- Lohri is the first festival of the year 2023 and marks the beginning of the harvest season.
- It is celebrated with full enthusiasm in northern India, mainly Punjab, and Haryana.
- Lohri festival is celebrated on 13 January 2023 by lighting up a bonfire and dancing around it with friends and relatives.
- The people offer wheat stalk, rice, rewrite, jaggery, and popcorn at the bonfire.
14th edition of the World Spice Congress (WSC) to be held in Mumbai
- The 14th edition of the World Spice Congress (WSC) will be held in Mumbai from 16-18 February 2023.
- Objective – To open up newer opportunities to promote the international trade of Indian spices.
- The event, organized to create a platform for traders and policy regulators, will have special business sessions dedicated to promoting spice trade among the G20 countries.
Axis Bank signed MoU with IISc Bengaluru to set up the Centre for Mathematics and Computing
- Axis Bank has signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru to establish a Centre for Mathematics and Computing at the Institute.
- The centre spread over 1.6 lakh square feet will have labs and programmes benefitting faculty and students.
13th Ministerial-level meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum held in Washington
- Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has participated 13th Ministerial Meeting of the India-US Trade Policy Forum in Washington DC, USA.
- Before the delegation-level talks, CIM also held a one-to-one meeting with USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai.
India’s fastest payment app ‘PayRup’ launched
- India’s fastest payment app has launched. PayRup is built with the cutting-edge technology of web 3.0.
- It provides an advanced digital payment experience with an outstanding user experience.
- PayRup users can pay utility and landline bills, recharge their mobile, broadband, and DTH, and purchase Gift Cards.
- PayRup services are planned to expand across various financial instruments, including multiple payment services such as school fees, pay rent, and other payment collection services.
Centre approved ₹2,600 crores as an incentive for banks to promote digital payments
- The Union Cabinet has approved a ₹2,600 crore scheme for promoting RuPay debit cards and low-value BHIM-UPI transactions.
- The Cabinet has approved this incentive scheme to promote small amount transactions between individuals and merchants through RuPay Debit Cards and BHIM-UPI.
Herbalife appointed Smriti Mandhana as a brand ambassador
- Nutrition Company Herbalife Nutrition India Private Limited has appointed women’s cricketer Smriti Mandhana as a ‘nutrition sponsor’.
- It has about 150 sponsored teams and athletes around the world.
- Many Indian athletes like Virat Kohli, Mary Kom, Lakshya Sen, and Manika Batra have partnered up with Herbalife Nutrition.
- Currently, she is the vice-captain of the Indian women’s national cricket team.
Footballer Gareth Bale announced his retirement from professional football
- Former Tottenham and Real Madrid star, Gareth Bale has announced his retirement from professional football.
- Bale made his Wales debut in 2006 against Trinidad and Tobago. He has won Wales’ player of the year award six times.
Indian High Commission signed MoU to establish Hindi Chair at Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
- The Indian High Commission has signed an MoU with the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka to establish a Hindi Chair.
- High Commissioner Gopal Bagale and Vice-Chancellor of Sabaragamuwa University Prof. Uday Ratnayake signed an MoU for establishing a Hindi Chair for cultural engagement through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.
Centre renamed Integrated Food Security Scheme as Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana
- The Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved a new Integrated Food Security scheme for providing free foodgrains to Antodaya Ann Yojna (AAY) & Primary Household (PHH) beneficiaries, to be rolled out from 1st January 2023.
- The new scheme has been named Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana (PMGKAY).