Current Affairs 14th February

National Affairs

1. Bengaluru hosted the first meeting of the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) in 2023.


The first meeting of the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) of the G20 (Group of Twenty) was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, from February 9 to 11, 2023, under India’s G20 presidency.


The Indian government’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) were in charge of it.


In collaboration with Japan, the Indian Presidency will release the fifth report on actions taken to combat marine plastic litter as part of the G20 Framework for Marine Plastic Litter.


Alongside the Ocean 20 dialogue, the Indian Presidency also announced a coordinated beach cleaning event for May 21, 2023.

2. MoPSW: Revisions to the Ro-Ro and Ro-Pax ferry service guidelines will be drafted by a high-level committee led by the Chairman of DPA.

The revised guidelines for the operation of the Roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) and Roll on-Passenger (Ro-Pax) ferry service have been drafted by a High-Level Committee headed by Sanjay K. Mehta (SK Mehta), Chairman of the Deendayal Port Authority (DPA), Gandhidham, Gujarat.


In addition, the committee would simultaneously draft a Model License Agreement for the Operation of Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax/Fast Passenger Ferries and a Model Concession Agreement for Ro-Ro/Ro-Pax Terminal Operators.

3. The sixth SCO SAI Leaders’ Meeting was led by Girish Chandra Murmu; MoUs with SAIs in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan were signed.

From February 6 to February 8, 2023, the 6th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Supreme Audit Institutes (SCO SAI) Leaders took place in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP).


At the SCO SAI Leaders’ meeting, led by Girish Chandra Murmu, Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) India, discussions were held on the topic of “Integrating Emerging Technologies in Audit,” with an emphasis on cyber-security and artificial intelligence.


On the sidelines of the meeting of the SCO SAI Leaders, on February 13, 2023, Girish Chandra Murmu signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the SAIs of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan to increase cooperation and the exchange of auditing expertise.


As part of the meeting of the SCO SAIs Leaders, Girish Chandra Murmu emphasised the need for proper auditing of India’s local bodies because the country wants to have a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

4. The 37th APEDA Foundation Day will be on February 13, 2023.

The 37th APEDA Foundation Day was held across India on February 13, 2023, and it was organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Trade’s Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).


Over the course of its successful 37 years, APEDA, which was established in 1986, has achieved phenomenal success in promoting the export of agricultural products.

The Growth of APEDA from 1986 to 2023:


The export of agricultural products has increased from USD 0.6 billion in 1987-1988 to USD 19.69 billion between April and December 2022 and 2023, expanding the export basket to more than 200 nations as a result of APEDA’s active interventions.

In the years 2021 and 2022, APEDA exported agricultural goods worth USD 24.77 billion.


The APEDA target for the current fiscal year, 2022-2023, is USD 23.56. As of December 2022, 84 per cent—or USD 19.69 billion—of the target has been met, and the remaining target is expected to be completed within the anticipated time frame.


WTO Trade Data:


India ranked 25th in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Data in 1986, 28th in 1987, and 29th in 1988.


India’s ranking has improved significantly in recent years, rising to 10th in 2019, 9th in 2020, and 8th in 2021, respectively.


Initiatives of APEDA:


In an effort to elevate the export of agricultural products to a new level, APEDA promoted IT-enabled activities for ease of doing business in the promotion and development of exports from India.


To improve governance’s efficiency and effectiveness, APEDA has implemented initiatives such as a paperless office (with re-engineering, digital signatures, and an electronic payment facility), the APEDA Mobile App, phase-wise delivery of online services, monitoring and evaluation, uniform access, and a virtual trade fair.


With the assistance of APEDA, India’s infrastructure for agribusiness exports was established and upgraded, enhancing the quality of agricultural exports.


APEDA has established a Market Intelligence Cell and has begun the process of disseminating E-market intelligence reports with comprehensive market analysis.


APEDA has also developed a Farmer Connect Portal on its website to provide a platform for cooperatives and farmer-producer organizations (FPOs) to communicate with exporters.


More than 100 of the 417 registered GI products are APEDA-scheduled products, including cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables, processed goods, and others.

5. PM Modi’s Trip to Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh

On February 10, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Maharashtra to launch various initiatives.


The Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit (UPGIS) 2023, Uttar Pradesh’s flagship investment summit, was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 10, 2023, in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (UP).


The Prime Minister made a visit to Maharashtra on February 10, 2023, and during his time there, he inaugurated two Vande Bharat trains at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CMST).


Mumbai-Solapur Vande Bharat and Mumbai-Sainagar Shirdi Vande Bharat would travel between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Shirdi and CSMT-Solapur on the popular tourist route.


PM Narendra Modi went to Rajasthan on February 12, 2023, and he opened the 246-kilometre (km) Delhi-Dausa-Lalsot section of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway from Dausa in Rajasthan.


With a length of 1,386 kilometres, this Delhi-Mumbai Expressway would be India’s longest expressway.

International Affairs

1. The 2023 Electricity Market Report of the IEA: By 2025, Asia will consume half of the world’s electricity.


By 2025, Asia will use half of the world’s electricity, according to the Electricity Market Report 2023 released on February 8, 2023, by the International Energy Agency (IEA). The majority of that electricity will be used in China, which uses more electricity than the European Union, the United States, and India combined.


Despite having a fifth of the world’s population, Africa will only use 3% of the world’s electricity in 2025.


Key Features:


A significant portion of Asia’s energy consumption will be accounted for by China, a nation of 1.4 billion people whose share of global consumption will rise from a quarter in 2015 to a third by the middle of this decade.


Over the next three years, the majority of the additional electricity generated globally will come from renewable sources like wind and solar, as predicted in the annual report of the International Energy Agency.

Therefore, the power industry’s emissions of greenhouse gases will not significantly rise.


Scientists say that in order to keep the average global temperature from rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, emissions from all sources must be drastically reduced immediately.


The report warned that demand and supply for electricity are becoming more weather-dependent.


In 2022, demand for electricity increased in India (8.4%) and the United States (US) (92.6%), while China’s growth was hindered by COVID restrictions.

Banking and Finance

1. ICICI Bank and BNP Paribas reach an agreement.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by ICICI Bank and BNP Paribas, a European bank, to meet the financial needs of European businesses in India and Indian businesses in the European Union (EU).


Grzegorz Marczuk, Chief Operating Officer of BNP Paribas India, and Anup Bagchi, Executive Director of ICICI Bank, respectively, signed the agreement.


Key Points:


The Memorandum of Understanding would establish a framework for the two banks’ collaboration to provide corporate customers along the India-Europe corridor with financial services.


The assistance given to Indian businesses on their global journeys and European businesses attempting to establish a presence in India would be enhanced by this partnership.

2. “Co-Lend,” India’s first automated escrow management solution, is now available from Cashfree Payments.

“Co-lend,” India’s first fully automated escrow management solution for co-lending, has been launched by Cashfree Payments, a leading payment and API banking solutions company. Co-lend was created in accordance with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) guidelines for digital lending.


With automatic reconciliation, a dashboard for managing various partnerships, and other features, it makes instant disbursement possible. It eliminates reconciliation efforts, notifies the loan management system automatically, and requires no manual intervention.


For co-lending originators and lenders, “Co-lend” provides a robust platform, particularly for those who authorize large volumes of loans and require real-time disbursement, repayment, and reconciliation.


The ICICI Bank, the Kotak Mahindra Bank, the Yes Bank, the IndusInd Bank, and the Axis Bank are currently supporting the Co-Lend integration.

Science and Technology

1. GoI released a mobile app: The Khanan Prahari app and website: To Stop Illegal Mining, CMSMS

The Ministry of Coal has launched a mobile app called “Khanan Prahari” and a web app called “Coal Mine Surveillance and Management System” (CMSMS) for reporting illegal coal mining activities so that the responsible law enforcement agency can keep an eye on them and take the necessary steps. 462 cases had been reported to the Apps as of January 2023.


In collaboration with the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), CMSMS was developed by the Ministry of Coal.


Key Features:


The CMSMS was developed as an e-Governance initiative by the Government of India with the goal of using space technology to report illegal mining and take clear action.


This CMSMS application was created with the intention of monitoring and responding to any illegal coal mining activities that took place within the leasehold boundaries of any coal mining project in the coalfield areas.

Through the mobile app Khanan Prahari, citizen complaints were collected.


The Ministry of Coal also developed the Khanan Prahari app, which enables citizens to report any illegal mining incidents by providing textual information and geo-tagged images from the scene.

2. Snapdragon Satellite, the world’s first satellite-based two-way messaging smartphone, was introduced by Qualcomm.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States of America (USA) from January 5 to 8, 2023, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. unveiled “Snapdragon Satellite,” the first satellite-based two-way capable messaging solution for premium smartphones.


Next-generation premium Android smartphones and other devices will be able to support messaging for emergency use in rural and offshore locations thanks to the Snapdragon satellite, developed with Iridium.


Snapdragon Satellite’s Overview:


Starting with devices based on the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, Snapdragon Satellite will provide global connectivity through mobile messaging from anywhere in the world.


Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and other service providers will be able to provide truly global coverage thanks to Snapdragon Satellite, which will be supported by the fully operational Iridium satellite constellation and powered by Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems.


For both uplink and downlink, the smartphone solutions will make use of Iridium’s weather-resistant L-band spectrum.


Additional details:


Snapdragon Satellite’s emergency messaging will be available on next-generation smartphones that will be released in select regions in the second half of 2023.


The Snapdragon Satellite can be used in laptops, tablets, cars, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in addition to smartphones.


Because NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations can be easily obtained, it is planned that the satellite system will support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).

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