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16 AND 17th March 2022

National News

Reform, perform, transform to next level: PM to trainee civil servants

short by Dharini Mudgal / 04:47 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

PM Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the valedictory function of the 96th Common Foundation Course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Speaking to the IAS trainees, he urged them to focus on the "biggest goal of the 21st century" Atmanirbhar Bharat and Modern India. He further asked them to "reform, perform and transform to the next level".

IDFC FIRST Bank's CEO gifts 5,00,000 shares to family of a deceased colleague

short by Pragya Swastik / 08:46 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

IDFC FIRST Bank's MD and CEO V Vaidyanathan has gifted 5,00,000 shares of the bank to family members of a deceased colleague. The deceased colleague was "closely known" to Vaidyanathan and the shares have been gifted to back the family's education and financial security, the bank said. Earlier, Vaidyanathan gifted shares to five people including his driver and househelp.

Bhagavad Gita to be part of school syllabus for Class 6-12 in Guj

short by Shalini Ojha / 08:55 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said on Thursday that Bhagavad Gita will be part of the school syllabus for Classes 6-12 from the academic year 2022-23. "For students of Classes 6- 8, the scripture will be introduced in the textbook of...holistic education. From Classes 9-12, it'll be introduced in form of storytelling in textbook of the first language," he explained.

Form panels to stop harassment of women: Kerala HC to film bodies

short by Nakul Ahuja / 10:17 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

The Kerala High Court on Thursday said that film bodies and production houses have the responsibility to form an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC), as per the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013. "It's only a question on the formation of it and it could be either done by the Producer's Association or the Chamber," said Producer Suresh Kumar.



Maternal Mortality in India: Kerala tops in maternal

Kerala has yet again emerged on top when it comes to maternal and child health, with the State recording the lowest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 30 (per one lakh live births) in the country.  According to the latest data, India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has improved to 103 for the period 2017-19. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of Kerala has dropped from 42 to 30.  Kerala has achieved the UN Sustainable Development Goals of MMR in the year 2020 itself. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100000 live births.  Kerala, Telangana, and Maharashtra are included in the top 3 states with the lowest MMR in India.
The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has worsened in West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh.  The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has drastically improved in UP, Rajasthan, and Bihar.  Italy, Norway, Poland, and Belarus have the lowest MMR in the world.

Oscars 22: India’s ‘Writing with Fire’ nominated in Best Documentary feature category

A documentary about the Dalit-led, all-woman newspaper Khabar Lahariya, "Writing With Fire" became the first Indian documentary to be nominated at the Oscars. ‘Writing With Fire’ had won Audience and Jury Awards at the Sundance Film Festival last year.  It is produced by Ticket Films and directed by filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh. ‘Khabar Lahariya’ is a newspaper founded in May 2002 in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. Other nominees in the category are: “Ascension”, “Attica”, “Flee”, and “Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”. 



Bhagwant Mann sworn in as new chief minister of Punjab

Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the 18th chief minister of Punjab at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh in the presence of Governor Banwarilal Purohit.  The Aam Aadmi Party romped home winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, decimating the Congress and the SAD-BSP combine.  Chanting 'Jo Bole So Nihal' and 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', Bhagwant Mann thanked the people who attended the swearing-in ceremony. Mann ended his speech with 'Inquilab Zindabad' (long live the revolution). Besides newly-elected AAP MLAs, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders were also present at the ceremony. Among other leaders present at the ceremony are Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia and Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai.

India’s 1st Digital Water Bank ‘AQVERIUM’ launched in Bengaluru

India's First Digital Water Bank, ‘AQVERIUM’ has been launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka which is an innovative initiative aimed at better water management. It is formed by AquaKraft Group Ventures.  It is a very unique innovation combining sustainable & green technologies along with information technology, skill development & entrepreneurship. It is a curated list of water data from all institutions and sources, that will help tackle some common development challenges.  Digital Water Data Bank can be understood as a curated list of ‘Water Data’ from all institutions and sources that will further aid in tackling some common development challenges.  The digital water data bank also provides insights and evidence from research and analytics thereby providing fundamental reliable information for tackling water pollution.  Data, in any field, facilitates building a broader picture that further enables us to harness the best evidence and make informed decisions. When it comes to making a water-secure world, data-driven decisions can greatly improve service delivery, sustain water resources and build resilience.


India’s first ‘World Peace Center’ will be established in Gurugram

Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti organisation established by Ambassador of Peace, Eminent Jainacharya Dr Lokeshji will establish India's first World Peace Center in Gurugram, Haryana.  For this, the Haryana Government has allotted a plot to the organization in Sector 39 of Gurugram opposite Medanta Hospital and adjacent to Delhi-Jaipur Highway. 'World Peace Center' will work for the establishment of peace and harmony in the world.  The voice of this centre of Gurugram will be heard all over the world by its work, including the United Nations and the World Religion Parliament.  'World Peace Center' will be a major world-class centre for personality building, where various dimensions such as Personality Development of Youth, Empowerment of Women and Sanskar Development in Children through Meditation, Yoga, Indian Culture and Jain lifestyle based scientific programs will also be conducted here.

Nation’s first AI & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK) launched in Bengaluru

The country's first Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK) was launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is promoted by a not-for-profit foundation set up by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru, with a seed capital of Rs. 230 crore from the State and Central governments.  ARTPARK (AI and Robotics Technology Park) along with AI Foundry is going to launch a $100 million venture fund to support AI and robotics innovations in India. The fund will be backed by the government, private companies, and VCs.  ARTPARK intends to use futuristic technologies to connect the unconnected will work with a focus on creating a globally leading AritificiaI Intelligence and Robotics Innovation ecosystem in India.  The ARTPARK has the objective of channelizing innovations to create a societal impact by executing ambitious mission-mode R&D projects in healthcare, education, mobility, infrastructure, agriculture, retail, and cyber-security aiming to solve problems unique to India.


Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050: Mumbai became first South Asian City to set target 

Mumbai, Maharashtra announced its detailed framework to ‘zero out carbon emissions by 2050’ and became the first city in South Asia to set such a target. Mumbai’s target is 20 years ahead of India’s target to reach net zero emissions by 2070.  Targets also include a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and 44% reduction by 2040. Mumbai set several short-term goals for decarbonisation measures such as electrifying public transport, it plans to adopt 2,100 electric buses by 2023 at a cost of 130 billion rupees (USD $1.7 billion).  Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has devised the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) as a part of its commitment towards building a climate-resilient city


Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Toyota "Mirai" India’s first Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell EV

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated the world’s most advanced technology-developed Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai at New Delhi.  Toyota Mirai is India’s first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), which is completely powered by Hydrogen. Toyota Mirai has been launched by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd and International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) under a pilot project, to study and evaluate the performance of Toyota Mirai on Indian roads and climatic conditions.  This is a first of its kind project in India which will create a Green Hydrogen based ecosystem in the country and help India to become ‘Energy Self-reliant’ by 2047.


International News


US Prez Biden to speak with Chinese Prez Xi over Ukraine crisis

short by Dharini Mudgal / 08:40 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has announced that the US President Joe Biden will hold a call on Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Psaki said the call is part of ongoing US efforts to maintain open lines of communication between the two nations. "The...leaders will discuss managing...competition between our two countries [and] Russia’s war against Ukraine," Psaki added.


Bihar-born Dr Ashish Jha named White House COVID-19 response coordinator

short by Dharini Mudgal / 09:50 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

US President Joe Biden has appointed Indian-American physician Dr Ashish Jha as the new White House COVID-19 response coordinator. President Biden said Jha is "one of the leading public health experts in America" and described him as the "perfect person for the job". The 51-year-old Bihar-born Jha said, "I'm deeply honoured for this chance to serve this country I love."

India & Sri Lanka sign agreement for a $1-billion line of credit

short by Deepika Bhatt / 11:00 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

The State Bank of India (SBI) will provide a $1-billion credit facility to Sri Lanka for the procurement of food, medicines and other essential items, the Union Finance Ministry said on Thursday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa in Delhi. The ministers discussed wide-ranging issues, the ministry added.

Govt reacts as judge Bhandari votes against Russia, says 'voted in individual capacity'

short by Arshiya Chopra / 10:50 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

On being asked about Indian judge Dalveer Bhandari's vote against Russia at International Court of Justice, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "He happens to be an Indian national who's a member in his individual capacity on the ICJ." "I am not going to comment on how judges vote on issues that come to the ICJ," he added.




Revoking Russia’s Most Favored Nation Trade Status: US 

President Biden announced that the United States—along with the G7, the European Union, and NATO—will revoke Russia’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status.  Revoking Russia’s PNTR status will allow the United States to increase and impose new tariffs on all Russian imports. In the US, the “most favoured nation” status is also known as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR).  Only North Korea and Cuba do not enjoy the “most favoured nation” status from the US. The main aim of this step is to punish the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine. The United States will also not export luxury goods to Russia.  Earlier, the United States has banned the import of Oil and energy from Russia. This action will cause economic harm to Russia by damaging its ability to export to wealthier Western markets; it will also raise costs for Americans and our trading partners that may rely on affected Russian products.


'Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle' Unveiled In Madagascar

Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle' has been unveiled in Madagascar to mark Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Ambassador of India to Madagascar, Abhay Kumar celebrated the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav by inaugurating a Green Triangle, along with Mayor of Antananarivo Naina Andriantsitohaina.  The word green in the plaque signifies their commitment to sustainable development and saving the environment. The naming of this park as Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle is an apt tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.  While addressing the ceremony, the Ambassador of India said that the Government of India has launched an initiative: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India. The event was attended by members of local government, diplomatic corps, heads of international organisations, and members of the Indian Diaspora in Madagascar.

Bangladesh top in South Asia in terms of women on board of listed companies

Bangladesh tops the list in South Asia in terms of women on board of listed companies, says a study conducted by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).  According to the latest figures, there was an increase in the percentage of women who are independent directors on listed companies from five per cent in 2020 to six per cent, despite the impact of COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected women, said a press release issued by the IFC.  The findings were revealed at an event marking International Women's Day. The IFC, DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact organised the programme. The IFC has partnered with the DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact for the seventh consecutive year to "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality".


We are very disappointed with India's stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine: UK minister

short by Daisy Mowke / 07:08 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

Britain is very disappointed with India's stance on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, UK's Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said. Asked if India's stance would impact trade talks with Britain, Trevelyan said, "We're very disappointed, but we continue to work with Indian partners and hope that their views will change." "India is an incredibly important trading partner for the UK," she added.

Banking, Business and Economy


Direct tax collection in FY22 stands at ₹13.63 lakh cr: CBDT chief

short by Ashley Paul / 09:12 pm on 17 Mar 2022,Thursday

CBDT Chairman JB Mohapatra said direct tax collection for FY22 outmatches revised estimates of ₹12.5 lakh crore after touching ₹13.63 lakh crore. He added that government's cumulative collection through tax deducted at source currently stood at ₹6.79 lakh crore and corporate tax collection stood at ₹7.19 lakh crore. "The numbers are more than what we expected," he said.



Paytm Payments Bank punished by RBI for data breaching to Chinese firms

The RBI has stopped Paytm Payments Bank from accepting new customers because it broke the laws by allowing data to transit to servers in other countries and failing to properly authenticate its consumers.  According to a report, annual inspections by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) discovered that the company's servers were sharing information with China-based organisations that indirectly held an interest in Paytm Payments Bank.  SoftBank-backed Paytm Payments Bank was prevented from adding new customers by the central bank on Friday, citing "serious supervisory problems found in the bank."  The Reserve Bank of India said in a statement that the bank has also been asked to appoint an audit company to perform a complete assessment of its IT system.  Paytm Payments Bank, on the other hand, described the allegation as "totally incorrect, erroneous, and unconfirmed," noting that it complies entirely with RBI's data localisation directives. Existing users' PPBL savings, fixed deposits with linked banks, and balances in their Paytm Wallet, FASTag or Wallet Card, and UPI services are all safe and working, according to the company.

Rs 1.42 lakh crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir for FY 2022-23, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a Rs 1.42 lakh crore budget for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the fiscal year 2022-23, despite opposition pleas for more time to review the plans.  Sitharaman also tabled the Union Territory's additional demands for the fiscal year 2021-22, totaling Rs 18,860.32 crore, and moved a resolution to suspend certain norms to allow the House to take up the debate on the same day.

India entered into world's top five club in terms of market capitalisation

As per Bloomberg’s recent data on Market capitalization, for the 1st time, India’s equities market has entered the world’s top 5 in terms of market capitalization. India is ranked 5th with an overall market capitalization of USD 3.21 trillion. The total world market cap stands at USD 109.22 trillion.  The US topped the ranking with an overall market cap of USD 47.32 trillion, followed by China (USD 11.52 trillion), Japan (USD 6 trillion) and Hong Kong (USD 5.55 trillion).  The United Kingdom (UK) ranked 6th with an M-Cap of USD 3.19 trillion, Saudi Arabia ranked 7th with an M-Cap of USD 3.18 trillion, Canada ranked 8th with an M-Cap of USD 3.18 trillion, France ranked 9th with an M-Cap of USD 2.89 trillion and Germany ranked 10th with M-Cap of USD 2.29 trillion.

Awards News

Axis Bank won ‘Asian Bank of the Year’ at IFR Asia Awards 2021 

India's third-largest private sector bank, Axis Bank has been awarded IFR Asia's Asian Bank of The Year, for its breadth of coverage and depth of expertise in the Asian investment banking space. The award acknowledges the bank's outstanding performance in equity and debt issuance, across all major products and segments.  This year, the bank has also won the 'Best DCM House in India' Award at the Finance Asia's Country Awards. Axis Bank has been No. 1 on the Bloomberg League Table ranking for 15 consecutive calendar years and has maintained its leadership position in the domestic Debt Capital Market.  Morgan Stanley has been honoured with the Bank of the year award at the IFR Asia Award 2021 and the JSW Group has been awarded with the Issuer of the year award. The awards are organized by IFR Asia, a Hong Kong-based provider of capital markets intelligence.

Narayan Pradhan named for GD Birla Award for Scientific Research

Professor Narayan Pradhan has been selected for the 31st GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for his outstanding contribution in the field of material sciences. He has provided his expertise in crystal modulations to help design new shapes of these tiny lighting materials.  Instituted in 1991, the award recognises eminent Indian scientists below the age of 50 for their original and outstanding contributions to any branch of science. It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. The recipient is chosen by a selection board, whose present head is professor Chandrima Shaha, the president of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

Science and Technology News

ISRO successfully tested solid fuel-based booster stage of SSLV

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully completed the ground test of the solid fuel-based booster stage (SS1) of its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota at Andhra Pradesh.  It completes the ground testing of all three stages of the launch vehicle. The vehicle is now ready for its first development flight, which is scheduled for May 2022.  Other stages of SSLV like SS2 & SS3 have successfully undergone necessary ground tests and are ready for integration. At present, the launch of small satellites has been dependent on ‘piggy-bank’ rides with big satellite launches on the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) of ISRO, which has completed around 50 successful launches.

Sports News

FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022 will be held in Chennai

India has been picked as the host nation for the FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022. The 44th edition of the Olympiad is scheduled to be held in Chennai, from 26th July 2022 to 8th August 2022. This is the first time that India will host the FIDE Chess Olympiad since its inception in 1927.  The event was originally scheduled to be held in Russia, but FIDE pulled out from there following the Ukraine invasion. The venue will be the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center, 60 kilometres south of central Chennai. It is located in Mamallapuram, one of the famous tourist sites in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of seventh- and eighth-century Hindu monuments.

Important Days


National Vaccination Day celebrates on 16th March

In India, the National Vaccination Day (also known as National Immunisation Day (IMD)) is observed on 16 March every year, to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation.  The day was first observed in the year 1995. In 2022, the National Immunization Day is important since the Government of India has started the COVID-19 vaccination for children between 15 to 18 years of age and booster dose for senior citizens. The theme for National Vaccination Day or National Immunisation Day 2022 is "Vaccines Work for all".   It was in 1995 that India started the Pulse Polio Programme and the first dose of Oral Polio Vaccine was given. According to the World Health Organization, immunization is a process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against foreign harm causing agents.


UN declares March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution to proclaim March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia every year, starting from 2022. The resolution, adopted by the 193-member UN General Assembly, was introduced by Pakistan’s ambassador Munir Akram on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on March 15, 2022.  It marks the day when a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 worshippers and wounding 40 others in the terror attack. The main objective of International Day to Combat Islamophobia will be curtailing systematic hate speech and discrimination against Muslims; respect for religious symbols and practices; along with the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief. 

Obituaries News

Former Andhra Pradesh Governor ‘Ms Kumudben Joshi’ passes away

The former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Kumudben Manishankar Joshi has passed away. She was 88. Ms Joshi served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 26 November 1985 to 7 February 1990.  She was the second female Governor of the state after Sharda Mukherjee. Joshi had been a member of the Rajya Sabha thrice. Kumudben Manishankar Joshi also became Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (October 1980 – January 1982) and Deputy Minister of Health and Family Welfare (January 1982 – December 1984).




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