Boeing launches its 1st Global Support Center in India at Gurugrami.On February 13, 2022, the United States (US) aerospace company Boeing launched its first Global Support Center (GSC) in India at Gurugram which will offer customized safety and efficiency projects for Boeing’s airline customers, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.
ii.It will also transfer knowledge to enhance safety and efficiency for airline partners in India.
iii.It also plans to invest in a new logistics center to cater to its regional customers. In the initial phase of the operations, the India logistics centre will focus on supporting airline customers.
iv.Seven teams comprising university students and early stage start-up entrepreneurs became the winners of Boeing University Innovation Leadership Development (BUILD) program 2022-23.
About Boeing India:
President– Salil Gupte
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
PMC & TGBL partners to set up India’s 1st Solid Waste to Hydrogen plant in Pune Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), has partnered with TheGreenBillions Limited(TGBL), to set up India’s first solid waste-to-hydrogen plant in Hadapsar Industrial Estate in Pune, Maharashtra, at an investment of Rs 350 crore.
- TGBL will spend an additional Rs 82 crore to construct the storage facility and logistics support.
- TGBL has entered into a 30-year-long agreement with PMC to set up this plant.
To demonstrate the technological and financial feasibility of waste-to-hydrogen generation.
About Pune’s solid waste-to-hydrogen plant:
i.Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), a Mini Ratna enterprise under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB), will provide project management consulting and Variate Pune Waste to Energy Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TGBL, will implement the project of converting Pune’s municipal non-recyclable waste into hydrogen.
ii.Bhabha Atomic Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka, offer technological support to the plant.
i.This is India’s first attempt to extract hydrogen from waste.
PMC will provide Rs 347 per tonne to TGBL as a tipping fee to treat the waste.
ii.The entire plant is set to be completed by November 2024 and the 1st 10-tonne reactor will be installed by November 2023.
iii.The refuse-derived fuel(RDF) from the waste will be used to generate hydrogen using plasma gasification technology.
iv.By 2024, will treat around 350 tonnes of solid waste every day and produce 10 tonnes of hydrogen.
i.With this project, Pune will reduce up to 2.5 million MT of carbon emission, more than 3.8 million metric tons(MT) of waste will be diverted from the landfill, and more than 180,000 estimated households will be served directly.
ii.Municipal solid waste (MSW) dumped in low-lying urban areas will be diverted and save around 25.16 hectares of land per year.
iii.The wet waste from the facility, which will be segregated using an optical sensor technology at the facility, will be used to generate humic acid-rich bio-fertilisers, which are better than conventional bio-fertilisers with low carbon emissions.
Chief Minister– Eknath Shinde
Governor– Ramesh Bais
National Park– Sanjay Gandhi National Park; Pench (Jawaharlal Nehru) National Park
Wildlife Sanctuary– Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary, Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary
Indian Army undertakes Multiple Welfare Activities under Operation Sadbhavana in Ladakh, J&K
The Indian Army is undertaking multiple welfare activities such as the running of Army Goodwill Schools, Infrastructure Development Projects & Education Tours etc, for the children living in remote areas of the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) as part of ‘Operation SADBHAVANA’.
- In Ladakh, the Indian Army is now operating 7 Army Goodwill Schools (AGS) under “Operation Sadbhavana” to improve the standard of education and provide students with a quality education. More than 2,200 Students are currently studying in these schools.
- During the current fiscal year 2022–2023, funds for “Operation SADBHAVANA” totalling Rs 8.82 crore have been allocated for Ladakh.
Global Sea Level Rose by 4.5 mm per year during 2013-22 period: WMOAccording to the World Meteorological Department (WMO), Global mean sea level rose by 4.5 millimeters (mm) per year during the period 2013-22. WMO stated that Human influence played a major role in the increases in sea levels since 1971.
Rise in Sea Level:
i.Global mean sea level increased by 0.20 m between 1901 and 2018 and the average rate of sea level rise was 1.3 mm per year between 1901 and 1971, 1.9 mm per year between 1971 and 2006, and 3.7 mm per year between 2006 and 2018
ii.Since 1900, the sea level has been increasing faster than any preceding century in the past 3000 years.
iii.Since the end of the last deglacial transition(around 11000 years ago), the temperature of the global oceans has increased faster in the past century.
Expected increase in sea level:
Over the next 2000 years, if the warming is limited to 1.5 degrees, the global mean sea level will rise by about 2 to 3 meters and 2 to 6 meters, if the warming is limited to 2-degree celsius and 19 to 22 meters with 5 degrees of warming.
Threats imposed by increasing sea level:
i.The increasing sea level threatens the low-lying small islands across the globe. It also poses a major threat to countries like India, China, Netherlands and Bangladesh which has a large coastal population.
ii.According to WMO’s report, major cities across all continents such as Mumbai, Shanghai, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Maputo, Lagos, Cairo, London, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Santiago, are threatened due to increasing sea level. This will be a major economic, social and humanitarian challenge.
iii.If the global sea mean level rises by 0.15 meters relative to 2020 levels, the population exposed to a 100-year coastal flood is estimated to increase by 20%. This will double at a 0.75-meter rise and triple at a 1.4-meter rise.
iv.The rising sea level threatens lives, and access to water, food and health care, while saltwater intrusion will affect the economies and industries like agriculture, fisheries and tourism.
The 2015 Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Global temperature has increased by around 1.1 degree Celsius compared with the average in 1850-1900.
About World Meteorological Organization(WMO):
WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations(UN).
President– Gerhard Adrian
Sectreaty General– Petteri Taalas
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Membership– 193 Member States and Territories
HARBINGER 2023 Innovation for Transformation: RBI announces 2nd Global HackathonOn February 14, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched its 2nd global hackathon ‘HARBINGER 2023 – Innovation for Transformation’ on the theme ‘Inclusive Digital Services’.
- Registration for the hackathon starts from February 22, 2023.
It invites innovative ideas for the following problem statements:
i. Innovative, easy-to-use, digital banking services for differently abled (Divyaang).
ii. RegTech solutions to facilitate more efficient compliance by Regulated Entities (REs).
iii. Exploring use cases/solutions for CBDC-Retail transactions, including transactions in offline mode.
iv. Increasing Transactions Per Second (TPS)/ throughput and scalability of blockchains.
i.The winner gets Rs 40 Lakh and Runner-Up Rs 20 Lakh.
ii.It also gives an opportunity to the participants to get mentored by industry experts and exhibit their innovative solutions before an eminent jury and win exciting prizes in each category.
iii.The first hackathon was announced in November 2021 and results were declared in June 2022. It had received 363 proposals submitted by teams from within India and from 22 other countries including the US, UK, Sweden, Singapore, Philippines, and Israel.
January 2023: India’s WPI inflation eases to 2-year low of 4.73%; CPI inflation rises to 3-month high at 6.52%As per the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s annual rate of a wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation in January 2023 (provisional) was eased to a two-year low of 4.73% from 4.95% in December 2022.
- Considering the month-on-month change the WPI index increased by 0.13% in January 2023 as against a contraction of 1.12% in December 2022.
- The decrease in the rate of inflation in January 2023 was mainly due to a fall in the price of mineral oils, chemicals & chemical products, textiles, crude petroleum & natural gas, textiles, and food products.
- The rate of inflation based on the WPI Food Index increased from 0.65% in December 2022 to 2.95% in January 2023.
Note – The WPI inflation is reducing for the eighth consecutive month. The DPIIT releases WPI in India on monthly basis on the 14th of every month (or the next working day).
All India WPI based inflation Rate:
- India measures inflation based on two indices such as the WPI and CPI.
- The WPI captures prices at the level of production or manufacturing, taking into account goods traded between companies. Manufactured goods constitute a major part of the WPI.
- The CPI measures prices at the retail consumer level. Food items constitute a major part of the CPI.
EbixCash becomes 1st Entity in India to enable UPI Transactions for Foreign NationalsEbixCash World Money Limited, a subsidiary of US-based Ebix Inc, became the first company in India to launch the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions for foreign nationals visiting India.
- In February 2023, under its Monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) proposed to permit all inbound travellers to India to use UPI for their merchant payments (P2M) while they are in India.
- Initially, it was planned to be extended to travellers from G-20 countries arriving at select international airports.
Facility for NRIs:
- In January 2023, the NPCI approved UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts such as Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) linked to international mobile numbers.
- Initially, transactions from mobile numbers of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 10 countries would be allowed: Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, the United States of America (USA), Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the United Kingdom (UK).
i..EbixCash has become the first entity to enable UPI services for foreign delegates attending the G-20 summit. It plans a pilot launch in Bangalore at the G-20 summit.
ii.It is a leading player in India’s airport and seaport Money Exchange business with retail kiosks in 20 international airports, and 12 seaports.
iii.The launch of UPI for exchanging currencies across airports in India would enable passengers to convert their foreign currency into digital Indian currency, with a UPI interface to pay for goods and services across the country.
EBIXCASH World Money Limited
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Whole-Time Director – Guruprasad T. Chandrashekaran
CCI Approves Acquisition of Certain Equity Share Capital of LT Foods Limited by SIICOn 14th February 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the acquisition of a certain equity share capital of LT Foods Limited, a subsidiary Daawat Foods Limited (DFL), by SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC), under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
Acquirer: SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC)
Targets: LT Foods Limited (LT Foods) and Daawat Foods Limited (DFL)
i. The SIIC proposes to acquire certain equity share capital of LT Foods along with certain affirmative rights amounting to control.
ii. The Proposed Transaction is notified under Section 6(2) read with Section 5 of the Competition Act, 2002 (as amended) (“Act”).
About SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC):
i. Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)-based SALIC International Investment Corporation (SIIC) is an unlisted limited liability company.
- SIIC is owned and controlled by the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC).
ii. SALIC is an investment company having stakes in various international companies that specialise in agriculture and the selling of food commodities both in Saudi Arabia and internationally.
iii. The agri-business of SALIC is focused on farming, procurement, and importing goods into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
About LT Foods Limited:
i. LT Foods Limited (LT Foods), a 70-year-old consumer food company, is engaged in the speciality rice-based foods business across the globe.
- Daawat Foods Limited is a subsidiary of LT Foods (DFL).
ii. The basmati and other speciality rice business of LT Foods and DFL in India are led by brands like Daawat and other local brands like Heritage, Devaaya, Chef Secretz, Rozana, etc. that serve varied client portfolios ranging from value to premium consumers.
Indian Army, ADRIN signs MoU to co-develop niche technology The Indian Army signed an MoU with Advanced Data Processing Research Institute (ADRIN) at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) to co-develop niche technology and end products duly aligned to the dynamic requirements of the Indian army.
- Under the MoU, more importance will be given to the collaborative development of multi-domain technology-driven capabilities aligned with the needs of the Indian Army.
- ADRIN, Department of Space will develop technology that will facilitate real-time situation awareness and rapid decision-making.
- ADRIN is located in Secunderabad, Telangana and its Central Public Information officer was Anurag Shukla.
Note – Recently, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Larsen & Toubro(L&T) to procure 41 indigenous Modular Bridges for the Corps of Engineers of the Indian Army.
About Indian Army:
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established – April 01, 1895
Chief of the Army Staff – General Manoj Pande
Aero India 2023: Garuda Aerospace unveils its Solar-Powered Drone SURAJOn 15th February 2023, drone startup Garuda Aerospace Private Limited unveiled its “SURAJ”, a solar-powered unmanned reconnaissance J-Glider, at Aero India 2023, which is being held from 13th to 17th February at the Air Force Station, Yelahanka, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
- SURAJ, an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)high-altitude drone, is designed specifically for surveillance operations, providing high command real-time data and protecting jawans on the ground.
- The 1:1 prototype of SURAJ will be ready to fly by August 2023.
About the SURAJ:
i. SURAJ will carry a versatile payload of high-resolution zoom cameras with thermal imagery and foliage-penetrating lidar sensors with a maximum capacity of 10 Kilograms(Kg).
- This will capture, process, and transmit photos and videos in real time and ensure access to vital information before planning strategic operations and terms.
ii. Its J-shaped wings are equipped with solar-powered cells that serve as its main fuel source, while an auxiliary battery offers additional propulsion or reduced speed as required.
- It can fly at an altitude of 3,000 feet for 12 hours.
iii. According to Garuda Aerospace, SURAJ is set to support various Indian and global giants, including the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ministry of Defence (MOD), and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
About the Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd:
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Agnishwar Jayaprakash
Headquarters- Chennai, Tamil Nadu
1st Sundarban Bird Festival: 145 bird species spotted in Sundarban Biosphere ReserveWildlife enthusiasts and forest officials have sighted 145 different bird species during the first-ever Sundarban Bird Festival, organised by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) and South 24 Parganas division of West Bengal Forest Department.
- The birds were sighted by 6 teams that visited different parts of the Sunderban Biosphere Reserve during the 2-day exercise.
- The Sundarban Bird Festival was held from 7th to 10th February 2022 at Sajnekhali Beat Complex, Sundarban Tiger Reserve.
145 bird species spotted in Sundarban:
i.The 145 bird species sighted in the Sundarban include 78 forest birds, 42 species of waders, 12 species of raptors, six species of waterfowl and seven other bird species.
ii.During the festival, the birders spotted 7 out of the 9 species of kingfishers found in Sundarban.
- Note: A total of 12 kingfisher species are found in India and 9 of them are found in the mangroves of Sundarban.
iii.Birds like Eurasian curlew, lesser sand plover and brown hawk owl were spotted during the festival.
iv.Around 86 species were spotted in the core zone, 128 species were spotted in the buffer zone and 71 were spotted outside the protected area.
According to various studies by the Zoological Survey of India(ZSI) and a publication titled “Birds of Sundarban Biosphere Reserve” 428 bird species are documented in the Sundarban biosphere reserve.
i.Sundarbans National Park, a national park, tiger reserve and biosphere reserve in West Bengal, India, houses the largest population of Bengal Tigers (endangered species).
ii.The Sundarbans, located between India and Bangladesh, is the largest single block of tidal, halophytic mangrove forests in the world.
iii.It is an alluvial archipelago of 54 islands formed by the rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra.
Khelo India Winter Games 2023 held in Gulmarg in J&K; J&K Tops Medal Tally with 76 medalsThe 3rd edition of Khelo India Winter Games, KIWG 2023, a 1st of a kind multi-sport competition of India, was held in Gulmarg, in Baramulla District of North Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir(J&K) from 10th to 14th February 2023.
- Nisith Pramanik, Union Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports(MoYAS), chief guest of the closing ceremony of KIWG 2023, distributed the medals among the winners.
J&K Topped the Medal Tally with 76 medals:
i.J&K topped the medal tally of KIWG 2023 with 26 Golds, 25 silvers and 25 bronze, a total of 76 medals.
- With the highest number of gold medals at the end of the meet, J&K was declared the winner of KIWG 2023.
About Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Union Minister– Anurag Singh Thakur(Constituency- Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
Minister of State– Nisith Pramanik(Constituency- Coochbehar, West Bengal)
5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games held in Madhya Pradesh; Maharashtra tops Medal TallyThe 5th edition of Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG 2022) hosted by Madhya Pradesh was held from 30th January to 11th February 2023. Maharashtra won the overall championship and topped the medal tally of the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 with 161 medals (56 gold, 55 silver, and 50 bronze).
- Haryana (40 golds) and Madhya Pradesh (39 golds), were ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
- Madhya Pradesh was the 5th Indian State to host the Khelo India Youth Games.
- The sporting events were held at 11 venues in 8 different cities in the state of Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi (for Track Cycling).
- At KIYG 2023, 11 athletes from various sports set a total of 15 new youth national records.
About the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:
Union Minister- Anurag Singh Thakur (Constituency- Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh)
Minister of State- Nisith Pramanik (Constituency- Coochbehar, West Bengal)
Pakistani cricketer Kamran Akmal announces Retirement from All Forms of Cricket
On 14th February 2023, Kamran Akmal, (41-year-old) Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Recently, he was appointed as the chair of the Pakistan Cricket Board(PCB)’s selection committee for the national men’s Uner 19(U19). He is also appointed as a member of the selection committee for the national men’s senior headed by Haroon Rashid. .
- He made his test and One Day International (ODI) in 2002 and his Twenty20 International (T20I) debut in 2006.
- He represented Pakistan in 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is with 6871 runs across formats, including 11 centuries.
- He was part of the Pakistan team that won the T20 World Cup in 2009.
- During the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) (2008), Kamran Akmal played 6 games for Rajasthan Royals (RR).
- He has been added to the coaching staff of Peshawar Zalmi, a Pakistani franchise T20 cricket team, in preparation for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2023.
FIFA World Cup 2026: FIFA confirms US, Canada, Mexico Automatic Qualification
The Men’s National Football team of the United States (US), along with those of Mexico and Canada, will automatically qualify for the 2026 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup finals. The 3 countries won the right to host the World Cup in a united North American bid.
- This is the 1st time FIFA has had to set aside three host bids. The tournament is set to expand from 32 teams to 48 in 2026.
- Under the new rules, there are 3 more spots left for the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) teams beyond the three hosts for six in total.
Saudi Arabia has been named the host of the FIFA Club World Cup 2023, scheduled to take place from 12-22 December 2023.
Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda Passed Away
On 14th February 2023, Shoichiro Toyoda, the Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, passed away in Aichi, Japan at the age of 97. He was born on 27 February 1925 in Aichi, Japan. Shoichiro Toyoda was the eldest son of Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded Toyota in 1937.
- Shoichiro Toyoda joined Toyota in 1952 and has served in various positions.
- He become the President of Toyota, a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, in 1982.
- He was the Chairman of the company from 1999 till his demise.
International Childhood Cancer Day 2023 – February 15International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is annually observed across the globe on February 15 to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents who have the disease, the survivors, and their families.
- The primary message or theme of International Childhood Cancer Day 2023 is ‘Better Survival’ is achievable #throughtheirhands.
i. ICCD, a global campaign, was established in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International(CCI), a global network of 183 parent organizations, childhood cancer survivor associations, childhood cancer support groups, and cancer societies, in over 94 countries, across 5 continents.
ii. ICCD’s founding organisations are CCI and its collaborating partner, the International Society of Pediatric Oncologists, or Société Internationale d’Oncologie Pédiatrique (SIOP).
iii. The 1st ever International Childhood Cancer Day was observed on 15th February 2002.
About the World Health Organisation (WHO):
Director General- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Renault-Nissan Alliance to Invest Rs. 5,300 Crore Over 5 Years, Signs MoU with TN GovtRenault and Nissan, two of the leading manufacturers of automobiles, made an agreement with the Tamil Nadu (TN) government for Rs. 5,300 crore (USD 600 million).
- In accordance with the agreement, the Renault-Nissan alliance would collaborate together on six new vehicles, including two new completely electric vehicles, for domestic and international customers from their base in Chennai.
i.Out of the six new models, the two firms would create 3 on joint platforms while maintaining the unique, distinctive styling of their own brands.
- A total of four new C-segment sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will be among them.
- Renault and Nissan will launch two new A-segment electric vehicles in India.
About Tamil Nadu (TN):
Chief Minister – M.K. Stalin
Governor – Ravindra Narayana Ravi
National Park – Mukurthi National Park; Mudumalai National Park
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