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29th March 2022

National News

Physics, Chemistry, Maths not mandatory for admissions in architecture: AICTE

Studying Physics, Chemistry and Maths in Class 12 will no longer be mandatory for admission to undergraduate courses in architecture, as per All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Fashion technology and packaging technology are two other courses that won't require these subjects. Computer Science, Electronics, Biology are among the subjects eligible for admission in the three courses.

India's first steel road featured in Gujarat 

Surat, Gujarat, features a road created entirely of steel waste, which is one of the best instances of sustainable development. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India collaborated on the steel slag road with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), and the government think tank Niti Aayog.  The trial project is a one-kilometre road with six lanes. So far, the path has proven to be reliable. Every day, almost 1,000 trucks, weighing between 18 and 30 tonnes, drive along the steel road.  Various plants across the country produce millions of tonnes of steel waste each year, which is disposed of in landfills. This one-of-a-kind initiative will now not only make use of a previously underutilised resource but will also result in more durable roadways.

Pramod Sawant takes oath as Chief Minister of Goa for 2nd term

Pramod Sawant took oath as the Chief Minister of Goa on March 28, 2022, for the second straight five-year term. Sawant led the BJP in the recently concluded 2022 Goa Assembly elections and won 20 seats in the 40-member Goa Assembly.  Mr Sawant was administered the oath by Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai at the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee stadium near Panaji. Mr Sawant is an Ayurveda Medical practitioner by profession.  He was sworn in as Chief Minister in March 2019 after the death of the sitting chief minister Manohar Parrikar. Mr Sawant represents the Sanquelim constituency.



International News


US oil price drops below $100 mark on positive Russia-Ukraine talks

US oil price dropped below the $100 mark on signs of progress in talks between Russia and Ukraine to end their conflict. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell $6.41 to $99.55/barrel while Brent crude fell $6.51 to $105.97/barrel. Oil prices were further pressured by lockdowns in China's biggest city Shanghai to curb the spread of coronavirus.


Maltese PM Robert Abela sworn in after landslide election win

The Prime Minister of Malta, Robert Abela has been sworn in for a second term after his ruling Labour Party won the 2022 general election in a landslide victory. He was administered the oath of office by President George Vella.  Abela was first sworn in as prime minister in January 2020 after the former Labour Party leader and prime minister Joseph Muscat resigned.  It was the first electoral test for Abela, a 44-year-old lawyer since he took the helm of the tiny Mediterranean island nation in January 2020 following a Labour party vote. Labour secured a majority of almost 40,000 votes over its Nationalist Party rivals — a huge margin in the tiny EU state which has just 355,000 registered voters.

Appointments News

Shashi Sinha named as new Chairman of Broadcast Audience Research Council India

The board of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has elected IPG Mediabrands India CEO Shashi Sinha as the new chairman. He will take over from Punit Goenka, who served as chairman of the TV viewership measurement agency for the last three years.  Sinha, who also represents the Advertising Agencies Association of India as its board member, has played a key role in the formation of BARC.  The Broadcast Audience Research Council India is a joint industry body founded by organisations that represent Indian broadcasters, advertisers, and advertising and media agencies. It is the world's largest television measurement science industry body.

Gilbert Houngbo named next Director-General of International Labour Organization

Gilbert Houngbo from Togo will be the next Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Houngbo was elected by the UN agency’s governing body, comprising representatives of governments, workers and employers during their meeting in Geneva.  Houngbo, former Prime Minister of Togo, will be the 11th head of the agency and the first African to hold the post. His five-year term will begin on October 1, 2022. The current Director-General, Guy Ryder, from the United Kingdom, has held office since 2012.

Banking, Business and Economy


Govt to sell up to 1.5% stake in state-run ONGC to raise ₹3,000 crore

The government will sell up to 1.5% stake in state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) through an offer for sale (OFS) to raise up to ₹3,000 crore. The government plans to sell 18.87 crore shares at a floor price of ₹159 apiece. The OFS will open on March 30 and March 31 for non-retail investors and retail investors, respectively.


RBI Governor dedicates Varnika Ink Manufacturing Unit of BRBNMPL

Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) has set up an Ink Manufacturing Unit named “Varnika” at Mysuru, Karnataka, with an annual ink manufacturing capacity of 1,500 MT to enhance the security of banknotes.  Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBI. Shaktikanta Das (Governor of RBI) has dedicated “Varnika”, the Ink Manufacturing Unit of Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) to the nation.  It is a boost to the ‘Make in India’ initiative. It ensures that the entire requirement of banknote printing inks is produced in-house.  This unit also manufactures Colour Shift Intaglio Ink (CSII) and meets the entire requirements of banknote printing presses in India, which has resulted in cost efficiency and self-sufficiency in banknote ink production.

Shaktikanta Das lays Foundation Stone of Learning and Development Centre of BRBNMPL in Mysuru

Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Shaktikanta Das has laid the foundation stone for the establishment of a Learning and Development Centre (LDC) of the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) in Mysuru, Karnataka. Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBI.  LDC is being established with active collaboration from Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) and Bank Note Paper Mill India Private Limited (BNPMIPL).  LDC will act as a forum for robust knowledge dissemination, thus ensuring that the best practices, experiences, and innovations are shared efficiently in a congenial environment to ensure uniformity in banknote production, quality and supply.

PVR & INOX Leisure announced merger combined entity to be called PVR Inox Ltd 

Multiplex companies INOX Leisure Ltd and PVR Ltd have announced the merger of their two companies. Inox will have a 16.66% stake in the new firm and PVR will have a 10.62% stake.  After the formalities of the merger, the company will be known as PVR Inox Limited. Ajay Bijli will be Managing Director of PVR Inox Limited, Sanjeev Kumar will be executive director and Pavan Kumar Jain will be non-executive chairman of the consolidated board.  The merger is subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), stock exchanges, and other regulatory approvals as required. Merger to bring together two of India's best cinema brands to deliver an unparalleled consumer experience with a network of 1,546 screens across 341 properties in 109 cities.

Awards News

Actress Deepika Padukone named in inaugural TIME100 Impact Award

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone has been named as one of the awardees of the TIME100 Impact Awards 2022. The actress has got featured on the inaugural TIME100 Impact Awards list for her work in mental health struggles and raising awareness, through her LiveLoveLaugh Foundation.  The award recognizes global leaders who have gone above and beyond to move their industries and the world forward. Apart from Deepika, six other global leaders have also been honoured with the award. The awards were presented at the Museum of the Future in Dubai.

Sports News

Max Verstappen wins 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) has won the Formula One 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Saudi Arabia. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari- Monaco) came second and Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari – Spain) came third.  It was the second edition of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the second round of the 2022 Formula One World Championship. Lewis Hamilton managed to get a point on the board after coming 10th.

The men's and women's team has won gold in the National Cross Country Championship

In Kohima, Darshan Singh of the Services and Varsha Devi of the Railways finally defended their men's and women's titles in the National Cross Country Championships by winning their 10 Km events on the picturesque but difficult course, which was made more difficult by 60 per cent humidity and wind gusts.  After playing crucial roles in their respective teams' successes, they were ecstatic to win the South Asian crowns at the second SAFF Cross Country Championships, which were held concurrently.  Darshan Singh was grouped at the front with his Services teammates Rajendra Nath, Deepak Singh Rawat, Dipak Suhaug, reigning champion Parasappa Madevappa Hajilol, and Railways Narendra Pratap Singh even before the runners had completed the first loop of 2 kilometres. He never lost his beat or his place.

Miscellaneous News

India's Namit Malhotra on Oscars win for Dune

This year's Oscars was named to Dune as the Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya starrer sci-fi thriller bagged six wins. Dune was nominated in 10 categories and it won in 6 of them.  This win was a proud moment for India as Namit Malhotra, the CEO and Chairman of Double Negative (DNEG), the studio that did the VFX for the film, brought home this honour.  DNEG won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, beating Free Guy, Shang-Chi, Spider-Man: No Way Home and No Time to Die.  Interestingly, this is DNEG’s seventh win at the Academy Awards, with the studio winning big for Inception (2011), Ex Machina (2016), First Man (2019), Tenet (2021), Interstellar (2015) and Blade Runner 2049 (2018).  Namit is the son of Bollywood producer Naresh Malhotra and the grandson of cinematographer MN Malhotra and his company was behind the mind-blowing VFX.


Australian director Jeff Darling dies aged 60 while surfing

Australian director-cinematographer Jeff Darling passed away on Sunday aged 60 while surfing in Sydney's North Palm Beach. He was reportedly unconscious when lifeguards brought him out of the ocean and paramedics were unable to revive him. Jeff became the youngest person to earn the Australian Film Institute's best achievement in cinematography award for his work on 1990 film 'The Crossing'


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