First ACTCM Barge, Yard 125 (Lsam 15) was launched at M/S Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, ThaneOn February 10, 2023, the first Ammunition Cum Torpedo Cum Missile (ACTCM) Barge, Yard 125 (LSAM 15) was launched by Capt Prashant Saxena, AWPS (Mbi) at M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane (Maharashtra).
- In this Barge, all major and auxiliary equipment/systems sourced from indigenous manufacturer. This caters to the ‘Make in India’ initiative of Ministry of Defence.
- Its service life of Barge is 30 years.
i.The construction of Barge was done with M/s Suryadipta Projects Pvt Ltd, Thane, an MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises).
ii.ACTCM Barges will provide impetus to Operational commitments of Indian Navy (IN) by facilitating Transportation, Embarkation and Disembarkation of articles / ammunition to IN Ships both alongside jetties and at outer harbours.
In 2021, IN signed a contract with Suryadipta Projects to construct 11 ACTCM barges with with Suryadipta Projects Private Limited.
India jumps to 55th rank in ICAO’s Aviation Safety Oversight Ranking: DGCAAs per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s position has improved in the Aviation Safety Oversight Ranking of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as India’s aviation security monitoring ranking has improved to the 55th position from 112th place.
- Under the continuous monitoring approach of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP), the Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) was launched in India from November 9 to 16, 2022.
i.This ranking is dynamic and is contingent upon the outcomes of various Audits undertaken by ICAO.
- USOAP allows the ICAO to continuously monitor the safety obligations of its 187 member states.
ii. The USOAP is based on eight critical elements (CE) of a safety oversight system, which are measured by a set of protocol questions (PQs).
- The eight CE of the audit are Primary Aviation Legislation and Civil Aviation Regulations (LEG), Civil Aviation Organization (ORG), Personnel Licensing and Training (PEL), Aircraft Operations (OPS), Airworthiness of Aircraft (AIR), Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (AIG), Air Navigation Services (ANS), and Aerodromes and Ground Aids (AGA).
iii.The ICAO team reviewed the progress in addressing 137 Protocol Questions (PQs) out of which 101 PQs are now satisfactory, 1 PQ to not applicable, and 35 PQs remained not satisfactory.
- This resulted in an updated overall Effective Implementation (EI) of 85.65%.
About Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA):
Director General– Arun Kumar
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
HDFC Mutual Fund launches HDFC S&P BSE 500 ETF, HDFC NIFTY Midcap 150 ETF, HDFC NIFTY Smallcap 250 ETFHDFC Mutual Fund/HDFC Asset Management Company (AMC) Ltd launched 3 open-ended schemes viz. HDFC S&P BSE 500 ETF, HDFC NIFTY Midcap 150 ETF, and HDFC NIFTY Smallcap 250 ETF replicating the S&P BSE 500 Index, NIFTY Midcap 150 Index & NIFTY Smallcap 250 Index respectively.
- The New Fund Offer (NFO) for the same is open till February 13, 2023.
- The scheme will be managed by Abhishek Mor, Nirman Morakhia and Arun Agarwal.
Objective of scheme:
To provide returns that are commensurate (before fees and expenses) with the performance of the underlying index over long term, subject to tracking error
i.The launch of these schemes will expand the suite of HDFC Mutual Fund Index Solutions, and allow investors to participate in the India growth story in a diversified manner,
ii.The minimum subscription amount for investment in these schemes is Rs 500 per application and in multiples of Re 1 thereafter.
iii.It will offer diversified exposure to large, mid and smallcap segments, but with lower volatility than the vast majority of their underlying constituents.
About HDFC Asset Management Company (AMC) Ltd:
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer– Navneet Munot
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Paytm launches G20-Theme QR Code to celebrate India’s Presidency
On 10th February 2023, One97 Communications Limited, which owns financial services company Paytm, launched a G20 theme QR Code to celebrate India’s Presidency of the Inter-governmental forum and India’s leadership in mobile payments.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways and Information Technology, launched the QR Code during the “Digital Payments Utsav” at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, Delhi.
- The special commemorative QR Code includes the “DigiDhan Mission” logo from MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) along with the logos of the G20 in 2023 and the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.
- Paytm is planning a special drive under the “Digital Payments Utsav” in which a branded car will travel to several areas in Delhi with a high public presence.
Air India signed agreements to buy around 500 new planes from Airbus and Boeing
Tata’s Air India has signed agreements to buy around 500 new planes worth USD 100 billion at list prize. The deal for around 500 planes is split between French company Airbus and Boeing based in the United States of America(USA).
- Air India has agreed to purchase 250 Airbus planes, split between 210 single-aisle A320neos and 40 widebody A350s, and 220 Boeing aircraft including 190 of its 737 MAX narrowbody jets, 20 787 widebodies and 10 777Xs.
- Boeing agreed to the deal on 27th January 2023 and Airbus agreed to the deal on 10th February 2023.
- The deal for 400 narrowbodies will also allow Air India to win a bigger share of regional international traffic and the domestic market.
Former Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel honoured with Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize 2022On 8th February 2023, Angela Merkel, former Federal Chancellor of Germany, received the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO(United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Peace Prize 2022 during the ceremony held in Yamoussoukro, the capital of the Ivory Coast. She received the prize in recognition of her efforts to welcome refugees during her term in the office.
- The international jury members headed(President) by Denis Mukwege, gynaecologist & Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced Angela Merkel as the recipient of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize 2022 in August 2022.
i.In 2015, Angela Merkel, then Federal Chancellor of Germany, decided to suspend the Dublin Procedure for Syrians, which meant that refugees from that country no longer had to be sent back to the first European Union(EU) country that they entered.
ii.The 2015 European migrant crisis, also known internationally as the Syrian refugee crisis, was a period of significantly increased movement of refugees
iii.She declared “Wir schaffen das” or “We can do this” as Europe was confronted with the largest refugee crisis it has seen in years.
About Angela Merkel:
i.Angela Merkel was born on 17th July 1954 in Hamburg, Germany.
ii.She became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005 and served in the post for 16 years (4 terms). She resigned from the post in 2021.
ii.She is a member of the Christian Democratic Union(CDU).
She was honoured with the Jawaharlal Nehru Prize for International Understanding by the government of India in 2011.
About the Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize:
i.The Félix Houphouët-Boigny-UNESCO Peace Prize is intended to honour an individual, an institution, or a private or public body which has significantly contributed to the promotion, research, safeguarding or maintenance of peace.
ii.The Prize was established in 1989 by a resolution supported by 120 countries and adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 25th session.
iii.The award is named after Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the first president of Ivory Coast(Côte d’Ivoire), serving from 1960 until his death in 1993.
- The other renowned recipients of the prize include Nelson Mandela, Frederik W. De Klerk, and Jimmy Carter.
About United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General– Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters– Paris, France
Taj Miss & Mrs India 2023: Akshata Rakshe from Mumbai crowned as Taj Miss India 2023
Akshata Rakshe from Mumbai, Maharashtra, was crowned the winner of Taj Miss India 2023 at the grand finale of Taj Miss & Mrs India 2023 held at Hotel Sadanand Regency in Balewadi, Pune, Maharashtra.
The 1st runner-up was announced to be Natasha Sadaphal, while Isha was the 2nd runner-up in the Taj Miss India 2023 pageant.
- The winner was selected from the top 40 finalists.
- Jury Panel: Television Actor Dhanashri Bhalekar, actor-writer-director Chetan Chavada, Miss India 2018 Pia Roy and The Dental Hub’s Dr Sagar Abichandani.
Moldovan PM Natalia Gavrilița resigns; Dorin Recean appointed new PM of MoldovaOn 10th February 2023, Natalia Gavrilița (41 years old), Prime Minister (PM) of the Republic of Moldova announced her resignation from the post, claiming a lack of support in the former Soviet Union. The pro-Western government had been in power for just 18 months (August 2021 to February 2023).
- Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, appointed presidential adviser Dorin Recean, a pro-Western economist, as the new PM following the resignation of Natalia Gavrilița.
- Natalia Gavrilița, a Moldovan economist and politician, was appointed as the PM of Moldova in August 2021. She became the 3rd woman PM of Moldova after Zinaida Greceanii and Maia Sandu.
About Natalia Gavrilița:
i. Natalia Gavrilițaserved as the Minister of Finance for the Republic of Moldova in 2019.
ii. She oversaw projects in a number of developing countries while serving as the managing director (MD) of the Global Fund for Innovation just before she entered politics.
iii. She was also the Executive Director of the World Bank’s Education Reform Project.
iv. Natalia Gavrilița also served within the State Chancellery, for Oxford Policy Management, and the Ministry of Education.
v. In her earlier career, Natalia Gavrilița held the position of Head of the Department for Economic Forecasts and Development Programs within the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure.
About the Republic of Moldova:
President- Maia Sandu
Prime Minister- Dorin Recean
Ekta Kapoor & Shobha Kapoor step down as ALTBalaji Heads; Vivek Koka named as CBO
Ekta Kapoor, a film Producer, and her mother Shobha Kapoor have stepped down from their positions as the head of the ALTBalaji, a subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms Limited, is an OTT (over-the-top) platform. The process of stepping down started in 2022.
Vivek Koka, who has been named Chief Business Officer(CBO) of ALTBalaji, will now run the online streaming business.
- ALTBalaji wants to continue its excellent tradition of providing its consumers with original, high-quality programming under the leadership of Vivek Koka.
- Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor are the Managing Director and Joint Managing Director of Balaji Telefilms Limited, respectively.
Kotak Mahindra Bank Acquires Sonata Finance for Rs. 537 Crore
Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL) has entered into binding share purchase agreements with existing shareholders to acquire 100% of the equity shares of Sonata Finance Pvt Ltd (SFPL) for about Rs. 537 crore in cash.
- The acquisition is scheduled to be completed in H1 (April-September) of the fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24).
SFPL will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of KMBL once the transaction is approved by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
- SFPL is a Non-Banking Finance Company and Microfinance Institution (NBFC-MFI).
Sonata Finance Pvt Ltd (SFPL)
i.Anup Kumar Singh acquired SFPL in January 2006 and converted it to an NBFC-MFI on December 3, 2013. It is headquartered in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
ii.As of December 31, 2022, SFPL has Rs. 1,903 crore in Assets Under Management (AUM), serving a customer base of 9 lakh with 2,882 employees.
iii.SFPL offers microfinance services to the economically weaker section of society, particularly to women, through the joint liability group (JLG) and individual lending (IL) models.
i.The acquisition will provide KMBL access to 502 branches in 10 states as well as 9 lakh more female customers.
ii.The acquisition would be used by KMBL to expand its operations in the rural and semi-urban markets in the northern Indian states.
Note: The last time KMBL purchased an NBFC-MFI was in 2017, when it paid a total of Rs. 139.2 crore in all-cash for 99.49% of the equity shares of BSS Microfinance.
About Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited (KMBL):
MD & CEO – Uday Kotak
Established – 2003
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Let’s Make Money Simple
Gaganyaan Mission: ISRO & Indian Navy conducts Initial Recovery Trials
On 7th February 2023, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Indian Navy carried out initial recovery trials of the Crew Module in the Water Survival Test Facility (WSTF) in Kochi, Kerala for the Gaganyaan mission, India’s human space flight mission.
- A Crew Module Recovery Model (CMRM) was used for the trial that simulates the mass, the centre of gravity, outer dimensions, and externals of the actual Crew Module at touchdown.
- According to ISRO, the Gaganyaan project will demonstrate the capability of human spaceflight by sending its three crew members into a 400 km orbit for a 3-day mission and safely bringing them back to land in Indian sea waters.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023 – February 11United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science is annually observed across the globe on February 11 to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
- The day celebrates women and girls who have devoted themselves to science and the advancement of human knowledge and understanding as students, researchers, and practitioners.
11th February 2023 marks the observance of the 8th International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The theme of International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023 is “Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate, Advance, Sustain. (IDEAS): Bringing communities Forward for sustainable and equitable development”.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/70/212 on 22nd December 2015 and proclaimed February 11 of every year as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
ii. The 1st ever International Day of Women and Girls in Science was observed on 11th February 2016.
About the UN Women:
Executive Director- Sima Bahous
Headquarters- New York, USA
World Unani Day 2023 – February 11World Unani Day is annually observed across the globe on February 11 to create and spread awareness about health care delivery through the Unani system of medicine. The day also commemorates the birth anniversary of Mohammad Ajmal Khan, better known as “Hakim Ajmal Khan”, a great Indian Unani Scholar and social reformer.
- 11th February 2023 marks the 155th anniversary of Mohammad Ajmal Khan.
The theme of World Unani Day 2023 is “Unani Medicine for Public Health”.
- The day marks the contribution of Mohammad Ajmal Khan to the growth of Unani medicine in India and globally.
i. The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), Government of India has declared the birth anniversary of Hakim Ajmal Khan, February 11 of every year as the World Unani Day to recognise his contribution towards the development of Unani medicine in India and across the globe.
ii. The 1st ever World Unani Day was observed on 11th February 2017 at the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM) (now National Research Institute of Unani Medicine for Skin Disorders (NRIUMSD)), Hyderabad, Telangana.
About the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM):
CRIUM (NRIUMSD) is a decentralized Institute working under the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM).
Director In-Charge- Dr Ahmed Minhajuddin
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi.
World Day of the Sick 2023 – 11th February
World Day of the Sick annually observed across the globe on February 11 marks the annual day of prayer for the sick. The day was established by Pope John Paul II in 1992 as a way to offer hope and comfort to those who are suffering from illness.
- The day also marks the Feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes in honour of the Marian apparitions that were said to have been seen in and around Lourdes, France
- 11th February 2023 marks the 31st World Day of the Sick.
The theme of the 2023 observance is “Take care of him: Compassion as a synodal exercise of healing”,
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot Unveiled the State Budget for 2023-24
Ashok Gehlot, the Chief Minister (CM) of Rajasthan and Minister of Finance, presented the state’s 2023–24 budget. For the first time, the state budget was streamed live to all state government offices and private colleges.
Highlights of the Rajasthan Budget 2023-24
i.The Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) subsidy will benefit at least 76 lakh families under the Ujjwala scheme, who would receive LPG cylinders at Rs 500.
ii.The Rajasthan government would provide free electricity of up to 2,000 units to 11 lakh farmers.
iii.In response to the paper leak controversy, the state suggested a One-Time Registration (OTR) Mechanism for competitive exams for job applicants.
iv.The annual family limit for medical coverage under the Chiranjeevi Swasthya Bima Yojana (Health Insurance Scheme) has been raised from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh.
Chief Minister (CM) – Ashok Gehlot
Governor – Kalraj Mishra
Wildlife Sanctuaries – Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary; Kaila Devi Sanctuary
Tiger Reserves – Ranthambore Tiger Reserve; Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve
Assam Govt approves Assam Industrial and Investment Policy (Amendment), 2023On February 9, 2023, the State Cabinet of Assam chaired by Chief Minister (CM) Himanta Biswa Sarma cleared the Assam Industrial and Investment Policy (Amendment), 2023.
Objective behind this amendment:
To amend the existing policy for attracting global investment through customized incentives for implementation of mega projects in the state and to make Assam a globally-competitive investment destination.
i.Under the customized incentives for implementation of mega projects, there will be initial investment of Rs 100 crore and 200 permanent employments with all non-skilled/ grade 3 and 4 employees to be from within the state.
ii.The amended policy will include capital investment/ production linked subsidy, subsidy on power tariff, land, stamp duty reimbursement etc.
iii.There will also be an empowered committee, chaired by Assam’s Industries and Commerce minister (Currently- Bimal Bora), under the provisions of the amended policy.
Other approvals by State Cabinet:
i.The Assam factories (Amendment) Rules, 2023′ was approved in view of certain omissions and errors in the existing provisions.
ii.Approval for Power Purchase Subsidy of Rs 150 crore to Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) for easing the burden on consumers.
- This will allow APDCL to mitigate the revenue gap claimed in the tariff petition and avoid a hike in retail tariff for fiscal 2022-23.
iii.The Cabinet also approved new service rules for persons appointed in the technical wing of the Panchayat and Rural Development department.
iv.There is also an approval to the World Bank-funded Assam State Secondary healthcare Initiative for Service delivery Transformation (ASSIST)’ project for Rs 2,529.17 crore to improve district-level healthcare services.
Governor– Prof. Jagadish Mukhi
National Parks– Kaziranga National Park, Manas National Park, and Dibru – Saikhowa National Park
UP Government launches Portal for Family ID – “One Family, One ID”
The Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government has launched the portal for creation of “Parivar Pehchan (Family Identity (ID))-One Family One ID” to identify families as a unit to implement the ‘One Family One Job’ scheme.
Aim: To give free or discounted rations to families without ration cards who are ineligible for the National Food Security Scheme.
i. The database entered in the portal will help with better beneficiary scheme management, timely targeting, and transparent operation, giving 100% of the benefit of the scheme to eligible persons, and streamlining public access to government services.
ii. Families without jobs can be recognised and given priority access to suitable employment opportunities on the basis of the integrated database gained through Parivar Pehchan Patra (Family ID).
iii. The National Food Security Scheme currently provides benefits to 14.92 crore people and 3.59 crore families in Uttar Pradesh.
iv. The “One Family One Identity” portal was developed to provide a 12-digit unique family ID to those families which were not ration card holders.
About Uttar Pradesh:
Chief Minister (CM)- Yogi Adityanath
Governor- Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel
Airports- Gorakhpur Airport; Agra Airport (now Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Airport)
Festivals- Ganga Dussehra; Buddha Purnima