- 1. PM Modi launched year-long celebrations commemorating Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati’s 200th birth anniversary.
- 2. Angela Merkel has been awarded the Felix Houphouet-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize in Yamoussoukro, the capital of the Ivory Coast.
- 3. 3-day long Digital Economy Working Group meeting begins in Lucknow.
- 4. Real Madrid wins its fifth Club World Cup.
- 5. Wolf Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Prof Daniel Drucker of Canada.
- 6. Saudi Arabia will send its first woman astronaut into space.
- 7. Financial Literacy Week (FLW) is being organized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from February 13 to February 17, 2023.
- 8. Names of 19 individuals and two institutions announced by Bangladesh Government for 'Ekushey Padak'.
- 9. Maharashtra wins the highest number of medals in Khelo India Youth Games.
- 10. President inaugurates 2nd edition of Indian Rice Congress in Cuttack.
- 11. Mohammad Shahabuddin to become 22nd President of Bangladesh.
- 12. DHARA 2023, annual meeting of River Cities Alliance, held in Pune.
- 13. IIT Indore students won Global Best M-Gov Award.
- 14. India plans to introduce MIIRA to popularize millets on global level.
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Topic: Personality in News
1. PM Modi launched year-long celebrations commemorating Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati’s 200th birth anniversary.
- PM Modi inaugurated year-long celebrations in Delhi. He also released a logo for commemoration.
- He said that Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati revived the understanding of Vedas in social life.
- He pointed out that Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati launched a campaign against social discrimination and untouchability.
- Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati also made efforts to fight inequality.
- Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati:
- Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati was a social reformer. He was born on 12th February 1824.
- He founded Arya Samaj in 1875. He died on 30 October 1883. He wrote the book, Satyarth Prakash.
- He denounced idolatry and ritualistic worship. He believed in the authority of Vedas.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
2. Angela Merkel has been awarded the Felix Houphouet-Boigny UNESCO Peace Prize in Yamoussoukro, the capital of the Ivory Coast.
- The jury for Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize was impressed by Merkel's courageous decision in 2015 to open her country to refugees.
- 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Denis Mukwege was the jury president.
- Mukwege said the jury was touched by her decision in 2015 to take in over 1.2 million refugees, especially from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and, Eritrea.
- Former German chancellor Angela Merkel said she will donate the prize money to an Ivorian NGO called "L'enfance en danger."
- In 1991, Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk received the award for their efforts to put an end to apartheid in South Africa.
- Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize:
- Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize is named after the first president of Ivory Coast.
- The prize carries $150,000 in prize money, a gold medal, and a certificate signed by UNESCO's director general.
- Since 1991, the prize has been given annually to organisations or people who have made remarkable contributions to peace and human rights throughout the world.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
3. 3-day long Digital Economy Working Group meeting begins in Lucknow.
- Digital Economy Working Group meeting will be organized from 13 February to 15 February 2023.
- On the first day of the meeting, 36 esteemed speakers shared their expertise and insights.
- On the second day, thematic session on the crucial topics of Digital Public Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Digital Skilling have been organized.
- An exhibition showcasing virtual realities and artificial intelligence and innovative solutions will be also organized.
- Digital Initiatives of the State of Uttar Pradesh will also be showcased at the meeting.
- During the meeting, four workshops will be organized on different themes, which are given below.
- Digital Public Infrastructure – Sharing implementation experiences of Digital Identity in various countries.
- Sharing of Cyber Security Solutions for MSMEs.
- Digital Public Infrastructure to boost the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
- Use of Geo-Spatial technologies for infrastructure and Product development in the digital economy
- Digital Economy Working Groups will also have three more physical events at Hyderabad, Pune, and Bengaluru in April, June and August respectively.
4. Real Madrid wins its fifth Club World Cup.
- Real Madrid won the Club World Cup by defeating Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal by 5-3 in the final in Rabat, Morocco.
- Madrid last won the club world cup in 2018 while it won the Club World Cup also in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
- Vinicius Junior and Fede Valverde scored two-two goals each while Karim Benzema scored one goal.
- Madrid also won three Intercontinental Cups in 1960, 1998 and 2002.
- The 2023 FIFA Club World Cup has been hosted by Morocco from 1-11 February.
- Chelsea was the winner of the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup.
- Real Madrid is a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
5. Wolf Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Prof Daniel Drucker of Canada.
- The name of the eight winners for the 2023 Wolf Prize were announced.
- The winners of the Wolf Prize for Science and Art are from five different countries. Three of the winners are from the United States.
- The award will be presented at an award ceremony in June held at the Knesset.
- Wolf Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to three scientists- Chuan He, Hiroaki Suga, and Jeffery W. Kelly.
- The Wolf Prize in Mathematics went to Ingrid Daubechies.
- Wolf Prize in the Arts was awarded to Nakaya from Japan and Richard Long from England.
- The Wolf Prize in Agriculture was given to Martinus Th Rien van Genuchten of the Federal University.
- Wolf Prize:
- Israel's Wolf Prize is being given since 1978.
- It is one of the prestigious awards for scientific and artistic achievements.
- The winners of the award received a monetary award of $100,000.
- It is given in different categories including Medicine, Agriculture, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics.
- Painting and Sculpting, Music, and Architecture are the art categories of Wolf Prize.
Topic: Space and IT
6. Saudi Arabia will send its first woman astronaut into space.
- Rayyana Barnawi will be the first woman astronaut from Saudi Arabia to go into space.
- She will join fellow male astronaut Ali Al-Qarni on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in the second quarter of 2023.
- Astronauts will be sent from the USA and will join the crew of the AX-2 space mission.
- In 2019, United Arab Emirates became the first Arab country to send an astronaut into space.
- 41-year-old Neyadi will become the first Arab astronaut to spend six months in space.
- Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is doing many reforms after he came into power in 2017 to change the image of Saudi Arabia.
- Women have been allowed to drive and travel abroad without a male guardian.
- Women’s contribution to the workforce has increased from 17% in 2016 to 37%.
- Saudi royal Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz is the first Arab Muslim to travel into space.
- Saudi Arabia has launched a space programme in 2022 to send astronauts into space.
Topic: Banking System
7. Financial Literacy Week (FLW) is being organized by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from February 13 to February 17, 2023.
- This year, the theme of FLW is “Good Financial Behaviour - Your Saviour.”
- The theme aligns with the overall strategic objectives of the National Strategy for Financial Education: 2020-2025.
- Its objective is to generate awareness among the general public, create financial resilience and sustain their interest.
- In this, the focus will be on creating awareness about savings, planning and budgeting and judicious use of digital financial services.
- During the month of February 2023, the RBI will undertake a centralized mass media campaign to disseminate financial awareness messages.
- Banks have also been advised to disseminate information and create awareness among their customers.
- Since 2016, the RBI has been organizing Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year to disseminate financial education messages on a particular theme among public across the country.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
8. Names of 19 individuals and two institutions announced by Bangladesh Government for 'Ekushey Padak'.
- Bangladesh Government has announced the names of 19 individuals and two institutions for the award of 'Ekushey Padak', the country's second highest civilian award.
- On 12 February, the Ministry of Culture announced the names.
- The Ekushey Padak is given for outstanding contribution in various fields such as contribution to the language movement, liberation struggle, art and culture, journalism and social service.
- The award will be presented to three persons under the language movement category, one in the liberation struggle, eight in art and culture, and two in politics.
- Bidyanondo Foundation has been selected for the Ekushey Award 2023 in the social service category.
- The Foundation has been working among the underprivileged and marginalized sections of the society for many years.
- Bangladesh National Museum is the second institution selected for the award.
- Renowned artist Kanak Champa Chakma will get the award for painting, while Jayant Chattopadhyay has been selected under the recitation category.
- Nawaz Ali will get the award for Shilpakala.
- Started in 1976, the Ekushey Padak is awarded to individuals and institutions for notable contributions in their respective fields.
- Awarded institutions or individuals receive a certificate, a gold medal and a cash prize of Taka 4 lakh.
9. Maharashtra wins the highest number of medals in Khelo India Youth Games.
- Maharashtra stood first in the medals tally with a total of 161 medals including 56 gold, 55 silver, and 50 bronze.
- Haryana is in the second spot with a total of 128 medals including 41 gold, 32 silver, and 55 bronze.
- Madhya Pradesh came third with total 96 medals including 39 gold.
- During Khelo India Youth Games, 25 national records were broken. 19 records were broken in weight lifting.
- 5 thousand 812 players from 36 states and union territories took part in the Khelo India Youth Games.
- Khelo India Youth Games 2023 was hosted by Madhya Pradesh from January 30 to 11 February at 11 venues.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
10. President inaugurates 2nd edition of Indian Rice Congress in Cuttack.
- The Indian Rice Congress-2023 at ICAR- National Rice Research Institute was inaugurated by President Smt. Draupadi Murmu.
- Rice production in India has increased from 89 million tonnes in 2010 to 130 MT in 2022.
- India is the second-largest producer of rice and the largest exporter of rice.
- President said that rice is the basis of food security in India and also a major factor for our economy.
- Rice cultivation in India:
- It is the main Kharif crop and it is sown after the onset of the southwest monsoon.
- West Bengal is the highest rice-producing state in India.
- Basmati Rice, Jasmine Rice, Mogra Rice, Black Rice, etc. are the main varieties of rice in India.
- Rice is mainly produced in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Kerala.
- Biofortification of rice has been started to increase its nutritional value.
Topic: International Appointments
11. Mohammad Shahabuddin to become 22nd President of Bangladesh.
- Mohammad Shahbuddin Chuppu has been nominated as the next President of Bangladesh by the Awami League. Awami League has the absolute majority in Parliament (305 out of 350 seats).
- He will be elected unopposed and will replace President Mohammad Abdul Hamid.
- Abdul Hamid is the longest serving President of Bangladesh and his term will end in April.
- President of Bangladesh:
- He is the head of state of Bangladesh and commander in chief of Bangladesh Armed Forces.
- President is elected by indirect voting in Parliament.
- He holds office for a five year term.
- He/she cannot hold office for more than two terms as per the Constitution.
12. DHARA 2023, annual meeting of River Cities Alliance, held in Pune.
- On 13-14 February 2023, the yearly meeting of members of River Cities Alliance (RCA), DHARA was organised in Pune.
- DHARA stands for Driving Holistic Action for Urban Rivers. It was organised by National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).
- DHARA 2023 provided a platform for senior officials of the 95-member river cities in India to co-learn and discuss solutions for managing local water bodies.
- DHARA has strong synergies with Urban20 initiative under the ambit of India’s G20 presidency.
- River Cities Alliance (RCA):
- RCA was launched by Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in November 2021.
- It started with 30 cities and now has 95 cities as members.
- It is launched as dedicated platform for river cities in India to ideate, discuss and exchange information for sustainable management of urban rivers.
- It is a first of its kind alliance in the world. It is the successful partnership between two ministries- Ministry of Jal Shakti and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
- It focuses on three broad themes:
- Capacity Building
- Technical Support
Topic: Awards and Prizes
13. IIT Indore students won Global Best M-Gov Award.
- Egyptian President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi presented Niyati Totala and Neel Kapeshkumar Parikh of IIT Indore Global Best M-Gov Award.
- The students won AED 1 million by winning the gold medal at the World Government Summit 2023 in Dubai.
- These students created “Blockbill” app. Blockbill is a blockchain based receipt generation app that creates digital receipts for all transactions of users.
- “M-Gov Award” and “GovTech Award” are annual awards organised by the UAE government. They are presented as part of the World Government Summit.
- These are given to encourage students, researchers, government agencies and institutions, private companies and startups to create innovative solutions using next-gen technologies to solve evolving local and global challenges.
Topic: International News
14. India plans to introduce MIIRA to popularize millets on global level.
- During India’s G20 presidency, the top priority in agriculture for India is food security and nutrition, following which India plans to launch MIIRA- global initiative to encourage consumption and production of millets.
- Draft charter of MIIRA is ready and will be placed for approval at 1st meeting of the G-20 Agricultural Deputies at Indore from 13-15 February 2023.
- MIIRA stands for Millet International Initiative for Research and Awareness. It aimed at coordinating millet research programmes at the international level.
- It will be launched considering the millets’ nutritional value and climate resilient nature.
- India plans to provide “seed money” for this initiative to start off, and each G20 member will be required to pay membership fee.
- The secretariat of MIIRA would be in New Delhi and India will ensure flow of investment from its industry and research bodies.
- UNGA declared 2023 as International Year of Millets.
- Millets are rich in calcium, iron, and fibers. Bajra, Ragi, Canary, Jawar, and Buckwheat are the varieties of millets exported by India.
- India produces one-fifth of the world’s total millets.
- Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are India’s top five millet producing states.
- Share of export of millets is nearly 1% of the total millet production.
- In Budget 2023, Finance Minister addressed millets as “Shree Anna” and said that Indian Institute of Millet Research, Hyderabad will act as Centre of Excellence.
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Personality in News :
Famous painter Lalitha Lajmi passed away at the age of 90.
- She was the sister of late actor, director, producer Guru Dutt.
- Lalitha Lajmi was born in 1932 in Kolkata.