Current Affairs of 1st February

National Affairs

1. Exercise Topchi, which the Indian Army conducted in Deolali, Maharashtra; Indian-made weapons on display


The annual firepower demonstration and training exercise known as “Exercise Topchi” was held at the School of Artillery in Devlali, Deolali, Maharashtra, on January 29, 2023.


Lt Gen S Harimohan Iyer, AVSM, Commandant School of Artillery, and Col Commandant Regiment of Artillery were in charge of overseeing the event.


Key Points:


The event, which this year focuses on “Atmanirbharata” (self-reliance), demonstrates the capabilities of Indian artillery.


Guns, mortars, rockets, drones, and aviation assets were used together with firepower and surveillance assets in this edition.


The demonstration and firing of indigenously manufactured artillery, including the K-9 Vajra, Dhanush, Indian field gun (IFG)/light field gun (LFG) system, and Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, was the exercise’s high point.


Officers in civil administration as well as students from the Defence Services Technical Staff Course in Pune, Nepal Army Command & Staff College, and Defence Services Staff College in Wellington witnessed the event.

2. To increase the number of women in India’s STEM workforce and education, USISPF launched the STEM Initiative.


The U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment STEM Initiative (STEM Collaborative) was launched by Mukesh Aghi, president and CEO of the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), with the goal of increasing the number of women in India’s STEM workforce and education. The US-India Alliance Shatter Summit marked the beginning of the STEM initiative.


Alliance for the Economic Empowerment of Women:


The Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the USISPF, and George Washington University work together in a public-private partnership known as the US-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment.


The purpose of this is to accelerate the transformational commitments made to support the economic advancement and inclusion of women in India.


The STEM Collaborative (STEM Initiative):


The STEM initiative intends to work with leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to promote dialogue, facilitate collaboration, and share resources, innovative solutions, and knowledge across sectors between the United States and India.




To discover obstacles and create opportunities for women and girls in India to advance in STEM fields.


Co-Chairs and Founders Working Together: Radhika Shah, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs’ co-president, and Dr. Temina Madon, The Agency Fund’s co-founder,




Identify opportunities and constraints for investing in tech start-ups led or co-founded by women and encourage dialogue to bring about systemic change and accelerate women’s leadership in STEM.


Build bridges between corporations, philanthropic organizations, and civil society to build effective corporate and philanthropic strategies to promote women in STEM. Raise public awareness of success. Identify opportunities and obstacles to promote women and girls in STEM. Accelerate U.S.-India higher education cooperation to support women’s higher education in STEM.

3. Mercom India Studies: By 2025, India’s manufacturing capacity for solar modules will reach 95 GW.


India’s capacity to manufacture solar photovoltaic (PV) modules exceeded 39 gigawatts (GW) by September 2022, according to Mercom India Research’s “State of Solar PV Manufacturing in India” report, and it is anticipated to reach approximately 95 GW by the end of the calendar year (CY) 2025. An in-depth look at India’s solar PV module manufacturing landscape is provided in the report.


Note: The Mercom Capital Group is a US-based clean energy research and communications company.


Key Points:


India had a manufacturing capacity for solar cells of approximately 4.7 GW as of September 2022. This capacity is expected to increase sevenfold by the end of the fiscal year 2024.


Since India will need 220 GW of solar capacity by the end of the decade, it needs a lot more manufacturing capacity.


States have provided a variety of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives as part of their industrial, electronics, and solar policies to encourage the expansion of domestic solar manufacturing.


The Production Linked Incentives (PLI) Scheme of the Government of India (GoI) provides additional support for the vertical integration of new capacity.


A Rs. was approved by the Union Cabinet. 19,500 crore PLI Scheme in September 2022 for the “National Programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules,” with the intention of attracting Rs. 94,000 crores of dollars invested


By the end of 2024, the polysilicon, ingots, and wafers that the companies that received incentives under the first round of the government’s PLI scheme will have contributed significantly to the market.


The pending allocations under the second PLI round would also significantly enhance the domestic PV manufacturing value chain.


Since 2018, Indian manufacturers have consistently met the demand for solar modules in the United States, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Government of India wants to make India a solar module manufacturing hub.


The majority of manufacturers of solar cells and modules are based in Gujarat. India had 60 GW of installed solar power capacity as of September 2022.


India, China, the United States, and the European Union (EU) are all expected to see significant expansions in their solar power generation capacities over the next ten years.

4. Under the leadership of PK Malhotra, a Working Committee to Create Indian Mediation Regulations


A working committee headed by former Law Secretary PK Malhotra has been established by the Ministry of Law and Justice to create guidelines for how the Mediation Bill/Act will be implemented in India.


The Mediation Bill will also provide suggestions for establishing various standards for various stakeholders, such as certifications, accreditation, grading, and other criteria.

In accordance with subordinate legislation, the committee would suggest a method for online mediation.


The committee will also provide drafts of the rules and regulations envisioned by the Mediation Bill/Act.


The working group:



Former Law Secretary, PK Malhotra Members:


Tejinder Singh Luthra, IPS, IG Research, BPRD (Bureau of Police Research and Development) Representative nominated by the Mediation & Conciliation Project Committee (MCPC), Supreme Court Sriram Panchu, Senior Advocate and Mediator JP Sengh, Senior Advocate, Delhi High Court and Mediator Dr. Rajiv Mani, Additional Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs Member Secretary, NALSA (National Legal Services Authority of India) Laila Ollapally, 


On December 20, 2022, the Mediation Bill, 2021, was presented in the Rajya Sabha and referred to the Department-Related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DRPSC) on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law, and Justice.


On July 13, 2022, the Committee presented the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha with its 117th report on the Mediation Bill, 2021.

International Affairs

1. Report from UN Agencies: Overview of Food Security and Nutrition in Asia-Pacific in 2022


The United Nations (UN) Agencies published a joint report titled “Asia-Pacific Overview of 

Food Security and Nutrition 2022: Urban Food Security and Nutrition” states that as food prices rise and poverty gets worse, more people in Asia are not getting enough to eat.


Four UN specialized agencies publish this joint flagship report: 


The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This is the UN agency’s fifth annual assessment of food insecurity and hunger.


Millions of people in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which is home to the majority of the world’s population, are falling into poverty as a result of the 5F crisis’s lack of food, feed, fuel, fertilizer, and finance.


Food insecurity is expected to reach over 29 per cent by 2021, up from 21 per cent in 2014.


Banking and Finance

1. India’s first payment gateway to process retail CBDC transactions is Infibeam Avenues’ CCAvenue.


CCAvenue, the leading payments brand of Infibeam Avenues Limited (IAL), has become India’s first payment gateway to process transactions for online retail merchants in Digital Rupee (e-rupee) or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).


CCAvenue has enabled CBDC online transactions for IDFC First Bank, one of India’s leading private sector banks, in an effort to enhance the country’s digital payments ecosystem. This is a first for the industry.


The RBI launched its first pilot project on November 1, 2022, to implement CBDC, also known as the Digital Rupee (e), in the Wholesale Segment (e-W) for secondary government securities (G-secs) trade.


After testing the wholesale CBDC, the RBI launched its pilot project to implement CBDC, or Digital Rupee (e), in the Retail Segment (e-R) on December 1, 2022, with four banks in four cities, including IDFC FIRST Bank.

2. The “Pay As You Drive” vehicle insurance policy is now available from NIA.


The “Pay as You Drive” (PAYD) vehicle insurance policy offered by New India Assurance (NIA) charges premiums contingent on vehicle usage.


Key Points:


Discounts on renewals, coverage beyond the distance limit, and improved protections like zero depreciation, roadside assistance, engine protection, and return to invoice are all features of PAYD.


Instead of a fixed amount paid in a conventional car insurance policy, insurance premiums in the PHYD policy are based on driving and distance travelled. Under the “PAYD” model, for instance, people who drive 200-300 kilometres per month in their cars and 1200-1500 kilometres per month in their cars do not have to pay the same premium. As a result, PHYD will be beneficial to those who rarely drive.


Own-damage coverage and third-party cover are the two parts of the policy.

The customer can save money on renewal premiums with own-damage premium cover if the vehicle runs within the specified number of kilometers.


Note: The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) recently granted permission to general insurance companies in India to launch telematics-based motor insurance policies like “pay as you drive” (PAYD) and “pay how you drive” (PHYD), which give car owners control over how much they pay for car insurance.

Science and Technology

1. Eminent Air, a drone startup, presented India’s first drone with an integrated parachutist system.


As part of an event to commemorate the drone’s first flight, Eminent Air Private Limited, a drone startup based in New Delhi (Delhi), displayed India’s first drone equipped with a Parachute Integrated system. The first flight was part of a live demonstration to show off the drone’s features and capabilities.


Note: By providing a speedy and efficient method for package delivery, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are anticipated to significantly alter the logistics sector in India.


System-integrated parachutist drone:


Depending on the load, the bespoke UAVs can travel more than 60 kilometres in 60 minutes during a single mission and have a maximum takeoff weight of 35 kg. The UAV’s performance is inversely correlated with its weight.


The Parachute Integrated system of the drone increases the security and dependability of the delivered goods.


Key Points:


The drone’s Parachute Integrated System eliminates any potential risk during the operation and guarantees the safe and dependable delivery of goods.


An “Insulated Vaccine Carrier” protects temperature-sensitive items like vaccines and medicines in the drone’s payload compartment.


Eminent Air specializes in providing secure and dependable means of transportation for contact-free deliveries that are both quick and efficient.


Healthcare, retail, logistics, agriculture, and e-commerce are just a few of the industries Eminent Air will serve.


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