Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2022
Current Affair 1:
How India’s economy fared in a year of shocks, aftershocks & slowing global growth?
If in 2020 and 2021, economies were dominated by Covid-related disruptions and subsequent opening up, 2022 was a year of shocks and after-shocks characterised by geo-political tensions, high global inflation, the US Federal Reserve responding to inflation with the steepest interest rate hikes in decades, and global growth slowdown.
Failure to achieve the inflation target
Headline inflation was already above the upper threshold of 6 per cent at the beginning of 2022. The situation worsened after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In April, it touched an all-time high of 7.79 per cent and remained outside the 6 per cent band till October.
Persistent inflation led to the failure to achieve the inflation target for the first since its adoption in 2016. A report explaining the reasons for the failure and on the required remedial measures is required to be sent within one month from the date on which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) failed to meet the inflation target.
Foreign investors end the year as net sellers but domestic investors supported the market
While 2020-21 was a year of record inflows by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) due to ultra-low global interest rates, 2022 was a year of massive outflows.
As of 27 December, 2022, FPIs have withdrawn Rs 1.34 lakh crore from Indian equity and debt.
Two distinct trends can be seen in the movement of foreign capital.
- The first half of the year saw FPIs selling equities and bonds worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore. Aggressive monetary policy tightening by global central banks, rupee depreciation, rise in global crude oil prices and fears of global recession triggered outflows of capital.
- The second half saw a return of foreign investments. In the second half, there were growing indications that the pace of rate hike will go slow amid moderation in US inflation. After peaking in June, US inflation has seen a gradual moderation. This optimism fuelled the return of FPIs to Indian markets.
- In addition, robust earnings of the corporate sector and healthy balance-sheets of banks led FPIs returning to the Indian markets.
Robust credit growth and domestic consumption has led FPIs to invest in banking and Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors. Though FPI investments oscillated between outflows and inflows, the domestic institutional investors (DIIs), particularly the Mutual Funds, supported the markets for the first ten months of the calendar year 2022. Only in November, Mutual Funds net buying slowed owing to profit booking.
Export slowdown after a stellar run in 2021
Global trade growth was strong in 2021 and reached a record level of USD 28.5 trillion, an increase of 25 per cent relative to 2020. However multiple disruptions, starting from the Omicron wave, resulting in supply chain disruptions, geo-political conflicts, lower global demand due to higher inflation in advanced economies, had a bearing on global trade growth.
Improved banking sector health and robust credit
The banking sector was resilient in 2021-22 and continued its resilience in 2022. Comfortable capital buffers, better asset quality and enhanced profitability indicators reflect the robustness of the banking sector.
Banks gross non-performing assets ratio (GNPA ratio) declined to 5 per cent in September 2022 from 5.8 per cent in March 2022.
Current Affair 2:
Pralay — India’s first tactical quasi-ballistic missile
The decision by the Defence Ministry to procure indigenous short-range ballistic surface-to-surface (SRBM) missile Pralay, a conventional weapon that has become ready for induction in just seven years.
Pralay, along with the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, will form the crux of India’s planned Rocket Force — a concept that was envisaged by former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), the late General Bipin Rawat.
The Pralay missile project was sanctioned in 2015 and is a derivative of the Prahaar missile programme, which was first tested in 2011.
The canisterised Pralay missile, with a range of 150-500 kilometres, has been developed according to the specifications and requirement of the Army.
What makes Pralay deadly?
The Indian missile can be compared to China’s Dong Feng 12 and the Russian Iskander missile that has been used in the ongoing war with Ukraine.
The US Army is in the process of increasing the range of a similar short-range ballistic missile called the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM).
What makes Pralay deadly is that it is a quasi-ballistic weapon, which means that while it has a low trajectory and is largely ballistic, it can manoeuvre in flight.
It has been designed to evade interceptor missiles. Ballistic missiles are initially powered by a rocket or series of rockets in stages, but then follow an unpowered trajectory that arches upwards before descending to reach its intended target at high speed.
Unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles that exit the Earth’s atmosphere, short-range ballistic missiles stay within it.
Sources added that Pralay would eventually be part of the Rocket Force, which will also include the BrahMos as well as the Smerch and indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel missile launchers, besides a few other systems that are being built.
Pralay is powered with a solid propellant rocket motor and multiple new technologies and, according to sources, accuracy is a highlight of this missile.
It is capable of carrying a conventional warhead of about 350 kg to 700 kg, which gives it a deadly punitive capability.
It can carry a high explosive preformed fragmentation warhead, penetration-cum-blast (PCB) and runaway denial penetration submunition (RDPS).
Asked what was the need for a ballistic missile when there is already a cruise missile whose range can be shortened for use in a battlefield, sources explained that both have their own distinct advantages.
While BrahMos has high agility, stealth and even loitering capability, Pralay has the advantage of speed and countering it is a difficult task, even for modern air defence systems.
Incidentally, both China and Pakistan have tactical ballistic missiles.
Current Affair 3:
A rare disease 'GNB1 Encephalopathy'
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, Tel Aviv University and Columbia University are studying a rare genetic brain disease called "GNB1 Encephalopathy" and trying to develop a drug to treat it effectively.
With less than 100 documented cases worldwide, GNB1 Encephalopathy is a kind of brain disease or neurological disorder which affects individuals in the foetus stage.
Scientists say delayed physical and mental development, intellectual disabilities, frequent epileptic seizures, are among the early symptoms of the disease and since genome sequencing is an expensive exercise, not many parents opt for it early on.
Current Affair 4:
AVGC Task Force’s Recommendations
AVGC Task Force was constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of I & B, Shri Apurva Chandra, to help realize the full potential of the AVGC sector in India, with key stakeholders from the Industry and the Government.
The AVGC Promotion Task Force has been bestowed with the responsibility of devising policies and strategies of growth for the AVGC sector in India.
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