- 1. RBI gave approval to 32 entities to act as payment aggregators.
- 2. 12 African cheetahs will reach Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park.
- 3. TRAI has issued directions to access providers to prevent misuse of header and message templates.
- 4. Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service has been launched by Indian Railways.
- 5. KAVACH-2023 has been launched on 16 February 2023 in New Delhi to advance India’s cyber-preparedness.
- 6. David Malpass would step down from the post of World Bank President before his five-year term expires.
- 7. Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru signed an MoU.
- 8. YouTube has appointed Neal Mohan as its CEO.
- 9. India’s first Marine Spatial Planning framework has been launched in Puducherry.
- 10. India and Spain agreed to collaborate on digital infrastructure, climate action and sustainable development.
- 11. Andhra Pradesh will host the Global Investors Summit.
- 12. Shinku La Tunnel construction approved by Union Cabinet to provide all-weather connectivity in Ladakh.
- 13. India- Japan joint training Exercise 'Dharma Guardian' will be organized in Japan.
- 14. Subhash Chandran’s novel Samudrashila gets Akbar Kakkattil Award.
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Topic: Banking System
1. RBI gave approval to 32 entities to act as payment aggregators.
- Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has authorized 32 existing payment aggregators (PAs) to operate as online payment aggregators.
- These entities include Amazon (Pay) India Pvt Ltd, Computer Age Management Services Ltd, Google India Digital Services Pvt Ltd, etc.
- Applications of 18 existing entities are under process for obtaining licenses for online payment aggregators.
- The applications of entities including PhonePe, Adyen India Technology Services, Bhartipay Services Pvt Ltd, Global Payments Asia-Pacific (India), etc. are under process.
- RBI advised stakeholders to transact with only those existing PAs- who have been granted in-principle authorisation or whose application is currently under process.
- RBI has returned the applications of four existing entities including Freecharge Payment Technologies and Paytm Payments Services.
- Payment aggregators: A payment aggregator is a service provider that integrates various online payment options and brings them into one place for merchants.
- Online payment aggregators: Online payment aggregators can onboard digital merchants and accept payments on behalf of merchants after getting a licence from the RBI.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
2. 12 African cheetahs will reach Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park.
- Under Project Cheetah, a total of 12 African cheetahs including seven males and five females will reach Kuno National Park on 18 February, 2023.
- The second batch of cheetahs will fly down from South Africa through C-17 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).
- In South Africa, three cheetahs have been kept in Phinda quarantine boma and nine in Rooiberg quarantine boma.
- There is no specific distinction between the South African and Namibian cheetahs. South African cheetahs belong completely to the wild and have a wild character.
- The “Action Plan for Introduction of Cheetah in India” has been prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India.
- After the importing 12 cheetahs in February, 12 cheetahs will be translocated annually for the next eight to 10 years.
- Earlier, eight Namibian cheetahs — five females and three males were released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Kuno National Park on 17 September 2022.
- Recently, South Africa signed an MoU on cooperation in the re-introduction of Cheetahs in India.
- India has launched the Project Cheetah initiative as per the IUCN guidelines.
Topic: National News
3. TRAI has issued directions to access providers to prevent misuse of header and message templates.
- The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued an order to ensure that all promotional messages are sent through Registered Telemarketers (RTMs) using approved Headers and Message Templates on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) platform.
- Two separate guidelines for Access Service Providers under Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018 (TCCCPR-2018) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act- 1997 (24 of 1997) to prevent misuse of header and message templates have been issued.
- TRAI has observed that Principal Entities (PE) headers and message templates are being misused by some telemarketers.
- Access service providers have been directed to prevent this;
- Re-validate all registered headers and message templates on the DLT platform and block all unverified headers and message templates within 30 and 60 days, respectively.
- Ensure that temporary headers are deactivated immediately after the time period for which such headers were created.
- Make sure that the content variables in the message template do not allow unwanted content to be inserted. The entities involved in the message transmission should be clearly identifiable and monitored, if necessary.
- To avoid confusion among message recipients and prevent misuse, access providers should not register any identical-looking headers in the name of different principal entities.
- To control messages from unauthorized or unregistered telemarketers, including telemarketers using telephone numbers, access providers have been directed to-
- All Telecom Service Providers have been directed to comply with the above instructions within 30 days.
Topic: National News
4. Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service has been launched by Indian Railways.
- A Joint Parcel Product, Rail Post Gati Shakti Express Cargo Service, has formally been launched by Indian Railways and Indian Post.
- It is an initiative to providing seamless logistics for the service sector in the country.
- This is in compliance with the budget announcement for the financial year 2022-23.
- It has been launched on 16 February on four sectors- Delhi to Kolkata, Bengaluru to Guwahati, Surat to Muzaffarpur and Hyderabad to Hazrat Nizamuddin.
- To take this initiative forward, a joint marketing team has been formed between Postal and Railways.
- Key Features of this service are as follows:
- Door step Pick-Up and Delivery
- Flexibility of Quantum of Load
- Time Tabled Service
- Safe Transmission
- Affordable Tariff
- Single Point of Contact
- Mobile Application
- Earlier, a pilot weekly service was started from Surat to Varanasi by connecting one VPU with Tapti Ganga Express on 31 March 2022.
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
5. KAVACH-2023 has been launched on 16 February 2023 in New Delhi to advance India’s cyber-preparedness.
- It is a national-level hackathon to identify innovative ideas and technological solutions to address the cyber security and cybercrime challenges of the 21st century.
- KAVACH-2023 is being jointly conducted by the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Cell, AICTE, Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) and the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre.
- Shri Balaji Srivastava, IPS, Director General, BPR&D, said that it will be a 36-hour long event.
- During KAVACH-2023, youth from educational institutions across the country and registered start-ups will take part.
- The winning teams will be awarded total prize money worth Rs 20 Lakh.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International News
6. David Malpass would step down from the post of World Bank President before his five-year term expires.
- David Malpass was appointed to the post of World Bank President in 2019.
- Mr. Malpass previously served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for international affairs in the US Administration.
- Malpass has faced calls for his removal or resignation.
- Climate activists had asked for the removal of Malpass because of an inadequate approach to the climate crisis.
- The United States, the World Bank's largest shareholder, has always traditionally nominated a citizen of the United States to serve as the president of World Bank.
- World Bank:
- The World Bank is an international financial institution.
- It provides loans and grants to governments in poor countries for the purpose of pursuing capital projects.
- It is headquartered in Washington DC, United States. It was founded in 1944.
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Topic: MoUs and Agreements
7. Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru signed an MoU.
- They have signed to work together in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other emerging technologies.
- The MoU has been signed on the sidelines of the ongoing Aero India 2023 aims to leverage the complementary strengths and capabilities of BEL and IISc.
- The agreement will enable BEL and IISc to create a variety of products and services with AI incorporated and integrated.
- IISc will provide specialized services in AI and ML for BEL to undertake various projects in terms of R&D solutions, development of algorithms and training of BEL engineers.
- Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL):
- It is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Defence.
- It was established in 1954. It is headquartered at Bengaluru.
- It caters to the strategic needs of the Indian Defence services.
Topic: International Appointments
8. YouTube has appointed Neal Mohan as its CEO.
- After the resignation of Susan Wojcicki, Indian-American Neal Mohan has been appointed as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YouTube.
- Neal Mohan is currently the Chief Product Officer of YouTube.
- Prior to joining YouTube, Mohan was Senior Vice President, Display and Video Ads at Google.
- YouTube is a global online video sharing and social media platform.
- Its headquarters is in San Bruno, California.
- On 14 February 2005, it was launched by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.
- It is owned by Google, and is the second most visited website after Google Search.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National News
9. India’s first Marine Spatial Planning framework has been launched in Puducherry.
- India’s first Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework has been launched as a part of a pact under the Indo-Norway Integrated Ocean Initiative.
- It is an initiative to balance growth along with sustainable management of ocean resources and coastal environment preservation.
- Puducherry and Lakshadweep have been selected for launching the Marine Spatial Planning framework on the pilot level.
- India and Norway had agreed to collaborate on implementing MSP in the oceanic space. The MSP initiative is a result of the 2019 memorandum of understanding.
- The beta version of the MSP for the Union Territory is a joint effort of the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), etc.
- The Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) framework will be an important governance tool that will support the blue economy through sustainable and equitable ocean resource management.
- MSP will be a vital tool for balancing conflicting interests. Withdrawal and sanction of funds to the projects would be approved on the basis of their MSP-compliance.
- Chief Minister N. Rangasamy also released ‘The Shoreline Change Atlas of the UT of Puducherry’.
Topic: International News
10. India and Spain agreed to collaborate on digital infrastructure, climate action and sustainable development.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Spanish counterpart Mr Pedro Sanchez agreed to strengthen the growing relationship between both countries.
- Both leaders discussed many bilateral and international issues of mutual interest.
- India and Spain leaders reviewed ongoing bilateral initiatives and expressed satisfaction at the recent high-level exchanges.
- Both leaders agreed to collaborate on issues such as digital infrastructure, climate action, clean energy transition and sustainable development.
- India and Spain’s relationship:
- India and Spain establish their diplomatic relations in 1956.
- India mainly exports textiles, organic chemicals, iron & steel, seafood, automobiles and leather to Spain.
- Spain's mainly exports machinery and mechanical appliances, organic chemical products and fuels and mineral oils to India.
- Spain is India´s 7th largest trade partner in the European Union.
Topic: State News/ Andhra Pradesh
11. Andhra Pradesh will host the Global Investors Summit.
- On 14 February, the Andhra Pradesh government hosted a roadshow in Bengaluru to showcase its strength and attract investors from India and abroad to the Global Investors Summit to be held in March.
- On March 3-4, the state government will host a two-day global investor summit in Visakhapatnam with a "vision to make the southern state India's gateway to Southeast Asia by 2050".
- It aims to emerge as a preferred global destination for investment.
- The theme of the summit is "Advantage Andhra Pradesh".
- The summit will highlight the strengths of the state which include its large manufacturing base, strong presence of MSMEs and start-ups, good infrastructure, business friendly environment and pool of talented, skilled youth population.
- The summit aims to connect with investors, industry leaders and government officials with a focus on key sectors such as IT, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, tourism and energy.
- For the previous three years, Andhra Pradesh has continuously been ranked top in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB).
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
12. Shinku La Tunnel construction approved by Union Cabinet to provide all-weather connectivity in Ladakh.
- On 15 February, Anurag Singh Thakur state that the construction work of this 4.1-kilometre-long tunnel would be completed by December 2025.
- The estimated cost of this project will be around 1,681 crore rupees.
- The tunnel will lead to all-round development of the region and encourage tourism, health and education sectors.
- This project is also important from the point of view of strategic and national security.
13. India- Japan joint training Exercise 'Dharma Guardian' will be organized in Japan.
- India- Japan joint training Exercise 'Dharma Guardian' will be conducted from 17 February to 12 March at Camp Imazu in the Shiga province of Japan.
- The training exercise will enhance the defence cooperation between India and Japan. It will also further deepen ties between both countries.
- It is the fourth edition of the joint training Exercise 'Dharma Guardian'.
- Platoon-level joint training on operations in Jungle and semi-urban terrain is part of this joint training Exercise.
- Garhwal Rifles regiment of the Indian Army and an Infantry Regiment from Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) will take part in this exercise.
- The Exercise 'Dharma Guardian' is very crucial in terms of security challenges faced by both countries.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
14. Subhash Chandran’s novel Samudrashila gets Akbar Kakkattil Award.
- A renowned writer Subhash Chandran bagged the Akbar Kakkattil award for his novel 'Samudrasila'.
- Samudrashila was published by Mathrubhumi books.
- The award will be presented by writer M. Mukundan at an event on February 17.
- Samudrasila has been picked by a jury comprising writer Sethu, Dr Mini Prasad and KC Narayanan.
- Subhash Chandran is a two-time recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.
- Akbar Kakkattil Award was started by a trust in memory of the short story writer and novelist from Kozhikode.
- The award comprises a cash prize of ₹50,000 and a sculpture.
- Novels released in the last five years are eligible for this award.