Daily Current Affairs – February 24, 2023
Daily Current Affairs - February 24, 2023
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India to generate up to 2,100 GW of solar energy through Thar Desert
- The government had set a goal of installing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022.
- Thar Desert as a site for solar power generation, India is estimated to generate up to 2,100 GW of solar energy.
External Affairs Ministry's annual flagship event Asia Economic Dialogue to begin in Pune
- External Affairs Ministry’s annual flagship event on Geoeconomics, Asia Economic Dialogue will begin in Pune, Maharashtra. Three-day event is being co-hosted in collaboration with Pune International Centre.
- The principal theme for the Dialogue is ‘Asia and the Emerging World Order’.
- The Dialogue will also discuss themes such as Global Growth Prospects, How the Global South Will Shape the G20 Agenda and the Metaverse.
Centre to spend Rs 44,950 crore in Bihar under Bharatmala road project: Ravi Shankar Prasad
- Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Centre will spend Rs 44,950 crore in 2023-24 in Bihar under Bharatmala, a centrally funded project which aims to build a network of roads, highways and expressways across India.
- The Bharatmala project will connect over 550 districts headquarters of India through six-lane highways
Railways expects first Vande Metro to be ready by 2024 end
- The Indian Railways has begun preparations for the first Vande Metro, a short-distance variant of the indigenous Vande Bharat trains, to be rolled out within the next 16 months.
PM Modi reviews 9 infrastructure projects worth over Rs 41,500 crores
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed nine key infrastructure projects spread across 13 states having a cumulative cost of more than Rs 41,500 crore.
- Modi reviewed the projects while chairing the meeting of 41st edition of PRAGATI, the ICT-based multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation, involving the Centre and state governments.
- In the meeting, nine key infrastructure projects were reviewed — three projects were from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, two from the Ministry of Railways and one project each was from Ministry of Power, Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- These nine projects have a cumulative cost of over Rs 41,500 crore and relate to 13 states — Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh.
Mission Amrit Sarovar was also reviewed in the meeting.
BIS signs MoU with 3 colleges to set up 'Standardization Chair Professor'
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IIT Guwahati, IIT Gandhinagar and NIT Calicut for establishment of ‘BIS Standardization Chair Professor’ at these institutes.
- With its focus on eminent institutes, the standards authority launched an initiative towards institutionalising its engagement with the such institutes of the country for securing active participation of academia in standards formulation and making teaching of Indian standards an integral part of the curriculum.
Indian firms to generate 49% of revenue from digital infra by 2027: Report
- Indian organisations are expected to generate as much as 49 per cent of the revenue from digitally connected products, services, and customer experiences by 2027.
- India is leading the Asia-Pacific region, with 97 per cent of businesses using or planning to use edge computing in business operations, according to the ‘CIO Technology Playbook 2023’ by global technology company Lenovo and chip-maker AMD.
Centre approves Quality Control Order for mandatory certification of cotton bale
- The government has approved the Quality Control Order for mandatory certification of cotton bales to augment the supply of good quality cotton to the textile industry.
- The decision was taken at the fifth interactive meeting with the Textile Advisory Group to review the progress of initiatives for cotton value chain.
NHAI to explore use of phosphor-gypsum in construction of national highway
- NHAI, along with the Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, is going to take up field trials on projects for use of phosphor-gypsum in the construction of national highway to achieve a circular economy in the use of gypsum.
- An Indian fertilizer company has constructed a road using phosphor-gypsum, which was evaluated by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).
Navy inks MoU with Seychelles on maritime awareness
- Expanding the network of information sharing to further the existing cooperation in maritime safety and security, the Indian Navy-affiliated IFC-IOR signed an MoU with the Seychelles-based Regional Coordination Operations Centre (RCOC).
- The IFC-IOR (Information Fusion Centre-Indian Ocean Region) is a regional maritime centre hosted by the Navy.
Indo-French Workshop launched for green transition to EVs & hydrogen energy
Dr. S. Chandrasekhar, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, launched the Indo-French Workshop on Clean and Sustainable Energy Technologies (INFINITE) at the CSIR National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi. The workshop is being held from February 21 to 24, 2023. With this, India calls for greater cooperation with France in the field of clean energy and highlights New Delhi’s plans for a green transition to EVs and hydrogen energy.
UAE willing to contribute to India's 500GW clean energy goal: Al Jaber
- The UAE will explore all opportunities of partnership with India to contribute to New Delhi’s high-growth-low-carbon pathway, Sultan Al Jaber, the COP28 president-designate.
- India’s goal of adding 500 gigawatt of clean energy in next seven years is a true and a powerful statement of intent. As one of the largest investors in renewable energy, the UAE and Masdar (renewable energy investing firm) will explore all opportunities of partnership with India to contribute to its high-growth-low-carbon pathway.
MP cabinet approves new excise policy; discourages liquor consumption
- The Madhya Pradesh cabinet has approved the new excise policy under which ‘ahatas’, or areas for drinking attached to liquor outlets, and shop bars will be closed.
Govt approves five-year project on "Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalising Agriculture in J&K"
- In Jammu and Kashmir, in order to give a huge push to sustainable agriculture in the Union Territory, the Government has approved a five-year project on “Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalising Agriculture in J&K”.
- The project, worth 463 crore rupees, is aimed at empowering farmers and educated youth through technology driven and inclusive agri-extension services.
- One of the critical outcomes of the project would be the creation of two thousand Kissan Khidmat Ghars (KKGs), at the Panchayat level as a hub of convergence of services at the district level they will also serve as a One Stop Centre for extending farmer-oriented services related to agriculture and allied sectors.
Bara Basti, the second largest village in Asia adopted resolutions for clean and fair election
- Nagaland is known for very high voter turnouts that are often more than 80 percent.
- Kohima Village, also known as Bara Basti, the second largest village in Asia is one among those village council, that has adopted resolutions for clean and fair election.
CM Manohar Lal Khattar presents Haryana Budget 2023-24
- Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who also holds the Finance portfolio, presented the Budget 2023-24. Mr Khattar proposed Rs 1.83 lakh crore state budget for the Financial Year 2023-24. No fresh tax will be imposed.
- Manohar Lal Khattar proposes to increase social security pension from Rs 2,500/month to Rs 2,750/month in state budget for 2023-24.
- Govt will undertake recruitment for at least 65,000 regular posts in 2023-24: CM Khttar.
- Govt will notify Rs 1,000/ton to buy paddy stubble from farmers, Rs 1,500/ton for expenses related to paddy stubble management.
New Delhi World Book Fair to begin from 25th Feb to 5th March at Pragati Maidan
- The New Delhi World Book Fair will be held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will inaugurate the fair on 25th February.
- The Chairman of National Book Trust Prof. Govind Prasad Sharma said, the theme of the fair is Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Welspun Group to set up IT/ITeS centre in Telangana
- Welspun Group, a global conglomerate, announced it would set up an information technology (IT)/ information technology-enabled services (ITeS) centre in Chandanvelly, Ranagareddy district in Telangana.
- Welspun is already operating in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in the IT/ITeS sector.
Kerala's Kovalam beach to get facelift as govt okays Rs 93 cr-worth project
- The world-renowned Kovalam beach here and its adjacent seashores will soon get a facelift with additional facilities to attract more tourists, thanks to a multi-crore development scheme by the Kerala government.
- The State Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave nod to the Rs 93 crore-worth “Development of Kovalam and Adjacent Beaches” project.
States/UTs asked to initiate process of designing 2 years Diploma in Preschool Education course
- The National Education Policy 2020 recommends strengthening of learning of children at the ‘foundational stage’ as a national priority for the country. The foundational stage consists of 5 years of learning opportunities for all children (between 3 to 8 years) that includes 3 years of pre-school education and 2 years of early primary Grade-I and Grade-II. The policy thus promotes seamless learning and development of children from pre-school to Grade- II. This can only be done by ensuring accessibility to three years of quality preschool education for all children studying in Anganwadis or Government/Government-aided, private and NGO run preschool centers.
- The National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) has also been launched recently on 20.10.2022.
- To fulfill this vision, the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education through D.O. letter 22-7/2021-EE.19/IS.13 dated 09.02.2023, has reiterated directions to all the State Governments and UT administrations to align their age to admission with the policy and provide admission to Grade-I at the age of 6+ years.
Uttar Pradesh soon to have over 20 operationalised airports including 5 international airports
- The Uttar Pradesh government announced that the state will soon have over 20 operationalised airports including five international airports.
- Presently nine airports are functional in the state and air service is available for 80 destinations.
UP govt allocates Rs 2,500 crore for Maha Kumbh Mela 2025
- The Uttar Pradesh government in its budget presented allocated Rs 2,500 crore for the preparations of Maha Kumbh Mela 2025 against Rs 621.55 crore for the financial year 2022-23.
- The religious fair is held after every 12 years.
Over Rs 21,100 crore provided in UP budget for construction of roads, bridges
- The Uttar Pradesh budget presented in the state assembly has several provisions to boost infrastructure and connectivity with a provision for Varanasi ropeway, Rs 1300 crore for RRTS project and Rs 2500 crore for expansion of metro in 4 major cities. The budget for 2023-24 pays special attention to enhanced rail and ropeway connectivity in the state.
- Under this, a provision of Rs 150 crore is proposed to develop ropeway service in Varanasi and other cities. A budget provision of Rs 585 crore has been made for the Kanpur Metro Rail Project in 2023-24.
- In addition, Rs 465 crore will be invested in the Agra Metro Rail Project. A provision of Rs 100 crore has been made for the metro rail project in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, and other cities.
- The Yogi government has proposed Rs 1306 crore for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor Regional Rapid Transit System project in 2023-24. The Chief Minister’s Urban Expansion and New City Promotion Scheme has been allocated Rs 3000 crore in this budget.
PM Modi expresses happiness over 100 pc electrification of Broad Gauge rail network in UP
- Prime Minister Modi has expressed his happiness over the 100 per cent electrification of the Broad Gauge rail network in Uttar Pradesh.
Assam cabinet approves RoW for speedy rollout of 5G
The Assam cabinet approved the guidelines for granting ‘Right of Way’ (RoW) to telecommunication infrastructure in the state to facilitate speedy rollout of 5G.
Federal Bank installs 100 KWp solar plant at Aluva office
- Federal Bank has installed a 100-KWp on-grid solar power plant at its corporate office in Aluva.
- The bank has installed solar panels at several branches and offices across the country. The total capacity of the bank’s solar plant installations has increased to 300 KWp, which will reduce power consumption by 20 per cent.
Science and Technology
GST revenues grew 12.7% in January
- India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues grew 12.7% in January 2023 to hit almost ₹1.59 lakh crore, the second highest monthly collections on record, as per revised figures from the Finance Ministry.
- Earlier estimates of GST revenues for January had pegged collections at about ₹1.56 lakh crore till the evening of January 31 — 10.6% higher than GST receipts in January 2022.
Size of retail market projected to touch $2 trillion by 2032: Report
- The size of the country’s retail market is expected to touch USD 2 trillion by 2032, growing from USD 690 billion in 2021, facilitating the organised retail sector to grow at 25 per cent CAGR according to a joint report by Anarock and Retailers Association of India (RAI).
- The report by property consultant Anarock and RAI said that real estate developers plan to add nearly 25 million square feet of new mall space across seven major cities over the next 4-5 years.
- In 2022, these seven cities added over 2.6 million sq ft of mall space, up 27 per cent from the preceding year.
FDI equity inflow contracts 15% to $36.7 billion in Apr-Dec: Govt data
- Foreign direct investment (FDI) in equity during the first three quarters of this fiscal year declined 15 per cent year-on-year to $36.75 billion, according to the data released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
- In all, FDI, which includes the equity capital of unincorporated bodies, reinvest earnings, and other capital, stood at $55 billion during April-December from $60.4 billion a year ago, an 8 per cent fall.
- During the first half of the year (April-September), the contraction was 14 per cent. Last fiscal year, FDI equity inflows dropped by 1 per cent after robust growth of 19 per cent and 13 per cent during FY21 and FY20, respectively.
Ekart to offer warehousing services to brands, manufacturers and retailers
- Flipkart Group-owned supply chain network Ekart will now make its warehouses across the country available to brands, manufacturers, retailers, and SMEs in a bid to become a fourth-party logistics (4PL) player.
- The end-to-end warehousing services by Ekart will include ready-to-use warehousing space, order management, integrated logistics, and inventory management. Ekart will also offer specialised facilities such as temperature-controlled storage and storage for high-value inventory for businesses in need of these requirements.
Apparel sector to contribute significantly in taking exports to USD 1 trn by 2030: AEPC
- The labour intensive apparel sector will contribute significantly in taking the country’s merchandise exports to USD one trillion by 2030, AEPC.
- The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) said that the incentives in the Budget will help the apparel industry focus on market and product diversification.
Olectra in partnership with Reliance unveils Hydrogen bus
- Olectra Greentech in technical partnership with Reliance unveiled a Hydrogen Bus, which is a carbon-free alternative to traditional public transportation.
- Olectra Greentech Ltd (OGL), a subsidiary of Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL), is set to offer the next-generation transport system to the Indian market.
Acquisitions and Mergers
Tiger Global sells 1.7% stake in Delhivery via open market for Rs 414 crore
- American investment management firm Tiger Global Management sold 1.7% stake in Delhivery Ltd through the open market for Rs 414 crore.
- Venture capital firm Internet Fund III Pte, through which Tiger Global, holds a stake in the logistics services provider, sold 1,23,63,060 shares at Rs 335.06 apiece, bulk deals data showed.
Sonata Software to acquire Texas-based Quant Systems
- Sonata Software North America Inc., (SSNA) a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sonata Software Limited has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Quant Systems Inc. a Texas-based IT services corporation, the company said in its exchange filing.
- The company will be making an upfront cash payment of $65 million. Later, there would be a deferred achievement-based pay-out of up to a maximum of $95 million payable over a period of two years. Additional payments on achievement of additional targets will also be there.
Bill Gates buys minority stake in Heineken Holding NV for $902 million
- Bill Gates has acquired a minority stake in Heineken Holding NV, the controlling shareholder of the world’s second-largest brewer, for about $902 million.
- The Microsoft founder and philanthropist last week picked up 3.8% of Heineken Holding, according to a filing by the Dutch regulator AFM. He bought 6.65 million shares in Heineken Holding, in his individual capacity, and another 4.18 million shares through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.
- The shares are valued at €848.2 million ($902 million).
CoinDCX elevates Vivek Gupta as CTO
- Cryptocurrency exchange CoinDC has announced the promotion of Vivek Gupta, former EVP and Head of Engineering at the company, to the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Biswabhushan Harichandan takes oath of office as ninth Governor of Chhattisgarh
- Biswabhushan Harichandan took the oath of office as the ninth Governor of Chhattisgarh in a ceremony held at the Durbar Hall of Raj Bhavan in Raipur. He was administered the oath by Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami. Previously, Mr Harichandan was Governor of Andhra Pradesh.
- Born in Orissa, Biswa Bhushan Harichandan joined the High Court bar of Orissa in 1962 and the Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1971. He was elected to the State Assembly of Odisha five times, and also served as a minister.
- He was the founder President of Bharatiya Janata Party in Odisha in 1980 and was elected as state President of the BJP thrice till 1988.
Rank & indicies
NTPC ranked as the top Independent Power Producers and Energy Traders Globally by S&P Platts
- NTPC Limited, the country’s largest power generating company has been ranked No.1 Independent Power Producers and Energy Traders Globally in the S&P Global Commodity Insights Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings®-2022. These rankings are based on four key metrics- asset worth, revenues, profits and return on investment.
- With a share of 17% of the installed capacity, NTPC currently contributes 24% of the total electricity produced in India. NTPC’s goal has always been to deliver power that is economical, efficient, and ecologically sustainable. To meet this objective, it offers a diversified energy mix comprising gas, wind, solar, hydro, floating solar and coal.
- By 2032, NTPC is targeting non-fossil fuel-based capacity to make up nearly 50 per cent of the company’s portfolio, which includes renewable energy capacity of 60 GW and total portfolio of 130GW.
Awards and Recognitions
President of India presents Sangeet Natak Akademi’s fellowships and Akademi Awards
- The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puruskar) for the year 2019, 2020 and 2021 in New Delhi.
- On the occasion, eight eminent personalities were given Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships in the field of performing arts. A total of 128 artists from the field of music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk and puppetry were awarded with Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. These Akademi Awards include three joint awards.
Classical dancer Kanak Rele passes away at 85
- The world-renowned doyen of Mohiniattam, Dr Kanak Y Rele, passed away in a private Mumbai hospital following a brief illness. She was 85.
- Dr Rele was awarded the Padma Shri (1989), Padma Bhushan (2013), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1994), Kalidas Samman (2006) and MS Subbulakshmi Award, amongst other accolades.
Shri Anurag Singh Thakur to inaugurate the 3 day All-India Taekwondo Championship at IG Stadium in New Delhi
- Korean Cultural Centre, India is co-hosting All India Inter SAI Taekwondo Championship with Sports Authority of India under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and Korea National Sport University in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Korea-India diplomatic relations in 2023.
- This time All-India Taekwondo Championship as a sports exchange event between the two countries will be held for three days from 24th February (Friday) to 26th February (Sunday) at the K.D. Jadhav Indoor Wrestling Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi. This championship has been planned to commemorate the 50th year of diplomatic ties between Korea and India and to revitalize Taekwondo that has been stagnant since the pandemic, and to lay the foundation for the future as a major sports event between the two countries.
- The three-day Taekwondo Championship event will be competed in two parts: Poomsae and Sparring called Kyorugi.
- It will be attended by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur, Korean Ambassador to India Chang Jae Bok, Deputy Minister & Ambassador for Public Diplomacy of Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lee Sang Hwa, and Korea National Sport University Chancellor Ahn Yong Kyu as chief guests.
BEL, ADA ink MoU to leverage capabilities for AMCA programme
- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has inked an MoU with Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Aeronautical Development Agency for the fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) programme. The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Bandhan Ceremony during Aero India 2023 held from February 13 to 17 in Bengaluru.
- According to BEL, the MoU will allow it and ADA to utilise its strengths and capabilities for the development of AMCA.
Daily Current Affairs - February 23, 2023 - Consolidated
- India to generate up to 2,100 GW of solar energy through Thar Desert
- External Affairs Ministry’s annual flagship event Asia Economic Dialogue to begin in Pune
- Centre to spend Rs 44,950 crore in Bihar under Bharatmala road project: Ravi Shankar Prasad
- Railways expects first Vande Metro to be ready by 2024 end
- PM Modi reviews 9 infrastructure projects worth over Rs 41,500 crores
- BIS signs MoU with 3 colleges to set up ‘Standardization Chair Professor’
- Indian firms to generate 49% of revenue from digital infra by 2027: Report
- NHAI to explore use of phosphor-gypsum in construction of national highway
- Navy inks MoU with Seychelles on maritime awareness
- Indo-French Workshop launched for green transition to EVs & hydrogen energyUAE willing to contribute to India’s 500GW clean energy goal: Al Jaber
- MP cabinet approves new excise policy; discourages liquor consumption
- Govt approves five-year project on “Innovative Extension Approaches for Revitalising Agriculture in J&K”
- Bara Basti, the second largest village in Asia adopted resolutions for clean and fair election
- CM Manohar Lal Khattar presents Haryana Budget 2023-24
- New Delhi World Book Fair to begin from 25th Feb to 5th March at Pragati Maidan
- Welspun Group to set up IT/ITeS centre in Telangana
- Kerala’s Kovalam beach to get facelift as govt okays Rs 93 cr-worth project
- States/UTs asked to initiate process of designing 2 years Diploma in Preschool Education course
- Uttar Pradesh soon to have over 20 operationalised airports including 5 international airports
- UP govt allocates Rs 2,500 crore for Maha Kumbh Mela 2025
- Over Rs 21,100 crore provided in UP budget for construction of roads, bridges
- PM Modi expresses happiness over 100 pc electrification of Broad Gauge rail network in UP
- Assam cabinet approves RoW for speedy rollout of 5G
- Federal Bank installs 100 KWp solar plant at Aluva office
- GST revenues grew 12.7% in January
- Size of retail market projected to touch $2 trillion by 2032: Report
- FDI equity inflow contracts 15% to $36.7 billion in Apr-Dec: Govt data
- Ekart to offer warehousing services to brands, manufacturers and retailers
- Apparel sector to contribute significantly in taking exports to USD 1 trn by 2030: AEPC
- Olectra in partnership with Reliance unveils Hydrogen bus
- Tiger Global sells 1.7% stake in Delhivery via open market for Rs 414 crore
- Sonata Software to acquire Texas-based Quant Systems
- Bill Gates buys minority stake in Heineken Holding NV for $902 million
- CoinDCX elevates Vivek Gupta as CTO
- Biswabhushan Harichandan takes oath of office as ninth Governor of Chhattisgarh
- NTPC ranked as the top Independent Power Producers and Energy Traders Globally by S&P Platts
- President of India presents Sangeet Natak Akademi’s fellowships and Akademi Awards
- Classical dancer Kanak Rele passes away at 85
- Shri Anurag Singh Thakur to inaugurate the 3 day All-India Taekwondo Championship at IG Stadium in New Delhi
- BEL, ADA ink MoU to leverage capabilities for AMCA programme
Daily Current Affairs - February, 2023
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