MHA constitutes HPC Chaired by MoS Nityanand Rai to protect Ladakh’s Culture, Language & Employment The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has constituted a 17-member High Powered Committee (HPC) to discuss measures for the protection of Ladakh’s unique culture, language and employment.
- It will be chaired by Minister of State (MoS) Nityanand Rai, MHA.
Its members will include Ladakh Lieutenant Governor Radha Krishna Mathur, MP (Member of Parliament) Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, Chairmans of Leh and Kargil Hill councils, representatives of Apex Body Leh, Kargil Democratic Alliance and nominee officials of MHA.
Responsibilities of the committee:
i.To discuss the protections of Culture and Language considering the geographical location and strategic importance of Ladakh.
ii.To discuss the protections to land and employment for the people, inclusive development, employment generation, and measures related to empowerment of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh and Kargil.
Why is this protection required?
This development follows the months of protest in Ladakh over the protection of the rights of the Ladakhi people after the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in August 2019 and the carving out of Ladakh as a separate Union Territory (UT).
- After this, the civil society and political groups in Ladakh have been demanding inclusion under the 6th schedule of the Constitution.
About the 6th Schedule of the Constitution:
It protects tribal populations by providing autonomy to the communities through the creation of autonomous development councils which can frame laws on land, public health, and agriculture to protect land, employment and cultural identity of a particular state or UT.
- As of now, 10 autonomous councils exist in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
GoI Introduces National Geospatial Policy 2022 On 28th December 2022, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T) notified the ‘National Geospatial Policy, 2022’ for implementation with immediate effect. The policy was notified following the liberalising of the usage of geospatial data under the draft Geospatial Data Policy in February 2021.
- The Government of India (GoI) has now defined a 13-year guideline for the growth of India’s geospatial data industry, including the creation of a national framework for using geospatial data to improve citizen services and other initiatives.
National Geospatial Policy 2022
i.The National Geospatial Policy, 2022 is a citizen-focused policy that aims to strengthen the geospatial sector to support national development, economic prosperity, and a growing information economy.
ii.The GoI proposes to establish an “Integrated Data and Information Framework” (IDIF) under which a “Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure” (GKI) will be developed by 2030.
iii.The policy also calls for the establishment of a national apex body, the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC).
About the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T):
Minister of State (Independent Charge) – Dr. Jitendra Singh (Udhampur Constituency – Jammu and Kashmir)
Departments under MoS&T – Department of Biotechnology; Department of Science and Technology (DST) & Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)
NCISM & CCRAS Launches ‘SMART’ Programme to Boost R&D in Ayurveda
On 2nd January 2023, The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) launched the SMART (Scope for Mainstreaming Ayurveda Research in Teaching Professionals) programme.
The programme aims to identify, support and promote innovative scientific research in priority healthcare research areas like Osteoarthritis, Iron Deficiency Anaemia, Chronic Bronchitis, Dyslipidemia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus, Psoriasis, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) through Ayurveda colleges and hospitals.
- The program was launched by Vaidya Jayant Deopujari, Chairman, NCISM and Prof. Rabinarayan Acharya, Director General, CCRAS in the presence of Prof. B. S. Prasad, President of Board of Ayurveda, NCISM and other senior officials.
- NCISM and CCRAS are the institutes under the Ministry of AYUSH for regulating medical education and conducting scientific research respectively.
KMRC: India’s First Underwater Metro Services to be Operational by December 2023
The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) announced that the East-West Metro Corridor project, India’s first underwater metro service, in Kolkata will be completed by December 2023. The 16.6 km corridor will run through the Hooghly river, connecting Howrah and Kolkata Sealdah railway stations including the north-south line of the Kolkata Metro at Esplanade. This will reduce the travel time from 90 minutes to 40 minutes.
- The 520-metre-long tunnel under the river Hooghly is a part of Kolkata’s East-West Metro Corridor. The metro trains will take just 45 seconds to cross the 520-metre tunnel.
- The tunnel is built at the cost of Rs 120 crore per kilometre. The completion cost of the East-West Metro Corridor Project has been estimated at Rs. 8,575 crore.
SBI, HDFC & ICICI Banks in the RBIs 2022 list of D-SIBsOn January 2, 2023, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released the 2022 list of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) based on the data from March 31, 2022. In this, State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank kept the status as D-SIBs, under the same bucketing structure as in the 2021 list of D-SIBs.
- D-SIBs are interconnected entities, whose failure can impact the whole of the financial system and create instability. They are also known s ‘too-big-to fail’ banks.
i.SBI will be in the 3rd bucket with an Additional Common Equity Tier (CET)- 1 requirement as a percentage of Risk Weighted Assets (RWAs) of 0.60%.
ii.ICICI Bank, and HDFC Bank will be in the 1st bucket with an Additional CET-1 requirement as a percentage of RWAs of 0.20%.
Table showing list of D-SIBs with Additional CET1 capital requirement:
(as a percentage of RWAs)
- It has to maintain an additional CET1 capital surcharge in India as applicable to it as a G-SIB, proportionate to its RWAs in India.
How D-SIBs are Selected and Assessed?
i.The D-SIBs will be selected by RBI based on the size of the bank as a percentage of GDP(Gross Domestic Product) i.e the banks having a size beyond 2% of GDP.
ii.The selected D-SIBs are assessed through the 4 indicators of Size, Interconnectedness, Lack of readily available substitutes or financial institution infrastructure, and
HDFC Bank Partners with Microsoft as Part of its Digital Transformation JourneyHDFC Bank partnered with Microsoft for the next phase of its digital transformation journey and unlocked business value by transforming the application portfolio, modernising the data landscape and securing the enterprise with Microsoft Cloud.
- HDFC Bank as a part of its Future Ready strategy is developing in-house IPs and also partnering with several companies including FinTechs’ to co-create technology IPs.
Yes Bank Partners with Microsoft to Transform Mobile Banking Experience
On 3rd January 2023 Yes Bank partnered with Microsoft to introduce the next generation mobile application (app) for providing personalised banking experience to its customers.
About Microsoft India:
President – Anant Maheshwari
India Country Manager – Ashutosh Gupta
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment – 1990 (in India)
India Accelerator Partners with ICICI Bank & Infosys Finacle to Foster Start-Up EcosystemIndia Accelerator (IA), a seed-stage accelerator programme, has launched “i3 Launchpad,” which was developed in partnership with ICICI Bank and Infosys Finacle, which is part of EdgeVerve Systems, a wholly-owned product subsidiary of Infosys.
‘i3 Launchpad’ Program
“i3 Launchpad” is a programme that fosters and co-innovate with India’s start-up ecosystem.
- Objective: To support a network of entrepreneurs on a quest to develop brands with global impact.
- It is intended to assist start-ups in expediting their progress by utilising mentorship, resources, and opportunities from Infosys Finacle, ICICI Bank, and IA.
i.The i3 Launchpad programme accepts start-ups from all sectors of the economy.
- It will admit two cohorts annually, with a target of 12 to 18 start-ups in each cohort.
ii.The first cohort will concentrate on the Fintech (Financial Technology), enterprise tech, Software as a Service (SaaS), PropTech (Property Technology), WealthTech (Wealth Technology), sustainability and GreenTech, and InsurTech (Insurance Technology) sectors.
- A combination of both remote and in-person group learning sessions is available to founders.
iii.The collaboration among the IA, ICICI Bank, and Infosys Finacle will assist fintech start-ups to accelerate their growth and impact in an organised manner.
About India Accelerator (IA):
India Accelerator (IA) is India’s only mentorship-driven, Global Accelerator Network (GAN)-partnered programme that assists Startups in realising their full potential.
Founder & MD – Ashish Bhatia
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana
Founded – 2017
Niva Bupa Insurance inks Corporate Agency Pact with Sundaram Finance
Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company Limited (formerly Max Bupa Health Insurance Company), a standalone health insurer, has signed a Corporate Agency Agreement with Sundaram Finance Limited, a diversified financial services group.
- According to the agreement, Sundaram Finance will provide a limited selection of Niva Bupa’s indemnity plans to an increasing range of its current and former clients.
- As part of this agreement, Sundaram Finance will reach out to clients using its network of more than 640 locations across India.
Bandhan Bank launches ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ campaign featuring Sourav Ganguly
On 3rd January 2023, Bandhan Bank launched its integrated marketing campaign ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ featuring the Bank’s brand ambassador, cricketing legend, Sourav Ganguly.
The ‘Jahaan Bandhan, Wahaan Trust’ campaign was conceived by Leo Burnett Orchard, who was brought in as Bandhan Bank’s creative agency in August 2022.
- The campaign emphasises the ‘trust’ that the brand has been able to earn in a span of seven years as a Bank and over the last two decades in the various avatars prior to the Bank.
- The campaign uses the analogy of Ganguly’s career, who became the bank’s customer soon after the bank was launched 7 years ago.
Note: According to the company, this is the 1st time Bandhan Bank has appointed a pan-India brand ambassador.
India’s external debt at $610 billion in Q2 FY23; declines by $2.3 billionAs per the figures from the Ministry of Finance, India’s external debt stood at USD 610.5 billion in Q2 FY23 (July-September 2022) showing a decrease of USD 2.3 billion from Q1 FY23 (April to June 2022).
- The external debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio stood at 19.2% at the end of Q2FY23 as compared to 19.3% at end of Q1FY23.
i.Valuation gains were USD 10.6 billion.
ii.Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been USD 8.3 billion instead of a decrease of USD 2.3 billion at end Q2FY22 over end Q1FY22.
iii.At end Q2FY22, long-term debt (with original maturity of above one year) was placed at USD 478.7 billion, a decline of USD 8 billion over Q1FY22.
iv.The share of short-term debt (with an original maturity of up to one year) in total external debt increased to 21.6% at Q2FY22 from 20.6% in Q1FY23.
v.The United States (US) dollar denominated debt remained the largest component of India’s external debt, with a share of 55.5% at end of Q2FY22, followed by the Indian rupee (30.2%), Special Drawing Rights (SDR) (6.1%), yen (4.9%), and the euro (2.6%).
Granules India Partners with Greenko ZeroC for Green Molecule Solutions
Granules India Limited has entered a strategic partnership with Greenko Group, backed by GIC Holdings Pte Ltd, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Japan’s ORIX Corporation to collaborate for first-of-its-kind green molecule solutions. Both shall develop and promote built-in green pharmaceutical zones (GPZ) with a primary collaboration in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, mentioned in a regulatory submission from Granules.
- Under the partnership, Greenko ZeroC will provide carbon free power and allow green hydrogen with varied chemical derivatives. Granules would utilise carbon free power and green hydrogen derivatives to provide worth added merchandise resembling DCDA, PAP, Paracetamol, Metformin, different APIs and intermediates.
BCCI Releases Names of India’s Best Players of 2022 in all 3 FormatsOn 31st December 2022, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released the names of the players who were the best performers of Team India across all 3 formats – One Day Internationals (ODIs), T20 and Test in 2022.
Team India’s Best Performers 2022:
Canara Bank MD & CEO L V Prabhakar Retires On 31st December 2022, Lingam Venkata Prabhakar, the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Canara Bank retired from his services, on attaining the age of superannuation.
About L V Prabhakar:
i. L. V. Prabhakar has over 34 years of extensive banking experience spanning a variety of fields.
ii. Before joining Canara Bank, he served as the Executive Director of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and was in charge of several verticals live Credit, Treasury and Human Resources of PNB.
iii. He also served as the Chairman of Canara Robeco Asset Management Co. Ltd, Canara HSBC OBC Insurance Company Ltd & Canfin Homes Ltd and the Chairman of the IBA Standing Committee on Payment Systems & Banking Technology.
iv. He is a member (Vice-President) of Governing Council of the Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (IIBF) & National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM).
v. By launching projects like the Stressed Assets Management Vertical and the Digitization of Trade Finance, he also played a crucial role in strengthening systems and processes.
vi. Also, he has held positions on the boards of PNB Housing Finance Limited, PNB Metlife India Insurance, and Everest Bank Ltd. of Nepal.
About Canara Bank:
Non-Executive Chairman- Vijay Srirangan
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka
Tagline- Together we can
BharatPe CEO Suhail Sameer Steps Down & CFO Nalin Negi appointed interim CEOSuhail Sameer, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BharatPe, a Fintech startup, has announced has resigned from the CEO position and will transition into strategic adviser with effect from 7th January 2023.
- Nalin Negi, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of BharatPe, is set to take over as the interim CEO of BharatPe.
BharatPe also revealed that the company has employed an “executive search firm” to help with succession planning and to help identify a new CEO.
About Suhail Sameer:
i. Suhail Sameer, who was previously CEO of the FMCG business at RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, joined BharatPe in August 2020 as President.
- He has been overseeing BharatPe’s operations ever since Co-Founder Ashneer Grover was ousted. In August 2021, Sameer was formally made the CEO of BharatPe.
ii. Suhail Sameer was the Founding Managing Director of CESC Ventures, where he built out the modern Ayurveda and Healthy snack brands.
iii. He was also an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company where he led the Clean-tech practice for Asia.
- He is an active investor in clean-label food and personal care and financial inclusion.
About Nalin Negi:
i. Nalin Negi joined BharatPe in August 2022 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
ii. He brings to the table over 28 years of experience and business acumen. He has spent the last 15 years in banking and financial services, with stints at GE Capital Corporate Finance and SBI Cards and Payment Services Limited.
Chairman- Rajnish Kumar
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi
BSE appoints Sundararaman Ramamurthy as MD and CEO
industry expert Sundararaman Ramamurthy has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BSE Limited(formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) with effect from 4th January 2023, for a period of 5 years.
The post has been vacant since July 2021 after the MD & CEO of BSE Ashishkumar Chauhan left the post to join the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) as MD & CEO.
- In November 2022, BSE got consent from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to appoint Sundararaman Ramamurthy as MD and CEO of BSE.
- Sundararaman Ramamurthy has worked with NSE for around 2 decades and he has also worked at the Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI).
CJI DY Chandrachud launches E-SCR Project for Digital Version of Judgments Reported in SCThe Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Yashwant (DY) Chandrachud launched the Electronic Supreme Court Reports (E-SCR) project to provide free access to about 34,000 judgements of SC to lawyers, law students and the common public.
- This project is an initiative to provide the digital version of the SC’s judgments in the manner as they are reported in the official law report i.e. SCRs.
- The project has been launched as a tribute to the nation in the New Year.
A search engine comprising elastic search techniques in the database of e-SCR was developed by the SC along with the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Pune (Maharashtra).
i.The verdicts of SC will be available on the SC website, its mobile app and on the judgement portal of the National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG).
ii.As of now, the judgements delivered till January 1, 2023, were made available.
iii.Under this project, all judgements will be placed online within 24 hours.
iv.Neutral citations will also be introduced. A committee comprising three judges viz. Justice Rajiv Shakdher of the Delhi High Court, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan of the Kerala High Court and Justice Suraj Govindraj of the Karnataka High Court – have been constituted to work on the process of neutral citations.
- Delhi and Kerala High Courts were already using the neutral citation.
- Note – Under neutral citation, a unique number will be uploaded for every judgment to ease the search for orders and judgments.
v.This project is a step forward towards the objective of digitization of the Indian Judiciary and bringing in a positive change for the benefit of all the stakeholders of justice.
Gaganyaan: India’s 1st Atmanirbhar human space flight to be launched by 2024
On 1st January 2023, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister for Science and Technology, announced that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is ready to launch India’s 1st Atmamirbhar human flight “Gaganyaan” by the year 2024.
- There will be two preliminary launches in 2024. The 1st will be unmanned, and in the 2nd launch, the robot will be there as a human replica. On the third launch, humans will be sent into space.
- If the 2 tests are a complete success, it is reported that humans will travel for the 3rd time.
World Boxing Council to Create Transgender Category
The World Boxing Council (WBC), one of the four governing bodies for Boxing, will introduce a transgender category from 2023 to ensure safety and inclusion. .
- Previously, WBC banned trans-identified males from competing against women. Woman-to-man or man-to-woman transgender change will not be allowed to fight a different gender by birth.
- A ‘at birth rule’ will be used, which means a transgender boxer who is registered as male at birth will be allowed to fight others who have also been registered as male at birth and same for female boxers too.
- The WBC will not sanction a new championship or title belt but will create an event for the transgender fighters to take part in the boxing sport.
Siddheshwar Swamiji seer of Sri Jnanayogashrama in Karnataka Passed away
On 2nd January 2023, noted spiritual leader Siddeshwar Swami, the seer of Sri Jnanayogashrama in Vijayapura, Karnataka, who was known for his scholarly discourses and powerful oratory, passed away in Karnataka at the age of 81.
- Siddeshwar Swami hailing from Bijjaragi in Vijayapura, Karnataka, spent over 67 years as a monk.
- Siddeshwar Swami is often referred to as the “Walking God of North Karnataka”. He was also fondly known as Buddiji.
- He was a Lingayat priest and saint at Sri Jnana Yogashram in Vijayapura, Karnataka.
Shashi Tharoor’s Latest Book “Ambedkar: A Life” Launched
Renowned Author Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament (MP – the Lok Sabha – Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala), has launched his latest book “Ambedkar: A Life”, a biography of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar at the Kitaab Kolkata Event, which was organised by the Prabha Khaitan Foundation (PKF) at the ITC Sonar presented by Shree Cement.
- The book is published by Aleph Book Company, and promoted by Rupa Publications India.
- Shashi Tharoor won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2019 for “An Era of Darkness: The Britsh Empire in India”.
- He is also a recipient of several awards that include a Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, India’s highest honour for overseas nationals.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Inaugurates Siyom Bridge in Arunachal Pradesh; Dedicates 28 BRO Infrastructure Projects Worth Rs. 724 CroreOn January 3, 2023, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defense (MoD), dedicated to the nation 28 infrastructure projects of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) worth Rs. 724 crores in seven bordering States/Union Territories (UTs), during an event held at the Siyom Bridge along the Along-Yinkiong Road in Arunachal Pradesh.
- The Siyom Bridge, which is crucial from a strategic perspective, was physically inaugurated during the event, while the other projects were virtually dedicated to the nation.
The 28 Infrastructure Projects of BRO
i.The projects include 22 bridges, including the Siyom Bridge, three roads, and three other projects in seven bordering States/UTs in the Northern and North-Eastern region.
- These projects are distributed as follows: Eight in Ladakh, Five in Arunachal Pradesh, Four in Jammu and Kashmir, Three each in Sikkim, Punjab & Uttarakhand, and Two in Rajasthan.
ii.Three telemedicine nodes—two in Ladakh and one in Mizoram—were also virtually inaugurated by the Defence Minister.
About the Border Roads Organization (BRO):
Director General Border Roads (DGBR) – Lieutenant (Lt.) General Rajeev Chaudhary
Established – 1960
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
- Of these, six UAE based companies and the UP government have inked MoUs totaling Rs. 18,590 crore, which will result in the creation of almost 20,000 new job opportunities.
i.Renewable Energy (RE) Sector: Astha Green Energy Venture and Shree Siddharth Infratech & Services will each invest Rs. 4,480 and Rs. 8,000 crore in the RE sector, creating 2,560 and 4,800 jobs, respectively.
ii.Logistics Park Sector: Sharaf Group and Hindustan Port have decided to invest Rs. 1,300 and Rs. 210 crore, respectively, in UP, creating 1,500 and 1,000 jobs.
iii.The Lulu Group would invest Rs. 4,500 crores in the retail and food processing sectors, resulting in the creation of 10,000 employment opportunities.
iv.Sobha Realty has agreed to invest Rs 100 crore in education and corporate social responsibility (CSR), providing employment for 250 people.
i.Eight teams from the UP government visited 16 countries in advance of the UPGIS 2023, and received investment bids totaling more than Rs 7.12 lakh crore.
ii.The United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have offered the majority of investment bids totaling Rs. 4 lakh crore.
Note: On January 5, 2023, domestic road shows will begin in nine of India’s largest cities under the leadership of UP Chief Minister (CM) Yogi Adityanath.
About the United Arab Emirates (UAE):
President – Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Capital – Abu Dhabi city
Currency – Arab Emirati Dirham (AED) [called Dirhams]