1. 21st edition of naval exercise VARUNA between India and France begins
- The 21st edition of the bilateral naval exercise between India and France 'VARUNA' was organized on the Western Seaboard from 16 -20 January 2023.
- It will witness advanced air defense exercises, tactical manoeuvres, surface firings, underway replenishment, and other maritime operations.
- This exercise will provide an opportunity to learn best practices from each other.
- It was initiated in 1993 and was christened ‘VARUNA’ in 2001.
Science & Technology
2. IISc and McGill University detect radio signals
- Astronomers from McGill University in Canada and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have detected a radio signal, originating from atomic hydrogen in a distant galaxy.
- The signal was detected with the help of data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune.
- The findings have been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
- It is also the first confirmed detection of strong lensing of 21 cm emission from a galaxy.
Summits & Conferences
3. B-20 inception meeting to be organised in Gandhinagar, Gujarat
- As part of G-20 presidency, a Business-20 (B-20) inception meeting will be organized at Gandhinagar in Gujarat from 22- 24 January 2023.
- Agenda: To formulate policy recommendations to be submitted to G-20 ahead of the leaders' Summit.
- Attended by: Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Ashwini Vaishnaw, CM Bhupendra Patel, Amitabh Kant (India's Sherpa to G-20), and N Chandrasekaran (Tata Sons Chairman).
- It will be the first of 15 events that the State is set to organize.
Banking & Finance
4. WPI inflation eases to 22-month low of 4.95% in December 2022
- According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry data, the Wholesale Price-based Inflation (WPI) for December 2022 has been eased to 22-month low of 4.95%.
- Reason: Due to falling in prices of food articles, especially vegetables, and oilseeds
- The WPI inflation was 5.85% in November 2022 and 14.27% in December 2021.
- In a reported period, food articles segment slipped to 0.65 %.
- The Fuel and power increased marginally from 17.35% in November to 18.09% in December 2022.
5. Yonex- Sunrise India Open 2023 starts in Delhi
- The India Open, officially known as Yonex- Sunrise India Open 2023 started in New Delhi on 17th January and continues till 22nd January 2023.
- The tournament organized at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.
- Since 2008, it will be the first time when India Open is organized in the super 750 status category.
- The tournament will see some top players from 29 countries, and a total of 97 players will compete in various categories.
6. NTPC REL signed MoU with Government of Tripura
- NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd (NTPC REL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Tripura in New Delhi.
- Reason: For the development of Floating and Ground Mounted based Renewable Energy Projects in Tripura.
- This MoU was signed by Rajiv Gupta (Chief GM, NTPC REL) and Mahananda Debbarma (DG and CEO, Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency).
- It also embarks upon the journey towards the development of large-sized Renewable Energy Projects in Tripura.
7. MoU signed to facilitate low interest rate loans to farmers
- Warehousing Development Regulatory Authority (WDRA) signed an MoU with SBI to facilitate farmers in providing low-interest rate loans.
- Reason: To promote awareness about the new loan product called Produce Marketing Loan to exclusively fund against e-NWRs (electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipt).
- It also aimed to provide information to depositors about the benefits, besides doing further outreach activities to improve agricultural pledge finance in India.
8. Viacom18 bags Women's IPL media rights
- Viacom 18 has won the bid for the media rights for the Women’s IPL for a whopping Rs 951 crore for five years.
- The auction for the T20 League was conducted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Mumbai.
- BCCI will launch the Women's Indian Premier League in March 2023.
- The detailed terms and conditions governing the tender process including eligibility requirements etc. are contained in the ‘Invitation to Tender’ (ITT).
- BCCI president: Roger Binny
9. SPIC MACAY, Culture Ministry collaborate for ‘Music in the Park’ series
- The Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY), Ministry of Culture, and New Delhi Municipal Council have organized 'Music in the Park’ series under the name ‘Shruti Amrut’
- Under this series, the first event of 2023 was organized in Nehru Park, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.
- The concert started with a Sarod performance by Aman Ali Bangash (7th Generation musician from Senia Bangash Gharana)
- SPIC MACAY is a voluntary youth movement
Banking & Finance
10. Paytm Payments Bank received approval from RBI as BBPOU
- Paytm Payments Bank has received final approval from RBI to operate as a Bharat Bill Payment Operating Unit (BBPOU).
- Under Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a BBPOU is allowed to facilitate bill payment services for electricity, phone, gas insurance, loan repayments, credit card bill, and municipal taxes.
- BBPS is owned by the National Payments Corporation of India.
- So far, Paytm Payments Bank was undertaking this activity under in-principle authorization from RBI.
11. Viktor Axelsen wins men's singles Malaysia Open title 2023
- Denmark badminton player, Viktor Axelsen won the men's singles Malaysia Open title 2023, after defeating Kodai Naraoka from Japan.
- While Akane Yamaguchi (Japanese player) lifted the title in the women's final, after beating South Korea's An Se-young.
- Other winners:
- Men's doubles: Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto (Indonesia)
- Women's doubles: Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan (China)
- Mixed doubles: Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong (China)
Banking & Finance
12. RBI proposes expected loss-based approach for provisioning by banks
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has proposed a framework for the adoption of an ‘expected loss-based approach for provisioning by banks.
- Presently, banks are required to make loan loss provisions based on an ‘incurred loss’ approach.
- Aim: To enhance the resilience of the banking system
- Adopting the forward-looking expected credit loss approach to estimating loss provisions is likely to result in excess provisions as compared to a shortfall in provisions.
Banking & Finance
13. States’ gross fiscal deficit set to fall in 2022-23: RBI
- According to the RBI report, the Gross fiscal deficit (GFD) of states is budgeted to narrow to 3.4 % of GDP in 2022-23 from 4.1% in 2020-21.
- While states’ debt is budgeted to ease to 29.5% of GDP in 2022-23 as against 31.1% in 2020-21.
- But, it is higher than the 20% recommended by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Review Committee in 2018.
- The RBI has also advised governments to set up a fund for long-term expenditure when revenue collection is strong.