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07th April 2022


Withdraw look out circular against ex-Amnesty India chief: Court tells CBI

A Delhi court on Thursday asked CBI to withdraw the look out circular issued against former Amnesty India chief Aakar Patel in a Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) case. He approached the court after he was stopped from flying to the US from Bengaluru on Wednesday. CBI claimed he may flee from justice as he is an influential person.
India, Australia name officers' exchange programme after CDS Rawat

Indian and Australian governments have announced an Australia-India Young Defence Officers' Exchange Programme in memory of late CDS General Bipin Rawat, who was killed in a helicopter crash in December. The programme will be named after General Rawat, Australia's High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell said. General Rawat took over as CDS after serving as Army chief for three years.

Digital Rupee won't eliminate cryptos in India: CEA Nageswaran

Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran said the introduction of a Central Bank Digital Currency, or Digital Rupee, won't lead to the elimination of cryptos and stablecoins as they satisfy different objectives. "Objective for cryptos to emerge evasion, money laundering and speculation...Therefore, they have to be tackled separately with other regulatory instruments," he said.

UNGA suspends Russia from UNHRC; India abstains from voting

The UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday suspended Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. India abstained from the UN General Assembly vote. As many as 93 countries voted in the favour of the draft resolution, 24 countries voted against it and 58 countries abstained.

Ministry of Ayush's Yoga Mahotsav begins at the Red Fort in Delhi

On World Health Day and the 75th day of the countdown to International Day of Yoga, the Ministry of Ayush is hosting a magnificent programme for the presentation of the Common Yoga Protocol in the backdrop of 15th August Park, Lal Quila, (Red Fort) Delhi.  The program's Chief Guest is slated to be Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla. Several Union Ministers, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors of several nations stationed in Delhi, famous Sports Celebrities, and Yoga Gurus are expected to attend the event.  The Ministry, in collaboration with its numerous stakeholders, has devised a 100-day countdown programme for the 8th International Day of Yoga, in which 100 organisations promote yoga in 100 different locations/cities.  The Ministry of Ayush is the nodal ministry for the International Day of Yoga's commemoration. The primary event of IDY is a Mass Yoga Demonstration, which is led by Prime Minister Modi every year. The IDY-2022 preparations are well underway.  Because the 8th International Day of Yoga falls within the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav year, the Ministry advises commemorating IDY at 75 iconic locations around the country. This countdown effort is already underway, and IDY-2022 observation is gathering traction.

International News

US will boycott G20 meeting if Russia is allowed to attend: Yellen

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said US will boycott "a number of G20 meetings" if Russian officials are allowed to attend. "President Biden has made it clear, and I certainly agree with him, that it cannot be business as usual for Russia in any of the financial institutions," Yellen said. She added Russia should be expelled from the Group of 20.
India & US to hold 2+2 dialogue in Washington on April 11

The MEA on Thursday informed that India and US will hold 2+2 dialogue on April 11 in Washington. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. "The...dialogue will...provide an opportunity to exchange views about important regional and global developments," MEA said.


Pakistan PM Imran Khan loses court case, faces no-trust vote on Saturday

Pakistan Supreme Court has termed National Assembly Deputy Speaker's decision to dismiss the no-confidence motion against PM Imran Khan as "unconstitutional". The Supreme Court has restored the National Assembly and ordered Speaker to call for session on April 9 to organise no-confidence vote. On Sunday, the no-trust motion against Khan's government was dismissed by Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri.

Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić wins new term 

Aleksandar Vučić has been re-elected as the President of Serbia. The pollster organizations CeSID and Ipsos had predicted victory for Vucic. The pro-European and centrist Alliance for Victory coalition was represented by Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general.  The pollsters had predicted that Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) would win most of the votes with 43 per cent and they would be followed by the United for Victory of Serbia opposition.  Aleksandar Vučić is serving as Serbia’s president since 2017, and since 2012 he has been serving as the president of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). He has served as the President for two terms, from 2014 to 2016 and from 2016 to 2017.  In 2017, he was first elected as the country’s President and succeeded Tomislav Nikolić. Vučić’s rule has been described by observers as an autocratic, authoritarian, illiberal democratic regime, and he curtailed the freedom of the press.

Tamil Nadu government launched ‘Kaaval Uthavi’ app for public during emergency

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M K Stalin has launched the ‘Kaaval Uthavi’ app which helps citizens to seek police assistance during any emergency. The app is containing sixty features that are used to send an emergency alert to the police control room.  By pressing the emergency red button, the user’s live location will be shared with the control room. The user can also identify the nearest police station/patrol vehicle.  The app comprises an emergency help and a dial facility (Dial-112/100/101). The Dial 100 facility has been integrated with the app. It also has a facility for mobile-based complaints and a location sharing facility.

Sarhul Festival 2022 celebrated in Jharkhand

Sarhul is the festival of the New Year celebrated in the state of Jharkhand by the tribal communities as part of the local Sarna religion. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra, three days after the appearance of the new moon.  It is also a celebration of the beginning of spring. The word ''Sarhul'' is connected with tree worship. It is a festival where nature is venerated. In the year 2022, it falls on 04 April, Monday.  Sarhul is celebrated by many tribes in Jharkhand, but most notably the Munda, Ho, and Oraon tribes. While nature veneration is an important aspect of the festival, there are also many cultural programmes that are enjoyed along with it.  Among these many cultural events is “Baa Porob”, the festival of flowers and the worship of the Sal Tree as well as a special Sarhul dance.
The festivities around Sarhul are made even more special with the many festive delicacies that are cooked and enjoyed, such as the rice dish called ''handia''', a baked or dried fish dish called ''fish sukha''.

Appointments News

RBI approves re-appointment of Murli Natarajan as MD-CEO of DCB Bank 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved an extension in the tenure of Murli M Natarajan as the managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of DCB Bank for a period of two years.  His extended term will be applicable from April 29, 2022, to April 28, 2024. Natrajan is serving as MD & CEO of the bank since April 2009.  RBI has capped the tenure of bank chief executives at 15 years and Natrajan will complete 15 years at the helm of the bank in 2024. The re-appointment as above is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting of the bank.

Agreements News

NTPC and GGL have agreed to combine Green Hydrogen into piped Natural Gas

With a sustained focus on the environment, NTPC has taken the initiative of blending green hydrogen in the GGL (Gujarat Gas Limited) Piped Natural Gas (PNG) network at NTPC Kawas. In the presence of Mohit Bhargava, CEO, NTPC REL & ED RE, NTPC, and Sanjeev Kumar, MD-GGL & GSPL, a formal agreement between the two firms was signed.  This hydrogen blending project at NTPC Kawas is a ground-breaking initiative and the country's first of its type. This is a step toward decarbonizing the culinary sector and achieving energy self-sufficiency for the country.


US-based Coinbase plans to more than triple staff strength in India

short by Aishwarya Awasthi / 04:18 pm on 07 Apr 2022,Thursday

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase plans to more than triple its number of employees in India this year to around 1,000, CEO Brian Armstrong said. "We are going to invest for the long term in India," Armstrong said at a Coinbase conference in Bengaluru. Coinbase is also allowing customers to use UPI to directly purchase cryptocurrencies on the exchange.

Edtech unicorn Unacademy lays off 1,000 employees: Report

Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn Unacademy has laid off around 1,000 employees in the past few weeks as part of a cost-cutting exercise, ET reported citing sources. An Unacademy spokesperson said, "A small subset of employee, contractor and educator roles were re-evaluated due to role redundancy and performance." Unacademy was last valued at $3.4 billion in a funding round in August 2021.

Coca-Cola to set up 2nd plant worth ₹1,000 cr in Telangana

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages on Thursday signed a partnership with the Telangana government and announced a fresh investment of ₹1,000 crore for setting up their second factory in the state. Coca-Cola will initially invest ₹600 crore in the new facility and add another ₹400 crore over the next five years, reports said. The facility will manufacture packaged beverages, juices and more.

BankBazaar plans IPO in 2023; seeks to hire 1,500 employees

Online financial services marketplace BankBazaar plans to list an IPO in 2023, the company said on Thursday. After reporting revenue growth in FY22, the Sequoia India and Amazon-backed firm also plans to recruit over 1,500 employees across departments this year aiming to expand its product offerings. BankBazaar reported annualised revenue run rate of ₹156 crore, the company added.

ADB Projects India’s economy to grow by 7.5% in FY23

Asian Development Bank projected a 7 per cent collective growth for South Asian economies in 2022 with the subregion's largest economy India growing by 7.5 per cent in the current fiscal year before picking up to eight per cent the next year.  However, uncertainties stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the continuing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and tightening by the United States Federal Reserve pose risks to the outlook.  The Manila-based multilateral funding agency, Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected the GDP growth rate of the Indian economy, in its flagship Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022, as follows: 2022-23 (FY23): 7.5 per cent; 2023-24 (FY24): 8.0 per cent.

Govt released data: India's trade deficit rises 88% in FY22 

According to government data released, India's trade imbalance increased by 87.5 percent to $192.41 billion in 2021-22, up from $102.63 billion the previous year. While total exports hit a new high of $417.81 billion last fiscal year, imports also hit a new high of $610.22 billion, resulting in a $192.41 billion trade deficit.  As per the ministry of commerce and industry, "India's merchandise imports in April 2021-March 2022 totalled $610.22 billion, up 71 per cent from $394.44 billion in April 2020-March 2021 and 28.55 percent higher than $474.71 billion in April 2019-March 2020."  In March 2022, the trade deficit was $18.69 billion, compared to $192.41 billion for the entire fiscal year 2021-22.  India's monthly merchandise exports surpassed $40 billion for the first time in March 2022, reaching $40.38 billion, up 14.53 percent from $35.26 billion the previous month.  It increased by 87.89% from $21.49 billion in March 2020.  Imports of non-petroleum goods totalled $40.66 billion in March 2022, up 5.26 percent from $38.63 billion the previous month. According to the ministry's figures, it was up 89.79 percent from $21.42 billion in March 2020.

Union Bank launches super-app UnionNXT and digital project SMBHAV

Union Bank of India has launched its super-app named UnionNXT and digital transformation project SMBHAV, with an investment outlay of around Rs 1,000 crore for the current financial year 2022-23 (FY23).  The public sector lender expects recovery from the spending in two years and aims to have 50 per cent of business originating on the digital platform by 2025. A banking super-app essentially combines a number of services, such as payments, online shopping, bill payments, recharges, investment, loans, and fund transfer, on a single platform.  UBI’s super-apps is similar to the super-apps by other large lenders such as State Bank of India’s Yono, Bank of Baroda’s Bob world and HDFC Bank’s PayZapp and ICICI Bank’s iMobile.

Jio-bp and TVS Motor to collaborate on EV solutions

Jio-bp and TVS Motor Company announced that they had agreed to explore the establishment of a comprehensive public EV charging infrastructure in India for electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers, building on Jio-developing bp's network in this field.  Customers of TVS electric vehicles are likely to gain access to Jio-extensive bp's charging network, which is also open to other vehicles, as part of this proposed agreement.  The partnership's goal is to build a standard AC charging network as well as a DC fast-charging network.  According to TVS Motors, this will match with Jio-bp and TVS' aim to deliver a vast and reliable charging infrastructure to their customers.  Both TVS Motor and Jio-bp have developed solutions for a seamless customer journey on their own apps.  This agreement will aid in the adoption of electric vehicles in the country among two- and three-wheeler customers who want to take the next step toward turning electric.  The fast spread of these charging stations will widen the horizons of both companies and India's net-zero emission goal.

Awards News

Ramdarash Mishra named for Saraswati Samman 2021

Noted poet and litterateur Prof Ramdarash Mishra will be awarded the prestigious Saraswati Samman, 2021, for his collection of poems ‘Mein to Yahan Hun’, the KK Birla Foundation announced. The recipient is chosen by a selection committee, whose current head is Dr Subhash C Kashyap.  Instituted in 1991, Saraswati Samman is one of the most prestigious literary awards in the country. It is given every year to an outstanding literary work written in any Indian language by an Indian citizen and published within the last 10 years.  It carries a citation, a plaque, and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakhs. The recipient is chosen by a selection committee, whose current head is Dr Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary-general of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.


Schemes and Committees News

Government establishes a Semicon India advisory committee

The government announced the formation of a Semicon India advisory committee, which will include top government officials, established academicians, as well as industry and domain specialists.  The Minister of Electronics and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, will head the Committee, with Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), as Vice-Chairperson. The convenor will be MeitY, the Secretary.  The Union Cabinet recently approved the 'Semicon India' programme, which will spend a total of 76,000 crore to strengthen the country's semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem.  Within Digital India Corporation, a specialised and dedicated "India Semiconductor Mission (ISM)" has been established to drive India's ecosystem development strategies.  The group would meet at least once every three months to provide crucial insights to help India's ecosystem expand sustainably, it said, adding that the committee's term will be one year, after which it will be reformed with the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology's consent.  The newly created Advisory Committee will lead the objectives in a systematic, efficient, and strategic manner, the government stated in a statement.

Books and Authors News

A book titled 'The Maverick Effect' authored by Harish Mehta

"The Maverick Effect", tells the untold story of how in the 1970s and 80s a ‘band of dreamers’ joined hands to create NASSCOM and pave the way for the IT revolution in India.  The book, touted to be an authoritative biography of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the apex body of software and IT service companies, is written by Harish Mehta.  Harish Mehta is the founder and executive chairperson of Onward Technologies Ltd. He is the founding member and the first elected chairman of NASSCOM, a not-for-profit representing India’s burgeoning IT industry and considered among the world’s most exemplary associations. As a prominent angel investor, he also spends time mentoring young entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Important Days

World Health Day 2022 Celebrates on 7th April

World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated on the 7th April every year. Every year, World Health Day focuses on contemporary health issues that require immediate attention, with varied themes.  On World Health Day 2022, World Health Organisation will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being. The World Health Organization has done its part to raise awareness about health and health-related concerns, as well as how to address them.  The theme for World Health Day 2022 is ‘Our Planet, Our Health’. This year’s theme aims to direct global attention toward the well-being of our planet and the humans living in it.


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