- 1. Government launched National Geospatial Policy to promote startups and advance technology.
- 2. Cristiano Ronaldo will now play for the Arabian club Al Nassr.
- 3. India’s Koneru Humpy won silver in the World Blitz championship.
- 4. Madhya Pradesh Men's and Haryana Women’s U-18 Hockey team won Qualifiers- Khelo India Youth Games 2022.
- 5. First underwater metro service in India will begin in Kolkata in December 2023.
- 6. Largest open-air theatre performance 'Dhanu Yatra' started on 27 December.
- 7. Government has increased the interest rate of five year National Saving Certificate from 6.8% to 7%.
- 8. The growth rate in core sector output in November increased to 5.4%.
- 9. Two lakh primary milk dairies will be opened at the Panchayat level in the next three years.
- 10. Indian-American Rajeev Badyal named to the National Space Council Advisory Group of US.
- 11. India's first project to conserve Nilgiri Tahr has been approved.
- 12. India's current account deficit grew to 4.4% of GDP in the second quarter.
- 13. Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurated Rs. 300 crore Angul-Balram rail link in Odisha.
- 14. Extended range version of Brahmos missile was successfully test fired from SU-30 MKI fighter in Bay of Bengal.
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Topic: National News
1. Government launched National Geospatial Policy to promote startups and advance technology.
- The Ministry of Science and Technology notified the National Geospatial Policy, 2022.
- Its main aim is to develop a national framework to use data for improving services for citizens.
- It aims to develop a high-resolution topographical survey and mapping, and a high-accuracy digital elevation model by 2030.
- The National Geospatial Policy will lay down the framework for the holistic development of the geospatial ecosystem.
- It will also work to promote innovation and strengthen arrangements for the generation and management of geospatial information.
- By 2025, the government will improve the availability and accessibility of “better location data" for companies.
- The government is also planning to establish an Integrated Data and Information Framework, under which a Geospatial Knowledge Infrastructure (GKI) will be developed by 2030.
- The policy will also lay an outline for the creation of a national-level apex body, the Geospatial Data Promotion and Development Committee (GDPDC).
- This apex body will give detail about the use of geospatial data in governance across specific ministries.
- The policy will work for the development of 14 National Fundamental Sectoral Geospatial Data Themes. It will be used to support geospatial applications in various sectors.
- The policy will make a positive impact on developing India’s commercial geospatial applications and business ecosystem.
- India's geospatial economy is likely to reach Rs 63,000 crore by 2025 at a growth rate of 12.8%.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo will now play for the Arabian club Al Nassr.
- Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo signed a contract worth over 200 million euros with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr.
- His contract with Manchester United has come to end.
- He will play for the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr until 2025.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is five-time winner of Ballon d'Or awards and has won four European Golden Shoes.
- He has scored over 800 goals for the club and country. He signed a contract with Manchester United for the first time in 2003.
- Al Nassr Football Club:
- It was formed in 1955.
- It is a Saudi Arabian football club based in Riyadh.
- Pedro Emanuel is the current Manager of the Al Nassr Football Club.
(Source: News on AIR)
3. India’s Koneru Humpy won silver in the World Blitz championship.
- On 30 December, Koneru Humpy won the silver medal in the women's section of the FIDE World Blitz Chess Championship.
- Humpy defeated China's Tan Zhongyi, who had won the world's rapid title on 28 December.
- She won the first silver medal for India in the World Blitz Chess Championship held in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
- She finished just half a point behind winner Bibisara Balabayeva of Kazakhstan with 12.5 points.
- Humpy had finished sixth in the rapid championship, which preceded the blitz competition.
- She is also a former winner of the World Rapid title.
(Source: News on AIR)
4. Madhya Pradesh Men's and Haryana Women’s U-18 Hockey team won Qualifiers- Khelo India Youth Games 2022.
- On December 30, Madhya Pradesh Men's team defeated Odisha with 6-5 in Bhubaneswar.
- Zameer Mohammad scored a hat-trick in the final, while Ali Ahmad, Mohammad Zaid Khan, and Captain Ankit Pal each had one goal.
- Haryana defeated Jharkhand 2-0 in the third and fourth place clash to clinch the third spot in the competition.
- The men's teams of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Haryana, and Jharkhand have qualified for the Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Madhya Pradesh in 2023.
- On December 30, the women's Hockey Haryana won the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 Women's Under 18 Qualifiers at Bhubaneswar.
- The women's hockey team won by defeating Madhya Pradesh with 2-0.
- Odisha clinched the third position after defeating Hockey Jharkhand 2-1 in the third and fourth place match.
- The women's teams of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand have qualified for the Khelo India Youth Games to be held in Madhya Pradesh in 2023.
(Source: News on Air)
Topic: National News
5. First underwater metro service in India will begin in Kolkata in December 2023.
- On December 30, the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) stated that the East-West Metro Corridor project, which is India's first underwater metro service, is expected to be completed by December 2023.
- The Kolkata Metro started its operation in 1984, and it is now growing to cover the whole city and its suburbs.
- The underwater metro, running through the Hooghly River, will connect the Howrah and Kolkata.
- The cost of building a tunnel is about ₹120 crore per kilometer, but the cost of building a tunnel underwater, which is deep in the Hooghly River, increases to about ₹157 crore per kilometer.
- The Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation has taken up the task of building the tunnel with the help of German machines and best experts.
Topic: Art and Culture
6. Largest open-air theatre performance 'Dhanu Yatra' started on 27 December.
- The largest open-air theater festival 'Dhanu Yatra' festival began after a gap of two years at Bargarh in the Odisha.
- The vibrant Dhanu Yatra is associated with the culture of Odisha.
- The festival is being organized from December 27 to January 6, 2023.
- During the festival, several artistes from 130 cultural troupes from across the country are scheduled to perform.
- Dhanu Yatra Festival:
- Dhanu Yatra was started in the year 1947-48 as a reflection of the atmosphere of joy in the society for the end of British misrule.
- Since then, it is celebrated every year at the end of paddy harvesting, the locality's main crop.
- During the 11 days, the entire area of Bargarh city and the sub-urban areas around Bargarh block turned into 'Mathura Nagari'.
- The last Dhanu Yatra took place from 31 December 2019 to 10 January 2020.
(Source: News on AIR)
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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
7. Government has increased the interest rate of five year National Saving Certificate from 6.8% to 7%.
- The government has raised interest rates on various small savings schemes for the 4th quarter of the current financial year (starting from 1st January 2023).
- The interest rate on the senior citizen saving scheme has increased from 7.6% to 8%.
- The interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has increased from 7% to 7.2%. It will now mature in 120 months instead of the earlier 123 months.
- The interest rate on a small savings deposit of one year time period has been increased from 5.5% to 6.6%.
- The interest rate on the Public Provident Fund scheme, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme, and Saving Deposit have been kept unchanged.
Topic: Indian Economy
8. The growth rate in core sector output in November increased to 5.4%.
- The growth rate in the production of eight core sectors was 3.2% in the corresponding month last year (November 2021).
- In October 2022, the growth of core sector output stood at 0.9%.
- The production growth of eight infrastructure sectors stood at 8% during April-October this fiscal. It stood at 13.9% a year ago.
- The final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries (ICI) for August 2022 has been revised from provisional level of 3.3% to 4.2%.
- The cumulative growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries in April-November 2022 was 8% (provisional) as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
- As per the data, production of coal (increased by 12.3%), fertilisers (increased by 6.4%), steel (increased by 10.8%), cement (increased by 28.6%) and electricity (increased by 12.1%) increased in November.
- The output of crude oil (declined by 1.1%), natural gas (declined by 0.7%) and petroleum refinery products (declined by 9.3%) declined in November.
Topic: Agriculture and allied sectors
9. Two lakh primary milk dairies will be opened at the Panchayat level in the next three years.
- Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah announced that two lakh Cooperative Committees would be opened at the Panchayat level in the next three years.
- He addressed the Cooperative convention in Bengaluru.
- It will help the cooperative sector in growing by more than three times.
- Amit Shah said that these Cooperative committees will have multidimensional roles like milk distribution, storage, fisheries, water, and gas supply.
- He said that a multi-state cooperative society will be set up for exporting products supplied by cooperatives.
- The cooperative society will focus on seed production and exports.
- A database of all the cooperatives and a new Cooperative policy will be also launched.
- A cooperative University will be also established to train the manpower required for the sector.
- Siddanagouda Sanna Ramanagowda Patil, known as the father of the Cooperative movement in Karnataka, established the first co-operative society in India in 1905.
Topic: Personality in News
10. Indian-American Rajeev Badyal named to the National Space Council Advisory Group of US.
- Vice President Kamala Harris has named Rajeev Badyal to the national space advisory group.
- He is one of the 30 space experts of the National Space Council's Users Advisory Group (UAG).
- US Air Force Rtd General Lester Lyles has been named as the chairman of the UAG.
- The UAG provide advice and recommendations to National Space Council on issues related to space policy and strategy.
- The 30 members named to UAG represent a section of companies and organisations that support large and highly skilled space workforce and users of space services in US.
- Project Kuiper’s aim is to launch a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites which will provide high-speed broadband connectivity in the world.
Topic: Environment and Ecology
11. India's first project to conserve Nilgiri Tahr has been approved.
- India's first Nilgiri Tahr project to be launched at a cost of ₹25.14 crore for the conservation of the state animal of Tamil Nadu.
- In the Tamil Nadu budget for 2022–2023, the finance minister had announced in the assembly to implement the Nilgiri Tahr project with an initial allocation of ₹10 crore.
- The government will implement the Nilgiri Tahr Project to conserve it, expand its habitat and spread awareness among the public.
- The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden sent a proposal to implement the project over a five-year period, from 2022 to 2027, based on the Budget announcement.
- The Nilgiri tahr is the only ungulate in southern India out of 12 species present in India.
- According to a report released by WWF India in 2015, its population in the wild is estimated at 3,122.
- The animal is found throughout the entire stretch of the Western Ghats but in small fragmented areas.
- The existing population is facing threat due to habitat loss and hunting.
- IUCN Status of Nilgiri Tahr- Endangered
Topic: Indian Economy
12. India's current account deficit grew to 4.4% of GDP in the second quarter.
- India's current account deficit increased from 2.2% of GDP in the April-June period to 4.4% of GDP in the quarter that ended in September.
- On 29 December, the Reserve Bank of India released the data.
- The deficit in India's current account balance increased from USD 18.2 billion (2.2%) in Q1:2022-23 to USD 36.4 billion (4.4%) in Q2:2022-23.
- A deficit in India's current account balance was US$ 9.7 billion (1.3 percent of GDP) a year ago ie, Q2: 2021-22.
- Services exports registered a growth of 30.2 percent on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, led by rising exports of software, trade and travel services.
- The net foreign portfolio investment inflows were recorded at $6.5 billion, up from $3.9 billion during the second quarter of 2021-22.
- In the first half of 2022-23, there was a shortfall of $25.8 billion from the foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis).
- The forex reserves decreased by $30.4 billion in the July-September quarter of 2022-23, as against $31.2 billion in the year-ago period.
Topic: State News/ Odisha
13. Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi inaugurated Rs. 300 crore Angul-Balram rail link in Odisha.
- With the launch of this rail link, coal from Talcher coalfields in Angul district of Kerala would be taken out easily.
- The project will enable Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL) to increase its daily dispatch of coal by around 40,000 tonnes.
- Mahanadi Coal Railway Ltd (MCRL), a joint venture of MCL, IRCON International Ltd and IDCO, has constructed the rail link.
- IDCO is an industrial infrastructure development agency of Odisha government.
- The rail link is the first phase of 68km inner corridor that will connect Angul with Putugadia, Jarapada and Tentuloi. MCRL is implementing the inner corridor in 2 phases.
- IRCON is the implementing agency of the phase 2 of the corridor i.e. Balram-Putugadia-Jarapada-Tentuloi rail link.
- Odisha has the second largest coal reserves in India after Jharkhand. Talcher Coalfield, Rampur-Himgir, Ib valley field are coalfields in Odisha.
14. Extended range version of Brahmos missile was successfully test fired from SU-30 MKI fighter in Bay of Bengal.
- The test was conducted by Indian Air Force. Extended Range version has the capability of striking the targets located at 350 kms. The missile weighs 2.65 tonnes.
- The initial version of Brahmos missile has the capability to strike the target located at around 290 kms as per the obligations of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
- India entered into MTCR in June 2016 following which officials stated that the range of the missile would be extended to 450 km and to 600 km later.
- The first test launch of initial version Brahmos was conducted in 2001. The initial version of Brahmos Air launched missile was first tested in 2017. It was a major addition to IAF’s operational capabilities from stand-off ranges.
- Stand-off range missiles are the ones which are launched at a distance sufficient to allow the attacking party to evade defensive fire expected from the target area.
- Brahmos is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on SU-30 MKI, which was modified by HAL to carry such weapon systems.
- Brahmos (combination of Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers) missiles are designed, developed and produced by Brahmos Aerospace. Brahmos Aerosapce is a joint venture company set up by DRDO and Russia.
- The missile can be launched from land, sea, sub-sea, air against surface and sea-based targets.