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Weekly Current Affairs January 2023 Week – 04

NATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Manoj Kumar, Chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), has recently distributed live Bee Colonies, Beekeeping equipment and 200 Bee-Boxes to the trained beneficiaries at Sulia at Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka under the RE-HAB
    Project, an initiative under the Honey Mission Programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    Project RE-HAB:
  • RE-HAB stands for Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks using Bees.
  • It is an initiative of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC).
  • It is a sub-mission of KVIC’s National Honey Mission.
  • It aims to create “bee fences” to thwart elephant attacks in human habitations using honeybees.
  • The project aims to mitigate Human– elephant conflicts in the country.
  • It was launched as a pilot project on the periphery of Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka.
    Additional Information:
    The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament -the Khadi and Village
    Industries Commission Act of 1956. In 1957, it took over the work of the former All India Khadi and Village Industries Board. It is an
    apex organization under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).
  1. India’s Civil 20 Engagement Group (C20), the official engagement group of India’s G20 leadership representing the voices of nonprofit, voluntary citizens’ groups in service to society, has been inaugurated at Amritapuri in Kollam district of Kerala.
  • During the occasion, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), who serves as Chair of C20, has initiated a Rs.50 crore project by
    the Mata Amritanandamayi Math to support the welfare of pregnant women who are malnourished and people with disabilities
    in underdeveloped districts across India and other developing nations.
    C20:
    Objective: To bring the concerns of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from around the world to the G20 Summit set to take place in
    New Delhi in September 2023.
    Members of India’s C20: Sri M, the Satsang Foundation as Participant; Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini as Secretariat; and the
    Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari as Institutional Partner.
  1. The American India Foundation (AIF) has inaugurated India’s first STEM Innovation and Learning Center (SILC) under the
    scheme of Vanavil Mandram in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • SLIC is designed by AIF’s award-winning flagship education programme, Digital Equalizer (DE).
  • It is designed to serve as a one-stop solution for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) among students
    and instructors.
  • The aim of SLIC is to raise curiosity among students in advanced STEM courses.
    AIF has also launched the Drone and Satellite Launch Vehicle (DSLV) Mission in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The mission aims to create
    a platform for students to learn about Drone and Aviation technology through DE’s TLM (Technical License Management).
  1. The Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) Shaurya & Rajveer have recently sailed to Chittagong, Bangladesh for a 6-day visit to
    enhance the cooperative engagements and interoperability under the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
    signed between Indian and Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG).
    ICGS Shaurya:
  • It is an Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) designed and built by Goa Shipyard Limited.
  • It operates both Chetak and Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) and has long-range endurance.
    ICGS Rajveer:
  • It is an Inshore Patrol Vessel (IPV) designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders, Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • The ship with advanced navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machinery imparts the capability for search
    and rescue, maritime law enforcement and marine pollution response operations.
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  1. The Government of India (GoI) has recently relaxed export obligation under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme
    for the Hotel, Healthcare, and Educational sectors. The aim is to help these sectors to cope with the negative impacts of the
    COVID-19 pandemic on their export activities.
  • For the years 2020-21 and 2021-22, these sectors will not be required to maintain average export obligation for EPCG
    authorizations issued to them.
  • These sectors will also have the option to extend the export obligation period for a longer duration, without having to pay any
    additional fees.
  • The export obligation period will be extended from the date of expiry for the duration equivalent to the number of days the
    export obligation period falls within 1st February 2020 and 31st March 2022.
  • This extension will be granted without payment of composition fees.
    Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme:
  • It is a trade promotion scheme implemented by the Indian government that allows duty-free import of capital goods for the
    purpose of export production in India.
  • The scheme aims to encourage the production of goods for export by providing import duty concessions on capital goods.
  • It is administered by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and is governed by the Foreign Trade Policy of India.
  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has virtually unveiled the model of the National Memorial dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
    on the occasion of ‘Parakram Diwas’ (23rd January) to celebrate the 126th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. He
    has also named 21 islands of Andaman and Nicobar after Param Vir Chakra awardees.
  • The proposed memorial will be set up on Ross Island, which had been renamed as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Dweep
    (Andaman & Nicobar Islands) in 2018.
  • It will have a museum, a cable car ropeway, a laser-and-sound show, a guided heritage trail through historical buildings, and a
    theme-based children’s amusement park, besides a resto lounge.
    Note: The Government of India (GoI) had declared January 23 as Parakram Diwas in 2021 to commemorate the birth anniversary of
    Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
  1. Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya has recently unveiled the world’s first intranasal COVID19 vaccine named
    ‘iNNCOVACC’ in New Delhi.
  • It is developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in collaboration with Biotechnology Industry Research
    Assistance (BIRAC), a PSU under the Dept of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • iNCOVACC is priced at Rs.325 per dose for large-volume procurement by state and central government.
    The intranasal COVID-19 vaccine is to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule and as a heterologous booster dose.
  1. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has recently (Jan 2023) inaugurated the 57th All India Conference of Directors General of
    Police / Inspectors General of Police 2022 at the National Agricultural Science Complex, PUSA, New Delhi.
  • The three day conference has been held from January 20 to 22, 2023 in hybrid format.
  • About 100 invitees including DGP of States/UTs and Heads of Central Armed Police Forces and Central Police Organizations
    have attended the conference physically, while the remaining invitees have participated virtually from across the country.
  • The conference has discussed a wide range of issues including Cyber Crime, Technology in Policing, Counter Terrrorism
    challenges, Left Wing Extremism, capacity building, Prison Reforms, among others.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also attended the conference.
    Note: 56th All India Conference of Directors General of Police / Inspectors General of Police was held at Police Headquarters, Lucknow
    in 2021.
  1. The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME) has organized a National SC-ST Hub Conclave at World
    Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The aim is to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among members of
    the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities and to spread awareness of the National SC-ST Hub (NSSH)
    and other schemes of the MSME Ministry.
  • The conclave has been inaugurated by the Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane.
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  • The main goal of the conclave is to help achieve the sub-target of 4% annual procurement from MSEs owned by SC/ST
    entrepreneurs, as part of Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs).
  • The conclave provides an interactive platform to both aspiring and existing SC-ST entrepreneurs to interact with diverse
    stakeholders comprising Central Public Sector Enterprises, Industry Associations, lending institutions and concerned central
    and State government departments.
    National SC – ST Hub (NSSH):
    It is being implemented by the Union Ministry of MSME to provide professional support to SC-ST entrepreneurs and thus promote
    inclusive growth. The Hub supports entrepreneurs of the SC and ST communities in capacity building, market linkages, finance
    facilitation and tender bid participation.
    Under the Special Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme, all the SC-ST MSEs of manufacturing as well as service sector are
    eligible for 25% subsidy, with ceiling of Rs.25 lakh, for procurement of Plant & Machinery and equipment through institutional credit.
  1. As per the latest data given by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) has
    mobilized over Rs. 30,000 crore for projects in the agriculture infrastructure sector, with a sanctioned amount of Rs.15,000 crore.
    Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF):
  • AIF is a medium – long term debt financing facility for investment in viable projects for post-harvest management infrastructure
    and community farming assets through interest subvention and credit guarantee.
  • It was introduced on 8
    th July 2020.
  • Under the scheme, Rs.1 Lakh Crore is to be disbursed by the financial year 2025-26 with interest subvention of 3% per
    annum and credit guarantee coverage under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) for
    loans up to Rs.2 crores.
  • The interest subvention and credit guarantee assistance will be given till the year 2032-33.
  • Eligible beneficiaries include farmers, FPOs, PACS, Marketing Cooperative Societies, SHGs, Joint Liability Groups (JLG),
    Multipurpose Cooperative Societies, Agri-entrepreneurs, Start-ups, and Central/State agency or Local Body sponsored PublicPrivate Partnership Projects.
  1. The National Institute of Biologicals (NIB) has recently (Jan 2023) organized the first National Summit on Quality of Biologicals
    to commemorate the completion of 31 glorious years of its establishment.
  • The summit has been virtually inaugurated by the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya at
    Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
  • The National Summit will act as platform to bring together stakeholders, regulatory authorities & academia for interaction on
    various aspects of quality assurance of biologicals.
  1. Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Prahlad Singh Patel has inaugurated the “Millets Mahotsav” from Mandla,
    Madhya Pradesh.
    Mandla is the hub of production of the Kodo and Kutki Millet which has also been identified as the One District One Product (ODOP)
    under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme launched by the Ministry of Food
    Processing Industries, Government of India.
  • The Ministry of Food Processing Industries is hosting Millets Mahotsav across 20 States and 30 Districts in the country with
    the aim of creating awareness about the nutritional benefits, value addition, consumption and export potential of Millets.
  • The districts include Mandla (Madhya Pradesh), Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh), Bhojpur (Bihar), Mahbubnagar (Telangana),
    Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu), Agra (Uttar Pradesh), Karbi Anglong (Assam), Virudhunagar (Tamil Nadu), Dang (Gujarat),
    Parvathipuram Manyam (Andhra Pradesh), Komaram Bheem (Telangana), Almora (Uttarakhand), Nuapada (Odisha),
    Bathinda (Punjab), Palakkad (Kerala), Davangere (Karnataka), Tapi (Gujarat), Barmar (Rajasthan), Kullu (Himachal Pradesh),
    Tumkur (Karnataka), Bhind (Madhya Pradesh), Nandurbar (Maharashtra), Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Sukma (Chhattisgarh),
    Mahendragarh (Haryana), Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh), Kalimpong (West Bengal), Khunti (Jharkhand) and Jamui (Bihar).
    Note: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
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  1. The International Trade Fair on Millets and Organic Products 2023 has been held in Thripuravasini in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
    The trade fair is a platform for farmers, farmer groups, domestic and international companies, central and state institutions in
    organic and millet sector to connect and explore opportunities in agriculture, horticulture, processing, machinery and agritechnology.
  • The key products on display during the fair are millets, organics and natural range, certified wild harvest produce, millet
    processing machinery, organic cereals and pulses, bio-degradable packaging, eco-friendly products, etc.
  • During the fair, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, has distributed awards in various
    categories.
    Note: The first Organics and Millets Fair was held in 2017, the second and third editions in 2018 and 2019 in Bengaluru.
  1. Indian Navy has conducted a six-day-long mega military exercise AMPHEX 2023, the largest biennial tri-services amphibious
    exercise involving the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh between 17th to 22nd January
  • The exercise has witnessed the participation of a large number of troops from the Indian Army, amphibious warships from the
    Indian Navy and aircraft from the IAF.
  • The exercise included complex activities in all domains that demonstrated and validated the high level of preparedness and
    excellent coordination between the tri-services to undertake a full spectrum of amphibious operations.
  1. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has recently visited Maldives to witness the impact of the development assistance
    extended through bilateral partnership. The following Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed during his visit:
  2. First MoU: An additional grant assistance of 100 Million Maldivian Rupiyas for the High Impact Community Development Project
    (HICDP) scheme to implement a number of socio-economic development projects.
  3. Second MoU: India & Maldives have signed an MoU to establish a sports complex in Gaafu Dhaal Gadhdhoo in Maldives.
  4. Third MoU: The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) has inked an MoU with the Maldives National University
    (MNU) for academic and research collaboration.
    Other projects/programs:
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid have witnessed the handover of two
    sea ambulances from India to the Ministry of Defence of Maldives.
  • India has extended a concessional USD 4 million Line of Credit to develop sports infrastructure in Maldives.
  • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have jointly participated in the
    ground-breaking ceremony of the Hanimaadhoo International Airport Redevelopment Project.
  • Union Minister S. Jaishankar has inaugurated the India-funded community centre in Shaviyani Foakaidhoo in Maldives.
  1. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar has recently visited Sri Lanka which is impacted by the economic crisis.
  • India has become the first creditor nation to extend assurance towards restructuring the debt of Sri Lanka with financial
    assistance worth USD 4 billion.
  • Ashok Leyland has bagged a contract for supplying 500 buses to the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB), of which 75
    buses have already been delivered to the Island nation.
  1. The Indian Navy has commissioned the fifth diesel-electric Kalvari-class submarine Vagir. It is among the six submarines being
    built by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), Mumbai, in collaboration with the French M/s Naval Group under
    Project 75.
  • Four of these submarines (INS Kalvari, INS Khanderi, INS Karanj, INS Vela) have already been commissioned into the Navy
    and a sixth (INS Vagsheer) will be commissioned in 2024.
  • INS Vagir will form part of the Western Naval Command.
    INS Vagir:
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  • It is also known as Sand Shark.
  • It gets its name from the erstwhile Vagir, a submarine which served the Navy between 1973 and 2001.
  • It was launched on 12 November 2020, under Project 75 (P75) and was delivered to Indian Navy on 20 December 2022 post
    completion of sea trials.
  • The motto of the submarine is ‘Saahas Shaurya Samarpan’.
    The submarine has advanced stealth features and long range guided torpedoes as well as anti-ship missiles.
  1. The Ministry of AYUSH has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India Tourism Development Corporation
    (ITDC), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to work together for the promotion of Medical Value Travel (MVT) in Ayurveda
    and other traditional systems of medicine.
  • Under this MoU, Ministry of Ayush will provide training to the officials of ITDC to sensitize them about the Medical value travel
    in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine.
  • The implementation and progress of the MoU will be monitored by a Joint Working Group (JWG) co-chaired by representatives
    from MoA and ITDC.
  1. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has recently (Jan 2023) hosted the 2nd International Conference on the theme ‘Use of
    Technology and Elections Integrity’ in New Delhi under the Cohort on Election Integrity.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Rajiv Kumar, along with Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Pandey and Arun
    Goel, has inaugurated the two-day international conference.
  • Participants: 16 countries including Heads/Dy Heads of nine Election Management Bodies (EMBs) or Election Authorities.
  • Mauritius, Greece & the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) have joined ECI as co-leads for the Cohort on
    Election Integrity.
  • During the conference, a booklet ‘Global Initiatives in the Use of Technology in Elections’ prepared by ECI has also been
    unveiled.
    Cohort on Elections Integrity:
    The Election Commission of India (ECI) is leading the Cohort on Elections Integrity which was established as a follow up to the ‘Summit
    for Democracy’, an initiative of US President Joe Biden, held virtually in December, 2021. The first international conference of the
    Cohort was organized on 31 Oct – 01 Nov, 2022 at New Delhi on the topic ‘Role, Framework and Capacity of Election Management
    Bodies’ where nearly 50 representatives from EMBs of 11 countries participated.
  1. The biennial Theatre Level Operational Readiness Exercise (TROPEX 23) which is the largest wargame of the Indian Navy has
    been started in January 2023. The exercise is still underway and it will end in March 2023.
  • The exercise is being conducted in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • The units of Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Coast Guard are also participating in the biennial exercise.
  • The exercise is being conducted in different phases, both in harbour and at sea, encompassing various facets of combat
    operations, including live weapon firings.
  • This exercise provides an opportunity to test the combat readiness of the combined Fleets of the Indian Navy to operate in a
    multi-threat environment.
  1. Ministry of Finance has recently set up a G20 task force on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for Economic Transformation,
    Financial Inclusion and Development.
  • The task force will be co-chaired by India’s G20 sherpa Amitabh Kant and Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani.
  • The task force will create a detailed map of India’s digital infrastructure across sectors (finance, health, education, skilling,
    data, taxation, digital commerce, mobility, and beyond) & shortlist them to be presented by India within the individual G20
    tracks.
    DPI:
    DPI refers to digital solutions that enable basic functions essential for public and private service delivery, i.e., collaboration, commerce,
    and governance. E.g. Aadhaar and UPI in India. It can enable access to protection and health services, reduce poverty and boost
    educational access for children worldwide.
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  1. New Delhi has hosted the first India Stack Developer Conference to provide a platform for the Industry and developer community
    to explore ways to develop a robust start-ups and innovation ecosystem within the country and also take India stack products to
    other countries.
  • India Stack is a multi-layer cluster of digital solutions, Aadhaar, UPI, Digi Locker, Co-Win, GeM, GSTN, that have played a
    significant role in the digital transformation in India.
  • The conference has been attended by over 100 digital leaders from the Industry, Government, start-ups and unicorns and the
    academia.
  • Delegates from G20 countries and G20 Secretariat have also participated in the conference.
    Notably, India Stack will be one of the focus areas at the World Government Summit 2023 which is being held at Abu Dhabi in
    February 2023.
  1. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has formed an Oversight Committee to enquire into allegations against the Wrestling
    Federation of India (WFI).
  • The Oversight Committee will be headed by Khel Ratna Awardee MC Mary Kom, Chairperson, Athletes Commission.
  • Members: Khel Ratna Awardee Yogeshwar Dutt, executive council member, IOA , Dhyanchand awardee Trupti Murgunde,
    member Mission Olympic Cell, Radhica Sreeman, Ex-Executive Director, TEAMS, Sports Authority of India, Crd (Retd) Rajesh
    Rajagopalan, Ex-CEO, Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
  • The oversight committee will complete the enquiry within 4 weeks.
  • The committee will enquire into the allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and/intimidation, financial irregularities and
    administrative lapses, levelled by prominent sportspersons.
  • The committee will also undertake the day-to-day administration of WFI, during the course of the enquiry.
  1. The Government of India (GoI) has launched ‘U-WIN’, a platform to digitize India’s Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) in a
    pilot mode in two districts of each state and Union Territory.
  • U-WIN platform that replicates Co-WIN, which has served as the “digital backbone” for India’s COVID-19 vaccination
    programme, has been launched on 11th January 2023 in 65 districts.
  • The platform will be used to register and vaccinate every pregnant woman, record her delivery outcome, register every
    newborn delivery, administer birth doses and all vaccination events thereafter.
  • All pregnant women and newborns will be digitally registered to provide customized tracking for vaccination, reminders for
    upcoming doses and follow-up of dropouts.
  • For pregnant women and children, vaccine acknowledgement and immunisation card linked to ABHA ID (Ayushman Bharat
    Heath Account) will be generated.
    Universal Immunization Programme (UIP):
    It was introduced as an “Expanded Programme of Immunization” (EPI) by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 1978. It was
    renamed as UIP in 1985. It is fully funded by the Indian government. Under it, India provides vaccines against 11 diseases nationally
    and one disease sub-nationally.Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr D Y Chandrachud has recently inaugurated the ‘online e-inspection’
    software facility in the Delhi High Court. This is the first-of-its-kind facility that will facilitate online e-inspection of digitized judicial files
    to the concerned advocates/litigants through the internet.
    During the event, CJI has also stated that judgments delivered by Supreme Court (SC) will now be translated into four languages.
    These languages are: Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati and Odia.
  1. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently praised the achievement of 11 Crore Tap water connections under Jal Jeevan
    Mission (JJM). At the time of launch of JJM in 2019, only 3.23 crore (16.72%) rural households had access to tap water. As on
    date (Jan 2023), over 11 crore (56.84%) rural households have tap water supply in their homes.
    123 districts and more than 1.53 lakh villages of India have reported ‘Har Ghar Jal’ which means every household has access to
    clean drinking water through tap.
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    Important facts:
  • Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh becomes the first ‘Har Ghar Jal’ certified district in India in July 2022.
  • Goa becomes the First ‘Har Ghar Jal’ Certified State & Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu become the First ‘Har Ghar
    Jal’ Certified UT in India in August 2022.
    Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM):
    It is a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti which was announced by the Prime Minister on August 15, 2019. It
    aims to make provision for potable tap water supply in adequate quantity, of prescribed quality, and on a regular & long-term basis to
    every rural household in the country by 2024. The government of India in partnership with States/UTs is implementing JJM.
  1. Ministry of Culture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cultural cooperation between the Government of the
    Republic of India and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt. The MoU has been signed for a period of five years.
  • The MoU has been signed by G. Kishan Reddy, Culture Minister of Republic of India and Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Foreign
    Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt in the presence of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and President Abdel Fattah
    el-Sisi of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
    Other MoUs signed with Eqypt:
  • The Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT) has signed an MoU with the Indian Computer Emergency
    Response Team (CERT-In) to collaborate on cyber security.
  • A Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of Information Technology between India and Egypt have been signed.
  • An MoU on cooperation in youth matters has been signed between India & Egypt.
  • India & Egypt have inked an MoU to enhance content exchange, capacity building, and co-productions between Prasar Bharti
    (India) and the National Media Authority of Egypt.
  1. The Atal Innovation Mission – NITI Aayog, Central Board of Secondary Education – Ministry of Education, and Intel India in
    New Delhi have collaborated to bring a change in the education sector by embedding future skills such as Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    and Tinkering in the formal curriculum.
    Aim of the agreement:
  • To increase the pace of tech integration for youth.
  • To optimize the current infrastructure.
  • To bridge the future skills gap in the country.
  1. The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has notified that the Government of India (GoI) has formed 3
    Grievances Appellate Committees (GACs) to address user complaints against social media and other internet-based platforms.
    GACs are formed based on the Information Technology (IT) Rules 2021 amended in October 2022.
    Panel 1:
  • Chairperson: Rajesh Kumar, CEO of Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Members: Retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Ashutosh Shukla and Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) former chief general
    manager and chief information officer Sunil Soni.
    Panel 2:
  • Chairperson: Vikram Sahay, Joint Secretary in charge of the Policy and Administration Division in the Ministry of Information
    and Broadcasting.
  • Members: Indian Navy’s retired Commodore Sunil Kumar Gupta and Kavindra Sharma, the former vice-president (consulting)
    of L&T Infotech.
    Panel 3:
  • Chairperson: Kavita Bhatia, a senior scientist at MeitY.
  • Members: Former traffic service officer of the Indian Railways Sanjay Goel and former managing director and chief executive
    officer of IDBI Intech Krishnagiri Ragothamarao.
    Grievances Appellate Committee (GAC):
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    The GAC will be a virtual Digital Platform that will operate only online and digitally, where the entire appeal process will be conducted
    digitally. It will work to address the user’s appeal within a period of 30 days.
  • The GAC will have a chairperson and 2 whole time members.
  • The chairperson will be a government official while the members are retired government officials and senior executives from
    different industries.
  • The members of the committee are appointed for a 3 years term.
  1. The Ministry of Culture has organized the Vitasta programme to showcase rich culture, arts and crafts of Kashmir from 27th30th January 2023. The programme extends the historical identity of Kashmir to other states and it is a symbol of the spirit of ‘Ek
    Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.
  2. Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has conducted a one-week Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) operations & Search and
    Rescue (SAR) course in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The course has been conducted under the aegis of Indian Technical and
    Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) for officers and sailors of Maritime Security Agencies from six friendly countries:
    Bangladesh, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Myanmar and Maldives. A total of 22 trainees (10 officers & 12 sailors) have
    participated in the specialised training.
  • ITEC Programme (Ministry of External Affairs) was instituted in 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance to share
    India’s developmental experience.
  1. G20 India first Health Working Group meeting has been held in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha,
    Secretary, Ministry of Ayush has delivered the keynote address during panel discussion on Achieving Holistic Wellbeing through
    Integrated Healthcare.
  • During the meeting, a side event on Medical Value Travel has also been organized.
  • Representatives from the G20 member countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany,
    Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, The United Kingdom, United
    States of America and European Union have attended the event.
  • Special invitee countries included Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, The
    Netherlands and United Arab Emirates.
  1. The President’s Tatrakshak Medal is an Indian military decoration, awarded for selfless devotion, distinguished and meritorious
    service in Indian Coast Guard. These awards are being given to the personnel of Indian Coast Guard on the occasion of Republic
    Day and Independence Day every year, since January 26, 1990.
    Related News:
    The President of India Droupadi Mormu has awarded President’s Tatrakshak Medal (PTM) and Tatrakshak Medal (TM) to six Indian
    Coast Guard Personnel for their act of conspicuous gallantry, exceptional devotion to duty and distinguished/meritorious service on
    the occasion of the Republic Day 2023:
    President’s Tatrakshak Medal (Distinguished Service): IG Anand Prakash Badola, TM (0248-M)
    Tatrakshak Medal (Gallantry):
  • Comdt Durgesh Chandra Tiwari (0645-P)
  • Rishi, P/Nvk(R), 12196-T
  • Mohit Kumar Yadav, U/Nvk (RP), 13830-M
    Tatrakshak Medal (Meritorious Service):
  • DIG Himanshu Nautiyal (0298-C)
  • Sant Lal, P/Adh(RO), 01566-P
  1. Aditya-L1 mission, the first Indian space mission to observe the Sun and the solar corona, will be launched by the Indian Space
    Research Organisation (ISRO) by June or July 2023. It is equipped with a total of 7 payloads, the Visible Emission Line
    Coronagraph (VELC) being the main one.
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  2. Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has inaugurated a two-day symposium on
    the Quantum Computing Ecosystem held at C-DAC, Pune, Maharashtra.
  • The symposium aims to project India’s capabilities in Quantum Computing.
  • It aims to explore the technologies, systems and subsystems which make up the building blocks of quantum computers and
    bring about a synergy among key stakeholders to build a commercial scale Quantum Computer.
  1. Union Home Minister and Minister of Cooperation Amit Shah has inaugurated SGML Eye Hospital built by Shri Swaminarayan
    Sansthan Vadtal in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, through video conferencing. This 50-bedded hospital has been built at a cost of
    Rs.15 crore.
  2. The Department of Consumer Affairs under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has released a guide
    ‘Endorsements Know-hows!’ for celebrities, influencers and virtual influencers on social media platforms’.
  • The guide aims to ensure that individuals do not mislead their audiences when endorsing products or services and that they
    are in compliance with the Consumer Protection Act and any associated rules or guidelines.
  • The guidelines are aligned with those guidelines issued under Consumer Protection Act (CPA), 2019.
    Key highlights:
  • Any celebrity, influencer or virtual influencer must disclose any material connection (trips or hotel, etc.) with the advertiser.
  • Disclosures must be prominently and clearly displayed (hard to miss.)
  • Endorsements must be made in simple, clear language and terms such as “advertisement,” “sponsored,” or “paid promotion”
    can be used.
  • The product and service must have been actually used or experienced by the endorser.
  • Non-compliance can lead to a jail term of up to 2 years and penalty of Rs.50 lakh.
  1. Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has inaugurated and laid foundation stones of projects
    worth Rs.270 crore at Deendayal Port, Kandla, Gujarat.
  • The Minister has inaugurated Oil jetty no. 7 worth Rs.73.92 crore at Deendayal Port, Kandla The jetty will enhance the liquid
    handling capacity, by 2.00 MMTPA, of mainly edible oil, and fulfil the future requirements and will reduced the Turn-around
    time of the vessels. This T-shaped Jetty is 110 m long and 12.40 m wide and can handle the large size of vessel upto 65000
    DWT and 14 m depth.
  • Foundation stone of three Projects namely Development of back up area from oil jetty 8 to 11 worth Rs. 98.41 crore;
    Development of 4 lane road from LC236B to C.J- 16 worth Rs.67 crore; Construction of dome shaped storage shed in cargo
    jetty worth Rs. 39.66 crore have also been laid.

STATES AFFAIRS

  1. Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur has recently launched the Unique Land Parcel Identification Number (ULPIN) in
    Ladakh. The 14-digit ULPIN will help in the digitisation of land records and also reach a conclusive land titling.
    ULPIN:
  • It is a part of the Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP).
  • It is a Single Authoritative Source of Truth for information on any parcel of land or property to provide Integrated Land Services
    to the citizens as well as all stakeholders.
  1. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has set a target of making the state the first Green Energy State by the end of 2025. This
    will be achieved by harnessing hydro, hydrogen and solar energy and switching to green products.
    The state government will also invest in solar plants and will install 500 MW solar projects during the year 2023-24.
Himachal Pradesh
Statehood Day25th January 1971
CapitalShimla (Summer)  Dharamshala (Winter)
GovernorR V Arlekar
Chief MinisterSukhvinder Singh Sukhu
  1. Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and Lunglei Fire Station (LFS), Mizoram, both in the Institutional
    category, have been selected for the Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar-2023 for their excellent work in
    Disaster Management.
  • OSDMA was established in 1999 in the aftermath of the Super Cyclone. It provided effective response during various
    cyclones, Hudhud (2014), Fani (2019), Amphan (2020) and Odisha floods (2020).
  • Lunglei Fire Station, Mizoram, responded efficiently and effectively to a massive forest fire which was reported on 24 April
    2021 in the uninhabited forest areas that surrounded Lunglei town and spread to more than 10 village council areas.
    Subhash Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar:
    The award is announced every year on 23rd January, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The award recognize and
    honour the invaluable contribution and selfless service rendered by individuals and organizations in India in the field of disaster
    management. The award carries a cash prize of Rs. 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs. 5 lakh and a certificate in
    case of an individual.
  1. Wayanad district from Kerala has become India’s first district to provide basic documents and facilities like Aadhaar cards, ration
    cards, birth/death certificates, etc. to all tribals.
  • This feat has been achieved by providing 1, 42,563 services to 64,670 tribal beneficiaries as part of Akshaya Big Campaign for
    Document Digitisation (ABCD) campaign.
  • The campaign was launched in November 2021 with the objective of ensuring basic documents for all citizens of Scheduled
    Tribe communities from Thondarandu Gram Panchayat.
  1. Jonbeel Mela is observed annually at a historic place known as Dayang Belguri at Joonbeel near Jagiroad in Morigaon district,
    Assam.
    In 2023, it has been observed from 19th January to 21st January.
  • The word ‘Jonbeel’ derives from the native Assamese language. Jon means ‘Moon’ and beel means ‘wetland’ or ‘lake’
  • This fair is organised annually on the occasion of Magh Bihu (celebrated in the mid-January).
  • This fair was first started before the 15th century AD.
  • The three-day annual event is organised under the traditional king of the Tiwa tribe called Gobha Deoraja that once ruled the
    area.
  • It has kept alive the system of barter as a means of procuring goods.
  • Tribal communities like Tiwa, Karbi, Khasi, and Jaintia from nearby hills participate in the fair.
    Note: Magh Bihu is a traditional harvest festival of Assam.
  1. The Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) has organized the annual Ethnic Mamani Festival 2023 in collaboration
    with the Ladakh Tourism Department.
  • The festival has been organized at the 500 years old village, Styangkung, Barsoo Kargil (Jammu & Kashmir) and Chiktan
    Shagaran in Ladakh.
  • During Mamani, individuals traded food with their neighbours and relatives while also worshipping a variety of spirits (Lha).
  • These celebrations have helped in the revival of more than 35 Kargil Ladakh cuisines.
  1. Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena has launched the ‘100 Days to Beat Plastic’ campaign at Baansera, Sarai Kala
    Khan in New Delhi. The unique campaign is initiated by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to make the MCD area “Plastic-Free”
    with people’s participation.
  • The 100 days campaign will culminate on 22nd April 2023, on International Earth Day.
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  • The mascot of the campaign is ‘Nivaran Dadi’.
    Notably, 11,000 tonnes of waste is generated daily in Delhi, of which about 10 percent is plastic waste.
  1. The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has launched an ambitious project “UT Level Food Processing Programme for
    Development of Clusters for Specific Products of J&K” to revolutionise the food processing sector and transform the lives of
    farmers in the UT.
  • The financial outlay of this project is Rs.879.75 crore.
  • The project also includes a grant-in-aid of Rs.293.25 crore (33.33 percent) and a debt-equity of Rs.586.50 crore to be raised
    by entrepreneurs.
  • This initiative aims to maximise farmer income and minimise post-harvest losses.
  1. Odisha cabinet headed by the state’s Chief Minister (CM) Naveen Patnaik has approved the inclusion of 22 castes in the Socially
    and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) list. The objective is to extend all social welfare measures and benefits to SEBCs
    for their inclusive growth and development.
  • The inclusion of Backward classes in the state list of SEBCs has been made by approving the Amendment of the Odisha State
    Commission for Backward Classes (OSCBC) Act, 1993 by inserting subsection 3 under Section – 9.
  • The 22 castes/communities along with their synonyms, have already been included in the central OBC list, and now they were
    included in the Odisha SEBC list.
    Provision under the Indian Constitution:
  • Article 15(4): It enables the State to make any special provisions for the advancement of any Socially and Educationally
    Backward Classes of citizens.
  • Article 46: It enables the State Governments to promote, with special care, the educational and economic interests of the
    weaker sections of the people and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
  1. The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel has recently announced that the unemployed youth of Chhattisgarh will be
    given a monthly allowance from FY23-24. It has been announced on the occasion of the 74th Republic Day of India.
  2. Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Badal Patralekh has launched a Water Conservation Scheme with an outlay of Rs.467.32 crore
    to provide benefits to farmers in the state that experienced drought in 2022.
  • Under the scheme, 2,133 ponds will be renovated and 2,795 percolation tanks will be constructed in all the blocks of 24
    districts of the state.
    Note: A percolation tank is an artificially created surface water body to recharge groundwater storage.
  1. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde has inaugurated the two-day Regional Conference on “E-Governance” in
    Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • This conference has been jointly organized by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances
    (DARPG) in collaboration with the Government of Maharashtra.
  • The conference has been attended by 500 delegates from 30 participating States and UTs.
  • This Conference is an effort to create a common platform to share experiences in the formulation and implementation of
    best practices in administrative training, capacity building to facilitate citizen centric governance, improved public service
    delivery through e-Governance, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly effective administration.
  1. The Government of Bihar, in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India (FSI), has decided to conduct ‘Trees Outside Forest’
    (TOF) field survey to identify the dominant tree species that are growing outside the recorded forest areas (RFA) in the state.
  • As per FSI India state of Forest Report, 2021, Bihar has registered an increase of 3.79 percent in growing stock in RFA and
    0.58 percent in TOF respectively.
  • The overall tree cover has also increased in the state from 2,003 sq km in 2019 to 2,341 sq km in 2021.
  1. UT Administrator Banwari Lal Purohit has inaugurated northern India’s largest floating solar power project of 2000kWp at a
    cost of Rs.11.70 crore, including 10 years O&M (operations and maintenance) at waterworks in Chandigarh.
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  • He has also inaugurated a 500kWp floating solar project with fountains at Dhanas Lake at a total cost of Rs.3.34 crore,
    including 10 years O&M for the plant as well as for the fountains.
  • These projects have been designed and executed by CREST (Chandigarh Renewable Energy and Science & Technology
    Promotion Society) and will generate a minimum of 35 lakh units (kWh) of solar energy per year with 20% module efficiency.
  1. The 3
    rd edition of the Orange Festival has been held from 24th to 25th January 2023 in Rusoma village near Kohima in Nagaland.
    The festival has been organized under the aegis of Rusoma Village Council in association with Kohima Smart City Development
    Limited, Rural Development Department, Horticulture Department, Agriculture Department and Land Resources Department.
  2. The Government of India (GoI) has extended the tenure of Sangeeta Verma as the acting Chairperson of the Competition
    Commission of India (CCI). She has been the acting Chairperson of CCI since October 2022 after Ashok Kumar Gupta demitted
    office as the full-time Chairperson.
  3. The 16th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 has been observed in Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur, Rajasthan from 19th to
    23rd January 2023 to celebrate the power of literature, art and culture with a focus on Indian languages.
  • During the festival, the keynote address has been delivered by Abdulrazak Gurnah, the recipient of the Nobel Prize in
    Literature (2021), on “writing as a form of resistance”.
  1. The National Conclave of Pastoral Youth drawn from 16 states has been converged at Bhuj, Kachchh (Gujarat) to discuss
    aspirations, challenges and the need for policy discourse with the government. The conclave has witnessed wide representation of
    officials from the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying (MoFAHD).
    Parshottam Rupala, Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying has initiated the necessary dialogue and the following
    initiatives in the larger interest of the Extensive Livestock Production system:
  • Inclusion of Pastoral census as part of the national livestock census;
  • Creation of a Pastoral Cell within the MoFAHD to focus upon the issues;
  • Initial exploration for including extensive livestock production system related schemes and programmes within the National
    Livestock Mission.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

  1. Geotail Spacecraft, the first joint mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) & Japan Aerospace
    Exploration Agency (JAXA), has retired after 30 years in orbit. The mission operations of Geotail were ended due to the failure of
    its remaining data recorder.
    Additional Information:
NASA
HeadquartersWashington DC, USA
AdministratorBill Nelson
  1. The 53rd edition of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) summit 2023 has been held in Davos, Switzerland. The summit
    has been hosted in collaboration with the Swiss government and the Canton of Graubunden.
    Theme 2023: “Cooperation in a Fragmented World”
    Key points of WEF Summit 2023:
  • Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate:
    A new Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate has been launched, bringing together over 50 countries to boost international
    cooperation on climate, trade and sustainable development.
  • Chief Economists Outlook:
    The Chief Economist’s Outlook has been launched, which struck a cautious tone, with two-thirds of those surveyed expecting a global
    recession this year 2023. It explores the key trends in the economic environment, including the prospects for growth, inflation and
    monetary and fiscal policy.
  • Giving to Amplify Earth Action:
    A new initiative Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA) has been launched to leverage philanthropic capital to unlock funding for the
    climate crisis.
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  • Global Collaboration Village:
    WEF has announced the rollout of its own metaverse platform, dubbed the Global Collaboration Village.
    India’s Participation:
  • During the WEF Summit 2023, the Government of Maharashtra has approved the proposal of Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
    to establish a Rs.10,000 crore electric vehicle plant in Pune, Maharashtra.
  • The Adani Group has pledged to grow 100 million trees by 2030.
  • During the summit, the state of Telangana has attracted investments of Rs. 21,000 crores across various sectors.
  • The Government of Maharashtra has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth Rs.1.36 lakh crore with global
    investors.
  • Garuda Aerospace has unveiled India’s first-ever carbon-neutral drone at the Indian Sustainability Lounge of the WEF
    2023 Summit.
  1. Elon Musk-led SpaceX has launched 51 internet satellites to orbit in its 1
    st Starlink Mission of 2023 to low-Earth orbit from Space
    Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, USA.
  • The satellites have been successfully launched through Falcon 9 rocket.
  • The Starlink satellites on this launch, named Starlink 2-4, will fly in an orbit inclined 70 degrees to the equator.
  1. Switzerland has become the first World Trade Organization (WTO) member to formally accept new Agreement on Fisheries
    Subsidies. This agreement sets new binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread
    depletion of world’s fish stocks.
  • The agreement was adopted at WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference held in Geneva (June 2022).
  • It is the first WTO agreement to focus on environment and only second agreement reached at WTO since its inception.
  1. India has been elected as the Vice-Chair and also represented Asia & Pacific region at the 12th session of the Intergovernmental
    Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) held in Rome, Italy.
  • Dr B N Tripathi, Deputy Director General (Animal Sciences), ICAR, and the National Coordinator, vice-chaired the Session and
    also act as Rapporteur.
  • The 12th session of the ITWG reviewed the implementation of the Global Action Plan for Animal Genetic Resources,
    monitoring AnGR diversity and preparation of the third country report.
  1. The Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) was established by the FAO’s Commission on Genetic Resources for
    Food and Agriculture (CGRFA). The task of this group is to review technical issues, advise and submit recommendations to the
    Commission and implement the Commission’s program relating to AnGR at the global level.
  2. The Republic of South Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of India to reintroduce the
    Cheetah in India.
  • An initial batch of 12 cheetahs will be translocated from South Africa to India during February 2023. The 12 cheetahs will
    include seven males and five females.
  • These Cheetahs will join 8 cheetah introduced to India in Kuno National Park (Madhya Pradesh) from Namibia during 2022.
  • With this, the total number of cheetahs in India will rise to 20.
  1. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Solvay, a Belgian science company,
    have launched a Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics (STEM) education program.
  • This 3-year partnership aims at engaging high schoolers and graduate students from India, Indonesia and South Korea to
    find solutions to national and regional environmental issues through science.
  • It is focused on the theme “Sustainable living for one planet”.
  1. South Africa will host the 15th BRICS Summit in Durban in August 2023. Previously, South Africa hosted the 5th BRICS Summit
    from 26 to 27 March 2013.
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  • In April 2011, South Africa participated, for the first time, in the 3rd BRICS Summit held in Sanya, China.
    BRICS:
    BRICS is an acronym for the grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South
    Africa. The grouping was formalised during the first meeting of BRIC Foreign Ministers’ in 2006. South Africa was invited to join BRIC
    in December 2010, after which the group adopted the acronym BRICS.
    Note: The British Economist Jim O’Neill coined the term BRIC in 2001.
    The 3
    rd edition of the INTERPOL’s Young Global Police Leaders Programme (YGPLP) has been held in New Delhi from 25th
    January to 2nd February 2023. The theme of 3rd Interpol YGPLP is “Trust”.
  • The major objective of this program is to build trust among the public-police as well as international police forces.
  • It is being organised by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
    YGPLP is a unique INTERPOL initiative. It was established in 2019 to guide selected officers on the path to international leadership.

REPORTS & INDICES

  1. The Brand Guardianship Index 2023, ranking of the world’s top 100 CEOs or equivalents, has been launched during the event
    hosted in association with Deloitte during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
  • Jensen Huang, President & CEO of the USA-based Nvidia, has topped the index with a BGI score of 83.
  • Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries, has been ranked 1st among Indians and 2nd globally with a BGI score of
    81.7.
  • Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, has been ranked 3rd, followed by Shantanu Narayen of Adobe and Sundar Pichai of Google.
  • Leena Nair, CEO of CHANEL, has been ranked 11th on the list. She is the highest ranked female in the index.
  • The USA is the most represented country on the index with 44 CEOs or equivalents, followed by China with 16 CEOs.
  1. As per the IFOAM – Organics International data, India has been ranked 3rd globally where the area under organic agriculture
    expanded the maximum in 2020 to 3, 59,000 hectares (16%).
  • The list is topped by Argentina with 7, 81,000 hectares, followed by Uruguay at 5, 89,000 hectares.
  • The total increase under organic cultivation globally in 2020 was 3 million hectares (MH).
  • Of the world’s total 74.9 MH under organic farming, Australia has the highest at 35.7 MH, whereas India has 2.8 MH.
  1. The World Health Organization (WHO) has published its 4th annual status report ‘Countdown to 2023 WHO Report on global
    trans-fat elimination 2022’. The report has been prepared in collaboration with Resolve to Save Lives.
  • The report monitors global progress towards 2023 target for global elimination of industrially produced Trans-Fatty Acids
    (TFA).
    Key Findings:
  • Around 5 billion people globally are exposed to harmful trans-fat, increasing their heart disease and death risk.
  • 9 of the 16 countries do not have a best-practice policy. They are Australia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Nepal,
    Pakistan and Republic of Korea.
    TFAs are unsaturated fatty acids that are of two types:
  • Naturally occurring trans-fat occurs naturally in some dairy and meat products.
  • Industrially produced trans-fat adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. It is found in packaged
    foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads.
  1. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India has launched an “Inclusive Circular Economy” initiative in
    collaboration with Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). The initiative focuses on the following:
  • End-to-end management of plastic waste by promoting segregation of waste at source and collection of segregated waste.
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  • To set up Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) or Swachhata Kendras for recycling all kinds of plastic waste along the value
    chain.
  • The social Inclusion of 20,000 Safai Saathis or waste pickers through access to government welfare schemes and linkages
    etc.
  • To build capacities of Urban Local Bodies for adopting MRFs model for plastic and dry waste management.
    The partnership is the first-of-its-kind attempt to promote the social inclusion of Safai Saathis at this scale in India. The project is a
    scale-up of existing partnership under UNDP’s flagship Plastic Waste Management Programme.
    Circular economy:
    It is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing
    materials and products as long as possible to: extend life cycle of products and reduce waste to a minimum by creating further value.
  1. The United Nations (UN) in its World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023 Report has lowered India’s Gross
    Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for the calendar year 2023 by 20bps to 5.8% (from an estimated 6.4% in 2022) amid
    tighter monetary policy and weak global demand.
  • However, for FY 2023-24, it kept its growth forecast unchanged for India at 6 percent.
  • The global economic growth will slow down to 1.9% in 2023. The global growth in 2022 was 3% and it was expected to
    increase to 2.7% in 2024.
  • The global trade will contract to 0.4% in 2023.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

  1. JandK Operations Private Limited (JAndKops), a non-profit organization incubated at IIT Madras, has recently developed an
    indigenous mobile operating system “BharOS”, a new mobile operating system focused on privacy and security. The aim is to
    reduce the dependence on foreign OS in smartphones and promote the use of locally developed technology.
  • BharOS is an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) based operating system.
  • The current version of BharOS comes with third-party apps like DuckDuckGo and Signal as default browsers and messaging
    apps.
  • It is based on the Linux kernel and is intended to be used in a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile
    devices.
  • The major difference between BharOS and Google’s Android OS is that BharOS does not ship with Google services.
  1. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has partnered with JSP Foundation, the executing arm of Jindal Steel & Power, for its
    development programs. As a part of this partnership with FIH, the JSP Foundation will become a global partner of the ongoing FIH
    Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
  2. The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) has partnered with Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), under
    the aegis of Ministry of Defense (MoD), to create an apprenticeship training framework to address the need for skilled and futureready workforce in the Central Public Sector Undertaking and Industries.
  3. Oppo India, a mobile phone brand, has tied up with the Common Service Centre (CSC) Academy, the Education & Corporate
    Social Responsibility (CSR) wing of CSC under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), to train 10,000
    women in cyber security and cyber wellness in the country.
  • The initiative aims to empower rural and semi-urban women through the ‘Cyber Sangini’ programme.
    ‘Cyber Sangini’ programme:
    It aims to raise awareness among citizens to stay safe in an online world, especially with the widespread use of social media and the
    rapid adoption of digital payments.
  1. NPST (Network People Services Technologies Ltd), a leading fintech solution provider, has launched ‘Timepay Evok’, a UPI
    (Unified Payments Interface) API (Application Programming Interface) engine for Payment Aggregators and Payment Gateways
    (PAPGs).
    Unified Payments Interface (UPI):
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    It is an instant real-time payment system developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). It was launched in 2016. It
    facilitates 24*7 instant payments using a Visual Payment Address (VPA) created by the customer instead of his/her bank account
    number. It provides security in both person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions.
  2. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a domestic card scheme ‘AfricaGo’ to boost the cashless economy and
    compete with foreign cards like Mastercard and Visa. The aim is to save the country’s foreign transaction fees.
    With this launch, Nigeria has joined China, Russia, India, and Turkey to be a country with a domestic card scheme.
  3. L&T Technology Services Limited (LTTS), a subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T), has been selected as a strategic
    engineering partner to Airbus for providing Advanced Engineering Capabilities and Digital Manufacturing Services under a multiyear contract.
  4. Maruti Suzuki, India’s largest car manufacturer company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National
    Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Banas Dairy, Asia’s largest dairy manufacturer, to use cow dung to power its Compressed
    Natural Gas (CNG) cars.
  • The Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) has announced that it will launch 6 models of battery Electric Vehicles (EVs) by FY
    2030.

BANKING & FINANCE

  1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has launched an Information Database, comprising a repository of
    municipal bond information, on its website to assist municipal debt issuers and other stakeholders in the municipal debt market.
  • The information database contains a wide range of information in the form of statistics and regulations, circulars, guidance
    note and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) issued by SEBI in respect of municipal debt securities.
  1. HDFC Bank has donated Rs.5 crore to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami for the Kedarnath Utthan Charitable
    Trust. This has been done to help the landslide-affected people in Joshimath, Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
  • More than Rs.3.27 crores have been distributed to 218 affected families in Joshimath as an advance relief.
  1. Canara Bank is set to sell its entire 40% stake in the Russian joint venture (JV) Commercial Indo Bank LLC (CIBL) to the JV
    partner State Bank of India (SBI). The cash consideration for the transaction is equivalent to USD 14.67 million. The transaction is
    expected to be completed on or before 31st March 2023.
  • CIBL, incorporated in 2003 in Russia, is a JV between SBI (60% stake), and Canara Bank (40% stake).
  1. The Citibank and Paytm have ended their partnership for a co-branded credit card Paytm CITI Card ahead of the merger of
    Citibank’s commercial banking with Axis Bank.
  • The cardholders will be offered uninterrupted benefits with the Paytm HDFC Bank credit card.
  1. Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC) plans to raise at least 30 billion rupees ($370.5 million) through the sale of bonds
    maturing in 10 years. The issue will also have a greenshoe option to retain an additional 20 billion rupees and will close for
    subscription later this week.
  2. Aviva Life Insurance has launched the Aviva Signature Investment Plan, a unit-linked non-participating individual life insurance
    plan targeting millennial and GenX customers. The plan comes with two options, Signature Millennial and Signature GenX.
  3. RenewBuy has launched its first line of customized health insurance product, RenewBuy Health Wellness plan with a focus on
    the large uninsured segment beyond the tier 1 markets. The product is available in three variants: Gold Plan, Silver Plan, and
    Wellness Plan. The product has new-age health insurance benefits, ranging from a coverage of Rs.2-5 lakhs.
  4. SBM Bank (India) has raised Rs.99 crore through the issuance of the second tranche of Basel-III compliant Tier II bonds on 24
    January 2023. The bank has raised the entire corpus from the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.
  5. The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has recently launched a ‘Jeevan Azad’ plan, a new plan aimed at individual
    savings and life insurance.
    Features of Jeevan Azad:
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  • LIC Jeevan Azad is a limited-period payment endowment plan that provides financial support for the family in case of
    unfortunate death of the life assured during the policy term.
  • The minimum basic sum assured is Rs.2 lakh and the maximum basic sum assured is Rs.5 lakh.
  • The policy can be taken for term of 15 to 20 years.
  • The minimum age of entry is 90 days completed and the maximum age at entry is 50 years.
  • The premium can be paid regularly at yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly intervals.
  • The death benefit is payable on the death of the life assured during the policy term after the date of commencement of risk but
    before the date of maturity.
  • The death benefit shall be “Sum Assured on Death” where “Sum assured on Death” is defined as higher of ‘Basic Sum
    Assured’ or 7 times of Annualized Premium’.
  • The death benefit shall not be less than 105% of ’Total Premiums Paid’ up to the date of death.
  • There will be no medical check-up for an amount assured of up to Rs.3 lakh, while it is needed for a sum assured of above
    Rs.3 lakh.
  1. Paytail Commerce Private Limited has collaborated with HDB Financial Services Limited to offer loans on lifestyle products like
    bicycles, EVs, mobile devices, Consumer Durables and kitchen appliances.
  • The loan amount ranges from Rs.5,000 – Rs.3,00,000.
  • It provides a 24-month Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) period, depending on the borrowed amount and the product
    segment.
  1. Star Health and Allied Insurance, one of the leading Health Insurance companies in India, has renewed its strategic corporate
    agency tie-up with Punjab National Bank (PNB) for a long-term period.
  • Under this agreement, Star Health’s best-in-class health insurance products will be available through the PNB’s distribution
    network across India.
  1. The National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL), an Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC)/ bad bank, has acquired its
    first stressed asset, Jaypee Infratech from lenders led by IDBI Bank. The total exposure of all the banks to Jaypee Infratech was
    over Rs 9,000 crore, IDBI Bank’s exposure was Rs 3,750 crore.
  2. AU Small Finance Bank, India’s largest Small Finance Bank (SFB), has launched the first-of-its kind SwipeUp platform that allows
    other bank Credit Cardholders to get upgraded AU Credit Cards. The bank has provided a platform to compare existing credit
    cards of customers within seconds.
  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Nhava Sheva Freeport Terminal Private Limited (NSFTPL) have signed a USD
    131 million loan to upgrade the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal located in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. This will
    enhance international trade in India through efficient, transparent, and state-of-the-art logistics infrastructure.
  1. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited has collaborated with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to allow
    policyholders to pay their premiums via “UPI 123PAY”, a unique voice-based Unified Payments Interface (UPI) service.
    UPI 123PAY:
  • UPI 123PAY was developed by NPCI and launched by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2022 to increase the digital
    penetration of financial services.
  • UPI 123PAY enables smartphone and feature phone users to digitally undertake a host of transactions based on four
    approaches, including voice payment based via IVR (Interactive Voice Response) number, proximity sound-based
    payments, missed call-based payment approach, app based scan and pay on feature phone.
  1. The Punjab National Bank (PNB) & Aadhar Housing Finance have entered into a co-lending agreement to offer home loans at
    competitive interest rates. The aim of this partnership is to reach out to a large section of society viz. economically weaker, lower,
    and middle-income groups for providing easy, convenient, and efficient home finance solutions to customers.
  • Bank of Baroda Financial Solutions Limited (BFSL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bank of Baroda, has introduced a credit
    card named ‘Vikram’.
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    Key features:
  • It is a contactless RuPay credit card dedicated to Indian defence, paramilitary, and police personnel.
  • It will be given Lifetime Free (LTF), which includes appealing reward points and an activation gifts of a complimentary OTT
    (Over-The-Top) subscription.
  • The credit card also has a Rs.20 lakh accidental death insurance policy.
  • Other benefits will include a 1% fuel surcharge waiver, LTF add-ons, EMI deals, and periodic merchant offers.
  1. ICICI Bank has collaborated with Tata Motors to provide financing solutions to its authorised passenger Electric Vehicle (EV)
    dealers. Under this collaboration, the lender will offer inventory funding to the authorized passenger EV dealers in addition to the
    lender’s funding to dealers for diesel and petrol models.

RBI IN NEWS

  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under sections 35A and 36(1)(a) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, has directed the SBM
    Bank (India) Ltd to stop all Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) transactions with immediate effect till further notice. This
    decision has been taken due to certain material supervisory concerns observed in the bank.
    Additional Information:
    SBM Bank (India), a branch of SBM Bank (Mauritius), commenced operations on 1st December 2018 as the 1st universal bank in India
    to receive a banking license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through the Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) route. It is
    headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  2. According to the article titled “State of the Economy” published in the January 2023 bulletin of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI),
    the RBI’s 2023 monetary policy objective is to hold inflation within the mandated tolerance band and guide it towards the mediumterm target of 4% by 2024.
  • The first monetary policy milestone has been reached, with inflation now falling inside the 2%-6% tolerance band.
  1. As per the most recent Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data on “Outward Remittances under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme
    (LRS) for Resident Individuals”, Indians have remitted about USD 2 billion (USD 1.99 billion) in November 2022 under the LRS.
  • Outward remittances under LRS increased 29% to USD 1.99 billion from USD 1.54 billion in November 2021.
  • In November 2022, the outward remittance made for the maintenance of close relatives was USD 305.35 million. This was
    followed by USD 220.90 million in gifts and USD 211.65 million for overseas education.
    Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS):
    It was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 4th February 2004, with a limit of USD 25,000. The scheme allows all resident
    individuals, including minors, to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year (April – March) for any permissible current or capital
    account transaction or a combination of both.
  1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for banks to complete the process of renewal of agreements for the
    existing safe deposit lockers in a phased manner by 31st December 2023 from 1st January 2023, with intermediate milestones of
    50 percent by June 30, 2023, and 75 percent by September 30, 2023.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  1. Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a Nepali ophthalmologist, has won the Isa Award for Service to Humanity 2023, a top civilian award of Bahrain.
    He has been declared the 5th laureate 2021-22 of the Isa award for his work on blindness prevention and his service to the
    community and his achievements.
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    Isa Award:
    “Isa Award for services to Humanity” was established in 2009 by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain. It is
    granted every two years to either individuals or organizations who have been selected through a grueling process by an expert panel of
    jurists. The award carries a cash prize of USD 1 million, a certificate of merit and a gold medallion.
  2. The President of India Droupadi Murmu has conferred the Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP) 2023 at an award
    ceremony held in New Delhi. This year, 11 children from across the country, under different categories of Bal Shakti Puraskar,
    have been selected for PMRBP-2023.
    The awardees, belonging to 11 States and UTs, include 6 boys and 5 girls.
AwardeesCategoryState/ UT
Aadithya SureshArt & CultureKerala
M. Gauravi ReddyArt & CultureTelangana
Shreya BhattacharjeeArt & CultureAssam
Sambhab MishraArt & CultureOdisha
Rohan Ramchandra BahirBraveryMaharashtra
Aditya Pratap Singh ChauhanInnovationChhattisgarh
Rishi Shiv PrasannaInnovationKarnataka
Anoushka JollySocial ServiceDelhi
Hanaya NisarSports (Karate)Jammu & Kashmir
Kolagatla Alana MeenakshiSports (Chess)Andhra Pradesh
Shauryajit Ranjitkumar KhaireSports (Mallakhamb)Gujarat

Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (PMRBP):
It is India’s highest civilian honour for children, awarded annually by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It was first
awarded in 1996. The awards are being conferred upon children in the age group 5-18 years, for their excellence in six categories: Art
and Culture, Bravery, Innovation, Scholastic, Social Service and Sports. Each awardee is given a medal, a cash prize of Rs.1 Lakh
and certificate.

  1. Visakhapatnam railway station of East Coast Railway has been awarded the ‘Green Railway Station Certification with highest
    rating of Platinum’ by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for adopting green concepts thereby reducing the adverse
    environmental impact.
  • Visakhapatnam railway station has performed well in categories such as sustainable facilities, health, hygiene, energy and
    water efficiency, smart green initiatives, innovation and development.
  • Visakhapatnam secured 82 out of 100 points in six environmental categories.
  1. Padma Awards 2023, one of the highest civilian Awards of India, have been announced. For the year 2023, the President of India
    Droupadi Mormu has approved conferment of 106 Padma Awards (6 Padma Vibhushan, 9 Padma Bhushan and 91 Padma Shri
    Awards) including 3 duo cases (in a duo case, the Award is counted as one). 19 of the awardees are women and the list also
    includes 2 persons from the category of Foreigners/NRI/PIO/OCI and 7 posthumous awardees.
    Padma Vibhushan (6):
SNNameFieldState/Country
1Balkrishna Doshi (Posthumous)Others – ArchitectureGujarat
2Zakir HussainArtMaharashtra
3S M KrishnaPublic AffairsKarnataka
4Dilip Mahalanabis (Posthumous)MedicineWest Bengal
5Srinivas VaradhanScience &  EngineeringUnited States of America

Padma Bhushan (9):

SNNameFieldState/Country
1S L BhyrappaLiterature & EducationKarnataka
2Kumar Mangalam BirlaTrade & IndustryMaharashtra
3Deepak DharScience & EngineeringMaharashtra
4Vani JairamArtTamil Nadu
5Swami Chinna JeeyarOthers – SpiritualismTelangana
6Suman KalyanpurArtMaharashtra
7Kapil KapoorLiterature & EducationDelhi
8Sudha MurtySocial WorkKarnataka
9Kamlesh D PatelOthers – SpiritualismTelangana

Padma Shri (91):

SNNameFieldState/Country
1Dr. Sukama AcharyaOthers – SpiritualismHaryana
2Jodhaiyabai BaigaArtMadhya Pradesh
3Premjit BariaArtDadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman  and Diu
4Usha BarleArtChhattisgarh
5Munishwar ChanddawarMedicineMadhya Pradesh
6Hemant ChauhanArtGujarat
7Bhanubhai ChitaraArtGujarat
8Hemoprova ChutiaArtAssam
9Narendra Chandra Debbarma (Posthumous)Public AffairsTripura
10Subhadra DeviArtBihar
11Khadar Valli DudekulaScience & EngineeringKarnataka
12Hem Chandra GoswamiArtAssam
13Pritikana GoswamiArtWest Bengal
14Radha Charan GuptaLiterature & EducationUttar Pradesh
15Modadugu Vijay GuptaScience & EngineeringTelangana
16Ahmed Hussain & Mohd Hussain (Duo)ArtRajasthan
17Dilshad HussainArtUttar Pradesh
18Bhiku Ramji IdateSocial WorkMaharashtra
19C I IssacLiterature & EducationKerala
20Rattan Singh JaggiLiterature & EducationPunjab
21Bikram Bahadur JamatiaSocial WorkTripura
22Ramkuiwangbe JeneSocial WorkAssam
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23Rakesh Radheshyam Jhunjhunwala (Posthumous)Trade & IndustryMaharashtra
24Ratan Chandra KarMedicineAndaman & Nicobar Islands
25Mahipat KaviArtGujarat
26M M KeeravaaniArtAndhra Pradesh
27Areez Khambatta (Posthumous)Trade & IndustryGujarat
28Parshuram Komaji KhuneArtMaharashtra
29Ganesh Nagappa KrishnarajanagaraScience & EngineeringAndhra Pradesh
30Maguni Charan KuanrArtOdisha
31Anand KumarLiterature & EducationBihar
32Arvind KumarScience & EngineeringUttar Pradesh
33Domar Singh KunvarArtChhattisgarh
34Risingbor KurkalangArtMeghalaya
35Hirabai LobiSocial WorkGujarat
36Moolchand LodhaSocial WorkRajasthan
37Rani MachaiahArtKarnataka
38Ajay Kumar MandaviArtChhattisgarh
39Prabhakar Bhanudas MandeLiterature & EducationMaharashtra
40Gajanan Jagannath ManeSocial WorkMaharashtra
41Antaryami MishraLiterature & EducationOdisha
42Nadoja Pindipapanahalli MunivenkatappaArtKarnataka
43Dr Mahendra PalScience & EngineeringGujarat
44Uma Shankar PandeySocial WorkUttar Pradesh
45Ramesh Parmar & Shanti Parmar (Duo)ArtMadhya Pradesh
46Dr. Nalini ParthasarathiMedicinePuducherry
47Hanumantha Rao PasupuletiMedicineTelangana
48Ramesh PatangeLiterature & EducationMaharashtra
49Krishna PatelArtOdisha
50K Kalyanasundaram PillaiArtTamil Nadu
51V P Appukuttan PoduvalSocial WorkKerala
52Kapil Dev PrasadArtBihar
53S R D PrasadSportsKerala
54Shah Rasheed Ahmed QuadriArtKarnataka
55C V RajuArtAndhra Pradesh
56Bakshi RamScience & EngineeringHaryana
57Cheruvayal K RamanOthers – AgricultureKerala
58Sujatha RamdoraiScience & EngineeringCanada
59Abbareddy Nageswara RaoScience & EngineeringAndhra Pradesh
60Pareshbhai RathwaArtGujarat
61B Ramakrishna ReddyLiterature & EducationTelangana
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62Mangala Kanti RoyArtWest Bengal
63K C RunremsangiArtMizoram
64Vadivel Gopal & Masi Sadaiyan (Duo)Social WorkTamil Nadu
65Manoranjan SahuMedicineUttar Pradesh
66Patayat SahuOthers – AgricultureOdisha
67Ritwik SanyalArtUttar Pradesh
68Kota Satchidananda SastryArtAndhra Pradesh
69Sankurathri Chandra SekharSocial WorkAndhra Pradesh
70K Shanathoiba SharmaSportsManipur
71Nekram SharmaOthers – AgricultureHimachal Pradesh
72Gurcharan SinghSportsDelhi
73Laxman SinghSocial WorkRajasthan
74Mohan SinghLiterature & EducationJammu & Kashmir
75Thounaojam Chaoba SinghPublic AffairsManipur
76Prakash Chandra SoodLiterature & EducationAndhra Pradesh
77Neihunuo SorhieArtNagaland
78Dr. Janum Singh SoyLiterature & EducationJharkhand
79Kushok Thiksey Nawang Chamba StanzinOthers – SpiritualismLadakh
80S SubbaramanOthers – ArchaeologyKarnataka
81Moa SubongArtNagaland
82Palam Kalyana SundaramSocial WorkTamil Nadu
83Raveena Ravi TandonArtMaharashtra
84Vishwanath Prasad TiwariLiterature & EducationUttar Pradesh
85Dhaniram TotoLiterature & EducationWest Bengal
86Tula Ram UpretiOthers – AgricultureSikkim
87Dr. Gopalsamy VeluchamyMedicineTamil Nadu
88Dr. Ishwar Chander VermaMedicineDelhi
89Coomi Nariman WadiaArtMaharashtra
90Karma Wangchu (Posthumous)Social WorkArunachal Pradesh
91Ghulam Muhammad ZazArtJammu & Kashmir

Padma Awards are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards are given
in various disciplines/ fields of activities, viz. – art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine,
literature and education, sports, civil service, etc.

  • ‘Padma Vibhushan’ is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service;
  • ‘Padma Bhushan’ for distinguished service of high order;
  • ‘Padma Shri’ for distinguished service in any field.
    The awards are announced on the occasion of Republic Day every year. These Awards are conferred by the President of India at
    ceremonial functions which are held at Rashtrapati Bhawan usually around March/ April every year.
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  1. The President of India Droupadi Murmu has approved 412 Gallantry awards and other Defence decorations to Armed Forces
    personnel and others on the eve of the 74th Republic Day 2023.
  • These include 6 Kirti Chakras, including 4 posthumous; 15 Shaurya Chakras, including two posthumous; one Bar to Sena
    Medal (Gallantry); 92 Sena Medals, including four posthumous; one Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry) {posthumous}; seven Vayu
    Sena Medals (Gallantry); 29 Param Vishisht Seva Medals; 3 UttamYudhSeva Medals; one Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal; 52
    Ati Vishisht Seva Medals; 10 Yudh Seva Medals; four Bar to Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty); 36 Sena Medals (Devotion to
    Duty); two Bar to Nao Sena Medal (Devotion to Duty) {posthumous}; 11 Nao Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty), including three
    posthumous; 14 Vayu Sena Medals (Devotion to Duty); two Bar to Vishisht Seva Medal and126 Vishisht Seva Medals.

Kirti Chakra Awardees:

Major Shubhang of the Dogra Regiment from Indian Army
Naik Jitendra Singh of the Rajput Regiment from Indian Army
Jammu and Kashmir police constable Rohit Kumar (Posthumous)
Sub Inspector Deepak Bhardwaj (Posthumous)
Head Constable Sodhi Narayan (Posthumous)
Head Constable Shrawan Kashyap (Posthumous)

Shaurya Chakra Awardees:

Major Aditya Bhadauria, Kumaon Regiment, Indian Army
Captain Arun Kumar, Kumaun Regiment, Indian Army
Captain Yudhvir Singh, mechanised infantry, Indian Army
Captain Rakesh TR, Parachute Regiment, Indian Army
Naik Jasbir Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, Indian Army  (Posthumous)
Naik Vikas Choudhary, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, (Posthumous)
Constable Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh, Jammu and Kashmir Police
Group Captain Yogeshwar Krishnarao Kandalkar, Air Force
Flight Lieutenant Tejpal, Air Force
Squadron leader Sandeep Kumar Jhajhria, Air Force
Corporal Anand Singh, Air Force
Leading aircraftman Sunil Kumar, Air Force
Assistant Commandant Satendra Singh
Deputy Commandant Vikki Kumar Pandey
Constable Vijay Oraon

Bar to Sena Medal (Gallantry):
Major Rakesh Kumar, Indian Army
Nao Sena Medal (Gallantry):
Late CDR Nishant Singh (Posthumous), Navy
Vayu Sena Medal (Gallantry):

Wing Commander Sumedh Ashok Jamkar, Air  Force
Squadron leader Krishna Kumar Singh, Air Force
Junior Warrant officer Srikanth Bonam, Air Force
Sergeant Pankaj Kumar Rana, Air Force
Corporal Satendra Kumar, Air Force
Corporal Anthony Mang Kham, Air Force
Leading Aircraftman Ravinder Singh, Air Force

Uttam Yudh Sewa Medal:

Lieutenant General Ram Chander Tiwari, Indian Army
Lieutenant General Anindiya Sengupta, Indian Army
Lieutenant General Amardeep Singh Aujla, Indian Army

74th Republic Day 2023:
India has observed its 74th Republic Day on 26th January 2023. The day marks and celebrates the date on which the Indian Constitution
came into effect on 26th January 1950.

  • Chief Guest of the 74th Republic Day is Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt.
  1. Global Entrepreneur Sunil Krishnan has been honoured with the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar National Contribution Award 2022
    for his contribution to India for spreading Indian cuisine globally with Moksh Restaurant. The award has been presented by the
    Governor of Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshiyari during the ceremony organized at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards:
  • The award is given to a person for meritorious act of human nature in saving the life of a person.
  • The award is given in three categories, namely, Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak (Rs.2 lakh), Uttam Jeevan Raksha
    Padak (Rs.1.5 lakh) and Jeevan Raksha Padak (Rs.1 lakh).
  • Persons of all walks of life are eligible for these awards.
  • The award can also be conferred posthumously.
    Related News:
    The President of India Droupadi Mormu has approved the conferment of Jeevan Raksha Padak Series of Awards – 2022 on 43
    persons which includes Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak to 07, Uttam Jeevan Raksha Padak to 08 and Jeevan Raksha Padak to 28
    persons. Four awardees are posthumous.

BOOKS & AUTHORS

  1. Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan has launched the book titled “India’s Knowledge Supremacy: The New
    Dawn” authored by Dr Ashwin Fernandes, the international Indian expat. The book is published by Bloomsbury Prime. The book
    depicts the rich educational heritage of India and covers a lot of aspects of Indian knowledge systems and the evolution of
    education in India.

PERSON IN NEWS

  1. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Vikarn Dev Dutta as Director General (DG)
    of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with effect from 28th February 2023. He is a 1993 batch IAS officer of
    Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre. He will succeed Arun Kumar.
    Other appointments by ACC:
  • Arti Bhatnagar as Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Commerce & Industry;
  • Amardeep Singh Bhatia as Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce;
  • Alok as Additional Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority;
  • Satinder Pal Singh as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs
    The ACC has also approved the extension of the central deputation tenure of Ashutosh Jindal, Additional Secretary, Cabinet
    Secretariat, for a period of one year beyond 16 February 2023 which is up to 16 February 2024 or until further orders, whichever is
    earlier.
  1. Justice Sabina, the senior-most judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, has been appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of
    the Himachal Pradesh High Court, in the exercise of the power conferred by Article 223 of the Constitution of India, with effect
    from 21st January 2023 following the retirement of Justice Amjad Ahtesham Sayed, chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh high
    court.
  2. Shamalbhai Patel has been re-elected as the Chairman of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the
    umbrella body of milk co-operatives in Gujarat which owns the brand Amul.
  • The board of directors of GCMMF has also re-elected Valamji Humbal as Vice-Chairman of the GCMMF for the 2nd time.
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  1. Chris Hipkins, leader of the Labour Party, has sworn in as the 41st Prime Minister of New Zealand by the governor-general
    Cindy Kiro, King Charles representative in New Zealand, during a ceremony in Wellington, New Zealand. He has succeeded
    Jacinda Ardern.
  2. Tata Trusts has named former civil servant Siddharth Sharma as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and has also appointed
    former Ford Foundation official Aparna Uppaluri as the Chief Operating Officer (COO). Their appointments as the CEO and COO
    will take effect on 1st April 2023.
  • Siddharth Sharma will succeed Srinath Narasimhan in his new role.
  1. JP Morgan Chase & Company has received approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to name Prabdev Singh as its Chief
    Executive Officer (CEO) of JP Morgan Chase Bank India for a period of 3 years. He has replaced Madhav Kalyan.
  2. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a new federal investment of 40 million Canadian dollars ($32 million)
    that enables Xanadu Quantum Technologies Inc., a Toronto-based Canadian quantum computing company, to build and
    commercialise the world’s first photonic-based, fault-tolerant quantum computer.
  3. American Express Banking Corp., (AEBC) has announced the appointment of Anurag Gupta as the Vice President (VP) and
    Head of Global Merchant & Network Services in American Express (Amex) India.

OBITUARIES

  1. Noted Indian architect Balkrishna Vithaldas Doshi (B.V. Doshi) has recently passed away in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He was born
    on 26th August 1927 in Pune, Maharashtra. He was a pioneer of modernist and brutalist architecture in India.
  • His notable works: FLAME University, IIM Bangalore, IIM Udaipur, NIFT Delhi, Amdavad ni Gufa, CEPT University, and the
    Aranya Low Cost Housing development in Indore.
    Awards:
  • He became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is considered one of the most
    prestigious prizes in architecture, in 2018.
  • Padma Shri: 1976
  • Padma Bhushan: 2020
  • 6th Aga Khan Award for Architecture for Aranya Community Housing, 1993–1995.
  1. Former Indian Decathlete & Arjun Awardee Sabir Ali, known as the ‘Ironman of India’, who won the decathlon gold at the 1981
    Asian Athletics Championships in Tokyo, has recently passed away in New Delhi. He was born in 1955 in Haryana.
  • He was honoured with the Arjuna Award and Bhim Award by the Government of Haryana in 1981.
  • He became the 3rd Indian to win the Asian Athletes Championships decathlon after VS Chauhan (1974) and Suresh Babu
    (1975).

SPORTS

  1. India Open Badminton Championship 2023 has been held at the K. D. Jadhav Indoor Hall in New Delhi. It has a total prize pool of
    US$750,000. This is the first India Open to have a Super 750 status.
India Open Badminton Championship 2023
CategoryWinners
Men’s SinglesKunlavut Vitidsarn (Thailand)
Women’s SinglesAn Se-young (South Korea)
Men’s DoublesLiang Weikeng and Wang Chang (China)
Women’s DoublesNami Matsuyama and Chiharu Shida

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the winners of the ICC Awards 2022

CategoryWinner
ICC Men’s Associate Player of the yearGerhard Erasmus (Namibia)
ICC Women’s Associate Player of the yearEsha Oza (United Arab Emirates)
ICC Men’s T20I Player of the yearSuryakumar Yadav (India)
ICC Women’s T20I Player of the yearTahlia McGrath (Australia)
ICC Emerging Men’s Player of the yearMarco Jansen (South Africa)
ICC Emerging Women’s Player of the yearRenuka Singh (India)
ICC Men’s ODI Player of the yearBabar Azam (Pakistan)
ICC Women’s ODI Player of the yearNat Sciver (England)
ICC Men’s Test Player of the yearBen Stokes (England)
Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC The Women’s Cricketer of the YearNat Sciver (England)
Sir Garfield Sobers TrophyBabar Azam (Pakistan)
ICC Umpire of the YearRichard Illingworth (England)
ICC Spirit of Cricket AwardAahif Sheikh (Nepal)

IMPORTANT DAYS

  1. ‘Parakram Diwas’ (Courage Day) is observed annually across India on 23rd January to commemorate the birth anniversary of
    Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The day is celebrated to honour and remember Netaji’s indomitable spirit and selfless service to
    the nation. The day was first observed in 2021. The year 2023 marks the 126th birth anniversary of him.
    Subhas Chandra Bose:
  • He was born on 23rd January 1897, in Cuttack, Orissa Division, Bengal Province, to Prabhavati Dutt Bose and Janakinath Bose.
  • He joined the Indian National Congress in 1921.
  • He started a newspaper called “Swaraj”.
  • He had written a book called “The Indian Struggle”. The book covers the Indian Independence movement between 1920 and
    1942.
  • The term “Jai Hind” was coined by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
  • With the slogan “Give me blood and I will give you freedom”, he awakened the country towards fighting against the British.
  • He won the congress presidential elections at Haripura in 1938.
  • Again in 1939 at Tripuri, he won the presidential elections against Gandhi’s candidate Pattabhi Sitarammayya. Due to ideological
    differences with Gandhi, Bose resigned and left congress. Rajendra Prasad was appointed in his place.
  • He founded a new party, ‘the Forward Bloc’. The purpose was to consolidate the political left and major support base in his home
    state Bengal.
  • He built a force known as the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) giving the slogan of “Dilli Chalo”.
  1. The National Girl Child Day (NGCD) is observed annually across India on 24th January to focus on the inequalities faced by
    girls, to promote the education, health & nutrition of the girl child, and to spread awareness about the rights of a girl child.
  • The day was observed for the first time in 2008 as an initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the
    Government of India.
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  1. National Voters’ Day (NVD) is observed annually on 25th January to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India
    (ECI), i.e. 25th January 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to create electoral awareness amongst citizens and
    encourage them to participate in the electoral process. The day was first observed in 2011.
  • The year 2023 marks the 13th National Voters’ Day.
  • Theme 2023: ‘Nothing Like Voting, I Vote for Sure’
  1. International Customs Day is observed annually on 26th January to commemorate the inaugural session of the World Customs
    Organisation (WCO), which was held on this day in 1953. The day also raises awareness about the importance of customs
    authorities and their role in the smooth movement of goods across borders. The day was first observed in 1983.
  • The year 2023 marks the 70th anniversary of the WCO.
  • Theme 2023: ‘Nurturing the next generation: Promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in Customs’
  1. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is observed annually on 27th January to commemorate the anniversary of the
    tragedy of the Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, which was the genocide of European Jews during World War II.
  • Theme 2023: “Home and Belonging”
  • United Nations designated the day in 2005 to serve as a date for official commemoration of the victims of the Nazi regime and
    to promote Holocaust education throughout the world. The day was first observed in 2006.
  1. Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas is observed annually on 30th January to mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The
    year 2023 marks the 75th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The day is observed to remember the sacrifices made by
    freedom fighters in the struggle for India’s independence and to pay our respects to them.
  • Note: The Raj Ghat is a memorial site to honour Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the Birla House during his evening prayers
    on 30 January, 1948. Gandhiji was a freedom fighter, a simple man with huge determination, a man who had sacrificed his life
    for the independence, welfare, and development of India.
    Additional Information:
    Notably, Martyrs’ Day is also observed in India on 23rd March to pay respect to Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar,
    who was hanged death on this day in 1931.
  1. International Day of Education is observed annually on 24th January to celebrate the role of education in bringing global peace
    and sustainable development. The day is organized by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Theme 2023: “To invest in people, prioritize education”
  • The year 2023 marks the 5
    th observation of International Day of Education.
  • The first-ever International Day of Education was observed on 24 January 2019 as per the resolution passed by the United
    Nations General Assembly on 3rd December 2018 to celebrate the role of education in development.
  1. National Tourism Day is observed annually on 25th January to raise awareness about the importance of tourism for the country’s
    economy. The day is observed to cultivate awareness among the global community on the importance of tourism and its social,
    political, financial and cultural worth.
  2. World Leprosy Day is observed globally on the last Sunday of January to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease
    and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured. In 2023, the World Leprosy Day falls on 29th January
    2023.
  • The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a tribute to the life of Mahatma Gandhi
    who had compassion for people afflicted with leprosy.
  • Theme 2023: “Act Now. End Leprosy”
  • As per the latest data, India accounts for almost 60 percent of the world’s new leprosy patients despite being declared
    leprosy-free in 2005.
    Note: In India, World Leprosy Day is celebrated every year on 30 January, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s death.
    Leprosy:
  • It is a chronic infectious disease caused by a bacillus, Mycobacterium leprae (M. laprae). The symptoms of the disease occur
    generally after a long period of getting an infection on average 5 years, as M. leprae multiplies very slowly. The disease mainly
    affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes.
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  1. World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day is observed annually on 30th January to raise awareness about neglected tropical
    diseases (NTDs) as a critical public health challenge so that we can progress towards their elimination.
  • Theme 2023: “Act Now. Act Together. Invest in Neglected Tropical Diseases”
  • The day was first observed in 2020. The proposal to recognise the day was made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  1. The President of India Droupadi Murmu has addressed the 31st Foundation Day of the National Commission for Women
    (NCW) in Delhi on 31st January 2023.
  • The NCW has organized a two-day event to celebrate its 31st Foundation Day from 31st January 2023 to 1st February 2023.
  • The theme of the programme is ‘Sashakt Nari Sashakt Bharat’ aimed at acknowledging and celebrating the stories of
    women who have excelled and paved their journey to leave a mark.
    National Commission for Women (NCW):
    NCW was founded in January 1992 as a statutory body under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990. It was established to
    review the constitutional and legal safeguards for women, recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal, or grievances,
    and advise the government on policy matters affecting women.

ECONOMIC SURVEY 2022-23: HIGHLIGHTS

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, presented the Economic Survey 2022-23 in the Union
Parliament ON 31st January 2023. The highlights of the Survey are as follows:
State of the Economy 2022-23: Recovery Complete

  • Recovering from pandemic-induced contraction, Russian-Ukraine conflict and inflation, Indian economy is staging a broad
    based recovery across sectors, positioning to ascend to the pre-pandemic growth path in FY23.
  • India’s GDP growth is expected to remain robust in FY24. GDP forecast for FY24 to be in the range of 6-6.8 %.
  • Private consumption in H1 is highest since FY15 and this has led to a boost to production activity resulting in enhanced
    capacity utilisation across sectors.
  • The Capital Expenditure of Central Government and crowding in the private Capex led by strengthening of the balance
    sheets of the Corporates is one of the growth driver of the Indian economy in the current year.
  • The credit growth to the MSME sector was over 30.6 per cent on average during Jan-Nov 2022.
  • Retail inflation is back within RBI’s target range in November 2022.
  • Indian Rupee performed well compared to other Emerging Market Economies in Apr-Dec2022.
  • Direct Tax collections for the period April-November 2022 remain buoyant.
  • Enhanced Employment generation seen in the declining urban unemployment rate and in the faster net registration in
    Employee Provident Fund.
  • Economic growth to be boosted from the expansion of public digital platforms and measures to boost manufacturing output.
    India’s Medium Term Growth Outlook: with Optimism and Hope
  • Indian economy underwent wide-ranging structural and governance reforms that strengthened the economy’s fundamentals
    by enhancing its overall efficiency during 2014-2022.
  • With an underlying emphasis on improving the ease of living and doing business, the reforms after 2014 were based on the
    broad principles of creating public goods, adopting trust-based governance, co-partnering with the private sector for
    development, and improving agricultural productivity.
  • The period of 2014-2022 also witnessed balance sheet stress caused by the credit boom in the previous years and one-off
    global shocks that adversely impacted the key macroeconomic variables such as credit growth, capital formation, and
    hence economic growth during this period.
  • This situation is analogous to the period 1998-2002 when transformative reforms undertaken by the government had lagged
    growth returns due to temporary shocks in the economy. Once these shocks faded, the structural reforms paid growth
    dividends from 2003.
  • Similarly, the Indian economy is well placed to grow faster in the coming decade once the global shocks of the pandemic
    and the spike in commodity prices in 2022 fade away.
  • With improved and healthier balance sheets of the banking, non-banking and corporate sectors, a fresh credit cycle has
    already begun, evident from the double-digit growth in bank credit over the past months.
  • Indian economy has also started benefiting from the efficiency gains resulting from greater formalisation, higher financial
    inclusion, and economic opportunities created by digital technology-based economic reforms.
  • Thus Chapter 2 of the Survey shows that India’s growth outlook seems better than in the pre-pandemic years, and the
    Indian economy is prepared to grow at its potential in the medium term.
    Fiscal Developments: Revenue Relish
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  • The Union Government finances have shown a resilient performance during the year FY23, facilitated by the recovery in
    economic activity, buoyancy in revenues from direct taxes and GST, and realistic assumptions in the Budget.
  • The Gross Tax Revenue registered a YoY growth of 15.5 per cent from April to November 2022, driven by robust growth in
    the direct taxes and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Growth in direct taxes during the first eight months of the year was much higher than their corresponding longer-term
    averages.
  • GST has stabilised as a vital revenue source for central and state governments, with the gross GST collections increasing
    at 24.8 per cent on YoY basis from April to December 2022.
  • Union Government’s emphasis on capital expenditure (Capex) has continued despite higher revenue expenditure
    requirements during the year. The Centre’s Capex has steadily increased from a long-term average of 1.7 per cent of GDP
    (FY09 to FY20) to 2.5 per cent of GDP in FY22 PA.
  • The Centre has also incentivised the State Governments through interest-free loans and enhanced borrowing ceilings to
    prioritise their spending on Capex.
  • With an emphasis on infrastructure-intensive sectors like roads and highways, railways, and housing and urban affairs, the
    increase in Capex has large-scale positive implications for medium-term growth.
  • The Government’s Capex-led growth strategy will enable India to keep the growth-interest rate differential positive, leading
    to a sustainable debt to GDP in the medium run.
    Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation: A Good Year
  • The RBI initiated its monetary tightening cycle in April 2022 and has since raised the repo rate by 225 bps, leading to
    moderation of surplus liquidity conditions.
  • Cleaner balance sheets led to enhanced lending by financial institutions.
  • The growth in credit offtake is expected to sustain, and combined with a pick-up in private capex, will usher in a virtuous
    investment cycle.
  • Non-food credit offtake by scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) has been growing in double digits since April 2022.
  • Credit disbursed by Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) has also been on the rise.
  • The Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio of SCBs has fallen to a seven-year low of 5.0.
  • The Capital-to-Risk Weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR) remains healthy at 16.0.
  • The recovery rate for the SCBs through Insolvency and Bankruptcy (IBC) was highest in FY22 compared to other channels.
    Prices and Inflation: Successful Tight-Rope Walking
  • While the year 2022 witnessed a return of high inflation in the advanced world after three to four decades, India caps the
    rise in prices.
  • While India’s retail inflation rate peaked at 7.8 per cent in April 2022, above the RBI’s upper tolerance limit of 6 per cent, the
    overshoot of inflation above the upper end of the target range in India was however one of the lowest in the world.
  • The government adopted a multi-pronged approach to tame the increase in price levels
    o Phase wise reduction in export duty of petrol and diesel
    o Import duty on major inputs were brought to zero while tax on export of iron ores and concentrates increased from
    30 to 50 per cent
    o Waived customs duty on cotton imports w.e.f 14 April 2022, until 30 September 2022
    o Prohibition on the export of wheat products under HS Code 1101 and imposition of export duty on rice
    o Reduction in basic duty on crude and refined palm oil, crude soyabean oil and crude sunflower oil
  • The RBI’s anchoring of inflationary expectations through forward guidance and responsive monetary policy has helped
    guide the trajectory of inflation in the country.
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  • The one-year-ahead inflationary expectations by both businesses and households have moderated in the current financial
    year.
  • Timely policy intervention by the government in housing sector, coupled with low home loan interest rates propped up
    demand and attracted buyers more readily in the affordable segment in FY23.
  • An overall increase in composite Housing Price Indices (HPI) assessment and Housing Price Indices market prices
    indicates a revival in the housing finance sector. A stable to moderate increase in HPI also offers confidence to
    homeowners and home loan financiers in terms of the retained value of the asset.
  • India’s inflation management has been particularly noteworthy and can be contrasted with advanced economies that are
    still grappling with sticky inflation rates.
    Social Infrastructure and Employment: Big Tent
  • Social Sector witnessed significant increase in government spending.
  • Central and State Government’s budgeted expenditure on health sector touched 2.1% of GDP in FY23 (BE) and 2.2% in
    FY22 (RE) against 1.6% in FY21.
  • Social sector expenditure increases to Rs. 21.3 lakh crore in FY23 (BE) from Rs. 9.1 lakh crore in FY16.
  • Survey highlights the findings of the 2022 report of the UNDP on Multidimensional Poverty Index which says that 41.5 crore
    people exit poverty in India between 2005-06 and 2019-20.
  • The Aspirational Districts Programme has emerged as a template for good governance, especially in remote and difficult
    areas.
  • eShram portal developed for creating a National database of unorganised workers, which is verified with Aadhaar. As on 31
    December 2022, a total of over 28.5 crore unorganised workers have been registered on eShram portal.
  • JAM (Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, and Mobile) trinity, combined with the power of DBT, has brought the marginalised sections of
    society into the formal financial system, revolutionising the path of transparent and accountable governance by empowering
    the people.
  • Aadhaar played a vital role in developing the Co-WIN platform and in the transparent administration of over 2 billion vaccine
    doses.
  • Labour markets have recovered beyond pre-Covid levels, in both urban and rural areas, with unemployment rates falling
    from 5.8 per cent in 2018-19 to 4.2 per cent in 2020-21.
  • The year FY22 saw improvement in Gross Enrolment Ratios (GER) in schools and improvement in gender parity. GER in
    the primary-enrolment in class I to V as a percentage of the population in age 6 to 10 years – for girls as well as boys have
    improved in FY22.
  • Due to several steps taken by the government on health, out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of total health
    expenditure declined from 64.2% in FY14 to 48.2% in FY19.
  • Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Under Five mortality rate (U5MR) and neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) have shown a steady
    decline.
  • More than 220 crore COVID vaccine doses administered as on 06 January, 2023.
  • Nearly 22 crore beneficiaries have been verified under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme as on 04 January, 2023. Over 1.54
    lakh Health and Wellness Centres have been operationalized across the country under Ayushman Bharat.
    Climate Change and Environment: Preparing to Face the Future
  • India declared the Net Zero Pledge to achieve net zero emissions goal by 2070.
  • India achieved its target of 40 per cent installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuels ahead of 2030.
  • The likely installed capacity from non-fossil fuels to be more than 500 GW by 2030 resulting in decline of average emission
    rate by around 29% by 2029-30, compared to 2014-15.
  • India to reduce emissions intensity of its GDP by 45% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
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  • About 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity to come from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.
  • A mass movement LIFE– Life style for Environment launched.
  • Sovereign Green Bond Framework (SGrBs) issued in November 2022.
  • RBI auctions two tranches of ₹4,000 crore Sovereign Green Bonds (SGrB).
  • National Green Hydrogen Mission to enable India to be energy independent by 2047.
  • Green hydrogen production capacity of at least 5 MMT (Million Metric Tonne) per annum to be developed by 2030.
    Cumulative reduction in fossil fuel imports over ₹1 lakh crore and creation of over 6 lakh jobs by 2030 under the National
    green Hydrogen Mission. Renewable energy capacity addition of about 125 GW and abatement of nearly 50 MMT of annual
    GHG emissions by 2030.
  • The Survey highlights the progress on eight missions under the NAP on CC to address climate concerns and promote
    sustainable development.
  • Solar power capacity installed, a key metric under the National Solar Mission stood at 61.6 GW as on October 2022.
  • India becoming a favored destination for renewables; investments in 7 years stand at USD 78.1 billion.
  • 62.8 lakh individual household toilets and 6.2 lakh community and public toilets constructed (August 2022) under the
    National Mission on Sustainable Habitat.
    Agriculture and Food Management
  • The performance of the agriculture and allied sector has been buoyant over the past several years, much of which is on
    account of the measures taken by the government to augment crop and livestock productivity, ensure certainty of returns to
    the farmers through price support, promote crop diversification, improve market infrastructure through the impetus provided
    for the setting up of farmer-producer organisations and promotion of investment in infrastructure facilities through the
    Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
  • Private investment in agriculture increases to 9.3% in 2020-21.
  • MSP for all mandated crops fixed at 1.5 times of all India weighted average cost of production since 2018.
  • Institutional Credit to the Agricultural Sector continued to grow to 18.6 lakh crore in 2021-22
  • Foodgrains production in India saw sustained increase and stood at 315.7 million tonnes in 2021-22.
  • Free foodgrains to about 81.4 crore beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act for one year from January 1, 2023.
  • About 11.3 crore farmers were covered under the Scheme in its April-July 2022-23 payment cycle.
  • Rs 13,681 crores sanctioned for Post-Harvest Support and Community Farms under the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
  • Online, Competitive, Transparent Bidding System with 1.74 crore farmers and 2.39 lakh traders put in place under the
    National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Scheme.
  • Organic Farming being promoted through Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO) under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas
    Yojana (PKVY).
  • India stands at the forefront to promote millets through the International Year of Millets initiative.
    Industry: Steady Recovery
  • Overall Gross Value Added (GVA) by the Industrial Sector (for the first half of FY 22-23) rose 3.7 per cent, which is higher
    than the average growth of 2.8 per cent achieved in the first half of the last decade.
  • Robust growth in Private Final Consumption Expenditure, export stimulus during the first half of the year, increase in
    investment demand triggered by enhanced public capex and strengthened bank and corporate balance sheets have
    provided a demand stimulus to industrial growth.
  • The supply response of the industry to the demand stimulus has been robust.
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  • PMI manufacturing has remained in the expansion zone for 18 months since July 2021, and Index of Industrial
    Production (IIP) grows at a healthy pace.
  • Credit to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has grown by an average of around 30% since January
    2022 and credit to large industry has been showing double-digit growth since October 2022.
  • Electronics exports rise nearly threefold, from US $4.4 billion in FY19 to US $11.6 Billion in FY22.
  • India has become the second-largest mobile phone manufacturer globally, with the production of handsets going up
    from 6 crore units in FY15 to 29 crore units in FY21.
  • Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows into the Pharma Industry has risen four times, from US $180 million in FY19 to
    US $699 million in FY22.
  • The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes introduced across 14 categories, with an estimated capex of ₹4 lakh crore
    over the next five years, to plug India into global supply chains. Investment of ₹47,500 crores has been seen under the PLI
    schemes in the FY22, which is 106% of the designated target for the year. Production/sales worth ₹3.85 lakh crore and
    employment generation of 3.0 lakh have been recorded due to PLI schemes.
  • Over 39,000 compliances have been reduced and more than 3500 provisions decriminalized as of January 2023.
    Services: Source of Strength
  • The services sector is expected to grow at 9.1% in FY23, as against 8.4% (YoY) in FY22.
  • Robust expansion in PMI services, indicative of service sector activity, observed since July 2022.
  • India was among the top ten services exporting countries in 2021, with its share in world commercial services exports
    increasing from 3 per cent in 2015 to 4 per cent in 2021.
  • India’s services exports remained resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic and amid geopolitical uncertainties driven by
    higher demand for digital support, cloud services, and infrastructure modernization.
  • Credit to services sector has grown by over 16% since July 2022.
  • US$ 7.1 billion FDI equity inflows in services sector in FY22.
  • Contact-intensive services are set to reclaim pre-pandemic level growth rates in FY23.
  • Sustained growth in the real estate sector is taking housing sales to pre-pandemic levels, with a 50% rise between 2021
    and 2022.
  • Hotel occupancy rate has improved from 30-32% in April 2021 to 68-70% in November 2022.
  • Tourism sector is showing signs of revival, with foreign tourist arrivals in India in FY23 growing month-on-month with
    resumption of scheduled international flights and easing of Covid-19 regulations.
  • Digital platforms are transforming India’s financial services.
  • India’s e-commerce market is projected to grow at 18 per cent annually through 2025.
    External Sector
  • Merchandise exports were US$ 332.8 billion for April-December 2022.
  • India diversified its markets and increased its exports to Brazil, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
  • To increase its market size and ensure better penetration, in 2022, CEPA with UAE and ECTA with Australia come into
    force.
  • India is the largest recipient of remittances in the world receiving US$ 100 bn in 2022. Remittances are the second
    largest major source of external financing after service export
  • As of December 2022, Forex Reserves stood at US$ 563 bn covering 9.3 months of imports.
  • As of end-November 2022, India is the sixth largest foreign exchange reserves holder in the world.
  • The current stock of external debt is well shielded by the comfortable level of foreign exchange reserves.
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  • India has relatively low levels of total debt as a percentage of Gross National Income and short-term debt as a percentage
    of total debt.
    Physical and Digital Infrastructure
    Government’s Vision for Infrastructure Development
  • Public Private Partnerships
    o In-Principal Approval granted to 56 projects with Total Project Cost of ₹57,870.1 crore under the VGF Scheme,
    from 2014-15 to 2022-23.
    o IIPDF Scheme with ₹150 crore outlay from FY 23-25 was notified by the government on 03 November, 2022.
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline
    o 89,151 projects costing ₹141.4 lakh crore under different stages of implementation
    o 1009 projects worth ₹5.5 lakh crore completed
    o NIP and Project Monitoring Group (PMG) portal linkage to fast-track approvals/ clearances for projects
  • National Monetisation Pipeline
    o ₹ 9.0 lakh crore is the estimated cumulative investment potential.
    o ₹ 0.9 lakh crore monetisation target achieved against expected ₹0.8 lakh crore in FY22.
    o FY23 target is envisaged to be ₹1.6 lakh crore (27 per cent of overall NMP Target)
  • GatiShakti
    o PM GatiShakti National Master Plan creates comprehensive database for integrated planning and synchronised
    implementation across Ministries/ Departments.
    o Aims to improve multimodal connectivity and logistics efficiency while addressing the critical gaps for the seamless
    movement of people and goods.
    Electricity Sector and Renewables
  • As on 30 September 2022, the government has sanctioned the entire target capacity of 40 GW for the development of 59
    Solar Parks in 16 states.
  • 17.2 lakh GWh electricity generated during the year FY22 compared to 15.9 lakh GWh during FY21.
  • The total installed power capacity (industries having demand of 1 Mega Watt (MW) and above) increased from 460.7 GW
    on 31 March 2021 to 482.2 GW on 31 March 2022.
    Making Indian Logistics Globally Competitive
  • National Logistics Policy envisions to develop a technologically enabled, integrated, cost-efficient, resilient, sustainable and
    trusted logistics ecosystem in the country for accelerated and inclusive growth.
  • Rapid increase in National Highways (NHs) /Roads Construction with 10457 km NHs/roads constructed in FY22 compared
    to 6061 km in FY16.
  • Budget expenditure increased from ₹1.4 lakh crore in FY20 to ₹2.4 lakh crore in FY23 giving renewed push to Capital
    expenditure.
  • 2359 Kisan rails transported approximately 7.91 lakh tonnes of perishables, as of October 2022.
  • More than one crore air passengers availed the benefit of the UDAN scheme since its inception in 2016.
  • Near doubling of capacity of major ports in 8 years.
  • Inland Vessels Act 2021 replaced 100-year-old Act to ensure hassle free movement of Vessels promoting Inland Water
    Transport.
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    India’s Digital Public Infrastructure
  • Unified Payment Interface (UPI)
    o UPI-based transactions grew in value (121 per cent) and volume (115 per cent) terms, between 2019-22, paving
    the way for its international adoption.
  • Telephone and Radio – For Digital Empowerment
    o Total telephone subscriber base in India stands at 117.8 crore (as of Sept,22), with 44.3 per cent of subscribers in
    rural India.
    o More than 98 per cent of the total telephone subscribers are connected wirelessly.
    o The overall tele-density in India stood at 84.8 per cent in March 22.
    o 200 per cent increase in rural internet subscriptions between 2015 and 2021.
    o Prasar Bharati (India’s autonomous public service broadcaster) – broadcasts in 23 languages, 179 dialects from
    479 stations. Reaches 92 per cent of the area and 99.1 per cent of the total population.
  • Digital Public Goods
    o Achieved low-cost accessibility since the launch of Aadhaar in 2009
    o Under the government schemes, MyScheme, TrEDS, GEM, e-NAM, UMANG has transformed market place and
    has enabled citizens to access services across sectors
    o Under Account Aggregator, the consent-based data sharing framework is currently live across over 110 crore bank
    accounts.
    o Open Credit Enablement Network aims towards democratising lending operations while allowing end-to-end digital
    loan applications
    o National AI portal has published 1520 articles, 262 videos, and 120 government initiatives and is being viewed as
    viewed as a tool for overcoming the language barrier e.g. ‘Bhashini’.
    o Legislations are being introduced for enhanced user privacy and creating an ecosystem for standard, open, and
    interoperable protocols underlining robust data governance.

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