Last Updated: 20 April 2022
Gkgigs publishes Current Affairs of February 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 February 2022 and boost your General Knowledge. Stay updated on all the Important News and Current Affairs of February 2022.
28th February 2022
- Mumbai: The government on Monday appointed Madhabi Puri Buch as the new chairperson of market regulator SEBI. She is the first woman chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
- New Delhi: The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India may start around June 22 and peak from mid-to-late August, a modelling study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur suggests.
- Ukraine Crisis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Monday as the Ukraine-Russia crisis continues to escalate. This is the second high-level meeting in the last 24 hours chaired by the Prime Minister on the issue that has caught global attention. The government has also decided to send Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kiren Rijiju, and General VK Singh to travel to Ukraine’s neighbouring countries amid evacuation effortsk.
- Future Group: Shares of cash strapped Future Group companies skyrocketed on Monday as Reliance took over operations of 200 Future Group’s stores. Reliance Retail has taken over the operations of at least 200 stores of Future Retail and has offered jobs to its employees after the Kishore Biyani-led group failed to make lease payments to landlords.
- Motor Vehicle Act: The Central Government has notified that Sections 50 to 57 and 93 of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment Act) 2019 will come into force with effect from 1st April 2022.
- Sections 51 to 57 of the 2019 Amendment Act wholly replaced Chapter XI of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 which dealt with insurance of motor vehicles against thrd party risks.
- These provisions also made substantial amendments to Sections 163, 166, 168 and 169 of the MV Act 1988 in relation to the filing of claims before Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal.
- Section 161 inserted to the 1988 Act via Section 50 of the 2019 Amendment Act, which provides for increased compensation in cases of hit and run, also gets operationalised with effect from 1st April.
- PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a webinar on the theme of technology-enabled development’ on Wednesday to chart out action points for implementation of the provisions made for the sector in the Union Budget.
- The prime minister’s address will be followed by four breakaway sessions led by the Departments of telecommunications; scientific and industrial research; science and technology; and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- The sessions will focus on themes such as S&T initiatives in prominent technology areas; potential for job creation, boosting employability; technological self-reliance, plan for achieving the vision of Amrut [email protected] and suggested course of action while reducing the compliance burden.
- DGCA: Directorate General of Civil Aviation has extended the ban on regular international flights, until further orders. However, flights that are operational under air bubble arrangements as well as international cargo flights will continue to operate as scheduled.
- While officials from the DGCA and the civil aviation ministry had proposed to lift the ban, a nod from ministry of health and family welfare was crucial, which has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.
- The ban on scheduled international passenger flights has been in place in India since March 23, 2020. However, special passenger flights have been operating between India and approximately 40 countries since July 2020 under air-bubble arrangements.
- Ukraine: Ukraine is now trying to expose cryptocurrency wallets used by politicians in Moscow amid warnings that Russia may employ digital coins to circumvent sanctions. The initiative comes as western allies agree to expel some Russian banks from SWIFT, the global interbank payments system.
- Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday urged the European Union to grant his country “immediate” membership, as Russia’s assault against the pro-Western country went into its fifth day.
- Google Maps: Alphabet Inc’s Google confirmed on Sunday it has temporarily disabled in Ukraine some Google Maps tools which provide live information about traffic conditions and how busy different places are.The company said it had taken the action for the safety of local communities in the country, after consulting with sources including regional authorities. Ukraine is facing attacks from invading Russian forces.
- Wallstreet: The Russian rouble tanked to fresh record lows on Monday while world stocks slid and oil prices jumped, as the West ramped up sanctions against Russia over its Ukraine invasion, with steps including blocking banks from the SWIFT global payments system.
- Russia’s central bank raised its key interest rate to 20% from 9.5% in an emergency move, and authorities told export-focused companies to be ready to sell foreign currency as the rouble slid almost 30% to record lows versus the dollar.
- As an economic crisis loomed in Russia, the fallout of tougher sanctions from the West imposed over the weekend rippled out across financial markets.
- Belarus: A Russian delegation has arrived in Belarus for talks with Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesperson was quoted by the Ifax news agency as saying on Sunday, the first negotiations since Russia started its invasion on Feb 24.
- Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the Russian delegation included officials from the foreign and defence ministries and President Vladimir Putin’s office.
- They were awaiting the arrival of their Ukrainian counterparts in the Belarusian city of Gomel.
- UNSC: Amid the escalation of tension between Ukraine and Russia, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for a rare emergency special session of the 193-member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on Monday. However, India has abstained from voting.
- The resolution was adopted with 11 votes in favour, paving the way for the General Assembly to meet on the crisis today. While India, China and the UAE abstained, Russia voted against the resolution.
- The 15-nation Security Council met on Sunday afternoon to hold the vote on the emergency special session of the 193-member General Assembly on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Mriya: The world’s largest plane was destroyed by Russian forces on Sunday outside Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. The Antonov-225 cargo plane was the flagship of Ukrainian aviation.
- The news of the destruction of ‘Mriya’ was confirmed by Ukraine’s state-owned Ukroboronprom group.
- AN-225 ‘Mriya’ was 276 feet long and could transport up to 250 tonnes of cargo at a speed of up to 850kmph.
- The plane was named ‘Mriya’, which means “dream” in Ukrainian. It made its first flight in 1988 and operated till 1991.
- ‘Mriya’ held several records including the title of the heaviest aircraft ever built, and largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service.
- ‘Mriya’ was built as a part of the Soviet aeronautical program. After the Soviet Union collapsed, the lone operational An-225 was placed in storage in 1994.
- EU: The 27-nation bloc of the European Union will shut its airspace to Russian airlines, fund supplies of weapons to war-hit Ukraine and ban some pro-Moscow media outlets in response to the Kremlin’s move to invade its neighbour.
- The EU’s move came amid the United States and several European nations’ decision to cut key Russian banks from the SWIFT international financial banking system.
- Hours ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin placed the country’s nuclear deterrent forces on a “special” alert in the face of the West “aggression”.
27th February 2022
- Cryptocurrency: The founder of cryptocurrency investment platform BitConnect, an Indian national, has been indicted on charges of orchestrating a global Ponzi scheme worth USD 2.4 billion, federal prosecutors said.
- UN: India’s decision to abstain from voting at the UN Security Council against Russia’s war on Ukraine stems from a deep-rooted grudge against the role Western players as well as the UN have played in safeguarding New Delhi’s own national security interests be it in relation to Jammu and Kashmir, Bangladesh, or for that matter, China.
- BharatPe: Co-founder and managing director Ashneer Grover failed to secure emergency relief from the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), allowing a probe on alleged financial irregularities and governance lapses at the fintech unicorn to continue.
- Indian Students: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday extended a warm welcome to the 250 Indian nationals who returned home after being evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.
- Air India’s second evacuation flight from the Romanian capital Bucharest landed at the Delhi airport in the early hours of Sunday.
- India began the evacuation of its stranded citizens amid the Russian military offensive in Ukraine on Saturday, with the first evacuation flight bringing back 219 people from Bucharest to Mumbai in the evening.
- US Visa: The United States has done a way with the requirement of the in-person interview for many visa applicants in India through December 31 this year, a senior American diplomat has reportedly told Indian community leaders.
- These applicants eligible for the waiver are students (F, M, and academic J visas), workers (H-1, H-2, H-3, and individual L visas), Culture and extraordinary ability (O, P, and Q visas).
- To be eligible for the expanded interview waiver programme applicants must have previously been issued any category of US visa; have never been refused a US visa and have no indication of ineligibility or potential visa ineligibility.
- DRDO: Chief Justice of India N V Ramana Saturday said that he keeps getting queries whenever he travels abroad about how investor-friendly India’s judicial system is and that his answer always has been that it “is absolutely independent and it always treats all the parties equally and equitably”.
- He was addressing the ‘National Seminar on Adjudication of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) Disputes in India’ at the DRDO Auditorium here.
- On the judicial setup to deal with IPR issues, the CJI said it is necessary to strengthen the High Courts to deal with these cases.
- “Not only do we need to fill the existing vacancies on an urgent basis, but there is also a need to increase the number of judges,” he emphasised.
- ICAI: Kinjal Ajemera from Kolkata has topped CA Inter 2021 December session by scoring 690 marks out of 800.
- ICAI has released the results for both old and new courses and as per the available data, in ICAI CA Inter December 2021 session.
- A total of 11,868 students have passed CA Intermediate exam in new course and as many as 2,178 candidates have passed CA Intermediate in the old scheme.
- Future Retail: Future Retail Limited, India’s second-largest retailer, suspended most of its online and offline operations as stores remained shut on Sunday, after rival Reliance bid to take over its flagship supermarkets for missed lease payments.
- Reliance Industries Limited will rebrand the Future stores after the company failed to make payments for them to Reliance.
- Though Future has more than 1,700 outlets, all the 200 stores that Reliance will rebrand as its own will be Big Bazaars, which was started around two decades ago by Kishore Biyani, dubbed as India’s retail king for transforming the sector.
- Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected a Russian offer of talks in Belarus on Sunday, saying Minsk itself was complicit in the Russian invasion, but leaving the door open to negotiations in other locations.
- UN: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that he asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to strip Russia of its vote at the UN Security Council as punishment for invading Ukraine.
- Washington: Google on Saturday became the latest US tech giant to prevent Russian state media from earning money on its platforms in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
- United States: Elon Musk said Saturday his company SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service had been activated in Ukraine, after a Kyiv official urged the tech titan to provide his embattled country with stations.
- Seoul: North Korea has fired an “Unidentified Projectile”, South Korea’s military said early Sunday, what would be Pyongyang’s eighth launch this year after a month of relative calm on the peninsula during the Beijing Olympics.
- Helsinki: Finland and Denmark on Sunday said they would close their airspace to Russian planes, joining other European countries in ramping up sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
- Germany: In a significant shift, the German government said Saturday it will send weapons and other supplies directly to Ukraine, which is fighting to keep Russia from invading its capital city.
- SWIFT: The US, Canada, and European Commission on Sunday announced further restrictive measures against Moscow, including the removal of selected Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, over the invasion of Ukraine.
- The leaders of the western countries, in a joint statement, condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “War of Choice and Attacks” on the sovereign nation and people of Ukraine and made several pledges in a bid to restore the status quo ante.
- Germany was initially hesitant to cut off a number of Russian banks from the SWIFT interbank payments system but caved in as pressure mounted.
26th February 2022
- Ukraine: First flight to Mumbai with evacuated Indians from Ukraine takes off from Romania.
- ICAI: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) today release the result for the Chartered Accountants (CA) December 2021 intermediate examination. To check and download ICAI CA Intermediate results, candidates will have to login at the official websites – icaiexam.icai.org, icai.nic.in and caresults.icai.org with their roll numbers and registration numbers.
- Reliance Industries: Reliance Industries has effectively taken over the operations of Future Retail stores and has offered jobs to its employees, even as the Kishore Biyani-led group is locked in a bitter battle with e-commerce major Amazon at several judicial forums over the sale of its business to the retail arm of the oil-to-telecom conglomerate.
- UNSC: India on Saturday abstained on a US-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution that “deplores in the strongest terms” Russia’s “aggression” against Ukraine, with New Delhi saying dialogue is the only answer to settling differences and disputes and voicing “regret” that the path of diplomacy was given up.
- Russia: Russia on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that deplored “in the strongest terms” the country’s “aggression” against Ukraine. The resolution had also demanded the immediate withdrawal of its troops.
- Eleven of the council’s 15 members voted in favour of the motion. China, India and the UAE abstained.
- The draft resolution, which was co-written by the United States and Albania, is now expected to be taken up by the 193-member UN General Assembly.
- LIC: Cabinet approves up to 20% FDI in LIC under automatic route.
- The Union Cabinet has approved foreign direct investment under the automatic route in the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- Up to 20 percent FDI will now be permitted under the automatic route in LIC and the existing FDI policy has also been “simplified and enhanced”, they added.
- PM Modi: Narendra Modi’s remarks assume significance at a time when a large number of Indian students, many of them studying medicine, have been stuck in Ukraine following the Russian attack on that country.
- Noting that Indian students have been going to many small countries for medical education despite the language barrier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged the private sector to make a big presence in the field.
- Speaking at a webinar on the Union budget announcements on the health sector, Modi suggested that state governments should also formulate “good policies” for land allotment for medical education so that India could produce a large number of doctors and paramedics to fulfill even global demand.
- The prime minister said Indian students going abroad for study, especially in medical education, also result in hundreds of billions of rupees exiting the country as well.
- New Delhi: The Indian Air Force has decided not to deploy its combat jets in a multilateral air exercise in the UK next month in view of the situation arising out of the crisis in Ukraine.
- The announcement by the IAF to not send its aircraft for the ‘Cobra Warrior’ exercise came just three days after it confirmed its participation in the drills from March 6 to 27 at Waddington in the United Kingdom.
- Though the IAF did not clearly mention the reasons for the pull-out, it is learnt that the deepening crisis in Ukraine following the Russian military attack in that country prompted the decision.
- The announcement by the IAF came hours after India abstained from voting on a UN Security Council resolution on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.
- Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court concluded the hearing related to the Hijab case on Friday, but reserved its order.
- The court asked the petitioners to file written submissions, if any, before the Bench.
- The Bench, constituted on February 9 and comprising the Chief Justice, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice Jaibunnisa M Khazi.
- Heard on a day-to-day basis over the last two weeks a batch of petitions filed by some girls seeking permission to wear the hijab in educational institutions where a uniform has been prescribed.
- Indigenous Weapons: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said customisation and uniqueness of military hardware was critical to hold the advantage of surprise over India’s adversaries and it could be achieved only if weapons and systems are developed in the country.
- The government has already notified two lists of 209 weapons and equipment that cannot be imported.
- If 10 countries have defence equipment of the same type, then your armed forces will have no uniqueness. For uniqueness and surprise element, military equipment has to be developed in our own country,” Modi said in his inaugural address at a defence ministry seminar on Atmanirbharta in Defence.
- Poland: Poland will not play their 2022 World Cup play-off with Russia in Moscow on March 24 due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine the president of the Polish football federation said on Saturday.
- Crypto: A popular Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange, Kuna, has seen its trading volume explode after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation,” which appears to be a full-scale invasion of the country.
- Ukraine: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that Russian troops would attempt to take the capital city of Kyiv before dawn. “This night will be more difficult than the day. Many cities of our state are under attack,” he said in a video address to the nation.
- As many as 100,000 Ukrainians have crossed border into Poland.
- Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been badly affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest.
- S&P: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a flurry of credit rating moves on Friday, with S&P lowering Russia’s rating to ‘junk’ status, Moody’s putting it on review for a downgrade to junk, and S&P and Fitch swiftly cutting Ukraine on default worries.
- Both countries’ financial markets have unsurprisingly been thrown into turmoil by this week’s events, which rank as the biggest military attack in Europe since World War Two, bringing stiff Western sanctions on Moscow.
- S&P lowered Russia’s long-term foreign currency credit rating to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘, and warned it could lower ratings further, after getting more clarity on the macroeconomic repercussions of the sanctions.
- Russia: In response to the European Union’s sanctions on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has now halted space launches from French Guiana.
- Dmitry Rogozin, director-general of Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted, “In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roskosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana.”
- On Friday, EU states agreed to freeze any European assets of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his foreign minister as Ukraine’s leader pleaded for faster and more forceful sanctions to punish Russia’s invasion of his country.
- Russia-Ukraine Crisis: India and China abstained from voting on a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution on Ukraine.
- Russia, a permanent member of the Security Council and its president for this month, is vetoed the resolution.
- Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, said that India is “deeply disturbed” by the situation in Ukraine.
25th February 2022
- New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India has been focusing on ‘aatmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in its defence sector in the last few years and the Union Budget 2022 shows this commitment.
- PM Modi addressed a webinar titled ‘Aatmanirbharta in Defence – Call to Action’ where he highlighted the role of Budget 2022-23 in contributing towards India’s self-reliance in the defence sector.
- He recalled that India had a high defence manufacturing strength even during British rule and right after independence.
- Washington: US President Joe Biden said on Thursday Washington is in still unresolved “consultations” with India, when asked if Washington and Delhi were fully in sync on a response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine ahead of an expected UN Security Council vote.
- Cryptocurrencies: The Supreme Court on Friday, hearing a plea against the Union of India, asked the Centre to make its stand clear on bitcoins. Currently, there is no regulation or ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
- A bench comprising justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant told the additional solicitor general (ASG) Aishwarya Bhati, “You have to make your stand clear.”
- The bench was hearing a plea filed by Ajay Bhardwaj, who, Bhati, submitted before the bench, was issued multiple summonses issued in a probe pertaining to 87,000 bitcoins. Bhati submitted that the accused was not cooperating with the investigation.
- Delhi Airport: The newly-constructed arrival terminal T1 at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has become operational from February 24.
- The passengers on IndiGo flight 6E 6532 from Goa were the first to arrive at the new terminal at 03:20 am on February 24.
- The new terminal has been developed by Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), a GMR Group-led consortium.
- The entire arrival operations of T1C will be shifted to the new arrival terminal at T1.
- It spans an 8000 square meter new arrival hall, equipped with four new baggage reclaim carousels. The Airport’s terminal capacity will increase to 10 million passengers per annum.
- JEE Advanced: Joint Entrance Examination, JEE Advanced 2022 dates released.
- Indian Institute of Technology, IIT Bombay will be conducting JEE Advanced 2022 exam on July 3, 2022.
- JEE Advanced 2022 registration process will begin from June 8, 2022.
- Candidates who qualify JEE Mains 2022 exam and score rank under 2,50,000 will be eligible to apply for JEE Advanced 2022.
- BRICS: The Russian aggression on Ukraine flies in the face of the New Delhi declaration of the XIII BRICS summit, which categorically rules out the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State.
- While the Narendra Modi government is still to take a decision on its vote on a tough UNSC resolution against Russia over the Ukraine invasion.
- The New Delhi BRICS declaration commits to the resolution of all disputes by peaceful means and is opposed to unilateral use of force against any State.
- Russia by invading Ukraine has violated all conditions of international law.
- Stock Market: The Sensex was up 1,355.20 points or 2.49% at 55885.11, and the Nifty was up 413.50 points or 2.54% at 16661.50. About 2446 shares have advanced, 709 shares declined, and 77 shares are unchanged. Indian benchmark indices continued to trade higher with Nifty above 16600 and Sensex gained more than 1300 points led by buying across the sectors.
- Vodafone: UK’s Vodafone Group Plc raised around Rs 1,443 crore by selling a 2.4% stake in Indus Towers through a block deal to unnamed investors on Thursday.
- Rome: Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy in Rome on Friday to personally express his concern about the war in Ukraine, in an extraordinary papal gesture that has no recent precedent.
- Moscow: Russia has banned British airlines from landing at its airports or crossing its airspace, its state civil aviation regulator said on Friday.
- The move follows London’s ban on the flights of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- “A restriction was introduced on the use of Russian airspace for flights of aircrafts owned, leased or operated by an organisation linked to or registered in the UK,” the Rosaviatsia aviation authority said in a statement.
- Russia-Ukraine War Impact: Parle Products on Friday said it expects a rise in the price of wheat as Russia and Ukraine are large producers and exporters of grains.
- Any disruptions in supply due to the geopolitical tensions between the two nations may lead to pushing up prices.
- Palm oil price yesterday (February 24) was at about Rs 140 per kg and that’s putting pressure on the bottomline of most food companies who use palm oil.
- China: China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Thursday that Beijing “understands” Moscow’s “legitimate security concerns”.
- The comments from Mr. Wang in a phone call on Thursday underlined Beijing’s broad backing to Russia on the Ukraine issue, even as its diplomats have called for a return to diplomacy.
- The diplomatic process, however, lies completely derailed following Russia’s invasion.
- Beijing hasn’t explicitly endorsed or criticised Russia’s actions, although Mr. Wang’s comments may be perceived as implicitly offering support.
- Pakistan: As the world watched in shock the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sat in the Kremlin doing what he does best raising the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
- European Union: President Vladimir Putin “must and will fail,” top European Union leaders said on Friday as they agreed new sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine, saying he was trying to bring the continent back to the age of empires and confrontations.
24th February 2022
- New Delhi: An Air India aircraft flying to Ukraine to bring home Indians turned back for Delhi after Ukraine said it has closed its airspace amid Russian military operations in its eastern breakaway areas. Thousands of Indians are waiting to fly back home from Ukraine amid a conflict with Russia.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning allowed Russian special forces to operate in two separatist areas in Ukraine, which Russia on Monday recognised as independent nations.
- The Air India flight decided to turn back to Delhi after a NOTAM, or notice to airmen, was sent to all flights heading to Ukraine. The government said alternate evacuation routes are being activated.
- Rajasthan Budget: Ahead of the Assembly elections next year, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced a job guarantee scheme for urban areas, free electricity of up to 50 units for domestic users consuming upto 100 units per month.
- Old pension scheme for government employees appointed after January 1, 2004, and increase in man-days under MGNREGA among other measures, in the 2022-23 Budget tabled on Wednesday.
- All 200 MLAs in Rajasthan received an iPhone 13 as a gift from the Ashok Gehlot government after the state budget was presented in the assembly on Wednesday.
- Telangana: A local court in Hyderabad on February 23 has ordered the news portal, The Wire, to take down a number of articles published on the website against the vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech International Ltd (BBIL) pertaining to its Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin.
- Hearing a defamation suit for Rs 100 crore filed by Bharat Biotech against the website, the Ranga Reddy District Court in Hyderabad has also ordered restraining The Wire from further publishing any defamatory articles against the vaccine maker.
- The Hyderabad headquartered biopharmaceuticals firm in its suit submitted that the news portal had published a series of articles involving false allegations against the vaccine maker with a malicious intent to undermine the reputation of the company.
- Ukraine Crisis: With the US, the European Union and Australia slapping sanctions on Russia, Roman Babushkin, Russian embassy’s charge d’affaires, said on Wednesday that Moscow will continue to work with Indian partners in the defence sector even as they will keep in mind the possibility of a “negative influence of sanctions” on defence cooperation
- Whether the Western sanctions will adversely impact India-Russia defence cooperation, including the supply of S-400 missile systems, Babushkin said that “all the projects will continue”.
- At an online media briefing, the envoy said, “We have big plans and we hope that our partnership will continue further at the same level we are enjoying today. The crisis would not impact India-Russia ties, including in areas of defence, and that there will be a “huge” Russian participation in the DefExpo in Gujarat next month.”
- VIX INDEX: As heightened geopolitical tensions sent global markets tumbling on Thursday, Dalal Street’s own gauge of volatility hit the highest level recorded since June 2020. The NSE’s India VIX index – also known in market parlance as the fear gauge surged as much as 38.4 percent to almost the 34 mark.
- Stock Market: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine launched a full-fledged attack on Indian equities on Thursday, with benchmarks dropping as much as 5 percent. Commodities markets, meanwhile, surged with Brent oil extending gains above $100 a barrel (at $105 now) for the first time since 2014, while gold jumped as investors scrambled for havens. The monthly F&O expiry also added to deeper cuts during the fag-end of the session.
- Gold Price: As on February 24, Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 50,050 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 45,840.
- The price of gold has increased by Rs 80 for 10 grams (for 24 carat & 22 carat) in the last 24 hours in India.
- Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 50,130 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 45,920.
- Maharashtra: HSC question papers catch fire, exams likely to be postponed.
- Around 2.5 lakh question papers of 25 subjects, including Marathi, Hindi and other minor languages, were gutted in this fire.
- The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations of the Maharashtra State Board, scheduled to be held on March 5 and 7, are likely to be postponed, said officials.
- This comes after the question papers for these days were up in flames Wednesday morning when a truck carrying them caught fire near the Sangamner Ghat in Ahmednagar district.
- “These were question papers for one of the total nine divisions. Reprinting would have been an option if there were enough days left for the exam.
- The question paper bundles have to be opened in front of students at the exam centres and the fire has compromised it. A new set of question papers will have to be printed for all the divisions now, which will take time,” said Sharad Gosavi, Chairperson of the Maharashtra State Board.
- Fuel Prices: The last rate cut was by Delhi when it reduced the local sales tax, or the value-added tax (VAT), on petrol from 30 to 19.4 percent from December 1 midnight, bringing down the price by around Rs 8 to Rs 95.41 a litre. Diesel price remains unchanged in the national capital at Rs 86.67 a litre.
- United Nations: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has termed Russian President Vladimir Putin announcement of a special military operation in Ukraine as the “saddest moment in my tenure”, while Security Council members blasted the Russian leader for the “unprovoked and unjustified” action and for delivering a “message of war”.
- United States: Amidst fears of a Russian invasion, Ukraine said it would impose a state of nationwide emergency while US President Joe Biden announced the “first tranche” of sanctions targeting two large financial institutions, Russian sovereign debt and elites and their family members. Biden said the move would effectively “cut off Russia’s government from western finance”.
- Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Ukraine severs diplomatic ties with Moscow as over 40 soldiers, 10 civilians dead in Russian attack.
- The casualties are the latest in a series of fast-paced developments that began when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation in Ukraine early Thursday.
- The AFP, meanwhile reported that Ukraine said it killed ‘around 50 Russian occupiers’ without providing details.
- Meanwhile, Ukraine’s ambassador to India urged PM Narendra Modi to contact Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr to mediate the crisis.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday said that the country has severed diplomatic relations with Russia after Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and sea on Thursday, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two and confirmation of the worst fears of the West.
- Zelenskiy has declared martial law in the country and Ukrainian foreign minister vowed to fight and defeat Russia.
- Oil And Gas Stocks: Among the sectors, the oil and gas index has dipped over 3 percent as crude oil hit the $100 mark since 2014 as traders feared further sanctions that could hit Russia’s crude oil export.
- The Indian stock market following global peers has tumbled over 3 percent with Sensex crashing 1,878.75 points or 3.28 percent at 55353.31, and the Nifty tumbling 550.60 points or 3.23 percent at 16,512.70.
- Stock markets across the world are feeling the heat as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military operation in Ukraineto defend separatists in the east of the country. He also vowed retaliation against those who interfere with Russian Ukraine operation.
- Edible Oil: One of the direct effects of the Russian invasion of Ukrainewould be a further escalation of edible oil prices, especially that of sunflower oil, traders and solvent manufacturers have warned. They have also warned of prices moving northward due to disruption of the supply chain.
- The former Soviet republic is the single-largest import destination of crude sunflower oil for India.
- For the November-October (oil supply year) 2020-21 India had imported a total of 18.93 lakh tonnes of crude sunflower oil, of this 13.97 lakh tonnes was from Ukraine alone.
- Argentina (2.24 lakh tonnes) and Russia (2.22 lakh tonnes) are the other major suppliers but as the figures show Ukraine is perhaps the only major supplier to India.
- Russian Market: Russian stocks plunged 50 per cent in Thursday’s trade as trading resumed on Moscow Stock Exchange.
- The dollar denominated RTS index sank 49.93 per cent to a low of 614.19 level for the day. MOEX, another Russian index, wiped 45.21 per cent off its value to trade at 1,690.13.
- Russia’s biggest stock by market capitalisation, Gazprom, slumped 54 per cent to 129.50 rubles. Rosneft dived 59 per cent to 178.65 rubles. Novatek was down 48 per cent at 702.80 rubles. Sberbank tanked 57 per cent to 89.59 rubles. Lukoil tumbled 47 per cent to 3,173.50 rubles.
- China: Dismissing comparison between the ongoing Ukraine crisis and its own claims over self-ruled Taiwan, China on Wednesday said the island is “not Ukraine” and it has always been an “inalienable” part of the mainland.
23rd February 2022
- Rajasthan Budget: CM Ashok Gehlot has announced that government employees appointed from Jan 1, 2004 will be eligible for pension schemes like earlier (older version of the scheme) from next year onwards.
- Rafale Jets: three Rafale fighters were handed over to India, foreign minister S Jaishankar talked on ‘How India sees France’ at French Institute of International Relations.
- LIC IPO: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the government will go ahead with the planned initial public offering (IPO) of Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC), even as Russian forces massing near Ukraine’s borders throw global markets into turmoil.
- Supreme Court: ₹18,000 crore returned to banks from Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, and Mehul Choksi, Centre tells SC.
- Predator Drones: India has put its plan to acquire 30 Predator armed drones from the US on the back burner, on account of its focus on indigenous development and manufacturing, as well as the prohibitive cost involved. HT learns that the Pentagon has been informed of the decision.
- New Delhi: PM Modi laid emphasis on the ‘Vibrant Village Programme’ announced in the Union Budget 2022 by highlighting the importance of development in border villages.
- In this budget, a clear roadmap has been given by the government to achieve this lofty goal of saturation.
- In the budget, necessary provision has been made for every such scheme including PM Awas Yojana Gramin Sadak Yojana, Jal Jeevan Mission, North East connectivity, broadband connectivity of villages,”added the Prime Minister.
- Board Exams: The Supreme Court of India refused to entertain the plea on Wednesday, February 23 to cancel Class 10 and Class 12 offline exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and other state boards.
- The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar heard the plea today.
- Dismissing the plea filed to cancel offline board exams for Class 10 and Class 12, the Supreme Court today said that entertaining such petitions will cause more confusion in the system.
- “This cannot become the norm. Such petitions give false hope to students. They will be misled by such petitions,” the Supreme Court added.
- The Supreme Court also refused to entertain the petition that sought alternate mode of assessment.
- COVID Vaccine: Serum Institute of India has confirmed that a group of 230 children between the ages of two to six have become the youngest in the nation to be administered with a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
- The kids became the youngest in India to get the Covid-19 jab after they took part in the trial of Serum Institute’s Covovax vaccine and were given one dose of it.
- The trial is going on across 10 hospital sites in the country, two being in Pune, and will be completed by the end of May.
- Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow was ready to look for “diplomatic solutions” amid raging tensions with the West over Ukraine but stressed that the country’s interests were non-negotiable.
- France: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Wednesday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin no longer accepted Ukraine’s independence under international law when he recognised two breakaway regions in Ukraine as independent entitites.
- United Nations: The UN General Assembly will convene a special meeting today at 8.30 pm (IST) on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. The topic of discussion will be – “the situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine”.
- Moscow: Russia today welcomed India’s “independent position” on the Ukraine crisis and said its views on the issue at the UN Security Council was reflective of the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries.
- Market: Wall Street’s main indexes fell on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 confirming a correction, as the Ukraine-Russia crisis kept investors on edge after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized two breakaway regions in the country and ordered troops to the area.
- The S&P 500 ended down more than 10% from its Jan. 3 closing record high. A correction is confirmed when an index closes 10% or more below its record closing level.
- Indexes pared losses and ended off their lows of the session after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the first wave of sanctions against Russia, while saying he was hopeful diplomacy is still available.
- WHO: As part of its on-going work to track variants, WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) met yesterday to discuss the latest evidence on the Omicron variant of concern, including its sublineages BA.1 and BA.2.
- Based on available data of transmission, severity, reinfection, diagnostics, therapeutics and impacts of vaccines, the group reinforced that the BA.2 sublineage should continue to be considered a variant of concern and that it should remain classified as Omicron.
- The group emphasized that BA.2 should continue to be monitored as a distinct sublineage of Omicron by public health authorities.
22nd February 2022
- Jet Airways: Jalan Kalrock consortium, the promoters of Jet Airways, have appointed Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the airline. He has been tasked with reviving the grounded carrier.
- LIC IPO: Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) chairman, MR Kumar has informed that the subscribers of Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) are eligible for LIC initial public offering at a discount. “PMJJBY is part of that and reservation will be there (for the policyholders)”.
- New Delhi: Regular international flights are likely to resume from March 15 and will follow the standard operating procedures effective at Indian airports for foreign arrivals and departure, government sources said on Monday.
- Board Exams: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list tomorrow a writ petition which seeks the cancellation of physical exams for Class 10 and 12 to be conducted by all State Boards, CBSE, ICSE, and NIOS.
- A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar directed that an advanced copy of the petition be served on the CBSE and other concerned respondents in the case.
- He pointed out that the bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar had passed a series of orders in 2021 for cancellation of board exams and for alternate assessment mechanism.
- Bengaluru: Entering its eighth day, the Karnataka High Court Tuesday began hearing on various petitions challenging the ban on hijab in educational institutes in the state.
- Karnataka Advocate General Prabhuling Navadgi Tuesday contended that there is no restriction on wearing Hijab in India with reasonable restrictions subject to institutional discipline.
- Countering the petitioner Muslim girls from Udupi district, who challenged the restriction on Hijab inside educational institutions, Navadgi said the right to wear the headscarf falls under the category of 19(1)(A) and not Article 25 as has been argued by the petitioners.
- Citing the example of France, where there is a total prohibition of hijab in public life, the AG contended that it doesn’t mean there is no Islamic religion in that country. “I am citing France to test whether hijab is essential.” he added.
- The AG asserted that there is no ban on wearing hijab in India, but every institution has internal regulation and discipline.
- New Delhi: The central government has ordered blocking on apps, website, and social media accounts of foreign-based ‘Punjab Politics TV’ for having close links with the banned pro-Khalistan outfit ‘Sikhs For Justice’. The ministry of information and broadcasting said in a statement that the channel was “attempting to use online media to disturb public order” during the Punjab assembly elections.
- UAE: India and the UAE have signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the aim of increasing bilateral merchandise trade to $100 billion by 2030.
- The India-UAE CEPA marks the first trade agreement India has made with a major trading partner in over a decade. The last major FTA India signed was with Japan in 2011.
- The agreement is the first in a series of FTAs that India is pursuing to boost exports sharply to 1 trillion dollars each in merchandise and services by 2030. India is also pursuing FTAs with Australia, UK, Canada, Israel and the EU.
- Commerce minister Piyush Goyal also said that India could conclude an FTA with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) group of countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) by the end of the year.
- Cadila Healthcare: Shares of Cadila Healthcare fell over 3 percent in early deals on February 22 after the Indian drug regulator approved the COVID-19 vaccine of rival Biological E in a further blow to the company’s own vaccine ZyCoV-D.
- Biological E on February 21 announced that it has received emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India for use of its Corbevax on children of 12-18 years age based on interim results of the ongoing phase 2 and phase 3 trials.
- Prior to Biological E, Cadila Healthcare and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin had received the regulator’s emergency approval for use on young adults.
- Stock Market: The worsening Ukraine-Russia situation has the world worried, as it has wider security and economic implications for several countries, including India, with growth yet to come back on track following the coronavirus outbreak. Indian equities crashed more than 2 percent at the opening bell on February 22 after Russia recognised two rebel-dominated regions of Ukraine, escalating the simmering crisis that has scorched markets across the world for the past several days.
- Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree in Moscow recognising the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine. Reacting to it, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to prohibit trade and investment between US individuals. The UK has also threatened ‘significant sanctions’ against Russia.
- Market: Global equities slumped today while oil jumped to a seven-year high after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. On the other hand, safe-haven assets rallied with gold prices jumping to near nine-month high. SGX Nifty futures traded on Singapore exchange were at 17,068, signalling the pressure on Indian stock exchanges when they open later today.
- UNSC: As Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, India said Tuesday that the escalation of tension along the border of Ukraine with the Russian Federation is a “matter of deep concern” and these developments have the potential to undermine peace and security in the region.
- London: Oil prices rose on Monday over the stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine, adding to supply concerns that have kept oil prices near $100 a barrel.
- Gold: Gold prices surged to a fresh 8-month high of $1,909 as the Ukraine situation deteriorated.
21st February 2022
- Patna: Lalu Prasad Yadav was sentenced today to five years in jail and fined ₹60 lakh in a fifth case linked to the fodder scam.
- The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader was convicted in the case last week. The case involves the illegal withdrawal of ₹ 139.5 crore from the Doranda treasury, as part of the fodder scam that took place in the 1990s, when Lalu Yadav was Chief Minister of Bihar.
- The three-time Chief Minister was found guilty along with 39 others.
- Presidential Fleet Review: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday took part in the Indian Navy’s 12th Presidential Fleet Review.
- It is the country’s President taking stock of the Navy’s capability. It showcases all types of ships and capabilities the Navy has. It takes place once under every President, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces.
- The President was taken on one of the Naval ships, which is called the President’s Yacht, to look at all the ships docked on one of the Naval ports.
- According to a statement by the Navy, the President’s Yacht this year “is an indigenously built Naval Offshore Patrol Vessel, INS Sumitra, which will lead the Presidential Column. The yacht will be distinguished by the Ashoka Emblem on her side and will fly the President’s Standard on the Mast”.
- New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a webinar today arranged by the Ministry of Education and Skill Development to share how the announcements made in Union Budget 2022 will have a ‘positive impact’ on the education sector.
- The Prime Minister said that the young generation is the future leader of the country. So empowering today’s young generation means empowering India’s future.
- Stating that the Budget for 2022-23 will play a key role in implementing New Education Policy on the ground, PM Modi said that a lot of emphasis has been laid on 5 things related to the education sector.
- First is the Universalization of Quality Education
- Second is Skill Development
- Third is Urban Planning and Design
- Fourth is Internationalisation- World-Class Foreign Universities in India
- Fifth is AVGC- Animation Visual Effects Gaming Comic.
- Board Exams: The Chief Justice of India on Monday accepted a request made for the urgent listing of a writ petition which seeks the cancellation of physical exams for Class 10 and 12 to be conducted by all State Boards, CBSE, ICSE and NIOS.
- Advocate-on-Record Prashant Padmanabhan mentioned the petition for urgent listing before CJI NV Ramana.
- The present writ petition, filed by child rights activist Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, seeks directions to the State Boards, CBSE, ICSE, NIOS who are going to conduct board exams for 10th and 12th in offline mode to pass a notification regarding alternate mode of assessment instead of offline exams.
- Manipur: On a door-to-door campaign is Ningthoujam Popilal Singh, 26, the youngest candidate contesting the Manipur assembly election in Sekmai Constituency – the only Scheduled Caste reserved seat in Manipur.
- Mr Singh, fighting on a Nationalist Congress Party, or NCP, ticket after being denied a Congress ticket, has zero assets according to the affidavit he submitted to the Election Commission.
- He is an odd one out in Manipur where in the first phase, 91 out of 173 candidates were crorepatis.
- Munich: China’s violation of agreements on not massing forces at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the reason why its relations with India are going through a difficult phase, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has said, while warning nations not to get sucked into a debt trap by accepting Chinese aid.
- Moscow: The Kremlin said Monday it was too early to discuss organising a summit between the Russian and American presidents, after Paris announced the possibility of a meeting to calm tensions over Ukraine.
- The French presidency announced early Monday that an agreement had been reached in principle for US President Joe Biden to meet with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, so long as Moscow holds back from sending troops into Ukraine.
- “There is an understanding that dialogue should be continued at the level of foreign ministers,” Peskov said, adding that there are “no concrete plans in place” for a presidential summit.
- Russia Ukraine Crisis: Russia’s FSB security service said on Monday a shell from Ukrainian territory had completely destroyed a border guard post in Russia’s Rostov region but had caused no casualties, the Interfax news agency reported. The incident occurred 150 metres from the border between Russia and Ukraine, Interfax cited the FSB as saying. Sporadic shelling across the line dividing Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east has intensified since Thursday.
- Canada: The last big rigs were towed Sunday out of Canada’s capital, where the streets were quiet for the first time in almost a month after a massive police operation ended a drawn-out siege by protesters opposing Covid health rules. A major clean-up was underway in Ottawa’s snowy downtown, where police in riot gear had faced off with trucker-led demonstrators for two full days, finally driving them out of their protest hub outside parliament.
- London: Oil prices rose slightly on Monday as fresh diplomatic efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis provided some relief from supply concerns that have kept oil prices near $100 a barrel.
- United States: U.S. stock index futures rallied, the euro rose and global stocks steadied on Monday as a glimmer of hope emerged for a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine standoff. U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to hold a summit on the Ukraine crisis.
20th February 2022
- Stock Market: As per depositories data, overseas investors took out ₹15,342 crore from equities and ₹3,629 crore from the bonds market between February 1-18. Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) have withdrawn a net ₹18,856 crore from the Indian markets in February so far amid geopolitical tensions and chances of a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve.
- Future Retail: Future Retail Ltd (FRL) has made a payment of USD 14 million (around ₹104.55 crore) as interest due on the dollar-denominated notes (USD Notes) listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, the debt-ridden company said on Friday.
- New Delhi: Tata Group-owned etailer BigBasket on Saturday announced that it has acquired the enterprise business unit of a deep-tech company Agrima Infotech in a bid to revolutionise offline retail.
- Mahrashtra: First Information Report (FIR) has been filed against NCB’s former zonal chief Sameer Wankhede for forging age and documents to obtain a bar licence.
- The FIR is filed with Kopari Police Station in Thane for sections related to forgery, cheating, giving false information on oath and others.
- Initially, NCP leader Nawab Malik had made allegations that Sameer Wankhede owned a bar in Navi Mumbai for which he got a license as an under age. Nawab Malik had claimed that Sameer Wankhede was 17-year-old when he received the licence for the bar in Hotel Sadguru in Navi Mumbai.
- IDRCL: State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Union Bank of India (UBI), Canara Bank, and Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) on Friday announced subscription to the shares of India Debt Resolution Company Ltd (IDRCL).
- As per the Union Budget 2022 announcement, a National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) and an Asset Management Company (IDRCL) have been set up by lenders (public sector and private sector banks and financial institutions) to consolidate and take over the existing stressed debt in the banking/ financial system and then manage and dispose the assets to Alternate Investment Funds and other potential investors for eventual value realisation.
- The NARCL will acquire assets by making an offer to the lead bank. Once NARCL’s offer is accepted, IDRCL will be engaged for management and value addition.
- Moscow: Russia’s strategic nuclear forces held exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, and Washington accused Russian troops massed near Ukraine’s border of advancing and being “poised to strike”.
- Munich: Dismissing the notion that the Quad is an Asian NATO, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that there are “interested parties” who advance such analogies and one should not slip into it, underlining that the four-nation grouping is a kind of 21st century way of responding to a more diversified and dispersed world.
- Ottawa: Deployed by the hundreds, police said they made more than 100 arrests and towed about 20 vehicles. No one was seriously hurt, they added, with Ottawa interim police chief Steve Bell saying the operation was going as planned but would take time.
- Police in Canada moved Friday to dislodge the final truckers and protesters from downtown Ottawa, in a mostly peaceful operation aimed at bringing an end to three weeks of demonstrations over Covid-19 health rules.
- Late Friday night, Ottawa police, who pledged the operation would push ahead “until residents and citizens have their city back,” were still working to clear the capital’s streets.
- United States: In the past few weeks, US officials have warned several times that Russia plans to create the appearance of an attack on its own forces and broadcast those images to the world. Such a false flag operation, they alleged, would give Russia the pretext to invade Ukraine by provoking shock and outrage. The Biden administration sought to undermine its emotional power and stop the Kremlin from manufacturing a casus belli, or justification for war.
- China: China reported a spike in daily coronavirus disease (Covid-19) with 195 new infections in the mainland on Saturday, up from 137 cases a day earlier. China’s National Health Commission said in a statement that 94 of the new Covid cases were imported while 101 were locally transmitted. Mainland China has so far reported 107,707 confirmed infections and 4,636 deaths.
- Germany: The risks of Covid-19 have “dramatically reduced” but it is almost certain that the world will see another pandemic, said Bill Gates during at Germany’s annual Munich Security Conference.
19th February 2022
- Punjab: A day before Punjab goes to assembly polls, the state’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Saturday directed the District Election Officer-cum-District Commissioner of Mohali and the SSP to register an FIR against Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and his party for violating the Model Code of Conduct and for “making false and frivolous allegations against other political parties.”
- New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed confidence that India’s rising capability in the drone sector will give the world a new leadership, as he flagged off 100 ‘kisan drones’ in different parts of the country for spraying pesticides and other farm materials.
- Haryana: NBCC Green View society in Sector 37D, Gurugram has been in the news after Gurugram deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav asked the residents to vacate the property in two weeks, citing the safety issues. “The NBCC surveyed its society and it was found that the building is unsafe and should be vacated by March 1. The NBCC will bear the cost of shifting the residents,” Nishant Yadav, Gurugram district collector said on February 17.
- Electric vehicle: EV charging stations have expanded by two-and-a-half times across nine mega cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, in the last four months, the power ministry said on Saturday. Efforts by the government resulted in 2.5 times increase in charging stations in Surat, Pune, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai in the last four months, a power ministry statement stated.
- IIT: India and UAE signed the historic Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aimed at boosting the merchandise trade between the two countries to US$ 100 billion over next five years. The deal was signed during the virtual summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
- Indore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Asia’s biggest Bio-CNG plant – the Gobar-Dhan plant – in Indore on Saturday.
- Addressing the event virtually, PM Modi said that initiative of the Bio-CNG plant is very important” as the wet waste released from houses, animals and farms in villages are “in a way Gobar Dhan”.
- “In the coming two years, work is being done to build such Gobar-Dhan Bio-CNG plants in 75 major municipal bodies of the country. This campaign will go a long way in making India’s cities clean, pollution-free, clean energy,” the Prime Minister said.
- Maharashtra: Bird flu cases have been detected in Shahapur, following the death of around 100 birds at a poultry farm in Vehloli village in the tehsil recently.
- Samples collected from the dead birds were sent to a Pune-based laboratory for testing and the results confirmed that they had died due to H5N1 avian influenza, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Thane Zilla Parishad, Dr Bhausaheb Dangde had earlier said.
- In Shahapur village, poultry farming is the source of livelihood for most people. Officials have now ordered culling all broiler birds in a 1 kilometre radius.
- Russia Ukraine Crisis: Russia hit sea and land-based targets with ballistic and cruise missiles on Saturday as part of strategic nuclear exercises overseen by President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, the Kremlin said. The annual exercises featured launches of Kinzhal and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles and a number of other weapons, the Kremlin said in a statement.
- Moscow: The leaders of Ukraine’s two breakaway regions announced a general mobilisation Saturday, spurring fears of a further escalation in fighting in the ex-Soviet country.
- Storm Eunice: Thirteen people were killed by falling trees, flying debris and high winds in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland as Storm Eunice carved a deadly trail across Western Europe.
18th February 2022
- New Delhi: The security of poet and former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas is being reviewed after he courted controversy by levelling damaging allegations against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, according to people familiar with the matter. Kumar Vishwas had claimed that AAP national convener was ready to take support from the fringe and separatist elements to become the chief minister of Punjab.
- Maharashtra: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate two additional railway lines connecting Thane and Diva at 4:30 PM on Friday via video conferencing. The Prime Minister will also flag off two suburban trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway, followed by his address on the occasion.
- NEET MDS 2022: The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on Thursday extended the date of NEET-MDS 2022 by 4-6 weeks and the date of completion of compulsory rotating internship for eligibility for admission to MDS courses has been fixed at 31st July instead of 31st March this year.
- Ukraine Crisis: Regarding the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the ministry of external affairs on Thursday said that the developments are being closely monitored by the Indian Embassy. “Our focus is and remains on Indian citizens, Indian students, Indian nationals rather than anything larger than that,” the MEA added.
- Ahmedabad: A special court designated for the speedy trial of the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts cases Friday sentenced 38 of the 49 convicted to death. The eleven others were sentenced to life in jail.
- According to the defence lawyers, this is the highest number of convicts to be sentenced to death in a single case in India’s legal history.
- The sentence for the 38 convicted was awarded under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 10 and 16 (1) (a) (b) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). A fine of Rs 25,000 was also imposed on each of the 38 for each of the three offences.
- LIC India IPO: The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has submitted Draft Red Herring Prospectus paving way for the most awaited public issue of the year.
- Life insurance policy holders who have one or more than one policy on the DRHP submission date i.e. 13th February 2022 shall be eligible for claiming the quota benefit, where 10 per cent of the total LIC India share offer have been kept reserved for the LIC policyholders.
- Under SEBI norms, LIC is allowed to give up to 10 per cent discount on the price offer.
- Stock Market: European stock markets edged higher Friday with investors digesting the news that Russia and the U.S. are set to meet next week, raising hopes that there can be a diplomatic solution to the Ukraine crisis.
- Commodity: Oil prices fell on Thursday as talks to resurrect a nuclear deal with Iran entered their final stages, but losses were capped by heightened tensions between top energy exporter Russia and the West over Ukraine. Brent crude traded down $1.26, or 1.3%, at $93.55 a barrel by 0914 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down $1.34, or 1.4%, at $92.32.
- COVID: The Omicron variant, which led the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, is slowing down across the world. Many countries are removing the strict restrictions put in place to check the spread of the infection. But, a World health Organization (WHO) official has raised a fresh concern related to an Omicron sub-strain.
17th February 2022
- Haryana: The Haryana High Court order had stayed a controversial State law which provides 75% reservation for local youths in private sector jobs earning less than ₹30,000 a month.
- New Delhi: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan directed Chief Secretaries to lift the restrictions after considering the trend of cases, active cases, and positivity rate within the state.
- New Delhi: Ahead of the Punjab election on Sunday, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a rare and searing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government today, accused him of blaming Jawaharlal Nehru for every problem and said: “The PM’s post has a special stature”.
- Beijing: China on Thursday expressed serious concerns regarding India’s ban of Chinese apps over security reasons, adding that it hopes India would treat all foreign investors, including Chinese firms, in a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory manner.
- Ukraine Crisis: The civil aviation ministry has removed the restriction on the number of flights and seats between India and Ukraine to facilitate the easy evacuation of students and professionals stranded in crisis-hit Ukraine.
- An official of the civil aviation ministry said Indian airlines have been asked to increase the number of flights as there is a surge in the demand with Russia advancing towards Ukraine.
- India has asked its nationals in Ukraine to leave the country but there are no flights available before February 20.
- CEPA Trade: India, which is currently negotiating about half-a-dozen free trade agreements, is set to sign the first such bilateral pact with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a virtual summit Friday, with adequate protections for domestic industry.
- The comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with the UAE will have clauses protecting the interests of domestic industries and providing them a gateway to markets in West Asia and Africa.
- Negotiations for CEPA were launched in September 2021 and have been completed, the external affairs ministry said in a statement announcing the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan.
- SBI: India’s largest bank State Bank of India (SBI) has also joined the banks bandwagon that have raised the interest rates on fixed deposit (FD) tenures.
- According to the SBI website, for the fixed deposit tenure of 2 year to less than 3 years, interest rate has been increased by 10 basis points to 5.20 per cent
- For 3 year to less than 5 year it has been hiked by 15 basis points to 5.45 per cent.
- For fixed deposit tenure of 5 years and up to 10 years, the interest rate has been increased by 10 basis points to 5.50 per cent.
- The new rates are applicable for fixed deposits worth less than Rs 2 crore.
- United States: The U.S. has hoped that India, which is committed to a rules-based international order, will stand by its side in case of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which as per the Biden administration seems imminent with Moscow adding 7,000 troops to Ukraine’s border in recent days.
- China: Hospitals in Hong Kong were struggling to keep up with an influx of new coronavirus patients amid record numbers of new infections as the city’s leadership doggedly sticks to its “zero-COVID” strategy, and China’s leader Xi Jinping said it was the local government’s “overriding task” to control the situation.
- United Nations: India on Wednesday warned about the developments in Afghanistan having wider ramifications in the Central Asia region. TS Tirumurti, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, drew the UN Security Council’s attention towards the threat of possible growth in international terrorism and drug trafficking following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
- Ukraine: A series of cyberattacks on Tuesday knocked the websites of the Ukrainian army, the defense ministry and major banks offline, Ukrainian authorities said, as tensions persisted over the threat of a possible Russian invasion. Still, there was no indication the distributed-denial-of-service attacks might be a smokescreen for more serious and damaging cyber mischief.
- Tokyo: The Quad meeting of foreign ministers this month has laid a firm foundation for the Tokyo summit of US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Australian Prime Minister in May-June with all parties coming on the same page in Melbourne.
- Damascus: Israeli shelling struck a town south of Damascus on Wednesday evening, causing material damage, according to Syrian state media.
- This is the second Israeli aerial strike on Syria this month, after the Jewish state targeted anti-aircraft batteries on February 9 in response to a missile fired from Syria.
- “The Israeli enemy carried out a strike with several surface-to-surface missiles” from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, targeting the town of Zakiya at around 11:35 pm (21:35 GMT), SANA said, citing a military source.
- A war monitor said the target of Wednesday’s shelling was a Syrian army post.
16th February 2022
- JKBOSE: Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education has declared JKBOSE Class 10 Result 2021. The Class 10 result for the Kashmir division is available on the official website. Candidates can check the result through the official site of JKBOSE on jkbose.nic.in.
- CBI: ABG Shipyard, now credited with India’s biggest bank fraud, created a web of transactions to cheat a consortium of 28 banks of Rs 22,842 crores between 2012 and 2017, in a case which has come to light only now. The banks include State Bank of India (SBI), IDBI and ICICI. Read More.
- Bengaluru: Karnataka’s Hijab row played out for the fourth day in the High Court on Wednesday, with the Chief Justice hearing arguments from Muslim girls who have challenged restrictions on wearing the religious headscarves in classrooms.
- Arguing on behalf of petitioners, advocate Ravi Varma Kumar asked the judges why the Hijab was being singled out when there were “hundreds of religious symbols from dupattas, bangles, turbans, crosses and bindis” worn by people every day.
- “This is only because only of her religion that the petitioner is being sent out of the classroom. A bindi wearing girl is not sent out. A bangle wearing girl is not. A Christian wearing cross is not touched. Why only these girls? This is a violation of Article 15 of the constitution,” Mr Kumar said.
- Indian Railways: In a breakthrough development, the main tunnel of the Katra-Banihal section, T-49, was successfully connected on Tuesday between Sumber and Arpinchala stations.
- Once completed, the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link (USBRL) mega project will be the longest tunnel of the Indian Railways.
- Tunnel T-49 of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Rail Link (USBRL) project is 12.75 kms long.
- Sydney: An Australian whisky company chief said Wednesday he had resigned after an “extortion” video apparently showing him smoking a methamphetamine pipe was published in national media.
- United Kingdom: UK inflation rose to a 30-year high in January and by more than expected, data showed Wednesday, adding to the pressure on the Bank of England to act fast to tame red-hot price rises.
- Ukraine Crisis: Russia announces withdrawal of troops from Ukraine borders.
- The announcement from President Vladimir Putin is the strongest signal from Russia that it is trying to de-escalate the situation that has led to the military standoff near the Ukrainian border.
- The Russian Defence Ministry Wednesday published a video showing troops withdrawing from Crimea. This came a day after President Vladimir Putin said Russia had decided “to partially pull back troops” from the borders of Ukraine.
- Russian Defence Ministry announced that some forces from military districts were being sent back.
- An estimated 130,000 Russian troops are in position on Ukraine’s northern, eastern and southern sides.
- Canada: The blockades are harming our economy and endangering public safety,” Candian PM Justin Trudeau told a news conference. “We cannot and will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue”.
15th February 2022
- Karnataka: The Karnataka government is likely to bring fresh guidelines for wearing hijabs in schools based on the High Court’s proposal until the issue is in court. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and education minister BC Nagesh will meet the education and home department officials to decide on the guidelines.
- COVID Vaccine: The supply of 300 million doses comes a day after the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) recommended emergency use authorisation to Corbevax for children between the ages of 12-18 subject to certain conditions.
- The order for these doses was placed on August 21, 2021.
- Biological E had already produced 250 million doses of Corbevax and aimed to finish the remaining doses in a few weeks.
- COVID: Serum Insitute of India chairman Cyrus Poonawalla on Monday said that poor nations of the world are using the vaccines made by the company as the doses have been made available at a price of a “cup of tea”. He said that two-thirds of the world population has been protected by one or more of SII’s vaccines.
- Jharkhand: A special CBI court in Ranchi Tuesday convicted Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad and 74 other accused in the fifth fodder scam pertaining to illegal withdrawal of money from the Doranda treasury.
- Special Judge S K Sashi also acquitted 24 accused in the case pertaining to the withdrawal of Rs 139.35 crore from the Doranda treasury of Ranchi during 1995-1996.
- According to the court records, the charge in this case was framed against the accused persons on September 26, 2005 and the prosecution evidence was closed on May 16, 2019. The statements of accused persons were recorded on January 16, 2020.
- Free Fire: Popular battle royale game Garena Free Fire was banned in India among the 54 ‘Chinese’ apps that were banned on Monday, February 14. Now, while the game has been banned in India only for now, it could also potentially be banned in other markets due to an ongoing lawsuit against the makers of Garena Free Fire.
- Krafton, maker of PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India had last month sued Garena Free Fire makers for copying PUBG Mobile.
- Krafton had also roped in Apple in its lawsuit for listing Garena Free Fire and Free Fire Max on their respective app stores.
- SpiceJet: Low-cost airline SpiceJet Ltd on February 15 reported a surprise profit for the December quarter after seven consecutive quarterly losses, helped by increase in fliers and higher yields. The carrier reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 42.45 crore in the December quarter against a loss of Rs 66.78 crore a year ago.
- LIC IPO: To invest in the much-awaited LIC IPO, policyholders must have two things: policyholder’s PAN should be updated on the LIC portal, policyholder should have a demat account.
- Gold Prices: Gold prices in India extended gains to the seventh day in a row with prices on MCX firm above the key level of ₹50,000, supported by the safe-haven demand amid the Ukraine-Russia tensions. MCX gold futures were up 0.6% ₹50,205 per 10 gram while silver jumped 0.54% to ₹64580 per kg. In seven days, gold has surged about ₹2,500 per 10 gram.
- AIR India: The Tata Group Monday announced the appointment of former Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci as the Managing Director and CEO of Air India, which it took over from the government last month.
- Ilker Ayci was chairman of Turkish Airlines since 2015, and his resignation from the post was announced by the airline on January 27 this year — the same day the Centre handed over Air India to the Tatas.
- During his professional career, Ayci has been an advisor to the then Mayor of Istanbul.
- Moscow: The Kremlin said Tuesday the pullback of some Russian forces from Ukraine’s borders was planned but stressed Russia would continue to move troops across the country as it saw fit.
- London: European stocks opened slightly higher on Tuesday, the dollar eased and gold was just below an 8-month high as investors remained focused on the risk of Russia invading Ukraine.
- New York: Oil prices surged over 2% on Monday to their highest in more than seven years as Ukraine’s president declared a “day of unity” for Feb. 16, a date that some Western media have cited as a possible start of a Russian invasion.
- Washington: India is a driving force of the Quad and an engine for regional growth, said the White House, days after foreign ministers of the countries, which are part of the grouping, met in Melbourne.
14th February 2022
- West Bengal: The Trinamool Congress Monday made a clean sweep in the civic polls to four municipal corporations in West Bengal — Bidhannagar, Siliguri, Chandernagore and Asansol — as per data available on the State Election Commission’s website.
- New Delhi: India banned 54 Chinese apps that pose threat to the country’s security, the ministry of electronics and information technology said today. These 54 apps allegedly obtain various critical permissions and collects sensitive user data. These collected real-time data are being misused and transmitted to servers located in hostile country.
- Uttar Pradesh: The New India will function according to the Constitution, not the Shariat law, and the dream of “Ghazva-e-Hind (ultimate conquest of India)” will never come true, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in comments that emerged today as round 2 of seven-phase voting in the state took place. Yogi Adityanath also claimed in the interview that his “80 versus 20” comment was meant to differentiate between “those who back progress and those who oppose everything.
- Pulwama Attak: The Indian Army and other security forces paid homage to the fallen soldiers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on the third anniversary of the Pulwama terror attack. As many as 40 CRPF personnel were killed when a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying them on February 14, 2019.
- Maharashtra: Social activist Anna Hazare, who announced last week he will sit on an indefinite hunger strike from February 14 against the Maharashtra government’s policy to allow sale of wine at walk-in stores and supermarkets, declared on Sunday he has ‘suspended’ the strike as the state government has assured him it will consider citizens’ views before going ahead with the decision.
- TCS: TCS had announced an upto ₹18000 crore buyback offer entailing 4 crore equity shares at ₹4,500 apiece. IT giant Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Saturday announced that the company has fixed Wednesday, February 23,2022, as the record date for the purpose of determining the entitlement and the names of the equity shareholders who shall be eligible to participate in TCS’ share buyback.
- ISRO: ISRO’s first launch of 2022 and under the new Chairman S. Somanath went off without a glitch, placing all the three satellites into their intended orbit with precision.
- The PSLV C-52 was the 54th flight of the PSLV and the 23rd mission using the PSLV-XL configuration.
- The PSLV C-52 carrying the Earth Observation Satellite, EOS – 04, the INS-2TD, a technology demonstrator from ISRO and the INSPIREsat-1, a student satellite, lifted off at 5.59 a.m from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota on Monday.
- Around 18 minutes later, the three satellites were separated and placed into their orbits.
- GATE: Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, GATE 2022 concluded yesterday for all 29 papers.
- The answer key for the exam can be expected to be declared on February 21, 2022 on gate.iitkgp.ac.in.
- GATE 2022 was conducted from February 5 to 13.
- Before the answer key is declared, IIT Kharagpur will also be releasing a response sheet, which will allow candidates to roughly estimate their score in the GATE 2022 exam.
- The response sheet will be released on February 15, 2022. The response sheet will be released on GOAPS, the official online application portal for GATE exam.
- JIO: Digital services company Jio Platforms on Monday announced a joint venture with Luxembourg-based SES to provide satellite-based broadband services in India, a joint statement said.
- The two companies have formed a joint venture, Jio Space Technology Limited, in which Jio Platforms (JPL) and SES will own 51 percent and 49 percent equity stake respectively.
- The joint venture will be the vehicle for providing SES’s satellite data and connectivity services in India, except for certain international aeronautical and maritime customers who may be served by SES.
- London: World shares skidded on Monday as warnings that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time drove oil prices to seven-year peaks, belted the euro and sent investors scuttling back to the safe-haven government bonds they have been dumping all year.
- United States: Russia could invade Ukraine at any time and might create a surprise pretext for an attack, the United States said on Sunday, as it reaffirmed a pledge to defend “every inch” of NATO territory.
- Nepal: Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s government is facing a major challenge this month as the Biden administration has set a deadline for the ratification of the US Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) development compact by February 28, which members of the ruling coalition are divided on.
13th February 2022
- ISRO: The Indian Space Research Organisation will launch PSLV-C52 orbiting an earth observation satellite on February 14 at 5.59am, the countdown of which began on Sunday morning. This will be the first launch mission of Isro this year. PSLV-C52 is designed to orbit the EOS-04, weighing 1710 kg, into a sun-synchronous polar orbit of 529 km.
- Tata Group: Tata Group airlines Air India and AirAsia India signed an agreement on interline considerations on irregular operations (IROPs), that will allow the two airlines to transfer passengers to one another in case of disrupted operations.
- Tata Sons: Tata Sons has reappointed N Chandrasekaran as its executive chairman for another five years, ensuring leadership continuity even as the owner of one of India’s oldest conglomerates syncs itself with the new business environment. Its board, which met on Friday, reviewed the last five years’ performance of the $103-billion conglomerate and decided to renew his term, which ends on February 20.
- CBDC: Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), RBI’s digital rupee is going to be introduced in 2023.
- Digital currency or rupee is an electronic form of money, that can be used in contactless transactions.
- Presenting Union Budget 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would be rolling out its digital currency soon.
- Introduction of a central bank digital currency will give a big boost to the digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system.
- New Delhi: EPFO’s apex decision-making body Central Board of Trustee will take a call on interest rate on employees’ provident fund deposits for 2021-22 in its meeting next month.
- The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) CBT meeting will be held in Guwahati in March where proposal for interest rate for 2021-22 would be listed as it is end of the fiscal year.
- The 8.5 per cent interest rate on EPF deposits for 2020-21 was decided by the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) in March 2021.
- SEBI: India’s capital market regulator restrained former billionaire Anil Ambani from dealing in securities for diverting funds from one of his companies’ to other group entities and repay debt.
- Ambani, his company Reliance Home Finance Ltd. and three of its executives were barred from trading in securities, either directly or indirectly, until further orders, the Securities and Exchange Board of India said in an order late Friday.
- This is a fresh blow for Ambani after the Reserve Bank of India in November took control of shadow lender Reliance Capital Ltd. following a series of defaults. Ambani has been battling creditors both at home and abroad.
- Bharat NCAP: The Government of India plans to roll out a safety assessment program similar to Euro NCAP and Global NCAP.
- According to Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) will evaluate the safety of new vehicles and assign ‘star ratings’.
- To achieve a higher rating, vehicles will be required to have safety features like 6 airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) and 3-point seatbelts.
- Moscow: Efforts to defuse the crisis in Ukraine via a frenzy of telephone diplomacy failed to ease tensions Saturday, with US President Joe Biden warning that Russia faces “swift and severe costs” if its troops carry out an invasion.
- Afghanistan: Demonstrators in Afghanistan’s capital Saturday condemned President Joe Biden’s order freeing up $3.5 billion in Afghan assets held in the US for families of America’s 9/11 victims — saying the money belongs to Afghans.
- Intel: Intel Corp on Friday launched a new chip for blockchain applications such as Bitcoin mining and minting NFTs to cash in on the rising usage of cryptocurrencies.
- The chip will ship later this year and the first customers include Block Inc, the Jack Dorsey-led firm that recently changed its name from Square Inc to highlight its growing focus on the blockchain.
- Intel said its chip is an energy-efficient “accelerator” designed to speed up blockchain tasks that require huge amounts of computing power and thereby consume a lot of energy.
- Belarus: Satellite imagery of Russian deployments in Belarus, Crimea and western Russia show massive build-up of forces as tensions rise over a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Maxar collected recent satellite images of Crimea, Belarus and western Russia that reveal a number of significant new military deployments across the region including the following.
- In Crimea, a large new deployment of troops and equipment was seen on February 10 at Oktyabrskoye airfield. More than 550 troop tents and hundreds of vehicles have arrived at this abandoned airfield north of Simferopol.
12th February 2022
- New Delhi: Veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj, synonymous with Bajaj Auto, died today in Pune at 83.
- New Delhi: In its biggest bank fraud case yet, the Central Bureau of Investigation today filed a case against ABG Shipyard and its Directors Rishi Agarwal, Santhanam Muthuswamy, and Ashwini Kumar for allegedly defrauding 28 banks of ₹ 22,842 crore.
- Uttarakhand Election: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said that it will initiate the process of implementing the Uniform Civil Code in Uttarakhand if voted to power again.
- Board Exam: Students from at least 15 states across the country have moved the Supreme Court seeking an alternative assessment method for upcoming Class 10 and 12 Board Exams instead of holding physical exams as proposed by various state boards, the Central Bureau of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), reported the Bar and Bench on Friday.
- Manipur: The Manipur BJP on Friday expelled its chief spokesperson, Chongtham Bijoy, a day after he called the National People’s Party (NPP) a “parasite that had proved a menace” to the ruling coalition in the past five years.
- Civil Aviation: The civil aviation ministry on Friday scrapped the requirement of drone pilot licence for operating drones in the country. The Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) issued by a DGCA-approved drone school through the single window DigitalSky Platform shall be sufficient for operating a drone in India, according to an official.
- ONGC: State-owned energy major Oil & Natural Gas Corp reported a multifold rise in its standalone net profit for the quarter ended December to ₹87.64 billion.
- IIP: India’s industrial growth, as per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slumped to 0.4 percent in December 2021 from 1.3 percent the previous month, data released on February 11 by the National Statistical Office showed.
- Mahindra: While announcing the Q3 financial results, Mahindra revealed that they will be launching the eXUV300 during the third or fourth quarter of FY2022-23. The eKUV100 on the other hand is expected to launch by the end of this year.
- RBI: As the Reserve Bank of India emphasised growth and kept interest rates unchanged, bond yields witnessed a correction and stock markets saw a relief rally on Thursday. The 10-year G-Sec yield fell over 1% to 6.72%. it has declined 2.5% or nearly 20 basis points over three days and the benchmark Sensex closed at 58,926, a gain of 460 points or 0.8%.
- PLI Scheme: As many as 20 applicants have been approved under the “Champion OEM Incentive Scheme” of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for India’s automotive sector. Major four-wheeler manufacturers, such as Hyundai, Suzuki, Kia, Mahindra, Ford, and Tata Motors, and top two-wheeler makers Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, and TVS Motor have been shortlisted.
- Ford: Ford Motor Co said on Friday it is considering producing electric vehicles (EVs) in India for export, and possibly for sale in the domestic market, just months after the U.S. automaker decided to stop selling and manufacturing cars in the country.
- Ford’s comments mark a shift in strategy after it said in September it was taking a hit of about $2 billion because it does not see a path to profitability and was leaving the major auto market.
- The decision came as a setback for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” campaign.
- PM Modi: This comes as the Economic Survey 2021-22 announced recently said that India has progressed on the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- India has progressed on the fulfilment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- India is committed to eliminating single-use plastic and the Indian Navy will contribute 100 ship days to clean the plastic waste from the sea, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the One Ocean Summit on Friday.
- Washington: The United States dramatically raised the alarm Friday over Ukraine, warning that a Russian invasion starting with civilians caught under aerial bombing could start in days and telling US citizens to leave within 48 hours.
- India: India is beset with significant geopolitical challenges, in particular from China and its behaviour on the Line of Actual Control, the White House has said, while releasing its Indo-Pacific Strategic Report.
- India: India Friday pushed back against putting fresh pressure on Myanmar, telling other Quad foreign ministers that it doesn’t believe in imposing sanctions on its eastern neighbour to force the military junta to restore democracy.
- Canada: Canada’s Ontario province declared a state of emergency on Friday, amid the ongoing trucker protests against Covid mandates, Premier Doug Ford told reporters.
- New York: Global shares dropped on Friday on rising worries over escalating Ukraine-Russia tensions and the prospect of a tightened interest rate hike timeline from the U.S. Federal Reserve in response to decades-high inflation.
11th February 2022
- Telangana: Four Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday submitted a Privilege Motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding his February 8 remarks in the Upper House about the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.
- Max Healthcare: Max Healthcare Institute today announced the deal to acquire Eqova Healthcare (Eqova), a company with long term exclusive rights to aid development of and provide medical services to a 400 bed hospital to be built on 2.1 acres of land parcel in Patparganj, Delhi, owned by Nirogi Charitable and Medical Research Trust.
- Airtel: Bharti Airtel broadband services experienced a mega outage on Friday as millions of students and workers across the country, including Delhi and Mumbai, were left without Internet amid ongoing online classes and work meetings for several minutes before it started appearing back for some users, albeit slowly.
- Indian Internet: Surging by over 50 percent year over year, India’s internet economy is poised to reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2030, according to a recent report by consulting firm RedSeer.
- New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman – facing flak for a budget critics and opposition leaders say has ignored the poorer sections of the country – took a leaf out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s book and fought back by targeting Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in her speech to the Rajya Sabha.
- Ms Sitharaman dug out a 2013 comment – Mr Gandhi had called poverty a “state of mind”, saying ” does not mean the scarcity of food, money or material things” and ” if one possesses self-confidence, then one can overcome poverty” – to criticise the Congress leader.
- She quoted pre-2014 consumer price index figures of 9.1 % during the global financial crisis as against 6.2 per cent now during Covid to declare “the opposition couldn’t handle a lesser crisis”.
- Cryptocurrency: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during the ongoing Budget session of Parliament on Friday said the government has sovereign right to tax profit made from cryptocurrency transactions, and banning or not banning cryptocurrencies in India will come subsequently after consultations.
- The Indian FM has broken her silence on cryptocurrency legalization and said that the Government has only taxed the profits emanating from the crypto trade. It must not be read as a sign of acceptance of cryptocurrency as a currency of value at par with fiat currencies issued by the central banks.
- The governor of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has reiterated his concerns that cryptocurrency is a “big threat” to the country’s financial and macroeconomic stability. He also warned investors of the risks of investing in crypto, stating this type of investment has no underlying value.
- Drones: India banned the import of drones, a move that effectively blocks an emerging market for China’s SZ DJI Technology Co., the world’s top dronemaker, and encourages a nascent local industry to ramp up production.
- Import of some drone components will be allowed without any approval, India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in an order late on Wednesday.
- Drones used for research and development, defense, and security purposes will be exempt from the ban, the government said.
- LIC IPO: Life Insurance Corporation of India has the potential to become the biggest stock in the Indian markets, said Christopher Wood, head of global equity strategy at the US-based investment bank Jefferies.
- LIC is expected to bring its public issue at a valuation of around Rs 12 lakh crore to Rs 15 lakh crore, which would help the government raise enough funds to meet its Rs 78,000-crore divestment target for 2021-22.
- The Initial Public Offering of LIC has become the most anticipated event in the history of the Indian capital market not only because of its sheer size, but also due to the profile of the company.
- Ukraine Crisis: US President Joe Biden on Thursday urged American citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, and warned about potential major conflict with Moscow should US and Russian troops engage each other on the ground.
- WHO: World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan sees a long road ahead not only to determine the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, but also to educate people about public health and garner international support for the WHO.
- Washington: Documents ripped up, stuffed down the toilet or carted off to Florida, the list of former US leader Donald Trump’s alleged flouting of laws on preserving presidential papers grew longer and more bizarre Thursday.
- According to The Washington Post, the Archives requested the Justice Department open a probe into Trump’s practices.
- This came after the government records office confirmed Monday that it had recovered 15 boxes of documents from Trump’s Florida estate, taken with him when he left Washington following his reelection defeat.
10th February 2022
- ICAI: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has released the results of Chartered Accounts foundation exam and final examination (old course and new course) online. Candidates can visit the ICAI website at icaiexam.icai.org and check their results.
- UP Assembly Elections: Polling Ends for First Phase as Turnout Reaches 57.79% till 5pm.
- Chandigarh: Professional wrestler and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) star Dalip Singh Rana, better known as The Great Khali, joined the BJP on Thursday.
- Kashmir: India on Wednesday rejected references to Jammu and Kashmir and an economic corridor passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in a China-Pakistan joint statement and called on the two countries not to interfere in India’s internal affairs or to alter the status quo in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan.
- Madhya Pradesh: The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the reinstatement of a Madhya Pradesh woman judicial officer who had resigned from service after her transfer following a complaint of sexual harassment against a High Court judge.
- A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and B R Gavai said the resignation of the judicial officer dated July 15, 2014 “cannot be construed to be voluntary” and quashed and set aside the July 17 order accepting the resignation.
- It directed that she be reinstated as Additional District and Sessions Judge with effect from July 15, 2014, with all consequential benefits but clarified that she will not be entitled to backwages.
- Hijab Ban: No Religious Dress In Colleges During Pendency Of Case, Say Karnataka High Court
- A Full Bench of the Karnataka High Court will hear petitions filed by Muslim students challenging Hijab Ban in colleges at 2.30 PM today.
- A single bench had referred the petitions to larger bench yesterday observing that “questions of seminal importance” are involved
- The single bench also said that the question of interim relief will be considered by the larger bench.
- The matter is before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi, Justice Krishna S Dixit and Justice JM Khazi will hear the petitions today at 2:30 PM.
- Washington: White House Chief Medical advisor Antony Fauci hinted that there may be the need for the fourth-dose boost in the United States to battle with COVID-19 variant Omicron, adding that the booster could be based on age, as well as underlying conditions of the individual.
- WHO: On the next COVID variants, a top World Health Organisation (WHO) official said that ‘variants are the wild card’ but the next one will take some time to get there. Again sounding an alarm regarding Omicron, WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove asserted that it is not the last variant of concern and currently, the UN health agency is tracking four its different versions.
- Canada: Canadian police threatened Wednesday to arrest trucker-led protesters who have shut down central Ottawa and disrupted cross-border trade in anger at Covid health rules, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lambasted the movement as “unacceptable.”
- India-US: In yet another sign of the deepening economic relationship between India and the United States (US), bilateral trade in goods between the two countries crossed the $100 billion mark in 2021, making it the largest volume of goods trade in a calendar year in India-US economic history.
- Abu Dhabi: A gas explosion in downtown Abu Dhabi prompted a warning of a possible attack early on Wednesday following a series of drone and missile assaults by Yemeni rebels.
- China: The Xi Jinping regime and their wolf warriors have been taking potshots at QUAD grouping since its revival in 2017.
- From foreign minister Wang Yi’s flowery description of QUAD as seafoam in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean to assertive new NATO in the past, Beijing on Wednesday called it a product of Cold War mentality and a confrontational bloc against China.
- The addendum to rapid-fire barbs was that China was seeking peace, development and cooperation and not targeting any third country. The QUAD foreign ministers meet in Melbourne tomorrow.
9th February 2022
- ISRO: ISRO confirms Valentine’s Day launch for Earth Observation Satellite on PSLV-C52.
- The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C52, will launch with EOS-04 at 05:59 am on February 14 from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.
- The launcher will deploy the 1710-kilogram satellite into the sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 529 kilometers above the planet.
- Apart from EOS-04, also dubbed RISAT1, the PSLV will carry two other small satellites.
- These include one student satellite dubbed INSPIREsat-1 developed by the ISRO in association with the Laboratory of Atmospheric & Space Physics at the University of Colorado and a technology demonstrator satellite named INS-2TD from ISRO.
- The INS-2TD is a precursor to the India-Bhutan Joint Satellite (INS-2B).
- ISRO said that EOS-04 is a Radar Imaging Satellite designed to provide high-quality images under all weather conditions for applications such as Agriculture, Forestry & Plantations, Soil Moisture & Hydrology, and Flood mapping.
- Lucknow: The Congress will waive all farm loans within 10 days of forming the new government, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Wednesday as she released her party’s (third) manifesto for the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election, which begins tomorrow with voting in the western districts.
- Ms. Gandhi Vadra said the Congress, which has already released a manifesto of poll promises for women and youth in UP, had identified employment and inflation as the state’s biggest issues, and promised to make 20 lakh government jobs available if it is elected to power.
- She also referred to the tragic attempted suicide of a debt-laden shoe trader in UP’s Baghpat – one of the towns voting tomorrow – who this morning accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “not (being) a well-wisher of small traders and farmers” before consuming a poisonous substance.
- Punjab: Border Security Force jawans in Amritsar, Punjab, thwarted a terror attempt late on Tuesday when a drone dropped explosives at the Panjgrahian border outpost in Ajnala Tehsil. Alert jawans immediately opened fire at the drone. However, it managed to fly away towards Pakistan.
- Alliance Air: An Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, flight on Wednesday took off from the Mumbai airport without its engine cover, an ANI report said. The four-year-old aircraft had around 70 passengers on board. The flight (ATR 72-600) landed safely at its destination. However, the mishap has been taken seriously and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has initiated a probe into the incident.
- Uttar Pradesh: In a rather bizarre poll promise, Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party chief Om Prakash Rajbhar vowed to waive challans for bikes carrying three passengers if its alliance with the Samajwadi Party is voted to power in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
- Kashmir: Pizza chain Domino’s and Japanese auto major Honda have apologised for hurting sentiments of Indians by social media posts of their business associates in Pakistan supporting separatists in Kashmir.
- Corona Virus: Close to 60 million adolescents between 15-18 years of age, out of an estimated 74 million in the country, have received their first dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 till Tuesday, government data showed.
- The central government had last month said that two lakh of the Rapid Antigen test were used in the first 20 days of January while just 3,000 were utilised last year
- China: China has lashed out at the Quad foreign ministers’ meeting to be held in Melbourne on February 10-11, accusing the members including India, of driving wedges in the region and having a ‘Cold War mentality’.
- Oil Dips: Oil Dips As Iran Nuclear Talks Resume At Crucial Final Stage.
- Oil prices fell by 2% early on Tuesday as talks for bringing Iran and the United States back to the so-called Iranian nuclear deal entered a crucial final stage in Vienna amid signs that progress may have been made.
- As of 10:32 a.m. EST, WTI Crude had dropped below the $90 a barrel mark and traded at $89.58, down by 1.91% on the day. Brent Crude had eased from the seven-year high of $93 and was down 1.88% at $90.93
- Ukraine Crisis: As tensions on Ukraine’s border continue to mount, Ukrainian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are seeing a sharp rise in Bitcoin donations, according to a new report by blockchain analytics company Elliptic.
8th February 2022
- New Delhi: Social media posts by the Pakistan distributor of Hyundai Motors supporting the Islamabad-backed Kashmir Solidarity Day triggered a diplomatic row, with India summoning the South Korean ambassador to lodge a strong protest over the matter.
- Uttar Pradesh: BJP releases UP polls manifesto:
- Free electricity to farmers for irrigation and grants to set up borewells, tubewells and develop ponds and tanks.
- The party promised to jail violators of the ‘love jihad’ law for 10 years and impose on them a penalty of Rs 1 lakh.
- It also vowed to set-up an anti-corruption unit in all 18 divisions in the state.
- In Ayodhya, where the construction of the Ram temple is underway, the party has promised to set up a Ramayan University for research on culture, shastras and Lord Ram.
- With all senior leaders in the party praising the Adityanath government’s action against criminals and mafia, the manifesto said strict action will continue against goons and criminals.
- For farmers, the BJP promised to strengthen the procurement of wheat and paddy at MSP and ensure that sugarcane growers get paid within 14 days.
- The party has also promised to hike the pension of senior citizens, disabled people and widows to Rs 1,500 per month.
- All construction labourers will be given free life insurance coverage and their children will be educated for free till graduation.
- Initiatives for women include provision of two free LPG cylinders on Holi and Diwali festivals to beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
- Free travel on public transport for women aged above 60 and a free scooty for college-going meritorious girls under the Rani Laxmi Bai Yojana.
- The party has also promised to install CCTV cameras at all public places and educational institutions and set up 3,000 pink police booths.
- Mission Pink Toilet will be launched at an estimated expenditure of Rs 1,000 crore to develop toilets for women at public places.
- Hyderabad: The Third Wave of Covid-19 has ended in Telangana, Director of Public Health & Family Welfare Dr G Srinivasa Rao declared on Tuesday.
- NEET MDS 2022: Postpone NEET MDS 2022, Demands All India Dental Student Association. After the postponement of NEET PG 2022, NEET MDS students are also demanding a deferment on the same lines.
- Arunachal Pradesh: All seven Army personnel, who had gone missing after being caught in an avalanche in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday, have been found dead, the Army said on Tuesday. It added that the bodies are being brought back to the nearest Army facility.
- 5G In India: The 5G network is in the final stages of development in India, said Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union minister of information technology, on Tuesday.
- “The country has also developed its own indigenous 4G core & radio network. The 5G network is also in its final stages of development. The country is participating today in development of 6G standards, in the thought process of 6G,” said the minister while addressing ‘India Telecom 2022’ business expo.
- United States: The United States on Monday offered a $10-million reward for information leading to the “identification or location” of the leader of the Afghanistan regional chapter of the ISIS group.
- Ukraine Crisis: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was ready for compromise and would look at proposals put forward by French leader Emmanuel Macron in talks on Monday, while still blaming the West for raising tensions over Ukraine.
- Winter Olympics: China Becomes First Country To Use ‘Italian Snow’ For Winter Olympics.
- This year’s Winter Olympics are acutely impacted by climate change. The Beijing 2022 Games will be the first-ever to be almost completely reliant on artificial snow.
- The technology to make this possible is being provided by an Italian firm. However, the use of man-made snow has seen complaints from both environmentalists and athletes.
- Nepal: A Nepalese government report has accused China of encroaching into Nepal along the two countries’ shared border. The report was leaked to BBC. It is the first time there have been official claims from Nepal of Chinese interference in its territory, according to BBC.
- United States: US President Joe Biden said on Monday that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline would be halted if Russia invades Ukraine and stressed unity with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz as the West rallies to avert a war in Europe.
7th February 2022
- Supreme Court: The Supreme Court Monday directed authorities to commence the demolition of the 40-storey Supertech Emerald Court project twin towers in Noida.
- A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant also directed the Noida CEO to convene a meeting within 72 hours in which all the agencies concerned shall be present.
- On January 12, the top court pulled up the builder for not complying with its orders to demolish the twin 40-storey towers in sector 93 of Noida and warned that its directors will be sent to jail for “playing truant with the court”.
- New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday requested Assaduddin Owaisi to accept the Z category security offered by the Centre as, he said, the AIMIM chief still faces security threat as per government’s assessment.
- Two unidentified people had fired on the carcade. He came out safe but there were three bullet marks on lower portion of his vehicle.
- The incident was witnessed by three witnesses. An FIR has been registered,” Shah said in Rajya Sabha.
- Finance Minister: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman clarified on Sunday that a proposed amendment in the Budget related to the education cess had to be done retrospectively in order to be fair to all taxpayers.
- This had to be done as the judicial decision had been contrary to legislative intent.
- The budget has sought to amend the Income Tax Act retrospectively from 2005-06 to clarify that education cess and surcharge would not be allowed as deductions in the form of expenditure.
- Delhi New Liquor Policy: Some retailers in the national capital are offering foreign brands cheaper than Gurugram.
- With the implementation of the new liquor policy in the national capital, many vends are offering a heavy discount (around 30-40%) on Indian as well as imported brands.
- Most retailers have slashed the rates lower than neighbouring cities-Gurugram and Noida.
- ISC, ICSE Semester 1: The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) released the result of the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and ISC exams 2022 today. Students who appeared for the exam can check the result at results.cisce.org.
- JNU: Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit appointed as a new vice-chancellor (VC) of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) by Ministry of Education (MoE). She will be the first woman VC of JNU.
- Bhubaneswar: Odisha will witness a change in the weather due to the western disturbance as the state will witness heavy rainfall from February 9, informed the regional Meteorological centre.
- Sputnik Light: The drug regulator DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) has granted emergency use permission to Single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine in India, Union health minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said today.
- China: China on Sunday pledged closer cooperation with Pakistan under the USD 60 billion CPEC investment programme and called for resolving the Kashmir issue properly and peacefully while opposing any “unilateral actions” that could complicate the situation as Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks with the top Chinese leadership, including President Xi Jinping.
- Ottawa: The mayor of Canada’s capital declared a state of emergency on Sunday and a former US ambassador to Canada said groups in the US must stop interfering in the domestic affairs of America’s neighbour as protesters opposed to Covid restrictions continued to paralyse Ottawa’s downtown.
- Moscow: With war clouds gathering over Ukraine, international diplomacy goes into overdrive on Monday with the French and Russian presidents to meet in Moscow and the German chancellor heading to the White House to meet with US leader Joe Biden.
- Beijing: A Chinese city of 3.5 million near the border with Vietnam was on lockdown Monday after more than 70 coronavirus cases were discovered there over the past three days.
- London: Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday became the first British monarch to reign for seven decades, announcing her “sincere wish” that Camilla, the wife of her heir Prince Charles, should ultimately be known as Queen Consort.
- Ukraine Crisis: New satellite images show S-400, Iskander missiles in Belarus
- A set of fresh satellite images released by an American company on Sunday showed details of military maneuvers at the Belarus border with Ukraine.
- The images also showed that Russia has advanced deployments at several locations in Belarus ahead of joint drills announced by Moscow and Minsk.
- Russia has repeatedly denied claims that it is planning to attack Ukraine.
- Kyiv too has sought to play down “apocalyptic predictions”, but western countries claim that Moscow will increase troop deployment till Putin gets the firepower he needs for a full-scale invasion.
6th February 2022
- Lata Mangeshkar: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar died on Sunday at the age of 92.
- The singer was cremated with full state honours in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on Sunday.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray, among several others attended her funeral at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park and paid tributes to the singer.
- Bengaluru: The Hijab versus saffron shawl row that has sparked widespread antagonism in educational institutions refuses to die down, with political leaders of various parties continuing to give for and against statements on the issue.
- Andhra Pradesh: Thousands of Andhra Pradesh government employees and teachers had marched on the streets of Vijayawada city on Thursday, in protest against the recent pay revision. They had threatened to launch an indefinite strike from Sunday midnight.
- Marathon talks between agitating employees and Andhra Pradesh government ended on a fruitful note late Saturday night, following which the former withdrew their call for an indefinite strike.
- The government conceded to the employees’ demands and agreed to enhance certain benefits, including the house rent allowance (HRA), and also to undertake pay revision every five years.
- Delimitation Commission: Baramulla gets two new constituencies – Kunzer and Tangmarg – while the existing Sangrama constituency has been merged with Tangmarg.
- The Delimitation Commission has proposed major changes in the assembly constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, triggering discontent among the people.
- The commission has proposed a new constituency Trehgam in Kupwara district and added Kralpora tehsil to Karnah constituency.
- Chanpora is the new constituency comprising the whole Chanpora tehsil in Srinagar district.
- Private Medical Institutes: The National Medical Commission, in its latest guidelines issued today, said the fees of 50 per cent seats in private medical colleges will now be at par with government medical colleges of a state or UT.
- Biological E: After much delay, the Central government has placed a purchase order with Biological E for five crore doses of Covid vaccine Corbevax. Sources say the price has been set at Rs 145, excluding taxes.
- The vaccine doses could be available by the end of February. The CDL Lab in Kasauli has cleared at least 6 crore doses of the Corbevax vaccine recently.
- The beneficiaries of the vaccine could likely be between the ages of 12-15 years, although the government has not yet decided to approve the vaccine for those less than 15 years of age.
- Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday held meetings with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and senior leadership of state-owned and private companies in China amid Islamabad’s struggle to overcome financial challenges.
- Imran Khan assured continued support to Chinese enterprises to expand their footprints in the country, according to Pakistan’s Prime Minister’s Office.
- In the meetings, Khan was accompanied by the members of his cabinet and senior officials.
- Canada: Priests and devotees at temples in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are in a state of fear as half-a-dozen such places of worship have been vandalised and burgled over the past ten days, with cash stolen from donation boxes and even ornaments adorning idols stolen.
- London: Queen Elizabeth II has announced that she wants Camilla, the wife of her heir Prince Charles, to ultimately be known as Queen Consort, as she became the first British monarch to reign for seven decades Sunday.
- London: The woman who became Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne on Sunday, an unprecedented reign that has made her a symbol of stability as the United Kingdom navigated an age of uncertainty.
- Ukraine: Thousands took to the streets of Ukraine’s second-largest city on Saturday carrying banners saying “Kharkiv is Ukraine” and “stop Russian aggression”, as the country braced for a possible military offensive from Russia.
- Weeks of diplomacy between the West and Moscow have produced no breakthrough after Russia massed tens of thousands of troops near Ukraine’s borders.
- Moscow denies it plans to attack Ukraine but has demanded security guarantees, including a block on Ukraine joining the NATO alliance.
5th February 2022
- Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the 216-foot tall ‘Statue of Equality’, honouring the 11th-century Hindu saint Ramanujacharya.
- According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Statue of Equality commemorates Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed.
- The statue is made of ‘panchaloha’, a combination of five metals: gold, silver, copper, brass, and zinc and is among one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position, in the world.
- It is mounted on a 54-feet high base building, named ‘Bhadra Vedi’, has floors devoted for a Vedic digital library and research centre, ancient Indian texts, a theatre, an educational gallery detailing many works of Sri Ramanujacharya.
- As part of the event, the Prime Minister visited the recreations of 108 Divya Desams (ornately carved temples) that surround the Statue of Equality.
- The inauguration of the Statue of Equality is part of the 12-day Sri Ramanuja Sahasrabdi Samaroham, the ongoing 1000th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Ramanujacharya, an official statement said.
- Delimitation Commission: Draft report proposes massive changes in Kashmir division.
- The Delimitation Commission has proposed an overhaul of assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir in its draft report which has been handed over to five associate members from the Union Territory for their suggestions, officials said on Saturday.
- The voluminous report has proposed redrawing of the Anantnag Parliamentary seat by including Rajouri and Poonch from the Jammu region, besides carrying out massive changes in the Kashmir division, they said.
- Many of the assembly seats in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state have vanished that include Habba Kadal, a seat that was seen as a traditional bastion of migrant Kashmiri pandits.
- Barring Khanyar, Sonwar and Hazratbal assembly seats of Srinagar district, all other seats have been redrawn and merged with new assembly seats being carved out like Channapora and Srinagar South, the officials said.
- Tamil Nadu: Amid escalating row over the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test or NEET for medical exams, the MK Stalin-led government in Tamil Nadu went a step further today and said the NEET Exemption Bill will be cleared in the state assembly and it will be again sent to Governor RN Ravi.
- The Governor, the Chief Minister said at an all-party meeting, kept the Bill with him for 143 days before finally returning it.
- The Governor expressed his reservation against the bill, saying it will affect the interests of poor and rural students.
- Earthquake: An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale jolted Jammu and Kashmir on the morning of Saturday, February 5.
- The tremors were also felt in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, particularly Noida, along with the nearby areas.
- No reports of any casualty or damage to property have been received from anywhere so far.
- A statement issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the moderate-intensity temblor occurred at 9.45 am IST.
- Its coordinates are latitude 36.34 degrees north and longitude 71.05 degrees east.
- Retro-Tax: The government will settle almost all the retrospective tax cases this month, closing a chapter that plagued India’s reputation as an investment-friendly destination.
- A 2012 amendment that gave taxmen powers to go back 50 years and slap capital gains levies wherever ownership had changed hands overseas but business assets were in India, was used to raise Rs 1.1 lakh crore demand against multi-nationals such as telecom group Vodafone, pharmaceuticals company Sanofi and brewer SABMiller, now owned by AB InBev, and Cairn Energy Plc. Such demands brought uncertainty in the minds of investors.
- Washington: President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday restored sanctions waivers to Iran to allow international nuclear cooperation projects, as indirect American-Iranian talks on reviving the 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran enter the final stretch.
- United States: President Joe Biden praised the US House of Representatives for approving new legislation that will allow Washington to compete with China in semiconductor manufacture and research. The law was built on multiple bipartisan aspects, according to the US President, as well as a common bipartisan agreement on the need to act.
- Peru: Peruvian President Pedro Castillo dumped his prime minister Friday just three days after appointing him, amid outrage over revelations he was accused of domestic violence in 2016.
- United Kingdom: British-Pakistani Lord Nazir Ahmed jailed for child sex offences
- Lord Nazir Ahmed was found guilty last month by the Sheffield Crown Court of sexual offences against two children.
- Disgraced former Labour peer Lord Nazir Ahmed has been jailed five-and-a-half years for sexual abuse of two children in the 1970s
4th February 2022
- AIMIM President: MP Asaduddin Owaisi said in Lok Sabha on Friday that he rejected the ‘Z’ category security accorded to him by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The MHA had sanctioned the security cover to Mr. Owaisi a day after two motorcycle borne men had fired bullets at his vehicle near Chajarsi toll plaza in Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district on Thursday evening.
- New Delhi: The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Friday decided to reopen schools for students in Class 9 to 12 in a phased manner from Monday (February 7). It has also allowed gyms to reopen, but with restrictions.
- Those driving alone in their cars in Delhi will no longer need to wear a mask, the national capital’s disaster management authority decided today during a meeting to review Covid curbs, according to sources.
- The night curfew in the city will continue to remain, but will start from 11 pm instead of the current 10 pm deadline.
- NEET PG: The Union health ministry on Friday asked the national board of examination (NBE) to postpone NEET PG 2022 by six to eight weeks, as it clashes with the NEET PG 2021 councelling.
- Uttar Pradesh: Yogi Adityanath on Friday filed his nomination from the Gorakhpur Urban assembly seat.
- This is the first time Yogi Adityanath, who has represented Gorakhpur in the Lok Sabha for five terms, is contesting an assembly election.
- The Uttar Pradesh chief minister, along with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, addressed a rally before filing his nomination at the collectorate office.
- In his election affidavit, Yogi Adityanath declared assets worth Rs 1,54,94,054. This includes cash in hand, balance of six bank accounts and savings.
- The Uttar Pradesh chief minister also declared that he owns a Samsung mobile phone worth Rs 12,000, a revolver worth Rs 1,00,000 and a rifle worth Rs 80,000.
- Karnataka: Congress leader Siddaramaiah said the barring of students wearing the hijab is a politically motivated move, and that the government must take a stand on the issue.
- Haryana: The Haryana government has challenged in Supreme Court the order to halt 75% quota in private jobs for locals. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had yesterday halted the reservation for locals in private jobs. The Supreme Court will hear the plea on Monday.
- UGC: Jawaharlal Nehru University vice-chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has been appointed as the new chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
- Republic Day Tableaux: Tableaux of Ministry of Education and Ministry of Civil Aviation this Republic Day 2022 have been declared as joint winners in the category of Central Ministries/ Departments on Friday.
- Three panels of judges were appointed for assessing the performance of marching contingents from the three Services, Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF)/other Auxiliary forces and tableaux from various States/Union Territories (UTs) and Central Ministries/Departments.
- On the basis of the assessment of the panels, the Indian Navy marching contingent has been adjudged as the best marching contingent among the three Services.
- As per popular choice, the marching contingent of the Indian Air Force has been picked as the best marching contingent among the three Services.
- Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has been named the best marching contingent among CAPF/other auxiliary forces.
- The tableau of Uttar Pradesh has been selected as the best tableau among the 12 States/UTs which participated in the Republic Day parade on January 26, 2022. The tableau of Uttar Pradesh was based on the theme ‘One District One Product and Kashi Vishwanath Dham’.
- The second place went to Karnataka for its tableau based on ‘Cradle of Traditional Handicrafts’.
- The third position went to Meghalaya for its tableau on ‘Meghalaya’s 50 years of Statehood and its tribute to women-led cooperative societies & SHGs’.
- The tableaux of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (CPWD), based on the theme ‘Subhash @125’ and the ‘Vande Bharatam’ dance group have been selected for the special prize category.
- In addition, for the first time, the general public was invited to vote for the best marching contingents and best tableaux in the popular choice category through the MyGov platform. The online poll was conducted between January 25-31, 2022.
- Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) received maximum votes on MyGov as the best marching contingent among CAPF/other auxiliary forces.
- Maharashtra was voted as the best Tableau among the States/UTs in the popular choice category. The tableau of Maharashtra was based on the theme ‘Biodiversity and State Bio-symbols of Maharashtra’.
- The second place went to Uttar Pradesh (popular choice), while the tableau of Jammu and Kashmir, on the theme ‘Changing face of Jammu & Kashmir’, finished third.
- The tableau of the Ministry of Communication/Department of Posts was adjudged as the best tableau among Central Ministries/Departments based on people’s selection. The theme of this tableau was ‘India Post: 75 years @ Resolve – Women Empowerment’.
- WHO: Two years after the outbreak of Covid-19, Europe could soon enter a “long period of tranquility” due to high vaccination rates, the milder Omicron variant and the end of winter, the WHO said on Thursday.
- This period of higher protection should be seen as a ceasefire that could bring us enduring peace”, WHO Europe director Hans Kluge told reporters.
- This context, that we have not experienced so far in this pandemic, leaves us with the possibility for a long period of tranquility,” he added.
- United States: America has a relationship with India that stands on its own merit, the Joe Biden administration said today. US also said that the ties with India have not been impacted by the ongoing tension with Russia.
- Russia: President Vladimir Putin told Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Friday that Russia had prepared a new deal to supply China with more gas amid strained ties with the West over Ukraine and other issues.
- ISIS Chief: The U.S special forces operation that led to the killing of ISIS chief in Syria was being planned for months and President Biden had given his go-ahead on Tuesday.
- According to Reuters, U.S. forces rehearsed the helicopter raid over and over, hoping to capture Islamic State’s leader on the third floor of a residential building
- But he detonated a suicide bomb, triggering a large explosion that blew mangled bodies including his own; out of the building into the streets outside.
- Olympics: Beijing on Friday will become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games with a grand opening ceremony set to launch the fortnight-long event.
3rd February 2022
- Karnataka: With 1,72,433 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, India’s total tally of cases increased to over 41,803,318, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
- NEET PG: The Supreme Court is likely to hear a plea on postponement of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET PG) exam 2022 date on Friday, February 4, which was earlier listed on February 7. As per the apex court website, the plea seeking deferment of NEET PG 2022 may be listed for hearing on Friday, February 4. The plea was earlier filed on Tuesday, January 25.
- Punjab-Haryana: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday stayed the Haryana government’s law providing 75 per cent reservation at industries for the residents of the state. The matter came up for hearing before the division bench of Justices Ajay Tewari and Pankaj Jain. A detailed order is yet to be released by the High Court.
- Amitabh Bachchan: Amitabh Bachchan sells Delhi’s Gulmohar Park property Sopaan for ₹23 crore, to be reconstructed by new owners. His parents, Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan used to reside in that house.
- Hyderabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Statue of Equality, a gigantic statue of Ramanujacharya, on February 5 on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
- Maharashtra: Maharashtra SSC, HSC Exams 2022 will be held as per schedule. MSBSHSE has confirmed today, on February 3, 2022 that exams will be held in offline mode – 10th exams from March 15 and 12th exams from March 4, 2022.
- Railway: The Central Railways informed that at least 350 suburban locals and 117 mail, express, and passenger trains will be cancelled during the mega block period.
- The Central Railway has announced a 72-hour mega block on Friday and Saturday which will lead to the cancellation of 467 trains, including local trains and passenger trains.
- Central Railway’s (CR) chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said the mega block will start from February 5 at midnight and will carry on till February 7 at midnight.
- Custom Duties: Signalling a move to protect domestic industries which are not necessarily capital, technology or labour intensive, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday introduced a slew of higher custom duties on items of daily use such as umbrellas, headphones, earphones, loudspeakers, smart meters, and imitation jewelry.
- Himachal Pradesh: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert, warning of heavy snowfall in higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh. The alert includes popular tourist destinations like Chamba, Spiti, Kullu and Shimla. It also said that Punjab and Haryana are expected to get above normal rainfall.
- Telangana: The Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the State government to ensure that the online classes are provided to those school students, who are unable to attend physical classes due to Covid-19 pandemic.
- UPSC: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) will conduct the Civil Service prelims 2022 exam on June 5. Candidates who qualify the prelims will then appear for mains examination.
- Mumbai: The richest civic body in the country, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), today presented a budget of ₹45,949.21 crore for the year 2022-23, ahead of the civic elections. The budget estimates are 17.70 per cent more than the last fiscal, when the BMC had presented ₹39,038.83 crore budget.
- India: An Indian diplomat has decided to boycott the opening and closing ceremony of Winter Olympics in Beijing, where China has chosen as torchbearer a soldier who fought in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley against Indian troops in 2020. China’s move to distinguish a soldier from Galwan, where 20 Indian soldiers died, at the Games is considered provocative by many. The foreign ministry today called it “regrettable” while announcing the diplomat’s decision.
- United Nations: The UN Security Council called Wednesday for an “immediate cessation of all forms of violence” in Myanmar and expressed hope that a special envoy would be allowed to travel there to mediate the crisis.
- United States: The United States will send nearly 3,000 extra troops to Poland and Romania to shield Eastern Europe from a potential spillover from the crisis over the massing of Russian troops near Ukraine, US officials said on Wednesday.
- Ukraine Crisis: New high resolution satellite imagery provided by US-based space firm Maxar Technologies illustrates heightened Russian military deployments in Belarus, Crimea and western Russia.
- While Russian military activities in those areas have been reported for several weeks, recent imagery suggests that the Russian units now have increased troops to support more aggressive operations.
- Military training activities that include live-fire artillery are also seen in some of the training areas.
- BLA: The Balochistan Liberation Army, a militant organisation, has claimed to have killed more than 100 soldiers at two military camps in Pakistan on Thursday.
2nd February 2022
- Tamil Nadu: Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote a letter to several leaders across the country urging all those who believe in equality and social justice to come together. He addressed the letter to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and 36 other leaders.
- Mumbai: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has today been issued a summons by a Mumbai court that directed her to appear before it on March 2 for allegedly disrespecting the national anthem during her visit to the city in December 2021. The Chief Minister had allegedly not stood up when the national anthem was played at the event she was attending.
- Arunachal Pradesh: Miram Taron, the 17-year-old boy from Arunachal Pradesh, who was ‘abducted’ by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), in an exclusive interview said that he was tied up and given electric shocks. He was released by the PLA on January 27, nine days after he was reported missing.
- New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a scheme to strengthen infrastructure in villages along the border with China. This comes in the backdrop of the lingering standoff with China in eastern Ladakh and concerns in the security establishment over China setting up villages in several sectors close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s speech over the years:
- 2019: 2 Hour 17 Minutes
- 2020: 2 Hour 40 Minutes
- 2021: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
- 2022: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
- SSC CHSL 2022: Interested candidates can apply online for the recruitment examination by logging into the official website of the Commission https://ssc.nic.in. The submission of online applications has commenced on February 1, 2022. The last date of receipt of application is March 7, 2022.
- GATE 2022: Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, GATE 2022 exam postponement plea has been mentioned before the Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana led bench by a group of students. CJI has said to list the plea. A report has mentioned that NV Ramana led bench will hear GATE 2022 postponement plea tomorrow as the exam is scheduled to be conducted on February 5, 6 in offline mode.
- UAE-Yemen Conflict: The deployment, to “assist the UAE against the current threat”, follows a phone call between Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The United States will deploy a guided missile destroyer and state-of-the-art fighter jets to help defend the United Arab Emirates after a series of missile attacks by Yemeni rebels, a US statement.
- North Korea: Ri Sol Ju, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s Wife, Appears In Public After 5 Months. Both attended a performance at the Mansudae Art Theatre in the capital Pyongyang on wednesday.
- Myanmar: At least 11,787 people were unlawfully detained in a year-long protest against the coup in Myanmar, including 8,792 who remain in custody, UN human rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said.
- United States: The US State Department has been taking unusually long to process the appointment of the Pakistan Ambassador-designate to the United States Masood Khan. This delay has triggered an impression of a pause in the process. Masood Khan was to replace the outgoing Ambassador of Pakistan in Washington, Asad Majeed Khan.
- Karachi: A Hindu businessman was shot dead in Pakistan’s Sindh province on Monday by influential elements allegedly belonging to the Dahar community, living 2 km away from the Daharki town of Ghotki district, reported local media.
- Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the US and its allies have ignored Russia’s top security demands but added that Moscow is still open for more talks with the West on easing soaring tensions over Ukraine.
- Pakistan: A Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) official attributed the shortage of Paracetamol, the most commonly prescribed medicine for Covid-19 patients, to the rising number of dengue cases and the subsequent demand for the painkiller, reported a local newspaper.
1st February 2022
The big Budget day is here finally. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already presented Budget 2022 and has tabled the Finance Bill 2022 to the Parliament. The main highlights of the budget 2022-2023:
- Fiscal Deficit Target: The country’s total expenditure is estimated at Rs 39.45 lakh crore in FY23, while receipts other than borrowings are estimated at Rs 22.84 lakh crore. The fiscal deficit for FY23 is projected at 6.4 percent of GDP.
- Updating Returns: Taxpayers now have an opportunity to correct errors and file updated returns within two years of the relevant assessment year.
- Tax Deduction Limit: The tax deduction limit for state government employees on the employer’s contribution to the National Pension System will be increased to 14% from 10% to bring them at par with Central government employees.
- Digital Rupee: The Reserve Bank of India will issue a digital currency based on blockchain and other technology starting in FY23. “Introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency will give a big boost to digital economy,” the finance minister said.
- Digital Assets: The government is launching the Digital Rupee, a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Reserve Bank of India will launch the CBDC from the upcoming financial year.
- Tax must be deducted at source on the payment made in relation to transfer of a virtual digital asset at 1 percent of such consideration above a monetary threshold.
- Any income from the transfer of any virtual digital asset will be taxed at 30 percent.
- LTCG: The surcharge on long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of any type of asset will be capped at 15 percent.
- SEZ Act: The Special Economic Zones Act will be replaced with new legislation that will allow states to become partners in developing enterprise and service hubs. This will cover all large existing and new industrial enclaves to optimally utilise infrastructure and enhance export competitiveness.
- Financial Assistance to States for Capital Investment: The outlay for the ‘Scheme for Financial Assistance to States for Capital Investment’ is being increased to Rs 1 lakh crore in FY23, up from Rs 15,000 crore in the revised estimate for the current year.
- This it to assist the states in catalysing overall investments in the economy.
- These 50-year interest-free loans are over and above the normal borrowings allowed to states and the allocation will be used for PM Gati Shakti-related and other productive capital investments.
- Rail Network: As part of Atmanirbhar Bharat, 2,000 km of network will be brought under Kavach, the indigenous, world-class technology for safety and capacity augmentation, in FY23.
- Vande Bharat Trains: 400 new-generation Vande Bharat trains are to be built over the next three years.
- Gati Shakti Master Plan: The PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan is driven by seven engines: roads, railways, airports, ports, mass transport, waterways and logistics infrastructure, which will pull forward the economy in unison.
- The Gati Shakti Master Plan for expressways is to be drawn up in FY23 and 100 new cargo terminals will be built over the next three years.
- The national highway network will be expanded by 25,000 km in FY23.
- EV battery-swapping policy: Acknowledging the constraint of space in urban areas for setting up charging stations for electric vehicles, the finance minister proposed to introduce a battery-swapping policy and frame inter-operability standards. The private sector would be encouraged to develop sustainable and innovative business models for battery- or energy-as-a-service.
- 5G rollout: Spectrum auctions will be conducted in 2022 to facilitate the rollout of 5G mobile services by private telecom companies.
- Kisan drones: Chemical-free natural farming will be promoted across the country, with the focus on agricultural land along the River Ganga in the first stage.
- Mental health programme: With the pandemic accentuating mental health problems in people of all ages, a National Tele Mental Health programme will be started to improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services.
- Digital Education: With children having lost almost two years of formal education due to the pandemic, the ‘One Class-One TV Channel’ programme of PM eVIDYA will be expanded from 12 to 200 TV channels.
- This will enable all states to provide supplementary education in regional languages for classes 1 to 12.
- A Digital University will be set up to provide world-class quality universal education with personalised learning experience.
- This will be available in different Indian languages and ICT formats.
- Paperless e-bill system: A completely paperless, end-to-end online e-bill system will be started for use by all central ministries for their procurements as a further step to enhance transparency and to reduce delays in payments.
- E-passports: E-passports using embedded chips and futuristic technology will start rolling out in FY23 to make overseas travel more convenient.
- Housing: The government will allocate Rs 48,000 crore for PM Awas Yojana and complete 8 million houses for the scheme’s identified and eligible beneficiaries in rural and urban areas in FY23.
- Defence: To reduce imports and promote AtmaNirbharta in equipment for the armed forces.
- 68% of the capital procurement budget will be earmarked for the domestic defence industry.
- Private industry will be encouraged to take up design and development of military platforms and equipment in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation and other entities.
- Animation and gaming: Animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) offer immense potential to employ youth. An AVGC promotion taskforce will be set up to recommend ways to realise this and build domestic capacity to serve the domestic markets and global demand.
- Post office banking: All 150,000 post offices in the country will become part of the core banking system.
- Enabling access to accounts through internet banking, mobile banking and ATMs and also allowing online transfers between post offices and bank accounts.
- This will help farmers and senior citizens in rural areas, enabling interoperability and financial inclusion.
- Hospitality: Hospitality and related services offered by small and medium enterprises are yet to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. The government has decided to increase the guarantee cover for them by Rs 50,000 crore under a scheme that will be extended to March 2023.
- Solar modules: To facilitate the domestic manufacturing of 280 gigawatts of installed solar energy capacity by 2030, the government will make an additional allocation of Rs 19,500 crore under the production-linked incentive scheme for the production of high-efficiency modules.
- Karnataka: Karnataka hijab row is likely to continue as the students have decided to attend the classes wearing a veil despite the state government banning it in the college campus.
- New Delhi: The Futures-Reliance deal got a fresh chance today from the Supreme Court, which set aside the adverse orders of the Delhi High Court and asked it to decide the case on merit. US e-commerce major Amazon has been opposing the ₹ 24,731 crore deal.
- Russia: The Russian government has sent a written response to a U.S. proposal aimed at deescalating the Ukraine crisis, according to three Biden administration officials.
- Japan:A Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) F15 fighter jet disappeared during training over the Sea of Japan on Monday, the JASDF has said. The jet lost radar contact after taking off from the Komatsu Air Base in the central Japanese prefecture of Ishikawa, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the JASDF.
- Ukraine: At United Nations, India calls for immediate de-escalation of tensions. In its continued attempt to balance its close strategic ties with both the United States (US) and Russia, India has called for an immediate de-escalation of tensions related to Ukraine.
- United States: The United States has blocked the appointment of the next Pakistan ambassador, Masood Khan, over possible terror links. US Congressman Scott Perry wrote to the US President, Joe Biden, and requested him to reject Masood Khan as the next ambassador. The US Congressman mentioned that Masood was known to have praised Burhan Wani.
- London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologised in Parliament on Monday for breaking pandemic rules with a series of parties at Downing Street. The apology came hours after Gray “provided an update on her investigations to the Prime Minister”.
- UAE: The Gulf financial centre, long known as a tax haven and the regional headquarters for a swathe of multinationals, will tax business profits over 375,000 AED ($102,000) at 9.0 percent from June next year.
- Canada: Justin Trudeau says Canada not intimidated by ‘disgusting’ truckers’ protest. Canada has no place for such behaviour, Justin Trudeau said on Monday as he addressed the press from a secure location days after he left his house in the wake of the Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa. He has also tested Covid positive.