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19th May 2022


National News


Kerala Cong chief booked for remarks against CM Pinarayi Vijayan

The KPCC President K Sudhakaran was booked by the Palarivattom Police in Kochi for his "dog with broken chain" remark allegedly made on CM Pinarayi Vijayan. The police have booked Sudhakaran under Section 153 of the IPC based on the complaint made by a Democratic Youth Federation of India leader. Notably, LDF has termed Sudhakaran's remark as "highly reprehensible".


Union IT Minister successfully tests 5G call at IIT Madras; shares video

Tested 5G audio and video call at IIT Madras. "Aatmanirbhar 5G...The entire end-to-end network is designed and developed in India," the minister tweeted as he shared a video of the 5G call. The IIT Madras-led 5G testbed, built at a cost of ₹220 crore, was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday.


AIIMS Delhi removes all user charges for tests costing up to ₹300

The AIIMS Delhi on Thursday removed user charges for all tests and diagnostics currently costing up to ₹300 with immediate effect. The charges in private and deluxe wards have been increased and the ordinary private rooms will now cost ₹3,000 per day as compared to the previous charge of ₹2,000, another notification read. It'll be applicable from June 1.


Centre announces formation of Cotton Council of India 

The Union Government has announced the formation of the Cotton Council of India under the Chairmanship of renowned veteran cotton man Suresh Bhai Kotak.  The Council will have representation from Textiles, Agriculture, Commerce, and Finance Ministries along with Cotton Corporation of India and Cotton Research Institute. Mr Goyal also appealed to the spinning and trading community to ensure a hassle-free supply of cotton and yarn first to the domestic industry.  The government is committed to protecting the interests of cotton farmers, spinners, and weavers, the Minister assured to actively consider the demand of the spinning sector for exemption from import duty on those import contracts in which bills of loading are issued up to September 30, 2022, to overcome the current cotton shortage and logistic issues.

Ashwini Vaishnaw Opened NIELIT Center in Leh, Ladakh 

Union Cabinet Minister of Electronics & Information Technology, Communications and Railways, Ashwini Vaishnaw has inaugurated the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) Centre Leh, Extension Centre Kargil and IT Enabled Incubation Centre for Handicraft and Handloom Sector.  Union Minister, Sh. Ashwini Vaishnaw, while inaugurating the NIELIT Centres at Leh, Kargil and Incubation Centre at Leh, reiterated the commitment of the Hon’ble Prime Minister for the development of UT of Ladakh.

Supreme Court has ordered the release of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination suspect

The Supreme Court used Article 142 of the Constitution to grant AG Perarivalan, a convict in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, extraordinary powers to "do complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it."  Perarivalan was released free by a bench of justices led by L.N. Rao and B.R. Gavai, who took into account his lengthy incarceration. Perarivalan spent 29 of his 32 years in prison in solitary confinement until being granted bail by the Supreme Court in March 2022.  He spent 16 years on execution row before the court remitted his sentence to life imprisonment in 2014. The court further noted that Perarivalan had filed his clemency plea under Article 161 with the Tamil Nadu Governor in 2015, and that the state cabinet had instructed the state's chief executive to accept it in September 2018.

International News

Spain's ex-King Juan Carlos to return home after 2-year exile

Spain's ex-King Juan Carlos will return to the country on Thursday after nearly two years in exile in the UAE, the Royal Household said. He had left Spain amid allegations of corruption. But, three investigations against the 84-year-old were dropped in March, paving the way for him to return. Carlos abdicated in 2014 and handed power to his son Felipe.

Indonesia to lift palm oil export ban from May 23: Prez Widodo

President Joko Widodo on Thursday said Indonesia's palm oil export ban will be lifted from May 23 following supply improvements. The export ban was imposed by the government on April 28 in order to tame soaring domestic cooking oil prices. The decision was taken considering the welfare of 17 million workers in the palm oil industry, President Widodo said.

Need to restructure debts to pay them back: Sri Lankan central bank Governor

Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor P Nandalal Weerasinghe on Thursday said the country will not be able to pay back its debts until it restructures them. Calling for early appointment of financial advisors and lawyers for the debt restructuring process, Weerasinghe said there is an urgent need for Sri Lanka's new leaders to bring stability to the economic situation.

Indians living in SL asked to register details with High Commission

The High Commission of India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, has requested all Indian citizens who are currently living in Sri Lanka to register their details on The High Commission has issued separate registration links for NRIs and students. This comes as Sri Lanka is reeling under an economic crisis, which has triggered a shortage of essential items, including food.

Japan to double fiscal support for Ukraine to $600 million

Japanese PM Fumio Kishida said the country will double its fiscal support for Ukraine to $600 million in a coordinated move with World Bank to back the country's near-term fiscal necessities damaged by Russia's invasion. "Our country stands with Ukraine," Kishida added. Japan, a member of the G7, had previously announced $300 million in loans to Ukraine in April.

Ukraine to seek compensation from Russia over environmental damage

Ukraine will seek compensation from Russia in international courts over environmental damage amid former's invasion, Ukraine's Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets said on Thursday. "Russian missiles hit our oil depots [and] chemical plants...Forests are burning, valuable protected things are being destroyed," he added. Kyiv has recorded 1,500 cases of destruction of ecosystems, he further said.

Chinese President urges BRICS countries to strengthen cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday said that BRICS countries need to strengthen security cooperation and they need to maintain close communication and coordination on major international issues. He added that the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) should "oppose hegemonism and power politics and work together to build a global community of security for all".


After Pakistan shot SAARC in 2016, India will go bilateral 

The future of SAARC seems bleak, with Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal in economic limbo, and Afghanistan under Islamist Taliban control. This leaves India with little choice but to engage in bilateral engagement with its neighbours in order to protect its national security.  Ironically, the Taliban in Afghanistan are currently embroiled in a simmering war with their tutor, the Pakistan Army, which refuses to recognise the Durand Line, which splits the Pashtun tribe between the two countries.  Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is confronting a full-blown economic crisis and does not have a magic wand to miraculously address the country's various problems, despite the fact that Imran Khan Niazi has been booted out of office, putting a stop to the political upheaval.  Afghanistan is ruled by a hardline Islamist Taliban administration eight years after the last summit, with a total budget of $2.6 billion for the current fiscal year.  The country is on the verge of famine and disease as the ISI-backed Haqqani Network, led by global terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani, battles the Kandahar Taliban, led by Mullah Omar's son Yaqub, for control of Kabul.  The country is on life support, with its primary international exports being terrorism and narcotics.



Appointments News

Bharti Airtel re-appoints Gopal Vittal as MD and CEO for 5 years

Bharti Airtel board has reappointed Gopal Vittal as Managing Director & CEO for a further period of five years ending on January 31, 2028.  The reappointment came on a day the telco posted a consolidated net profit at Rs 2,007.8 crore in the March quarter, up 141% sequentially and 164% on the year.  Analysts had an estimated net profit of around Rs 1,970 crore. This was Airtel’s sixth successive quarter in the black after six straight losses earlier.  For the India business, its revenue growth stood at 23 per cent during the fourth quarter, while mobile revenues rose 21 per cent on the back of an increase in Average Revenue Per User ARPU led by healthy flow-through of tariff revision and strong 4G customer additions during the year.

BSE named Ex RBI Deputy Governor SS Mundra as Chairman

Leading stock exchange BSE Limited announced that it has approved the appointment of SS Mundra, Public Interest Director as the Chairman of the board of directors of the company.  Mundra will replace Justice Vikramajit Sen who is the current chairman. Mundra was appointed as Public Interest Director at BSE in January 2018. He retired as Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India on 30th July 2017.  Prior to that, the last position held by him was as Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda from where he superannuated in July 2014. However, the appointment is subject to approval by market regulator SEBI. The experience gained in guiding these entities has bestowed him with wide leadership skills and keen insights in best practices in Corporate Governance.




Rupee closes at new all-time low of RS. 77.72 against US dollar

The Indian rupee closed at a new all-time low of 77.72 against the US dollar on Thursday. It marked the fifth record weak close for the rupee in the last 10 trading sessions. The Indian rupee's value was weighed down by a marketwide sell-off in equities and foreign fund outflows.

Investors lose ₹7 lakh crore as Sensex crashes over 1,400 points

The wealth of investors tumbled by ₹7 lakh crore on Thursday as the market's key indices, Sensex and Nifty, tumbled by more than 2.5%. While the Sensex closed 1,416 points lower to settle at 52,792, the Nifty ended 431 points lower, at 15,809. The key indices fell after an overnight selloff on Wall Street, the worst in two years.

Patanjali Food Business will be acquired by Ruchi Soya for Rs. 690 crore

Ruchi Soya, an edible oil company, has announced that it will buy Patanjali Ayurved's food division for Rs 690 crore. Ruchi Soya's transition to the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) category is likely to be accelerated as a result of this.  After regulatory permissions, the name of Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd would be changed to Patanjali Foods Ltd. Ghee, honey, spices, juices, and wheat are among the 21 products in the acquired food industry. Ruchi Soya is India's largest producer of edible oil. Patanjali Ayurved purchased it in 2019.  According to a survey issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ruchi Soya was rated 175 among the top 250 consumer products businesses in the Global Powers of the Consumer Products Industry 2012.

LIC share price down 11% from IPO price, falls for 3rd straight day

Life Insurance Corporation's (LIC) share price fell 4.12% to ₹840.25 on Thursday, taking the total drop in LIC's share price to 11.45% from its IPO issue price. The insurer's shares were listed on the stock market on Tuesday at a price of ₹867, against the IPO issue price of ₹949. The ₹21,000-crore public issue was oversubscribed nearly three times.

Follow rules or leave India: Government to VPN providers

VPN service providers that are not ready to comply with the new guidelines have the only option to exit from India, MoS for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said. "If you don't have the logs, start maintaining the logs. If you are a VPN that wants to hide...then frankly you have no other opportunity but to pull out," he said.

Apple stops storing card information for customers in India

Apple has decided to stop storing credit and debit card information for Indian customers making payments for its services. The decision was made in light of the Reserve Bank of India's new card storage guidelines which will be effective shortly. Apple said the unified payments interface or net banking can be used by customers for these payments to avoid interruptions.

S&P Cuts India's Economic Growth Forecast To 7.3% For 2022-23 

S&P Global Ratings cut India's growth projection for the current fiscal to 7.3 per cent from 7.8 per cent earlier on rising inflation and the longer-than-expected Russia-Ukraine conflict.  S&P had in December last year pegged India's GDP growth in 2022-23 fiscal, which began on April 1, 2022, at 7.8 per cent. For the next fiscal the growth has been pegged at 6.5 per cent.  In the aftermath of the Russia-Ukraine war and rising commodity prices, various global agencies have cut India's growth forecast recently.  The World Bank in April slashed India's GDP forecast for fiscal 2022-23 to 8 per cent from 8.7 per cent predicted earlier, while IMF has cut the projections to 8.2 per cent from 9 per cent.  Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected India's growth at 7.5 per cent, while the RBI, last month, cut its forecast to 7.2 per cent from 7.8 per cent amid volatile crude oil prices and supply chain disruptions due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Defence News

Rajnath Singh launches India-made warships, INS Surat and INS Udaygiri 

Defence minister Rajnath Singh has launched two made-in-India warships INS 'Surat' and 'Udaygiri' at the Mazagon Docks in Mumbai.  This is the first time that the two indigenously built warships have been launched together, the Mazgaon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd (MDL). Both warships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at MDL, Mumbai.  Indian Naval Ship (INS) Surat is the fourth destroyer in Project 15B which is named after the second-largest commercial hub of western India.  Indian Naval Ship (INS) Udaygiri, named after a mountain range in Andhra Pradesh, is the third ship of Project 17A Frigates. It is a follow to the P17 Frigates (Shivalik Class) with improved stealth features, advanced weapons and sensors and platform management systems.

Schemes News

Panel of PM's Office recommends urban job guarantee scheme

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has recommended that the government implement a guaranteed employment programme for the unemployed in cities and implement a universal basic income (UBI) scheme to eliminate income gaps.  Citing the country's uneven income distribution, the report also advocated raising the minimum wage and increasing government investment on the social sector to make vulnerable groups more resilient to shocks and prevent them from falling into poverty.  According to the report that is titled, "The State of Inequality in India”, given the disparity in labour force participation rates between rural and urban areas, the urban equivalent of demand-based and guaranteed employment programmes such as MGNREGS should be implemented so that surplus labour can be rehabilitated.

Awards News

Ajay Piramal receives Order of the British Empire award

Chairman of the Piramal Group, Ajay Piramal has received an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Her Majesty The Queen. He received the award for services to the UK-India trade relationship as India Co-Chair of the UK-India CEO Forum.  As co-chair of the India-UK CEO forum since 2016, the endeavour has been to help strengthen the strong bilateral relations between the two countries through greater economic cooperation.  A prominent national role of a lesser degree, a conspicuous leading role in regional affairs through achievement or service to the community, or a highly distinguished, innovative contribution in his or her area of activity. The award was Instituted in 1917 by King George V.

Books and Authors

HarperCollins India to publish Preeti Shenoy new novel, 'A Place Called Home'

Bestselling author Preeti Shenoy is set to publish a new novel titled “A Place Called Home”, a story set in a coffee estate in Sakleshpur, Karnataka with a strong female protagonist at its core.  The new novel is about secrets, family, and finding yourself. The book published by HarperCollins Publishers India is set to be released in June 2022.  Preeti Shenoy has authored around 15 novels which include, The Magic Mindset, When Love Came Calling, Wake Up Life is Calling, Life is What You Make it, The Rule Breakers, and A Hundred Little Flames. Her works have also been translated into many Indian languages and also into Turkish.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh Released E-book Civil List-2022 of IAS officers

Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State(MoS), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions released the e-book ‘Civil List – 2022 of IAS officers’ at North Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi.  This is an effort by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) as a part of the Digital India initiative of the Government of India. This is the 67th edition of the Civil List and the 2nd edition of the e-book in pdf with unique search facilities and hyperlinking of contents for ease of access of information.  This will support in selecting the right officer for the right assignment based on the available profile. This is also a vital source of information on the officers manning various posts for the general public.




Important Days

World AIDS Vaccine Day Or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day 2022

World AIDS Vaccine Day is also known as HIV Vaccine Awareness Day (HVAD) is annually observed across the globe on the 18th of May to create awareness and provide information about Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and its immunisation.  World AIDS Vaccine Day was conceptualised by the speech of former United States President Bill Clinton on 18th May 1997, at the Morgan State University, Maryland, the United States of America(USA). The first-ever World AIDS Vaccine Day or HIV Vaccine Awareness Day was observed on 18th May 1998, as a commemoration of U.S. President Bill Clinton’s 1997 declaration.

Miscellaneous News

WCR develops battery-operated dual-mode locomotive 'Navdoot'

West Central Railway has developed a battery-operated dual-mode locomotive named Navdoot. This engine runs on both modes i.e. battery and electricity. Currently, it is being used during the shunting of trains at Jabalpur, Mudwara, and other stations on a trial basis.  This Dual Mode Locomotive has also received the Best Innovation Award from the Railway Board. Railways will save 1000 litres of diesel every day with this new locomotive. After clearing all the trials, it will be used more widely.

About ‘Navdoot’

 This engine runs on both modes i.e. battery and electricity.   This e-engine can pull 18 coaches at a speed of 30 kmph.   It has 84 batteries and has a capacity to pull 400 tonnes at present.   This has been developed by the Electric Department of New Katni Junction.  After clearing all the trials, it will be used more widely in other stations for purposes like carrying goods, coal, oil tankers etc. 


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