Current Affairs : 02-March-2023

FinMin notifies changes in GST rates for Pencil Sharpeners, Jaggery and Examination InstitutionsOn February 28, 2023, the Ministry of Finance notified changes in GST (Goods and Service Tax) rates for pencil sharpeners, jaggery and examination institutions, as recommended by the GST Council in its 49th meeting on February 18, 2023.
GST rate on Pencil Sharpeners:
GST rate on pencil sharpeners will be 12% from 18% earlier from March 1, 2023.

  • It should be noted that the sharpener sold with the pencil was fetching higher GST than only a pencil sold alone as sale of pencil and sharpener together is a ‘mixed supply’.  The tax liability in case of mixed supply is fixed on the basis of goods or services with the highest rate.

GST on Jaggery:
It will attract GST at the rate of 5% from 18% earlier.

  • Jaggery include all its type including cane jaggery (gur), palmyra jaggery, pre-packaged and labelled; khandsari sugar, pre-packaged and labelled; Rab, pre-packaged and labelled
  • If it is sold loose, GST will be NIL.

GST on Testing Agencies:
If any authority, board or body set up by the Central Government or State Government or National Testing Agency (NTA) for the conduct of entrance examinations for admission to educational institutions, will be treated as educational institution for the limited purpose of providing services.

  • This means these entities will get an available GST exemption.

Wildlife Board approves IAF Mountain Radar in Ladakh The National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) has approved the installation of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF)Mountain Radar in Ladakh, close to the proposed new IAF base. A number of new operational tracks have also been approved to ensure better strategic connectivity to the critical boundary trijunction (India, China, and Bhutan) off Dokalam.
Key Highlights:
i. The Mountain Radar is expected to be located close to the proposed new IAF base which will come up across 500 hectares in the Changsheng sanctuary.

  • The IAF base was approved in 2022.

ii. The mountain radar induction is a component of a larger defence strategy to keep an eye on the LAC (Line of Actual Control), which is already subject to intense radar monitoring from the side of China.
iii. In November 2022, the Indian government indicated that the government was considering placing radars, the majority of which are built in India, costing Rs 10,000 crore, along the LAC.
iv. Though China has strengthened air defence on the other side of the LAC, the mountainous border region in Ladakh and the eastern sector are seen as short on radar coverage.
v. The defence forces have also proposed a number of strategic linkage projects for the eastern sector.

  • At least 6 new operational tracks have been approved to facilitate the movement of defence troops and logistics at the Batang La trijunction between India, Bhutan, and China and in the Nathu La sub-sectors.

vi. On 27th January 2023, the NBWL, chaired by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, cleared the way for the transfer of 31.6 hectares of land from the Changthang wildlife sanctuary in Ladakh for the IAF’s new mountain radar.

  • At the lower end of the tri-junction, China has already constructed a road leading to Gyemochen on the Dokalam plateau.
  • India and Bhutan maintain Batang La, north of Gyemochen, as the tri-junction.

About Indian Air Force:
Chief of the Air Staff- Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment- 1932

Uttarakhand to set up India’s 1st government mother milk bankThe government of Uttarakhand is set to establish India’s first government mother milk bank, a facility that can ensure to provide the nutritional elements of mothers’ milk to newborns.

  • This announcement was made by Uttarakhand Health Minister Dr Dhan Singh Rawat during the Emerging Leaders of Garhwal program of Amar Ujala.

Mother Milk Bank: 
i.Through this milk bank, milk will be made available to those newborn babies whose mother dies during delivery.
ii.Uttarakhand Health Minister Dr Dhan Singh Rawat stated that under this scheme, the lactating women will be able to donate milk in this bank.
Infant Mortality: 
i.Among the Himalayan states, Uttarakhand has the 3rd -highest infant mortality rate (IMR) of 27 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2019.ii.The state government is working on bringing down the IMR from 27 per 1000 to below 10.
Note: The infant mortality rate for India in 2022 was 27.695 deaths per 1000 live births, a 3.74% decline from 2021.
Efforts to reduce IMR: 
i.The government of Uttarakhand is focusing on institutional delivery of pregnant women to reduce the IMR in Uttarakhand.
ii.Arrangements have been made to provide free transportation of pregnant women to hospitals.
iii.The government has launched Aija Boi Yojana to provide Rs 2000 to pregnant women. Rs 1500 for mothers’ food and Rs 500 for the naming ceremony of the child.
iv.The government is also set to introduce another scheme, under which pregnant women will be kept in homestay for 15 days in advance.
About Uttarakhand:
Chief Minister– Pushkar Singh Dhami
Governor– Gurmit Singh
National Park– Govind National Park; Jim Corbett National Park
Wildlife Sanctuary– Askot wildlife sanctuary; Sonanadi wildlife sanctuary

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh launches Vaibhav Fellowships Scheme for Indian Diaspora abroad On the occasion of National Science Day (28th February 2023), Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of Science and Technology, launched the Vaibhav Fellowship Scheme for Indian Diaspora abroad at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Vaibhav Fellowship aims to enhance the research ecosystem of Indian higher education institutions by promoting academic and research collaboration between Indian institutions and the best of the world through the mobility of faculty/researchers from overseas institutions to India.

The applicant for the Vaibhav Fellowship must be a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) or an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and must have obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)/Masters Dissertation (MD)/Master of Science (MS) degree from a recognized university.

Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2023: Reliance Jio becomes World’s 2nd Strongest Telecom Brand; Swisscom TopsAs per the Brand Finance Telecoms 150 2023, an annual report of the strongest telecoms brand, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, an Indian Telecommunications company & subsidiary of Jio Platforms, is Asia’s strongest and World’s 2nd strongest telecoms brand having a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 90 out of 100 and earning an elite AAA+ rating.

  • Reliance Jio has climbed up to 2nd rank from 5th place in 2022 in a list of the top 10 strongest telecom brands in the world.

Swisscom, a major telecommunications provider in Switzerland, is the world’s strongest telecoms brand with a BSI score of 92/100.
List of the World’s Strongest Telecom Brands:Note: The list, which is part of its most recent global research on the 150 most valuable telecom brands worldwide for 2023, was compiled by United Kingdom-based Brand Finance, a leading brand valuation company.
Telecoms 150 Ranking 2023 (most valuable Telecoms brands):
i. According to Brand Finance’s ranking of the most valuable telecom brands worldwide, Jio rose from rank 32 in 2022 to 27 in 2023. However, Jio is still behind Bharti Airtel which is 21 on the list.
ii. Verizon Communications Inc (Verizon), an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, remains the world’s Most Valuable Telecoms brand for the 4th consecutive year despite a 3% year-on-year (YoY) reduction taking its brand value to USD 67.4 billion.
Top 5 Telecoms 150 Ranking 2023:

  • Stakeholder equity is evaluated by Brand Finance using original market research data from more than 150,000 respondents in 38 countries.

RBI Data: Retail Trade and NBFCs Drive Credit Growth in ServicesAccording to the “Sectoral Deployment of Bank Credit — January 2023” data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), significant offtake from retail and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) led to a rise in credit to services of 21.5% year over year (YoY) in January 2023 compared to 5.7% in January 2022.

  • Loans to retail climbed by 21.8% in January 2023, up from 6.9% in January 2022.
  • Loans to NBFCs climbed by 31% in January 2023, compared to 9.9% in January 2022.

Highlights of The Sectoral Deployment of Bank Credit
i.Non-food bank credit increased 16.7% in January 2023 compared to 8.3% in January 2022 on an annual basis.
ii.In January 2023, credit to personal loans grew by 20.4% YoY, up from 12.8% in January 2022, largely driven by ‘housing’ and ‘vehicle loans’.
About the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1st April 1935

ESAF Bank signed an MoU with V-Guard to finance solar rooftop power systemsESAF Small Finance Bank has signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Electric equipment manufacturer V-Guard Industries Ltd to provide financing options including loans and installment payment plans to customers who opt for installing V-Guard’s solar rooftop Power System.
Features of the MoU
i.Under the MoU, the consumers who intend to install V-Guard’s solar rooftop Power System could get finance up to 80% of the total cost of the rooftop solar power system, including the cost of installation for residential or commercial applications.
ii.This partnership would enable customers’ transition to clean energy with ease and affordability and enable them to generate their own electricity.
Key Points: 
i.The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has provided up to 40% subsidy for the V-Guard’s Rooftop Solar Systems.
ii.V-Guard Industries Ltd offers a range of solar panel models from 3- 15 KW. 1 KW plant can generate 4-5 units of electricity on a sunny day.
About ESAF Small Finance Bank Ltd.:
MD & CEO – Kadambelil Paul Thomas
Headquarters – Thrissur, Kerala
Establishment  – 10th March 2017
Tagline – Joy Of Banking

ADB to fund Rs 1,311.20 cr Tourism Projects in Himachal PradeshThe Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed in principle to provide Rs 1,311.20 crore under Phase-1 of the proposed Infrastructure Development Investment Programme in Himachal Pradesh (HP).

  • This funding will be utilized to strengthen the tourism infrastructure in HP.
  • The total cost of the project is Rs 2357 crore.
  • The information was provided by Chief Minister (CM) of HP Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu.

Key Points:
i.HP is developing its unexplored tourist places in a phased manner in order to become the best tourist destination in India. This will also aid in the sustainable development of the tourism sector.
ii.Under this Phase-I, there will be beautification of Palampur, convention centre at Dharamshala, thematic cum green Park at Pragpur, wellness centre at Dharamshala, Shimla, Nadaun and Kullu-Manali, high end fountain tourist facility at Dharamshala.
iii.The wayside amenities at Mandi-Kullu National Highway, Nadaun and Kaleshwar Mahadev Kangra, rafting cum water park complex at Nadaun, Water sports equipment as shikaras, house boats, jetties, water biking at Pong Dam, at Tattapani, Nadaun and Bangana will be developed.
iv.To develop the religious places, wayside amenities and facilities will come at Baba Balak Nath and development and beautification of Shiv Dham at Mandi.
It should be noted that, on February 24, 2023, HP bagged first prize in India Today’s Award Ceremony at Delhi.

  • Kullu was placed in the ‘Best Adventure Destination’ category for River Rafting, Shimla-Kinnaur highway in the ‘Most Scenic Roads’ category, and Shimla and Manali were selected as the ‘Best Mountain Destinations’ in India.

About Asian Development Bank (ADB):
President – Masatsugu Asakawa
Headquarters – Manila, Philippines
Establishment – 1966

IDFC & Federal Bank partner with Sa-Dhan and NextGen on UPI123PAYTo encourage feature phone users to use “UPI123Pay” to make digital payments, private sector lenders IDFC FIRST Bank Ltd. and The Federal Bank Ltd will collaborate with the association of microfinance institutions (MFIs) Sa-Dhan and Delhi-based fintech solutions vendor NextGen.

  • The collaboration with NextGen, the Federal Bank, and IDFC First will facilitate the creation of a new payment and collection system based on feature phones with technological assistance from them.

Sa-Dhan is an association of Impact Finance Institutions and a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for MFIs appointed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

i.UPI123Pay is a payment option for feature phone users via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
ii.UPI123Pay was introduced in December 2022 by the RBI in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
Note: The RBI has also introduced ‘DigiSaathi,’ a 24×7 helpline for all digital payment users.
Key Points:
i.The prime responsibility of this partnership is to enable UPI integration, which permits simple money transfers, bill payments, merchant payments, recurring payments, and EMI collection.
ii.UPI123Pay will enable more individuals to gain access to the digital experience via feature phones.

  • There are around 45 million individual beneficiaries under MFIs, with the majority of them using feature phones.

iii.The partnership intends to implement UPI on the NextGen 123Pay SIM overlay platform.
iv.NextGen will provide technical solutions such as establishing a UPI auto-pay platform for regular EMIs as an auto-pay function, leveraging the UPI 123Pay service platform with NPCI.
v.IDFC FIRST Bank and Federal Bank will be the partners for the UPI service and bill payment, respectively.

  • Jiji Mammen is the Executive Director & CEO of Sa-Dhan.
  • Taron Mohan is the Founder & CEO of Next Gen.

About IDFC FIRST Bank Ltd., (IDFC FIRST Bank):
IDFC FIRST Bank was formed by the merger of erstwhile IDFC Bank and Capital First, a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) in 2018.
MD & CEO – V. Vaidyanathan
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

Angel One received SEBI approval for Mutual Fund BusinessAngel One Limited (formerly Angel Broking Limited), an Indian stockbroker firm, has received an in-principle approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sponsor a Mutual Fund.

  • The company will establish an asset management company and the trustee company in compliance with the SEBI Regulations and other applicable laws.
  • Angel One is a technology-led financial services company providing broking and advisory services, margin funding, loans against shares and financial products distribution to its clients under the brand ‘Angel Broking’.

India’s GDP grows at 4.4% in Q3FY23: NSOAs per the data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI), India’s gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated to 4.4% in the 3rd quarter of 2022 i.e. October-December(Q3FY23) due to a contraction in the manufacturing sector.

  • It was 6.3% in Q2FY23 (July-September 2022).

Key Points:
i.GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q3FY23 is estimated at Rs 40.19 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.51 lakh crore in Q3FY22, showing a growth of 4.4%.
ii.GDP at Current Prices in Q3FY23 is estimated at Rs 69.38 lakh crore, as against Rs 62.39 lakh crore in Q3 2021-22, showing a growth of 11.2%.
iii.The manufacturing sector’s output, as per the Gross Value Added (GVA) in the Q3FY23, contracted by 1.1% as compared to a growth of 1.3% in Q3FY22.
iv.The GVA growth in farm sector – Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing was 3.7% in Q3FY23 compared to a growth of 2.3% in Q2FY22.
v.GVA growth in the services sector — trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting was 9.7% during the Q3FY23 as against 9.2% in Q3FY22.
vi.Financial, real estate and professional services grew by 5.8% in Q3FY23 over 4.3% in Q2FY22.
vii.Public administration, defence and other services posted 2% in Q3FY23 against 10.6% in the Q3FY22.viii.The construction sector has grown by 8.4%  in Q3FY23 compared to 0.2 % in Q3FY22.ix.The electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services segment have grown by 8.2%  compared to 6% in the Q3FY22.NSO also released it Second Advance Estimates (SAE) of National Income, 2021-22 which pegged India’s growth at 7% for FY23, same as first advanced estimate that was released in January 2023.

  • It also revised the GDP growth for 2021-22 to 9.1% against the earlier estimate of 8.7%.

Moody’s Global Macro Outlook 2023-24 (February 2023 Update): India’s growth forecast hiked to 5.5% for 2023; Global economic to slow in 2023Global credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service (MIS) increased India’s economic growth projection for 2023 to 5.5% from 4.8% in November 2022 in its “Global Macro Outlook 2023-24 (February 2023 Update)”.

  • This upward revision is made in light of a strong increase in capital expenditure (capex) in the Budget 2023–24 and a resilient economic momentum.
  • India’s economic growth is projected to be 6.5% in 2024.

According to Moody’s, economic activity and employment will be adversely affected by cumulative monetary policy tightening in most major economies, which will slow down global growth in 2023.

  • It projects that the G20 (Group of Twenty) would have 2% global economic growth in 2023, down from 2.7% in 2022, before rising to 2.4% in 2024.

About Moody’s Investors Service (MIS):
President – Michael West
Headquarters – New York, United States (US)

TCIL enters into a pact with BSNL for Captive Non-Public Network ServicesTelecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL)has entered into an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), for the provision of Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) Services to enterprise customers.
Both TCIL and BSNL, are Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications(MoC).

  • With an experience in field deployment of mobile technologies, TCIL will provide robust end-to-end private 5G network solutions to enterprise customers as the master system integrator.
  • The disruptive 5G technology will enable broad industrial automation by providing secure, ultra-reliable, low latency and high throughput communication.
  • TCIL will ensure to utilise the indigenous products along with MNC products in CNPN networks. TCIL aims to deploy private 5G in Central Govt/State Govt/PSUs premises, Industries, mines, refineries, and airports.

Reliance Industries sets up a Subsidiary to develop Commercial PropertiesOn 28th February 2023, Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary named Reliance SOU Limited (RSOUL) to carry on, inter alia, the business of development of properties for commercial use.

  • RIL has invested Rs 1 lakh in the equity shares of RSOUL.

In 2019, RIL acquired a 65% stake in a real estate project in the business hub of Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai for Rs 1,105 crore.
Major group development projects like the Jio World Centre and Jio World Garden at Bandra Kurla are undertaken by RIL’s very active real estate division.

India wins GSMA Government Leadership Award 2023 during MWC in BarcelonaOn February 27, 2023, India has globally recognized with the Government Leadership Award 2023 by GSM Association (GSMA) for implementation of best practices in telecom policy and regulation.

  • India was declared winner in the ceremony held at GSMA Ministerial Programme during Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.
  • The information for the same was provided by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Communications (MoC).

About GSMA:
An acronym for Groupe Speciale Mobile Association, it represents mobile operators and the global mobile industry, and the organizer of the MWC.
About GSMA Government Leadership Award:
Presented annually to one government, it recognizes world-class leadership in the establishment of sound regulatory policies for mobile connectivity.
India’s Key Achievements in 2022 which led to its recognition:
India is home to some of the world’s most affordable handsets and data plans. By 2025, India is projected to become the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
i.India’s biggest-ever spectrum auction for 5G was held in July 2022. In total, 72 GHz (Gigahertz) spectrum was sold across ten spectrum bands.

  • With nearly 1 Lakh sites in 387 districts, India’s 5G roll-out is one of the fastest in the world.

ii.In May 2022, the Central Government launched the GatiShakti Sanchar Portal for centralised RoW (Right of Way) approvals to facilitate the efficient deployment of network infrastructure.
iii.In August 2022, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) amended the RoW rules to support faster 5G rollout.

  • RoW permissions which used to take more than 230 days, now get approval within 8 days. More than 85% mobile tower clearances are now instantaneous.

iv.Several digital programs were announced, including digital currency; digital banking; digital university; designed to promote financial and social inclusion; and India’s innovative digital public services, collectively called India Stack.
v.As per a recent report by Salesforce on Global Digital Skills Index, India has emerged at the top of digital skills readiness (63 out of 100) among 19 countries surveyed, compared to a global index score of 33.
vi.In 2022, over 40% of India’s real-time payment transactions took place through Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

  • 460 million new bank accounts were opened based on digital identity.

vii.The Indian government has introduced the latest Digital Personal Data Protection Draft Bill 2022 for the governance of personal data; and the National Data Governance Framework Policy (NDGFP) for the governance of non-personal data and data sharing principles.

Hindi writer Vinod Kumar Shukla wins PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International LiteratureOn 2nd March 2023, Indian Short story writer, novelist, poet, and essayist, Vinod Kumar Shukla, one of the greatest contemporary writers in the Hindi language, received the 2023 PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature during the 59th Annual PEN Literary Awards at The Town Hall, New York, United States of America (USA).
Other Awardees: 

  • Erika Dickerson-Despenza, an acclaimed American playwright, received the receive the 2023 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award.
  • Tina Fey, 8-time Emmy Award winner and one of the greatest comedy writers received the 2023 PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award.

Note: Vinod Kumar Shukla was selected by the panel of judges: Amit Chaudhuri, Roya Hakakian, and Maaza Mengiste.
About Vinod Kumar Shukla:
i. Vinod Kumar Shukla, born on 1st January 1937 in Chhattisgarh, is the celebrated author of novels, poetry, and short stories in Hindi and in translation.
ii. He has published 3 novels, many short stories and numerous collections of poetry.
iii. His first collection of poems Lagbhag Jai Hind was published in 1971. Naukar Ki Kameez(The Servant’s Shirt) was his first novel, published in 1979 by Sambhavna Prakashan.
iv. Noted works:

  • Novels “A Window Lived in the Wall” and “A Silent Place”, and the short story collection “Blue Is Like Blue”.

v. His novel, “Naukar Ki Kameez” (published in English translation by Penguin India) was turned into a film of the same name by Indian filmmaker, Mani Kaul.
i. Vinod Kumar Shukla’s contribution to Hindi Literature has earned him a number of awards, including the Muktibodh Fellowship.
ii. He received the Shikhar Samman in 1995 and Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999 for his novel, Deewar Mein Ek Khirkee Rahati Thi (A Window lived in a Wall).
iii. He also received the Atta Galatta–Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize in 2019 for “Blue Is Like Blue: Stories”, and the Mathrubhumi Book of the Year award in 2020 for the same.

Zero Discrimination Day 2023 – March 1Zero Discrimination Day is annually observed across the globe on March 1 to promote equality and fairness before the law and to fight systemic and cultural discrimination against people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

  • The day also aims to raise awareness about the inequalities that prevent people from living full and productive life and demand that governments fulfil their commitments and obligation to end all forms of discrimination.

Zero Discrimination Day 2023 is observed on 1st March 2023 under the theme “Save lives: Decriminalise”.

  • The observance of Zero Discrimination Day is led by the UNAIDS (joint United Nations Programme on  HIV and AIDS.

i. On 1st December 2013 (World AIDS Day), Zero Discrimination Campaign was launched by UNAIDS. Nobel Peace Prize winner and UNAIDS global advocate for Zero Discrimination Aung San Suu Kyi launched the “#zerodiscrimination” campaign for a global transformation.
ii. Michel Sidibé, then-Executive director of the Joint UNAIDS, launched Zero Discrimination Day at an event in Beijing, China, on 27th February 2014.
iii. The 1st ever Zero Discrimination Day was observed on 1st March 2014.
About the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS):
Executive Director- Winnie Byanyima
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 1994 (started operation in 1996)

World Civil Defence Day – March 1 2023World Civil Defence Day is annually observed across the globe on 1st March to honour the significance of Civil Defence and the personnel who have sacrificed their lives for it. The objective of the day is to raise public awareness of civil defence and its importance in protecting people and communities from the impact of emergencies and disasters

  • The day provides an opportunity to recognise the vital role of civil defence in protecting the communities and saving lives.

The theme of World Civil Defence Day 2023 is “The Role of Information Technologies in Risk Assessment”.
i.World Civil Defence Day was established by the International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO), based in Geneva, Switzerland.
ii.The first-ever World Civil Defence Day was observed in 1990.
iii.Civil Defence Day was officially inaugurated by the ICDO in 2012.
About International Civil Defence Organisation (ICDO):
Secretary-General– Njoupouo YAP Mariatou
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Members– Member States (60); Observer States (16); Affiliated Members (22)

47th Civil Accounts Day – 1st March 2023Civil Accounts Day is annually observed across India on 1st March to mark the foundation of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS), one of the Civil Services of India under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry Of Finance.

  • 1st March 2023 marks the observance of the 47th Civil Accounts Day. 
  • Civil Accounts Day is also known as the foundation day of ICAS. 

The event of the 47th Civil Accounts Day was organised at the Dr Ambedkar International Centre, Janpath, New Delhi, Delhi with Pankaj Chaudhary, Union Minister of State(MoS) for Finance as  Chief Guest.

  • Union Finance Secretary Dr T.V. Somanathan also addressed the audience during the celebrations.

About Controller General of Accounts (CGA): 
The Controller General of Accounts is the Principal Accounting Advisor to the Government of India and oversees the payment and accounting system of the country.
Head of the organization of CGA- S.S. Dubey
Office of CGA– New Delhi, Delhi

Bihar FM Vijay Kumar Choudhary Presented Rs. 2.61 lakh crore Budget for FY24On February 28, 2023, Finance Minister of Bihar Vijay Kumar Choudhary presented the state budget for financial year 2023-24 (FY24) with an outlay of Rs 2,61,885.40 crore, Rs 24,194.21 crore more than FY23 Budget with focus on creating jobs, health and education.
Highlights of Bihar Budget FY24:
i.Fiscal Deficit: The Fiscal Deficit for FY24 has been projected at Rs 25,567.84 crore which is 2.98% of the GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) estimate.

  • Fiscal deficit remaining at 3.78% of the SGDP, which is under the prescribed conditional limit of 4.5%.

ii.The grants in aid expected from the Centre for FY24 was estimated at Rs 53,377.92 crore, it was Rs 4,623.37 crore less than aid received in FY23.
iii.The state’s share in central taxes for FY24 was proposed at Rsn 1,02,737.26, it was about Rs 376.12 crore more than FY23.
iv.The education department has got the highest allocation of Rs 22,200 crore.
About Bihar:
Chief Minister – Nitish Kumar
Wildlife Sanctuary – Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajgir Wildlife Sanctuary
Tiger Reserve – Valmiki Tiger Reserve

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