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17th February 2022


Insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh for fishermen: BJP in poll-bound Manipur

BJP chief JP Nadda and Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Thursday released the party's manifesto for the upcoming state Assembly elections. In the manifesto, BJP promised that free of cost accidental insurance of up to ₹5,00,000 will be provided to all fishermen in Manipur. Besides, it promised to increase the monthly pension of senior citizens from ₹200 to ₹1,000.
Hyd's trade exhibition 'Numaish' to reopen for public on Feb 25

Hyderabad's annual trade exhibition 'Numaish' will reopen for the public on February 25 in view of declining COVID-19 cases. The fair was abruptly shut down a day after its inauguration on January 1 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. It will be held from 4 pm to 10.30 pm on weekdays and 4 pm to 11 pm on weekends.

Bihar ropes in Manoj Tiwari as brand ambassador for Khadi

Bhojpuri singer and BJP MP, Manoj Tiwari will be the brand ambassador of Khadi and other handicrafts of Bihar. He will be the “brand ambassador” for Khadi and other handicrafts of Bihar, state minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain announced.  Manoj Tiwari will promote the use of Khadi fabric, which was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s Independence movement. Tiwari, who has lent his voice to innumerable foot-tapping numbers, including the “Gangs of Wasseypur” chartbuster “Jiya ho Bihar ke lala”.




International News


Coup leader Damiba sworn in as Burkina Faso's President

Weeks after leading the coup in Burkina Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was sworn in as the President of the country. In a televised ceremony, Damiba vowed to "preserve, respect, uphold and defend the Constitution". He also paid tribute to "Burkinabe people, who have been enduring the scars of terrorism for more than six years."


World Health Organisation launches Quit Tobacco App 

World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR) has launched a ‘Quit Tobacco App’. This application helps people to give up the use of tobacco in all forms, including smokeless and other newer products.  The App was launched by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-SEAR, during WHO’s year-long ‘Commit to quit’ campaign, is the latest tobacco control initiative by the WHO South-East Asia Region.  The app, the first such by WHO, and the first that targets all forms of tobacco, helps users to identify the triggers, set their targets, manage cravings, and stay focused to quit tobacco.  Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death and kills nearly 8 million persons every year. It claims 1.6 million lives in the WHO South-East Asia Region which is amongst the largest producers and consumers of tobacco products.

Banking,  Business and Economy

Yes Bank launches ‘Agri Infinity’ programme

Private sector lender, Yes Bank has launched an ‘Agri Infinity’ programme for digital financing solutions in the food and agriculture sector ecosystem by mentoring entrepreneurial ventures in this field.  Agri-fintech start-ups working on financial innovations across the food and agriculture value chain are eligible to apply under this programme and can work with Yes Bank for digital solutions.  Through the initiative, a select cohort of startups will not only receive mentoring by veteran bankers for experiential co-development but also get access to YES BANK’s digital banking infrastructure and network, collaborative opportunities to pilot new solutions and fundraising advisory.  Those involved in originations, farmer on-boarding, farmer KYC, credit scoring, risk assessment, monitoring and mitigation, disbursement and recovery solutions and cash management system, among others, can apply.


India's largest FMCG company HUL hikes prices twice in 2 months

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), India's largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, has undertaken another round of price hikes across product categories. This is the second price hike by the company in two months. The move is in line with the management's commentary after December quarter earnings, wherein it indicated "calibrated price hikes" as it expected higher input price inflation.


India, UAE may sign free trade agreement on Feb 18: Reports

India and UAE may reportedly sign a proposed free trade agreement, which would give both countries duty-free access to a number of products from different sectors, on February 18. PM Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi will hold a Virtual Summit on Friday. This would be second such agreement to be signed by the current government.

Housing prices rise by 6%, sales rise by 7% in B'luru in 2021: Report

According to a report by property brokerage firm, the housing prices increased by 6% in Bengaluru in 2021. The report 'Real Insight Residential- Annual Round-up 2021' further stated that the housing sales increased by 7% in Bengaluru last year. "It seems very likely that we will see an increase in prices in 2022," said Rajan Sood,'s Business Head.

50% of our staff from India, country's role growing: Capgemini CEO

Over 50% staff in Capgemini are from India and the nation's role in the company is only growing as it becomes a big centre of innovation, said the French IT firm CEO Aiman Ezzat. As of December 2021, the company's total headcount stood at 324,700. "In future, there will probably be more Indian senior executives overall in Capgemini,'' he added.

India's wholesale inflation declines to 12.96% in January

India’s wholesale inflation has eased to 12.96 % in January from 13.56 % in the previous month. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation has declined consistently in recent months.  It fell from 14.87 % in November 2021 to 13.56 % in December 2021 and further to 12.96 % in January 2022. However, inflation still remains at an elevated level and is a matter of concern for economic policymakers.  The high rate of inflation in January 2022 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, crude petroleum & natural gas, basic metals, chemicals, and chemical products, food articles etc as compared the corresponding month of the previous year”.  Wholesale food inflation hardened during the month of January. The rate of inflation based on the WPI Food Index increased marginally from 9.24 % in December 2021 to 9.55 % in January 2022.  Prices of Minerals rose by 11.08 % and non-food articles became costlier by 0.37 % in January 2022 as compared to December 2021.

Jio Platforms picks up 25% stake in US-based tech startup TWO Platforms 

Jio Platforms has picked up a 25% stake in US-based deep-tech startup company TWO Platforms for $15 million. Two Platforms is an artificial reality company that focuses on building interactive and immersive AI experiences.  The two companies have joined hands to fast track the adoption of new technologies and build disruptive technologies such as AI, metaverse and mixed realities. TWO’s platform enables real-time AI voice and video calls, digital humans, immersive spaces and lifelike gaming.  It plans to bring its interactive AI technologies first to consumer applications followed by entertainment and gaming, as well as enterprise solutions including retail, services, education, health and wellness. The platform was founded by Indian-origin computer scientist Pranav Mistry.

Sebi makes provision of separation of chairperson & MD/CEO roles voluntary 

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) board has decided to make provision for separation of the roles of chairperson and MD/CEO as 'voluntary' against 'mandatory' earlier.  The market regulator had in June 2017 set up a committee on corporate governance under Uday Kotak with a view to seek recommendations to further enhance corporate governance norms for listed companies.  One of the recommendations that the Committee came out with was the separation of the roles of chairperson and MD/CEO of listed companies. This was proposed to provide a better and more balanced governance structure by enabling more effective and objective supervision of the management. The Sebi board, in its meeting in March 2018 approved the proposal for the top 500-listed entities. Later the deadline for compliance was extended by two years in January 2020.

Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge browsers' version '100' release may break websites

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Edge browsers are about to hit version 100 and the triple release is expected to break many websites. The versions may result in bugs or compatibility issues on some websites that aren't ready to read triple-digit user-agent strings. "When browsers first reached version 10 over 12 years ago, many issues were discovered," Mozilla said.




CBI questions ex-ABG Shipyard CMD in India's biggest bank fraud case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently questioned former ABG Shipyard Chairman and MD Rishi Agarwal in connection with its probe into the country's largest bank fraud case. CBI has also issued lookout circulars against Directors of the company to ensure they do not leave the country. ABG Shipyard allegedly cheated a consortium of banks of ₹22,842 crore.

President of B'luru's Raghavendra Bank arrested in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested K Ramakrishna, the President of a Bengaluru-based cooperative bank, Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha, in a money-laundering case. The case is linked to the alleged misappropriation of public funds worth ₹1,000 crore. ED alleged the bank officials siphoned off the money deposited by the public. They reportedly cheated over 40,000 depositors.


Summits and Conferences News

Union Minister RK Singh co-chairs 4th India-Australia Energy Dialogue

The 4th India-Australia Energy Dialogue was co-chaired by Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh and Australian Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor.  Energy Transition was a major area of discussion in the dialogue and both the Energy Ministers. Energy Transition activities in their respective countries with a focus on renewables, energy efficiency, storage, EVs, critical minerals, mining etc.  The need of Climate Finance was also highlighted by India for meeting the Energy Transition goals of developing countries. Both the countries signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for working towards reducing the cost of new and renewable energy technologies and scaling up their deployment to reduce global emissions.

GoI forms G20 Secretariat in view India’s G20 Presidency

India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 and the G20 Summit will be held in India in 2023 (18th edition). For its preparation, the government has approved the setting up of a G20 Secretariat and its reporting structures.  The G20 Secretariat will be guided by an Apex Committee headed by Prime Minister and it will have the following members: Finance Minister: Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister: Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister: S. Jaishankar, and G20 Sherpa: Piyush Goyal.  The G20 secretariat will be responsible for the implementation of overall policy decisions and arrangements needed for steering India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency. In 2021, the G20 summits was held in Rome, Italy. In 2022 the G20 summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia while in 2023 it will be held in New Delhi, India.

TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit begins

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has delivered the inaugural address at The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit.  Mr Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Ms Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations and Union Minister Shri Bhupender Yadav were among those present on the occasion.  The 21st edition of WSDS is scheduled from 16th-18th February 2022. The theme for this year's summit is Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future.  The Prime Minister recalled that Environment and sustainable development have

Schemes and Conferences News

Social Justice Ministry launches Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs

Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar has launched a central sector scheme named the Scheme for Economic Empowerment for DNTs, (SEED) at Dr Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi.  The total financial outlay for SEED Scheme is approximately Rs 200 crore to be spent over a period of 5 years starting Financial Year 2021-22 to 2025-26.  The objective of SEED is the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic tribal Communities (DNT/NT/SNT), which are the most neglected, marginalized and economically and socially deprived communities.

The scheme will have the following four components:

To provide coaching of good quality for DNT/NT/SNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.  To provide health insurance to DNT/NT/SNT Communities.  To facilitate livelihoods initiative at the community level to build and strengthen small clusters of DNT/NT/SNT Communities institutions.  To provide financial assistance for the construction of houses to members of the DNT/NT/SNT Communities.



Canada beat USA 3-2 to win women’s ice-hockey gold at Winter Olympics

Canada on Thursday beat the USA 3-2 to win the women’s ice-hockey gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The USA had beaten Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics final. Canada ended the tournament undefeated, beating Sweden 11-0 in the quarter-final and Switzerland 10-3 in the semi-final. Canada also beat the USA 3-2 in the World Championship last year.

Books and Authors News

A book titled ‘Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War’ released

A new book titled “Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War” authored by Samuel Moyn was released. Samuel Moyn is the Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and a professor of History at Yale University.  This provocative book argues about the endless wars the USA created in the past including Vietnam War (1955-1975), Korean War (1950-1953), World War II (1939-1945) etc and this development might not represent progress at all.  The book highlights the United States of America (USA) strategy on fighting wars and how armed combat was transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition.






Miscellaneous News

LAHDC launched the “Kunsnyom scheme” for differently-abled persons

Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh has launched Kunsnyoms scheme for differently-abled persons. Kunsnyoms meant Equal for All, Fair for All, aims inclusive and accessible Ladakh.  Under the new scheme, Leh Hill council is providing assistive devices, technologies to needy people at 90 per cent subsidy.  Launching the new scheme, LAHDC Leh Chief Executive Councillor and Chairman, Mr Tashi Gyalson and his executive councillors have handed over 28 tri scooters, battery-run wheelchairs, walking aids and other aids required for the special needs of the individuals.  After becoming Union Territory, financially empowered with sufficient allocations of budget, the Hill Councils in Ladakh are utilizing the funds for welfare schemes.


Malayalam actor Pradeep KR passes away aged 61 in Kerala

Malayalam actor Pradeep KR, popularly known as Kottayam Pradeep, passed away aged 61 on Thursday after suffering a heart attack. He was rushed to a hospital in Kerala after complaining of uneasiness and was pronounced dead by 4:00 am, hospital sources said. Pradeep was known for his work in films like 'Oru Vadakkan Selfie' and 'Life of Josutty', among others.





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