Current Affairs 16th February

National Affairs

1. Gurugram is where Boeing opens its first Global Support Center in India.

The Boeing Company, an aerospace company with headquarters in the United States, opened its first Global Support Center (GSC) in India on February 13, 2022, in Gurugram, Haryana. The GSC will provide customized operational efficiency and safety enhancement projects for Boeing’s airline customers, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders.


Additionally, it will transfer knowledge to improve efficiency and safety for Indian airline partners.


It also intends to make an investment in a brand-new logistics centre to serve customers in the region. The India logistics centre will concentrate on assisting airline customers during the initial phase of operations.


The Boeing University Innovation Leadership Development (BUILD) program awarded seven teams comprised of university students and early-stage start-up entrepreneurs in 2022 and 2023.

2. PMC & TGBL partners to set up India’s 1st Solid Waste to Hydrogen plant in Pune

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and TheGreenBillions Limited (TGBL) have collaborated to construct India’s first solid waste-to-hydrogen plant, investing Rs 350 crore in Hadapsar Industrial Estate in Pune, Maharashtra.


To build the storage facility and provide support for logistics, TGBL will spend an additional Rs 82 crore. To build this plant, TGBL and PMC have agreed to a 30-year contract.




To demonstrate waste-to-hydrogen generation’s technological and financial viability. The solid waste-to-hydrogen plant in Pune


Variate Pune Waste to Energy Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TGBL, will carry out the project of converting Pune’s municipal non-recyclable waste into hydrogen. Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), a Mini Ratna company under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), will provide project management consulting. Variate Pune Waste to Energy Pvt Ltd


The plant receives technological assistance from the Bhabha Atomic Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka. 


Key Points:


India has never attempted to extract hydrogen from waste before. To treat the waste, PMC will pay TGBL Rs 347 per tonne as a tipping fee.


The first 10-ton reactor will be installed in November 2023, and the entire plant is expected to be finished by November 2024.


Plasma gasification technology will be used to generate hydrogen from the waste’s refuse-derived fuel (RDF).


Each day, it will treat 350 tons of solid waste and produce 10 tons of hydrogen by 2024. 




Pune will save up to 2.5 million metric tons (MT) of carbon emissions as a result of this project, divert more than 3.8 million metric tons (MT) of waste from the landfill, and possibly directly serve more than 180,000 households.


By diverting municipal solid waste (MSW) from low-lying urban areas, approximately 25.16 hectares of land will be saved annually.


The facility’s wet waste, which will be separated using optical sensor technology, will be used to produce humic acid-rich biofertilizers that are superior to conventional biofertilizers and emit less carbon dioxide.

3. Under Operation Sadbhavana, the Indian Army conducts numerous welfare activities in J&K, Ladakh, and other areas.

As part of “Operation SADBHAVANA,” the Indian Army is participating in a variety of welfare initiatives for children living in remote areas of the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir (J&K). These initiatives include the operation of Army Goodwill Schools, infrastructure development projects, and education tours, among other things.


Under the name “Operation Sadbhavana,” the Indian Army is currently operating seven Army Goodwill Schools (AGS) in Ladakh to raise the standard of education and provide students with high-quality instruction. These schools currently have over 2,200 students enrolled.


Ladakh will receive Rs 8.82 crore in “Operation SADBHAVANA” funds during the current fiscal year 2022–2023.

International Affairs

1. Between 2013 and 22, the global sea level rose by 4.5 millimetres per year: WMO

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports that between 2013 and 2018, the global mean sea level increased by 4.5 millimetres (mm) annually. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), human activity was a major cause of sea level rises since 1971. 


Sea Level Rise:


Between 1901 and 2018, the global mean sea level rose by 0.20 meters. Between 1901 and 1971, the rate of sea level rise was 1.3 millimetres per year, between 1971 and 2006, and between 2006 and 2018, it was 3.7 millimetres per year. Sea level has risen more rapidly than at any other time in the last 3000 years since 1900.


The temperature of the world’s oceans has risen at a faster rate over the past century than it has since the end of the most recent deglacial transition, approximately 11000 years ago. 


Sea level rise that is anticipated: 


The global mean sea level will rise by 2 to 3 meters over the next 2000 years if the warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, 2 to 6 meters if the warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius, and 19 to 22 meters with 5 degrees of warming. Threats brought on by rising sea levels:


The low-lying, small islands all over the world are under threat from rising sea levels. It also poses a significant threat to Bangladesh, India, China, the Netherlands, and other nations with a large coastal population, among others.


The report from the World Meteorological Organization states that rising sea levels pose a threat to major cities on all continents, including Mumbai, Shanghai, Dhaka, Bangkok, Jakarta, Maputo, Lagos, Cairo, London, Copenhagen, New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. This will be a significant obstacle for the economy, society, and humanity.


The population that would be affected by a 100-year coastal flood is expected to rise by 20% if the global mean sea level rises by 0.15 meters compared to levels in 2020. This will triple at a rise of 1.4 meters and double at a rise of 0.75 meters.


Saltwater intrusion will have an impact on the economies and industries of agriculture, fisheries, and tourism, while the rising sea level poses a threat to lives and access to water, food, and health care. Key Points: The Paris Agreement of 2015 aims to maintain efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


When compared to the average temperature from 1850 to 1900, the global temperature has increased by approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius.

Banking and Finance

1. Innovation for Change: Harbinger 2023 The RBI announces the second Global Hackathon

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched its second global hackathon on the topic of “Inclusive Digital Services” on February 14, 2023. Its name is “HARBINGER 2023 – Innovation for Transformation.”


The hackathon’s registration period begins on February 22, 2023.

RBI owns and sponsors the hackathon, which is held on the Application Programming Interface Exchange (APIX) platform.


Statements of the Issue: The goal of HARBINGER 2023 is to find and make possible business models and/or solutions to the problems listed below in the digital financial services landscape.


Digital banking services for people with disabilities that are innovative and simple to use (Divyaang).


RegTech solutions help Regulated Entities (REs) comply with regulations more effectively.


Investigating use cases and solutions for CBDC retail transactions, including offline transactions.


Enhancing the throughput, scalability, and TPS (Transactions Per Second) of blockchains. 


Key Points:


The winner receives Rs 40 lakh in each of the problem statement categories, while the runner-up receives Rs 20 lakh. At participants can sign up for HARBINGER 2023. 


It also gives participants a chance to learn from industry experts, present their innovative solutions to a distinguished jury, and compete for exciting prizes in each category.


In November 2021, the first hackathon was announced, and in June 2022, the results were released. It had received 363 proposals from teams from India and 22 other nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, the Philippines, and Israel.

Economy and Business

1. EbixCash is the first entity in India to allow foreign nationals to conduct UPI transactions.

EbixCash World Money Limited, a subsidiary of Ebix Inc. with headquarters in the United States, was the first Indian company to offer foreign tourists visiting India Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions. 




The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a proposal in February 2023 as part of its monetary policy to allow all inbound travellers to use UPI for merchant payments (P2M) while they were in India.


It was initially intended to be made available to travellers arriving at specific international airports from members of the G-20.


Service for NRIs:


The NPCI approved UPI transactions for non-resident bank accounts linked to international mobile numbers in January 2023. These accounts include Non-Resident External (NRE) and Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO).


At first, NRIs’ mobile phone numbers from 10 countries would be accepted for transactions: Singapore, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States of America (USA)


Key Points:


EbixCash is the first company to offer UPI services to foreign attendees of the G-20 summit. It intends to conduct a test launch at the G-20 summit in Bangalore.


With retail kiosks in 20 international airports and 12 seaports, it is a major player in India’s airport and seaport Money Exchange industry.


With a UPI interface for paying for goods and services across the country, passengers in India would be able to convert their foreign currency into digital Indian currency when UPI is launched for currency exchange in all airports.

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