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  • Raghav Sand

2022: Year in Review

Everything in this world has a beginning and an end. As we say goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023 with hope and excitement, it's good to recall some of the significant events that took place in the last 12 months or so. Life has its own script and the best we can do is to adapt and evolve. For most people, life would have been in autopilot mode throughout the last year. On the other hand, some had to bear the loss of loved ones, while others embarked on new life endeavours.

Without dwelling too much on the past, we should still review what went right and wrong for us. Apart from the external factors that brought us the highs and lows, we must diligently analyse our major decisions, and how we spent the most valuable resource available to humankind - time.

In this article, I have tried to summarise the most significant local and global events from 2022. If you think some other events should also have found mention here, please share your views on the social media pages of The Know-how Journal®.

January: Clean Slate

The beginning of the year is an opportunity to start afresh. Many of us make new year resolutions, either written or mental, and if we are able to show the resolve, some of them transform into habits. The year began with high hopes. Lockdowns and travel restrictions were lifted in a calibrated manner. January always feels like the quickest month of the year - you miss it and it's gone.

February: Russia-Ukraine War Begins

War has never solved problems, and will never do so in the future as well. Every conflict, armed or otherwise, affects the lives and livelihood of millions of people. The reasons for war in Ukraine may be many, and it varies with your grasp and knowledge of geopolitics. There is only one reason to stop it - peace.

March: India Resumes International Flights

The Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 brought international travel to a standstill. Countries signed air bubble agreements to resume connectivity in 2021 and India too had multiple such pacts. In March 2022, the Indian government lifted all international travel restrictions, allowing commercial airlines to operate flights freely. This move helped to infuse life in the travel industry and marked the return to some sort of normalcy.

April: Economic Crisis in Sri Lanka and Record GST Collection in India

Countries of all shapes and sizes witnessed some churn in their economic fortunes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, which is heavily reliant on exports and tourism, fared worse than other nations with similar circumstances. Economic turmoil in Sri Lanka gave rise to mass anti-government protests. India is a stakeholder in the peace and prosperity of Sri Lanka, and this meant that New Delhi could not afford to be a mute spectator to the internal friction within its southern neighbour.

India’s concern ranged from humanitarian, ethnic, and last but not the least - geopolitical. When nations fail to honour their debt, creditors corner them and hit where it hurts the most. The crisis in Sri Lanka is far from over.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection is one of the few economic indicators in India which has risen consistently over the past year. The gross GST revenue collected in the month of April, 2022 was ₹1,67,540 crore. This was the first instance when gross GST collection had crossed ₹1.5 lakh crore mark.

May: Inflation Scales New Highs

By terming inflation as transitory, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) fell behind the curve. In the first week of May, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI decided to raise key policy rates in an unscheduled meeting. This drastic step took everyone by surprise, and it did more harm than good to the finances of the investors and general public. The RBI has a statutory mandate to keep inflation at 4 percent - with a lower and upper tolerance limit of 2 and 6 percent, respectively.

June: Autonomous Ship Crosses the Atlantic Ocean

On 30 June 2022, Mayflower Autonomous Ship arrived at Massachusetts, U.S. having crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Plymouth, U.K. A computer vision system in the ship receives visual data from the high-definition onboard cameras, along with radar, GPS, weather, altitude, and water-depth detectors. The ship is equipped with dozens of sensory instruments. The system has been trained to recognise possible threats, such as cargo ships, fishing boats, and even floating freight containers that are partially submerged.

July: Heat Wave in Europe

Extreme weather events are becoming more prevalent with passage of time. In July, Europe, which has historically witnessed pleasant summers, registered record high temperatures. Places like Portugal, France, and the U.K were among the worst hit. We are in the midst of accelerated global warming. Floods, cyclones, and droughts are causing irreparable damage to agriculture, wildlife, and common folks like us.

World leaders are unable to reach a consensus about how we can conserve our ecosystem for future generations. Developed nations cannot dictate terms to emerging economies when it comes to lowering emissions, and at the same time, emerging economies should proactively follow basic environment conservation practices.

August: India @75

India celebrated 75 years of independence on 15th August, 2022. One of the oldest civilizations in the world, India, was liberated from the rule of foreign occupiers after countless sacrifices. In the last three-quarters of a century India has seen tremendous growth in technology, infrastructure and has also gained self-sufficiency in food production. Given the large size of its population, even after all the development, millions of citizens in India are deprived of basic human needs. Successive governments have tried to deliver food, shelter and clothing to the most underprivileged, but contemporary Indians have much higher aspirations.

September: India Becomes the 5th Largest Economy in the World

In September 2022, India became the 5th largest economy in the world. This is not a small achievement by any means and has a high symbolic value, as it happened in the 75th year of India’s independence. There are evident signs for optimism and apparent blind spots in the Indian economy. Policy-makers must formulate plans to take care of external events. Hope is a powerful four-letter word, but it cannot work in isolation. India requires competent vision and execution to fulfil the expectations of a billion-plus people.

October: India Announces Pilot Launch of e-Rupee

The e₹-R, launched by the RBI on 7th October and operationalised from 1st December, is in the form of a digital token that represents legal tender. It is being issued in the same denominations as the paper currency and coins. e₹-R is being distributed through the banks. Users will be able to transact with e₹- R through a digital wallet offered by the participating banks. Transactions can be both Person to Person (P2P) and Person to Merchant (P2M). The e₹-R offers features of physical cash like trust, safety and settlement finality. Like cash, the CBDC will not earn any interest and can be converted to other forms of money, like deposits with banks.

November: Tech Layoffs

Layoffs are never easy, and under most cases they are a tradeoff between burning cash and hopes. No failure is too big, and with patience and confidence, skilled and experienced professionals get back to work, sooner or later. The shock of being considered ‘surplus to requirements’ takes time to heal. In November, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, announced large scale layoffs, affecting over 11,000 professionals. Other major tech and non-tech companies followed suit, as if they were waiting for someone else to pull the plug and be the fall guy.

December: India’s G20 Presidency, Argentina’s World Cup Win, and Covid-19 Boomerang

On 1st December, 2022, India assumed the G20 Presidency from Indonesia and will convene the G20 Leaders' Summit for the first time in the country in 2023. As per an official press release by the government of India, G20 meetings will not be limited only to New Delhi or other metropolises. Drawing inspiration from its G20 Presidency theme of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" - One Earth - One Family - One Future, India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different workstreams, and would have the opportunity to offer G20 delegates and guests a glimpse of India's rich cultural heritage and provide them with a unique Indian experience.

Argentina became champions of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ after defeating France in the penalty shootout. Both teams gave everything on the pitch and fought till the last moment. Argentina’s win at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, 20 kilometres north of Doha, was their first world triumph after a gap of 36 years. With timely and necessary inputs from his teammates and technical staff, Lionel Messi is now a world champion.

As we approached the end of the year, Covid-19 infections were on the rise in some regions of the world. India has successfully immunised a major portion of its adult and adolescent population, and may not be as badly affected as some of the other nations. Rising Covid-19 cases around the world shall be dealt with confidence and caution. We must have faith in our vaccine, medical infrastructure, and natural immunity.

Best Wishes and Thanks

I hope this article helped you to recap the year 2022. Please share your feedback, if any, on the social media pages of The Know-how Journal®. I wish all our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Thank you for your constant support.

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