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18th & 19TH  June 2022



What major announcements on 'Agnipath' were made during Defence Ministry's briefing?

In the Defence Ministry's press briefing on 'Agnipath' scheme, ₹1-crore compensation was announced for Agniveers if they're martyred. The registration of Agniveers in IAF will begin from June 24. The intake of 'Agniveers' will go up to 1.25 lakh in near future. Defence applicants will be required to submit a pledge saying they didn't participate in violent protest or arson.



Govt establishes 10% quota for Agniveers, alters upper age limit 

Following widespread opposition to the Agnipath plan, the Centre announced a 10% reservation for Agniveers in the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles recruitment.  The Ministry of Home Affairs also decided to grant a three-year age relaxation to Agniveers in the CAPFs and Assam Rifles who are between the ages of 17.5 and 21. Notably, the initial class of recruits will be given a five-year extension on the maximum age limit.  The Agnipath short-term recruitment strategy for the armed forces was previously announced by the Centre. The plan, which is intended to be a reformative step, attempts to infuse more fresh blood into the three services.

Intuit on India's Best Companies to Work For list for 12 years in a row

Intuit shared that it is where engineers get to build a technology platform that unlocks financial opportunities for over 100 million people. Its award-winning culture, ranked on India's Best Companies to Work For list since 2010, aims to foster innovation and creativity, encouraging employees to constantly learn, grow and make an impact in an inclusive workplace.

PM Modi inaugurates ₹920-crore Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor

PM Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the main tunnel and five underpasses of Pragati Maidan Integrated Transit Corridor project in Delhi. It has been built at a cost of over ₹920 crore and is aimed to provide hassle-free and smooth access to the new world-class exhibition and convention centre being developed at Pragati Maidan, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Govt to extend ESI scheme across country by end of 2022

The Union Labour Ministry said on Sunday that the Employees' State Insurance (ESI) scheme will be extended to all 744 districts of the country by the end of 2022. During the 188th meeting of the ESI Corporation, it was also decided that ESIC will set up 23 new 100-bed hospitals and multiple dispensaries across India.

India's Russian coal purchases jump 6-fold in 20 days amid sanctions: Report

India's purchases of Russian coal have surged in the recent weeks despite Western sanctions on Moscow, according to data reviewed by Reuters. As per the report, traders are offering up to 30% discount and India's coal purchases increased over six-fold in the 20 days through May 27-June 15 while its oil trade with Russia jumped 31-fold in the same period.



International News


War in Ukraine could last for years, says NATO chief

In an interview with a German newspaper, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the war in Ukraine could last for years. "We must not let up in supporting Ukraine...Even if the costs are high," he added. He also said that supplying Ukraine with more modern weapons would increase its chances of being able to liberate the eastern Donbas region.


Internet, social media have turbocharged hate speech: UN chief

The internet and social media have turbocharged hate speech, enabling it to spread like wildfire across borders, said UN chief Antonio Guterres on the first-ever International Day for Countering Hate Speech on Saturday. Hate speech incites violence, undermines diversity and social cohesion and threatens the common values and principles that bind us together, he added.

Japan to participate in NATO summit for the first time 

Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida will attend this month’s NATO summit in Madrid, becoming the country’s first leader to join a top meeting of the transatlantic alliance.  The June 28-30 gathering is seen as a crunch moment for the 30 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, four months into Russia's war in Ukraine.  Japan, a key U.S. ally and not a NATO member, has delivered defensive supplies to Ukraine and imposed tough sanctions on Russia in tandem with the other Group of Seven countries.

Hamza Abdi Barre appointed as PM of Somalia 

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appointed a former chairman of the Jubbaland state election commission, Hamza Abdi Barre as the Prime Minister.  The 48-year-old Hamza Abdi Barre from the semi-autonomous state of Jubaland replaced Mohamed Hussein Roble.  Barre served in a number of public and political roles and from 2011 to 2017 was secretary-general of the Peace and Development Party (PDP), the precursor to the Union for Peace and Development (UDP) now led by Mohamud.



Govt declares ICICI, HDFC, NPCI's computer resources to be 'protected systems'

The government has declared computer resources of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and UPI managing entity NPCI to be 'protected systems' under the IT Act, 2000. This implies that any harm to these resources can have an impact on national security, economy, public health or safety. Further, any unauthorised person accessing these resources may be jailed for up to 10 years.

Builder fined ₹100 crore for violating green norms in Gurugram

The Central Pollution Control Board has ordered Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Limited, a real estate firm, to pay ₹100 crore as compensation for allegedly violating environmental norms in a Gurugram project. In a September 2018 order, the National Green Tribunal had flagged encroachment of parks, illegal extraction and supply of groundwater and absence of a sewerage treatment plant etc.


Ministerial meeting on GST rationalisation fails to reach agreement 

According to insiders, a group of state ministers working on GST rate rationalisation was unable to achieve an agreement because some members were opposed to modifications to tax slabs and rates.  They stated that the Group of Ministers will provide a status report to the GST Council on the consensus reached at the Group of Minister's previous meeting on November 20, 2021.

47th meeting of GST Council to be held in Srinagar 

The 47th meeting of the GST Council will be held on June 28 and 29, 2022 in Srinagar. The GST Council is chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. This is the second time that the GST Council meeting is being held in Srinagar.  Before the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1, 2017, the 14th meeting of the Council was held on May 18 and 19 in the city.  The Council had last year set up a seven-member panel of state ministers, headed by Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, to suggest ways to augment revenue by rationalising tax rates. The GoM had last met in November 2021.

Since 1980s, world's central banks launch their most hawkish campaign 

Central bankers around the world are enacting what could be the most dramatic tightening of monetary policy since the 1980s, risking recessions and upsetting financial markets as they try to deal with an unexpected spike in inflation.  The week began with a surprise move on Wall Street to price in a Federal Reserve rate hike of 75 basis points. Chairman Jerome Powell declared himself fully committed to bringing inflation back down, the greatest step by the US central bank since 1994.  Switzerland surprisingly boosted rates, while the Bank of England raised rates for the fifth time, this time by 25 basis points, and indicated that it will soon double the rate.  The bond market's reaction to the coordinated removal of stimulus was so ferocious that the European Central Bank called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to address rising yields in some euro-zone countries.

Bhagwat Karad: Govt to take additional efforts to reduce inflation if required 

Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad, India's state minister for finance, stated that the Finance Ministry will take additional efforts to reduce inflation if necessary. Inflation is a worldwide phenomena, and India is better off than other countries. The government is keeping a close eye on inflation and doing everything it can to keep it under control. According to the minister of state, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a significant impact on India's inflation.

Piyush Goyal: After several years, India able to win favourable WTO outcome

Despite a strong global campaign against Indian farmers and fishermen, India was able to secure a favourable outcome at the WTO after many years, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal told the media after the conclusion of the 12th ministerial conference — the WTO (World Trade Organisation)'s highest decision-making body .  Piyush Goyal described the conference as a 'outcome-oriented success', saying the Indian team, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was "100% successful" in expressing the top concerns for India and the developing nations to the world.


RBI raises limit of e-mandates for transactions up to Rs 15,000 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised the Additional Factor of Authentication (AFA) limit from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 per transaction for e-mandates on cards, Prepaid Payment Instruments (PPIs) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for recurring transactions.  It implies, additional authentication will not be need for payment of Rs 15,000 per transaction.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has, over the past decade, put in place various safety and security measures for card payments, including the requirement of AFA, especially for 'card-not-present' transactions.

Canara HSBC Life rebrands due to PNB exit 

Canara HSBC OBC Life has renamed itself as Canara HSBC Life following its third partner Punjab National Bank’s (PNB’s) decision to exit.  PNB had acquired a stake in the company following the amalgamation of Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).  Currently, Canara Bank holds 51% in the insurance arm, HSBC holds 26% and PNB 23%. Following PNB’s decision to exit, the stake is likely to be acquired by existing shareholders.



India-South Africa T20I series ends in a 2-2 draw as decider gets abandoned due to rain

The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa ended in a 2-2 draw after the decider got abandoned due to rain in Bengaluru. The fifth T20I was initially reduced to 19 overs per side. The rain then stopped play when India were batting at 28/2 after 3.3 overs. India are now unbeaten in nine straight T20I series at home.


Till now it didn't happen: Anurag on first-ever Chess Olympiad torch relay

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur praised International Chess Federation's (FIDE) decision to launch a Chess Olympiad torch relay for the first time from India, saying till now no torch relay happened in Chess Olympiad. "In this 44th Chess Olympiad, over 2000 players from 188 countries will participate," he said. PM Modi launched the torch relay for 44th Chess Olympiad in Delhi.


Important Days

International Day for Countering Hate Speech: 18 June 

International Day for Countering Hate Speech falls on June 18. According to the UN, hate speech is any kind of speech or writing that attacks or discriminates against a person or a group based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender, or any other identity factor.  Speech should not be a weapon for creating more mayhem in this volatile world; thus, the International Day for Countering Hate Speech will help to stop hate-mongering.

International Picnic Day 2022: 18th June 

International Picnic Day is celebrated annually on 18 June. On this day, people spend time with their loved ones and go for picnics to get a break from their monotonous everyday routine.  A picnic is a very good way to not only spend some quality time but also explore new feast spots. The word “picnic” probably gets its origins from the French language, specifically from the word “pique-nique”.  It is believed that this type of informal outdoor meal became a popular pastime in France after the French Revolution in the mid-1800s when it was possible again to get out into the country’s royal parks.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day 2022 observed on 18 June 

Every year, the world observes Sustainable Gastronomy Day on 18 June. The objective of this day is to recognise the practices associated with sustainable food consumption, especially with the art of collecting and preparing the food we eat.  To make this day a memorable one, the organisations work in collaboration with global and regional bodies to observe the day.  The day was recognised on 21 December 2016 after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/71/246, and declared 18 June as Sustainable Gastronomy Day.  Every year, UNGA, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) work together to ensure that the day is celebrated properly around the world.



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