Monthly BeePedia March 2022

(General Awareness Digest for Regulatory Body Exams)

FINANCE AND BANKING

  • RBI cancelled licence of Sarjeraodada Naik Shirala Sahakari Bank
    • Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Sarjeraodada Naik Shirala Sahakari Bank, Sangli, Maharashtra, as it did not have adequate capital and earning prospects.
    • On liquidation, every depositor would be entitled to receive deposit insurance claim amount of his/her deposits up to a monetary ceiling of Rs 5 lakh from the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
  • RBI launches UPI 123Pay for instant digital payments using feature phones
    • RBI recently launched UPI for non-smartphone users.
    • RBI’s new service, called UPI 123Pay, would allow feature phone users to make instant digital payments.
    • iUPI for feature phones was initially announced by the RBI in December at the monetary policy meeting.
    • Along with the launch of UPI for feature phones, which will be available in all Indian languages, the central bank also launched a 24*7 helpline for digital payments – DigiSaathi.
  • 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.

ECONOMY

  • Japan and India renew the Bilateral Swap Arrangement of $75 billion
    • Japan and India recently renewed the Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) the size of which is up to USD 75 billion.
    • The agreement is a platform where both authorities can swap their local currencies in exchange for the US Dollar.
  • NSO projects GDP growth for India in 2021-22 at 8.9%
    • National Statistical Office (NSO) has released the second advance estimates of national accounts. The GDP growth rate projection as per NSO for 2021-22 (FY22) and 2020-21 (FY21) is given: For 2021-22 (FY22) = 8.9% (earlier it was 9.2% in first advance estimates); For 2020-21 (FY21) = -6.6% (earlier it was -7.3%).
    • As per NSO data, Gross Value Added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector growth remained almost flat at 0.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2021-22, compared to a growth of 8.4 per cent a year ago.
  • US, EU, UK decided to eliminate selected Russian banks from SWIFT
    • Canada, U.S.A. and their European allies have decided to remove the key Russian banks from the Interbank messaging system (IMS) of SWIFT.
    • It will cut off the country from much of the worldwide financial system.
    • Russia’s removal from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) will mean that the Russian banks will not be able to communicate securely with foreign banks.

NATIONAL

  • NITI Aayog developing National Gender Index
    • NITI Aayog is in the process of developing a National Gender Index to measure the progress and identify the persisting gaps in gender equality to make informed policy decisions.
    • The index will serve as a tool to map the progress of states and Union Territories (UTs) on defined gender metrics and build the foundation for positive change.
    • The index will support policy action and advocacy around gender and will be aligned to the framework of Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Stree Manoraksha Project launched
    • The Ministry of Women and Child Development launched the ‘Stree Manoraksha Project’ in collaboration with NIMHANS Bengaluru with an aim to improve the mental health of women in India.
    • The project would focus on building on capacity building of OSC (One-Stop Center) functionaries on the tools and techniques as to how to handle the cases of women approaching the One-Stop Centres, particularly the women who have suffered violence and distress with due sensitivity and care.
    • NIMHANS has also created a website regarding this which has many things related to training.
  • DST tieup with Intel India to boost AI readiness
    • ‘Building AI Readiness among Young Innovators’, a program by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), in partnership with Intel India, was launched by Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology(I/C).
    • The program aims to build digital readiness among the students from classes 6 to 10, enrolled under DST’s INSPIRE-Awards MANAK scheme. The flagship program of DST reaches out to students pan India with an aim to create a culture of creativity and innovative thinking.
  • Telangana Tops the Country in terms of Per Capita Net State Domestic Product at Current Prices
    • Telangana surpasses Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to become Top performing states in the country.
    • Telangana is the top performing state in the country in terms of growth rate of Per Capita Net State Domestic Product at Current Prices in the current fiscal.
    • Telangana has registered a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Rs 11,54,860 crore in 2021-22, a 19.1 per cent growth over the previous financial year at current prices as on February, 2022. The per capita income has also increased by 18.78 per cent to Rs 2,78,833.

INTERNATIONAL

  • Revocation of Russia’s Most Favored Nation Trade Status
    • US President Biden announced that the United States, acting in coordination with the European Union (EU) and leaders of major economies belonging to the Group of Seven (G7), would begin taking steps to revoke most-favored-nation (or MFN) trade status for Russia.
  • Swiss to become first airline to use solar fuel
    • Swiss and its parent company, the Lufthansa Group, have partnered with synthetic fuel group Synhelion to use its solar fuel.
    • This will make Swiss the first airline in the world to use sun-to-liquid fuel.
  • Hungary elects Katalin Novak, first-ever female president
    • The Hungarian parliament has elected Katalin Novak, a close ally of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, as the EU member’s first-ever female president.
    • She was elected to the role by 137 votes to 51 in the parliament.

REPORTS AND INDEXES

  • Sustainable Development Report 2021
    • The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), released its annual Sustainable Development Report 2021.
    • The 6th edition of the Sustainable Development Report (2021), ranked India at 120th out of 165 countries with a country score of 60.1.
    • Finland topped the rankings with a score of 85.90 followed by Sweden with 85.61 and Denmark with 84.86, Germany at 82.48, and Belgium with 82.19.
    • Central African Republic, Chad, and South Sudan have ranked the least on SDG.
  • Freedom in the World 2022 – The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule
    • A report titled “Freedom in the World 2022 – The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule" is released by Freedom House, a US-based NGO.
    • For the second consecutive year, India has been termed 'partly free' in terms of democracy and free society. India scored 66 out of 100 this year.
    • Countries with lowest freedom points are South Sudan (which scored 1 out of 100, 'not free'), Somalia, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
  • SKOCH State of Governance Rankings 2021
    • Andhra Pradesh has retained its number one spot in the SKOCH State of Governance rankings for the second consecutive year.
    • The SKOCH State of Governance-2021 document said that AP has been a ‘Star’ in the rankings for the fourth year in a row. Star is a category given to the States ranked from 1 to 5.
    • West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat and Maharashtra are the other Star States.
    • The Star States have focussed on agriculture, ease of doing business, power and energy, social justice and security and water.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

  • NASA launches latest generation satellite to track hazardous weather
    • NASA has successfully launched the third in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
    • The newest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-T, was launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
    • The satellite will be providing continuous coverage of weather and hazardous environmental conditions in the Western Hemisphere. The GOES program predicts space weather near earth that can interfere with satellite electronics, GPS, and radio communications.
  • IIT Kanpur develops biodegradable nanoparticle to protect crops from diseases
    • Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur have developed a biodegradable nanoparticle that can be used as an alternative to chemical-based pesticides and help farmers protect their crops from bacterial and fungal infections.
    • Coined Biodegradable Carbonoid Metabolite (BioDCM), the nanoparticle can remain active at low concentration and can be as effective as pesticides without having any negative impact on soil and health of consumers.
  • ISRO successfully conducts ground test of solid booster stage for SSLV
    • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully completed the ground test of the solid-fuel based booster stage (SS1) of its new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), completing the ground testing of all three stages of the launch vehicle.
    • The new launch vehicle is now ready for its first development flight, which is scheduled for May 2022.
    • The SSLV is likely to cost Rs 30 crore.

AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Matsya Setu 2.0 app to boost freshwater fisheries
    • The Government will soon launch Matsya Setu 2.0 whereby farmers, wholesale buyers, suppliers of feed and equipment and other members of the value chain will be able to share information on market prices and availability of produce.
    • Matsya Setu 2.0, is an android mobile app developed by ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture (CIFA), Bhubaneswar, with funding from the National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad.
  • Tamil Nadu providing free power to farmers
    • Tamil Nadu government will providing free electricity to all the farmers across the state, an amount of Rs 5,157.56 crore will be provided to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Coroporation (TANGEDCO), for the fiscal year 2023.
    • Tamil Nadu government has allocated an amount of Rs 2,399 crore as state share of premium subsidy.
    • The state governement will source funds from NABARD.
  • 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.

DEFENCE

  • Ninth edition of India-Sri Lanka Naval Exercise SLINEX begins in Visakhapatnam
    • The ninth edition of India-Sri Lanka Naval Exercise, SLINEX, is scheduled at Visakhapatnam.
    • The exercise is being conducted in two phases, the Harbour Phase at Visakhapatnam followed by the Sea Phase in the Bay of Bengal.
  • Indian Air Force postpones Exercise Vayu Shakti at Pokharan
    • The Indian Air Force (IAF) has postponed Exercise Vayu Shakti that was scheduled to take place at the Pokharan range in Jaisalmer.
    • The Indian Air Force (IAF) conducts Exercise Vayu Shakti at the Pokharan range every three years to demonstrate its readiness to conduct full spectrum operations. The last one took place in 2019.
  • India and Seychelles to conduct military exercise ‘LAMITIYE’
    • The Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) are conducting the ninth Joint Military Exercise Lamitiye 2022 at the Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA) in Seychelles from March 22 to March 31 into the Indian Ocean.
    • The ninth joint military exercise LAMITIYE-2022 between the Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces will commence at the Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA).
    • Exercise LAMITIYE, will be conducted at Mahe, Seychelles.

EVENTS

  • 28th DST-CII India-Singapore Technology Summit
    • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Department of Science & Technology (DST) is hosting the 28th edition of the DST – CII Technology Summit (over a virtual platform).
    • Singapore is the Partner Country for Technology Summit in 2022.
    • Technology Summit over a period of more than two decades has been instrumental in providing significant opportunities to forge and foster bilateral technology partnerships.
  • 19th edition of India-US Military Cooperation Group concludes
    • The two-day meeting of 19th edition of India-US Military Cooperation Group concluded in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
    • The meeting was co-chaired by Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee CISC Air Marshal BR Krishna from the Indian side and Deputy Commander, US Indo-Pacific Command Lieutenant General Stephen D Sklenka from the US side.
  • 5th session of United Nations Environment Assembly
    • Hosted by the UN Environment Programme, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) brings together representatives of the 193 Member States of the UN, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders to agree on policies to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.
    • The resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) took place online and in Nairobi from 28 February – 2 March 2022.
    • The overall theme for UNEA-5 was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” highlighting the pivotal role nature plays in our lives and in social, economic and environmental sustainable development.

AWARDS AND REWARDS

  • IISER professor Deepak Dhar becomes first Indian to bag Boltzmann Medal
    • Physicist professor Deepak Dhar has become the first Indian to be awarded the Boltzmann Medal. He shares the medal with John J Hoefield of Princeton University.
    • The Commission on Statistical Physics of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) presents this medal once in three years for contributions in the field of statistical physics.
  • National Mission For Clean Ganga Gets Special Jury Award
    • National Mission for Clean Ganga was awarded the Special Jury Award at the 7th India Industry Water Conclave and the 9th edition of the FICCI Water Awards that was held on a virtual platform.
    • NMCG is engaged in to bring about a paradigm shift in water management, even as they endeavour to revive river Ganga.
  • NMDC receives 1st prize in Ispat Rajbhasha Award for 2018-19 and 2020-21 and Ispat Rajbhasha Prerna Award for 2019-20
    • National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd. (NMDC), Country’s largest Iron Ore producer, a CPSE under Ministry of Steel received 1st prize in the Ispat Rajbhasha Award for 2018-19 and 2020-21 and the Ispat Rajbhasha Prerna Award for 2019-20 in the meeting of the Hindi Salahakar Committee of the Ministry of Steel held in Madurai.

SPORTS

  • Pooja Jatyan Wins Silver At Para Archery World Championships
    • Rookie para archer Pooja Jatyan scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a silver medal in an individual section of the Para World Championships.
    • She lost to Italian Petrilli Vincenza in the finals at the Para Archery World Championships.
  • 31st Southeast Asian Games to open in Vietnam
    • The 31st Southeast Asian Games, the region's biggest sporting event, will be held in Vietnam from May 12 to 23 this year.
    • The Games will feature 40 sports with 526 events, attracting around 10,000 participants.
    • The Vietnamese capital Hanoi will be the main venue alongside 11 neighbouring localities including Quang Ninh, Phu Tho and Bac Ninh.
  • Pro Kabaddi League 8
    • The 2021-22 Vivo Pro Kabaddi League was the eighth season of Pro Kabaddi League. The season began in December 2021.
    • Sheraton Grand Hotel and Convention Center located in Whitefield, Bangalore was announced as the venue.
    • Dabang Delhi KC defeated Patna Pirates in the final match to win their maiden title.

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