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22nd August 2022


National News

India's First Portal On Arrested Narco Offenders 'NIDAAN'

A first-of-its kind database of arrested narcotics offenders has been made operational for use by various central and state prosecution agencies tasked to enforce anti-drugs laws in the country.  The portal--NIDAAN or the National Integrated Database on Arrested Narco

Bihar staring at worst-ever drought in last 5 decades: state Agriculture Minister

Bihar Agriculture Minister Sudhakar Singh said with 40% deficient rains and paddy sowing being hit, Bihar is staring at perhaps the "worst-ever drought in the last five decades". The Indian Express quoted him as saying, "CM Nitish Kumar and I have been moving in the field to make the assessment on the ground and are finding the situation very alarming."

Kerala's gender-neutral education policy will bring decency into classrooms: BJP

BJP leader and former Union Minister KJ Alphons has said that the Kerala government's gender-neutral education policy in schools will bring "decency" into the classrooms. "The move of the Kerala government towards gender equality is a good thing. Boys and girls will sit together. They don't need to meet one another as strangers," Alphons said.

China to start issuing visas to Indian students again after over 2 years

China has announced plans to issue visas for Indian students wishing to go back to study in China, after over two years of delay due to COVID-19 restrictions. The new relaxed visa rules will come into effect from August 24 onward, the Chinese embassy in India said. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had earlier raised the issue with China.

17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2023 to be held at Indore

According to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, the 17th Pravasi Bhartiya Divas 2023 will be held at Indore in January next year.  Pravasi Bharatiya Divas is celebrated every year on the 9th of January to mark the contribution of the overseas Indian community to the development of India.  It also commemorates the return of Mahatma Gandhi from South Africa to India on 9th January 1915.   The decision to celebrate Pravasi Bharatiya Divas was taken in accordance with recommendations of the High-Level Committee (HLC) on the Indian Diaspora set up by the government of India under the chairmanship of L. M. Singhvi.

States News

Mandla becomes India’s first fully ‘functionally literate’ district

Madhya Pradesh's tribal-dominated Mandla region has become the first fully "functionally literate" district in the country. Another report of 2020 highlights that, more than 2.25 lakh people in this district were not literate, most of them were tribals from forest areas.  Tribals frequently complained to the authorities about money being taken from their bank accounts by fraudsters and the root cause of this was that they were not functionally literate.

Appointments News

Bill Gates Foundation named Ashish Dhawan to its board of trustees

Indian philanthropist Ashish Dhawan has been named to the board of trustees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation announced the appointment of two new members to its board of trustees.  Ashish Dhawan is the founder and CEO of Convergence Foundation, and along with him, Dr Helene D Gayle, President of Spelman College, US, has also been appointed.  The Gates Foundation has been working in collaboration with the Indian government and other partners since 2003 on various issues, including health care, sanitation, gender equality, agricultural development, and financial empowerment.

Defence News

HAL to establish its first marketing office abroad in Malaysia


The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish its first international marketing and sales office in Kuala Lumpur in anticipation of a potential agreement for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in Malaysia.  The change has taken place because Tejas is being considered by Malaysia as a Fighter Lead-in Trainer (FLIT) aircraft for the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

India to buy Six Tu-160 long-range bombers from Russia

India intends to purchase Tu-160 bomber from Russia, in order to boost its strategic force. America objected to its initial flight because of how hazardous this bomber is in nature. Tupolev Tu-160 bomber can reach a peak speed of 2220 kmph.  The maximum weight that this aircraft can carry while flying is 110,000 kg. It has a 56-meter wingspan. Russia produces the tactical bomber known as the Tu-160 bomber. As a result, the bomber may carry out an attack at a distance of thousands of kilometres from its base.

Indian Army Set to Possess Quantum Communication Technology 

India is all set to join the elite global club, and the Indian Army will soon possess indigenous and more advanced quantum communication technology with equipped troops and a high-end secured defense system.  With the support of Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX), Defence Innovation Organisation, the QNu Labs which is a Bengaluru-based deep tech startup has innovated advanced secured communication through Quantum Key Distribution (QKD).  The Defence Ministry has initiated the procurement process of QNu Labs developed QKD systems by issuing a commercial Request for Proposal (REF) after the successful trials.


Sensex plunges over 870 points to close at 58,773, Nifty ends below 17,500

Sensex on Monday plunged by 872 points to close at 58,773, whereas the Nifty was down 267 points to settle below 17,500, marking the second consecutive decline for the benchmark indices. Shares of ITC, Coal India, Tata Consumer Products, Nestle India and Britannia Industries were among top Nifty gainers. Meanwhile, Tata Steel, Asian Paints, Adani Ports were among major losers.

Railway Board rejects Delhi-Varanasi bullet train feasibility report

The Railway Board has rejected the Delhi-Varanasi bullet train feasibility report in a review meeting that took place last week, officials said. They added that the high-speed train will be unable to run at 350 kmph due to the multiple curves on the route between Delhi and Varanasi. Another official added that the detailed project report (DPR) is awaited.



HDFC Bank opened the first all-women branch in north Kerala 

HDFC Bank inaugurated an all-women branch in Kozhikode, north Kerala. Mayor of the city Corporation Beena Philip opened the branch of HDFC Bank. As of March 31, 2022, women made up 21.7% (21,486) of the workforce, according to the bank.  By 2025, the private lender wants to raise it to 25%. Deals beyond a certain threshold require regulator approval, which keeps an eye on unethical business practises in the marketplace.  The launch of the all-women branch of HDFC Bank, according to Sanjeev Kumar, Branch Banking Head, South (Tamil Nadu, Puducherry & Kerala), is yet another illustration of their efforts to advance gender and diversity initiatives of the HDFC Bank.

RBI Cancels Licence Of Deccan Urban Co-operative Bank

The RBI said the licence of Deccan Urban Co-operative Bank, Karnataka, has been cancelled as the lender does not have adequate capital and earning prospects.  As per the data submitted by the bank, more than 99 per cent of the depositors are entitled to receive the full amount of their deposits from Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC), the central bank said in a release.

India has over 3,000 deep-tech startups: NASSCOM report

As per a new report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), India has become home to over 3,000 deep-tech startups, as of 2021. The deep-tech startups in India have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 53% over the last 10 years. Comparatively at a nascent stage, they have also employed over 4,000 people.

Science and Technology News

Geothermal energy to be used to supply energy to Ladakh

At 14,000 feet in Ladakh, ONGC is getting ready to pump geothermal energy. State-run explorer ONGC has set out on a mission to harness the steam streaming from the earth's core at Puga, a lonely valley off the road to Chumar on the de facto boundary with China, at a height of more than 14,000 feet.  In India, geothermal energy is nothing new. The Indian government first provided a report on the nation's geothermal hotspots in 1973. This occurred after shallow drilling exploration by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) revealed prospective hot spring and geothermal areas. According to estimates, India has the ability to produce 10 gigawatts of geothermal energy.

Sports News

UEFA League: Manisha Kalyan becomes 1st Indian to play in the league

Young striker Manisha Kalyan became the first Indian footballer to play at the UEFA Women's Champions League when she made her debut for Apollon Ladies FC in the European Club competition in Engomi, Cyprus.  In November 2021, the 20-year-old had become the first ever Indian footballer to score a goal in the AFC Women's Club Championship.

Important Days

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, observed on August 22.  On this day, the international community honours the survivors and victims of religious-based violence. The day aims to remember the victims and survivors of evil acts on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief.

World Senior Citizen Day 2022 celebrated on 21st August

World Senior Citizens’ Day is celebrated on August 21 every year. It is also known as National Senior Citizens’ Day in the United States (US). The day is observed with the intent to highlight the contributions of elderly people in human society and honour them.  The day is also celebrated to bring attention to various issues that affect the elderly, such as health issues and abuse by younger people, whether family or outsiders.  World Senior Citizens’ Day has its roots back in the August 19, 1988 proclamation by the then President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan.

Sadbhavna Diwas 2022: Birth Anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi

India celebrates Sadbhavna Diwas in memory of Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary. Sadbhavna Diwas 2022 commemorates the 78th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi on 20th August 2022.  Sadbhavna Diwas was instituted after the death of Rajiv Gandhi in 1992, by Congress. Sadbhavna Diwas promotes peace, harmony, empathy, and unity among all citizens of India. On this several cultural events and contests are organized across the country.

Akshay Urja Diwas 2022: India Observes Renewable Energy Day

Every year on the 20th of August India observers Akshay Urja Diwas or Renewable Energy Day. Akshay Urja Diwas 2022 or Renewable Energy Day aims to spread awareness about the development and adoption of renewable energy in India.  Akshay Urja Diwas 2022, marks its importance by promoting and lining up the alarming rate of depletion of Natural resources. This day makes people aware of the use of natural resources like wind energy, solar energy, and hydropower.



Obituaries News

Author of Kocharethi, Narayan passes away

Kerala’s first tribal novelist and short story writer Narayan has passed away at the age of 82 in Kochi. He was born in the Malayaraya community in Kadayathur hills in Thodupuzha taluk in 1940.  His debut novel, ‘Kocharethi’ published in 1998, was selected for the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 1999. The novel has been translated to English, Hindi and south Indian languages. Kocharethi portrays the struggles of the Malayaraya community through the life of protagonist Kunjipennu. The novel has been translated to English, Hindi and south Indian languages.

Miscellaneous News

GoI grants GI Tag to Bihar’s Mithila Makhana

The Central government has awarded Geographical Indication (GI) tag to Mithila Makhana. With this move, growers will get the maximum price for their premium produce.  Over five lakh farmers of the Mithila region of Bihar will be benefitted from this decision. Makhana registered with GI Tag, farmers will get profit and it will be easier to earn.  Once a product gets this tag, any person or company cannot sell a similar item under that name. This tag is valid for a period of 10 years following which it can be renewed.  The other benefits of GI registration include legal protection to that item, prevention against unauthorised use by others, and promotion of exports.

Super Vasuki: Indian Railways longest freight train

The Indian Railways conducted a test run of its latest train called Super Vasuki. The Super Vasuki is operated by the South East Central Railway (SECR) zone of the Indian Railways.  The SECR ran the record long-haul freight trains Vasuki and Trishul last year and the 2.8 km long SheshNaag train before that. The Super Vasuki was set up by amalgamating five rakes of goods trains as one unit. The freight train is 3.5 km long. 


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