1) RBI Monetary Policy Committee: Policy Rates Unchanged: Recently, the Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy rates unchanged, taking into account the evolving macroeconomic situation.
- Policy Rates Unchanged: Repo rate, SDF rate, MSF rate and bank rate remained unchanged.
- Emphasis on Inflation Management: The MPC aims to withdraw accommodation gradually to align inflation with the target while supporting growth.
- Inflation Outlook:
- The trajectory of headline inflation will likely be influenced by food price dynamics.
- the forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD) of a normal southwest monsoon is positive for kharif crops.
- crude oil prices have eased, but the outlook remains uncertain.
- Inflation and Growth Projections:
- Assuming a normal monsoon, CPI inflation is projected at 5.1% for 2023-24.
- Real GDP growth for 2023-24 projected at 6.5%.
2) Fermi Energy in Quantum Physics: Recently, Fermi energy has gained significant attention due to its wide range of daily practical applications in various fields, driven by the principles of quantum physics.
- Fermi energy is the energy of the highest occupied state of electrons in a material at absolute zero temperature (-273º C or 0K).
- Fermi energy determines electron velocity in conduction, as only electrons with energies close to the Fermi energy can participate in the conduction process.
- Metals, such as copper, aluminum, and silver, exhibit high Fermi energies, even at extremely low temperatures.
- Importance for Quantum Physics: Fermi energy reveals the wave nature and discrete energy levels of electrons in matter; it determines various physical properties of materials, including electrical and thermal conductivity, heat capacity, magnetism, and superconductivity.
3) Spotted Pond Turtles: Three persons engaged as mahouts (keepers and drivers of an elephant) in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, Assam, have been arrested for capturing and consuming spotted pond turtles, a rare species of a freshwater turtle.
- They are also known as Black Pond Turtle, Black Spotted Turtle, Hamilton’s Terrapin.
- In India, the species is distributed across the north, northeast and a few parts of central India.
- Spotted pond turtles are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at twilight (dusk and dawn).
- IUCN: Endangered.
- CITES: Appendix I.