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19th September 2022




India to collaborate in 41 business areas with Saudi Arabia: Report

Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Monday met Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud. He co-chaired a meeting with him wherein the nations reportedly agreed to collaborate in 41 business areas of agriculture and food security, energy, technology and IT and industry and infrastructure. Goyal participated in a CEO Roundtable with Saudi Arabia's prominent businessmen.


New Telangana Secretariat complex to be named after B.R. Ambedkar 

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao decided to name Telangana’s new secretariat after Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar. The move came after the Telangana legislative assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging the central government to name the new Parliament building in New Delhi after the chief architect of the Constitution.  Construction of the new integrated Secretariat complex has been progressing at a fast pace with the target of getting it ready by the upcoming festival of Dasara. The seven-story Secretariat building with a built-up area of seven lakh square feet is being built at a cost of Rs 650 crore.  The goals set by Dr Ambedkar for the uplift of the downtrodden in social, political, financial and cultural spheres were followed by the State government in its self-governance model.

Appointments News

Vinod Aggarwal elected as new President of SIAM 

Auto industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has elected Vinod Aggarwal as its new president for 2022-23. Aggarwal, the MD and CEO of Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles, succeeds Kenichi Ayukawa, the executive vice-chairman of Maruti Suzuki India.  The SIAM also elected Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles managing director Shailesh Chandra as the vice-president, Satyakam Arya; and CEO & MD of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles was elected as the treasurer.  The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is a not-for-profit apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India.

Reserve Bank of India named Pralay Mondal as CEO of CSB Bank

The Reserve Bank of India has approved the appointment of Pralay Mondal as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of CSB Bank for three years.  He was the Deputy Managing Director of the bank since February 17, 2022, and was subsequently appointed as interim MD & CEO with effect from April 1, 2022. Prior to joining CSB Bank, Mondal was Executive Director and Head, of Retail Banking at Axis Bank.  At CSB Bank, Mondal has been working on expanding retail franchise distribution and branches, building technology platforms with a larger focus on digital initiatives towards automation and centralisation of processes.

Agreements News

Indian Navy signed an MoU with Amity University for Academic Cooperation

Amity University Uttar Pradesh signed an MoU with the Indian Navy to form a long-term relationship for Academic cooperation.  The MoU between Amity University and Indian Navy will enhance the educational qualifications improving the prospect for 'in-service' appropriate nautical assignment and better placements in superannuation from the Indian Navy.  The MoU between Amity University and Indian Navy will conduct customized courses for the Indian Navy in niche domains.  The various domains include 5G Technology and IoT, Control System Integration, AI, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Cryptology, Data Science, Big Data Analysis, Digital Marketing, Computer Networks, Anti Drone Warfare, Cyberwarfare, Security, Automation, Surveillance, and Tracking.  This will also contribute to enhancing the 'Scholar Warriors', who can think better and adapt to the future challenges of conflict.

WhatsApp and IDFC FIRST Bank enabled FASTag recharge 

WhatsApp and IDFC FIRST Bank FASTag: IDFC FIRST Bank for the customers, launch its integration with "payments on WhatsApp" would enable quick and secure FASTags recharging.  Due to this collaboration, users of IDFC FIRST will be able to recharge their FASTags directly from IDFC FIRST's WhatsApp chatbot and finish the transaction from within the chat thread.  The recharge process will be a smooth one that allows payments in two easy stages. Customers must enter the amount and authenticate the transaction using an OTP after choosing the recharge option in the WhatsApp chat. They will then receive a message confirming the transaction.  Millions of FASTag customers that utilise the Bank, this new feature will enable users to pay for their recharge using "payments on having to sign into any other mobile app or net banking platform.



India, Saudi Arabia discuss Rupee-Riyal trade, introduction of UPI system

During the visit of Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal to Riyadh, the two countries held discussions on the feasibility of institutionalising Rupee-Riyal trade and introducing UPI and Rupay cards in Saudi Arabia. The Commerce Ministry said that the two countries also discussed the removal of trade barriers. Goyal and Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud also discussed other issues.

Zoom's flaws let hackers join meetings stealthily, update immediately: CERT-In

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has asked users to immediately update Zoom as its security flaws may let hackers join a meeting stealthily. Hackers may also get access to confidential information shared during Zoom meetings as their name won't be visible to other participants, CERT-In said. "These vulnerabilities exist due to improper access control implementation," it added


SBI asks exporters to trade with Bangladesh in rupee, taka: Report

The State Bank of India (SBI) asked exporters to avoid trading with Bangladesh using the dollar and instead use rupee or taka, Reuters reported. SBI is looking to protect Bangladesh's declining foreign reserves which have fallen from $48 billion a year earlier to $37 billion. Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi had said they want to cut dependency on the dollar.

Govt plans to sell 2 Air India subsidiaries by end-FY23: Report

The government is planning to privatise Air India's (AI) ground handling and engineering services by the end of FY23, according to reports. Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has already started conducting roadshows with potential buyers to sell AI Airport Services and AI Engineering Services. Adani Group, Tata Sons and Swissport are reportedly interested in the offer.

NARCL plans to buy 18 distressed accounts with ₹39,921cr debt: Report

National Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd is planning to acquire 18 distressed accounts with ₹39,921 crore debt by October 31, a report said. NARCL has reportedly created two lists, with phase one having eight accounts with ₹16,744 debt and phase two having 10 accounts with ₹18,177 debt. Jaypee Infrastructure and Meenakshi Energy are among the companies in phase one.

India's CAD Likely to Remain Within 3% of GDP

A weak rupee and elevated fuel prices will keep India’s current account deficit (CAD) under pressure with analysts seeing it at about 3% of GDP in FY23 compared to 1.2% in FY22 even as these will exert pressure on government finances.  Subsidy expenditure is seen to rise to levels significantly higher than projected. Higher oil import bill on account of weak rupee will straddle several sectors, including fertilisers and metals, and also result in lower dividend receipts from state-run fuel retailers whose margins will be hit. Rupee hit a record low of 80 against US dollar for the first time in intra-day trade, before closing at 79.95.

FinMin to Allow RRBs to Raise Funds Via IPO, Rights Issue

The Finance Ministry has issued draft guidelines for Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to raise resources from capital market, paving the way for raising funds via rights issue, private placement with select investors such as large banks and insurance companies, and initial public offerings (IPO).  Currently, there are 43 RRBs sponsored by 12 Scheduled Commercial Banks with 21,892 branches across the country. As at March 2022, RRBs had deposits and loans and advances (net) aggregating ₹5,62,538 crore and ₹3,42,479 crore, respectively.  RRBs are jointly owned by the Government of India (GoI), the respective State Governments (SGs), and the Sponsor Banks (SBs), with equity contribution in the ratio (GoI: SG: SB :: 50:15:35).

Figma design platform acquired by Adobe for $20 billion 

Adobe acquires Figma: Adobe announced that it would acquire design software company Figma for roughly $20 billion in cash and equity. Adobe's stock fell 17%, marking the worst decline since 2010.  Dylan Field, co-founder and CEO of Figma, will remain in that position after the deal is completed. David Wadhwani, president of Adobe's digital media division, will be his immediate supervisor.  Adobe is paying close to 50 times revenue at a time when cloud software sales multiples are sharply declining from their record highs established last year.

Schemes News

Dharmendra Pradhan launched Ramakrishna Mission’s Awakening programme

Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurial Shri Dharmendra Pradhan launched the Ramkrishna Mission 'Awakening' Program for students of classes I to V.  During the occasion, Secretary of the Ramkrishna Mission Swami Shantatmanada, Chairperson CBSE, Smt Nidhi Chibber, and other officials of KVS, NVS, and the Ministry were present.  Social transformation is one of the key goals of education, and values and wisdom are more important than material wealth.  NEP 2020 emphasizes on creating value-based educational programs for 9th and 12th in addition to creating programs for classes I to VIII.  This initiative will ensure holistic personality development of a child aligned with the philosophy of NEP 2020.  CBSE will be an advisory framework for encouraging value-based education in schools from Balvatika to Class XII.

Defence News

BSF’s first female camel riding squad to be deployed along the India- Pak border 

Border Security Force (BSF) first female camel riding squad will be deployed along the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan & Gujarat. The squad will participate for the first time in the BSF Raising Day Parade on 1st December.  This Squad will be the first of its kind in the world. Giving this information, DIG BSF Bikaner, Pushpendra Singh Rathore said that Intensive training was given to this squad at the Bikaner Regional Headquarters of BSF under the supervision of skilled trainers.  The BSF is the only force in the country to have the Camel Contingents and the Camel Mounted Band. BSF, traditionally known as the 'first line of defence, the Camel Contingents are used to keep a vigil in the vast expanse of the Thar Desert.

Books and Authors News

Manoj Bajpayee publishes book "Muskurate Chand Lamhe aur Kuchh Khamoshiyan"

Muskurate Chand Lamhe aur Kuchh Khamoshiyan: At a ceremony in New Delhi, well-known actor Manoj Bajpayee published a book titled Muskurate Chand Lamhe aur Kuchh Khamoshiyan in the presence of Apurva Chandra, the secretary of information and broadcasting.  A variety of poetry are offered in the book. Jiwesh Nandan is the author of it. Mr. Apurva Chandra expressed his opinions at the time and remarked that the book is focused on humour and philosophy.  Manoj Bajpayee, popularly known as Manoj Bajpai, is an Indian actor who primarily performs in Hindi-language films but has also appeared in Telugu and Tamil-language productions. He was born on April 23, 1969. He has won two Asia Pacific Screen Awards, six Filmfare Awards, and three National Film Awards.

Awards News

GRSE awarded Prestigious 'Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar' for 2021-22

Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineering Limited (GRSE), Kolkata, has been awarded with the 'Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar' by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.  GRSE was awarded by the Government of India for the best implementation of official language under public sector undertakings in region 'C' for the year 2021-22.  The 'Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar' was presented to Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Home.  The award was presented during the Hindi Diwas Celebration organized at Surat.  The Hindi Diwas Celebration was organized under the chairmanship of Shri Amit Shah, Hon'ble Union Minister of Home Affairs and Corporation.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh presents INSPIRE awards to 60 startups

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh has presented INSPIRE Awards to 60 startups along with financial support to 53,021 students, the Ministry of Science & Technology.  The award is instituted by the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India, and these innovators will be extended complete incubation support for their entrepreneurship journey.  The annual INSPIRE Awards MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) competition attracted an unprecedented 6.53 lakh ideas and innovations from all states and UTs of the country in 2020-21.  The scheme achieved an unprecedented level of inclusivity by representing ideas and innovations of 702 districts (96%), including 123 out of 124 aspirational districts, 51% representation from girls, 84% participation from schools located in rural areas of the country, and 71% of schools run by State/UT Governments.

Sports News

FIFA President Infantino might visit India in Oct and meet PM Modi: Reports

FIFA President Gianni Infantino might visit India in October and call on PM Narendra Modi to discuss the way forward for Indian football, as per reports. Infantino's visit might coincide with final leg of the FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup to be held in India. An AIFF statement said if the meeting takes place, then "path-breaking" announcements can be expected.


Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC win maiden Durand Cup title

Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC beat Mumbai City FC 2-1 in the final of the 131st edition of Durand Cup at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata.  Goals from Siva Sakthi in the 10th minute and Alan Costa's 61st-minute strike were enough to help Bengaluru lift the crown. Apuia got the lone goal for the Mumbai side in an entertaining match.  The former Foreign Secretary of British India, Mortimer Durand founded the Durand Cup in 1888. The Durand Cup was initially played only by the Armed services but in later years, the game was officially made open for the Professional Football Clubs.

Books and Authors News

A book titled "Ambedkar and Modi" released by former President Ram Nath Kovind

Former President Ram Nath Kovind has launched a book titled ‘Ambedkar and Modi: Reformer’s Ideas Performer’s Implementation’.  The book, compiled by Bluekraft Digital Foundation, explores the life and works of Dr BR Ambedkar while drawing a parallel with the initiatives and reforms taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement the ideals of the social reformer.  The book features a foreword by music composer and Rajya Sabha member Ilaiyaraaja. It presents a convergence between the ideals of Dr Ambedkar and New India’s development journey. Focus has been laid on infrastructure, education, socio-economic mobility, gender equality, and self-reliance in the twelve chapters of the book.

Important Days

World Bamboo Day 2022 observed on 18th September

World Bamboo Day 2022 is observed on September 18 in order to raise awareness about the conservation of this extremely useful plant. Conceptualised by the World Bamboo Organisation (WBO), this day also promotes the bamboo industry by highlighting its concerns.  Bamboo wood has long been used for various purposes in countries around the globe, especially in the east and southeast Asia. Bamboo grows on its and doesn’t require to be replanted, making it easily available.  WBD was officially declared by the World Bamboo Organization on September 18 at the 8th World Bamboo Congress held in Bangkok in 2009.  The aim of the WBO is to bring the potential of bamboo to more elevated exposure, to promote new cultivation of bamboo for new industries in regions across the world, and also to promote traditional uses locally for community economic development, etc.

International Equal Pay Day celebrated on 18 September

International Equal Pay Day, celebrated on 18 September, represents the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value.  The symbolic day aims at highlighting issues related to the gender pay gap and raising worldwide awareness. The main aim of the event is to end the history of gender discrimination that women are generally subjected to by getting paid less than their male counterparts.  International Equal Pay Day was first observed back in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity. It was a coalition of women’s and civil rights organisations that worked toward eliminating gender and race-based wage discrimination.  In 2020, the move was recognised by the United Nations and they observed the first International Equal Pay on September 18, 2020.

Miscellaneous News

Andaman and Nicobar Islands become India’s first Swachh Sujal Pradesh

Union Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat declared Andaman and Nicobar Islands as India’s first Swachh Sujal Pradesh. With this accomplishment, all villages on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have received the Har Ghar Jal certification and have been verified as ODF plus open defecation free. Safe and secure drinking water supply and its management is a crucial aspect of the Sujal and Swachh.

There are namely three important components of Sujal and Swachh state:

(i) safe and secure drinking water supply and management;

(ii) ODF Plus: ODF Sustainability and Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) and

(iii) cross-cutting interventions like convergence, IEC, action planning, etc


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