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Current Affairs 24 November 2022

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Australian Parliament approves Ind-Aus ECTA, a Free Trade Agreement with IndiaAustralian parliament approves free trade agreement with IndiaOn November 22, 2022, the Parliament of Australia approved the India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (Ind-Aus ECTA) by passing Ind-Aus ECTA Bill and the DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement).
i.Now, duties on 100% tariff lines will be eliminated.
Ind-Aus ECTA was signed on April 2, 2022.
ii.It should be noted that the Parliament of Australia approves a free trade deal with the United Kingdom too.
iii.With this Ind-Aus ECTA, the bilateral trade between both nations is expected to increase to USD 45-50 billion in 5 years from the existing USD 31 billion.
iv.Under the pact, Australia is offering zero-duty access to India for about 96.4% of exports (by value) covering many products of over 6,000 broad sectors that currently attract 4-5% customs duty in Australia.
About Australia:
Prime Minister– Anthony Albanese
Capital– Canberra
Currency– Australian dollars (AUD)
>> Read Full News

PM Modi Virtually Distributes Over 71,000 Appointment Letters to Newly Inducted Recruits; Also Launches Karmayogi Prarambh ModulePM Modi virtually distributes over 71,000 appointment lettersPrime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi distributed over 71,000 appointment letters via video conferencing to newly enlisted recruits under Rozgar Mela in 45 places across India (except Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh).

  • He also launched the Karmayogi Prarambh module, an online orientation course for all newly appointed employees of different government departments.

Rozgar Mela
The Rozgar Mela is intended to serve as a stimulus for more job creation and significant opportunities for youth empowerment and direct participation in national development.

  • Earlier in October 2022, as part of Rozgar Mela, 75,000 appointment letters were issued to newly appointed members.

Karmayogi Prarambh Module
i.The module covers workplace ethics, integrity, and human resource policies as well as a code of conduct for government employees.
Appointees will be able to explore different courses on the platform (iGOT-Karmayogi) to improve their knowledge, skills, and capacities through this module.
ii.Karmayogi Bharat, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) under the Mission Karmayogi, was incorporated on January 31, 2022, under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013, as a 100% government-owned, not-for-profit company.

  • Karmayogi Bharat is a key pillar of the institutional framework that operates the digital/e-learning platform iGOT-Karmayogi (Integrated Government Online Training).

Key Points:
i.According to experts, India has become a major force in the service sector and will soon become the world’s manufacturing hub as well.
ii.A variety of new employment opportunities for youth may be created through initiatives like the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme, Make in India, Local for Global, Startups, Vocal for Local, and the drone and space sectors.

MoH&FW Introduces India’s First Suicide Prevention PolicyUnion Health Ministry launches India’s first suicide prevention policyOn 21st November 2022 the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW) introduced National Suicide Prevention Strategy, the first of its kind in India, to achieve a reduction in suicide mortality by 10% by 2030 with time-bound action plans and multi-sectoral collaborations.
i.The National Suicide Prevention Strategy aims to establish,

  • Effective surveillance mechanisms for suicide within the next 3 years;
  • Psychiatric outpatient departments that will provide suicide prevention services through the District Mental Health Programme in all districts within the next 5 years;
  • Integrates a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next 8 years.

ii.The strategy also envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.
i.In India, more than 1 lakh lives are lost annually due to suicide. Suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-29 years-olds. In the past 3 years, the suicide rate has increased from 10.2 to 11.3 per 1,00,000 population.

  • The most common reasons for suicide include family problems and illnesses, which account for 34% and 18% respectively of all suicide-related deaths.
  • Integrates a mental well-being curriculum in all educational institutions within the next 8 years.

ii.The strategy also envisages developing guidelines for responsible media reporting of suicides, and restricting access to means of suicide.

iii.Around 71 percent of males and 29 percent of females account for the total number of deaths by suicide in India.

Arittapatti & Meenakshipuram in Madurai Becomes Tamil Nadu’s 1st Biodiversity Heritage SiteArittapatti Tamil Nadu's first biodiversity heritage siteThe government of Tamil Nadu has notified the 193.215 hectares of area spread across Arittapatti(Melur taluk) and Meenakshipuram(Madurai taluk) in Madurai district, Tamil Nadu as “Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site”. It is Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s 35th Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS).

  • The notification was issued under the Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 by the additional chief secretary of the environment, forest and climate change Supriya Sahu.

Significance of BHS:
i.The notification has been issued to strengthen the biodiversity of this region and to protect the loss of it.
ii.This will enhance the quality of life of the local communities through various conservation measures.
iii.This aims to instil and nurture conservation ethics in all sections of society and end the exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation.
Significance of Arittapatti BHS:
i.Arittapatti BHS includes several hillocks with rich biological and historical significance. The site houses several endemic species and historical structures more than 2000 years old.
ii.This includes the presence of more than 250 bird species, which includes 3 raptor species (Laggar Falcon, Shaheen Falcon and Bonelli’s Eagle), Indian pangolin, python, and endangered slender loris.
iii.The region includes a chain of 7 barren granite hillocks as a watershed. This also supports around 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools and 3 check dams.
iv.The megalithic structures in this region feature Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, Jain beds, and rock-cut temples of around 2200 years old.
What is a BHS? 
BHS are areas which are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the components such as; species richness, high endemism, presence of rare, endemic and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance, wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or land races or their varieties, past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having cultural or aesthetic values.

DCA launched Framework to Protect Consumers Interest from Fake Reviews in E-Commerce

On 21st November 2022, the Department of Consumer Affairs(DCA), under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, launched the framework titled ‘Online Consumer Reviews- Principles and Requirements for their Collection, Moderation and Publication‘ to safeguard and protect consumers from fake and deceptive reviews in e-commerce.

  • The new framework “Indian Standard (IS) 19000:2022” formulated by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) would come into effect from November 25 and would be voluntary in nature. The standards will apply to every online platform which publishes consumer reviews.
  • BIS will also develop a Conformity Assessment Scheme to evaluate compliance with the standard.

NCPCR launches ‘Training Modules for Chairpersons and Members of Child Welfare Committee’ 

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) launched the ‘Training Module for Chairperson and Members of Child Welfare Committee’ on the occasion of World Children’s Day (20th November 2022).

  • Indevar Pandey, Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development was the chief guest at the event. Priyank Kanoongo, Chairperson of NCPCR and other dignitaries were present at the occasion.
  • At the same event, NCPCR also launched ‘Protocols for Restoration & Repatriation’ and ‘GHAR- Go Home And Re-Unite’ (NCPCR’s designated portal for Restoration & Repatriation for Children).

Note: The launch event was followed by thematic technical sessions on (i) Orientation on Training Module for CWC and Protocols for Restoration and Repatriation of Children (ii) MASI Portal of NCPCR (iii) Baal Swaraj Portals of NCPCR.


Qatar signs World’s ‘Longest’ Gas Supply Deal with China

Qatar Energy signed the 27-year natural gas supply deal with China, referring to it as the “Longest” ever seen as it strengthened ties with Asia at a time when Europe is looking for alternate supplies.

  • The China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) will get 4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from the state energy company’s new North Field East project.
  • The deal marks the longest gas supply agreement in the history of the LNG industry.
  • Since Russia invaded Ukraine, European nations have become more interested in Qatar’s gas, which is primarily sold to Asian nations led by China, Japan, and South Korea.


Flipkart & Axis Bank partner to launch ‘Flipkart Axis Bank Super Elite’ Credit Card
Axis Bank, Flipkart partner to launch ‘Flipkart Axis Bank Super Elite’ credit cardi.Flipkart and Axis Bank have partnered to launch the ‘Flipkart Axis Bank Super Elite Credit Card’ as an effort to scale the Flipkart SuperCoins reward programme and enhance the customer shopping experience.
ii.The card offers benefits and easy redemption opportunities on every transaction.
iii.Previously in 2019, Flipkart and Axis bank partnered to launch Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card.
iv.Axis Bank launches 7th edition of knowledge summit ‘Evolve’ for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on the broader theme of ‘Indian SMEs: Shifting Gears for Next Level Growth’.
About Axis Bank:
MD & CEO– Amitabh Chaudhry
Headquarters– Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline– Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi
>> Read Full News

Airtel Payments Bank Launches Face Authentication-based Account OpeningAirtel Payments Bank launches face authentication-based savings bank accountOn 22nd November 2022 Airtel Payments Bank launched the face authentication-based savings bank account opening for customers, first-of-its kind in India to ease the process of account opening.
i.This new facility will help business correspondents (BCs) to open the savings account by undertaking face authentication e-KYC (Know Your Customer).

  • The authentication will be processed through a mobile application developed by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

ii. The bank is set to make this facility available across all its 5 lakh banking points by the end of 2022.
Features of Face Authentication based KYC: 
The process of e-KYC facility is handled through Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML)-based face authentication Registered Device (RD) application which prevents fraudulent activities by cross-checking an individual’s photo with the image captured in Aadhaar and allows secure customer onboarding.

  • Prior to this facility, Users had to authenticate using Aadhaar-based One Time Password(OTP) and fingerprint biometric authentication to open an account.

Airtel Payments Bank recently integrated with the National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) on National Financial Switch (NFS) to facilitate Micro ATM transactions for debit card users in metro and tier 1 cities in India.
Features of Savings account:
i.The bank ensures easy accessibility with over 5 lakh banking points and will offer an annual interest rate of 2.5 % upto 1 lakh end of the day balance and 6% above 1 lakh to 2 lakhs of end of the day balance.
ii.The bank offers free personal accident insurance cover of Rs. 1 Lakh with no minimum balance requirement.

  • The account does not have any daily limits and a maximum of 10,000 transactions are allowed per account in a month.

About Airtel Payments Bank:
At present, Bharti Airtel Limited and Bharti Enterprises Limited hold a 70:30 partnership in Airtel Payments Bank
Managing Director (MD) & CEO – Anubrata Biswas
Establishment – 2017
Headquarters – Gurugram, Haryana

Federal Bank has launched a deposit scheme for NRIs titled ‘Deposit Plus’Federal Bank has launched a deposit scheme for NRIs titled 'Deposit Plus'On 22nd November 2022 Federal Bank Limited launched a deposit scheme for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) titled ‘Deposit Plus’, which offers higher interest than the existing Non-Residential External (NRE) fixed deposits.
Key points:
i.The maximum interest rate offered in this scheme will be 7.50 percent for a tenure of 700 days.
ii.The interest accrued on this scheme will be added to the principal (reinvestment plan) on a quarterly basis and are exempt from income tax.
iii.The deposits cannot be closed prematurely, however, customers have the option of availing loans up to 75 percent of the deposit amount in the event funds are required prior to maturity.
About Federal Bank Limited:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – Shyam Srinivasan
Headquarters – Aluva, Kerala

BillBox Unveils Wearable Device for Contactless PaymentsBillBox unveils wearable device for contactless payments in association with NSDL Payments Bank and VisaBillBox, an Indian payments and merchant ecosystem solution provider, has launched TapTap, a wearable device that enables contactless payments, in collaboration with NSDL Payments Bank and Visa, a world leader in digital payments.

  • The wearable TapTap device’s purpose is to simplify payments and offer users convenience. TapTap wearable contactless payments is only available for Visa Platinum prepaid card users and will cost ₹1499 per wearable

Key Points:  
i.TapTap is a fintech programme manager for prepaid and gift card programmes.

  • It would provide Indian consumers with cost-effective, innovative, and secure digital banking solutions.

ii.To enable payments at point-of-sale (POS) machines at merchant outlets, the device is available in multiple formats and would be connected via a mobile app. It has been launched with silicon band, silicon strap and silicon loop
iii.The product will be extremely useful to a part of the population seeking super-fast payment options beyond plastic money and QR (Quick Response) codes.

Additional Info:
As per RBI norms in India, a user can tap for an amount up to ₹5000 without OTP (one time password) or PIN but any amount above that would require second-factor authentication of OTP. The user can transact up to ₹2,00,000 in a month with full Aadhar KYC.
Note: Viraj Majmudar is the Managing Director & Group CEO of BillBox.
About NSDL Payments Bank:
MD & CEO – Abhijit Kamalapurkar
Commenced Operations – 2018
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra

BOB Partners with Solar Start-up ASPL & AFPL; BoB Opens First Mid-Corporate Branch at Kochi

Bank of Baroda (BoB) partnered with Aerem Solutions Private Limited (ASPL), and its subsidiary Aerem Finance Private Limited (AFPL) for financing solar rooftop projects for captive use by Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).

  • ASPL is an end-to-end platform that enables quality rooftop solar installations for MSMEs, while AFPL is a Non-Banking Financing Company (NBFC) registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

i.Under the partnership, BoB will provide collateral free loans at affordable rates to MSME for the installation of captive solar rooftop projects.
ii.This will encourage MSME to install solar rooftop projects, thereby reducing power bills, increasing profitability and supporting the development of India’s renewable energy sector.
BoB Opens First Mid-Corporate Branch in Kerala at Kochi
Bank of Baroda (BoB) has opened its first dedicated mid-corporate branch in Kochi, Kerala, inaugurated by Debadatta Chand, Executive Director in the presence of S. Rengarajan, GM (Head – Mid Corporate Cluster South) and Sreejith Kottarathil, Zonal Head-Ernakulam.
Key points:
i.The key focus of the mid corporate branch is to increase corporate book size and income to improve turnaround time (TAT) for corporate proposals and provide enhanced service to corporate customers.
ii.The branch will provide corporate loans, trade finance, forex, and cash management services that caters to mid-corporate, large corporate and PSU borrowers.

HDFC Bank & Flywire Partners to Offer Education Digital PaymentsHDFC Bank partners with Flywire to make digital payments of international education fees easierHDFC Bank Limited partnered with Flywire Corporation, a global payments enablement and software company, to enable Indian payers to pay international education fees to higher education institutions all over the world digitally.
Key highlights:
i.This collaboration will benefit both students and institutions with a smooth and digital payment experience.

  • It also simplifies the compliance procedure for the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBIs) Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS), which allows NRIs to transmit up to USD 2.5 lakh overseas per fiscal year.

ii.HDFC Bank works directly with Flywire’s platform, giving Indian students a fully digital checkout experience, including application fees to tuition payments.

  • Students can pay in Indian rupees and the institutions that are accepting payments through Flywire will receive payments in local currency.

iii.Both HDFC Bank and Flywire will have full transparency into the transaction history, which eases their reconciliation processes and also streamlines operational efficiencies.
Note – According to the 2022 Open Doors Report, around 2 lakh Indian students studied in the United States (US) during the academic year 2021-2022, which is a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year.

SEBI frames guidelines for AIFs for Declaring First Close of a Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has issued guidelines for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) for declaration of first close, calculation of tenure and change of sponsor/manager or change in control of sponsor/manager by amending the SEBI (Alternative Investment Funds) Regulations, 2012.

  • These guideline came into force w.e.f. November 17, 2022.

Key Points:
i.As per it, first Close of a scheme should be declared not later than 12 months from the date of SEBI communication for taking the Private Placement Memorandum (PPM) of the scheme on record.
ii.In the case of open-ended schemes of Category III AIFs, the first close would refer to the close of their Initial Offer Period
iii.With respect to fee, it should be paid within 15 days of effecting the proposed change in manager/sponsor or change in control of manager/sponsor.
iv.This information by SEBI is provided in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 11(1) of the Securities  and  Exchange  Board  of  India  Act,  1992
Click Here for Official Notification


OECD Economic Outlook, November 2022: World economy to grow just 2.2% in 2023OECD forecast High rates, inflation to slow world growthAs per the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimations in its ‘OECD Economic Outlook, November 2022- Confronting the Crisis’, the world economy will grow just 3.1% in 2022, down from a robust 5.9% in 2021.

  • This growth will worsen in 2023 to just 2.2%.
  • This is due to the high interest rates, inflation, and Russia-Ukraine War.

Key Points:
i.The United States (US), the world’s largest economy, to grow just 1.8% this year (down drastically from 5.9% in 2021, 0.5% in 2023 and 1% in 2024.
ii.The region of Asia will account for three-quarters of world growth in 2023.

  • India’s economy is expected to grow 6.6% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023 and 6.9% in 2024.

iii.The OECD’s forecast for the 19 European countries is 0.5% growth in 2023 before accelerating to 1.4% in 2024.
iv.Inflation will remain high in 2023 to 6.6%.
v.Headquartered in Paris, France, OECD promotes international trade and prosperity and issues periodic reports and analyses.

  • Its Secretary-General is Mathias Cormann.


UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022: Highest Environmental Honour of UN Celebrates Ecosystem RestorationUN’s highest environmental honour celebrates ecosystem restorationThe United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has named the 2022 Champions of the Earth, honouring five environmental protectors —a conservationist, an enterprise, an economist, a women’s rights activist, and a wildlife biologist—for their transformative efforts to prevent, halt, or reverse ecosystem degradation.

  • The UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022 awards highlight global efforts to protect the environment in the backdrop of the United Nations (UN) Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).

UNEP Champions of the Earth
i.The annual UNEP Champions of the Earth award, established in 2005, is the highest environmental honour bestowed by the United Nations (UN).
Dr. Purnima Devi Barman, an Assam-based wildlife biologist from India, has received the UNEP 2022 Champions of the Earth award in the Entrepreneurial Vision category.

  • Barman received the award for her efforts to protect the greater adjutant stork, known as “Hargila” in Assamese, by establishing the “Hargila Army,” an all-female grassroots conservation campaign.

About the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP):
Executive Director– Inger Andersen
Establishment – 1972
>> Read Full News

Khalid Jawed’s book The Paradise of Food, translated by Baran Farooqi, won 2022 JCB Prize for Literature

“The Paradise of Food” authored by noted Urdu writer Khalid Jawed, and translated by Baran Farooqi from Urdu to English won the Fifth JCB Prize for Literature (2022) JCB Prize for Literature. The book published by Juggernaut books was originally written in Urdu as “Ne’mat Khana” in 2014.
The Paradise of Food is the fourth translation and the first work in Urdu to win the award.

  • The award was announced by Lord Bamford, Chairman, JCB, virtually, during the hybrid event held at the Oberoi, New Delhi, Delhi.
  • Khalid Jawed along with Baran Farooqi, received the award from Sunil Khurana, Chief Operating Officer, JCB India and AS Panneerselvan, Chair of Jury for 2022.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh and a trophy “Mirror Melting”, a sculpture designed by Delhi artist duo Thukral & Tagra. Baran Farooqi also received an additional Rs 10 lakh for the award.
The 2022 Jury 
The 2022 Jury is a panel of five judges: AS Panneerselvan (Jury Chair), Amitabha Bagchi, Dr. J Devika, Janice Pariat and Rakhee Balaram.
The 2022 Short list:
A total of five books were shortlisted by the jury, all of which were translations.

  • The other four books on the shortlist, include Imaan by Manoranjan Byapari (translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha); Song of the Soil by Chuden Kabimo (translated from Nepali by Ajit Baral); Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree (translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell); and Valli by Sheela Tomy (translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil).

Previous winners of the JCB Prize for Literature: 
2018 – Jasmine Days by Benyamin (translated from Malayalam by Shahnaz Habib),
2019- The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay,
2020 -Moustache by S. Hareesh (translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil).
2021- Delhi: A Soliloquy by M. Mukundan (Eka) (Translated from Malayalam by Fathima E.V. & Nandakumar K.)
About Paradise of food:
The Paradise of Food tells the story of a middle-class Muslim joint family over a span of fifty years where the narrator, whose life one follows from boyhood to old age, struggles to find a place for himself, at odds in his home and in the world outside.
About Khalid Jawed:
i.Khalid Jawed is an Indian Novelist and a leading Urdu Fiction writer ii.He has authored around 15 books of fiction and non-fictions which includesAakhri Dawat, Nematkhana and Maut ki Kitab.
ii.Recognition – Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad has awarded M.Phil degrees in Urdu on his novel ‘Maut ki Kitab’ and ‘Aakhri dawat’, and Central University, Hyderabad has awarded M.Phil in Urdu on his short stories’ collection ‘Burey Mausam mein’.
About Baran Farooqi: 
Baran Farooqi is a professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. She is also an acclaimed translator of The Colours of My Heart, a selection of poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

NIIT Chairman & Founder Rajendra Singh Pawar honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by FICCI NIIT Chairman and Founder Rajendra Singh Pawar honoured with Lifetime Achievement AwardThe Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) honoured  Padma Bhushan Awardee Rajendra Singh Pawar, Chairman & Founder of the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT),  with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award 2022’ at the 8th FICCI Higher Education Excellence Awards ceremony held in New Delhi, Delhi on 17th November 2022.

  • The award recognises his outstanding work and significant contributions to education and for founding the IT (Information Technology) Training sector.

About Rajendra Singh Pawar:
i. Rajendra Singh Pawar has played an active role in instituting quality processes and Phil Crosby’s Complete Quality Management System at NIIT.
ii. He is a member of the National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development.
iii. He heads the Quality Committees of various Industry bodies, including the South African President’s International Advisory Council (PIAC) on Information Society.
His Awards: 
i. Rajendra Singh Pawar has been awarded India’s third-highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan (Trade and Industry), in 2011.
ii. He has also been honoured with several other prestigious awards such as

  • The ‘Distinguished Alumnus Award’ from IIT in 1995.
  • the Ernst & Young’s ‘Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ in 1999.
  • The Global India Splendor Award in 2013.
  • The ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at Dataquest ICT Awards 2019.

iii. He has also been honoured as the ‘IT man of the Year’ by the IT industry journal, Dataquest in 1998.
iv. Under his leadership, the development of trained labour to drive the Indian IT sector’s expansion has been a major contribution made by NIIT.

  • After revolutionising the IT training sector, he is now involved in establishing an innovative model in higher education, the not-for-profit NIIT University.

About the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI):
President- Sanjiv Mehta
Establishment- 1927
About the National Institute of Information Technology (NIIT):
Chairman & Co-Founder- Rajendra Singh Pawar
Headquarters- Gurugram, Haryana
Establishment- 1981

S&P Global’s CSA 2022: Hindustan Zinc among Top 3 Sustainable Companies in Metal & Mining SectorHindustan Zinc in top 3 sustainable companies in metal-mining sectorAccording to S&P Global’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) 2022, Hindustan Zinc Limited, based in  Udaipur, Rajasthan, is ranked among the top 3 Sustainable Companies Globally in the Metal and Mining Sector.

  • Hindustan Zinc is ranked 3rd globally in the metal and mining sector and retained its 1st position in Asia Pacific for the 4th consecutive year.
  • This highlights the constant progress of Hindustan Zinc in creating value and improving lives through sustainable and responsible mining.

The CSA score supports the companies to benchmark their Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) performance against other companies and measuring their progress in meeting sustainability objectives.
Key Points:
i.During the 2022 assessment, Hindustan Zinc bagged a remarkable score of 80. The CSA score of Hindustan Zinc has improved from its 2021 score of 77.
ii.In 2021, moved from 7th to 5th globally in the CSA in the metal and mining sector and in 2022, it has moved from 5th to 3rd through sustainability efforts adopted at Hindustan Zinc.
iii.As part of its Sustainability Goals 2025, Hindustan Zinc is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, safe operations and optimal use of natural resources.
iv.The company is among the top 15 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Spenders in India and are currently reaching out to 1.4 million people in 234 villages 184 in Rajasthan, 34 in Uttarakhand and 16 villages in Gujarat.
Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2021 has ranked Hindustan Zinc at 5th amongst Mining & Metal companies.
About Hindustan Zinc Limited:
Hindustan Zinc Limited, a Vedanta group company, is the largest & only integrated producer of Zinc, Lead & Silver in India.
Chairman– Kiran Agarwal
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)– Arun Misra
Headquarters– Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Cambridge Dictionary Reveals ‘Homer’ as Word of the Year 2022

The Cambridge Dictionary has revealed its word of the year for 2022 as ‘homer’, an informal American English word for a home run in baseball.

  • The word ‘homer’ was searched for nearly 75,000 times during the first week of May 2022, when it was an answer in the word game, Wordle.
  • There were also other five-letter words in search including, ‘humor’, the American spelling was second-highest in 2022, followed by ‘caulk’, ‘tacit’, and ‘bayou’.

About Wordle:
i.Wordle is a free online game that gives users a new word puzzle each day, which gives six chances for players to guess a randomly selected five-letter word.
ii.The brainchild behind the game is Brooklyn-based software engineer Josh Wardle who created Wordle for free in October 2021 as a unique gift for his girlfriend Palak Shah. It was later acquired by The New York Times. 


ACC appoints 10 new Executive Directors for Public Sector Banks

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of 10 Executive Directors (ED) in different Public Sector Banks (PSBs) for a 3-year period.

  • Sanjay Vinayak Mudaliyar was appointed as ED in an Indian Overseas bank, Lalit Tyagi in Bank of Baroda, Binod Kumar in Punjab National Bank (PNB), Ashok Chandra in Canara Bank, S Ramasubramanian in Union Bank.
  • Paramasivam in PNB, Subrat Kumar in Bank of India, Mahesh Kumar Baja in Indian Bank, Malladi Venkat Murali Krishna in Central Bank of India, and Rajendra Kumar Saboo in UCO Bank.         


LIC increases Stake in Tech Mahindra to 6.874% 

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has increased its stake in Tech Mahindra Limited, a part of Mahindra Group to 6.874%. Previously LIC held 4.863% of the paid-up capital in Tech Mahindra.
Key Points:
i. LIC has increased its shareholding in Tech Mahindra from 4,73,44,343 to 6,69,25,392 equity shares (4.864% to 6.874%)
ii. Between November 30, 2021, and November 21, 2022, LIC purchased 1,95,81,049 shares (2.011% equity) at an average cost of Rs 1,042.24 through open market purchases.
About Tech Mahindra: 
i. Tech Mahindra Limited provides various IT services like IT-enabled service, application development and maintenance, consulting, and enterprise business solutions.
ii. It is focused on strengthening next-generation technologies, such as 5G, blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence(AI), and more to provide an end-to-end digital transformation for international customers.
Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer- C P Gurnani
Headquarters- Pune, Maharashtra
Establishment- 1986
LIC trims its stake in major listed companies in Q2FY23:
LIC offloaded shares in major listed companies in Q2 FY23, including Maruti Suzuki India, Bajaj Auto Ltd, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M), and Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd.
i. LIC reduced its ownership of Maruti Suzuki India from 4.86% to 3.43% during the second quarter (Q2) of FY23 by selling 4.3 million shares.
ii. LIC decreased its ownership of Bajaj Auto Ltd from 7.203% (the company’s paid-up capital) to 5.20% and decreased its ownership of this auto company by 2.003%.
iii. It offloaded a 1.11% stake in Sun Pharmaceutical Industries to 4.38%.
iv. LIC’s holding in Mahindra & Mahindra was trimmed from 8.43% to 6.42%, and in Power Grid Corporation from 4.99% to 3.40%.
Note: With effect from 23rd November 2022, LIC India has withdrawn its term insurance plans, Jeevan Amar and Tech Term.
About Life Insurance Corporation (LIC):
Chairperson- Mangalam Ramasubramanian Kumar
Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
Establishment- 1956
Note: LIC has been providing life insurance in India for more than 65 years and is the largest life insurer in the country.  


ISRO Conducts 200th Launch of ‘RH-200’ Sounding RocketISRO conducts 200th launch of 'RH-200' sounding rocketThe Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has conducted its 200th consecutively successful launch of the Rohini “RH-200” sounding rocket from its lead facility, the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

  • The launch took place in the presence of former Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Chairman of ISRO Dr. S. Somanath, and Director of VSSC Dr. S. Unnikrishnan Nair.

Rohini ‘RH-200’ Sounding Rocket
i.RH-200 is a solid-motor-powered, expendable rocket capable of reaching a height of 70 km while carrying payloads meant to explore the upper atmosphere.

  • The number “200” in the name refers to the rocket’s diameter in millimetres (mm).
  • These RH-200, RH-300-Mk-II and RH-560-Mk-III covers a payload range of 8 to 100 kg and can fly to an altitude of 75-550kms.

ii.These small, low-cost solid-fueled rockets are intended for research, meteorology, and atmospheric studies.
iii.During the World Space Week celebrations from October 4–10, 2022, a RH-200 was successfully launched for the 199th consecutive time.
iv.On July 15, 2015, the RH-200 rocket launched its 100th consecutive successful mission from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), which is now part of the VSSC.
v.On November 21, 1963, the American Nike-Apache was the first sounding rocket to be launched from Thumba.
Note: So far, ISRO has launched over 1,600 RH-200 rockets.


Arjuna awardee & Former Captain of Indian Men’s basketball team Gulam Abbas Moontasir Passed Away Gulam Abbas Moontasir, Arjuna awardee and former captain of Indian men’s basketball team, dies at 80Arjuna awardee Gulam Abbas Moontasir, the former Captain of the Indian Men’s Basketball team, passed away at the age of 80.
About Gulam Abbas Moontasir:
i. Gulam Abbas Moontasir was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, in 1942 and started playing Basketball at the age of 9.

  • He was selected for the Indian team at the young age of 16 and went on to play the sport professionally for the next 28 years and retired at the age of 44.

ii. He was the captain of the Indian team at the Asian Basketball Championships in 1969 and 1975 in Bangkok, Thailand.
iii. In 1970, he made it to the Asian All-Star team and became the 1st Indian basketball player to receive the Arjuna Award 1970 for his achievement in national sport and continued playing till 1986.
iv. He has also acted in a few Bollywood films like Khoon Ki Takkar (1981) and Desh Premee (1982).


Assam Govt Launches New Tourism Policy – Assam Tourism Policy 2022Assam govt launches new Tourism PolicyOn 21st November 2022,  Jayanta Malla Baruah, Minister of Tourism, Government of Assam launch the Assam Tourism Policy 2022 on the sidelines of the ‘Assam Tourism Road Show 2022’ which was hosted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Assam.

  • The new policy was prepared after a comprehensive study of the available resources in the state. Discussions were carried out with several stakeholders, industry leaders and the World Bank for the formulation of this new policy.
  • The policy announcement was followed by the launch of the Department of Tourism’s website and the destination’s promotional video.

About Assam Tourism Policy 2022: 
i. Assam Tourism Policy 2022 mission is to develop a strategic roadmap and a policy framework in collaboration with Union Ministries, various state government departments, local communities and tourism stakeholders.
ii. It aims to ensure and protect the effective standardisation of procedures and practices to promote uniformity, which can lead to sustainability and a general increase in the calibre of tourism-related goods.

  • It also aims to promote sustainability by limiting the negative effects of tourism on social, environmental, and economic sectors while ensuring the positive effects.

iii. Through this policy, the Assam Government will gradually withdraw from the state’s tourist industry and adds the Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC) to make way for the private sector to assume control of all business activities related to tourism in the state.
Note: The approval for Assam Tourism policy 2022 was given on 28th July 2022 by Assam Cabinet.
Assam Tourism Road Show 2022: 
i. It was hosted to persuade business people and investors to choose the state as their investment site.
ii. The event had panel discussions, audio-video presentations, cultural dance performances, and B2B interactive sessions.
About the Assam Tourism Development Corporation Limited (ATDC):
Chairperson- Rituparna Baruah
Establishment- 1988
About Assam:
Chief Minister- Himanta Biswa Sarma
Tiger Reserve- Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, Orang Tiger Reserve
Wildlife Sanctuaries- Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary; Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today)

S.noCurrent Affairs 24 November 2022
1Australian Parliament approves Ind-Aus ECTA, a Free Trade Agreement with India
2PM Modi Virtually Distributes Over 71,000 Appointment Letters to Newly Inducted Recruits; Also Launches Karmayogi Prarambh Module
3MoH&FW Introduces India’s First Suicide Prevention Policy
4Arittapatti & Meenakshipuram in Madurai Becomes Tamil Nadu’s 1st Biodiversity Heritage Site
5DCA launched Framework to Protect Consumers Interest from Fake Reviews in E-Commerce
6NCPCR launches ‘Training Modules for Chairpersons and Members of Child Welfare Committee’
7Qatar signs World’s ‘Longest’ Gas Supply Deal with China
8Flipkart & Axis Bank partner to launch ‘Flipkart Axis Bank Super Elite’ Credit Card
9Airtel Payments Bank Launches Face Authentication-based Account Opening
10Federal Bank has launched a deposit scheme for NRIs titled ‘Deposit Plus’
11BillBox Unveils Wearable Device for Contactless Payments
12BOB Partners with Solar Start-up ASPL & AFPL; BoB Opens First Mid-Corporate Branch at Kochi
13HDFC Bank & Flywire Partners to Offer Education Digital Payments
14SEBI frames guidelines for AIFs for Declaring First Close of a Scheme
15OECD Economic Outlook, November 2022: World economy to grow just 2.2% in 2023
16UNEP Champions of the Earth 2022: Highest Environmental Honour of UN Celebrates Ecosystem Restoration
17Khalid Jawed’s book The Paradise of Food, translated by Baran Farooqi, won 2022 JCB Prize for Literature
18NIIT Chairman & Founder Rajendra Singh Pawar honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award by FICCI
19S&P Global’s CSA 2022: Hindustan Zinc among Top 3 Sustainable Companies in Metal & Mining Sector
20Cambridge Dictionary Reveals ‘Homer’ as Word of the Year 2022
21ACC appoints 10 new Executive Directors for Public Sector Banks
22LIC increases Stake in Tech Mahindra to 6.874%
23ISRO Conducts 200th Launch of ‘RH-200’ Sounding Rocket
24Arjuna awardee & Former Captain of Indian Men’s basketball team Gulam Abbas Moontasir Passed Away
25Assam Govt Launches New Tourism Policy – Assam Tourism Policy 2022