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Current Affairs 22 February 2023

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Nitin Gadkari Laid Foundation Stone for World’s Largest Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park in MaharashtraShri Nitin Gadkari lays Foundation Stone of the world's largest and unique Divyang ParkOn 20 February 2023, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari,  laid the Foundation Stone of the world’s largest and unique ‘Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park’ in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
About Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park:
Nitin Gadkari has mentioned Divyang Park – Anubhuti Inclusive Park as the world’s first inclusive disabled park.

  • The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), Government of India, has provided the provision of about Rs 12 crore for this park which has been built on 90,000 square feet.
  • The park will have facilities for all 21 types of disabilities, like a touch-and-smell garden, hydrotherapy unit, water therapy, and an independent room for mentally challenged children, and mother.
  • This park act as an initiative taken under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act).


  • Divyang is a Hindi word which means the one with a divine body part.
  • Prior to this persons with disabilities are referred to as viklang. The word viklang is Hindi for someone with non-functional body parts. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, uttered the word divyang and coined a new meaning for it.

About Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPWD Act):
i.United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was formed on the 13th day of December, 2006. India signed the UNCRPD and subsequently ratified the same on 1st October, 2007.
ii.RPWD Act was enacted in 2016 and came into force in 2017 to give effect to the UNCRPD. The act replace the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
iii.The act promotes and protects the rights and dignity of people with disabilities in educational, social, legal, economic, cultural and political spheres.
iv.Types of disabilities: As of now 21 types of disabilities were included under the act  
Note  UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) is annually observed on December 3.

Ex DUSTLIK IV – 2023: 4th Edition of India-Uzbekistan Joint Military Exercise commences in Uttarakhand India, Uzbekistan 4th Joint Military Exercise ‘DUSTLIK 2023On 20th February 2023, Ex-DUSTLIK IV – 2023, the 4th edition of the bilateral joint military exercise between the Indian Army and Uzbekistan Army commenced in Foreign Training Node in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand. The 14-day long joint exercise will culminate on 5th March 2023.

i.To promote positive relations and interoperability between both the armies
ii.To enhance military capability to undertake multi-domain operations in a Sub Conventional scenario under United Nations Mandate.
45 soldiers each from Uzbekistan and Indian Army.

  • The Indian contingent will be represented by the 14th Battalion, The GARHWAL RIFLES, part of Western Command and the contingent from Uzbekistan is represented by troops of the North Western Military District of Uzbekistan Army.

Key Points:
i.It will focus on joint counter-terrorist operations in mountainous and semi-urban scenario under the United Nations (UN) mandate.
ii.This will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations and culminate with a validation exercise.
iii.Both sides will jointly train, plan and execute a series of tactical drills for neutralisation of likely threats.
iv.Training will be given to the soldiers on how to exploit new-generation equipment and technology for conducting joint operations.
The 1st Indo-Uzbekistan Joint Field Training Exercise “DUSTLIK-2019” was held in 2019 at Uzbekistan’s Chirchiq Training Area. It was focused on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations (CI/CT Ops) in an urban scenario as well as the exchange of expertise on skills at arms.

  • The second edition of the exercise was held at the Foreign Training Node in Ranikhet, Uttarakhand in 2021 while 3rd edition was conducted at Yangiarik, Uzbekistan in 2022.

About Uzbekistan:
Capital– Tashkent
Currency– Uzbekistani Som
President– Shavkat Mirziyoyev

India & Singapore Introduce Live Cross-Border UPI-PayNow ConnectivityPM Modi & Singapore's Lee Hsien Loong launch cross-border linkage between UPI, PayNowThe Prime Minister (PM) of India, Narendra Modi, and the Prime Minister (PM) of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, took part in the virtual launch of real-time payment linkage between the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) of India and PayNow of Singapore.

  • The integration of UPI and PayNow marks a significant shift in India-Singapore relations.

Shaktikanta Das, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and Ravi Menon, Managing Director (MD) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, launched the UPI-PayNow linkage.
i.The PayNow-UPI linkage is India’s first and Singapore’s second cross-border real-time payment system linkage.
ii.Singapore is the first country to introduce a cross-border person-to-person (P2P) payment service.
About Republic of Singapore:
Prime Minister – Lee Hsien Loong
Capital – Singapore
Currency – Singapore Dollar (SGD)
>> Read Full News

ONGC Videsh signed MoU with YPF SA, Argentina to enhance cooperation in the Energy Sector

ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), a wholly-owned subsidiary and overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with YPF SA, Argentina to enhance cooperation in the areas of upstream oil and gas opportunity exploration and development, promote investment and cooperation, and forge closer ties between research and training centres.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the maiden India Energy Week 2023(6th to 8th February 2023) held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

  • OVL currently has a stake in 32 oil & gas projects in 15 countries.
  • YPF S.A. is Argentina’s largest integrated energy company, 51% owned by the Argentine Government and 49% listed in the New York, United State of America (USA) and Buenos Aires stock exchanges, Argentina.


2023 GDCR – World’s First Comparison of Every State’s Physical Climate Risk; 9 Indian States Among World’s Top 50 Facing Climate RiskBihar, UP among 9 Indian states on list of World's top 50 facing climate riskAccording to the “2023 Gross Domestic Climate Risk Assessment” released by Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI), 9 Indian states are among the world’s top 50 regions at risk of causing damage to the built environment as a result of climate change hazards.

  • The 9 states are Bihar (ranked 22), Uttar Pradesh (25th), Assam (28thg), Rajasthan (32nd), Tamil Nadu (36th), Maharashtra (38th), Gujarat (44th), Punjab (48th), and Kerala (50th).

This Gross Domestic Climate Risk Report (GDCR) is the first physical climate risk analysis to compare every state, province, and territory in the world with a specific emphasis on the built environment.
i.Overall, the “globally significant states” of India, China, and the United States (US) are home to 80% of the world’s top 50 most vulnerable cities and economic centres.
About the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI):
CEO – Rohan Hamden
Founded – 2017
Headquarters – Sydney, NSW ( New South Wales), Australia
>> Read Full News


Banking mergers in India have been Beneficial to the Banking Sector: RBI paper Banking mergers in India have been beneficial to the banking sectorAs per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) occasional paper Vol. 43, No.1, 2022 titled ‘Do Bank Mergers Improve Efficiency? The Indian Experience’, banking mergers in India have been, on average, beneficial to the banking sector as the financial performance and efficiency of acquirers improved post-merger.

  • The paper is authored by Snehal S. Herwadkar, Shubham Gupta and Vaishnavi Chavan, Director, Department of Economic and Policy Research, RBI.
  • It has evaluated bank mergers in India since 1997 to gauge their impact on acquirers’ efficiency.

The views expressed in the paper are of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Reserve Bank of India.
The Findings of data envelopment analysis (DEA) are for the period 1997-2017. The study covered all registered Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) in the Indian commercial banking industry, between 1997 and 2020.

  • The sample was reduced to include 17 merger cases during 1997- 2017 and five merger cases during 2019-2020.

Key Points:
i.Most of the mergers amongst PVBs (private sector banks) were market-driven and those between PSBs (public sector banks) were government-led mergers.
ii.The mean technical efficiency of acquirers increased from 90.88 in the pre-merger period to 93.80 three years post-merger, and 94.24 five years post-merger.
iii.Factors that may have led to efficiency gains are post-merger geographical diversification and improvement in the share of interest income.

  • The impact was sharper in the medium term (-3 to +5 years period) as compared to the short-term (-1 to +1 years or -3 to +3 years period).

iv.Post-merger, banks were able to channelise higher share of deposits/assets into loans.
v.There is also improvement in capital adequacy and NPA (Non Profit Asset) provisions measures post-merger, as the combined entity has become relatively more resilient to financial risks.
vi.Post-merger, banks have been able to cut some operating costs by consolidating bank branches/ATMs operating in the same area, etc.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
i.The Reserve Bank of India was established on April 1, 1935, in accordance with the provisions of the RBI Act, 1934.
ii.The Central Office of the Reserve Bank was initially established in Calcutta but was permanently moved to Mumbai in 1937.
iii.Though originally privately owned, since nationalization in 1949, the Reserve Bank is fully owned by the Government of India.

SBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Dividend Yield FundSBI Mutual Fund launches SBI Dividend Yield FundSBI Mutual Fund announced the launch of SBI Dividend Yield Fund, an open-ended equity scheme that will invest at least a minimum of 65% of the assets into equity & equity related instruments predominantly into dividend yielding companies.

  • The new fund offer (NFO) is opened on February 20, 2023 and will close on March 6, 2023.
  • The first-tier benchmark of the fund is the NIFTY 500 TRI.

To provide investors with opportunities for capital appreciation and/or dividend distribution
Key Points:
i.The fund will hunt for investment opportunities in companies which may have relatively lower dividend yield currently but have been consistently demonstrated growth in their dividend pay-out.
ii.It aims to achieve an aggregate dividend yield that is at least 50% higher than that of the Nifty 50 Index.
iii.The scheme will consider dividend-paying stocks that have paid dividends or repurchased shares in at least one of the previous three fiscal years.
iv.Investors who want regular income, can use the SWP (A) facility offered in this fund to plan regular tax efficient cash flows.

v.The scheme would invest between 65% – 100% of its assets in equity and equity-related instruments of dividend-yielding companies, up to 35% in other equity and equity-related instruments, and up to 35% in debt securities.

About SBI Mutual Fund:
MD & CEO– Shamsher Singh
Headquarters– Mumbai,  Maharashtra

BoM Launched its own Private Cloud Infrastructure Mahabank Nakshatra

Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) has launched its own private cloud infrastructure, Mahabank Nakshatra, to improve the performance of cloud capabilities of the bank’s digital infrastructure and hosting applications.

  • Mahabank Nakshatra will strengthen asset monitoring mechanism via predictive machine learning model.
  • The Cloud platform will alert in advance whether a borrowal account will move into special mention account (SMA)-0 (principal or interest payment not overdue for more than 30 days). Thus the prior alert will reduce the potential stress accounts in retail, agriculture and MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) portfolios.

Initiatives undertaken by BoM:
i.The bank has upgraded its mobile banking application version with enhanced UI/UX features for seamless customer experience.
ii.A mobile app named Arjun (Automated Remote Junction for Monitoring of Assets Under Stress) was launched by the bank to provide a snapshot of stressed asset (SMA & Slippages) portfolio to bank staff and feat on street (FOT).

  • Analysis to identify the daily variation in stressed asset portfolio will also be given by the app alongwith recovery suggestions.

iii.The bank launched a legal case tracking software termed ‘Mykase’ to strengthen Recovery mechanism. The software will fetch all the cases in various courts of India which are online where BoM.
iv.‘Pension slip facility’ was developed by the bank using Digi locker, which is a flagship initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) under Digital India programme.
v.The FASTag auto top-up facility of the bank will now enable its customers to set a Standing Instruction (SI) facility for their FASTag wallet.
vi.The bank’s WhatsApp banking now include Credit Card with detailed account summary and transactions, pension slip for pensioners, account statement, health insurance etc.,
About Bank of Maharashtra (BoM):
Establishment – 16 September 1935
Headquarters – Pune, Maharashtra
Managing Director and CEO – A S Rajeev
Tagline – Ek Parivaar, Ek Bank (One Family One Bank)

Kotak Mahindra Bank Launched a Banking Portal Kotak fynKotak Mahindra Bank takes corporate digital banking portal 'Kotak fyn'Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (KMBL) launched an integrated banking portal named ‘Kotak fyn, to provide inclusive digital banking and value-added services to its business banking and corporate clients.
Features of the Portal Kotak fyn:

  • Under the portal, services will be provided for all products, including trade & services, account services, payments, and collections.
  • It will offer the option to unify data across multiple product-specific portals and back-office systems to create a single view of transactions, positions and balances, enabling self-service and driving operational efficiency,
  • It will also assure paperless transactions and overcomes the need for multiple logins and disparate user interfaces, making all trade and service transactions seamless and easy for customers.
  • The corporate customers of the bank would have a superior banking experience through the portal as it has an innovative user interface with several industry-leading features.

About Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd (KMBL):
Establishment – 2003
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
MD & CEO – Uday Kotak
Tagline – Let’s Make Money Simple


SBI Ecowrap pegs India’s Q3FY23 GDP growth at 4.6%SBI pegs India’s Q3 GDP growth at 4.6%As per the research report by the State Bank of India (SBI) Ecowrap, India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for Q3 FY23 is estimated at 4.6%.

  • The annual GDP projection for FY23 is estimated to grow between 6.8 and 7%.

Basis of Estimate:
This estimate is based upon an in-house SBI Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model.
ANN is a computational network model that has artificial neural networks like biological neurons that are linked to each other in various layers of the networks. These neurons are known as nodes.

  • The SBI ANN model has been developed with 30 high frequency indicators, and has been trained for the quarterly GDP data from Q4 2011 to Q4 2020.

Key Points:
i.This Q3FY23 projection by SBI is higher than the 4.4% growth projected by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and National Statistical office (NSO).
ii.Notably India’s GDP grew at 0.7% and 5.4% in Q3 FY21 and Q3 FY22, respectively.
iii.In Q1FY23 the growth has been pegged at 13.5%, and for Q2FY23, it was at 6.3%.
iv.The corporate results, excluding BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), for Q3 FY23 shows a decline in EBIDTA (earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and ammortisation) by 9% year-on-year (y-o-y) against 18% EBIDTA growth in Q3 FY22

  • Net sales grew by 15% in Q3 FY23.

BEML signed MoU with DMRC led SPV for Bahrain Metro Rail Project BEML inks MoU with DMRC led SPV for Bahrain metro rail projectOn 20th February 2023, BEML Limited(formerly Bharat Earth Movers Limited), a schedule ‘A’ company under the Ministry of Defence(MoD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)-led Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for constructing the Bahrain Metro Rail Project Phase-1.

  • The project involves the construction of a 30 kilometer (Km) network with 20 stations in Bahrain.

Saleem Ahmed, Executive Director (Last Mile Connectivity), Delhi Metro and DS Ganesh, General Manager (Marketing), BEML signed the MoU in the presence of Vikas Kumar, Managing Director (MD) of DMRC, and Amit Banerjee, Chairman and Managing Director(CMD), BEML.
The DMRC has qualified for the pre-qualification tender process for an international consultancy project to construct the Phase-1 of the Bahrain Metro Project.
Features of the MoU:
i.Under this MoU, BEML will manufacture and supply Metro rolling stock and DMRC will provide expertise in the fields of project development, budgeting, and facilitation of contractual obligations for the phase-1 of the Bahrain Metro Project.
ii.The MoU will enable BEML to utilise its manufacturing expertise and technological resources and expand globally and optimise business processes for Metro Rolling Stock used in urban transportation.
Other projects of Delhi Metro:

  • Previously, Delhi Metro qualified in the pre bid process for constructing the Tel Aviv Metro Project in Israel.
  • It is also in process of bidding for other international projects like Alexandria in Egypt, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and Mauritius.
  • At present Delhi Metro is engaged in the construction of Dhaka Metro in Bangladesh as consultant.

About BEML Limited: 
BEML Limited was established in May 1964 as a Public Sector Undertaking(PSU) for Rail Coaches & Spare Parts and Mining equipment.
BEML operates under 3 major business verticals: Defence & Aerospace, Mining & Construction and Rail & Metro.
Chairman and Managing Director(CMD)– Amit Banerjee
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka


Karnataka Bank wins ‘Prathista Puraskar-Digidhan Award’ from MeitY 

Karnataka Bank Limited was awarded “Prathista Puraskar” under ‘Digidhan Awards 2021-22’ by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India (GoI), for achieving the target with the highest percentage in Bharat Interface for Money-Unified Payments Interface (BHIM-UPI) transactions in Private Sector Bank category.

  • Gokuldas Pai, Chief Business Officer and Jagadeesh K S, Deputy General Manager of Delhi-Region, received the award from Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and Railways, in a function held at New Delhi, Delhi.
  • The bank, known as “KBL-NxT”, is currently undertaking an accelerated digital drive under its transformation journey “KBL VIKAAS 2.0.”   


GoI Appoints BVR Subrahmanyam as NITI Aayog CEO; Incumbent CEO Iyer Moves to World BankCentre appoints B Subrahmanyam as NITI Aayog CEOThe Government of India (GoI) has approved the appointment of former Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam (56 years old) as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).

  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved Subrahmanyam’s appointment for a period of 2 years from the date of assumption of the charge of the post.

Subrahmanyam will succeed incumbent CEO Parameswaran Iyer, who will join the World Bank (WB) as Executive Director in Washington, DC, United States (US) for a 3-year term.
About BVR Subrahmanyam
i.BVR Subrahmanyam is a 1987 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Chhattisgarh cadre.
ii.Subrahmanyam was named Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) in 2022 on a contract basis for a period of two years following his retirement on September 30, 2022.
iii.He was Additional Chief Secretary (Home) in Chhattisgarh before being deputed to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) as Chief Secretary when the state proclaimed Governor’s Rule in June 2022.
iv.From 2004 to 2008, he served as a private secretary to former Prime Minister (PM) Manmohan Singh.
v.After serving at the World Bank, he rejoined the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under Narendra Modi between 2012 and 2015.
About Parameswaran Iyer
i.Parameswaran Iyer, the current CEO of NITI Aayog, is a retired 1981-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre.

  • In July 2022, he was appointed CEO of NITI Aayog for a 3-year term.

ii.As appointed to the World Bank (WB), Parameswaran Iyer will take over for Rajesh Khullar, a 1988-batch IAS official who has been repatriated to his home cadre of Haryana.
iii.Iyer voluntarily retired from the IAS in 2009 to join the WB as the global lead for strategic initiatives in the water and sanitation sector.
iv.Between 2016 to 2020, he was the Secretary to the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in New Delhi, where he oversaw the implementation of India’s flagship initiative, the USD 20 billion Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
About NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India):
Chairperson – Prime Minister of India (Narendra Modi)
Vice Chairperson – Suman Bery
Establishment – 2015
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

UN appoints Indo-Canadian Afshan Khan Coordinator for SUN Movement

On 20th February 2023, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the appointment of Indo-Canadian Afshan Khan as Coordinator of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. She will coordinate the implementation of the SUN movement through its 3rd phase (2021-2025).

  • Afshan Khan will succeed Gerda Verburg of the Netherlands.

Currently, she serves as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Key Points:
i. She will lead the SUN Movement Secretariat and manage the network of SUN Government Focal Points, stakeholders, and supporters.
ii. As the coordinator of the SUN movement, she will work to ensure the execution of the SUN strategy at the global level by building partnerships, and galvanizing engagement and commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms.
SUN Movement: 
i. The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is a country-driven initiative, led by 65 Countries and 4 Indian States (Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh), which aims to eradicate all types of malnutrition by 2030.
ii. It is a renewed initiative to end all forms of malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition.
iii. It works to achieve sustainable and equitable reductions in malnutrition and nutrition justice for all.
About Afshan Khan:
i. Afshan Khan was born in Hyderabad, Telangana, India and has both Canadian and United Kingdom (UK) citizenship.
ii. She worked as a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency between 1984 and 1986.
iii. She started her work for UNICEF in Mozambique in 1989.
iv. Since Afshan Khan also served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Women for Women International from 2012-2014.

HAL extends C B Ananthakrishnan Tenure as CMD for Six Months

On 20th February 2022, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved to extend the tenure of C B Ananthakrishnan, Director (Finance) of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) (additional charge) for a period of 6 months with effect from 1st February 2023.

  • He assumed additional charge of the post of CMD following the superannuation of R Madhavan as CMD of HAL on 31st July 2022.
  • HAL is an aerospace and defence company under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka.    


Ranji Trophy 2022-2023: Saurashtra won their 2nd Ranji Trophy title defeating BengalRanji Trophy Saurashtra beat Bengal in final to win their second titleSaurashtra cricket team won the Mastercard Ranji Trophy 2022-2023 defeating Bengal cricket team(West Bengal) by 9 wickets in the finals of held in Eden Gardens in Kolkata, West Bengal.

  • This marks Saurashtra’s 2nd Ranji Trophy Title. Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji Trophy in 2020.
  • Mastercard Ranji Trophy 2022-2023 was the 88th season of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament in India.
  • Ranji Trophy 2022-23 was held from 13th December 2022 to 19th February 2023

Note: Saurashtra cricket team is one of the three first-class cricket teams based in Gujarat. The others 2 teams are Baroda and Gujarat.
Saurashtra: Jaydev Unadkat
Bengal: Manoj Tiwary
Awards – Ranji Trophy 2022-2023: 
Jaydev Unadkat, captain of Saurashtra, was declared Man of the Match (finals) for his impressive performance.
Arpit Vasavada, a middle-order batsman for Saurashtra, was adjudged the Player of the Series for his consistent run in this Ranji season(2022-2023).
Prize Money: 
Ranji Trophy winning team receives a coveted trophy and Rs 2 crore in prize money.
Player of the Series: Rs 10 lakhs
Player of the Match: Rs 25000
About Ranji Trophy: 
i. Ranji Trophy was founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) in 1935.
ii. The Ranji Trophy is named after one of India’s first test cricketers, Ranjitsinhji, who played for England and Sussex.
iii. It is annually organised across various grounds and stadiums in India.
iv. The inaugural edition of the Ranji Trophy was played in the 1934-35 season with Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra.
Mumbai (Bombay) dominates the Ranji Trophy by winning the tournament 41 times.
After Mumbai, Karnataka have won the most Ranji Trophies (8) followed by Delhi (7) and Baroda (5).

Indian Chess Player N.R. Vignesh from TN Becomes India’s 80th Chess GrandmasterN.R. Vignesh becomes India’s 80th GrandmasterIndian Chess Player N.R. Vignesh (25-year-old), from Chennai, Tamil Nadu (TN), became India’s 80th Grandmaster (GM) after defeating International Master (IM) Ilja Schneider of Germany at NordWest Cup 2023 (24th edition) at Bad Zwischenahn in Germany which was held from 26th January 2023 to 29th January 2023.

  • He became the Grandmaster after crossing 2500 in the live ratings.
  • N.R. Vignesh also became the 29th Grandmaster hailing from Tamil Nadu(TN).

Note: M Pranesh from TN became India’s 79th GM in January 2023 after winning the Rilton Cup 2022/2023 in Stockholm, Sweden.

India’s 1st Brothers duo of Grandmasters:
N.R. Visakh, elder brother of Grandmaster N.R. Vignesh, had become India’s 59th GM in 2019.

  • Visakh and Vignesh became India’s first pair of siblings (brothers) to hold the title of Grandmaster.

About N.R. Vignesh:
i. N.R. Vignesh become an International Master in chess in 2015. He is ranked 767th in FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or International Chess Federation) World Rank (Active Players).
ii. His GM-Norms: 1st GM-norm: At Qatar Masters in 2015; 2nd GM-norm: At 24th Abu Dhabi Masters in 2017; 3rd GM-norm: At 1st Gujarat GM Open 2018; and 4th GM-norm: At Asian Continental 2019 at Xingtai, China.
i. After becoming GM, N.R. Vignesh returned to India to play for Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) A at MPL 42nd Indian Team Chess Championship Open 2023, a 9-round swiss team tournament, held from 10 to 16 February 2023 in Pollachi, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
ii. IM Vignesh N R remained undefeated for the 2nd consecutive year for RSPB A.


Former Gujarat Governor & Veteran BJP Leader Om Prakash Kohli  Passed Away Former Gujarat governor O P Kohli Passed AwayOn 20th February 2023, Om Prakash Kohli (O P Kohli), former Governor of Gujarat (2014-2019) and Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, passed away in Noida, Uttar Pradesh (UP), at the age of 87. He was born on 9th August 1935 in Delhi.
About Om Prakash Kohli:
i. O. P. Kohli was a lecturer at Hansraj College (Delhi) and Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi, for over 37 years.
ii. O. P. Kohli began his political career as a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh volunteer. He then held several positions with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Delhi University Students Union, and the Delhi University Teachers Association.
iii. In 1991, he served as the President of the Delhi BJP, where he held the position for 3 terms. As a member of the BJP national executive, he oversaw the organisational charge of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana.
iv. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) – Rajya Sabha (representing Delhi) from  1994 to 2000.
v. O. P. Kohli served as the 19th Governor of Gujarat between 2014 and 2019.

  • He also held the additional charge of the office of the Governor of Madhya Pradesh along with Gujarat from 2016 to 2018 and also held the additional charge as the Governor of Goa for 3 weeks in 2014.


International Mother Language Day 2023 – February 21International Mother Language Day (IMLD) - February 21 2023United Nations (UN)’s International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is annually observed across the globe on February 21 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as multilingualism.

  • 21st February 2023 marks the observance of the 24th edition of IMLD.

The theme of International Mother Language Day 2023 is “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education”.
Aim: To preserve traditional knowledge and cultures through sustainable methods and support multilingualism in societies.
i. International Mother Language Day was established on the initiative of Bangladesh.
ii. In 1999, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference approved the observance of February 21 as the IMLD and has been observed worldwide since 2000.
iii. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/56/262, titled Multilingualism, on 9th April 2002 and formally recognized February 21 of every year as International Mother Language Day.
About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director-General- Audrey Azoulay
Headquarters- Paris, France
Establishment- 1945 (came into force in 1946)
Members- 193 Members and 11 Associate Members.
>> Read Full News


Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal launched India’s 1st Agri Chatbot – Ama KrushAI

Ganeshi Lal, Governor of Odisha, launched “Ama KrushAI”, India’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered ChatBot for the agriculture sector, at the valedictory session of ‘Krushi Odisha 2023’. It is designed to help farmers access agronomic practices, government schemes, and loan products from more than 40 commercial and cooperative banks.

  • The ChatBot will run under a pilot project involving more than 10,000 farmers and will be implemented in full-fledged in the next two months.
  • Ama KrushAI is created using Bhashini (a language interpretation platform) and the ChatGPT system by the Indian Institute Of Technology–Madras (IIT Madras).

Krushi Odisha 2023: Three-day event under the theme “Emerging Technologies in Agriculture”, organised by Odisha’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to promote farm mechanisation and enhancement in farmers’ income. More than 20,000 farmers and agri-entrepreneurs from across Odisha.


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 22 February 2023
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6Banking mergers in India have been Beneficial to the Banking Sector: RBI paper
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8BoM Launched its own Private Cloud Infrastructure Mahabank Nakshatra
9Kotak Mahindra Bank Launched a Banking Portal Kotak fyn
10SBI Ecowrap pegs India’s Q3FY23 GDP growth at 4.6%
11BEML signed MoU with DMRC led SPV for Bahrain Metro Rail Project
12Karnataka Bank wins ‘Prathista Puraskar-Digidhan Award’ from MeitY
13GoI Appoints BVR Subrahmanyam as NITI Aayog CEO; Incumbent CEO Iyer Moves to World Bank
14UN appoints Indo-Canadian Afshan Khan Coordinator for SUN Movement
15HAL extends C B Ananthakrishnan Tenure as CMD for Six Months
16Ranji Trophy 2022-2023: Saurashtra won their 2nd Ranji Trophy title defeating Bengal
17Indian Chess Player N.R. Vignesh from TN Becomes India’s 80th Chess Grandmaster
18Former Gujarat Governor & Veteran BJP Leader Om Prakash Kohli  Passed Away
19International Mother Language Day 2023 – February 21
20Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal launched India’s 1st Agri Chatbot – Ama KrushAI