National & International Appointments
1. Former BSF chief Pankaj Kumar Singh appointed as Deputy NSA
- Former Director General of the Border Security Force (BSF), Pankaj Kumar Singh was appointed as the Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) in National Security Council Secretariat for two years.
- He is a 1988-batch IPS officer of the Rajasthan cadre.
- He retired as the BSF chief on December 31, 2022.
- Earlier, he served as Inspector General of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh and IG (Operations) at CRPF, Delhi.
- He has also served in the Rajasthan Police and CBI.
Honours & Awards
2. Harish Damodaran's ‘Broke to Breakthrough’ wins Gaja Book Prize 2022
- Indian Express journalist, Harish Damodaran was awarded the Gaja Capital Business Book Prize 2022 for his book 'Broke to Breakthrough'.
- This book is a detailed and perceptive account of the rise of dairy company Hatsun Agro and its founder R.G. Chandramogan.
- Gaja Capital Business Book Prize:
- It was instituted in 2019.
- Aim: To encourage Indian entrepreneurs, writers, and journalists to tell stories
3. Punjab government to launch ‘Schools of Eminence’ project
- The Punjab government will launch its first major education project, ‘Schools of Eminence’ on 21st January 2023.
- It will be launched at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali.
- Under the project, the state government will upgrade existing govt schools into ‘Schools of Eminence’ for classes 9 to 12.
- Under phase 1, the govt plans to upgrade nearly 110 government schools as ‘Schools of Eminence’.
- The Punjab govt had set aside a fund of Rs 200 crore for this project.
Summits & Conferences
4. The first G20 Health Working Group Meeting begins in Thiruvananthapuram
- The first G20 Health Working Group meeting has started at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- It was attended by Bharati Pravin Pawar (MoS Health and Family Welfare) and V. Muraleedharan (MoS External Affairs).
- Focus: Health emergencies prevention, preparedness and response; strengthening cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector; and digital health innovations to aid universal health coverage
- Other locations of HWG meetings: Goa, Hyderabad, and Gandhinagar
5. Telangana CM launched second phase of ‘Kanti Velugu’
- Telangana CM, K Chandrasekhar Rao launched the second phase of 'Kanti Velugu' initiative in Khammam district on January 18, 2023.
- It is considered to be the world’s largest eye screening programme.
- Kanti Velugu:
- It is a free eye screening programme
- It will be organized at the special health camps for 100 days with 1500 medical teams
- 1st phase: It was conducted for eight months by 827 health teams
- The health camps will commence on January 19 in the rest of the state.
6. PM Modi inaugurates the second phase of Saansad Khel Mahakumbh
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second phase of Saansad Khel Mahakumbh 2022-23 in Basti District of Uttar Pradesh via video conferencing.
- It organizes diverse competitions in both indoor and outdoor sports.
- Apart from these, competitions in essay writing, painting, rangoli making will also be organized.
- This event is being organized in two phases.
- Basti district is a Lok Sabha Constituency of Harish Dwivedi.
7. Kollam becomes first constitution literate district in India
- Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan has declared Kollam district as the first Constitution-literate district in the country.
- It is achieved through 'The Citizen', a Constitution literacy campaign.
- This campaign was jointly launched by the Kollam district panchayat, the District Planning Committee, and the Kerala Institute of Local Administration.
- Aim: To provide constitution literacy to 23 lakh citizens belonging to 7 lakh families in the district.
Banking & Finance
8. South Indian Bank joins hands with SAIL for financing dealers
- South Indian Bank and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) signed an agreement to provide financial assistance to the dealers of SAIL across the country.
- With the vast network of the bank, they will be able to serve the MSME and corporate customers of SAIL located in different geographies.
- SAIL has a vast network of dealers who ensure availability of quality steel in virtually all districts of the country.
- MD & CEO, South Indian Bank: Murali Ramakrishnan
Banking & Finance
9. Protean’s arm gets RBI nod for account aggregator licence
- Protean eGov Technologies has received approval from RBI for its wholly-owned subsidiary to operate as an account aggregator.
- Account aggregators: They help individuals securely and digitally access and share information from one financial institution (they have an account with) to another regulated financial entity.
- It has also collaborated with the govt to create digital public infrastructure and develop innovative citizen-centric e-governance solutions.
Banking & Finance
10. RBI issues guidelines on acquisition in banks
- The RBI has issued Directions on “Acquisition and Holding of Shares or Voting Rights in Banking Companies”.
- It allows promoters to hold 26% of the paid-up share capital or voting rights of the bank after the completion 15 years from the commencement of its business.
- The promoters of banking companies may be allowed to hold a higher percentage of shareholding as part of the licensing conditions.
Science & Technology
11. ISRO 'Shukrayaan' mission to planet Venus reportedly shifted to 2031
- According to a report, the Shukrayaan I, the ISRO Venus mission may be delayed until 2031
- The mission was scheduled to launch in December 2024
- The concept was conceived in 2012
- After five years, the Department of Space received a 23% increase in the 2017–2018 budget and ISRO started preliminary investigations
- The best time to launch from Earth to Venus is once every 19 months or thereabouts
- If ISRO misses 2024, then ISRO has "backup" launch dates in 2026 and 2028
12. Gogoro, Belrise to invest $2.5 bn on Battery-swapping Infra in Maharashtra
- The state of Maharashtra has signed a deal with Taiwan’s Gogoro and automotive system maker Belrise Industries for an investment of $2.5 billion for eight years.
- Reason: To establish batteries as a leading source for mobility and energy storage in Maharashtra
- Gogoro is known for its green-hued battery swap distribution network for riders in Taiwan.
- India’s Belrise Industries Ltd produces about one-third of all two-wheel and three-wheel chassis made in the country.