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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS FEBRUARY 2022

 

CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

01st February 2022

National News


India can become $5 trillion economy by FY26: Chief Economic Advisor

short by Ashley Paul / 08:09 pm on 01 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran said that India can become a $5 trillion economy by FY26 or FY27 if it continues to attain 8% real GDP growth rate. According to government estimates, India's economy is projected to grow at 9.2% and 8-8.5% in FY22, FY23. International Monetary Fund projects India's GDP to grow at 9% in FY22 and FY23.


Prime Minister Modi launches Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation on the occasion of the 92nd birth anniversary of the Indian classical vocalist.  Prime Minister Modi said that the World is entitled to benefit from Indian music like they have from Yoga.  Durga Jasraj and Pandit Shaarang Dev keep alive the glorious legacy of the maestro. Yoga, Indian music has the capacity to stir the depth of the human mind and the world is entitled to be benefited from it.  The Pandit Jasraj Cultural Foundation has been founded by Pandit Jasraj's son Shaarang Dev Pandit, and his daughter, Durga Jasraj. The main objective of the fluctuation is to protect, preserve, develop and promote the National Heritage, Art & Culture of India.


International News


Canada to ease entry requirements for arrivals from February 28

Vaccinated travellers will not have to take an RT-PCR COVID-19 test to enter Canada and can instead opt for a rapid antigen test from February 28 onwards, officials confirmed on Tuesday. Unvaccinated children aged below 12 will no longer need to quarantine after arriving in Canada. Further, Canadian government's advisory for citizens to avoid non-essential travel abroad will be removed.

 

 


Xiomara Castro sworn in as first female President of Honduras 


In Honduras, the Freedom and Refoundation Party (Libre) member Xiomara Castro has been sworn in as the first female President of the country. The 62-year-old Castro replaces President Juan Orlando Hernández, as 56th President of Honduras. Hernández has held the position for eight years from 27 January 2014 to 27 January 2022.  Castro announced part of her cabinet Thursday, with her son Hector Zelaya as private secretary and Jose Manuel Zelaya -- her husband's nephew -- as defence minister.

 


Sri Lanka to buy fuel from Indian Oil Corporation amid energy crisis

Sri Lanka will buy 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel and 40,000 metric tonnes of petrol from the Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) Sri Lankan subsidiary amid a fuel shortage in the country. The shortage was sparked by a foreign exchange reserve crisis in the country. The dwindling reserves have led to a shortage of nearly all essential item

 


Banking , Business and Economy


RBI imposed restrictions on Indian Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd


Reserve Bank of India has imposed several restrictions on Indian Mercantile Cooperative Bank Ltd, Lucknow, including a cap of Rs 1 lakh on withdrawals. The restrictions came into force from the closure of business hours on January 28, 2022.  RBI said the Lucknow-based co-operative bank will not, without its prior approval, grant or renew any loans and advances, or make any investment. The restrictions would remain in force for six months and are subject to review.  The RBI has imposed the above restriction in the exercise of powers vested in it under sub-section (1) of Section 35 A read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 (AACS). In particular, a sum not exceeding Rs 1 lakh of the total balance across all savings bank or current accounts or any other account of a depositor, may be allowed to be withdrawn, subject to certain conditions.




Every 15 seconds a millennial opens a savings account with us: Jupiter

short by Roshan Gupta / 08:00 am on 02 Feb 2022,Wednesday

Citing convenience and personalisation as top priorities, millennials now prefer a digital-only banking experience as they want to feel like they're in control and are being smarter with their spending, stated Jupiter, a digital-only banking app. Built for these evolving needs, combined with our customer experience innovations, we're seeing exponential growth in millennial users, added Jupiter.

 


Tata group acquires Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd for Rs 12,100 crore 


Tata Group company, Tata Steel Long Products Ltd’s (TSLP) has acquired Odisha-based Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) for Rs 12,100 crore.  Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) is a steel plant located in Kalinganagar in Odisha and was shut in March 2020 due to continued losses. It has a capacity of 1.1 million tonnes a year.  This is the 1st instance of privatisation of a public sector steel manufacturing enterprise in India.


NPCI announces UPI safety and awareness week


National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the UPI ecosystem (comprising of leading banks and fintechs) have announced the UPI Safety and Awareness initiative, to create awareness amongst consumers. Under this initiative, NPCI and the UPI ecosystem will observe February 1-7 as ‘UPI Safety and Awareness Week’ and the whole of February as ‘UPI Safety and Awareness Month’.  NPCI has urged users to follow the concept of UPI Safety Shield which mentions 5 tips for safe UPI transactions. With an aim to create awareness amongst consumers, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the UPI ecosystem have announced the UPI Safety and Awareness initiative.  Under this programme, NPCI urges all the customers to follow the concept of UPI Safety Shield, which the company has derived to educate customers all about UPI payments. The UPI Safety and Awareness initiative will help vulnerable and first-time customers in overcoming their fears of adopting digital payments and guide them to pursue safe payments on the UPI platform.



30% tax on crypto income, CBDC to be launched: Budget 2022

short by Aarish / 09:45 pm on 01 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a tax of 30% on income from transfer of virtual digital assets. RBI is set to launch digital rupee based on blockchain technology by FY23, she added. India's crypto exchange platform CoinSwitch Kuber has welcomed the move, adding, "This will induct more digital-savvy Indians into an emerging asset class worth over $6 billion in investments."

 


Union budget 2022-23 is being presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman


Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Union Budget 2022 for the 4th time in a row. She will be presenting the financial statements and tax proposals for the fiscal year 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023).  A Made in India tablet has replaced the traditional 'Bahi Khata' as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman leaves the Finance Ministry’s office to go to the Parliament to present the Budget.  The Economic Survey 2021-22 was released on 31st January 2022 by the Chief Economic Advisor of India,  V Anantha Nageswaran. The government sees the Indian economy growing at 8-8.5 per cent in the financial year 2022-23 (FY23).

 

 

📌 *Key Highlights : Budget 2022*

 

📍 *GDP growth* for FY 22 expected to be *9.2%,* the *highest* for any large economy.

 

📍 *PLI* (Production Linked Incentive scheme) in *14 sectors* for Aatmanirbhar Bharat to create *6 million jobs* , additional allocation of *Rs 19,500 crore* for PLI in solar PV module manufacturing.

 

📍Promoting *Fintech and digital economy* a focus area for this Budget.

 

📍 *75 digital banking systems* in *75 districts* by scheduled commercial banks.

 

📍 *IBC* to be amended to improve efficiency of resolution process including cross border.

 

📍 *Core Banking Services* to start in *Post offices*

 

📍 PM *Gati-shakti* masterplan Has scope to enhance *Multimodal communication* through 7 engines, 2000 km of rail network to be brought under *KAVACH* & Highway network to grow by *25,000 km* in FY23.

 

📍Contracts for implementation of *multimodal logistics* parks at 4 locations to be awarded in 2022-23, in *PPP Mode*

 

📍 *ECLGS* (Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme) to be extended upto March 2023, guaranteed cover extended by another *Rs 50,000 crore*

 

📍 *8 million* new dwelling in rural, urban areas to be completed under *PM Awas yojana*

 

📍 *Rs 2.37 trillion* worth of *MSP direct payments* to wheat and paddy farmers.

 

📍 *Rs 2 trillion* outlay for MSMEs, Additional loans for *13 mn MSMEs.*

 

📍 *Rs 48,000 crore* allocated to housing projects under *PM Housing Scheme* for FY23, *Rs 1,500 crore* allocated for development of the Northeast in FY23 & Desh stack *e-portal* to be launched to promote *Digital infra*

 

📍 *New provision* to file updated return within *2 years* of relevant assessment year.

 

📍 *Alternate minimum tax* for cooperative societies down from 18.5% to *15%*

 

📍 *Tax deduction limit* for *state govt employees* to *NPS* raised from 10% to *14%*

 

📍 *Surcharge* on Corporate tax *pruned* from 12% to *7%* Surcharge on *transfer of long-term capital gains tax* capped at *15%*

 

📍 *Tax exemption* to start-ups extended to March 2023.

 

📍 *Gross GST collection* for January 2022 at a *record Rs 1.41 trillion*

 

📍 *No change*  in income tax slab.

 

📍 *Electric Vehicles* battery-swapping policy to be brought out with interoperability standards.

 

📍Concessional duty *on import of capital goods* to be phased out.

 

📍 Duty on *unpolished diamonds* to be *reduced to 5%*

 

📍Customs duty on *steel scrap extended by a year*

 

📍RBI led *digital rupee using blockchain* to be launched in FY23, *1% TDS* on *transfer of virtual digital assets* & income to be taxed at *30%*

 

📍 *68% of capital outlay* for Domestic defence industry.

 

📍Revised Fiscal Deficit *6.9% of GDP* in FY22 as against 6.8% in Budget estimates, Fiscal deficit at *6.4% in FY23*

 

📍 *Total expenditure* in FY23 estimated at *Rs 39.45 trillion* ; *total resources mobilisation* to be *Rs 22.84 trillion* other than borrowing.

 


LIC likely to file draft papers for IPO within 2 weeks: DIPAM Secy

Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) is likely to file the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) to raise funds through an IPO with SEBI within two weeks, said the Secretary of Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Tuhin Kanta Pandey, on Tuesday. Earlier while presenting the Union Budget 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that LIC's IPO is expected shortly.

 


Schemes News


Ministry of Defence begins Home Delivery of medicines under SeHAT scheme 


Ministry of Defence had launched the Services e-Health Assistance and Teleconsultation (SeHAT) medical teleconsultation service for all entitled armed forces personnel and their families in May 2021. To add further to this initiative, the Home Delivery or Self Pickup of Medicines to patients seeking consultation on SeHAT will be started w.e.f February 01, 2022.   SeHAT stay home OPD is a patient-to-doctor system where the patient can consult a doctor remotely through the internet using his Smartphone, laptop, Desktop or Tablet.  The consultation occurs through video, audio and chat at the same time. It aims to provide quality healthcare services to patients from the comfort of their homes.  Safe and structured video-based clinical consultations between a doctor in a hospital, and a patient within the confines of his or her home anywhere in the country, have been enabled. It is designed to be extremely simple and easy to use, which requires minimal effort from the users.  The user does not need to pay anything to seek teleconsultation & can simply access the services by visiting 
https://sehatopd.gov.in, or by using the SeHAT apps available on the Play store & App Stores.


Summits and Conferences News


PM Modi addresses 30th National Commission for Women Foundation Day


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed 30th National Commission for Women Foundation Day programme on January 31, 2022, via video conference. The event was organised to celebrate the achievements of women in different fields. The theme of the programme was ‘She The Change Maker’.  The Prime Minister remarked that today, in changing India, the role of women is continuously expanding. Therefore, he said, the expansion of the role of the National Commission for Women is also the need of the hour. All the women’s commissions of the country will also have to increase their scope and give a new direction to the women of their states.


Science and Technology News


Samsung Surpasses Intel as World's top semiconductor company in 2021


South Korean electronics manufacturing giant, Samsung Electronics surpassed U.S chipmaker Intel to become the world's leading chipmaker by revenue in 2021, according to a report released by research firm Counterpoint Technology Market Research.  While Intel posted relatively flattish results, Samsung took the lead with a strong DRAM and NAND flash market performance in 2021. Samsung also saw solid momentum in logic chips this year.  Memory vendors continued to lead the industry with SK Hynix and Micron taking the third and fourth positions, followed by IC design vendors, including Qualcomm and NVIDIA. The year saw 19% YoY revenue growth.


Awards News


PR Sreejesh wins World Games Athlete of the Year award 2021


Indian men’s hockey player PR Sreejesh has won the World Games Athlete of the Year award for 2021. He is the second Indian after Rani Rampal to win this award. In 2020, Indian women's hockey captain Rani Rampal became the first Indian to win the honour for her performances in 2019.  A total of 24 athletes from 17 countries were nominated for the annual awards based on individual or team performance. Alberto Ginés López of Spain and wushu player Michele Giordano of Italy are the runner-ups. In the FIH Stars Awards in October, Sreejesh was named the goalkeeper of the year for 2021.



 

Sports News


Chennai Super Kings becomes India's First Unicorn Sports Enterprise


Chennai Super Kings (CSK), has become the country’s first sports Unicorn with its market cap having touched a high of Rs 7,600 crores and its share in the grey market trading in the Rs 210-225 price band.  The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, which won its fourth IPL title in Dubai last year, now has a market cap more than its parent entity, India Cements. India Cements’ market cap stood at Rs 6,869 crores.  Two key reasons which have led CSK’s market cap to go past its parent entity are the team winning its fourth IPL title in Dubai, and two new franchises being added to the upcoming season at record prices.

 


Who is the youngest and the oldest player in IPL 2022 mega auction final list?

BCCI released the final IPL 2022 mega auction list on Tuesday, with 590 players set to go under the hammer. Afghanistan's left-arm wrist-spin bowler Noor Ahmad, who has played in the BBL, PSL and Lankan Premier League, is the youngest in the list at the age of 17, while 43-year-old South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir is the oldest.

 


Tata Steel Chess 2022: Magnus Carlsen beats Fabiano Caruana


World Champion Grand Master Magnus Carlsen has secured his victory in Wijk Aan Zee (Netherlands) with a round to spare. The world champion defeated GM Fabiano Caruana and now leads the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament by a full point. It was his 8th win, a unique achievement.  Erigaisi Arjun (India) has won the Tata Steel Challengers. By doing so he has earned a spot in the Tata Steel Masters next year. The 85th edition of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament will take place from 13 – 29 January 2023.


Unnati Hooda and Kiran George wins 2022 Odisha Open


Indian teenager Unnati Hooda beat compatriot Smit Toshniwal, 21-18, 21-11, to claim the women’s singles title at the 2022 Odisha Open badminton tournament. The 14-year old Unnati is the youngest Indian to win the tournament.  In men’s singles, India’s 21-year-old Kiran George beat Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 14-21, 21-18 to emerge as the winner. The 2022 Odisha Open is a BWF Super 100 tournament, organized at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack, Odisha.


02nd February 2022

International News



INTERNATIONAL

Antonio Costa re-elected as Prime Minister of Portugal


The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costo has been re-elected after his centre-left Socialist Party secured a landslide victory in the 2022 Portuguese legislative election. Socialist Party bagged 117 seats in the 230 seats Parliament.  Despite predictions of a tight race, the main opposition centre-right PSD party landed 27.8 per cent for 71 seats. Antonio Costo is serving as the 119th Prime Minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015.


North Korea successfully tests fire most powerful Hwasong-12 ballistic missile 


North Korea successfully tested its Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile from the Jagang Province area. This was the first nuclear-capable missile testing undertaken by the country since 2017.  The Hwasong-12 has an estimated range of 4,500 km (2,800 miles). North Korea’s series of missile test-fires, including intermediate-range ballistic missiles, pose a direct and serious threat to us and a grave challenge to international peace and stability. The string of launches in 2022 comes at a delicate time in the region, with Kim's sole major ally China set to host the Winter Olympics next month and South Korea gearing up for a presidential election in March.


NATIONAL


Gandhi Mandiram, Smruthi Vanam built at Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh


Social activists have built a temple for Mahatma Gandhi and freedom fighters’ Smrithi Vanam at the Municipal Park in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh to inculcate patriotism among the youth by remembering the sacrifices of freedom fighters. Statues of freedom fighters and social activists were erected in the park with the help of donors.  Mahatma Gandhi statue was unveiled along with Smritivanam on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s death anniversary in Srikakulam City. Srikakulam, also called Chicacole, the North Eastern District in AP is known for temple tourism.  After observing the park development, Srikakulam municipal corporation commissioner Obulesh sanctioned Rs 4.60 lakh for the park beautification from the corporation funds.


Punjab Chief Electoral Officer unveiled its mascot named ‘Shera’


Chief Electoral Officer’s office of Punjab unveiled its election mascot, “Shera” (Lion). It aims to increase voter awareness, participation and promote ethical voting in the Punjab Assembly polls that is scheduled on 20 February 2022.  The mascot “Shera”, depicting a lion. It represents the rich cultural heritage of Punjab. It is promoted under the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) project of the Election Commission of India (ECI). SVEEP project was started in 2009, as the flagship program of the ECI for voter education.


India’s first geological park will be built in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh


The first geological park of India will be built in Lamheta, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Approval for the park was given by the Geological Survey of India, under the ministry of mining.  Park will be constructed with an investment of Rs 35 crores, over five-acre land. The geological park will be built in Lamheta, because this place is among significant places in the world, from the geological point of view.  In 1928, William Henry Sleeman had discovered a Dinosaur fossil from this area. UNESCO has also recognised Lamheta as a geo heritage site. Lameta Formation is also called Infratrappean Beds.  It is a sedimentary geological formation found in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is associated with the Deccan Traps. It is of the Maastrichtian age and is known for dinosaur fossils.




Lt Gen GAV Reddy named as new Defence Intelligence Agency Head


Lieutenant General GAV Reddy has been appointed as the new head of the Defence Intelligence Agency. General Reddy would be succeeding Lt Gen KJS Dhillon. Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon retired after serving in various strategic positions during his 39-year career in the Indian Army.  The Director-General of the Defence Intelligence Agency is the head of the organisation and is among the principal advisors on intelligence to the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff.  The post of the director general is held on a rotation basis between the three Armed services. The first Director-General of the DIA was Lt Gen Kamal Davar, former director-general of the Indian Army's Mechanised Forces.


Former RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits as Britannia's Additional Director


Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor, Urjit Patel has resigned from the post of non-executive and independent director of Britannia Industries Limited, citing a full-time work assignment starting next month.  He was a part of the Board of the Company. The former governor also confirmed that there was no other reason other than his new project for the resignation.  Patel was recently appointed vice president for investment operations in South Asia at the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). His appointment is effective from 1 February. As the 24th governor of RBI, Patel had succeeded Raghuram Rajan and served as the governor of RBI from 2016-2018. Prior to that, he was RBI’s deputy governor in charge of monetary policy.


BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


SBI tie-up with Tata Power for financing solar projects


State Bank of India (SBI) has launched a dedicated centralized processing cell named ‘Surya Shakti Cell’ with the objective of strengthening the existing financing arrangement for solar power projects. SBI has collaborated with Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd. (a Tata Power Company) for financing solar power projects.  The cell has been set up in the Ballard Estate in Mumbai. The Surya Shakti Cell will process all the loan applications for Solar Projects from across India by Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd., with a maximum capacity of up to 1 MW.  Loan applicants will include both business entities as well as households. The bank aims to provide an end-to-end platform for digital and hassle-free journeys to loan applicants for financing solar projects. With this digital initiative, SBI will offer a complete solution at competitive rates for solar projects.




HPCL launches Non-Fuel Retail Store ‘HaPpyShop’


Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) has marked its foray into the non-fuel retailing sector by inaugurating its Retail Store under the brand name HaPpyShop, to make available the products of daily need to its customers at their convenience.  The first retail store was launched by HPCL in September 2021 in Mumbai at Company’s Retail Outlet located at Nepean Sea Road.  In addition to this, HPCL has launched the platform in a purely online format by opening the Online Store at Madurai. HPCL is also marketing branded packaged drinking water at its Retail Outlets across the country under the name ‘Paani@Club HP’.




PNB launches co-branded contactless credit cards with Patanjali


Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Patanjali Ayurved Limited (PAL) have launched co-branded contactless credit cards in partnership with the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). The co-branded credit cards are offered on NPCI's RuPay Platform and are available in two variants - PNB RuPay Platinum and PNB RuPay Select.  Both the co-branded cards offer a hassle-free credit service to purchase day-to-day Patanjali products, along with cash backs, loyalty points. PNB RuPay Platinum and PNB RuPay Select cardholders will receive a welcome bonus of 300 reward points on activation.

 

Tata Sky Rebrands itself as Tata Play



Tata Sky has dropped the ‘sky’ brand name after 15 years and has rechristened itself as Tata Play. The DTH company has joined hands with Netflix to offer new OTT (over the top) content-centric channel packs as well.  The new name of the company will be visible to the viewers. Tata Play Binge will hosts content from 13 leading OTT apps through a single User Interface while offering the flexibility of a single subscription and payment.  Through the new identity as Tata Play, companies simply aim to signify their expanded range of products and services and their desire to be future-ready while making tomorrow better than today for homes and families. Tata Play was founded in 2006. It is a joint venture between the Tata Sons (60%) and The Walt Disney Company (30%), with Temasek Holdings, Singapore (10%). 

 


CCI penalises MRF, Apollo Tyres & others for indulging in cartelisation

Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of ₹1,788.06 crore on Apollo Tyres, MRF, CEAT, JK Tyre and Birla Tyres for "indulging in cartelisation". "The tyre manufacturers had exchanged price-sensitive data amongst them through the platform of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) and had taken a collective decision on the prices of tyres," CCI said in a statement.


Important Days


World Wetlands Day observed on 02 February


World Wetlands Day is observed every year on February 2 all over the world. 2022 marks 51 years of the Convention on Wetlands. The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2022 is ‘Wetlands Action for People and Nature’.  The day aims to raise awareness about the crucial role played by wetlands for people and our planet. The day is celebrated to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997.


World Interfaith Harmony Week: 1-7 February


World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February (1-7 February), after General Assembly designation in 2010.  World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), was conceived to promote cultural peace and nonviolence. The World Interfaith Harmony Week is based on the pioneering work of The Common Word initiative.  World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW), conceived to promote culture, peace and nonviolence, was first proposed by King Abdullah II of Jordan at the United Nations in 2010.


Obituaries News


Senior advocate & Additional Solicitor General Rupinder Singh Suri passes away


Senior advocate and Additional Solicitor General (ASG), Rupinder Singh Suri has passed away. He was appointed the ASG in June 2020.  He was designated as a senior advocate in 2009 and also served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association. He served as standing counsel in the Supreme Court for Punjab for about 15 years.



Veteran actor Ramesh Deo passes away aged 93 due to heart attack

Veteran actor Ramesh Deo passed away on Wednesday evening in Mumbai aged 93. His son, director Abhinay Deo said, "He passed away due to heart attack around 8:30 pm tonight at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital." Ramesh Deo was known for appearing in films like 'Anand', 'Aap Ki Kasam' and 'Mere Apne' among others.


Former Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Babar passes away aged 78

Former Shiv Sena MP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gajanan Babar passed away on Wednesday in a private hospital. He was 78 years old and is survived by his wife and two sons. Babar was the first MP from the Maval Lok Sabha constituency after it was formed in 2009 and has won the assembly election twice.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

03rd February 2022

 

National News

 

Sanctuaries in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh listed as Ramsar sites


The Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh have been listed as Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention.  With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 49. Khijadiya has become the fourth wetland of Gujarat to get the Ramsar tag. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Thol Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhwana wetland are the other Ramsar sites in the state. The last two were included in April last year. 

 

 

Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi joins as Director-General, NIELIT


Dr. Madan Mohan Tripathi has joined as Director-General of the National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT). Before joining NIELIT, Dr Madan Mohan Tripathi was working as Professor at Delhi Technological University (DTU), New Delhi.  In DTU he also worked as Director Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and Coordinator of Intellectual Property Rights Cell. National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.


Torgya Festival celebrated in Arunachal Pradesh 2022


The three days long Torgya Festival of the Monpa tribal community of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated at Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh. The main attraction of the festival is the ‘Sha-na Cham’, the ritual dance performed by monks to showcase the Choe-Gyal Yap & Yum Tsa-Munde deity.  This year is the ‘Dungyur Torgya’ festival, which marks a special occasion as every 3rd year, the festival is organized on a broader level with the name Dungyur Festival during which Dalai Lama offers blessings (also known as Tse-Boom) to other lamas by sending Feb Jum which is a holy item to be used in rituals.

 


GoI setting up National Land Monetisation Corporation


According to Economic Survey, the government is setting up the National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) to carry out the monetization of the land and other non-core assets.  The initial authorized share capital of NLMC will be Rs 5000 crores and subscribed share capital of ₹150 crores. So far, CPSEs have referred 3,400 acres of land and other non-core assets for monetization from CPSEs including MTNL, BSNL, BPCL, B&R, BEML, HMT Ltd, Instrumentation Ltd.  The National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) is being set up in accordance with the Budget announcement. It is being set up as a 100 per cent Government of India owned entity. The initial authorised share capital will be Rs 5,000 crore while subscribed share capital will be Rs 150 crore.  It works as an asset manager for lands owned by central government and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). It has the freedom to invest, lease or rent assets or monetise them based on suggestions by many sources. It is free to develop assets for commercial or residential purposes.


International News


Dubai will launch World’s first Hydrogen-powered Flying Boat ‘The Jet’


Dubai firm, THE JET ZeroEmission announced the launch of the World’s first hydrogen-powered flying boat ‘THE JET’ in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  'THE JET' features cutting-edge characteristics and technologies, making it capable of flying in silence over the waters at a cruising speed of 40 knots and also has a capacity of carrying 8-12 passengers.  This announcement comes as a result of the agreement signed between Swiss startup THE JET ZeroEmission, UAE-based Zenith Marine Services, and US-based DWYN to manufacture and operate ‘The Jet’ in Dubai. THE JET will have its inaugural flight during the COP28, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai, UAE in 2023.


UN Security Council expresses 'deep concern' over violence in Myanmar

The UN Security Council on Thursday expressed 'deep concern' over violence in Myanmar as the country marked the first anniversary of military rule in Myanmar on Tuesday. UNSC further called for the release of "all those who remain arbitrarily detained," including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Reportedly, at least 1,500 people were killed in year-long anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar.


Mississippi legalises medical marijuana, becomes 37th US state to do so

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law legalising the use of medical marijuana for people with debilitating conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism. Mississippi is the 37th US state to legalise medical marijuana. The measure also allows cannabis to be prescribed for any "pain state in which...cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated".



BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

 


Vedanta tied up with Union Bank of India to take over syndicated facility


Vedanta Ltd has tied up a facility of Rs 8,000 crores (replacement facility) with Union Bank of India at 7.75% to take over the majority of the syndicated facility after discussions with lenders.  During 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vedanta Ltd had tied up a syndicated facility of ₹10K crores with the State Bank of India as the lead bank at a running cost of 10.5 per cent.
This replacement facility was availed on December 28, 2021, to take over the existing Syndicated facility to reduce the overall interest cost of the company and to prepay high-cost debt raised at over 10% two years ago.’



Facebook parent Meta's $230-billion wipeout biggest in US market history

Facebook's parent Meta's shares plunged 27% and Thursday's collapse wiped out $230 billion of the company's market value. It's the biggest collapse in market value for any US company but there's no certainty that the losses will hold, given the volatility, Bloomberg said. This comes after Facebook's daily active users fell for the first time in its 18-year history.

 


Crisil Report: India's GDP expected to grow 7.8% in FY23


Domestic rating agency CRISIL has estimated FY23 real GDP growth at 7.8 per cent as compared with the 8.5 per cent projected in the Economic Survey. Estimating the growth to slow to 7.8 per cent in FY23 from the 9.2 per cent in FY22.  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's Budget proposals focused on loosening the purse strings by boosting capital expenditure and going slow on fiscal consolidation are aimed in the right direction.  The agency said global growth is expected to slow this year as major economies see a withdrawal of monetary and fiscal stimulus. It will have a direct bearing on India's growth prospects as exports have been a key demand driver of domestic growth during the pandemic.


NSO First Revised GDP estimates FY21: Indian economy contracts by 6.6%


The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) released the First Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for the financial year 2020-21.  The National Statistical Office recently released the first revised GDP estimates for the fiscal year 2021. According to the estimates, the GDP contracted by 6.6%. Earlier, the GDP had contracted by 7.3%. The contraction is mainly due to the COVID pandemic and the lockdown imposed.  The NSO has also revised downward the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth number for 2019-20 to 3.7 per cent as against the earlier estimate of 4 per cent. Under the 1st revision released in January 2021, real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2019-20 stood at Rs 145.69 lakh crore with 4 per cent growth.



RBI cancels licence of Maha-based Independence Co-operative Bank

RBI has cancelled licence of Maharashtra-based Independence Co-operative Bank, citing inadequate capital. It will cease to carry on banking operations from the close of business on February 3. In the present situation, the bank won't be able to pay its depositors in full, RBI said. It added that the bank didn't comply with multiple sections of Banking Regulation Act, 1949

 


Banks to transfer 15 NPA accounts worth Rs 50,000 crores to NARCL in FY22


As per SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) or bad bank and IndiaDebt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL) are ready to commence operations.  A total of 38 Non-Performing Asset (NPA) accounts worth Rs 82,845 crore have been identified to be transferred to NARCL initially. In Phase I, 15 stressed assets (i.e. Non-Performing Asset accounts) worth Rs 50,000 crore will be transferred to NARCL in the current financial year. Public Sector Banks have taken a majority stake in NARCL, IDRCL will be majorly owned by private sector banks.


Crypto transactions done before April 2022 won't be tax-free: CBDT Chairman

CBDT Chairman JB Mohapatra was quoted by ANI as saying, "Crypto investors should know that the transactions done before April 2022 will not be tax-free." He added, "The taxability of the crypto-currency is certain for this financial year too." Earlier, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj said the income tax return forms will have a separate column for crypto from next year.
ISRO to launch Chandrayaan-3 in August 2022: Union Minister

Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch India's third lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, in August 2022, Union Minister Jitendra Singh told Lok Sabha. He added that 19 missions are planned to be launched in 2022. Notably, ISRO planned for a third lunar mission after its lander rover failed to soft-land on the surface of the moon in 2019.

 


Budget aims at inclusive development, is forward-looking: ICSI & ICAI

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India called the Budget "progressive" as it aims at "inclusive development through incentivising MSME sector and startups". It focuses on strengthening the digital payment ecosystem, ICSI added. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India said the Budget was "forward-looking" and the "proposal to tax virtual digital assets at 30% provides certainty".


Sony buys 'Destiny' game developer Bungie for $3.6 billion


Sony Group Corp. is purchasing Bungie Inc., the U.S. video game developer behind the popular Destiny and Halo franchises, for $3.6 billion to bolster its stable of game-making studios.  The deal announced by Sony Interactive Entertainment is the third significant video-game acquisition this month, following Microsoft Corp.’s purchase of Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion two weeks ago and Take-Two Interactive Corp. snagging mobile game leader Zynga Inc. on Jan. 10.  Buying Bungie will give Sony one of the most popular first-person shooter games to compete with the massive Call of Duty series, which Sony’s main rival now owns through Activision.





Sports News


Khelo India Scheme Allocation Increases by 48% in Budget


The Government has decided to continue the scheme of ‘Khelo India - National Programme for Development of Sports’ over the 15th Finance Commission Cycle — 2021-22 to 2025-26 — at an outlay of Rs 3165.50 crore.  Khelo India Scheme Allocation increases by 48 per cent in Budget 2022 and includes it in the Prime Minister’s Award Scheme.”  The Khelo India scheme is the flagship Central Sector Scheme of the Sports ministry. It aims at infusing sports culture and achieving sporting excellence in the country thus allowing the populace to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence.



Obituaries News


Actor & filmmaker Amitabh Dayal passes away


Actor and filmmaker Amitabh Dayal has passed away after suffering a heart attack at the age of 51. Dayal has worked in films like Kagaar: Life on the Edge (2003) with Om Puri, Bhojpuri film Rangdari (2012) and Raj Babbar’s Dhuaan (2013), Amitabh Bachchan’s Virrudh (2005).  He also worked on P. Akash’s Dillagi…Yeh Dillagi (2005), the film started Dharmendra, Rati Agnihotri and Kapil Dev, but never saw light of the day.


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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

04th February 2022

National News



 

NATIONAL

 

 

 

Se IUCN designates Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram


The Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurugram, Haryana, has been declared as India’s first “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECM) site. This was informed by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change on the occasion of World Wetlands Day.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gives OECM tag to those areas that are not protected but support rich biodiversity. The tag designates the area as a biodiversity hotspot on the international map.  OECM is a status for a place that has achieved effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity outside protected areas like forests. The park, which once was an abandoned mining pit, was transformed into a lush green forest patch in 10 years. Now, it has about 400 native species of plants. 

a Trials of 1st Sea Sortie of 5th Scorpene Submarine ‘Vagir’ begins


The Indian Navy's brand-new submarine, the fifth of the six French-designed Scorpene-class submarines named "Vagir", sailed out on its first sea sortie and will now undergo rigorous trials before it is delivered to the Navy later this year.  The submarine-designated "Yard 11879" during its construction by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) in collaboration with the Naval Group of France will be named "Vagir" after it is commissioned into service.

 

 

Telugu short film 'Street Student' wins NHRC's Short Film Award Competition


A Telugu short film 'Street Student' by Akula Sandeep depicting the story of a street urchin with a strong message on right to education has bagged the first prize in a competition organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).  'Street Student' by Akula Sandeep has been selected for the first prize worth Rs 2 lakh in the seventh Short Film Award Competition. It is in Telugu with subtitles in English. The film shows the story of a street urchin to send across a strong message on right to education and how society needs to support it.  The second prize worth Rs 1.5 lakh goes to, 'Karfew' by Romi Meitei. The film, through the story of a child in Manipur, pitches in hope for a better world, wherein people's right to life, liberty, dignity and equality can be protected against odds including stereotyped fear psychosis. It is in the Meiteilon language with subtitles in English.


GA SRINIVASA MURTHY
Senior scientist GA Srinivasa Murthy has been appointed director of Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Hyderabad.  He joined DRDL in the year 1987 and made significant contributions in the area of structural dynamics, ground resonance testing, electrical integration and checkout for various projects of the missile complex. G A Srinivasa Murthy completed his BE in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Andhra University in 1986 and pursued his ME in Digital Systems from Osmania University in Hyderabad.


Ravi Mittal named as new Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India


The former secretary, Department of Sports, Ravi Mittal has been appointed as the Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), as per the notification issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. He is a 1986 batch IAS officer from Bihar cadre. He will serve as the Chairman of IBBI for a term of five years or till he attains 65 years of age, whichever is early.  The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India is the regulator for overseeing insolvency proceedings and entities like Insolvency Professional Agencies, Insolvency Professionals and Information Utilities in India.



 

US regains top spot as India’s trade partner in 2021 


The United States was India’s top trading partner in the calendar year 2021 with a trade of $112.3 billion. The US is followed by China on second. The value of trade between India and China was $110.4 billion.  In 2020, China was India’s top trading partner and the US was in the second rank. In 2019 USA was India’s top trading partner and China was on second.  India’s list of top ten trading partners also includes the UAE, Saudi Arab, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iraq, Indonesia and South Korea.


International News


Winter Olympics host China welcomes Year of Tiger


China is celebrating the Spring Festival, it's the most important annual festival as it entered the Lunar new "Year of the Tiger". Last year was celebrated as the Lunar Year of the Ox. According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the Year of the Ox has ended and the Year of the Tiger has begun from February 1, 2022, and will end on January 21, 2023.  In Chinese culture, the tiger symbolizes bravery, vigor and strength and it is believed that it can lift people from adversity and usher in final auspiciousness and peace. Each year is named after one of 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle. This year, Spring Festival celebrations coincide with the Beijing Winter Olympics.


Exim Bank extends a $500 million credit line to Sri Lanka


Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on behalf of the government of India, extended a line of credit of $500 million to the government of the socialist republic of Sri Lanka for financing the purchase of petroleum products.  The fund will be used by the Island nation for the purchase of petroleum products. With the signing of this new LOC agreement, the total LOC extended by Exim Bank to Sri Lanka till date has reached 10, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD 2.18 billion.





Banking, Business and Economy


RBI cancels the licence of Nashik's Independence Co-operative Bank Limited 


The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Independence Co-operative Bank Ltd., Nashik, Maharashtra w.e.f February 03, 2022. The major reason for the cancellation of the license by RBI is that bank does not have adequate capital and earning prospects.  This means that it does not comply with the provisions of Section 11(1) and Section 22 (3) (d) read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.  The bank has stopped operation from the close of business on February 3, putting depositors of the bank in trouble. They would however receive up to Rs five lakh from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), after the bank's liquidation.  RBI has told the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies in Maharashtra to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator. As per the data submitted by the bank, more than 99 per cent of the depositors are entitled to receive the full amount of their deposits from DICGC.


SPORTS


New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell named the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2021


New Zealand cricketer, Daryl Mitchell has been named the winner of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Spirit of Cricket Award 2021.  This award is given to him for his gesture of refusing to take a single in the high-pressure 2021 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Semi-Finals against England as he felt he had “obstructed” the way of bowler Adil Rashid at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.  He has become the 4th New Zealand player to win the award after Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson.  The ICC Spirit of Cricket Award is annually awarded by the ICC to recognise the player most notable for “upholding the ‘Spirit of the Game’”.


Neeraj Chopra nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award


Tokyo Olympics gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra has been nominated for the prestigious 2022 Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award.  The other 5 nominees are Daniil Medvedev (Australian Open runner-up), Emma Raducanu (British tennis star), Pedri (Barcelona and Spain footballer), Yulimar Rojas (Venezuelan athlete) and Ariarne Titmus (Australian swimmer).  The winners will be revealed in April following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, made up of 71 sporting greats.




Books and Authors News


‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ authored by J Sai Deepak


A Trilogy book series titled, ‘India, That is Bharat: Coloniality, Civilisation, Constitution’ is authored by J Sai Deepak and published by Bloomsbury India. The 1st part was released on 15th August 2021, is set to launch the 2nd part in June 2022.  Whereas, the 3rd and last parts will be released in June 2023. It is the first part of a comprehensive trilogy, which examines the impact of European ‘colonial consciousness’ (or ‘coloniality’), on Bharat (India). It highlights how colonialism changes the socio-religious culture, history, education, language and racial patterns in India.


Important Days


World Cancer Day is observed globally on 04 February


World Cancer Day is observed every year globally on 4th February by the Union for International Cancer Control.  By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live.  So this year's World Cancer Day's theme, “Close the Care Gap”, is all about raising awareness of this equity gap that affects almost everyone, in high as well as low- and middle-income countries, and is costing lives.


International Day of Human Fraternity observed on 04 February


The ‘International Day of Human Fraternity’ is celebrated across the world on 4th February.  The day aims to raise awareness about different cultures and religions, or beliefs, and the promotion of tolerance; and to educate people that tolerance, pluralistic tradition, mutual respect, and the diversity of religions and beliefs promote human fraternity.  The first International Day of Human Fraternity was held in 2021. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 4 February as International Day of Human Fraternity on 21 December 2020.  The Day is a part of the ‘World Interfaith Harmony Week’, observed during the first week of February, as proclaimed by UN General Assembly in 2010.



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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

05th February 2022

National News


Over 2 lakh posts vacant in different zones of Railways: Ashwini Vaishnaw

There are 2,65,547 posts lying vacant across various departments in different zones of Railways, Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday informed the Rajya Sabha. Of the vacant posts, 2,177 are gazetted posts and 2,63,370 are non-gazetted posts, he added. The maximum number of gazetted posts are vacant in East Central Railway at 170, followed by Southern Railway at 161.


Be positively present in Rajya Sabha on Feb 8: BJP to its members

The Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a three-line whip to all its Rajya Sabha MPs asking them to be "positively present" in the House on February 8. "All BJP members in Rajya Sabha are hereby informed that some very important business will be taken up for discussion and passing in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday,'' the notice said.


Will go on strike to protest wine sale in supermarkets: Anna to Maha CM

Social activist Anna Hazare has written a letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray against the state government's decision to allow the wine sale in supermarkets and walk-in shops. He also warned the Maharashtra government that he would go on an infinite strike against the decision. Earlier, Hazare had termed the decision "unfortunate", saying that it could result in liquor addiction.

 


24-yr-old son of Assam tea seller gets seat in AIIMS Delhi; state to fund his studies

A 24-year-old man in Assam has secured a seat at AIIMS-Delhi having cleared the NEET exam in his first attempt. Rahul Das is the child of a tea seller and would study in between serving customers at his mother’s shop. Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that all education expenses of Das will be borne by the state government.


Who was Saint Ramanujacharya, honoured with 216-ft Statue of Equality?

Saint Ramanujacharya, in whose honour PM Narendra Modi unveiled the 216-foot-tall Statue of Equality in Hyderabad, was a revered Vedic philosopher and social reformer. Born in 1017 in Tamil Nadu, Ramanujacharya revived the Bhakti movement. He's credited with establishing the correct procedures for rituals performed in temples. He's also regarded as an inspiration for poets like Kabir and Meerabai.


PM unveils 216-ft Statue of Equality honouring Saint Ramanujacharya in Hyd

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday unveiled the 216-foot-tall 'Statue of Equality' commemorating the 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya in Hyderabad's Shamshabad and dedicated it to the nation. As per the government, the statue is one of the world's tallest metallic statues in the sitting position. It's made from a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass and zinc.


Job creation is govt's priority and we are doing it: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industry at a post-budget interaction, said the government's priority is job creation and "we are doing it". She added that this year's Budget has again focused on demand-driven schemes. She further called on the Indian industry to invest in sunrise and new-age sectors.


Pandit Birju Maharaj redefined dance for me: Madhuri Dixit

Actress Madhuri Dixit recently remembered her late guru and Kathak legend Pandit Birju Maharaj and said he redefined dance for her. "You've left memories that will forever remain etched in our hearts, Maharaj ji," she wrote in an online post. "The one who redefined every mudra, every single expression...Here's remembering everyone's favourite Pandit Birju Maharaj," Madhuri added.


India announces diplomatic boycott of opening and closing ceremony of Winter Olympics 


The 2022 Winter Olympics has kicked off on February 04, 2022, in Beijing, China and will continue till February 20, 2022. The Opening Ceremony was held at Beijing’s National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest.  However, India had announced the diplomatic level boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremony. This means that no Indian officials will attend the opening and closing ceremony. However, the country has sent one of its athletes, Arif Khan (skier), to attend the event.  The reason behind the boycott: China has picked a Chinese soldier (Qi Fabao) as Olympic torchbearer, who was involved in the Galwan incident on June 15, 2020, which had resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including a Colonel.  Emblem for the 2022 Winter Olympics: “Winter Dream”.  Moto for the 2022 Winter Olympics: Bing Dwen Dwen.
The official slogan for the 2022 Winter Olympics:  “Together for a Shared Future”.


Uttar Pradesh wins best state tableau of Republic Day parade 2022


The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been picked as the best tableau among the 12 States/UTs which participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2022. The theme of the tableau of Uttar Pradesh was ‘One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham’. A total of 12 states and union territories had participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26.  The second place went to Karnataka for its tableau based on 'cradle of traditional handicrafts' while the third position went to Meghalaya for its tableau based on ‘Meghalaya’s 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to women-led cooperative societies & SHGs’.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled ‘Statue of Equality’


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation 216-feet tall ‘Statue of Equality in Hyderabad to commemorate the 11th-century Bhakti saint Ramanujacharya. The statue has been conceptualised by Chinna Jeeyar Swami of Sri Ramanujacharya Ashram.  The inauguration of the statue is a part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of the Bhakti saint. A 3D presentation on the life and teachings of the saint will also be showcased during the event.  The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals- gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc. It is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting positions in the world.  The 216-feet tall 'Statue of Equality statue is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, called ‘Bhadra Vedi’.  The floors of the building are dedicated to a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing works of Sri Ramanujacharya.


International News


NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to head Norway central bank


The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) chief, Jens Stoltenberg will take over as Norway’s central bank Governor at the end of the year. The appointment comes amid escalating tensions between the West and Russia. Western nations fear Moscow has plans to invade Ukraine, which aspires to join the NATO alliance. But Mr Stoltenberg, a 62-year-old trained economist, insisted that he would stay on as NATO Secretary-General until the end of his term in October. Norway’s central bank determines monetary policy but also manages the country’s enormous sovereign wealth fund, the biggest in the world.

 

 

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

 


SBI posts highest ever quarterly net profit of ₹8,432 crore in Q3

State Bank of India reported its highest ever net profit of ₹8,431.9 crore for the October-December quarter, a jump of 62% as compared to ₹5,196 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Interest earned for the quarter rose 4.41% YoY to ₹69,678 crore. SBI's net interest income (NII) rose 6.48% to ₹30,687 crore from ₹28,820 crore in Q3 of 2020.




GoI named Sonali Singh as Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on add. charge 


The Government of India has appointed Sonali Singh to hold the additional charge of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), under the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, with effect from February 01, 2022. She has been appointed in place of Dipak Dash, who superannuated on January 31, 2022.  Sonali Singh is a 1987 batch officer of the Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS). She is serving as the Additional Controller General of Accounts since October 2019. Prior to that, she had also served as Additional Secretary at Central Vigilance Commission. 


IndiGo’s co-founder Rahul Bhatia named as first MD of the company 


The low-cost Indian airline, IndiGo has appointed its co-founder and promoter Rahul Bhatia as the Managing Director (MD) of the company with immediate effect. He is the first-ever MD of Indigo, because before this the company never had a managing director. Ronojoy Dutta is the CEO of the Indigo.  The board of directors, during its meeting, unanimously approved the appointment of Bhatia as the managing director with immediate effect, subject to the approval of the shareholders. IndiGo is back in the black with a net profit for the December quarter at Rs 130 crore. The profit comes after the airline posted a loss for a series of straight quarters.

 

JNU Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar named as new Chairman of UGC 


The government of India has appointed JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) Vice-Chancellor, M Jagadesh Kumar as the new Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC).  He has been appointed for a period of five years or till he attains the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest. The post of the UGC Chairman was vacant since December 07, 2021, after Prof D P Singh resigned upon attaining 65 years of age. He was appointed in 2018.

 


CMIE Report: India’s unemployment rate in January 2022 stood at 6.57%

 

The unemployment rate in India in January 2022 fell sharply to 6.57%, according to the data from the economic think-tank, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). This is the lowest rate witnessed since March 2021.  In December 2021, the unemployment rate rose to a four-month high of 7.91%, compared to 6.97% in November. CMIE is a Mumbai-based independent non-government entity that serves both as an economic think-tank as well as a business information company.


State-wise lowest unemployment rate:


Telangana recorded the lowest unemployment rate in January at 0.7%.

This was followed by Gujarat at 1.2%, Meghalaya at 1.5%, Odisha at 1.8% and Karnataka at 2.9%.

 

State-wise highest unemployment rate:


Haryana witnessed the highest unemployment rate of 23.4% in January 2022. It was followed by Rajasthan (18.9%), Tripura (17.1%), Jammu & Kashmir (15%) and Delhi (14.1%).


Books and Authors News


A book titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ by Navdeep Singh Gill released


A short biography of Indian athlete Neeraj Chopra has titled ‘Golden Boy Neeraj Chopra’ authored by sports author Navdeep Singh Gill has been released. Neeraj Chopra won a Gold medal in Javelin Throw at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The biography on Tokyo Olympics-2021 gold medalist Neeraj Chopra was released by the chairperson of Punjab Kala Parishad Surjit Patar and president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi Lakhwinder Singh Johal, amid the presence of the author and his family members.  The book has 72 pages and covers the life history and achievements of Neeraj Chopra right from his childhood to the Tokyo Olympics. The book very aptly covers his sporting techniques, numerous awards and contemporaries in different chapters with coloured photos in each chapter.


MS Dhoni’s first look from graphic novel ‘Atharva': The Origin’ released


Virzu Studios in association with MIDAS Deals Pvt Ltd has released the motion poster of its upcoming graphic novel, Atharva – The Origin. Cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been portrayed as the superhero Atharva in this graphic novel.  The motion poster features a rugged looking Dhoni, giving fans a glimpse into the world of Atharva and also a sneak peek into the first look of him as a superhero.  The graphic novel authored by Ramesh Thamilmani features over 150 lifelike illustrations which present the gripping, racy narrative. It is produced by Vincent Adaikalaraj and Ashok Manor. Reportedly, the makers are also planning to make a web-series based on the novel.

 

SPORTS

 


India win Under-19 World Cup for record-extending 5th time, beat England in final

India defeated England by four wickets in 2022 Under-19 World Cup final to win Under-19 World Cup for a record-extending fifth time. India, who were featuring in their eighth Under-19 World Cup final, dismissed England for 189 in 44.5 overs and chased down the target in 47.4 overs. India previously won Under-19 World Cup in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

FEBRUARY 6, 2022

 

 

NATIONAL


DCGI grants emergency use nod to single-dose COVID vaccine Sputnik Light

The DCGI has granted emergency use permission to single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine in the country. "This is the 9th COVID-19 vaccine in the country," Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Sunday. "This will further strengthen the nation's collective fight against the pandemic," he added.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL


Israel may halt flights to Dubai next week over security concerns

An Israeli official on Sunday said it may halt flights to Dubai next week due to dispute over security arrangements concerning three Israeli airlines, El Al, Israir and Arkia. This comes as security arrangement for all three airlines were due to expire on February 8. Direct flights from Israel to UAE started after ties formalised between the two in 2020.

 

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


RBI's Monetary Policy Committee meeting rescheduled to February 8-10

The meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has been rescheduled to February 8-10, 2022 after Maharashtra government declared February 7 as a public holiday as a mark of respect to late veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar. The meeting was earlier scheduled for February 7-9, 2022. It will be the MPC's last meeting during the financial year 2021-22.


LIC ropes in 6 independent directors to meet corporate governance norms

IPO-bound Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) last month appointed six independent directors on its board to meet regulatory norms of corporate governance. LIC reportedly appointed ex-Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal, ex-SEBI member G Mahalingam, ex-SBI Life Managing Director Sanjeev Nautiyal, and Chartered Accountants MP Vijay Kumar, Raj Kamal, and V S Parthasarathy.


RBI's digital rupee blockchain would be able to trace all transactions: Report

The digital rupee blockchain being developed by the RBI would be able to trace all transactions, unlike the current system of mobile wallets offered by private companies, PTI reported. The units issued in the digital rupee would be included in the currency in circulation, it added. The RBI's digital currency is likely to debut by early 2023.


67% MSMEs temporarily shut, profits dipped for 66% in FY21: SIDBI survey

A SIDBI survey showed that 67% MSMEs were temporarily shut for up to a three-month period in FY21 due to COVID-19. The survey, with a sample size of 1,029 MSMEs across 20 states and two UTs, also found that 66% MSMEs reported decline in profitability. The results were shared by MSME Minister Narayan Rane in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

 


₹50,000 cr Self Reliant India fund likely to benefit 5,000 MSMEs: Rane

MSME Minister Narayan Rane said the ₹50,000 crore Self Reliant India fund, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May 2020, is likely to benefit around 5,000 MSME units. The fund will make equity investments in MSMEs for their growth, listing on stock markets, and global expansion. The government is its sole anchor investor with initial support of ₹10,000 crore.


Google Chrome changes its logo for the first time in 8 years

Google Chrome is changing its logo for the first time since 2014, Elvin Hu, a designer for Google Chrome, informed through a Twitter thread. "We simplified the main brand icon by removing the shadows, refining the proportions and brightening the colors," Elvin tweeted. "The new icons will start to appear across your devices soon," Elvin added.

 

sports
Was easy, happy 1000th ODI India: Sehwag on India's 1st ODI win vs WI

Calling India's six-wicket win against West Indies in first ODI of the three-match series "easy", ex-India opener Virender Sehwag said, "India win in style." Sehwag tweeted, "Excellent spell from...spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, great start from Rohit Sharma at the top with bat...happy 1000th ODI for Team India." Chahal was adjudged 'Player of the Match' for his 4/49.

Obituary


India lost a great daughter: Manmohan Singh on Lata Mangeshkar

Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Sunday mourned the demise of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar saying “India has lost a great daughter”. “She was the ‘Nightingale of India’ and through her songs made an immense contribution to the cultural integration of the country,” Dr Manomohan Singh said. “The void is going to be impossible to fill,” he added.


Subcontinent lost one of world's great singers: Pak PM on Lata Mangeshkar's death

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan said that with the demise of veteran Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar, "the subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known". He added, "Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world." Mangeshkar was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai on Sunday.


PM Narendra Modi to attend Lata Mangeshkar's funeral in Mumbai today

PM Narendra Modi will travel to Mumbai to attend the last rites of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 92. "PM Modi will reach the funeral ground at around 5:45-6:00 pm today, after which Lata Mangeshkar ji's last rites will be conducted at around 6:15-6:30 pm," said BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

07th February 2022

National News

 


Aadhaar not mandatory on CoWIN for COVID-19 vaccination: Centre tells SC

The Supreme Court on Monday asked authorities to not insist on Aadhaar cards for COVID-19 vaccination after the Centre said it wasn't a mandatory pre-condition on the CoWIN portal. Centre added that one of the nine identity documents including passport and PAN card can be used for it. The petition contended that Aadhaar card was being insisted upon during vaccination.

 


PM Modi inaugurates 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Hyderabad-based ICRISAT


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Patancheru, Hyderabad.  During the occasion, PM also inaugurated two research facilities of ICRISAT, which were Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility.  These two facilities are dedicated to the smallholder farmers of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Prime Minister also unveiled a specially designed logo of ICRISAT and launched a commemorative stamp issued on the occasion. Its objective is to conduct agricultural research for rural development, in Asia & sub-Saharan Africa.


MP govt to set up music academy, museum in Lata Mangeshkar's memory

The Madhya Pradesh government on Monday announced the establishment of a music academy and a museum showcasing late veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar's songs at her birthplace Indore. A statue of the singer will also be installed in the city. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan called her the daughter of Madhya Pradesh, adding that her heart throbbed for the state



Supreme Court to resume physical hearing twice a week from Feb 14

Supreme Court will resume the physical hearing twice a week from February 14 in view of a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases. Physical hearings would be held on Wednesday and Thursday. On other days, a hybrid mode of hearing would be held. The decision was taken by the Chief Justice of India in consultation with Committee of Judges.

 


West Bengal launch open-air classroom programme ‘Paray Shikshalaya


West Bengal government has launched an open-air classroom programme Paray Shikshalaya (Neighbourhood Schools) for primary and pre-primary students.  Under the 'Paray Shikshalaya' project, primary and pre-primary students of government schools will be taught in open spaces.  The state government will also provide mid-day meals to the students of 'Paray Shikshalaya’. The para teachers and primary school teachers would be part of this project. They will provide elementary education to children of Class 1-5.


GoI approved the renaming of three places in Madhya Pradesh


The government of India (GoI) has approved the renaming of 3 places in Madhya Pradesh, Hoshangabad Nagar as “Narmadapuram”, Shivpuri as “Kundeshwar Dham” and Babai as “Makhan Nagar”.  In 2021, the government of MP led by Shivraj Singh Chouhan has proposed the renaming of the 3 places in Madhya Pradesh. The approval for the renaming was granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).  The Hoshangabad Nagar named after Hoshang Shah, the first formally appointed Sultan of the Malwa Sultanate of Central India was renamed as Narmadapuram. Babai has been renamed after the renowned journalist and poet Makhanlal Chaturvedi. Makhanlal Chaturvedi was born in Babai, MP. The government has named a national university of journalism and communication at Bhopal after Makhanlal in 1992.




Professor Dinesh Prasad Saklani named as new NCERT director


Professor Dinesh Prasad Saklani has been appointed as the new Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). He has replaced Hrushikesh Senapaty, who finished his term a year ago.  The new director has been appointed for a period of five years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post, or till he attains the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is earlier.  Professor Saklani has been awarded with Distinguished Academy Award by Punjab Kala and Sahitya Academy, Jalandhar for Historical writing in 2005.  The new director is a member of the Academic Council of Uttarakhand Open University, Haldwani. Professor Saklani is also a life member in the Indian History Congress; Uttarakhand History and Culture Association and of Book Club IIAS Shimla.

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

 

LIC tie-up with Policybazaar for digital distribution of life insurance


Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has tied up with Policybazaar to digitally offer a wide range of Life Insurance and investment products to its customers across India.  This is LIC’s first association with a private insurance aggregator, which has mainly relied on its 1.33 million agents for distributing products. To facilitate seamless digital distribution of life insurance products and boost financial inclusion across India.  The benefit of the tie-up: The alliance will provide insurance services in smaller cities to ensure financial inclusion and social security. It will increase its penetration digitally in rural and remote areas and offer a wide range of term and investment products to the customers.


ADB lends record USD 4.6 bn loans to India in 2021


As per the data official released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it provided a record USD 4.6 billion in sovereign lending to India in 2021. This included USD 1.8 billion towards coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response.  The ADB's regular funding programme to India is made to support transport, urban development, finance, agriculture, and skills building. The ADB's project portfolio in 2021 reflected the Indian government's focus on transforming cities into economically vibrant and sustainable communities.  The USD 4.6 billion was committed by ADB for 17 loans. The USD 1.8 billion COVID-19-related assistance included USD 1.5 billion for vaccine procurement and USD 300 million to strengthen primary health care in urban areas and the country’s future pandemic preparedness.


Govt issues 'high severity' warning to Google Chrome users, asks them to update it

The government's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) recently issued a 'high severity' warning to Google Chrome users, urging them to apply appropriate updates. The CERT-In said, "Multiple vulnerabilities have been reported in Google Chrome which could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the targeted system." The problem exists in Chrome versions prior to 98.0.4758.80.


Around 6.17 cr I-T returns, 19 lakh audit reports filed on new portal: CBDT

The Central Board of Direct Taxes said that around 6.17 crore income tax returns and about 19 lakh tax audit reports have been filed on the new income tax e-filing portal. Of the 6.17 crore returns filed till February 6, 48%, or 2.97 crore, are ITR-1, while 27%, or 1.65 crore, are ITR-4 and 13%, or 81.6 lakh, are ITR-3.

Airtel partners with Google, aims to help grow India's digital ecosystem

Google will be investing up to $1 billion in Airtel as part of its Google for India Digitization Fund. Airtel stated that it will continue to improve digital offerings and will soon develop India-specific network domain use cases for 5G. The company is also working on a cloud ecosystem in a bid to accelerate the digital adoption of enterprises.

 


Govt of India has done a Switch Operation of Rs. 1,19,701 crores


The Government of India has done a conversion switch transaction of its securities with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for an amount of 1,19,701 crores (face value).  The transaction involved buying back securities that are being matured in FY 2022-23, FY 2023-24 and FY 2024-25 from the RBI and also issuing fresh securities for equivalent market value, to make the transaction cash neutral.  The transactions were carried out using Financial Benchmarks India Private Limited (FBIL) prices as of January 28, 2022. The GOI undertakes switch operations with RBI and also with market participants to smoothen the liability profile as well as for market development.



India's GDP projected to be at ₹147.5 lakh cr in FY22: MoS Finance

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said on Monday that India's GDP in FY22 is estimated to grow at 9.2% to ₹147.5 lakh crore. He added that as per National Statistical Office's advance and revised estimates, India's real GDP increased from ₹105.3 lakh crore in 2014-15 to ₹135.6 lakh crore in 2020-21.

 


CII presents DX 2021 award to Karnataka Bank


Karnataka Bank has been awarded the digital transformation award, ‘DX 2021 Awards’, in recognition of the “innovative” best practice ‘KBL VIKAAS’, by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for Best Practice in Digital Transformation.  KBL VIKAAS was launched by the Karnataka Bank in 2017. It has enabled the bank to implement digital capabilities. The bank recently launched ‘KBL NxT’ as part of 2.0 of ‘KBL VIKAAS’. DX Award is given to organizations that have made valuable contributions in the digital field.



Sports News


U19 World Cup 2022: India beat England in final to win 5th title


India defeated England by four wickets to clinch a record-extending fifth title at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua. India added the fifth title to their collection, having previously won the trophy in 2000, 2008, 2012, 2018. Yash Dhull becomes the fifth Indian captain to win the title after Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Unmukt Chand and Prithvi Shaw.  Earlier, England opted to bat after winning the toss but they were shot out by India for 189 in 44.5 overs. India chases down the target of 190 with 2.2 overs to spare.  India's Raj Angad Bawa was announced Player of the Match of the ICC Under19 World Cup 2022 Final between India and England.  South Africa's Dewald Brevis who broke all records to score 506 runs in only six innings, the most for any batter in any Under19 World Cup ever, was named Player of the Series for his record-breaking showing.


IOC approves proposal to include new sports at 2028 Olympics


International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved a proposal to include Surfing, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing for the 2028 Summer Olympics Games that will be organized in Los Angeles, United States.  The 2028 Summer Olympics are officially known as the Games of the XXXIV Olympiad, or Los Angeles 2028 is a forthcoming event scheduled to take place from July 21 – August 6, 2028, in Los Angeles, California, US.  The 2024 Summer Olympics Games will be organized in Paris, France. With this Paris becomes only the second city to host 3 Summer Olympic games. Surfing, Skateboarding and Sport Climbing had made their Olympic debut in Tokyo Olympics 2021 and will also be included in the “additional” list for Paris in 2024. Boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon also have the chance to be included in upcoming Olympics games.


Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of world’s third-largest cricket stadium


Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of the world’s third-largest cricket stadium in Jaipur. The International Cricket Stadium in Jaipur will be the second-largest cricket stadium in India and the third-largest in the world.  The new international stadium will be built by the Rajasthan Cricket Academy (RCA) on the Jaipur-Delhi bypass, over 100 acres of land in Jaipur. The stadium will have a seating capacity of 75,000 spectators.  Currently, Narendra Modi Stadium (former Motera Stadium) in Ahmedabad is the world’s largest stadium with a capacity of 132,000 spectators.  The second-largest stadium is Australia’s Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which has a capacity of 1,00,024 spectators.


Important Days


International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation


International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female is observed on 6th February globally. This day is sponsored by the United Nations for their efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation. It was first introduced in 2003. This year theme of International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female: Accelerating Investment to End Female Genital Mutilation.  Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.


Obituaries News



BJP’s first torchbearer in Lok Sabha, C Janga Reddy passes away


Veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Chandupatla Janga Reddy has passed away in Hyderabad following health issues. He was a native of Warangal and a former MLA in Andhra Pradesh.  He is best known for his time as a Member of Parliament in the 8th Lok Sabha in 1984, which also marked the BJP’s debut in the Lok Sabha, following Indira Gandhi’s assassination.  Reddy was one of the only two BJP MPs who got elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984 in 543 Parliament constituencies. The other was A K Patel. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in undivided Andhra Pradesh thrice.


Former President of Greece Christos Sartzetakis passes away


Former Greek President Christos Sartzetakis has passed away at the age of 92 years due to respiratory failure in Athens, Greece. He was a Greek jurist and a judge of the Supreme Court, who resisted against the militants during the 1967-1974 Rule of the Colonels. He served as the President of Greece for a four-year term (1985 to 1990), after getting nominated by the socialist PASOK party.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

08th February 2022

 

National News


Old-age pension scheme won't be abolished: Haryana govt

Haryana government has announced that it will not abolish the 'Old Age Samman Allowance' pension scheme, stating that the beneficiaries will continue to receive their dues in a timely manner. The announcement came amid allegations that the BJP-led state government is abolishing the policy. The scheme is available for all poor citizens of Haryana aged 60 and above.

 

 

S R Narasimhan takes additional charge as CMD POSOCO


S. R. Narasimhan, Director (System Operation) has assumed the additional charge of the post of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO) w.e.f. 1st February 2022 at New Delhi.  He has a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance. He has over three decades’ experience in Power System Operation spread across CEA, POWERGRID and POSOCO after an initial stint with BHEL.  SR Narasimhan has contributed to several Expert Committees at the Government and regulatory levels in different areas ranging from system operation, grid integration of Renewable Energy (RE) resources and optimization to institution building.


Dr Unnikrishnan Nair named as New Director of VSSC 


Scientist and launch vehicle specialist, Dr S Unnikrishnan Nair took charge as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). VSSC is a keyspace research centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and specialises in rocket and space vehicles for satellite programs.  Nair, who started his career in VSSC Trivandrum in 1985, has made significant contributions in launch vehicle mechanisms, acoustic protection systems and payload fairing areas during his tenure.  Nair has BTech in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University, ME in Aerospace engineering from IISc, Bengaluru and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from IIT(M), Chennai. In January 2019, Nair took over as the first director of Human Space Flight Centre, Bengaluru, which is spearheading the Gaganyaan Programme. He will continue to hold this position along with his new role at the VSSC.


Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit named as first woman Vice-Chancellor of JNU 


The Ministry of Education (MoE) has appointed Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit as the new Vice-Chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). She is the first women Vice-Chancellor of JNU.  The 59-year-old Pandit has been appointed for a period of five years. Pandit replaces M Jagadesh Kumar, who has been appointed as Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC). Before this appointment, Pandit was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of Savitribai Phule University in Maharashtra.

 

 

Gautam Adani to become Asia’s richest person

Gautam Adani is ranked 10th among the world's richest people with a net worth of $88.5B in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He has overtaken Mukesh Ambani to become Asia's richest person. The RIL Chairman is ranked 11th with $87.9B net worth. 


RPF launches nationwide "AAHT operation" to curb human trafficking


Indian Railway Protection Force has launched a nationwide operation to curb human trafficking. As part of “Operation AAHT”, special teams will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with a focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers.  The Railways, which operate about 21,000 trains across the country daily, is the most reliable mode of transportation for the traffickers who often moved their victims on long-distance trains.  The RPF that rescued more than 2,000 women and children between 2017-21 from the clutches of traffickers intensified the crackdown on human trafficking with the increasing number of cases. The National Crime Records Bureau registers about 2,200 cases of Human Trafficking cases on an average each year.


India becomes first country to administer COVID-19 DNA vaccine


India has become the first country in the world to administer a DNA vaccine against COVID-19. The ZyCoV-D which is the World’s first plasmid DNA vaccine has been produced by Ahmedabad-based vaccine manufacturer Zydus Cadila and it was administered for the first time in Patna.  It is a Painless and Needleless vaccine given at intervals of 28 days and 56 days. It is the second India-made vaccine to get emergency authorization in India after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.  The Indian government approved emergency use authorisation for Zydus Cadila's DNA vaccine earlier this year, citing initial results from Phase III clinical trials that showed approximately 66 per cent efficacy for symptomatic cases.

 

Salesforce Global Index: India leads in digital skills readiness 


Salesforce, a leading player in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), published the Global Digital Skills Index 2022 which highlights the growing global digital skills crisis and the need for action.  India has scored 63 out of 100, leads the digital skills readiness, and has the highest readiness index among the 19 countries. The average global readiness score was 33 out of 100.  The 2022 Global Digital Skills Index, is based on a survey on around 23000 workers across 19 countries about digital skills, including their impact on the future of work, concerns about job readiness, and the significance of continuous learning.  Three major skills gaps were identified in the 2022 global index: The everyday skills gap, The generational skills gap, and The leadership and workforce skills gap.




International News


Queen Elizabeth II marks 70th anniversary of her rule


The United Kingdom has marked the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's rule, the queen looked to the future of the monarchy. She surpassed Louis XIV of France as the longest-reigning monarch of a sovereign state.  She became the longest-lived British monarch on 21 December 2007. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to commemorate a Sapphire Jubilee.  Elizabeth II is the Queen of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms. On 6 February 1952, Elizabeth became queen after the death of her father King George VI.






Banking, Business and Economy

 


IPO-bound LIC may give 5% discount to policyholders: Reports

short by Ashley Paul / 09:46 pm on 08 Feb 2022,Tuesday

IPO-bound Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) might give a 5% discount on the IPO's price band to its policyholders, ET Now reported. It added that retail bidders and employees are also likely to be given a concession and that LIC may file its IPO prospectus on February 10. The government is likely to sell a 5-7% stake in LIC.

 


Kotak General Ins. partners CARS24 to offer Motor Insurance for used cars


ICICI Lombard General Insurance has partnered with Airtel Payments Bank to offer cyber insurance to customers of the bank.  This Cyber Insurance policy provides financial protection to customers against potential financial fraud relating to banking, credit or debit card; identity theft; phishing or email spoofing etc. Airtel Payments Bank customers can purchase this cyber insurance policy within minutes using the Airtel Thanks app.  The insurance comes with zero waiting period and allows users to make multiple claims multiple times during the policy tenure, within the limits of the insured amount opted for.  The policy will provide a 90-day discovery period followed by a seven-day reporting period.  This means that if the insured discovers an unauthorised transaction processed from their card or account on the 90th day from the transaction date, they can still report it in the next seven days to the issuing bank or mobile wallet company.




Sports News


Africa Cup Of Nations: Senegal Beat Egypt


Senegal has defeated Egypt in the Africa Cup of Nations championship winning the continental championship for the first time on penalty kicks at Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon.  Sadio Mane scored the winning spot-kick as Senegal claimed a first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over seven-time winners Egypt. The final had ended 0-0 after extra time.  Senegal had lost two finals previously, including at the last African Cup in Egypt in 2019, when Mané was left inconsolable. This time he delivered the winning moment.


Sri Lankan fast bowler Suranga Lakmal announces retirement


Veteran Sri Lankan fast bowler Suranga Lakmal has announced to retire from international cricket, after Sri Lanka’s upcoming tour of India.  The 34-year-old right-arm fast bowler and right-handed batsman aim to join the English county club Derbyshire after retirement.  The Derbyshire County Cricket Club has signed up Lakmal on a two-year contract. Lakmal has represented Sri Lanka in 165 international matches across formats, in his international career spanning over 12 years.


China wins AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 Football Tournament


China PR (People's Republic) defeated South Korea (Korea Republic), 3-2, to win the AFC Women`s Asian Cup India 2022 final title at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.  This is the record-extending 9th AFC Women`s Asian Cup title won by China. India is hosting the 20th edition of the football AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 from January 20, 2022, to February 06, 2022. China now qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.


The following awards were given at the conclusion of the tournament:


Most Valuable Player: Wang Shanshan (China)

Top Scorer: Sam Kerr (7 goals) (Australia)

Best goalkeeper: Zhu Yu (China)

Fairplay Award: South Korea

 

BCCI launch women's IPL in 2023

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah informed that the board plans to launch a full-fledged women's Indian Premier League (IPL) in the next year. The women's IPL will be on the same lines as men's IPL. Currently, a three-team Women's T20 Challenge is staged alongside men's IPL. It will soon be expanded to include more teams and players. 

 

 

Obituaries News


R Rajamohan, who led the 1st Asteroid Discoveries In Independent India, passes away


Professor R Rajamohan, who was an astronomer at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, for decades, passed away.  He is best known for his Kalki Project, which aimed to discover asteroids using the 48-cm Schmidt telescope in Kavalur VBO and discovered a new asteroid, number 4130, from India. This was the first asteroid discovered in India in 104 years.


‘Kabir of Karnataka’ Ibrahim Sutar passes away


Padma Shri awardee and social worker, Ibrahim Sutar has passed away in Karnataka following a cardiac arrest. Fondly referred to as the “Kabir of Kannada”, Sutar was known for his work towards spreading social and communal harmony. Ibrahim is popular among the public, especially in north Karnataka, for his spiritual discourses. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2018. 

 

Praveen Kumar Sobti

Praveen Kumar Sobti, who was popular for essaying the role of Bheem in BR Chopra's Mahabharat, passed away on February 7, 2022 at his residence in Ashok Vihar, Delhi. He was 74.

The actor reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest. His relative informed that Sobti had a chronic chest infection problem. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Praveen Kumar Sobti was also an extremely talented track and field athlete. He not only represented India in two Olympic Games but was also a four-time Asian Games medalist. He was honoured with the Arjuna Award for his accomplishments.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

09th February 2022

 

 

NATIONAL

 


Lata Mangeshkar was the voice of the subcontinent: UN chief

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condoled the demise of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar saying that she truly had been the voice of the subcontinent. India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador TS Tirumurti had said on Sunday that the veteran singer's passing is an irreplaceable loss to the nation and an irreplaceable loss to the world of music.


Government has no business to do business: PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi in an interview with ANI said, "Government has no business to do business." He explained, "Its job is to think about food for the poor, make houses and toilets, get them clean drinking water, make health facilities available to them, make roads, and think about small farmers." He added, "If somebody calls this socialism, I accept it."

 

 

Akshay Kumar named as brand ambassador of Uttarakhand 


Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami has appointed Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of Uttarakhand ahead of the 2022 Assembly Elections.  In 2017, Akshay Kumar was appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador for ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’. Akshay Kumar, is a Canadian-Indian actor, a film producer who has acted in more than 100 films. In 2021, Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant, who hails from Roorkee, Uttarakhand was appointed as the brand ambassador of Uttarakhand.  Indian field hockey player, Vandana Katariya was appointed as the brand ambassador of the women and child development department of Uttarakhand as well as the brand ambassador of the Centre’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ scheme for Haridwar district.


Kerala signed an MoU with Social Alpha to develop clean energy tech


Kerala Government has signed an MoU with the Social Alpha’s Energy Lab – “Clean Energy International Incubation Centre (CEIIC)” to support innovative and clean energy technology programmes in Kerala.  The Government of Kerala signed this agreement through Kerala Development & Innovation Strategy Council (KDISC) and Energy Management Centre (EMC).  The EMC Kerala represents the Power Department agencies including the Kerala State Electricity Board, Electrical Inspectorate and ANERT (Agency for New and Renewable Energy Research and Technology). To establish a clean energy incubation centre to boost green energy development and energy conservation activities in Kerala.




Ex-consultant to World Bank Pradip Shah named as Pfizer India chairman


Pfizer India has appointed Pradip Shah as the chairman of its board following the resignation of RA Shah. He is the ex-managing director and a founding member of Crisil. Prior to founding Crisil, he assisted in founding HDFC in 1977.  He has also served as a consultant to USAID, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank. Pradip is a director on the board of several reputed companies. He is also a member of various prestigious committees/commissions.  He is presently the Chairman of Indasia Fund Advisors. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and is also a chartered accountant and a cost accountant.


Disha Patani named as Brand Ambassador of Bata India


Bata India Limited has appointed Bollywood actress, Disha Patani as it’s Brand Ambassador. She will promote the brand and strengthen the youth connection to enhance footwear fashion among them.  Previously, Bata has associated with celebrities including Kriti Sanon, Sushant Singh Rajput, and cricket player Smriti Mandhana for promoting various labels under Bata.  Regarded as the face of next-gen Bollywood, Patani is currently one of the most popular actors in the country. Known for her exceptional fashion sense and fitness, she is widely regarded as a trendsetter. The stylish actor enjoys a huge following on social media and has won millions of hearts with her charming smile and vibrant personality.


Amitabh Bachchan named as brand ambassador of MediBuddy


MediBuddy, one of India’s largest digital healthcare platforms, has signed legendary Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as the official brand ambassador. As part of the deal, Bachchan will be seen endorsing various services available on the platform, while highlighting the need to prioritise one’s health.  With the deal in place, MediBuddy is looking at further amplifying its reach across India. Leveraging the veteran actor’s popularity, especially across tier II and tier III cities, the brand aims to position itself as a household name.\

INTERNATIONAL


US $100mn arms sale to Taiwan is interference in our affairs: China

Chinese Defence Ministry on Wednesday warned the US against a $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan. The Defence Ministry spokesman, Wu Qian, said that US military shipments to Taiwan degrade relations between China and the US, adding, "[It] severely infringes on the 'One China' principle." "This represents a flagrant interference in China's internal affairs," Qian added.

 


US should stop imposing sanctions against North Korea: China

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said if the US is sincerely concerned about the well being of North Koreans then it should stop imposing sanctions against North Korea and stop pressurising them. Lijian said the US should give due importance to the denuclearisation measures taken by North Korea. North Korea carried out seven suspected ballistic missile launches in January.

Unacceptable deviation from medical ethics: Pope on assisted suicide

Pope Francis condemned assisted suicide on Wednesday and termed it an "unacceptable deviation" from medical ethics. "We must accompany death, not provoke death or help any kind of suicide," Pope said. His remarks come as the Italian parliament resumed discussions on a law that will allow terminally ill patients to seek assisted suicide through Italy's healthcare system.

Banking, Business and Economy

 


Why has a Chinese city's lockdown sent aluminium prices to 14-year high?

The COVID-19 lockdown in China's Baise city sent global prices of aluminium to a 14-year high. Baise was locked down on Monday after mass testing identified nearly 100 people with COVID-19. Nicknamed the "aluminium capital of southern China", Baise produces about 2.2 million tonnes of aluminium per year, but the production was impacted due to travel restrictions hindering logistics flows.


RBI to observe Financial Literacy week 2022: February 14-18


The Reserve Bank of India will observe February 14-18, 2022 as Financial Literacy week 2022. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been conducting Financial Literacy Week (FLW) every year since 2016 to propagate financial education messages on a particular theme across the country. Banks have been advised to disseminate the information and create awareness among its customers and the general public.  The theme of Financial Literacy week 2022 is: “Go Digital, Go Secure”. The theme is aligned with one of the strategic objectives of the National Strategy for Financial Education: 2020-2025.  The focus of Financial Literacy Week this year will be on the following three topics with a view to ensure safe and secure Digital Transactions: The convenience of digital transactions, Security / feel secure and no fear for digital transactions, Protection to customers.




Sonata Software tie-up with Microsoft for its launch of ‘Microsoft Cloud’


A global IT Services, and Technology Solutions Company, Sonata Software has announced its partnership with Microsoft for its launch of ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’. The company has been a partner with Microsoft for over three decades.  The ‘Microsoft Cloud for Retail’ collaboration is expected to further strengthen the relationship. Sonata Software delivers solutions for retailers worldwide, leveraging world-class IPs, in-house migration and modernisation tools.  The partnership with Microsoft Cloud for Retail will further enhance our capabilities, with its emphasis on leveraging data, elevating the shopping experience, building real-time, sustainable supply chains, and empowering store associates.  The Sonata Connected Retail solution is available through Microsoft AppSource. Sonata Software is a Microsoft Gold Partner and is a member of the Microsoft Inner Circle for Business Applications.


NITI Aayog and USAID annouces tie-up under SAMRIDH initiative


Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), NITI Aayog, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced a new partnership under the Sustainable Access to Markets and Resources for Innovative Delivery of Healthcare (SAMRIDH) initiative.  It aims to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare for vulnerable populations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and rural and tribal regions.  It aims to mobilize a capital pool of $100+ million from the private sector and bilateral organizations. It leverages this fund to offer both grant and debt financing provision to support the expansion of market-based health solutions.


Amazon India signed MoU with Karnataka to turn rural women into entrepreneurs


Amazon India signed an MoU with Karnataka State Rural Livelihood Promotion Society (KSRLPS) to support the growth of women entrepreneurs.  Amazon India will launch ‘Sanjeevini-KSRLPS’ in its platform and extend benefits of the ‘Saheli’ Programme to train and empower thousands of rural women entrepreneurs and also provide online access to a wider market for their products.  The Saheli Programme offers training and skill development workshops to help women entrepreneurs. Through this, Amazon and the government bodies will come together to assist and empower lakhs of women entrepreneurs associated with them from the four states to register their business with Amazon India and access a wider market base.




Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw kicks Off NITI Aayog’s Fintech Open Summit


NITI Aayog, in collaboration with PhonePe, AWS and EY, has organized a three-week-long virtual summit, ‘Fintech Open’, from 7–28 February. The summit was inaugurated by Union Minister for Railways, Communications, and Electronics and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw in the presence of NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar.  A first-of-its-kind initiative, Fintech Open will bring together regulators, fintech professionals and enthusiasts, industry leaders, the start-up community, and developers to collaborate, exchange ideas and innovate.  An open platform is created using public investment, wherein numerous private entrepreneurs, start-ups and developers can join to create new solutions. For example, today, 270 banks are connected with the UPI and many entrepreneurs and start-ups have provided solutions that have helped increase the country’s fintech adoption rate—which is the highest globally at 87%.



PM CARES Fund corpus triples to Rs 10,990.17 crore in FY 2020-21


The total corpus under the PM CARES Funds in 2020-21 was Rs 10,990.17 crore. While Rs 3,976.17 crore was spent from the fund in 2020-21, according to the latest audited statement of PM CARES Funds.  As on March 31, 2021, the Fund had an unspent balance of Rs 7,013.99 crore. The government has used a part of the money to buy medical equipment, including ventilators, to boost the battle against the COVID-19 and has also provided relief to migrants.


PMKSY extended till March 2026 with an allocation of Rs 4,600 crore


The ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana (PMKSY)’ has been extended till March 2026 with an allocation of Rs 4,600 crore. The scheme is administered by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries. The scheme aims for the overall growth and development of the food processing sector.  In May 2017, the Central Government had launched SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters) with an allocation of Rs 6,000 crore. The scheme was renamed as PMKSY in August 2017.  The scheme will boost the growth of the food processing sector but also help in providing better prices to farmers and creating huge employment opportunities.


India gets $339.55 billion FDI in the last 5 years, govt shares year-wise details

uring the last five financial years, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows worth $339.55 billion have been reported into India, the government said on Wednesday. "FDI inflows have shown a continuous increase from $45.15 billion in 2014-15 to $81.97 billion in 2020-21," it added. The government also mentioned investor-friendly policies allowing 100% FDI in most sectors under the Automatic route.

 


SIPs in mutual fund industry cross 5 crore mark for 1st time in Jan

short by Ashley Paul / 10:23 pm on 09 Feb 2022,Wednesday

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) in the mutual fund industry crossed the five crore mark for the first time in January this year. The industry added 14 lakh new SIPs in January, according to Association of Mutual Funds in India's data. The contribution of SIPs to the mutual fund industry in January stood at ₹11,516 crore.


Important Days


Safer Internet Day 2022 observed on 8 February


Safer Internet Day is observed every year on the second day of the second week of February with the aim of providing a safer and better internet, where every user gets to use the internet responsibly and without getting their data leaked.  This year February 8 is being celebrated as Safer Internet Day across the world. This year marks the 19th edition of Safer Internet Day with actions taking place right across the globe.  This year, the occasion is being marked under the theme ‘Together for a better internet’, calling upon all stakeholders to join together to make the internet a safer and better place for all, and especially for children and young people.  Safer Internet Day started as an initiative of the European Union’s (EU’s) SafeBorders project in 2004 and was taken up by the Insafe network as one of its earliest actions in 2005, according to its website.



Miscellaneous News


Kanchoth festival celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir


The ancient festival of Kanchoth is annually celebrated, mainly by the Nag followers, during the Shukla Paksha of Magh month which usually falls in January or February. The festival is celebrated with religious fervour across the Chenab valley region of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).  The 3-day festival is celebrated by married women who pray for the long life of their husbands. Kanchoth or Gauri Tritya is widely celebrated in hilly kishtwar, Ramban and Doda of Jammu province.  The festival is celebrated across Bhaderwah (also known as mini-Kashmir), Kotli, Mathola, Ghata, Khakhal, Gupt Ganga, Chinnote, Kapra, Bhalra, Bheja, Chinchora and other regions.

 

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Current Affais Snippets

 

10th February 2022

National News

 


I'll try trekking hill again: Man who got stuck in Kerala hill cavity for 2 days

The 24-year-old Kerala man, who was rescued nearly two days after being trapped in a hill cavity in Palakkad, said he'll try trekking the hill again. This was his first attempt at trying to climb it, said Babu, who was discharged from the hospital on Friday. He was rescued by the Army on Wednesday.

 


India’s first biomass-based hydrogen plant to come up at Madhya Pradesh 


India’s first commercial-scale biomass-based hydrogen plant will come up at the Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh.  Every day this plant will produce one tonne of hydrogen, from 30 tonnes of biomass feedstock. The plant is being put up by a joint venture of Watomo Energies Ltd and Biezel Green Energy with an investment of Rs 24 crore.  The company owns the technology for a ‘thermally accelerated anerobic digestion (TAD) reactor’ that can produce hydrogen, methane and biochar from biomass. Biezel Green will own 50 per cent in the yet-to-be-named joint venture; the other 50 per cent will come from interested farmers.

 

Gujarat unveils new IT/ITeS policy to generate 1 lakh direct jobs


Chief Minister of Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel has announced a new IT/ITeS policy for the next five years. This policy will provide financial incentives up to Rs 200 crore to the entities willing to incur capital expenditures.  It will also generate employment of about 1 lakh youths. It also seeks to increase IT-ITeS exports from the current Rs 3000 crores annually to 25,000 crores over the next five years. Its operative period will start from the day of notification to 31st March 2027.  The policy launched at a formal event at a club in GIFT City in Gandhinagar replaces the 2016-2021 policy that had set an ambitious target to increase exports up to USD two billion (Rs 13,000 crore), IT turnover to USD 15 billion (Rs 75,000 crore) and create 10 lakh direct jobs.  The policy provides support for both capital (CAPEX) and operational (OPEX) expenditures. “This is a unique model that gives flexibility to industries to plan their expenditures and addresses the viability concerns.


Senior bureaucrat S. Kishore appointed as new SSC Chairman


Senior bureaucrat S. Kishore has been appointed as Chairman, Staff Selection Commission (SSC).  According to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Kishore to the post in the rank and pay of Secretary to Government of India by temporarily upgrading the post and keeping the Recruitment Rules of the post in abeyance.  Presently, he is serving as Special Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.


Sanjay Malhotra named DFS Secretary in Finance Ministry


Sanjay Malhotra has been named as Secretary in the Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance. He is a 1990 batch IAS officer of the Rajasthan cadre. Before this, Sanjay Malhotra was Chairman and Managing Director of REC Ltd. He has succeeded Debashish Panda, who completed his term as DFS Secretary on January 31, 2022.  Malhotra has an exhaustive power sector experience. The reforms-based result-linked power distribution sector scheme to be applicable till 2025-26 aims to reduce India’s AT&C loss to 12-15% and gradually narrow the deficit between the cost of electricity and the price at which it is supplied to ‘zero’ by 2024-25.




UNEP tie-up with Maharashtra to support ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign


The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) has signed an MoU with the Maharashtra government to support its ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ campaign. It is an initiative towards sustainable use of energy and environmental development.  The literal meaning of ‘Majhi Vasundhara’ is ‘My Earth’. It is an initiative of the Environment and Climate Change Department, Government of Maharashtra.  Majhi Vasundhara' is an initiative of the Government of Maharashtra's Environment and Climate Change Department to empower citizens with knowledge on the impacts of climate change and environmental issues and to encourage them to make a conscious effort towards improvement of the environment.  To empower citizens with knowledge on the impacts of climate change and environmental issues and to encourage them to make a conscious effort towards the improvement of the environment.

 


International News


Canada's Ontario declares state of emergency over truckers' protests

Canada's Ontario province on Friday declared a state of emergency amid protests by truckers against the COVID-19 mandates. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he will "urgently enact orders that will make crystal clear it's illegal...to block and impede the movement of goods, people and services along critical infrastructure". Ford also pledged new legal action against the protesters.


Instagram encourages people to 'Take a Break' from social media 


Instagram has announced the launch of ‘Take a Break’ in all countries, including India, to empower people to make informed decisions about the way they are spending their time.  This feature will be promoted in India through a campaign, in partnership with ‘We The Young ’, called ‘Break Zaroori Hai’. ‘Take a Break’ was first launched in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and it is now available for everyone globally.  Take a Break’ is a feature that will show up for people, as they have been scrolling for a certain amount of time. They will be asked to take a break from Instagram and suggest that they set reminders to take more breaks in the future.  They will also be shown expert-backed tips to help them reflect and reset. To make sure that young people are aware of this feature, they will be shown notifications suggesting they turn these reminders on.  The ‘Take a Break’ reminders build on Instagram’s existing time management tools including Daily Limit, which lets people know when they’ve reached the total amount of time they want to spend on Instagram each day, and offers the ability to mute notifications from Instagram.



BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

India's internet economy likely to reach $1 trillion by 2030: Report

India's internet economy is surging by over 50% year over year and may reach $1 trillion by 2030, a report by consulting firm RedSeer said. The internet economy includes sectors like e-tailing, e-health, food tech, online mobility and quick commerce. ''In just 2021, more than $40 billion of funding and 42 new unicorns were born,'' RedSeer CEO Anil Kumar said.


India's industrial output growth falls to 10-month low in December

short by Hiral Goyal / 08:02 pm on 11 Feb 2022,Friday

India's industrial production growth fell to a 10-month low of 0.4% in December 2021, according to data released by the government on Friday. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose 0.4% in December 2021 as compared to an increase of 1.3% in November. As per use-based classification, capital, consumer durables and consumer non-durables saw their output shrink in December 2021.

 


Passenger vehicle wholesales dip 8% in January amid chip shortage

The passenger vehicle dispatches from factories to dealers in India dropped 8% in January, mainly due to chip shortage, auto industry body SIAM said. The total passenger vehicle wholesales dropped to 2,54,287 units in January 2022 as compared to 2,76,554 units in January 2021. Two-wheeler dispatches declined 21% to 11,28,293 units from 14,29,928 units in the year-ago period.


Ruchi Soya to launch ₹4,300-crore FPO in last week of Feb: Report

Ruchi Soya is likely to launch its follow-on public offer (FPO) in the last week of February to raise up to ₹4,300 crore, PTI reported. It had received SEBI's approval to raise funds through an FPO in August last year. Ruchi Soya is launching the FPO to meet SEBI's norm of minimum public shareholding of 25% in a listed entity.

 


RBI 2nd largest buyer of gold in 2021


The largest buyer, the Central Bank of Thailand, bought 90 metric tonnes of gold while RBI bought 77.5 metric tonnes taking its total gold reserve to 754.1 tonnes at the end of December 2021.  When it comes to gold buying, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) emerged as the second-largest buyer of yellow metal among the world's Central Banks in 2021. As per Goldhub, India’s official gold reserves is the ninth-largest in the world. Goldhub is the official website of the World Gold Council that maintains all the data regarding precious metals.  At the end of December 2021, RBI gold reserves stood at 754.1 tonnes, which amounts to 6.22 per cent of India’s forex reserves. As per RBI data, India’s total reserves at the end of December 31, 2021, stood at $633.61 billion, including gold reserves worth $39.405 billion.




Razorpay buys majority stake in Malaysian startup “Curlec”


Razorpay has expanded into South-East Asia with the acquisition of a majority stake in a Malaysian fintech firm Curlec, valuing the company between $19-20 million. Razorpay expects to complete the full acquisition in the next one-and-a-half years.  The Kuala Lumpur-based, Curlec builds solutions for recurring payments for businesses. This marks Razorpay’s fourth acquisition overall and its first in the international markets.  This acquisition will allow us to quickly ramp up and start scaling in Southeast Asia as a market. Curlec has been powering recurring payments for multiple companies in the Malaysian market. With them as part of this team, we will have a local team that understands the nuances of the market in Malaysia and Southeast Asia at large.


Summits and Conferences News


Power Minister R K Singh launched Powerthon-2022


Union Minister of Power, R K Singh has launched Powerthon-2022, a hackathon competition to find technology-driven solutions to solve the complex problems in power distribution and to ensure quality and reliable power supply.  The competition will bring together qualified mentors with TSPs, innovators, and other participants to create teams for efficient electricity networks. He also encouraged technologists to come forward not only with solutions to existing problems but also with other problem statements and ideas for reliable power supply.  Technology Solution Providers (TSPs), start-ups, educational institutions, research institutes, equipment manufacturers, state power utilities and other state and central power sector entities, shall be briefed on the current challenges/ problem statements faced across the power distribution sector and invited to showcase their technology-driven solutions to solve the complex problems.


Reimagining Museums Global Summit 2022: Culture Ministry to organise


The Union Ministry of Culture will organize a first-of-its-kind Global Summit on ‘Reimagining Museums in India’ on February 15-16, 2022. The summit will be inaugurated by Union Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy.  The Global Summit is being organised in partnership with Bloomberg. It will be held online for two days and is open for public participation. The summit will see participation from 25 museologists and museum professionals who will speak on reimagined priorities and practices for Museums.  The virtual summit will be conducted with four broad themes: Architecture and Functional Needs, Management, Collections Curation & Conservation practices) and Education and Audience Engagement.  The Reimagining Museums Global Summit 2022 will focus on best practices and strategies to develop India’s museums. It will be organised as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a flagship program to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.




Awards News


Nitin Gadkari received 18th Late Madhavrao Limaye Award


Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari will be facilitated for the first time with the 18th late Madhavrao Limaye award in the category of Karyakram Khaasdar (Efficient Member of Parliament) for the year 2020-21.  This award will be facilitated by Nashik Public Library, Sarvajanik Vachanalay. Earlier, the award was given to Karyaksham Aamdaar, an efficient Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Maharashtra.  The Sarvajanik Vachanalay annually selects one of the members of Vidhan Parishad (Lok Sabha), Vidhan Sabha (Rajya Sabha) for the Efficient MLA or Member of Parliament (MP) Award. The award has been instituted in the memory of Limaye by his daughter Dr. Shobha Nerlikar. The award consists of Rs 50,000 in cash and a memento.


Sports News


F1 to continue racing in Bahrain till 2036 after signing new deal

Formula One on Friday announced the Bahrain Grand Prix will remain on the F1 calendar until at least 2036, after signing a new long-term deal with the Bahrain International Circuit, the race's promoter. Bahrain will host the first race of the 2022 season on March 20. Other races in the Middle East are in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia

 


Gujarat Titans unveiled as name for new Ahmedabad IPL franchise


Gujarat Titans is the official name of the new Ahmedabad franchise owned by CVC Capital as Hardik Pandya is all set to lead the franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.  The naming of the Ahmedabad franchise comes days after Lucknow, owned by RPSG Group, announced its official name as Lucknow Super Giants. The Lucknow team will be led by KL Rahul.  Debuting in the 15th season of the IPL, the Gujarat Titans will pay tribute to the state's rich cricketing legacy, which has seen it produce countless Indian international cricket legends over the years.  The franchise is inspired by the opportunity to represent and build on this deep cricketing heritage, as well as build on its future success on the pitch.  Gujarat Titans drafted in Hardik Pandya as their captain for Rs 15 crore and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan for Rs 15 crore. They also got young India opener, Shubman Gill, for Rs 8 crore.  The Titans will head into the mega auction with a budget of Rs 52 crore. The Gujarat Titans brought on board former England cricketer Vikram Solanki as the Director of Cricket.  Ashish Nehra will be the head coach of the franchise while former World Cup-winning coach and South Africa opener Gary Kirsten will be the Head of Cricket Operations and the batting coach for IPL 2022.


Important Days


World Pulses Day 2022: Observed On 10 February


The United Nations designated World Pulses Day is observed every year on 10 February. The day has been established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to recognize the importance of pulses (dry beans, lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, lupins) as a global food.  This year World Pulses Day’s theme: “Pulses to empower youth in achieving sustainable agrifood systems”.  In 2018, the UN General Assembly decided to mark 10 February as World Pulses Day. The first WPD was held on February 10, 2019. On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231) proclaiming 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP).  The celebration of the year, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), increased the public awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production. 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

11th February 2022

 

 

NATIONAL


Munishwar Nath Bhandari new Chief Justice of Madras High Court


According to the Law Ministry, Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari has been appointed Chief Justice of the Madras High Court. Justice Bhandari had taken over as the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court after the transfer of Justice Sanjib Banerjee to the Meghalaya High Court in November last year.  The Law Ministry also notified the appointment of a total of 13 advocates and three judicial officers as judges of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh High Courts.  While three advocates each were appointed to the Orissa and Madhya Pradesh High Courts, seven advocates were elevated to the Andhra Pradesh High Court. Three judicial officers were appointed as judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court

 


45th International Kolkata Book Fair to start from February 28 


The 45th International Kolkata Book Fair will start from February 28 and will go on till March 13. The focal theme country this year is Bangladesh. Due to both Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and Bangladesh’s 50 years of Independence the theme this year is Bangladesh.  Bangladesh Day will be celebrated on March 3 and 4. The fair will be inaugurated on February 28 by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.  Kolkata Book Fair had got recognition from International Publishers Association, Geneva and also that Geneva has incorporated International Kolkata Book Fair in the calendar of book fairs published by them.  Apart from Bangladesh, Britain, USA, Russia, Italy, Japan, Iran, Spain, Argentina, Mexico and other Latin American countries will participate in the Kolkata Book Fair.



Banking, Business and Economy


RBI Monetary Policy: RBI keeps Repo Rate unchanged at 4.0 per cent 


The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das kept the repo rate unchanged at 4 per cent for the 10th consecutive time while maintaining an ‘accommodative stance’ as long as necessary.  The reverse repo rate will continue to be 3.35 per cent. Reserve Bank of India conducted the 6th and the last Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for 2021-22 between February 8-10, 2022. 


The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rates remain unchanged:


Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%

Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%

Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%

Bank Rate: 4.25%

CRR: 4%

SLR: 18.00%

 

RBI Monetary Policy Highlights & Key Decisions:


The MPC decided to continue with the accommodative stance.  RBI has projected the real GDP growth for 2022-23 at 7.8 per cent.  For the current fiscal year, RBI projected real GDP growth of 9.2 per cent and expects that it will take the economy above the pre-pandemic level.  For the current fiscal year, RBI retained its retail inflation projection at 5.3 per cent.  MPC has been given the mandate to maintain annual inflation at 4 per cent until March 31, 2026, with an upper tolerance of 6 per cent and lower tolerance of 2 per cent.




RBI reopens Voluntary Retention Route with investment limit of Rs 2,50,000 cr


The Reserve Bank of India had introduced the Voluntary Retention Route (VRR) for investments by Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) in debts in 2019 with an investment limit of Rs 1,50,000 crore.  Out of this, around Rs, 1,49,995 crore have been availed so far in three tranches. Now RBI has increased this investment limit in VRR from Rs. 1,50,000 crore to Rs. 2,50,000 crore.


The increased investment limits shall be open for allotment from April 01, 2022 as per the following details:


The investment limit under VRR has been increased to Rs 2,50,000 crore.  The investment limit available for fresh allotment shall accordingly be Rs 1,04,800 crore (net of extant allotments and adjustments); and shall be allotted under the VRR–Combined category.  The minimum retention period shall be three years.  Investment limits shall be available ‘on tap’ and allotted on a ‘first-come, first-served basis.  The ‘tap’ shall be kept open till the limit is fully allotted.  FPIs may apply for investment limits online to Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL) through their respective custodians.  CCIL will separately notify the operational details of the application process and allotment.


SBI tie-up with NSE Academy to launch five online courses


The State Bank of India (SBI) has announced a partnership with NSE Academy to launch five online courses that promote financial literacy as a necessary life skill.  The courses curated by SBI are a good blend of theory and operational aspects which will enable learners to have a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of banking, compliance, lending norms and a host of other topics.  These courses have been designed and developed by practising bankers possessing rich experience and excellent academic credentials. The courses are suitably enriched with real-life case studies and scenarios, thus offering experiential learning for working professionals and learners.  The following five courses will be offered with an aim to provide an understanding of different aspects of banking-to-banking professionals, students and other learners.

 

Schemes and Committees News


Government continued RYSK Scheme for another 5 years 


The Central Government of India has decided to continue the scheme of “Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram (RYSK)” for another 5 years from 2021 -22 to 2025-26 with an outlay of Rs. 2,710.65 crore.  To develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in nation-building activities. Beneficiaries of this scheme are the youth in the age group of 15 to 29 years (according to the definition of ‘youth’ in the National Youth Policy, 2014).




Summits and Conferences News


PM Narendra Modi address high-level segment of One Ocean Summit


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed the high-level segment of the One Ocean Summit.  The high-level segment of the summit will also be addressed by several other heads of states and governments including Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan and Canada.  The One Ocean summit is organised by France from 9-11 February in Brest in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank.  The objective of the summit is to mobilise the international community to take tangible action towards preserving and supporting healthy and sustainable ocean ecosystems.


Books and Authors News


A book titled “Atal Bihari Vajpayee” authored by Sagarika Ghose


A book titled “Atal Bihari Vajpayee” authored by Sagarika Ghose has been launched. It is a biography of the former Prime Minister of India. Sagarika Ghose is a jounalist. She has also authored a book titled “Indira: India’s Most Powerful Prime Minister”.  Sagarika took the author three years to complete the biography. “The research was daunting,” says Sagarika, who had to go through all the Parliament speeches from the 1950s to the 90s, Parliament records, Vajpayee’s speeches, his written work, the pronouncements made by his Government, minutes of party meetings, proceedings of annual conferences, party periodicals, the large number of bills he moved in Parliament...the list is exhaustive.


Important Days


National Deworming Day 2022


National Deworming Day is observed on February 10, to make people aware of the importance of deworming, particularly for children from 1 to 19 years of age, who are the most vulnerable.  The Day was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in 2015. The main aim of the Day is to raise awareness on intestinal worms and to attain complete eradication of Soil-Transmitted Helminths in children. Around 24% of the world's population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths (worms).


World Unani Day observed on 11 February 2022


World Unani Day is observed on February 11 every year to mark the birth anniversary of “Hakim Ajmal Khan”, an eminent Indian Unani physician. The first Unani Day was celebrated in 2017 at the Central Research Institute of Unani Medicine (CRIUM), Hyderabad.  The main objective is to spread the awareness in masses and action about healthcare delivery through the Unani system of medicine worldwide through its preventive and curative philosophy.  Hakim Ajmal Khan was an eminent Indian Unani physician who was a versatile genius, a great scholar, a social reformer, a noted freedom fighter, an Unani medical educationist and founder of scientific research in Unani System of Medicine. He was one of the founders of the Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi.


International Day of Women and Girls in Science: 11 February


International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed globally on 11 February. The 7th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly, taking place on 11 February 2022, aims to recognize the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as agents of change, including in view of accelerating progress towards the achievement of SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).  The Day is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science. The 2022 theme of the Day is “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”.


Miscellaneous News


World Book of Records: Atal Tunnel recognized as ‘Longest Highway Tunnel


Atal Tunnel has been officially certified as ‘World’s Longest Highway Tunnel above 10,000 Feet’ by the World Book of Records. Atal tunnel is a Highway tunnel built under Rohtang Pass in eastern Pir Panjal Himalayan range on Leh-Manali Highway.  It is the longest highway single-tube tunnel above 10,000 feet in the world with a length of about 9.02 km. World Book of Records, UK is an organization that catalogues, verifies extraordinary records with authentic certification around the globe.


J&K became first Union Territory to be integrated with NSWS


Jammu & Kashmir has become the first Union Territory to integrate with the National Single Window System (NSWS) which marks a major leap in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in the UT.  Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha launched the J&K Single Window Clearance System integrated with NSWS. NSWS is linked with the India Industrial Land Bank (IILB) which hosts 45 industrial parks of J&K that will help Investors to discover available land parcels in J&K.



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CURRENT AFFAIR SNIPPETS

12th February 2022

 

NATIONAL


Odisha Additional DM raided by vigilance dept; cash, gold found

The Vigilance Directorate on Friday raided properties of Sundargarh Additional DM Biswajit Mohapatra in Odisha and unearthed alleged disproportionate assets worth crores of rupees. A double-storey building, a flat, 10 plots, over ₹3 lakh in cash and 350 grams of gold were recovered, the directorate said. Over ₹2.42 crore in bank deposits, insurance and others were also found, it added.

 

 

 

NABARD launched ‘JIVA Programme’ to promote natural farming


National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has launched the ‘JIVA programme’ to promote natural farming under its existing watershed and wadi programmes in 11 states. To effectively implement the principles of agroecology long-term sustainability and transform the pre-existing social and natural capital towards efficient farming.  JIVA is an agroecology-based programme, an amalgamation of several projects under the watershed programme of NABARD and will be implemented in 11 states covering five agroecological zones, which are in ecologically fragile and rain-fed areas.


India to help Sri Lanka launch its version of Aadhaar Card


India has agreed to provide a grant to Sri Lanka to implement a ‘Unitary Digital Identity framework’, apparently modelled on the Aadhaar card.  The Rajapaksa government will “prioritise” the implementation of the Framework as a national-level programme. The initiative follows bilateral talks between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa & Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2019.




Telangana govt tie-up with British Council to expand higher education 


The Government of Telangana and the British Council, an international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural exchange, have signed a 3-year MoU to renew the partnership in education, English and arts.  To facilitate research between institutions and assist to expand higher education globally, to offer global opportunities for the youth of Telangana.  Under the extended 3-year MoU, the British Council has also signed an agreement with the Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) to work closely to engineer new partnerships between universities, research institutions and centres of excellence in the UK and in Telangana.




N Chandrasekaran reappointed as Chairman of Tata Sons


The board of Tata Sons Pvt Ltd has approved the re-appointment of N Chandrasekaran as the Executive Chairman of the company for the second five years term.  Chandrasekaran’s current tenure as the chairman was to expire at the end of February 2022. He joined the board of Tata Sons in 2016 and took over the role as Chairman in 2017.  Chandrasekaran's tenure in the last five years saw several mergers and acquisitions by the group in the steel, aviation and digital sectors and a complete exit from the cellular telephony industry.  One of the first tasks of Chandra, as he is popularly known, was to get rid of Tata Teleservices which lost around Rs 60,000 crore in paying back bank loans apart from paying the AGR dues till date. Tatas sold the mobile phone business to Bharti Airtel while retaining debt and other liabilities of the company.


Ranks and Reports News


India ranked 46th in EIU's Democracy Index


India has ranked 46th position in the 2021 Democracy Index’s global ranking, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit. With the highest score of 9.75, Norway topped the Democracy Index 2021 by Economist Intelligence.  The list was published on February 10, 2022. India scored 6.91 to rank 46th on the list. Our neighbour Pakistan has been placed further below in the hybrid regime with a rank of 104.


Top 10 countries in the list:


Norway
New Zealand

Finland
Sweden
Iceland
Denmark
Ireland
Taiwan
Australia
Switzerland

 

 

SPORTS
Who were the most expensive buys among uncapped players on Day 1 of IPL mega auction?

Fast bowler Avesh Khan was the most expensive buy among uncapped players on Day 1 of the IPL 2022 mega auction after being bought by Lucknow Super Giants for ₹10 crore. He was followed by Shahrukh Khan and Rahul Tewatia, who were bought for ₹9 crore each by Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans respectively.


Schemes and Committees News


SEBI restructured Advisory Committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund


Securities and Exchange Board of India has restructured its advisory committee on Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF), under the chairmanship of G Mahalingam.  The advisory committee on IPEF is an eight-member committee that will take G Mahalingam, former Whole Time Member of SEBI, as its new Chairperson. Members of Committee: Vijay Kumar Venkataraman, Mrin Agarwal, A Balasubramanian, M G Parameswaran, GP Garg, N Hariharan and Jayanta Jash.  In 2013, the committee was established by the SEBI to find out ways and means to best utilize the investor protection and education fund. Earlier the committee was headed by Abraham Koshy, former professor of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), Gujarat.  The committee is mandated to recommend investor education and protection activities for the utilization of the SEBI Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF).

 


Important Days


World Radio Day celebrated on 13 February


World Radio Day is celebrated on 13 February each year to recognize radio as a powerful medium, which brings people together from every corner of the globe, to promote diversity and help build a more peaceful and inclusive world.  The day was Proclaimed in 2011 by the Member States of UNESCO and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012 as an International Day, February 13 became World Radio Day (WRD).


National Women’s Day of India 2022


Indian National Women’s Day is observed every year on 13 February to commemorate the birth anniversary of Sarojini Naidu. This year Nation celebrates its 143rd Birth Anniversary.  She was born on February 13, 1879. She was famous for her nickname ‘Nightingale of India’ or ‘Bharat Kokila’ because of her poems. Sarojini Naidu is well-known across the globe for her contributions to literature.  Sarojini Naidu, born in Hyderabad and educated in Cambridge was the powerful face of Women in the Indian Independence struggle.  Anti-imperialistic, Universal Suffragist, Women rights activist Mrs. Naidu paved the path for women’s movements in India.  Indian Nightangle Sarojini Naidu shines both as an activist and as a poet.  In 1925 Sarojini Naidu became the president of the Indian National Congress.  Sarojini Naidu was one of the forefront leaders who led the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement.  When she graces the United Provinces as Governor in 1947, she rewrites the history by becoming the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.  For Women’s Rights, suffrage and representation in organizations and assemblies she established the Women’s India Association in 1917.


National Productivity Day observed on 13th February 2022


National Productivity Day is observed every year in India on February 12. The objective of the National Productivity Council is to stimulate and promote productivity and quality consciousness across all sectors in the country.  The main observance of the day is to encourage all stakeholders in the implementation of productivity tools and techniques with contemporary relevant themes.  The day is celebrated by the National Productivity Council (NPC) to promote productivity culture in India. National Productivity Council (NPC) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Government of India is a premier institution for propagating productivity movement in India.  NPC works for providing solutions towards accelerating productivity, enhancing competitiveness, increasing productivity.


Obituaries News


Nobel-Winning Co-Discoverer of H.I.V Luc Montagnier passes away


Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who shared a Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the virus that causes AIDS, passed away. He was 89. The discovery of H.I.V. began in Paris on Jan. 3, 1983.  That was the day that Dr. Montagnier (pronounced mon-tan-YAY), who directed the Viral Oncology Unit at the Pasteur Institute, received a piece of the lymph node that had been removed from a 33-year-old man with AIDS. 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

13 FEBRUARY 2022

NATIONAL


Countdown begins for ISRO'S first launch mission of 2022 scheduled for tomorrow

The countdown for the launch of PSLV-C52 that's carrying three satellites, began on Sunday morning. Scheduled for Monday at 5:59 am, this will be the space agency's first launch mission of 2022. The launch vehicle will take off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.


Govt extends police modernisation scheme with ₹26,275 crore outlay

The Union Home Ministry has approved the continuation of the Modernisation of State Police Forces scheme for five years up to 2025-26 with an outlay of ₹26,275 crore. The Ministry said the scheme includes security-related expenditure in Jammu and Kashmir, northeastern states and Maoists-affected areas. The scheme also aims to raise new battalions and develop high-tech forensic labs.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL


Bank freezes accounts that received C$1.4 mn for protests in Canada

The Toronto-Dominion Bank has frozen two accounts after C$1.4 million (over ₹8.28 crore) was deposited in them to support the protests being held in the country against coronavirus measures, a bank spokesperson said on Saturday. The Canada-based bank applied to a court on Friday so that the funds could be either sent to the recipients or returned to the donors.


Vietnam to lift COVID-19 curbs on all global flights from Feb 15

Vietnam will end COVID-19 curbs on international flights with all markets from February 15, reported state-run newspaper, Tuoi Tre, on Sunday. Citing a government official, Tuoi Tre said frequency of flights will be restored to pre-pandemic level. This comes after Vietnam resumed flights with 15 markets as the year began. Meanwhile, Vietnam reported over 27,000 new cases on Saturday.


German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier elected for 2nd term

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected for a second term on Sunday by a special parliamentary assembly. Endorsed by most mainstream parties, Steinmeier won with a big majority. In his acceptance speech, Steinmeier vowed to protect democracy and warned of a potential war if Russia invades Ukraine. Earlier, Steinmeier served as Foreign Minister under Former Chancellor Angela Merkel.

 

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


ED arrests Hyd jeweller under PMLA in loan fraud case of ₹67 crore

Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested Hyderabad-based Ghanshyamdas Gems and Jewels' Managing Partner Sanjay Agarwal in loan fraud case, ED said on Sunday. Agarwal was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002, in which State Bank of India (SBI) Hyderabad, suffered a loss of ₹67 crore. Kumar has been remanded to judicial custody for 15 days, ED said.


Import duty on crude palm oil cut to 5.5% to cool edible oil prices

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) reduced the effective duty on crude palm oil import from 8.25% to 5.5%. CBIC aims to control cooking oil prices and support domestic processing companies with this move. Effective from Sunday, CBIC has cut agri infra development cess to 5% and extended reduced import duty on crude oils by six months.


No e-comm firm has been found guilty of predatory pricing yet: MoS

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has received certain complaints against e-commerce companies alleging predatory pricing but it has not found any company guilty so far, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Som Parkash, said. "Imposition of unfair or discriminatory prices...by a dominant enterprise or group is prohibited under provisions of...Competition Act, 2002," he added.


5G spectrum auction expected to be held in May: Telecom Secretary

Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman told PTI the 5G spectrum auction is expected to be held in May this year. "Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has indicated that they will send it (recommendations on rules regarding the sale process) by March," Rajaraman said. He added that it will take the department two months to start the auction after getting those recommendations.

 


Only 5 of 15 MSME technology centres completed since 2015: Govt data

Only 5 out of 15 proposed MSME technology centres (TCs) have been completed in the last seven years, government data showed. The TCs were proposed under the Technology Centre Systems Programme (TCSP) and were due to be completed by 2020-21. Work at five TCs at Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Pudi (Andhra Pradesh), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Rohtak (Haryana) and Puducherry was completed.

 


North Western Railway earns ₹205 crore by selling scrap

The North Western Railway (NWR) earned over ₹205 crore in the current financial year so far by selling scrap items, officials said on Saturday. The objective is to reach 'zero scrap' by the end of this financial year, the Chief Public Relations Officer said. The NWR had earned ₹202 crore during the same period last financial year, the official added.


SBI expects to recover ₹8,000 cr from written-off accounts in FY22

State Bank of India (SBI) is expecting to recover around ₹8,000 crore from written-off accounts, including from National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) resolved cases, in FY22. During the October-December quarter, SBI recovered ₹1,500 crore while between April-December 2021, it recovered ₹5,600 crore, SBI said. The bank's non-performing assets dropped from 4.9% in Q2 FY22 to 4.5% in Q3 FY22.


What is the ₹22,842 cr ABG Shipyard case, biggest bank fraud registered by CBI?

The CBI in its biggest bank fraud case booked Mumbai-based ABG Shipyard, its directors and ex-Chairman Rishi Kamlesh Agarwal for allegedly defrauding 28 banks, including SBI, of ₹22,842 crore. The company's loan account became an NPA in 2013. An E&Y forensic audit report in 2019 identified fraud and attributed it to diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.


LIC's embedded value set at ₹5.39 lakh crore

y

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on Sunday filed the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with SEBI for an IPO. The draft papers revealed that LIC's embedded value stood at ₹5,39,686 crore as on September 30, 2021. The embedded value of a life insurance company represents the sum of present value of future profits and the net value of assets.


LIC reserves up to 10% of issue size for policyholders in its IPO

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has decided to reserve a maximum of 10% and 5% of its IPO issue size of 31.6 crore shares for policyholders and employees respectively. The quantum of discount on the share price will be announced later. Policyholders who fail to update their PAN details by February 28 will not be eligible for this quota.

 

SPORTS
Who were the most expensive uncapped players in IPL mega auction?

short by Anmol Sharma / 10:50 pm on 13 Feb 2022,Sunday

Pacer Avesh Khan became the most expensive uncapped player in IPL history after being bought by LSG for ₹10 crore in IPL 2022 mega auction. All-rounders Shahrukh Khan and Rahul Tewatia were the joint second-most expensive uncapped players, being bought for ₹9 crore each by PBKS and GT respectively. Rahul Tripathi was bought by SRH for ₹8.50 crore.

 

OBITUARY


All men die, not all men truly live: Rajiv Bajaj's WhatsApp status after father's demise

Bajaj Auto MD Rajiv Bajaj, the son of industrialist Rahul Bajaj, paid tribute to his father in a WhatsApp status that read, "All men die, not all men truly live," Moneycontrol reported. Padma Bhushan awardee Rahul Bajaj passed away at the age of 83 on Saturday. He was cremated with full state honours in Pune on Sunday.

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14TH FEBRUARY 2022

 

National News

 

President Ram Nath Kovind inaugurates new Durbar Hall at Raj Bhavan

 

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind has inaugurated the Durbar Hall at Raj Bhavan, situated at Malabar Hill, Mumbai. While retaining the heritage features of the old court hall, the new hall has been given additional features such as a balcony and a sea view gallery.

Durbar Hall has political importance as it has been associated with oath-taking ceremonies of the Governors, chief ministers of the state.

Earlier, the inauguration of Durbar Hall was scheduled on December 8, 2021, but it was postponed due to the sudden demise of General Bipin Rawat, chief of defence staff in a helicopter crash.

Central Jail in Madhya Pradesh gets own FM radio channel

 

In Madhya Pradesh, the Central Jail of Indore has started its own radio channel 'Jail Vaani-FM 18.77'. Through this radio channel, the jail inmates will get to know about the happening in the world. The radio channel will also provide the jail inmates with information on health and social issues.

The radio station will act as a medium for prisoners to tell their own stories and also to share their experiences. The aim is to inform jail inmates about what is happening across the world. Jails with such innovative measures adopted for the reform of prisoners will certainly act as correctional institutions.

 

Madhya Pradesh Capital: Bhopal;

Madhya Pradesh Governor: Mangubhai C. Patel;

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister: Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates long Rail-cum-Road Bridge over River Ganga in Bihar

 

The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar jointly inaugurated the 14.5-kilometre long ‘Rail-cum-Road-Bridge’ in Bihar.

The much-awaited bridge is constructed over the River Ganga on NH 333B in Bihar’s Munger region. The cost of the ‘Rail-cum-Road-Bridge’ project is Rs 696 crore. The new bridge will reduce travel time, give a boost to tourism, agriculture as well as generate employment opportunities.

One of Bihar’s major tourist and pilgrimage sites, the city of Munger is well known for its rich ancient history, culture, education and commerce. With the construction of this Rail-cum-Road-Bridge, the distance from Munger to Khagaria will be less than 100 kilometres and also, the distance from Munger to Begusarai will be less than 20 kilometres.

 

Bihar Governor: Phagu Chauhan;

Bihar Capital: Patna;

Bihar Chief minister: Nitish Kumar.

 Maharashtra’s Health Minister announces "Hope Express" to prevent cancer

 

Maharashtra’s Health Minister, Rajesh Tope has announced that "Hope Express" will be launched in the state to prevent cancer.

This is the first such machine in India. He was speaking at the launch of a state-of-the-art Mosaic-3D radiation machine at a private hospital in Kolhapur.

The State Health Minister also promised to take initiative to start Hope Express in every district of the state through district planning.

The State Health Minister also promised to take initiative to start Hope Express in every district of the state through district planning. He also inaugurated the Oncoprime Cancer Center online at the Hattarki Hospital in Gadhinglaj. The centre will benefit patients in rural areas.

Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;

Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;

Maharashtra Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray.

 

 Krishi Network app named Pankaj Tripathi as its brand ambassador

 

Cultino Agrotech Pvt Ltd, which runs agritech app Krishi Network has roped in film actor Pankaj Tripathi as a brand ambassador, with a view to reaching out to farmers to its app. Tripathi's background as a farmer resonates with the platform’s aim to aid farmers to grow their profits by offering them solutions to critical decisions.

The app is currently available in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, and English, and is planned to be launched in other languages soon. The startup plans to use the fresh funds to boost their artificial intelligence-based technology platform across India.

Founded by IIT Kharagpur alumni Ashish Mishra and Siddhant Bhomia, Krishi Network leverages the growing rural internet penetration to create a platform that eases information accessibility for farmers and enables them to generate higher profits from their land.

Chairman of Supreme Court panel on Char Dham project Ravi Chopra resigns

 

Veteran environmentalist Ravi Chopra has resigned as chairman of the Supreme Court’s High Powered Committee (HPC) on the Char Dham project. His belief that the HPC could protect this fragile (Himalayan) ecology has been shattered.

The Supreme Court on December 14 allowed double-lane widening of roads for the project in view of “security concerns.”

In his resignation letter to the secretary-general of the Supreme Court on January 27, Chopra referred to the apex court’s December 2021 order that accepted the wider road configuration to meet defence needs, instead of what the HPC had recommended and the SC accepted in its earlier order in September 2020.

Debashis Mitra takes over as President of ICAI

 

Debashis Mitra has been elected as the President of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the year 2022-23. Mitra, who is serving his third term in ICAI Council, has been in the accounting profession for more than 34 years.

Apart from being a Chartered Accountant, he is also a Cost Accountant and a Company Secretary. He holds a master's degree in commerce and is also a law graduate as well as a qualified Information Systems Auditor.

Centre launches ‘SMILE’ scheme for Transgender community and the Beggars

 

The Union Minister for Social Justice & Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar has launched the Central Sector scheme titled “SMILE”. SMILE stands for Support for Marginalized Individuals for Livelihood and Enterprise.

The new umbrella scheme aims to provide welfare measures to the Transgender community and the people engaged in the act of begging.

The scheme will give the necessary legal protection, social security and a promise to a secured life to the targeted group. The Ministry has allocated Rs. 365 crore for the scheme for five years from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

The SMILE scheme comprises of two sub-schemes. These are:

 

‘Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation for Welfare of Transgender Persons’ and

Central Sector Scheme for Comprehensive Rehabilitation of engaged in the act of Begging’mbers and over 7 lakh students.


Himachal gets its first biodiversity park at Mandi’s Bhulah valley

Himachal Pradesh's first biodiversity park has come up at Mandi's Bhulah valley at a cost of ₹1 crore. The park aims to boost tourism activities and provide new opportunities for researchers to conduct in-depth exploration of various medicinal herbs found in the Himalayas. A herbal nursery has also been set up in the park.

 

International News
Hundreds of blackbirds drop dead on Mexico street, incident caught on CCTV

A security camera footage showed hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds crashing down from the sky and dying due to unknown reasons in Mexico. The bird carcasses were seen scattered across a street in Chihuahua. The migratory birds had arrived from northern Canada and were wintering in Mexico. It is speculated that the birds died due to the effects of high pollution.


Canada PM to use rare emergency powers to end truckers' protest: Reports

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau will invoke a rare emergency law to give the federal government extraordinary powers to deal with ongoing truckers' protests against the COVID-19 mandate, as per reports. However, Trudeau isn't expected to call in the military. The Emergencies Act was used by Trudeau's father in 1970 and was invoked twice during the two world wars.

 

 Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba named as interim President of Burkina Faso

 

In Burkina Faso, the military junta has appointed lieutenant colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba as the interim President of the country following the military coup. The 2022 Burkina Faso military coup took place on January 24, 2022, which was led by Damiba.

President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré and Prime Minister Lassina Zerbo were disposed from their position and the parliament, government and constitution were declared dissolved.

One of the world's poorest and most volatile countries, Burkina Faso is struggling with a jihadist campaign that has claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced around 1.5 million to flee their homes. The country has been suspended from the West African bloc ECOWAS, although it escaped sanctions following last week's restoration of the constitution.

 

Burkina Faso Capital: Ouagadougou;

Burkina Faso President: Roch Marc Christian Kaboré;

Burkina Faso Currency: West African CFA franc.

 

Banking , Business and Economy News


Not justified to say crypto ban will cause losses: RBI's Deputy Governor

RBI's Deputy Governor T Rabi Sankar termed the argument that banning cryptocurrencies would lead to a loss of wealth as "not justified". Giving three reasons, he said, "Investors can be provided with a reasonable exit". He added, "Cryptocurrency investors were fully aware of the risks," and "There's no data to justify the amount of investment or number of investors".

 

RBL Bank tie-up with Creditas Solutions for ‘Neo Collections’ platform

 

RBL Bank has partnered with Creditas Solutions for its ‘Neo Collections’ platform. The bank will utilise the SaaS-based platform to accelerate efficiency in collections across the loan cycle. The platform is built to automate strategies for reaching out to customers individually in an empathetic manner and motivate them to repay loans.

The platform can also determine the best course of action for every customer by offering customised payment plans to service debt, schedule an EMI plan or opt for payment resolution options. The Neo Collections Platform, a Do It Yourself (DIY) debt management platform, will help our customers seamlessly monitor, manage and pay their dues.

RBL Bank Founded: 1943;

RBL Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;

RBL Bank CEO & MD: Rajeev Ahuja;

RBL Bank Tagline: Apno Ka Bank.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/2022 report: India ranked 4th

 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2021/2022 report, unveiled at the Dubai Expo, India is among the top five easiest places to start a new business.

The survey of Indian respondents, who answered questions on their entrepreneurial activity, attitudes to enterprise and view of their local entrepreneurial ecosystem, found that 82% think it is easy to start a business, placing India fourth globally. It was topped by Saudi Arabia and followed by Netherlands & Sweden.

India has topped amongst low-income economies (according to GDP per capita) on different Entrepreneurial Framework Conditions such as Entrepreneurial Finance, Ease of Access to Finance, Government Policy: Support and Relevance; and Government Support: Taxes and Bureaucracy; while Government Entrepreneurial Programmes was ranked second highest.


Future Retail reports ₹1,063 cr net loss in Q3, 86.85% rise in revenue

Future Retail Limited (FRL) reported consolidated net loss of ₹1,063.36 crore in Q3 FY22 as compared with a net loss of ₹846.92 crore in Q3 FY21. The company's revenue in the October-December 2021 quarter jumped 86.85% YoY from ₹1,506.87 crore to ₹2,815.68 crore. FRL's total expenses rose 62.66% YoY from ₹2,391.43 crore to ₹3,890.02 crore in the reported quarte

 

 

Sports News

 

Rishabh Pant won ESPNcricinfo ‘Test Batting Award’ 2021

 

In the 15th Edition of ESPNcricinfo Awards, India’s wicketkeeper-batsman, Rishabh Pant wins the ‘Test Batting’ award by scoring 89 not out, helped India to win the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2021 by (2-1) and shattered Australia’s unbeaten record at Gabba after 32 years. Rishabh Pant was the top scorer of the series for the Indian team, scoring (274 runs).

Other awardee's:

 

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was adjudged ‘Captain of the Year’.

The Test bowling award went to Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand) for his 5 wickets leaving just 31 runs, which helped New Zealand in becoming the first World Test champions (2019-2021).

England fast bowler Ollie Robinson was named Debutant of the Year.

Saqib Mahmood’s 4 for 42 in a nine-wicket win over Pakistan got him the top ODI bowling prize.

Jos Buttler won the T20I batting award.

The ODI batting and T20I bowling awards went to Pakistan. Fakhar Zaman won the top batting prize. Shaheen Afridi won the T20I bowling award for his annihilation of India in the 10-wicket win for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

Important Days

 

 FICCI CASCADE launches ‘Anti-Smuggling Day’ 2022

 

The FICCI’s Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy (CASCADE) has taken the initiative to launch Anti-Smuggling Day, which will be marked on 11 February every year. The inaugural Anti-Smuggling Day is being observed on February 11, 2022.

Anti-Smuggling Day will gather momentum and bring together policymakers, international institutions, enforcement agencies, industry members, media, and consumers for their commitment to take action to fight against the global menace of smuggling.

'Anti-Smuggling Day' will represent a major step in the fight against the global menace of smuggling.

With no country immune to the impact of smuggling and no single sector can be said to be an exception, this day will highlight the mounting hazard of smuggling. It will not only call for attention for creating awareness on this issue, but will also evaluate what more needs to be done at a national and international level in mitigating this challenge.

 

FICCI Founded: 1927;

FICCI Headquarters: New Delhi;

FICCI President: Sanjiv Mehta;

FICCI Secretary General: Arun Chawla.

International Epilepsy Day 2022: February 14

 

International Epilepsy Day is observed every year on the Second Monday of February across the world.

In 2022, International Epilepsy Day falls on February 14, 2022. International Epilepsy Day seeks to raise awareness and educate the general public on the true facts about epilepsy and the urgent need for improved treatment, better care, and greater investment in research.

The day is organised jointly by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) to raise awareness about epilepsy and highlight the kinds of problems faced by victims, their friends and family. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that makes a person go through sudden and recurrent episodes of sensory disturbances.

 

International Bureau for Epilepsy President: Francesca Sofia;

International Bureau for Epilepsy established: 1961.

Obituaries News

 

Former Chairman of Bajaj Auto Rahul Bajaj passes away

 

Industrialist and former chairman of Bajaj Auto, Rahul Bajaj, has passed away, due to pneumonia and a heart problem. He was awarded the third-highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2001.

He was the chairman emeritus of the Indian conglomerate Bajaj Group, the parent company of Bajaj Auto. He stepped down as the non-executive chairman of Bajaj Auto in April 2021 and transferred the responsibility to Niraj Bajaj.

 

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15th February 2022

National News

 


Gurugram's first woman police commissioner takes charge today

Gurugram's first woman police commissioner, Kala Ramachandran, will take charge today after replacing KK Rao, who was transferred with immediate effect late on Sunday night. "The security of citizens from street crimes such as hooliganism, snatchings, eve-teasing and drunken driving and security of women and minors would remain a key priority," Ramachandran said. She is a 1994 batch IPS officer.

 

 

Saubhagya Scheme: Rajasthan tops solar electrification Scheme


Under the Saubhagya scheme, Rajasthan has the maximum number of households electrified through the solar-based standalone system. In hill states of Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir had nil beneficiaries under the initiative.  Under the Saubhagya Scheme, 2.817 crore households were electrified up to March 31 last year, including 4.16 lakh through solar-based standalone systems.  Under the Saubhagya scheme, as many as 1,23,682 households were electrified through the solar-based standalone system in Rajasthan, followed by Chhattisgarh (65,373), Uttar Pradesh (53,234), Assam (50,754), Bihar (39,100), Maharashtra (30,538), Odisha (13,735), Madhya Pradesh (12,651), Power Minister R K Singh told the Lok Sabha

 

Ilker Ayci named as MD and CEO of Air India


Ilker Ayci has been appointed as the new CEO and MD of Air India. He will assume his responsibilities on or before 1st April 2022. Ilker Ayci is a former chairman of Turkish Airlines. Ilker is an aviation industry leader who led Turkish Airlines to its current success during his tenure there.  Ayci was born in Istanbul in 1971. After graduating from the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Bilkent University, he served as a researcher in the Department of Political Sciences at Leeds University in the U.K.  Starting his career in 1994, he was assigned several positions in Kurtsan Ilaclar A.S., Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Universal Dis Ticaret A.S., respectively, and then he served as a general manager in Basak Sigorta A.S. between 2005-2006, and then in Gunes Sigorta A.S. between 2006 and 2011.

 


India to replace diesel by renewable energy in agriculture by 2024 


Union Power Minister R K Singh has announced that India will achieve zero-diesel use in agriculture and replace fossil fuel with renewable energy by 2024.  For this, states should develop action plans to achieve the assigned targets and specific agencies dedicated to energy efficiency and conservation.  This initiative is a part of the government’s commitment to increase the share of non-fossil fuels by 2030 and become a net-zero emitter by 2070.  Union minister chaired a virtual meeting with additional chief secretaries and principal secretaries of power in states for collaboration between the Central and state governments for achieving energy transition goals.


Indian Railways to set up country’s biggest Wrestling Academy


Ministry of Railways has approved to set up a state-of-art wrestling academy in Indian Railways, at Kishanganj, Delhi.  The wrestling academy will be the biggest in India and equipped with advanced training facilities to promote the sports of wrestling in the country. The project will be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 30.76 crores.  According to the ministry, the national transporter has played a key role in promoting wrestling in the country and most of the elite wrestlers in India are from Indian Railways.  The academy will offer the best sports facilities to sportspersons, and provide an opportunity for many budding wrestlers to become champions in the coming time.


International News


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invokes Emergencies Act for 1st time 


Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has invoked never-before-used emergency powers to support provinces in ending the blockades and public disorder that have gripped Ottawa for 18 days at the hands of participants in the so-called “Freedom Convoy.”  The demonstrations shut a main economic corridor between Canada and the United States for six days before it was reopened on the 13th Feb.  The Emergencies Act to deal with the "Freedom Convoy" protests, started on Jam 28 by Canadian truckers opposing a vaccinate-or-quarantine mandate for cross-border drivers.  They have turned into a rallying point for people opposed to a range of Trudeau's policies, including COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and a carbon tax.


Israel became first country to allow drones in civilian airspace 


Israel becomes the first-ever country to allow drone flights in civilian airspace. The certification was issued to the Hermes Starliner unmanned system by the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority and was manufactured and developed by Elbit Systems, an Israeli defence electronics company.  The UAVs will be used for the benefit of agriculture, the environment, public welfare, economic activity and against crime. For safety reasons, international aviation regulations prohibit uncertified aircraft from flying in civilian airspace, limiting the operation of UAVs to unsegregated airspace.

 

Germany re-elects President Frank-Walter Steinmeier for second term


German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has been re-elected for a second term of five years by a special parliamentary assembly. This is also the final term for Steinmeier, which he won with 71% of the vote.  The special assembly was made up of the members of parliament of the lower house and representatives of Germany’s 16 states. Steinmeier was first elected as the president on February 12, 2017, with 74% of the vote.  Before first becoming president in 2017, Steinmeier, 66, served two stints as Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign minister and earlier was chief of staff to Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.  Germany's president has little executive power but is considered an important moral authority. After a messy parliamentary election result in 2017, Steinmeier helped prod politicians to form a new coalition government rather than holding out for a new vote.

 


Willing to surrender: Ex-Honduran Prez amid US extradition requests

Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández said on Tuesday that he is willing to cooperate with national police, hours after the US sought his arrest and extradition. Hernández, who has been accused of colluding with drug traffickers, said that he is ready to "voluntarily arrive" and "defend" himself in Honduran Supreme Court. The court will decide on US' extradition request.




Italy bans unvaccinated Italians aged 50 and above from workplaces

Italian government said all unvaccinated citizens aged 50 and above will be banned from workplaces starting Tuesday. This comes after cabinet approved mandatory vaccination rule for citizens over 50. As per the rule, unvaccinated workers will be required to furnish a "reinforced" green pass proving vaccination at workplaces, failing which they will face wage cuts and fines up to $1,700.


BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


SEBI makes separation of Chairperson and MD, CEO's role voluntary

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Tuesday said provision for separation of roles of a listed company's Chairperson and Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer is applicable on a "voluntary basis". The regulator had earlier mandated the separation of the role of Chairperson and MD/CEO of listed compani to be applicable from April 1, 2022.

 


Reliance Jio ties up with SES for satellite-based broadband service 


Reliance Jio has tied up with Luxembourg-based satellite and telecom services provider SES to provide satellite-based broadband communication services in India. Under the agreement, Jio Platforms has formed a joint venture with SES, named as Jio Space Technology Ltd.  The joint venture will deliver the next generation scalable and affordable broadband services in India, leveraging satellite technology. Jio Platforms Ltd will hold 51 per cent and SES will own a 49 per cent equity stake in the joint venture. The total value of the contract is around $100 million.


Initiate next gen reforms to improve ease of doing business: FM to SEBI

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to initiate next generation reforms to improve India's ease of doing business. Further, she asked SEBI to "be prepared for the possible market turbulence on account of US Federal Reserve's actions". Sitharaman also appreciated the regulator's initiatives to strengthen investor protection


Paisabazaar & RBL bank tie-up to offer ‘Paisa on Demand’ credit card 


Paisabazaar.com, a digital platform for consumer credit, has partnered with RBL Bank Limited to offer ‘Paisa on Demand’ (PoD), a credit card that will be exclusively available on the Paisabazaar platform.  To build products that offer integrated services for the large under-served segments across India. This is the third product under Paisabazaar’s neo-lending strategy.  The credit card from RBL Bank will be lifetime free with a digital onboarding process. It provides options of availing of personal loans from RBL Bank, using the same credit limit at normal personal loan rates to customers.  Along with features of a credit card, the product will provide customers the option of availing personal loans from RBL Bank, using the same credit limit at normal personal loan rates.

 


Zoho reports ₹1,918 cr profit, ₹5,230 cr revenue in FY21: Reports

Zoho reported a profit of ₹1,918 crore in FY21, a 139.5% YoY increase from ₹800.8 crore, Entrackr reported. Its operational revenue grew by 22.3% YoY from ₹4,274 crore in FY20 to ₹5,230 crore in FY21 while its employee benefit expenses rose 58.4% YoY to ₹1,725 crore. The United States continued to be Zoho's biggest market with a 42.7% share.


Lookout circular against ABG Shipyard Directors in India's biggest bank fraud case

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has issued a lookout circular against ABG Shipyard Directors in India's biggest bank fraud case to ensure they do not leave the country. The company allegedly cheated a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) of ₹22,842 crore. According to CBI's complaint, ABG Shipyard owes ₹7,089 crore to ICICI Bank.



Talent crunch is real: Wipro's Rishad Premji on tech industry

Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji took to Twitter to acknowledge the talent crunch in technology industry. "The technology industry in India now employs over 5 million people and added 450,000 new jobs this year...yet the talent crunch is real!" Premji wrote in a tweet quoting NASSCOM's annual strategic review. He further said this presents a great opportunity for new job creation.

 


CBI finds India’s biggest bank fraud of Rs 22,842 cr, books ABG Shipyard


Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked ABG Shipyard for an alleged Rs 22,842-crore financial fraud. ABG Shipyard is the flagship entity of ABG Group. It has cheated a consortium of 28 banks and financial institutions of Rs. 22,842 crore.  This is the biggest bank fraud case ever registered by the CBI. The case pertained to funds gotten and misused during the 2012-17 period. Rishi Agarwal, the then CMD of ABG Shipyard has been named in the FIR.  This consortium was led by ICICI Bank. Of this, ABG Shipyard owes Rs. 7,089 crore to ICICI Bank, Rs. 3,639 crores to IDBI Bank, Rs. 2,925 crores to State Bank, Rs. 1,614 crores to Bank of Baroda, and Rs. 1,244 crore to Punjab National Bank, among others.  The Funds given by these banks were used by the executives of ABG Shipyard for purposes other than for which they were given and they were engaged in diversion of funds, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust. The same has been revealed in a report submitted by M/s. Ernst & Young LP.


BoB will acquire Union Bank’s stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance


Bank of Baroda will acquire Union Bank of India’s 21% stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company. It is a joint venture between the Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, and Carmel Point Investments.  At present, the shareholding in IFIC is BoB holds 44%, Carmel Point Investments India holds 26% and UBI holds 30%. The acquisition is pursuant to a ‘Right of First Offer’ made by UBI to the existing shareholders of IndiaFirst Life, to divest 21% of its stake in IndiaFirst Life.  IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company will continue to have a long term agency distribution agreements with both banks (BOB and UBI), even after this stake sale.  Bank of Baroda has a strong domestic presence spanning 8,185 branches and 11,535 ATMs and cash recyclers supported by self-service channels. The bank has a significant international presence with a network of 96 overseas offices spanning 18 countries.



Science and Technology News


ISRO successfully launches earth observation satellite, EOS-04


Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched an Earth Observation Satellite, EOS-04 and two small satellites into the intended orbit. This was the first launch mission of ISRO in the year 2022.  The satellites were launched onboard the launch vehicle PSLV-C52 rocket from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.  EOS-04 is a Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) designed to provide high-quality images under all weather conditions for applications such as agriculture, forestry, and plantations, flood mapping, soil moisture & hydrology.  The satellite weighs about 1710 kg. It can generate 2280 W power. It has a mission life of 10 years.


Books and Authors News


A book titled ‘How to Prevent the Next Pandemic’ by Bill Gates


A book titled ‘How to Prevent the Next Pandemic’ has authored by Bill Gates will be published this year in May 2022.  In the book Bill Gates has written about specific steps that can only stop future pandemics but, in the process, provide better health care for everyone around the world.  His last book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need”, was released in February 2021. The book, to be published by Penguin Random House internationally and Knopf in the US.

 

 

SPORTS
Sourav Ganguly lays foundation stone for new NCA in Bengaluru

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Secretary Jay Shah on Monday laid the foundation stone for India's new National Cricket Academy In Bengaluru. Sharing the pictures of the same, Ganguly tweeted, "The new National Cricket Academy starts from today..laid the foundation stone of...new place today in Bengaluru." The new facility will reportedly have three grounds where domestic matches can be held.

 

 

 Gita Mittal appointed as chairperson of Committee of Administrators to run TTFI


The Delhi High Court has appointed former Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Gita Mittal as the Chairperson of the Committee of Administrators which will run the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).  The court ordered that all communications on behalf of TTFI with any sportsperson or international sports bodies, will now take place only through the Committee of Administrators and the existing office bearers shall no longer be entitled to discharge any functions.  The office bearers will help the Committee of Administrators, as and when requested and a monthly honorarium of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh each will be paid to Chairperson and two members, respectively.

OBITUARY


Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, accused in 2021 Red Fort violence, dies in road accident

Punjabi actor-activist Deep Sidhu died in a road accident near Sonipat in Haryana on Tuesday. As per the police, a female friend who was with Sidhu has sustained injuries. Sidhu was earlier named as an accused in the Red Fort violence that took place last year during a tractor rally led by protesting farmers against the Centre's agricultural laws.


Veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee passes away aged 90 after cardiac arrest

Veteran singer Sandhya Mukherjee passed away on Tuesday at the age of 90. She was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata with critical health issues. Mukherjee was hospitalised in the last week of January and hospital sources told PTI that she passed away after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

16th February 2022

National News

 


94-yr-old contests TN local body polls, says 'can get work done myself'

A 94-year-old woman in Chennai is contesting the upcoming Tamil Nadu local body polls as an independent candidate. "Instead of waiting for officials to solve our problems, I thought I could jump into the fray and get the work done myself," Kamakshi Subramaniyan said. "What am I going to do with the money? Vote for me," she urged people.

 


Haryana removes all COVID-19 restrictions amid dip in cases

The Haryana Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday issued an order saying that all restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have been lifted in the state. "However, the residents of the state are advised to strictly follow COVID-19 appropriate behavioural norms including social distancing," the order read. Earlier, the Central government asked states and UTs to review curbs amid declining cases.


Ratan Tata honoured with Assam's highest civilian award; CM shares pics

Tata Trusts Chairman Ratan Tata was on Wednesday honoured with Assam's highest civilian award, 'Assam Baibhav', by Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. "The visionary industrialist and philanthropist has made exceptional contribution towards furthering cancer care in Assam," the Assam CM said. The award carries a citation, a medal and a cash amount of ₹5 lakh.


Govt of India bans 54 apps of Chinese origin 


The government of India has banned 54 apps of Chinese origin citing security concerns. The apps include Sea Ltd.’s marquee game Free Fire and other apps related to tech firms like Tencent, Alibaba and NetEase.  The apps were banned by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology are re-branded versions of apps banned by India in 2020. Free Fire is often compared with PUBG. It is among the world’s most popular mobile games.  Under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 provides government power to issue directions for blocking public access of any information through any computer resource. This section allows the government to block websites.


GoI reduces agri-cess for Crude Palm Oil from 7.5 percent to 5 percent


With a view to provide further relief to consumers and to keep in check any further rise in the prices of domestic edible oils, the Centre has reduced the agri-cess for Crude Palm Oil from 7.5 per cent to 5 per cent.  The current basic rate of import duty of zero per cent on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean oil, and Crude Sunflower Oil up to the 30th of September this year. This will give relief to consumers and prevent a further rise in the price of domestic edible oils.  The 12.5 per cent import duty on refined palm oils, 17.5 per cent on refined soyabean oil, and 17.5 per cent on refined sunflower oil will continue in effect until September 30, 2022. Furthermore, under the Essential Commodities Act of 1955, the government has set stock limit levels on edible oils and oilseeds up to June 30th of this year.

 


GoI allocates Rs 2.26 Crores for Telangana’s Medaram Jatara Festival 2022 


The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, has sanctioned Rs. 2.26 Crores for Medaram Jatara 2022 Festival in Telangana. In 2022, the festival is being held from February 16 to 19, 2022.  Medaram Jatara is the second-largest fair in India, after the Kumbh Mela. Medaram Jatara is conducted in honour of the Goddesses Sammakka and Saralamma. It was declared a State Festival in 1998.  The four-day tribal festival is celebrated once in two years in the month of “Magha” (February) on the full moon day, in Medaram Village of Mulugu district in Telangana.  The festival is organised by the second-largest Tribal Community of Telangana, the Koya tribe, in collaboration with the Tribal Welfare Department, Government of Telangana.


Maru Mahotsav or Jaisalmer Desert Festival celebrated in Rajasthan 


The renowned Jaisalmer Desert Festival, also known as Maru Mahotsav of the Golden City started from 13 to 16 February 2022 at Pokaran village in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. It is a four-day-long annual event started with a colorful grand procession followed by Miss Pokaran and Mister Pokran competitions. Regional folk dances such as Kalbelia, Kachhi Ghodi, Gair will be performed.  Rajasthan Minority Affairs Minister, Shale Mohammad flagged off the event. The festival is celebrated amidst the beautiful dunes of the Thar Desert in the Sam dunes (42 kilometres from Jaisalmer).




IAS Officer Vineet Joshi named as Chairman of CBSE 


IAS Vineet Joshi has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). He replaces IAS Manoj Ahuja, who has been appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) in the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.  Mr Joshi, a 1992-batch IAS officer of the Manipur cadre, is an Additional Secretary, Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Education. He is also the Director-General of the National Testing Agency (NTA). In 2010 as well he got the responsibility of CBSE chairman.


Banking , Business and Economy


FM Sitharaman launches first colour souvenir coin on 'Panchtantra'


Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has launched the first colour souvenir coin on 'Panchtantra' on the occasion of the 17th foundation day of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL).  The finance minister in her address stressed on upskilling and acquiring new skills, and up-gradation to meet the technology-driven economy. Further, she emphasized on ramping up the quality of products and to brand SPMCIL as lead producers of currency and other sovereign products.




Retail inflation rose to 6.01% in January, just above RBI’s upper limit


India’s retail inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), accelerated to 6.01% in the month of January, breaching the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tolerance band of 6%, albeit marginally.  The surge in inflation print was driven by higher consumer goods and telecom prices along with a comparatively low rate a year ago. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) was 5.66% in the preceding month of December.  The Central bank’s monetary policy has been given the mandate to maintain annual inflation at 4% until March 31, 2026, with an upper tolerance of 6% and a lower tolerance of 2%.



MoSPI projected GDP deflator forecast for FY23 at 3-3.5% 


Ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI) has projected India’s gross domestic product (GDP) deflator for FY23 at 3 to 3.5%.  The Government’s own projection on real GDP growth for FY23 is at 7.6-8.1% and the union budget projected nominal GDP growth rate to be 11.1% for FY23. GDP Projection in the Budget is based on advance estimates of the ‘National Statistical Office’ (NSO).  Economic Survey 2021-22 projected a real GDP growth rate of 8-8.5 per cent in FY23. RBI projected India’s real GDP growth of 7.8 per cent in FY23 and retail inflation of 4.5 per cent for FY23. The GDP deflator, or implicit price deflator, is a measure of inflation and is the difference between nominal GDP and real GDP.



Infosys to hire 55,000 or more freshers in FY23: CEO Salil Parekh

Infosys CEO Salil Parekh said, "We will recruit 55,000 college graduates in this financial year, and we will hire that or a higher number next year." Of the 55,000 people Infosys is hiring this year, 52,000 are from India. Parekh added, "We want to reskill our employees and make them career-ready for what they can do with the new technologies."

 


RBI cancels Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank's licence citing weak financials

short by Ashley Paul / 08:46 pm on 16 Feb 2022,Wednesday

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday cancelled Mantha Urban Cooperative Bank's licence citing inadequate capital and earning prospects and asked it to cease banking operations from February 16. RBI has requested Maharashtra's Cooperation Commissioner to issue an order for winding up the bank. The continuance of the bank is prejudicial to the interests of its depositors, RBI said.


RailTel gets ICAI award for excellence in financial reporting


RailTel has bagged the ICAI award for excellence in financial reporting for the year 2020-21 in Public Sector Entities Category. The company was adjudged as the winner in the category “plaque”.  Financial Reporting includes the preparation and presentation of financial information. Effective Financial Reporting plays a significant role in accelerating the economic growth of a country as the information provided through annual reports enables the management and other relevant stakeholders in taking various effective business, investment, regulatory decisions.  The award was given by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), the premier accounting body which has been holding the annual competition for these awards since 1958. This award has been instituted with a view to promote better standards in the preparation and presentation of information in the financial statements.


ICICI Bank's Sandeep Bakhshi named Business Standard Banker of the Year 2020-21


Sandeep Bakhshi has been named the Business Standard Banker of the Year 2020-21. He is the managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO) of ICICI Bank.  The winner was chosen by a jury of 5 members chaired by former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor S S Mundra. For 2020-21, ICICI Bank reported a net profit of Rs 16,193 crore against Rs 7,931 crore during the previous financial year.


The criteria used for selecting the contenders were the following:


Banks with an asset size of Rs 50,000 crore and above as of March 2021.  10 per cent or more growth in profits prior to provisioning in the past one-, two- and three-year periods. Only 10 banks qualified, and that was further brought down to seven.


Science and Technology News


Indian mining major Vedanta to manufacture semiconductors in India


The Indian mining major Vedanta has tied up with Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company, Hon Hai Technology Group (better known as Foxconn) to form a joint venture (JV) for manufacturing semiconductors in India. Anil Agarwal, the non-executive Chairman of Vedanta, will be the Chairman of the JV company.  This is the first JV in the electronics manufacturing sector after the government announced a Rs 76,000 crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for semiconductor and display manufacturing, to create an ecosystem of local production of semiconductors in India. Vedanta will be the majority shareholder in the JV while Foxconn will hold minority share.


Sports News


India defeat West Indies to win 7th T20I in a row, equal their record

India defeated West Indies by 6 wickets in the first T20I against West Indies on Wednesday. With this, India equalled their record for winning seven T20I matches in a row. Afghanistan and Romania jointly hold the record for winning most consecutive T20Is at 12 each. The first T20I witnessed leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi register bowling figures of 4-0-17-2 on his debut.

 

 


Keegan Petersen, Heather Knight ICC players of the month for January


South Africa's Test sensation Keegan Petersen and England women's team captain Heather Knight were voted ICC Players of the Month for January 2022.  In the men’s category, South African batter Keegan Petersen was a sensation during the home Test series against India. He ended the series as the highest run-scorer with 276 runs and was named the Player of the Series.  For the women’s award, England skipper Knight beat off competition from Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu and West Indies star Deandra Dottin to be named ICC Player of the Month for January 2022. Knight captained England in the one-off Ashes Test against Australia in Canberra and finished as the highest run-getter.


Important Days


International Childhood Cancer Day 2022


Every year, February 15 is observed as International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) to raise awareness about the evil that entails this issue and the ways to deal with the same.  The day is a global collaborative campaign to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, the survivors and their families.  This annual event was created in 2002 by Childhood Cancer International, a global network of 176 parent organizations, childhood cancer survivor associations, childhood cancer support groups, and cancer societies, in over 93 countries, across 5 continents.


Obituaries News


Legendary singer and music composer Bappi Lahiri passes away


Veteran singer and composer, Bappi Lahiri has passed away at the age of 69. He was lovingly called Bappi Da in the industry is known for delivering iconic songs in several films of the late 1970s-80s like Chalte Chalte, Disco Dancer, and Sharaabi.  His last Bollywood song was Bhankas for the 2020 film Baaghi 3. The singer is known for his gold chains. His real name was Alokesh Lahiri. He joined BJP in 2014. He was declared a BJP candidate from Srerampur (Lok Sabha constituency) in West Bengal for the 2014 Indian general election and lost.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

17th February 2022

 

NATIONAL NEWS
Insurance cover of up to ₹5 lakh for fishermen: BJP in poll-bound Manipur

BJP chief JP Nadda and Manipur CM N Biren Singh on Thursday released the party's manifesto for the upcoming state Assembly elections. In the manifesto, BJP promised that free of cost accidental insurance of up to ₹5,00,000 will be provided to all fishermen in Manipur. Besides, it promised to increase the monthly pension of senior citizens from ₹200 to ₹1,000.
Hyd's trade exhibition 'Numaish' to reopen for public on Feb 25

Hyderabad's annual trade exhibition 'Numaish' will reopen for the public on February 25 in view of declining COVID-19 cases. The fair was abruptly shut down a day after its inauguration on January 1 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. It will be held from 4 pm to 10.30 pm on weekdays and 4 pm to 11 pm on weekends.

Bihar ropes in Manoj Tiwari as brand ambassador for Khadi


Bhojpuri singer and BJP MP, Manoj Tiwari will be the brand ambassador of Khadi and other handicrafts of Bihar. He will be the “brand ambassador” for Khadi and other handicrafts of Bihar, state minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain announced.  Manoj Tiwari will promote the use of Khadi fabric, which was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi during India’s Independence movement. Tiwari, who has lent his voice to innumerable foot-tapping numbers, including the “Gangs of Wasseypur” chartbuster “Jiya ho Bihar ke lala”.

 

 

 

International News

 


Coup leader Damiba sworn in as Burkina Faso's President

Weeks after leading the coup in Burkina Faso, Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was sworn in as the President of the country. In a televised ceremony, Damiba vowed to "preserve, respect, uphold and defend the Constitution". He also paid tribute to "Burkinabe people, who have been enduring the scars of terrorism for more than six years."

 


World Health Organisation launches Quit Tobacco App 


World Health Organization (WHO) South-East Asia Region (SEAR) has launched a ‘Quit Tobacco App’. This application helps people to give up the use of tobacco in all forms, including smokeless and other newer products.  The App was launched by Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO-SEAR, during WHO’s year-long ‘Commit to quit’ campaign, is the latest tobacco control initiative by the WHO South-East Asia Region.  The app, the first such by WHO, and the first that targets all forms of tobacco, helps users to identify the triggers, set their targets, manage cravings, and stay focused to quit tobacco.  Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death and kills nearly 8 million persons every year. It claims 1.6 million lives in the WHO South-East Asia Region which is amongst the largest producers and consumers of tobacco products.






Banking,  Business and Economy


Yes Bank launches ‘Agri Infinity’ programme


Private sector lender, Yes Bank has launched an ‘Agri Infinity’ programme for digital financing solutions in the food and agriculture sector ecosystem by mentoring entrepreneurial ventures in this field.  Agri-fintech start-ups working on financial innovations across the food and agriculture value chain are eligible to apply under this programme and can work with Yes Bank for digital solutions.  Through the initiative, a select cohort of startups will not only receive mentoring by veteran bankers for experiential co-development but also get access to YES BANK’s digital banking infrastructure and network, collaborative opportunities to pilot new solutions and fundraising advisory.  Those involved in originations, farmer on-boarding, farmer KYC, credit scoring, risk assessment, monitoring and mitigation, disbursement and recovery solutions and cash management system, among others, can apply.

 


India's largest FMCG company HUL hikes prices twice in 2 months

Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), India's largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, has undertaken another round of price hikes across product categories. This is the second price hike by the company in two months. The move is in line with the management's commentary after December quarter earnings, wherein it indicated "calibrated price hikes" as it expected higher input price inflation.

 


India, UAE may sign free trade agreement on Feb 18: Reports

India and UAE may reportedly sign a proposed free trade agreement, which would give both countries duty-free access to a number of products from different sectors, on February 18. PM Narendra Modi and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi will hold a Virtual Summit on Friday. This would be second such agreement to be signed by the current government.


Housing prices rise by 6%, sales rise by 7% in B'luru in 2021: Report

According to a report by property brokerage firm PropTiger.com, the housing prices increased by 6% in Bengaluru in 2021. The report 'Real Insight Residential- Annual Round-up 2021' further stated that the housing sales increased by 7% in Bengaluru last year. "It seems very likely that we will see an increase in prices in 2022," said Rajan Sood, PropTiger.com's Business Head.


50% of our staff from India, country's role growing: Capgemini CEO

Over 50% staff in Capgemini are from India and the nation's role in the company is only growing as it becomes a big centre of innovation, said the French IT firm CEO Aiman Ezzat. As of December 2021, the company's total headcount stood at 324,700. "In future, there will probably be more Indian senior executives overall in Capgemini,'' he added.


India's wholesale inflation declines to 12.96% in January


India’s wholesale inflation has eased to 12.96 % in January from 13.56 % in the previous month. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation has declined consistently in recent months.  It fell from 14.87 % in November 2021 to 13.56 % in December 2021 and further to 12.96 % in January 2022. However, inflation still remains at an elevated level and is a matter of concern for economic policymakers.  The high rate of inflation in January 2022 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, crude petroleum & natural gas, basic metals, chemicals, and chemical products, food articles etc as compared the corresponding month of the previous year”.  Wholesale food inflation hardened during the month of January. The rate of inflation based on the WPI Food Index increased marginally from 9.24 % in December 2021 to 9.55 % in January 2022.  Prices of Minerals rose by 11.08 % and non-food articles became costlier by 0.37 % in January 2022 as compared to December 2021.



Jio Platforms picks up 25% stake in US-based tech startup TWO Platforms 


Jio Platforms has picked up a 25% stake in US-based deep-tech startup company TWO Platforms for $15 million. Two Platforms is an artificial reality company that focuses on building interactive and immersive AI experiences.  The two companies have joined hands to fast track the adoption of new technologies and build disruptive technologies such as AI, metaverse and mixed realities. TWO’s platform enables real-time AI voice and video calls, digital humans, immersive spaces and lifelike gaming.  It plans to bring its interactive AI technologies first to consumer applications followed by entertainment and gaming, as well as enterprise solutions including retail, services, education, health and wellness. The platform was founded by Indian-origin computer scientist Pranav Mistry.



Sebi makes provision of separation of chairperson & MD/CEO roles voluntary 


Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) board has decided to make provision for separation of the roles of chairperson and MD/CEO as 'voluntary' against 'mandatory' earlier.  The market regulator had in June 2017 set up a committee on corporate governance under Uday Kotak with a view to seek recommendations to further enhance corporate governance norms for listed companies.  One of the recommendations that the Committee came out with was the separation of the roles of chairperson and MD/CEO of listed companies. This was proposed to provide a better and more balanced governance structure by enabling more effective and objective supervision of the management. The Sebi board, in its meeting in March 2018 approved the proposal for the top 500-listed entities. Later the deadline for compliance was extended by two years in January 2020.


Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge browsers' version '100' release may break websites

Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Edge browsers are about to hit version 100 and the triple release is expected to break many websites. The versions may result in bugs or compatibility issues on some websites that aren't ready to read triple-digit user-agent strings. "When browsers first reached version 10 over 12 years ago, many issues were discovered," Mozilla said.

 

 

 


CBI questions ex-ABG Shipyard CMD in India's biggest bank fraud case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently questioned former ABG Shipyard Chairman and MD Rishi Agarwal in connection with its probe into the country's largest bank fraud case. CBI has also issued lookout circulars against Directors of the company to ensure they do not leave the country. ABG Shipyard allegedly cheated a consortium of banks of ₹22,842 crore.


President of B'luru's Raghavendra Bank arrested in money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested K Ramakrishna, the President of a Bengaluru-based cooperative bank, Sri Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha, in a money-laundering case. The case is linked to the alleged misappropriation of public funds worth ₹1,000 crore. ED alleged the bank officials siphoned off the money deposited by the public. They reportedly cheated over 40,000 depositors.

 


Summits and Conferences News


Union Minister RK Singh co-chairs 4th India-Australia Energy Dialogue


The 4th India-Australia Energy Dialogue was co-chaired by Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy, RK Singh and Australian Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor.  Energy Transition was a major area of discussion in the dialogue and both the Energy Ministers. Energy Transition activities in their respective countries with a focus on renewables, energy efficiency, storage, EVs, critical minerals, mining etc.  The need of Climate Finance was also highlighted by India for meeting the Energy Transition goals of developing countries. Both the countries signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for working towards reducing the cost of new and renewable energy technologies and scaling up their deployment to reduce global emissions.


GoI forms G20 Secretariat in view India’s G20 Presidency


India will hold the Presidency of the G20 from 1 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 and the G20 Summit will be held in India in 2023 (18th edition). For its preparation, the government has approved the setting up of a G20 Secretariat and its reporting structures.  The G20 Secretariat will be guided by an Apex Committee headed by Prime Minister and it will have the following members: Finance Minister: Nirmala Sitharaman, Home Minister: Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister: S. Jaishankar, and G20 Sherpa: Piyush Goyal.  The G20 secretariat will be responsible for the implementation of overall policy decisions and arrangements needed for steering India’s forthcoming G20 Presidency. In 2021, the G20 summits was held in Rome, Italy. In 2022 the G20 summit will be held in Bali, Indonesia while in 2023 it will be held in New Delhi, India.


TERI’s World Sustainable Development Summit begins


The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has delivered the inaugural address at The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) World Sustainable Development Summit.  Mr Luis Abinader, President of the Dominican Republic, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Ms Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations and Union Minister Shri Bhupender Yadav were among those present on the occasion.  The 21st edition of WSDS is scheduled from 16th-18th February 2022. The theme for this year's summit is Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future.  The Prime Minister recalled that Environment and sustainable development have




Schemes and Conferences News


Social Justice Ministry launches Scheme for Economic Empowerment of DNTs


Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Dr Virendra Kumar has launched a central sector scheme named the Scheme for Economic Empowerment for DNTs, (SEED) at Dr Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi.  The total financial outlay for SEED Scheme is approximately Rs 200 crore to be spent over a period of 5 years starting Financial Year 2021-22 to 2025-26.  The objective of SEED is the welfare of De-notified, Nomadic and Semi Nomadic tribal Communities (DNT/NT/SNT), which are the most neglected, marginalized and economically and socially deprived communities.


The scheme will have the following four components:


To provide coaching of good quality for DNT/NT/SNT candidates to enable them to appear in competitive examinations.  To provide health insurance to DNT/NT/SNT Communities.  To facilitate livelihoods initiative at the community level to build and strengthen small clusters of DNT/NT/SNT Communities institutions.  To provide financial assistance for the construction of houses to members of the DNT/NT/SNT Communities.

 

SPORTS


Canada beat USA 3-2 to win women’s ice-hockey gold at Winter Olympics

Canada on Thursday beat the USA 3-2 to win the women’s ice-hockey gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. The USA had beaten Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics final. Canada ended the tournament undefeated, beating Sweden 11-0 in the quarter-final and Switzerland 10-3 in the semi-final. Canada also beat the USA 3-2 in the World Championship last year.


Books and Authors News


A book titled ‘Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War’ released


A new book titled “Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War” authored by Samuel Moyn was released. Samuel Moyn is the Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and a professor of History at Yale University.  This provocative book argues about the endless wars the USA created in the past including Vietnam War (1955-1975), Korean War (1950-1953), World War II (1939-1945) etc and this development might not represent progress at all.  The book highlights the United States of America (USA) strategy on fighting wars and how armed combat was transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition.

 

 

 

 

 



Miscellaneous News


LAHDC launched the “Kunsnyom scheme” for differently-abled persons


Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh has launched Kunsnyoms scheme for differently-abled persons. Kunsnyoms meant Equal for All, Fair for All, aims inclusive and accessible Ladakh.  Under the new scheme, Leh Hill council is providing assistive devices, technologies to needy people at 90 per cent subsidy.  Launching the new scheme, LAHDC Leh Chief Executive Councillor and Chairman, Mr Tashi Gyalson and his executive councillors have handed over 28 tri scooters, battery-run wheelchairs, walking aids and other aids required for the special needs of the individuals.  After becoming Union Territory, financially empowered with sufficient allocations of budget, the Hill Councils in Ladakh are utilizing the funds for welfare schemes.

 

OBITUARY
Malayalam actor Pradeep KR passes away aged 61 in Kerala

Malayalam actor Pradeep KR, popularly known as Kottayam Pradeep, passed away aged 61 on Thursday after suffering a heart attack. He was rushed to a hospital in Kerala after complaining of uneasiness and was pronounced dead by 4:00 am, hospital sources said. Pradeep was known for his work in films like 'Oru Vadakkan Selfie' and 'Life of Josutty', among others.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

FEBRUARY 18 2022

National News


India to set up 1st IIT abroad in UAE as part of latest trade agreement

India will be setting up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the United Arab Emirates as a part of its trade agreement that was signed with the latter on Friday. This will be the first time that an IIT will be established abroad. Currently, India has 23 IITs that offer various degrees starting from BTech to doctoral programmes.

 

 

Government approves ‘New India Literacy Programme’ for Education of adults

 

Ministry of Education has approved a new scheme named “New India Literacy Programme" for the period FYs 2022-2027 to cover all the aspects of Adult Education.

The scheme aims to align Adult Education will all aspects of National Education Policy 2020 and Budget Announcements 2021-22. The government has now replaced the term “Adult Education” as ‘Education for All’ in the country.

The total outlay of the “New India Literacy Programme” is Rs.1037.90 crore for FYs 2022-27. (which includes the Central share of Rs.700 crore and State share of Rs.337.90 crore respectively).

The scheme will cover non-literates of the age of 15 years and above in all states/UTs in the country.

As per Census 2011, the absolute number of non-literates of the country in 15 years and above age group is 25.76 crore (Male 9.08 crore, Female 16.68 crore).

FAITH releases India tourism vision document 2035

 

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) has released the FAITH 2035 vision document containing goals and an execution path for making Indian tourism preferred and loved by the world by the year 2035.

The vision document has been launched commemorating the 75th year of Indian independence. It aims to position tourism as a ‘Social-Economic Job and Infrastructure creator for India’ as well as ‘to be a role model for creating Sustainable and Inclusive Ecosystem’.

FAITH is the policy federation of all the national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India. It aims to position tourism as a ‘Social-Economic Job and Infrastructure creator for India’ as well as ‘to be a role model for creating Sustainable and Inclusive Ecosystem’.

Nakul Anand is the chairman of FAITH.

International News

Kerala's first Caravan Park to come up in Vagamon

 

Kerala's first Caravan park is all set to come up in Vagamon, a scenic hill station located in the Idukki district. The park, as part of the state governments new Caravan Tourism policy, would be thrown open to travellers.

Caravan Tourism was introduced by the state Tourism department as a safe means for holidaying at a time when people are unable to step out or travel due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The tourism caravans would have all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay such as sofa-cum-bed, kitchenette with fridge and microwave oven, dining table, toilet cubicle, partition behind the driver, Air-conditioner, internet connectivity, audio-video facilities, charging system and GPS.

 

Kerala Capital: Thiruvananthapuram;

Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan;

Kerala Chief Minister: Pinarayi Vijayan.

Water Taxi Service Flagged Off In Mumbai

 

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways & AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal virtually flagged off the ‘Most Awaited’ Water Taxi for citizens of Mumbai, Maharashtra.

The Water Taxi services will commence from the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) and will also connect nearby locations at Nerul, Belapur, Elephanta island and JNPT. The service promises a comfortable, stress-free journey, is time-saving and promotes eco-friendly transport.”

The Ministry also informed that the newly constructed Belapur jetty, built at a cost of Rs. 8.37 crore was funded in the 50-50 model under the Sagarmala scheme of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. “The new jetty will enable movement of vessels to locations like Bhaucha Dhakka, Mandwa, Elephanta and Karanja.

 

Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;

Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;

Maharashtra Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray.

Appointments News

Shah Rukh Khan named as Brand Ambassador of Gaming app A23

 

A23, the gaming application owned by Head Digital Works, an online skill gaming company, has named in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador.

Shahrukh Khan will feature in A23’s ‘Chalo Saath Khele’ campaign, along with a first of its kind responsible gaming campaign, which showcases all the multi-gaming platforms of A23 such as carom, fantasy sports, pool and rummy, among others.

As the brand ambassador, Shah Rukh will support to elevate the brand among Indians who relate to using their skills to win. According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s gaming committee, India has become the largest fantasy sports market in the world with over 13 crore users playing fantasy sports.

 G Ashok Kumar named as India’s first national maritime security coordinator

 

Retired Vice Admiral, G Ashok Kumar has been appointed as India’s first national maritime security coordinator by the government. The government of India has taken the decisive move to ensure reliability on security and its objective to strengthen the country’s maritime security.

The appointment of G Ashok Kumar, who is a former Navy vice chief, is seen as part of India's consistent efforts to bolster its maritime security following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack 14 years back when a group of sea-borne terrorists struck at the heart of the country's financial capital.

The NMSC (National Maritime Security Coordinator) will be working with coordination with the National Security Council Secretariat which is headed by NSA Ajit Doval.

The main task will be given to NMSC to make coordination among the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard, security agencies those tangled in coastal and maritime security and 13 coastal states and Union Territories.

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL
Will be catastrophic if Ukrainian crisis escalates into war: UN Chief

UN chief António Guterres on Friday said that it would be "catastrophic" if the Russia-Ukraine crisis escalated into a war. "With a concentration of Russian troops around Ukraine, I am deeply concerned about heightened tensions and increased speculation about a military conflict in Europe," he added. "There is no alternative to diplomacy," he further said.

 

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Twitter tieup with Paytm to boost its ‘Tips’ feature in India

 

Twitter Inc has partnered with Paytm’s payment gateway to improve the support for its ‘Tips’ feature in India.

With this partnership, Twitter users will be able to use the payments facility of Paytm, including its Paytm digital wallet, Paytm Postpaid (buy-now-pay-later service), debit and credit cards, and net banking. The feature was announced last year and is one of the company’s many efforts to introduce monetisation on the platform.

Using the Tips feature, users can send payments to their favourite content creators on Twitter. Tips is available since November to all Twitter users above 18 years of age in India. It is available in Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

 

Twitter CEO: Parag Agrawal;

Twitter formed: 21 March 2006;

Headquarters of Twitter: San Francisco, California, United States.

JPMorgan becomes first bank to enter the metaverse

 

JPMorgan has become the world’s first bank to set up shop in the metaverse. The largest bank in the US has opened a lounge in the blockchain-based world Decentraland.

Users can create their virtual avatars, build virtual spaces and roam in the lounge christened ‘Onyx Lounge’ after its suit of Ethereum-based services. The lounge also features a digital image of the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon.

Metaverse is a virtual universe where users can do multiple activities like socialising, shopping or even attending events through their avatar.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets are becoming more pocket-friendly, and both technologies have together contributed to a significantly enhanced user experience.

JPMorgan CEO: Jamie Dimon (31 Dec 2005–);

JPMorgan Founded: 1 December 2000.

RBI extended deadline for NBFCs to meet new NPA up-gradation norms

 

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the deadline for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) to comply with new Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) classification norms (the norms are issued by RBI in November 2021) to September 2022 from the earlier deadline of March 2022.

As per the ‘Prudential norms on Income Recognition, Asset Classification and Provisioning pertaining to Advances – Clarifications’, which was issued by RBI on November 15, 2021, the loan accounts that are classified as NPAs could be upgraded as ‘standard’ assets only if entire arrears of interest and principal are paid by the borrower.

Currently, RBI has clarified that, the definition of ‘out of order’ as applicable to all loan products being offered as an OD facility, including those not meant for business purposes and/or which entail interest repayments as the only credits.

The ‘90 days period’ for determination of the ‘out of order’ status of a Cash credit/Overdraft (CC/OD) account should be inclusive of the day for which the day-end process is being run.

Karnataka Bank bags three banking tech awards

 

Karnataka Bank has bagged three awards at the 17th Annual Banking Technology Conference and Awards: 2020-21 Next-Gen Banking, instituted by Indian Banks’ Association (IBA).

The bank has won the awards under categories: Best Technology Bank of the Year; Best Fintech Adoption; and Best Use of AI/ML & Data Analytics — all runner-ups.

With this focus on technology and digital transformation, the bank endeavours to emerge as ‘Digital Bank of Future’ all the while retaining its core values and identity built on more than 98 years of purposeful banking history.

Karnataka Bank Founded: 18 February 1924;

Karnataka Bank Headquarters: Mangaluru, Karnataka;

Karnataka Bank MD & CEO: Mahabaleshwara M. S.

Sports News

Chelsea wins 2021 FIFA Club World Cup Champion

 

English club, Chelsea has defeated Brazilian club Palmeiras, 2-1, to win the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup final. Chelsea has won the FIFA Club World Cup for the first time. The decisive goal was scored by Kai Havertz with 3 minutes of extra time to go.

Kai Havertz’ nerveless 117th-minute penalty settled a gruelling Club World Cup final. The final was held at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Chelsea completed a full house of major trophies since Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003: Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield.

Chelsea became the third English team to win the Club World Cup after Manchester United and Liverpool.

Haryana Men’s & Kerala Women’s Team wins Senior National Volleyball Championship

 

Haryana team defeated the Indian Railway 3-0, to win the Men’s title in Senior National Volleyball Championship 2021-22.

Similarly, in the women’s category, the Kerala team defeated the Indian Railway 3-1, to lift the trophy.

The 70th Senior National Volleyball (Men & Women) Championship 2021-22 was held at the Biju Patnaik Indoor Stadium, KIIT Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar.

Achyuta Samanta, Founder of KIIT (Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology) & KISS (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences) attended the event and handed over the trophies to the winners.

.Obituaries News

Noted Kannada writer and poet Chennaveera Kanavi passes away

 

Channaveera Kanavi, an iconic poet and writer in the Kannada language, has passed away. He was 93. He was often referred to as ‘Samanvaya Kavi’ (Poet of Reconciliation). Kanavi received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981 for his work Jeeva Dhwani (Poetry).

Born on June 18, 1928, at Hombal village in Gadag district (erstwhile undivided Dharwad district) to Sakkreppa ‘Master’, a teacher, and Parvathamma, Mr Kanavi bloomed into a poet at Karnatak College under the guidance of then principal V.K. Gokak, a Jnanpith Award winner.

He joined the publication wing of Karnatak University as secretary. He served the university for 31 years and retired as director of the publication wing in 1983.

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

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National News

 

 


Hyderabad Police issues warning about 'fraudulent' Hyperverse app

Hyderabad Police on Saturday warned people about the Hyperverse app which it said was a "fraudulent app". The police posted a warning on its Twitter page, which read, "Do not invest in Hyperverse app with the greed of making easy money...If you invest, you will be cheated." It also shared Telangana Cybercrime center's helpline number -1930.


Institute of Economic Growth named Chetan Ghate as its news Director


The Institute of Economic Growth has appointed Chetan Ghate as the new director succeeding Ajit Mishra. He was a member of the Reserve Bank of India’s first monetary policy committee between 2016-2020, is the winner of the 2014 Mahalanobis Memorial gold medal for the best research economist in the country under the age of 45.  He is currently an external affiliate of the Centre for Research in Macroeconomics and Macro-Finance at Swansea University (Wales, UK).  The Institute of Economic Growth conducts advanced research on economic and social development in areas as diverse as macroeconomics, labour, international trade, public health, environment, agriculture, demography, sociology and industrial organization.  IEG is one of the leading research and training centres in India with a global reputation for research on the Indian economy. The Institute also provides induction training for the Indian Economic Service Officers.


Career Counselling Workshop ‘Pramarsh 2022’ launched in Bikaner


Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal has launched ‘Pramarsh 2022’, a mega career counselling workshop, for the students of the Bikaner District region in Rajasthan.  More than one lakh students from thousands of private & government schools of Bikaner district and mainly from rural areas participated in this workshop. It is the first such incidence in India that more than 1 lakh students participated in Career Counselling in one Workshop.  The “Pramarsh 2022” workshop is an extension of the effort to bridge the industry-academia gap and impart the knowledge about various choices available to the student, to help them make a more informed decision.  The Workshop was organised jointly by The National Institute of Career Services (NICS), under the Ministry of Labour & Employment and Bengaluru-based educational start-up Edumilestones, with support from the Directorate of Education, Rajasthan.


International News

 

 


EU sends emergency medical equipment to Ukraine amid border crisis

The European Commission on Saturday said that the European Union (EU) has delivered emergency medical equipment to Ukraine following a request from the Ukrainian government. So far emergency aid has come from France, Romania, Slovenia, Ireland and Austria, the Commission added. The request was made amid rising fears of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

 


Nepal will become 1st country to deploy India’s UPI platform


Nepal will be the first country to adopt India's UPI system, which will play a pivotal role in transforming the digital economy of the neighbouring country, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).  NPCI International Payments Ltd (NIPL), the international arm of NPCI, has joined hands with Gateway Payments Service (GPS) & Manam Infotech to provide the services. GPS is the authorized payment system operator in Nepal. Manam Infotech will deploy Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in Nepal.  The collaboration will serve the larger digital public good in Nepal and bolster interoperable real-time person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-merchant (P2M) transactions in the neighbouring country.  Nepal shall be the first country outside of India to adopt UPI as the payments platform driving the digitalization of cash transactions and furthering the vision and objectives of the Nepal Government and Nepal Rastra Bank as the Central bank.



Banking, Business and Economy

 


Govt gets 5 proposals worth ₹1.5 lakh crore for chip, display plants

The government has received five applications for the establishment of semiconductor and display plants under its ₹76,000 crore PLI scheme. The Ministry of Electronics and IT said the companies have proposed to invest a total of $20.5 billion (₹1.53 lakh crore). Vedanta-Foxconn JV, IGSS Ventures and ISMC have proposed to set up semiconductor plants with a total $13.6 billion investment.


SEBI proposes new disclosure norms for IPOs of loss-making firms

SEBI has proposed to tighten disclosure standards for new-age technology companies that are planning to list their shares but don't fulfil the three-year profitability track. As per its proposal, such companies will have to disclose more details about how they arrived upon their IPO price. This comes as shares of several firms, including Paytm and Zomato, plunged post their listing.

 


SBI Ecowrap report: India’s GDP projected at 8.8% in FY22


State Bank of India (SBI) Research Report, Ecowrap, has revised downwards the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of India for FY22 (2021-22) to 8.8 percent. Earlier this was estimated at 9.3 per cent.  The report projects the GDP to grow at 5.8 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of FY2021-2022 (October-December). The country’s economy expanded by 8.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2021-22, to cross pre-pandemic levels.  However, the GDP growth in the July-September period was slower than the 20.1 per cent expansion in the previous quarter.

 




17th IBA’s Annual Banking Technology Awards 2021 announced


Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has announced the IBA’s 17th Annual Banking Technology Awards 2021. In total South Indian Bank has won 6 awards in the event.  This year’s IBA Awards celebrating “Next Gen Banking” has recognized technologies and practices in the banking industry that have demonstrated a high degree of innovation over the past year.


Important Days


7th Soil Health Card Day Observed on 19 February 2022


Every year India observes the Soil Health Card Day on 19 February to commemorate the launch of the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme, and create awareness about the benefits of the scheme. 2022 marks the seventh year of the launch of the SHC Scheme.  The scheme aims at issuing soil health cards to all farmers every two years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Soil Health Card (SHC) Scheme on 19th February 2015 at Suratgarh in Rajasthan.  The card would provide details about the nutritional deficiencies in the soil so that the farmers can supplement the soil with suitable fertilizers and increase the yields.  The scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country. It provides information to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil along with recommendations on the appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.


World Pangolin Day 2022 observed on 19th February


World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the “Third Saturday of February” every year. In 2022, the annual World Pangolin Day is being celebrated on 19 February 2022. It marks the 11th edition of the event.  The day aims to raise awareness about these unique mammals and speed up conservation efforts. Pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.


World Day of Social Justice observed on 20 February 2022


World Day of Social Justice is celebrated annually all over the world on 20 February. The International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008.  Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. World Day of Social Justice 2022 Theme: Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment.  The International Labour Organization unanimously adopted the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization on 10 June 2008. This is the third major statement of principles and policies adopted by the International Labour Conference since the ILO’s Constitution of 1919.   It builds on the Philadelphia Declaration of 1944 and the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work of 1998. The 2008 Declaration expresses the contemporary vision of the ILO’s mandate in the era of globalization.

 

SPORTS


Rohit Sharma is the number one cricketer of our country: Chief selector Chetan Sharma

After naming Rohit Sharma as India's Test captain, chief selector Chetan Sharma said, "He is the number one cricketer of our country." Chetan added, "If such a big and experienced cricketer comes forward and becomes captain then the future captains to be groomed under Rohit would be a tremendous thing for us." Rohit is now India's all-format captain.

 

 

 

 

 


Obituaries News


Football legend Surajit Sengupta passes away


The former India footballer Surajit Sengupta, who played as a midfielder, has passed away due to COVID-19 complications. He was 71.  At the club level, Sengupta had been associated with Kolkata’s three big clubs, Mohun Bagan (1972-1973, 1981-1983), East Bengal (1974- 1979) and Mohammedan Sporting (1980).  He was part of the Indian national team that won a bronze medal in the 1970 Asian Games, held in Bangkok, Thailand. 


David Brenner, Oscar-winning editor working on 'Avatar' sequels, dies at 59

Oscar-winning editor David Brenner, who worked on films like 'Justice League' and 'Independence Day', passed away aged 59. Brenner died on Thursday morning at his home in West Hollywood, his wife told Hollywood Reporter. Before his death, Brenner had been working on James Cameron's 'Avatar' sequels. "His talent, compassion and friendship will be truly missed," James Cameron tweeted.
Veteran Kannada actor 'Kala Thapaswi' Rajesh passes away aged 89

Veteran Kannada actor Rajesh, popularly known as 'Kala Thapaswi', passed away at the age of 89 due to age-related issues on Saturday morning. The actor had been hospitalised since February 9 in Bengaluru. While Rajesh was the actor's stage name, his real name was Vidyasagar. He began his career as a stage artist and appeared in over 150 films.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

FEBRUARY 20, 2022

NATIONAL

 


9-year-old Indian boy becomes world's youngest certified yoga instructor

A nine-year-old Indian boy has become the world’s youngest certified yoga instructor and created a Guinness World Record. Reyansh Surani, who resides in Dubai, said that he began practising yoga with his parents at the age of four. Reyansh completed his 200 Hour Yoga Teacher's Training Course and received certification from the Anand Shekhar Yoga School last year.

 

INTERNATIONAL
UK's Queen Elizabeth tests positive for COVID-19 at 95

The UK's 95-year-old monarch Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday. The Queen, who has received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, will continue with light duties, the Palace said. Her eldest son Prince Charles and daughter-in-law Camilla had recently contracted COVID-19.


Police in Nepal fire tear gas to disperse protest over US grant

Police in Nepal's Kathmandu fired tear gas and water cannons on protesters who took to the streets to oppose a US-funded infrastructure programme that was presented for ratification in parliament on Sunday. Demonstrators rallied against a US government agency's $500 million grant, which would be used to fund civic projects, on grounds that it may undermine Nepal's laws and sovereignty.


All indications Russia on brink of invading Ukraine: US Secy of State

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said all signs suggested Russia is on brink of invading Ukraine but pledged to use every opportunity to stop Russia from going forth with it. This comes as Russia deployed up to 1.9 lakh troops near Ukraine. President Joe Biden was also prepared to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin, added Blinken.


India tells families of embassy officials to leave Ukraine: Reports

Amid growing fears of the Russian invasion over Ukraine, India on Sunday told families of its embassy officials to return to the country, as per multiple reports. The Indian embassy in Kyiv had earlier today told all Indian students and Indian nationals whose stay isn't deemed essential to leave Ukraine temporarily. Students were asked to contact their student contractors

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


BigBasket acquires Kerala-based startup Agrima Infotech

BigBasket, a Tata enterprise, has acquired a Kerala-based startup Agrima Infotech, which was announced by BigBasket CEO Hari Menon on Saturday. BigBasket will utilise Agrima Infotech's customer vision technology platform, Psyight, at the self-checkout counters of its retail stores. Psyight helps identify all Indian fruits and vegetables uniquely from an image without using barcodes.

 

 

SPORTS


Amazon, Reliance to compete for IPL telecast rights for a record ₹50,000 cr: Report

Amazon and Reliance Industries are expected to take on Sony Group and Walt Disney's India units for exclusive five-year TV and digital broadcast rights of IPL, Reuters reported on Sunday. The cost to acquire these rights could run to a record ₹50,000 crore, the report added. Disney-owned Star India paid ₹16,348 crore in 2017 to have these rights until 2022.


India win their 9th T20I in a row, complete their 2nd straight T20I series whitewash

short by Anmol Sharma / 10:50 pm on 20 Feb 2022,Sunday

India defeated West Indies by 17 runs in the third T20I at Eden Gardens in Kolkata to register a 3-0 series whitewash. With this, India extended their winning streak in T20I cricket to nine matches. Further, India completed their second straight T20I series whitewash after having defeated New Zealand 3-0 in their previous T20I series.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 21st February 2022

National News

 

 


You reap what you sow: Bihar Deputy CM on Lalu Yadav's jail term

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Renu Devi commented on former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's sentencing in the final fodder scam case and said, "As you sow, so you shall reap." "This is what the outcome is. If we also do this, it will happen to us also." Yadav was sentenced to five years in jail and fined ₹60 lakh.

 

 

Table Tennis player Manika Batra joins Adidas as brand ambassador


Table Tennis player, Manika Batra was named as the brand ambassador of Adidas. The partnership focuses on empowering women to realize their dreams, cheering for women to break barriers and boosting participation in sports.  With this association, the duo aims to drive credibility and inclusivity in sports, further fanning the aspirations of upcoming women sportspersons across the country.  Manika Batra is the first Indian woman to win gold in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games 2018. She is the first Indian player to reach the top 10 of the (International Table Tennis Federation) ITTF World rankings in women’s doubles and top 15 in mixed doubles, and the first Indian woman to reach the top 50 of the ITTF Rankings.

 

Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh Foundation Day: 20 February 


Northern States Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh celebrate their Foundation Day on February 20, since 1987. Arunachal Pradesh is the extreme northern part of the country, which is also known as the ‘land of the rising sun’. The state at the edge of the Himalayas is proud to be called the land of dawn and lit mountains. Arunachal Pradesh became the 24th state of India.  Mizoram was declared as a separate UT in 1972 under the Northeast Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. It became the 23rd state of India after the 53rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution, 1986. Mizoram, as well as the state of Arunachal Pradesh, came into existence on 20 February 1987.

 


PM Narendra Modi inaugurates 550-tonne capacity Gobar-Dhan Plant in Indore


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a 550-tonne capacity “Gobar-Dhan (Bio-CNG) Plant” in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, through video conferencing. This is the biggest Bio-CNG plant in Asia. It has been set up at a cost of Rs 150 crore.  The gobardhan plant is based on the concept of waste-to-wealth innovation. Wet urban household waste and waste from cattle and farm is Gobar Dhan.  Lakhs of tonnes of garbage have occupied thousands of acres of land for decades across the country causing air and water pollution, the major reason behind the spread of diseases. The plant is based on zero-landfill models, which means no rejects would be generated.


Govt plans ‘Heal by India’ for positioning India as global source for health sector


The government of India will be promoting the ‘Heal by India’ initiative to improve India’s educational institutions in the health sector. The Union Health Ministry recently organized a Chintan Shivir — ‘Heal by India’ for two days.  ‘Heal by India’ initiative is meant to generate job opportunities abroad for India’s trained professionals in the health sector and enhance education to churn out quality human resources in health, thus helping them become eligible to work anywhere in the world.  The government of India is working on assets like well-qualified faculty, no language barrier, availability of advanced technology, positive government policies etc. Especially for those that have high demand outside India.  It includes almost 50-60 streams like dieticians, nurses, lab technicians, paramedics, OT (operation theatre) attendants, physiotherapists, OT technicians, medical attendants for old age patients care etc. They will be trained under the Skill India programme.


GoI, World Bank sign loan agreement of $115 million for implementation of REWARD Project


The Government of India, the State Governments of Karnataka and Odisha and the World Bank have signed a $115 million (INR 869 crore) Rejuvenating Watersheds for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development (REWARD) Programme.  This programme will help national and state institutions adopt improved watershed management practices to help increase farmers’ resilience to climate change, promote higher productivity and better incomes.  Terms of Loan: The loan has been provided by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) arm of World Bank and has a maturity of 15 years, including a grace period of 4.5 years.


The bifurcation of the loan amount of $115 million is given below:


Government of Karnataka- $60 million (INR 453.5 crore)

Government of Odisha- $49 million (INR 370 crore)

Central Government- $6 million (INR 45.5 crore)

 

International News


France announces military withdrawal from Mali after nine years


French president, Emmanuel Macron has announced that France and its European partners will start the military withdrawal from Mali after more than nine years fighting a jihadist insurgency.  France first deployed troops against jihadists in Mali in 2013 under the Socialist president François Hollande. The decision has been taken due to a breakdown in France’s relations with the ruling junta government in the country. The heart of this military operation will be shifted from Mali to Niger.  In recent years, jihadists have taken over swaths of territory in the former French colony, exploiting political turmoil, poverty and the weakness of local authorities. Critics of French strategy in Mali have long accused policymakers in Paris of focusing on the military force at the expense of politics.  The withdrawal applies to 2,400 French troops in Mali and a smaller European force of several hundred, which was created in 2020 to reduce the burden on French forces.

 

 



Porsches, Lamborghinis on ship burning mid-ocean may be worth ₹1,150 cr: Report

A fire on the ship off the coast of Portugal's Azores Islands, that broke out on February 16, is expected to generate at least $155 million (over ₹1,150 crore) in expected losses for Volkswagen, risk solutions company Russell Group has estimated. The ship was carrying Volkswagen group's Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini vehicles. The ship was reportedly carrying over 4,000 cars.

 


BANKING, BUSINESS AND EOCNOMY

TransUnion tieup Ficci for MSME consumer education programme


TransUnion CIBIL has partnered with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to launch a unique nationwide MSME consumer education program to support MSME.  This program will kick off with MSME clusters in Maharashtra, Assam and Tripura and aims to reach thousands of MSMEs across key MSME clusters in India.  The program objective is to empower MSMEs with knowledge on how to build a good credit history and CIBIL Rank to avail easier and faster access to finance. TransUnion CIBIL is committed to supporting banks and credit institutions in the sustainable growth of their MSME portfolios while improving reach and driving access to finance for MSMEs.  In addition to offering MSME lenders solutions like CIBIL Rank and commercial credit reports for astute lending, TransUnion CIBIL also publishes insights reports like the MSME Pulse in association with SIDBI and the recent Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) analysis report to support policymakers and the industry with market insights on the MSME sector.


GoI to launch ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ to deliver crop insurance policies


Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare will launch ‘Meri Policy Mere Hath’ which is a doorstep distribution drive to deliver crop insurance policies to farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY).  The campaign aims to ensure all farmers are aware with all information on their policies, land records, the process of claim and grievance redressal under PMFBY.  A flagship scheme of the Government of India, PMFBY aims to provide financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of natural calamities. Over 36 crore farmer applications have been insured under PMFBY, with over INR 1,07,059 crores of claims have already being paid under the scheme as of 4th February 2022.

 

 


Officer's Choice whisky maker Allied Blenders picks banks for IPO: Report

Allied Blenders & Distillers, which makes Officer's Choice whisky, has chosen ICICI Securities and Axis Capital to manage its IPO, Bloomberg reported. The Mumbai-based company plans to file preliminary offer documents by April and is targeting to list as soon as this year. Bloomberg earlier reported that Allied Blenders is planning to raise as much as $300 million through IPO.



SBI, PNB, BoB, UBI, Canara Bank and BoM acquires stake in IDRCL


State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Union Bank of India (UBI), Canara Bank, and Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) have announced their subscription to the shares of India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL).  Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Public FIs will hold a maximum of 49% in stake of IDRCL while the remaining stake will be with private-sector lenders. The NARCL has been incorporated under the Companies Act, and public sector banks will hold 51 per cent in NARCL.


The stakes acquired by these banks is given in the table below. The Banks will further reduce their stake in IDRCL which is also given in the table below:

Name of Bank

Stake acquired

Reduces stake by March 31, 2022

State Bank of India (SBI)

12.30%

5%

Punjab National Bank (PNB)

11.18%

5%

Union Bank of India (UBI)

12.30%

10%

Canara Bank

14.90%

5%

Bank of Maharashtra (BoM)

6.21%

4%

Bank of Baroda (BoB)

12.30%

9.90%

 


India growing at 9.2%, among fastest-growing large economies: NITI Aayog CEO

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Monday said the Indian economy is growing at 9.2% and is among the fastest-growing large economies in the world. "Today, India is witnessing unprecedented levels of economic development and technological disruptions," he said. The Centre's Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme will add $520 billion to India's output in the next five years, Kant said.

 

 

 

Awards News


Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2022


The prestigious ceremony of Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2022 was held on February 20. The event was held in Mumbai and the best performances from last year were honoured in the event this time.  This year Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Awards 2022 celebrated the opulence of Indian Cinema and also commemorated the 75 years of Independence or Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.


Coal India gets 'India's Most Trusted Public Sector Company' award


Maharatna company of the Government of India, Coal India Limited has been awarded the 'India's Most Trusted Public Sector Company' award. Coal India received this honour at the “Energy Meet and Excellence Award” function organized by Industry Chamber “ASSOCHAM” in Kolkata.  The company has got this honour at a time when Coal India has not allowed the situation of power crisis in the country by significantly increasing coal production and supply in the last few months to meet the increased demand for coal for the power sector.  In the midst of all these difficulties, Coal India has continuously increased its coal production and supply and did not allow the shortage of coal required to generate electricity in the country.


Philanthropist Bill Gates conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan honour to eradicate polio


Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates has been conferred with Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second-highest civilian honour in the country, for his efforts to help eradicate polio in Pakistan.  Gates is on a day-long visit to Pakistan and has met with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also visited the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) that oversees efforts to curb Covid-19.


Books and Authors News


A book titled ‘A Nation To Protect’ authored by Priyam Gandhi Mody


The book titled “A Nation To Protect” authored by Priyam Gandhi Mody was launched by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. The book highlights the role of PM Narendra Modi during the Covid crisis in the past two years.  The book documents the Centre’s leadership in this unprecedented time and how it tided the nation through the crisis.  During the launch, Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya said he believed that 'A Nation to Protect' describes the reality as it unfolded during the last two years. "We have seen what happens when there is a true leadership with a vision," said Mandaviya referring to PM Modi.


A book on Rabindranath Tagore authored by Uma Das Gupta released


The book titled “A History of Sriniketan: Rabindranath Tagore’s Pioneering Work in Rural Construction” was authored by Uma Das Gupta and published under Niyogi Books ‘Paper Missile’ released.  The book contains Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s work in ‘village reconstruction’ by setting up ‘Sriniketan’, a wing of his Visva Bharati International University at Santiniketan in 1922, which is also popularly known as a university town. It is situated in West Bengal.  The book highlights the efforts of Rabindranath Tagore in improving the condition of the peasantry by using scientific methods of cultivation through laboratory experiments where the expert and the peasant collectively participated.


Sports News

 


You made India proud: Sachin on Praggnanandhaa beating world no. 1 Carlsen

Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to congratulate 16-year-old Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa after he defeated world number one Magnus Carlsen in eighth round of Airthings Masters, an online rapid chess tournament. "All of 16 and to have beaten...experienced...Carlsen ...that too while playing black, is magical...you've made India proud!" he wrote. The GM became third Indian to beat Carlsen.

 


Bihar’s Sakibul Gani became 1st player to hit triple ton on first-class debut


Bihar’s Sakibul Gani become the first player in the history of the game to score a triple century on his first-class debut. He scored 341 off 405 balls, hitting 56 fours and two sixes, in the Plate Group Ranji Trophy fixture against Mizoram at the Jadavpur University Campus ground, Jadavpur, Bengal.  Gani has played List A cricket before this, scoring 377 runs from 14 matches including a century. In 11 domestic T20s, he has made 192 runs.


Mumbai to host International Olympic Committee session in 2023


Mumbai, India will host the International Olympic Committee session in 2023. The IOC Session for 2023 will be held at Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai. The last such session was hosted by India in the year 1983 in New Delhi.  In 2022, the IOC session was held in Beijing, China. Nita Ambani is the representative of India on this committee. Mumbai received a historic 99% of the votes in favour of its bid from the delegates participating in the process, with 75 members endorsing its candidature in the session held at Beijing.  The IOC Session is the yearly meeting of the 101 voting members and the 45 honorary members where they come together to decide amendments to the Olympic Charter, the election of IOC members and office-bearers and so on.


Important Days


International Mother Language Day observed on 21 February


The International Mother Language Day (IMLD) is observed annually on the 21st of February. The day aims to raise awareness regarding linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.  The 2022 theme is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”. The UN mentioned in its statement that this year’s theme raises the potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.  International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002.


Obituaries News


Senior journalist Ravish Tiwari passes away


Senior journalist, Ravish Tiwari has passed away. He was the national bureau chief of Indian Express. He was popular for his political news reporting.  Before this, he had also served as Senior Assistant Editor at Economic Times, Associate Editor at India Today and Senior Assistant Editor at the Indian Express. He had done his graduation from IIT Bombay and master's from the University of Oxford.

 

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22nd February 2022

National News



Sanjeev Sanyal joins PM's Economic Advisory Council as full-time member

short by Hiral Goyal / 10:58 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Noted economist Sanjeev Sanyal has been inducted as a full-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), the council's Chairman Bibek Debroy announced on Tuesday. Prior to this, Sanyal was serving as the Principal Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry. The EAC-PM is an independent body that advises the Prime Minister on economic and related issues.

 

 

India’s first Biosafety Level-3 mobile laboratory inaugurated in Maharashtra


Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar has inaugurated India’s first Biosafety level-3 containment mobile laboratory in Nashik, Maharashtra.  The mobile laboratory will help to investigate newly emerging and re-emerging viral infections, by specially trained scientists from ICMR. The newly launched lab will be able to access remote and forested areas of the country, to investigate outbreaks using samples from humans and animal sources.  Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar inaugurated the laboratory and said that the Biosafety Level-3 mobile laboratory is a significant value addition to the government's efforts to strengthen healthcare infrastructure through the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.




Himachal Pradesh gets 1st Biodiversity Park at Mandi 


Himachal Pradesh gets the first biodiversity park to make its contribution towards the conservation of endangered Himalayan herbs. This park is set to come up at Mandi’s Bhulah valley.  With the cost of Rs 1 crore, the biodiversity park is set up under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) by HP’s forest department.  The aim of the park is to link tourism activities along with extending new opportunities for researchers to conduct in-depth exploration of various medicinal herbs found in the Himalayas that are on the verge of extinction.


Madhya Pradesh: 48th Khajuraho Dance Festival begins 


Madhya Pradesh Governor, Mangu Bhai Patel has inaugurated the 48th 'Khajuraho Dance Festival-2022' at world-famous tourist destination Khajuraho on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.  The event will be organized till 26 February. This year a 5-km 'Dil Khel Ke Ghoomo' marathon was also organized under the banner of 'Safe Tourism Project for Women' at the event. It aims to create a sense of security among women in tourist destinations with the slogan 'Hindustan Ke Dil Mein Aap Safe Hain'.  The Khajuraho dance festival was started in 1975 from the temple premises itself. It was not allowed to be performed in the temple premises only after two-three years, as a result, this ceremony was performed outside the temple premises.


Along with this, State Rupankar Kala Puraskars were also given for the year 2022:

 

Award

Winner

Devkrishna Jata Shankar Joshi Award

Priya Sisodia (Badnawar)

Mukund Sakharam Bhand Award

Swapan Tarafdar (Indore)

Syed Haider Raza Award

Durgesh Birthare (Jabalpur)

Dattatreya Damodar Devlalikar Award

Narendra Jatav (Ashoknagar)

Jagdish Swaminathan Award

Sanjay Dhawale (Ashoknagar)

Vishnu Chinchalkar Award

Muni Sharma (Gwalior)

 

Narayan Shridhar Bendre Award

Agnesh Kerketta (Bhopal)

Raghunath Krishna Rao Phadke Award

Rituraj Srivastava (Jabalpur)

Ram Manohar Sinha Award

Jyoti Singh (Sagar)

Laxmi Shankar Rajput Award

Dr. Sonali Pithawe Chouhan (Dewas)


Appointments News


IOC Athletes’ Commission re-elected Emma Terho as Chair


International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission re-elected ice hockey player Emma Terho of Finland as its Chair and table tennis player Seung Min Ryu of the Republic of Korea as its First Vice-Chair.  The commission also elected cyclist Sarah Walker of New Zealand as the second VC of the Commission.  Emma Terho is a five-time Olympian and former captain of the Finland women’s ice hockey team. She will be the head of the Commission until the Olympic Games Paris 2024.


Takuya Tsumura appointed as new President & CEO of Honda Cars India 


Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has announced the appointment of Takuya Tsumura as the new President & CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) with effect from 1 April 2022.  The appointment comes as part of the management changes announced annually by the company. Tsumura will take over from Gaku Nakanishi, who moves from India to regional headquarters in Asia and Oceania region - Asian Honda as General Manager, Automobile Business for the region.  Tsumura has been associated with Honda Motor for more than 30 years. He has worked in several international markets including Thailand, Australia, China, Japan, Turkey, Europe and Asia & Oceania regions. Tsumura was in-charge of South Asian countries, including India from 1997 to 2000.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 


Saudi Arabia marks nearly 300-yr-old 'Founding Day' for first time

short by Disha Jana / 10:42 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Saudi Arabia held celebrations on Tuesday to commemorate its foundation nearly 300 years ago for the first time. The celebratory events included musical performances on Saudi modern history and fireworks, local media has reported. February 22 marks the anniversary of the day in 1727 when Mohammed bin Saud, who was founder of first Saudi state, took over emirate of Diriyah.


Very tough to quickly replace Russian gas supplies to Europe: Qatar

short by Shailesh / 11:24 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Qatar's Energy Minister said that neither Qatar nor any other single country has the capacity to replace Russian gas supplies to Europe with LNG in the event of disruption due to Ukrainian conflict. "Russia (provides) I think 30-40% of the supply to Europe," he added. "So, to replace that sum of volume that quickly is almost impossible," he further said.


Germany suspends gas project with Russia over Ukrainian crisis

short by Shailesh / 08:39 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday said that he has taken steps to halt the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. The decision is in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recognition of the independence of two breakaway regions in Ukraine. The pipeline is set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany.


Turkey condemns Russian recognition of Ukraine separatist regions

short by Atharva Pande / 07:39 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Russian recognition of Ukraine's separatist regions, Donetsk and Luhansk is unacceptable. "We repeat our call for common sense and respect for international law by all sides," Erdogan said. This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a "peacekeeping operation" in both the regions after recognising their independence on Monday.

 


Banking, Business and Economy

 


Dubsmash shuts down seven years after its launch

short by Pragya Swastik / 10:47 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

American short-form video social platform Dubsmash officially shut down on February 22, 2022, a little more than seven years after its launch. Reddit, which acquired Dubsmash in December 2020, is shutting the platform after absorbing much of its functionality. Dubsmash will no longer be available for download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


PMJJBY subscribers not eligible for shares at discounted rates: LIC

short by Ashley Paul / 11:21 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Subscribers of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) are ineligible for shares at a discounted price in the upcoming LIC IPO, the insurer clarified on Tuesday. "It is a group insurance product and [PMJJBY policyholders] aren't eligible," LIC said in a statement. This comes after LIC Chairman MR Kumar on Monday said PMJJBY subscribers are eligible for discounted shares.

 


Tata Power collaborated with RWE to develop offshore wind projects 


Tata Power has collaborated with Germany-based RWE Renewable GmbH to explore the potential for joint development of offshore wind projects in India.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, and RWE, one of the world’s leaders in offshore wind.  This is in line with Government of India’s announcement of achieving 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind installations by 2030.  India is an unexplored and highly attractive market to develop opportunities for offshore wind as it has a large coastline of about 7,600 kilometres. RWE and Tata Power Renewable Energy possess complementary strengths and will enable the establishment of a competitive offshore wind market in India.


Bharti Airtel joins SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium


Telecom operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd has announced that it has joined South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE-6) undersea cable consortium, in a bid to scale up its high-speed global network capacity and serve India’s fast-growing digital economy.  It shall be anchoring 20 per cent of the overall investment in the cable system. Through SEA-ME-WE-6, Airtel will be able to add 100 TBps capacity to its global network. The telco will land the SEA-ME-WE-6 cable system in India at new landing stations in Mumbai and Chennai. Apart from Airtel, there are 12 other global members in the consortium.  SEA-ME-WE 6 is a proposed optical fibre submarine communications cable system to carry telecommunications between Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.


Schemes News


Government approved continuation of RUSA scheme till 2026 


The Ministry of Education has approved the continuation of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme till 31st March 2026 with an expenditure of 12,929.16 crores. The new phase of the scheme would support around 1,600 projects. Out of Rs 12,929.16 crores of expenditure, the centre will share Rs 8,120.97 crores, and the state will share Rs 4,808.19 crores.  The new phase of the scheme has been designed to implement some of the recommendations of the New Education Policy (NEP). Under the new phase of the scheme, State Governments will support Gender inclusion, Equity Initiatives, Enhance employability through vocationalisation and skill degradation.  Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in 2013. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide funding to state government universities and colleges. Its main objective is to improve the quality of state institutions and ensure reform in affiliation, academic, and examination systems.




Science and Technology News


Corbevax gets emergency approval for 12-18 age group by DGCI


The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Corona Vaccine Biologicals E Ltd's Corbevax for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years.  Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E Ltd said its coronavirus vaccine Corbevax, is also India's third homegrown vaccine. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is being given to children aged 15 to 18 years from January 3.  Corbevax is called a protein subunit and currently, we have an example of the hepatitis B vaccine which is also similarly a protein subunit vaccine. Corbevax and the other vaccine in India, we have Covovax from Serum Institute.


Sports News


Winter Olympics Games 2022 in Beijing concludes


The closing ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games was held on February 20, 2022, at National Stadium (known as the Bird’s Nest) in Beijing.  The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, was held from 4 to 20 February 2022. The Games featured a record 109 events across 15 disciplines in 7 sports.  The venues of the Games were distributed across three zones- Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. The Presidency of the Games was formally handed over to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, in Italy, to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.


The top country in Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing:


Norway has topped the medal table for the second successive Winter Olympics, winning a total of 37 medals, including 16 golds. This is a new record for the most amount of gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics.  Germany finished second with 27 medals overall, while the host nation China finished third with 15 medals.


India at the 2022 Winter Olympics:


The Indian team at the game was represented by one male alpine skier, Arif Khan.  He was the country’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony, meanwhile, a volunteer was the flagbearer during the closing ceremony. India could not win any medal at the games.


Books and Authors News


Jimmy Soni authored a book titled ‘The Founders: The Story of Paypal"


A new book titled ‘’The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley ’’, authored by author Jimmy Soni and published by Simon & Schuster released soon.  It highlights the story of multinational digital-payments company PayPal and how it covered the journey of a start-up that turned into one of the most successful companies of all time, worth over USD 70 billion today. It also offers colourful anecdotes about famous people like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Reid Hoffman.


Important Days


World Thinking Day observed on 22nd February


World Thinking Day, originally known as Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups worldwide.  The day is observed to think about fellow brothers and sisters around the world, address their concerns and understand the true meaning of guiding. The theme for World Thinking Day 2022 is Our World, Our Equal Future.  In 1926, at the Fourth Girl Scout International Conference, held at Girl Scouts of the United States’s Camp Edith Macy (presently the Edith Macy Conference Center), the conference delegates highlighted the need for a special international day when Girl Guides and Girl Scouts would think about the worldwide spread of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, and of all the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world, giving them, their "sisters," thanks and appreciation.  It was decided by the delegates that this day would be 22 February, the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and the World Chief Guide.  In 1999, at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland, the name was changed from "Thinking Day" to "World Thinking Day", to emphasize the global aspect of this special day.


Obituaries News


Freedom fighter and Gandhian social worker Shakuntala Choudhary passes away


Noted freedom fighter and Gandhian social worker, Shakuntala Choudhary has passed away. She was 102-year-old. She was popularly known as ‘Shakuntala Baideo’. She was felicitated with the Padma Shri award in 2022 by the Government of India.  She hailed from Kamrup in Assam and was known for her commitment and devotion to the popularization of the Gandhian way of life. She worked for the well-being of villagers, especially women and children.


Kannada RJ Rachana passes away at 39 due to cardiac arrest in Bengaluru

short by Pragya Swastik / 09:48 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Kannada radio jockey (RJ) Rachana passed away on Tuesday at the age of 39, reportedly due to a cardiac arrest. Local media said Rachana complained of chest pain at her flat in Bengaluru and she was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was declared brought dead. She also appeared in the Kannada film 'Simple Agi Ondh Love Story'.


'America's Got Talent' contestant Jane Marczewski dies due to cancer aged 31

Singer Jane Marczewski, who gained widespread recognition after her audition last year on 'America's Got Talent', died on February 19 at the age of 31 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Known by her stage name 'Nightbirde', Marczewski battled cancer for four years. "We, her family, are devastated by her passing and unimaginable loss," her family stated.

 

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22nd February 2022

National News


India’s first Biosafety Level-3 mobile laboratory inaugurated in Maharashtra


Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Bharati Pravin Pawar has inaugurated India’s first Biosafety level-3 containment mobile laboratory in Nashik, Maharashtra.  The mobile laboratory will help to investigate newly emerging and re-emerging viral infections, by specially trained scientists from ICMR. The newly launched lab will be able to access remote and forested areas of the country, to investigate outbreaks using samples from humans and animal sources.  Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharati Pravin Pawar inaugurated the laboratory and said that the Biosafety Level-3 mobile laboratory is a significant value addition to the government's efforts to strengthen healthcare infrastructure through the Pradhan Mantri Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission.



Sanjeev Sanyal joins PM's Economic Advisory Council as full-time member

short by Hiral Goyal / 10:58 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Noted economist Sanjeev Sanyal has been inducted as a full-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), the council's Chairman Bibek Debroy announced on Tuesday. Prior to this, Sanyal was serving as the Principal Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry. The EAC-PM is an independent body that advises the Prime Minister on economic and related issues.

 


Himachal Pradesh gets 1st Biodiversity Park at Mandi 


Himachal Pradesh gets the first biodiversity park to make its contribution towards the conservation of endangered Himalayan herbs. This park is set to come up at Mandi’s Bhulah valley.  With the cost of Rs 1 crore, the biodiversity park is set up under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) by HP’s forest department.  The aim of the park is to link tourism activities along with extending new opportunities for researchers to conduct in-depth exploration of various medicinal herbs found in the Himalayas that are on the verge of extinction.


Madhya Pradesh: 48th Khajuraho Dance Festival begins 


Madhya Pradesh Governor, Mangu Bhai Patel has inaugurated the 48th 'Khajuraho Dance Festival-2022' at world-famous tourist destination Khajuraho on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'.  The event will be organized till 26 February. This year a 5-km 'Dil Khel Ke Ghoomo' marathon was also organized under the banner of 'Safe Tourism Project for Women' at the event. It aims to create a sense of security among women in tourist destinations with the slogan 'Hindustan Ke Dil Mein Aap Safe Hain'.  The Khajuraho dance festival was started in 1975 from the temple premises itself. It was not allowed to be performed in the temple premises only after two-three years, as a result, this ceremony was performed outside the temple premises.


Along with this, State Rupankar Kala Puraskars were also given for the year 2022:

 

Award

Winner

Devkrishna Jata Shankar Joshi Award

Priya Sisodia (Badnawar)

Mukund Sakharam Bhand Award

Swapan Tarafdar (Indore)

Syed Haider Raza Award

Durgesh Birthare (Jabalpur)

Dattatreya Damodar Devlalikar Award

Narendra Jatav (Ashoknagar)

Jagdish Swaminathan Award

Sanjay Dhawale (Ashoknagar)

Vishnu Chinchalkar Award

Muni Sharma (Gwalior)

 

Narayan Shridhar Bendre Award

Agnesh Kerketta (Bhopal)

Raghunath Krishna Rao Phadke Award

Rituraj Srivastava (Jabalpur)

Ram Manohar Sinha Award

Jyoti Singh (Sagar)

Laxmi Shankar Rajput Award

Dr. Sonali Pithawe Chouhan (Dewas)


Appointments News


IOC Athletes’ Commission re-elected Emma Terho as Chair


International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission re-elected ice hockey player Emma Terho of Finland as its Chair and table tennis player Seung Min Ryu of the Republic of Korea as its First Vice-Chair.  The commission also elected cyclist Sarah Walker of New Zealand as the second VC of the Commission.  Emma Terho is a five-time Olympian and former captain of the Finland women’s ice hockey team. She will be the head of the Commission until the Olympic Games Paris 2024.


Takuya Tsumura appointed as new President & CEO of Honda Cars India 


Japanese auto major Honda Motor Co. Ltd. has announced the appointment of Takuya Tsumura as the new President & CEO of Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL) with effect from 1 April 2022.  The appointment comes as part of the management changes announced annually by the company. Tsumura will take over from Gaku Nakanishi, who moves from India to regional headquarters in Asia and Oceania region - Asian Honda as General Manager, Automobile Business for the region.  Tsumura has been associated with Honda Motor for more than 30 years. He has worked in several international markets including Thailand, Australia, China, Japan, Turkey, Europe and Asia & Oceania regions. Tsumura was in-charge of South Asian countries, including India from 1997 to 2000.

 

INTERNATIONAL

 


Saudi Arabia marks nearly 300-yr-old 'Founding Day' for first time

short by Disha Jana / 10:42 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Saudi Arabia held celebrations on Tuesday to commemorate its foundation nearly 300 years ago for the first time. The celebratory events included musical performances on Saudi modern history and fireworks, local media has reported. February 22 marks the anniversary of the day in 1727 when Mohammed bin Saud, who was founder of first Saudi state, took over emirate of Diriyah.


Very tough to quickly replace Russian gas supplies to Europe: Qatar

short by Shailesh / 11:24 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Qatar's Energy Minister said that neither Qatar nor any other single country has the capacity to replace Russian gas supplies to Europe with LNG in the event of disruption due to Ukrainian conflict. "Russia (provides) I think 30-40% of the supply to Europe," he added. "So, to replace that sum of volume that quickly is almost impossible," he further said.


Germany suspends gas project with Russia over Ukrainian crisis

short by Shailesh / 08:39 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday said that he has taken steps to halt the process of certifying the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia. The decision is in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's recognition of the independence of two breakaway regions in Ukraine. The pipeline is set to double natural gas supplies from Russia to Germany.


Turkey condemns Russian recognition of Ukraine separatist regions

short by Atharva Pande / 07:39 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Russian recognition of Ukraine's separatist regions, Donetsk and Luhansk is unacceptable. "We repeat our call for common sense and respect for international law by all sides," Erdogan said. This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a "peacekeeping operation" in both the regions after recognising their independence on Monday.

 


Banking, Business and Economy

 


Dubsmash shuts down seven years after its launch

short by Pragya Swastik / 10:47 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

American short-form video social platform Dubsmash officially shut down on February 22, 2022, a little more than seven years after its launch. Reddit, which acquired Dubsmash in December 2020, is shutting the platform after absorbing much of its functionality. Dubsmash will no longer be available for download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.


PMJJBY subscribers not eligible for shares at discounted rates: LIC

short by Ashley Paul / 11:21 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Subscribers of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) are ineligible for shares at a discounted price in the upcoming LIC IPO, the insurer clarified on Tuesday. "It is a group insurance product and [PMJJBY policyholders] aren't eligible," LIC said in a statement. This comes after LIC Chairman MR Kumar on Monday said PMJJBY subscribers are eligible for discounted shares.

 


Tata Power collaborated with RWE to develop offshore wind projects 


Tata Power has collaborated with Germany-based RWE Renewable GmbH to explore the potential for joint development of offshore wind projects in India.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard was signed between Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, and RWE, one of the world’s leaders in offshore wind.  This is in line with Government of India’s announcement of achieving 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind installations by 2030.  India is an unexplored and highly attractive market to develop opportunities for offshore wind as it has a large coastline of about 7,600 kilometres. RWE and Tata Power Renewable Energy possess complementary strengths and will enable the establishment of a competitive offshore wind market in India.


Bharti Airtel joins SEA-ME-WE-6 undersea cable consortium


Telecom operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd has announced that it has joined South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE-6) undersea cable consortium, in a bid to scale up its high-speed global network capacity and serve India’s fast-growing digital economy.  It shall be anchoring 20 per cent of the overall investment in the cable system. Through SEA-ME-WE-6, Airtel will be able to add 100 TBps capacity to its global network. The telco will land the SEA-ME-WE-6 cable system in India at new landing stations in Mumbai and Chennai. Apart from Airtel, there are 12 other global members in the consortium.  SEA-ME-WE 6 is a proposed optical fibre submarine communications cable system to carry telecommunications between Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe.


Schemes News


Government approved continuation of RUSA scheme till 2026 


The Ministry of Education has approved the continuation of the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme till 31st March 2026 with an expenditure of 12,929.16 crores. The new phase of the scheme would support around 1,600 projects. Out of Rs 12,929.16 crores of expenditure, the centre will share Rs 8,120.97 crores, and the state will share Rs 4,808.19 crores.  The new phase of the scheme has been designed to implement some of the recommendations of the New Education Policy (NEP). Under the new phase of the scheme, State Governments will support Gender inclusion, Equity Initiatives, Enhance employability through vocationalisation and skill degradation.  Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in 2013. It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to provide funding to state government universities and colleges. Its main objective is to improve the quality of state institutions and ensure reform in affiliation, academic, and examination systems.




Science and Technology News


Corbevax gets emergency approval for 12-18 age group by DGCI


The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the Corona Vaccine Biologicals E Ltd's Corbevax for children in the age group of 12 to 18 years.  Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E Ltd said its coronavirus vaccine Corbevax, is also India's third homegrown vaccine. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin is being given to children aged 15 to 18 years from January 3.  Corbevax is called a protein subunit and currently, we have an example of the hepatitis B vaccine which is also similarly a protein subunit vaccine. Corbevax and the other vaccine in India, we have Covovax from Serum Institute.


Sports News


Winter Olympics Games 2022 in Beijing concludes


The closing ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games was held on February 20, 2022, at National Stadium (known as the Bird’s Nest) in Beijing.  The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, was held from 4 to 20 February 2022. The Games featured a record 109 events across 15 disciplines in 7 sports.  The venues of the Games were distributed across three zones- Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. The Presidency of the Games was formally handed over to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, in Italy, to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.


The top country in Winter Olympics 2022 in Beijing:


Norway has topped the medal table for the second successive Winter Olympics, winning a total of 37 medals, including 16 golds. This is a new record for the most amount of gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics.  Germany finished second with 27 medals overall, while the host nation China finished third with 15 medals.


India at the 2022 Winter Olympics:


The Indian team at the game was represented by one male alpine skier, Arif Khan.  He was the country’s flagbearer during the opening ceremony, meanwhile, a volunteer was the flagbearer during the closing ceremony. India could not win any medal at the games.


Books and Authors News


Jimmy Soni authored a book titled ‘The Founders: The Story of Paypal"


A new book titled ‘’The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley ’’, authored by author Jimmy Soni and published by Simon & Schuster released soon.  It highlights the story of multinational digital-payments company PayPal and how it covered the journey of a start-up that turned into one of the most successful companies of all time, worth over USD 70 billion today. It also offers colourful anecdotes about famous people like Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, and Reid Hoffman.


Important Days


World Thinking Day observed on 22nd February


World Thinking Day, originally known as Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Scouts, Girl Guides and other girl groups worldwide.  The day is observed to think about fellow brothers and sisters around the world, address their concerns and understand the true meaning of guiding. The theme for World Thinking Day 2022 is Our World, Our Equal Future.  In 1926, at the Fourth Girl Scout International Conference, held at Girl Scouts of the United States’s Camp Edith Macy (presently the Edith Macy Conference Center), the conference delegates highlighted the need for a special international day when Girl Guides and Girl Scouts would think about the worldwide spread of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, and of all the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world, giving them, their "sisters," thanks and appreciation.  It was decided by the delegates that this day would be 22 February, the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and the World Chief Guide.  In 1999, at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland, the name was changed from "Thinking Day" to "World Thinking Day", to emphasize the global aspect of this special day.


Obituaries News


Freedom fighter and Gandhian social worker Shakuntala Choudhary passes away


Noted freedom fighter and Gandhian social worker, Shakuntala Choudhary has passed away. She was 102-year-old. She was popularly known as ‘Shakuntala Baideo’. She was felicitated with the Padma Shri award in 2022 by the Government of India.  She hailed from Kamrup in Assam and was known for her commitment and devotion to the popularization of the Gandhian way of life. She worked for the well-being of villagers, especially women and children.


Kannada RJ Rachana passes away at 39 due to cardiac arrest in Bengaluru

short by Pragya Swastik / 09:48 pm on 22 Feb 2022,Tuesday

Kannada radio jockey (RJ) Rachana passed away on Tuesday at the age of 39, reportedly due to a cardiac arrest. Local media said Rachana complained of chest pain at her flat in Bengaluru and she was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was declared brought dead. She also appeared in the Kannada film 'Simple Agi Ondh Love Story'.


'America's Got Talent' contestant Jane Marczewski dies due to cancer aged 31

Singer Jane Marczewski, who gained widespread recognition after her audition last year on 'America's Got Talent', died on February 19 at the age of 31 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Known by her stage name 'Nightbirde', Marczewski battled cancer for four years. "We, her family, are devastated by her passing and unimaginable loss," her family stated.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

23rd February 2022

National News

 


Inflation peaked in Jan, its momentum is declining: RBI Deputy Governor

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor Michael Patra said inflation in India has reached its peak and its momentum "is actually declining". Referring to inflation rates breaching RBI's 6% target ceiling, Patra said policymakers had room to keep borrowing costs lower for longer to support the economy. Inflation rose to its seven-month high of 6.01% in January this year.

 


PM Modi inaugurated ‘Kisan Drone Yatra’ and flagged off 100 ‘Kisan Drones’ 


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the ‘Kisan Drone Yatra’, an initiative by Garuda Aerospace Pvt Ltd and flagged off 100 ‘Kisan Drones’ in various cities and towns across India to spray pesticides in farms across the states of India.  The 100 Kisan Drones were set off in 100 villages in 16 states across India which includes Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa.  The farmers can use the high capacity Kisan drones to transport their produce such as fruits, vegetables and flowers to markets in a minimal time and boost their income.  While Inaugurating, PM addressed the farmers in Manesar, Haryana. The Kisan Drone Yatra was flagged off from the Manesar in Gurgaon, Haryana.
The Kisan Drones will also be promoted for crop assessment, digitization of land records and spraying of insecticides and nutrients.  Garuda Aerospace has set a target of manufacturing two lakh drones in the next two years and this will provide ample employment to youth.


International News


Russian President Putin divided Ukraine into 3 countries


Russian President, Vladimir Putin has recognised the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk.  Putin’s announcement paved the way for Russia to openly send troops and weapons to the long-running conflict pitting Ukrainian forces against Moscow-backed rebels.  Russian-backed rebels have been fighting Ukrainian troops in Donetsk and Luhansk since 2014, with regular violence despite a ceasefire agreement.  Putin signed decrees recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' independence, eight years after fighting erupted between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces, and called on lawmakers to approve measures paving the way for military support.


Israel successfully tests fire ‘C-Dome’ new naval air defence system


Israel successfully tested a new naval air defence system “C-Dome,” to be used on the Israeli Navy’s Sa’ar 6-class corvettes. C-Dome is the naval version of the Iron Dome, an all-weather air defence system of Israel to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and missiles, from the Gaza Strip.
The successful test further strengthens the missile defence systems of the Israeli Navy to safeguard the maritime assets of the State of Israel.  The systems that we are developing as part of Israel’s multi-tier missile defence array enable us to operate against Iranian proxies in the region and defend against their weapon systems, which are constantly being upgraded.  The C-Dome is to become part of Israel's multilayer missile defence system — which includes weapons capable of intercepting everything from long-range missiles to short-range rockets.


States News


Gurugram sisters chosen as 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' brand ambassadors 


International Chess Player woman FIDE Masters, Tanishka Kotia and her sister Riddhika Kotia are appointed as Brand Ambassadors of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme for the Gurugram District of Haryana. Tanishka Kotia won the Limca Book of Records for being the youngest chess player in 2008. They belong to the Haryana state.  Tanishka Kotia ranks 2nd in the country in the under-16 category, World Chess Federation rankings released in 2019. She won a gold medal at the ASEAN Chess Championship in 2013 and silver at the Commonwealth Chess Championship In 2014 in Scotland. Riddhika Kotia represented India at several prestigious international events, including the World Junior Chess Championship 2020.


Assam Govt Launches India's First Night Navigation Mobile App In Rivers


Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma has launched India’s first Night Navigation mobile application for ferry services on the Brahmaputra River in Guwahati, Assam. It was developed by the State Transport Department in association with K Raju, the principal scientist of IIT Madras.  The first night journey of the IWT (Inland Water Transport) ferry between Guwahati and North Guwahati was started on 19 February 2022.  The Chief Minister also launched ten Aadhar-based contactless services of the State Transport Department to make public service delivery time-efficient and budget-friendly. The CM also launched an e-ticketing system for Dhubri and Silchar ferry services.  An MoU was also signed between the Common Service Centres (CSCs) under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the State Transport Department to provide online services at the panchayat level.


Appointments News


K.N. Raghavan named as new Chairman of International Rubber Study Group


Executive Director of the Indian Rubber Board, K.N. Raghavan has been elected the new Chairman of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). He will officiate as Chairman of the group for the next two years. He will preside over the meeting of the heads of delegation scheduled for March 31 at Singapore.  India, being both a producer and a consumer of rubber, will be in a good position to protect the interests of both producers and consumers in the IRSG -the only international commodity body approved by the Common Fund for Commodities for development financing in the rubber sector.


Centre nominates Sanjay Malhotra as a Director of Central Board of RBI 


The Centre government has nominated Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Ministry of Finance, as a Director on the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).  The nomination of Malhotra, a 1990 batch IAS officer of Rajasthan cadre, is effective from February 16, 2022, and until further orders.  Prior to his appointment as DFS Secretary, Malhotra was the Chairman and Managing Director of REC Ltd. He succeeded Debashish Panda, who completed his term on January 31, 2022.


Agreements News


India and France sign Roadmap on Blue Economy


India and France have inked a roadmap to enhance their bilateral exchanges on the blue economy and ocean governance. Dr S Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to France, from February 20 to 22, 2022, to attend EU Ministerial Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific scheduled for February 22.  The agreement on ‘Roadmap on Blue Economy and Ocean Governance’ was signed between India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar’s and his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.  The partnership will help to explore the potential for collaboration in marine science research for a better understanding of oceans and ensure that the ocean remains a global common, a space of freedom and trade, based on the rule of law. The scope of the roadmap will encompass maritime trade, the naval industry, fisheries, marine technology and scientific research, integrated coastal management, marine eco-tourism, inland waterways, and cooperation between competent administrations on civil maritime issues.  India and France underscored that fisheries are a vital economic sector and play a decisive role in food security and livelihood security, particularly for coastal populations.


Kerala's startup Mission partnered with Google for Startups to foster global links


During the ‘Huddle Global 2022’, the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) has entered into a collaboration with technology major Google that will enable start-ups in the State to join a wider global network that provides mentorship and training. This wider network enables local startups to leverage Google's programme comprising mentorship and training of startup teams to help scale up their solutions.  The partnership was announced by Mr Paul Ravindranath, Head of Google for Startups Accelerator, India, at the Huddle Global' conclave of KSUM that kicked off.  The collaboration will enable Kerala's startups to join a wider network to leverage Google's programme comprising mentorship and training of startup teams for scaled-up solutions.




Science and Technology News


GoI organise week-long ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate’ Science exhibition


The Government of India has organised a week-long science exhibition titled ‘Vigyan Sarvatra Pujyate’ from February 22 to 28, 2022, as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav commemoration. It will be conducted simultaneously at 75 locations across the country through a hybrid model. The inaugural programme was held at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi on the 22nd of February.  The exhibition will celebrate science and technology (S&T) and display the country’s scientific legacy and technology prowess. The exhibition will culminate on February 28, 2022, which coincide with the National Science Day, commemorated in remembrance of Nobel Laureate Sir C.V. Raman’s path-breaking discovery of the Raman Effect in 1930.


Sports News


Spain's Carlos Alcaraz creates history, becomes youngest ATP 500 winner


The 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz has clinched the Rio Open tennis title after defeating Diego Schwartzman in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The seventh-seeded Alcaraz defeated third-seeded Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2 to become the youngest ATP 500 champion since the category was created in 2009.  It is the second tour-level title of the teen's career following his breakthrough in Umag last year. Alcaraz converted five of his six break points in the match. Overall, he won 55 per cent of his return points to put constant pressure on his veteran opponent.


India’s R Praggnanandhaa becomes youngest player to beat World No 1 Magnus Carlsen


India’s teen chess Grandmaster, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has created history as he defeated world number one chess champion, Magnus Carlsen, of Norway in an online chess tournament.  The Airthings Masters is the first of the nine events of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, being held from February to November 2022.  The 16-year-old Pragg achieved the feat in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters, an online rapid chess tournament, in 39 moves with black pieces.  Pragg is also only the third Indian grandmaster to win against Magnus Carlsen apart from Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna.


Obituaries News


Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy passes away


Andhra Pradesh Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has passed away. The 50 years old Minister returned to India from Dubai Expo.  Reddy, was a two-time MLA from the Atmakur Assembly constituency in the Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh. He was the Minister for Industries, Commerce, and Information Technology in Andhra Pradesh Government.



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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

24022022

NATIONAL


PM Modi speaks to Putin, appeals for immediate cessation of violence

PM Narendra Modi spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about recent developments regarding Ukraine and reiterated his conviction that the differences between Russia and NATO can only be resolved through honest and sincere dialogue, said PMO. PM Modi appealed for immediate cessation of violence. He sensitised Putin about India's concerns regarding Indian citizens' safety in Ukraine, PMO added.

 

 

INTERNATIONAL


US sanctions Russian banks that together hold around $1 trillion in assets

short by Pragya Swastik / 12:51 am on 25 Feb 2022,Friday

US President Joe Biden announced new economic sanctions on Russia following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "We've now sanctioned Russian banks that together hold around $1 trillion in assets," he said. "Today, we're also blocking four more major Russian banks...every asset that they have in America will be frozen. This includes VTB, the second-largest bank in Russia," Biden added.

 


First day of Ukraine invasion successful: Russia

short by Ankush Verma / 11:47 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Russian military has said the first day of Ukraine invasion was "successful". Meanwhile, Ukraine Presidency said Russian forces have captured Chernobyl. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country had no other option but to order what he has called a special operation against Ukraine, saying all of Russia's previous attempts to change the security situation had come to nothing.


First day of Ukraine invasion successful: Russia

short by Ankush Verma / 11:47 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Russian military has said the first day of Ukraine invasion was "successful". Meanwhile, Ukraine Presidency said Russian forces have captured Chernobyl. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the country had no other option but to order what he has called a special operation against Ukraine, saying all of Russia's previous attempts to change the security situation had come to nothing.


Putin is a 'tyrant', he wants to re-establish the former Soviet Union: US President

short by Ankush Verma / 01:04 am on 25 Feb 2022,Friday

US President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "tyrant", saying that the Russian leader wants to "re-establish the former Soviet Union". "His (Putin's) ambitions are completely contrary to the place where the rest of the world has arrived," Biden further said. "Sanctioning Putin is on the table," Biden added.

 


200 Indian students moved to a school in Ukraine; pic released

short by Arshiya Chopra / 09:15 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Embassy of India in Ukraine accommodates more than 200 Indian students at school near the embassy in the nation's capital Kyiv amid war with Russia. The Indian government had earlier said that they are making alternative arrangements for evacuations after Ukraine's airspace was closed. The government also advised Indian nationals in Ukraine to go to nearby bomb shelters.

 


Donate blood for those injured in Russia attack: Ukraine Prez to citizens

short by Dharini Mudgal / 09:52 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged the country's citizens to donate blood for those who are getting injured in the attack by Russia. He said, "We need help from everybody...We've wounded soldiers in hospitals that require blood donations, please...donate your blood." Earlier, Zelenskyy had said that he will give weapons to every Ukrainian citizen who need to defend the country.

 


Activist detained after calling for anti-war protests in Russia

short by Disha Jana / 09:34 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

A Russian opposition activist who called for anti-war protests after Russia attacked Ukraine was detained by police in Moscow on Thursday. Marina Litvinovich, who was detained by police outside her apartment, had called for people to rally in various cities against Russia's military offensive via a Facebook post. Meanwhile, Russia has warned citizens against taking part in anti-invasion protests.

 


Canadian PM Trudeau lifts emergency powers used to remove protesters

short by Veer Badani / 10:01 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said he is ending the emergency powers he invoked nine days ago to remove protesters from the "Freedom Convoy" that disrupted Ottawa since late January. The Emergencies Act, which was approved on Monday, allowed accounts of those suspected of supporting the protest against COVID-19 mandates to be frozen without requiring a court order.


Lithuania declares state of emergency after Russia attacks Ukraine

short by Disha Jana / 07:21 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda has declared state of emergency in country after Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday. The state of emergency will be valid for two weeks and allow for increased border protection. It will also give authorities right to check vehicles, persons and luggage in border area. Lithuania shares its border with Belarus and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

 

 

BANKING, BUSINESS AND ECONOMY


Wall Street opens 2% lower amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

short by Ashley Paul / 10:28 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Wall Street opened 2% lower on Thursday following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and global crude oil prices crossing the $100/barrel mark. Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading over 2% or 665 points lower at 32,467.08 while S&P 500 was down 1.51% at 4,161.53 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, on the other hand, traded 1.71% or 222 points lower at 12,815.11.

 


RBI cancels registration of PC Financial for violating guidelines

short by Ashley Paul / 07:47 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

In its first major action against a digital lender, RBI cancelled the registration certificate of PC Financial Services for "gross violations" of the central bank's guidelines. RBI said the company had violated outsourcing and know-your-customer norms. "The company was also found to be charging usurious rate of interest and other charges to its borrowers in an opaque manner," RBI added.

 

 


Russia-Ukraine conflict wipes over $200 billion from crypto market

short by Pragya Swastik / 09:25 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

The market cap of all cryptocurrencies has plunged by $200 billion following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The market cap of all cryptocurrencies now stands at approximately $1.56 trillion, down from a high of $1.77 trillion during the last 24 hours, data from CoinMarketCap showed. Bitcoin is trading just over $35,500, a decline of 9% in the last 24 hours.


Indian economy poised for recovery, but high oil prices worrisome: CEA

short by Ashley Paul / 09:04 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran said the Indian economy is poised for growth but high crude oil prices are a cause for concern. He added that the country's banking sector is stable and credit offtake is also poised to take off. "We're not unique to the phenomenon of uncertain growth and high inflation due to the pandemic," he added.


India refunds ₹7,900 cr to UK's Cairn Energy to settle retrospective tax dispute

short by Pragya Swastik / 07:00 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

The Indian government has refunded ₹7,900 crore to Britain's Cairn Energy Plc to settle a dispute over the levy of retrospective taxes, the company said on Thursday. Cairn, now known as Capricorn Energy Plc, said, "Net proceeds of $1.06 billion have been received." In August 2021, India brought a law to scrap all retrospective tax demands and refund money collected.


Russian stocks post biggest-ever slump of 45%, erase $250 billion in value

short by Kiran Khatri / 05:01 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Russian stocks slumped as much as 45% on Thursday, their biggest-ever drop, after the country launched a military operation in Ukraine. This wiped out over $250 billion in stock market value, as per Bloomberg. Earlier, the Russian ruble also fell to its level on record. The market crash came as Western countries said they'll impose unprecedented sanctions on Russia


IKEA names Susanne Pulverer as 1st woman CEO for India business

short by Kiran Khatri / 05:24 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

World's largest furniture retailer IKEA announced the appointment of Susanne Pulverer as its first woman CEO and Chief Sustainability Officer for its India business. Pulverer will replace outgoing CEO Peter Betzel and this will be her third stint in India. She joined Sweden-based IKEA in 1997 and moved to India in 2007 to head purchasing function for IKEA South Asia.


Sensex crashes 2,702 points to end at 54,530 amid Russia's attack on Ukraine

short by Kiran Khatri / 03:46 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

The Indian benchmark indices crashed nearly 5% on Thursday amid Russia's military operation in eastern Ukraine with the Sensex plunging 2,702 points. The Sensex ended at 54,530, while the broader Nifty 50 also fell 823 points to close at 16,240. The indices recorded their second worst day since March 2020, the month when India imposed COVID-19 restrictions, as per Bloomberg.

 

SPORTS


Rohit Sharma becomes highest run-scorer in T20I cricket

short by Anmol Sharma / 08:15 pm on 24 Feb 2022,Thursday

Team India captain Rohit Sharma has become the highest run-scorer in T20I cricket. The 34-year-old achieved the feat during the first T20I against Sri Lanka. With his 32-ball 44-run knock in the match, Rohit took his tally of runs in T20I cricket to 3,307. He overtook Virat Kohli (3,296 runs) and Martin Guptill (3,299 runs).

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

25th February 2022

National News

 

Sanjeev Sanyal named full-time member of Economic Advisory Council to PM 


Finance Ministry's Principal Eonomic Advisor, Sanjeev Sanyal has been inducted as a full-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), the panel's chairman Bibek Debroy announced.  The appointment is for a tenure of two years. He had advised the finance ministry to devise economic policies during the pandemic. The EAC-PM is an independent body constituted by the Union government to advise the prime minister on economic matters.

 


Giriraj Singh launches Ombudsperson App for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA


Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh has launched Ombudsperson App for Mahatma Gandhi NREGA.  Ministry of Rural Development has developed an Ombudsperson App for smooth reporting and categorization of grievances by Ombudsperson based on complaints he received from various sources viz. physical, digital and mass media, related to the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi NREG Scheme in the States/UTs.  The app will enable easy tracking and timely passing of awards by Ombudsperson on each case as per the guidelines. Ombudsperson can also easily upload the quarterly and annual reports on the website through the app.  The app will help the ombudsperson to a greater extent in discharging her/his duty towards transparency and accountability. Also, smooth disposal of the grievances in a time-bound manner with minimal support of further human resources will be possible through the app.


Vande Bharatam's signature tune released by Minister of State for Culture 


Minister of State for Culture & External Affairs, Meenakashi Lekhi has released a signature tune for ‘Vande Bharatam’. The tune is composed by Grammy Award winner Ricky Kej and Oscar contender Bickram Ghosh.  It was produced for Vande Bharatam, Nritya Utsav of Ministry of Culture presented at Rajpath, New Delhi for Republic Day event 2022. It was followed by the fascinating live performance by composers of Vande Bharatam song Ricky Kej and Bikram Ghosh.  The two musicians, Ricky kej and Bickram Ghosh shared that it is an honour for them to have given the score for Vande Bharatam which is a very rich piece of music and is based on Indian traditions but also has modern features and fusion.  The Ministry of Defence handed over the special trophy to the Ministry of Culture in recognition of its exemplary efforts during the Republic day Event 2022.


G Kishan Reddy inaugurate a conference on Indian temple architecture ‘Devayatanam’


Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of Ministry of Culture, Government of India is organizing a two-day international conference ‘Devayatanam – An odyssey of Indian temple architecture on 25th – 26th February 2022 at Hampi, Karnataka.  The Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, G Kishan Reddy inaugurates the conference. The conference aims to deliberate upon the philosophical, religious, social, economic, technical, scientific, art and architectural aspects of the temple.  It also intends to initiate a dialogue on the evolution and development of the various styles of temple architecture such as the Nagara, Vesara, Dravida, Kalinga and others.


Rakesh Sharma again appointed as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank


Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI Bank) has informed the stock exchanges that its board has approved the reappointment of Rakesh Sharma as the managing director and chief executive officer of the bank for a period of three years, effective March 19, 2022. Sharma's reappointment as the MD&CEO of the bank has received the banking regulator, Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) nod.  Sharma was previously the MD&CEO of Canara Bank and retired from this position in July 2018. Prior to that, he served as the MD&CEO of Laxmi Vilas Bank from March 2014 to September 2015. He was previously associated with the State Bank of India (SBI).


HUL named Nitin Paranjpe as non-executive Chairman


Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has announced the separation of the position of Chairman of the Board and the CEO & Managing Director of the company.  Nitin Paranjpe has been appointed as the Non-Executive Chairman of the company with effect from March 31, 2022. He is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Unilever, the parent company of HUL. Sanjiv Mehta will continue to be the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director (CEO & MD) of the company.  The Board accepted the recommendation made by the NRC and has appointed Paranjpe as a Non-Executive Chairman. The appointment is subject to approval of the shareholders which the Company will seek as per applicable regulations.


Dish TV's ropes Rishabh Pant as its brand ambassador


Dish TV India, has announced the appointment of Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant as brand ambassador. Pant will feature in the brand's 360-degree communication for the next two years. This investment in the D2H brand is going to make it even stronger.  The close affinity between D2H brand and Rishabh Pant as brand ambassadors will enable deeper engagement of D2H with its TG.  Rishabh has quickly developed into a distinctive entertainer on the cricket field, with his boundless energy behind the stumps and innovation in shot-making. He brings a spark each time he enters the field and appeals to the huge 18-35 age group across the country, our core audience.



India's NIUA and WEF to collaborate on sustainable cities development programme


World Economic Forum (WEF) and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on a jointly designed ‘Sustainable Cities India program’.  The program aims to create an enabling environment for cities to generate decarbonization solutions across the energy, transport, and built environment sectors. This initiative is particularly noteworthy as it comes after the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated India’s commitment to turn net-zero by 2070 as a climate mitigation response at COP26.


Banking, Business and Economy

Moody’s revised India’s growth estimates to 9.5% in CY2022 


Moody’s has revised India’s economic growth estimates in the Current Year 2022 upwards to 9.5 per cent from 7 per cent on stronger than expected recovery after a lockdown in 2020 and Covid-19's Delta wave in 2021. It maintained a forecast for 5.5 per cent growth in CY2023.  In its update on Global Macro Outlook 2022-23 today, Moody's said sales tax collection, retail activity and Purchasing Managers Index suggest solid momentum. However, high oil prices and supply distortions remain a drag on growth for India.

SPMCIL Delhi headquarters declared a prohibited place


Home Ministry has declared Delhi headquarters of Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd. (SPMCIL) as a ‘prohibited place’ under Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act, 1923.  This prevents the entry of unauthorized persons into it. It is the only currency and banknotes manufacturer of India, that printed new series of notes of denomination Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 in 2016. The nine production units of SPMCIL, where banknotes and other government papers are manufactured, are already prohibited places.  Only the Delhi headquarters where crucial decisions are taken and important files are generated was not under the purview. Through the recent order, even the Delhi office has been declared a prohibited place. The nine production units are four India Government Mints, two Currency Note Presses. 

 


PM-Kisan 3rd Anniversary, transferred Rs 1.80 lakh CRORE to farmers accounts directly


About 11.78 crore farmers as of February 22, 2022, have been benefitted under the PM Kisan scheme.  The amount worth Rs1.82 lakh crore have been disbursed to eligible beneficiaries across India in various intervals. During the current Covid 19 epidemic period, Rs. 1.29 lakh crore has been released.  PM-KISAN is a centre sectored scheme which was launched on 24th February 2019 to substitute monetary needs of landholding farmers. The monetary benefit of Rs 6000/- per year in three equal instalments, every four-month, 3 times a year, it is transferred into the bank accounts of the families of the farmers across the country through Direct Benefit Transfer or DBT mode.  The scheme was in the starting meant for small and marginal farmers having landholding upto 2 hectares but then the scope of the scheme was extended to cover all landholding farmers with effect from 01.06.2019.






IBM unveiled new Cybersecurity Hub in Bengaluru to address cyberattack


International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) has launched a cybersecurity hub in Bengaluru to address the concerns of its clients across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The multi-million dollar IBM Security Command Center will be located at the IBM office in Bengaluru in Karnataka. It is the first of its kind facility in the region.  The IBM global analysis report for 2022 states that Asia emerged as the top-most targeted region for cyberattacks, representing 26% of attacks analyzed in 2021.  This cybersecurity hub will deliver training in cybersecurity response techniques, to organisations of all types, through highly realistic, simulated cyberattacks, to prepare everyone, ranging from C-Suite to technical staff.  The new cyber security hub is one of the only two such centres of IBM globally. The other one is located in the US.


Books and Authors News


A book title ‘The Great Tech Game’ penned by Anirudh Suri


Indian author, Anirudh Suri has come out with his new book titled “The Great Tech Game: Shaping Geopolitics and the Destinies of Nations.’ It has been published by HarperCollins India. In this book, the author lays out a roadmap for how any country must develop its own strategic plan to succeed in this technology-dominant era.  In this book, the author provides a coherent framework outlining the key drivers that will determine the ability of a nation to succeed in this technology-dominant era. He lays out a roadmap for how any country must develop its own strategic plan for success.  Leaders must develop a new set of capabilities to understand and take advantage of these trends and create enabling environments for their nations to not be left behind. A particularly challenging aspect will be the ability of countries to define and manage the roles of state and non-state actors in a global race for technological leadership and success.

 

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CURRENT AFFAIRS SNIPPETS

 

 28th February 2022

 

National News

 

. Madhabi Puri Buch named as first woman chief of SEBI 


Former ICICI Banker, Madhabi Puri Buch has been appointed as the new Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairman, replacing Ajay Tyagi. She is the first woman chief of SEBI and also the first non-IAS to head the regulatory body.  She has over three decades of experience in the financial markets and was SEBI whole-time member (WTM) between April 5, 2017, and October 4, 2021. During her tenure at SEBI, she handled portfolios such as surveillance, collective investment schemes and investment management.


Samiran Gupta to head public policy for Twitter in India


Samiran Gupta will lead microblogging platform Twitter’s public policy and philanthropy efforts in India and South Asia. Prior to joining Twitter, Gupta was the head of stakeholder engagement in South Asia for ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).  Gupta was associated with The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation. He served there for seven years. He was also briefly the firm's head of stakeholder engagement for the South Asia market.  The news of the appointment comes almost a year after the former Public Policy Director for India and South Asia Mahima Kaul resigned.




Ministry of Education launches Bhasha Certificate Selfie campaign


The Ministry of Education has launched a campaign titled ‘Bhasha Certificate Selfie’. The aim of this campaign is to promote the Bhasha Sangam mobile app, launched by the Ministry under the aegis of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat to encourage cultural diversity and promote multilingualism.  Bhasha Sangam mobile app was launched on October 31, 2021, by Minister of Education and Skill Development Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, to lay emphasis on the promotion of Indian languages.  The app has been developed by the Ministry of Education and MyGov India and allows users to learn 100+ sentences of daily use in as many as 22 scheduled Indian languages. The ‘Bhasha Certificate Selfie’ initiative is encouraging people to upload their selfie with the certificate using the hashtag #BhashaCertificateSelfie.


Cochin Airport to become power-positive with new solar plant


The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) is set to commission a 12 MWp solar power plant on March 6 near Payyannur in Kannur district of Kerala. With the commissioning of the new solar power plant, CIAL will get the status as a power positive airport, from its current status of being a power-neutral airport.  In 2015, CIAL became the world’s first airport to be fully powered by solar energy. The power plant boasts of 12 megawatt capacity on a 35-acre land where CIAL introduced a concept of terrain-based installation where the geographical characteristics of the area are retained and no changes are made in the gradient of the land.


International News

 

 

 


President Zelenskyy signs application for Ukraine to join European Union

short by Ridham Gambhir / 10:27 pm on 28 Feb 2022,Monday

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday signed an application for Ukraine to join the European Union. Earlier today, Zelenskyy had urged the EU to allow Ukraine to gain membership under a special procedure immediately amid the Russian invasion. "Our goal is to be with all Europeans and, most importantly, to be equal...I am sure we deserve it," he said.


New Development Bank 1st multilateral agency to open office in Gift City


New Development Bank (NDB) will become the first multilateral agency to open an office in the Gujarat International Finance Tech City (Gift). New Development Bank (NDB) has received the approval for the same and will open the office in May 2022 in GIFT City.  The Indian office will help identify suitable projects and try to create a pipeline of potential financing for the bank. NDB also expects to partner with the newly launched National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID) to support crucial infrastructure projects in India.  NDB was set up by the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) with the objective of mobilizing resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the BRICS as well as other emerging markets in 2014. It became operational in 2015 and is headquartered in Shanghai, China. All the founding members equally own the bank.


Canada approved world’s 1st plant-derived COVID-19 vaccine


Canada became the first country in the world that has authorized the use of a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine. The two-dose vaccine of Medicago Inc. (a biopharma company owned by Mitsubishi Chemical and Philip Morris), can be given to adults who are aged between 18 to 64, but little data is available on the shots received by people aged 65 and above.  The decision to authorize the vaccine was based on a study conducted on 24,000 adults that showed the efficacy rate of the vaccine is 71% at preventing COVID-19 – although the tests were conducted before the omicron variant emerged.  Covifenz is the name given to this vaccine. Canada agreed to buy 20 million doses of this plant-based vaccine, with an option to purchase 56 million additional doses.




Schemes News


Mansukh Mandaviya launched the “ICMR/ DHR Policy on Biomedical Innovation


For medical professionals, scientists, and technicians in medical, dental, and paramedical institutes, the Union health ministry has launched the ICMR/ DHR Policy on Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship.   By promoting the Government of India's Make-in-India, Start-Up-India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives, it would assure multidisciplinary collaboration, promote start-up culture, and establish an innovation-led ecosystem at medical institutes across the country."  Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, speaking at the policy launch. "This Policy will ensure multi-disciplinary collaboration, promote start-up culture, and develop an innovation-led ecosystem at Medical Institutes across the country by promoting Make-in-India, Start-Up-India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives. This policy is in line with Prime Minister Harper's motto of "Innovate, Patent, Produce, and Prosper."


Banking, Business and Economy

 


Burman family makes offer to buy additional 26% stake in Eveready

short by Ashley Paul / 11:20 pm on 28 Feb 2022,Monday

Eveready's single-largest investor Burman family on Monday said it made an open offer to buy an additional 26% stake, or 18.9 million shares, for ₹604.76 crore in Eveready Industries Ltd. The mandatory open offer under the takeover regulations was made as the Burmans acquired an additional 5.26% share of Eveready for ₹122.30 crore, taking their total shareholding to 25.11%.

 


NSE, BSE starts T+1 Stock Settlement From February 25


India has become the second country after China to implement the T+1 stock settlement mechanism in a phased manner from 25 February. The system will be starting with select stocks and then gradually adding others to the fold.  Instruction regarding this was issued by SEBI on January 01, 2022. Before this, the settlement period of stocks in India was T+2, i.e. two days after the actual buy/selling of stock.  T means the trade/transaction day i.e. the day on which stock is brought/sold. and here T+1 means that the actual stock settlement will happen on the next day i.e +1 day. Ex: You buy a stock on Monday, you will get it in your Demat account Tuesday.


Important Info:


SEBI introduced the present T+2 settlement in April 2003. Before that settlement of T+3 was followed by stock exchanges.  Stock exchanges like BSE and NSE have selected, the bottom 100 stocks based on market cap that will be settled using the T+1 mechanism starting February 25.  Thereafter, 500 more stocks will be added every last Friday of subsequent months, until every stock is placed under the new settlemen

TikTok now allows 10-minute-long videos on the app

short by Pragya Swastik / 10:46 pm on 28 Feb 2022,Monday

TikTok has started rolling out the ability that allows users to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes long. TikTok, which began as a 15-second video app, has been gradually increasing the maximum time limit for videos and last increased the limit to 3 minutes in July 2021. Owned by Chinese internet conglomerate ByteDance, TikTok remains banned in India.

t system.

 

 


Sports News


Wushu Stars Championship: India’s Sadia Tariq wins Gold in Russia