Current Affairs 31st January

National Affairs

1. The MoE has released AISHE 2020–21: Higher education enrollment rises to 4.14 million.


The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-2021 was published by the Ministry of Education (MoE) on January 29, 2023.


The first survey to use a completely online data collection platform, the Web Data Capture Format (Web DCF), developed by the Department of Higher Education and the National Informatics Centre (NIC), was AISHE 2020-21, which was the 11th annual survey.


Highlights of AISHE 2020–21 include:


In AISHE 2020-21, there were 1,113 universities, 43,796 colleges, and 11,296 stand-alone institutions registered.


From 3.85 million in 2019-20, the total students enrolled in higher education increased to around 4.13 million in 2020-21, crossing the 4 million mark for the first time.


From 1,043 in 2019-20, the number of universities increased by 70 in 2020-21 to 1,113. There has been an increase of 353 universities (46.4%) between 2014 and 2015.


From 42,343 in 2019-20, the number of colleges has increased by 1453 to 43,796 in 2020-21.


In 2020-21, there will be 95.4 million pass-outs, up from 94 million in 2019-20. There are 15,51,070 teachers, with 42.9 per cent being female and 57.1% being male.


2. India International Arbitration Centre’s new name is effective.


The “New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Act, 2022,” which changed the name of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre to “India International Arbitration Centre,” went into effect on January 27, 2023.


The Ministry of Law and Justice provided the information for the same. The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act of 2019 will be modified as a result.


Key Points:


Additionally, the Act designates the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre as a national institution.


The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre took the place of the International Centre for Alternative Dispute Resolution.


It simplifies international and domestic arbitration as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in accordance with the regulations by modifying Section 15(a) of the main Act.


Up to two years after the Act’s commencement, the central government is permitted by the Act to make provisions for the removal of any obstacles to its implementation.

This time period is extended to five years by the Act.


During the Winter Session that took place in December of 2022, Parliament approved the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Bill, 2022. The Bill was approved on August 8, 2022, by the Lok Sabha, and on December 14, 2022, by the Rajya Sabha.


Note The Act was put into effect as a result of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (Amendment) Act, 2022 (23 of 2022) exercising its powers under subsection (2) of section 1.


Banking and Finance

1. In 2022, NSE was the largest derivatives exchange in the world and ranked third in the equity market.


The National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE India) has once again emerged as the world’s largest derivatives exchange in terms of the number of contracts traded in 2022, as stated by the Futures Industry Association (FIA), a trade body for derivatives.

For the record-breaking fourth year in a row, the NSE India has maintained its position at the top.


In addition, the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) reports that, in terms of the number of trades (electronic order book), the NSE ranked third in the equity market in 2022, up from fourth in 2021.


Key Points:


In the calendar year (CY) 2022, the benchmark equity index, the Nifty 50 (NIFTY), reached an all-time high of 18,887.60.

The liquidity of a number of product categories also significantly improved, including equity, equity derivatives, and currency derivatives.


The daily average turnover of Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) in the equity sector was Rs. 470 crore in the fiscal year 2022, an increase of 51% year-over-year

The daily average secondary market turnover of sovereign gold bonds (SGB) in CY 2022 was Rs. 7 crore, or a 59% increase year-over-year. iii The NSE’s equity segment now offers government securities, which are experiencing solid growth, albeit from a lower base, with daily average turnover reaching Rs. 3 million in December 2022.


Similar to the derivatives on the Nifty 50 index (NIFTY) and the Nifty Bank index (BANKNIFTY), the recently introduced derivatives on the Nifty Financial Services index (FINNIFTY) have successfully increased liquidity.


Subject to regulatory approval, NSE India intends to launch the Social Stock Exchange as a segment in the near future.


So, “social enterprises,” and nonprofits in particular, would be able to reach a wider audience, raise money by issuing instruments like zero-coupon, and zero-principal bonds, make it easier for people to support charitable causes, and make the ecosystem’s efficiency and transparency better.


NSE is working on new derivatives products for the currency, interest rate, and commodity derivatives markets. Subject to regulatory approval, the company will eventually announce their launch.

2. SBM Bank raises Rs 99 crore from LIC through Tier-II Bonds


Through the issuance of the second tranche (tier II) of Basel-III compliant bonds on January 24, 2023, SBM Bank (India) Limited, the wholly owned subsidiary of SBM Group, based in Mauritius, raised Rs 99 crore from Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India.


The SBM bank, India’s largest financial institution, provided the entire corpus. In April 2022, the bank issued its first tranche of tier-II bonds, raising Rs 125 crore at a rate of 9.75%. These bonds have a second tranche here.


With this new round of capital raising from a variety of investors, SBM Bank India has now raised a total of Rs 224 crore through tier II bonds that are compliant with Basel III.


Under the automatic refinance facility, SBM Bank India obtained Rs 300 crore from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in 2022.


Science and Technology

1. US to test Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine For Future Mars Missions


  1. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have announced a collaboration to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space. This will make it possible for NASA crewed missions to Mars.


  1. For the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Solar Operations (DRACO) program, DARPA and NASA will collaborate.


  1. NASA claims that using a nuclear thermal rocket reduces astronaut risk and speeds up transit time.


  1. Reduced transit times are crucial for human missions to Mars because longer journeys necessitate more robust systems and supplies.


  1. Advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology will be developed and demonstrated by NASA and DARPA as early as 2027.


  1. This new technology would enable astronauts to travel to and from deep space faster than ever before in preparation for crewed missions to Mars.


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