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Current Affairs 8 April 2023

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Cabinet approvals on April 6, 2023Cabinet gives nod to Indian Space Policy, 2023The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
i.The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the Indian Space Policy 2023 that will enable the private sector to participate in various space activities, such as constructing satellites, rockets, and launch vehicles, as well as collecting and sharing data.
ii.CCEA has approved a mechanism to fix pricing for domestic natural gas in India. It has revised domestic natural gas pricing guidelines for gas produced from nomination fields of ONGC/OIL, New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) blocks and pre-NELP blocks, where Production Sharing Contract (PSC) provides for the Government’s approval of prices.
iii.In March 2023, the Central Government approved the Indian Army’s decision to induct women officers in the artillery regiments. In this regard, the first lot of women will be commissioned in the Army’s artillery regiments by the end of April 2023 when they pass out of the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
About Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman – S. Somanath
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
Establishment– 1969
>> Read Full News

CEA: WBPDCL Ranks best performing Power Generation Company in FY23WBPDCL ranks best performing power generation company for FY’23According to a list published by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the Ministry of Power, West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL) has ranked best performing power generation company in the country for the financial year 2022-23 (FY23).

  • WBPDCL has been ranked India’s best power generation corporation with PLF (Plant Load Factor) of 85.23% followed by Odisha Power Corporation with 76.93 % , NTPC (coal based station)- 75.9% and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) at 73.42%.

Key Points:
i.Out of the comparative assessment of 205 power plants in the country, three thermal power plants of WBPDCL have established their places in the top five ranks in terms of their performance and efficiency (as measured by PLF).
ii.Top 5 Power plants of India:

  • Birbhum’s Bakreshwar Thermal Power Station (TPS) of WBPDCL has been ranked number one (PLF- 92.38%), Purulia’s Santaldih TPS has been ranked second (PLF-91.37%) followed by Murshidabad’s Sagardighi TPS at fifth position (PLF-89.39%).
  • NTPC Korba has ranked third with 91.15 percent PLF and NTPC Vindyachal ranked fourth with 89.54 percent PLF.

iii.Performance of WBPDCL:

  • WBPDCL has registered a record gross generation of 31.85 billion units with a growth of 35 percent over the last two years.
  • It has witnessed a superior performance in the areas of availability, PLF, Specific Oil Consumption (SOC) and auxiliary power consumption (APC).
  • Major turnaround has also been observed in the other two plants at Kolaghat and Bandel in West Bengal.

About West Bengal Power Development Corporation (WBPDCL):
Chairman & Managing Director –  Pullichalil Bava Salim
Establishment – July, 1985
Headquarters – Kolkata, WestBengal

2nd Tourism Working Group Meeting held in Siliguri, West BengalIn the 2nd Tourism working meeting all countries unanimously adopt Green TourismThe 2nd Tourism Working Group Meeting, under India’s G20 presidency was held in Siliguri, Darjeeling District, West Bengal, from April 1-4, 2023, and was represented by 56 delegates from 17 Member Countries, 8 Invitee Countries, and 4 International Organizations (IOs) including United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Labour Organization (ILO), and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

  • The event was also graced by the participation of Ambassadors from seven G20 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Indonesia, and South Korea.

The inaugural session was attended by Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, Ministry of Culture; Ministry of Tourism; and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) and   John Barla, Union Minister of State (MoS), Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Significant Events:
i.Presentations by UNEP on “Travel for LiFE” and UNWTO on “1st Draft Outcome Document—GOA Roadmap” were made at the first session of the Tourism Working Group meeting.
ii.The G20 Member Countries, Invitee Countries, and IOs have agreed to adopt the “First Draft of GOA Roadmap” during the Tourism Ministerial Meeting in Goa in June 2023.
iii.The working group meeting featured presentations on the five goals of green tourism, digitalization, skills, tourism MSMEs, and destination management, respectively, from Türkiye, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Indonesia, and Italy.
iv.Green Tourism was unanimously adopted as the most important priority for all participating countries.
Events On the Sidelines:
i.In order to highlight the potential of adventure tourism on the tourism maps of India and the North East Region, two side events on “Adventure Tourism” were arranged in conjunction with the Working Group Meetings.
ii.The second event was “Tourism in Mission Mode: Advantage Adventure Tourism,” which included regional stakeholders and domestic industry partners and States of the Government of India.

  • The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) in West Bengal is a World Heritage Site designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999.
  • The DHR’s Ghum railway station, located at an altitude of 2,258 meters, is India’s highest railway station. It’s also the 14th highest railway station in the world.


Highlights of the 1st Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy of FY24Highlights of RBI's First Bi-monthly monetary policy statement 2023-2024The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) 6-members Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) met on 3rd, 5th and 6th of April 2023 and released its first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for FY24 (Financial year 2023-2024).
Policy Rates:
i.The MPC has decided to keep the policy rates unchanged with the stance remain focused on the withdrawal of accommodation.
ii.The Unchanged Policy rates are as follows:

Policy Rates
Policy Repo Rate6.50%
Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) Rate6.25%
Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) Rate6.75%
Bank Rate6.75%
Reverse Repo Rate3.35%
Reserve Ratios
Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR)4.50%
Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)18%

India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for FY24 was projected at 6.5 percent with 7.8 percent in Q1, 6.2 percent in Q2, 6.1 percent in Q3, and 5.9 percent in Q4.
i.Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation was projected at 5.2 percent in FY24, with 5.1 percent in Q1, 5.4 percent in Q2, 5.3 percent in Q3, and 5.2 percent in Q4.
About Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
Governor – Shaktikanta Das
Deputy Governors – Mahesh Kumar Jain, Michael Debabrata Patra, M. Rajeshwar Rao, T. Rabi Sankar
Establishment – 1st April 1935
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
>> Read Full News

SEBI Issues Guidelines for Usage of Brand or Trade Name by Investment Advisers & Research AnalystsSEBI issues guidelines for usage of brand or trade name by advisors, analystsThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), India’s capital markets regulator, has issued a circular on the use of brand names or trade names by Investment Advisers (IAs) and Research Analysts (RAs), following its previous publication of an extensive set of guidelines for advertisements issued by these entities.
SEBI has also released new rules on the advertisement code for IAs and RAs, as well as enforced their compliance with the advertisement code, in order to further enforce the conduct of IAs and RAs when releasing any advertisement.

  • The provisions of the circular will take effect on May 1, 2023.

SEBI issued this circular in the exercise of powers granted under Section 11(1) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, to protect the interests of investors in the securities market and to promote the growth and regulation of the securities market.
About the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI):
Chairperson– Madhabi Puri Buch
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment– 1992
>> Read Full News

IIFL Finance secures $100mn funding from EDC, Deutsche Bank IIFL secures $100 million funding from EDC, Deutsche BankIIFL Finance Limited has received a total of $100 million in long-term funding from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Deutsche Bank, with $50 million from each. In this deal, Deutsche Bank acted as the mandated lead arranger, book runner, and co-financier.

  • IIFL is a non-banking financial company (NBFC) backed by Fairfax.

Key points:
i. This marks IIFL’s second loan from EDC, with the company having previously received $100 million in funding from EDC in 2019.
ii.In February 2020, IIFL Finance raised $400 million through its debut dollar bond issue, with the maximum possible amount approved by the Reserve Bank of India being bought back. The remaining amount is due for maturity in April 2023.
iii.The fresh funding obtained at a competitive rate is expected to result in significant savings in borrowing costs compared to the previous fundraise.
iv.These long-term funds will assist IIFL in further strengthening its asset-liability management position and supporting continued growth across its core businesses.
About IIFL Finance Limited:
Managing Director– Nirmal Jain
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra

South Indian Bank signs bancassurance pact with Chola MS

South Indian Bank Limited(SIB) has signed a  bancassurance pact with Cholamandalam MS General Insurance (Chola MS) to offer the health and general insurance products of Chola MS to SIB’s customers.

  • This partnership will enable SIB customers to have access to the range of insurance products offered by Chola MS.
  • This will also facilitate Chola MS to offer insurance products for SME customers and innovative insurance covers for retail customers of the SIB.

The key product offerings include personal accident coverage, home and property insurance, farmer care, EMI insurance, home package and retail health.


Net Direct Tax Collections Rose by 17.63% to Rs 16.61 Trillion in FY23; Exceeds BE & RE
FY23 direct tax collections marginally overshoot REAccording to the provisional figures of Direct Tax collections for the Financial Year 2022-23 (FY23), the net Direct Tax collections was at Rs. 16.61 lakh crore(trillion), an increase of 17.63% compared to Rs. 14.12 lakh crore of FY 2021-2022.

The provisional Direct Tax collections (net of the refunds) have exceeded the Budget Estimates (BE) by 16.97% and Revised Estimates (RE) by 0.69 %.

  • In Union Budget for FY23, The BE for Direct tax revenue was fixed at Rs 14.20 lakh crore and the RE were fixed at Rs.16.50 lakh crore.

Key Points:
i.The gross collections of direct taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for FY 2022-23 was Rs 19.68 Lakh Crore, registering a 20.33% growth over Rs 16.36 Lakh Crore in FY 2021-22. Gross corporate tax collections grew 16.9% to Rs 10.04 Lakh Crore last fiscal against Rs 8.59 Lakh crore in FY 2021-22.
ii.Gross personal income tax receipts (including securities transaction tax) grew 24.2% to Rs 9.6 Lakh Crore in FY 2022-23 versus Rs 7.73 trillion in FY22.
iii.The income tax department issued refunds worth Rs 3.07 Lakh Crore in FY 2022-23, which was a 37.42% increase over refunds of Rs 2.24 Lakh Crore issued in FY 2021-22.

Razorpay partners with UIDAI to process payments for online Aadhaar services

Razorpay (Razorpay Software Private Limited) has partnered with  UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) to process payments for online Aadhaar services. This partnership will enable citizens accessing online Aadhaar services to enjoy a seamless secure payment experience.

  • The UIDAI allows Aadhaar holders to update their Aadhaar data such as names and addresses online and charges a fee of Rs.50 for these services.

The UIDAI website currently handles over 80,000 such transactions per day and there was a need for a robust payment solution to ensure high success rates while handling such a large volume of transactions.
Razorpay will eventually support over 70% of the total daily transactions on the UIDAI portal.


MCA extends Tenure of C S Rajan Chairman of IL&FS till September 2023

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has extended the term of Chandra Shekhar Rajan (C S Rajan) as non-executive chairman of IL&FS(Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd) up to 30th September 2023. 

  • MCA has also extended the term of Nand Kishore as Managing Director (MD) of IL&FS up to March 31, 2024.

IL&FS is a Core Investment Company registered with the Reserve Bank of India(RBI).

  • It is a holding company for diversified businesses in segments such as Transportation, Energy, Financial Services, Real Estate etc.
  • The government had taken over the board of IL&FS in 2018 to help the troubled company come out of difficulties.    


CCI Approves Acquisition of SREI Infrastructure Finance by NARCL & IDRCLCCI approves SREI Infra Finance's acquisition by NARCL, IDRCLOn 6th April 2023, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of shares and control over SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited by National Asset Reconstruction Company Limited (NARCL) and India Debt Resolution Company Limited (IDRCL) under Section 5(a) of Competition Act, 2022.
Acquirers: NARCL and IDRCL
Target: SREI Infrastructure Finance Limited
Proposed Combination:
The proposed transaction involves the acquisition of a majority of the equity share capital
of the target by acquirers, pursuant to the resolution plan
submitted by NARCL in relation to the corporate insolvency resolution process
of Target and its wholly-owned subsidiary, SREI Equipment Finance
Limited (SIFL), initiated under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
Note: NARCL’s resolution plan has been approved by the Committee of Creditors of the SREI Infrastructure Finance on 14th February 2023.
Green Channel notification:
Since there are horizontal overlaps or vertical or complimentary
linkages between the activities of the target and acquirers, the Proposed Transaction is being notified under the Green Channel route under Regulation 5A(1) read with Schedule III of the Competition Commission of India (Procedure in regard to the transaction of business relating to combinations) Regulations, 2011 (as amended).
i.NARCL was incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act 2013.
ii.NARCL is to take- over the stressed assets of banks thus, assisting banks to
clean-up their balance sheets
iii.It was set up as a ‘bad bank’ with a clear mandate to clean up the legacy stressed assets with an exposure of Rs 500 crore and above in the Indian banking system.
i.The primary objective of IDRCL is to provide debt management services including, the resolution of stressed assets, to NARCL.
ii.IDRCL advises NARCL on the acquisition of stressed financial assets or companies and assists NARCL for the optimal resolution of the acquired assets or companies.
About Competition Commission of India (CCI):
Acting Chairperson Sangeeta Verma
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 14th October 2003 (Operational from 2009)      


ISRO completes 2 crucial tests for Gaganyaan Mission: Vikas EngineTest & SDM tests for Crew Module Propulsion System ISRO Completes Major Tests Involving The Vikas Engine And Crew Module Propulsion SystemThe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully completed two significant tests for Gaganyaan—the Human Space Flight Programme—at the ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC) in Mahendragiri, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu. The two key tests are as follows:

  • Human-Rated Vikas Engine Test Campaign for the L110 Stage
  • SDM (System Demonstration Model) tests for the Crew Module Propulsion System

The successful completion of these two tests signifies a major accomplishment in ISRO’s Gaganyaan mission.
i.The air-lit liquid core stage of the human-rated launch vehicle (LVM3-G) is powered by two clustered L110-G Vikas engines.
ii.The Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) created and developed the L110 stage for Gaganyaan, while the IPRC handled its assembly, integration, and testing.
About the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman – S. Somanath
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
Establishment – 1969
>> Read Full News


World Health Day 2023 – April 7World Health Day - April 7 2023The United Nations(UN) World Health Day is annually observed across the globe on 7th April to draw attention to a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.
The day also marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization(WHO).

  • 7th April 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1948.

The theme of World Health Day 2023 is “Health for All”.
i.During the 1st World Health Assembly(WHA), WHO decided to sponsor the observance of World Health Day on 22nd July of every year across all member states.
ii.Later, the 2nd World Health Assembly decided that starting from 1950, every year the 7th April will be observed as World Health Day.
About World Health Organization(WHO): 
WHO is the UN agency working to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.
Director-general– Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
>> Read Full News

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda 2023 – April 7International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda - April 7 2023The United Nations (UN)’s International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda is annually observed across the globe on 7th April to honour the memory of the victims of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, Hutu and others who opposed it in Rwanda.

  • 7th April 2023 marks the 29th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. 

i.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/58/234 on 23rd December 2003 and designated the 7th April as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda.
ii.Since 2004(which marked the 10th anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda), the 7th April has been observed as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda.
Amendment of observance title: 
i.On 26th January 2018, The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the draft resolution A/72/L.31, designating 7 April as the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
>> Read Full News

Prevention of Blindness Week 2023 – April 1 to 7 Prevention of Blindness Week - April 1-7 2023The Prevention of Blindness Week is annually observed across India from 1st to 7th April (the first week of April) to promote the prevention of blindness and to create awareness about the cause of blindness.
The day also supports individuals with visual impairments, and to promote access to eye care services.

  • The National Society for the Prevention of Blindness-India (NSPB-I) coordinates Prevention of Blindness Week in India with the assistance of state and local branches.

i.The Prevention of Blindness Week is observed to bring awareness towards various factors that can cause blindness.
ii.The week aims to educate the general public about various eye injuries, and visual impairments, and how to avoid, treat, and cure them.
>> Read Full News


Tamil Nadu’s ‘TN REACH’ Initiative to use 80+ Unused Helipads for  Intra-state Helicopter Service

Tamil Nadu(TN) government is set to formulate an institution mechanism – Tamil Nadu Regional Aerial Connectivity through Helicopters (TN REACH) to use helicopters for travel between cities and towns of Tamil Nadu. Under this initiative, more than 80 unused helipads across Tamil Nadu will be put to use with helicopter services.

  • The TN REACH initiative was announced in the State Industry Policy to improve the intra-state transportation network, particularly in urban areas where the air travel demand is high.


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 8 April 2023
1Cabinet approvals on April 6, 2023
2CEA: WBPDCL Ranks best performing Power Generation Company in FY23
32nd Tourism Working Group Meeting held in Siliguri, West Bengal
4Highlights of the 1st Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy of FY24
5SEBI Issues Guidelines for Usage of Brand or Trade Name by Investment Advisers & Research Analysts
6IIFL Finance secures $100mn funding from EDC, Deutsche Bank
7South Indian Bank signs bancassurance pact with Chola MS
8Net Direct Tax Collections Rose by 17.63% to Rs 16.61 Trillion in FY23; Exceeds BE & RE
9Razorpay partners with UIDAI to process payments for online Aadhaar services
10MCA extends Tenure of C S Rajan Chairman of IL&FS till September 2023
11CCI Approves Acquisition of SREI Infrastructure Finance by NARCL & IDRCL
12ISRO completes 2 crucial tests for Gaganyaan Mission: Vikas EngineTest & SDM tests for Crew Module Propulsion System
13World Health Day 2023 – April 7
14International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda 2023 – April 7
15Prevention of Blindness Week 2023 – April 1 to 7
16Tamil Nadu’s ‘TN REACH’ Initiative to use 80+ Unused Helipads for  Intra-state Helicopter Service