- 1. UK reached a landmark deal with the European Union (EU) on Brexit trade rules.
- 2. Odisha government presented a budget of ₹2.3 lakh crore for 2023-24.
- 3. The government collected more than 1.49 lakh crore rupees in GST revenue in February 2023.
- 4. The government of Ras Al Khaimah has announced plans to set up RAK Digital Assets Oasis.
- 5. Delhi Metro will soon launch Momentum 2.0.
- 6. NHRC organized National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse Material in Delhi.
- 7. Uttarakhand will set up first 'Mother Milk Bank' in the state.
- 8. The procurement of 70 HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft from HAL for the Indian Air Force has been approved by Government.
- 9. Asia's longest-ever cycle race will culminate at Kanyakumari after covering a distance of more than three thousand kilometres.
- 10. Madhya Pradesh government presented a ₹ 3.14 lakh crore budget for 2023-24.
- 11. First Bodoland International Knowledge Festival begins in Assam.
- 12. Senior IIS officer Rajesh Malhotra took over as Principal Director General of PIB.
- 13. Bola Tinubu sworn in as President of Nigeria.
- 14. Shailesh Pathak becomes the new Secretary General of FICCI.
- 15. Karnataka and Gujarat are the top states in adopting clean energy transition.
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Topic: International News
1. UK reached a landmark deal with the European Union (EU) on Brexit trade rules.
- The United Kingdom and European Union agreed upon the ‘Windsor Framework’. It will replace the Northern Ireland Protocol.
- The deal could resolve the issue of imports and border checks in Northern Ireland, which is the most controversial aspect after the UK’s split from the EU.
- The ‘Windsor Framework’ will enable the free flow of trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland by creating green and red lanes for goods flowing into Northern Ireland.
- Goods that have to travel into Ireland will be placed in the red lane. They will face customs processes and other checks at Northern Ireland ports.
- British goods for Northern Ireland will be placed at the green lane at the ports. It will pass through minimal paperwork and checks.
- Northern Ireland is part of the UK but it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state.
- The main aim of the Windsor Framework is to fix issues of the Northern Ireland Protocol which was agreed upon by Boris Johnson and the EU in 2019.
- With this deal, the UK and the EU have managed to protect “Northern Ireland’s place in the union”. The UK government can fix the VAT rates applicable in Northern Ireland.
- The British Prime Minister also announced a new “Stormont brake”.
- “Stormont brake” allow the democratically elected Northern Ireland Assembly to oppose new EU goods rules that could have a significant effect on everyday lives in Northern Ireland.
Topic: State News / Odisha
2. Odisha government presented a budget of ₹2.3 lakh crore for 2023-24.
- The Odisha government finance minister Niranjan Pujari presented a budget of ₹2.3 lakh crore, 15% more than the last budget.
- The budget is focused on agriculture, health, drinking water and road infrastructure.
- The Budget is divided into two parts- Agriculture Budget and General Budget.
- Rs.24,829 crores has been allocated to the Agriculture Budget and Rs 11,655 crores has been made for Irrigation and Water Use Efficiency and allied sectors.
- Rs 16,048 crore has been allocated for public health care, 27% more than the previous year.
- Rs.1,911 crores has been approved for the National Health Mission and Rs.338 crore for PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Care Infrastructure Mission (PM-BHIM) schemes.
- The state government has allocated Rs 2,554 crore for the Mission Shakti programme for 2023-24.
- Rs 1,879 crore has been allocated for the Kalia scheme, which is a cash transfer scheme for farmers started in 2019.
- The government has allocated ₹51,683 crore for infrastructure in roads, bridges, railways and airports.
- ₹50 crores has been allocated for Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana and Rs 1900 crore for BijuSetuYojana.
- Rs.224 crores has been approved under the Augmentation Basic Amenities & Development of Heitage & Architecture at Puri (ABADHA) scheme for the development of heritage city Puri.
- Rs.8,130 crores has been allocated for the delivery of justice, maintenance of internal security, prevention & control of crimes and fire services etc.
Topic: Indian Economy
3. The government collected more than 1.49 lakh crore rupees in GST revenue in February 2023.
- GST revenue collection recorded 12% growth in February against the same period of the previous financial year.
- In February 2022, GST revenue collection stood at more than one lakh 33 thousand crore rupees.
- Monthly GST revenue collection is higher than one lakh 40 thousand crore rupees for 12 straight months in a row.
- According to the Finance Ministry, the highest GST revenue (22 thousand 349 crore rupees) was collected from Maharashtra.
- Maharashtra was followed by Karnataka. In Karnataka, over ten thousand crore rupees were collected as GST revenue.
- The highest cess collection of over 11,931 crore rupees recorded in February 2023 since the implementation of GST in the country.
- Finance Ministry said the Centre had also released the balance GST compensation of 16,982 crore rupees for the month of June 2022.
- GST collection in February 2023 was 5.06% lower than 1,57,554 crore rupees revenue collected during January.
- Central GST (CGST) collections stood at ₹27,662 crore in February 2023.
- State GST (SGST) accounted for ₹34,915 crore. Integrated GST (IGST) collection stood at ₹75,069 crore.
- Meghalaya was the only State to report a contraction in revenues.
- Andhra Pradesh’s revenues jumped 39%. Andhra Pradesh was followed by erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir (33%), Bihar (24%), Haryana (23%), Tamil Nadu (19%) and Karnataka (18%).
- Revenue growth was behind the national average in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. All these states saw an 8% rise.
Topic: International News
4. The government of Ras Al Khaimah has announced plans to set up RAK Digital Assets Oasis.
- This announcement was made at the Blockchain Life 2023 conference.
- RAK Digital Assets Oasis will be the world’s first free zone dedicated to digital and virtual asset companies.
- It will be a purpose-built, innovation-enabling free zone for non-regulated activities in the virtual assets sector.
- It will open for applications in the second quarter of 2023.
- Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
- Blockchain Life 2023 conference took place on 27-28 February, 2023 in Dubai.
5. Delhi Metro will soon launch Momentum 2.0.
- It will be India’s first virtual shopping app for metro commuters to book services, purchase products, and collect orders at the destination stations.
- The app will also have other features such as instant recharge of metro smart cards and smart payment options for other utility services.
- The app will also provide users with last-mile connectivity options, e-shopping, and digital lockers.
- Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is installing digital lockers called smart boxes at certain selected stations. These lockers will be used to deposit goods ordered through e-shopping.
- The app will also provide real-time information on the arrival time of trains. It will also provide information on outlets, shops, kiosks, and ATMs available at the stations.
6. NHRC organized National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse Material in Delhi.
- National Human Rights Commission has organized a two-day National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in New Delhi on the 2nd & 3rd March, 2023.
- Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the conference as the Chief Guest.
- It aims to make recommendations to policy makers and law enforcement agencies after due deliberations among various stakeholders to advocate a safe cyberspace for children.
- The discussions revolved around five themes:
- Understanding the Nature, Extent, and Emerging Issues.
- Legal Provisions Relating to CSAM.
- The Role of Technology and Intermediaries in the Prevention, Detection, and Investigation of CSAM.
- International Trends in Fighting CSAM.
- The Role of Enforcement Agencies & Cyber Forensics in Detection, Investigation & Monitoring of CSAM.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: State News/ Uttarakhand
7. Uttarakhand will set up first 'Mother Milk Bank' in the state.
- The Uttarakhand health department is planning to set up 'Maternal Milk Bank'.
- It will be hope for children whose mother dies during childbirth.
- This facility will bring the nutrients of the mother's milk to be delivered to the newborn to a greater extent.
- Under this scheme lactating women will be able to donate milk to the bank.
- According to the Sample Registration System (SRS) report of the National Health Mission in 2021, Uttarakhand had the third highest infant mortality rate of 27 deaths per 1,000 live births among the 10 Himalayan states in the country.
- While Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya are the first and second, which has highest infant mortality rate.
- The government is focusing on institutional delivery of pregnant women to reduce the infant mortality rate in the state.
- The government has made arrangements to take pregnant women to the hospital free of cost.
- Under one scheme Rs 2000 is given to pregnant women, Rs 1500 for mother's food and Rs 500 for baby naming ceremony.
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8. The procurement of 70 HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft from HAL for the Indian Air Force has been approved by Government.
- The government has approved the procurement from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at a cost of over 6,828 crore rupees.
- 70 HTT-40 Basic Trainer Aircraft will be supplied over a period of six years.
- The aircraft will help in meeting the shortage of basic trainer aircraft of IAF for the training of newly inducted pilots.
- HTT-40 is a turboprop aircraft. It is designed to have good low-speed handling qualities.
- The government has also approved the contract with Larsen and Toubro Limited for the acquisition of three cadet training ships.
- These cadet training ships will be acquired at an overall cost of 3,108 crore rupees. Their delivery is scheduled to begin in the year 2026.
- These ships will cater to the training of officer cadets at sea. They can also be deployed for the evacuation of people.
- They will also provide training to cadets from friendly countries.
9. Asia's longest-ever cycle race will culminate at Kanyakumari after covering a distance of more than three thousand kilometres.
- It was flagged off from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir on 01 March 2023.
- 29 cyclists including one woman set off for the first-of-its-kind 3651-kilometre race.
- World Ultracycling Association has accorded the race the status of the Asian Ultracycling Championship.
- Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Shri Vijay Kumar Bidhuri flagged off the race.
- Only 1000 km races were held till date in India.
- The route for this cycle race will cover the 3651 kilometres of NH-44 passing through 12 major states, three major metropolitan cities and over 20 major cities in India.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
10. Madhya Pradesh government presented a ₹ 3.14 lakh crore budget for 2023-24.
- Madhya Pradesh Finance Minister Jadgish Devda presented a Rs 3.14 lakh crore Budget in the assembly.
- Government has allocated Rs 8,000 crore for Mukhkyamantri Ladli Behna Yojna.
- Mukhkyamantri Ladli Behna Yojna was launched for the welfare of women in the state. It will be implemented in the state from March 5.
- Under this scheme, Rs 1,000 will be provided as financial assistance per month.
- The government has allocated a provision of Rs 36,950.16 crore for Scheduled Tribes (Sub-Scheme) and Rs 2,60,86.81 crore for Scheduled Castes (sub-scheme).
- Rs 11,406 crore has been sanctioned for the establishment of government primary schools and Rs 7,332 crore has been allocated for the Jal Jeevan Mission under the National Rural Drinking Water Mission.
- The government has allocated Rs 6,935 crore for carrying out reforms as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission.
- The state budget has a revenue surplus of Rs 412.76 crore.
- The estimated revenue receipts are Rs 2,25,709.90 crore. Out of the total revenue receipts, the state's own tax will be Rs 86,499.98 crore.
- The State’s share of central taxes will be Rs 80,183.67 crore and non-tax revenue will be Rs 14,913.10 crore.
- The fiscal deficit is estimated at 4.02 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product.
- No new taxes have been announced in the Budget.
Topic: State News/ Assam
11. First Bodoland International Knowledge Festival begins in Assam.
- Bodoland University with support from the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) administration organized the first Bodoland International Knowledge Festival.
- It was held from February 27 to March 2 at Kokrajhar with the objective of promoting exchange of knowledge.
- Prof. Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, SECMOL founder Sonam Wangchuk, Assam Assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary, etc attended the festival.
- Issues related to science and technology, indigenous knowledge systems, women empowerment, child rights and protection, etc. were discussed during the festival.
- The participants also discussed the role of BTR in the Act East Policy.
- The achievement of social development priorities and key Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 in contemporary BTR and the world was the thematic area of the Bodoland International Knowledge Festival.
- More than 300 delegates from across India and 35 international delegates from 14 countries attended the festival.
- Bodoland is an autonomous region. It is made up of five districts which are on the bank of the north bank of the Brahmaputra River.
Topic: National Appointments
12. Senior IIS officer Rajesh Malhotra took over as Principal Director General of PIB.
- On 1 March, Senior Indian Information Service officer Rajesh Malhotra assumed the charge of Principal Director General of Press Information Bureau.
- Mr. Malhotra replaced Satyendra Prakash, who retired on 28 February.
- Mr Malhotra, a 1989 batch officer, was earlier serving in the Ministry of Finance.
- He has over 32 years of experience in planning and implementing media and communication arrangements for various Ministries and Departments of the Central Government.
- He was associated with the Election Commission as in-charge of media and communication for 21 years.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International Appointments
13. Bola Tinubu sworn in as President of Nigeria.
- Nigeria's ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu has been declared the winner of the presidential election.
- On 1 March, he has been sworn in as the President of Africa's most populous country, Nigeria.
- Prior to this, he was the Governor of Lagos State.
- Mr. Tinubu received 37% of the vote, while Mr. Abubakar, the closest opposition candidate received 29% of votes.
- Mr Abubakar had finished second in the last vote in 2019 as well.
- It is located in Western Africa.
- It shares its borders with Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin.
- Its capital is Abuja and the currency is Naira.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: National Appointments
14. Shailesh Pathak becomes the new Secretary General of FICCI.
- Shailesh Pathak has been appointed as the new Secretary General of FICCI.
- Shailesh Pathak has taken the charge on March 1.
- Pathak held several positions in the government during his 37-year career.
- He received an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2000 as an emerging Indian Leader.
- He has scaled a 6831m peak in the Himalayas and has more than 40 publications on infrastructure, cities, finance and public policy.
- Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI):
- It was established in 1927.
- It is the largest, oldest and apex business non-governmental trade association in India.
- It is headquartered in New Delhi.
- Shubhrakant Panda is the current President of FICCI.
Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking
15. Karnataka and Gujarat are the top states in adopting clean energy transition.
- Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has published a joint report.
- As per the report, in the clean energy adoption, Karnataka and Gujarat have made maximum progress.
- West Bengal, Bihar and UP are lagging far behind in the adoption of clean energy. These states have to increase their renewable energy generation potential.
- Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have to improve the readiness of their power ecosystems for a clean electricity transition.
- This report has analysed 16 states, which account for 90% of the country's annual power consumption.
- The report recommends that states should follow a multi-dimensional approach to the clean electricity transition.
- The report has measured the performance of states in terms of four dimensions, which are as follows:
- Performance of the power system
- Readiness of the power ecosystem
- Policies and political commitments.
- This report has tracked the performance of states in shifting away from fossil-fuel-based power plants and the capability to incentivise the green market.
- The report measures the performance of states through the States’ Electricity Transition (SET) scoring system.
- India has recently revised its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.