- 1. Government extended 'Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt’ for MSME till 31 March 2023.
- 2. Games24x7 named Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad as brand ambassadors of My11Circle.
- 3. UN General Assembly has unanimously declared March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
- 4. Modi@20: A book about Prime Minister's 20-year political career will be released soon.
- 5. Shreyas Iyer awarded ICC's 'Player of the Month' award for February 2022.
- 6. Rupiah Banda, former president of Zambia, passed away.
- 7. Bhagwant Mann takes oath as Chief Minister of Punjab.
- 8. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated pilot project for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
- 9. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited becomes largest coal producing company in India.
- 10. A renowned child expert Mina Swaminathan passed away at the age of 89.
- 11. 36th International Geological Congress (IGC) will be held in New Delhi from 20 march.
- 12. Delhi government has launched 'My EV' portal for the purchase and registration of electric autos in Delhi.
- 13. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has made two Indian Standards for drinking water.
- 14. RailTel ranked 124th in Fortune India Next 500-2022 list.
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Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives
1. Government extended 'Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt’ for MSME till 31 March 2023.
- 'Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt’ was launched on 24 June 2020.
- Under this scheme, the credit facility is provided to promoters of stressed MSMEs through lending institutions.
- The scheme was initially up to March 31, 2021, but later it was extended up to 31 March 2022.
- The ‘Distressed Assets Fund- Subordinate Debt for Stressed MSMEs’ was created on May 13, 2020.
- The government has provided ₹20,000 crores subordinate debt to MSMEs and ₹3 lakh crores under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS).
- According to government data, nearly 1,623 MSMEs closed their operation between April 2020 to October 2021.
2. Games24x7 named Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad as brand ambassadors of My11Circle.
- Games24x7 is an online gaming company. It was founded by Bhavin Pandya and Trivikraman Thampy in 2006.
- My11Circle is the official title sponsor of the Lucknow Super Giants team of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
- Other Brand ambassadors in News:
- Pharma company Lupin Limited roped Mary Kom as brand ambassador for its Shakti campaign.
- CavinKare announced actress Erica Fernandes as the brand ambassador for Nyle Naturals shampoo.
Topic: Important Days
3. UN General Assembly has unanimously declared March 15 as International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
- Pakistan introduced the resolution on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on March 15.
- 57 OIC members and eight other nations, including China and Russia, have sponsored the resolution.
- It marks the day in Christchurch, New Zealand, when in a terror attack 51 worshippers were killed by a gunman in two mosques.
- Expressions of Islamophobic - hate speech, discrimination, and violence against Muslims are spreading in many parts of the world.
- Objectives of the draft resolution are as follows:
- Raise international awareness of the rising tide of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.
- Send a strong statement to the world that racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, negative stereotyping, and stigmatization are all unacceptable.
- To spread a message of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, interfaith and cultural harmony among people of all faiths, races, and nations.
Topic: Books and Authors
4. Modi@20: A book about Prime Minister's 20-year political career will be released soon.
- The book exclusively depicts the last 20 years of PM Modi's political career, from his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujarat to the Prime Minister of India.
- The last 20 years have been very important for Narendra Modi, as he took over the reins of Gujarat in 2002 and is leading the country for almost 8 years since 2014.
- BlueKraft Digital Foundation edited and compiled the book.
5. Shreyas Iyer awarded ICC's 'Player of the Month' award for February 2022.
- Indian Batsman Shreyas Iyer has been named the ICC Men's Player of the Month for February.
- Amelia Kerr, a New Zealand all-rounder, has been named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for February.
- Iyer won the trophy for his outstanding white-ball performances during the home series against the West Indies and Sri Lanka last month.
- ICC has introduced the ICC Player of the Month awards in January 2021. It recognizes the best performances of both male and female cricketers across all forms of international cricket.
- International Cricket Council:
- The International Cricket Council is the global governing body of cricket.
- It was established in 1909 by the representatives of Australia, England, and South Africa as the Imperial Cricket Conference.
- It is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Its chairman is Greg Barclay. Its CEO is Geoff Allardice.
Topic: Personality in news
6. Rupiah Banda, former president of Zambia, passed away.
- He died at the age of 85 after a two-year fight with colon cancer.
- He was the president of Zambia from 2008 to 2011.
- It is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.
- Its neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola.
- The capital of Zambia is Lusaka and the currency is kwacha.
- Its President is Hakainde Hichilema.
Topic: State News/ Punjab
7. Bhagwant Mann takes oath as Chief Minister of Punjab.
- Aam Aadmi Party leader Bhagwant Mann sworn in as the 18th Chief Minister of Punjab.
- He has taken oath at Khatkar Kalan village in Nawanshahr district, which is the birthplace of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
- In the Punjab Assembly election, Aam Aadmi Party has won 92 seats out of 117 seats.
- Bhagwant Mann has won the election from Dhuri seat in the Sangrur district.
- Punjab Governor Banwari Lal Purohit Bhagwant administered the oath of office and secrecy to Bhagwant Mann.
- Chief Minister:
- Chief Minister is the elected head of the government of a state.
- Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor and the other ministers are appointed on the advice of the Chief Minister.
- Chief Minister of a state can give his resignation to the Governor.
(Source: News on AIR)
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
8. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated pilot project for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
- It is the first of its kind project in India for Hydrogen based advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV).
- It will create awareness about FCEV technology, and benefits of Hydrogen-based transport systems.
- Transportation powered by green hydrogen is going to be an important technology option of the future.
- Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd and International Center for Automotive Technology (ICAT) are conducting this pilot project to study and evaluate the world’s most advanced Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) Toyota Mirai.
- The Indian government is committed towards cleaner energy and Hydrogen is a key component of the energy strategy.
- Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV):
- It uses a propulsion system where energy stored as hydrogen is converted to electricity with the help of fuel cells.
- Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles are powered by hydrogen and are more efficient than conventional Vehicles.
- They only produce water vapor and warm air as residue.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
9. Mahanadi Coalfields Limited becomes largest coal producing company in India.
- In the financial year of 2021-22, Mahanadi Coalfields Limited has crossed 157 million tonnes of coal production.
- Mahanadi Coalfields Limited has produced 7.62 lakh tonnes of dry fuel on 12 March 2022, highest in a day in the current financial year.
- Mahanadi Coalfields Limited’s coal production has increased by 16% as compared to last financial year.
- Mahanadi Coalfields Limited has surpassed its all previous records by dispatching 166 MT dry fuel to consumers.
- Mahanadi Coalfields Limited has played a key role in ensuring energy security in country.
- Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL):
- It was formed in 1992.
- It is one of the leading coal-producing companies in India.
- It is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India Limited.
- Its headquarters is located at Sambalpur.
Topic: Personality in News
10. A renowned child expert Mina Swaminathan passed away at the age of 89.
- She was the trustee of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). Agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan is her husband.
- She chaired the committee formed to recommend the Integrated Child Care Development Scheme (ICDS) in Tamil Nadu.
- She was one of the founding members of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies. She was one of the founders of the mobile crèches.
- She will be remembered for her contribution to gender equality and child development.
- Former Andhra Pradesh Governor and former Union Minister Kumudben Joshi also passed away recently.
Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings
11. 36th International Geological Congress (IGC) will be held in New Delhi from 20 march.
- It will be a three-day event and will be organized on a virtual platform.
- The theme of 36th IGC is “Geosciences: The Basic Science for a Sustainable Future”.
- 36th IGC is a joint endeavor of Ministry of Mines, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian National Science Academy and Science Academies of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
- 36th IGC was originally scheduled to be held during 2-8 March, 2020. It was postponed due to Covid Pandemic.
- International Geological Congress (IGC):
- IGC is described as the Olympics of Geosciences. It is held under aegis of International Union of Geological Congress (IUGS).
- India had hosted 22nd session of IGC which was the first IGC on the Asian soil.
Topic: State News/Delhi
12. Delhi government has launched 'My EV' portal for the purchase and registration of electric autos in Delhi.
- An interest subvention of 5% will also be provided by Delhi government on the purchase of e-autos on loans under Delhi Electric Vehicle Policy.
- Further, Delhi government has collaborated with Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL) to develop the portal.
- 'My EV' portal will allow Letter of Intent holders to buy e-autos and claim the incentives provided by Delhi government.
- It is available on the website of the transport department.
- CESL has empaneled six financial institutions to provide loans to electric vehicles at attractive terms.
Topic: National News
13. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has made two Indian Standards for drinking water.
- The Union Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey informed that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has made two Indian Standards of drinking water.
- IS 10500:2012 on Drinking Water and IS 17482:2020 Requirements for Piped Drinking Water Supply are the two standards announced by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
- Under Jal Jeevan Mission, IS 10500:2012 is adopted for providing safe drinking water.
- BIS quality standards are not mandatory for civic agencies involved in supplying drinking water.
- Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):
- It is a statutory body that was established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016.
- It works under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
- Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
- Pramod Kumar Tiwari is the Director-General of the Bureau of Indian Standards.
14. RailTel ranked 124th in Fortune India Next 500-2022 list.
- RailTel jumped 67 positions to rank 124th in the 'Fortune India Next 500 -2022' list.
- RailTel is one of the largest telecom infrastructure providers in the country.
- Along with RailTel, five other private companies of the telecom sector are also included in the list.
- IRCTC has been placed at 309th in the Fortune India Next 500-2022 list.
- There are 10 Indian government companies in the Fortune India 500 list 2022.
- The Fortune India Next 500 is a list of India's top 500 midsize companies. The ranking is based on the latest sales and gross revenue figures.
- The current list is based on the annual audited total income for the financial year 2020-21.
- RailWire is a community-based broadband internet service provided by RailTel.