Current Affairs in English

8th and 9th April 2022 Current Affairs Updates in English

Important Days

World Health Day 2022 Celebrates on the 7th of April

World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated on the 7th of April every year. Every year, World Health Day focuses on contemporary health issues that require immediate attention, with varied themes.

On World Health Day 2022, World Health Organisation will focus global attention on urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being. The World Health Organization has done its part to raise awareness about health and health-related concerns, as well as how to address them.

The theme for World Health Day 2022 is ‘Our Planet, Our Health’. This year’s theme aims to direct global attention toward the well-being of our planet and the humans living on it.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • World Health Organization Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland;
  • World Health Organization Founded: 7 April 1948;
  • World Health Organization Director-General: Tedros Adhanom.

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda

International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda is commemorated by UNESCO on April 07, every year. 2022 marks the 28th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, one of the darkest chapters in human history. On April 7th, the date where the genocide against members of the Tutsi began.

The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2003. The day commemorates the beginning of the genocide perpetrated against members of the Tutsi minority by the Hutu extremist-led government.

Within just over 100 days, more than 1 million Tutsi were systematically murdered. Moderate Hutu and others who opposed the massacres were also killed during this period.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946;
  • UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France;
  • UNESCO Director-General: Audrey Azoulay.

National

Ministry of Sports releases USD 72,124 to UNESCO Fund for Elimination of Doping

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, has contributed an amount of USD 72,124 towards the UNESCO Fund for Elimination of Doping in Sport 2022.

This is double the amount of the minimum agreed value. As per the resolution of 7COP held in Paris between 29-31 September 2019, the State Parties had agreed for contributing 1% of the regular budget of their respective nations to UNESCO towards the Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport.

In 2021, India contributed USD 28172 towards the UNESCO Fund. The contributed fund will be used to support the implementation of the Fund’s Operational Strategy 2020-2025.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports:  Anurag Singh Thakur.

Tamil Nadu government launched the ‘Kaaval Uthavi’ app for the public during emergency

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M K Stalin has launched the ‘Kaaval Uthavi’ app which helps citizens to seek police assistance during any emergency. The app is containing sixty features that are used to send an emergency alert to the police control room.

By pressing the emergency red button, the user’s live location will be shared with the control room. The user can also identify the nearest police station/patrol vehicle.

The app comprises an emergency help and a dialing facility (Dial-112/100/101). The Dial 100 facility has been integrated with the app. It also has a facility for mobile-based complaints and a location-sharing facility.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Tamil Nadu Capital: Chennai;
  • Tamil Nadu Chief minister: K. Stalin;
  • Tamil Nadu Governor: R. N. Ravi.

Sarhul Festival 2022 celebrated in Jharkhand

Sarhul is the festival of the New Year celebrated in the state of Jharkhand by the tribal communities as part of the local Sarna religion. It is celebrated in the Hindu month of Chaitra, three days after the appearance of the new moon.

It is also a celebration of the beginning of spring. The word ”Sarhul” is connected with tree worship. It is a festival where nature is venerated. In the year 2022, it falls on 04 April, Monday.

Sarhul is celebrated by many tribes in Jharkhand, but most notably the Munda, Ho, and Oraon tribes. While nature veneration is an important aspect of the festival, there are also many cultural programs that are enjoyed along with it.

Among these many cultural events is“Baa Porob”, the festival of flowers and the worship of the Sal Tree as well as a special Sarhul dance.

The festivities around Sarhul are made even more special with the many festive delicacies that are cooked and enjoyed, such as the rice dish called ”handia”’, a baked or dried fish dish called ”fish sukha”.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Chief Minister of Jharkhand: Hemant Soren; Governor: Ramesh Bais.

Karnataka establishes a cooperative bank for milk producers

Karnataka Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai Establishing the ‘Nandini Ksheera Samridhi Cooperative Bank’ is a revolutionary initiative, which will provide greater financial strength for the milk producers.

Karnataka is the only state in the country to set up an exclusive bank for milk producers. Union Home Minister Amit Shah launched the logo of “Nandini Ksheera Samurdhi Sahakar Bank”.

The Milk Producers cooperatives have a turnover of about Rs 20,000 crore in various banks every day. It will bring a second wave of the White Revolution to the dairy sector.

The state government has provided Rs 100 crore as its share capital and the Milk Federation and Cooperatives would contribute Rs 260 crore as their share of capital for the proposed cooperative bank which would stimulate huge economic activity in the rural hinterland. The state government has decided to computerize all the Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS).

Useful Points to Remember:

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

Madhya Pradesh government launched Mukhyamantri Udyam Kranti Yojana 

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan will launch the Udyam Kranti Yojana. According to officials, the MP Mukhyamantri Udyam Kranti plan was announced for the first time in November 2021, as per the MSME department’s gazette announcement, but it was never executed.

Loans ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh would be offered to youth under this scheme for self-employment.

The scheme’s unique feature is that the state government would provide a 3% interest subsidy as well as a bank guarantee.

Udyam Kranti Yojana will be launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. According to officials, the MP Mukhyamantri Udyam Kranti plan was first introduced in November 2021, as per the MSME department’s gazette announcement, but it was never implemented.

Young people will be able to apply for loans ranging from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh under this plan. The proposal is unique in that the state government will provide a 3% interest subsidy in addition to a bank guarantee.

International

Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić wins new term 

Aleksandar Vučić has been re-elected as the President of Serbia. The pollster organizations CeSID and Ipsos had predicted victory for Vucic. The pro-European and centrist Alliance for Victory coalition was represented by Zdravko Ponos, a retired army general.

The pollsters had predicted that Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) would win most of the votes with 43 percent and they would be followed by the United for Victory of Serbia opposition.

Aleksandar Vučić is serving as Serbia’s president since 2017, and since 2012 he has been serving as the president of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). He has served as the President for two terms, from 2014 to 2016 and from 2016 to 2017.

In 2017, he was first elected as the country’s President and succeeded Tomislav Nikolić. Vučić’s rule has been described by observers as an autocratic, authoritarian, illiberal democratic regime, and he curtailed the freedom of the press.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Serbia Capital: Belgrade;
  • Serbia Currency: Serbian dinar;
  • Serbia President: Aleksandar Vučić.

China successfully launches the new satellite Gaofen-3 03 for Earth Observation

China successfully launched a new Earth observation satellite Gaofen-3 03 on April 07, 2022, from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre on board a Long March-4C rocket. The new satellite will become part of its land-sea radar satellite constellation by forming a network with the orbiting Gaofen-3 and Gaofen-3 02 satellites.

They will then capture reliable, stable synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images, to help Beijing safeguard its maritime rights and interests.

The Earth Observation (EO) satellites produce a large number of SAR images every day, which are characterized by all-weather operation, and high spatial resolution, among other things.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • China Capital: Beijing;
  • China Currency: Renminbi;
  • China President: Xi Jinping.

Agreements

5. HAL and Israel Aerospace have teamed up to convert civil aeroplanes into mid-air refuellers

In a significant development, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to convert civil passenger aircraft to Multi-Mission Tanker Transport (MMTT) aircraft in India.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has been looking to procure new mid-air refuellers for sometime.

HAL will convert pre-owned civil (passenger) aircraft into air refueling aircraft with cargo and transport capabilities under the newly inked agreement.

HAL stated in a statement that the move will give new capabilities and cost-effective solutions to India’s defense industry.

According to the MoU, it also covers passenger to cargo aircraft conversions as well as MMTT conversions.

A Boeing 767 passenger plane, according to a defense official, is likely to be transformed.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Founded: 1940;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited CMD: R Madhavan.

Appointments

RBI approves the re-appointment of Murli Natarajan as MD-CEO of DCB Bank 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved an extension in the tenure of Murli M Natarajan as the managing director and chief executive officer (MD & CEO) of DCB Bank for a period of two years.

His extended term will be applicable from April 29, 2022, to April 28, 2024. Natrajan is serving as MD & CEO of the bank since April 2009.

RBI has capped the tenure of bank chief executives at 15 years and Natrajan will complete 15 years at the helm of the bank in 2024. The re-appointment as above is subject to the approval of shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting of the bank.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • DCB Bank Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • DCB Bank CEO: Murali M. Natrajan (29 Apr 2009–);
  • DCB Bank Founded: 1930.

Defense

Khanjar 2022: The 9th edition of the India-Kyrgyzstan Joint Special Forces Exercise 

The 9th Edition of the India-Kyrgyzstan Joint Special Forces Exercise was held in March-April, 2022 at Special Forces Training School, Bakloh (HP).

Special Forces contingents from India and Kyrgyzstan have shared their experience and best practices in terms of tactics, techniques, and procedures for countering present and emerging threats throughout the conflict spectrum.

During the Exercise, combat shooting, sniping, mountain survival, hostage rescue drills, and unarmed warfare were all extensively performed.

The collaborative training reinforced the existing link between India and Kyrgyzstan, which has grown over years of mutual respect for strategic autonomy, democratic ideals, and zero tolerance for terrorism.

military exercise or war game is the employment of military resources in training for military operations, either exploring the effects of warfare or testing strategies without actual combat. This also serves the purpose of ensuring the combat readiness of garrisoned or deployable forces prior to deployment from a home base.

Banking

 Union Bank launches super-app UnionNXT and digital project SMBHAV

Union Bank of India has launched its super-app named UnionNXT and digital transformation project SMBHAV, with an investment outlay of around Rs 1,000 crore for the current financial year 2022-23 (FY23).

The public sector lender expects recovery from the spending in two years and aims to have 50 percent of business originating on the digital platform by 2025. A banking super-app essentially combines a number of services, such as payments, online shopping, bill payments, recharges, investment, loans, and fund transfer, on a single platform.

UBI’s super-apps are similar to the super-apps by other large lenders such as State Bank of India’s Yono, Bank of Baroda’s Bob world and HDFC Bank’s PayZapp, and ICICI Bank’s iMobile.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Union Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • Union Bank of India CEO: Rajkiran Rai G. (1 Jul 2017–);
  • Union Bank of India Founded: 11 November 1919, Mumbai.

PNB implements a Positive Pay System compulsory for cheque payments worth Rs 10 lakh

Punjab National Bank has implemented the Positive Pay System (PPS) being compulsory for cheque payments worth Rs 10 lakh and above. This is being done as a move to protect its over 180 million customers from any security threats.

The bank announced to make the Positive Pay System mandatory last month, and the same has been implemented today. Under the new system, high-value cheques worth Rs 10 lakh and above will be cleared using the PPS, after reconfirmation with the issuer of the cheque.

As per the Positive Pay System (PPS) developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), a customer issuing a high-value cheque has to reconfirm some essential details. The details are then cross-checked while presenting the cheque in clearing before payment.

Positive Pay System will be available for all account holders issuing cheques for amounts of Rs 50000 and above. Availing of this facility will be at the discretion of the account holder.

However, only those cheques which are compliant with instructions of the Positive Pay System shall be accepted under the dispute resolution mechanism at the (Cheque Truncation System) CTS grids, PNB had said in a statement last year. The PPS had come into effect in January last year for PNB.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 1894;
  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • Punjab National Bank MD & CEO: Atul Kumar Goel;
  • Punjab National Bank Tagline: The Name You Can Bank Upon.

Economy

RBI Monetary Policy 2022: key rates unchanged

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the repo rate unchanged at 4 percent. MPC committee keeps the reverse repo rate unchanged at 3.35 percent as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added to a rise in inflation.

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee headed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das kept the repo rate unchanged for the 11th consecutive time. The repo rate or the short-term lending rate was the last cut on May 22, 2020. Since then, the rate remains at a historic low of 4 percent.

The Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and bank rates remain unchanged:

  • Policy Repo Rate: 4.00%
  • Reverse Repo Rate: 3.35%
  • Marginal Standing Facility Rate: 4.25%
  • Bank Rate: 4.25%
  • CRR: 4%
  • SLR: 18.00%

Key Points:

  • The GDP growth forecast has been lowered to 7.2 percent, owing to inflationary pressures due to the ongoing Russia Ukraine War. Earlier, the central bank had kept the GDP growth rate at 7.8 percent.
  • RBI announced that now people can withdraw money from ATMs without a card in all banks across the nation. This has been done to give a push to Digital India.
  • Net worth requirement for Bharat Bill Payments System Operating Units lowered from Rs 100 crore to Rs 25 crore.
  • Rationalization of risk weights for individual housing loans to be extended till March 31, 2023.
  • RBI sees the Current account deficit at sustainable levels and forex reserves at $606.5 billion.
  • Inflation is now projected at 5.7% in 2022-23 with Q1 at 6.3%, Q2 at 5%, Q3 at 5.4%, and Q4 at 5.1%.
  • India’s 10-year bond yield rises to 7%, the highest since 2019.

India’s Agriculture Exports Cross USD 50 Billion Mark for First Time

Exports of agricultural products from India surpassed the USD 50 billion mark for the first time during the financial year 2021-22 (FY22), owing to significant growth in sugar, rice, wheat, and other cereals exports.

The Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, has released provisional figures stating that agricultural exports rose to USD 50.21 billion in 2021-22, which is 19.92%.

The growth rate is significant since it exceeds the 17.66% growth rate of USD 41.87 billion obtained in 2020–21, and it was achieved despite unprecedented logistical obstacles such as high freight prices, container shortages, and so on.

Gujarat Govt to receive Rs 7,500 Cr Loan from World Bank, AIIB

The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) stated that the Gujarat government’s Mission School of Excellence project, which aims to improve education quality in the state, will receive a loan worth Rs 7,500 crore.

The state government will spend Rs 10,000 crore over the next five years on the Mission School of Excellence initiative, which would cover all 35,133 government and 5,847 grant-in-aid schools in the state.

In the state’s 41,000 government and grant-in-aid schools, the monies will be used to develop 50,000 new classrooms, 1.5 lakh smart classrooms, 20,000 new computer labs, and 5,000 tinkering labs.

In the next few years, it is expected that almost one crore school pupils will directly benefit from this ambitious effort.

The World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have authorized a Rs 7,500 crore credit for the mammoth project. The World Bank sent a group to Gandhinagar to look at the School of Excellence project.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.
  • AIIB Headquarters: Beijing, China;
  • AIIB Membership: 105 Members;
  • AIIB Formation: 16 January 2016;
  • AIIB Head: Jin Liqun.

Awards

Grammys 2022: Indian-American Singer Falguni Shah, Winner Of Best Children’s Music Album

Indian-American singer Falguni Shah won a Grammy Award for A Colorful World in the Best Children’s Album category. Falguni Shah has even performed and collaborated with music maestro AR Rahman and she is the only Indian-origin woman to be nominated in the Best Children’s Music Album category at the Grammys twice.

Falguni Shah was earlier nominated for a Grammy in the same category for her 2018 album Falu’s Bazaar.

The other nominees in the category were ‘Actívate’ by 123 Andrés, ‘All One Tribe’ by 1 Tribe Collective, ‘Black To The Future’ by Pierce Freelon, and ‘Crayon Kids’ by Lucky Diaz And The Family Jam Band. Born in Mumbai and now based out of New York, Falu was even nominated in the same category in 2019 for her previous album called ‘Falu’s Bazaar’.

Ranks and Reports

Forbes Billionaires 2022: The Richest People In The World

The Forbes billionaires 2022 list is out, which compiles the list of the world’s richest, who this time was hit by the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, coronavirus pandemic, and sluggish markets.

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder topped Forbes’ list for the first time ever with a net worth of $219 billion. Elon Musk is leading the Forbes billionaires list with a net worth of $219 billion, followed by Amazon chief Jeff Bezos at $171 billion.

Mukesh Ambani ranked at the 10th position on the global list, followed narrowly by fellow industrialist and Adani Group founder Gautam Adani, whose fortune climbed by almost $40 billion over the past year, to an estimated $90 billion.

Savitri Jindal, the chairperson of the Jindal Group, is the richest woman in India, according to the Forbes’ Billionaires List 2022, with a net worth of $17.7 billion. A total of 11 Indian women, with 4 newcomers, joined the global rich list this year.

Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, cosmetics giant L’Oréal’s founder’s granddaughter, was listed as the richest woman in the world this year – with a net worth of $74.8 billion, according to the report.

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: IIT Bombay & IIT Delhi are among the top 100

QS Quacquarelli Symonds released the 12th edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, the subject-wise rankings of institutes across the world are compilations of multiple lists. The QS World University Rankings by Subject are compiled annually to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject.

Indian Institute of Technology(IIT)-Bombay ranked 65th and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)- Delhi ranked 72nd, are the only Indian institutes to be featured among the top 100 ranks under the Engineering and Technology category. IIT Bombay has scored 79.9 and IIT Delhi has scored 78.9.

Top institutes under each category:

CategoryTop Institute(Rank 1)
Arts and HumanitiesUniversity of Oxford(UK)
Engineering and TechnologyMassachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
Life Sciences & MedicineHarvard University (USA)
Natural SciencesMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)(USA)
Social Sciences & ManagementHarvard University(USA)

Science and Technology

Astronomers detect identical twin of Jupiter

Astronomers have discovered an identical twin of Jupiter dubbed as K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb, Which has a similar mass and is at a similar location (420 million miles away) from its star as Jupiter is from our Sun (462 million miles away).

The study has been published as a preprint on ArXiv.org and submitted to the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The exoplanet is about 17,000 light-years from the Earth, and it was first detected by the Kepler space telescope in 2016.

To spot the planet, scientists used Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Gravitational Microlensing. K2-2016-BLG-0005Lb is “the first bound microlensing exoplanet to be discovered from space-based data.

Amazon signed a contract with three firms to launch its satellite internet

The tech firm has secured up to 83 launches over a five-year period, which the company claims is the greatest commercial launch vehicle procurement in history. Arianespace, Blue Origin, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have agreed to deploy the majority of Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellites, which aim to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband to a wide variety of clients around the world.

The tech firm has secured up to 83 launches over a five-year period, which the company claims is the greatest commercial launch vehicle procurement in history.

The contracts call for 18 launches on Arianespace’s Ariane 6 rockets, 12 launches on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin’s New Glenn, with options for up to 15 more launches, and 38 flights on ULA’s newest heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Vulcan Centaur.

The announcement brings Amazon’s satellite internet constellation one step closer to reality, as Elon Musk’s SpaceX continues to launch more Starlink satellites, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched to about 2300 and increasing Starlink’s global subscriber base to about 2.5 lakh.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • Amazon CEO: Andrew R. Jassy;
  • Amazon Founded: 5 July 1994.

Books and Authors

“Tiger of Drass: Capt. Anuj Nayyar, 23, Kargil Hero” authored by Meena Nayyar & Himmat Singh Shekhawat

Meena Nayyar, Mother of Captain Anuj Nayyar and Himmat Singh Shekhawat, a part of Rashtriya Riders, a biking group that pays homage to martyrs and their families has authored a new book titled “Tiger of Drass: Capt. Anuj Nayyar, 23, Kargil Hero”, published by HarperCollins Publishers India.

The book features the story of Capt. Anuj Nayyar (23 years old), who martyred during the 1999 Kargil War while fighting to secure the Drass sector which was critical to the success of Operation Vijay and India’s victory in Kargil. Captain Anuj Nayyar was honored with the Maha Vir Chakra (posthumously), the second-highest gallantry award in 2000.

Miscellaneous

NCW Launches Anti-Human Trafficking Cell

The National Commission for Women launched an Anti-Human Trafficking Cell to improve effectiveness in tackling cases of human trafficking, raising awareness among women and girls, capacity building and training of Anti Trafficking Units, and increasing responsiveness of law enforcement agencies.

The Cell has been set up with an aim of increasing awareness among law enforcement officials and facilitating their capacity building.

The Cell will conduct Gender Sensitization Training and Workshops in combating human trafficking for police officers and for prosecutors at the regional, state, and district levels.

The complaints related to human trafficking received by the Commission will be addressed by this cell.

The Commission has observed that some of the major issues faced in combating trafficking include lack of rehabilitation for victims and insensitive attitude towards trafficked survivors and their families.

Useful Points to Remember:

  • National Commission for Women Formed: 1992;
  • National Commission for Women Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • National Commission for Women executive: Lalitha Kumaramangalam.

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