9th February 2023
1. In a first in country, Kerala trans man gives birth in a One-of-its Kind Case
In a government hospital a transgender couple gave birth to a baby. The trans couple has not disclosed the gender of the baby. A trans man named Zahad was carrying the child and gave birth in the government hospital.
Statements of Trans Couple-
“This is the happiest day of my life. I got several messages that hurt me. The birth of our child is our reply to them. I thank all those who supported us.”
“The baby was born around 9.30 am through a Cesarean Section at the Government Medical College Hospital because, at the time of delivery, Zahad’s sugar level in the body was high.”
“Both the baby and Zahad, her partner who delivered the child, are doing well.”
Support from government-
Veena George, Health Minister has congratulated the couple and supported by
- Directing the superintendent of IMCH (Institute of Maternal and Child health) to be vigilant
- Provided all necessary treatment to both of them free of cost.
Chief Minister- Pinarayi Vijayan
US: Indian American Congressman Ami Bera elected ranking member of House foreign affairs subcommittee on Indo-Pacific
Dr. Ami Bera, an Indian American Congressman from California’s 6th district was elected as a Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Sub Committee on Indo-Pacific, for 118th congress. This ranking position is the senior-most member representing the minority party in some committees in Congress.
About Ami Bera-
- He is 57 and was re-elected as a member of the US House of Representatives from the Sixth Congressional District of California.
- Ami Bera is the senior Indian American lawmaker and now has 5 lawmakers in the 118th Congress.
- He chaired the subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Non-Proliferation
- He took the efforts to reinvigorate US relationships with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.
Statements of Indian-American Congressman-
Ami Bera, an Indian-American Congressman has said that-
“I am proud to continue my leadership on the House Foreign Affairs Committee as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. The Indo-Pacific remains the most consequential region of the world for our national security, economic interests, and values.”
“I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the many challenges facing the region, including the People’s Republic of China’s aggressive and coercive actions, the dire need for economic recovery post-pandemic, and the backsliding of democracy and human rights.”
“I look forward to continuing to help lead the Subcommittee’s bipartisan work towards supporting a more free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
The Indo-Pacific consists of 40 countries-
- Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK),
- New Zealand,
- The Pacific Island Countries (14),
- People’s Republic of China (PRC),
- The Philippines,
- Republic of Korea (ROK),
- Sri Lanka,
- Timor Leste, and
Online petition launched to extend H-1B visa holders’ grace period
An online petition has been launched by two Indian-American organizations urging to extend the grace period of H-1B visa holders from two months to a year. This petition has been filed as the large number of Indian professionals have become jobless due to the massive layoffs in the American tech sector.
About the petition for extending the grace period of H-1B Visa-
- The H-1B visa’s existing duration is 60 days. Once the duration of 60 days expires, the person has to leave the country.
- In the petition the organizations have requested the extension of the grace period of 1 year instead of the 60 days.
- The H-1B Visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows US Companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require expertise.
- These companies here tens of thousands of employees each year from India and China.
Statements mentioned under the Petition-
“This has a huge impact on them, and their families, especially on the H-1B holders who would need to leave the U.S. immediately within 10 days beyond the H-1B grace period.”
“The laid-off H-1B holders currently have about 60 days to find another employer to file for the H-1B transfer or leave the country. During the current economic situation, it would be impossible for these hardworking, tax-paying and talented people to get hired till the economy recovers.”
Other petitions related to the recent lay-offs-
A letter was sent by a facebook group of overseas Indians and has launched a petition urging the Indian Government to hire the laid off Indian tech workers in the U.S. and mentioned in the letter addressing to Ashwini Viashnav, the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology is-
“Considering the ongoing layoff situation, we are requesting you to consider hiring the recently laid-off and returning Indian IT workers as consultants as part of the digitisation initiatives undertaken by your ministries.”
Relationship between India and USA-
Both the countries enjoy a close relationship and have often seen together on the issues such as counterterrorism, distrust of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.
About the USA-
House of Speaker- Republican Kevin McCarthy
The 46th President- Joseph R. Baiden
Capital of the United States – Washington D.C.
Currency- US Dollars
Cow Hug Day is observed on 14th February
An appeal has been issued by the Animal Welfare Board to all the cow lovers to celebrate February 14 as “Cow Hug Day” stating that this “will bring emotional richness” and “increase individual and collective happiness”.
About the Official Appeal-
“We all know that the cow is the backbone of Indian culture and rural economy, sustains our life, represents cattle wealth and biodiversity. It is known as ‘kamdhenu’ and ‘gaumata’ because of its nourishing nature like a mother, the giver of all providing riches to humanity”.
“Vedic traditions are almost on the verge of extinction due to the progress of western culture over time. The dazzle of western civilization has made our physical culture and heritage almost forgotten.”
“In view of the immense benefits of the cow, hugging the cow will bring emotional richness hence will increase our individual and collective happiness. Therefore, all the cow lovers may also celebrate February 14 as Cow Hug Day, keeping in mind the importance of the mother cow and making life happy and full of positive energy. This was issued with the approval of competent authority and on the direction of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.”
Statement by Board Assistant Secretary-
The Board Assistant Secretary Prachi Jain has said that-
“We received directions from the Union ministry to issue this appeal. Also, we had received certain representations for it. The time is very limited this time, because of which we are not able to do any event in this regard. But we have issued an appeal to the people and couples can follow it”.
“It will be for all the states. Animal welfare is for all the states. Gujarat and various other states will also be observing February 14 as Cow Hug Day”.
Aim of Celebrating the Cow Hug Day-
Its aim is to celebrate-
- The Vedic tradition and
- The immense benefits a cow possesses
Steps taken by the Government for welfare of the cows –
- Chief Minister of Haryana Lal Khattar has announced Rs 21 lakh for the Brahmanand gaushala at Kurana in Panipat district.
- Lok Sabha MP Sanjay Bhatia and Rajya Sabha MP Krishan Lal Panwar announced ₹11 lakh each.
- Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sharma gave Rs 2.50 lakh for the gaushala.
- The government has initiatives such as a ₹30-crore annual fodder grant to make the gaushalas self-reliant.
About Animal Welfare Board-
It is a board of India, headquartered at Ballabgarh in Haryana. It is a statutory advisory body advising the Government of India’s Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
10th February 2023
1. ISRO successfully launches new rocket, deploys 3 satellites into orbit
The rocket soared into the skies from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre with three satellites
The Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) has launched a new rocket SSLV-D2 which successfully placed three satellites into orbit. It was launched from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
- The new rocket was launched from the launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
- The SSLV-D2 consists of 3 mini, micro and nano satellites.
- The new rocket has placed the three satellites into a 450 km circular orbit during its 15 minutes flight.
- The three satellites are-
- ISRO’s EOS-07,
- US-based firm Antaris’ Janus-1 and Chennai-based space startup Spacekidz’s AzaadiSAT-2
- 8.7 kg Satellite developed by 750 girl students from across India.
Statements for the Space Centre-
“Mission is accomplished successfully. SSLV-D2 placed EOS-07, Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2 into their intended orbits.”
“SSLV-D2/EOS-07 Mission is accomplished successfully.”
“SSLV-D2 placed EOS-07, Janus-1, and AzaadiSAT-2 into their intended orbits.”
Reasons for launching the small satellites-
- Low-cost access to space,
- Offers low turn-around time and
- Flexibility in accommodating multiple satellites.
About ISRO’s SSLV-D2/EOS-07 mission-
- It was the second attempt to launch the Small Satellite by the space agency.
- On 9 August, the first test flight of SSLV was a partial failure as the rocket failed to inject small satellites in their intended orbits.
- On ‘Launch-On-Demand basis’ SSLV caters to launch of up to 500 kg satellite to low earth orbits.
- The Indian Space Research Organisation is the national space agency of India.
- Its headquarter is located in Bengaluru.
- ISRO operated under the Department of Space which is directly overseen by the Prime Minister of India.
2. India’s first-ever municipal bond issue for retail opens today
Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has announced India’s first public issue of municipal bonds, to raise up to Rs 244 crore for a solar power project. This would be the first time in India that a municipal authority would pursue individual investors.
The base issue size is Rs 122 crore, with an option to retain up to Rs 122 crore in oversubscription, for a total of Rs 244 crore.
The issue will be available for subscription from February 10 to 14.
The revenues of this green bond will be utilized to build a 60 MW captive solar photovoltaic power plant in the villages of Samraj and Ashukhedi in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district.
What are municipal bonds?
- Municipal bonds are similar to corporate bonds, but they are issued by civic bodies to finance urban infrastructure projects.
- Municipal corporations issue bonds to raise funds from individuals and institutions.
- The investors are promised a specified interest and return of the principal amount on the maturity date.
- The bonds can be issued by states, cities, counties, utility providers, transit authorities, school districts, and hospitals.
About municipal bonds
- Municipalities can now issue bonds to obtain funds for public infrastructure projects such as roads, water supply, and sewage.
- Although IMC is the first to target individual/retail investors, municipal bonds had previously been available but only to institutional investors.
- In 1997, Bengaluru Municipal Corporation issued municipal bonds for the first time in India, followed by Ahmedabad MC in 1998.
- Municipal bond issuances came to a standstill in 2005, when the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was launched.
- Municipal bonds were revived in 2015 when the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) established rules for issuing and listing municipal bonds.
How did municipal bonds become popular?
- Municipal bonds became popular over the past few years as most municipal corporations with ratings of AA and above started tapping the bond market to raise funds.
- These bonds are also gaining popularity due to the coupon rate offered, which is higher than that of public sector undertaking bonds.
- “Further, these municipal bond issue sizes are comparatively smaller in nature and hence can easily fetch very good investor demand from high net worth individuals and retail investors,” said Venkatakrishnan Srinivasan, founder of Rockfort Fincorp.
How do municipal bond issuers meet repayment obligations?
- According to market participants, large tier 1 municipalities generally have surplus cash and can meet repayment obligations without a problem.
- Tier 2 municipalities set aside a part of their internal cash accruals and this escrow mechanism can meet repayment obligations.
- “Weaker municipalities can pool their receivables together in a structured escrow mechanism to service their repayment obligations,” Srinivasan said.
1. WHO Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus departs for earthquake-hit Syria
This earthquake claimed over 21,000 lives in Turkey and Syria.
Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus, Director General- WHO has departed for Syria. Syria was jolted by the devastating earthquakes on Monday. This earthquake claimed over 21,000 lives in Turkey and Syria. Tedros informed his visit to Syria and stated that WHO will be supporting the earthquake-affected regions and will provide essential health care to the affected persons.
Statements of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
“On my way to #Syria, where @WHO is supporting essential health care in the areas affected by the recent earthquake, building on our long-standing work across the country.”
“Met #Syria Ambassador Haydar Ali Ahmad to discuss the immediate health needs of people affected by the earthquake, as well as essential care for all Syrians suffering due to the prolonged conflict. I reassured him of @WHO’s support for all people in Syria.”
“I want to start by expressing my deepest condolences to those affected by the earthquakes that hit Turkiye and the Syrian Arab Republic in the early hours of Monday morning.”
“People need shelter, food, clean water and medical care, for injuries resulting from the earthquake, but also for other health needs. WHO has released USD 3 million from the Contingency Fund for Emergencies for the response in both countries.”
About the earthquakes that jolted Turkey and Syria
- The earthquakes were of the magnitudes of 7.7 and 7.6.
- The number of fatalities is close to 21,051.
- The total number of injured peoples in Syria and Turkey are 78,124 approx.
- The death toll in Turkey is around 17,674 persons and a toll of injured persons is around 72,879.
- The death toll in Syria is at around 3,377 including 2,030 in rebel held areas and 1347 in government-controlled regions of Syria.
- The total number of injured persons in Syria is around 5,245, with 2,295 in government controlled areas and 2,950 in rebel-held areas.
About World Health Organisation
- WHO was established on 7th April, 1948.
- It is a specialized agency of the United Nations which works for International Public Health.
- Its headquarter is in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It has 6 regional Offices and 150 field offices worldwide.
President- Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Currency- Turkish Lira
President- Bashar Al Assad
Currency- Syrian Pound
Click here to read more-
Click here to read more on Turkey Earthquake.
Click here to read more on the aid sent to the Earthquake regions.
2. Russia to display Sukhoi fifth-generation fighter at Aero India air show
Russia will also feature the Orlan-30 reconnaissance drone at the Aero India 2023 air show
On Thursday, Russia’s state arms seller said that- At the upcoming Aero India 2023 International air show Russia will display the Sukhoi 5th generation fighter jet, the Checkmate light tactical fighter and Orlan-20 drones which are among 200 types of the advanced Russian made armaments and military hardware.
About the Aero India International Air Show
- This is a 14th edition to the biennial air show
- It will be held at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru for February 13-17.
- It will be held in an area of around 35,000sqm, for which a total of 731 exhibitors have registered- 633 Indian and 98 foreign.
- This event will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- This event will include aerial displays by aircraft along with a large exhibition and trade fair of aerospace companies.
Defense Armaments which are being showcased in the Aero India International Air Show
- Il-76MD-90A (E) military transport plane, the Il-78MK-90A aerial refueling tanker, the Su-35 and Su-30SME fighters and the MiG-35D multirole frontline fighter will also be displayed in the show.
- The Ka-226T light utility helicopter whose production is suggested to be launched under the ‘Make in India’ programme on the premises of Indo-Russian Helicopters Limited.
- Russia will also demonstrate the upgraded Ka-52E and Mi-28NE combat helicopters and Mi-171Sh military transport rotorcraft.
- Russia will also display the Orlan-30 reconnaissance drone for the first time abroad.
- Russia’s state arms seller will also demonstrate advanced anti-drone systems.
Statement from Rosoboronexport
Rosoboronexport is a sole state intermediary agency for Russia’s exports/imports of defense-related and dual use products, technologies and services. It stated that-
“Russian-made anti-drone systems, including Repellent, RLK-MCE, RB-504P-E and RB-504A-E, will also be on display.”
Both the countries consider their relationship as a “special and privileged strategic partnership.” Both the countries have aligned interest in creating a multipolar world order instead of bipolar world with the decline of the American led unipolar world order.
President- Vladimir Putin
Currency- Russian Ruble
3. North Korea unveils ‘record’ number of ICBMs at military parade
The parade featured at least 11 of North Korea’s “monster” Hwasong-17 ICBMs, for a total of some 16 long-range missiles
On Thursday, Kim Jong Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea oversaw a major military parade showcasing a record number of nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Weapons showcased in the Parade
- 10 of the North’s largest Hwasong-17 ICBMs,
- Vehicles apparently designed to carry a solid-fueled ICBM,
- Seoul-based specialist site.
About ICBM missiles
- A solid-fuel ICBM missile is easier to store and transport,
- Stable and quicker to prepare for launch, and
- Harder for the United States to detect and destroy preemptively.
About the Parade
- The parade was held to mark the 75th founding anniversary of North Korea’s armed forces.
- It featured fireworks, military bands and uniformed soldiers marching in unison to spell out “2.8”- date of the celebration “75”.
- Mr. Kim was flanked by his top generals in Pyongyang’s central Kim II Sung Square, saluting as troops and missile units paraded.
Statements from Korean Central News Agency
“The crowd broke into “enthusiastic cheers” when the ICBMs appeared in the square, and the parade also featured “tactical nuclear weapons operation units”.
“The parade showcased the “tremendous nuclear strike capability of the DPRK”, referring to North Korea by its official name.”
India-North Korea Relationship
Both the countries have a friendly, cooperative and understanding relationship. The consular relations with North Korea were set up on 1 March 1962. The diplomatic relations were established on 10 December 1973.
About North Korea
Supreme Leader- Kim Jong Un
Currency- North Korean Won
1. SC dismisses plea seeking to impose complete ban on BBC from operating in India
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking complete ban on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and BBC India from operating from Indian territory in wake of airing the documentary titled, ‘India: The Modi Question’ relating to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
- The decision was issued by a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and M M Sundresh while hearing a petition brought by Vishnu Gupta, head of the Hindu Sena, and Beerendra Kumar Singh, a farmer.
- “The writ petition is entirely misconceived and has no merit, and is accordingly dismissed,” the bench said, according to PTI.
- Alleging that the BBC has been biased towards India and the Indian government, the appeal said that the documentary on Prime Leader Narendra Modi is a “result of deep conspiracy against global rise of India and its prime minister“.
- Days after India blocked a BBC documentary that examines Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 anti-Muslim riots and prohibited people from sharing it online, authorities were scrambling to halt screenings of the program at colleges and restrict clips of it on social media, a move that critics have decried as an attack on press freedom.
- The BBC did not broadcast the two-part documentary “India: The Modi Question” in India, but India’s federal government stopped it over the weekend and prohibited individuals from posting portions on social media, invoking emergency powers under its information technology laws. Twitter and YouTube obliged with the request, and numerous links to the documentary were deleted.
- The ban sparked outrage among opposition parties and human rights organisations, who saw it as an attack on press freedom.
- It also increased attention to the documentary, prompting thousands of social media users to post movie clips on WhatsApp, Telegram, and Twitter.
- On January 21, the Centre gave instructions for censoring a number of YouTube videos and Twitter messages that included links to the controversial BBC documentary.
- The first part of the documentary, which was published by the BBC for viewers in the United Kingdom, revisits Modi’s most contentious incident as chief minister of western Gujarat state in 2002 when more than 1,000 people were murdered in anti-Muslim riots.
- Modi has denied accusations that officials under his command permitted and even encouraged the killing, and the Supreme Court has concluded there is no evidence to prosecute him.
- It dismissed a plea brought by a Muslim victim last year questioning Modi’s exoneration.
The first segment of the BBC documentary features interviews with riot victims, journalists, and rights activists who claim Modi turned a blind eye during the riots. It references a secret British diplomatic investigation that found Modi was “directly responsible” for the “climate of impunity” for the first time.
2. Excommunication in Dawoodi Bohra community: SC refers case to 9-judge Bench
On Friday, February 10, 2023, a Supreme Court Constitution Bench submitted a series of petitions challenging the authority of Dawoodi Bohra community leaders to excommunicate its members to a bigger Bench of nine justices.
The five-judge Bench, led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, was debating whether excommunication in the Dawoodi Bohra community may continue as a “protected practice” notwithstanding the passage of the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2016.
- The Dawoodi Bohra community is part of the Shia sect of Islam. The Dawoodi Bohra religious leader can excommunicate members of the community for challenging his authority.
- In 1949, The Bombay Prevention of Excommunication Act made it illegal to excommunicate members of a religious community.
- The leader of the Dawoodi Bohra community challenged the Act claiming that it violated the right to freedom of religion and the right to manage religious affairs.
- In 1962, a 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the SC in Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb v the State of Bombay, held the Act to be unconstitutional.
- Members of the community, however, filed a writ petition against the 1962 decision claiming that Islam did not permit excommunication.
- In 2016, the 1949 Act was repealed by the Maharashtra Protection of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016.
- The 2016 law identified 16 types of social ostracisation and made it illegal to expel members from their community.
- The 5-Judge Bench in this case was expected to decide if the right to excommunicate members of a religious community is protected by the SC’s 1962 decision and if the practice can continue.
Justice A.S. Oka pronounced the unanimous decision. He held that the challenge would be referred to the 9-Judge Bench in the Sabrimala Review case for two reasons:
- The 5-Judge Bench in Sardar Syedna Taher Saifuddin Saheb(1962) did not balance the right to manage religious affairs against other fundamental rights, especially the Right to Life.
- The SC must consider if protection given under Article 26(b), which grants religious communities the right to manage their own affairs, reflects the core values of the Constitution.
Since the issues raised in this case are pending before the Sabarimala Review Bench, the challenges will be decided in the latter case.
Supreme Court and its 9 Judges Bench
- While Article 145(3) of the Constitution does empower the Court to form benches comprising more than five judges, it is rare to see nine-judge benches. As of 1 June 2020, only 6 of the 47 pending Constitution Benches are nine-judge benches.
- In its 70-year history, the Supreme Court has only authored 17 nine-judge bench judgments most of which involved constitutional issues. A majority of these cases revolved around fundamental rights claims. For example, consider KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India, which dealt with the right to privacy, or Naresh Shridhar Mirajkar v. State of Maharashtra that was about fundamental rights claims against the judiciary.
- The next major cases are tax-related cases – In Re: The Bill to Amend S. 20 of The Sea Customs Act, 1878 and S. 3 of The Central Excises and Salt Act the Supreme Court delineated the scope of Article 289 of the Constitution of India, 1950 and in Jindal Stainless Ltd. and Ors. v. the State of Haryana the validity of various state tax legislations was challenged.
Additionally, the two significant cases concerning judicial appointment were 9-judge benches: In Re: Appointment and Transfer of Judges and Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association and Ors. v Union of India.
1. Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the fastest Indian to pick up 450 Test wickets
Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 450th Test wicket during the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy game between India and Australia
On Thursday, Ravichandran Ashwin and Indian Spinner became the second-fastest bowler to pick 450 Test Wickets during the first test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Ashwin got the landmark in 89 Tests where Muthaiah Murlidaran a Sri Lankan Legend has completed the task in 80 matches.
IND vs AUS: 1st Test Day
- Ashwin also broke the Indian record for the fastest to 450 wickets.
- The record was previously held by Anil Kumble.
- The former Indian Captain has taken 93 Tests to reach the landmark of 450 wickets.
- Ashwin is also the second fastest in terms of balls bowled.
- Ashwin has bowled a total of 23635 balls while Australian great Glenn McGrath is the fastest and has bowled a total of 23474.
IND vs AUS: Jadeja takes fifer on return
- Ashwin took three wickets
- Ravindra Jadeja clinched a fifer as the Australian team was bowled out for 177.
- Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj took a wicket each.
11th February 2023
1. Expanding ties with India is priority area for new US House Foreign Relations Committee
The Committee wants to expand the relationship in the defense, economic sectors, and counterterrorism.
The House Foreign Relations Committee has been newly constituted and has set its eye on expanding the US-India bilateral relationship. The Committee wants to expand the relationship in the defense, economic sectors, counterterrorism and to bolster India’s presence in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.
About the House Foreign Relations Committee
- The committee is chaired by Republican Congressman Michael McCaul.
- Its resolution was adopted on Wednesday.
- The resolution defines its priorities and oversight area during the 118th Congress.
- The Ranking Member of the Committee is Democrat Gregory.
Statements mentioned under the Resolution adopted by the Committee on February 8
“The Committee will review US policy towards India and the continued expansion of bilateral cooperation. Particular attention will be paid to the US-India defense relationship, including security and technology cooperation, opportunities for expanded roles, missions, and capabilities, and counterterrorism efforts.”
“The Committee will also focus on efforts to enhance US-India economic relations, including discussions surrounding bilateral efforts in the technology, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical industries.”
“The Committee will review the multitude of international agreements and treaties the People’s Republic of China has signed, and its violations of such treaties or the inconsistent behavior of the Chinese government to the obligations in said treaties.”
“This will include active oversight of the full spectrum of US assistance to Ukraine, working with Ukraine to strengthen anti-corruption institutions and good governance, and engaging with allies and partners to advocate for burden sharing.”
“The Committee will comprehensively review policy, decision-making, planning, and execution related to the August 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan. Particular attention will be paid to the decision to withdraw, the State Department’s planning and coordination with other departments, countries and organizations leading up to the withdrawal, the chaotic and deadly evacuation, the US government’s reaction and actions during the unprecedented evacuation, and the aftermath of the withdrawal.”
Aim of the Committee
- The Committee will focus on efforts to bolster India’s participation in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue efforts and its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The committee will also work towards reviewing India’s rapidly growing energy demands.
- The Committee will also examine the US policy towards China and the Chinese Communist Party.
- The Committee will work towards CCP’s global malign influence , the Belt and Road Initiative and global intelligence activities, including the theft of intellectual property.
- Afghanistan is on top of the priority oversight matters of the committee.
Relationship between India and USA
Both the countries enjoy a close relationship and have often seen together on the issues such as counterterrorism, distrust of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific.
About the USA
House of Speaker- Republican Kevin McCarthy
The 46th President- Joseph R. Baiden
Capital of the United States – Washington D.C.
Currency- US Dollars
2. India poised to become world’s most populous country this year: Report
India’s population has grown by more than one billion people since 1950
As per the report by Washington-based think tank Pew Research Centre, India surpassed China and poised to become the world’s most populous country in 2023. Since 1950, China held the position and was the most populous country in the world.
Report of the Pew Research Center
- India will overtake China in April, though it may have already reached this milestone since the UN estimates are projections.
- India’s population has grown by more than one billion people since 1950.
- People under the age of 25 account for more than 40 per cent of India’s population.
- The other two most populous countries in the world, China and the US, have rapidly aging populations.
Reasons mentioned under the report for the Population Growth
- The fertility rate in India is higher than that of China and the US, but the rate has declined rapidly in the recent decades.
- Fertility rates, however, vary widely by community type and state in India.
- Indian women in urban areas have their first child 1.5 years later than women in rural areas.
- The use of prenatal diagnostic technology to facilitate sex-selective abortions, is narrowing.
- Infant mortality in India has decreased by 70 per cent in the past three decades but remains high by regional and international standards
About Pew Research Centre
- The Pew Research Center is based in Washington D.C.
- It is a nonpartisan American think tank.
- It provides information on social issues, public opinion and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world.
Disadvantages of Population Growth
- As the population increases there will be more chances for the exploitation of natural resources.
- Low Per Capita Income.
- Low Quality of Life.
- Environmental Degradation and Others.
- The number of unproductive consumers is increasing.
- Unemployment / increased dependency.
Advantages of Population Growth
- It will lead to economic growth as more people will be able to produce more goods.
- Higher tax revenues which can be spent on public goods, health care and environmental projects.
- Increase in GDP per capita.
Other two most populous countries in the world are
- China- China’s current population is 1.4118 billion.
- USA- USA’s current population is 334.2 million
3. NCLT Invites Applications For Law Research Associates At Various Benches
Vacancies at NCLT : Law Research Associate
NCLT, National Company Law Tribunal in its recent notification dated 19.01.2023 has invited applications for the post of Law research Associate.
NCLT is a quasi-judicial body in India that adjudicates the matter relating to Indian Companies. It has eleven benches with a principal bench at New Delhi. It is one of the premium institutes to resolve disputes concerning the corporate world.
The position as mentioned in the notification would be purely contractual in nature. The contractual vacancies would be open in NCLT benches of Guwahati, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Indore, Amravati, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cuttack.
It is important to note the eligibility criteria for the said position:
- The candidate must be a Law graduate. The candidate can be fresh or experienced but must have passed the final examination of LLB Degree with a minimum aggregate of 50% marks from a recognized university.
- The candidate must be enrolled with any Bar council (AIBE certificate is must)
- The age of candidate must not be above 30 years as on the last date of receipt of applications which is 18.02.2023
- The candidate must have edge of computer operation including retrieval of desired information from various search engines/ processors such as SCC online, Manupatra etc.
It is essential to remark that the last date of receipt of application is 18.02.2023. The selection would be based on interview, thereby testing the knowledge of Companies Act, 2013; IBC, 2016 and other relevant allied laws.
Official Notification can be accessed on the NCLT website
4. India to jointly organize 12th World Hindi Conference in Fiji
A 270-member delegation from India will visit Fiji for the event and representatives from 50 countries are expected to participate in it
India will be organizing the 12th World Hindi Conference later this month in Fiji. For the event and representatives a delegation of 270 members will visit Fiji. Over 50 countries are expected to participate in it.
About the 12th World Hindi Conference
- It is organized by the MEA in cooperation with the Fiji government.
- It will be held in Nadi in the South Pacific country from February 15-17.
- A 270 member delegation from India and representatives from 50 countries will participate in the event.
- External affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka will be inaugurating the event on February 15.
The Statement of the MEA Secretary
“The Prime Minister always uses Hindi and has given various speeches in the language in India as well as abroad. This has increased the language’s value and more people have been motivated to use it.”
“UN press releases are now available in Hindi. We are trying to get Hindi its rightful place at the UN.”
“A group of 270 people will go to Fiji from India to take part in the event. Various Hindi experts from India and abroad will participate in the event. We expect representatives from 50 countries to attend the event.”
Secretary’s Statement on the Theme of the event
“The theme for the event is ‘Hindi – Traditional Knowledge to Artificial Intelligence’ where on one side we are respecting our traditional knowledge and on the other side, showing that Hindi has been successful in walking along with the technological advancements.”
Statement from Arindam Bagchi
“Secretary East @AmbSaurabhKumar interacted with the @ASEAN media delegation which is on a week-long familiarization visit to India. The interaction included ASEAN-India relations and our shared heritage. The delegation will also visit Agra and Hyderabad.”
India and Fiji Relationship
Both the countries have a link since 1879 when Indian laborers were brought here under an indenture system to work on sugarcane plantations. Between 1879 and 1961 around 60,000 Indians were brought to Fiji. Beginning with the early 20th century, Indian traders and others also started arriving in Fiji.
President- Wiliame Katonivere
Currency- Fijian Dollar
5. Ashwini Vaishnaw launch ‘Digital Payments Utsav’
This event will focus on promoting digital payments in the country
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the minister for Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and Railways has launched the ‘Digital Payments Utsav.’ It is a comprehensive campaign aimed at promoting digital payments across India. This event marks a significant step in the country’s journey towards digital transformation.
About launching the campaign
- This campaign is launched to promote digital payments across India.
- Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MeitY, Ms. Simmi Choudhary, Economic Advisor, MeitY, Shri Sanjay Bahl, Director General, CERT-In, Shri Akash Tripathi, CEO, MyGov, and Dilip Abse, MD & CEO, NPCI and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
- Officials from Central Ministries, Delhi Police, Banks and FIntechs have attended the event and this event will showcase India’s journey of digital transformation.
- These events and initiatives will be held from 9th February to 9th October 2023 and will be focusing on promoting digital payments in the country, especially in the cities of Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru.
Vision shared by Ashwini Vaishnaw
Ashwini Vaishnaw has shared the vision for this campaign that is-
- To complete the rollout of the digital credit system in 2023 and to direct the NPCI to take the lead in this direction.
- The digital revolution has a transformative impact on the hard-to-reach people in the country and the Mission Bhashini, National Language Translation Mission and Digital Payments have come together to make UPI 123 Pay available in local language.
- This event will enable a common person to make payments in her local language interface through voice.
Statements of Secretary, MeitY
Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary MeitY, has said that-
- This campaign is launched to expand the reach of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) in India and beyond and focuses on connecting the unconnected areas and making UPI a global payment method.
- The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has partnered with countries such as Nepal, Singapore, Bhutan, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
- The UPI services will soon be available to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) living in 10 countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE, the UK, and the USA.
Other initiatives launched by the Government during the event
- A G20 Co-branded QR code,
- A G20 edition of the preloaded RuPay On-The-Go device,
- Innovative products from banks and FinTechs,
- A joint campaign by MeitY and Delhi Police to promote secure digital payments,
- A Coffee Table Book titled “Towards a Developed India Catalyzing Inclusive Growth Through Digital Payments.”
Awards presented during the event
During the event, 28 DigiDhan Awards were presented to recognize the efforts of these organizations which have contributed to the growth of the digital economy such as-
- Bankers, and
- Fintech companies in different categories for their outstanding performance in the digital payments space.
Effect of the launching the Digital Payment Utsav
- It will help to increase awareness and adoption of digital payments in India.
- It will be a major milestone in the government’s efforts to promote digital payments and drive digital transformation in India.
- This campaign is expected to bring together various stakeholders, including the government, industry, and citizens, to drive the growth of the digital economy and promote financial inclusion.
6. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank launches Hello Ujjivan- India’s first voice, visual, vernacular banking app
This app will benefit the digitally challenged in terms of the Micro Banking and Rural consumers
Ujjivan Small Finance Bank has launched the Hello Ujjivan app. It is India’s first mobile banking app which includes 3 v’s i.e. Voice, Visual and Vernacular. These 3 V’s enabled features to provide banking access to individuals who have limited reading and writing skills. This app will benefit the digitally challenged in terms of the Micro Banking and Rural consumers.
About The Hello Ujjivan App
It is accessible by voice in 8 regional languages such as-
- Oriya, and
Features of The Hello Ujjivan Application
- For performing banking transactions customers can speak to the app in their native language.
- Customers can access services such as paying loan EMIs, opening FD and RD accounts, transferring funds, checking account balance, and updating passbooks, among others.
- The app’s intuitive AI and machine learning capabilities enable it to comprehend customers’ unstructured banking requests and provide the desired result.
- The application adapts to the various dialects of the users.
- The app also provides a visual representation and it also has a recorded voice guide in different languages.
The Targeted Customers of The Hello Ujjivan Application
- This app will be available to its existing MicroBanking customers.
- Later on, the company will add more languages and banking features and solutions related to digital banking.
About The Ujjivan Small Finance Bank Growth
- It has developed a comprehensive digital strategy to simplify banking services throughout India.
- The strategy of the bank is built to bridge the digital divide between metro vs semi urban and rural customers.
- The bank currently serves over 72 million customers through its 600 branches across 25 states and union territories in India.
7. India Jumps to 55th place in ICAO’s Aviation Safety Oversight Ranking: DGCA
This ranking is dynamic and is contingent upon the outcomes of various Audits undertaken by ICAO
As per the DGCA, India’s aviation safety oversight has jumped to the 55th position from 112th place, due to a significant improvement in the country’s score under the ICAO’s coordinated validation mission.
Statement from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)
“After the final report India’s safety oversight capability ranking has climbed from 112 to 55. It may be noted that this ranking is dynamic and is contingent upon the outcomes of various Audits undertaken by ICAO.”
“The status of 101 PQs was changed to satisfactory and that of 1 PQ to not applicable.. the status of 35 PQs remained not satisfactory, resulting in an updated overall EI of 85.65 per cent.”
About the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM)
- Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach,
- An ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) was undertaken in India from November 9 to 16, 2022.
- It undertakes an audit of all the contracting states under this programme.
- The team visited industry and service providers to validate the capability of the country to supervise the activities of the service providers.
About India’s Last Year’s Mission
- It covers the areas of LEG, ORG, PEL, OPS and AGA on-site while the area of AIR was validated virtually during the same period.
- The Effective Implementation (EI) of six areas were assessed.
1. Bhutan’s Paro drafts by-law in its quest to become waste-free
A fee is being levied to encourage segregation and sustain the implementation of the new system
The Waste Management Committee of Paro town in Bhutan has drafted a by-law to achieve its target of becoming a waste-free district in the next few years.
About the By-Laws
- The District’s local leaders, institutions and regional offices held the consultation and familiarization meetings on the by-laws.
- For endorsement purposes, the by-laws will also be put up in the upcoming Dzongkhag Tshogdu.
- The by-laws will become mandatory for all the Gewog offices to build a waste drop-off facility in their Gewog.
- The citizens of Paro town have to pay a minimum fee while dumping waste in garbage trucks.
- The garbage trucks will also be made available after office hours for the convenience of office goers.
Reasons for creating the by-laws
- To encourage segregation and
- Sustain the implementation of the new system.
Effect of creating the by-laws
- It will encourage people to practice segregation at source and
- Produce less waste.
Statements of the President of Bhutan
The President of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay has said that-
“If we do that, recyclable wastes could go to scrap dealers and degradable ones will go to their designated place. Then, it would not overwhelm the dump yards. Meanwhile, when we execute the by-law it would require some amount of money to function and sustain, for that we thought the fee collection would help.”
Both the countries share a unique bilateral relationship, characterized by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding. Both the countries have tried to sustain the relationship by a tradition of regular high level visits and dialogues between the two countries.
Prime Minister- Lotay Tshering
Currency- Bhutan Ngultrum
1. Rohit Sharma Becomes 1st Indian skipper to Record Hundreds in All 3 Formats
On Friday, Rohit Sharma, an Indian skipper became the first to score centuries in all three formats of the game.
About Rohit Sharma, Indian Skipper
- He scored his first Test century against Australia on Day 2 of the first Test of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Test series.
- The Border-Gavaskar Test Series is taking place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.
- Rohit Sharma was playing his third Test as Indian skipper and 46th overall.
- Rohit scored his maiden ODI century as Indian skipper against Sri Lanka on December 13, 2017 in Mohali.
- His first and only T20I century as Indian skipper was also against Sri Lanka.
- On December 22, 2017 in Indore, he scored 118.
About Indian Cricket Team
- The Indian Men’s National Cricket Team is also known as Team India or the Men in Blue, representing India in men’s international cricket.
- It is governed under the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
- It is Full Member of the International Cricket Council with Test, One Day International and Twenty 20 International status.
Click here to read cricket related news.
1. International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Celebrated every year on February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed by the United Nation to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
8th International Day of Women & Girls in Science Assembly
It will be the eighth International Day of Women and Girls in Science and the theme is IDEAS (Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate, Advance, Sustain).
The aim is to build a bridge between the international community and women in science by linking their knowledge and expertise and its applications in a systematic, critical way for the 2030 agenda and its 17 global goals.
- On March 14, 2011, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a report, that aimed to encourage the participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology.
- On December 20, 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on science, technology and innovation for development, in which it recognised that to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, they should have full and equal access and participation in science, technology and innovation. It is imperative for women and girls of all ages.
Gender equality imperative for Science and Technology
- The eighth assembly will be bringing women in science, youth, experts and professionals together with multi-stakeholder in dialogues and discussion for identifying conditions and tools to put science, technology and innovation at the heart of sustainable development programmes, international relations, and public and private sectors strategies and implementation plans.
- The policymakers will be assisted at all levels whether in public or private sectors, for evolving a more mature relationship between science, policy, and society for strategies that they can commit to for the future.
Focus on SDGs
This year, the IDWGIS will focus on the role of Women and Girls and Science as relates to the SDGs in review at the forthcoming High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), namely :
SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation),
SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy),
SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure),
SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and
SDG17 (means of implementation),
while following up on discussions on water held during from the “Water Unites Us” 7th IDWGIS, the 2nd High-Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2022, held in Dushanbe, and the 2nd UN Ocean Conference and its High-Level Symposium on Water held in Lisbon, as a contribution for the 2023 UN Water Conference, and other UN Fora.
- To connect the International Community to Women and Girls in Science,
- Strengthening the ties between science, policy, and society for strategies oriented toward the future.
- The IDWGIS will thus showcase best practices, strategies, and applied solutions in addressing SDGs challenges and opportunities.
- It will also include for the first time a science workshop for Blind Girls and a session from the BLIND fellow SCIENTISTS on “Science in Braille: Making Science Accessible”.
As per the United Nations, “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.”
1. Gujarat HC Dismisses Plea in Sanjiv Bhatt’s case
Police protection is not a matter of right reiterated by Gujarat HC in former IPS Sanjiv Bhatt case.
What did the case say?
Former IPS Sanjiv Bhatt was given life imprisonment in the custodial death case of 1990. The sessions court found him guilty under section 302 of Indian Penal Code.
The legal turmoil went on and he was suspended from the service in 2011 due to uninformed absence. In 2015 he was sacked by Ministry of Home Affairs.
He and his family’s security were withdrawn in 2018. It was in 2019 when Bhatt’s wife appealed to the High Court for getting back the police security. Also, demanded the reason for withdrawal of police protection.
The High court on Friday has dismissed the plea which sought the reason saying it is in “larger public interest”.
Justice Nirzar observed that Police protection is not a matter of right. Police have very limited resources and manpower in the police force is limited and largely it is for maintaining law and order situation which is for its citizens. At the same time if any application for police protection is accepted by the state government and was subsequently withdrawn by the state. State has got the right to explain it in its own way.
Currently, The Gujarat- Cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is undergoing life imprisonment in a 1990 custodial death case.
12th February 2023
1. Haj 2023: Haj committee of India announced the online application begins ,latest news
Every year Haj committee of India organises the all India Annual conference for Haj. It has been established under the Haj committee Act, for making arrangements for pilgrimage. It is a body corporate having perpetual succession.
Haj 2023: Haj committee of India announced the online application begins ,latest news
Online application started for Haj 2023.
Haj online application has started and the last date is March 10. The Ministry of Minority affairs said in notice , ‘interested can submit their application on hajcommittee.gov.in. ‘
A new Haj policy on Feb 6 by the ministry of minority affairs that application forms have been made available for free& package cost per pilgrim has been reduced by Rs 50,000. The Ministry said, “Wide choise of embarkation points & special arrangements are made for ladies, divyang and elderly.”
How to fill registration form:
- Visit the official website hajcommittee.gov.in , click on HAJ 2023
- Select online application form, click on new registration
- Enter details including user ID, password, first name,last name, state, district and security code
- After entering all details click on ‘register ‘
- Enter OTP, On succession of OTP, conformation massage appear immediately
- Enter user ID and password
- Choose appropriate option, select number of persons and click on “go next ” .
- After submitting details, applicant need to upload documents like passport size photograph, passport first page and past page, copy of cancelled cheque and vaccine certificate.
- Click on ‘ final submission, you will get confirmation message
- Download your filled Haj application form by clicking on’Download haj2023′.
2. 13 new Governors appointed in various states of India
President Droupadi Murmu has appointed 13 new governors and transferred a few others.
President Murmu appointed 13 new governors while accepting the resignations of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Radha Krishnan Mathur.
The official communication reads:
- “Lt. General Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik, PVSM, UYSM, YSM (Retired) as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh;
- Lakshman Prasad Acharya as Governor of Sikkim;
- P. Radhakrishnan as Governor of Jharkhand;
- Shiv Pratap Shukla as Governor of Himachal Pradesh; and
- Abdul Nazeer as Governor of Andhra Pradesh;
- Gulab Chand Kataria as Governor of Assam.”
The President of India has made the following appointments:-
- Justice (Retd.) S Abdul Nazeer appointed as Governor of Andhra Pradesh.
- Governor of Andhra Pradesh Biswa Bhusan Harichandan appointed as Governor of Chhattisgarh.
- Governor of Chhattisgarh Anusuiya Uikye appointed as Governor of Manipur.
- Governor of Manipur La Ganesan appointed as Governor of Nagaland.
- Governor of Bihar Phagu Chauhan appointed as Governor of Meghalaya.
- Governor of Himachal Pradesh Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar appointed as Governor of Bihar.
- Governor of Arunachal Pradesh appointed as Lt Governor of Ladakh.
- Lt General Kaiwalya Trivikram Parnaik appointed as Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Gulab Chand Kataria as Governor of Assam.
- Ramesh Bais appointed as the new Governor of Maharashtra.
- Lakshman Prasad Acharya as Governor of Sikkim.
- CP Radhakrishnan as Governor of Jharkhand.
- Shiv Pratap Shukla as Governor of Himachal Pradesh.
The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices.
- The highlight change was of former Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari whose resignation was demanded by the opposition MVA for allegedly hurting sentiments.
- Four BJP leaders and former Supreme Court judge S Abdul Nazeer, who was part of the Constitution bench that upheld the archaeological report on Ayodhya, were among six new faces appointed as governors on Sunday.
- BJP leaders Lakshman Prasad Acharya, C P Radhakrishnan, Shiv Pratap Shukla, and Gulab Chand Kataria, who is also the Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan, were nominated as governors in Sikkim, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Assam respectively.
Constitutional Provisions related to Governor
- The appointment and powers of government can be derived from Part VI of the Indian constitution. Article 153 says that there shall be a Governor for each State. One person can be appointed as Governor for two or more States.
- The governor acts in ‘Dual Capacity’ as the Constitutional head of the state and as the representative.
- He is the part of federal system of Indian polity and acts as a bridge between union and state
- Article 157 and Article 158 of the Constitution of India specify eligibility requirements for the post of governor. They are as follows:
A governor must:
- Be a citizen of India.
- Be at least 35 years of age.
- Not be a member of the either house of the parliament or house of the state legislature.
- Not hold any office of profit.
- The term of the governor’s office is normally 5 years but it can be terminated earlier.
1. Shahabuddin Chuppu set to become next Bangladesh President
Awami League, the political party of Bangladesh has nominated Shahabuddin Chuppu to be the next President.
As per the Constitution of Bangladesh, MPs are voters in the election of President. Presently, Awami League enjoys the majority in the House. Hence, it is assumed that Md. Shahabuddin would be the next president of the country. The finalization for the nomination is done by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hassina today. He would be taking up as the country’s 22nd president.
Shahabuddin is the retired judge and former Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh. He is a lawyer by profession and has been an active member of the party’s advisory Council. Shahabuddin was born in Pabna district in 1949. Later in 1971, became convener of Swadhin Bangla Chhatra Shongram Parishad.
According to the Schedule released by the Election Commision, the Presidential election will be held on 19 February. As per Bangladeshi Constitution, the new president must be elected within 90 to 60 days prior to the end of the incumbent president’s tenure.
India & Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a country in South Asia, which shares land borders with India to the west, north and east. It is a Westminster-style unitary parliamentary republic that has universal suffrage. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The President of Bangladesh is the ceremonial head of state whose powers include enacting bills into laws. India and Bangladesh share bonds of history, language, culture, and multitude of other common areas. It is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia.
2. UFO spotted over Canada, shot down under PM Justin Trudeau’s orders
On February 11, an unidentified flying object (UFO) was shot down over Canada by a US fighter jet acting on orders from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Following the spectacular shoot-down of a suspected Chinese spy balloon a week earlier, this was the second such take-down in North American sky. According to Trudeau, Canadian soldiers in the Yukon will now retrieve and analyse the UFO’s wreckage.
According to The New York Times, a fighter jet from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which is administered jointly by the United States and Canada, shot down the mysterious object at the behest of Canada.
“I ordered the takedown of an unidentified object that violated Canadian airspace,” Trudeau tweeted.
Canada is now in the process of recovering the wreckage to determine its origin and nature.
2 UFOs in 2 Days
This is the second time in a few days that a strange object has been shot down after flying into US airspace.
- Another aircraft was spotted entering US airspace on Thursday (Feb. 9) at about 9 p.m. Alaska time, prompting the US authorities to dispatch a surveillance plane to monitor it.
- The object was flying at an altitude used by civilian aircraft, between 20 and 40 mph (32 and 64 km/h).
- It crisscrossed Alaskan terrain before sailing out to sea.
- According to John F. Kirby, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, the plane was heading towards the North Pole when it was shot down over the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Canada on Friday (Feb. 10).
- Thus far, the U.S. does not see evidence that that object posed a military threat, officials said.
Most UFOs are ‘Chinese surveillance’ drones and ‘airborne clutter,’ Pentagon officials reveal
- A Chinese spy balloon was destroyed barely a week ago on February 4 after being identified above Idaho in late January.
- That balloon, which was far larger than the object shot down over Canada this week, was traveling tens of thousands of feet above civilian airspace before being shot down by an air-to-air missile.
- The US Department of Defense is investigating a number of unusual flying objects. The Pentagon revealed records in early January showing that it was having to explain around half of the hundreds of UFO claims it received the previous year.
- Anita Anand, Canada’s Defence Minister, refused to speculate on the origin of the object, which she described as cylindrical in shape.
- She stopped short of labeling it a balloon, but claimed it was smaller in size than the Chinese balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina a week ago.
- “There is no reason to believe that the impact of the object in Canadian territory is of any public concern,” Anand told a news conference.
- Following a call between Biden and Trudeau, US President Joe Biden authorized the US military to collaborate with Canada to bring down the high-altitude craft, according to the Pentagon.
- According to the White House, Biden and Trudeau agreed to maintain close communication in order to “defend our airspace.”
- India-Canada bilateral ties are underpinned by shared values of democracy, pluralism, expanding economic engagement, regular high-level interactions, and long-standing people-to-people ties.
- India and Canada have a longstanding bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious nature of the two societies, and strong people-to-people contacts.
- The visit of the Indian Prime Minister in 2015 to Canada, elevated the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership.
- The further visit of the Canadian Prime Minister in 2018, reaffirmed the breadth and scope of Canada-India relations, based on the fundamental principle of respect for sovereignty, unity, and territorial integrity of the two countries.
- Also, as Westminster style democracies, India and Canada share commonalities in Parliamentary structure and procedures.
Pentagon releases latest UFO sightings report
The Pentagon released its report on UFO sightings saying an additional 366 sightings have been investigated since 2021.
- 26 of those sightings were determined to be drones with at least one sighting suspected of being Chinese drones.
- 163 were balloon-like objects and six were dismissed as aerial clutter which includes birds and plastic bags.
- More than 170 sightings remain unexplained but officials say they have found no evidence of any extra-terrestrial life.
3. First time in 35 years, Armenia- Turkey reopened border gate
After 5 days of havoc that shook Turkey, help is pouring from all sides. One such humanitarian assistance has come from Armenia. According to Turkey’s news agency Anadolu, since 1988 it is the first time the border between two countries has been reopened.
Serdar Killic, Turkey’s special envoy for dialogue with Armenia thanked Armenia for the aid that included medicine, food, drinking water and other emergency aids via tweet.
Killic tweeted photos of trucks passing through Alican checkpoint. The crossing was last used when Turkey used it to send help to Armenia.
The two countries have never established formal diplomatic or commercial relations with each other. The borders have been closed since the 1990s.
What led to shut?
Armenia says over 1.5 million people were killed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. The Ottoman empire is the predecessor of the modern Turkish state. Armenia considers it as genocide. Turkey, however, accepts the killing during World War -1 but contests over the figures reported by Armenia. These two countries share ancestral past where tension keeps streaming from Armenian genocide.
Armenia as a country
Armenia lies to the north east of Turkey. It is a landlocked country. Armenia is a democratic country with ancient cultural heritage. It had come under the rule of the Ottoman and Persian empires, which was repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. It is a member of many international organizations including UN, SCO, Asian development Bank and others.
4. Artificial Intelligence is a threat or Game changer in the legal world?
Justice Hima Kohli delivered a strong message while speaking at the event of “i-Amicus”, a legal knowledge-based platform by the legal team of ICICI bank. Justice Kohli was speaking on the topic “Artificial Intelligence and legal sector”. Technology has immense potential in the field of law and justice.
AI has the power to change the way lawyers work today. The role of artificial intelligence can’t be ignored during the time of COVID-19. Technology assisted the Indian Judiciary through the virtual court system during pandemic. Justice Kohli has called artificial intelligence to be “Game Changer” and one should not be threatened by it.
What are positives about AI?
- It would enhance efficiency by automating the routine work.
- Reducing the time in legal research by real time access to information.
- Analyse vast amounts of data in less time with accuracy.
- Instant virtual legal assistance can be given to clients thus strengthening long term relations.
- This would save time for lawyers to stay ahead in competition.
- Potential of innovating legal-tech products
What are the lows of AI?
- It lacks human empathy and reasoning which is essential in judiciary
- It has concerns regarding protection of the rights of parties.
- Ethical concerns such as accountability and transparency
- Too much dependance can be hazardous to the justice delivery system.
“To conclude, AI is a game-changer in the legal field and has the potential to revolutionise the way lawyers work”, Justice Kohli remarked.
Justice Hima Kohli is the judge of the Supreme Court. She was the first woman to be appointed as Chief Justice of Telangana High court. She brings to bench the vast and varied legal and personal experience. She has also provided legal aid services with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee.
Source: Indian Express
1. Hans Modrow, East Germany’s last communist leader, dies at 95
Modrow was made prime minister in November 1989 – days after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Hans Modrow, the last communist prime minister of former East Germany, has passed away at the age of 95. Modrow became prime minister in November 1989. He left office in April 1990. He was officially the second-to-last prime minister of the now-defunct state, as he was succeeded by Lothar de Maiziere, a conservative.
Who was Hans Modrow?
- Modrow later served in a reunified Germany’s Bundestag and the European Parliament.
- He was a member of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), which succeeded the former East German Communist Party (SED) and was later absorbed into the Left Party.
- During the 1970s and 1980s, he was the party’s chief in Dresden.
- Modrow’s government established the organization in charge of transitioning former East Germany to a market economy in 1990.
- The “Modrow Law” allowed house and farm owners to purchase the land on which their property stood.
Ascent of a Leader
- When he became prime minister of a Communist-led transition government on November 13, 1989, four days after the Berlin Wall, which had divided East and West Berlin for 28 years, Modrow claimed he would help turn East Germany into a democracy.
- The previous communist government had been thrown out as protesters across East Germany sought democracy and freedom, echoing calls for reform across Soviet-dominated eastern Europe following Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension to power in the Soviet Union.
- Opponents accused Modrow of attempting to postpone political change by rebranding the Stasi security police rather than abolishing them.
- Modrow was convicted in 1995 of manipulating local elections in Dresden in 1989, an accusation he claimed was politically motivated.
- Modrow criticized German reunification, claiming that it was hastened and that East Germany should have negotiated for more concessions throughout the process.
A ‘vital figure’ for the Left Party
In his old age, Modrow continued advising the Left Party. He said he felt a “continuing responsibility towards former [East German] citizens.”
“With this, our party loses an important personality,” Left lawmakers Dietmar Bartsch and Gregor Gysi said in a joint statement.
“The entire peaceful course of establishing German unity was precisely a special achievement of his. That will remain his political legacy,” they said.
Germany and India: Bilateral relations
- After the Second World War, India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Today, India regards Germany as an important partner in its quest for a new political role in the region and the world, for its ambitious economic reform programmes and for the development of the country’s industrial sector.
- Relations are based on the May 2000 Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century, which has since been updated by further joint declarations, most recently the Partnership for Green and Sustainable Development, which was signed by Federal Chancellor Scholz and Indian Prime Minister Modi on 2 May 2022.
- Of particular importance are the Indo-German intergovernmental consultations, where the two countries’ Cabinets have held joint sessions every two years since 2011, alternately in Germany and India.
- Germany is India’s most important trading partner in the EUand its sixth most important trading partner worldwide.
- Since India embarked on a course of reform and opened up its economy in 1991, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased rapidly.
13th February 2023
1. Indian aerospace firm HAL hands over advanced light helicopter to Mauritius ahead of schedule
HAL had signed a contract with the Mauritius government in January 2022 for export of an ALH Mk III to the MPF
On Friday, HAL handed over an advanced light helicopter (ALH) to the Mauritius Government in Bengaluru. The certificate to A.K. Dip, Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force was handed over by Nikhil Dwivedi, general manager of Helicopter Division.
Statement of Director (Operations) HAL
The director (Operations) HAL E.P. Jayadeva had said that-
“The defense PSU had handed over the helicopter way ahead of schedule. HAL had signed a contract with the Mauritius government in January 2022 for export of an ALH Mk III to the MPF.”
“This order is in line with the Government of India’s vision to boost defense exports to friendly foreign countries. The handing over of export helicopters has further bolstered the ties between both countries. The ALH Mk III helicopter will meet the operational requirements of the MPF. The helicopter with its state-of-the-art equipment will further enhance the operational requirements of the MPF.”
Statement of Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force
The Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force A.k. Dip has said that-
“The induction of a new helicopter into the fleet of the MPF would enhance the aerial capabilities of the police.”
“The helicopter will contribute immensely in ensuring territorial integrity and enhancing the speed and effectiveness of police intervention during critical incidents and disasters.”
About ALH Mk III
- ALH Mk III is a multi-role, multi-mission versatile helicopter in 5.5-tonne category.
- More than 335 ALH have been produced till date.
- Logging a cumulative of more than 3,75,000 flying hours.
India and Mauritius Relationship
Both the countries have diplomatic relations established in 1948. Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation. From the 1820s, Indian workers started coming into Mauritius to work on sugar plantations.
Prime Minister- Pravind Jugnauth
Capital- Port Louis
Currency- Mauritian Rupee
2. India tops Singapore, Indonesia in fintech study reported the Robocash Group
As per the report published by the Robocash Group, India emerged as the top nation in a Fintech study of nine South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Results of the Robocash Southeast Asia Fintech Index
- India emerged as the leading country.
- Singapore stood second as per the index.
- Indonesia stood third as per the index.
Purpose of the Robocash Southeast Asia Fintech Index
- Its purpose is to gain an understanding of financial technologies development in mature and emerging countries of the South and Southeast Asian region.
- The countries include- India, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Four sectors of the Robocash Southeast Asia Fintech Index
- Payments and Transfers,
- Alternative Lending,
- E-wallets and
- Digital Banking.
Robocash Southeast Asia Fintech Index statistic
- India has the greatest number of companies operating, at 541, representing 43.1 percent of the total,
- Indonesia has 165 (13.2 per cent),
- Singapore has 162 (12.9 percent),
- Philippines has 125 (10 per cent),
- Malaysia has 84 (6.7 per cent), and
- Vietnam has 78 (6.2 per cent).
- Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have the fewest fintech companies among the countries surveyed.
Statement of the Head of Financial services and Banking, Phonepe
The Head of Financial Services and Banking, Phonepe, Hemant Gala has said that-
“Digital payments have become a way of life in India and we have seen 10-15 million new customers coming on to the digital bandwagon over the last 12 months. Two factors that led to this change were demonetization and the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Statement of the Founder, and Chairperson of Chiratae Ventures
Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairperson of Chiratae Ventures has said that-
“The Indian Fintech market has been a formidable global force, contributing to the largest share of unicorns in India. We have been a technology-first investor believing in the power of both data and technology and hence have backed companies such as EarlySalary, Kristal.ai, PB Fintech, ShopSe, and Vayana amongst others.”
About Robocash Group
- Robocash is a fintech company with offices in Asia and Europe.
- It specializes in providing technological finance solutions for the underserved by the traditional banking system in emerging markets.
About Robocash Southeast Asia Fintech Index
- The South Asian Nation came up in first place in several categories such as the most amount of funds raised and total revenue.
- The study was done for the year 2000 to 2022.
- The index scores were measured as per the the share of total funding, the share of total revenue and the share of total active companies.
3. Aero India- PM Modi has inaugurated the event in Bengaluru, says it reflects India’s New Strength, capabilities
The Theme for the event is “The Runway to a billion opportunities”
Today, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inaugurated the five day event on the theme ‘The runway to a billion opportunities’. The event was held at the Yelahanka Air Force Station. This event is held to showcase India’s growth in aerospace and defense capabilities.
“The focus of Aero India-2023 this time will be on displaying indigenous equipment/technologies and forging partnerships with foreign companies, in line with ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ vision.”
About the Aero India International Air Show
- In this event 98 countries will be participating, the Defense Ministers of 32 countries, Air Chiefs of 29 countries, Chief Executives Officers of 73 countries.
- This is a 14th edition to the biennial air show
- It is held at the Air Force Station at Yelahanka in Bengaluru for February 13-17.
- It is held in an area of around 35,000sqm, for which a total of 731 exhibitors have registered- 633 Indian and 98 foreign.
- This event will include aerial displays by aircraft along with a large exhibition and trade fair of aerospace companies.
Updates from the Aero India Event
- United States Air Force’s (USAF) fifth-generation fighters F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter make their debut.
- Defense Minister Rajnath Singh held bilateral meetings with Security Advisor to Bangladesh PM, Major General Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Defense Minister of Nepal, Hari Prasad Uprety & Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Defense, Premitha Bandara Tennakoon.
- 9 more ‘Made in India’ ALH Dhruv helicopters
- Indian Coast Guard is going to place orders for 9 more ‘Made in India’ ALH Dhruv helicopters for deployment in operational areas.
- The 19 single-engine Chetak helicopters would also be replaced by the ALH choppers only.
Statements of PM Narendra Modi
“Today, our successes are proof of India’s possibilities and capability. Tejas aircraft roaring in the sky is the proof of the success of ‘Make in India’.”
“Aero India is also special due to one more reason, it is being organized in the technology-driven State of Karnataka. This will lead to better opportunities for youth power in the Aerospace and Defense sector.”
“I would urge the youth of Karnataka to use their technological strength for strengthening the defense might of the country through new innovations.”
“There was a time when it was considered just a show. In the past few years, the nation has changed this perception. Today, it’s not just a show but also India’s strength. It focuses on the scope of the Indian defense industry and self-confidence.”
“India of ‘Amrit Kaal’ is moving forward like a fighter pilot, who is not afraid of touching heights. Who is excited to fly high. Today’s India thinks fast, thinks far and makes quick decisions.”
Statements of Karnataka Chief Minister
Karnataka’s Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai has said that-
“Aero India 2023 is really special in terms of size, performance and exhibits. This is one of the largest air shows internationally. India has once again proved its capability in the defense sector.”
“To make India the greatest global power in the future, Karnataka will be one of the greatest contributors in terms of economy, social order & defense.”
Click here to read more on Aero India Show.
Click here to read more on Russia to display fifth generation fighter at Aero India air show.
4. 12th World Hindi Conference will be inaugurated at Fiji on 15th February
A 270-member delegation from India will visit Fiji for the event and representatives from 50 countries are expected to participate in it
The event of 12th World Hindi Conference day is scheduled to be inaugurated on 15th February at the Pacific Island Nation. The three day event will be inaugurated by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Prime Minister of Fiji Sitiveni Rabuka. The conference will be held at Nadi from 15th February to 17th February 2023. The theme of the conference will be “Hindi- Traditional knowledge to Artificial Intelligence.”
Key facts related to the 12th World Hindi Conference
- The conference will include 10 sessions and 1 plenary session. The topics of the conference are-
- Hindi Girmitiya countries
- Hindi in Fiji and the Pacific
- Information Technology
- Hindi in the 21st century.
2.The conference will also includes topics such as-
- Media and the global perception of Hindi
- Global reference to Indian knowledge traditions and Hindi
- Linguistic Coordination and
- Hindi translation.
- Topics of the Parallel sessions will be on-
- Hindi Cinema and the global scenario
- Global Market and Hindi
- Pravasi Hindi Literature in the changing scenario
- Global market and Hindi
- Pravasi Hindi literature in the changing scenario
- Hindi teaching in India and Abroad
- Challenges and Solutions will also be held.
- For their exceptional contribution to the Hindi language, Hindi Scholars from India and other countries will be awarded the “Vishwa Hindi Samman.”
- A 270-person delegation of Hindi scholars and officials will attend the Fiji conference.
- Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (East) Saurabh Kumar said representatives from 50 countries are expected to participate.
- Over 37 percent of the Pacific Island country’s population is of Indian descent, with many speaking Hindi.
- Indian Council for Cultural Relations has also proposed cultural programs and Kavi Sammelan.
India and Fiji Relationship
Both the countries have a link since 1879 when Indian laborers were brought here under an indenture system to work on sugarcane plantations. Between 1879 and 1961 around 60,000 Indians were brought to Fiji. Beginning with the early 20th century, Indian traders and others also started arriving in Fiji.
President- Wiliame Katonivere
Currency- Fijian Dollar
Click here to read more on 12th World Hindi Conference.
5. MoHUA has approved 6,527 projects under AMRUT 2.0 scheme: MoS Kishore
Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0, 6,527 projects have been approved by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Minister of State Kaushal Kishore has submitted the written response to the question and said the Rs. 45,482 crore central assistance has been approved for the projects out of which Rs. 5,318 crore has been released.
Aim of the AMRUT Scheme
The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 aims at-
- Make cities ‘water secure’.
- Provide universal coverage of water supply through functional taps to all households in the statutory towns of the country.
- Providing sewage/septage management to all households of 500 cities covered in the first phase of the scheme.
Statement of the Minister of State
The Minister of the State Kaushal Kishore has said that-
“So far, 6,527 projects have been approved by the ministry. Of these, detailed project reports (DPRs) have been prepared for 1,492 projects worth Rs 28,774.91 crore, tenders have been floated for 306 projects worth Rs 9,796.27 crore, while 166 projects worth Rs 2,571.98 crore have been awarded and are under implementation.”
“Further, six projects have been completed.”
About AMRUT Scheme 1.0
- Under this scheme, Uttarakhand took up 151 projects.
- 121 projects have been completed so far.
- Another 30 projects are in progress.
About AMRUT 2.0 Scheme
- This scheme was launched on October 1, 2021 for a period of 5 years.
- The duration for this scheme started from the financial year 2021-22 to 2025-26.
- The ongoing projects under this Scheme i.e. tranche-1 State Water Action Plan (SWAP) was approved by the ministry in May 2022.
- The State has also approved the costing of Rs 263.04 crore for 19 projects which also includes committed central assistance of Rs 210.38 crore.
About MoS Kaushal Kishore
- He is an Indian politician serving as the Minister of State.
- He is the Minister of State for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs since 7 July 2021.
- He is representing Mohanlalganj constituency, Uttar Pradesh.
About the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)
- The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is a ministry of the Government of India.
- It has the executive authority over the formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to the housing and urban development in India.
- It was founded in the year 1952 and headquartered in New Delhi, India.
6. Centre accepts SC’s proposal of setting up a panel of experts on regulatory mechanism
The Supreme Court was hearing a plea regarding Adani’s disorder after the Hindenburg report. The Center today, accepted the proposals of the Supreme Court Committee for strengthening regulations. The Center has no objection to setting up domain experts for boosting regulatory mechanisms for stock markets. The bench was headed by CJI DY Chandrachud.
Also, it has sought the views of the market regulator and centre as to how they would ensure the robust mechanism provided seamless capital flow in the country. The apex court has listed two PILs, claiming exploitation of innocent investors and “artificial crashing” of the Adani Group’s stock value, for hearing on Friday.
The two petitions:
- seeking a probe into the contents of the Hindenburg Report
- urging the court to declare short-selling a fraud and order a probe against the research firm’s founder Nathan Anderson for “artificial crashing” of the Adani Group’s stock value in the market.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and SEBI said that they wanted to give the names of the domain experts for the committee and the scope of its mandate in a sealed cover in the larger interest. The SEBI and other statutory bodies are furnished to handle the present situation arising out of the Hindenburg report.
New York-based investor research firm Hindenburg Research accused industrialist Gautam Adani-led conglomerate of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.
Gautam Shantilal Adani was born on 24 June 1962 in Gujarat. He is an Indian billionaire industrialist. He is the chairman and founder of Adani Group, a multinational conglomerate involved in port development and operations in India.
1. Nikos Christodoulides elected as next President of Cyprus
Christodoulides won the tight vote over seasoned diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis yesterday.
Beating the career diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis in a high-stakes, a former foreign minister, Nikos Christodoulides has been elected as the eighth President of Cyprus.
About election results
- Nikos Christodoulides won 52.92 percent of the vote.
- In comparison with 48.09 percent of his opponents.
Statements of the Career Diplomat
The Career Diplomat Andreas Mavroyiannis has said that-
“Tonight a long but beautiful journey has come to an end, and a former chief negotiator in peace talks with Turkish Cypriots, conceding defeat.”
“It gave me the opportunity to meet thousands of people and hopes and dreams for our country.”
Statements of a Cypriot policy adviser
A Cypriot policy adviser Cleopatra Kitti has said that-
“Today Greek Cypriots have voted in a government with very nationalist tendencies.”
“It is unlikely to back a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation any time soon which means this is likely to be another wasted opportunity.”
Statements of a leading analyst specialized in electoral behavior
Christoforos Christoforou, a leading analyst specialized in electoral behavior has said that-
“The outcome is down to conservative voters being unable to overcome the ideological barrier of voting for an AKEL candidate.”
“Fears over AKEL’s management of the economy are also clearly still very real.”
India- Cyprus Relations
Both the countries have diplomatic ties established on 10 February 1962. India had consistently supported the freedom struggle of Cyprus and subsequently Solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UNSC resolutions, international law and the EU acquis.
President- Nikos Chrisodoulides
1. Justice Kotiswar to be appointed as CJ of J and K HC
Union Law Ministry notified the appointment, the post that was vacant since last December
In a notification dated February 12, the Department of Justice appointed four judges as chief justices of the High Court including Jammu and Kashmir. Justice N. Kotiswar Singh as the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court. Currently he is acting as chief justice of Gauhati High Court.
As per Article 217, of the constitution of India, the president is pleased to appoint Justice Kotiswar as Chief Justice of the High Court, the notification dated February 12 stated. The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has been without a Chief Justice since December. Justice Tashi Rabstan, the senior most judge, has been looking after the high court as the acting Chief Justice. Supreme Court collegium had recommended Justice Kotiswar Singh’s name for CJ of J&K HC on December 13.
Know your Judge!
Justice Kotiswar was born in 1963 in Imphal, Manipur. He graduated from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University with B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science in 1983. Later went to obtain his Degree in Law (L.L.B.) from Campus Law Centre, Delhi University in 1986. Further he was enrolled as an Advocate in 1986. He had been a part of the eight High Court Justices team to attend the “Workshop on Counter-Terrorism Phase-II Training” at Washington DC and Orange County, California in 2018.
High Courts in India are the highest courts of appellate jurisdiction in each state and Union Territory of India. A high court exercises its original civil and criminal jurisdiction only if the subordinate courts are not authorized by law to try such matters. Mostly, the High Court takes the appeal from the lower court. Writ jurisdiction is also an original jurisdiction of a high court under Article 226.
Kiren Rijiju: Law Minister
He is an Indian Politician who is currently serving as Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice. He is considered as the face of BJP in northeast India. He did his graduate degree in law LLB from University of Delhi.
A division bench of the Apex Court today dismissed the plea challenging delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir.
The bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kaul and Justice As Oka of the Supreme court gave the verdict. Delimitation exercise was to redraw the boundaries of Jammu and Kashmir constituencies. The plea challenged the Government’s decision to constitute a Delimitation commission. The petitioners are residents of Srinagar, they questioned the legality of the exercise in regard to notifications that were issued in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The petition had requested an announcement that the increase in the number of seats from 107 to 114 (including 24 seats in POK) in Jammu and Kashmir is ultra vires as per constitutional provisions and statutory provisions, particularly under section 63 of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, 2019.
The plea submitted that the total number of existing seats in the Legislative Assemblies of all states, including UTs of the National Capital Region and Pondicherry, are fixed based on the 1971 census. It shall remain unaltered till the first census to be taken after the year 2026. They could have waited till 2026 for J&K as well.
What is Delimitation Commision?
It is a commission constituted by Government of India, under the provisions of Delimitation Act. The major task is redrawing the boundaries of assembly and Lok Sabha based on the recent census. It is a powerful and independent body whose orders cannot be challenged in court of Law.
1. Important Days In February
February is the shortest month of the year, with a variation in days. Normally, the month has 28 days, but in a leap year, it has 29 days. As the second month of the year, it is an important time with several national and international holidays. February is the second month of the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
Along with notable days and national and international holidays, it also has a number of religious festivals. Due to India’s geographical position, the nation is rich in culture, values, and festivals that take place throughout the year.
World Unani Day
- World Unani Day is observed on February 11 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of social reformer and renowned Unani scholar Hakim Ajmal Khan, widely considered as the pioneer of Unani medicine in India.
- The day honors Hakim Ajmal Khan’s contributions to the advancement of Unani medicine in India and throughout the world.
- Hakim Ajmal Khan, born on February 11, 1868, was an educator, Unani physician, and the founder of scientific research in the Unani system of medicine.
Theme for World Unani Day 2023
- The Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, Ministry of AYUSH, organized an international conference on Unani medicine in a hybrid virtual format with the theme “Unani Medicine for Public Health” in Delhi on February 10 and 11.
- The major purpose of the conference is to argue the usefulness of utilizing Unani medicine to treat noncommunicable diseases and other chronic ailments, while also allowing public health specialists to collaborate, think outside the box, and influence public health with Unani medicine.
World Radio Day
- Every year on February 13, World Radio Day is dedicated to raising awareness about the power of the audio medium.
- The radio, which is said to have been invented in the 1890s by Italian electrical engineer Guglielmo Marconi, is an important means of communication used to educate, entertain, and inform.
- It is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to reach a large number of people, including those in remote areas.
- Radio stations and other organizations celebrate World Radio Day with special activities such as broadcasts, community events, awards, and debates.
Theme for World Radio Day 2023
- The theme for World Radio Day in 2023 is “Radio and Peace” with the goal of emphasizing the significance of independent radio in fostering peace and preventing conflict.
- The theme of World Radio Day changes each year and is intended to draw attention to various aspects of radio’s role in society.
History of the day
- During the 36th general assembly session, the UNESCO Executive Board requested that World Radio Day be declared.
- In 2012, February 13 was designated as World Radio Day. The date was chosen because UN Radio was founded on February 13, 1946.
Radio fever in India
- Radio first arrived in India in the early twentieth century.
- Radio has stood the test of time as a trusted medium for those who are unable to read advertisements or newspapers, serving as a source of information for those who are unable to read advertisements or newspapers.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ broadcasts have a large audience, also expressed his best wishes on the occasion.
National Women’s Day of India
- Indian National Women’s Day is observed every year on 13 February to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu.
- This year Nation celebrates its 144th Birth Anniversary. She was born on February 13, 1879.
- She was famous for her nickname ‘Nightingale of India’ or ‘Bharat Kokila’ because of her poems.
- Sarojini Naidu is well-known across the globe for her contributions to literature.
About Sarojini Naidu
- Sarojini Naidu, who was born in Hyderabad and educated at Cambridge, was a powerful face of women in India’s independence war.
- Naidu, an anti-imperialist, universal suffragist, and women’s rights campaigner, opened the way for women’s movements in India.
- Indian Nightingale Sarojini Naidu is a poet as well as an activist.
- Sarojini Naidu was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1925.
- Sarojini Naidu was a key figure in the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement.
- When she graces the United Provinces as Governor in 1947, she rewrites history by becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
- She founded the Women’s India Association to advocate for women’s rights, suffrage, and representation in organisations and assemblies.
1. Veteran Pakistani actor Zia Mohyeddin passes away at 91
Zia Mohyeddin, the first Pakistani ever to work in Hollywood, passed away on Monday after a brief illness. He was 91. The veteran actor, director, and TV host was admitted to a hospital in Karachi, where he was based, after complaining of abdominal pain and fever.
He was later shifted to life support after some surgical procedure. He breathed his last at 6.30 am, according to his family. The funeral prayer would be offered in the Defence area of Karachi.
The Legend’s Legacy
- Mohyeddin was born on June 20, 1931 in Faisalabad in Pakistan’s Punjab province, and made his name in acting, broadcasting and poetry recitation.
- He was also the president emeritus of National Institute of Performing Arts in Karachi and trained a host of budding artists. He also wrote columns for various newspapers.
- Throughout his career, Moheyddin appeared in both Pakistani cinema and television, as well as in British cinema and television.
- His memorable performances include ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ (1962) by director David Lean, followed by ‘Behold the Pale Horsein’ (1964) by director Fred Zinnemann and ‘Immaculate Conception’ (1992) by director Jamil Dehlavi.
- In 2012, the veteran actor received the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s second-highest civilian honor, for his contributions to the area of art.
- He also authored three books ‘A Carrot is a Carrot’, Theatrics’ and ‘The God of My Idolatry Memories and Reflections’.
‘Pakistan has lost its voice’: Celebrities, activists and journalists mourn the loss of Zia Mohyeddin
- Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, expressed his sadness and grief at the death of the legendary performer.
According to the Dawn newspaper, the prime minister remarked in a statement published by the Prime Minister’s Office that Mohyeddin’s art was “one of a kind” and that his distinct style was loved not just in Pakistan but across the world.
“It is sad that a person with many beautiful qualities has left society. Zia Mohyeddin’s voice will keep resonating in our hearts and minds,” he said.
- Expressing grief over the veteran actor’s demise, President Arif Alvi, in a tweet, said, “To me it is a personal loss. He was a giant in the arts, an actor, producer, director and above all an excellent reciter of prose and poetry accompanied by music typically prompting with a pause.”
- Former prime minister Imran Khan also extended condolences to the grieving family.
“Saddened to learn of the passing of Zia Mohyeddin. I knew him for decades. He was a highly cultured person, extremely well read esp in Urdu literature, and an institution in the world of entertainment. He will be missed. My condolences and prayers go to his family,” Khan said in a tweet.
1. Shubman Gill and Grace Scrivens named ICC Men’s and Women’s Player of January
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the winners of the ICC Player of the Month awards for January 2023, with England’s Grace Scrivens claiming the ICC Women’s Player of the Month and India’s Shubman Gill being crowned the ICC Men’s Player of the Month.
The awards were decided in a global vote conducted among media representatives, ICC Hall of Famers, former international players, and fans registered at the ICC website.
ICC Men’s Player of the Month, January 2023 – Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill had a record-breaking month in white ball cricket in January, earning him the title of ICC Men’s Player of the Month.
- Throughout the month, the free-scoring hitter was a prolific source of runs, most notably in the ODI format, scoring big against both Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
- Gill was nominated with New Zealand’s Devon Conway and fellow countryman Mohammed Siraj for his outstanding performance in white-ball cricket in January.
- Following a successful ODI season in 2022 and a good Test trip of Bangladesh in December, when he scored his maiden Test century, Gill was rewarded with his first T20I cap during the three-match home series against Sri Lanka, where he scored 7, 5, and 46.
- He subsequently amassed 207 runs in three One-Day International innings against the island country, including 70 and 116 runs in the first and third games, respectively.
Gill is presently a member of India’s Test team for the upcoming four-match home series against Australia, which India leads 1-0 after a 132-run victory in the first Test in Nagpur.
ICC Women’s Player of the Month, January 2023 – Grace Scrivens
Several superstars emerged on the international scene during the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, and Scrivens stood out during a month in which she played superbly as a batter, bowler, and captain in England’s run to the Final.
- Scrivens bagged the award after her all-round brilliance in the inaugural ICC U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup. Equally, the England captain excelled in her leadership role, guiding her side to the final, only to lose to eventual title winners India.
- In seven appearances as captain, the 19-year-old had plenty of success in the middle, collecting 293 runs at an average of 41.85, including three consecutive half-centuries in triumphs against Rwanda, Ireland, and the West Indies.
- Scrivens captured nine crucial wickets at a stunning average of 7.11 throughout the competition, including the final wicket as England sealed their ticket to the Final in the exciting semi-final triumph against Australia by three runs.
- Reacting to the ICC Women’s Player of the Month prize, Scrivens commented:“I am so happy and amazed to have been voted the ICC Women’s Player of the Month. It was a brilliant tournament and one that we really enjoyed. Women’s cricket is in a really exciting place at the minute and it’s just great to be a part of it.”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is the global governing body for cricket. Representing 108 members, the ICC governs and administrates the game and works with our members to grow the sport.
Functions of ICC
- The ICC is also responsible for the staging of all ICC Events.
- The ICC presides over the ICC Code of Conduct, playing conditions, the Decision Review System, and other ICC regulations.
- The ICC also appoints all match officials that officiate at all sanctioned international matches.
- Through the Anti-Corruption Unit it coordinates action against corruption and match fixing.
14th February 2023
1. 3-day long Digital Economy Working Group meeting inaugurated in Lucknow
The 3-day long Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting was inaugurated in Lucknow and today is the second day of the meeting. The First day of the meeting was successful. There were 36 esteemed speakers sharing their expertise and insights with over 700 registered attendees.
The Second day of the DEWG meeting
The Troika member and the thematic sessions have addressed the crucial Which are As Following-
- Digital Public Infrastructure,
- Digital Skilling in the Digital Economy
The First day of the meeting
- The meeting was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adithyanath together with Union Minister of Electronic and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw.
- Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT and Skill development were also present in the meeting.
- An exhibition was inaugurated showcasing virtual realities and artificial intelligence and innovative solutions such as-
– ASK AI
– ASK GITA
– AI CHESS
– AI in daily lives
– Digital India Journey
– Lucknow VR Tour
– Various Initiatives of Central Government and State Government of Uttar Pradesh
Vision of Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meeting
DEWG meetings will work towards the vision of-
- Digital transformation
- The global digital economy as a means of fostering innovation,
- Delivering public services in a secure cyber environment through digitally skilled workforce.
Click here to read more on G-20 meetings in Lucknow.
2. Central Forms Committee For Making Coastal Shipping Guideline
A committee has been formed by the Shipping Ministry to draft revised Guidelines for operationalization of Roll on-Roll off (Ro-Ro) and Roll on-Passenger (Ro-Pax) ferry service.
About the Committee
- It is headed by the Chairman, Deendayal Port Authority,
- This Committee would draft the Model Concession Agreement for Ro-Ro or Ro-Pax Terminal Operator and Model License Agreement for Operation of the ferry services in the country.
Aim of the Committee
The aim of the Committee is to promote coastal shipping through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) route spelled out in the union budget 2023-24.
“The Committee shall delve into the ground realities such as safety standards of vessels, control mechanism on excess boarding of passengers/cargo, online ticketing system, revenue accounting and revenue sharing mechanism among others.”
“Statutory clearances, exclusivity periods, inclusion of new and emerging technologies to prepare structured documents which will eliminate unnecessary delays, disagreements facilitating the smooth and safe operation of the ferry service will also be under the purview of the committee.”
3. New airplanes in the next two decades for India: Boeing
Boeing Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) released recently revealed India’s expected demand for airplanes. According to CMO, India will need 2210 new planes in the coming 20 years looking at rising domestic traffic. Highlighting this fact, it unveiled that around 90% of such aircraft would be single-aisle jets like the 737 MAX. Single-aisle jets have narrow bodies and a single aisle of seats. They are the most common type of plane.
The Indian market has rebounded to 98% of the pre-pandemic level. It is largely driven by the strength of the domestic market, said Boeing. Indeed, it is transitioning from recovery to growth. To quote from its release:
“Indian airlines will add 7 percent more supply in the first half of 2023, compared to 2019. Due to the rapid growth of its domestic traffic, Boeing forecasts that 90 percent of new airplane deliveries to India will be for single-aisle airplanes like the 737 MAX over the next 20 years’”
The country’s cargo market is also projected to grow in the coming years. India will need 10% aircraft of wide body as well. The demand would increase from 15 airplanes to 80 by 2041. Indian carriers will surpass the global growth by 7% while 20% of its demand will be for replacing the old and aging carriers. However, China remains the bigger market for Boeing.
About Commercial Market Outlook
The Boeing Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) is the forecast of commercial air traffic and airplane demand. It includes global and regional analysis. The CMO has been the industry standard for insights into the future of air travel since 1961 and annually provides valuable analysis and to airlines, suppliers, and the aviation community.
What is Boeing?
The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles globally. Boeing is among the most prominent global aerospace manufacturers. It is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value.
1. Equatorial Guinea confirms outbreak of Marburg virus, nine persons dead: WHO
On Monday, the health Minister of Equatorial Guinea confirmed its first-ever outbreak of Marburg virus disease. Due to the outbreak of the virus disease approx. 9 persons have died in Kie-Ntem province. The World Health organization (WHO) has also confirmed the outbreak in the Western African country.
Statements of the WHO
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that-
“Further investigations are ongoing. Advance teams have been deployed in the affected districts to trace contacts, isolate and provide medical care to people showing symptoms of the disease.”
Outbreak and Symptoms
- So far 9 persons have died and 16 persons are suspected to be infected with the virus.
- Its Symptoms includes-
- Blood-stained vomit
Steps taken by the Government of Equatorial Guinea
- The Government was investigating the causes of hemorrhagic fever but only three people have shown “light symptoms.”
- The affected area was located in a rural eastern region of dense forest near the borders of Gabon and Cameroon.
- The Health Minister of Equatorial Guinea, Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba has said that-
“A “health alert” had been declared in the Kie-Ntem province and the neighboring district of Mongomo, with a “lockdown plan implemented” after consulting with the WHO and the United Nations.”
About Marburg Virus
- Marburg Virus belongs to the filovirus family which includes Ebola virus.
- It is a highly dangerous pathogen that causes severe fever which often includes bleeding.
- It targets the several organs and reduces the body’s ability to function on its own.
- There are no authorized vaccines or drugs available for this virus.
- Rehydration treatment can be used to alleviate symptoms which can improve the chances of survival.
- The fatality rate of the virus ranges from 24% to 88%.
History of the Marburg Virus
- This virus was first identified in the year 1967, when it outbreaks in the laboratories in Marburg, Germany and Belgrade, Serbia.
- It has killed 7 people exposed to the virus, during the research on monkeys.
- The African Fruit bats are the natural carriers of the Marburg Virus but it does not affect them.
- The animals can pass this virus to primates in close proximity which also includes humans.
- Human to Human transmission can occur through contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
Marburg Outbreak in other countries
- In 2004, the virus outbreak in Angola killed 90% of the 252 infected peoples.
- In 2022, the virus killed 2 people in Ghana due to the Marburg Virus Disease.
About World Health Organization
- Established on 7th April, 1948.
- It is a specialized organization of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
- It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- It has 6 regional offices and 150 field offices all over the world.
About Equatorial Guinea
It is a country comprising the Rio Muni mainland and 5 volcanic offshore islands. Capital Malabo, on Bioko Island, has Spanish colonial architecture and is a hub for the country’s prosperous oil industry. Its Arena Blanca beach draws dry-season butterflies. The President of the country is Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Its Capital is Malabo and Currency is Central African Franc (CFA).
2. New Zealand Declares National State of Emergency
New Zealand has declared a National State of Emergency in response to cyclone Gabrielle. The information was intimated by the Minister of emergency management, Kieran McAnulty. It is learned that this is the 3rd time in the history of New Zealand to declare an emergency of this kind. The release stated that both Prime Minister Chip Hipkins and the opposition leader were consulted, and the declaration was finalised today.
This unprecedented weather event has impacted the North Island severely. The storm has damaged the roads and infrastructure, along with flooding and slips. A lot of families are displaced and a lot of homes are plunged without power causing difficulties. More rain and high winds are expected to continue. National and local emergency agencies are working closely to tackle the situation the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Civil Defense Emergency Agency (CDEA).
Authorities have evacuated the beach settlements and are asking people to leave their homes as the river is upsurging. A NZ Navy warship is moving forward a yacht that turned on its emergency beacon this morning off the east coast. The affected area, Gabrielle, is 60 miles east of Auckland. It has to be noted that New Zealand declared a national emergency after an earthquake in 2011 and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
National State of Emergency
The National State of Emergency puts the Government in charge of any actions, as opposed to local authorities. This also allows the Government to help affected regions that are becoming overwhelmed. A National State of Emergency lasts for seven days, just like a local state of emergency. It can be extended as needed. 
It is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It has two landmasses- North Island and South Island along with several smaller islands. Wellington is the capital and Auckland is the most populous city in New Zealand. It is a constitutional Monarchy with parliamentary democracy.
India and New Zealand have warm longstanding, and ever-growing relations. India’s strong economy, large population, and international influence make it a key partner in the Indo-Pacific region, as stated by the NZ embassy. The bond flourishes in a number of areas including political engagement, trade, education, tourism, and cultural and sports diplomacy.
3. First Ever Women Astronaut From Saudi Arabia to Go in space
The First-ever Saudi Arabian Woman astronaut Rayyana Barnawai will be going to space this year. It is the latest move of the kingdom to revamp its ultra-conservative image. Rayyana Barnawi will be joining her fellow Saudi Ali Al Qarni on a 10 day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) this year.
About mission of the International Space Station (ISS)
- As part of the ISS aboard, Rayyana Barnawi and Ali Al Qarni will fly to the ISS aboard a SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft as part of a mission by the private company Axiom Space.
- The Ax-2 will be launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
About First Mission carried out by Axiom Space
- Its first private astronaut mission to the ISS was carried out in April 2022.
- Under this mission 4 private astronauts spent 17 days in orbit.
Other Arab Astronauts travelling to space
- Astronaut Hazzaa al-Mansoori spent eight days on the ISS.
- Sultan al-Neyadi, will also make a voyage to the space station in February this year.
- “Sultan of Space”, Neyadi will become the first Arab astronaut to spend six months in space when he blasts off for the ISS aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
Steps taken by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to change the image of the Kingdom
- Since 2017, Saudi women have been allowed to drive and travel abroad without a male guardian.
- Women’s participation in the workforce has doubled in comparison with 2016.
About Axiom Space
Axiom Space, Inc., is a privately funded American space infrastructure developer headquartered in Houston, Texas.
About Saudi Arabia
President- Salman bin Abdulaziz
Currency- Saudi Riyal
1. Egyptian President bestows Global Best M-GOV Awards on IIT Indore students
On Monday, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) students from Indore, India won AED 1 million by winning the gold medal at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
- President Abel Fattah Al-Sisi has awarded the prestigious medal to Niyati Totala and Neel Kalpeshkumar Parikh of the IIT Indore.
- These students have created the ‘Blockbill’ app.
About the Blockbill App developed by the Winning Students
- Blockbill is a blockchain-based receipt generation app that generates digital receipts for all of its users’ transactions.
- This App aids the transition away from the production of thermal papers for printing receipts.
- Issue- Thermal papers cannot be recycled because of the chemicals that are used to create it.
- Blockbill is conceptualized to solve the issue.
About the Awards
- As part of the World Government Summit, the UAE Government organizes the annual awards i.e. The “M-Gov Award” and the “GovTech Award”.
- These awards are organized to encourage pioneering students, researchers, government agencies & institutions, private sector companies and startups.
- These awards were organized to encourage the development of innovative solutions using the latest technologies to address evolving local and global challenges and explore new opportunities.
Relationship between Indian and Egypt
Both the countries have a close political understanding based on a long history of contacts and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues. The establishment of diplomatic relations was announced on 18 August,1947.
President- Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Currency- Egyptian Pound
1. India’s first electric AC double-decker bus inaugurated in Mumbai
On Monday, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) inaugurated the nation’s first electric air-conditioned (AC) double-decker bus. Commuters, however, may have to wait a few more days before using its services.
BEST, Mumbai’s regional transport agency, has yet to complete the registration process for the electric bus, and it may take two to three days for the new vehicle to begin commercial operations.
- Switch EiV 22 is India’s first electric double-decker air-conditioned bus, designed, developed, and manufactured in India with the help of Switch’s global electric bus expertise.
- Switch EiV 22 is outfitted with cutting-edge technology, an ultra-modern design, the greatest level of safety, and best-in-class comfort
Design and Features
- Once all approvals have been secured, the bus will run between Kurla bus station and the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
- The tickets would be priced the same as previously, with a minimum rate of Rs 6 payable for a distance of 5 kilometers.
- The electric double-decker bus has a seating capacity of 73.
- It is equipped with CCTV cameras and automatic doors, and it can be charged in 80 minutes.
- Currently, the transport undertaking has 45 electric AC buses of various sizes, and this year 100 more wet-lease buses will be added to its fleet in phases.
- The new buses will be equipped with facilities like digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, live tracking, digital display, and a panic button for emergencies, among others.
The renewed iconic double-decker bus is designed to revolutionize public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market.
The newly launched electric double-decker bus will be the world’s first – semi-low floor, air-conditioned, electric double-decker with a wider door on the rear overhang and a rear staircase.
Nitin Gadkari on Switch EiV 22
Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, said, “There is a need to transform the country’s transport system from a long-term perspective. With focus on reforming urban transport, we are trying to build a low footprint and high passenger density integrated EV mobility ecosystem”.
He further congratulated Switch Mobility, subsidiary of Ashok Leyland, for being the one to revive the double-decker and remaining committed to introducing new technologies for the benefit of passengers and society.
Double-decker bus: History in India
Double-decker buses were seen on the streets of many major Indian cities, but they eventually lost their shine. Major Double Decker Buses appearance has been in Kolkata.
- The hundred-year history of Kolkata’s double-decker buses can be traced back to 1922, when the motorbus, manufactured by Walford & Company, was first introduced to the city by the Calcutta Tramways Company.
- Originally, the double-decker buses had no roof to cover the first floor. Gradually the appearance of this bus was modified and the height of the bus and the structure of the stairs changed. Modified ‘Trailer buses’, which had an extra floor between the two floors began to traverse the streets of Kolkata.
- By the 1990s the Left government decided to phase out double-decker buses citing traffic jams until they were completely removed from the city in 2005.
- But in 2010 Govt decided to revive double-decker buses and two 51-seat double-decker BS-4 category buses managed by the West Bengal Transport Corporation were started.
- In 2021, for the occasion of Christmas and New Year, the two air-conditioned buses were exhibited to the public at Park Street which shows its prominence in Kolkata’s Culture.
1. Inaugural WPL auction all set to break new ground for Women’s cricket
On Monday, the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023 inaugural auction was held at the Jio World Centre in Mumbai. A total of 448 cricketers were auctioned, of which 269 players were Indian and 179 players from overseas. The five franchises- Mumbai India (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC), Gujarat Giants (GG), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and UP Warriorz (UPW) took part in the auction and have selected what they thought to be the best combinations ahead of the tournament. Mallika Sagar will be the female auctioneer for Women’s Premier League. She is a Mumbai based art collector and consultant for modern and contemporary Indian Art.
Statistics of the auction for WPL- 2023
- Indian batter Smriti Mandhana bagged a Rs 3.4 crore bid from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
- Indian Women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur bagged Rs. 1.8 Crore and was notched up by Mumbai Indians.
- Deepti Sharma bagged Rs. 2.6 Crore and was notched by UP Warriorz.
- Australian player Ashleigh Gardner is the highest priced overseas player bagged Rs. 3.2 Crores and was notched by Gujarat Giants.
Women’s IPL Pattern
- There are a total of 5 teams in the WPL 2023.
- These teams includes-
– Mumbai Indians
– Delhi Capitals
– Gujarat Giants
– Lucknow Warriors
– Royal Challengers Bangalore.
- The final list of the players contains 448 players.
- The featured teams will be playing a round robin group followed by the final match.
- Each team can buy a minimum of 15 and maximum of 18 players.
- The Teams are allowed to buy 7 overseas players including 1 from an Association Nation.
First Indian Premier League Auction 2008
- The Indian Premier League (IPL) was first played in the year 2008.
- IPL is considered as the best cricketing league in the world.
- IPL is a franchise based cricket league.
- IPL is said to be the brainchild of the then BCCI Vice-President Lalit Modi.
- IPL 2008 consisted of 8 teams belonging to eight different Indian cities.
- This season saw 59 matches being played at 9 different venues.
- Rajasthan Royals went on to lift the inaugural IPL title.
- Mumbai Indians came out to be the most expensive team valuing over US$ 112 million.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the most expensive player of that season as he signed for Chennai Super kings for a fee of USD 1.5 million.
- Australia’s batsman Andre Symonds received the highest winning bid among the foreign players which is up to USD 1.35 million for Deccan chargers.
History of Highest Bidded Players Statistics- 2008
- Top bought players for each year are-
|Year||Players and Team||Prices (in INR)|
|2008||MS Dhoni- CSK||9.5 Cr|
|2009||Kevin Pietersen-RCB and Andrew Flintoff-CSK||9.8 Cr|
|2010||Shane Bond- KKR and Kieron Pollard-MI||4.8 Cr|
|2011||Gautam Gambhir- KKR||14.9 Cr|
|2012||Ravindra Jadeja- CSK||12.8 Cr|
|2013||Glenn Maxwell- MI||6.3 Cr|
|2014||Yuvraj Singh- RCB||14 Cr|
|2015||Yuvraj Singh- DD||16 Cr|
|2016||Shane Watson- RCB||9.5 Cr|
|2017||Ben Stokes- RPS||14.5 Cr|
|2018||Ben Stokes- RR||12.5 Cr|
|2019||Jaydev Unadkat- RR and Varun Chakravarthy- KXIP||8.4 Cr|
|2020||Pat Cummins- KKR||15.5 Cr|
|2021||Chris Morris- RR||16.25 Cr|
|2022||Ishan Kishan- MI||15.25 Cr|
|2023||Sam Surran- PBKS||18.5 Cr|
- The most expensive Uncapped Indian Player in IPL Auction history is Avesh Khan. He was purchased with the amount of Rs 10 Crore.
- Sam Curran is the most expensive player in IPL History, purchased with the amount of Rs. 18.5 Cr.
2. Smriti Mandhana: The most expensive player in women’s cricket
During a watch party at the team’s hotel in South Africa, members of India’s T20 World Cup squad cheer, whistle, and scream as the bidding war for Mandhana unfolds on a big screen.
- Mandhana, the first name to go under the hammer, quickly becomes the most expensive buy in the Twenty20 competition.
- After a fierce bidding war with the Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore purchased her for a whopping $413,000 (£340,000).
- Smriti Mandhana has a base price of Rs 50 lakh and RCB was able to enlist her services, providing both an opening and a captaincy option.
- It is notable that she has been given the same number jersey, 18, that Indian cricketer Virat Kohli wears for RCB in the men’s Indian Premier League (IPL).
What are some high points in Smriti Mandhana’s cricket career?
Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana is an Indian cricketer who plays for the Indian women’s national team and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the WPL.
- She was the only Indian in ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016.
- She was also bagged the Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award and was named the Vogue Sportsperson of the Year in 2017.
- In 2017 she was featured in the BBC top 100 Women list and was crowned Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World.
- In June 2018, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named her the Best Women’s International Cricketer and Women’s ODI Player of the Year.
- In December 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year.
- In 2019, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India extended the prestigious Arjuna Award to her for her exemplary performance.
- In 2020, she received the Sportswoman of the Year (Cricket) at the Sportstar ACES Awards.
- On 30 December 2021, she became a nominee for the ICC Women’s T20 Player of the Year.
- In December 2021, she, Tammy Beaumont, Lizelle Lee and Gaby Lewis were nominated for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.
- In January 2022, the ICC awarded her with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year.
- At the inaugural auctions of the Indian Women’s Premier League, Smriti was acquired by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 3.40 crore.
Mike Hesson Talked About Smriti Mandhana’s Addition In The Team
Mike Hesson is the Director of Cricket Operations at Royal Challengers Bangalore “Smriti has got plenty of captaincy experience. She is an Indian player and knows the conditions well,” said Hesson in a press conference. “So, I think it is highly likely but I guess in a leadership group you need senior players around you to contribute. We have got three highly experienced international players.”
- Six ladies broke the 2-crore threshold in the historic auction for the inaugural Women Premier League.
- Delhi Capitals also acquired Jemimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma for 2.2 crores and 2 crores, respectively.
- The highest bid for WPL still does not compare to the highest bid for the initial season of IPL in 2008, which was won by Mahendra Sigh Dhoni at 6 crores.
- At 18.5 crore, Sam Curran received the highest price for IPL 2023.
Santosh N, Partner at Adelphi said, “These are impressive bids for women players. Higher than the bids fetched by players for men’s IPL in some cases. Since this is just the inaugural edition of the women’s league, the bids will only increase exponentially in the forthcoming auctions. BCCI did the right thing in enforcing pay parity between men and women, effects of this are being seen in the WPL auction as well.”
15th February 2023
1. Defence Secretary holds talks with several defense delegations at Aero India 2023
Yesterday, The Defense Secretary of India Shri Giridhar Aramane met a number of defense delegations on the sidelines of Aero India 2023 at Bengaluru. A number of ongoing defense cooperation issues, further corporations and military engagements has been discussed by the delegations in the meeting.
Complete Information about the Defense Delegation Meetings-
- The meeting was held with a UAE delegation and was led by the defense secretary of UAE, Matar Salem Ali Marran Aldhaheri.
- A number of ongoing defense cooperation issues have been discussed in the meeting. He also expressed satisfaction at the regular military engagements.
- Shri Giridhar Aramane met the delegation of Myanmar and the Chief of the defense industries Lt. Gen Kan Myint Than.
- The issues related to the ongoing defense cooperation was discussed in the meeting.
- Shri Giridhar has held the meeting with the Brazilian delegation and the head of Secretariat for Defense production Maj Brig Rui Chagas Mesquita.
- A number of issues related to defense industrial cooperation were discussed.
- They have also discussed the possibilities for further cooperation.
- The meeting was held with the Cambodia delegation and the Secretary of State Ministry of National Defense Gen Yun Min.
- The current cooperation was reviewed between the two countries and discussed ways to enhance the defense cooperation.
With Republic of Bulgaria
- The Bilateral meeting was also held with the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria Katerina Gramatikova.
- They discussed the issues related to defense industrial cooperation.
With Government of Mauritius
- The Bilateral meeting was also held between Shri Giridhar Aramane and a Mauritius delegation Kechan Balgobin, permanent secretary, Prime Minister’s office, Government of Mauritius.
- They discussed the ongoing and future defense cooperation matters and exchanged views on important issues.
India- UAE relationship
The India and UAE relations flourished in the year 1971 after the creation of the federation. Both the countries share political, economical and cultural links. There are over a million Indians in the UAE and it is the largest migrant group in the country.
India- Myanmar relationship
Both countries’ relations have stood the test of time. The geographical proximity of the two countries have helped develop and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to-people contact. Both the countries share a long land border of over 1600 km and a maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.
Both the countries have plurilateral cooperation’s and cooperate in several aspects with each other such as BRICS, IBSA, G-20 and in multilateral bodies such as the UN and WTO. India-Brazil strategic partnership was formed in 2006. The relationship between India and Brazil is extensive, encompassing every significant aspect of interaction.
India- Cambodia relationship
Both the countries have ties from their ancient times. India’s influence in Cambodia is visible from the Hindi-Style temples of Angkor Wat to written Khmer, which is a derivative of the Pallava script from present-day southern India. Both nations are part of the Non-Aligned Movement.
India- Republic of Bulgaria relationship
Both the countries have diplomatic ties which were established on 22 December 1954. People to people contracts between the countries pre-date the official diplomatic relationship. Defense cooperation between the two countries has also contributed significantly to the bilateral relationship over the years.
India and Mauritius Relationship
Both the countries have diplomatic relations established in 1948. Mauritius maintained contacts with India through successive Dutch, French and British occupation. From the 1820s, Indian workers started coming into Mauritius to work on sugar plantations.
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2. Issue of Forest Conservation Act, Forest Rights Act clearances to be taken up with Centre: Himachal Pradesh CM
On Tuesday, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has expressed concerns over the alleged delay in the Forest Conservation Act and Forest Rights Act clearances for the developmental projects in the state. He also said that his government would take up the matter with the Centre.
Statement of the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh
During the meeting of the forest department, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has said that-
“The State Government was committed to keeping a balance between development and environment.”
“The development projects of utmost importance like heliports, electric vehicle charging stations and day boarding schools etc. were affected due to delays in getting FCA and FRA approvals.”
“The state government has decided to develop Kangra as the Tourism Capital of the State and the best infrastructure would be made available to the tourists visiting the area.”
“Mathial and Kathrah Khas in the Dhameta range and Nangal Chowk sites in the Nagrota Surian range have been identified and the Forest and Tourism department will join hands to take this matter forward so that employment opportunities can be explored.”
“Adventurous activities like swimming, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and diving etc. should be promoted in the reservoir.”
“The State Government was implementing various schemes to preserve wildlife and urged the people to support these efforts.”
Directions given by the Chief Minister for Forest Conservation
- Sukhvinder Singh has directed the forest officers to expedite the cases of FCA and FRA clearances and accountability of officers will also be fixed in this matter.
- He also directed the department to explore tourism activities like water sports and hot air balloon operations in the Pong Dam reservoir.
- The communities engaged in agriculture and grazing should also be involved by tourism agencies to support their livelihoods.
About Himachal Pradesh
Chief Minister- Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu
Capitals- Shimla (Summer), Dharamshala (Winter)
3. Bihar And Chhattisgarh get Involved Among states Which contribute More towards Education
Chhattisgarh and Bihar get involved among the States which contributes more towards Education. Both the States have allocated the most proportion of their budget towards education in FY23. Chhattisgarh has allocated 18.82 percent of the State’s estimated net budget expenditure to education and Bihar has allocated 18.3 percent.
States and Union Territories that have spent higher portion of their budget on Education
The States and Union Territories which have spent a higher portion of their budget expenditure on education are
- Delhi- 22 percent
- Assam- 20 percent
- Himachal Pradesh- 19 percent.
Chhattisgarh and Bihar’s Literacy rate as per the National Sample Survey 2018
- The literacy rate in Chhattisgarh is 77.9 per cent.
- The rate for Bihar is 70.9 per cent, one of the lowest in the country
States That Allocated Less on Education
States which spent less portion of their budget in the Education are-
- Telangana’s expenditure towards education was a mere ₹16,043 crore in the year 2023.
- As per the Budget for FY24, even though the state has allocated ₹19,093 crore for education, it is just 6.57 per cent of the net budget expenditure.
Allocations by the States on Education
- Maharashtra allocated Rs 80,437 for education.
- UP allocated Rs 75,165 crores.
- West Bengal allocated Rs 43,466 crores.
- Rajasthan allocated Rs 49,627 crores, and
- Tamil Nadu allocated Rs 43,799 crores.
- The Central Government allocated Rs 44,094 crores on education.
- In 2022-23, the union government allocated Rs 40,828 crores.
Performance on Literacy Front
- At 96.2 percent, Kerala has the highest literacy rate in the country, while it is
- At 82.9 per cent in Tamil Nadu.
- The literacy rate of UP is 67.68%.
- The literacy rate of Bihar is 61.8%.
- The literacy rate of Chhattisgarh is 70.28%.
- The literacy rate of west Bengal is 76.26%.
- Rajasthan: 66.11%.
3. NMDC Delivers Best Ever Q3 Production
National Mineral Development Corporation was incorporated in the year 1958 as a Government of India public enterprise, and has become India’s largest producer of iron ore. Since its inception, the corporation under the administrative control of the Ministry of Steel, has been involved in the exploration of a wide range of minerals like limestone, magnesite, diamond, tungsten etc.
- Chairman-cum-Managing Director: Shri Sumit Deb
- Mr. Deb joined NMDC as General Manager (Commercial) in 2015
- He took charge as Director (Personnel) in the year 2019
- Director (Finance): Shri Amitava Mukherjee
- Director (Production): Shri Dilip Kumar Mohanty
- Government Directors: Smt. Sukriti Likhi and Shri Abhijit Narendra
Objective of NMDC
- To expand the operations in the areas of Mining and Mineral Processing to meet the growing demands from domestic and international Markets.
- Achieve international standards in per capita productivity, value addition and cost effectiveness.
- To increase the iron ore production capacity to 67 MTPA by FY 2025.
- Setting up of a Steel Plant at Nagarnar.
- National Miner NMDC registered its best ever Q3 production with 10.66 million tonnes produced in the third quarter of FY23.
- NMDC in its Board Meeting held on 14.02.2023 reported a turnover of Rs. 11,816 crore for the first nine months of this financial year.
- Company’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the nine months is Rs. 4351 crore and Profit After Tax (PAT) for the nine months is Rs. 3252 crore.
- NMDC produced 10.66 million tonnes (MnT) and sold 9.58 million tonnes (MnT) of iron ore in the third quarter of FY23. Cumulative production and sales figures for the first three quarters stood at 26.69 MnT and 25.81 MnT respectively.
- NMDC declared an Interim Dividend of Rs. 3.75 per share.
- Commenting on the performance, Shri Sumit Deb, CMD, NMDC said that Iron and Steel industry is the backbone of India’s infrastructure growth and this year’s Union Budget emphasis on increasing capex will propel a robust domestic steel demand. With thriving iron ore production and growing capital that can be reinvested in the company, NMDC is ready to meet the demand. I congratulate the team NMDC for its best ever Q3 production.”
1. Pakistan High Commission issues 114 visas to Hindu pilgrims for visit from to ‘Shree Katas Raj Temples’
The Pakistan High Commission has issued 114 visas to a group of Hindu pilgrims from India for their visit from February 12-22 to the Shree Katas Raj Temples in Chakwal district of the Punjab province.
- The issuance of visas to Sikh and Hindu pilgrims is in line with the Pakistan government’s efforts for facilitating visits to religious shrines, a statement issued by the High Commission said.
- The visit of the Hindu pilgrims to Shree Katas Raj Temple is covered under the bilateral Protocol on the Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974.
Salman Sharif’s Remarks
- Charge d’ Affaires Salman Sharif wished the Hindu pilgrims a spiritually rewarding pilgrimage and underlined that Pakistan remains committed to preserving sacred religious sites and providing all possible assistance to the visiting pilgrims of all faiths, the statement said.
- Taking to its official Twitter handle, “@PakinIndia has issued 114 visas to a group of Indian Hindu pilgrims for their visit to the prominent and sacred Shree Katas Raj Temples, also known as Qila Katas, in Chakwal district of Punjab from 16-22 February 2023.”
Government of Pakistan’s efforts for facilitating visits to religious shrines
- Each year, a large number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals and occasions.
- A large number of Indian Hindus are also issued visas by the Pakistan High Commission on a regular basis to visit their families and friends in the neighbouring country.
- The pilgrims will reach Pakistan on Thursday (Feb 16) via the Wagah border, officials of the Abandoned Waqf Estate Board will receive them.
- After immigration, they will be taken to the Shri Katas Raj Chakwal by special buses.
About Shree Katas Raj Temples
- The Temple of Shri Katas Raj is a complex of several Hindu temples.
- This famous temple is also known as Qila Katas. It is situated in Pakistan’s Punjab province, in the Potohar Plateau region.
- The pond of the temples is said to have been constructed in the Puranas of Shiva’s tear-downsafter he walked on earth inconsolably when his wife Sati died.
- The lake is divided into two channels with a depth of up to 20 meters.
Significance of Katas Raj Temples for Indian Pilgrims
- The Katas raj temple plays a part in the Hindu Epic Poem Mahabharata, in which the Pandava brothers spent a considerable part of their exile.
- Hindus are also historically believed to be the site of riddle contests between the brothers and the Yakshas, as outlined in the Yaksha Prashna.
- The Hindu deity Krishna set the foundation of the shrine and built-in it a hand-made Shively.
- The government of Pakistan began rebuilding temples in 2006, and further changes in 2017were announced.
- In 2018, 139 Hindu Indians were issued visas to visit Katas Raj Dham.
- Earlier in December, the Pakistan high commission had issued 96 visas to a group of pilgrims to travel to the Shree Katas Raj temples from December 20 to 25.
2. Air India deal is testimony to strengthening of US-India commercial partnership: USISPF chief Aghi
Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, stated on Wednesday that Air India’s unprecedented growth of 470 jets demonstrates the strength of the US-India commercial partnership.
“We commend Air India on the expansion of a record 470 jets from Airbus (250) & Boeing (220). It’s one of the largest purchases in commercial aviation history and a testimony to the strength of the US-India commercial partnership,” said Aghi.
Air India-Boeing deal
- Boeing announced one of the largest orders in its history Tuesday. But it was still topped by rival Airbus.
- Both aircraft makers announced massive orders from Air India, which is gearing up its own expansion plans.
- Boeing’s order, which was announced by President Joe Biden after a call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was for 220 firm jet orders:
190 Boeing 737 Max single-aisle planes,
20 of 787 Dreamliners widebodies and
10 of 777X, the newest version of its widebody now undergoing the certification process.
- It’s the third biggest sale of all time for Boeing.
- But Airbus announced orders for 250 jets, including:
- 140 A320neo and 70 A321neo single-aisle planes, along with 34 A350-1000 and six A350-900 widebodies.
- It’s a sign of the competitive disadvantage that Boeing still finds itself facing, especially in selling narrow-body, single-aisle jets, a segment of the market that Airbus continues to dominate.
PM Modi talks to US president Joe Biden, hails deepening ties
- The leaders welcomed the landmark deal between Air India and Boeing as an example of mutually beneficial collaboration and agreed to strengthen the two nations’ thriving people-to-people connections.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a warm and productive phone call today with the President of the United States of America, H.E. Mr. Joseph R. Biden.
- PM Modi and Prez Biden expressed satisfaction at the deepening of the India-U.S. Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, which has resulted in robust growth in all domains.
- Prime Minister invited Boeing and other U.S. companies to make use of the opportunities arising due to the expanding civil aviation sector in India.
- “The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing,” said Biden.
- The two Leaders agreed to remain in contact during India’s ongoing G20 Presidency to ensure its success.
Biden touts order
- In a statement, Biden said the sale would “support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree.”
- “This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership,” Biden wrote. “Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges — creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens.”
- Production will support three separate U.S.-based manufacturing lines, have a total economic impact of $70 billion across the United States and support an estimated 1.47 million direct and indirect jobs, a White House official said Tuesday.
India’s growing economic might
- As Western tensions with China rise, India has gained some manufacturing business, notably from major companies that have historically relied heavily on Chinese output.
- Apple is one such business, with Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal claiming that the tech behemoth already manufactures between 5% and 7% of its goods in India.
- This year, India can surpass China to become the world’s most populous country. Manufacturers are attracted to the country’s large and inexpensive labor supply, which includes workers with essential technical capabilities.
- The third-largest economy in Asia also has a booming domestic market. As global recession worries linger, India is likely to be the world’s fastest growing major economy in 2023.
- According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, if India can maintain its current momentum, it would only be the third country with a GDP of $10 trillion by 2035, behind the United States and China.
1. Are all Unilateral appointments of Arbitrators invalid?
Unilateral appointments are not considered invalid unless the arbitrator’s relationship falls under the 7th schedule of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. This statement has been held by Calcutta High Court today. The bench headed by Justice Moushmi Bhattacharya highlighted the difference between the Arbitration Clause that allows unilateral appointment and an arbitration clause that provides for delegation of arbitration. In the latter case, the arbitrator and the persona designata would be stopped from appointing someone else or on behalf.
- pleadings before the arbitral tribunal and agreeing to the jurisdiction of the tribunal thereby fulfills the requirement of ‘express agreement’.
- The party aware of the invalidity of the appointment and has obtained the benefit can’t turn back.
- the autonomy given to the parties to decide on the procedure of arbitration is strengthened.
The Calcutta High Court differentiated the Supreme Court decisions in TRF, Bharat Broadband, and Jaipur Zila Parishad on the basis that these decisions considered an arbitration clause that provided for arbitration before the CMD/MD of one of the parties and did not consider a situation where the clause merely allows the unilateral appointment of an impartial arbitrator.
Finally, the court rejected the petition in the case titled McLeod Russel India Limited v. Aditya Birla Finance and these observations were made.
What is the Unilateral Appointment Clause in A&C Act?
A unilateral appointment clause can be referred to as an agreement giving one of the parties the autonomy to choose between the two means available to settle a dispute when only one of the options is available to the other party.
Seventh Schedule of A&C Act
Section 12 (5) of the Arbitration Act, 1996 (as amended by the 2015 Amendment Act) provides that notwithstanding any prior agreement to the contrary, any person whose relationship with the parties, or counsel, falls within any of the categories specified in the Seventh Schedule, shall be ineligible to be appointed as an arbitrator.
Source: Live Law
2. Can you own the “Chicken”? Delhi HC to KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken International Holdings moved an appeal, KFC challenged statements of grounds for refusing its application for registration of its mark “CHICKEN ZINGER”. The American fast-food chain also challenged the order dated 24 December 2018 passed by the Seniors Examiner of Trademarks.
The Delhi High Court ordered that KFC has no exclusive rights over the word “CHICKEN”, the trademark registry can consider the application by KFC for registration of the mark “Chicken Zinger” under class 29. Trademark class 29 is a trademark class primarily relating to meat and processed foods. Justice Sanjeev Narula heard the Case.
KFC has the registration of trademarks including Zinger, “Paneer Zinger”, and Hot Zinger. The Trademark registry refused the application of “Chicken Zinger”, holding it descriptive of characteristics of goods and services under which it was applied. The power of refusal was exercised under section 9(1) b of the trademarks act.
Zinger literally means something causing or meant to cause interest, surprise, or shock. However, KFC can’t hold any exclusive rights over the word “Chicken”. The conjunction of two words doesn’t draw an instant connection with the kinds of goods or services, the court observed.
The Delhi High Court set aside the impugned order and directed the Trademark Registry to proceed with the advertisement of KFC’s application for registration of the mark “Chicken Zinger” within 3 months. Further, it said, any opposition shall be decided by the Registry on its own merits.
What does the Section say?
Section 9 (1) (b) of the Trademarks Act, 1999, prohibits registration of trademarks, which consist exclusively of marks or indications, which may serve in trade to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, geographical origin, or the time of production of the goods or rendering the service or other characteristics of the goods or service.
More about KFC
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) is an American fast food restaurant chain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, that specializes in fried chicken. It was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders and Pete Harman in 1930. KFC started its franchises in India in 1995.
Source: Live Law
1. Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Chile for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors
PM Modi has chaired the Union Cabinet and has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Chile for cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied sectors. The MoU will come into force upon its signature and shall remain in force for a period of 5 years and will be automatically renewed for a further period of 5 years.
Co-operations provided in the Memorandum of Understanding
The MoU provides cooperation in the field of-
- Agriculture and allied sectors
- Agricultural policies for development of modern agriculture
- Organic agriculture to facilitate the bilateral trade of organic products
- Promote the exchange of policies aimed to develop organic production
- Science and innovation to explore partnerships to promote innovation in the agricultural sector
Agricultural Working Group
- Chile and India together will constitute the Chile-India Agricultural Working Group. This group will be responsible for-
– Review and assessment of the implementation of this MoU
– Establishing frequent communication and coordination.
- Both the countries will hold the meeting of the group once a year alternatively.
Both the countries have signed Agreements/MoUs covering various fields of cooperation such as sports, S&T, Antarctica, Defence, Air Services, Agriculture, New and Renewable Energy, Education, Outer Space, Geology and Mineral Resources, and Gainful employment of spouses and eligible dependents of diplomatic personnel.
President- Gabriel Boric
Currency- Chilean Peso
2. Cooperation between India and South Africa on “Disability Sector”
The Indian Cabinet in the high-level meeting signed the MoU with the Republic of South Africa concerning the Disability Sector. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said the two countries would work in the disability sector to join the initiative. This engagement will enhance the cooperation in this social sector that seeks help in the countries.
In the official statement by the Department, it has been highlighted that specific proposals for cooperation will be taken up for implementation during the period of the Memorandum of Understanding. The two countries have large persons with disabilities and ageing populations which would require scientific, cost-effective, and durable solutions. This decision will strengthen the bilateral ties between the countries. According to the report, India has almost 3 crore people with disability (PwD) of which around 1.3 crore is employable but only 34 lakhs of them have been employed across the organized sector, unorganized sector, government-led schemes, or are self-employed.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 km of coastline that stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It is a parliamentary republic with an executive presidency.
India- South Africa
The countries share historical links starting from the days of the freedom struggle. Both have shared the colonial past from the time Mahatma Gandhi started the Satyagraha Movement in South Africa over a century ago. India was with Africa in the Anti-Apartheid movement raised by Nelson Mandela. Mandela was awarded Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country. In diplomacy, both countries share close ties involving bilateral platforms such as IBSA, BRICS, and other forums.
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
The main aim is welfare, social justice and empowerment for the marginalized, elderly, and disabled section of society. It is currently headed by Virendra Kumar Khatik. The Ministry of Welfare was divided into the Department of Women and Child Development and the Department of Welfare in the year 1985-86. In addition, several welfare-related departments were moved from Home Ministry to form the Ministry of Welfare. Finally, the name of the Ministry was changed to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in May 1998.
1. Indian Army officer develops tool to track troops, assets being used in Turkey relief ops
The Indian Army’s SANCHAR, a network-independent, real-time tracking, and messaging module, is being used in Turkey, where Indian Army personnel have been deployed to provide relief to the local community.
The technology, which can be used by all defense and paramilitary forces in action to track team members and assets in war regions, was designed by an Army team that included Captain Karan Singh and Sub PG Sapre, according to officials.
Features of SANCHAR
- SANCHAR is compatible with all map formats and GPS constellations.
- It has a compact size (12x12x5 cm) and is lightweight.
- The system has a communication range of 1.5-2 km and a battery life of six to seven hours.
- It is low cost as compared to its variables.
India extends a helping hand to earthquake hit Turkey
- Under ‘Operation Dost’, Union Health Ministry provided life-saving humanitarian medical Assistance to quake-hit Turkey and Syria.
- Taking to Twitter, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya said, “India is helping Syria and Turkey with the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. @MoHFW_India provided life-saving emergency medicines, protective items, medical equipment, critical care drugs, etc as part of India’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Turkey and Syria.”
- The emergency relief material comprised life-saving medicines, protective items, and critical care equipment valued at over Rs 7 crore.
- To save the lives of earthquake victims, the Indian Army has also established 60 Para Field Hospitals in Turkey.
- India has dispatched the seventh flight to Turkey. The Indian Air Force C17 carrying relief material, medical aid, emergency and critical care medicines, medical equipment, and consumables took off from Hindon Airbase in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad.
- On February 06, 2023, a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Turkey and Syria in which hundreds were killed.
- The IAF announced on its Twitter handle that “an IAF C-17 got airborne for Turkey, bearing Search & Rescue teams of the NDRF.
- This aircraft is part of a larger relief effort that will be undertaken by the IAF along with other Indian organizations.”
- Ambassador Firat Sunel of Turkey has already expressed his gratitude towards the government of India’s offer of assistance and said that “a friend in need is indeed a friend”.
1. International Childhood cancer day is observed on 15th February.
The International Childhood Cancer Day is observed on February 15 all over the world. This day was created to raise awareness about Childhood Cancer, and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families. There are several advancements in science, though childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease among children.
About International Childhood Cancer Day
- It is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer, and
- to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.
- The day promotes increased appreciation and deeper understanding of issues and challenges relevant to childhood cancer
- This day also highlights the need for more equitable and better access to treatment and care for all children with cancer, everywhere.
History of International Childhood Cancer Day
- It was created in 2022 by Childhood Cancer International.
- It is a global network of 183 parent organizations, childhood cancer survivor associations, childhood cancer support groups, and cancer societies in over 94 countries across 5 continents.
- Belief- The ICCD is based on the belief that every child and adolescent with cancer deserves the best possible medical and psychosocial care, regardless of country of origin race, financial status or social class.
- It is also believed that childhood cancer deaths are avoidable, with timely and accurate diagnosis, availability and access to quality essential medicines as well as proper treatment and care.
Significance of International Childhood Cancer Day
- It is observed to raise awareness and show support for the children with cancer as well as to their families.
- This day is created to remember all the children who have lost their lives to cancer.
- On this day, organizations and individuals come together to spread awareness about the importance of early detection.
- Early diagnosis is one of the most effective ways to reduce mortality from childhood cancer.
- This day also highlights the need for increased funding for research.
- This day is also marked to show young patients that they are not alone.
Theme of the International Childhood Cancer Day 2023
- The three-year campaign for International Childhood Cancer Day began in 2021 and will conclude in 2023.
- The theme for the three-year campaign is ‘Better Survival’.
- The campaign is part of the effort to reach the target goal of the WHO Global Childhood Cancer Initiative to achieve at least 60 percent survival for all children diagnosed with cancer around the world by 2030.
1. Actor Javed Khan Amrohi dies from Lung Cancer
On Tuesday, Actor Javed khan passed away due to lung failure at a Mumbai Hospital. He was in his early 70s. He was popular as Karim Hajaam, a barber who ran a salon in the popular comedy serial Nukkad (1986-87) on Doordarshan.
About Javed Khan Amrohi
- He became popular as Karim Hajaam, a barber who ran a salon in the popular comedy serial Nukkad (1986-87) on Doordarshan.
- He was an active member of the Indian People’s Theatre association (IPTA).
- He has also been part of several successful movies like Andaz Apna Apna, Chak De India, Coolie No.1, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar ke, Laadla, Lagaan etc.
- He has also been the part of several IPTA plays such as Apan Toh Bhai Aise Hai, Saiyyan Bhai Kotwal, Bhookhe Bhajan Na Hoye Gopala and Sufaid Kundali.
Statement of Filmmaker
Ramesh Talwar, filmmaker has said that-
“Javed was suffering from a respiratory ailment and was bedridden for one year. He was undergoing treatment at Surya Nursing Home.”
Statement of Indian People’s Theatre Association
Indian People’s Theatre Association has called the actor “an integral part” of the association and said that-
“Javed ji has been a member of IPTA since 1972, serving as an actor, director and general secretary for many years. Even after passing out from the FTII, his commitment to theater was constant. We mourn the passing of a wholesome artist.”
About Indian People’s Theatre Association
IPTA is the oldest association of theater-artists in India. IPTA was formed in 1943 during British rule. It was formed to promote themes related to the Indian freedom struggle. The goal of the association was to bring cultural awakening among the people of India.