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Current Affairs -31ST December 2022

1 ) PM Modi virtually Inaugurates Rs 7,600 crore worth Railway projects in West Bengal

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (PM) of India, virtually inaugurated a railway project worth Rs 7600 crore in West Bengal. He dedicated 4 railway projects to the nation including Boinchi – Shaktigarh 3rd Line, Dankuni – Chandanpur 4th Line Project, Nimtita – New Farakka Double Line and Ambari Falakata – New Maynaguri – Gumanihat Doubling Project.

Key points:

• He also flagged off the 7th Vande Bharat Express from Howrah to New Jalpaiguri station and inaugurated the Joka-Taratala-stretch of the Purple Line of Kolkata Metro.
• He also laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station.

2 ) Artpark-IISc Join Hands with Google to Launch AI-Powered Project Vaani

ARTPARK (Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Robotics Technology Park), a not-for-profit organisation backed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has collaborated with Google Inc. to launch ‘Project Vaani’, a pan-India inclusive language data initiative for opensourcing datasets at ‘Google for India 2022’ event held in New Delhi.

Key points:

• Project Vaani aims to compile comprehensive datasets of transcribed text and spoken language from each district in India and are open-sourced via Vaani’s website.
• In future, they can also be accessed through other platforms like “Bhashini” of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for advancing research and innovation.
• Vaani joins the Synthesizing Speech in Indian Languages (SYSPIN) and Recognizing Speech in Indian Languages (RESPIN) programmes, which encompass 9 languages, including Magadhi and Maithili, under the Bhāshā AI umbrella of ARTPARK and IISc.

3 ) Govt Approves PADMA as Self Regulatory body for the publisher

The government of India(GoI) has approved the Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across India. PADMA, an organisation with 47 digital news publishers, will look at grievances related to digital media news content on its platform.

Key points:

• The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) intimated the approval through an official order on 2nd December 2022.
• The organisation will be headed by former High Court(HC) Judge Mool Chand Garg and have a part-time member of Prasar Bharati Ashok Kumar Tandon and journalist Manoj Kumar Mishra as members.
• PDMA shall perform functions laid down in sub-rules (4) and (5) of rule 12 for the purpose of redressing grievances related to the code of ethics under the rules.
• It will also ensure that the member publishers have agreed to adhere to the provisions of the rules, including furnishing the requisite information under rule 18.

4 ) UNSC adopts first-ever resolution on Myanmar, demanding end to violence and release of political prisoners

United Nations Security Council(UNSC) adopted its first resolution on Myanmar in 74 years to demand an end to violence and urge the military junta to release all political prisoners, including former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Key points:

• Myanmar has been in crisis since the army seized Suu Kyi’s elected government on Feb. 1, 2021, detaining her
and other officials.
• In the 15-member UNSC council for the Myanmar crisis, China, Russia and India denied the vote. The remaining 12 members voted in favor.
• The resolution urges the junta to release detained prisoners, including Suu Kyi and former Myanmar president Win Myint.

5 ) Punjab & Sind Bank Partners with SBI Card to Launch Co-branded Credit Card

Punjab & Sind Bank (PSB), a public sector bank, has partnered with SBI Card to launch co-brand credit cards for the bank’s customers. This marks the entry of PSB into ‘credit cards’ as a new product segment under the bank’s portfolio.

Key points:

• The card members will have an access to a wide range of exclusive privileges and caters to spending needs of the Bank’s customers.
• SBI Card ELITE and PSB SBI Card PRIME have been designed to offer lifestyle privileges and best in class experience to premium and mass premium customers, respectively.
• PSB SBI Card ELITE will be offered at a joining fee of Rs. 4,999 plus taxes while PSB SBI Card PRIME will be offered at Rs. 2,999 plus taxes.
• PSB SimplySAVE SBI Card offers rewarding experience to value conscious customers through accelerated rewards and benefits on their spending. The car is offered at Rs. 499 plus taxes.
• Both PSB SBI Card ELITE and PSB SBI Card PRIME will be available on VISA platform and PSB SimplySAVE SBI Card on RuPay platform.

6 ) IDBI Bank signs agreement to transfer schemes of IDBI Mutual Fund to LIC MF

IDBI Bank has signed a Scheme Transfer Agreement (STA) with LIC Mutual Fund(MF) for the transfer of Schemes of IDBI Mutual Funds(MF) to LIC MF to comply with regulations 7B of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Mutual and Regulations

Key points:

• Following this proposed scheme acquisition transaction the like-to-like schemes will be merged and the unique schemes of IDBI MF will continue on a stand-alone basis with the acquiring entity.
• The merger is expected to be completed in this quarter.

7 ) Bank of Baroda Wins EAG Laureate Award on Financial Security

Bank of Baroda, the second largest public sector bank in India after State Bank of India (SBI), won EAG Laureate award in the International Olympiad of Financial Security held at Sochi, Russia on 10 October 2022.

Key points:

• India is one of the nine members of the Eurasian group on combating money laundering and terrorism (EAG), a regional organisation similar to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).The EAG was established in 2004 and is currently an associate member of the FATF.
• The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is the global anti- money laundering and anti- terrorist financing body.

8 ) Assam Cabinet Grants Industry Status to the Tourism Sector in Assam

• Cabinet of Assam headed by Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister (CM) of Assam approved the proposal for the grant of industrial status to the tourism sector in Assam. With industry status, restaurants, cafeterias, health clubs, spas and wellness centres among others are eligible for incentives under the industrial policy. This will encourage and boost private investment in the above areas of the tourism sector
• With industry status, fresh investments in tourism infrastructures will contribute to rapid employment generation, public-private partnership and infrastructure development.
• This aims for sustainable and environmentally friendly investment besides capital formation and the creation of gainful employment.

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