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15th March 2022




Hijab ban challenged in Supreme Court after Karnataka High Court upholds it

short by Sakshita Khosla / 06:25 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

A plea was on Tuesday moved in the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court order that upheld the ban on hijab in educational institutions. The High Court on Tuesday ruled that wearing of hijab by Muslim women doesn't constitute an essential practice in Islam and dismissed the petition to strike down the ban imposed by Karnataka government


Freedom of religion not absolute in India like in US: HC in hijab verdict

short by Shalini Ojha / 06:57 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

In its verdict on the hijab controversy, the Karnataka High Court said that freedom of religion is subject to restrictions in India and it's not like in US or Australia, where it is defined in absolute terms. "Whichever be the religion, whatever is stated in the scriptures, does not become per se mandatory in a wholesale way," the court said.

India had 8.22 cr taxpayers in FY20, will identify more soon: FM

short by Ashley Paul / 10:56 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said India had 8,22,83,407 taxpayers in FY20 out of the total projected population of 136.30 crore (as on March 1, 2021). This includes persons who pay income tax and corporate tax. "The (tax) department seeks to bring more non-filers into the tax net by formulating region-specific strategies...for identifying potential non-filers," she added.

Mission Indradhanush: Odisha topped in full immunization with 90.5% coverage 

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, Odisha became the top state in the list of full immunizations in India with 90.5% coverage under Mission Indradhanush. Intensified Mission Indradhanush 4.0 (IMI) was rolled out on 7 March 2022, in Odisha to provide preventive health care for mothers and children and for boosting full immunization coverage.  20 districts of Odisha were found above 90% in full immunization and the remaining 10 districts were less than 90%. Districts such as Ganjam, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Khurda, Sambalpur, Mayurbhanj, and Sundargarh districts were selected for inclusion under IMI.

Ranjit Rath named as Chairman & MD of Oil India Ltd 

Ranjit Rath has been named as the next Chairman and Managing Director of Oil India Limited (OIL). He will replace current chairman and managing director Sushil Chandra Mishra, who will superannuate on June 30, 2022.  Presently Rath is the chairman and managing director of Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL). Oil India Limited is the Indian-government owned second-largest crude oil and natural gas producing company, under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

N Chandrasekaran named as chairman of Air India

The chairman of Tata Sons, N Chandrasekaran has been appointed as the chairman of Air India. In February 2022, N Chandrasekaran was reappointed as chairman of Tata Sons for a second term of five years.  Tata Sons will soon announce a new MD and CEO for Air India to replace Ilker Ayci who was to take charge next month but resigned in the wake of controversies regarding his appointment.  Chandrasekaran also serves as the non-executive chairman of several other Tata Group companies, including Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals and Tata Consumer Products. He was reappointed Tata Sons’ executive chairman last month for another five years.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance’s MD & CEO, Tapan Singhel got 5-year extension

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has announced a five-year extension for its MD and CEO, Tapan Singhel.  Bajaj Allianz General Insurance said in a statement that the new term will begin on April 1, 2022.  Under Singhel's leadership, the company has grown to become one of the country's largest and most profitable private general insurers, ensuring growth, profitability, and customer-centricity.  During his decade as MD and CEO, the business has made a cumulative underwriting profit of more than Rs 350 crore, grown revenue at a CAGR of 16 per cent, grown net profit (PAT) at a CAGR of more than 30 per cent, and more than doubled its solvency ratio from 156 per cent to around 350 per cent.



Russia bans Joe Biden, other top US officials from entering its soil

short by Daisy Mowke / 10:00 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Russia's Foreign Ministry said that US President Joe Biden and other top officials have been banned from entering the country in a reciprocal response to US sanctions. The measure, which also applies to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, "is the consequence of the extremely Russophobic policy pursued by the current US administration," said Russia.

Turkmenistan President's son wins snap presidential election

short by Atharva Pande / 06:52 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Turkmenistan's Central Election Commission on Tuesday said Serdar Berdimuhamedov, son of outgoing President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, won the snap presidential election. Serdar secured nearly 73% votes with his nearest rival in a field of nine candidates mustering just 11%. In power since 2007, the outgoing President called the snap election last month paving way for a generation of new leaders.


Thousands protest against govt in Sri Lanka amid economic crisis

short by Shailesh / 10:30 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Tens of thousands of people took part in anti-government protests in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo on Tuesday, amid one of the country's worst economic crises. The protesters accused the government of mismanaging the economy and creating a foreign exchange crisis. The crisis has led to shortages of essential items like fuel, cooking gas, milk powder and medicines.

Fox News cameraman among 2 journalists killed while reporting in Ukraine

short by Sakshita Khosla / 10:54 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Journalists Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova were killed while reporting in Ukraine on Monday. Zakrzewski was a veteran Fox News cameraman and his death was confirmed by the US news network on Tuesday. Kuvshynova was a Ukrainian journalist and his death was confirmed by Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian Interior Minister.

Belarus resisting attempts to drag it into Ukraine war: President

short by Disha Jana / 11:27 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that the country had intercepted a missile fired at it from Ukraine two days back, but will not engage in the conflict. Lukashenko's comments came after Ukrainian government accused Russia of staging "false flag" air attacks on Belarus from Ukraine in a bid to incite Belarus to join the war.


Frankfurt Airport cancels 130 flights amid strike by security staff

short by Atharva Pande / 09:34 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Authorities at Germany's Frankfurt Airport cancelled 130 out of 818 flights on Tuesday as airport's cargo and passenger control employees went on strike. This comes amid wage dispute between Verdi trade union and Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies (BDLS). While trade union raised host of demands including an hourly raise of at least €1, BDLS has refused to comply.


Banking, Business and Economy


PNB reports fraud of over ₹2,000 crore in NPA account of ITPCL

short by Ridham Gambhir / 06:44 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

The Punjab National Bank on Tuesday reported a fraud of ₹2,060 crore in the NPA account of IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd (ITPCL). The bank said it has already made provisions amounting to ₹824.1 crore as per prescribed prudential norms. In February, Punjab & Sind Bank had declared IL&FS Tamil Nadu a fraud account with dues of ₹148 crore.

Govt has no plans to introduce cryptocurrency: MoS Finance

short by Pragya Swastik / 06:50 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

The government is not planning to introduce a cryptocurrency that will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated in India, he added. ''RBI doesn't issue cryptocurrency. Traditional paper currency is a legal tender and is issued by RBI," he clarified.

India's urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6% in Apr-Jun 2021 amid 2nd wave

short by Pragya Swastik / 08:45 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

India's urban unemployment rate jumped to 12.6% in April-June 2021 from 9.3% in the previous quarter amid COVID-19's second wave, according to data released by the government. The rise in unemployment in the second quarter of 2021 was the first such increase since the jobless rate peaked at 20.8% in April-June 2020, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.

₹7.34 lakh crore recovered by banks since FY16: MoS Finance

short by Ashley Paul / 08:52 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad on Tuesday said banks have recovered ₹7,34,542 crore in the last six financial years and in the first six months of FY22. This includes recoveries in cases of non-performing assets and written-off loan accounts. He added that systematic and comprehensive checking led to unearthing of frauds perpetrated over the years.

Paytm share price drops 71% from IPO price; out of BSE top-100 mcap list

short by Ridham Gambhir / 09:59 pm on 15 Mar 2022,Tuesday

Paytm shares dropped to an all-time low of ₹616.55 apiece on Tuesday, leading it to drop out of the BSE top 100-most valued companies by market capitalisation. Following RBI's order on Paytm Payments Bank, its shares crashed 20% in the last two trading sessions. Notably, its share price has dropped 71% from its issue price of ₹2,150 apiece.


LivQuik becomes the first fintech to achieve RBI’s PPI interoperability guidelines 

LivQuik, a prepaid payment instrument (PPI) issuer, announced that it has achieved full interoperability for its Prepaid Payment Instruments, as mandated by the Reserve Bank of India. According to the firm, it is also the first PPI issuer to achieve full interoperability. PPI issuers must enable full-KYC wallet interoperability by March 31, 2022, according to RBI rules.  Customers of LivQuik will be able to optimise their payments and spending across wallets by attaching a card on the Visa and RuPay networks, as well as enabling UPI, thanks to interoperability, according to the business.  LivQuik is an RBI-authorized Prepaid Payment Instrument Issuer and Full-Fledged Money Changer that was founded in 2012. (FFMC). Enterprise, Issuance, and Acquiring are LivQuik's three primary business verticals at the junction of Financial Services and Retail.  LivQuik is a Mumbai-based Fintech startup that was recently onboarded to global payment network VISA's Fintech Fastrack Program as a Prepaid Payment Issuer and Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) by the Reserve Bank of India. With its enterprise-grade wallet platform and SAAS based Gifting platform, LivQuik provides the Fintech infrastructure to enable Prepaid Payments and manages highly scalable technology across the payments value chain for the Retail industry.

IIFL Securities launched "OneUp" Primary Markets Investment Platform

IIFL Securities Limited (Formerly India Infoline Limited) launched ‘OneUp’, India’s first primary markets investment platform. Through this platform, investment can be made in initial public offerings (IPOs), non-convertible debentures (NCDs) and sovereign gold bonds (SGBs), among others. On the OneUp platform, the IPO applications are accepted 24×7 and up to three days before the IPO bidding opens.  It enables buyers to analyze, transact and handle new investment alternatives, all on one single platform. Another unique feature of the platform is that it allows investors to place bids for others as well, be it, friends or family members.  India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL) has raised Rs 1,500 crore in debt to promote long-term infrastructure finance in India. It raised the funds through private placement of Non-Convertible Debt Securities for Rs 500 crore and it has a greenshoe option of Rs 1,000 crore. The issue was oversubscribed 6 times.

Schemes News

'Gender Samwaad' organised by the Ministry of Rural Development 

Over 3000 State Mission employees and members of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) from 34 states logged in to attend the third edition of 'Gender Samwaad,' organised by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development.  It's a national virtual effort run by the DAY-NRLM to raise awareness about the mission's activities around the country via the perspective of gender.  Promotion of food and nutrition security through women's collectives was the focus for this edition. The event was held as part of the Amrit Mahotsava's Iconic Week commemoration theme of 'Naye Bharat ki Naari.'

Awards News

75th BAFTA Award 2022 announced

The 75th edition of the British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTA Award, was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  The awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), honours the best national and foreign films of 2021. The ceremony was hosted by actress and comedian Rebel Wilson.  The film that received maximum nominations was Dune, with 11 nominations. The film that received the maximum number of awards was Dune as well with 5 awards.  British Academy Television Awards are presented annually to recognize the outstanding work in British Television. It is being given annually since 1955. It is mainly given to British programs.

Ranks and Reports News

Fortune India The Next 500 list 2022: RailTel ranked 124th 

RailTel Corporation of India Limited (RailTel), owned by the Indian Railways, Ministry of Railways, has ranked 124th in the 8th Edition Fortune India The Next 500 (2022 edition) of top midsize companies operating in India.  It is the only Telecom Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) of the Government of India (GoI) on the list. It was ranked 197 in the 2021 list of top midsize companies operating in India.  Apart from RailTel, IRCTC is the only Railway PSU featuring in the list, at the rank of 309. This Fortune India The Next 500 is published annually by Fortune India English Monthly magazine. RailTel is one of the largest neutral telecom infrastructure services providers in the country.

SIPRI Report: India emerges as largest importer of arms

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released its latest report on Trends in International Arms Transfer, 2021.  As per the report, India and Saudi Arabia emerged as the largest importers of arms between 2017-21. Both two countries accounted for 11% of all global arms sales. Egypt (5.7%), Australia (5.4%) and China (4.8%) were the next three largest importers respectively in the top 5.  The report placed India at the top of the list. 85% of India’s overall imports were from three countries. Russia (46%), France (27%), and the USA (12%) were the top three largest exporters of arms to India during the period.

Largest Arms Exporters in 2017-21

USA, with 39% share, retained its standing as the world’s largest arms exporters during 2017-21.
Russia (19%), France (11%), China (4.6%) and Germany (4.5%) were among the top 5 largest exporters respectively.   India was 23rd largest exporter during 2017-21, with a share of just 0.2% of the global exports.

Sports News

Shreyas Iyer and Amelia Kerr named ICC Players of the Month for February 2022

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced India’s star all-format batter Shreyas Iyer and White Ferns all-rounder Amelia Kerr were voted ICC Players of the Month for February 2022. Fans can continue to vote every month for their favourite male and female cricketers across all formats of international cricket as part of the ICC Player of the Month initiative.  Shreyas Iyer earned the ICC Player of the Month award on the back of his brilliant white-ball exploits during the home series against West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively last month.  New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr bagged the ICC ‘Women’s Player of the Month award for February 2022. Amelia Kerr, the 21-year-old New Zealand all-rounder, was named the Women’s POTM, following her supreme consistency with both bat and ball during the home white-ball series against India.


German Open Badminton 2022: Lakshya Sen won Silver Medal

Indian Shuttler Lakshya Sen has settled for silver after losing to Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand, 18-21, 15-21, in the men’s singles final at the German Open 2022.  The Thai player dominated from start to end, winning the match and the championship in just 57 minutes. German Open is an annual badminton tournament classified as BWF World Tour Super 300 event.

Complete Result of German Open 2022 

Men’s singles: Kunlavut Vitidsarn  (Thailand) beat Lakshya Sen (India)

Women’s singles: He Bingjiao (China) beat  Chen Yufei (China)

Men’s Double: Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin (Malaysia)

Women’s Double: Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan (China)

Mixed Doubles:  Dechapol Puavaranukroh / Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Thailand)

Important Days

International Day of Action for Rivers 2022

The International Day of Action for Rivers is celebrated every year on the 14th of March. The year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the International Day of Action for Rivers.  The day aims to raise awareness about the value and importance of rivers as well as bring together people from across the world to discuss and spread awareness about conserving rivers, river management, pollution, and equitable access to clean and flowing water. The theme in 2022 is “The Importance of Rivers for Biodiversity”.   The International Day of Action For Rivers was adopted by the participants of the First International Meeting of People Affected by Dams, March 1997 in Curitiba Brazil.
The main aim is to raise voices in unison against destructive water development projects, reclaim the health of watersheds, and demand the equitable and sustainable management of rivers.

World Consumer Rights Day celebrates globally on 15th March

World Consumer Rights Day is celebrated on March 15 every year. The day marks an opportunity to urge that all consumers’ rights be recognised and safeguarded, as well as to protest market abuses and social injustices that jeopardise those rights.  The day highlights the power of consumers and their rights for a fair, safe and sustainable marketplace for everyone.  This year the International Consumer Rights Day will be celebrated on the theme of “Fair Digital Finance.” The Department of Consumer Affairs will commemorate this day with multiple events being held in New Delhi.  World Consumer Rights Day is inspired by President John F Kennedy’s special message to the US Congress that was delivered on 15th March 1962. In this message he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights becoming the first world leader to do so.


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