- 1. For the first time, a Kerala temple used a ‘robotic elephant’ for performing rituals.
- 2. India has won GSM Association Government Leadership Award 2023.
- 3. ASI has discovered a 1300-year-old Buddhist Stupa (monastery).
- 4. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will be the chief guest and keynote speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue.
- 5. UIDAI added a new safety feature for Aadhaar Card.
- 6. Grand start-up Conclave inaugurated by Union Minister Parshottam Rupala in Hyderabad.
- 7. A growth of 4.4% has been recorded in India’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in the October-December quarter of the current fiscal.
- 8. ‘Ekushey Boi Mela’ concluded on 28 February 2023 at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
- 9. Bihar government presented ₹2.6 lakh-crore budget.
- 10. Government is planning to set up 10 ‘Clean Plant Centres’ to increase fruit crop production.
- 11. Zero Discrimination Day 2023: 1 March
- 12. Lionel Messi of Argentina wins FIFA Best Men’s Player award 2022.
- 13. Jan Vishwas Bill is expected to be placed before Parliament in the second part of the Budget session.
- 14. 47th Foundation day of Indian Civil Accounts Day is being celebrated on 1st March 2023.
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1. For the first time, a Kerala temple used a ‘robotic elephant’ for performing rituals.
- Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple has used a life-size motorised model of the elephant for performing rituals.
- The 11-foot-tall robotic elephant is made up of an iron frame and rubber coating weighing 800kg. It has five powerful electric motors.
- This initiative will support the rehabilitation of captive elephants.
- This robot has been donated to Irinjadappilly Sree Krishna Temple in Thrissur district by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India.
- The robotic elephant can carry five persons at a time and the mahout.
- The mechanised elephant was made by a group of artists in Thrissur.
- The ‘elephant’ has been named ‘Irinjadappilly Raman’ and the ‘Nadayiruthal’ ceremony was conducted with the help of the robot.
- Elephants are commonly used by temples of Kerala in festivals.
- The ‘Nadayiruthal’ ceremony is a ritual offering by elephants to the deity in Kerala temples.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
2. India has won GSM Association Government Leadership Award 2023.
- India has won the award for implementing best practices in telecom policy and regulation.
- The Minister for Communications, Electronics & IT and Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw said “GSMA Award represent global recognition of the telecom reforms carried out by PM Modi.”
- He said Right of Way (RoW) permissions which used to take more than 230 days, now get approval within 8 days.
- Over 85% of mobile tower clearances are now instantaneous.
- He said the Indian telecom sector has emerged as a sunrise sector. Sunrise sector is a sector with the potential for rapid growth.
- GSMA recognizes one country every year. India was announced the winner in the ceremony held at Mobile World Congress Barcelona (Spain) on 27 February, 2023.
- GSMA (GSM Association):
- It is an industry organisation. It represents over 750 mobile operators and 400 companies in the telecom ecosystem.
- It was formed in 1995. It is headquartered in London, England, UK.
Topic: Art and Culture
3. ASI has discovered a 1300-year-old Buddhist Stupa (monastery).
- The monastery has been discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of Odisha’s Puri circle.
- It has been discovered at the Khondalite mining site in Parabhadi in Sukhuapada hamlet in Jajpur district, Odisha.
- The monastery dates back to the Bhaumakara dynasty. Its height is 4.5 metres.
- Odisha Mining Corporation mined out Khondalite stones from the site for the beautification of the surroundings of 12th Century Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri under the ABADHA scheme.
- However, the mining was later stopped due to the fact that the Lalitgiri Buddhist monastery complex, an ASI-protected site, is located in the area.
- ABADHA stands for the Augmentation of Basic Amenities and Development of Heritage and Architecture. ABADHA Scheme is a scheme of the government of Odisha. It was launched in March 2017.
- In the recently presented budget for Odisha, the Odisha government has planned to spend an additional Rs 224 crore under the ABADHA scheme. This will be used to develop the heritage city of Puri.
- Bhaumakara dynasty ruled between 8th and 10th centuries. Toshala was the name of their kingdom. It included parts of present-day Odisha.
4. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will be the chief guest and keynote speaker at the 8th Raisina Dialogue.
- India and Italy will assess the progress on the key outcomes of the November 2020 Summit.
- The last prime ministerial visit from Italy to India took place in October 2018.
- Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajan will accompany Ms. Meloni.
- Ms. Meloni will visit India again in September for the G20 summit.
- During the visit, a business roundtable will be held on March 2.
- It will be co-chaired by Antonio Tajan and Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.
- India and Italy are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
- The 8th Raisina Dialogue will be held from 2 March to 4 March in New Delhi.
- Its theme is "Provocation, Uncertainty, Turbulence: Lighthouse in the Tempest.”
- 7th Raisina Dialogue was held from 25-27 April 2022 in New Delhi.
- Raisina Dialogue:
- It is being held annually since 2016.
- It is a multilateral conference organized to discuss international issues.
- It is a flagship conference of India on geopolitics and geoeconomics.
- It is organized by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with Observer Research Foundation.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
5. UIDAI added a new safety feature for Aadhaar Card.
- A new security mechanism has been launched by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for an Aadhaar-based fingerprint authentication and faster detection of spoofing attempts.
- Spoofing is a type of scam where a criminal disguises an email address, name, phone number or website URL to convince the victim that they are interacting with a trusted source.
- The artificial intelligence and machine learning-based security system is now using a combination of both finger minutiae and finger images to check the liveness of the captured fingerprint.
- As a result, Aadhaar authentication transactions will become more robust and secure.
- This new feature will be used by banking and financial, telecom and government departments.
- It will also benefit people at the lowest rung of society as it will further strengthen the Aadhaar-enabled payment system and curb malicious attempts by unscrupulous elements.
- The new security mechanism for Aadhaar-based fingerprint authentication has now become fully functional.
6. Grand start-up Conclave inaugurated by Union Minister Parshottam Rupala in Hyderabad.
- On 28 February, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister Parshottam Rupala inaugurated the grand start-up Conclave at the Convention Center in Hyderabad.
- Shri Rupala said that the intervention of technology is necessary for the development of animal husbandry in the country.
- Mr. Rupala said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken the initiative of startups for all sectors.
- He also stressed on the need for startups for animal husbandry farmers.
- Adequate allocation has been made in this Amritkal budget for the basic development of the animal husbandry unit.
- Latest technology is being used in animal husbandry and fisheries to improve production.
- The objective of the Grand Start up Conclave is to encourage existing and budding startups in the livestock, dairy, and animal husbandry sectors in the country.
- The conclave provided a platform to entrepreneurs, investors, industry experts to share their ideas.
- Along with this, a workshop has also been organized to train the early-stage startup operators in the animal husbandry and dairy sector.
Topic: Indian Economy
7. A growth of 4.4% has been recorded in India’s Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in the October-December quarter of the current fiscal.
- In the third quarter of 2022-23, GDP is estimated at Rs 40.19 lakh crore.
- In the third quarter of 2021-22, GDP was Rs 38.51 lakh crore.
- The real GDP is estimated to grow at 7% for the 2022-23 fiscal.
- The nominal GDP for 2022-23 fiscal is estimated to grow at 15.9%.
- GDP refers to the total value of all the goods and services that are produced in a country in a year.
- Real GDP is the GDP calculated at constant prices. Nominal GDP is the GDP calculated at current prices.
Topic: International News
8. ‘Ekushey Boi Mela’ concluded on 28 February 2023 at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
- During the month long Ekushey book fair, visitors gathered to the stalls set up throughout the grounds of Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan to buy books.
- Bangla Academy was the organiser of the festival. Over 3,700 books were released over the four weeks of the Boi-mela.
- State Minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid was the Chief Guest during the closing ceremony.
- At the closing ceremony, Bangla Academy Director General Nurul Huda gave the welcome speech.
- The theme for this year’s book fair was ‘Poro Boi, Goro Desh, Bangabandhu Bangladesh’ meaning ‘Read books to make the country of Bangabandhu’s Dream’.
- Ekushey Book Fair:
- It started in 1972 to commemorate the sacrifices of people killed by Pakistani forces on 21 February 1952.
- It has been organised by the Bangla Academy every year since 1978.
Topic: State News/ Bihar
9. Bihar government presented ₹2.6 lakh-crore budget.
- The Bihar finance minister Vijay Chaudhary presented a ₹2,61,885.40 crore budget for 2023-24,10% more from ₹2.37 lakh last year.
- Of the total proposed budget expenditure, Rs 1 lakh crore has been earmarked for the ongoing and new schemes of various departments.
- Finance minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary raised the demand for special status for Bihar.
- It is the first budget of the seven-party Grand Alliance government led by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
- The state government allocated Rs 22,200.35 crore (22.20 per cent) to education, followed by the rural development department (15.19 per cent).
- Rs 7,117.56 crore (7.12 per cent) has been allocated to the Health sector.
- Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) would get 1,200 additional beds.
- The Bihar government pegged fiscal deficit of 2.98% of the gross state domestic product (GSDP) for the next financial year.
- The fiscal deficit remained at 3.78% of the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP).
- The state government has allocated ₹2,374 crores for the Mukhya Mantri Gram Sampark Yojana.
- ₹800 crores have been allocated for self-employment while ₹100 crores has been approved for the Mukya Mantri Kanya Vivah Yojana and other schemes.
- The financial assistance for self-empowerment of divorced Muslim women has been increased from ₹10,000 to ₹25,000.
- Livestock and fishing and aquaculture sectors registered a growth of 9.5% and 6.7%, respectively.
- The state budget has 60 per cent Central assistance, 18.83 per cent loan and 21.46 per cent state revenue.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
10. Government is planning to set up 10 ‘Clean Plant Centres’ to increase fruit crop production.
- The Central Government will set up 10 ‘Clean Plant Centres’ for fruits like apple, avocado and blueberry.
- These centers will be set up under the ‘Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program’.
- Clean Plant Centres will be established for fruit crops like apple, walnut, almond, grapes, mango, pomegranate, among others.
- The government has approved a budget of Rs 2,200 crore for the next seven years till 2030.
- It will be implemented in a PPP mode in association with research organisations, agriculture universities and private sector partners.
- In recent years, the demand for imported planting material for various fruit plants has increased sharply.
- In 2018, 21.44 lakh apple plants were imported which increased to 49.57 lakh in 2020.
- The permission for Avocado plant import has been increased from 1,000 in 2018 to 26,500 in 2020.
- The import of blueberry plants has increased from 1.55 lakh in 2018 to 4.35 lakh during 2020.
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Topic: Important Days
11. Zero Discrimination Day 2023: 1 March
- Every year on 1 March, Zero Discrimination Day is observed to celebrate the right of everyone to live a dignified life.
- It helps to create a world movement of solidarity to end every kind of discrimination.
- Theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2023 is “Save lives: Decriminalise”.
- Through this theme, UNAIDs is highlighting how decriminalization of key populations and people living with HIV saves lives and helps advance the end of AIDS.
- Criminal laws targeting people with HIV violate human rights. Countries committed that by 2025 less than 10% of countries will have punitive legal and policy environments that affect the HIV response.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
12. Lionel Messi of Argentina wins FIFA Best Men’s Player award 2022.
- This is his second FIFA The Best award. In the World Cup Final, Argentina won on penalties against France and in that match Messi scored two goals.
- For the second straight year, Alexia Putellas of Spain has won the Best women’s player award.
- Coach of Argentina, Lionel Scaloni, wins FIFA men’s coach of the year.
- Marcin Olesky is the first amputee footballer to win the Puskas award.
- List of Winners of FIFA The Best Award 2022:
Best FIFA Men’s Player
Lionel Messi of Argentina
Best FIFA Women’s Player
Alexia Putellas of Spain
Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper
Emiliano Martinez of Argentina
Best FIFA Women’s Goalkeeper
Mary Earps of England
Best FIFA Men’s coach
Lionel Scaloni of Argentina
Best FIFA Women’s coach
Sarina Wiegman of England
The FIFA Puskas Award (Best goal)
Marcin Oleksy of Poland
FIFA Fan Award
FIFA Fair Play Award
Luka Lochoshvili of Georgia
Topic: Indian Polity
13. Jan Vishwas Bill is expected to be placed before Parliament in the second part of the Budget session.
- Commerce & Industry Minister, Piyush Goyal introduced the bill in Parliament in December 2022.
- The bill was sent to the Parliamentary Joint Committee. The committee is likely to be ready with its report soon.
- Under the bill, as many as 183 sections across 42 Acts under 19 Ministries are proposed to be amended.
- These acts include the Indian Post Office Act, the Environment (Protection) Act, the Legal Metrology Act, the Motor Vehicles Act, the Public Liability Insurance Act and the Information Technology Act, 2000, among others.
- The Bill proposes to replace prison terms with only a monetary penalty under certain Acts.
- In some Acts, fines are imposed for minor offences. The Bill seeks to replace it with penalties.
Topic: National News
14. 47th Foundation day of Indian Civil Accounts Day is being celebrated on 1st March 2023.
- The celebrations are being held at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre in Janpath, New Delhi with Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary as Chief Guest.
- ICAS was established on 1 March 1976 to reform public financial administration. It was formed as a result of separation of maintenance of accounts of the Union government and maintenance of audit.
- In 1976, the President of India issued two ordinances- Comptroller and Auditor General’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Amendment Ordinance, 1976, and the Departmentalization of Union Accounts (Transfer of Personnel), 1976, to separate accounts from audit and to lay the groundwork for departmentalized accounts.
- Controller General of Accounts is the principal accounting advisor of the government of India. He is in charge of the payment and accounting system of India.
- Current Controller General of Accounts: Bharati Das
- ICAS started a web portal- Public Financial Management System (PFMS)- as a plan scheme monitoring system. It has facilitated the implementation of government schemes and policies.