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Current Affairs 18 February 2023

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First G20 Digital Economy Working Group meeting held in Lucknow, UPFirst G20 Digital Economy Working Group meeting in India concludedMinistry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) hosted the first Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting in India, as a part of  India’s Presidency of the G20(Group of Twenty) from 13th to 15th February 2023 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh(UP).
The DEWG meeting in India showcased India’s digital transformation journey and brought together G20 members, key knowledge partners, and guest countries to discuss digital public infrastructure, cybersecurity, and digital skilling.

  • The Chair of G20-DEWG was Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
  • It was Co-Chaired by Sushil Pal, Joint Secretary, MeitY.

During the 3 day meeting of the working group, the G20 members, guest countries and international organisations discussed on 3 priority areas identified by India:
“Digital Public Infrastructure”, “Cybersecurity in the Digital Economy”, and “Digital Skilling”.
About G20 India 2023:
India holds the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023.
Theme– ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ or ‘One Earth · One Family · One Future’
Secretariat– New Delhi, Delhi
G20 Sherpa– Amitabh Kant
>> Read Full News

MoS Jitendra Singh launches Capacity Building Programme for Senior Scientists
Union MoS launches capacity building programme for senior scientistsOn February 16, 2023, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Jitendra Singh, Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) launched a ‘Capacity Building Programme for Senior Scientists in Effective Leadership and Creativity’ at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI), Hyderabad, Telangana.

  • The initiative is being organised in collaboration with the Capacity Building Commission (CBC), and ASCI.

Key Points:
i.The program envisages to improve industry and private sector collaboration by providing creative thinking skills to participating scientists.
ii.It also aims to enable scientific establishments to operate more effectively in today’s competitive environment.
iii.MoS also launched E-modules on integrated Government Online Training (iGOT): An Introduction to science communication, Data driven decision making and Code of conduct for Science and Technologies.
ASCI Director General Dr. Nirmalya Bagchi, ASCI Chairman K Padamanabhaiah, FAST India CEO Jayant Krishna, Wadhwani Institute of Technology and Policy CEO Prakash Kumar and STI CB Cell head Dr Arabinda Mitra among others.
About Capacity Building Commission (CBC):
Chairman– Adil Zainulbhai
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi

Indore hosted 1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting of AWG under India’s G20 Presidency1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting of Agriculture Working GroupThe first Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM) of the Agriculture Working Group (AWG) under India’s G20 (Group of Twenty) Presidency, spanning 3 days, was held at Indore, Madhya Pradesh(MP), from 13th to 15th February 2023.

  • The session was chaired by Manoj Ahuja, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) and co-chaired by Dr Smita Sirohi, Joint Secretary, DA&FW.

First Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM):
i. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister(CM) of Madhya Pradesh, inaugurated the exhibition on the first day.
ii. The exhibition’s major attractions include Millets, its value-added food items, and stalls from animal husbandry and fisheries.
iii. Bilateral activities to discuss issues related to agriculture were arranged for the first day of the inaugural Meeting of the AWG.
i. Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, inaugurated the session on 14th February 2023.
ii. On the 2nd day, presentations were made on the issue note for AWG, covering the four key themes:

  • Food Security and Nutrition,
  • Sustainable Agriculture with a climate-smart approach,
  • Inclusive Agricultural value chains and food systems
  • Digitalization for Agricultural Transformation.

iii. The G20 agricultural agenda was the subject of bilateral meetings between host nations and member nations.
i. The final day of the programme began with technical theme-based seminars on the four themes.
Key Points:
i. As a memento for the participants to remember their trip to India, the programme concluded with a video showcasing glimpses of the many events of the three days meeting.
ii. The event combined cultural, cuisine, and historical experiences with the added responsibility of taking part in significant discussions during the meetings.
AWG – Events and Host Cities:
i. The 2nd and 3rd Agriculture Deputies Meeting (ADM) will be held in March 2023 in Chandigarh and June 2023 in Hyderabad, Telangana, respectively.
ii. Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS) will be held in April 2023 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Kishan Reddy launched: Best Tourism Village Competition Portal; Global Tourism Investor Summit 2023 portal & Rural Tourism Portal

On 16th February 2023, G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Tourism, launched important initiatives ‘Best Tourism Village Competition Portal’ and Rural Tourism Portal for tourism promotion in India, in the presence of Ajay Bhatt, the Minister of States (MoS) for Tourism, in New Delhi, Delhi.
He also launched the Global Tourism Investor Summit 2023 portal during the event.

  • The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is set to organise the 1st Global Tourism Investors’ Summit from 17 to 19 May 2023, in the backdrop of India’s G20 Presidency, to showcase investible projects and opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector in India to domestic and international investors.
  • The MoT’s “Best Tourism Village Competition” will have 3 stages, with entries being accepted at the district, state, and national levels. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are in line with the evaluation standards

President Droupadi Murmu inaugurates International Engineering and Technology Fair 2023

On 16th February 2023, Droupadi Murmu, President of India, inaugurated the International Engineering and Technology Fair (IETF) 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi.
IETF 2023 aims to showcase feats of engineering and technologies that promote harmony between nature and science.

  • IETF-2023 covers 11 areas of emerging technologies which would have a profound impact on the economy and society of India.
  • The determined effort in IETF-2023 is to display engineering and technological feats that promote harmony between nature and science.


India ranks 4th among 51 countries in having quality entrepreneurship ecosystem: GEM NECI 2022/2023 Report  India ranks 4th among 51 countries in having quality entrepreneurship ecosystemAccording to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and National Entrepreneurship Context Index’’s (NECI) report titled ‘Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2022/2023 Global Report Adapting to a “New Normal” India is ranked 4th out of 51 nations in terms of having a high- quality entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • India’s most recent score of 6.1 demonstrates an overall improvement in the nation’s entrepreneurial environment over time.

This is a significant improvement over the 2021 ranking of 16th overall.
Key Points:
i.India’s NECI score increased to 6.0 in 2020 (ranked 4th) from 5.8 in 2019, when it was ranked 6th among GEM economies.

  • However, there was a decline in 2021, with a score of 5.0 (barely sufficient) and a rank of 16.

ii.The GEM 2022/2023 Global Report also discusses findings from the Adult Population Survey (APS) conducted in India with over 2,000 respondents, which indicated Indians outperforming in numerous start-up fields.
iii.When it comes to seeking new opportunities as a result of the pandemic, India’s entrepreneurs were at the top of the world (almost 70%).
iv.The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Taiwan are the top 3 countries in the GEM 2022/2023 Global Report.
GEM defines an economy’s entrepreneurial context in terms of 13 distinctive features, called the Entrepreneurship Framework Conditions (EFCs).

  • The NECI results are based on the scores of each of the 51 participating economies’ framework conditions.


RBI introduced FCRA related Transaction Code in NEFT, RTGS SystemsRBI updates rules for foreign donations via NEFT, RTGS systemsOn February 16, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduced Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) related transaction code in National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) Systems.

  • The instructions for the same were issued under Section 10 (2) read with Section 18 of Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (Act 51 of 2007).
  • It will be effective from March 15, 2023.

The changes mandate the member banks participating in payment systems to modify their core banking solutions to capture the requisite details while forwarding the foreign donations through NEFT and RTGS systems to State Bank of India(SBI).
What are the changes?
i.Originating banks are required to select two mandatory fields of NEFT/RTGS systems while remitting foreign donations to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) account at SBI.
ii.Originating banks are also required to pass on donor details relating to ‘transaction without Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) details’ and ‘transaction without LEI details’ as part of ‘Sender to remitter information’ in NEFT and RTGS.
i.Under the FCRA, 2010 (amended as on September 28, 2020), foreign contributions must be received only in the FCRA account of the SBI, New Delhi Main Branch (NDMB), Delhi.
ii.The contributions to the FCRA account are received directly from foreign banks through SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) and from Indian intermediary banks through NEFT and RTGS systems.
iii.As per the requirements of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the donor details such as name, address, country of origin, amount, currency, and purpose of remittance are required to be captured in such transactions and SBI is required to report the same to MHA on daily basis.
Click Here for Official Notification
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

NSDC & HDFC Life Collaborate to Boost Entrepreneurial Skills Among Youth in Insurance SectorNSDC, HDFC Life join hands to skill youth in insurance sectorThe National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC Life), one of India’s top life insurers, have partnered as part of the Skill India Mission to promote self-employment and expand entrepreneurial prospects.

  • NSDC is a nodal skill development agency under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India (GoI).

Key Points:
i.NSDC will assist HDFC Life in employing competent life insurance advisors and improving its last-mile reach as part of this agreement.
ii.The objective of this partnership is to promote entrepreneurship opportunities for financial and social inclusion while also facilitating the creation of livelihoods through the teaching of soft skills.
iii.The partnership will provide training to candidates taking the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) IC38 examination and would encourage skill enhancement.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)  
i.NSDC is a not-for-profit public limited company incorporated on July 31, 2008, under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 (corresponding to section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013). NSDC was set up by the Ministry of Finance as Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

ii.NSDC has established 37 Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and implements the government’s key skill development initiatives, such as the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), among others.

  • Ved Mani Tiwari is the CEO of NSDC and MD of NSDC International.

About HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (HDFC Life):
HDFC Life is a joint venture between HDFC Ltd., India’s leading housing finance company, and abrdn (Mauritius Holdings) 2006 Limited, a global investment firm.
MD & CEO –  Vibha Padalkar
Established – 2000
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

SBI launched new term deposit scheme Amrit Kalash with 7.6% interest rate for Senior CitizensSBI launches Amrit Kalash Deposit

State Bank of India (SBI) has launched Amrit Kalash, a new limited-period term deposit scheme with an interest rate of 7.6% for senior citizens and 7.1% for others.

  • SBI staff and pensioners are applicable for an additional 1% interest rate. The scheme is launched for both domestic and NRI (Non-Resident Indian) customers.

About Amrit Kalash deposit scheme:
i.Tenure: The deposit period under the scheme was 400 days
ii.Interest rate: The interest rate is 7.6% for senior citizens and 7.1% for others.

  • For the case of depositing Rs 1 lask under the Amrit Kalash scheme, it will provide an interest of around Rs 8600 to senior citizens and Rs 8017 for others.

iii.Eligible deposits:

  • Domestic Retail Term Deposits including NRI Rupee Term Deposits (< Rs 2 crore)
  • New and Renewal Deposits
  • Term Deposit and Special Term Deposit

iv.Payment of Interest: 

  • Term Deposits – At monthly/ quarterly/half yearly intervals
  • Special Term Deposits- On maturity

v.Premature and loan facility will also be available on the new Amrit Kalash Deposit
vi.Availability, last date to apply: The scheme will be available between 15 February 2023 to 31 March 2023. Thus the last date to apply for the scheme is 31st March 2023.
-SBI hikes FD rates
SBI has increased its fixed deposit (FD) interest rates by five basis points (bps) to 25 bps on different categories. The interest rate hike is applicable for FDs below Rs 2 crore, effective from February 15, 2023.

HDFC Bank Became 1st Private Sector Bank to Enable Linking of RuPay Credit Card on UPI; HDFC Raises Rs 25,000 cr in India’s largest-ever Bond IssueHDFC Bank customers can link Rupay credit cards to UPIHDFC Bank has become the 1st private sector bank in India to enable its customers to use (link) their RuPay Credit Card on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) with the BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) App and other UPI-enabled apps.

  • Currently, UPI facilitates transactions by linking Savings / Current Accounts through the Debit Cards of users. Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) also facilitated access to the UPI payment system for making transactions.
  • In order to further deepen the reach and usage, in June 2022, in its Monetary policy, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed the linking of credit cards to UPI.
  • At first, Rupay credit cards are enabled with this facility to provide more convenience to the customers in making payments through the UPI platform.

-HDFC Raised Rs 25,000 crore via the issue of corporate bonds
Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) raised Rs 25,000 crore by issuing India’s largest privately-placed 10-year corporate bonds at a coupon of 7.97% on a private placement basis.
>> Read Full News

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance launches ‘Anmol Suraksha KawachAditya Birla Sun Life Insurance launches 'Anmol Suraksha Kawach'

Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Ltd (ABSLI), the life insurance subsidiary of Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL), has introduced “ABSLI Anmol Suraksha Kawach to meet short-term protection needs of policyholders.
“ABSLI Anmol Suraksha Kawach
i.“ABSLI Anmol Suraksha Kawach” is a non-linked, non-participating individual life insurance product with a pure risk premium for policyholders’ short-term protection needs, offering up to 5 years of life cover.
ii.The plan provides a protection option for those between the ages of 25 and 55.
iii.Policyholders can customise their term plans by selecting their own premium payment terms, policy terms, and sum assured.
Key features of ABSLI Anmol Suraksha Plan:
i.Short-term protection: Policyholders will be able to choose a short-term policy term of 2 to 5 years.
ii.Choice of premium payment term: Policyholders have the option of making a one-time payment or paying for the entire insurance period.
iii.Variable Sum Assured Option: Policyholders can select from a variety of sum assured alternatives (from 50 Lakhs to 2 Crores in steps of 25 Lakhs).
iv.Protection until the age of 60: Policyholders will be eligible for coverage until the age of 60 years.

v.There is also no option of a loan on the policy.

About Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Limited (ABSLI):
ABSLI is a 51:49 joint venture between the Aditya Birla Group and Sun Life Financial Inc., an international financial services organization in Canada.

  • Total assets under management (AUM) of ABSLI was Rs. 679,890 million as of December 31, 2022, a rise of 15% from the previous year.

MD & CEO – Kamlesh Rao
Incorporation – 2000 (commenced operations 2001)


India’s GDP to Grow at 6.2% in FY24: Morgan StanleyIndia's GDP likely to grow at 6.2% in FY24, says Morgan StanleyOn February 16, 2023, Morgan Stanley in its research report projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) to grow at 6.2% in FY24 as drivers of domestic demand remain intact amid fears of an impending slowdown.
Key Points:
i.The key for sustained domestic demand is a pickup in capital expenditure (capex), which will help in creating more jobs, higher income, higher saving, and higher investment.
ii.Incoming high-frequency data on indicators like private consumption and investment reflected a moderation in the Q3FY23 driven by base effect and shift in the festival calendar rather than a slowdown.
iii.The Union Budget for FY24 had projected nominal GDP growth at 10.5%, as the Central Government increased the capital investment outlay steeply for the third year in a row by 33% to Rs 10 trillion.
iv.The Economic Survey for 2022-23 projected that India would witness a growth between 6-6.8% in FY24.

Tata Steel signs MoU with CBRI for Sustainable Mining Solutions Tata Steel signs MoU with CBRI for sustainable mining solutionsOn 14th February 2023, Tata Steel Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), a member of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to collaborate on mining research, academic growth, and sustainable solutions.

  • The MoU establishes a platform for inventive and empirical mining research.

The MoU was signed by D B Sundara Ramam, Vice President of Raw Materials at Tata Steel and Prof. Pradeep Kumar Ramancharla, Director of CBRI.
Key Highlights:
i. Under this MoU, CBRI will offer scientific inputs to Tata Steel on slope stability analyses and control measures in mining areas and on cost-effective and environmentally friendly green housing technologies for the rehabilitation and resettlement of families in mining areas.
ii. The partnership will also include technical training and workshops on geotechnical knowledge and other mining-related fields of science.
iii. CBRI is responsible for generating, cultivating, and promoting building science and technology in India.
iv. Under this MoU, Tata Steel will collaborate with the CBRI team to pioneer new ideas and guarantee the welfare of the local communities.
About Tata Steel Limited:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director (MD)- T V Narendran
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment- 1907
About the Central Building Research Institute (CBRI):
Director- Prof. Pradeep Kumar Ramancharla
Headquarters- Roorkee, Uttarakhand
Establishment- 1947

Tata Steel completes 1st Multi-Modal Shipment of TMT Bars from West Bengal to Tripura 

Mumbai (Maharashtra)-based Tata Steel Limited successfully completed the 1st multi-modal shipment of 960 tonnes of steel TMT(Thermo Mechanically Treated) bars from Haldia Port in West Bengal to Agartala in Tripura through the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route, reiterating its commitment to a sustainable future.

  • In 17 days, the whole transportation process from flag-off to receiving material at the distributor’s warehouse in Agartala was completed.
  • In 2022, the company successfully transported 1,800 tonnes of finished steel products using the IBP route via the Brahmaputra river from Haldia Port in West Bengal to Pandu Port in Assam.    


Velocity launches India’s first ChatGPT-powered AI chatbot ‘Lexi’

Velocity, a Homegrown financial technology firm, launched “Lexi”, India’s 1st Artificial intelligence (AI) Chatbot integrated with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an AI computer program.

  • The company has integrated this latest advancement in AI with its existing analytics tool, ‘Velocity Insights’.
  • Indian eCommerce brands that utilise Velocity Insights receive a daily business report on Whatsapp, which led the company also integrate ChatGPT in the same Whatsapp interface.
  • By providing AI-powered business insights in a conversational way and saving time for important business operations, the combination of ChatGPT and Velocity Insights empowers eCommerce entrepreneurs.


HP Cabinet Approves Guidelines for Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana Himachal Pradesh Cabinet approves scheme for orphans, destitute womenOn 16th February 2023, the 2nd Meeting of the Himachal Pradesh cabinet chaired by Chief Minister(CM) Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, approved the guidelines for ‘Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana’ that covers Orphans, specially abled children, destitute women and senior citizens.

  • The CM also noted that the orphan children, referred to as ‘Children of the State’, will be adopted by the government.
  • In January 2023, CM launched the Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana(as CM’s Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh)  with a total outlay of Rs 101 crore for the orphans.

Features of the Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana:
i.The cabinet also decided that to offer better facilities for the inmates, the existing shelter homes, orphanages, old-age homes, etc., will be refurbished under the Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana.
ii.Under the scheme, in a phased manner, integrated complexes with all basic amenities will be built at Jawalamukhi in Kangra district and Sundernagar in Mandi district to support the destitute women and senior citizens and orphans.
About Himachal Pradesh: 
Chief Minister– Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu
Governor– Shiv Pratap Shukla
Wildlife Sanctuary– Chandra Tal Wildlife Sanctuary; Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary
>> Read Full News


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S.noCurrent Affairs 18 February 2023
1First G20 Digital Economy Working Group meeting held in Lucknow, UP
2MoS Jitendra Singh launches Capacity Building Programme for Senior Scientists
3Indore hosted 1st Agriculture Deputies Meeting of AWG under India’s G20 Presidency
4Kishan Reddy launched: Best Tourism Village Competition Portal; Global Tourism Investor Summit 2023 portal & Rural Tourism Portal
5President Droupadi Murmu inaugurates International Engineering and Technology Fair 2023
6India ranks 4th among 51 countries in having quality entrepreneurship ecosystem: GEM NECI 2022/2023 Report
7RBI introduced FCRA related Transaction Code in NEFT, RTGS Systems
8NSDC & HDFC Life Collaborate to Boost Entrepreneurial Skills Among Youth in Insurance Sector
9SBI launched new term deposit scheme Amrit Kalash with 7.6% interest rate for Senior Citizens
10HDFC Bank Became 1st Private Sector Bank to Enable Linking of RuPay Credit Card on UPI; HDFC Raises Rs 25,000 cr in India’s largest-ever Bond Issue
11Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance launches ‘Anmol Suraksha Kawach‘
12India’s GDP to Grow at 6.2% in FY24: Morgan Stanley
13Tata Steel signs MoU with CBRI for Sustainable Mining Solutions
14Tata Steel completes 1st Multi-Modal Shipment of TMT Bars from West Bengal to Tripura
15Velocity launches India’s first ChatGPT-powered AI chatbot ‘Lexi’
16HP Cabinet Approves Guidelines for Mukhya Mantri Sukh-Ashray Yojana