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16th AND 17TH June 2022

National News

'Agniveers' to be prioritised by UP Govt. for recruitment 

Agniveers personnel recruited on short-term contracts in the Army, Navy, and Air Force under the unique Agnipath system would have preference in recruitment to the state's police and associated services, according to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.  This comes a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh launched the Agnipath scheme for short-term contractual recruitment of personnel in the tri-services for a maximum of four years.

PM Modi cares for youth: Amit Shah as age limit relaxed for Agnipath scheme

After the government relaxed the age limit for the Agnipath scheme, Home Minister Amit Shah said PM Narendra Modi cares for the youth. It was a sensitive decision to give two years concession in the age limit and increase it from 21 years to 23 years for first-year aspirants, Shah tweeted. "Youth will be benefited from this decision," he added.

Pramod K Mittal named as chairperson of COAI for 2022-23 

Industry body Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) named Pramod K Mittal, President of Reliance Jio Infocomm, as the new Chairperson of the association for 2022-23.  Mittal was previously the Vice-Chairperson of the COAI, whose members include Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (VIL).  Mittal will replace Ajai Puri as the COAI Chairperson. Mittal comes with a rich experience of 42 years in telecommunications.  Prior to joining India's leading telecom operator, the Reliance Jio Infocomm President has also served in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for over 37 years.

B S Patil sworn in as Lokayukta of Karnataka 

Former Karnataka High Court judge, Bhimanagouda Sanganagouda Patil was sworn in as the Lokayukta of Karnataka. Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot administered the oath of office to Justice Patil.  Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah, ministers in the State Government and legislators attended the programme, and greeted Justice Patil.

Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai as New PCI Chief 

Former Supreme Court judge Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai is believed to have been chosen as the next head of the Press Council of India (PCI).  Justice Desai recently served as the chairman of the Delimitation Commission on Jammu and Kashmir, which was established to redesign the Union Territory's assembly constituencies.  Since Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad (retd) completed his tenure as PCI chairperson and demitted office in November of last year, the position has been empty.

Mumbai Airport launched Vertical Axis Wind Turbine & Solar PV hybrid System 

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), Mumbai has become India’s 1st airport to launch a one-of-its-kind Vertical Axis Wind Turbine & Solar PV hybrid (Solar Mill) to explore the possibility of utilization of wind energy at the airport.  With this, Mumbai will become the first city in India to establish a one-of-its-kind hybrid power project at its airport.  This sustainable initiative undertaken by CSMIA reduces dependence on conventional electricity which propels its journey towards ‘Net Zero’ emissions.

Tamil Nadu launched Ennum Ezhuthum scheme to bridge learning gap 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, MK Stalin launched the Ennum Ezhuthum scheme to bridge the learning gap that was caused due to the COVID pandemic among students aged below eight.  The scheme aims to ensure foundational literacy and numeracy by 2025. It was launched at an event in Azhinjivakkam panchayat union middle school, Tiruvallur.  The education department will distribute workbooks to students from Classes 1 to 3 to assess and bridge the learning gap.

India’s 1st private train service flagged off under ‘Bharat Gaurav Scheme’ 

The first train to be operated between Coimbatore and Shirdi by a private operator, under the 'Bharat Gaurav' scheme of the Indian Railways, was flagged off.  Ministry of Tourism has informed that the first ever Bharat Gaurav Train has been flagged off on Coimbatore north to Sainagar Shirdi route.  The train will cover several historical destinations on the route while giving the passengers an insight into the cultural heritage of the country.  Indian Railways had launched the operation of theme-based Bharat Gaurav train in the month of November 2021.

PM Modi inaugurates Jal Bhushan Building and Gallery of Revolutionaries at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated Jal Bhushan Building at Raj Bhawan in Mumbai.  Maharashtra Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray, Dy CM Ajit Pawar, Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray and the State Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari were also present on the occasion.  The PM also inaugurated an underground 'Gallery of Revolutionaries' museum dedicated to the luminaries of the freedom struggle, at the Raj Bhavan.

Arati Prabhakar to be appointed as science adviser to the President of US 

US president Joe Biden is expected to name Arati Prabhakar as the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).  She will succeed Eric Lander who left the role nine months after his appointment after he admitted to bullying his staff and creating a hostile work environment during his tenure.  Arati would be the first woman and the first person of color to serve as science adviser to the President of the United States.

Anand Mahindra, Venu Srinivasan, Pankaj Patel, and Ravindra Dholakia appointed to RBI central board 

The government has appointed industrialists Anand Mahindra, Pankaj R Patel and Venu Srinivasan, and former IIM (Ahmedabad) professor Ravindra H Dholakia as non-official directors on the central board of the Reserve Bank.  The nominations have been made for four years by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).   RBI’s affairs are governed by the central board of directors. The members of the board, chaired by RBI Governor, are appointed by the government of India as per the Reserve Bank of India Act.  The government nominates 10 non-official from various files and two government officials. Besides, there are also four non-official directors (one each from four local board of RBI).

UPEIDA signs MoUs with SBI, BOB, PNB, and SIDBI for UP 

To encourage investment in the UP Defense Industrial Corridor, the Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) has inked MoUs with the State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BOB), Punjab National Bank (PNB), and Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI).  The bank would provide financial help in the form of ease of doing business to investors in the UP Defense Industrial Corridor, according to the deal.


International News


8th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians hosted in Egypt 

The Eighth Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians has been started in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt to address climate change. The two-day conference is being jointly organized by the House of Representatives and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).  Nagaland’s first woman elected as Member of Parliament to Rajya Sabha, S. Phangon Konyak is representing India at the Conference. She, along with two other young Lok Sabha MPs from India, will be sharing her thoughts on the 'Young MPs for Climate Actions'. 



LinkedIn tie-up with UN Women to create employment opportunities for women 

LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network,  will invest USD 5,00,000 (Rs 3.88 crore) in partnership with United Nation's Women to advance women's economic empowerment.  The project will launch a pilot in Maharashtra to cultivate the digital, soft and employability skills of 2,000 women and present them with a range of career-building opportunities through job fairs, mentoring sessions and peer-to-peer networks.  The three-year regional collaboration will digitally upskill women, providing them greater access to jobs and equipping them to fully participate in the formal economy.

France signs agreement to accept UPI payments and RuPay cards from India  

Union Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that UPI and Rupay card services will be available in France soon, giving a huge boost to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Rupay cards.  The overseas branch of India's National Payments Corporation (NPCI) has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with France's Lyra Network for the acceptance of UPI and Rupay in the country.  So far, countries such as Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Bhutan, and Nepal have adopted India's UPI payment system.



APEDA organized mango festival in Bahrain to boost export of mangoes 

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has organized an eight-day long mango festival in Bahrain to boost the export of Mangoes.  34 varieties of mangoes from eastern states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, are being displayed at eight different locations of Bahrain's Al Jazira group supermarket.  The mango show in Bahrain is part of APEDA’s new initiatives to explore international markets for Indian mangoes under the ‘Mango Festival 2022’.


Ukraine plans to introduce visas for Russians for 1st time in July

Ukraine plans to introduce visas for Russian nationals from July 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced on Friday. Notably, the move will end visa-free travel for Russians for the first time since Ukraine's independence from Soviet Union. "Due to the full-scale war...we need to strengthen the control over the entry of Russian nationals into our territory," a Ukrainian official said.



Investors poorer by ₹18.17 lakh crore as markets decline for 6th straight session

Investors' wealth eroded by ₹18.17 lakh crore in six trading sessions as markets continue to decline amid extremely bearish sentiments. Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty logged their worst weekly losses since May 2020, with Sensex hitting one-year-low of 50,921 on Friday. The decline comes amid rate hikes by global central banks, unrelenting foreign fund outflows and rising crude oil prices.



HSBC India announced $250 Million lending support for Indian start-ups 

Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, India (HSBC India) has announced USD 250 million in lending support for high-growth, technology-led start-ups in India, which has the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem.  HSBC will administer the lending via its commercial banking division. It has also not mentioned any specific timeframe for disbursal of the amount.  HSBC stated that the lending will be done to high-growth, tech-led startups in the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. HSBC has prepared a credit model and offerings to suit the specific requirements of a wide spectrum of startups and new-age entities, ranging from growth stage to unicorns.

RBI lifted the restrictions on Mastercard 2022

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relaxed the limitations placed on Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte Ltd on onboarding new domestic clients. For non-compliance with RBI standards for data storage in India, Mastercard has been barred from onboarding new domestic users (debit, credit, or prepaid) onto its card network as of July 22, 2021.  The RBI had given Mastercard almost three years to comply with the regulatory directives, but it was unable to do so.  All system providers were directed to ensure that the entire data (full end-to-end transaction details, information collected, carried, or processed as part of the message or payment instruction) relating to payment systems operated by them is stored in a system only in India by the RBI circular on Storage of Payment System Data dated April 6, 2018


Trade deficit of India broadens to $24.29 billion in May 2022 

Trade data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry showed that India’s May trade deficit widened to $24.29 billion from $6.53 billion a year ago.  May’s trade deficit was pushed up by a surge in imports, which rose 62.83% year-on-year to $63.22 billion, while exports rose 20.55% to $38.94 billion.  Despite the uncertainty and volatility caused by the war in Europe, the engineering goods exports rose by 12.65 per cent year-on-year to $9.71 billion in May 2022.

WPI inflation spiked to 15.88% in May 2022

Wholesale price inflation spiked to 15.88% in May, the highest since September 1991 as a surge in price pressure in food and fuel overwhelmed a moderation in the dominant manufactured product segment.  In April, the WPI inflation was recorded at 15.08%. Inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) has remained in double digits for 14 months now, mirroring elevated global commodity prices, especially of oil, according to the official data released.

Tamilnad Mercantile Bank gets SEBI’s nod to float IPO 

Private sector lender, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank has received capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) to launch and raise funds through an initial public offering (IPO).  The public issue comprises a fresh issue of 1,58,27,495 equity shares and an Offer For Sale (OFS) of up to 12,505 equity shares by shareholders, according to the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP).

CASHe has launched an industry-first credit line service on WhatsApp 

Financial wellness platform, CASHe has launched an industry-first credit line service using its AI-powered chat capability on WhatsApp to provide customers with a fast, seamless and convenient way to access instant credit line by merely typing their name.  The firm offers an instant credit limit without the need for any documents, app downloads or filling up tedious application forms.  CASHe’s WhatsApp chat service is built on the WhatsApp Business Platform, an enterprise solution that allows businesses to communicate with new and existing customers on WhatsApp in a simple, secure, and reliable way.

Adani Transmission’s $700 million loan gets ‘green loan’ tag

Adani Transmission Limited’s, $700 million revolving facility has been tagged as a 'green loan' by Sustainalytics. This assures the green loan framework for the revolving facility.  Sustainalytics had issued the independent SPO on the alignment of the reviewed framework with the current market standards and the extent to which the eligible project categories are credible and impactful.  The projects associated with the USD 700 million revolving facility are being implemented in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

Ranks and Reports News

Global Startup Ecosystem ranking: Kerala ranks top in Asia in global report 

Providing a boost for Kerala’s start-up ecosystem, the State has been ranked first in Asia in Affordable Talent in Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).  The State has also been ranked fourth in global ranking in the GSER, drawn up jointly by policy advisory and research organisation Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network. In the first GSER published in 2020, Kerala was ranked 5th in Asia and 20th in the world.

Science and Technology News


Ashwini Vaishnaw: India to have 5G services by March 2023 

Union Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced at the Viva Technology 2022 event that India will have full-fledged 5G services by March 2023.  Vaishnaw told that the 5G spectrum auction will be concluded by the end of July, adding that Telecom is the key source of digital consumption, and it is very vital to introduce trusted solutions in telecom.  India should develop the technology and core network for 5G services; this would be a significant achievement for the country.  The Union Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has finally approved the Department of Telecommunications' (5G) spectrum auction, in which bidders would be assigned spectrum to provide 5G services to the general public and businesses.

Google announced a startup accelerator program for women founders


Google announced a startup accelerator program for women founders. The program will help them address challenges such as fundraising and hiring. Google for Startups Accelerator India – Women Founders will run from Jul-2022 to Sep-2022.  The program is part of a larger effort by Google towards improving the representation of women across different sections of India's digitally-trained workforce — be it entrepreneurship, professionals looking to upskill or young graduates seeking a headstart on their career.







Sports News


Dinesh Karthik breaks MS Dhoni's record as India beat SA in 4th T20I to level series 2-2

India defeated South Africa by 82 runs in the fourth T20I in Rajkot to level the five-match series 2-2. The match witnessed Dinesh Karthik (55 runs) break MS Dhoni's record (52*) for the highest T20I score by a Team India batter at number six or lower. Meanwhile, India fast bowler Avesh Khan recorded bowling figures of 4-0-18-4.

ICC retains Nitin Menon in Elite Panel 

India's Nitin Menon has retained his place in the ICC Elite Panel and is set to make his maiden appearance as a neutral umpire in Sri Lanka later this month. A BCCI official told PTI that Menon has got a one-year extension from the International Cricket Council.  The 38-year-old from Indore remains the only Indian in the 11-member Elite Panel of Umpires.  There is no change in the Elite Panel and besides Menon, it includes Aleem Dar from Pakistan, Chris Gaffaney from New Zealand, Kumara Dharmasena from Sri Lanka, Marais Erasmus from South Africa, Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough (all three from England), Paul Reiffel and Rod Tucker from Australia and Joel Wilson from the West Indies.

International Day of Family Remittances 2022: 16 June

The International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is observed on 16 June. The IDFR recognizes more than 200 million migrant workers, women and men, who send money home to over 800 million family members.  This day further highlights the great resilience of migrant workers in the face of economic insecurities, natural and climate related disasters and a global pandemic.  This year, the United Nations is continuing last year’s theme for International Day of Family Remittances: recovery and resilience through digital and financial inclusion. 

Obituaries News

Eminent Urdu critic & linguist Professor Gopi Chand Narang passes away 

Renowned Urdu scholar, linguist, theorist, literary critic, and former Chairperson of Sahitya Akademi Professor, Gopi Chand Narang has passed away at 91. He was a Professor Emeritus at the University of Delhi and Jamia Millia Islamia.  He has been honoured with the Padma Bhushan (2004) and Sahitya Akademi Awards (1995). He incorporated a range of modern theoretical frameworks, including stylistics, structuralism, post-structuralism, and Sanskrit poetics. 


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