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15th and 16th April 2022

National News

PM Modi Dedicates K. K. Patel Super Speciality Hospital in Bhuj  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation, a 200-bed KK Patel Super Speciality Hospital in Bhuj in the Kutch district of Gujarat, via video-conferencing.  This hospital has been built by Shree Kutchi Leva Patel Samaj, Bhuj and is the first charitable super speciality hospital in the Kutch region. It will guarantee quality medical treatment for the people of Kutch including lakhs of soldiers, par military personnel and traders.  This initiative is in line with the policy of the Central government to set up at least one medical college in every district of the country so that India gets a record number of doctors in the next 10 years.

Uttarakhand to launch “Him Prahari” scheme for ex-servicemen & youngsters 

The Government of Uttarakhand is set to implement the ‘Him Prahari’ Scheme which is meant for ex-servicemen and youngsters. The Uttarakhand Govt is seeking the cooperation of the Union Government to implement the scheme in areas bordering the Uttarakhand.  The scheme will also prioritise settling ex-servicemen in areas bordering the state. The scheme is aimed at stopping the migration of people from Uttarakhand and will focus on areas where migration occurs at a rapid phase so that people stay put, and not move out.  The estimated expenditure of the scheme is around Rs 5.45 crore. The Him Prahari Scheme was announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Uttarakhand unit in its 2022 Election Manifesto.

Assamese New Year 2022, Rongali Bohag Bihu Festival

Bohag Bihu or Rongali Bihu, one of the biggest festivals of Assam, falls in the second week of April every year, marking the beginning of the harvest period. This year Bohag Bihu is being observed from April 14 to April 16.  Rongali means joy in Assamese and the festival indeed is the time to rejoice and make merry with family and community. The first day of the Hindu solar calendar is celebrated in the states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Kerala, Manipur, and West Bengal among others with different names and traditions.  Bihu is celebrated thrice a year; apart from Rongali or Bohag Bihu - Kati Bihu or Kongaali Bihu and Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu are celebrated to mark different stages of the harvesting period.  The history of Bihu is said to go back to ancient times, around 3500 BC, when people made fire sacrifices for a better harvest. It is said that an agrarian tribe who lived in the north-eastern part of the world thousands of years back celebrated the festival.

Himachal Pradesh statehood Day 2022: 15th April

Himachal Day is observed on the 15th of April in Himachal Pradesh. The state became a full-fledged state on this day. Four districts of Mandi, Chamba, Mahasu and Sirmour were integrated with over two dozen princely states, leading to the formation of Himachal Pradesh as a Union Territory in 1948.  Decades later, in 1971, Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state in India with Shimla as its capital. It was on this day in 1948 that Himachal Pradesh was created as a province of India. The day is marked with a grand parade in the capital city of Shimla. Local events are also organised in the cities, towns, and villages to mark the day.  Himachal Pradesh is a state in northern India. Bordering Tibet, it is noted for its Himalayan landscapes (Himachal means 'snow-laden region') and is a popular tourist destination for trekking and enjoying the natural beauty. The state also has the fourth-highest per capita income of the Indian state and is the third fastest growing economy in India.



International News


Sri Lankan stock exchange to halt trading for 5 days amid crisis

The Colombo Stock Exchange will remain shut for five business days from April 18, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka. The move is aimed at providing investors an opportunity to have "more clarity and understanding" of the current economic conditions, it said. Sri Lanka is dealing with its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948.

Prez Biden nominates Indian-American diplomat as his envoy to Mali

The White House on Friday announced that US President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American diplomat Rachna Sachdeva Korhonen as his envoy to Mali. Korhonen is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Counselor, it said in a statement. She also had assignments at the US Consulate General in Mumbai, according to the statement.

Singapore PM Loong says Finance Minister Wong to succeed him as PM

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday said Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will succeed him as the next leader of the city-state. "The plan is for Lawrence to succeed me as PM, either before or after the next General Election," Loong, 70, said. Wong, 49, helped Singapore through the COVID-19 pandemic as co-chair of the government's task force.


Israel successfully tests ‘Iron Beam’ new laser-based air defence system 

Israel successfully tested a new laser missile-defence system ‘Iron Beam‘ which can destroy any airborne object including drones.  Iron Beam is the world’s first energy-based weapons system that uses a laser beam to shoot down incoming UAVs, rockets, mortars, long-range missiles, anti-tank missiles etc.  The Iron Beam which is developed by the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems is using a directed-energy weapon system and can go a long way in providing aerial defence.

Iron Beam: How it works

Iron Beam works on a fibre laser system to destroy any airborne object.  Iron Dome defense system has been a great success, with a 90% interception rate against incoming rocket fire.

Banking, Business and Economy


World Bank Slashes India's GDP Growth Forecast for FY22-23 to 8 Percent

The World Bank has slashed the GDP growth forecast for India in FY2022/23 to 8 per cent in its bi-annual “South Asia Economic Focus” report, due to the negative impact of the war in Ukraine on FY23 growth. Earlier in January 2022, the growth forecast for FY23 was estimated at 8.7 per cent.  The World Bank said a further escalation in the war in Ukraine could scare investors in emerging market securities and debt instruments and lead to a capital flight from South Asia to “safe havens” in the West.  Foreign investors have already been exiting India’s financial market since October 2021, due to the impending monetary tightening by the US Federal Reserve. Recent developments in Eastern Europe have intensified the capital outflow, weakening the Indian rupee (INR).  Maintaining macroeconomic stability through prudent and transparent policies will be important also if the Indian government turns to domestic borrowing.

Three General insurance companies’ share capital increased by the government

Three public sector general insurance businesses – National Insurance Company Limited, Oriental Insurance Company Limited, and United India Insurance Company – have had their authorised share capital increased by the government. This will allow for a capital inflow of Rs. 5,000 crore into these businesses.  The permitted capital for National Insurance will now be 15,000 crore (1,500 crore shares with a face value of 10 apiece), up from the current 7,500 crore, according to a notification released by the Finance Ministry (1,500 crore shares with a face value of ten each).  Oriental Insurance would have a market capitalization of 7,500 crore (750 crore shares with a face value of ten rupees each), up from 5,000 crore (500 crore shares with a face value of ten rupees each).
United India Insurance's permitted capital has been increased to Rs 7,500 crore. United India Insurance's authorised capital has been raised from 5,000 crore (500 crore shares with a face value of 10) to 7,500 crore (750 crore shares with a face value of 10).  Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in her FY 2018-19 Budget speech that three public sector general insurance companies, National Insurance Company Ltd., United India Assurance Company Limited, and Oriental India Insurance Company Limited, would be merged into a single insurance entity and then listed.

Union Govt crosses its asset monetization target for FY22

According to the evaluation made at a high-level review meeting, the central government has exceeded its asset monetization target of 88,000 crores for FY22 and has concluded agreements worth 96,000 crores.  Roads, power, coal and mineral mining are among the industries that have made significant contributions to asset monetisation. The Centre has set an asset monetisation target of over 1.6 trillion dollars for FY23, for which proposals from various ministries are in various stages of processing.  Prominent investors who purchased assets in FY22 include CPP Investments, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, and Utilico Emerging Markets Trust Plc. At the time of publication, emails made to these investors evening had gone unanswered.   When the final data are in, the total asset sale in FY22 could reach $1 trillion. Senior officials from the finance and infrastructure ministries, as well as the NITI Aayog, attended the meeting, which was headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.  The strategy included a pipeline of assets totalling $6 trillion that would be monetised over a four-year period until FY25. As asset acquirers borrow loans and expand their operations, the government anticipates the asset sale completed in FY22 to result in an additional $9 trillion in cumulative investments.



Kotak Mahindra Bank Launches Digital Platform, FYN

Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMBL) has launched Kotak FYN, a new enterprise platform designed specifically for Business Banking and Corporate clients. Customers of the bank can utilise the portal to conduct all trade and service transactions.  According to a press release, the Kotak FYN portal will contain many other services by the fourth quarter of 2022, including account services, payments, and collections.  The portal will also have a dashboard that consumers can personalise, real-time tracking of transaction limits, access to prior transactions, and upcoming transaction events, among other things.  It also promises to deliver a tailored experience in small steps with system stability.
Kotak FYN seeks to provide clients with a consistent experience across all product platforms through a unified perspective.  The platform ensures paperless transactions and the ability to follow transactions from beginning to end.

'SVANidhi se Samriddhi' introduced by MoH & UA

In the presence of senior officials from States/UTs and several Central Ministries, Shri Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), launched the 'SVANidhi se Samriddhi' programme in an additional 126 cities across 14 States/UTs.  PMSVANidhi's extra initiative, 'SVANidhi se Samriddhi,' was launched in 125 cities in Phase 1 in 2021, covering around 35 lakh street vendors and their families.  They have been given 22.5 lakh scheme sanctions, which include 16 lakh insurance benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeeban Jyoti Yojana, and 2.7 lakh pension benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan Yojana, among other things.

HDFC Bank year-on-year profit up by 24% in Q1

Keeping in line with analysts' expectations, India's largest private sector lender HDFC Bank has reported a jump of 24% year-on-year (Y-O-Y) in its consolidated net profit for the Jan-March, 2022 quarter. The lender's gross non-performing assets were at 1.17% of its gross advances, as compared to 1.32% last year. Its consolidated net profit is at ₹10,474 crore.



128th Foundation Day of Punjab National Bank

Punjab National Bank, India’s second-largest bank has celebrated its 128th Foundation Day on April 12, 2022.  On the occasion of foundation day, MD & CEO of PNB, Atul Kumar Goel has launched a cardless cash withdrawal service and a virtual debit card for its customers.  Bank also launched various services on its mobile app named PNB One for safe banking transactions.  PNB was established by the great freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai, proudly known as Sher-e-Punjab (Lion of Punjab) in 1894 as the First Swadeshi Bank after being influenced by the swadeshi movement.

Fino Payments Bank to buy 12.19% stake in Paysprint Pvt Ltd

Fino Payments Bank announced that its board of directors has approved a 12.19 percent minority strategic investment in New Delhi-based fintech Paysprint Pvt Ltd. Fino Payments Bank is making its first strategic investment since becoming public. This is in addition to the bank's Fino 2.0 projects, which include many internal programmes aimed at creating a digital ecosystem for its customers.  Paysprint, a profitable fintech, is a fast-growing financial technology firm that provides next-generation application programming interfaces (APIs) in banking, payments, travel, lending, insurance, and investment, among other fields.  Paysprint's co-founder and CEO, S Anand, said the fintech company is excited to collaborate with Fino Payments Bank and combine technical knowledge to develop innovative banking products and solutions that will increase consumer acceptance.  Paysprint completed its first full year of operations in FY22, with an annual GMV of Rs 5,500 crore.

Awards News


New Zealand Cricket Awards 2022 announced

New Zealand announced awards for Men and Women's cricketers. New Zealand speedster Trent Boult and White Ferns skipper Sophie Devine won the ‘T20 International Player of the Year’ in the recently announced New Zealand Cricket Awards 2022.  New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee has been awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Awards on April 14, 2022.  This is Southee’s first Sir Richard Hadlee Medal in his 14-year-long career. He has been awarded for his consistency throughout the 2021-22 season. Sir Richard Hadlee's medal is the highest cricketing honour of New Zealand (Black Cap).

Other category awards announced are given below:

Women’s Super Smash Player of the Year: Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze).

Men’s Super Smash Player of the Year: Michael Bracewell (Wellington Firebirds).

Fan Moment of the Summer: Ross Taylor’s final wicket in his last Test.

International Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Amelia Kerr (Wellington Blaze).

International Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Will Young (Central Stags).

Redpath Cup for first-class batting: Devon Conway (Wellington Firebirds).

Ruth Martin Cup for women’s domestic batting: Suzie Bates (Otago Sparks).

Winsor Cup for first-class bowling: Tim Southee (Northern Districts).

Phyl Blackler Cup for women’s domestic bowling: Eden Carson (Otago Sparks).

New Zealand Umpire of the Year: Chris Gaffaney.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu presents International Gandhi Award for Leprosy, 2021

Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu has presented the International Gandhi Awards for Leprosy, 2021 to Dr Bhushan Kumar of Chandigarh under the Indian nomination (individual) category and Sahyog Kushtha Yagna Trust, Gujarat under the institutional category.  The award was given during a function in New Delhi on April 13, 2022. Sahyog Kushtha Yagna Trust and Dr. Bhushan Kumar have been working round the clock to raise awareness regarding leprosy and the care that can be provided to those afflicted with this disease. They have also been working to remove the social stigmas that are associated with this disease.  The annual award has been instituted by Gandhi Memorial Leprosy Foundation to recognise the work of individuals and organisations who have worked tirelessly to fight this disease and the prejudices associated with it. The award commemorates the compassion that Gandhiji possessed and the service he rendered toward people afflicted with leprosy.



Prabhat Patnaik named for Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2022

Well-known Indian economist and political commentator, Prabhat Patnaik has been selected for the Malcolm Adiseshiah Award 2022.  The award is annually given by the Malcolm and Elizabeth Adiseshiah Trust to an outstanding social scientist selected from nominations received by a specially constituted national jury.  The award includes a citation and prize money of Rs 2 lakh. Dr Patnaik has taught at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning in the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi and was the Vice Chairman of the Kerala State Planning Board.

Schemes News

(e-NAM) National Agriculture Market Completed 6 years

e-NAM marks the sixth anniversary of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM), a pan-India electronic trade network. To ease online trade of agricultural commodities, the flagship programme incorporates physical wholesale mandis and markets from several States and Union Territories.  The Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium is implementing e-NAM, which was launched on April 14th in 2016 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is completely funded by the Central Government.  The National Agriculture Market (eNAM) is a pan-India electronic trading system that connects the existing APMC mandis to form a unified national agricultural commodities market. Under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare of the Government of India, the Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) is the key agency for implementing eNAM.

Sports News


Orleans Masters 2022: Indian Shuttler Mithun Manjunath won silver

Indian shuttler Mithun Manjunath has won silver in Men’s Singles at the Orléans Masters 2022, a badminton tournament held from 29th March to 3rd April 2022 in Orleans, France.  Playing in his maiden BWF final, the 79th ranked Indian shuttler lost 11-21, 19-21 to world number 32 Frenchman Toma Junior Popov at the Palais des Sports Arena. The women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam has won the bronze in the Women’s doubles at the tournament.

India will host Street Child Cricket World Cup in 2023

India is ready to host the Street Child Cricket World Cup in 2023. This world is organized by Street Child United and Save the Children India, the Street Child Cricket World Cup 2023 will welcome 22 teams from 16 countries to India next year.  The Street Child Cricket World Cup 2023 will welcome 22 teams from 16 countries to India next year.  Countries that will participate this year are Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, England, Hungary, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. In addition to the partnership between Street Child United and Save the Children the SCCWC 2023 will also collaborate with World Bank, ICC and the British High Commission.

Karthik smashes 66*(34) as RCB defeat DC to go 3rd on IPL 2022 points table

RCB defeated DC by 16 runs to register their fourth win in IPL 2022 and jump to third position on IPL 2022 points table. Dinesh Karthik slammed an unbeaten 66 off 34 deliveries as RCB put up a total of 189/5. DC were restricted to 173/7 as RCB pacers Josh Hazlewood and Mohammed Siraj took three and two wickets, respectively.


Odisha CM unveils logo of 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has unveiled the logo of the 2023 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga stadium in the capital Bhubaneswar. To be held in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, the prestigious quadrennial tournament is scheduled from January 13 to 29.  Hockey India and its official partner Odisha will host the marquee event for the second consecutive time in the country after 2018. The 15th edition of the showpiece will be staged in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, where the country’s largest hockey stadium is being constructed.

Tamil Nadu beat Punjab in National basketball championship final

Tamil Nadu defeated defending champion Punjab 87-69 in the final to win the men's title in the 71st Senior National Basketball Championship. The formidable Indian Railways team won the women's title, beating Telangana 131-82 in convincing fashion, riding on Poonam Chaturvedi's 26 points.  In the men's summit clash, Tamil Nadu pulled ahead after a slow start when Punjab kept pace and never looked back. At half-time, the host had widened the lead to 17 with a 50-33 scoreline. An Aravind with 26 points and M Arvind Kumar (21) were in the fine nick for the home team as they stamped their authority against their arch-rival.

Science and Technology News

IIT Guwahati collaborated with NTPC to develop energy-efficient tech to capture CO2

The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, has teamed up with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to design and construct a highly energy-efficient CO2 collection system from power plants.  A research team led by Prof. Bishnupada Mandal, Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati, developed this indigenous technique, which could be copyrighted soon.  The oil, natural gas, and biogas industries, as well as petroleum refineries, will benefit from the project's outputs.  It also has the potential to save India money in terms of foreign exchange.
This project will also assist and strengthen the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its research and education.  The pilot plant has been relocated to NTPC's NETRA site following the successful completion of test investigations.

Important Days


World Art Day observed on 15th April

World Art Day is observed every year on 15 April globally. This day is being celebrated all over the world to emphasize the importance of art that nurtures creativity, innovation and cultural diversity for all peoples across the globe. The day was declared by the International Association of Art (IAA), an NGO working in official partnership with UNESCO.  The first celebration of World Art Day was held on April 15, 2012. The date has been selected in honour of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, the famous painter of the Mona Lisa. He was chosen as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s importance to other fields.  In order to honour Leonardo da Vinci's birthday, World Art Day is celebrated. As per IAA, Leonardo da Vinci was considered the symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, and brotherhood. World Art Day aims to nurture an artist's creativity and innovation. The day also sheds light on the different varieties that exist in artistic expression.



Save the Elephant Day 2022: 16 April

Save the Elephant Day is celebrated on April 16 every year to raise awareness about the dangers elephants face and the various difficulties they have to overcome to live.  Save The Elephant Day aims to change this alarming trend by educating people about elephants and the plights they face, encouraging everyone to do their bit and helping save them from extinction.  The Day is established by the Thailand-based Elephant Reintroduction Foundation, to spread awareness among the general people about the significance and consequences of their actions, or inactions on the future of elephants. According to WWF data, at present, the population of Pachyderms in India is around 20,000 to 25,000.  Elephants are known as the most enormous land animal and a surprisingly gentle giants in the animal kingdom. Emotional, intelligent and beautiful in the wild, sadly elephant populations have been rapidly decreasing due to various threats, perhaps most significantly poaching.

World Voice Day 2022 celebrates on 16 April

World Voice Day (WVD) is celebrated globally on April 16 every year. The day is observed to demonstrate the enormous importance of the voice in the daily lives of all people. The Day is a global annual event dedicated to recognizing the boundless limits of the human voice.  The mission is to share the excitement of the voice phenomenon with people, scientists, and other funding bodies. This year, the theme of the World Voice Day campaign is ‘Lift your voice’.  The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) has put forward the motto of the campaign to highlight how maintaining a good quality of voice can improve communication skills.  The celebration of World Voice Day was initiated by a group of vocal care professionals in Brazil.  In 1999, the Brazilian Society of Laryngology and Voice under the chairmanship of Dr Nedio Steffen first celebrated the day as Brazilian Voice Day on 16 April. The day was also observed in Portugal and Argentina.

Miscellaneous News

Puducherry LG inaugurated Beach Festival I Sea PONDY-2022

In the presence of Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, Lieutenant Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan opened the Puducherry first-ever Beach Festival I Sea PONDY-2022.  Gandhi Beach, Pondy Marina, and Sandunes of Paradise Beach in Puducherry will host the festival for four days.  During the festival, there will be a variety of cultural events and competitions.  Pondicherry (or Puducherry) was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954 and is currently a Union Territory town bordering the Tamil Nadu state in the southeast.  The French Quarter, with its tree-lined avenues, mustard-coloured colonial mansions, and stylish stores, preserves the city's French heritage.  Along the Bay of Bengal, a beachfront promenade passes various statues, including a 4m-high Gandhi Memorial.



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