Monthly BeePedia April 2022

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)

FINANCE AND BANKING

  • RBI fixed WMA limit for States/UTs at Rs 47,010 crores
    • Reserve Bank of India reduced the Ways and Means Advances (WMA) for states and union territories to Rs 47,010 crore from Rs 51,560 crore.
    • WMAs are short-term loans provided by the RBI to the government to help it deal with any discrepancies between receipts and payments.
  • Religare pays Rs 5.41 crore to Sebi to settle legacy issues
    • NBFC Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL) has paid Rs 5.41 crore to SEBI to settle its past cases.
    • In order to settle another legacy issue REL had submitted an application for settlement under the SEBI (Settlement Proceedings) Regulations, 2018.
    • The application along with the settlement terms proposed by the company were examined by SEBI which having considered the facts and circumstances of the case.
  • SEBI extends deadline to ban pooling of funds, MF units
    • SEBI has extended the deadline by three months for implementation of the rule to discontinue pooling of funds and/or units in mutual fund transactions by stock brokers/clearing members, and other entities operating online.
    • The ban will come in action on July 1, 2022, considering representations from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) on the same.

ECONOMY

  • Union Government keeps interest rates on Small Savings Schemes unchanged for Q1 (April-June 2022)
    • 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 % to 7.6 %.
    • This is the 8th consecutive quarter when the interest rates on small savings instruments remained unchanged.
  • India’s trade deficit rises 87.5% in FY22
    • Non-petroleum exports grew by 74% from USD 18.97 billion in March 2020.
    • India’s trade deficit rose 87.5% to USD 192.41 billion in 2021-22 as against USD 102.63 billion in the previous year.
    • India’s merchandise import in April 2021-March 2022 was USD 610.22 billion, an increase of 54.71% over USD 394.44 billion in April 2020-March 2021. For the first time, India’s monthly merchandise exports exceeded USD 40 billion.
  • India exports rise to record high of USD 418 billion in FY22
    • Outbound shipments touched an all-time monthly high of USD 40.38 billion in March 2022.
    • Central government will borrow Rs 8.45 trillion from the market.
    • Commodities that recorded a positive growth in exports during April 2021-March 2022 over the previous fiscal include petroleum, cotton yarn/fabrics/madeups, handloom, gems and jewellery, engineering goods, electronic engineering products, leather goods, chemicals, plastic and marine products.
    • Agriculture exports have crossed USD 48 billion during April 2021-March 2022.

NATIONAL

  • Govt reduces disturbed areas under AFSPA in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur
    • AFSPA is being removed from 15 police station areas in seven districts of Nagaland; 15 police station areas in six districts of Manipur; and 23 districts entirely and one district partially in Assam.
    • AFSPA remains in force in Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, J&K, and parts of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • However, Mon district remains a disturbed area.
    • The notification of “disturbed areas” under AFSPA has been in force in Assam since 1990, in Nagaland since 1995, and in Manipur, except the Imphal Municipality area, since 2004.
  • SPARSH successfully on-boarded nearly 5 lakh Defence Pensioners onto the platform
    • The System for Pensions Administration – RakSHa (SPARSH) has achieved a major milestone of successfully on-boarding nearly Five Lakh Defence Pensioners onto the platform.
    • In keeping with the Digital India vision of the Government of India, the Ministry of Defence implemented SPARSH for pensioners of the Indian Armed Forces as well as Defence Civilians as an integrated system for automation of sanction and disbursement of defence pension.
  • RuPay Card launched in Nepal
    • Nepal became the fourth foreign country to operationalise the RuPay card.
    • The three other countries that have the RuPay card are Bhutan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
    • The card in Nepal would open new vistas for cooperation in financial connectivity, and is expected to facilitate bilateral tourist flows as well as further strengthen people-to-people linkages.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Bangladesh: World Bank provides USD 250 million
    • The World Bank approved financing of USD 250 million for Bangladesh to help it strengthen policies to sustain growth following the Covid 19 pandemic and enhance resilience to future shocks.
    • The Bangladesh First Recovery and Resilience Development Policy credit is first in a series of two credits to support fiscal and financial sector policies to enhance macroeconomic stability and sustain growth. It supports expanding and modernising social protection programs and energy sector policies to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Public emergency declared in Sri Lanka
    • Sri Lanka’s president has declared a state of emergency, giving sweeping powers to security forces a day after hundreds tried to storm his house in anger over an unprecedented economic crisis.
    • The emergency was declared for “protection of public order and the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community”.
  • Russia successfully test-launched Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile
    • Russia test-launched a new nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile “Sarmat”.
    • The long-awaited Sarmat missile had been test-launched for the first time from Plesetsk in northwest Russia and hit targets in the Kamchatka peninsula, nearly 6,000 km (3,700 miles) away.
    • The new complex has the highest tactical and technical characteristics and is capable of overcoming all modern means of anti-missile defence.

REPORTS AND INDEXES

  • Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022
    • According to Asian Development Bank’s Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2022 the growth in South Asia is projected to slow to 7% in 2022, and up to 7.4% in 2023.
    • Asian Development Bank (ADB) projected India growing by 7.5% in the current fiscal year and up to 8% the next year.
    • ADB said developing Asia's economies are forecast to grow 2% this year and 5.3% in 2023, due to a robust recovery in domestic demand and continued expansion in exports.
  • Forbes Billionaires 2022: The Richest People In The World
    • SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has toppled Amazon founder Jeff Bezos from the top spot this year.
    • Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani is the 10th richest person in the world, followed by Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani and his family, which claimed the 11th spot on Forbes' annual world's billionaires list.
    • Russia and China have seen dramatic drops in the number of billionaires. There are 34 fewer billionaires than last year in Russia following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, and 87 fewer Chinese billionaires following a government crackdown on tech companies, according to Forbes.
  • Busiest Airports in 2021
    • The annual list of Busiest Airports in 2021 – compiled and released by Airports Council International (ACI) World.
    • The world rankings, compiled every year, are based on global data that the ACI compiles as a trade association of all the airports. The up-to-date data includes namely passenger traffic as well as cargo volumes and aircraft movements.
    • The full list of the top 5 is below:
      • Atlanta (ATL)
      • Dallas Fort Worth (DFW)
      • Denver (DEN)
      • Chicago (ORD)
      • Los Angeles (LAX)

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Mission
    • Axiom Space and SpaceX are adjusting the launch date for the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) to the International Space Station to allow teams to complete final spacecraft processing ahead of the mission.
    • The Ax-1 crew will fly on Dragon Endeavour to and from the space station. After 10 days in orbit, the Ax-1 crew will splash down off the coast of Florida.
    • Crew-4 will carry an international crew of four astronauts to the orbital complex on a new Dragon spacecraft and flight proven Falcon 9 rocket for a science expedition mission.
  • Pixxel launches its first satellite aboard SpaceX
    • Indian space-tech startup Pixxel has launched its first satellite, part of its eventual 36-satellite planned constellation, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission.
    • Called ‘Shakuntala’, the satellite will help Pixxel begin its hyperspectral satellite imagery and satellite-based data analytics services to pilot customers.
  • IIT Madras Researchers Launch India’s First Polycentric Prosthetic Knee
    • IIT Madras researchers have launched the country’s first Made-in-India polycentric prosthetic knee called ‘Kadam’.
    • The affordable prosthetic knee can transform the lives of thousands of above-knee amputees through not just mobility with ease, but also increased community participation, access to education, livelihood opportunities and overall well-being.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Total wheat export stood at 70.30 lakh tonnes till March, 2022
    • Maximum shipments to Bangladesh followed by Sri Lanka and UAE.
    • The total export of wheat in terms of quantity during 2021-22 (till 21st March 2022) was 70.30 LMT.
    • From April 2021 - March 21, 2022, exports of wheat to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and UAE stood at 39,37,438 tonnes; 5,80,819 tonnes; and 4,69,851 tonnes, respectively.
    • India has exported seafood products worth USD 7.16 billion in April-February 2021-22.
  • Haryana govt launched crop insurance portal of ‘Mukhya Mantri Bagwani Bima Yojana’
    • Haryana Agriculture Minister J P Dalal launched the portal of Mukhya Mantri Bagwani Bima Yojana with an initial corpus of Rs 10 crore.
    • Under this the farmers will be compensated for the damage caused to their crops due to adverse weather and natural calamities.
    • The scheme compensates a sum of Rs 30,000 / acre for vegetables and Spices and Rs 40,000 / acre for fruits, compensated to the farmers claim via four categories such as 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.
  • Indian Agricultural officers from 7 states on Israel tour to learn new approaches and techniques
    • Agricultural officers from 7 different states of India are on a 15 day tour of Israel to learn about new approaches and technologies in the sector that can add more value to the farmers.
    • The 18 agricultural officers from Indo-Israel Centers of Excellence (CoE) are taking part in an extensive state course, "Managing Centres of Excellence: Developing value for farmers".
    • Organised by Mashav Agricultural Training Centre (MATC) in Israel under the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project (IIAP).

DEFENCE

  • Indian Coast Guard's Karaikal base gets Interceptor Boat ICGS C-436
    • The Indian Coast Guard unit inducted interceptor boat 'C-436', which has been rebased from Andhra Pradesh station, to its fleet to improve surveillance along the coastline of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
    • The vessel was formally inducted in a ceremony near Karaikal Port, in which Nagapattinam Collector A Arun Thamburaj participated as chief guest.
    • The Interceptor Boat (IB), which is the 36th of its series, was commissioned at its base port of Krishnapatnam.
  • ‘Varuna’ Naval Exercise’
    • The 20th edition of the Bilateral Naval Exercise between Indian and French Navies‘VARUNA’ was conducted in the Arabian Sea.
    • The Bilateral Naval Exercises between the two Navies were initiated in 1993. The exercise was christened as ‘VARUNA’ in 2001 and has become a vital part of India – France strategic bilateral relationship.
  • Lt Gen Manoj Pande all set to become next Army chief
    • Vice Chief Lieutenant General Manoj Pande is all set to become Chief of the Army Staff.
    • Present Army Chief, Gen MM Naravane is ahead in the race for the post of Chief of Defence Staff after the post fell vacant in December last year as the then Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat passed away in a helicopter crash near Coimbatore.

EVENTS

  • ‘Prakriti’: Environmental Awareness Mascot
    • The Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav launched “Prakriti”, a mascot that spreads greater awareness about small alterations in life that can curb plastic pollution.
    • India is on its way to imposing a blanket ban on single-use plastic. Items such as earbuds, glasses, plastic flags, cutlery, glasses, etc are to be banned from July 2022.
  • Panchayati Raj Ministry to celebrate Iconic Week from April 11 to April 17
    • The Ministry of Panchayati Raj is celebrating the Iconic Week from 11th April to 17th April, 2022 to commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) as a Jan-Utsav in the spirit of Jan-Bhagidari.
    • The Iconic Week programmes will highlight the prominence of the role of Panchayats in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and create necessary awareness for developing community awareness and involvement.
  • 20th Meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
    • The 20th Meeting of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was held in Pakke tiger reserve in Arunachal Pradesh under the chairmanship of Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.
    • For the first time in history the NTCA meeting happened outside the national capital.
    • The Minister released standard operating procedure for tiger reintroduction and supplementation in wild , forest fire audit protocol for tiger reserves , technical manual on MEE of Tiger reserves in India prepared by NTCA.

AWARDS AND REWARDS

  • Ramdarash Mishra named for Saraswati Samman 2021
    • ‘Mein to Yahan Hun’, a Hindi poetry collection by Prof Ramdarash Mishra, has been selected for ‘Saraswati Samman’, 2021. This book was published in 2015.
    • The ‘Saraswati Samman’ instituted by the KK Birla Foundation in 1991 is recognised as the most prestigious and the highest literary award in the country.
    • It carries an award money of Rs 15 lakh, a citation, and a plaque.
  • Journalist Aarefa Johari awarded Chameli Devi Jain Award 2021
    • Mumbai-based journalist Aarefa Johari was declared as the winner of the Chameli Devi Jain Award for an Outstanding Woman Mediaperson 2021.
    • Instituted in 1982, the annual Chameli Devi Jain Award is a prestigious recognition for women mediapersons in India who have reported on themes such as social development, politics, equity, gender justice, health, war and conflict, and consumer values.
  • Veteran Bengali writer wins coveted O. Henry Award for 1977 story
    • The Henry Award is an annual American award given to short stories of exceptional merit. The award is named after the American short-story writer O. Henry.
    • Bengali author Amar Mitra was awarded with this year’s Henry prize for a short story titled 'Gaonburo'. The short story is a Bengali short fiction written in 1977, 45 years back.

SPORTS

  • Indian paddlers Manika Batra, Archana Kamath won Bronze medal in Women's Doubles at WTT Star Contender
    • Indian paddler Manika Batra and her partner Archana Kamath settled for a bronze medal at the WTT Star Contender Doha 2022 after losing to Chinese Taipei’s Li Yu-Jhun and Cheng I-Ching in the women’s doubles semi-finals.
  • National weightlifting championships: Ann Mariya M T wins gold medal
    • Ann Mariya M.T. from Kerala won the women's 87 kilogram gold medal with a National record aggregate of 231 kg on the concluding day of the National weightlifting championships at the KIIT University campus in Bhubaneswar.
  • ICC Women's World Cup
    • Australia defeated England to win their 7th Women's World Cup title in the final of the 2022 edition at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
    • Australia won the World Cup without losing a single game, establishing their dominance over the rest of the pack in New Zealand.

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