- 1. IISc researchers showed how neuromorphic camera and machine learning help in nanoscopic imaging.
- 2. Jaipur Declaration was adopted at the 18th World Security Congress.
- 3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved reservation norms for the mandatory use of jute in foodgrains & sugar packaging for Jute Year 2022-23.
- 4. Anish Bhanwala won the bronze medal in rapid fire pistol event at ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
- 5. UK has surpassed India as the world's sixth-largest equities market.
- 6. An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 occurred in Tajikistan.
- 7. Girish Chandra Murmu has been selected as ILO’s external auditor in Geneva.
- 8. Asia Economic Dialogue started on 23 February 2023 in Pune, Maharashtra.
- 9. Former Mastercard chief Ajay Banga is likely to become next President of World Bank.
- 10. G7 finance chiefs meeting held on 23 Feb in Bengaluru.
- 11. Central Excise Day 2023: 24 February
- 12. Quality Control Order for mandatory certification of cotton bales has been approved.
- 13. Haryana government presented a budget of ₹1,83,950 crore for 2023-24.
- 14. Himachal Pradesh will become first state to organise cultivation of Liquorice (Mulethi).
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Topic: Science and Technology
1. IISc researchers showed how neuromorphic camera and machine learning help in nanoscopic imaging.
- The researchers of Indian Institute of Science (IISc) showed how a brain-inspired image sensor can detect miniscule objects such as cellular components or nanoparticles.
- This technique is a combination of optical microscopy with a neuromorphic camera and machine learning algorithms.
- It is an important step towards pinpointing objects smaller than 50 nanometers in size.
- The result of the study was published in 'Nature Nanotechnology'.
- After the discovery of optical microscopes, scientist are trying to surpass a barrier called the diffraction limit.
- The diffraction limit describes the smallest size that an optical imaging system can resolve.
- It means that if objects are smaller than a certain size (typically 200-300 nanometres) then the microscope cannot distinguish two objects.
- The neuromorphic camera work as the human retina, which converts light into electrical impulses. It has several advantages over conventional cameras.
- Each pixel operates independently and asynchronously in neuromorphic cameras. This generates sparse and lower amounts of data compared to traditional cameras.
- Neuromorphic cameras have a very high dynamic range ( >120 dB).They are suitable for use in neuromorphic microscopy.
- The Neuromorphic camera capture the signal as an “ON” event, while an “OFF” event reported as the light intensity decreases.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
2. Jaipur Declaration was adopted at the 18th World Security Congress.
- The 18th World Security Congress was jointly organized by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the International Union of Railways (UIC).
- The 18th UIC World Security Congress concluded on 23 February 2023 with the adoption of the Jaipur Declaration.
- During the conference, participants from all over the world discussed the latest developments and best practices in railway security, focusing on the theme of "Railway Security Strategy: Responses and Vision for Future."
- Pankaj Kumar Singh, Deputy National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister of India gave the valedictory address on the final day of the conference.
- He highlighted the role played by RPF towards improving passenger safety through initiatives like Operation Nanhe Farishte for the rescue of children and Operation AAHT for rescuing women and children from the clutches of traffickers.
- Jaipur declaration outlines an actionable agenda for UIC to explore innovative approaches that can help global Railway organizations achieve their long-term goal of safety and security.
- The seventeenth UIC World Security Congress was held on 14 and 15 June 2022 in Warsaw, Poland.
- UIC (Union International Des Chemins) or International Union of Railways:
- It was established in 1922. It is headquartered in Paris.
- It is the worldwide professional association representing the railway sector for research, development & promotion of rail transport.
Topic: National News
3. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved reservation norms for the mandatory use of jute in foodgrains & sugar packaging for Jute Year 2022-23.
- The mandatory norms provide for 20% reservation for the packaging of sugar and full reservation for the packaging of foodgrains in jute bags.
- This decision will provide a big boost for West Bengal. The jute industry plays important role in economy of West Bengal, where nearly 75 jute mills operate.
- These jute mills provide livelihoods to lakhs of workmen.
- The decision will also support the jute sector in Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
- The reservation norms under Jute Packaging Materials (JPM) Act provide direct employment to lakhs of workers.
- 75% of the total production of the Jute Industry is Jute Sacking Bags.
- Out of this, 85% is supplied to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and State Procurement Agencies (SPAs). The remaining is sold directly.
4. Anish Bhanwala won the bronze medal in rapid fire pistol event at ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt.
- Anish won the bronze in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol event.
- It was his first senior individual World Cup stage medal.
- Italy’s Massimo Spinella won the gold medal by defeating Clement Bessaguet of France.
- Anish performed better than Rio Olympic champion Christian Reitz of Germany to win the Bronze medal.
- Anish won bronze after 30 shots with 21 hits. Anish dedicated the medal to his personal coach Harpreet Singh.
5. UK has surpassed India as the world's sixth-largest equities market.
- For the first time in over nine months, the UK has overtaken India as the sixth-largest equity market in the world.
- UK stock market is proving to be more attractive to investors due to the weakening of the British currency pound. Uncertainties due to the Adani group have pressured the Mumbai stocks market.
- According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the combined market capitalization of primary listings in the UK, excluding ETFs and ADRs, reached about $3.11 trillion as of February 21, about $5.1 billion higher than their Indian counterparts.
- After outperforming global equities last year, the UK's FTSE 350 index is up 5.9% so far this year, versus 4.7% in the MSCI all-country world index growth has been left behind.
- UK’s equity market capitalization remains behind from France.
- The MSCI India Index has fallen 6.1% this year, while Gautam Adani's group of firms has lost roughly $142 billion in market capitalization since the Hindenburg report was released on January 24.
6. An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 occurred in Tajikistan.
- On 23 February, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake occurred 67 kilometers west of Murgob in Tajikistan.
- The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 20.5 kilometers, was felt at 06:07 Indian Standard Time, according to the US Geological Survey.
- Thus far, no casualties have been recorded.
- A magnitude 5.0 aftershock struck the area about 20 minutes after the initial earthquake, which was followed by a magnitude 4.6 earthquake.
- The region is surrounded by the towering Pamir Mountains and has Lake Sarez.
- Lake Sarez was formed as a result of an earthquake in 1911 and is one of the largest lakes in Tajikistan.
- Tajikistan is highly prone to natural disasters and has a long history of floods, earthquakes, landslides, avalanches and heavy snowfall.
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Topic: International Appointments
7. Girish Chandra Murmu has been selected as ILO’s external auditor in Geneva.
- He has been elected for a four-year term from 2024 to 2027.
- CAG will assume charge from the incumbent External Auditor of ILO, Supreme Audit Institution of Philippines.
- International Labour Organization (ILO) formed a Selection Panel for the appointment of an External Auditor.
- It had invited bids from the Supreme Audit Institutions.
- It shortlisted three Supreme Audit Institutions - India, Canada and the United Kingdom.
- Girish Chandra Murmu:
- He is the 14th Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
- He is also the external auditor of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
- He is the chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors.
- He is an external auditor of the World Health Organisation.
(Source: News on AIR)
8. Asia Economic Dialogue started on 23 February 2023 in Pune, Maharashtra.
- It is a three-day long event. It is being co-hosted in collaboration with Pune International Centre.
- This edition is the seventh edition of the Asia Economic Dialogue.
- It is an annual flagship event of the External Affairs Ministry on Geoeconomics.
- The principal theme for Asia Economic Dialogue is ‘Asia and the Emerging World Order’.
- During the dialogue, themes such as Global Growth Prospects, How the Global South Will Shape the G20 Agenda and the Metaverse will also be discussed.
- In the inaugural session of the Dialogue, a conversation will be held between External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, Bhutan Finance Minister Lyonpo Namgay Tshering and Maldives Finance Minister Ibrahim Ameer.
- Over 44 speakers from various countries including Brazil, the US, the UK, South Africa, Bhutan, Maldives, Switzerland, Singapore and Mexico will be taking part in this Dialogue.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: International Appointment
9. Former Mastercard chief Ajay Banga is likely to become next President of World Bank.
- US President Joe Biden has nominated former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga as president of World Bank.
- Recently, David Malpass announced to step down from his World Bank president post.
- Ajay Banga is currently serving as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
- He is an Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.
- He worked with US Vice President Kamala Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America.
- He received the Padma Shri Award in 2016 and Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021.
- United States America is the largest shareholder in the World Bank and traditionally the nominee of US gets approval from Bank’s board of executive directors.
- Ajay Banga has proven track record managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders. He has vast experience of mobilizing public-private resources.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
10. G7 finance chiefs meeting held on 23 Feb in Bengaluru.
- Financial chiefs of the Group of Seven (G7) meet to discuss measures against Russia so that it could end the Ukraine war.
- Japan chaired the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors from the G7 nations.
- The main focus of the meeting was on the Ukraine war and the global economy.
- They discussed issues related to Inflation caused by Russia’s war and support for emerging market economies facing debt problems.
- Japan will host the G7 Hiroshima Summit from May 19–21 in 2023.
- It is an intergovernmental organization that was formed in 1975.
- The G7 comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
- India is not a member of the G7 group.
- As of 2020, G7 accounts for more than half global net wealth.
Topic: Important Days
11. Central Excise Day 2023: 24 February
- Every year, 24 February is celebrated as central excise duty across India.
- The main objective of this day is to honour the efforts, services and contribution of the ‘Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs'.
- Central Excise Day is observed to mark the enactment of the ‘Central Excise and Salt Act’ on 24 February 1944.
- The day encourages the employees of the Excise Department to perform their duties.
- Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC):
- It was established on 1 January 1964.
- It is a part of the Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance.
- It formulates and implements policies for Central GST, Central Excise Duty, and Custom/Import Duty.
- Vivek Johri is the chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.
Topic: Agriculture and Allied Sectors
12. Quality Control Order for mandatory certification of cotton bales has been approved.
- On 22 February, Shri Piyush Goyal presided over the 5th interactive meeting with the Textiles Advisory Group (TAG) in New Delhi.
- The meeting was conducted to review the progress of initiatives for cotton value chain.
- During the Meeting, the Quality Control Order (QCO) for mandatory certification of cotton bales has been approved under specification No. IS12171: 2019-Cotton Bales.
- It will enhance the supply of good quality cotton to the textile industry.
- On 15 December 2022, the MoU has been signed between the CCI and TEXPROCIL.
- MoU has been signed to encourage the Trade and Industry to work on the principle of self-regulation by owning complete responsibility of Traceability, Certification and Branding of “KASTURI Cotton India” with the project target period of 2022-23 to 2024-25.
- The steering committee and apex committee have been constituted and the work of Traceability, certification will start in the current cotton season.
- The overall plan for increasing the productivity of cotton, targeting the technology of HDPS, spacing between plants and ELS, has been approved.
- It is based on public private partnership with cluster based and value chain approach.
- Under the aegis of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) has prepared this pilot plan to be implemented from 2023-24.
Topic: State News/ Haryana
13. Haryana government presented a budget of ₹1,83,950 crore for 2023-24.
- This proposed budget is an increase of 11.6% over RE 2022-23 of ₹1,64,808 crore.
- The Chief Minister had not proposed any new tax in the Budget 2023.
- Fiscal deficit for 2023-24 has been projected as 2.96% of GSDP.
- Mukhyamantri Vyapari Khsatipurti Bima Yojna will become operational on 1 April 2023. It is a welfare scheme for street vendors, small traders and businesses having an annual turnover of upto ₹1.50 crore.
- A new scheme has been proposed named Deen Dayal Upadhyay Antyodyay Parivar Suraksha Yojana for providing assistance in case of death or disability in respect of a member of a family having annual income of upto ₹1.80 lakh.
- The minister, in his budget speech, mentioned that Haryana was conferred with the Best State Agribusiness Award-2022 by the Indian Agriculture and Food Council.
- A Nutri-Cereals Research Station at Gokalpura in Bhiwani district will become operational in 2023 to improve productivity of Bajra cultivation.
- 3 training centres are proposed for 2023-24 at CSS HAU hisar, HAMETI Jind and Mangiana in Sirsa.
- A target of reclamation of 50,00 acres of land facing problems like increasing soil salinity and waterlogging has been proposed for 2023-24.
- Haryana International Horticulture Market’s construction will start this year in Gannaur in Sonipat district.
- Haryana Pashudhan Utthan Mission (HPUM), a scheme has been proposed for entrepreneurship development in the animal husbandry sector.
- Government has taken a decision to launch a pension scheme - Pandit Lakhmi Chand Kalakar Samajik Samman Yojana- in which pension up to Rs 10,000 per month will be given the artists based on certain criteria.
- The government has allocated 13,114 crore rupees to the governance and public administration sector.
- A separate Haryana Police investigation cadre has been approved based on the direction of Supreme court to create separate law and order and investigation wings in the police department.
- Haryana became the first State in the country to introduce e-ticketing using the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC).
- Establishment of six new multi-modal bus ports in Gurugram, Ballabhgarh, Hisar, Sonipat, Karnal and Pipli on public-private partnership (PPP) mode and a city interchange terminal near City Center in Gurugram have been proposed.
Topic: State News/ Himachal Pradesh
14. Himachal Pradesh will become first state to organise cultivation of Liquorice (Mulethi).
- For the first time, planting material of Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra) was distributed to the farmers to cultivate it commercially.
- The demand for Mulethi is high in India as it is not only used as a spice but also used in ayurvedic medicines.
- Currently, Mulethi is largely imported in India from other countries like Afghanistan, Nepal and China.
- Now, Himachal has become the first state in India to have organised cultivation of Mulethi.
- “One week-One Laboratory” programme has been launched at CSIR- Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (IHBT), Palampur.
- Mulethi is a perennial herb that has sweet roots owing to the presence of glycyrrhizin (50 times sweeter than sucrose).
- It is used as a natural sweetener in herbal medicines and falvouring in candies and tobacco.
- Mulethi is mainly grown in Afghanistan. It is also produced in small quantities in Pakistan, China, Nepal and India.