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24th March 2022

National News

Delhi extends validity of expired learner's driving licence till May 31

Delhi government has extended the validity of the learner's driving licence expiring on March 31 by two months till May 31, 2022. Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said this is the last and final opportunity. An order said the validity has been extended from time to time because the driving skill test and new appointments were suspended due to COVID-19.

Bill proposing up to 10-yr jail, ₹10cr fine for paper leak, cheating passed in Raj

Rajasthan Assembly on Thursday passed the Rajasthan Public Examination (Measures for Prevention of Unfair Means in Recruitment) Bill, 2022 to curb irregularities and use of unfair means in public exams. The offenders will be jailed for five to 10 years and fined from ₹10 lakh to ₹10 crore. Offenders will be debarred from taking any public examination for two years


PM Modi virtually inaugurates Biplobi Bharat Gallery in Bengal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Biplobi Bharat Gallery at Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata on the occasion of Shaheed Diwas. The inauguration was done virtually via video conferencing. The purpose of this new gallery is to provide a holistic view of the events that led up to 1947 and highlight the important role played by the revolutionaries.  The newly built gallery depicts the contribution of the revolutionaries towards the freedom struggle of India and provides a holistic view of the events that led to 1947, according to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).  The gallery displays the contribution of the revolutionaries in the freedom struggle and their armed resistance to British colonial rule. This aspect has often not been given its due place in the mainstream narrative of the freedom movement.  The gallery will also showcase the revolutionary movement, formation of significant associations by revolutionary leaders, spread of the movement, formation of the Indian National Army, and the contribution of Naval Mutiny.

Government set the target to create 220 new airports by 2025

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated that the Government has set a target of building 220 new airports by 2025, citing the Civil Aviation industry as a critical component of India's economy.  In response to the Civil Aviation Ministry's requests for grants for 2022-23, Scindia stated that India has made progress in both domestic and foreign travel during the COVID-19 period. "Cargo flights for perishable food items will be boosted by 30% in the next few years, with 133 new flights," he stated.

Kerala becomes first state to introduce carbon-neutral farming methods

Kerala is set to become the first state in the country to introduce carbon-neutral farming methods in selected locations, for which the government has set aside Rs 6 crore in the 2022-23 Budget.  In the first phase, carbon-neutral farming will be implemented in 13 farms under the Agriculture Department and tribal areas, and steps are on to convert the State Seed Farm at Aluva to a carbon-neutral farm. In the second phase, model carbon-neutral farms will be developed in all the 140 Assembly constituencies.  The Agriculture Department was involved in a process of adopting new farming methods in phases, which would reduce carbon emissions and help the carbon to be stored in the soil. The government had already initiated discussions with experts in this regard.  Improving soil health through integrated farming methods, rotation of crops, adoption of fertigation, precision farming methods, changing the ways in which the soil is irrigated and limiting the indiscriminate use of fertilizers were important for preventing soil degradation and thus reducing carbon footprint in agriculture.

IIT Madras established Policy Centre along with AquaMAP Water Management

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras builds a new interdisciplinary water management and policy centre known as 'AquaMAP' to address India's water issues. The centre will build scalable models employing novel technology to provide smart solutions for water concerns.  As proof of concept, these models will be installed in various areas across the country. The capacity is one of the primary outputs that AquaMAP is projected to deliver in the medium or long term.  The ability to address complex real-life water problems through consortia approaches, establish as an entity that can deliver solutions with wide impact and application, address at least three chronic water issues through grand challenges and their successful translation into pilot projects, and complete pilot studies in at least six water innovation villages or towns that can be replicated are among the key outcomes expected from AquaMAP in the medium or long term.

TCS partnered with IIT Madras to launch M.Tech in Industrial Artificial Intelligence

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras has teamed up with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to offer a web-based, user-friendly programme on "Industrial AI," aimed at upskilling employees and incorporating AI applications to industrial concerns.  IIT M will provide the 18-month programme, which was developed in collaboration with TCS, in a wholly online live teaching method via virtual classrooms. TCS students will make up the program's initial cohort.  This programme, established in conjunction with TCS, will offer strong theoretical courses and labs covering significant issues in data science and AI."  Theoretical courses will address essential mathematical approaches needed to comprehend data science algorithms, time series analysis, multivariate data analysis, machine learning, deep learning, and reinforcement learning."  This course will provide you a unique perspective on the impact of artificial intelligence in industrial systems. Incorporating AI approaches into industry processes can result in systems that are more resilient, intrinsically safe, and ultimately more environmentally friendly.

Banking, Business and Economy

OECD projects India’s GDP for FY23 at 8.1% 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has retained the outlook for India’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at 5.5% in FY24, lower than 8.1% in 2022-23.  Driven by infrastructure spending and border reopenings, the GDP of emerging Asia – China, India and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)- is projected to grow 5.8% this year, following a 7.4% expansion in 2021 and a 0.8% contraction in 2020, it said, adding that the Ukraine war adds to inflation and supply chain risks facing an emerging Asia attempting to break out of the Covid-19 slump.


UN cuts India's GDP growth forecast for FY22 from 6.7% to 4.6%

short by Ashley Paul / 10:47 pm on 24 Mar 2022,Thursday

India's projected GDP growth for FY22 has been downgraded from 6.7% to 4.6%, a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report said. Citing the Ukraine war for the cut in forecast, it added that India is expected to face reflexes from trade sanctions, food inflation and financial instability. It also said Russia will experience deep recession this year.

Delhi court dismisses ex-NSE official Anand Subramanian's bail plea

A Delhi Court on Thursday dismissed former National Stock Exchange (NSE) Group Operating Officer Anand Subramanian's bail plea. Subramanian is accused of being the 'Himalayan yogi' in the co-location scam case including former NSE CEO Chitra Ramkrishna. "There are strong chances that [Subramanian] may influence the relevant witnesses or tamper with the evidence," the court said.


RBI cancelled the license of People’s Co-operative Bank Ltd Kanpur

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cancelled the license of People’s Co-operative Bank Limited, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh as the bank failed to adhere to the requirements of Sections 22(3) (a), 22 (3) (b), 22(3)(c), 22(3) (d) and 22(3)(e) – under Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.  The bank is found to lack adequate capital and earning prospects under the provisions of Section 11(1) and Section 22 (3) (d) – under Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 – ‘Act to apply to co-operative societies subject to modifications’.  The bank is prohibited from continuing its ‘banking’ business such as acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits as defined in Section 5(b) as mentioned in Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from the close of business on March 21, 2022.

DBS Bank India launches Green Deposits programme

DBS Bank India has announced the launch of its Green Deposit Programme for corporate clients providing a simple way for companies to support environmentally-friendly projects or avenues.  DBS Bank is one of the few banks globally to integrate Sustainable Development Goals by offering lending & trade credit solutions to sustainable and environmentally-friendly green sectors and now offering a Green Deposit product.  Green Deposits will fund green industries and initiatives such as; green building sustainable water initiatives that include wastewater management, renewable energy and clean transportation.  The Green Deposits proposition combines all the benefits of a regular fixed deposit with a commitment from DBS to support green and sustainable loans disbursed by the bank.
Green Deposits serve as an ideal opportunity for corporates looking to include sustainability agenda into their treasury activities or those having limited options for investing in environmentally-beneficial projects.

Chennai Super Kings and ICICI Bank partners for co-branded credit card

ICICI Bank announced that it has partnered with Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of India's most successful cricket teams, to introduce a co-branded credit card. The card, dubbed the 'Chennai Super Kings ICICI Bank Credit Card,' has been expressly developed with a range of exclusive perks for the iconic team's millions of cricket fans.  The new card is part of a limited-edition line of co-branded credit cards offered by the Bank to allow sports fans to interact with their favourite teams while also taking advantage of credit card features.  The new card is another addition to an exclusive set of co-branded credit cards offered by the Bank to enable sports enthusiasts to connect with their favourite teams as well as avail benefits of a credit card.  ICICI Bank and Manchester United, a professional football club in England, launched a co-branded credit card four years ago.

Awards News

Devendra Jhajharia became 1st para-athlete to receive Padma Bhushan

Devendra Jhajharia became the first para-athlete to receive the Padma Bhushan award. He has won many Paralympic medals, including gold at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens and 2016 Rio Games, and a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  Avani Lekhara (para-shooter) was also awarded the Padma Shri award in the Sports category. She is the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals in the same Games, as well as the first Indian woman to earn Paralympic gold.

Abel prize for 2022: American mathematician Dennis P. Sullivan

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize for the year 2022 to American Mathematician Dennis Parnell Sullivan. The citation mentions that the award has been given, “For his groundbreaking contributions to topology in its broadest sense, and in particular its algebraic, geometric and dynamical aspects.”  The Prize recognises extraordinary contributions to the sector of mathematics & is funded by the Norwegian Government & supported the recommendations of the Abel Committee, which consists of 5 internationally recognized mathematicians, the Abel Laureates is chosen.

Sports News

World tennis No.1 Ashleigh Barty announces retirement

Australian female tennis player Ashleigh Barty has announced retirement from tennis at the age of 25 years. She has won three Grand Slam singles titles — the French Open in 2019, Wimbledon in 2021 and the Australian Open in 2022.  Apart from playing tennis, she has also played semi-professional cricket during her break from tennis between 2014-2016. Barty is retiring after winning three major singles titles on three different surfaces - the 2019 French Open, the 2021 Wimbledon and, back in January, the Australian Open.

Books and Authors News

A book titled “Unfilled Barrels India’s oil story” authored by Richa Mishra

A book titled “Unfilled Barrels: India’s oil story” authored by Richa Mishra will be released soon. Richa Mishra is a journalist with The Hindu BusinessLine.  The book highlights the key role played by Keshav Dev Malaviya, who was the petroleum minister in the 1970s with a degree in oil technology, and the emergence of other stakeholders from public sector enterprises, including ONGC, to the fiercely competitive private players like Cairn Energy, and Mukesh Ambani’s RIL.




Important Days

World Tuberculosis Day observed on 24th March

World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on 24 March to create awareness among the public about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.  The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.  The theme of World TB Day 2022 - ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ –conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

International Day for the Right to the Truth: 24th March

United Nations has recognised March 24 to be observed as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims every year. The day aims to pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives or lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.  This day is observed on 24th March every year to pay tribute to “Monsignor Óscar Arnulfo Romero” as he was murdered on 24 March 1980. He was actively engaged in criticizing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable individuals in El Salvador. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations in December 2010, to say no to all forms of violence, injustice and oppression against humanity. 




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