FINANCE AND BANKING
- RBI set up a separate department for “FinTech”
- Reserve Bank of India has set up a separate internal department for fintech (Financial technology).
- It has been created with effect from January 04, 2022, by subsuming the FinTech Division of Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Central Office (DPSS, CO).
- Ajay Kumar Choudhary, who was recently promoted as the Executive Director of RBI was appointed as head of the department.
- CDSL unit gets SEBI nod for accreditation agency
- Central Depository Services (India) Ltd (CDSL) recently announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary CDSL Ventures Ltd (CVL) has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to set up an accreditation agency for accreditation of eligible Investors.
- The recognition of CVL as an accreditation agency will be valid for a period of three years with effect from 1 February 2022.
- NSE to launch derivatives on mid-cap stocks index from Jan 24
- NSE will launch derivatives on the Nifty Midcap Select Index from January 24.
- The exchange announced that it has secured approval from market regulator Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch derivatives on the index.
- Nifty Midcap Select Index aims to track the performance of a focused portfolio of 25 stocks within the Nifty Midcap 150 index.
- World Bank retains India’s economic growth forecast at 8.3 pc for 2021-22
- The World Bank has retained India’s economic growth forecast for the current fiscal at 8.3 per cent as the recovery is yet to become broad-based.
- As per the first advanced estimates of the national income released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) last week, the economy is projected to grow at 9.2 per cent in 2021-22, surpassing pre-COVID level in actual terms, mainly on account of improved performance, especially in farm, mining and manufacturing sectors.
- CPI inflation hits 6-month peak, IIP growth at 9-month low
- Retail inflation has reached a six-month high of 5.59% in December from a year before and industrial production growth nosedived to a nine-month low of 1.4% in November.
- Reliance acquires controlling stake of 73.37% in New York’s Mandarin Oriental hotel
- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has announced the acquisition of a controlling stake of 73.37% in Mandarin Oriental New York, a premium luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan.
- Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology inaugurated
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated Kalpana Chawla Centre for Research in Space Science & Technology (KCCRSST) at Chandigarh University, Gharuan, the first of its kind in North India.
- The Union Minister also launched Chandigarh University's Defence Scholarship Scheme, worth Rs 10 Crore, for the wards of Defence Personnel of the three services.
- Home ministry forms team to inquire into security breach during PM Modi’s Punjab visit
- The Home Ministry has constituted a three-member team to inquire into serious security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab.
- The three-member committee will be led by Sudhir Kumar Saxena, Secretary (Security) & Cabinet Secretariat. The two other members in the team are Balbir Singh, Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, and S Suresh, IG, SPG.
- India’s first heli-hub to be set up in Gurugram with many aviation facilities
- Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala announced that Gurugram will get India’s first heli-hub with all aviation facilities.
- The heli-hub is proposed to be built in Gurugram and would be near the metro facility along with easy connectivity to industrial areas like Noida and Bhiwadi.
- Australia, Japan sign landmark defense pact
- The leaders of Japan and Australia signed a landmark defense agreement that allows closer cooperation between their militaries and stands as a rebuke to China's growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Daniel Ortega sworn in as Nicaragua's president
- After a landslide victory in presidential elections, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega took the oath of office to begin his fourth term as president.
- The Central American country held presidential elections in November last year in which Ortega's Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) secured at least 74.99% of the votes.
- Alikhan Smailov named Kazakhstan's prime minister
- Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev nominated Alikhan Smailov for prime minister.
- Smailov, 49, served as first deputy prime minister in the previous cabinet which Tokayev dismissed amid violent unrest in the oil-rich Central Asian nation.
- 9th edition of North East Festival concludes in Guwahati
- The three-day 9th edition of the North East Festival held in Guwahati ended on a high note.
- The festival was organised in the format of a carnival with live music and dance performances, engaging the visitors throughout the day in the open area while serious discussions on business, economic, socio-political issues of the region engrossed the intellectuals in the conference halls.
- Sikkim: Losoong 2021
- Losoong is a Sikkimese New Year festival and carnival which celebrates the end of the annual harvest season at the conclusion of the tenth month of the Tibetan Lunar Calendar.
- The festival is primarily celebrated by Bhutia and Lepcha tribes in India, Bhutan and Nepal. The festival is marked in the month of December/January.
- UP govt declares 4 villages near Nepal border as revenue villages
- The Uttar Pradesh government declared four villages located near the Nepal border in the district as revenue villages.
- These four villages are Bhavanipur, Tedhia, Dhakia and Bichhia located in Mihinpurwa tehsil of the district. All these villages are Vantangiya villages.
- The Vantangiya' community comprises people brought from Myanmar during the colonial rule to plant trees.
REPORTS AND INDEXES
- Henley Passport Index 2022
- The Henley Passport Index (HPI) is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom for their citizens.
- Top Ranked Countries: The Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q1 is published. As per the report, Japan and Singapore top the list of being the most powerful passports in the world for the year 2022. The visa-free score of both countries is at 192.
- India’s Rank: India’s rank is 83rd.
- SBI Ecowrap: India’s Real GDP projected to grow at around 9.5% in FY22
- The economic research team of the State Bank of India (SBI) released its Ecowrap report.
- As per the report, SBI researchers have revised upwards the real GDP of India to around 9.5 per cent in 2021-22 (FY22) on a year-on-year (YoY).
- The report believes that though rising Covid infections could impact mobility, yet economic activity is not expected to get much affected.
- Banking complaints rose by 22% in FY21: RBI Report
- RBI recently released the Annual Report of the Ombudsman Schemes for 2020-21.
- It has been prepared for the nine- month period from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021, in line with the change in RBI’s financial year from July-June to April-March.
- As per the report, RBI saw a 22.3% jump in consumer complaints under the various Ombudsman schemes for the fiscal year 2020-21, bulk of them related to debit cards, online banking and credit cards.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- ISRO successfully conducts qualification test of Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan mission
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully conducted the qualification test of the Cryogenic Engine for the Gaganyaan programme for a duration of 720 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu.
AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- Zero-budget natural farming could lead to yield loss: Panel
- Large scale adoption of Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) would result in ‘tremendous reduction’ in production of agricultural crops thus compromising India’s food security, an expert committee set up by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has stated.
- Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) is a farm practice which exclude all synthetic chemical inputs and promote use of on-farm biomass.
- DRDO tests final deliverable configuration of Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile
- The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully flight tested the final deliverable configuration of the Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM).
- The indigenously developed anti-tank missile is a low weight, fire missile and is launched from a man portable launcher, integrated with thermal sight.
- India successfully test fires sea-to-sea variant of BrahMos Cruise Missile
- The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise. The missile was launched from the Indian Navy destroyer INS Vishakhapatnam off the Western coast.
- The sea to sea variant of the missile was testfired at the maximum range and hit the target ship with pinpoint accuracy.
- Philippines approves purchase of BrahMos cruise missiles with India for its navy
- Philippines accepted BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd to supply Shore-Based Anti-Ship Missile System Acquisition Project for its navy. The proposal is worth $374,9 million.
- 19th Meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
- The 19th Meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was held in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
- A power point presentation was made on the occasion explaining various initiatives of NTCA.
- At the meeting the environment minister unveiled the Action Plan for introduction of Cheetah in India, that has become extinct in independent India.
- 20th Dhaka International Film Festival
- The 20th Dhaka International Film Festival (DIFF) will take place between January 15-23 at multiple venues in Dhaka. The festival will showcase 225 films from 70 countries under 10 categories.
- The film festival is being organized in a hybrid mode with many films being streamed online during the festival.
AWARDS AND REWARDS
- Global Private Banking Awards 2021
- HDFC Bank has been adjudged Best Private Bank in India at the Global Private Banking Awards 2021, organised by Professional Wealth Management (PWM).
- Published by the Financial Times - the world's leading global business publication - Professional Wealth Management (PWM) specialises in analysing the growth strategies of private banks and the regional financial centres in which they operate.
- Forensic Science Laboratory wins SKOCH award for battling crime against children
- The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) won SKOCH Award in Silver category for its work towards combating Crime and Violence against Children.
- It was given on the 78th SKOCH Summit organised with theme of “State of Governance”.
- Chennai airport ranked 8th in global list for on-time performance
- Chennai International Airport has been ranked eight for on-time performance among large international airports globally for 2021 by Cirium — a provider of aviation data to the travel, finance, aerospace and aviation industries.
- The top three are Miami Airport in the United States, Fukuoka Airport and Haneda Airport from Japan.
- Nodirbek Abdusattorov is the new Rapid World Champion
- Nodirbek Abdusattorov won the 2021 Open Rapid Chess Championship in Warsaw.
- Nodirbek Abdusattorov, 17, dethroned Magnus Carlsen.
- Abdusattorov won the title along with a prize of $60,000 (€53,0444).
- Legends League Cricket: Jhulan Goswami Roped in as Ambassador
- To promote women’s empowerment, Legends League Cricket (LLC) has appointed cricketer Jhulan Goswami as an ambassador.
- LLC also announced an ‘All Women Match Official Team’ for the League that includes ICC empanelled female umpires and match referees from all across the world.
- Bharath Subramaniyam becomes India's 73rd chess GM
- Fourteen-year old Bharath Subramaniyam became India's 73rd chess Grandmaster, securing the third and final GM norm at an event in Italy.
- The Chennai-based player scored 6.5 points from nine rounds along with four others to finish seventh overall in the event held at Cattolica.
- He obtained his third GM norm here and also touched the requisite 2,500 (Elo) mark.