Daily Current Affairs for 09th February 2023

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Coffee exports grow

Why in News?

During 2021-22, Indian coffee exports stood at USD 1.016 billion, growing by 38% from the previous year 2020-21, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Key Highlights

  • In the year 2021-22, India was the 5th largest exporter of coffee in the world with a share of about 6% of global coffee exports.
  • Indian coffee exports have increased from 19.7 thousand tonnes during 1960-61 to 416 thousand tonnes in 2021-22.

About Coffee Cultivation

  • Second most important beverage of India after tea.
  • Indigenous to Abyssinia Plateau (Ethiopia).
  • It was brought to India by Baba Budan in the 17th century from Arabia and was raised in the Baba Budan Hills of Karnataka.
  • British planters established large coffee estates near Chikmagalur (Karnataka) in 1826 , Manantody (Wayanad) and Shevoroys in 1830 and Nilgiris in 1839.
  • Coffee cultivation requires plenty of cheap and skilled labor for various operations including sowing, transplanting, pruning, plucking, drying, grading and packing of coffee.
  • At present, more than 52,000 coffee gardens giving employment to 2.5 million persons exist in India.

Conditions of Growth

  • The hot and humid climate
  • Temperature between 15°C and 28 °C.
  • Rainfall from 150 to 250 cm.
  • Well-drained, rich friable loams containing a good deal of humus and minerals like iron and calcium are ideal for coffee cultivation.
  • Dry weather is necessary at the time of ripening of the berries.
  • The crop is not tolerant to
    • Frost and snowfall.
    • High temperature above 30°C and strong sunshine (Hence, generally grown under shady trees on Northern and Eastern aspects of Hill).
    • Prolonged drought.
    • Stagnant water (Hence, grown on hill slopes at elevations from 600 to 1,600 meters above sea level).


  • Coffee Arabica (49% of the area) and Coffee Robusta (51% of the area) are the two main varieties of coffee grown in India.
  • Karnataka is the largest producer (about 70% of total coffee production and 60% of the area under coffee in India).

Government Intervention to boost performance

The government has undertaken various steps which are

  • Introduction of Goods and Services Tax
  • Reduction in Corporate tax
  • Interventions to improve ease of doing business
  • Measures for reduction in compliance burden

Policy measures to boost domestic manufacturing through

  • Public procurement orders
  • Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP)
  • FDI policy reforms.

Financial Support by Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme

  • ECLGS was rolled out in 2020 as part of the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar package in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The objective was to support small businesses struggling to meet their operational liabilities due to the imposition of a nationwide lockdown.
  • A 100% guarantee is provided by the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) to Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) – banks, financial institutions and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs).
  • The credit product for which guarantee would be provided under the Scheme shall be named as ‘Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL)’.
  • Its provision of Rs 3 lakh crore, which has now increased to Rs. 5 lakh crore, is in the form of a fully guaranteed emergency credit line to monitor lending institutions.
  • Financial support has been given to the stressed MSMEs with infusion of Rs.20,000 crore equity support through subordinate debt.
  • Fund of funds created to infuse equity worth Rs.50,000 crore in the MSME Sector by setting up Rs.10,000 crore corpus fund.


Motion of Thanks

Why in News?

PM’s reply to the motion of thanks on the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha.

Key Highlight

  • Motion of thanks is the motion of parliament after the first session after each general election and the first session of every fiscal year is addressed by the President.
  • In this address, the president outlines the government’s policies and programmes for the previous and following years.
  • This president’s address, which corresponds to the ‘speech from the Throne in Britain,’ is debated in both Houses of Parliament on a motion known as the ‘Motion of Thanks.

About Motion of Thanks

  • Article 86(1) of the Constitution provides that the President may address either the House of Parliament or both Houses assembled together, and for that purpose require the attendance of members.
  • Since the commencement of the Constitution, there has not been any occasion when the President has addressed either House or both Houses assembled together, under the provision of this article.
  • Article 87 provides for the special address by the President.
  • Clause (1) of that article provides that at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the President shall address both Houses of Parliament assembled together and inform Parliament of the causes of its summons.
  • This type of Address is called a ‘special address’.
  • No other business is transacted till the President has addressed both Houses of Parliament assembled together.
  • This Address has to be to both Houses of Parliament assembled together.
  • If at the time of commencement of the first session of the year, Lok Sabha is not in existence and has been dissolved, and Rajya Sabha has to meet, Rajya Sabha can have its session without the President’s Address.
  • This happened in 1977, when during the dissolution of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha had its session in 1977 without the President’s Address.
  • In the case of the first session after each general election to Lok Sabha, the President addresses both Houses of Parliament assembled together after the members have made and subscribed the oath or affirmation and the Speaker has been elected.

Other Motions of Parliament

Motions – to express opinions on various issues by ministers/private members 3 principal categories of motions

1. Substantive Motion– matter like Impeachment of president; removal of chief election commissioner

2. Substitute motion– Moved in substitute to original motion an passes alternative to it

3. Subsidiary Motion– Reference to original motion

Closure Motion– to cut short debate on provisions of bills Kangaroo closure- only important clause taken for debate and voting; other clauses skipped Guillotine closure- Undiscussed clauses of bill put to vote along discussed clauses due to matter of time

Privilege Motion– Concerned with breach of parliamentary privileges by Minister- by withholding facts or giving wrong facts; used against Minister

Calling Attention Motion– to call attention of minister on matter of urgent public importance; it is Indian innovation to parliamentary procedure; it is mentioned in Rules of procedure

Adjourned Motion– To draw attention of house to definite matter of urgent public importance; It is an Extraordinary device as interrupts normal business of house; It is used only In Lok Sabha- RS is not permitted to use this motion (UPSC 2012)

No Confidence Motion– This motion is not mentioned in Constitution;In Lok Sabha, removal of minister by passing this motion; Motion needs support of 50 members to be admitted; there is no need to state reasons for adoption of this motion; this motion can be moved against entire council ; if passed in LS then council of minister Must resign.(UPSC 2014)

Censure Motion– There is need to state the reason for adoption of this motion; Can be moved against individual or group of ministers; it means censuring council for specific policies; if passed in LS then entire Council of Ministers need not to Resign from office.

Point of Order– Members can raise point of order when proceedings of house do not follow normal rule of procedure; Usually Leader of Opposition raise this device; It is an extraordinary device.

Special Mention– A matter which is cannot be raised during any other rules of business, can be raised in special Mention in Rajyasabha; it is equivalent to notice device of Loksabha


German policy

Why in News?

The German government announced that it would send Leopard 2 main battle tanks (MBTs) to Ukraine.

India-German Relation

  • India and Germany signed a Comprehensive Partnership on Migration and Mobility meant to ease travel for research, study and work for people in both countries.
  • Germany cooperates with India to the tune of 1.3 billion Euros a year in development projects, 90% of which serves the purpose of fighting climate change, saving natural resources as well as promoting clean and green energy.
  • Germany has also been supporting the construction of a huge solar plant in Maharashtra with a capacity of 125 Megawatt which generates annual CO2 savings of 155,000 tons.
  • More than 20% of German trade is conducted in the Indo-Pacific neighbourhood.
  • Germany is keen to implement connectivity projects, through the European Union, to counter China. The coalition sees the conclusion of an India-EU BTIA as an important aspect that will help develop relations.

Germany’s policy towards Russia in the 20th century

  • Germany’s relationship with Russia has always been critical to European security and prosperity.
  • After the Bolshevik revolution and Germany’s defeat in the First World War, the Soviet Union and the newly born German republic signed the Treaty of Rapallo, establishing diplomatic relations.
  • In August 1939, as war clouds were hovering around Europe, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non­aggression agreement, which eventually collapsed in 1941 when Hitler invaded the latter.
  • After the Second World War, Germany was divided between the Soviet backed East Germany and the U.S.­backed West Germany.
  • In 1971, with the adoption of ‘Ostpolitik’ by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, significant economic interaction began between the two sides.
  • And Germany signed an agreement and started importing Russian natural gas for the first time.
  • It was a widely shared belief that economic interdependence could foster better political ties.

What about post­Cold War period?

  • In the post­Soviet world, a unified Germany doubled down on its efforts to promote ties with Russia.
  • The efforts to promote political ties through energy trade continued even as Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroder rose to leadership in Russia and Germany, respectively.
  • The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, transporting gas directly from Russia to Germany, was a result of these changing equations.
  • The energy relationship went hand ­in ­hand with the political relationship.
  • Regardless of Russia’s actions in Georgia (2008) and Crimea (2014), the German political establishment continued enhancing Germany’s energy reliance on Russia.

How has the war in Ukraine impacted Germany’s foreign policy?

  • As Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany’s policy underwent a fundamental shift.
  • Chancellor declared the war a Zeitenwende (turning point), and since then, Germany’s policy has moved away from an emphasis on dialogue and diplomacy to a more assertive stance, culminating in the decision to send Leopard 2 MBTs to Ukraine.
  • In the initial phases of the war, Berlin believed that a diplomatic solution was possible to bring an end to the conflict.
  • As the war progressed, Germany amended several of its previous policies that shaped its orientation towards Russia.

What has been Germany’s response since the war?

  • One of the key factors driving this change in policy is Germany’s recognition of the need to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.
  • After Mr. Putin recognised Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk provinces as independent republics, Germany stalled the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was ready for operation.
  • Subsequently, it announced the construction of four floating terminals and two permanent onshore sites for enhanced LNG imports, struck an energy deal with Qatar, and supported numerous rounds of EU sanctions against Russian entities.
  • Germany also worked with other European capitals to assure swift delivery of arms and aid to Ukraine.
  • Germany’s gradual shift towards a more robust policy towards Russia is a testament to the changing realities of Europe’s security landscape.


RBI lifts loan costs to tame inflation

Why in News?

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised interest rates further in an attempt to bring inflation back to the target level of 4%.

Key Highlights

  • Monetary policy essentially deals with the supply and cost (interest rates) of money in an economy.
  • The RBI’s MPC meets every two months to assess the state of monetary activities,and may tweak the repo rate the interest rate at which the RBI lends to commercial banks in a manner that reduces price fluctuations in the economy while keeping the inflation rate (the rate at which the general price level in the economy grows) at a reasonable level.
  • As a general rule, when RBI is more concerned about containing inflation it raises interest rates (thus depressing economic activity), and when it wants to stimulate growth it brings down interest rates.

Significance of this tame

The latest monetary policy review was significant for a variety of reasons.

  • It came just after the presentation of the Union Budget, which is the most important fiscal policy document of the year.
  • It came at a time when Indian markets are roiled by uncertainty in the wake of the Hindenburg Research allegations against the Adani Group and the resultant upheaval in Adani stock prices.
  • Central banks around the world are currently either slowing down the pace of interest rate increases, or even considering halting monetary tightening.
  • This was the last review of the current financial year (2022-23) and as such provided a good opportunity to understand how the RBI saw the Indian economy panning out in the next financial year (2023-24) the Budget for which has just been presented.

Monetary Policy Committee

  • The Monetary Policy Committee is a statutory body established under section 45ZB of the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934.
  • It is an institutionalized framework for maintaining price stability while pursuing the goal of growth.
  • It is set up based on the recommendation of the Urjit Patel Committee.
  • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its thirty-first meeting from October 6 to 8, 2021. It decided to maintain the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) at 4%.
  • The LAF reverse repo rate remains at 3.35 per cent, while the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate remain at 4.25 per cent.

Composition of Monetary Policy Committee

  • The Governor of the Reserve Bank of India serves as the committee’s ex-officio Chairman.
  • The committee consists of six members (including the Chairman): three RBI officials and three government-nominated external members.
  • The RBI officials are:
    • Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
    • Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, in charge of Monetary Policy – Member, ex officio;
    • One officer of the Reserve Bank of India to be nominated by the Central Board – Member, ex officio;

Some Monetary Policy Instruments

1. Open Market Operations

These are transactions of financial instruments like bank bonds or government securities. In order to limit the flow of credit, the Reserve Bank of India must sell government securities, and in order to promote the flow of credit, they must also purchase government securities.

2. Cash Reserve Ratio

One of the most often employed instruments of monetary policy, it is also known as CRR. The Reserve Bank of India must retain a set portion of the back deposits with the banks as a balance or reserve. In 1990, the CRR was 15%; by 2002, it had dropped to 5%. Additionally, the CRR is 4% at the moment.

3. Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)

Every financial institution is required to keep a specific amount of liquid assets on hand at all times. The Statutory Liquidity Ratio refers to this. In the same way as precious metals and bonds such as silver, gold, and diamonds are held in non-cash forms, so are these assets. In December 2019, the SLR was 18.25%.

4. Bank Rate Policy

The discount rate is one of its other names. It is the interest that the Reserve Bank of India levies on loans and other financial assistance given to banks. Credit volume will decrease and there will be less money available if the bank rate rises. The bank rate was 5.40% on December 31 and is still in effect today.

5. Repo Rate: The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank provides overnight liquidity to banks against the collateral of government and other approved securities under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF).

6. Reverse Repo Rate: The interest rate at which the Reserve Bank absorbs liquidity, on an overnight basis, from banks against the collateral of eligible government securities under the LAF.




NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite

Why in News?

An earth-observation satellite jointly developed by NASA and ISRO that will help study Earth’s land and ice surfaces in greater detail is all set to be shipped to India.

About NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite

  • NISAR is a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) with the goal to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.
  • The mission is targeted to launch in 2024.
  • NASA is providing the mission’s L-band synthetic aperture radar, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder and payload data subsystem.
  • ISRO is providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band radar, the launch vehicle and associated launch services.
  • The NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Mission will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, and will support a host of other applications.
  • NISAR will observe Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces globally with 12-day regularity on ascending and descending passes, sampling Earth on average every 6 days for a baseline 3-year mission.

About L and S Band


The radio frequency range between 1 and 2 gigahertz is known as the L band according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (GHz).This is at the lower end of the microwave spectrum, and the upper end of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band.


The microwave band, which spans frequencies between 2 and 4 gigahertz, is known as the “S-band” by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) (GHz).

  • As a result, at 3.0 GHz, it crosses the typical dividing line between the UHF and SHF bands.
  • Weather radar, surface ship radar, airport surveillance radar for air traffic control, and some communications satellites, particularly those used by NASA to connect with the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, all use the S-band.

Synthetic aperture radar (SAR)

  • It refers to a technique for producing fine-resolution images from a resolution-limited radar system.
  • It requires that the radar be moving in a straight line, either on an airplane or, as in the case of NISAR, orbiting in space.

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