Current Affairs 8th February

National Affairs

1. India Energy Week 2023 is being kicked off in Bengaluru, Karnataka, by PM Narendra Modi.

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi kicked off the first significant event of India’s G20 (Group of Twenty) presidency, the India Energy Week (IEW) 2023, on February 6, 2023, in Bengaluru, Karnataka.


The Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, will host IEW 2023 from February 6 to 8.


The Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI) provides official support for the IEW 2023, which is hosted by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) of the Government of India (GoI).


In the Tumakuru district of Karnataka, PM Narendra Modi unveiled the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) and the largest helicopter manufacturing facility in India at the Helicopter Factory of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).


Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) introduced the first technology solution for heavy-duty trucks, the Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (H2ICE), which PM Narendra Modi unveiled at IEW 2023 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.


As part of the IEW 2023 event, PM Narendra Modi unveiled “E20 Fuel” and launched the Green Mobility Rally, which was organized by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) on behalf of Petronet LNG (PLL) and the oil and gas public sector undertakings.


2. The Government of India established a 16-member Inter-Ministerial Committee to Draft a Digital Competition Act.

The Government of India (GoI) established a 16-member interministerial committee on February 6, 2023, with the goal of determining whether or not a separate law for the digital market competition was required and drafting a digital competition act within three months.

Secretary of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Manoj Govil, is in charge of the inter-ministerial committee.




The Standing Committee on Finance, led by Member of Parliament (MP) – Lok Sabha (Constituency-Hazaribagh, Jharkhand) Jayant Sinha, issued a report titled “Anti-Competitive Practices by Big Tech” in December 2022. In order to guarantee a digital ecosystem that is equitable, open to debate, and transparent, the report called for the enactment of the Digital Competition Act.

3. To attract investments, the government of Telangana has launched Telangana Mobility Valley, India’s first mobility-focused cluster.

The Telangana Mobility Valley (TMV), India’s first mobility-focused cluster, was inaugurated on February 6, 2023, by K T Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology (IT) and Industries in the Government of Telangana. The TMV aims to attract investments totalling approximately Rs 50,000 crore and generate more than 4 lakh jobs over the course of the next five years.


The first edition of the Mobility Next Hyderabad Summit 2023, which took place at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in Hyderabad, Telangana, saw the TMV unveiled.

The summit was held as part of Hyderabad E-Mobility Week, which took place from 5 to 11 February 2023.


The Telangana Government announced three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) during the event: ATS-TUV Rheinland Agreement with the Government of Telangana;

A memorandum of understanding between Shell and Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) and Bosch Global Software Technologies and BITS Pilani Hyderabad Campus

4. Three working groups under the trade and tech council are set up by the EU, India.

The European Commission (EC) made the announcement on February 6, 2023, that India and the European Union (EU) had established three working groups under the name “Trade and Technology Council (TTC)” in order to improve their strategic ties to the trade bloc.


Working Group on Strategic Technologies, Digital Governance, and Digital Connectivity are the three working groups: Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) serves as chair.


Green and Clean Energy Technologies Working Group: led by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Indian Government.


Resilient Value Chains, Investment, and Trade Working Group: headed by the Secretary of the Commerce Department.


Key Points:


During Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to India in April 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the President of the European Commission jointly launched TTC.

The goals of TTC are to address issues at the intersection of trade, security, and dependable technology. This council is India’s first with any of its partners and the EU’s second, following the United States (US) 


Before the upcoming EU-India Summit in the spring of 2023, the council’s first ministerial meeting will take place.


The council’s ministerial meetings will take place at least once a year, with the EU and India serving as alternate venues.

The three working groups will meet within two weeks to focus on their work in preparation for the ministerial meetings of the TTC.


On the Indian side, the External Affairs Minister (EAM), Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, will co-chair the TTC; Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal; and Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Executive Vice-Presidents Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis will co-chair it on the EU side.

International Affairs

1. ADB’s Report: Greener investment and trade are necessary to combat climate change in Asia and the Pacific.

The Asian Economic Integration Report (AEIR) 2023 states that: According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) report “Trade, Investment, and Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific,” which was published in February 2023, “Greener trade and investment play a major role in tackling climate change in Asia and the Pacific.”


Incorporating a separate chapter on efforts to mitigate environmental concerns into regional trade agreements can help ensure their effectiveness in achieving climate goals. Greener trade and investment are also essential. 


Key Points:


According to the report, effective climate goals will be achieved by expanding the scope and depth of environmental and climate change provisions or by including a separate chapter on climate change mitigation efforts in regional trade agreements.


Greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced through the use of resource-efficient goods and clean, renewable energy like wind turbines and solar panels.


Asia and the Pacific: 

Changes in the climate:


According to AEIR 2023, Asia and the Pacific are one of the regions most at risk from climate change, even though they emit about half of the world’s CO2 every year.


Over the past three decades, Asia and the Pacific have experienced faster annual temperature increases than any other region. The average annual temperature from 1981 to 2010 is now 0.86 degrees Celsius higher. Asia and the Pacific are warming faster than the average for the world (0.42 degrees Celsius).


Asia has also been disproportionately affected by more extreme precipitation events like storms, floods, and landslides over the past two decades, accounting for nearly 40% of all disasters worldwide.


Investment and trade in Asia and the Pacific:


Trade and investment, which have contributed significantly to Asia’s economic expansion over the past ten years, have also increased CO2 emissions in the region.

To reverse this trend, it will be necessary to take measures like encouraging green businesses, encouraging trade in environmental goods and services, creating carbon pricing mechanisms, and strengthening regional cooperation through trade and investment agreements.


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the report states that integration in Asia and the Pacific is progressing steadily and will remain stable in 2020. After a strong recovery in 2021, trade growth slowed down in 2022.


The report stated that high-frequency data indicate a slowdown in the region’s trade growth momentum, that trade growth has moderated in 2022, and that the rebound in 2021 pushed Asia’s merchandise trade volume 11.3% higher than its pre-pandemic lever.

2. Switzerland is the first WTO member to officially accept the new Fisheries Subsidies Agreement.

Switzerland became the first member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to formally submit its acceptance of the WTO’s new “Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies” on January 20, 2023.


At the informal WTO ministerial meeting that was held on the margins of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Minister Guy Parmelin of Switzerland, Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education, and Research, presented the instrument of acceptance from his nation to Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.


Agreement on Subsidies for Fisheries At the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 17, 2022, the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies was approved.

Prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies, which are a major contributor to the widespread degradation of the world’s fish stocks, is a significant step toward ocean sustainability.


It is the second WTO agreement since its inception, the first comprehensive, legally binding multilateral agreement on ocean sustainability, and the first WTO agreement centred on the environment.


In order for the agreement to take effect, two-thirds of WTO members must ratify it.


Important Details:


The agreement establishes a fund to provide technical support and capacity building to assist developing and least developed countries (LDCs) in implementing the agreement.


Subsidies for IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing, as well as unreported high seas fishing and fishing in overfished stocks, are prohibited by the Agreement.


Members also agreed to continue working on unresolved issues until MC13, when they would recommend new provisions that would improve the Agreement’s disciplines.

Banking and Finance

1. SIB wealth launched by South Indian Bank

In order to provide its High Net Worth Individuals (HNI) customers with a variety of financial services that allow them to invest their money in the best financial instruments on the market, South Indian Bank (SIB) launched SIB Wealth, a wealth management platform in partnership with Geojit Financial Services.


Key Points:


SIB will provide the following products and services through the platform:


Services for portfolio management, Systematic investment plans, Mutual fund Bonds, Real estate funds and Structured products. 


The bank’s account holders will be able to get the most out of their wealth by using individualized, effective, and simple investment options through this platform.


Geojit Financial Services is an investment services company that has been providing efficient financial solutions for more than 35 years.

The bank has made significant progress toward its goal of offering comprehensive financial solutions to its customers with the introduction of SIB Wealth.

2. Airtel Payments launches Bizkhata for small business and merchant partners

The launch of BizKhata, a current account in India for small merchants and business partners with unlimited transactions and instant activation, has been announced by Airtel Payments Bank.


BizKhata is the current account from Airtel Payments Bank. BizKhata by Airtel Payments Bank was made just for small business owners and merchants who use savings accounts for business because they can’t keep enough money in their business accounts to meet the minimum balance requirement. There is no minimum balance requirement for this current account.


Online payments can be made to any Indian bank through Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), Unified Payments Interface (UPI), National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), and IFT.


The account is also linked to a QR (quick response) code in order to accept payments from any UPI app.


It enables them to keep precise records, unifies all business transactions on a single platform, and provides additional banking benefits.


Merchants and business partners of Airtel Payments Bank, both existing and new, will be able to use the current account solution.


This account can be opened immediately by a business owner with biometric authentication and minimal documentation.


Note: Recently, Delhi Metro and Airtel Payments Bank collaborated to offer users of Airtel Payments Bank more convenience and features as well as a top-up (recharge) service for Delhi Metro Smart Cards.

3. Fourth Executive Director post at Indian Bank is approved by the Government.

On 6th February 2023, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, stated that the Government of India has approved increasing the number of posts of executive directors in the Indian Bank from three to four. In August 2019, DFS announced that nationalised banks with a total business of Rs 10 lakh crore or more as per the last declared results should have 4 executive directors. 


The merger of Kolkata-based Allahabad Bank with Indian Bank on 1st April 2020 has created a combined entity with a business mix of over Rs 8-lakh crore, making Indian Bank the 7th largest bank in India. The total revenue generated by Indian Bank increased by 9% reaching the level of Rs 10,48,772 crore by the end of December 2022 from Rs 9,63,007 crore in December 2021.

Science and Tecnology

1. IIT Madras & ISRO signed MoU to collaborate on the application of XR in the Indian Human Spaceflight Program.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the application of Extended Reality (XR) and other technologies in the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme(IHSP). MoU 




IIT Madras is set to develop a training module for the Indian Spaceflight Programme using Augmented Reality(AR), Virtual Reality(VR), and Mixed Reality (MR). 


To advance Research and Development (R&D) in the domain of XR, ISRO would make use of the advanced technologies developed at the recently formed eXperiential Technology Innovation Centre (XTIC) at IIT Madras. 


Key Points: 


XR Technologies will benefit human spaceflight programs in various aspects, particularly in reducing the design cycle and simulating the space environment. 


IIT Madras will start with developing models of physiological systems and design optimization studies. 


In addition to creating XR technologies for the human spaceflight programme, the XTIC will train concerned HSFC engineers in this technology and help in the establishment of an XR/VR lab at the Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC). 


Anticipated outcomes of this collaboration: 


Modelling and Simulation of human physiology as well as space systems Outreach activities Visualization and optimization of design architecture Training ISRO scientists in developing their own XR systems eXperiential Technology Innovation Centre (XTIC): 


The XTIC established “CAVE”, a group of start-ups and industries working in the XR and haptics fields in India. 


Many applications, including outreach and education for the Human Spaceflight Program to Digital Twins, will make use of the ecosystem headed by XTIC.


Aim: visualising and optimising design architecture, modelling and simulating human physiology and space systems, and training ISRO scientists to create their own XR systems. 


Note: XTIC is India’s 1st Research and Product Innovation centre for XR and haptics Technology, a transdisciplinary centre encompassing several fields of engineering, medicine, psychology and arts.

2. On INS Vikrant, Naval LCA and MIG29 K Fighter aircraft carried out the maiden landing and takeoff.

The Indian Navy’s Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and MIG29 K Fighter Aircraft made their first attempts at the landing and taking off on the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, on February 6, 2023, with success. The Indian Navy’s pilots carried out the indigenously developed LCA landings. The MIG-29K fighter aircraft’s integration with INS Vikrant is marked by its first landing.


Key Points:


India’s ability to design, develop, construct, and operate indigenous aircraft carriers equipped with indigenous fighter aircraft was demonstrated by the landing of LCA on INS Vikrant.


This is the first time an indigenously designed and manufactured prototype aircraft built by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has been successfully tested on an indigenous aircraft carrier.




Since December 2022, the “Combat Ready” INS Vikrant has been conducting extensive air operations with Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing aircraft in order to complete Air Certification and Flight Integration Tests.


As part of the aviation trials, the MiG-29K and LCA (Navy) landed on board INS Vikrant.


Regarding INS Vikrant:


On September 2, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi authorized the INS Vikrant.


The vessel weighs 45,000 metric tons and measures approximately 60 meters (197 feet) wide and 262 meters (860 feet) long. Cochin Shipyard Limited constructed the carrier at an estimated cost of Rs. 20,000 crores.


The largest ship ever built in India is this one. With the INS Vikrant, India joined the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia on the list of nations capable of designing and building aircraft carrier ships.


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