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04th & 5TH March 2022

National News

Vidya Balan named as Brand Ambassador of Bharti AXA Life Insurance 

Bharti AXA Life Insurance has appointed National Award-winning actress VidyaBalan as its Brand Ambassador. She as the brand ambassador will help in promoting the #DoTheSmartThing champion of Bharti AXA Life Insurance.  Bharti AXA Life Insurance is a joint venture of Bharti, India’s leading business group and AXA, one of the world’s leading organizations in financial protection and wealth management.

Jet Airways named Sanjiv Kapoor as CEO 2022

Sanjiv Kapoor has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jet Airways. Prior to this, Kapoor was the president of Oberoi Hotels and has also worked as a chief operating officer at SpiceJet and chief strategy and commercial officer at Vistara.  He has worked as the Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Vistara Airlines for three years, and Chief Operating Officer of SpiceJet for two years. The Jalan Kalrock Consortium is the new promoter of Jet Airways.

India’s first FSRU Hoegh Giant Arrives at Jaigarh Terminal 

H-Jaigarh Energy's Terminal in Maharashtra has received India's first floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). On April 12, 2021, the FSRU Höegh Giant arrived at Jaigarh Terminal in Maharashtra after sailing from Keppel Shipyard in Singapore. This will be India's first FSRU-based LNG receiving terminal, as well as Maharashtra's first year-around LNG facility.  The Höegh Giant, which was erected in 2017, has a storage capacity of 1,70,000 cubic metres and a regasification capacity of 750 million cubic feet per day (equivalent to about six million tpa). FSRU has been chartered for a 10-year period by H-Energy.  The Höegh Giant LNG terminal will be connected to the national gas grid via the 56-kilometer Jaigarh-Dabhol natural gas pipeline.  The facility will also deliver LNG to onshore distribution via truck loading facilities. Reloading LNG into small-scale LNG vessels for bunkering services is also possible at the plant.  H-Energy also plans to boost the region's small-scale LNG market, utilising FSRU for LNG storage and reloading into smaller boats.

MEA Unveils Special Logo for 75 Years of Indo-Dutch Diplomatic Relation

The 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands is being commemorated this year. Sanjay Verma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, and Marten van den Berg, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to India, launched a joint logo on March 2, 2022, to commemorate the occasion.  The logo features the national flowers of both the countries, the lotus and the tulip. The chakra in the heart of the logo represents our friendship, and the flag colours emphasise the ties that exist between Indians and Dutch people.  Throughout the year, a variety of events and activities in a variety of sectors of cooperation, including water, agriculture, innovation, energy, climate, and culture, are planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary.  The Netherlands gifted 3000 fresh tulips to India as a symbol of goodwill for Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which were planted in the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan gardens.  In 1947, India and the Netherlands established diplomatic ties. Since then, the two countries have established significant political, economic, and commercial ties, as well as a variety of sectoral collaborations.

Polling underway for 22 seats in 2nd phase of Manipur Assembly elections

short by Shreyasi Banerjee / 08:55 am on 05 Mar 2022,Saturday

Voting for the second and last phase of Manipur Assembly elections began at 7 am on Saturday. Altogether 92 candidates across 22 Assembly constituencies are in the fray. A total of 8.38 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes. Voting will take place till 4 pm. The last one hour will be reserved for COVID-19 patients.


MoWCD launches 'Stree Manoraksha’ Project 

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD) and NIMHANS Bengaluru launched the 'Stree Manoraksha Project' on Wednesday with the goal of improving women's mental health in India.  The project would concentrate on increasing the ability of OSC (One-Stop Center) off1icials in terms of tools and procedures for dealing with women who come to One-Stop Centers, particularly those who have experienced violence and distress, with compassion and care.  One-Stop Center performed admirably during the COVID time. There are already over 700 One-Stop Centers operating across the country.  People who work in these one-stop shops will be taught how to appropriately operate the Self Defense Shaheed Women Helpline and counsel them.  The advanced training programme will be delivered in all of the regional languages that they want to be able to comprehend. NIMHANS has also built a website dedicated to this, which contains a wealth of information on training.

Rajasthan govt announces ‘Camel Protection and Development Policy’ 

Rajasthan, the state government has announced a ‘Camel Protection and Development Policy’ in its budget 2022-23. According to the government figures, less than two lakh camels are left in Rajasthan and in the entire country, the number of camels has reduced by 1.5 lakh since 2012.  There were about 2.5 lakh camels left when counted last in 2019. Camel is the state animal of Rajasthan and their number is continuously decreasing.  The Rajasthan government had declared the camel as the state animal in 2014. About 85 per cent of the country’s camels are found in Rajasthan followed by Gujarat, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.  World Camel Day is observed every year on 22 June to recognize the importance of camels to the livelihood of a large population.

DST tieup with Intel India to boost AI readiness

‘Building AI Readiness among Young Innovators’, a program by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, in partnership with Intel India, was launched by Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology (I/C).  The program aims to build digital readiness among the students from classes 6 to 10, enrolled under DST’s INSPIRE-Awards MANAK scheme.  The flagship program of DST reaches out to students pan India with an aim to create a culture of creativity and innovative thinking. Intel said its commitment to promoting AI readiness in the country is in synergy with the government’s vision of leveraging AI to make India a leader in the field while utilizing the technology to address its socio-economic challenges.  The program will bring both these together and seek to build an AI-ready generation by empowering the students with the knowledge and skills to leverage AI in an inclusive way.

HPCL signed MoU with Solar Energy Corporation of India

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on February 24, 2022 in New Delhi between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Solar Energy Corporation of India Limited (SECI) to accomplish green energy targets and the Government of India's efforts towards a carbon-neutral economy.   The Memorandum of Understanding envisions cooperation and collaboration in the fields of renewable energy, electric mobility, and alternative fuels, as well as the development of ESG Projects.  HPCL plans to diversify further in the RE and Electric Mobility sectors, as well as pursue the development of ESG projects, in order to meet the Government of India's target to increase the RE capacity and accelerate the adoption of electric mobility in India.




SWISS to Become World’s First Airlines to Use Solar Aviation fuel 

Swiss International Air Lines AG (SWISS or Swiss Air Lines) and its parent company, Lufthansa Group have partnered with Switzerland based solar fuels start-up, Synhelion SA (Synhelion) to use its solar aviation fuel.  Swiss International Airlines will become the first airline to use solar aviation fuel (“sun-to-liquid” fuel) to help power its flights. SWISS will become the first customer of solar kerosene in 2023.  For this, Synhelion has developed a technology for manufacturing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from renewable energy sources. When combusted solar fuel will only produce as much CO2 as went into its manufacture, cutting aviation emissions.  Synhelion is set to build the world’s first facility to industrially produce solar fuel in Jülich, Germany. The plant will become operational from 2022 onwards.


Could end in full-fledged war: NATO rejects Ukraine's no-fly zone pleas

short by Athira Sasidharan / 08:56 am on 05 Mar 2022,Saturday

NATO on Friday rejected pleas from Ukraine to impose a no-fly zone to halt Russia's bombing. "The only way to implement a no-fly zone is to send NATO fighter planes into Ukraine's airspace, and then impose that no-fly zone by shooting down Russian planes...If we did that...[it] could end in a full-fledged war in Europe," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said.


Business, Banking and Economy


UPI transactions value dips

According to the data from the National Payments Corporation of India, India's cashless retail transactions on the UPI platform were Rs 8.27 lakh crore in February, a little decrease from the previous month's total (NPCI). In February 2022, there were 452 crores (4.52 billions) in transactions.  The overall value of cashless retail transactions on the BHIM UPI network stood at Rs 8.32 lakh crore in January, with 461 crore transactions (4.61 billion).  According to NPCI, the value of the automatic collection at toll plazas utilising the NETC FASTag technology increased slightly in February, with over 24.36 crore transactions (243.64 million) worth Rs 3,631.22 crore.  NETC FASTag toll collections were valued at Rs 3,603.71 crore by way of 23.10 crore (231.01 million) transactions in the previous month.  Instant money can be transferred through 24x7 IMPS that is Immediate Payment Service fell to Rs 3.84 lakh crore in February as against Rs 3.87 lakh crore in January. During the same period, the number of such transactions is at 42 crores (420.93 million) as compared against 44 crores (440.17 million), as per the data.

Union Bank of India and Ambit Finvest tie-up

Ambit Finvest has announced the signing of a co-lending agreement with Union Bank of India (UBI) for financing to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) customers. Ambit Finvest is the Ambit Group's non-deposit-taking Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC).  This collaboration will enable underwriting for businesses in 11 states now served by Ambit Finvest. Ambit Finvest and Union Bank of India hope to speed up credit disbursement across multiple geographies with this partnership, according to Sanjay Dhoka, COO and CFO of Ambit Finvest.  MSMEs that face higher interest rates or are unable to access banking services would benefit from lower rates of interest, which will translate into cheaper cost of funds, allowing them to deploy capital more effectively in their businesses, according to the company's statement.  Lal Singh, Union Bank's CGM, said that the collaboration with Ambit Finvest Pvt Ltd. is part of UBI's aim to create synergy between the two organisations, allowing us to better serve the most deserving and underserved enterprises.  Lal Singh also added that the effort is part of Union Bank's commitment to support MSMEs by offering tailored financial solutions and speeding MSMEs' growth in order to contribute to the country's economic development.  Ambit Finvest will be able to further grow its reach in the MSME category as a result of its co-lending agreement with a large organisation like Union Bank of India, according to Dhoka.

RBI cancelled licence of Sarjeraodada Naik Shirala Sahakari Bank

Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Sarjeraodada Naik Shirala Sahakari Bank, Sangli, Maharashtra, as it did not have adequate capital and earning prospects.  With the cancellation of the licence, Sarjeraodada Naik Shirala Sahakari Bank Ltd has ceased to carry on banking business with effect from the close of business hours on 2 March. The bank is not complying with various sections of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.  On liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 5 lakh from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).

Tata Motors launches ‘Anubhav’- showroom on wheels 

Tata Motors has launched a mobile showroom (showroom on wheels) named ‘Anubhav,’ to target rural customers by increasing their reach in rural areas and providing them with a doorstep car buying experience. Tata Motors will deploy a total of 103 mobile showrooms across the country, to enhance the Tata Motors brand awareness in rural India.  These mobile showrooms will be operated by dealerships under Tata Motors’ supervision and guidance. All the dealerships will define monthly routes for these vans on which they will ply and cover the targeted village or tehsil.  A total of 103 mobile showrooms are being deployed across the country to enhance the Tata Motors brand awareness in rural India.  These mobile showrooms will help existing dealerships offer a doorstep sales experience to customers and assist them with information about Tata Motors' products.  These products include a new forever range of cars and SUVs, accessories, avail finance schemes, book a test drive and evaluate existing cars for exchange.

Ranks and Reports News

SDG Index 2021: India ranks 120th position

India has been ranked at 120th position in the Sustainable Development Report 2021 or Sustainable Development Index 2021. In this Index, countries are ranked by a score out of 100. India has a score of 60.07.  Last year India’s rank was 117. The Index measures the country’s total progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The Index has been topped by Finland.  The top 5 countries in this ranking are: 1- Finland; 2- Sweden; 3- Denmark; 4- Germany; 5- Belgium.  These 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Sports News

ISSF World Cup: Shri Nivetha, Esha, Ruchita win gold in women's 10m air pistol

India's Shri Nivetha, Esha Singh, and Ruchita Vinerkar have won the gold medal in the women's 10m air pistol team event of the ISSF World Cup in Cairo, Egypt. With this win, India is leading the medal table with three medals, including two gold and silver.  Andrea Katharina Heckner, Sandra Reitz and Carina Wimmer of Germany settled for the silver medal. Germany and Italy are joint seconds on the table with one gold, two silver and one bronze medal each. A total of 17 countries have won medals so far.


ICC Women’s World Cup New Zealand 2022 begins

The ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 has kicked off on March 04, 2022, in New Zealand. This is the 12 edition of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, being held in New Zealand from March 04 to April 03, 2022.  The opening match of the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 was held at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui between West Indies and New Zealand, in which West Indies women beat New Zealand by 3 runs. India will open against Pakistan on the 6th of March.

Key points:

The final match is scheduled to take place at the Hagley Oval stadium.  Total 8 teams are participating which includes, New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and West Indies.

Summits and Conferences News

IIT Madras and NIOT conduct OCEANS 2022 for the first time

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras and National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai, are jointly conducted OCEANS 2022 Conference and Exposition, the bi-annual event for global marine researchers, technologists and engineers, students, and policymakers.  It is being in India for the first time and coordinated by the Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, on behalf of the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineering Ocean Engineering Society (IEEE OES) and Marine Technology Society (MTS). The conference is being held in a hybrid model.  'Inspire-Innovate-Sustain' is the main theme of the conference. The delegates will be sharing their experiences on topics related to climate change, global warming, vagaries of weather, combating coastal erosion, marine pollution and microplastics through nearly 400 presentations.

Important Days

National Security Day observed on 04th of March

In India, March 4 is celebrated as National Security Day (Rashtriya Suraksha Diwas) every year, in the honor of the Indian Security Forces.  The day aims to show gratitude to all the security forces, including policemen, para-military forces, commandos, guards, army officers, and other persons involved in security, who sacrifice their life in maintaining the peace and security of the people of the country.  Apart from this, National Security Week 2022 is being celebrated from March 4 to March 10, 2022.  4 March also marks the day when the National Security Council (NSC) of India was established, in 1966 by the Ministry of Labour under the Government of India. The first National Security Day (NSD) was held in 1972.

National Safety Day 2022 Observed on 04th March

The National Safety Day (NSD) is celebrated every year on the 4th of March to commemorate the foundation of the National Safety Council (NSC) of India.  The day aims to raise public awareness of all safety principles, including road safety, workplace safety, human health safety, and environmental safety.  The year 2022 marks 51st NSD. Every year, this day is celebrated with a different theme. This year, the National Safety Council of India announced the theme to be ‘Nurture young minds - Develop safety culture’.  The first National Safety Day was observed in 1972. The National Safety Council was set up on 4th March 1966 by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, to develop and implement a voluntary routine in the areas of safety, health, and the environment.

Obituaries News

Former Indian Army Chief General S F Rodrigues passes away

General S F Rodrigues, who had served as Chief of the Indian Army from 1990 to 1993 passes away at the age of 88 years. General Sunith Francis Rodrigues was also the Governor of Punjab from 2004 to 2010.  He had served two terms on the National Security Advisory Board. Since his retirement, he has been engaged in social and literary pursuits and has also delivered numerous talks on strategic issues. The nation and the Indian Army will always be indebted to his invaluable contribution and service to the nation.



Noted film critic, writer Jaiprakash Chouksey passes away

Film critic, writer Jaiprakash Chouksey has passed away due to cardiac arrest at the age of 82 years.  He has penned scripts and dialogues for several films including 'Shayad' (1979), 'Qatl' (1986) and 'Bodyguard' (2011), and was also involved in writing for television serials. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state Congress chief Kamal Nath and several other leaders condoled Chouksey’s death.


Miscellaneous News

Herath Festival celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir

Herath or the ‘Night of Hara (Shiva)’, generally known as Maha Shivratri, is the main festival celebrated by the Kashmiri Pandits across Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The festival marks the marriage anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Uma (Parvathi).  2022 Herath Festival was celebrated on 28th February 2022. Herath Festival is celebrated on “Trayodashi” or the 13th day of the dark half of the month of Phalguna (Hindu calendar), between February and March.  The Kashmiri Pandits celebrate the festival by distributing walnuts as a mark of respect to the Hindu deities. The rest of the nation celebrates the Maha Shivratri on Chaturdashi or the 14th of Phalguna.

Ujjain creates Guinness Record by Lighting 11.71 Lakh Diyas

Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh has created a Guinness record by lighting 11.71 lakh clay lamps (diyas) in 10 minutes. The diyas were lighted as part of the ‘Shiv Jyoti Arpanam Mahotsava’ on the occasion of Mahashivratri.  With this they broke the earlier record of lighting 9.41 lakh diyas created in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on 03 November 2021. Ujjain is also known as the ‘Land of Mahakal’. The certificate was received by Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.  It was a zero-waste programme. The clay from the lamps will be used to prepare idols, while the oil left in the lamps will be offered to gaushalas. The plastic used for the I-cards will be used to make chairs and other items for public gardens.


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