1. India and Seychelles kicks off 9th Joint Military Exercise ‘LAMITIYE-2022’
- Indian Army and Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) has begun the 9th Joint Military Exercise LAMITIYE-2022
- It is being held at Seychelles Defence Academy (SDA) from 22nd to 31st March 22
- It is a biennial training, which is conducted in Seychelles since 2001
- It will include field training exercises, combat discussions, lectures, demonstrations and validation exercise.
- Seychelles: Archipelagic island country consisting of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean.
2. AquaMAP Water Management and Policy Centre inaugurated
- Principal Scientific Adviser to the Govt of India has inaugurated new water management and policy center, AquaMAP, at IIT Madras
- Along with this, its website (https://aquamap.iitm.ac.in/) has also been launched
- AquaMAP: national water center that will provide solutions for complex and challenging water problems by designing and evolving smart and optimal water management practices and implementing them in the field
- IIT Madras is collaborating with IIT Dharwad for this
3. India ranks 136th in the World Happiness Report 2022
- India has been ranked 136th in the World Happiness Report 2022, out of 146 countries
- Top performer: Finland, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and The Netherlands
- US is at the 16th spot
- Worst performers: Afghanistan (146th), Lebanon (145th), Zimbabwe (144th), Rwanda (143rd), and Botswana (142nd).
- Ranking is done on a three-year average based on ‘Life Evaluation’ survey conducted by Gallup World Poll
- It is published by Sustainable Development Solutions Network
4. World Water Day 2022: 22nd March
- World Water Day is observed every year on 22nd March to highlight the importance of freshwater.
- World Water Day theme 2022: Groundwater, Making the Invisible Visible.
- Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers (geological formations of rocks, sands, gravels that hold water).
- World Water Day supports SDG 6 (water and sanitation for all by 2030).
- The day also saw the release of UN World Water Development Report (WWDR)
- It was celebrated for the first time in 1993
Banking & Finance
5. HDFC Bank to launch SmartHub Vyapar programme and Autofirst
- HDFC Bank has announced to launch two initiatives/applications to give a digital push to small business loans:
- ‘AutoFirst’ application: To offer fully automated auto loans.
- SmartHub Vyapar programme: App that bundles all payment platforms like cards, UPI, QR code, tap pay and SMS-based payments.
- The merchant can avail of working capital or short-term loans, a business card or loan on the business card through the app
- HQs of HDFC: Mumbai.
National & International Appointments
6. Serdar Berdymukhamedov sworn in as President of Turkmenistan
- Serdar Berdimuhamedow (40 years) has been sworn in as the President of Turkmenistan, by securing 72.97% of total votes.
- He succeeded his father and former president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who became president in 2006 and served till 2022.
- Presidential elections in Turkmenistan are held every seven years.
- Land-locked country in Central Asia with the lowest population in Asia
- Capital: Ashgabat.
- World's fifth-largest reserves of natural gas
7. Prasar Bharati signs MoU with Australia SBS to boost co-operation
- Prasar Bharati has signed MOU with Australia's public service broadcaster Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) to boost co-operation in the field of broadcasting.
- The MoU will facilitate the reach of DD News, DD India, and multiple language services of DD News amongst the Indian Diaspora in Australia.
- Under this MoU, the two broadcasters will explore opportunities in co-production and joint broadcasting of programmes spanning multiple genres.
Honours & Awards
8. President presented Padma Awards at the Civil Investiture Ceremony
- President Ram Nath Kovind has presented Padma Awards at the Civil Investiture Ceremony-I held at Rashtrapati Bhavan
- Padma Vibhushan: CDS General Bipin Rawat and Radhey Shyam Khemka posthumously.
- Padma Bhushan: Ghulam Nabi Azad, N. Chandrasekharan, Devendra Jhajharia, Rajiv Mehrishi, Cyrus Poonawalla, Sachchidanand Swami, Rashid Khan
- Padma Shri: 54 people were given Padma Shri Awards including Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Swami Sivanand, Ibomcha Singh, etc
9. Govt increases timeline for startups for converting debt into equity
- Govt has increased the timeline for startups to convert debt investments (convertible notes) into equity shares up to 10 years.
- Earlier, this limit was 5 years.
- An investor can invest in a startup through convertible notes, kind of debt/loan instrument.
- In such cases the investor is given the option that if the startup performs well or achieves some performance milestones in the future, the investor can ask the startup to issue equity shares of the company.
10. Mansukh Mandaviya delivers a keynote address at “Aksha-Lessons from India”
- Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya delivered the keynote address at ‘Aksha – Lessons from India’.
- It is an event organized by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
- It was participated by Country Heads and Representatives from Development Partners such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID, ADB and BMGF
- It was organized to take key lessons and share experiences and best practices from India’s COVID management and vaccination journey.
Summits & Conferences
11. Second India-Australia Virtual Summit held
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison held 2nd India-Australia Virtual Summit
- The summit reviewed the multi-faceted relationship between the two countries and exchanged views on regional and global developments.
- The 1st edition of the summit was held in June 2020
- PM Modi expressed his satisfaction at the enhanced scope of the relationship which now covers trade and investments, defence and security, education and innovation, etc.
12. Delhi govt's Armed Forces Preparatory School to be named after Bhagat Singh
- Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the Delhi government's upcoming school to prepare students for the armed forces will be named after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
- It will come up at a 14-acre campus in Jharoda Kalan with state-of-the-art facilities.
- It will be a residential school and students will not be charged any fees
- It will admit students to classes 9 and 11.
- Here, students will be taught by retired officers of the Armed forces.