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Current Affairs 12 January 2023

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Defence Acquisition Council approves AoN of 3 acquisition proposals of IA & IN worth Rs 4,276cr
Defence Acquisition Council approves proposals worth Rs 4,276 croreOn January 10, 2022, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for three capital acquisition – two of the Indian Army (IA) and one of the Indian Navy (IN) – proposals worth Rs 4,276 crore during a meeting under the chairmanship of Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Ministry of Defence (MoD) in New Delhi, Delhi.

  • The three proposals, two of the IA and one of the IN, are under the Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)} category.
  • This approval will strengthen India’s deterrence and combat readiness.

i.Procurement of HELINA (Helicopter based NAG) Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, launchers and associated support equipment which will be integrated to the Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH).

  • This missile is an essential part of weaponization of ALH for countering enemy threats.

ii.Procurement of Very Short Range Air Defence System or VSHORAD (IR Homing) missile system in order to focus on effective Air Defence weapon systems which can be deployed quickly in rugged terrain and maritime domain, and to strengthen the Air Defence capabilities.

  • It is designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

iii.Procurement of Brahmos Launcher and Fire Control System (FCS) for the Shivalik class of ships and Next Generation Missile Vessels for the IN.


Henley Passport Index 2023: Indian Passport Ranks 85th; Gives Visa-Free Entry to 59 Destinations Worldwide  World's most powerful passports 2023According to the ‘Henley Passport Index 2023′ released by Henley & Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence advisory firm, the Indian passport is the 85th most powerful passport in the world, allowing for visa-free travel to 59 countries.

  • Indian passport holders can travel visa-free to 59 countries, including Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Macao, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Iran, and Qatar.

About Japan:
Prime Minister – Fumio Kishida
Capital– Tokyo
Currency– Japanese Yen
>> Read Full News


Hitachi Payment Services gets RBI’s in-principle nod for Payment Aggregator LicenceHitachi Payment Services gets RBI’s in-principle nod for payment aggregator licenceOn January 10, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) provided its in-principle authorization to Hitachi Payment Services to act as a payment aggregator (PA).

  • PAs are entities that facilitate e-commerce sites and merchants to accept various payment instruments from customers to complete payments.

Key Points:
i.Hitachi Payment Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd.
ii.As a PA it will further augment its digital solutions with various merchant-friendly digital payment solutions such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface), netbanking, cards and wallets.
BharatPe receives in principle nod from RBI for online PA
RBI also awarded its in-principle approval to Resilient Payments Private Ltd , a 100% owned subsidiary of Resilient Innovations Private Ltd (BharatPe), to operate as an online PA.

  • However, the final authorization is subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

Key Points:
i.BharatPe was founded in 2018, and launched UPI interoperable QR (Quick Response) code, the first zero MDR (Merchant Discount Rate) payment acceptance service.
ii.In 2020, post-Covid, BharatPe also launched a card acceptance terminal – BharatSwipe.
iii.In October 2021, the consortium of Centrum Financial Services Ltd (Centrum) and BharatPe, was issued a Small Finance Bank (SFB) license by the RBI.

  • It also entered the Buy Now Pay Later segment with the launch of postpe.

RBI shortlists 7 global consultancy firms to use AI, ML to improve regulatory supervision
RBI has shortlisted seven global consultancy firms to use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for supervisory functions. This shortlisting followed the expressions of interest (EoI) invited by RBI in September 2022 for engaging consultants for the same.
The seven firms are as follows:

  • Accenture Solutions Private Limited
  • Boston Consulting Group (India) Pvt Ltd
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP
  • Ernst and Young LLP
  • KPMG Assurance and Consulting Services LLP
  • McKinsey and Company
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers Pvt Ltd.

Key Points:
i.RBI is already using AI and ML in supervisory processes, it now intends to upscale it to ensure that the benefits of advanced analytics can accrue to its Department of Supervision.
ii.The RBI’s Department of Supervision undertakes supervision over banks, urban cooperative banks, NBFCs, payment banks, small finance banks, local area banks, credit information companies and select all Indian financial institutions to assess their financial soundness, solvency, asset quality, governance framework, liquidity, and operational viability to protect depositors’ interests and financial stability.

SEBI allows futures contract on corporate bond indexSEBI allows futures contract on corporate bond indexThe Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) allowed stock exchanges to launch future contracts on corporate bond indices of corporate debt securities rated AA+ and above to enhance liquidity in the bond market and to provide an opportunity to the investors to hedge their positions.

Framework for Cash Settled Corporate Bond Index Futures (CBIF):

i.Stock exchanges who want to introduce such contracts are required to submit a detailed proposal to SEBI for approval.

ii.Exchanges should also make amendments to the relevant bye-laws, rules and regulations.

iii.There should be at least eight issuers in the index, with not more than a 15% weightage by a single issuer, and not more than 25% by a particular group of issuers.

iv.Contract value: The value of the CBIF contracts should not be less than Rs 2 lakhs at the time of introduction.

v.Tenure or the contract: Stock exchanges may introduce contracts of up to a tenure of 3 years.

SEBI amends Portfolio Managers’ Norms
SEBI also allowed portfolio managers under co-investment Portfolio Management Services (PMS) to terminate their services as per the provisions of the agreement signed with the client for early termination.

  • For the clients under co-investment PMS, the Portfolio Manager should ensure compliance with the second provision of Regulation 22 (2) of PMS Regulations which mandates norms for early termination of contract.
  • Earlier the portfolio manager, with prior approval from SEBI, should inform its investors about the proposed change before effecting any change.

The information for the same was provided by SEBI in exercise of powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the SEBI Act, 1992 read with the provisions of  Regulation  43  of the  SEBI  (Portfolio  Managers) Regulations,  2020 to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of the securities market.


World Bank Report: Indian Economy to Grow at A Robust 6.6% In FY24Indian economy to grow at a robust 6.6% in FY24, says World BankAccording to the latest Global Economic Prospects (January 2023) report released by the World Bank (WB), the Indian economy is projected to grow at a robust 6.6% in fiscal year 2023-24 (FY24), down from an estimated 6.9% in FY23 and 8.7% in FY22.

  • India, Asia’s third-largest economy, is projected to be the fastest-growing among the seven largest Emerging-Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs): Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and Türkiye.

Notable India-Related Statistics:
i.Strong private consumption and fixed investment growth contributed to India’s 9.7% growth in the first half of FY23 (April-September).

  • India accounts for three-fourths of the output from Asia.

ii.The National Statistics Office (NSO) of India recently projected that the Indian economy will grow at 7% in FY23.
iii.However, most economists predict that India would grow at 6% or less in FY24 due to escalating global challenges.
The Global Scenario: A Global Downturn
i.Global growth is slowing drastically as a result of rising inflation, higher interest rates, lower investment, and disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • The sharp decline in growth is likely to be widespread, with estimates for 95% of advanced economies and roughly 70% of EMDEs revised downward for 2023.
  • The third slowest pace of global growth in over 30 years may occur in 2023, raising concerns of a global recession.
  • This would be the first time in over 80 years that two global recessions occurred in the same decade.

ii.According to projections, the global economy will grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024.

  • In 2023, it is projected that the United States (US) will grow by 0.5% and the Euro Area will expand by 0%.
  • Excluding China, EMDE growth is anticipated to slow to 2.7% in 2023 from 3.8% in 2022.

iii.Per-capita income growth in EMDEs is anticipated to be 2.8% on average during the next two years, which is a full percentage point less than the average growth rate from 2010 to 2019.
iv.China’s growth is projected to accelerate to 4.3% in 2023 when COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted, releasing pent-up consumer spending.

  • Except for the COVID-19 pandemic year of 2020, China is expected to grow at a 2.7% annual rate in 2022, the weakest pace since the mid-1970s.

v.Growth in South Asia is projected to dip to 5.5% in 2023 before rising up slightly to 5.8% in 2024.

IN-SPACe signs MoU with Nascent Info Technologies for GIS Applications

The Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nascent Info Technologies Private Limited for technical collaboration for the development of various Geographic Information System (GIS) applications.
Geographic Information System (GIS) Applications: 
A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system that maps and examines changes on Earth by analysing and displaying spatially related data from a range of data sources.
Key Points: 
i. According to the MoU, Nascent Info Technologies will use its expertise and resources to research the functional requirements of various stakeholders in the fields of limestone, bauxite, clay, coal, etc.

  • It develops various algorithms and applications that will increase the efficiency of mineral identification and mapping while also enhancing operational safety, surveillance, and environmental compliance.

ii. The built applications would be made available for business use both on-premises and in the cloud.
iii. IN-SPACe will provide Nascent with assistance by facilitating access to Earth Observation data and developing an algorithm for the identification of minerals including limestone, bauxite, clay, and coal, among others, and using other resources.
About the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe):
Chairman- Pawan Kumar Goenka
Headquarters- Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Establishment- 2020


Overview of 80th Annual Golden Globe® Awards 2023: RRR’s “Naatu Naatu” wins Best Original Song Award
RRR' bags first Golden Globe with 'Naatu Naatu' winning best original song

On 11th January 2023, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association® (HFPA) announced the winners of the 80th Annual Golden Globe® Awards 2023, at an event held in The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills Los Angeles, California, United States of America (USA).

  • The Golden Globe awards have been annually presented by HFPA since 1943.
  • The 2023 award recognises excellence in film, both American and international, and American television of 2022.

“Naatu Naatu” Song from SS Rajamouli’s Telugu film “RRR” won the Best Original Song- Motion Picture. The award was shared among M M Keeravani, composer of the track, and Chandrabose, lyricist of the song.
>> Read Full News

Clayfin & Bandhan Bank Wins Best Digital Channel/Platform Award from IBS Intelligence

Clayfin Technologies, a leading provider of Digital Customer Experience solutions for Banks and Financial institutions, and Bandhan Bank have been awarded ‘Best Digital Channel/Platform Implementation: Best Project Implementation’ at International Banking Systems Intelligence (IBSi) Global FinTech Innovation Awards 2022.

  • This recognition was the basis of the implementation of Corporate Internet Banking (version 5.x) by Clayfin as part of Bandhan Bank’s vision to enhance its digital services to the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.
  • With this implementation, the bank will now offer an enhanced digital banking experience through enhanced self-administration, easy onboarding, more advanced risk mitigation and audit features.      


Indian-American A.C. Charania Appointed as NASA’s new Chief Technologist

An Indian-American aerospace industry expert A.C Charania has been appointed as  National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s new chief technologist. He will serve as the principal advisor to Administrator Bill Nelson on technology policy and programmes at NASA’s headquarters.

  • He replaced Indian-American scientist Bhavya Lal who has been serving as acting chief technologist, prior to Charania’s appointment.
  • Prior to joining NASA, A.C Charania served as vice president of product strategy at Reliable Robotics, a firm that works to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation.
  • He has also worked in strategy and business development for the Virgin Galactic (now Virgin Orbit) LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle programme and has served in multiple management and technology roles at SpaceWorks Enterprises, including helping to incubate two startups, Generation Orbit and Terminal Velocity Aerospace.   


Axis Bank enters into Revised Pact with Max Fin Serv to Acquire Additional 7% Stake in Max Life Axis Bank enters into revised pact with Max Fin Serv for acquiring additional 7 pc stake in Max LifeAxis Bank Limited has entered into a revised pact with Max Financial Services Limited to acquire an additional 7% stake in Max Life Insurance Company Limited at fair market value using discounted cash flow method.

  • The agreement has been revised by the guidance issued by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) in October 2022.

According to the Axis Bank, Axis Entities entered into revised agreements with Max Financial on 9th January 2023.

Key Highlights: 
i. Axis Bank entered into the pact agreeing that the valuation for the right to acquire the balance 7% of Max Life’s equity stake would be at Fair Market Value using Discounted Cash Flows instead of valuation as per Rule 11UA of the Income Tax Rules, 1962.
ii. Axis Entities acquired 12.99% of Max Life’s equity share capital in April 2021 for a total of Rs 35 per share, with the right to purchase an additional 7% stake in the future.

  • Additionally, it fined Max Life Insurance Rs 3 crores for violating the laws governing the transfer of shares.


  • Mitsui Sumitomo Company Ltd (MSI) held 25.48% of the company’s shares and Max Financial Services Ltd (MFS) held 72.52% of them.
  • Discounted cash flow refers to the estimated value of an investment based on future cash flows.

About the Axis Bank Limited:
Managing Director (MD) & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)- Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment- 1993


India carries out successful test launch of Prithvi-II from Chandipur, OdishaIndia carries out successful test launch of Prithvi-IIOn January 10, 2023, India successfully test launched nuclear capable tactical ballistic missile Prithvi-II from the Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.

  • The missile struck its target with high accuracy.
  • This test was done to test the missile’s night time capabilities.

Key Points:
i.Prithvi-II, a short-range, surface-to-surface ballistic missile, is the first missile to have been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)  under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).
ii.It is a part of India’s Prithvi missile series, which includes the Prithvi-I, Prithvi-II, Prithvi-III, and Dhanush.
iii.It is powered by light propulsion twin engines.
iv.It has a range of around 350 km and can carry 500-1,000 kg of warheads. It uses an advanced inertial navigation system to strike the set target.
v.It will be primarily used by the Indian Army.

NASA’s TESS mission discovers 2nd Earth-sized planet in “Habitable Zone”

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission has made a discovery, identifying a 2nd Earth-sized, called TOI 700 e, a rocky planet within the habitable zone of a star.
TOI 700 e:
i. TOI 700 e takes 28 days to orbit its star called TOI 700, a small red dwarf star located around 100 light-years from Earth.
ii. TOI 700 e is a member of the TOI 700 system, 95% the size of the Earth, and most likely rocky.
Key Points: 
i. The three planets in the same system were previously found by NASA:

  • TOI 700 b (90% Earth’s size)- orbits the star every 10 days.
  • TOI 700 c (2.5 times bigger than Earth)- completes an orbit every 16 days.
  • TOI 700 d (near-Earth-sized)- a 37-day orbit

ii. In January 2020, scientists announced the discovery of TOI-700 d, the 1st Earth-sized planet discovered by TESS in the habitable zone.
iii. Since Planet e is around 10% smaller than Planet d, the system shows how additional TESS observations enable the discovery of smaller and smaller worlds.
iv. Emily Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, presented the result on behalf of her team at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Association in Seattle, Washington, United States (US).

  • A paper about the newly discovered planet was accepted by The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

About Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS):
i. TESS was launched on April 18, 2018, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
ii. TESS was designed and launched specifically to find Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby stars.

  • Planetary scientists can learn more about the development of our own solar system by discovering other systems in this region that have Earth-sized worlds.

OneWeb Launches 40 Satellites from SpaceX’s Florida Space Centre

OneWeb, a United Kingdom-based satellite broadband connectivity company backed by the Bharti group, has launched another 40 satellites from SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States of America to achieve over 80% deployment of its planned in-orbit low-earth orbit (LEO) constellation.

  • This marks OneWeb’s 16th launch and 2 more launches will complete OneWeb’s 1st -generation constellation enabling global connectivity in 2023.
  • With 542 satellites in orbit, OneWeb has more than 80% of its first-generation constellation launched.


Hockey India launched Hockeyverse, becomes 1st National Sports Federation to Enter Metaverse

On 9th January 2023, Hockey India launched the ‘Hockeyverse’ on their social media platforms ahead of FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela. With this launch Hockey India became the first National Sports Federation to enter the world of metaverse. The Hockeyverse will provide a new virtual experience which has unique attractions such as a replica of the newly built Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium.

  • It also has the Time Machine which is uniquely designed based on time travel elements. where global hockey fans can visit and experience the sport from the comfort of their home, on their personal computer.
  • There is also The Trophy Room and The Team Room where fans are welcomed by Hockey India’s key players and fans can also use the Photo Booth feature for taking selfies with players.


Greece’s Last King & 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist Constantine II Passed AwayGreece's last king Constantine II dead at 82On 10th January 2023, Constantine II, the former and last King of Greece who ruled Greece before the country became a republic in 1974, passed away in Athens, Greece, at 82.

  • He was born on 2nd June 1940 in Psikhikó near Athens, Greece.

About Constantine II: 
i. When Constantine was an infant, the royal family fled Greece during the German invasion of World War II, moving to Alexandria (Egypt), South Africa. They returned to Greece in 1946.
ii. Constantine II, the 2nd cousin of Britain’s King Charles III, is the only son of King Paul and Queen Frederica of Greece, he ascended to the throne in 1964 at the age of 23 after the demise of his father.

  • His reign was marred by political instability, culminating in a military coup on 21st April 1967.
  • A military coup was launched as a result of the episode involving the defection of numerous lawmakers from the ruling party, which is widely known as the “apostasy” in Greece.
  • He remained in Rome until the regime abolished the monarchy in 1973.

iii. He married Princess Anne-Marie of Denmark in 1964.
iv. At the 1960 Rome Olympics, he participated in sailing and won a gold medal in the Dragon class along with 2 other Greek sailors.
v. He was elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1963 and served until 1974. He was then made an Honorary Member in 1974.

  • During his tenure, he served on the Commission for the International Olympic Academy from 1967-73.

vi. Most of his life went into exile where he lived in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, United Kingdom (UK).


Prince Harry Released his Memoir titled “Spare” 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, a member of the British royal family, has released his memoir titled “Spare”. The book was written with the assistance of American novelist J. R. Moehringer. The book is published by Transworld Publishers Ltd, a division of Penguin Random House.
The book reveals the details of Harry’s relationship with his father, King Charles, his elder brother, Prince William, and other members of the royal family.

  • Prince Harry announced that the proceeds from his memoir will be used to support British charities with donations including USD 1.5 million to Sentebale, an organization Prince Harry founded with Prince Seeiso in their mothers’ legacies, which supports vulnerable children and young people in Lesotho and Botswana.


National Road Safety Week from 11th to 17th January 2023National Road Safety Week - January 11 to 17 2023National Road Safety Week is annually observed across India from 11th to 17th January to create awareness about the importance of road safety and to highlight the importance of road safety measures to prevent accidents.

  • The observance of the week is led by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways(MoRTH).
  • 2023 marks the observance of the 34th Road Safety Week.

Road Safety Week 2023 is observed under “Swachhata Pakhwada 2023” to propagate the cause of safer roads for all.

  • Note: ‘Swachhata Pakhwada’ is a concept inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to engage all ministries and departments in “swachhta” related activities, and making it “everyone’s business”.

i.The National Road Safety Week was introduced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 1989.
ii.The first ever National Road Safety Week was observed in 1989.
i.The observance of Road Safety Week includes awareness campaigns related to causes of road accidents and measures to prevent them and various activities with students, drivers and all other road users.
ii.Agencies such as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), and National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) conducts special drives related to compliance with traffic rules and regulation, pedestrian safety, eye check-up camps for drivers and other road engineering related initiatives across India.
Global Road Safety Week: 
The United Nations(UN)’s Global Road Safety Week is a biennial event observed across the globe from the 13th to 17th May to spread awareness on the importance of road safety


Justice N Kotiswar Singh Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati HC

On 10th January 2023 Justice Nongmeikapam Kotiswar Singh has been appointed as the acting Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court (HC), Assam and will take charge from 12th January 2023 after the retirement of incumbent Chief Justice Rashmin Manharbhai Chhaya on 11th January 2023. A notification has been issued by the Department of Justice, under the Ministry of Law.

Note – HC Judges retire at the age of 62 year, while the Supreme Court judges retire at the age of 65 years.


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S.noCurrent Affairs 12 January 2023
1Defence Acquisition Council approves AoN of 3 acquisition proposals of IA & IN worth Rs 4,276cr
2Henley Passport Index 2023: Indian Passport Ranks 85th; Gives Visa-Free Entry to 59 Destinations Worldwide
3Hitachi Payment Services gets RBI’s in-principle nod for Payment Aggregator Licence
4SEBI allows futures contract on corporate bond index
5World Bank Report: Indian Economy to Grow at A Robust 6.6% In FY24
6IN-SPACe signs MoU with Nascent Info Technologies for GIS Applications
7Overview of 80th Annual Golden Globe® Awards 2023: RRR’s “Naatu Naatu” wins Best Original Song Award
8Clayfin & Bandhan Bank Wins Best Digital Channel/Platform Award from IBS Intelligence
9Indian-American A.C. Charania Appointed as NASA’s new Chief Technologist
10Axis Bank enters into Revised Pact with Max Fin Serv to Acquire Additional 7% Stake in Max Life
11India carries out successful test launch of Prithvi-II from Chandipur, Odisha
12NASA’s TESS mission discovers 2nd Earth-sized planet in “Habitable Zone”
13OneWeb Launches 40 Satellites from SpaceX’s Florida Space Centre
14Hockey India launched Hockeyverse, becomes 1st National Sports Federation to Enter Metaverse
15Greece’s Last King & 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist Constantine II Passed Away
16Prince Harry Released his Memoir titled “Spare”
17National Road Safety Week from 11th to 17th January 2023
18Justice N Kotiswar Singh Appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Gauhati HC