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12th January Current Affairs

How rising inflation could help Govt balance its fiscal maths

(GS-III: Indian Economy and issues relating to Planning, Mobilization of Resources, Growth, Development and Employment)

In News:

Even though the high inflation rate of above 6% for most of this fiscal year forced the RBI and the government to take action to bring it under control, this may soon become a blessing in disguise.

The FY 2022-23 fiscal maths has benefited from:

Strong nominal GDP (which takes into account inflation) growth of around 16% vs budgeted 11%;

Above target tax collections due to better growth, reopening boost, formalisation, and tighter compliance;

Pick up in nominal GST collections, which have helped to offset lower RBI dividends, fuel excise cuts, higher subsidies, and divestment miss.

How can this be a blessing for the government?

The fiscal deficit is expected to be higher in absolute terms by at least Rs 1 lakh crore, but the gains from a rise in nominal GDP (which takes into account inflation) will help in meeting the budget target (4% of GDP).

What will be the effect on Budget 2023-24 maths?

The disadvantage of this gain would be visible in the next fiscal year when a likely slower growth rate and sluggish tax revenues would harm the government’s budget maths.

Slower real and nominal GDP growth would occur amid weakening demand conditions, a slowing global economy, and the normalisation of base effects from the pandemic.

Thullal- a Satirical Art Form

In News:

Ottan Thullal is a recite-and-dance art form of Kerala, India. It was introduced in the eighteenth century by Kunchan Nambiar, one of the Prachina Kavithrayam

Details:

Seen at temple festivals and cultural programmes, these performances use elaborate expressions and stories recited in verses to bring important mythological tales and stories to life.

It is epitomized by humour, satire and social criticism

The costume and makeup of the performer are similar to that of a Kathakali artist

The thullal performer is supported by a singer who repeats the verses and is accompanied by an orchestra of mridangam or thoppimaddalam (percussions) and cymbals.

It has spawned into three separate versions which include- Ottanthullal, Seethankan thullal and Parayan thullal.

Digital India Awards

In News:

President Droupadi Murmu, recently conferred the Digital India Award 2022 – Gold to CBSE in the Data Sharing and Use for Socio-Economic Development category.

Details:

CBSE’s pioneering IT initiative “Digital Academic Repository – Parinam Manjusha was selected for the Gold category.

Other winners:

Platinum: E-NAM: for creating a unified national market for agriculture

Platinum Award: E-Vivechna App (MP): To help in Crime investigation in the State Crime Records Bureau of Madhya Pradesh

Mine Mitra (UP) for online approval of mining plan

Duare Sarkar (West Bengal) for doorstep delivery of services.

About DIA:

DIA aims to encourage and honour innovative digital solutions and initiatives by various government entities and startups (included in 2022 awards).

Nodal Agency: Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology.

Implementation Agency: National Portal of India.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

In News:

Ceiling fans have come under the ambit of mandatory star labelling from January 1, as per the revised Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) norms.

Details:

As high energy-efficient five-star rated fans will require new imported motors and electronic components, they would get costlier by 8% to 20%

What is Star-labelling?

Star labelling denotes energy savings of a minimum of 30% for one-star rated fans to over 50% for five-star rated fans.

Under the new mandate, manufacturers would have to display the star ratings on their fans. The star rating is dependent on service value (air delivery in cubic metres per minute divided by energy consumption in wattage in the case of fans).

Background:

Star rating was introduced under the Standards and Labelling Program ( in 2006) for the visual representation of an appliance’s efficiency.

Standards and Labelling Program comes under Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

It is mandatory for many appliances to have star ratings such as Frost Free and Direct Cool Refrigerators, LED lamps, Rooms AC, Color TV, Refrigerators, TFL etc.