Weekly Current Affairs 23rd March - 31st March 2022

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)

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  • RBI allows SBI Group entities to raise ICICI Bank stake to 9.99%
    • RBI has told the company to ensure that the total shareholding of the SBI Group entities in ICICI Bank remains below 10% of the paid up equity capital of the bank at all times.
    • The approval is valid for a time period of 1 year, that is, up to March 22, 2023.
    • Mutual funds currently hold a 28.2% stake in ICICI Bank and SBI Mutual Fund has a 5.72% stake.
  • RBI announces $5 billion dollar-rupee swap
    • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a $5 billion rupee-dollar swap — the second one this year.
    • At the first swap on March 8, the banking regulator had accepted bids worth $5.135 billion.
    • The auction had seen an overwhelming response with bids of $13.565 billion coming in against $5 billion on offer.
  • RBI cancelled the license of People’s Co-operative Bank Ltd Kanpur
    • Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of People’s Co-operative Bank Limited, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh under Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
    • The bank is prohibited from continuing its ‘banking’ business such as acceptance of deposits and repayment of deposits as defined in Section 5(b) as mentioned in Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 with effect from the close of business on March 21, 2022.


  • India imported 651.24 tonne gold in 2020-21 fiscal
    • India imported 651.24 tonnes of gold in financial year 2020-21 as compared to 719.94 tonnes in the last year.
    • In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said the imports stood at 982.71 tonnes in FY 2018-19.
  • Rs 1 out of every Rs 5 spent by the NHAI in 2022-23 goes towards debt servicing
    • NHAI had around Rs 3.4-trillion debt as on November 2021, revealed parliamentary standing committee report, presented to the Rajya Sabha.
    • NHAI has to spend Rs 31,049 crore on servicing debt in 2022-23 and Rs 31,735 crore in 2023-24.
  • Govt's total liabilities rise 2% to Rs 128.41 lakh cr in December quarter
    • The government's total liabilities rose to Rs 128.41 lakh crore in December quarter from Rs 125.71 lakh crore in the three months ended September 2021.
    • As of September 30, the total liabilities stood at Rs 1,25,71,747 crore.
    • Public debt accounted for 91.60 per cent of the total outstanding liabilities in December quarter compared to 91.15 per cent at the end of September.


  • Govt sets a target of creating 220 new airports by 2025
    • The government has set a goal of developing 220 new airports by 2025.
    • The government plans on building 33 new freight terminals, 15 new flight training schools and increasing opportunities for jobs as well as focusing on drones.
  • India achieves highest ever goods export target of 400 billion US dollar
    • 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.
    • The key export sectors, which contributed to record healthy growth include petroleum products, electronic goods, engineering goods, leather, coffee, plastic, ready-made garments of all textiles, meat and dairy products, marine products and tobacco.
  • Panchayati Raj Ministry implementing ePanchayat Mission Mode Project MMP
    • Under the Digital India Programme, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj is implementing ePanchayat Mission Mode Project MMP with the aim to transform the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions making them more transparent, accountable and effective.
    • The objective is to manage greywater through people’s participation.


  • North Korea test-fired biggest intercontinental ballistic missile
    • North Korea test-fired its biggest-yet intercontinental ballistic missile.
    • The Hwasong-17, reached a maximum altitude of 6,248 kilometres and travelled 1,090 kilometres during a 67-minute flight before landing in waters between North Korea and Japan.
    • The missile could reach targets 15,000 kilometres away when fired on normal trajectory with a warhead weighing less than a tonne.
  • Bangladesh observes Independence Day
    • Bangladesh observed its 52nd independence and national day on 26 March, to mark the birth of the youngest nation in South Asia breaking away from the shackles of Pakistan in 1971.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo set to join East African Community
    • The East African Community trade bloc admitted Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as its seventh member increasing the market by half to 300 million people.
    • The EAC common market, which consists of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, was set up in 2010 to allow the free movement of goods and people across borders, and is one of the most advanced trading blocs on the continent.


  • Yogi Adityanath takes oath as CM of Uttar Pradesh
    • Yogi Adityanath took oath as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh for the second consecutive term.
    • The oath was administered by Governor Anandiben Patel.
    • Consituency of Yogi Adityanath: Gorakhpur
  • Pramod Sawant Takes Oath As Goa Chief Minister
    • Pramod Sawant was sworn in as Goa’s Chief Minister for the second time.
    • Goa Governor PS Sreedharan Pillai administered the oath to Mr Sawant.
    • Constituency of Pramod Sawant: Sanquelim
  • Border Road Organisation opens up 210 Km Manali-Sarchu Road in Himachal Pradesh
    • The Border Roads Organisation re-opened the 210-km-long Manali-Sarchu road. The road remains closed for over 160-180 days a year during winters.
    • The road will provide connectivity to the Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh and further lead to Leh in Ladakh.


  • NITI Aayog`s Export Preparedness Index 2021
    • The Export Preparedness Index, prepared by NITI Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness, is a comprehensive analysis of India’s export achievements.
    • Gujarat topped Export Preparedness Index 2021, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka in second and third place, respectively. Other states in the top five ranking include Tamil Nadu and Haryana.
    • Among union territories, Delhi has topped the index followed by Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Puducheery.
    • While Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim and Manipur were at the top five places among Himalayan states.
  • UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report
    • The report was titled as ‘Tapering in a time of conflict’.
    • UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report downgraded its global economic growth projection for 2022 to 2.6% from 3.6% due to shocks from the Ukraine war and changes in macroeconomic policies that put developing countries particularly at risk.
    • India was forecast to grow at 6.7 per cent in 2022 and this projection has been downgraded to 4.6 % by UNCTAD.
  • Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches: United Nations Environment Programme's report
    • The United Nations Environment Programme's released a report - Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches.
    • On top of the list is Bangladesh’s Dhaka with a noise pollution of 119 dB (Decibels), while Pakistan’s Islamabad is at the third spot with 105 dB after UP’s Moradabad at 114 dB - making all the top three cities from South Asia.
    • Four other Indian cities — Delhi, Kolkata, Asansol, and Jaipur — have also managed to find spots on this list of 61 cities worldwide.


  • IIT Hyderabad developed cost-effective ventilator available for commercial use
    • An IIT Hyderabad developed portable, cost-effective, and IoT-enabled ventilator powered by lithium-ion batteries is now available for commercial use.
    • The smart ventilator named 'Jeevan Lite' was launched by Telangana and Puducherry Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.


  • Centre extends free foodgrain scheme for 6 months till September
    • Central government extended the scheme to provide 5 kg of foodgrains free of cost to the poor by six months till September 30 at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore.
    • In the last two years, around Rs 2.6 lakh crore has already been spent under this scheme and it will cost another Rs 80,000 crore with the extension of six months.
  • Govt’s paddy procurement reaches 741.62 lac tons so far in 2021-22 season
    • According to the Union Food Ministry, Centre has procured 741.62 lakh tonne of paddy in the ongoing 2021-22 marketing year so far at the minimum support price.
    • Out of the total procurement undertaken so far, maximum of 187.28 lakh tonne of paddy has been procured from Punjab, followed by 92.01 lakh tonne from Chhattisgarh.
  • Madhya Pradesh waives mandi taxes
    • Madhya Pradesh announced a waiver of mandi fee and other levies aggregating 3.5% on grain purchases in the state to wheat exports.
    • The state is the second-biggest producer of wheat in the country. UP is the leading producer of wheat in the country.


  • India successfully test-fires BrahMos supersonic cruise missile in Andaman and Nicobar
    • India successfully test fired the extended range version of a surface-to-surface BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a launch pad in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • The successful launch of the world’s fastest cruise missile has a maximum speed of Mach 2.8 (nearly three times the speed of sound).
  • President Kovind awards prestigious President's Colour to INS Valsura
    • President Ram Nath Kovind, awarded the prestigious “President’s Colour” to Indian Naval Ship (INS) Valsura at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
    • Established in 1942, INS Valsura is a premier training establishment of the Indian Navy.
    • The President’s Colour is bestowed on any military unit, in recognition of exceptional service rendered to the nation, both in peace and in war.
  • India successfully test-fires two MRSAMs off Odisha coast
    • Two successful tests of the Army version of Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) against high-speed aerial targets at two different ranges, were conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) off the coast of Odisha.
    • This MRSAM version is a Surface-to-Air Missile developed jointly by DRDO and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for use by the Indian Army.


  • Ten-day Red Fort Festival-Bharat Bhagya Vidhata
    • The ten-day Red Fort Festival - Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, began at the iconic 17th- century monument, Red Fort, New Delhi.
    • The festival will feature a wide range of experiences including “Matrubhumi” –Projection Mapping Show, YATRA - A 360° immersive experience, a Cultural Parade, Khao Galli, Live performances at Rang Manch, Dances of India, AnokheVastra, Khel Manch and Khel Gaon and Yoga on the Go.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend 5th BIMSTEC Summit virtually
    • External affairs minister S Jaishankar visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka to hold bilateral meetings and participate in the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) meeting in Colombo.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually joined the fifth BIMSTEC Summit being hosted by Sri Lanka.
    • Several India-supported projects were signed during Jaishankar’s visit to the Maldives


  • 94th Academy Awards
      • The 94th Academy Awards were held in Los Angeles, California to honour the best in cinema.
      • The 94th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films released between March 1 and December 31, 2021, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
      • Here are some of the winners:
    Best Picture award CODAM
    Best director Jane Campion
    Best Actress Jessica Chastain
    Honorary Academy Awards Samuel Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullman.
    The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Danny Glover
    Actor in leading role Will Smith
    Animated Feature Film Encanto
    Cinematography Dune
    Costume Design Cruella
    Short Film (Animated) The Windshield Wiper
    Documentary (Feature) The Queen of Basketball
    International Feature Film Drive My Car
  • Renowned Musicologist Sanjida Khatun presented Padma Shri in Dhaka
    • Renowned musicologist and cultural personality of Bangladesh Dr. Sanjida Khatun was presented the Padma Shri Award for 2021 by the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami in Dhaka.
    • Dr. Sanjida Khatun has been awarded the Padma Shri for her distinguished contribution to Arts.
  • Stockholm Water Prize 2022
    • Professor Emeritus Wilfried Brutsaert is named Stockholm Water Prize Laureate 2022 for groundbreaking work to quantify environmental evaporation.
    • The Stockholm Water Prize is the world’s most prestigious water award. The Stockholm Water Prize is often described as the Nobel Prize of water.
    • The Prize is awarded by SIWI in cooperation with the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and presented by H.M King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who is the official patron of the Prize.


  • Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai wins India's first gold at World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Dubai
    • India claimed five gold medals, six silver and three bronze to secure the eighth spot.
    • Colombia finished on top with 25 medals, including 12 gold, followed by Algeria (16) and Thailand (30).
    • Sprinter Pranav Prashant Desai and high jumper Ramsingbhai Govin Padhiyar clinched a gold each on the final day as India signed off with 14 medals from the 13th Fazza International Para Athletics Championships.
  • 15th edition of Indian Premier League 2022 to begin
    • The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is scheduled to start on March 26, 2022.
    • IPL 2022's first match will be between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
    • The IPL 2022 edition will have 10 teams.
    • Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who led CSK to four IPL titles, handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja.
  • Second edition of SAAF, 56th National Cross Country Championships commence in Nagaland's Kohima
    • The 2nd South Asian Athletic Federation (SAAF) Cross-Country championship and the 56th National Cross Country Athletics Championship was held in Kohima on March 26.
    • SAAF and AFI have come up with the new date of March 26 in consultation with the Government of Narasingapettai following the easing of the pandemic situation in the state.
    • The tournament will be the first ever international athletics event in Nagaland.

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