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In news:

A month long special exhibition titled Indian Heritage in Digital Space was launched.

In brief:

  • The visitors in the exhibition will be able to see the recreations of the socio- cultural life and traditions of Hampi, architectural and conjectural reconstructions of several important structures and experience demystification of many murals.
  • Indian Digital Heritage (IDH) is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
  • The goals of these projects are to create digital installations using 3D laser scan data, AR, holographic projections and 3D fabrication, to provide interactive and immersive experiences showcasing.
    • the glory of Hampi
    • KashiVishwanath Temple, Varanasi
    • TajMahal, Agra
    • Sun Temple, Konark
    • Ramachandra Temple, Hampi
    • RaniKiVav, Patan.

Monetary Policy Committee

In News:

Reserve Bank of India’s principal adviser in the monetary policy department Janak Raj to be the third internal member of the monetary policy committee.

About MPC:

  • The MPC consists of 6 members, out of which three are RBI’s internal members and three are external experts.
  • As per the law, by default, the Governor and the Deputy Governor of RBI who are in-charge of monetary policy are the two RBI internal members of MPC. The third member could be any RBI officer.
  • Therefore, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and deputy Governor Michael Patra are the two RBI internal members of MPC.

Wholesale Inflation

In News:

Wholesale inflation touches a 7-month high of 2.59% in December.

In Brief :

  • According to the data, Wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation surged to a seven-month high of 2.59 per cent in December 2019, as against 0.58 per cent in November, due to a sharp rise in prices of food articles like onions and potatoes.
  • Vegetable inflation jumping to an over six-year high and pulses inflation rising to a more than 3-year high. It making tough for RBI to lower interest rates.
  • The continuance of wholesale inflation in the moderate range despite higher food inflation is mainly due to subdued manufacturing and fuel inflation both of which were negative in December.

About Wholesale price Index:

  • Wholesale price Index (WPIs) Report monthly to show the average price changes of goods sold in bulk, and they are a group of the indicators that helps to measure the inflation and growth in the economy.
  • It measures and tracks the changes in price of goods in the stages before the retail level.
  • It is calculated for wholesale prices in which the quantities of the base year and the current year are different.

New Gold Hallmarking Process

In News:

Union Consumer Ministry announced that on January 14, 2020, that Indian jewellers will be allowed to sell hallmarked gold artifacts made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold only.

In Brief:

  • It becomes mandatory for all jewellers in the country but they will be given one year to get mandatory hallmarking in the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). At present, gold hallmarking is voluntary.
  • There is a provision of fine and imprisonment for one year for violating this rule.
  • The government aims to open hallmarking centers in all districts across the country.
  • The mandatory hallmarking will also ensure that consumers don’t get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the same purity and carat as marked on the ornament.

What is Gold Hallmarking?

  • The process of certifying the purity of gold is called hallmarking. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a government body, certifies the purity of gold bought by you.
  • It has a triangular mark as a purity certification of gold. Apart from that, the year of manufacturing of the product and the logo of the producer are also there.
  • According to the BIS website, there are two principle objectives of the hallmarking scheme:
    • To protect the public against adulteration.
    • To obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness/purity.
  • Four components that ensure purity of Gold:
    • BIS Mark.
    • Purity in Karat and fineness.
    • Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s identification mark/number.
    • Jeweller’s Identification mark/number.

Bilateral Trade Between India And China Declined

In News:

The bilateral trade between India and China declined by about USD three billion last year.

In Brief:

  • While India’s trade deficit continues to be high amounting to USD 56.77 billion as both countries experienced economic slowdown.
  • The trade figures released by the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) projected the total trade in Chinese currency RMB-Yuan terms registered a marginal increase of 1.6 per cent year on year but in dollar terms it was down by about USD three billion.
  • China’s exports to India increased by 2.1 per cent last year while India’s imports to China decreased by 0.2 per cent.

PRELIMS BITS

RBI New Deputy Governor

  • Reserve Bank of India Executive Governor Michael Patra was appointed a deputy governor at the central bank.
  • He is already a member of the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, and voted for five successive cuts in interest rates in 2019 under Governor Shaktikanta Das.