Overview of the Visit of Denmark Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian and Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth to India – February 27 to March 2, 2023At the invitation of Vice President (VP) Jagdeep Dhankhar, Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik André Henrik Christian and Crown Princess Mary Elizabeth visited India for 4 days from February 27 to March 2, 2023 to strengthen and enhance the friendly relationship between India and Denmark.
- Denmark Crown Prince had a meeting with President Droupadi Murmu and VP Jagdeep Dhankhar.
- It is the first visit from the Danish Royal family to India in two decades. In 2003, Queen Margrethe II visited India as a Denmark’s Crown Princess.
i.Tamil Nadu (TN) government Water Resources Department and the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department have signed a letter of intent with Danish Environmental Protection Agency for sharing technology and cooperation in water sector.
ii.Under the ‘Indo-Danish Green Strategic Partnership’, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Madras signed a agreement with Denmark government to initiate research projects on next-generation fuels and energy systems.
iii.Denmark is collaborating with Tamil Nadu to establish the first offshore wind farm in the state.
iv.During their visit to the National Museum in Delhi, Denmark Crown Prince and Princess have inaugurated an exhibition ‘Silver Treasure from India and Denmark’ which showcased more than 250 prized silverware from both countries.
Capital – Copenhagen
Currency – Danish Krone
Prime minister – Mette Frederiksen
LIFEathon: A Hybrid event organized by UNDP & NITI Aayog to create Pro-Planet Network On February 27, 2023, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog organized a hybrid event, called ‘LIFEathon’to promote sustainable living and climate-positive behavior by creating a pro-planet network.
- It was inaugurated by the UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Suman Bery.
Over 400 Young people from 60+ countries
i.This virtual hackathon provides a platform to exchange innovative ideas for individual action towards combating climate change.
- The top ideas submitted during the hackathon will be put to the test or piloted in India and showcased at the LiFE Global Conference in June 2023.
ii.LIFEathon is a part of the Indian government’s Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for the Environment)campaign, which was launched in 2022 by the Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Gujarat.
- The objective of this campaign is to encourage individuals to adopt environmentally sustainable lifestyles through small actions, such as reducing their plastic usage and minimizing food waste, and opting public transportation.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
Administrator– Achim Steiner
Headquarters– New York, United States
MoT organised 3rd Regional Workshop on Development of Sustainable Tourist Destinations in HyderabadOn 28th February 2023, The Ministry of Tourism (MoT), in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (IITTM), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI), organised the 3rd regional workshop on Development of Sustainable and Responsible Tourist Destinations at Hyderabad, Telangana, with the goal to develop sustainable and responsible tourist destinations and promote sustainable tourism across India.
- Senior government officials and tourism sector representatives from many Southern states and union territories (UTs), including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, participated in the workshop.
- The participants also took the Travel for LiFE(‘Lifestyle for the Environment) pledge to seek their commitment towards travelling responsibly.
Growth in Global Trade in Goods may lose Momentum in Q42022: WTO Barometer On March 1, 2023, the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Goods Trade Barometer declined to 92.2 from 96.2 in December 2022 release, and below the baseline value of 100.
- There is weakening trade growth in volume terms.
- It seems that global merchandise trade expansion slowed down during Q4 of 2022 and is anticipated to remain weak in the Q1 of 2023.
i.The volume of world merchandise trade was up 5.6% in Q3 of 2022 as compared to the Q2 of 2021.
ii.The cumulative Year-on-Year (y-o-y)growth for the first three quarters of 2022 stood at 4.4%, above the WTO’s forecast released October 2022 of 3.5% for the whole year.
iii.All of the barometer’s component indices have fallen below trend except for the automotive products index (105.8),
iv.The export orders index (97.4) remains below trend but is rising, hinting at a possible upturn in the near future.
v.Indices for container shipping (89.3), air freight (87.8), electronic components (84.9) and raw materials (92.0) are all below trend and declining, suggesting weakness in trade is broad-based and impact many sectors.
vi.Quarter-on-quarter trade volume growth will probably turn negative in Q4 of 2022.
What is the Goods Trade Barometer?
It was developed by the WTO to complement conventional trade statistics and forecasts. This indicator amalgamates various components, providing real-time information on the trajectory of merchandise trade relative to recent trends.
- Barometer values greater than 100 signal above-trend trade volume while values less than 100 suggest that goods trade has either fallen below trend or will do so in the near future.
About World Trade Organization (WTO):
Director-General– Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (First woman and the first African to serve as Director-General of WTO)
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
Membership– 164 members
ILO–UNICEF report: ‘PM CARES for Children scheme’ Implemented by 31 Indian StatesThe second ILO–UNICEF (International Labour Organization – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) joint report on social protection for children titled ‘More than a billion reasons: The urgent need to build universal social protection for children’ was released on March 01, 2023.As per the report, 31 Indian states have implemented the national ‘PM CARES (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations) for Children scheme, which was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 29th May 2021.
- Around 10,793 full orphans (children who have lost both parents) and 151,322 half-orphans (children who have lost one parent) benefited from the scheme.
- The report also mentioned about the national Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme of Indian government which has provided health insurance coverage of Rs 5,00,000 for all eligible children.
- Another annual scholarship project of India which provides Rs 20,000 for each school-age child (from primary to upper secondary school) was also noted in the report. So far, 4,302 children have received support from the scheme.
About International Labor Organization (ILO):
Director-General – Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo
Headquarters – Geneva , Switzerland
Establishment – 1919
Members – 187 Member States
RBI launches 2 Surveys to gather ‘Useful Inputs’ for its Bi-Monthly Monetary PolicyOn March 1, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched two surveys, the results of which provide useful inputs for the RBI’s Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy. These are Inflation Expectations Survey of Households (IESH), and Consumer Confidence Survey (CCS).
- The next meeting of the RBI’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is scheduled for April 6-8, 2023.
RBI launched the March 2023 round of IESH whose purpose is to determine the inflation expectations of households across the following 19 cities:
- Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Bengaluru (Karnataka), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Chandigarh, Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Delhi, Guwahati (Assam), Hyderabad (Telangana), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), Kolkata (West Bengal), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Mumbai (Maharashtra), Nagpur ((Maharashtra), Patna (Bihar), Raipur (Chhattisgarh), Ranchi Jharkhand) and Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala).
Who will conduct the survey?
The agency, M/s Hansa Research Group Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai will conduct the survey of this round on behalf of the RBI.
Aim of IESH:
To gather subjective assessments of price fluctuations and inflation, based on the specific goods and services that each individual household consumes.
i.The survey seeks to collect qualitative responses from households regarding potential price fluctuations in the three months ahead as well as in the one year ahead period.
ii.It will also collect quantitative responses on current, three months ahead and one year ahead inflation rates.
RBI has launched the March 2023 round of CSS which aims to collect qualitative feedback from households pertaining to their perceptions of the overall economic situation, employment conditions, price levels, and own household income and expenditure.
- This study will also be conducted in the above mentioned 19 cities.
Who will conduct the survey?
The agency, M/s Hansa Research Group Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai will conduct the survey of this round on behalf of the RBI.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
Governor– Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors– Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1st April 1935
ICICI Bank Launches Digital Solutions for Participants of Capital Market & Custody ServicesICICI Bank Limited has announced the launch of ‘ICICI STACK for Capital Markets & Custody,’ a suite of digital solutions for custodial service clients and Indian capital market participants.
The solutions would enable diverse sector participants, such as stock brokers, Portfolio Management Service (PMS) providers, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs), Foreign Direct Investors (FDIs), and Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs), to satisfy their banking needs in a seamless manner.
Key Services & Offerings of The Digital Solutions for Entities in Capital Markets & Custody Services:
- ‘3-In-1’ Account Facility for Stock Brokers and Clients
- Digital Account Opening for PMS Clients
- Digital On-Boarding and Pre-Verification of FPI/FDI Clients
- Self-Service Portal
- Value Added Services for AIFs
- Digital Collection Solutions
- Digital Payment Solutions
About the ICICI Bank Limited:
MD & CEO – Sandeep Bakhshi
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment – 1994
SBI completes 1st Commercial Trade in Sri Lankan RupeesState Bank of India, an Indian multinational public sector bank, completed its 1st non-dollar transaction with Sri Lanka by paying for exports in Sri Lankan rupees to bring countries that lack US (United States)dollars into the trade mechanism.
- As a result of a dollar shortage, Sri Lanka is currently experiencing its greatest economic crisis since gaining independence. At the end of January, Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves were USD 2.1 billion.
India’s Health Ministry receives Porter Prize 2023 for Successfully Managing Covid-19On March 2, 2023, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India was conferred with the Porter Prize 2023 in recognition of its efforts in health sector and especially COVID-19 management.
- The prize was announced at ‘The India Dialog’ organized by Institute for Competitiveness (IFC) and US Asia Technology Management Center (USATMC) at Stanford University, on February 23 & 24, 2023 on the theme ‘The Indian Economy 2023: Innovation, Competitiveness and Social Progress’.
It was presented to MoHFW in the virtual presence of Union Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, MoHFW, and Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, MoHFW.
Achievements of India that led Porter Prize Recognition:
i.The prize recognizes the strategy followed by the Government of India in managing COVID-19, the approach, and involvement of ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers in the industry to create PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Kits.
ii.The idea of vaccine development, vaccine manufacturing and the scale that India achieved, was tremendous.
- India has delivered more than 2.5 billion doses.
About Porter Prize:
Porter Prize, named after Michael Eugene Porter, an economist, researcher, author, advisor, speaker and teacher, was created as an independent, international initiative centered in India.
- It is administered by the IFC, India.
- It recognize Indian companies competing on the basis of value creation, innovation, and strategy.
Sashidhar Jagdishan MD & CEO of HDFC Bank named “BS Banker of the Year 2022”Sashidhar Jagdishan, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HDFC Bank(since October 2020), has been named the Business Standard (BS) Banker of the Year 2022, due to his successful navigation of technology-related challenges while maintaining the bank’s strong performance.
- Sashidhar Jagdishan was chosen as the winner by a distinguished 5-member jury, which was led by S S Mundra, a former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor.
- Other Jury members: Keki Mistry, Vice Chairman and CEO of HDFC Limited, Anil Singhvi, Chairman of Ican Investment Advisors, A Balasubramanian, MD and CEO of Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company and P S Jayakumar, former MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda.
Former Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua appointed Chairperson of Power Regulator CERCOn 27th February 2023, Jishnu Barua, a former Chief Secretary of Assam, has been appointed the new Chairperson of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), a key regulator of the power sector under the Ministry of Power.
- Raj Kumar Singh, Union Minister for Power, administered the oath of office and secrecy to Jishnu Barua.
Jishnu Barua succeeds P K Pujari, who retired from the post in June 2022. He was first appointed chairperson of CERC in 2018 for 3 years. His term was later extended to 5 years, or until his superannuation.
About Jishnu Barua:
i. Jishnu Barua is a 1988-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.
ii. He served as the Chief Secretary of Assam between 2020 and 2022. He has also served as the Additional Chief Secretary to Assam looking after various departments of Assam from 2017 to 2020.
iii. Following his retirement from the IAS in 2022, He held the position of chairperson of Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd.
About the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC):
i. The Government of India established the CERC under the provisions of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act of 1998.
ii. According to the Electricity Act of 2003, which replaced the ERC Act of 1998, CERC is the central commission.
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
Bola Tinubu Wins Nigeria’s Presidential Election 2023Bola Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was proclaimed the winner of the 2023 presidential election.
- Tinubu, a 70-year-old veteran politician, will succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as President of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, in May 2023.
i.According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Nigeria, Tinubu received 37% of the vote (8.79 million votes)—less than any previous president in Nigeria.
- Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who was Tinubu’s main rival, garnered 29% of the votes (6.98 million), while Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) won 25% of the votes (6.1 million).
ii.In order to win in the first round, a candidate must receive the most votes nationwide and at least 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja).
- Official data show that voter turnout was 27%, the lowest since the end of military rule in 1999.
About Bola Tinubu:
i.In 1999, Bola Tinubu was elected as the Governor of Lagos.
ii.He is one of Nigeria’s richest politicians, and his campaign was built around his record of rebuilding the country’s largest city, Lagos, when he was governor.
iii.Tinubu, fondly known as “Jagaban” by supporters, campaigned for presidency with the slogan “Emi lo kan,” which translates as “It’s my turn” in Yoruba.
President – Muhammadu Buhari
Capital – Abuja
Currency – Nigerian Naira (NGN)
IPS officer Rashmi Shukla appointed Director-General of Sashastra Seema BalRashmi Shukla, a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, has been appointed Director-General (DG) of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). She will succeed Anish Dayal Singh, IPS.
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for Shukla’s appointment as the DG of SSB [Level-16 of the pay matrix].
Shukla’s appointment is effective from the day of her appointment and remain in effect until June 30, 2024, i.e., the date of her superannuation, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
i.Shukla, a 1988-batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre, held the post of Additional DG of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on central deputation in Hyderabad, Telangana.
ii.The Sashastra Seema Bal (previously called Special Service Bureau), under the MHA, Government of India (GoI), is a border guarding agency that patrols India’s borders with Nepal & Bhutan (roughly 2450 km).
About Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB):
i.In the aftermath of the Chinese conflict in 1962, the Sashastra Seema Bal (formerly Special Service Bureau) was conceived, and was finally established in 1963.
- The main purpose of establishing SSB was to attain “total security preparedness” in remote border areas for performing a “stay-behind” role in the event of a war.
- The Motto of SSB is Seva Suraksha Bandhutva (सेवा सुरक्षा बंधुत्व).
- B. N. Mullik became the first founder and director of the Special Service Bureau.
The MHA designated the SSB as a Border Guarding Force on January 15, 2001, and it was renamed “Sashastra Seema Bal” on December 15, 2003.
ii.On June 19, 2001, the SSB was accorded the mission to protect the Indo-Nepal Border (~1751 km) and was designated as the lead intelligence agency for that region.
iii.On March 12, 2004, the SSB was given the additional task of protecting the Indo-Bhutan Border (~699 km) and was designated as the lead intelligence agency for that region.
iv.The President’s Color was awarded to SSB on March 27, 2004.
Pramerica Life Insurance appoints Pankaj Gupta appointed as MD & CEOOn 2nd March 2023, Haryana-based Pramerica Life Insurance Limited announced the appointment of Pankaj Gupta as its Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Board of Pramerica Life Insurance approved the appointment.
- He will be in charge of implementing a strategy growth-led transformation to elevate Pramerica Life among the leading life Insurance companies in India.
- Previously he served as the Group Head of Distribution Strategy and Alliances of Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC Life) and was part of HDFC Life’s top leadership team.
Researchers Confirmed 5th New Layer of Earth: Innermost Inner CoreIn a new study published in Nature Communication on 21st February 2023 by Thanh-Son Phạm and Hrvoje Tkalčić, the researchers have confirmed the existence of a 5th new layer – the innermost inner core, which lies at the Earth’s centre within the inner core.
- The 4 known layers of the earth are the crust, mantle, outer liquid core and inner solid core.
About innermost inner core:
i.The innermost inner core, the 5th layer, is made of iron and nickel, the same materials that comprise the rest of the inner core.
ii.The 5th layer is differentiated from the inner core based on how the iron atoms are arranged to form a solid.
- Alternatively, the iron in the innermost inner core could have solidified and grown in a different direction than the rest of the inner core.
iii.The inner core as a whole was liquid in the early years of the Earth’s existence, turning into a solid as the Earth cooled.
iv.The radius of the innermost inner core is calculated to be around 650 kilometres. The radius of the inner core, as a whole, is 1,221 km, which is 1% of Earth’s volume.
i.The idea that the Earth could hold a fifth layer was proposed in 2002.
ii.To stude the Earth’s interiors, scientists rely on seismic waves, shockwaves generated during earthquakes.
iii.The behaviours of the seismic waves differ as they pass through diverse materials.
- Seismic waves travel faster through denser materials and therefore generally travel more quickly with depth.
- Anomalously hot areas slow down seismic waves. Seismic waves move more slowly through a liquid than a solid.
i.According to the analysis, the innermost inner core slows down the seismic waves at a point between the rotation axis (from pole to pole) and the equatorial plane (perpendicular to the poles).
ii.The outer shell of the inner core slows down the waves in the equatorial plane.
iii.This difference suggests that the iron in the innermost inner core and the rest of the inner core could be arranged differently.
Former CJI Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi Passes AwayOn 2nd March 2023, Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi (A M Ahmadi), a former Chief Justice of India (CJI), passed away in New Delhi, Delhi, at the age of 90. He was born on 25th March 1932 in Surat, Bombay Presidency, British India (now in Maharashtra).
- A M Ahmadi was appointed the 26th CJI (1994-1997). He was also the 3rd Muslim CJI after Mohammad Hidayatullah (1968-1970) and Mirza Hameedullah Beg (1977-1978).
About Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi:
i. Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi was enrolled as a District Attorney in Bombay (now Mumbai, Maharashtra) in 1954.
ii. In 1964, he was appointed as a Judge in the City Civil and Sessions Court in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
iii. Later, he was promoted to Secretary of the Gujarati Government’s Legal Department in 1974.
iv. In 1976, he was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Gujarat. At the same time, he served as a member of several advisory boards such as the Advisory Board under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act of 1974 and the Gujarat State 3rd Supreme Court.
v. In 1988, Aziz Mushabber Ahmadi was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India. He also served as President of the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee in 1989 and as an Executive Chairman of the Committee for implementing Legal Aid schemes in India.
World Wildlife Day 2023 – March 3The United Nations(UN)’s World Wildlife Day(WWD) is annually observed across the globe on 3rd March to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.
3rd March 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
- The day offers a platform to celebrate the varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness about the benefits of the conservation of wildlife flora and fauna.
The theme of WWD 2023 is “Partnerships for wildlife conservation”.
- The 2023 theme honours the people who are making a difference towards protecting wildlife.
The implementation of WWD is facilitated by the secretariat of the CITIES in collaboration with the relevant UN organisations.
About CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora):
Secretary General– Ivonne Higuero
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
World Hearing Day 2023 – March 3World Hearing Day is annually observed across the globe on March 3 to raise awareness regarding hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the globe, and call for action to address hearing loss and related issues.
- World Hearing Day 2023 is observed on 3rd March 2023 under the theme “Ear and hearing care for all! Let’s make it a reality”.
World Hearing Day event is annually organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO)at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Every year, WHO decides the theme of WHD and develops evidence-based advocacy materials such as brochures, flyers, posters, banners, infographics and presentations, among others.
i. The “Beijing Declaration”, which was adopted during the first international conference on the prevention and rehabilitation of hearing impairment in Beijing, China in 2007, suggested the establishment of “International Ear Care Day”, for promoting global actions on hearing care.
- The China Rehabilitation Research Centre for Deaf Children (CRRCDC), Beijing, the Chinese Disabled People’ Federation (CDPF), Beijing, and WHO jointly hosted the conference.
ii. The 1st ever International Ear Care Day was observed on 3rd March 2007.
iii. International Ear Care Day was renamed as World Hearing Day in 2016.
About the World Health Organisation (WHO):
Director General- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
First Ever “World Seagrass Day” observed on 1 March 2023United Nations (UN)’s celebrated the 1st ever World Seagrass Day across the globe on 1st March 2023. The day is observed to raise awareness of the importance of seagrass as a core component of marine biodiversity, the threats they face, and their contribution to sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/76/265 on 23rd May 2022 and proclaimed March 1 of every year as World Seagrass Day.
ii. The resolution emphasises the urgent need to increase awareness at all levels, promote, and facilitate actions for seagrass conservation to support their growth and health, keeping in mind that improving ecosystem services and functions is important for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About the United Nations (UN):
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA