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31st March 2022



Who is Zoho's Radha Vembu, India's 3rd richest self-made woman billionaire?

Radha Vembu, who holds a majority stake in Zoho, has been named India's third-richest self-made woman billionaire by Hurun with $3.9 billion wealth. The 49-year-old billionaire has been the product manager of Zoho Mail since 2007. She has a degree in industrial management from IIT-Madras. Zoho was co-founded by her brother Sridhar Vembu. She also looks after Zoho Workplace.


Odisha govt to launch natural farming in tribal areas through women's SHGs

In a step toward sustainable agriculture, the Odisha government has decided to roll out a programme for climate-resilient natural farming through women's self-help groups. The scheme will be undertaken in tribal-dominated areas of five districts, namely, Sundargarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada and Koraput. An amount of ₹312 crore will be invested in the project over five years.

SC asks Sharad Yadav to vacate govt bungalow in Delhi by May 31

Supreme Court on Thursday directed former Union Minister Sharad Yadav to vacate the government bungalow in Delhi occupied by him till May 31. Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2017 and was disqualified the same year. The court asked Yadav to file an undertaking that he shall vacate the bungalow on or before the said date.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually attends 5th BIMSTEC Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has participated in the 5th Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit through virtual mode.  The Summit was hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka, which was the chair nation of BIMSTEC. At the conclusion of the Summit, Thailand took over as chair nation of BIMSTEC. The year 2022 marks the 25th year of the establishment of BIMSTEC.  The theme of the Summit was “Towards a Resilient Region, Prosperous Economies, Healthy People”.  BIMSTEC is an international organisation of seven South Asian and Southeast Asian nations. These are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The Leadership is rotated in alphabetical order of country names. The permanent secretariat of BIMSTEC is in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Assam and Meghalaya have signed an agreement to resolve a border issue in six disputed districts

Assam and Meghalaya agreed to resolve their five-decade-long border dispute in six of the 12 contested places that have frequently sparked tensions between the two states, with Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailing the decision as a "historic day for the Northeast." Chief Ministers of Assam and Meghalaya, Himanta Biswa Sarma and Conrad Sangma, respectively, inked the agreement in the presence of Shah.  The agreement will end the long-running disagreement in six of the 12 points along the 884.9-kilometer boundary between the two countries.  According to the home minister, the signing of the agreement has settled 70% of the border issue between the two countries, and he hopes to find a solution for the remaining six places shortly.  Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and West Bengal share a 2743-kilometre border with Assam. Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh all have border conflicts with it.  There are 36 communities in the six locations, totalling 36.79 square kilometres, for which an agreement has been reached.  In August of last year, the two states appointed three committees each to investigate the thorny boundary issue. The panels were formed after two rounds of talks between Sarma and Sangma, during which the two neighbours agreed to settle the matter in stages.




Sri Lanka runs out of diesel, faces record-long powercuts: Report

Diesel was no longer on sale across Sri Lanka on Thursday as the crisis-hit country's 22 million people endured record-long power blackouts, according to reports. "We are siphoning off fuel from buses that are in the garage for repairs and using that diesel to operate serviceable vehicles," Transport Minister Dilum Amunugama said.

Who is Shehbaz Sharif, the man who could replace Imran Khan as Pakistan PM?

Shehbaz Sharif, who's touted to replace Imran Khan as Pakistan PM, is the younger brother of ex-Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. He's the longest serving CM of Pakistan's Punjab. He was elected PML-N chief in 2018 and has been the leader of the Opposition in Pakistan's National Assembly since August 2018. He jointly owns a multimillion-dollar steel conglomerate called Ittefaq Group.


Banking , Business and Economy

Banks reported fraud totalling Rs 34,000 crore, according to the Reserve Bank of India. 

According to Reserve Bank of India data, in the nine months ending December, 96 incidences of fraud were recorded by 27 scheduled commercial banks and financial institutions, totalling Rs 34,097 crore. Punjab National Bank had the greatest amount of frauds at Rs 4,820 crore, while the Bank of India had the highest number of frauds at 13.  This penalty was issued in accordance with RBI's authority under section 47A (1) (c) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, as well as sections 46(4)(i) and 51(1).  This action is based on regulatory compliance issues and is not meant to be a judgement on the legitimacy of any transaction or agreement between the bank and its customers.  The RBI conducted a review of a customer account held by the bank, and an assessment of the review report and all accompanying correspondence revealed, among other things, non-compliance with the aforementioned orders to the extent of a delay in reporting fraud in the account to the RBI.

India Ratings lowers India’s FY23 GDP growth forecast to 7-7.2% 

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised downwards the GDP growth forecast for India in FY23 to 7-7.2 per cent. Earlier in January, the rating agency Ind-Ra had forecast this rate at 7.6 per cent.   According to Ind-Ra, in scenario one, the crude oil price is assumed to be elevated for three months, and in scenario two, the assumption is for six months, both with a half cost pass-through into the domestic economy.  Since the duration of the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to be uncertain, Ind-Ra has created two scenarios with respect to the FY23 economic outlook basis certain assumptions.

Cabinet approved $808 million programmes to improve and accelerate the performance of MSME

The government authorised a World Bank-backed programme costing USD808 million on Wednesday to aid and improve the functioning of the country's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).  The government said in an official statement that it would support various COVID-19 pandemic-related resilience and recovery interventions of the enterprises and that it would begin in financing at a meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which envisions a programme called 'Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance' (RAMP) and is supported by a World Bank-assisted central sector scheme, the government said.  The loan from the World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will be for USD500 million, with the remaining $308 million coming from the Centre, according to the statement.  The loan from the World Bank's International Bank for Reconstruction and Development will be for 18.5 years, with a 5.5-year grace period.




Awards News

Mirabai Chanu bagged ‘BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year’ award 2021

Olympic silver medallist weightlifter, Mirabai Chanu won the 3rd edition of the BBC Indian Sportswoman of The Year award 2021. Chanu created history last year when she became the first Indian weightlifter to clinch a silver medal at the Summer Olympics. Chanu won the gold medal in the 48kg division at the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim and followed up with Commonwealth Games gold in 2018.  The BBC Emerging Player award was presented to 18-year-old cricketer Shafali Verma, who has recently been playing at the Women's World Cup in New Zealand. In 2021, Verma became the youngest Indian cricketer, male or female, to play in all three formats for the national team.  The first Indian woman to have won a medal at the Olympics in 2000, former weightlifter Karnam Malleswari was presented the ‘BBC Lifetime Achievement’ award. Olympians and the Paralympians from the Tokyo Games were also honoured in this edition of BBC ISWOTY.

Science and Technology News

WB Governor unveiled PARAM Shakti, a petascale supercomputer at IIT Kharagpur

The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), a collaborative project of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Science and Technology, has dedicated PARAM Shakti, a Petascale Supercomputer, to the country at IIT Kharagpur (DST).  The PARAM Shakti supercomputing facility is advancing research and development efforts in diverse disciplines of computational and data sciences.  In March 2019, IIT Kharagpur and the Centre for Development in Advanced Computing (CDAC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop this state-of-the-art Supercomputing Facility with 17680 CPU cores and 44 GPUs.  This facility was the first to use an RDHX-based efficient cooling system to achieve great power efficiency.

Important Days

International Day of Drug Checking 2022 observed on 31st March

The International Day of Drug Checking takes place on March 31 every year since 2017 to ensure people are educated on drugs and aware of their effects. The day aims to promote harm reduction initiatives of drugs and reduce drug-related risks.  Along with it, it also marks promoting harm reduction actions of drugs and reduces drug-related risks. Their goal on the 31st of March is to raise public awareness of the availability of drug checking services and companies from across the planet.  By raising awareness and sharing the knowledge they hope to improve the accessibility of numerous substance oriented harm reduction methods – not only for users but also for the governmental organizations worldwide who have been searching for a solution to the substance use issues that their citizens face on a daily basis.

World Backup Day 2022 observed on 31 March

World Backup Day is marked every year on March 31. The day reminds us to protect our precious digital documents as we’ve become more reliant on technology. It is a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups.  Originally, World Backup Day began as World Backup Month, by a hard drive company named Maxtor which was later acquired by Seagate Technology.  The aim of the day is simple, to raise awareness of how to safely backup data to introduce people to the 3-2-1 strategy. This strategy leads the backup campaign and is a solid tried and tested approach that’s easy for anyone to adapt.  3-2-1 backup is all about having three copies of your data, one on your computer, one on an external storage device and another offsite on a cloud storage solution.  The great thing about the 3-2-1 backup strategy is that you can adapt it to suit your budget. So if you’re just starting out then your hard drive a cheap external drive and a standard cloud solution can be found relatively inexpensively.




Las Vegas to become 3rd US city to host Formula One race from 2023

Formula One on Wednesday announced that Las Vegas will become the third US city to host an F1 race from 2023, after Austin and Miami. F1 said the Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place at night on a Saturday next November where F1 cars will race for the first time "on the iconic Las Vegas Strip."

England defeat SA by 137 runs to reach Women's World Cup final for 2nd straight time

England defeated South Africa by 137 runs in the second semi-final to reach Women's World Cup final for the second straight time. Danielle Wyatt top-scored for England with 129 as her team posted a total of 293-8. South Africa were bowled out for 156 with Sophie Ecclestone registering figures of 8-0-36-6.

Pakistan record their highest successful chase in ODI cricket history

Pakistan chased down 349-run target in the second ODI against Australia to register their highest successful chase in ODI history and level the three-match series 1-1. Pakistan captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq slammed hundreds in the match. Pakistan's previous highest successful ODI run chase had come on March 4, 2014, when they chased down a 327-run target against Bangladesh.

Dwayne Bravo becomes highest wicket-taker in IPL history

CSK all-rounder Dwayne Bravo has become the highest wicket-taker in IPL history. The 38-year-old achieved the feat by taking his tally of wickets in IPL to 171 after dismissing LSG's Deepak Hooda in their IPL 2022 match on Thursday. He overtook the previous record held by Lasith Malinga, who had taken 170 wickets in 122 IPL matches.


CSK lose first 2 matches of an IPL season for 1st time as LSG chase down 211-run target

LSG defeated CSK by six wickets to register their first victory in IPL 2022. LSG recorded the highest successful run chase in IPL 2022 so far by chasing down 211-run target in 19.3 overs. CSK have now lost first two matches of an IPL season for the first time in history. Quinton de Kock top-scored for LSG with 61(45).


Former CM of Sikkim B.B. Gurung passes away

The 3rd Chief Minister of Sikkim, Bhim Bahadur Gurung has passed away at his residence in Lumsui in Gangtok, Sikkim.  B. Gurung served as a teacher and a staff reporter in a Calcutta (Kolkata)-based newspaper the Amrita Bazar Patrika and he also edited the first news-based Nepali Journal of Sikkim, called Kanchenjunga.  Gurung started his political career with Sikkim Rajya Congress Party in 1947 and was later appointed as the General Secretary in 1958. He served as the 3rd CM of Sikkim from 11 May to 24 May 1984, the shortest term in the history of Sikkim. Between 2014 and 2015 he served as the political advisor to the CM of Sikkim.

Belgian Footballer Miguel Van Damme passes away

Veteran Belgian footballer, Miguel Van Damme has passed away aged 28 after a long battle with leukaemia. Van Damme was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016 and was undergoing treatment for cancer for over five years.  During his eight-year professional career, Van Damme played for Cercle Brugge and made 40 appearances for the team.

Miscellaneous News

Living Root Bridges of Meghalaya included tentative list of World Heritage Sites

‘Jingkieng Jri or Living Root Bridge’, found in over 70 villages in Meghalaya highlighting the socio-cultural, social and botanical links between people and nature, has been included in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).  Villagers grow the living root bridges by training the ‘ficus elastica’ tree on both sides of water bodies over a period of about 10 to 15 years where the roots form the bridge.  At present, there are about 100 known living root bridges spread across 72 villages in the state. Villagers, (especially Khasi and Jaintia tribal communities) build and maintain these bridges from the past for more than 600 years.  The Geoglyphs of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Sri Veerabhadra Temple and Monolithic Bull (Nandi) at Lepakshi of Andhra Pradesh ave made it to the Tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites in 2022.



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