- 1. Russia becomes world's most sanctioned country after invading Ukraine.
- 2. RBI has launched DigiSaathi, a 24x7 Helpline to address the queries of digital payment users.
- 3. India has remained partly free for second consecutive year according to the annual report of Freedom House.
- 4. T. Raja Kumar has been appointed as next President of FATF.
- 5. MoU for the implementation of BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement has been finalized by India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
- 6. Petascale Supercomputer “PARAM Ganga” established at IIT Roorkee under National Supercomputing Mission.
- 7. Air Marshal B Chandra Sekhar has assumed charge as Commandant of Air Force Academy.
- 8. Ministry of Ayush, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have signed tripartite MoU.
- 9. Telangana’s Finance Minister T Harish Rao presented 2.56 lakh crore budget for financial year 2022-23.
- 10. Union Minister Bhupender Yadav presented Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar, National Safety Awards and National Safety Awards Mines.
- 11. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal presented Rs 1.77 lakh crore budget for FY 2022-23.
- 12. India installed a record 10 gigawatt (GW) of solar capacity during 2021: Report by Mercom India Research.
- 13. Election Commission of India hosted Election Visitors Programme 2022.
- 14. Microsoft to set up its largest data center of India in Hyderabad.
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Topic: International News
1. Russia becomes world's most sanctioned country after invading Ukraine.
- According to a recently released sanctions-tracking database, Russia has become the most-sanctioned country in the world.
- 2778 new sanctions have been imposed on Russia in the last two weeks. Russia is currently facing a total of 5,530 sanctions.
- Russia has surpassed Iran which has 3,616 sanctions against it. Syria and North Korea are behind Iran with 2,608 and 2,077 sanctions, respectively.
- Most of the sanctions on Russia have been imposed by the U.S. and its Western allies.
- The highest number of sanctions has been imposed by Switzerland (568), followed by European Union (518).
- The United States has also banned the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal.
- The United Kingdom would also phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.
Topic: Banking System
2. RBI has launched DigiSaathi, a 24x7 Helpline to address the queries of digital payment users.
- DigiSaathi has been launched by RBI along with National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).
- As of now, DigiSaathi is available in English and Hindi. It is a 24–hour information hotline for digital payment goods and services.
- Automated responses on information related to digital payment products and services is available through multiple options like toll-free number, a short code, website and chatbots.
- According to RBI, DigiSaathi provides a channel to get help on entire gamut of digital payments.
Topic: Reports and Indices
3. India has remained partly free for second consecutive year according to the annual report of Freedom House.
- India’s score this year is 66 out of 100. Its score was 67 in 2021 and 71 in 2020. The score of 71 is classified as free.
- The report is titled as “Freedom in the World 2022 – The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule”.
- The report says that government’s discriminatory policies and the rise in persecution have affected the Muslim population of India.
- According to this report, harassment of journalists, non-governmental organisations and other government critics has increased.
- The scores of Pakistan and Sri Lanka are 37 and 55 points, respectively.
- According to this report, Norway, Denmark and Sweden are considered “Free”. Many other countries are also considered as “Free”.
- Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Saudi Arabia are countries with lowest freedom points. Sudan scored one out of 100.
- Freedom House is a US-based NGO that assesses political rights and civil liberties.
4. T. Raja Kumar has been appointed as next President of FATF.
- He is the current head of Singapore's delegation to the FATF.
- He will assume position as FATF’s president on Jul 1, 2022 for a term of 2-years.
- He will take over from Marcus Pleyer of Germany. He is the first Singaporean appointed as FATF’s president.
- Financial Action Task Force (FATF):
- It is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Paris, France.
- It was established in 1989 to combat money laundering, terror financing, and other related threats for the integrity of the international financial system.
- Currently, it has 39 members including two regional organizations - the European Commission and Gulf Cooperation Council.
Topic: MoU / Agreements
5. MoU for the implementation of BBIN Motor Vehicles Agreement has been finalized by India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
- India, Bangladesh, and Nepal organized a meeting to discuss passenger and cargo protocols for the operation of the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement (MVA).
- On March 8, the two-day meeting concluded in Delhi. Bhutan attended the meeting as an observer.
- The last meeting occurred in February 2020 in New Delhi, and this is the first following the Covid-19 pandemic.
- BBIN MVA was signed on June 15, 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personal, and cargo vehicle traffic between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal.
- The Asian Development Bank provided the meeting with technical and informational support.
Topic: Space and IT
6. Petascale Supercomputer “PARAM Ganga” established at IIT Roorkee under National Supercomputing Mission.
- “PARAM Ganga”, a supercomputer installed at IIT Roorkee, has capacity of 1.66 Petaflops.
- It has been designed and commissioned by C-DAC under Phase 2 of the National Supercomputing Mission.
- C-DAC has been entrusted with the design, development, deployment, and commissioning of supercomputing systems.
- The National Supercomputing Mission aims to construct and deploy 24 facilities with a total compute capacity of over 64 petaflops.
- Under NSM Phases 1 and 2, C-DAC has installed 11 systems with a total compute power of more than 20 Petaflops at IISc, IITs, IISER Pune, JNCASR, NABI-Mohali, and C-DAC.
- C-DAC has designed and constructed a compute server called "Rudra" and a high-speed interconnect called "Trinetra," which are the major sub-assemblies required for supercomputers.
- National Supercomputing Mission (NSM):
- It was launched in 2015.
- It is implemented by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) through C-DAC and IISc Bangalore.
- It aims to connect national academic and research institutions with a grid of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities over the next seven years at an estimated cost of 4,500 crores.
7. Air Marshal B Chandra Sekhar has assumed charge as Commandant of Air Force Academy.
- He hails from Telangana state. He holds distinction of landing the first MLH (Medium Lift) class of helicopter in the Siachen Glacier.
- He is also a Qualified Flying Instructor. He was commissioned in the Indian Air Force on 21 Dec 1984.
- Indian Air Force Academy, Dundigal is located in Medchal-Malkangiri district of Telangana. It was set up in 1969.
8. Ministry of Ayush, Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have signed tripartite MoU.
- The MoU is for Inter-Ministerial co-operation for the promotion and facilitation of research and development and deployment of agri-technologies related to medicinal plants.
- The key objective of tripartite MoU is to draw cognizance to the traditional agricultural practices of India.
- A Joint Working Group involving officers from the Ministry of Ayush, ICAR, and CSIR has also been proposed for effective implementation of the MoU.
- Joint Working Group will meet at least twice in a year to follow up the execution of this MoU.
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR):
- It is the apex body for coordinating, guiding, and managing research and education in agriculture.
- It works under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
- Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR):
- It is India’s largest research and development organization and an autonomous body.
- Its current Director-General is Shekhar C Mande. It was established on September 26, 1942.
Topic: State News/ Telangana
9. Telangana’s Finance Minister T Harish Rao presented 2.56 lakh crore budget for financial year 2022-23.
- The budget for the 2022-23 financial year is Rs 26,000 crore higher than the budget for 2021-22.
- In this Budget, the total expenditure has been proposed at Rs 2,56,858.51 crore.
- The Government will be spent Rs 17,500 crore on the Dalit Bandhu Scheme.
- The revenue expenditure has been estimated at Rs 1.89 lakh crore and capital expenditure at Rs 29,728 crore.
- The government allocated Rs 14,800 crore to Rythu Bandhu scheme and Rs 12,000 crore to Aasara pensions scheme.
- The government would waive crop loans up to Rs 50,000 by March-end in the current fiscal.
- The government will provide financial assistance to construct houses with a unit cost of Rs 3 lakh each.
- The Government has allocated ₹7,289 crores to Mana Ooru, Mana Badi programme for strengthening basic infrastructure in schools.
- The government will also launch an insurance scheme for handloom and power loom workers.
- Telangana Finance Minister also announced the ‘KCR nutrition kit’ scheme. It will help in overcoming the problem of acute anaemia among pregnant women in nine districts
- Telangana’s GSDP growth in 2021-22 is 11.2 percent at constant price while GSDP growth at current price is estimated at 19.1 percent.
- Telangana's per capita income has increased to Rs 2,78,833. It is 1.86 times of the national average income.
Topic: Awards and Prizes
10. Union Minister Bhupender Yadav presented Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar, National Safety Awards and National Safety Awards Mines.
- Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP) and National Safety Awards (NSA) were given for the year 2018 while National Safety Awards (Mines) were presented for 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 years.
- Total 96 winners received Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar whereas 141 winners received National Safety Awards and 144 people were awarded with the National Safety Awards (Mines).
- "Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP)" and "National Safety Awards (NSA)" are given by the Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- VRP and NSA are operated by the Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI), Mumbai.
- The Mines Act, 1952 comprises provisions for the occupational safety of persons employed in mines.
- Vishwakarma Rashtriya Puraskar (VRP):
- It is given to recognize the suggestion given by a worker or group of workers, which has helped in improving the quality, productivity, and working conditions.
- It is awarded in the form of a cash prize and a certificate of merit in three categories.
- National Safety Awards (NSA):
- It is given to recognize the outstanding safety performance of industrial establishments, construction sites, ports and installations under the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB).
- A shield and a certificate of merit is given to each winner and runners-up.
Topic: State News/ Haryana
11. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal presented Rs 1.77 lakh crore budget for FY 2022-23.
- The budget estimates fiscal deficit of 29618 crore rupees and the primary deficit of 8623.84 crore rupees.
- The total revenue receipts are projected to be 1,06,424.70 crore rupees.
- The government has allocated Rs 530.94 crore for Environment, Forests and Climate Change. A 150-km long nature trail from Kalka to Kalesar will be established.
- Haryana Government will give soft loans to women entrepreneurs whose families annual income is less than Rs 5 lakh.
- The government has allocated Rs 2,0250.57 crore for the education sector and 47255.37 crore rupees will be spent on social services.
- Chief Minister Manohar Lal announced the construction of six new 100 bed hospitals and 14 new ESI dispensaries.
- The government will start subject-wise Olympiads for Class 8 to 12. Scholarships will also be provided to the winners of Olympiads.
- Child Lab Rehabilitation Centres will be opened at Gurugram and Faridabad.
- The government will give 'Sushma Swaraj Award' to women from Haryana who have made significant contributions in different fields. This award has been instituted in the memory of late Sushma Swaraj.
- CM Manohar Lal Khattar announced a new scheme ‘Haryana Matrushakti Udaymita Scheme’ to provide support to women entrepreneurs.
Topic: Infrastructure and Energy
12. India installed a record 10 gigawatt (GW) of solar capacity during 2021: Report by Mercom India Research.
- According to a report of Mercom India Research, India’s has added 10 gigawatts solar capacity in 2021.
- Mercom India Research report titled 'Annual 2021 India Solar Market Update' said that India’s total installed solar capacity was approximately 49 GW till the end of December 2021.
- As per this report, 62 percent of new power capacity additions in 2021 is from solar energy.
- Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh total solar installed capacity is about 50 percent of the total installed solar capacity of India.
- With 4.5 GW of solar capacity installed, Rajasthan took the lead in capacity addition.
- As per this report, the average project cost in 2021 was higher due to higher raw material prices and freight charges.
- For 2022, the demand outlook is strong but there are many challenges for the solar industry like basic customs duty, import restrictions, and the goods and services tax issues.
- In 2021, solar tenders have fallen by 4.3 percent as compared to last year.
Topic: National News
13. Election Commission of India hosted Election Visitors Programme 2022.
- Election Commission of India (ECI) organized the International Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2022 for Election Management Bodies (EMBs) from 32 countries and four international organizations.
- India has been hosting the International Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) since 2012.
- The International Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2022 has provided an opportunity to the Election Commission of India to share best practices and experience of conducting polls by complying with COVID-19 protocols.
- More than 135 delegates from 26 countries have participated in this event.
- The Election Commission of India apprised participants from its new initiatives on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of the electoral system.
- Participants also got information about the electoral process, polling station arrangements, use of technology in polling, etc.
14. Microsoft to set up its largest data center of India in Hyderabad.
- Microsoft will establish its largest data center at Hyderabad in collaboration with the Telangana government.
- Microsoft will invest Rs 15,000 crore into the new data centre region in Hyderabad over the next 15 years.
- The new data centre region at Hyderbad will be spread across three sites – Chandanvelly, Ellikatta, and Kottur.
- The new data center at Hyderabad will provide advanced data security and cloud solutions. It will help enterprises, startups, developers, education, and government institutions.
- At present, India has data center regions across Pune, Mumbai, and Chennai. These are operational for more than five years.
- The Hyderabad data center region will create new jobs in the field of IT operations, facilities management, data or network security, network engineering, etc.