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    16th Feb, 2023


New Zealand declares a national state of emergency 

New Zealand declared a national state of emergency for only the third time in its history as Cyclone Gabrielle caused widespread flooding, landslides and huge ocean swells, forcing evacuations.

Red Heavy Rain

  • It announced ‘red heavy rain’. 
    • A red rainfall advisory is issued when downpours constitute an emergency. This is raised when observed rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if rainfall has continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm. 

About Cyclone Gabrielle

  • It is a tropical cyclone.
  • It is a Severe Tropical Cyclone and belongs to Category 3; Speed of the cyclone ranges between 119 km/hr to 157 km/hr

New Zealand declared national emergencies after an earthquake in 2011 and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Art & Culture

TRIFED’s AadiMahotsav


The Mahotsav, which connects tribal artisans, craftsmen and women to a direct market in large metro cities and State capitals, will be held in New Delhi from February 16 to February 27. 

  • This year’s event has been arranged around the theme of “A Celebration of Crafts, Culture, Cuisine and Commerce”.


  • The AadiMahotsav is Tribal Co-Operative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED)’s flagship event. 
  • It features an exhibition-cum-sale of tribal handicrafts, handloom, paintings, jewellery, cane and bamboo, pottery, food, natural products, and tribal cuisine among other artefacts in over 200 stalls. 
  • More than 1,000 tribal artisans and artists from 28 States and Union Territories would be participating in the festival.

International Relations

US India Business Council (USIBC)

USIBC working to support plans to promote a free open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.


  • Founded in: 1975
  • The U.S.-India Business Council aims to create an inclusive bilateral trade environment between India and the United States 

The Indo-Pacific Region

  • The Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region, comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.
  • The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich region.

Polity & Governance

DHARA 2023

DHARA which stands for Driving Holistic Action for Urban Rivers, the annual meeting of the members of the River Cities Alliance (RCA) was recently organised by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in association with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) in Pune.

About River Cities Alliance (RCA) 

  • Launched in: 2021
  • Objective: to provide the member cities with a platform to discuss and exchange information on aspects that are vital for sustainable management of urban rivers, sharing best practices and supporting innovation.
  • The Alliance is open to all river cities of India. Any river city can join the Alliance at any time.
  • River Cities Alliance (RCA) started with 30 cities in 2021 and currently has 95 cities as members across India.

Polity & Governance (GS-II)

Sarvadawa Sevan campaign


Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a nationwide ‘SarvaDawa Sevan’ or Mass Drug Administration (MDA) campaign.

  • Aim: To eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) by 2027
  • The World Health Organization target year for elimination of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is 2030.

About LF

  • Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease.
  • It impairs the lymphatic system and can lead to the abnormal enlargement of body parts, causing pain, severe disability and social stigma.
  • Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea. There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms:
    • Wuchereriabancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases
    • Brugiamalayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases
    • Brugiatimori, which also causes the disease.


Polity & Governance

SC regains its full strength

With the appointment of 2 New Judges, Supreme Court Regains Full Strength Of 34.


  • The sanctioned judge strength of the Supreme Court is 34 (including Chief Justice of India). 
  • The Chief Justice of India and the Judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President under clause (2) of Article 124 of the Constitution.


Polity & Governance

BCI has power to hold All-India Bar Exam: SC


The Bar Council of India (BCI) has powers to hold the All-India Bar Examination (AIBE) that a lawyer is required to qualify to practice law in courts, the Supreme Court ruled recently.


  • Founded: 1961
  • The Bar Council of India is a statutory body created by Parliament to regulate and represent the Indian bar. 
  • BCI regulates legal education and professional standards in India including directing the state bar councils, standardizin law education, and course the framework at the universities and law colleges in India as well as conducting the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to grant 'Certificate of Practice' to advocates practicing law in India.

Polity & Governance

Swayam tops other eLearning platforms

With 2.4 crore enrolling for courses which yield credits and with over 26 lakh having earned them, the government-run SwayamMassive Open Online Courses (MOOC) has outperformed any other eLearning platform by a big margin.

What is SWAYAM?

  • Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) is an Indian Massive open online course platform.
  • SWAYAM is a programme initiated by Government of India and designed to achieve the three cardinal principles of Education Policy viz., access, equity and quality.
  • SWAYAM seeks to bridge the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained untouched by the digital revolution and have not been able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.


Humans can contract Bird Flu: WHO

WHO has said that since Bird Flu (H5N1) first emerged in 1996, only rare transmission was seen in humans, however, the recent spill-over to mammals must be monitored closely.

  • It added that the risk to humans is currently low but it cannot be assumed it will remain the case.


  • Bird flu, also called avian flu, is a strain of influenza (flu) that infects mostly wild water birds but can infect domestic birds (poultry) and other animals.
  • These strains belong to influenza A type viruses.
  • It’s not usual, but bird flu can also infect people.
  • The most common subtypes that may affect humans are A(H5N1), A(H7N9) and A(H9N2).
  • The symptoms can range from mild (pink eye) to severe flu-like illness that results in respiratory failure or death.

Environment (GS-III)

Antarctica's 'Doomsday Glacier’

Antarctica’s “Doomsday Glacier” is melting rapidly in unexpected ways, according to new research.


·         Thwaites Glacier is nicknamed as the Doomsday Glacier.

·         The Thwaites Glacier is roughly the size of Florida and is located in West Antarctica.

·         Part of what holds it in place is an ice shelf that juts out onto the surface of the ocean.

·         The shelf acts like a cork, holding the glacier back on the land and providing an important defense against sea level rise.

Environment (GS-III)

Wildlife enthusiasts spot 145 species during first Sundarban bird festival

Birders, wildlife enthusiasts and forest officials have sighted 145 different bird species during the first Sundarban bird festival. 

About Sundarbans mangrove forest

  • The first-ever festival was organised by the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) division of West Bengal Forest Department.
  • The species recorded during the Bird Festival included 78 forest birds and 42 species of waders, raptors etc.
  • The Sundarbans mangrove forest is one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.
  • It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. 


India's retail inflation breaches RBI's tolerance level

·         After showing a downward trend in December 2022, when it had slid to 5.72 per cent, retail inflation for January 2023 rose to a three-month high of 6.52 per cent, owing to higher food prices

What is retail inflation?

  • An inflation rate is indicative of the rise in prices of commodities in an economy. 
  • Retail inflation, specifically, is measured in consumer price index (CPI), which is a weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services. 
  • Therefore, retail inflation is also termed CPI-based inflation.
  • The CPI is the change in retail prices of goods and services which households purchase for their daily consumption, such as food articles, fuel, and services such as transportation and health care, among others.
  • The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) is responsible for compiling this data, which is measured by the rate of change in CPI over a period of time.
  • The Reserve Bank of India monitors this figure in view of sustaining a balance in commodity prices in the economy.
  • The retail inflation, measured by the annual change in the consumer price index (CPI), tracks the change in retail prices of goods and services, which households purchase for their daily consumption.



Economy (GS-III)

NSE inks pact to trade WTI crude oil and natural gas


The National Stock Exchange entered into a data licensing agreement with derivatives marketplace CME Group for WTI crude oil and natural gas contracts.

The Pact

  • The pact will allow National Stock Exchange (NSE) to list, trade and settle rupee-denominated Nymex WTI crude oil and natural gas derivatives contracts for Indian market participants.
  • The addition of the contracts will expand the NSE product offering and its overall commodity segment.
  • NSE has applied to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seeking approval to launch the additional futures contracts.



Science & Technology

Elusive Dark Galaxy Revealed By ALMA Telescope Observation

A team of researchers recently used the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) to detect an elusive black galaxy, dubbed 'invisible galaxy'.


  • It is "compact, and containing large quantities of interstellar dust, it is a young galaxy, forming stars at about 1000 times the rate of the Milky Way."

What is ALMA?

  • Location: Chile
  • It is a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe.
  • This light has wavelengths of around a millimetre, between infrared light and radio waves, and is therefore known as millimetre and submillimetre radiation.
  • ALMA is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed initially of 66 high-precision antennas, and operating at wavelengths of 0.32 to 3.6 mm. 

Science & Technology

Diyodar meteorite: India’s first aubrite in 170 years

In 2022, a meteorite streaked over India, breaking apart as it descended through the air, to scatter over two villages in Banaskantha, Gujarat. In an analysis, it has been revealed that the meteorite was a “rare, unique specimen” of aubrite.

What are Aubrites?

  • Aubrites“are coarse-grained igneous rocks that formed” in oxygen-poor conditions, and thus “contain a variety of exotic minerals that are not found on Earth”.
    • For example, the mineral heideite was first described in the Basti meteorite.
  • Worldwide, aubrites have crashed in at least 12 locations since 1836, including three in Africa and six in the U.S.

Science & Technology


Agnikul Cosmos’s 3D printed engine completes flight test


Chennai-based rocket startupAgnikul Cosmos Private Ltd successfully completed the flight acceptance test of its 3D printed Agnilet engine.


  • Agnilet claims to be the world's first single-piece 3D-printed rocket engine.
  • The Agnilet rocket engine is designed to be used in Agnibaan—a small satellite launch vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 300 kilograms to a low-Earth orbit—which the company is currently developing.

Science & Technology (GS-III)

World's largest radio telescope

The world's largest Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) located in China scanned 33 exoplanets for a signal from aliens.

About Five Hundred Metre Aperture Spherical Telescope

  • The construction of FAST was completed in 2016.
  • It is located in the Dawodang depression. 
    • The Dawodang depression is a natural basin in Guizhou, southwest China.
  • It is the largest filled-aperture Radio Telescope and second largest single dish aperture
    • The RATA-600 in Russia is the world's largest Single-dish aperture telescope.
  • The telescope has a reflecting surface of 500-metres in diameter. However, only a circle of 300 metres diameter can be used at one time.
  • It is located in a natural sinkhole. 
    • A sinkhole is formed due to erosion.
  • It has super sensitivity to detect cosmic phenomena. This includes radio bursts and pulsars as well.
  • It is also known as the “Eye of Heaven” or Tianyan.

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