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16th February 2022

National News


94-yr-old contests TN local body polls, says 'can get work done myself'

A 94-year-old woman in Chennai is contesting the upcoming Tamil Nadu local body polls as an independent candidate. "Instead of waiting for officials to solve our problems, I thought I could jump into the fray and get the work done myself," Kamakshi Subramaniyan said. "What am I going to do with the money? Vote for me," she urged people.


Haryana removes all COVID-19 restrictions amid dip in cases

The Haryana Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday issued an order saying that all restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have been lifted in the state. "However, the residents of the state are advised to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behavioural norms including social distancing," the order read. Earlier, the Central government asked states and UTs to review curbs amid declining cases.

Ratan Tata honoured with Assam's highest civilian award; CM shares pics

Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata was on Wednesday honoured with Assam's highest civilian award, 'Assam Baibhav', by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. "The visionary industrialist and philanthropist has made exceptional contribution towards furthering cancer care in Assam," the Assam CM said. The award carries a citation, a medal and a cash amount of ₹5 lakh.

Govt of India bans 54 apps of Chinese origin 

The government of India has banned 54 apps of Chinese origin citing security concerns. The apps include Sea Ltd.’s marquee game Free Fire and other apps related to tech firms like Tencent, Alibaba and NetEase.  The apps were banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology are re-branded versions of apps banned by India in 2020. Free Fire is often compared with PUBG. It is among the world’s most popular mobile games.  Under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 provides government power to issue directions for blocking public access of any information through any computer resource. This section allows the government to block websites.

GoI reduces agri-cess for Crude Palm Oil from 7.5 percent to 5 percent

With a view to provide further relief to consumers and to keep in check any further rise in the prices of domestic edible oils, the Centre has reduced the agri-cess for Crude Palm Oil from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent.  The current basic rate of import duty of zero per cent on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean oil, and Crude Sunflower Oil up to the 30th of September this year. This will give relief to consumers and prevent a further rise in the price of domestic edible oils.  The 12.5 per cent import duty on refined palm oils, 17.5 per cent on refined soyabean oil, and 17.5 per cent on refined sunflower oil will continue in effect until September 30, 2022. Furthermore, under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955, the government has set stock limit levels on edible oils and oilseeds up to June 30th of this year.


GoI allocates Rs 2.26 Crores for Telangana’s Medaram Jatara Festival 2022 

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 2.26 Crores for Medaram Jatara 2022 Festival in Telangana. In 2022, the festival is being held from February 16 to 19, 2022.  Medaram Jatara is the second-largest fair in India, after the Kumbh Mela. Medaram Jatara is conducted in honour of the Goddesses Sammakka and Saralamma. It was declared a State Festival in 1998.  The four-day tribal festival is celebrated once in two years in the month of “Magha” (February) on the full moon day, in Medaram Village of Mulugu district in Telangana.  The festival is organised by the second-largest Tribal Community of Telangana, the Koya tribe, in collaboration with the Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Telangana.

Maru Mahotsav or Jaisalmer Desert Festival celebrated in Rajasthan 

The renowned Jaisalmer Desert Festival, also known as Maru Mahotsav of the Golden City started from 13 to 16 February 2022 at Pokaran village in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. It is a four-day-long annual event started with a colorful grand procession followed by Miss Pokaran and Mister Pokran competitions. Regional folk dances such as Kalbelia, Kachhi Ghodi, Gair will be performed.  Rajasthan Minority Affairs Minister, Shale Mohammad flagged off the event. The festival is celebrated amidst the beautiful dunes of the Thar Desert in the Sam dunes (42 kilometres from Jaisalmer).

IAS Officer Vineet Joshi named as Chairman of CBSE 

IAS Vineet Joshi has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). He replaces IAS Manoj Ahuja, who has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.  Mr Joshi, a 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre, is an Additional Secretary, Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Education. He is also the Director-General of the National Testing Agency (NTA). In 2010 as well he got the responsibility of CBSE chairman.

Banking , Business and Economy

FM Sitharaman launches first colour souvenir coin on 'Panchtantra'

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched the first colour souvenir coin on 'Panchtantra' on the occasion of the 17th foundation day of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL).  The finance minister in her address stressed on upskilling and acquiring new skills, and up-gradation to meet the technology-driven economy. Further, she emphasized on ramping up the quality of products and to brand SPMCIL as lead producers of currency and other sovereign products.

Retail inflation rose to 6.01% in January, just above RBI’s upper limit

India’s retail inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), accelerated to 6.01% in the month of January, breaching the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tolerance band of 6%, albeit marginally.  The surge in inflation print was driven by higher consumer goods and telecom prices along with a comparatively low rate a year ago. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) was 5.66% in the preceding month of December.  The Central bank’s monetary policy has been given the mandate to maintain annual inflation at 4% until March 31, 2026, with an upper tolerance of 6% and a lower tolerance of 2%.

MoSPI projected GDP deflator forecast for FY23 at 3-3.5% 

Ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI) has projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) deflator for FY23 at 3 to 3.5%.  The Government’s own projection on real GDP growth for FY23 is at 7.6-8.1% and the union budget projected nominal GDP growth rate to be 11.1% for FY23. GDP Projection in the Budget is based on advance estimates of the ‘National Statistical Office’ (NSO).  Economic Survey 2021-22 projected a real GDP growth rate of 8-8.5 per cent in FY23. RBI projected India’s real GDP growth of 7.8 per cent in FY23 and retail inflation of 4.5 per cent for FY23. The GDP deflator, or implicit price deflator, is a measure of inflation and is the difference between nominal GDP and real GDP.

Infosys to hire 55,000 or more freshers in FY23: CEO Salil Parekh

Infosys CEO Salil Parekh said, "We will recruit 55,000 college graduates in this financial year, and we will hire that or a higher number next year." Of the 55,000 people Infosys is hiring this year, 52,000 are from India. Parekh added, "We want to reskill our employees and make them career-ready for what they can do with the new technologies."


RBI cancels Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank's licence citing weak financials

short by Ashley Paul / 08:46 pm on 16 Feb 2022,Wednesday

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday cancelled Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank's licence citing inadequate capital and earning prospects and asked it to cease banking operations from February 16. RBI has requested Maharashtra's Cooperation Commissioner to issue an order for winding up the bank. The continuance of the bank is prejudicial to the interests of its depositors, RBI said.

RailTel gets ICAI award for excellence in financial reporting

RailTel has bagged the ICAI award for excellence in financial reporting for the year 2020-21 in Public Sector Entities Category. The company was adjudged as the winner in the category “plaque”.  Financial Reporting includes the preparation and presentation of financial information. Effective Financial Reporting plays a significant role in accelerating the economic growth of a country as the information provided through annual reports enables the management and other relevant stakeholders in taking various effective business, investment, regulatory decisions.  The award was given by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the premier accounting body which has been holding the annual competition for these awards since 1958. This award has been instituted with a view to promote better standards in the preparation and presentation of information in the financial statements.

ICICI Bank's Sandeep Bakhshi named Business Standard Banker of the Year 2020-21

Sandeep Bakhshi has been named the Business Standard Banker of the Year 2020-21. He is the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank.  The winner was chosen by a jury of 5 members chaired by former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor S S Mundra. For 2020-21, ICICI Bank reported a net profit of Rs 16,193 crore against Rs 7,931 crore during the previous financial year.

The criteria used for selecting the contenders were the following:

Banks with an asset size of Rs 50,000 crore and above as of March 2021.  10 per cent or more growth in profits prior to provisioning in the past one-, two- and three-year periods. Only 10 banks qualified, and that was further brought down to seven.

Science and Technology News

Indian mining major Vedanta to manufacture semiconductors in India

The Indian mining major Vedanta has tied up with Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company, Hon Hai Technology Group (better known as Foxconn) to form a joint venture (JV) for manufacturing semiconductors in India. Anil Agarwal, the non-executive Chairman of Vedanta, will be the Chairman of the JV company.  This is the first JV in the electronics manufacturing sector after the government announced a Rs 76,000 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for semiconductor and display manufacturing, to create an ecosystem of local production of semiconductors in India. Vedanta will be the majority shareholder in the JV while Foxconn will hold minority share.

Sports News

India defeat West Indies to win 7th T20I in a row, equal their record

India defeated West Indies by 6 wickets in the first T20I against West Indies on Wednesday. With this, India equalled their record for winning seven T20I matches in a row. Afghanistan and Romania jointly hold the record for winning most consecutive T20Is at 12 each. The first T20I witnessed leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi register bowling figures of 4-0-17-2 on his debut.



Keegan Petersen, Heather Knight ICC players of the month for January

South Africa's Test sensation Keegan Petersen and England women's team captain Heather Knight were voted ICC Players of the Month for January 2022.  In the men’s category, South African batter Keegan Petersen was a sensation during the home Test series against India. He ended the series as the highest run-scorer with 276 runs and was named the Player of the Series.  For the women’s award, England skipper Knight beat off competition from Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies star Deandra Dottin to be named ICC Player of the Month for January 2022. Knight captained England in the one-off Ashes Test against Australia in Canberra and finished as the highest run-getter.

Important Days

International Childhood Cancer Day 2022

Every year, February 15 is observed as International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) to raise awareness about the evil that entails this issue and the ways to deal with the same.  The day is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.  This annual event was created in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International, a global network of 176 parent organizations, childhood cancer survivor associations, childhood cancer support groups, and cancer societies, in over 93 countries, across 5 continents.

Obituaries News

Legendary singer and music composer Bappi Lahiri passes away

Veteran singer and composer, Bappi Lahiri has passed away at the age of 69. He was lovingly called Bappi Da in the industry is known for delivering iconic songs in several films of the late 1970s-80s like Chalte Chalte, Disco Dancer, and Sharaabi.  His last Bollywood song was Bhankas for the 2020 film Baaghi 3. The singer is known for his gold chains. His real name was Alokesh Lahiri. He joined BJP in 2014. He was declared a BJP candidate from Srerampur (Lok Sabha constituency) in West Bengal for the 2014 Indian general election and lost.



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