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03rd February 2022


National News


Sanctuaries in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh listed as Ramsar sites

The Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh have been listed as Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention.  With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 49. Khijadiya has become the fourth wetland of Gujarat to get the Ramsar tag. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Thol Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhwana wetland are the other Ramsar sites in the state. The last two were included in April last year. 



Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi joins as Director-General, NIELIT

Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi has joined as Director-General of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT). Before joining NIELIT, Dr Madan Mohan Tripathi was working as Professor at Delhi Technological University (DTU), New Delhi.  In DTU he also worked as Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and Coordinator of Intellectual Property Rights Cell. National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.

Torgya Festival celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh 2022

The three days long Torgya Festival of the Monpa tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated at Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. The main attraction of the festival is the ‘Sha-na Cham’, the ritual dance performed by monks to showcase the Choe-Gyal Yap & Yum Tsa-Munde deity.  This year is the ‘Dungyur Torgya’ festival, which marks a special occasion as every 3rd year, the festival is organized on a broader level with the name Dungyur Festival during which Dalai Lama offers blessings (also known as Tse-Boom) to other lamas by sending Feb Jum which is a holy item to be used in rituals.


GoI setting up National Land Monetisation Corporation

According to Economic Survey, the government is setting up the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) to carry out the monetization of the land and other non-core assets.  The initial authorized share capital of NLMC will be Rs 5000 crores and subscribed share capital of ₹150 crores. So far, CPSEs have referred 3,400 acres of land and other non-core assets for monetization from CPSEs including MTNL, BSNL, BPCL, B&R, BEML, HMT Ltd, Instrumentation Ltd.  The National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) is being set up in accordance with the Budget announcement. It is being set up as a 100 per cent Government of India owned entity. The initial authorised share capital will be Rs 5,000 crore while subscribed share capital will be Rs 150 crore.  It works as an asset manager for lands owned by central government and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). It has the freedom to invest, lease or rent assets or monetise them based on suggestions by many sources. It is free to develop assets for commercial or residential purposes.

International News

Dubai will launch World’s first Hydrogen-powered Flying Boat ‘The Jet’

Dubai firm, THE JET ZeroEmission announced the launch of the World’s first hydrogen-powered flying boat ‘THE JET’ in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  'THE JET' features cutting-edge characteristics and technologies, making it capable of flying in silence over the waters at a cruising speed of 40 knots and also has a capacity of carrying 8-12 passengers.  This announcement comes as a result of the agreement signed between Swiss startup THE JET ZeroEmission, UAE-based Zenith Marine Services, and US-based DWYN to manufacture and operate ‘The Jet’ in Dubai. THE JET will have its inaugural flight during the COP28, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, UAE in 2023.

UN Security Council expresses 'deep concern' over violence in Myanmar

The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed 'deep concern' over violence in Myanmar as the country marked the first anniversary of military rule in Myanmar on Tuesday. UNSC further called for the release of "all those who remain arbitrarily detained," including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Reportedly, at least 1,500 people were killed in year-long anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar.

Mississippi legalises medical marijuana, becomes 37th US state to do so

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law legalising the use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism. Mississippi is the 37th US state to legalise medical marijuana. The measure also allows cannabis to be prescribed for any "pain state in which...cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated".



Vedanta tied up with Union Bank of India to take over syndicated facility

Vedanta Ltd has tied up a facility of Rs 8,000 crores (replacement facility) with Union Bank of India at 7.75% to take over the majority of the syndicated facility after discussions with lenders.  During 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vedanta Ltd had tied up a syndicated facility of ₹10K crores with the State Bank of India as the lead bank at a running cost of 10.5 per cent.
This replacement facility was availed on December 28, 2021, to take over the existing Syndicated facility to reduce the overall interest cost of the company and to prepay high-cost debt raised at over 10% two years ago.’

Facebook parent Meta's $230-billion wipeout biggest in US market history

Facebook's parent Meta's shares plunged 27% and Thursday's collapse wiped out $230 billion of the company's market value. It's the biggest collapse in market value for any US company but there's no certainty that the losses will hold, given the volatility, Bloomberg said. This comes after Facebook's daily active users fell for the first time in its 18-year history.


Crisil Report: India's GDP expected to grow 7.8% in FY23

Domestic rating agency CRISIL has estimated FY23 real GDP growth at 7.8 per cent as compared with the 8.5 per cent projected in the Economic Survey. Estimating the growth to slow to 7.8 per cent in FY23 from the 9.2 per cent in FY22.  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget proposals focused on loosening the purse strings by boosting capital expenditure and going slow on fiscal consolidation are aimed in the right direction.  The agency said global growth is expected to slow this year as major economies see a withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimulus. It will have a direct bearing on India's growth prospects as exports have been a key demand driver of domestic growth during the pandemic.

NSO First Revised GDP estimates FY21: Indian economy contracts by 6.6%

The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for the financial year 2020-21.  The National Statistical Office recently released the first revised GDP estimates for the fiscal year 2021. According to the estimates, the GDP contracted by 6.6%. Earlier, the GDP had contracted by 7.3%. The contraction is mainly due to the COVID pandemic and the lockdown imposed.  The NSO has also revised downward the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth number for 2019-20 to 3.7 per cent as against the earlier estimate of 4 per cent. Under the 1st revision released in January 2021, real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2019-20 stood at Rs 145.69 lakh crore with 4 per cent growth.

RBI cancels licence of Maha-based Independence Co-operative Bank

RBI has cancelled licence of Maharashtra-based Independence Co-operative Bank, citing inadequate capital. It will cease to carry on banking operations from the close of business on February 3. In the present situation, the bank won't be able to pay its depositors in full, RBI said. It added that the bank didn't comply with multiple sections of Banking Regulation Act, 1949


Banks to transfer 15 NPA accounts worth Rs 50,000 crores to NARCL in FY22

As per SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) or bad bank and IndiaDebt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL) are ready to commence operations.  A total of 38 Non-Performing Asset (NPA) accounts worth Rs 82,845 crore have been identified to be transferred to NARCL initially. In Phase I, 15 stressed assets (i.e. Non-Performing Asset accounts) worth Rs 50,000 crore will be transferred to NARCL in the current financial year. Public Sector Banks have taken a majority stake in NARCL, IDRCL will be majorly owned by private sector banks.

Crypto transactions done before April 2022 won't be tax-free: CBDT Chairman

CBDT Chairman JB Mohapatra was quoted by ANI as saying, "Crypto investors should know that the transactions done before April 2022 will not be tax-free." He added, "The taxability of the crypto-currency is certain for this financial year too." Earlier, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said the income tax return forms will have a separate column for crypto from next year.
ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-3 in August 2022: Union Minister

Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch India's third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, in August 2022, Union Minister Jitendra Singh told Lok Sabha. He added that 19 missions are planned to be launched in 2022. Notably, ISRO planned for a third lunar mission after its lander rover failed to soft-land on the surface of the moon in 2019.


Budget aims at inclusive development, is forward-looking: ICSI & ICAI

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India called the Budget "progressive" as it aims at "inclusive development through incentivising MSME sector and startups". It focuses on strengthening the digital payment ecosystem, ICSI added. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India said the Budget was "forward-looking" and the "proposal to tax virtual digital assets at 30% provides certainty".

Sony buys 'Destiny' game developer Bungie for $3.6 billion

Sony Group Corp. is purchasing Bungie Inc., the U.S. video game developer behind the popular Destiny and Halo franchises, for $3.6 billion to bolster its stable of game-making studios.  The deal announced by Sony Interactive Entertainment is the third significant video-game acquisition this month, following Microsoft Corp.’s purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion two weeks ago and Take-Two Interactive Corp. snagging mobile game leader Zynga Inc. on Jan. 10.  Buying Bungie will give Sony one of the most popular first-person shooter games to compete with the massive Call of Duty series, which Sony’s main rival now owns through Activision.

Sports News

Khelo India Scheme Allocation Increases by 48% in Budget

The Government has decided to continue the scheme of ‘Khelo India - National Programme for Development of Sports’ over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle — 2021-22 to 2025-26 — at an outlay of Rs 3165.50 crore.  Khelo India Scheme Allocation increases by 48 per cent in Budget 2022 and includes it in the Prime Minister’s Award Scheme.”  The Khelo India scheme is the flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Sports ministry. It aims at infusing sports culture and achieving sporting excellence in the country thus allowing the populace to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence.

Obituaries News

Actor & filmmaker Amitabh Dayal passes away

Actor and filmmaker Amitabh Dayal has passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 51. Dayal has worked in films like Kagaar: Life on the Edge (2003) with Om Puri, Bhojpuri film Rangdari (2012) and Raj Babbar’s Dhuaan (2013), Amitabh Bachchan’s Virrudh (2005).  He also worked on P. Akash’s Dillagi…Yeh Dillagi (2005), the film started Dharmendra, Rati Agnihotri and Kapil Dev, but never saw light of the day.




04th February 2022

National News






Se IUCN designates Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram

The Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram, Haryana, has been declared as India’s first “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECM) site. This was informed by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gives OECM tag to those areas that are not protected but support rich biodiversity. The tag designates the area as a biodiversity hotspot on the international map.  OECM is a status for a place that has achieved effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity outside protected areas like forests. The park, which once was an abandoned mining pit, was transformed into a lush green forest patch in 10 years. Now, it has about 400 native species of plants. 

a Trials of 1st Sea Sortie of 5th Scorpene Submarine ‘Vagir’ begins

The Indian Navy's brand-new submarine, the fifth of the six French-designed Scorpene-class submarines named "Vagir", sailed out on its first sea sortie and will now undergo rigorous trials before it is delivered to the Navy later this year.  The submarine-designated "Yard 11879" during its construction by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in collaboration with the Naval Group of France will be named "Vagir" after it is commissioned into service.



Telugu short film 'Street Student' wins NHRC's Short Film Award Competition

A Telugu short film 'Street Student' by Akula Sandeep depicting the story of a street urchin with a strong message on right to education has bagged the first prize in a competition organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).  'Street Student' by Akula Sandeep has been selected for the first prize worth Rs 2 lakh in the seventh Short Film Award Competition. It is in Telugu with subtitles in English. The film shows the story of a street urchin to send across a strong message on right to education and how society needs to support it.  The second prize worth Rs 1.5 lakh goes to, 'Karfew' by Romi Meitei. The film, through the story of a child in Manipur, pitches in hope for a better world, wherein people's right to life, liberty, dignity and equality can be protected against odds including stereotyped fear psychosis. It is in the Meiteilon language with subtitles in English.

Senior scientist GA Srinivasa Murthy has been appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad.  He joined DRDL in the year 1987 and made significant contributions in the area of structural dynamics, ground resonance testing, electrical integration and checkout for various projects of the missile complex. G A Srinivasa Murthy completed his BE in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Andhra University in 1986 and pursued his ME in Digital Systems from Osmania University in Hyderabad.

Ravi Mittal named as new Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India

The former secretary, Department of Sports, Ravi Mittal has been appointed as the Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He is a 1986 batch IAS officer from Bihar cadre. He will serve as the Chairman of IBBI for a term of five years or till he attains 65 years of age, whichever is early.  The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies, Insolvency Professionals and Information Utilities in India.


US regains top spot as India’s trade partner in 2021 

The United States was India’s top trading partner in the calendar year 2021 with a trade of $112.3 billion. The US is followed by China on second. The value of trade between India and China was $110.4 billion.  In 2020, China was India’s top trading partner and the US was in the second rank. In 2019 USA was India’s top trading partner and China was on second.  India’s list of top ten trading partners also includes the UAE, Saudi Arab, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia and South Korea.

International News

Winter Olympics host China welcomes Year of Tiger

China is celebrating the Spring Festival, it's the most important annual festival as it entered the Lunar new "Year of the Tiger". Last year was celebrated as the Lunar Year of the Ox. According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the Year of the Ox has ended and the Year of the Tiger has begun from February 1, 2022, and will end on January 21, 2023.  In Chinese culture, the tiger symbolizes bravery, vigor and strength and it is believed that it can lift people from adversity and usher in final auspiciousness and peace. Each year is named after one of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle. This year, Spring Festival celebrations coincide with the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Exim Bank extends a $500 million credit line to Sri Lanka

Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on behalf of the government of India, extended a line of credit of $500 million to the government of the socialist republic of Sri Lanka for financing the purchase of petroleum products.  The fund will be used by the Island nation for the purchase of petroleum products. With the signing of this new LOC agreement, the total LOC extended by Exim Bank to Sri Lanka till date has reached 10, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 2.18 billion.

Banking, Business and Economy

RBI cancels the licence of Nashik's Independence Co-operative Bank Limited 

The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Independence Co-operative Bank Ltd., Nashik, Maharashtra w.e.f February 03, 2022. The major reason for the cancellation of the license by RBI is that bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects.  This means that it does not comply with the provisions of Section 11(1) and Section 22 (3) (d) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.  The bank has stopped operation from the close of business on February 3, putting depositors of the bank in trouble. They would however receive up to Rs five lakh from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), after the bank's liquidation.  RBI has told the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Maharashtra to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator. As per the data submitted by the bank, more than 99 per cent of the depositors are entitled to receive the full amount of their deposits from DICGC.


New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell named the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2021

New Zealand cricketer, Daryl Mitchell has been named the winner of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Spirit of Cricket Award 2021.  This award is given to him for his gesture of refusing to take a single in the high-pressure 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Semi-Finals against England as he felt he had “obstructed” the way of bowler Adil Rashid at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.  He has become the 4th New Zealand player to win the award after Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.  The ICC Spirit of Cricket Award is annually awarded by the ICC to recognise the player most notable for “upholding the ‘Spirit of the Game’”.

Neeraj Chopra nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra has been nominated for the prestigious 2022 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award.  The other 5 nominees are Daniil Medvedev (Australian Open runner-up), Emma Raducanu (British tennis star), Pedri (Barcelona and Spain footballer), Yulimar Rojas (Venezuelan athlete) and Ariarne Titmus (Australian swimmer).  The winners will be revealed in April following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, made up of 71 sporting greats.

Books and Authors News

‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ authored by J Sai Deepak

A Trilogy book series titled, ‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ is authored by J Sai Deepak and published by Bloomsbury India. The 1st part was released on 15th August 2021, is set to launch the 2nd part in June 2022.  Whereas, the 3rd and last parts will be released in June 2023. It is the first part of a comprehensive trilogy, which examines the impact of European ‘colonial consciousness’ (or ‘coloniality’), on Bharat (India). It highlights how colonialism changes the socio-religious culture, history, education, language and racial patterns in India.

Important Days

World Cancer Day is observed globally on 04 February

World Cancer Day is observed every year globally on 4th February by the Union for International Cancer Control.  By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live.  So this year's World Cancer Day's theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about raising awareness of this equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low- and middle-income countries, and is costing lives.

International Day of Human Fraternity observed on 04 February

The ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ is celebrated across the world on 4th February.  The day aims to raise awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance; and to educate people that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect, and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity.  The first International Day of Human Fraternity was held in 2021. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 4 February as International Day of Human Fraternity on 21 December 2020.  The Day is a part of the ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’, observed during the first week of February, as proclaimed by UN General Assembly in 2010.





05th February 2022

National News

Over 2 lakh posts vacant in different zones of Railways: Ashwini Vaishnaw

There are 2,65,547 posts lying vacant across various departments in different zones of Railways, Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday informed the Rajya Sabha. Of the vacant posts, 2,177 are gazetted posts and 2,63,370 are non-gazetted posts, he added. The maximum number of gazetted posts are vacant in East Central Railway at 170, followed by Southern Railway at 161.

Be positively present in Rajya Sabha on Feb 8: BJP to its members

The Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a three-line whip to all its Rajya Sabha MPs asking them to be "positively present" in the House on February 8. "All BJP members in Rajya Sabha are hereby informed that some very important business will be taken up for discussion and passing in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday,'' the notice said.

Will go on strike to protest wine sale in supermarkets: Anna to Maha CM

Social activist Anna Hazare has written a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray against the state government's decision to allow the wine sale in supermarkets and walk-in shops. He also warned the Maharashtra government that he would go on an infinite strike against the decision. Earlier, Hazare had termed the decision "unfortunate", saying that it could result in liquor addiction.


24-yr-old son of Assam tea seller gets seat in AIIMS Delhi; state to fund his studies

A 24-year-old man in Assam has secured a seat at AIIMS-Delhi having cleared the NEET exam in his first attempt. Rahul Das is the child of a tea seller and would study in between serving customers at his mother’s shop. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that all education expenses of Das will be borne by the state government.

Who was Saint Ramanujacharya, honoured with 216-ft Statue of Equality?

Saint Ramanujacharya, in whose honour PM Narendra Modi unveiled the 216-foot-tall Statue of Equality in Hyderabad, was a revered Vedic philosopher and social reformer. Born in 1017 in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya revived the Bhakti movement. He's credited with establishing the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples. He's also regarded as an inspiration for poets like Kabir and Meerabai.

PM unveils 216-ft Statue of Equality honouring Saint Ramanujacharya in Hyd

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled the 216-foot-tall 'Statue of Equality' commemorating the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya in Hyderabad's Shamshabad and dedicated it to the nation. As per the government, the statue is one of the world's tallest metallic statues in the sitting position. It's made from a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc.

Job creation is govt's priority and we are doing it: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry at a post-budget interaction, said the government's priority is job creation and "we are doing it". She added that this year's Budget has again focused on demand-driven schemes. She further called on the Indian industry to invest in sunrise and new-age sectors.

Pandit Birju Maharaj redefined dance for me: Madhuri Dixit

Actress Madhuri Dixit recently remembered her late guru and Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj and said he redefined dance for her. "You've left memories that will forever remain etched in our hearts, Maharaj ji," she wrote in an online post. "The one who redefined every mudra, every single expression...Here's remembering everyone's favourite Pandit Birju Maharaj," Madhuri added.

India announces diplomatic boycott of opening and closing ceremony of Winter Olympics 

The 2022 Winter Olympics has kicked off on February 04, 2022, in Beijing, China and will continue till February 20, 2022. The Opening Ceremony was held at Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.  However, India had announced the diplomatic level boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremony. This means that no Indian officials will attend the opening and closing ceremony. However, the country has sent one of its athletes, Arif Khan (skier), to attend the event.  The reason behind the boycott: China has picked a Chinese soldier (Qi Fabao) as Olympic torchbearer, who was involved in the Galwan incident on June 15, 2020, which had resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel.  Emblem for the 2022 Winter Olympics: “Winter Dream”.  Moto for the 2022 Winter Olympics: Bing Dwen Dwen.
The official slogan for the 2022 Winter Olympics:  “Together for a Shared Future”.

Uttar Pradesh wins best state tableau of Republic Day parade 2022

The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been picked as the best tableau among the 12 States/UTs which participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2022. The theme of the tableau of Uttar Pradesh was ‘One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham’. A total of 12 states and union territories had participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26.  The second place went to Karnataka for its tableau based on 'cradle of traditional handicrafts' while the third position went to Meghalaya for its tableau based on ‘Meghalaya’s 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to women-led cooperative societies & SHGs’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled ‘Statue of Equality’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality in Hyderabad to commemorate the 11th-century Bhakti saint Ramanujacharya. The statue has been conceptualised by Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.  The inauguration of the statue is a part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of the Bhakti saint. A 3D presentation on the life and teachings of the saint will also be showcased during the event.  The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc. It is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting positions in the world.  The 216-feet tall 'Statue of Equality statue is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, called ‘Bhadra Vedi’.  The floors of the building are dedicated to a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing works of Sri Ramanujacharya.

International News

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to head Norway central bank

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chief, Jens Stoltenberg will take over as Norway’s central bank Governor at the end of the year. The appointment comes amid escalating tensions between the West and Russia. Western nations fear Moscow has plans to invade Ukraine, which aspires to join the NATO alliance. But Mr Stoltenberg, a 62-year-old trained economist, insisted that he would stay on as NATO Secretary-General until the end of his term in October. Norway’s central bank determines monetary policy but also manages the country’s enormous sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world.





SBI posts highest ever quarterly net profit of ₹8,432 crore in Q3

State Bank of India reported its highest ever net profit of ₹8,431.9 crore for the October-December quarter, a jump of 62% as compared to ₹5,196 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Interest earned for the quarter rose 4.41% YoY to ₹69,678 crore. SBI's net interest income (NII) rose 6.48% to ₹30,687 crore from ₹28,820 crore in Q3 of 2020.

GoI named Sonali Singh as Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on add. charge 

The Government of India has appointed Sonali Singh to hold the additional charge of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, with effect from February 01, 2022. She has been appointed in place of Dipak Dash, who superannuated on January 31, 2022.  Sonali Singh is a 1987 batch officer of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS). She is serving as the Additional Controller General of Accounts since October 2019. Prior to that, she had also served as Additional Secretary at Central Vigilance Commission. 

IndiGo’s co-founder Rahul Bhatia named as first MD of the company 

The low-cost Indian airline, IndiGo has appointed its co-founder and promoter Rahul Bhatia as the Managing Director (MD) of the company with immediate effect. He is the first-ever MD of Indigo, because before this the company never had a managing director. Ronojoy Dutta is the CEO of the Indigo.  The board of directors, during its meeting, unanimously approved the appointment of Bhatia as the managing director with immediate effect, subject to the approval of the shareholders. IndiGo is back in the black with a net profit for the December quarter at Rs 130 crore. The profit comes after the airline posted a loss for a series of straight quarters.


JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar named as new Chairman of UGC 

The government of India has appointed JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Vice-Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar as the new Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).  He has been appointed for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest. The post of the UGC Chairman was vacant since December 07, 2021, after Prof D P Singh resigned upon attaining 65 years of age. He was appointed in 2018.


CMIE Report: India’s unemployment rate in January 2022 stood at 6.57%


The unemployment rate in India in January 2022 fell sharply to 6.57%, according to the data from the economic think-tank, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This is the lowest rate witnessed since March 2021.  In December 2021, the unemployment rate rose to a four-month high of 7.91%, compared to 6.97% in November. CMIE is a Mumbai-based independent non-government entity that serves both as an economic think-tank as well as a business information company.

State-wise lowest unemployment rate:

Telangana recorded the lowest unemployment rate in January at 0.7%.

This was followed by Gujarat at 1.2%, Meghalaya at 1.5%, Odisha at 1.8% and Karnataka at 2.9%.


State-wise highest unemployment rate:

Haryana witnessed the highest unemployment rate of 23.4% in January 2022. It was followed by Rajasthan (18.9%), Tripura (17.1%), Jammu & Kashmir (15%) and Delhi (14.1%).

Books and Authors News

A book titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ by Navdeep Singh Gill released

A short biography of Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra has titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ authored by sports author Navdeep Singh Gill has been released. Neeraj Chopra won a Gold medal in Javelin Throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The biography on Tokyo Olympics-2021 gold medalist Neeraj Chopra was released by the chairperson of Punjab Kala Parishad Surjit Patar and president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi Lakhwinder Singh Johal, amid the presence of the author and his family members.  The book has 72 pages and covers the life history and achievements of Neeraj Chopra right from his childhood to the Tokyo Olympics. The book very aptly covers his sporting techniques, numerous awards and contemporaries in different chapters with coloured photos in each chapter.

MS Dhoni’s first look from graphic novel ‘Atharva': The Origin’ released

Virzu Studios in association with MIDAS Deals Pvt Ltd has released the motion poster of its upcoming graphic novel, Atharva – The Origin. Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been portrayed as the superhero Atharva in this graphic novel.  The motion poster features a rugged looking Dhoni, giving fans a glimpse into the world of Atharva and also a sneak peek into the first look of him as a superhero.  The graphic novel authored by Ramesh Thamilmani features over 150 lifelike illustrations which present the gripping, racy narrative. It is produced by Vincent Adaikalaraj and Ashok Manor. Reportedly, the makers are also planning to make a web-series based on the novel.




India win Under-19 World Cup for record-extending 5th time, beat England in final

India defeated England by four wickets in 2022 Under-19 World Cup final to win Under-19 World Cup for a record-extending fifth time. India, who were featuring in their eighth Under-19 World Cup final, dismissed England for 189 in 44.5 overs and chased down the target in 47.4 overs. India previously won Under-19 World Cup in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.





FEBRUARY 6, 2022




DCGI grants emergency use nod to single-dose COVID vaccine Sputnik Light

The DCGI has granted emergency use permission to single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine in the country. "This is the 9th COVID-19 vaccine in the country," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Sunday. "This will further strengthen the nation's collective fight against the pandemic," he added.




Israel may halt flights to Dubai next week over security concerns

An Israeli official on Sunday said it may halt flights to Dubai next week due to dispute over security arrangements concerning three Israeli airlines, El Al, Israir and Arkia. This comes as security arrangement for all three airlines were due to expire on February 8. Direct flights from Israel to UAE started after ties formalised between the two in 2020.



RBI's Monetary Policy Committee meeting rescheduled to February 8-10

The meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been rescheduled to February 8-10, 2022 after Maharashtra government declared February 7 as a public holiday as a mark of respect to late veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar. The meeting was earlier scheduled for February 7-9, 2022. It will be the MPC's last meeting during the financial year 2021-22.

LIC ropes in 6 independent directors to meet corporate governance norms

IPO-bound Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) last month appointed six independent directors on its board to meet regulatory norms of corporate governance. LIC reportedly appointed ex-Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, ex-SEBI member G Mahalingam, ex-SBI Life Managing Director Sanjeev Nautiyal, and Chartered Accountants MP Vijay Kumar, Raj Kamal, and V S Parthasarathy.

RBI's digital rupee blockchain would be able to trace all transactions: Report

The digital rupee blockchain being developed by the RBI would be able to trace all transactions, unlike the current system of mobile wallets offered by private companies, PTI reported. The units issued in the digital rupee would be included in the currency in circulation, it added. The RBI's digital currency is likely to debut by early 2023.

67% MSMEs temporarily shut, profits dipped for 66% in FY21: SIDBI survey

A SIDBI survey showed that 67% MSMEs were temporarily shut for up to a three-month period in FY21 due to COVID-19. The survey, with a sample size of 1,029 MSMEs across 20 states and two UTs, also found that 66% MSMEs reported decline in profitability. The results were shared by MSME Minister Narayan Rane in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.


₹50,000 cr Self Reliant India fund likely to benefit 5,000 MSMEs: Rane

MSME Minister Narayan Rane said the ₹50,000 crore Self Reliant India fund, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May 2020, is likely to benefit around 5,000 MSME units. The fund will make equity investments in MSMEs for their growth, listing on stock markets, and global expansion. The government is its sole anchor investor with initial support of ₹10,000 crore.

Google Chrome changes its logo for the first time in 8 years

Google Chrome is changing its logo for the first time since 2014, Elvin Hu, a designer for Google Chrome, informed through a Twitter thread. "We simplified the main brand icon by removing the shadows, refining the proportions and brightening the colors," Elvin tweeted. "The new icons will start to appear across your devices soon," Elvin added.


Was easy, happy 1000th ODI India: Sehwag on India's 1st ODI win vs WI

Calling India's six-wicket win against West Indies in first ODI of the three-match series "easy", ex-India opener Virender Sehwag said, "India win in style." Sehwag tweeted, "Excellent spell from...spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, great start from Rohit Sharma at the top with bat...happy 1000th ODI for Team India." Chahal was adjudged 'Player of the Match' for his 4/49.


India lost a great daughter: Manmohan Singh on Lata Mangeshkar

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday mourned the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar saying “India has lost a great daughter”. “She was the ‘Nightingale of India’ and through her songs made an immense contribution to the cultural integration of the country,” Dr Manomohan Singh said. “The void is going to be impossible to fill,” he added.

Subcontinent lost one of world's great singers: Pak PM on Lata Mangeshkar's death

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan said that with the demise of veteran Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar, "the subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known". He added, "Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world." Mangeshkar was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai on Sunday.

PM Narendra Modi to attend Lata Mangeshkar's funeral in Mumbai today

PM Narendra Modi will travel to Mumbai to attend the last rites of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 92. "PM Modi will reach the funeral ground at around 5:45-6:00 pm today, after which Lata Mangeshkar ji's last rites will be conducted at around 6:15-6:30 pm," said BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.





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