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Current Affairs 15 December 2022

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Dept. Of Space & Agriculture Department Sign MoU to Develop Krishi-DSSMemorandum of Understanding signed on developing Krishi-Decision Support System using RISAT and VEDASA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DA&FW), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW), and the Department of Space (DOS) to develop the Krishi-Decision Support System (Krishi-DSS).

  • The MoU was signed at the official release of the data products and services of the Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT)-1A satellite for the user community in New Delhi, Delhi.
  • It was jointly released by Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, MoA&FW, and Union Minister of State (MoS), Dr. Jitendra Singh, DOS.

Key Points:
i.The MoA&FW is developing Krishi-DSS, a decision support system modelled after Gati Shakti, using RISAT-1A and the Visualization of Earth Observation Data and Archival System (VEDAS) of DOS.
ii.RISAT-1A, India’s first radar imaging satellite, was launched on February 14, 2022.
iii.It is an all-weather satellite that can take high-resolution geospatial images regardless of lighting conditions and can penetrate deeper into vegetation.
About the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO):
Chairman – S. Somanath
Headquarters – Bengaluru, Karnataka
>> Read Full News

Assamese Gamocha Finally Gets a Geographical Indication TagAssamese 'Gamocha' gets GI tagGamocha, a symbol of Assamese culture and identity, has been granted the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Central Government, 5 years after the initial application in 2017.

  • A GI is primarily a product that originates in a certain geographical location, whether it is a manufactured product (handicrafts and industrial goods), a natural product, or an agricultural product.

About Assamese ‘Gamocha
i.The “gamocha” is a handwoven rectangular cotton cloth with red borders and various designs and motifs.

  • Gamocha (or Gamosa), meaning ‘Ga’ means ‘body’ and ‘mosa’ means ‘wipe, is equivalent to a towel which is widely used in Assamese households for daily activities.

ii.Assamese people customarily present it as a sign of respect and honour to elders and guests.

  • It is also made of premium materials, such as traditional Assamese “Pat” silk, and is available in a variety of colours.

iii.Bihuwan is a “gamocha” meant for exchange during the “Bihu” festival in Assam.
iv.It is regarded as an essential component of all socio-religious ceremonies in the state and a source of pride for Assamese people.

  • It is a special scarf found only in Assam that is also used to decorate altars and cover holy books as a gesture of respect.

Key Points:
i.According to the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, the GI tag has been registered in favour of the Directorate of Handloom and Textiles, Government of Assam.
ii.The certificate for “Gamocha” has been granted as of October 16, 2017 in accordance with the application by the directorate.

  • The procedure began in 2017 when the Institute of Handicraft Development of the Golaghat district of Assam submitted an application for a GI tag.

Note: According to the fourth schedule to trade marks rules, 2002, Gamocha falls under class 24 which includes textiles and textile goods.

India & Finland Sign Joint Declaration of Intent On Migration and Mobility

India and Finland have signed a joint declaration of Intent On Migration and Mobility in order to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on migration and mobility.

  • The Joint Declaration was signed by Union Minister of State (MoS) V. Muraleedharan, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India (GoI), and Tuula Haatainen, Finland’s Minister of Employment.

Note: Ritva Koukku-Ronde is the Ambassador of Finland to India.
Key Points:
i.India and Finland have warm and friendly relations based on common values such as democracy, freedom, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.
ii.The declaration emphasizes the determination of both countries to collaborate in building a common framework of arrangements and cooperation.
iii.This will promote the mobility of students, academics, researchers, business people, and professionals while also assisting in the fight against irregular migration.
iv.On May 4, 2022, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi met Finland PM Sanna Marin on the margins of the 2nd India-Nordic Summit in Copenhagen (Denmark).

  • During the meeting, both parties discussed ways to strengthen this partnership in trade, investment, technology, and other areas.
  • Both parties expressed satisfaction with the advancements made in implementing the outcomes of the bilateral Virtual Summit held on March 16, 2021.

Maruti Suzuki showcased Wagon R, India’s First Mass Segment Flex Fuel Prototype Car

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (Maruti Suzuki) showcased the Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype model, India’s first mass segment Flex Fuel prototype car in the presence of Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.

  • It has developed engine management system strategies and emission control systems to comply with BS6 Phase-II emission norms in order to align with the latest government regulations.

About Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype:
i.The Wagon R Flex Fuel prototype is aligned with the Government of India (GoI)’s clean and green initiatives and has been designed to run on any ethanol-petrol blend between 20 percent (E20) and 85 percent (E85) fuel.
ii.The car is designed and developed locally by engineers of Maruti Suzuki, with necessary support from Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan.

  • It comprises a specifically upgraded engine designed to use higher ethanol-blended petrol to make the engine compatible with higher ethanol blends (E20-E85).
  • It also contains new fuel system technologies like heated fuel rail for cold start assist and ethanol sensor for ethanol percentage detection have been built.

iii.Other components like engine management system, upgraded fuel pump and fuel injector, have been developed along with other upgraded mechanical components to ensure engine and vehicle durability.


Global trade to surge USD 32 trillion in 2022: UNCTAD Global Trade Update December 2022Global trade surges to record $32 trillion in 2022The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its Global Trade Update (December 2022) report projected an increase in the value of global trade by about 12% to an estimated USD 32 trillion in 2022.

  • However, global trade will decline in 2023 due to geopolitical frictions, lower economic growth, higher prices for goods and record levels of global debt.

Key Points: 
i.The growth of global trade has turned negative in the 2nd half of 2022.
ii.Geopolitical frictions, persisting inflation, and lower global demand are expected to negatively affect global trade during 2023.
iii.Demand for foreign goods proved resilient throughout 2022, with trade volumes increasing by 3%.

Key Highlights:
i.Trade in merchandise goods is expected to soared USD 25 trillion in 2022, an increase of about 10% as compared to 2021.
ii.Trade in services will grow 15% year-over-year (y-o-y) to nearly USD 7 trillion.
iii.The reason behind an increase in the trade of 2022 is resilient global demand, and improvements in the logistics of global trade, and fruitful trade agreements.

  • But it should be noted that this increase is due to the robust growth in the first half of the year as the growth has turned negative during the second half of 2022.

iv.The report indicates that the value of global trade will decrease in Q4 2022 both for goods and for services.
Indian scenario:
i.India recorded a trade growth in Q32022 with 26% y-o-y import growth, and 3% y-o-y export growth.
ii.In the case of services, it has 49% y-o-y growth for imports and 35% for exports.

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD):
Secretary-General– Rebeca Grynspan (first woman and Central American to serve as UNCTAD’s secretary-general)
Member States– 195
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland

EIU WCOL Index: Singapore & New York Becomes ‘Most Expensive City in the World’Singapore becomes 'most expensive city,According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living (WCOL) Index, Singapore and New York(United States of America) has been declared as joint most expensive cities in the world to live in.

  • New York has topped the rankings for the first time along with Singapore which has topped the list 8 times in 10 years.
  • Tel Aviv of Israel which topped the list in 2021 has secured the 3rd rank in the 2022 index.

i.The top 10 cities on the index include Zurich(Switzerland) on the 6th,  Geneva (Switzerland) on the 7th, San Francisco (USA) on the 8th, Paris (France) on the 9th, and Copenhagen (Denmark) and Sydney (Australia) on the 10th.
ii.Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bengaluru are among the Bottom 10 positions of the index, ranked 165th, 164th and 161st respectively.
About Singapore: 
Prime Minister– Lee Hsien Loong
Capital– Singapore
Currency– Singapore Dollar
>> Read Full News

WHO-GCTM in Jamnagar, Gujarat to emerge as a Centre of Global WellnessWHO-GCTM to be emerge as a centre of global wellnessThe World Health Organization Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO-GCTM) in Jamnagar, Gujarat will be the 1st and only global outpost centre for traditional medicine worldwide as it will emerge as an international hub of global wellness.

  • This was announced by Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ayush in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

i. On 19th April 2022, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, laid the foundation stone of WHO GCTM in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
ii. On 9th March 2022, the Union Cabinet approved WHO-GCTM, the meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi.
WHO-GCTM’s scope of work: 

  • To act as a mentor for the development and shaping health research agenda.
  • To establish research methodology standards and to improve clinical practice and protocol standards in traditional medicine.
  • To create norms, standards, and guidelines in vital technical domains, tools and methodologies for data collection, undertaking analytics, and assessing impact.
  • To build partnerships and collaboration within WHO, which are in areas of relevance to the objectives.
  • To act as a guiding principle in developing guidelines for health technology assessment and health economics inferred from traditional medicine and support countries’ evolving strategies on this.

The WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM): 
i. WHO-GCTM is an outpost centre of WHO-HQ (Geneva) funded by the Government of India. It will help establish strong linkages among the Member States of WHO.
ii. It would emerge as a global wellness centre that would promote the development of Traditional Medicine medications and research, and increase evidence-based research, training, and awareness about Traditional Medicines.
India’s Investment:
i. India has committed an estimated USD 250 million as the primary investor in the WHO-GCTM to assist the Centre’s establishment, infrastructure, and operations.

  • This includes 35 acres of land in Jamnagar, Gujarat, for a new building and premises in 2024, an interim office, and 10-year funding for GCTM running costs.

ii. A temporary office will be established at the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda (ITRA), a WHO Collaborating Centre and Institute of National Importance, while the new Centre is being developed.

US Confirm Major Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion; Promises ‘Near-limitless’ Clean Energy  US Announces Historic Nuclear FusioUnited States of America(USA)’s Department of Energy announced that for the first time, the US Scientist have successfully produced more energy from a nuclear fusion experiment than the laser energy used to power it.
This is a major breakthrough in the efforts to source clean and limitless energy from nuclear fusion.

  • The development will enable a path towards advancements in national defence and the future of clean power.

About the Major breakthrough: 
i.Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory(LLNL)’s National Ignition Facility have successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain.
ii.The Fusion projects across the globe mainly use the elements deuterium (D, or 2H) and tritium (T, or  3H) – both of which are isotopes of hydrogen.

  • Deuterium – an isotope of hydrogen with a nucleus consisting of one proton and one neutron
  • Tritium –  a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen with a nucleus consisting of one proton and two neutrons.

What is Nuclear Fusion? 
i.Nuclear fusion is a man-made process that replicates the same energy that powers the sun.
ii.It is described as the ‘holy grail’ of energy production.
i.Nuclear fusion happens when 2 or more atoms are fused into one larger one, a process that generates a massive amount of energy as heat.
ii.Fusion works by pressing hydrogen atoms into each other with a heavy force so they combine into helium releasing enormous amounts of energy and heat.

European Union agrees to grant Bosnia & Herzegovina Membership Candidate StatusEU agrees to grant Bosnia membership candidate statusOn 13th December 2022, the European Union’s (EU) general affairs ministers from the 27 EU nations agreed to give Bosnia and Herzegovina “candidate status” to join the union during the meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

  • The decision to grant candidate status is to be formalised on 15th December 2022 when EU leaders descend on Brussels for a meeting.

i. The negotiations for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina began in September 2005.
ii. On 16th June 2008, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the EU signed the SAA in Luxembourg.
iii. Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed its desire to join the EU for the 1st time in 2003.
iv. The Country applied for membership in 2016, but its application has been delayed due to enlargement fatigue, which has stalled EU aspirations across the Western Balkans.

  • However, Russia’s war in Ukraine has refreshed the EU’s desire to expand into the area, with capitals eager to prevent losing the countries to Moscow’s power.

v. In 2019, the European Commission (EC) adopted its Opinion on the EU membership application of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
About Bosnia and Herzegovina: 
i. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a Southeastern European country in the western Balkans.
ii. It was formerly one of the states of the former federation of Yugoslavia until it declared its independence in March 1992.
iii. BiH’s declaration of sovereignty in October 1991, was followed by a declaration of independence.

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina joins 7 other nations with candidate status: Türkiye, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Moldova and Ukraine.
  • Kosovo is expected to formally submit its EU bid before the end of 2022.


CBDT exempts NR taxpayers from mandatory Form 10F e-filing till March 31, 2023CBDT exempts NR taxpayers from mandatory Form 10F e-filing for nowThe Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has exempted the Non-Resident (NR) taxpayers from mandatory electronic filing of Form 10F until March 31, 2023. This will be applicable to those NR taxpayers who are not having a Permanent Account Number (PAN) and not required to have a PAN as per relevant provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 read with Income-tax Rules, 1962.

  • These taxpayers can file Form 10F till March 31, 2023 in manual form.

What is Form 10F and why is it required?
NR taxpayers are required to provide a Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) to avail the benefits of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between their country of residence and India in respect of any income earned in India.
However, in case any relevant information is not mentioned in TRC, Form 10F is required to be furnished along with TRC as per Section 90(5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 read with Rule 21AB of the Income Tax Rules, 1962. Form 10F is like a self-declaration which is signed physically by the NR, and furnished along with TRC to resident payers.
In July 2022, CBDT mandated the NR to submit Form 10F electronically on the web portal of the ITD, using the Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) of NR, along with the attached copy of TRC but this online submission requires PAN by the NR. Those who don’t have PAN are facing challenges in submission.
Now, to overcome this problem, this exemption has been made by the CBDT.

HDFC Bank Acquires 7.75% Stake in Mintoak for ~Rs 31 CroreHDFC Bank to acquire 7.75% stake in fintech start-up MintoakHDFC Bank has acquired 7.75 % of the total share capital of Mintoak Innovations (Mintoak), a fintech startup, on a fully diluted basis  for a total cash consideration of Rs 31.14 crore.
Note: Mintoak offers a payments-led platform offering value-added services to merchants to engage with their customers and for acquirers to enhance their engagement with merchants through digital engagement and value-added solutions.
About the transaction: 
i.According to the regulatory filing, HDFC Bank has signed agreements to  subscribe 21,471 fully paid-up Compulsory Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) of the face value of Rs 20 each at a premium of Rs 9,711. The total cash consideration will be Rs 9,731 per CCPS issued by Mintoak.

  • The bank will also purchase 10,538 fully paid-up equity shares of Mintoak for a consideration of Rs 9,731 per share from certain existing shareholders of Mintoak.

ii.This deal will be completed by 31st January 2023, subject to conditions precedent. Since the overall stake of the bank will be less than 10 percent post transaction, the regulatory approval will not be required.
LEAF Partners with HDFC Bank to Provide Financial Aid to Marginalised Farmers
Lawrencedale Agro Processing (LEAF) headquartered in Ooty, Tamil Nadu,  has entered into a strategic partnership with HDFC Bank to offer customised financial products and services to marginalised farmers.

  • The product improves and provides financial access and inclusion to the entire rural ecosystem and brings an impact to more than 5 million marginalised farmers.

Key highlights:
i.LEAF has structured a model for efficient use of organised and cost-effective financial support, through which the agricultural inputs such as seeds, crop nutrition and protection products, are provided to marginalised farmers through a controlled dispensing process.
ii.With the help of active on-ground LEAF Farmer Support Centres, farmers can now grow the best of their produce with organised financial services and sell the harvest through LEAF centres, easily with true value for their harvest.

ADB trims Economic Growth Forecast for Developing Asia to 4.2% in 2022; retains India FY23 GDP growth at 7%ADB trims economic growth forecast for developing Asia

According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Supplement, December 2022- Global Gloom Dims Asian Prospects, the Growth forecasts for Asia have been revised down from 4.3%(forecasted in September 2022) to 4.2% for 2022 and from 4.9% to 4.6% for 2023. 

  • The growth forecast of India for the FY2022 is retained at 7 % and the growth projection for FY2023 is unchanged at 7.2%
  • India’s inflation rates are forecasted at 6.7% in 2022 and 5.8% in 2023.

i.ADB lowered its forecast for inflation in the developing Asia and the Pacific to 4.4% from 4.5% in 2022.
ii.For 2023, it will be at 4.2% from 4% due to inflationary pressures from energy and food.
i.The growth prospects in the Caucasus and Central Asia is increased to 4.8% from 3.9% in 2022.
ii.The East Asia’s growth forecasts are revised down to 2.9% in 2022 and to 4% in 2023.
iii.The South Asian forecast for 2022 is maintained at 6.5% but revised down for 2023 to 6.3% from 6.5%.
iv.The 2022 forecast for Southeast Asia is upgraded from 5.1% to 5.5%.
v.The growth forecast for the Pacific in 2022 is also revised up, from 4.7% to 5.3%.
vi.South Asia is on track to meet the Update growth forecast of 6.5% in 2022, but the forecast for 2023 is downgraded from
6.5% to 6.3%.

Key Points:
i.The reason behind the slow recovery of developing Asia from the Covid-19 pandemic is tightening by central banks globally and in the region, Russian Ukraine war, recurring lockdowns in China, geopolitical risks and climate change.
ii.The largest economy in Asia, i.e. China is expected to slow in 2022 to 3% against a 3.3% expansion predicted in a September report.

  • For 2023, it will grow at 4.3% from 4.5 per cent, due to the global slowdown.

iii.ADO analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia including forecasting the inflation and GDP growth rates.

GoI Repays IL&FS Loans to ADB & KfW to Fulfil Commitment

The Government of India (GoI) has repaid the sum of Rs. 1109 crore to Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Rs. 29 crore to German state-owned lender KfW to fulfil guarantees offered to Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS).

  • The Government provided loan guarantees becoming a lender and   entered into the list of IL&FS creditors.

Key Points::
i.According to IL&FS’ recent status report, a loan of USD 50.4 million was availed by IL&FS from ADB in August 2002. and was ensured by the Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India (GoI).
ii.In November 2005, a loan from KfW Frankfurt for 54 million euros was obtained and GOI provided security for the loan.
iii.According to the report, the debt resolved till 30th September 2022 is  Rs 56,943 crore(this includes debt being serviced in green companies). This is higher than the Rs. 55,000 crore resolution achieved in March 2022.
About the loan:
i.The government-guaranteed loans were used to fund initiatives undertaken by the IL&FS companies.

  • The Government dues and creditor dues are handled separately under the bankruptcy waterfall mechanism, which establishes the order of priority for various claims.

ii.On 30th June 2022, in order to meet its commitments as guarantors, GoI  made payments totalling Rs 1,109 crore to ADB and Rs 29 crore to KfW.


India to Be the First Country to Auction Satellite SpectrumIndia will be first to hold satellite spectrum auctionDr. P. D. Vaghela, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), announced at the “India SatCom 2022”, the 8th international summit of the Broadband India Forum (BIF), that India will be the first country in the world to auction satellite communications (SatCom) spectrum.

  • It will be aimed at attracting investments in the SatCom sector.

Key Points:
i.To improve the ease of doing business in the sector, the TRAI will shortly offer suggestions to streamline the approvals needed for satellite communication from several ministries/departments.

  • It includes the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), Department of Space (DOS), and Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Ministry of Communications.

ii.The DoT has referred TRAI to the spectrum that must be auctioned and related aspects of satellite-based communication.
iii.TRAI will develop a model for the auction of space spectrum and is yet to issue a consultation paper on the spectrum auction as part of the standard SatCom process.
Advantages of SatCom:
i.SatCom has the ability to bridge the digital divide in India and increase broadband penetration across India.

  • Satellite systems can support 5G broadcast technologies and content for multiple verticals.

ii.The Internet of Things (IoT) on satellites and nanosatellites are anticipated to boost the next generation of technology, providing connectivity across industries and enabling the future 6G capability.
iii.Satellites could perform more complex roles due to developments in satellite ground stations, orbital services, payloads, operational systems, and artificial intelligence (AI).
iv.The satellite industry is going through a shift attributable to steerable beams, software-defined satellites, and constellations of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellites.
About the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI):
TRAI was established under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997, to regulate telecom services, including the fixation and revision of telecom tariffs, which had previously been vested in the central government.
Chairman – Dr. P. D. Vaghela
Established – 1997
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi

FIEO signs MoU with Shiprocket to support MSME ExportersFIEO signs MoU with Shiprocket to support MSME exportersOn December 13, 2022, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shiprocket to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) exporters in India showcasing their products on the Indian Business Portal (IBP).
What is in the MoU?
i.This MoU will enable FIEO member exporters to choose premium economy & express options from the Shiprocket panel.
ii.Shiprocket will offer solutions to the enquiries and service issues of the FIEO members though its dedicated helpdesk.
iii.It will also offer logistics-related services IBP store holders and FIEO members which will include domestic shipping, warehousing management, services, fulfillment services, and marketing tools.
iv.Also, flat 15% discount can be availed on international shipment tariff by FIEO members and SMEs registered on IBP.
Shiprocket is a leading e-commerce enablement platform owned by Bigfoot Retail Solutions Private Limited. It has already integrated with eBay, Amazon, Shopify etc. to ship products sold on various marketplaces to more than 220+ countries.
About Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO):
It is set up by the Ministry of Commerce.
Director General & CEO– Dr. Ajay Saha
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment– 1965


SpiceJet awarded ‘Safety Performer of the Year’ by GMR Delhi Airport

GMR Delhi Airport(Indira Gandhi International Airport) has honoured SpiceJet with ‘Safety Performer of the Year’ 2022 at the GMR-Delhi Airport Annual Awards. This award acknowledged its top performance among the self-handling airlines and its efforts to reduce ground safety violations significantly.

  • Recently, the airline was audited by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and its operations, safety processes, and systems were found to be strong and at par with the global best practices and safety standards.

GMR-Delhi Airport Awards are an annual ceremony since 2012 which is organized by the Delhi International Airport Ltd, in collaboration with KPMG.

JSP Wins FICCI CSR Award for Fight against COVID-19; NTPC Wins Special Jury Award for Environmental SustainabilityJindal Steel and Power (JSP) was honoured with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry Corporate Social Responsibility (FICCI CSR) Special Commendation Award for its efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The award was presented by the Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda to company executives in New Delhi, Delhi.

NTPC Wins Special Jury Award for Environmental Sustainability
NTPC limited, formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited,  India’s largest power generator was conferred with the prestigious FICCI Special Jury Commendation Awards in the Environmental Sustainability category for the project – ‘Revival & Operation of Municipal Solid Waste plant’ at Karsada, Varanasi.

  • The Award was presented by Arjun Munda, Honourable Union Tribal Affairs Minister, GoI and on behalf of NTPC, Dillip Kumar Patel, Director (HR), received the Award at FICCI Federation House, Delhi.

About Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI):
Director General – Arun Chawla
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Establishment – 1927
>> Read Full News


Cindy Hook Appointed as CEO of 2032 Olympic Organising CommitteeCindy Hook appointed CEO of 2032 Olympic organising committee in BrisbaneOn 13th December 2022, American executive Cindy Hook was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organising committee for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

  • The 2032 organising committee held its first board meeting in April 2022.

About Cindy Hook:
i.She moved to Sydney in 2009 to lead the auditing practice for 6 years and served as Chief Executive Officer(CEO)of Deloitte Australia — becoming the first female CEO of one of the Big Four firms in 2015.
ii.Until June 2022 Cindy Hook was based in Singapore as CEO of Deloitte Asia Pacific and had previously worked for the international professional services network in the United State (U.S.) and in Australia.
About Brisbane2032 
Brisbane was confirmed as host of the 2032 Summer Olympics at the 138th IOC Session on 21 July 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Brisbane became the first host city to be selected to host the Olympics through the new bid process.

  • The identification and proposal of the host cities to the board is chosen by a small group of IOC members.
  • Brisbane will become the first Olympic host city to ever be selected unopposed

Note – Previously, Australia has twice hosted the Summer Olympics, at Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.  


NSE & BSE Gives in-Principle Approval to HDFC Ltd to Transfer NCDs to HDFC Bank

On 13th December 2022, the stock exchanges BSE Limited (formerly known as Bombay Stock Exchange) and NSE Limited granted an in-principle approval for the transfer of non-convertible debentures (NCD) issued by Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Limited to its subsidiary HDFC Bank.

  • The approval was provided in terms of Regulation 59 of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) ( Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations 2015, subject to sanctioning of the Scheme by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
  • This is part of the plan to facilitate the merger of HDFC Limited with HDFC Bank.
  • The Scheme remains subject to various statutory and regulatory approvals, as may be required.

In April 2022, HDFC Bank agreed to take over HDFC limited, the biggest domestic mortgage lender, at a deal value of about USD 40 billion.

  • The proposed entity will have a combined asset base of around Rs 18 lakh crore
  • This merger is expected to be completed by the second or third quarter of FY24, subject to other regulatory approvals.

Key Points: 
i.Post-merger HDFC Bank will be twice the size of ICICI Bank, the third-largest lender presently.

  • HDFC Bank will be 100 percent owned by public shareholders, and the existing shareholders will own 41 percent shares of the bank.
  • Also, each HDFC shareholder will get 42 shares of HDFC Bank for every 25 shares held.


KRAS rolled out its 100th MRSAM mid-section Kit for Indian Armed ForcesKalyani Rafael Advanced Systems rolls out MRSAM kit for Indian armed forcesOn 13th December 2022, Hyderabad (Telangana)-based Indo-Israeli joint venture, Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems Pvt Ltd (KRAS) rolled out the 100th Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) Kit for delivery to the Indin Army and Indian Air Force.

  • Dr Narayana Murthy, Director General of Missiles & Strategic Systems handed over the 100th MRSAM Missile kit to senior officers of the Indian Armed Forces in the presence of Baba N Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Bharat Forge Ltd and Major Gen (retd) Yoav Har-Even, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, Israel.
  • The ceremony took place at the KRAS facility in Hyderabad, Telangana.

Note: In 2019, KRAS received an order for supplying mid-sections of 1000 MRSAMs, the deal was worth USD 100mn. It is provided to the armed forces to strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
About the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) Mid-section Kit: 
i. MRSAM, an advanced network-centric combat, is a high-response, quick-reaction, vertically launched Supersonic missile, designed to neutralise enemy aerial threats: missiles, aircraft, guided bombs, and helicopters.
ii. The missile kit, often known as the mid-section, refers to the front end of the missile, which includes the seeker and critical electronics.
iii. The MRSAM missile, which is operated by the Indian Army and Air Force, has a 70km range and can knock down multiple airborne targets such as planes, drones, helicopters, and incoming missiles.
Key Highlights:
i. The MRSAM kit is part of the MRSAM air defence missile which is jointly developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
ii. It is manufactured in collaboration with the Indian industry comprising both private and public sector players, including Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).


239 Species from India Entered IUCN Red List; 29 are Threatened

According to the Latest update to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List unveiled during the COP15 biodiversity conference in Montreal, Canada, 239 new species analysed in India have entered the list. Of these, 29 are threatened.

  • White-cheeked Dancing Frog (Micrixalus candidus) found in Western Ghats of Karnataka has entered the Red List as endangered and the Andaman Smoothhound (Mustelus andamanensis) found in Andaman Sea in the Eastern Indian Ocean has been included in the Red List as Vulnerable.
  • The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health state of the world’s biodiversity.
  • Over 15,000 scientists and experts across the globe have found that 1,355 of over 9,472 species of plants, animals, and fungi across India’s land, freshwater, and seas assessed for the Red List are considered to be under threat.
  • They are classed as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction.


National Energy Conservation Day 2022 – December 14National Energy Conservation Day is annually celebrated across India on December 14 to raise awareness on limiting energy loss and showcase the achievements of India in energy efficiency and conservation.
i. The day is organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) which operates under the Ministry of Power (MoP). It has been organising National Energy Conservation Day since 1991.
ii. The 1st National Energy Conservation Day was observed on 14th December 1991.
Note: The BEE executed the Energy Conservation Act in India in 2001.
About the Ministry of Power (MoP):
Union Minister- Raj Kumar Singh (Arrah, Bihar)
Minister of State (MoS)- Krishan Pal (Faridabad, Haryana)
About the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE):
Under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act of 2001, the Government of India established the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) on March 1, 2002.
Director-General- Abhay Bakre
Headquarters- New Delhi, Delhi.
>> Read Full News


USDMA & IMD signed MoU to collect location-specific weather data in Dehradun

On 13th December 2022, Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA) and Indian Meteorological Department(IMD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at DMMC Hall, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, to strengthen and densify the weather forecasting network in Uttarakhand.

  • The MoU has been signed for the next 5 years for the installation of equipment for collecting weather data from different places in the state.
  • Uttarakhand will provide financial and administrative assistance, while the Meteorological Centre will look into the technical aspects.
  • This MoU is intended to collect location-specific information so that required steps can be made to avoid unexpected situations and resources (manpower, equipment) can be utilised to their full capacity.


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 15 December 2022
1Dept. Of Space & Agriculture Department Sign MoU to Develop Krishi-DSS
2Assamese Gamocha Finally Gets a Geographical Indication Tag
3India & Finland Sign Joint Declaration of Intent On Migration and Mobility
4Maruti Suzuki showcased Wagon R, India’s First Mass Segment Flex Fuel Prototype Car
5Global trade to surge $32 trillion in 2022: UNCTAD Global Trade Update December 2022
6EIU WCOL Index: Singapore & New York Becomes ‘Most Expensive City in the World’
7WHO-GCTM in Jamnagar, Gujarat to emerge as a Centre of Global Wellness
8US Confirm Major Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion; Promises ‘Near-limitless’ Clean Energy
9European Union agrees to grant Bosnia & Herzegovina Membership Candidate Status
10CBDT exempts NR taxpayers from mandatory Form 10F e-filing till March 31, 2023
11HDFC Bank Acquires 7.75% Stake in Mintoak for ~Rs 31 Crore
12ADB trims Economic Growth Forecast for Developing Asia to 4.2% in 2022; retains India FY23 GDP growth at 7%
13GoI Repays IL&FS Loans to ADB & KfW to Fulfil Commitment
14India to Be the First Country to Auction Satellite Spectrum
15FIEO signs MoU with Shiprocket to support MSME Exporters
16SpiceJet awarded ‘Safety Performer of the Year’ award during GMR Delhi Airport Awards 2022
17JSP Wins FICCI CSR Award for Fight against COVID-19; NTPC Wins Special Jury Award for Environmental Sustainability
18Cindy Hook Appointed as CEO of 2032 Olympic Organising Committee
19NSE & BSE Gives in-Principle Approval to HDFC Ltd to Transfer NCDs to HDFC Bank
20KRAS rolled out its 100th MRSAM mid-section Kit for Indian Armed Forces
21239 Species from India Entered IUCN Red List; 29 are Threatened
22National Energy Conservation Day 2022 – December 14
23USDMA & IMD signed MoU to collect location-specific weather data in Dehradun