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21st July 2022



National News


Which countries provide visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to Indians?

India has ranked 87th on the list of world's most powerful passports released by Henley Passport Index. The nations providing visa-free access include Fiji, Qatar, Mauritius, Jamaica, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia, Oman, Serbia and El Salvador among others. Countries including Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Iran, Seychelles, Myanmar, Cambodia and Zimbabwe among others provide visa-on-arrival access.

Govt releases pic of 1st stamp of independent India

The government on Thursday released a picture of the first stamp of independent India. "The 1st Stamp of Independent India was issued on November 21, 1947 and was valued at three & a half annas," it tweeted with the picture. The picture was released under 'Moments With Tiranga' campaign.


15th President of India: Draupadi Murmu

Daughter of a tribal family coming from a very ordinary house in Odisha, Draupadi Murmu has been elected as the 15th President of India.  The 2022 Indian Presidential Election was the 16th presidential election that was held in India on the 18th of July 2022. Murmu becomes India’s first woman tribal president.  She also becomes the second woman to hold the post after Pratibha Patil. The tenure of incumbent president Ram Nath Kovind will end on 24 July.

In 272 of the most needy districts, Govt starts “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan” 

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment began implementing Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in the 272 most susceptible districts in August 2020.  The National Survey of Extent, Pattern and Trends of Substance Use conducted in 2004 and the Comprehensive National Survey on Extent and Pattern of Substance Use in India conducted in 2018 both show a change in the pattern of substance abuse, according to the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment A. Narayanaswamy.  According to A. Narayanaswamy, the participation of stakeholders including women, children, educational institutions, and civil society groups is given special consideration under the “Nasha Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan” programme.

International News

Sri Lanka: Ranil Wickremesinghe elected as 9th President 

Veteran Sri Lankan politician and six-time Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe has been elected as the 9th President of the Island nation by the Parliament. He secured 134 votes in the presidential election by the 225-member parliament.  The 73-year-old Wickremesinghe will serve the remaining term of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which ends in 2024.

Due to an intense heat wave, England under its first-ever red weather warning 

As temperatures have continued to soar, the UK Meteorological (Met) Office issued the first-ever red extreme heat warning for areas of England, including London.  Temperatures could reach 40 degrees Celsius, and a red warning, the maximum level used by the Met Office under its alert system, indicates a risk to life is possible. The unusual warning, which is categorised as a national emergency, signifies that life is in danger for people of all ages.  According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), a heatwave reaches level four when it is so intense and/or persistent that its consequences go beyond the reach of the health and social care system. This implies that everyone, not just high-risk groups, including healthy, fit people, could be vulnerable to illness and death.


Italy's Prez dissolves Parliament after PM Draghi's resignation

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella dissolved the country's Parliament on Thursday, clearing the way for an early election. "The dissolution of the parliamentary chamber is always the last choice," Mattarella said. Notably, the development comes after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's resignation earlier today following the collapse of his national unity government.


Appointments News

Brijesh Gupta appointed as MD of RattanIndia Power 

RattanIndia Power announced hiring Brijesh Gupta as its new managing director. He has experience working across the renewable, steel, mining and commodities sector in India and abroad.  He has over three decades of experience in the industrial sector. Brijesh Gupta held leadership positions in Adani Enterprises, Essar Group, Welspun and Atha Group. Other than this, he also has global experience by working across geographies in the USA, Middle East, Iran and the Indian Subcontinent.

Jayanti Prasad named as Whole Time Member of IBBI 

The Central Government has appointed, Jayanti Prasad as a Whole-time Member of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) for five years.  This period of five years will be counted from the date of assumption of charge of the post i.e July 5, 2022, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is the earliest, according to an executive order issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).


NCLT orders insolvency proceedings against Future Retail

The Mumbai bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Wednesday allowed a consortium of lenders, led by Bank of India (BoI), to initiate insolvency proceedings against debt-laden Future Retail. The tribunal also rejected e-commerce major Amazon's objection to BoI's petition. Amazon had alleged that the petition to initiate insolvency proceedings against the Indian retailer was "malicious".

Digit Insurance launched ‘pay as you drive’ for motor insurance 

Go Digit General Insurance is the first insurer to offer a ‘pay as you drive’ (PAYD) add-on feature for motor insurance own damage (OD) policies.  The Insurance has launched an add-on feature for motor insurance Own Damage policies, named ‘Pay as you Drive’. Vehicle-owners can purchase this benefit as part of comprehensive coverage, along with motor own damage (OD) policies.

European Central Bank raises interest rates for first time in 11 years

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Thursday raised interest rates for the first time in more than 11 years. The ECB raised its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 0.0%. The ECB said that the increase is necessary to limit the pressure on prices over the next two years. It also increased its main refinancing rate to 0.50%.

Karti Chidambaram writes to Serious Fraud Investigation Office to review Byju's finances

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram has written to Serious Fraud Investigation Office to investigate finances of Byju's. Chidambaram stated Byju's violated law by missing the legal deadline to file the Cost Audit Report for FY 2020-21. "Byju's proposes to...acquire Nasdaq-listed company 2U for $2.4 billion, while parallelly firing becomes pertinent to review [its] finances," he wrote.


IndusInd Bank board approves raising Rs 20,000 crore through debt 

The board of private lender IndusInd Bank has authorised a plan to raise Rs 20,000 crore in debt to finance company expansion. In a meeting, the bank’s board of directors approved the proposal, according to a statement from IndusInd Bank.  The board authorised the issuance of debt securities in any permitted manner through a private placement on the condition that the total amount raised does not exceed Rs 20,000 crore. As required, it may also be raised in foreign currencies with the consent of the bank’s members and after receiving any additional governmental or regulatory permissions.

Govt and RBI policies aid banks to recover bad loans of Rs. 8.6 lakh crore in 8 fiscal years

The administration informed Parliament that concrete actions taken by the RBI and government-assisted banks in recovering bad loans of more than Rs 8.6 lakh crore over the course of the previous eight fiscal years.  Non-performing assets (NPAs) are a natural, albeit unfavourable, the corollary of the banking industry, according to Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad in a written response to the Lok Sabha.  The government of India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) regularly issue directives and have implemented a number of initiatives aimed at resolving long-standing stressed assets on banks’ books as well as timely identification and recognition of stress immediately upon default and take corrective action for mitigating the same.

Morgan Stanley cuts India’s FY23 GDP forecast to 7.2% 

American brokerage Morgan Stanley cut its FY23 real GDP expansion estimate for India by 0.40 per cent to 7.2 per cent on slower global growth and GDP growth will slow down to 6.4 per cent in FY24.  A majority of watchers are expecting FY23 GDP growth to come at over 7 per cent levels. The RBI estimate also stands at 7.2 per cent. Morgan Stanley expects the CPI inflation to average 6.5 per cent in F23, as compared to its forecast of 7 per cent earlier.  However, they do not expect much change in inflation beyond FY23, and expect it to average 5.3 per cent in FY24.

Ranks and Reports News

India Innovation Index 2021: Karnataka, Manipur and Chandigarh topped

Karnataka, Manipur and Chandigarh topped the third edition of NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index, which ranks the states and the union territories on their innovation performance.  NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery released the India Innovation Index 2021 in presence of apex public policy think tank member Dr VK Saraswat, CEO Parameswaran Iyer and senior adviser Neeraj Sinha.  Karnataka topped in the ‘Major States’ category and Manipur emerged as a winner in the ‘North East and Hill States’ category. Chandigarh was the top performer in the ‘Union Territories and City States’ category.

Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List: Gautam Adani surpasses Bill Gates 

As per the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List, India’s richest person, Gautam Adani has now also become the fourth richest person in the world, leaving behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates.  This increment came as Gates announced that he would be donating $20 billion of his wealth to his non-profit organisation — Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Elon Musk is the richest person with a $230 billion net worth, followed by Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton at the second spot and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos at third on the list.  Mukesh Ambani was placed 10th on the Forbes list (net worth: $88 billion).

Tamil Nadu tops in Smart City Fund utilisation 

Tamil Nadu tops the list of states so far as utilisation of funds under the government’s flagship Smart City Mission is concerned.  While Tamil Nadu has spent over Rs 3932 crore out of the Rs 4333 crore released by the Centre, Uttar Pradesh is in the second position with the utilisation of Rs 2699 cr out of the Central share release of Rs 3142 crore.  As on 8 July 2022, the Centre has released Rs 30,751.41 crore for 100 Smart Cities, out of which Rs 27,610.34 crore (90%) has been utilised.

Henley Passport Index 2022: India ranks 87th

The Henley Passport Index has recently released the list of the World’s Most Powerful Passports for the year 2022.  Three Asian nations Japan, Singapore and South Korea bagged the top three positions on the list, reversing pre-pandemic rankings that were dominated by European nations.  India is ranked 87th on the list of the world’s most powerful passports in 2022, according to the latest Henley Passport Index from Henley & Partners, an immigration consultancy.

Schemes and Committees News

Sanjay Agarwal to chair the committee Center established to strengthen MSP system 

A committee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) was established by the government eight months after it made a similar commitment in exchange for repealing three divisive agriculture policies.   Sanjay Agrawal, a former agricultural secretary, will preside over the committee.  The government has made a provision for Sanyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) to have three representatives on the committee, but the farm organisation has not yet provided any candidates for the group.

$1 billion loan from the World Bank approved for the PM ABHIM 

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Rajya Sabha that the World Bank had granted a loan of USD $1 billion to fund India’s flagship PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM).  The loan that has been cleared consists of two complementary loans totalling USD 500 million each for India’s Enhanced Health Service Delivery Program and Transforming India’s Public Health Systems for Pandemic Preparedness Program (PHSPP).

Miscellaneous News

Jawaharlal Nehru Port becomes first 100% Landlord Major Port of India 

Jawaharlal Nehru Port has become the first 100 per cent Landlord Major Port of India having all berths being operated on the PPP model.  The PPP model of investment in Indian ports has made remarkable progress in the last 25 years, beginning from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, resulting in capacity addition and productivity improvement.  JNP is one of the leading container ports in the country and is ranked 26th among the top 100 global ports (as per Lloyds List Top 100 Ports 2021 Report). 


Goa will host the 37th National Games in 2023: Sports Minister

Sports Minister Govind Gaude informed that Goa will host the 37th National Games in 2023. "I am very much happy to announce that...the government of Goa has received an email from Indian Olympics Association in consultation with the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports that Goa will be the host city for organising 37th National Games,” Gaude said.


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