Daily Current Affairs and GK | 22 July 2022

By Priyanka Chaudhary | Last Modified: 24 Jul 2022 19:23 PM IST

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Topic: Indian Polity

1. Rajya Sabha holds discussion on Weapon of Mass Destruction Amendment Bill 2022.

  • The Weapon of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Amendment Bill 2022 has been tabled to amend the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005.
  • The bill prohibits any person from financing activity related to weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
  • It empowers the central government to seize the financial assets of the people involved in the financing of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 prohibits the manufacturing, transport, or transfer of weapons related to mass destruction.
  • Biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction.

Topic: Important Days

2. World Brain Day: 22 July

  • World Brain Day is celebrated every year on 22 July to increase public awareness and promote advocacy related to brain health.
  • The theme for World Brain Day 2022 is “Brain Health for all”.
  • World Brain Day 2022 campaign will focus on five key messages of awareness, prevention, education and access.
  • World Brain Day was first observed in the year 2014. On 22 July 2022, WFN is hosting the 9th annual World Brain Day.
  • World Federation of Neurology (WFN) was set up on 22 July, 1957. It is headquartered in London, UK. It is an association of national neurological societies. Wolfgang Grisold is its President.

Topic: Indian Economy

3. Indian rupee dropped to a historic low level against the dollar.

  • It reached at 80.05 per U.S. dollar on 20 July 2022. Foreign portfolio investors continued to withdraw their investments from Indian market.
  • Additionally, domestic oil importers purchased US dollars to finance their imports.
  • The US dollar has gained by over 25% against the Indian rupee in the last eight years since 2014.
  • The exchange rate of the Indian rupee against the US dollar stood at 63.33 on December 31, 2014. It was at 79.41 on July 11, 2022.
  • During the current calendar year till date (18 July 2022), US dollar has strengthened by about 7 percent.

Topic: Indian Polity

4. The scope of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act has been expanded by Supreme Court to include unmarried women.

  • Supreme Court permitted an unmarried woman to abort her 24-week pregnancy that resulted from a consensual relationship.
  • The Supreme Court bench directed the AIIMS director to form a medical board of two doctors to examine the woman under the provisions of the MTP Act.
  • Supreme Court ruled that the petitioner cannot be denied the benefit of abortion merely on the ground that she is an unmarried woman.
  • Supreme Court order states that the abortion will be subject to the final decision of a medical board constituted by the AIIMS, Delhi whether the foetus can be aborted without any risk to the life of the woman or not.
  • Supreme Court permitted an unmarried woman whose relationship status changed during the pregnancy to abort her 24-week foetus.
  • Last week, Delhi High Court said it cannot allow termination of pregnancy between 20-24 weeks for an unmarried woman because her relationship status changed.
  • Rule 3B of the MTP Act specifies seven categories of women who are eligible for termination of pregnancy between 20-24 weeks.
  • The petitioner had challenged Rule 3B before the Delhi High Court.

Seven categories of women who are eligible for termination of pregnancy between 20-24 weeks

1. Survivors of sexual assault or rape or incest

2. Women carrying malformed foetus that has substantial risk of being incompatible with life

3. Minors

4. Mentally ill women

5. Those who have a change of marital status during the ongoing pregnancy (widowhood and divorce)

6. Women with pregnancy in humanitarian settings or disaster or emergency situations as may be declared by the government

7. Women with physical disabilities

Topic: National Appointment

5. Draupadi Murmu became India's 15th President; First Tribal President of India.

  • Draupadi Murmu, candidate for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has been elected as India's fifteenth President.
  • She is the first tribal woman to hold the office and the youngest ever President.
  • After Pratibha Patil, she is the second woman to be appointed to the top constitutional post.
  • After the third round of counting, Ms Murmu got 5, 77, 777 value of votes while Opposition candidate Yashwant Sinha has 2,61,062 value of votes.
  • The total valid votes were 1,333, out of this Draupadi Murmu got 812 votes, and Yashwant Sinha got 521 votes.
  • On 25 July, she will take oath as the fifteenth President of India, after the term of her predecessor Ram Nath Kovind ends on 24 July.
  • President of India:
    • Under Article 60, the President of India takes the oath before entering his office.
    • The Chief Justice of India administers the oath of office to the President.
    • The President's term of office is five years, starting from the day he takes office.

India's 15th President; First Tribal President of India

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. An MoU has been signed by NHPC Limited and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC).

  • The MoU has been signed to form a Joint Venture Company (JVC) for the exploration and installation of hydroelectric and pumped storage projects.
  • In the presence of Shri A.K. Singh, CMD of NHPC Limited, and Shri Ram Naresh Singh, Chairman of the DVC, the MOU was signed.
  • Under the MOU, they will jointly harness the hydropower projects and pump storage projects as energy storage solutions.
  • It will be in line with the country's energy transition goal of 500 GW of renewable energy by 2030 and Net Zero by 2070.
  • National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC):
    • It is an Indian government hydropower body that is owned by the Ministry of Power.
    • It was established in 1975. It is headquartered in Faridabad, Haryana.
    • Its Chairman & Managing Director is Abhay Kumar Singh.
  • Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC):
    • It is a government-owned power plant that operates in India's West Bengal and Jharkhand states along the Damodar River.
    • DVC is headquartered in Kolkata. It was founded on 7 July 1948.
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Topic: International News

7. Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned on 21 July 2022.

  • Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella during a morning meeting at the Quirinale Palace.
  • President Mattarella has asked him to remain as a caretaker Premier.
  • Draghi has led a unity government since February 2021. A unity government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties or all major parties in the legislature.
  • Draghi’s coalition government crumbled when three of his main partners refused to participate in a confidence vote.
  • Five Star Movement, one of the coalition government's parties, said it would not participate.
  • The ruling Lega and Forza Italia parties have also said they will not take part. It paves way for the snap election in September or October.
  • Quirinale Palace is one of the three current official residences of the President of Italy. Other two are Villa Rosebery in Naples and the Tenuta di Castelporziano.
  • Italy:
    • It is a European country with a long Mediterranean coastline.
    • Rome is its capital and largest city. Its currency is Euro. Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic.

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Summits/ Conferences/ Meetings

8. 9th ASEAN-India Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes was held virtually on 20 July 2022.

  • Joint Secretary (Counter Terrorism), Ministry of External Affairs, Mahaveer Singhvi, co-chaired the Consultation from Indian side.
  • Deputy Secretary (Policy), Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore, Puah Kok Keong co-chaired the Consultation from the ASEAN side.
  • During the consultation, both sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the areas of terrorism and illicit drug trafficking under the framework of ASEAN-India Work Plan to combat Transnational Crimes.
  • They also discussed ways to enhance cooperation in the areas of trafficking in persons, international economic crime and cybercrime under the framework of ASEAN-India Work Plan to combat Transnational Crimes.
  • The 10th ASEAN-India Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crimes will be held in 2023 in Indonesia.

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

9. NITI Aayog released a report on digital banks on 20th July.

  • NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery and CEO Parameswaran Iyer released a report titled ‘A proposal for Digital Banks in India: Licensing and Regulatory Regime’.
  • It has been prepared by NITI Aayog based on inter-ministerial consultations.
  • The report is focused on avoiding any regulatory or policy arbitrage.
  • The Key Highlights of the report are as follows:
    • It recommends the issue of a restricted digital bank license and the inclusion of the license in a regulatory sandbox framework enacted by the Reserve Bank of India.
    • The methodology for the licencing and regulatory template by the report is based on an equally weighted ‘digital bank regulatory index’.
    • PMJDY and India Stack have taken many steps for increasing Financial Inclusion.
    • The report states that Jan Dhan-Aadhar-Mobile (JAM) trinity played a key role in increasing financial inclusion. Digital payment has increased due to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
    • It also states that financial inclusion has resulted in financial assistance to farmers and street vendors through direct benefit transfer.
    • However, access to credit remains a public policy challenge especially for the country's 63 million MSMEs.

Topic: Personality in News

10. Guru Harkrishan Ji Parkash Diwas was celebrated on 22 July.

  • Eighth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib’s birth anniversary was celebrated on 22 July.
  • Guru HarKrishan, known as a Bal Guru (Child Guru), became the youngest Guru in 1661.
  • He succeeded his father Guru Har Rai, who died from smallpox in 1661.
  • Guru Harkrishan:
    • He was born in Kiratpur in 1656 as the second son of the seventh Guru, Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji.
    • He passed away in 1664 at an age of just eight years.
    • He is remembered by the Muslims as "Bala Pir" and by the Hindus as "Balmukand".
    • Guru Harkrishan had stayed in the present's Gurdwara Bangla Sahib.

Guru Harkrishan Ji Parkash Diwas

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Reports and Indices/Ranking

11. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery released the 3rd edition of the India Innovation Index.

  • In the third edition of NITI Aayog’s India Innovation Index, Karnataka, Manipur and Chandigarh have topped in their respective categories.
  • Karnataka has topped in the ‘Major States’ category while Manipur topped in the ‘North East and Hill States’ category.
  • Chandigarh has got first place in the ‘Union Territories and City States’ category.
  • In the ‘Major States’ category, Telangana and Haryana are in the second and third positions respectively.
  • In the ‘North East and Hill States’ category, Uttarakhand and Meghalaya are in the second and third spots.
  • India Innovation Index is based on the innovation capabilities and performance of states and union territories of India.
  • It has been prepared by NITI Aayog and the Institute for Competitiveness.
  • It is based on the 66 indicators divided across 16 sub-pillars and 7 key pillars.
  • As the earlier edition, the five ‘Enabler’ pillars measure inputs and the two ‘Performance’ pillars measure output.

Suman Bery released the 3rd edition of the India Innovation Index

(Source: PIB)

Topic: Government Schemes and Initiatives

12. Dr Mansukh Mandaviya launched schemes for Strengthening Pharmaceuticals Industry in New Delhi.

  • Government will launch a number of initiatives under the Schemes for ‘Strengthening Pharmaceuticals Industry’ (SPI).
  • Schemes have been launched with a focus on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Clusters.
  • The schemes are – the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Promotion and development Scheme (PMDPS) and Assistance to Pharmaceutical Industries for Common Facilities Scheme.
  • These schemes will help in resolving the problems of technology up-gradation at both unit level and cluster level.
  • These schemes will enhance the quality of technology and infrastructure in the Pharmaceutical Industries.
  • The scheme will increase investment, and encourage research and innovation in the Pharmaceutical sector.

Strengthening Pharmaceuticals Industry in New Delhi

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Banking System

13. SBI has launched WhatsApp Banking Services for its customers.

  • To make banking easier for customers, India’s largest public sector lender, State Bank of India has launched its WhatsApp Banking service.
  • Now, SBI customers can avail certain banking services through WhatsApp. Customers can view Mini Statement and check their Account Balance on WhatsApp.
  • SBI WhatsApp Banking services is available on the number 919022690226.
  • With the help of WhatsApp Banking services, SBI credit card customers can check their account summary, reward points, outstanding balance, etc.
  • State Bank of India (SBI):
    • It is a nationalized public sector bank.
    • Its headquarters is located in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
    • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is the largest non-promoter shareholder in SBI.
    • Dinesh Kumar Khara is the current Chairman of the State Bank of India.

WhatsApp Banking Services by SBI

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Indian Economy

14. ADB lowered India’s growth forecast to 7.2% for FY23.

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its recent forecast reduced India’s growth projection to 7.2 for FY23 from 7.5 per cent.
  • ADB has also raised the inflation forecast for India to 6.7 per cent for FY23 from 5.8 per cent.
  • ADB estimated that the services sector will do better in FY23 and higher commodity prices will boost the mining industry. The manufacturing sector will get affected due to the rising oil prices.
  • Private investment will remain low due to the higher cost of borrowing for firms.
  • The high inflationary pressures reduce consumer purchasing power. Inflation in most Asian countries is increasing at a rapid rate.
  • For FY 23, ADB has revised its growth forecast for the Asia region to 4.6% from 5.2%.
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