1. Women's Premier League to be held in Mumbai from 4th to 26th March
- The inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023 will be held in Mumbai (Maharashtra) from 4 - 26 March.
- All the tournament matches will be held in the Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium.
- The auction of WPL players will take place on February 13 in Mumbai.
- IPL team owners: Mumbai Indians, RCB, Delhi Capitals, Capri Global Holdings (Lucknow), and Adani Sportsline
- IPL chairman: Arun Dhumal
- BCCI Secretary: Jay Shah
Science & Technology
2. Google introduces AI chatbot 'Bard'
- Google launched its conversational artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot named ‘Bard’.
- It will be directly competing with Microsoft-backed firm OpenAI's ChatGPT.
- It will combine the world's knowledge with the power, intelligence, and creativity of language models.
- Bard is based on LaMDA, the firm's Language Model for the Dialogue Applications system.
- It helps to draw information from the web to provide high-quality responses.
- Google CEO: Sundar Pichai
Honours & Awards
3. Manappuram Finance MD, VP Nandakumar receives Hurun India award 2022
- VP Nandakumar (MD & CEO, Manappuram Finance Ltd) has received the Hurun India’s award 2022 for his remarkable achievements in the world of business.
- He was honored with the Hurun Industry Achievement Award 2022 in Mumbai.
- Adi Godrej (Chairman, Godrej Group), Cyrus S. Poonawalla (MD, Serum Institute of India Ltd), Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-founder, Infosys), and Sanjiv Goenka (RPG Group) were the earlier recipients of this award.
4. Popular artist B.K.S. Verma passes away
- Veteran Indian painter, BKS Varma passed away at the age of 74 in Bangalore, Karnataka.
- The subject of his paintings was mainly environmental and social issues presented in a surreal form.
- He was trained in art by the legendary art teacher A.N. Subbarao at the art and culture institution.
- He was honoured with the Karnataka Rajya Puruskar (2001), Rajyothsava award (2001), and Honorary Doctorate by Bangalore University (2011).
5. Yuva Sangam registration portal launched
- Union Minister of Education, Skill Development, and Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the Yuva Sangam registration portal in New Delhi.
- Aim: To build close ties between the youth of the North East Region (NER) and the rest of India under the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat.
- It aims to provide an immersive, multidimensional experience of various facets-under four broad areas - Paryatan, Parampara, Pragati, and Paraspar Sampark.
6. Agri ministry signs MoU with Digital Green
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare signed an MoU with Digital Green under public-private partnership framework.
- Reason: To build a national-level digital extension platform
- It will host a digital library of curated multi-format multi-lingual content, deliver curated content to farmers, and help extension workers to access it.
- It also upskills the vast network of extension workers for agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, and rural livelihood missions.
7. Australia's Aaron Finch announces retirement from International Cricket
- Australia's T20 captain, Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from international cricket.
- Earlier, the opening batsman had announced retirement from the 50-over format in September 2022.
- He made his international cricket debut in a T20I against England in 2011.
- He made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2013 and his Test debut against Pakistan in 2018.
- He retires as Australia's leading run-getter in the format, having scored 3120 runs at an average of 34.28.
8. IEA Report: India’s ‘LiFE’ initiative can save $440 bn globally in 2030
- According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the 'LiFE' (Lifestyle for Environment) initiative of India for the adoption of energy-efficient behavior can save the world $440 billion in 2030.
- About 1/5th of the emission cut is required by 2030 to put the world on a pathway to net zero emissions.
- PM Modi introduced the LiFE initiative at COP26 in Glasgow in Nov 2021.
- Aim: To tackle the challenges of environmental degradation and climate change.
9. Hillary Clinton announced USD 50-million Climate Resilience Fund
- Former US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton announced a Global Climate Resilience Fund of 50 million dollars for women to fight climate change.
- This fund will also help to provide new livelihood resources and education.
- She addressed the salt pan workers near Kuda village in Gujarat's Surendranagar district.
- She also attended a programme in Ahmedabad to mark 50 years of SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association) as a trade union.
- SEWA was founded in 1972.
Science & Technology
10. ISRO plans to develop astronaut training module with IIT Madras
- Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras.
- Reason: To build training modules for Indian Spaceflight Program, using augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies.
- The modules will be built at IIT Madras’ Experiential Technology Innovation Centre (XTIC).
- It will also be used to train engineers at Isro’s Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC).
Banking & Finance
11. Sebi notifies stronger framework for green bonds
- SEBI strengthened the framework for green bonds by introducing the concept of 'blue' and 'yellow' bonds as new modes of sustainable finance.
- Blue bonds: related to water management, and marine sector
- Yellow bonds: pertaining to solar energy
- For this, SEBI amended norms governing the issue and listing of non-convertible securities.
- Green Debt Securities: Debt securities are issued for raising funds that are to be utilized for projects falling under certain categories.
Honours & Awards
12. UNESCO soon declare Visva-Bharati world’s first living heritage university
- Visva-Bharati University will soon receive the ‘heritage’ tag from UNESCO to take the distinction of world’s first living heritage university.
- This university was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921.
- It is one of India's major Central Government funded autonomous universities.
- The institution was given the status of a Central University in 1951 through a central Act.
- The Vice-chancellor of the University is appointed by the President of India.
13. CM Yogi inaugurates VFS Global’s visa centre in Lucknow
- Uttar Pradesh CM, Yogi Adityanath inaugurated the VFS Global Visa Application Centre in Lucknow.
- Aim: To enable citizens of the state to complete the formalities related to the visa application process for 10 countries with ease.
- 10 Countries: Austria, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia
- VFS Global (Visa Facilitation Services Global) was launched in Mumbai in 2001.
- VFS Global HQ: Dubai, UAE
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