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Current Affairs

16th February 2023




Top 17 Daily Current Affairs: National & International News:

Here is the Current Affairs 16th February 2023 covering the following news headlines: National Aadi Mahotsav, Cheetah Reintroduction Program, World Bank chief, Nikki Haley, Joint Exercise Tarkash, ‘iDEX Investor Hub’.


National News



1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Inaugurate National Aadi Mahotsav

·        Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the National Aadi Mahotsav on 16th February 2023 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi.

·        This was announced at a media briefing by the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda in New Delhi. Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Renuka Saruta was also present on the occasion.

·        Arjun Munda also informed that the Prime Minister will be given an overview of the products which will be on display at various stalls and will engage with the artisans and the craftsmen from the tribal communities.

·        The Minister further informed that the Tribal Affairs Ministry is making all-out efforts to ensure full participation and involvement of the tribal communities in realizing the Prime Minister’s vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

·        He also said that the emphasis on the organic production of products by the tribal communities can play a big role in combating the challenge of global warming.



2. 12 Cheetahs to be Flown from South Africa Under Cheetah Reintroduction Program

·        Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav announced Twelve cheetahs will be flown in from South Africa on 18th February.

·        Under the ambitious Cheetah reintroduction program, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the first batch of eight spotted felines — five females and three males — from Namibia into a quarantine enclosure at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh on his 72nd birthday on September 17 last year.

·        Presently, the eight cheetahs at Kuno are killing prey every three-four day and are in good health. One of the cheetahs was unwell as her creatinine levels had shot up. She has recovered after treatment.




International News



3. World Bank chief David Malpass to step down early

·        World Bank chief David Malpass has announced his resignation nearly a year early. He ending a tenure at the head of the development lender that was clouded by questions over his climate stance.

·        The veteran of Republican administrations in the United States was appointed to the role in 2019 when Donald Trump was president and previously served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for international affairs. Malpass’s term would have originally ended in 2024.

·        The US traditionally nominates the head of the World Bank, with Europe nominating the heads of its twin Bretton Woods institution, the International Monetary Fund.



4. Nikki Haley- A Republican & An Indian-American formally launches her 2024 presidential bid

·        Indian-origin Republican leader Nikki Haley formally launched her 2024 presidential bid, casting herself as a younger, fresher alternative to her one-time boss and former US President Donald Trump.

·        Haley, 51, is the two-term Governor of South Carolina and the former US Ambassador to the United Nations.

·        Haley was born Nimrata Nikki Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina, to Indian immigrants. Her parents hailed from Punjab and worked as teachers while also running a clothing store in rural South Carolina.

·        She was raised as a Sikh but converted to Christianity after marriage to Michael Haley in 1996.




Defence News



5. Defence Minister Launched ‘iDEX Investor Hub’, Rs 200 cr Already Pledged

·        Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the ‘iDEX Investor Hub’ (iIH), under which more than Rs 200 crores had already been pledged by leading Indian investors.

·        Defence Minister also launched the ninth edition of ‘Defence India Startup Challenges (DISC 9)’ on “Cybersecurity” during the annual defense innovation event ‘Manthan’ as part of the Aero India 2023.

·        Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) is the flagship initiative of the Department of Defence Production to encourage start-ups and other such entities engaged in defense innovation.

·        The iDEX Investor Hub‘ aims to accelerate investment in the Defence sector and give investors a unified view of opportunities and innovations.



6. Aero India: HAL received approval from DGCA for indigenously developed ‘black boxes’

·        In Aero India, the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has received the Indian Technical Standard Order (ITSO) authorisation from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its indigenously developed Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and Flight Data Recorder (FDR). CVR and FDR are popularly known as ‘black boxes’.

·        However, these recorders are painted in orange colour to help in their recovery following an aircraft accident. CVR and FDR are used to record critical flight parameters and audio environment in a crash proof memory which is later used for investigation of aircraft incident or accident.



7. India, US Forces Run Joint Exercise Tarkash

·        A joint counter-terrorism exercise Tarkash between National Security Guard (NSG) and US Special Operations Forces (SOF) culminated in Chennai, after four weeks of intense training and joint anti-terror exercises.

·        The main highlight of the exercise was mock drills for the CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) counter terror response by special forces of both countries.

·        The training regimen of the exercise included the conduct of urban counter-terrorism drills, combat shooting and practice of long-range marksmanship, to enhance mutual warfare capabilities.

·        In the current geopolitical landscape, Exercise Tarkash is a significant one as India is surrounded by two nuclear-armed neighbours, China and Pakistan.



8. Aero India: Solar-powered drone SURAJ unveiled

·        Drone startup Garuda Aerospace has unveiled its solar-powered drone “SURAJ”, designed specifically for surveillance operations, at Aero India 2023.

·        SURAJ is an ISR (intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance) high-altitude drone designed specifically for surveillance operations, providing “real-time information to the high command and protecting jawans on the ground.”

·        Principal Scientific Advisor to Defence Minister and former DRDO Chief Dr. Satheesh Reddy unveiled it.

·        Recently, Garuda Aerospace had raised USD 22 Million, the “largest ever” Series A funding in the drone sector.

Business News



9. Indian PSU refiners to set up 137,000 tonnes per annum green hydrogen facility by 2030

·        The public sector oil refineries in India are estimated to build green hydrogen capacity of 137,000 (1.37 lakh) tonnes per annum (TPA) by 2030.

·        If fructified, besides boosting the economy with investments and jobs, this massive capacity building in the green hydrogen sector would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a large way.

·        Dr S S V Ramakumar, Director of R&D, Indian Oil Corporation has revealed the above information while speaking at the India Energy Week in Bengaluru. He said that Indian Oil would first put up a seven thousand TPA electrolysis plant at its Panipat refinery.

·        Also, Dr Ramakumar opined that biomass gasification is a better way of producing green hydrogen in India.



10. Rolls-Royce Announced Order of Trent XWB-97 Engines from Air India

·        Rolls-Royce, a British engineering company, announced that it has received an order from Air India for 68 Trent XWB-97 engines, in addition to an option for 20 more. The large A350 aircraft of Airbus are powered by Rolls-Royce XWB engines.

·        Air India sealed an order for procuring 250 Airbus passenger jets. The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s and 210 Airbus A320/321 aircraft. Separately, Air India ordered 220 planes from Boeing.

·        This is the biggest-ever order for the Trent XWB-97, which exclusively powers the Airbus A350-1000. Air India has also ordered 12 Trent XWB-84, engines, the sole engine option for the Airbus A350-900.

·        It also informed that this is the first time that an Indian airline has ordered the Trent XWB and the deal will make Air India the largest operator of the Trent XWB-97 in the world.




Banking News



11. RBI Grants in-principle approval to 32 entities for Payment Aggregator licence

·        The RBI has granted a total of 32 in-principle authorisations to existing payment aggregators, to operate as online payment aggregators, according to a press statement issued by the central bank.

·        RBI also granted a total of 19 new online PA authorisations to firms including Groww Pay Services, Juspay Technologies, Mswipe Technologies, Tata Payments, and Zoho Payment Tech.

·        On the other hand, existing PAs such as PayU Payments, Paytm Payment Services, and Freecharge Payment Technologies had their applications returned by the RBI. The three firms are allowed to file a fresh application 120 days from the date of return. While Freecharge’s application was returned on Feb. 10, 2022; PayU and Paytm had theirs returned on Jan. 10, 2023, and Nov. 25, 2022, respectively.

·        Over 50 applications to operate as online aggregators were also returned by the RBI with the requirement to halt online PA activity within 180 days from the date of return of the application. These include Ola Financial Services, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. or IRCTC, Khatabook, KredX, and Rupifi.  PhonePe and Instamojo are among 18 existing payment aggregators whose online PA applications are currently under review.




12. Karnataka Bank awarded ‘Prathista Puraskar for achieving highest percentage in BHIM-UPI transactions

·        Karnataka Bank was awarded with ‘Prathista Puraskar’ under ‘Digidhan Awards 2021-22’ by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), government of India for achieving target with highest percentage in BHIM-UPI transactions in private sector bank category.

·        Labelled as ‘KBL-NxT’, the bank is currently undertaking an accelerated digital drive under its transformation journey ‘KBL VIKAAS 2.0’. This award is an ideal tribute to the founding fathers of this great institution as Karnataka Bank is stepping into its 100th year of its fruitful existence.”

·        Karnataka Bank Limited was incorporated on 18 February 1924, and commenced business on 23 May 1924. Its founders established it at Mangalore, a coastal town in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

·        Karnataka Bank Limited is an Indian private sector bank based in Mangalore.




Ranks and Reports



13. IQAir: Mumbai overtakes Delhi as most polluted city in India

·        Mumbai has been ranked as the most-polluted city in India and second most polluted city globally within a week between January 29 and February 8, according to Swiss air tracking index IQAir, a real-time air quality monitor.

·        On January 29, Mumbai was ranked 10th in the rankings for the poorest position. Mumbai then clinched the second spot on February 2 before falling in the following days. Then it again rose to take the second place on February 8.

·        On February 13, Mumbai took over Delhi as the most polluted city in India and was the third most unhealthy city worldwide for air quality worldwide.




Schemes News



14. Ministry of Tourism Selected Four Pilgrim Centres Under PRASHAD Scheme

·        The Ministry of Tourism under its schemes of ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)’ has identified four pilgrim centers for development. They provide financial assistance to State Governments/UT Administrations etc. for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.

·        The Ministry of Tourism has revamped its Swadesh Darshan scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD2.0) to develop sustainable and responsible tourism destinations. Under SD2.0, the Ministry has identified ‘Hampi’ and ‘Mysuru’ as destinations for development.

·        The Four Pilgrim Centres are:- Development of Maa Chamundeshwari Devi Temple, Mysuru, Karnataka; Sri Madhwa Vana, Kunjarugiri, Udupi District; Papnash Temple, Bidar District; Sri Renuka Yallamma Temple, Saudatti, Belagavi District.




Awards News



15. Subhash Chandran awarded Kerala’s Akbar Kakkattil award for ‘Samudrasila’

·        Writer Subhash Chandran’s novel Samudrashila has been chosen for the Akbar Kakkattil Award instituted by a trust in the memory of the short story writer and novelist from Kozhikode.

·        The novel was selected by a three-member jury from among the literary works published in the last five years.

·        The award consisting of a purse of Rs 50,000 and a sculpture will be presented to Mr. Subhash Chandran by writer M. Mukundan at an event on February 17. M.K. Muneer, MLA, will deliver a commemorative lecture. This novel also won the M. Sukumaran Memorial Literary Award for the year 2021.



Sports News



16. ICC Women T20 World Cup Points Table 2023

·        The ICC T-20 Women’s World Cup has began in South Africa from 10th February 2023, with the opening match between the host team, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

·        This is the first time that the ICC T-20 Women’s World Cup tournament is taking place in an African nation. The Indian team led by Harmanpreet Kaur.

·        As the Cup progresses, all the Women’s World Cup T20 teams are eyeing to take the trophy home. There are 5 teams in group 1–Australia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and Bangladesh.

·        While Australia is on the top by winning 2 of 2 matches, New Zealand is languishing. Similar to Group 1, there are 5 teams in group 2– England, India, Pakistan, Ireland and West Indies. England tops the table, followed by India.




Miscellaneous News



17. Mansukh Mandaviya Inaugurated IFFCO Nano Urea Liquid Plants at Aonla and Phulpur

·        Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya inaugurated the IFFCO Nano Urea Liquid Plants at Aonla and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh.

·        Dr. Mandaviya stated that it is an important day because Nano urea plants have been dedicated to the nation. He informed that Nano Urea, in the coming times will ensure the progress of the farmers and increase their income.

·        The Union Minister highlighted the benefits of Nano urea stating that it is the best green technology and provides solutions to pollution. It saves the soil and also increases productivity and hence is the best for the farmers.



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