Current Affairs of 18th January

1. The 2023 Federal Bank Literary Award went to author K Venu.

The well-known author K Venu received the Federal Bank Literary Award in 2022 for his autobiography, “Oranweshananthinte Katha.” At a special event that was held as part of the Kerala Literature Festival, Venu was presented with the award by Balagopal Chandrasekhar, Chairman and Independent Director of Federal Bank. The jury, which included PK Rajashekharan, KC Narayanan, and Sunil P Ilayidom, a writer and literary critic, chose Oranweshananthinte Katha.  P K Rajashekaran, a member of the judging panel, said that the book’s essence brought back memories of Kerala’s most intense political era.


The Federal Bank has never created a literary award like this before. Federal Bank created the award with the intention of recognizing authors for their cultural contributions and recognizing the variety of contemporary literature.


2. In December, India’s trade deficit increased while exports decreased by 12.2%.

India’s exports fell 12.2% in December. It is now clear how the west’s growing recession is affecting India’s international trade. Product exports decreased 12.2% from a year earlier to $34.5 billion in December 2022, the second decline in three months, as a result of a decline in demand from important markets following aggressive rate hikes by major central banks and an unfavourable base. Goods exports had decreased by 16.65 per cent annually in October; however, growth was flat in November.


In December, India’s exports decreased by 12.2%: 


Key Points In December, imports decreased by 3.5 per cent to $58.2 billion as a result of the recent slowdown in demand for domestic goods.


The decline in global commodity prices has also had an effect on the value of imports and exports.


Despite the fact that imports increased from $22.6 billion to over $23.8 billion in December, the trade deficit still remained well below the record $30 billion that was set in July.


India’s current account deficit (CAD) increased to $36.4 billion in the September quarter, a record high in absolute terms and 4.4% of GDP, primarily as a result of a record deficit of $83.5 billion.


In contrast to the additions of $4.6 billion in Q1FY23 and $31.2 billion in Q2FY22, the quarter’s foreign exchange reserves saw a significant decrease of $30.4 billion on a balance of payments (BoP) basis.


In December, India’s exports decreased by 12.2%: 


Analysts believe that despite the possibility of capital outflows having a greater impact on the rupee’s exchange rate, the Canadian dollar may still be at high levels, even though it may have reached its highest point in the second quarter of the year 23.


Petroleum products, engineering products, gems and jewellery, textiles and apparel, medications, and pharmaceuticals are among the 30 major industries that experienced a decline from the previous year. However, in December, goods exports increased marginally by 7.7% when compared to the previous month without taking seasonal variations into account.


3. Indian scientist’s discovery on Mars.


The one-of-a-kind discovery made by Indian scientists on Mars: Indian scientists have found the first instance of electromagnetic waves travelling alone. Information from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission were used to establish the results. The lone waves in the Martian magnetosphere have been identified by scientists by utilizing high-resolution electric field data from MAVEN that were captured by the Langmuir Probe and Waves sensors.


On Mars, Indian scientists discover a first: Central issues


  • Beats in the Martian magnetosphere cause singular waves.


  • Particle energization, plasma loss, and transport are all regulated by these fluctuations through interactions between waves and particles.


  • In contrast to Earth, which has a strong magnetic field to protect it from the Sun’s ionizing solar winds, Mars only has a weak magnetic field from its crustal magnetic sources.


  • Solar winds can therefore interact with the Martian atmosphere to produce single flows.


  • Despite the theories of scientists, teams had never been able to locate these waves before.


Research Publications

Astrophysical, a scientific publication, published the findings of the researchers.


  • The research report includes an analysis of the 450 solitary wave pulses that the MAVEN spacecraft detected.


  • While observing the pulses, MAVEN made five Mars orbits in February 2015.


  • Solitary waves are electric field variations that are distinct (bipolar or monopolar) and have constant amplitude-phase relationships.


  • Their size and shape are less affected by the propagation process.


  • The Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement that these pulses are most visible near Mars in the dawn and afternoon-dusk sectors at altitudes between 1000 and 3500 kilometres.

4. Pankaj Kumar Singh, a retired BSF DG, has been appointed Deputy NSA.

Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Kumar Singh, a retired director general of the Border Security Force (BSF), was appointed for a period of two years as the Deputy National Security Adviser in the National Security Council Secretariat. On a re-employment contract, Singh, a Rajasthan cadre IPS officer from the 1988 batch, has been hired. On December 31, 2022, Singh left his position as head of the BSF. When Singh took over the BSF on August 31, 2021, he made history by becoming the first father and son to ever hold the top position in a paramilitary organization. Prakash Singh, his father and a 1959 batch retired IPS officer, also led the BSF from June 1993 to January 1994. Singh has an MBA from the IIM, Ahmedabad, in addition to LLB and MPhil degrees.


Dattatray Padsalgikar, a retired IPS officer, Rajinder Khanna, a former R&AW chief, and Pankaj Saran, a retired IFS officer, are currently serving as Deputy National Security Advisors.


  • Posting Singh previously held the positions of IG (Operations) at the CRPF headquarters in Delhi and Inspector General of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh for the Union government.


  • Prior to his appointment as DG of the BSF, he held the position of chief of the Eastern Frontier in the BSF, where he was responsible for preventing cattle smuggling across the West Bengal and Assam borders.


  • On the Indo-Bangla border, cattle smuggling decreased by 87% between 2015 and 2021. When he became the DG of the BSF, he had to negotiate the contentious change to the BSF’s jurisdiction, which increased to 50 kilometres from the border due to opposition from many states.


  • He has worked for the Rajasthan Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), where he cracked a notorious sex scandal that rocked Jammu and Kashmir and helped solve a number of corruption cases.


  • The government was so impressed by his plan to hold the BSF’s Raising Day in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, in 2021 that it has now instructed all paramilitary forces—including the Army—to hold their foundation and raising days outside of Delhi.

5. India’s top mobile gaming destination is Uttar Pradesh.

According to the India Mobile Gaming Report 2022 published by the gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL), Uttar Pradesh (UP) has emerged as the top location for mobile gamers, followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, and West Bengal.


Tops the mobile gaming charts are Uttar Pradesh: 

Key Points: 


  • Ludo Dice, Snakes and Ladders, Carrom, Fruit Dart, Block Puzzle, and Poker were among the participants’ most popular games.


  • In 2016, India surpassed Japan as the most popular mobile gaming nation. With over 15 billion downloads in the fiscal year 2022, the Indian gaming market was worth $2.6 billion. By 2027, the market would grow to $8.6 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27%.


  • Due to the tremendous increase in mobile gaming and other online leisure activities, Tier 2 and 3 cities have quickly risen to the top, displacing gaming hotspots like Mumbai and Bangalore.


  • In contrast to last year, when Delhi led the pack in user growth, the top 10 gaming cities do not include any metro areas.


  • According to the study, this development demonstrates the widespread acceptance of mobile gaming outside of urban centres.


Which Uttar Pradesh cities have the highest gaming populations?


The study found that Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh hosted 36% of all state games. Lucknow outperformed all major cities in the second year, 2022, and ranked among the best cities.


In other states, what is the gaming-to-state ratio?


  • Pune is the most important city for video game development in the second state of Maharashtra, followed by Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, and Nashik.


  • Jaipur outpaced Jodhpur by a factor of 200 more players, placing Rajasthan third.


  • Gaming in Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Darbhanga, and Bhagalpur in Bihar has significantly increased in recent years as a result of the popularity of mobile gaming. Kolkata, Midnapore, Murshidabad, Howrah, and Darjeeling contributed to West Bengal’s fifth-place finish in terms of the gaming population.


  • In comparison to 2021, mobile gaming activity increased the most in Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and Himachal Pradesh in 2022.


  • Odisha saw a 55% increase year over year, followed by Punjab (53%), Tamil Nadu (42%), Puducherry (38%), and Himachal Pradesh (23%).


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