCATejas Mk2 is a fighter aircraft developed in India that can carry eight Beyond-VisualRange (BVR) missiles simultaneously, along with integrating all native weapons and advanced weapons from other countries.

LCA Mk2 Vs LCA Mk1

  • The LCA Mk2 is an upgraded version of the LCA Tejas Mk1, which has improved range and mission endurance. The mission endurance for fighting a war was 57 minutes for LCA Tejas Mk1, but it is 120 minutes for LCA Tejas Mk2.

 INS Sindhukesari

  • INS Sindhukesari has become the first Indian submarine to dock in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • The submarine, which was on operational deployment, travelled through the Sunda Strait and undertook the maiden docking in Indonesia for Operational Turnaround (OTR).
  • It is a 3,000-tonne Kilo-class diesel-electric submarine. It was designed as part of Project 877 and built under a contract between Rosvooruzhenie, Russia, and the Ministry of Defence (India). 


World Bank Report

  • Recently, the World Bank has released a report titled- “Collapse and Recovery: How COVID-19 Eroded Human Capital and What to Do”, stating that the Covid-19 caused a massive collapse in human capital, primarily affecting children and young people.

“Trends in Maternal Mortality”

  • According to the United Nations’ (UN) new report “Trends in Maternal Mortality”, of the estimated 287,000 maternal deaths recorded in 2020, 70 % took place in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) — deaths per lakh live births — in the region was at a dangerous high of 545, many times greater than the world average of 223.
  • Note: India recorded the second highest number of maternal deaths in 2020, coming second at 24,000 to only Nigeria.
  • In 2020, India’s MMR stood at 103, a vast improvement from 384 at the turn of the century.

International Intellectual Property (IP) Index 2023

  • Recently, India ranks 42nd among 55 leading global economies on the International Intellectual Property (IP) Index 2023 released by the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, according to which India is ripe to become a leader for emerging markets seeking to transform their economy through IP-driven innovation.
  • US topped the International IP Index followed by United Kingdom and

SCHEMES and Programmes in News

 Swadesh Darshan Scheme 2.0

  • It aims to evolve Swadesh Darshan Scheme as a holistic mission to develop sustainable and responsible tourism destinations covering tourism and allied infrastructure, tourism services, human capital development, destination management and promotion backed by policy and institutional reforms.
  • Major themes have been identified for tourism under the Scheme : Culture and Heritage, Adventure Tourism, EcoTourism, Wellness Tourism, MICE Tourism, Rural Tourism, Beach Tourism, Cruises – Ocean & Inland.

Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • It was launched in 2014-15 for integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits — Buddhist Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Northeast Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Sufi Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Ramayana Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Tirthankar Circuit, Wildlife Circuit and Tribal Circuit.
  • It is 100% centrally funded and efforts are made to achieve convergence with other schemes of Central and State Governments and also to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives of Central Public Sector Undertakings and Corporate Sector.


  • The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the deadline to install 30,000 MW solar power capacity in rural India to March 2026 under PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha Evam Uttham Mahabhiyan).
  • Note : The PM-KUSUM was launched by the MNRE in 2019, in order to endow installation of off-grid solar pumps in rural areas and reduce dependence on grid, in grid-connected areas.


  • Union Budget 2023-2024 has allocated nearly Rs 100 crore for the National Action for Mechanized Sanitation Ecosystem (NAMASTE) and the government is looking to enable 100% mechanical desludging of septic tanks and sewers in all cities and towns.
  • The process of extending the Scheme to all the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of the country has been initiated.
  • NAMASTE Scheme was launched in 2022 as a Central Sector Scheme. The scheme is being undertaken jointly by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) and aims to eradicate unsafe sewer and septic tank cleaning practices.
  • Manual Scavenging : Manual scavenging is defined as “the removal of human excrement from public streets and dry latrines, cleaning septic tanks, gutters and sewers”. India banned the practice under the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (PEMSR). The Act recognizes manual scavenging as a “dehumanizing practice.

‘Nirman Se Shakti’

  • Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) presented an initiative named as ‘Nirman Se Shakti’ to modernize infrastructure (hospitals and dispensaries).
  • Note: The Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESI) is an integrated measure of social Insurance for worker population and immediate dependent or family embodied in the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948.

Mission Shakti

  • Mission Shakti’ is a scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development aimed at strengthening interventions for women safety, security and empowerment.
  • Sub-Schemes: It has two sub-schemes – ‘Sambal’ and ‘Samarthya’. While the “Sambal” sub-scheme is for safety and security of women, the “Samarthya” sub-scheme is for empowerment of women.

Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS)

  • The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified the establishment of the Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups (CGSS).
  • CGSS is aimed at providing credit guarantee up to a specified limit against loans extended by Member Institutions (MIs) to finance eligible borrowers viz. Startups. This scheme would help provide collateral-free debt funding to startups
  • The credit guarantee cover under the Scheme would be transaction-based and umbrella based.
  • In transaction-based guarantee cover, the guarantee cover is obtained by the MIs on single eligible borrower basis. It will promote lending by Banks/ NBFCs to eligible startups.
  • The umbrella-based guarantee cover will provide guarantee to Venture Debt Funds (VDF) registered under AIF regulations of SEBI.
  • The exposure to individual cases would be capped at 10 crore per case or the actual outstanding credit amount, whichever is less.
  • DPIIT will be constituting a Management Committee (MC) and a Risk Evaluation Committee (REC) for reviewing, supervising and operational oversight of the Scheme.
  • The National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC) will be operating the Scheme.


  • The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) completed 4 years on 24 February 2023.
  • It Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana or PM-KISAN Yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 24 February 2019 to meet the financial needs of land-holding farmers.
  • Under the PM Kisan Yojana, financial assistance of Rs 6,000 per year is provided in three equal installments of Rs 2,000 every year in the bank accounts of crores of farmers in the country.


 12 Cheetahs brought from South Africa

  • Twelve cheetahs (7 Males and 5 Females) arrived in Madhya Pradesh from South Africa on 18 February 2023 and were released into the quarantine enclosures at the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Sheopur district.
  • In September last year (on PM Narendra Modi’s 72nd Birthday), the first batch of eight Cheetahs (3 Males and 5 Females) were brought there from Namibia, another African nation. Now the total count of Cheetah in Kuno National Park raises to 20.

Cyclone Gabrielle hits New Zealand

  • it is a Severe tropical cyclone and belongs to Category 3; Speed of the cyclone ranges between 119 km/hr to 157 km/hr. State of Emergency was declared in Auckland.
  • Cyclone Gabrielle spins clockwise: All the cyclones in the northern hemisphere rotate anti-clockwise while the cyclones in the southern hemisphere rotates clockwise. This is because of the Coriolis force of the earth.


  • Recently, The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has listed Neelakurinji under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, including it on the list of protected plants.
  • According to the recent orders, those who uproot or destroy the Neelakurinji plant will invite a fine of ₹25,000 and three years imprisonment. The cultivation of this and its possession is not allowed,

About Neelakurunji

  • Neelakuruj is scientifically known as Strobilanthus Kunsthaus. It is a shrub that grows in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India.
  • The plant is named after the famous Kunthi River which flows through Kerala’s Silent Valley National Park, where the plant occurs abundantly.
  • It is found at an altitude of 1,300-2,400 metres. This flower blooms once in 12 years as the pollination of flowers needs a longer period. It is mainly found in the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka.

The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • This act was enacted for the protection of plants and animal species. Also, this act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting of these species was largely outlawed.

5.9 million-tonne find in J&K makes India 7th largest resource of lithium in world

  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI), for the first time, has established availability of lithium-inferred resources of 5.9 million tonnes in Reasi district (Salal-Haimana area) of UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Lithium is a chemical element with the symbol Li and atomic number 3. It is a soft, silvery-white alkali metal.
  • Lithium is a special metal in many ways. It’s light and soft — it can be cut with a kitchen knife and so low in density that it floats on water.
  • Note: Lithium is lightest known metal. However, Osmium has the greatest density of all known elements. Applications of Lithium:
  • The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles (EVs). Lithium is often dubbed as “white gold” for electric vehicles.
  • Lithium metal is made into alloys with aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter. Aluminium-lithium alloys are used in aircraft, bicycle frames and high-speed trains.
  • Lithium has no known biological role. It is toxic, except in very small doses. Major Global Lithium Reserves:
  • Chile > Australia > Argentina are top countries with Li reserves.
  • Lithium Triangle: Chile, Argentina, Bolivia.
  • Note: Australia alone produces 52% of the world’s lithium. Lithium Reserves in India:
  • Preliminary survey showed estimated lithium reserves of 14,100 tonnes in a small patch of land surveyed in Southern Karnataka’s Mandya district.
  • Other potential sites: Mica belts in Rajasthan, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh; Pegmatite belts in Odisha and Chhattisgarh; Rann of Kutch in Gujrat.

Future of Lithium Production:

  • As the world produces more batteries and EVs, the demand for lithium is projected to reach 1.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) by 2025 and over 3 million tonnes by 2030.
  • Based on the above demand projections, production needs to triple by 2025 and increase nearly six-fold by 2030.

Significance :

  • The ongoing Russia-Ukraine was has disrupted the supply, resulting in high cost of the minerals.
  • The discovery of lithium in J&K is expected to give a major fillip to the country’s self-sufficiency in EV Batteries.
  • As part of efforts to decarbonise the transport sector – Government of India aims to grow EV sales in India to capture the markets of 30 per cent of private passenger cars, 70 per cent of commercial vehicles, and 80 per cent of two and three-wheelers by 2030.
  • This will put India on track to reaching its goal of net zero emissions by 2070.
  • This will also help reduce India’s dependence on China What are Inferred Resources?
  • The “inferred” mineral resource is a resource for which quantity, grade and mineral content are estimated only with a low level of confidence. It is based on information gathered from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that may be of limited or uncertain quality, and also of lower reliability from geological evidence. It is based on the classification from United Nations International Framework Classification for Reserves/Resources – Solid Fuels and Mineral Commodities of 1997 (UNFC-1997).

Magnetite Pollution

  • Recently, some Geologists have found the presence of Magnetite Pollution on the roadside Dust of Kolkata.
  • Magnetite pollution refers to the presence of a magnetic mineral called Magnetite (Fe3O4) in the environment, as a result of human activities such as mining, steel production and industrial processes.
  • Magnetite is an oxide of iron. It is the most magnetic of all the naturally occurring minerals on earth. It is a natural magnet. Magnetite contains about 72% metallic iron in it. It is found in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala. Impact:
  • Magnetic particles can interfere with the migratory patterns of birds and other animals, affecting their survival and reproduction.
  • It can affect the growth of plants and the health of aquatic life.
  • Inhaling magnetic particles can cause respiratory problems, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and central nervous system damage.
  • Magnetic particles can cause corrosion of steel structures and other metal objects.
  • Magnetic pollution can also interfere with the operation of electronic equipment, such as compasses and navigation systems.

Green Steel

  • Green Steel is the manufacturing of steel without the use of fossil fuels. This can be done by using low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, coal gasification, or electricity instead of the traditional carbon-intensive manufacturing route of coal-fired plants. It eventually lowers greenhouse gas emissions, cuts cost and improves the quality of steel. Low-carbon hydrogen (blue hydrogen and green hydrogen) can help reduce the steel industry’s carbon footprint.
  • Note: In view of commitments made at the Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate change conference, the Indian steel industry needs to reduce its emissions substantially by 2030 and hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.

First Sundarban Bird Festival

  • Recently, 145 different bird species were sighted during the first Sundarban Bird Festival. The first-ever festival was organised by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) division of the West Bengal Forest Department, where several teams visited different areas inside the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. The Bird Festival provides baseline data on Sundarbans’ bird species diversity.

Sundarban Biosphere Reserve

  • The Sundarbans is located on the delta of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal.
  • This Biosphere Reserve includes Sundarban Tiger Reserve, Sundarban National Park (core area), Halliday Island and Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuaries with Sajnakhali Wildlife Sanctuary forming its buffer area.
  • It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Mammatus Clouds

  • Recently, a cluster of clouds that appear like bubbles from the bottom are observed hovering over Nebraska, United States.
  • Mammatus clouds are usually formed in association with large cumulonimbus clouds.
  • Typically, turbulence within the cumulonimbus cloud will cause mammatus to form, especially on the underside of the projecting anvil as it rapidly descends to lower levels.
  • This reverses the usual cloud-forming process of upward growth, making for an uneven cloud base.

Agasthyarkoodam Peak, Kerela

Agasthyarkoodam peak located in the Western Ghat was once home to a forgotten and long-lost 19th-century observatory established by a Scottish meteorologist John Allan Broun.

  • This peak is a part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve which lies on the border between the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Height: Agasthyarkoodam is the second highest peak in the State at 1,868 m.
  • Agastya: Agasthyarkoodam is a pilgrimage centre for devotees of the Hindu sage Agastya, who is considered to be one of the seven rishis (Saptarishi) of Hindu Puranas. The Tamil language is considered to be a born from Agasthya. There is a full-sized statue of Agathiyar at the top of the peak and the devotees can offer pujas themselves.

Omorgus Khandesh

  • A new beetle species named Omorgus Khandesh has been discovered in India.
  • It is necrophagous and is, therefore, also called a keratin beetle. o Note: Necrophagy is the feeding behaviour of an organism that eats dead or decaying animal flesh that it did not kill. Insects exhibiting this behaviour include burying beetles, wasps and blowflies.
  • Features: The beetles of this group are sometimes called hide beetles as they tend to cover their body under the soil and hide.
  • Significance: The beetle is important for forensic science as it helps detect the time of death of an animal or human.

Purse Seine Fishing

  • Supreme Court (SC) has given permission to fishermen using Purse Seine Fishing gear to fish beyond territorial waters (12 nautical miles) and within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nautical miles) of Tamil Nadu but observing certain restrictions. This comes in the backdrop against the banning of purse seine fishing by the Tamil Nadu Government in February 2022.
  • SC has restricted the purse seiner to fish on two days, Monday and Thursday from 8am to 6pm revoking the complete ban imposed by Tamil Nadu government.

MSP framework

  • Puducherry has launched the country’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework as part of a pact under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative.
  • Puducherry and Lakshadweep were chosen as coastlines to pilot the MSP initiative after a 2019 Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Norway.
  • Marine Spatial Planning: MSP is an ecosystem-based spatial planning process for analysing current and anticipated ocean and coastal uses and identifying areas most suitable for various activities.

Snow Leopard

  • A snow leopard has been sighted for the first time at a height of about 11,120 feet in the Darma valley in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
  • Snow leopards are also known as “Ghost of Mountains”. They act as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live, due to their position as the top predator in the food web.
  • IUCN Red List- Vulnerable ; CITES – appendix I ; WPA 1972Schedule-I
  • They have a vast but fragmented distribution across the mountainous landscape of central Asia, which covers different parts of the Himalayas such as Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.

 Claim of ‘Dickinsonia’ Fossil proved false

  • In 2021, the discovery of a rare 550-million-year-old fossil of Dickinsonia, a primitive marine animal was reported from the Bhimbetka rock shelters near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
  • However, the ‘fossil’ turned out to be something else. It was found that the fossil was nothing but an imprint of a recently decayed beehive.
  • Dickinsonia is considered to be the Earth’s ‘oldest animal’, dating back 570 million years. It lived during the late Ediacaran period(575 to 541 million years ago) in what is now Australia, Russia, and Ukraine.

FGD Plant

  • Singareni Thermal Power Plant (STPP) in Telangana is set to become the first public sector coal-based power generating station in the South and first among the State PSUs in the country to have a flu gas desulphurization (FGD) plant. With 100% utilisation of the fly ash generated, the STPP has won the best fly ash utilisation award twice already

About FGD plant: The FGD plant would process the sulphur and other gases (nitrogen oxides) generated in firing the coal for power generation. The FGD plant removes Sulphur Dioxide from the flue gas before it is released into the atmosphere and hence reduces its impact on the environment.

Borthekera (Garcinia pedunculata)

  • A medicinal plant commonly called ‘Bor Thekera’ in the Assamese language, traditionally forbidden for raw consumption, has been found to protect from heart diseases.
  • The tree is endemic to the south-eastern regions of Asia such as parts of Bangladesh and north-eastern parts of India. The sun-dried slices of the ripe fruit are used for culinary and medicinal purposes and are known to have therapeutic properties like anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, hypolipidemic, nephroprotective, and even neuroprotective activity.

Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) 2023

  • The Great Backyard Bird Count(GBBC) was launched in 1988. It is a global bird count, during which thousands of birdwatchers all across the world look for birds for four days in February each year.
  • India was among 190 countries that participated in GBBC 2023 from February 17-20.
  • The event is supported by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.
  • In India, GBBC is coordinated by the Bird Count India (BCI).
  • Note: BCI is an informal partnership of organizations and groups working together to increase collective knowledge about bird distributions and populations.

Key findings of GBBC 2023

  • West Bengal reported the highest number of species (489 species), followed by Uttarakhand (426 species) and Arunachal Pradesh (407 species).
  • Kerala recorded the highest number of checklists of birds. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu were placed second and third.

Heat dome

  • At least seven countries in Europe recorded their hottest January weather ever. These included Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia.
  • A heat dome occurs when an area of high-pressure traps warm air over a region, for an extended period. The longer that air remains trapped, the more the sun works to heat the air, producing warmer conditions with every passing day. Heat domes generally stay for a few days but sometimes they can extend up to weeks, which might cause deadly heat waves. Moreover, when air sinks, it gets drier and further raises the temperature of the area. The heat dome’s formation is related to the behaviour of the jet stream.
  • Note: In 2021, a heat dome formed over western Canada and the US, causing deadly heat waves.


Grammy Awards 2023

  • Indian composer (Bengaluru-based) – Ricky Kej won a Grammy for Best Immersive Audio Album for his most recent album Divine Tides with rock-legend Stewart Copeland, making him the only Indian to win three Grammy awards. Ricky has previously won 2 Grammy Awards under the Best New Age Album category – ‘Winds of Samsara’ (in 2015) and Divine Tides (in 2022).
  • Note: Grammy Award (originally named Gramophone Award) is a series of awards presented annually in the US by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) or the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (LARAS only for recordings in Spanish/Portuguese languages). This annual event to recognise musical achievements was started in 1959 to respect the performers for the year 1958. The honorees receive a golden statuette of a gramophone.

Sansad Ratna Awards:

  • The Sansad Ratna Awards were instituted in 2010, inspired by the teachings of former President APJ Abdul Kalam, who launched the first edition of the Award function in Chennai.
  • The Jury Committee chaired by Arjun Ram Meghwal (State Minister of Parliamentary Affairs) and Co-Chaired by T S Krishnamurthy (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India) has chosen a total of 13 MPs and two parliamentary committees for the award, with a lifetime award being presented for the first 2023 awards.
  • The jury committee comprises “eminent Parliamentarians and (members of) civil society”.
  • The nominations were based on an MP’s cumulative performance in Parliament, from the beginning of the 17th Lok Sabha until the end of Winter Session 2022

Factors that the decision is based on include questions asked, private members’ Bills introduced, debates initiated, attendance, funds utilised, etc.

  • The performance data of the members have been sourced from information provided by PRS Legislative Research.
  • NOTE: The 13th edition of the Sansad Ratna award function will be held on 25th March 2023 in New Delhi.

2023 Marconi Prize

  • Recently, Computer scientist Hari Balakrishnan was awarded the 2023 Marconi Prize.
  • Balakrishnan has been cited for fundamental contributions to wired and wireless networking, mobile sensing, and distributed systems.
  • The Marconi Prize is a top honour for computer scientists and is awarded by the S.-based Marconi Foundation.

76th BAFTA Awards 2023

  • At the Royal Festival Hall in London, England, the 76th British Academy Film Awards, also referred to as the BAFTAs, were presented.
  • The German ant-war film ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ was the big winner at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) winning seven awards, including the two big wins awards, Best Film and Best Director.
  • Shaunak Sen’s documentary All That Breathes from India was a nominee for the Best Documentary award,

which went to Daniel Roher’s Navalny.

World Mother Language Award

  • Mahendra Kumar Mishra, an Indian educator and social worker for the advancement of indigenous languages in Odisha, received the World Mother Language Award from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

 Other Awards:

  • Author Dr Peggy Mohan has bagged the ‘Mathrubhumi Book of The Year’ award.
  • Raja Ram Mohan Roy National Award 2023 is presented to Journalist B.K. Prasad for his contributions towards journalism.
  • For her assistance to refugees in Germany, former German chancellor Angela Merkel was awarded the “Felix Houphout-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize”.
  • The ‘Don’t Choose Extinction’ campaign, launched by the UN 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.
  • Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor won the Best Actor and Best Actress awards at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards.
  • Sajjan Jindal, the chairman and managing director of JSW Group, was awarded as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) 2022.

BOOKS  and Auhors

Book Author
 “Victory City”

•       an “epic tale” of a 14th-century woman who defies a patriarchal world to rule a city.

•       The much-anticipated work tells the tale of young orphan girl Pampa Kampana who is endowed by a goddess with magical powers and founds the city, in modern-day India, of Bisnaga, which translates as Victory City.

Salman Rushdie


Kamala Kasturi She was an environmentalist who contributed to protecting the environment and was the founder of the Environment Society, Chennai. She was involved in several environmental protection projects, campaign to save the Cauvery River, several tree planting campaigns and was also a petitioner in the public interest litigation (PIL) petition against the slaughterhouse which was proposed to be constructed in Red Hills (Sengundram, Tamil Nadu).
Kanak Rele She was a famous exponent of classical dance Mohiniyattam.

o Note: Mohiniyattam is the classical dance form from the state of Kerala

She was awarded the first Guru Gopinath National Puraskaram of the Government of Kerala. In 2013, Dr. Rele was conferred the Padma Bhushan.

Classical dances in India

o    There are eight classical dance forms  – Bharata Natyam, Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Manipuri, Kuchipudi, Odissi, and Sattriya.

o    The Sangeet Natak Academy recognizes eight classical dance forms. Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Culture includes Chhau as a semi-classical dance form.

Shanti Bhushan He served as the law minister in the Morarji Desai-led Janata Party government from 1977 to 1979, which came to power after Emergency.

He was among the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party which was formed in 2012.

Tulsidas Balaram He one of the country’s finest footballers and a member of the golden era of Indian football (19511962).
Lalitha Lajmi Eminent Indian painter and late filmmaker Guru Dutt’s sister .
Vani Jayaram legendary playback singer and National Awardee recipient from the South film industry.
K. Vishwanath Legendary film director (primarily Telugu cinema) and recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
K.V. Tirumalesh Noted Kannada writer who was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for his collections of poems Akshaya Kavya in Kannada (2010).
Pervez Musharraf Pakistan’s former president passed away in Dubai  due to a prolonged illness.



  • On 30 Nov 2022, National Sports Awards 2022 were given by President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna Award for 2022

  • Awarded to India’s Table Tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal for his outstanding performance in the Commonwealth Games, 2022 Arjuna Award 2022

 Dronacharya Award 2022

Regular category

Lifetime Category

Name of the Coach Discipline
1. Shri Dinesh Jawahar Lad Cricket
2. Shri Bimal Prafulla Ghosh Football
3. Shri Raj Singh Wrestling
Name of the Coach Discipline
1. Shri Jiwanjot Singh Teja Archery
2. Shri Mohammad Ali Qamar Boxing
3. Ms Suma Siddharth Shirur Para Shooting
4. Shri Sujeet Maan Wrestling

Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games 2022

Name of the sportsperson Discipline
1. Ms Ashwini Akkunji C. Athletics
2. Shri Dharamvir Singh Hockey
3. Shri B.C Suresh Kabaddi
4. Shri Nir Bahadur Gurung Para Athletics

‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar’ 2022

Category Awarded to :
1. Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent TransStadia Enterprises Private Limited
2. Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology
3. Sports for Development Ladakh Ski & Snowboard Association

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2022

  • The overall top-performing university in inter-university tournaments is given the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy.
  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar is awarded with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2022?


Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:

  • Formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, it is the highest sporting award given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
  • It carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, a medal and a scroll of honour.
  • The Khel Ratna award was instituted in 1991-1992 and the first recipient was Chess legend Viswanathan Anand.

Arjuna Award:

  • It was instituted in 1961 by the Government of India to recognise outstanding achievement in national sports events.
  • It is given for good performance over a period of previous four years and showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
  • The award carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a scroll of honour. Dronacharya Award:
  • It was instituted in 1985 by the Government of India to recognise excellence in sports coaching.
  • It is given to coaches for doing outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis and enabling sportspersons to excel in international events.
  • It carries a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, a bronze statue of Dronacharya and a scroll of honour.

Dhyan Chand Award:

  • It was instituted in the year 2002 and comprises a Dhyan Chand statuette, a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, a certificate and a ceremonial dress.
  • It is given to honour sportspersons who have contributed to sports by their performance and continue to contribute to promotion of sports events after their retirement.

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy:

  • It was instituted in the year 1956-1957.
  • It is for university-level sports performances.
  • It is given to a university for “top performance in the inter-university tournaments” over the period of the last one year.

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar:

  • It was instituted in the year 2009.
  • It is given to corporate entities (both in private and public sector), sports control boards, NGOs including sports bodies at the State and National level who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards

  • The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards are given annually to recognize the achievements of individuals in the field of adventure. The award encourages people to develop the spirit of endurance, risk taking, co-operative teamwork and quick reflexes.
  • The Tenzing Norgay National Award is given in four categories – Land Adventure, Water Adventure, Air Adventure and Life Time Achievement. Under this award, a certificate is given along with Rs 15 lakh and a memento in each category. ‘Land Adventure Award’
  • Mountaineer Naina Singh Dhakad of Chhattisgarh with the ‘Land Adventure Award’ under the Tenzing Norgay National Award.
  • Naina Singh Dhakad hoisted the tricolor by climbing the world’s highest peak Mount Everest and the fourth highest peak Mount Lhotse within 10 days. Naina Dhakad is the first woman mountaineer from India to achieve this feat.

FIFA World Cup 2022

  • Recently, Argentina won the FIFA World Cup 2022 beating France in the final.
  • It was the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup.
  • It was an international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of FIFA’s member associations. ▪ Host Country: Qatar ( awarded in 2010)
  • It was the first World Cup held in the Arab world and Muslim world.
  • At an estimated cost of over $220 billion, it is the most expensive World Cup ever held to date.
  • This tournament was the last with 32 participating teams, (set to increase to 48 teams for the 2026 edition).
  • France were the defending champions, having defeated Croatia 4–2 in the 2018 final.
  • Golden Boot: French player Kylian Mbappé won the Golden Boot as he scored the most goals (eight) during the tournament.
  • Golden Ball: Argentine captain Lionel Messi was voted the tournament’s best player, winning the Golden Ball. Messi won his second Golden Ball award after 2014 as the best player of the tournament, becoming the first player to receive the award twice.
  • Golden Glove: Emiliano Martínez from Argentina, won the Golden Glove, awarded to the tournament’s best goalkeeper About FIFA
  • Fédération Internationale de Football Association, meaning International Association Football Federation ▪    It is the international governing body of association football, beach football and futsal.
  • It was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
  • Membership: Now comprises 211 national associations.
  • These national associations must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia and Australia), UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (North & Central America and the Caribbean), OFC (Oceania) and CONMEBOL (South America). ▪ Headquartered in: Zürich, Switzerland.

2026 FIFA World Cup

▪   Next World Cup 2026 will be held in Canada, Mexico and the United States. (The U.S. men’s national team, along with Mexico and Canada, will automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup).

Saudi Arabia to host 2027 Asian Nations cup

  • The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) won the hosting of the 2027 Asian Nations Cup (football), for the first time in its history, since its inception in 1956.
  • Note: Qatar will host the next edition of the Asian Football Cup, from June 26 to July 16, 2023.

Ban on Dipa Karmakar

  • Gymnast Dipa Karmakar has been handed a 21-month ban for failing a dope test conducted by the International Testing Agency.

Women’s T20 World Cup

  • Host country: South Africa
  • Winner: Australia defeated South Africa in final at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
  • Australia won the trophy for record sixth time.
  • Note: The first edition of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup held in 2009 was won by England.
  • Note: Indian Women team has not won any T20 world cup yet.

Gary Balance: Ex England Cricketer now plays for Zimbabwe  

  • He has become the second player in the history of cricket to have scored Test centuries for two different countries following in the footsteps of former Australia and South Africa international Kepler Wessels.
  • Gary Balance earlier represented England 42 times across all three formats, scored a superb century for Zimbabwe on the fourth day of the first Test against West Indies in Bulawayo.

 5th Khelo India Youth Games

  • In the Khelo India Youth Games – 2022, Maharashtra was the overall champion by securing a total of 161 medals including 56 gold, 55 silver and 50 bronze medals.
  • On the other hand, Haryana has been at the second position by getting a total of 128 medals including 41 gold, 32 silver and 55 bronze. Host Madhya Pradesh finished third with 96 medals including 39 gold.
  • Host State: The Games were hosted in Madhya Pradesh from 31 January 2023 to 11 February 2023.
  • For the first time water sports namely Kayaking Canoeing, Canoe Salam and Fencing were part of this edition of Khelo India Games. It was organized in eight different cities of the state.

Adidas will sponsor the India cricket team kit as part of a Rs 350 Crore deal

Adidas will take the place of Killer Jeans manufacturer Kewal Kiran Clothing Ltd, which stepped in as a temporary sponsor last month after the original sponsor Mobile Premier League Sports (MPL Sports) backed out of the agreement in the middle of it.

 Other sports news:

  • Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the fastest Indian to pick up 450 Test wickets.
  • Rohit Sharma become the first Indian captain to score hundreds in all formats.
  • Real Madrid has won the Club World Cup for a record-extending fifth time after beating Saudi Arabia’s AlHilal 5-3 in the final in Rabat, Morocco.
  • India’s Shubman Gill and England’s U-19 skipper Grace Scrivens respectively named as ICC Men’s and Women’s Player of January.
  • Indian batter Smriti Mandhana was the most expensive buy at the inaugural Women’s Premier League auction in Mumbai. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) snapped her up for INR 3.4 crore deal.
  • Sania Mirza has been roped in as mentor of Royal Challengers Bangalore for the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL), to be played in Mumbai from March 4 to 26.
  • Visakh (59th Grandmaster) and Vignesh NR (80th Grandmaster) become India’s first brothers who are Grandmasters.
  • 14 years old Indian girl Tilottama Sen won the bronze medal in the women’s 10m Air Rifle at ISSF World Cup 2023 in Cairo in Egypt.
  • India’s Rudrankksh Balasaheb Patil won Gold in the men’s 10m air rifle event at the ISSF World Cup 2023 in
  • Top-ranker Spanish player, Carlos Alcaraz won Argentina Open tennis Tournament 2023.
  • Hockey Madhya Pradesh was named the winner of the 13th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship in 2023 after defeating Hockey Maharashtra 5-1 in the championship game in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Daniil Medvedev won the Qatar Open in his professional tennis debut by defeating Andy Murray.
  • Argentina’s Lionel Messi has bagged the Best FIFA men’s player prize for 2022. (Recently, Messi became just the second player in history to score 700 career club goals after Cristiano Ronaldo.).


2nd Feb – World Wetlands Day

  • Theme 2023 theme : ‘Wetland Restoration.
  • The Union   Minister            for        Environment,     Forest and          Climate Change launched            the ‘Save     Wetlands

Campaign’ structured on a “whole of society” approach for wetlands conservation.

  • World Wetlands Day is celebrated all over the world to commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971).
  • India has been a party to the Convention since 1982 and has so far declared 75 wetlands as Ramsar across 23 states/UTs. India has the largest network of Ramsar Sites in Asia.

4th February  : World Cancer Day

  • Theme: “Close The Care Gap”

India Energy Week (IEW)

  • On February 6th, 2023, Indian Prime Minister (PM) inaugurated the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • The PM also launched E20 fuel at 84 Retail Outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/UTs and flagged off the Green Mobility Rally organised by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) E-20 Ethanol Fuel:
  • Ethanol Blending programme has been a key focus area of the Government to achieve Atma Nirbharta in the field of energy. E20 is a blend of 20% ethanol with petrol. The Government aims to achieve a complete 20% blending of ethanol by 2025, and HPCL and other oil marketing companies are setting up 2G-3G ethanol plants that will facilitate the progress.

10 February: World Pulses Day  

  • Theme 2023: ‘Pulses for a Sustainable Future’.

11th February:  International Day of Women and Girls in Science

  • Theme 2023 “Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance (IDEA): Bringing communities Forward for sustainable and equitable development.” 11th February: World Unani Day
  • It is observed every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of social reformer and renowned Unani scholar Hakim Ajmal Khan, widely regarded as the pioneer of Unani medicine in India.

Theme 2023:  “Unani Medicine for Public Health”.

13th February : National Women’s Day

  • It marks the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu. She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India).
  • The British government lauded Sarojini Naidu with the ‘Kaisar-i-Hind’ Medal for her service during the plague epidemic in India.

13th February: ‘World Radio Day’.

  • Theme 2023: “Radio and Peace”.

20 February: World Day of Social Justice

  • The theme for this year focuses on the recommendations available on the common agenda prepared to strengthen global solidarity and to rebuild trust in government by “Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice”.

21st February: International Mother Language Day

  • Theme: “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education”.
  • About: UNESCO declared 21st February as International Mother Language Day in 1999 and the World has been celebrating the same since 2000.
  • The day also commemorates a long struggle by Bangladesh to protect its mother language Bangla.
  • The resolution to mark 21st February as the International Mother Language Day was suggested by Rafiqul Islam, a Bangladeshi living in Canada.
  • Note: India is losing many of its languages due to modernisation and globalisation, particularly because of the lack of education.

22 February:  World Scout Day  

  • It honours Lord Robert Baden-Powell, who founded the Boy Scout Movement, on the day of his birthday.

27th February: World NGO Day

  • Theme 2023 revolves around the role and influence of NGOs in advancing human rights and achieving sustainable development goals.
  • The day assumed its official status when 12-member countries of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum on 17th April 2010 formally recognised it.

28 February: National Science Day

  • In 1986, the Government of India, designated February 28 as National Science Day to commemorate the announcement of the discovery of the “Raman Effect”.
  • This year’s edition is being celebrated under the theme of “Global Science for Global Wellbeing”, in light of India’s G20 presidency.
  • Note: Physicist CV Raman won the Nobel Prize in 1930 for his discovery of the Raman Effect. It refers to the inelastic scattering of light by matter, resulting in a shift in the frequency of the scattered light.


Himachal Pradesh

‘Himachal Niketan’

  • Himachal Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu laid the foundation stone of ‘Himachal Niketan‘ which will provide accommodation facilities to the students and residents of Himachal Pradesh visiting New Delhi.
  • ‘Himachal Niketan’, a five-story building will be constructed in Dwarka, Delhi for Rs 57.72 crore. There are two VIP rooms and 36 general rooms exclusively for the students with all facilities besides 40 other general suites. In Himachal Niketan, there will be three dormitories for the staff. It will also have a facility to park around 53 vehicles and 87 two-wheelers in the basement. The Himachal Niketan will consist of 81 rooms in total.


  • Yaya Tso, known as birds’ paradise for its beautiful lake located at an altitude of 4,820 metres, has been proposed as Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site (BHS).
  • The Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh hosted the first-ever frozen lake marathon on 20th February 2023, at an altitude of roughly 13,862 feet. is officially registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Highest Frozen Lake Half Marathon. Assam
  • Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma unveiled North East’s 1st compressed biogas plant at Domora Pathar in Sonapur, Kamrup district, Assam. Delhi
  • The President of India inaugurated the International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF) 2023 in New Delhi.
  • The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) unveiled “Bal Mitra,” a WhatsApp chatbot designed to improve communication between kids and parents in Delhi Maharashtra

Anubhuti Inclusive Park : Recently, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways laid the Foundation Stone of the world’s largest and unique Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park in Nagpur, Maharashtra. This is the world’s first inclusive disabled park that is made by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Various projects have been conceptualized for the disabled as well as for the general public and senior citizens. The park will have adapted facilities for all 21 types of disabilities.

  • State Song: The Maharashtra government announced the Jai Jai Maharashtra Majha as the state song. It now becomes 13th Indian state to have an official state song.
  • Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Asia’s biggest multicultural festival begins in Mumbai After Break of Two Years.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Aljamea-tus-Saifiyah, Arabic Academy of the Dawoodi Bohra Community in Mumbai.
  • India’s first air-conditioned double-decker electric bus was inducted into the fleet of BEST– the civic transport public body in Mumbai.
  • The Churchgate railway station in Mumbai will soon be called as ‘Chintamanrao Deshmukh station’, named after the first governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) CD Deshmukh.
  • Chief Minister Eknath Shinde confirmed that Aurangabad city will be renamed Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, and Osmanabad city will be called Dharashiv. After a year the proposal to rename Aurangabad and Osmanabad has been approved by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Gujarat
  • Khadi fashion show’ “ Recently, a mega ‘Khadi fashion show’ was organised by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in Rann of Kutch/ Kachchh. This mega event was the first such event of KVIC to establish new dimensions of the Khadi brand all over the world. The government of Gujarat holds a three-month long festival known as ‘The Rann Utsav’ every year.
  • TWG Meeting : As part of India’s G20 presidency, Gujarat will host the first Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting in the state’s Rann of Kutch from 7 to 9 February 2023.

o Rural and Archaeological tourism will be the focus area of Tourism. Also, Dholavira, which is a UNESCO World heritage site, will be the second spot for foreign delegates.

Jammu & Kashmir

  • Sinthan Top: it is a high mountain pass that is located between the Breng valley in Anantnag district and Kishtwar of J&K which connects Kashmir to Chenab Valley. For the first time, the road to Sinthan Top has been opened in the month of February 2023 with an aim to promote tourism to this off-beat destination in Jammu and Kashmir.


  • On February 21, also known as International Mother Language Day, the Kerala High Court published two of its most recent decisions in Malayalam, making it the first high court in the nation to publish judgment in regional language.
  • The Kerala government has launched robotic scavenger, “Bandicoot”, to clean sewages in the temple town of Guruvayur, becoming the first state in the country to use robotic technology to clean all its commissioned manholes.
  • The Kerala government and UN Women entered into an agreement, in order to promote activities that are welcoming to women in the State’s tourist industry.
  • “Robotic” elephant: The Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple in Kerala‘s Thrissur district has become the first in the country to use a mechanical, lifelike elephant for temple rituals.

Uttar Pradesh

  • The Uttar Pradesh government has launched the portal for the creation of ‘Family ID – One Family One

Identity’, to identify families as a unit for implementing the ‘one job per family’ proposal.


  • Recently Uttarakhand passed an Anti Cheating Law (ordinance) which has provisions for fines up to Rs 10 crore and life imprisonment for the guilty. The ordinance is aimed at preventing offences related to obstructing the sanctity of examinations (competitive), use of unfair means, leakage of question papers, and other irregularities.

Tamil Nadu

  • Paalam Project: The Paalam Project or the City Livelihood Centre in Tamil Nadu’s Karur district is successfully placing educated unemployed youth in good jobs. And unlike most government employment exchanges, this one focuses mostly on private jobs.

Madhya Pradesh

▪ The Madhya Pradesh government announced that Islam Nagar village, situated in the Bhopal district, has been renamed as Jagdishpur. Odisha

  • Governor of Odisha Prof. Ganeshi Lal launched India’s first AI Chatbot for the Agricultural sector ‘Ama

KrushAI’ at the valedictory session of ‘Krushi Odisha 2023’.


The first nuclear power plant in North India would be built in Gorakhpur, Haryana, according to Union Minister Jitendra Singh.


Shree AnnaMillets

  • Recently, during the presentation of the Union Budget 2023, Union Finance Minister announced that the Indian Institute of Millet Research (IIMR) in Hyderabad will act as a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for ‘Shree Anna’ to take the research on millets to the international level and make India a global hub for millets.
  • India is the world’s largest producer and second largest exporter of several types of ‘Shree Anna’ (millets) with a share of 41% in 2020, as per the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Rajasthan, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are leading producers.
  • As the year 2023 has been declared the ‘International Year of Millet’ by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • As a part of promoting the export of millets, the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) organised a Virtual-Buyer Seller Meet to harness export opportunities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • Recently, Myanmar’s junta (Military Rule) announced the extension of the country’s state of emergency by another six months. Note : Myanmar is under Junta rule since 2021.
  • Earlier, Myarmar was under Junta rule from 1962 to 2011.
  • A recent report, “Estimation of groundwater storage loss for the Indian Ganga Basin using multiple lines of evidence,” estimates that groundwater storage levels in the Ganga basin have been declining by 2.6 centimeters per year.
  • The Prime Minister of India laid the foundation stone of southern India’s 1st Industrial Corridor Project to be implemented at Tumakuru, spread over 8500 Acre of land, under the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor.
  • Over 13,000 students died by in 2021 in India at the rate of more than 35 every day, a rise of 4.5% from the 12,526 deaths in 2020 with 864 out of 10,732 suicides being due to “failure in examination” according to the latest data as per NCRB’s ADSI report 2021.
  • Maharashtra had the highest number of student suicides in 2021 with 1,834, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Budgetary allocation for the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs decreased by 38% in 2023-24 compared to 2022-23.
  • The Union Home Minister in a meeting said that for the first time in 4 decades, the number of deaths of civilians and security forces in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) came down under 100 in 2022. Violence related to LWE had come down by 76% in 2022 as compared to 2010.
  • Amrit Sarovar Mission: On April 24, 2022, Mission Amrit Sarovar was launched as part of India’s “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations for the 75th year of independence. The mission aims to construct/rejuvenate at least 75 Amrit Sarovars in each district across India to overcome the water crisis in rural areas. A target of 50,000 Amrit Sarovars was set to be completed by August 15, 2023. So far, 60% of the target has been achieved with over 30,000 Amrit Sarovars constructed in the span of 9 months.
  • QUAD: The Quad Nations are launching Quad Cyber Challenge – a public campaign to improve cyber security across the 4 nations. India’s National Cyber Security Coordinator with National Security Council Secretariat is the coordinating body in this challenge.
  • QUAD is the grouping of four democracies –India, Australia, the US, and Japan that aims to ensure and support a “free, open and prosperous” Indo-Pacific region.
  • Digital Payments Utsav’: Recently, the Ministry for Electronics & Information Technology launched the ‘Digital Payments Utsav’, a comprehensive campaign promoting digital payments across India along with the launch of several significant initiatives.
  • According to a news study, India’s solar and wind energy sectors (green energy) added 52,700 new workers, an eightfold increase from financial year 2021-22.
  • Recently, the Prime Minister of India inaugurated the year-long (two-year) celebrations commemorating the 200th birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati. He also released a logo for commemoration.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted all inbound travellers from the Group of Twenty (G-20) countries and Nonresident Indians (NRIs) to access Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for their merchant payments/ Person to Merchant (P2M) at select airports while they are in the country.
  • Recently, India-Canada Foreign minister’s Bilateral meeting as ‘India-Canada strategic Dialogue’ took place ahead of G20 Foreign ministers’ meeting in March in New Delhi.
  • APEDA completes 37 years: The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which was established in 1986 through an Act of Parliament works under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. It is mandated with export promotion of agricultural commodities. Additionally, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.
  • According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in the last five years, the highest number of custodial deaths (while a person is in the custody of law enforcement officials) have been reported in Gujarat at 80.
  • According to the World Meteorological Organisation ‘s (WMO) Report “Global Sea-level Rise and Implications”, India, China, Bangladesh and the Netherlands face the highest threat of sea-level rise globally.
  • Recently, the Supreme Court explained that “suitability” of a candidate cleared by the Collegium for appointment as a judge in a constitutional court cannot be a subject of judicial review.
  • The Centre approved a plan for setting up 2 lakh Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS), dairy, and fisheries cooperatives in the country in the next five years to strengthen the cooperative movement.
  • Air India has announced two major deals worth around USD 100 billion to buy 470 passenger planes from top aircraft manufacturers Airbus (with France) and Boeing (with United States).
  • The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on recommendation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has updated the definition of broadband for telecom operators, increasing the minimum speed requirement to 2Mbps from 512Kbps which had been in place since 2013.
  • Upper age limit has been removed : Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has modified National Organ Transplantation Guidelines, allowing those above 65 years of age to receive an organ for transplantation from deceased donors.
  • Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved raising of seven new ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) battalions and allocated Rs 4,800 crore under the Vibrant Villages Programme (VVP) to bolster the social and security framework along the China border.
  • The Cabinet has also cleared a 4.1-km Shinku-La tunnel on the Manali-Darcha-Padum-Nimmu axis to allow allweather connectivity to Ladakh.
  • Hindenburg Research has alleged that the Adani Group was “engaged in a stock manipulation and accounting fraud”. Hindenburg is a US-based investment research firm that specializes in activist Short-Selling.
  • Marine Sound Pollution: According to a News Study, “Measuring Underwater Noise Levels Radiated by Ships in Indian Waters”, the rising Underwater Noise Emissions (UNE) from ships in the Indian waters are posing a threat to the Marine Ecosystem. The measurement of the ambient noise levels was carried out by deploying a hydrophone autonomous system around 30 nautical miles from the Goa coastline.
  • Recently, Union Finance Minister made it clear that the Centre will not consider demands for “special category status” for any state as the 14th Finance commission has clearly said no special status can be given. This comes as a blow to states like Odisha, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh which have been pushing for it for some years now.
  • Recently, India’s first hybrid-sounding rocket by private players was launched from Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu. Martin Foundation, in association with Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam International Foundation and Space Zone India, launched the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Satellite Launch Vehicle Mission- 2023.
  • According to Gross Domestic Climate Risk ranking by Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI), India has nine states in the 50 high risk states including Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Assam.
  • XDI is a global organisation specialising in climate risk analysis for regions, banks and companies.
  • Recently, a team of Researchers have published a study titled- “Dust as a Solar Shield”, proposing that launching Moon Dust into the stratosphere can slow down Global-Warming. They proposed the regular transport of moon dust to a gravity point (Lagrange Point) between Earth and Sun to temper the ravages of global warming.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to allow scientists and researchers to analyse data from the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission, AstroSat.
  • AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray and UV spectral bands simultaneously, providing a space astronomy observatory operated by ISRO. AstroSat was launched in 2015 and completed seven years in orbit at the end of September 2022.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), India will alone contribute 15% of the global growth in 2023 and continues to remain a relative “bright spot” in the world economy.
  • Anopheles Stephensi: A deadly malaria vector from Asia has been detected in Kenya. Kenya is now the sixth and latest country in Africa to report an invasion of the deadly malaria species.
  • Minimum age for Admission : The Union ministry of education has directed all states and Union territories to fix the minimum age for admission in Class 1 as six years in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
  • 26th Meeting of WMCC : For the first time since the India-China border stand-off began in 2020, India visited Beijing for the 26th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC). This was the first in-person WMCC meeting since the 14th meeting held in July 2019.
  • Adi Ganga  revival Plan : Recently, plans to revive Adi Ganga (the original channel of River Ganga passing through the city of Kolkata) have been announced.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga has allocated around Rs 650 crore to revive the ancient river and it has been included in a multi-country South Asian River project on combating pollution.
  • Phosphor-Gypsum : National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) along with the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers will take up field trials on NHAI projects for the use of Phosphor-Gypsum in National Highway construction to achieve a circular economy in the use of Gypsum.
  • Phosphor-Gypsum, a waste product from manufacturing fertilizer, emits radon, a radioactive gas. It also contains the radioactive elements uranium, thorium and radium.
  • Blue food: A new study suggests that blue food sourced from aquatic environments can help reduce nutritional deficiencies and contribute to employment and export revenue in India.
  • Blue food is food derived from aquatic animals, plants or algae that are caught or cultivated in freshwater and marine environments.
  • An old man from Germany, referred to as the Dusseldorf patient, has become at least the third person to have been “cured of HIV” with the virus not being detectable in his body even four years after stopping the medicine. This was achieved with a bone-marrow transplant from people carrying a specific HIV-resistant genetic mutation.
  • National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP) : In May 2022, the NITI Aayog, in collaboration with ministries and state governments launched a transformational open data platform called the NDAP. It serves foundational datasets from central and state government entities in machine-readable formats, with user-friendly interface and powerful analytics.
  • India to be Theme Country at 2025 Madrid International Book Fair (Spain).
  • Australia announced it will erase the British monarch from its banknotes, replacing the late Queen Elizabeth II’s image on its $5 note with a design honoring Indigenous culture.
  • Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani has informed that the Government, under the Annual Bilateral Agreement with Saudi Arabia for Haj pilgrimage this year, has restored the original Haj quota which stands at one lakh 75 thousand 25.
  • PM Narendra Modi has been pegged as the world’s most popular leader with an approval rating of 78 per cent as per a survey by a US-based consulting firm ‘Morning Consult.’
  • India delivered fifty buses (manufactured by Ashok Leyland) to Sri Lanka at the Presidential Secretariat premises as Sri Lanka celebrated its 75th Independence Day. High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay handed over the buses to Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
  • International Seabed Authority with Headquarters in Jamaica has officially designated India as a “Pioneer Investor”.
  • Google has unveiled an experimental conversation AI service called “Bard”, as it races to catch up with the wildly popular chatbot ChatGPT from the Microsoft-backed firm OpenAI.
  • NASA’s “all-electric” plane X-57 is soon set to take off, the US space agency. The plane has 14 propellers along its wings and is powered entirely by electricity.
  • Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala told Lok Sabha that India is the highest milk producer in the world contributing twenty-four per cent of global milk production in the year 2021-22.
  • Chinese search engine Baidu revealed its plans of launching a ChatGPT-style AI chatbot called ‘Ernie Bot’.
  • Peru reported the death of 585 sea lions and 55,000 wild birds due to the H5N1 bird flu virus in recent weeks.
  • India’s leading fintech, MobiKwik has become the first fintech apps to support RuPay Credit Cards on UPI.
  • China’s Alibaba Group has sold its remaining stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for about 13.78 billion rupees ($167.14 million) through a block deal, stock exchange data showed.
  • NewSpace Research, a Bengaluru-based start-up has delivered SWARM drones to Indian Army, which makes the Army the first major armed force in the world to operationalise these high-density SWARM drones.
  • In honour of India’s G20 presidency and the nation’s prominence in mobile payments, One97 Communications Limited, the owner of the top payments and financial services startup Paytm, unveiled a special G20-themed QR Code.
  • The 2nd Indian Rice Congress 2023 was inaugurated in Cuttack by President Droupadi Murmu. ( India is the leading consumer and exporter of rice).
  • Rayyana Barnawi : The first-ever woman astronaut of Saudi Arabia will go to space this year.
  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah has presented the President’s Colour to Haryana Police in recognition of its exceptional service.
  • World Bank chief David Malpass has announced his resignation nearly a year early.
  • Indian-origin Republican leader Nikki Haley formally launched her 2024 US presidential bid.
  • Drone startup Garuda Aerospace has unveiled its solar-powered drone “SURAJ”, designed specifically for surveillance operations, at Aero India 2023.
  • Bipin Bell: In commemoration of India’s late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, a bell has been placed at Nepal’s revered Shree Muktinath Temple.
  • Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba  heads a top panel to monitor the implementation of the government’s ambitious Mission Karmayogi programme for training of government employees.
  • Malabar multilateral naval exercise will be hosted by Australia for the first time in August 2023, which includes participation from India, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

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