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Weekly Current Affairs January 2023 Week – 01

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. The Government of India (GoI) has approved a self-regulatory body for publishers of news
    and current affairs across the country. The organization named ‘Print and Digital Media
    Association (PADMA)’, with 47 digital news publishers on board, will look at grievances
    related to digital media news content on their platforms.
  • With this, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has approved nine self-regulatory
    bodies since May 2021 under rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary
    Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
  • They include DIGIPUB News India Foundation, Confederation of Online Media (India), and
    NBF- Professional News Broadcasting Standards Authority, among others.
  1. The Government of India (GoI) has signed a pact with the Pune-based Institute of
    Veterinary Biological Products (IVBP) for developing ‘Lumpi-ProVac’, the indigenous
    vaccine for lumpy skin disease in cattle.
  • Lumpi-ProVacind is used for the prophylactic immunization of animals against Lumpy Skin
    Disease, which illicit protection for about one year.
  • The vaccine is developed by the National Centre for Veterinary Type Culture, ICARNational Research Centre on Equines (ICAR-NRCE), Hisar (Haryana), in collaboration with
    ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar (UP).
    Lumpy Skin Disease:
    It is a viral disease caused by the infection of cattle or water buffalo with the poxvirus
    Lumpy Skin Disease Virus (LSDV). It was first seen as an epidemic in Zambia in 1929. It is
    primarily spread between animals by biting insects (vectors), such as mosquitoes and biting
    flies. It has been reported in India since 2019 while the first case was reported in the state of
    Odisha.
  1. The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for
    Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS), the two prominent institutions under the Ministry of
    Ayush, Government of India for regulating medical education and conducting scientific
    research respectively, have launched ‘SMART’ program to boost scientific research in priority
    healthcare research areas through Ayurveda colleges and hospitals.
    SMART stands for ‘Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals’.
    The objective is to identify, support and promote innovative research ideas in healthcare
    research areas including Osteoarthritis, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, Chronic Bronchitis,
    Dyslipidemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Psoriasis, Generalised Anxiety
    Disorder, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
  2. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has created a ‘centre of excellence’ named
    ‘DRDO Industry Academia-Ramanujan Centre of Excellence’ (DIA-RCoE) at a campus unit
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    set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop advanced
    technologies for national defence and security.
    The centre will undertake basic and applied research in verticals like electronics and
    computational systems; naval systems and naval technologies; advanced combat vehicle
    technologies; high-power CW laser sources; and next-generation communication and
    networking technologies.
  3. The Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud has launched the Electronic Supreme Court
    Reports (E-SCR) project to provide free access to about 34,000 judgements to lawyers, law
    students, and the common public.
  • This is an initiative to provide the digital version of the apex court’s judgments in the
    manner as they are reported in the official law report – ‘Supreme Court Reports’.
  • A search engine comprising elastic search techniques in the database of e-SCR has been
    developed by the SC along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Pune, Maharashtra.
  1. The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India (GoI), has notified the
    National Geospatial Policy 2022 to develop geospatial infrastructures, skills and knowledge,
    standards, and businesses. It is a 13-year guideline which aims to promote India’s geospatial
    data industry and develop a national framework to use such data for improving citizen
    services.
    Highlights of the National Geospatial Policy 2022:
  • The policy relies on the favourable environment created by the “Guidelines for acquiring
    and producing Geospatial Data and Geospatial Data Services including Maps”.
  • The policy will strive to create a national geospatial data framework and promote “easy
    availability” of data to businesses and the general public.
  • The GoI has proposed to establish an “Integrated Data and Information Framework”
    (IDIF) under which a “Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure” (GKI) will be developed by
  • The policy calls for the establishment of a national apex body, the Geospatial Data
    Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC).
  • The policy describes the creation of 14 National Fundamental Sectoral Geospatial Data
    Themes.
    Geospatial technology:
    It is an emerging technique to study real earth geographic information using Geographic
    Information System (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), and Global Positioning System (GPS). It
    has applications in almost every domain of the economy i.e. ecology, tourism, marine
    sciences, healthcare, agriculture, and forestry to defence, law enforcement, logistics and
    transportation. It enables government systems, services, and initiatives to be integrated using
    ‘location’ as a common and underpinning reference frame.
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  1. The Aeromodelling club of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has crafted
    four state-of-the-art indigenous multipurpose drones capable of surveillance, precision
    photography, and warehouse management. The 4 drones include:
  • ‘Warehouse Drones’ for complex warehouse and inventory management.
  • ‘Reaper Drones’ for military and law enforcement usage.
  • ‘Ornithopters’ for surveillance in tight spaces and wildlife photography.
  • ‘RAVEN’ an indigenously built VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) capable fixed-winged
    aircraft which can be used as a delivery or surveillance drone.
  1. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the National
    Green Hydrogen Mission. The initial outlay for the Mission will be Rs.19,744 crore,
    including an outlay of Rs.17,490 crore for the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen
    Transition Programme (SIGHT) programme, Rs.1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs.400 crore for
    R&D, and Rs. 388 crore towards other Mission components.
    Benefits of National Green Hydrogen Mission:
  • Creation of export opportunities for Green Hydrogen and its derivatives.
  • Decarbonisation of industrial, mobility and energy sectors.
  • Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock.
  • Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities.
  • Creation of employment opportunities
  • Development of cutting-edge technologies
    India’s Green Hydrogen production capacity is likely to reach at least 5 MMT per annum, with
    an associated renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW. The targets by 2030 are
    likely to bring in over Rs.8 lakh crore investments and create over 6 lakh jobs. Nearly 50 MMT
    per annum of CO2 emissions are expected to be averted by 2030.
    Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will be responsible for overall coordination
    and implementation of the Mission.
  1. The President of India Droupadi Mormu has given her assent to the Code of Criminal
    Procedure (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2021 which facilitates registration of criminal cases
    against persons who stage protests in violation of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal
    Procedure (CrPC).
  • It amends Section 195 of the CrPC which states that no court shall take cognisance of any
    criminal conspiracy for contempt of the lawful authority of public servants, except on the
    complaint in writing of the public servant concerned.
  • The bill seeks to make any violation of prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 CrPC a
    cognisable offence under Indian Penal Code Section 188 (disobedience to an order duly
    promulgated by a public servant).
  • The maximum punishment under the Section 188 of the IPC is six-month imprisonment.
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    Section 144 of CrPC:
    It was enacted in 1973. It empowers the magistrate of any state or union territory in India to
    prohibit the assembly of four or more people so that law and order can be protected in an
    area.
  1. Union Minister for Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh has announced that the Indian
    Space Research Organization (ISRO) will launch India’s first Human Space Flight programme
    ‘Gaganyaan’ by the year 2024.
  • The Gaganyaan project aims to demonstrate human spaceflight capability by launching a
    crew of three people into a 400-kilometre orbit for a three-day mission and safely
    returning them to Earth by landing in Indian sea waters.
  • There will be two preliminary launches in 2024.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently paid tribute to Rani Velu Nachiyar on her birth
    anniversary.
    Rani Velu Nachiyar:
  • She was an 18th-century warrior queen who belonged to the Sivagangai estate in presentday Tamil Nadu.
  • She was born on 3rd January 1730 in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu.
  • She was the first Indian ruler to fight and triumph against the British in 1780, 77 years
    before the First War of Independence.
  • She built an army of women known as ‘Udaiyaal’.
  • She formed an alliance with Hyder Ali against British in 1780.
  1. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has organized a two-day National Workshop on Project
    Driven Block Panchayat Development Plan (BPDP) and District Panchayat Development
    Plan (DPDP) in New Delhi. The National Workshop aims on adopting, conceptualizing and
    popularizing Project Driven Block Panchayat Development Plan and District Panchayat
    Development Plan to projectize the process and implementation of Panchayat Development
    Plans.
    The workshop has been inaugurated by Kapil Moreshwar Patil, Union Minister of State for
    Panchayati Raj.
    Note: Article 243G of the Indian Constitution mandates Panchayats to prepare and
    implement plan for economic development and social justice by converging and integrating
    all such schemes of Central and State Governments within their geographical area as may be
    entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule of
    the Constitution.

STATES AFFAIRS

  1. Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has inaugurated the Rs.300 crore Angul-Balram rail line
    connecting Odisha’s Talcher Coalfield.
    Angul-Balram rail line project:
  • The rail link is the first phase of the total 68 km long Inner Corridor – Angul-BalramPutugadiya-Jarapada-Tentuloi – which will connect the coalfields of Talcher Coalfields in
    Odisha’s Angul district.
  • The project has been constructed by Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd, a joint venture entity
    of MCL, IRCON International Ltd and IDCO, an industrial infrastructure development
    agency of the Odisha government.The internal corridor is being implemented by
    Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd (MCRL) in two phases.
  • In Phase II, the Balram-Putugadia-Jarapada-Tentuloi rail link will be completed.
  1. The ‘Dhanu Yatra’, the largest open-air theatre festival, has been organized after a gap of
    two years in Bargarh, Odisha. The vibrant Dhanu Yatra is associated with the culture of
    Odisha. The festival is being held from 27th December to 6th January 2023.
    Dhanu Yatra Festival:
  • The ‘Dhanu Yatra’, which marks the victory of good over evil, came into existence in
    Bargarh in 1947-48 as part of the celebration of the country’s Independence and is held
    annually for 7-11 days.
  • It starts from the 5th day of ‘Pousasukla’ to end on ‘Pousapurnima’.
  • It is about the episode of Krishna and Balaram’s visit to Mathura to witness the Dhanu
    ceremony organized by their (maternal) uncle Kansa.
  1. The Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brijesh Pathak and Minister of State for Medical
    Education Mayankeshwar Sharan Singh have introduced the ‘E-Sushrut’ Hospital
    Management Information System (HMIS) in 22 state medical colleges.
    The initiative has been launched by the state medical education department in collaboration
    with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).
  2. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently inaugurated a railway projects worth Rs.7,600
    crore in West Bengal. He has dedicated 4 railway projects to the nation including:
  • Boinchi: Shaktigarh 3rd Line developed at a cost of Rs.405 crore.
  • Dankuni: Chandanpur 4th Line Project developed at a cost of Rs.565 crore.
  • Nimtita: New Farakka Double Line developed at a cost of Rs.254 crore.
  • Ambari Falakata-New Maynaguri-Gumanihat Doubling project developed at a cost of more
    than Rs.1080 crore.
    Joka-Esplanade Metro Project (Purple Line):
    The Joka-Esplanade Metro Project (Purple Line) 6.5 km stretch has 6 stations namely Joka,
    Thakurpukar, Sakher Bazar, Behala Chowrasta, Behala Bazar and Taratala. The project has
    been constructed at a cost of more than Rs.2475 crore.
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    7
    th Vande Bharat Express:
    The 7th Vande Bharat Express will run from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri station. It is an ultramodern Semi High Speed Train is equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually inaugurated the 108th Indian Science Congress
    (ISC) at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj (RTM) Nagpur University, Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  • The focal theme of the ISC 2023 is “Science & Technology for Sustainable Development
    with Women Empowerment”.
  • The theme will centre on sustainable development with inclusive involvement of all
    sections of society including women.
  • The year 2023 marks the centenary celebration of RTM Nagpur University.
    Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA):
    It is a premier scientific organisation of India with headquarters at Kolkata, West Bengal. It
    started in the year 1914 in Kolkata and it meets annually in the first week of January. The first
    Indian Science Congress was held in 1914 at the Asiatic Society in Calcutta.
  1. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted a 17 member High Powered Committee
    (HPC) to discuss measures to protect unique culture, language, and employment of Ladakh.
  • The committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of Minister of State for Home
    Affairs Nityanand Rai.
  • Ladakh Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur, MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Chairmans of Leh
    and Kargil Hill councils, representatives of Apex Body Leh, Kargil Democratic Alliance and
    nominee officials of Home ministry are among the members in High powered committee.
  • The Committee will discuss the protections to Culture and Language considering the
    geographical location and strategic importance of Ladakh.
  • It will also discuss the protections to land and employment for the people, inclusive
    development, employment generation, and measures related to empowerment of Ladakh
    Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.
  1. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has dedicated to the nation 28 infrastructure projects of
    Border Roads Organisation (BRO), worth Rs.724 crore, during an event organised at Siyom
    Bridge on Along-Yinkiong Road in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The projects comprise 22 bridges, including Siyom Bridge; three roads and three other
    projects in seven border States/Union Territories of Northern & North-Eastern regions.
  • Eight of these projects are in Ladakh; five in Arunachal Pradesh; four in Jammu & Kashmir;
    three each in Sikkim, Punjab & Uttarakhand and two in Rajasthan.
  • In addition, three telemedicine nodes, two in Ladakh & one in Mizoram, have been
    inaugurated.
    Siyom Bridge:
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    The Siyom Bridge is a state-of-the-art 100-meter long, Class 70 Steel Arch Superstructure
    Siyom Bridge over Siyom River in Arunachal Pradesh. The Siyom Bridge will facilitate
    movement of army vehicles and weapons to Upper Siang District, Tuting and Yinkiong
    regions along the Line of Actual Control.
  1. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has launched ‘Mission 929’ to achieve a voter turnout
    of more than 90% in Tripura. The mission aims to create awareness among people to vote in
    the upcoming elections.
  • The mission will focus on 929 polling booths across Tripura with a target to increase the
    voter turnout to 92 percent in the next assembly elections.
  • In the 2018 assembly polls, these booths recorded a voter turnout of less than 89 percent.
    Note: The 2023 Tripura Legislative Assembly election is scheduled to be held in Tripura by
    March 2023 to elect all 60 members of the Tripura Legislative Assembly.
  1. President of India Droupadi Murmu has inaugurated the 18th National Scout and Guide
    Jamboree at Rohat in the Pali district of Rajasthan. The state has hosted the Jamboree after
    66 years.
  • Over 35,000 scouts and guides from all over the country have participated in this 7-day
    mega-event.
  • A smart jamboree village has been set up with all the facilities on a 220 hectare area at
    Nimblee village 3500 tents have been erected at the venue.
  • The main attraction of the event was the display of the Indian Airforce Surya Kiran
    Aerobatics Team.
  • This event give a platform to young scouts to share their customs, food habits,
    handicrafts, and religious practices with each other.
  1. NTPC Limited and Gujarat Gas Limited (GGL) have commissioned India’s first green
    hydrogen blending project in the Piped Natural Gas (PNG) network of NTPC Kawas township
    in Gujarat.
  • The project aims to supply H2-NG (natural gas) to households in the Kawas township at
    Adityanagar, Surat.
  • The green hydrogen in Kawas is produced through the electrolysis of water using power
    from a 1 MW floating solar project.
  • The green hydrogen blending project in Surat is being carried out with the approval of the
    Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB).
  • The PNGRB has given permission for a 5% vol./vol. blending of green hydrogen with PNG
    to start with, with the blending level to be gradually increased to reach 20%.
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  1. The President of India Droupadi Mormu has inaugurated the Samvidhan Udyan, Mayur
    Stambh, National Flag Post, statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Maharana Pratap at Raj Bhavan,
    Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • She has virtually inaugurated the Transmission System for Solar Energy Zones in
    Rajasthan.
  • She has also laid the foundation stone for 1000 MW Bikaner Solar Power Project of SJVN
    Limited.
  • She has launched a National Campaign on ‘RISE-Rising India through Spiritual
    Empowerment’, organized by Brahma Kumaris.
    Other projects inaugurated:
  • President of India Droupadi Mormu has virtually inaugurated the Brahma Kumaris
    Silence Retreat Centre in Secunderabad, Telangana.
  • She has also laid the foundation stone for Brahma Kumaris Auditorium and Spiritual
    Art Gallery at Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
  1. Sammed Shikharji, located on the Parasnath Hill in Giridih district of Jharkhand, is the
    biggest pilgrimage centre of the Jain community. It is believed that 20 of the 24 Jain
    Tirthankaras, together with other monks, obtained Moksha here.
    In News: Jains observe a one-day bandh to protest against the Jharkhand government’s
    decision to turn Shri Sammed Shikharji Tirth into a tourist spot.
  2. The state government of Himachal Pradesh will set up the CM’s Sukhashraya Sahayata
    Kosh for the destitute with an outlay of Rs.101 crore. The scheme will aim to provide the
    facility of higher education to needy children and destitute women.
  3. The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the Indian Library Congress
    at the Collectorate Ground in Kannur.
  • The People’s Mission for Social Development and Library Council has organized the event
    in association with Kannur University.
  • The main aim of the congress is to make libraries a centre of entertainment and
    knowledge rather than just bookstores.
  • Around 3000 delegates from across the country have participated in the congress.
  1. Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has virtually inaugurated 2 infrastructure projects:
    Maitra Bridge in Ramban district of Jammu & Kashmir and the double-lane SrinagarSonamarg-Gumri road connecting the Ladakh region with J&K. The 2 projects are aimed to
    improve the road connectivity in J&K and Ladakh.
    Maitra Bridge:
  • It is also known as Jhula Bridge. It is a 240-feet Bailey suspension bridge connecting the
    Ramban district administrative complex and Gool sub-division.
  • The project has been completed within 31 days, 2 months ahead of its scheduled date of
    completion.
    Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road:
    The road connects Srinagar to Kargil and Leh with a carriage way width of 7.00 metres and
    road width of 12.00 metres. The total length of the road is 84.320 km. This lifeline road link
    connects township of Kashmir via Manigam, Kangan Hari-Ganiwan, Gund, Gagangir,
    Sonamarg, Zozila before entering Ladakh.
  1. The Zeliangrong community of Manipur has observed the Gaan-Ngai festival to bring
    peace, prosperity, and unity to the people of Manipur. The festival also marks the beginning
    of the New Year and bids farewell to the old year.
  • This festival is one of the biggest cultural and religious post-harvest festivals of the
    Zeliangrong community that marks the end of the year when the farmers stores their
    harvest in their granaries.
  • The festival is observed by all non-Christian villages of Zeliangrong tribes which includes,
    Zeme, Liangmei, Rongmei, Kabui, Ipui, and others living in Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland.
  1. The state government of Madhya Pradesh has launched the ‘Chief Minister’s Residential
    Land Rights Scheme’ (Mukhyamantri Aavaseya Bhumi Adhikar Yojna) from Bakpura
    Panchayat of Tikamgarh district.
  • Under this scheme, each beneficiary family will be given a plot of about 600 square feet
    for construction of houses.
  • Under the scheme, applications from 14 lakh people have been received from across the
    state.
  1. With the commissioning of Automatic signalling system in Sath Naraini- Rundhi- Faizullapur
    Station section of Prayagraj Division, 762 KM long Ghaziabad-Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay
    section has been fully automated and has also become the longest automatic block
    signalling section of Indian Railways (IR).
  • Indian Railways has been rolling out Automatic Block Signalling (ABS) on a mission mode.
  • ABS has been commissioned on 268 Route km during 2022-23.
  • As on 31st December 2022, ABS has been provided on 3706 Route km over IR.
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  1. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has
    approved the investment for the 382 MW Sunni Dam Hydro Electric Project in Himachal
    Pradesh by SJVN Limited, for an estimated cost of Rs.2614.51 crore including Rs.13.80 crore
    as budgetary support from the Government of India for cost of enabling infrastructure.
    The project cost of Rs.2614 crore included hard cost amounting to Rs.2246.40 crore, Interest
    During Construction (IDC) and Financing Charges (FC) of Rs.358.96 crore & Rs.9.15 crore,
    respectively.
    Other cabinet approvals:
    Cabinet has approved the naming of Greenfield International Airport Mopa, Goa as
    ‘Manohar International Airport – Mopa, Goa’, as a mark of tribute to Late Shri Manohar
    Parrikar, Ex-Defence Minister and Four-time Goa Chief Minister.
  2. Cabinet has also approved the continuation of Schemes of Ministry of Development of
    North Eastern Region, with an outlay of Rs.12882.2 crore, for the balance period of the 15th
    Finance Commission (2022-23 to 2025-26).
  • The outlay for the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme (NESIDS) will be Rs.8139.5
    crore including committed liabilities of ongoing projects.
  • The outlay for ‘Schemes of NEC’ will be Rs.3202.7 crore including committed liabilities of
    ongoing projects.
  • The outlay for Special Packages for BTC, DHATC and KAATC in Assam is Rs.1540 (BTC- Rs
    500 crore, KAATC – Rs 750 crore and old packages of BTC, DHATC & KAATC – Rs 290 crore).
  1. Varanasi Cantt Railway Station has been awarded a 5- star ‘Eat Right Station’ certification
    for providing high-quality, nutritious food to passengers. This certification is granted by Food
    Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to railway stations adhering to standard food
    storage and hygiene practices.
  • The ‘Eat Right Station’ certification is awarded by FSSAI to railway stations that set
    benchmarks in providing safe and wholesome food to passengers.
  • The station is awarded a certificate upon a conclusion of an FSSAI-empanelled third-party
    audit agency with ratings from 1 to 5.
  • The 5-star rating indicates full compliance by the station to ensure safe and hygienic food
    is available to passengers.
    Other railway stations with Star certification:
    Anand Vihar Terminal Railway Station (Delhi); Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Mumbai);
    Mumbai Central Railway Station, (Mumbai); Vadodara Railway Station, Chandigarh Railway
    Station and Bhopal Railway Station.
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  1. Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has approved Rs.28.11 crore to
    provide immediate relief to over 28,000 FCV Tobacco farmers affected by Cyclone
    Mandous in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The fund extends a special interest-free loan of Rs.10,000 to each member of Tobacco
    Board’s Growers’ Welfare Schemes.
  • This will benefit 28,112 farmers under the Southern Regions (Southern Light Soil and
    Southern Black Soil).
  • The interest-free loan to the eligible FCV Tobacco farmers will be administered by the
    Tobacco Board, a statutory body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry,
    Government of India.
    FCV tobacco:
    It is the major exportable tobacco variety of the total unmanufactured tobacco exports from
    India.
    FCV tobacco is a major commercial crop grown in 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh with an
    annual production of 121 m.kg (2021-22) grown in an area of 66,000 ha.
  1. Union Minister for MSME Narayan Rane has inaugurated virtually an India made Intelligent
    Tray Retrieval System (ITRS), manufactured by M/s SJK Innovations Pvt. Ltd, a MSMEMake in India Company at MOPA (Goa) International airport.
  • This “Made in India” ITRS system is also a “Patented in India”.
  • The ITRS is an Artificial Intelligence based fully automatic machine that helps in providing
    enhanced passenger security with advanced screening technology.
  • The machine is equipped with image analysis software with advanced tools that makes it
    easy for the screener to take correct decisions against every baggage.
  1. The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan has inaugurated the Palm leaf Manuscript
    Museum with modern audio-visual technology at the renovated Central Archives, Fort area in
    Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • The museum, promoted as “World’s First Palm-Leaf Manuscript Museum” has been set up
    by the Archives Department in association with the Kerala Museum of History and
    Heritage at a cost of Rs.3 crore.
  • The museum is a repository of curious nuggets of administrative, socio-cultural and
    economic facets of the Travancore kingdom which lasted for 650 years till the end of the
    19th century.
  1. The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has organised the first design-centric
    jewellery show of the calendar year 2023 – India International Jewellery Show (IIJS
    Signature) and India Gem & Jewellery Machinery Expo (IGJME) at the Bombay Exhibition
    Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra from 5th to 9th January 2023.
  • Chief Guest: Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry
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  • India’s overall gem and jewellery exports in 2022 saw a growth of 8.26% as compared to
    2021.
    The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC):
    It was set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India (GoI) in 1966. It is the apex
    body of the gems & jewellery industry and represents 8500 members in the sector. It has
    been granted autonomous status in 1998.
  • Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman: Vipul Shah
  1. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh has
    inaugurated the “National Genome Editing & Training Centre” at National Agri-food
    Biotechnology Institute (NABI) Mohali, Punjab.
    He has also inaugurated a 4-day International Conference on Food and Nutritional
    Security (iFANS) 2023.
    iFANS-2023:
    It has been jointly organized by the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Centre
    for Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing (CIAB), National Institute of Plant Biotechnology
    (NIPB), and International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB) at NABI,
    Mohali.
    The conference focuses on how genome editing could enhance India’s food and nutritional
    security under changing climate.
  2. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has inaugurated a mega dairy built at a cost of Rs.260
    crore in Mandya district of Karnataka. This mega dairy will process 10 lakh liters of milk
    per day and it will have the capacity to increase it up to 14 lakh liters per day.
  3. The 205th anniversary of the Bhima-Koregaon battle has recently been observed near the
    Ranstambh (victory pillar) in Perne village, Pune district of Maharashtra.
    Battle of Bhima-Koregaon:
    It took place on 1 January 1818 in the village of Koregaon, Maharashtra between the British
    East India Company and the Army of Peshwa Bajirao II. The British had just 834 infantrymen,
    around 500 of whom were from the Mahar community, and 12 officers, while the Peshwa
    army consisted of 28,000 soldiers. Although the outcome of the battle was inconclusive, the
    Jaystambh (obelisk) in Bhima-Koregaon village was erected by the British government in 1821
    to commemorate the soldiers who had fought against the Peshwas.
  4. The Governor of Tamil Nadu Ravindra Naryana Ravi (R.N. Ravi) has inaugurated the ‘Octave2023-Northeastern Cultural Festival’ held under the aegis of the South Zone Cultural
    Centre, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, under the Union Ministry of Culture, to showcase the
    indigenous art and culture of North East India.
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    Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh are
    among the participating states.
  5. The Cabinet of Assam has approved the proposal for grant of industry status to the tourism
    sector in the state, to boost investments and generate employment. With the grant,
    restaurants, cafeterias, health clubs, spas and wellness centres, among others, in the state
    are eligible for incentives under the industrial policy.
  6. Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah has laid the foundation stone of the
    Central Detective Training Institute (CDTI) at Devanahalli in Karnataka and inaugurated
    the residential and administrative complexes of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)
    including Residential Quarters, Joint Building, Barracks for 120 Jawans, Staff Officers’ Mess
    and Officers’ Mess.
  7. Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh has
    inaugurated “Incubation Centre” at National Research Development Corporation
    (NRDC), Delhi to provide multi-prong support to startups.
    With this, Dr Jitendra Singh has become the first Science and Technology Minister to visit the
    NRDC Headquarters in Delhi, since its inception in 1953.
  8. Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala has
    inaugurated 29 Mobile Veterinary Units (MVUs) and centralised call centre in
    Thiruvananthpuram, Kerala. These MVUs will be operated through a centralised call centre
    with a uniform Helpline No. 1962.
  9. Ministry of Road Transport and Highways stated that 11 states/UTs have joined the
    National Single Window System (NSWS) for Voluntary Vehicle-Fleet Modernization
    Program (V-VMP) to attract private investment in the vehicle scrapping ecosystem. These
    states/UTs are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh,
    Rajasthan, Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Chandigarh.
    Vehicle Scrappage Policy (V-VMP):
    It was announced in the Union Budget 2021-22. It came into effect on 1st April 2022. The
    policy proposed a fitness test after 20 years for personal vehicles and 15 years for
    commercial vehicles. Under the new policy, the government will provide up to 25 percent tax
    rebate on road tax for vehicles that are purchased after scrapping old vehicles.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Croatia, the youngest member of the European Union (EU), has adopted the ‘Euro’, and it
    became a part of Europe’s border-free Schengen zone.
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  • Croatia, a Balkan country, is now the 20th member of the Eurozone and the 27th country
    to join the passport-free Schengen zone.
  • The Euro has replaced the ‘Kuna’ as the official currency of Croatia starting on 1st January
    2023.
  • The Kuna will be exchanged at a rate of 1 Euro for 7.53450 of Croatian kuna.
  • The new Croatian euro coin will have inventor Nikola Tesla on one side, as well as a map
    of the country and the national checkerboard design.
    Schengen Area:
    The Schengen Area is an area comprising 27 European countries that have officially abolished
    all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.
  1. Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique and Switzerland have recently began their 2-year
    term as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). These
    new members have replaced India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway.
    Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are currently in the middle
    of their 2-year term as non-permanent members of UNSC.
    United Nations Security Council (UNSC):
    The UNSC is responsible for maintaining international peace and security. It has 15 members
    in total, including the five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom,
    and the United States) who have veto power, and 10 elected members who serve 2-year
    terms. The elected members are allocated by global regions and are replaced every two
    years.
  2. China has become the first country in Asia and second in the world to launch Hydrogen
    powered Train. The train has a top speed of 160 km per hour and can run without refuelling
    for 600 km.
    Germany was the first country to introduce hydrogen-powered trains in September 2022.
    Hydrogen Trains:
    The Hydrogen fuel cell is environment friendly and it does not emit any greenhouse gasses. It
    uses hydrogen and air to generate electricity. The combination of air and hydrogen will
    produce water as a by-product which will be released by the Train.
    Note: Hydrogen trains will start in India by December 2023.
  3. Digantara, a space sector start-up, has launched its second satellite Pushan-Alpha as a
    rideshare onboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying Transporter-6 mission to the low earth
    orbit, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, USA.
    Pushan-Alpha Mission:
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  • Objectives: (a) To extend radiation measurements to the sun synchronous orbit; (b) To
    assess mid to high energy particle radiation from the South Atlantic Anomaly; and (c) To
    investigate any co-relation of atmospheric drag and particle environment for enhanced
    orbit and debris modelling.
  • The Pushan-Alpha mission is named after the Hindu solar deity considered as the god of
    journeys and protector of travellers.
  • The satellite will serve as a space weather testbed in the sun synchronous orbit for
    enhancing precision driven situational space awareness applications.
  1. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted its first ever resolution on
    Myanmar in 74 years to demand an end to violence and urge the military junta to release all
    political prisoners, including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Myanmar has been in crisis since the army seized Suu Kyi’s elected government on 1st
    February 2021, detaining her and other officials.
  • In the 15-member UNSC council for the Myanmar crisis, China, Russia and India denied
    the vote. The remaining 12 members voted in favour.

REPORTS & INDICES

  1. According to Nikkei Asia’s report, India has surpassed Japan to become the third-largest
    auto market globally in 2022. China continued to lead the global auto market, followed by
    the USA.
    India’s sales volume is expected to rise further with the inclusion of pending fourth-quarter
    sales figures for commercial vehicles.
    As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, new vehicles delivered in India
    totalled 4.13 million between January and November 2022.
  2. The gross GST (Goods & Services Tax) revenue collected during December 2022 is
    Rs.1,49,507 crore, of which CGST is Rs.26,711 crore, SGST is Rs.33,357 crore, IGST is
    Rs.78,434 crore (including Rs.40,263 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs.11,005
    crore (including Rs 850 crore collected on import of goods).
  • The Government has settled Rs.36,669 crore to CGST and Rs.31,094 crore to SGST from
    IGST as regular settlement.
  • The total revenue of the Centre and the States after regular settlements in December
    2022 is Rs.63,380 crore for CGST and Rs.64,451 crore for the SGST.
  • The revenues for the month of December 2022 are 15% higher than the GST revenues in
    the same month last year.
    Additional Information:
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    The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services
    sold for domestic consumption. It was introduced in India from 1st July 2017. It is being levied
    at four rates viz. 5%, 12%, 16% and 28%.
  1. As per the latest data from the Ministry of Finance (MoF), India’s external debt stood at USD
    610.5 billion in the second quarter of 2022-23 (July-September 2022) showing a decrease of
    USD 2.3 billion from Q1 FY23 (April to June 2022). The external debt to GDP ratio stood at
    19.2 percent at the end of Q2FY23 as compared to 19.3 percent at end of Q1FY23.
  • Valuation gains were USD 10.6 billion.
  • Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been USD 8.3
    billion instead of a decrease of USD 2.3 billion at end Q2FY22 over end Q1FY22.
  • At end Q2FY22, long-term debt (with original maturity of above one year) was placed at
    USD 478.7 billion, a decline of USD 8 billion over Q1FY22.
  • The US dollar denominated debt remained the largest component of India’s external
    debt, with a share of 55.5 percent at end of Q2FY22, followed by the Indian rupee (30.2
    percent), Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (6.1 percent), Yen (4.9 percent), and the Euro (2.6
    percent).
  1. Coffee shipments from India, Asia’s third-largest producer and exporter, have grown by
    1.66 percent to 4 lakh tonnes in 2022 from 3.93 lakh tonnes in 2021.
  • In value terms, coffee export was higher at Rs 8,762.47 crore in 2022 as against Rs
    6,984.67 crore in 2021.
  • The shipment of Robusta coffee has declined marginally to 2,20,974 tonne in 2022 from
    2,20,997 tonne in 2021.
  • The export of Arabica has declined by 11.43 percent to 44,542 tonne from 50,292 tonne.
  • The export of instant coffee has increased by 16.73 percent to 35,810 tonne in 2022 from
    29,819 tonne in 2021.
  • Around 99,513 tonne of coffee has been re-exported in 2022, higher than 92,235 tonne in
    2021.
    Italy, Germany and Russia are the major export destinations for the Indian coffee.
    Note: Karnataka is the largest coffee producing state in India.

GOVERNMENT SCHEMES & PROGRAMMES

  1. The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD’s) flagship poverty alleviation program
    Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has launched
    the “Prajjwala Challenge” to invite ideas, solutions, and actions that can transform rural
    economy.
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    The Prajjwala Challenge has been launched by the Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development,
    Shailesh Kumar Singh in New Delhi.
    Under this challenge, ideas are invited from individuals, Social Enterprises, Start up, Private
    Sector, Civil Society, Community Based Organization, Academic Institution, Start-ups,
    Incubation centres, Investors etc. having potential to transform the rural economy.
    The top 5 ideas will be rewarded with Rs.2 lakh each.
  2. The Central government has rolled out new integrated Food Security Scheme to ensure
    effective and uniform implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA). The scheme is
    effective from 1
    st January 2023 to December 2023.
  • The scheme provides free food grains to over 81 crore beneficiaries (Antyodaya Ann
    Yojana (AAY) households and Priority Household (PHH) people) under National Food
    Security Act (NFSA) in 2023.
  • It is a scheme to strengthen the provisions of NFSA, 2013 in terms of accessibility,
    affordability, and availability of food grains for the poor and the vulnerable section of
    society.
  • The new integrated scheme combines two current food subsidy schemes of the
    Department of Food and Public Distribution (a) Food Subsidy to Food Corporation of India
    (FCI) for NFSA, and (b) Food Subsidy for decentralized procurement states, dealing with
    procurement, allocation, and delivery of free food grains to the states under NFSA.
    Free food grains will concurrently ensure uniform implementation of portability under One
    Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) across the country. The Central Government will bear the
    food subsidy of more than Rs. 2 lakh crore for the year 2023.
  1. The Ministry of Jal Shakti has organized the “1st All India Annual State Ministers
    Conference on Water’’ in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on 5th & 6th January 2023. The theme of
    the conference is “Water Vision@2047”.
    Objective: To gather inputs for the India@2047 and 5P (Political will, Public financing,
    Partnerships, Public Participation and Persuasion for sustainability) vision from the different
    water stakeholders of the states, and also to improve engagement and partnership with the
    states.
    Participants: State Ministers and Senior Secretaries of Water Resources, Public Health
    Engineering Department (PHED) and Irrigation from all States/ UTs along with Agriculture
    Production Commissioners.
    The conference have 5 thematic sessions viz.
    (a) Water Security in Water Deficit, Water Surplus and Hilly Regions
    (b) Water Use Efficiency including Reuse of Waste Water/ Grey Water
    (c) Water Governance
    (d) Climate Change Resilient Water Infrastructure
    (e) Water Quality
    Note: Water is a State subject.
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  2. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the proposal of the Ministry of
    Information and Broadcasting regarding the Central Sector Scheme “Broadcasting
    Infrastructure and Network Development” (BIND).
  • The BIND scheme is aimed to bring modernisation to the public broadcaster Prasar
    Bharati i.e. All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).
  • The outlay of the scheme is Rs.2,539.61 crore and is for the time period 2025-26.
  • The scheme will increase coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country to 66% by
    geographical area and 80% by population up from 59% and 68% respectively.
  • The scheme also envisages free distribution of over 8 lakh DD Free Dish STBs to people
    living in remote, tribal, LWE and border areas.
  1. Ministry of Power has recently completed 8 years of distributing and selling LED lights
    under its flagship Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) programme.
    Achievements-
  • More than 36.8 crore LEDs have been distributed across the country so far.
  • Over 48.42 billion Kilowatt-hour per annum energy has been saved.
  • 9,789 megawatts of peak demand has been avoided.
  • There has been a substantial reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
    Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA):
  • It is a zero-subsidy scheme’
  • It was launched on 5
    th January 2015.
  • It is implemented by the Ministry of Power.
  • It is touted as the world’s largest domestic lighting project.
  • It is also known as the LED-based Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP).
  • It aims to promote the efficient usage of energy for all i.e., its consumption, savings
    and lighting.
  • Every domestic household having a metered connection from their respective
    Electricity Distribution Company is eligible to get the LED bulbs under the Scheme.
  • The programme is spearheaded by the Energy Efficiency Services Limited.
  1. A new product Jan Aushadhi Special Chyawanprash under Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya
    Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) has been launched in New Delhi. Chyawanprash Special is a
    potent antioxidant paste, prepared through the synergistic blending of around 50 herbs and
    spices.
    Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP):
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    It was launched in 2008 by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals &
    Fertilizers, Government of India. The aim is to make quality generic medicines available at
    affordable prices to all. It is being implemented by the Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices
    Bureau of India (PMBI).

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  1. India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and his Cyprus counterpart Ioannis
    Kasoulides have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence and Military
    Cooperation.
  • A Letter of Intent on Migration and Mobility Partnership has also been signed to
    provide a common framework of arrangement and cooperation to facilitate the mobility
    of students, academics, business people, and professionals. It will also help in combating
    irregular migration.
  • The External Affairs Minister has also released the commemorative stamps on 75 years of
    India’s Independence and 60 years of establishing diplomatic ties with Cyprus.
    It is noteworthy that External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar visited the Republic of
    Cyprus from 29th December to 31st December 2022 and the Republic of Astana from 31st
    December to 3rd January 2023.
    During his visit, India & Austria have signed a number of agreements, including ones
    pertaining to mobility and migration and the Working Holiday Programme.
  1. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore- backed non-profit foundation ARTPARK (AI
    & Robotics Technology Park) has joined hands with Google to launch pan-India inclusive
    language data initiative named ‘Project Vaani’ for open-sourcing datasets, which will amplify
    the Indian government’s ‘Digital India’ efforts by including more diverse regional and local
    languages.
  • Project Vaani aims to compile comprehensive datasets of transcribed text and spoken
    language from each district in India.
  • Vaani joins the SYSPIN (Synthesizing Speech in Indian Languages) and RESPIN
    (Recognizing Speech in Indian Languages) programmes, which encompass nine languages,
    including Magadhi and Maithili, under the Bhāshā AI umbrella of ARTPARK and IISc.
  1. RITES Limited, a Miniratna (Category – I) Schedule ‘A’ public sector enterprise, has signed a
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with KIIFCON, a consultancy organization under
    Kerala infrastructure investment fund board (KIIFB), to jointly explore, identify, secure and
    execute consultancy projects.
    Under this MoU, RITES and KIIFCON will work as partners to provide consultancy regarding
    development and execution for transport and infrastructure projects in various sectors,
    including highways, airports, ports & waterways, urban transport (metros), sustainability, etc.
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  2. Zerodha-backed GoldenPi Technologies has become the first online bond platform
    provider to receive a debt brokerage license from market regulator Securities and Exchange
    Board of India (SEBI). The licence is expected to boost investor trust in the online bond and
    debenture investment space.
  3. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has relaxed certain provisions of the SEBI
    (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (Listing
    Requirements) relating to the dispatch of a hard copy of the annual report due in the year
    2023 to debenture holders till 30th September 2023, which shall take effect immediately. The
    earlier extension lasted until 31st December 2022.
  4. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has agreed to the Central Government
    request to reclassify its shareholding in IDBI Bank after its disinvestment as public holding.
    However, this is subject to the condition that government’s voting rights in the bank will not
    exceed 15% of the total voting rights after the sale.
  5. Hindustan Copper Limited, a Miniratna, Category I CPSE under the Ministry of Mines, has
    signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology
    (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad at HCL Corporate Office in Kolkata for collaborative and
    sponsored research projects.
    This MoU will address HCL’s need for technical assistance, guidance and consultancy work
    from IIT-ISM for enhancing copper ore production through modifying mining methods with
    application of state-of-the-art technologies, improvement of productivity and safety in mines,
    environmental clearance issues, various Hydrological & Hydro-geological studies and in areas
    of unconventional exploration methods like Geophysical exploration, Remote Sensing etc. for
    depth exploration of copper ore.
  6. Hindustan Copper Limited has also signed a Tripartite 8th Wage Settlement for revision of
    Wages and Allowances of workmen.
  7. USA-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), a subsidiary of General
    Atomics, has tied up with Bharat Forge Limited, a part of Kalyani Group, to manufacture
    aerostructures- main landing gear components, subassemblies, and assemblies of remotely
    piloted aircraft in India.
    This association aims to support the development of a manufacturing ecosystem for highend drones.
  8. Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD), has virtually attended the
    Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Exchange Ceremony ‘Outreach Programme with the
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    Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ministry of Skill Development and
    Entrepreneurship (MoSDE)’ in New Delhi.
  • The event has witnessed the signing of MoUs and Agreements by MoD, MoE, and MoSDE,
    Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force with various stakeholders to facilitate the
    continued education of Agniveers while serving in the Armed Forces.
  • Under these MoUs, the National Institute of Open School and Indira Gandhi National
    Open University will award the Agniveers with suitable 12th Class certificates and
    Bachelor’s degrees.
    Agneepath scheme:
    The Government of India (GoI) launched the Agneepath scheme on 15th June 2022. Under the
    scheme, both male and female candidates are recruited as Agniveers in the ‘below officer’s
    rank’ cadre of the three services of the country for a period of four years.
  1. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has collaborated with Microsoft India to
    support and promote the growth of space technology startups in India.
    This collaboration aims to empower Indian space tech startups with technology tools and
    platforms, go-to-market support, and mentoring to help them scale and become enterprise
    ready.
  2. NTPC Green Energy Ltd (NGEL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with
    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) for the development of renewable energy
    based power projects to tap Business opportunities in RE and supply of 400 MW round the
    clock renewable power for requirements of HPCL.
    This MoU marks the first step for NGEL and HPCL to collaborate and cooperate in the field of
    development of Renewable Energy projects which shall help HPCL in meeting its Clean
    Energy Commitments.
  3. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Rs.18,590 crore has been signed between
    the Government of Uttar Pradesh and six companies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
    ahead of the Global Investors Summit to be held in Lucknow in February 2023.
  • The two companies, Astha Green Energy Venture and Shree Siddharth Infratech and
    Services will invest in renewable energy worth Rs.4480 and Rs.8000 crore respectively to
    create 2560 and 4800 new jobs.
  • Another two companies, Sharaf Group and Hindustan Port will invest in the Logistics Park
    sector. The investment will be Rs.1300 and Rs.210 crore respectively in the state.
  • Lulu Group will invest Rs.4500 crore in retail and food processing sectors, creating 10000
    jobs. While Sobha Realty will invest Rs.100 crore in education and CSR.
  1. The Adani Group has acquired 27.26% equity stake in New Delhi Television (NDTV) from its
    founders Prannoy Roy and his wife Radhika Roy for a cash consideration of Rs.602.3 crore.
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  2. Granules India has collaborated with Greenko Group, backed by GIC Holdings Pvt. Ltd., Abu
    Dhabi Investment Authority and Japan’s ORIX Corporation to develop and promote carbon
    free energy and green molecule solutions. Both will develop and promote State-of-the-art
    Integrated Green Pharmaceutical Zones (GPZ) with first collaboration in Kakinada, Andhra
    Pradesh.
  3. The Government of India (GoI) has exempted any listed entity in which the Central
    Government or State Government or public sector company, either individually or in any
    combination with other, hold directly or indirectly, majority of the shares or voting rights or
    control of such listed entity, from the Minimum Public Shareholding (MPS) norm which
    mandates at least 25 percent public float for all listed companies. The exemption from MPS
    norm will be valid for a specified period even if there is a change in ownership or control
    after the exemption is granted.

BANKING & FINANCE

  1. Lingam Venkata Prabhakar, the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    of Canara Bank, has retired from the services of the bank on 31st December 2022, on
    attaining the age of superannuation.
  • He also worked as the Executive Director of Punjab National Bank (PNB).
  • He also served as the Chairman of Canara Robeco Asset Management Co. Ltd., Canara
    HSBC OBC Insurance Company Limited & Canfin Homes Limited and the Chairman of the
    IBA Standing Committee on Payment Systems & Banking Technology.
  1. BharatPe, a fintech Startup, has appointed current Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nalin Negi
    as the firm’s interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He has replaced Suhail Sameer, who
    stepped down from the position. Suhail Sameer will take on the role of strategic advisor,
    effective 7th January 2023.
  2. The Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, has increased the interest rate
    on a number of small savings schemes for the fourth quarter (Q4) of the current fiscal year
    2022-23 (FY23), which runs from 1
    st January 2023 to 31st March 2023.
InstrumentsRates of
interest (%)
(Q3 of FY 2022-23)
Rates of
interest (%)
(Q4 of FY 2022-
23)
Compounding
Savings Deposit (SD)4.04.0Annual
1 Year Time Deposit (TD)5.56.6Quarterly
2 Year Time Deposit (TD)5.76.8Quarterly
3 Year Time Deposit (TD)5.86.9Quarterly
5 Year Time Deposit (TD)6.77.0Quarterly
5 Year Recurring Deposit (RD)5.85.8Quarterly
5 Year Senior Citizens Savings
Scheme (SCSS)
7.68.0Paid
Quarterly
5 year Monthly Income
Scheme (MIS)
6.77.1Paid
Monthly
5 Year National Savings
Certificate (NSC)
6.87.0Annual
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
Scheme
7.17.1Annual
Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP)7.0 (will mature
in 123 months)
7.2 (will mature
in 120 months)
Annual
Sukanya Samriddhi Account
Scheme (SSAS)
7.67.6Annual
  1. Indian Bank has unveiled the QR code bill payment system for Chamundeshwari
    Electricity Supply Corporation Ltd (CESC) making it as the first power distribution company
    to offer such an initiative to customers in Mysuru, Karnataka.
    This dynamic QR code linked to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on printed electricity bill,
    will help customers in making their payments without visiting any online portal or physically
    going to any payment centre.
  2. The Government of Tripura has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    worth Rs. 2,275 crore to strengthen and improve power distribution efficiency in the state.
  • Under this, ADB will support the state government’s efforts to strengthen its power sector
    by replacing inefficient power plants and strengthening the distribution system.
  • The project will be implemented in the next 3 years.
  • Of the Rs. 2,275 crore fund, the central government will repay Rs.1,820 crore while the
    state will provide Rs.455 crore.
  1. Ajay Kumar Srivastava, Executive Director of Indian Overseas Bank, has become the
    Managing Director (MD) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Indian Overseas Bank
    (IOB) with effect from 1st January 2023. He has succeeded Partha Pratim Sengupta.
  2. Punjab & Sindh Bank (PSB), a public sector bank, has collaborated with SBI Card to launch
    co-branded credit cards for the bank’s customers. This marks the entry of PSB into ‘credit
    cards’ as a new product segment under the bank’s portfolio.
    Under this collaboration, three card variants have been launched including, PSB SBI Card
    ELITE, PSB SBI Card PRIME, and PSB SimplySAVE SBI Card.
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  3. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has sanctioned USD 100 million External Commercial
    Borrowing (ECB), a five-year loan, under the lender’s social finance framework to Shriram
    Finance Limited, a part of Shriram Group, to provide vehicle loans to women
    entrepreneurs.
    The credit will be issued towards the purchase of new and used vehicles throughout India.
  4. The IDBI Bank has signed a Scheme Transfer Agreement (STA) with LIC Mutual Fund (MF)
    for the transfer of Schemes of IDBI Mutual Funds (MF) to LIC Mutual Fund to comply with
    regulations 7B of the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Mutual and Regulations.
    Following this proposed scheme acquisition transaction the like-to-like schemes will be
    merged and the unique schemes of IDBI MF will continue on a standalone basis with the
    acquiring entity.
  5. Bank of Baroda, the second largest public sector bank in India after SBI, has bagged an EAG
    Laureate award in the International Olympiad of Financial Security held at Sochi, Russia.
  • The Eurasian group on combating money laundering and terrorism (EAG) is a FATF type
    regional which comprises of 9 members including India.
  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global anti- money laundering and antiterrorist financing body.
  1. The Board of Directors of IDBI Bank Limited has re-appointed Suresh Kishinchand
    Khatanhar as the Deputy Managing Director (DMD) for 1 year with effect from 15th January
    1. Dhanlaxmi Bank has launched its new retail banking services ‘DhanDelight’, and retail
      mobile banking app ‘DhanSmart’ featuring latest information system security features to
      provide secure banking. The new services are built on omni channel platform.
      In DhanDelight, latest UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) enable customers to do
      the financial transactions more securely.
  2. IndusInd Bank has tied up with British Airways Executive Club and Qatar Airways
    Privilege Club to introduce the first-of-its-kind unique multi-branded credit card, powered by
    Visa.
    This multi-branded credit card will be launched and made available to consumers in the first
    quarter of FY 2023-24.
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  3. ICICI Bank has introduced the Digital Solutions for Exporters, a comprehensive set of
    banking and value-added services on a single platform. The initiative aims to simplify the
    journey of exporters by decongesting the current time-intensive manual procedures.
    Key services and offerings of the Digital Solutions for Exporters:
  • Exporters will get the convenience of Export Packing Credit (EPC) instantly and digitally.
  • The solution offers foreign currency accounts namely Exchange Earners’ Foreign
    Currency Account (EEFC).
  • Exporters can book forex deals over phone or online through digital platforms to get
    flexibility and transparency in booking rates.
  • The exporters can avail Digital Letter of Credit (e-LC) facility.
  • The bank has partnered with Electronic Bills of Lading (e-BL) service providers to facilitate
    end-to-end digital movement of trade documents across the world.
  • The solution offers digital filing of documents, settlement, and reconciliation of export
    invoices.
  • Exporters can avail value-added services from Trade Emerge, the Bank’s one-stop
    platform that offers a comprehensive digital suite of various banking and beyond banking
    services for companies.
  • The Bank offers Trade APIs, a future-ready industry-first solution, for seamless handling
    of export bills.
  1. Aegon Life Insurance has launched the ‘iTerm Prime’ Insurance plan, which will fulfil the
    requirements of self-employed individuals by offering a special 10% discount (5% discount in
    addition to the 5% online discount for all) on the first-year premium.
    Key features of iTerm Prime:
  • The plan offers a minimum sum assured of Rs.25 lakhs with no maximum limit on a
    consumer’s requirement.
  • The minimum entry age is 18 years, while the maximum age for regular pay is 65 years
    and 50 years for limited pay.
  • The product also offers a ‘Special Exit Value’ option that allows the policyholder to get all
    premiums back when they turn 55 years old.
  • The policy offers unique add-on features including Critical Illness Rider and Accidental
    Death Benefit Rider.
  1. HDFC Bank & Yes Bank have tied up with Microsoft for utilizing the Azure cloud platform
    and for developing a next-generation mobile application, respectively.
  • The association with Yes Bank is aimed at launching a mobile app that will personalise the
    experience for each customer of the bank.
  • In the case of HDFC Bank, the association is to aid the bank in the next phase of its digital
    transformation by assisting in transforming the bank’s apps, modernising its data
    landscape and securing the enterprise with the Microsoft cloud platform.
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  1. India Accelerator (IA), a seed-stage accelerator program, has launched ‘i3 Launchpad’, a
    program to nurture and co-innovate with the start-up ecosystem in India, in collaboration
    with ICICI Bank and Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned product
    subsidiary of Infosys.
  • Aim: To support a community of entrepreneurs who are on a mission to create brands
    that can have a global impact.
  • It is designed to help start-ups accelerate their success by leveraging mentorship,
    resources, and opportunities from Infosys Finacle, ICICI Bank, and IA.
  • The program is open to start-ups across all industries and will onboard two cohorts a
    year, with a target of 12-18 start-ups in each cohort.
  1. Bandhan Bank has launched its integrated marketing campaign ‘Jahaan Bandhan,
    Wahaan Trust’ featuring the bank’s brand ambassador, cricketer, Sourav Ganguly.
  • The campaign emphasises the ‘trust’ that the brand has been able to earn in a span of
    seven years as a Bank and over the last two decades in the various avatars prior to the
    bank.
  • The campaign was conceived by Leo Burnett Orchard, who was brought in as Bandhan
    Bank’s creative agency in August 2022.

RBI IN NEWS

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced that the State Bank of India (SBI), along
    with private sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will continue to be identified as
    Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs), under the same bucketing structure as
    in the 2021 list of D-SIBs.
    The list of D-SIBs is as follows:
  • SIBs are perceived as banks that are ‘too big to fail (TBTF)’.
  • This perception of TBTF creates an expectation of government support for these lenders
    in times of distress.
  • RBI places D-SIBs in appropriate buckets depending upon their Systemic Importance
    Scores (SISs).
  • Based on the bucket in which a D-SIB is placed, an Additional Common Equity
    requirement is applied to it.
  • Under bucket 1, banks require 0.2 percent of additional common equity Tier 1 capital as a
    percentage of risk-weighted assets (RWAs), and under bucket 3, banks require 0.6 percent
    of additional common equity Tier 1 capital as a percentage of RWAs.
    RBI had announced SBI and ICICI Bank as D-SIBs in 2015 and 2016. Based on data collected
    from banks as on March 31, 2017, HDFC Bank was also classified as a D-SIB. SBI is placed in
    the third bucket and private sector lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank fall under bucket 1.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently released the preliminary data on India’s Balance
    of Payments (BoP) for the July-September (Q2) of FY2022-23. As per it, India’s Current Account
    Deficit (CAD) has widened in the Q2FY23 due to increased trade gap driven by high
    commodity prices and a weak rupee.
  • India’s Current Account balance has recorded a deficit of USD 36.4 billion in Q2FY23
    which is highest in more than a decade. As a percentage of GDP, it was 4.4%, the highest
    since the June quarter of 2013.
  • India’s foreign exchange reserves on BoP basis has recorded a deficit of USD 30.4 billion
    compared to a USD 31.2 billion surplus in the Q2FY22.
  • In the financial account, net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has decreased to USD 6.4
    billion, from USD 8.7 billion in Q2FY22.
  • Net Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) has recorded inflows of USD 6.5 billion, up from
    USD 3.9 billion during Q2FY22.
  • Net external commercial borrowings by India has recorded an outflow of USD 0.4 billion
    in Q2 of 2022-23, compared to an inflow of USD 4.3 billion in Q2FY22.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das has launched the second phase of
    its medium term strategy framework for strengthening regulatory and supervisory
    mechanisms called ‘Utkarsh 2.0’ for the period 2023-25.
    The first strategy framework (Utkarsh 2022) covering the period 2019-2022 was launched in
    July 2019. It became a medium-term strategy document guiding the Bank’s progress towards
    realization of the identified milestones.
    Utkarsh 2.0 like the Utkarsh 2022 has six Vision statements as well as Core Purpose, Values,
    and Mission statements.
    Vision in Utkarsh 2.0:
  • Excellence in performance of its statutory and other functions
  • Strengthened trust of citizens and Institutions in the RBI
  • Enhanced relevance and significance in national and global roles
  • Transparent, accountable and ethics-driven internal governance
  • Best-in-class and environment-friendly digital and physical infrastructure
  • Innovative, dynamic and skilled human resources
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  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has given its approval to the SBI Funds Management (SBI
    FML) to acquire up to 9.99% of the paid-up equity capital of Equitas Small Finance Bank
    through the schemes of SBI Mutual Fund (SBI MF).
    This approval is subject to compliance with the relevant regulations issued by RBI and SEBI
    and is valid for one year till 2 January 2024.
  2. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has selected six entities out of nine applications for the Test
    Phase under the 4
    th cohort of Regulatory Sandbox (RS) on the theme ‘Prevention and
    Mitigation of Financial Frauds’. The selected entities will commence testing of their products
    on Anti-Fraud Solutions from February 2023.
Sl. No.Sandbox EntityDescription
1Bahwan Cybertek Private
Limited
Product: ‘rt360 Real Time Monitoring System’
This product provides a comprehensive surveillance
mechanism for monitoring transactions and events
from loan accounts on a continuous and real time Basic.
2Crediwatch Information
Analytics Private Limited
Product: ‘Crediwatch EWS’
This is an Early Warning System for credit
monitoring and fraud identification that looks at
data across public and private data sources to
uncover early signs of trouble for commercial
borrowers.
3EnStage Software Private
Limited (Wibmo)
Product: ‘Trident FRM’
This is a Risk Based Authentication solution aimed at
providing a frictionless (without OTP) transaction
experience for low value transactions based on risk
assessment of users.
4HSBC in collaboration with
enStage Software Private
Limited (Wibmo)
The product is a closed user group AI/ML based
solution which helps in card-not-present fraud
detection by leveraging the power of collaboration
across banks and financial institutions using
historical transactions and contextual information
through advanced technologies.
5NapID Cybersec Private
Limited
Product: ‘napID Fraud Filter Layer’
This product locks the login form, payment form,
ATM, POS machines and enable it only for the
authorised user to initiate the transaction using
their credentials via napID Zero-Factor Authenticator
app.
6Trusting Social Private
Limited
Product: ‘Trusting Social CI & AV’
This product helps in address verification by running
its proprietary AI algorithms on non-personally identifiable data on subscriber usage, location
signals and other such parameters to predict
residential and office address of users. This helps to
verify the accuracy and stability of address/ location
declared by prospective customers.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  1. The winners of Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) 2023 have recently been
    announced. 27 Indians abroad have been chosen for PBSA, the highest honour for overseas
    Indians.
    The PBSA is conferred by the President as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention on
    Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) or organisations established and
    run by NRIs or PIOs in recognition of their outstanding achievements in India and abroad.
    The 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention will be held at Indore in Madhya
    Pradesh during 8-10 January 2023.
    The awards will be conferred by the President during the valedictory session of the Pravasi
    Bharatiya Divas celebrations.
Winners of PBSA 2023CountryField
Jagadish ChennupatiAustraliaScience and  Technology and  Education
Sanjeev MehtaBhutanEducation
Dilip LoundoBrazilArt & Culture and  Education
Alexander Maliakel JohnBruneiMedicine
Vaikuntam Iyer LakshmananCanadaCommunity Welfare
Joginder Singh NijjarCroatiaArt & Culture
Ramjee PrasadDenmarkIT
Kannan AmbalamEthiopiaCommunity Welfare
Amal Kumar MukhopadhyayGermanyCommunity Welfare
Mohamed Irfaan AliGuyanaPolitics & Community  Welfare
Reena Vinod PushkarnaIsraelBusiness & Community  Welfare
Maqsooda Sarfi ShiotaniJapanEducation
RajagopalMexicoEducation
Amit Kailash Chandra LathPolandBusiness
Parmanand Sukhumal DaswaniRepublic of CongoCommunity Welfare
Piyush GuptaSingaporeBusiness
Mohanlal HiraSouth SudanCommunity Welfare
Sanjaykumar Shivabhai PatelSouth SudanCommunity Welfare
Sivakumar NadesanSri LankaCommunity Welfare
Dewanchandrebhose SharmanSurinameCommunity Welfare
Archana SharmaSwitzerlandScience & Technology
Frank Arthur SeepersadTrinidad and  TobagoCommunity Welfare
Siddharth BalachandranUAEBusiness
Chandrakant Babubhai PatelUKMedia
Darshan Singh DhaliwalUSABusiness & Community  Welfare
Rajesh SubramaniamUSABusiness
Ashok Kumar TiwaryUzbekistanBusiness
  1. The state government of Assam has recently announced the winners of the highest civilian
    awards of the state, namely Assam Baibhav, Assam Saurav and Assam Gaurav awards for
    the year 2023. A total of 21 civilians in different fields have been named to receive the three
    state civilian awards for their distinguished service.
    Assam Baibhav (cash prize: Rs.5 lakh):
    Dr Tapan Saikia in the field of healthcare (cancer care) and public service.
    Assam Saurav (cash prize: Rs.4 lakh):
    Krishna Roy in the field of art and culture, Gilbert Sangma and Nayanmoni Saikia in the field
    of sports, Dr Binoy Kumar Saikia in the field of science and Dr SashidharPhukan in the field of
    healthcare and public service.
    Assam Gaurav (cash prize: Rs.3 lakh):
    Dhritimala Deka (public service), Debajit Barman (Agriculture & Allied (Composite Farming)),
    Rustom Basumatary (Tourism), Manje La (Tourism (Agrotourism)), Binanda Hatibaruah
    (Environment & Forest), Atul Ch Baruah (Social Work), Kalyani Rajbonshi (Entrepreneur (SHG
    Worker), Shila Gowala (Public Service (ASHA worker)), Dr Jogesh Deuri (Agriculture & Allied
    (Sericulture)), Dr Pankaj Lal Gogoi (Entrepreneur (Poultry)), Sarbeswar Basumatary
    (Agriculture (Progressive Farmer)), Manthang Hmar (Agriculture & Allied (Pineapple Farmer &
    Exporter)), Dr. Dhrubajyoti Sharma (Agriculture & Allied (Horticulturist & Entrepreneur)),
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    Dayal Goswami (Satriya Culture & Art (MukhaShilpa)), and Dr Syed Ifthikar Ahmed (Anti AIDS
    and Anti-Drugs campaigner).

BOOKS & AUTHORS

  1. British Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore has authored a book titled “The World: A Family
    History of Humanity”. The book explores how people and families have played a role in the
    convergences and divergences in world history. The book is published by Hachette India.
  2. Kaki Madhava Rao, a 1962 batch IAS officer, has authored a book titled “Breaking Barriers
    The story of a Dalit Chief Secretary”.
    The book addresses the details about the dynamics of civil services at the ground level and
    also fills the gap in the knowledge about micro policies and governance. The book is
    published by Emesco Books Private Limited.
  3. The Governor of Madhya Pradesh Mangubhai Patel has released a medical book titled
    ‘Human Anatomy’ in Hindi ‘Manav sharir Rachna Vigyan’. The book is written by Dr AK
    Dwivedi, Homeopathic Doctor of Indore Professor & HOD Physiology SKRP Gujarati
    Homeopathic Medical College Indore and member of Scientific Advisory Board in the Central
    Council for Research in Homeopathy, Ministry of AYUSH (Govt. of India). The co-author of the
    book are Dr Vaibhav Chaturvedi & Dr Kanak Dwivedi.
  • The book is published by Madhya Pradesh Hindi Granth Academy.
  • The book features 12 chapters like Introduction to Human Body, Bone & Joints, Muscles &
    tissues, Nervous System, etc.

PERSON IN NEWS

  1. Ajit Kumar Saxena has been appointed as the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of
    MOIL Limited. He will assume the charge of the post till the date of his superannuation i.e.
    31st December 2025, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
    MOIL Limited:
    MOIL is one of the largest manganese ore producers of the country. It is a Schedule “A”
    Miniratna Category-I Company. It was originally incorporated as Manganese Ore (India)
    Limited in the year 1962. It is based in Nagpur, Maharashtra.
  2. Lieutenant General Arvind Walia has been appointed as the Engineer-in-Chief of the
    Indian Army. He has succeeded Lt. General Harpal Singh who is superannuated on 31st
    December 2022.
    He is a 1986 batch officer and an alumnus of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
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  3. Air Marshal Pankaj Mohan Sinha has taken over as the Commander-in-Chief of Western
    Air Command of the Indian Air Force (IAF). He has succeeded Air Marshal S Prabhakaran
    who superannuated on 31 December 2022 after putting in more than 39 years of
    distinguished service in the IAF.
  4. Election Commission has appointed Maithali Thakur, a Folk Singer, as the state icon for
    Bihar. She will create awareness among the voters for their participation in the electoral
    process.
    She is an Indian classical and folk music-trained musician chosen for the Ustad Bismillah
    Khan Yuva Puraskar of the Sangeet Natak Akademi for her contribution to the folk music of
    Bihar for 2021.
  5. Industry expert Sundararaman Ramamurthy has been appointed as the Managing
    Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BSE Limited with effect from 4th January
  6. He has been appointed for a period of 5 years.
    The post has been vacant since July 2021 after the MD & CEO of BSE Ashishkumar Chauhan
    left the post to join the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) as MD & CEO.
  7. Captain Shiva Chauhan from the Corps of Engineers has become the first woman army
    officer to get operationally deployed on the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.
    She has been deployed to the Kumar Post after completing arduous training. She is an officer
    of the Fire & Fury Corps.
    Siachen Glacier:
    It is located in the Eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas, just northeast of Point NJ9842
    where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. It is the second-longest glacier in
    the World’s Non-Polar areas. It is a part of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
  8. President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has appointed
    Galymzhan Koishybayev as the Deputy Prime Minister-Chief of Staff of the Government.
    Earlier, he served as the head of the Prime Minister’s Office since March 2019. He has also
    served as Vice Minister of foreign affairs.
  9. Dr Vinay Prakash Singh, former Member (Personnel), Postal Services Board, has been
    elected as the Secretary General of the Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU) for a 4-year
    term. He has succeeded Lin Hongliang of China.
    The Secretary General leads the activities of the Union and is also the Director of the Asian
    Pacific Postal College (APPC) which is the largest intergovernmental postal training institute in
    the region.
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    Asian Pacific Postal Union (APPU):
    It is an intergovernmental organization of 32-member countries of the Asian-Pacific region. It
    is the only Union of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in the region, which is a specialized
    agency of the United Nations.
  • Established: 1962
  • Headquarters: Bangkok, Thailand.
  1. Prasanna Kumar Motupalli has been appointed as the Chairman & Managing Director
    (CMD) of the state-run NLC India Limited (NLCIL), a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking
    (PSU) under the Ministry of Coal. He has replaced K. Mohan Reddy.

OBITUARIES

  1. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki has recently passed away in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture,
    Japan. He was born on 23rd July 1931 in Oita, Japan. He was called a ‘post-modern giant’,
    who blended the culture and history of the East and the West in his designs.
    He won numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2019, RIBA Gold
    Medal in 1986 and the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Architectural Biennale 1996.
  2. Veteran bureaucrat Manjula Subramaniam, a 1972-batch IAS officer, has recently passed
    away in Vadodara, Gujarat. She was born on 18 September 1948 in Tamil Nadu.
  • She served as the first woman chief secretary of Gujarat.
  • She also served as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Principal Secretary of the Energy
    and Petrochemicals Department.
  • She was appointed as the additional director on the Board of Directors of Gujarat Gas
    Limited in August 2020 for a tenure of five years.
  1. Former Pope Benedict XVI has recently passed away in Mater Ecclesiae Monastery, Vatican
    City. He was born as Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger on 16th April 1927 in Bavaria, Germany.
    He served as the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19
    April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013. With this, he became the first pontiff in
    600 years to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
  2. Former Indian football player Shyamal Ghosh, who represented the national team in the
    1970s, has recently passed away in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • He made his international debut during the Merdeka Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in
    1974 and went on to play 7 matches for India, including the Asian Games in 1974 in
    Tehran, Iran.
  • He won the Santhosh Trophy thrice in 1975, 1976, and 1977 representing Bengal.
  • He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from East Bengal in 2016.
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  1. Ronnie Walter Cunningham, an American astronaut, has recently passed away in
    Houstan, Texas, USA. He was born on 16th March 1932 in Creston, USA.
  • He was the last surviving astronaut from the first successful crewed space mission in
    NASA’s Apollo programme after Neil Armstrong and Elliot See.
  • He was a lunar module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968.
  • He also authored a book ‘The All-American Boys’ in 1977.
  1. Anita Marie Pointer, an American singer-songwriter, has recently passed away at the age
    of 74. She was born on 23rd January 1948 in Oakland, California, USA. She was best known as
    a founding member of the vocal group the Pointer Sisters. The Pointer Sisters won 3
    Grammys throughout their career.
  2. Tata Group veteran and former Tata Sons director R.K. Krishna Kumar has passed away in
    Mumbai, Maharashtra. He was born in 1938 in Thalassery, Kerala.
  • He joined Tata Administrative Services in 1963.
  • In 1965, he was transferred to Tata Global Beverages, then known as Tata Finlay, and
    worked through the re-branding of the company as Tata Tea, to become the vice
    president of South India Plantations in 1982.
  • He had served in multiple positions in the Tata group, including heading its hospitality
    arm Indian Hotels.
  • He was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award by the Indian
    government in 2009, for his contributions to Indian Trade and industry.
  1. Senior Lingayat pontiff and Karnataka seer Siddeshwara Swami has recently passed away
    at the age of 81. He is often referred to as the ‘Walking God of North Karnataka’. He was
    born.

SPORTS

  1. Indian Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, a former world rapid champion, has won a silver
    medal in the Women’s World Blitz Championship at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz
    Championship 2022 held in Almaty, Kazakhstan from 25th to 30th December 2022.
  • She has won India’s 1
    st ever silver medal in the World Blitz Chess Championships
    defeating Zhongyi Tan of China.
  • She is the 2
    nd Indian to win a medal at World Blitz, after Vishwanathan Anand.
Final Winners of FIDE World Blitz Championship  2022
RankName & Country
Open Blitz
1Magnus Carlsen (Norway)
2Christopher Hikaru  Nakamura (USA)
3Haik Mikaeli Martirosyan  (Armenia)
Women’s Blitz
1Bibisara Assaubayeva  (Kazakhstan)
2Koneru Humpy (India)
3Shuvalova Polina (Russia)
  1. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has made some key decisions during the
    Team India performance review meeting ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023.
  • The Yo-Yo and DEXA test will now be mandatory for national team selection.
  • Previously, only a yo-yo test was mandatory before selection.
  • The DEXA test is now required for injured players who want to come back to the national
    team.
    Yo-Yo Test:
    It is a maximal aerobic endurance fitness test, involving running between markers placed 20
    meters apart, at increasing speeds, until exhaustion.
    DEXA (dual x-ray absorptiometry) Test:
    It is also called the bone density test. The DEXA scan measures bone strength using X-ray
    technology. This test provides information about calcium and other minerals present in the
    bones is obtained.
  1. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has released the names of the players who
    were the best performers of Team India across all 3 formats- One Day Internationals (ODIs).
  1. Hyderabad, Telangana will host the 2023 Hyderabad E-Prix, India’s first ever ABB FIA
    Formula E World Championship race, all-electric motorsports.
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  • The 2023 Hyderabad E-Prix is round 4 of the 17 races for the 9th season of the ABB FIA
    Formula E World Championship.
  • The 2023 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship marks the 9th season championship
    which will be organized between January and July 2023.
    Formula E World Championship:
    Formula E is a showcase for the world’s most advanced e-mobility technologies that drive
    towards a more sustainable future. The first 3 have already taken place in Mexico City (1st)
    and Riyadh (2nd & 3rd).
  1. Belinda Clark, a former Australia captain, has become the first female cricketer to get a
    Bronze statue unveiled at the Sydney Cricket Ground’s Walk of Honour.
  • She is the 15th sportsperson and the 3rd woman to have a statue as part of the SCG
    sculpture project. The other two are sprinters Betty Cuthbert and Marlene Matthews.
  • She played 15 tests and over 100 limited overs matches between 1991-2005, and became
    the first cricketer to score a double-hundred in ODIs when she made an unbeaten 229
    against Denmark in 1997.
  1. Kolkata-based chess player Koustav Chatterjee has become India’s 78th Grandmaster
    (GM) in MPL 59th National Senior Chess Championship 2022 held at K.D. Jadhav Indoor Sports
    Hall, IG Stadium, New Delhi. He is also the 10th GM from Kolkata and West Bengal (WB).
  2. The World Boxing Council (WBC), one of the four governing bodies for Boxing, has
    planned to introduce a new category for transgender fighters in 2023. The objective is to
    ensure safety and inclusion. The WBC will not sanction a new championship or title belt but
    will create an event for the transgender fighters to take part in the boxing sport.

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. Global Family Day, also known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on 1
    st January to
    promote the concept of harmony and unity in the world. The day was started in 1997, when
    the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) launched the International Decade for the
    Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World, with effect from the 1st day
    of the new millennium.
  2. Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) Day is observed annually on 3
    rd
    January to commemorate its independent functioning that began on 3rd January 2017,
    under Ministry of Power as one of the Power PSUs after separating from POWERGRID as its
    subsidiary organization. The year 2023 marks the commemoration of the 6th POSOCO Day.
    Weekly Current Affairs January 2023 Week – 01
    iia
    www.practicemock.com 39 info@practicemock.com 9319314079
  3. World Braille Day is observed annually on 4
    th January to recognize the right of access to
    braille by blind people and raise awareness of the importance of braille as a means of
    communication in the full realization of the human rights for blind and partially sighted
    people. The day was first observed in 2019.
    The day is also observed to mark the birth anniversary of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille
    – for people with visual disabilities. Louis Braille was born on 4th January 1809 in the town of
    Coupvray in northern France. The year 2023 marks the 214th birth anniversary of him.
    Additional Information:
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) introduced Braille voter slip for visually impaired
    voters in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Electronic voting machines (EVMs) already have the
    Braille feature.
  4. World Day of War Orphans is observed annually on 6
    th January to raise awareness about
    children who have been orphaned due to wars. The day was initiated by the French
    organization, SOS Enfants en Detresses.
    Note: UNICEF describes an orphan as a child who is under 18 years of age who has lost one
    or both parents to any cause of death.

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