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Current Affairs 5 & 6 February 2023

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Coal India Arm MCL Introduces Drone Technology in Coal MinesVIHANGAM DroneMahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a premier Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Coal, has introduced drone technology in coal mines by launching “VIHANGAM,” a web-based portal that includes a drone and ground control system.

  • MCL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL).
  • CIL accounts for more than 80% of domestic coal output.

Key Points:
i.The “VIHANGAM” portal enables authorised users to access real-time drone video from the mine via a dedicated 40 Mbps internet lease line located near the mines.
ii.The drone is flown by a control station, and the system is controllable through the portal from any location.
iii.This pilot project is currently in operation at the opencast mines of Talcher Coalfields in Bhubaneswari and Lingraj in Odisha.
Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL)
i.MCL is digitizing the mining process by using drone technology for environmental monitoring, volume measurement, and photogrammetric mapping of mines.MCL has installed a robotic nozzle water sprayer in its coal stockyard to further enhance safety standards.
ii.MCL generates more than 20% of the total coal produced in India through its coal mining operations in the districts of Sundergarh, Jharsuguda, and Angul in Odisha.
Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) – O P Singh
Formed – 1992
Headquarters – Sambalpur, Odisha

India’s 5th Nano Urea Plant to be set up in Jharkhand

On 4th February 2023, Amit Shah, Union Minister of Home Affairs, laid the foundation stone of a Rs.450 crore nano urea plant and township of the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO) in Deoghar, Jharkhand. This will be India’s 5th nano urea plant.

  • The plant will be constructed at a cost of Rs 300 crore and the township at a cost of Rs 150 crore.
  • IFFCO has been given 20 acres of land by the Jharkhand Industrial Area Development Authority (JIADA) for the complex in the Jasidih area of the Deoghar district.
  • The world’s 1st nano urea plant was inaugurated by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi in Gujarat.

Note: Nano urea is already being exported to five countries.

Austrade Signs MoU with Leather Sector Skill Council

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), an Australian Government agency, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Leather Sector Skill Council (LSSC) to work on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes and implement Australian training standards in the leather sector in India.

  • LSSC is a non-profit organisation aimed to meet the demand for skilled workforce in India’s leather sector.

The MoU will be implemented by the Australia-India Future Skills Initiative team of Austrade in India.

  • The MoU will focus on job roles in the leather industry related to 3D printing, product design, automation engineering, 3D scanning, computerised stitching machine operations, computerised cutting machine operations, automatic machine programming, and others.
  • A special emphasis will be directed on areas including sustainability, net zero, industry 4.0, virtual and augmented reality (AR), and other applications.

DA&FW and DIL Collaborate to Enhance Food Security and Double Farmers’ Income

The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), Government of India (GoI), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Development Innovation Lab (DIL) at the University of Chicago in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • Objective: To explore opportunities to use innovation to promote food security, address climate change, and allow farmers to increase their incomes.

During the signing of the MoU, the DIL was represented by the University of Chicago Trust in India.

  • The DIL was established by Nobel laureate Dr. Michael Kremer, University Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, and co-recipient of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel.

The DIL uses economic strategies to develop inventions that have the potential to assist millions of people in low- and middle-income countries.

  • DIL will support DA&FW in its efforts to identify, develop, test, and refine technologies to support India’s smallholder farmers in priority areas.


TCS Named to ‘World’s Most Admired Companies List by FORTUNE Magazine

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been included in the 25th edition of FORTUNE magazine’s list of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” for 2023.

  • The list, which is regarded as a benchmark of corporate reputation, is based on a survey of global business executives, directors, and analysts.
  • Companies are evaluated based on features such as innovation, social responsibility, management quality, global competitiveness, talent management, and quality of products/services.

In the annual ranking of corporate reputation, Apple topped the list for the 16th consecutive year, followed by a tie between Amazon and Microsoft for the 2nd spot.


Wings Publication announces Golden Book Awards 2023 WinnersGolden book awardWings Publication announced the list of winners of Asia’s most prestigious book award, Golden Book Awards 2023, a highly-acclaimed recognition program honouring exceptional Authors.

  • The winners were chosen based on factors such as originality, creativity, and impact on the literary world.
  • 2023 winners were selected from a pool of highly qualified nominees by a panel of independent judges.
  • Juries: Dr Kailash Pinjani (President of Indian Authors Association), Dr Deepak Parbat (Founder of Superfast Author) & Murali Sundaram (Founder of TLC).

About Golden Book Awards: 
i. The Golden Book Awards recognises authors who have written impacting, creative and powerpack books, and showcases their commitment to excellence and leadership.
ii. Wings Publication created this award as a way to commend authors and books for their hard work.
iii. India saw the publication of more than 75,000 books, and the nominees represent a wide range of literary categories, including children’s literature, nonfiction, poetry, and fiction.
Winners of Golden Book Awards 2023:

Deepak ChopraThe Seven Spiritual Law Of Success: A practical guide to achieving your dreams
Ashneer GroverDoglapan: The Hard Truth about Life and Start-Ups
Jeff KinneyDiary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Overlode
J.K RowlingFantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore
Gaur Gopal DasEnergize Your Mind: A Monk’s Guide to Mindful Living
Kamlesh PatelThe Wisdom Bridge: Nine Principles To A Life That Echoes In The Hearts Of Your Loved Ones
Ruskin BondHow To Live Your Life
Namita ThaparThe Dolphin And The Shark: Stories On Entrepreneurship

Click here for the Winners of Golden Book Awards 2023

PM Modi appears as World’s Most Popular Leader, With an Approval Rating of 78%

Morning Consult, a US-based consulting firm, reported that Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has become the most popular leader in the world for the 2nd consecutive year, with a 78% approval rating in its Global Leader Approval Ratings.

  • He is rated highest among the 22 countries studied, followed by Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico with an approval of 68% and and Swiss President Alain Berset occupied the third position with 62 per cent approval rating.
  • PM Narendra Modi received an approval rating way ahead of US President Joe Biden, who received a 40% rating.
  • Prime Minister Modi has left behind world leaders in terms of popularity as per the latest rating. These leaders include US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.


Paytm Non-Independent Director Douglas Feagin ResignsPaytm Director resignOne 97 Communications (Paytm) has announced that Douglas Feagin, a non-executive, non-independent director of the company, has submitted his resignation with immediate effect from February 2, 2023.

  • Feagin, the senior vice president of the Ant Group, joined the board of One97 Communications in July 2021.

With loans disbursed in December 2022 totaling Rs 9,958 crore, Paytm reported a 357% rise in its loan distribution business.

  • During the third quarter, the merchant gross merchandise value (GMV) processed increased 38% year on year to Rs 3.46 lakh crore.
  • During the third quarter, Paytm added 1 million payment devices, and the number of merchants paying subscriptions for payment devices had reached 5.8 million as of December 2022. 
  • Paytm was being a key beneficiary of the  UPI incentive scheme, which provides financial incentives, for promoting Point-of-Sale (PoS). Paytm estimates that it would have received 5-7 % of the FY22 incentive.

Ferrero signs Ranveer Singh as Brand Ambassador for Nutella

Chocolate company Ferrero has signed Bollywood Actor Ranveer Singh as the brand ambassador of its hazelnut cocoa spread brand Nutella India.

  • Ranveer Singh will actively participate in their different initiatives and promote the Nutella brand through both online and offline marketing channels.
  • The brands endorsed by Ranveer Singh are MakeMyTrip, Thums Up, Bingo, Maruti Suzuki, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Adidas Originals, and Nivea among others.
  • Nutella in India is also doing an online limited-edition Nutella jar featuring Ranveer Singh on the label.


GoI to Become Vodafone Idea’s Largest Shareholder with 33% Stake

The Ministry of Communications, has approved the conversion of Rs. 16133,18,48,990 (~Rs. 16,133 crore) in accrued interest on deferred adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of debt-ridden Vodafone Idea into equity.

  • The company has been directed to issue 1613,31,84,899 (~1613.31 crore) equity shares with a face value of Rs. 10 each at an issue price of Rs. 10 each.
  • The conversion will make GoI the single-largest shareholder in Vodafone Idea, with a projected stake of around 33%.

The co-promoters of Vodafone Idea, Vodafone Group (United Kingdom) and Aditya Birla Group (India), currently hold 47.61% and 27.38% of the company (74.99% combine), respectively.

  • After the conversion, the two will own 31.8% and 18.3% of the company, decreasing their combined ownership to over 50% from 74.99%.
  • At the end of the Q2 FY23, Vodafone Idea’s gross debt was at Rs 2.20 trillion.


“NISAR”: NASA-ISRO Joint Satellite to Launch in 2024NASA ISRO JAINT SateliteAccording to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the ‘NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)’ will be launched from Indian soil in the first quarter of 2024, and science operations will commence 90 days after it reaches the intended orbit.

  • NISAR is a Low-Earth orbit (LEO) observatory being developed jointly by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States (US) and ISRO, India.

Launch Phase
The NISAR Observatory will be launched on the expendable Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) contributed by ISRO from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota (Andhra Pradesh), India’s Spaceport on the southeast coast of the Indian peninsula.

  • The anticipated launch readiness date is January 2024.

NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR)  
i.NISAR, the joint NASA-ISRO Earth-observation mission, will map the entire globe in 12 days and provide reliable spatial and temporal data for analyzing changes in Earth’s ecosystems.

  • It will monitor Earth on ascending and descending passes, sampling Earth every 6 days on average for a baseline 3-year mission.
  • It will provide data on ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea-level rise, ground water, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.

ii.This would be the first mission using advanced sweep Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technique for dual-frequency radar imaging in the L-band and S-band.

  • It will provide L & S band space-borne SAR data with high repeat cycle, high resolution, and larger swath, with capability of full-polarimetric and interferometric modes of operation.

iii.The observatory is made up of the SAR payloads installed on the Integrated Radar Instrument Structure (IRIS) and the spacecraft bus.
iv.NASA is in charge of the L-band SAR payload system, while ISRO is in charge of the S-band SAR payload, and both systems will use a large (about 12 m in diameter) common unfurlable reflector antenna.

  • The US component of the project is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, US.

v.NISAR explores concepts for a SAR mission to assess Earth change in 3 fields: Ecosystems (vegetation and the carbon cycle), Deformation (solid earth studies), and Cryosphere sciences (primarily as related to climatic drivers and effects on sea level).
Click here for quick facts about NISAR


Khelo India Winter Games-2023: Union Minister Anurag Thakur & Lt. Governor of J&K jointly launched Mascot, Theme Song & Jersey Khelo India Winter GamesOn 4th February 2023, the Mascot, Theme Song, and Jersey for the 3rd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games were launched by Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, with Manoj Sinha, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), at Raj Bhawan, Jammu, J&K.

  • The 3rd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games, a 5-day event, is scheduled to be held from 10-14 February 2023 in Gulmarg, Jammu, and Kashmir.

Mascot: The Snow Leopard depicts the vibrant heritage of the Himalayas.
Khelo India Winter Games 2023: 
i. The J&K Sports Council and the Winter Games Association of J&K are in charge of organising the Khelo India Winter Games, which is funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
ii. The games, which will feature 9 sports events, will feature about 1500 competitors from across India.
iii. The first edition of Khelo India Winter Games was held in 2020,the Jammu & Kashmir, the host of the first and second editions had won the top spot in both editions.
iv. The primary events are a snowshoe race, ice skating, ice hockey, skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering and ice stock among others.
About Jammu and Kashmir (J&K):
Governor- Manoj Sinha
Wildlife Sanctuary- Surinsar Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary; Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary
Festivals- Losar; Matho Nagrang


Veteran Singer & Padma Bhushan Recipient Vani Jairam Passes AwayVani Jairam passed awayVani Jairam, the famed and veteran singer who was recently honoured with India’s third-highest civilian award, the “Padma Bhushan (2023 in the field of Art), passed away in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, at the age of 78. She was born in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu and her parents originally named her Kalaivani.
Key Points:
i.Vani began her career in the early 1970s and recently celebrated 50 years as a professional singer.
ii.She has recorded over 10,000 songs for Indian films in 19 languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, and Gujarati, among many others.
iii.She has also received state awards from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, and Odisha.
iv.In July 2017, she was honored with the Best Female Singer at the North American Film Awards (NAFA) 2017 event at New York City, United States.
National Film Awards

  • Vani was awarded the Best Female Playback Singer (Tamil) award in 1975 for her songs in the Tamil film “Apoorva Raagangal.”
  • She got the Best Female Playback Singer (Telugu) award in 1980 for her songs in the Telugu film “Sankarabharanam.”
  • She received her third national award in 1991 for the song “Anathineeyara Hara” from the Telugu film “Swathi Kiranam.”


International Day of Human Fraternity 2023 – February 4International Day of Human FraternityUnited Nations (UN)’s International Day of Human Fraternity is annually observed across the globe on February 4 to honour the principles of compassion, religious understanding, and mutual respect that keep humans united.

  • International Day of Human Fraternity falls in the middle of International Interfaith Harmony Week, which is observed annually during the 1st week of February.

4th February 2023 marks the observance of the 3rd International Day of Human Fraternity.
i. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/75/200 on 21st December 2020 and proclaimed February 4 of every year as International Day of Human Fraternity.

  • The resolution was co-facilitated by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

ii. The 1st ever International Day of Human Fraternity was observed on 4th February 2021.
About the United Nations:
Secretary-General- António Guterres
Headquarters- New York, USA
Establishment- 1945
>> Read Full News

World Cancer Day 2023 – February 4World Cancer DayWorld Cancer Day (WCD) is annually observed across the globe on February 4 to raise awareness towards cancer and to encourage its identification, prevention, and treatment.

  • The campaign theme of World Cancer Day 2022-2024 is “Close the care gap”.
  • The Campaign theme of World Cancer Day 2023 is “Close the care Gap: Uniting our voices and taking action”.

The 2023 campaign invites like-minded individuals to join to strengthen alliances and new innovative collaborations in the fight against cancer.
i. World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the largest and oldest international cancer organisation.

  • It was initiated on 4th February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris, France.

ii. At the World Summit Against Cancer, a document titled the “Charter of Paris Against Cancer”, consisting of 10 articles, was signed.

  • Under Article X, the charter officially proclaimed World Cancer Day and was decided to be observed on February 4.

Note: The document highlighted a global commitment to enhancing cancer patients’ access to care and quality of life.
About the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC):
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Cary Adams
Headquarters- Geneva, Switzerland
Establishment- 1933
>> Read Full News


Goa CM Pramod Sawant launches Heli-Tourism Service in Panaji Goa CM Pramod Sawant launches helipadOn 3rd February 2023, Dr Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister of Goa, launched a Heli-Tourism Service, the 1st premium Helicopter service, under the public-private partnership (PPP) model from the Dauji-Ella helipad (Old Goa) in Panaji, Goa.

  • PPP- The services are provided by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) in association with Soaring Aerospace Pvt Ltd.

Note: The Helipad at Dauji-Ella, Old Goa, has been constructed under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism (MOT).
Heli-Tourism Service:
The Heli-Tourism Service offers 10-minute joy rides to tourists for Rs.8,000 per person, charter flights, airport transfer rides and customised heli-tours for tourists wanting to travel to nearby places such as Hampi, Kolhapur and Shirdi.
Key Points: 
i. Goa’s focus for the tourism sector is on ease of doing business and high-end services. The Goa government is also exploring PPP to achieve the goal of high-end tourism services.
ii. During the launch, the Department of Tourism also launched a helpline for the assistance of tourism.

  • The helpline is being operated by a call centre and will provide information on forthcoming events, venue, cost, etc.

iii. The government has built the second Zuari bridge, Mopa Airport, and the future conference centre as part of the infrastructure for tourism.
Swadesh Darshan Scheme:
i. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India (GoI), introduced the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in 2014–2015 for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits.
ii. Aim- To promote, develop and harness the potential of tourism in India.
iii. The MOT offers Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments and UT Administrations for the construction of circuit infrastructure under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
About Goa:
Chief Minister- Pramod Sawant
Governor- Sreedharan Pillai
Port- Mormugao Port
Bird Sanctuary- Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Punjab Cabinet Approves New Industrial and Electric Vehicle Policies

Punjap electric vehicle policThe new “Industrial and Business Development Policy (IBDP)-2022” and “Punjab Electric Vehicle Policy (PEVP)-2022” have been approved by the Punjab Cabinet, which is presided over by Chief Minister (CM) Bhagwant Mann.

  • The cabinet approved both policies ahead of an investors’ summit scheduled for February 23-24, 2023, in Mohali, Punjab.

Punjab Electric Vehicle Policy (PEVP)- 2022
i.The PEVP-2022 is designed to reduce environmental pollution in the state brought on by automobile emissions.

  • The policy aims to minimize vehicular emissions, build infrastructure, manufacturing, research and development, and job creation, while also establishing Punjab as a preferred destination for the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs), components, and batteries.

ii.Under the vehicle scrapping policy, the Punjabi government has already provided incentives for people who switch to electric vehicles.

Industrial and Business Development Policy (IBDP)-2022
i.The IBDP-2022 policy provides a host of incentives for a range of sectors, including infrastructure, power, and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), among others.

  • It focuses on fostering an environment that facilitates industries and businesses to achieve balanced economic growth, job creation, and overall state development.
  • The IBDP-2022 shall be effective from October 17, 2022, the time when the previous policy’s period ended. The new policy will be in effect for a duration of 5 years.

ii.According to the policy, Punjab will create 20 rural clusters throughout the state in addition to 15 industrial parks that will address both general and industry-specific needs.
Note: Punjab Government would also implement Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance (RAMP), a Government of India (GoI) initiative supported by the World Bank, for MSMEs.
Other Punjab Cabinet Approval
i.The Punjab cabinet also approved the establishment of public mining sites to ensure that sand and gravel are affordable to the general public.
ii.Initially, 18 such sites would be created in 7 districts, one of which will be inaugurated by CM Bhagwant Mann on February 5, 2023.
iii.Punjab will have 50 such sites functional by the end of March 2023.
About Punjab:
Chief Minister (CM) – Bhagwant Mann
Governor – Banwarilal Purohit
Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) – Bir Moti Bagh WLS; Bir Bhunerheri WLS
Zoological Park – Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park; Tiger safari zoo


List of Current Governors in India – AUGUST 2022

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S.noCurrent Affairs 5 & 6 February 2023
1Coal India Arm MCL Introduces Drone Technology in Coal Mines
2Union Minister Amit Shah Lays Foundation Stone of Rs 450-Crore Nano Urea Plant in Jharkhand
3Austrade Signs MoU with Leather Sector Skill Council
4DA&FW and DIL Collaborate to Enhance Food Security and Double Farmers’ Income
5TCS Named to ‘World’s Most Admired Companies List by FORTUNE Magazine
6Wings Publication announces Golden Book Awards 2023 Winners
7PM Modi appears as World’s Most Popular Leader, With an Approval Rating of 78%
8Paytm Non-Independent Director Douglas Feagin Resigns
9Ferrero signs Ranveer Singh as Brand Ambassador for Nutella
10GoI to Become Vodafone Idea’s Largest Shareholder with 33% Stake
11“NISAR”: NASA-ISRO Joint Satellite to Launch in 2024
12Khelo India Winter Games-2023: Union Minister Anurag Thakur & Lt. Governor of J&K launches Mascot, Theme Song & Jersey
13Veteran Singer & Padma Bhushan Recipient Vani Jairam Passes Away
14International Day of Human Fraternity 2023 – February 4
15World Cancer Day 2023 – February 4
16Goa CM Pramod Sawant launches Heli-Tourism Service in Panaji
17Punjab Cabinet Approves New Industrial and Electric Vehicle Policies