2nd January, 2023 Current Affairs
India to assume chairmanship of Wassenaar Arrangement for one year
- India will assume the chairmanship of the plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement today for one year.
- The 42-member Wassenaar Arrangement is a voluntary export control regime that monitors transfers of conventional weapons and dual-use goods. At the 26th annual plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement held in Vienna during November 30-December 1, Ireland’s ambassador Eoin O’Leary handed over the chairmanship to India’s ambassador Jaideep Mazumdar, who is the permanent representative to the UN and international organisations in Vienna. India joined the Wassenaar Arrangement in December 2017 as its 42nd participating state.
- The Wassenaar Arrangement is a multilateral export control regime that works to promote transparency and greater responsibility in transfers of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies through regular exchanges of information among its members. The regime is aimed at tracking such transfers and preventing “destabilising accumulations” of conventional arms and dual-use goods.
- The plenary of the Wassenaar Arrangement is the main decision-making body that operates on consensus.
Anil Kumar Lahoti takes over charge of new Chairman & CEO of Railway Board
- Anil Kumar Lahoti has taken over the charge of new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Railway Board.
- The appointments committee of the Cabinet approved the appointment of Anil Kumar Lahoti. Prior to this, Mr. Lahoti has worked as Member (Infrastructure), Railway Board.
- During his more than 36 years of career in railways, he has worked in various capacities over Central, Northern, North Central, Western and West Central Railways and in Railway Board.
India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear installations & facilities
- India and Pakistan today exchanged the list of nuclear installations and facilities, covered under the Agreement on the Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities between the two countries. External Affairs Ministry said, the exchange took place through diplomatic channels simultaneously at New Delhi and Islamabad.
- The Agreement, which was signed on 31 December 1988, provides that India and Pakistan inform each other of the nuclear installations and facilities to be covered under the Agreement on the first of January every year. This is the 32nd consecutive exchange of such lists between the two countries.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva sworn in as 39th president of Brazil
- Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been sworn in as the 39th president of Brazil following the 2022 Brazilian general election. 77-year-old Lula narrowly defeated Jair Bolsonaro in October to win an unprecedented third presidential term after a hiatus that saw him spend a year and a half behind bars on corruption convictions that were later overturned.
- In his previous years as Workers Party (PT) president from 2003 to 2010, the former union leader lifted millions of Brazilians from poverty during a commodity boom that boosted the economy.
EAM Dr. Jaishankar holds talks with Bulgaria's President Rumen Georgiev Radev in Vienna
- External Affairs Minister Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar held talks with Bulgaria's President Rumen Georgiev Radev in Vienna.They discussed strengthening of cooperation in the context of Make in India, near-shoring and building resilient supply chains between the countries.
- Dr. Jaishankar also held his first diplomatic engagement of the year with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg. The Minister thanked his Austrian counterpart for inviting them to join the traditional New Year’s concert in Vienna.
- This is the first EAM-level visit from India to Austria in the last 27 years.
Newly constructed Pokhara Regional International Airport to be operational from today
- In Nepal, the newly constructed Pokhara Regional International Airport will be operational from today.
- Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to inaugurate the airport. Pom Narayan Shrestha, President of Pokhara Tourism Council said that Pokhara is a major tourism destination in the country and the tourism industry will definitely benefit from the operation of the new airport.
Venezuela and Colombia fully reopen shared border
- Venezuela and Colombia will fully reopen their shared border today to allow passage of cargo and passenger transport via the cross-border Tienditas bridge, Colombia Migration.
- The South American countries reopened in September their border crossing in the Tachira state, in western Venezuela, after political ties strengthened under Colombia's new president, Gustavo Petro.
- Petro and his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, appointed ambassadors in Caracas and Bogota, respectively. Colombian authorities have said since September that the reopening of the shared 2,200 kilometres border between the two countries would be progressive.
Former Pope Benedict XVI passes away at his Vatican residence
- Pope Emeritus died at 9:34 this morning in his residence at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery according to the Holy See Press office reports.
- The health conditions of Pope Emeritus had worsened due to advancing age.
- Earlier Pope Francis himself publicly shared the news about his predecessor's worsening health at the end of the last General Audience of the year, on 28 December 2022.
China appoints Qin Gang as country's new foreign minister
- China's ambassador to the US, Qin Gang has been appointed as the country's new foreign minister.
- The decision was made by the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee yesterday, December 30. 56-year Qin is replacing Wang Yi, who is now a Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor.
Global spillovers, financial market, general risks increased, while macroeconomic risks moderated: RBI survey
- The Reserve Bank of India’s latest Systemic Risk Survey (SRS) has shown that global spillovers, financial market and general risks have increased, while macroeconomic risks have moderated. The survey also showed that respondents’ confidence in the Indian financial system further improved with 93.6 per cent of them remaining fairly or highly confident of the stability of the Indian financial system. It said that no change is perceived in institutional risks.
- The majority of the respondents saw further improvement in credit prospects for the Indian economy and remained confident about the stability of the Indian banking sector, according to an RBI survey.
- The 23rd round of the RBI’s Systemic Risk Survey was conducted in November 2022 to solicit the perceptions of experts, including market participants and academicians, on major risks faced by the Indian financial system.
- The survey also captured respondents’ perception of risk to financial stability from external sector developments; segments of the Indian financial system - likely to be impacted by aggressive monetary policy tightening by advanced economies and their views on the likelihood of a global recession in 2023.
- According to the survey, confidence in the stability of the global financial system marginally declined during the last six months. Whereas, as much as 52.1 per cent of the respondents expected that the Indian economy will be impacted somewhat/to a limited extent by global spillovers.
- Less than 40 per cent of respondents viewed that banks’ profitability and external debt would be adversely impacted, the Survey noted.
Core sector output growth in November rises to 5.4 percent
- The growth rate in the production of eight core sectors jumped to 5.4 percent in November against 3.2 percent in the corresponding month last year. In October 2022, the core sectors’ output growth had stood at 0.9 percent. The production growth of eight infrastructure sectors - coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity - stood at 8.0 percent during April-October this fiscal, compared to 13.9 percent a year ago.
- Final growth rate of the Index of Eight Core Industries for August 2022 has been revised to 4.2 percent from its provisional level 3.3 percent. The cumulative growth rate of ICI during April-November 2022 was 8 percent (provisional) as compared to the corresponding period of last year.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
2023 Science Vision will define India in 2047: MoS for Science & Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh
- Minister of State for Science and Technology Dr. Jitendra Singh has stressed on research related to science and technology reaching the local level to make the country a global hub of research and innovation during this Amrit Kaal.
- 2023 Science Vision will define India in 2047.
- Indian Space Research Organisation is focusing on “Gaganyan'' program which will land an Indian on the surface of the Moon.
- The Minister added that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research will focus on the Green Hydrogen and Biotechnology department will work towards the improvement of vaccines for the existing and emerging diseases.
- The country's Blue Economy will see further headway through the Earth Sciences Ministry. He informed that this year Atomic Energy Department will deliver about 21 lakh equipments for the Election Commission of India which includes Ballot Units, Control Units and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail.
Cristiano Ronaldo joins Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr
- Portugal Football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo has joined the Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a contract until 2025. The club in a tweet described the signing as history in the making.
- The club said it would inspire their league, nation, and future generations, boys and girls to be the best version of themselves. The 37-year-old Ronaldo said he is eager to experience a new football league in a different country.
- The Portugal captain was free after leaving Manchester United following a controversial interview in which he had criticised the club.