- 1. Government raised windfall tax on domestically produced crude oil as well as on the export of diesel and ATF.
- 2. Odisha has won World Habitat Awards 2023 for its Jaga Mission.
- 3. Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali is among the 27 recipients of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA).
- 4. Ministry of Electronics and IT has released draft rules for online gaming.
- 5. Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) Scheme approved to modernize the public broadcasting services.
- 6. 36th Strategic Dialogue between India and France held in New Delhi on 5 January.
- 7. PM Modi will take part in All-India State Ministers Conference on Water in Madhya Pradesh.
- 8. The union cabinet has approved the naming of the airport at Mopa, Goa as Manohar International Airport.
- 9. India committed to eliminating Kala-Azar by 2023.
- 10. NTPC commissioned India’s first green hydrogen blending project.
- 11. Madhya Pradesh government launched Chief Minister's Residential Land Rights Scheme.
- 12. Walter Cunningham, the last surviving astronaut from NASA's Apollo program, passed away.
- 13. Jaydev Unadkat created history in Ranji trophy with first over hat-trick.
- 14. Union Cabinet has approved National Green Hydrogen Mission.
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Topic: Indian Economy
1. Government raised windfall tax on domestically produced crude oil as well as on the export of diesel and ATF.
- The government has raised the tax on the export of diesel from Rs 5 to ₹6.5 per litre.
- The tax has been raised on overseas shipments of ATF from ₹1.5 a litre to ₹4.5 a litre.
- The windfall profit tax has been increased on domestically produced crude oil from 1,700 per tonne to 2,100 per tonne.
- The new tax rates are effective from 3 January. The tax rates are reviewed based on average oil prices in the previous two weeks.
- The government levies tax on windfall profits made by oil producers on any price above a certain threshold of $75 per barrel.
- Reliance Industries Ltd and Nayara Energy are the main exporters of fuel in India.
- The tax on the export of fuel is based on the margins that refiners get on overseas shipments. The margins are difference between the international oil price realised and the cost.
- India is a major consumer and importer of Oil.
- India imposed windfall profit tax for the first time on 1 July 2022 to control inflation and to ensure availability of the transport fuels in the local market.
- A windfall profit tax is imposed by governments on businesses or economic sectors when economic conditions result in large and unexpected profits.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
2. Odisha has won World Habitat Awards 2023 for its Jaga Mission.
- Jaga mission is an initiative by the Odisha government to upgrade almost 3000 slums in Odisha.
- It has won Bronze for the second time at an awards show organised by World Habitat, in partnership with UN-Habitat.
- The initiative earlier won the award in 2019. Jaga mission is the land titling and slum upgrading programme aiming at empowering slum dwellers.
- Under the initiative, in the last five years, 1,75,000 families have been granted land tenure security.
- The Government of Odisha has fixed the target of making Odisha the first slum-free state in India.
- The awards recognize innovative, outstanding, and revolutionary ideas, projects, and programmes from across the world.
- World Habitat is an international not-for-profit organisation set up in the United Kingdom.
- It is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It was established in 1977.
- It has its headquarters at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya.
- It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
3. Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali is among the 27 recipients of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA).
- US-based businessman Darshan Singh Dhaliwal and DSB Group CEO Piyush Gupta are also among the recipients of the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award.
- PBSA is conferred by the President of India as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
- The 17th edition of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention will be held from 8–10 January 2023 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
- Guyana’s President Mohamed Irfaan Ali will also be the chief guest at the convention.
- Dhaliwal was sent back from Delhi’s IGI Airport over his alleged involvement in organising a langar for protesting farmers at Delhi borders against the three farm laws.
- Poland-based businessman Amit Kailash Chandra Lath is also the recipient of the award.
- Amit helped Indian authorities during the evacuation of students during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Some other famous recipients of 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award
FedEx Corporation CEO Rajesh Subramaniam
Indian-Australian economist Chennupati Jagadish
Kannam Ambalam, associate professor in Ethiopia-based Wolega University who is credited with building water springs and small bridges in the African nation
Reena Vinod Pushkarna, an Israel-based chef who was part of the team that prepared dishes for Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the country in 2017
- Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award:
- It is the highest honour conferred on overseas Indians.
- It is conferred as part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention.
- It is conferred on Non-Resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin, or an organization established and run by Non-Resident Indians in recognition of their outstanding achievements both in India and abroad.
Topic: National News
4. Ministry of Electronics and IT has released draft rules for online gaming.
- It has proposed to ban advertisements of online betting sites on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
- The proposed laws require that before hosting an online gaming company's advertisements, social media platforms must confirm from a self-regulatory body that the company is registered with it (the body).
- The self-regulatory body can only register those online games that do not allow wagering on the basis of the outcome of an event. It cannot register betting platforms.
- Under the rules, social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube will not be allowed to host advertisements on platforms that offer online betting.
- The draft rules require social media platforms to display that a certain online game has been registered with the self-regulatory body.
- The draft rules have been introduced as an amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- All online gaming companies must register with the self-regulatory body.
- The self-regulatory body will consist of a board of directors with five members from various fields.
- These fields include online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology and medicine.
- There could be more than one self-regulatory body. All of them must inform the Centre about the games they have registered along with a report detailing the criteria for registering.
- Gaming companies must secure a random number generation certificate.
- They must get a “no bot certificate” from a reputed certifying body.
- Similar to social media and e-commerce companies, online gaming platforms must appoint a compliance officer, a nodal officer and a grievance officer.
- The compliance officer will make sure that the online gaming platform is following norms or not.
- The nodal officer will act as a liaison officer with the government and assist law enforcement agencies. A grievance officer will resolve user complaints
Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
5. Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND) Scheme approved to modernize the public broadcasting services.
- On 4 January, the Government approved the Central Sector ‘Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development (BIND)’ to improve public broadcaster services.
- 2,539 crore rupees will be spent on the infrastructure development of Prasar Bharati, i.e. All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) till the year 2025-26.
- The scheme aims to provide financial assistance to Prasar Bharati for expenditure related to expansion and upgradation of the organization's infrastructure, creation of content and broadcasting in civil work.
- The scheme will increase the coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country from 59 % to 66 % geographically and from 68 % to 80 % population-wise.
- The scheme also envisages free distribution of more than 8 lakhs DD Free Dish STBs to people living in remote, tribal, Left Wing Extremism affected and border areas.
- Prasar Bharati, as a public service broadcaster, is a powerful vehicle for providing information, education, and entertainment to the country and especially to remote areas.
- This will enable effective dissemination of news in Left Wing Extremism-prone and strategically important areas.
6. 36th Strategic Dialogue between India and France held in New Delhi on 5 January.
- The two countries conducted talks on a wide range of bilateral relations, including global issues.
- National Security Advisor Ajit Doval led the Indian team.
- The French delegation was led by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the President.
- In November 2021, the last time this dialogue between the two sides was held in Paris.
- It is a Western European country whose capital is Paris.
- Its Prime Minister is Élisabeth Borne.
- The currency of France is Euro.
- It is one of the five permanent members of the UNSC.
- Its President is Emmanuel Macron.
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7. PM Modi will take part in All-India State Ministers Conference on Water in Madhya Pradesh.
- Jal Shakti Ministry is organizing the 1st All India Annual State Ministers Conference on Water in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on the 5th & 6th January 2023.
- The theme of this conference is Water Vision @ 2047.
- This forum will bring together policymakers to discuss ways to utilize water resources for the purpose of sustainable development and human progress.
- The two-day conference’s primary objective is to gather ideas for the India@2047 and 5P vision from the various water stakeholders of the states.
- The ‘5P’ vision includes Political will, Public financing, Partnerships, Public Participation, and Persuasion for sustainability.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: State News/Goa
8. The union cabinet has approved the naming of the airport at Mopa, Goa as Manohar International Airport.
- The union cabinet has approved the naming of Greenfield International Airport at Goa's Mopa as Manohar International Airport.
- The airport will be known as Manohar International Airport Mopa, Goa.
- Manohar Parrikar was the former defence minister and Goa chief minister.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the airport at Mopa, Goa in December 2022.
Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases
9. India committed to eliminating Kala-Azar by 2023.
- To track the elimination of Kala-Azar from India, Union Health Minister chaired a high-level meeting with four state governments.
- The Health Minister of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and senior officers of West Bengal took part in the review meeting.
- 632 endemic blocks have already achieved elimination status, which is less than one case per thousand population.
- Jharkhand has 1.23 cases per ten thousand population. Only one block (Littipara) of Pakur district, Jharkhand in the endemic category.
- India contributes 11.5 per cent of total Kala-Azar cases globally. Bihar and Jharkhand contribute more than 90 percent of Kala-Azar cases in India.
- Uttar Pradesh in 2019 and West Bengal in 2017 have achieved their elimination targets at the block level.
- The Union Government has set a target of eliminating Kala-azar from India by 2023.
- Since 2007 Kala-azar cases have declined by 98.7 per cent. Kala-azar cases have declined from 44,533 in 2007 to 834 in 2022 in India.
- In 2021, around 90 percent of cases of Kala-azar were reported from eight countries: Brazil, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
- It is a disease affecting about 100 tropical countries including India.
- It is caused by a parasite called Leishmania, which is spread by the bite of sand flies.
- Kala-azar is the second deadliest parasitic killer in the world after Malaria.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
10. NTPC commissioned India’s first green hydrogen blending project.
- The project is a joint effort of NTPC and Gujarat Gas Ltd (GGL).
- The project has started green hydrogen blending in the piped natural gas (PNG) network of NTPC Kawas township, Surat.
- This project will provide H2-natural gas to households of Kawas Township.
- Green hydrogen produced at NTPC Kawas is made by electrolysis of water by using power from an already installed 1-MW floating solar project.
- Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board has given its approval for 5 per cent blending of green hydrogen with PNG. It will be increased to 20% in phase wise.
- This feat is achieved by only few countries such as UK, Germany, and Australia in the world.
- Green hydrogen when blended with natural gas reduces Carbon dioxide emissions.
Topic: State News/ Madhya Pradesh
11. Madhya Pradesh government launched Chief Minister's Residential Land Rights Scheme.
- On 4 January, Chief Minister's Residential Land Rights Scheme (Mukhyamantri Aavaseya Bhoomi Adhikaar Yojana) has been launched from Bakpura Panchayat of Tikamgarh district in Madhya Pradesh.
- Free leases of residential land were distributed by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to the selected beneficiaries.
- Applications of 14 lakh people were received under this scheme from across the state.
- Out of these, residential plots worth Rs 120 crore were distributed to 10,500 eligible beneficiaries in the Tikamgarh district.
- There will be no premium charged for these plots and will be allocated in the names of both the husband and the wife.
- The state government is working on this scheme for the last one year.
- The Chief Minister asked the Revenue Department to identify the eligible beneficiaries of the scheme and prepare their data.
- Each beneficiary family was given a plot of about 600 square feet for construction of houses.
- Once a family gets a plot, they will also be eligible to avail the benefits of schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Personality in News
12. Walter Cunningham, the last surviving astronaut from NASA's Apollo program, passed away.
- Astronaut Walter Cunningham, the last surviving member of the first successful space mission under NASA's Apollo program, passed away at the age of 90.
- NASA has confirmed Cunningham's death, but his cause of death has not been confirmed.
- NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that Cunningham was an explorer whose work laid the foundation for NASA's new Artemis lunar program.
- Cunningham was one of three astronauts on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968.
- This mission lasted for 11 days, and the way was paved for landing a satellite on the moon a year later.
(Source: News on AIR)
13. Jaydev Unadkat created history in Ranji trophy with first over hat-trick.
- He created this record in a Ranji trophy match against Delhi.
- He removed Dhruv Shorey, Vaibhav Rawal and Yash Dhull off the third, fourth and fifth deliveries respectively to bag the hat-trick.
- He took career-best figures of 8 for 39.
- Jaydev Unadkat is currently the captain of Saurashtra cricket team.
- The previous earliest hat-trick was by Karnataka bowler Vinay Kumar in 2017-18 quarter final against Mumbai, but it was in the first and third overs.
- Ranji Trophy:
- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) annually organizes the Ranji Trophy, a domestic first-class cricket match between the country's state and regional cricket associations.
- The premier domestic tournament is named after the first cricketer to represent India, Ranjit singh ji, also referred to as "Ranji."
- It was first played in 1934–1935 with 15 teams divided into four zones in a knockout system, and it has since grown to a 32-team league and knockout competition.
- Mumbai won the first-ever edition and also won the most Ranji Trophies.
Topic: National News
14. Union Cabinet has approved National Green Hydrogen Mission.
- With an initial outlay of Rs. 19,744 crores, Union Cabinet approves the National Green Hydrogen Mission.
- According to Union Minister Arjun Thakur, Rs 17,000 crore will be allocated for providing incentives on electrolyser for 5 years and on production of green hydrogen.
- Rs 400 crores will be spent on developing green hydrogen hubs in India.
- According to IEA, an electrolyser is a "critical technology" for the production of low-emission hydrogen from renewable or nuclear electricity.
- Under the mission, following have been planned:
- Investments will be made for infrastructure development, shipping and transportation.
- Dedicated R&D fund will be setup with efforts to bring in private sector and venture capital investments.
- Empowered group will be set up and will include green hydrogen experts.
- It is expected that the mission will add about 125 GW of renewable energy. India would achieve green hydrogen production capacity of atleast 5 MMT (million metric tonne) per annum.
- PM Narendra Modi announced the launch of National Green Hydrogen Mission during his Independence Day speech on August 15, 2021.
- It focuses on developing "India as a global hub for manufacturing of hydrogen and fuel cells technology across the value chain".
- The proposal for the mission prepared by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was passed by the Cabinet on 4 January 2023.
- Benefits of National Green Hydrogen Mission:
- Creation of export opportunities for Green hydrogen and its derivatives
- Decarbonisation of industrial, mobility and energy sectors
- Reduction in dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock
- Development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities
- Creation of employment opportunities
- Development of cutting-edge technologies