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    Important Current Affairs 11th March 2019

    NATIONAL:

    Karnataka sought Rs.2,064 crore for draught relief

    • Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy sought early release of Rs.2,064.30 crore funds to provide relief to drought-hit farmers in the ongoing rabi season. In addition to floods, Karnataka reeled under severe drought both during Kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) seasons of the 2018-19 crop year (July-June).

    • The state government has submitted a memorandum seeking Rs.2,064.30 crore drought relief fund for the ongoing rabi season as crop loss is estimated to be Rs.11,384.7 crore. The state has declared drought in156 out of 176 talukas.

    • The state has released Rs.386 crore from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and given priority to ensure drinking water and fodder, besides creating 1.19 crore man-days jobs under the MGNREGA scheme

    Lok Sabha 2019 elections will start from 11th April

    • Election Commission of India announced that the Lok Sabha 2019 elections will start from April 11, in seven phases. Code of Conduct for parties kicks in from 10th March and there are close to 90 crore eligible voters. Date of counting will be on the 23rd of May 2019.

    • The election in 22 States and Union Territories will be conducted in a single phase. Two-phase elections are in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Manipur, and Tripura, while Assam and Chhattisgarh will have three phases. Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha will be covered in four phases, Jammu and Kashmir in five, and Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal in seven phases. In Anantnag, the election will be held in three rounds.

    • Schedule of the seven phases of Lok Sabha polls:

    ♦ Phase one – 11th April 2019

    ♦ Phase two – 18th April 2019

    ♦ Phase three – 23rd April 2019

    ♦ Phase four – 29th April 2019

    ♦ Phase five – 06th May 2019

    ♦ Phase six – 12th May 2019

    ♦ Phase seven – 19th May 2019

    Date of counting- 23rd May 2019

    NPPA reduced MRP of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines up to 87 percent

    • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has reduced the MRP of 390 non-scheduled cancer medicines have been reduced by up to 87%.NPPA has asked the manufacturers and hospitals to revise the prices based on the trade margin formula. According to the price regulator, five brands will see a price reduction of about 70%, while 12 others will see a 50-70% price cut. MRPs of 45 cancer medicines will reduce by 25%.

    • This price reduction is expected to result in annual savings of around Rs.800 crore for patients. The price reduction is expected to benefit about 22 lakh cancer patients in India.

    Ministry of power to give star rating for 2 electrical appliances

    • The Ministry of Power has announced that two more electrical appliances microwave ovens and washing machines will now be assigned star ratings based on their energy efficiency metrics.

    • The rating of appliances in India is undertaken by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Bureau of Energy Efficiency is a statutory body set up under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.

    • The program to rate microwave ovens and washing machines will be implemented on a voluntary basis and will be valid up to December 31, 2020. Star Rating of Appliances provides a basic sense of how energy efficient each product is. Higher the rating, higher is the efficiency of the appliance.

    India, ASEAN clock fastest growth for e-commerce, digital trade sectors: FICCI KPMG

    • According to India and ASEAN: Co-creating the Future’ report by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and consulting major KPMG, India and 10 member ASEAN are among the fastest growing economies in the world.

    • India and ASEAN show a faster growth rate even for e-commerce and digital trade sectors.

    • Global E-commerce Sector topped by China.

    • Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach 4.5 trillion dollars from 1.3 trillion dollars by 2021.

    • By 2025, the e-commerce market in India is expected to reach a volume of 90 billion dollars as per the report.

    BANKS:

    SBI to link the interest rate to RBIs repo rate

    • State Bank of India is to link the interest rate it offers on savings account deposits to the Reserve Bank of India’s repo rate, an external benchmark. SBI has become the first domestic bank to do such linking. By doing so, the bank will effectively link all loan rates to an external benchmark either directly or indirectly, thereby attempting tospeed up the transmission of any changes in the benchmark monetary policy rate to depositors and borrowers.

    • The following changes are announced by SBI:

    ♦ Savings accounts with deposits above Rs.1 lakh would be priced at 2.75% below the prevailing repo rate of 6.25%

    ♦ Cash credit accounts and overdraft facilities over Rs.1 lakh would be priced at 2.25% over the repo rate

    ♦ For all other floating rate products, including retail and corporate loans, the impact of SBI’s decision to link savings account deposit rates to the repo rate will be felt indirectly

    ♦ For savings account holders with balances up to Rs.1 lakh and borrowers with cash credit and overdraft limits up to Rs.1 lakh, interest rates will remain fixed

    AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS:

    Maneka Gandhi felicitated the 30 winners of the Web Wonder Women contest

    • Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, felicitated the 30 winners of the ‘Web Wonder Women’ contest organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in New Delhi.

    • The women were selected from over 240 nominations received under the categories media, awareness, legal, health, governmental, food, environment, development, business and art.

    ACKO General Insurance honoured with Golden Peacock Award 2019

    • he new-age digital insurance company, ACKO General Insurance was awarded the prestigious Golden Peacock Innovative Product Award – 2019, for their contextual micro insurance product -“Ola Ride Insurance“.

    • The award was presented to Biresh Giri, Appointed Actuary & CRO, Acko at an event in Dubai.

    • Launched in March 2018, Ola Ride Insurance is a first of its kind insurance in the Indian market where Acko partnered with the leading ride-sharing company, Ola.

    India claims the First Prize at The International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019 in the category of TV Cinema Spot at ITB, Berlin

    • The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was awarded the First Prize in the category- TV Cinema Spot at the International Golden City Gate Tourism Awards 2019 held at Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB), Berlin.

    • The awards were received by Shri Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary, Tourism.

    • The awards were given for the following promotional films and TV commercials produced under the Incredible India 2.0 Campaign:

    Yogi of the Racetrack

    The Reincarnation of Mr. and Mrs. Jones

    Sanctuary in Paris

    Maharani of Manhattan

    The Masala Master Chef

    S. Mubarak appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of El Salvador

    • Shri B. S. Mubarak, the Indian Foreign Service officer of 2001 batch, is presently the Ambassador of India to the Republic of Guatemala.

    INTERNATIONAL:

    Japanese woman honoured by Guinness World Records

    • A 116-year-old Japanese woman who loves playing the board game Othello is being honored as the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records.

    • Tanaka was born January 2, 1903, the seventh among eight children. The previous oldest living person was another Japanese woman, Chiyo Miyako, who died in July at age 117.

    NASAs LRO spotted water molecules moving around the dayside of moon

    • NASA Scientists have observed water molecules moving around the dayside of the moon using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). It is an advance that could help us learn about the accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions.

    • Measurements from the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) instrument aboard the LRO of the sparse layer of molecules temporarily stuck to the surface helped characterize lunar hydration changes over the course of a day.

    • Lunar water can potentially be used by humans to make fuel or to use for radiation shielding or thermal management. Water molecules remain tightly bound to the regolith until surface temperatures peak near lunar noon.

    Pulse polio programme launched in Nagaland

    • The Nagaland Health and Family Welfare Department launched the first round of 'Intensive Pulse Polio Immunization' programme. I.Himato Zhimomi, Principal Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, administered the first two polio drops to an infant at Naga Hospital, Kohima marking the launch of the three-day programme.

    India launched its 3rd IT corridor in China

    • National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) entered into a partnership with China's Xuzhou city from Jiangsu Province in China to help develop the IT corridor. This is India's third IT corridor in China. The corridor will facilitate partnerships between Indian and Chinese companies.

    • The partnership will enable Indian software and service industry associations to enter the Chinese market and seize the development opportunities in China. The earlier two corridors launched at Dalian and Guiyang cities has brought to fore opportunities with over 300 companies where more than 10 Indian SME companies have signed deals worth 31 Million RMB (USD 4.5 million).

    • The first two corridors had enabled cooperation in co-create mode in emerging technologies such as A1, IOT, and Analytics in the Chinese market. IT corridor project between India and China strengthens India-China Digital Cooperation

    SPORTS:

    Bisht won gold at the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament, Finland

    • Kavinder Singh Bisht in the 56kg-category struck gold at the 38th GeeBee Boxing Tournament in Helsinki, Finland. Bisht defeated Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Hussamuddin in the 56kg summit clash.

    • Three-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa, Govind Sahani, Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin and Dinesh Dagar won silver medals at the Finland Boxing tournament.

    Akhilesh prajapati 11 Days ago
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