Current Affairs March 2022 (Daily Updated)

Current Affairs March

Last Updated: 12 September 2022

Gkgigs publishes Current Affairs of March 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 March 2022 and boost your General Knowledge. Stay updated on all the Important News and Current Affairs of March 2022.

31st March 2022


India


  • Court Orders: The Chief Justice of India N V Ramana today launched ‘Fast and Secure Transmission of Electronic Records’ (FASTER), a software to transmit Court Orders swiftly, securely through electronic mode.
  • Russian Oil Barrel: Russia has offered oil to India at a steep discount of $35 barrel on prices before the war as mounting international pressure lowers the appetite for its barrels elsewhere following the invasion of Ukraine.
  • Britannia: Britannia Industries Ltd., India’s biggest cookie manufacturer, plans to hike prices by as much as 7% this year in another sign that inflationary pressures will hurt poorer consumers the most, as the war in Ukraine wreaks havoc on food supply chains.
  • ITR: There are many changes in the income tax rules effective from the next financial year. Income tax on crypto assets, filing of updated returns, new tax rules on EPF interest, and tax relief on Covid-19 treatment are some of the major changes effective from 1 April 2022.
  • GAIL: GAIL (India) Ltd on Thursday said it will buy back about 5.7 crore shares for Rs 1,083 crore as it looks to use its healthy balance sheet to reward shareholders for the second time in as many years. GAIL had in 2020-21 spent Rs 1,046.35 crore on a similar share buyback.
  • Civil Service: An extra attempt for Covid-affected candidates in the civil services mains exam should be considered, the Supreme Court told the Centre today, giving it two weeks for the job. The Centre has said it will consider the matter in light of a Parliamentary Committee Report.
  • NEET PG: In a major development, the Supreme Court on Thursday canceled the All India Quota Mop-Up Round Counselling for NEET-PG 2021-2022 admissions in order to resolve the anomalies arising from the addition of 146 seats to the Mop-Up Round which were not available to candidates in Rounds 1 and 2 of the AIQ.
  • Combat Helicopters: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Wednesday (March 30) approved the procurement of 15 indigenously developed Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) at a cost of Rs 3,887 cr along with infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 cr. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Punjab: Bhagwant Mann, the new Punjab Chief Minister announced on Wednesday, March 30, that all private schools in Punjab are prohibited from hiking their fees for the session of 2022-23. The Punjab CM has also prohibited Punjab private schools from compelling parents and children to buy their school books and uniform from a particular shop.
  • MCD: The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill to merge three municipal corporations of Delhi into a single entity. The Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill seeks to unify the three municipal corporations into a single, integrated and well-equipped entity to ensure a robust mechanism for synergized and strategic planning and optimal utilization of resources, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said.
  • New Delhi: The fire that broke out at Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill on Monday affected Ghaziabad’s air quality, which witnessed a spike of over 100 points in the last two days and was recorded in the “very poor” category on Wednesday. Officials of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) said that there was an unexpected rise in the Air Quality Index (AQI) readings of Noida and Greater Noida as well the air quality in both cities dwindled from “moderate” to “poor” category in the past two days.
  • Reliance Industries: India’s top retailer, Reliance, has privately defended an abrupt takeover of the stores of debt-laden rival Future Retail, saying mounting dues of $634 million compelled it to act beyond expectations, a company letter shows.
    • The takeover was part of the race to dominate a $900-billion retail sector that set off a bitter dispute in which India’s Supreme Court will decide whether Reliance or Amazon.com Inc gets to scoop up Future’s assets.
    • The March 8 letter, seen by Reuters, reveals for the first time Reliance’s stance on the events of the night of Feb. 25, when staff suddenly showed up at many of its rival’s stores to take control over missed lease payments.
  • Northeast: In a major outreach to Northeastern states, Home Minister Amit Shah today announced that areas covered under the controversial law Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Nagaland, Assam, and Manipur will be reduced after decades.
    • AFSPA has been lifted from 23 Assam districts completely and from one district partially, 15 police stations in six Manipur districts, and 15 police stations in seven districts of Nagaland.
    • Crediting the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the move, he said that the “improved security situation and fast-tracked development” due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in the North East has made it possible.

World


  • Russia: Ahead of Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to India, Moscow has assured New Delhi that there is “no restriction of any kind” on settling transactions in the national currencies of the two countries. Also, the sanctions imposed by the US, UK, and EU on its largest lender Sberbank, which has a branch in India, don’t pose any risk to Indian companies and financial institutions dealing with it, Russia has told India.
  • Ukraine War: Russian President Vladimir Putin indeed is in dark about the ground reality of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and especially how Russia has been faring in the conflict, as Putin’s officials are too afraid to tell him the truth, the White House said citing some declassified US intelligence. The findings also indicate a “persistent tension” between Putin and his ministry of defense.
  • Colombo: Diesel was no longer on sale across Sri Lanka on Thursday, crippling transport as the crisis-hit country’s 22 million people endure record-long power blackouts.
    • The South Asian nation is amid its worst economic downturn since independence, sparked by an acute lack of foreign currency to pay for even the most essential imports.
    • Petrol was on sale but in short supply, forcing motorists to abandon their cars in long queues.

30th March 2022


India


  • AICTE: Physics, chemistry, and mathematics are no longer mandatory for admission to architecture courses, the technical education regulator All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has said in its Approval Process 2022-23, released on Tuesday.
  • ONGC: The government will this week sell up to 1.5 percent of its stake in the country’s top oil and gas producer ONGC to raise about Rs 3,000 crore. The Offer For Sale (OFS) by the government will be open on March 30 and 31, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) said in a stock exchange filing on Tuesday.
  • Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute: MoU Signed Between CMs Of Both States In Presence Of Home Minister Amit Shah. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Kongkal Sangma to resolve the border dispute between the two states.
  • ESE: The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has declared the final results of the engineering services exam (ESE), 2021. A total of 194 candidates have been selected against the 225 reported vacancies. Candidates who appeared in the engineering services 2021 interview can check the results at the official website– upsc.gov.in.
  • Telangana: The Telangana government’s recently announced GRID Policy is expected to be a significant growth driver for the Hyderabad office market that houses top IT firms like Facebook and Google. The policy is likely to create 35-40 million sq. ft of IT supply in the non-western corridors of Hyderabad over the next five years, decongesting the existing IT corridor and creating more demand.
  • Hydrogen Car: Even as fuel prices keep soaring causing widespread public dissatisfaction, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today rolled into the Parliament in a green hydrogen-powered car – the first of its kind in India. The Minister traveled from his residence to the Parliament in the car this morning as part of a pilot project. Mr. Gadkari has often spoken about a transition to renewables and green energy.
  • Russia: Russian central bank officials are expected to meet their counterparts from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to create a regulatory framework that will help sustain bilateral trade and banking operations despite the global sanctions against Moscow, four people familiar with the developments. They are also likely to work on the creation of a dedicated payment mechanism to facilitate India’s energy purchases from Russia.
  • Australia: Australia is on the brink of finalizing a free-trade agreement with India with an announcement possible in “coming days,” as the government works to strike a deal less than two months before an expected May election. Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said that he and his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal were meeting daily and “getting very close” to reaching a deal. Tehan said he was hopeful that there could be an announcement soon.
  • Fuel Prices: Petrol and diesel prices were today hiked by 80 paise a litre each, taking the total increase in rates in the last nine days to ₹ 5.60 per litre.
    • Petrol in Delhi will now cost ₹ 101.01 per litre as against ₹ 100.21 previously while diesel rates have gone up from ₹ 91.47 per litre to ₹ 92.27 according to a price notification of state fuel retailers.
    • In Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices per litre reached ₹ 115.88 and ₹ 100.10 respectively after prices were hiked by 84 paise and 85 paise.
  • Uttar Pradesh: Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad (UPMSP) Class 12 English Examination has been canceled due to a paper leak.
    • The Uttar Pradesh Board, UPMSP canceled class 12, the intermediate exam for English paper which was scheduled to be conducted on Wednesday, March 30.
    • The 12th English paper got canceled in 24 districts of the state due to an alleged paper leak incident in the Ballia district.
    • As per the report, class 12 English paper was being sold in the market for Rs 500.
  • New Delhi: The Union power ministry has decided to divert 728 MW (megawatt) power allocated to Delhi from a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant in Dadri to neighboring Haryana from April 1, citing a letter written by Delhi power minister Satyendar Jain in July 2015, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
    • Power utilities in Delhi said the power ministry’s directive to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was issued without prior notice and could lead to power cuts in the national capital.
    • Delhi’s peak power demand on Tuesday was 4,332 MW and is expected to cross 8,000 MW this summer. Last year, Delhi clocked a peak power demand of 7,323 MW.

World


  • Turkey: Ukraine made a series of proposals at talks held Tuesday in Turkey with Russia on resolving the month-long conflict, including abandoning its longstanding ambition to join NATO.
  • Islamabad: Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government received a massive blow by key ally and the main coalition partner Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM) after it struck a deal with the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
  • Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Russia today promised at peace talks to drastically scale down its military operations around Kyiv and the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, while Ukraine proposed neutral status with international guarantees to protect it from attack. Ukraine’s top negotiator declared Tuesday that enough progress had been made at talks to resolve the conflict with Russia to enable a meeting between the presidents of the two countries.
  • Colombo: As Sri Lankans faint in day-long queues for fuel and swelter through stifling evening blackouts by candlelight, anger is mounting over the worst economic crisis in living memory.
    • A critical lack of foreign currency has left the island nation unable to pay for vital imports, leading to dire shortages in everything from life-saving medicines to cement.
    • Long lines for fuel that start forming before dawn are forums for public grievances, where neighbors complain bitterly about government mismanagement and fret over how to feed their families as food prices skyrocket.
  • NASA: A US astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts are close to returning to Earth together, despite heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over the war in Ukraine.
    • The Russian Soyuz capsule carrying NASA’s Mark Vande Hei and his cosmonaut peers Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov undocked from the International Space Station at 2:45 am EDT (06:45 GMT) on Wednesday.
    • They are scheduled to make a parachute landing in central Kazakhstan nearly five hours later.
  • PlayStation: Sony has announced a major rework of its online PlayStation Plus service, which will now be including additional tiers that bring a library of games that users can download and play, as well as integrating the cloud-based PlayStation Now service.
    • The first tier will be PlayStation Plus Essential, which is exactly identical to the current PlayStation Plus service. This includes all of the same benefits, such as two monthly downloadable games, online multiplayer access, cloud saves, and discounts.
    • The pricing will also remain the same, which is $10 monthly, $25 quarterly, and $60 yearly. All existing PlayStation Plus users will be migrated to this tier.

29th March 2022


India


  • Crypto: The Indian government has revealed that 11 cryptocurrency exchanges have been under investigation by the country’s tax authority. About 95.86 crore rupees ($12.6 million) have been recovered from them.
  • Petrol-Diesel Prices: Fuel prices were increased again on Tuesday for the seventh time in the last eight days. In Delhi, petrol rates were hiked by 80 paise a litre to cross the ₹ 100 mark and diesel by 70 paise a litre.
  • SC: The Supreme Court on Monday granted four weeks to the Centre to respond to a plea, which has sought directions for framing guidelines for the identification of minorities at the state level, contending that Hindus are in minority in 10 states.
  • FPO: The subscription for Ruchi Soya Industries Rs 4,300 crore follow-on public offer (FPO) is down to 2.58 times on March 29 from 3.6 times yesterday, after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) provided an option to investors to withdraw their applications, according to CNBC-TV18.
  • BSE: The BSE has invited applications for the post of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for the stock exchange. Notably, the post becomes vacant only in November 2022. With this, we have a situation where the two biggest stock exchanges in India are hunting for CEOs simultaneously.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told Bharatiya Janta Party MPs that the NDA government has taken measures to acknowledge the contributions of 14 former PMs. “Pradhan Mantri Sangrahalaya (PM Museum)” at Nehru museum will be inaugurated on April 14, which shows the works of all the former Prime Ministers.
  • New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia has decided to hold admissions for eight courses through the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) in the 2022-23 academic session, the university’s Registrar told The Indian Express on Monday. For the remaining courses, it will hold admissions as per past practice through its own entrance exams.
  • Tamil Nadu: UAE-based retail major Lulu group on Monday announced an investment of Rs 3,500 crore in Tamil Nadu to set up shopping malls, hypermarkets, and a food-logistic park. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed on Monday by Pooja Kulkarni, Managing Director and CEO of Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance & Export Promotion Bureau, and Ashraf Ali MA, Executive Director of Lulu Group.
  • Income Tax: With the current financial year ending on March 31, 2022, we will witness several changes in the income tax rules in FY 22-23. These changes will include both addition of new rules as well as reforms to existing ones. Income tax on crypto assets, filing of updated returns, new tax rules on EPF interest, and tax relief on Covid-19 treatment are some of the major changes that await us in the next financial year.
  • Amrapali Projects: The Supreme Court on March 28 directed the consortium of seven banks to release Rs 1,500 crore by March 29 so that construction of stalled real estate projects of the embattled Amrapali Group can begin soon. Bank of Baroda is the lead bank of the consortium of seven banks. Other lenders include Punjab National Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of India, State Bank of India, Indian Bank, and Punjab and Sindh Bank, which have formed a consortium to fund the stalled projects of Amrapali Group.
  • Tripura: Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to include the ‘Darlong’ community as a sub-tribe of the ‘Kuki’ in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Tripura even as Opposition members called for more comprehensive legislation on including communities in the Scheduled Caste and Tribes lists rather than in a piecemeal allocation.
    • Moving the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022, in Lok Sabha, Minister for Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, said the Union government was working towards the betterment of living conditions of the tribal communities, and good results will be visible on the health, education, and employment fronts.
    • Responding to issues flagged by members during the course of the debate, he said the Union Information and Technology Ministry had recently come up with a plan to develop broadband and 4G connectivity in aspirational districts.

World


  • Ukraine-Russia: Talks between Ukraine and Russia began in Turkey on Tuesday without a handshake, Ukrainian television reported. “There was a cold welcome, no handshake,” a Ukrainian reporter said, without making clear whether he had witnessed the delegation’s meeting.
  • China: Shanghai cranked up lockdown restrictions for people residing in the eastern half of the city, barring everyone from leaving their homes even to walk their dogs as local daily Covid-19 infections jumped to a record 4,477 on Tuesday.
  • FedEx: Indian American Raj Subramanian would be the new CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of FedEx. The US multinational courier service major made an announcement in this regard on Monday. The Indian American would replace Frederick W Smith, who is going to step down from this position on 1st June 2022.

28th March 2022


India


  • Bharat Bandh: The bank unions are participating in the strike to protest against the government’s plan to privatize public sector banks, as well as the Banking Laws Amendment Bill 2021.
  • Kalyan Jewellers: Kalyan Jewellers India Ltd has announced the board approval for the appointment of Vinod Rai as the Chairman and Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of the company.
  • Shopee: E-commerce and gaming firm Sea Ltd (SE.N) said on Monday it is withdrawing from India’s retail market just months after starting operations there, the second pullback this month in an overseas expansion drive, as the loss-making firm faces a weak growth outlook.
  • RBI Recruitment 2022: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday (March 28, 2022) released notifications for the direct recruitment for the posts of Assistant Manager (Rajbhasha), Assistant Manager (Protocol & Security) in Grade ‘A’ and for the post of Officers in Grade ‘B’.
  • West Bengal: Five Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators, including the leader of the opposition Suvendu Adhikari and the party’s chief whip Manoj Tigga, were suspended from the West Bengal Legislative Assembly after a fight broke out between the MLAs of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the main opposition BJP in the House on Monday.
  • Indian Monetary Policy: Politicians rarely end up coining terms that become popular in economics. The British politician, Ian Macleod, is an exception. Speaking to the House of Commons on 17 November 1965, he said: “We now have the worst of both worlds—not just inflation on the one side or stagnation on the other, but both of them together. We have a sort of stagflation situation.”
  • Petrol & Diesel: Fuel prices were hiked again on Monday, March 28, 2022, across metro cities for the sixth time in the last seven days. Petrol rates were hiked by 30 paise a litre and diesel by 35 paise a litre, according to a price notification of state fuel retailers. A litre of petrol in Delhi will now cost ₹ 99.41 as against ₹ 99.11 previously, while diesel will be sold at ₹ 90.77 from ₹ 90.42 per litre earlier.
  • IPO: Kerala-based jewelry retail chain Joyalukkas India, one of the leading jewelry companies in the country in terms of revenues in fiscal 2021, has filed its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with the markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The company plans to raise Rs 2,300 crore through an initial public offering (IPO) with a fresh issue of shares, with no offer for sale component.
  • Lok Sabha: Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill tabled in Lok Sabha amid protests. The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 which would allow the police and prison authorities to collect, store and analyze physical and biological samples including retina and iris scans was introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday amid strong protests from Opposition members, who forced a vote on the issue and termed the Bill.
  • Sri Lanka: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar landed in Sri Lanka on Monday, March 28, to hold bilateral talks with Sri Lanka’s top leadership and attend the seven-nation Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Summit. EAM Jaishankar called on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who expressed his gratitude to India for extending financial assistance to the island nation to deal with its economic crisis.
  • India-UAE: India has kept sensitive dairy products out of the purview of its free trade agreement (FTA) with the UAE and pledged a phased reduction of tariffs on certain key farm and food items, mainly meat, to safeguard the interests of domestic players.
    • The details of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) show New Delhi, which taxes bovine meat and chicken imports at 30%, will trim the duty to 27% in the first year of the FTA, followed by a phased reduction of 300 basis points each year until it reaches 15%.
    • Buffalo meat alone contributed about $2.8 billion to India’s farm export kitty until January this fiscal. Of course, in some other meat segments where it’s not a big player, the duties will be abolished immediately.

World


  • Colombo: Sri Lanka’s oldest and first international airport was relaunched on Sunday with its first international flight landing in 54 years.
  • Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said on Monday, after he met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
  • Shanghai: Shanghai will launch a phased lockdown to curb an Omicron-fuelled Covid-19 outbreak that has hit China with its highest caseloads since the early days of the pandemic, the city government said Sunday.
  • Moscow: The Kremlin on Monday expressed concern after US President Joe Biden called the Russian leader Vladimir Putin a “butcher” over his military operation in Ukraine. “This is a statement that is certainly alarming,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Moscow will “continue closely monitoring” statements of the US president.
  • COVID: The viral load for Omicron BA.2 is twice as much as the previously identified subvariant Omicron BA.1, a new study has revealed. And authors further explained, the increased viral load in the upper pharynx upon BA.2 infection may provide part of the explanation for why Omicron BA.2 is more transmissible than variants across populations.
  • Russia Ukraine War: Ukraine sees no signs on the ground that Russia has given up a plan to surround the capital Kyiv, Ukrainian defense ministry spokesperson Oleksander Motuzyanyk said on Monday. The disposition of Russian forces during the past 24 hours has seen no significant change, but Russia has gained more ground in the vicinity of Mariupol, British military intelligence said.

27th March 2022


India


  • Indigo: Airline major IndiGo will launch 100 flights connecting key domestic metro cities and regional centers, starting from March 27, 2022.
  • CUET: The Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET 2022) application process for Under Graduate Programmes in Central Universities for the Academic Session 2022-23 will commence on April 2.
  • International Flights: Regular scheduled international flights started in India today after a halt of over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, international flights had been operating in an “air bubble” arrangement with several nations.
  • Russia: India’s largest gas utility GAIL (India) Limited continues to pay for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) it imports from Russia’s Gazprom in US dollars and will seek exchange rate neutrality in case payments are sought in any other currency such as Euro.
  • Sainik Schools: As part of the government’s initiative of setting up 100 new Sainik schools across the country, the establishment of 21 new Sainik Schools in partnership with NGOs, private schools, or state governments has been approved by the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India achieving its export target of USD 400 billion this fiscal shows that the demand for its items is increasing all over the world, and asserted that when every Indian gets ‘vocal for local’, it does not take much time for the “local to become global”.
  • DRDO: Indian Army on Sunday successfully carried out the test firing of the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile air defense system off the coast of Odisha’s Balasore, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) informed.
    • MRSAM-Army missile system flight tested from ITR Balasore, Odisha at around 1030 hours intercepting a high-speed aerial target at long range.
    • The system is part of the Indian Army. In the test, the missile secured a direct hit at the target at a very far distance.
  • NPPAI: The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority of India on Friday announced a 10.7 percent change in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for the calendar year 2021 over the corresponding period in 2020.
    • The prices of nearly 800 scheduled medicines on the National List of Essential Medicines, which are used to treat the majority of common ailments, will rise by 10.7 percent beginning April 1.
    • Now the prices of medicines used to treat fever, infections, heart diseases, high blood pressure, skin diseases, and anemia will increase.
    • This includes drugs like Paracetamol, Phenobarbitone, Phenytoin Sodium, Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin Hydrochloride, and Metronidazole.
  • Gujarat: Nineteen million tonnes of steel waste produced by different plants around the country each year that usually go to landfills may soon find a use – to make roads that not only utilize an unused resource but also be more durable.
    • Under the first such project as part of a research, a road made with steel waste has come up in the city of Surat in Gujarat at the Hazira Industrial Area.
    • It is sponsored by the Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) with help from the Ministry of Steel and Policy Commission and the NITI Aayog.
    • The project also taps the Government of India’s Waste to Wealth and Clean India Campaign.
  • Bharat Bandh: The nationwide strike by trade unions is likely to be held for two days starting tomorrow.
    • The trade unions linked to the BJP and the TMC have not called for a strike, those belonging to the Congress and the Left parties have called for a two-day strike on March 28-29 against the Centre’s economic policies.
    • The West Bengal government has asked all its employees to report for duty on March 28 and 29, failing which they will be issued show-cause notices.
    • The TMC government also said that no casual leave will be granted to employees except in emergency situations like illness or death in the family. The TMC has been opposed to bandhs as its official policy.
    • The central trade unions which are part of the joint forum calling for the strike are INTUC, AIUTUC, TUCC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, and UTUC.

World


  • Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, visibly irritated, on Saturday demanded Western nations provide a fraction of the military hardware in their stockpiles and asked whether they were afraid of Moscow.
  • Beijing: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is delaying the retirement age of its government employees as the draconian one-child policy bears its long-term effects in the form of an aging population accompanied by an increased state expenditure on social security pensions, a report said on Friday.
  • BIMSTEC: Besides India and Sri Lanka, BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) includes Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan.
    • PM Narendra Modi will attend the fifth BIMSTEC Summit via video conference on 30th March.
    • Not wanting to share the stage with Myanmar’s rulers, India is learned to have leaned on Sri Lanka, which is hosting the summit as the current BIMSTEC chair, to conduct it on a virtual platform.

26th March 2022


India


  • Finance Bill: The Lok Sabha on Friday approved and passed the Finance Bill, which gives effect to new taxation, and hence completing the Budgetary exercise for 2022-23 fiscal.
  • Strike: A joint forum of central trade unions has called for a nationwide strike on Monday and Tuesday to protest against Central government policies that affect workers.
  • Jharkhand: Chief Minister Hemant Soren has asked the center to clear what he claims is a ₹ 1.36 lakh crore due for mining by government firms. He had raised this issue in the state assembly too.
  • Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to extend its free ration scheme by three months. The decision was taken today in the first cabinet meeting chaired by Yogi Adityanath, who took oath as UP’s Chief Minister for the second time yesterday.
  • PM Kisan: The Noida district administration has set March 25 as the deadline for farmers registering under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to update their e-KYC on the PM Kisan site. Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana is a government scheme that provides small and marginal farmers with minimum income support of Rs 6,000 per year.
  • Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann yesterday said former MLAs will now get a pension for only one term, doing away with the practice of drawing the benefit for each term served by them.
    • An MLA gets a pension of around ₹ 75,000 per month for one term. Thereafter, an additional 66 percent of the pension amount is given for each subsequent term.
    • More than 250 former MLAs are getting pensions at present.
  • AAI: The Airports Authority of India in its revised guidelines for international flights, which will resume from tomorrow, has said the requirement of airlines keeping three seats vacant for social distancing has now been scrapped.
    • As per the revised guidelines, the requirement of complete Personal Protective Equipment or PPE kit for crew members is not needed anymore.
    • Pat-down search conducted by security personnel at airports is also re-introduced.
  • New Delhi: Delhi Finance minister Manish Sisodia Friday presented a Rs 75,800-crore “Rozgaar Budget” for 2022-23.
    • A major focus on job creation and markets to boost economic growth and recover from the damages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown.
    • The upcoming financial year’s Budget has seen an increase of about 13.3 percent as compared to the revised estimates of the previous year’s Budget which stood at Rs 67,000 crore. The total Budget presented for 2021-23 was Rs 69,000 crore.
  • Lok Sabha: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said the Russia-Ukraine conflict has adversely affected all countries in the form of elevated oil prices and caused a massive disruption in the global supply chains.
    • Replying to a discussion on the Finance Bill, which was approved by the Lok Sabha, the minister also justified the Budget proposal to tax any income from the transfer of virtual digital assets (VDA), such as cryptocurrencies, at 30%.
    • “We are very clear. Until we decide whether to regulate or ban it (crypto), we are taxing it. There is definitely commonplace knowledge that lots of transactions are happening. So obviously the government made its position clear that we shall tax the money,” Sitharaman said.

World


  • Brussels: President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday, France was working with Turkey and Greece on a “humanitarian operation” to evacuate people from the devastated Ukrainian city of Mariupol under attack by Russian forces.
  • Washington: A senior White House official said on Friday India’s position at the United Nations over the crisis in Ukraine has been “unsatisfactory” but was also unsurprising given its historical relationship with Russia. Mira Rapp-Hooper, director for the Indo-Pacific on the White House National Security Council, told an online forum hosted by Washington’s School of Advanced International Studies India needed alternatives to continued close ties with Russia.
  • UNGA: India said that it abstained on the resolution since what it requires now is to focus on the cessation of hostilities and urgent humanitarian assistance. One month after Russia began its military advance in Ukraine, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Thursday adopted a resolution on humanitarian consequences of the aggression against Ukraine, as tabled by Kyiv and a large cross-regional group and supported by the EU & its Member States.

25th March 2022


India


  • IPO: Gujarat Polysol Chemicals has filed preliminary papers with the capital markets regulator for raising funds via a Rs 414 crore initial public offering.
  • SEBI: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on March 24 imposed a Rs 5-lakh fine on Axis Bank for violating merchant banking norms, the markets regulator said in an order.
  • Ruchi Soya: The follow-on public offer (FPO) of Patanjali Ayurve-backed Ruchi Soya Industries had received bids for 1.8 crore equity shares against an offer size of 4.89 crore shares, a 37 percent subscription on March 25, the second day of bidding.
  • Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday said the “judiciary crossed its limits” and went against the federal spirit in issuing an impractical order on the three capitals issue and stated the March 3 ruling of the AP High Court on the matter “cannot be implemented.”
  • OLA: IPO-bound mobility platform Ola will buy founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal’s brother’s firm Avail Finance for $50 million in a share swap deal, people familiar with the matter said, even as some investors were hesitant about signing off on the transaction because it involved related parties.
  • New Delhi: Delhi-NCR-based developer Supertech, which has several ongoing projects in Noida, Greater Noida, Gurugram and Ghaziabad, went into insolvency on March 25 after the Delhi bench of the National Company Law Tribunal admitted a petition filed by the Union Bank of India for non-payment of dues.
  • Uttar Pradseh: Yogi Adityanath was sworn in today as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister for the second time, a 37-year-record, in a ceremony at a packed Lucknow stadium where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, top BJP leaders and Bollywood stars were present.
    • Yogi Adityanath will again have two deputies.
    • Keshav Prasad Maurya, who lost the UP election, will continue as Deputy Chief Minister. But Dinesh Sharma will be replaced by Brahmin leader Brajesh Pathak.

World


  • Ukraine: US President Joe Biden will visit a town in Poland that is near the border with Ukraine, the White House said, as he seeks to show Western resolve against Russia’s invasion.
  • Brussels: Russia may be trying to create a pretext for the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine by accusing the US and its allies of preparing such an attack, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
  • United States: The United States on March 24 announced a new package of sanctions on Russian elites, lawmakers, and defense companies, punishments designed to ramp up pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
  • Advanced Technologies: The US is no longer dominating several advanced technologies, an influential American Senator in Washington has observed, saying that India, Russia, and China have advantages on hypersonic technology.
  • Google: Google has announced a pilot to explore alternate payment methods for in-app purchases as regulators across the world up the ante against major mobile app stores to allow third-party billing systems inside apps. The pilot will first roll out on Spotify’s app, a developer that has been particularly vocal against Google and Apple’s handling of payment methods on in-app purchases.
  • Science: Tiny particles of plastic, called microplastic – a major source of pollution have been detected in the human blood for the first time.
    • It was detected in nearly 80 per cent of samples tested by a group of researchers from the Netherlands.
    • The discovery is extremely significant as it shows that microplastic can travel around the body and may lodge in organs.
    • Though the scientists are not yet aware of the long term impact of these particles on health, but are concerned due to already rising pollution levels across the globe.

24th March 2022


India


  • COVID: India on Wednesday reported a total of 1,778 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the COVID-19 tally to 4,30,12,749. According to Union health ministry data, the active cases declined further to 23,087 today.
  • Srilanka: Sri Lanka is currently facing its worst economic meltdown since independence in 1948, with crippling shortages of essentials and fears it will default on its foreign debt or ask bondholders to take a “haircut” on repayments.
  • Ukraine: The Ukraine war was the result of a “lot of miscalculation of Russian propaganda”, Kyiv’s ambassador in India, Igor Polikha, said today as the Russian invasion completed one month. He also said he would be the “happiest ambassador” if India’s position moved closer to Ukraine.
  • New Delhi: Delhi’s GDP went up by 50 per cent over the past five years showing the “strong position” of the Capital’s economy, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said on the first day of the budget session of the Delhi Assembly Wednesday. Baijal said that Covid-19 had an adverse impact on Delhi’s economy in 2020-21.
  • Maruti Suzuki: Maruti Suzuki has appointed Hisashi Takeuchi as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer from April 1, 2022 till March 31, 2025. Kenichi Ayukawa, the MD since 2013, will be the Whole-time Director designated as Executive Vice Chairman of Maruti Suzuki for the next six months to help in the transition, with effect from April 1, 2022.
  • DRDO: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) on Wednesday successfully test fired the surface to surface BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The extended range missile testfiring was witnessed by Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other defence officials. The missile hit its target with pinpoint accuracy, the defence officials said.
  • Ruchi Soya: The follow-on public offer of Patanjali Ayurved Group-controlled Ruchi Soya Industries was subscribed 11 percent, with investors putting in bids for 54.79 lakh equity shares against an offer size of 4.89 crore equity shares by noon on March 24, the first day of bidding.
    • The offer size was reduced from 6.6 crore shares to 4.89 crore as the FMCG company, backed by yoga guru Ramdev, mopped up Rs 1,290 crore from anchor investors a day earlier.
    • The price band for the offer has been fixed at Rs 615-650 a share.

World


  • Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO on Thursday to provide Kyiv with unrestricted military aid, one month into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Moscow: Russia’s highly regarded central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina sought to resign after Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine, only to be told by the president to stay, according to four people with knowledge of the discussions.
  • United States: The BA.2 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant has made up over one-third of new Covid-19 infections in the US, coinciding with the allergy season that may complicate symptoms and delay timely distinction.
    • The BA.2 variant accounted for about 34.9 per cent of new Covid-19 infections in the country in the week ending March 19, according to the latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • This data went up from 22.3 per cent a week prior, and 15.8 perc ent two weeks before.
  • Russia-UKraine: It is one month since the war in Ukraine began with the Russian invasion on February 24.
    • From 2 am on February 24 until midnight of March 22, there had been 977 confirmed and verified civilian deaths in the war, as per data from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; 1594 people are injured.
    • The UN agency warns that this number could be much higher because of delays in transmission of casualty numbers from the areas that are being bombarded and intense fighting continues.
  • UN: India, along with 12 other UN Security Council members, abstained on a resolution by Russia on the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
    • The draft resolution by Russia was co-sponsored by Syria, North Korea and Belarus.
    • It failed to get adopted in the Council on Wednesday as it did not get the required nine yes votes to pass.
    • Russia and China voted in favour of the resolution while there were no countries voting against.
    • India and the remaining Security Council members abstained.

23rd March 2022


India


  • Dehradun: Pushkar Singh Dhami today took oath as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand at Dehradun’s Parade Ground in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • PayTM: The BSE has sought a clarification from One 97 Communications, the parent firm of payments solution company Paytm, over the sharp fall in its share prices.
  • Srilanka: As Sri Lanka faces its worst-ever economic crisis, with electricity blackouts and shortage of essential goods leading to massive protests, its nationals have started seeking refuge in India.
  • Fuel: The retail price of petrol and diesel on Wednesday was increased by 80 paise each in Delhi for the second consecutive day. A litre of petrol in Delhi will now cost RS 97.01, while diesel price has been raised to ₹ 88.27.
  • West Bengal: The flight operations at Bagdogra airport will remain closed for 15 days in the month of April. The airport will remain shut from April 11 to 26, Bagdogra Airport informed in a tweet. Bagdogra Airport will be shut for refurbishing works on the sole runway.
  • Uttar Pradesh: UP Chief Minister-designate Yogi Adityanath has resigned from the membership of the Legislative Council on Tuesday. Mr. Adityanath sent his resignation letter to Council Chairman Kunwar Manvendra Singh on Monday evening and it has been accepted, the Council secretariat said on Tuesday.
  • New Delhi: A proposed march on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway (from Kherki Dhaulla toll to Hero Honda Chowk) tomorrow in support of demand for creation of ‘Ahir Regiment’ in the Army may create a traffic nightware on National Highway-48. The Gurgaon Traffic Police says that traffic may be hit between between 7am to 5pm.
  • World Air Quality: India’s air pollution worsened in 2021, according to the World Air Quality Report released by IQAir, a Swiss firm. This ends a three-year trend of improving air quality. The average air pollution, measured in the lethal and microscopic PM 2.5 pollutant, is 58.1 micrograms per cubic meter, which is more than 10 times the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) air quality guidelines. No city in India met the WHO standard.
  • HDFC: Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd., is said to have approved retail home loans totalling more than Rs 2 lakh crore in the current fiscal year, its highest ever in a financial year.
    • Last year the lender had processed home loans worth Rs 1.55 lakh crore, registering a year-on-year growth of 30% as demand for homes surged.
    • Low interest rates, stable property prices and state wise stamp duty sops have all aided growth in the housing finance segment.
  • COVID: In view of the continuous dip in coronavirus cases, the Home Ministry has decided to end all COVID-19 containment measures from March 31, two years after their implementation following the outbreak of the pandemic.
    • However, wearing of face mask and maintaining social distancing norms will continue as earlier.
    • The Central government had on March 24, 2020 issued for the first time orders and guidelines under the Disaster Management Act, (DM Act) 2005 for the containment of COVID-19 in the country and these have been modified on various occasions.
  • PM Modi: Hailing India’s success in achieving its goods export target of USD 400 billion this fiscal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted today that this is a key milestone in India’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ journey.
    • The highest ever goods export target was achieved nine days ahead of the March 31 deadline.
    • Exports increased by 37 per cent to USD 400 billion during April-March 22, 2021-22 against USD 292 billion in 2020-21.
    • For the first time ever, India’s merchandise exports have crossed USD 400 billion in a fiscal. In 2018-19, the outbound shipments had touched a record of USD 330.07 billion.

World


  • NASA: The American space agency has recently discovered 65 new planets taking its total discovered exoplanets to an impressive 5,000 creating a new cosmic milestone.
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Wednesday said peace talks with Russia to end the war were tough and sometimes confrontational but added “step by step we are moving forward.”
  • Kyiv: Almost 100,000 people are trapped among the ruins of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, facing starvation, thirst and relentless Russian bombardment, President Volodymyr Zelensky said as the UN sharpened demands for Moscow to end its “absurd” and “unwinnable” war.
  • Colombo: Sri Lanka ordered troops to petrol stations Tuesday as sporadic protests erupted among the thousands of motorists queueing up daily for scarce fuel.
    • The South Asian island nation is grappling with its worst economic meltdown in over seven decades, with rolling electricity blackouts and essential goods such as food and cooking gas also in short supply.
    • Soldiers were deployed after angry crowds blocked a main artery in Colombo and held up traffic for hours because they were unable to buy kerosene oil on Monday, government spokesman Ramesh Pathirana said.

22nd March 2022


India


  • Chandigarh: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday announced a holiday in Punjab on March 23, the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh.
  • New Delhi: The union cabinet has approved a Bill to merge three municipal corporations of Delhi and it is likely to be introduced in the Parliament soon.
  • Infosys: Leading IT company Infosys today announced a definitive agreement to acquire oddity, a Germany-based digital marketing, experience, and commerce agency, for 50 million euros.
  • Samajwadi Party: Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav has chosen to quit as an MP after being elected MLA in the recent Uttar Pradesh election, turning his focus in a big way towards state politics and consolidating his vote-bank ahead of the 2024 national election.
  • EVs: Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said rapid strides in technology and green fuel will reduce the cost of electric automobiles, bringing them at par with petrol-run vehicles in two years time.
  • UGC: On Monday, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced the introduction of the Central University Entrance Test (CUET), which is now mandatory for undergraduate admission at any of the 45 central universities in the country.
  • Zomato: Online food delivery startup Zomato will soon start delivering food in 10 minutes as it looks to jump on the quick commerce bandwagon days after signing a term-sheet with q-commerce firm Blinkit for a merger. Called “Zomato Instant”, the company will run a pilot project in Gurugram to test the model for food deliveries.
  • Crypto: The government has tightened norms for crypto by disallowing losses incurred in a particular digital asset to be set off against income from another version of a crypto holding, junior finance minister said on Monday. The government won’t allow tax breaks on infrastructure cost incurred while mining of crypto assets as it won’t be treated as cost of acquisition, Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary told lawmakers in parliament.
  • Fuel: The retail price of petrol and diesel increased by 80 paise each in Delhi from 6 am on Monday, marking the first revision since December 1 2021 and domestic cooking gas (or LPG) price was hiked by ₹ 50 per cylinder. On Tuesday, a litre of petrol rose to ₹ 96.21 at the Rajdhani Service Station in Delhi, while diesel rates increased to ₹ 87.47 per litre, reflecting an 80 paise increase from petrol costs of ₹ 95.41 on Monday, while diesel rates stood at ₹ 86.67 per litre.
  • Sadhguru: London’s Parliament Square was the flag off point for environmentalist Sadhguru’s 30,000-km motorbike tour on Monday, as he set off on his Save Soil awareness campaign across Europe and the Middle East en route to India.
    • The 64-year-old yoga guru donned his biking gear for the 100-day tour ahead, which will take him to Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague over the course of this week.
    • After a series of events scheduled in key cities along the way, he is aiming for a homecoming in New Delhi in 75 days in honour of India’s 75th year of Independence.
  • India-US: U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland met with Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla on Monday, for Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) that focussed on preparations for “2+2” Ministerial meetings likely to be held in Washington next month, ahead of an in-person Quad summit due to be held in Tokyo later this year.
    • Ms. Nuland, who is on a visit to South Asia, arrived in Delhi from Dhaka, and will meet with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Tuesday before travelling to Colombo.
    • “The FOC provided a valuable opportunity to discuss contemporary regional issues pertaining to South Asia, the Indo-Pacific region, West Asia, and the situation in ukraine among others.
  • RailTel: Indian Railways’ fast and free Wi-Fi internet facility is now available at 6,100 railway stations across the country, the PSU- RailTel said on Tuesday.
    • According to RailTel, the milestone of 6,100 railway stations with high-speed Wi-Fi coverage was reached on Tuesday with the commissioning of Wi-Fi facility at Ubarni railway station in Lucknow Division of the Northern Railway zone.
    • The PSU- RailTel, under the Ministry of Railways, said it is close to expanding the Wi-Fi coverage to all railway stations in the country except the halt stations.
    • According to a report, out of the aforementioned 6,100 railway stations, over 5,000 railway stations are located in rural areas.

World


  • Oil: Oil rose towards $116 a barrel on Tuesday, adding to a 7% surge the previous day, supported by supply risks from a potential European Union oil embargo on Russia and concern about attacks on Saudi oil facilities.
  • Crypto: Even Bitcoin (BTC) has registered a 3.5% jump with its price moving past $42,200. On the weekly chart, Ethereum is up nearly 20% which is 2x against Bitcon’s gains of 9%. Clearly, ETH has been leading the show over BTC.
  • WHO: Not a single country managed to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality standard in 2021, a survey of pollution data in 6,475 cities showed on Tuesday, and smog even rebounded in some regions after a COVID-related dip.

21st March 2022


India


  • Israel: Israel announced on Sunday that PM Naftali Bennett will pay his first official visit to India on April 2 at the invitation of his counterpart Narendra Modi.
  • Weather: The Andaman and Nicobar Islands administration has made plans to evacuate residents from low-lying areas and the Army has also put its ships and relief teams on standby as the archipelago experienced heavy rain and strong winds due to Cyclone Asani.
  • Farm Acts: A panel of experts constituted by the Supreme Court of India to study the three farm acts claimed 86 per cent of organisations representing more than 3 crore farmers supported the laws the central government repealed last year after months-long protests.
  • Uttarakhand: Pushkar Singh Dhami has been given a second term as the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, the BJP announced after the legislature party meeting today. Though Mr Dhami lost his own seat, Khatima, the decision is seen as recognition for the 46-year-old who had spearheaded the party’s campaign that led the party to a record second straight term in the hill state.
  • New Delhi: Ex cricketer Harbhajan Singh, IIT professor Sandeep Pathak, educationist Ashok Kumar Mittal and Delhi MLA Raghav Chadha are the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s nominees for Rajya Sabha or the upper house of parliament from Punjab, where the party won a gigantic victory in recent elections.
    • Five Rajya Sabha seats will fall vacant on April 9 and names have to be submitted today for elections on March 31.
    • AAP won 92 of Punjab’s 117 assembly seats. After the Rajya Sabha election, AAP’s strength in the upper house is set to increase from three to eight.
  • PM Modi: In a historic move, 29 antiquities have been returned to India by Australia. These antiquities range in six broad categories according to themes – Lord Shiva and his disciples, worshipping Shakti, Lord Vishnu and his forms, Jain tradition, portraits and decorative objects.
    • The antiquities come from different time periods, with the earliest ones dating back to 9-10 century CE.
    • These are primarily sculptures and paintings made using variety of material – sandstone, marble, bronze, brass and paper.
  • Programming Language: A new programming language is taking the internet by storm. “Bhai-lang” is a toy programming language created by two Indian developers – Aniket Singh from Amazon and Rishabh Tripathi from Groww.
    • “Bhai” is Indian word for brother. It is written in Typescript and combines “bhai” from Hindi language with hi, bye and other words in English.
    • Like Java and other programming languages, “Bhai-lang” too has syntax. But every instruction in the language contains the word ‘bhai’.
  • Crude Oil: The Government of India on March 21 issued an import clarification on Russian oil and said it constitutes less than one percent of total imports.
    • Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli said: “The Indian Oil & Gas Public Sector Undertakings have imported less than one percent of their total crude oil import from Russia in the year 2021-2022 (till January).”
    • He further clarified that the oil PSUs in India have diversified procurement from various geographical locations.
    • Teli added that India is closely monitoring the global energy markets and potential disruptions and is ready to take all steps to mitigate market volatility.

World


  • China: A China Eastern passenger jet has crashed in southwest China and caused a mountain fire with an unknown number of casualties, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
  • London: Oil prices jumped more than $4 on Monday, with Brent crude climbing above $111 a barrel, as European Union nations considered joining the United States in a Russian oil embargo and after a weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities.
  • Islamabad: Pakistan’s government asked the Supreme Court on Monday to advise if it could seek lifelong disqualification of dissidents from Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ruling party ahead of a no-confidence vote that weakens his prospects of retaining power.
  • Beijing: China on Sunday imposed stay-at-home orders on millions more people in the country’s northeast as it battles its biggest COVID-19 outbreak in two years.
    • The country has largely kept Covid at bay since it brought to heel its initial outbreak in 2020 using targeted lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions.
    • The Omicron strain has broken through its defences in recent months and taken hold in multiple cities.
  • Washington: The Biden administration intends to declare that Myanmar’s years-long repression of the Rohingya Muslim population is a “genocide,” U.S.
    • Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to make the long-anticipated designation on Monday at an event at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the move had not yet been publicly announced.
    • The designation does not in and of itself portend drastic new measures against Myanmar’s military-led government, which has already been hit with multiple layers of U.S. sanctions since the campaign against the Rohingya ethnic minority began in the country’s western Rakhine state in 2017.

20th March 2022


India


  • Japan: Democracies like India and Japan should cooperate more, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in New Delhi, as Russia’s war in Ukraine dominated the summit-level meeting between the prime ministers of both countries.
  • Delhi University: Admission to Delhi University colleges from the next academic year could be solely based on Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores if a proposal in this regard is cleared by the varsity’s decision-making bodies.
  • Ukraine: The parents of the Indian student Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar who was killed in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv have decided to donate their son’s body for medical research, the father of the medical student informed on Saturday.
  • Fuel: Fuel prices have remained unchanged across metro cities for the most prolonged duration when the rates have remained static since the daily revision of prices began in June 2017. Still, diesel prices have risen for bulk users by ₹ 25 per litre, widening the losses for retailers.
  • COVID: India’s top body on immunisation NTAGI has recommended administering the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine Covishield between eight and 16 weeks after the first dose. Presently, the second dose of Covishield is given between 12-16 weeks after the first dose under the National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.
  • IMD: The low-pressure system brewing in South East Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a depression today (March 20) and lead to the first cyclone in March since 2000 in the North Indian Ocean region on Monday. And if that happens, the cyclonic storm will be called Asani, the name given by Sri Lanka.
  • J&K: Speaking at the 83rd Raising Day of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu on Saturday, Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah said that the security force may not be required in Jammu and Kashmir in a few years. He lauded the role of the CRPF in the war against terrorism and in maintaining law and order in the union territory.
  • Hyderabad: The state government’s decision to strike off Osmansagar and Himayatsagar from the list of drinking water sources, and its reliance on lifting water from the Godavari and Krishna rivers to meet the water needs of the city, could be fraught with unforeseen adverse consequences when the impact of climate change is factored into the changing monsoon patterns.
  • BSNL: The government is planning to merge Bharat Broadband Nigam Ltd (BBNL) with the loss-making state-run telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) this month. BSNL chairman and managing director PK Purwar at a recent event organised by the All India Graduate Engineers and Telecom officers Association (AIGETOA) said that the government is giving the telecom firm an opportunity for a turnaround.
  • Surajkund Mela 2022: From the 19th of March onwards, the annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela will open its doors to a celebration of Indian folk traditions and cultural heritage. Taking pride in its position on the international tourist calendar, the Mela attracts over a million visitors over the course of the fortnight, including thousands of overseas visitors. The Surajkund Mela is the world’s largest crafts fair, showcasing the rich diversity of India’s handicrafts, handlooms, and cultural fabric.
  • Reliance: Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL) said on March 20 that it has acquired 89 percent equity stake in Purple Panda Fashions Private Limited, which owns and operates intimate wear brand Clovia.
    • RRVL made an investment of Rs 950 crores in the company through a combination of secondary stake purchase and primary investment, according to an official statement.
    • Clovia, launched in 2013 by Pankaj Vermani, Neha Kant & Suman Choudhary, is a bridge-to-premium D2C brand for women’s innerwear and loungewear.
  • Income Tax: Infra.Market, one of India’s fastest growing unicorns, said it is cooperating with the authorities and is providing all necessary information, after the Income Tax Department said the startup has undisclosed income of Rs 224 crore.
    • Its findings came after searches were carried out on March 9 at 23 premises in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
    • While it did not name the company and only referred to it as a ‘unicorn startup group based in Pune and Thane’, the details point to business-to-business e-commerce marketplace Infra.Market, which is backed by the likes of Tiger Global, Accel, Nexus and is valued at $2.5 billion.
    • It also searched the residences of its founders Souvik Sengupta and Aaditya Sharda.

World


  • Russia: Russia is reported to have struck Ukraine with hypersonic missiles on Sunday for the second time since Friday. As per a report by Interfax, Russia struck Ukraine with cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
  • North Korea: Days after North Korea’s latest missile launch ended in failure amid the country’s recent burst of weapons testing activity, it appeared that the country has fired a short-range multiple rocket launcher on Sunday, South Korea’s military claimed.
  • Aramco: Saudi Arabia’s Aramco said on March 20 that its annual net profit had more than doubled for 2021 on higher oil prices, and it aims to significantly increase capital expenditure (capex) this year.
    • Net profit increased to $110 billion from $49 billion the previous year.
    • Capex rose 18 percent in 2021 at $31.9 billion and Aramco plans to increase it to $40-50 billion this year, with further expansion likely through the middle of the decade.
  • WHO: Omicron, which is not the last variant of SARS-CoV-2, will pick up pockets for months and months until another pocket of susceptibility opens up, the World Health Organization said amid a fresh wave of the pandemic, warning that the pandemic is far from being over.
    • With China, South Korea seeing a fresh outbreak of Covid cases and Israel detecting a new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the World Health Organization on Saturday said misinformation about the pandemic is creating confusion among people.
    • Omicron is mild, the pandemic is over, and this is the last variant all these are misinformation, WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said.

19th March 2022


India


  • IOCL: Indian Oil Corporation Limited has signed a deal with a Russian oil company to import 3 million barrels of crude.
  • Home Minister: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will conduct a security review of Jammu and Kashmir with heads of para-military forces, UT Police, and security agencies in Jammu, with the focus on taking the fight to the terrorists on both sides of Pir Panjal.
  • Karnataka: The Karnataka High Court has held that the permission from a trial court is not necessary for renewal of passport when the proceedings are stayed by a higher court. The Court directed the Regional Passport Officer to consider a woman’s application for renewal of her passport without insisting upon a facilitative order from the concerned Criminal Court before whom a case registered against her is pending.
  • Himachal Pradesh: Pandoh Bypass will connect strategically important road running along the river Beas will connect famous tourist places such as Kullu, Manali further upto Leh. Nitin Gadkari, who is Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways, informed that the construction of Pandoh bypass to Takoli section of National Highway(NH)-21 in Himachal Pradesh is 75% complete and is being constructed at a brisk pace.
  • The Kashmir Files: The Kashmir Files has entered the ₹100 crore club at the box office and also registered its highest single-day haul so far, ₹19.15 crore. After a week of its release, the film now stands level with Baahubali 2 with respect to its day eight collection. The Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri directorial released in theatres last Friday. The Kashmir Files is based on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits residing in Kashmir valley in the 1990s.
  • BJP: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) announced five Rajya Sabha nominees, four on Friday and one on Saturday morning. According to the party’s official statement on Friday, the BJP high command approved the names of Pabitra Margherita from Assam, Sikandar Kumar from Himachal Pradesh, Manik Saha from Tripura and S. Phangnon Konyak from Nagaland. On Saturday, Rwngwra Narzary, working president of UPPL United People’s Party – Liberal (UPPL) was named as the other candidate from Assam.
  • Uttar Pradesh: Yogi Adityanath will be sworn in for his second term as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister next Friday, the BJP has said.
    • The ceremony will take place at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium at 4 pm.
    • Senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minster Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP national president JP Nadda, are likely to attend the event.
  • Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will encourage a unified approach on Ukraine during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi today, while aiming to strengthen security ties across the Indo-Pacific region.
    • India and Japan are party to the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), a security framework that also includes the United States and Australia.
    • Japan has imposed sanctions on dozens of Russian individuals and organisations since the Ukraine invasion that began on February 24 and has been receiving Ukrainian refugees.
    • India, however, is the only one of the four Quad members that has not condemned the invasion.

World


  • Crypto: U.S. officials have observed an uptick in the use of digital assets to facilitate illicit finance since Russia invaded Ukraine, but the transaction volume is too small to play a big role in helping Moscow evade sweeping sanctions.
  • Washington: In his call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Joe Biden on Friday (March 18, 2022) described to him the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.
  • HIV: The UN agency UNITAID on Friday announced the roll out of a highly effective, long-acting injectable HIV preventive treatment in South Africa and Brazil through two large-scale operational projects funded by the global health agency. It is an injectable version of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) that has been found to be more effective than daily oral PrEP in reducing the risk of HIV infection, with just six injections a year.
  • Stocks: Global stocks gained on Friday after Russia made coupon payments due on two of its sovereign bonds in dollars this week, even as Western sanctions have pushed Russian financial dealings into the doldrums.
    • The Russian finance ministry said on Thursday that it had sent $117 million in coupon payments on two dollar-denominated sovereign bonds due this week.
    • Despite Western countries’ sanctions on Moscow in response to its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the most significant attack on a European State since World War Two.
  • Asia Cup: The 2022 edition of the Asia Cup, which on this occasion will be a T20I competition, is set to be held in Sri Lanka between August 27 and September 11.
    • The dates and the host were announced after an AGM was held between the member countries on Saturday.
    • All five Test teams – hosts Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – will feature in the tournament, as will one more Asian side that will be decided after a qualifying tournament which will be held from August 20.
    • The Asia Cup, which usually alternates between ODI and T20I formats, was last played in 2018 and won by India. The pandemic, however, forced the postponement of the 2020 edition.

18th March 2022


India


  • AAP: A day after the Gujarat government said it would introduce the Bhagavad Gita in syllabus for classes 6-12, Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia took a jibe at the leaders behind the decision, declaring that they acted like ‘Raavan’ while talking about the Bhagvad Gita.
  • Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee today said her government had turned down an offer to buy Israeli spyware Pegasus a few years ago. The use of the spyware to snoop on political rivals is “not acceptable”, the Bengal Chief Minister told reporters.
  • New Delhi: Amid a resurgence of Covid cases across Southeast Asia and Europe, the government on Thursday warned states not to let their guard down and advised them to continue focus on the five-fold strategy of “test, track, treat, follow Covid-appropriate behaviour and vaccinate” while resuming economic and social activities in their jurisdiction.
  • Crude Oil: India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised and countries self-sufficient in oil or those themselves importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading. The US had on Friday said that while India importing discounted crude oil from Russia won’t amount to violating its sanctions, it would imply supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • Ukraine Crisis: A bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Thursday urged India to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The lawmakers, led by Congressman Joe Wilson and Indian-American Congressman Ro Khanna, had a call with India’s top envoy to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu where they discussed the matter.
  • Ukraine Medical Students: The Foreign Medical Graduate Licentiate has stated that the period to complete the academic programme of medicine can be extended up to 10 years. Unfortunately, as the situation stands, the medical boards have arranged internships in Indian hospitals for the graduates from Ukraine, but not any facilities for the ones who were in the midst of their academic courses.
  • UGC: The University Grants Commission (UGC) has proposed to allow students who have completed a four-year undergraduate (UG) programme, including a research component with a cumulative grade point average of 7.5, to directly enrol in PhD programmes without having to first complete a master’s degree.
  • Chennai: In a major scare, a deer on the IIT-Madras campus died of anthrax, and three more are suspected to have succumbed to the highly infectious zoonotic disease in the last two days. The institute said samples from the animals were sent to Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University for testing. Samples from one deer showed the presence of anthrax, while tests on samples from the others were inconclusive.
  • Srilanka: India Thursday extended a $1 billion credit facility to Sri Lanka which is in the midst of a severe economic crisis triggered by a shortage of foreign exchange.
    • The “short term concessional loan facility” will be provided by State Bank of India, under an agreement signed between the two governments on Thursday during the visit of Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
    • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were present at the signing.
  • Oil Prices: Oil prices climbed over 7% on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said three million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil and products could be shut in from next month and despite the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates.
    • The supply loss would be far greater than an expected drop in demand of one million bpd triggered by higher fuel prices, the IEA said in a report on Wednesday.
    • Benchmark Brent crude futures gained $7.47, or 7.6%, to $105.49 a barrel by 1427 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $6.85, or 7.2%, to $101.89 a barrel.

World


  • Beijing: China on Thursday defended its judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague who dissented against the majority order of asking Russia to immediately suspend its military operations in Ukraine, saying that four other judges also expressed “separate opinions”.
  • Washington: NASA’s massive new rocket is poised to make its first journey to a launchpad on Thursday ahead of a battery of tests that will clear it to blast off to the Moon this summer. It will leave the Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building at 5:00 pm Eastern Time (2100 GMT) and begin its glacially slow, 11-hour crawl on a transporter to the hallowed Launch Complex 39B, four miles (6.5 kilometers) away.
  • Russia-Ukraine: Russian forces shelled a school and cultural centre, killing at least 21 people and wounding 25 in the town of Merefa outside Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine yesterday. Authorities in Ukraine’s Mariupol say they are clarifying information on possible victims of the Russian shelling of a theatre sheltering civilians. Ukrainian officials said more than 1,000 civilians had been sheltering in a basement bomb shelter beneath the theatre, and that Russian shelling was continuing.
  • Global Economy: The global economic fallout of the war in Ukraine is expected to negatively impact India’s economy, while the immediate impact of the conflict on China is likely to be relatively small, the IMF said on Thursday.
    • “The global economic fallout of the war is expected to negatively impact India’s economy through a number of channels, which differ from those impacting the Indian economy during COVID-19,” Gerry Rice, International Monetary Fund’s Director of the Communications Department.
    • Rice said the sharp rise in global oil prices represents an important trade shock with macro-economic implications.
  • COVID: The world is witnessing a surge in Covid cases yet again after a month of decline with 11 million new infections registered between March 7 and March 13.
    • This was 8 per cent higher compared to the previous week. “These increases are occurring despite reductions in testing in some countries, which means the cases we’re seeing are just the tip of the iceberg,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Thursday.
    • The global body has attributed the surge to a combination of factors including the highly transmissible Omicron variant and its cousin the BA.2 sub-variant, and the lifting of public health and social measures.

17th March 2022


India


  • Chandigarh: Punjab’s new Chief Minister, Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Mann, announced the launch of an anti-corruption helpline today. Mr Mann, who took oath yesterday, promising that he would not “waste a day”, said the helpline number will be launched on March 23, the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
  • Bangaluru: Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated a seven-storey building that was constructed in record 45 days for the homegrown fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) used in-house developed hybrid technology for the construction of the Flight Control System (FCS) Complex at Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in Bengaluru.
  • UGC: Holders of four-year undergraduate degrees with a minimum CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) of 7.5 will be eligible for admission to PhD programmes, according to revised norms proposed by the University Grants Commision (UGC).
  • Odsha: The Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE), Odisha will conduct the Annual Higher Secondary Examination(Theory), 2022 from April 28. More than 3.2 lakh students in Arts, Science, Commerce and Vocational stream will appear the examination.
  • The Kashmir Files: Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files is only getting stronger at the box office with each passing day. On Wednesday, it recorded its highest single day haul so far or ₹19 crore. On Tuesday, the film had minted ₹18 crore, which was the movie’s highest figure until yesterday.
  • Chennai: The FIDE Council has approved today the bid presented by the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to host the 2022 Chess Olympiad in Chennai, the capital of the Tamil Nadu state. The exact schedule is still being discussed and will be announced in the coming days, but the event will take place between the end of July and the beginning of August, not very far off from the dates originally planned.
  • GATE 2022 Result: The Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) 2022 result has been announced on Thursday, March 17. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur announced the result on the official website gate.iitkgp.ac.in, candidates can download score card from March 21.
  • Rapid Rail: India’s first rapid rail unveiled, promises Delhi to Meerut in 55 minutes.
    • Cushioned seats, overhead luggage racks, more standing space and a ‘premium’ section – these are some of the swanky features inside coaches that are to be part of India’s first rapid rail, unveiled by the National Capital Regional Transport Corporation (NCRTC) on Wednesday.
    • The Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) train will run on the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut corridor and cover a distance of 82 km in just 55 minutes. It will also be the first in the country to have a business or ‘premium’ coach on a regional corridor.
  • Ladakh: The last troop disengagement in East Ladakh took place after the 12th round of military dialogue on July 31, 2021, with PLA dragging its feet in restoring April 2020 status quo ante along the 597 km LAC in the western sector.
    • Chinese foreign minister and State Councilor Wang Yi is expected to visit India on an “exploratory” mission to improve bilateral relations after his two-day trip to Kathmandu to firmly push the Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) in Nepal.
    • Wang is expected to visit Nepal on March 26-27 after which he will come to India.
  • COVID: A high-level meeting was called on Wednesday by Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya to track India’s preparedness and level of alertness as several Asian countries report another surge in Covid-19 cases.
    • India has just started reviving itself from the Omicron-led third wave of the pandemic.
    • The Centre recently announced plans to resume international flights from March 27 after a gap of two years.

World


  • NASA: NASA’s next-generation Moon rocket was due on Thursday to make a highly anticipated, slow-motion journey from an assembly plant to its launch pad in Florida for a final round of tests in the coming weeks that will determine how soon the spacecraft can fly.
  • Washington: The White House on Wednesday said it encourages Indian leaders to work together closely with the US to stand up against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The comments came after the US announced an additional $800 million in security assistance to Ukraine for its resistance against the Russian invasion, termed as a “special military operation” by President Vladimir Putin.
  • Jerusalem: Israel’s ministry of health said Wednesday it had recorded two cases of new Covid variant, but which officials said they were not unduly worried about.
    • The strain, combining two sub-variants of the Omicron version of the Covid-19 virus dubbed BA.1 and BA.2 was recorded during PCR tests on two passengers arriving at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
    • This variant is still unknown around the world, the ministry stated.
  • South Korea: South Korea has reached two seemingly contradictory pandemic milestones.
    • It recorded more than 600,000 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, the most of anywhere in the world.
    • At the same time, the country has one of the lowest virus death rates globally.

16th March 2022


India


  • Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has on Tuesday said that GO 111, which was issued in 1996 to prevent undue industrialisation and heavy construction activities in 83 villages and pollution of Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar, would be revoked shortly.
  • Assam: In yet another statement that is sure to court controversy, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said that Muslims constitutes 35% of Assam’s population and cannot be considered a minority in the northeastern state anymore. He also invoked the 1990 exodus of Kashmiri Hindus and added that “it’s the duty of Muslims” in the state to allay fears of other communities.
  • Chandigarh: For Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Bhagwant Mann’s oath ceremony as Punjab Chief Minister, the village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh was awash in the colour “Basanti (yellow)” this morning.
    • Yellow turbans, the trademark of comic-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann, filled the village Khatkar Kalan in response to his call to people to wear “Basanti turbans and dupattas” to his oath.
    • Yellow was the theme of the venue and decor.
  • Hijab Ban Verdict: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear the appeals against the Karnataka high court ruling that hijab is not an essential religious practice of Islam and said the matter will be listed after the Holi vacations.
    • Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde mentioned the matter before the Apex Court and said there is urgency as there are exams coming.
    • Several girls will be affected by the high court’s order, advocate Hegde said.
  • Manipur & Goa: The current Chief Ministers in Goa and Manipur Mr. Pramod Sawant and Mr. N Biren Singh will get second terms.
    • Series of meetings were held at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence to discuss the leadership issue.
    • Pramod Sawant will be the Chief Minister of Goa and N Biren Singh will head the government in Manipur again.
  • COVID: India has started vaccinating children aged 12 to 14 years from today as it expands its COVID-19 vaccination coverage.
    • Starting today the condition of co-morbidity for people aged 60 and above to get a precautionary dose has also been removed, and now everyone above the age of 60 can take booster shots.
    • The COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to those in the 12-14 age group would be Corbevax, which is manufactured by Biological Evans, Hyderabad.
  • Supreme Court: The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the government’s decision on One Rank, One Pension (OROP) for defence forces and said that it does not find any constitutional infirmity on the OROP principle and the notification dated November 7, 2015.
    • “One Rank-One Pension (OROP) is a policy decision of govt and it is not for the court to go into adjudication of policy matters,” the apex court bench said.
    • A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and Vikram Nath said that the policy decision of the Centre of OROP is not arbitrary and it is not for the court to go into the policy matters of the government.
  • PayTM: Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma briefly fell off the list of billionaires on Wednesday, according to Forbes’ data, amid volatility in the stock’s price movement.
    • Shares of One97 Communications, the parent firm of digital payments platform Paytm, have crashed about 70 percent since its listing on November 18 last year.
    • The company had a very weak debut on the bourses as its shares were listed at ₹1,950 per share, a 9% discount over the IPO issue price of ₹2,150 on the NSE and ₹1,955 a share on BSE.
  • Chennai: Only 18% of government schools in Tamil Nadu have internet facility, according to the Unified district Information System for Education Plus (UDISE+) report 2020-21.
    • The latest UDISE+ report, which was released recently by the Union Ministry of Education, reveals that 32.03 per cent of schools (government, government-aided, private, and others) in the State have internet facility on their premises.
    • While 75.62 per cent of private schools have internet facility, government schools, with a corresponding figure of just 18 per cent, lag behind.
  • Lok Sabha: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said global social media companies are being abused to hack India’s democracy and urged the government to put an end to their “systematic influence and interference” in electoral politics.
    • Mrs Gandhi, speaking during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, said global companies such as Facebook and Twitter are being increasingly used “to shape political narratives by leaders, political parties and their proxies”.
    • She described as an issue of paramount importance “the rising danger of social media being abused to hack our democracy” and added it has repeatedly come to public notice that global social media companies “are not providing a level playing field to all political parties.”
  • Guwahati: The longest vessel ever to sail on river Brahmaputra was anchored at Pandu Port in Guwahati after completing its pilot run of heavy cargo movement from Haldia Dock in Kolkata.
    • The 90-metre long vessel, MV Ram Prasad Bismil, is loaded with a draft of 2.1 meter.
    • The vessel along with two barges – DB Kalpana Chawla and DB APJ Abdul Kalam.
    • It is carrying 1,793 metric tonne of steel rods that was flagged off from the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Haldia by the Union Minister for Shipping, Ports and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal on February 16.
    • The pilot run laid down the path for commencement of barging operation from Kolkata to Guwahati through Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBRP).

World


  • META: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that its video and photo-sharing application, Instagram, is preparing to add nonfungible tokens (NFTs) to the platform.
  • Crude Oil: Oil fell below $100 a barrel in a volatile session on Wednesday, as it came under pressure from signs of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks and a closely-watched report that cut its forecast of world demand.
  • IMF: Sri Lanka is seeking financial support from the International Monetary Fund, reversing the government’s earlier resistance as efforts to bolster its foreign exchange reserves and manage looming debt payments have been complicated by the war in Ukraine.
  • Crypto: Oxio, a customer-focused, absolutely transparent firm, has been declared as the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Canada to offer a payment option that allows cryptocurrencies. oxio intends to alter Canadians’ perceptions of the internet.
  • Ukraine: As Russian aggression on Ukraine completes twenty days, latest reports suggest that the offensive has inched closer to central Kyiv with a series of strikes hitting a residential neighborhood as the leaders of three European Union member countries planned a visit to Ukraine’s embattled capital.
  • NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is reportedly planning to draw new ways to warn Russia over its continued assault on Ukraine. The organization is set to ask its military commanders, troops, officials, and diplomats to find ways to deter Russia against the relentless battering of Ukrainian cities and ports that have left hundreds dead and triggered a massive refugee crisis in the East European nation.
  • Fed: The Federal Reserve on Wednesday will close the door on its ultra-easy pandemic-era monetary policy and step up the fight against stubbornly high inflation with the first in what is likely to be a series of interest rate hikes this year. The shift, beginning with an expected quarter-percentage-point increase in the US central bank’s benchmark overnight interest rate, has been in the works since last fall and has already driven up the cost of home mortgages and other key types of credit in anticipation of what the Fed will do to curb prices that are rising at their fastest pace in 40 years.
  • Russia: The economic cost of Russia’s assault on Ukraine was fully exposed on Wednesday as Vladimir Putin’s sanctions-ravaged government teetered on the brink of its first international debt default since the Bolshevik revolution.
    • Moscow was due to pay $117 million in interest on two dollar-denominated sovereign bonds it had sold back in 2013.
    • But the limits it now faces making payments, and talk from the Kremlin that it might pay in roubles – triggering a default anyway – meant even veteran investors were left guessing at what might happen.
  • Kyiv: A flood of anti-tank missiles sent to Ukraine has potentially changed the course of the war, putting pressure on Russia to find enough capable troops for the grueling urban combat that is now more likely.
    • For some military analysts, the number of latest-generation anti-tank missiles shipped to Ukraine in recent weeks is breathtaking, giving Ukraine’s soldiers an arsenal of these weapons that may be unprecedented in a major modern war.
    • The UK alone says it has sent 3,615 of its short-range Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon (NLAW) missiles, with launchers.
    • Germany said it was sending 1,000 anti-tank weapons from its inventory; Norway 2,000; Sweden 5,000 and the US an unpublicized number of Javelin missile systems.
  • NASA: NASA’s Artemis 1 moon rocket will make its public debut on March 17, the US space agency officials said.
    • The mega rocket Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft will be rolled out from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday in a 12-hour journey.
    • Roll out of the integrated Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is slated for March 17.
    • The rollout involves a 4-mile journey between the Vehicle Assembly Building and the launch pad, expected to take between six and 12 hours.
    • At the pad, NASA said it will conduct a final pre-launch test known as wet dress rehearsal, which includes loading the SLS propellant tanks and conducting a launch countdown.

15th March 2022


India


  • VI: Vodafone Idea, India’s third-largest telecom operator has launched its gaming service, Vi Games, in partnership with Nazara, as it aims to monetise its mobile subscriber base and increase average revenue per user (ARPUs).
  • MediaOne: In relief for the Malayalam TV channel ‘MediaOne’, Supreme Court today stayed the Center’s January 31 order to ban the news channel from telecasting over security concerns. The court has allowed the channel to resume broadcast again till further orders.
  • Petroleum: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that nine states, including Maharashtra and Kerala, have not reduced VAT on petrol and diesel. The Petroleum and Natural Gas minister also informed the house that fuel prices have gone up by over 50 per cent in many countries but have remained stable and risen by a mere 5 per cent in India during the pandemic.
  • PLI Scheme: Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp, Bosch, Lucas-TVS, Mitsubishi Electric, Motherson Sumi, Tata Autocomp, and Toyota Kirloskar are among the 75 companies that have secured an approval under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme for Automobile and Auto Component Industry in India. The scheme has been successful in attracting proposed investment of Rs 74,850 crore against the target estimate of investment Rs 42,500 crore over a period of five years.
  • Bengaluru: The hijab is not an essential religious practice, the Karnataka High Court said as it backed a ban on hijabs in classrooms today, weeks after violent protests in many parts of the state against the restriction.
    • In an order on February 5, the Karnataka government had banned clothes “which disturb equality, integrity and public order” in schools and colleges.
    • Upholding that order, the High Court said a school uniform is a reasonable restriction that students cannot object to.
  • New Delhi: The Indian government today informed the parliament that a formal “high-level inquiry” has been ordered into the March 9 incident of the “inadvertent” release of a missile from India into Pakistan’s territory.
    • Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the accident happened during routine maintenance and inspection at around 7 pm.
    • Stressing that the government attached “highest priority” to the safety and security of weapons systems, he assured the house that the missile system is “very reliable and safe”.
  • Reliance Industries: Indian refining giant Reliance Industries has acquired the assets of battery maker Lithium Werks for $61 million, its second such deal in less than three months, as it makes a bigger push towards clean energy and transport.
    • Reliance’s investment in Lithium Werks, which manufactures lithium iron phosphate batteries that are mainly used in electric vehicles (EVs), includes funding for future growth, the company said late on Monday.
    • The assets, acquired through its subsidiary Reliance New Energy, include Lithium Werks’ portfolio of about 219 patents, a manufacturing facility in China.
  • FDI Policy: To bring more clarity in its FDI policy for the realty sector, the government on Monday “amended and aligned” the existing definitions of the real estate business.
    • According to the Press Note of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released on Monday, it is clarified that FDI is not permitted in an entity which is engaged or proposes to engage in real estate business, construction of farm houses and trading in transferable development rights.
    • It added that earning of rent/income on lease of a property, not amounting to transfer, will not amount to real estate business.
  • Central Vista: The work for the first phase of redeveloped Central Vista Avenue, which comprises the Rajpath leading from the Rashtrapati Bhawan to the India Gate, is now scheduled to be completed by May 2022, the Centre said in the Parliament on Monday.
    • This phase of the project was earlier scheduled for completion by December 2021.
    • The Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Kaushal Kishore said that the expenditure incurred till date is Rs 418.70 crore, which is being met “from Major Head 4059 of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs”, referring to the demand for grants for the ministry in the union budget.
  • NSE: Former National Stock Exchange (NSE) chief Chitra Ramkrishna, accused of being involved in grave lapses at India’s largest stock market including sharing confidential information with an individual she dubbed a “Himalayan yogi” has been sent to jail for 14 days.
    • The 59-year-old, who has been heading the NSE since 2013, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on February 24 after days of questioning in what has been dubbed the market manipulation scam.
    • The case involving an unfair advantage in trading to some brokers was filed in 2018.
    • The agency is investigating allegations of information leak from the computer servers of the market exchanges to stockbrokers in what has come to be known as the “co-location scam”.
  • Future Retail: Talks between Amazon.com Inc and Future Retail aimed at resolving a long-running dispute over whether Future’s retail assets can be sold to Reliance Industries (RIL) have failed, lawyers for the companies told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
    • Both Amazon and Future said they would like to resume arbitration proceedings in Singapore that had been put on hold by the Delhi High Court.
    • The top court will hear the matter on Wednesday. Amazon has also accused Future Retail and RIL of “fraud”.
    • In a notice published in the newspapers, Amazon warned the founders of Future Retail that any effort to transfer its assets to RIL would be liable for civil and criminal consequences.

World


  • Beijing: China wants to avoid being impacted by US sanctions over Russia’s war, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, in one of Beijing’s most explicit statements yet on American penalties that are contributing to a historic market selloff.
  • Fuel: Oil prices fell more than 5% on Monday to the lowest in nearly two weeks amid hopes for progress toward a diplomatic end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a development that would boost global supplies while a pandemic-linked travel ban in China cast doubt on demand.
  • European Union: The European Union announced late Monday that the 27-nation bloc has approved a new set of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. France, which holds the EU presidency, said the bloc “in consultation with our international partners, has approved a fourth package of sanctions targeting individuals and entities involved in the aggression against Ukraine, as well as several sectors of the Russian economy.
  • UNSC: India on Monday called for direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia to end hostilities, while stressing the need to respect international law, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. 
    • Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, deputy permanent representative R Ravindra said India believes any lasting resolution of conflict can only be achieved through peaceful negotiations
    • Speaking about the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), India said it is playing an important role in facilitating implementation of package of measures across both sides of contact line in Ukraine.
  • Paris: The Eiffel Tower grew 6 metres (19.69 ft) on Tuesday after a new digital radio antenna was attached to the top of the Paris monument.
    • The tower, built by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century, now measures 330 metres after the DAB+ (digital audio) antenna was airlifted onto its peak by helicopter under a leaden sky.
    • During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for four decades until the Chrysler Building in New York City was topped off in 1929.
  • Russia Ukraine War Crisis: Kyiv mayor has said that four people were killed in air strikes on the capital on Tuesday morning.
    • Earlier, emergency services had said that at least two were killed as Russian troops intensified their attacks on the Ukrainian capital.
    • The casualties came after a strike hit a 16-storey building in the Sviatoshynsky district, the emergency service said in a Facebook post.
    • Another residential building in the Podilsk area also came under attack, the emergency service said, causing “a fire” that “started on the first five floors of a ten-storey residential building on Mostytska street as a result of ammunition fire.”
  • COVID: China is witnessing its biggest surge in Covid-19 cases since the early days of the pandemic – a surge fueled by the ‘stealth’ sub-variant of Omicron.
    • On Tuesday China reported over 5,200 new cases in 24 hours and nearly 30 million people are under lockdown already.
    • Before this, the country had officially seen only two days of daily Covid infections exceeding the 5,000 mark both during the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
    • According to the National Health Commission in China, 1,337 locally transmitted cases have been reported in the last 24-hours.
    • The country has seen symptomatic cases confirmed in 28 of 31 mainland provinces.

14th March 2022


India


  • INC: It was status quo once again in the Congress as the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top decision-making body, met on Sunday to introspect its crushing defeat in the Assembly elections in five states and decided that Sonia Gandhi will continue as the party president till at least August-September, when elections for the Congress president are scheduled to take place.
  • Income Tax: The income tax department is conducting search operations against New Delhi-based real estate firm Omaxe Limited since 7:00 am on Monday. The I-T department action is based on investigations that revealed alleged irregularities and concealment of income.
  • PNB: Punjab National Bank (PNB) has invited applications from eligible Indian Citizens for recruitment to the post of peon in Subordinate Cadre at various locations including Purba, Bardhman, and Champaran. Interested and eligible job aspirants can apply for the vacancies as per prescribed format on www.pnbindia.in on or before the last date.
  • PayTM: Paytm Payments Bank, which processes transactions for India’s digital payments giant Paytm, was barred from taking on new customers because it violated rules by allowing data to flow to servers abroad and didn’t properly verify its customers, according to a person familiar with the matter.
  • Air India: N Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons, has been officially appointed as the chairman of Air India, the beleaguered airline entity acquired by Tata group from the government.
  • Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister-elect Bhagwant Mann will be submitting his resignation as Member of Parliament, Sangrur, on Monday.
    • The deliberations on the new Punjab Cabinet and the Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, too, are to be held tomorrow.
    • The first session of the Vidhan Sabha is likely to be convened on March 17, a day after the oath-taking ceremony at Khatkar Kalan.
  • IMD: Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail at isolated parts of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad on Monday.
    • The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a yellow alert with a warning of a heat wave in north Konkan, Thane, Mumbai and Raigad for the next two days.
    • On Sunday, Mumbai recorded a temperature of 38.6 degrees Celsius and the weather office has sounded a temperature alert in the city for the next few days and has warned that the temperature may rise up to 39 degrees Celsius.
  • Supreme Court: The Supreme Court on Monday orally criticised the Kerala Government’s policy to grant life-long pension to persons appointed as the personal staff of Ministers.
    • “You are the only state where persons are only appointed by Minister for 2 years & give them a life long pension. Please tell your state, if they can do that, why can’t they do this?”, the Supreme Court orally observed while refusing to entertain a writ petition by Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)
    • The bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari also granted KSRTC liberty to approach the High Court.
  • WPI: India’s inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) rose to 13.11 percent year on year in February from 12.96 percent in January, according to data released by the commerce ministry on March 14.
    • WPI inflation was 4.83 percent in February 2021.
    • While the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) policy target is spelt out in terms of the Consumer Price Index-based inflation, high WPI inflation is seen as a precursor to higher consumer prices as producers pass on rising costs to their customers.
    • This is the 11th consecutive month in which WPI has been in double digits.
  • Post Office: With effect from April 1, 2022, post offices will stop paying interest on Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, Monthly Income Scheme and Term Deposit accounts in cash, Department of Post said in a circular.
    • The interest will only be credited only in account holder’s post office savings account or bank account.
    • In case the account holder is not able to link his/her savings account with Senior Citizen Savings Scheme, Monthly Income Scheme and Term Deposit accounts accounts, the outstanding interest should be paid only through credit in post office savings account or by cheque.
  • Maharashtra: Mumbai announced detailed plans to zero out carbon emissions by 2050, a target that puts it two decades ahead of India’s national goal and makes it the first city in South Asia to set such a timeline.
    • In the plan announced Sunday, India’s financial center, home to south Asia’s biggest corporations, stock bourses and the central bank, has proposed exhaustive changes to the way it manages energy, water, air, waste, green spaces and transport for its 19 million residents.
    • India’s richest city, Mumbai is also home to tremendous poverty, with slums and fishing villages along the southern coast that date to British rule.
    • By 2050, rising sea levels are expected to flood those parts of the city. In total, unabated climate change could cost the city $920 million.

World


  • United States: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wished a “quick recovery” in a tweet to Barack Obama hours after the former US president announced that he had tested positive for Covid. In a late-night tweet, the 60-year-old leader gave an update to his followers with an appeal- “I just tested positive for COVID. I’ve had a scratchy throat for a couple days, but am feeling fine otherwise. Michelle and I are grateful to be vaccinated and boosted, and she has tested negative”.
  • China: As most countries across the world open up and resume ‘normal life’ with a fall in Covid-19 cases, China is currently seeing its worst outbreak of the virus in two years.
    • On Sunday, the country reported 3,100 new locally transmitted cases in a single day, which is the highest in two years. Some local authorities have attributed the surge in cases to the Omicron variant.
    • With the rise in cases, millions of people in different parts of China are now living under lockdown.
  • Jakarta: Strong and shallow earthquakes shook western Indonesia and the Philippines’ main island early Monday, rattling buildings and sending panicked residents fleeing, but causing no casualties or damage.
    • In Indonesia, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit off the west coast of Sumatra island and in the Philippines, a 6.4-magnitude tremor struck 110 kilometres (68 miles) off Luzon island, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.
    • Officials in both countries said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage, and there was no tsunami threat from either quake.
  • Rusia-Ukraine Crisis: The Russia-Ukraine conflict escalated as Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered the deployment of troops there.
    • Russian and Ukrainian officials gave their most upbeat assessments yet on Sunday of progress in their talks on the war in Ukraine, suggesting there could be positive results within days.
    • Separately, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Russia was showing signs of willingness to engage in substantive negotiations about ending a conflict in which thousands have died. More than 2.5 million people have fled.
    • Ukraine has said it is willing to negotiate, but not to surrender or accept any ultimatums.

13th March 2022


India


  • NEET: The National Board of Examination (NBE) has lowered the NEET-PG cut-off by 15 percentile in order to fill up over 6,000 seats for postgraduate courses in medicine that remain vacant even after two rounds of counselling. The NBE conducts NEET-PG, the qualification tests for these PG courses in India.
  • PayTM: Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma was arrested by Delhi Police last month and later released on bail in a case of rash driving. The Paytm founder was allegedly driving a Jaguar Land Rover that hit the car of the District Commissioner of Police of South Delhi.
  • Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday named Shatrughan Sinha as TMC’s candidate for bypoll to Asansol parliamentary seat, and Babul Supiyo as nominee for Ballygunge assembly byelection.
  • New Delhi: At a high-level meeting to discuss India’s security preparedness on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that every effort must be made to make India self-reliant in the defence sector. The meeting was held against the backdrop of the Ukraine-Russia war in Eastern Europe.
  • Indo-China: The 15th round of Corps Commander talks between India and China failed to achieve a breakthrough for the next phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh. However, in a joint statement the two sides reaffirmed that a resolution of the “relevant issues” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector would help restore peace and tranquillity and “facilitate progress in bilateral relations.”
  • IRCTC: The Indian Railway Tourism and Catering Corporation (IRCTC) has issued a clarification after Indian Railways decided that it will now open food plaza, fast food units and multi-cuisine restaurants, taking over from its catering arm IRCTC, in a bid to generate non-fare revenue, according to an order issued by the Railway Board.
  • GAIL: State-owned gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd has declared a second interim dividend of 50 percent (Rs 5 per share) for the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2022. The total dividend payout will be Rs 2,220.19 crore with a record date of March 22.
  • COVID: India logged 3,116 new coronavirus infections, the lowest in 676 days, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 4,29,90,991, while the active cases dipped to 38,069, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday. The death toll climbed to 5,15,850 with 47 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.
  • IPO: LIC is yet to decide on the offer price for the listing, but the IPO is poised to be the largest in Indian stock market history and is crucial for the Centre to meet its Rs 78,000 crore divestment target for FY22.
    • The government has time till May 12 to launch the initial public offering (IPO) of LIC without filing fresh papers with market regulator Sebi.
    • The government’s sale of about 31.6 crore shares or 5 per cent stake in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), which was estimated to fetch around Rs 60,000 crore to the exchequer, was originally planned to be launched in March, but the Russia-Ukraine crisis has derailed the plans as stock markets are highly volatile.
  • FPI: Continuing their selling spree for the sixth straight month, overseas investors have pulled out a net Rs 45,608 crore from the Indian markets in March so far.
    • Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) fear that India would be impacted more by commodity price hikes, particularly in crude oil, since India is a major importer.
    • As per depositories data, FPIs pulled out Rs 41,168 crore from equities, Rs 4,431 crore from the debt segment and Rs 9 crore from hybrid instruments, taking the total net outflow between March 2-11 to Rs 45,608 crore. This is the sixth consecutive month of FPI outflows from the Indian markets.

World


  • Russia: Russia urged India to deepen its investments in the sanction-hit country’s oil and gas sector, and is keen on expanding the sales networks of Russian companies in Asia’s third-largest economy.
  • NASA: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is cracking open a 50-year-old vacuum-sealed tube of lunar gas and soil.
    • It was among one of the 2,196 rock samples collected during NASA’s Apollo missions to Earth.
    • Dubbed 73001, the sample in question was collected by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt in December 1972.
    • The tube, 35 cm long and 4 cm (13.8 inches by 1.6 inches) wide, had been hammered into the ground of the Moon’s Taurus-Littrow valley to collect the rocks.
  • Beijing: Millions of people across China endured lockdowns on Sunday as virus cases doubled to nearly 3,400 and anxiety mounted over the resilience of the country’s ‘zero-Covid’ approach in the face of the worst outbreak in two years.
    • China placed all 17 million residents in one of its biggest cities under lockdown on Sunday, as virus cases doubled nationwide to nearly 3,400 and anxiety mounted over the resilience of its ‘zero-Covid’ approach in the face of the worst outbreak in two years.
    • The southern tech hub of Shenzhen told all residents to stay at home as it struggles to eradicate an Omicron flare-up linked to the neighbouring virus-ravaged city of Hong Kong.

12th March 2022


India


  • UGC: PhD used to be a mandatory requirement to teach in many Central Universities. But gone are those days. In a major move, University Grants Commission, UGC has decided to do away with the old ‘mandatory PhD requirement’ in order to have more industry experts as teachers in Universities.
  • IPO: Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal-led tech-driven financial services startup Navi Technologies, which turned profitable in FY21, has filed papers with market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise up to Rs 3,350 crore via an Initial Public Offering.
  • PayTM: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Friday directed Paytm Payments Bank Ltd to stop onboarding new customers with immediate effect and conduct a comprehensive audit of its IT system, citing “material supervisory concerns”.
  • Chandigarh: A. Venu Prasad has been appointed Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister
    • He is a 1991 batch IAS officer.
    • He has remained the CMD of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for long, and was currently posted as ACS, Excise and Taxation.
  • Russia: Beleaguered by sanctions from the western countries and a ban on fuel exports to the United States, Russia is keen to increase its oil and petroleum product exports to India and India’s investments in the Russian oil sector, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak conveyed to Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri on Friday.
    • According to a statement issued by the Russian government, Mr. Puri spoke to Mr. Novak, who was also the former Energy Minister, about the possibilities of strengthening the India-Russia strategic partnership in the energy sector.
    • Russia’s oil and petroleum product exports to India have approached $1 billion, and there are clear opportunities to increase this figure.
  • COVID: Over 18 million people died because of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) between 2020 and 2021, more than three times the reported Covid deaths, according to a new estimate published in The Lancet.
    • The estimate suggests that India had the highest numbers of cumulative excess deaths due to Covid, followed by the US, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
    • South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, and eastern Europe were the regions with the largest number of excess deaths due to Covid-19.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has lifted the restrictions that were placed on the new digital launches of HDFC Bank, the private lender informed the stock exchanges on March 12.
    • The curbs were imposed by the central bank in December 2020 after repeated outages at the lender’s data centre.
    • The restrictions barred HDFC Bank from launching any of the activities planned under the Digital 2.0 programme, as well as the sourcing of new credit cards.
    • The RBI had also asked the bank to fix accountability in the matter pertaining to the data centre outages, and examine reasons behind the lapses.
  • EPFO: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Saturday decided to pay 8.1 percent rate of interest on provident fund deposits for the current financial year, down from 8.5 percent in Fy21.
    • This was the lowest rate in 43 years, and would disappoint over 60 million of its salaried-class subscribers. The last time EPFO paid lower than this rate was in 1977-78 when the interest rate was 8%.
    • The EPFO paid 8.5 percent interest rate to millions of its subscribers in 2020-21. Its EPF rate was 8.5 percent in 2019-20, 8.65 percent in 2018-19 and 8.55 percent in 2017-18. It paid 8.65  8.5 percent in 2016-17 and 8.8 8.5 percent in 2015-16.
    • The PF body’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT), chaired by Labour and Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav, is learnt to have recommended the 8.1% rate for the year at its meeting at its meeting in Guwahati on Saturday.
    • The EPFO is the country’s largest retirement fund and the second largest non-banking financial institution with a corpus of about ₹16 lakh crore.

World


  • Security Council: The UN security council met on Friday at Russia’s request to discuss Moscow’s claims that the US is funding “military biological activities” in Ukraine. As Russian troops continued to Ukrainian cities and towns, the US accused Russia of using a UN Security Council meeting Friday for “lying and spreading disinformation” as part of a potential false-flag operation by Moscow for the use of chemical or biological agents in Ukraine.
  • Moscow: Western sanctions against Russia could cause the International Space Station to crash, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos warned Saturday, calling for the punitive measures to be lifted.
  • US President: US President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate Indian-origin political activist Shefali Razdan Duggal as his envoy to the Netherlands, according to the White House.
    • Ms Duggal, 50, is an Indian immigrant to the United States from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • She has been raised in Cincinnati, Chicago, New York and Boston.
  • Pakistan: Pakistan on Friday formally inducted the multirole J-10C fighter jets, acquired from its all-weather ally China, into its air force to improve the country’s combat capabilities.
    • Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed a ceremony held at Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Base Minhas Kamra in Attock district of Punjab to induct the new jets.
    • Mr. Khan described it as a big movement for Pakistan after about 40 years when F-16 provided by the U.S. were inducted into the PAF.
  • Washington: US President Joe Biden said he has moved 12,000 troops along the borders with Russia, such as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Romania while asserting that Vladimir Putin will not be victorious in the war he has waged against Ukraine.
    • US President Joe Biden on Friday vowed that Russia would pay a “severe price” if it used chemical weapons in Ukraine, while also pledging to avoid provoking Moscow into “World War III.”
    • Biden reacted after Russia accused Ukraine and the United States of developing biological and chemical weapons in what Western nations says is a ruse to lay the ground for Moscow’s own possible use of them in the conflict.

11th March 2022


India


  • PM Modi: A day after four of the five states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa — that went to polls voted the BJP to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a roadshow in Gujarat on Friday.
  • COVID: India accounted for the largest number of estimated excess deaths due to Covid-19 between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, according to a study published in the British medical journal Lancet.
  • Pakistan: The Pakistan Army detected a high-flying projectile entering into its airspace from India and claimed that it caused some damage to civilian installations with no reported loss of life. The object crashed in Mian Channu, Khanewal district of Punjab on Wednesday night. The Army spokesman said that the flight path endangered civilians in both Pakistan and India and sought an explanation from New Delhi.
  • NEET PG Counselling: Supreme Court Issues Notice On Doctor’s Plea To Attend Mop-Up Round.
    • The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the Medical Counselling Committee and the National Board of Examination on petitions filed by doctos who appeared in the first round of counselling of NEET PG 2021 seeking permission to appear in the mop-up round.
    • Issuing notice on the writ petitions, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant posted the matter to March 21, 2022.
  • Gold Prices: As on March 11, Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 52,880 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 48,440.
    • The Gold rate has decreased by Rs 260/ 10 grams for 24 carat and 22 carat today. Yesterday, Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) was Rs 53,140 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 48,680.
    • Minor fluctuation in gold prices was observed in different metro cities of India in last 24 hours. Gold price today in Chennai for 24 carat (10 grams) is Rs 54,400 while the 22 carat (10 grams) is Rs 49,866.
  • Stock Market: India became the fifth most valued stock market beating the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
    • Currently, the US is the world’s biggest market valued at $47.32 trillion followed by China ($11.52 trillion), Japan ($6 trillion) and Hong Kong ($5.55 trillion).
    • Barring Saudi Arabia, all top global stock markets lost amid Russia Ukraine tensions. Since the start of December, US lost around $6.6 trillion, China $1.48 trillion, Japan $622 billion and Hong Kong $524.31 billion.
  • IPO: India has tightened scrutiny of IPO-bound firms by questioning how key internal business metrics are used to arrive at valuations, unsettling bankers and companies which fear delays in listing plans, sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.
    • India’s push comes after the flop listing of SoftBank-backed payments firm Paytm’s $2.5 billion IPO in November which sparked criticism of lax oversight of how loss-making companies price issues at what some say are lofty valuations.
    • The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) last month flagged concerns in proposing stricter disclosures, saying more and more new-age tech firms which “generally remain loss making for a longer period” were filing for IPOs, and traditional financial disclosures “may not aid investors.”
  • IMF: India has been very good at managing its finances but the surge in global energy prices is going to have a negative impact on its economy, said Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund.
    • During a media roundtable on Thursday on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its global impact, Gita Gopinath, who is the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, observed that the war has posed a challenge to economies around the world, including India.
    • “India relies heavily on energy imports and the price is going up. That has implications on the purchasing power of Indian households.”
    • “If you’re looking at headline inflation numbers, inflation in India is close to around six per cent, which is the upper end of the inflation band for the Reserve Bank of India,” Ms. Gopinath said.
  • Indo-China: The Indian military and diplomatic establishment have low expectations of a positive outcome from the 15th round of India-China military commanders meeting at Chushul to resolve the nearly two-year-old stand-off in East Ladakh.
    • The military escalation along the 1597 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) was sparked off after the PLA decided to unilaterally change the ground positions between Galwan Valley and north of Pangong Tso lake in May 2020.
    • With the PLA dragging its feet in fully restoring the April 2020 status quo ante by still holding on to forward position at Gogra-Hot Springs area (general location patrolling point 15 near Kongka La)
    • The Indian Army is on an alert mode to repel any more Chinese aggression in the area.
    • The Indian Army has legacy patrolling rights issues in Depsang Bulge and Charding Nullah Junction in Demchok, it is quite evident that the PLA is in no mood to budge from their stated positions.

World


  • Russia-Ukraine: As the Russian invasion of Ukraine entered its third week, the United States said that Russia could be preparing the ground for using chemical or bological weapons in Ukraine. This statement came in response to Russia’s accusation that Ukraine is running chemical and biological labs with U.S. support.
  • Messaging App: Google’s Android messaging app is getting an interesting new update today. Messages by Google, which is the name the app goes by these days, can now show reactions from iPhones as emojis, “just like when you’re messaging with someone who’s using an Android device”, Google says. This will initially be available for devices set to English.
  • China: A Chinese city with a population of 9 million has been ordered to lock down as the country reported its highest daily surge of coronavirus cases in two years on Friday.
    • Changchun, the capital of the Jilin province and an important industrial base, says only one person will be allowed to go out every two days to buy “daily necessities”.
    • Covid cases across China have crossed the 1,000 mark this week for the first time since the early days of the pandemic in 2020. Just three weeks ago, there were less than 100 daily cases.
    • Friday’s figures show there were 1,369 new cases.
  • Ukraine War: Russian shelling hit civilian targets in central Ukraine’s Dnipro city on Friday, as Moscow’s troops edged closer to Kyiv.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that he wanted to allow volunteers to fight against Ukrainian forces and approved handing over captured Western missile systems to Russian-backed rebel fighters.
    • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu proposed handing over American made anti-tank systems such as Javelin and Stinger to fighters from the rebel regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

10th March 2022


India


  • Election Results: The trends so far suggest that the BJP will be back for a second term in Uttar Pradesh with an overwhelming majority while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to wrest power from Congress in Punjab.
    • The saffron party is leading in more than 265 seats in UP while AAP has so far won 87 constituencies in Punjab and leading in 5.
    • The BJP has already won 20 out of 40 seats in Goa whereas in Uttarakhand, the saffron party has taken a lead in over 45 seats as Harish Rawat, the CM face of Congress in the state, is trailing.
    • In the northeastern state of Manipur, BJP has taken a lead in over 20 seats, with incumbent CM N Biren Singh ahead in Heingang.
  • Punjab: Punjab Chief Minister-elect Bhagwant Mann drew cheers from the crowd on Thursday as he announced that his oath-taking ceremony will be held at Khatkarkalan in Nawanshahr district, the ancestral village of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
    • He also announced that government offices will not have the photo of the Chief Minister as is the custom.
    • Mr Mann said his first order of business after taking office will be schools, health, industry, making agriculture profitable, the safety of women and improving sports infrastructure.
    • The Aam Aadmi Party has closed a clean sweep in Punjab with a lead in 91 of the 117 assembly seats after the first six hours of counting of votes on Thursday.
  • NEET UG: The National Medical Commission (NMC) on Wednesday announced that the upper age limit for appearing in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG) 2022 has been removed. The age limit for applicants belonging to the general category was 25 years, while the same for SC, ST and OBC candidates was 30 years.
  • Manipur: The BJP is likely to emerge as the largest party in Manipur but is short of the majority mark, show election trends. Meanwhile, BJP’s Chief Minister N Biren Singh has won from the Heingang seat by around 18,000 votes.
  • Bihar: The Bihar Cabinet has approved changes to the state’s liquor prohibition law to make it less stringent for first-time offenders and those caught carrying low quantities of alcohol in small non-commercial vehicles, officials aware of the matter said. The modified sections will come into force after the state assembly approves them.
  • Future Retail: Future Retail in a late-night filing has informed the bourses that it has received certain termination notices in respect of sub-leased properties from Reliance Group. The company said that it has received notices for 342 large format stores and 493 small-format stores.
  • Maldives: The Colombo Security Conclave, a grouping of India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, should institutionalise its cooperation with a roadmap and form new joint working groups to tackle drug trafficking and cyber-security challenges, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval said on Wednesday.
  • Union Cabinet: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of the National Land Monetization Corporation (NLMC) to monetise surplus land and building assets of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and other agencies linked to the Government.
    • To be fully owned by the Centre, under the administrative jurisdiction of the Finance Ministry, NLMC will have an initial authorised share capital of Rs 5,000 crore and paid-up share capital of Rs 150 crore.
    • Railways, Telecommunications, and Defence are among key ministries holding the maximum surplus land, while parcels of several CPSEs are in prime areas with good potential.
  • Delhi High Court: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on Delhi Waqf Board’s petition related to the 123 properties – mainly mosques and Muslims graveyards, which were denotified from land acquisition process in 2014 and were to be reverted to the Waqf Board.
    • Justice Yashwant Varma, however, declined to pass any interim order in favour of Waqf Board in the application challenging the transfer of a graveyard, which is one of the 123 properties in question, located at Mathura road to India Tibetan Border Police.
    • The court in the order recorded that it finds no ground to grant the interim injunction as undisputedly the allotment in favour of ITBP was made in 2017.
    • The Waqf Board earlier told the court that they learnt about the transfer of property only in 2017 in a different case. Its application sought stay on any activity at the graveyard.
  • Exide: Exide Industries has reached an agreement with Chinese company SVOLT Energy Technology Co. Ltd. for a multi-year technological partnership (SVOLT) to make lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
    • SVOLT will grant Exide an irrevocable right and licence to use, exploit, and commercialise relevant technology and know-how for lithium-ion cell manufacturing in India as part of the agreement.
    • SVOLT will provide full support for forming a state-of-the-art greenfield manufacturing plant.
    • Exide has established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as a wholly-owned subsidiary to carry out the lithium-ion cell manufacturing activity.
    • It is in the final stages of negotiations to finalise the land parcel for this facility.

World


  • Amazon: Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday its board approved a 20-for-1 split of the e-commerce giant’s common stock and authorized a $10 billion buyback plan, sending the company’s shares up 7% in extended trading.
    • This is the first stock split by Amazon since 1999 and will give investors 19 additional shares for every share they hold. Trading based on the new share price will begin on June 6.
    • Amazon’s share split is similar to the one announced by Google parent Alphabet Inc last month. Several mega cap companies such as Apple Inc, Tesla and Nvidia have split their stocks since 2020.
  • WHO: As a recent study revealed that the first solid evidence for a Delta and Omicron recombinant virus has been found, the World Health Organisation (WHO) noted that this was expected with both Omicron and Delta variants of COVID circulating widely. WHO also assured that several studies are underway to understand its severity and transmissibility. 
  • Ukraine: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday Russia must urgently observe a temporary ceasefire to allow repairs on a power line to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, saying radiation could be leaked if an electricity outage continues.
  • Washington: The Pentagon on Wednesday conclusively rejected as too “high risk” a plan to transfer fighter jets from Poland to Kyiv to battle Russian forces, pouring cold water for now on Ukraine’s bid for more firepower in the skies.
  • Ukraine Crisis: Ukraine’s quest for additional fighter jets to take on Russia’s air superiority has hit a dead end. With the inconsistent stand taken by the United States and Poland, there is little hope for Ukraine to get the Soviet-era MiG-29s they were hoping for.
    • Just days after the US green-lit Nato countries providing fighter aircraft to Ukraine, the efforts only seem to be just symbolic that cannot fructify on the ground.
    • In a fresh offer, Poland said it’s willing to give 28 MiG-29 fighter jets that can be operated from the Ramstein airbase, the US air force base in Germany.

9th March 2022


India


  • International Flights: India on Tuesday, after a gap of two years, lifted the ban on international flights. The overseas flights, suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be available from March 27.
  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday conducted a $ 5 billion dollar-rupee swap auction as part of its liquidity management initiative, leading to infusion of dollars and sucking out of the rupee from the financial system. The central bank’s move will reduce the pressure on inflation and strengthen the rupee.
  • Hindustan Unilever Limited: HUL has announced two key appointments to its management committee: Madhusudhan Rao as executive director, beauty and wellbeing and personal care, and Deepak Subramanian as executive director, home care.
  • SEBI: Market regulator Sebi has approved the much awaited LIC IPO. According to the report, Sebi has issued observation letter for the same. The approval has come within 22 days of filing.
    • LIC had in February filed its draft papers with the market regulator.
    • The issue would be an offer for sale of 31,62,49,885 equity shares by the government, which holds 100 per cent stake in the insurance behemoth.
  • Cabinet: The Cabinet has approved the formation of National Land Monetisation Corporation (NLMC) to handle the sale of surplus land and buildings of the government, its agencies, and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
    • NLMC will be a wholly owned central government entity with an initial authorised share capital of Rs 5,000 crore and paid-up share capital of Rs 150 crore, the government said in a statement on March 9.
    • The special purpose vehicle will be set up by the Department of Public Enterprise and the Ministry of Finance.
  • Hyderabad: Keeping in view the aspirations of the unemployed youth, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao announced that the State government will take up direct recruitment to fill up 80,039 posts immediately.
    • The government has also decided to regularise services of 11,103 contract workers who are already working taking the total recruitment to 91,142 posts in various departments in Telangana.
    • The financial implication of filling up of 80,039 vacancies and regularisation of 11,103 contractual personnel would be Rs 7,300 crores per annum for the State government.
  • NDA: The Supreme Court on Tuesday (March 8) expressed disinclination to deal with a plea seeking reservation for Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, and Other Backward Classes in the National Defence Academy (NDA).
    • A bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundersh said that it was dealing with the issue of women induction in NDA and clarified that it was not going to deal with plea for caste-based reservations.
    • The bench was considering the case Kush Kalra versus Union of India, which is relating to induction of women in NDA, in which one Kailas More has file an intervention application seeking caste-based quota.
  • Board Exams: Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shikha Parishad (UPMSP), commonly known as UP Board, released its high school (HS) and intermediate examination 2022 schedule on Tuesday.
    • The high school exams will be completed in 12 working days while intermediate examinations will be completed in 15 working days this year, informed UP Board chairman and Director (secondary education) Vinay Kumar Pandey on Tuesday.
    • As per the UP Board time table, the exams to be held in offline mode for Class 10 and class 12 will both commence from March 24, 2022 and continue till April 12, 2022.
  • India-China: India and China are set to hold the 15th round of military talks on March 11 to ease tensions in Ladakh, with the dialogue expected to focus on resolving outstanding issues at the remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    • The last round of Corps Commander-level talks was held on January 12, which failed to yield any positive outcome though both countries said they would work towards mutually acceptable solutions to resolve the border standoff, which began in May 2020.
    • The March 11 dialogue will take place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo meeting point.

World


  • Bangladesh: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for rescuing her country’s nationals under ‘Operation Ganga,’ alongside the stranded Indian nationals who were being evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.
  • Ukraine: Reacting to Joe Biden’s announcement of ban on US import of oil, gas and energy from Russia due to Moscow’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the eastern European nation’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, echoed his US counterpart’s remarks that the move was against Vladimir Putin’s ‘war machine.’
  • Russia: Russia’s foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on Wednesday said Moscow is not working to topple the Ukrainian government as some progress has been made in the three rounds of the talks held between Russia and Ukraine. In her weekly briefing, Zakharova said Moscow has documental evidence that bioweapons are being developed in Ukraine by the United States.
  • United Nations: Russia backs UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi’s idea of a trilateral meeting with Ukraine on ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities there during Russia’s invasion but not at Chernobyl as Grossi wants, Moscow’s envoy to the watchdog said.
  • Ukraine Crisis: President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is no longer pressing for NATO membership for Ukraine, a delicate issue that was one of Russia’s stated reasons for invading its pro-Western neighbor.
  • Oil Prices: Global share markets fell on Tuesday as oil prices climbed yet further, driven by the United States banning Russian oil and other energy imports over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
    • U.S. President Joe Biden made the announcement on Tuesday, while Britain said it would phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.
    • Benchmark Brent crude for May rose to an intra-day high of $131.27 a barrel before settling at $127.98 a barrel, 3.9% higher, while U.S. crude futures settled at $123.70 a barrel, a 3.6% increase.

8th March 2022


India


  • Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu Teacher Eligibility Test, TN TET 2022 notification has been released on March 7, 2022 by Teachers Recruitment Board. As per the schedule, TN TET registrations would begin from March 14, 2022 and candidates can apply online on the official website trb.tn.nic.in.
  • Commodities: Indians are stocking up vegetable oil and fuel, fearing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may cause an edible oil shortage, while a rally in global crude oil prices may lead New Delhi to aggressively raise fuel prices as elections conclude in key states.
  • Credit Suisse: Credit Suisse (CS) has cut its rating for the Indian market to ‘underweight’ as it feels India is the most vulnerable to oil price hikes in Asia. This is even as Morgan Stanley believes Indian equities today are more resilient in face of rising crude oil prices.
  • Guwahati: A Guwahati court has directed the police to register a case against Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for allegedly saying that the last year’s eviction drive in Garukhuti village of Darrang district was an “act of revenge”.
    • The court direction came on the basis of a petition filed by Congress Lok Sabha MP Abdul Khaleque.
    • In his complaint, the Congress MP stated that Mr Sarma had stated that the eviction exercise at Gorukhuti in Darang district was ‘revenge’ for the incidents of 1983 – when some youths there were killed during the Assam Agitation.
  • Finance Minister: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday came down heavily on the tax boards for allegedly not responding to grievances of the tax assessees and directed their officials to reserve Saturdays to hold meetings with them.
    • During the Budget Outreach Programme between Finance Ministry officials, the industry and trade bodies in Bengaluru, the General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer of the Karnataka Bank Muralidhar Krishna Rao posed a question seeking clarity on certain provisions of the GST Act and the direct tax deductions impacting the banking sector.
    • Even before the officials responded, Ms. Sitharaman intervened and pulled up the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) officials.
  • RBI: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday launched an instant payment system “UPI 123PAY” for feature phone users. The RBI chief said that the new Unified Payments Interface (UPI) will allow India’s 40 crore feature phone users to access the payment service in a more secure manner.
    • Currently, UPI services are available for users through the USSD-based (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data-based) services.
    • Feature phone users will now be able to undertake a host of transactions based on four technology alternatives.
    • They include calling an IVR (interactive voice response) number, app functionality in feature phones, missed call-based approach and also proximity sound-based payments, the RBI said.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) unveiled its fourth data centre in India on Monday, betting on rising digital consumption in one of its fastest-growing markets.
    • Microsoft India head Anant Maheshwari said the company was making long-term investments in the country, although he declined to confirm reports by local media of a $2 billion price tag for the latest centre.
    • “A public cloud data center is not a one time investment, it is a continuous investment that we have,” Maheshwari told Reuters. “In the last two years, we doubled the capacity in the existing three data centers.”

World


  • Internet: Researchers at DTU’s basic research centre NanoPhoton have invented a new type of detector that can break the limit of data transmission speed internally between the servers in data centres. The detector will decode data transmitted by light, and the project will be realized through an ERC Proof of Concept Grant of approx. DKK 1.1 million, awarded to Professor Jesper Mørk and his research team in early 2022.
  • San Francisco: Tech billionaire Elon Musk led SpaceX in 2021 launched 646 Starlink satellites, an increase of 48.9% in its March 2021 satellite population of 1,322.
    • In the past 18 months, the space firm has grown its broadband satellites by 185 percent.
    • It targets up to 60 million of rural and far-flung American populations.
  • Oil Prices: Oil prices soared to $139 per barrel on Monday as the US and allies considered banning import of oil from Russia, the world’s largest exporter of crude and refined products combined.
    • Delay in the Iranian nuclear deal, which can help lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic and get its oil flowing back to the global market, also added to the nervousness in the market.
    • After touching $139 per barrel in early trade, the highest since 2008, crude fell to around $130 per barrel where it mostly stayed during the day.
  • Russia: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the first time war has raged in a country with such an advanced and established nuclear power programme, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said.
    • Russia backs UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi’s idea of a trilateral meeting with Ukraine on ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities there during Russia’s invasion but not at Chernobyl as Grossi wants, Moscow’s envoy to the watchdog said.
    • The country has four operational nuclear power plants, including Europe’s largest by capacity, at Zaporizhzhia near Crimea.
  • Most Sanctioned Nation: Within a span of 10 days of invading Ukraine, Russia surpassed Iran and North Korea to become the world’s most-sanctioned nation. After actions led by the US and European nations, Russia faced 2,778 new sanctions, bringing the total to 5,530, according to Castellum.ai, a global sanctions-tracking database.
    • Iran, on the other hand, has faced 3,616 sanctions against it over the last decade, mostly for its nuclear program and support of terrorism.
    • While Syria and North Korea have 2,608 and 2,077 sanctions.
  • Commodities: Western countries could face oil prices of over $300 per barrel and the possible closure of the main Russia-Germany gas pipeline if governments follow through on threats to cut energy supplies from Russia, a senior minister said on Monday.
    • Oil prices spiked to their highest levels since 2008 on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington and European allies were considering banning Russian oil imports.
    • Novak said it would take Europe more than a year to replace the volume of oil it receives from Russia and it would have to pay significantly higher prices.
  • BRISE: The cryptocurrency ecosystem as a whole has taken a back seat to events in the larger world but this is not stopping developers from building.
    • One project that has recently begun to gain traction thanks to its focus on creating a high throughput, low-cost blockchain network is Bitgert (BRISE), a crypto engineering organization that has set out to build a blockchain network capable of processing 100,000 transactions per second for little to no cost for the user.
    • Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and CoinGecko shows that since hitting a low of $0.000000157 on Feb. 8, the price of BRISE has surged 1,124% to a daily high at $0.00000184 on March 7 as its 24-hour trading volume spiked by 1,050%.
    • Three reasons for the burst in momentum for BRISE include the launch of the Bitgert Chain, the beta release of the Bitgert Exchange and a series of new partnerships and exchange listings.

7th March 2022


India


  • New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky this morning, hours before an expected call to Russian President Vladimir Putin, government sources said amid desperate efforts to evacuate hundreds of Indians still stranded in the warzone.
  • Rajasthan: The outgoing chief justice of the Rajasthan high court, Akil Kureshi, who was denied a position in the Supreme Court despite being the senior-most chief justice in the country, laid emphasis on the role of an independent judiciary in protecting the rights of common citizens in his farewell address on Saturday.
  • USD-INR: The energy-sensitive rupee hit a lifetime low in early trading on Monday as a sharp surge in global crude oil prices to above $130 threatened to push up imported inflation and widen the country’s trade and current account deficits.
    • The rupee was trading nearly 1 percent weaker at 76.92 per dollar after touching 76.96, its weakest level ever. On Friday, the currency fell to close at 76.17 against the US dollar, its lowest closing level since December 15, 2021.
    • The rupee has declined against the US dollar as intensifying geopolitical risks due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict pushed investors to the greenback’s safe-haven appeal.
  • Transportation: The central government is focusing on improving mass transportation, including the metro rail connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday after inaugurating a metro project in Pune city of Maharashtra.
    • The total cost of the Pune metro project is over Rs 11,400 crore. The PM had laid the foundation stone for the project on December 24, 2016.
    • PM Modi was addressing a public meeting at the MIT College ground here after launching and laying the foundation stone of various development projects in the city.
  • Bengaluru: Per Capita Income (PCI) of Bengaluru Urban is more than five times that of Kalaburagi, the Economic Survey of Karnataka 2021-22 has found, revealing once more the glaring developmental disparities in the state.
    • Four districts with the lowest per capita income, including Kalaburagi, are from Kalyana Karnataka, a region that has historically been the most underdeveloped part of the state.
    • The PCI of Bengaluru Urban at current prices was at 5,41,638, the highest, while it was Rs 1,00,446 in Kalaburagi, the lowest in the state. Dakshina Kannada stood second at Rs 3,71,771 as compared to Belagavi which languished at 22nd place with a PCI of ₹1,16,150.
    • The Survey, which provides data on 30 districts, shows that PCI of 26 districts was less than half of Bengaluru Urban.
  • PM Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with ‘Jan Aushadhi Kendra’ owners and beneficiaries of the scheme aimed at making available affordable generic medicines on Monday via video conferencing, his office said.
    • The theme of the event is ‘Jan Aushadhi-Jan Upyogi’. Prime Minister Modi will interact with Jan Aushadhi kendra owners and beneficiaries of the scheme on March 7 at 12:30 PM via video conferencing, according to the statement.
    • ‘Jan Aushadhi Week’ is being celebrated across the country from March 1 to generate awareness about the usage of generic medicines and benefits of Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana. In this week, various events such as Jan Aushadhi Sankalp Yatra, Matri Shakti Samman, Jan Aushadhi Bal Mitra, Jan Aushadhi Jan Jagran Abhiyan, Aao Jan Aushadhi Mitra Baney and Jan Aushadhi Jan Arogya Mela have been organised.
  • IWAI: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal received the maiden voyage of food-grains from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh on Sunday.
    • The Chief Minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma joined to welcome self propelled vessel MV Lal Bahadur Shastri carrying a total of 200 MT of foodgrains for Food Corporation of India (FCI) as it completed the maiden pilot run from Patna to Pandu via Bangladesh.
    • The vessel started its sail from Patna on National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) and passed through Bhagalpur, Manihari, Sahibganj, Farakka, Tribeni, Kolkata, Haldia, Hemnagar; Indo Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route through Khulna, Narayanganj, Sirajganj, Chilmari and National Waterway-2 through Dhubri, and Jogighopa covering a distance of 2,350 km.

World


  • Commodity: The commodity complex is brimming with uncertainty, after the US hinted at replacing Russian crude oil and Russia seems to have intensified fresh attacks on Ukraine. Brent Crude prices shot up past $130/bbl in US trading, and there is no sign of oil cooling off. This sharp surge overnight seems to have derailed the outlook for crude oil for the rest of the week as well.
  • Moscow: Russian Defence Ministry on Sunday said Ukraine has not fulfilled its commitments with regards to organizing humanitarian corridors to help people leave Mariupol.
    • The ministry said that Russia made another attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol on Sunday.
    • “Russia created all conditions for setting up a humanitarian corridor. We have to conclude that the Ukrainian side did not fulfill its obligations,” the ministry was quoted as saying by Sputnik news agency.
    • The United Nations regards humanitarian corridors to be one of the key forms of a temporary pause of armed conflict.
  • Card Network: American card network operators Visa, Mastercard and American Express have suspended their services in Russia in light of the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the US owing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
    • The suspension means that any cards issued by banks globally on these networks will not work in Russia at point-of-sale terminals or ATMs. Further, cards issued by Russian banks on these networks will also stop working outside the country.
    • While Russian banks have downplayed the impact so far, suggesting that shoppers will be able to use cards issued by Visa or Mastercard till expiry, the networks have said that any cards issued abroad won’t work in Russia. Globally, barring China, Visa and Mastercard control nearly 90% of credit and debit card payments.

6th March 2022


India


  • Pune: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the 12km stretch of the Pune Metro Rail project in the city. The project is being built at a cost of more than Rs 11,400 crore. Modi also unveiled the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at the premises of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
  • Puducherry: Puducherry’s iconic pier at the Rock beach collapsed partially on Saturday night due to high waves as a result of deep depression over the Bay of Bengal.
  • TCS: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) promoters – Tata Sons and Tata Investment Corporation Ltd on 5th March announced the dates of ₹18,000 crore buyback. The offer will open on 9 March, and the window will close at 5 pm on 23 March.
  • CUCET: The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Until last year, the CUCET was conducted for admissions to 13 newly founded central universities.
    • However, the University of Delhi (DU) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have now approved CUCET for the admissions to the upcoming academic year.
    • DU had formed eight-member committee for CUCET. Until last year, the admissions were done on the basis of cut-off marks for most of the undergraduate courses, whereas for postgraduate courses, entrance exams were conducted.
  • West Bengal: Mobile internet and broadband services to be temporarily suspended in several region of West Bengal to prevent unlawful activities.
    • According to the state government’s order, the internet services will be suspended in few blocks of Malda, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, Coochbehar, Jalpaiguri, Birbhum and Darjeeling districts.
    • The services will remain suspended between 11 AM- 3:15 PM during March 7-9, March 11 -12, and March 14-16.
  • New Delhi: Standalone, domain-specific institutions should be phased out and make way for multidisciplinary institutions, suggest the latest University Grants Commission (UGC) draft guidelines that were released Saturday.
    • The implication is that institutions that offer a single discipline like medicine, engineering, management should transform into one that offers all under one roof.
    • “Transforming higher education institutions into multi-disciplinary institutions” is the title of the draft guidelines released Saturday.
  • Rajasthan: Justice Akil Kureshi, the outgoing Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court, made certain significant statements in his farewell speech on Saturday.
    • Justice Kureshi’s non-elevation to the Supreme Court, despite being the senior most Chief Justice in the country, has become a point of discussion among the legal fraternity, amid the widespread perception that the Central Government is not in his favour due to certain orders passed by him against the ruling party during his stint as a judge of the Gujarat High Court.
    • In his farewell address, Justice Kureshi referred to some statements made by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in his recently published autobiography.
  • Market: Foreign institutional investors (FII) continue to offload their holdings in the Indian equity markets for the sixth month in a row, making it perhaps the longest monthly selling streak with high volumes.
    • Their net selloff in these six months has shot past Rs 2 lakh crore and reached Rs 2,06,649 crore since last October.
    • In February 2022, the outflow was highest since March 2020 when the COVID pandemic hit the Indian shores.
    • The FIIs have net sold more than Rs 2.5 lakh crore worth of shares in the current financial year ending this month.
  • Fuel Prices: India will raise petrol and diesel prices next week for the first time in more than four months as global crude prices soar after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last week, three government officials said, amid growing concern about inflation.
    • Asia’s third-largest economy, which imports 80% of its oil needs, faces retail inflation staying above the central bank’s tolerance limit of 6% as companies pass on a nearly 40% rise in crude prices since November, as well as rises in prices for other imported raw materials.
    • Oil prices surged after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, with Brent rising above $116 a barrel on Thursday, while supply disruptions have hit global prices of wheat, soybean, fertiliser and metals like copper, steel and aluminium raising worries about prices and economic recovery.

World


  • United Kingdom: Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab on Sunday called on India and China to help increase diplomatic pressure on Russia as it continued its military onslaught on Ukraine that began over a week ago. “China has got a job here. They’ve got to step up as well – this is a permanent member of the (UN) Security Council – and India as well. We need to expand the diplomatic pressure,” Raab said.
  • Kyiv: As Russia’s sustained assault on Ukraine escalates, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today said he spoke to billionaire Elon Musk concerning the war, and announced that Ukraine will be receiving another batch of Starlink satellite broadband systems “for destroyed cities” from Musk’s company, SpaceX, next week.
  • Moscow: Russian media cited an unnamed source on Sunday as saying that Ukraine was close to building a plutonium-based “dirty bomb” nuclear weapon, although the source cited no evidence.
  • Washington: Washington is working on a deal with Poland to supply Ukraine with Soviet-era warplanes to bolster Kyiv’s defenses against the Russian invasion, according to US media.
  • Ukraine: Following recent news of Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine, which is the largest in Europe, there is great concern over the potential for a Chernobyl-esque release of radioactive material. Several security personnel at the plant were injured by the attack.
  • Crypto: Bitgert is the biggest talk in the cryptocurrency industry right now. This is after the project launched the revolutionary Brise BRC20 blockchain, which has zero gas fee chain.
    • The blockchain has continued to cause ripples in the industry, already experiencing increased adoption.
    • In fact, the crypto community believes that Bitgert is going to overtake Fantom (FTM) and Terra (LUNA), and many other top cryptocurrencies in the industry.
  • United States: US payments firms Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc on Saturday said they were suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, and that they would work with clients and partners to cease all transactions there.
    • Within days, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside of the country and any Visa cards issued outside of Russia will no longer work within the country, the company said.
    • “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” Al Kelly, chief executive officer of Visa, said in a statement.

5th March 2022


India


  • RBI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is said to have told Indian banks to explore an alternative mechanism of payments for trade if the rapidly developing global opposition against Russia leads to Moscow’s total elimination from the rest of the world’s banking system.
  • Odisha: Odisha Staff Selection Commission (OSSC) has invited online applications for the recruitment of 56 posts of Traffic Constable as Initial Appointees under State Transport Authority, Commerce & Transport (Transport) Department, Government of Odisha. Interested and eligible candidates will have to apply online on the official website of the Commission www.ossc.gov.in on or before April 3, 2022.
  • Ukraine: Three more Air Force C-17 aircraft returned to the country on Saturday morning bringing back Indians who were stuck in Ukraine via Romania, Slovakia and Poland.
    • So far, the Air Force has flown ten planes to bring back 2,056 citzens back to safety under the government’s ‘Operation Ganga’.
    • About 26 tonnes of relief assistance has been sent to Ukraine and its other neighbouring countries that are also affected by the conflict.
    • When these planes took off on Friday evening, they carried 16.5 tonnes of relief load from India to these countries for the war-hit Ukraine where over 1 million people have been displaced since last week.
  • Indian Railways: Indian Railway has recently introduced a technology that is built to prevent accidents on the rail track.
    • On Friday, a live test of this technology called Kavach, an Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system developed by the Indian Railways, was conducted and the process lived up to its name as it successfully prevented a potential collision on the track.
    • Built with the goal of zero accidents, Kavach is an anti-collision technology that can prevent any two locomotives from colliding on extreme terms.
  • Board Exams: Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on March 3 released the class 10th and class 12th semester 2 Exams 2022 timetable  Exams for ICSE and ISC Semester 2 will start on April 25.
    • The ISC (Class 12) exams will end on June 6.  However, on March 4 CISE has revised the examination schedule for  class 10 the ICSE (Class 10) semester 2 examinations will end, on May 23.
    • The Maharashtra HSC Board (class 12) exams has begun today, March 4, 2022, at the MSBSHSE. From March 15, 2022, Maharashtra’s SSC exams will be held.
  • Indian Navy: The Indian Navy today successfully test-fired a long-range version of the BrahMos cruise missile.
    • Long range precision strike capability of advanced version of BrahMos missile successfully validated.
    • Pin Point destruction of target demonstrated combat and mission readiness of frontline platforms. Yet another shot in the arm for Aatmanirbhar Bharat.
  • New Delhi: Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Friday inaugurated the Delhi Teachers University which would offer programmes such as BA-BEd and BSc-BEd and focus on fundamental and applied research in education.
    • The campus is located in Outram Lane in Mukherjee Nagar area of the national capital.
    • The university will offer a new age, integrated teacher education programme after Class 12.
    • It will also emphasize on fundamental and applied research in education by collaborating with national and international organizations.
  • Cooking Oil: Prices of cooking oils, used in thousands of products from chocolate to margarine and instant noodles, are on a tear and that means shoppers need to brace for more expensive groceries.
    • From crude oil to grains and edible oils, commodities have been rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the sweeping U.S. and European sanctions that ensued.
    • Ukraine’s ports are closed, transport and logistics are severed, and buyers are unwilling or unable to pay the surging costs of insurance and freight required to secure cargoes from the Black Sea.
  • Gold Price: As on March 4, Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 51,780 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 47,430.
    • The Gold rate increased by Rs 240/ 10 grams for 24 carat and 22 carat.
    • Yesterday, Gold price in India for 24 carat gold (10 grams) is Rs 51,640 while 22 carat gold (10 grams) cost Rs 47,300.

World


  • Washington: U.S. firm Cogent Communications was cutting internet service to Russian clients, Cogent CEO David Schaeffer said on Friday.
  • Russia Ukraine Crisis: Authorities in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol said an evacuation of civilians planned for Saturday had been postponed as Russian forces encircling the city were not respecting an agreed ceasefire, news agency Reuters reported.
    • In a statement, the city council asked residents to return to shelters in the city and wait for further information on evacuation.
    • Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a televised broadcast that Russia is not observing an agreed ceasefire in certain areas, thwarting a joint plant to allow civilians to evacuate from frontline cities such as Mariupol.
  • Beijing: China today hiked its annual defence budget by 7.1 per cent to USD 230 billion from last year’s USD 209 billion.
    • The Chinese government has proposed the defence budget for the fiscal year 2022 at 1.45 trillion yuan (USD 230 billion), a 7.1 per cent year-on-year increase, state-run China Daily reported quoting the draft budget proposals presented by Premier Li Keqiang to the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s parliament today.
    • The hike makes China’s defence budget over three times that of India’s defence budget of 5.25 lakh crore (about USD 70 billion) for 2022.
  • Paris: Thousands of internet users across Europe have been thrown offline after what sources said Friday was a likely cyberattack at the beginning of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine.
    • According to Orange, nearly 9,000 subscribers of a satellite internet service provided by its subsidiary Nordnet in France are without internet following a “cyber event” on February 24 at Viasat, a US satellite operator of which it is a client.
    • Eutelsat, the parent company of the bigblu satellite internet service, also confirmed to AFP on Friday that around one-third of bigblu’s 40,000 subscribers in Europe, in Germany, France, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Poland, were affected by the outage on Viasat.
  • Kyiv: Russia has intensified strikes across Ukraine with fresh reports of civilian casualties and devastating damage. The West expressed anger after Europe’s largest atomic power plant was seized by Russia.
    • At least 331 civilians are confirmed killed and 675 injured in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion began on February 24, but the real toll is likely much higher, the UN has said.
    • Russian troops have ‘blockaded’ Ukraine’s strategic port city Mauripol, the city’s mayor announced today. Located on the Sea of Azov, the city of 450,000 people has been bombarded by shelling and cut off without water or electricity in the depths of winter.
    • The US has said that Russian troops are just 32 kms from the second-largest nuclear plant in Ukraine. Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, on Friday.
    • NATO on Friday rejected Ukrainian calls to help it protect its skies from Russian missiles and warplanes, wary of being dragged into Moscow’s war on its neighbour, but Europe promised more sanctions to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    • The US Embassy in Ukraine said that attacking a nuclear power plant is a war crime.

4th March 2022


India


  • Ukraine Crisis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday held a high-level meeting on the Russia-Ukraine crisis and reviewed the progress of Operation Ganga. The meeting comes amid reports of an Indian student being shot at in Kyiv and hospitalised. Union minister General VK Singh on Friday said he had received reports that a student who has been shot at has been hospitalised.
  • DefExpo-2022: Due to logistics problems being experienced by participants, the Defence Expo 2022 proposed to be held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, from March 10 till March 14th, is postponed, Defence Ministry spokesperson A Bharat Bhushan Babu said.
  • Jet Airways: Jet Airways has appointed Sanjiv Kapoor as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with the appointment effective from April 4, as they are set to restart their operations this summer.
  • ICSE, ISC Semester 2 exam time table 2022: Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on Thursday released ICSE, ISC semester 2 Exams 2022 timetable. The semester 2 exam timetable for Class 10 (ICSE) and Class 12 (ISC) can be checked on the official website of CISCE at cisce.org.
  • Karnataka Budget: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has proposed no increase in taxes in the Budget 2022-23 presented by him in the state Legislative Assembly on Friday.
    • In his maiden budget, the Chief Minister who also holds the Finance portfolio has expressed his government’s commitment for the implementation of the Mekedatu project across river Cauvery, to which neighbouring Tamil Nadu is opposed to, and has provided Rs 1,000 crore for it this year.
    • With just a year left for the Assembly polls in the state, this is most likely to be the last full-fledged budget ahead of the elections.
  • Shillong: Meghalaya has withdrawn consent to the CBI, becoming the ninth state to do so in the past few years. The move comes despite the Conrad Sangma-led National People’s Party being a part of the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance.
    • Barring Mizoram, all other states that have withdrawn consent to the CBI are ruled by Opposition parties.
    • While Meghalaya Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said he was “not in a position to comment” on the development, calls to Meghalaya Chief Minister Sangma went unanswered.
  • Andhra Pradesh: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday directed the State government to construct and develop Amaravati, the capital city of the State, and the capital region within six months.
    • In a significant observation, the High Court held that the State legislature lacked the competence to make any legislation for shifting, bifurcating or trifurcating the capital.
    • Counsel for the petitioners contended that the State has failed to deliver on its promise to return the developed plots as per the final master plan within a period of three years even after the deadline expired on January 20.
  • NSE: Indians can start investing in shares of eight US companies on the National Stock Exchange (NSE)’s International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) from March 3, between 8 pm and 2.45 am.
    • Investing will initially be allowed in the shares of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google), Tesla, Meta Platforms (Facebook), Microsoft, Netflix and Walmart.
    • NSE IFSC will give investors depository receipts (DRs) against their investments in the shares of these global companies.
    • While most international mutual funds are not able to invest in the global markets because limits on overseas investing are yet to be enhanced, NSE IFSC offers another avenue to investors to diversify their portfolios.
  • Hero MotoCorp: India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer has unveiled a new brand Vida, for its emerging mobility solutions and upcoming electric vehicles.
    • The first electric vehicle under the Vida brand will be officially unveiled on July 1, 2022, to coincide with the birth anniversary of Dr. Brijmohan Lall, Chairman Emeritus of Hero MotoCorp.
    • The first model under the Vida brand will be produced at Hero MotoCorp’s manufacturing facility in Chittoor. Despatches to customers will begin later in 2022, Hero MotoCorp said in a statement.

World


  • Crypto: After two crypto exchanges Binance and Kraken refused a blanket ban on Russian users, Coinbase to joins them! An hour back, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong confirmed that they are not considering banning all Russian users from their platform.
  • Ukraine: Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has survived three assassination attempts since the Russian invasion began last week, reports have said. The plots were foiled after Ukrainian officials were alerted about them.
  • China: The China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Thursday that it has put on hold and is reviewing all activities relating to Russia and Belarus in the wake of the current conflict in Ukraine.
  • Russia: The entire staff of a Russian television channel resigned live on-air after declaring “no to war” in the final telecast. The decision was taken by the staff of TV Rain (Dozhd) after Russian authorities suspended its operations over its coverage of Ukraine war.
  • Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Russian forces seized the largest nuclear power plant in Europe after a building at the complex was set ablaze during intense fighting with Ukrainian defenders, Ukrainian authorities said Friday.
    • Fears of a potential nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia plant had spread alarm across world capitals, before authorities said the fire in a building identified as a training centre, had been extinguished.
    • The head of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said there has been no release of radiation at the Ukrainian nuclear plant that was targeted.

3rd March 2022


India


  • Ukraine Crisis: India’s neutrality over the Russia-Ukraine conflict at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly (UNGA) has dismayed many experts. Twitter is flooded with comments beseeching the Narendra Modi government of India to condemn Russia and its President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine in his bid to stand up to Nato (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), the US-backed military and nuclear alliance.
  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Thursday left the Vidhan Bhavan premises without completing his address to the joint session of the state Legislature amid slogan-shouting by legislators. State NCP president and Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil claimed legislators of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) shouted slogans in praise of Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, while BJP legislators raised “low level” slogans which the governor couldn’t tolerate.
  • Eveready: Eveready Industries Chairman and Managing Director quit today amid an intensifying takeover bid by the Burmans of Dabur.
    • The resignations of Aditya Khaitan and Amritanshu Khaitan came two days after the Burmans made an open offer for the Kolkata-based dry cell battery major.
    • Suvamoy Saha will assume charge as the new MD of the company, a filing said.
  • Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government has decided to fly its legislators to neighbouring countries around war-hit Ukraine to airlift students from the state, becoming the first Indian state to join the international evacuation efforts.
    • Two Rajya Sabha MPs, Tiruchi Siva and MM Abdullah, one Lok Sabha MP Kalanidhi Veerasamy and MLA TRB Raja will head to Hungary, Romania, Poland and Slovakia to airlift Indian students.
    • Four senior IAS officers will accompany the DMK lawmakers.
  • Andhra Pradesh: In a setback to the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra Pradesh government, the AP High Court on Thursday said that the state government should follow the CRDA Act and ordered it to develop Amaravati as the capital, as per the master plan, within six months.
    • A division bench headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra in its final verdict on a batch of petitions filed challenging the acts on decentralisation and repeal of AP CRDA on Thursday, said that the state legislature had no competence to make any legislation on the state’s capital and directed the state government not to shift any office from the present capital city Amaravati.
    • The court also asked the state government to pay Rs 50,000 to the petitioners.
  • Chennai: The DMK party on Thursday, March 3, nominated 28-year-old Priya as its Mayor candidate for the Chennai Corporation. DMK enjoys a majority in the Chennai corporation. So, Priya will be formally elected as the Mayor soon.
    • She will be the first Dalit and the youngest woman to hold the Mayor’s post in Chennai.
    • She is also the third woman to hold this post in Chennai’s history, after Tara Cherian & Kamakshi Jayaraman.
  • UNSC: India demanded “safe and uninterrupted” passage for all its nationals, including students still stranded in Ukraine and cities in the conflict zones, as it abstained in the UN General Assembly on a resolution deploring Russian aggression against Ukraine and reiterated that differences can only be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.
    • “India has been deeply concerned over the rapidly deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti said.
    • In the first Indian casualty in the war in Ukraine, student Naveen Shekarappa Gyanagoudar from Karnataka was killed in shelling in Kharkiv city on Tuesday morning. Shekarappa Gyanagoudar, 21 a fourth-year medical student at the Kharkiv National Medical University, was killed in intense shelling in Kharkiv on Tuesday.
  • RailTel: RailTel Corporation of India, a Central Government Public Sector Undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, has achieved a milestone of 1 lakh Fiber To The Home (FTTH) broadband internet users in Tamil Nadu.
    • At an interaction programme with partners organised in Madurai and Kanchipuram on Sunday to mark this achievement, RailTel’s Chairman and Managing Director Puneet Chawla said that RailTel is committed to leverage its infrastructure to spur wired broadband and entrepreneurship in rural India.
    • This service by RailTel is under the brandname “Railwire’ with over 50 per cent of the users from rural areas.

World


  • Washington: US President Joe Biden will decide whether to apply or waive sanctions on India, one of America’s key partners, under the CAATSA law for its purchase of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia, a senior administration official has told lawmakers.
    • The US administration is required under a domestic law, Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) to impose sanctions on any country that has significant transactions with Iran, North Korea or Russia.
    • CAATSA is a tough US law which authorises the administration to impose sanctions on countries that purchase major defence hardware from Russia in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections.
  • Belarus: The second round of ceasefire talks between Russia and Ukraine will begin in a couple of hours, news agency Reuters reports quoting Ukrainian president’s advisor. The Ukrainian presidential adviser says its delegation is headed to talks with Russia by helicopter. The first round of Ukraine-Russia talks took place in the border town of Gomel on Monday in Belarus.
    • The talks are being held amid ferocious fighting between the two forces which has entered the eighth day.
    • The British military has claimed that Russia has made little progress during invasion of Ukraine. Besides Kherson, it has not been able to achieve a breakthrough in its march to Kyiv.

2nd March 2022


India


  • Mumbai: There is no evidence that Aryan Khan, the son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, was part of a larger drugs conspiracy or an international drugs trafficking syndicate, and there were several irregularities in the raid on the yacht Cordelia during which he was arrested, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), has found.
  • NEET 2022: The National Testing Agency (NTA) and the Medical Advisory Council of the National Medical Commission (NMC) have held a meeting last week. The meeting was around the national level medical entrance exam NEET 2022. The medical entrance is expected to be held in June-end this year. Last year due to the pandemic, the academic year was delayed and the medical entrance was held in september.
  • Indian Supporter: As Russia is on a warpath with Ukraine which President Vladimir Putin terms as a special military operation, Abhay Kumar Singh, an Indian-origin member of Putin’s party has come into the news for his support to Russia’s military action on Ukraine. In an interview with a Hindi channel, Singh said this is not war; it’s like ‘India’s surgical strike’. Singh also claimed that Russia is only attacking military camps in Ukraine. “If the military enters a supermarket and then attacks Russian soldiers, then we will have to reply,”
  • Hyderabad: The Traffic Police will be offering a discount on traffic challans pending against motorists from Tuesday 1st March.
    • The Traffic Police will be extending the benefit with a waiver of 75 per cent for two wheelers, 50 per cent for four-wheelers including cars and other heavy vehicles, 70 per cent for RTC buses and 80 per cent for push carts.
    • As for the penalty imposed for not wearing a mask, there is a waiver of 90 per cent of the amount.
  • PM Modi: PM Modi noted that US President stressed on ‘Make in America’ in today’s speech, and said it is necessary that India too becomes self-reliant.
    • Continuing with the post-Budget Webinar series, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an event on ‘Technology-led development’ today. PM Modi urged India to be self-reliant and said that technology is a robust medium to empower the common man.
    • He said, “technology for us is robust medium to empower common man & strong base to make India self-reliant.”
    • PM Modi said that in this year’s Union budget, emphasis has been laid on sunrise sectors like artificial intelligence, semiconductors, space technology, etc. A road map has been laid for auction for 5G spectrum in this Budget.
  • Media One: A division bench of Kerala High Court on Wednesday upheld the ban on Malayalam news channel Media One TV dismissing the appeals of the management and journalists who had challenged a February 9 single-bench order that had refused to lift it.
    • The division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chali observed that when certain issues with respect to the security of the State are concerned, the government is at liberty to decline to renew the permission granted, without disclosing the complete reasons for the non-renewal.
    • The division bench observed that in the files produced before it, there are certain aspects affecting the public order or the security of the State on the basis of the report of the Intelligence Bureau and other investigating agencies.
  • LIC IPO: The central government is likely to review the timing of launching the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of LIC amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said.
    • In an interview FM Sitharaman said, “When I last commented on this matter, the tension was building up. Now there’s a full-scale war. Therefore, I need to go back and review the situation.”
    • She said ‘ideally’ the government would like to go ahead with the much awaited mega IPO. However, if global circumstances demand, the FM said she won’t hesitate to look into it again.
  • JEE Main Dates: The first session of JEE Main 2022 will be held in April while the second session has been scheduled to be conducted in May.
    • The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main dates for the 2022 exams have been announced. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct JEE Main 2022 twice.
    • The first session of JEE Main 2022 will be held in April while the second session has been scheduled to be conducted in May.
    • The applications for JEE Main 2022 will start from today, March 1 and the last date to fill the JEE Main 2022 application form for the first session is March 31, 2022.
    • Candidates can check the official website for details on JEE Main 2022 at jeemain.nta.nic.in.
  • BharatPe: BharatPe on Wednesday lashed out at Ashneer Grover for “spinning lies and hurling baseless allegations and threats” against the company just a day after he resigned from the digital payments firm.
    • The fintech company stated that Mr Grover and his family “engaged in extensive misappropriation of company funds” and, as a result, he “is no longer an employee, a founder, or a director of the company”.
    • In response, Mr Grover said, the BharatPe Board’s statement “comes from a position of personal hatred and low thinking.”

World


  • Washington: Human rights groups and Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States on Monday accused Russia of attacking Ukrainians with cluster bombs and vacuum bombs, weapons that have been condemned by a variety of international organizations.
  • India: India is sending humanitarian aid and medical supplies to war-hit Ukraine after Russia launched a full-blown invasion last week. According to officials, a team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is sending 100 tents and 2,500 blankets to the Indian Air Force’s Hindon airbase. From there, it will be sent via a flight to Romania, the neighbouring country of Ukraine. The flight is scheduled to leave at 10.15 hours.
  • Russia Ukraine Crisis: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that if a third World War were to take place, it would involve nuclear weapons and be destructive, the RIA news agency reported.
    • Lavrov has said that Russia, which launched what it calls a special military operation against Ukraine last week, would face a “real danger” if Kyiv acquired nuclear weapons.
    • Meanwhile, Russia is gathering troops closer and closer to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital’s mayor Vitali Klitschko wrote in an online post on Wednesday. “We are preparing and will defend Kyiv!,” he added. “Kyiv stands and will stand.”
    • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said almost 6,000 Russians were killed in six days of the war, according to a Reuters report.
    • This comes amidst news of Russian airborne troops landing in Ukraine’s second-largest city of Kharkiv and Russian military’s claim that it has taken control of the southern city of Kherson.
  • Russia: A week after launching its invasion of Ukraine, Russia said its forces took control the first sizable city today, seizing Kherson, in the south, as fighting raged around the country and Western nations tightened an economic noose around Russia.
    • Russian Army paratroopers landed in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-most populous city. The Ukrainian Army said that there were clashes as soon as Russia’s airborne troops landed.
    • Kharkiv, a largely Russian-speaking city near the Russian border, has a population of around 1.4 million.
    • After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has resulted in several sanctions, trade restrictions and financial penalties. Apple and Nike have both announced plans to halt product sales in Russia.
  • United States: The US has received enough petitions needed to reach the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for the fiscal year 2022, a federal agency has announced.
    • The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
    • Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
    • The H-1B visa programme is the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians.

1st March 2022


India


  • Karnataka: Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated laid foundation stone of 15 projects pertaining to national highway worth Rs 3,163 crore on Monday February 28 at Kulshekar.
  • New Delhi/Istanbul: Turkey’s Ilker Ayci said on Tuesday he will not take on the role of chief executive of Tata Group’s Air India, days after the announcement of his appointment led to opposition in India over his previous political links.
  • Maharashtra: Maharashtra government on Monday appointed former acting DGP Sanjay Pandey as the new Mumbai Commissioner of Police.
    • Earlier, a 1986-batch IPS officer, Sanjay served as the Director-General of Police (DGP) post as an additional charge since April 9, 2021.
    • He was replaced by IPS officer Rajnish Seth on February 18, 2022.
  • LPG Cylinder: The prices of 19 kg commercial LPG cylinders have been increased by Rs 105 in Delhi from March 1.
    • Following the price hike, the 19 kg commercial cylinder will cost Rs 2,012 in the national capital from Tuesday.
    • The price of a 5 kg cylinder has also been increased by Rs 27. Now a 5 kg cylinder will cost Rs 569 in Delhi.
  • New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Indian Air Force to assist in evacuating nationals from war-torn Ukraine.
    • Leveraging the capacities of our Air Force will ensure that more people can be evacuated in a shorter time frame. It will also help deliver humanitarian aid more efficiently.
    • Indian Air Force is expected to deploy several C-17 aircraft as part of Operation Ganga from today.
  • Ukraine Crisis: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that the entire government machinery is working “round the clock to ensure that all Indian nationals there are safe and secure” in Ukraine.
    • The assurance came amid mounting criticism of government efforts as frantic students in the war-torn country tweeted a flood of videos of the hardships they are facing. Back home, their frantic parents and friends appealed that they be evacuated as soon as possible.
    • After reviewing Operation Ganga, the evacuation programme for Indians in Ukraine this evening, PM Modi pointed out that the visit of four senior ministers as his Special Envoys to nations bordering Ukraine will “energize the evacuation efforts,” said the foreign ministry.
    • PM Modi has also said India will help people from neighbouring countries and developing countries who are stranded in Ukraine.
  • Indian Embassy In Kyiv: The Indian embassy ensured movement of more than thousand students from Kyiv towards Western Ukraine on February 28, including around 400 students housed near Embassy since 24 Feb. Another 1400 students moved westwards from Zaporizhzhia, a city in South East Ukraine.
    • With the alert sounded by the Indian embassy in Kyiv asking the Indian nationals to leave the Ukrainian capital, the embassy officials are present at the railway stations to facilitate the evacuation of Indian students.
    • However, due to massive overcrowding at the stations, some students were not able to board. Embassy continues to coordinate efforts in coordination with student coordinators so that all Indian students left in Kyiv can move westwards.
  • BharatPe Ashneer Grover, co-founder and managing director of BharatPe has resigned Wednesday morning.
    • The report said Grover embroiled in controversy over the past two months after he allegedly abused a Kotak Mahindra Bank employee.
    • He sent an email to his company’s board late last night, in which he wrote: “I hereby resign as the managing director of BharatPe, effective immediately. I also resign as a director of the Board. I will continue as the single largest individual shareholder of the company.”
    • Valued at USD 2.8 billion, BharatPe serves over 75 lakh merchants across 150 Indian cities and has already facilitated the disbursement of loans totalling over ₹3,000 crore.
    • Grover’s resignation comes days after his wife, Madhuri Jain was sacked by the company’s controller on charges of ‘misappropriation of funds’.
  • DMRC: The 3-km-long loop corridor will connect four new Central Secretariat buildings with the existing Central Secretariat Metro station.
    • To provide smooth connectivity to government employees, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is going to construct a loop corridor between the existing Central Secretariat Metro station and the upcoming office complex that is part of the Central Vista project.
    • The DMRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) in this regard on Monday.
    • The 3-km-long loop corridor will connect four new Central Secretariat buildings with the existing Central Secretariat Metro station.
    • Planning is being done, expecting a peak demand of 20,000 passengers per hour during the morning and evening hours. The entire corridor will be underground.
  • SBI: India’s top lender will not process any transactions involving Russian entities subject to international sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, according to a letter seen by Reuters and people familiar with the matter. 
    • “No transactions involving entities, banks, ports or vessels appearing” on a U.S., European Union or United Nations sanctions list shall be processed irrespective of the currency of the transaction, said a letter sent by State Bank of India (SBI) to certain clients.
    • SBI in the letter to clients also urged “extra precautions” while handling any transactions related to sanctioned countries.

World


  • Microsoft: Microsoft has announced that the son of CEO Satya Nadella, Zain Nadella, has passed away due to a prolonged condition. The company said that Zain Nadella, who was 26 years old, had been born with cerebral palsy and succumbed to his condition on Monday morning.
  • Russian Military: Satellite images taken on Monday show a Russian military convoy north of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv that stretches for about 40 miles (64 kilometres), substantially longer than the 17 miles (27 kms) reported earlier in the day. Kyiv has already repulsed several assaults.
  • Washington: Microsoft Corp said on Monday it would remove Russian state-owned media outlet RT’s mobile apps from the Windows App store and ban advertisements on Russian state-sponsored media, as global tech firms respond to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Ukraine Crisis: India thanked all neighbouring countries of Ukraine who have opened their borders for Indian citizens and given all facilities to Indian missions and their personnel to evacuate Indian nationals to their homeland.
    • India has said that it was deeply concerned over the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and reiterated its call for immediate cessation of violence and end to hostilities, saying all differences can only be bridged through honest, sincere and sustained dialogue.
    • India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti told a rare emergency special session of the UN General Assembly on Ukraine convened Monday that New Delhi is doing whatever it can to undertake immediate and urgent evacuation efforts of Indian nationals still stranded in Ukraine.
  • UK Intelligence: “The Russian advance on Kyiv has made little progress over the past 24 hours probably as a result of continuing logistical difficulties,” the British defence ministry said in a military intelligence update.
    • Russian forces have increased their use of artillery north of Kyiv and in vicinities of Kharkiv and Chernihiv. The use of heavy artillery in densely populated urban areas greatly increases the risk of civilian casualties.
    • Russia has failed to gain control of the airspace over Ukraine prompting a shift to night operations in an attempt to reduce their losses.
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