Current Affairs 15 & 16 May 2022

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EKA Unveils Its First Electric Bus EKA E9India's First made in India electric bus 'EKA E9'

EKA, a commercial electric vehicle manufacturer and a subsidiary of Pinnacle Industries, has unveiled the E9, a new electric bus. The e-bus was introduced at the Pune Alternate Fuel Conclave (AFC) by Maharashtra’s Minister for Tourism and Environment, Aaditya Thackeray, alongside Sudhir Mehta, Chairman of EKA and Pinnacle Industries Limited.

  • The EKA E9 is claimed to be the country’s first completely ‘Made-In-India’ 9- metre pure electric, zero-emission bus.

About EKA E9 Bus
i.The E9, according to EKA, is the first battery-electric bus with a new streamlined vehicle design, optimised power and range, and a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) than existing Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) powered buses, ensuring sustainability and profitability for all stakeholders.
ii. The battery system is safe, durable, and efficient, with a powerful Li-Ion battery suitable for city operations. Battery system manufacturing is a fallout of the Production Linked Incentive Scheme.
iii. EKA’s E9 bus creates a worldwide platform for clean, efficient, and lucrative public transportation which promotes electric mobility to meet their zero-emissions goals.
iv.EKA’s E9 bus is an example to highlight the priority in electrification of commercial vehicles, public transportation, and, most notably, the bus industry, is essential to India’s decarbonization strategy.
About Pune’s AFC
i.Organised by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), in association with Maratha Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA).
ii.The conclave is an initiative of the Maharashtra Government.

Varanasi to get Skill India International Centre to Prepare Skilled Workforce for Overseas Employment

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) International(NSDCI) and Hindustan Ports Private Limited(HPPL), the Indian unit of United Arab Emirates(UAE)’s DP World have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) to set up Skill India International Centre at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. This aims to skill Indian youth for pursuing overseas employment opportunities in logistics, port operations and allied areas.
The centres would host training facilities as per the demand of international employers like UAE, Canada, Australia and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regions. 

  • The MoU was exchanged between Ved Mani Tiwari, director, NSDCI and Mohammed Al Muallem, executive vice president, DP World and director, HPPL in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. 
  • This will also strengthen the relationship between UAE and India and help enhance workforce productivity. 

PM launches Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy during the Madhya Pradesh Startup Conclave

On 13th May 2022, Prime Minister(PM) Narendra Modi launched the “Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy” during the Madhya Pradesh Startup Conclave held at Indore, Madhya Pradesh(MP) and addressed the startup community through video conferencing. 

  • He also launched the Madhya Pradesh Startup portal which will promote the startup ecosystem. 

About Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy:
i.The new startup policy of MP offers special attention to the development of the startup ecosystem.
ii.The policy includes the decision of concession in stamp duty. Other suggestions received from youth will also be implemented. 
iii.The provision of the policy includes assistance in investment, program planning, lease rental, extension and patents to start-ups and incubators.
In order to give effect to the new start-up policy, Madhya Pradesh Venture Finance Limited and Madhya Pradesh Venture Finance Trustee Limited have been merged with Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udyog Nigam to form an exclusive venture capital (VC) for funding support to start-ups in future. 
Features of the policy:
i.The new policy will provide an additional 20% support to women-led start-ups and create enthusiasm for innovation and start-ups among school and college-level students through special programs.
ii.Along with several discounts to start-ups, special incentive assistance of Rs 1 crore will also be given to selected start-ups and innovators.
iii.Under the new policy, the government of MP will provide subsidies to start-ups towards rent for the workplace, salaries, and product patents.

  • Start-up working from a rented place will get  Rs 5,000 per month for rent and it will also get Rs 5,000 per month per head for a salary of up to 25 employees. 


Bhagwant Khuba Addressed at Intersolar Europe 2022 on “India’s Solar Energy Market”Bhagwant Khuba, Minister of State (MoS),  Ministry of New and Renewable Energy(MNRE) delivered a keynote address at the investment promotion event on “India’s Solar Energy Market” at Intersolar Europe 2022 held at Messe München exhibition centre, Munich, Germany. The event was organized by the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF).

  • Intersolar Europe 2022, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, took place from 11th May to 13th May 2022. 
  • Intersolar Europe is organized by Solar Promotion GmbH, Pforzheim, and Freiburg Wirtschaft Touristik und Messe GmbH & Co. KG (FWTM).

Intersolar Europe:
i.Intersolar Europe is part of The smarter E Europe, which in total comprises four exhibitions, an extensive accompanying program as well as parallel conferences
ii.It is Europe’s largest platform for the energy industry. 
Highlights of the Keynote Address: 
i.The MoS highlighted that India is set to achieve net-zero by 2070 and install 500GW of non-fossil by 2030, the target set during COP-26.
ii.India is committed to increasing domestic Manufacturing of high-efficiency Solar PV modules for which a total budget outlay of Rs 24,000 crore is made. 
iii.India has achieved the target of 40% cumulative electric capacity from non-fossil fuel in 2021, 9 years ahead of the set target of 2030. 
iv.To promote a green hydrogen economy, India has estimated an outlay of Rs 25425 crore. 
v.The Green Hydrogen Mission has an expected outcome of generating 4.1 Million Tonnes of annual Green Hydrogen production.
Note: At present, around USD 196.98 billion worth of projects are underway in India. 

“Sky Bridge 721”: World’s Longest Suspension Bridge in Czech Republic

On 13th May 2022, The world’s longest suspension footbridge named “Sky Bridge 721”, was opened in Dolní Morava, Czech Republic for tourists. The bridge connects two mountain ridges and hangs 95 metres above the valley of the Mlýnský Stream. 

  •  The Sky Bridge 721, 721 metres (2365 feet) long and 1.2-meter-wide, was constructed at a cost of 200 million crowns (around USD 8.4 million). 
  • Prior to Sky Bridge 721, the title of the world’s longest suspension footbridge was held by Portugal’s 516-metre Arouca Bridge. 
  • Sky Bridge 721 is 154 metres longer than the current Guinness World Record holder suspension footbridge, the Baglung Parbat Footbridge (567 metres) in Gandaki Province, Nepal.

Dolní Morava, situated on the Czech border with Poland, is a vacation spot that’s also home to ski slopes, an alpine roller coaster purporting to be the second-longest in Europe, a mountaintop restaurant and an attraction called the Sky Walk, a curved structure with a wooden walkway
About Czech Republic:
President– Miloš Zeman
Prime Minister– Petr Fiala
Capital– Prague 
Currency– Czech koruna(crowns)


SpiceJet And Axis Bank Launch Co-Branded Credit Card

SpiceJet, an Indian low-cost airline, has partnered with Axis Bank, India’s third largest private sector bank, to Launch the most lucrative co-branded credit cards, which are available in 2 variants: SpiceJet Axis Bank Voyage and Voyage Black. It will be powered by Visa and will provide customers with a variety of privileges and benefits.
In the presence of Ajay Singh, Chairman and MD of SpiceJet, and Amitabh Chaudhry, MD and CEO of Axis Bank, the credit cards were officially launched at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, where they unveiled a special SpiceJet-Axis Bank credit card livery aboard a SpiceJet Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. 

  • It aims to provide travellers with an exceptional travel experience through SpiceClub, India’s first frequent flyer Program by a low-cost carrier.

i.The products are designed to allow users to utilize their daily spending rewards to book flights and add-ons, encouraging both travel and digital payments while also incorporating SpiceJet’s SpiceClub frequent flyer club benefits.
ii.The Voyage Black credit card, which is a top-tier offering in the travel credit card segment, offers customers up to 7% in rewards.

  • Furthermore, there are no blackout periods or festival demand restrictions on the redemption of earned points, and it is done on a first-come, first-served basis.

iii. Cardholders will receive an exclusive SpiceClub membership with direct entry into the silver or gold tiers, and special benefits like complimentary or discounted travel add-ons, priority check-in, SpiceMax upgrade, preferred seat selection, complementary meals, and more.
About Axis Bank:
MD & CEO – Amitabh Chaudhry
Establishment – 1993 (Began Operation- 1994)
Headquarters – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Tagline – Badhti Ka Naam Zindagi

PAN Or Aadhaar Made Mandatory for Cash Deposits or Withdrawals Above Rs 20 LakhThe Indian government has made the requirement of a Permanent Account Number (PAN) or Aadhaar number mandatory for deposits or withdrawals of Rs. 20 lakh or more in a fiscal year, or for creating a current account.
On May 10, 2022, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued a notification in this regard called the Income–tax (Fifteenth Amendment) Rules, 2022. The new regulations will take effect from May 26, 2022.
PAN or Aadhaar will be required for the following transactions under the new rules:
i.Cash deposit or deposits aggregating to Rs 20 lakh or more in a financial year, in one or more account of a person with a banking company or a co-operative bank or a Post Office
ii.Banks, post offices, and co-operative societies would be required to report deposits and withdrawals aggregating to Rs 20 lakh or more in a financial year.

  • PAN is currently required for cash deposits of Rs 50,000 or more per day. With these rules, a threshold of Rs 20 lakh has been set for the entire financial year.

About Aadhaar:
Aadhaar is a Unique Identification number (UID) issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
>> Read Full News

RBI Restricts Withdrawals from Shankarrao Pujari Nutan Nagari Sahakari BankThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed several restrictions on Shankarrao Pujari Nutan Nagari Sahakari Bank Limited, Ichalkaranji, Kolhapur in Maharashtra, including on withdrawals, in view of the lender’s deteriorating financial position. 
The restrictions will be in effect for six months from the close of business on May 13, 2022, and are subject to review.

  • RBI has issued restrictions in the exercise of its powers under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, read with Section 56 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, (As Applicable to Co-operative Societies).

Key Points:
i. Given the bank’s current liquidity position, no amount from a depositor’s total balance across all savings bank or current accounts, or any other account, may be withdrawn, however they are allowed to set off loans against deposits subject to the conditions.
ii. Among other restrictions, the bank cannot grant or renew any loans or advances without prior approval from the RBI, make any investment, incur any liability, or dispose of any of its properties or assets.
iii. However, 99.84 % of the depositors are fully covered by the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) insurance scheme. Deposits of up to Rs 5 lakh are covered under the DICGC insurance scheme.
iv. These Directions shall remain in force for a period of six months from the close of business on May 13, 2022 and are subject to review.

  • The bank will continue to undertake banking business with restrictions as stated in the Directions till its financial position improves. The RBI also stated that it may consider modifications of the directions depending upon circumstances.


Forbes Global 2000 List 2022: RIL tops Indian companies; Berkshire Hathaway tops globallyAccording to the Forbes Global 2000 List 2022, which ranks the world’s largest companies using 4 metrics (sales, profits, assets, and market value), Reliance Industries Limited(RIL) led by Mukesh Ambani has ranked 53rd on the list (global) and ranked first among Indian companies. 
Berkshire Hathaway, United States of America(USA) based multinational conglomerate holding company took the No. 1 spot for the first time since Forbes started publishing the Global 2000 in 2003. 
Click here for the complete list 
RIL values:
RIL has recorded sales of USD 86.85 billion; profit of USD 7.81 billion; assets of USD 192.59 billion and a market value of USD 228.63 billion. 
Top 3 companies (global) 

Rank  Company 
1 Berkshire Hathaway, United States of America
2 Industrial and Commercial Bank of China(ICBC), China
3 Saudi Arabian Oil Company(Saudi Aramco), Saudi Arabia

Top 5 Indian companies:
Indian Rank  Global Rank Company 
1 53 Reliance Industries Limited(RIL)
2 105 State Bank of India(SBI)
3 153 HDFC Bank Limited
4 204 ICICI Bank Limited
5 228 Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd.(ONGC)

India’s largest companies; 
i.Reliance Industries is followed by the State Bank of India (SBI) (global rank: 105) as India’s 2nd largest with a market value of USD 58.39 billion 
ii.Top 10 Indian firms on the list include (5th to 10th) state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at 228 ranks, Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) at No. 268, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at No.357, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) at No. 384, Tata Steel at No. 407 and Axis Bank at No. 431.
iii.Rankings of Gautam Adani’s companies: Adani Enterprise is ranked at No. 1453, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone at No. 1568, Adani Green Energy at No. 1570, Adani Transmission at No. 1705 and Adani Total Gas at No. 1746.


Sanjiv Bajaj Assumes Charge As CII President

Sanjiv Bajaj, Chairman and Managing Director for Bajaj Finserv Limited, took charge as the President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2022-23.Sanjiv Bajaj takes over Presidential responsibility from T V Narendran, CEO and managing director of Tata Steel Limited.

  • Pawan Munjal, chairman and CEO of Hero MotoCorp, has taken over as CII president-designate for 2022-23.
  • R Dinesh, executive vice-chairman, TVS Supply Chain Solutions was named vice-president for 2022-23.

i.Sanjiv has engaged with CII at the state, regional, and national levels for many years.
ii. He was the President-Designate for 2021-22 and the Chairman of the Western Region during 2019-20.
Confederation of Indian Industry(CII)
i.Non-governmental trade association and advocacy group.
ii.Founded in 1895.
iii. Headquarters: New Delhi, India.             


NITI Aayog Launches the National Data & Analytics PlatformThe National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog has launched the National Data and Analytics Platform (NDAP), which aims to improve access and use of published Indian government data. The platform provides standardised datasets from across India’s vast landscape of administrative data. NDAP helps users to search, merge, visualize and download datasets with ease.

  • The user-friendly platform will improve data accessibility, interoperability, and interactivity.

Mr. Suman Bery, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, launched the platform in the presence of Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, and Dr. Anantha Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India.

  • The platform was first released as a beta version in August 2021, with a limited number of users given access for testing and feedback.

i. NDAP hosts foundational datasets from a Various of government agencies, organizes them, and provides analytics and visualisation tools.
ii. To ensure that the datasets hosted on the platform are suited to the needs of data users from government, academia, journalism, civil society, and the private sector, NDAP employs a use-case-based approach.
iii. All datasets adhere to a uniform structure, making it simple to combine them and do cross-sectoral analysis.
iv.The Niti Aayog has also released a vision document for the NDAP, which specifies that the platform will contain the latest datasets from several government departments and will also provide tools for analytics and visualisation of the said data.

v.The website will have accessibility features for visually-impaired users, audio and video tutorials in Hindi and English and datasets in multiple languages.
vi.Moreover, the NDAP will allow users to ‘follow’ a sector, dataset and location they’re interested in. Whenever there is an update in any of these datasets, users will receive an alert, according to the NITI Aayog.
About National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog:
NITI Aayog is the premier policy think tank of the Government of India, providing directional and policy inputs. It was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet of the Government of India.
CEO – Amitabh Kant
Establishment – 1 January 2015.
Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi.


Padma Shri Awardee & Sanskrit Scholar Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi Passed Away

Padma Shri awardee and Sanskrit Scholar Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi also known as Vagish Shastri passed away in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
About Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi:
i.He was born on 15 July 1935 in the Khurai town of Sagar District, Madhya Pradesh.
ii.He made immense contributions in making Sanskrit more popular among the youth using modern scientific methods.
iii.Shastri had invented a unique technique of teaching Sanskrit grammar called ‘Vagyoga’, a mnemonic method to understand the soul of words.

Awards Won:
i.Shastri received Kalidas Award of Uttar Pradesh government in 1966 for Paniniya Dhatupatha Samiksa.
i.In 1982 he was awarded with the title of ‘Mahamahopadhyaya’ by the Kashi Pandit Parishad.
ii.He received President Award 2013 – President’s Certificate of Honour for Sanskrit.
iii.He also received the fourth highest civilian award – Padma Shri in 2018 for his contributions in the field of Literature and Education.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Passed Away Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) has passed away. He was born in 1948 in the inland oasis of Al Ain, Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi. 
Key Points:
Under the constitution, Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, would act as president until the federal council which groups the rulers of the seven emirates meets within 30 days to elect a new president.
About Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan:
i.Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the eldest son of the founder and first President of UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. 
ii.He was appointed as the 2nd President of UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi in November 2004 succeeding his father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, who served as the leader of Abu Dhabi from 1971 till his death in November 2004. 
iii.Prior to his appointment, he was the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and headed the Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council, which drafts the oil policy. 
iv.He has also served as Abu Dhabi’s prime minister and chairman of the emirate’s Department of Defence. 
v.As the President of UAE, he headed the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest investment funds in the world. 
vi.According to Forbes, he controls 97.8 billion barrels of reserves (oil) and runs one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, with reported assets of USD 830 billion.
the Burj Khalifa, one of the world’s tallest buildings, was named in honour of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support to Dubai to save it from the financial crisis. 
The building initially named Burj Dubai was renamed Burj Khalifa on its official opening ceremony in 2010. 


World Migratory Bird Day 2022 – May 14World Migratory Bird Day(WMBD), a United Nations(UN)-backed global campaign annually observed across the world on 2 occasions (two peak days each year), the second Saturday of May and October, with an aim to create awareness about the importance of the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. 
World Migratory Bird Day 2022 will be observed on 14th May 2022 and 8th October 2022. 

  • World Migratory Bird Day 2021 was observed on 8th May 2021 and 9th October 2021.
  • World Migratory Bird Day 2023 will be observed on 13th May 2023 and 14th October 2023. 

Note: WMBD is the only International day celebrated on 2 peak days to highlight the global phenomenon of bird migration.
The theme of World Migratory Bird day 2022 is “Impact of Light Pollution on Migratory Birds”.  The theme focuses on how light pollution alters the birds’ behaviours including migration, foraging and vocal communication.

  • The slogan of the World Migratory Bird Day 2022 is “Dim the Lights for Birds at Night!”.

>> Read Full News

UN’s First International Day of Plant Health – 12th May 2022 The United Nations(UN)’s International Day of Plant Health (IDPH) is annually observed across the globe on 12th May to create global awareness on the importance of plant health towards end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development.
12th May 2022 marks the observance of the first ever International Day of Plant Health. 
i.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/76/256 on 29th March 2022 and proclaimed the 12th May of every year as the International Day of Plant Health. 
ii.The resolution also invited the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO), in collaboration with the International Plant Protection Convention to facilitate the observance of the International Day of Plant Health. 
>> Read Full News


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Current Affairs Today (AffairsCloud Today) Current Affairs 15 & 16 May 2022
1 EKA Unveils Its First Electric Bus EKA E9
2 Varanasi to get Skill India International Centre to Prepare Skilled Workforce for Overseas Employment
3 PM launches Madhya Pradesh Startup Policy during the Madhya Pradesh Startup Conclave
4 Bhagwant Khuba Addressed at Intersolar Europe 2022 on “India’s Solar Energy Market”
5 “Sky Bridge 721”: World’s Largest Suspension Bridge in Czech Republic
6 SpiceJet And Axis Bank Launch Co-Branded Credit Card
7 PAN Or Aadhaar Made Mandatory for Cash Deposits or Withdrawals Above Rs 20 Lakh
8 RBI Restricts Withdrawals from Shankarrao Pujari Nutan Nagari Sahakari Bank
9 Forbes Global 2000 List 2022: RIL tops Indian companies; Berkshire Hathaway tops globally
10 Sanjiv Bajaj Assumes Charge As CII President
11 NITI Aayog Launches the National Data & Analytics Platform
12 Padma Shri Awardee & Sanskrit Scholar Bhagirath Prasad Tripathi Passed Away
13 UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Passed Away
14 World Migratory Bird Day 2022 – May 14
15 UN’s First International Day of Plant Health – 12th May 2022

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