Ministry of Minority Affairs Discontinues Padho Pardesh Scheme
The Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) has discontinued the ‘Padho Pardesh – Scheme of Interest Subsidy On Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for The Students Belonging to The Minority Communities’.
- The scheme was implemented by Canara Bank, which served as the scheme’s designated nodal bank, and will be phased out in 2022-23.
According to MoMA’s most recent annual report, Canara Bank received an amount of Rs. 20.20 crore to reimburse interest subsidies paid to fresh plus renewal candidates under the Scheme during the fiscal year 2020–21 (FY21).
i.The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) notified all banks in December 2022 that the Padho Pardesh Interest Subsidy Scheme would be phased out during 2022-23.
ii.Existing beneficiaries (as on March 31, 2022) will remain entitled to the interest subsidy during the moratorium period of the loan, subject to compliance with the existing guidelines.
iii.On December 11, 2022, MOMA notified that the “Maulana Azad National Fellowship” (MANF) scheme has also been discontinued since it overlaps with various other government schemes for higher education.
Padho Pardesh Scheme
The Padho Pardesh Scheme was launched in June 2006 as part of the Prime Minister’s 15-point program. Dr. Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister of India in 2006.
- Objective: To provide an interest subsidy to meritorious students from economically weaker sections (EWS) of notified minority communities.
It was designed to improve their employability and give them better prospects for higher education, such as Masters, M.Phil., and Ph.D. levels abroad.
Features of the Scheme
i.The Government of India covered the interest payable by students availing education loans under the IBA’s Education Loan Scheme for the term of moratorium (that is, the course period + one year or six months after getting a job, whichever is earlier).
ii.After the completion of the moratorium period, the student is required to pay interest on the remaining loan amount in accordance with the current Educational Loan Scheme.
- Principal and interest will be paid by the candidate after the moratorium has expired.
iii.According to the scheme, only candidates (both employed and unemployed) with a total yearly income of less than Rs. 6 lakh are eligible for the interest subsidy.
iv.The scheme also reserves 35% of the seats for women.
If no female students are available, seats can be transferred to male students.
India Ranks 4th Globally for Tech VC Investments in 2022; US topsi.As per the Dealroom and London & Partners report, India ranked 4th globally, with USD 24.1 billion worth of venture capital (VC) investments in 2022.
ii.The list has been topped by the United States with $233.3 billion tech VC investments. It is followed by China ($48 billion), and the United Kingdom ($29.9 billion).
iii.Bengaluru (Karnataka) accounted for five of the top 10 deals for Indian tech companies in 2022.
About London & Partners:
Chief Executive Officer– Laura Citron
Headquarters– London, UK
UNGA adopts resolution on ‘Education for Democracy’ co-sponsored by IndiaOn January 18, 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution by consensus titled ‘Education for Democracy’ that reaffirms the right of ‘education for all’ and contributes to the strengthening of democracy.
- The resolution is co-sponsored by India.
i.This resolution will recognize the importance of ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.
ii.It also encourages member states to integrate education for democracy into their education standards.
ii.In 2015, a similar resolution was passed at the Assembly encouraging all UN entities to use education to promote peace, human rights, and democracy.
About United Nations General Assembly (UNGA):
President– Csaba Kőrösi
Headquarters– New York, United States
Poorest Learners Benefit the Least from National Public Education Funding: UNICEF ReportAccording to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report titled Transforming Education with Equitable Financing, globally children from the poorest households benefit the least from national public education funding in both low- and middle-income countries.
- Only 16% of the public funding for education goes to the poorest 20% of learners, while the richest benefit from 28%.
- The report examines data on government spending across pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education from 102 countries.
- Among 102 countries, 30% of countries fail to spend even 15% of public education resources on learners from the poorest 20% of households.
i.Among low-income countries, only 11% of public education funding goes to the poorest learners, while 42% goes to the richest.
- compared to the children from the poorest households, the children from the wealthiest households benefit from more than 6 times the amount of public funding for education.
ii.In middle-income countries, the richest learners receive around four times more gets more than 4 times the spending compared to the poorest.
iii.In high-income countries, the richest usually benefit from 1.1 to 1.6 times as much public education spending as the poorest.
iv.The report discovered that just a 1% increase in the allocation of public education resources to the poorest learners could lift 35 million primary school-aged children out of learning poverty.
v.The report stated that children living in poverty are less likely to have access to school and drop out sooner.
vi.The education system across the globe was largely failing since millions of school-going children did not grasp basic reading or mathematics skills.
vii.It is estimated that around two-thirds of all 10-year-olds across the globe cannot read or understand a simple story.
About United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF):
Executive Director– Catherine M. Russell
Headquarters– New York, United States
With $10.8 billion, Bengaluru tops city on Start-up Funding in 2022: Tracxn DataAccording to data provided by Tracxn, a leading global market intelligence platform, Bengaluru (Karnataka) topped the startup funding chart in India with $10.8 billion in 2022. It is followed by Mumbai (Maharashtra) at $3.9 billion, and Gurugram (Haryana) at $2.6 billion.
- Startups in Delhi and Chennai (Tamil Nadu) registered $1.2 billion each in funding, and Pune (Maharashtra) at $1 billion.
i.Byju’s has topped the list of highest funding raised in 2022 with over $1.2 billion from existing investors.
- This amounted to almost 50% of the total funding received in the edtech sector.
ii.There were 22 unicorns in 2022, compared to 46 in 2021, and average funding before the unicorn round was around $160 million.
- It is now taking an average of 5.1 years from Series A funding to the Unicorn round for the Indian startups.
iii.A total of 11 tech IPO (Initial Public Offering) were launched in 2022.
iv.LetsVenture, AngelList, and Y Combinator have topped the list of most active investors in 2022 to date.
Chairperson and Managing Director– Neha Singh
Headquarters– Bengaluru, Karnataka
PNB Becomes the First PSB to Launch Credit Card Against FDs DigitallyPunjab National Bank (PNB) has become the first Public Sector Bank (PSB) to introduce a credit card against fixed deposits (FDs) digitally, for customers who do not fulfill the eligibility criteria for regular credit cards.
- PNB has introduced two types of consumer credit cards: ‘PNB Global Gold’ and ‘PNB Global Classic’, which are designed to meet various income levels and customer needs.
These are global credit cards that were developed in association with the payment gateway provider, VISA.
Key Features & Benefits
i.The PNB credit card will initially be offered at 84 locations and will have no joining fee, renewal fee, annual fee, or fuel surcharge.
ii.Customers of the bank can get a RuPay or VISA credit card digitally in exchange for a single or multiple FDs with an 80% credit limit.
iii.PNB credit card benefits over FD include no document submission; no branch visits; no joining fees; instant issuance of a virtual credit card; comprehensive insurance coverage (on the RuPay variant); advantages of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) linkage on the RuPay Credit Card; exciting reward points and promotions.
i.PNB has raised the interest rate on FDs across various tenures by 50 basis points (bps) in an effort to attract deposits. The revised FD rates are effective from January 1, 2023.
ii.The interest rate on one- to three-year term deposits under Rs. 2 crore has increased by 50 bps to 6.75%, from the previous rate of 6.25%.
iii.The interest rate on FDs on any domestic deposit with maturities of less than Rs. 2 crore has increased by an additional 50 bps in favour of senior citizens.
iv.The rate for the PNB Uttam Scheme, which does not offer a premature withdrawal option, has been revised to 6.80% from 6.30%.
v.In addition to the new interest rates, PNB will continue to offer competitive interest rates of 8.1% annually for a fixed deposit of 666 days.
About the Punjab National Bank (PNB):
MD & CEO – Atul Kumar Goel
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Tagline – The name you can bank upon
SBI raises Rs 9,718 crore via Second Infrastructure Bond Issuance
On 18th January 2023, the State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest bank, raised Rs 9,718 crore through its 2nd infrastructure bond issuance at a coupon rate of 7.70% per annum for the 15-year bond. The pricing of 7.70% represents a spread of 17 basis points(bps) over the G-Sec (Government Security) curve. This is the 2nd fundraising of SBI since December 2022.
- On 6th December 2022, SBI raised Rs 10,000 crore through its maiden infrastructure bond issuance at a coupon rate of 7.51%, at a spread of 17 bps over the corresponding G-Sec curve.
- The fund proceeds will be used to improve long-term funding sources for affordable housing and infrastructure.
- The offer received a strong reaction from investors, as evidenced by bids of Rs 14,805 crore, representing a 2.96-times oversubscription from 118 bidders.
EY Report projects Indian economy to be $26-trillion by 2047According to the estimates released by consulting firm EY (Ernst & Young) in its report ‘India@100: Realising the potential of a $26 trillion economy’, India’s economy will reach $26 trillion by 2047.
- Notably, the year 2047 will mark the 100th year of India’s independence.
- The per capita income is expected to increase to $15,000 which will place India among the ranks of developed economies
The report was launched by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology , on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) being held at Davos, Switzerland.
i.The report underscores the growth trajectory of the Indian economy, that is projected to be the highest for any large economy over the coming decades.
ii.It recommends ensuring macro-economic stability and resilience, and continued thrust on reforms.
iii.Under the most preferred scenario, India is likely to cross the critical thresholds of $5 trillion, $10 trillion and $20 trillion in market exchange rate terms in FY28, FY36 and FY45, respectively,
iv.EY has recognised key enablers of growth that will impact sectors across India and play a critical role in propelling the growth engine These are as follows:
About EY (Ernst & Young):
Global Chairman and CEO– Carmine Di Sibio
Headquarters– London, United Kingdom
CMAI & AREAS signed MoU to exchange knowledge & developments in the Carbon Market
On 19th January 2023, the Carbon Markets Association of India (CMAI), and the Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide a regular exchange on policy and regulatory developments in carbon trading and assist in the development of an Indian carbon market.
- CMAI – an association of carbon offset industry players.
- AREAS – an association of state nodal agencies working for the promotion of renewable energy.
Aim of the MoU:
To work for a carbon-neutral economy and support the development of the Indian carbon market.
i.The MoU between CMAI and AREAS will ensure a regular exchange of knowledge, information, innovation, policy and regulatory developments in the carbon market.
ii.Both CMAI and AREAS will work towards enhancing the development of Renewable Energy (RE) projects to reduce emissions with a focus on community development.
iii.Under this MoU, both entities will work towards end-to-end carbon offset management of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation projects and generate carbon finance by guiding their associates about carbon neutrality and net zero goals with collaborative recommendations for a structured roadmap towards a net zero future.
Note: As climate actions gain momentum across the globe, India is taking efforts to develop the carbon market and National Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS)
i.Emission control and reduction, and carbon emission trading, facilitated through a robust carbon market, provide flexibility in achieving emission reduction targets required to achieve the net zero target by 2070.
ii.AREAS also aims to strengthen the transformation and develop more RE and GHG mitigation projects, promote grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy, guide a larger group of associates about climate change & carbon neutrality and accelerate the net-zero journey.
About Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS):
The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is the nodal agency at the central level for the promotion of grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy in the country.
Patron– Raj Kumar Singh Minister for New & Renewable Energy (ex-officio)
President– Bhupinder Singh Bhalla MNRE Secretary (ex-officio)
Establishment – 2014
Executive Director- J. K. Jethani
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Union Minister Piyush Goyal felicitates National Startup Awards 2022 WinnersOn the occasion of the National Start-up Day (16th January 2023), Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution & Textiles felicitated the winners of the National Startup Awards(NSA) 2022 during the award ceremony held in New Delhi, Delhi.
- Union Minister Piyush Goyal also launched the MAARG Platform (MAARG stands for Mentorship, Advisory, Assistance, Resilience, and Growth) during the event.
National Start-up Day 2023 – January 16:
National Startup Day is annually observed across India on 16th January to celebrate the spirit of the Indian startup ecosystem. The day also marks the founding day of Startup India. The observance of the National Startup Day is organised by DPIIT (Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade), under MoCI (Ministry of Commerce and Industry).
- 2023 marks the observance of the 2nd National Start-up Day.
- National Start-up Day 2023 marks the completion of 7 years of Start-up India.
As a part of the National startup Day 2023, a 7-day long Startup India Innovation Week – January 10 – 16, 2023, was organised across India with several events to reach stakeholders and enable the Indian startup ecosystem.
About Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI):
Union Minister– Piyush Goyal (Rajya Sabha- Maharashtra)
Minister of State– Som Prakash(Constituency- Hoshiarpur, Punjab); Anupriya Singh Patel(Constituency- Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh)
UN-Habitat’s World Habitat Awards 2023: Odisha Wins Bronze Award for Slum Upgradation Program “Jaga Mission”Odisha has won the “Bronze Award” in the United Nations Human Settlements Programme’s (UN-Habitat) “World Habitat Awards 2023” for the Jaga Mission, a 5T programme of the state. [5T: Transparency; Technology; Teamwork; Time & Transformation]
- Jaga Mission – ‘Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission’ is India’s largest land titling and slum upgrading initiative, and one of the largest in the world.
Jaga Mission – Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission
i.The Jaga Mission is an ongoing project in Odisha aimed at improving the lives of slum dwellers. It uses a comprehensive strategy to combat poverty, focussing on three key issues.
ii.The Government of Odisha has set an aspirational target of becoming the first slum-free state in India, and it is leading the Jaga Mission to upgrade all 2,919 slums in the state.
Chief Minister (CM) – Naveen Patnaik
Governor – Ganeshi Lal
Biosphere Reserve – Similipal Biosphere Reserve
UNGA confirms Inger Andersen for Second Term as Executive Director of UNEPOn 18th January 2023, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) elected Inger Andersen of Denmark as Executive Director (ED) of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for a second, 4-year term beginning from 15th June 2023 to 14th June 2027.
- She is currently serving her initial 4-year term from 2019 to 2023.
i. On 9th January 2023, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a note to the 193 General Assembly members nominating Inger Andersen for reelection.
ii. Russia circulated a “draft decision” that required Antonio Guterres to present candidates for the position of executive director of UNEP.
- The assembly defeated the Russian proposal by a vote of 13-77 with 62 abstentions.
- The secret ballot on Inger Andersen’s nomination was approved by a majority of 136-0 with 31 abstentions.
About Inger Andersen:
i. Inger Andersen started her career in Sudan in 1982 where she worked initially as an English teacher under the UK-funded English teachers programme.
ii. She spent 12 years working for the UN in New York at the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office (UNSO), which is now the Nairobi (Kenya)-based Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification.
iii. She oversaw the global environment portfolio in 22 Arab nations when she was appointed the Global Environment Facility Coordinator for MENA at UNDP in 1992.
iv. She served as the Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, the Vice President for Sustainable Development, and the Head of the CGIAR Fund Council at the World Bank for 15 years (between 1999 and 2014).
v. Between 2015 and 2019, Inger Andersen led the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for 4 years before being named the head of UNEP in June 2019.
About the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Headquarters- Nairobi, Kenya
About the United Nations General Assembly;
President- Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary
Headquarters- New York, United States of America (USA)
Sujeet Sharma joins Vodafone Idea as VP- Active Network and Commercial
Sujeet Sharma has joined Vodafone Idea as Vice President (VP) of active network and commercial, where he will be in charge of the procurement for the company.
- Prior to joining Vodafone Idea, he was working at the Bharti Airtel for 15 years where he last held the position of VP & head of infrastructure procurement and operations.
- In 2007, he joined Airtel as Senior Manager in the supply chain department and moved on to roles like deputy general manager, and general manager in the department.
- He spent 6 years at the erstwhile Idea Cellular (now Vodafone Idea) from 2001 to 2007.
Norway Archaeologists find ‘World’s Oldest Runestone’
Archaeologists in Norway have found the oldest runestone in the world. The inscriptions are up to 2,000 years old and date back to the earliest days of the enigmatic history of runic writing in Oslo, Norway.
- The runestone, which measures 31 by 32 centimetres, has numerous inscriptions that include runes and letters related to the Germanic alphabet. Eight runes on the front of the stone read “idiberug”.
- The runestone was discovered in 2021 during the excavation of a grave at Tyrifjord, west of Oslo, Norway, in a region known for many monumental archaeological finds.
- Items found in the cremation pit, such as burned bones and charcoal, indicate that the runes were most likely inscribed between A.D. 1 and 250.
- According to the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway, the carved scribbles on the flat, square slab of brownish sandstone could be the earliest example of words ever found in writing in Scandinavia.
Welsh footballer Gareth Bale retires from International & Club Football
Welsh footballer Gareth Bale(33 years old), a 5-time Champions League winner with Real Madrid and Wales men’s all-time leading goalscorer, has announced his retirement from international and club football with immediate effect. He holds the record for being named Welsh player of the year for a record 6 times.
- Gareth Bale started his career in 2006 at Southampton, England, UK, and moved to Tottenham Hotspurs (London, UK) in 2007.
- He represented Real Madrid from 2013 to 2022 and Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Football Club (FC) in the United States (US) from 2022 to 2023.
- In 2022, as captain and talisman, he led Wales to their 1st World Cup since 1958 in Qatar.
- He scored 41 goals in 111 International appearances. With 41 goals, he now ranks 1st among all male goal scorers in Wales history, 13 goals ahead of the late striker Ian Rush.
Gambian Vice-President Badara Alieu Joof Passes Away in India Badara Alieu Joof, the Vice-President (VP) of the Republic of the Gambia (West African country), passed away in India at the age of 65. His demise was announced by the President of Gambia, Adama Barrow. Badara Alieu Joof was born on 1958 in Gambia.
About Badara Alieu Joof:
i. In 2022, Badara Alieu Joof became the Vice-President of Gambia. President Adama Barrow chose him as VP after being re-elected as President in 2021 for 2nd term.
ii. Before becoming the VP, he served as Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology from 2017 to 2022.
iii. He also served in the Gambian Civil service and the World Bank as an Education Specialist for West and Central Africa, transmitting his experience there to his time as minister of higher education, research, science and technology.
iv. He began his career as a qualified teacher at The Gambia College, where he taught English. At the same time, he was also in charge of the language and literature department at Nusrat High School.
Padma Shri Awardee Prabhaben Shah Passed AwayOn 18th January 2023, Padma Shri Awardee Prabhaben Sobhaghchand Shah, Social Worker from Union Territory (UT) of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman, and Diu passed away in Daman at the age of 92.
- Prabhaben Shah was born on 20th February 1930 in Bardoli, Surat district, Gujarat, and settled in Daman in 1963.
About Prabhaben Shah:
i. Prabhaben Shah, fondly known as “Daman ki Divya”, organised canteens for the poor and coordinated the All India Women Council’s “Vatra Banks” to assist Gujarat flood victims.
ii. Since childhood, She was attached to the Swaraj Ashram in Bardoli, Gujarat and was influenced by the Gandhian ideology.
iii. She dedicated her life to providing food and clothes for others and advancing the status of women. She has spent more than six decades working for the environment and women’s empowerment.
iv. In 1963, she established the women’s association (Mahila Mandal) and began its activities on various issues related to women and children apart from education.
v. In addition, Prabhaben Shah and her team of women at the Mahila Mandal created a credit organisation to offer loans to women who wished to start small businesses like “papad” manufacturing, tailoring, or running a grocery store.
vi. She was elected to the defence committee in 1965 and 1971, during India’s Indo-China war and Bangladesh Partition.
vii. She served on the Board of Directors of the Gujarat State Social Welfare Advisory Board in Ahmedabad from 1992 to 1994. In 1998, she served as Dowry Prohibition Officer and was nominated to the District Legal Advisory Committee of the Daman and Diu in 2001.
viii. She also worked in several health camps within the Medical and Health Services section of Daman and Diu’s “SEVA” Program. She made her contributions to several divisions and collaborated with many trusts for social welfare.
In 2022, Prabhaben Shah received Padma Shri, India’s 4th highest civilian award, for Social Work (Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu).
18th National Disaster Response Force Raising Day – 19th January 2023National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Raising Day is annually observed across India on January 19 to commemorate the establishment of the NDRF, under the Ministry of Home Affairs on 19th January 2006.
- 19th January 2023 marks the observance of the 18th NDRF Raising Day.
- The 1st ever NDRF Raising Day was observed on 19th January 2006.
- The NDRF is a specialist force that is prepared to respond to various disasters, including man-made disasters (chemical spills and terrorist attacks) and natural disasters (floods, cyclones, and earthquakes).
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