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18th May, 2022





Supreme Court allows OBC reservation in local elections in Madhya Pradesh

Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Madhya Pradesh government to implement Other Backward Classes (OBC) reservation in local body elections in the state. The court further directed the state Election Commission to notify the local body elections in one week. MP government had sought a 35% reservation for OBCs in the three-tier panchayat and urban local body polls.

Historic day: MP CM on SC's nod to OBC reservation in local body polls

Reacting to Supreme Court's decision giving approval to OBC reservation in MP's local body polls, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, "It's a historic day. Satyamev Jayate!" "It has been proven again that truth can't lose," he added. It was because of the Congress that it was earlier directed that polls would be held without OBC reservation, he further said.

US planning military aid package for India to reduce India's dependence on Russia: Report

US is preparing a military aid package for India to reduce the country's dependence on Russian weapons, according to a report quoting people familiar with the matter said. The package under consideration would include foreign military financing of as much as $500 million, the report added. However, it is unclear when the deal would be announced.

Vedantu lays off 424 employees, CEO says 'I am truly sorry'

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Vedantu is laying off 424 of its 5,900 employees. "I am truly sorry," Vedantu CEO Vamsi Krishna told laid-off employees. In an e-mail to all Vedantu employees, he wrote, "External environment is tough. War in Europe, impending recession fears, and Fed rate interest hikes have led to inflationary pressures with massive correction in will be scarce."

Kolkata port to export 4,000 tonnes of wheat to B'desh amid export ban

Kolkata's Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port is set to export 4,000 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh by May 13 amid the Centre's wheat export ban order. Notably, Centre relaxed its previous order on Tuesday, stating that consignments handed over to customs on or prior to May 13 would be allowed for export. India has halted wheat exports to ensure food security.

SC orders release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Perarivalan after 31 yrs in jail

short by Anmol Sharma / 11:20 am on 18 May 2022,Wednesday

The Supreme Court today ordered the release of AG Perarivalan, one of the convicts in former PM Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao, BR Gavai and AS Bopanna passed the order on Perarivalan's plea seeking the suspension of his life sentence. AG Perarivalan had been behind bars for around 31 years.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns: Reports

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has submitted his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind, citing personal reasons, according to reports. He was appointed as the Delhi Lieutenant Governor in December, 2016 after Najeeb Jung had resigned from the post. He had previously served as the Union Home Secretary.

3 Delhi civic bodies unified, to be treated as one from May 22

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued a notification for the unification of the three civic bodies of Delhi. The South, North and East civic bodies will be treated as one Municipal Corporation of Delhi from May 22. Legislation to unify the civic bodies was approved by Lok Sabha on March 30 and by Rajya Sabha on April 5.

Telangana's 'Tree Man' injured in accident on way to water plants

The 'Tree Man' of Telangana, Daripalli Ramaiah, received injuries to his right leg and head after falling on road from his bicycle on his way to water plants on Wednesday. The 85-year-old Padma Shri awardee is in ICU and his condition is stable, doctors said. He is said to have planted over one crore trees.


Centre announces formation of Cotton Council of India under Chairmanship of Suresh Bhai Kotak

The Union Government has announced the formation of the Cotton Council of India under the Chairmanship of renowned veteran cotton man Suresh Bhai Kotak.  It will have representation from Textiles, Agriculture, Commerce, and Finance Ministries along with Cotton Corporation of India and Cotton Research Institute.  The council will discuss, deliberate, and prepare a robust action plan for bringing out a tangible improvement in this field. The announcement came during a meeting with stakeholders from the cotton value chain, held under the Chairmanship of Union Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal.


Hardeep Singh Puri Launched Bharat Tap Initiative & Nirmal Jal Prayas On The Inaugural Day Of PLUMBEX India

The Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs & Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri launched the BHARAT TAP initiative at the ‘Plumbex India’ exhibition, New Delhi.  This exhibition is aimed for products and services related to the plumbing, water and sanitation industry.  The exhibition is conducted under the aegis of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0) and Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 (SBM 2.0). Various enterprises including water treatment systems, water harvesting, water metering, etc. represented at the exhibition.  The BHARAT TAP provide low-flow fixtures and sanitary ware at a mass scale to enable a reduction in water consumption at the source and help the country in its water conservation efforts and thereby ensure sustainable growth.


Punjab CM Mann launches ‘Lok Milni’ for redressal of grievances of people

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann heard grievances of people and issued directions for their redressal in a first-of-its-kind public interaction programme, ‘Lok Milni’, which was launched.  The chief minister said this interactive programme is aimed at providing a single-window platform to the people for redressal of their complaints. But, the Punjab Congress called the programme “a selectively scripted show to create an illusion of governance”.  People from different parts of the state came with several complaints regarding encroachment of panchayat land, land dispute, pending of Shagun scheme among others.


Home Minister Amit Shah Inaugurates National Cyber Forensic Lab at Hyderabad’s CFSL

Expected to fast-track cyber crime cases in India, National Cyber Forensic Laboratory (NCFL) has been inaugurated by union home minister Amit Shah on Hyderabad’s Central Forensic Science Laboratory campus.  The ministry of home affairs (MHA) gave its nod to the establishment of the NCFL for evidentiary purposes in CFSL, Hyderabad, in December last year.


Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary notified as 52nd Reserve Forest for Wild cats

Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav has said that Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan has been notified as the 52nd Reserve of India, which will conserve biodiversity and bring in ecotourism and development to the area.  The newly notified tiger reserve includes the tiger habitat between Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the northeast and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side and facilitates dispersal of tigers from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve.


New York City raises COVID alert from 'medium' to 'high' as cases rise

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, New York City has raised its COVID-19 alert level from "medium" to "high". The rating means there is a high COVID-19 community spread in the city and pressure on the health care system is substantial. Health authorities have advised New Yorkers to wear a face mask in all public indoor settings and crowded outdoor spaces.

Will retain neutral status: Austria after Sweden-Finland NATO bid

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said Austria would retain its neutral status even as Sweden and Finland overhauled decades-long foreign policy stances to apply for NATO membership amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Schallenberg added that Austria, which obtains 80% of its natural gas from Russia, would continue to provide humanitarian support to Ukraine rather than lethal weapons.

Spain Cabinet clears Bill to grant paid leave during menstruation

The Spanish Cabinet has cleared a Bill that seeks to grant paid sick leave to women experiencing pain during menstruation. "We are advancing feminism. Women should be able to decide freely about their lives," said Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez. Spain would become the first country in Europe to bring such a law, provided the Bill passes in the Parliament.

PhonePe to acquire WealthDesk, OpenQ, reportedly for $70 million

PhonePe has said it will acquire wealth tech platforms WealthDesk and OpenQ. The acquisitions together will amount to around $70 million, media reports said. PhonePe will reportedly buy WealthDesk for roughly $50 million. WealthDesk's founder and the entire team will be working as a part of PhonePe and it will continue to remain an open platform for all players.

No plans to block YouTube or cut ourselves off from internet: Russia

Russia's minister of communications Maksut Shadayev said Russia is not planning to shut YouTube in the country. He said that such a move would likely see Russian users suffer and should therefore be avoided. He added Russia doesn't want to cut itself off from global internet infrastructure, saying, "We think that Russia should remain a part of the global network."

Top engineer who quit Apple over return-to-office policy joins Google: Report

short by Pragya Swastik / 03:49 pm on 18 May 2022,WednesdayIan Goodfellow, who quit as Apple's Director of Machine Learning over the company's return-to-office policy, is joining Google parent Alphabet's AI unit DeepMind, Bloomberg reported. He worked in different capacities for Google since 2013, before joining Apple in 2019. He's best known for inventing Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), a class of machine learning frameworks.

UK inflation hits 9% in April, its highest level since 1982

Consumer price inflation in the United Kingdom reached 9% in April 2022, its highest level since 1982. British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said countries around the world were being hit by high inflation and the jump in inflation in UK reflected the increase in regulated energy tariffs. "We cannot protect people completely from these global challenges," Sunak said.

Don't line up for petrol, we can't buy it: Sri Lankan govt to citizens

Sri Lankan government on Wednesday urged citizens to not line up to buy petrol as the country doesn't have foreign exchange to pay for it. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told parliament that payment for a previous shipment of petrol worth $53 million is also pending. Earlier, Sri Lankan PM had said that the country was left with limited petrol stocks.

Tencent's profit halves in Q1 2022, its worst performance since 2004

China's Tencent said its profit had halved YoY and it recorded no revenue growth in Q1 2022, its worst performance since 2004. Tencent's revenue in Q1 2022 was ¥135.5 billion (₹1,55,959 crore) as compared with ¥135.3 billion (₹1,55,728 crore) in Q1 2021. This comes after China launched a regulatory crackdown last year to reign in influence of large internet firms.

Ukraine's Prez gets standing ovation after his speech at Cannes

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday received a standing ovation after he virtually addressed the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival. In his address, Zelenskyy quoted Charlie Chaplin's film 'The Great Dictator', saying, "[Hate] of men will pass and dictators die and...power they took from...people will return to...people." His remarks came amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

World's oldest living man confirmed as 112-year-old from Venezuela, pics released

Juan Vicente Pérez, from Venezuela, has been officially confirmed as the oldest person living (male) at 112 years and 253 days, as of February 4, 2022. He has 11 children, 41 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren. Juan is just days away from his 113th birthday, revealed a post by Guinness World Records.

Target's shares crash 26%, on track for their worst day since 1987

The shares of American department store chain Target crashed 26% on Wednesday and were on track to log their worst day since the 1987's 'Black Monday' stock market crash. Target's shares slumped after it reported a 52% drop in profit for Q1 2022. Target also warned of a bigger margin hit this year due to rising fuel and freight costs.



India and Nepal, sign six MoUs and Agreements related to education and hydropower sectors

India and Nepal signed and exchanged six Memorandum of Understandings and Agreements. They include an MoU between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Lumbini Buddhist University on the establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies and an MoU between Indian Council of Cultural Relations and Kathmandu University on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies.  A letter of Agreement between Kathmandu University and Indian Institute of Technology (IITM) was also signed for a joint degree program at Master’s level.  An Agreement between SJVN Ltd and Nepal Electricity Authority for Development and implementation of Arun 4 Project was also signed. The MoUs and Agreements were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba in Lumbini.




28% GST on casinos, online gaming in final report by Group of Ministers: Report

The Group of Ministers tasked to review the GST levy on casinos, racecourses and online gaming finalised its report that reportedly favours 28% tax on the three services. The final report by the panel led by Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma will be handed over to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a day or two. Currently, these services attract 18% GST.


ITC reports 11.7% YoY rise in net profit to ₹4,196 crore in Q4

FMCG giant ITC Limited on Wednesday reported an 11.7% YoY rise in consolidated net profit at ₹4,196 crore in Q4 FY22, against ₹3,755 crore reported in Q4 FY21. Consolidated revenue for Q4 FY22 came in at ₹17,754 crore, a 15.3% YoY rise from ₹15,404 crore. ITC's consolidated PAT and revenue for FY22 jumped to ₹15,243 crore and ₹65,205 crore respectively.

India's richest man enters the healthcare sector with 'Adani Health Ventures'

India's richest man Gautam Adani has entered the healthcare sector with Adani Enterprises' wholly-owned subsidiary 'Adani Health Ventures Limited' (AHVL). "The subsidiary was incorporated on May 17, 2022, to carry on the business of healthcare-related activities," a filing said. The activities include medical and diagnostic facilities, health aids and health tech-based facilities among others.



PNB MetLife launches India’s first dental health insurance plan

Private insurer PNB MetLife India Insurance Co launched a dental health insurance plan.  This is the first insurance plan in India that covers fixed-benefit outpatient expenses and provides financial assistance with costs related to overall dental health.  This launch reinforces PNB MetLife leadership in the industry with this one-of-a-kind, standalone, dental health insurance plan that covers major dental procedures without the hassles of hospitalisation.


Institute of Professional Banking Launches Its First Center in Bengaluru for Banking Sector Training for Students

Now graduates in the country can be better prepared to get into banking sector, with the new courses, at Institute of Professional Banking (IPB). Recently, IPB in collaboration with The Smart Owl has inaugurated its first center in South India in Bengaluru.  The programs at IPB have been curated to groom banking aspirants and help them become upskilled, qualified, and competent professionals and the perfect candidate for the banking sector.  The methodology adopted to impart knowledge includes classroom training, examination, counselling, projects, field training, and continuing professional development programs.




Sebi notifies rules to strengthen regulatory framework for CIS

To strengthen the regulatory framework for collective investment schemes, markets regulator Sebi has enhanced the net worth criteria and track record requirements for entities managing such schemes.  Also, the regulator has mandated a minimum of 20 investors and a subscription amount of at least Rs 20 crore for each Collective Investment Scheme (CIS).  Currently, CIS rules do not mandate minimum number of investors, maximum holding of a single investor or minimum subscription amount.


India overtakes Germany to become 4th largest vehicle market

The Covid-19-led pandemic has impacted the worldwide automotive industry. India has once again overtaken Germany to become the fourth largest automotive market.  According to the latest numbers sourced from OICA, the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles, the international trade association formed of 39 national automotive industry trade associations, India witnessed 3,759,398 vehicles sold in 2021, compared to 2,973,319 vehicles in Germany. The data depicts a difference of almost 26 percent.


Indian Economy Expected to Grow 12-13% in June Quarter: Icra

Citing the second highest business activity index reading in 13 months in April, rating agency Icra forecast the economy to grow 12-13 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal.  However, Icra has maintained its annual GDP projection at 7.2 per cent for this fiscal citing worries over inflation and the resultant RBI tightening.  According to the second advance estimate of the National Statistical Office, the economy is expected to have grown 8.9% in FY22.


RBI allows banks to lend to NBFCs for priority sector loans on an on-going basis

The Reserve Bank of India said that lending by scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) to non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) for the purpose of on-lending to priority sector loan (PSL) segments will be allowed on an on-going basis, as against the earlier deadline of March 31.  The central bank has allowed small finance banks (SFB) to tag loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) as PSL loans on an on-going basis as well.


Adani Buys Ambuja Cement, ACC From Holcim In India’s Largest Cement Deal

Billionaire Gautam Adani won the race to acquire Swiss cement major Holcim’s stake in Ambuja Cements and its subsidiary ACC for $10.5 bn (around Rs 81,361 crore), including the open offers. Gautam Adani said the group expects aggressive expansion and plans to double the existing 70 million tonnes per year capacity within the next five years. He added that the existing teams will be able to bring in the expertise to achieve the group’s growth plans going forward.




South Korea dethrone China To Win Uber Cup 

South Korea stunned defending champions China to win badminton’s prestigious Uber Cup in an epic battle that went down to the wire in Bangkok.  The holders were aiming for a 16th title in the women’s team championship but with the countries deadlocked at 2-2 it all boiled down to a singles match between China’s 15th-ranked Wang Zhiyi and 46th-ranked Sim Yu-jin.

LSG record the highest opening partnership in IPL history

Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Wednesday recorded the highest-ever opening partnership in IPL history. Quinton De Kock and KL Rahul shared an unbeaten 210-run stand against KKR to set the record. The previous record was held by Jonny Bairstow and David Warner, who shared a 185-run opening stand for SRH against RCB on March 31, 2019.



India’s Sift Kaur Samra bags Gold at ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany

India’s Sift Kaur Samra won the individual women’s 50m rifle 3 positions (3P) like Prone, the Standing and the Kneeling positions, event to take India’s gold medal tally to 10 at the ISSF Junior World Cup 2022 in Suhl, Germany yesterday. Sift Kaur Samra beat Norway’s Julie Johannessen 17-9 in the final.




Gram Unnati appoints ex-chief election commissioner Sunil Arora as non-executive chairman

Sunil Arora, the former chief election commissioner, has been named as the new non-executive chairman of Gram Unnati’s board.   Arora is a retired civil servant (IAS) with over 36 years of experience. He has worked as the secretary of two important ministries, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.


Larsen & Toubro re-appoints SN Subrahmanyan as MD & CEO

SN Subrahmanyan will take charge as the CEO and Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro, which will also mark the end of nearly two-decade long tenure of A M Naik at the helm.  Subrahmanyan is currently the deputy managing director and president of the company.  The board had also requested Naik, Group Executive Chairman, to provide guidance and mentorship to the company’s leadership subsequent to his current term.


Sachin Tendulkar to Continue as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador For Record 20th year

Sachin Tendulkar will continue as UNICEF’s ‘Goodwill Ambassador’ for a record 20th year, working for the welfare of underprivileged children.  The iconic cricketer has been associated with UNICEF for long for various causes. In 2003, he was chosen to take lead in the initiative to create awareness and promote polio prevention in India.


PFC Chairman Ravinder Singh Dhillon takes addition charge of REC CMD

Power Finance Corporation Chairman Ravinder Singh Dhillon has been given an additional charge of Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of REC for three months.  The development follows the elevation of S K G Rahate to the post of Secretary, Ministry of Power.  He is serving as CMD of PFC where he is spearheading the entire operations of the company and also playing a critical role in implementation of key power sector initiatives of the Centre.


RBI appoints Sitikantha Pattanaik and Rajiv Ranjan as executive directors

The Reserve Bank said that Sitikantha Pattanaik and Rajiv Ranjan have been appointed as executive directors with effect from May 1.  Ranjan will also serve as an ex-officio member of the rate-setting panel Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).




Kenton Cool becomes first foreigner to scale Everest 16 times

A British climber Kenton Cool has scaled the world’s highest mountain for the 16th time becoming the first foreign climber to make the most Mt Everest summits.  Kenton also holds a record of the first British mountaineer who climbed Mt Nuptse, Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse in a season in 2013.  Last year, Kenton had made it to the top of Mt Lhotse in less than 29 hours after scaling the world’s highest peak. Previously, American climber Dave Hahn has climbed Mt Everest 15 times.



Kenya’s Anna Qabale Duba Crowned World’s Best Nurse

Anna Qabale Duba from Kenya has won the Aster Guardians Global Nursing Award. The Kenyan nurse won the award after a panel of judges came together to honor her for her dedication to helping vulnerable women and children in Africa. Duba received a cash prize of $250,000.  The 31-year-old Kenyan and mother of two has dedicated her life to helping the vulnerable. She became the only graduate from her village and ventured into helping communities and their vulnerable members.



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