Daily Current Affairs Analysis Today : 09 – feb-2023
RBI hikes repo rate by 25 bps to 6.50% in the sixth hike in a row
The Reserve Bank of India’s Governor Shaktikanta Das announced the monetary policy committee’s decision to increase the repo rate, the rate at which RBI lends money to banks, by 25 bps to 6.50%.
It’s the sixth consecutive time the rate has increased since May 2022.
In December 2022, the repo rate was hiked by 35 bps to 6.25%.
RBI projects GDP growth:
The Reserve Bank of India has projected the country’s GDP growth at 6.4 per cent for 2023-24.
The Monetary Policy Committee has forecast Q1FY24 growth at 7.8%, Q2 at 6.2%, Q3 at 6% and Q4 at 5.8%.
Inflation in the next fiscal year is expected to be 5.3 per cent for 2023-2024.
The RBI pegs next year’s inflation forecast at 5% for April-June, 5.4% for July-September and for October-December, and 5.6% for January-March 2024.
The current policy rates:
Repo Rate: 6.50%
Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate: 6.25%
Marginal Standing Facility (MCF) rate: 6.75%
Note: Repo Rate (RR) is the rate at which the central bank lends money to commercial banks or financial institutions, public or private, in India against government securities.
RBI increased the repo rate for the sixth time in a row by ___ basis points to 6.50%. 25
Pakistan’s Kamran Akmal retires from all forms of cricket
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after being named on Pakistan’s national selection committee.
He scored 6,871 runs in 268 international matches.
Kamran Akmal played international cricket from 2017 to 2022
Akmal played for Peshawar Zalmi from 2016 to 2022
Akmal is the batting consultant for the Zalmi in PSL 2023.
In 53 Tests, 157 ODIs and 58 T20Is, the right-handed batter scored 2648, 3236 and 987 runs respectively, with the help of 11 hundreds and 27 fifties.
Akmal also remains second in the list of leading run-scorers in the history of the PSL. Babar is the leading run-scorer with 2413 runs from 66 innings with 23 half-centuries.
Peshawar Zalmi is a Pakistani franchise T20 cricket team which plays in the Pakistan Super League and represents Peshawar, the capital city of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The team is owned by Javed Afridi.
Captain: Babar Azam
Kamran Akmal, who recently announced his retirement, is the batting consultant of which Pakistani franchise T20 cricket team? Peshawar Zalmi
India signs MoU with Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council to promote adoption of energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a joint venture of public sector undertakings under the Ministry of Power, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council (IMT-GT JBC) Malaysia at India Energy Week (IEW).
The MoU aims to promote the adoption of energy efficiency and sustainable practices in the region.
Under this partnership:
EESL will implement Rooftop Solar, LED Street Light Project, Electric Mobility, UJALA, and Building Energy Efficiency Programme in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
EESL will provide technical advisory, project management support, contracting and implementation support to execute select energy efficiency programmes from its portfolio with proven track records of successful implementation
The IMT-GT JBC Malaysia will identify other new interventions to achieve its targets under Green City Action Plans 2022-2025 and assist EESL for various sector-led negotiations as well as provide support for the successful roll out of energy efficiency projects in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand
India has recently signed MoU with which council to promote adoption of energy efficiency? Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Joint Business Council
Reliance Jio and GSMA roll out Digital Skills Program in the country
Reliance Jio in collaboration with GSMA has unveiled a nationwide Digital Skill initiative.
This collaborative effort intends to provide rural women and people from low-income groups with training based on their specific needs.
Digital Skill Initiative:
As part of this effort, the GSMA and Jio teams collaborated to identify existing digital skill shortages and create need-based, India-specific digital skills training toolkits.
Following in-depth user input and field research, the toolkits were created. During the trial phase, more than 1,000 rural men and women from Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh took part and contributed to the improvement of the digital training toolkits.
The initiative is currently being implemented in 10 states with an emphasis on targeting women and underrepresented groups.
Through its extensive network and support from self-help organizations, Reliance Foundation will assist with the deployment.
Reliance Jio in collaboration with which company has launched a nationwide digital skills initiative? GSMA
Uniper signs pact with Greenko to source green ammonia from India
Germany-based Uniper has signed an agreement with Greenko ZeroC to source green ammonia from the latter’s Kakinada facility in Andhra Pradesh.
“Under the MoU, the two companies intend to negotiate pricing, supply and tenure structure for a supply and purchase agreement for 2,50,000 tonnes per annum of green ammonia (GASPA) based on the heads of terms”.
Uniper and Greenko ZeroC signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and heads of terms during the ongoing India Energy Week in Bengaluru in presence of Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Greenko CEO Anil Chalmalasetty, Uniper CCO Niek den Hollander.
Greenko’s Kakinada project is a multi-phase green ammonia production and export facility which is in the process of adding up to 1 MTPA of green ammonia production capacity by 2027.
At present, Kakinada unit produces green ammonia based on an electrolyser powered by round-the-clock electricity produced by 2.5 GW of renewable assets.
Besides green ammonia, Uniper and Greenko also intend to collaborate on the deployment of similar flexible renewable electricity to other hydrogen products such as e-methanol and sustainable aviation fuels.
Founded: January 1, 2016
Headquarters: Düsseldorf, Germany
CEO: Klaus-Dieter Maubach
Chairman: Markus Rauramo
Which Germany-based company has signed an agreement with Greenko to source green ammonia from India? Uniper
PhonePe launches cross-border UPI payments service, says it’s India’s first
PhonePe said it has launched a service that will allow the fintech firm’s Indian users traveling abroad to pay foreign merchants using Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
‘UPI international’ supports merchant outlets in UAE, Singapore, Nepal and Bhutan that have a local QR (quick response) code.
Users will be able to make direct payments in a foreign currency from their Indian bank, like they do with international debit cards. Walmart-backed PhonePe said it is the first Indian fintech app to launch the service.
PhonePe recently raised $350 million in funding from General Atlantic at a pre-money valuation of $12 billion, making the start-up the most-valued fintech firm player in India.
PhonePe users can activate their UPI-linked bank account for the service at the merchant location, or prior to their international trip, via the PhonePe App. It would require the customer to enter their UPI pin in order to activate the service.
Indian customers need to use a foreign currency, or their credit or forex cards to pay at international merchant outlets. With PhonePe’s feature, they can now use their Indian bank account to pay using UPI.
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in collaboration with NPCI International Payments Limited plans to roll out UPI International to more countries this year. NPCI developed UPI.
PhonePe was founded in December 2015 and it has emerged as India’s largest payments app. With 435 million registered users, one in four Indians are now on PhonePe.
Which digital payment company has launched a service that will allow the fintech firm’s Indian users traveling abroad to pay foreign merchants using UPI? PhonePe
K Satyanarayana Raju appointed as new MD & CEO of Canara Bank
The Union Government has appointed K Satyanarayana Raju as its Managing Director and CEO of Canara Bank, with immediate effect.
He will be replacing L V Prabhakar who demitted office on December 31, 2022.
He joined the erstwhile Vijaya Bank in 1988, and rose to the level of chief general manager in Bank of Baroda.
His experience has led to digital transformation of banking products and services.
Raju, who is a Physics Graduate, Post Graduate in Business Administration (Banking and Finance) and CAIIB (Certified Associate of Indian Institute of Bankers), had earlier served Canara Bank as Executive Director since March 10, 2021. He has a very rich and vast experience in all segments of banking including Branch Banking, Corporate Credit, Retail Credit, Agri Financing, Credit Monitoring, Credit Recovery, Compliance etc. Also his rich experience and exposure led to digital transformation of banking products and services.
Founder: Ammembal Subba Rao Pai
Founded: 1 July 1906
The Union Government has recently appointed K Satyanarayana Raju as its Managing Director and CEO of which bank? Canara Bank
Google unveils Bard, Baidu announces Ernie in AI chatbot battle
Chinese search engine Baidu revealed its plans of launching a ChatGPT-style AI chatbot called ‘Ernie Bot’.
Baidu’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped as much as 13.4% on the news. Ernie, meaning “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” is a large AI-powered language model introduced in 2019.
The news comes after years of work by Baidu to shift from online marketing to more advanced technologies, which has cost the company billions of dollars in research into AI.
Since then, the ERNIE project has evolved, allowing users to write poems and papers or use text prompts to automatically generate images, according to the spokesperson. It is now in its third iteration. Language models are trained on vast troves of data online in order to generate compelling responses to user prompts. Researchers are “continuously working” to upgrade the technology to allow it to learn multiple tasks like humans.
The ERNIE project is now the third revision. It can compose essays and poetry or use text prompts to produce graphics for its users automatically.
Note: Google has announced the launch of its own AI chatbot, after the success of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Google’s Bard is a new conversational AI chatbot, which the tech giant has decided to release to trusted users and is still in the testing stage. Google is planning to release the chatbot with a lightweight model version of LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), which will require less computing power and more feedback for the chatbot.
Founders: Robin Li, Eric Xu;
Headquarters: Beijing, China;
Founded: 1 January 2000, Beijing, China
What is the name of the ChatGPT-style AI chatbot recently launched by Chinese search engine Baidu? Ernie Bot
DGGI and NFSU Signed MoU for Setting Up Digital Forensic Laboratories
The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for setting up digital forensic laboratories along with the exchange of information and knowledge, technological advancement and skill development in the field of digital forensics.
DGGI is the apex intelligence organization, under the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), for the collection and dissemination of information and for taking necessary measures to check evasion of GST.
NFSU is an institution of national importance established to promote studies and research in forensic sciences and related fields.
It is the first and only institute in the field of forensic sciences. It has state-of-the-art technology in digital forensics and capabilities to study and analyze digital evidence.
The MoU will be a force multiplier for the DGGI in the field of investigation and digital forensics and will assist the agency in launching effective prosecutions and securing convictions of the guilty.
Quick and effective convictions of serious tax offenders not only secure government revenues and plug leakages but also ensure trade facilitation by ensuring a fair tax regime for the honest taxpayer.
This will be a significant step for DGGI towards having the requisite physical infrastructure, skill sets, and know-how in the field of digital forensics.
Which government agency has signed a MoU with the National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU) for setting up digital forensic laboratories ? DGGI
‘BizKhata’ for small businesses and merchant partners launched by Airtel Payments Bank
Airtel Payments Bank announced the availability of its current account, BizKhata, which offers small businesses and business partners across the nation fast activation and limitless transactions. Because they cannot maintain the minimum amount required for business accounts, many small business owners continue to use savings accounts for business-related expenses. This makes it difficult to distinguish between personal and corporate dealings.
The BizKhata business platform from Airtel Payments Bank was created with these small company owners and retailers in mind.
It unifies all corporate transactions on a single platform and enables them to keep accurate records while taking advantage of several financial advantages.
Do an unlimited number of credit and debit transactions, within five minutes of opening the account, the customer can begin utilizing it.
PhonePe launches cross-border UPI payments service
Zero Minimum Balance – There is no requirement for a minimum balance on the account.
Secure and efficient Payment digitization: Through IMPS, UPI, NEFT, and IFT, business owners can receive and send online payments to any bank in India.
The account also includes a QR code that may be used to accept payments from any UPI app.
Day-end balances over INR 200,000 will automatically be swept out to a current account with the partner bank under the auto sweep-out feature.
The user can return the sweep sum to the business account with a single click.
Transaction history may be downloaded with only one click, allowing business owners to easily reconcile transactions.
Both current and future merchants, as well as business partners of Airtel Payments Bank, would have access to the current account solution.
This account can be readily opened by a business owner in under five minutes with biometric authentication and little paper effort.
Which payment bank has recently launched ‘BizKhata’ for small businesses and merchant partners ? Airtel Payments Bank