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Daily Current Affairs for UPSC IAS: 7th February 2023

Today’s Current Affairs: 7th February 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc

India-France-UAE Trilateral Cooperation Initiative:

India has been increasing its bilateral trade with UAE.

  • With CEPA and the Golden Visa program (extension) of UAE, business relations have increased exponentially.
  • On the other hand, India has strong defence relations with France.
  • From fighter jets to drones, the Indian military is using French-made goods.
  • Extending the ties further, India is launching Trilateral Cooperation Initiative with the countries.
  • Under the initiative, the countries will work together to design and implement “ENERGY PROJECTS”.
  • The projects will be around energy conservation, climate change and the conservation of biodiversity.
  • The main area of focus is the Indian Ocean Region.

India Energy Week 2023:

The India Energy Week was inaugurated by PM Modi in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

  • The event is to focus on energy security and India’s energy transition goals.
  • This includes net-zero emission target achievement by 2070.
  • The major attraction of the event is the launch of E20 fuel in more than 84 outlets in 11 states and UTs.

Focus On:

  • PM Modi will launch solar and conventional energy hybrid cooking systems.
  • It was designed and created by Indian Oil.
  • It is called the Indoor Solar Cooking System.
  • Launch of 20% ethanol blend petrol, E20
  • Launch of “UNBOTTLED” initiative by PM Modi, Initiative to phase out single-use plastics
  • Indian companies like GAIL, Adnani, HPCL, IOCL, BPCL, ONGC, and Total gas will demonstrate new products and services
  • Participation of more than 650 business associates from 50 countries
  • GoI plans on achieving 20% ethanol blend biofuels
  • Discussions about the oil companies setting up 2G ethanol plants and 3G ethanol plants
  • Green Mobility Rally Focusing on green energy sources; Create public awareness on green fuels

Grammy Award Winners 2023:

The Grammy Awards are presented by the Recording Academy of the US. The awards are presented to recognize the works of the music industry.

  • Best Song of the Year: “Just Like That”, won by Bonnie Raitt Performed by Raiit
  • Album of the Year: “Just Like That” won by the songwriter Bonnie Raitt
  • Record of the Year: About Damn time, by Lizzo
  • Song of the Year: Just like that, Bonnie Raitt
  • Best New Artist: Easy on Me by Adele

Surveillance Balloon:

The United States (US) shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over US airspace for a couple of days.

  • These cheap, quiet and hard-to-reach balloons have been used for reconnaissance purposes, including in conflicts like the American Civil War.
  • The practice became widespread during World War I and was used extensively during the Cold War when the US launched hundreds of balloons to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union and China.
  • While their use has declined with the rise of unmanned drones and satellites, many countries still employ spy balloons.
  • Purpose of Sending the Balloon is China has for decades complained about US surveillance by ships and spy planes near its own territory, leading to occasional confrontations over the years.
  • According to China, the balloon was for research but got off track.

Large Exposure Framework (LEF) Guidelines : RBI

Reserve Bank of India has dismissed concerns about the “exposure” of Indian banks to the Gautam Adani-led conglomerate.

  • RBI’s observations has a Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) database system where the banks report their exposure of ₹5 crores and above which is used for monitoring purposes.
  • The banking sector remains resilient and stable: Various parameters relating to capital adequacy, asset quality, liquidity, provision coverage and profitability are healthy.
  • Banks are also in compliance with the Large Exposure Framework (LEF) guidelines issued by the RBI
  • Large Exposure Framework (LEF) guidelines are guidelines aimed to monitor and limit losses of a bank from a client or corporation. It is based on the 2014 Basel guidelines.
  • An exception to LEF: Banks need not report exposure if the loans are taken from RBI, is guaranteed by the Government of India or have Intra-day interbank exposures or deposits are maintained by NABARD (due to shortfall in target for Priority sector Lending)

Follow On Public Offer:

Adani Enterprises recently decided to call off its ₹20,000 crore follow-on public offer and return the money it had collected from investors.

  • FPO is a process wherein a company already listed on a stock exchange issues new shares to existing investors or shareholders.
  • It is also known as a secondary offering.
  • FPO allows a company to raise additional funds through the issuance of new shares.
  • Companies use FPOs to diversify their equity base and raise capital for business.
  • This capital can be used for multiple purposes, such as to meet the company’s expenses, business expansion, debt reduction, etc.
  • Types of FPO:
    • Dilutive FPO:
      • It is when a company issues additional shares and offers them to the public.
      • It increases the number of outstanding shares of the company.
      • As the number of shares increase, the earnings per share (EPS) decrease.
      • Funds raised from such an FPO are allocated for expansion activities or to pay debts.
    • Non-dilutive FPO:
      • It is when shares that are already in existence are issued to the public.
      • It is when existing shareholders, like directors or founders, sell their shares and offer them to the public.
      • Non-dilutive FPOs are used to change the shareholding ownership.
    • At-the-market offering:
      • It is a type of FPO in which a company offers secondary public shares on any given day to raise capital, mostly depending on the prevailing market price.
      • An at-the-market (ATM) offering gives the issuing company the ability to raise capital as needed.

Dearness Allowance : Likely To Increase

The Central government is likely to increase the dearness allowance (DA) for its over one crore employees and pensioners by four percentage points to 42% from the existing 38%.

  • DA is a cost of living adjustment that the Government pays to public sector employees and pensioners.
  • DA calculated is calculated as a percentage of the basic salary.
  • DA for Central Government employees is calculated differently than that of public sector employees.
  • Since DA is based on the cost of living, this salary component is not fixed. DA varies from employee to employee based on their presence in the urban, semi-urban, or rural sectors.
  • DA is fully taxable for individuals who are salaried employees.
  • It is compulsory to declare the tax liability concerning DA when filing an ITR.
  • Types of DA:
    • Variable Dearness Allowance (VDA):
    • VDA applies to Central government employees.
    • It undergoes revision every six months based on the changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Industrial Dearness Allowance (IDA):
    • IDA applies to the Public sector employees of the Central Government.
    • IDA is revised every quarter based on the changes in CPI.

SpaceX Starship:

The chief of SpaceX recently said that SpaceX may attempt a Starship rocket system launch in March.

  • Starship is a super-heavy-lift rocket and spacecraft built to carry immense cargo and numerous astronauts into deep space.
  • Starship will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle ever developed, with the ability to carry up to 150 metric tonnes to Earth orbit reusable and up to 250 metric tonnes expendable.
  • Starship is the collective name for a two-component system consisting of the Starship spacecraft (which carries the crew and cargo) and the Super Heavy rocket.
  • The rocket is made of stainless steel and runs on liquid methane.
  • It is 164 feet (50 meters) tall and has a diameter of nine meters.
  • Starship is intended to evolve into a fully reusable launch and landing system.
  • The Starship launch system is powered by the Raptor engine, a reusable methalox staged-combustion engine.
  • It is built by SpaceX, which is an American spacecraft manufacturer.

World Wetlands Day 2023:

The State Governments and Union Territory administrations in India celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) at all 75 Ramsar.

  • World Wetlands Day is observed on 2nd February every year all over the world to commemorate the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1971.
  • India is a party to the Convention since 1982 and has so far declared 75 wetlands as Ramsar sites covering 23 states and Union Territories.
  • At present, the state of Tamil Nadu has a maximum number of Ramsar sites (14), followed by UP which has 10 numbers of Ramsar sites.
  • The 2023 theme for World Wetlands Day is Wetland Restoration.
  • The theme of 2023 highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration.
  • It is a call on an entire generation to take proactive action for wetlands, by investing financial, human and political capital to save the wetlands from disappearing and to revive and restore those that have been degraded.
  • India has the largest network of Ramsar Sites in Asia, making these sites a critical ecological network for the conservation of global biological diversity and supporting human well-being.

Parliament Is The “North Star” Of Democracy : Vice President

The Vice President of India said Parliament is the “North Star” of democracy

  • The North Star is also known as Pole Star.
  • It is a very bright star — around 2,500 times more luminous than the Sun.
  • It is part of the constellation Ursa Minor and is around 323 light years away from the Earth.
  • The North star is less than 1° away from the north celestial pole, almost in direct line with the Earth’s rotational axis.
  • It appears to sit motionless in the northern sky, with all the other stars appearing to rotate around it.
  • Its position and brightness have allowed humans to use it for navigation since late antiquity.
  • The elevation of the star above the horizon gives the approximate latitude of the observer.
  • Upon crossing the equator to the south, however, the North Star is lost over the horizon and hence stops being a useful navigational aid.