Daily Current Affairs and GK | 8 February 2023

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 18:26 PM IST

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Topic: Defence

1. Naval variant of indigenous Light Combat Aircraft landed successfully on INS Vikrant.

  • Light Combat Aircraft (Navy) and MIG29 K Fighter Aircraft successfully landed on India’s first indigenous-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
  • As part of the aviation trials, the landing of LCA (Navy) and MiG-29K was carried out on 06 Feb 2023 by Indian Naval Test Pilots.
  • The successful landing and take-off will give further impetus to self-reliance initiatives in the defence sector.
  • For the first time, the trials of a prototype aircraft - indigenously designed & produced by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) & Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), has been successfully carried out on an indigenous Aircraft Carrier.
  • The successful landing and take-off tests from aircraft carriers will help in the development and manufacturing of twin-engine and deck-based fighter jets.
  • Indian Navy is planning to use 12 MiG-29K fighters on the INS Vikrant.
  • The Indian Navy currently operates two aircraft carriers — the INS Vikrant and the INS Vikramaditya.

India’s first indigenous-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

2. Indore becomes the first Municipal Corporation to launch green bonds.

  • Indore has become India’s first civic body to launch green bonds to raise Rs 244 crore for a 60 MW solar plant at its water pumping station.
  • The public issue of green bonds will be open from 10-13 February. The issue will be listed on the National Stock Exchange.
  • Indore Municipal Corporation will set up a 60 MW solar plant to provide power to Juladh pumping station with an investment of Rs 305 crore.
  • The Central government has announced that Sovereign Green Bonds worth 16,000 crore rupees will be issued in the current financial year.
  • The main aim of green bonds is to mobilize resources for green infrastructure projects in the country.
  • In the first tranche of Sovereign Green Bonds, 8000 crore rupees have already been raised.
  • Recently, SEBI has come out with operational guidelines on green bonds.
  • Now, the issuers of green bonds will have to disclose details of the decision-making process followed for determining the eligibility of projects.
  • SEBI has asked the issuer to provide certain additional disclosures along with its annual report and financial results.
  • In addition, the issuer will have to appoint a third-party reviewer for green debt security.
  • It will look after the post-issue management of the use of proceeds from the green debt security, and verification of the internal tracking and impact reporting.

Half Yearly Current Affairs 2022 - 2023

Topic: Indian Economy

3. RBI raised repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.50%.

  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India has raised the repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.50%.
  • RBI has projected GDP growth of 6.4% for the next fiscal year. The MPC had cut down the GDP forecast for fiscal 2023 to 6.8% in December.
  • In FY24, retail inflation is expected to be 5.3 %.
  • The decision to raise the repo rate has been taken by Monetary Policy Committee with a 4:2 majority.
  • The repo rate has been increased for the sixth time since May 2022.
  • With the increase in repo rate, lending rates of banks are expected to rise. EMIs on vehicles, home and personal loans will increase. 43.6 % of the total loans are linked with the Repo rate.
  • The external benchmark linked lending rate (EBLR) of banks will increase by 25 bps.
  • The standing deposit facility rate will be 6.25% and the marginal standing facility rate and the bank rate will be 6.75%.
  • Uncertainties from geopolitical tensions, global financial market volatility, rising non-oil commodity prices, etc. are the main concerns of the economy.

Topic: National News

4. Govt will open Integrative Medicine Centres at All Govt Medical Establishments, especially in AIIMS.

  • On 7 February, Integrative Medicine Center was jointly inaugurated by Health Minister and Union AYUSH Minister at the Department of Integrative Medicine of the All-India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) at Safdarjung Hospital.
  • The establishment of such centers will help in the integration of Indian and modern systems of medicine as well as in the provision of collaborative multidisciplinary treatment for patients.
  • Integrative medicine aims to harness the potential of India's rich heritage and medical knowledge, while harnessing modern advances in allopathy.
  • Both traditional and modern medical practices will help provide better opportunities for health and wellness.
  • Health and wellness programs are being run in more than 1,56,000 Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centers (AB-HWCs) across the country.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

5. India signed an MoU with Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council (IMT-GT JBC), Malaysia.

  • On 7 February, the three-day G20 Energy Transitions Working Group (ETWG) meeting concluded in Bengaluru.
  • On the sidelines, they have signed this MoU to further promote the adoption of energy efficiency and sustainable practices in the region.
  • On the occasion of India Energy Week celebrations, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Power, signed an MoU with IMT-GT JBC Malaysia.
  • Under this MoU, EESL will provide technical advisory, project management support, contracting and implementation support to execute select energy efficiency programmes.
  • The next ETWG meeting is to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat in the first week of April.

Topic: Personality in News

6. Apsara Iyer became the Harvard Law Review's first Indian-American woman president.

  • A Harvard Law School second-year Indian-American student, Apsara Iyer, has been elected president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.
  • In the 136-year history of this prestigious publication, she became the first woman from the Indian-American community to be named to the position.
  • Apsara Iyer was elected the 137th President of the Harvard Law Review, which was founded in 1887 and is among the oldest student-run legal scholarship publications.
  • In 2016, Iyer graduated from Yale with bachelor's degrees in economics and mathematics and Spanish.
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Topic: Awards and Prizes

7. VP Nandakumar has received Hurun India Award.

  • The Hurun India Award was given to VP Nandakumar, managing director and chief executive officer of Manappuram Finance Limited, for his outstanding contributions to business.
  • The Hurun Industry Achievement Award 2022 was given to Nandakumar by Hurun Global's founder and chairman, Rupert Hoogwerf.
  • On 2 February, V.K. Mathews, the founder and executive chairman of IBS Software, was also honored with the Hurun Industry Achievement Award 2022.
  • At a ceremony held in Mumbai, Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank India, presented this award to Mathews.
  • The previous winners of this award includes Adi Godrej, chairman of the Godrej Group, Cyrus S. Poonawalla, managing director of Serum Institute of India Ltd, Kris Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Infosys Ltd, and Sanjiv Goenka of the RPG Group.

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

8. Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) signed a Statement of intent with the International Energy Agency (IEA).

  • On 7 February, the SoI has been signed to strengthen cooperation in the field of data and research and to promote global energy security and sustainability.
  • Shri P. Manoj Kumar, Director General, PPAC and Dr. Fateh Birol, Executive Director, IEA, signed a Letter of Intent (SoI) on the occasion of India Energy Week.
  • This SoI is for cooperation in various areas of cooperation between PPAC and IEA, as well as in the energy sector, as specified in the SoI.
  • In addition, comprehensive datasets, reports, analysis will be made available for better analysis and interpretation.
  • Both sides intend to cooperate under the SoI in the areas of energy markets, data and statistics, biofuels (bioethanol and biodiesel) and Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) and other emerging fuels.
  • It will also provide information on global oil and gas markets and technologies relevant to the oil and gas sectors.
  • On April 1, 2002, the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC) was established under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

9. Government has decided to extend PM-KUSUM Scheme till March 2026.

  • The government has extended the PM-KUSUM scheme until March 2026 because its pace of implementation has been hampered by the pandemic.
  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (PM-KUSUM) Scheme was launched in 2019.
  • Its main aim is to ensure energy security for farmers in India and to increase the share of installed capacity of electric power from non-fossil-fuel sources to 40% by 2030.
  • It is one the world’s largest initiatives to provide clean energy to more than 35 lakhs farmers by solarising their agriculture pumps.
  • The scheme aims to generate 7.55 lakh job years for skilled and unskilled workers.
  • The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also conducted a third party evaluation of the scheme and on the basis of recommendations the scheme has been extended till 2026.
  • PM-KUSUM Scheme has three components, which are given below:
    • Component-A: Addition of 10,000 MW of solar capacity through the installation of small solar power plants of capacity up to 2 MW.
    • Component-B: Installation of 20 lakh standalone solar-powered agricultural pumps.
    • Component-C: Solarisation of 15 lakhs existing Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps.

Topic: National Appointments

10. K Satyanarayana Raju appointed as MD & CEO of Canara Bank.

  • K Satyanarayana Raju has taken place of LV Prabhakar, who resigned on December 31, 2022.
  • K Satyanarayana Raju has taken the charge as the MD and CEO with effect from February 7, 2023.
  • He worked as Executive Director of Canara Bank since 10th March 2021.
  • He joined the erstwhile Vijaya Bank in 1998 and rose to the level of Chief General Manager at the Bank of Baroda.
  • He has vast experience in branch banking, corporate credit, retail credit, agri financing, etc.
  • Other recent appointments:
    • Raul Rebello has been appointed as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer-Designate of Mahindra Finance.
    • Shamika Ravi has been appointed as a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).

Topic: Infrastructure and Energy

11. PM Modi launched 20% ethanol-blended petrol in 11 States/UTs.

  • In line with the Ethanol Blending Roadmap, the Prime Minister launched E20 fuel at 84 retail outlets of Oil Marketing Companies in 11 States/UTs.
  • E20 is a blend of 20% ethanol with petrol. In the first phase, 15 cities will be covered and will be expanded to the entire country in the next two years.
  • It is a part of a program to increase the use of biofuels to cut emissions as well as reduce dependence on foreign exchange-draining imports.
  • The government aims to achieve full 20% blending of ethanol by 2025.
  • HPCL and other oil marketing companies are setting up 2G-3G ethanol plants, which will facilitate its progress.
  • Currently, 10% ethanol is blended in petrol (10% ethanol, 90% petrol) and the government is looking to double this amount by 2025.
  • Government increased ethanol blending in petrol from 1.5 per cent (in 2014) to 10 per cent and is now moving towards 20 per cent blending.
  • This contributed to a reduction of 318 lakh metric tonnes of CO2 emissions and a savings of approximately Rs 54,000 crore in foreign exchange. 
  • This has resulted in payment of about Rs 81,800 crore for ethanol supply and transfer of over Rs 49,000 crore to farmers during 2014 to 2022.
  • Apart from this, the Prime Minister also flagged off the Green Mobility Rally organized by HPCL.
  • The rally saw the participation of 57 vehicles running on sustainable green energy sources such as E20, E85, flex fuel, hydrogen, electric etc.

ethanol-blended petrol in 11 States/UTs

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Important Days

12. Safer Internet Day 2023: 7 February

  • Safer Internet Day is observed every year on the second day of the second week of the second month across the globe.
  • This year 7th February was observed as the 20th edition of Safer Internet Day.
  • In 1990, the World Wide Web was first introduced by computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee.
  • Safer Internet Day was started in 2004 as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project.
  • The day is organised by the Insafe/INHOPE network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) in collaboration with the European Commission.

Topic: Space and IT

13. Jupiter becomes planet with the most number of moons.

  • With the discovery of 12 new moons, Jupiter becomes the planet with the highest number of moons.
  • Now, Jupiter has total of 92 moons. Saturn is in the second position with 83 moons.
  • Nine of the 12 discovered moons are among the 71 outermost Jovian moons, whose orbits are more than 550 days.
  • These moons have been discovered by using telescopes in Hawaii and Chile in 2021 and 2022.
  • These newest discovered moons range in size from 0.6 miles to 2 miles (1 kilometer to 3 kilometers).
  • NASA will launch the Europa Clipper mission to explore Jupiter moon Europa.
  • Jupiter and Saturn have many small moons, which are believed to be the fragments of bigger moons.
  • Uranus has 27 confirmed moons, Neptune has 14, Mars has two and Earth has one moon. Venus and Mercury don’t have no moons.
  • Jupiter is the biggest planet of our Solar System. It is mainly made up of hydrogen and helium.

Topic: Sports

14. Australia's T20 World Cup-winning captain Aaron Finch announced his retirement.

  • Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from international T20Is. It has ended his 12-year-long international cricket career.
  • Earlier, he had announced retirement from the 50-over format in September last year.
  • He said that it's important for the new captain and opener to give sufficient time for the 2024 T20 World Cup.
  • He made his international cricket debut in a T20I against England in 2011.
  • He played 103 T20 matches for Australia and scored 3120 runs at an average of 34.28 and a strike rate of 142.5.
  • He led Australia in 76 men's T20Is, as well as in 55 ODIs.
  • His highest score was 172 against Zimbabwe in 2018.
  • Recently, Indian Cricketer Joginder Sharma has also announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

Aaron Finch announced his retirement

(Source: News on AIR)

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