Current Affairs April 2022 (Daily Updated)

Current Affairs April

Last Updated: 30 April 2022

Gkgigs publishes Current Affairs of April 2022 events that will help you to boost your General Knowledge and help you crack exams like Banking, SSC, Railways, UPSC, CLAT, State Government Exams, General Aptitudes of various exams, etc.

Read the Latest Current Affairs of April 2022 and boost your General Knowledge. Stay updated on all the Important News and Current Affairs of April 2022.

30th April


India


  • New Delhi: Delhi recorded its second hottest April in 72 years with a monthly average maximum temperature of 40.2 degrees Celsius even as parts of the country are sweltering in intense heatwaves. The furnace-like temperatures have led to hours-long blackouts.
  • COVID: India’s daily Covid cases crossed the 3,000-mark for the third time this week as the nation witnessed 3,688 fresh infections in the last 24 hours. As per the data shared by the health ministry on Saturday, 50 deaths were also reported taking the total toll of lives lost in the country since the beginning of the pandemic to 5,23,803.
  • Cyclone: A cyclonic circulation is likely to form over the South Andaman Sea and neighborhood on Monday, May 4. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the area around that region on Monday.
    • Under its influence, a Low-Pressure Area is likely to form over the same region during the next 24 hours.
    • Fishermen are advised not to venture into the South Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal on May 4 as it is likely to become more marked in the subsequent 24 hours.
  • Tata Group: Semiconductors are next on the Tata Group’s list as the coffee-to-cars conglomerate seeks to trim the pain from the global chip crisis as well as reduce its dependence on imports.
    • Apart from chips, the group plans to make batteries for electric vehicles too, N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons Pvt., told the press at an event in Mumbai
    • Chandrasekaran spoke about evaluating partnerships for cell and battery manufacturing in India and Europe in Tata Motors Ltd.’s annual report in June.
  • Army Chief: General Manoj Pande on Saturday took charge as India’s new Chief of Army Staff, succeeding General MM Naravane in the role.
    • Manoj Pande was previously the army’s vice chief – a position he assumed in February when he replaced Lieutenant General CP Mohanty, who retired after serving his term.
    • He becomes the first officer from the Corps of Engineers, also known as “sappers”, to hold the top position in the Indian Army.
    • Officers from the “sappers” have served as commanders and Vice Chiefs, but never as Army Chiefs.
  • Pawan Hans: After three unsuccessful attempts at disinvesting its stake in the helicopter services provider, the government Friday approved the sale of Pawan Hans Ltd along with management control to Star9 Mobility Pvt Ltd.
    • It is a three-way consortium between Big Charter Private Limited, Maharaja Aviation Private Limited, and Almas Global Opportunity Fund SPC.
    • This disinvestment is the second major sale from the government’s aviation portfolio in the last 12 months Air India went to Tata Group in January this year.
  • Hyderabad: Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister KT Rama Rao said the Telangana Government aims at coming up with a new master plan for Hyderabad in 18 months and master plans for all the 141 municipalities and corporations in the State by March 31, 2023.
    • Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had also instructed to prepare a new master plan for Hyderabad, especially with GO 111 being lifted.
    • An internationally reputed agency would be roped in for preparing the master plan, the Minister said after inaugurating the 11th edition of CREDAI Hyderabad property show here on Friday.
  • Indian Economy: The Indian economy may take more than a decade to overcome the losses emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic, said a report published by the Reserve Bank of India.
    • In an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the report has estimated the output losses during the pandemic period at around ₹ 52 lakh crore.
    • The perturbations from repeated waves of COVID-19 have come in the way of sustained recovery and the quarterly trends in GDP essentially followed the ebbs and flows of the pandemic, said the chapter ‘Scars of the Pandemic’ in the Report on Currency and Finance (RCF) for the year 2021-22.
    • Following a sharp contraction in the first quarter of 2020-21, the economic momentum progressively picked up till it was hit by the second wave in the April-June period of 2021-22.
  • Power Demand: India’s power demand hit an all-time high on Friday, sending many states scrambling for electricity to meet unprecedented demand as large parts of the country sweltered under heatwave conditions.
    • The union power ministry on Friday directed the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) to lower the price ceiling in all markets of the country’s two power exchanges.
    • The directive has been issued by invoking Section 107 of the Electricity Act for the second time in a month and will be applicable to all present and new market segments.
    • The CERC had on April 1 lowered the cap on prices in the day-ahead and real-time market segments of the exchanges.
    • This had led to a drop of as much as 70% in sell bids in these segments while prices on the uncapped term-ahead market rose to Rs 13 from Rs 5 as it attracted electricity sellers.
    • The capping directive was based on demands from some states and industries.
  • Xiaomi: Central probe agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) today seized over ₹ 5,500 crores from Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi over violations of the Indian foreign exchange law.
    • The action has been taken against Xiaomi Technology India Private Limited.
    • The company (also called Xiaomi India) is a trader and distributor of mobile phones in the country under the brand name MI.
    • The ED seized ₹ 5,551.27 crores from the bank accounts of the company under the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
    • The central probe agency had initiated an investigation in connection with “illegal remittances” made by the company in February this year.
    • The company started its operations in India in 2014 and started remitting the money in 2015.
    • It has so far remitted foreign currency equivalent to ₹ 5,551.27 crores to three foreign-based entities, which include one Xiaomi group entity, in the guise of royalty, the probe agency said.

World


  • Amazon: Amazon.com Inc. shares collapsed on Friday, with a loss in market value that ranks as one of the worst in Wall Street history after it gave an outlook that was seen as disappointing.
    • The stock sank 14% in its biggest one-day drop since July 2006, with shares closing at their lowest level since June 2020.
    • The selloff erased $206.2 billion of the company’s market valuation, a wipeout exceeded only by Meta Platforms, which shed $251.3 billion in market value after a disastrous report of its own in February.
  • United States: The United States has been pretty noisy about India buying oil from Russia. India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar has on numerous occasions spoken out against this stating that the European nations are buying much more oil from Russia when compared to India.
    • A report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) showed an increase in Russian oil shipments to India and Egypt following the conflict in Ukraine.
    • Russia had proposed to the Indian government that they were willing to give a discount on crude as they battle sanctions that do not apply to energy, food, and pharma products.
  • NASA: NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has successfully completed the seventh and final stage of telescope alignment and is ready to move to the science instrument commissioning phase.
    • In announcing the milestone, the space agency said it has confirmed that Webb is capable of capturing crisp, well-focused images with each of its four onboard science instruments: the near-infrared camera (NIRCam), the near-infrared spectrograph (NIRSpec), and the fine guidance sensor / near-infrared imager, the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) and the slitless spectrograph (FGS/NIRISS).
    • In other words, Webb’s mirrors are directing fully focused light from space into each instrument, and each instrument is capturing images using the light delivered to them.

29th April


India


  • China: After over 2 years, China will permit ‘some stranded Indian students’ to return, reports PTI citing the Chinese foreign ministry.
  • United Nations: After AAP leader Atishi addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal praised her on Friday and said the world is looking at Delhi for solutions in many areas of urban governance.
    • In her address, Atishi, who is an Oxford graduate, highlighted the governance model of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
    • Mr. Kejriwal, who is the national convenor of the AAP and Chief Minister of Delhi, also congratulated Atishi on the feat.
  • MP Board: Madhya Pradesh Board of Secondary Education declared the MP Board Class 12 Results 2022 on April 29, 2022.
    • Candidates who have appeared for Class 12 board exams can check the results on the official site of MPBSE on mpbse.nic.in and also on mpresults.nic.in.
    • This year 18 lakh students have registered themselves for MPBSE Class 10, 12 examinations in the state.
    • The exams for classes 10, and 12 were conducted from February 28 to March 20, 2022, in the state at various exam centers across all districts.
  • Bharat Biotech: The government has asked Bharat Biotech, the maker of Covaxin, to immediately address the issue of the Covid-19 vaccine’s suspension by the World Health Organization (WHO) through UN procurement agencies.
    • This, the ministry of external affairs said, is to avoid the cancellation of the world health body’s emergency use listing (EUL) for the vaccine.
    • The MEA, in communication to VK Paul, the convenor of a key empowered group on Covid-19 vaccination, said many issues about vaccines and international travel by Indians have arisen and must be addressed immediately.
  • Ambani: Mukesh Ambani is gearing up for the launch of two of India’s biggest IPOs by his companies, Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) and Reliance Jio Platform (RJPL).
    • Each company is likely to raise ₹50,000-75,000 crore ($6.5 billion to $10 billion) in the stake sale assuming that promoters dilute at least 10 percent of their holdings.
    • Ambani is likely to make an announcement with regard to the two IPOs during the annual general meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries (RIL) this year.
    • Reliance Jio may also be listed in the US on the Nasdaq platform, which is the world’s largest marketplace for tech companies.
  • Government E-Com: India will on Friday launch an open network for digital commerce (ONDC) as the government tries to end the dominance of U.S. companies Amazon.com and Walmart in the fast-growing e-commerce market, a government document showed.
    • The launch of the platform comes after India’s antitrust body on Thursday raided domestic sellers of Amazon and some of Walmart’s Flipkart following accusations of competition law violations.
    • Indian retailers, key supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have long contended that Amazon and Flipkart’s platforms benefit a few big sellers, via predatory pricing, though the companies say they comply with all Indian laws.
  • Internet Shutdowns: For the fourth consecutive year, India has emerged as the country with the highest number of internet shutdowns for reasons ranging from curbing protests to preventing online frauds, a report released by tech policy think tank Access Now has found.
    • Of the 106 shutdowns, 85 were found in Jammu and Kashmir alone.
    • “In 2021, authorities deliberately shut down the Internet at least 182 times across 34 countries. India is the world’s largest offender, and blacked out the internet at least 106 times,” the report states.
    • Internet shutdowns topped in Jammu and Kashmir, where authorities continue to impose intentional disruptions that last for extended periods due to cross-border terrorism threats.
  • Indo-Bagla: Despite massive connectivity plans and infrastructure development, South Asia remains the least integrated region in the world just 5 percent of its total trade takes place within the region.
    • Greater integration and seamless connectivity could see trade increase by an estimated $44 billion, according to Cecile Fruman, Director, Regional Integration and Engagement in the South Asia Region (SAR), World Bank.
    • “This is a region which is not well integrated in terms of connectivity. It takes 138 hours to move a truck across the border from India to Bangladesh, and there are 22 documents required and 55 signatures. So in many ways, South Asia is not well integrated,” Fruman, who was visiting India.
  • IndiGo: An IndiGo-operated ATR 72-600 aircraft landed at Kishangarh airport Thursday, using an approach process guided by India’s own satellite-based augmentation system named GAGAN, or GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation.
    • With this trial landing at the small airport near Ajmer in Rajasthan, India joined a small group comprising the US, Japan, and Europe with its own satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS).
    • While the SBAS developed by the US, Japan, Europe, and India are already operational, there are several more under development.
    • These include China’s BeiDou SBAS, South Korea’s Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), Russia’s System for Differential Corrections and Monitoring (SDCM), and the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network (SPAN) of Australia and New Zealand.

World


  • United States: In a step to redirect Russian wealth towards the rebuilding of Ukraine, some of whose cities have been decimated by sustained battering from invading Russian forces since the end of February.
    • U.S. President Joe Biden announced he would propose that U.S.-based assets of Russian oligarchs be seized and directed towards Ukraine.
    • Mr. Biden’s proposal was announced as part of a larger announcement that he was asking the U.S. Congress to approve an additional $33 billion dollars in security, humanitarian and economic assistance for Ukraine.
  • Europe Gas Crisis: Four European gas buyers have already paid for supplies in rubles as President Vladimir Putin demanded, according to a person close to Russian gas giant Gazprom PJSC.
    • Even if the other buyers reject the Kremlin’s terms, more cutoffs after the halt in the gas flow to Poland and Bulgaria Wednesday aren’t likely until the second half of May when the next payments are due.
    • Ten European companies have already opened the accounts at Gazprombank needed to meet Russia’s payment demands.
  • Solar Eclipse 2022: The last day of April will witness the first solar eclipse of the year. The partial solar eclipse, which is expected to last for over four hours, will occur on April 30.
    • While India will not be able to witness this solar eclipse, countries that can observe the phenomenon may do so between 12:15 pm IST and 2:11 pm IST on Saturday.
    • Sharing details of the same, NASA has said that the eclipse will be visible over parts of South America including Chile, Argentina, most of Uruguay, western Paraguay, southwestern Bolivia, southeastern Peru, and a small area of southwestern Brazil.
  • Russia: Russia’s defense ministry on Friday confirmed it had carried out an airstrike on Kyiv during a visit by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
    • “High-precision, long-range air-based weapons of the Russian Aerospace Forces have destroyed the production buildings of the Artyom missile and space enterprise in Kyiv,” the ministry said in its daily briefing on the conflict in Ukraine.
    • Ukraine said Friday that one person had been killed in the strike on Thursday, the first in the capital in nearly two weeks and which Guterres’s spokesman described as “shocking”.
    • Guterres on Thursday toured Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs where Moscow is alleged to have committed war crimes.
  • Kyiv: Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine is intensifying with the war has entered the ninth week and a ceasefire far from sight.
    • The war-hit nation’s capital city of Kyiv witnessed missile strikes, Ukraine said, at a time when UN chief Antonio Guterres was in the city in another sharp escalation of tensions.
    • Guterres made a visit to the conflict-battered country just right after visiting Russia.
    • US president Joe Biden, meanwhile, has sought $ 33 billion in aid to bolster Ukraine’s fight against Russia.
    • “The world must and will hold Russia accountable. And as long as the assaults and atrocities continue, we’re going to continue to supply military assistance,” he was quoted as saying in reports.

28th April


India


  • Crypto: Flagging concerns over likely misuse of crypto, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on April 27 said that India will take a considerate decision on regulation around the virtual currency.
    • During an interaction at Stanford University, she said, “The decision on crypto will not be rushed through,”.
    • “It will have to take its time…all of us to be sure that at least with given the available information, we’re taking the decern decision. It can’t be rushed through,” she said.
  • Electric Vehicle: The government has asked electric two-wheeler manufacturers not to launch new vehicles till instances of fire are investigated.
    • This was communicated to manufacturers at a meeting called by the roads, transport, and highways ministry on Monday to discuss the rise in incidents of fire in electric two-wheelers.
    • All-electric two-wheeler makers have also been asked to voluntarily recall the entire batch of vehicles if one from that batch was involved in a fire incident.
  • Reliance-Viacom18: Reliance and Viacom18 today announced a strategic partnership with Bodhi Tree Systems, which is a platform of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar, to form one of the largest TV and digital streaming companies in India.
    • Bodhi Tree Systems is leading fundraising with a consortium of investors to invest ₹13,500 crores in Viacom18, to jointly build India’s leading entertainment platform.
    • Viacom18 owns and operates the suite of Colors TV channels and OTT platform, Voot.
  • Union Housing & Urban Affairs Ministry: The Centre on Wednesday asked eight eminent artists, who were allotted government accommodations years ago but which were canceled in 2014, to vacate the facilities by May 2.
    • A move that comes a day after eviction proceedings were conducted against 90-year-old Padma Shri awardee and Odissi dancer Guru Mayadhar Raut.
    • A senior Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry official said out of 28 artists, there are still around eight who have not moved out of their government accommodations despite multiple notices.
  • AFSPA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said efforts are on to remove AFSPA completely from the northeast region.
    • Addressing a ‘Peace, Unity and Development’ rally here, he said the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act could be withdrawn from various parts of the region as the law and order situation has improved in the last eight years.
    • In a major outreach to the northeast region, the Centre had announced a reduction of the disturbed areas imposed under the AFSPA in Nagaland, Assam, and Manipur from April 1, after decades.
  • Japan: Japan has dropped the plan to send its aircraft to India to pick up humanitarian aid destined for Ukraine after India denied landing permission to Japan’s air force planes. It instead allowed commercial aircraft, keeping sensitivities in mind.
    • The Japanese government on Tuesday informed the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of a new plan that does not include India in transporting humanitarian aid supplies to Ukrainian refugees on Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) aircraft, ET has learned.
    • Japan will now transfer supplies only from the United Arab Emirates instead of India, according to the new plan.
  • IPPB: The union cabinet has approved ₹820 crores in financial support for India Post Payments Bank, news agency PTI reported on Wednesday quoting an unnamed source.
    • India Posts Payments Bank (IPPB) has recently crossed its 5 crore customer mark in just three of commencement of operations to become one of the fastest-growing digital payments banks in the country.
    • IPPB opened up these five crore accounts in digital and paperless mode through its 1.36 lakh post offices, out of which 1.20 lakh are in rural areas with the help of about 1.47 lakh doorstep banking service providers.
  • PM Modi: Stung by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s put-down on live telecast yesterday, which overstates not cutting taxes to bring down petrol and diesel prices, opposition Chief Ministers are pushing back using sharp words in an escalating row with the Centre.
    • Flagging higher fuel prices in many opposition-ruled states during a meeting on Covid, PM Modi called it “injustice” and urged the Chief Ministers to reduce VAT (Value Added Tax) on petrol and diesel to help the common man.
    • He said many states had not agreed to the Centre’s call for reducing VAT after his government slashed excise duties in November and named Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu.
  • ICICI Bank: ICICI Bank said it has introduced a comprehensive digital ecosystem for all Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, including customers of other banks to provide enhanced banking services for existing customers, a bouquet of banking services to MSMEs, who are customers of other banks and a range of value-added services for all. 
    • Anyone can avail of the benefits of the bank’s digital solutions by downloading the new version of the InstaBIZ app, a super app for businesses.
    • MSMEs, who are customers of other banks, can avail of a host of services from the Bank’s digital ecosystem by logging in as a ‘Guest’ in the new version of InstaBIZ.

World


  • UN Chief: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres announced his arrival in Kyiv on Wednesday following talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the ongoing war with Ukraine.
    • In Moscow, Guterres yet again called for both Russia and Ukraine to work together to set up “safe and effective” humanitarian corridors in war-torn Ukraine.
    • In turn, Putin told him he hoped that negotiations could end the conflict which saw Russian troops invading Ukraine on February 24.
  • Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of lightning-fast retaliation if countries interfere in Ukraine as European leaders accused Russia of “blackmail” over its cuts to gas supplies.
    • Russia has told the United States to stop sending arms to Ukraine, saying large Western deliveries of weapons were inflaming the conflict.
    • Addressing lawmakers in St Petersburg on Wednesday, Putin said the West wanted to cut Russia up into different pieces and accused it of pushing Ukraine into conflict with Russia.
  • Europe’s Economy: Russia’s suspension of natural gas service to Poland and Bulgaria will not do immediate damage to the European economy, but Europe could face a sharp slowdown in growth if the cutoff spreads to other countries or if Europe imposes an embargo on Russian gas, economists said.
    • Russia’s war on Ukraine is already rippling through Europe, lashing energy prices and hurting manufacturers just as the bloc was recovering from a pandemic-induced recession.
    • The International Monetary Fund last week cut its 2022 growth forecast for the countries that use the euro to 2.8%, from a 3.9% estimate in January, with Germany, the largest economy, taking a big hit.

27th April


India


  • PM Modi: In view of increasing COVID cases in the country over the last two weeks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting to assess the situation with Chief Ministers today via video conferencing.
    • According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the virtual meeting will be held at 12 noon on Wednesday.
    • Apart from the Prime Minister and senior officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and officials from their respective Ministries are likely to attend the meeting.
  • COVID: India has administered more than 188 crore total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine so far, according to the official data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • As per the data, as of 7 am on April 27,  1,88,19,40,971 total doses of the vaccine have been administered in the country so far.
    • 21,97,082 total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered in the last 24 hours.
    • Of this, 51,480 were first doses and 6,41,373 were second doses administered to the 18+ population.
  • LIC IPO: The Life Insurance Corporation’s (LIC) public issue offer is finally here, with the long-awaited initial public offering (IPO) to open on May 2 for anchor investors and from May 4 to May 9 for the general public, the insurance behemoth confirmed on Wednesday at its press conference.
    • Beginning of “LIC 3.0”, says LIC Chairman M R Kumar, referring to India’s biggest public issue, which will be in the price band of ₹ 902-949, with a ₹ 60 discount to policyholders and a ₹ 45 discount for retail investors and employees.
    • India’s largest insurer LIC is likely to list on the stock exchanges on May 17, a week after its mega IPO closes.
  • Semi-Conductor Industry: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday held a meeting with representatives of the semiconductor industry of the US and invited them to make further investments in India.
    • The Finance Minister spoke about opportunities for companies situated in Silicon Valley and about the government of India’s commitment to be a reliable player in the entire semiconductor value chain with dedicated incentives for the sector in mission mode through the Indian Semiconductor Mission.
    • Last year, the government approved a Rs 76,000-crore scheme to boost semiconductor and display manufacturing in the country in a bid to position India as a global hub for hi-tech production and attract large chip makers.
  • UNGA: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday adopted a resolution pertaining to the veto power of P5 nations, mandating UNSC members who use it to justify themselves in the assembly.
    • While speaking at the UNGA, India underlined that while it supports an initiative that ‘furthers the objective of achieving meaningful and comprehensive reform’, the current resolution ‘demands much more serious, in-depth, and inclusive deliberation than was allowed by the movers of this text’.
    • At the 69th Plenary Meeting, Ambassador R. Ravindra, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN highlighted that over the last four decades, a vocal minority of nay-sayers had held the entire process of Security Council reform hostage.
    • All five permanent members have used the veto over the last 75 years to achieve their respective political ends, asserted India. 

World


  • Beijing: China’s capital Beijing on Tuesday started testing most of its nearly 22 million residents for Covid-19, swiftly expanding mass tests from one district, Chaoyang, to many more areas within 24 hours amid a spreading outbreak and fears of a Shanghai-style lockdown.
    • The Beijing government announced the decision to expand tests across the city late on Monday night as the 3.5 million residents of Chaoyang district completed their first-round yesterday.
    • Residents will be tested three times on alternate days to detect and isolate positive cases, which, according to the city government, have been spreading undetected for over a week.
  • Tesla: Tesla Inc. lost $126 billion in value on Tuesday amid investor concerns that Chief Executive Elon Musk may have to sell shares to fund his $21 billion equity contribution to his $44 billion buyouts of Twitter Inc.
    • Tesla is not involved in the Twitter deal, yet its shares have been targeted by speculators after Musk declined to disclose publicly where his cash for the acquisition is coming from.
    • The 12.2% drop in Tesla’s shares on Tuesday equated to a $21 billion drop in the value of his Tesla stake, the same as the $21 billion in cash he committed to the Twitter deal.
  • SpaceX: The SpaceX launch vehicle, consisting of a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with a Crew Dragon capsule dubbed Freedom, was set for liftoff with its four-member crew at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
    • If all goes according to plan, the three U.S. astronauts and their European Space Agency (ESA) crewmate from Italy will reach the space station about 17 hours later to begin a six-month science mission orbiting some 250 miles (420 km) above Earth.
    • During a pre-launch briefing on Tuesday, NASA officials said forecasts called for a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for an on-time liftoff.
  • IMF: Asia faces a “stagflationary” outlook, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official warned on Tuesday, pointing to the Ukraine war, soaring commodity prices, and China’s economic slowdown as risks to the region.
    • While Asia’s trade and financial exposure to Russia and Ukraine are limited, the region’s economies will be affected by the crisis through higher commodity prices and slower growth in European trading partners, said Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, acting director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.
    • At the same time, inflation in Asia is also starting to pick up just as China’s economic slowdown is adding to pressure on regional growth, Gulde-Wolf also said.
  • Ukraine War: Shelling and air raids continued in several parts of war-torn Ukraine as Russia’s invasion entered Day 63 on Wednesday. The Russian troops have been relentlessly bombing the steel plant in Mariupol after giving several surrender deadlines to Ukraine.
    • In diplomatic efforts, top US officials have urged its allies to help Ukraine fight the Russian aggression by sending more weapons.
    • Meanwhile, the UN chief after holding a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday will head to Kyiv to hold talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.
    • The meetings are aimed at the safe evacuation of citizens and pushing for peace talks.

26th April


India


  • LIC IPO: The much-awaited initial public offering of the Life Insurance Corporation of India is likely to open on May 4.
    • The issue is expected to close on May 9, the report said, adding that the anchor book for the LIC IPO is likely to open on May 2.
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India has given its nod to the updated draft red herring prospectus, which lists a 3.5 percent stake sale instead of 5 percent as mentioned in the previous draft papers.
  • Semiconductor: India is in talks with global chipmakers Intel Corp., GlobalFoundries Inc., and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. about setting up local operations, part of efforts to center more high-tech manufacturing in the country.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government late last year unveiled a $10 billion incentives plan, offering to cover as much as half of a project’s cost, to lure display and semiconductor fabricators to set up base in India.
    • The country has set itself the ambitious goal of emulating neighboring China and becoming the electronics factory of the world.
  • Repo Rate: The Reserve Bank of India will raise its repo rate in June and hike at a faster pace than predicted just a few weeks ago as a surge in inflation puts pressure on the central bank to act quicker, a Reuters poll showed.
    • Retail inflation accelerated to nearly 7% in March, above the 6% upper limit of the central bank’s targeted range, and will likely soar further as a spike in global energy prices since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine seeps into consumer prices.
    • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) kept its key rate at a record low 4.0% at its April meeting despite shifting its focus to inflation from growth.
  • Defence Ministry: The armed forces will have to source military hardware under a modernization drive from the domestic industry and their import should only be an exception, the defense ministry said on Monday, announcing major changes in India’s defense acquisition procedure.
    • The ministry also decided to dispense with the requirement of the Integrity Pact Bank Guarantee (IPBG) to reduce the financial burden on the Indian defense industry, a move aimed at promoting domestic manufacturing.
    • It said Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) will be taken as bid security for all acquisition cases costing more than ₹ 100 crores.
  • Maharashtra: Mumbai Putting an end to confusion amongst universities, state minister for higher and technical education Uday Samant on Monday clarified that all state university summer 2022 exams will be held offline.
    • This decision was taken in a meeting held between Samant and vice-chancellors of all state universities, where the officials unanimously agreed to go offline for all exams to be held between April and May 2022.
    • This move comes days after officials at Nagpur University decided to postpone exams starting April 25 and conduct them online. The move invited flak from students of other state universities, all demanding a similar option.
  • Covaxin: The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) today gave emergency use authorization to Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children between the age group of 6-12 amid an uptick in the Covid cases in schools.
    • The approval by the DCGI comes following recommendations by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO).
    • The DCGI has directed the vaccine maker to submit the safety data, including the data on the adverse events, with due analysis every 15 days for the first two months.
    • Thereafter, Bharat Biotech has been asked to submit the data monthly for up to 5 months.
  • Cryptocurrency: Questioning the `shadow ban’ on cryptocurrencies, leading banks have asked the umbrella institution National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to spell out in a formal directive the curbs on the use of the popular money transfer tool ‘Unified Payment Interface’ to buy and sell the virtual digital assets (VDAs).
    • Several banks have grudgingly blocked UPI for trading cryptos following “verbal instructions” from NPCI which operates retail payments and settlement systems in the country.
    • The banks, some of which are shareholders of NPCI, raised the issue at a recent meeting after the payments body expressed its reservations a few weeks ago on the fund flows through UPI for crypto trades.

World


  • Washington: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has successfully purchased Twitter for $44 billion.
    • The deal will give the world’s richest person control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders.
    • During a Monday press briefing, the White House said that US President Joe Biden was concerned about the power that large social media outlets hold.
    • Dismissing that this concern had anything to do with the billionaire, spokesperson Jen Psaki said the White House would not comment on an individual transaction.
  • Ukraine War: Shortly after Russia warned the world about the considerable risk of nuclear war, Ukraine hit back saying that the Kremlin has lost its “last hope”.
    • “I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, really. And we must not underestimate it,” Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov quoted.
    • As the Ukraine war enters day 62, UN chief Antonio Guterres is set to visit Russia on Tuesday to meet the country’s president Vladimir Putin. He will meet Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday.
  • IMF: Sri Lanka must tighten monetary policy, raise taxes and adopt flexible exchange rates to address its debt crisis, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official said on Tuesday.
    • The country of 22 million people has requested loans from the IMF as it struggles to pay for imports amid crushing debt and a sharp drop in foreign exchange reserves that have fueled soaring inflation.
    • Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry was in Washington last week to talk to the IMF, the World Bank, India, and others about financing help for his country, which has suspended payments on portions of its $51 billion in external debt.
  • Twitter Deal: Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer Parag Agrawal and Chairman Bret Taylor told employees on Monday that the social network will keep operating as usual including with Agrawal at the helm until the deal to sell the company to Elon Musk for $44 billion closes later this year.
    • The deal was signed Monday morning, Agrawal told workers, adding that Musk’s transaction to take the company private could take as long as six months to complete.
    • The CEO told staffers there would be no job cuts “at this time,” and when asked about a potential hiring freeze, Agrawal said the company was still working through hiring plans before the deal officially closes.

25th April


India


  • GST: To gauge the states’ mood ahead of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council’s meeting in late May, the GST Council secretariat has sought states’ views on the scope for raising tax rates on 143 items, in most cases to revert the rate to 28% from 18%.
  • Credit Card: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) released new guidelines regarding credit and debit card issuance on April 21, 2022.
    • The provisions relating to credit cards under the RBI (Credit Card and Debit Card – Issuance and Conduct) Directions, 2022 shall apply to every Scheduled Bank (excluding Payments Banks, State Co-operative Banks, and District Central Cooperative Banks) and all Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) operating in India.
    • These rules will take effect from July 1, 2022.
  • Phone Bills: Telecom operators are likely to soon announce another set of tariff hikes as they look to improve their average revenue per user (Arpu) by weeding out low-paying, inactive subscribers.
    • The earlier apprehension regarding hiking tariffs seems to have gone as, despite the hikes undertaken in December 2021, the active subscriber base of the industry has risen in the last few months.
    • What the operators have lost are low-end customers, which were mostly inactive, meaning having more than one or two connections.
  • CII President: India’s economy is expected to grow 7.5-8 percent this fiscal year with exports playing a key role in the country’s success story, CII President TV Narendran said on Monday.
    • However, he said the country needs to remain prepared for any fallout of the next wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
    • “We are confident that the economy can retain a high growth trajectory this year. So, we are very optimistic on the export front. Exports will be a key component of India’s success story going forward,” Narendran said.
  • Europeans Visit To India: Days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to India at least eight leaders and ministers from Europe are scheduled to be in the country over the next couple of days, including Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission.
    • Von der Leyen, who was Germany’s defense minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel until 2019, will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, where the crisis arising out of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is expected to come up for discussion.
    • The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Slovenia, Portugal, the Netherlands, Norway, and Luxembourg are also expected to be in India.
  • Reliance-Future Retail: Despite calling off the deal with Future Retail, Reliance Industries still walks away with 947 small and large format store premium that was once occupied by Future Retail stores.
    • According to sources close to Reliance, the lenders’ decision to vote against the ₹24,713-crore deal with Future Retail will have no impact on the move to take over the lease of the stores.
    • “The owners of the stores terminated the lease with Future Retail since they could not pay the rent and leased the same stores to us.
    • This is separate from the earlier announced merger deal with Future.
  • Vande Bharat: The Indian government’s plan to launch dozens of new Vande Bharat trains this year seems to have run into trouble with the import orders from Ukraine being stuck due to the Eastern European country’s ongoing war with Russia. 
    • According to news agency PTI, India had placed an order for 36,000 wheels at a cost of $16 million with a Ukraine-based firm.
    • The payment for this was to be made through a Letter of Credit.
    • The wheels were planned to be shipped from the Ukrainian Black Sea Port to Maharashtra’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
    • But this has not happened until now, due to the war.
  • Article 370 in J&K: Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Monday, April 25, 2022, said he would discuss with other judges and consider listing, after summer vacations, the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 to strip the Jammu and Kashmir people of their special privileges which led to the bifurcation of the State.
    • The summer holidays begin on May 23 and the court reopens on July 11. Chief Justice Ramana retires on August 26.
    • The senior advocates, in an oral mentioning before the CJI, said the Article 370 case had been pending in the Supreme Court for over two years even as a separate challenge has been filed against the Centre’s decision to appoint a Delimitation Commission to redraw Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

World


  • New York: Twitter Inc is nearing a deal to sell itself to Elon Musk for $54.20 per share in cash, the price that he originally offered to the social media company and called his ‘best and final’, people familiar with the matter said.
    • Twitter may announce the $43 billion deal later on Monday once its board has met to recommend the transaction to Twitter shareholders.
    • It is always possible that the deal collapses at the last minute.
  • Paris: Riot police charged and sprayed teargas on demonstrators in central Paris protesting after President Emmanuel Macron was re-elected on Sunday, footage from social media showed.
    • Police sought to break up a crowd of mostly young people who had gathered in the central neighborhood of Chatelet to protest, images on Twitter showed.
    • Macron defeated far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a runoff vote earlier on Sunday by winning a second five-year term and preventing what would otherwise have been a major political upset.
  • Warsaw: The US wants Russia “weakened” so it cannot invade again and Ukraine can win the war if it has the right equipment, Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin said Monday on returning from a trip to Kyiv.
    • “The first step in winning is believing that you can win. And so they believe that we can win,” Austin told a group of journalists after the visit with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
    • The two, who met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, were the first high-profile US officials to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24.
  • Beijing: Fears of a hard Covid lockdown sparked panic buying in Beijing as long queues formed on Monday in a large central district for mass testing ordered by the Chinese authorities.
    • China was already trying to contain a wave of infections in its largest city Shanghai, which has been almost entirely locked down for weeks and reported 51 new Covid deaths on Monday.
    • Shanghai has struggled to provide fresh food to those confined at home, while patients have reported trouble accessing non-Covid medical care and the rising cases in the capital triggered fears of a similar lockdown.
  • International Space Station: The first all-private astronaut crew to fly aboard the International Space Station (ISS) headed for splashdown Monday off the coast of Florida, wrapping up a two-week mission that NASA has touted as a landmark in commercial spaceflight.
    • A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the four-man team of Houston-based startup Axiom Space Inc began its return flight at about 9 p.m. EDT Sunday (0100 Monday GMT) as it undocked from the space station orbiting about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth.
    • The Crew Dragon was expected to parachute into the Atlantic around 1 p.m. EDT on Monday (1700 GMT), capping a 16-hour ride home from orbit that had been postponed for several days because of unfavorable weather.

24th April


India


  • HDFC Bank: HDFC Bank on Saturday announced a dividend of ₹15.50 per equity share, which is the highest in the last 11 years.
    • The private lender informed Indian exchanges about the recommendation of its Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
    • The record date for finalization of eligible shareholders for dividend payment has been fixed for 13th May 2022.
  • New Delhi: The national capital has reported the BA.2.12 variant of the COVID-19 for the first time, which is more transmissible than the Omicron variant (BA.2) of the virus.
    • The BA.2.12 is a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant and was spotted during genome sequencing to find the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi.
    • Officials are closely monitoring the BA.2.12 variant and the government has not yet officially made any comments about finding the variant in the city.
  • CBSE: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will hold a live webcast on the term-2 exams 2022 modalities.
    • The board will host a live webcast on April 25, 2022, at 11 am and will last one hour.
    • According to the official notice, the Board has decided to hold a live webcast to explain examination preparations as well as the roles and responsibilities of functionaries.
    • The live webinar will be recorded and made available on the YouTube channel. The official notice will include a link to the same.
  • Indian Imports: India’s crude oil import bill nearly doubled to $119 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, as energy prices soared globally following the return of demand and war in Ukraine.
    • India, the world’s third-biggest oil consuming and importing nation, spent $119.2 billion in 2021-22 (April 2021 to March 2022), up from $62.2 billion in the previous fiscal year, according to data from the oil ministry’s Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC).
    • It spent $13.7 billion in March alone when oil prices surged to a 14-year high, compared with $8.4 billion in spending in the same month last year.
  • Tourist Visas: India has suspended tourist visas issued to Chinese nationals, global airlines body International Air Transport Association (IATA) has told its member carriers.
    • The move appeared to be a response to Beijing stonewalling India’s appeals about approximately 22,000 Indian students enrolled in Chinese universities who are unable to go back for physical classes. The neighboring country has to date refused to let them enter.
    • These students had to leave their studies in China and come to India when the COVID-19 pandemic began at the beginning of 2020.
  • Finance Minister: India wants to be strong friends with the “liberal world” but it needs Russia’s assistance to defend its borders, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told Bloomberg in an interview in Washington.
    • India procures most of its military hardware from Russia and in recent weeks has rejected appeals from Western nations to limit bilateral relations with Moscow in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has faced criticism from Western allies with regard to its refusal to outright condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin over the devastating conflict in Ukraine.
  • European Union: The European Union plans to relaunch trade talks with India in an attempt to give the South Asian nation a viable alternative to diversify away from Russia, according to a senior official familiar with the plans.
    • In addition to trade, the EU will pursue a technology council with India that could include discussions on the general data protection regulation, social media, and broader digitalization efforts, said the official, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
    • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is planning to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 25.
    • The EU is India’s third-largest trading partner and accounts for 62.8 billion euros ($67.8 billion) worth of trade in goods.
  • Assam: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Sunday swept elections to the Guwahati municipal corporation by winning 58 of the total 60 wards.
    • While the BJP bagged 52 seats, the AGP won 6 seats in Guwahati, the biggest city in Assam, and the rest of the northeast.
    • The party, which is in power in the state, had earlier won municipal board elections held last month.
    • The opposition Congress, the second biggest party in the state assembly after the BJP, failed to win even a single seat while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made its debut in Guwahati by winning one seat.
    • Assam Jatiya Party (AJP) also won one seat.
  • Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened multiple projects worth over ₹ 20,000 crores in Jammu and Kashmir including the Banihal-Qazigund tunnel and two hydroelectric projects during his first official visit to the new Union Territory today.
    • PM Modi laid the foundation for two hydroelectric projects an 850-megawatt facility on the Chenab river in Kishtwar to be built at a cost of around ₹ 5,300 crores.
    • The other is the 540-megawatt Kwar hydroelectric project, to be built on the same river at a cost of over ₹ 4,500 crores.
    • The Banihal-Qazigund tunnel built at a cost of over ₹ 3,100 crores is 8.45-km-long and will reduce the road distance between the two places by 16 km, and cut travel time by around one-and-a-half hours.
    • Seeking to develop and rejuvenate 75 water bodies in every district of the country, PM Modi also launched an initiative named “Amrit Sarovar”.

World


  • Nigeria: Several people were feared burnt to death overnight following an explosion at an illegal oil refinery in southern Nigeria.
    • Police confirmed the explosion, saying it had happened late on Friday, but did not give details of casualties.
    • “Several bodies burnt beyond recognition lay on the ground while others who may have attempted running for safety are seen hanging on some tree branches,” said Fyneface Dumnamene, Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC).
  • Ukraine: Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday said he wanted the Asian counties to “change their attitude” towards his country, as Europe did following the Russian invasion.
    • Zelenskyy told a press conference that some NATO members underestimated Ukraine which forced the alliance to not accept it as a member, calling it a “gross mistake”.
    • He further stated that Ukraine’s strength against Russia’s offensive “managed to change the attitude of the alliance and the European member states”.
  • Istanbul: Turkey has closed its airspace to Russian civilian and military planes flying to Syria, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying Saturday by local media.
    • The announcement marks one of the strongest responses to date by Turkey, which has cultivated close ties with Moscow despite being a member of the NATO defense alliance, to Russia’s two-month military assault on Ukraine.
    • “We closed the airspace to Russia’s military planes and even civilian ones flying to Syria. They had until April, and we asked in March,” Turkish media quoted Cavusoglu as saying.
  • Sri Lanka: The International Monetary Fund on Saturday said that it had “fruitful technical discussions” with crisis-ridden Sri Lanka on its loan request.
    • As the island nation with a population of 22 million struggles to pay for imports, the World Bank has also stated it is preparing an emergency aid package to mitigate the crisis.
    • Sri Lanka is battling a crushing debt crisis, resulting in scarce supplies of food and fuel, and prolonged power outages. Rating agencies have warned of a potential default on Sri Lanka’s $51 billion foreign debt, and authorities are unable to raise more commercial loans because of credit downgrades, news agency Reuters reports.
  • SpaceX: The first US private astronaut mission, Ax-1, to the International Space Station (ISS) is set to undock from ISS on Sunday.
    • The Ax-1 astronaut crew’s undocking from ISS was postponed to Sunday, April 24 at 8:55 pm ET, due to bad weather at SpaceX’s splashdown site. 
    • But now the crew onboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is well prepared and ready for their journey home after spending a few extra days aboard the ISS.
    • This is the first-ever all-private astronaut mission to the ISS.
    • Ax-1 astronauts, who spent over two weeks in ISS, will splash down off the coast of Florida on Monday, April 25 around 1:00 pm ET.

23rd April


India


  • Punjab: Punjab Police has ordered the withdrawal of security cover for 184 former ministers and ex-MLAs and other leaders.
    • Personnel deployed on specific orders of the courts, however, would not be withdrawn, said a letter by the additional director general of police (security).
    • The letter dated April 20 was sent to senior police officers, including police commissioners and senior superintendents of police.
  • NITI Aayog: The government on Friday appointed Suman K Bery as the vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, following the sudden resignation of Rajiv Kumar.
    • Mr. Bery will take charge from May 1, 2022, an official order said, Rajiv Kumar’s tenure will end on April 30.
    • Mr. Kumar, an eminent economist, took over as vice-chairman of NITI Aayog in August 2017 after the then VC Arvind Panagariya exited the government think-tank to return to academics.
  • WTO: The World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is looking into resolving WTO rules that are making it difficult for India to export food grains to meet shortages in other countries.
    • It is believed to have been caused by the Russia-Ukraine war, according to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
    • The difficulties, the Minister said, included WTO rules around the export of food by a country that had also procured food on a Minimum Support Price basis.
  • Finance Minister: FM Nirmala Sitharaman, who has been in the United States this week, on Friday spoke of the Washington-New Delhi ties in the context of India’s geography, stressing that ” a friend can’t be weak”.
    • “You can choose your friend but not your neighbor,” the finance minister said as she explained that “India does not have an option to relocate” and, accordingly, the country has to take a “calibrated stance”.
    • Her comments came in the backdrop of questions linked to India’s purchase of weapons and oil from Russia, which has been facing global sanctions over the Ukraine war.
  • COVID: Delhi’s R-value, which indicates the spread of COVID-19, was recorded at 2.1 this week, implying that every infected person is infecting two others in the national capital, according to an analysis by IIT-Madras.
    • The ‘R’ or reproductive value indicates the number of people an infected person can spread the disease to, and a pandemic is considered to end if this value goes below one.
    • The preliminary analysis by computational modeling was done by IIT-Madras’ Department of Mathematics and the Centre of Excellence for Computational Mathematics and Data Science headed by Prof Neelesh S Upadhye and Prof S Sundar.
  • Government Note To Channels: Taking exception to television coverage of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the Delhi riots, the government today issued a strong advisory to news channels asking them to abide by the program code laid down by the relevant laws.
    • The government cited specific instances of “hyperbolic” statements by news anchors and “scandalous headlines/taglines” while reporting on the Ukraine-Russia conflict and disrupting the investigation process into the “incidents” in northwest Delhi by airing “unverified CCTV footages”.
    • It also said that certain debates on television channels on the incidents in northwest Delhi had “unparliamentary, provocative and socially unacceptable language”.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of ₹36 lakh on the government-owned Central Bank of India for non-compliance with certain directions issued by the central bank.
    • The bank received a penalty for non-compliance with certain directions issued by RBI on “Customer Protection–Limiting Liability of Customers in Unauthorised Electronic Banking Transactions”.
    • “This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers,” RBI said in a statement.
  • COVID Vaccine: India’s drug regulator approved the antiviral medication Paxlovid on Thursday for restricted emergency use against Covid-19 amid rising infections in the country. Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs will manufacture the generic version of Pfizer’s drug, touted as a game-changer in the fight against the disease.
    • The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave its assent “as part of accelerated approval process considering the emergency situation and unmet medical need in light of the Covid outbreak”, according to its letter to the company.
    • The development gains significance as some parts of India is witnessing an upsurge in Covid-19 cases. The pricing hasn’t been announced yet.
  • Edible Oil: Domestic edible oil prices, already high, are set for a surge as Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, will ban exports from 28 April.
    • Indonesia, too, has been battling high edible oil prices amid domestic shortages and soaring prices.
    • China and India are among the biggest importers of palm oil from Indonesia, which accounts for more than half the world’s supply. Palm oil is used in products from cooking oils to processed foods, cosmetics, and biofuels.
    • It is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil and is used in the manufacture of many products including biscuits, margarine, laundry detergents, and chocolate.
  • Yes Bank: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has alleged that Yes Bank co-founder Rana Kapoor and Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) promoters Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan siphoned off funds worth ₹ 5,050 crores through suspicious transactions.
    • The ED said this in its second supplementary (third overall) chargesheet filed in a special court here recently against Rana Kapoor, his family, Wadhawans, and others in a money laundering case.
    • During the investigation, it came to light that a big part of the proceeds of crime (POC) generated in this case has been siphoned off overseas by Rana Kapoor, and hence they are not available for attachment directly under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
  • Future Group: Debt-laden Future Group’s plan to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics, and warehousing assets on a slump sale basis to Reliance Industries Ltd for ₹24,713 crores received a setback on Friday after it failed to secure the necessary 75% approval from secured creditors.
    • While more than 75% of shareholders and unsecured creditors voted in favor of the deal, secured creditors showed their disapproval with 69.29% voting against the plan and 30.71% in favor, according to a regulatory filing by Future Retail Ltd (FRL).
    • In terms of unsecured creditors, 78.22% voted in favor of the deal and 21.78% against it. Besides, 85.94% of shareholders of the company voted for the deal while 14.06% voted against it.
    • Also, 82.75% of secured creditors of the group company, Future Lifestyle Fashions voted against the deal and 17.25% in favor. Among unsecured creditors, 6.07% voted against the deal while 93.93% in favor while 18.09% of shareholders voted against the deal, and 81.91% in favor.

World


  • Washington: The US discourages India to rely on Russia for its defense needs, the Pentagon has said. “We’ve been very clear with India as well as other nations that we don’t want to see them rely on Russia for defense needs.
    • We’ve been nothing but honest about that and discouraging that, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters at a news conference in Washington on Friday.
    • At the same time, we also value the defense partnership that we have with India. And as was evidenced a week ago, we’re looking at ways to improve that going forward.
    • That’s going to continue because it matters and it’s important, he said. “India is a provider of security in the region and we value that,” Mr. Kirby said.
  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka will receive $300 million to $600 million from the World Bank over the next four months to buy medicine and other essential items, the country’s finance minister said Friday, as the Indian ocean island suffers its worst economic crisis in decades.
    • Finance Minister Ali Sabri, who is in Washington to negotiate a rescue package with the International Monetary Fund, said in a video conference that the talks with the IMF might take some time and that the World Bank has agreed to provide support in the meantime.
    • Neighbouring India has also agreed to provide $500 million to purchase fuel, and negotiations are underway on an additional $1 billion from New Delhi, which has already provided a credit line of $ 1 billion.
  • Ukraine War: United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres will visit Moscow on Tuesday where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of his efforts to end the ongoing war in Ukraine.
    • Guterres will also have a working meeting and lunch with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
    • “Guterres hopes to talk about what can be done to bring peace to Ukraine urgently during his visit to Moscow. His office is in touch with the government of Ukraine for a potential visit,” UN spokesperson Eri Kaneko said.
    • Guterres’ visit is extremely significant as the war between Russian and Ukrainian forces has entered its 58th day.

22nd April


India


  • British PM: Prime Monmoster Boris Johnson arrived in Gujarat on Thursday for the start of his two-day visit to India. He is meeting with PM Modi as the UK looks to increase its footprint in defense production in India, and new cooperation on clean & renewable energy.
  • COVID: India today recorded 2,451 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of coronavirus infections to 4,30,52,425.
    • According to the Union Health Ministry data, the country’s active cases increased to 14,421.
    • India also reported 54 fresh Covid-related deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 5,22,116.
  • Adani Group: Adani group has acquired India’s largest marine services company, Ocean Sparkle Ltd.
    • Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) through its subsidiary, the Adani Harbour Services Ltd, has entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of a 100 percent stake in Ocean Sparkle Ltd.
    • Ocean Sparkle Ltd (OSL) ranks first in India and 11th globally in providing end-to-end marine services.
  • Fighter Jets: Boeing is planning to fly two Super Hornet fighter jets to Goa this summer for operational demonstrations before its potential buyer the Indian Navy.
    • Making a strong pitch for F/A-18 Super Hornet, vice president of Boeing’s India Business Development Alain Garcia said the aircraft has been specifically designed from its inception for carrier operations.
    • It can operate from the Indian Navy aircraft carriers and will meet or exceed the STOBAR performance requirements of the Indian Navy.
  • New Delhi: Genome sequencing laboratories in Delhi have detected a variant of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 whose emergence was first announced by the New York health department which has a 23-27 percent growth advantage over the original sub-variant.
    • The samples that tested positive for the new sub-variant (BA.2.12.1) have been sent to the country’s apex Covid-19 genome sequencing consortium, INSACOG, for confirmation, according to officials from Delhi’s health department.
    • Another expert, on the condition of anonymity, said that the new variant was unlikely to lead to an increase in hospital admissions.
  • Gautam Adani: India’s demographic dividend which will carry it well beyond 2050, will put us on track to becoming a $28-30 trillion-dollar economy by 2050, believes Gautam Adani, Founder and Chairman, Adani Group.
    • Addressing the India Economic Conclave 2022 themed ‘The Great Indian Democratic Dividend’, on Thursday in Mumbai, the billionaire said, “My optimism comes from my belief that no nation in the world is as uniquely well placed as India to capitalize on four major vectors that will accelerate development”
    • These are the pull from India’s demographic dividend, growth of the middle class, push from the accelerated digital economy, and the sustainability-focused economy.
  • Electric Scooters: Noting that several incidents involving electric scooters have taken place over the last two months, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said an expert committee will probe the accidents and also talked about heavy fines, among other measures, sending out a strong message.
    • Several mishaps involving Electric Two Wheelers have come to light in the last two months. It is most unfortunate that some people have lost their lives and several have been injured in these incidents.
    • We have constituted an Expert Committee to enquire into these incidents and make recommendations on remedial steps, the Union Minister said in a string of tweets.
  • Britain: Britain and India agreed on Friday to step up defense and business cooperation during a visit to New Delhi by Boris Johnson, who said a bilateral free-trade deal could be wrapped up by October.
    • On his first visit to the Indian capital as UK prime minister, Johnson discussed with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi ways to boost security ties with India, which buys more than half of its military hardware from Russia.
    • Britain hopes its offer of closer security ties with the West will encourage India to cut its defense reliance on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”.
  • IMF on Crypto Regulation: Tobias Adrian, Financial Counselor and Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Monetary and Capital Markets Department discussed India’s crypto regulation in an interview with PTI Tuesday at the annual spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank.
    • “That is something that is done globally,” he stressed. “Within the Financial Stability Board, we are trying to come up with global standards for crypto-asset regulations. I think that’s important for India to also adopt.
    • Officials of India’s Ministry of Finance have reportedly been consulting with the IMF and the World Bank on crypto policies as the government works on how to treat crypto assets.
  • LIC: India is looking to raise Rs 30,000 crore ($3.9 billion) through an initial public offering of state-owned Life Insurance Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter, about 40% lower than previous estimates as the war in Ukraine dents valuations.
    • Officials want to complete the listing which will still be India’s biggest in the next two weeks, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations aren’t public.
    • LIC will probably be valued at some Rs 6 lakh crore, the people said.
    • As recently as April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration was looking to raise Rs 50,000 crore by selling as much as 7% of LIC, Bloomberg News had reported.
    • The stake sale now could be a little over 5% on muted demand from investors, the people said. Current approvals, including the draft prospectus, lapse on May 12.

World


  • Amazon: In a first significant bet on social commerce, Amazon has acquired women-focused social commerce startup GlowRoad reportedly in an all-cash deal whose details have not been disclosed.
    • The social commerce space has been one of the sought sectors as Flipkart’s social commerce arm Shopsy and Meesho have been garnering market share.
    • However, Meesho now derives 75 percent of its business directly from customers who come on its platform, while 25 percent comes from resellers.
  • Washington: “The Battle of Kyiv ” has been a historic win for the Ukrainians, US president Joe Biden said on Friday as he underlined that Russia’s Vladimir Putin was mistaken that “(the) western unity will crack ” as Europe sees one of the worst conflicts in decades.
    • With Moscow’s offensive set to complete two months, Biden underscored the importance of the assistance by the US and its allies for the war-hit nation.
    • The US president on Thursday announced an additional aid of $ 1.3 billion for Ukraine, which includes $800 million for military aid.
  • Ukraine: Nearly two months into the Ukraine war, the war-hit nation has suffered damage of around $ 60 billion, the World Bank has said.
    • “Of course, the war is still ongoing, so those costs are rising,” World Bank president David Malpass said on Thursday.
    • Meanwhile, the Kremlin has refused a proposal for an Easter truce, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky underlined in his nightly address. but stressed he remains hopeful for peace.
    • The Orthodox Christian Easter period starts late on Saturday into Sunday morning.
  • North Korea: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged letters with outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in to thank him for his efforts at rapprochement, just days before a hawkish new leader takes power in Seoul and vows to pursue a tough line with Pyongyang.
    • After receiving a letter from the South Korean president on Wednesday, Kim responded with a letter that expressed appreciation for “the pains and effort taken by Moon Jae-in for the great cause of the nation until the last days of his term of office,”.
    • South Korea is expected to brief on the letters later Friday.

21st April


India


  • Electric Vehicles: Noting that several incidents involving electric scooters have taken place over the last two months, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said an expert committee will probe the accidents and also talked about heavy fines, among other measures, sending out a strong message.
  • SBI: The State Bank of India has invited applications for 11 specialist cadre officer positions.
    • Candidates who are interested can apply online through the SBI’s official website at sbi.co.in.
    • Online applications are underway and the deadline for submission is May 4.
  • Make in India: Defense minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday made a fresh pitch to American firms to carry out joint research and development, co-production of systems, and manufacturing and maintenance of military hardware in the country to tap the opportunities under the ‘Make in India, Make for the World’ initiative when achieving self-reliance in defense is an immediate priority for the government and several measures have been taken to achieve that goal.
  • RBI: Real estate turned out to be the biggest beneficiary of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) aggressive rate cuts and liquidity push through the pandemic, with commercial properties reporting a financing-cost shrinkage of 283 basis points nearly three times the reduction in official policy rates.
    • One basis point is 0.01%.
    • In response to the unprecedented lockdowns, the RBI reduced policy rates by 115 basis points, causing the cost of financing to hit the lowest on record.
  • COVID: A new SARS CoV 2 mutant, BA. 2.12.1, related to the Omicron subvariant BA.2 but with other distinct changes, may be driving the current surge in COVID-19 cases in Delhi and surrounding districts.
    • When contacted for an official version, Dr. Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the agency under the Union health ministry which is leading the INSACOG project, confirmed the detection of the variant in Delhi.
    • The BA.2.12.1 variant has been detected in several samples from the national capital that underwent whole genome sequencing over the last few days.
  • MHTCET: Maharashtra Common Entrance Test, or MHTCET 2022, is rescheduled and will be conducted in August 2022.
    • Minister of Higher Education and Technical Education, Maharashtra, Uday Samant confirmed the news on his official social media handle today, April 21.
    • Due to the Joint Entrance Examination, or JEE Main 2022, and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, or NEET 2022, the Maharashtra CET 2022 date has been postponed to the first week of August 2022.
  • IAF: The Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy have tied up with the Defence Research Development Organisation to get the CHAFF technology, which protects the warship from an anti-ship missile during hostilities.
    • India is now the second country after the United States to develop this ability, a major Aatmanirbhar push in the field of defense.
    • The development assumes significance as the Indian navy is currently studying the sinking of the Russian missile cruiser Moskva and focusing on how to protect our warships from anti-ship ballistic missiles like the Chinese DF-21.
  • Bank of India: BOI has released a new notification for recruitment to fill up 696 vacancies for the post of Economist, Statistician, Risk Manager, Credit Analyst, Credit Officers, Tech Appraisal, IT Officer – Data Centre, Manager, and Senior Manager.
    • Out of the total 696 vacancies, 594 candidates will be hired on a regular basis and the remaining 102 on a contractual basis.
    • Interested and eligible candidates can apply for the vacant posts through online mode from 26th April 2022 at the bank’s official website www.bankofindia.co.in.
    • The last date to apply for the posts is 10th May 2022.
  • Hyderabad: The State government on Wednesday issued the GO Ms No.69, removing certain restrictions that were imposed under GO Ms 111 in 1996, to protect the catchment area of the Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar reservoirs, which were the main source of drinking water to Hyderabad at that time.
    • The order said considering the fact that Hyderabad city’s drinking water requirements are no longer dependent on Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, the State government has decided to remove the restrictions imposed under paragraph 3 of GO 111.
    • subject to the condition that the water quality of these two reservoirs is not impacted in any manner, and all efforts will be initiated to improve their water quality.
  • UK Prime Minister: Kicking off his two-day visit to India, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning.
    • On the first day of his tour, Johnson met Adani Group Chairman, Gautam Adani, in Ahmedabad.
    • Sharing a photo of the meeting on Twitter, Adani wrote: “Honoured to host Boris Johnson, the first UK PM to visit Gujarat, at Adani HQ. Delighted to support climate & sustainability agenda with a focus on renewables, green H2 & new energy. Will also work with UK companies to co-create defense & aerospace technologies.”
    • He also visited a JCB factory with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
  • Air Bags: India’s road transport ministry is pushing ahead with its decision to require all passenger cars to have six airbags, despite resistance from some carmakers who say it will increase the cost of vehicles.
    • “Safety is non-negotiable. The ministry is finalizing the rules, which will take some time to be notified,” he said, without committing to a timeline.
    • India in January issued draft guidelines requiring all new cars from October 1 to be fitted with six airbags, including four passenger airbags and two side or curtain airbags.
    • It was expected to finalize the rules a month later but is still analyzing feedback from auto companies, the source said.
  • ITC: Diversified entity ITC on Thursday said it will acquire a 10.07 percent stake in Blupin Technologies Pvt Ltd, the company behind the direct-to-consumer(D2C) brand, Mylo for up to Rs 39.34 crore.
    • The investment will provide the company an early mover advantage in the evolving content-to-community-to-commerce space and will provide an expanded presence in the D2C space, ITC said in a regulatory filing.
    • Blupin Technologies is a web and app-based content-to-community-to-commerce platform and offers mother and baby care products and services under the brand name ‘Mylo’. It is focused on the parenting journey of young families, it added.
    • The cost of acquisition will not exceed Rs 39.34 crore, the filing said.

World


  • Ballistic Missile: Putin was shown on TV being briefed by the military that the missile had been launched from Plesetsk in the country’s northwest and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east.
  • IMF & World Bank: The heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank warned Wednesday that rising interest rates are squeezing the world’s poorest countries as they struggle with the coronavirus and soaring food prices.
    • There is “a huge buildup of debt, especially in the poorest countries,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a press conference. “As interest rates rise, the debt pressures are mounting on developing countries, and we need to move urgently towards solutions.”
    • Malpass said the “debt crisis” is a topic of extensive discussion at this week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF, already dominated by other daunting issues including the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, and a slowing global economy.
  • Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday claimed the “liberation” of the flattened city of Mariupol after nearly two months of fighting, but signaled he would forgo a final bloody offensive against beleaguered Ukrainian defenders there.
    • The fate of the besieged port has become totemic as Russia battles to complete a land bridge covering territories of Ukraine already under its control, including Crimea.
    • The West staged another show of support for President Volodymyr Zelensky with a visit to Kyiv by the Spanish and Danish prime ministers, a day after European Council leader Charles Michel came and vowed the EU would do “everything possible” to help Ukraine win the war.

20th April


India


  • IMF: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide Sri Lanka with assistance, according to the government.
    • Colombo, which is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis, announced that it would default on foreign debt repayments, totaling $51 billion
    • They are seeking a $4 billion bailout package for this year from the IMF.
  • New Delhi: Delhi residents may soon be fined for not wearing masks in public as authorities have been planning to bring back the penalty amid a rise in Covid cases in and around the national capital.
    • The decision, sources said, was taken at a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), which is overseeing the city’s fight against the pandemic.
    • A fine of ₹ 500 may be imposed for not wearing masks.
  • Mumbai: Mumbai airport operator MIAL has asked Air India to vacate its land which also includes four staff colonies of the airline where around 1,600 families reside.
    • Air India has been using approximately 7,50,000 square meters of the area around the Mumbai airport for decades at concessionary rates.
    • The Tata Group took over the operations of Air India on January 27.
    • The Centre sold the airline to the Tata Group on October 8 last year after a successful bidding process.
  • Defense Ministry: The Defence Ministry today said it had set aside 64 percent of the capital acquisition budget for the domestic industry in the financial year 2021-22 and has been able to “overachieve” the target.
    • The ministry said it has utilized 65.50 percent of the capital acquisition budget on making procurements from domestic sources.
    • The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had earmarked 64 percent of the capital acquisition budget for the domestic industry in the financial year 2021-22.
  • Jio Institute: Jio Institute has invited applications for its one-year full-time postgraduate programs (PGP) in artificial intelligence and data science (AI and DS), and digital media and marketing communications (DM and MC).
    • Candidates can apply for the postgraduate courses offered by the Jio Institute through the official website jioinstitute.edu.in.
    • To apply for the PG program, candidates will have to click on the ‘Apply Now’ link on the Jio Institute’s official website.
    • The last date to apply is May 20, 2022.
  • Gujarat: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a three-day visit to his home-turf Gujarat and Wednesday is the final day of his tour.
    • PM Modi will inaugurate the Global Ayush Investment and Innovation Summit in Gandhinagar.
    • The event aims to increase investments and showcase innovations in the field of traditional medicine.
    • “It is a unique attempt to foster long-lasting partnerships, boost exports and nurture a sustainable ecosystem,” a government release stated.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said testing and certification of traditional medicine at the WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) in Jamnagar must conform to international standards.
    • The Prime Minister, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the GCTM in the presence of Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that in the next 25 years, by the 100th year of India’s independence, “every household will rely” on traditional medicine.
    • He said the GCTM should establish a “global repository” of traditional medicine practices across the world. This, he said, will aid the “coming generations”.
  • India’s GDP: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth forecast for India for FY23 by 80 basis points to 8.2 percent, warning that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would hurt consumption and hence, growth, by way of higher prices.
    • Notable downgrades to the 2022 forecast include Japan (0.9 percentage point) and India (0.8 percentage point), reflecting in part weaker domestic demand
    • As higher oil prices are expected to weigh on private consumption and investment and drag from lower net exports,” the IMF said in its World Economic Report, released on April 19.
    • Although the IMF’s growth forecast for India for the current financial year has been cut sharply, it remains significantly higher than local projections.
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), for instance, has pegged the GDP growth for FY23 at 7.2 percent.
  • Indian Air Force: In demonstrating its operational preparedness, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday successfully test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi fighter jet on the Eastern seaboard.
    • The “live firing” of the missile was carried out in close coordination with the Indian Navy, the IAF said.
    • The missile hit the target with accuracy and precision, officials said.
    • In 2016, the government had decided to integrate the air-launched variant of the Brahmos into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets.
    • The project was conceived to enhance the IAF’s capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target on sea or land.
    • On March 5, the Indian Navy successfully test-fired an advanced version of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile from a stealth destroyer in the Indian Ocean.
    • The missile was test-fired from the stealth destroyer INS Chennai.
    • BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.
    • BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound.

World


  • Beijing: China and the Solomon Islands have signed a framework agreement on security cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday.
    • The agreement seeks to enhance social stability and long-term tranquility in the Solomon Islands.
    • China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is not targeted at any third country, serving the common interests of the South Pacific region.
  • Russia-Ukraine War: On day 55 of the Russia-Ukraine war, Moscow said it has begun another phase of the conflict with Kyiv after it launched dozens of airstrikes across eastern Ukraine.
    • The Ukrainian military also confirmed that fighting had escalated throughout the East.
    • “The Russian occupiers intensified offensive operations along the entire line of contact,” news agency AFP quoted the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces as saying.
  • Russia: Russia is seeking more medical equipment from India after sanctions and logistical logjams following President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have sharply reduced imports from Europe and China.
    • Medical equipment companies from India and Russia will discuss ways to boost supplies during a virtual meeting on April 22, according to Rajiv Nath, a forum coordinator for the Association of Indian Medical Device Industry.
    • The event was confirmed by Business Russia, a business group that promotes bilateral ties.

19th April


India


  • Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Jammu and Kashmir on April 24, his first political visit to the region after its special status was scrapped in August 2019 and the former state was divided into two Union Territories.
  • Cryptocurrency Tax: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today April 19 said that taxing income from cryptos and other virtual digital assets should be seen as a step to legitimize them. Rather, it is a means to check the source and trail but not to legitimize them, the Finance Minister said.
  • Indian Army: Lieutenant General Manoj Pande will succeed General Manoj Mukund Naravane as the 29th Chief of the Indian Army (CAOS).
    • Narvane was in charge of the top office since December 31, 2019.
    • Lieutenant General Pande is the first engineer to become the COAS.
    • He will assume the charge on May 1.
    • To date, officers from only Infantry, Armoured Corps, and Artillery have made it to four-star rank in the Indian army.
  • Amway: Assets worth over ₹ 757 crores belonging to direct-selling consumer goods company Amway India have been attached under the anti-money laundering law, the Enforcement Directorate said on Monday.
    • The provisionally attached properties of Amway India Enterprises Pvt Ltd. include land and factory building in Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu, plant and machinery, vehicles, bank accounts, and fixed deposits.
    • Attaching a property means it cannot be transferred, converted, or moved.
  • Criminal Procedure Bill: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, which empowers police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and those accused of crimes.
    • The Act, which replaces the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, was passed by Lok Sabha on April 4 and Rajya Sabha on April 6.
    • Apart from providing legal sanctions to police to obtain physical and biological samples of convicts and detainees for investigation in criminal matters, the legislation also empowers a magistrate to order measurements or photographs of a person to be taken to aid the investigation of an offense.
  • Indian Rupee: The rupee weakened against the US dollar on Tuesday as the greenback strengthened globally to its highest level in two years amid surging US bond yields and anticipation of the Federal Reserve aggressively hiking interest rates.
    • The partially convertible rupee opened at 76.2700/$1 as against 76.2575/$1 at the previous close.
    • The Indian currency, which was last at 76.3450/$1, moved in a band of 76.2550-76.3450/$1 so far in the day.
    • The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major rival currencies, was last at 100.90 versus 100.81 at the previous close.

World


  • World Bank: The World Bank is reducing its global growth forecast for 2022 by nearly a full percentage point, to 3.2% from 4.1%, due to the impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, World Bank President David Malpass said on Monday.
  • Pakistan: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s 34-member cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday in the first phase of induction.
    • A list of 31 federal ministers, three ministers of state, and three advisers to the prime minister was issued.
    • The oath-taking ceremony was supposed to take place earlier but was postponed after President Arif Alvi excused himself from administering oaths to cabinet members.
    • Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjarani administered the oath to the ministers.
  • Washington: Kristalina Georgieva, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, on Monday appreciated India’s help to Sri Lanka in tackling its economic crises while assuring Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman that the financial institution would continue to actively engage with the island nation.
    • Georgieva made these remarks during the Spring Meetings of IMF-World Bank (WB) in Washington DC with Sitharaman.
    • Discussing the recent geopolitical developments, Sitharaman and Georgieva raised concerns about its impact on the global economy and the challenges linked to the rising energy prices.
  • Moscow: Russia on Tuesday called on Ukrainian forces to “immediately” lay down arms and issued a new ultimatum for the defenders of the besieged port city of Mariupol to give up their resistance.
    • The Russian defense ministry’s warning came after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced late on Monday the start of a new offensive by Moscow, focused on the east of the former Soviet state.
    • “We once again call on the Kyiv authorities to show reason and give the corresponding orders to fighters to cease their senseless resistance,” the Russian defense ministry said in a statement.

18th April


India


  • Karnataka: A seer from Karnataka has alleged that grants are given to mutts only after the state government takes a 30% commission as a ‘cut’. The allegation comes on the heels of the Karnataka Contractors’ Association’s accusation that the state government was demanding a 40% commission on projects.
  • Amway: The Enforcement Directorate on Monday attached assets worth ₹757.77 crores belonging to FMCG Amway India in a money laundering case.
    • According to the probe agency, the firm is accused of running a multi-level marketing scam.
    • The attached properties include land and factory building of Amway in Tamil Nadu’s Dindigul district, plant and machinery, vehicles, bank accounts, and fixed deposits.
  • COVID: India today recorded a massive jump in its daily Covid counts, raising fears of another spike in infections. As many as 2,183 new Covid cases have been recorded over the past 24 hours, an 89.8 percent jump from yesterday’s case count of 1,150 cases.
    • A total of 214 deaths have been recorded over the past 24 hours.
    • This, however, includes a backlog of 212 deaths from Kerala, a backlog of 62 deaths has been cleared following court appeals and the state reported 150 deaths between April 13 and April 16.
  • SpiceJet: Indian low-cost airline SpiceJet will launch new flights on domestic and international routes from April 26, the company informed the exchanges on April 18.
    • There will include two industry-first flights, additional frequencies, and non-stop flights as well.
    • Along with enhancing convenience for general travelers, tourism and the local economy on these routes will get a much-needed boost as many of them are important religious and leisure travel destinations.
  • New Delhi: To protest against the soaring fuel prices, members of the auto, taxi and cab drivers’ associations in Delhi have decided to go on a strike from Monday for two days.
    • Several unions of auto and cab drivers are demanding that the fare rates be hiked and fuel prices be reduced.
    • The strike has not been called off despite assurance from the Delhi government to resolve their issues.
    • The Delhi government had announced forming a committee to look into fare revision in a time-bound manner.
  • Finance Minister: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be leaving for the US later on Sunday to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank and the IMF as well as G20 finance ministers and central bank governors (FMCBG).
    • During the official visit to the US, Sitharaman will take part in bilateral meetings with several countries, including Indonesia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and South Africa.
    • She will also hold one-on-one meetings with CEOs from the semiconductor, energy, and other sectors of priority for the Government of India
  • Ukraine-Indian Students: Students who were forced to return to India from the war-ravaged Ukraine and their parents joined a pan-India protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday, urging the central government for making arrangements to help them complete their studies in state universities.
    • As many as 500 Ukraine MBBS students and their parents from 18 states are expected to join members of the Parents’ Association of Ukraine MBBS Students (PAUMS) at Jantar Mantar.
    • A group of parents said that the future of their wards is at stake as they had to leave their studies due to unavoidable circumstances.
  • L&T: Larsen & Toubro Ltd. is weighing a merger between two of its publicly traded software firms, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Indian conglomerate seeks scale to compete with global digital giants.
    • The boards of Mindtree Ltd. and Larsen & Toubro Infotech Ltd., two software units controlled by the Mumbai-based engineering firm, could consider share swap ratios for the merger as early as next week, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is not public.
    • Larsen acquired control of Mindtree in 2019. The conglomerate holds about a 61% stake in the company, which has a market value of $8.3 billion and has around 74% of L&T Infotech, which has a market capitalization of $13.6 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

World


  • Kyiv: A series of “powerful” Russian strikes on military infrastructure in Lviv on Monday left at least six dead and ignited blazes in the western Ukraine city that has been spared fierce fighting.
  • Nepal: The Nepal government is considering declaring a two-day holiday in public sector offices this month to reduce fuel consumption, as the country battles a foreign exchange crisis and the price of petroleum products sky-rockets.

17th April


India


  • Electric Vehicles: Okinawa Autotech will recall 3,215 Praise Pro electric scooters in the first instance of an Indian manufacturer doing so after a spate of recent fires, said to be related to batteries.
  • LIC: The government has amended rules of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), paving the way for up to 20 percent foreign direct investment in the insurance behemoth LIC.
    • The government is planning to dilute its stake in LIC through the Initial Public Offering (IPO).
    • LIC in February had filed the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) before the markets regulator Sebi for the IPO.
  • GST: With most states on board to raise revenue so that they do not have to depend on the Centre for compensation, the GST Council at its meeting next month is likely to consider a proposal to do away with the 5 percent slab by moving some goods of mass consumption to 3 percent and the remaining to 8 percent categories
    • Currently, GST is a four-tier structure of 5, 12, 18, and 28 percent.
    • Gold and Gold jewelry attract a 3 percent tax.
    • In addition, there is an exempt list of items like unbranded and unpacked food items which do not attract the levy.
  • UK: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will visit India next week, in the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has led to some divergences in Delhi’s and London’s positions on the crisis.
    • Johnson, who arrives in Ahmedabad on April 21, is expected to announce a major investment in key industries in both the UK and India, boosting jobs and growth at home, as well as new collaboration on cutting-edge science, health, and technology.
    • In New Delhi, he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 22 for bilateral talks “in the face of global economic challenges and threats from autocratic states”, a British High Commission statement said.
  • COVID: India on Saturday questioned the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) methodology to estimate the COVID-19 death toll in the country, stating that the same mathematical model cannot be used to estimate the mortalities of a country like India which has a large geographical size and population.
    • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that India has shared its concerns with the methodology along with the other Member States through a series of formal communications including six letters issued to WHO.
    • The concern specifically includes how the statistical model projects estimates for a country of geographical size & population of India and also fits in with other countries which have smaller populations.
  • Poverty Stats: Extreme poverty in India is 12.3 percentage points lower in 2019 than in 2011 as the poverty headcount rate has declined from 22.5% in 2011 to 10.2% in 2019 with a comparatively sharper decline in rural areas, a working paper of the World Bank policy research said.
    • The findings came close on the heels of a working paper published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saying India has almost eradicated extreme poverty and brought down consumption inequality to its lowest levels in 40 years through state-provided food handouts.
    • Poverty reduction was higher in rural areas compared to urban India as rural poverty declined from 26.3% in 2011 to 11.6% in 2019, while in urban areas the decline was from 14.2% to 6.3% during the corresponding period, it said.

World


  • Kyiv: The world should prepare for the possible use by Russia of nuclear weapons, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky told journalists Saturday, repeating an earlier warning.
  • Durban: South Africa’s flood-ravaged east was hit by more rain Saturday after the deadliest storm to strike the country in living memory killed nearly 400 people and left tens of thousands homeless.
    • Floodwaters engulfed parts of the southeastern coastal city of Durban this week ripping apart roads, destroying hospitals, and sweeping away homes and those trapped inside.
    • Emergency services in the southeastern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province, where Durban is located off the Indian Ocean coast, were on high alert.
  • Sri Lanka: A Sri Lankan government delegation is headed to the US on Sunday to engage with the IMF to secure a USD 4 billion package as it desperately tries to salvage the country’s beleaguered economy currently reeling under a severe forex crisis.
    • The delegation led by newly-appointed finance minister Ali Sabry will hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between April 19 and April 24.
    • Sabry has said that Sri Lanka is seeking a bail-out package of USD 4 billion from the IMF, having earlier resisted calls to seek a facility from the global lender.

16th April


India


  • Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and reiterated the commitment made by the state government to send essential items to Sri Lanka as the island country is going through an unprecedented economic crisis.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, April 16, unveiled a 108-feet statue of Hanuman in Morbi, Gujarat through video conferencing, on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. This statue is the second of the four statues being set up in 4 parts of the country, as part of the Hanumanji Char Dham project.
  • UNGA: A week after Delhi sent its sharpest message to Moscow by abstaining on a resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a “wide-ranging discussion” with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and exchanged views on the global impact of the Ukraine conflict as well as the situation in Afghanistan and Myanmar.
  • Indigo: Budget carrier IndiGo appoints former Shell India chief Vikram Singh Mehta and former Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa as the Independent Non-Executive Directors.
    • The appointments are subject to receipt of security clearance from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and approval of the members of the company.
    • Vikram Singh Mehta will be appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director in the vacancy caused by the second term of Anupam Khanna that came to an end on 26 March.
  • Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today announced 300 units of free electricity each month for every household in the state from July 1.
    • Mr. Mann said Scheduled Castes, backward castes, below-poverty-line households, and freedom fighters currently getting free 200 units each month will now get 300 units of electricity monthly, adding that if their consumption is more than 600 units in two months, then they will be charged only for the exceeded units.
    • The Chief Minister said for other households, if the electricity consumption exceeds 600 units in two months, then the consumer will have to pay for the entire power usage.
  • S-400 Missile: Pressure from the US notwithstanding, Russia has started delivery of the second regiment of S-400 air-defence missile system to India.
    • The first regiment was raised in December last year and is stationed at an Indian Air Force base in Punjab, duly tasked to tackle air-borne threats from Pakistan and China.
    • In all, five such missile systems are on order under a $5-billion deal signed in October 2018.
    • By end of this month, the delivery of the critical system will be completed and thereafter it will be deployed, expectedly by June.
  • COVID: A heat-resistant COVID-19 vaccine that is being developed in India and does not need cold chain storage has generated a strong antibody response against coronavirus variants, including Delta and Omicron, according to a study on mice.
    • The vaccine candidate, by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru and biotech start-up company Mynvax, uses a part of the viral spike protein called the receptor-binding domain (RBD), which allows the virus to connect with the host cell to infect it.
    • The team, including researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), noted that most vaccines require refrigeration to remain effective.
    • The heat-tolerant COVID-19 vaccine candidate can be stored at 37 degrees Celsius for four weeks and at 100 degrees Celsius for up to 90 minutes.

World


  • Russia: Russian state television has declared that World War III has already started after the sinking of its naval vessel Moskva in the Ukraine war. Though Russia said this was damaged after a fire, Ukraine claimed the credit for destroying the flagship vessel of Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet through its Neptune missile.
  • Kyiv: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said about 2,500 to 3,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed in seven weeks of war with Russia and about 10,000 have been injured.
    • There was no count of civilian casualties.
    • He said 19,000 to 20,000 Russian soldiers had been killed in the war, now in its eighth week.
    • Moscow said last month that 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded.
  • Beijing: Three Chinese astronauts landed in northern China on Saturday after 183 days in space, state broadcaster CCTV said, ending the country’s longest crewed space mission to date.
    • The Shenzhou-13 spacecraft is the latest mission in Beijing’s drive to become a major space power rivaling the United States, after landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the Moon.
    • The two men and one woman Zhai Zhigang, Ye Guangfu, and Wang Yaping landed safely in a small capsule shortly before 10 am Beijing time, after six months aboard the Tianhe core module of China’s Tiangong space station.
  • Moscow: Russia has formally complained to the United States over its military aid to Ukraine, warning of “unpredictable consequences” if shipments of advanced weaponry go forward.
    • In a diplomatic note this week, Moscow warned the United States and NATO against sending the “most sensitive” weapons for Kyiv to use in the conflict with Russia, saying such shipments were “adding fuel” to the situation and could come with “unpredictable consequences,”.
    • The warning came the same week that US President Joe Biden pledged a new $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, including helicopters, howitzers, and armored personnel carriers.

15th April


India


  • Forex Reserves: India’s strength in the external sector may be shaking as imports sure amidst capital outflows on account of tightening of policy rates by the US Fed. India’s $600 billion strong forex reserves are adequate to finance 12 months’ imports as of March 2022, down 30 percent in a year since March 2021.
  • United Nations: At the meeting between foreign minister S Jaishankar and UN chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday, the Ukraine war, its global impact, and the Afghanistan crisis came up for a discussion. The world has been on an edge ever since the war started in Ukraine on February 24. India has repeatedly urged for the cessation of violence, and most recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also raised concerns with US president Joe Biden.
  • PayTM: Paytm has become an official digital payments partner for the prime ministers’ museum, One97 Communications owner of the fintech company said on Thursday.
    • Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the ‘Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya’ (prime ministers’ museum) in Delhi, which is a tribute to all prime ministers in the country since independence.
    • During the event, the PM bought the first ticket to the museum through Paytm electronic data capture machine.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the country will get a record number of new doctors in the coming 10 years due to the central government’s plan of establishing a medical college in every district.
    • Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the KK Patel Super Speciality Hospital in Gujarat’s Bhuj district via video conferencing, the prime minister said that the government’s effort to make medical education accessible for everyone will also help the cause.
    • He stressed that the hospital in Bhuj will make good quality healthcare accessible to people at an affordable price.

World


  • Moscow: Russia’s defense ministry warned Friday it will intensify attacks on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv in response to strikes on Russian soil, after accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian border towns.
  • Durban: The death count from South Africa’s “unprecedented” floods climbed to 341 on Thursday as helicopters fanned out across the southeastern city of Durban in an increasingly desperate search for survivors.
  • Sri Lanka: A Sri Lankan delegation is headed to Washington next week, looking to secure up to $4 billion from the International Monetary Fund and other lenders to help the island nation pay for food and fuel imports and limit debt defaults.
  • China: For many of Shanghai’s 25 million residents, the city’s strict Covid lockdown has made procuring food and daily necessities struggle money can’t resolve. They’re resorting instead to bartering, trading neighbors’ ice cream for vegetables or wine for cake.
    • The availability of many goods in Shanghai has been strained by clogged logistics in the city and the lack of couriers to deliver supplies to locals barred from leaving their homes.
    • The city’s sweeping restrictions on movement, aimed at stymieing the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant, are now entering their third week.
  • Washington: The United States on Wednesday unveiled a new $800 million military aid package for Ukraine, including heavier equipment such as helicopters, howitzers, and armored personnel carriers.
    • President Joe Biden spoke to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky about an hour earlier in the day as Russia refocuses its efforts eastward, the new frontline of the nearly seven-week-old war.
    • “The Ukrainian military has used the weapons we are providing to devastating effect,” Biden said.

14th April


India


  • New Delhi: Delhi recorded 299 fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday – a rise of nearly 50 percent since yesterday (202). With this, the national capital’s caseload has increased to 18,66,881.
  • New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today bought the first ticket to the “Pradhanmantri Sangrahalaya” as he inaugurated a new museum dedicated to 14 former Prime Ministers of the country.
    • PM Modi has previously bought tickets while riding the Metro in various cities. He has always made digital payments.
    • The museum tells the story of past Prime Ministers and how they steered the nation through various challenges.
  • CNG: Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL) has hiked the price of compressed natural gas (CNG) in Delhi NCR from Rs 2.5 per kg to Rs 71.61 per kg from Thursday.
    • This is the 11th hike since March taking the total rise to Rs 15.6. For Noida, Greater Noida & Ghaziabad, the CNG price has been hiked to Rs 74.17 per Kg, while in Gurugram, it will cost Rs 79.94 per kg.
    • Piped Natural Gas (PNG) prices have been raised by Rs 4.25 per standard cubic meter (SCM) effective from Thursday.
  • LIC: The government has notified amendment to non-debt instrument rules under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), clearing the way for up to 20% foreign direct investment in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC).
    • On March 14, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) amended the FDI policy to facilitate foreign investment in the country’s largest insurer ahead of its mega initial public offer.
    • FEMA notification was required to operationalize provisions DPIIT issued through press notes including FDI policy changes that will allow large foreign investors to subscribe to LIC’s IPO.
  • World Bank: The World Bank has slashed India’s GDP forecast for the fiscal year 2022-23 to 8% from 8.7% predicted earlier, citing worsening supply bottlenecks and rising inflation risks caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • The World Bank on Wednesday lowered its growth estimate for India, the region’s largest economy, to 8% from 8.7% for the current fiscal year to March 2023 and cut by a full percentage point the growth outlook for South Asia, excluding Afghanistan, to 6.6%.
    • The international lender said that in India, household consumption will be constrained by the incomplete recovery of the labor market from Covid-19 and inflationary pressures.

World


  • NFT: A Non-Fungible Token (NFT) of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet received the highest bid of just $280. The current owner of the NFT had put it up for auction at $48 million last week.
  • Russia: One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies warned NATO on Thursday that if Sweden and Finland joined the US-led military alliance then Russia would have to bolster its defenses in the region, including by deploying nuclear weapons.
    • Finland, which shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia, and Sweden are mulling whether or not to join the NATO alliance.
    • Finland will make a decision in the next few weeks, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Wednesday.
  • UK: Rishi Sunak’s favorability rating turned negative for the first time, sinking below that of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after a slew of damaging stories about the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s financial affairs and the perception he isn’t doing enough to help Britons facing surging living costs.
    • Sunak posted a net rating of minus 20 in the latest monthly tracker poll by Savanta ComRes, published on Wednesday.
    • That’s down 26 points in a month and compares with a high of plus 30 in 2020.
  • San Francisco: Tesla chief Elon Musk has launched a hostile takeover bid for Twitter, insisting it was a “best and final offer” and that he was the only person capable of unlocking the full potential of the platform.
    • Musk offered $54.20 a share, which values the social media firm at $43.4 billion, in a filing dated Wednesday, April 13 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    • Twitter’s board said it would carefully review what it termed Musk’s “unsolicited, non-binding” offer and decide on a course of action that was “in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders.”

13th April


India


  • Lemons: The price of lemon has seen a huge spike in the last week, with the citrus fruit selling at around ₹ 350 a kg in the Ghaziabad wholesale vegetable market. Traders are surprised and say such prices are unprecedented.
  • CBSE: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has released Term 2 Admit Card 2022 for Class 10 and Class 12. Candidates who are appearing for the Class 10 and Class 12 examinations can download the admit card through the official site of CBSE (cbse.gov.in).
  • SpiceJet Pilots: Indian aviation regulator DGCA has barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating the Boeing 737 Max aircraft after finding them not properly trained.
    • “For the moment, we have barred these pilots from flying the Max and they have to retrain successfully for flying the aircraft,” DGCA chief Arun Kumar said in a statement.
    • He also said that the regulator will take “strict action against those found responsible for the lapse.” The pilots will have to undergo training again, in a proper manner, on the Max simulator.
  • Telangana: After several months of protests over the procurement of paddy, the Telangana government has decided to purchase the entire Rabi paddy crop from farmers in the state.
    • Purchasing centers will open across the state over the next few days, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Tuesday, April 12.
    • Addressing the media, KCR said, “The Telangana government is already doing a lot for the state’s farmers and for their welfare. We will not allow the Union government’s decision to ruin the happy environment in villages. The cabinet has taken a decision to purchase the entire rabi paddy,” he said.

World


  • NASA: NASA announced in a press statement that the Crew-4 mission will be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) no sooner than April 23.
    • NASA and SpaceX are now planning to launch the agency’s Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:26 a.m. EDT [9:26 a.m. GMT] on Saturday, April 23.
    • Following the launch of the Axiom Mission 1 to the ISS on April 8, the agencies will have enough time to finish the final prelaunch preparation for the Crew-4 mission.
  • China: Amid growing global criticism over its zero-Covid policy, China on Tuesday defended its strict coronavirus measures that have resulted in hardship in several Chinese cities including the global financial hub Shanghai.
    • Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the country’s “dynamic” zero-Covid policy and anti-epidemic protocols are based on science and expert opinions.
    • Mr. Zhao said the policies are also consistent with its national realities and the WHO’s guiding principles.
  • Hubble Space Telescope: The Hubble Space Telescope is still going strong even after three decades of its service and has achieved another significant milestone.
    • In its latest achievement, Hubble has confirmed the size of the largest icy comet nucleus discovered to date.
    • Having a diameter of 128 kilometers, the comet C/2014 UN271’s nucleus has an estimated mass of a staggering 500 trillion tons.
    • According to NASA, the nucleus is about 50 times larger than what is found in most comets and its mass is a hundred thousand times greater than that of a typical comet found around the sun. 

12th April


India


  • Indian Exports: India is planning to boost shipments to Russia by an additional $2 billion as the two nations work out a payment system in local currencies to continue bilateral trade amid sweeping international sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India may be forced to act faster on policy tightening after data showed retail inflation spiked sharply to nearly 7 percent in March, and the fallout of the Ukraine war pushing energy rates higher was expected to add to the already spiraling price pressures.
  • India-US: India’s relationship with Russia was developed over decades at a time when the US was not able to be a partner of the South Asian country, Secretary of State Tony Blinken said as top officials of the Biden administration on Monday showed an understanding of New Delhi’s position on Ukraine war.
  • New Delhi: Delhi is likely to reel under a heatwave for the sixth consecutive day today as the weather department has predicted that the maximum temperature for the day is expected to settle around 42 degrees Celsius.
    • People in Delhi woke up to a warm morning with the minimum temperature settling at 22.5 degrees Celsius, two degrees above the season’s average.
    • The relative humidity in the morning was 25 percent.
  • UGC: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday announced that students will now be able to pursue two full-time academic programs in physical mode.
    • The commission has put together a set of guidelines regarding the same, which will be put up on the official website of UGC tomorrow, i.e April 13.
    • Earlier, the UGC regulations did not allow students to pursue two full-time programs and they could only pursue one full-time degree along with online/short-term/diploma courses.
  • COVID: India on Monday reported a total of 796 new COVID-19 cases, taking the coronavirus tally to 4,30,36,132.
    • According to Union Health Ministry, the country reported at least 19 Covid-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 5,21,691.
    • However, the number of active cases of the infection has further declined to 11,058.
    • The active cases account for 0.03 percent of the total caseload, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate remained at 98.76 percent.
  • Alliance Air: A new chapter will be written today when the first-ever Made-in-India commercial aircraft will begin its operations from Dibrugarh in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh.
    • Alliance Air will operate the first Made in India Dornier 228 passenger aircraft which will be flagged off by Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
    • The 17-seater non-pressurized Dornier 228 with an AC cabin capable of day and night operations.
    • The light transport aircraft will facilitate regional connectivity in northeastern states and better connectivity.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden had a “candid exchange of views” on Russia’s war in Ukraine at a virtual summit on Monday, after which the US said “India will make its own judgments” on the crisis but added that if New Delhi saw the “tight links between China and Russia”, it will “obviously impact their thinking”.
    • In the meeting, PM Modi said he had suggested direct talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and added that he found the situation in Ukraine “very worrying”.
    • Speaking of India’s contributions to Ukraine in terms of medicines and relief material, PM Modi also reminded the US President of New Delhi’s strong condemnation of the Russian aggression against civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha and expressed hope that the “ongoing talks between Russia and Ukraine will pave the way for peace”.

World


  • Russia: Vladimir Putin on Tuesday cited the success of the erstwhile Soviet space program to claim attempts to isolate a ‘vast country’ like Russia is doomed to fail. The Russian president’s comment comes amid a renewed flood of sanctions by the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and other nations to deter Moscow from its war on Ukraine.
  • Ukraine War: Russian forces have been facing stiff resistance since the day they entered Ukraine more than a month ago.
    • Since Russian forces were numerically superior and had sophisticated weapons, many thought the war will be over within a few days.
    • The resistance against the Russians kept getting stiffer as they marched towards the capital Kyiv, which caused them to lose a lot of weapons and armory.
  • Beijing: Millions of Shanghai residents continued to be barred from leaving their homes despite a tentative easing of lockdown in the financial hub on Tuesday, allowing some residents to step out within their communities and neighborhoods.
    • The 25 million residents of the city first faced targeted, then staggered, and finally a complete lockdown from early April with the ongoing Omicron-driven Covid-19 outbreak logging 200,000 cases since March.
    • The lockdown measures were eased after the government faced mounting criticism over bottlenecks in the supplies of food and medicines and their negative economic impact.
  • Colombo: Sri Lanka defaulted on its $51 billion foreign debt Tuesday as the island nation grapples with its worst economic crisis in memory and widespread protests demanding the government’s resignation.
    • Acute food and fuel shortages, alongside long daily electricity blackouts, have brought widespread suffering to the country’s 22 million people in the most painful downturn since independence in 1948.
    • Public anger has flared in recent weeks with crowds attempting to storm the homes of government leaders and security forces dispersing protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.
    • Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said the country was defaulting on all external obligations, including loans from foreign governments, ahead of an International Monetary Fund bailout.

11th April


India


  • PSPCL: Punjab’s Power Minister Harbhajan Singh on Sunday said PSPCL made more power available in the last nine days as compared to the year-ago period, to meet the surge in demand. The Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has made 16,085 lakh units of power available from April 1-9, which is substantially more in comparison to 11,206 lakh units made available during the year-ago period.
  • Electric Scooters: As many as 40 electric scooters of Jitendra Electric Vehicles(EV) caught fire on April 11 after being loaded in a transport container in Nashik (Maharashtra).
    • The incident took place next to the Jitendra EV factory.
    • The scooters were being transported to Bengaluru and no one has been reported injured.
    • The company said that it is conducting an investigation to find the root cause of the fire.
  • Market Hours: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday announced that it has amended the market trading hours regulated by the central bank in view of easing the COVID-19 situation in the country to their pre-pandemic timing.
    • The central bank stated, “With the substantial easing of restrictions on the movement of people and functioning of offices, it has now been decided to restore the opening time for regulated financial markets to their pre-pandemic timing of 9:00 a.m.”
    • Currently, the markets open at 10 am.
    • The changes will take place with effect from April 18, 2022.
  • TRAI: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended slashing the base price of 5G airwaves, suggesting a 40 percent reduction in the price of 700 MHz band and a 36 percent cut in the spectrum frequency of 3300-3670 MHz bands.
    • This, it said, would attract competitive bidding by major telecom players like Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea.
    • Releasing its recommendations on Monday, TRAI stated that all available spectrum in the existing bands of 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, and the new spectrum bands of 600 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz, and 24.25-28.5 GHz, will be put to auction.
  • India-US: India and the U.S. will hold their fourth annual ‘2+2’ Defence and Foreign Ministry dialogue on April 11 in Washington, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine looming over the discussions and occupying a prominent place on the agenda.
    • External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who arrived in Washington on Saturday night, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who arrived on Sunday, will meet their counterparts, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in the first such dialogue of the Biden administration.
    • The last meeting in this format was in October 2020. Last year’s meeting was pushed back multiple times, owing to scheduling conflicts, including notably a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi in December 2021.

World


  • Twitter: Tesla CEO Elon Musk has decided not to join the Twitter board, CEO Parag Agrawal tweeted today.
    • Mr. Agrawal said the company had many discussions with Elon Musk over joining the board.
    • “Elon’s appointment to the board was to become officially effective 4/9, but Elon shared that same morning he will no longer be joining the board. I believe this is for the best,” he wrote.
  • Kyiv: Ukrainian forces are preparing for a “last battle” to control the southern port of Mariupol, besieged by Russians since the invasion, marines in the city said on Monday.
    • “Today will probably be the last battle, as the ammunition is running out,” the 36th marine brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces.
    • “It’s death for some of us, and captivity for the rest,” it added, saying it had been “pushed back” and “surrounded” by the Russian army.
  • China: China’s largest Covid-19 outbreak in two years continues to spread despite an extended lockdown of Shanghai’s 25 million people, with the restrictions weighing on a fragile economy and straining global supply chains.
    • There were 26,087 new daily infections reported in the Chinese financial hub on Sunday, an all-time high.
    • Residents have been locked down for weeks now with frustration building among the population as they struggle to get access to food and medical care.
  • Sri Lanka: Covid lockdown in a weak economy depleted foreign reserves, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday, in an effort to explain the worsening economic crisis and protests raging in the country.
    • Shortages of food and fuel, along with record inflation and regular blackouts, have inflicted unprecedented misery on Sri Lankans in the most painful downturn since independence from Britain in 1948.
    • In an apparent bid to head off more protests, the government last week declared extra public holidays to coincide with the traditional Sinhalese and Tamil New Year.

10th April


India


  • Jaipur: In the wake of Karauli violence that injured at least 35 people during a religious procession, the Jaipur administration has Section 144 of CrPC till 9 May starting from 9 April. The order has suspended the gathering of crowds, protests, assemblies, and processions without prior permission in the entire rural and urban area.
  • Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, keeping his promise of June 2019 of revamping his cabinet in the middle of his term, has reconstituted it. The new cabinet has a mixture of senior and experienced leaders as well as fresh and young faces for balanced governance. While the seniors will bring their expertise and experience to the table, the young leaders will bring in innovative ideas and initiatives, focussing on people-oriented governance.
  • New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has given a warning of heatwave conditions in several parts of the national capital Delhi.
    • The weather monitoring agency said that the maximum temperature in Delhi is expected to touch 42 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
    • The weatherman has forecast a clear sky during the day, but there is a possibility of heatwave conditions at many places with “severe” heatwave conditions at a few places across the city.
  • PM Modi: Amid hectic diplomatic activity with growing pressure from the West on India’s oil deals with Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually meet with US President Joe Biden on Monday.
    • The virtual meeting will enable both sides to continue their regular and high-level engagement aimed at further strengthening the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership.
    • The situation in Ukraine is expected to come up in the conversation. Biden Administration’s key architect for Russian sanctions US  Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics Daleep Singh had recently ruffled feathers by reportedly cautioning India against Russian oil imports.
  • Reserve Bank of India: In its first monetary policy announcement for 2022-23, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised its inflation forecast to 5.7 percent against the previous estimate of 4.5 percent.
    • The RBI has revised its inflation projections upwards and sharply cut its growth projections for the economy in the current financial year due to increased geopolitical tensions since the end of February, which poses a downside risk to domestic growth and an upside risk to inflation projections.
    • The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, held its first meeting in the current financial year a few days ago.

World


  • Ukraine Imports: Ukraine has banned all imports from Russia, one of its key trading partners before the war with annual imports valued at about $6 billion, and called on other countries to follow and impose harsher economic sanctions on Moscow.
  • Ukraine: Russia is targeting all of Europe with its invasion of Ukraine, and stopping Moscow’s aggression is essential for the security of all democracies, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said as Russian forces prepared for battle in the east of his country.
  • Kyiv:  The discovery of civilian bodies in Ukrainian towns has “permanently polluted” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reputation, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a visit to Kyiv Saturday.
    • Johnson became the latest European leader to visit Kyiv this weekend after the bodies were discovered in several towns from where the Russian army retreated.
    • Johnson praised Ukraine for “defying odds” and rebuffing a Russian offensive on Kyiv.
  • United Nations: With new coronavirus variants emerging every four months on average, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has cautioned that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over as large outbreaks are spreading in Asia.
    • Mr. Guterres also called for governments and pharma companies to work together to deliver vaccines to every person, everywhere.
    • In a video message “One World Protected – Break COVID Now” to the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment Summit 2022, Mr. Guterres said on Friday that the gathering is a critical reminder that the “COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.”
  • Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan has become the first PM of the country to be removed by a no-trust vote. Mr Khan, who stayed defiant “till the last ball”, was ousted well after midnight, after high drama in the Pakistan assembly through the day.
    • Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, the 70-year-old younger brother of former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has been nominated as the joint candidate for the prime minister’s election, scheduled on Monday.
    • Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party has nominated Shah Mahmood Qureshi as their candidate. The National Assembly is likely to elect the new prime minister tomorrow afternoon.
    • The joint opposition, a rainbow of socialist, liberal, and radically religious parties – secured the support of 174 members in the 342-member assembly, more than the needed strength of 172 to oust the Prime Minister.

9th April


India


  • Home Ministry: The Home Ministry has declared Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Hafiz Mohammad Saeed’s son Hafiz Talha Saeed as a “designated terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
    • Hafiz Talha now joins the long list of designated terrorists which also includes his father as entrant number 32.
    • Hafiz Talha is head of the terror group’s cleric wing.
  • Karnataka: Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Friday issued a circular banning the sale of meat across the city on April 10 on the account of the Ram Navami festival.
    • Meanwhile, various schools in Bengaluru received bomb threats on Friday morning. “A very powerful bomb has been planted in your school,” the threat mail read.
    • Bomb squads were deployed at the locations and students were evacuated to safer places. Senior police officers visited the schools and conducted investigations.
  • President Biden: US president Joe Biden considers ties with India “one of the most important in the world”, the White House’s press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday at a briefing.
    • The remarks come ahead of the 2+2 ministerial talks next week where the focus will be the Indo-pacific region and the Ukraine war among other issues.
    • “President Biden believes our partnership with India is one of the most important relationships we have in the world. He expects this dialogue will continue driving forward our work with India and shared goals in the Indo-Pacific region.”
  • COVID: Precautionary doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all aged 18 and above from 10 April, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced on Friday, 8 April.
    • The Serum Institute of India (SII) indicated that the Covishield booster dose will cost Rs 600 for end-users, while hospitals will acquire it at a discounted price.
    • A day before Covid vaccine booster shots become available to all Indian adults, the prices of Covishield and Covaxin at private hospitals have been slashed by more than half.
    • Both the vaccine doses will now cost Rs 225. While Covishield has been slashed from ₹600, Covaxin is down from ₹1,200 per dose.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India has reluctantly started to prioritize controlling price pressures after raising their projections for inflation even as they lowered the growth outlook and kept interest rates on hold on Friday.
    • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on Friday hinted at ending the accommodative policy stance that began three years ago, citing the rising uncertainties arising from the Ukraine war and the resultant increase in prices.
    • Crude oil prices have been fluctuating daily. Therefore, the situation is very volatile; therefore, the central bank will watch the ongoing situation. He said that all actions would depend on how things pan out in the coming months.
  • Forex Reserves: The country’s forex reserves fell by $11.173 billion to $606.475 billion, dipping for the fourth straight week and its steepest weekly dip on record as the rupee came under pressure. 
    • That was because the currency has taken a hit on fears of widening external deficits from the Ukraine war and a rising dollar, boosted by the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive posture on monetary policy tightening, according to the latest data from the Reserve Bank of India.
    • This is the fourth consecutive weekly fall in the country’s forex reserves. According to the RBI’s weekly statistical supplement, the reserves had slipped by $2.03 billion to $617.648 billion in the prior week that ended on March 25.

World


  • Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan faces the most crucial challenge of his political career as he faces a no-confidence motion in the national assembly today.
    • With this, Imran Khan might become the first PM to be removed through a no-trust vote.
    • Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party effectively lost the majority in the assembly earlier this month when a key coalition partner said its seven lawmakers would vote with the opposition.
    • More than a dozen lawmakers from the ruling party also indicated that they would cross the floor.
  • Ukraine: Fifty-two people including five children were killed in a rocket attack on a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk.
    • The city is being used for civilian evacuations, according to Donetsk region Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described Russia as an “evil with no limits” after the attack and called for a “firm global response”.
    • US President Joe Biden accused Russia of being behind the attack, calling it a “horrific atrocity”, while French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian deemed it a “crime against humanity”.

8th April


India


  • Bengaluru: Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant on Friday said seven schools in the city have received bomb threats through e-mail and police teams are at the spot conducting checks.
  • CUET 2022 Registration: The CUET 2022 will be held for admission to UG programs from the 2022-23 academic session in all UGC-funded central universities. Candidates who want to apply for CUET can do so on the official website cuet.samarth.ac.in.
  • New Delhi: Delhi government will provide a subsidy of ₹ 5,500 each for the first 10,000 buyers of e-cycles in the city, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said on Thursday. The first 1,000 buyers of passenger e-cycles will also be given an additional subsidy of ₹ 2,000, he added.
  • COVID: Coronavirus booster shots will be available to all adults from Sunday at private vaccination centres, the government announced on Friday. The order means that unlike the booster shots announced for healthcare workers, frontline staff, and those above 60, the third jab will not be free for most adults.
  • Card-less Cash Withdrawal: In a bid to check fraud, the Reserve Bank on Friday decided to permit all banks to introduce card-less cash withdrawal through ATMs. Currently, cardless cash withdrawal through ATMs is a permitted mode of transaction offered by a few banks in the country on an on-us basis (for their customers at their own ATMs).
  • Uttar Pradesh: The result of the Uttar Pradesh Teacher Eligibility Test (UPTET) 2021 has been announced. Candidates can go to updeled.gov.in to download their mark sheets. The eligibility test for Primary and Upper Primary level teachers in Uttar Pradesh was conducted in January this year and after a delay due to state elections, the results have finally been announced for over 18 lakh candidates.
  • Adani Group: Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company PJSC (IHC) will invest $2 billion as primary capital in three Adani portfolio companies – Adani Green Energy Ltd (AGEL), Adani Transmission Ltd (ATL), and Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL).
    • IHC will invest Rs 3,850 crore in AGEL, Rs 3,850 crore in ATL, and Rs 7,700 crore in AEL.
    • The transaction is expected to be completed in a month after all necessary approvals are obtained.
  • Bihar: The Bihar Legislative Council poll which was held on Thursday saw the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) winning 13 out of the 24 seats that were being contested.
    • Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) could only manage six seats. While the independent candidates secured four seats, with Congress only securing one.
    • The BJP, Janata Dal (United), and Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party had made an alliance to contest the Legislative Council elections in the state.
    • BJP had fielded 12 candidates, Janata Dal (United): 11, and Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party: 1.
  • RBI Monetary Policy: Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das has kept the repo rate and reverse repo rate unchanged at 4% and 3.35% respectively in its first monetary policy statement of FY 2023.
    • The Monetary Policy Committee of the RBI also voted unanimously to maintain an accommodative stance. MPC revised the FY23 GDP forecast to 7.2% from earlier guidance of 7.8%.
    • Inflation projections have also been raised to 5.7%, higher than the previous expectation of 4.5%, primarily due to war-induced factors, RBI’s Das said.
    • “In the sequence of priorities, we have now put inflation before growth. Stance continues to be accommodative and with an eye on withdrawal of accommodation,” he added.
    • In the last 10 meetings, the MPC left the interest rate unchanged and maintained an accommodative monetary policy stance. The next bi-monthly monetary policy of 2022-23 will be held during June 6-8.

World


  • Colombo: Sri Lanka may run out of diesel by the end of this month with the USD 500 million lines of credit extended by India for fuel purchase exhausting fast amidst the unprecedented shortage of foreign reserves. Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since gaining independence from the UK in 1948.
  • UN General Assembly: The UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as punishment for the invasion of Ukraine. Of the 193 members of the assembly, 93 voted in favor of suspension while 24 voted against and 58 abstained, in only the second-ever suspension of a country from the council, after Libya in 2011.
  • US Green Card: A group of influential lawmakers has introduced a bill in US Congress to recapture nearly 3,80,000 unused family and employment-based visas, seeking to reduce a massive Green Card backlog, particularly affecting immigrants from countries like India and China.
    • The Jumpstart our Legal Immigration System Act, introduced by House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chair Zoe Lofgren, proposes to recapture about 2,22,000 unused family-sponsored visas and about 1,57,000 employment-based visas.
    • Among other things, it would allow immigrant US residents eligible for adjustment to Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) status to apply for adjustment after paying a fee but are not able to do so presently due to the lack of an available visa number.

7th April


India


  • NEET: Medical entrance exam NEET will be held on July 17, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced today. The registration for the NEET exam began on Wednesday. The NTA also said that the JEE-Mains, an entrance exam for engineering colleges, will be held in June and July.
  • Agnipath Entry Scheme: The central government is all set to announce a new scheme called Agnipath under which youngsters would join the forces for a period of three years and serve the country. The scheme is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s major reform toward reducing expenditure and the age profile of the defense forces.
  • TATA: Tata Group will launch its much-anticipated super app ‘Neu’ on April 7 as it attempts to take on Amazon and Jio Platforms amid the rapid growth in the consumer digital economy space in the country. Currently open for only Tata Group employees, the super app promises “super rewards” and brings airlines, hotels, medicines, and groceries in one place.
  • HDFC: In one of the biggest bond sales to date by an Indian lender, HDFC Bank will decide later this month on garnering about ₹50,000 crores to help meet higher reserve requirements ahead of its proposed merger with HDFC Ltd. The estimated requirement was more than ₹80,000 crore and the bank, India’s most valued, already has some excess bonds in its portfolio, dealers said.
  • Pension & Pensioners: The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare informed that Dearness Relief (DR) to Central Government pensioners, family pensioners increased by 3% to 34% effective from January 1, 2022.
    • According to the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare tweet, the DoPPW issued orders increasing the Dearness Relief available to Central Government pensioners, family pensioners from 31% to 34% of the basic pension, family pension, effective January 1, 2022.
    • The Dearness Relief is payable on the original basic pension before commutation.
  • Sri Lanka: As Sri Lanka goes through a severe economic crisis, India is providing fuel to Colombo so that it can meet some of its immediate needs and help stabilize its domestic economy.
    • In the past 24 hours, a total of 76,000 tonnes of fuel were delivered to Sri Lanka and the total supply of fuel under Indian assistance now stands at more than 2,70,000 tonnes.
    • Sri Lanka has been plunged into political turmoil, with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa under pressure to resign as protests escalate over an economic crisis.
  • PMGKAY: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has praised the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) after an International Monetary Fund (IMF) working paper credited the free foodgrain program for only a 10 basis points rise in extreme poverty in 2020 to 0.86 percent despite COVID.
    • Sharing the IMF paper on Twitter, the minister said, “The working paper notes that the social safety net given to the poor by way of expansion of the country’s food subsidy program absorbed a major chunk of the pandemic shock.”
    • The World Bank defines extreme poverty as those living on under $1.9 a day in 2011 Purchasing Power Parity terms.
  • Semiconductor Tech: The government has formed an advisory committee to drive the ₹72,000 crores project, Semicon India, to make the country a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing, design, and innovation, an official statement said on Wednesday.
    • The panel formed under the chairmanship of electronics and telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw includes venture capitalist Vinod Dham, who led Intel’s iconic Pentium microprocessor from inception, and Arogyaswami Paulraj, who invested in MIMO wireless communication that is used in 4G technology.
    • The committee is mandated to provide key inputs for building a resilient supply chain, promoting investments, financing mechanisms, global engagement, research and innovation, and IP generation for the semiconductors and display ecosystem and enable an ecosystem to support startups and MSMEs.
  • Parliament: The Rajya Sabha today passed Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 which enables investigating officers to collect the biometric details of prisoners. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday, April 4.
    • The Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote. An opposition proposal to refer the Bill to a select committee was defeated in a vote.
    • The Bill proposes to allow the Police to collect finger impressions, palm prints impressions, footprint impressions, photographs, iris and retina scans, and physical and biological samples.
    • It also proposes the collection of behavioral attributes including signatures, handwriting, or any other examination referred to under Section 53 or Section 53A of CrPC.

World


  • Flipkart: Walmart’s Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has internally raised its IPO valuation target by around a third to $60-70 billion, and now plans a US listing in 2023 instead of this year.
  • Washington: The United States is ready to support India in diversifying its energy imports, the White House said on Wednesday, reiterating its desire that New Delhi does not purchase oil from Russia amid American sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine.
  • UN: The UN General Assembly will vote Thursday on a draft resolution seeking to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, a move initiated by the US after harrowing images emerged of corpses strewn across streets of the Ukrainian city Bucha, with Washington terming “Moscow’s participation in the top human rights body as a farce”.

6th April


India


  • ISRO: The India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will send a team of its experts to Pawanpur village, in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra to investigate what is believed to be remnants of a disintegrated Chinese rocket.
  • RBI: High inflation and sluggish economic growth pose a difficult question to the Reserve Bank of India’s monetary policy committee (MPC) that began its bi-monthly review on 6th April with the outcome to be shared on April 8.
    • The MPC’s actions have been predictable for a while.
    • It has focused on a growth-supportive monetary policy stance and is unlikely to offer surprises this time as well.
  • Amazon Vs Future Retail: Amazon on Tuesday called the February takeover of 835 Future Retail (FRL) stores by Reliance a “sham transaction”.
    • There was a mysterious switch of the leases,” Gopal Subramanium, the senior lawyer representing Amazon, told the Delhi High Court during a hearing on Tuesday.
    • The Delhi High Court will next hear the case on April 12 in an Amazon plea seeking enforcement of a Singapore-based arbitral tribunal’s order staying the sale of Future Group’s retail assets to Reliance Retail.
  • Ukraine War: India is strongly against the conflict in Ukraine escalating, union minister for external affairs, S Jaishankar told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday in reply to a debate over the ongoing war.
    • Responding to the questions regarding India’s stand, Jaishankar said, “We are, first and foremost, strongly against the conflict. We believe no solution can be arrived at by shedding blood and at the cost of innocent lives”.
    • The foreign minister also said, “In this day and age, dialogue and diplomacy are the right answers to any disputes.”
  • Al Qaeda: Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri on Wednesday spoke on the hijab controversy in India and asked Muslims in the subcontinent to fight the perceived assault on Islam “intellectually, using the media and with weapons on the battlefield”.
    • Zawahiri’s reference to a contemporary issue has also confirmed that he is alive, contrary to suggestions that he had died of natural causes in 2020.
    • Although, even after the unconfirmed reports of his death, Al Qaeda had issued many videos of Zawahiri, in all of them he only spoke about historical conflicts and ideological issues casting a doubt on whether the videos were shot in the present time.
  • Maruti Suzuki: Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker by volume, has announced that it will be increasing vehicle prices in April 2022.
    • According to a regulatory filing on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the carmaker has planned this price rise sometime later this month.
    • Maruti has not revealed the quantum of increase in prices, however, the company has said that the hike shall vary for different models.
    • The Indo-Japanese carmaker has said that the increase in various input costs is the reason why it is increasing vehicle prices.
  • Indian Navy: US defense major Boeing will be sending two F-18 Super Hornet fighters next month for the Indian Navy to conduct flight trials at INS Hansa’s shore-based test facility in Goa for consideration as the main weapon on India’s new aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
    • Still called indigenous aircraft carrier-1 (IAC-1), the warship is going to be commissioned on August 15, 2022, the 75th year of Indian independence, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
    • According to information available from New Delhi and Washington, the flight trials of the F-18 carrier-capable fighter on the mockup 928 feet deck of India’s sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya are expected around May 21.
  • PayTM: Fintech major Paytm’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that he will be granted his Employee Stock Options (ESOP) only when the market capitalization of the company crosses the level it was at during the initial public offering.
    • The firm had granted ESOPs to Sharma for the first time since the founding of the company in September 2021.
    • Paytm had offered shares to the public at Rs 2,150 apiece at a market valuation of Rs 1.39 lakh crore.
    • The stock has been on a downward trend since its listing in November 2021 and has fallen more than 75 percent with market capitalization watering down to Rs 41,000 crore.

World


  • Beijing: China reported over 20,000 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily tally given since the start of the pandemic, with Shanghai at the heart of the virus surge despite being in lockdown.
    • The country’s “zero-Covid” strategy has come under immense strain as cases spike.
    • Until March, China had kept daily cases low with snap localized lockdowns, mass testing, and strict restrictions on international travel.
  • Sri Lanka Crisis: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa late Tuesday night revoked the state of Emergency with immediate effect on his island nation. In a gazette notification number 2274/10, the President said he has withdrawn the Emergency rule ordinance which gave security forces sweeping powers to curb any disturbance in the country.
    • Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has deteriorated into a medical crisis, with the top medical union declaring a national health emergency over a life-threatening shortage of drugs.
    • On Tuesday the country’s most powerful trade union, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), called a meeting and declared a medical crisis as doctors and hospitals reported a widespread lack of medicine.

5th April


India


  • SEBI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on April 4 announced the constitution of an ad-hoc committee that will suggest measures to improve the government norms for market infrastructure institutions (MIIs).
  • Indigo: Rakesh Gangwal, the co-founder of IndiGo Airlines, on April 4 committed to contributing Rs 100 crore to the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur).
    • The corpus will be utilized for the School of Medical Sciences and Technology, a new school that IIT Kanpur is already building. The commitment is in a personal capacity.
    • Gangwal will be joining the advisory board of the upcoming school.
  • Delhi University: Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Singh on Tuesday released the varsity’s admission policy for the 2022-23 academic year and said eligibility will be decided on the basis of Common University Entrance Test marks.
    • Admissions to the university will be held through the common test that has been made mandatory for getting into 45 central varsities in the country.
    • Till last year, admission to Delhi University was on the basis of cut-offs marks in Class 12 board exams.
  • NEET PG: Applicants who have already participated in round 2 of all India quota or state counseling will not be eligible to participate in the mop-up round of counseling.
    • In line with the regulations which have been notified on 5 April 2018, students who have joined in round 2 of the state quota or round 2 of the AIQ shall not be eligible to participate in the mop-up round for All India Quota.
    • The Supreme Court had earlier canceled the All India Quota (AQI) mop-up round counseling for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET PG 2021) admissions.
  • New Delhi: Delhi’s three municipal agencies, run by the BJP, have been merged into one today after the Rajya Sabha passed a bill to this effect. It was already cleared by the Lok Sabha.
    • The move to unify the three municipal corporations, or MCDs, namely South, East, and North, came under stiff opposition from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, which is in power in Delhi under Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
    • The center has said the move to combine the three MCDs would ensure better operations, save costs and ensure better use of funds.
  • Rajya Sabha: A voice vote was taken well over 200 times on Tuesday before a Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha, underlining the procedural rigor involved in legislation.
    • The bill in question was the Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants, and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
    • The debate on the Bill including the reply of the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took about 2 hours and 20 minutes
    • The process of voting on the 106 clauses and clause-wise amendments took over 30 minutes, accounting for about 18 percent of the total time taken for passing the Bill.
  • RBI: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das will unveil the first monetary policy of the new financial year on Friday, April 8, after a two-day review amid concern over inflation that is quickening on the back of higher crude oil and other commodity prices.
    • The review by the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by Das will likely indicate the course RBI will adopt in the remainder of the financial year 2023 as it seeks to strike a fine balance between sustaining growth and curbing inflationary pressures in the economy.
    • This week’s monetary policy announcement is seen as the most crucial since the one announced by RBI in March 2020 when COVID-19 was reaching Indian shores after sparking worldwide concern over its impact on global growth.

World


  • Sri Lanka: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition lost the majority in parliament after at least 41 lawmakers walked out of the alliance today.
    • The opposition has dismissed President Rajapaksa’s invitation to join a unity government as “nonsensical”.
    • The opposition has demanded that the President resign in view of the worsening shortages of food, fuel, and medicines.
  • WHO: The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week notified of the second recombinant virus XE which is a combination strain of two subvariants of the Omicron strain, i.e. the BA.1 and the BA.2.
    • Though the severity of the infections caused by the strain is yet to be understood, the WHO has already notified that it is 10 times more transmissible than BA.2.
    • With such variants detected, it has been cautioned by WHO and other experts to remain alert to certain symptoms to avoid infections.
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky challenged the UN to “act immediately” or “dissolve yourself altogether” during a blistering address in which he showed a harrowing video of dead bodies he said were victims of Russian atrocities.
    • Russia, as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, has a veto, which it has repeatedly wielded to block resolutions and negotiations on the global stage.
    • “If there is no alternative and no option, then the next option would be to dissolve yourself all together,” Mr. Zelensky said.
  • Space Station: The International Space Station, which has remained home to astronauts, cosmonauts, and lately some tourists, is set to welcome a new crew: private astronauts.
    • Four civilians will lift off on a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket on Friday to become the first private astronauts to live and work on the Space Station as Nasa pushes for commercialization of the flying laboratory.
    • The first private astronaut mission, Axiom Space-1 (Ax-1) will launch at 11:17 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with four astronauts from three different countries commanded by a former Nasa astronaut.
    • Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria will command the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour as it leaves for the flying outpost with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy.

4th April


India


  • Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh got a new administrative map on Monday, with the creation of 13 new districts that doubled their number to 26, in a massive overhaul that the state government said will improve governance and delivery of services.
  • FDI: India continues to remain the highest receiver of the FDI, and the Indian retail investors have created the capacity to absorb the shock due to the outflow of foreign funds from the country’s stock markets, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told in Lok Sabha.
  • India’s Ambassador: Vinay Mohan Kwatra, India’s ambassador to Nepal, has been named the new foreign secretary by the Centre on Monday.
    • Mr. Kwatra succeeds Harsh Vardhan Shringla who is set to retire at the end of this month.
    • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Kwatra to the post of Foreign Secretary upon the superannuation of Shringla on April 30, 2022, the government order said.
  • Amazon and Future Retail: Amazon Inc. and Future Retail Ltd. (FRL) agreed to appear before the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal, even as the long-running and bitter legal battle and the resultant accusing-and-the retort continue.
    • On Monday, the Supreme Court refused Amazon’s request to pass orders against the takeover of the Future’s stores. Still, it allowed Amazon to move to the Delhi High Court to seek relief against Future Retail’s stores’ takeover.
    • Future had submitted that the asset takeover was happening due to non-payment of the lease. It claimed Future Retail had no role to play.
  • HDFC: Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) on April 4 said its board has approved the merger of its wholly-owned subsidiaries HDFC Investments Limited and HDFC Holdings Limited with HDFC Bank Limited.
    • HDFC will acquire a 41 percent stake in HDFC Bank through the transformational merger, according to an HDFC Bank filing with the stock exchanges.
    • The HDFC-HDFC Bank merger is expected to be completed by the second or third quarter of FY24.
    • HDFC said the Proposed Transaction shall enable HDFC Bank to build its housing loan portfolio and enhance its existing customer base.
  • Petrol & Diesel Price: Petrol and diesel prices were on Monday hiked by 40 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last two weeks to ₹ 8.40 per litre.
    • Petrol in Delhi will now cost ₹ 103.81 per litre as against ₹ 103.41 previously, while diesel rates have gone up from ₹ 94.67 per litre to ₹ 95.07, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers.
    • Rates have been increased across the country and vary from state to state, depending upon the incidence of local taxation.
    • This is the 12th increase in prices since the ending of a four-and-half-month long hiatus in rate revision on March 22.
  • India’s GDP: India’s annual median GDP growth forecast stood at 7.4 percent for 2022-23, according to a survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) released on April 3.
    • The Economic Outlook Survey estimates a minimum and maximum growth of 6.0 percent and 7.8 percent.
    • According to the industry chamber’s survey, the median growth forecast for agriculture and allied activities has been put at 3.3 percent for 2022-23.
    • The industry and services sectors are expected to grow 5.9 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, during the fiscal year.

World


  • China: China detected 13,000 Covid-19 cases on Sunday, the most since the peak of the first pandemic wave over two years ago, as health officials said they have found a new subtype of the omicron variant.
  • Pakistan: In a development that is likely to worsen the political crisis in the country, Pakistan President Arif Alvi has said that Imran Khan will continue as Prime Minister till the appointment of a caretaker PM under Article 224 A of the Pakistan Constitution.
  • Sri Lanka: Crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s cabinet resigned en masse from their positions at a late-night meeting Sunday, the education minister said, as anti-government protests escalated despite curfews.
    • All 26 ministers aside from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his elder brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down.
    • All the ministers submitted their letters of resignation so that the president can constitute a new cabinet adding that the decision was taken after discussing the worsening economic crisis.

3rd April


India


  • Tamil Nadu: The Tamil Nadu government has increased the property tax in various corporations, municipalities, and panchayats in the range of 25-150%, according to an official statement.
  • Indian Exports: India’s merchandise exports touched a record $418 billion in 2021-22, exceeding the government’s target by about 5% and recording a 40% growth over the previous year, official data showed.
  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Saturday asked the state government to remove the loudspeakers from mosques and warned of “putting loudspeakers in front of the mosques and play Hanuman Chalisa”.
  • Manipur: Hours after the Centre removed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from several parts of the three northeastern states of Assam, Manipur, and Nagaland, the Manipur government has decided to felicitate “Iron Lady” Irom Chanu Sharmila for her 16 years’ hunger strike as part of the anti-AFSPA movement.
  • PSTET Results: Punjab School Education Board, PSEB has declared Punjab State Teacher Eligibility Test, PSTET Results 2021-22. Candidates can check their results from the official website of PSTET at pstet.pseb.ac.in. Candidates can check their results through their application number and password, Roll Number and Date of Birth.
  • Uttar Pradesh: Two days after arriving in India, Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Sunday reached Varanasi where he was welcomed by chief minister Yogi Adityanath. The chief minister greeted him with a bouquet upon his arrival at Lal Bahadur Shashtri International airport in Varanasi.
    • The Nepalese PM, who has come along with his wife Arzu Rana Deuba, is scheduled to visit several holy shrines in Varanasi.
    • After his arrival, Deuba offered prayers at Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi.
  • Andhra Pradesh: Andhra Pradesh will double the number of its districts to 26, with the addition of 13 new districts. A meeting of the Council of Ministers will take place on April 7, which is expected to take key decisions on putting in place a new team to run the state.
    • The process of forming new districts in Andhra Pradesh is complete and Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy will inaugurate the 13 new districts tomorrow.
    • “The Chief Minister will launch district portals and handbooks to make it possible for people to engage on this momentous day,” the Chief Minister’s office said in a statement.

World


  • WHO: The World Health Organisation said on Saturday it has suspended supply through United Nations agencies of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, produced by India’s Bharat Biotech, to allow the manufacturer to upgrade facilities and address deficiencies found in an inspection.
  • NASA: NASA on Sunday called off a major Artemis I lunar mission amid safety concerns; a problem in the fan was detected after which the space agency decided to call off the mission. The well-dress rehearsal for the mission started on April 1. It was halted on Sunday prior to tanking due to the loss of ability to pressurize the mobile launcher using two fans. The fans are required to keep the hazardous gases out.
  • Sri Lanka: A consignment of 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel from India reached Sri Lanka on Saturday, while traders have started loading 40,000 tonnes of rice for prompt shipment as the island nation faces an unprecedented economic and energy crisis caused due to shortage of foreign exchange.
    • Power cuts lasting over 13 hours were imposed on Thursday, the longest cut since 1996 when a strike by the state power entity employees caused a 72-hour blackout.
    • Officials of the state fuel entity, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), said the Indian diesel supplies would ease the ongoing power cuts. The power cuts effective Saturday are over 8.5 hours.
    • The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) also announced the resumption of power berating operations at Kerawalapitiya Thermal Power Plant after the receipt of supplies from LIOC, the Lankan subsidiary of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC).

2nd April


India


  • Haryana: Hitting out at the Punjab government’s resolution that sought the “immediate transfer of Chandigarh” to the state, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said the city will remain the joint capital of both states.
  • Bihar: Bihar Board (BSEB) has announced the result of matric, Class 10, exam 2022 on Thursday, March 31. A total of 17 lakh students who appeared for the matriculation, Class 10 exam can check the BSEB 10th result 2022 on the official website biharboardonline.bihar.gov.in.
  • Crude Oil: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said India will continue buying cheap Russian oil as the nation’s interest comes first. “I would put my energy security first. If the fuel is available at a discount, why shouldn’t I buy it?” Sitharaman said at the 2022 edition of the CNBC-TV18 India Business Leader Awards in Mumbai.
  • Indian Astronomers: A team of Indian scientists has discovered a faint but star-forming galaxy, around 136 million light-years away. The galaxy was undetected so far since it lies in front of a much brighter galaxy and has a “ghost-like” appearance in the optical images because of its low disk density, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Fuel Price: Petrol and diesel prices were hiked today by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last 12 days to ₹ 7.20 per litre. Petrol in Delhi will now cost ₹ 102.61 per litre as against ₹ 101.81 previously, while diesel rates have gone up from ₹ 93.07 per litre to ₹ 93.87, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers.
  • IIT-Madras: Admissions to the Bachelors of Science (BSc) in Programming and Data Science at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) are now open for students of Classes 11 and 12, the institute said on Friday, April 1. The first-of-its-kind program was launched in 2020, and IIT-M is calling for applications for the May 2022 term of the program.
  • New Delhi: Not wearing a mask will no longer attract a fine in Delhi, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority said in a formal order today, a day after Maharashtra and Bengal decided to do away with Covid-related restrictions. The order will be effective immediately.
    • While the DDMA did not officially say masks are no longer mandatory, the removal of the existing ₹ 500 fine has effectively made masks optional.
    • The DDMA, however, has advised people to continue the use of masks in crowded places.
  • GST: Gross GST collection in March touched an all-time high of over Rs 1.42 lakh crore, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
    • The gross GST revenue collected in March 2022 is Rs 1,42,095 crore, of which CGST is Rs 25,830 crore, SGST is Rs 32,378 crore, IGST is Rs 74,470 crore (including Rs 39,131 crore collected on import of goods) and cess is Rs 9,417 crore (including Rs 981 crore collected on import of goods).
    • The gross GST collection in March 2022 is an all-time high, breaching an earlier record of Rs 1,40,986 crore collected in January.
  • Income Tax Rules: After ushering into the new financial year, a lot of changes in income tax rules have been implemented from 1st April 2022. The imposition of a flat 30 percent tax on income from virtual asset investment, and a surcharge on LTCG are some of the major changes announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in budget 2022.
    • In this budget, she didn’t extend the additional income tax benefit being given to the home loan borrowers under Section 80EEA.
    • So, from 1st April 2022, first-time home buyers won’t be able to claim income tax benefits on up to ₹1.50 lakh home loan interest payments under Section 80EEA of the Income Tax Act.
  • PM Modi: The economic cooperation and trade agreement signed between India and Australia will enable the two countries to fully leverage the existing opportunities, besides facilitating the exchange of students, professionals, and tourists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.
    • The India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (IndAus ECTA) was signed by Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and his Australian counterpart Dan Tehan in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in a virtual ceremony.
    • PM Modi said the signing of the pact in such a short span of time reflects the depth of the mutual confidence between the countries.
  • COVID: The World Health Organisation is now working on a report that will name India as the country with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths.
    • According to developmental platform Devex, the report (expected in early April) will put India’s estimated toll at least four times the current number, and the global death toll is expected to become double the currently reported total of 61.48 lakh.
    • Presently, the US has a little more than 10 lakh deaths, while Brazil follows with 6.6 lakh people dying from COVID-19.
    • India incidentally is only the third country to cross the five lakh mark.

World


  • Washington: Punishing sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies on Moscow for invading Ukraine are pushing Russia into recession and starting to turn it back into a closed economy, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Friday.
  • Russia: Russia on Friday accused Ukraine of carrying out its first airstrike on its soil since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24. Moscow warned that the helicopter attack on a fuel depot in the town of Belgorod would hamper negotiations.
  • NASA: The American space agency, NASA (National Aeronautic Space Agency) with the help of its Hubble telescope has detected the farthest individual star to date, breaking its own previous record. The discovery of this star which has been nicknamed ‘Earendel’ sets a new benchmark for NASA as the star was formed in the first billion years after the Universe was formed.
  • Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: Amid protests over the country’s worst economic crisis in decades, the Sri Lanka government has imposed a curfew across the country from Saturday 6 pm to Monday 6 am.
    • Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa also declared a nationwide public emergency late on Friday.
    • The President invoked tough laws allowing the military to arrest and detain suspects for long periods without trial, as demonstrations calling for his ouster spread across the South Asian nation.
  • US Military: The US military has canceled a test of its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile that it had initially aimed only to delay in a bid to lower nuclear tensions with Russia during the war in Ukraine, the Air Force told Reuters on Friday.
    • The Pentagon first announced a delay of the test on March 2 after Russia said it was putting its nuclear forces on high alert.
    • Washington said at the time it was important for both the United States and Russia “bear in mind the risk of miscalculation and take steps to reduce those risks.”

1st April


India


  • Northeast: BJP and one of its allies on Thursday won all four Rajya Sabha seats from the northeast up for grabs, leaving congress without any representation from the region in the Upper House for the first time in parliamentary history.
  • Zerodha: With a lean and tech-first approach, India’s No. 1 stockbroker Nithin Kamath is now ready to disrupt the asset management industry with the launch of Zerodha mutual funds later this year that aim to simplify things for investors.
  • Mumbai: The CBI investigation against former Maharashtra Minister Anil Deshmukh will continue, with the Supreme Court today rejecting the Maharashtra government’s request for a court-monitored probe. “We will not even touch this matter,” the Supreme Court said.
  • Indo-Nepal Train: PM Narendra Modi and his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba will jointly inaugurate passenger train services between Jaynagar (Bihar) in India and Kurtha in Nepal, a stretch of 34.5 Km through video conferencing from New Delhi’s Hyderabad House on April 2.
  • Maharashtra: The Maharashtra government on March 31 decided to increase the ready reckoner (RR) rates in the state by an average of 8.80 percent. Except for Mumbai, the ready reckoner rates of all municipal corporations will be increased by 8.8 percent from April 1 onwards.
  • United States: The US on Thursday cautioned that there will be consequences for countries actively attempting to “circumvent or backfill” American sanctions against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine and said it would not like to see a “rapid” acceleration in India’s import of energy and other commodities from Russia.
  • Tamil Nadu: On a three-day visit to Delhi, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Thursday met PM Narendra Modi and urged the Centre to allow the state government to provide humanitarian aid to Sri Lankan Tamils. He said many of them are fleeing Lanka and coming to the state through the sea route in the wake of the economic crisis in the island nation.
  • Reservation: The Centre has told the Supreme Court that quashing reservations in the promotion to SC/ST employees in government jobs may lead to “employee unrest” and “multiple litigations”. In an affidavit filed before a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai, the Centre informed it that the policy for reservation is in consonance with the constitution and the law laid down by this court.
  • Electric Vehicles: Prices of all Electric Vehicles (EVs) will be the same cost as of petrol vehicles in the country within two years, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday. “I will assure all the honorable members that within two years the cost of electric two-wheelers, electric three-wheelers, and electric four-wheelers will be equivalent to the cost of petrol vehicles and the country will change,” he said.
  • Maruti Suzuki India: MSI on Friday said its exports stood at 2,38,376 units in FY22, the company’s highest in any financial year.
    • The auto major also reported overseas shipments of 26,496 units in March 2022, its highest ever monthly number so far.
    • MSI has been exporting vehicles since 1986 and achieved a cumulative export of over 22.5 lakh vehicles.
    • The company exports vehicles to over 100 countries.
  • Pariksha Pe Charcha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with students, parents, and teachers today.
    • PM Modi talked to students about keeping calm and acing the incoming exam season.
    • While interacting with the students, PM Narendra Modi said that he may not be able to address all the questions but will create different channels to address students’ queries.
    • “Either via video, audio, written fax or NaMo app, I will try to answer all queries so that no student has to be with their doubt for a long time,” PM Modi said.
  • Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today moved a resolution in the Assembly, seeking the immediate transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab, accusing the center of trying to “upset the balance” in administering the Union Territory.
    • The big move by Mr. Mann two weeks after he took over as Chief Minister comes amid the ongoing tussle between the centre and Punjab to control the Union Territory which serves as the capital of Punjab and neighboring Haryana.
    • At the centre of this tussle is the centre tweaking service rules for employees of Chandigarh administration, giving them the same benefits as their counterparts in the central government.
  • Future Retail: Future Retail told the Supreme Court that “Amazon wanted to destroy us, and it succeeded,” as the bitter and long-running legal battle continues, with the next hearing scheduled for April 4.
    • After talks between Amazon Inc. and Future Retail Ltd. (FRL) to resolve and come to an out of court settlement failed, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) took over hundreds of stores of the Kishore Biyani-led group last month on unpaid rents mounting up to ₹ 4,800 crores, the accusing-and-the retort continues.
    • While Amazon has also accused Future Retail and RIL of “fraud”, Future group said on Thursday, “for ₹ 1,400 crores (worth of the Amazon-Future disputed deal), Amazon has destroyed a ₹ 26,000 crores company. Amazon has been successful in what it wanted to do.”
  • Lok Sabha: The Chartered Accountants, the Cost and Works Accountants, and the Company Secretaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
    • The Bill seeks to amend the existing Chartered Accountants Act (ICAI), 1949, the Cost and Works Accountants Act, 1959, and the Company Secretaries Act 1980.
    • The Bill is aimed at providing a mechanism for dealing with the cases of misconduct in the three professional institutes, namely, the ICAI, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.
    • It also has a view to strengthening the existing mechanism and ensuring speedy disposal of disciplinary cases.
  • Current Account Deficit: India’s current account deficit widened to a massive $23 billion in October-December 2021 from $9.9 billion in July-September 2021 due to a higher merchandise import bill, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 31 showed.
    • The current account deficit in October-December 2020 was $2.2 billion.
    • At $23 billion, the current account deficit for the last quarter of 2021 is the highest in nine years.
    • The last time the current account deficit was higher was in the last quarter of 2012, RBI data showed.
    • In October-December 2012, India had posted a current account deficit of $31.8 billion.
    • In percentage terms, the current account deficit was 2.7 percent of GDP in October-December 2021 as against 1.3 percent in the previous quarter.

World


  • Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka is turning off its street lights to save electricity, a minister said on Thursday, as its worst economic crisis in decades brought more power cuts and gloom to its main stock market, triggering a halt in the trade as prices slid.
  • Ukraine: Russian troops fled the Chernobyl nuclear power station after receiving high doses of radiation, Ukrainians have claimed. The claims made by the Ukrainian state power company Energoatom are now being investigated by the UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • Geomagnetic storm: At least 17 solar eruptions from a single sunspot are likely to reach the Earth on Thursday (March 31). This will cause geomagnetic storms. These eruptions have originated from an overactive sunspot, called AR2975. This sunspot has been firing solar flares since March 28.
  • Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding foreign buyers pay for Russian gas in roubles from Friday or else have their supplies cut, a move European capitals rejected and which Germany said amounted to “blackmail”. Putin’s decree on Thursday leaves Europe facing the prospect of losing more than a third of its gas supply. Germany, the most heavily reliant on Russia, has already activated an emergency plan that could lead to rationing in Europe’s biggest economy.
  • Pakistan Rupee: There was no respite for the falling Pakistani currency as the rupee continued to decline against the US dollar, amid the ongoing political uncertainty and delays in economic decisions, especially lingering talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The currency surpassed the Rs183-mark for the first time in the history of Pakistan, shedding over Rs25 since the start of the ongoing fiscal year 2021-22. The rupee closed at Rs183.48 against the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Thursday.
  • Washington: Scientists on Thursday published the first complete human genome, filling in gaps remaining after previous efforts while offering new promise in the search for clues regarding disease-causing mutations and genetic variation among the world’s 7.9 billion people.
    • Researchers in 2003 unveiled what was then billed as the complete sequence of the human genome. But about 8% of it had not been fully deciphered, mainly because it consisted of highly repetitive chunks of DNA that were difficult to mesh with the rest.
    • A consortium of scientists resolved that in research published in the journal Science.
    • The work was initially made public last year before its formal peer-review process.
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