ANDHRA PRADESH’S FUTURE CAPITAL WOULD BE VISAKHAPATNAM, ACCORDING TO CM JAGAN REDDY
- Since Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s government announced that Visakhapatnam would be the new capital of the state, indicating plans to develop Amaravati – on the banks of the Krishna river – as the capital city had been scrapped, the port and industrial city brimming with cosmopolitan culture has been in the news.
- Nine years after the state of Telangana was split off from it and awarded Hyderabad as its capital, the declaration of Visakhapatnam was the new capital of Andhra.
- The Andhra Pradesh High Court had rejected the idea to create three capitals in the state in March of last year and ordered the YSRC administration to construct Amaravati as the state capital as intended.
US RAISES STRATEGIC ALLIANCE BY PROVIDING INDIA WITH CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIES THROUGH ICET
- At their meeting in Washington for the first dialogue of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies, delegations led by the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan launched a program to strengthen their strategic partnership between India and the United States (iCET).
- Given that it was launched at the highest level—by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden at the Quad summit in Tokyo in May 2022—the effort represents a particularly important turning point in the bilateral relationship.
- The two sides unveiled several initiatives to expand their bilateral collaboration in cutting-edge technologies, particularly in the defense industry.
DURING THE 2025 MADRID INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR, INDIA WILL BE THE FEATURED NATION
- According to José Maria Ridao, the Spanish ambassador to India, India will be requested to serve as the focus country at the Madrid International Book Fair in 2025.
- The 46th International Kolkata Book Fair’s subject is Spain.
- Each, the Madrid International Book Fair takes place at Madrid’s Buen Retiro Park.
INDIA’S HAJ QUOTA HAS BEEN SET AT 1,75,025 FOR 2023: GOVT
- According to Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani, the government has reinstated the original Haj quota of one lakh 75 thousand 25 under the Annual Bilateral Agreement with Saudi Arabia for this year’s trip.
- The Minister, Ms. Irani, stated that the Ministry had several interactive sessions on managing the Haj with the stakeholders, including the Haj Committees of the States and Union Territories, where petitions for the reinstatement of the Haj Quota were received.
AT DEOGHAR, AMIT SHAH LAID THE CORNERSTONE FOR INDIA’S FIFTH NANO UREA PLANT
- Amit Shah, Union Home Minister, lay the cornerstone for the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative’s (IFFCO) township and 450 crores nano urea factory in Deoghar, Jharkhand. The nano urea factory will be India’s sixth of its kind. In Gujarat, the first nano urea plant in the world was officially opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2021. Nanourea will help farmers, according to Union Minister Amit Shah, and it is already being exported to five nations.
- Nano Urea intends to solve the imbalance and overuse of traditional urea by enhancing crop yield, soil health, and product nutritional quality.
- The facility is expected to be put into service in December of next year, according to IFFCO Managing Director US Awasthi.
IN TURKEY, A 7.8-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE DESTROYS STRUCTURES AND CLAIMS 95 LIVES
- A 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey was followed by another powerful tremor that was felt in various provinces in the area and caused some structures to collapse, according to sources.
- According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter of the earthquake was around 26 kilometers (16 miles) from the town of Nurdagi and 33 kilometers (20 miles) from Gaziantep.
- The US Geological Survey determined that its center was 18 kilometers (11 miles) below the surface. Pazarcik, a town in the province of Kahramanmaras, serves as the administrative center for Turkey’s disaster and emergency management organization.
INAUGURATION OF THE YUVA SANGAM REGISTRATION PORTAL IN NEW DELHI
- In New Delhi, the Yuva Sangam registration website was unveiled.
- In the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Yuva Sangam to forge strong linkages between the young of the Northeast Region and the rest of India.
- More than 20,000 children will travel throughout the nation as part of the campaign, taking advantage of a rare chance to learn about other cultures.
UNION HEALTH MINISTER DEDICATES SAFDARJUNG HOSPITAL’S DEPARTMENT OF INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE
- Ayush Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister for Ayush, and Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, jointly opened the Integrative Medicine Center at Safdarjung Hospital.
- Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Munjapara Mahendrabhai Kalubhai, Minister of State for Ayush, and Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary of Ayush, were also present.
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the All India Institute of Ayurveda in New Delhi and the Safdarjung Hospital-affiliated All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
DUE TO AN ELECTRICAL SHORTAGE, SOUTH AFRICA PROCLAIMS A “STATE OF DISASTER”
- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster to hasten the government’s response to an ongoing energy crisis. Moreover, he committed to appointing a minister in his office whose sole responsibility will be to increase the flow of power.
- Every day of this year has seen rolling blackouts as a result of the country’s ongoing struggle with energy shortages that have reached historic highs since 2008.
- Ramaphosa has pledged to restructure the monopoly state power company Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. since taking office in February 2018 and add additional generation capacity, but many of his initiatives have been stymied by red tape and inaction from the government.
IN COLLABORATION WITH MEITY, META LAUNCHES THE #DIGITALSURAKSHA CAMPAIGN FOR THE G20 CAMPAIGN.
- During the G20 be the safe online campaign, Meta established a cooperation with the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY).
- According to the firm, as part of the cooperation, it would develop and disseminate useful information through various channels in several Indian languages, raise awareness of online safety, and do so.
- To support the company’s initiatives to provide a safer and more inclusive internet to everyone, Meta has also started its #DigitalSuraksha campaign.
ASHWINI VAISHNAW, THE COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER, INAUGURATES AMRITPEX 2023
- The AMRITPEX 2023 National Philatelic Exposition was opened by Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, and Railways.
- From February 11 through February 15, 2023, a five-day Mahakumbh of Stamps will be held as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
- According to Ashwini Vaishnaw, the postal service has completely changed under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and has evolved into a digital network for banking, service delivery, and social security payments.
MUMBAI SEES THE INTRODUCTION OF INDIA’S FIRST AC DOUBLE DECKER ELECTRIC BUS
- India’s first double-decker electric bus with air conditioning was added to BEST, Mumbai’s civic transportation organization.
- Before it is made available to the general public, the wet-leased e-bus will be registered with the Regional Transport Office. This double-decker electric bus with air conditioning is anticipated to operate on the same suburban routes as the existing diesel-powered conventional double-decker buses. General Manager of the Brihanmumbai Power Supply and Transportation Lokesh Chandra (BEST).
- The undertaking was informed that Switch Mobility, an Ashok Leyland subsidiary, will be sending them four to five more double-decker air-conditioned e-buses over the next eight to ten days, for a total of 20 such buses by the end of March. By the end of this year, there will be 200 double-decker electric buses on the road.
EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT PRESENTS IIT INDORE STUDENTS WITH THE WORLD BEST M-GOV AWARDS
- During the Global Government Summit in Dubai, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore students took home the gold award and AED 1 million.
- The renowned medal was given to Niyati Totala and Neel Kalpeshkumar Parikh of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Indore by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi.
- The “Blockbill” software was created by students at IIT. A blockchain-based software called Blockbill creates digital receipts for every transaction its users make. This software offers several solutions, assisting in the move away from the manufacture of thermal receipt paper.
NET COLLECTION UP 18% SO FAR IN FY23 AS GROSS DIRECT TAX MOP-UP UP 24% TO RS. 15.67 LAKH CRORE
- This fiscal year’s total gross direct tax receipts increased by 24% to Rs 15.67 trillion, according to the finance ministry. The net direct tax collection after accounting for refunds was Rs 12.98 trillion, an increase of 18.40%.
- According to the CBDT, the net collections represent around 79% of the direct tax collection’s RE for the current fiscal year. In comparison to the budget expectations of Rs 14.20 trillion, the revised estimates for the current fiscal year put direct tax receipts at Rs 16.50 lakh crore.
- Provisional data on direct tax receipts to February 10, 2023, show continued a steady rise. Gross revenues from direct taxes as of 10 February 2023 was Rs 15.67 trillion, which is 24.09% more than gross collections during the same period the previous year.
THE SECOND GLOBAL HACKATHON “HARBINGER 2023” HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED BY THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA
- Under the topic of “Inclusive Digital Services,” the Reserve Bank announced its second international hackathon, dubbed “HARBINGER 2023 – Creativity for Change.”
- The hackathon’s registration period begins on February 22, 2023. 363 ideas from teams in India and 22 other nations, including the US, UK, Sweden, Singapore, Philippines, and Israel, have been received.
- Fintechs have been asked to create solutions that might increase the scalability of blockchains, expand the use of central bank digital currencies, make digital financial services accessible to the disabled, and promote effective compliance.
DUE TO REGULATORY SHORTCOMINGS, RBI CANCELS THE REGISTRATION OF TWO ENTITIES
- According to the Reserve Bank of India, Kudos Finance and Investments in Pune and Credit Gate in Mumbai have had their registrations revoked due to unethical lending practices.
- The two NBFCs shouldn’t conduct business as a non-banking financial institution because their Certificate of Registration (CoR) has been revoked, the RBI stated in a statement.
- Due to violations of the RBI Guidelines on Outsourcing and Fair Practices Code in their digital lending activities carried out through third-party applications, which were deemed detrimental to the public interest, the two NBFCs’ Certificates of Registration (CoR) have been revoked, the statement added.
AIR INDIA WILL SPEND $34 BILLION ON 220 BOEING AIRCRAFT
- Joseph Biden, the president of the United States, praised Air India for choosing to buy more than 220 aircraft from Boeing and referred to the move as “a historic deal between Tata-owned airlines and Boeing.”
- In 44 states, this purchase will sustain over a million American jobs, many of which do not call for a four-year college degree. The strength of the US-India economic alliance is also demonstrated by this news, according to Joe Biden’s official statement.
- For a total transaction value of USD 45.9 billion, Air India will pay Boeing USD 34 billion for up to 220 aircraft, with an option to buy an additional 70 aircraft.
THE ‘WORLD’S FIRST’ COMPLETELY OPERABLE SWARM DRONE SYSTEM IS DELIVERED TO THE INDIAN ARMY
- The Indian Army is the first major armed force in the world to operationalize these high-density SWARM drones according to NewSpace Research, a Bengaluru-based start-up.
- Given that the majority of swarm drone research has yet to be operationalized globally, this delivery may represent the first high-density swarming UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) introduction for military uses in history.
- The 100-drone swarm is capable of striking targets up to 50 kilometers within enemy territory.
AMIT SHAH, FEDERAL HOME MINISTER, GIVES THE PRESIDENT’S COLOR TO THE HARYANA POLICE
- In appreciation for the exceptional service provided by the Haryana Police, Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the President’s Color to the force. At a ceremony held at the Haryana Police Academy at Madhuban in Karnal, He Shah delivered the award on behalf of President Dedroupadi Murmu.
- Shah also paid respect to those killed in the 2019 Pulwama incident in his speech at the occasion. The names of the 40 Central Reserve Police Force members who lost their lives will also be recorded in “golden letters” in India’s military history, he continued.
- One of the ten States in the nation that presently sport the President’s insignia is the Haryana Police. Previously, the police from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Assam earned this coveted award.
THE NATIONAL AADI MAHOTSAV WILL BE INAUGURATED BY PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI
- On February 16, 2023, at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially opened the National Aadi Mahotsav.
- The Federal Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, made this announcement during a press conference in New Delhi. Renuka Saruta, a minister of state for tribal affairs, was also present.
- Arjun Munda further disclosed that the Prime Minister would interact with the artists and craftsmen from the tribal groups and receive an overview of the goods that will be on show at various kiosks.
AADHAAR MITRA, A NEW AI CHATBOT, WAS RELEASED BY UIDAI IN INDIA
- To assist consumers in finding answers to their questions regarding the Aadhaar card, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has introduced a chatbot. It goes under the name “Aadhaar Mitra.”
- The chatbot, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), may respond to questions on, among other things, the Aadhaar enrollment number, the status of PVC Card orders, and the status of complaints. Both Hindi and English versions are offered.
- There is a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down symbol underneath each conversation response provided by the Aadhaar Chatbot. Also, residents can rate the session by clicking the window’s close button once it has ended (on a scale of 1 to 5).
MPASSPORT POLICE APP: PASSPORT POLICE VERIFICATION IN JUST FIVE DAYS
- The “mPassport Police App,” created by the foreign affairs ministry’s consular, passport, and visa division for law enforcement agencies, is being distributed to employees of the Delhi Police’s Special Branch along with 350 tablets.
- These individuals are in charge of conducting the antecedent verification process for passport applications. A new app created by the foreign affairs ministry and launched in New Delhi is anticipated to lessen the potential for process abuse and cut the time required for police verification of passport applicants to five days.
- Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister, introduced the new digital services during the 76th Raising Day Parade of the Delhi Police.
THE 284TH ANNIVERSARY OF SANT SEVALAL MAHARAJ’S BIRTH
- On February 26, 284 years ago, Sant Sevalal Maharaj, a spiritual and religious leader of the Banjara community, was born, beginning a yearly commemoration.
- The celebrations in New Delhi were overseen by Meenakshi Lekhi, the Union Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Amit Shah, the Union Home Minister.
- On February 15, 1739, Sant Sevalal Maharaj was born in Surgondankoppa, a town in the Shivamogga district of Karnataka.
UK AND EU AGREE ON TRADE AFTER BREXIT FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
- An agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) on a new trading arrangement for Northern Ireland aims to put an end to years of conflict brought on by Brexit and enable greater cooperation between the two parties at a time when the geopolitical risk posed by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine to Europe is growing.
- In Windsor, close to the royal castle, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission shake hands over a new agreement that eliminates customs checks for British goods going to Northern Ireland while establishing a separate procedure for goods traveling to Ireland via the province.
FOR THE IMF BAILOUT, THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT BOOSTS THE POLICY INTEREST RATE BY 200 BASIS POINTS
- In response to the severe economic crisis, Pakistan’s government has decided to hike the policy rate by 2%, or 19%, or 200 basis points. The current percentage is 17%.
- Based on the rates the government established in the auction to raise domestic debt, the increase was made. The interest rate will rise to 19% as a result, almost missing the historical high of 19.5% established in October 1996.
- By making this new choice, the Pakistani government has agreed to yet another IMF requirement in exchange for the release of USD 1.1 billion in crucial funds, which is a component of the USD 6.5 billion rescue package.