Current Affairs 20th January

National Current Affairs

1. The Padho Pardesh Program is no longer offered by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.


The “Padho Pardesh – Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for Students Belonging to The Minority Communities” has been discontinued by the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA).


Canara Bank, which served as the scheme’s designated nodal bank, implemented the plan, which will be phased out in 2022 and 2023.


Canara Bank received Rs, as stated in MoMA’s most recent annual report. 20.20 crore for the purpose of reimbursing the interest subsidies that were provided to new and renewal candidates as part of the Scheme during the fiscal year 2020–21 (FY21).


Key Points:


  1. All banks were informed in December 2022 by the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) that the Padho Pardesh Interest Subsidy Scheme would be phased out in 2022 and 2023.


  1. Subject to adherence to the existing guidelines, existing beneficiaries will continue to be eligible for the interest subsidy during the loan’s moratorium period (as of March 31, 2022).


iii. MOMA announced on December 11, 2022, that the “Maulana Azad National Fellowship” (MANF) program had also been terminated due to overlap with other government programs for higher education.


Padho Pardesh Scheme The Padho Pardesh Scheme was introduced in June 2006 as part of the 15-point program that the Prime Minister had developed. In 2006, Dr. Manmohan Singh served as India’s Prime Minister.




  • To provide meritorious students from economically disadvantaged (EWS) minority communities with an interest subsidy.


  • It was made to make them more employable and give them better chances of getting a Master’s or M.Phil., and overseas PhD levels


  • Characteristics of the Scheme I For the duration of the moratorium (the course period plus one year or six months after getting a job, whichever comes first) the Indian government covered the interest that students who took out education loans through the IBA’s Education Loan Scheme had to pay.


  • In accordance with the current Educational Loan Scheme, the student is obligated to pay interest on the remaining loan amount after the moratorium period has ended.


  • After the moratorium has ended, the candidate will be responsible for paying the principal and interest.


  • The plan stipulates that only candidates, employed or unemployed, whose combined annual income is less than Rs. The interest subsidy is available to six lakh people.


  • Women are also guaranteed 35% of the seats under the plan. Seats can be transferred to male students if there are no female students available.


International Current Affairs

1. In 2022, India ranks fourth globally for VC investments in technology; The US tops


With USD 24.1 billion in venture capital (VC) investments in 2022, India ranked fourth globally, according to the Dealroom and London & Partners report.


The United States of America (USA) topped the national rankings for tech investment in 2022 with USD 233.3 billion, followed by China with USD 48 billion and the United Kingdom (UK) with USD 29.9 billion.


Key Points:


  • According to the findings, companies based in Bengaluru (Karnataka) received USD 10.7 billion of the total $24.1 billion in technology investments made in India. As a result, Bengaluru now ranks among the top five tech VC investment centres.


  • In 2022, five of the top ten deals for Indian tech companies were in Bengaluru: Byju’s costs 800 USD, Swiggy costs 700 USD, Dailyhunt costs 805 USD, Polygon costs 450 USD, and ShareChat costs 225 USD. This indicates that businesses based in Bengaluru received 10.7 billion of this investment from India.


  • ElasticRun (USD 300 million) and Xpressbees (USD 300 million) both received significant deals from Maharashtra, with Delhivery (USD 300 million) of Gurugram finishing in the top 10.


  • Despite the challenging macroeconomic environment, global technology investors continue to invest in India’s tech firms.


  • From the record high of USD 723 billion set in 2021, the total global funding for venture capital fell by 33% to USD 485.2 billion. With the exception of 2021, the numbers for 2022 were 28% higher than those for 2020 (USD 348.9 billion) and any other year.


  • Education, food, media, fintech, and transportation were the major contributors to India’s strong VC funding performance.


  • The Bay Area received USD 72.4 billion in funding, New York received USD 28.3 billion, and Boston received USD 20 billion.


  • London’s tech companies received a total of USD 19.8 billion, making it the fourth largest tech hub for VC funding outside of the United States and by far the largest in Europe.


2. India co-sponsors a UNGA resolution titled “Education for Democracy.”


The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously adopted a resolution titled “Education for Democracy” on January 18, 2023, reaffirming the right to “education for all” and bolstering democracy. India has cosponsored the resolution.


Key Points:


  • The significance of providing opportunities for lifelong learning and inclusive, equitable quality education to all will be acknowledged in this resolution.


  • Additionally, it encourages member states to incorporate democracy education into their educational standards.


  • A resolution similar to this one was approved by the Assembly in 2015, urging all UN agencies to use education to advance democracy, human rights, and peace.


Regarding the UN General Assembly (UNGA):

Headquarters: New York, United States Establishment: 1945 President: Csaba Krösi

3. The lowest-income students benefit the least from funding for national public education:


Report by UNICEF


  1. In both low- and middle-income countries, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report titled Transforming Education with Equitable Financing states that children from the poorest households worldwide receive the least amount of national public education funding.


  1. The poorest 20% of students receive only 16% of public education funding, while the wealthiest receive 28%.


  1. From 102 nations, the report looks at data on government spending on pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education.


  1. Out of 102 countries, 30% do not allocate even 15% of public education resources to students from the 20% of households with the lowest income.


Key Points:

  • Only 11% of public education funding goes to the poorest students in low-income nations, while 42% goes to the richest.


  • Children from the wealthiest households receive more than six times as much public funding for education as children from the poorest households.


  • In countries with middle incomes, the richest students spend more than four times as much as the poorest students.


  • Public education expenditures typically benefit the richest 1.1 to 1.6 times more than the poorest in high-income nations.


  • The report found that 35 million primary school-aged children could be lifted out of learning poverty with just a 1 percent increase in the resources provided by public education to the most disadvantaged students.


  • According to the report, children who live in poverty are less likely to attend school and are more likely to drop out earlier.


  • Due to the fact that millions of school-aged children lacked basic comprehension in reading and mathematics, the education system around the world was largely failing.


  • Around two-thirds of all 10-year-olds worldwide, according to estimates, are unable to read or comprehend simple stories.


4. In 2022, Bengaluru will have the most startup funding in India, with USD 10.8 billion:


Data from Tracxn


Tracxn, a leading global market intelligence platform, provided data indicating that Bengaluru (Karnataka) topped the Indian startup funding chart in 2022 with $10.8 billion. With USD 3.9 billion, Mumbai (Maharashtra) and Gurugram (Haryana) come in second and third, respectively.


In terms of funding, startups in Delhi and Chennai (both in Tamil Nadu) received 1.2 billion USD, while Pune (in Maharashtra) received one billion USD.


Key Points:


  • With over USD 1.2 billion from existing investors, Byju’s topped the list of highest-raised funds in 2022.


  • This represented nearly half of the tech sector’s total funding.


  • In 2022, there were 22 unicorns, compared to 46 in 2021, and the average amount of money raised prior to the unicorn round was around 160 million USD.


  • Indian startups now average 5.1 years between receiving Series A funding and the unicorn round.


  • In 2022, eleven technology IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) were launched.


  • To this point, Y Combinator, LetsVenture, and AngelList have topped the list of most active investors in 2022.


Banking and Finance Related

1. PNB is the first PSB to offer a digital credit card against FDs.


For customers who do not meet the requirements for regular credit cards, Punjab National Bank (PNB) is the first Public Sector Bank (PSB) to offer a digital credit card against fixed deposits (FDs).


There are now two types of consumer credit cards offered by PNB: PNB Global Gold and “PNB Global Classic,” which are made to cater to a variety of customer requirements and income levels.


These are global credit cards made in collaboration with Visa, the company that makes payment gateways.


Advantages and Key Features 


There will be no joining fee, renewal fee, annual fee, or fuel surcharge for the PNB credit card, which will initially be available at 84 locations.


The bank offers digital RuPay or VISA credit cards to its customers in exchange for one or more FDs with a credit limit of 80%.


Benefits of the PNB credit card over the FD include not having to submit documents, branch absences, no fees to join, instantaneous virtual credit card issuance complete coverage in the form of insurance (for the RuPay variant), advantages of the RuPay Credit Card’s integration with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), exciting promotions and reward points.


The most recent PNB FD rates 


  • In an effort to attract deposits, PNB has increased the interest rate on FDs across all tenures by 50 basis points (bps). The new FD rates go into effect on January 1, 2023.


  • The interest rate on term deposits for less than Rs. From the previous rate of 6.25 per cent, 2 crores have seen a 50 bps increase to 6.75 per cent.


  • Any domestic deposit that has a maturity of less than Rs. 2 crores has seen an additional 50 bps increase in favour of seniors.


  • The rate for the PNB Uttam Scheme, which does not provide a way to withdraw early, has been increased from 6.30 per cent to 6.80 per cent.


  • PNB will continue to offer competitive interest rates of 8.1% annually for a fixed deposit of 666 days in addition to the new rates.

2. Through the Second Infrastructure Bond Issuance, SBI raises Rs 9,718 crore.

  • The largest bank in India, State Bank of India (SBI), issued its second 15-year infrastructure bond on January 18, 2023, raising Rs 9,718 crore at a coupon rate of 7.70 per cent per year.


  • A spread of 17 basis points (bps) over the G-Sec (Government Security) curve can be seen in the pricing, which is 7.70%. SBI has raised money twice since December 2022.


  • SBI issued its first infrastructure bond on December 6, 2022, raising Rs 10,000 crore at a coupon rate of 7.51 per cent and a spread of 17 bps over the G-Sec curve.


  • The funds will be used to enhance long-term funding sources for infrastructure and affordable housing.


  • Investors responded strongly to the offer, as evidenced by 118 bids totalling Rs 14,805 crore, or a 2.96-times oversubscription.

Economy Related

1. According to the EY Report, India’s economy will be worth $26 trillion by 2047.

In its report titled “India@100:


The consulting firm EY (Ernst & Young) provided estimates that India’s economy will reach USD 26 trillion by 2047, realizing the potential of a $26 trillion economy.


Notably, India’s independence will be 100 years old in 2047.


The report was launched by Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Railways on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. It is anticipated that the per capita income will rise to $15,000, placing India among the ranks of developed economies.


Key Points:


  • The Indian economy’s growth trajectory, which is anticipated to be the highest of any large economy in the coming decades, is emphasized in the report.


  • It suggests insisting on reforms and maintaining macroeconomic stability and resilience.


  • India is likely to reach the critical thresholds of USD 5 trillion, USD 10 trillion, and USD 20 trillion in terms of the market exchange rate in FY28, FY36, and FY45, respectively, in the most preferred scenario. 


  • EY has identified key growth enablers that will have an impact on various Indian sectors and play a crucial role in driving the growth engine. 


These enablers are as follows:


  1. The second global hub for information technology and services. 
  2. Digitalisation: A Third Force Multiplier 
  3. Reaping the benefits of demographic change 
  4. Making manufacturing competitive 
  5. Constructing the future infrastructure 
  6. Change to renewable energy 
  7. Recommendations for policy

2. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by CMAI and AREAS to share knowledge and developments in the carbon market.


The Carbon Markets Association of India (CMAI) and the Association of Renewable Energy Agencies of States (AREAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on January 19, 2023, to help establish an Indian carbon market and provide regular updates on policy and regulatory developments in carbon trading.


CMAI is a group of companies in the carbon offset industry.


The association of state nodal agencies working to promote renewable energy is called AREAS.


The MoU’s Objective:


To work for an economy that doesn’t use carbon and to help the Indian carbon market grow.


Key Points:


  • The agreement between CMAI and AREAS will guarantee that the carbon market’s new policies and regulations, innovations, and knowledge will be shared frequently.


  • With a focus on community development, both CMAI and AREAS will work to improve the development of renewable energy (RE) projects to cut emissions.


  • In accordance with the terms of this memorandum of understanding, both organizations will work toward the end-to-end management of carbon offsets for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation projects and generate carbon finance by instructing associates about carbon neutrality and net zero goals and making collaborative recommendations for a structured road map to a future without emissions.


Note: India is working to develop the carbon market and the National Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as climate action gains momentum worldwide. 


Additional information:


  1. Through a robust carbon market, emission control and reduction, as well as carbon emission trading, offer flexibility in achieving the emission reduction targets necessary to reach the net zero goal by 2070.


  1. AREAS also aims to accelerate the net-zero journey, educate a larger group of associates about climate change and carbon neutrality, promote grid-connected and off-grid renewable energy, and strengthen the transformation by developing additional RE and GHG mitigation projects.


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