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NATIONAL AFFAIRS - April 2022

Apr 2022

Aug 13, 2022

'Har Ghar Tiranga': Department Of Posts Sells over 1 Crore National Flags in 10 Days

  • Within a short span of ten days, India Post has sold more than 1 crore national flags, through its 1.5 lakh post offices as well as online.
  • These Flags have been sold by the department at a price of Rs. 25.
  • For online sale, the Department provided free doorstep delivery to any address across the country; more than 1.75 lakh flags were purchased online by the citizens through the ePost Office facility.
  • 'Har Ghar Tiranga' is a campaign under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to encourage people to bring the Tiranga home and to hoist it to mark the 75th year of India's independence.
  • Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of India's people, culture and achievements.

LG Manoj Sinha Inaugurates "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of AAI

  • In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurated "UMEED Market Place" under AVSAR Scheme of Airport Authority of India at Srinagar International Airport. A similar Marketplace was also opened at Jammu Airport and both the outlets would exhibit products of all 20 districts.
  • Lt Governor Manoj Sinha in his address said that such an initiative will support local art and artisans of Self Help Groups of J&K Rural Livelihood Mission, providing a platform to market local products directly to the customers. He maintained that the products of Self Help Groups will get exposed to the national market, strengthen the local artisan community and provide sufficient promotional avenues for their products.

Microsoft- Indian Government Sign MoU to Train Civil Servants

  • Indian Government inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Microsoft to collaboratively launch training programme for civil servants. Under the programme, Microsoft would give training to over 2.5 million civil servants in India for using the Microsoft digital tools.
  • MoU was inked between Microsoft, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and Capacity Building Commission (CBC).
  • It was aimed at training the civil servants in helping underprivileged, by delivering last-mile social welfare services.
  • The Capacity Building Commission (CBC) helps in capacity building for several ministries including Defence, Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Social Justice etc.
  • This MoU was inked considering the competence gap among civil servants. They were lacking at digital productivity application skills, which is required while working on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint presentation.

Aug 12, 2022

Madhur Verma Appointed Head of ACB

  • Senior IPS officer Madhur Verma was appointed the head of the anti-corruption branch (ACB).
  • Verma, a 2005 batch IPS officer, was earlier an additional commissioner in the Delhi police's armed police department.
  • The ACB is mandated to probe graft cases against Delhi government officials.
  • Verma has earlier worked as the DCPs of crime branch, the police's North district and the New Delhi district.
  • Verma was also Delhi police's public relations officer until mid 2019.

Dhankhar Takes Oath as Vice-President

  • Former West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was sworn in as the 14th Vice President of India. President Droupadi Murmu administered the oath to Dhankhar in a brief ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dhankhar's predecessor M. Venkaiah Naidu were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony. With Dhankhar also acting as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha by virtue of being the vice-president, both the Houses of Parliament would be presided over by leaders from Rajasthan.
  • Dhankar, who was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) nominee for the vice-presidential post, defeated opposition's candidate Margaret Alva by a margin of 346 votes.

Sunil Bansal, General Secretary of BJP UP Appointed as the National General Secretary of the Party

  • Signalling its intent to sharpen the party's strategy and enhance its reach in states where it has not been in power so far, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed one of its chief strategists, Sunil Bansal as the national general secretary.
  • Bansal who was the general secretary (organisation) in Uttar Pradesh (UP), will be in charge of Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal (WB), the three states which the party has set its sights on. While it emerged as the second largest party in WB, in Odisha its presence is still nascent. BJP is also aggressively preparing for the 2023 assembly polls in Telangana.
  • The appointment made by party president JP Nadda came a day after the BJP lost power in Bihar, where it ran a coalition government with the JDU.

Aug 11, 2022

MP, Rajasthan and Karnataka among Top States to Provide Power Subsidy

  • As many as 27 states and Union territories out of 36 are providing subsidised electricity to consumers, with at least Rs. 1.32 trillion spent nationwide in the 2020-21 financial year alone, power ministry data showed. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka footed the highest power subsidy bill, accounting for Rs. 48,248 crore or 36.4%.
  • Delhi has seen an increase of 85% in its subsidy expenditure between 2018-19 and 2020-21, from Rs. 1,699 crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 3,149 crore, the second highest among all provinces, an analysis of three-year data show. Manipur saw the biggest jump of 124% in power subsidies in these three years, although the increase was from Rs. 120 crore to Rs. 269 crore.
  • The data assumes significance as the Supreme Court is hearing a public interest litigation that wants political parties to be deregistered and their election symbols seized for offering "irrational freebies" ahead of polls.

Arun Sao is New BJP Chief in Chhattisgarh

  • Chhattisgarh MP from Bilaspur Arun Sao was appointed as the new state BJP president. Sao replaced the party's tribal leader Vishnudeo Sai.
  • Inducting Sao, who belongs to the Sahu community, as the BJP state unit chief is being seen as a response to Chhattisgarh Congress's son of the soil image. Political experts believe his proximity to the RSS was also a decisive factor in his favour.
  • Chhattisgarh BJP, which has been in Opposition only for the second time in over two decades of the state's existence, has been gearing up for the upcoming state election in 2023 for some time with senior party leaders hinting at a change in the leadership.

Assam, Mizoram Sign Joint Statement on Resolving Border Dispute

  • The Assam and Mizoram governments signed a joint statement after a ministerial-level discussion in Aizawal and Mizoram to take forward the process of resolution of the boundary dispute between the two states. According to the statement, both states agreed to promote and maintain peace to prevent any untoward incident along the borders. Also, the Deputy Commissioners of the bordering districts of both states shall meet at least once in two months. "Both the States reaffirm the Joint Statement of 5th August 2021 in letter and spirit.
  • Both the states agreed that economic activities including cultivation and farming which have been practised by the people along the borders of the two states shall not be disturbed but allowed to continue regardless of the administrative control presently exercised by either state at such locations subject to Forest Regulations and after informing the Deputy Commissioners concerned.
  • The next meeting between High-Level delegations of two states will take place at Guwahati in October this year where issues and claims will be deliberated in detail.

Aug 10, 2022

Sanjay Agarwal Takes Charge as ICRISAT Assistant Director General

  • Sanjay Agarwal from the Indian Administrative Service, who is currently the Chair of the Government of India's Committee on Minimum Support Price, joined the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) as its new Assistant Director General.
  • Director General of ICRISAT, Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, welcomed Mr. Agarwal.
  • While serving as the Secretary in the Department of Agriculture & Farmers' Welfare, Government of India, Mr. Agarwal was also an ex-officio member of ICRISAT governing board from 2018 to 2022.
  • Mr. Agarwal is a 1984-batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. He has over 37 years of experience in administration and public policy.

Nitish Kumar Takes Oath as Bihar Chief Minister for 8th Time in 22 Years

  • After having announced a new "Grand Alliance" which includes Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and other Opposition parties, Nitish took oath. Interestingly, this was the eighth time that Nitish Kumar took oath as the Bihar CM.
  • The eight times since the year 2000 that Nitish has taken oath as CM of Bihar are: First time: March 2000, second time: November 2005, third time: November 2010, fourth time: February 2015, fifth time: November 2015, sixth time: July 2017, seventh time: November 2020 and eighth time: August 10, 2022.
  • Kumar ended his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) National Democratic Alliance and rejoined hands with RJD on a day of rapidly changing political developments in Bihar.

HM Amit Shah Launches Onboarding of Cooperatives on GeM Portal

  • Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah launched the onboarding of cooperatives on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal.
  • The move will allow cooperatives to procure through the GeM portal like other government buyers—Central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions and local bodies. It comes days after the Union Cabinet, on June 1, gave its approval for expanding the mandate of GeM to allow procurement by cooperatives as buyers on GeM. Till now only government buyers could procure through the GeM portal, and private sector buyers were not allowed to do so.

Aug 09, 2022

EC Grants Recognition to AAP in Goa

  • The AAP was recognised as a political party in Goa - after Delhi and Punjab.
  • The Election Commission recognised the AAP as a state party in Goa after a review of it's performance in assembly polls held earlier in 2022. The poll body said that the AAP had 'fulfilled conditions laid down in Para 6A of the Election Symbols (Reservation & Allotment) Order'.
  • Party convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal pointed out that should the AAP get recognised in one more state, they would be declared a 'national party' - a key brand ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
  • The AAP is also looking to expand its footprint in other states, including Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, both of whom vote later this year.

UP Government Appoints Deloitte India to make UP a $1 Trillion Economy

  • The Uttar Pradesh government signed a memorandum of understanding with Deloitte India, appointing it as a consultant for achieving the target of bringing the state's economy to $1 trillion mark.
  • The MoU between the consultancy agency and the government was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government has entrusted the big responsibility to Deloitte India for the prosperity of the country's largest populous state.

US Navy Ship Charles Drew Arrives in India for Repair

  • In a huge boost to 'Make in India' and 'Aatmanirbharta in defence,' the US Navy ship Charles Drew arrived at Larsen and Toubro shipyard at Kattupalli in Chennai for undertaking repairs and allied services.
  • As per report, this is the first ever repair of a US Navy ship in India. The US Navy had awarded a contract to L&T's Shipyard at Kattupalli for undertaking maintenance of the ship. The event signifies the capabilities of Indian shipyards in the global ship repairing market.

ITU's Regional Standardisation Forum for Asia & Oceania Region

  • As a part of the celebrations during Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, Ministry of Communication hosted the International Telecommunication Union's (UTI's) Regional Standardisation Forum (RSF) for Asia and Oceania region in New Delhi. The theme of the Forum was "Regulatory and Policy aspects of Telecommunications/ICTs". The Forum will be succeeded by four-day meeting of International Telecommunication Union-T Study Group 3 Regional Group Asia and Oceania (ITU-T SG3RG-AO) from 09th August 2022 to 12th August 2022.
  • The Regional Standardisation Forum was inaugurated by Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications.
  • The Regional Standardisation Forum is a platform for constructive exchange of ideas, discussing Standardisation topics including inter alia India's experience in various sectors of technology like Sustainable Digital Transformation and the Role of ITU Standards, Harnessing Technologies for Digital and Financial Inclusion in Emerging Markets, evolving Data Value Chain and Digital Health.
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