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14th-15th December, 2023

Sabarmati Multimodal Transport Hub, first delta rankings of Aspirational Blocks Programme, World’s First 4th-Generation Nuclear Reactor, Tracxn Geo Annual Report: India Tech 2023, FIRST SWYP, Alpha Wealth” plan, L07’ a compact delivery drone, Inda’s first Sodium (Na)-battery technology, 2023 Climate Assessment for Financial Institutions, Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023: Statistics and Trends report, Mercer’s Quality of Living City Ranking 2023, INS Tarmugli, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, 33rd Vyas Samman, 56th Submarine Day, National Energy Conservation Day
  1. First bullet train terminal of India has been built at Sabarmati Multimodal Transport Hub in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
  2. Tiriyani Block of Kumuram Bheem Asifabad district, Telangana has secured the 1st position in the first delta rankings of Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP) announced by NITI Aayog.
  3. China has launched World’s First 4th-Generation Nuclear Reactor.
  4. India slips to 5th place with a significant 73% decline in funding for Indian tech startups in 2023 compared to 2022 as per Tracxn Geo Annual Report: India Tech 2023.
  5. IDFC First bank has introduced youth-centric “FIRST SWYP” credit card in partnership with Mastercard.
  6. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted approval for stock brokers and clearing members to invest client funds in mutual fund overnight schemes.
  7. Canara HSBC Life Insurance has introduced “Alpha Wealth” plan designed to empower individuals to reach ambitious life goals.
  8. World Bank and World Food Programme have deepened their partnership to scale up impact on Food Security.
  9. SBI Mutual Fund has brought 1.5% stake Karur Vysya Bank for Rs 190 crore through open market transactions.
  10. RattanIndia arm has introduces ‘L07’ a compact delivery drone for health care and e-commerce.
  11. KPIT Technologies has introduced Inda’s first Sodium (Na)-battery technology as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
  12. RBI has authorised Bandhan Bank to Disburse Pensions to Railway Employees through e-PPOs on behalf of the Ministry of Railways.
  13. Federal Bank has been acknowledged as the top performer in the 2023 Climate Assessment for Financial Institutions (CAFI) Awards for Climate Reporting by International Finance Corporation (IFC).
  14. State Bank of India (SBI) has entered a 70 million Euro (approx. Rs 636 crore) Line of Credit (LoC) agreement with Germany’s KfW Development Bank.
  15. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Limited and Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) Limited have entered into a bancassurance partnership.
  16. 74.1% of Indians were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021 as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023: Statistics and Trends report.
  17. Hyderabad tops among Indian cities in Mercer’s Quality of Living City Ranking 2023.
  18. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised India’s growth forecast to 6.7%.
  19. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the acquisition of 70,000 Sig Sauer semi-automatic assault rifles for the Indian Army at a cost of Rs 800 crore.
  20. Indian Navy has commissioned INS Tarmugli, a Fast Attack Craft at naval dockyard Visakhapatnam under the aegis of the Eastern Naval Command.
  21. Defence Ministry has approved a Rs 2,800 crore proposal for the Indian Army for acquiring around 6,400 rockets designed for the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems.
  22. Actor Kabir Bedi has been awarded the “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” (Merito della Repubblica Italiana), the highest civilian award of Italy.
  23. Notable Hindi-Writer Pushpa Bharati will be conferred with the 33rd Vyas Samman.
  24. 56th Submarine Day
  25. National Energy Conservation Day
  26. Donald Tusk has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the Poland.
  27. Guinea-Bissau president has reappointed Geraldo Martins as Prime Minister.
  28. Mohan Yadav has been appointed as the 19th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
  29. Renowned Chinese doctor and activistGao Yaojie who exposed the AIDS virus epidemic in rural China in the 1990s has died Sunday at the age of 95.

Table of Content

National News

  1. First bullet train terminal of India has been built at Sabarmati Multimodal Transport Hub in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
      • More about bullet train project
        • It is officially known as the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail (MAHSR) Corridor.
        • It is equipped with world class cutting-edge features and modern amenities.
        • It is supposed to be completed in 2026.
        • Government of Japan is providing technical and financial support to the project.
        • Project is implemented by National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).
        • It Jointly owned by Ministry of Railways, Government of Gujarat, and Government of Maharashtra.
          Source: ET

  2. Tiriyani Block of Kumuram Bheem Asifabad district, Telangana has secured the 1st position in the first delta rankings of Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP) announced by NITI Aayog.
      • More about Delta Ranking of Aspirational Blocks Programme-
        • NITI Aayog has announced ranking in a virtual event at NITI Aayog with 329 districts and 500 aspirational blocks participating.

      • First position: Rayagada block, Rayagada District, Odisha.
      • Second position: Kaushambi block, Kaushambi District, Uttar Pradesh.
      • Calculation Basis:
        • Rankings based on performance and progress in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in June 2023.
        • Competitive and cooperative federalism approach applied for the first-time ranking of blocks in ABP.
      • Aspirational Districts Programme (ADP) Rankings (October 2023):
        • First position: Rayagada, Odisha
        • Second position: Jamui, Bihar
      • Wall of Fame Initiative:
        • Top rankers of ABP and ADP are displayed on the Wall of Fame at NITI Aayog.
        • It showcases achievements and projects of Aspirational Blocks and Districts with a vision to create Viksit Bharat by 2047.

      • Geographical Division and Zonal Rankings:
        • Blocks are divided into six zones.
        • Winners from each zone has been felicitated with a prize amount of Rs. 1.5 crores for top rank and Rs. 1 crore for the second rank.
          Source: PIB

International News

  1. China has launched World’s First 4th-Generation Nuclear Reactor.
      • More about nuclear reactor
        • Shidaowan Bay nuclear power plant in eastern Shandong province has started commercial operations.
        • It cools the reactor using helium gas instead of water.
          Source: msn



Banking and Economy

  1. India slips to 5th place with a significant 73% decline in funding for Indian tech startups in 2023 compared to 2022 as per Tracxn Geo Annual Report: India Tech 2023.
      • More details
        • Total funding for Indian tech startups in 2023 is USD 7 billion which is a considerable drop from USD 25 billion in 2022.
        • India has slipped from 4th place to 5th place among the highest-funded geographies globally in Q3 2023.
        • The top 4 highest-funded countries in Q3 2023 are the USA, UK, China, and France respectively.
        • Q4 2023 has marked the lowest funding quarter since Q3 2016, recording only USD 957 million in investments.



Source: Business Standard

  1. IDFC First bank has introduced youth-centric “FIRST SWYP” credit card in partnership with Mastercard.
      • Key features of the card
        • This card can be used as a no-interest charge card.
        • It has flexible bill repayments through EMIs, a benefit-laden referral program, and exclusive and relevant merchant partnerships.
          Source: Hindu Business Line

  2. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has granted approval for stock brokers and clearing members to invest client funds in mutual fund overnight schemes.
      • More about approval
        • These schemes are limited to investing in risk-free government securities.

      • Investment Criteria
        • Brokers and clearing members are required to ensure that the overnight schemes invest solely in government bonds, overnight repo markets, and overnight Tri-party Repo Dealing and Settlement (TREPS).
        • Units of Mutual Fund Overnight Schemes (MFOS) must be in dematerialized (demat) form and pledged with a clearing corporation at all times.

      • Payment Processing
        • Payment requests from clients to release funds during the day should be processed on or before the next settlement day.

      • Account Designation
        • Stock brokers are required to maintain designated client bank accounts, with specific nomenclature denoting Up Streaming Client Nodal Bank Account for receiving clients’ funds and Down Streaming Client Nodal Bank Account for payments to clients.

Knowledge Nuggets -
About SEBI-
• It is the regulatory body for securities and commodity market in India under the administrative domain of Ministry of Finance within the Government of India.
• Headquarters- Mumbai
• Established- April 12, 1988
• Chairperson- Madhabi Puri Buch
Source: Hindu Business Line

  1. Canara HSBC Life Insurance has introduced “Alpha Wealth” plan designed to empower individuals to reach ambitious life goals.
      • Key features of the plan
        • It provides extensive features to guarantee financial security for both the insured and their family.
        • It promotes long-term savings through loyalty additions and wealth boosters, enabling customers to enhance their corpus by remaining invested.
        • It offers a range of investment options in various funds, including debt, equity, and liquid funds available in the market.
        • Investors are eligible for a full refund of the mortality charges deducted throughout the policy term after maturity period.
        • It offers greater flexibility which allows investors to adjust premiums, premium payment terms, policy duration, and sum assured to accommodate evolving financial needs.
        • Three plan options based on life stages:
        • Alpha Invest Plus
        • Alpha Premium Plus
        • Alpha Life Plus
          Source: livemint
  2. World Bank and World Food Programme have deepened their partnership to scale up impact on Food Security.
      • More about partnership
        • Both institutions will scale up joint efforts to help governments and communities boost food security, transform food systems, and expand adaptive social protection programs.
        • Collaboration will have a particular focus on addressing the interconnected challenges of food insecurity, climate change, fragility, and poverty.
          Source: worldbank
  3. SBI Mutual Fund has brought 1.5% stake Karur Vysya Bank for Rs 190 crore through open market transactions.
      • Details of transaction
        • SBI Mutual Fund acquired 1.2 crore shares of KVB.
        • The total transaction amount for the stake acquisition is Rs 194.4 crore.
        • The average price per share in the transaction was Rs 162.
Knowledge Nuggets -
About Karur Vysya Bank-
• It is a Scheduled Commercial Bank.
• Headquarters- Karur, Tamil Nadu
• Established- 1916
• MD & CEO- B. Ramesh Babu
Source: Business Standard

  1. RattanIndia arm has introduces ‘L07’ a compact delivery drone for health care and e-commerce.
      • More about compact delivery drone
        • Manufacturer
          • Throttle Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of RattanIndia Enterprises Limited.
        • Drone Type
          • L07, part of the TAS L-series which is specifically designed for healthcare and e-commerce deliveries.
        • Design
          • Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) drone with a 7 kg carrying capacity.
        • Operational Features
          • L07 enables single-handed deployment within 5 minutes for quick operational readiness.
          • It can reach up to 2,000 meters altitude with 43 km/hr wind tolerance, and 30 minutes endurance,
          • It is manufactured following all the DGCA guidelines.
            Source: The Hindu



  2. KPIT Technologies has introduced Inda’s first Sodium (Na)-battery technology as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
      • Objective
        • It aims for a 25-30% cost reduction compared to lithium-ion batteries, particularly significant for Electric Vehicles (EVs).
      • More about first Sodium (Na)-battery technology
        • KPIT has collaborated with the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune for the development of the sodium-ion battery technology.
        • It targets a range of applications from electric vehicles to grid storage, highlighting versatility.
        • KPIT’s sodium-ion technology aligns with global sustainability efforts, reflecting a broader trend towards alternative and eco-friendly battery solutions.
          Source: ET


  3. RBI has authorised Bandhan Bank to Disburse Pensions to Railway Employees through e-PPOs on behalf of the Ministry of Railways.
      • More about authorisation
        • It enables Bandhan Bank to disburse pensions to all employees of the Ministry of Railways who have retired from their service.
        • It also provides the Bank an access to around 50,000 average Indian Railways retirees every year across all offices including 17 zonal railways and 8 production units of Indian Railways.
          Source: livemint
  4. Federal Bank has been acknowledged as the top performer in the 2023 Climate Assessment for Financial Institutions (CAFI) Awards for Climate Reporting by International Finance Corporation (IFC).
      • More about award
        • Federal Bank secured two positions on the global stage in climate reporting in Highest Climate Loan Amount Reported and Most (Greenhouse Gas) GHG Mitigated category.
        • Recognized for four positions in South Asia region including Most Transactions Reported, Highest Climate Loan Amount Reported, most (Greenhouse Gas) GHG Mitigated, and Best Achievement vs Climate Targets.

Knowledge Nuggets -
About Federal Bank-
• Federal Bank Limited is an Indian private sector bank
• Headquarters- Kochi, Kerala
• Established- 1931
• CEO- Shyam Srinivasan
About International Finance Corporation-
• It is a member of the World Bank Group which offers investment, advisory, and asset-management services to encourage private-sector development in less developed countries.
• Headquarters- Washington, D.C. in the United States
Source: Print

  1. State Bank of India (SBI) has entered a 70 million Euro (approx. Rs 636 crore) Line of Credit (LoC) agreement with Germany’s KfW Development Bank.
      • Purpose of LoC agreement
        • This funding will support solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in India.
        • It was signed at SBI’s branch in GIFT City, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
          Source: Business Standard


  2. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Limited and Ujjivan Small Finance Bank (SFB) Limited have entered into a bancassurance partnership.
      • Objective
        • The partnership aims to increase access to insurance solutions for the middle class, empowering them to secure their financial future.

      • More about partnership
        • Ujjivan SFB’s 700+ branches across 26 states and Union Territories will offer ICICI Prudential Life’s suite of customer-friendly protection, long-term savings, and retirement products.
        • This collaboration addresses the demand gap for insurance services, reinforcing Ujjivan SFB’s position in providing comprehensive insurance solutions to its customers.



Knowledge Nuggets -
About ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Limited-
• It is promoted jointly by ICICI Bank Limited and Prudential Corporation Holdings Limited.
• Headquarters- Mumbai, Maharashtra
• Established- 2001
• MD & CEO- Anup Bagchi
About Ujjivan Small Finance Bank-
• Headquarters- Bengaluru
• Established- 2017

Source: ET

Reports and Indices

  1. 74.1% of Indians were unable to afford a healthy diet in 2021 as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition 2023: Statistics and Trends report.
      • Key observation of report
        • Cost of healthy diet in India in 2021 is 3.0 PPP dollars per person per day.
        • Prevalence of undernourishment in India for the period of (2020-2022) is 16.6%.

      • Regional Overview
        • Undernourished in Asia-Pacific: 370.7 million people (50% of global total)
        • Affordability of Healthy Diet (2021): 232.8 million people affected




Knowledge Nuggets -
About Food and Agriculture Organisation-
• Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security.
• Headquarters- Rome, Italy
• Established- 1945
• Director General- Qu Dongyu
• Motto- fiat panis in Latin (Let there be bread)
Source: The Hindu

  1. Hyderabad tops among Indian cities in Mercer’s Quality of Living City Ranking 2023.
      • What is Living City Ranking 2023
        • Mercer’s Quality of Living data assesses the practicalities of daily life for expatriate employees and their families in various locations worldwide.

      • Top Indian cities

CityGlobal ranking
Hyderabad153
Pune154
Bengaluru156
Chennai161
Mumbai164
Kolkata170
New Delhi 172
  • Top 3 cities-
CityGlobal Ranking
Vienna, Austria1
Zurich, Switzerland2
Auckland, New Zealand3

Source: ET

GDP Forecasts

  1. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has raised India’s growth forecast to 7%.
      • More about growth forecast
        • ADB predicts India’s economy to grow by 6.7% in FY24, up from the earlier estimate of 6.3% made in September.
        • It is based on India’s higher-than-expected GDP growth of 7.6% in the second quarter of FY24.
      • Sector-wise Performance
        • Industrial sector, including manufacturing, mining, construction, and utilities, showed double-digit growth.
        • Agriculture growth slightly slower than expected, but compensated by much stronger industry growth.
      • Outlook for FY25
        • ADB maintains a growth forecast of 6.7% for India in FY25
      • Factors Driving Growth
        • Fixed investments, propelled by increased capital spending by central and state governments, to offset lower private consumption and weaker exports
      • Inflation Forecast
        • ADB keeps its inflation forecast for India unchanged at 5.5% in FY24
      • Developing Asia Outlook
        • ADB revises growth projection for Developing Asia (excluding China) to 4.9% in 2023 and maintains 4.8% for 2024.
        • Inflation in Developing Asia expected to decline from 4.4% in the previous year to 3.5% in 2023, rising slightly to 3.6% in 2024.
Knowledge Nuggets -
About ADB-
• Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank for social and economic development.
• Headquarters- Manila, Philippines
• Established- 1966
• President- Masatsugu Asakawa

Defence News

  1. Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the acquisition of 70,000 Sig Sauer semi-automatic assault rifles for the Indian Army at a cost of Rs 800 crore.
      • More about approval
        • Rifles will be procured from the United States-based company Sig Sauer Inc.
        • In 2019, India acquired 72,400 SIG 716 rifles of 7.62 x 51mm caliber, with 66,400 allocated for the Indian Army, 4,000 for the Indian Air Force (IAF), and 2,000 for the Indian Navy (IN).
        • Newly approved rifles will be utilized in counter-terrorism operations and other duties at the borders with China and Pakistan.
          Source: ET


  2. Indian Navy has commissioned INS Tarmugli, a Fast Attack Craft at naval dockyard Visakhapatnam under the aegis of the Eastern Naval Command.
      • More about INS Tarmugli
        • The ship is named after Tarmugli, a picturesque island in the Andaman group.
        • It is a Trinkat Class FAC which was gifted to the Maldivian Naval Defence Forces (MNDF) in 2006 by the Govt of India.
        • The ship was returned to the Indian Navy in May 2023

      • Upgrades and Features:
        • It is fitted with MTU engines and equipped with the latest communication equipment.
        • It features a 30 mm gun and an advanced radar system.
          Source: PIB

  3. Defence Ministry has approved a Rs 2,800 crore proposal for the Indian Army for acquiring around 6,400 rockets designed for the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher systems.
      • More about approval
        • Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the proposal for the acquisition of two types of rockets identified as Area Denial Munition Type 2 and Type-3.
        • Economic Explosives Limited of Solar Industries and Munitions India Limited are the domestic supplier for the rocket procurement.
          Source: ET

Awards

  1. Actor Kabir Bedi has been awarded the “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic” (Merito della Repubblica Italiana), the highest civilian award of Italy.
      • About “Order of Merit of the Italian Republic”-
        • It was established in 1951 by Luigi Einaudi, the second President of Italy.
        • It is awarded for outstanding merits in the fields of literature, the arts and economy, philanthropic, social and humanitarian activities.
          Source: Indian Express



  2. Notable Hindi-Writer Pushpa Bharati will be conferred with the 33rd Vyas Samman.
      • She has been selected for her 2016 memoir- ‘Yaadein, Yaadein aur Yaadein’.
      • About Vyas Samman
        • It was instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991.
        • It consists an amount of 4 lakh rupees, a citation, and a plaque.
          Source: AIR


Important Days

  1. December 8– 56th Submarine Day
    Source: HS
  2. December 14– National Energy Conservation
    Source: PIB

Appointments

  1. Donald Tusk has been appointed as the new Prime Minister of the Poland.
    Source: The Hindu
  2. Guinea-Bissau president has reappointed Geraldo Martins as Prime Minister.
    Source: The Print
  3. Mohan Yadav has been appointed as the 19th> Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.
    Source: HT

Miscellaneous

  1. Renowned Chinese doctor and activist Gao Yaojie who exposed the AIDS virus epidemic in rural China in the 1990s has died Sunday at the age of 95.
    Source: Time
CEO of Anujjindal.in

About Anuj Jindal

━━━━━
Anuj Jindal, the founder, is an ex-manager from SBI, with an M.Com from Delhi School of Economics. He also has a JRF in Commerce & Management and NET in HRM, along with more than 5 years of experience in the field of Education.

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