Current Affairs in English

17th March 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

Important Days

National Vaccination Day celebrates on 16th March

In India, the National Vaccination Day (also known as National Immunisation Day (IMD)) is observed on 16 March every year, to convey the importance of vaccination to the entire nation.

The day was first observed in the year 1995. In 2022, the National Immunization Day is important since the Government of India has started the COVID-19 vaccination for children between 15 to 18 years of age and booster dose for senior citizens. The theme for National Vaccination Day or National Immunisation Day 2022 is “Vaccines Work for all”. 

It was in 1995 that India started the Pulse Polio Programme and the first dose of Oral Polio Vaccine was given. According to the World Health Organization, immunization is a process through which an individual’s immune system becomes fortified against foreign harm causing agents.

National

India’s first ‘World Peace Center’ will be established in Gurugram

Ahimsa Vishwa Bharti organisation established by Ambassador of Peace, Eminent Jainacharya Dr Lokeshji will establish India’s first World Peace Center in Gurugram, Haryana.

For this, the Haryana Government has allotted a plot to the organization in Sector 39 of Gurugram opposite Medanta Hospital and adjacent to Delhi-Jaipur Highway. ‘World Peace Center’ will work for the establishment of peace and harmony in the world.

The voice of this centre of Gurugram will be heard all over the world by its work, including the United Nations and the World Religion Parliament.

‘World Peace Center’ will be a major world-class centre for personality building, where various dimensions such as Personality Development of Youth, Empowerment of Women and Sanskar Development in Children through Meditation, Yoga, Indian Culture and Jain lifestyle based scientific programs will also be conducted here.

Nation’s first AI & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK) launched in Bengaluru

The country’s first Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Technology Park (ARTPARK) was launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It is promoted by a not-for-profit foundation set up by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru, with a seed capital of Rs. 230 crore from the State and Central governments.

ARTPARK (AI and Robotics Technology Park) along with AI Foundry is going to launch a $100 million venture fund to support AI and robotics innovations in India. The fund will be backed by the government, private companies, and VCs.

ARTPARK intends to use futuristic technologies to connect the unconnected will work with a focus on creating a globally leading AritificiaI Intelligence and Robotics Innovation ecosystem in India.

The ARTPARK has the objective of channelizing innovations to create a societal impact by executing ambitious mission-mode R&D projects in healthcare, education, mobility, infrastructure, agriculture, retail, and cyber-security aiming to solve problems unique to India.

Delhi govt launched ‘My EV’ portal for registering and purchasing e-autos

The Delhi government has launched an online ‘My EV‘ (My Electric Vehicle) portal for the purchase and registration of electric autos in Delhi. It is accessible to all users on the website of the transport department of Delhi.

Under the Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy, a 5% interest rate subvention will be provided on the purchase of e-autos on loans and become the first state to provide such a facility. The web portal was developed with the collaboration of the Delhi government and Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL).

CESL has empanelled six Financial Institutions (FIs) – Mahindra Finance, Akasa Finance, Mannapuram Finance, RevFin, and Prest Loans to provide loans to EVs at attractive terms.

The Interest subvention on the purchase of EVs is in addition to the applicable purchase incentive of INR 30,000 and scrapping incentives of up to INR 7,500 under the Delhi EV Policy. The consumer will be able to avail of up to INR 25,000 additional benefits.

Points to remember:

  • Delhi Chief Minister: Arvind Kejriwal;
  • Delhi Lieutenant Governor:  Anil Baijal.

Oscars 22: India’s ‘Writing with Fire’ nominated in Best Documentary feature category

A documentary about the Dalit-led, all-woman newspaper Khabar Lahariya, “Writing With Fire” became the first Indian documentary to be nominated at the Oscars. ‘Writing With Fire’ had won Audience and Jury Awards at the Sundance Film Festival last year.

It is produced by Ticket Films and directed by filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh. ‘Khabar Lahariya’ is a newspaper founded in May 2002 in Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh. Other nominees in the category are: “Ascension”, “Attica”, “Flee”, and “Summer of Soul (Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”.

Bhagwant Mann sworn in as new chief minister of Punjab

Bhagwant Mann was sworn in as the 18th chief minister of Punjab at Khatkar Kalan, the ancestral village of Bhagat Singh in the presence of Governor Banwarilal Purohit.

The Aam Aadmi Party romped home winning 92 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly, decimating the Congress and the SAD-BSP combine.

Chanting ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, Bhagwant Mann thanked the people who attended the swearing-in ceremony. Mann ended his speech with ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (long live the revolution).

Besides newly-elected AAP MLAs, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other senior party leaders were also present at the ceremony. Among other leaders present at the ceremony are Deputy CM of Delhi Manish Sisodia and Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai.

India’s 1st Digital Water Bank ‘AQVERIUM’ launched in Bengaluru

India’s First Digital Water Bank, ‘AQVERIUM’ has been launched in Bengaluru, Karnataka which is an innovative initiative aimed at better water management. It is formed by AquaKraft Group Ventures.

It is a very unique innovation combining sustainable & green technologies along with information technology, skill development & entrepreneurship. It is a curated list of water data from all institutions and sources, that will help tackle some common development challenges.

Digital Water Data Bank can be understood as a curated list of ‘Water Data’ from all institutions and sources that will further aid in tackling some common development challenges.

The digital water data bank also provides insights and evidence from research and analytics thereby providing fundamental reliable information for tackling water pollution.

Data, in any field, facilitates building a broader picture that further enables us to harness the best evidence and make informed decisions. When it comes to making a water-secure world, data-driven decisions can greatly improve service delivery, sustain water resources and build resilience.

Points to remember:

  • Karnataka Capital: Bengaluru;
  • Karnataka Chief Minister: Basavaraj S Bommai;
  • Karnataka Governor: Thawar Chand Gehlot.

International

Revoking Russia’s Most Favored Nation Trade Status: US 

President Biden announced that the United States—along with the G7, the European Union, and NATO—will revoke Russia’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status.

Revoking Russia’s PNTR status will allow the United States to increase and impose new tariffs on all Russian imports. In the US, the “most favoured nation” status is also known as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR).

Only North Korea and Cuba do not enjoy the “most favoured nation” status from the US. The main aim of this step is to punish the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine. The United States will also not export luxury goods to Russia.

Earlier, the United States has banned the import of Oil and energy from Russia. This action will cause economic harm to Russia by damaging its ability to export to wealthier Western markets; it will also raise costs for Americans and our trading partners that may rely on affected Russian products.

Appointments

Shubman Gill & Ruturaj Gaikwad named as brand ambassadors for My11Circle 

Games24x7 Private Limited, India’s leading digital skill games company, has appointed Indian cricketers Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad as its new brand ambassadors for its My11Circle fantasy gaming platform.

Both of them will feature in the multimedia campaigns of Games24x7 across TV, digital and social media platforms. Games24x7, founded by Bhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy in 2006, offers a range of skill games (RummyCircle, My11Circle, Carrom) and casual games (U-Games).

My11Circle is also the official title sponsor of the new Indian Premier League(IPL) team Lucknow Super Giants. In January 2022, Games24x7 has appointed Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan as its brand ambassador for the online skill gaming platform.

Fifth payments tech startup IZealiant Technologies acquired by Razorpay 

Razorpay, a fintech unicorn, announced the purchase of IZealiant Technologies, a renowned Fintech business that provides banks with payments technology solutions, for an undisclosed sum. IZealiant is a Pune-based startup that offers banks and financial institutions mobile-first, API-enabled, and cloud-ready payment processing tools.

Razorpay’s Banking Solutions Arm will be strengthened by the purchase of IZealiant, which will develop revolutionary payment banking solutions for partner banks, allowing businesses and their end-customers to enjoy a faster, more seamless, and secure payment experience.

Razorpay’s Banking team has worked on a number of important projects in India, including Razorpay TokenHQ, India’s first multi-network RBI compliant card tokenization solution, and MandateHQ, an API-based, plug-and-play recurring payments interface for banks.

Mahanadi Coalfields Limited is now the biggest coal-producing firm of India

The Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India, has announced that it has become the country’s largest coal producer. In the financial year 2021-22, the company reported it produced 157 million tonnes of coal.

The business also generated 7.62 lakh tonnes of dry fuel on March 12. In a statement, the corporation stated that it was the largest production in a single day during the current fiscal year.

OP Singh, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the firm, complimented all officials, workers, contracted company employees, and other stakeholders for their contributions in making MCL the country’s biggest coal producer.

In his congratulatory message to the employees, the CMD stated, “MCL has to play a bigger role in maintaining energy security for the nation.”

Bankings

Paytm Payments Bank punished by RBI for data breaching to Chinese firms

The RBI has stopped Paytm Payments Bank from accepting new customers because it broke the laws by allowing data to transit to servers in other countries and failing to properly authenticate its consumers.

According to a report, annual inspections by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) discovered that the company’s servers were sharing information with China-based organisations that indirectly held an interest in Paytm Payments Bank.

SoftBank-backed Paytm Payments Bank was prevented from adding new customers by the central bank on Friday, citing “serious supervisory problems found in the bank.”

The Reserve Bank of India said in a statement that the bank has also been asked to appoint an audit company to perform a complete assessment of its IT system.

Paytm Payments Bank, on the other hand, described the allegation as “totally incorrect, erroneous, and unconfirmed,” noting that it complies entirely with RBI’s data localisation directives.

Existing users’ PPBL savings, fixed deposits with linked banks, and balances in their Paytm Wallet, FASTag or Wallet Card, and UPI services are all safe and working, according to the company.

Ranks and Reports

Maternal Mortality in India: Kerala tops in maternal

Kerala has yet again emerged on top when it comes to maternal and child health, with the State recording the lowest Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 30 (per one lakh live births) in the country.

According to the latest data, India’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has improved to 103 for the period 2017-19. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of Kerala has dropped from 42 to 30.

Kerala has achieved the UN Sustainable Development Goals of MMR in the year 2020 itself. Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) is defined as the number of maternal deaths per 100000 live births. Kerala, Telangana, and Maharashtra are included in the top 3 states with the lowest MMR in India.

The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has worsened in West Bengal, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Chhattisgarh. The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has drastically improved in UP, Rajasthan, and Bihar. Italy, Norway, Poland, and Belarus have the lowest MMR in the world.

Books and Authors

A book titled ‘[email protected]: Dreams Meet Delivery’ released soon

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced to release a book on the life of Prime Minister Narendra Modi titled [email protected]: Dreams Meet Delivery. It is set to hit stands in April 2022. The book is a compilation of pieces written by intellectuals & experts and has been edited & compiled by BlueKraft Digital Foundation.

The book captures the political life of PM Modi’s past 20 years, ranging from his tenure as Gujarat CM to Prime Minister of India and has been compiled by eminent intellectuals and personalities from industry and politics.

Those who have contributed to the book include Sudha Murty, Sadhguru, Nandan Nilekani, Home Minister Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, late legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, industrialist Uday Kotak, actor Anupam Kher, badminton star PV Sindhu and former principal secretary to PM Nripendra Mishra.

A poem ‘Monsoon’ published by Sahitya Akademi

Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters has published a book-length poem ‘Monsoon’ by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K.

Monsoon is a poem of 150 stanzas of 4 lines each that commence its journey in Madagascar and follows the path of the monsoon invoking the rich flora and fauna, languages, cuisine, music, monuments, landscapes, traditions, myths and legends of the places through which monsoon travels and acts as a messenger to carry the poet’s message from Madagascar to his beloved in Srinagar in the Himalayas.

Sahitya Akademi was established on 12th March in 1954. Its logo was designed by Satyajit Ray himself and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was its first President. The first book published by the Academy was Bhagwan Buddha by D.D. Koshambi in 1956. It was a translation from Marathi into Hindi.

Obituary

Former Andhra Pradesh Governor ‘Ms Kumudben Joshi’ passes away

The former Governor of Andhra Pradesh, Kumudben Manishankar Joshi has passed away. She was 88. Ms Joshi served as the Governor of Andhra Pradesh from 26 November 1985 to 7 February 1990.

She was the second female Governor of the state after Sharda Mukherjee. Joshi had been a member of the Rajya Sabha thrice. Kumudben Manishankar Joshi also became Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (October 1980 – January 1982) and Deputy Minister of Health and Family Welfare (January 1982 – December 1984).


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