Current Affairs for IAS Exams -27 February 2023

Current Affairs for IAS Exams - 27 February 2023


Voluntary Settlement Scheme

  • The Union Budget highlighted the seriousness of pendency in courts and the need for quick dispute resolution by announcing a “voluntary settlement scheme with standardised terms” to amicably end commercial/contractual disputes concerning government undertakings in which arbitral awards are under challenge.
  • The budget 2023-24 has proposed a scheme for settling contractual dispute named Vivad se Vishwas II (Settling Contractual Disputes).

About Voluntary settlement scheme:

  • It is introduced to settle contractual disputes of government and government undertakings; wherein arbitral award is under challenge in a court.
  • This will be done by offering graded settlement terms depending on pendency level of the dispute.
  • Under the scheme, voluntary option is given to the private sector to come into the scheme or not.

Vivad Se Vishwas Scheme:

  • A direct tax scheme introduced by the Government of India in 2020 for settling disputes between taxpayers and the income tax department.
  • It aims to minimize tax-related litigation.
  • Under this scheme, an individual taxpayer can claim full waiver on interest and penalty on the full and final settlement of the disputed tax amount.


Museum Grant Scheme

  • The union Minister of Culture informed Lok sabha about Museum Grant Scheme (MGS).

About Museum Grant Scheme:

  • This scheme was launched in 2013.
  • The Ministry of Culture provides financial assistance under the Scheme to the State Governments and Societies, Autonomous bodies, Local Bodies and Trusts registered under the Societies Act 1860, for setting up new Museums.
  • Aim: To strengthen and modernize the existing museums at the Regional, State and District levels.
  • The scheme also aims to develop at least 1 Central / State Government Museum located in the State Capital each year.

Components of the scheme:

  • Establishment and Development of District and Regional Museums:
  • Under this component museums have been classified into two categories:
  • Financial assistance under this component is provided to existing renowned museums of the Central or State Government located in the Capital cities.
  • The maximum financial assistance under this component is limited to Rs. 15 Crore per museum.

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UNEP-managed CITES database reveals red sanders

  • The CITES trade database has recorded 28 incidents of Red Sanders confiscation, seizure, and specimen from the wild being exported from India, a factsheet prepared by TRAFFIC.


  • TRAFFIC was established in 1976 by WWF and IUCN as a wildlife trade monitoring network to undertake data collection, recommendations on wildlife trade.
  • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments, whose aim is to ensure that international trade in specimen of wild animals and plants, does not threaten the survival of the species.

Key highlights of the factsheet:

  • The CITES Trade Database recorded 28 incidents of Red Sanders illegal trade seizure.
  • China remains the largest importer.
  • It highlights the threats of rampant illegal logging and smuggling of trees especially in Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore & Kurnool districts in Andhra Pradesh.

About Red Sanders

  • Red Sanders is a flora-species that is endemic to a distinct tract of forests in Eastern Ghats.
  • It is a very slow-growing tree species that attains maturity after 25 – 40 years.
  • It is fire-hardy and resistant to droughts.
  • It is locally known as Yerra Chandanam, Rakta Chandanam.
  • It is exploited for the extraction of Santalin (a red pigment used as dye and colorant in food), medicine, cosmetics.
  • It is also a good raw material for musical instruments and luxury furniture.


World Wetlands Day

  • The State Governments and Union Territory administrations celebrated World Wetlands Day (WWD) at all 75 Ramsar sites this year with over 200 events. 
  • The National Flag was hoisted at the Ramsar Sites. 
  • Over 50 activities were held with student engagement in which drawing competition, quiz competition, exposure activities, and bird watching were organized.

Key highlights:

  • 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.


Reliance Retail becomes first retailer to accept payments via Digital Rupee

  • Reliance Retail has partnered with Innoviti Technologies, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to enable acceptance of RBI-issued Digital Rupee.


  • RBI launched Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) or e-Rupee (e₹-R) in 2022 for retail markets in a pilot mode.
  • It is in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender.
  • RBI classifies it into two broad categories: Retail and Wholesale.
  • Wholesale CBDC is designed for restricted access to select financial institutions.
  • It has the potential to transform the settlement systems used by banks in the government securities (G-Sec) segment, capital market, etc.
  • The retail e-rupee (e₹-R) is an electronic version of cash meant for retail transactions.
  • e₹-R is issued in the same denominations as paper currency and coins, and is distributed through the intermediaries, that is banks.
  • Has features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality.
  • Transactions can be both Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M).
  • Payments to merchants can be made using QR codes.
  • It reduces cost of management of physical cash.



Medium-Density Amorphous Ice

  • Recently, scientists have fashioned a previously unknown form of ice – one that might exist on our solar system’s icy moons.


  • The researchers said they employed a process called ball milling to vigorously shake ordinary ice together with steel balls in a container cooled to minus-328 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-200 degrees Celsius). 
  • This yielded what they called “medium-density amorphous ice,” or MDA, which looked like a fine white powder.
  • Ordinary ice is crystalline in nature, with water molecules – two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, or H2O – arranged in a regular pattern. Amorphous ice’s water molecules are in a disorganized form resembling a liquid.
  • Virtually all ice on Earth exists in its familiar crystalline form – think of the ice cubes in your lemonade. But amorphous ice is by far the most common form of water in space. 
  • Scientists have identified 20 different forms of crystalline ice and three forms of amorphous ice – one low density (discovered in the 1930s), one high density (discovered in the 1980s) and the new one in between.
  • Amorphous ice on Earth may be confined to the atmosphere’s frigid upper reaches.
  • The researchers hypothesize that the type of forces they brought to bear on ordinary ice in the laboratory might exist on ice moons like Jupiter’s Europa or Saturn’s Enceladus.


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