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23RD July 2022



National News

Parliament is a temple of democracy: Outgoing President Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind, in his farewell address to parliamentarians, termed Parliament a "temple of democracy". "As in any family, sometimes there are differences of opinion even in Parliament," he said. "But we're all members of the 'Parliament family' whose top priority is to continue working in the interest of the big joint family of the nation," President Kovind added.



Centre amends Flag Code of India, Tricolour can now be flown day and night

The Centre has amended the Flag Code of India, allowing the Tricolour to now be flown by the public both day and night. Earlier, the Tricolour was allowed to be flown from sunrise to sunset, irrespective of weather conditions. The government had earlier also amended the provision for material used for producing Tricolour by permitting polyester and machine-made Tricolour.


PM Narendra Modi unveils India's first Passenger Drone "Varuna" 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unveiled Varuna, India’s first passenger drone. PM Modi is seen watching the demonstration of the drone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that the current government has ensured last-mile delivery of services with the help of technology, including drones.  The Prime Minister was there to address the Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) seminar ‘Swavlamban’ which took place at Dr Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi.  Varuna, India's first drone that can carry a human payload, has a range of 25 km. The drone can carry a 130 kg payload and has 25-33 minutes of flight time.



To commemorate victory in the Kargil War, motorcycle expedition launched by Indian Army 

The Army Motor Bike trip from New Delhi to the Kargil War Memorial at Dras in Ladakh was launched off from Pathankot in Punjab to commemorate 23 years of triumph over Pakistan in the Kargil War of 1999 and to celebrate the spirit of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.  The Zojila Pass Axis Rally team travelled through Kathua, Samba, Jammu, and Nagrota before arriving in the late afternoon in Udhampur.

International News

S Korea to lift its decades-long ban on N Korean newspapers, TV shows

A South Korean official on Friday said that South Korea plans to lift its decades-long ban on public access to North Korean TV shows, newspapers and other publications. The move is part of its efforts to promote mutual understanding between the rivals, the official added. Notably, this comes despite tensions between the two countries over North Korea's recent missile tests.

63 lakh Sri Lankans are facing food insecurity: UN agency

UN's World Food Programme (WFP) on Saturday said that around 63 lakh Sri Lankans are facing food insecurity amid the severe economic crisis in the country, ANI reported. The UN agency further said that it has been able to raise only 30% of the $63 million it needs to provide emergency food supplies to 30 lakh people till December 2022.

Monkeypox declared a global health emergency by WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared monkeypox as a global health emergency. Around 65 countries have reported outbreaks of the viral disease as confirmed cases near 16,000. Monkeypox virus is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding, according to the WHO.

Pak PM's son Hamza Sharif takes oath as Punjab CM after re-election

Hamza Sharif, the son of Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif, on Saturday took oath as the CM of Punjab province after being re-elected to the post following a run-off election. Sharif won by three votes after Deputy Speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari rejected 10 votes of his rival candidate Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi's party. Elahi has approached the Supreme Court over Mazari's decision.

North Korea warns US, South Korea against military exercises

North Korea has warned the United States and South Korea against conducting joint military drills, saying these exercises were pushing the Korean Peninsula to war. Choe Jin, a senior official in Pyongyang, accused the two countries of planning to deploy US nuclear assets in their future drills. The comments come as Washington and Seoul prepare for upcoming military drills.

50 million facing acute food insecurity: East African Bloc

Over 50 million people in East Africa are expected to experience acute food insecurity this year, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development has said. The eight-country bloc said around 300,000 people in Somalia and South Sudan would experience total famine conditions. United Nations agencies and other groups have recently cautioned over the region's food shortage.



Dinesh Gunawardena sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka 

Senior politician, Dinesh Gunawardena has been appointed as the new and 15th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.  He succeeds former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has been sworn in as the country’s 9th president.  Gunawardena, parliamentarian of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, took his oath in the capital Colombo in the presence of other senior legislators.

Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem named as new Kuwait’s Prime Minister 

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has issued a decree to appoint Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al Salem as a new Prime Minister. The appointment of a new PM comes three months after former Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Hamad Al-Sabah submitted his resignation, the fourth in the past two years and a half.  Sheikh Mohammed Sabah was born in 1955 and is the fourth son of the 12th Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, who ruled Kuwait from 1965 until 1977. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Claremont College in California, and a PhD in Economics and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned 

Prime Minister of Italy, Mario Draghi has stepped down from his post after key coalition parties withdrew their support for his government on measures tackling the high cost of living. Draghi submitted his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella.  However, Draghi’s government will continue to function under a caretaker capacity till a new leader is elected. He was elected as Prime Minister of Italy in February 2021.

States News


HP becomes the 1st Indian state to connect all registered commercial vehicles 

Himachal Pradesh has become the first state in the country to connect all registered commercial vehicles equipped with Vehicle Location Tracking Device (VLTD) with Emergency Response Support System (ERSS).  Now, these vehicles can be tracked anywhere in the country through VLTD. More than 9,423 vehicles have been registered and linked with ERSS. Now it will be monitored by both the police and the transport department.


Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma launched ‘Swanirbhar Naari’ scheme 

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has launched ‘Swanirbhar Naari’, a scheme to empower indigenous weavers in Assam’s Guwahati. The state government will procure handloom items directly from indigenous weavers via a web portal under the scheme. The scheme will help in preserving the heritage of handlooms and textiles in the state.  The State government has decided to procure handloom items directly from the indigenous weavers without involving any middlemen through a specially developed Swanirbhar Naari web portal.

Appointments News


Ennarasu Karunesan chosen by IAPH to serve as its representative in India 

Ennarasu Karunesan has been named as the International Association of Ports and Harbors' (IAPH) official representative in India. IAPH is the world's port industry's forum for cooperation and excellence.  Karunesan has over 33 years of leadership experience in the marine and port industries. He began his career in the port industry with the Mumbai port and later worked as the general manager of operations and CEO of the Westport Container Terminal in Port Klang, Malaysia, from 2001 to 2004.

Tata Projects appoints Vinayak Pai as managing director

Vinayak Pai has been named as the managing director of TATA Projects, the company announced. Vinayak Deshpande, who had been in charge of operations for more than 11 years, had been replaced by Pai.  Pai has worked with top engineering and EPC firms for more than three decades, holding significant positions on teams that worked on engineering design, technology licencing, project management, business development, and operations.


Egypt's Seif Ahmed named as FIH acting president 

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has appointed Egypt’s Seif Ahmed as its acting president following Indian administrator Narinder Batra’s resignation from the post.  Batra resigned as FIH president and also quit as Indian Olympic Association (IOA) chief. He also gave up his International Olympic Committee (IOC) membership which was directly linked with his IOA position.

Rajarshi Gupta named as Managing Director of ONGC Videsh 

Rajarshi Gupta has been appointed as Managing Director of ONGC Videsh. He was recommended for the position by the Public Enterprise Selection Board (PESB).  He has more than 33 years of wide-ranging experience in supervisory, managerial and strategic planning capacities in domestic and international operations of ONGC and ONGC Videsh.  Gupta spent 13 years in ONGC Videsh during 2006-2019, working across the globe in diverse geographical and fiscal regimes, in Business Development, Merger & Acquisitions, and Project Management of Exploration and Development projects.

Agreements News

MoU signed between Flipkart and Bihar State Skill Development Mission 

E-commerce market, Flipkart said that it had signed an agreement with the Bihar State Skill Development Mission to start the Supply Chain Operations Academy (SCOA) projects in the state.  According to a release, the programme aims to develop a talent pool of skilled supply chain operations personnel and disseminate pertinent training and expertise of the business.  The programme consists of a 60-day skill-building effort that aims to provide young people with the skills they need to develop careers in various areas of supply chain management and certify them so that they can become more employable.



RBI approves Open, Cashfree Payments, PayNearby and Fairexpay for Cross-Border Payments 

The Reserve Bank of India gave the go-ahead to Open, Cashfree Payments, PayNearby & Fairexpay, providers of payments and API banking solutions, for its cross-border payments offering.  Cross-border payments are the focus of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) announcement about the Second Cohort’s release from the Regulatory Sandbox. The reserve bank chose four of the eight entities that were a part of the Test Phase.  These companies include the unicorn of neo banking, Open, as well as Cashfree Payments, PayNearby, and Fairexpay. These entities have all successfully passed the second cohort’s Test Phase.


India's bioeconomy could likely reach $300 billion by 2030 

By 2025 and 2030, India's bioeconomy is predicted to reach $150 billion and $300 billion, respectively. The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) released the India BioEconomy Report 2022 based on information about the economic contribution of the biotech sector.  According to the analysis, the nation's bioeconomy reached over USD 80 billion in 2021, representing an increase of 14.1% over USD 70.2 billion in 2020. It claimed that India would add USD 80.12 billion to bioeconomy in 2021, producing USD 219 million daily.


Zero coupons, zero principal bonds declared by Govt as securities 

Federal Bank and the Central Board of Direct Taxes have teamed to let taxpayers use the e-filing portal's e-pay tax function.  Taxes can now be paid promptly by anyone using methods including cash, NEFT/RTGS, a debit/credit card, UPI, net banking, etc. Through the bank's branches, NRIs, domestic clients, and any tax-paying citizen can create tax challans and submit payments.

ADB cuts India GDP growth forecast for FY23 to 7.2% 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), has slashed India’s GDP growth forecast to 7.2 per cent for FY23. Earlier this was estimated at 7.5 per cent.  Meanwhile, the Manila-based multilateral development bank has revised down FY24 growth forecast to 7.8 per cent, from 8 per cent estimated earlier. It, however, raised the inflation forecast for India to 6.7% for FY23 from the 5.8 % estimated earlier.

FICCI downgrades India's GDP growth forecast for 2022-23 to 7% 

Industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has downgraded India's economic output estimate for this financial year by 40 basis points to 7% for 2022-23.  In April, FICCI had estimated India's growth at 7.4% for 2022-23. Owing to geopolitical uncertainties and their impact on Asia's third largest economy. However, in its latest round of Economic Outlook Survey (July 2022), it revised the growth projection on account of geopolitical uncertainty and its repercussions for the Indian economy.  The present round of surveys that drew responses from leading economists representing the industry, banking, and financial services sector, was conducted in the month of June 2022.

Federal Bank and CBDT collaborate to offer online tax payment services  

The government has designated "zero coupon zero principal instruments" as securities in preparation for the creation of a social stock exchange.  A Not for Profit Organization (NPO) that will be registered with the social stock exchange segment of a recognised stock exchange will issue a zero coupon, zero principal instruments.  According to a formal announcement released, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will establish the laws that would apply to these instruments.

Urban Cooperative Banks 4-tier regulatory structure adopted by RBI 

In order to improve the financial soundness of Urban Co-operative Banks (UCBs), the RBI has decided to create a straightforward four-tiered regulatory framework. A panel of experts led by former RBI deputy governor N S Vishwanathan had presented a number of suggestions for improving UCBs.  In addition to other recommendations, the committee had suggested a four-tiered regulatory structure depending on the size of the banks' deposits and the regions in which they operated.

3 cooperative banks restricted from undertaking banking business by RBI 

Three cooperative banks have received harsh limitations from the Reserve Bank of India in the last two days. Along with the Sri Mallikarjuna Pattana Sahakari Bank situated in Karnataka, these banks also include two from Maharashtra: the Nashik Zilla Girna Sahakari Bank Limited and the Raigad Sahakari Bank.  The Reserve Bank of India has restricted these three banks from engaging in any banking activity due to their weak liquidity situation.  The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that depositors of Sri Mallikarjuna Pattana Sahakari Bank and Nashik Zilla Girna Sahakari Bank will not be permitted to withdraw any funds from their savings, current, or other accounts. However, they will be able to offset loans against deposits.

Schemes and Committees News

Five years of Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana completed

The five years of the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana are now complete. 21 July, 2017 marked the official launch of the programme. The programme is a social security programme for the elderly that aims to provide them with a guaranteed minimum pension based on a guaranteed return on the purchase price or subscription fee.  The minimum investment required to participate in this scheme has been increased to one lakh 56 thousand 658 rupees for a pension of 12,000 per year and to one lakh 62 thousand 162 rupees for a pension of at least 1,000 rupees per month. The programme, which was in place through 2020, has now been extended for an additional three years, through March 31, 2023.

Ranks and Reports News

Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index June 2022: India ranks 118 

India’s rankings fell by three spots in the median mobile speeds, according to Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index. India has at the number 115th spot in May this year, but it dropped down to 118th in June.  In April and May, India’s mobile broadband speeds improved. But the month of June 2022, saw the median mobile download speeds in India decrease from 14.28 Mbps in May to 14.00 Mbps, according to the data.  Norway continues to be at the No.1 spot for overall global median mobile speeds, while Chile has reclaimed its No.1 position from Singapore, which landed at the No.2 spot for overall global fixed broadband speeds.

Important Days

World Brain Day celebrates globally on July 22 

The World Federation of Neurology (WFN) celebrates World Brain Day on every July 22, focusing on a different theme each year.  According to WHO, good brain health is a state in which every individual can realize their own abilities and optimize their cognitive, emotional, psychological and behavioural functioning to cope with life situations.  World Brain Day (WBD) 2022 is dedicated to the theme “Brain Health for all” as our brains continue to be challenged by pandemics, wars, climate change and the myriad of disorders impacting human existence globally. 

National Broadcasting Day 2022 celebrates on 23rd July

National Broadcasting Day is observed on July 23 in India. The day aims to remind Indian citizens about the impact of radio on our lives.  Akashvani or All India Radio (AIR) is India’s homegrown national radio broadcasting service which reaches millions of homes across the nation.  AIR is a division of Prasar Bharati which was previously under government control but is an autonomous body now, set up by an Act of parliament.

Aaykar Diwas or Income Tax Day celebrated by CBDT on July 24 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) observed the 162nd Income Tax Day (also known as Aaykar Diwas) on 24 July 2022.  The purpose of this tax was to compensate for the losses incurred by the British regime during the first war of independence against British Rule in 1857. The day was first celebrated in 2010.

World Fragile X Awareness Day 2022: 22 July 

The World Fragile X Awareness Day is marked on 22 July every year to celebrate families impacted by Fragile X and highlight the progress of research to find a cure.  On this day, communities around the world come together to shine a light on Fragile X, by illuminating monuments and landmarks globally.  World Fragile X Day celebrates families impacted by Fragile X and highlights advancements of research to find effective treatments and ultimately a cure.

Obituaries News

Noted scientist and director ILS, Ajay Parida passes away

Noted scientist and director of the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Dr Ajay Kumar Parida has passed away at the age of 58.  He was awarded the Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 2014 for his outstanding contribution in the field of Science and Engineering.  He had also served as an Executive Director in M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. His research are mainly focused on developing climate resilient crop varieties with abiotic stress tolerance. 




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