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12th May 2022

National News

Elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats to be held on June 10

The Election Commission of India on Thursday announced that the elections to 57 Rajya Sabha seats spread across 15 states will take place on June 10. As many as 11 seats are in Uttar Pradesh while six each are in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The votes will be counted on the same day.

Ramkrishna, Subramanian's bail pleas in NSE scam case rejected

A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the bail pleas filed by NSE's ex-CEO Chitra Ramkrishna and ex-Group Operating Officer Anand Subramanian in connection with the co-location scam case. The CBI told the court that the accused, holding influential positions, could tamper with the evidence and must be kept in custody. Ramkrishna has been accused of frequently revising Subramanian's designation

Karnataka cabinet approves anti-conversion bill as ordinance: Home Minister

Karnataka cabinet has approved the anti-conversion bill and it will be discussed in the next Assembly session, the state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said. Till then, the ordinance will be in place, he added. "Because the Assembly and Council got prorogued, we're placing a proposal to promulgate an ordinance in the cabinet," CM Basavaraj Bommai had said before the meeting.

India in relatively stronger position than many nations: Finance Secy

India is economically in a relatively stronger position than many other countries, Finance Secretary TV Somanathan said. He stated that owing to the large domestic production of wheat, India has at least escaped the global foodgrain crisis amid Ukraine-Russia war. However, he added that India cannot be immune to geopolitical challenges as it's part of the global economy.

India elected a new Chair of the Association of Asian Election Authorities for 2022-24

India has been unanimously elected as the new Chair of the Association of Asian Election Authorities (AAEA) for 2022-2024 at the meeting of the Executive Board and General Assembly in Manila, Philippines.  Commission on Elections, Manila was the current chair of AAEA. The new member of the Executive Board now includes Russia, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Taiwan and the Philippines.  The Election Commission of India 3-member delegation headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Nitesh Vyas, along with CEO Manipur Shri Rajesh Agrawal and CEO Rajasthan Shri Praveen Gupta, attended the Executive Board meeting at Manila and presented the work plan for 2022-23 as also futuristic activities for 2023-24 to the Executive Board.

President confers 13 Shaurya Chakras, Param Vishisht Seva Medal to Army Chief

President of India, Ram Nath Kovind conferred 13 Shaurya Chakras which included six posthumous to the personnel of the Indian Armed forces for their conspicuous courage displayed during operations.  Army Chief General Manoj Pande was conferred with the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) for his distinguished service of exceptional order at a defence investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan.  The President also conferred 14 PVSM, four Uttam Yudh Seva Medals (UYSM) and 24 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals (AVSM) for distinguished service of an exceptional order. These awards of Gallantry and other Defence decorations conferred were approved by the President in January on the eve of the 73rd Republic Day celebrations this January.  Gen Manoj Pande assumed the charge of the 29th Chief of the Army Staff on April 30. Before that, he was serving as the Vice Chief of Army Staff for three months and was the General Officer Commander in Chief, Eastern Command of the Army before that.

RailTel introduced PM-WANI based access to its Wi-Fi at 100 Railway Stations

RailTel, a micro Ratna PSU, launched the Prime Minister Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme on Monday, providing access to its Public WiFi services across 100 train stations in 22 states.  PM-WANI is a Department of Telecom (DoT) initiative to connect all silo Wi-Fi networks for simplicity of use and to increase broadband adoption among the general public.
This means of connecting to Wi-Fi via the 'mobile app' would be in addition to the present technique of connecting to WiFi at these stations by selecting the RailWire Service Set Identifier (SSID).  PM-WANI-based access will make it easier to use WANI-based Public WiFi by allowing one-time Know Your Customer (KYC) to bypass one-time password (OTP) based authentication.  The RailTel WiFi network now covers 6,102 railway stations across the country and has 17, 792 WiFi hotspots, with more on the way.

Centre aims to build 18,000 km of highways in FY23: Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday that Centre aims to build 18,000 km of highways in financial year 2022-23 at a speed of 50 km/day. He added that the government's overall target is to develop 2 lakh km of National Highway Network by 2025. The pace of national highway (NH) construction in India had touched 37 km/day in 2020-21.

International News

Elections in Pak will only be held after poll reforms: Ex-Prez Zardari

Ex-Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has said that elections in the country will only be held after the introduction of poll reforms. "We have to change laws and improve them and then go to elections," he said. Former PM Imran Khan recently called for expedited polls in Pakistan after being ousted from power via a no-trust vote last month.

Over $200 billion wiped off cryptocurrency market in 24 hours

More than $200 billion of wealth was wiped out from the cryptocurrency market in just 24 hours amid a massive sell-off, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing CoinMarketCap data. The crypto plunge was driven by the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin. The plunge affected major tokens and Bitcoin plunged by as much as 10% to its lowest level since December 2020.

Biden administration has taken Quad to leader level: White House

White House on Wednesday said that the US President Joe Biden-led US administration has taken the Quad to the leader level. "We are the first administration that has taken the Quad- that is the United States, Australia, India, and Japan- to the leader level," a senior administration official said. His remarks came on the eve of the US-ASEAN Special Summit.

Ranil Wickremesinghe takes oath as new PM of crisis-hit Sri Lanka

Ranil Wickremesinghe, an opposition lawmaker, has been sworn in as the new Prime Minister of Sri Lanka by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa amid political and economic crisis in the country. This comes days after former PM Mahinda Rajapaksa quit his post and went to an undisclosed location with his family amid protests in the island nation.

Sanctions on Russia won't affect global oil supply: IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world won't be left short of oil even with lower output from sanctions-hit Russia. "Steadily rising volumes from...OPEC+ and the US along with a slowdown in demand growth is expected to fend off an acute supply deficit," the IEA said. This comes after it predicted a possible global oil "supply shock" in March.

Global crypto regulation body likely in next year: IOSCO Chair

The International Organisation of Securities Commissions' (IOSCO) Chair Ashley Alder said global market regulators are likely to launch a joint body within the next year to better co-ordinate cryptocurrency rules. "There's a wall of worry about this (crypto) an institutional level," Alder stated. He added that the main concerns are cyber security and a lack of transparency, among others.

Over 6 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian invasion: UN

At least six million have fled Ukraine since Russia began its military offensive there, a UN refugee agency confirmed on Thursday. Most refugees have crossed over to the European Union through border points in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary among other countries. Over eight million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine, according to International Organization for Migration (IOM) report.

South Korea becomes 1st Asian country join NATO Cyber Defence Group 

South Korea became the first Asian country join in North Atlantic Treaty Organization Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) is joined as a contributing participant in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.  Now, the total NATO CCDCOE has 32 countries as its official members which include 27 NATO member countries and 5 five non-NATO states as contributing participants. South Korea has participated in the Locked Shields 2022, the largest and most complex annual international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world.  It has been participating two years in a row since 2020. South Korea joining the CCDCOE would help it counter the cybersecurity threat perception due to North Korea.

Monkeypox Virus: History, Outbreak, Symptoms

Another virus, Monkeypox, has made an appearance in the United Kingdom. The patient has a recent travel history from Nigeria, where they are suspected to have contracted the infection, before travelling to the UK, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which confirmed the case.  Monkeypox is a viral disease caused by the Monkeypox virus, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the Poxviridae family and is associated with diseases such as smallpox, cowpox, horsepox, and camelpox.  According to the WHO, the first large Monkeypox outbreak was detected in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1996–97, with lower case fatality and a greater attack rate.  Monkeypox has symptoms that are comparable to smallpox, which was proclaimed eradicated in the 1980s.  It was first discovered in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, two years after smallpox had been eradicated from the area.  According to WHO records, the majority of Monkeypox cases have been reported from rural, rainforest regions of the Congo Basin since 1970, mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is currently considered endemic.

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister resigned after weeks of Protest 

Sri Lankan prime minister Mahindra Rajapaksa resigned from his position on 9th May 2022. He sent his resignation letter to the president of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He has been accused of misleading Sri Lanka's economy and pushing Sri Lanka towards Bank corruption and economic crisis. The Sri Lankan people have been protesting against the president and the prime minister. They demanded the resignation of prime minister Mahindra Rajapaksa. The supporters attack the Anti-government protesters outside the president’s office which leads to massive violence.  151 people were injured and admitted in the hospital.


Campbell Wilson appointed CEO and MD of Air India

Tata Sons has appointed Campbell Wilson as the new CEO and MD of Air India. "It's an honour to be selected to lead the iconic Air India. It's at the cusp of an exciting journey to become one of the best airlines," Wilson said. The 50-year-old New Zealand-born executive recently resigned as CEO of Singapore Airlines budget carrier Scoot.

Sensex crashes 1,158 points to close at 52,930 in the 5th-straight session of fall

Sensex fell for the fifth-straight day on Thursday, crashing 1,158 points to close at 52,930, while Nifty closed 359 points lower at 15,808. The market indices dropped over 2%, dragged by banking, financial and metal stocks amid worries over April inflation data and a decline in global stocks. Adani Ports, IndusInd Bank and Tata Steel were among the top losers.

India's retail inflation surges to 7.79% in April, highest in 8 years

India's retail inflation surged to 7.79% in April 2022, the highest since May 2014, data released by the government on Thursday showed. At 7.79%, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation for April is higher than the March number of 6.95%. Earlier this month, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das had said inflation was "expected to be elevated" in April.

GoI releases Rs 7,183.42 crore to 14 states as revenue deficit grant

The central government has released Rs 7,183.42 crore as a revenue deficit grant to 14 states including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Punjab, Assam and Kerala. The Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance released the money.  This is the 2nd monthly instalment of Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant to states. The grant has been released as per the recommendations of the Fifteenth Finance Commission.  Fifteenth Finance Commission recommended Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant to states. Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) grant is provided under Article 275 of the Indian Constitution.  The Fifteenth Finance Commission has recommended a total Post Devolution Revenue Deficit (PDRD) Grant of Rs 86,201 crore to 14 states for the financial year 2022-23.  The Department of Expenditure (Ministry of Finance) will release the grant to the recommended states in 12 equated monthly instalments (EMIs). With the recent release, the total amount of Revenue Deficit Grants released to the States in 2022-23 has gone up to Rs 14,366.84 crore.

Awards News

Mamata Banerjee received Special Bangla Academy Award

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee received the Bangla Academy Award for her "relentless literary pursuit". The award, introduced this year by Sahitya Academy, was presented to Banerjee for her book "Kabita Bitan", which pays tribute to the best writers of West Bengal.  Mamata Banerjee's 'Kabita Bitan' was launched at the 2020 Kolkata Book Fair. The book contains 946 poems written by the TMC supremo.  Despite being on the stage, Mamata Banerjee did not accept the award on her own and it was received by state Education Minister Bratya Basu on her behalf.  Banerjee was given the award at the "Ravi Pranam" function organised by the government's information and culture department on the occasion of Rabindranath Tagore's birth anniversary.  Bangla Academy has decided to reward those who are working tirelessly for the betterment of literature as well as other sectors of society.

Sports News

CSK out of IPL 2022 playoffs race as MI record their 3rd win

Bottom-placed MI defeated ninth-placed CSK by five wickets to register their third victory in IPL 2022. With the defeat, CSK are now officially out of contention for a place in the playoffs. The match witnessed CSK getting dismissed for 97, their second-lowest total in IPL. MI pacer Daniel Sams took three wickets, while Tilak Varma top-scored for MI with 34*(32).

12th IBA Womens World Boxing Championships kick-started in Istanbul

The 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships was kick-started in Istanbul, Turkey. In this event, more than 400 boxers from a record 93 countries are set to take part in this year’s event, which also marks the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event.  Olympian Lovlina Borgohain will represent the Indian country. The other representatives of this game are Pooja Rani (81 kg), Nandini (+81 kg) and Nikhat Zareen (52 kg), Nitu (48kg), Anamika (50kg), Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Parveen (63kg) and Sweety (75kg).

VP Venkaiah Naidu releases 'Modi @20: Dreams Meeting Delivery' book

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has released the book “Modi@20 Dreams Meet Delivery” in New Delhi. The book presents different facets of the distinct thought process, the pioneering, pro-active approach and the quintessential, transformational leadership style that Narendrabhai Modi has come to be so closely identified with.  ‘Modi@20’ is an anthology edited and compiled by BlueKraft Digital Foundation, and is a compilation of chapters authored by eminent intellectuals and domain experts, Rupa Publications. The book encompasses the experiential journey of Modi since he left his house at the tender age of 17 and set out on a mission of knowing himself, and his country and finally define the mission of transforming India. In 2021, Modi completed twenty continuous years as the head of a government.  This book, a compilation of chapters authored by eminent intellectuals and domain experts, attempts a definitive and expansive exploration into the fundamental transformation of Gujarat and India over the last twenty years due to Modi’s unique model of governance.

Important Days

International Nurses Day 2022 Observed on 12th May

May 12 is observed as International Nurses' Day across the world to honour the services of nurses. It is the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the English social reformer, statistician and founder of modern nursing.  She was also known as Lady with the Lamp. She was the founder of modern nursing and was a British social reformer and statistician.  The theme for this year's Nurses' Day is "Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health". Many hospitals across the world are observing International Nurses Week from May 6 to 12. As part of it, several activities, including yoga sessions and seminars are being organised.  Nightingale gained prominence during the Crimean War between Russia and Britain in the 1850s. Along with her team of 38 women, she took care of British soldiers who were dealing with horrible sanitation facilities apart from battling Russian forces.  According to historical accounts, injured soldiers had dirty bandages covering rotting wounds, there were rats at their bases, and only one bathtub per 150 personnel. Making matters worse, a dead horse had been left to rot in their water supply.

International Day of Plant Health observed on 12th May 2022

The United Nations designated 12 May the International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development. The United Nations declared 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH).  The Year was extended until 1 July 2021 due to the postponement of some key initiatives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.  Both our health and the health of our planet depend on plants. Plants makeup 80% of the food we eat and 98% of the oxygen we breathe and yet they are under threat. Up to 40% of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases every year.

Obituaries News

Former Union Minister Pandit Sukh Ram passes away

Veteran Himachal Pradesh Congress leader and former Union minister, Pandit Sukh Ram has passed away at 94. He was the Union Minister of State, Communications (Independent Charge) from 1993 to 1996 and a member of Lok Sabha from the Mandi constituency (Himachal Pradesh).  He won the Lok Sabha elections three times and the Vidhan Sabha elections five times. In 2011, he was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for corruption when he was Communications Minister in 1996.

World’s oldest chess grandmaster Yuri Averbakh passes away

Russian chess grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh who was among the world’s best players for a decade, trained world champions and was the last surviving participant in one of the greatest competitions in history, has died in Moscow at 100.  He won the Moscow Championship in 1949 and earned the Grandmaster title in 1952. In 1954, he became the champion of the USSR. He also chaired the Chess Federation of the USSR from 1972 to 1977.

Miscellaneous News

Mumbai Gets India’s First EV Charging Station Powered by bio-gas

India’s first EV charging station powered by bio-gas was inaugurated in Mumbai, Maharashtra. This station be will expected to generate 220 units of electricity from food waste collected from its nearby areas, mostly from bulk generators like hotels and offices.  This energy plant will be utilized to power street lights and also to charge electric vehicles. It was inaugurated by Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Uddhav Thackeray.  The Biogas Electricity Generation Plant, set up in the year 2021, uses about 1.5 lakh kilograms of food waste to generate electricity. Also, to promote electric vehicles, BMC is planning to set up organic waste-powered EV charging stations in its 24 administrative wards.



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