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 25th APRIL 2022

National News


India's military spending 3rd highest in the world at $76.6 billion: Report

India's military spending in 2021 was the third highest in the world at $76.6 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia. US military spending reached $801 billion in 2021, while China spent $293 billion on defence.

AI helps Pune graduates prepare for interviews, apply for jobs

Over 3,000 students in less than 15 days have used Savitribai Phule Pune University's AI-assisted digital smart interview platform to prepare for upcoming interviews. "The industry has its requirements ready and they have the job openings as well, the AI is helping to identify which candidates can fit in and where," said Dr Nitin Karmalkar, Vice-Chancellor, SPPU.


K'taka makes face masks, social distancing mandatory amid COVID-19 surge

The Karnataka government on Monday issued guidelines making face masks mandatory in public places, workplaces and on public transport amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of the country. People have been asked to maintain social distancing, a minimum of two feet, in public places, an official order said. Spitting in public places will be punishable with a fine.



Posoco ties up with IIT Delhi for research

Power System Operation Corp. Ltd.'s (Posoco) Northern Regional Load Despatch Centre signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT Delhi) to encourage research on issues relating to India's power sector and strengthen interaction between academia and industry.  The partnership's goals are to improve academia-industry interaction with the goal of knowledge sharing and capacity building through collaboration, as well as to promote research on topics related to India's power sector, such as data sciences or data analytics, ancillary services for grid operations, short-term demand and RE forecasting using artificial intelligence and machine learning, dynamic security assessment, phasor measurement, and unit analytics, among others.  Posoco, a state-owned company, is in charge of the national energy grid's secure and integrated operations. The National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) is one of five regional load despatch centres (RLDCs).  India wants to increase its focus on clean energy, with the government aiming for net-zero carbon emissions by 2070 and intermediate goals through 2030.



Babita Singh selected as new Global Peace Ambassador 2022

Babita Singh, a serial entrepreneur, was named a Global Peace Ambassador for her work in promoting peace through education, sports, art, culture, and diplomacy at the India International Conclave 2022, which was held in collaboration with the Asia Africa Consortium (AAC) in New Delhi.  Babita Singh has been awarded this honour because she is one of the very few people who have dedicated their lives to practises that promote Universal Moral Values, Interreligious cooperation, and International Harmony in accordance with the United Nations Human Rights Charter in order to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.  The bureaucrats, politicians, international keynote speakers, celebrity artists, diplomats, and ambassadors from ten other nations were all in attendees.  The conference was organised in collaboration with On Sky Global, the United Nations World Sports Alliance, the World Health Organization, CBSE, Primary Plus, George Washington University, and the Bangladesh Olympic Association, with support from CBSE, Primary Plus, George Washington University, and the Bangladesh Olympic Association.  The Asia Africa Consortium established the AAC-Global Peace Ambassador 2022 distinction, which is the highest honour bestowed by the Secretary General on a global citizen who promotes socioeconomic relations and sustainable growth between Asia and Africa in areas such as education, health, and trade.  Babita Singh has been given this accolade because she is one of the very few people who have committed their lives to practises that promote Universal Moral Values.



Maharashtra is first state in India to launch a bus service with a totally digital ticketing system

Maharashtra State Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray inaugurated the tap-in tap-out service on the Gateway of India to Churchgate route in an effort to make commuting across Mumbai easier. Aditya Thackeray stated during the event that Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) is India's first fully digital bus service.  In a few days, all 10 buses on this route will be equipped with this technology, which will eventually be expanded to all 438 routes.  According to Lokesh Chandra, BEST's General Manager (GM), this is the country's first-ever 100 percent digital bus service, with the goal of increasing the digitalisation of the bus ticketing system.  It provides travellers with comfort and convenience because they can tap-in using their smart card or the 'Chalo' app on their cellphones.  If the tourist taps out using the app, they will receive a receipt on their phone, and if they used the smart card, they will be able to collect their ticket.


Rajiv Kumar, Niti Aayog’s vice chairman resigns from his post

The government-run organisation, Niti Aayog's Vice Chairperson, Rajiv Kumar has resigned due to a government order. Suman Bery, an economist, will take over as the new head of the planning agency.   The government has authorised Rajiv Kumar's resignation and Suman Bery's appointment, according to an order issued by the Cabinet Appointments Committee. Rajiv Kumar will be relieved of his duties, according to the ruling.  The reason for Rajiv Kumar's resignation was not stated in the order.  After Arvind Panagariya resigned from the job in August 2017 to return to academia, Rajiv Kumar, an economist, was named vice chairman of the Niti Aayog.  He also served on the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, the Statistical Commission, and the Technical Advisory Committee on Monetary Policy of the Reserve Bank of India.

International News


Poland, Sweden to organise donor conference to raise funds for Ukraine

Poland and Sweden will organise an international donor conference in Warsaw on May 5 to raise funds for Ukraine amid its invasion. "The conference will initiate a series of aid months," the event's press release stated. According to UN, an estimated 13 million people in Ukraine are in need of humanitarian aid, including shelter, food and medical supplies.


Cyber defence exercises called Locked Shields were conducted by NATO in Estonia

A cyber organisation recognised by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will undertake the world's largest and most complicated "live-fire" cyber defence drills. The biennial Locked Shields event, according to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Estonia, is designed to improve the skills of cybersecurity experts protecting national IT systems and vital infrastructure against real-time attacks.  The participants are sent to help a fake country deal with a massive cyberattack.  Over 2,000 people from 32 countries, including Ukraine, are expected to take part in the event.  The Locked Shields event this year takes place in the midst of the ongoing war in Ukraine, in which hacking has played a steady, albeit minor, role in Russia's invasion. Hackers linked to the Russian government have been accused of assaulting Ukrainian government offices and attempting to break into the power infrastructure.

Russia test-fired the "RS-28 SARMAT," world's "most powerful" nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his military had successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a big nuclear payload, but the Pentagon said the missile did not pose a substantial danger to the US. Russia's most powerful ICBM is the RS-28 Sarmat, dubbed "Satan 2" by NATO.  It is a super-heavy, thermonuclear-armed intercontinental-range ballistic missile.  The Sarmat was supposed to take the place of the Soviet-built Voevoda, which had three warheads and was designed in 1962.  The Sarmat weighs 200 metric tonnes (220 tonnes) and has a longer range, allowing it to fly across the North and South poles and strike targets anywhere on the planet.  The Sarmat, carries a greater number of more potent nuclear warheads.


India's GDP expected to grow 7.5-8% in FY23: CII President

Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) President TV Narendran said India's GDP is expected to grow 7.5-8% in FY23, with exports playing a key role. Referring to the Russia-Ukraine war, Narendran said no country can remain unaffected from events taking place outside its borders. "Even though India's...economic engagement with Russia or Ukraine is low, this does not shield us," he added.

Twitter set to accept Musk's $43 billion offer: Report

Twitter is set to agree on its sale to the world's richest man, Elon Musk, for around $43 billion in cash, Reuters reported on Monday. It is the price that Musk had called his "best and final" offer for the social media company. Twitter may announce the $54.20-per-share deal later on Monday, Reuters added.

India to give an additional $500 million in Fuel Aid to Sri Lanka

India will provide an additional $500 million in financial aid to help the Srilanka island nation buy fuel, and Bangladesh was willing to postpone $450 million in swap repayments to help Colombo.  This is the second $500 million in gasoline credit that India has given to a Sri Lankan government grappling with the country's greatest financial crisis in living memory.  After a shipment of 120,000 tonnes of diesel and 40,000 tonnes of gasoline earlier this month, the first line of credit was exhausted.  India has supplied approximately 400,000 tonnes of petroleum so far.  After fuel stockpiles were depleted, massive protests erupted.  AFP claimed that thousands of irate motorists torched tyres and blocked a major road leading into Colombo, citing police and local officials. The protests erupted after the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation increased the price of 92 octane gasoline to LKR 338 per litre, an increase of LKR 84.  The CPC raised its prices for the second time this month.
The Lankan Indian oil giant raised its pricing for the fifth time in six months.

Dhanlaxmi Bank signed MoU with CBDT, CBIC for tax collection

For the collection of taxes, Dhanlaxmi Bank has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).  Dhanlaxmi Bank said in a regulatory filing that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has authorised the bank to collect different taxes based on a recommendation from the Controller General of Accounts.  The technical integration required to implement the seamless flow of remittances from the bank's portal to the CBDT and CBIC portals will be implemented as soon as possible in order to give customers early access to the facilities.  The bank was empanelled as a 'Agency Bank' by the RBI in October, allowing it to handle general banking activity for the federal and state governments on their behalf.  It should be noted that RBI's General Manager D K Kashyap was appointed to the bank's board of directors for a two-year term in 2020.  To avoid any conflict of interest, the central bank normally does not appoint its nominee to the boards of private banks unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Awards News

Indian-American Defense Expert Vivek Lall Selected for the 6th Entrepreneur Leadership Award 2022

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce has picked Indian-American chief executive of General Atomics Global Corporation Vivek Lall for the prestigious Entrepreneur Leadership Awards in appreciation of his contribution to the defence sector. The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) was founded in 1968 and is the premier bi-lateral chamber for India-US commercial cooperation.  Lall, 53, has been chosen for the 'Global Leader in the Defence and Aviation Sector' award, which will be awarded online on Friday during an awards ceremony.  The event's chief guest will be Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Madhavrao ScIndia.  Lall, who has worked for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and now General Atomics, has been recognised by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin as a leader in the defence industry.

NMDC will be presented the PRSI Awards in 2022

The National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (NMDC) swept the Public Relations Society of India's (PRSI) Public Relations Awards 2022, taking first place in four categories.  Shri V Srinivas Goud, Telangana Minister of Prohibition and Excise, Sports and Youth Services, Tourism and Culture, gave the award to NMDC's Shri Praveen Kumar, ED (Personnel) and Shri Ch. Srinivasa Rao, DGM (Corporate Communications) on behalf of the Navratna PSU.  On behalf of the Navratna PSU, Shri Srinivasa Rao, DGM (Corporate Communications), accepted the honours.

Sports News

Wisden Almanack named Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah amongst “Five Cricketers of the Year”

The Wisden Almanack has named India captain Rohit Sharma and bowler Jasprit Bumrah among the "Five Cricketers of the Year '' for 2022. Rohit Sharma amassed 368 runs at an average of 52.57 in four Tests, completing an outstanding tour with a second-innings 127 at The Oval, his first Test century away from home.  Others that made the cut include England fast bowler Ollie Robinson, South African women's player Dane van Niekerk, and New Zealand opener Devon Conway.  Former England captain Joe Root has been crowned the World's Leading Cricketer, while South African Lizelle Lee has been named the World's Leading Woman Cricketer, and Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan has been named the World's Leading T20 Cricketer.


Important Days

World Book and Copyright Day [UNESCO]: 23rd April 2022

Every year on April 23, World Book and Copyright Day is observed to promote the love of reading. April 23 is significant in world literature because it commemorates the death on this date of prominent writers such as Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.  This date was an obvious option for UNESCO's General Conference, which was convened in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this day, urging everyone to read.  Books have long symbolised humanity's ability to conjure up worlds, both real and imagined, and to give voice to the diversity of human experience.  They provide far-reaching kinds of conversation between individuals beyond distance and time by allowing us to share ideas, receive information, and inspire admiration for diverse cultures.  Guadalajara, Mexico, will be the World Book Capital in 2022, with a year-long programme focusing on the role of books and reading in inspiring social change, combating violence, and cultivating a culture of peace.  On World Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO encourages its partners to spread the message that books can help people address current issues, grasp political and economic realities, and battle inequities and disinformation.  When it comes to educating younger generations, storytelling is a very successful strategy. Books are, without a doubt, essential vehicles for accessing, transmitting, and promoting education, science, culture, and information around the world.

English Language Day: 23rd April 2022

The United Nations launched Language Days in 2010 to promote equal usage of the organisation's six official languages and to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity.  Every year on April 23, the United Nations celebrates English Day.  The UN Department of Public Information created the event in 2010 to "celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, as well as promote equal use of all six official languages within the Organisation.

National Panchayati Raj Day 2022: 24th April

National Panchayati Raj Day is a national holiday in India that honours the Panchayati Raj system. Every year on April 24th, it is commemorated. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which was passed in 1992, is also commemorated on this day.  The Panchayati Raj system, which is one of the country's oldest governing organisations, governs about 6 lakh communities in India.  The day was initially observed in April 2010 to commemorate the decentralisation of power, which is considered one of India's most significant milestones. As Panchayati Raj Diwas 2022 approaches, we bring you additional information about the event's history, significance, and topic.

25 April: World Malaria Day 2022

Every year on April 25th, World Malaria Day is commemorated to raise awareness about this life-threatening disease that continues to be a menace to humanity. Malaria affects over half of the world's population, with the chances of people living in poor nations catching the disease being substantially higher.  The day grew out of African Malaria Day. Since 2001, African governments have observed Malaria Day. However, it was only in 2007, during the World Health Organization's 60th session, that it was recommended to designate Africa Malaria Day as World Malaria Day in order to recognise the disease's global impact. In 2008, the inaugural World Malaria Day was observed.
The theme for World Malaria Day this year is "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives".

25 April: International Delegate’s Day 2022

Every year on April 25th, the world celebrates International Delegates Day. This day is commemorated to increase awareness of the function of Member States' representatives and delegates at the United Nations.  The United Nations is brought to life by delegates. This organisation would not exist if it weren't for them. They work with their home countries to establish agreements and cooperate. Some establish coalitions, while others try to reach a compromise. In this sense, they exemplify the UN's commitment to multilateralism.  Delegates attend United Nations meetings to represent their countries. The delegates speak and vote on behalf of their country at the UN General Assembly and other fora, such as the UN Security Council, unless a higher-ranking politician is present. The delegates are chosen by their respective governments. As a result, they act in the best nterests of the government they work for. 






BJP leader Tarachand Chheda dies aged 71 due to post-COVID-19 complications

Former minister and BJP leader Tarachand Chheda passed away aged 71 at his home in the Bhuj town of Gujarat's Kutch. Chheda had been suffering from post-COVID-19 complications after contracting the infection in January this year. "The viral disease left his lungs damaged which led to pneumonia and he could not recover from that," Chheda's younger son said.

World's oldest living person, Japan's Kane Tanaka, passes away at 119

Japan's Kane Tanaka, who was declared the world's oldest living person by the Guinness World Records, passed away on April 19, 2022, aged 119. The news was confirmed by Senior Gerontology Consultant Robert Young, who also helped confirm Kane's record as the oldest person living and oldest person living (female) in 2019. Tanaka had recently been hospitalised and discharged repeatedly.

Former Union Home Secy Madhav Godbole passes away at 85 in Pune

Former Union Home Secretary and IAS officer Madhav Godbole (85) passed away at his residence in Pune due to a cardiac failure on Monday, his family said. Godbole held several positions before retiring in 1993 including the Secretary of the Department of Justice. He held a PhD in economics from Mumbai University and an MA from Williams College, Massachusetts.

Prasoon Joshi's mother Sushma Joshi passes away

Lyricist and Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi's mother Sushma Joshi passed away on Sunday. Sushma had worked with All India Radio for over three decades. She was also a lecturer of political science and a classical singer. Her last rites were held at Ram Bagh Shamshan Bhumi in Gurugram.




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