September Current Affairs 2022 (Daily Updates)

September Current Affairs

Last Updated: 27 September 2022

Gkgigs publishes September Current Affairs 2022 events that will help you to boost your General Knowledge and help you crack exams like Banking, SSC, Railways, UPSC, CLAT, State Government Exams, General Aptitudes of various exams, etc.

Read the Latest September Current Affairs of 2022 and boost your General Knowledge. Stay updated on all the Important News and September Current Affairs 2022.

27th September


India


  • Government Bond: India has deferred the planned inclusion of the government bonds in the JP Morgan emerging market global index to next year, as was being speculated on the street.
    • The bond inclusion in the global index may have been pushed back to early 2023, as the Government of India still needs to address various operational issues.
    • Earlier, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had predicted the bond index inclusion would happen only in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of the next year.
    • The Indian government began considering listing its securities for inclusion in global bond indices in 2013.
    • However, restrictions on foreign investments in Indian debt meant that the country had to roll out a number of steps before its securities could be eligible.
    • Goldman Sachs said India bonds could be included in the index with a 10 percent weightage, the maximum for a country in the index, resulting in potential inflows of $30 billion from the move.
    • Meanwhile, Barclays also said India could possibly be added to the Bloomberg Global Aggregate bond index.
  • S&P Global: S&P Global Ratings projects India’s economy to grow by 7.3% by end of the FY23 fiscal.
    • High oil prices, a slowdown in global demand for the country’s exports, and multi-year high inflation are seen as the causes of downward pressure on economic growth.
    • The rating agency predicts India’s CPI inflation at 6.8% for the current fiscal.
    • On the other hand, factors like the normal monsoon, and a rebound in contact-based services will support the growth.
    • Although S&P expects solid economic growth in 2022-2023, especially in economies relatively led by domestic demand including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
    • However, there are downward pressures that will act as spoilsports for India’s growth.
    • In its Economic Outlook Asia-Pacific Q3 2022 report, S&P said, “We expect India’s GDP to grow by 7.3% in the fiscal year 2023 compared with 7.8% three months ago.”
    • In the report, S&P highlighted the causes of this downward pressure on growth are high oil prices, slowing global demand for India’s exports, and high inflation.
    • In August, India achieved merchandise export of $33 billion almost at similar levels of $33.38 billion in August 2021.
    • Meanwhile, India’s merchandise imports climbed by 36.78% to $61.68 billion in August 2022 against $45.09 billion in August last year.
    • The widening in trade deficit more than doubled to $28.68 billion in August against $11.71 billion in August last year.

World


  • France: The French government plans to spend €45bn shielding households and businesses from energy price shocks in a budget focused on bringing down inflation.
    • The finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said the increase in the cost of gas and electricity would be capped at 15% from January.
    • Gas and electricity price rises are currently capped at 4% until the end of the year in what is known as the bouclier tarifaire (tariff shield).
    • Outlining key elements of his 2023 budget bill on Monday, Le Maire said it was financed “down to the last euro” and the government’s No 1 priority was fighting inflation at a time of unprecedented uncertainty due to Russia’s war against Ukraine.
  • Bank of England: The Bank of England says it is monitoring the drop in the pound and would not hesitate to boost interest rates to control inflation.
    • The central bank on Monday reiterated its intention to make a full assessment of the government’s tax and spending plans at the next meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee.
    • That’s now scheduled for November.
    • The bank says in a statement that it will not hesitate to change interest rates by as much as needed to return inflation to the 2% target sustainably in the medium term, in line with its remit.
    • The British pound fell to an all-time low against the US dollar early Monday after Treasury chief Kwasi Kwarteng pledged a sweeping package of tax cuts.

26th September


India


  • IIT Guwahati: The Indian Institute of Technology-Guwahati (IIT-G) announced on Monday that one of its research teams has developed a new way to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs, especially to the cancerous cells, in a patient’s body.
    • A statement issued by the IIT-G said that the results of the research were published in journals by the Royal Society of Chemistry, including ChemComm and Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.
    • Debasis Manna, a professor of chemistry at IIT-G, said that the molecules developed by the team assemble to form hollow spherical shells in the water.
    • These shells that are ten-millionth of a meter in size can be used as a minuscule container for the drug molecule.
    • The molecule also has a part (the acetazolamide ligand) that specifically binds to cancer cells and not normal cells.
  • Foreign Trade Policy: The Commerce Ministry on Monday announced the extension of the existing foreign trade policy by six months.
    • The reason behind the development is currency volatility and global uncertainty.
    • The ministry said the geo-political situation is not suitable for long-term foreign trade policy.
    • Earlier, the government had extended the due date for the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 to September 30, 2022.
    • Currently, fears of a recession in major economies like the US and Europe have escalated a panic among investors.
    • Foreign investors have begun to pull back their money from equities as bears took control.
    • Alongside foreign funds outflow, the geo-political tension in Ukraine coupled with inflationary pressures and monetary policy tightening has forced further weakening in the rupee against the US dollar.
    • The American currency is at a 22-year high, while the rupee hit a new all-time low of 81.6 against the greenback.
  • Samsung India: Samsung India announced a credit card in partnership with Axis Bank.
    • The company is offering 10% cash back on purchases, as well as other perks like reward points towards the financial institution, airport lounge access, and a 1% fuel surcharge waiver.
    • The service is split into two tiers – Signature and Infinite.
    • The first has a monthly cashback limit of ₹2,500 or ₹10,000 yearly, while the latter is set at ₹5,000 and ₹20,000.
    • The deal is for all Samsung products – smartphones and smart wearables, laptops, TV sets, fridges, washing machines, microwaves, and other appliances.
    • There is no minimum transaction amount and no limit on Samsung purchases.
    • Cashback credit will take up to 60 days to appear in the user’s profile and will only work on selected channels.
    • Axis Bank CEO revealed the new product is aiming to extend beyond the Top 10 cities and reach penetration in tier 2 & 3 cities.
    • One Visa executive revealed that 3 out of 4 Indians buy at least one electronic appliance and spend around INR40,000 annually.
    • Applications for the Samsung Axis Credit Card will open soon on the dedicated page on Samsung India’s website.
  • Foreign Investors: Foreign investors sold $1 billion of local shares in the past eight sessions after volatility in the domestic and global markets amid mounting recessionary concerns.
    • This was the biggest sale by FIIs in recent times. Foreign investors sold a provisional ₹2899.68 crore of shares on September 23, according to data from the National Stock Exchange of India.
    • They sold $686.13 million in equities from September 14 till September 22, data from the Securities Exchange Board of India showed.
    • They were net sellers in five out of seven sessions.
    • FIIs had turned buyers in mid-July amid improving Indian macroeconomic data.
    • From mid-July till September 13, they bought $9.79 billion in local equities.
    • Before that, they were net sellers, having sold over $34.43 billion in domestic equities from October 2021 to June 2022.
    • Key stock indices in India started declining in the past few sessions, tracking the global markets amid expectations that further aggressive tightening by central banks will hurt growth worldwide.
    • India’s stock markets erased all gains year to date and have turned negative.
    • Both the Sensex and the Nifty 50 are down 1 percent each since the start of this year, and they have dropped over 8 percent each in dollar terms.

World


  • NASA: The mission to deflect an asteroid hurtling towards the Earth to test a planetary defense mechanism will be executed on Monday.
    • The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) managed by Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for NASA is in its final phase.
    • A spacecraft sent by scientists will crash into Dimorphos, its targeted asteroid.
    • The strike will take place at 7.14 pm EDT on September 26 (4.44 am IST on September 27).
    • The cube-shaped “impactor” vehicle, roughly the size of a vending machine will fly into the football stadium-sized asteroid about 11 million km from Earth.
    • It is to be noted that the asteroid doesn’t pose any threat to our planet, and the mission’s outcome is also not going to change that, it will test the ability of a spacecraft to alter an asteroid’s trajectory with sheer kinetic force, plowing into the object at high speed to nudge it astray just enough to keep our planet out of harm’s way.

25th September


India


  • Chandigarh Airport: Chandigarh airport will be renamed after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today on his monthly radio address “Mann Ki Baat”.
    • The move is being seen as BJP’s one-up against the Aam Aadmi Party over the martyred legend’s legacy.
    • Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann welcomed the announcement, saying a long pending demand of Punjabis has been fulfilled.
    • Mr. Chautala said Punjab and Haryana governments had earlier agreed to name the Chandigarh international airport after Bhagat Singh.
    • The decision had come after Bhagwant Mann and Dushyant Chautala held a meeting over this issue last month.
  • India’s Forex Reserves: Aggressive intervention by the RBI to prevent sharp depreciation of the domestic currency against the dollar has led to a sharp reduction in India’s currency war chest.
    • The Indian rupee weakened past the 81-mark for the first time against the US dollar on Friday.
    • India’s spot FX reserves dipped to $551bn for the week ending September 9, which has reduced import cover defined as the number of months of imports funded by spot FX reserves to only 8.4 months, a Morgan Stanley report said.
    • The report stated that both oil and non-oil exports have declined in recent months likely due to weaker global demand and domestic factors such as the imposition of windfall taxes on the export of petrol/jet fuel at the beginning of July.
    • Morgan Stanley expects a 50 basis points hike in repo rates in the September meeting from 35 basis points earlier and a 35bp hike in the December meeting compared to 25 basis points previously.
    • Global brokerage house also revised India’s Q4 food inflation forecast higher to 6.8% YOY from 5.5% YOY.
  • Foreign Portfolio Investments: Less than a week is left for September month to over, and foreign portfolio investment (FPIs) flows have turned highly volatile due to macroeconomic conditions.
    • The week from September 19 to September 23, FPIs have made more selling than buying in the Indian equities.
    • Overall, FPIs activity in the domestic market is balanced and they still are net buyers for the month, however, the inflow is steeply lower compared to August.
    • As of now, in September, FPIs are net buyers with an inflow of ₹8,638 crores in the equity market.
    • According to NSDL data, FPIs pumped in ₹8,638 crores till September 23 in the current month in the equity market.
    • This is far lower compared to the August print where inflows stood at a whopping ₹51,204 crore which is the highest buying so far in the current year.
    • FPIs pumped in ₹4,989 crores in the equities in July.
    • During the week ending September 16, NSDL data showed that FPIs inflow in the equities stood at ₹12,084 crores.

World


  • United Kingdom: British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has been named the winner of the first-ever Queen Elizabeth II Woman of the Year award.
    • At a ceremony in London on Friday, the 42-year-old Indian-origin minister’s parents accepted the honor on her behalf.
    • In the UK today, South Asians hold executive roles in a variety of sectors, including politics, business, and civil society.
    • The Asian Achievers Awards, which were established in 2000, have honored such South Asians for their great efforts.
    • Braverman said that she was honored to receive this award, saying that the UK is the best country in the world for anyone, regardless of race or background, to achieve.
    • Braverman expressed her gratitude for the honor saying that the UK is the best country in the world for anyone, regardless of race or origin.
  • NASA: Citing a tropical storm that is forecast to strengthen as it approaches Florida, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on 24 September called off the scheduled Tuesday launch of its historic uncrewed mission to the Moon.
    • NASA is forgoing a launch opportunity and preparing for rollback (from the launchpad) while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian, it said on Saturday.
    • Tropical Storm Ian is expected to hit Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Center, next week, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
    • This was its third attempt to launch the Artemis-1 mission to the Moon.
    • As per details, the Space Launch System (SLS) with the Orion capsule on top will be removed from the launch pad and rolled back into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

24th September


India


  • Indian Railways: Indian Railways on Friday said it is installing a Real-Time Train Information System (RTIS), developed in collaboration with ISRO, on locomotives and trains for automatic acquisition of train movement timing at the stations, including that of arrival and departure or run-through, the Ministry of Railways said in a statement.
    • The release states this will prove the train’s movement information as current as 30 seconds to railway passengers.
    • The Train Control can now track the location and speed of RTIS-enabled locomotives/trains more closely, without any manual intervention, the Railways said in the press release.
    • RTIS devices have been installed for 2700 locomotives in 21 electric loco sheds.
    • As part of Phase-II rollout, 6000 more locomotives across 50 loco sheds shall be covered by utilizing ISRO’s Satcom hub.
  • ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday said it has developed a microprocessor-controlled knee (MPK) which is ten times cheaper than imported ones.
    • According to the ISRO, the MPK will benefit from above-knee amputees walking with a comfortable gait.
    • With microprocessors, the artificial limb offers additional capabilities for the amputee than those offered by the passive limbs without microprocessors.
    • The space agency said the MPK has enabled an amputee to walk about 100 meters in a corridor with minimum support and efforts are underway to improvise the performance.
    • These smart MPKs are being developed by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), ISRO under an MoU with National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities (NILD), Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya National Institute for Persons with Physical Disabilities (Divyangjan) (PDUNIPPD (D)), and the Artificial Limb Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO).
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate 5G services in the country at India Mobile Congress at Pragati Maidan on October 1.
    • Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bharti Airtel’s Sunil Mittal, and Vodafone Idea India head Ravinder Takkar will be on stage with PM Modi on the occasion.
    • Union ministers including, Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, among others, will also be present at the event.
    • The officials added that the launch of 5G services by Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi will begin in seven cities including Delhi and Mumbai.
    • India Mobile Congress (IMC), planned from October 1-4, claims to be the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in Asia and is jointly organized by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
    • IMC 2022 will focus on the evolution path of existing technology and what it holds for businesses and individuals in the future through meaningful dialogues.
    • DoT in August received total bids worth Rs 1.50 lakh crore from the 5G spectrum auction. Reliance Jio, Adani group, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea were the four major participants in the spectrum sale.

World


  • Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia recently announced the discovery of new sites for gold and copper ore deposits in the holy city of Medina.
    • In a Twitter post, the Saudi Geological Survey informed that the discoveries of gold ore were within the boundaries of Aba al-Raha, in the Medina region.
    • Copper ore was also discovered at four sites in the Al-Madiq area in the Wadi Al-Faraa region in Medina, officials said.
    • The new discoveries will constitute a qualitative leap for mining in the Kingdom, and open up more prospects for promising investment opportunities, analysts said, as per the outlet.
    • Saudi Arabia is home to over 5,300 mineral locations, Professor Abdulaziz bin Labon, Chairman of the Saudi Geologists Cooperative Association said in January, adding that these include diverse metal and non-metal rocks, building materials, decorative rocks, and gemstones.

23rd September


India


  • Maharashtra Co-Op Bank: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today canceled the license of Maharashtra’s Laxmi Co-operative Bank Limited, saying the Solapur-based lender does not have adequate capital and earning prospects and it does not comply with regulations.
    • The RBI told the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Maharashtra to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank.
    • It said that on liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive a deposit insurance claim amount up to ₹5 lakh from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation, or DICGC.
  • USD-INR: The Indian rupee today fell 41 paise to an all-time low of 81.20 against the US dollar in early trade on the back of US Treasury yields climbing to fresh multi-year highs and dollar demand from importers.
    • On Thursday, the rupee suffered its biggest single-session percentage decline since February, due to a lack of aggressive intervention by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a very U.S. hawkish Federal Reserve rate outlook, traders said.
    • The rupee, after a period of outperformance, was among the biggest losers among Asian peers on Thursday.
    • The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield overnight climbed above 3.70% and the two-year yield reached a high of 4.16%.
    • U.S. equities declined overnight, with S&P 500 Index falling to its lowest level in over two months. And Indian benchmark gauge Sensex fell 600 points in early trade.
  • AIIMS Delhi: Dr. M Srinivas was appointed as the next director of the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, for a period on Friday.
    • Dr. Srinivas will replace Dr. Randeep Guleria whose tenure as the head of the country’s premier health institute will end today.
    • Dr. Guleria had twice received an extension for three months for the post of AIIMS director.
    • He joined the role on March 28, 2017.
    • The appointed order was issued by the department of personnel and training.
    • The order, dated September 9, said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Dr. Srinivas to the post of AIIMS director.
    • The committee, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on June 20 had sought a wider panel of names for the post of director of AIIMS.
  • Defence Ministry: The Defence Ministry on Thursday signed a ₹1,700-crore contract with BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd for 35 combat and three practice BrahMos supersonic surface-to-surface cruise missiles for two P-15B class of stealth guided missile destroyers of the Indian Navy.
    • Four stealth-guided missile destroyers being constructed under Project-15B at a project cost of about ₹29,643.74 crores are a follow-on to the Kolkata class (Project 15A) destroyers.
    • They are christened after major cities from all four corners of the country Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, and Surat.
    • While INS Visakhapatnam was commissioned end of 2021, the remaining three have been launched into the waters.
    • They are designed by the Navy’s Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by the Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
    • With a displacement of 7,400 tonnes, they feature enhanced stealth features resulting in a reduced Radar Cross Section and are packed with sophisticated state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including BrahMos and Barak-8 Surface-to-Air missiles.
    • BrahMos is a joint venture between the DRDO and Russia’s NPO Mashinostroyeniya and the missile derives its name from Brahmaputra and Moskva rivers.
    • The missile is capable of being launched from land, sea, sub-sea, and air against the surface and sea-based targets and has been long inducted by the Indian armed forces.

World


  • NASA: American Space Agency NASA has built a spacecraft that will intentionally crash into a small asteroid named Dimorphos.
    • Although the asteroid poses no threat to Earth, it has been chosen to help prove that dangerous incoming rocks can be deflected by intentionally crashing something into them.
    • On September 26, the Double Asteroid Redirect Test (DART) spacecraft will strike an asteroid not far away from Earth like a battering ram.
    • The goal of the project is to shield the planet from potential asteroid collisions.

22nd September


India


  • PLI Scheme: The Union Cabinet on September 21 approved the second tranche of the performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for the development of solar PV modules, with an outlay of ₹19,500 crores.
    • The PLI for the “National Programme on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules” is aimed at achieving a manufacturing capacity of “Giga Watt (GW)-scale in high-efficiency solar PV modules”, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said in a press briefing following the Cabinet meeting.
    • The Centre, in an official release, noted that the scheme will bring “direct investment of around ₹94,000 crores”, and lead to direct employment of about 1,95,000 persons and indirect employment of around 7,80,000.
    • The solar PV manufacturers, who will be benefited from the PLI scheme, will be selected through a transparent selection process, the government said.
    • It is estimated that about 65,000 MW per annum manufacturing capacity of fully and partially integrated solar PV modules would be installed, the release further noted.
    • The scheme will lead to “import substitution of approximately ₹1.37 lakh crore”, and also provide an impetus to research and development to achieve higher efficiencies in solar PV Modules.
  • Future Enterprise: Debt-ridden Future Enterprises Ltd (FEL) on Wednesday said it has defaulted on payment of interest on non-convertible debentures totaling ₹15.73 crores.
    • The due date for payment was 20th September 2022, said a regulatory filing from FEL.
    • FEL has defaulted on interest payments for the period 21 March 2022, to 19 September 2022.
    • The total amount of securities issued was ₹352 crore and the gross principal amount on which the default has occurred is ₹327 crore.
    • The debt-ridden Future group is facing two petitions filed by its creditors before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to initiate insolvency proceedings against the company.
    • Lenders of FEL have also appointed an auditor for conducting a forensic audit of the firm.
    • FEL had recently defaulted on payment of interest on several non-convertible debentures.
    • It is engaged in the business of manufacturing, trading, leasing of assets, and logistics services.
    • It used to develop, own and lease the retail infrastructure for the Future Group.
    • FEL also holds the group’s investments in subsidiaries and joint ventures including in sectors like insurance, textile manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics.
    • It was part of the 19 group companies operating in the retail, wholesale, logistic, and warehousing segments, which were supposed to be transferred to Reliance Retail as part of a Rs 24,713-crore deal announced in August 2020.
    • The deal was called off by Reliance Industries in April after it failed to get lenders’ support.

World


  • Gates Foundation: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on 22 September announced fresh financial assistance totaling USD 1.27 billion to address poverty and social inequalities at the end of its two-day event which witnessed the participation of over 300 young change-makers from across the globe.
    • The following announcement arrived after the Foundation in its annual Goalkeepers report noted that nearly every indicator of the UN sustainable development goals is off track for achieving them by 2030.
    • The report highlighted opportunities to accelerate progress by investing in long-term solutions and innovative approaches to entrenched issues, including poverty, inequality, and climate change.
    • The two-day Goalkeepers event at the Lincoln Center in New York coincided with the annual session of the UN General Assembly.
    • While Bill Gates said that when governments, the private sector, and local communities collaborate on global health programs, then the greatest progress can be seen.
  • Bank of England: Britain’s central bank raised its key interest rate by another half-percentage point Thursday, avoiding more aggressive steps to tame inflation that the U.S. Federal Reserve and other banks have taken.
    • The Bank of England raised its benchmark rate to 2.25%, matching its half-point increase last month, the biggest hike in 27 years.
    • The decision was delayed a week as the United Kingdom mourned Queen Elizabeth II and follows economic relief measures announced by new Prime Minister Liz Truss’ government that are expected to ease inflation short term.
    • It is the bank’s seventh straight move to increase borrowing costs as rising food and energy prices fuel a cost-of-living crisis that is considered the worst in a generation.
    • Despite facing a slumping currency, tight labor market, and inflation near its highest in four decades, officials decided against acting boldly as large hikes threaten to tip the economy into recession.
    • The U.K. decision comes during a busy week for central bank action.
    • A day earlier, the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked rates by three-quarters of a point for the third consecutive time and forecast that more large increases were ahead.

21st September


India


  • Central Bank of India: Reserve Bank of India today removed the Central Bank of India from the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework on complying with parameters like net non-performing assets (net NPAs) and capital ratios.
    • While removal paves way for normal functioning for business growth, Mumbai-based public sector lenders would still be subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring.
    • RBI had placed Central Bank under PCA in June 2017 due to high net NPAs and negative returns on assets.
    • Central Bank was the last of the public sector lenders to come out of PCA.
    • Indian Overseas Bank and UCO Bank were removed from the framework last September.
    • Central Bank’s stock closed 0.49 percent up at ₹20.35 per share on BSE on Tuesday.
  • PM CARES Fund: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded the people for contributing wholeheartedly to the PM CARES Fund as he chaired a meeting where it was discussed that the initiative has a larger vision of effectively responding to emergency and distress situations, his office said on Wednesday.
    • Prime Minister Modi chaired a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the PM CARES Fund on Tuesday during which a presentation was made on the various initiatives undertaken with the help of the PM CARES Fund, including the PM CARES for Children scheme which supports 4,345 children, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.
    • The Prime Minister welcomed the trustees for becoming an integral part of the PM CARES Fund.
    • The meeting was attended by PM CARES Fund trustees Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
    • Newly nominated trustees of the PM CARES Fund; Justice K T Thomas, former Supreme Court judge; former Deputy Speaker Kariya Munda and Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons also attended the meeting.
  • NPS: The time taken for executing the withdrawal requests of National Pension System (NPS) subscribers has been slashed from ‘T+4’ to ‘T+2’, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said on September 20.
    • ‘T’ is used as a reference for the day when the withdrawal request was authorized by the subscriber or the nodal office.
    • Currently, executing the request required four days in addition to the day when it was authorized.
    • The same has now “been reduced to T+2”, PFRDA said in a release.
    • For subscribers associated with Protean eGov Technologies Ltd, which is one of the Central Recordkeeping Agencies (CRAs), the “requests authorized up to 10:30 AM will be settled on a T+2 basis”, the regulatory body added.
    • For subscribers associated with KFin Technologies Ltd & CAMS, the two other CRAs – the requests “authorized up to 11 AM” will be settled on a T+2 basis, it noted.
    • The CRAs and Pension Funds (PFs) have improved the system interface and enhanced their IT capabilities to reduce the timelines of various transactions under NPS, the release said.

World


  • Vladimir Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday announced a partial mobilization in Russia as the war in Ukraine reaches nearly seven months.
    • Putin’s address to the nation comes a day after Russian-controlled regions in eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to hold votes on becoming integral parts of Russia.
    • The Kremlin-backed efforts to swallow up four regions could set the stage for Moscow to escalate the war following Ukrainian successes on the battlefield.
    • The referendums, which have been expected to take since the first months of the war, will start Friday in the Luhansk, Kherson, and partly Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk regions.
    • Putin said he has signed a decree on the partial mobilization, which is due to start on Wednesday.

20th September


India


  • Finance Ministry: Finance Ministry is likely to meet public sector banks (PSB) chiefs to review vacant positions and monthly recruitment plans.
    • The procurement of banks and financial institutions via the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal will be reviewed.
    • Financial Services Secretary Sanjay Malhotra is expected to chair the meeting.
  • ICICI Bank Credit Card: ICICI Bank has introduced a new charge of one percent on the payment of rent using credit cards.
    • In a message sent to its customers, the bank said, “Dear Customers, starting 20-Oct-22, all transactions on your ICICI Bank Credit Card towards rent payment will be charged at a 1% fee”.
    • With this, the ICICI Bank has become the first bank to levy a charge on rent payments using credit cards.
    • ICICI Bank has over 11 million credit card holders in India.
  • Directors At IITs: President Droupadi Murmu has approved the appointment of new directors to eight Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), according to the education ministry.
    • Seshadri Sekhar and Shreepad Karmalkar, both professors at IIT Madras, have been appointed as directors of IIT Palakkad and IIT Bhubaneshwar respectively.
    • While Venkayappaya R Desai from IIT Kharagpur’s Department of Civil Engineering has been appointed as the Director of IIT Dharwad, the institute’s current director Pasumarthy Seshu has been chosen as Director of IIT Goa.
    • Others appointed for the top posts include KN Satyanarayana (IIT Tirupati), Rajiv Prakash (IIT Bhilai), Rajat Moona (IIT Gandhinagar), and Manoj Singh Gaur (IIT Jammu).

World


  • United Nations: Warning that the world is in “great peril,” the head of the United Nations says leaders meeting in person for the first time in three years must tackle conflicts and climate catastrophes, increasing poverty and inequality, and address divisions among major powers that have gotten worse since Russia invaded Ukraine.
    • The 77th General Assembly meeting of world leaders convenes under the shadow of Europe’s first major war since World War II the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which has unleashed a global food crisis and opened fissures among major powers in a way not seen since the Cold War.
    • Yet nearly 150 heads of state and government are on the latest speakers’ list.
    • That’s a sign that despite the fragmented state of the planet, the United Nations remains the key gathering place for presidents, prime ministers, monarchs, and ministers to not only deliver their views but to meet privately to discuss the challenges on the global agenda and hopefully make some progress.
  • Jupiter: Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will make its closest approach to Earth in about the last six decades, next week.
    • On 26 September, Jupiter will also reach ‘opposition’, a phenomenon that, from the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.
    • Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet appear larger and brighter than any other time of the year.
    • Further, the planet will also make its closest approach to Earth in the last 59 years.
    • This happens because Earth and Jupiter do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles meaning the planets will pass each other at different distances throughout the year.
    • According to a NASA statement, Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition.
    • At its closest approach, Jupiter will be approximately 590 million km in distance from Earth, about the same distance it was in 1963.
    • The massive planet is approximately 960 million km away from Earth at its farthest point.

19th September


India


  • Odisha: The Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government on Monday announced a Dearness Allowance (DA) of three percent for all State Government Employees.
    • The hikes in dearness allowance will be applicable retrospectively that is from 1st January 2023.
    • Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved the proposal for a hike in the Dearness Allowance for the state government employees.
    • With this, the dearness allowance of the employees has been increased to 34 percent from the existing 31 percent.
    • According to the Odisha government notification, the hike in dearness allowance will be applicable retrospectively from 1st January 2023.
  • Stem Cell Therapy: Stem cell therapy, which can avert or delay total knee replacement surgeries in patients suffering from acute knee osteoarthritis, has been launched in India by Bengaluru-based biotech company Stempeutics under the brand name StemOne.
    • A group company of the Manipal Education and Medical Group, Stempeutics has partnered with pharma major Alkem for marketing the therapy, which promises to be disease-modifying.
    • StemOne was granted approval by the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation recently.
    • The therapy, priced at Rs 1.25 lakh, may offer 35 million patients across the country a chance to substantially improve their quality of life without going under the scalpel.
    • Knee osteoarthritis is a chronic disease that affects a large number of the elderly and the obese and is characterized by degeneration of the cartilage inside the knee, which leads to pain, stiffness, and tenderness.
    • The latest drug, which will be in the form of an intra-articular injection, can be given on an outpatient basis without the need for anesthesia.
    • Stempeutics and Alkem said in a joint statement that clinical trials held in India have demonstrated significant improvement in pain relief and physical functions, as well as indicators towards the decreased progression of the disease and improvements in joint structure.
  • Indian Army: The Indian Army on 18 September invited the Indian defense industry to offer critical defense equipment for emergency procurement.
    • For this, proposals have been fielded for guns, missiles, drones, counter-drone, loiter ammunition, communication and optical systems, specialist vehicles, engineering equipment, and alternative energy resources.
    • The Indian Army added that the process of procurement will be based on compressed timelines, wherein the procurement window will be open to the Indian Industry for 6 months and the industry would be expected to deliver equipment within a year of signing the contract.
    • Procurement cases will be based on Open Tender Enquiry, the force said. 
    • Earlier in the day, the Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) Lt Gen BS Raju visited various Defence Industries and Research Laboratories including Missile Strategic Systems, Defence Research Development Lab, Centre for High Energy Systems & Sciences, Research Centre Imarat, and Bharat Dynamics Ltd at Hyderabad.
    • Lt Gen BS Raju was briefed on the latest research, development, and manufacturing projects being undertaken by the establishments.
    • In June this year, the Defence Acquisition Council cleared capital acquisition proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to ₹76,390 crore to ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ categories.

World


  • NASA: NASA is planning to perform a cryogenic demonstration test for the Artemis mission at 7.15 AM EDT (4.45 PM IST) on September 21.
    • Two previous attempts at launching the mission had to be aborted due to technical issues.
    • The second attempt was aborted because of a hydrogen fuel leak that was found while the Space Launch System’s (SLS) core stage was being fueled.
    • NASA is now targeting a September 27 launch date for the mission.
    • During the test, NASA teams will load supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into the SLS rocket.
    • The cryogenic demonstration test will help NASA teams confirm that the hydrogen leak has been repaired properly.
    • Apart from that, engineers will also evaluate updated propellant loading procedures and conduct additional evaluations.
    • The cryogenic demonstration will be aired live on NASA Television, the space agency’s app, and its website.
    • The live stream will be interrupted when the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carrying American astronaut Frank Rubio to the International Space Station launches, docks, and opens its hatch.

18th September


India


  • SBI: State Bank of India has launched a special deposit scheme on the occasion of the nation’s 76th year of Independence.
    • The special deposit scheme, ‘Utsav’ Deposit, is a limited period offer and will end on 28 October, the lender mentioned on its website.
    • This fixed deposit scheme has higher interest rates and is only available for a limited time.
  • RTO Services: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has issued a new notification that will ease the burden of citizens to avail transport-related services.
    • As many as 58 citizen-centric services related to driving license, conductor license, vehicle registration, permit, transfer of ownership, etc. can be now availed completely online, eliminating the need for people to visit the regional transport office.
    • MoRTH issued a notification in this regard on 16 September 2022 increasing 18 citizen-centric services to 58 services.
    • These services can be availed with the help of Aadhaar authentication, on a voluntary basis, the Ministry said on Saturday.
  • Direct Tax Collection: The finance ministry on Sunday said that the net direct tax collections grew 30 percent to Rs 8.36 lakh crore till September 17 of the current fiscal year on increased advance tax mop-up.
    • The gross collection of direct taxes (before adjusting for refunds) for FY 2022-23 stands at ₹8,36,225 crore compared to ₹6,42,287 crore in the corresponding period of the preceding financial year i.e. 2021-22, registering a growth of 30 percent over collections of 2021-22.
    • The cumulative advance tax collections for April-September stand at ₹2,95,308 crore as on September 17, up 17 percent over the year-ago period.
    • Gross collection of ₹8.36 lakh crore includes Corporate Income Tax at ₹4.36 lakh crore and Personal Income Tax (PIT), including Securities Transaction Tax at ₹3.98 lakh crore.
    • After adjusting for refunds, net collections rose 23 percent to ₹7,00,669 crore, compared to ₹5,68,147 crore in the corresponding period of 2021-22.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it mandatory for all credit and debit card data used in online, point-of-sale, and in-app transactions to be replaced with unique tokens by September 30 this year.
    • The deadline was extended by three months starting in July.
    • As per the RBI, tokenization refers to the replacement of actual card details with an alternate code called the “token”.
    • A tokenized card transaction is considered safer as the actual card details are not shared with the merchant during the processing of the transaction.
    • The cardholder can get the card tokenized by initiating a request on the app provided by the token requestor.
    • The token requestor will forward the request to the card network which, with the consent of the card issuer, will issue a token corresponding to the combination of the card, the token requestor, and the device.
    • The customer need not pay any charges for availing of this service.
    • Tokenisation can be performed only by the authorized card network and the list of authorized entities is available on the RBI website.
  • National Logistics Policy: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the National Logistics Policy (NLP) that aims to not only promote seamless movement of goods across the country but also improve the competitiveness of Indian goods in domestic as well as global markets.
    • According to the Prime Minister, the policy has not come out of the blue and there are eight years of hard work behind it.
    • To improve connectivity, the government has been doing systemic infrastructure development through schemes such as Sagarmala, Bharatmala, and Dedicated Freight Corridor.
    • An umbrella policy for the logistics sector has been in the works for around three-four years.
    • It was felt that the logistics cost in India is high compared to other developed economies.
    • India’s logistics cost as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is believed to be around 13-14 percent.
    • The government now aims to bring it down to single digits as soon as possible.
    • Efficiency in logistics can also increase a country’s exports, boost domestic manufacturing, and make India a more attractive destination for global investors.

World


  • NASA: Jupiter which is the largest planet in the solar system will make the closest approach to Earth in 70 years on 26 September, NASA said in a blog post.
    • As per NASA, from the viewpoint of Earth’s surface, opposition happens when an astronomical object rises in the east as the Sun sets in the west, placing the object and the Sun on opposite sides of Earth.
    • Jupiter’s opposition occurs every 13 months, making the planet appear larger and brighter than any other time of the year.
    • It is further said that Jupiter’s closest approach to Earth rarely coincides with opposition as both planets do not orbit the Sun in perfect circles, meaning the planets will pass each other at different distances throughout the year.
    • As per NASA, Jupiter will be approximately 365 million miles in distance from Earth.
    • At its farthest point, the planet is approximately 600 million miles away from Earth.

17th September


India


  • India’s Forex Reserves: The country’s foreign exchange reserves declined by USD 2.234 billion to stand at USD 550.871 billion for the week ended September 9, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Friday.
    • In the previous reporting week, the reserves had dropped by USD 7.941 billion to USD 553.105 billion.
    • The fall in the reserves during the reporting week was on account of a dip in the foreign currency assets (FCAs), a major component of the overall reserves, according to the Weekly Statistical Supplement released by the RBI.
    • The FCA’s decreased by USD 2.519 billion to USD 489.598 billion in the reporting week.
    • Expressed in dollar terms, the foreign currency assets include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US units like the euro, pound, and yen held in the foreign exchange reserves.
    • The value of the gold reserves increased by USD 340 million to USD 38.644 billion, the data showed.
    • The Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) dropped by USD 63 million to USD 17.719 billion.
    • The country’s reserve position with the IMF was up by USD 8 million to USD 4.91 billion in the reporting week, as per the data.
  • Gujarat: The Gujarat government accepted the long pending demand for a salary hike for Anganwadi workers and helpers who have been sitting on a dharna across the state since September 12, education minister Jitu Vaghani said on Friday.
    • Vaghani said that the existing salary of 51,229 Anganwadi workers who were paid ₹7,800 will now be paid ₹10,000, a hike of ₹2200.
    • This was decided following a meeting of various associations of Anganwadi workers.
    • He added that mini Anganwadi centers will also be upgraded into Anganwadi centers.
    • Similarly, the monthly salary for 51,229 Anganwadi helpers who are getting ₹3,950 as monthly salary has been hiked to ₹5,500.
    • A total of 53,029 Anganwadi centers are in Gujarat out of which 1800 are mini Anganwadi centers.
    • The Minister announced that these 1800 mini Anganwadi centers in interior and tribal areas would be upgraded to regular Anganwadi centers at an annual cost of ₹18.82 crores.
    • Anganwadi workers have been complaining that the mobile phones provided to them in 2019 are not functional anymore.
    • The government is yet to take a decision on whether to replace these with the new handsets or give them cash with which they can purchase on their own.
  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra’s Food and Drugs Administration or FDA has canceled the baby powder manufacturing license of Johnson & Johnson Pvt Ltd in the interest of public health at large.
    • In a release issued on Friday, the state government agency said the company’s product, Johnson’s Baby Powder, may affect the skin of newborn babies.
    • Samples of the powder for babies did not conform to standard pH value during a laboratory test, the regulator said in its statement, reported Press Trust of India.
    • The release said the action was taken after Kolkata-based Central Drugs Laboratory’s conclusive report that concludes the sample does not conform to IS 5339:2004 with respect to the test for pH.
    • According to the release, FDA had drawn samples of Johnson’s Baby Powder from Pune and Nashik for quality check purposes, reported Press Trust of India.
    • The government analyst had declared the samples as “not of the standard quality” as they do not comply with IS 5339:2004 specification for skin powder for infants in the test pH, it said.
    • Thereafter, FDA issued a show-cause notice to Johnson and Johnson under the Drugs Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules, besides issuing instructions to the company to recall the stock of the said product from the market, said the release.
  • India’s CAD: India’s current account deficit (CAD), a key indicator of the balance of payment of a country, is likely to remain within 3 percent of the GDP in 2022-23 as against 1.2 percent during the last fiscal, according to an article published in the Reserve Bank’s bulletin.
    • The widening trade deficit, or the gap between the value of imports and exports, puts pressure on the balance of payments.
    • India’s trade deficit during the first five months of 2022-23 widened to USD 124.5 billion from USD 54 billion in the previous corresponding period.
    • In the entire fiscal 2021-22, the trade deficit was USD 189.5 billion.
    • The article titled ‘State of the Economy’ said most importantly, future prices for crude oil contracts over the next few months have softened.
    • International prices of vegetable oils and fertilizers are also looking more benign than before.
    • There are other bright spots too, it said, and added that in August, exports of petroleum products have rebounded y-o-y.
    • Overall, the export target of USD 750 billion for goods and services for 2022-23 is appearing within reach.
    • In addition, India is cementing its position as the top remittances receiver in the world, with inflows touching USD 90 billion last year and set to create a new record, it said.

World


  • Germany: The German government says it is taking control of Russian oil giant Rosneft’s subsidiary in Germany, citing the need to ensure continued operations at three oil refineries in the country.
    • The Economy Ministry said in a statement Friday that Rosneft Deutschland GmbH and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH will be put under the control of Germany’s Federal Network Agency.
    • The agency will also control the companies’ shares in three refineries: PCK Schwedt, MiRo, and Bayernoil.
    • Rosneft accounts for about 12% of Germany’s oil refining capacity, it said.
    • The ministry said the move would help ensure continued energy supplies and is initially due to last for six months.

16th September


India


  • Small Companies: The government has revised the definition of ‘small’ companies, doubling the threshold for capital and turnover.
    • In a notification dated September 15, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs said the definition of ‘small’ companies under the Companies Act, 2013 was being changed to include those whose paid-up capital did not exceed Rs 4 crore and turnover was up to Rs 40 crore.
    • The earlier thresholds for paid-up capital and turnover were ₹2 crores and ₹20 crores, respectively.
    • The new thresholds come into effect immediately.
    • Some of the benefits, the government said, that will accrue to small companies on account of the revised definition include:
      • No need to prepare a cash flow statement as part of the financial statement
      • Advantages of preparing and filing an abridged annual return
      • Mandatory rotation of auditor not required; and (iv) Holding of only two board meetings in a year.
  • Chinese Loan Apps: The Enforcement Directorate on September 16 said it has frozen ₹46.67 crores worth of funds kept in payment gateways Easebuzz, Razorpay, Cashfree, and Paytm after it carried out raids this week against Chinese-controlled loan apps and investment tokens.
    • The funds have been frozen under the anti-money laundering law.
    • The searches were launched on September 14 at multiple premises of the accused in Delhi, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, and Gaya.
    • Sixteen premises of banks and payment gateways in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Bengaluru in respect of an investigation related to an app-based token named HPZ and related entities were also covered, the federal agency said in a statement.
    • The money laundering case stems from an October 2021 FIR filed by the cybercrime unit of Kohima Police in Nagaland, it said. “During the search, various incriminating documents have been recovered and seized”.
  • WHO: In revised treatment guidelines, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has strongly advised against the use of two antibody drugs – sotrovimab and casirivimab-imdevimab for patients with Covid-19, adding that these are likely to be ineffective against currently circulating variants such as Omicron.
    • These drugs work by binding to the Sars-CoV-2 spike protein, neutralizing the virus’s ability to infect cells.
    • Both had received emergency use authorization by the US FDA for treatment of severe Covid-19, as earlier trials showed some effect against the Delta variant of the virus, which had ravaged the world through most of 2021.
    • When making a strong recommendation against the use of monoclonal antibodies for patients with Covid-19, the group considered in vitro (lab-based) neutralization data.
    • Experts in India say that it is good that WHO has formally updated the guidelines as there was enough evidence to suggest that monoclonal antibodies will not work anymore.
  • Gautam Adani: Beating both Jeff Bezos and French luxury retail king Bernard Arnault, Indian billionaire Gautam Adani today become the world’s second richest person, according to Forbes Real-time Billionaires List, but lost his status quickly amid the market crash on Dalal Street.
    • During the day, Adani’s wealth had shot up to $155.7 billion but as most of the group’s stocks ended in the red he slipped back to the third position with a net worth of $152.6 billion.
    • According to the data, Adani’s wealth jumped $2.4 billion or 1.59 percent on Friday.
    • Bernard Arnault, who oversees the luxury goods company LVMH, was at spot No. 2 with his family’s net worth totaling around $153.1 billion.
    • Adani, however, remains ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is now at the fourth spot, with a wealth of $149.7 billion.
    • The combined market capitalization of all Adani Group stocks as of Thursday stood at ₹20.11 lakh crore as four of the counters have more than doubled so far in the calendar year.
  • PM Gati Shakti: Under the Pradhan Mantri Gati Shakti (PMGS), one of the more ambitious programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a total investment of more than ₹1 lakh crore has been approved for 22 major infrastructure projects.
    • The Network Planning Group (NPG) has recommended these projects for implementation.
    • The NPG is a group of officers of different departments under the PMGS.
    • Of these 22, eight are under the ministry of housing and urban affairs, six projects are under the ministry of railways, four are under the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, two projects are under the ministry of road transport and highways, and two are related to industrial corridors.
    • These include three corridors of the Delhi Mass Rapid Transport System (DMRTS), phase IV, for a total investment of ₹13,011.25 crores, The Thane internal metro rail project, worth ₹10,412 crores, extension of the Pune metro for Rs 3,668.04 crore, and the Noida metro extension for ₹2,456 crores.
    • Two Integrated Manufacturing Clusters (IMC) have been approved.
    • One at Rajpura in Punjab, with a total investment of Rs 1,367.72 crore, and the other at Udham Singh Nagar in Uttrakhand.
    • These IMCs will ensure speedy access to markets, an adequate supply of water and power, waste management, and recycling facilities for manufacturers and investors.

World


  • Canada: The 6th round of Canada’s Express Entry draw (since all-program draws resumed on July 6) was conducted by the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on Wednesday.
    • This time around a total of 3,250 invitations to apply (ITA) were issued by the immigration agency, the highest in the last three months.
    • IRCC paused all-program Express Entry draws for over 18 months, starting in December 2020.
    • During this time, only candidates eligible for permanent residence under the CEC or the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) were invited to apply.
    • However, CEC draws were also paused in September 2021.
    • So far this year Canada has welcomed 40,785 immigrants through Express Entry.
    • It is possible that if immigration continues at its current speed, Canada could even exceed the 2022 Immigration Levels Plan target of nearly 432,000.

15th September


India


  • Rupee Trade With Russia: India has decided to authorize the country’s biggest lender SBI to promote rupee trade with Russia and soon Moscow will name its bank to operationalize the mechanism, exporters’ body FIEO said on Wednesday.
    • The RBI in July issued a detailed circular asking banks to put in place additional arrangements for export and import transactions in Indian rupees in view of the increasing interest of the global trading community in the domestic currency.
    • Currently, a large part of bilateral trade between India and Russia is getting settled in the rupee due to sanctions the US and Europe imposed following Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
    • The RBI had said for settlement of trade transactions, the concerned banks will require special rupee Vostro accounts of correspondent bank/s of the partner trading country.
    • Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president A Sakthivel said that the SBI (State Bank of India) is equipped with doing business in rupee with Russia, but Moscow has to identify one bank.
    • FIEO has demanded from the government that rupee trade should be entitled to benefits currently available for trade-in major currencies.
  • RattanIndia: RattanIndia Enterprises on Wednesday launched its first anti-drone product “Defender”.
    • The anti-drone has been developed by RattanIndia Enterprises’ step-down subsidiary Throttle Aerospace Systems.
    • RattanIndia’s wholly-owned subsidiary NeoSky India Ltd acquired a 60% stake in Throttle Aerospace earlier this year.
    • Rattan India operates its drone business in India through NeoSky India.
    • The “Defender” will be a 70% indigenous product with a 30% import component of BLDC motors and batteries.
    • The manufacturing will take place at Throttle Aerospace’s Bengaluru manufacturing facility.
    • This product can work both manually and via artificial intelligence which helps it to adjust its position as per the rogue drone movement.
    • The soft-kill mechanism also helps in the retrieval of rogue drones, which can help in further probes.
    • While the company is producing around 45-50 drones every month, the manufacturing of Defender will be as per demand, officials from NeoSky and Throttle Aerospace said.
  • BMW: Germany’s luxury carmaker BMW has agreed to set up its auto part manufacturing unit in Punjab, said a state government release here on Tuesday.
    • A decision to this effect was taken during the visit of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to BMW headquarters in Germany on Tuesday.
    • Mann is currently on a visit to Germany to woo investors as his government promotes Punjab as the most preferred destination for doing business.
    • During the visit, the CM showcased the state government’s exemplary work to promote the industry in the state after which BMW agreed to set up its auto component unit in the state.
    • An official release quoting Mann said this would be the second unit of the company in India as one such unit was already operational in Chennai.
    • He said this will give a major boost to the industrial growth of the state and open new employment avenues for the youth.
    • The CM also invited BMW to collaborate with the state in the e-mobility sector.
    • He was apprised that e-mobility is a major sector of focus for the auto giant, which targets 50 percent of its global sales to consist of fully electric vehicles by 2030.
  • SBI: State Bank of India (SBI) hit the ₹5-trillion-mark in market capitalization for the first time on Wednesday after its shares touched a record high of ₹564.45, up 1 percent on the BSE in intra-day trade in an otherwise weak market.
    • With a market cap of ₹5.03 trillion, SBI stood at the seventh position in the overall market cap ranking, according to the data from BSE.
    • In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.85 percent at 60,058 at 09:42 AM.
    • With this, SBI has become the third lender in the country to cross the market cap of ₹5 trillion.
    • HDFC Bank, India’s largest private lender holds the first rank in this list, with a market cap of ₹8.38 trillion, followed by ICICI Bank, which has a market cap of ₹6.33 trillion, data shows.
    • In the past three months, SBI has outperformed the market by surging 26 percent, against a 13.9 percent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.
    • ICICI Bank has rallied 32 percent, while HDFC Bank has gained 15 percent during the same period.
    • SBI is the largest bank in India with a balance sheet size of over around ₹54 trillion crores (as of March 2022).
    • It has a healthy retail portfolio and the best-operating metrics among PSU banks.
  • CJI Lalit’s Tenure: Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit had made it clear that his primary objective during his short 74-day tenure would be to focus on listing and disposal of long-pending cases to reduce the massive backlog that has further multiplied during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • A total of 16,875 cases have been listed and 3,797 cases have been disposed of by the Supreme Court (SC) since CJI UU Lalit took over.
    • The data lists out details of all regular and miscellaneous cases taken up by the Supreme Court from August 29 to September 14, CJI Lalit’s first twelve days in office.
    • Miscellaneous cases are fresh cases that are listed either for admission or cases where notices have been issued.
    • Regular cases usually include older appeals that are awaiting their final hearing.
    • In the past 12 days, the Supreme Court has listed a total of 13,791 miscellaneous cases (including 2,447 transfer petitions) and 3,084 regular cases for hearing.
    • Out of these, 3,531 miscellaneous cases (including 1,202 transfer petitions) and 266 regular cases have been heard and disposed of by the apex court.
    • As per data available on the Supreme Court website, as of September 1, 2022, there were a total of 70,310 cases pending before the top court, including 51,839 miscellaneous matters and 18,471 regular matters.
    • If the current rate of disposal continues, by the end of his tenure, Justice Lalit would have cleared around 18 percent of this backlog or roughly 12,500 cases.

World


  • Climate Change: Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, an American retailer company of outdoor clothing, is donating the entire business he started some 50 years ago in an effort to fight climate change.
    • All corporate revenues will be donated to initiatives and groups working to combat the climate crisis, protect biodiversity, and protect wild lands.
    • Along with Mr. Chouinard, his wife and two adult children are also donating their stake in the apparel company to the noble cause.
    • With the title “Earth is now our only shareholder,” Mr. Chouinard penned a letter explaining his decision. The letter was posted on the Patagonia website on Wednesday.
    • The firm’s current turnover is $100 million and according to the NYT report, it plans to donate the entire amount every year.
  • WHO: The number of newly reported Covid-19 cases has dropped dramatically, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, urging the world to seize the opportunity to end the pandemic.
    • Newly reported cases of the disease, which has killed millions since being identified in late 2019, last week fell to the lowest level since March 2020, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
    • According to WHO’s latest epidemiological report on Covid-19, the number of reported cases fell 28 percent to 3.1 million during the week ending September 11, following a 12-percent-drop a week earlier.
    • Since the start of the pandemic, WHO has tallied more than 605 million cases, and some 6.4 million deaths, although both those numbers are also believed to be serious undercounts.
    • A WHO study published in May based on excess mortality seen in various countries during the pandemic estimated that up to 17 million people may have died from Covid in 2020 and 2021.
  • NASA’s Artemis 1: NASA’s Artemis 1 mission, scheduled to launch on September 27 after two failed launch attempts, will carry Arabidopsis thaliana (Thale cress) seeds into space to help scientists understand the impact of spaceflight beyond the Van Allen radiation belt on amino acids.
    • “Space crops” grown from such seeds could potentially help supply a proportion of the crew’s dietary requirements during future long-term crewed missions.
    • NASA will send seeds with elevated branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) levels on the Orion spacecraft.
    • These BCAAs are essential nutrients for plants and animals and the experiment will help scientists gain knowledge about how to remedy the negative impact that the space environment on seeds.
    • Human cells can synthesize some amino acids but essential amino acids, like BCAAs, can only be obtained through our diet.
    • BCAAs contribute directly to both plant growth and human nutrition.
    • NASA’s experiment, called “Life Beyond Earth: Effect of Space Flight on Seeds with Improved Nutritional Value,” will provide knowledge that can help improve practices for plant selection and seed transportation during future deep-space exploration missions.

14th September


India


  • Indian Trade Deficit: India’s trade deficit widened to $27.98 billion in August, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed on Wednesday.
    • The exports rose marginally by 1.62% to $33.92 billion.
    • The trade deficit in August 2021 came at $11.71 billion.
    • The imports rose by 37.28% to $61.9 billion in August 2022.
    • From April-August 2022-23, exports registered a growth of 17.68% to $193.51 billion.
    • Imports during the five-month period of this financial year grew by 45.74% to $318 billion.
    • The trade deficit widened to $124.52 billion in April-August this fiscal as against $53.78 billion in the same period in 2021.
    • Import of crude oil in August 2022 surged by 87.44% to $17.7 billion.
    • However, gold imports dipped by about 47% to $3.57 billion, government data showed.
    • On the other hand, silver imports soared to $684.34 million during the month under review from $15.49 million in the same month last year.
    • A rise in import values last month has been witnessed in major commodity groups like coal, coke, and briquettes (133.64% to $4.5 billion), chemicals (43% to around $3 billion), and vegetable oil (41.55% to nearly $2 billion).
  • IISc scientists: To combat tuberculosis, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have designed a new method under which a vaccine candidate for the disease can be delivered by making use of Outer Membrane Vesicles (OMVs).
    • These spherical vesicles, which can be delivered to immune cells, are secreted by bacteria coated on gold nanoparticles.
    • The deliverance is expected to potentially trigger an immune response to offer protection against TB.
    • Across the world, TB, which is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, claims the lives of over a million people every year.
    • Currently, BCG is the only effective vaccine against TB.
    • It contains a weakened form of the disease-causing bacterium, which when injected into the bloodstream, produces antibodies that can help fight the disease.
    • However, scientists have said that the BCG vaccine does not protect adolescents and adults as effectively as it does children.
    • Prompted by this, Rachit Agarwal, Assistant Professor at the Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering (BSSE), IISc, and his group worked on developing a potential subunit vaccine candidate that contains only parts of the infectious bacterium to stimulate an immune response.
  • RBI: With retail inflation surprising on the upside, the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is expected to increase the repo rate by 35-50 basis points (bps) in the review scheduled for September 28-30.
    • According to economists, the central bank will continue to focus on bringing inflation down even though economic growth has remained sluggish.
    • Data released by the government on Monday showed that the consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation increased by 7 percent year-on-year (YoY) in August, thus, staying above the upper tolerance limit of the central bank for all eight months of 2022.
    • The Index of Industrial Production (IIP), on the other hand, was disappointed as it grew at a slower pace of 2.4 percent YoY in July from a jump of 12.7 percent in June.
    • The rate-setting panel has increased the policy repo rate by 140 bps to 5.4 percent since May.
    • Yet real interest rates continue to stay negative as inflation has continued to stay above 6 percent.
    • CPI inflation is expected to average more than 6 percent for the current financial year.
    • According to the RBI Act, the central bank has a mandate to keep inflation at 4 percent, plus or minus 2 percent.
    • If average inflation stays beyond the 2-6 percent range for three consecutive quarters, it is seen as a failure of monetary policy, and the central bank is mandated to write a letter to the government explaining the reason for its failure and steps that would be taken to correct the situation.
    • A report by the State Bank of India said inflation is expected to fall in a ‘jiffy’ in the second half of the financial year.

World


  • US Annual Inflation: US annual inflation slowed slightly in August, largely thanks to falling gasoline prices but likely not enough to satisfy the Federal Reserve and President Joe Biden, as high prices continue inflicting pain on Americans.
    • The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, actually rose 0.1 percent in August compared to July, when prices were flat, the Labor Department said Tuesday, a disappointing result amid widespread expectations that inflation would fall in the month.
    • The annual inflation pace improved to 8.3 percent, higher than expected but slightly below the prior months and confirming a slowdown from the blistering 9.1 percent rate in June the highest in 40 years.
    • Prices have been soaring for months, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has impacted energy and food prices, as well as ongoing supply chain snarls amid Covid lockdowns in China.
    • The food index increased 11.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979, the report said.
    • Medical care also has been a key contributor, and auto prices have accelerated, rising 0.8 percent in the month, according to the report.
  • Google: Alphabet unit Google on Wednesday suffered its second setback in less than a year as Europe’s top court agreed with EU antitrust regulators that it had abused its dominance but trimmed the fine by 5% because of a disagreement on one point.
    • Google lost its challenge to a 2.42 billion euro ($2.42 billion) fine last year, the first of a trio of cases.
    • The ruling is a boost for EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager following setbacks in cases involving other tech giants such as Intel and Qualcomm this year.
    • The competition chief of the European Commission has cracked down on Big Tech with hefty fines to ensure a level playing field in the 27-country European Union.
    • The Commission in its 2018 decision said Google used Android to cement its dominance in general internet search via payments to large manufacturers and mobile network operators and restrictions.
    • Google said it acted like countless other businesses and that such payments and agreements help keep Android a free operating system, criticizing the EU decision as out of step with the economic reality of mobile software platforms.
    • The parties can appeal on matters of law to the EU Court of Justice, Europe’s highest.

13th September


India


  • HTS Broadband: Hughes Communications on Monday announced the commercial launch of India’s first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) broadband internet service.
    • The service will provide high-speed satellite internet across the country, including in remote locations that are unserviceable by terrestrial networks, using the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)’s GSAT-11 and GSAT-29 communication satellites.
    • The service supports applications such as WiFi hotspots for community internet access, managed SD-WAN solutions, backhaul for mobile networks, and satellite internet for small businesses, the statement said.
    • Shivaji Chatterjee, Executive Vice President and business head, Hughes Communication India (HCI), said the HTS service was launched a year ago in northern parts of the country, including in the frontier areas of Galwan valley in Ladakh.
  • G20: India will assume the presidency of the G20 from December and host the summit of leaders of the world’s twenty largest economies in New Delhi during September 9-10, 2023.
    • India is set to take over the presidency of G20 for a year from Indonesia, which is set to host the leaders’ summit in November.
    • The country will hold the presidency from 1st December 2022 to 30th November 2023.
    • Under its Presidency, India is expected to host more than 200 preparatory and other meetings across the country, beginning in December this year.
    • An exercise is already underway to identify suitable venues in places ranging from Tamil Nadu to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for hosting these meetings.
    • India will take over after twice swapping the presidency of the G20, first with Italy in 2021 and then with Indonesia in 2022.
    • Indonesia has invited both the Russian and Ukrainian presidents to the G20 Summit to be held in Bali during November 15-16.

World


  • United States: US equity-index futures plunged as the Labor Department’s consumer price index report on Tuesday showed monthly CPI increased at an annual pace of 8.3%, more than economists’ median estimate of 8.1%, cementing bets of a large 75-basis-point rate hike from the Federal Reserve next week.
    • A steep decline in gasoline prices helped cool inflation, but costs for food, housing, and autos continued to soar.
    • Though still painfully high, that was down from an 8.5% jump in July and a four-decade high of 9.1% in June.
    • On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.1%, after a flat reading in July.
    • Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices surged 0.6% from July to August, higher than many analysts had predicted and a sign of inflation’s persistence.
    • This is the last major data ahead of the Fed’s 20-21 September meeting.
    • Slowing inflation may allow the Federal Reserve to consider easing off the brakes.
    • The Fed has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate four times this year.

12th September


India


  • Airline Hiring: Several domestic airlines and one international airline have announced vacancies for the position of cabin crew and pilots across multiple locations in India.
    • The sudden demand for crew comes as passenger volumes have seen a significant surge following the two-year Covid-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.
    • Air Aisa India and Vistara have conducted their recruitment drives, and Qatar, IndiGo, and Air India are still looking for candidates.
    • Rating agency ICRA in a report has highlighted that domestic carriers recorded a year-on-year growth of 57.7% in passenger traffic to 84.2 million for 2021-22 (April-March). 
  • Indian Unicorns: India was home to over one hundred unicorns with a total value of USD 250 billion which have managed to raise over USD 63 billion in the last few years, Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday.
    • Nearly 25 percent of the start-ups in the Silicon Valley were managed by people of Indian origin and it was a matter of pride, she said at an event.
    • The start-up eco-system was built well in the country and all the one hundred unicorns were valued at USD 250 billion and have managed to raise over USD 63 billion from the capital markets, she said addressing new graduates at the 10th Convocation of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design, and Manufacturing, Kancheepuram near here.
  • IIT Madras: Global technology giant IBM on September 12 announced that the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) became the first Indian institution to join the IBM Quantum Network.
    • As a member of this network, IIT Madras will get cloud-based access to IBM’s most advanced quantum computing systems and IBM’s quantum expertise to explore practical applications and realize the wide-ranging benefits of this technology for business and society.
    • In 2019, IBM’s Quantum System One was the first circuit-based commercial introduced.
    • Quantum Computing involves using quantum mechanics or mathematical descriptions of the motion and interaction of subatomic particles for superfast calculations by the virtue of superposition, interference, and entanglement.
    • With this development, IIT-Madras will join a network of 180 global members including a community of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, academic institutions, and research labs.
    • Only around 50 of these members are academic institutions.
    • The members will be researching and exploring how quantum computing will help a ‎variety of industries and disciplines, including finance, energy, chemistry, materials science, ‎optimization, and machine learning.
    • India, the company said, is among the top 5 adopters of quantum computing globally for IBM.

World


  • NASA’s DART: NASA’s DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) spacecraft is scheduled to crash into the asteroid Dimorphos at approximately 7.14 PM EDT on September 26 (4.44 AM IST on September 27).
    • The mission will test a method that could be used to redirect asteroids that pose a threat to our planet.
    • Using the impact of a massive object like a spacecraft to divert asteroids is called the “kinetic impact method” of asteroid impact avoidance.
    • The 160-meter-wide asteroid Dimorphos orbits the much larger asteroid Didymos, which is about 780 meters wide.
    • After DART crashes into Dimorphos, it will ever so slightly change the way that it orbits Didymos.
    • Telescopes on our planet and in space including the Webb Telescope and Hubble will be trained on this asteroid system to take measurements of the changes in the system.

11th September


India


  • Vande Bharat: Semi high-speed train ‘Vande Bharat’ express broke the record of the bullet train on its trial run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai on Friday by achieving the speed of 100 km/hr in 52 seconds.
    • Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said it was a “proud moment” for Indian Railways as the trial run of the third rake of the Vande Bharat train was completed and with a green signal from the Railway Safety Commissioner.
    • Talking about the ministry’s focus on not just producing trains but maintaining the tracks for running high-speed trains, the minister admired the new Vande Bharat Express and said, “We have shown that a fully loaded water glass has not shaken at the speed of 180kmph, but, it shook the world”.
    • The minister also informed that now since the trial run of Vande Bharat is completed, serial production of the rest 72 trains will start soon.
    • The maximum speed of the third Vande Bharat train is 180 km/h whereas the first generation Vande Bharat trains have a maximum speed of 160 km/h and reach 0-100 kmph in 54.6 seconds and have, the minister said.
  • DU Admission 2022: The University of Delhi admission portal which will open tomorrow, i.e. September 12, for undergraduate courses will close on October 3.
    • To apply for admission to the University of Delhi, students can register on the official website — admission.uod.ac.in.
    • This year, DU will admit students on the basis of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG.
    • The University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar said that they are aiming to release the CUET-UG results by September 15.
    • Candidates interested in Delhi University’s undergraduate programmes will have to apply via the Common Seat Allocation System (CSAS) application form available on the common portal once the portal is launched and make a one-time (non-refundable) payment at this stage of application.
    • In the second phase, if the candidate is eligible for their desired programme, they will be able to select the programme and college combinations they prefer.
    • The third phase is the allotment of seats, which will take place in multiple rounds.
    • Once the merit list is declared, the candidate will have to check the seat and college allotted on the common admission portal.

World


  • China: China plans to launch three unmanned missions to the moon over the next 10 years, as it seeks to rival the US in the new era of space exploration.
    • China’s National Space Administration, its equivalent of NASA, received approval to send three orbiters to the moon as part of the Chang’e lunar program, said Liu Jizhong.
    • The announcement came a day after China said it discovered a new lunar mineral, via samples retrieved by its Chang’e-5 mission.
    • Named Changesite-(Y), it was described by the state-run Xinhua news agency as a kind-of colorless transparent columnar crystal.
    • It is said to contain helium-3, an isotype that’s been speculated as a future energy source.
    • China has ramped up its ambitions in space in recent years, sending probes to the moon, building its own space station, and setting its sights on Mars, plans that have put it in direct competition with the US.
    • NASA has a rover on the Red Planet and is seeking to put astronauts on the moon again this decade.
    • Both countries are eyeing the moon’s minerals with space mining expected to be the next source of tension.

10th September


India


  • CCI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday proposed a set of self-regulatory measures for cab aggregation services with respect to surge pricing.
    • According to various measures recommended by CCI, cab aggregators should provide customers with a general description of various components of total fare with clear mention of the surge component in the invoice.
    • In case of rude cancellation, drivers should be notified in a transparent manner what portion of the cancellation charge is taken by the cab aggregator, and what portion is passed on to the drivers.
  • SpiceJet: Low-cost airline SpiceJet today announced that Ashish Kumar will be the new CFO of the company.
    • Kumar worked as Vice President and head of corporate finance at Interglobe Enterprise, the company which owns around 37 percent stake in rival carrier IndiGo.
    • Prior to that, Ashish was Head of Finance at Tata Value Homes and Suzlon Infrastructure The company announced the resignation of former CFO Sanjeev Taneja last week.
    • SpiceJet is in urgent need of recapitalization reporting losses of ₹316 crores, ₹934 crores, ₹998 crores, and ₹1,725 crores in FY19, FY20, FY21, and FY22, respectively.
  • NITI Aayog: As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, in the first-ever disbursement under any PLI scheme, an empowered committee headed by NITI Aayog CEO on Friday reportedly approved 32 beneficiaries under the production-linked incentive scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing, including 10 for mobile manufacturing, the Aayog said.
    • Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes are a cornerstone of the government’s push for accomplishing the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, as per the NITI Aayog release.
    • NITI Aayog in a tweet informed the Parameswaran Iyer-headed committee approved the first incentive for mobile manufacturing under the PLI scheme for large-scale electronics manufacturing.
  • Gross Direct Tax: Gross direct tax collections in the ongoing fiscal year till September 8 totaled `6.48 lakh crore, up 35.46% compared with the tax collected in the same period of the last fiscal year.
    • Net of refunds, direct tax collections since April 1 increased 30.17% to Rs 5.29 lakh crore, data showed.
    • The net collection is 37.24% of the direct tax collection estimated in the budget for this fiscal year, the Central Board of Direct Taxes said in a statement.
    • The Income Tax Department has issued refunds amounting to Ra 1.19 lakh crore, 65.29% higher than in the year-ago period.
    • The Centre expects its net direct tax collection to exceed the Rs 14.20 lakh crore target set in the budget for this fiscal.
  • Reliance Industries: Reliance Petroleum Retail (under name change to ‘Reliance Polyester’), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, on Saturday acquired the polyester business of Shubhalakshmi Polyesters (SPL) and Shubhlaxmi Polytex (SPTex) for ₹1,522 crores and ₹70 crores.
    • The acquisitions are subject to approval by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and the respective lenders of SPL and SPTex.
    • SPL has a continuous polymerization capacity of around 2,52,000 MT/annum and manufactures polyester fiber, yarns, and textile grade chips through direct polymerization route as well as extruder spinning with value addition through texturizing.
    • It has two manufacturing facilities located in Dahej (Gujarat) and Silvassa (Dadra and Nagar Haveli).
    • SPTex has a texturized yarn manufacturing facility in Dahej.
  • India’s Foreign Exchange: India’s foreign exchange reserves dropped by $8 billion to $553.11 billion as of the week ended September 2, the lowest since October 9, 2020, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on 9th September.
    • The $8 billion decline in reserves was the most since July 8.
    • The reserves stood at $561.05 billion in the prior week, or in the week ended August 26, and have fallen for five consecutive weeks.
    • The decline in reserves was led by a drop in foreign currency assets to $492.12 billion, down from $498.65 billion in the prior week.
    • Gold assets also fell to $38.30 billion as on September 2, down from $39.64 billion in the week prior.
    • The RBI is responsible to prevent wild fluctuations in the rupee.
    • Whenever the rupee has depreciated significantly, the RBI has stepped into the market by selling dollars from its forex kitty, according to money market participants.
    • The rupee has been quite volatile of late as several central banks across the world tightened monetary policy to curb record inflation rates, shrinking the global liquidity pool.

World


  • Australia: The remnants of millions of years old coral reef has been discovered in the middle of an Australian desert.
    • The reef has been discovered in the Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia, which has now been transformed into a 76,000-square-mile desert with limestone bedrock, said a report in Newsweek.
    • However, during the Cenozoic era, some 14 million years ago, the reef was believed to be submerged under a tropical ocean.
    • Scientists from Curtin University’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences in Perth have identified these coral reefs as a bull’s-eye form in fresh and high-resolution satellite photos, the outlet further said.
    • The discovery challenged their prior beliefs that the Nullarbor Plain had never had any features.

9th September


India


  • US Visa: US missions in India have issued 82,000 student visas so far in 2022, higher than in any previous year, and Indian students received more American student visas than any other country.
    • The US embassy in New Delhi and the consulates in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai prioritized the processing of student visa applications from May to August to ensure that as many qualified students as possible made it to their programmes of study in time for scheduled start dates, the embassy said in a statement.
    • This also highlights the important contributions Indian students “make to both our countries as they build life-long connections with American peers to maintain and grow international partnerships”, Lacina said.
    • Don Heflin, the minister counselor for consular affairs, said, “International student mobility is central to US diplomacy, and nowhere is the contribution of students bigger than in India.”
    • Indian students comprise nearly 20% of all international students in the US, with the “Open Doors” report in 2021 showing there were 167,582 students from India during the 2020-21 academic year.
    • The US has remained open to international students throughout the pandemic, and the US government and higher education institutions implemented measures in 2020 to safely welcome international students in-person, online, and via hybrid learning methods.
  • Rice Exports: India on Thursday imposed a 20% duty on exports of various grades of rice, according to a statement seen by Reuters, as the world’s biggest exporter of the grain tries to calm local prices.
    • The tax would discourage buyers from making purchases from India and prompt them to shift towards rivals Thailand and Vietnam, which have been struggling to increase shipments and raise prices.
    • The government has excluded parboiled and basmati rice from the export duty, but white and brown rice will draw the duty, which accounts for more than 60% of India’s exports, said B.V. Krishna Rao, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association.
    • India accounts for more than 40% of global rice shipments and competes with Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Myanmar in the world market.
    • Below-average rainfall in key rice-producing states such as West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh has raised concerns over rice production in India which has already banned wheat exports and restricted sugar shipments this year.
    • Indian exports would fall by at least 25% in the coming months because of the duty, said Himanshu Agarwal, executive director at Satyam Balajee, India’s biggest rice exporter.
    • India’s rice exports touched a record 21.5 million tonnes in 2021, more than the combined shipments of the world’s next four biggest exporters of grain: Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and the United States.
    • India exports rice to more than 150 countries, and any reduction in its shipments would fuel food inflation.
    • The grain is a staple for more than 3 billion people, and when India banned exports in 2007, global prices shot to new peaks.
  • NITI Aayog: NITI Aayog, in collaboration with World Resources Institute (WRI), India, launched the country’s first national electric freight platform e-FAST India (Electric Freight Accelerator for Sustainable Transport – India) on Thursday.
    • Supported by the World Economic Forum, CALSTART, and RMI India, the platform brings different stakeholders together, from across the freight ecosystem.
    • It will help strengthen partnerships and identify and support innovative freight solutions.
    • The platform also aims to raise awareness of freight electrification bolstered by on-ground demonstration pilots and evidence-based research.
    • It will also support scalable pilots and inform policies aimed at accelerating freight electrification in India.
    • The launch of the e-FAST India platform witnessed participation from major automobile industry players, logistics companies, development banks, and fin-tech companies.
    • The launch was followed by WRI India unveiling its Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) EValuator.
    • The TCO Evaluator is an intuitive excel-based application. It analyses cost components and performance parameters of light/medium/heavy-duty freight and compares electric variants with their diesel/petrol/CNG counterparts, to identify their impact on TCO per km.
    • This comparison offers valuable insights to policymakers, fleet operators, manufacturers, and owners.
    • During the event, NITI Aayog and RMI also released a report that highlights how India can capture the far-reaching benefits of a Zero-Emission Trucks (ZETs) future through a blend of technology advancement, innovative business models, policy, and financing.
  • PM SHRI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the PM SHRI (PM Schools for Rising India) scheme under which 14,500 schools, to be identified in consultation with states and Union Territories, will be upgraded at a cost of Rs 27,360 crore over the next five years.
    • PM SHRI will be a new Centrally sponsored scheme where the Government will bear 60 percent of the implementation cost while states will be responsible for the remaining 40 percent, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.
    • The scheme will be open to states that agree to implement the NEP 2020 in its entirety.
    • States/UTs would sign (the) MoU agreeing to implement NEP in entirety with (the) Centre laying down the commitments for supporting these schools for achieving specified quality assurance as PM SHRI schools, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Education.
    • Pradhan said the objective of the exercise is to have a set of model schools at least two in every block where key components of the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 are showcased.
    • The schools will be chosen after a rigorous assessment following applications from state governments, he said.
    • The scheme is open to schools run by the Centre, such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, as well as those run by the state governments and local bodies.
    • To qualify for the scheme, the schools will have to meet a prescribed benchmark involving about 60 parameters, from the availability of electricity to toilets.
    • The Education Minister said that under the scheme, which is expected to cover 18 lakh students, money will be transferred “directly to school authorities”.
    • Moreover, flexibility will be provided so that schools can choose the areas where up to 40 percent of the total funds are to be spent.
    • Last month, the Centre informed the Lok Sabha that most states and Union Territories have initiated action on NEP while West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are yet to inform the status of implementation.

World


  • Queen Elizabeth II: Britain’s longest-serving monarch Queen Elizabeth II died at 96.
    • She reigned for 70 years.
    • The royal family – the Queen’s son and heir Prince Charles, grandsons William and Harry, and their families have gathered at her Balmoral retreat in the Scottish highlands, where she spent her last days.
    • The UK celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to mark 70 years of service to the nation with grand events in June.
    • In 2015, Queen Elizabeth became the longest-serving British monarch, surpassing her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.
    • This year, she became the world’s second longest reigning monarch.
  • WHO: World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that even as COVID cases and fatalities related to the infection continue to decline, still the pandemic is not over.
    • WHO chief said that it is ‘encouraging’ that COVID infection and deaths are declining but, still one person is dying of it every 44 seconds. And for monkeypox, he said it is the ‘most dangerous time’.
    • Explaining this, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, a downward trend can be the most dangerous time if it opens the door to complacency.
    • WHO continues to recommend that all countries persist with a tailored combination of public health measures, testing, research & targeted vaccination, where vaccines are available, the WHO chief added.
    • On Covid, he said, the global decline in reported COVID19 cases and deaths is continuing. This is very encouraging but there is no guarantee these trends will persist.
  • Indian-American: Vedant Patel, the Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the US Department of State, has created history by becoming the first Indian-American to hold the daily State Department news conference that his fellow colleagues said did with the utmost professionalism and clear communication.
    • With State Department Spokesperson Ned Price on vacation, the 33-year-old Patel from California on Tuesday took the briefing room in the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department to represent the country on foreign policy issues before the media.
    • During his briefing, Patel covered topics ranging from Russia’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, negotiations around the JCPOA, and Liz Truss becoming the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
    • Vedant Patel made an impressive debut from the podium. “Kudos to” Vedant Patel on his podium debut, tweeted Matt Hill, senior Associate Communications Director at the White House.
    • Mr. Patel, who was born in Gujarat, is a graduate from the University of California, Riverside, and previously served as an Assistant Press Secretary and Spokesperson for President Biden in The White House.
  • Artemis III: NASA has selected Axiom Space to develop a moonwalking system for the Artemis III, which will put humans back on the surface of the Moon for the first time in 50 years.
    • The contract, with a base value of $228.5 million is a task order to develop the next-generation Artemis spacesuit and supporting systems and to demonstrate their use on the lunar surface during Artemis III.
    • The space agency used its 50 years of spacesuit experience to define the technical and safety requirements for the next generation of spacesuits.
    • Houston-based Axiom Space will be responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification, and production of the spacesuits and support equipment.
    • The astronaut testing, mission planning, and approval of the service systems will be conducted by NASA experts and Axiom will have to test the suits in a spacelike environment before Artemis III.
    • The space agency’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program (EHP) will manage the spacesuit contract, which help the agency advance its spacewalking capabilities in low-Earth orbit and on the Moon.

8th September


India


  • Airtel: India’s second-largest telco Airtel will launch its 5G services within a month, the company’s chief executive Gopal Vittal said in a letter to its customers.
    • He added that by December, Airtel users in key metros will be able to avail of 5G services, and it expects to cover all of urban India by the end of 2023.
    • He also outlined the steps for users to access Airtel’s 5G services. “Your Airtel SIM is already 5G enabled.
  • DRDO: The Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile (QRSAM) weapon system has undergone successful trials and all mission objectives were met during these tests.
    • This was stated by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Thursday.
    • As per details available, the DRDO and the Indian Army conducted six successful flight tests of the QRSAM system from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur off the Odisha coast.
    • DRDO said the flight tests were carried out as part of evaluation trials by the Army.
    • The system was also put to test for performance evaluation under day and night operation scenarios.
    • The DRDO said the tests were successful and all the mission objectives were met, thereby establishing “pin-point accuracy of the QRSAM weapon system with state-of-the-art guidance and control algorithms including warhead chain”.
    • The data that established the successful performance of the weapon system was captured by several range instruments including telemetry, radar, and electro-optical tracking systems (EOTS) deployed by ITR.
  • Vodafone-Idea: The government will acquire a stake in debt-ridden Vodafone Idea after the stock price of the company stabilizes at ₹10 or above.
    • Vodafone Idea (VIL) board has offered a stake to the government at a par value of ₹10 per share.
    • There is a SEBI norm that the acquisition should take place at par value.
    • DoT will clear the acquisition after VIL shares stabilize at ₹10 or above.
    • VIL shares are trading below ₹10 since April 19.
    • The stock declined by 1.02 percent to trade at ₹9.68 on BSE on Thursday.
    • The finance ministry had cleared the proposal to acquire a stake in VIL in July.
    • Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) has decided to opt for converting about ₹16,000 crores of interest liability payable to the government into equity which will amount to around 33 percent stake in the company while promoters’ holding will come down from 74.99 percent to 50 percent.
    • The government has given telecom operators an option of paying the interest for four years of deferment on the deferred spectrum installments and AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues by way of conversion into equity of the NPV of such interest amount.
  • Canara Bank: The public sector lender Canara Bank has revised service charges for savings accounts.
    • The service charges for both financial and non-financial transactions will go into effect on September 20, 2022, according to a press release note issued by the bank.
    • Canara Bank has said in its press release note that “Service charges in respect of financial and non-financial transactions done through Canara Bank BC Agents / Other Bank BC Agents in Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts and Non-Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts are introduced with effect from 20/09/2022.”
    • For financial transactions such as cash deposits, cash withdrawals, and fund transfers done through other banks’ BCAs, Canara Bank will now charge a service fee of ₹30 plus GST per transaction.
    • For non-financial transactions such as generating mini statements, done through another bank BCAs, the bank will now impose a service charge of ₹6 plus GST per transaction.
    • For financial transactions done through Canara Bank BC Agents (BCAs), the bank will now charge a service fee of ₹25 plus GST.
    • For non-financial transactions done through Canara Bank BC Agents (BCAs), no service charge will be imposed by the bank.
  • HDFC: HDFC Bank has hiked its Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) across all tenors for borrowers 10 basis points (bps) with effect from today, 7 September 2022.
    • One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
    • A hike in the MCLR rate implies an increase in loan interests for new and existing borrowers, including equated monthly installments (EMIs) for home loans, vehicle loans, and any other loan related to marginal cost.
    • Under the revised rates, effective today, HDFC Bank’s one-year MCLR has increased to 8.2 percent, while the overnight MCLR rose to 7.9 percent, as per information posted on the bank’s website.
    • The one-year MCLR is considered important from a retail loans perspective, as a bank’s long-term loans like home loans are linked to this rate.
    • For the one-month, three-month, and six-month tenor, the MCLR will be 7.90%, 7.95%, and 8.05% respectively.
    • Last month, HDFC Bank raised the marginal cost of fund-based lending rates by 5-10 basis points across various tenors.
    • MCLR came in April 2016 wherein the banks were given the formula to calculate their cost of funding and then conduct monthly reviews of their offerings across various tenors.
    • Each bank calculates its MCLR by taking into account factors such as its incremental cost of raising funds (say, via deposits) and operating expenses, among others.

World


  • Google: Google on 8th September announced a limited-period pilot to start offering real-money games such as Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and Rummy apps on its app marketplace Google Play in India amid the rising popularity of these applications in the country.
    • The move by Google will likely be a huge shot in the arm for Indian real-money gaming apps that currently account for the majority of the industry’s revenue in the country.
    • Real money games accounted for about 51 percent of the overall gaming industry revenue that reached around $1.8 billion in the financial year 2020, according to a recent report by gaming and interactive media venture fund Lumikai and consulting firm Redseer.
    • The sector has minted three unicorns so far – Dream11, Mobile Premier League, and Games 24×7 – which were side loaded until now, as they were not allowed on the Play Store.
  • United States: The Biden administration has approved a $450 million F-16 fighter jet fleet sustainment programme to Pakistan to help it meet current and future counterterrorism threats, in Washington’s first major security assistance to Islamabad in four years.
    • In 2018, Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump suspended about $2 billion in security aid to Islamabad for failing to clamp down on the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network terror groups and dismantle their safe havens in the country.
    • In a notification to the US Congress on Wednesday, the State Department said it has approved a possible foreign military sale of the F-16 case for sustainment and related equipment for an estimated cost of $450 million, arguing that this will sustain Islamabad’s capability to meet current and future counterterrorism threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet.
    • The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale on Wednesday.
  • NASA: NASA has selected Axiom Space to develop a moonwalking system for the Artemis III, which will put humans back on the surface of the Moon for the first time in 50 years.
    • The contract, with a base value of $228.5 million is a task order to develop the next-generation Artemis spacesuit and supporting systems and to demonstrate their use on the lunar surface during Artemis III.
    • The space agency used its 50 years of spacesuit experience to define the technical and safety requirements for the next generation of spacesuits.
    • Houston-based Axiom Space will be responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification, and production of the spacesuits and support equipment.
    • The astronaut testing, mission planning, and approval of the service systems will be conducted by NASA experts and Axiom will have to test the suits in a spacelike environment before Artemis III.
    • The space agency’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program (EHP) will manage the spacesuit contract, which help the agency advance its spacewalking capabilities in low-Earth orbit and on the Moon.

7th September


India


  • PDRD: The central government on September 6 released the sixth installment of the post-devolution revenue deficit (PDRD) grant, cumulatively amounting to ₹7,183 crores, to 14 states.
    • The grant has been released as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, the Ministry of Finance said.
    • The PDRD grants are provided to the states under Article 275 of the Constitution and are aimed at meeting the gap in revenue accounts of the states post-devolution.
    • The 15th Finance Commission has recommended a total revenue deficit grant of ₹86,201 crores to 14 states for the financial year 2022-23.
    • The amount is released by the finance ministry to the recommended states in 12 equated monthly installments.
  • Flipkart: Walmart-owned e-commerce company Flipkart has entered the hotel-booking segment ahead of the festive season, more than a year after it acquired online travel aggregator Cleartrip in a bid to diversify its presence across digital commerce segments.
    • The company said that the new hotel-booking feature, Flipkart Hotels, on its platform will provide customers with the opportunity to book hotel rooms across 3 lakh domestic and international hotels.
    • The feature will come with add-on benefits such as flexible travel and booking-related policies, easy EMI options to make travel affordable, and budget-friendly options, among others.
    • The platform will further enable users to avail of third-party offers on the Flipkart platform.
    • The company has also set up a dedicated customer care center to support customers with user-related queries arising from the hotel booking service.
  • New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi is working on a “mega decongestion project” to ensure smoother traffic on the capital’s roads, the party announced today on Twitter.
    • 77 corridors will be decongested, with high-traffic density zones getting cleared first.
    • Roads will be redesigned, flyovers, underpasses, and foot over bridges will be constructed at a large scale, AAP said.
    • AAP did not specify if there are plans to improve the drainage system too; even light rains often cause huge traffic jams in the city, as the roads are easily inundated.
    • Improved infrastructure, ensuring the unhindered movement of traffic, might also contribute to reducing pollution emanating from vehicles that have to stay longer on the roads with their engines turned on.
    • The Delhi government, while attempting to reduce air pollution during the winter, also appeals to commuters to turn off their engines when they are waiting at a traffic signal as the emissions contribute to deteriorating air quality.
  • FSSAI: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has suspended the licenses of 16 food business operators for not complying with the regulator’s latest norms of labeling and displaying the calorie count of dishes on their menus.
    • This comes a day after a report stated that the food regulator had sent notices to eateries over the same. 
    • The regulator’s latest norms, which were notified in November 2020, make it mandatory for restaurants with central licenses or more than 10 outlets to mention the calorific value (kcal per serving and serving size) of items on their menus, boards, or booklets.
    • The last date for restaurants to comply with these norms was January 1, 2022, but it was later extended to 1st July.
    • The FSSAI officials inspected nearly 500 food business operators, who have central and state licenses.
    • While 71 licensees, who were non-compliant, said they will make the changes and sought more time, 16 operators did not respond.
    • Thus, their licenses were suspended.

World


  • Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia’s economy will decline by 2-2.5 percent, about six months after he declared a “special military operation” in Ukraine.
    • As Russia declared a war on Ukraine, the other nations reacted to it by imposing sanctions on Moscow and on the two daughters of President Vladimir Putin.
    • However, even though Russia has been hit by a number of sanctions, Vladimir Putin has maintained that his country will emerge stronger from his invasion of Ukraine.
    • The Russian president said Russia will post a budget surplus this year, as the Russian economy is on track to post a small contraction for the year.
    • Vladimir Putin said Russia’s budget surplus would come in at 0.5 trillion roubles in 2022, and the GDP would fall by “around 2% or a little more”.
    • Vladimir Putin also said that Russia had “gained, not lost”, from the conflict in Ukraine because it was embarking on a new sovereign path that would restore its global clout.
    • Russia declared a war on Ukraine on 24 February 2022 in a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War that began in 2014.
  • NASA: NASA’s second attempt to launch the Artemis 1 mission had to be scrubbed because of a hydrogen leak in a “quick disconnect” interface between the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the liquid hydrogen fuel feed line.
    • The space agency will replace the faulty seal that caused the leak while the rocket is still at the launchpad.
    • During a post-scrub press conference, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development James Free expressed his belief that the vehicle will have to be rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) because the Flight Termination System (FTS) batteries on the board will likely have to be tested and recharged.
    • Both Free and Artemis mission manager Michael Sarafin concluded that the final decision will lie with the Range Flight Safety team at the space agency, which addresses hazards during spaceflight operations.
    • While NASA would need to roll back the rocket back to the VAB based on current certification requirements, the space agency is yet to announce whether and when that is happening.
    • NASA did announce yesterday that mission technicians will replace the faulty seal that caused the liquid hydrogen leak while the rocket is still at the launchpad.

6th September


India


  • TSPSC: Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) has commenced the online application process for recruitment to the posts of assistant executive engineers in several engineering services.
    • Interested and eligible candidates can apply online at tspsc.gov.in
    • The application process will begin on September 22 and the last date to apply is October 15.
    • To be eligible, candidates must be in the age group 18 to 44 years of age.
  • Tata Motors: Tata Motors on Monday launched the country’s first CNG truck in the medium and heavy commercial (M&HCV) vehicle segment in the 28- and 19-tonne nodes.
    • Most truck makers, including Tata Motors, currently offer CNG only in the small and light commercial vehicle segments.
    • The company also launched a fleet of seven trucks in the intermediary and light commercial vehicle (I&LCV) segment, meant for varied applications.
    • With the launch of the new advanced trucks that boast a host of features, including the new-age Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), Tata Motors is hoping to create strong differentiation and recoup some market share it has lost in recent months.
  • DCGI: India’s first intranasal Covid vaccine by Bharat Biotech received DCGI approval on Tuesday for primary immunization against the infection for people above the age of 18.
    • Lauding the achievement, Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya said, it is a ‘Big Boost to India’s Fight Against COVID-19’.
    • Last month after completing the phase-III and booster dose trials for its intranasal Covid-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech said it had conducted two separate trials for its intranasal Covid vaccine, one as a primary dose schedule and another as a booster dose, for subjects who have been double vaccinated with the two commonly administered Covid vaccines in India.
    • It has proven to be safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic in subjects in controlled trials, BBIL said in a statement.
    • The data from both Phase III human clinical trials have been submitted for approval to national regulatory authorities, the company said.
  • Demat Accounts In India: Retail investors have supported Indian markets with total Demat accounts (both CDSL and NSDL) in the country crossing the 10 crore mark.
    • In August this year, CDSL had crossed the milestone of opening over 7 crore Demat accounts, a more than three-fold jump in over two years.
    • CDSL crossed the 2 crores Demat mark in January 2020.
    • Driven by a pandemic-fueled retail investing boom, Indian stocks were the world’s best performers between early 2020 and October 2021.
    • Thereafter, rising concerns about aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve caused foreign investors to withdraw a record $33 billion from local shares in the nine months through June.
    • Overseas funds have returned strongly this quarter, pumping $7.6 billion and supercharging the market.
    • The Sensex is now less than 5% away from an all-time high reached in October.
  • CISF: The government has abolished more than 3,000 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) posts as part of a major security architecture overhaul at Indian airports under which non-sensitive duties will be rendered to private security personnel.
    • They will be aided by smart technology tools for surveillance and protection.
    • In March, Home Minister Amit Shah had pitched for a “hybrid security” model, where the CISF could train and certify private security agencies so that they could take over the task of guarding various industrial and manufacturing units in the country.
    • A 2018-19 action plan, jointly initiated by the Union ministries of Civil Aviation and Home, is now being implemented across 50 civil airports, officials said.
    • The blueprint prepared by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the aviation security regulator, abolishes 3,049 CISF aviation security posts, which will be replaced by 1,924 private security personnel equipped with smart surveillance technology like CCTV cameras and baggage scanners.
  • Reliance Industries: Reliance Industries (RIL) on Tuesday announced that the company has entered into definitive agreements with SenseHawk Inc. (SenseHawk) for acquiring a 79.4% stake of SenseHawk, through primary infusion and secondary purchase, for a total consideration of $32 million.
    • Founded in 2018, SenseHawk is an early-stage California-based developer of software-based management tools for the solar energy generation industry.
    • SenseHawk helps accelerate solar projects from planning to production by helping companies streamline processes and use automation.
    • It provides a solar digital platform to manage the end-to-end solar asset lifecycle.
    • The turnover of SenseHawk for FY 2022, FY 2021 and FY 2020 was $2,326,369, $1,165,926, and $1,292,063 respectively, RIL informed in an exchange filing.
    • Mukesh Ambani chairs and runs Reliance Industries, which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom, and retail.
    • Almost 60% of Reliance’s revenue comes from oil refining and petrochemicals, though, the conglomerate has been reducing its dependence on oil refining by diversifying into retail, telecommunications, and technology.
  • IIT Mandi: A team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi have unraveled the biochemical relationship between fatty liver disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).
    • This understanding enables newer techniques to diagnose the risk of Diabetes among people with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
    • The findings of this research also offer new therapeutic pathways to control or even reverse fatty liver-induced diabetes.
    • This research is important for India because the prevalence of NAFLD is rapidly increasing in the country and recent surveys show that 40% of Indian adults suffer from it.
    • NAFLD is often associated with Type 2 Diabetes, with nearly 50 million Indian adults having both diseases.
    • The multi-institutional research team analyzed blood samples extracted from fat-fed mice and human NAFLD patients.
    • Both samples had high amounts of a calcium-binding protein termed S100A6.
    • This protein is released by the fatty liver and serves as a communication link between the liver and the pancreas.
    • S100A6 adversely affects the insulin secretion ability of the β-cells, thereby resulting in or exacerbating existing T2DM.
    • At a biochemical level, S100A6 was found to inhibit insulin secretion by activating the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End product (RAGE) on pancreatic beta-cells.
  • Indian External Debt: India’s external debt rose by 8.2 percent to stand at $620.7 billion on March 31, 2022, compared to $573.7 billion on March 31, 2021.
    • Out of this, 53.2 percent of external debt was denominated in US dollars, and the Indian rupee-denominated debt was estimated at 31.2 percent.
    • It was the second largest, according to the status report on India’s external debt 2021-22, released by the Finance Ministry on Monday.
    • According to the report, external debt, as a ratio to GDP, fell marginally to 19.9 percent as on March 2022 compared to 21.2 percent of the year-ago period.
    • Foreign currency reserves, as a ratio to external debt, stood slightly lower at 97.8 percent as on March 2022, compared to 100.6 percent of the year-ago period.
    • The long-term debt estimated at $499.1 billion, formed the largest chunk of 80.4 percent, while the short-term debt, at $ 121.7 billion, accounted for 19.6 percent of the total external debt amount.
    • The short-term trade credit was predominantly in the form of trade credit (96 percent) financing imports, the report added further.
    • Commercial borrowings, NRIs deposits, short-term trade credit, and multilateral loans, all accounted for 90 percent of the total external debt.
    • While NRI deposits marginally contracted during end-March 2021 and end-March 2022, commercial borrowings, short-term trade credit, and multilateral loans, on the other hand, expanded during the same period.

World


  • James Webb Telescope: The James Webb Space Telescope has captured an image of an almost perfect “Einstein ring”.
    • An Einstein ring is a ring of light created when light from a galaxy, star or other light-emitting cosmic objects passes near a massive object before it reaches the Earth, or in this case, the Webb telescope.
    • When this happens, gravitational lensing causes the light to get diverted and if the source, lens, and the observing element are all in perfect alignment, this light appears as a ring.
    • This particular example was formed from the light of a distant galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8, which is around 12 billion light-years away from our planet, which also makes it one of the oldest galaxies in the universe.
    • From Webb’s point of view, this galaxy is positioned directly behind another galaxy that is so massive that its gravitational pull warps space and time.
    • The blue object in the center of the ring is this foreground galaxy.
    • As the light from the background galaxy travels to the Webb telescope, it has to cross the warped space-time near the foreground galaxy.
    • This is what makes the light appear like a curved ring.
  • Australia: ​​​​​​In a bid to boost economic recovery and drive social cohesion in the post-pandemic era, the Australian government has designed a special Migration Program for 2022-23.
    • Under the program, the country is planning to provide 160,000 places for visas. Check the proposed composition here.
      • Skill (109,900 places): This is specially designed to boost productivity and fill the labor market skill shortage.
      • Family (50,000 places): This is specifically drawn up to initiate Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas and provide them with pathways to citizenship.
      • Special Eligibility (100 places): This stream covers visas for those in special circumstances, including permanent residents returning to Australia after a period overseas.
    • Australia’s states and territories had earlier announced to ease certain visa application terms to tackle issues related to the shortage of skilled migrants.
    • Generally, migrants are sponsored by employers for a visa to stay in the country, but there are times when state and territory authorities can also nominate skilled workers for visas.
    • In recent times, they have been relaxing some terms and conditions that are required to obtain state-sponsored visas.

5th September


India


  • EPFO: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) sees a case for substantially increasing the retirement age and aligning it with life expectancy.
    • This is aimed at making the pension system viable within the country and supplying sufficient retirement advantages.
    • India is projected to turn into an aging society by 2047 with an estimated 140 million individuals above the age of 60 years.
    • This is predicted to put immense pressure on the pension funds within the nation, according to the report.
    • Retirement fund body EPFO is the custodian of a cumulative pension and provident fund corpus of over Rs 12 lakh crore of its almost 60 million subscribers.
    • India’s aged inhabitants (aged 60 and above) are projected to contact 194 million in 2031 from 138 million in 2021, a 41 percent enhancement over a decade lifted by better inhabitants and a rise in life expectancy for each man and woman in accordance to the National Statistical Office (NSO)’s Elderly in India 2021 Report.
  • PM-SHRI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced Monday that 14,500 schools across the country will be developed and upgraded under the PM-SHRI Yojana and they will be equipped with modern infrastructure, including labs, smart classrooms, libraries, and sports facilities.
    • On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, PM Modi said the schools developed under the Pradhan Mantri Schools For Rising India (PM-SHRI) will become model schools, encapsulating the full spirit of the new National Education policy.
    • The PM-SHRI schools will have a modern, transformational and holistic method of imparting education.
    • Emphasis will be on a discovery-oriented, learning-centric way of teaching. The focus will also be on modern infra including the latest technology, smart classrooms, sports, and more, PM Modi added.
    • The centrally sponsored scheme will be implemented by strengthening existing schools selected from amongst those managed by the Central government, states, Union Territories, and local bodies.
  • HAL: The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited-L&T consortium has won an ₹860 crore deal from NewSpace India Limited to build five rockets, marking the industry’s foray into end-to-end production of polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs).
    • After the techno commercial evaluation of three bids, the HAL-L&T consortium emerged as the technically qualified and the L1 bidder to undertake end-to-end production of PSLV. 
    • As per the contract, the consortium would manufacture five PSLV rockets, the versatile workhorse launch vehicle of India.
    • According to the NSIL official, at present, about 80 percent of mechanical systems and 60 percent of electronic systems of the PSLV, the third generation launch vehicle of India come from the industry.
    • However, the remaining percentages in both areas are highly complex.
    • The consortium will now be responsible for producing, assembling, and integrating the launcher by making use of the existing ISRO facilities under the GOCO (Government Owned, Contractor Operated) model.

World


  • Euro: The euro fell below 99 cents for the first time in nearly two decades, while sterling was on the ropes on Monday as Russia’s halt on gas supply down its main pipeline to Europe sparked concerns over energy prices and growth.
    • The euro slid to $0.9880 in Asia trade, the lowest level since 2002, while sterling hit a new 2-1/2-year low at $1.14445, and remained close to its pandemic trough.
    • The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies with the euro the most heavily weighted, hit a new two-decade high, surging to a top of 110.25.
    • Russia scrapped a Saturday deadline for flows down the Nord Stream pipeline to resume, citing an oil leak in a turbine.
    • It coincided with the Group of Seven finance ministers announcing a price cap on Russian oil.
    • The pound has also been weighed down by concerns over rising energy costs.
    • British foreign minister Liz Truss said over the weekend she would set out immediate action to tackle rising energy bills and increase energy supplies if she is to become Britain’s next prime minister, as expected.

4th September


India


  • UGC: On the occasion of Teachers’ day, the University Grants Commission (UGC) will be announcing several research schemes which will benefit higher education institutions across the country.
    • The new fellowships will be launched at 3 pm tomorrow, i.e. September 5 at UGC’s online portals.
    • Here’s a list of the UGC fellowship and research grant schemes:
      • Fellowship for Superannuated Faculty Members
      • Research grant for In-Service Faculty Members
      • Dr. D.S. Kothari Research Grant for Newly Recruited Faculty Members
      • Dr. Radhakrishnan UGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship
      • Savitribai Jyotirao Phule Fellowship for Single Girl Child
  • Indian Economy: With India surpassing the United Kingdom (UK) to become the world’s 5th largest economy, a report by the State Bank of India (SBI) has foreseen that the country will outstrip two other major economies by the end of this decade.
    • The SBI’s Economic Research Department predicted that India would surpass Germany in 2027 and most likely Japan by 2029 at the current rate of growth and become the world’s 3rd largest economy, a movement of 7 places upwards since 2014 when India was ranked 10th.
    • This is a remarkable achievement by any standards, said the report, authored by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, SBI.
    • For Q1 FY 2022-23, India registered GDP growth at 13.5%.
    • The report said, at this rate India is likely to be the fastest growing economy in the current fiscal.
  • Yes Bank: Private sector lender Yes Bank on Friday increased the interest rates on its non-resident external account (NRE) fixed deposits by 50-75 basis points (bps) and on foreign currency non-resident (FCNR) deposits by 20 bps.
    • With this, the NRE fixed deposit rate maturing in up to 18 months stands at 7.01% while for those longer than 18 months it stands at 7.25%, applicable to deposits below ₹5 crores.
    • The bank will also offer a peak rate of 4.25% on USD FCNR deposits for the tenure of 24 months to less than 36 months.
    • The interest rate hike follows the recent announcement made by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to aid incremental fund flows, the lender said in a press release.
    • The central bank in July decided to allow banks to raise fresh FCNR(B) and NRE deposits without reference to existing restrictions on interest rates till October 31.
    • The RBI had also exempted banks from including incremental FCNR (B) deposits for maintenance of cash reserve ratio (CRR) and statutory reserve ratio (SLR), with reference to the base date of July 1.
    • This exemption is allowed till November 1.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank: Interest rates on fixed deposits below ₹2 Cr have been hiked by the private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank.
    • According to the bank’s official website, the new rates are effective as of September 1, 2022.
    • The bank increased interest on fixed deposits with terms ranging from 390 days to 10 years as a result of the revision.
    • The bank will continue to provide interest rates of 2.65% on term deposits maturing in 15 to 30 days and 2.50% on fixed deposits maturing in 7 to 14 days, respectively.
    • The interest rate on fixed deposits maturing in 31 to 90 days will remain at 3.25%, while the interest rate on term deposits maturing in 91 to 179 days will remain at 3.75%.
    • On fixed deposits maturing in 180 days to 363 days, Kotak Mahindra Bank will continue to give an interest rate of 5.00%, and on term deposits maturing in 364 days, 5.25%.
    • Fixed deposits maturing from 365 days to 389 days will still earn interest at a rate of 5.75%, while those maturing in 390 days (12 months and 25 days) to less than 23 months will now earn interest at a rate of 6%, up from 5.90% before, a 10 basis point increase.
    • The bank will now offer fixed deposits with maturities between 23 months and less than 2 years at an interest rate of 6.10%, up from 5.90% before, a hike of 20 basis points.
    • Kotak Mahindra Bank increased interest rates on fixed deposits maturing in 2–10 years, from 5.90% to 6%, a 10 basis point increase.
    • Following the bank’s modification, fixed deposit customers can now take advantage of higher fixed deposit rates for periods of 23 months to less than two years, at a rate of 6.10% p.a.

World


  • Germany: The German government on Sunday agreed to a 65-billion-euro ($65-billion) plan to ease the pressure on households as Russian gas supplies dwindle and energy bills soar, according to a policy paper seen by AFP.
    • “Timely and proportionate relief for citizens and businesses is necessary due to the rapidly increasing burden of high energy prices,” Germany’s coalition partners said in the document, adding that the total package came to “over 65 billion euros”.
    • The measures include a one-off payment of 300 euros to millions of pensioners to help them cover rising energy bills.
    • The government will also target students with a smaller one-off payment of 200 euros, and a heating cost payment for people receiving housing benefits.
    • The announcement follows two previous relief packages totaling 30 billion euros, which included a reduction in the tax on petrol and a popular heavily subsidized public transport ticket.
    • Under the agreement, the government earmarks 1.5 billion euros for work on a successor to the nine-euro monthly ticket on local and regional transport networks, though the price would likely be higher.
    • German inflation rose again to 7.9 percent in August, after falling for two months under the influence of government relief measures.
    • The government’s latest relief package came two days after Russian energy giant Gazprom said it would not restart gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on Saturday as planned after three-day maintenance.

3rd September


India


  • Trade Deficit: India’s trade deficit widened to $28.68 billion in August, as per government data.
    • The imports climbed by 37%, while exports remained flat during the month.
    • With that, the country’s trade deficit has more than doubled compared to 11.71 billion in August last year.
    • Overall, the exports are expected to cross $450 billion by end of the current financial year.
    • In August 2022, the country’s imports climbed sharply by 37% to $61.68 billion while exports stood flat at $33 billion.
    • In sector-wise performance, in August 2022, oil imports jumped by 86.44% to $17.6 billion.
    • On the contrary, gold imports declined by 47.54% to $3.51 billion.
    • During the month under review, imports dipped by 7% compared to $66.27 billion in July while exports slipped by 9% against $36.3 billion in July this year.
  • Indian Economy: Britain has dropped behind India to become the world’s sixth largest economy, delivering a further blow to the government in London as it grapples with a brutal cost-of-living shock.
    • India leaped past the UK in the final three months of 2021 to become the fifth-biggest economy.
    • The calculation is based on US dollars, and India extended its lead in the first quarter, according to GDP figures from the International Monetary Fund.
    • The UK’s decline down the international rankings is an unwelcome backdrop for the new prime minister.
    • Conservative Party members choose Boris Johnson’s successor on Monday, with Foreign Secretary Liz Truss expected to beat former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in the run-off.
    • The winner will take over a nation facing the fastest inflation in four decades and rising risks of a recession that the Bank of England says may last well into 2024.
    • By contrast, the Indian economy is forecast to grow more than 7% this year.
    • A world-beating rebound in Indian stocks this quarter has just seen their weighting rise to the second spot in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, trailing only China’s. 
    • On an adjusted basis and using the dollar exchange rate on the last day of the relevant quarter, the size of the Indian economy in “nominal” cash terms in the quarter through March was $854.7 billion.
    • On the same basis, the UK was $816 billion.

World


  • United States: The United States on Friday announced a new $1.1 billion package of arms to Taiwan, in a new bid to boost the island’s defenses amid soaring tensions with Beijing.
    • The latest US sale comes a month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defiantly visited the self-governing democracy, prompting mainland China to launch a show of force that could be a trial run for a future invasion.
    • The package includes $665 million for an early radar warning system to help Taiwan in tracking incoming missiles and $355 for up to 60 advanced Harpoon missiles, which are capable of sinking incoming ships.
    • The State Department said that the United States still recognizes only Beijing, which claims the island as its own.
  • NASA: Ground teams at the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday began fueling NASA’s giant, next-generation rocketship for its debut launch on an uncrewed test flight to the moon, five days after an initial liftoff attempt was thwarted by technical problems.
    • The 32-story tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion capsule were due for blastoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 2:17 p.m. EDT (1817 GMT), kicking off the U.S. space agency’s ambitious moon-to-Mars Artemis program 50 years after the last Apollo lunar mission.
    • The previous launch bid on Monday was halted by engineering snags.
    • NASA says technicians have since remedied the issues.
    • Weather is an additional factor beyond NASA’s control.
    • The latest forecast saw a 70% chance of favorable conditions during Saturday’s two-hour window, according to the U.S. Space Force at Cape Canaveral.
    • If the countdown were halted again, NASA could reschedule another launch attempt for Monday or Tuesday.
  • WHO: Even as COVID infection and death related to it continues to fall, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the possibility of the emergence of deadlier and more infectious coronavirus variant remains and urged all to continue to practice caution.
    • Subvariants of Omicron are more transmissible than their predecessors, & the risk of even more transmissible & more dangerous variants remains said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during the weekly media briefing regarding COVID on Wednesday.
    • Regarding COVID vaccination, Tedros said, the rates, even in rich countries, were still too low, noting that 30% of health workers and 20% of older people remain unimmunized.
    • WHO said there were 4.5 million new COVID-19 cases reported last week, a 16% drop from the previous week.
    • Deaths were also down by 13%, with about 13,500 fatalities.
    • WHO said COVID-19 infections dropped everywhere in the world while deaths decreased everywhere except for Southeast Asia, where they climbed by 15%, and in the Western Pacific, where they rose by 3%.

2nd September


India


  • Starbucks: The coffee giant Starbucks on Thursday informed that the company has appointed its new Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer, Laxman Narasimhan.
    • He will join Starbucks on October 1, after replacing Howard Schultz who will continue as interim chief until April 2023.
    • The 55-years-old Indian, Narasimhan, has served as chief executive of Lysol and Enfamil baby formula, UK-based Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC.
    • Mellody Hobson, Starbucks chairwoman said that the company believes it has found an exceptional individual to be its next CEO as Narasimhan is a tested leader, according to The Wall Street Journal.
    • The company stated that the new CEO will relocate from London to the Seattle area and will join Starbucks on October 1 this year.
  • Unemployment Rate: India’s unemployment rate increased to a one-year high of 8.3 percent in August as employment sequentially fell by 2 million to 394.6 million, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data said.
    • The unemployment rate was at 6.8 percent and the employment was 397 million in July.
    • The unemployment rate in rural India rose from 6.1 percent in July to 7.7 percent in August.
    • More importantly, the employment rate fell from 37.6 percent to 37.3 percent.
    • According to the CMIE data, the unemployment rate during August was the highest in Haryana at 37.3 percent followed by Jammu and Kashmir at 32.8 percent, Rajasthan at 31.4 percent, Jharkhand at 17.3 percent, and Tripura at 16.3 percent.
    • While unemployment was the lowest in Chhattisgarh at 0.4 percent followed by Meghalaya at 2 percent, Maharashtra at 2.2 percent, and Gujarat and Odisha at 2.6 percent each, the data showed.
  • AIFF President: Former Mohun Bagan and East Bengal goalkeeper Kalyan Chaubey has become the new All India Football Federation President after besting former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia 33-1 in polls decided by the 34-member voters’ list made up of state association representatives.
    • Chaubey, a Bharatiya Janta Party leader from West Bengal, has become the first former national team player to be elected as the head of Indian football’s governing body.
    • The election results come on the back of a dark phase in Indian football, having suffered a temporary ban from the world football governing body, FIFA owing to a classic case of third-party interference after the Supreme Court appointed a Committee of Administrators to run the daily operations at AIFF.
    • The participation of Bhutia, a premier football figure in the country and the second most capped Indian player of all time, had brought the election into more light, his counterpart had been seen as a favorite owing to his political experience.
    • The 45-year-old had contested and lost in the 2019 general elections in Krishnanagar.
  • INS Vikrant: India got its newest aircraft carrier today 2nd September 2022.
    • The largest ship ever made in India, INS Vikrant’s main arsenal will be the Russian-origin MiG-29K, a naval version of the MiG-29 jet that has been serving with the Indian Air Force for decades.
    • The MiG-29K is an all-weather fighter with a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound.
    • It can pull up to eight times the force of gravity, and climb to an altitude of over 65,000 feet.
    • It can engage targets in the air, at sea, or on land. With its air-to-air refueling capability, the MiG-29K can fly a long range to carry out critical missions.
    • The MiG-29K squadron has been christened “INAS 303” and is popularly referred to as the “Black Panthers”. It is based in INS Hansa, Goa.
    • The Indian Navy on its official website says, “The MiG-29K carries enough punch to undertake air dominance and power projection missions simultaneously, bestowing the Commander at sea, great flexibility.”

World


  • NASA: NASA is set to make its second attempt to launch the Artemis I rocket on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at 2:17 pm Florida time.
    • For India, this means around 11.47 pm.
    • The launch will be the second attempt at the mission, after the initial launch attempt on August 29 had to be called off due to technical issues including a problem with one of the rocket’s four main engines.
    • Mission Manager Michael Sarafin said during a briefing in Florida on Thursday that “there’s no guarantee that we’re going to get off on Saturday, but we’re going to try.”
    • The weather during the launch is expected to be favorable, with a 60 percent chance that conditions with permit the launch to go through.
  • G7: Group of Seven finance ministers will hold talks this week on allowing global purchases of Russian oil at a capped price a gambit that the US hopes will ease energy market pressures and slash overall Russian revenues from crude.
    • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and her counterparts will discuss the measure further in a session on Friday, US officials said.
    • The plan would allow purchasers of Russian oil under a capped price to continue getting crucial services like financing and insurance for tankers.
    • The European Union, UK, and Switzerland all plan to ban their companies from providing those services for Russian oil shipments beginning in December.
    • The US and its allies have grappled with how best to sanction Russia after its invasion of Ukraine rattled global energy markets and sent crude prices soaring.
    • The G-7 which includes Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, and Canada pledged earlier this year to curb reliance on Russian energy, including “by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil.”

1st September


India


  • NIA: India’s top anti-terror body has announced a ₹25-lakh reward for giving information on “global terrorist” Dawood Ibrahim and released a new photo of him.
    • The National Investigation Agency, or NIA, has also placed a bounty of ₹20 lakh on Dawood Ibrahim’s lieutenant Chhota Shakeel.
    • Other terrorists Anees Ibrahim, Javed Chikna, and Tiger Memon have a bounty of ₹ 15 lakh each.
    • The NIA in a statement said Dawood Ibrahim and the others are “working in active collaboration with international terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Al Qaeda.
  • Cervical Cancer Vaccine: India’s first indigenously developed quadrivalent Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine for the prevention of cervical cancer will be launched in a few months and made available to people in the affordable price range of ₹ 200-400.
    • Union Minister of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh today attended an event held to announce the scientific completion of the vaccine.
    • Scientific completion implies that the R&D activities pertaining to the vaccine are complete and the next step would be making them available to the public.
    • Speaking at the event, Mr. Singh said Covid has raised awareness about preventive healthcare leading to the development of vaccines like the one against cervical cancer.
  • August GST Collection: The gross GST revenue collected in the month of August 2022 jumped 28% year on year.
    • According to data released today, August GST collections came in at ₹1,43,612 crore of which CGST is ₹24,710 crore, SGST is ₹30,951 crore, IGST is ₹77,782 crore (including ₹42,067 crores collected on import of goods) and cess is ₹10,168 crore (including ₹1,018 crores collected on import of goods).
    • The revenues for the month of August 2022 are 28% higher than the GST revenues in the same month last year of ₹1,12,020 crore.
    • For six months in a row now, the monthly GST revenues have been more than the ₹1.4 lakh crore mark.
    • In August, the government settled ₹29,524 crores to CGST and ₹25,119 crores to SGST from IGST.
    • The total revenue of the Centre and the States in the month of August 2022 after the regular settlement is ₹54,234 crores for CGST and ₹56,070 crores for SGST.
  • Hero ISL 2022: The 2022-23 Hero Indian Super League (ISL) kicks off on October 7th, 2022 when last season’s runners-up Kerala Blasters host East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.
    • All Hero ISL teams are currently participating in Asia’s oldest competition, the Durand Cup, as they gear up for the Hero ISL season.
    • All Indian football stakeholders have been determined to create a longer football calendar that provides players with more competitive matches throughout the year.
    • The Hero ISL will be followed by the Super Cup in April 2023.
    • The 2022-23 season will also be special as fans will be welcomed back to the stadiums after a gap of two seasons.
    • To make it convenient for more fans and families to attend and watch their teams in action, the Hero ISL has created a fixture list with matches taking place on weekends.
    • Each Matchweek is scheduled between Thursday and Sunday, bringing the Hero ISL in line with the top global football leagues.
  • PMI: India’s manufacturing activity continued to grow at a robust pace in August, led by a pick-up in demand amid softening input cost inflation, according to a private survey.
    • Inflationary pressures eased last month following a moderation in global commodity and energy prices, “substantially” improving business confidence.
    • The S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) in August was little changed at 56.2 compared with July’s eight-month high of 56.4, signaling the second-strongest improvement in operating conditions since last November.
    • August was also the 14th straight month of improving operating conditions.
    • Sustained improvement in demand conditions boosted new order intakes by Indian manufacturers during August, pushing output growth to a nine-month high.
    • Manufacturing volumes were led by a pick-up in exports and upbeat projections for the year-ahead outlook.
    • Manufacturers attributed the fastest improvement in production to greater sales, recent efforts to enhance capacities, fewer COVID-19 restrictions, and product diversification.
  • Indian GDP: India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at 13.5% in the first quarter of 2022-23, the fastest pace in four quarters, with the Gross Value Added (GVA) in the economy rising by 12.7%, as per National Statistical Office estimates released on August 31.
    • The economy’s latest growth print, aided by a pick-up in private consumption spending and capital investments, is significantly lower than the 16.2% GDP uptick projected by the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee and was just 3.8% above pre-pandemic levels.
    • The corresponding April to June quarter of last year had recorded a GDP growth of 20.1% and an 18.1% uptick in GVA amid the second COVID-19 wave, thanks to the base effects from the more stringent initial COVID-19 lockdowns.
    • Economists expect the headline growth rate to moderate in the ongoing quarter as base effects fade out and uncertainties around global growth and domestic inflation linger on.
    • GVA from agriculture, forestry, and fishing, the only sector that continued to grow through the pandemic, rose 4.5% in the April to June quarter of this year, while manufacturing and mining grew by 4.8% and 6.5%, respectively.
    • While the share of Government Final Consumption Expenditure in GDP moderated to 11.2% between April and June, from 12.6% last year, GDP growth was boosted by private final consumption expenditure which surged to 59.9% of GDP from 54% in Q1 of 2021-22 and Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) which reflects capital investments in the economy.
    • The share of GFCF improved to 34.7% of GDP in Q1 this year from 32. 8% in 2021-22.

World


  • WHO: The World Health Organization’s dashboard listed 50,496 cases and 16 deaths as reported this year to the UN agency, which declared the outbreak a global public health emergency in July.
    • WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the declines in new infections proved the outbreak could be halted.
    • A surge in monkeypox infections has been reported since early May among men who have sex with men, outside the African countries where it has long been endemic.
    • The WHO triggered its highest level of alarm on July 24, classifying it as a public health emergency of international concern, alongside Covid-19.
  • IMF-Sri Lanka: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level agreement with crisis-hit Sri Lanka, the first step ahead of a possible $2.9 billion Extended Fund Facility that the Fund has made contingent on assurances from the island nation’s creditors.
    • IMF staff and the Sri Lankan authorities have reached a staff-level agreement to support Sri Lanka’s economic policies with a 48-month arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of about $2.9 billion, the Fund announced on Thursday, at the conclusion of its mission’s visit to Colombo.
    • Sri Lanka’s creditors include International Sovereign Bondholders, to whom the island owed the largest chunk of its debt, multilateral agencies, and bilateral lenders, including China, Japan, and India. 
  • Global Storm: The strongest global storm of 2022 is barreling across the East China Sea, threatening Japan’s southern islands and risking wild winds along China’s east coast.
    • Super Typhoon Hinnamnor is currently packing sustained winds of about 160 miles (257 kilometers) per hour and has gusts over 195 miles per hour, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
    • The maximum significant wave height is 50 feet (15 meters).
    • Hinnamnor would be the strongest storm of 2022 based on the maximum sustained wind speed recorded at this point, according to an official at the Japan Meteorological Agency.
    • The Hong Kong Observatory said at 10 a.m the typhoon was centered about 230 kilometers east of Japan’s Okinawa and is forecast to move west-southwest at about 22 kilometers per hour toward the Ryukyu Islands.
  • Zimbabwe: A team of paleontologists has discovered a new early skeleton that is so far, the oldest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Africa.
    • It is estimated that Mbiresaurus raathi was a long-necked dinosaur that was about 6 feet long, weighing between 10 and 30 kilograms.
    • A graduate student at Virginia Tech discovered the mostly intact fossil in Northern Zimbabwe and it was unearthed over two digs in 2017 and 2019.
    • The findings of the research were published in the journal Nature in August.
    • The skeleton is only missing some of the dinosaur’s hands and portions of the skull.
    • The international team who were part of the research includes paleontologists from the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe, and Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
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