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28th March 2022

National News

B'luru-Mysuru highway will reduce travel time to 75 mins: Gadkari

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday shared pictures of the under-construction 10-lane stretch of Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru highway, saying that it will "reduce the travel time from three hours to 75 minutes only". He added that the 117-km road will "enhance connectivity between the two important cities". The road will be completed in October, he further said.

COVID-19 caller tune that plays before phone calls to stop soon: Reports

Official sources have said the caller tune that plays by default to spread awareness of COVID-19 will be stopped soon. After COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, the Central government had directed telecom operators to ensure that the caller tune, asking everyone to wear a mask and observe social distancing, is played before users connect on a call.

Aradhana Misra elected as Congress Legislature Party leader in UP

Aradhana Misra alias Mona was elected as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly. Mona, who is a three-time MLA, was appointed CLP leader by Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The 47-year-old politician is an MLA from the Rampur Khas constituency, which has been a Congress bastion for the past four decades.

Ola, Uber cabs in Hyderabad to run without AC this summer: Workers union

The Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) has announced a "No AC" campaign in Hyderabad to enlighten customers about the challenges faced by Ola and Uber drivers, especially amid rising fuel prices. "Drivers want at least ₹24-25 per km to turn on the AC, which is now less than ₹12-13 per km," a TGPWU official said.


NITI Aayog`s releases Export Preparedness Index 2021, Gujarat again tops

Gujarat topped Niti Aayog's Export Preparedness Index 2021, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka in second and third place, respectively. Gujarat has topped the Niti Aayog rankings for the second year in a row "s Export Preparedness Index 2021, which is intended to assess states' preparation in terms of export potential and performance.  According to the government think tank, Gujarat was followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Telengana "s document. Union territories and states such as Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Ladakh, and Meghalaya ranked worst.  The world trade is about USD 24 trillion, with India's exports worth USD 400 billion, indicating "huge" potential.


GoI designates October 5 as National Dolphin Day

The Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has designated the 5th of October to be celebrated as National Dolphin Day every year as a historic step in creating awareness for the conservation of Dolphins, beginning from 2022.  This information was given by Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupendra Yadav on March 25, 2022, during the 67th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wild Life in New Delhi.  Dolphins act as ideal ecological indicators of a healthy aquatic ecosystem and conservation of the dolphins will, therefore, benefit the survival of the species and also, the people dependent on the aquatic system for their livelihood.

‘Ishan Manthan’ Festival organised in New Delhi

Union Minister for Culture, Tourism & DONER, G Kishan Reddy has inaugurated the three-day North-East festival called ‘Ishan Manthan’ at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in New Delhi.  The three-day Ishan Manthan programme will celebrate the rich ethnicity and colours of North East India, from March 25 to 27, 2022.  The event will give an opportunity to know about the culture, art, music, folk dances, handicrafts and traditional cuisines of Northeast India. Ishan Manthan is an attempt to celebrate the plural expressions of northeast India.  It can be understood as "North East Brainstorming". The inaugural session also witnessed the release of two books titled 'Lok Beyond Folk', a book on the Lok Culture which was edited by Shri J Nandalumar and 'Jewels of North East India'.

Smriti Irani inaugurates ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’ mega Red Fort Festival

Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smriti Irani has inaugurated the ten-day mega Red Fort Festival, ‘Bharat Bhagya Vidhata’ at Red Fort in Delhi.  The Red Fort festival has been organised by the Union Ministry of Culture, as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The ministry has collaborated with the Dalmia Bharat Group (DBG) to organise the event as DBG has adopted the Red Fort as its Monument Mitra.  The festival will commemorate the heritage, culture and diversity of every part of India. The festival aims to commemorate the heritage of the country and the culture of every part of India.  The festival Bharat Bhagya Vidhata will help everyone to appreciate the diversity of India. More than 70 master craftsmen have displayed their craftsmanship at the venue.

An auspicious celebration of spirit of the Tribe culture: Aadi Bazaar 

In keeping with the sequence of Aadi Bazaars - A Celebration of the Spirit of Tribal Culture and Cuisine, a new one opened on March 26th, 2022 in Ekta Nagar, Kevadia, Statue of Unity in Gujarat's Narmada district.  The 11-day exhibition, which began on March 26 and ended on April 5, was inaugurated by Smt. Nimishaben Suthar, Minister of State for Tribal Development, Health, Family Welfare, and Medical Education, Government of Gujarat.  The efforts of Bharat Ratna Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's First Deputy Prime Minister, are largely responsible for the country's unity. As a result, one of his key goals for the country was for it to be inclusive and united.  This magnificent monument, the world's tallest statue, is a homage to the values that Sardar Patel preached and upheld. In addition, this district is predominantly a tribal region.

Nitish Kumar fires VIP chief from Cabinet after BJP’s request

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has fired Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) chief Mukesh Sahani from the post of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister. "After BJP made the request for Mukesh Sahani's termination as minister, the CM has recommended it to the Raj Bhavan," said state's public relations department. Notably, three other VIP MLAs had recently joined BJP.

Lt. Gen. Vinod G. Khandare appointed as Adviser in Defence Ministry

Lieutenant General Vinod G. Khandare (retired) has been appointed as Adviser in the Ministry of Defence, providing strategic insights and advise on matters relevant to defence strategy to the Defence Secretary.  The role's mandate would be to provide strategic inputs and advise on matters relating to defence strategy, readiness, and associated activities, such as the International Defense Corporation, maritime security, and defence space.



Who won what at the Oscar awards held today?

The Oscar for Best Original Song went to Billie Eilish and Finneas O'Connell for 'No Time To Die' while the award for Original Score went to Hans Zimmer for 'Dune'. Kenneth Branagh won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for 'Belfast'. 'Encanto' was named Best Animated Feature Film. Oscar for Live Action Short Film was won by 'The Long Goodbye'.

British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed becomes first Muslim to win Oscar

British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed has become the first Muslim to win an Oscar for Aneil Karia's live-action short film 'The Long Goodbye'. Riz also co-wrote the film with Aneil. The actor said in his acceptance speech, "In such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us there is no 'us' and 'them'. There's just 'us'."

Ukraine's Mariupol on verge of humanitarian catastrophe: Mayor

The city of Mariupol in Ukraine which is under attack from Russian forces is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, said its mayor on Monday. Mayor Vadym Boichenko said the city, in which about 1,60,000 civilians have been trapped without power, must be evacuated. He alleged that the Russians are not allowing safe passage to them.


Nepal's PM Deuba to arrive on his 1st visit to India on April 1

Nepal's PM Sher Bahadur Deuba will arrive in India on an official visit from April 1 to 3, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced on Monday. "This will be the first bilateral visit abroad by the Prime Minister of Nepal after assuming his office in July 2021", the MEA said. A high-level delegation will accompany Deuba, it added.

UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss to visit India on March 31

UK Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss is scheduled to visit India on March 31. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, Truss will hold bilateral consultations with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. The British Secretary will also participate in the first edition of the India-UK Strategic Futures Forum.




UNEP Report: Dhaka is world’s most noise polluted city

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has been ranked as the most noise polluted city globally, according to the recent ‘Annual Frontier Report, 2022’ published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). As per the report, the city recorded noise pollution of 119 decibels at its highest (dB) in 2021.  Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad came second in the list with noise pollution of 114 decibels. Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan is third, with maximum noise pollution of 105 dB.  The quietest cities in the world as per the report are Irbrid at 60 dB, Lyon at 69 dB, Madrid at 69 dB, Stockholm at 70 dB, and Belgrade at 70 dB.  The other four most noise polluted cities in India in the list are Kolkata (89 dB), Asansol (89 dB), Jaipur (84 dB), and Delhi (83 dB).  A total of 61 cities from around the world have been ranked in the report, out of which 13 cities are from South Asia, while 5 among them are from India.


NATO extended Jens Stoltenberg's term by a year 

According to a NATO statement, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) extended Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's tenure by a year until September 30, 2023.  After a NATO conference in Brussels, US President Joe Biden and other NATO leaders decided to extend Stoltenberg's tenure.  In October 2014, Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, was named NATO Secretary-General. In September 2021, his term was set to end.

Banking, Business and Economy News


Govt's total liabilities in Q3 rise 2.15% QoQ to ₹128.4 lakh cr

The government's total liabilities rose 2.15% QoQ from ₹125.71 lakh crore in Q2 FY22 to ₹128.41 lakh crore in Q3. Data released by the Finance Ministry said public debt accounted for 91.6% of total outstanding liabilities in Q3, up from 91.15% in Q2. Commercial banks' share in the government's securities stood at 35.4% in Q3, down from 37.82% in Q2.


Russia- Ukraine Conflict affect on India's GDP growth

According to a UN report released, India's projected economic growth for 2022 has been downgraded by more than 2% to 4.6 percent, a decrease attributed to the ongoing war in Ukraine. New Delhi is expected to face restrictions on energy access and prices, as well as trade sanctions, food inflation, tightening policies, and financial instability.  Due to disruptions from the Ukraine crisis and changes in macroeconomic policies that put developing nations in particular at risk, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has lowered its global economic growth prediction for 2022 to 2.6 percent from 3.6 percent.  While Russia is anticipated to enter a serious recession this year, major economic slowdowns are expected in regions of Western Europe and Central Asia, according to the analysis.

Former SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar joins Dun & Bradstreet

The Former Chairman of the State Bank of India Rajnish Kumar has joined the International Strategic Advisory Board of data and analytics behemoth Dun & Bradstreet. Dun & Bradstreet has been a trusted brand in business decision-making data, analytics, and ratings for almost 180 years.  In October 2020, Kumar stepped down as Chairman of SBI.  He formerly worked for HSBC's Asia division in Hong Kong as a non-executive director, as a senior adviser for Baring Private Equity Asia, and as a consultant for Kotak Investment Advisors.  Rajnish Kumar serves on the boards of HSBC Asia Pacific, L&T Infotech, Hero MotoCorp, and BharatPe.

Ola to acquire neo bank Avail Finance

Ola, an Indian ride-hailing startup, has agreed to acquire neo-banking platform Avail Finance in order to expand its financial services offering.  The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed by Ola, which owns a 9% share in Avail Finance.  Ola intends to use Avail Finance's product portfolio to enhance its lending operations and further its neo-banking expansion goals.  The acquisition is a critical step in Ola's bigger drive into the fintech market as it strives to develop a mobility-focused financial services business under Ola Financial.  Ola Financial Services will expand its position in the credit underserved areas that include blue-collar employees, such as Ola's driver-partner ecosystem, with this purchase.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das inaugurated RBIH in Bengaluru

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das inaugurated the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) in Bengaluru on Thursday, which was established with a Rs 100 crore initial capital contribution to foster and nurture financial innovation.  According to the central bank, the Hub has an independent Board with Senapathy (Kris) Gopalakrishnan as Chairman and other notable people from industry and academics as members.  The RBIH was established as a Section 8 business under the Companies Act of 2013, with an initial capital contribution of Rs 100 crore, to stimulate and develop financial innovation in a long-term institutional setting.  RBIH intends to build an ecosystem that promotes access to financial services and goods for the country's low-income people.  The Hub would bring together several stakeholders in the financial innovation area (BFSI sector, startup ecosystem, regulators, and academia).

Awards News

Oscars Awards 2022: 94th Academy Awards 2022 announced

The 94th Academy Awards returned to the Dolby Theater in Hollywood as the top films from the last year were honoured by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  The show was hosted by Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, the first time the award ceremony has had multiple hosts since Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-hosted the 83rd instalment in 2011.

Prof Wilfried Brutsaert bags Stockholm Water Prize 2022

Professor Emeritus Wilfried Brutsaert has been named as the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2022. He has been awarded for his groundbreaking work to quantify environmental evaporation.  Wilfried Brutsaert is Professor in Engineering Emeritus at Cornell University, USA. His innovative works on Evaporation and Hydrology are of lasting theoretical and practical importance, particularly in view of climate change. In addition, Wilfried Brutsaert has pioneered novel approaches to understanding changes in groundwater storage.  The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious water award and is often described as the Nobel Prize of water.  The prestigious Prize has been awarded since 1991 to people and organizations for extraordinary water-related achievements.  The Prize is awarded by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Cochin International Airport bagged ‘Covid champion’ award at Wings India 2022

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has won the ‘Covid champion’ award at Wings India 2022. The Covid champion award was received by CIAL Managing Director S Suhas IAS from Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia.  CIAL has been awarded for the successful implementation of a meticulous project named ‘Mission Safeguarding’ during the pandemic time to ensure safe travel at Kochi Airport.  The Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru won two the ‘Best Airport’ under the General Category and the ‘Aviation Innovation’ Award at the event.  Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) won the 'Aviation Sustainability & Environment' award by Wings India Awards 2022 for its efficient green practices. The accolade comes as a recognition of CSMIA's commitment and relentless efforts towards implementing sustainable initiatives as well as inching closer to being one of the country's most eco-friendly airports.

Schemes News

PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana extended by half a year

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY) scheme for another six months, till September 2022, in order to show care and compassion towards the underprivileged and vulnerable parts of society (Phase VI).  The PM-GKAY scheme's Phase-V was set to finish in March 2022. It should be noted that the PM-GKAY has been in effect since April 2020, making it the world's largest food security programme.  So far, the government has spent over Rs. 2.60 lakh crore, with another Rs. 80,000 crore set to be invested over the next six months through September 2022, bringing the total expenditure under PM-GKAY to roughly Rs. 3.40 lakh crore.



SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship title 2022 won by Indian women's team

India has been declared the winner of the 3rd edition of the SAFF U-18 Women’s Football Championship. The 2022 edition of the international football competition for women’s under-18 national teams was held in Jharkhand at JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur.  The valuable player of the tournament and the highest goal scorer was Lynda Kom who scored five goals in total. Although India lost to Bangladesh, 0-1 in the final league match, but still emerged champions of the tournament on account of better goal difference. India enjoyed a better goal difference of +11 in comparison to +3 of Bangladesh.

Important Days

Earth Hour 2022 Celebrated on 26th March

Every year, the Earth Hour is celebrated worldwide on the last Saturday of March month to show support for the fight against climate change and commitment towards a better planet. Earth Hour 2022 is being marked on March 26, 2022. The Earth Hour 2022 theme will focus on ‘Shape Our Future.  The Day is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), encouraging individuals, communities, corporates, and households to turn off their lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. It was started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 to raise awareness for energy consumption and its effects on the environment.


World theatre Day 2022 celebrates on 27th March

World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on March 27, promoted by the International Theatre Institute (ITI) through its centres, and supported by theatre communities all over the world.  This year, the World Theatre Day celebration will focus on the young, the next generation, the emerging artists, who have been a strong special focus of ITI in the recent past.  Through this 60-year-old ITI flagship event, ITI wishes to offer the next generation of artists and art professionals a platform to exchange ideas and present themselves to the world.  The day was initiated by ITI, following President Arvi Kivimaa’s June 1961 proposal at the ninth World Congress of the ITI in Vienna — on behalf of the ITI’s Finnish Centre — for a World Theatre Day to be instituted.

Miscellaneous News

Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter launched a Website ‘Modi Story’

The granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi ‘Sumitra Gandhi Kulkarni’ has inaugurated the web portal ‘Modi Story’.  The Modi story website is a volunteer-driven initiative that aims to bring together “inspiring” stories related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from those who have interacted with him during his life journey over the decades. The portal can be accessed at  Any person who has closely witnessed the Prime Minister’s life can submit write-ups, audio or visual stories of any such experience or anecdote along with photos with PM Modi, letters or personal memorabilia associated with him.  The website has several stories shared by the people who crossed paths with the Prime Minister at some point in his life.



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