Current Affairs in English

02 April 2022 Current Affairs and GK Updates in English

Important Days

Odisha Day or Utkal Divas is celebrated on 1st April 2022

Utkal Divas or Utakala Dibasha or Odisha Day is celebrated on April 1st every year to remember the formation of the Odisha state after a struggle to be recognized as an independent state. The state was originally called Orissa but the Lok Sabha passed the Orissa Bill, and Constitution Bill (113rd amendment), in March 2011 to rename it Odisha.

History beckons that the present-day Odisha used to form a major portion of the ancient Kalinga. The region witnessed the epic “Kalinga War” led by King Ashoka who invaded and conquered the region in 260 BC. Later, the state was invaded and taken over by the Mughals till the British took over the administrative powers of the region and divided it into small units in 1803.

After decades of struggle under the leadership of Odisha’s eminent leaders, the new province came into existence on the 1st of April 1936. The state saw another facelift, now in terms of its name being changed from Orissa to Odisha.

The earlier capital city of Odisha was Cuttack whereas the current capital city is Bhubaneswar. In terms of tribal population, Odisha is the 3rd state in the country. Various rulers ruled the state. More than 31% of the state has been covered with forests. On 9 November 2010, the Parliament of India renamed Orissa Odisha. Oriya’s language was also retitled Odia.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Odisha Capital: Bhubaneswar;
  • Odisha Governor: Ganeshi Lal;
  • Odisha Chief Minister: Naveen Patnaik.

National

Cabinet approves increase in Dearness Allowance/Dearness Relief by 3% to 34% 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has approved a hike in Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners by 3 percent to 34%, over the existing rate of 31% of the Basic Pay/Pension.

The hike announced will be effective from January 1, 2022, to compensate for the price rise. The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief would be Rs. 9,544.50 crore per annum.

This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission. The hike will benefit about 47.68 lakh Central Government employees and 68.62 lakh, pensioners.

NV Ramana, the Chief Justice, launches a software named FASTER 

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana unveiled the ‘Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records’ (FASTER), a digital platform that allows the supreme court to send interim orders, stay orders, and bail orders to the appropriate authorities via a secure electronic channel.

The online introduction of the FASTER program was attended by CJI Ramana, Justices AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Hemant Gupta, as well as Chief Justices and Judges of High Courts.

The initiative ‘FASTER‘ was initiated when a bench led by CJI Ramana took suo motu notice of delays in convicts’ release even after they had been granted bail, citing reasons such as non-receipt or non-verification of legal orders.

The Registry, in partnership with the NIC, created the FASTER system on a war footing, according to a Supreme Court press release.

The government of Karnataka has introduced the Vinaya Samarasya initiative 

The Basavaraj Bommai government announced the Vinaya Samarasya Yojana as a public awareness campaign against caste prejudice in the state’s gram panchayats. It will be formally launched on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

The initiative was named after Vinay, a three-year-old Dalit kid who strayed into a temple in Miyapur hamlet in Karnataka’s Koppal district to seek shelter from the rain in September 2021. His family has faced even greater hostility since being fined Rs 25,000 by village elders.

The area’s 1,500 members, largely from the Ganiga group, had intensified their persecution of the Dalit family in the meantime, forcing Vinay’s family to leave the village and abandon possessions, including agricultural land.

Maharashtra launches scheme to offer personal loans for prisoners

The Maharashtra government has introduced a scheme that allows prisoners to obtain personal loans from banks of up to Rs. 50,000 to help their families improve their living conditions and meet expenses related to their legal matters. It will be a first-of-its-kind initiative in our country.

The Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank would provide loans up to 50,000 under the scheme at a 7% interest rate. The scheme would be implemented in Yerawada Central Jail in Pune, Maharashtra, on a pilot basis. This type of loan is called a “khavti” loan and benefits approximately 1,055 prisoners.

Under the scheme, the loan facility will be decided on the basis of the prisoner, prisoner’s loan limit, duration of punishment, possible relief from it, age, estimated annual working day, and minimum daily income. The loan will not require a guarantor. There will be no need for a guarantor. It will be disbursed on a personal bond. The bank will decide the amount based on earnings, skill, and daily wages.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;
  • Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;
  • Maharashtra Chief minister: Uddhav Thackeray.

Appointments

Vishwas Patel was re-elected as chairman of the Payments Council of India 

Vishwas Patel has been re-elected as the Chairman of Payments Council of India (PCI) for the second time in 2022, previously he was elected as a Chairman of PCI in the year 2018. In 2013, he served as Co-Chairman of PCI.

PCI is a payment ecosystem industry body and is a part of the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). PCI aims to promote a cashless transaction society and a vision to grow digital payment in India.

The Payments Council of India works to promote the growth of the Indian payment industry and promote a cashless economy in the country. It works with other important financial and banking Institutions and Organisations to turn India into a ‘cashless society.

This industry body for digital operators in the country is said to be in its final stages of submitting its independent application to become a self-regulatory organization (SRO) for digital payments, under the mandate of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

PCI functions in line with the Digital India Initiative and closely works with the financial regulators of the country.

Agreements

Manipur govt tie-up with Samsung to start Sports Digital Experience Centre

The state government of Manipur has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Samsung Data System India Pvt Ltd and Abhitech IT Solutions Pvt Ltd for setting up a world-class “Sports Digital Experience Centre” as a domain of Manipur Olympian Park and Khuman Lampak Sports Complex.

The MoU was exchanged in the presence of chief minister N Biren Singh at the cabinet hall of the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

With the setting up of the Digital Experience Centre, various achievements of Olympians from Manipur will be digitally displayed making the public aware of their achievements.

Such initiatives will help in improving and enhancing the performance of sporting talents through the latest technologies like sports analytics, virtual reality, and mixed reality among others, he maintained, adding that it will also motivate younger generations to opt for sports as a career.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Manipur Capital: Imphal; Governor: La. Ganesan.

Banking

Central Bank of India partnered with Kwik.ID to ​digitize customer onboarding 

Central Bank of India partnered with ID to implement digital Know Your Customer (KYC), video KYC, and eKYC for its network across India. The aim of the partnership is to bring seamless onboarding and provide efficient digital facilities to customers across India.

ID is India’s fastest and first-ever AI-based fully compliant Video KYC solution and a flagship product by Think360.ai. It has the target to digitize 10 million customers’ onboarding annually and streamline its end-to-end processes.

Central Bank of India had an eight-month-long grueling evaluation process on technology and product experience followed by a reverse auction commercial round for this selection.

This partnership will support the bank in driving its digital transformation agenda and supporting digital finance initiatives championed by the government.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Central Bank of India Founded: 21 December 1911;
  • Central Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • Central Bank of India MD & CEO: Matam Venkata Rao;
  • Central Bank of India Tagline: ‘Central’ to you since 1911.

RBI extended the deadline for banks to utilize lockable cassettes in ATMs by a year

The Reserve Bank of India has delayed the deadline for banks to use lockable cassettes in their ATMs that can be swapped during cash replenishment by a year, till March 31, 2023.

The decision was made after the RBI received representations from various banks and the Indian Banks’ Association noting the difficulty in achieving the deadline, according to a notification released yesterday.

It has instructed the banks to establish an internal roadmap that has been approved by the Board in order to meet the extended deadline and submit a quarterly status report, and it has requested the banks’ boards to monitor progress to assure compliance.

Business

Google Pay, Pine Labs tie-up to offer ‘Tap to Pay for UPI users

Google Pay has launched ‘Tap to Pay for UPI’, new functionality to bring the seamless convenience of Tap to Pay to Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The initiative has been launched in collaboration with Pine Labs.

To complete a payment, all a user will need to do is tap their phone on the POS terminal and authenticate the payment from their phone, using their UPI PIN, making the process virtually instantaneous, as compared to scanning a QR code or entering the UPI-linked mobile number.

The functionality will be available to any UPI user who wants to use their NFC-enabled Android smartphone to transact using any Pine Labs Android POS terminal across the country. This was piloted with Reliance Retail and will now be available at other large merchants such as Future Retail and Starbucks.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Google CEO: Sundar Pichai;
  • Google Founded: 4 September 1998;
  • Google Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States.

HDFC ERGO launched the “VAULT” digital customer engagement and rewards program

HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company has launched its VAULT program. It is India’s first industry-based digital customer engagement and rewards program. This program is an experiment to test a new idea under the Regulatory Sandbox of IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India).

The testing period will be till 14th May 2022 and further continuance of the product beyond the testing period will be subject to IRDAI approval.

VAULT program is a customer engagement-based membership program. Under the program, eligible customers will be incentivized by way of reward points for meeting the specified criteria or actions.

Maximum customer enrolments under this program will be 10,000. This reward program will cover Optima Restore health insurance customers.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company CEO: Ritesh Kumar;
  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Founded: 2002.

Economy

GoI keeps interest rates on Small Savings Schemes unchanged for Q1 (April-June 2022)

The Ministry of Finance has decided to keep the interest rates unchanged on small savings schemes or post office schemes for the Quarter -1 of FY2022-23 (April-June 2022). The interest rates on the various instruments for April-June 2022 range from 4.0 percent to 7.6 percent.

It must be noted that the Government notifies the Interest rates for small savings schemes on a quarterly basis. This is the eighth consecutive quarter when the interest rates on small savings instruments remained unchanged.

Interest Rates for Quarter-1 (April-June) of 2022-23 are listed below:

Small Savings InstrumentsInterest Rate For Apr-June 2022Compounding frequency
Savings deposit4.0%Annually
One-year time deposit5.5%Quarterly
Two-year time deposit5.5%Quarterly
Three-year time deposit5.5%Quarterly
Five-year time deposit6.7%Quarterly
Five-year recurring deposit5.8%Quarterly
Senior Citizen Savings Scheme7.4%Quarterly and Paid
Monthly Income Account6.6%Monthly and Paid
National Savings Certificate6.8%Annually
Public Provident Fund Scheme7.1%Annually
Kisan Vikas Patra6.9%Annually
Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme7.6%Annually

Defense

20th India-France Bilateral Naval Exercise ‘VARUNA -2022’ kicks-off

The 20th edition of the Bilateral Naval Exercise between the Indian Navy and French Navy named ‘VARUNA’ is being conducted in the Arabian Sea from March 30 to April 03, 2022.

The Bilateral Naval Exercises between the two Navies is being held since 1993 and the exercise was christened ‘VARUNA’ in 2001. Various ships, submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, fighter aircraft, and helicopters of the two navies will be participating in the VARUNA-2022 exercise.

VARUNA series of exercises continue to provide both the navies opportunities to learn from each other’s best practices. The exercise has been a principal driver for operational-level interactions between the two navies and has underscored the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety, and freedom of the global maritime commons.

Two battalions of the Dogra regiment were presented with the President’s Colours by the army chief

During an amazing Color Presentation Parade held at the Dogra Regimental Centre, Faizabad (UP), General MM Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff, gave the prestigious President’s Colours to two battalions of the Dogra Regiment, namely 20 DOGRA and 21 DOGRA.

General NC Vij (retd), former COAS and Honorary Colonel of The Dogra Regiment, Army Commanders of Southern Command and Central Command, as well as a large number of active and retired people, were present at the Color Presentation Parade.

Following the parade, the Army Chief praised the Dogra Regiment‘s long traditions in all aspects of military life, including operations, training, and sports.

The COAS also praised the newly raised units for their outstanding performance in such a short period of time and wished all ranks well in their efforts to serve the country with pride.

Science and Technology

Microsoft launches ‘Startups Founders Hub’ platform

Microsoft launched a new digital and inclusive platform for startup founders in India. The platform called ‘Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub’ in India will support startup founders in India at every stage of their startup journey.

This platform will offer over USD 300,000 worth of benefits and credits to startups, including free access to the technology, tools, and resources from the tech giant and partners. The initiative will help the Startups to gain mentorship and skilling opportunities with industry experts and Microsoft Learn.

Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub was created following extensive research and conversations with hundreds of founders who explicitly shared their need for access to a digital ecosystem that promotes opportunities and democratizes innovation regardless of background, location, progress, or passions.

Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is designed specifically for early-stage startups to lower the barriers to business creation, act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship and innovation, and contribute to easing the journey from an idea to a unicorn.

Useful Points for Exams:

  • Microsoft CEO and Chairman: Satya Nadella;
  • Microsoft Headquarters: Redmond, Washington, United States.

Sports

Adidas Unveils Official Al Rihla FIFA World Cup Ball for Qatar 2022

Al Rihla – the Official Match Ball for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been revealed by Adidas. It is Adidas’ 14th World Cup ball, and it is designed to accommodate the fastest game speeds possible since it flies quicker in flight than any other World Cup ball.

Al Rihla provides the highest level of precision and reliability on the field of play, having been designed from the inside out utilizing data from extensive testing in Adidas labs, wind tunnels, and on-pitch.

The ball was also created with the environment in mind, with all components carefully considered, and Al Rihla was the first World Cup ball to be constructed entirely of water-based inks and glues.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.