Current Affairs in English

18th March 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

Important Days

UN declares March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution to proclaim March 15 as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia every year, starting from 2022. The resolution, adopted by the 193-member UN General Assembly, was introduced by Pakistan’s ambassador Munir Akram on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), on March 15, 2022.

It marks the day when a gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 worshippers and wounding 40 others in the terror attack. The main objective of International Day to Combat Islamophobia will be curtailing systematic hate speech and discrimination against Muslims; respect for religious symbols and practices; along the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.

National

Nitin Gadkari inaugurates Toyota “Mirai” India’s first Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell EV

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated the world’s most advanced technology-developed Green Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai at New Delhi.

Toyota Mirai is India’s first Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), which is completely powered by Hydrogen. Toyota Mirai has been launched by Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd and International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) under a pilot project, to study and evaluate the performance of Toyota Mirai on Indian roads and climatic conditions.

This is a first-of-its-kind project in India that will create a Green Hydrogen-based ecosystem in the country and help India to become ‘Energy Self-reliant’ by 2047.

Net-Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050: Mumbai became first South Asian City to set a target 

Mumbai, Maharashtra announced its detailed framework to ‘zero out carbon emissions by 2050’ and became the first city in South Asia to set such a target. Mumbai’s target is 20 years ahead of India’s target to reach net zero emissions by 2070.

Targets also include a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and a 44% reduction by 2040. Mumbai set several short-term goals for decarbonization measures such as electrifying public transport, it plans to adopt 2,100 electric buses by 2023 at a cost of 130 billion rupees (USD $1.7 billion).

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has devised the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP) as a part of its commitment to building a climate-resilient city.

International

‘Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle’ Unveiled In Madagascar

Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle’ has been unveiled in Madagascar to mark Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Ambassador of India to Madagascar, Abhay Kumar celebrated the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav by inaugurating a Green Triangle, along with Mayor of Antananarivo Naina Andriantsitohaina.

The word green in the plaque signifies their commitment to sustainable development and saving the environment. The naming of this park as Mahatma Gandhi Green Triangle is an apt tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

While addressing the ceremony, the Ambassador of India said that the Government of India has launched an initiative: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India. The event was attended by members of local government, diplomatic corps, heads of international organizations, and members of the Indian Diaspora in Madagascar.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Madagascar Capital: Antananarivo;
  • Madagascar Currency: Malagasy ariary;
  • Madagascar President: Andry Rajoelina.

Bangladesh top in South Asia in terms of women on board of listed companies

Bangladesh tops the list in South Asia in terms of women on board of listed companies, says a study conducted by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).

According to the latest figures, there was an increase in the percentage of women who are independent directors on listed companies from five percent in 2020 to six percent, despite the impact of COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected women, said a press release issued by the IFC.

The findings were revealed at an event marking International Women’s Day. The IFC, DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact organized the program. The IFC has partnered with the DSE, UN Women, and United Nations Global Compact for the seventh consecutive year to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Bangladesh Capital: Dhaka;
  • Bangladesh President: Abdul Hamid;
  • Bangladesh Currency: Bangladeshi taka;
  • Bangladesh Prime minister: Sheikh Hasina.

Economy

Rs 1.42 lakh crore budget for Jammu and Kashmir for FY 2022-23, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

In the Lok SabhaFinance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a Rs 1.42 lakh crore budget for the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the fiscal year 2022-23, despite opposition pleas for more time to review the plans.

Sitharaman also tabled the Union Territory’s additional demands for the fiscal year 2021-22, totaling Rs 18,860.32 crore, and moved a resolution to suspend certain norms to allow the House to take up the debate on the same day.

India entered into the world’s top five clubs in terms of market capitalization

As per Bloomberg’s recent data on Market capitalization, for the 1st time, India’s equities market has entered the world’s top 5 in terms of market capitalization. India is ranked 5th with an overall market capitalization of USD 3.21 trillion. The total world market cap stands at USD 109.22 trillion.

The US topped the ranking with an overall market cap of USD 47.32 trillion, followed by China (USD 11.52 trillion), Japan (USD 6 trillion), and Hong Kong (USD 5.55 trillion).

The United Kingdom (UK) ranked 6th with an M-Cap of USD 3.19 trillion, Saudi Arabia ranked 7th with an M-Cap of USD 3.18 trillion, Canada ranked 8th with an M-Cap of USD 3.18 trillion, France ranked 9th with an M-Cap of USD 2.89 trillion and Germany ranked 10th with M-Cap of USD 2.29 trillion.

Defence

In memory of Gen. Bipin Rawat, the Indian Army dedicates “Chair of Excellence”

On the eve of General Bipin Rawat’s 65th birthday anniversary, the Indian Army has dedicated a chair of excellence in the late chief of defense staff (CDS)’s memory at the United Service Institution of India (USI), the country’s oldest think tank founded in 1870.

The Chair will be open to Veterans of three Services and civilians having expertise in the field of National Security. The purpose of Gen Bipin Rawat Memorial Chair of Excellence at USI will be to conduct research on strategic issues related to the armed forces, with a focus on the field of Jointness and Integration.

The topic for 2022 research will be Jointness and Integration in the Context of Land Warfare in India. Gen MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff handed over a cheque of Rs 5 lakhs to Director, USI, Maj Gen BK Sharma (retd), which will be paid as honorarium to the nominated Chair of Excellence.

M V Ram Prasad Bismil becomes the longest vessel to sail from Ganga to the Brahmaputra 

The MV Ram Prasad Bismil has become the longest vessel ever to sail from Ganga to the Brahmaputra.

The 90 meters long and 26 meters wide flotilla, loaded with a draft of 2.1 meters, achieved the feat on March 15, 2022, when it successfully completed the pilot run of heavy cargo movement from Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Haldia, to Pandu port in Guwahati.

The cargo vessel was flagged off from the Haldia Dock in Kolkata along with two barges (DB Kalpana Chawla and DB APJ Abdul Kalam) by Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (PSW), Sarbananda Sonowal on February 16, 2022, and docked at Pandu port in Guwahati on March 15, 2022.

Carrying 1793 metric tonnes of steel rods, the vessel covered the distance from Haldia to Pandu through Bangladesh on the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR).

Awards

Axis Bank won ‘Asian Bank of the Year’ at IFR Asia Awards 2021 

India’s third-largest private sector bank, Axis Bank has been awarded IFR Asia’s Asian Bank of The Year, for its breadth of coverage and depth of expertise in the Asian investment banking space. The award acknowledges the bank’s outstanding performance in equity and debt issuance, across all major products and segments.

This year, the bank has also won the ‘Best DCM House in India’ Award at the Finance Asia’s Country Awards. Axis Bank has been No. 1 on the Bloomberg League Table ranking for 15 consecutive calendar years and has maintained its leadership position in the domestic Debt Capital Market.

Morgan Stanley has been honored with the Bank of the year award at the IFR Asia Award 2021 and the JSW Group has been awarded the Issuer of the year award. The awards are organized by IFR Asia, a Hong Kong-based provider of capital markets intelligence.

Narayan Pradhan was named for GD Birla Award for Scientific Research

Professor Narayan Pradhan has been selected for the 31st GD Birla Award for Scientific Research for his outstanding contribution in the field of material sciences. He has provided his expertise in crystal modulations to help design new shapes of these tiny lighting materials.

Instituted in 1991, the award recognizes eminent Indian scientists below the age of 50 for their original and outstanding contributions to any branch of science. It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. The recipient is chosen by a selection board, whose present head is professor Chandrima Shaha, the president of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

Science and Technology

ISRO successfully tested the solid fuel-based booster stage of SSLV

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully completed the ground test of the solid fuel-based booster stage (SS1) of its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota at Andhra Pradesh.

It completes the ground testing of all three stages of the launch vehicle. The vehicle is now ready for its first development flight, which is scheduled for May 2022.

Other stages of SSLV like SS2 & SS3 have successfully undergone necessary ground tests and are ready for integration. At present, the launch of small satellites has been dependent on ‘piggy-bank’ rides with big satellite launches on the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) of ISRO, which has completed around 50 successful launches.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Chairman and Space Secretary of ISRO: Dr S Somanath;
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

Sports

FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022 will be held in Chennai

India has been picked as the host nation for the FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022. The 44th edition of the Olympiad is scheduled to be held in Chennai, from 26th July 2022 to 8th August 2022. This is the first time that India will host the FIDE Chess Olympiad since its inception in 1927.

The event was originally scheduled to be held in Russia, but FIDE pulled out from there following the Ukraine invasion. The venue will be the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Center, 60 kilometers south of central Chennai. It is located in Mamallapuram, one of the famous tourist sites in India and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of seventh- and eighth-century Hindu monuments.


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