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Current Affairs - 20th December 2022

1 ) MP gets India’s 1st & World’s 2nd Infantry Museum at Mhow Cantonment, Indore

On 16th December 2022, the eve of 75 years of raising of the Infantry School and to commemorate the Vijay Diwas, India’s first & World’s 2nd Infantry Research Centre and Museum was inaugurated in the Mhow cantonment in Indore district, Madhya Pradesh(MP). The museum was thrown open to the public on 17th December 2022.
The world-class museum has been set up under the aegis of
The Infantry School, Mhow. The Museum aims to showcase the Infantry with the theme line Infantry: The Ultimate.

Key points:

• The museum is housed in a 3 storied building spread across a 2-acre land. The project is developed in 3 phases.
• The construction of the research centre and museum began in 2009 and was completed in 2019.
• The Museum showcases the history of the Infantry Corps from 1747 to 2020 which includes the sacrifice of valour and valiant soldiers preserved in statues, murals and photo galleries.
• The museum has also preserved the history of the battles of Plassey, Saragarhi, Buxar and Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971 and also features the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Subhash Chandra Bose.
• The 2nd floor of the building features the Kargil war room with stories of heroes through photographs and the Fateh Gallery. It also depicts the history of 27 regiments of the Army across India.

2 ) Meghalaya Tops States in Average Monthly Income per Agricultural Household

According to the 77th round of the Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) of Agricultural Households in the rural areas of India, Meghalaya tops the list of Average monthly income per agricultural household. Meghalaya topped the list with a monthly agriculture household income of Rs 29,348 followed by Punjab with Rs 26,701 and Haryana with Rs 22,841. The 77th round of the survey was conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) from January 2019 to December 2019 with reference to the agricultural year July 2018- June 2019.

Key points:

• Considering the dependence on maximum cash crops, Punjab would have topped the list but the Meghalaya has topped the list due to its major share of horticulture and fruits.
• The agriculture income includes income from wages, income from leasing out of the land, net receipt from crop production, net receipt from farming of animals and net receipt from the non-farm business.

3 ) Highlights of 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

• From December 7 – 19, 2022, the United Nations (UN) Biodiversity Conference was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to acknowledge new set of goals to guide global action through 2030 in order to prevent nature loss.
• It comprised of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 10th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Cartagena Protocol COP/ MOP 10), and the 4th meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (Nagoya Protocol COP/ MOP 4).
• The president of COP15 was China.
• India was represented by Union Minister Bhupender Yadav, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEF&CC).
• The conference saw the adoption of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that addresses the key drivers of nature loss, and promotes health and well-being of mankind and planet. It will replace the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
• A number of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) has agreed to form a ‘Coalition for Nature’ for the implementation and adoption of GBF. It will be led by Cabo Verde, Samoa and Seychelles.

4 ) India Jumped from 7th To 3rd Global Ranking in Scientific Publications

India has improved its position in the global ranking of scientific publications from 7th in 2010 to 3rd in 2020, according to the “Science & Engineering Indicators 2022” report by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the United States (US).

Key points:

• The amount of scholarly output produced in India has increased, going from 60,555 papers in 2010 to 1,49,213 papers in 2020.
• The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent US government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all non-medical fields of science and engineering.
• Over the past three years, the India Patent Office (IPO) has given more patents to Indian scientists than ever before—from 2,511 in 2018–19 to 4,003 in 2019–20 and 5,629 in 2020–21.

5 ) Nigeria & Rwanda Become 1st African Nations to Sign Artemis Accords: US-Africa Leaders Summit

Nigeria and Rwanda became the first African nations to sign the Artemis Accords during the first-ever US-Africa Space Forum, which was held on 13th December 2022 on the sideline of the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington DC, United States (US).

Key points:

• Nigeria & Rwanda have become the 22nd and 23rd signatories of the Artemis Accords.
• Signatories: Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy signed the Artemis Accords on behalf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while Francis Ngabo, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rwanda Space Agency, signed the Accords on behalf of the Republic of Rwanda.
• Participants – It was signed in the presence of Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina, and U.S. National Space Council Executive Secretary Chirag Parikh.

6 ) Data by 1Lattice: SBI Continues to Lead in Debit Cards, While HDFC Bank Leads in Credit Cards

 According to 1Lattice (previously PGA Labs) data, State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest public sector bank, and HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, continued to lead the debit card and credit card markets, respectively. With a de-growth of 4%, SBI continues to hold the top position in the Debit Card Segment with a whopping 30% share. HDFC Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, continued to lead the credit Card Segment, with 21% share, registering a growth of 9%. It also recorded the most growth in the debit card segment.

Key points:

Debit Card Segment
• SBI is followed by Bank of Baroda (BoB) with 10% growth, Bank of India (BoI) with 4% growth, and Canara Bank with 7% growth, with BoB owning an 8% market share and the latter two holding 5% each.
• India now has 1 billion debit cards in use as issuance of new debit cards resumed.
• According to a Worldline research report, the number of credit cards climbed by 25% from 62.81 million in June 2021 to 78.7 million in June 2022.
• The number of debit cards increased by 2% over the same time period, from 906 million to 921.75 million.
Credit Card Segment HDFC bank continued to lead the Credit Card segment with 21% share, registering a growth of 9%.
• Following SBI Cards which recorded 19% growth with 19% share, ICICI Bank reported 13% growth with 17% share, while Axis Bank recorded 17% growth with 11% share.
• Kotak Mahindra Bank recorded the most growth in this segment, with a 78% YoY (year-over-year) growth and a 6% market share, and was followed by RBL Bank with a 28% YoY growth.
• In the second quarter (Q2) of the current fiscal year 2022-23 (FY23), outstanding cards-in-force fell by 2.55 million to 77.7 million.
• Global giants underperformed in the credit card market, with Citibank and American Express reporting declines of 4% and 9%, respectively.
• Citibank had a 3% market share, while American Express had a 2% share .

7 ) PTC India Signs Pact with Bhutan’s Druk Green Power Corporation to Export 600 MW Power

On 19th December 2022 PTC India Limited (PTC) entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Druk Green Power Corporation Limited, an electricity utility firm in Bhutan for the purchase of power from the Indian power market in order to meet its power requirement during the winter season. Under the partnership, Bhutan will procure up to 600 MW of power from the Indian market during the winter season.

Key points:

• Bhutan has also executed an agreement with the settlement nodal agency for the settlement of grid operation related charges.
• Bhutan has been exporting hydro power to India over the years and now due to its increasing domestic demand, Bhutan is in need to import electricity from India.
• This PPA will address the energy requirements and also strengthen the regional power markets for energy security and sustainability in South Asia.

8 ) International Human Solidarity Day 2022 – December 20

United Nations (UN)’s International Human Solidarity Day is annually observed across the globe on December 20 to raise public awareness of the value of solidarity, stimulate new efforts for the eradication of poverty, and remind governments of all countries of their responsibilities under international agreements.

Key points:

• The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/60/209 on 22nd December 2005 and proclaimed December 20 of each year as International Human Solidarity Day.
• The day marks the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund resolution (A/RES/57/265) on 20th December 2002.
• The 1st ever International Human Solidarity Day was observed on 20th December 2006.

9 ) 2nd Good Governance Week – 19th to 25th December 2022

• The 2nd Good Governance Week (Sushasan Saptah) is being observed from 19th to 25th December 2022 by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
Good Governance Week 2021 was celebrated as a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration, from 20th to 26th December 2021.
• The theme of Good Governance Week 2021 was “Prashasan Gaon Ki Aur”.
• On 19th December 2022, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions inaugurated the 5 days Prashasan Gaon ki Ore campaign, Nationwide campaign for Redressal of Public Grievances and Improving Service Delivery during the event held in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, Delhi.

10 ) UP Govt & Austin University Signs MoU to Build Austin Smart City of Knowledge Project in UP

On 18th December 2022, The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Austin University, Texas, United States of America (USA) for the construction of ‘Austin Smart City of Knowledge Project in UP’ at a cost of USD 42 billion. The MoU was signed by the officials of Uttar Pradesh (UP finance minister Suresh Khanna and additional chief secretary (Infrastructure and Industrial Development) Arvind Kumar, and Austin University, which included Austin University President Ashraf Al Moustafa. The MoU was signed during the visit of the UP government delegation to the United States of America (USA) as part of efforts to attract investment ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Global Investors Summit (UPGIS) – 2023

Key points:

• The project built on 5000 acres of land in UP will have the best universities of the world coming up inside the project.
• The investment of USD 42 billion will be provided over time in instalments, with the first instalment of USD 7 billion being issued initially and then, the rest will be increased accordingly.
• In addition, an investment target of Rs. 10 lakh crore has been fixed to attract through UPGIS that is to be held in Lucknow, UP between 10th February and 12th February 2022.
• Around eight teams of ministers and officials are on tour to 18 countries to attract investments through road shows and trade shows.
• Further, the Star consortium will provide a data centre and logistics services, while the SLG Group will build the Capital Data Centre.
• With this proposal, a number of employment opportunities will be made available to the people of UP.

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